Rebel Treasure fifty fifth post

Rebel Treasure fifty fifth post

EXT. IN THE AIR OVER NEW MEXICO
Six A-10 warthogs in echelon right formation advance low across the desert.

A-10 LEADER
At IP, coming around for our run.

A-10 WINGMAN ONE
Radar detected.

A-10 LEADER
Blind him.

A-10 WINGMAN ONE
Roger.

A-10 LEADER
I have the entrance, the rest of you up over the top.

INT. FORT AREA BY THE VAULT ENTRANCE
The doorway has just about cleared. Sadusky and his men have Morgan’s men disarmed and corralled.

Riley flicks his miner’s light on and enters.

SADUSKY
(to Agent Stewart)
You take the point with Riley.
(to their Neo-nazi captives)
You can remain here and take the consequences or come down with us and live.

They shrug and line up behind his men and enter the vault.

Sadusky brings up the rear, enters after his last agent, takes up a rope strung out across the fort to the guardhouse and gives a smooth jerk.

CATWALK
Rance has passed across the catwalk to the other end, looking for a way down. Finding none he paces the catwalk in frustration, trying to come up with a plan.

With a jerk of his head he looks back towards the ironclad and now has another factor to consider. It is now descending towards him.

DECK OF THE IRONCLAD
Riley and those following spill out onto the deck. Morgan’s men are herded over to one side and kept under guard. Riley runs to his friends when they appear from the forward section, and throws his arms around them.

RILEY
Am I glad to see you two!

ABIGAIL
Ditto here.
(looking around)
And a special welcome to you, Agent Sadusky.

BEN
(interrupting)
Not to be a stick in the mud, but I think we all better grab onto something solid.

EXT. THE APPROACHING A-10S
The lead A-10 slips back and vectors off towards the cavern entrance. Coming in low, it releases its munition, letting it fly at the target.

The other A-10s fan out side by side and bore in on the rock dome, release their payloads and scoot away.

As the fireball rises from the entrance, their five bombs are silhouetted against the conflagration.

[next pt 56]

Rebel Treasure forty ninth post

Rebel Treasure forty ninth post

BASEMENT OF THE OTHER GUARD HOUSE
Rance ushers the Gateses in behind the Slidells. They gather around a giant metal tread wheel situated in the center of the room.

MORGAN
What’s this? A giant hamster wheel?

BEN
Check to see if there’s a belt attached.

SOLDIER THREE
Negative.

Ben slips around to the back of the wheel.

BEN
Here it is, on the floor unhooked.

He picks it up and loops it around the wheel’s axle. Morgan climbs up into the wheel.

MORGAN
Which way does it turn?

BEN
Hold on while I throw the clutch.

Ben grabs the rail yard like switch and depresses it forward, then hops around to the front and joins Morgan. Nothing happens.

BEN (CONT’D)
(to Horatio)
Are the portals still open into this area?

HORATIO
One of them. What of it?

BEN
We need to shut it. Lon designed it so the outer doors couldn’t be open at the same time as the vault.

HORATIO
(to Rance and soldier three)
See to it.

MRS. SLIDELL
You’ll have to move the Hummer.

MONTAGE OF THE SOLDIERS
Ordered by Rance out through the portal.

They mount the Hummer and drive it off of the pressure plate and the portal slides shut.

Rance viewing it from the front gate tower calls down to the third soldier:

RANCE
Tell them all’s clear.

BASEMENT OF THE OTHER GUARD HOUSE

SOLDIER THREE
(to Horatio)
Portal secure, sir.

BEN
(to Morgan)
This way.

Ben and Morgan begin to walk and soon their walk becomes an all out run. From deep below them the GROAN of machinery answers the WHIR of the cage. Then, the sound of RUSHING WATER lights a smile on Ben’s sweaty face. He winks at Abigail, and sees behind her:

BEN’S P.O.V.
Through the cellar window, a cylindrical column rises from the central area, like the plug in a bathroom sink.

VAULT ENTRANCE
The Slidells, Gateses, and Rance ring the darkened entrance, staring into its gaping maw, none daring move.

