Steampunk Draft 1.1

I have no idea what exactly changed between 1.0 and 1.1 – likely spelling and the removal of any fart jokes. Already we have our hero (TR) entering the scene from a train car. This was due to the fact that we felt we needed to introduce our hero first…and the fact that we found a location willing to let us shoot a period train station.

 

Steampunk Short Draft 1.1

 

       EXT. MAP - DAY

       A WORLD MAP depicting the STEAMPUNK EARTH in the 1890’s.
       We spiral down across the Mississippi to a railroad line.
       We follow the line past the Iron Belt and come to rest
       over the great metropolis of Vulcandale Sandwiched
       between Bessemer and Birmingham.

                                                           FADE TO:

       TRAIN STATION: DAY

       A spectacled man in his late thirties dressed in western
       military-esque garb, carrying a WALKING STICK exits a
       rail car and takes his Bering amid a bustling rail
       station. Airships loiter overhead and travellers in
       complex and unlikely steam-assisted garb mill about.

                           MAN
                 Bully!

       He exits the boarding platform area. A SHADY FIGURE steps
       into view, watching THE MAN egress.

       CAMERA SCANS ACROSS PLATFORM TO REVEAL

       Two guards, festooed in English looking steam garb step
       off the first class travelling coach and scan the crowd
       for potential threats. LADY VICTORIA NOBLE, a beautiful
       woman in her twenties steps off the coach with the
       assitance of the guards. She is dressed in an elegant
       gown, hat and parasol.

       The exit the platform and passing the station ladie’s
       facilities, Lady Victoria pauses.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                     (looking at the retrooms)
                 excuse me for a moment gentlemen.

       Lady Victora steps into restroom dorway. Without
       hesitation, the guards follow in step.

                           LADY VICTORIA (cont’d)
                 Gentlemen, I realize my father is
                 concerned for my safety and well being
                 but I think even he would prefer you
                 not accompany me into the loo.

       The guards break their single-minded tance, look up at
       the sign.

                           VICTORIA’S GUARD 1
                     (embarrassed)
                 Yes my lady.

       Lady Victoria proceeds into the restroom.

                           VICTORIA’S GUARD 2
                 Bloody div..

       Guard 1 gives guard 2 the two finger salute.

       WOMAN’S RESTROOM: DAY

       Lady Victoria quickly disposes of her dress and veil and
       with a few adjustemnts becomes a lady about town with
       riding goggles, goves and apropriate attire. Her
       discarded gown dumped uncerimoniously into the dust bin.
       At that moment, two other women are heading back out the
       doorway. Lady Victory falls in step.

       TRAIN STAION: DAY

       The two women and the now disguised Lady Victoria exit
       the restroom and walk away. The guards take no notice.
       Guard 2 pulls out a fob wach and checks the time.

       EXT. CITY STREET: DAY

       THE MAN saunters down the busy street. All manner of
       trade and negotiation transpire around him.

                           MAN
                 From the jungles of vine and tree to
                 the jungles of brick and cobblestone.

       WE SEE The Peanut Trading Company.

                           MAN
                 Peanuts! Bully!

       THE MAN quickly enters the Peanut Trading Company and
       partakes of its wares.The SHADY FIGURE moves into view,
       watching.

       Some time later, THE MAN returns to the busy street with
       a bag of fresh, hot peanuts. He eats them
       enthusiastically. From across the street, we see the
       SHADY FIGURE steady himself and take at at THE MAN
       apparently. The SHADY FIGURE takes his shot.

       The bag of peanuts in THE MAN’s hands exlodes only to be
       replaced by a cylindrical message tube.
       THE MAN is confused and amazed. He looks across the
       street to find the SHADY FIGURE inexplicably still
       standing there. The SHADY FIGURE realizes that THE MAN
       sees him and quickly runs off down the street.

                           MAN (cont’d)
                 You owe me a bag of peanuts you
                 vagabond!
                     (mutters)
                 This city has no end of bizarre
                 characters.

       THE MAN opens the cannister and retrieves a piece of
       paper. He reads it and then frantically looks around. He
       sees a small boy offering hot steam recharging to the
       various mechanicals along the street.

                           MAN (cont’d)
                 Lad, could you direct me to the
                 Hamilton Ship works?

