21 INT. SLAVE CELLAR – SUNSET 21
It is a long, dark, underground cellar containing all of the slaves from the sawmill, which is about a thirty. Until their eyes becomes accustomed to the gloom Kelly and Ivan are frozen and blind at the bottom of the steps.
Finally, their eyes adjust and they can make out groups of ragged slaves huddled around little fires and crouched in corners like animals. All of the slaves are staring directly back at them. Several slaves have their muzzles hanging loose. Most still have them in place.
The astronauts don’t move. It's a staring match.
(whispers to Kelly)
What'll we do now, Captain?
Befriend them. Get them to trust us.
Ah. Good plan. How?
Well . . . Lets introduce ourselves.
Kelly looks around. Her view stops on the nearest assemblage of gaunt, sunken-eyed slaves. She steps forward, putting forth her hand.
The slaves scurry away like pigeons.
Kelly moves toward another group and they too quickly scurry away. She turns back to Ivan and shrugs. Ivan smiles encouragingly.
You’re doing great. They love you.
All right, how about this. We go sit
by the biggest fire and even if they
all run away, we're at least still sitting
by the biggest fire.
Right. Sounds good.
They head over to the largest fire near the back. The slaves act like cockroaches clearing a path for them. When they reach the fire only one person remains seated there.
He is a thin, gnarled old man with long white hair and a large nose. His muzzle hangs loose around his neck. His eyes are ablaze in the firelight. He is JEFF.
The astronauts seat themselves across the fire from the old man. The other slaves remain at a safe distance.
Hi. Mind if we sit down?
You're already sitting.
What's your name?
Jeff. What's yours?
Ivan. This is Kelly.
What do you want?
Ivan and Kelly look at each other.
Something to eat would be nice.
S'all gone. Where're you from?
We're astronauts. We just returned
from a space mission. We've been
gone for twenty years.
(his eyes light up)
The Probe Mission?
The astronauts smile at Jeff's recognition.
Yes. How did you know?
(points at them)
It says so on your uniforms.
They look down at their shirts which in fact say, "NASA, PROBE MISSION."
But I remember when the Probe Mission
went up. I was pretty young at the time.
This brings a look of surprise to their faces. This guy looks like he’s at least fifty.
Yeah. Before the invasion.
When exactly was the invasion?
Oh . . . Twenty years ago now. I'm one
of the few left that still counts the time.
So what are these aliens doing here?
(waves his arm)
They're here for wood?
Uh-huh. It's like gold or diamonds
to them. I guess their planet don't
have no wood. They ship it back
for profit. Supply and demand, ya
I'm familiar with the theory.
Yep, wood's what this whole damn
thing’s about. Who’da thought it?
The whispering voice of a slave behind them is heard.
They eat it, too.
The astronauts turn and see the Young Man from the beginning huddled with the others.
Got a pencil and paper and knows
how t' write. I taught him.
Go ahead, show 'em.
ALEX slinks back into the crowd.
He lost a finger today, so he's a
Ivan and Kelly look at each other and wince.
What's with the fingers?
Every time you escape and get caught
you lose a finger.
Jeff holds up his left hand and he's missing his baby and ring fingers.
When ya lose enough of ‘em ya can't
work, then you're dead.
Ivan turns to Alex who is hiding in the corner.
Let me see your hand.
Alex doesn't move. Ivan turns to Jeff for assistance.
Go on, show him your hand.
Alex hesitantly proffers his hand. Ivan gently takes hold of it and inspects the wound. Alex, like Jeff, is missing both the baby and ring fingers of his left hand. The stub of the baby finger has healed. The stub of the ring finger is covered with black tar. Ivan gives Alex back his hand and shrugs helplessly.
Anyway, the aliens got camps like
this in all wooded parts of the world.
They're slowly but surely stripping all
the trees on Earth. And they ain’t
plantin' any new ones, I can tell you
So what happens when all the trees
They kill the rest of the humans and
move on to another wooded planet,
I guess. And look what they did to
Portland, they're not kidding around.
We saw. How many humans have
they already killed?
Hard t' say. Most I think. They only
left as many as they needed to run
Kelly and Ivan are deeply shocked.
