THE END GAME

A Marvel Cinematic Universe Fanfiction Script

By Scott Demarest

EYES OF GLASS

EYES OF GLASS

CYBERPUNK HORROR BY

SCOTT DEMAREST

DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Neither the author, nor the original plot, is in any way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. The following is an unofficial, non-commercial piece designed as transformative speculation. No copyright infringement is intended and the piece may be removed by the author at the request of said respective owners.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

I developed the following script in the Fall of 2019 as a page one rewrite of Avengers: Endgame.

 

A brief set of rules guided the effort:

 

1) The lead-in from Avengers: Infinity WarCaptain Marvel and the marketing for Avengers: Endgame had to be exactly the same, including post-credits sequences and promotional trailers.

 

2) The lead-out had to equivalent as well. Characters who would no longer participate in the MCU following Avengers: Endgame must be removed from the story by the end of this script. Characters who would continue to play a role must stay alive in relevant and significant ways.

 

Everything else is fair game.

 

With those basic ground rules in place, I now present...

 

 

 

 

 

THE END GAME

 

by Scott Demarest

 

 

 

 

EXT. SOUL WORLD - DUSK

 

The mysterious, burnt landscape of the Soul World is desolate except for one wandering silhouette. Inhuman, choral voices chant as the darkened shape of Thanos searches the watery horizon for Gamora, but she is no nowhere to be found.

 

MARVEL LOGO SEQUENCE as the Soul World chant amplifies to a deafening volume.

 

EXT. DEEP SPACE

 

The Benatar drifts in deep space.

 

INT. THE BENATAR - LOADING BAY- SPACE

 

Tony Stark and Nebula work in silence. Every system onboard is failing. The warp drive is unresponsive. Navigation is dead. Stark is already struggling to breathe when oxygen indicators flash critical warnings. They will run out of air in the next few hours. This is it. 

 

NEBULA

I’m sorry.

 

Stark can barely focus. He reluctantly lays his wrench on the edge of his work bench. It tips off and falls to the cabin with a loud crash. He stops himself from picking it up. It's over.

 

TONY STARK

Yeah, well, this was always a longshot. All of it. I got pretty far though, didn't I...?

 

NEBULA

Tony...

 

TONY STARK

Hey...do me one last favor? When we’re found...will you...bring a message back to Earth for me?

 

Nebula nods somberly. Stark pats her on the shoulder then takes his broken helmet to the ship’s...

 

INT. THE BENATAR - BRIDGE - SPACE

 

...bridge. He snaps on the recorder inside the HUD.

 

TONY STARK

Is...is this thing on? Hey, Ms. Potts. If you ever get this recording--I, uh...actually don't know if you're ever going to see this. I don't know if you're even...Well my...first foray into intergalactic spaceflight didn’t go quite as planned. Didn’t really know this ship was in such bad shape until...there wasn’t much I could do about it. Food and water ran out four days ago. Oxygen...maybe an hour or so left. That will be it. I tried Pepper. I tried to come back to you. Guess life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. But I figured I’d...go down fighting at least. Please...don’t feel bad about this. Part of the journey...is the end. The monster finally got me. Got a lot of us, I think. I know I said no more surprises, but I gotta say...I was really hoping to pull off one last one. I’m going to...lie down now. Please know...when I drift off...I’ll dream of you. It’s always you.

 

INT. THE BENATAR - HALL - SPACE

 

Nebula, having listened in on the final message from the doorway of the bridge, turns in anguish and retreats to the back of the ship. 

 

INT. THE BENATAR - BRIDGE - SPACE

 

Stark turns off the recorder and lays down. His eyes flutter. His breathing slows. He looks out the window towards the infinite black of space, but he doesn’t see stars anymore. Just as his eyes close, Tony realizes a massive silhouette is rising from the shadows. A blue stone is glowing on the back of its hand.

 

INT. THE BENATAR - BRIDGE - LOW EARTH ORBIT

 

Stark bursts awake with a loud gasp. He can breathe again. The silhouette is gone, replaced by Nebula looking down at a different brilliant blue. Earth.

 

TONY STARK

T-Thanos!

 

Nebula, visibly frightened, turns towards Tony.

 

NEBULA (whispering)

He’s watching us...

 

Tony scans the bridge in a panic then glances out into the hall. The two of them appear to be alone.

 

TONY STARK

W-What did he do?

 

Nebula's suspicious eyes drift through the cabin.

 

NEBULA (whispering)

I think he kept his promise.

 

TONY STARK

What promise?

 

NEBULA (whispering)

To spare you.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - BATHROOM - NIGHT

 

Steve Rogers shaves off his beard in silence. He’s no longer the Nomad.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - COMMS CENTER - NIGHT

 

Captain America enters the comms center. Black Widow is seated at it's main console, monitoring various searches for missing Avengers. She’s joined by Thor, War Machine, Bruce Banner, Pepper Potts, Rocket Raccoon and the newcomer Captain Marvel.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Anything?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Still nothing.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Thor, there must be something Asgard knows about Thanos. Where he might go, where he might take prisoners?

 

Thor sits in the back corner of the room, tight-lipped and arms crossed.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Are you guys still checking Titan?

 

CAROL DANVERS

If Thanos really abandoned his army that’s the only place I can think he’d go to.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

We’ve been checking constantly. No signal from Titan. Are you sure this thing even works Carol? According to these readouts it's dead out there...

 

CAROL DANVERS

Then that means it is.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

But how can information travel faster than light?

 

CAROL DANVERS

Outside of earth people travel faster than light, Natasha. Relayed signals are nothing. It works, you’ll just have to trust me. It means there’s no one on Titan.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Maybe Tony is still in space.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Then I’m leaving. I could be up there looking for him. And Thanos.

 

THOR

You’re wasting your time. Stark is gone. Everyone you’re looking for is gone. Thanos won.

 

CAROL DANVERS

You know what? I’m really getting sick of the God of Thunder constantly bitching in the corner.

 

Thor calmly stands up and approaches Marvel, who turns to stare him down without an ounce of fear in her eyes.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Thor!

 

Thor extends his hand and summons Stormbreaker inches next to Marvel’s head. Her hair whips across her face, but she is otherwise unmoved, save for a wry smile.

 

Thor smiles for the first time in a week as he casually leans on his ax.

 

THOR

I like this one! So tough. Now that the fighting's already over.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Then maybe we can see how long this fight lasts.

 

THOR

Maybe we should.

 

He picks up his ax. Marvel never breaks eye contact.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Go for it.

 

ROCKET RACCON

Alright, let’s all take it down a notch, guys...

 

THOR

I nearly felled Thanos with one blow even when he had the Inifinity Gauntlet!

 

CAROL DANVERS

I don’t need a gauntlet.

 

Her hands glow with brightly visible energy.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Guys, that’s enough!

 

THOR

Oh, so your hands glow! Adorable!

 

CAROL DANVERS

I'll warm up on you then go find Thanos and finish what you couldn’t.

 

Thor’s smile fades as he aggressively presses his face up close to Marvel's.

 

JAMES RHODES

Stop it already!

 

THOR

We have all the time we need now.

 

Suddenly, Captain Marvel is looking past Thor.

 

THOR

But it won't take long.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Wait, wait a minute...

 

THOR

That’s what I thought! All talk!

 

CAROL DANVERS

Hey, guys...

 

Marvel points past Thor’s shoulder out the window. The Benatar is docked on the lawn outside.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Has that ship always been there?

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - LAWN - NIGHT

 

Stark limps down the ramp of the Benatar. Captain America runs up to assist him.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Tony! I don’t believe it!

 

TONY STARK

I should be dead. I...I couldn’t stop him.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Neither could we. He got the stones. Vision was the last one.

 

TONY STARK

What the hell happened? What did he do?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

He did exactly what he said he was going to do. He wiped out half of all life in the universe.

 

TONY STARK

Is Pepper...?

 

PEPPER POTTS

Tony! You’re...!

 

Widow steps back just as Pepper Potts runs out to embrace her fiance. They hold each other tightly. 

 

TONY STARK

Don’t let go! Don’t let go of me!

 

PEPPER POTTS

Oh God, I thought I’d never see you again!

 

TONY STARK

I knew I was never going to see you again. Thirty minutes ago I was...Pepper, I wasn’t going to make it.

 

PEPPER POTTS

Where were you?

 

TONY STARK

Stranded. Way up there.

 

PEPPER POTTS

Then how did you get back? 

 

TONY STARK

Divine intervention.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

What?

 

TONY STARK

Thanos.

 

JAMES RHODES

Thanos!?

 

STEVE ROGERS

He’s here now!?

 

TONY STARK

No...I-I don't know. I don’t know where he went. Maybe he’s still up there watching.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Why would he bring you back here?

 

TONY STARK

There's a running theory. He made a deal for the Time Stone. Said he’d spare me for it. Maybe he really did.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

You had the Time Stone?

 

TONY STARK

You know those guys who dress like wizards in the Village? Probably should’ve touched base with one in particular a long time ago. He had the stone. He knew about all of this.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Where is he now?

 

TONY STARK

Dusted. The kid’s gone, too.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Queens?


TONY STARK (agitated)

His name was Peter! Potts, come on, let’s get out of here.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Tony, we need to talk about this now!

 

Tony, now visibly frustrated, turns back towards Cap.

 

TONY STARK

No, we don’t need to talk now, Rogers! We needed to talk three years ago! About whose side you were on in this thing!

 

JAME RHODES

Tony, calm down! You’re not in the condition for this!

 

STEVE ROGERS

We’re all on the same side.

 

TONY STARK

“Win together or lose together,” right? Where does Parker and me lost in space with Thanos on our ass fit into your pep talk?

 

STEVE ROGERS

I gave you a way to contact me at any ti—

 

TONY STARK

I didn't have the luxury of voicemail when Thanos' ship was already parked on Sullivan Street! We needed to be together from the beginning! You talked a big game, but when it came down to it you were nowhere to be found!

 

BRUCE BANNER

This isn't the time to point fingers--

 

TONY STARK

You're right, Bruce! There’s no time left! We lost and you know what? A big part of it was because he split us down the middle then walked. I never called you, Rogers, because your words don’t mean anything! Evidently, I can trust Thanos’ promises more than yours!

 

Stark falls to his knees, wincing in pain from the infection in his wound.

 

PEPPER POTTS

Tony!

 

Rhodes, Banner, Widow and Potts all rush to Tony’s aid. Cap doesn’t move. He looks crushed.

 

CAROL DANVERS

What the hell is she doing here?

 

Nebula struts down the Benatar’s ramp.

 

NEBULA

You again?

 

CAROL DANVERS

This is one of Thanos' daughters!

 

NEBULA

Don’t waste your time, I ran from home. Instead of trying to kill me you should be figuring out how your going to kill my father. And judging on how you couldn’t do it when he didn’t have the gauntlet, I’m really not sure how you can do it now.

 

Captain Marvel bites her tongue as Nebula struts past her.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Wait, you fought Thanos before?

 

CAROL DANVERS

Not exactly.

 

NEBULA

She tried many times. Failed every time.

 

CAROL DANVERS

It was never a straight fight. He’s too hard to track. Too well hidden behind armies of people like her.

 

STEVE ROGERS

You’re really his daughter? Can you help us find him?

 

NEBULA

He has the completed gauntlet. He could be anywhere now. He could be everywhere now.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Well, I’m not waiting around until he decides to show up again. I’m going after him.

 

NEBULA

Then I’m coming with you.

 

CAROL DANVERS

No, you’re not. You’ll just slow me down.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Captain Danvers, I appreciate everything you’ve done for us since you got here and all the things you’ve been doing before we even knew you existed. You don’t have to put everything on your shoulders anymore. Let us help you. Even though it might not look like it right now...we’re supposed to be something of a team.

 

CAROL DANVERS

And what exactly is the point of this team?

 

TONY STARK (sarcastically)

To “bring together a group of remarkable people and see if they could work together.” Right, Cap?

 

CAROL DANVERS

Why does that sound so familiar?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Maybe you've heard it before. It was Fury’s idea.

 

Suddenly, Marvel's demeanor softens.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Fury said that?

 

TONY STARK

Yeah. You know him?

 

CAROL DANVERS

What did he call you guys?

 

STEVE ROGERS

The Avengers.

 

Marvel closes her eyes in silent recognition. She feels like she's been punched in the gut. Fury named them after her, yet she utterly failed him. Fury, and half the universe, was wiped out because she couldn’t stop Thanos.

 

The least the Avenger can do now is live up to her name.

 

Her Kree flight suit blazes over her body. She opens her eyes, now glowing white with anger.

 

CAROL DANVERS

I’m joining the team.

 

She blasts off and vanishes into the upper atmosphere.

 

Nebula immediately springs into action.

 

NEBULA

I’m going after him, too. There must be spare parts somewhere on this trash planet.

 

ROCKET RACOOON

There are. Follow me. As the captain of this here starship I can help you get it running in no time.

 

NEBULA

Just show me the hangar.

 

TONY STARK

Us at our best! Really living up to the name now! Time to avenge! Wait until the fight’s lost then rally!

 

Exhausted and overexerted, Stark grabs his stomach in pain. Pepper grabs him.

 

PEPPER POTTS

Tony! Tony!

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - MEDICAL BAY - DAY

 

Stark wakes up in a hospital bed hooked to various medical devices. Widow is next to him reading a book. She smiles when she sees he’s up. 

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I’ll go get Pepper.

 

TONY STARK

How long have I been out?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Well, you’ve been in and out for about a week now.

 

TONY STARK

Does that mean I’m about to be out again?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Probably.

 

TONY STARK

No offense to your surely expert medical care, but shouldn’t I be in a hospital?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Relax. You’re on the mend. We figured the hospitals have enough to sort out. We didn’t need to pile one more patient on top of them.

 

TONY STARK

Any chance Lady Tron killed Thanos yet?

 

Widow shakes her head.

 

TONY STARK

What’s her story anyway? Could’ve used her out in the trenches all this time.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

No one really knows. She calls herself Captain Marvel. Apparently, Fury paged her during the Snap. Last thing he did before he...vanished.

 

Stark slides up in his bed and sighs.

 

TONY STARK

Is this all just a nightmare?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

It is. And it’s real.

 

TONY STARK

Wait, did you say he 'paged her?' Like, as in, used a pager?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

He certainly did.

 

TONY STARK

Didn’t know those were still a thing.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

They're not, but no one ever really knows what Fury is up to. She says she used to be a pilot in the air force before she was taken off world. She showed up here looking for Fury and then you saw her leave again. We haven’t heard from her since. Now Nebula and Rocket are ready to take off in the next day or so.

 

TONY STARK

Rocket?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

The talking raccoon.

 

TONY STARK

That thing was real?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

As real as intergalactic pagers.

 

TONY STARK

I’m serious, that wasn’t a hallucination from the fever?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

No hallucination. And he’s probably our best mechanic now. Even better than you.

 

TONY STARK

Huh, how bout that…

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Your, uh, new partner is quite the character herself. In the last week she’s nearly gotten into a fistfight with everyone in the building.

 

TONY STARK

Even Rogers?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

He tried to calm her down once and she said his personality bores her and his face is irritating.

 

TONY STARK

That’s my girl.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

She’s coming around. Last night she made Rocket dinner. 

 

TONY STARK

She cooked the raccoon?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

No, she cooked dinner for the raccoon.

 

TONY STARK

Don’t raccoons eat garbage?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

We couldn’t tell what it was, but he really liked it so we didn’t eat it. She kept you leftovers for when you wake up.

 

TONY STARK

Hard pass.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

She also, uh, offered me a seat onboard if I want to go with them. To try and track down Thanos.

 

TONY STARK

Are you taking it?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

No. I don’t…I don’t think I make much of a difference anymore. Not in that way. Ever since we started the Avengers…I always knew I had a lot to prove--to myself more than anyone else. But it’s like we’re on a whole different level now. Thanos. The gauntlet. Even Captain Marvel. What do I matter in the new scope of things?

 

Stark starts to chuckle, but doubles over in pain. He waves off Widow’s assistance.

 

TONY STARK

Well, the only reason I’m here now is because a sorcerer traded my life for a gem that controls time and helped erase half the universe. Maybe we are a bit out of our depth now. My visions of what might come to pass were nothing compared to what did and in the critical moment with a decade head start I was a scratch on Thanos’ cheek. I’m not part of this picture anymore. It was arrogance to ever think I was. I have to learn to be okay with that now.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I agree. That’s why I’m staying here. At HQ. If nothing else I figure I can operate a switchboard. Tell the people who need to know what they need to know.

 

TONY STARK

You’re not exactly a secretary, Nat.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Well, I was your secretary…

 

TONY STARK

You were terrible at it. No, that’s not you. You’re a leader. Always were. Loud mouths like me get to make too many decisions. Look where it got us. First Ultron then Thanos. Take me out of the equation and I think we’re a lot better off frankly.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Tell that to Nebula. She was going to move your bed onboard.

 

TONY STARK

I’m done, Nat. I’m done. The monster finally showed up and I just got lucky...that Pepper…

 

Tony stops to keep himself from crying. Widow puts her hand on his.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - HANGAR - DAY

 

Nebula and Rocket walk through the hangar with the last of the supplies for their mission. Cap and Thor help them load their gear. 

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Last chance guys. Wheels up soon.

 

Captain America looks heavily conflicted.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I want a second round with Thanos as much as anyone, which is why I'm trusting you guys. I think I'm a liability up there. You'll cover more ground up there faster without me. In the meantime it’s completely broken out there. I won't leave it in shambles.

 

NEBULA

What about you, Thor? Rhodes says you almost killed my father. We could use strength like that.

 

THOR

You'll have it soon. Right now Asgard needs me. My people have no home. They’ve lost everything. I must help them rebuild first.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I’m sorry, pal.

 

THOR

Once we do rebuild, both of you are always welcome.

 

NEBULA

We won’t be back anytime soon.

 

STEVE ROGERS

When you do find him--

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Don’t worry. Robot Girl here thinks she can take him on alone, but the captain knows better. We'll need an army to get that gauntlet off Thanos.

 

STEVE ROGERS

The way I feel right now...I'm might be in the mood to do it myself...

 

NEBULA

Wait, you’re not the captain of this ship. I am.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

This again? I told you, I called it first.

 

NEBULA

You don’t “call” captain, you earn it.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I earned it by rebuilding this ship from scratch after you junked it so badly Daddy had to give you a ride home.

 

NEBULA

Referencing my father is hurtful in this conversation!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

It’s hurtful to you in every conversation that’s why I keep doing it.

 

NEBULA

I find your verbal tactics...irresponsible.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

My talking is “irresponsible?”

 

NEBULA

It encourages me to kill you in your sleep!

 

ROCKET RACCOON (sarcastically)

Oh, this is gonna be great. You guys sure you don’t wanna come? Do I still have to go?

 

The two Guardians continue to argue as they board the ship.

 

STEVE ROGERS

You still vouch for him, Thor?

 

THOR

Don’t worry Rogers, Rabbit will be fine. As long as Robot Girl cooks him garbage he won’t bite her and infect her body. Scientists call that a “toxic relationship.” It’s a good thing, I think! Now I must be off as well. The Asgardians grow weary of New Jersey. We travel North.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Thor, if you ever need anything, or if your people ever need anything, please, just ask.

 

THOR

Thank you, Captain, but...that’s just it. What they really need is a true leader. They’ve needed that ever since my father died. I’ve let them down ever since.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Don’t say that, it’s not true.

 

THOR

I can still try and give that to them. One way or the other.

 

Thor smiles weakly at Captain America then summons the bifrost and vanishes.

 

Widow approaches Cap from behind and puts a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

 

STEVE ROGERS

He’s getting worse at hiding his feelings.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I think we all are. I wouldn’t trust us anymore if we weren’t.

 

STEVE ROGERS

How about this then? As much as I want to help everyone out there...the one thing that actually gets me through the day is the thought that they can find him...and I can get one more shot...That's the one thing...

 

Fire leaps from Cap's eyes. Widow grabs a hold of his hands.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

We'll get there, Steve. Together.

 

Cap exhales his pent up rage and checks his watch.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I still have a couple hours before the next Town Hall.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Dinner?

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - COMMS CENTER - DAY

 

Widow places a plate of peanut butter sandwiches down on the table. She sits down across from Cap next to the comms link monitors.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Starting to get quiet in these rooms now.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I guess it's time to rebuild. Worlds. Cities. Families. Ourselves.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Which end do we start with first? The world or ourselves?

 

STEVE ROGERS

I'm starting to think the world might be easier. I'm here now, but my mind is still back in Wakanda and I have Thanos' gauntlet in my hands and I just...I just need to push harder.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Steve...just consider the possibility that...we have to accept what happened. That’s what Tony’s doing. 

 

STEVE ROGERS

Really?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

He says he’s done. No more Iron Man.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I’m happy for him then...

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Is that what we should do?

 

STEVE ROGERS

You know, I go to these shelters and hospitals everyday. They ask me to speak to people who are just...shattered. You can see it in their eyes. They can’t believe it. And then when they finally do, they get worse. The only people I've seen get better are the ones who say life was never in their hands. It was always out of their control. That’s Thanos, right? Is that what the Avengers were fighting against this whole time? Destiny?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Today is just the day after yesterday. We can never change that, but we can interpret that as either a gift or a curse. I think for a long time the point of the Avengers was to pretend that reality could just be...invalidated by fighting harder. That destiny was just an option. Then Thanos showed up and every fear we ever had fell right into place.

 

STEVE ROGERS

But even then it felt like it was still in our hands, we could still stop...destiny, reality, whatever you want to call it. We could’ve beaten Thanos! I can’t let that go, Natasha. I can’t let it go.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

You’re not alone, Steve. I’ll never get out of that shadow, either And it’s bad, so bad, for people to live their lives like this, just wallowing in regret, but that's me now. That's why I'm still hiding in here with you and not trying to live out there like Tony.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I guess it's kind of funny. I keep telling people they need to move on. Some do. But not us. I want another shot at him so bad, but would it even matter if I got it? The damage is already done. If you ever do find happiness again, take it and move on.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Could you? Take happiness if you found it now? Move on?

 

Cap shakes his head.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Hypocrite.

 

STEVE ROGERS

How could I let myself be happy after taking it away from so many others?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

That’s not fair, Steve. Eventually you’re going to have to stop blaming yourself.

 

STEVE ROGERS

You know me, Nat. I could do this all day.

 

EXT. LEM CITY - CITY STREETS - NIGHT

 

Smoke rises from concrete as acid rain pelts the grim, urban decay of Lem City. A handful of aliens wander the night in full body cloaks and gas masks to protect from the poisonous precipitation.

 

EXT. LEM CITY - BAR FRONT - NIGHT

 

Two tall alien figures slink into the entrance of a grungy, alleyway bar.

 

INT. LEM CITY - BAR - NIGHT

 

Flames hiss from a long match before vanishing beneath the hood of a shadowy figure. The extinguished match is discarded and a long trail of smoke curls out into a gritty, cyberpunk bar. Mysterious patrons sip poison in the dark, silently eyeing each other up.

 

The door slams open as the two alien figures enter and remove their masks. One is male, one is female. They scan the dim room before the male sits down at the bar and signals the cybernetic barkeep. A large cup of what looks like motor oil splashes down on the counter. The female sits down next to him.

 

MALE ALIEN

He’s not here yet.

 

FEMALE ALIEN

You think she got him?

 

MALE ALIEN

If she hasn’t yet, it’s only a matter of time. That’s why we’re doing this now.

 

FEMALE ALIEN

How long do we wait?

 

MALE ALIEN

One drink and then we’re gone. I’m not sitting around in the open like this.

 

The hooded figure in the corner stands and slowly approaches. It sits down between the two aliens, rests a metallic elbows on the counter and leans its hidden face against a small handgun brandished in its left hands.

 

The two aliens anxiously glance at each other.

 

The figure taps its right index finger on the bar to signal for a drink.

 

MALE ALIEN (whispering)

Are you Rocket?

 

NEBULA

Nope.

 

The female alien pulls out a magnum-sized handgun and places it against Nebula's hooded temple.

 

FEMALE ALIEN

Then you already know too much!

 

ROCKET RACCOON (O.S.)

Think I’d point that somewhere else if I were you, sweetheart.

 

A long-barrel shotgun extends out from beneath Nebula’s cloak and presses against the alien’s chin. Rocket’s white eyes open in the shadows over Nebula’s stomach. The male alien quickly draws his own machine pistol and points it towards Rocket at the same time an even larger heavy machine gun presses against his cheek.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Don’t worry I got one for you too, pal.

 

Nebula sighs.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Feel free to pick a target before the bullets start flying.

 

Nebula points her gun at the frightened bartender and taps her fingers again.

 

NEBULA

Still waiting for my drink!

 

The bartender visibly shakes as he drops a can of the sludge in front of Nebula and backs away. She lowers her hood and chugs down the booze. Both aliens gasp as they realize their guns are aimed at the daughter of Thanos.

 

NEBULA

Now, who was it you were saying is tracking you down?

 

MALE ALIEN

N-Nebula, I’m so sorry! Please forgive us!

 

NEBULA

Who is following you!

 

She grabs the male alien by the collar of his rain cloak.

 

FEMALE ALIEN

A woman! With hair like fire! She’s roaming the starways wiping out your father’s forces! We’re on the run. Wait! Are you here to help us?

 

NEBULA

Do you know where my father is?

 

MALE ALIEN

No one knows where Thanos is! Ever since the Reaping he’s gone missing! We can’t find him anywhere! Is Rocket working with him?

 

Growling with frustration, Nebula casually picks up a second hangun with her free hand and wastes both aliens with simultaneous cross fire. 

 

Rocket leaps up onto the counter.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Damn it, Nebula! Can’t you ever let a conversation breathe a little before you put a bullet through it? They might’ve told us something important!

 

NEBULA

You heard them. It’s a waste of time. Let’s keep moving. With Danvers this visible my father's army will retreat deeper into the shadows. That’s where we’ll wait for them. Eventually someone will know something.

 

The two Guardians turn to leave, but now the entire room is on its feet. Dozens of guns are pointed in their direction.

 

MALE ALIEN MERCENARY

The Daughter of Thanos? Here?

 

NEBULA

You know my father?

 

FEMALE ALIEN PIRATE

He wiped out my family.

 

MALE ALIEN MERCENARY

He eradicated my entire city.

 

NEBULA

Yup, that’s him.

 

FEMALE BOUNTY HUNTER

But he once said he’d pay a lot of money if we ever delivered you.

 

Nebula calmly walks for the door, completely ignoring the weapons trained on her.

 

FEMALE ALIEN PIRATE

You try and open that door and you’ll never see what’s on the other side of it.

 

NEBULA

Oh, I’m not opening anything.

 

Nebula slaps the deadbolt lock on the door shut.

 

NEBULA

Not until we have a little chat.

 

ROCKET RACCOON (to himself)

Ah, geez, what is it with this girl?

 

Rocket leaps down and scurries beneath the feet of the patrons.

 

FEMALE BOUNTY HUNTER

Hey! Where’d the fox go!?

 

NEBULA

That’s not a fox.

 

Along the back wall of the bar, Rocket rips off an electric plate and takes a bite out of a fist-full of wires spilling out.

 

NEBULA

It’s a rabbit.

 

The room goes pitch black. Bursts of fire immediately light it back up in still frames of furious violence. Screams of agony mix with snapping bones as Nebula skillfully navigates the darkened death trap one flash of light at a time.

 

When only the female bounty is the last one standing, she desperately aims her handgun in the direction of Nebula and fires indiscriminately. With each flash of light, Nebula seems to calmly stride closer, never getting hit by a single round. The bounty hunter’s gun finally clicks empty in the darkness.

 

Flames lick the inky black from the top of a match Nebula holds in front of the wide-eyed alien.

 

NEBULA

Now...let’s talk about the Mad Titan.

 

She blows the match out and the female bounty hunter’s howling shriek echoes through the darkness.

 

EXT. NEW ASGARD - DAY

 

On the coastline of Norway, Thor hammers the last nail into a door held in place by Valkyrie.

 

Thor steps back to admire his handy work.

 

THOR

Finally, it’s finished.

 

VALKYRIE

Welcome to the new royal palace Your Highness.

 

Thor looks around at the cramped village of small fishing huts that comprise Asgard now.

 

THOR

Not exactly the same as what we once had.

 

VALKYRIE

But it’s something. You’re actually pretty good with that thing, you know.

 

She points to the hammer he’s holding.

 

THOR

Well you know, hammers and all…

 

VALKYRIE

I’m serious, Thor. You’ve built something real here. Maybe you’ve finally found home?

 

THOR

Home is wherever Asgard’s people are.

 

VALKYRIE

Well they're here now. What do you think? Does this feel like a real home for you, too?

 

Thor hesitates to answer. Suddenly, he won’t look Valkyrie in the eye.

 

VALKYRIE

You’ve gotten your people this far. Everything that comes out of this doesn’t have to be bad. Rebuilding is more than just bricks and mortar. It’s people coming together and thriving.

 

THOR

So then Thanos was a good thing?

 

VALKYRIE

No, but this is a fresh start for all of us now.

 

THOR

That’s exactly what he would say.

 

VALKYRIE

Look Thor, this is reality now! We can make the best of it if we choose to. Now is the opportunity to step out of your father’s shadow!

 

Thor walks away shaking his head.

 

THOR

The time to step out of my father's shadow came and went with the snap of Thanos’ fingers. Why do you think we rebuilt New Asgard so quickly? Because there’s barely anyone left! First Hela, then Ragnarok, then Thanos. Twice!

 

VALKYRIE

Thor, no one could’ve stopped Than--

 

THOR

Why does everyone keep saying that?! I could’ve stopped Thanos! I picked which blow to land, but I chose not to kill him because I needed him to see that I was the one who beat him! My arrogance! That’s why half the universe is gone now!

 

He raises his hand into the sky, summoning Stormbreaker.

 

THOR

New Asgard is complete. It’s your home now, my Queen.

 

He places the massive ax in her hands.

 

THOR

May you serve it better than I have.

 

VALKYRIE

You’re serious? That’s it then? You’re just leaving? You’re their king!

 

THOR

They need a real leader. I just gave it to them. 

 

VALKYRIE

Will you apologize to your people for abandoning them?

 

THOR

I will not stop apologizing until my dying breath! All my life, I’ve been challenged to prove my worth. Over and over I was found “worthy.” Reclaiming my birthright, wielding Mjolnir, becoming King of Asgard. Everytime that worthiness meant nothing, because it was followed only by suffering.

 

VALKYRIE

You stared down death time and again to protect the innocent. You fight and bleed for those people!

 

THOR

I watched all those people die!

 

VALKYRIE

Every single one of us makes mistakes we wish we could go back and change, but that’s not how life works! Take it from me! I fled Asgard before! I regret abandoning my people and even coming back now doesn’t make up for what I failed to defend back then! Don’t make the same mistake I did!

 

THOR

Before I fought Thanos, I told a friend I had nothing left to lose. I was wrong. When Thanos completed the gauntlet, half of everything I had left to lose turned to ash. It could happen again at any moment. With all six stones Thanos is a god. It will take a god to stop him. Starting today I exile myself until Thanos is dead. His head will be my greatest apology. I won’t begrudge anyone for not accepting it.

 

VALKYRIE

So you’re to battle Thanos yourself now? You don’t even know where he is!

 

THOR

I wouldn’t stand a chance yet even if I did.

 

VALKYRIE

Yet you plan to kill him unarmed?

 

THOR

I’m not the God of Axes.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - COMM CENTER - NIGHT

 

Black Widow sits alone next to the comms relay switch. Lines of communication are open with Captain America, Hawkeye, Rocket, War Machine, and Captain Marvel, but they’re all empty. 

 

She leans back in her chair and glances at Hawkeye's line. Swallowing hard, she reaches to dial him, but jumps from her seat as a hardline phone buzzes first. It’s Banner. She immediately perks up as she answers.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Bruce!

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

Hey Nat. Just thought I’d drop in, see how you’re doing.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Just here alone, manning the switch.

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

Steve’s out?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

He’s speaking in Brooklyn Heights tonight.

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

That’s...that’s great. It’s what’s most important now. Keeping hopes up.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Maybe you should give it a shot one day. You can teach people how to control their...I don't know...inner rage.

 

Both chuckle lightly.

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

That’s not really the case so much these days. What about you, Major? You ever think about a career change?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

If Captain America can’t inspire the world I’m not so sure a former Russian spy will do much better. Besides, who else is going to stare at this blank screen all day?

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

Still nothing from Rocket and Nebula?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

And nothing from Marvel. Thanos remains MIA.

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

I see.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Hey, it's been awhile. Why don't you come by? I'll make you dinner. I'm starting to get really good at this whole preanut butter and jelly thing.

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

I don’t know, Nat. I’m not really in great shape these days.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

What’s wrong? Is everything okay, Bruce?

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

I’m fine. Please...don’t worry. It’s just...this whole Hulk thing’s really got to my head. I think it’s best if I keep to myself for a while. Try and sort things out.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Oh. Okay. I-I understand.

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

Hey, Nat…

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Yeah, Bruce?

 

Silence fills the line. Widow glances down to make sure the call hasn’t dropped.

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

You were always...good to me. Even when you didn’t have to be. Thank you for that.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Are you sure everything's okay?

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

No. It’s not. I’m not sure if it ever can be again, you know? Hey, listen...I gotta go. I’ll call you again sometime.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Yeah. Sure. Of course.

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

One last thing before I go.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

What’s up?

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

Hear anything from Clint, yet?

 

A second call flashes silently from War Machine. Widow’s face tightens with concern. She doesn’t immediately accept it.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

No.

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

I hope...I hope he’s ok.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Me too, Bruce.

 

BRUCE BANNER (O.S.)

Good night, Nat.

 

Bruce hangs up. Widow stares at War Machine’s blinking call a few more seconds before finally picking up.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Rhodes?

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

Yeah, it’s me.

 

He sounds defeated. Widow closes her eyes, preparing herself for bad news.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Where are you now?

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

Tijuana.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Is he there?

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

No, but...he was.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Is it bad?

 

JAMES RHODE (O.S.)

We knew he was hurting, but this...this is unreal.

 

Widow takes a deep breath.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Any indication where he might go next?

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

This is days old. He could be anywhere by now.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Keep me posted?

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

Of course.

 

Widow hangs up and immediately wipes the tears streaming down her face.

 

EXT. AEROS - MOUNTAINS - NIGHT

 

Smoke rises from a small village deep in the mountains of the rugged planet Aeros. Captain Marvel solemnly examines an open grave of Skrulls in the middle of it. Her eyes are tired. She’s worn out, not just from the fights she’s waged across the galaxy, but by the trail of chaos that's already paved everywhere she goes.

 

Children’s footprints scurry away from the ruins towards a craggy outcrop. Captain Marvel follows them already grimacing as she prepares for the worst.

 

EXT. AEROS - CAVES - NIGHT

 

Marvel ducks beneath the low mouth of a cave and ignites the palm of her hand into ambient light. Dozens of young Skrull children are huddled together, shivering in the cold.

 

Marvel’s eyes shimmer as she looks down at the now parentless children hiding in the dark. She can barely speak.

 

CAROL DANVERS (whispering)

Who did this to you?

 

A young Srull girl points over Marvel’s shoulder as a leviathan worm curls over mountains on the distant horizon.

 

SKRULL GIRL

Is everywhere like this now?

 

Marvel doesn’t have the heart to answer.

 

EXT. AEROS - CITY STREETS - NIGHT

 

Marvel stoically walks down a broken city avenue towards multiple leviathan worms undulating between towering skyscrapers. Gentle snow falls around her.

 

Bodies and debris are everywhere. A roving band of Thanos’ remnant marauders has indiscriminately massacred an entire city.

 

The heavily armed force, enslaved beasts in tow, turns towards the woman slowly approaching. Every weapon trains on the newest member of the Avengers. 

 

Marvel’s hands glow with energy.

 

EXT. BROOKLYN HEIGHTS - PROMENADE - NIGHT

 

In a parallel visual, Captain America similarly walks down a much quieter, much lonier Brooklyn city street. His hands are buried in his jacket pockets. 

 

Across the East River, Manhattan is blacked out. He studies the darkened city before climbing the staircase entrance of a local public school.

 

INT. PARIS - DANCE CLUB - NIGHT 

 

Electronic music blares loudly among the kaleidoscopic lights of an exclusive Paris dance club. Female dancers on balconies strip for shoulder-to-shoulder crowds on the dance floor below.

 

A line of men in black trench coats files through the entrance, waving off the metal detecting wands of security. They weave across the club towards an already well guarded VIP area.

 

Gunfire erupts outside. Car tires squeal. Screams fill the air. The music stops and the men in trenchcoats circle protectively around a white-haired gangster sitting at a private table. 

 

A man explodes through the door, leaking a trail of blood before collapsing onto a table with a sword sticking out of his back. Another man passes through the entrances, turning to fire before spraying wildly into the air. He falls backwards, revealing a small dagger impaled through his throat.

 

All the lights in the club extinguish. The club hushes into an anxious silence.

 

From the pitch darkness, the metal detectors suddenly flash red in warning, barely illuminating the silhouette of Ronin as he pulls his sword from the dead man's back.

 

INT. UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - NIGHT

 

A blinding floodlight pounds on, illuminating Nebula sitting bound and gagged in a wooden chair at the center of a black void.

 

MALE ALIEN (O.S.)

I expected the Daughter of Thanos to put up more of a fight.

 

A shadow bends over Nebula. A viscous, clear oil is poured all over her body.

 

MALE ALIEN (O.S.)

Any last words?

 

He rips the gag out of her mouth. She spits out a mouthfull of the oil before answering.

 

NEBULA

Where’s my father?

 

The disembodied voice eerily laughs.

 

MALE ALIEN (O.S.)

If your father was still around, I wouldn’t have the guts to do what I’m about to do to you now.

 

INT. PUBLIC SCHOOL - AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

 

Captain America stands behind a miked podium at the center of a school auditorium stage. Weeping is audible in the back of the room. It will never stop at any point in the speech. 

 

Captain America pulls a tattered piece of lined notebook paper out of his brown moto jacket and smooths it out on the podium. He places his compass with the picture of Peggy Carter next to it.

 

He leans forward to speak into the microphone, but it instantly squeals with feedback. He adjusts the mike and tries again.

 

STEVE ROGERS (tentatively)

My name is Steve Rogers and I came here tonight to talk to you about adversity. A long time time...a very long time ago actually...I grew up in this neighborhood. In fact, I used to go to this school. When I was a kid, I always tried to stand up to bullies. But I was too weak. I could never…

 

He trails off. It wasn’t just when he was a kid. He skips ahead in the speech.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Standing up to bullies, though…

 

He suddenly stops again, seized by a wave of emotion. He briefly leans back from the podium to collect himself. Who is he going to try and convince right now, the room or himself? Either way, it won't work.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Sometimes just standing up to bullies is enough--to show them you won’t…

 

He stops a third time, this time longer than before.

 

STEVE ROGERS

...to show them you won’t give up. That's exactly what we have to do. Every day is a test now. So what are we going to do? What can we do?

 

Captain America looks longingly into Carter’s eyes as he thinks out loud.

 

STEVE ROGERS

What can we do...?

 

He looks up into the crowd, as if hoping to find an answer within it. There is no answer, of course. He continues.

 

STEVE ROGERS

What we can’t do is linger--

 

Captain America abruptly stops. He picks up the written speech and buries it back into his jacket pocket. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I’m sorry.

 

FEMALE AUDIENCE MEMBER

Will they ever come back?

 

Cap looks down at Agent Carter's picture to help him find his words.

 

STEVE ROGERS

If any of you know anything about me, you’ll remember there was a time in my life when I lost everything in the blink of an eye. Seventy years passed me by and when I woke up, everyone I ever knew was gone. I was completely alone. I didn’t even think it was real. It had to be a nightmare.

 

INT. PARIS - DANCE CLUB - NIGHT

 

STEVE ROGERS (V.O. during the action)

The world changed overnight. I had to change, too. There was no other choice. I had to move on from my old life. Start a new one. Painful as it was, eventually I did.

 

Ronin slices cleanly through the wrists of a gangster, who screams in pain as his automatic rifle falls to the dance floor. Ronin then squats down to dodge the swing of a dagger before extending his sword into the chest of the gangster who wields it. Grabbing the disarmed gangster closely, Ronin spins as automatic fire bursts up the torso of his new human shield. Ronin quickly drops to his knees and folds his body backward, slicing a large horizontally arc behind him, cutting down an attacker reaching for the idle assault rifle. 