                           STEAM BOY
                 Yessir. It’s just down Tessla Avenue
                 past the post office. You’ll see the
                 air-docks from there, sir.

       THE MAN looks up to see the air docks towering in the
       distance.

       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.

                           SUBTITLE
                 Hamilton Shipworks 1891

       INT. WORKSHOP

       The room contains CALIBRATION DEVICES and INDUSTRIAL
       MACHINES. There is a TABLE stacked with SCHEMATICS and
       NOTEBOOKS. Professor Deter Metz (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 to leave and we see:

       TWO ARMED SOLDIERS

                           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 lifts a PHONE off
       of the wall, and speaks into it.

                           THUG 1
                 We have ‘em Commodore. Looks like we
                 arrived just in time to interrupt some
                 overoptimistic travel plans.

       INT. OFFICE

       Fashionably decorated with a nice DESK full of BRIC-A-
       BRAC, 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, is scrutinizing a large set of drafting papers.

       There is a knock.

                           COMMODORE
                 Gentlemen.  How uncharacteristically
                 timely. Do enter.

       THE DOOR OPENS.

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

                           COMMODORE
                 Bring me that thieving rat so that I
                 may personally cut off his...

                           FEMALE VOICE (OC)
                 Vermin trouble dear?

       Commodore whirls around to see Lady VICTORIA NOBLE (Lady)
       now in her street garb.

                           COMMODORE
                 My, who is this strange and sensual
                 flower bathing my eyes in beauty. 

                           FEMALE VOICE
                 Perhapse a wily theif come to releave
                 you of your fortune?

                           COMMODORE
                 In that case I would referr you to my
                 able body guard. Should I have him
                 search you?

                           FEMALE VOICE
                 I preferr you did that yourself.

       Thai takes this exchange as his cue to leave. He gives a
       nod to the Commodore and exits through the door.

                           COMMODORE
                 Well then I had better get started
                 before my ladyfriend arrives.

       Lady Victoria removes her hat and goggles. Commodore
       bows, sheathes his sword.

                           COMMODORE (cont’d)
                 Oh. Imagine my surprise as it turns
                 out indeed to be my ladyfriend!

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 Oh, I don’t think you are too terribly
                 surprised...
                     (they kiss)
                 ...yet.

                           COMMODORE
                 I had not expected you until next
                 week.

                           LADY VICTORIA (cont’d)
                 You aren’t happy to see me?

                           COMMODORE
                 Of course, I just have some pressing
                 matters that...need my personal
                 attention.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 What could be more pressing than me?

       The office door flies open and Thugs with Professor in
       tow appear.

                           THUG 1
                 Commodore, we...
                     (noticing Lady Victoria)
                 ...Oh, hello Ma’am!

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

                           COMMODORE
                 Ah Professor. Good of you to join us.
                 Feel free to place all of my property
                 on my desk there.

                           PROFESSOR
                 I do not feel free.

                           COMMODORE
                 Then feel compelled.

       Devices of all sorts flow from the Professor’s coat and
       are placed on the desk. After a time, the flow ebbs.

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

       More devices, papers and weapons appear...

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 Darling, are these long arms
                 necessary? This gentleman does not
                 appear dangerous.

       Objects continue to trickle from the pockets, hem and
       longcoat of the professor.

                           COMMODORE
                 Looks may be deceivin’, dahlin’! For
                 example...

       Commodore approaches Professor, reaches into his coat and
       after some searching pulls out a STEAM PISTOL, that has a
       DIAL on the side.

                           COMMODORE (CONT’D)
                 ...this...clever device is as
                 potentially powerful as all three of
                 those rifles.
                     (to Professor)
                 And it is my property.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 What is this all about, Terrence?

                           COMMODORE
                 A minor contract dispute, my dove.
                 Britain and France want their weapons
                 From the Germanic Confederation.
                 And the Germanic Confederation wants
                 me to fill a little production
                 shortfall. All just good
                 business...except that my technical
                 liaison wants to scamper off with some
                 of my trade secrets...

       The Commodore mocks shame...

                 Forgive me dear. I would ask that you
                 say, “hello” to my back-stabbin’
                 technological liaison!

                           PROFESSOR
                 That is not true!  I have taken
                 nothing! All this...
                     (indicates the pile on the
                      desk)
                 ...work...is mine!

