Steampunk Draft 1

Below is the first draft as given to me from Brian. It was a good story or beginning anyway. It still needed motivation, a clearer connection to the antagonist by the protagonist. It needed more humor. But it was a solid start. Now, I apologize for the formatting. It seems there is no easy way to import a formatted script into WordPress – without sacraficing the blood of an infant, anyway – so put up with the inexplicable left justification.

 

Steampunk Short Draft 1.0

 

                                                            FADE IN:

       A WORLD MAP depicting the STEAMPUNK EARTH in the 1890’s.

       EXT. AIRSHIP YARD - DAY

       The complex buzzes with activity.  Every port has an
       AIRSHIP tethered to it, with the conspicuous exception of
       the absence of a ship at the MAIN PORT.

       INT. WORKSHOP

       The room contains CALIBRATION DEVICES and INDUSTRIAL
       MACHINES. There is a TABLE stacked with SCHEMATICS and
       NOTEBOOKS. PROFESSOR, a disheveled Germanic man in his
       late fifties/early sixties dressed in laboratory garb,
       frantically grabs and hordes the schematics and
       notebooks, along with an odd, apple-sized METAL BALL.  He
       turns and scurries out of the room.

       EXT. AIRSHIP YARD - CENTRAL SQUARE

       Professor hides behind one of the giant STEAM STACKS that
       stretches to the sky.  He looks out over the main,
       central SQUARE of the complex, and sees the coast is
       clear. He sprints under the main WATER TOWER and sprints
       up the stairs into the main port, and starts up the
       circular stairs when THUG 1, THUG 2, and THUG 3, pop out
       of their hiding places, all with STEAM RIFFLES pointed at
       the Professor.

                           THUG 1 (OC)
                 Goin’ somewhere, Professor?

                           PROFESSOR
                     (German accent,) smiles
                      nervously)
                 Gentlemen, I was just...

       Professor looks at the THUGS looking at his hand full of
       booty, and resigns to his fate. THUG 1 a PHONE off of the
       wall, and speaks into it.

                           THUG 1
                 We caught ‘em in the act, just like
                 you said, Commodore!

       INT. OFFICE

       Fashionably decorated with a nice DESK full of BRICK-O-
       BRAK, a plush RUG, and some SHELVES with BOOKS.  There is
       a row of PHONES.  COMMODORE TERRENCE HAMILTON
       (COMMODORE), a dapper southern gentleman in his late
       thirties, grabs one of the phones and speaks into it.

                           COMMODORE
                 That’s fine.  Bring that thievin’
                 scallywag to my office!

       INT. MAIN PORT

                           THUG 1
                 Yes, sir!

       Thug 1 walks Professor away with the other two Thugs
       following.

       INT. OFFICE

       Commodore stands with his back to the door.  He hears it
       open.

                           COMMODORE
                 Now, Professor, I think you know–-

                           FEMALE VOICE (OC)
                 Well, I’m not quite a professor,
                 yet...

       Commodore whirls around to see DUCHESS VICTORIA NOBLE
       (DUCHESS), a beautiful British woman in her mid twenties
       dressed immaculately.

                           COMMODORE
                 Dahlin’!  Forgive me, I was expecting
                 someone else!

       Commodore makes his way to Duchess, gently grabs her
       shoulders and kisses her on the cheek she offers.

                           DUCHESS
                 I hope you are not too disappointed to
                 see your fiancé!  And speaking of
                 expectations, I was expecting us to
                 have tea with the Van Pelts an hour
                 ago!

                           COMMODORE
                 Sorry, dahlin’.  As soon as I’ve dealt
                 with some unpleasant business, I will
                 be–- The office door flies open and
                 Thugs with Professor in toe appear.

                           THUG 1
                 Boss, we...
                     (noticing Duchess)
                 ...Oh, hello Mam!

       Thugs all tip their hat, Thug 2 looks menacingly at
       Professor who gets the hint and does the same.  Duchess
       curtsies in response.