 

Quickly rotating on his knees, Ronin picks up the dropped dagger and launches it across the room and into the forehead of the gangster aiming down a rifle sight. Ronin flips back to his feet and impales his human shield, forcing him to march forward towards the VIP section. He pulls his sword out to slice down more gangster, some before they can swing first, some as they scramble to retreat. 

 

The human shield finally drops to his knees, revealing the shivering mob boss, trapped on a leather couch with a screaming stripper on either side of him.

 

EXT. AEROS - CITY STREETS - NIGHT

 

STEVE ROGERS (V.O. during the action)

The reason I did was because, at the very least, I didn’t want anyone else to feel what I felt. I wanted to use whatever strength I had within me to stop the world from hurting other people. That was my new mission.

 

The pavement craters beneath Marvel as she lands on the street. A leviathan worm crashes to the ground behind her, curling as it wails in agony.

 

The snowfall is a blizzard now.

 

Marvel rises to her feet, eyes white, glowing tears staining her cheek as her body throbs with visible energy. She launches herself forward against a wave of lasers and gunfire.

 

INT. PUBLIC SCHOOL - AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

 

STEVE ROGERS

But I failed that mission. I failed all of you.

 

INT. UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - NIGHT

 

Metal snaps as Nebula effortlessly breaks out of her brick-shaped handcuffs.

 

She slams her captor, a cyborg marauder from Thanos’ now dissolved army, down into the wooden seat. Rocket falls from the darkness above and lands on his shoulder. He holds the marauder’s glass eye open as Nebula buries her hand into the base of his neck. The cyborg screams as memories project out of his eye. Nebula quickly scans through the data and pulls back with disgust. 

 

He doesn’t know where Thanos is, but judging by his breathy chuckle, he still has a secret to share.

 

STEVE ROGER (V.O. during the action)

Only this time it wasn’t the blink of an eye.

 

Dozens of pairs of disembodied white eyes open in the darkness surrounding Nebula and Rocket. Rocket pulls out an oversized revolver in each hand and points them towards the voyeurs in the shadows.

 

INT. PUBLIC SCHOOL - AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

 

STEVE ROGERS

It was the snap of a finger. The world’s changed again. Have we? If you’re like me, you have a picture you can’t stop looking at because it froze a moment in time you wish never went away. You see it, and you want to reach in and grab that moment, that person, and never let go again. We can’t do that, of course. We can’t let those memories do that to us either because then it’ll be us lost in time; and if you’re gone, how can you ever help someone else from feeling the way you did? Who will be around to stand up to the next bully? The world can still be in our hands. As much as if feels like it can’t possibly be.

 

INT. UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - NIGHT

 

STEVE ROGERS (V.O. during the action)

There’s still so much suffering out there. So much sadness. Pain. Death. It's up to us to keep back that tide, even when we feel like it's already swept us away.

 

Rocket and Nebula stand back-to-back, firing wildly into the darkness as inhuman shapes leap towards them, reaching the light just as they collapse dead mere inches away.

 

INT. PARIS - DANCE CLUB - NIGHT

 

STEVE ROGERS (V.O. during the action)

We all regret losing the people we love. It makes us want to hide from the world. Never come out again.

 

Ronin walks away from the mob boss, who's now face down in a pool of blood. 

 

Police sirens blare in the distance. Ronin takes a long chug of booze from the bar before splashing what’s left it all over the dead gangsters’ corpses. He slices open more shelved bottles with a slash of his sword, spraying alcohol across the club, then drops a golden cigarette lighter into the puddle of combustible liquid. 

 

As flames leap across the bodies of the fallen, Ronin calmly exits back into the night.

 

INT. PUBLIC SCHOOL - AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

 

STEVE ROGERS

For the sake of everyone still here, we need the courage to move forward, no matter how badly we want to cling to the past. If you think about it, the biggest bully of all is time. That makes this the fight of our lives--not surrendering to time, but standing up to it, even when we know we can never get it back. 

 

EXT. AEROS - CITY STREETS - NIGHT

 

A seething Captain Marvel picks up the alien leader of the remnant army by the collar of his black fatigues. Her eyes are bathed in a wide splash of white hatred even more threatening than the flames surging from her body.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Where’s Thanos!

 

The leader calmly shakes his head, dispassionately resigned to his fate now.

 

LEADER

He’s gone...

 

CAROL DANVERS

Then why are you doing this?

 

LEADER

What else is there to do now?

 

Marvel grits her teeth, trembling in pure rage before a blinding, destructive light engulfs the entire street.

 

INT. PUBLIC SCHOOL - AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

 

STEVE ROGERS

That’s the fight we have to win. No matter how long it takes.

 

TITLE SEQUENCE: THE END GAME

 

TITLE CARD: FIVE YEARS LATER

 

EXT. QUANTUM REALM

 

Ant-Man floats alone in pitch black darkness. 

 

SCOTT LANG

Cassie...Cassie...Cassie...

 

From that plunging darkness shimmers light. Ant-Man opens his eyes as geometric fractals rapidly morph around him, simultaneously dividing and coalescing like an infinite pattern in all directions.

 

A distant echo sounds like his name being whispered back at him.

 

CASSIE LANG (V.O.)

...Dad...

 

SCOTT LANG

Cassie? Cassie!

 

The whisper builds into a roar as a tendril of light screams past Lang. A second beam of light roars by, just narrowly missing him. Then a third. A fourth. Blinding light and deafening sound engulf him in every direction.

 

Ant-Man squints between raises fingers into one of the tentacles of warped time. Hank Pym is looking back at him. Ant-Man reaches out his hand…

 

EXT. QUANTUM REALM - TIME WELL - MONTAGE

 

...and is ripped into one of the currents of light. He helpless falls through a time-well as flashes of his life shriek past him. We see events from Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp.

 

EXT. QUANTUM REALM - SAN FRANCISCO ROOFTOP - DAY

 

When he realizes he’s on the rooftop that Hank Pym sent him into the Quantum Realm from, Ant-Man reaches out and physical latches onto this past.

 

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO - ROOFTOP - DAY

 

He claws his way through the distorted rip current, as if climbing a vertical mountain, battling against not gravity, but the relentless march of time. Inch by inch he drags himself forward on that rooftop and backwards in time.

 

Ant-Man is almost to the console of the computer that sent him into the Quantum Realm when time overpowers him, relentlessly dragging him into the future. 

 

He sees Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne and Hope van Dyne turn on the console. He sees himself pulled into the Quantum Realm. And then he sees the results of the Snap. All three of his friends evaporate into ash. 

 

With one last, desperate effort, Scott grabs onto Hank’s console and slaps down on the ejection button.

 

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO - IMPOUND LOT - DAY

 

Ant-Man is shot like a cannon out of the back of Hank Pym’s van and into the metal fencing of an impound lot.

 

He groans in pain as he looks around not to find a rooftop, but a vast field of abandoned, rusted vehicles in every direction.

 

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO - CITY STREETS - DAY

 

Ant-Man stumbles through a largely abandoned San Francisco, absolutely shocked at what he’s seeing. Missing persons signs are posted all over the city. A newspaper declares the year as 2023. 

 

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO - SCOTT LANG’S HOME - DAY

 

Ant-Man breaks into his boarded up home to find it scavenged. His daughter is missing. 

 

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO - PHONE BOOTH - DAY

 

Scrounging together littered coins, Ant-Man makes a call to Hank Pym, but there is no longer a connection for the number. 

 

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO - GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE MEMORIAL - DAY

 

Confused and frightened, Ant-Man wanders the streets until he finds a memorial for those who died in the Snap at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

 

Not understanding what the Snap is, but realizing the apocalyptic scale of the deceased, he desperately searches for one name in particular.

 

When he sees the name Cassie Lang inscribed on a marble plaque he falls to his knees.

 

A young girl walks up behind Ant-Man and puts her hand on his shoulder.

 

YOUNG GIRL

My daddy went away, too.

 

Ant-Man can’t even stand up. He sits against the monument with his daughter’s name carved into it and cries. 

 

SCOTT LANG

W-What happened…?

 

Unable to explain it herself, the young girl sits down and embraces him instead. He weakly hugs her back.

 

SCOTT LANG

Cassie…

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - TARGET RANGE - DAY

 

Black Widow practices her sharpshooting alone. She uses every track in the range simultaneously, putting bullet after bullet into the same small radius of every target’s forehead, reloading multiple times. She rapidly peppers the entire last magazine into the target directly ahead of her. Every shot is perfect.

 

Small applause erupts behind her. Bruce Banner is watching.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Bruce!

 

BRUCE BANNER

Maybe we should’ve called you Hawkeye.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

What are you doing here? It’s been--

 

BRUCE BANNER

A really long time, I know. Actually...I kind of have something I wanted to talk with you about. You and Cap. Is it alright if we sit down?

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - LOUNGE - DAY

 

Captain America sets down a glass of water for Bruce as Black Widow joins them at the lounge table.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I'm glad you came Dr. Banner. It’s really good to see you again.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Thanks, Cap.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Yeah, so, it's stayed pretty quiet around here. Most of the real hero stuff is happening on the other side of the galaxy these days.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Anything on the, uh, cold case?

 

NATAHSA ROMANOVA

Captain Marvel's been chasing down up the remnant leaders of Thanos’ army. They’re all in hiding, so it’s wack-a-mole for her. She can’t be everywhere at once. And wherever she is, he never seems to be. For what it’s worth, Nebula and Rocket have been working a strange lead for a while now. 

 

BRUCE BANNER

Strange lead?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Some anonymous individual keeps appearing on poor planets to deliver harvests. The person always looks different, but the bounty is the same. Rocket isn’t convinced, but Nebula thinks it might be her father in disguise.

 

BRUCE BANNER

That’s...not exactly what I expected, I guess? He kills everyone then hands out food to the survivors? Maybe she’s off on this one.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Thanos thinks he saved us all. He would claim he’s on our side.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

It’s always been complicated. And it’s always been a wild shot in the dark. We actually haven’t heard anything from anyone in almost...what? Two months? They’ve been imbedded in some pretty remote areas. Deeply impoverished planets.

 

BRUCE BANNER

I see.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

It’s just a waiting game. An endless waiting game. We feel pretty useless to be honest.

 

BRUCE BANNER

That’s not true, I see you guys all over the place. You’re doing what I should’ve been doing this whole time. Helping rebuild.

 

STEVE ROGERS

It’s the least we can do.

 

BRUCE BANNER

No, I’m pretty sure I’m the least we can do.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Bruce!

 

BRUCE BANNER

No, Nat. Listen. Just...listen. The, uh...the reason I’ve been off the radar for so long is...well...I locked myself in a gamma lab. I went looking for the Other Guy and I tried everything I could think of. Isolation. Starvation. Pain. Eventually, I traveled around to the hardest hit areas, helped as I could, but...I really just wanted to show him what he caused. I wanted to piss him off just so he’d come back. But none of it worked. He’s gone. For good. In one ten second fight, Thanos made the Hulk feel exactly what I felt when I used to be inside him. Naked. And I think the Hulk realized what I’ve been wrestling with since he first woke up in me. That really, there is no Other Guy. We’re the same guy.

 

NATAHSA ROMANOVA

So the Hulk is...gone gone?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Never coming back.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Even if you get really, really angry?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Thanos made me finally understand how weak I am, but it doesn’t make me angry anymore. It just makes me scared.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

We’re all scared Bruce. It just means you’re like us. I don’t know, maybe this is a good thing for you. Your bonds are free. You’re you again.

 

BRUCE BANNER

You mean, I’m useless again.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I think we’re all kind of on the same page as far as that goes. Neither of us can promise you’ll ever fill that hole you feel inside yourself now, we certainly haven’t, but we could always use a brain like yours. And I’m not talking about the Avengers. There are more problems out there in the world right now than there are solutions and we try our best, but, I’ll speak for myself when I say, I’m out of my league.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Yeah, I agree. He is out of his league.

 

STEVE ROGERS

So what do you say?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Not really sure I’ll be as helpful as you think I’ll be, but...what the hell? What should I do first?

 

The doorbell rings repeatedly.

 

A video screen of the front door appears at the comm table showing Ant-Man standing outside Hank Pym’s white van pounding on the front door.

 

SCOTT LANG (over the intercom)

Hi! Um, is anyone home? This is Scott Lang. We met a few years ago, at the airport. Germany. I got really big.

 

Captain America stands up in shock. Ant-Man was lost in the Snap. This is impossible.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Is this an old message?

 

SCOTT LANG (over the intercom)

Ant-Man? I know you know that! It’s me!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

That’s the front door...

 

SCOTT LANG (over the intercom)

Can you buzz me in?

 

INT. AVENGERS HQ - ENTRANCE HALL - DAY

 

Ant-Man pounces into Avengers’ HQ with the wide-eyes of a child. When Ant-Man sees his hero in the flesh, he breathes a huge sigh of relief and snatches Captain American into a bear hug.

 

SCOTT LANG

Oh, thank God! You guys are still here! We still have a chance!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

A chance?

 

SCOTT LANG

To fix this!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Mr. Lang, slow down. What exactly are you talking about?

 

SCOTT LANG

Please, call me Scott, Captain.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Start with where the hell you just came from.

 

SCOTT LANG

San Francisco. Straight shot, no stops all the way through. Steady caffeine drip. Depends. Whole nine.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Uh, no...I mean before San Francisco.

 

SCOTT LANG

You might not believe me when I tell you.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

That's kind of what I'm getting at.

 

STEVE ROGERS

You were...dusted, weren’t you?

 

SCOTT LANG

Dusted? That’s how it happened, right? That’s what happened to Cassie?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Like ash in the wind...

 

SCOTT LANG

But that’s not what happened to me. I was...away. Very, very far away.

 

STEVE ROGERS

The Snap sent you somewhere?

 

SCOTT LANG

No. I wasn't affected by it. I wasn’t even in...like...reality when it happened.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

What the hell does that mean?

 

SCOTT LANG

Have you ever heard of the Quantum Realm?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Yeah.

 

Bruce has been listening from the frame of the door behind the trio. Ant-Man immediately freaks out at the close presence of the Hulk.

 

SCOTT LANG

Woah! Woah! Hey! Oh my God! Can he be here? Should he be in this room!? Should we leave?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Its fine. Really, you’ll be fine. So wait, you know Dr. Hank Pym?

 

SCOTT LANG

Wait! You know Hank Pym?

 

BRUCE BANNER

I know of Hank Pym. Brilliant particle physicist. Dabbled a little bit in entomology. Maybe it was the other way around.

 

SCOTT LANG

Then you know quantum mechanics?

 

BRUCE BANNER

It’s not exactly my area of expertise, but I guess I’m dangerous if I need to be.

 

SCOTT LANG

I was inserted into the Quantum Realm before everything went down five years ago. Hank Pym was supposed to pull me out. He didn’t make it.

 

BRUCE BANNER

So you were trapped in a subatomic dimension?

 

SCOTT LANG

Yes!

 

BRUCE BANNER

With no way out.

 

SCOTT LANG

Yes!

 

BRUCE BANNER

But you got out.

 

SCOTT LANG

Yes!

 

BRUCE BANNER

Okay, I’m stumped. How’d you do it?

 

SCOTT LANG

I thought you were a quantum mechanics guy?

 

BRUCE BANNER

No, I’m a nuclear physics guy!

 

SCOTT LANG

I tunneled out!

 

Bruce is temporarily stunned. Captain America and Black Widow scrutinize Bruce’s blank expression, unsure as to what his silence means.

 

BRUCE BANNER (skeptically)

You tunneled out?

 

SCOTT LANG

Yes!

 

BRUCE BANNER

That’s impossible.

 

SCOTT LANG

I was the size of a particle.

 

BRUCE BANNER

You’re serious?

 

SCOTT LANG

I tunneled back to a time in the past when I could personally pull myself out with the machine that sent me into the Quantum Realm in the first place, dropping me back off in the present.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Bruce, what's going on here?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Oh my God…

 

SCOTT LANG

Yes!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Guys, I’m sorry, I don’t understand.

 

SCOTT LANG

Are you thinking what I’m thinking, Doc?

 

BRUCE BANNER

I’m thinking a lot of things right now. What are you thinking?

 

SCOTT LANG

Time Heist!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Time Heist?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Alright, everybody slow down. One thing at a time. Bruce. Tunneling?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Quantum tunneling. It’s a way subatomic particles can essentially teleport from one place to another.

 

STEVE ROGERS

What does this have to do with the Snap? Scott, you said we could "fix" it?

 

SCOTT LANG

I’ve heard the story. I know how it went down. Thanos used six magical rocks--

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Infinity Stones.

 

SCOTT LANG

Whatever, that sounds the same to me, but fine, six Infinity Stones to wish away half the universe. We can tunnel back in time inside the Quantum Realm, steal the stones and use them to wish everyone back!

 

BRUCE BANNER

Hang on...first of all--

 

STEVE ROGER

Bruce, is he on to something?

 

SCOTT LANG

Oh, I’m on it Cap. I’m all over it!

 

BRUCE BANNER

Okay, fine. Look, mathematically it’s possible that...I’m sorry I didn’t catch your full name.

 

SCOTT LANG

Oh, Scott Lang. Nice to meet you. I’m the Ant-Man.

 

Lang extends his hand towards Bruce. When Bruce leans in to shake it, Ant-Man has second thoughts and quickly pulls back.

 

SCOTT LANG

Woah, woah, woah!

 

BRUCE BANNER

I promise you’ll be okay.

 

The two men shake hands. Lang still looks nervous.

 

SCOTT LANG

No offense.

 

BRUCE BANNER

It’s possible Mr. Lang here escaped from a quantum continuum by taking advantage of a very, very remote mathematical probability of temporarily existing in the past while he was simultaneously trapped in the present, but it’s not exactly something you can hang your hat on. There's a lot of randomness. Chance.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I’m sorry, you’re going to have to dumb this down more, Bruce.

 

BRUCE BANNER

You want me to teach you quantum mechanics?

 

STEVE ROGERS/NATASHA ROMANOVA (simultaneously)

Yes!

 

BRUCE BANNER

Uh, okay...well. Um...how should I do this? Imagine you’re Scott.

 

SCOTT LANG

Okay. Imagine you’re me. Go ahead.

 

BRUCE BANNER

And you’re stuck inside a bottle.

 

SCOTT LANG

Alright, stop right there. I’m not an alcoholic, guys.

 

BRUCE BANNER

It's not figurative, you’re literally trapped in a big bottle and you can’t escape that bottle unless something gives you enough energy to lift you up and over the top of it. Make sense?

 

SCOTT LANG

Okay, makes sense.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Well, there’s a catch.

 

SCOTT LANG

There's a catch!

 

BRUCE BANNER

If you’re Ant-Man, and you’re really, really small, say...the size of an electron...

 

SCOTT LANG

Which I am all the time! Well, not all the time. Actually, I rarely do it.

 

BRUCE BANNER

...you exist not just as a particle of matter, but also as a wave of energy.

 

SCOTT LANG

Wave of energy!

 

BRUCE BANNER

And not just one wave, but many different waves...

 

SCOTT LANG

Waves of energy!

 

BRUCE BANNER

...all existing simultaneously on top of each other, where each wave defines a different probability of where Scott actually is inside that bottle.

 

SCOTT LANG

Ok, here it comes. You ready?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Now waves can permeate through certain kinds of barriers, so some of the waves defining Scott’s possible location are actually already outside of the bottle. Therefore...

 

SCOTT LANG

Therefore!

 

BRUCE BANNER

...despite being trapped inside the bottle, mathematically, there is actually a small chance Scott is already outside of the bottle.

 

SCOTT LANG

I’m outside the bottle, baby!

 

BRUCE BANNER

And in the moment where that wave probability is expressed, Scott would essentially teleport from one spot to the other. Now there are certain obstacles in our observation of physics that keep this from happening when you’re not Ant-Man inside the Quantum Realm. But based on Scott’s escape, it looks like when you’re that small in a dense, quantum continuum, it is possible.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Okay, so...what’s the bottle in this example, again?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Well...time. As we know it time only moves in one direction. We’re trapped inside it.

 

SCOTT LANG

Time! Time Heist!

 

BRUCE BANNER

Well, more like a Spacetime Heist if you want to be technical.

 

SCOTT LANG
Spacetime Heist?

 

BRUCE BANNER

If Hank Pym’s paper on the Quantum Realm is still accurate you weren’t going through time so much as interacting with a superposition of the past radiating through the Quantum Realm.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Superposition?

 

BRUCE BANNER

The stack of waves defining all the possible places Scott could’ve been inside the Quantum Realm, all the possibilities of the past, was a superposition.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Let me get this straight. Scott briefly teleported into some weird echo of the past long enough to interact with it and affect the present? Sounds too good to be true.

 

SCOTT LANG

I’m here, aren’t I?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Can we replicate what he did?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Good question. I’m not so sure you can. Even if we go back into the Quantum Realm we’d be at the mercy of extremely low probabilities. That randomness I was talking about.

 

SCOTT LANG

No! There has to be a way to control it!

 

BRUCE BANNER

The best scientists mankind has ever known struggled to wrap their heads around these concepts as it is. This isn’t something we can just whiteboard after dinner. Dr. Pym must’ve known as much about this as anyone. Did he ever even mention controlled tunneling?

 

SCOTT LANG

Well no, but this is different.

 

BRUCE BANNER

How so?

 

SCOTT LANG

Everyone’s dead out there! So we have to find a way, no matter what! Yeah, I got lucky, but time isn’t the same in there as it is out here. Thanos attacked five years ago, right? From my perspective, it couldn’t have been much more than a day. And those waves of time are everywhere in there. Even if we just go there and wait, eventually we can find an opportunity!

 

BRUCE BANNER

But you might be waiting the age of the universe for another opportunity like the one that you already got.

 

SCOTT LANG

I’ll wait for eternity if it means I get to see my daughter again! All those people! We can’t just give up and let them die! We have to try something! Anything! Whatever it takes!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Whatever it takes...

 

SCOTT LANG

I can’t give up on Cassie! I can’t give up on this! You guys...you haven’t given up have you? You’re the Avengers! You’re everything we have left!

 

Captain America, Black Widow and Bruce all share stoic looks. Black Widow nods subtly to Captain America.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Actually, I think you are, Scott. If you’ll have us, welcome to the team.

 

Captain America extends his hand, but Lang skips past it and leaps on him for another hug, this time warmly reciprocated.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I guess that’s a yes then. So, Bruce, is this doable?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Nothing’s going to stop me from trying.

 

STEVE ROGERS

What can we do to help?

 

BRUCE BANNER

We’re going to need all the brain power we can get.

 

EXT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - DRIVEWAY - NIGHT

 

Iron Man’s eyes pierce through the night. Car lights approach from behind. Energy glows from both palms as Iron Man’s arms raise towards the approaching vehicle. 

 

Captain America steps out of the idling car and looks down at a tiny child dressed in an Iron Man helmet and gauntlets.

 

TONY STARK (O.S.)

Morgan!

 

Morgan Stark takes off her helmet and watches as her father awkwardly climbs out of the recycle bin on the side of the driveway. The can falls over and he lands with a thud on the ground.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Tony.

 

Tony looks up at the backlit silhouette of Captain America standing over him.

 

TONY STARK

Captain.

 

MORGAN STARK

You’re it!

 

Morgan tags her father’s shoulder.

 

TONY STARK

No fair, I was talking to the old guy!

 

MORGAN STARK

He’s not old!

 

TONY STARK

You're right, he’s ancient!

 

MORGAN STARK

Hey, let’s play teams!

 

TONY STARK

All right, everyone versus you.

 

MORGAN STARK

Okay! I’ll hide first!

 

Morgan puts her helmet back on and runs towards the lake house.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Tricky as ever, Tony.

 

Black Widow helps Tony to his feet.

 

TONY STARK

No, I’m serious I need all the help I can get. You go around back, I’ll sweep the front. Cap, you in?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Listen, can we talk in private for a minute?

 

TONY STARK

Depends what you want to talk about. Hide and seek? Brownies are in the oven if you guys want to stay for movie night.

 

STEVE ROGERS

It’s about Thanos.

 

STARK (suddenly serious)

Don't say that name.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Tony, listen--

 

TONY STARK

No, Nat! What is this? What’s going on? That's what you came here to talk to me about? Are you kidding me?

 

STEVE ROGERS

There’s been a development. A big development.

 

TONY STARK

Yeah, my daughter is the big development! She's my life now!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Can we just ask you a few questions? That’s it, just a few questions.

 

TONY STARK

A few questions? What does that mean?

 

STEVE ROGERS

We just want to talk. I’m not asking you to do anything.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

But it’s complicated. Very complicated.

 

TONY STARK

How complicated?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Hey, Tony.

 

Bruce steps out of the backseat of the car. Tony instantly feels like he’s been punched in the gut.

 

TONY STARK

I’m gonna need a drink.

 

INT. TONY’S LAKEHOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

 

Tony pours a glass of milk for himself as the Avengers convene in the kitchen.

 

TONY STARK

Banner? Refill?

 

BRUCE BANNER

No, I’m good Tony, thanks.

 

TONY STARK

Nat? Cap?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

What do you think, Tony?

 

TONY STARK

About the refill or the Quantum Realm?

 

BRUCE BANNER

It stands to reason that Scott was able to control his displacement in the wave function and accidentally...

 

Tony turns around to put the milk back in the refrigerator. As he closes the door, he’s confronted with a magnet showing a photo of him and Peter Parker embracing.

 

BRUCE BANNER

...travel into the past.

 

TONY STARK

Is this a joke? Am I being pranked? Who's got the hidden camera?

 

SCOTT LANG

Mr. Stark, it’s real!

 

TONY STARK

Hold it. Why am I part of this conversation again?

 

SCOTT LANG

You don’t understand! I’m here now because I used the Quantum Realm to access the past!

 

TONY STARK

Congratulations! And?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

We want to try and do it again. 

 

TONY STARK

Why?

 

STEVE ROGERS

To steal the stones from Thanos.

 

TONY STARK

What the hell did you just say? 

 

SCOTT LANG

I call it the Time Heist!

 

TONY STARK

Get out of my house. All of you.

 

SCOTT LANG

What’s wrong?

 

TONY STARK

Are you out of your mind?

 

SCOTT LANG

What do you mean?

 

TONY STARK

Did you hear what Rogers just said?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Tony, I think we can try and build something to do this.

 

TONY STARK

Bruce, you’re buying into this? There’s a scientific term for it. It’s called woo-woo. It’s nonsense.

 

BRUCE BANNER

I disagree. Scotty’s living proof.

 

TONY STARK

All due respect to Jet Jaguar here, the last time we met he tried to hit me with a plane then he went to jail. Now I’m taking science lessons from him? I’m trusting his story at all?

 

SCOTT LANG

Thanos took everything from me! I have nothing left but this one hope and I get that you got lucky, but--

 

TONY STARK

No one got lucky! No one!

 

SCOTT LANG

I’m not giving up on this! I can’t!

 

TONY STARK

Well, you should, because it’s impossible!

 

BRUCE BANNER

The math doesn’t agree with you. It’s not impossible. The empirical data is standing right here.

 

TONY STARK

So you actually believe this guy?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Yeah, I do.

 

TONY STARK

Okay fine, let’s talk math! Is quantum tunneling real? Of course. Can a human being quantum tunnel? Technically, yes! But the odds are so unimaginably, unbelievably, laughably small it might take the age of multiple universes for it to happen once. 

 

SCOTT LANG

Yeah, I heard that already.

 

TONY STARK

So congrats Scotty, you were the one divided by infinity. I hope you used it well because this universe won’t get another crack at it.

 

BRUCE BANNER

The Quantum Realm eases that restriction. It’s like our very own Time Stone. Hank Pym published an archive of research on this and Scotty's got a ton more that never even saw the light of day. It's incredible. Waves of the past are radiating out through spacetime like old radio signals and the Quantum Realm is like the ultimate amplifier. If we learn to navigate it, we can pick and choose from any moment in time, even the same moment in time over and over again. Tony, I honestly think we can take a shot at this. I don’t think it’s whether or not this is possible anymore. It’s if we’re willing to risk--

 

PEPPER STARK

Tony, who are you…

 

Pepper walks into the kitchen with Morgan by her side.

 

PEPPER STARK

Oh, I didn’t know.

 

TONY STARK

They’re about to leave, actually.

 

PEPPER STARK

Well, you’re all welcome to stay. We were about to watch a movie.

 

Tony locks unblinking eyes with Captain America who immediately takes the hint.

 

STEVE ROGERS

It’s fine. Thank you, but we're leaving. Sorry for bothering you so late.

 

SCOTT LANG

But what about--

 

STEVE ROGERS

Don’t worry Scott. We’ll find a way. Remember. Whatever it takes.

 

Captain America walks out of the kitchen. Bruce and Ant-Man both look ready to stay and argue with Tony, but Black Widow pulls them out of the room anyway. As Stark watches them leave he’s suddenly more aggravated than ever. He rushes towards the door frame.

 

TONY STARK (shouting)

You want to know how you could do it, Rogers? Find another Tesseract! Or go ring up Thanos, maybe he’ll let you borrow his!

 

EXT. TONY’S LAKEHOUSE - DRIVEWAY - NIGHT

 

The Avengers pile back into the car. 

 

INT. SEDAN - NIGHT

 

Captain America turns over the engine.

 

STEVE ROGERS

We shouldn’t have come here. I didn’t know he had a kid. I can’t pull him away from that. I wouldn’t want to.

 

A rapid knock reverberates on the window. It’s Tony. He looks pissed.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Any chance this is the brownies?

 

EXT. TONY’S LAKEHOUSE - DRIVEWAY - NIGHT

 

Captain America steps back out of the car. Tony immediately grabs him by the arm and drags him against a nearby tree.  

 

TONY STARK

How dare you step into my home and dump that crap into my lap! What do you think this house is? This isn’t Avengers' Tower! This is where I live with my wife and my daughter! I had to retire Steve, and not from an office job, I had to retire from saving lives because I got everyone killed! I couldn’t hang anymore so now you come here and rub it in my face? I respect Natasha and I respect Bruce so I’ll never turn them away, but I don’t respect you Rogers, and now I respect you even less for bringing them with you because you knew that was the only way I'd let you through the door!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Tony--

 

TONY STARK

What, Rogers? What rah-rah mission bullshit are you going to peddle now?

 

STEVE ROGERS

You’re right. Everything you said is true. I’m sorry. For everything.

 

Captain America puts his hand on Tony's shoulder then turns towards the car, but Tony stops him.

 

TONY STARK

No! No, no no! You don’t get to do that! You don’t get to plunge me back into the nightmare and then say sorry, claim the moral high ground and walk away! Like you always do!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Tony, nothing you say will make me feel worse than I’ve felt since Thanos! Since Siberia! I don’t deserve your forgiveness. I don’t deserve anyone’s forgiveness! That’s why I’m not asking for it! All I’m asking for is one more shot at him!

 

TONY STARK

To do what? You can’t beat him, Steve! None of us can!

 

STEVE ROGERS

We could beat him together!

 

TONY STARK

We've never been together! Not really! Even if we were, we'd still lose!

 

STEVE ROGERS

I don’t believe that.

 

STARK TONY

Course you don’t! You’re Captain America! Well guess what, Cap, your sappy can-do bullshit finally met its match, didn’t it? It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not! That’s just the way it is now! The Big Guy could snap his fingers and all of this ends in an instant! So I’m living my life one second at a time, expecting the end at any moment, but cherishing the things I should’ve been cherishing all along instead of living in fear. And you know what? It’s not such a bad way to live! I know you’re just an old soldier who needs to tap into that bloodlust every now and again, can’t live without the promise of a juicy fight, but that’s the difference between me and you! I hate the fight now! I loathe it! It became a means to an end! That's it! I just wanted people to be happy. Some of us are right now. Thanos has been out of the light ever since Wakanda, so stop trying to pull him back into it! I can’t afford to lose anyone else, ok? No one can!

 

STEVE ROGERS

What about the people we already lost?

 

TONY STARK

That’s life! You can’t protect everyone forever! And it’s guys like you and me who tried, who end up doing more harm than good. I’ve seen how you treat people you care about, Rogers. You’ll burn the world to the ground to protect the people you love. How is that any different than what Thanos did? How many lives have we crushed underneath our boots trying to “save people.” There’s a cost, Rogers, and we were always really good at skipping the accounting! Thanos did to us what we did to New York and Sokovia and Johannesburg and Lagos and on and on and on! We thought we were in the right and people hated us for it. Just like we hate Thanos, who thought he saved us. He showed us everything we became and hoped to never become. And now you’re going to try and needle him again and it's all of us who will suffer for it! So get out of here! Leave me alone! And for God's sake, leave Thanos alone, too!

 

Captain America is stunned. He doesn’t speak, he doesn’t move. Stark, chest heaving from yelling, sees Black Widow listening from the car and shakes his head. He retreats back to his house without talking to her. 

 

When he arrives at his door he looks back. Captain America still hasn’t moved. Tony enters the house.

 

INT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT

 

Pepper, watching from the front windows runs to grab her husband's hand.

 

TONY STARK

Where’s Morgan?

 

PEPPER STARK

She’s watching the movie, I told her you were saying goodbye. Tony, what the hell is going on?

 

TONY STARK

They’re picking a fight with Thanos. They want to try and steal the stones from him.

 

PEPPER STARK

Oh my God! Tony! Should we...should we try and stop them?

 

TONY STARK

There’s no stopping Rogers. He is that shield. Stubborn asshole. 

 

PEPPER STARK

But he thinks they can beat him?

 

TONY STARK

It's Rogers, of course he does.

 

PEPPER STARK

Even if they did, could they really--?

 

TONY STARK

Everyone back? I don’t know. I guess if you have the stones you can do whatever you want, right?

 

PEPPER STARK

Wow. I don’t...I-I don’t know what to say. Can...can they really steal the stones from him? 

 

Tony looks out the window. The car is gone. 

 

TONY STARK

No.

 

INT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

 

Tony, Pepper and Morgan are in the dark, huddled under a blanket on the couch as the end of the Wizard of Oz plays on a small TV. Tony is the only one of the three still awake.

 

Tony recognizes echoes of all his conflicting emotions in the movie.

 

DOROTHY

Oh, now I’ll never get home!

 

COWARDLY LION

Stay with us, then Dorothy. We all love you. We don’t want you to go!

 

DOROTHY

Oh, that’s very kind of you--but this could never be like Kansas. Auntie Em must have stopped wondering what happened to me by now. Oh, Scarecrow, what am I going to do?

 

SCARECROW

Look--here’s someone who can help you!

 

DOROTHY

Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?

 

GLINDA

You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.

 

SCARECROW

Then why didn’t you tell her before?

 

GLINDA

Because she wouldn't have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

 

TIN MAN

What have you learned, Dorothy?

 

DOROTHY

Well, I--I think that it--that it wasn't enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em--and it's that--if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?

 

GLINDA

Now, those magic slippers will take you home in two seconds!

 

DOROTHY

Oh, dear--that's too wonderful to be true! Oh, it's--it's going to be so hard to say goodbye. I love you all, too. Goodbye, Tin Man. Oh, don't cry. You'll rust so dreadfully. Here--here's your oil-can. Goodbye.

 

TIN MAN

Now I know I've got a heart--'cause it's breaking.

 

Tony looks at this sleeping daughter, held tightly in the arms of his sleeping wife.

 

The dialogue continues off-screen as Tony slides out from the covers, careful not to wake up his family.

 

DOROTHY (O.S.)

Oh--Goodbye, Lion. You know, I know it isn't right, but I'm going to miss the way you used to holler for help before you found your courage.

 

COWARDLY LION (O.S.)

Well--I would never have found it if it hadn't been for you.

 

DOROTHY (O.S.)

I think I'll miss you most of all.

 

INT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

 

Tony sneak into the kitchen.

 

GLINDA (O.S.)

Are you ready now?

 

DOROTHY (O.S.)

Yes. Say goodbye, Toto. Yes, I'm ready now.

 

He pulls the picture of Peter and him off the refrigerator door. He starts to cry, but quickly wipes the tears off his face and peeks into the living room to make sure no one sees him.

 

GLINDA (O.S.)

Then close your eyes, and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself--"There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home.”

 

DOROTHY (O.S.)

There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like…

 

INT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

 

Tony sneaks back into the living room and stands over his sleeping family.

 

AUNT EM (O.S.)

Wake up, honey.

 

DOROTHY (O.S.)

...no place like home--there's no place like home--no place--

 

AUNT EM (O.S.)

Dorothy. Dorothy, dear. It's Aunt Em, darling.

 

DOROTHY (O.S.)

Oh, Auntie Em--it's you!

 

AUNT EM (O.S.)

Yes, darling.

 

PROFESSOR MARVEL (O.S.)

Hello, there! Anybody home? I--I just dropped by because I heard the little girl got caught in the big--Well...she seems all right now.

 

UNCLE HENRY (O.S.)

Yeah. She got quite a bump on the head--we kinda thought there for a minute she was going to leave us.

 

DOROTHY (O.S.)

But I did leave you, Uncle Henry--that's just the trouble. And I tried to get back for days and days.

 

AUNT EM (O.S.)

There, there, lie quiet now. You just had a bad dream…

 

Pepper stirs awake.

 

PEPPER STARK

Oh, Morgan we missed it. We’ll have to try again sometime.

 

Tony swoops over and picks up Morgan.

 

PEPPER STARK

I’ll get her, Tony.

 

TONY STARK

It’s okay. You can rest.

 

He carries his daughter upstairs...

 

INT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - MORGAN’S BEDROOM - NIGHT

 

...and tucks her into bed. Morgan’s eyes never open. Tony sniffles as he shuts off the light. Morgan hears it.

 

MORGAN STARK

Was the movie sad?

 

TONY STARK (sniffling)

Little bit.

 

Tony’s still fighting tears.

 

MORGAN STARK

I’m sorry.

 

TONY STARK

It’s okay, Princess.

 

MORGAN STARK

Can I watch it with you again?

 

TONY STARK

Wouldn’t miss it for the world.

 

MORGAN STARK

Promise?

 

The silent tears are flowing now. He can’t immediately respond.

 

TONY STARK

Of course.

 

MORGAN STARK

I love you, daddy.

 

TONY STARK

I love you, sweetheart.

 

MORGAN STARK

Daddy…?

 

TONY STARK

Yes, baby?

 

MORGAN STARK

Is he an Iron Man, too?

 

TONY STARK

Is who…?

 

Tony is still holding the photo of Peter.

 

TONY STARK

Oh, uh...no, he’s actually...a Spider-Man. His name is Peter.

 

MORGAN STARK

Spider-Man? But he looks like a boy.

 

TONY STARK

He is. Was.

 

MORGAN STARK

Did he fight bad guys?

 

TONY STARK

Yeah. He was pretty tough.

 

MORGAN STARK

What happened to him?

 

TONY STARK

He passed away before you were born.

 

MORGAN STARK

But he’s just a boy.

 

TONY STARK

Yup.

 

MORGAN STARK

Did the bad guys get him?

 

On the brink of tears, Tony can’t answer.

 

MORGAN STARK

I’m sorry, daddy.

 

TONY STARK

Me too, kiddo. Me too.

 

INT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

 

Tony walks back downstairs, turns off the TV and pulls the blanket over his sleeping wife. He looks over at the locked basement door. 

 

INT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - BASEMENT - NIGHT

 

Tony descends the basement stairs. The flawlessly reconstructed shield of Captain America rests on a long, wooden table next to assorted scraps and tools. He hasn’t just been a family man all these years. 

 

He sits down at his work bench and looks over at the eyeglasses folded next to the shield. After a moment of silent debate he puts them on. Immediately the lenses light up.

 

EDITH

Good evening, Tony. It’s been a while.

 

TONY STARK

EDITH, I need you to do some digging for me.

 

EDITH

Sure thing, boss. What do you want me to look up?

 

TONY STARK

Dr. Hank Pym and the Quantum Realm. 

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - MOUNTAINS - DAY

 

Captain Marvel winches as static fills her ear. She’s struggling to get reception on this backwater planet.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Rocket, you’re breaking up. Say again…

 

EXT. FOR’TAEGA - CITY ROOFTOPS - NIGHT

 

Rocket is on the other end of the line and the other side of the galaxy in a rain-soaked, neon city. He watches over Nebula as she walks along the opposite sidewalk.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Damn it! Carol, can you hear me?

