Rebel Treasure fifty eighth post

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ABOVE THE IRONCLAD
With a final teeter, the ship falls forward onto the catwalk and begins to skid down this “track” straight for the swirling water.

BEN (O.S.)
Hang on! It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The ironclad picks up speed and from the moment it impacts the water, the current takes hold and sucks her down and through the hole.

Her forward momentum puts her sideways to the current in the river tunnel, which proceeds to roll her over on her side.

FORWARD DECK
Bodies tumble en masse as the ship heels over. Only two manage to grab onto something solid. Ben and Rance have hooked onto the capstan and are now being hoisted in the air as they hang on.

Water gushes in from every crevice and gap in the outer shield, which drenches the two and threatens to wash them from their perch. Rance, having lost his handgun, tries to maul Ben and loosen his hold. But the steepening pitch of the ship carries Ben away from his reach.

But as the ship rights itself, Ben lets go with one hand, and strikes Rance full force in the face. And as the stunned Rance looses his grip, Ben retrieves the map-case and Rance bounces from the capstan.

THE ANTE-CHAMBER TO THE CAVERN
Is now smaller, the opening having been sealed by the bunker buster bombs. And a sea of water now covers the railroad tracks.

Out from the tunnel the ironclad serenely and regally floats on the smooth surface.

FORWARD DECK
Sadusky’s agents have things well in hand with agent Howie brandishing the Navy Colt revolver over the prisoners.

TOPSIDE OF THE IRONCLAD
Ben and Abigail, Riley and Sadusky check out the destruction from this higher vantage point.

Riley looks back from whence they came, and calls his companions’ attention to the golden hue of the water.

RILEY
I think I’ll take up panning for gold.

Ben looks off into the distance.

Final Jeopardy music.

INT JEOPARDY GAME SHOW SET
Applause. Ben smiles.

ALEX TREBEK
Ladies and gentlemen, we have with us today, Mr Benjamin Franklin Gates of Baltimore, Maryland.

More applause. Ben humbly lowers his gaze.

Abigail blows him a kiss. Riley, Sadusky and Dean Cargile join in the applause.

ALEX TREBEK (CONT’D)
Mr. Gates, we have you here today to offer our apology. We were wrong and you were right. We are going to reinstate your winnings and by so doing, we hope, your reputation.

From the back of the auditorium, the Pompadou sisters emerge. Marguerite holds up a salvage document and waves.

CECI
Riley Poo!

FADE OUT.

THE END

[PS – alternate beginning]

Rebel Treasure fifty seventh post

Rebel Treasure fifty seventh post

ON TOP OF THE IRONCLAD
Battered, but determined, Rance has worked his way up to the top of the casement. Crawling to the hole left by the detached cylinder, he peers down into the darkness. He sees nothing. Grabbing the edge of the opening, he lowers himself full length before dropping to the deck below.

UNDERWATER
The force of the water is eroding a larger opening and gushing into the passageway carrying the subterranean river, filling it completely.

The water commences to swirl, forming a vortex.

THE IRONCLAD BRIDGE

SADUSKY
Maybe, if we float free, we can maneuver her.

ABIGAIL
Maneuver her where?

BEN
(to Abigail)
He’s thinking of lining her up with the entrance to the lift chamber.

RILEY
Maneuver, how? There’s no engine in this beast. Not even any oars.

SADUSKY
Let’s do something!

A shudder runs through the deck, and all nearly topple.

INSERT
The keel of the ship settles into the center of one of the catwalks and is left teetering on the edge of a section that slopes down to the burgeoning hole.

BACK TO SCENE

ABIGAIL
We’re no longer rising? That’s good isn’t it?

Riley catches sight of the forming whirlpool through the slotted windows.

RILEY
Oh, oh!

Ben follows his gaze.

BEN
The decision is about to be made for us.

He bolts for the ladder, calling back:

BEN (CONT’D)
Get everyone aft, now!

FORWARD DECK
All of Sadusky’s agents and Morgan’s soldiers are seated on the deck, backs toward him, when Ben rushes up.

Rance, standing guard, trains one hand gun in their direction, and turns another on Ben.