                           COMMODORE
                 I beg to differ professor. I have a
                 stack of invoices that state
                 emphatically otherwise.

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

       THUG 2 hits Professor in the stomach, causing the
       Professor to double over. The Commodore reaches over and
       removes yet ANOTHER scroll from the Professor’s coat.

                           COMMODORE
                 ...Me I’m afraid. Including this
                 airship which you insist is unfinished
                 despite all evidence to the contrary.
                     (indicating scroll)
                 Now, should you agree to simply...

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

                           COMMODORE
                 Of course not, dahlin’!
                     (points at Thug 2)
                 Gentlemen! You were trained better
                 than that. You know I expect fair
                 treatment and civility from all in my
                 charge.

       Professor looks up in disbelief.

                           PROFESSOR
                 Are you entirely well, Commodore?

       The smile of the Commodore’s lips quavers.

                           COMMODORE
                 Capital, Professor.  I offer you this.
                 As forgiveness is a fundamental part
                 of my character, you may show me how
                 to start my ship and I’ll let you
                 linger and enjoy 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 Lady Victoria)
                 Now, dahlin’, you probably prefer to
                 remain here whilest I...

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 Nonsense!  I wish to see this little
                 drama to its conclusion, and I would
                 very much like to see this new ship!

                           COMMODORE
                 But, dahlin’...

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 Let’s go, then!

       Lady Victoria exits. The Commodore, quickly defeated,
       follows with guards and the Professor.

       EXT. WALKWAY

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

                           MAN (OC)
                 Afternoon, gentleman!

       They all whirl about to see the source of the voice, who
       is THE MAN from the rail station. Sensing that this man
       is a threat, the thugs turn their steam rifles on him.
       There is some confusion about which Thug threatens which
       interloper with which rifle.
       After some switching back and fourth, Thug 1 keeps his
       rifle on Professor, while Commodore (with pistol) and
       Thug 2 & 3 aim at TR.

                           MAN (cont’d)
                 Afternoon gentlmen.

                           COMMODORE
                 Stand aside Sir, you are inpeeding
                 private busines.

                           MAN
                 I’m afraid I cannot do that.
                     (indicates note)
                 For I am here to negotiate the release
                 the of this lovely young lady and that
                 fine gentleman.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 Excuse me.

                           PROFESSOR
                 Indeed?

                           COMMODORE
                 Excellent! Gentlemen, prepare to open
                 fire.

                           MAN
                 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!

                           MAN
                     (smiles)
                 And, so you are!

                           COMMODORE
                 I believe our impetuous stranger has
                 the advantage of us, gentlemen!

                           MAN
                 You may call me “TR!”

                           THUG 2
                 Who is this clown?

                           COMMODORE
                 The only TR of which I am aware is
                 decidedly no clown.
                     (simmers)

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 ...indeed.
                     (seems irritated as well)

                           TR
                 You flatter me sir. And you honor me
                 with your presence, Ma’am.

       TR reaches for the hand of the Lady Victoria but again,
       after some switching between the Professor and TR, the
       thugs cut the action short by menacing TR with the
       barrels of their rifles.

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

                           TR
                 Well Ma’am, help is at hand!

                           COMMODORE
                 Look here, sir, I...

                           TR
                 So, why not avoid an unnecessary mess
                 by handing the Lady and older
                 gentleman over into my custody?

                           COMMODORE
                 ...because I have have three marksmen
                 with powerful long arms?

       The Commodore turns his pistol on TR. As does the Thug
       pointing his rifle at the Professor. The Commodore gives
       that Thug an angry glare. Another exchange of rifle
       barrels ends with a different Thug aimed at the Professor
       and all other guns leveled at TR.

                           TR
                 Let me suggest this.

       FIRST FIGHT SEQUENCE

       Suudeny, with a few, swift moves, TR takes out the
       Commodore (acquiring the steam pistol in the process) and
       all three Thugs.

       The Commodore, recovering from the ground, takes out a
       WHISTLE and blows it. The shrill noise echoes through the
       cramped complex.

                           TR
                     (wiggling a finger in his
                      ear)
                 Oww?

       From far down the piped passageway, THAI, an athletic
       Asian in his late 30’s and THUG 4 appear from around a
       bend. Immediately, they start firing at TR.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                     (to Commodore)
                 The very...how dare you?