 

CAROL DANVERS (O.S.)

Jus-- b--ly.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I said you’re in the right spot! That's the epicenter!

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - MOUNTAINS - DAY

 

Captain Marvel looks around skeptically. 

 

CAROL DANVERS

Here? You sure?

 

ROCKET RACCOON (O.S.)

As fa-- as we can t--. See what -- find out, but g-- a better radio next time!  I can barely -- you.

 

CAROL DANVERS

The people here are hanging on by a thread. 

 

ROCKET RACCOON (O.S)

Th-- at -- very least, they could use some-- like you over there -- a bit.

 

CAROL DANVERS

What are you guys up to?

 

EXT. FOR’TAEGA - CITY ROOFTOPS - NIGHT

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Recon on For’taega. Nebula thinks he follows a circuit. We’ve been on a stakeout since the last known delivery a season ago. So far nothing. Just whispers.

 

CAROL DANVERS (O.S.)

Alright. St-- safe.

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - MOUNTAINS - DAY

 

ROCKET (O.S.)

You too.

 

Captain Marvel looks down at the desolate village in the valley below her.

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - VILLAGE - DAY

 

Captain Marvel walks through a small village of impoverished aliens sitting outside of thatch roof huts. A group of nearby children rub sticks together, trying to start a fire to boil grey water in a bowl. 

 

Leaning down next to the children, Captain Marvel snaps her fingers and the dry brush on the dusty ground erupts in flames. The children smile and gather around the fire.

 

EXT. FOR’TAEGA - CITY STREETS - NIGHT

 

Nebula leans against the corner building of a city street. The entire block is crumbling. Graffiti tags every wall. Trash is strewn about the road.

 

A large, dark silhouette emerges from a shelter across the street. Nebula whispers into her wrist communicator.

 

NEBULA

Rocket, look!

 

ROCKET RACCOON (O.S.)

Holy shit! is that him?

 

NEBULA

I’m moving in.

 

ROCKET RACCOON (O.S.)

Right behind you.

 

NEBULA

Keep your distance! Don’t get too close! This could be it!

 

The rain picks up as Nebula raises the hood on her jacket and turns the corner to follow the large shape through the night.

 

As she shoulders her way through the beggars lining the sidewalk, Nebula temporarily loses her mark.

 

NEBULA

Damn it!

 

By the time she finds it again, the large figure is turning the corner.

 

NEBULA

I’m losing him!

 

ROCKET RACCOON (O.S.)

Wait for me! Nebula!

 

Car horns blare angrily as Nebula runs across the road in pursuit of the shape. She turns the corner just as it vanishes into an alley.

 

NEBULA

He’s moving into the catacombs. I’m following him!

 

EXT. FOR’TAEGA - CITY ROOFTOPS - NIGHT

 

ROCKET RACOON

Nebula!

 

EXT. FOR’TAEGA - CITY STREETS - NIGHT

 

Rocket jumps down to the streets below just as Nebula vanishes into the shadowy mouth of the alleyway.

 

ROCKET RACCOON (to himself)

Oh, I got a bad feeling about this.

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - VILLAGE HUT - DAY

 

The village children, now with clean water in their bowl, drag Captain Marvel into their hut. They immediately place a large, colorful fruit into her hands. She declines and offers it back to the elders sitting on the dirt. When they insist, Captain Marvel takes a small bite and smiles.

 

CAROL DANVERS

It’s delicious. Do you grow these?

 

She gesticulates to help communicate, pointing back and forth between them, the fruit, and the dirt.

 

ALIEN CHILD

No! Giant! Giant!

 

CAROL DANVERS

A...giant?

 

ALIEN CHILD

Hand made of stars!

 

Marvel's expression is suddenly grim.

 

CAROL DANVERS

He gave you these?

 

ALIEN CHILD

He lives far from here.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Show me.

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - VILLAGE - DAY

 

Hands held, the alien child leads Captain Marvel outside. The child points to a tall mountain just barely visible along the far horizon.

 

Marvel hands the fruit back to the child and squeezes her fist.

 

EXT. FOR’TAEGA - ALLEYWAYS - NIGHT

 

Nebula navigates the dark and shadowy catacombs in a full sprint.

 

She turns a corner and sees the large silhouette at the far end of a corridor. 

 

Nebula gives chase. She races past a cloaked beggar sitting against a blackened alley wall and turns the corner to find...a deadend. The figure she just saw a moment ago has vanished into thin air.

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - CLIFFS - DAY

 

Captain Marvel ascends to the top of the mountain.

 

Through a clearing she sees a small farm tucked inside a narrow valley.

 

EXT. FOR’TAEGA - ALLEYWAYS - NIGHT

 

Rocket, gasping for breath, finally catches up to Nebula.

 

NEBULA

How could I lose him?!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

What happened?

 

NEBULA

He’s gone! I don’t know where he went!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Just stay calm. That probably wasn’t even him.

 

NEBULA

Shit!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

What do we do now?

 

As a frustrated Nebula turns to leave, the beggar puts his hand out. Nebula knocks it away and keeps moving. Rocket stops to offer some of his food and money.

 

NEBULA

Stop wasting your time!

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - FARM - DAY

 

Captain Marvel walks through the fields of fruit growing on the farm, one hand raised above her head to protect from the blinding starlight above. In front of her is a small hut. Some farming equipment. Packs of seeds. Piles of mulch. 

 

And a scarecrow...

 

...adorned with Thanos’ golden armor.

 

Captain Marvel grimaces as she realizes where she is.

 

She's found him.

 

EXT. FOR’TAEGA - ALLEYWAYS - NIGHT

 

Nebula turns around.

 

NEBULA

Come on! I said you’re wasting--

 

She stops mid-sentence.

 

Rocket is walking towards her.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

What?

 

A shadow rises over both of them. Nebula’s eyes go wide. Rocket turns around.

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - HUT PORCH - DAY

 

Captain Marvel can barely control her breathing as she stalks up the porch of the hut, her hands already glowing with power. She’s waited five long years for this moment. Five years to open this door...

 

An empty hut. He’s not inside.

 

INT. THE GARDEN - HUT - DAY 

 

She enters Thanos’ cramped hut. A small table of spices sits next to an open fire pit, its embers still faintly glowing. A small cot hangs along the far wall. This is the home of a living god and yet it’s so simple. So sparse.

 

Convinced he’s not here, she takes exhales a shuddering breath and exits. 

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - FARM - DAY

 

She doesn't know how much time she has to prepare for his arrival, so she better make this head start worth it.

 

She stops at the edge of the field and studies the location. The sacks of grain. Piles of mulch.

 

She turns her head.

 

Farming equipment. The scarecrow.

 

Wait.

 

The scarecrow...

 

A beggar’s cloak is now draped and billowing over the armor. Beneath it lies Nebula, unconscious. Rocket is curled into a ball next to her. He lifts his head, fear swelling his black eyes.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Danvers!

 

Captain Marvel turns towards the blinding starlight as the washed out silhouette of Thanos slowly approaches. His gauntlet is glowing.

 

Time’s up.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Rocket, get out of here!

 

Captain Marvel rushes down Thanos with fire in her eyes and in the palm of her hand. She throws a haymaker punch, but Thanos phases his own body away with the Reality Stone. She passes harmlessly right through him. Thanos calmly continues walking towards his hut.

 

Captain Marvel circles back around mid-air to try and tackle him, but this time he phases her body, returning her to matter just so she can crash through the wooden doors. 

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - HUT PORCH - DAY

 

As Thanos ascends his stairs, Captain Marvel flies back out and launches an uppercut. Thanos effortlessly grabs her wrist and looks down at his would-be assassin.

 

THANOS

How did you find me, child?

 

Her answer is a left hook, which he freezes in mid air with the Space Stone before forcing it down to her side. He reaches up, squeezes her throat with his gauntlet-wearing hand, and enters his hut with her in tow. 

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - HUT - DAY

 

Captain Marvel can’t breath as she’s carried through the hut. Thanos picks up a piece of fruit from a basket and takes a bite. He wipes the juice running down his chin with his spare hand then carries Captain Marvel back outside...

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - FARM - DAY

 

...into the starlight. He throws her to the ground in front of him. Captain Marvel coughs, gasping for air as Rocket runs over to her side.

 

THANOS

Out of respect for a survivor, I’ll try again. How did you find me? 

 

Captain Marvel roars as she throws a massive blast of energy in Thanos’ direction. He calmly reverses time with the gauntlet, returning first the blast back to her hands and then her body back into his vice-like grasp.

 

He leans in close to her ear.

 

THANOS (whispering)

Last chance.

 

Captain Marvel grabs for a stone on his gauntlet. Thanos instantly teleports her back to the ground at his feet.

 

She cries out in frustration, leaps off the ground and back towards the gauntlet. This time Thanos drops a bruising elbow on her skull and she crashes to the ground in a heap. 

 

Shaking her head, Marvel struggles to stand back up just as he folds her in half with a punch to the gut. She lands on her knees and coughs up blood. He bends down behind her and rests a hand on her shoulder.

 

THANOS

My child, I didn’t want to hurt you, but you must understand. The fate of the universe now rests in the palm of this hand.

 

He presents the gauntlet-wearing hand beneath her gaze. She responds with a quick headbutt backwards then pounces on the gauntlet. Unphased by the blow, Thanos grabs her by her hair and smashes her face-first into the ground. 

 

THANOS

Your suffering is now my suffering.

 

She slowly gets up again, her legs wobbling. Thanos punches her back down to the ground.

 

THANOS

Your pain is now my pain.

 

Once again, Captain Marvel stands in defiance, weakly grabbing at the gauntlet. This time it’s Thanos who delivers the headbutt.

 

Captain Marvel falls onto her back and looks up into the scorching, oppressive, white hot star above. Her view of it is quickly consumed by the stinging blood leaking over her eyes. 

 

THANOS

I’m not doing this to punish you! I’m doing this to save you!

 

Again, Captain Marvel stands. Thanos knees her in the ribs. She collapses to the ground, staggering for breath.

 

With a burst of adrenaline she dives forward and throws another haymaker at Thanos. He doesn’t need the gauntlet. He matches her punch with one of his own, targeted at her slower moving fist. The bones in her fingers shatter instantly. She moans in pain in the dirt.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Carol, stop! He’ll kill you! Just stay down!

 

THANOS

Her life is not mine to take. The stones chose for her five years ago. I have no place in second guessing that decision, I only have to protect it. I saved you once already. I’ll save you again, as many times as I need to, until you understand, my child.

 

Captain Marvel crawls on her hands and knees up Thanos’ leg, still reaching for the gauntlet even when she can barely move.

 

THANOS

But in order to do that, there is one thing I must know. How did you find me?

 

He places the Mind Stone against her head. Captain Marvel’s eyes are erased.

 

INT. CAPTAIN MARVEL’S MEMORY - MONTAGE

 

Thanos is audience to a flurry of images from Marvel’s memory tracing her footsteps in reverse from the moment he placed the Mind Stone against her head all the way back to when she convened with Tony Stark and the Avengers on Earth after the Snap.

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - FARM - DAY

 

Thanos pulls the Mind Stone away from Captain Marvel. Her eyes regain their natural color.

 

He turns towards Rocket. Sadness weighs on his face.

 

THANOS

Soon you’ll understand, little one. The curse of knowledge.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ TOWER - ROOFTOP INNER COURTYARD - NIGHT

 

Tony Stark stands in the middle of a circle of holodecks in the glass-enclosed inner courtyard at the top of Avengers' Tower. His EDITH glasses are equipped as he studies rapidly flowing readouts. Complex simulations are running in every terminal. Morgan is darting back and forth, mesmerized by the bizarre images all around her.

 

MORGAN STARK

Daddy look at that one!

 

Morgan points at waterfall of text spilling down a holo screen.

 

TONY STARK

I’m looking! I’m looking!

 

Stark magnifies the readout with a hand gesture and examines the results.

 

TONY STARK

Good eye, honey! Anything else?

 

MORGAN STARK

Those didn’t work. This didn’t work. This isn’t really working...

 

TONY STARK

Hmm...doesn’t look like it is, is it?

 

MORGAN STARK

Will you be upset if it doesn’t?

 

TONY STARK

I’m not sure yet, princess. I’m not sure I even want it to work.

 

MORGAN STARK

Then why did we come here?

 

Tony minimizes the holoboard, drops his glasses on the table and rubs his face. He takes a seat and looks up at the simulations blinking in the background.

 

TONY STARK

I...I don’t know, sweetheart. Curiosity, I guess. A hunch.

 

MORGAN STARK

At least we’re together!

 

Morgan runs over and jumps into his lap. Tony laughs.

 

TONY STARK

Yeah, that’s pretty cool, right? And you got to see where I used to work. Just remember--

 

MORGAN STARK

Don’t tell Mommy!

 

TONY STARK

Oh, you remembered!

 

MORGAN

I won’t if we don't get pizza!

 

TONY STARK

Well, you’re definitely your mother’s daughter. Okay, what kind of pizza do you want? Pepperoni? Anchovies?

 

MORGAN STARK

Peppers and mushrooms!

 

TONY STARK

You’re definitely your father's daughter, too!

 

MORGAN STARK

Look, it’s done!

 

Stark turns to see EDITH’s report flashing on his holomonitor. He jolts to his feet. His demeanor instantly tightens.

 

MORGAN STARK

What does it say?

 

TONY STARK

Stay here for a sec’, okay?

 

He slowly walks over to the board and hesitantly reequips his glasses.

 

TONY STARK

Status report.

 

EDITH

Project Quantum Leap test scenarios complete. 14,000,604 simulations run.

 

TONY STARK

How’d we do?

 

EDITH

Failure.

 

TONY STARK

I see. 

 

EDITH

It’s hopeless, boss. Maintaining wave form while describing location is paradoxical. Two plus two won’t equal five no matter how many times you add it together, even if its an oddly specific 14,000,604 times. Also your wife is on the phone. She’s been calling the whole time we’ve been here. Should I pipe her through?

 

TONY STARK

Tell you what, let that go to voicemail. Let’s run one more simulation.

 

EDITH

Just one?

 

TONY STARK

Yeah, what the hell? Makes the total a nice round number.

 

EDITH

14,000,605 is a nice round number?

 

TONY STARK

Call this simulation The Hunch. And this time...try integrating the waveform as a mobius strip in four dimensions. Allow speeds greater than light.

 

EDITH

If you insist. Your wife is dialing again.

 

TONY STARK

I’ll pick up after this one.

 

Stark paces around the room, winking at Morgan as he passes by her.

 

EDITH

The Hunch test scenario complete. One simulation run.

 

Stark is so nervous he can barely speak.

 

TONY STARK

And?

 

EDITH

Failure.

 

Stark's reaction is an ambivalent mixture of disappointment and relief. He exits out...

 

EXT. AVENGERS' TOWER - HELIPAD - NIGHT

 

...onto the outer deck of the tower and peers up into the sky. Morgan slides her hand into his.

 

MORGAN STARK

Hey, daddy?

 

TONY STARK

Yeah, baby?

 

MORGAN STARK

What’s that?

 

TONY STARK

What’s what?

 

Stark turns around as a cloud of blue and black smoke billows along the edge of the deck of Avengers' Tower. He’s seen this exact cloud before on Titan.

 

A massive silhouette passes through the ethereal portal and Stark’s heart stops cold in his chest. After all these years...

 

Thanos is here.

 

TONY STARK

Morgan, get out of here! Run! Now!

 

Morgan flees inside as Thanos steps onto Avengers’ Tower. An unconscious Nebula and a frightened Rocket are slung over one shoulder. He unceremoniously carries Marvel by the back of her pants with the gauntlet. After dropping Nebula and Rocket at the lip of the tower, Thanos continues towards Stark with Marvel in tow.

 

Stark’s legs are numb. He’d turn to run with Morgan, but he can’t even move. He’s never felt this cold.

 

THANOS

I’ve walked this planet in many forms. The blind. The destitute. The homeless. I begged in poverty, over and over, waiting, hoping, for Earth to become something more than it is. Every time I left more disappointed. And it’s not just this planet. Selfishness. Deceit. Corruption. It’s everywhere. Now I return, not as one less fortunate, but as a target for wolves like you all the same. And because of that, now I know the final form I must take.

 

Thanos throws Marvel at Stark’s feet. She’s not breathing.

 

THANOS

God.

 

He aims his gauntlet at Tony, who immediately prepares to die. The Time Stone lights up. Morgan is dragged back in time to her father. Tony opens his eyes to realize he wasn't the target.

 

TONY STARK

Morgan! No!

 

THANOS

A daughter...

 

Thanos kneels down to caress Morgan’s head. Stark’s daughter is petrified into breathless silence. Tears stream down her cheeks.

 

TONY STARK

Don’t touch her!

 

THANOS

Look what I’ve given you, Stark. A family. Love. What have you given back in return?

 

Thanos turns to gesture towards the battered Manhattan skyline.

 

THANOS

Rot. Decay.

 

He lifts Marvel’s head by her hair. She’s still unconscious.

 

THANOS

Death. I made a promise five years ago to spare your life. You didn’t know what I had already done to even get to that point. The life I had already ended for the Soul Stone. When the wizard offered me the Time Stone for you I saw perfect balance. One life taken for a stone. One life given for a stone. I saw destiny. My destiny. I knew it was the path I was meant to take. So you see, I didn’t save you just once. I didn’t even save you twice. Three times, Stark. Three times so far to maintain that delicate balance offered on Titan. Out of every being in the universe I only elected one to survive the stones. You. Just you. Not even myself. Now look what you’ve done with your destiny to live. Your one little life, dangling at the edges of my fingertips, just threatened the lives of trillions. Do you know what I gave up for you? Everything! Everything I had! And look at your world! It’s a wasteland!

 

TONY STARK

Because you murdered them all!

 

THANOS

I was the only one who had the courage to correct the fatal course we were headed on! Do you have that same conviction? Do you? Do you ever believe so strongly in an idea that you would give yourself for it entirely?

 

TONY STARK

Every day of my life!

 

Stark grabs Morgan and holds her closely.

 

THANOS

If I made the same choices you did, the entire universe would be dying!

 

TONY STARK

As opposed to just half?

 

THANOS

I chose sacrifice! Including my own! I gave myself for you!

 

TONY STARK

You gave nothing!

 

THANOS

I gave my daughter! And do you know how I had to do it? I had to throw her off a cliff! I watched her die, by my own hand, to save you! What would you do to help this world? Could you do what I did? Could you!? Here! I’ll give you the chance!

 

Thanos channels the Space Stone to teleport Stark and Morgan to the edge of Avengers’ Tower. Morgan is whimpering as Stark holds her tightly.

 

THANOS

Prove to me you can make the sacrifice I did and I will give you the stones!

 

TONY STARK

Morgan, hold onto me! Don’t move, baby! Just stay still!

 

Thanos throws all but the Space Stone at Stark’s feet.

 

THANOS

Take them, Stark! Do it!

 

TONY STARK

It’s okay, just hold onto me, baby! I won’t let go no matter what, okay!

 

THANOS

That’s what I thought. A shivering coward. That’s why you could never actually save anyone. There’s no more jokes for you to hide behind anymore. Now you know exactly what speck of dust you are in this universe. The one I allowed to live. Here. Let me show you how it’s done.

 

Thanos warps all five loose stones back to the gauntlet using the Space Stone. He grabs Nebula by her hand and drags her body towards the edge of the tower. She slowly wakes up, realizes what’s happening and tries to resist, but she's no match. Rocket tries to pull her away, but Thanos pushes him back with the Space Stone.

 

Stark shields Morgan’s eyes as Thanos emotionlessly throws Nebula off the edge of the tower and watches her fall to her death.

 

TONY STARK

You’re going to be okay, princess. Just keep looking at me, alright? I won’t let anything happen to you!

 

Thanos closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. He didn’t feel it. Not like he did with Gamora. It’s not her fault anymore. It’s his own failing, one that could've threatened the entire universe if things had been different on Vormir. That’s what hurts him most of all.

 

He reverses time, reviving Nebula and pulling her back up to the top of the tower and into his grasp. He looks her in the eye and shakes his head. Tears are stained on Nebula’s metallic cheeks.

 

NEBULA

Father...

 

THANOS

You’re not like Gamora. You couldn’t have saved them because...I still don’t love you...

 

He sets her down gently and walks away, deeply saddened by failing this personal test of his.

 

Nebula breaks down in tears while Rocket tightly holds onto her arm. Thanos turns toward Rocket.

 

THANOS

The weight of inevitability is a terrible burden, little one. I wish you’d never have to feel it. Know that I did my best to free you from it.

 

He turns towards Stark.

 

THANOS

Stark, our deal is off. Five years ago you lost and won the rest of your life. Be grateful. Don't chase the past, because now you know who’ll be waiting for you in it.

 

Thanos steps through billowing blue-black smoke and disappears. 

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Stark, we have to do something! I think...I think Carol is dying!

 

Rocket’s shouts shake Tony out of his awestruck silence.

 

TONY STARK

EDITH!

 

EDITH

Yeah, boss!

 

TONY STARK

It’s time!

 

EDITH

Yes, sir.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ TOWER - ASSEMBLY LINE - NIGHT

 

Inside Avengers' Tower an emergency protocol activates. An assembly line of parts quickly reconstructs the OG Iron Man suit.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ TOWER - HELIPAD - NIGHT

 

The newly constructed suit lands at his feet. Tony quickly jumps into its frame and the inner HUD lights up. Once more, he is Iron Man.

 

Morgan looks up at her father, suited up for the first time in front of her.

 

TONY STARK

Morgan, we need to get her to a hospital right now! So remember when you said all the rides at Coney Island were too slow? Well get ready, sweetheart!

 

Iron Man embraces both his daughter and Captain Marvel as he blasts off from Avengers’ Tower.

 

EXT. HOSPITAL - ER ENTRANCE - NIGHT

 

Iron Man lands in the street outside the ER of the closest hospital. Marvel is still unconscious.

 

INT. HOSPITAL - ER LOBBY - NIGHT

 

With Marvel cradled in his arms and Morgan weakly holding onto his leg, Iron Man opens his helmet visor.

 

TONY STARK

Help me! Somebody help me! 

 

Nurses run over with a gurney.

 

INT. HOSPITAL - ICU HALLWAY - NIGHT

 

Marvel is rushed down a hallway on the gurney towards the ICU. Stark follows behind with Morgan.

 

INT. HOSPITAL - ICU

 

Doctors converge on Marvel as she's lifted onto a bed. A nurse enters the room and covers her mouth with her hands when she sees how bad Danvers looks.

 

NURSE

Oh my God!

 

TONY STARK

Please, you gotta help her! Please! She tried to--

 

NURSE

What the...?

 

The whole room backs away as energy visibly pulses through Marvel’s unconscious body.

 

NURSE

Who...who is she?

 

DOCTOR

Mr. Stark, I’m sorry, but we need all the room we can get in here.

 

TONY STARK

Doc, please save her!

 

DOCTOR

We’ll do everything we can. It’s not always up to us, though.

 

INT. HOSPITAL - ICU WAITING ROOM - NIGHT

 

Iron Man and Morgan are waiting alone in an unlit waiting room. He holds her tightly as she bawls her eyes out. For the first time, he realizes Marvel’s blood is all over his armor.

 

The nurse enters the waiting room.

 

TONY STARK

What's happening?

 

NURSE

Her body is...I'm sorry, I have to ask you again. Do you know anything about this woman?

 

TONY STARK

Her name is Carol Danvers. I--I don't know much else...

 

NURSE

Is she human?

 

TONY STARK

I...I don’t even know that.

 

NURSE

Well, the doctors are doing their best.

 

The nurse leaves with her head hanging low.

 

EDITH

Hey, boss? I've been scanning for medical history on Carol Danvers for awhile now and I've hit some unusual roadblocks.

 

TONY STARK

What do you mean?

 

EDITH

It looks like someone erased her entire documented life. Someone very good at their job, I gather. I went knocking on the most suspicious doors and I think I found the only report of her existence on Earth. Guess where I found the file?

 

TONY STARK

SHIELD?

 

EDITH

Yep.

 

TONY STARK

Anything they can use to help her?

 

EDITH

Hard to say. It’s a Top Secret report dated from the mid-90s citing an experimental plane crash. The author is Nick Fury.

 

TONY STARK

Show it to me.

 

Iron Man lowers his helmet as the report overlays on his HUD.

 

Stark silently reads over the report.

 

TONY STARK

Are you seeing what I’m seeing?

 

The nurse bursts back into the room. Stark immediately lowers his helmet.

 

NURSE

She's awake!

 

TONY STARK

S-She's awake?

 

NURSE

She says she wants to talk to you.

 

TONY STARK

What?

 

NURSE

Her vitals--it’s almost like she...turned herself back on. I don’t know how, I’ve never seen anything like this, but she’s healing herself.

 

INT. HOSPITAL - ICU - NIGHT

 

Dozens of doctors and nurses are standing in a circle around Marvel. Her vitals are miraculously stable again as Iron Man enters the room. Still, she struggles to talk.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Stark...

 

TONY STARK

You don’t have to talk. Just rest.

 

CAROL DANVERS

That my blood?

 

TONY STARK

Think so.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Did he...did he kill anyone?

 

TONY STARK

No. He didn’t.

 

CAROL DANVERS

I’m glad. I’m glad.

 

TONY STARK

You should rest now.

 

Marvel’s eyes close again.

 

CAROL DANVERS

I’m glad...

 

Iron Man hesitates.

 

TONY STARK

Danvers...?

 

Her eyes open.

 

TONY STARK

There’s something I want to ask you to do so badly, but I know this isn’t the time to ask it.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Does it have to do with killing Thanos?

 

TONY STARK

Yeah.

 

CAROL DANVERS

I’ll do it.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - REC ROOM - NIGHT

 

Black Widow walks towards a table holding a plate with her dinner. When she casually glances at the muted TV in the corner, the plate instantly drops to the ground.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Steve! Get over here now!

 

Captain America rushes into the room and sees the plate on the floor.

 

STEVE ROGERS

What’s wrong? Are you all right?

 

Widow turns up the volume of a breaking story on the news. Amateur eyewitness footage shows Thanos standing on Avengers’ Tower.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Oh God...

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

He’s here!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Suit up! We have to get over there! Try to contact Tony!

 

She’s already ahead of him, calling on her cell phone.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I’m trying, there’s no answer!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Shit! Tony!

 

Someone pounds on the front door.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Is that Scott?

 

Ant-Man wanders into the room, unaware of what’s transpiring.

 

SCOTT LANG

What’s going on?

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - ENTRANCE - NIGHT

 

Captain America races towards the front entrance and rips open the door. It’s Iron Man, still in his suit, still bloody.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Tony! We just saw--

 

TONY STARK

Shut up. I want to make something very clear, Rogers. After all the crap you pulled over the years, I don't trust you. So that’s why I’m asking you, right now, to look me in the eye. No matter what our past is, I need you to be real with me. Don’t be a captain, don’t be a soldier, don’t be an Avenger, be Steve Rogers, that skinny kid from Brooklyn who got his ass kicked every day and look me in the eye right now so I know if you’re telling the truth when you answer this question. Do you trust me?

 

The two men stare each other down in silence, in this moment not as Avengers, not even as friends, but just as two defeated men looking for some fleeting truth in the others’ eyes.

 

And the truth each sees in the other is a broken heart.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I do.

 

Finally, Iron Man believes Captain America.

 

TONY STARK

Then let’s go kill this son of a bitch.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - HANGAR - NIGHT

 

Iron Man strides into the hangar, the rest of the Avengers on his heels. Bruce turns towards him from what looks like a massive, disassembled engine.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Tony, what the hell are you doing here? Why are you in the suit? Is that blood?

 

TONY STARK

You missed the fun. I was at the old tower with Morgan when the Dear Leader stopped by for a visit, which apparently he’s been doing in secret for a while now. 

 

BRUCE BANNER

Thanos came here?!

 

TONY STARK

They found him. Marvel, Rocket and Nebula. I don’t know how, but they found him. He didn’t take too kindly to it.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Are they dead?

 

STEVE STARK

Rocket’s fine, just shaken up. He’s repairing Nebula now. Thanos did a number on her then he threw her off the tower. Brought her back with the stones.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Jesus.

 

TONY STARK

Yeah, I know. That family makes us look like the Brady Bunch. She’s alive, though.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

What about Carol?

 

Iron Man’s expression turns to stone.

 

TONY STARK

It was unreal, Nat. I don’t know how she’s still even...I flew her down to New York Presbyterian. She’s awake. Somehow her vitals are stable. They say she’s going to be fine. That woman’s a beast. I’ve never seen anyone look as bad as she did.

 

STEVE ROGERS

And your daughter?

 

TONY STARK

With her mother. Far from here. Well, far from me. Just in case.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Where’s Thanos now?

 

TONY STARK

Doesn’t really matter. We don’t actually need to find him again. At least not that way.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

All right, explain.

 

TONY STARK

In the waiting room I dove headfirst down a rabbit hole in one of Danvers’ old Air Force files and guess what I found in Wonderland? SHIELD, of course. Fury, specifically. Oh yeah, and an alien invasion conspiracy that would make the History Channel blush. Turns out our Captain Marvel was Top Gun for a clandestine experimental jet fighter so cutting edge it had interested parties from across the galaxy. She nearly died from it, too, when a particularly exotic engine vaporized with her in it. Anyone want to guess what was powering said exotic propulsion system? Anyone? Here’s a hint: it’s a glowy blue gem from space with a penchant for teleportation and opening wormholes over Midtown Manhattan. Yeah. As it turns out, Captain Danvers is the living embodiment of the Tesseract. Somebody call Scott Lang. I think we just found our very own Space Stone. The heist is on.

 

Lang’s already here, though, standing by the door holding the plate of dinner he just prepared for himself. Now it’s his turn to drop the plate on the ground.

 

Seconds later, the loud pop of a sonic boom rattles the windows in the hangar.

 

Tony’s helmet lowers as he prepares for a fight.

 

TONY STARK

EDITH?

 

EDITH

Don't worry, it’s a friendly.

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

Tony, it's me! Launched as soon as I got your message.

 

TONY STARK

That’s my Rhodey! Come on, get in here. We got work to do. There’s no time to waste.

 

Stark moves in closer to inspect Banner’s work.

 

TONY STARK

Looks dangerous.

 

BRUCE BANNER

It is.

 

TONY STARK

Well then let’s hurry up and finish it.

 

BRUCE BANNER

All due respect, I don't think this is something we should rush. The last time we railroaded something through a lab a rogue AI tried to eradicate humanity.

 

TONY STARK

Yeah, that’s a thing, but listen, we got bigger problems. The Purple People Eater is kind of having a moment right now. He’s pissed and vaguely omnipotent and he'll be back. Especially when he sees what we’re about to do. Don’t worry, I came with ideas. I’ve been noodling with EDITH the last few months since you guys came knocking. This whole scheme is a paradox without the Tesseract, but if we can utilize Marvel as a replacement for the Space Stone, it’s like cheat codes. So hit me with it. What do you got so far?

 

War Machine is still in his suit as he enters the back of the hangar.

 

JAMES RHODES

Woah...Banner? Someone want to catch me up to speed here?

 

SCOTT LANG

Let me do it, I’ll do it! All right so check it out. I was stuck in a bottle--

 

JAMES RHODES

You’re an alcoholic?

 

SCOTT LANG

No, it’s literal! I don't drink. Sometimes Nyquil when I have to sleep and my nose is stuffed...

 

TONY STARK

All right, I don’t know what’s going on over there by the door so I'll cut it short. Banner and I plan on building a hilariously experimental device of potentially vast and infinite powers so that we can tip toe up behind Thanos and steal things out of his pocket.

 

JAMES RHODES

Sounds overly simplified.

 

TONY STARK

Try this then. You jump in a pool. Water radiates out in the form of waves. If Dr. Banner is as clever as he his handsome, which he most certainly is, he can measure the properties of those waves and determine where in the pool you jumped in, at what angle and how fast.

 

JAMES RHODES

Why are you putting me through middle school science?

 

TONY STARK

Because that water is time and the waves are our past. This machine will drop us in the pool and with an assist from Captain Marvel we instantly travel to any of those waves we want to.

 

JAMES RHODES

Time travel?

 

SCOTT LANG

Time Heist!

 

TONY STARK

More like a Spacetime Heist.

 

BRUCE BANNER

That’s what I said!

 

TONY STARK

These waves traveling through quantum space aren't our actual past, strictly speaking. They’re just transmitting what happened through spacetime the same way water transmit how you jumped in the pool. You're not the wave, but the wave is you. Does that make any sense?

 

JAMES RHODES

No, but you’re saying we can get our hands on the stones?

 

TONY STARK

Yeah.

 

JAMES RHODES

I have to be honest this sounds insane. Even for you two. Would we be taking his stones or just creating new ones?

 

BRUCE BANNER

It is insane and it's also a good question. That’s what I’ve been working on, actually. Tony, check this out.

 

Bruce walks to a workbench and lifts a metallic, white gauntlet.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Thanos has his, now we have our own. I call it a Quantum Gauntlet. It synthesizes Pym Particles, not unlike what Scott’s already used to enter the Quantum Realm. It lets you choose when to measure an object's position and velocity in the wave function. It’s useless in the macro world, but in the Quantum Realm it might as well be the hand of God. Grab a non-self-observable object, like say, an Infinity Stone, and you collapse its wave function out of its present location, Thanos' gauntlet, and into your own hand. We’re not duplicating anything. We’re stealing from right under his nose.

 

TONY STARK

Genius, Doc! Genius! I could kiss you right now!

 

BRUCE BANNER

Kind of proud of it myself actually. I was stuck for the longest time, but I just had to think about it from the perspective of--

 

TONY STARK

Woah, woah, woah, stop right there, Bruce.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Huh, what’s wrong?

 

TONY STARK

First of all, how the hell did you figure this out and second of all, don’t tell me.

 

BRUCE BANNER

What?

 

TONY STARK

Everyone in this room is thinking what I'm about to say out loud. This is dangerous. More dangerous than anything we’ve ever been a part of. Like, batshit insane dangerous. Theoretically, it’s a blank check on reality. It’s dicey enough that we want to try and cash it in once. If we successfully build this, and that technology leaves this room, the repercussions could be as catastrophic as the Infinity Gauntlet. This is an interactive GPS of Cosmic History and now it comes with a Power Glove. We have to bifurcate on this one. You keep doing your thing with Lang. I’ll do mine with Danvers. We don’t trade notes. Neither of us knows exactly how the whole thing works. We run this heist ASAP, steal the stones, bring everyone back then scrap the whole thing and never use it again.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

You're serious aren’t you, Tony?

 

TONY STARK

I learned my lesson from Ultron. And this is an Ultron for the entire Universe.

 

JAMES RHODES

Guys, what the hell are you building here?

 

TONY STARK

Well, not that I’ve thought up any names but...the Chaos Engine. Disruptor of perfect balance. That was completely spontaneous, by the way. In case you were wondering.

 

BRUCE BANNER

I think it’ll live up to its name.

 

TONY STARK

Which is why no one else can ever do this, but us, and even then only this one time.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I feel like I should be afraid of this thing.

 

TONY STARK

We all should be. Which is why I ask for your trust on this. And your caution. We can’t take it lightly. Nor can we sit around and ponder the imponderables, as much as we want to ethically. Based on what I saw tonight, he can be on top of us at any time, at any place, in an instant. And if he wasn’t looking before he’s going to be looking now. There’s literally no time to waste.

 

BRUCE BANNER

If we do this we’ll be going in short handed.

 

JAMES RHODES

Why, because he killed all our friends?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Not all of them. Not yet.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I’m in. I say we go for it.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Colonel Rhodes?

 

JAMES RHODES

Eh, what the hell?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Dr. Banner. Mr. Stark. You have your mission. Major Romanova, Colonel Rhodes and I have ours. It’s time to reassemble.

 

SCOTT LANG

Reassemble what?

 

STEVE ROGERS

The Avengers.

 

EXT. MANHATTAN - EAST RIVER - NIGHT

 

The Avengers' Quinjet roars over the East Side of Manhattan.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ TOWER - ROOFTOP INNER COURTYARD - NIGHT

 

Rocket and Nebula sit on the floor in the dark, hand in hand.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Any better?

 

NEBULA

It still hurts.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I can try again.

 

NEBULA

I'm not talking about my body.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Sorry. Don’t know how to fix that.

 

NEBULA

My whole life I thought hatred makes people stronger. I just needed to get angrier and I could finally stop my father. But no matter how much I hated him, he always hated me more. Guess I was right after all.

 

Powerful lights glare through the glass as the Quinjet lands outside.

 

Captain America enters the inner courtyard.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Are you guys okay?

 

NEBULA

Did Marvel survive?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Captain Danvers is alive. I’m here to make sure you guys are, too. Tony told us what happened. I’m so sorry.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

We, uh...we don’t know where to go anymore.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I’m hoping you’ll come with me.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Why? Where are you going?

 

STEVE ROGERS

To war.

 

INT. QUINJET - NIGHT

 

Rocket holds the injured Nebula’s hand as Rhodes helps load her onto the sickbed.

 

Black Widow turns towards Captain America, who is gazing into the eyes of Peggy Carter from the photo in his compass.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

This is going to work, Steve.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I know it is. Because I don’t know what I’m going to do if it doesn’t.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

So, who’s next?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Thor.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I was thinking...could you drop me off first? There’s something I need to do. Someone I need to go after. Alone, I think.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Alone?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Clint.

 

Captain America looks at Black Widow with grave concern.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Nat, are you sure?

 

She nods silently.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Do me a favor? Bring Colonel Rhodes as cover?

 

Black Widow looks away to avoid answering. She doesn’t say no.

 

INT. AVENGERS' HQ - HANGAR - NIGHT

 

Iron Man is on his back beneath a large rig of machinery, his EDITH glasses equipped.

 

TONY STARK

Maybe just put the transducer down here and run a dipole up top?

 

EDITH

I can project a 3D schematic if it makes it easier to visualize.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Hey, Tony?

 

Bruce leans over.

 

TONY STARK

No peeking, Bruce!

 

BRUCE BANNER

Just needed the magnetometer.

 

TONY STARK

Yeah, sure. Hang on.

 

Stark climbs back to his feet and hands the device to Bruce.

 

TONY STARK

So, how’s the simple life these days?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Funny, I was going to ask you the same thing.

 

TONY STARK

A lot of sleepy time techniques. None of them work.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Ditto.

 

TONY STARK

Didn’t even know you had kids.

 

BRUCE BANNER

My kid was a lot bigger and greener than yours.

 

TONY STARK

Show off.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Did she tell you?

 

TONY STARK

Did who tell me what?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Hulk’s gone.

 

TONY STARK

What, like, fishing?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Permanently.

 

TONY STARK

No progress in the last five years?

 

BRUCE BANNER

I guess you’re defining progress as transforming into a tactical gamma warhead on command?

 

TONY STARK

Usually, it’s more non-tactical, to be honest.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Then yeah. No progress.

 

TONY STARK

What happened?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Thanos happened. He crushed the Hulk. It wasn’t even close. Hulk never lost a fight like that and for the first time he was scared. Just like me. We became one again and the one is Bruce Banner. The only strength I ever had was taken from me.

 

TONY STARK

Nope. Categorically wrong.

 

BRUCE BANNER

It’s not wrong, he lost. I lost. We all lost.

 

TONY STARK

It’s not about how much we lost. It’s how much we have left. On a vague scientific hypothetical you started building a machine that will bring a god to his knees. Not bad for puny Banner.

 

BRUCE BANNER

It's so weird. Ever since the Other Guy first appeared I’ve felt locked inside someone else. Five years ago I finally broke out. All this time I wondered what it would feel like to actually be rid of the Hulk. I also thought how freeing it would be, but after it happened it was the exact opposite. It felt like there was nothing to life anymore. Nowhere to go. Nothing to do. Nothing to achieve. Because it was already finished. Thanos finished it.

 

TONY STARK

Yeah, well, consider it un-finished.

 

BRUCE BANNER

When Scotty came knocking it was like I realized I was in a nightmare, the worst of my life, even worse than living inside the Other Guy, but at least it meant I had a chance to wake up. I just had to figure out how.

