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