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crAZRick
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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crAZRick's crazy fan-fics: #1 Terminator 4

I wanted to post some of my early attempts at screenwriting, before I really decided to research the craft and learn the techniques involved in crafting stellar screenplays.

I wrote this 2 or 3 years ago, after T3 came out on DVD. By then, Arnold was the Governator and a lot of fans thought T3 sucked big-time, and were mourning the end of the Terminator franchise before a definitive Future War installment would be waged across the big-screen. So, taking my cue from the first novel I wrote on a dare, I took up the challenge of writing a Terminator script that would answer those 2 major questions: how to do a Terminator without Arnold, and how to let the fans see some more future war footage. I know, I at least answered one of the 2 questions with my screenplay, as well as setting the stage for at least 1, possibily 2 more follow-ups to my version, to answer the second question.

I originally wrote it in MSWord, later tranferred to Movie Magic Screenwriter, where it runs about 100 pages properly-formatted to the best of my knowledge and ability. Also keep in mind, I wrote this well before learning any of the keys to proper staging and timing of key elements in screenplays, so it's probably pretty rough around the edges when it comes to those key points; I use montages, flashbacks, and toss in a few camera directives and other nonsense, not edited or refined after learning a few more tricks from the book used in this club of ours.

I'm just posting this as a n00b work-in-progress; hopefully one day, all y'all will pay $12 to see another of my works-in-progress on the big-screen, and note the vast improvement in the quality vs this piece of fluff.

and so, I give you my vision: TERMINATOR 4

these are a few movie-poster mock-ups I made for my epic; in my vision, Arnold would still be the Terminator, but the screenplay is, of course, not specific to that point
http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/crAZRick/T4TitlePage.jpg
http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/crAZRick/T4TitlePageBlue.jpg
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Brendan_M_Burns
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Re: crAZRick's crazy fan-fics: #1 Terminator 4

[ Edited ]

Message Edited by Brendan_M_Burns on 04-13-200706:43 PM

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crAZRick
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Re: crAZRick's crazy fan-fics: #1 Terminator 4

[ Edited ]
TERMINATOR 4: RISE OF THE RESISTANCE

INTRO:

Like The UNIVERSAL STUDIOS LOGO, PLANET EARTH spinning in space (like the opening of WATERWORLD)
(I know Universal isn't connect to the Terminator franchise, but work with it!!)

NARRATOR:
(voice over)
The future is not set...
We have no fate but what we make for ourselves...

SPINNING PLANET EARTH suddenly alight with dozens of MISSILE launches, vapor trails and mushroom-cloud explosions dotting the surface

NARRATOR:
(voice over)
It was all a lie! A lie I told myself!
From the future, to prevent Judgment Day, to prevent the extinction of Mankind...

I failed...

VARIOUS SCENES from the END OF TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES: the launch of multiple nukes, 'destruction around the world'

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK HARDENED FACILITY, BUNKER COMPOUND

JOHN and KATE trapped at CRYSTAL PEAK T-850 terminates T-X using fusion power cell as bomb T-850, T-X ENDOSKELTONS remain in tact, pinned under blast doors Power cell explosion causes catastrophic cave-in, sealing entrance to CRYSTAL PEAK as bombs fall around the world...

NARRATOR
(voice-over)
3 billion lives lost. Entire cities vaporized.
The planet decimated by nuclear war. War started by machines.
Machines built by man to help us live, had turned against us.
They decided our fate in a microsecond.
Mankind had taken its toll on the world. We were obsolete...

MORE SCENES of wasteland, nuclear winter enveloping the world (like the nuclear winter playground scenes in T1 and T2)

SCENE finally focuses on CRYSTAL PEAK, the entrance cave collapsed, sealing the bunker from the outside world

NARRATOR
(voice-over)
I failed in my mission to prevent this Hell. Still, I had survived.
Guided by a machine.. protected, defended, ultimately saved by that machine..
A Terminator, sent from the very future from which I was running, had given me another chance... A chance to set things right, to truly test Fate, a chance to live again. I had survived, to prove that Mankind could... would survive!

