Rebel Treasure thirty third post

Rebel Treasure thirty third post

EXT USS PREBLE
By the time the plume has settled the sea to the front is empty.

MANNING
Did we sink her?

UPSHUR
I just pray she’s not armed.

MANNING
(calls up to the rigging)
Lookouts! Look sharp!

INT THE CSS GRAY WHALE – FORWARD ENGINE ROOM
Under Ross’ supervision, Jimmy twists a valve shut, then with Romeo’s help they seize a lever and engage the clutch for the forward propeller.

Loud POPPING noises issue from the hull sides.

ROMEO
What was that?

Louis arrives.

LOUIS
Old bloody Davy Jones is come for your soul.

ROSS
It’s only the water pressure, gentlemen.

EXT UNDERNEATH THE USS PREBLE
With one set of propellers pulling and the other pushing the CSS Gray Whale quickly traverses underneath her nemesis.

As she emerges from beneath the warship’s shadow, she suddenly shudders and shakes violently and rises too soon, clipping her enemy’s propeller.

INT THE CSS GRAY WHALE
Thrown off balance, Clay falls to the deck. Lon grips the wheel through the violent convulsions and remains standing.

CLAY
What was that? What’s happening?

The ship rights itself and Lon goes to the older man’s aid.

LON
We struck something, most likely their propeller. We need to seek refuge and check for damage.

EXT OFF AN ISLAND – DUSK
The CSS Gray Whale rides placidly on a calm sea off of the island at the mouth of the river. A party of sailors man a launch close to her side checking the outer hull.

Lon, off by himself, has a sextant and takes a reading.

INT CSS GRAY WHALE – THE BATTERY ROOM
Stacks of huge batteries line both sides of the hull and a row in the center, filling the length of the chamber. Jimmy is checking the upper two levels, and Romeo is down on all fours checking the bottom level.

INSERT

ROMEO
I smell something.

JIMMY
(turns his attention to him)
What?
(moving toward him)
Where?

On the side near the hull, acid is seeping onto the wood planking and a sinuous curl of smoke blossoms into a blue flame.

CSS GRAY WHALE – ENGINE ROOM
Arriving in the engine room, Lon is just in time to see Louis leading a fire fighting crew out of the battery room. All are hacking horribly. Louis slams the bulkhead door shut and secures it.

LON
Where are Romeo and Jimmy?

LOUIS
Both dead!

Lon shoots him a fierce look.

A faint pounding erupts from the other side of the door. Lon grabs the latch and drops it when it sears his hand. Unfazed he rips off some cloth and uses it to open the door.

Romeo falls out onto the deck, and air sucks into the battery room and reignites the blaze. Louis shoulders the door shut.

Lon grabs a blanket and smothers Romeo’s still smouldering clothes. Then he lifts Romeo tenderly.

LON
Romeo, can you hear me?

ROMEO
(croaking)
Water.

A CREWMAN snatches up a ladle and brings a drink from the engine-room scuttle-butt.

LON
(administering the water)
Hold on!

ROMEO
No use.

LON
I’m not giving up!

ROMEO
Take care of…

His eyes roll back in death.

LOUIS
Permission to speak, Captain.

LON
Not now!

LOUIS
If we’re going to save the ship we need to flood that chamber now.

LON
(rising)
No. Open all the cocks. We’re going to scuttle her. She’s beyond saving.
(to another crewman)
Pass the word to abandon ship.

CSS GRAY WHALE – CONTROL ROOM
Louis passes through on his way to the stern.

CLAY
Is all under control?

LOUIS
We’re ordered to scuttle her.

ROSS
No!

LOUIS
Just like Annapolis all over again.

[next pt 34]

Rebel Treasure thirtysecond post

Rebel Treasure thirtysecond post

EXT BOATHOUSE ON THE RIVERSIDE – NANTES – 1865 – DAY
Rain is falling in sheets as the riverside doors of the boathouse open to reveal the submarine with a full head of steam up. As soon as the doors clear, the monstrous ship slides into the river.

Arriving mid-channel, she stops and the current turns her head downstream. A Confederate battleflag flaps defiantly from her stern.

INT THE CSS GRAY WHALE
Lon reaches for one of the speaker tubes above the wheel. Louis and Romeo flank him in the crowded control room. The view ahead is murky and hazy.

LON
(into the speaker tube)
Any sign of that Yankee warship?

No response.

LON (CONT’D)
Jonah! Are you there?
(to Louis)
Run forward and check on that warship.

ROMEO
I’ll go!

He’s gone before Lon can answer.

LON
Good man.

LOUIS
I agree. He knows his place.

LON
(without turning around)
And he deserves to be free and I’m going to see to it when we get to where we’re going.

A fleeting glare of menace passes over Louis’ visage as he stares at the back of his commanding officer. Mr Clay and a pleased Mr Keenan squeeze in beside them.

ROSS
Humming like a top!

CLAY
Well worth the price.

