FIRST DO NO HARM
Thriller – A 16-year-old boy-genius and dedicated coward volunteers for a dangerous mission for which he is completely ill-equipped, but his desire to succeed overwhelms his terror when faced with the awesome responsibility to the lives who depend on his courage.
MYRON NEWFORD attends college in Seattle, Washington and, at 16, will graduate with math and science degrees taking classes he is qualified to teach. He lives in a working-class neighborhood where he grew up that is now gang-ridden and rife with drug dealers. Timid and fearful, Myron has arranged for one of the students he tutors, RUSSELL SIMMONS, to drive him home every night after Myron’s volunteer shift at the local animal shelter; Myron is much more at home with animals than people and loves his cat GERALDINE almost as much as he loves his hard-working, single mom, ELLEN.
On their way to school one morning, Russell informs Myron he will not be able to give him a ride home that night and he’ll have to take the bus. Myron, overwhelmed with anxiety, protests but there is no way around it, he is forced to walk several blocks alone in the dark. His worst fears are confirmed when he is attacked by teenage thugs, and Russell, having had second thoughts, comes to his rescue. He tries to convince Myron to act like less of a victim, but his words fall on deaf ears.
After his chemistry class the next day, Myron approaches his professor DR. DANA SCOTT to ask if she has been given any more information about Myron’s one and only friend JESSE URICH who has disappeared without a trace. She is reluctant to talk about it and will only agree to discuss it in depth in private. It is obvious they both have a great deal of admiration for Jesse and are worried about him and the secret project they are all involved in in which Jesse plays an important role.
That night, Dr. Scott approaches Myron with a proposition. It involves an assignment that could prove dangerous but if all goes well would further the work that she, Jesse and others have dedicated their lives to. She warns Myron that he needn’t do it and mustn’t if he has any foreboding about it whatsoever. Myron, eager to help Jesse, has no qualms about jumping in and doing what is required. His fears seem to melt in the face of this unexpected opportunity.
The next night, Myron and Dr. Scott sit in her car and observe an old boarded-up abandoned building that is surrounded by a chain link fence and is protected by a locked gate. It is inhabited by a few homeless people who Dr. Scott assures him are harmless. He needs to get inside the building and into the basement where a tunnel will take him to where he needs to go. Myron, assuring Dr. Scott that he is up to the job, gets out of the car and, after she drives away, finds a way to sneak inside the building where he is shocked to find out that, contrary to what Dr. Scott told him, there are three dangerous men guarding the building and the tunnel. Myron, trembling and overcome with fear is tempted to give up on his mission. But remembering his loyalty to Jesse, he gathers up what courage he has and tries to make his way down to the basement. Unfortunately, the three men discover him, and the chase is on.
Lacking physical skills, Myron must use his wits, his intelligence and dedication to his cause to escape and outmaneuver the men intent on killing him. He is caught, manages to escape, is shot and captured again before finally making his way through the tunnel and to the underground building that is his destination. There he faces a challenge bigger than any he could ever have imagined. He is overwhelmed by the horror of what he sees; an animal experimentation laboratory that also experiments on the homeless men living in the abandoned building. Jesse’s parents HELMOND AND WANDA URICH are the vivisectors and have imprisoned their own son to keep him away from the lab. They show up unexpectedly and threaten Myron with death or worse. With the help of Dr. Scott, who risks her life to save him, and Jesse, who has managed to escape his parents’ thugs, the Urich’s are rendered unconscious and are strapped into the same stereotaxic devices where they had immobilized their homeless victims. The injured homeless men are taken to the nearest hospital and the animals are spirited out of the lab and placed in trucks that will whisk them away to parts unknown. Spread out on the floor of the lab, for the elucidation of the media and police, are the horrifying vivisection photos of animals and humans that document the crimes perpetrated in the lab. Needless to say, the lab is closed down and the vivisectors must face the legal consequences of their crimes.
After his ordeal, Myron is forever changed. He welcomes challenges, including threats by gangsters prowling his own neighborhood, knowing he has faced down his fears and overcome the worst life has to offer with courage, compassion and love.Home