Josh Becker


Copyright ©




1 EXT. SKY DAY                    1


It is a deep clear blue sky with the just the slightest wisp of a cloud in the distance.


We hear the voice of a YOUNG MAN as he intones the words . . .


                                                                 YOUNG MAN (V.0.)

                                In the beginning, there was the brilliant star

                                of heaven in the bright desert sky . . .


There is an incredibly loud Thoomp! like someone pulling their thumb out of a bottle. A flaming ball appears in the sky leaving a white vapor trail behind it as it plummets to Earth.


The burning eyes of our narrator, the Young Man, look up into the sky and watch the descent of the flaming ball.


2 EXT.DESERT - DAY                 2


Our view moves down from the sky to the blistering hot sands of the desert shimmering in the midday sun.


The flaming bail disappears in the distance in a silent puff of dust.


The wind blows away the dust and whistles across the barren expanse of desert.


The Young Mans eyes peer way into the distance at the rippling horizon. There is a black spot. Its a person . . .


The Young Mans eyes widen.


From the wasteland a figure appears. It is a man standing very straight with his chin thrust forward . . .


He is DR. IVAN HOOD, D.O., a tall, well-built, 32-year-old man with sandy windblown hair. He wears the dirty white jumpsuit of an astronaut. On his breast is written "NASA, PROBE MISSION."


Beside Dr. Hood is the mission leader, CAPTAIN CHARLES CHUCK BURKE, a tall muscular, chiseled-faced man that looks just like an astronaut ought to.


The second in command is CAPTAIN KELLY LANAHAN, a striking woman with short blonde hair, a tough streak and a somewhat goofy smile.


Next is 2nd LT. AIDA MUNOZ, an short intense Latina woman with an injured leg. She is being supported by Captain Lanahan.


Dr. Hood stops walking and puts his hands on his hips. When the other three get to him he relieves Captain Lanahan of helping Lt. Munoz.



                                Ya know, I was just wondering . . .


Captain Burke rolls his eyes in exasperation.



                                 What now, doctor?



                                Well, I was just wondering if there

                                were as many doctors now practicing

                                as there were when we left.



                                Why, pray tell?



                                Well, it's the old theory of supply and

                                demand. If there are more doctors then

                                I cant charge as much. The rates go

                                down. But if there arent as many doctors

                                then I can charge more. Whatever the

                                market allows.


Aida is in a panic as she limps beside Ivan.


                                There is no market and there are no




                                Well, then my services will be in great




                                Civilization has been destroyed. Why

                                else wouldn't we have made radio contact?

                                Huh? Everything's gone! In the 20 years

                                weve been in cryogenic sleep, the worlds

                                been decimated! We're all gonna die!



                                Always looking on the bright side, eh?



                                Why don' t you just can it, Lieutenant.

                                Just take a break, okay? Now, what were

                                you saying, doctor?


Ivan looks Kelly up and down and grins.



                                Have I told you that you look terrific in

                                that flight suit lately?



                                Not in 20 years.



                                That long, huh? Well you do.


Kelly stretches her arms and shoulder muscles.



                                My neck hurts.


Ivan reaches out and rubs her neck.


                                You probably slept in the wrong position

                                for the past five or six years. Remind me,

                                Ill give you an adjustment. Now, where

                                was I?



                                Supply and demand?






                                                           (muttering to himself)

                                Oh, brother, here we go again.



                                Astronauts, for example, might be a dime

                                a dozen. Everybody might have a spaceship

                                in their backyard.



                                Right. And everyone might have a medical

                                degree, too. The average person may know

                                more about medicine than you ever learned.




                                Yeah, what do you say to that, Doctor?



                                I say, this is my theory and the way I've

                                got it worked out is that my services are

                                going to be at a high premium. In fact,

                                Osteopaths will be in greater demand

                                than M.D.s. My newest theory is that

                                the future is utopia for everyone, excluding

                                M.D.s, of course, and I will be known

                                as "The Great Healer.






                                Whats the matter, you don't think I

                                have the potential?



                                I dont think it matters what you think!

                                Nothing ever works out the way it's

                                supposed to and neither will any of your

                                theories. I think were all breathing high

                                levels of radiation and well all be dead

                                by nightfall.



                                You must be a fun date. Anyway, in

                                utopia, which is now, Ill be known as

                                The Great Healer, and I'll charge exorbitant

                                fees, and sickness will be eradicated and

                                everyone will be happy.