                           TR
                 Madam, Sir...this way I believe.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 But...

       A hail of steamy bullets strikes the beam very near the
       Lady Victoria. TR grabs Lady Victoria 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
                 Shoot them!

       The Thugs look at each other then back to the Commmodor
       withtrepidation.

                           THUG 1
                 Even Lady Victoria, sir?

                           COMMODORE (cont’d)
                 Well, shoot...carefully.

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

       EXT. BOILER ROOM

       TR leads Lady Victoria 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
                 Absolutely! Everything is already set!

                           LADY VICTORIA
                     (to TR)
                 TR, there is something you need to
                 know...

       A STEAM BLAST slams close to TR’s head.

                           TR
                 In a moment it, Ma’am!  We need to go!

       The three of them break for cover.

       INT. BOILER ROOM

       TR, Lady Victoria, and Professor run through the boiler
       room. Pursued by firing guards.

                           PROFESSOR
                 That way!

       The gang reaches what would be the entrance to the
       tunnels only to find it blocked by a metal gate. Armed
       guards take cover and continue at our heroes. TR, using
       the STAEM PISTOL returns fire knocking each of them back
       the way they came.

                           TR
                 Professor, we need to get through that
                 door. Sugestions?

                           PROFESSOR
                 Turn the dial on the side of the
                 pistol for more power, ja?

       TR cranks the dial on the side to the highest number, and
       points the gun at the gate.

                           PROFESSOR (cont’d)
                 Not so close!

       TR fires, the gate blows open. TR flies back landing on
       hs rear.

                           TR
                     (recovering)
                 Bully!

                           PROFESSOR
                 This way!

       Professor runs as TR and Lady Victoria 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, Lady Victoria, and Professor head.  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 it
       is out of power.  TR drops the weapon, and all the bad
       guys move in close. Commodore sees TR eying the thug’s
       weapon, for he has moved in close to TR.  Commodore moves
       the thug back a little while looking warily at TR.

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

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 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?  So...he is not your father?
                     (points at Professor)

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 Hardly.
                     (Slaps TR)
                 I met that man only a few minutes ago.
                 And, in fact, this gentleman is a very
                 close friend of mine.

       She moves over beside Commodore, who smiles
       smugly...until the Lady Victoria hammers his jaw with a
       short, right-cross.

                           COMMODORE
                 ...Oww?

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 Why in good grace were your goons
                 firing at me...ME...your betroved?

                           COMMODORE
                     (recovering)
                 I told them to be careful?

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 And what care were they exercising
                 when they pierced my hat with one of
                 their projectiles?

                           COMMODORE
                 The ut-most, dahlin’. I assure you...

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

                           PROFESSOR
                 I do not have a daughter that I am
                 aware of.

                           TR
                 Criminey! I must be slipping.

                           PROFESSOR
                 There there...we all have bad days
                 from time to time.

                           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 an anonymous source.

                           TR
                 If you must know, sir, I once ignored
                 such a note. Many good men died.

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

                           TR
                 Is this true?

                           PROFESSOR
                 No...yes...not exactly!
                     (points to COMMODORE)
                 Your money financed the construction
                 of my experimental weapon designs. But
                 I discovered that we were constructing
                 them off-book. You had no intention of
                 shipping them to the Confederation!
                 For whom are we actually working?

                           PROFESSOR (cont’d)
                     (to TR)

                 What I do know is that one of these
                 designs...the one most closely
                 guarded...could shift the balance of
                 power for the whole world!

                           LADY VICTORIA
                     (whirls around to stare at
                      Commodore)
                 Is that true?

                           COMMODORE
                 Dahlin’, it’s all just good business.
                 I merely rearranged the original terms
                 to terms more favorable...for me.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 Well if any of these terms were with
                 Great Britain, my father will be
                 informed!

                           COMMODORE
                 I’m afraid I cannot allow that,
                 dahlin’.  Besides, it’s easier to ask
                 for forgiveness than permission.  In
                 the end, I believe they will be asking
                 for forgiveness from me...

                           LADY VICTORIA
                     (suddenly grim)
                 My father would never beg from anyone.
                 Not even you.

                           COMMODORE
                 Give him time.

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

                           COMMODORE
                 Dahlin’, your fate I fear remains with
                 your new friends.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 But..you said you loved me!