FINAL SCENE FROM TERMINATOR 3

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK BUNKER FACILITY, COMMAND AND CONTROL ROOM

The 'main room' COMMAND & CONTROL CENTER, the heart of the facility, where the computer banks, databases, communications systems are set The COMM-SYSTEM speaker chatters with anxious, frightened calls from all around the region

SAC-COM COLORADO
Is anybody reading me?
Can anyone hear me?

MONTANA CIVIL DEFENSE
We have lost all command and control.
What's going on out there?
Is anyone receiving?

JOHN CONNOR
This is John Connor... ~ §At Crystal Peak...

SAC-COM COLORADO
Connor?
What the Hell is happening?
Who's in charge there?'

JOHN
I am...

FADE TO BLACK

MUSIC: ORIGINAL TERMINATOR THEME

FADE IN TITLE: TERMINATOR 4

NUCLEAR EXPLOSION, MUSHROOM CLOUD envelops TITLE GRAPHIC, written as always in TERMINATOR FONT, FLAMES consume the TITLE graphic

FLAMES fade, TERMINATOR logo is charred from silver to brown, as...

FADE IN TITLE: RISE OF THE RESISTANCE

FADE FROM BLACK

MONTAGE of SCENES as CREDITS fade in and out

MONTAGE:

-JOHN and KATHERINE perform various functions to 'power-up' their new home CRYSTAL PEAK: activate computers, database modules, and other equipment seen in the huge room

-Using GENERAL BREWSTER'S red folder, 'CRYSTAL PEAK COMMAND & CONTROL FUNCTIONS' to unlock 'The Vault'

-Reveal food, water, clothing and supplies enough to support 100 people for 10 years

-Unlocking secondary vault, contents:

Radiation/contamination equipment, rad-suits, rebreather masks, hoods, gloves, boots as well as a complete decontamination chamber

-PAN and SCAN thru various areas of the bunker

BUNKS/BILLET AREA, enough for 100 people to live comfortably, beds, wall lockers, foot lockers, small tables, sparse furnishings

LAB/RESEARCH FACILITY,

WEAPONS VAULT, containing PROTOTYPE PULSE RIFLES, PISTOLS along with various other modern-day military-issue weapons, M-16s, shotguns, 9-mm pistols...

AIR-RECLAMATION/VENTILATION SYSTEM, massive fans, filters and various other machines to test, filter and circulate fresh and recycled air throughout the compound, while venting deadly toxins and radiation back out to be dispersed in the atmosphere

END CREDITS MONTAGE

INT CRYSTAL PEAK BUNKER, NEAR ENTRANCE

JOHN CONNOR prepares PLASTIC EXPLOSIVES CHARGES at the cave-in. John wears a complete RADIATION SUIT while he works so close to the contaminated surface of the planet, and we hear the sound of crackling voice-communication as he works

JOHN
How we lookin' Kate?

KATE
(voice over, over John's Comm-Unit)
Rads are looking nominal this morning, no heat signatures or movement of any kind detected on the surface… Looks clear...
OVER...

JOHN
That's consistent with the reports from SAC-COM and NORAD bunkers throughout the South-West region.. seems like Judgment Day wasn't the 'global threat' we were expecting after all.

KATE
(voice-over)
Roger that.
Doesn't make sense though, does it?
What purpose is there keeping humans alive? What could this mean?
Why do the machines need any of us any more?
OVER..

JOHN
I dunno, Kate. I dunno.
(laughing)
And, I've told you a million times, they always only ever say 'OVER' when they are talking in a group, to let the rest of the group know it's clear to respond!
It's only ME out here, Hun...
I ALWAYS know it's clear to respond!

CUT TO

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK COMPOUND, COMMUNICATIONS CENTER

KATHERINE BREWSTER sits at the COMM STATION, monitoring surface sensors, screens and read-outs, while wearing a COMM-UNIT HEADSET to communicate with JOHN on the surface

KATE
(laughing)
Hey! Who's the military brat here, and who's the scab off the streets, bub? § §OVER!

INT CRYSTAL PEAK BUNKER, NEAR ENTRANCE

JOHN steps back, away from the rubble and rock blocking passage to the outside world from the confines of the hardened facility

JOHN
Fire in the hole, beautiful...
Fire in the hole!

EXT. CRYSTAL PEAK BUNKER- MOMENTS LATER

The large mound of gravel, rock and rubble suddenly and violently explodes outward, a thunderous noise erupting from within as the EXPLOSIVE CHARGES detonate.