Most. How did it happen?
They dropped bombs before they
got here. Kinda like neutron bombs.
Killed the people but didn't hurt the
trees. Then they landed and executed
most everyone else except the few
they put to work in the mills—like me.
I’m the oldest one here.
How old are you?
Oh . . . I guess I'm just over thirty-five
now. Very few make it to my age. The
work kills 'em. I like to work, though. It
keeps me young.
He smiles widely, displaying numerous missing teeth.
Yeah. Just like the fountain of youth.
But look, isn’t there any hope?
Hope? Well sure. They give us one
day off a month and double rations
every other Sunday—that's their holy
day when they pray to the giant termite
in the sky.
I mean, hope for freedom.
The word "freedom" causes a hushed hubbub amongst the slaves. Alex looks around suspiciously and moves a little closer to the fire. His eyes are wide with excitement.
The President lives.
President? President of what?
Of Uniah States.
men . . .
That's Congressman and Senators
he's talkin' about.
Yeah. They escaped to a special bomb
shelter in the mountains. They live!
A scraggily young/old WOMAN speaks up.
They're putting together a fighting
force of escaped slaves to begin a
revolution for freedom.
And you've been waiting how long
Since the bombs fell from the sky and
the dark time came.
Twenty years. If ol’ President Demsky's
comin' he's takin' his time.
Don't talk that way, old man. It's blasphemy.
What a hoot. Demsky wasn't even a good
President. Republicans, sheesh!
But he lives! And he'll lead us all to
The word "Freedom" is repeated by all the slaves in hushed unison.
Kelly and Ivan confer.
Twenty years is a long time. I don't
(he picks up a wooden
spoon and sticks it into
Why don't we tunnel out?
Right. We'll work in shifts. Well be
out in no time.
Ivan and Kelly go over to the wall and start digging. The slaves watch, but make no effort to help.
By the way, how do you get a pair of
gloves around this place?
You gotta wait until someone dies, then
take ‘em. That usually don't take too
Ivan and Kelly shrug and continue to dig.
22 INT. SLAVE CELLAR - NIGHT 22
Everybody's asleep. The last red coals glow in the ashes of the little fires. Ivan is asleep. Kelly is still digging. Her face is smudged with dirt and her jumpsuit is filthy. She digs at a steady deliberate pace, spreading the dirt out on the floor behind her.
She hears a very subdued moaning, turns and sees a male and female slave coupled in each other's arms having sex. There is very little wasted motion. When they climax it is kept very quiet and in a moment they are both asleep.
Kelly sighs deeply and goes back to digging.
23 EXT. SAWMILL - DAY 23
As Kelly and Ivan stack lumber they keep seeing the slaves using sign language to each other every time the Millhands aren’t looking. It's almost a tacit agreement that the Millhands will keep turning their backs regularly so that the slaves can somehow keep up conversations with one another.
After seeing this occur over and over, Ivan waits until the Millhands aren't looking, then points at Kelly, makes like he's steering a car, points at himself, then turns his finger around his ear—You drive me crazy. Kelly blushes. The Millhand turns and finds them both busily stacking wood.
Suddenly, a slave to Ivan's left drops to the ground clutching his chest. Ivan quickly goes to him and feels his pulse. There is none. Ivan massages the man's heart but it’s no use. The man is dead. Ivan looks up and sees a Millhand walking over. Ivan is about to stand and leave, then quickly takes the dead man's gloves and gets back to his position.
Two Millhands grab the dead man and drag him away. When they’re gone, Ivan turns to Kelly and hands her the gloves.
She takes only one glove and makes him keep the other. They each put on their one glove and get back to work.
24 INT. SLAVE CELLAR – NIGHT 24
That night in the damp dark, smoky cellar the trap door is opened and a large steaming bucket is lowered down on a rope. Suddenly everyone produces wooden spoons of varying shapes and sizes and converges on the bucket. They are like ravenous dogs, pushing, shoving and clawing. The small and the weak are pushed aside. They then try to get back in under the bigger ones’ legs.
Ivan and Kelly are the only ones not attacking.
It's sad to see how low people can
Yes, it is.