                           COMMODORE
                 You may dump all of my property on my
                 desk, Professor. Professor does so.

                           COMMODORE (CONT’D)
                 All of it, Professor!

                           DUCHESS
                 Darling, why must they have rifles?
                 That older gentleman does not look
                 dangerous!

                           COMMODORE
                 Looks can be deceivin’, dahlin’!

       Commodore approaches Professor, reaches around into the
       Professor’s small of the back, and pulls out a STEAM
       PISTOL, that has a DIAL on the side.

                           COMMODORE (CONT’D)
                 See, dahlin’, this pistol is as
                 potentially powerful as all three of
                 their rifles.

                           DUCHESS
                 What is this all about, Terrence?

                           COMMODORE
                 As you know, the Germanic Coalition is
                 running out of room in their own
                 countries to continue to manufacture
                 airships and other military weapons
                 for Britain and France, so they
                 contract out to me and others to build
                 here in America.  The Coalition always
                 send out technical experts to oversee
                 development.  So, dahlin’, I would ask
                 that you say, “hello” to my back-
                 stabbin’ cuttin’-edge technological
                 expert who was in the act of stealin’
                 from me!

                           PROFESSOR
                 That is not true!  I was–-

                           COMMODORE
                 About to make off with some important
                 designs, presumably escaping in my new
                 ship that he falsely claims is not
                 ready for flight!  Why else would you
                 have been carrying those schematics
                 unrelated to the main port?

                           PROFESSOR
                 You have no right to my designs! They
                 belong to–-

       THUG 2 hits Professor in the stomach, causing the
       Professor to double over.

                           DUCHESS
                 I am sure that is not necessary!
                     (to Commodore)
                 Darling, are you condoning this
                 brutality?

                           COMMODORE
                 Uh..of course not, dahlin’!
                     (points at Thug 2)
                 Now, you know better than that

                           COMMODORE (CONT’D)
                 you... ruffian! We can do this
                 civilly.

       Professor looks up in disbelief.

                           PROFESSOR
                 Are you feeling okay, Commodore?

                           COMMODORE
                 Capital, Professor.  I tell you what.
                 Forgiveness is a fundamental part of
                 my character, so, if you show me how
                 to start my ship, I’ll let you hang
                 around to take its inaugural flight
                 before...letting you go.
                     (to Professor and) Thugs)
                 Gentlemen!

       Commodore motions them to the exit.  Thugs lead Professor
       out.

                           COMMODORE (CONT’D)
                     (to Duchess)
                 Now, dahlin’, you probably want to
                 stay here and–-

                           DUCHESS
                 Nonsense!  I wish to see this drama to
                 its conclusion, and I very much want
                 to see this new ship!

                           COMMODORE
                 But, dahlin’...

                           DUCHESS
                 Let’s go, then!

       Duchess exits, followed by Commodore.

       EXT. MAIN PORT

       Professor leads the group followed closely by Thugs and
       Duchess and Commodore bringing up the rear.

                           MALE VOICE (OC)
                 Afternoon, gentleman!

       They all whirl about to see the source of the voice, who
       is TR (TR), a robust man in his late thirties dressed in
       western military-esque garb, carrying a WALKING STICK.
       Thug 1 keeps his rifle on Professor, while Commodore
       (with pistol), Thug 2 & 3 aim at TR.

                           TR
                 Everyone remain calm, I am dropping my
                 stick...
                     (drops stick)
                 ...and thus, I am completely disarmed!

                           COMMODORE
                 As you can see, we are quite heavily
                 armed!

                           TR
                     (smiles)
                 And, so you are!

                           COMMODORE
                 I believe our soft-footed stranger has
                 the advantage of us, gentlemen!

                           TR
                 You can call me “TR!”

                           THUG 2
                 Who is this clown?