RANCE
Ah, Mr. Gates. Please have a seat.
(sees the red map-case)
I’ll take that.

BEN
We can’t stay here!

RANCE
I agree, but for now–

Rance hands one gun to the Third Soldier and takes the map-case from Ben.

BEN
(seeing the others approaching)
No! Don’t!

Too late.

[next pt 58]

Rebel Treasure fifty sixth post

Rebel Treasure fifty sixth post

INT FORT AREA
A series of dull booms becomes a flashing ROAR, as the combination of explosions punch through a section of the dome. Spider web-like cracks spread in every direction. Then, pieces of the dome fall inward, bit by bit, until it becomes an avalanche, leveling the walls of the fort and anything in its path.

CATWALK
Everything around Rance quivers and shakes. He drops to his seat and wraps his arms and legs around a railing support.

POV RANCE
In contrast, overhead all looks steady and solid, until a jet of water spurts out from the area around the descending cylinder. The stream grows in volume and the ironclad’s descent slows.

DECK OF THE IRONCLAD
All aboard the ship have lain down on the deck in an attempt to secure themselves against being thrown about. The ship stops with a jerk.

RILEY
What was that?

Ben bounds to the gunport to look out, where he sees a veritable waterfall spilling down and filling the hollow areas around the silos.

BEN
Everyone! We’ve got to cut ourselves loose from the spiral staircase.

To make his point he springs to the latches holding the cylinder to the deck and commences swinging away with the fire ax. Abigail waves the others over to a tool box and passes out wrenches, saws, hammers, etc., to all comers.

CATWALK
Rance watches in disbelief as the water level rises up along the sides of the silos. A lot of hammering and similar noise fills the air above his head; and he notices the ironclad start its descent again, but this time swinging towards his end of the catwalk. He leaps to his feet and runs.

DECK OF THE IRONCLAD
With several attachments now loosed, the deck is listing and down by the bow.

SADUSKY
Just two left.

BEN
Hold off a sec. This is real dicey. Everyone forward we’ll let our weight do the work.

They all move forward away from the creaking cylinder.

ABOVE THE IRONCLAD
The ship hangs off center to its normal plane. With a tearing of metal, she slips free of the cylinder and falls to the catwalk, taking it at an angle, wrenching it from its anchors and forcing breaches in the tops of the silos.

The contents of the breached silos slide out into the water.

CATWALK
Hanging on for dear life, Rance rides the bouncing catwalk. Then, the section to which he clings, flips to the vertical, the upper end over the rear of the ironclad. Seeing his chance, he drags himself up and over the top and onto the deck outside the casement.

THE IRONCLAD BRIDGE
Ben, followed by Abigail, rushes to look out the forward slits. Riley and Sadusky join them from below. The water is rising rapidly and consequently contributing to the disintegration of the silos. The ironclad slides further forward, meeting the water and raising the bow.

RILEY
Looks like we’re on our way back up.

ABIGAIL
We’ll be crushed.

THE COUNTERWEIGHT
Snaps loose from its chain and plummets into the water. It strikes the out-of-position catwalk and caroms into the chamber wall, punching a hole through to the underground river on the other side.

[next pt 57]

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 fifty fourth post

Rebel Treasure fifty fourth post

INT. THE IRONCLAD BRIDGE
Two more SHOTS RING out. Abigail looks at Ben.

ABIGAIL
Think they all committed suicide?

BEN
No. I’ve a feeling the certified monster has taken over. We had better arm ourselves.

ABIGAIL
There was a fire ax below.

She turns to go, but Ben stops her.

BEN
Sorry, you’re not leaving my sight. We’ll stick here for now. There should be an arms chest around here somewhere.

They begin to scour the cabin. Ben crosses to the back bulkhead and raps on the wall. Hearing a HOLLOW sound, he moves to the moulding and feels around the edges. He presses against the panel, it depresses and slides to the side, revealing a large safe with three large dials.

BEN (CONT’D)
Jackpot!

ABIGAIL
The missing archives of the KGC?

BEN
A weapon or a bartering chip. I don’t care. Let’s find out.

