Rebel Treasure forty first post

Rebel Treasure forty first post

INT THE UNLOADING AREA – PRESENT
The bluish white glare of halogen lamps on stands sets the whole area awash in a sea of light, all attention focused on the chute. Rance kneels beside it, peering down its throat with the aid of a flashlight. A SQUAD OF SOLDIERS in climbing gear stand at attention behind him.

Hard by its side, a tent has been pitched, with an honor guard of TWO NEO-NAZI SKINHEADS flanking the entrance.

Suddenly, Horatio emerges from the tent, bulling through the tent flap, not bothering to hold it for his brother. Morgan brushes the flap aside, struggling to hide his aggravation.

HORATIO
Do we have another volunteer?

Rance glances up and points to the FIRST SOLDIER in line. The others breathe a sigh of relief as their comrade obediently steps forward.

Morgan drags the cable from the SUV’s winch over to him and with Rance’s help secures the end to the soldier’s harness.

RANCE
(peering back down the chute)
Just look at all that gold!

MORGAN
Let’s try it real slow this time.

HORATIO
And head first.

The first soldier drops to all fours and crawls head first into the chute. The cable remains taut as it pays out slowly.

FIRST SOLDIER
I can see a catwalk at the bottom. And I count – four, five, six more silos–

His report is cut short by a blood curdling SCREAM, and the cable falls slack.

MORGAN
Bring him back up!

The cable reverses and comes whipping back up out of the chute. All that is attached is the harness, the front of which is cut to ribbons.

MORGAN (CONT’D)
That’s it. No more. I am not going to lose any more men down that trap.

HORATIO
(reluctantly)
OK. Seal it up, we’ll find another way in.

MORGAN
Are you sure there is one?

A warning HONK precedes the RUMBLE of a Hummer in low gear, emerging out of the darkness of the tunnel leading into the loading area. It parks by the SUV and two uniformed PARK RANGERS hop out and drag two women out of the back seats, Abigail and Mrs. Slidell, both bound and blind-folded.

PARK RANGER ONE
(to Horatio)
We found these two poking around on the lower level.

MRS. SLIDELL
How about taking these blinders off?

PARK RANGER TWO
The young one had some interesting documents. The older is just plain trouble.

He hands Horatio a packet.

HORATIO
Good work. I’ll talk to the old bag first.

ABIGAIL
(clutching Mrs. Slidell’s arm)
Don’t you hurt her. You’ll be sorry.

Morgan disengages her arm from his mother’s.

MORGAN
Shut up and sit down!
(to the rangers)
You two can return to patrol.

Horatio removes his mother’s blindfold and ushers her into the tent.

INSIDE THE TENT
Horatio holds up the documents.

HORATIO
Is this the key in, Mother dear?

MRS. SLIDELL
(in a low reproving voice)
Better keep up the “old bag” routine.
(in a loud voice)
I’m not telling you a thing until you tell me who you are.

HORATIO
(loud)
I’m asking the questions. What are you doing here?
(low voice)
Does she know how to get in?

MRS. SLIDELL
(low and accusing)
She seemed to know where she was going before your men stopped us.

HORATIO
(low and contrite)
I see. And now our best bet is for you to stay in her good graces.

MRS. SLIDELL
(loud while nodding)
I’m not speaking to you!

HORATIO
(loud)
So, either it’s torture
(soft)
to blackmail the goods out of her,
(loud)
or–

MRS. SLIDELL
(loud)
Or what?
(soft)
Allow us to escape and I’m sure she can get us in.

[next pt 42]

Rebel Treasure fortieth post

Rebel Treasure fortieth post

THE OUTER VAULT AREA
A stone fort rises from the center of a spherical cavern, hewn from the very rocks of its surroundings. Avenues of access radiate from it like spokes of a wheel, and weapons of all kinds are stacked row upon row between them; stands of rifles and carbines; and artillery parks of light and heavy cannon. The ramparts of the fort are festooned with banners and battle flags, and two Gatling guns in towers flank the entrance.

Lon strides purposefully down the main avenue his red leather map-case slung over his shoulder.

FORT ENTRANCE
TWO GUARDS, armed with rifles and fixed bayonets, snap to attention and step aside for Lon. As he mounts the stairs that traverse the gate, the MUFFLED CLANG of hidden machinery commences deep beneath his feet and a column begins to rise in the center of the fort.

THE FORT AREA
The column reaches its limit, disclosing another entrance. Lon pauses to check that he is alone before plunging through the opening.

THE FORT ENTRANCE
The two guards again come to attention at Louis’ approach.

LOUIS
(returning their salute)
What’s all the commotion?

GUARD ONE
Commander Turner is in the vault, sir.

Louis tries to push pass them, but they lock rifles and block his way. At this affront, Louis’ knife hand twitches.

GUARD TWO
Sorry sir. No one is allowed in, when the Commander is present.

LOUIS
By whose order?

GUARD ONE
The highest, sir. You can wait here if you like. He shouldn’t be long.

LOUIS
Be pleased to inform the Commander that I beg to see him in the guardhouse.

THE VAULT INTERIOR
Lon deposits his map-case on a shelf of a safe. He swings the door shut, and twists three dials. With a sigh of relief he departs.

THE FORT ENTRANCE
At Lon’s KNOCK, the two guards open the gate to him, just as Jonah and another arrive, suited up for guard duty.

LON
Just in time for the change of the guard, I see.

The guards exchange positions and the original duo are about to march away.

GUARD TWO
Lieutenant Toussaint left a request to see you in the guardhouse.

LON
Very well.

Lon and Jonah warily watch their retreat.

JONAH
All’s secure, sir. The workers have been liberated and are now on the way to the rendezvous.

LON
Excellent. Pass the signal to blow the train entrance. I’ll lock down the vault and throw away their “key,” so to speak. All that after I send our friend Louis away.

JONAH
Why? Why not leave him here?

LON
I know he wouldn’t hesitate to abandon us, but I can’t do the same to him.

JONAH
Let’s hope we don’t live to regret it.

[next pt 41]