 

TONY STARK

Then this is it, Bruce. Your chance. Our chance. This is why Fury brought us together. Every failure has led us here. Thanos didn’t finish anything, he just pissed us off. We’re the Avengers. We gotta finish this.

 

EXT. NEW ASGARD - VILLAGE SQUARE - DAY

 

A village of Asgardians stop their daily chores in the quiet fishing village they call home to watch the Quinjet touch down at the center of town square.

 

Captain America, Rocket and Nebula descend its ramp and are immediately met by the crossed arms of Valkyrie, the Queen of Asgard.

 

VALKYRIE

I was wondering when you guys might show up. We’re doing fine, by the way.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

We need to see Thor.

 

VALKYRIE

You just missed him. He went walking down that road just over there about...oh, five years ago. And never came back.

 

STEVE ROGERS

What do you mean? Where’d he go?

 

The Asgardians circle nearby.

 

VALKYRIE

I think it’s best we take this somewhere private.

 

INT. NEW ASGARD - THRONE HUT - DAY

 

The Avengers follow Valkyrie into her tiny throne hut.

 

VALKYRIE

Anyone care for a drink?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Yeah, sure, whatever you got.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Valkyrie, I’m sorry we haven’t been up here. I told Thor to reach out if he ever needed anything. I didn’t realize.

 

VALKYRIE

Well, he’s gone. He exiled himself five years ago and hasn’t been seen ever since. Here.

 

She hands a mug to Rocket.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

He exiled himself?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Kind of sounds like he’s been feeling the same as us.

 

VALKYRIE

Oh, you also abandoned your people because you lost a fight?

 

Rocket dramatically spits out his drink.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Holy crap! What the hell is this? Here Nebula.

 

Rocket hands the drink to Nebula.

 

VALKYRIE

It’s our ceremonial drink. You are in the Throne Room after all. Thor made me Queen.

 

NEBULA

It’s delicious. Give me all of it.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Wait, is that...

 

Rocket sees Stormbreaker leaning up against the fireplace.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Groot?

 

VALKYRIE

You’re familiar with Stormbreaker?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

My friend and I...helped make it.

 

Rocket slides his paw down the handle of Stormbreaker and for a moment it feels like Groot is still in the room with him.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Do you have any idea where he went?

 

VALKYRIE

He said he’d come back when Thanos was dead. Maybe he died trying.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

No way. He wouldn’t go after Thanos without this.

 

NEBULA

Then where is he?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

You went to all the bars around here?

 

VALKYRIE

Of course. Wherever he is, he’s far from his home. Far from his people.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I’m not saying you’re wrong to be pissed at him, but deep down Thor's a big softee. He acts like a tough guy, but his biggest muscle is his heart. If he left he must’ve had a good reason.

 

VALKYRIE

And he doesn’t tell his people?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Sounds like he really didn’t want you to go looking for him. Or at least be able to find him. So his reason for leaving must be important.

 

VALKYRIE

Or selfish.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Or selfless.

 

VALKYRIE

Or cowardly.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Or brave.

 

VALKYRIE

You seem to really admire this man.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Put yourself in his shoes.

 

VALKYRIE

I’ve been in his shoes! Exactly the same!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Then you’ll know that it’s a lot more complicated than "he ran away!"

 

VALKYRIE

How far will you go to apologize for him?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Groot saw something in him from the second they met. He nearly killed himself to get Thor this ax. If Groot was willing to go that far, then I guess I should be, too.

 

VALKYRIE

Groot was an Asgardian?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

No, Groot was a tree, ya' moron.

 

VALKYRIE

A tree? I think you’re a fool.

 

ROCKET

Yeah well, get in line, lady. In the meantime, I’m gonna try to save the universe and I’m pretty sure Thor will be on my side. So we’ll just go find him ourselves.

 

VALKYRIE

Save the universe? Are you mad?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I’ve been called that, too.

 

VALKYRIE

Rogers, what’s the meaning of this?

 

STEVE ROGERS

We think...we think we have a shot at bringing everyone back.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Come on, let’s go. She doesn’t care. We’re gonna need a better view.

 

STEVE ROGERS

A better view?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Thor was beating himself up even before Thanos. It’s going to be on a whole ‘nother level now. Fortunately, his anger will be a little more visible than yours or mine. Come on. Let’s get back on the ship.

 

NEBULA

Where are we headed?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Up.

 

Rocket and Nebula exit out of the hut. Captain America stays behind.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I know this is sudden, but we could really use someone like you right now.

 

VALKYRIE

To find Thor?

 

STEVE ROGERS

To fight Thanos.

 

VALKYRIE

Fight Thanos? You couldn’t beat him without the gauntlet, you think you can take him on now?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Not exactly. And not without Thor. But no matter who fights, this is the only chance we’re ever going to get to try and reverse the Snap.

 

VALKYRIE

Reverse it?

 

STEVE ROGERS

It’s complicated. That’s why we need all hands on deck.

 

VALKYRIE

He is going to kill you! Do you understand that? Anyone who stands against Thanos will die!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Maybe.

 

VALKYRIE

No! Definitely! You’re marching to your death and asking me to come with you! I can’t abandon Asgard like Thor did. For all these people have been through Thanos might as well have snapped his fingers three times for them alone. I won’t martyr myself and leave them stranded yet again! I’m sorry. I wish so badly that I was in a position to, but I can not take up arms against him. And I suggest you do the same, for your own sake. The universe doesn’t need any more senseless death. I know you’re regretful, but selflessness can’t make up for the past.

 

STEVE ROGERS

You know, my whole life I mistook selflessness for righteousness. It’s not. I accept that now. I can’t just put the weight on my shoulders and think that will protect everyone else. Life’s more complicated than that. In always trying to do the unselfish thing I hurt a hell of a lot of people. That’s why this might be different, though. Getting one last shot at Thanos feels like the most selfish thing I’m ever going to do.

 

VALKYRIE

Then I wish you good fortune, Captain America. May the gods smile upon you.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Nah. When he’s upon me, he ain’t gonna be smilin' this time.

 

INT. NEW ASGARD - QUINJET - DAY

 

Rocket slaps various switches as Captain America climbs the ramp into the cockpit.

 

Looking out through the cockpit window, Rocket sees Valkyrie watching them from her throne hut.

 

INT. NEW ASGARD - VILLAGE - DAY

 

The Quinjet rises out of New Asgard. Valkyrie turns back and reenters her hut.

 

INT. NEW ASGARD - THRONE HUT - DAY

 

Valkyrie sits down next to Stormbreaker. She examines it closely and realizes a small leaf is growing from a twig on the handle.

 

EXT. SPACE - EARTH’S ORBIT

 

The Quinjet orbits Earth.

 

INT. QUINJET - SPACE

 

Rocket releases the cockpit joystick, leans back in his chair and folds his arms. 

 

NEBULA

What are you doing? I thought we were looking for Thor?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

We are.

 

NEBULA

Then what are we doing up here?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Waiting for that.

 

In the upper reaches of the Northern Hemisphere, a massive thunderstorm rages so wildly it's brightly visible in space.

 

Captain America leans over Rocket’s chair, awestruck by the unnatural display of fury.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Woah.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Yeah, he’s pissed.

 

NEBULA

I thought you said he was a big softee?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I don’t know. For a god of war he’s pretty sensitive. Very introspective, at least.

 

Nebula points at the thunderstorm.

 

NEBULA

Is that him being introspective?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Maybe this won’t go so well after all...

 

EXT. AIRPORT RUNWAY - TOKYO - NIGHT

 

Black Widow descends the stairs of a private jet. Downtown Tokyo is lit up in the distance. She pulls out her cell phone and dials War Machine as she crosses the runway towards a waiting car.

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

It’s me.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Tell me I’m not too late.

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

I can’t promise anything, but keisatsu just found another Yakuza bloodbath in Kyoto. Only the Tokyo syndicate is left standing. I don’t think it’ll stay that way for long.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

He won’t stop until they’re gone, too.

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

Hey, Nat?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Yeah Rhodey?

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

Cap made me promise to fly cover for you on this one.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

For Yakuza? Don’t embarrass me.

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

It's not because of the gangsters.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I’ll be fine. I need to see him alone.

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

I’ll be overhead in fifteen. Just in case.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

He’s our friend, Rhodes.

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

Nat, we don’t know what he is at this point.

 

ROMANOVA

Just let me know if you hear shots fired.

 

Black Widow hangs up the phone and steps into the driver's seat of the awaiting vehicle.

 

INT. YAKUZA TOWER - BOARD ROOM - NIGHT

 

Three Yakuza captains huddle around a table at an undisclosed hideaway in Minato, Tokyo. They’re surrounded by an army of uzi-wielding enforcers. Dinner has been served, but every plate is still full. No one’s eating.

 

YAKUZA 1

Enough is enough! Someone has to find this Ronin and end it!

 

YAKUZA 2

Who's going to do it? You?

 

YAKUZA 3

We can’t walk the streets! We can’t leave the city! He’s closing in! We have to do something!

 

YAKUZA 1

Where is Boss Honda! He should be here!

 

YAKUZA 2

He’s probably dead!

 

An old fashioned hard line phone rings at the center of the table.

 

YAKUZA 3

Who else has this number?

 

YAKUZA 1

Boss Honda, you idiot! Pick it up!

 

Yakuza 1 reaches over and picks up the phone.

 

YAKUZA 1

Boss Honda!

 

No one responds.

 

YAKUZA 1

Boss Honda?

 

RONIN (O.S.)

He’ll be dropping in real soon.

 

The phone hangs up. Yakuza 1 goes pale.

 

Glass explodes as a body smashes through the outer window. The uzi’s light up the shape as a shadow sneaks across the back of the room.

 

When the gunfire stops the body continues to swing in and out of the room. It’s Boss Honda’s corpse, now riddled with bullets. A noose is tied around his neck as he hangs from the rooftop of the skyscraper. The kanji for ‘Dishonor’ is painted across his chest in blood.

 

The room dissolves into chaos. Yakuza 3 rises from the table and turns to find Yakuza 1 and 2 already facefirst in their dinner plates, dead. The enforcers turn towards that side of the room as the shadow darts away. Uzi fire trails behind the shape, but redirects up into the ceiling as several enforcers are cut down in a blink of an eye. 

 

A cylindrical flashbang bounces along the table, catching everyone's attention before it explodes with blinding light and deafening sound.

 

Veiled by the sensory assault, Ronin reveals himself in the light as he cuts down each enforcer one by one.

 

As his men are murdered all around him, Yakuza 3 flees from the room...

 

INT. YAKUZA TOWER - STAIRWELL - NIGHT

 

...and bounds down the staircase towards the ground floor.

 

EXT. YAKUZA TOWER - STREETS - NIGHT

 

By the time he bursts out into the rainy streets, Yakuza 3 has to stop short as glass crashes down in front of him, followed immediately by the bodies of his now dead bodyguards. 

 

Yakuza 3 falls backward as Ronin leaps down last, landing softly in a three point stance right in front of him. Rising to his feet, Ronin uses his biceps and forearm to clean the blood from his blade. He stops his assault and turns around.

 

Black Widow is behind him, holding an umbrella to protect herself from the rain.

 

Ronin ignores her and returns to the pursuit of his target, now crawling backwards and shrieking in terror.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Clint!

 

RONIN

That’s not my name anymore.

 

NATAHSA ROMANOVA

It can be again!

 

RONIN

I am vengeance now. I can’t be anything else.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

How about an Avenger?

 

RONIN

Is there a difference?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

What does your heart tell you?

 

Ronin stops his pursuit once again.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I don’t know who I’m looking at right now, but it’s not the Clint Barton I knew. It’s not the Clint Barton I want to know.

 

RONIN

Then why are you here? 

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Because we’re about to face the fight of our lives back home. But we don’t need a sword. We need a bow.

 

RONIN

Everything I was turned to ash. I lost all of them, Nat! But scum like this survived!

 

He raises his sword to strike. The Yakuza howls in fear.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Clint, it’s my fault!

 

The sword strike freezes high in the air.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

It’s my fault you lost them. I couldn’t stop Thanos.

 

Ronin lowers his sword to his side.

 

RONIN

I never blamed any of you, Natasha. That’s why I never spoke to you or Cap or Tony. It’s not your fault. I should’ve been there. There’s a lot of red on my ledger now, too.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Then let’s wipe both of ours clean at the same time.

 

RONIN

It’s impossible.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I think there’s a lot we need to catch up on.

 

RONIN

No there's not. I’m only interested in one thing.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Killing Thanos? Or bringing everyone he murdered back to life?

 

Ronin turns around.

 

RONIN

Don’t say that, Natasha.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Then how about we just do it instead?

 

The rain intensifies.

 

Ronin doesn’t move. He doesn’t blink. Widow's eyes don't betray the question she just asked.

 

His sword drops to the pavement.

 

Police circle in from every direction, surrounding Yakuza 3, still cowering in fear on the wet pavement. Hawkeye and Black Widow are nowhere to be found.

 

EXT. SKYSCRAPER ROOFTOP - TOKYO - NIGHT

 

War Machine lowers his arm and the concussion missile launcher attached to it. He breathes a sigh of relief.

 

Iron Man’s voice crackles in his ear.

 

TONY STARK (O.S.)

Rhodey, you still flying overwatch?

 

JAMES RHODES

Actually, I think we're all good over here. What's going on?

 

TONY STARK (O.S.)

I need you to detour ASAP. Got a very rare materials request and Bruce here says you know how to get to the place that has it.

 

JAMES RHODES 

I’m listening, but I think I already know what you’re going to ask for.

 

TONY STARK (O.S.)

Yeah, we need all the vibranium we can get our hands on. And we need it fast.

 

EXT. SEA CLIFFS - SVALBARD ARCHIPELAGO - DAY 

 

The Quinjet lands in the heart of a massive lightning storm in broad daylight. Thor is meditating at the center of it along the edges of a massive cliff overlooking the sea. His hair has grown out and his beard is now braided down to his chest. 

 

His eyes open. The lighting instantly ceases.

 

THOR

Rocket!

 

The tiny Avenger stands before the God of Thunder.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

You remembered my name?

 

THOR

How have you been? I haven’t seen you in ages! You look taller! Did you get taller?

 

Captain America and Nebula approach from behind.

 

THOR

Rogers! Robot Girl! I can’t believe you’re all here!

 

STEVE ROGERS

It’s good to see you, Thor.

 

THOR

How did you guys find me?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Oh, just a lucky guess.

 

THOR

I’d invite you back to the cave, but it’s kind of a mess right now. There’s a pub about twenty miles south. The pickle bar is tremendous! If we leave now we can still make happy hour before they run out of the french onion soup!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I kinda want to see the cave actually.

 

STEVE ROGERS

We’re fine, Thor. Thank you. We actually came out here because we wanted to ask you an important question.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Yeah, is there a bathroom in the cave?

 

THOR

Don’t be absurd. Of course not.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

So you dig a hole in the ground?

 

THOR

Yes, but you have to change the location from time to time.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

But do you have toilet pa--

 

NEBULA

Why do you keep opening your filthy rodent mouth?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

So I can periodically tell you to shove it, Robot Girl.

 

NEBULA

Why would you tell me to shove something?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

What?

 

THOR

Obviously, because he’s a tiny rabbit and he can’t move it by himself.

 

NEBULA

That makes sense.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Did I leave some screws loose in your head?

 

NEBULA

My ear is rattling when I walk.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

So anyway...uh, Thor, what exactly have you been up to out here?

 

THOR

Training.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

And how has that training been going, if I may ask?

 

THOR

I’m still too weak. Too unfocused.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Well time’s up pal. Let’s see what you got.

 

THOR

Time’s up?

 

STEVE ROGERS

We’ve got a plan now. A plan to bring back everyone we lost five years ago. That’s why we’re here.

 

THOR

You’re...you’re serious?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

It’s time for one last showdown.

 

STEVE ROGERS

We found him, Thor. In a manner of speaking, we found him.

 

Thunder rolls in the distance. The sky turns jet black.

 

THOR

Thanos...

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - HANGAR - DAY

 

Tony Stark is standing before a massive arch-shaped metal frame built at the far end of the hangar in Avengers’ HQ. 

 

Captain Marvel, cut and bruised, but healthy, is kneeling in the middle of the frame with each of her arms inserted into large arm locks jutting from opposing columns of the structure. A vibranium teleporter sits before her. A small metal drone rests at its center. 

 

Bruce is sitting at a large, adjacent computer deck observing power readouts.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Sorry Carol, but we need more.

 

Captain Marvel grits her teeth as she channels energy through the palms of her hands and into the batteries built inside each metal armlock. 

 

TONY STARK

Keep going.

 

The hangar hums with energy. A dim aura flashes around her body. Still nothing on Banner’s computer.

 

TONY STARK

More.

 

Nothing.

 

TONY STARK

More.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Damn it! How much more does it need?

 

TONY STARK

Just trust me on this one. You need to take it up like ten notches.

 

CAROL DANVERS

If I go too hard I’ll destroy it.

 

TONY STARK

You won’t. It’s a vibranium interior and more is on the way for the outer casing.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Could Thanos break it?

 

TONY STARK

Well...

 

CAROL DANVERS

What happens then?

 

TONY STARK

I believe the formal term would be SNAFU.

 

BRUCE BANNER

The superposition of the travelers tethered to you through the machine collapses and that alternate reality drifts off for eternity. They’d be permanently lost in time.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Isn’t this whole mission about manipulating spacetime? Couldn’t we just start again and bring them back?

 

TONY STARK

On paper if we’re cut off the uncertainty principle suspends. The waveform collapses and that becomes our reality, like an alternate dimension. If someone goes back looking, they’d find us not as we are now, but as mathematically probabilities of our existence. There’s no saying what our perspective would be like. Do we die? Do we merge with the quantum realm? Couldn’t tell you. Don’t really want to find out. What I can say is, the me you’re talking to right now goes bye-bye. And I’d greatly prefer not to go bye-bye, even if some other version of me is floating around spacetime.

 

CAROL DANVERS

So if I get tired and want to take a break during the mission?

 

TONY STARK

Then it’s been nice knowing you.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Or if Thanos shows up and tears me in half?

 

TONY STARK

We can install shields. Vibranium shells. Had a module named Veronica that may come in handy here. In the case of an emergency, the computer itself actually won’t matter. Once everything is on you become the engine. The whole world could go up in flames, but if you’re still in there the mission is a go. 

 

BRUCE BANNER

So, if Thanos does show up...

 

CAROL DANVERS

I’ll hang on as long as it takes.

 

TONY STARK

You do what you gotta do, Carol. This whole mission is a crapshoot anyway. We’re trying to bring everyone back, but if Thanos is standing in front of you and we’re still out, don’t just go down with the ship. Kick his ass for all of us.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Not sure I can at this point.

 

TONY STARK

At the very least we can try and get a stone or two before the end. Level the playing field for you.

 

CAROL DANVERS

You really think he can get here that quickly?

 

TONY STARK

Big Brother’s watching. When that first stone vanishes from the gauntlet, he’s not going to care about harvesting the crop anymore. And one way or the other, he’s got the hardware to do whatever he wants whenever he wants.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Well then, you’ll just...

 

Captain Marvel concentrates, closing her eyes as she summons a large burst of energy. Her skin crackles with electricity as the Quantum Realm pad briefly glows with energy.

 

CAROL DANVERS

...have to be…

 

She bears down even harder. Another brief flash of the Quantum Realm pad, but it’s still not on.

 

CAROL DANVERS

...quick!

 

Energy pours out of her hands and into the Chaos Engine. Arcs of electricity lash out from the teleporter pad. The small drone at the center of it vanishes from sight.

 

TONY STARK

That’s it, you got it! Don’t let up now!

 

BRUCE BANNER

Hang in there! Hang in there!

 

TONY STARK

You’re doing it, Carol!

 

BRUCE BANNER

Just a few more seconds! And...mark!

 

Bruce slaps a button on the mainframe and the drone reappears. Marvel falls forward out of the arm locks and collapses to the ground breathing heavily.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Shit! I’m going to need to practice that.

 

TONY STARK

Banner, tell me it worked.

 

Bruce is over by the drone, glancing into its digital readout.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Holy crap!

 

The room rattles as thunder rolls in the distance.

 

TONY STARK

What was that?

 

The entire hangar reverberates.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Is that him? Is that Thanos?

 

TONY STARK

EDITH eyes up, we may have to sortie!

 

The trio runs out of the hangar...

 

EXT. AVENGERS' HQ - LAWN - DAY

 

...into the back lawn as the Quinjet lands on the grass.

 

Captain America, Rocket and Nebula exit. Behind them walks Thor, glowing with white energy. A rainless thunderstorm follows overhead.

 

TONY STARK

Thor?

 

THOR

Tony!

 

Thor smiles and the storm recedes. He runs over to hug his old friend. Tony is nearly crushed by the gesture. Mid-hug, Thor grabs Bruce by the collar of his lab coat and nearly pulls him out of it tugging him over. A non-consensual three-way hug ensues as the two humans let the God of Thunder have his way with them.

 

THOR

Bruce! Earth’s mightiest heroes! What a joyous reunion! We should drink tonight! A toast before we march to war! Oh, hello Fire Woman!

 

He slaps Captain Marvel hard on the shoulder and enters Avengers’ HQ.

 

Captain America and Iron Man share a “holy crap” stare.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Yeah, I know.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Well, he looks strong.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I hope Thanos likes lightning up his ass.

 

NEBULA

He doesn’t.

 

Captain America’s ear buzzes.

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

Awww, they beat us.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Colonel, is that you?

 

JAMES RHODES (O.S.)

Inbound.

 

War Machine lands with a thud next to the Quinjet. Captain America relaxes into a big smile and walks over to greet his friend.

 

A car pulls up and Black Widow steps out with just as big a smile.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Tony.

 

TONY STARK

You have that look on your face like you just stole something really cool.

 

The passenger side door opens and out walks Hawkeye.

 

CLINT BARTON

Gentlemen.

 

BRUCE BANNER

R-Ronin?

 

Hawkeye sees the hesitation in his former teammates and shakes his head.

 

CLINT BARTON

Hawkeye.

 

Iron Man nods with a grin.

 

TONY STARK

I kinda just like Barton.

 

CLINT BARTON

That’s Mr. Barton to you.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - ASSEMBLY ROOM - DAY

 

The reunited and expanded Avengers assemble in a conference room. Black Widow stands in front and addresses the team.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I’ll be honest. I never actually thought we’d all be together again. It feels good. Really good. The people in this room...we used to make a pretty damn good team. Whenever we would get together it usually meant the world was about to end. But it didn’t, not when we stayed as a team. Then we went our separate ways. That’s why Thanos won. Not because he found six stones scattered across the universe, but because we were scattered across the universe. I’ll cut to the chase. Thanos ushered in the apocalypse. None of us alone could stop the end of the world. But together?

 

She turns towards Iron Man to finish her thought.

 

TONY STARK

We can damn sure avenge it. 

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Now I know many of the people in this room have had differences in the past. It reminds me of something I heard a long time ago. An idea, to bring together a group of remarkable people, men and women, soldiers, scientists and friends, to see if they could become something more. To fight the battles no one ever could alone. This is that battle. It's time to see if that idea is true. We owe it to everyone who’s not in this room to try it. So, what’s the plan? Thanos had his chance. This time the apocalypse is us. 

 

Black Widow turns off the lights as a video projects on the white board behind her.

 

The view is of a HUD on the teleport pad in the hangar angled towards Captain Marvel as she kneels in the frame of the Chaos Engine. Tony talks to her from somewhere behind the camera.

 

TONY STARK (O.S.)

We’ll try and get a stone or two before the end. Level the playing field for you.

 

CAROL DANVERS

You really think he can get here that quickly?

 

TONY STARK (O.S.)

Big Brother’s watching. When that first stone vanishes from the gauntlet, he’s not going to care about harvesting the crop anymore. And one way or the other, he’s got the hardware to do whatever he wants whenever he wants.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Well then, you’ll just...have to be...qui--

 

Blinding light washes out the HUD.

 

When the light fades away the image revealed is familiar to most of the people in the room. They all look at each other when they realize they’re watching footage of...

 

INT. AVENGERS’ TOWER - LOUNGE - NIGHT

 

...the Avengers’ cocktail party from 2015. It’s the night Ultron was born. 

 

The camera floats through the lounge, showing Black Widow, Thor, War Machine, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Maria Hill and a room full of war veterans drinking, talking and laughing. Most in attendence turn, point and smile as the stowaway camera passes by.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - ASSEMBLY ROOM - DAY

 

Captain America's face tightens as the camera shows him playing pool with Falcon.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ TOWER - LOUNGE - NIGHT

 

A WWII Veteran (Stan Lee) wanders by the frame, sees the recorder and jumps in for a close up.

 

THE ONE-ABOVE-ALL

Hey all you true believers out there! There are a lot of superheroes in this room. But always remember, the greatest superpower is love! Nuff said!

 

He winks and smiles as the image turns to static.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - ASSEMBLY ROOM - DAY

 

The pixels glitch up and the HUD suddenly reappears back on the teleporter pad in the hangar.

 

Captain Marvel is breathing heavy from the frame of the Chaos Engine. She collapses to the ground.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Damn! I’m going to need to practice that.

 

Black Widow turns off the projection and the room lights brighten once more.

 

CLINT BARTON

Nat, what the hell was that?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Scott. Bruce. Would you like to explain to everyone what they just saw?

 

SCOTT LANG

You ready?

 

He turns and writes on the board in big letters: TIME HEIST

 

SCOTT LANG

Time Heist!

 

TONY STARK

Gotta stop you right there, Scotty.

 

Tony steals the marker and adds the word “Space” in front of the phrase.

 

SCOTT LANG

Fine! I give up. It’s a Spacetime Heist. Happy? Here’s the deal. Five years ago, when Thanos snapped his fingers, I was in a subspace continuum called the Quantum Realm, which acts like a dimension where all time occurs simultaneously.

 

BRUCE BANNER

The Quantum Realm captures all possibilities of reality, past and present. If an observer enters the Quantum Realm at just the right spots, his presence collapses those stacked possibilities into one new version of reality based upon his presence.

 

SCOTT LANG

The Heist is simple then. We enter the Quantum Realm and track down the Infinity Stones in the echoes of our past. That’s what you just saw on that film. That’s what we’re going to do, but not with a drone.

 

CLINT BARTON

You’re telling me that I can go into this Quantum Realm and see my family again?

 

TONY STARK

Yeah.

 

CLINT BARTON

Then what the hell are we doing out here?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Clint, believe me, we’ve all had this exact same thought. But we can do so much more than that. Just hang in there. This is the complicated part. The really complicated part. Captain Danvers has volunteered to let us use her abilities to mimic the powers of the Tesseract. Navigating the Quantum Realm normally puts you at the mercy of odds so low it would make Vegas jealous. Well, Carol’s going to be our crooked dealer and she’s dealing from the bottom of the deck, letting us pick exactly where we want to go.

 

CLINT BARTON

What’s the problem then?

 

BRUCE BANNER

We don’t fully understand the repercussions of interacting with superpositions of the past. It’s incredibly dangerous for us to attempt this on so many levels. Bridging the past and the present could be more catastrophic than the Snap. That’s why I built these.

 

Bruce holds up a pair of Quantum Gauntlets, now upgraded to what look like black leather gloves.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Thanos used a highly sophisticated gauntlet to control the stones. Well, here’s how we control the Quantum Realm. If you turn this on when your fingers are around an Infinity Stone, the probability waveform collapses literally into your hand. The physics behind the question of where that stone exists stops measuring an answer of “in Thanos’ gauntlet” and tunnels it back to you instead. It will literally teleport from Thanos to us.

 

TONY STARK

Guys, we think we can bring everyone back. Here. To the present. All of them. We can do so much more than just peek at shadows of the past. We can unite the stones on our terms and undue everything Thanos thought he did.

 

NEBULA

He’ll hunt us down as soon as the first stone goes missing.

 

TONY STARK

Hopefully, by the time he figures out what’s happening, he’ll just be a regular impossibly strong, unstoppable mass murderer, instead of a godlike, impossibly strong, unstoppable mass murderer.

 

STEVE ROGERS

That’s why we need to decide the order in which we steal the stones. Chances are he’ll still have some of them by the time he catches up with us.

 

CLINT BARTON

Can we get Cliffs Notes for those who’ve been out of the MacGuffin gem business for a few years?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Using each of the stones independently, Thanos can control time, space, reality, the mind, the soul, and wield planet destroying power. And when he has all of them together, well...his influence is limitless.

 

JAMES RHODES

That really narrows it down.

 

STEVE ROGERS

As long as we get one stone off him his power drops substantially.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Yeah, then you just have to deal with him controlling, you know, everything else anyway.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Actually, Tony, EDITH and I have been going back and forth on the physics and we think it’s conceivable that, well...we don’t think the Time Stone would actually work in the Quantum Realm. At least not in the same way it works in the macro world. If all of time is superpositioned around you there is really nothing to move forwards or backwards through since it’s all happening simultaneously from the perspective of the stone.

 

TONY STARK

It’s a hypothesis. One we may have to bet our lives on. Anyone feel like gambling?

 

CLINT BARTON

This whole thing is absurd. You know that, right?

 

JAMES RHODES

Hold on, how would he ever know we were spinning in the Quantum Superfreak or whatever the hell it's called?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Maybe there's some way by using the Mind or Soul Stone. He could even just freeze reality with the Time Stone until he figures it out.

 

JAMES RHODES

Jesus.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

But could he actually get to us when we're inside the Quantum Realm?

 

BRUCE BANNER

Most likely.

 

JAMES RHODES

Jesus!

 

BRUCE BANNER

With the Quantum Realm and Captain Marvel we’re basically emulating the Time and Space Stones. Well guess what, he’s got his own versions of both, so it stands to reason he could do everything we could do and more.

 

CLINT BARTON

Alright, so steal the Time Stone first. Problem solved. He can’t access the Quantum Realm nor buy time to figure out we’re there anyway.

 

THOR

No, the Reality Stone is what we take first. Whatever we do he can undue by altering reality itself. It's a power he barely had to use to complete the gauntlet last time. He’ll better understand how to use it this time.

 

TONY STARK

If I could jump in here for a second, he found me in seconds when he wanted to, then went from a farm on some godforsaken planet to the east side of Manhattan in literally one step across the galaxy. Or universe. I’m not even sure which.

 

CLINT BARTON

Fine, then Space Stone first. Take it off the board and he can’t move to us.

 

CAROL DANVERS

The only reason why he found Tony was because he used the Mind Stone on me. Saw my whole past in a blink of an eye and that showed him exactly where to go.

 

CLINT BARTON

You got a taste of it, too? Welcome to the club.

 

CAROL DANVERS

The Soul Stone was activated as well, but I couldn't tell how he was using it.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

So basically we’ve named every single gem as potentially the most dangerous except for the one that detonates planets on contact. We’re off to a good start.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Let’s say we buy your hypothesis that the Time Stone doesn’t work in the Quantum Realm. He can still use it out here. Don’t forget Carol will be a sitting duck.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Ok, so we're back to getting the Time Stone first.

 

TONY STARK

Do I really have to repeat the teleportation story?

 

NEBULA

Thor’s right. The reality stone by itself might as well be a small version of the completed gauntlet. The potential for what he can change is too catastrophic. He didn’t use it last time because he didn’t need to. This time he’ll feel desperate. That has to be the top priority.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Look, every stone Thanos possesses is a game breaker. We should know, they’ve been haunting us our whole lives it seems. There won’t be a right answer here. No matter how much we go back and forth, there’s something we’re going to overlook and there’s something he’s going to know that we don’t.

 

TONY STARK

And the clock is ticking. Thanos has been watching on and off this whole time and we never realized it. This isn’t something we can sit on forever and try to optimize. At some point we just gotta take the leap.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Let’s keep in mind, if Thanos does show up in the Quantum Realm, at least we can defend ourselves. Captain Danvers is laying her life on the line for us. It’s almost better to distract him with an opening to come to us than to leave her exposed.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Time out. Even if we do get all the stones, we can’t use them without the gauntlet.

 

SCOTT LANG

Oh, we’re stealing that, too.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I was afraid you were gonna say that. Wait! What if we travel to Nidavellir and take the gauntlet from what’s-his-name right after he forges it?

 

THOR

Thanos took enough force there to eradicate a planet. Only Eitri was allowed to live. We’d be walking right into a bloodbath.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Then can’t we go further back and have Eitri build us our own gauntlet? Wouldn't that disarm Thanos if we picked it up in the Quantum Realm?

 

BRUCE BANNER

No. It has to be the exact same object that created the initial ripple in time. And frankly, I think the less direct interaction with people the better. We just don't know the full range of dangers we may be unleashing. The Quantum Gauntlets can only get us so far.

 

TONY STARK

Banner’s right, but if we’re voting, I’m all for getting the gauntlet while Thanos isn’t wearing it. I tried stealing it from him with Parker and he threw a moon at us. He does not like it when you touch his stuff.

 

SCOTT LANG

We wouldn’t have to overpower him. We can use Pym Particles to resize it off him and onto any of our hands. Then it’s time for Snap 2.0.

 

THOR

I’ll do that part. None of your bodies would be able to handle the gauntlet. I was standing next to him when he used it on Wakanda. His flesh was melting afterwards. Even I might not survive.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I’m not going to ask you risk your life like that, Thor.

 

THOR

You won’t have to, Captain.

 

JAMES RHODES

Ok so on paper we have options. There are a lot of different ways to go after this, we just need to agree on the plan of attack.

 

THOR

Listen to Nebula. She knows him better than all of us. He’ll come for us or Danvers before we even get the second stone.

 

CLINT BARTON

And what happens if he destroys the engine before we get back?

 

CAROL DANVERS

Then I’m dead, you’re lost in the Quantum Realm and the Mad Titan wins.

 

CLINT BARTON

Great.

 

TONY STARK

We used a stockpile of vibranium to build the actual engine, and the teleporter pad. Wakanda sent us more to complete the casing and a barricade. We lied about what we need it for. Just in case.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Thanks Tony, but no barricade is going to stop Thanos.

 

STEVE ROGERS

We’re in your hands, Carol. Literally. If he shows up, none of us expect you not to defend yourself. We know what we’re getting ourselves into.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Just get the stones, Cap. If he comes, I don’t care what he does to me, I won’t let go of you guys until you’re back.

 

SCOTT LANG

Wait, Tony, I don’t understand. When I was stuck in the Quantum Realm five years passed out here, but it was only, like, a day for me in there. Won’t this whole mission happen in the blink of an eye?

 

TONY STARK

The longer you stay in the Quantum flux the more relativistic you become and then you'd be correct. We’re not staying the flux like you did, though. We’re using Marvel to pinpoint specific time wells.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Once you collapse the waveform of the past you experience the dimension of time exactly as it occured. The mission will be in real time with Carol's perspective.

 

JAMES RHODES

Maybe we can get some help. We’re not the only ones who hate Thanos. If we tell people we have a chance to reverse the Snap they’ll come. Call Wakanda back at least!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

You mean ask them if they want to stand in the crosshairs while we go poke god in the chest?

 

CLINT BARTON

I was thinking more like poking the eyes.

 

Hawkeye picks at the tip of one of his arrows.

 

JAMES RHODES

We’ll never know if we don’t ask.

 

TONY STARK

Hold off. For the next 24 hours lets keep this close to the vest and not attract any more attention than we need. I don’t completely disagree with you. This is going to come down to the strongest will. Ours vs. his. We know how far Thanos will go. How far are we willing to go?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

That's exactly what we're here to figure out. Tony. Marker.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - ASSEMBLY ROOM - DAY - MONTAGE

 

A montage reveals the construction of the Avengers’ “Shopping List” as they list, strike out, relist and re-strikeout the order and backup order of the stones and where in the past they can go to find each one.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - ASSEMBLY ROOM - DAWN

 

Almost a full day passes. The sun is peeking over the horizon through the outer window.

 

Papers and notes liter the floor. Rocket is sleeping in Thor’s lap. Thor himself is passed out. Scott Lang is out cold on the couch. Nebula, meanwhile, is silently jacked into a computer terminal with EDITH scanning for coordinates.

 

JAMES RHODES

Alright give me like sixty minutes R&R, two hours tops, and I’ll be back.

 

STEVE ROGERS

It’s fine. We should all get some rest. We need to be fresh.

 

BRUCE BANNER

You guys sleep, I’m going to go check on the engine again.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Let me run a session?

 

BRUCE BANNER

If you’re up for it, sure.

 

STEVE ROGERS

What about you two?

 

TONY STARK

I wanna go over Nebula’s coordinates with EDITH as soon as she wakes up. I need to know them like the back of my hand, too, just in case. We can't afford to be off by a second in there.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I’ll stick around a little longer then I want to watch Bruce and Carol work.

 

Captain America nods and exits the room.

 

Stark crunches up the scrap paper he's written on and misses a toss into the wastebasket.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Should’ve passed it. I was wide open.

 

TONY STARK

Yep. Should’ve passed a lot of things over the years.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Actually, I kind of took the ball myself on something recently.

 

TONY STARK

Was that you trying to microwave the fish?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

No, Nebula was cooking for Rocket. 

 

TONY STARK

That explains it.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I invited Pepper and Morgan here. They’re coming tomorrow.

 

TONY STARK

What?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I know you have your reasons and I’m not second guessing you, but I thought you might want to enjoy the day with them. Clear your head before the mission.

 

TONY STARK

Pepper and Morgan are really coming here?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I’m sorry if I overstepped, I just think it’s important for us to spend some time with our friends and family before we head out. Who knows how this mission is going to go? I knew you would say “no” if I asked, but what you have is special and you should enjoy that, not just because of this mission, but because you never know how many days you’ll have. So why aren’t we spending them with the ones we love?

 

TONY STARK

What about the rest of the team?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I’m going to tell them to do the same. 

 

TONY STARK

Hmm. Maybe you should’ve been in charge a long time ago.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

It made me realize. You’re the only one who really has any family left. The rest of us are kind of stranded. With each other, I suppose.

 

TONY STARK

Deep down, we’ve always been a family. A highly, highly dysfunctional family, but still a family.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Then we’ll spend the day with each other. No mission prep, no planning, no arguments. Just enjoy each other’s company.

 

TONY STARK

I think that’s...perfect, actually. It’s perfect.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

We have to remember who we’re fighting for. It’s not really “the city” or “the world,” or I guess now “the universe.” Those words sound heroic, but they’re also quixotic. We just have to fight for each other. Thanos “saved the universe” five years ago and look where that brought us. It’s time to face facts. We’re just not strong enough to be so idealistic.

 

TONY STARK

Well, maybe Rogers. 

 

They both chuckle softly.

 

TONY STARK

That’s what used to drive me nuts about him. Not the fact that he always wants to carry the burden no matter how heavy, but that fact that he kinda can most of the time. He hasn’t changed much in the last half decade has he?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

He’s lonely. Sad. But he puts up the act for everyone. No one ever expected him to single handedly beat Thanos, yet he acts like he should’ve. Like he still has to.

 

TONY STARK

So same as usual?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

But he’s a wonderful friend. Like the older brother I never had.

 

TONY STARK

The significantly older brother? Yeah, we are lucky to have him.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

We’re lucky to have you, Tony. You’ve helped give us a chance we all thought would be impossible. 

 

TONY STARK

We still have to pull it off.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

You know, I told myself I wasn’t going to pry, but what actually changed to get you to come back here?

 

TONY STARK

What do you mean?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

You’re so gung-ho all of a sudden not so long after chasing us off your porch. I thought you were done. A family man. I very purposefully didn’t bring this up before, but if you don’t mind me asking now, what happened up on that tower? How come Thanos showing up didn’t frighten you further away? I mean, this is insane what we’re planning to do, Tony.

 

TONY STARK

Oh, certifiably.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

You have a lot to lose.

 

Stark doesn’t respond.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.

 

TONY STARK

Well, it’s only the truth, but...everyone has a lot to lose. The difference is that a lot of us have already lost it. Look, I know how lucky I am to have Pepper and Morgan. It made me stupidly optimistic that even if I couldn’t fix everyone else’s world, at least I could fix it for those two. Well, it only took five years for my daughter to find out monsters are real. My temporary solution to reality was to hide from it. Life always has a way of finding you though. Lucky for me there’s still something I can do about it. I could never quite put a suit of armor around the earth. I can still put one around me, though.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - LAKE DOCK - DAY

 

Hawkeye, having slipped outside, is alone on a dock, peering out over the lake. Captain America approaches him.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Everything okay, Mr. Barton?