                           COMMODORE
                 Oh, if he is the “TR” I’ve heard of,
                 he is certainly no clown.  The “TR”
                 I’ve heard of captured the “Emperor of
                 the Skies,” a nasty British Isles
                 aerial pirate gang. He also rounded up
                 several cattle rustling gangs out
                 west, and even led the charge to
                 overthrow a nasty dictator in
                 Africa...

                           DUCHESS
                 ...And organized the Chinese railroad
                 coalition to free up those

                           DUCHESS (CONT’D)
                 workers from inhuman conditions. You
                 are that “TR?”

                           TR
                 That would be me.  Good to see I’m
                 looking at a such a friendly, and
                 lovely face!

       Duchess smiles, but then stops when she notices Commodore
       who is glaring at her.

                           COMMODORE
                 And too bad I’m looking at a
                 trespasser!

                           TR
                 Oh, no, sir, I have an invitation! TR
                 takes out a LETTER on nice parchment
                 written with a fountain pen.

                           TR (CONT’D)
                 This is a letter from a young lady,
                 who I assume is you... TR looks at
                 Duchess, who starts to retort, but,

                           TR (CONT’D)
                 ...Asking for help for her father who
                 is being held captive, who I assume is
                 you...

       TR looks at Professor.

                           TR (CONT’D)
                 Being held by an oppressive and
                 dangerous cold hearted bastard, who I
                 assume is you!

       TR looks back at Commodore, then back at Duchess.

                           TR (CONT’D)
                 Don’t worry, help is at hand!

                           COMMODORE
                 Look here, sir, I–-

                           TR
                 So, why not avoid an unwieldy mess by
                 handing the lady and older gentleman
                 over into my custody, and that way you
                 will only have to deal with the local
                 constables.  So, what are you going to
                 do?

                           COMMODORE
                 I can not begin to tell you how wrong
                 you are, sir.  But given the current
                 circumstances, I believe the correct
                 question is, what are you going to do?

                           TR
                 This.

       FIRST FIGHT SEQUENCE

       TR has taken out all Commodore (acquiring the steam
       pistol in the process) and all three Thugs, and, while on
       the ground, Commodore takes out a WHISTLE and blows it.
       THAI, an athletic Asian in his late 30’s and THUG 4
       appear about 25-50 yards away and start firing at TR. TR
       grabs Duchess and Professor and leads them into the cover
       of the steam stacks.  Thai and Thug 4 join and help to
       their feet their fallen comrades.

                           COMMODORE
                 Get them!

       Thai, Thug 3 and Thug 4 give chase.  Thug 1 and 2 run a
       different route.

       EXT. BOILER ROOM

       TR leads Duchess and Professor inside.

       INT. BOILER ROOM

       LARGE ENGINE with accompanying PANEL of dials and
       instruments.  The three enter the room.

                           TR
                     (to Professor)
                 Do you have a way to get out of here?

                           PROFESSOR
                 Yes, just follow me!

                           DUCHESS
                     (to TR)
                 TR, there is something you should
                 know...

       A STEAM BLAST slams close to TR’s head.

                           TR
                 Save it, Mam!  Let’s go! The three of
                 them exit back to the outdoors.

       EXT. TRACKS CLOSE TO THE TUNNEL

       TR, Duchess, and Professor run down to the tracks when a
       PORTABLE BOILER rolls on the tracks toward them with Thug
       1 and Thug 2 behind the control cab firing at TR,
       Duchess, and Professor.  The three turn to run back the
       way they came when some steam blast run them back into
       the boiler’s path.

                           TR
                 This is unsettling!

                           PROFESSOR
                 Crank up the dial on the side of the
                 pistol for more power, yes?

       TR cranks the dial on the side to a higher number, and
       fires a blast that incinerates the boiler, blowing Thug 1
       and 2 off and into the air.

                           TR
                 Bully!

                           PROFESSOR
                 This way!