Ivan turns to Kelly and grins and winks. She wearily smiles back. Captain Burke rolls his eyes.



                                Holy mackerel.




Meanwhile, the eyes of the Young Man squint as he peers into the distance at the approaching figures.


We now see the entire face of the Young Man. He is 19-years old, thin, dirty, long knotted hair, and has a black leather muzzle strapped over his mouth and around the back of his head.


THWACK!! the end of a bullwhip snaps one inch from the Young Mans head startling him out of his reverie. He turns to see . . .


A big burly man with a thick beard and long snarly hair sitting atop a horse. He is a BOUNTY HUNTER. He has an old carbine rifle slung over his shoulder and grips a long black bullwhip in his fist. He snaps it again. CRACK!


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1

                                Okay, lets get it movin!


The Young Man is quick to get moving.

4EXT.ROADINDESERT - DAY               4


We hear the clinking of many chains. As our view widens we see that the Young Man is part of a long chain gang of people dressed in rags with black leather muzzles strapped to their faces. They are all manacled together at the ankles. There are fifteen men, women and children of all ages.


The Bounty Hunters snap their whips herding the chain gang along a paved road in the desert.


The Young Man looks back out into the desert and sees the approaching figures. He looks around, but no one else has seen this apparition but him.


The chain gang passes an interstate road sign that reads, "Oregon, I-5.


                                                                 YOUNG MAN (V.O.)

                                A plague of misery had befallen us. We,

                                the chosen people of Earthhumans

                                were shackled in bondage. Our sense of

                                hope was almost gone. We had nothing

                                worthwhile to believe in. But that was all

                                to soon change . . .


The chain gang passes a strange futuristic car, covered with dust, staled in its lane. It has Oregon plates marked with the year 25 on the tabs. Inside the car are two dead rotted and dried human bodies. No one on the chain gang even glances at the corpses.


The chain gang passes many more dusty stalled cars containing dead bodies.


As our view widens we see that the chain gang is moving up a downtown street of a city.


As our view widens still further the skyline of the city becomes visible. A sign becomes visible in the foreground sitting crookedly in the cracked, dry desert that reads, "Portland, Oregon, City Limits."



5 EXT. PORTLAND - DAY                 5


There's no one there. It's totally abandoned. The glass in the tall buildings is shattered and broken. All that moves is the chain gang and mounted Bounty Hunters. In a moment they disappear behind a building and there is no movement at all. Tumbleweeds and dust blow through the downtown streets.


The four astronauts step up and stop. They look at the ghostly remains of Portland in silent horror.  



                                Wasnt Portland in the middle of the woods?



                                I thought so.


Aida looks from one to the other with a crazed expression.



                                I told you so. What else could kill all

                                the trees like this? Radiation. We're all

                                getting cancer right this second. I can

                                feel it. I can feel my skin burning . . .


Aida is starting to panic badly and become hysterical


Ivan grabs a hunk of skin on Aidas arm and pinches her real hard. She hollers and pushes Ivan away.



                                Oww! Shit, what did you do that for?


Aida rubs her arm. Ivan acts innocent.



                                What? I didn't do anything.


Suddenly, the four astronauts hear the loud crack of a bullwhip. They look at each other in wide-eyed shock and confusion, then drop to the ground. They watch as the long line of chained and muzzled slaves appears between two buildings. They see the Bounty Hunters riding along beside snapping their whips.


Ivan turns back to the others.




                                What the hell is that?







                                Let's get outta here.


They all turn to go back from whence they came and come face to face with three Bounty Hunters aiming carbines right at them.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1

                                Thesere sure dressed funny.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #2

                                Yeah, but it's four more we're bringin'

                                back. We're in luck.


Chuck steps forward, his chest out.



                                My name is Captain Burke, United States

                                Air Force, uh . . . Greetings.


The three Bounty Hunters look at each other in real amazement. They cant believe their ears.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #2

                                Did you hear that?


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1


                                                           (to Chuck)

                                What did you say?




                                Greetings? Were friends.


The Bounty Hunters are even more amazed.  


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #2

                                He did it again.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1

                                He sure did.


They all shrug and shake their heads. Suddenly, one of the Bounty Hunters lashes out with the butt of his carbine and smashes Chuck in the side of the head. Chuck is knocked backward into the others' arms.


One of the Bounty Hunters addresses the whole cowering group.

