Rebel Treasure fifty first post

Rebel Treasure fifty first post

VIEW FROM ABOVE THE IRONCLAD
The ship nestles down into a web of catwalks at the center of the silos.

CATWALK
One by one they spill out of a gunport onto the catwalk, Mrs. Slidell first. One of the silos overflows with gold dust, which catches Mrs. Slidell’s eye. Rance, though, doesn’t seem interested in any of it. He stands staring intently at the entrance far above them.

MORGAN
What’s the matter?

RANCE
I don’t know, and I hate that feeling.

In the b.g., Mrs. Slidell kicks off her shoes and steps off of the catwalk and over the rim of the silo onto the “golden sands.” Morgan turns from Rance in time to see his mother beginning to climb the mound of gold dust.

MORGAN
Ma! NO!! Come back!

His cry rivets all eyes in her direction. She stops to look back at her son, and plummets from sight.

HORATIO
Ma!

The three conspirators rush towards the silo where she disappeared. Ben seizes the moment and Abigail’s arm.

ABIGAIL
What’s happened?

BEN
Later!

He hurls her back into the ship and follows after her.

DECK OF THE IRONCLAD

BEN
She’s made a fatal mistake.

ABIGAIL
She’s dead?

BEN
Almost certainly. Remember what happened to that boy fooling around on top of that grain elevator?

ABIGAIL
Straight to the bottom?

Ben nods grimly.

ON THE CATWALK
Morgan charges his brother and slams him to the catwalk grate. Horatio looks up, stunned.

HORATIO
What are you doing?

MORGAN
You let her go out there!

Rance watches their exchange in hypnotic fascination. Horatio rises and kicks his brother’s feet from beneath him, then dives on top of him and they thrash about on the catwalk. Rance looks beyond them and catches sight of a safe like structure beyond the last of the silos. He leaves the two battling brothers and moves off to investigate.

DECK OF THE IRONCLAD
Ben and Abigail leapfrog from gunport to gunport locking them down. Between each one Ben casts about looking for something in particular.

ABIGAIL
How are we going to get her back up?

BEN
I’m working on that.
(pause)
I’m wondering if Riley might be up there with reinforcements.

ABIGAIL
You’re thinking the soldiers closed the entrance as a defense?

BEN
Yup.

He spots what he was looking for.

BEN (CONT’D)
You finish off securing the gunports. I think I found what I was looking for.

He pulls on a rope hanging from the ceiling and a collapsible ladder unfolds to the deck. No sooner does it touch down than he bounds up into the opening above.

[next pt 52]

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 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]