A Broken Sky

Logline: A desperate government, facing a catastrophic mercury poisoning outbreak stemming from a corporate cover-up, grapples with an impossible choice – quarantine entire cities or unleash a devastating nuclear weapon to contain the deadly contamination.


  • A sprawling metropolis, 2077: The city is choked by a thick, metallic haze – the result of years of industrial negligence by a powerful corporation, Aethon Inc. Citizens are succumbing to mercury poisoning, with devastating neurological and physical symptoms.


  • Dr. Anya Petrova (50s): A brilliant but ostracized scientist, the first to expose Aethon’s mercury pollution. She now leads a team of researchers desperately searching for a cure.
  • Mayor Sarah Ramirez (40s): A compassionate and level-headed leader, burdened by the impossible decision of protecting her city from further harm.
  • General Marcus Thorne (60s): A stoic military leader tasked with enforcing the quarantine and considering the unthinkable – a nuclear strike.
  • David Kim (30s): A journalist determined to expose the truth about Aethon’s crimes and the government’s escalating response.
  • The Aethon Executives: Greedy and ruthless individuals willing to sacrifice lives to maintain their corporation’s profits.


  • The story opens as the city descends into chaos. Citizens exhibit symptoms of mercury poisoning, with tremors, hallucinations, and organ failure. Dr. Petrova warns of a public health crisis, but the government, influenced by Aethon’s lobbying, downplays the situation.
  • David Kim, uncovering evidence of Aethon’s negligence, publishes an expose. Public outrage mounts, leading to protests and clashes with the increasingly militarized quarantine.
  • As the situation deteriorates, with hospitals overflowing and resources dwindling, Mayor Ramirez faces a heart-wrenching decision. General Thorne proposes a radical solution – a tactical nuclear strike on the most densely populated areas to contain the contamination.
  • Dr. Petrova and David work tirelessly to expose the nuclear option as a barbaric solution. They scramble to find an alternative, searching for a way to chelate (remove) the mercury from the poisoned citizens.
  • David broadcasts a desperate plea, urging the public to unite against both Aethon and the nuclear option. The citizens stage a massive demonstration, demanding a peaceful solution.
  • In a tense climax, General Thorne prepares for the nuclear strike. Mayor Ramirez, at the last possible moment, broadcasts a citywide address, defying the order. She rallies the public to build decontamination zones and support one another.
  • Inspired by the mayor’s courage, Dr. Petrova announces a breakthrough – a treatment protocol using readily available resources to help chelate the mercury. The tide begins to turn as the community unites to save itself.
  • In the aftermath, the government is forced to dismantle Aethon, seizing their assets to fund healthcare and environmental remediation. The story ends with a city scarred but resolute, rebuilding a future free from corporate greed and the shadow of nuclear annihilation.


  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Corporate Greed vs. Public Good
  • The Power of Unity and Civil Disobedience

This narrative explores the horrific consequences of environmental negligence and the potential for authoritarian overreach. Instead of a nuclear solution, the focus shifts towards the courage of a leader who prioritizes her people and the ingenuity of scientists seeking a way to heal the poisoned population.

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