                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #2

                                I don't know where you're from in your

                                funny clothes, but you don't never talk

                                to us! Never!


To make sure they clearly understand this, one of the Bounty Hunters produces a burlap sack from which he removes a handful of black leather muzzles with holes drilled in them.


As the barrel of a carbine is shoved in their nose, each astronaut is muzzled with a slipknot tied behind their heads.


They begin marching up the road. Aida is still limping badly. When Ivan and Kelly attempt to help her they are roughly pushed way.


Within about a hundred yards Aida has fallen ten yards behind. They all stop and wait for her. She gets a bit closer, her eyes clearly wincing from the pain.


All of the other slaves turn to look. The Young Man pays close attention.


The Bounty Hunters shake their heads. One of them quickly raises his carbine, aims and fires. Aida is hit with the bullet in the shoulder, spins from the impact and drops to the pavement bleeding.


The other astronauts lurch forward and find rifle barrels in their faces. They can hear Aida moaning.


The Bounty Hunter that shot Aida re-cocks his rifle and shoots her again. Aida's body jerks from the impact and she dies.


Sadness fills the eyes of her fellow astronauts.


Resignation fills the eyes of the slaves, except the Young Man'shis burn with anger.


The Bounty Hunters push the astronauts forward. They continue up the freeway to join the rest of the chain gang.


One of the Bounty Hunters takes a sack of iron manacles from his saddle horn and a mallet and the astronauts ankles are manacled, then chained together. They are then chained to the last slave in the line. The Bounty Hunters snap their bullwhips and the chain gang moves up the road, the iron chains jingling against the pavement.

Mighty snowcapped mountains loom in the background.

                                                                 YOUNG MAN (V.0.)

                                . . . That was the day that the Doctor appeared.

                                He came forth from the desert to heal humanity's

                                wounds, to teach us to once again stand up

                                straight as men, to set us free . . .




6 DELETED                     6

7 DELETED                     7

8 DELETED                     8


9 EXT. WOODS DAY                 9


The prisoners are marched up a dirt road into the woods.




They arrive at a fenced-in clearing carved out of the woods beside a sawmill. There is a moment of crisp clear silence directly followed by a painfully loud and grating ZZZZZZ!! of a plank of thick wood being ripped in two by a fierce spinning blade.




The chain gang enters the compound through the front gate, which is guarded by a Bounty Hunter with a carbine.


They walk past row upon row of freshly cut planks off wood.


Reposing at the center of the compound is a strange, unearthly sculpture. It is made of turquoise crystal forming many points and it's fifteen feet tall! It is beside an enormous live oak tree.


Kelly, Ivan and Chuck look at the sculpture, then at each other. What the hell is that? their eyes ask.








The astronauts and other prisoners are marched across the compound. At the back of the compound they see a long, low, wooden building that disappears into the woods behind. It is constructed of unfinished timber and it's design is odd. It's too round and at the same time too pointy on the ends.


The prisoners are marched to the sawmill.


13 EXT. SAWMILL - DAY                 13


They are met by other bearded men wearing leather aprons, gloves and holding baseball bats. These are the guys that run the sawmill. They are the MILLHANDS. The FOREMAN steps up with his Manager in tow.



                                What'cha got?


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1



The Foreman and his Manager check out the prisoners. They look in their mouths and feel their muscles.



                                A puny lot.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1

                                They were strong enough to run past

                                Portland. They can stack the damn



The Foreman and the Manager look at each other. They arrive in front of the astronauts.



                                These ones here are sure dressed

                                strange. Must be from a different



The Bounty Hunter's eyes light up.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #2

                                Different distrik? Really?


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1

                                That must be good. We're in luck.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #2

                                Yeah. Let's go tell the 'Mites . . .

                                                           (he feels his throat)

                                . . . Or should we wait?


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1

                                Nah. They aint gonna bite our heads


                                                           (to the Foreman)

                                Dont do nothin' to these . . .

                                                           (points at astronauts)

                                . . . til we get back.


The Foreman nods.


The Bounty Hunters run off toward the wooden main building.


The Foreman turns to his Manager.



                                Take these three over to the loading dock

                                and get em workin.


The Manager pokes Ivan, Kelly and Chuck in the backs and prods them into the sawmill.



                                Get movin, slaves!


The Foreman whistles and three other Millhands, wearing leather aprons, work gloves and carrying baseball bats, step out of the mill. One of the Millhands has a big pair of shears in his hand. They approach the prisoners who are moaning loudly behind their muzzles and shrinking away from them.