       Professor runs as TR and Duchess follow.  They go down
       some stairs into,

       INT. TUNNEL

       It is dark and damp with entrances at either end. Thai
       and Thug 4 drop down the entrance at the end of tunnel
       where TR, Duchess, and Professor heads.
       TR turns and starts toward the way the came in, only to
       see Commodore with Thug 3 sealing off the other end.
       Commodore and all Thugs move in, weapons pointed and
       poised to fire.  TR raises the pistol and fires, but
       there it is out of power.  TR drops the weapon, and all
       the bad guys move in close. Commodore sees TR eying Thugs
       3’s weapon, for he has moved in close to TR.  Commodore
       moves Thug 2 back a little while looking warily at

       TR.

                           TR
                 Nobody panic, we’re not finished, yet!

                           DUCHESS
                 Actually, I am finished.  This has
                 been...exhilarating, but as I was
                 trying to tell you earlier, TR, I did
                 not send that note.

                           TR
                 What?  You mean, this man is not your
                 father?
                     (points at) Professor)

                           DUCHESS
                 No.  I met that man only a few minutes
                 ago.  And, in fact, this gentleman you
                 so rudely described as a, “bastard” is
                 in fact my fiancee.

       She moves over beside Commodore, who smiles smugly.

                           TR
                     (to Professor)
                 So, your daughter did not send the
                 note?

                           PROFESSOR
                 I do not have a daughter.

                           TR
                 Criminey!

                           COMMODORE
                 You seem like an educated man, TR.
                 Which makes me wonder why you would
                 put so much stock in a hand written
                 note from a stranger?

                           TR
                 Because, the last time I ignored such
                 a note an entire family was killed.  I
                 would not let that happen again.

                           COMMODORE
                 I see.  Well, just so you know, I
                 caught this vermin
                     (nods at Professor)
                 stealing things I paid him to design
                 and build.

                           TR
                     (to Professor)
                 Is this true?

                           PROFESSOR
                 Yes...no...yes, it is true that his
                 money financed the construction of
                 experimental weapon designs, but I
                 discovered we were constructing them
                 off-book and the had no intention of
                 shipping them to the Coalition!  And
                 one of these designs could shift the
                 balance of power for the whole world!

                           DUCHESS
                     (whirls around to) stare hard
                      at) Commodore)
                 Is that true?

                           COMMODORE
                 Dahlin’, it’s America’s time to get
                 into the game.  Anyway, I suspect the
                 Germanic coalition is not going to be
                 satisfied remaining a neutral
                 facilitator of weapons much longer.

                           DUCHESS
                 There is no evidence of that!  And you
                 know weapon proliferation into America
                 without authorization from Britain is
                 strictly forbidden...you know that!
                 Father must be told!

                           COMMODORE
                 No can do, dahlin’.  It’s better to
                 ask for forgiveness than permission.
                 Anyway, he made it clear that advanced
                 weaponry goes through Britain first.

                           DUCHESS
                 Well, I’m telling father!

                           COMMODORE
                 Are you sure?

                           DUCHESS
                 Yes.

       Commodore turns the gun on her and motions her to stand
       with the other two.

                           COMMODORE
                 Then, dahlin’, your fate will be
                 theirs!

                           DUCHESS
                 But..you said you love me!

                           COMMODORE
                 There’s always another train coming
                 in, dahlin’.

                           DUCHESS
                 You are a bastard! Commodore shrugs
                 his shoulders in resignation.

                           PROFESSOR
                     (whispers to TR)
                 So now you wave your hands about so
                 the bad guys will fly around and we
                 will run, yes?

                           TR
                 I already played that hand.  We need
                 another distraction. Duchess whips her
                 head around.

                           DUCHESS
                 Not a problem.

       Duchess fiddles with an attachment on her back and her
       corset flies off, reveling her ample breast.  This
       garners the undivided attention of all of the men.

                           COMMODORE
                     (wide-eyed)
                 I’m sure going to miss that wedding
                 night!