 

CLINT BARTON

Not really, Cap.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Sorry. Stupid question. I’m just glad you’re here, Clint. We need you in this fight if we’re ever going to make it out okay.

 

CLINT BARTON

Because I’m good at killing?

 

STEVE ROGERS

No, because you’re compassionate. Fearless. Loyal.

 

CLINT BARTON

Haven’t read the papers recently, have you?

 

STEVE ROGERS

I know what you did. I know what you tried to be, but I know who you are.

 

CLINT BARTON

And who am I?

 

STEVE ROGERS

A hero.

 

Hawkeye scoffs.

 

CLINT BARTON

Yeah, some hero.

 

STEVE ROGERS

We fought alongside each other for years. You’ve saved my life many times, Clint. If I'm ever in a foxhole, I want you right there next to me. We’re heading into a dangerous one pretty soon.

 

CLINT BARTON

Doesn’t make me a hero. Makes me a good shot. There’s nothing heroic about it. It’s evil.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I never had a wife and daughter so I don’t know what it feels like to lose them. I won’t judge you, Clint. It’s not my place to tell you what you can and can’t do in life, but there was a time when a lot of people thought I was a pretty bad guy because I fought as hard as I possibly could for something that almost no one else understood. Not even some of the guys inside. The Accords. Barnes. Well, the consequences of those actions led to the Snap. I’ve been lying awake in bed every night these past five years asking myself if I could do it over again, would I still protect Bucky knowing what I know now? And the answer is always yes.

 

CLINT BARTON

Why?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Because I don’t believe in destiny. I believe in actions and if pitted between saving my friends and letting them die, I’m picking the same thing every time. I don’t care. And if doing so puts others in danger, then I’ll hold my shield in front of them next, even if it means never leaving a battlefield of my own creation. I know I’m not a hero. I stopped trying to be one a long time ago. I’m just trying to get to the next day with as many of the people I love as possible.

 

CLINT BARTON

How many days do we have left, Cap? Can we actually win this? I wasn’t there. You were. You’ve seen him up close. What can guys like you and me really do to stop him? A thought in Thanos’ head turned my family into dust. That’s what we’re up against.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Yeah, I fought him in Wakanda. He was ferocious. Terrifying. I’ve never felt so powerless in a fight. And he wasn’t even trying.

 

CLINT BARTON

What?

 

STEVE ROGERS

He could’ve killed any of us at any time on that day. He was wielding power we still don't really understand, but he barely used it because he didn’t want to kill a single life beyond what was necessary for him to complete his mission.

 

CLINT BARTON

Murdering my family was necessary to the mission?

 

STEVE ROGERS

That was the mission. He thought he was saving us from each other. He’s a madman who thinks he’s a hero. That’s why we’re going to beat him, Clint. Because if we’ve learned anything from being Avengers all these years, it's that every hero falls.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - HANGAR - DAY

 

Kneeling inside the frame of the Chaos Engine, Captain Marvel meditates with her eyes closed as she channels the Quantum Realm through her hands. Electricity intermittently arcs across her body.

 

Bruce looks on from the adjacent computer terminal, fascinated with the readouts defining her rapid improvement. 

 

Black Widow leans over his shoulder.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Should I keep my voice down?

 

BRUCE BANNER

She’s a demon, I don’t think it really matters to be honest.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I’m thinking we could’ve used her in Wakanda. Maybe we wouldn’t have to go through all this trouble.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Uh...don’t get me started again.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

What?

 

BRUCE BANNER

We could've used the Hulk, too.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

You still got in as good of shots as any of us that day.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Nat, I’ve been thinking. I want to go in with you guys. Tony has those spare suits. I actually got pretty good after a while.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

You’re more than half the entire brain power behind this thing. If anything goes wrong there’s no one else I want on this side of it. Don't forget, this hangar might even be more dangerous than where we’re going.

 

BRUCE BANNER

It doesn't feel the same. You’re risking everything and I’m just sitting next to a computer.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Well, if Thanos shows up here, your wish may come true, Bruce.

 

BRUCE BANNER

If Thanos shows up here I won’t last two seconds alone.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Then I hope that makes you very angry.

 

The conversation ends as the rest of the Avengers walk in.

 

TONY STARK

And just think. There was a time you couldn’t go while we were watching.

 

Captain Marvel relinquishes her power, removes her arms from the battery arm locks and rises to her feet. Smoke rises from her fingertips.

 

CAROL DANVERS

I’m getting the hang of it now. Still need a bigger warm up for the main event, though. I know you guys are taking the day, but is it okay if I stay here and shoot for three hours?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

We should try out the gauntlets, too. Dry run.

 

TONY STARK

Just need a test subject. Technically, this is very dangerous. No offense, Carol. I’m sure you’ll do fine, but we were thinking about drawing straws.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Don’t bother. I’ll do it. 

 

Tony chuckles at the predictability.

 

TONY STARK

Yeah, I had a feeling you’d volunteer. We all kinda did actually.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Well, I trust Captain Danvers and I trust the science.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Carol, you cool with this?

 

CAROL DANVERS

Don’t worry. You’re in good hands.

 

Captain America nods and steps up onto the teleport pad connected to the Chaos Engine. Bruce hands him a black Quantum Gauntlet. It fits like a glove.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Just try and bring that back in one piece if you can. I know you can sometimes get, uh, ideological out there.

 

STEVE ROGERS

And where exactly will “out there” be?

 

Black Widow smirks and leans back in her chair. Tony whispers into Bruce’s ear then winks at Carol.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Everything okay?

 

TONY STARK

Just spitballing where to send the test run. Has to be somewhere low key. Off the beaten path. Definitely want to steer clear of the Grimace. Like I said, we had a feeling you’d volunteer. That narrowed it down quite a bit for us.

 

STEVE ROGERS

All right, I’m curious now. Where are you sending me?

 

TONY STARK

Well, today’s our last day before we ship out. Truth is, some or all of us may never return. But Cap, you’ve always been lost in time. We’ve all had a few chances in life that maybe you haven’t, even though you might deserve them even more.

 

Black Widow circles the room, whispering into each Avenger’s ear. Everyone’s reaction is the same. A warm smile.

 

TONY STARK

You kept the flame going all these years then rallied us all back here together. You never gave up even when a lot of us already had, and for that alone we're eternally grateful. After 180 minutes she’ll stop no matter what. I’m not saying that to warn you. I’m telling you, honestly, man-to-man. It’s up to you.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Tony, what the hell are you talking about?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

We’re all in agreement now. Just remember, we’re always family. No matter what. Together or not. Always.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Nat, what’s going on?

 

Tony places a framed photo of pre-serum Steve Rogers, thin and frail, on top of the computer console. 

 

TONY STARK

Do you know how my old man got this photo? Apparently, he stole it from Special Agent Peggy Carter, so he could worship you at dawn, I guess. But it got me thinking. One, my old man can be a real creep sometimes and two...I think she digs you, man.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Tony...

 

TONY STARK

Godspeed, Captain.

 

Captain Marvel activates the Chaos Engine with a burst of energy that crackles from the frame and down across the teleporter pad.

 

Light engulfs the hangar. By the time it recedes, Captain America has vanished.

 

JAMES RHODES

What if he really doesn’t come back?

 

TONY STARK

Then I’d say he’s earned it.

 

EXT. THE STORK CLUB - CITY STREETS - NIGHT

 

Captain America steps out of the shadows of a narrow alleyway into the buzzing streets of Manhattan. Something is very different though. This definitely isn’t 2023 anymore.

 

WWII era cars honk at him as he stands dazed in the middle of the road. Retreating back onto the sidewalk he grabs a paper from a newsstand. The date on it reads March 10, 1945. It’s the Saturday after he crashed in the ice all those years ago.

 

The Saturday after he crashed...

 

He looks up at the clock over a nearby bank entrance. The hour hand slides over to 8 o’clock exactly.

 

Captain America glances across the street. He’s standing in front of the Stork Club.

 

His stomach tightens.

 

She couldn’t be...could she?

 

INT. THE STORK CLUB - NIGHT

 

Captain America walks into the dim night club just as the live jazz band speeds up into a fast-tempo dance. Dozens of couples whirl across the dance floor. It doesn’t matter how many people are in front of him though, he spots her immediately. His heart is in his throat.

 

Special Agent Peggy Carter is sitting alone at a table next to the dance floor. She sips a drink and stares aimlessly up into the lights. He’s never seen her look so sad.

 

He drifts across the dance floor, disrupting the other couples as they stop to move out of his way.

 

She locks eyes with him and immediately her drink falls from the table. She stands up, her mouth agape. 

 

He walks right up to her and grabs her by the shoulders. She feels tense in his hands, like his skin is as cold as the ice he’s frozen in that very moment far away from here. Now she’s frozen, too. Her eyes go wide. Carter’s about to scream. She doesn’t get the chance. He leans in first and passionately kisses her. She melts into his arms.

 

Only when both are out of breath do they separate to lock eyes again.

 

PEGGY CARTER

How--how are you...?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Think I’d miss a date with my best girl?

 

PEGGY CARTER

But you’re...

 

STEVE ROGERS

Here. It’s me, Peggy. I’m here.

 

PEGGY CARTER

You’re alive?

 

STEVE ROGERS

I didn’t die in that crash. No one found me, but I’ve been dreaming of you, dreaming of this night, for seventy years.

 

PEGGY CARTER

Seventy years?

 

STEVE ROGERS

The world gets very strange, Peggy. The future even moreso. 

 

PEGGY CARTER

The future? What are you talking about?

 

She slides her fingers across his aged face. It’s him. It’s Steve. But he looks and feels like he’s aged a decade since she saw him last. Then again she thought she’d never see him again…

 

PEGGY CARTER

Who...are you?

 

STEVE ROGERS

You already know. You just have to trust me.

 

PEGGY CARTER

You came back?

 

STEVE ROGERS

It’s like a dream, isn’t it? But we had a date, remember? Although, I still can’t really dance that well.

 

Agent Carter leans in to smell his neck. It’s him. 

 

Yes, it must be a dream then.

 

The music slows.

 

PEGGY CARTER

How about something slow then?

 

Captain America can’t even speak anymore. He just smiles.

 

PEGGY CARTER

Follow my lead?

 

Captain America nods. His heart is nearly out of his body now. He’s never been this nervous before.

 

The two glide to the center of the dance floor. He can’t take his eyes off her. She can’t take her eyes off him. This is the exact moment he’s wanted his entire life.

 

She takes a step backward. He follows after her. She turns slowly. He turns with her. They move around the dance floor in perfect synch. She giggles. Now he’s chuckling, too. His steps are timid, but she leads him across the dance floor like they’ve been doing this their whole lives. 

 

He has, at least. Every night in his dreams.

 

A photographer approaches and lifts his camera.

 

They turn towards him and smile, mid-dance. The bright flash captures the moment. For an instant, both of them only see white. Each is afraid to blink, just in case they wake up.

 

The white fades away. There she is smiling up at him. There he is smiling at her.

 

This isn’t a dream. It’s finally real. And it’s perfect.

 

EXT. THE STORK CLUB - CITY STREETS - NIGHT

 

Captain America and Peggy Carter run out into the streets, hand-in-hand. A sudden downpour of rain sends the evening pedestrians running for cover under store awnings and newspaper stands.

 

Captain America and Peggy both laugh hysterically as he beckons her for another dance. The two twirl across the sidewalk and out on the street. They’re all alone as they dance in the pouring rain, drenched, but laughing. The whole world has been erased except for them.

 

Completely soaked, they pause for a kiss in the middle of the road before spinning off into another dance.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

 

Stark is leaning over Rhodes in the conference room going over the plan when Pepper and Morgan enter. Morgan is dressed as Spider-Man. As soon as Iron Man sees them he glows.

 

TONY STARK

Spider-Girl?!

 

MORGAN STARK

Daddy!

 

He lifts her into his arms.

 

TONY STARK

Did some research?

 

MORGAN STARK

He shoots webs just like a real spider!

 

TONY STARK

Does he really? Wonder how?

 

PEPPER STARK

I think she's obsessed. She has his newspaper articles up all over her walls.

 

TONY STARK

I'm not surprised. Spider-Man was pretty awesome.

 

Tony and Pepper embrace.

 

JAMES RHODES

Mrs. Stark.

 

PEPPER STARK

Hi James. Thanks for taking care of Tony. Wow, look at all this.

 

TONY STARK

Welcome to the War Room.

 

PEPPER STARK

Is that where you're going? To war?

 

JAMES RHODES

Hopefully not.

 

TONY STARK

Figure of speech. Preparing for the worst. Hoping for the best.

 

PEPPER STARK

Oh, Tony...

 

Rhodes reads the tension in the room and decides to give the family some privacy.

 

JAMES RHODES

Hey, I'm making a food run if you guys have any requests?

 

TONY STARK

Dealer’s choice.

 

Rhodes leaves.

 

PEPPER STARK

You're really doing this aren't you?

 

Tony hears the fear in his wife’s voice and deflects.

 

TONY STARK

Hey, we should head out, too. Come on, I'll show you around.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - HALLWAY - DAY

 

Tony points various rooms in the Avengers’ Headquarters. Morgan is awestruck by it all.

 

MORGAN STARK

What's in there?

 

She looks through an open doorway to the hangar where blue electricity is arcing over both Captain Marvel’s meditative body and the frame of the Chaos Engine. Pepper's hand covers her mouth in shock as she witnesses in motion the engine that will try and rewrite the universe.

 

PEPPER STARK

Oh my God...

 

TONY STARK

Oh that's...that's actually the dance floor believe it or not. Maybe we can check it out later. Take a look over here, though.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - DEBRIEFING ROOM - DAY

 

The Avenger’s debriefing room has been lightly modified into a screening room. A small table holds every movie theater snack imaginable.

 

TONY STARK

What do you say? Want to finish the Wizard of Oz? Got popcorn, chocolate, soda...all the major food groups are accounted for.

 

MORGAN STARK

Mommy, Wizard of Oz!

 

PEPPER STARK

I see it! I see it! Let’s sit in the front.

 

The three sit down as the lights dim and the opening score of the Wizard of Oz triumphantly blasts.

 

Morgan claps.

 

PEPPER STARK

Wow.

 

TONY STARK

Oh yeah. I had them put in the good speakers.

 

Cut to several minutes later. Judy Garland is singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Morgan is transfixed on the screen. Her Spider-Man nylon is pulled up over her forehead. Tony and Pepper hold hands across her lap and stare at each other. At first Pepper looks apprehensive and sullen. With just silent, exaggerated facial expressions, Stark is ultimately able to get her to laugh.

 

Stark and Pepper don't stop looking into each other's eyes the whole song.

 

INT. PEGGY’S APARTMENT - NIGHT

 

Peggy’s tiny room features only a bed and a nightstand holding a clock, a lamp, and a picture frame. An open window reveals the rain still pouring outside.

 

Captain America and Peggy are in bed together, naked beneath the disheveled sheets as they hold each other. It’s beginning to dawn on Captain America that his time is nearly up.

 

STEVE ROGERS

God, I could never let go.

 

PEGGY CARTER

Then don't.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I have to, Peggy.

 

PEGGY CARTER

You're leaving?

 

STEVE ROGERS

If I don't leave now, I'll be here forever.

 

PEGGY CARTER

Would that be so bad?

 

STEVE ROGERS

It would be a dream. A dream. That's the problem, because outside of that dream...I fail, Peggy. A long time from now, I make a big mistake. If I leave, I can still try and make it right. I can save so many people. But it’s a longshot.

 

PEGGY CARTER

Maybe not. You just saved me.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Nah, you don't need saving. Not now, not in the future. You find love. You live a very long, happy life. I couldn't take that from you. But we do meet again. Wherever you go, I find you.

 

PEGGY CARTER

I thought you were gone forever. Now I'm losing you all over again.

 

STEVE ROGERS

You'll never lose me. You've been with me every day since I first met you. You'll be with me in my last days. And I'll be with you in yours. 

 

Peggy leans across the bed, takes out the picture Howard Stark one day steals of pre-serum Steve and replaces it with the photo taken that night of her and Steve dancing.

 

STEVE ROGERS

It’s perfect.

 

PEGGY CARTER

I'm lucky. Not everyone gets to look back at the happiest moment of their life.

 

Captain America looks longingly into her eyes.

 

STEVE ROGERS

They don't, do they?

 

PEGGY CARTER

A part of me will always be in this room with you, no matter where you go. Even though the world keeps taking you away from me I refuse to let you go.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Kind of reminds me of something you said a long time ago, or maybe a long time from now. It stuck with me through one of the hardest times in my life. You said, “even if the whole world is telling you to move, it’s your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say--”

 

PEGGY CARTER

No, you move.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I've been trying to live up to that ever since. And I'm going to have to one more time. I don't know if I can.

 

PEGGY CARTER

You've been living up to that your whole life without even realizing it. Remember? "You start running, they'll never let you stop." A vial of serum didn't make you Captain America. You made that decision long before you ever stepped into Stark’s lab. And you keep making that decision every day.

 

STEVE ROGERS

But what if being Captain America isn't enough anymore?

 

PEGGY CARTER

Then stand up, look the world in the eye and be Steve Rogers, the strongest man I know.

 

She leans forward and kisses him.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I don't even know if I'm strong enough to leave this room.

 

PEGGY CARTER (crying)

I don’t know if I’m strong enough to watch you go. So I guess we have no choice. We’ll just do it together. One last time.

 

In silence, Captain America puts on his jacket and shoes. He slides on his leather gauntlet and picks up the picture of himself as a young man. So much has changed since that picture was taken. So much still has to change.

 

After glancing back one more time at Peggy, Cap quietly leaves the room.

 

EXT. PEGGY’S APARTMENT - CITY STREETS - NIGHT

 

Captain America walks back out in the empty streets and the battering rainstorm. He glances at a clock on a nearby lamp post. He still has a few minutes.

 

He looks back up towards Peggy’s open window. She's not there. His eyes lower.

 

She’s standing out in the pouring rain with him, at the edge of the street, barely covered in a jacket.

 

Neither takes their eyes off the other. Neither cries. Neither smiles.

 

Captain America shares one final conversation with the love of his life in silence. They don’t need words anymore.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - HANGAR - DAY

 

A small electric timer next to Captain Marvel flashes as it hits zero. She opens her eyes and pulls her arms from the frame of the Chaos Engine. She still looks fresh, like she could go another three hours.

 

Captain America is sitting in the unlit hangar on a small equipment crate next to the teleporter pad, soaking wet and contemplative.

 

Captain Marvel approaches.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Are you okay, Steve?

 

Captain America smiles weakly at her. He doesn’t even know what to say.

 

Captain Marvel understands. She places a supportive hand on his shoulder and smiles back.

 

Only when she walks past him to leave, does he respond.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Carol.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Yeah, Captain?

 

STEVE ROGERS

It works.

 

Captain America pulls the pristine photograph of himself pre-serum from his inner jacket pocket. The yellowed version of the photo is now missing from the frame resting on the computer console.

 

STEVE ROGERS

We’re gonna win.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - ROOFTOP - NIGHT

 

Bruce and Black Widow lie on their backs looking up into the stars.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

They're always so pretty. At least once you ignore the genocidal tyrants that come from them.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Yeah, I used to love looking up into the night. After everything that's happened to me after Ultron, to us after Thanos, the romance is kinda lost now.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Does it have to be lost?

 

BRUCE BANNER

What?

 

Bruce asks demurely. There might be more meaning in those words than just the night sky.

 

NATAHSA ROMANOVA

The romance. Things happen, things change, but if you felt that way once, shouldn't it still be there? Inside you somewhere?

 

BRUCE BANNER

What?

 

The word barely comes out of his mouth, but he doesn't really need to ask. He knows exactly what she’s talking about now.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

The love.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Are we still talking about the stars?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

We never really went over what happened between us, Bruce. How come we march off to battle monsters and mad Titans no problem, but this conversation is what we're so afraid of?

 

BRUCE BANNER

I think it's a wound that can’t heal.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Why not?

 

BRUCE BANNER

We fell in love, but we were always in war. It couldn't last. Eventually one thing had to stop the other. And it did.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Did it? We beat Ultron, but--

 

BRUCE BANNER

But my war didn't end, Nat. The Hulk was too dangerous to keep around. What if he hurt you?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

The Hulk's not here anymore. There's nothing to be afraid of.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Yes there is. It’s that now I can't do anything to protect you.

 

Black Widow sits up.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I'm not asking you to protect me. I knew what I signed up for joining this team. I've managed my way through a few extinction level events already and I'm not bowing out yet, not as long as people still need our help. And if in the course of that, my time comes then my time comes. It won't be your fault. Or the Other Guy’s fault. If I go out it's because it's my decision to go out fighting.

 

Bruce can’t control himself anymore. He dives and plants a kiss on Black Widow. Stunned at first, Black Widow wraps her arms around Bruce. He pulls himself away.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Yeah. It's still there.

 

This time Black Widow leans in. Bruce falls onto his back as the two kiss under the stars.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - REC ROOM - NIGHT

 

War Machine, Thor and Hawkeye are sitting around a poker table drinking and eating piles of take out.

 

CLINT BARTON

So, I hear you're in exile these days. Cap finally lifted the hammer?

 

THOR

Mjolnir was destroyed. Asgard was razed to the ground. I failed my people too many times. Asgard needed a true leader. I'm just a warrior who's bad at his job.

 

JAMES RHODES

Thor, come on, you nearly killed Thanos in one blow. You came closer than anyone.

 

THOR

My arrogance lost us the day. I won’t subject my people to it any longer.

 

CLINT BARTON

I walked away too. Lost my entire family. Snapped away or whatever the hell you guys say. Went out of my mind. I've never felt such rage. How could gangsters and criminals be allowed to stay, but my family...

 

THOR

Did killing them make up for what you already lost?

 

CLINT BARTON

Of course not. I should never have left. Neither of us should have. At the time I felt completely alone, but I wasn't. Not with you guys still here.

 

THOR

It’s because Asgard is my family that I left. If Thanos came back looking for me, to snuff out whatever threat I might have posed to him, at least I would be alone this time. No one else would have to suffer the consequences of my weakness again. For once, they would survive.

 

JAMES RHODES

That’s why you hid yourself? To protect them?

 

THOR

I wouldn’t exactly call it hiding. Not from someone who can see all. It wasn’t about keeping friends at that point. I was just trying to keep people alive.

 

CLINT BARTON

Meanwhile, I was killing them. I think we were both lost. I’m sorry I let you guys down so badly.

 

JAMES RHODES

We were all lost, man. Even those of us who hung around. None of us knew what to do. Not even Cap.

 

THOR

It's not common to get a chance at redemption this big. It's not even rare. It's impossible. And yet...

 

CLINT BARTON

It doesn't even feel real, man.

 

THOR

You're right, it doesn't.

 

CLINT BARTON

Maybe it won't be. Maybe it’s all bullshit.

 

THOR

If Banner and Stark say it'll work then I believe them, even if I don't understand it.

 

JAMES RHODES

Even if it does work, maybe Thanos dusts us the second we step foot inside the machine.

 

THOR

I can believe that, too.

 

CLINT BARTON

Hey, that's not the attitude I want to hear from our anchor! You can still hang with this guy, can't you? Isn't that what you've been training for?

 

THOR

With all the Infinity Stones Thanos is existence right now. We're not just fighting a Titan. We might as well be fighting the very meaning of our lives.

 

JAMES RHODES

And what is the meaning of our lives?

 

THOR

I just hope Thanos didn't already show us that five years ago.

 

JAMES RHODES

Guy, we might not make it past tomorrow.

 

The uncomfortable truth lingers in the air as Ant-Man casually strolls by and breaks the ice.

 

SCOTT LANG

Oh! I smell wings!

 

Hawkeye, Thor and War Machine can’t help but laugh at the abrupt tonal shift.

 

CLINT BARTON

Saddle up, Scotty. What are you drinking? We got everything you could possibly want for the end of the world. Whiskey, bourbon, scotch, something Thor brewed in a cave.

 

SCOTT LANG

You guys have any Vitamin Water?

 

CLINT BARTON

Uh, no, I think we're fresh out of that.

 

SCOTT LANG

Oh! Yoo-hoo!

 

THOR

We had Yoo-hoo this whole time? Why didn't anyone tell me?

 

CLINT BARTON

I guess Scotty needs his energy to grow big and strong tomorrow.

 

SCOTT LANG

Takes a lot out of me, you know. Speaking of which, shouldn't you guys be like, you know, carb loading?

 

JAMES RHODES

We're courage loading right now.

 

SCOTT LANG

Yeah, I'm scared, too.

 

THOR

It's completely normal to be frightened on the eve of final battle, Ant-Boy.

 

JAMES RHODES

And Thanos is like the final battle of final battles.

 

SCOTT LANG

No, I'm not scared of him. There's nothing more he can do to hurt me now. I'm just scared we won't be able to bring them all back.

 

CLINT BARTON

Me too, Scotty.

 

SCOTT LANG

I have to see them again. I have to.

 

CLINT BARTON

I hear you, man. It’s gonna work. It has to. So we can hold our daughters again.

 

Hawkeye squeezes Ant-Man’s hand tightly.

 

JAMES RHODES

I’ll do everything I can to help. Although, I don’t know how much that’ll be worth.

 

THOR

You stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us against impossible odds. As an ally. As a friend. There's no more any of us would ask.

 

CLINT BARTON

Hey, you know what? It is gonna work. I don't care how jacked Thanos is. We still have one trick up our sleeve he'll never be ready for.

 

SCOTT LANG

What trick?

 

CLINT BARTON

You up for one more Special Delivery?

 

Ant-Man cracks a smile.

 

SCOTT LANG

That’s our big secret weapon? Shooting an ant on an arrow at a god?

 

CLINT BARTON

It worked on Stark, didn’t it? He thinks he’s a god. There's a track record of success here.

 

JAMES RHODES (laughing)

It's true! That could actually work!

 

CLINT BARTON

I’m telling you, man! This is like a real thing!

 

All three men are laughing now.

 

THOR

Victory is assured! Toast to the ant who god trembles before!

 

JAMES RHODES

Here, here!

 

Everyone chugs their drinks except Hawkeye.

 

CLINT BARTON

Thanos or Tony?

 

Thor spits out his drink in a contagious fit of laughter that spreads to the whole room.

 

Suddenly, Ant-Man looks worried.

 

SCOTT LANG

Oh, crap! My pasta’s probably boiling over!

 

JAMEAS RHODES

Pasta?

 

SCOTT LANG

Yeah, I’m making spaghetti.

 

CLINT BARTON

To the kitchen! For spaghetti!

 

Hawkeye marches out with his drink held high in the air.

 

JAMES RHODES

Bring the wings!

 

Rhodes follows Hawkeye out the door.

 

THOR

Bring the Yoo-hoo!

 

Thor leaves next.

 

SCOTT LANG

Bring the--!

 

Ant-Man realizes he’s the last guy left in the room.

 

SCOTT LANG

Damn it.

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - COMMUNICATIONS BAY - NIGHT

 

Rocket, Nebula and Captain Marvel sit on stools in the dark next to the communications array. They share drinks and stories of their various adventures throughout the galaxy.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Hey, did you ever go to that bar all the way at the bottom of Knowhere where they only serve that one drink that looks like dishwater?

 

NEBULA

I’ve used that to degrease.

 

ROCKET RACCOON (laughing)

Yes! I believe it! I drank it one time on a dare and woke up four cycles later, naked in a trash can. Groot told me I thought I robbed a garbage dump and didn't want the Nova Corps to recognize me so I took all my clothes off. Groot had mushrooms growing out of his head for a month.

 

Marvel nearly chokes on her drink laughing, then counters with a story of her own.

 

CAROL DANVERS

How about that place in Thiago where you don't order, they just give you what they think you can handle?

 

NEBULA

Isn't that placed cursed by a witch?

 

CAROL DANVERS

No! That’s me! 

 

ROCKET RACCOON

What?

 

CAROL DANVERS

Listen, listen. I go there one day in like the worst mood ever and the old woman who used to run it is giving me stiffer and stiffer drinks and I'm tossing them all back and I'm yelling at her for something stronger until she gives up and I just up and leave. Apparently she got so offended that none of her drinks were stong enough that she tracked down a witch to brew poison--

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Wow...

 

CAROL DANVERS

Oh, hang in there, just wait. So, she tracks down a witch to brew poison and waits years for me to come back just to give me a glass of it. I come in the second time and sit down and as soon as she sees me she runs into the back, brings out this small cask, and serves from it. Now I could smell this thing a mile away. The damn thing was foaming, I couldn't believe it. So just to piss her off I boil it away with my hand while it looks like I’m drinking it, slam it back down empty and yell for something stronger. This woman flips out, starts cursing and shouting about being ripped off and then takes a swig out of the cask herself.

 

Captain Marvel starts laughing hysterically.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

What? What happened?

 

CAROL DANVERS (laughing)

It was a love potion...

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Stop it.

 

CAROL DANVERS

She starts swooning, she’s hugging the cask, she's sweating...she falls madly in love with the witch, runs out of the bar and was never seen again.

 

All three burst out laughing.

 

CAROL DANVERS

But everyone there thinks I did it so anytime I show up people start waving photos of other people in front of me...

 

Another round of laughter.

 

CAROL DANVERS (laughing)

...everyone on Thiago's trying to hookup...

 

The trio can barely breathe they’re laughing so hard. Tears are coming out of their eyes.

 

CAROL DANVERS (laughing)

Never let anyone buy you a drink on Thiago!

 

NEBULA

You...might wake up naked in a trash can!

 

Nebula's eyes go wide as she realizes she just made a joke.

 

ROCKET RACCOOON (laughing)

Oh, my little rabbit heart can't take this!

 

Drained of laughter the trio gather themselves and pour more drinks.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Oh, man. Yeah, that’s what we should do. Give Thanos a love potion.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Can you imagine?

 

NEBULA

My father is incapable of love. Except for one person, I guess.

 

The humor in the room quickly fades. Marvel takes a drink then looks over at the comm unit next to them to change the topic.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Do you think anyone will come?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

To get squashed like a bug? I'm thinking no.

 

CAROL DANVERS

I’m guessing no responses yet?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Not yet, but if we're dumb enough to do it, maybe someone else is too.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Doesn’t matter. We can still beat him.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

It’s bad enough for us. You'll be standing there like a moron the whole time.

 

CAROL DANVERS

If he comes for me it just makes it that much easier for you.

 

NEBULA

You won't survive long if he does.

 

CAROL DANVERS

He can give it his best shot.

 

NEBULA

I’ve heard all the stories about you. My father's army sent many warriors to kill you over the years. They never returned.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Was he too chicken shit to do it himself?

 

NEBULA

Over time he grew increasingly obsessed with the stones. Only if you stood in the way of that pursuit would he have taken you more seriously. Even then, he still wouldn't have done it himself.

 

CAROL DANVERS

What? Kill me? And who would he have sent to do that?

 

NEBULA

Me.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Well, this just got awkward.

 

CAROL DANVERS

You?

 

NEBULA

I would not have survived. Then he would've sent my sister.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Let's just be glad we all got on the same team before any of that happened then.

 

NEBULA

Gamora never failed him. She even found the Soul Stone when no one else could. When I couldn’t.

 

CAROL DANVERS

I'm sorry about your sister. Thanos is a monster.

 

NEBULA

She gave up the location of the stone to save me. If she hadn’t, none of this would've happened.

 

CAROL DANVERS

We can still make it right.

 

NEBULA

Not for her. She's lost forever. I hated her my entire life. Now I'd do anything to have her back.

 

All three share a moment of silence. Nebula turns to hide her face in shame. Rocket places his paw on her hand, but she doesn’t turn back around.

 

Captain Marvel sits back in her chair and glances over at the comms unit.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Anything yet?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Nothing.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - WALKING PATH - NIGHT

 

The Starks are taking a nighttime stroll through the garden paths of Avengers’ HQ. Morgan is fast asleep in Tony’s arms. Pepper looks physically wounded by the mere thought of the looming mission.

 

PEPPER STARK

It's almost time, isn't it?

 

TONY STARK

Yep.

 

PEPPER STARK

There's a real chance you can save them, isn't there?

 

TONY STARK

There is.

 

PEPPER STARK

But he'll come looking for you, won't he?

 

TONY STARK

He might.

 

PEPPER STARK

Can you guys beat him?

 

TONY STARK

We're down a few, that's for sure. At least we know what we're up against this time. Thor's super pissed, which helps. Cap has the eye of the tiger like I've never seen before. Barton’s been practicing on every gangster and warlord left standing and there aren’t many left standing now. And on and on. Even Thanos' own daughter turned coat to try and kill him so what does that tell you? There's some real inglorious bastards back there who have been eating nails for five years begging for just one shot at this. And here it is.

 

PEPPER STARK

What about you? You've been Daddy for five years.

 

TONY STARK

Pepper you know me. You always know where my head’s at better than I do.

 

PEPPER STARK

That’s why I’m so afraid I’m never going to see you again.

 

Pepper tears up. Tony immediately embraces her with Morgan now tightly held between them.

 

TONY STARK

How about it then? One last surprise?

 

MORGAN STARK

What surprise?

 

Morgan wakes up. Now Tony’s eyes glisten. This might be his last conversation with his family.

 

TONY STARK

Hey kiddo, I'm gonna head out tomorrow...maybe for awhile. Gonna try and find some people who got lost a long time ago.

 

MORGAN STARK

Where did they go?

 

TONY STARK

I...don't really know. That's why it's been so hard to find them.

 

MORGAN STARK

You can find them daddy.

 

TONY STARK

You think so?

 

MORGAN STARK

Yeah. You’re Iron Man.

 

Tony hugs his daughter tightly to hide the tears pouring down his face. Pepper kisses him on the cheek and whispers in his ear.

 

PEPPER STARK

One last surprise?

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - WAR ROOM - DAY

 

Tony stands with his hands shoved in his pockets in front of the War Room. Black Widow is next to him, arms crossed.

 

The day of the mission has finally arrived. The Avengers sit in silence, having already gone over their plan one last time. Preparations have ended. The zero hour has come.

 

Stark glances at Black Widow. She turns towards Captain America and nods.

 

Captain America rises to his feet.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Avengers! Suit up!

 

MONTAGE - VARIOUS

 

A) INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - LOCKER ROOM - Hawkeye sits alone on a bench, sliding his finger over the tip of an arrow.

 

B) INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - BUNK BEDS - Rocket picks from a selection of guns laid on his bed while Nebula ignites her electrified hand batons.

 

C) INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - EQUIPMENT BAY - War Machine locks his suit around his body.

 

D) INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RESTROOM - Ant-Man splashes water on his face and looks at himself in the mirror.

 

E) INT. AVENGERS' HQ - HANGAR - DAY - Bruce Banner finishes final checks of the Chaos Engine. A small photo of Widow is wedged between switches on the terminal board.

 

F) INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - SHOOTING RANGE - Black Widow checks the magazine of her sidearm then smashes it back into the handle.

 

END MONTAGE

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - CAPTAIN AMERICA’S SUITE - DAY

 

Iron Man stands in the frame of the door to Captain America’s private suite. Neither man is suited up yet.

 

TONY STARK

Knock, knock. Is it cool if I come in?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Tony. Yeah, please, come in.

 

TONY STARK

Listen, you don’t need to say anything. I just wanted to tell you, I’m glad you came back.

 

STEVE ROGERS

It was the happiest three hours of my life. And the saddest.

 

TONY STARK

I guess that’s how it usually works. The people we care about most are also the ones who affect us the deepest. Maybe that’s why we’ve stood in each other’s way for so long.

 

STEVE ROGERS

How about this time we stand side-by-side?

 

Iron Man and Captain America hug each other tightly.

 

TONY STARK

I never really told you guys, but a long time ago the Mind Stone spun a nightmare in my head warning me that we were destined to lose one day. It showed me your broken shield. Fast forward to about a year ago. There I was in my basement, staring at your broken shield. Destiny, right? Fuck destiny.

 

Stark unveils Captain America’s perfectly restored shield.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Tony...

 

TONY STARK

Just do me one favor? If Destiny does show up today...knock him on his ass with this one time, will ya’?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Don’t have to ask me twice.

 

TONY STARK

Now that's some optimism I can get behind.

 

STEVE ROGERS

The stones really showed you this?

 

TONY STARK

Cleaved in half. A few days later Ultron was born. My failed attempt at stopping that vision from coming true.

 

STEVE ROGERS

What if we’re only setting it up to come true today?

 

TONY STARK

Then it'll be a vision of us going down swinging. Because I’m going to be right there next to you, all the way. If you keep fighting, I’ll keep fighting. And if you can’t anymore, I’ll fight for the both of us. I won’t ask you to do the same, because I know I don’t have to. That’s why you still deserve this. Not because of destiny. Because of will.

 

Black Widow steps up the frame of the door and sees Cap's new shield. She nods solemnly with determined eyes.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

It’s time.

 

MONTAGE - VARIOUS

 

A) EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - GARDEN PATH - DAY - Thunder rumbles as Thor kneels by a large oak tree and bows his head in silent prayer.

 

B) INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - WAR ROOM - Iron Man double taps his chest plate, which hums to life in a brilliant splash of blue light.

 

C) INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - CAPTAIN AMERICA’S SUITE - DAY - A silhouetted Captain America slings his shield onto his back and exits out into the hall.

 

END OF MONTAGE

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - HANGAR - DAY

 

Captain Marvel stands in the hangar alone, arms crossed as she stares down the Chaos Engine frame with steely determination.

 

Ant-Man is the first to enter behind her, his face ashen. Neither says a word to the other. She puts her hand in his and nods affirmatively. He returns a less confident nod of his own. They both look towards the Engine.

 

Bruce enters next, rolling up his sleeves as stops on the other side of Ant-Man. Then comes Hawkeye with his bow and a suited up War Machine, followed closely by Rocket with his mini arsenal and Nebula with her machine pistol and electrified batons.

 

Black Widow enters the room and stands in front of the team. All, but Captain Marvel and Bruce are wearing the Quantum Gauntlets and a layer of white quantum armor designed by EDITH to help them synch more easily with the Chaos Engine. 

 

Black Widow glances towards the door as Tony Stark marches out stoically, his own Iron Man nano-suit hidden beneath his quantum armor.

 

Last comes Captain America.

 

The anxious Avengers stand in a circle around one another, waiting for someone to speak first. The tension is thick.

 

STEVE ROGERS

What? What’s everyone so nervous about?

 

A few chuckles float through the air.

 

STEVE ROGERS

It’s going to be different this time. We’re united. We’re a team. Even got uniforms.

 

TONY STARK

You guys can thank EDITH later, by the way.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Whatever happens to one of us happens to all of us now.

 

ROCKET RACCOON (whispering to Thor)

So you’re really not bringing Stormbreaker?

 

THOR (whispering to Rocket)

I’m not the God of Axes, you know.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Oh, geez...

 

JAMES RHODES

No one answered the call?

 

Black Widow shakes her head.

 

SCOTT LANG

Can't we just wait a little longer? They must not have heard! They'll come when they hear!

 

TONY STARK

We just screamed into space we're going after Thanos. We're lucky he's not already here himself. It's only a matter of time before he figures it out. It needs to be too late for him by the time he does.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Then let's do it. I'm ready.

 

SCOTT LANG

Don't they know what we're up against? Don't they know what we're doing?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

They know. Maybe they're just scared of him.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Well, I am, too. Now come on. Let's go.

 

STEVE ROGERS

We'll just have to move as quickly as possible. I'm sorry, Captain. We'll do everything we can to keep you out of harm’s way from the inside.

 

CAROL DANVERS

I'll buy you guys time. I don't care what stones are on the back of his hand. He's not getting me out of that machine.

 

Captain America and Captain Marvel firmly clasp hands.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Bruce, I know we talked about Veronica. Can it.

 

BRUCE BANNER

You sure?

 

CAROL DANVERS

I need to see what’s happening around me. My hands are already tied, don’t blindfold me, too. He'd just rip through it like paper anyway.

 

Bruce looks at Tony. Iron Man nods.

 

Bruce crosses the room and sits down at the computer terminal attached to the Chaos Engine. It quickly hums to life as he slaps various switches down.