BEN
Well, what are we standing here for?

He grabs Abigail’s hand and moves to step in, but Morgan and Rance quickly squeeze in ahead of them with the Slidells following.

MORGAN
Hug the outside. It’s a spiral staircase.

HORATIO
What kind of mechanism is it?

BEN
Lon Turner was somewhat of a hydraulic genius. A stream is diverted into a chamber below and raises a flotation device attached to the entrance.

MORGAN (O.S.)
Hey, there’s no access to the silos down here!

The rest arrive at the bottom of the stair and spread out onto the deck of ironclad warship, encased on all sides by iron armor.

HORATIO
What? There’s got to be! Keep looking!

Rance props open one of the portholes.

RANCE
There they are. About sixty feet below.

ABIGAIL
Maybe all of this is just an elevator or escalator or something.

Mrs. Slidell muscles Rance out of the way to get a look.

MRS. SLIDELL
They’re huge! I make out four here.

HORATIO
(from the other side)
And six more over here.

MRS. SLIDELL
And just think, this amounts to just one third of all the caches.

RANCE
But we’ll need the contents of the archive to lead us to the others.

PASSAGEWAY
Sadusky and Agent Dawes help the last of their party out of the tube tunnel.

SADUSKY
Which way?

Riley shines his light on the passage wall, revealing a group of stick figures carved into the stone, shown “walking” back down the way he came.

RILEY
Walk, don’t run to the nearest exit.

SADUSKY
(holds up an empty forearm)
What time is it?

RILEY
(checking his watch)
We’re pressing one PM.

SADUSKY
We had better run. We need to get to your buddy and hope his wife is already with him and get out of here.

Riley’s look questions his sanity.

SADUSKY (CONT’D)
In fifteen minutes we’ll be overdue and this place will be the target of six bunker buster bombs.

[next pt 50]

Rebel Treasure forty eighth post

Rebel Treasure forty eighth post

PASSAGE – DEEPER UNDER THE CAVERN
Riley flashes the miner’s light down the passageway, illuminating a series of side passages.

RILEY
Eeenie, meenie, minee…

A shout floats out of the smallest passage right next to him.

RILEY (CONT’D)
Uhn, uhn. It’s Ben’s turn to climb down the dirty rat hole.

There comes a BANGING of rock on metal and the sound of VOICES. Riley sighs and climbs up and into the tube-like tunnel.

STONE DUNGEON
Sadusky huddles with some of his men out of sight of the main door and the only light.

AGENT DAWES
There’s nothing in that direction but a long tunnel and a dead end.

SADUSKY
Damn! What’s keeping Howie and Stewart?

AGENT DAWES
Maybe it’s good news.

Agent Howie emerges out of the shadows and into their circle.

AGENT HOWIE
We found something.

DUNGEON OFFSHOOT
Sadusky and his men trail behind Agent Howie.

AGENT HOWIE
We were just at the point of turning back, then all of a sudden these lights turned on. So Stewart went on ahead and I came back for you.

The tunnel widens and forms a chamber with an exit of the tube tunnel at the other end.

RILEY
Agent Sadusky, am I glad to see you!

SADUSKY
How’d you get here? No, that’s not important. Can you get us out of here?

AGENT STEWART
(from around the corner)
We’ve almost got this grill loose.

SADUSKY
And I suppose Mr. Gates is with you?

RILEY
Sort of. I’ll take you to him.

FORT AREA
Guards hem Ben and Abigail together in the central area, while Rance and his soldiers fan out to check all the nooks and crannies of the fort.

Up on the tower above the guard house, one of two soldiers examines the Gatling gun.

SOLDIER ONE
Hey, this thing is loaded!

SOLDIER TWO
That’s not what we’re looking for.

SOLDIER ONE
What are we looking for?

SOLDIER TWO
Some kind of wheel or valve or something.

SOLDIER ONE
What’s it do?

Down below, a third soldier comes running from the other guard house.

SOLDIER THREE
I think I found it!