Romeo returns.

ROMEO
The petty officer’s respects, sir. We’re raising the island at the mouth of the river, and we see a vessel coming in to the main channel. A warship.

LON
Very well. Mr. Keenan, would you prepare to submerge her?

EXT USS PREBLE – QUARTERDECK
Lt. Manning props his glass in the rigging and trains it on the CSS Gray Whale.

Forward on the bow a dozen SAILORS swarm their ten inch pivot gun, pushing and pulling the monster into direct line with the oncoming CSS Gray Whale.

UPSHUR
What the devil is he doing?

MANNING
I don’t know, sir. Their flag is gone.

UPSHUR
I can see that. Yet how can she pick up speed and no smoke?

MANNING
And she appears lower in the water?

Upshur takes the glass.

UPSHUR
She’s submerging!

He bounds to the taffrail and hollers down the length of the deck.

UPSHUR (CONT’D)
Commence firing! Now!

A thunderous CRASH answers his order.

EXT THE CSS GRAY WHALE
The screaming projectile passes over the vessel and splashes down to its rear. It detonates sending up a plume larger than both ships put together and its spray envelopes the Gray Whale.

INT THE CSS GRAY WHALE
The explosion ECHOES through the iron skin of the vessel. And forward the sea closes over the bow and soon envelopes the view port.

LON
Hold her at a depth of 80 feet.
(taking up a speaking tube)
Jimmy, make the battery connections and engage the forward propeller when ready.

[next pt 33]

Rebel Treasure twentyninth post

Rebel Treasure twentyninth post

INT WAITING AREA – DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Abigail peers through the glass at the climbing plane.

SADUSKY (O.S.) (a shout)
Mrs. Gates!

Agent Sadusky and his assisting agents swarm to where she is.

SADUSKY (CONT’D)
Was your husband on that plane?

She steps away without a word, Sadusky follows her.

SADUSKY (CONT’D)
He never notified my office that he was leaving the country. He’s broken the condition of our little agreement.

ABIGAIL
It was an emergency, I assure you.

Agent Dawes joins the group.

AGENT DAWES
(to Sadusky)
Flight 22 to Paris.

SADUSKY
(to Abigail)
You know I could have that plane turned back.

ABIGAIL
Somehow I don’t think you really want to do that.

SADUSKY
That’s right. No sense inconveniencing upstanding citizens. But your husband is going to find a warm reception for him and he’s going to wish we caught him here.

INT COACH OF AN INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
Riley’s laptop BEEPS once and Ben opens one eye. Since his friend doesn’t stir, he reaches over and lifts the lid.

In a corner of the screen a box flashes the text: “Plan B working. Abigail.”
And below that another message:
“Key found. Show results? Y/N”

STEWARDESS
(whispering over Riley)
Care for a beverage?

BEN
No thanks. I’m settling in for a good read.

Across the aisle Rance watches the laptop with interest. He sports a high turtle neck, the better to hide his tatoos.

INT THE CSS GRAY WHALE – DAY

LON (V.O.)
Her exterior, magnificent as it was, did not prepare me for what she contained inside.

Lon follows Ross from station to station on the operations deck of the vessel. There is an air of quiet efficiency, maintained by the crew, hand picked by Ross.

ROSS
We’ll confer later and assign your men to suitable positions.

Jimmy enters from aft.

JIMMY
Lon, this ship has two engines, one forward and one aft, each drives a propeller.

ROSS
They make her quite fast.

LON
How fast?

ROSS
Say 25 knots.

Mr. Clay descends the ladder onto the operations deck. Ross notices him and goes immediately to him.

ROSS (CONT’D)
Mr. Clay! Glad to see you. Have you any news about my payment?

CLAY
We’re very close, Mr. Keenan. I should think by tomorrow.
(He pulls Lon aside)
Well, Captain Turner. How do you like her?

LON
She’s a wonder, but frankly I’m concerned. I am not fully convinced that she’s seaworthy.

CLAY
Count on it Ross knows his business. But for now, I have another project.

LON
I knew it! We’re errand boys again!

CLAY
And a very important errand. I don’t think you’d be surprised to hear that we are losing the war.

Lon registers shock.

CLAY (CONT’D)
Come now, you’ve heard the news. It’s all bad. We need to take measures for the future of the cause.

LON
You mean – a guerilla war?

CLAY
Yes. Not immediately, but eventually, and we’ll need to be prepared.

LON
More gold.

Clay nods.

CLAY
We are going to take everything we have here in France out.

LON
How much?

CLAY
Three and a half million, minus what we owe for this vessel.

LON
I mean, how much does it weigh?

CLAY
I’d say a couple of tons.

LON
We can easily swap it in for ballast then.

[next pt 30]

Rebel Treasure twentyfourth post cut scene

Rebel Treasure twentyfourth post cut scene

Today’s segment is actually from the first draft and was removed from the third that I am currently posting.  It does not flow from last week’s, as you will see.  Last week’s and next were changed to fit together.  This post has the protagonists visiting the NSA museum to review the archaeological artifacts buried on their property by Lon and his  cohorts mentioned elsewhere in the script.