Kelly and Ivan look from the madness to each other and shake their head in sadness. Both of their stomachs are growling, but they can’t be part of this sub-human feeding.
When they finally get near the bucket it is licked clean.
Holding their aching bellies, ashamed at their fellow men, they wearily go back to work digging and spreading the dirt.
25 EXT. COMPOUND - DUSK 25
As the slaves are marched dead tired across the compound back toward the cellar, they see three of the bounty hunters riding hot snorting horses through the gate back into the compound. They all hold carbine rifles and seem to be in good spirits.
Other bounty hunters come riding in behind them pulling a sledge piled with the dead bodies of five slaves.
26 INT. SLAVE CELLAR - NIGHT 26
The trap door opens and the bucket is lowered down. The crowd of slave converges on the bucket, led by Kelly and Ivan holding the dirt-encrusted spoon they’ve been digging with and a flat stick. As they get to the bucket and get a spoonful of the steaming gruel to their mouths they are immediately jostled away. Both of them madly and hungrily push their way back in, elbowing and kicking others out of their way.
26A INT. SLAVE CELLAR - LATER THAT NIGHT 26A
Everyone is asleep. The ashes smolder. People snore. Ivan comes crawling out the hole in the wall. He's completely dirty and totally exhausted. He shakes his head wearily, throws the wooden spoon he’s been digging with, drops to his knees and crawls to the minute warmth of the burnt-out fire. He curls up in a ball and shuts his eyes.
Kelly is curled up a few feet away, but her eyes are open. She takes a deep breath, then crawls over to Ivan and curls up behind him, snuggled against him.
Ivan's eyes open. He reaches his hand back and touches her shoulder. She takes his hand tightly in both of hers, brings it to her lips and kisses his fingers.
Ivan's whole face lights up. He’s not tired now. He takes his hand back, puts it under his face and doesn't move.
Kelly's expression drops. She's not sure what’s happening. Suddenly Ivan turns and faces her. They both smile, looking into each other’s eyes. Ivan reaches out, takes her face in his hands and kisses her. They hold each other tightly.
It's like a breath of fresh air for the first time in ages. Their eager hands press firmly against each other and curiously explore the new terrain. Ivan's hands quickly find their way to Kelly's firm fanny and take hold. They hungrily kiss again. Kelly unzips Ivan's jumpsuit and he unzips her's. It's too chilly to remove any more clothes than necessary, so with a minimum of preliminaries the two muddy slaves proceed to make love in the dirt and ashes. They try to be as quiet as they can lying among one hundred other people. But it doesn't really matter. This is all that's real anymore. When they are done they sleep in each other’s arms.
27 EXT. SAWMILL - DAY 27
As Kelly and Ivan stack wood (both now wearing two gloves each) they keep finding ways of rubbing against each other and looking at each other. They finish loading a train car of planks and step away awaiting an empty one to move forward.
The bearded Millhands in their leather aprons and carrying bats stroll around the mill. One of the Millhands turns his head and kind of dazes off staring into the polished surface of a machine. When the Millhand refocuses his attention he can clearly see Kelly reflected in the side of the machine.
Kelly points at Ivan, makes like she's steering, points at herself, then swirls her finger around her ear.
The Millhand puts his fingers in his mouth and whistles loudly. Everyone turns and the other Millhands come running over. The one who whistled stomps over to Kelly and grabs her. Ivan steps forward to intercede and gets cracked on the shoulder with the bat.
Three other Millhands arrive and converge on Kelly. They drag her over to a bare wall and lock her hands into manacles hanging there.
Everyone stands motionless watching intently.
Ivan's eyes are darting around, bugging out.
END ACT THREE:
28 EXT. SAWMILL - DAY 28
Ivan looks on in horror as Kelly is manacled to the wall. A Millhand steps up before her holding a long, black bullwhip. He drops the frayed end to the ground and swishes it about, creating momentum.
A look of firm resolve locks itself in Ivan's eyes. He grabs his muzzle, tears it from his face and screams . . .
Ivan throws his body at the Millhand with the whip, knocking him into another Millhand.
Ivan then grabs one of the Millhands by his beard, swings him around in a full circle and lets him fly right into the wall where he is knocked cold.