       Duchess, with effort catches TR’s eye.  She nods her head
       at the Thugs.

                           TR
                 Uh, yes, of course. TR flies into
                 action, stunning Commodore and the
                 Thugs and then leads

       Duchess (who covers herself up) and Professor out of the
       tunnel into open space.

       EXT. STEAM STACKS

                           PROFESSOR
                 This way!

       The three exit, as Commodore and Thugs emerge from the
       stairs.

       EXT. MAIN PORT

       The three are at the base of the stairs leading up to the
       main sport, where there is no ship docked.

                           TR
                 What is matter with you?  You have led
                 us to a complete dead end and those
                 men have very bad intentions!

                           PROFESSOR
                 No, trust me!

       Professor climbs the stairs, TR and Duchess follow.
       Professor starts feeling around the air around the dock.
       The enemy forces approach.

                           TR
                 They are coming!

       Professor tosses TR the metal ball.

                           PROFESSOR
                 Throw it in front of them!

       TR does so, and the metal ball causes a WALL OF ICE to
       form between the bad guys and the good guys, with the
       exception of Thai who was out in front of the others and
       now attacks TR, who tangle in a deadly fight!  Commodore
       and the other Thugs can be seen blasting through the ice
       with the steam guns.

                           TR
                 Duchess, run!

                           PROFESSOR
                 No, stay!  It’s here, somewhere...
                 there!

       Professor pulls on an INVISIBLE LEVER.  An AIRSHIP
       OUTLINE forms as the outer panels of the ship flips over
       the MIRRORED PANELS and are replaced by the HARD
       EXTERIOR, revealing a CUTTING EDGE STEAMSHIP.  Professor
       pulls another lever, opening the BAY DOOR. TR fights off
       Asian Thug and runs to the bay door, where Professor and
       Duchess already enter.

       INT. WHEELHOUSE

       An ornate interior with STEERING WHEEL and a CONSOLE with
       other GUIDANCE EQUIPMENT.  PILOT, s strapping African
       American man in his early thirties dressed in pilot’s
       garb, turns to look at the three. Professor runs up to
       the console and presses his hand on a blank panel.  When
       he does so, gears and levers surround his hand, then when
       all of them lock into place, the ships engine starts up.

                           PROFESSOR
                 You can fly us out of here, yes? The
                 hull shakes as its hit with steam
                 rifles from outside.

                           PILOT
                 It depends on how much can you pay me
                 to effectively steal this ship which
                 will get me fired and maybe arrested?

                           DUCHESS
                 I am a duchess.

                           PILOT
                     (smiles)
                 Well then, sit back and enjoy the
                 ride!

                           TR
                 Bully!

       Pilot engages the engine.

       EXT. MAIN PORT

       The ship takes off as Commodore and the Thugs fire their
       steam weapons.  The ship departs, unfettered.

                           COMMODORE
                 Hold your fire, damn it!  Get out to
                 those other air ships and track them
                 down, now!

       The Thugs depart.  Commodore’s expression lightens from
       furious, to almost pleased.

       INT. SHIP - WHEELHOUSE

       Pilot flies along, the others have settled in.

                           PILOT
                 We’ve cleared the complex, so I need a
                 destination, folks.

                           PROFESSOR
                 To Germany!  I must let my bosses know
                 of the successful creation of my
                 designs are valid and the Commodore’s
                 plan to keep them!

                           DUCHESS
                 No, we must go to England!  My father
                 and the other powers to be must be
                 alerted to my ex-fiancee’s attempt to
                 proliferate these weapons into
                 America.  And, that I now have an ex-
                 fiancé.

                           TR
                 No, just stop at the first port until
                 we can sort this out. Anyway, we have
                 a more pressing question.

                           DUCHESS
                 What?

                           TR
                 Who sent me that note?

       EXT.  THE GREAT BLUE SKY

       The airship flies away into adventure.

       BLACK

       END

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