 

BRUCE BANNER

It’s ready, Cap.

 

Captain American turns to face the rest of the room. Every Avenger is breathing heavy, anticipating Cap’s order to move out. He takes a deep breath himself.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Avengers! A--

 

SCOTT LANG

Look!

 

Through the large hangar windows, a spaceship is visible landing on the back lawn. The Avenger's run outside...

 

EXT. AVENGERS' HQ - LAWN - DAY

 

...to find Talos standing at the bottom of a small exit ramp from the craft.

 

TALOS

Is she here?

 

ROCKET RACOON

You got the message?

 

TALOS

Of course, I got it. Am I too late?

 

CAROL DANVERS

You're just in time!

 

TALOS

Vers!

 

Captain Marvel and Talos hug tightly.

 

STEVE ROGERS

You know Captain Marvel?

 

TALOS

Are you kidding me? Who doesn't know Captain Marvel?

 

CLINT BARTON

Can you fight?

 

TALOS

I'm more a lover than a fighter, mate.

 

CLINT BARTON

Good luck with that, Carol.

 

TALOS

What, no one else came yet?

 

TONY STARK

Nope. Looks like you're shooting first this time, Greedo.

 

STEVE ROGERS

You don't have to stay. We understand.

 

TALOS

No, you don't understand. They’re all coming because they heard Captain Marvel needed help.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Who's coming?

 

Talos squints his eyes as he peers up into the sky. He points a finger above.

 

TALOS

Them!

 

A massive fleet of starships descends through the clouds overhead. Ravagers, Skrulls, the remnant of the Nova Corps and aliens of all kinds file onto the lawn in front of Avengers HQ, equipped and prepared for battle.

 

Captain Marvel tears up as the combined armies of the galaxy surround her like a field of bodyguards.

 

Suddenly, a slash of multicolored light tears through the sky.

 

A pegasus bursts out, ridden by a Stormbreaker-wielding Valkyrie. She lands next to Thor.

 

VALKYRIE

To your King! March to your King!

 

A roar of voices shakes the ground as the small, but fearless army of New Asgard marches out of the bifrost towards the God of Thunder.

 

Valkyrie dismounts and kneels before Thor, presenting him Stormbreaker over her bowed head.

 

VALKYRIE

An offering to our King! To avenge our fallen!

 

Black storm clouds billow overhead. Thor accepts the gift and Stormbreaker instantly glows with arcs of blue electricity.

 

Valkyrie rises to her feet, unsheathes her sword and thrusts into the air. The army of New Asgard raises their collective weapons with loud shouts. Thor lifts Stormbreaker and a powerful bolt of lightning shatters the sky and plunges into the ax. The army roars even louder.

 

Rocket smiles, wiping a tear from his eye as he realizes that Groot's legacy will be with them in battle.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I thought you weren't the God of Axes?

 

THOR

But I'm still a friend of Groot.

 

Red portals open all around our heroes. Out of them march the surviving warriors of Wakanda led by Okoye and M'Baku. They shout and pound their weapons against the earth as they move. They are escorted by Wong and a host of sorcerers.

 

OKOYE

Your call for help has been heard. Wakanda will see it done. 

 

WONG

But you guys might want to stand back first.

 

The sorcerers form a line and wave their hands in unison. The entire Avengers’ HQ rotates into the Mirror Dimension.

 

The Avengers look around in awe. Tony leans next to Cap.

 

TONY STARK

Strongest wills, right?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Strongest wills.

 

The Avengers are standing in the middle of a furious storm of war cries.

 

INT. AVENGERS' HQ - HANGAR - DAY

 

Back inside the hangar, the combined armies, still shouting in unison, are assembled in defense of the Chaos Engine. Captain Marvel steps up to the battery frame, kneels down, and carefully inserts her arms into each armlock. She nods at Bruce.

 

Bruce slaps down a final series of switches and a surge of power shimmers throughout the platform. The Chaos Engine hums to life.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Avengers! Assemble!

 

The Avengers stride across the hangar between the rallying armies towards Captain Marvel and the Chaos Engine.

 

They stand atop the Quantum Realm teleporter platform, prepared to go to war with Thanos. Captain America locks determined eyes with Captain Marvel.

 

Juiced with adrenaline, Captain Marvel lets out a powerful cry as she ignites the Chaos Engine in one monstrous blast of energy from her hands. All the lights in Avengers' HQ shudder as the teleporter platform is bathed in Captain Marvel’s own white energy.

 

In a blink, the Avengers are gone.

 

INT. QUANTUM REALM

 

Light tears across the Quantum Realm. The Avengers are ripped through accelerating waves of spacetime. A wormhole undulates like a black tentacle snapping towards the team. It yawns open and the Avengers fall endlessly down into...

 

TITLE CARD: KNOWHERE 2013

 

INT. KNOWHERE - THE COLLECTOR’S VAULT

 

Carina, slave to Taneleer Tivan, escorts the Asgardians Sif and Volstagg through the Collector’s museum.

 

She turns with a bow in front of her master.

 

CARINA

I present to you Taneleer Tivan. The Collector.

 

THE COLLECTOR

Oh...Asgardians. It’s an honor.

 

He folds himself into a strange bow.

 

SIF

You know why we’re here.

 

THE COLLECTOR

Of course. But if I may ask, why not keep it secure in your own vault?

 

VOLSTAGG

The Tesseract is already on Asgard. It is not wise to keep two Infinity Stones so close together.

 

THE COLLECTOR

That’s very wise.

 

Sif raises the glowing red container holding the Aether.

 

The Collector can’t take his eyes off it. He accepts the offering.

 

THE COLLECTOR

I can assure you it will be absolutely safe here in my collection.

 

SIF

See that it is.

 

The Collector bows again as Sif and Volstagg exit his museum. Once they are gone, he holds the glowing container up. A devilish grin curls across his face.

 

THE COLLECTOR

One down. Five to go.

 

TONY STARK (O.S.)

Funny. I was just thinking the same thing.

 

The Collector spins in surprise to see the Avengers lined up behind him. He rubs his eyes and looks down at the box holding the Reality Stone.

 

TONY STARK

Yes, you're under its spell already. You’re really at your home right now. Half-asleep on the couch. The TV’s on.

 

THE COLLECTOR

But...how did you?

 

TONY STARK

You’re watching Bob Ross.

 

THOR

Sorry. Asgard changed its mind.

 

Thor rips the container out of the Collector’s hands.

 

THE COLLECTOR

No! Wait!

 

The Collector lunges after the stone, but Nebula stops him with one hand to his chest.

 

THE COLLECTOR

Nebula!

 

TONY STARK

Happy little trees.

 

THE COLLECTOR

I--I would’ve given it to your father!

 

NEBULA

I know.

 

TONY STARK

Yellow ochre.

 

NEBULA

Now get out of my sight!

 

The Collector runs screaming past Carina.

 

Thor opens the container, revealing the sparkling Reality Stone.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Okay, this is it. As soon as we grab this stone there’s no turning back. No room for second guessing. No room for mistakes.

 

Iron Man double taps his chest plate.

 

TONY STARK

No mistakes.

 

As the nano suit spreads over his entire body, he grabs the stone with his Quantum Gauntlet. It shimmers as he deposits it on the back of his right hand, where it is immediately consumed by the nano suit.

 

TONY STARK

Just happy accidents.

 

EXT. THE GARDEN - FARM - DAY

 

Thanos walks his fields until he finds a large, oblong fruit ripened on its vine. He tugs it gently from its flower and turns back towards his hut to cook it.

 

Before him the sky is ablaze with blinding white starlight. He raises his gauntlet hand to block the low angled rays when he notices something impossible.

 

The Reality Stone is missing.

 

Instantly he's frantic. He engages the Time Stone and reverses the last few seconds. Nothing. He scans the ground beneath his feet as he continues to move the gauntlet backwards through time, but the stone never reappears.

 

All time is literally stopped as he desperately searches his surroundings. He engages the Soul Stone. No other being is nearby. He evaporates his fields with a wave of the Power Stone, but there is no Reality Stone anywhere to be found.

 

THANOS

Daughter! Daughter! DAUGHTER!

 

EXT. SOUL WORLD - DUSK

 

Thanos shouts for Gamora as he searches the barren landscape for her.

 

THANOS

Daughter! Help me! Please! Daughter!

 

He falls to his knees. Cold sweat drips down his forehead. Fear grips him tighter and tighter. There has to be an explanation! There has to be an answer! The fate of the Universe is at stake!

 

Thanos closes his eyes and activates the Mind Stone.

 

MONTAGE

 

An abstract flurry of visions cascade through his mind of all living beings that have ever touched the Mind Stone. In a fraction of a second he travels across the universe and back a dozen times over, looking through the eyes of countless men, women and children. He sees suffering, pain and death. But no sign of the Reality Stone.

 

His search lingers on a woman. It’s the same woman who tried to kill him some weeks ago. He’s heard her name before. Captain Marvel.

 

She’s meditating. Her thoughts are so focused he struggles to break through. One word is echoing back and forth through her mind like a whisper. He urges the Mind and Soul Stones to break through. 

 

Eventually, her thoughts shatter. He finally hears hears her. It’s not a whisper anymore.

 

CAROL DANVERS (O.S.) 

Thanos!

 

Thanos can feel the pull of her soul even from here. She is a beacon now, one he intends to follow. The Mind Stone beckons him to probe deeper into her mind. There is something else inside of her...a pathway to someone else entirely. Someone else who’s also been graced by the stone before.

 

He enters this anonymous body and feels a man’s soul, not across distance, but across...time? Thanos senses him like an echo moving further and further away.

 

From the darkness of this mind, Thanos opens his eyes and sees...

 

TITLE CARD: NEW YORK 2012

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - HELIPAD - DAY

 

...the Battle of New York raging as the Tesseract powers a wormhole in the skies above Stark Tower.

 

Tony Stark stands front and center.

 

EXT. SOUL WORLD - DUSK

 

Thanos sees the Tesseract through the eyes of another being in another time and another place while simultaneously peering at the Space Stone in his gauntlet.

 

Stark has made his move. Thanos doesn't yet understand it all, but he understands enough. 

 

He looks up...

 

EXT. PLANET GARDEN - FARM - DAY

 

...at his golden battle armor hanging like a scarecrow. Five years ago he hung it up and determined to never use it again.

 

THANOS

So be it.

 

Every stone left on the gauntlet glows.

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - HELIPAD - DAY

 

Hawkeye falls to his knees, clutching his head in agony.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Clint! What’s wrong?

 

The Avengers are collected on top of Stark Tower, so close to the Mind and Space Stones, but they can already feel something is very wrong.

 

The sky around them warps.

 

Hawkeye screams.

 

NEBULA

He’s here!

 

ROCKET RACOOON

What?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Hurry! Get the stones!

 

Iron Man flies forward, but immediately stops short as a vertical beam of white light slices the air in front of Loki’s wormhole generator, folding out to reveal an inky black veil. From that veil booms Thanos’ voice.

 

THANOS (O.S.)

Long have you sought me, not knowing who I am. Long have I followed, waiting for you to find me. 

 

Thanos’ glowing, white silhouette appears in the black veil. For all the preparation anticipating a moment like this, the Avengers are still petrified on the spot. No one moves. No one speaks.

 

THANOS

Now you look upon Death, the final judgement of your lives. I gave you the chance to hide.

 

The veil slowly retracts until only the Thano’s glowing silhouette remains.

 

THANOS

But you could not live with your own failure. 

 

The glowing silhouette fades. Thanos, fully armored and armed with a wide, double-bladed sword, stands with his back to the Avengers.

 

THANOS

Where did that bring you? 

 

Thanos glances at the Chitauri army circling above. A Leviathan worm undulates past the tower. The Tesseract is close enough to touch, lashing a wormhole into the earthen skies of 11 years ago. Interesting.

 

Thanos turns to face his nine opponents.

 

Every Avenger simultaneously attacks Thanos with whatever weapon is at his or her disposal. Captain America throws his shield, Iron Man, War Machine, Rocket, Nebula and Black Widow open fire with their guns, Thor heaves his ax, Ant-Man throws a Pym Particle Disk and Hawkeye shoots an arrow.

 

The Space Stone glows blue and simultaneously, every one of those attacks freezes in mid air, some hovering just inches from an unflinching Thanos.

 

THANOS

Back to me.

 

Every attack but the shield and ax evaporates into purple flames.

 

Thanos stabs his double-edged sword into the rooftop and equips both Cap's shield and Stormbreaker.

 

With only his hands, Thor summons black storm clouds overhead.

 

THOR

Everyone get back!

 

A thick bolt of lightning arcs down towards Thanos. Using Cap’s shield, the Mad Titan deflects the attack back at the Avengers, who scatter behind cover as the helipad is ravaged by the explosive electricity. Ant-Man shrinks to avoid the barrage.

 

EDITH

Boss! Power is failing!

 

TONY STARK

I’m shorted out!

 

JAMES RHODES

Thrusters down! Restarting!

 

Thor raises his arms to collect the chaotic lightning, but the shield hurtles into him, knocking him off his feet. Rising to his knees, he doesn’t see Stormbreaker careening towards his head.

 

CLINT BARTON

Thor!

 

SCOTT LANG

I got him!

 

Ant Man morphs back to normal height, slaps a Pym Particle Disk onto Thor’s back, and both heroes shrink out of the way of Stormbreaker before it effortlessly cleaves through the top of Stark Tower.

 

The top of Stark Tower comes crashing down as Ant-Man and Thor return to normal size.

 

THOR

Stay down!

 

From the ground Thor raises his hand to summon the ax, but Thanos teleports in front and intercepts Stormbreaker straight out of the air. He uses the shield to knock Nebula to the ground beneath him.

 

Thanos raises the ax into the air and locks eyes with his daughter. He briefly hesitates...

 

NEBULA

Father!

 

...before swinging the ax down at her.

 

That one hesitation was enough. Thor raises a summoning hand again from behind, locking Stormbreaker in mid-air over Nebula. Thanos engages the power stone and slowly overpowers Thor’s invisible grip

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Open fire!

 

HAWKEYE

Way ahead of you!

 

Rocket and Hawkeye are the only two with clear shots of Thanos, but the gun and arrow-fire burns up as it approaches the Power Stone enhanced Thanos.

 

Nebula rolls out of the way as Thanos drives Stormbreaker into rooftop where she just lay.

 

Thanos turns and smashes Cap with his own shield. Widow fires off a volley. The bullets bounce off Thano’s armor, but Hawkeye uses the distraction to try and slide through the opening in Thanos’ legs. It doesn’t work. Thanos grabs him by his throat, pinning him to the ground immediately beneath him.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Clint!

 

Thanos, recognizing his unwitting spy, quickly throws him away and raises the gauntlet towards the Tesseract instead. 

 

He engages the Space Stone to lock down Ant-Man just before he reaches the Tesseract.

 

SCOTT LANG

He's got me!

 

THOR

Hang on! 

 

Thor simultaneously summons Stormbringer and another bolt of lightning aimed at Thanos. Thanos struggles to hold Stormbreaker in his grasp and engages the Time Stone to reverse the lightning's course, but it seems to have no effect. A fraction of a second before the lightning consumes him, Thanos lets go of Stormbreaker and teleports to safety.

 

Reappearing next to the Tesseract, Thanos looks down at his Time Stone and engages it again. No effect.

 

Ant-Man, freed of the Space Stone's effects, vanishes to miniature size and retreats.

 

SCOTT LANG

Did you guys see that just now? The Time Stone!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Holy shit, Bruce was right!

 

TONY STARK

This is the best shot we’re ever going to get!

 

THOR

Then what are we waiting for!?

 

Emboldened, Thor pounces towards Thanos and attacks him with Stormbreaker. Each swing is effortlessly blocked with the shield, which loudly reverberates with each stroke.

 

JAMES RHODES

Tony, I’m back online, on me!

 

TONY STARK

Copy!

 

Iron Man and War Machine circle in the air above, peppering Thanos with a hail of gunfire from behind. Thanos throws Thor off him and launches the shield in a powerful arc that knocks Iron Man unconscious, sending him in free fall to the ground.

 

JAMES RHODES

Tony! Tony!

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - FREE FALL - DAY

 

War Machine hits the afterburners to track Iron Man through the sky, grabbing him in his arms.

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - HELIPAD - DAY

 

Thanos grabs one of Hawkeyes arrows out of the sky and effortlessly snaps it in half as Black Widow acrobatically swings up his torso and wraps her body around his neck. Before Thanos can rip her off, Rocket knocks the wind out of him with a concussion blast from his rifle. Black Widow stabs an electrified baton into the side of the Mad Titan's neck.

 

Captain America takes advantage of the briefly stunned Thanos and holds open the fingers of his gauntlet-wearing hand.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Lang! Do it!

 

Ant Man sprints towards Thanos, throwing his Pym Particle Disk ahead.

 

Regaining his composure, Thanos flings Captain America off the rooftop and peels Black Widow off his neck. She is thrown into Ant-Man’s Pym Particle Disk and disappears from sight.

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - FREEFALL - DAY

 

Iron Man regains consciousness to find Captain America tumbling through the sky.

 

TONY STARK

Rhodes, help them up top, I got Cap!

 

War Machine blasts off as Iron Man grabs Captain America’s outstretched arm.

 

TONY STARK

Hang on, Rogers!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Don’t think he’s holding back this time!

 

TONY STARK

Everyone reform, if we spread out we die!

 

EXT. STARK TOWERS - HELIPAD - DAY

 

War Machine engages Thanos as the rest of the team regroups.

 

CLINT BARTON

We just need a few seconds to grab the stones and then we’re out of here!

 

Black Widow returns to normal size as Ant-Man pulls her to safety.

 

SCOTT LANG

But we don’t need to do it here! We can travel anywhere!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Scott’s right we should keep moving!

 

THOR

Back away from the ledge, I’ll cover you!

 

Iron Man soars up into the air and lands with Captain America behind Thor, who lays down a barrage of lighting cover fire. A concussion pulse of the Power Stone knocks Thor back and ends the threat. The distraction accomplished its goal however. The team reforms by the glass next to the inner courtyard.

 

TONY STARK

Rhodey, lets get him on the streets! Ready?

 

Rocket reloads his gun on War Machine’s shoulder. Thanos turns as Iron Man and War Machine (with Rocket in tow) bomb the edge of the rooftop, breaking off the lip from the rest of the tower. Thanos and the stones fall towards the city streets.

 

The full team of Avengers quickly convene on the remaining portion of the helipad.

 

NEBULA

We won’t have long!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

How the hell did he find us so quickly?

 

NEBULA

Because he has the Infinity Stones!

 

STEVE ROGERS

But now he only has five and as long as he’s after us it protects Danvers. Keep the fighting in the Quantum Realm!

 

SCOTT LANG

We can try and stay a step ahead of him though. Just come back a few minutes before we first got here!

 

Iron Man lands next to the team.

 

TONY STARK

Agreed. You ready?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Let’s roll out then!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Hold on. Not yet.

 

Captain America turns as Thanos dives through a billowing wormhole from the skies above. He throws the shield full strength. Captain America perfectly times its bounce off the rooftop to adroitly capture it on his arm.

 

Thanos lands back on the roof and stares down Cap. Neither breaks eye contact with the other as the Avengers circle up behind Rogers and engage the Quantum Realm in an explosion of blinding light.

 

TITLE CARD: NEW YORK 2012 10 minutes ago

 

EXT. CITY STREETS - DAY

 

The Avengers of 2012 circle up in the classic shot from the original film. We’ve traveled back closer to the beginning of the Battle of New York.

 

The Avengers of 2023 are circled up further down the street within sight of Stark Tower.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Is he up there? Do you see him?

 

Hawkeye falls to the ground, once again in extreme agony.

 

JAMES RHODES

Clint’s down!

 

TONY STARK

Is he hit?

 

The familiar vertical stab of light descends to the road. Thanos is coming.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Damn it! Already?

 

THOR

Nebula! You betrayed us!

 

NEBULA

You think I would ever help him again?!

 

SCOTT LANG

Stop arguing!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Stay sharp!

 

Thanos charges through the veil of darkness with his sword and nearly slices the whole team in half with one mighty swing. Everyone dodges away, but Rhodes circles back and hits the afterburners with Rocket on his shoulder to go after the unguarded Tesseract at the top of Stark Tower.

 

Thanos pulls War Machine down with a violent tug of the Space Stone. The asphalt craters beneath him.

 

Rocket is left in freefall. Thanos sees this and teleports him to the ground safely.

 

CLINT BARTON

How’s he...doing this…?

 

TONY STARK

He’s got a track on us somehow!

 

NEBULA

It’s not me!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Could he have surveillance hidden inside you?

 

NEBULA

No! I had Gamora tear it all out!

 

Captain America launches his shield at Thanos just as Thor’s lightning plunges through the Mad Titan’s body. Thanos stumbles forward and winces as the shield knocks his helmet off. Captain America grabs the shield off the rebound and launches it again, this time bouncing it under Thanos’ legs towards Thor who cracks it back as hard as he can with Stormbreaker. The hit knocks Thanos to one knee.

 

Taking advantage of the opening, Iron Man further stuns Thanos with a barrage of missiles. 

 

Thor lands and swings for the head. Stormbreaker only cuts through air. Thanos teleports out to safety and regroups.

 

War Machine stands up from the broken road and sprays missiles and gatling fire from one angle as Rocket fires from another and Iron Man and Widow from yet a third angle. Thanos teleports repeatedly throughout the battle, dodging each and every projectile, moving closer and closer to the team.

 

TONY STARK

Thor we need a big reset!

 

Thanos reappears behind Iron Man, his blade poised to strike.

 

Thor’s eyes go white and he levels the entire street with a circle of lightning that simultaneously hits everywhere, but where the team is standing. Thanos vanishes to safety as deafening thunder assails Manhattan.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Where’d he go?!

 

JAMES RHODES

Eyes up!

 

Thanos descends from above, landing right on top of Thor. The two wrestle to the ground as Thanos extends the gauntlet towards Thor, trying to corrupt him with the touch of the Mind Stone. 

 

Thor resists, but the Power Stone is too overwhelming. Just when the Mind Stone is about to touch Thor's cheek, Nebula leaps on the gauntlet and reaches for a stone.

 

Thanos teleports away behind Black Widow, then uses the Space Stone again to pull his dropped double-edged sword back into his raised hand. Black Widow just barely dodges out of the way as the road caves beneath Thanos' strike.

 

Debris rains down as a leviathan worm charges through the battlefield, briefly dividing the fight in half.

 

CLINT BARTON

Nat!

 

The leviathan passes, revealing Thor clinched with Thanos hand-in-hand to keep the gauntlet from being used. Arcs of electricity crawl from Thor’s body into Thanos.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Now’s our chance! Go for the stones!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Cap! I need an assist! Just like before!

 

Black Widow sprints towards Captain America, who squats down and raises his shield over his head. She leaps first to his shield then springs into the air and onto a scout speeder. She immediately kicks the pilot off and redirects it towards the top of Stark Tower.

 

THOR

Open fire!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

But you’ll take the hit, too!

 

Thanos overpowers Thor, flattening him against the road.

 

THOR

Just do it!

 

TONY STARK

Rhodey, aim small!

 

Iron Man, War Machine, and Rocket pile on with gun and laser fire as multiple bolts of lightning continue to strike Thanos from above. It’s as dramatic a display of pure energy we’ve ever seen in any MCU battle.

 

Thanos tanks everything, wincing in pain as he battles to close his fist through the attacks and Thor’s hand. Finally, Thor’s hand breaks and the gauntlet closes into a fist. The Space Stone absorbs the oppressive energy and with a boost from the Power Stone, releases it back into the street in a catastrophic wave like a nuclear bomb detonating in Midtown Manhattan.

 

Pieces of skyscrapers break off all over the city, including the top of Stark Tower. Everyone dives for cover.

 

Black Widow crashes back to the streets and Captain America dives to protect her with his shield. It won’t be enough. 

 

STEVE ROGERS

Lang! Help!

 

SCOTT LANG

Hold on!

 

Ant-Man races through the street and successfully chucks his Pym Particle Disk at a chunk of tower before it lands on Nebula and a downed War Machine. Another massive chunk is breaking right above Captain America and Black Widow.

 

Ant-Man won't have time to collect his disk.

 

SCOTT LANG

Screw it!

 

Ant-Man engages his suit and grows into Giant-Man.

 

He rises above Captain America and catches the piece of skyscraper on his back.

 

Still grimacing through the pain, Hawkeye stands to his feet and angrily shoots a flurry of arrows at Thanos, who teleports through them with ease.

 

Giant-Man tosses the piece of skyscraper towards Thanos. The Mad Titan leaps high into the air towards it and splits it in half with one slash of his massive sword. The chunk of building splits in half, revealing Thor and Stormbreaker on the other side of it. 

 

In midair, Thor smashes the Mad Titan in the chest with the ax. Thanos falls hard on his back in the middle of the street. A massive crack is now snakes through his armor.

 

War Machine sees his opening.

 

JAMES RHODES

Heads up!

 

His back armor transforms as a giant missile perches on his shoulder and fires off towards Thanos.

 

The Mad Titan grunts as he climbs back to his feet. He sees the massive projectile screaming towards him and calmly spits blood into the pavement. He widens his stance and grabs the missile straight out of the sky, swinging around to launch it towards the Avengers with pure brute strength.

 

SCOTT LANG

Oh! This is bad!

 

Giant-Man smashes his glove button to revert to Ant-Man.

 

The missile explodes in midair, knocking back everyone in the street with a howling wind.

 

Widow and Cap struggle to get up as two Chitauri land over them, their weapons poised to strike.

 

But Hawkeye strikes first. Two of his arrows simultaneously pierce their skulls. They both fall dead.

 

NATSHA ROMANOVA

Guys! More company!

 

CLINT BARTON

Nat! Over here!

 

Black Widow and Hawkeye go back-to-back, protecting the other Avengers with protective shots. Rocket joins the stand against the invaders.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

At least we can actually kill these guys!

 

SCOTT LANG

Look! They're going after him, too!

 

The Infinity War is temporarily stalled. On the other side of the street, Thanos is also engaged with the Chitauri horde. Though wincing in pain from Thor’s strike, he is still terrifyingly powerful, ripping the aliens in half with his bare hands.

 

Thanos stands in place as a leviathan worm dives from above, swallowing him with a bite of its titanic jaws. A moment later it explodes in a burst of purple Power Stone energy with Thanos at the center of it, unharmed.

 

TONY STARK

That's going to be us soon if we don't figure something out!

 

STEVE ROGERS

We need to steal one of the stones he's using to follow us!

 

NEBULA

It's gotta be space and time!

 

THOR

We already failed twice to get near the Tesseract!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Because he’s on our ass the second we step through the Quantum Realm!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Tony, what's our best bet on the Time Stone?

 

TONY STARK

Get Strange to give it to us?

 

NEBULA

He’ll think it’s a trick!

 

TONY STARK

It is a trick!

 

JAMES RHODES

Rally on Barton!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

We’re running out of chances! 

 

STEVE ROGERS

It’s your call, Tony!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Whatever call you’re trying to make, better make it quick!

 

Thanos slowly walks towards our heroes. He uses the Space Stone to return his helmet to his head and his sword to his hand.

 

JAMES RHODES

Tony!

 

TONY STARK

Screw it!

 

Light engulfs the battlefield.

 

TITLE CARD: TITAN 2018

 

EXT. TITAN - DAY

 

The 2018 battle on Titan has settled into a truce. A wounded Iron Man watches as Dr. Strange passes the Time Stone towards the waiting hand of Thanos.

 

But as the Time Stone glides across the horizon, there’s something different this time.

 

Rocket Raccoon from the year 2023 dives forward and grabs the green gem in mid-air.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I got it!

 

The ground beneath him erupts in a purple explosion. The Time Stone flies up into the air. 

 

Present day Thanos steps through the Black Veil and immediately, 2018 Thanos raises his gauntlet in shock, unsure as to whether he should strike or not.

 

JAMES RHODES

Tony, where the hell did you just bring us?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Why are there two of him now!?

 

NEBULA

This was not part of the plan! Can he get the Reality Stone back?

 

SCOTT LANG

No! Look!

 

Past Thanos looks down at his raised gauntlet and realizes his Reality Stone is missing.

 

TONY STARK

Strange!

 

Present day Iron Man calls out to Dr. Strange, but another blast of the Power Stone scatters the Avengers.

 

TONY STARK

Damn it!

 

SCOTT LANG

Tony! What do we do?

 

TONY STARK

Play it by ear!

 

Past Thanos leaps to grab the Time Stone, but not before Present Thanos teleports it into his own hand. Past Thanos, whiffing on his capture, launches a wave of purple energy at his future self. Present Thanos bends it around him with the Space Stone.

 

THANOS

You fool!

 

The two Thanos' simultaneously lock each other in place with their respective Space Stones. 

 

CLINT BARTON

Nat! My head!

 

Hawkeye is writhing on the ground once again.

 

SCOTT LANG

Is he wounded?

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I-I don’t know!

 

Past Thanos activates the Power and Space Stone to teleport a pillar of energy like an uppercut into Present Thanos. The Time Stone flings up into the air once more. Before Past Thanos can make a move, Present Thanos rips him forward with the Space Stone into a gauntlet-to-gauntlet grapple. The two Thanos's wrestle without the use of gems. The Time Stone falls harmlessly in-between them.

 

THANOS [2018]

I said...no tricks...wizard!

 

THANOS

You...fool! You’re falling into their trap!

 

NEBULA

He's distracted! We can get a headstart on him!

 

THOR

No! We’re not leaving without Rabbit!

 

Rocket is in the middle of the skirmish between the two Mad Titans and within eyeshot of the Time Stone. He narrowly dodges the teetering footsteps of both Thanos’ as they battle for control over one another.

 

The two Thanos' release from each other and swing Power Stone amplified punches. Their fists collide and the ground instantly caves in beneath them. Purple energy lashes out, whipping chaotically a half mile in every direction and forcing all combatants to cover.

 

Just when Rocket is about to be enveloped by the Power Stone, Thor plows through both Thanos’ with Stormbreaker.

 

Both Thanos’ lock each other down with the Space Stone again.

 

JAMES RHODES

Thor, the stones!

 

THANOS

Don’t let him...use...the gauntlet!

 

Thor flies full speed towards Past Thanos to try and swipe all the stones at once.

 

THANOS

Asgardian! Listen to me!

 

Present Thanos releases his Space Stone grasp so that Past Thanos can dodge out of the way of Thor. 

 

The first swing of Stormbreaker misses, but Thor recovers and slices down on the back of Past Thanos’ calf, dropping him to one knee. 

 

Present Thanos teleports in front and slices down with his double-edged sword to try and quickly end the threat of himself. Past Thanos grabs the blade with his gauntlet hand. Present Thanos instantly breaks his sword in half at the handle and slashes horizontally, slicing Past Thanos in half at the waist.

 

With a squeeze of his gauntlet, Thanos teleports Thor back behind him and away from the now vulnerable 2018 gauntlet.

 

Rocket dives for the still exposed Time Stone, but lands in empty red dirt. Above him, Thanos is now clutching the green gem teleported directly into his hand.

 

War Machine opens fire, knocking the Time Stone loose once more. It lands next to the dead corpse of Past Thanos.

 

Iron Man fires up his thrusters to go after it, but stops when he hears his name.

 

DR. STRANGE

Tony!

 

Dr. Strange drags himself back out from behind cover

 

TONY STARK

Doc! You still good to go?

 

DR. STRANGE

Is this the Reality Stone?

 

TONY STARK

No. This is the endgame now. 

 

Through red dust, Rocket can see a nearly full gauntlet ripe for the picking on Past Thanos’ dead body. He sprints towards it.

 

Thanos chooses the nuclear option. He presses the Power Stone against the surface of Titan and detonates the core of the planet. A shockwave explodes out in all directions.

 

THOR

Rabbit!

 

Rocket is seconds away from vaporizing when Thor flies up to him and narrowly pulls him away from the shockwave.

 

An orange portal opens and Iron Man and War Machine thrust full speed in the opposite direction, grabbing Thor and Rocket and flying them into a second portal, which rallies them back to the main group.

 

Stark looks in the distance and locks eyes with Past Dr. Strange who closes his eyes as the explosion consumes him.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

You gotta get us out of here!

 

From the chaos and dust, Thanos leaps down on top of the Avengers. 

 

JAMES RHODES

Lang, look out!

 

War Machine dives on top of Ant-Man for protection and takes a resounding hit that shatters a piece of his suit armor.

 

SCOTT LANG

Rhodes!

 

Thanos locks Iron Man in place with the Space Stone.

 

TONY STARK

He’s going for the Reality Stone!

 

Thanos reaches for the Reality Stone on Stark’s right hand, but Captain America, Hawkeye, Nebula and Black Widow all hold him back by his forearm. 

 

Thor loads up to slice the gauntlet off, but Thanos takes his Space Stone grasp off Iron Man and reapplies it on Stormbreaker instead, locking it in place. He simultaneously stretches out his free hand to grab Iron Man by the throat.

 

The entire skirmish is a claustrophobic stalemate.

 

TONY STARK

Saddle up!

 

ROCKET RACCON

Wait! Rhodes and Lang are still out!

 

Rocket sticks out his tail towards the last two Avengers not in the link.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Grab it!

 

THANOS

Daughter! Don’t let Gamora die in vain!

 

NEBULA

She’s only dead because of you!

 

THOR

Stark! It’s time! You know where to go!

 

TONY STARK

Damn it!

 

THANOS

Daughter!

 

The planet is seconds away from a full detonation. Deafening winds swirl red dust and ash as explosions rock the ground.

 

ROCKET RACCON

Just grab it!

 

War Machine lunges out and grabs Rocket’s tail, completing the chain.

 

Thanos disengages the Space Stone and grabs Stormbreaker by the top of its handle. The Power Stone glows and he snaps the ax off its handle.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Hurry!

 

CLINT BARTON

But he'll come with us!

 

THOR

Stark! You have to do it! Go!

 

TONY STARK

Shit!

 

CLINT BARTON

Go where?!

 

TONY STARK

The end of the world!

 

TITLE CARD: ASGARD 2018 - RAGNAROK

 

Following a blast of light, the Avengers and Thanos all tumble across the underground vaults of Asgard.

 

The walls are caving in. The ground is shaking. Thanos rises to his feet as the top of the caverns explode away, revealing a blackened sky and the enormous Demon King Surtur.

 

Hela crashes down like a meteor through the hole in the roof, but lands on her feet, knees bent, black daggers poised between every one of her fingers. She sees Thor on the ground.

 

HELA

Brother?

 

She bends her body backwards and the daggers shoot out towards the Avengers. Captain America deflects some with his shield. Ant Man shrinks out of danger. Iron Man and War Machine take to the air. The rest of the Avengers acrobatically dodge. Thanos grabs a dagger out of the air, millimeters from his eye.

 

HELA

Usurpers! All of you!

 

Hela darts forward in front of Thanos, who teleports her attack behind him. She quickly recovers and comes back for another thrust. He teleports her again, but this time she’s prepared and throws a dagger backwards as she enters his wormhole. The dagger slices across his cheek. Blood pours down Thanos’ face as he parries her next move and cuts her deep in the thigh with his sword.

 

They both stop their attack to protect against Surtur’s incoming fire. Thanos waves the gauntlet and the fire bends past him towards Hela, who turns it to smoke with black magic.

 

HELA

Drop the skies on me on it matters not! For at the end of the world the Goddess of Death will escort you all to Hell!

 

SCOTT LANG

Ah, I don’t think we should stay here long guys...

 

ROCKET RACCOON

What stone is even here?

 

THOR

Only what Thanos brought with him!

 

TONY STARK

We’re not here for stones!

 

Fire erupts throughout the vaults as Sutur smashes his fist down on Asgard. The whole city trembles. Surtur rips the ground apart and bellows a deafening roar that paralyzes the Avengers.

 

TONY STARK

We're here for that!

 

Thanos uses the gauntlet to rip the towers of Asgard on top of Surtur, briefly stunning him.

 

Stone and metal crash to the surface, forcing everyone to dive for cover. In between dodges, Hela clashes with Thanos and Surtur, throwing massive daggers in both their directions.

 

Surtur takes a javelin the size of a skyscraper through the chest and lets out a piercing shriek.

 

Thanos freezes the dagger meant for him in mid air, shatters it into a dozen pieces and sends it flying back towards Hela, who spins in midair to dodge them all.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Regroup! This is our opening!

 

The Avengers scramble to help each other through the violent tumult and regroup as the three-way fight continues nearby.

 

Surtur breaths white hot flames into the vault. Thanos captures it into a sphere of black light and launches it back at the Demon King before grabbing Hela by the throat in midair. She wraps around his arm as thick, black splinters thrust out of her body and pierce through Thanos’ biceps and foreamr.

 

Thanos throws her off with a burst of the Power Stone then raises the gauntlet as Surtur’s foot comes crashing down to crush them both. The Space Stone holds it off.

 

The Avengers quickly rally and dive towards one another.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Hit it!

 

Thanos, grappling with both Hela and Surtur, grimaces as the Avengers vanish from sight.

 

TITLE CARD: NEW YORK 2012 QUANTUM REDUX

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - HELIPAD - DAY

 

The Avengers reappear on Stark Tower one more time.

 

SCOTT LANG

Is it safe?

 

TONY STARK

No, just go!

 

Captain America sprints full speed towards the ledge overlooking the scepter as Nebula dashes towards the Tesseract.

 

Hawkeye howls in agony and grabs Black Widow’s arm.

 

CLINT BARTON

Nat! I know what it is! The Mind Gem!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

What?

 

CLINT BARTON

That’s why he won’t attack me!

 

From the Black Veil reaches two massive arms. One hand grabs Captain America’s forearm. The other grabs Nebula by the neck. Captain America looks up at Thanos, scarred, bleeding and gasping for breath following his escape from Hela and Surtur.

 

TONY STARK

Cap, eyes on me!

 

Iron Man flies overhead and aims a laser at Captain America, who deflects it with his shield into the eyes of the Mad Titan. Thanos flings Nebula at Iron Man, who catches her safely.

 

War Machine and Rocket open fire from a distance.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Change of plans! Everyone goes after the Mind Stone!

 

CLINT BARTON

No! This will never end! Not as long as I’m with you guys!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Barton! Shut up!

 

Captain America spins free and slices his shield at Thanos’ throat. The Mad Titan grabs the shield then tries to squeeze his gauntlet into a fist, but Thor dives forward first, holding his fingers open with his remaining hand.

 

CLINT BARTON

Nat, I’m useless in a straight fight with this guy! I only got one trick left!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

I said shut up!

 

CLINT BARTON

It's time to wipe the ledger clean!

 

Thanos spins both Captain America and Thor, temporarily disrupting War Machine and Rocket’s line of sight. War Machine hits his afterburners to go after the Tesseract.

 

CLINT BARTON

Scotty! 

 

SCOTT LANG

I’m here!

 

CLINT BARTON

It’s time, buddy!

 

Thanos lets go of Cap’s shield and punches Thor in the ribs. He crumples from the blow.

 

The Mad Titan turns and closes his fist. The Tesseract vanishes from the rooftop, closing the wormhole overhead.

 

Cap spins to strike with his shield, but again, Thanos blocks it with one hand.

 

War Machine passes through the spot where it once stood and rotates to open fire on Thanos instead. 

 

JAMES RHODES

No more Tesseract! He shipped it out!

 

Thanos uses the Space Stone to transports War Machine’s missiles directly into Iron Man, who was preparing to fire from behind.

 

JAMES RHODES

Tony!

 

Iron Man crashes into the glass of Stark Tower.

 

Thanos closes his fist again and bends one of Rocket’s lasers directly into War Machine, who is knocked backwards. 

 

Captain America slides over his shield towards the gauntlet, but Thanos grabs him by the back of the neck first.

 

Hawkeye launches an arrow.

 

Thanos catches it with his gauntlet-wearing hand and dismissively tosses it away. It was never meant to land, though.

 

A tiny Ant-Man runs down Thanos’ arm and rips off the gauntlet, returning to normal size to kick off of the Mad Titan’s chest.

 

SCOTT LANG

It worked!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Now get out of there!

 

Thanos raises both fists in the air, preparing to flatten Ant Man with a double ax punch, but Hawkeye shoots one more arrow, this time at the gauntlet. It strikes the Space Stone, knocking it loose over the edge of Stark Tower.