He examines the dials. They are marked with letters rather than numbers. He takes the first and lines up the “J” with the other “J.” Then on the second, a “B” with a “P.” He tries the handle, but nothing.

BEN (CONT’D)
I just can’t remember any other letter combos that he used.

He takes a closer look.

At the bottom of the first dial an “R” has lined up with an “O.” On the second an “M” is over an “E.”

A grin splits his face from ear to ear.

BEN (CONT’D)
Lon. You left Romeo on guard!

He twists the third dial to line up the “O” with another “O.” He tries the handle again. This time the door moves, SCREECHING open on unoiled hinges.

A loud BANGING on the outside of the lower encasement echoes up from below. But Ben stares entranced by the sight of a red Morocco leather map-case.

ABIGAIL
What have we here?

He reaches in and removes the mapcase, while Abigail lifts out a Navy Colt revolver.

ABIGAIL (CONT’D)
John Wayne, eat your heart out!

BEN
I guess that leaves me with the ax.

The deck under their feet shudders and GROANS; and the ship commences to ascend. Ben checks his watch.

BEN (CONT’D)
This had better be a quick trip.

[next pt 55]

Rebel Treasure fifty third post

Rebel Treasure fifty third post

INT. BASEMENT OF THE OTHER GUARD HOUSE
All the third soldier can see through the basement windows are his comrades exchanging automatic gunfire with the Gatling gun in the tower next door.

BEN (ON THE TUBE)
Hello! Is there anyone there?

SOLDIER THREE
(picking up the speaker tube)
Hello! Mr. Slidell?

ON THE IRONCLAD BRIDGE
Ben slams the speaker tube back down.

BEN
Sorry, wrong number!

And picks up the next one, as Abigail pops up onto the bridge.

ABIGAIL
Those pollsters can find you anywhere.

He smiles and motions her to join him.

BEN (ON THE TUBE)
Is anyone there?

GUARDHOUSE

AGENT HOWIE
Boss, someone’s talking on this tube thingy.

The agent passes him the speaker tube.

RILEY
Let me have that!

BEN (O.S.)
Is anyone up there?

RILEY
Ben! It’s me, Riley!

BEN (O.S.)
Are you okay?

RILEY
Just fine. I’ve recruited some help. Sadusky and his crew. Is Abigail with you?

BEN (O.S.)
Yes. Can you get us back up there?

RILEY
Uh. I think we may be wanting to come down to where you are.

BEN (O.S.)
What?

RILEY
(to Sadusky)
How much time we got?

SADUSKY
The order should have been issued three minutes ago. It’s on the way. Say seven or eight minutes.

ON THE IRONCLAD BRIDGE

Ben and Abigail hold the speaker tube between them, both straining to hear.

RILEY (O.S.)
We’ve got a little situation. According to Sadusky, the whole mountain top is about to come down on top of us, courtesy of the US Government.

BEN
That’s extreme prejudice.

RILEY (O.S.)
Don’t take it personal. They don’t know we’re here.

BEN
Listen. The mechanism for raising the entrance is in the basement of the guardhouse across from the one with the ladder to the lower area.

RILEY (O.S.)
Gotcha. We’ll see what we can do.

BACK ON THE CATWALK
The Slidell boys clench each other, neither one strong enough to overpower the other, nor willing to back down. Rance charges up, kicking and screaming.

RANCE
We have no time for this!

In their blind fury they ignore him. Rance takes out his hand gun and fires once into the air. Horatio and Morgan break apart and scramble away from Rance.

RANCE (CONT’D)
Neither of you are worthy to lead the cause.

[next pt 54]

Rebel Treasure fifty second post

Rebel Treasure fifty second post

EXT. OUTSIDE ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO – NIGHT
From the ambient light of the moon and stars a complex of concrete bunkers can be seen arranged around a single airstrip.

Caption: Top Secret DHS Air Intercept Facility

CONTROLLER (O.S.)
Say again.

INT DHS AIF CONTROL ROOM

PILOT (O.S.)
End of rope, I repeat, end of rope.