The chasm is partially cleared, allowing air and light to stream in from the outside world.

EXT. CRYSTAL PEAK BUNKER

JOHN crawls from the gap in the rubble, carefully, cautiously, almost daintily, to avoid tearing the RAD-SUIT on any sharp edges of debris.

JOHN surveys the surroundings casually, awed by the sight, a Geiger counter clicking and humming steadily in his hand all the while, his breathing somewhat erratic from stress and anxiety of being outside the confines of the bunker.

All is clear...

JOHN
All clear...
Kate, you should see this!
It's incredible!

KATE
(voice-over, distracted)
Did you just call me beautiful, Connor?

JOHN
Well, you are destined to be my wife... And, you ARE the most beautiful woman I have seen this whole last year or so...

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK COMPOUND, COMMUNICATIONS CENTER

KATE is beaming, glowing, flushed with embarrassed excitement, flustered, but quickly composes herself and responds

KATE
I'm the ONLY woman you've seen!
But the future is not set, remember, buddy?! Don't get your hopes up!

(sighs)
And, thank you...
It has been awhile, hasn't it?

EXT. CRYSTAL PEAK COMPOUND, NEAR SURFACE

JOHN completes his surface inspection and examination, and makes his way back toward the partially excavated gap leading back into the mountain, still noting readings from his Geiger-counter and equipment

JOHN
(no longer distracted)
OK ... I'm coming back down.
I think I can work it so we can close the blast doors again, once I clear away enough of the rocks...
Then we can contact Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona, and rally the troops...

KATE
(voice-over)
Always the romantic, Connor...
See you after decon...

(a beat)
OVER!
(giggles)

JOHN disappears back into the gap in the rock, descending into the BUNKER once more.

All is silent on the surface, until...

JOHN
Kate! Kate! I found something! It's Him! It's Them!
The Terminators!
Well, what's left of them any way...
They're still here!
Maybe we---

KATE
(interrupting)
John! I got something on the radio!
It's Civil Defense in Nevada! They have begun to mobilize! Come quick!
Get through decontamination, and get up here! John?!

JOHN crawls back under the blast door, past the charred and forms of the T-850 and T-X endoskeletal remains, their optical sensor ports dull and dead utterly devoid of any signs of life. Terminators, terminated.

FADE TO BLACK, AS JOHN CHATS WITH KATE

NARRATOR/ JOHN CONNOR
(voice over)
Just like that, it was begun.
The human resistance movement started small, but, rapidly, we grew in strength and number. From bunkers and shelters scattered throughout the mountains, they came...

EXT. CRYSTAL PEAK COMPOUND- ETERNAL NIGHT OF NUCLEAR WINTER

VARIOUS SCENES of RESISTANCE FORCES making way through mountain passes to CRYSTAL PEAK, avoiding various MACHINE SENTRIES, FLYING H/Ks, T-1s, T-20s...

JOHN
(voice over)
Crystal Peak became a central stronghold, Kate and I its official 'Leaders'.
We cared for, trained and taught those who came to Crystal Peak; cared for their safety and security, trained them in the art of combat and survival, and taught them how to live with—and without—machines.

EXT. CRYSTAL PEAK COMPOUND- ETERNAL NIGHT

VARIOUS SCENES of KATE watching over CHILDREN with various refugee mothers, of combat training with John and the men, and..

KEY SCENE: John connor and various men in rad-suits, digging and clearing a vent, carved from the surface, into the depths of the mountain complex, connected to the air reclamation and filtration system, then disguising the vent with boulders and brush on the surface of the mountainside

JOHN
(voice over)
Fate guided me, guided us, along a dangerous path into conflict and confrontation with our destinies, and into war against the machines.
It wouldn't be long before the machines would bring the fight to us, I knew.
And, in knowing that, I decided it might instead be best to take the fight to them!

Message Edited by crAZRick on 04-13-200708:43 PM

I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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crAZRick
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Re: crAZRick's crazy fan-fics: #1 Terminator 4

Oh ya: Ian reminded me about the professional courtesy of a disclaimer, which I forgot to insert at the start:

DISCLAIMER: This is fan-fic based on characters and storylines created by James Cameron, Gale Ann Hurd, William Wisher, Jonathan Mostow, John Brancato and Michael Ferris. I don't own nor profit from any piece of the Terminator franchise, including any of the characters or storylines depicted in this fan-fic screenplay. All other characters and storylines are my own twisted versions of intellectual property. Anyone who wants to steal 'my stuff' for use in your own twisted vision, first: Why? and second: Go for it!