 

Thanos’ eyes go wide as he follows it’s high trajectory.

 

Hawkeye is already beneath the stone, jumping over the edge of the tower and into a free fall.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Clint! No!

 

Thanos rips the gauntlet out of Ant-Man’s hands and leaps off Stark Tower after Hawkeye and the stone. 

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - FREE FALL - DAY

 

Thanos reaches desperately for the Space Stone. When he looks past it though, he sees Hawkeye, bow bent one last time.

 

CLINT BARTON (whispering)

Make it count, baby.

 

EXT. CLINT BARTON’S FARMHOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY

 

An arrow sticks out of a target far from the center bullseye.

 

Clint stands behind his frustrated daughter Lila. She holds his bow and one last arrow.

 

CLINT BARTON

You’ll get this last one.

 

LILA BARTON

I’m sorry, I can’t do it. I’m so bad at this!

 

CLINT BARTON

You can do it, I promise. Come on, one more. Make it count, baby. I’ll help you.

 

She reluctantly takes her stance. Clint stands behind her, whispering guidance in her ear as he adjusts her body.

 

CLINT BARTON

Close your eyes. Clear your head. Breathe. Just breathe. You’re not aiming an arrow anymore. This is you. Where do you want to go, sweetheart? Where do you want to go? Can you feel it? Can you see it?

 

Lila nods her head.

 

CLINT BARTON

Eyes open, baby. Arm straight. Elbow out. Hand pushes forward. Now it is you. Now go where you want to go.

 

Lila exhales. Her arrow flies.

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - FREE FALL - DAY

 

Thanos grabs the Space Stone just as Hawkeye’s last arrow deflects off it and into the Mad Titan’s right eye with a burst of blood.

 

Hawkeye's final shot has hit its mark. His friends still have a chance. His family still has a chance.

 

Hawkeye closes his eyes.

 

EXT. CLINT BARTON’S FARMHOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY

 

The last arrow is sticking out of the bullseye. It’s a perfect shot.

 

Lila turns towards her father for a high five. Hawkeye kisses her forehead and hugs her tightly.

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - STREETS - DAY

 

The road violently caves beneath Stark Tower. 

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - HELIPAD - DAY

 

Black Widow looks over the edge of the tower, her eyes glistening.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Clint...

 

STEVE ROGERS

We...we have a man down.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

What about Thanos...? 

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - STREETS - DAY

 

A shimmer of purple energy reveals that Thanos has used the Power Stone to tank the fall. Still, he barely moves in the crater at the base of Stark Tower.

 

The Space Stone is loose just meters away from him.

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - HELIPAD - DAY

 

Iron Man peeks over the rooftop towards the crater below.

 

EDITH

Boss, it's out!

 

TONY STARK

The stone is loose! Barton knocked it free!

 

EXT. STARK TOWER - STREETS - DAY

 

Thanos is still struggling to his feet. He reaches for the stone, which is just out of his grasp, when suddenly it teleports...

 

...into the hand of a Redux Thanos. The mission has looped back around to the previous attempt on the Tesseract from before.

 

The Redux Thanos looks down at his wounded self, then the duplicate Space Stone he now holds in the palm of his gauntlet.

 

Suddenly, Redux Thor comes swooping down, slicing the gauntlet off Redux Thanos with Stormbreaker.

 

Redux Thanos howls in pain. Redux Thor turns to retrieve the now loose gauntlet. He’s already too late.

 

Thanos punches cleanly through his chest with an assist by the Power Stone.

 

Electricity pummels the street and Thanos retracts his arm out of Redux Thor just as Mjolnir's lightning stabs into him, knocking him back to the pavement. 

 

A furious 2012 Thor lands on top of the Mad Titan and grasps Mjolnir to supercharge the lightning lashing at Thanos. His anger strengthens him. It also distracts him. In a mighty swing, Redux Thanos decapitates 2012 Thor with his double-edged sword.

 

TONY STARK

Move out!

 

Iron Man and War Machine deliver the rest of the team to the ground. The street in front of Stark Tower becomes a rallying point for every version of every hero and villain left in Manhattan.

 

The two Thanos go back-to-back as almost every current, Redux and 2012 version of the surviving heroes surround them, included Present Thor, whose eyes are already white as he raises his hand to summon his once lost hammer.

 

THOR

You will suffer for this! Thanos!

 

Mjolnir returns to his grasp and all of Manhattan blacks out as ferocious lightning assails the city.

 

Widow is still in shock.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Clint! God, Clint, why!

 

JAMES RHODES

So we could win this fight!

 

STEVE ROGERS

He won’t die in vain! The gauntlet’s right there!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Looks like we’ve got backup this time!

 

Three Iron Men, two Rockets and two War Machines lock down the Thanos’ from afar as three Captain Americas, two Nebulas and three Black Widows rush in after the exposed gauntlet. 

 

The insanity quickly erupts into hand-to-hand combat as the two Thanos' protect the gauntlet sans the Reality and Space Stones.

 

Chitauri mix into the fray, attacking both sides of the engagement.

 

Leviathan worms smash through nearby towers overhead as debris rains down on the fight. All Hell is about to break loose in 2012 Manhattan.

 

And then a roar echoes through the darkened skies.

 

THANOS

What the…?

 

And finally, Hell breaks loose.

 

TONY STARK

God, I missed that sound!

 

Thanos turns to punch 2012 Hulk’s flying fist.

 

A shockwave shatters every window left in Midtown. Surrounded by dead Avengers, Hulk’s eyes are blood red with fury. 

 

Redux Thanos grabs Hulk’s hair from behind, but Iron Man swoops in for the assist, stunning Redux Thanos with a high speed punch before continuing on towards the real Thanos.

 

Hulk grabs Redux Thanos’ remaining arm and spin throws him into a nearby skyscraper.

 

TONY STARK

EDITH! Unlock power inhibitors! Everyone back! This is the big one!

 

Iron Man’s nanosuit opens a large reactor core in his chest that violently flashes. Iron Man screams as a massive photon laser erupts from the reactor straight at Thanos.

 

The Mad Titan is bathed in searing light.

 

The beam ends and Iron Man falls to one knee. His breath is heavy. His armor is smoldering.

 

TONY STARK

Did I...get him?

 

EDITH

Boss!

 

Debris is flung away and Thanos dashes in, the left side of his body charred and burned from the blast.

 

TONY STARK

Damn it!

 

Iron Man turns to flee, but not before his right hand is cut off his arm. His pseudo gauntlet falls to the ground with the Reality Stone still shimmering.

 

JAMES RHODES

Tony’s hurt! Reality Stone is out!

 

Iron Man falls to his knees as his dismembered arm immediately evolves into a photon cannon he aims at Thanos from point blank range. Thanos grabs it at the last second to redirect the beam into the sky.

 

TONY STARK

On me! On me!

 

Hulk lands on the street. The two monsters simultaneously strike each other, Hulk with a double ax handle smash and Thanos with a Power Stone amplified uppercut.

 

Another powerful shockwave knocks back all of the Avengers. Thanos and Hulk both fall to their hands and knees. 

 

With everyone now incapcitated, Redux Thanos leaps from the tower towards the exposed gauntlet. Hulk barely grabs him by his ankle. 

 

Redux Thanos stretches out, desperately reaching for the gauntlet and grabs it...just as an arrow shoots the Time Stone off of it. 

 

The green stone sails through the air and lands in the grasp of Black Widow.

 

In a blink of an eye, Thanos makes his decision. He grabs the loose Reality Stone off Tony’s severed hand and dives for the dropped Space Stone.

 

He glances back angrily at the assembled Avengers and teleports away just as Black Widow wraps her fingers around the Time Stone with her Quantum Gauntlet.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Time Stone...secured...

 

NEBULA

That’s it! My father won’t be able to follow us anymore!

 

SCOTT LANG

That’s not it! He got reality back!

 

TONY STARK

Circle up, there’s no time to waste!

 

Hulk and Redux Thanos are still wrestling over the second gauntlet.

 

NEBULA

Tony, the stones are right there! We can end this!

 

Widow looks up and sees the shape of Redux Hawkeye standing in the street in the far distance.

 

STEVE ROGERS

No, there’s no time! We know where he’s headed now!

 

JAMES RHODES

We ony need a few more seconds!

 

TONY STARK

Don't have a few seconds!

 

Widow watches in silence as Redux Hawkeye lowers his bow.

 

He holds his hand to his heart.

 

THOR

If we don’t get the Reality Stone back we're lose!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Danvers might already be dead by then!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Marvel!

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - MIRROR DIMENSION HANGAR - DAY

 

Captain Marvel shakily exhales from her spot in the frame of the Chaos Engine as a cloud of black and blue smoke billows directly in front of her. Her stomach lifts into her throat.

 

No...not now...

 

Cold sweat drips off her nose as she looks up at a heavily wounded and now even more dangerous Thanos standing above her. 

 

The Mad Titan has tracked her mind and soul across time and space, but he looks around warily, not yet seeing what he expects.

 

The Mirror Dimension has successfully hidden Captain Marvel and the hundreds of warriors anxiously watching nearby.

 

Marvel dares to take her eyes off the Mad Titan and glance down at his gauntlet just as the Time Stone vanishes from it. He still has every other stone. She nervously exhales. Her breath is louder and louder now. She can’t control it, but Thanos is just inches away from her...

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - HANGAR - DAY

 

The hangar is empty, but how could the stones be wrong? He doesn’t have time for this! It might only be seconds before they claim the other stones.

 

He turns and scans the room with the Reality Stone. Still nothing. Something is very wrong. Even now he can still feel her presence, like flames licking at his body. He no longer has the luxury of time. But he does have the luxury of something else...

 

INT. AVENGERS’ HQ - MIRROR DIMENSION HANGAR - DAY

 

More sweat drips down Captain Marvel’s temple. Thanos wanders, completely unaware, through armies of trembling and silent aliens, sorcerers and Wakandians.

 

She can’t even breath now. Where are the Avengers? Are they dead? Did they fail? Should she bail out and strike down Thanos while she has the advantage?

 

A powerful, orange light glows from his gauntlet. The Soul Stone. 

 

She lifts her gaze. Thanos is staring her dead in the eye.

 

CAROL DANVERS

No...

 

Thanos lifts his fist and with one cataclysmic punch of the gauntlet, smashes the Mirror Dimension into infinite shards of glass...

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RUINS - DAY

 

...revealing Captain Marvel and an amassed army of her defenders.

 

The Ravagers let out the first war cry and launch a wave of laser fire at Thanos. He turtles up with the protection of the Power Stone as the hangar erupts in a purple explosion that obliterates Avenger’s HQ.

 

Debris rains down in all directions as Thanos realizes an enen larger force is waiting for him outside.

 

The sorcerors throw magical whips and chains at him from every angle, tugging his limbs away from his body. 

 

Valkyrie rushes in for the quick kill, but Thanos flings the socerors off him and parries her sword with his own. The two clinch up.

 

Wong summons a pillar of stone from the ground to press against the palm of the gauntlet. Vines grow out of it, wrapping around Thanos’ fingers, forcing the gauntlet to remain open.

 

With his free hand, Thanos swings his sword and cleaves through dozens of Wakandians and aliens. More pile on top, but Thanos cuts down anyone who nears him. Valkyrie, Okoye and M'Baku are overpowered with each clash, but keep Thanos occupied, nonetheless. 

 

When he has a moment of safety, Thanos slices the pillar of stone, freeing his hand, but before he can close his fist, Wong next conjures a globe of water into the Mad Titan’s palm, resisting his fingers from closing once again.

 

Thanos kicks Valkyrie away as Okoye dodges his sword and jumps high for a killing blow. Thanos disarms and knocks her to the ground. M'Baku comes in next, but takes a slash to his back. He joins the pile of bodies now all around Thanos.

 

The watery orb ebbs beneath Thanos’ ferocious grip. Wong is running out of tricks.

 

M'BAKU

Wong!

 

From the pile of dead, a very much alive M'Baku points to his own right eye. Wong looks towards Thanos and understands. 

 

Valkyrie saddles on her pegasus and screams towards Thanos from above. She dives off her mount and raises her sword just as Thanos crushes the orb of water. Valkyrie’s eyes swell with panic.

 

Wong quickly generates a portal in front of Valkyrie that transports her directly above Thanos’ blind spot. She successfully falls onto the gauntlet and slices the Space Stone off before Thanos headbutts her away.

 

The armies converge on Thanos, but they’re no match for the Reality Stone. With two waves of his hand, Thanos’ reduces two huge swathes of men and women to dust in the wind, including Wong and Valkyrie.

 

The sorcerers weave a spell in unison to try and contain Thanos in the Mirror Dimension, but another burst of the Power Stone crumples them and the remaining structure of the hangar to the ground.

 

But not the Chaos Engine.

 

Thanos looks across the battlefield and locks eyes with Captain Marvel. Her heart stops in her chest.

 

This is it. She stays and dies, or pulls out and fights.

 

Thanos closes his fist.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Please...

 

She grits her teeth as the Reality Stone flashes red...

 

...and vanishes from the gauntlet.

 

Marvel shudders in relief. The Avengers live!

 

The dusted armies immediately reappear around Thanos, who lets out a roar of frustration. 

 

THANOS

No!

 

With no time to re-equip, the armies of good battle with just their hands, grabbing at Thanos to keep him from marching forward towards Captain Marvel. They scratch and clawing at him to try and keep his fist from closing. 

 

Trapped in a sea of aliens and Wakanda soldiers, Thanos drags them forward one step at a time, lifting the gauntlet high above them so he can launch a continuous beam of purple energy into Captain Marvel's exposed body.

 

She screams in pain as the Power Stone consumes her body.

 

Talos is holding onto Thanos’ raised arm, first trying to pull the Mad Titan backwards to no avail then reaching up to grab at the stones. Thanos is too massive, too strong, too determined.

 

TALOS

Vers!

 

Captain Marvel is howling in pain, but she doesn’t let go. She wills her body to stand its ground. She refuses to relinquish her grasp. She refuses to die. She takes the pain and keeps powering the Chaos Engine.

 

Thanos pours the Power Stone into her, but no matter how much Marvel takes she won’t quit.

 

The Mind Stone vanishes from the gauntlet.

 

Thanos is desperate now. He bellows with fear, summoning every ounce of power he can draw from the gauntlet to ravage Captain Marvel’s body. 

 

The Power Stone’s beam doubles in size. The sheer momentum of the blast knocks back nearly everyone but Talos, who futility tries to push back Thanos.

 

Captain Marvel’s agony is deafening as her body lights ablaze with purple flames.

 

TALOS

No! Stop it! Please!

 

Captain Marvel falls to her knees, arching her back in torturous pain, but she will not give up the engine. She will not sacrifice her friends.

 

Her hair is in flames on her skull. Her skin scars. Her tears are black smoke rising off her cheeks.

 

Marvel’s body is breaking down, but she absolutely refuses to let go. Thanos will have to reduce her to ash.

 

He’s trying.

 

Her eyes start to fade, but her screams do not. And just as she feels her consciousness ripping apart, the pain ceases. 

 

Is she dead? Did she fail?

 

She opens her eyes to see Captain America’s shield deflecting the purple beam up into the sky. 

 

Thanos relinquishes.

 

The Avengers, bloodied, battered, have returned from the Quantum Realm. The Reality, Space, Mind, and Time Stones are now all housed in Iron Man’s left hand. Thor wields Mjolnir once more.

 

Captain Marvel’s heart leaps. They did it. They came back...

 

Her vision blurs.

 

CAROL DANVERS (whispering)

Captain...

 

She can barely talk.

 

CAROL DANVERS (whispering)

Win...

 

She falls face first out of the frame of the Chaos Engine.

 

The battlefield is in ruins. The army protecting Captain Marvel is shattered. Marvel herself is down. The Avengers are already spent, but the battle is only just beginning.

 

Before that battle does start, Thanos calmly removes his helmet to rip off a broken hinge.

 

THANOS

I won’t ask you to give back the stones. I won’t offer to spare your lives. I don’t need to. We all know what’s going to happen next. It’s destiny.

 

TONY STARK

We’re all a little tired of destiny, I think. We’re making our own choices now.

 

THANOS

It’s always been a battle of wills. I don’t deny that.

 

TONY STARK

How’s that battle going right now, you think?

 

Iron Man raises his fist to show the four stolen Infinity Stones. Thanos smiles.

 

THANOS

You still don’t understand. You'll always lose, Stark, because you’re not willing to sacrifice. Not really. Not like I am.

 

His eyes drift towards Nebula.

 

Tony is shaking now. Is it rage...or fear?

 

TONY STARK (whispering)

Morgan...I’m sorry…

 

Widow looks over at Tony in shock. She already lost one friend this way, she can’t lose another!

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Tony, wait, we’ll take him together!

 

TONY STARK

I’m sorry!

 

Iron Man rushes forward alone. The other Avengers quickly move in behind him.

 

Thanos smirks and re-equips his helmet.

 

He dodges Iron Man’s opening blast then swiftly strikes at an unprepared Thor, who falls, badly wounded.

 

Iron Man circles overhead and blasts Thanos from behind. War Machine follows suit from up front as the rest of the Avengers encircle the smoke rising from Thanos’ body. 

 

STEVE ROGERS

Now!

 

The bombardment continues as the grounded Avengers launch their own weapons in unison at the Mad Titan. Thanos groans in pain as he deflects them back one by one, but in the chaos he loses track of Mjolnir, which Thor lets fly with a roar before collapsing to the ground. 

 

Ant-Man suddenly expands to normal size next to Thanos. He slaps a Pym Particle Disk onto the gauntlet, slightly expanding its size just as the hammer smashes into Thanos’ chest. The gauntlet slips off as the Mad Titan is dragged, then pinned, against the ground.

 

Ant Man grabs the gauntlet off the ground and retracts his Pym Particle Disk, shrinking it back to normal size. He reaches for a shrinking disk

 

TONY STARK

Lang! Toss it! Quick!

 

Iron Man flies down towards the gauntlet, but a burst of lightning knocks him to the ground. He rolls back to his feet.

 

TONY STARK

Scotty!

 

A bolt of lightning stabs through Ant-Man’s body. His Quantum Gauntlet shatters and he collapses, dropping the Infinity Gauntlet and the shrinking disk into the dirt.

 

War Machine lands next to Iron Machine. The remaining Avengers are awestruck.

 

TONY STARK

No...

 

JAMES RHODES

That’s...that’s impossible…

 

Thanos rises back to his feet. He no longer wields the Infinity Gauntlet. He now wields Mjolnir. 

 

The perverse purity of his selflessness is affirmed.

 

Slowly walking forward, Thanos raises the hammer into the air, summoning a hellstorm of lightning that chews through the entire battlefield.

 

Iron Man raises a nano shield in front of War Machine and Thor as Captain America and Wong shield the rest of the team. Sorcerers all over the battlefield quickly raise their own shields to try and cover the downed armies, but many are caught in the fray and ignite with incinerating electricity.

 

The sorcerers' shields burst one-by-one as they are killed.

 

TONY STARK

All of you! Get out of here!

 

The remaining sorcerers lead the army that’s still standing through escape portals.

 

TONY STARK

Wong! Leave while you still can! 

 

WONG

No! I will fight!

 

TONY STARK

Then you’ll die!

 

Wong’s shield in about to fail. In a desperate move he lowers it and launches a burst of energy to try and blind Thanos.

 

Thanos swipes the attack away with Mjolnir just as Wong is struck down by lighting.

 

TONY STARK

No!

 

But Thanos’ outstretched hand is now frozen in front of him. The lightning surging out of Mjolnir rebounds back into Thanos’ body. 

 

Thanos forces it back out, but trapped between two equally powerful forces it channels into a vertical beam that shoots into the sky. Thanos turns to see a bloody Thor channeling Mjolnir from ground.

 

As the Avengers rush down Thanos he lets Mjolnir go and dashes in behind it.

 

Just as Thor grabs his hammer Thanos delivers a devastating headbutt to the God of Thunder.

 

Captain America swings with his shield, but Thanos parries the blow and crushes him with a knee to the gut.

 

Iron Man swoops in but Thanos grabs him out of the air by the throat and slams him into the ground.

 

Grabbing Captain America’s incoming shield, Thanos deflects Rocket’s attacks back at him, hitting the raccoon with shrapnel from his own explosives.

 

He batters Black Widow away with the shield before throwing it at an airborne War Machine with such velocity that is slices off half his back thrusters.

 

There’s only one Avenger still standing.

 

Nebula extends both her batons and screams a mixture of anger, frustration, and fear as he sprints towards her father alone.

 

Thanos tanks her first three blows, then counterpunches. Nebula reads it and swings over his arm up to deliver a stiff kick to the jaw. Thanos reels backwards, shaking his head to refocus his senses. 

 

This is her chance. Nebula dives for the exposed gauntlet.

 

Thanos’ eye opens. He grabs his double-edged sword and in a rush of twitch instinct, stabs Nebula through the back of the metal heart, pinning her to the ground mid-dive. Her outstretched fingers are just inches away from the gauntlet.

 

Silent tears pour down her cheeks. She’s dying. There’s anger, yes. And frustration and fear. But now there’s sadness, too. In both of them.

 

Thanos somberly removes his helmet. He rests it on top of his sword and sit on a mangled piece of steel. He wants to be with his daughter during her final moments of life.

 

NEBULA

Why...are you...so hateful?

 

Thanos lowers his head.

 

THANOS

It’s not hate. You never understood that.

 

Nebula realizes she never will. She wishes Gamora was here.

 

NEBULA

I miss...Gamora...so much...

 

THANOS

I always hoped one day we could be a family again. That’s impossible now. Rest my child. I won’t bring you back. You don't need to hate me any longer.

 

Nebula feels her mind fading away.

 

NEBULA

Dad!

 

Nebula’s eyes fade. 

 

Thanos feels it this time. Another sacrifice. With the help of his daughter, he's saved the universe once again.

 

Captain America, Iron Man and Thor cautiously walk towards Thanos, who's still deep in contemplation.

 

TONY STARK

Stones are right there.

 

THOR

He’s not going for them?

 

STEVE ROGERS

Let’s keep it that way.

 

Cap motions for them to surround Thanos, who still hasn’t bothered to look at this approaching enemies. He knows they’re there.

 

THANOS

After I used the gauntlet, I thought about destroying the stones. Temptation might undo everything I had already accomplished. Not just yours, but mine. But then I owned up to my weakness. I was just afraid. Afraid of the endless sacrifices I would have to make to protect all of you. Destruction is so easy. So clean. But this...preservation...is so cruel. And it will never end. I was wrong to think I could use the stones once and rest. The war between life and death is infinite. How can I possibly win if it’s me versus the universe? Because I have to.

 

Thanos sighs, stands back up and calmly puts on his helmet. He rips the sword out of his own dead daughter's back.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Now!

 

Iron Man launches missiles that Thanos volleys back with his sword. They explode midair as Tony dives for cover.

 

Thanos spins and bats Captain America’s shield away. Thor immediately deflects it back with Mjolnir right into the Mad Titan's face. 

 

Iron Man blasts a powerful hand beam that Thanos rapidly spins his sword to block. Mid-spin he raises a hand to summon Mjolnir, but Thor resists.

 

The God of Thunder sends lightning into Captain America’s shield as the Super Soldier rushes in and smashes Thanos with an electrified shield uppercut.

 

Thanos falls onto his back as Thor leaps above him to bring the hammer down. Thanos barely blocks it in time with his sword then counters with a slices across Thor’s oblique.

 

Thanos springs back to his feet and slashes at Captain America who flips clear of the strike. 

 

Iron Man drops smart bombs that knock Thanos forward into a brutal hammer strike right to the mid chest. Thanos grits his teeth and latches onto Thor’s throat to stop from falling. Adrenaline surges through his body and he flings Thor backwards before punching forward into Captain America’s shield, sending the the Super Soldier sliding backwards.

 

Captain America heaves his shield and Thanos spins perfectly to catch it and redirect it at Iron Man, knocking him into the far distance.

 

Captain America sprints for the gauntlet as Thor electrocutes Thanos from behind. Thanos thrusts his sword into the lightning, capturing its energy, then rotates it towards Cap, releasing the energy in a blue arc that forces Rogers to dive for cover. 

 

Thor flies in with Mjolnir, swinging for the fences, but the Mad Titan dodges at the last second and stabs through Thor’s exposed thigh, pinning him in place. Stealing Mjolnir, Thanos heaves the hammer at Captain America.

 

Iron Man tosses Steve his shield back just in time to tank the blow, but it still knocks him off his feet.

 

Thanos jumps to grabs Iron Man’s ankle as flies past. Iron Man rotates and launches heat seeking missiles. Half shoot past, but half pound into the Mad Titan from close range. 

 

Thanos pulls Iron Man closer, holding him up as a shield from the remaining missiles swinging back around. 

 

Iron Man tries to thrust to safety, but Thanos, but the Mad Titan is waiting for it and simultaneously picks up the Infinity Gauntlet while ripping the stolen stones out of Iron Man’s nano gauntlet. 

 

All six Infinity Stones pop up into the air. 

 

Eyes wide, Thanos turns to grab them as Black Widow appears out of nowhere and missile kicks him straight to the head.

 

The attack barely phases him. Suddenly he’s not concerned about the fight.

 

THANOS

The Power Stone!

 

The purple Power Stone is just meters from hitting the ground. If it touches the surface Earth is doomed and with it, perhaps, the remaining stones.

 

Thanos dives forward and grabs it inches from the surface. Purple energy splinters through his body as he yells in pain.

 

The remaining stones fall the ground in between Black Widow and Thanos.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Nat! The stones!

 

Captain America rushes forward to delay Thanos, who tries to fling him away, but Captain America latches onto his neck and pulls him backwards. Iron Man swoops down and grabs Thanos’ leg.

 

TONY STARK

Go now!

 

The Power Stone’s poisonous energy spreads to Captain America and Iron Man, who bellow in pain.

 

But before Black Widow can reclaim the stones, Thanos summons a burst of energy from the power Stone that radiates out like a sphere, knocking everyone to the ground.

 

Heaving for breath, Thanos crawls to the empty Infinity gauntlet and equips it with the Power Stone, ending his suffering. Next he adds the Soul Stone. The Mind Stone. The Reality Stone. The Time Stone.

 

Only the Space Stone remains out of the gauntlet. It’s only feet away from the Mad Titan.

 

Black Widow rises to her feet, blood leaking from a deep cut over her eye. She’s the only obstacle left. Ultimate defeat is at hand.

 

She thinks about Clint sacrificing himself to keep the stones out of Thanos’ grasp. Now Thanos almost has them all back. Almost. 

 

If nothing else, she’s going to make sure Clint dies a hero.

 

She sprints towards Thanos and the Space Stone.

 

Thanos, breathing heavily, deeply wounded by the fight and the Power Stone, lifts the gauntlet towards her just as a massive explosion drops him to his knees right next to the Space Stone.

 

On the other side of the battlefield, Rocket, barely conscious from shrapnel wounds, lowers his rocket launcher, smoke rising from its nose. He collapses face first.

 

ROCKET RACCOON (whispering)

Please...

 

Black Widow acrobatically twists up Thanos’ body.

 

Just as he places the Space Stone in the gauntlet, she rapidly spins around his neck and kicks the Soul Stone into the air. 

 

At the last possible second, the gauntlet is kept incomplete.

 

THANOS

Gamora!

 

Black Widow pounces off Thanos’ shoulders and grabs the Soul Stone midair.

 

But before Widow can make a break for it, Thanos snatches her by her ankle and she falls to the ground hard.

 

TONY STARK

Nat! Look out!

 

He sees what she doesn’t.

 

Thanos pulls the Power Stone out of the gauntlet and immediately seizes in pain again. His veins glow purple as he presses the naked stone against Widow’s leg.

 

She still doesn’t see it, but she feels it. Her eyes go purple as her body is consumed in purple flames.

 

NATASHA ROMANOVA

Tony! Take it! 

 

Iron Man fires up his thrusters to race towards Black Widow. Arm stretched, helmet destroyed from the fighting, Iron Man looks into Black Widow’s eyes as she turns to ash right in front of him. The Soul Stone falls to the ground.

 

Tony is shaking. His mouth is agape. His head goes fuzzy. He can't move anymore. He can barely comprehend what just happened.

 

TONY STARK

W-What...?

 

And then the Earth shudders beneath a bloodcurdling roar.

 

Stark isn’t the only person who saw Black Widow die. 

 

Thanos wastes no time jamming the Power Stone back into its slot. He reequips the Soul Stone right next to it.

 

Multicolored light paralyzes the Mad Titan as the raw power of the completed gauntlet flows through him. 

 

Another earth shaking howl. After the fight in the Quantum Realm, Thanos knows what’s coming.  

 

Every nerve in his body is on fire as he struggles to open his fist to make the Snap. He battles to end this war in an instant. Gritting through the pain he opens up his fingers and...

 

...Worldbreaker Hulk, eyes pure crimson, shoves one hand into the gauntlet and grapples to keep it open. Thanos reaches with his other hand, but Hulk grabs that one two. The two monstrous beings wrestle with outstretched arms, hand-in-hand, chest-to-chest.

 

They headbutt each other at the same time, but neither moves from the fierce blow. Their foreheads remain in contact as they grit their teeth and try to push the other one back. Tears pour down Hulk's cheek. He just keeps getting stronger and stronger. Thanos can't believe it. This strenght! Where is it coming from!

 

Thanos’ feet slide backwards first. The Mad Titan roars in pain as Hulk slowly overpowers him, bending his arms further and further back. Hulk's face is trembling with tearful rage.

 

Thanos’ arms begin to tear. He drops to one knee. Hulk sees his opening and releases his other hand to go for the gauntlet. Thanos screams as its slowly extracted from his grasp. He simultaneously pries at Hulk’s fingers, but it doesn't work. Hulk rips the gauntlet off with one last effort.

 

Thanos immediately reaches for his sword and skewers it through Hulk’s stomach. Hulk roars in anger, but Thanos drags the blade up through Hulk’s torso, slicing his heart in two.

 

Hulk’s breath cuts short. He spits up blood, looking up at Thor before weakly tossing the gauntlet in the Thor’s direction. Thor claws towards it, but Thanos pulls his sword out of the Hulk and spears it towards the God of Thunder's hand, stopping him for grabbing the gauntlet.

 

Hulk collapses onto his stomach.

 

Chunks of earth mysteriously rise into the sky as Thanos sprints towards the gauntlet. He doesn’t have time to figure out this apparent new threat. Not while the gauntlet is so close to Thor.

 

Thor equips Thanos’ sword as Thanos summons Mjolnir and the two beings clash right above the gauntlet. More chunks of earth rises around them.

 

Thor tries to summon Mjolnir from up close. Thanos intentionally releases it to grab at the handle of his own sword and break it in half. The sudden loss of tension surprises Thor, who is left open for a hard kick to the stomach that sends him backwards, but not before he smashes Thanos across the jaw with Mjolnir. The Mad Titan is spun around competely from the blow.

 

The ground is violently shaking now.

 

In the distance, Captain Marvel is rising into the sky. Both of her arms are glowing white with energy. She shoves them together with great effort and a massive beam of energy races towards Thanos.

 

THANOS

Shit!

 

The beam is so wide it eclipses the sky above Thanos. In sheer desperation, he launches half of his sword through the wave of light towards Captain Marvel then has no choice but to tank the impending attack. 

 

His skin sizzles. He feels like he’s being burned alive.

 

The sword finds its mark, impaling Captain Marvel in the stomach and dropping her to the ground. The beam attack ends, but the damage is still severe.

 

Thanos’ skin is smoking as he turns back to the gauntlet just as Captain America’s shield knocks it towards the wounded Hulk.

 

The Hulk crawls towards it.

 

Captain America leaps in and charges Thanos with the rebounded shield like a battering ram. Thanos uses the remaining half of his sword to duel the super soldier.

 

Captain America dodges and parries to buy time, but the might of Thanos’ is too great and with successive hits, Thanos first breaks Cap's ribs with a punch, then cleaves the shield in half with an emphatic swing of his sword.

 

Captain America falls to the ground, his left arm deeply cut from the final blow as well. His Quantum Gauntlet is destroyed.

 

Hulk is just meters away from the gauntlet, dragging himself towards it an inch at a time.

 

Thanos dashes towards the gauntlet, but Captain Marvel gets to him first, flying in low and fast with a diving punch. Thanos stumbles backwards, but doesn’t fall. Her strenght is greatly diminished.

 

Marvel tumbles to the ground. She climbs back to her feet and races to hold back the Mad Titan. He can tell she's hurt badly.

 

She weakly pushes with one hand then falls to her knees. She powers up a minor blast and aims it towards Thanos, but he swats her hand away. With both hands, he lifts her up over his head then cracks her as hard as he can over his knee. Captain Marvel’s back snaps.

 

Hulk's fingers are grazing the gauntlet now.

 

Thor appears behind Thanos and bear hugs him while summoning the most powerful single arc of lightning we’ve ever seen him produce. It careens down from the heavens and ignites both Thor and Thanos.

 

Hulk picks up the gauntlet.

 

Thanos digs down deep to try and break free of Thor’s self-immolation, but he can’t.

 

THANOS

Don't...let him...take it! 

 

Hulk slides the gauntlet onto his Thanos-sized fist and is seized by the energy of the gauntlet.

 

THANOS

He'll destroy us all!

 

Thor isn’t so sure Thanos is wrong, but this is their only chance now. The lightning pours down on them both. All he can do now is hope that there is still a man left inside the beast.

 

THOR

Banner!

 

The Hulk lifts the gauntlet and peels his fingers back.

 

THANOS

No!

 

The Hulk snaps his fingers.

 

EXT. SOUL WORLD - DUSK

 

Bruce stands alone and confused in the infinite dusk of the Soul World. He looks down at his hands, human again. Where is he? What just happened?

 

He gasps as a massive shadow appears on the horizon. 

 

Is it Thanos?

 

No.

 

The giant silhouette is holding a motionless shape in its arms. A woman.

 

It’s the Hulk. He’s holding Nat.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RUINS - DAY

 

Black storm clouds billow overhead. Thunder rumbles in the distance.

 

Hulk is motionless, face-first on the ground. The gauntlet is wrapped around his hand, but the metal is now warped and hissing.

 

Thor is on his knees, drained of energy. He collapses.

 

Thanos stumbles forward, himself exhausted and struggling to breathe, but still standing. He looks around anxiously. Nothing’s happening.

 

Europhic relief condenses into a gentle laugh.

 

A bloody Captain America, body broken, forces himself back up. More thunder rumbles in the distance.

 

It didn’t work. The mission failed. Every other Avenger is down. Thanos is laughing next to the completed gauntlet. There’s no one left to fight back. No one except him.

 

Cap throws off his now disabled Quantum Gauntlet. Teeth gritted, he angrily locks his arm into the broken shield with a pull of the strap.

 

Captain America stands up, chest heaving for air, but ribs on fire every time he tries to pull in breath. He limps towards Thanos.

 

The Mad Titan, now victorious, lets his defeated enemy approach.

 

Captain America builds momentum into forward dash and lowers his shoulder into Thanos. Thanos doesn’t move. He punches, but Thanos grabs his fist. Captain America lifts his shield up and tries to plunge it into Thanos' stomach, but it merely gets knocked away. Captain America drops to the ground, still wincing as he breathes.

 

THANOS

I know what it feels like to lose. For so long, my whole life was nothing, but failure. I felt helpless. Lost. Angry. Imagine what would've happened to this world if I ever gave up. Don't despair. Yours is the will of the universe now--a desire I've been searching for these past five years. I see it inside you. You want to live. You want to win. In your death, we will.

 

STEVE ROGERS

As long as one person stands up to you, you haven’t won yet.

 

THANOS

You are the last person standing. And for it, I'll name you the Son of Thanos.

 

Captain America shakes his head, struggling to his feet.

 

STEVE ROGERS

My name...is Steve Rogers.

 

Thanos tries to steps towards the gauntlet, but Rogers blocks his path. The Mad Titan looks down at this last, futile resistance, equal parts impressed and disgusted.

 

THANOS

Move.

 

Captain America pulls out the compass he’s wearing around his neck. He opens it. Peggy Carter smiles up at him one final time. He takes a deep breath and lifts his eyes.

 

STEVE ROGERS

No.

 

This is his final mission. He doesn’t know who he’s buying time for, but if there is someone, anyone left out there, he’ll give them as many seconds as his dying body will allow.

 

STEVE ROGERS

You move.

 

So be it. Another sacrifice.

 

Thanos slowly slides his fingers around Captain America’s throat and lifts him off the ground. 

 

Immediately, Cap can feel the breath leaving his lungs. He can’t resist, so he just holds the compass against his heart instead. One last hug. His eyes never blink as he stares up at the Mad Titan.

 

Thanos crushes the soldier’s throat. A quick death. Yet Steve Roger’s eyes never fade. Even when the man’s chest stops rising, his eyes look as defiant as ever. Bright. Shining even. Thanos looks closer. An orange light is reflecting in them.

 

He turns. To his side, a massive portal opens in midair.

 

Out of that portal steps Dr. Strange, Star Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Mantis, Groot, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Falcon and Spider-Man. Hulk’s snap worked.

 

Rocket stirs and wipes his eyes as he realizes his friends have returned.

 

Thor’s hand claws through dirt. He can’t even move, but when he sees the Avengers restored his body shakes with sobs.

 

Iron Man can barely sit up. He raises his head just enough to witness the resurrection of the dusted Avengers. When he spots Peter Parker, silent tears stream down his cheeks.

 

Thanos is enraged. His body is trembling. Gamora’s tragic sacrifice has been nullified... 

 

A strong wind gusts across a battlefield ready to explode.

 

Falcon stoically walks forward and picks up Captain America’s discarded shield. His eyes shimmer as he sees his friend lying dead at Thanos’ feet.

 

DR. STRANGE

Everything that has come to pass was meant to bring us all here at this exact moment in time. We can not let them down now. They sacrificed everything for us.

 

THANOS (seething)

What do you know...about sacrifice...?

 

DR. STRANGE

That far more must be lost before this ends.

 

THANOS

Then what are we waiting for?

 

Drax and Groot can't hold back their emotions anymore.

 

DRAX

Thanos!

 

GROOT
I am Groot!

 

DR. STRANGE

Everyone listen! We’ll only have one chance at this.

 

PETER QUILL

What do we need to do?

 

DR. STRANGE

Bring me the Time Stone.

 

Falcon steps forward in front of the team.

 

SAM WILSON

Then get behind me.

 

Falcon’s wings unfurl and he darts forward through the air. The other Avengers follow right behind him. Thanos simultaneously races towards the gauntlet. The final confrontation has begun.

 

Falcon barrels forward with Cap's shield, knocking Thanos back then flipping up and over the Mad Titan’s head as he peppers him with machine pistol fire.

 

Thanos stumble forward as Quill tosses his magnetic coupler forward into the ground next to him. The Mad Titan isn’t tricked by it this time. He instantly smashes it to pieces with his other fist then choke slams Quill out of the sky, burying him a half-meter deep into the ground.

 

Webbing locks Thanos’ arms together. Spider-Man tugs on the Mad Titan to slingshot himself towards the gauntlet. 

 

With a mighty roar, Thanos pulls his forearms apart. He summons Mjolnir, swats a leaping Black Panther out of the air with it, launches a bifurcated burst of lightning into both the downed T’Challa and the airborn Falcon, then throws it at Spider-Man, who is knocked back away from the gauntlet. 

 

As Mjolnir careens through the air, Dr. Strange summons a portal to intercept it. A second portal gently drops the hammer next to Captain America’s dead body.

 

Spider-Man aims webbing at the gauntlet from range. Thanos charges forward, grabs the webbing mid-air and uses it to fling the young hero into Drax and Groot. 

 

Thanos senses swift movement and turns with a stiff punch at the figure approach him from behind. Air swirls up in a vortex as Winter Soldier’s fist meets Thanos’. Neither being moves an inch from the blow.

 

Winter Soldier pulls out his rifle to aim at Thanos from up close, but the Mad Titan grabs Bucky’s wrist before he can line up his shot. The rifle fires into the air as Thanos folds Winter Soldier in half with a knee to the gut.

 

Thanos tosses him aside and leaps to finish off the already woozy Spider-Man.

 

Iron Man lands in front of Parker first and tanks the devastating blow with the remaining nano particles of his severely damaged suit.