The Young Man, who is among the quaking, moaning slaves, keeps his eyes on the astronauts as they go into the mill.


14 EXT. SAWMILL DAY                 14


Its really loud, and were not even inside. Steel blades ripping through wood, sawdust flying everywhere. 20 slaves wearing rags and black leather muzzles perform all of the various functions of the sawmill.

The astronauts look at each other. Now what?


The Millhands take charge of the astronauts and assign them jobs. They are made to stack long, unfinished planks of wood onto a flatcar.


The planks of fresh cut wood are stacked on flat train cars. When they are fully loaded another group of slaves pushes the train cars away along a small siding beside the sawmill, then another empty car is pushed into view.


As soon as they start to work they hear an agonized howl come from outside, loud enough to be heard over the giant saws and machinery. The astronauts look at each other in fear and confusion.


As they work they notice that every time a Millhand turns around the slaves immediately use sign language to communicate with one another. The minute the Millhands turn back, the slaves have stopped signing and are once again working.


Within two minutes of handling the wood without gloves, the astronauts hands are stuck with many slivers. Kelly winces from the pain. Ivan quickly rips off part of his sleeve, takes Kelly's hands, removes the large slivers, and bandages them. Chuck sees what he's doing and follows suit. Now none of them are working.


The big burly bearded Manager in his leather apron, with hairy shoulders, storms over to them. He carries a homemade baseball bat.



                                You can't stop workin'! That holds

                                up the whole show! Then I get in

                                trouble! So now you're in trouble!


He lifts his bat toward Kelly who is the nearest. She raises her left hand to block and pulls her right back into fist. Ivan and Chuck are both ready to fight, their fists clenched.


The Manager isn't used to such blatant resistance and immediately backs down.



                                Get to work!


They do as they're told, but they throw each other a look that says, maybe there is a chance.


And then they hear another painfully agonized howl. It makes them wince.


Then Bounty Hunters show back up. They grab the astronauts and drag them away.

15 EXT. COMPOUND - SUNSET               15


As the astronauts are hustled across the compound they see formerly escaped slaves fearfully lined up for some function that is causing them extreme pain, although what that is they can't see.


They pass the turquoise crystal sculpture looming in the sky with the setting sun behind it.




It's like something out of "Lost Horizon" in unfinished wood. Low-tiered, rounded corners, but other parts pointy. It's really a weird building.


The astronauts are hustled inside.




A long empty wooden hallway with slit windows at waist level and eye level. Shafts of light angle across the hallway.


Before going several steps inside they all smell something overpowering. Rotting garbage. They all look at each other and make faces. Whoo, it stinks! The Bounty Hunters don't like it either.


They are brought before a thick, strangely carved wide wooden door. One of the Bounty Hunters knocks. There is no response. The muzzled astronauts can near a strange gurgling sound coming from within. The Bounty Hunter goes to knock again and suddenly there is a high-pitched shriek which causes them all to wince.


The Bounty Hunter opens the big heavy door, Eeeeee . . . revealing a huge room with two figures at a table twenty-five feet away. They are lit by flat beams of sunlight from the slit windows.


18 INT. DINING ROOM SUNSET             18


Sitting at the end of a long wooden table are two black clad figures. Behind them stand two other black clad figures holding rifles with enormous cannon barrels. As the astronauts get closer they can see that these are not human beings, but ALIENS with misshapen heads, numerous tentacles and mouths that open sideways like insects. In fact, that's what they areseven-foot termites with humanoid bodies.


The two at the table are eating what looks like bowls of decaying fruit and rotting wood chips with pine molding as a side dish.

The Aliens wear pieces of intricately carved varnished wood all over them like jewelry, on their tentacles and hanging from the sides of their heads and around their necks.


One of the Aliens lurches toward the other and makes a gurgling sound. The humans flinch, it looks like it's going to vomit on the other. However the other Alien, which is possibly a female of the species, gurgles right back. The male turns to the humans and inspects them with its multifaceted bug eyes. It masticates the acrid mush plaintively. Suddenly it speaks in reasonably clear though strangely formed and phrased English.





The Bounty Hunters loosen the sliding top knots at the back of the astronauts heads lowering the muzzles from their faces. They all take a big breath of air and it stinks.





Chuck steps up, his chest forward.



                                No. Who are you?