                           COMMODORE
                 I said a lot of things, dear. There’s
                 always another train coming in.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 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, ja?

                           TR
                 I already played that hand.  We need
                 another distraction.

       The Lady Victoria hears TR.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 Not a problem.

       Lady Victoria fiddles with an attachment on her back and
       her corset flies off.  We see the present company look
       into her corset with some confusion.

       ANGLE CORSET

       Under her clothing is an expertly crafted breastplate of
       brass and copper.

                           LADY VICTORIA (cont’d)
                 Oh, silly me...

       The Lady Victoria turns a clasp. FROM BEHIND we see the
       breast plate hinge out and up over he shoulders. THIS
       garners the sudden and undivided attention of all
       present.

                           COMMODORE
                     (wide-eyed)
                 I’m sure going to miss that.

       The Lady Victoria prods TR in the ribs.  She nods her
       head at the Thugs.

                           TR
                 Uh, yes, of course.

       TR flies into action, stunning Commodore and the Thugs
       and then leads Lady Victoria (who covers herself up) and
       Professor down the tunnel to a blast door. TR and Lady
       Victoria rush through but the Professor has an idea.

                           PROFESSOR
                 One second!

       The Professor pulls a lever and a solid, steel blast door
       drops from the ceilng closing off the tunnels for the
       Commodore and thugs.

       INT. TUNNEL

       Thai, the Commodore and the thugs reach the closed blast
       doors.

                           COMMODORE
                 Dammit to hell!
                     (to his men)
                 Back to the junction. We’ll go around.

       EXT. WATER TOWER

       TR, Lady Victoria and the Professor move toward the
       mooring towers. Halfway to their goal, a group of workers
       in dirty technician’s coveralls stop the fleeing heroes.

                           TECH #1
                 That’s far enough trespassers.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 I beg your pardon.

                           TECH #2
                 Oh, not you ma’am.

                           TECH #1
                 That’s far enough...Uh...trespassers
                 and ma’am.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 Thank you.

                           TR
                 Gentlemen. Please do not be offended.
                 But we are bereft of time. So I ask
                 you to understand when I inquire - who
                 is going to stop me?

       The group points.

       An extremely large and lethal looking steam mech clanks
       up to the group. The driver can be seen protruding from
       its mechanical neck.

                           STEAM MECH DRIVER
                 That would be me, sir.

       TR looks to the Professor and the Lady Victoria.

                           PROFESSOR
                 This is being your area of expertise I
                 think.

       The Professor and Lady Victoria back away.

                           TR
                     (sighs)
                 Fine. Let’s have it.

       The Mech moves to TR with surprising speed and grace. TR
       is grasped and thrown. Landing on the Bricks, TR recovers
       and raises a fist.

                           TR (cont’d)
                 Now see h...

       Again the Mech tosses TR. TR lands and regains his
       bearing. TR spies a nearby wrench and quickly grabs then
       hurls it at the driver but finds the Mech all too capable
       of defecting the projectile. TR then rushes the Mech only
       to be thrown to the ground. The Mech steps back to look
       at TR who recovers the discarded wrench a second time. TR
       thrusts the wrench up into the body of the mech jamming
       two interlocked cogs. The mech freezes.

       TR stands again then casts a murderous glance back at the
       dirty technicians. They lower their wrenches and make
       apologetic gestures.

                           TR (cont’d)
                 Very well.

       TR and the gang make for the stairs across the shipyard.

       EXT. MAIN PORT

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

                           PROFESSOR
                 Up here. Hurry!

                           TR
                 There?
                     (looks)
                 What is the matter with you?  There is
                 nothing up there but a dead end and
                 us!

                           PROFESSOR
                 No, trust me!

       Professor climbs the stairs, TR and Lady Victoria
       reluctantly follow.

       GANTRY ABOVE SHIPYARDS

       The professor, breathing hard, reaches the top of the
       gantry. The runs directly to an isolated podium standing
       up from the otherwise featureless deck. He begins to
       fumble with a large ring of keys. TR looks back down the
       ladder.

       At the base of the ladder, an exhausted Commodore and his
       thugs mount the rungs.

                           TR
                 They are still coming!

       Professor tosses TR the metal ball. At that moment, Thai
       and the soldiers approach the top of the ladder.