Also: Read at your own risk... it's kinda basically pretty much mostly crap. :smileyhappy:


OK, I feel better...
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Ian
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Ian
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Re: crAZRick's crazy fan-fics: #1 Terminator 4

I want to congratulate you on having the courage to post your work – it is a difficult thing to do; letting others read and review your words is a big step in becoming a better writer. Good on ya.

Read at your own risk... it's kinda basically pretty much mostly crap.

This suggestion comes from being involved in critique groups for many years. This statement, though not altogether serious (I noticed the smiley face at the end) is still not the best way to get people to read your work and offer constructive crits. Why would anyone want to take time to read something that is ‘mostly crap’? As I’ve said, posting your work for others to review is daunting, but this leaves one thinking that it is not worth their time and effort.

Let the reader decide for themselves what they think of the piece. Try something more positive: If you have the time to read my post I would appreciate your comments. Or something like that.

Since I’m unsure of what you want from this critique (you’ve mentioned that you know the piece needs work considering what you’ve recently learned) I’ll just stick to what I think needs the most attention. I’ll let you deal with formatting issues unless I feel it needs mentioning here.

Please know that everything here is a suggestion and is meant to help. This is your work and you control it. You can use every one of my suggestions or completely ignore them – it’s all up to you.

INTRO:

There is no need to tell us this is the intro to the film since that is obvious. Instead, use FADE IN to indicate the opening of the film.

Like The UNIVERSAL STUDIOS LOGO, PLANET EARTH spinning in space (like the opening of WATERWORLD)

As the writer, it is your job to describe what an audience will see on screen. Comparisons to other film openings won’t work, neither would a well-known symbol like the Universal logo spinning since there could be people who have never seen the film or logo to which you refer.

What is it you want the audience to see? Picture it in your mind and describe it. Keep in mind that description should be kept to a minimum – a huge challenge to a screenwriter.

(I know Universal isn't connect to the Terminator franchise, but work with it!!)

You should never give your reader/audience member a chance to leave the story. This clearly takes me out of the story. You communicate to the reader by way of description and dialogue.

VARIOUS SCENES from the END OF TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES: the launch of multiple nukes, 'destruction around the world'

You tell me what you are about to show me. Delete this since it isn’t necessary.

JOHN and KATE trapped at CRYSTAL PEAK T-850 terminates T-X using fusion power cell as bomb T-850, T-X ENDOSKELTONS remain in tact, pinned under blast doors Power cell explosion causes catastrophic cave-in, sealing entrance to CRYSTAL PEAK as bombs fall around the world...

This reads like directions rather than description and action. It’s one long run-on sentence so I think you missed a break or two in there.

The problem with this paragraph is that even though this is a franchise picture, there could be people who don’t know what a T-850, T-X or fusion power cell looks like. Why are John and Kate trapped? Describe what is happening and what the aforementioned look like. You can use brackets after the short description: A large, gold robot (T-850) pushes against the massive steel bunker door.

Remember, you must show us what is happening. Show, don’t tell.

FINAL SCENE FROM TERMINATOR 3

You don’t need this. Simply let he scenes play out.

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK BUNKER FACILITY, COMMAND AND CONTROL ROOM

The 'main room' COMMAND & CONTROL CENTER, the heart of the facility, where the computer banks, databases, communications systems are set The COMM-SYSTEM speaker chatters with anxious, frightened calls from all around the region


You state COMMAND AND CONTROL ROOM in the scene header so you needn’t do it again in the description. In your first line of description you give three descriptions for where we are: main room, command and control room, heart of the facility. All are essentially the same thing. Leading off the scene header…The heart of the facility. Computer banks surround a large radio…or something like that. Watch out for repetition and missing punctuation.

FADE TO BLACK

MUSIC: ORIGINAL TERMINATOR THEME

FADE IN TITLE: TERMINATOR 4

NUCLEAR EXPLOSION, MUSHROOM CLOUD envelops TITLE GRAPHIC, written as always in TERMINATOR FONT, FLAMES consume the TITLE graphic

FLAMES fade, TERMINATOR logo is charred from silver to brown, as...