[next pt 49]

Rebel Treasure forty seventh post

IMG_2298

SUPPORT STRUCTURE – SOMEWHERE UNDER THE FORT
Ben and Riley wend their way through a vast network of wooden beams, all braced together, arranged around a central cylinder and attached at regular intervals to huge barrels. Ahead, Ben keeps in view, glimpses of a section of wall studded with iron ladder rungs.

BEN
Not long, now.

RILEY
Where are we?
(he stubs a toe on one of the barrels)
And what is this monstrosity?

BEN
A slightly larger version of what Lon used to float that ironclad over the shallows.
(smiles)
Our ticket to riches if we can figure out how it works.

They arrive at the ladder, but the lights on the ceiling continue on down another passage.

RILEY
What now, boss?

BEN
I’ll take the ladder, if it’s a dead-end I’ll come looking for you. And vice-versa.

THE FORT AREA
Morgan prods Abigail along, while Horatio leads the way through the gates and into the compound.

HORATIO
Welcome to New El Dorado, Mrs. Gates.

ABIGAIL
Where the skies are not gloomy all day.

HORATIO
I’m serious, we owe you a debt of gratitude.

ABIGAIL
Call me a skeptic, but somehow I don’t think you’re going to repay my “good deed” in kind.

HORATIO
Sarcasm is hardly becoming, Mrs. Gates.

Mrs. Slidell comes up from behind them, and reaches up to kiss Horatio on his forehead, much to Abigail’s horror.

MRS. SLIDELL
Do I get things done, or do I get things done?

Horatio draws her into a bear-hug and lifting her off her feet, swings her in a circle.

HORATIO
Yes, Momma, and all our dreams are becoming reality.

Morgan looks on, wishing he were a part of the celebration.

MORGAN
The South shall rise again!

HORATIO
Once we’ve set up our empire, nothing will stop us.

ABIGAIL
Spare me your nutjob rantings. I don’t see you in the vault yet. Or are you setting up this empire on credit?

Mrs. Slidell spins around and slaps her, then turns back to her less favored son.

MRS. SLIDELL
And what are you doing about this?

MORGAN
My men are on the way.

A CLOSET OFF OF THE GUARD HOUSE OF THE FORT
Ben emerges out of a trapdoor in the floor of the closet. He looks through the loophole toward the parked artillery. Some of Horatio’s men are packing explosives down through the avenue of cannons.

He walks to the door, and freezes when he sees Abigail in Morgan’s clutches.

THE FORT AREA
As Horatio directs the positioning of the explosive charges, Morgan guards Abigail. Ben saunters up.

BEN
(to Morgan)
I’ll thank you to take your hands off of my wife.

ABIGAIL
(excited)
Ben!
(then sputtering)
You idiot!

BEN
(to Horatio)
No, darling, the prize idiots are our friends here. They’ve just set charges on top of the largest deposit of gunpowder in the Western Hemisphere. And I don’t want you in the same state when it goes off.

MORGAN
You’re bluffing!

BEN
And I suppose you thought those cannons out there were just for show?

A confused Morgan looks to his brother. Horatio beckons to one of the soldiers.

It is Rance, all spit and polish in his combat fatigues.

HORATIO
What do you think, Rance, could this place be mined?

RANCE
Probably.
(looks at Ben)
But I’m willing to bet that he knows another way in. We just got to make him talk.

MORGAN
My thought exactly. We’ve got the leverage.

Morgan tightens his grip on Abigail.

HORATIO
We needn’t do anything rash…yet. Perhaps we can strike a deal.

BEN
Right! How about first of all you return that NSA museum gold…

HORATIO
Ah? You figured that one out?

BEN
And while you’re at it you can cough up that stolen shipment that I was blamed for.

HORATIO
Ever the smart one.

RANCE
Sure. And why not the French treasure trove?
(Ben’s turn to be surprised)
I see you didn’t know about that one.

MRS. SLIDELL
As you see we have a corner on the market, and you cornered. How about you keep your lives and join us?

Hesitation and a moment of decision.

