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]

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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]

Rebel Treasure forty fifth post

Rebel Treasure forty fifth post

UNDERWATER TUNNEL
Ben has taken to the water like an otter. Riley, on the other hand, maintains the grace of a drowning cat.

Ben breaks the surface and feels his way towards the ledge. Riley follows suit, helped along by the taut rope.

LEDGE
Ben flops out of the water and bounds to his feet, braces himself and begins to pull on the line. However, it comes too easily as the line has gone slack, and he can see the form of his friend being swept towards the roaring waterfall.

Then, before he can react, the rope has reached its limit and drags him back into the water.

EDGE OF THE WATERFALL
The bottom half of a stalagmite parts the waters at the lip of the waterfall. Riley tumbles through the white water to one side of the stubby rock while Ben goes down the other channel, snagging a hand-hold on the other side.

Riley’s descent is arrested by the rope between them, momentarily, then begins to drop inch by inch.

BEN
Hang on, Riley! I think I’ve got you!

RILEY (O.S.)
Uh. You can let go now. I’m down.

BEN
What?

RILEY (O.S.)
I’m on terra firma. Pay off the rope and come on down. It’s a short drop.

Ben descends in a smooth, controlled fall, landing on his feet just to the other side of Riley. They splash over the ledge and climb up to the passage. Ben takes out the helmets and gives one to Riley.

BEN
Onward and downward.

THE RING TUNNEL
Abigail lumbers along in her Hummer, with Mrs. Slidell bringing up the rear. Her head swivels as she catches sight of a carving on the wall. She motions to Mrs. Slidell and they both slow to a stop. Abigail hops out and runs to the second Hummer. She halts in front and directs Mrs. Slidell forward onto a pressure plate, which is lined up with a carving of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

INT THE HUMMER
Abigail runs through the gears quickly and barrels down the tunnel.

ABIGAIL
Okay, pop the hood, then bring the keys and come with me.

MRS. SLIDELL
Are you going to tell me what we’re doing?

ABIGAIL
Getting us into the vault. Watch for carvings on the wall.

MRS. SLIDELL
Carvings?

ABIGAIL
Yeah. Like, maybe Jeff Davis or Robert E. Lee.

ANTE-CHAMBER TO THE CAVERN
Sadusky and his crew have fanned out in a semi-circle and press hard upon one of Horatio’s teams.

SADUSKY
You’re cut off, gentlemen, the game is up.

ONE OF HORATIO’S TROOPERS
You have no authority here.

A couple of Sadusky’s men chuckle under their breath at this. Then, from behind them:

HORATIO
He’s right. No one move!

Sadusky and his men freeze. Sadusky looks to his men and a red laser dot has settled on each of them.

HORATIO (CONT’D)
Put your weapons down, slowly!

SADUSKY
Stand down, men. They have the advantage.

STONE DUNGEON
Horatio and Morgan have herded Sadusky and his men into a stone cell, fitted with an iron grate.

HORATIO
(to Morgan)
And have our other prisoners “escaped” as planned?

MORGAN
(nodding)
I expect my team should be calling in any time now.

[next pt 46]

Rebel Treasure forty second post

Rebel Treasure forty second post

INT THE AIRLINER – ELECTRONICS BAY

PILOT (O.S.)
Coming up on New Mexico.

Agent Sadusky ushers the boys into the plane’s nerve center.

BEN
Communications or intelligence?

SADUSKY
Both. Actually it’s on loan from the Dept. Of Homeland Security.

BEN
You mean we’re dealing with some terrorist organization?

SADUSKY
A home grown one. Thanks to you, you’ve alerted us to a clear and present danger.

BEN
The new KGC isn’t stopping with a little gold or the state of New Mexico.

SADUSKY
No. They’ve got bigger plans.

Riley hovers behind the TECHNICIAN seated in a cockpit of monitors, keyboards, joysticks, etc.

RILEY
Can I play?

The technician looks up in confusion, and over to Sadusky. Sadusky gives him the nod of approval. The technician slides out of his seat and cedes it to Riley. Riley seizes a joystick and commences rotating the column, and soon the image on the display overhead begins to spiral.

TECHNICIAN
Do you even know what you’re doing?

RILEY
Sure. I’m redirecting this spy satellite.

BEN
Look for signs of an old railroad roadbed crossing this desert up from Mexico.

Riley scrolls the satellite image slowly across the viewer.

RILEY
Here’s a likely candidate.

He enlarges the image and a short north/south dash appears.

BEN
It’s headed in the right direction at least. Zoom back out.

The image expands to show more area.

RILEY
These series of smudges seem to line up.

BEN
And the top one lines up on a creek. Let’s follow this canyon.

Riley focuses in on the narrow valley and scrolls slowly upward. A Hummer emerges from a rock wall, its headlights switch from high to low beam.

RILEY
Eureka!

Riley dials up an infra-red image of the area and superimposes the results.

BEN
(his finger on a glowing blotch)
That’s got to be a generator.

Behind the duo, Sandusky signals to his squad who silently slip out of the communications center.

RILEY
All these other sources add up to a ring around what just may well be the vault we’re looking for.

BEN
Which means they haven’t gotten in yet.

Ben enters data from the readout into his GPS.

SADUSKY
Excellent work boys. And now it’s time we parted.

BEN
What do you mean?

SADUSKY
Simply. It’s time for the professionals to step in and do what they do.

Sadusky turns to go, and the boys are quick to follow down the

SPIRAL STAIRCASE

SADUSKY
Listen, if you promise to behave, I’ll let you see us off.

BEN
No, you listen. I have every reason to believe that my wife is down there. I’m going!

They sweep through:

FIRST CLASS

SADUSKY
I’m sorry, Ben. You’re a civilian.

BEN
So, deputize me!

RILEY
Yeah! Deputize us!

SADUSKY
Not possible!

He parts the curtain and enters into

COACH

Now a pre-jump area, bathed in an eerie red light. Two GUARDS seize Ben and Riley as they walk through.

SADUSKY
Remember, best behavior.

PILOT (O.S.)
We’re at altitude.

Sadusky’s team of agents are all suited up for a parachute drop. Sadusky strips off his three piece suit, revealing his jump uniform and straps on his chute.

A section of the tail cracks open and a straight corridor defined by the aisle yaws open to the night time sky.

A green light flashes and one by one they troop down the ramp and out into space. Before joining them Sadusky tosses Ben and Riley a salute.

BEN
(to the guards)
Can we at least watch the show upstairs?

As the ramp closes, the guards step aside and allow them to pass back into first class.

[next pt 43]