                           PROFESSOR
                 Turn the dial and throw it in front of
                 them!

       TR does so, as the metal ball clanks to the deck at the
       top of the ladder, it issues a powerful jet of steam. As
       the steam escapes, a MOUND OF ICE begins to grow and
       engulf the ladder encasing the first soldiers just now
       arriving, with the exception of Thai who evades the
       deadly trap and now lunges at TR!

       On the ladder and just below the ice wall, the Commodore
       and his men reach the platform but are blocked by the
       ice.

                           COMMODORE
                 Rifles! Empty breaches!

       Commodore and the other Thugs can be seen blasting
       through the ice with the steam guns. Meanwhile TR meets
       Thai head on.

                           TR
                 Lady Victoria, run!

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

       The last key fits. The Professor pulls a lever.  One by
       one, GIANT MIRRORED PANELS each clank ninety degrees
       revealing a CUTTING EDGE AIRSHIP.  Professor takes Lady
       Victoria and runs toward the airship and begins to open a
       BAY DOOR. TR manages to defeat Thai and runs to the bay
       door, where Professor and Lady Victoria await with
       outstretched arms.

       INT. WHEELHOUSE

       An ornate interior with STEERING WHEEL and a CONSOLE with
       other GUIDANCE EQUIPMENT.  PILOT, a strapping African
       American man in his early thirties dressed in pilot’s
       garb, turns to look at the three. 

                           PROFESSOR
                 You can fly us out of here, ja?

                             CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 I gather that you are responsible
                 for my ship being fired upon?

                             PROFESSOR
                 My ship!

                             CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 I'm the captain of this ship!

                             PROFESSOR 

                           I BUILT IT!

                             TR
                     (labored breath)
                 Shut up, the both of you!  We are
                 taking fire so get us out of here!

       The hull rings as its hit with steam rifles from outside.

                             COMMODORE
                 My dear Captain LaPiere, unless you
                 want to be fired and have at least
                 two nations chasing you, you will
                 open the door and relinquish my
                 property!

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 I am not your property!

                           TR
                 I believe he means the ship.

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 If there is a good reason why I
                 souldn’t open that atch and let the
                 Commodore aboard, I need to hear it
                 right now.

                           TR
                 Because that man is a murderous
                 basterd who plans to start a war!

                           LADY VICTORIA
                     (pulling a paper from her
                      vest)
                 I have a blank note from the Bank of
                 England with my father’s signature on
                 it.

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                     (smiles)
                 That works.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                     (to TR)
                 A woman’s wiles can only get a Lady so
                 far.

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 Now which of you has the key?

       TR and Lady Victoria both look at the Professor.

                           PROFESSOR
                 Right here.

       Professor runs up to a 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.

                           TR
                 Bully!

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 Grab something solid!

       LaPiere engages the engine.

                           PROFESSOR
                 The...the moorings!

       EXT. AIRSHIP

       The mooring cable grow taut then rip the mooring rings
       right off the surface of the deck.

                           PROFESSOR
                 ...were obviously inadequate.

       EXT. MAIN PORT

       The ship takes off as Commodore watches the Thugs fire
       their steam weapons.  The ship recedes unfettered.

                           COMMODORE
                 Gentlemen, please tell me what you
                 hope to achieve by shooting little
                 balls at an aluminium airship?

       The Thugs look at one another.  Commodore’s expression
       lightens from furious, to almost pleased.

       As the Commodore watches the airship recede, two other
       ships rise from the shipyards and glide toward the
       escaping vessel over the watching Commodore.

       EXT. SHIPYARD - OPEN SKY.

       The airship continues to gain altitude. From behind its
       gasbags, two other sleek and military airships rise above
       the towers of the shipyard.

       INT. WHEELHOUSE

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                     (checks a periscope)
                 We have company.

       At that moment, Thai explodes from the doorway and
       tackles TR.

                           PROFESSOR
                 Indeed but I believe that our rough
                 riding friend will take care of him.

                           PILOT
                 I was referring to the company aft.

       The pilot indicates the rear of the ship. The Lady
       Victoria and Professor run to the nearest porthole or
       window.

       EXT. SHIPYARD - OPEN SKY.

       The other airships open fire.

       INT. WHEELHOUSE

                           PROFESSOR
                 We’re cooked!