Hopefully you will find this alternate scene of some interest.

LATER
Ben takes his eyes off of the road ahead to check the vehicles following theirs.

ABIGAIL
Something to do with your “minor glitch?”

BEN
Just cautious, Hon.  There are some forces at work that we’re just not sure about.

ABIGAIL
Hence, your visit to the FBI?

BEN
Yeah.  I talked to Agent Sadusky. He had some intel that tends to confirm my suspicions.

ABIGAIL
So, you going to keep me in suspense?

BEN
Sorry, dear.  It seems that the KGC is still around and it looks like it has morphed into some type of neo-nazi outfit.

ABIGAIL
And they’re after you?

BEN
Let’s just say, at this point, our paths have crossed.

INT NSA MUSEUM OF CRYPTOLOGY – NIGHT
An UNIFORMED GUARD leads Abby, Ben and Riley to the front glassed-in entrance, unlocks the door and lets them in.  CONRAD TOOMBS, the curator, steps forward to greet them.

ABIGAIL
Dr. Toombs, may I thank you again for this courtesy.

CONRAD
Not at all, Dr. Gates.  From what you told me your husband may be able to clear up some mysteries attached to our little find.

He turns to Ben and has a moment of recognition.

CONRAD
Have I met you before?
(before Ben can respond)
I have it!  Jeopardy.  You missed that question on Confederate submarines.

BEN
Guilty.  But I live in hopes of vindication.
(he holds up the journal)
This may have the answers we both seek.

THE CALIFORNIA GOLD EXHIBIT
In a display case, upon a bed of deep red crushed velvet, several gold ingots of various sizes rest glittering under the yellow lights.

RILEY
What are those markings?

BEN
(before Conrad can answer)
Those are the assay marks, noting the weight and purity of that particular ingot.
(turns to Conrad)
Right?

CONRAD
Exactly.

BEN
But is this all there is?

CONRAD
Oh, no.  Forgive me.

He steps to the wall and opens a hidden cover and flips a switch underneath.  The wall behind the exhibit changes from opaque to transparent giving us a view into a room beyond.  There, stacks of boxes fill the room, some of which are open, revealing their contents.

ABIGAIL
Impressive!

RILEY
(pointing)
Are those the remains of the wagon that were buried with the gold?

CONRAD
Yes, we’ve arranged it in the configuration that we found it.

BEN
Can we go in and examine it up close?

For answer, Conrad pushes a button within the same control box and there is a HISS of air and panel slides to the side.

THE DISPLAY ROOM
As Abby, Riley and Conrad look on, Ben hops all over prodding into every nook and cranny.  He points to some coins.

BEN
May I?

CONRAD
Sure,  Go ahead.  We believe most everything here is from the California gold shipment that disappeared along the rail line here in May of 1861.

BEN
Most?

CONRAD
Yes.  There are a few odds and ends that date from later.

BEN
Like these coins.

RILEY
How odd!

BEN
Not really.  It just means that the KGC kept it in use as an active repository.

CONRAD
A repository?  Interesting!  That may explain this.

Conrad stoops to pick up one of the box lids and turns it over.

RILEY
(excited)
There’s our friend, “J J” again.

BEN
So it is.
(Abby shoots him a look)
I’ll explain later.
(to Conrad)
How is your security here?

CONRAD
State of the art.  That box outside controls more than you can see.

RILEY
(to Abby)
Pressure sensitive plates.  Light beam alarm system.  Heat sensors.  A fly would have a difficult time in here.

BEN
Is this the only board with any writing on it?

CONRAD
(nodding)
That’s all we’ve found, and we’ve been over it very carefully.

BEN
(to Riley)
It looks like Lon never returned to this site.
(to Conrad)
Why don’t you give me your e-mail and I’ll send you a copy of what I’ve decoded so far from this journal.  It’ll tell you how this all came to be here.

INT ABBY’S CAR

ABIGAIL
So, the outlaw Jesse James is tied up in this affair somehow?

BEN
Impressed?

ABIGAIL
Not really.  I’ve got ancestors that knew Blackbeard the pirate.

RILEY
I once met Ted Bundy.

BEN
Blackbeard the pirate, really?

ABIGAIL
(in a sudden revelation)
You’re still after that submarine, aren’t you?

BEN
Hot on the trail.

EXT – THE FREEWAY – FROM ABOVE
As Abby’s car heads towards the lights of Baltimore, a van comes onto the freeway in the opposite direction.

Horatio and Morgan are dressed as maintenance workers.

BEN (O.S.)
I’m getting real close to that part of the story in Lon’s journal.

MORGAN
You sure about this?

HORATIO
Nothing to it.  Piece of cake.  And it’s going to pay dividends in spades.

[next pt 25]