The controller looks up from his glowing console to the duty officer, LT COL CROSBY. The Lt Col opens the three ring binder and flips through the pages. He picks up a phone receiver and punches a button.

INT WHITE HOUSE – SITUATION ROOM
The crisply dressed officer answers the buzzing line and speaks into his headphone.

COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
Roger.

He turns to his waiting audience, the President of the United States and his National Security Adviser.

COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER (CONT’D)
End of rope, sir.

Eyes cast down, POTUS looks up and with a sigh, and responds:

POTUS
String them up.

COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
How many sir.

POTUS
All of them.

As the communications officer relays the message, POTUS stands and walks to the map.

POTUS (CONT’D)
I can’t believe that Agent Sadusky and his team have failed.

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
Our adversaries play for keeps. He knew that, we knew that.

POTUS
But are you sure our intelligence is correct?

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
We’ve let it go on too long, making sure it’s accurate. One of our neutron bombs is gone, and their number three man is linked to it.

INT. EXTREME END OF THE CATWALK
Rance arrives at the safe-like object, only to discover that it is a large counterweight hanging off the end. He looks back in disgust. The Slidell brothers are still battling it out along the catwalk. But then he catches a glimpse of Abigail closing the forward hatch on the ironclad, and is galvanized into action.

THE IRONCLAD BRIDGE
Ben rummages about checking out the items on the bridge, a binnacle, a chart table, the wheel and finally the speaker tubes. He picks up the first and holds it to his ear.

He hears the sound of GUNFIRE.

[next pt 53]

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 fiftieth post

Rebel Treasure fiftieth post

THE SUPPORT STRUCTURE – LON’S STORY 1866 CONTINUED
The long line of refugees snakes over and under the wooden beams into the crystal chamber where it climbs up the path along the underground stream and into the passageway.

THE GROTTO
Louis watches from the shadows as Lon paces, puffing on a cigar. The last of the forlorn workers pass from the passageway into the grotto, with Jonah on their heels, laying down a gunpowder trail.

JONAH
(saluting)
All done here, sir.

Louis strains to hear their conversation.

LON
Good. The ring tunnel and the vault are locked down. Time to seal this entrance, too.

Louis’ eyes glow with hatred, his hand gripping the hilt of his knife. His discipline breaks, and he charges them. He catches Jonah on the side, propelling him into the pool, and goes for Lon.

Lon coolly fires the gunpowder trail with his cigar, and unsheathes his sword.

LOUIS
Traitor!

LON
To your cause, not to humanity!

In his rage, Louis cocks his arm and throws his Bowie with all his might at Lon.

Lon’s blade meets the blade of the knife, and controlling it with a circular motion slings it back at his adversary.

It sinks into Louis’ chest with a THUD. Louis falls to his knees and then collapses on his face.

JESSE JAMES’ RANCH – NIGHT
Jesse emerges from his ranch house clad only in his nightshirt to the glow of his barn in flames.

A frenzied RINGING of the farm triangle brings the ranch hands tumbling out of their barracks. They quickly form a bucket brigade.

Jesse runs to the corral, only to find it empty of horses.

And there is a flash of light from the mountain above, then the BOOM of an explosion rolling down the mountainside.

PRESENT – GUARDHOUSE CLOSET
Riley cautiously raises the trapdoor and peers out to see an empty guardhouse. He throws the trapdoor aside and climbs out, motioning those behind him to follow.

Sadusky sends the first two of his agents up the stairs to the tower above.

THE TOWER
The two agents overpower the guard on the Gatling gun and one drags him below, the other remains on guard.

GUARDHOUSE
Riley scans the grounds and sees a batch of soldiers milling around the elevated vault entrance.

RILEY
That’s where we got to go next.

Commotion erupts in the yard as they point to the tower above them.

SOLDIER ONE
Shut the entrance!!

BASEMENT OF THE OTHER GUARD HOUSE
The third soldier grabs the brake release and gives it a yank.

DECK OF THE IRONCLAD
A jolt quivers through the deck; all brace as the ship begins to descend.

BEN
(to Abby)
Looks like you were right, dear.

ABIGAIL
Well, duh.

[next pt 51]

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]