Ivan quickly unlocks Kelly's hands. As soon as she's free she really lays into the two Millhands. She lets fly a series of fast sharp socks to one guy’s throat, then spins with her elbow into the other's nose. Both Millhands are immediately incapacitated.
Ivan picks up a baseball bat and cracks it over another guy's skull. That's all of the Millhands.
Ivan turns to the frozen staring slaves. He lifts his clenched fists into the air.
Freedom! Freedom!! Freedom!!!
All the slaves look back blankly not moving and not saying a word, their muzzles in place. Jeff looks at Alex, but neither one makes a move.
A loud siren goes off.
Ivan and Kelly look at each other. Ivan picks up another bat and tosses it to Kelly. Ivan grabs several drill bits and they quickly leave the sawmill.
None of the slaves follow. They just stare.
Alex turns to Jeff with a desperate confused expression.
(lowers his muzzle)
It's your fingers, kid.
Alex glances down at his two stump fingers. Suddenly he pulls off his muzzle, takes a deep breath and runs out of the mill. Jeff smiles.
29 EXT. COMPOUND - DAY 29
The siren is wailing. Kelly and Ivan dash across the open area of the compound until they reach a tall stack of wood. They duck behind it. They turn to see if anyone's coming and there is Alex dashing up. He drops down beside them.
Millhands wielding bats and Bounty Hunters with carbines converge on the sawmill from every direction.
In a stealthy low-crawl they make their way from stack of wood to stack of wood. The enclosing wire of the compound and the front gate are getting close.
As they come around the corner of a tall stack of wood they come face to face with an Alien Guard holding a giant air cannon.
Before the Alien gets a chance to lift its weapon or even react Kelly quickly bashes in its misshapen bug head with a bat. Ivan sticks it with a sharp drill bit. The Alien lets out a high-pitched death shriek and spews green blood on Ivan.
Alex watches with his mouth hanging open, totally stunned.
Ivan yanks the drill bit out of the Alien's chest. Green blood coats his hands and there is a slightly crazed look in his eyes.
Several Aliens come running out the front door of the main building. They look right toward where the astronauts are hiding.
Ivan takes the dead Alien’s air cannon. Kelly leads the way.
Kelly suddenly stands and runs as fast as she can toward the front gate. Ivan and Alex follow after her.
The Bounty Hunter at the gate spins around with his carbine and cocks it. Kelly heaves her wooden bat at him as hard as she can. Just as the Bounty Hunter levels his weapon the bat connects with his forehead knocking him backward into the wire, then forward onto his face.
The escapees rush the gate. Kelly grabs the fallen carbine and they're through the gate and out of the compound. They run as fast as they can up the road through the trees.
The Alien guards and Bounty Hunters have all mounted horses and are ready to ride.
Eight Bounty Hunters on horseback follow after them.
Crowded in the doorways of the sawmill, the slaves watch the pursuit. Millhands approach waving bats.
Get back to work! NOW!
The slaves all sadly shake their heads and turn back inside.
Jeff's gaze lingers a moment longer, then he sighs and pulls up his muzzle.
30 EXT. DIRT ROAD– DAY 30
Kelly, Ivan and Alex run as fast as they can up the dirt road through the woods. They cross the railroad tracks and the road keeps going into a hilly, densely foliated area.
They hear the approaching thunder of horse's hooves.
Let's split up.
Kelly goes straight, Ivan goes to the right. Kelly and Ivan's eyes don't want to part, but they quickly must. Ivan gives her the thumbs up. She smiles and nods.
Alex comes to a stop, feeling confused and abandoned. He doesn't know which way to go.
And the approaching horses grow louder.
Alex looks around in bewilderment. He's just about ready to give up. Ivan suddenly reappears at Alex's side and grabs his arm.
They run into the woods.
A moment later the thundering herd of horses and Bounty Hunters, with their horses rearing and snorting, arrive at the split-up spot and don’t know which way to go. The Bounty Hunters split into two groups, five going one way, three going the other way, and they head off after the escapees.
31 EXT. WOODS/PLAIN – DAY 31
Kelly is really hauling ass, the carbine held in both hands in front of her. She moves through a wooded area and suddenly runs out into a clearing.