 

Arms over his head to block, Iron Man’s reactor is exposed. It briefly flashes before a beam of energy pours into Thanos’ chest, briefly knocking back the Mad Titan.

 

Iron Man falls backwards into Spider-Man’s arms.

 

TONY STARK

Peter!

 

PETER PARKER

Mr. Stark!

 

TONY STARK

I never...

 

Tony hugs Spider-Man tightly. He doesn't want to let go, but the battle rages on. Every second counts if they're going to win in.

 

PETER PARKER

Mr. Stark what’s going on!

 

TONY STARK

Parker, you need to get that thing out of here! No matter what!

 

Thanos latches onto Stark’s good arm.

 

PETER PARKER

Look out!

 

STARK

Go! Give it to Strange!

 

Thanos breaks Tony’s arm. Stark collapses, wailing in pain.

 

PETER PARKER

Mr. Stark!

 

T’CHALLA

Move boy!

 

Black Panther dives over Spider-Man to take a swing at Thanos. The Mad Titan ducks underneath and keeps moving forward to deliver an uppercut to Spider-Man.

 

Groot’s vines stab Thanos through the stomach from close range. The Mad Titan immediately coughs up blood before delivering a vicious clothesline. Thanos snaps Groot’s vine to free himself.

 

Black Panther quickly turns back and double spin kicks Thanos. The Mad Titan takes the first kick, but grabs the second leg. 

 

T’Challa, hanging by his ankle, bursts the energy absorbed in his suit from Mjolnir. Thanos falls backwards, rolling onto his stomach as the gauntlet is popped into the air from the attack.

 

Iron Man ignites his thruster and winces in pain as he grabs the gauntlet. 

 

Thanos reaches for Okoye’s nearby spear and heaves it through the air and into Stark’s back. Iron Man falls to the earth.

 

The Mad Titan grabs Black Panther out of the air and body slams him to the ground. 

 

Before he can run for the unattended gauntlet, though, Thanos is tackled to the ground by Drax. 

 

From a mounted position, Drax raises one of his daggers, but Thanos grabs his wrist and kicks him off.

 

Another shot of webbing aims for the gauntlet. Thanos snatches it out of the air again and rips Spider-Man towards him. Parker is prepared this time, however, and he uses the momentum to missile kick Thanos in the chest.

 

Thanos stumbles backwards as Scarlet Witch descends behind him, her fingers curling as she attempts to put a hex on the Mad Titan.

 

To buy her time, Star Lord and Winter Soldier try and soften up Thanos with gunfire. It has no effect.

 

Thanos reverse elbows the exposed Witch in the stomach, dropping her to her knees. Choking for breath with broken ribs, Witch barely gets a hand barrier up to partially shield a haymaker punch from Thanos that sends her flying. Thanos heaves a scrap of metal towards the two gunmen, ending their attack. 

 

Thanos picks up the gauntlet just as green bolts of Dr. Strange’s magic slam into his chest. The gauntlet falls back to the ground.

 

Thanos is tackled from behind by Star Lord, sending the two rolling across the ground.

 

Thanos rises up to his feet first and extends one arm towards the gauntlet, but Quill has magnetically locked himself on the Mad Titan’s opposite arm and boosts up towards the sky. 

 

The Mad Titan pulls with all his strength to resist the launch and piledrives Star Lord into the ground instead, breaking the bond on his hand.

 

Across the battlefield, Dr. Strange lands next to a still reeling Tony.

 

DR. STRANGE

Stark!

 

Strange doesn’t even look down at Tony. He’s too busy studying the battlefield.

 

TONY STARK

Is this it, Doc? Can we win?

 

Finally, Strange looks Tony in the eye. Stark is stunned to see such fear in his expression.

 

DR. STRANGE

Where is Carol Danvers?!

 

Thanos and Black Panther exchange brutal right hooks. Panther goes flying. Thanos falls to his back, badly hurt.

 

Drax and Spider-Man each drape themselves around one of Thanos’ arms as Scarlet Witch, badly hurt on the ground, drags the gauntlet with her telekinesis towards herself. Thanos picks up both Drax and Spider-Man and smashes them into each other. He heaves Parker at the Witch. 

 

She briefly refocuses her telekinesis on catching Spider-Man. The gauntlet falls into the dirt.

 

Right as Witch drops Spider-Man to the ground, Thanos dashes in and punts her away from the gauntlet with an unguarded kick to the chest.

 

The battlefield is cleared. The gauntlet is Thanos’ for the taking.

 

TONY STARK

Strange!

 

Iron Man roars in pain as he lifts his broken arm to fire at Thanos from a distance. The Mad Titan shrugs off the now greatly weakened blasts and retrieves the Infinity Gauntlet.

 

He slips it on his hand. All six stones brightly glow. Multicolored light pulses through his veins, forcing his fingers into a tight fist...

 

...just as Dr. Strange teleports in front of Thanos and delivers a swift palm strike to the chest.

 

Time slows as Thanos’ spirit ejects backwards out of his physical body. His blue, spectral form looks down in fear as his physical body battles thru the numbness to engage the Soul and Reality Stones.

 

Thanos agonizingly rips his soul back into his real body just as Spider-Man nabs the Time Stone from the gauntlet with a perfect webshot.

 

THANOS

No!

 

PETER PARKER

Doc!

 

Dr. Strange teleports behind Spider-Man and takes possession of the stone, placing it in a new container hanging from his neck.

 

PETER PARKER

What do we do now?

 

In the blink of an eye, Spider-Man's entire body erupts into black ash.

 

Thanos lowers the gauntlet. The Reality Stone is still glowing.

 

With a few motions of his hands, Dr. Strange manipulates the Time Stone and reverses the effects, restoring Spider-Man to life.

 

Thanos uses his gauntlet again and the other Avengers evaporate into the wind.

 

Dr. Strange doesn’t stop, waving his hands and reversing the Reality Stone’s curse once again.

 

He calmly turns towards a stunned Peter Parker.

 

DR. STRANGE

Buy time.

 

A frustrated Thanos loads up his fist to use the Power Stone, but Dr. Strange reverses the flow of purple energy back into the gem.

 

While the two stonekeepers do battle, Drax dashes in from behind and grabs the Infinity Gauntlet, failing to take a stone off, but able to temporarily force Thanos from closing his fingers. He’s assisted by Scarlet Witch, flooding the Mad Titan with burning, red energy from a distance.

 

Dr. Strange takes advantage of the distraction to teleport above the corpse of Captain America. He floats in silent meditation as the Time Stone shimmers.

 

Thanos finally overpowers Drax, delivers a stiff backhand before absorbing Scarlet Witch’s energy into the Space Stone, which he releases into the ground as a massive earthquake.

 

As the Avengers scatter around the widening fault lines, Thanos leaps at Dr. Strange, who is still hovering in what looks like silent prayer.

 

Thanos loads his fist with purple energy and punches...

 

...but a revived Captain America strikes first, uppercutting Thanos with a devastating blow from Mjolnir that sends the Mad Titan crashing back to the ground. Lightning plunges from the heavens into Thanos' chest.

 

The Super Soldier stands once more. Alive. Worthy.

 

But Cap doesn’t care about the hammer. He looks around the battlefield and sees his long dead friends restored. He feels a warmth stirring in his chest he hasn’t felt in five years. Hope. Banner did it! The Snap! It worked.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Son of a gun...

 

Strange hovers down next to him.

 

DR. STRANGE

I'm sorry to disturb your rest, Captain, but this war is not over yet.

 

Thanos is slowly climbing back to his feet.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Thanos still has the gauntlet.

 

He spins Mjolnir to gather momentum.

 

DR. STRANGE

We still have a few tricks up our sleeve.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Who knew...?

 

Dr. Strange grins as Captain America leaps high into the air behind the momentum of Mjolnir.

 

Right before he’s struck by the hammer, Thanos rolls out of the way. 

 

The Mad Titan summons the hammer out of Cap’s grasp and moves in to strike. 

 

Falcon drops Cap the remaining half of his shield, allowing him to rebound the blunt force of the hammer.

 

With Thanos knocked backwards, Cap summons Mjolnir and goes all out, bashing him with thrown and resummoned hits over and over.

 

Cap, Falcon and Winter Soldier form a triangle around the Mad Titan, passing the shield to each other as they alternate strikes on him and the gauntlet to keep it open. All the while, Mjolnir and lightning strikes Thanos from every possible angle. Thanos is ultimately knocked on his ass. Confused and wounded, he looks up at the three mortals who just put him there.

 

Thanos levitates off the ground above a bed of Scarlet Witch’s red light, but recovers his senses enough to teleport behind her with the Space Stone. 

 

He balls up his fist to end her with a Power Stone punch, but Dr. Strange opens up a portal around the gauntlet, redirected the attack into the Mad Titan's own back. 

 

Thanos falls forward into the portal, which Strange swiftly tries to close, but Thanos’ arm doesn't sever. Blood pours down his forearm. Gritting his teeth in struggle, Thanos rips the portal with a frustrated roar, freeing himself. But he took too long.

 

Scarlet Witch hovers down behind him, eyes red, fingers curled once more.

 

WANDA MAXIMOFF

Drown in sorrow!

 

This time, the hex works.

 

Thanos gasps for air as he peers over the shifted fault from the earthquake and sees...

 

EXT. VORMIR - SACRIFICIAL CLIFFS - DUSK

 

..the cliff he threw his own daughter off to her death.

 

Scarlet Witch remains hovering behind the Mad Titan, witnessing the vision just as he does.

 

Someone else is standing besides Thanos. He looks down to find child Gamora holding his hand. She looks so sad. So afraid.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RUINS - DAY

 

Iron Man lands next to Captain America and Dr. Strange.

 

He embraces Cap with tears in his eyes.

 

TONY STARK

I thought I lost you, too! God damn it’s good to see you up, Cap!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Tony! We can win this!

 

TONY STARK

Wanda’s got ‘em! The gauntlet’s right there!

 

DR. STRANGE

It won’t work.

 

TONY STARK

Not if we just stand here! Come on!

 

Dr. Strange grabs Tony to keep him from racing towards Thanos.

 

DR. STRANGE

Tony, listen. You have to trust me on this one. It doesn’t work.

 

Cap is confused by the odd phrasing. Stark has a better idea of what the sorcerer is getting at.

 

STEVE ROGERS

What do you mean?

 

TONY STARK

We...lose this one?

 

DR. STRANGE

He's going to beat me soon.

 

TONY STARK

But Doc, he’s down! What are you talking about?

 

DR. STRANGE

Exactly what we talked about five years ago. Believe me Tony, I tried. Everything. She won’t stop him. Neither will I, no matter what I do next. When I fall the gauntlet will be complete again. But there is a way--one way--to end this. Not by stealing the stones. This war will never end so long as they reside anywhere in time or space. They must be destroyed for all existence. One of us will have to do this with the only weapon strong enough. Someone must wield the Infinity Gauntlet. The attack will be fatal. This is the endgame. I'm so sorry.

 

EXT. VORMIR - SACRIFICIAL CLIFFS - DUSK

 

Thanos looks at a crying Gamora and realizes his greatest fear isn’t killing her on Vormir, it's not killing her on Vormir. His perverse will to try and save the universe is that wholly pure. If he doesn't kill Gamora then all is lost.

 

Sadness filling his heart exactly as it did five years ago, Thanos drags his screaming child towards the edge and without a moment of hesitation, throw her off it once more.

 

Scarlet Witch recoils in horror from the depth of the sickness in Thanos’ mind. Thanos turns and grabs her by her hair. The vision from the hex collapses...

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RUINS - DAY

 

...back to the battlefield.

 

THANOS

Disgusting.

 

Thanos clenches his fist, activating the Reality Stone as Scarlet Witch explodes into white light. Thanos marches on our remaining heroes.

 

Dr. Strange floats down in concentration, reversing time to condense Witch back to life.

 

The battle escalates to a new level of chaos as Thanos slices through existence with powerful waves of the Reality Stone, cleaving through the dimensions of time and space, forcing Dr. Strange to continuously thread it back together with the Time Stone.

 

The Avengers can only take cover as the fragile fabric of reality tears all around them, only to be quickly restored by Dr. Strange.

 

DR. STRANGE

Block his view!

 

The Cloak of Levitation unfurls and races towards the Mad Titan, wrapping itself around his remaining eye.

 

While Thanos is temporarily occupied, Dr. Strange’s body shakes as he summons a powerful spell with the Time Stone. Fierce wind whip across the landscape, temporarily stunning Thanos even as he rips off the Cloak. The air turns smoky black and an ephemeral cry like sobbing demons assails the ruined battlefield. Dr. Strange places his hands on the ground and reality folds in on itself swallowing up both him and Thanos.

 

The fierce winds extinguish into a gentle breeze.

 

TONY STARK

What...the hell?

 

Cap cuts right to the chase.

 

STEVE ROGERS

I’ll do it. I’ll use the gauntlet.

 

TONY STARK

No! I’m not letting you go down again! This one’s on me!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Tony, I don’t care what you say.

 

TONY STARK

No, Cap!

 

STEVE ROGERS

I'm not going to argue with you. We don't have time to anyway. I’m doing it and that’s it.

 

TONY STARK

Goddamn, you’re stubborn!

 

STEVE ROGERS

But...I’m going to need everyone's help getting to it.

 

Suddenly, it hits Iron Man. 

 

His eyes go wide and he searches the temporarily quiet battlefield. He knows exactly what to do. Dr. Strange’s previous question now makes perfect sense.

 

TONY STARK

Where’s Marvel?

 

Per Dr. Strange’s private instruction, Mantis is already on top of it. She stands over the comatose body of Captain Marvel, places her hands around her pale face and engages her empathic abilities. 

 

Marvel screams as her eyes burst open. Mantis throws Marvel’s arm around her shoulders.

 

MANTIS

I’m sorry. Strange says you have to do it one more time.

 

Marvel doesn't know who this woman or Strange are, but it makes perfect sense all the same.

 

CAROL DANVERS (wincing)

I can’t...get there...myself…

 

MANTIS

Just lean on me.

 

A hole in time breaks open like glass and Dr. Strange tumbles out, landing in a thud on the ground. He struggles to his feet, his outfit now covered in blood, as Thanos calmly climbs out of the jagged hole in reality.

 

Dr. Strange briefly glances at Captain America then activates the Time Stone.

 

The battlefield trembles as Thanos continues marching forward, the Reality and Space Stones activated as battles his way through waves of reversed time Strange is launching at him.

 

Iron Man and Captain America know this is the end. The shake each others hands then abandon the gesture for a hug instead.

 

EDITH

Configuration complete.

 

TONY STARK

Your armors ready to ready to make the jump.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Can you buy me a few seconds?

 

TONY STARK

Does it count as laying on a wire?

 

STEVE ROGERS

It just might.

 

TONY STARK

Don’t think I can cut this particular wire either.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Probably not.

 

Captain America summons Mjolnir then turns towards the Chaos Engine, still humming with latent power.

 

TONY STARK

Hey, Steve!

 

STEVE ROGERS

Yeah, Tony?

 

TONY STARK

That bottle didn’t change a thing.

 

Captain America nods in respect.

 

STEVE ROGERS

Let’s go finish this.

 

TONY STARK

Whatever it takes.

 

Mantis helps Captain Marvel into the armlocks of the Chaos Engine.

 

With great effort, Thanos extends his gauntlet and the waves of time dash away like wind. Dr. Strange is so exhausted he can’t even resist as the Mad Titan bends over him. Thanos snaps the Time Stone off his neck.

 

Iron Man launches a flurry of laser fire as Mjolnir screams in behind a bolt of lightning, knocking the Time Stone to the ground.

 

Groot immediately uses his roots to pull the Time Stone beneath the earth and back to him, where he envelopes it in a shield of his own wooden fibers. Thanos teleports in front of him and shatters Groot with one punch.

 

One last blast of ear-splitting thunder and black lighting drops Thanos to his hands and knees. Thor is on his hands and knees himself, chest heaving for air. He’s poured every last ounce of himself into a final strike. He falls unconscious.

 

Thanos winces as he looks up at Marvel kneeling in the frame of the Chaos Engine. Instantly, he realizes what they’re trying to do. 

 

He lifts the gauntlet to wipe it from existence with the Reality Stone when webbing clings to the gauntlet. Spider-Man forces Thanos' fingers open with all of his strength. A one-armed Groot aids this effort by wraps his remaining vines around the gauntlet from in front.

 

Drax pounces onto Thanos’ leg, leaning backwards with all his strength to keep the Mad Titan from advancing forward. Rocket leaps down off Drax’s shoulder to help out with whatever power he can muster in his tiny, wounded body. Star Lord thrusts into the Mad Titan's other leg, igniting his rocket boots to keep Thanos from moving. Black Panther and Winter Soldier pull on Thanos’ left hand to further pin him down. A greatly weakened Scarlet Witch can barely stand. Too spent for telekinesis from this distance she just launches everything left inside her instead in the form of a small heat beam. Stark pours his swiftly decreasing energy into a similarly sized laser from the opposite side. 

 

Still, despite all of this, Thanos starts to break free, dragging everyone forward when Falcon swoops in and stabs his wings into Thanos’ shoulders. He then plunges the broken shield into Thanos’ chest.

 

Thanos howls in pain. His momentum is stopped, but he has no choice. He can't lose. In a burst of might he flings Panther and Winter Soldier off his arm in Wanda’s direction. The Mad Titan rips the broken shield from his chest...

 

TONY STARK

No!

 

...and sends it careening towards Captain Marvel.

 

Captain Marvel doesn’t even see it coming as her body fades in and out of consciousness.

 

But she does see Iron Man land in front of her. Finally, Tony Stark puts a suit of armor around the world.

 

The jagged shield plunges into his heart plate. He falls to his knees.

 

Pure rage overtakes Marvel. She screams in frustration as the Chaos Engine lights up. The teleporter pad crackles as Captain America dives onto it. 

 

When Cap looks up from the pad Iron Man is already staring at him, eyes sagging. 

 

Thanos throws the remaining Avengers off him and closes his fist.

 

In a burst of light Captain America vanishes just as the Reality Stone turns the Chaos Engine, the teleporter pad and Captain Marvel into countless bubbles.

 

Thanos’ eyes are desperate. He’s too late. The soldier is already gone.

 

He could be anywhere now.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ REDUX - RUINS - DAY

 

Thanos stands before a kneeling Captain America.

 

STEVE ROGERS

As long as at least one person stands up to you, you haven’t won yet.

 

THANOS

You are the last person standing. And for it, I'll name you the Son of Thanos.

 

Captain America struggles to his feet.

 

STEVE ROGERS

My name...is Steve Rogers.

 

Thanos tries to steps towards the gauntlet, but Rogers blocks his path. The Mad Titan looks down at this last, futile resistance, equal parts impressed and disgusted.

 

THANOS

Move.

 

Captain America pulls out the compass he’s wearing around his neck. He opens it. Peggy carter smiles up at him one final time. He takes a deep breath and lifts his eyes.

 

STEVE ROGERS

No.

 

This is his final mission. He doesn’t know who he’s buying time for, but if there is someone, anyone left out there, he’ll give them as many seconds as his dying body will allow.

 

STEVE ROGERS

You move.

 

So be it. Another sacrifice.

 

Thanos slides his fingers around Captain America’s throat and lifts him off the ground.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RUINS - DAY

 

Thanos has a solution to this problem.

 

He engages the Space Stone and teleports the Time Stone to to his hand. He jams it into the gauntlet and the waves of raw power paralyze his muscles one last time. 

 

He raises the gauntlet, struggling against the coursing energy. Something’s different this time. It’s so much stronger. He battles through it to save the universe, but he can’t pry his fingers loose. What is this? What’s happening? Everything is at stake!

 

The Soul Stone glows more brightly than all the other stones.

 

He peels his eyes open in the middle of the struggle to see Gamora defiantly standing in front of him.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ REDUX - RUINS - DAY

 

Immediately, the soldier can feel the breath leaving his lungs. He can’t resist, so he just holds the compass against his heart instead. One last hug. His eyes never blink as he stares up at the Mad Titan.

 

Thanos crushes the soldier’s throat. A quick death. Yet Steve Roger’s eyes never fade. Even when the man’s chest stops rising, his eyes look as defiant as ever. Bright. Shining even. Thanos looks closer.

 

Multicolored light is reflecting in them.

 

He turns...

 

...to see Captain America from a near future holding up the fully completed gauntlet, a Pym Particle Disk attached to it, shrinking it down to human size.

 

Cap grits his teeth as he struggles to control the self-destructive energy devouring him from the inside.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RUINS - DAY

 

Thanos shouts in frustration, battling against himself, the gauntlet and his own daughter to pry open his hand and sn--

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ REDUX - RUINS - DAY

 

Captain America shouts in frustration, battling against himself and the gauntlet to pry open his hand and sn--


 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RUINS - DAY

 

--ap his fingers.

 

White light extinguishes reality.

 

EXT. SOUL WORLD - DUSK

 

Thanos stands in the Soul World. He looks down at his hand. The gauntlet is missing. His wounds are gone.

 

He did it. 

 

He won.

 

Thanos hears weeping. His heart leaps as he turns to find Gamora on her knees, crying into her hands. He closes his eyes and exhales a long, slow breath. The balance of the universe continues to cost him everything. But it’s worth it.

 

And then the sobbing turns to laughter. He opens his eyes.

 

Gamora’s weeping has transformed into tears of joy. She’s looking past him with wide eyes and a wider smile, laughing like he’s never heard her laugh before. He’s never seen Gamora so happy.

 

He turns to see what she’s looking at.

 

The soldier is also standing in the Soul World.

 

A confused Captain America looks around the mysterious landscape. His injuries are fully healed. He hears laughter, but his eyes are drawn to Thanos.

 

The two beings stare at each other. It takes a few seconds for each to realize what just happened.

 

The sky above the Soul World begins to crack.

 

Thanos’ stomach sinks.

 

He...he lost…

 

As the sky falls around him, the hole in Captain America’s heart is finally filled.

 

They won.

 

Captain America stares at Thanos, whose face is melting in sorrow and whose daughter is now laughing with joy, and he knows they won.

 

It cost him everything. But it was worth it. 

 

Thanos, meanwhile, resigns to his defeat. 

 

At least he got to hear his daughter’s laughter one last time. At least he got to see her happy again.

 

It just cost him everything.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RUINS - DAY

 

Scarlet Witch peers up at the glowing sun breaking through the black storm clouds above.

 

No. It’s not the sun. Vision leans down over her. The glare is from the Mind Stone still embedded in his forehead. A crack snakes across the yellow gem.

 

He holds her in his arms and leans in for a kiss.

 

Scarlet Witch shuts her eyes, but never feels his lips. When she looks again Vision is already gone.

 

Across the battlefield, Gamora’s soul smiles warmly at Peter Quill.

 

The Infinity Stones explode in Thanos’ gauntlet and a wave of energy consumes the battlefield.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ REDUX - RUINS - DAY

 

The Infinity Stones explode in Captain America’s gauntlet and a wave of energy consumes the battlefield.

 

When the dust clears, Captain America is lying on the ground. In his final seconds of life he turns his head as a massive portal opens in midair. In the distance he sees the silhouettes of his now resurrected friends.

 

Much closer he sees his broken compass resting on the ground next to him, revealing Peggy Carter’s smiling face.

 

Exhausted as he is, Captain America doesn’t let his eyes close.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RUINS - DAY

 

Thanos is face-first on the ground, motionless. The gauntlet is a smoldering ruin. The stones are destroyed.

 

With the loss of the Reality Stone, the Chaos Engine and Captain Marvel are restored.

 

Drax weakly rises to his feet and looks over at the Mad Titan.

 

Is it finally over?

 

Thanos’ body stirs. He grabs at the soil beneath his fingers and rises to one knee.

 

Drax is stunned. How could he still be alive? He grabs Valkyrie’s sword, the closest weapon he can find, and limps after Thanos.

 

The Mad Titan stumbles back and forth before falling to the ground. He keeps crawling forward to an exposed set of broken stairs. Drax drags himself in slow pursuit from behind.

 

Thanos crawls up the staircase and turns to sit. Drax sees tears pouring down the Mad Titan’s cheeks.

 

Drax raises the sword with a ferocious roar.

 

Thanos exhales his last breath. His chest stops moving. His body finally gives up.

 

But his eye never closes.

 

Drax keeps the sword high in the air, convinced Thanos will come back to life.

 

Anxious silence passes.

 

The Mad Titan is finally, truly dead.

 

The sword fall into the dust. Drax drops to his knees next to it and sobs in front of the corpse of Thanos.

 

His murdered family has finally been avenged.

 

Across the battlefield, Dr. Strange struggles to lift his head. He see Tony and is barely able to cast a final spell.

 

Tony, still on his knees in front of the Chaos Engine, sees that his nightmare has finally been extinguished. The monster in the closet is dead. He can rest now. 

 

But before he does, one of Dr. Strange’s small portals opens directly in front of him, shimmering tenuously. He peers into it and chokes up as he sees...

 

INT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - MORGAN’S BEDROOM - DAY

 

...Morgan sitting alone in darkness on her bed. Her Iron Man helmet is clutched tightly to her body. She looks and sees her father watching her through the portal.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RUINS - DAY

 

TONY STARK

Mor...

 

He can barely speak. He only has seconds left.

 

TONY STARK

Are...you ready now...? No place...like...home...

 

With his last ounce of energy, he lifts his hand to blow his daughter a kiss.

 

The weak spell collapses and the portal fades away.

 

Tony Stark closes his eyes.

 

INT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - MORGAN’S BEDROOM - DAY

 

Pepper is standing in the frame of Morgan's bedroom door. The tears are pouring down her cheeks as she walks over and holds Morgan by her shoulders. Pepper struggles to speak. Choked by her tears, Morgan speaks first.

 

MORGAN

Daddy's not coming back...

 

Pepper bursts into tears. Mother and daughter embrace in the darkness.

 

EXT. AVENGERS’ HQ - RUINS - DAY

 

The survivors of the Infinity War begin to gather.

 

Falcon and Winter Soldier lean on each other as they limp towards Dr. Strange.

 

The Guardians of the Galaxy are huddled around Drax in a circular embrace. 

 

Black Panther, Okoye and M'Baku are knelt in prayer. 

 

Scarlet Witch walks alone across the battlefield towards a badly wounded Thor. She lowers a hand to help him to his feet.

 

Mantis leans down over Marvel. Before Mantis’ hand touches Carol, however, Captain Marvel’s arm lurches forward. She drags herself towards Tony’s fallen body, reaches out and grabs a hold of his hand. She can’t move any further.

 

Rocket is next to Nebula's body, collecting her broken parts scattered across the earth. Thor and Witch stop nearby. Thor picks up Nebula's body in his arms and carries her over to the final gathering.

 

Rhodes attends to a still grounded Ant-Man, who is stirring, but seriously hurt.

 

The exhausted, but victorious survivors, including Talos and Wong, convene around the Chaos Engine.

 

No one speaks. There is nothing more to be said.

 

EXT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - WATERFRONT - DAY

 

On an overcast day, the entire surviving MCU unites to honor the fallen Avengers in a joint, private funeral. Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Iron Man have memorials lined up side-by-side next to the lake. Only Iron Man has a casket. Pepper and Morgan stand before it, holding each other. Thor and Professor Hulk, now a fully merged personality of Bruce Banner and the Hulk, are immediately behind them as the only surviving members of the original Avengers.

 

Along the waterfront, a scarred Ant-Man is tightly embraced with both Hope and his young daughter. Rhodes turns and places a hand on his shoulder.

 

Clint's family is standing nearby, now without their father and husband. Scott reaches over and gentle takes hold of Laura Barton's hand. She looks over, eyes red and buries her head against his shoulder.

 

Winter Solider kneels down in front of Cap's memorial. He drapes his best friend's broken compass over it. Tears stream down his face. He collapses to the ground, shaking. Falcon runs up to embrace him.

 

Dozens more stand at attention in silent respect, even as the skies darken and rain drizzles down on the funeral.

 

Thor raises Mjolnir and a bolt of lightning arcs up into the sky, blasting away the clouds as warm sunlight floods through. An ephemeral rainbow arcs above Tony's coffin. Morgan looks up at it and gasps.

 

Groot walk up to the memorial. He kneels down and deposits small shoots into the soil around Tony's casket. They quickly sprouts into tiny trees.

 

Captain Marvel is standing with Talos at the far side of the gathering, still horribly wounded. Her hair is burned off and her skin is visibly charred. 

 

Behind her, the door to Tony's garage workshop opens. Rocket exits first followed closely by Nebula, still damaged, but repaired enough back to consciousness. She looks out at the gathering and slowly limps through the crowd of mourners. Everyone watches as she stops in front of Carol Danvers. The two women don't say a word. Nebula steps forward and wraps her arms around Captain Marvel.

 

Nebula lets go and turns towards the memorial. She stumbles over to Pepper and Morgan.

 

NEBULA

I’m sorry.

 

Pepper holds Morgan even more tightly.

 

NEBULA

Tony left a message with me. In case he never made it. I promised him I would play it for you. Is that ok?

 

Pepper is about to burst into tears again. She barely nods her head.

 

INT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

 

All of the lights are off as Pepper and Morgan sit nervously on the couch. Nebula kneels before them as the audio she secretly recorded from deep space five years ago plays back, slightly trimmed to perfectly fit the current context.

 

TONY STARK (V.O.)

Is...is this thing on? Hey, Ms. Potts. If you...ever get this recording...I, uh...actually don't know if you're ever going to see this. Guess life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. But you know me...I had to go down fighting.

 

Pepper eyes are shut tight. She’s fighting as hard as she can to not burst into tears. Morgan crawls forward towards her father’s final words.

 

TONY STARK (V.O.)

Please, don’t...feel bad about this. Part of the journey...is the end. The monster finally got me. Got a lot of us, I think. I know I said no more surprises, but...I gotta say...I was really hoping to pull off one last one. I’m going to...lie down now. Please know...when I drift off...I’ll dream of you. It’s always you.

 

Nebula rises and exits the room to give Tony’s family privacy.

 

EXT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - WATERFRONT - DAY

 

Back outside, the somber Guardians of the Galaxy stand together.

 

DRAX

Mantis, can you feel everyone’s sadness?

 

Mantis shakes her head.

 

MANTIS

I feel...everyone’s love.

 

Star Lord looks off into the distance.

 

PETER QUILL

She was with us. Gamora was with us. At the end.

 

Nebula limps back to the group with the help of Rocket.

 

NEBULA

You saw my sister?

 

PETER QUILL

Maybe it was just a dream.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

No. She was there. She held back Thanos as long as she could.

 

DRAX

Gamora kept fighting until the very last second.

 

GROOT

I am Groot...

 

PETER QUILL

Nebula. Is there any chance she...survived?

 

NEBULA

The Soul Stone has always been a mystery. I don't even know if my father truly understood it in the end.

 

PETER QUILL

Then I won't stop until I do. Because if there is any chance she's alive, I'm going to find her.

 

NEBULA

Then we'll find her together. My sister...loved you so much, Quill. And...and...

 

The Guardians all turn towards Nebula as she pauses dramatically. She looks up into Quill’s eyes, but already seems confused by what she's about to say.

 

NEBULA

I...love you, too?

 

Rocket spits out his drink. Drax tries to hold back, but can help bursting out into riotous laughter.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Woah, woah, woah did I leave a wrench in your head or something?

 

PETER QUILL

What the hell was that?

 

NEBULA

Rocket, what did you do?! Why did I say that?! I feel sick!

 

Rocket jumps up on her shoulders and stares into her ear.

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I don’t know, I think I gotta loosen some of these screws! Or maybe tighten them...?

 

Thor strolls past and wraps his arm around Quill with a chuckle.

 

THOR

Don't be so surprised, it's true. Some women really do find feminine looking men attractive. It's called gold digging. I learned all about this in New York. On the Longest Island.

 

PETER QUILL

Okay, that’s fine, Thor...Rocket, will you fix her please!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

I’m trying!

 

Rocket’s arm is elbow deep in Nebula’s head now.

 

NEBULA

Work faster!

 

Valkyrie joins the group.

 

VALKYRIE

So Your Highness? Will you return to Asgard? Thanos is dead. Our people are restored. Your oath is fulfilled.

 

THOR

I didn't kill Thanos. We killed Thanos. But I can't take the Queen of Asgard off her throne. She's too strong and too wise and her people would miss her too greatly. I see in you what I could never achieve. I was never cut out to be a King. It was handed to me, but you earned it.

 

VALKYRIE

Your words are very kind. Your gesture even more so. I want to continue earning it every day.

 

THOR

I already know you will.

 

VALKYRIE

I fear we may suddenly wear out our welcome now. It may be time for us to find a bigger homeland already. Start over for real this time.

 

THOR

As you wish, Your Highness.

 

VALKYRIE

Will you do this for us? Find us a new home?

 

THOR

Whatever my Queen asks of me.

 

MANTIS

Thor, you could come with us!

 

GROOT

I am Groot!

 

MANTIS

We travel all over the galaxy. We could help you find a home!

 

THOR

You really think so?

 

MANTIS

Yes, even though Peter is jealous of you.

 

PETER QUILL

I'm not jealous, who's jealous?

 

THOR

The Asgardians of the Galaxy! I kind of like the sound of that!

 

PETER QUILL

I can't say "no" to this, can I? 

 

THOR

No, you can't. 

 

DRAX

How could you? Look at him. He could force his will upon you effortlessly. That he even holds back from doing so proves his moral superiority as well.

 

PETER QUILL

We got it, Drax.

 

DRAX

His hair is glistening, Quill.

 

Rocket leaps down from Nebula’s head and realized there are still two random screws in his paw. He looks surprised he even has them.

 

NEBULA

Did you fix it?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Uh...yeah, yeah. You’re all good now...Come on, let’s head up.

 

The team walks towards the lakehouse. Thor goes with them.

 

VALKYRIE

When will I see you all again?

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Oh, we're just going to the mini bar.

 

GROOT

I am Groot!

 

ROCKET RACCOON

No, not you!

 

GROOT

I am Groot...

 

ROCKET RACCOON

Alright, maybe a little bit.

 

They walk past Falcon and Winter Soldier. Both men's cheeks are stained with dried tears.

 

BUCKY BARNES (sniffling)

What do we do now, Sam?

 

Bucky sounds completely lost. Black Panther steps in between them and points ahead at Captain America’s memorial.

 

T'CHALLA

Now you take up the shield.

 

Okoye hands Panther Captain America’s shield, fully restored once more.

 

T'CHALLA

I could not let this symbol stay fractured. Because it would not be true.

 

SAM WILSON

Which of us are you giving it to?

 

T'CHALLA

I did not know Steve Rogers as well as you did. But fighting against him and alongside him, I do know this is not something you are given.

 

Black Panther stabs it into the ground ahead of them.

 

T'CHALLA

You must pick it up for yourself.

 

He puts a hand on both of their shoulders. They look at each other and smile.

 

Captain Marvel approaches the shield.

 

CAROL DANVERS

That's a lot to live up to, but there's a lot to live up to for all of us now.

 

Dr. Strange and Scarlet Witch are nearby, having listened to the entire conversation.

 

DR. STRANGE

These people were like a family. They fought for each other.

 

WANDA MAXIMOFF

Sometimes we fought with each other, too.

 

T'CHALLA

All families do that. But when the time came, you still had each other's backs.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Now we all have to have each other’s backs.

 

T'CHALLA

Tell me, Carol Danvers. Where do you get your strength from?

 

CAROL DANVERS

An accident from a long time ago. It's kind of a long story.

 

T'CHALLA

I'm not talking about the fire in your hands. I'm talking about the fire in your heart.

 

Black Panther pats his heart for emphasis. Carol smiles weakly.

 

T’CHALLA

I just hope we're always on the same side of the battlefield. So I don't have to kick all your asses.

 

DR. STRANGE

Well, I think we are going to be seeing each other a lot more on those battlefields.

 

T'CHALLA

Then we’ll win.

 

WANDA MAXIMOFF

We’ll avenge.

 

EXT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - PORCH - DAY

 

Professor Hulk stands just below the wide porch overlooking the waterfront. Nick Fury leans over the bannister above him.

 

FURY

Nice suit.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Fury? When did you sneak in?

 

FURY

You know me. I'm always where I need to be when I need to be.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Guess I need a whole new wardrobe now, right?

 

FURY

This is kind of freaking me out to be honest. I'm still not sure if I should be calling in backup or not.

 

BRUCE BANNER

No, it's just me. And him. At the same time if that makes any sense.

 

FURY

Not really, no. But I'm grateful.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Don't thank me. It was them.

 

FURY

You were the one who brought us all back. Could've gone really badly, you know? An ‘enormous green rage monster’ granted any one wish? Guess the Other Guy had a heart after all.

 

BRUCE BANNER

Maybe a broken heart.

 

FURY

None of us should ever forget what happened. That memory could be pain. But don't let it be pain. Let it be love.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Fury!

 

Fury turns to see Captain Marvel beaming at the bottom of the porch stairs.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Just when I thought you weren't going to show!

 

FURY

Danvers?

 

Captain Marvel walks up the stairs and hugs her former partner.

 

FURY

Battle scars?

 

He points at his own head.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Eh, it’s not so bad. It'll grow back. Besides, I kind of like it short.

 

FURY

I think it looks good on you.

 

Carol makes a skeptical face. She knows she looks horrible right now.

 

FURY

I’m serious! I think...I think I’m just happy to see you at all.

 

CAROL DANVERS

I was starting to think you hated me. What took you so long with that pager anyway?

 

FURY

An ace in the hole can’t win if its turned over too quickly. The hand I waited for was the Apocalypse.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Playing kinda dangerously, don’t you think?

 

FURY

There’s more to the story. Part of it is...I wasn’t always so sure you would come back.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Why wouldn’t I come back?

 

FURY

Because you might not be around to come back. Not in a universe of Thanos’ and Infinity Gauntlets. I only got a taste of what was out there when you first showed up and then in a blink of an eye you flew away to face it alone. I guess if I never knew for sure you were gone, I could always hope you were still out there somewhere. Safe.

 

CAROL DANVERS

I think we’ve all had our troubles these past decades. The guys have been telling me everything that’s gone down since I left. It’s frightening. You were on the brink so many times.

 

FURY

It’s true, we’ve stared down the end of the world more than once. Way more than once. It didn’t always look good. But through it all, no matter what, I had a team I always knew would never let me down.

 

CAROL DANVERS

Fury. You still do.

 

Every remaining hero now stands facing the porch. Fury looks out at all of his New Avengers.

 

All of his New Avengers except one.

 

EXT. TONY STARK’S LAKEHOUSE - WATERFRONT - DAY

 

Spider-Man is sitting alone on a grassy hill overlooking the memorial. He holds the picture of Tony and him smiling together. 

 

He looks up as Pepper and Happy place their hands on Tony's casket. Morgan sits down next to him.

 

MORGAN

You’re the boy in that picture.

 

Spider-Man quickly wipes a tear from his eye and clears his throat.

 

PETER PARKER

Oh, I-I'm Peter. What's your name?

 

He already knows who she is, he just has no idea what to say to her now. Morgan cuts to the chase.

 

MORGAN

Are you...Spider-Man?

 

PETER PARKER

Me? No, no, what do you mean? I could never be Spider-Man, I'm too awkward, I'm too young...I make too many dumb mistakes. I let too many people down and I couldn't save--

 

He stops himself as tears glimmer in his eyes. He wipes them off when he realizes that Morgan is quietly crying next to him, too.

 

PETER PARKER

No, no! Hey, come here!

 

He puts his arm around her shoulders and hugs her close to him.

 

PETER PARKER

I’m just...I’m...

 

Spider-Man is choking up as he looks down at the heartbroken young girl melting in his arms.

 

PETER PARKER (sniffling)

Hey. Morgan.

 

He leans in close to whisper in her ear.

 

PETER PARKER (whispering)

I am Spider-Man.

 

Morgan's tear-stained cheeks lift into a hopeful smile.

 

INT. PEGGY CARTER’S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - MORNING

 

Peggy Carter lies in bed alone as the morning sun peeks through her open window. 

 

Her arm stretches out over the empty half of the bed next to her.

 

A picture frame on the nightstand shows her dancing with Steve Rogers one rainy night. 

 

As she lies in bed, Peggy hums the song they danced to.

 

END