All of the Aliens cock their heads in surprise and begin gurgling, then emitting deafening little shrieks that seem to simulate laughter.







                                But youre not human.



                                No. NorwouldIwanttobe.


This brings on more piercing little shrieks from the Aliens, including the guards.

Chuck looks back to Kelly and Ivan who are all offended.



                                from? Bequick.



                                I'm . . . from Minnesota.


                                Minnesota. Thatisafar


The Alien gurgles with the others for a moment.



                                Where are you from?


All the Aliens look up, surprised.



                                Oregon. WereinOregon.


Chuck looks at Ivan and Kelly and shrugs helplessly.



                                You're not from Earth. What planet

                                are you from?


The Alien seems amused. It makes a specific gurgling sound, then nods.



                                There. Doesthathelp?


The other Aliens shriek with laughter.



                                Thanks a lot.

                                                           (getting tough)

                                Look, I want some answers! I want to

                                know what's going on? What are you

                                aliens doing here?


The Alien's bug eyes really go wide. The one calling himself the LEADER turns sharply to the two armed ALIEN GUARDS and shrieks piercingly.


The Alien Guards double-time over to Chuck. One puts his cannon-sized barrel to Chuck's chest, the other grabs him roughly from behind.


                                Now look here. What do you


The Leader turns to Ivan and Kelly with a very serious tone.





                                humansnaturallyhave. That



The Leader turns it's horrible bug head to the guards and nods slightly.


The termite guard holding Chuck from behind pulls Chuck's arms back hard, then begins opening its mouth sideways, wider and wider . . .


Ivan, Kelly and the Bounty Hunters watch helplessly as the Alien Guard envelopes Chuck's head in its gaping maw and takes it off in single bite. Then chews it up and swallows it! Chucks headless body falls to the floor.


All the humans, astronauts and Bounty Hunters alike, are sickened and disgusted.


The Leader turns back to them.



                                Ourfavoritedelicacy. Nevertempt

                                us. Nowwhereareyoufrom?


Kelly looks at Ivan and shes slightly freaked-out.



                                We're astronauts. We've been in

                                space for twenty years. We placed

                                a probe in deep space.


The Leader nods knowingly.





                                it'smessage. Doyourwork

                                wellandlive. Thatisyour

                                onlychoice. Humansarean

                                inferiorspeciestowe. As

                                Isay, nevertemptus.


There is a knock at the door and the Leader emits a ear piercing shriek.

The door is opened by a Millhand who enters holding a large wooden bowl. He brings the bowl to the Aliens.


The Leader turns to the Bounty Hunters.





The Bounty Hunters hustle Kelly and Ivan out of the room.


Passing the Millhand, they glance into the wooden bowl and see that it is full of human fingers and blood. The bowl is set on the table. Each of the Aliens reaches into the bowl, takes a finger and eats it.


The sickened astronauts throw a quick glance back at Chucks inert headless body on the floor. The big wooden door slams shut blocking their view.


19 EXT. COMPOUND - SUNSET               19


The two remaining astronauts are taken across the darkening compound. The turquoise crystal sculpture is glowing brightly, casting an eerie light and a pulsing hum around it. The two Bounty Hunters are talking amongst themselves and havent yet pulled the slaves muzzles back up.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1

                                So then you're not from another distrik.

                                You're from outer space?





                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #2

                                By Jupiter, that's better than another distrik!

                                We've done real good.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1

                                We might even get promoted for this.


Ivan finally cant help himself.  



                                But you're working for the aliens and

                                against the humans.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1


                                Yeah, sure.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #2

                                It's a lot better'n bein' a slave.


The two Bounty Hunters chuckle over the obviousness of this.



                                                           (still serious)

                                But you're not helping things here,

                                you're hurting them.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER #1

                                What'dya mean?



                                I mean, if you're not part of the solution

                                you're part of the problem.


The Bounty Hunters consider this for a brief moment, then pull Ivan and Kelly's muzzles back up tightly.


                                                                 BOUNTY HUNTER 1 & 2


                                Shut up!


They give the astronauts a hard shove.


20 EXT. SLAVE CELLAR SUNSET             20


They arrive at a thick wooden trap door mounted into the ground. A bearded human guard sits on a chair beside it with a rifle. He slides a wooden bolt over and opens the trap door. The astronauts are pushed down the wooden steps leading into the cellar and the trap door is slammed closed after them and rebolted.




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