It's about one hundred yards to the woods on the other side. Kelly really pours it on. She's about halfway across the clearing when the Bounty Hunters appear out of the woods behind her. They quickly start to gain on her. She'll never make it to the other side.
32 EXT. HILLY AREA – DAY 32
Ivan and Alex are running up the side of a rocky hill. They have to jump from one out-cropping to another. Alex is like a gazelle and is having no trouble. Ivan, on the other hand, is shlepping the air cannon which weighs about fifty pounds and is having great difficulty.
The terrain is bad for the horses and the Bounty Hunters, too.
Alex and Ivan slide down a steep rocky grade. Ivan starts to roll, lets go of the air cannon and when he hits the bottom the big weapon slams into his back, knocking the wind out of him. Alex reaches for the air cannon but Ivan grabs it.
33 EXT. WOODS/PLAIN – DAY 33
Kelly swings around and drops to one knee. She levels the carbine, sights in on the five rapidly approaching Bounty Hunters on horses, and POW! She shoots on Bounty Hunter off his horse. Kelly pulls the bolt back, recocks the weapon, an empty shell flies through the air, POW! Two Bounty Hunters down. Recock, sight in, POW! Three.
The two other Bounty Hunters stop hastily before they’re shot, too.
Kelly turns and keeps running toward the woods.
One of the Bounty Hunters attaches a grenade-launcher to the end of his carbine, then a grenade, too. The two Bounty Hunters continue riding after Kelly.
Kelly is running as fast as she can and is just reaching the edge of the woods.
The Bounty Hunters appear behind her. One of them fires the grenade at Kelly.
It’s like the world is yanked out from beneath Kelly's feet. Big trees are crashing around her. A crater is blown into the ground right beside her.
When the smoke clears she is on her back looking up at the horses and Bounty Hunters looming over her. Kelly groans and closes her eyes.
34 EXT. HILLY AREA – DAY 34
Ivan and Alex are clawing their way up a hill. Ivan is gasping and rubbing his aching back. They hear the riders nearing. This renews Ivan's energy and he starts to catch up with Alex.
35 EXT. HILLTOP/CLIFF – DAY 35
When Ivan reaches the top of the hill he finds Alex standing at the edge of a cliff plummeting down in front of them fifty feet to the water. A few pebbles slide over the edge . . . down . . . down . . . down . . . Bloop! Bloop!
Ivan and Alex look at each other in horror. They glance back to the riders who are sliding down the hill before him.
Ivan steps in front of Alex and raises the humungous air cannon to his shoulder. He checks it out and the design is really odd and the trigger isn’t where it's supposed to be. There is writing on the side, but as he peers closer at it looks like the comic version of someone swearing (*#@$!&^%).
The Bounty Hunters are galloping up the hill toward them. Ivan aims the rifle at them and begins squeezing it and poking it searching for the trigger.
Come on with this!
Alex cowers behind Ivan.
The Bounty Hunters are almost on top of him, their weapons in hand. Ivan takes a step backward toward Alex, still aiming the weapon and bashing it with his other hand.
Stupid piece of sh—!!!
He miraculously hits the trigger and fires the weapon. The hill before him explodes in a hail of dirt and rocks just as the Bounty Hunters arrive. The blast knocks all the Bounty Hunters backward down the hill with their flailing horses.
The kick of the weapon throws Ivan backward, stumbling, right into Alex and both of them go right over the edge of the cliff. They scream as they plummet through the air . . . down . . . down . . . down . . . SPLASH! SPLASH!
36 DELETED 36
37 EXT. EDGE OF LAKE– DAY 37
Ivan and Alex surface at the edge of the lake, in some rushes, and gasp for air. Out of nowhere they hear a whispering voice.
They look at each other, shrug and quickly crawl out of the water and over to a dark little cave at the edge of the lake.
38 EXT. HILLTOP/CLIFF – DAY 38
The Bounty Hunters peer over the edge, their weapons aimed down toward the water. They watch and wait, then finally shake their heads and leave.
BOUNTY HUNTER #1
They’re dead, that’s for sure.
END ACT THREE:
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