BEN
Sure. Why not?

ABIGAIL
Ben! How could you?

Ben turns to Mrs. Slidell.

BEN
The way I see it, you owe me. Seeing how your carcasses could just as easily have been decorating the walls right now. And I do admit to being a little curious.

MRS. SLIDELL
Then you’ll help us?

BEN
Let me just get the lay of the land.

Though Mrs. Slidell beams with pleasure, Morgan and Rance look none too happy.

[next pt 48]

Rebel Treasure forty sixth post

Rebel Treasure forty sixth post

INT THE HUMMER
Abigail downshifts to slow the behemoth as the tunnel ahead goes into a long curve. Both women have flashlights in hand searching the walls as they pass.

MRS. SLIDELL
Stop!

Abigail slams on the brakes and comes to a complete halt beside another bas-relief carving.

MRS. SLIDELL (CONT’D)
Looks to me like Alexander Stephens.

ABIGAIL
Who?

MRS. SLIDELL
Jeff Davis’ vice president.

A loud CLUNK announces that the weight of the vehicle has depressed a pressure plate.

The section of the wall with the bas-relief carving slides open, and at the same time Abigail notices SOLDIERS emerging from around the tunnel to their rear.

ABIGAIL
And here come his acolytes!

Seeing the opening, the soldiers break into a run. Abigail slams the Hummer into reverse, heading straight for them. Then, brakes into a skid that lines up the vehicle with the entrance. And with their pursuers closing in and the gnashing of gears she squirrels the Hummer through the opening.

THE OUTER VAULT AREA
It is a short trip, for Abigail can’t stop in time to avoid hitting a capstan that runs the door mechanism. The crash sends it flying, and consequently slingshots the door shut behind them, right in the faces of their pursuers, and plunging them into darkness.

MRS. SLIDELL
Well, that was fun. Are we safe or stuck?

ABIGAIL
Safe from their huffing and puffing…for now.

THE CRYSTAL CHAMBER
Water can be heard gurgling somewhere in the dark alongside of the boys as they emerge from a passageway. They stop on a high ledge and watch the water cascade down into a pool that fills most of the chamber. To one side they discover an old wooden stair, and climb down to the lower level. A blank wall greets them on all sides.

RILEY
End of the line?

Ben flashes his light in an arc from side to side. The only obvious entrance is that by which they came, then it lights on stone steps cut in the rock and leading down into the water.

RILEY (CONT’D)
Not another underwater passage!

Ben spots something.

BEN
No. I don’t believe so.

He forges his way over to some machinery in a far recess.

Ropes run from the machinery up into the ceiling. Another huge, unwieldy machine stands nearby with octopus like arms radiating out of its core off into all directions. One pipe along the side hisses harshly. Ben takes a whiff.

BEN (CONT’D)
Gas. For gas lamps. They must have tapped into a natural source.

Ben closes a valve. The hissing ceases and a string of lamps overhead spring to life.

They gasp. The chamber glows an emerald green, accented with clusters of white crystals everywhere.

RILEY
Beautiful!

BEN
Lovely, yes. But not as lovely as my wife. I only pray we haven’t warned anyone that we’re coming.

They follow the path illuminated by the overhead lights, and discover another passage on a blind turn at the back.

THE OUTER VAULT AREA
To their surprise the girls watch as one by one lights begin to ignite around the periphery of the chamber. To their front rank upon rank of cannons stand their vigil around a massive stone fort at their center.

MRS. SLIDELL
Shall we head over there next?

ABIGAIL
You go on ahead. I’m going to make sure there isn’t another open door.

She sets off at a run, picking her way among the parked artillery.

She arrives at a niche in the wall that forms a well. At the bottom she sees another capstan like object and an open door. She bounds down the wooden stairs and seizes the lever release.

HORATIO (O.S.)
You’re too late Mrs. Gates.

Horatio steps out of the shadows, and as she turns to face him, Morgan grabs her from behind.

ABIGAIL
Run! Mrs. Slidell!

The brothers look at one another and smile.

[next pt 47]