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 Cooked? No. A little braised maybe.

       The pilot pulls levers and throws the wheel hard to port.
       The tilting of the deck forces the battling TR and Thai
       to roll across the wheelhouse.

                           TR
                     (to Thai)
                 How did you even get up here?

       The Lady Victoria sidesteps the combat. The Airship
       climbs and reaches a thick bank of clouds. Firing, the
       military airships follow into the cotton white quagmire.

       INT. WHEELHOUSE

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 Professor, if you have not already
                 done so, now may be a good time to
                 test the new equipment you installed.

                           PROFESSOR
                 What? Oh! Quite!

       The professor throws levers. Noises emanate from the
       airship. The hair on the Lady Victoria’s head begins to
       stand on end. Thai delivers a devistating blow to TR
       which knocks him out of the cabin. Thai follows...

       EXT. AIRSHIP WALKWAY.

       The Airship rises through dark clowds.

       Thai lunges after TR. There is a brief struggle resulting
       in TR being thrown over the low railing. He catches a
       lower wrung and is hanging by one hand over a cloudy
       oblivion. Thai smiles and directs a heel smash at TR’s
       fingers. In that instant, TR snaps his grasp from the
       rail to Thai’s leg. He pulls himself up and with one move
       pulls Thai off the walkway and secures a grasp on the
       railing.

       EXT. CLOUDS - DAY

       We see Thai plummeting toward the clouds below.

       INT. WHEELHOUSE

       A frazzled TR enters the cabin.

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 You may want to hang onto something.

                           TR
                 You have no idea.

       EXT. AIRSHIP - CLOUDS

       The military airships are gaining on the Professor’s
       airship, firing. Suddenly, lightning arcs from the clouds
       to the Professor’s airship. It bounces between the gas
       bags of the Professor’s airship gaining potential.
       Finally, it leaps back toward the lead military airship
       which EXPLODES and wounded, gyrates back the way it came.
       The second military airship, unable to avoid the sinking
       first, STRIKES the wounded ship and itself decomposes in
       a boiling ball of fire.

       The Professor’s airship finally rises out of the clouds.
       A clear blue sky stretches before us.

       INT. SHIP - WHEELHOUSE

       A new, unfiltered sunlight fills the cabin. La Piere
       flies along, the others squint in the virgin sunlight.

                           TR
                 Bully!

       La Piere is struck by TR’s turn of phrase.

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 I thought you looked familiar!

                           TR
                 Pardon? You have me at a disadvantage,
                 sir!

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 You are the hero of Chanselor Ville,
                 yes?

                           TR
                 There were many heroes that day sir.

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 But only one crazy enough to take on
                 two cannon batteries with a repeating
                 rifle and a pitard, sir.

                           TR
                     (suspiciously)
                 A pitard auspiciously air dropped by
                 the most fearless dirigible captain I
                 have ever served with...

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 Captain Jon LaPiere at your service,
                 sir!
                     (snaps a salute)

                           TR
                 My God man. If there is a devil in the
                 sky he fears your name!

       TR grabs LaPiere’s hand and gives it a vigorous shake.

                           CAPTAIN LAPIERE
                 Just doing what I can to save the men
                 on the ground. So, destination?

                           PROFESSOR
                 Why, Germany!  I must let the
                 Confederation know that the device
                 works...and that it may now be a
                 bigger threat than the one it was
                 designed to combat!

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 No! England!  My father and the other
                 powers to be must be alerted to the
                 Commodore’s attempt to proliferate
                 these weapons throughout the Americas.
                     (thinks)
                 And, that I now have an ex-fiancé.

                           TR
                 Just set course for the nearest free
                 port until we can sort this all out.
                 We can wire both the German
                 Confederation and your father from
                 there. Anyway, we have a more pressing
                 question.

                           LADY VICTORIA
                 What?

                           TR
                 Who sent me that note?

       EXT.  THE GREAT BLUE SKY

       The airship flies away into adventure.

       EXT. CLOUDS - SUNSET

       We see Thai still falling to the ground. Streets and
       airships can be seen below him. Thai sets his teeth to a
       determined grin. He pulls his goggles over his eyes.

       EXT. CLOUDS - SUNSET

       Thai plummets to the ground below...

       BLACK

       END

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