FADE IN TITLE: RISE OF THE RESISTANCE

FADE FROM BLACK


This isn’t your job. Tell the story. This takes the reader out of the story.

-Reveal food, water, clothing and supplies enough to support 100 people for 10 years

The first part of this sentence shows and the last part tells. We can see food, water, clothing and supplies – though I still think you could be a bit more detailed. Shelves lined with canned food, stacked cases of bottled water, olive green clothes folded and stacked, various large boxes, crates and drums. We cannot see that it supports 100 people and that it will last 10 years. Your description has to convey this without telling us. How can you do that? Describe the size of the room, how high do the shelves go, how many shelves in each row…

AIR-RECLAMATION/VENTILATION SYSTEM, massive fans, filters and various other machines to test, filter and circulate fresh and recycled air throughout the compound, while venting deadly toxins and radiation back out to be dispersed in the atmosphere

Unless it is labelled with this description we won’t know what this equipment will do or how it will be used. Describe what we’ll see and hear.

KATHERINE BREWSTER sits at the COMM STATION, monitoring surface sensors, screens and read-outs, while wearing a COMM-UNIT HEADSET to communicate with JOHN on the surface

You’re telling us things that we can’t know…monitoring surface sensors, screens and read-outs? Show us what she’s doing – I can’t see monitoring surface sensors. …a comm-unit headset flattens her hair. We know why she’s wearing it so you don’t have to tell us.

JOHN crawls from the gap in the rubble, carefully, cautiously, almost daintily, to avoid tearing the RAD-SUIT on any sharp edges of debris.

You can’t tell us why he’s being careful since we can’t know what he’s thinking. If you want us to know why then show him getting snagged then carefully unhooking the suit from the sharp edge of a rock and explaining to Kate why he’s taking so long. John: **bleep**, that was close. No holes, I’m still clean.

…his breathing somewhat erratic from stress and anxiety of being outside the confines of the bunker.

Show us that he’s breathing erratically but if you want us to know why you’ll have to show that, too.

Here is a perfect example of telling over showing.

All is clear...

JOHN
All clear...
Kate, you should see this!
It's incredible!


You describe that all is clear and then you have John say it. Trust your dialogue and lose the description.

Watch out for exposition.

JOHN
Well, you are destined to be my wife...


This read as exposition to me. The characters are well aware of this so, we know that it is for our benefit not theirs.

KATE is beaming, glowing, flushed with embarrassed excitement, flustered, but quickly composes herself and responds

This description is repetitive. How about: Kate, her face flushed, bites her lip and stares straight ahead. She blinks and smiles. There is no need to tell us she responds when her dialogue shows it.

…their optical sensor ports dull and dead utterly devoid of any signs of life.

Repetition. How about…their optical sensors dark, devoid of any signs of life.

Just like that, it was begun.

Just like that, it began.

And, in knowing that, I decided it might instead be best to take the fight to them!

Watch out for passive writing. How about: I decided to take the fight to them.


You have missing punctuation throughout this piece – periods in particular. You love the exclamation point and I’m not a fan. Remember, exclamation points emphasize the last one or two words in a sentence. I use them in short or single word sentences like Fire! Run! Get out!

I like the opening of this film for the most part. It definitely has a Terminator feel about it. Your setting is good and I understand what is happening – I can follow along. There’s some good interaction between Kate and John and I’d like to see where that goes – peaked my interest.

I hope these comments have been helpful and I encourage you to keep at it. Keep writing, no matter what, keep writing.

Thanks for letting me read your work,
Ian
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crAZRick
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: crAZRick's crazy fan-fics: #1 Terminator 4

thanks for the feedback, Ian. This is exactly what I would hope for from a critique of anything more substantial and original I might create and post. I'm not so proud and connected to these 'fan-fic' sequels as I would be to more original stuff, so I figure if I work out the kinks in the craft using these 'lesser works' my original works won't suffer so many rookie mistakes, leaving critiques like this to really pick apart the meaty center (plot holes, shoddy dialogue, etc..)

I will incorporate most if not all of your suggestions, at some point, if not in this script, in any that follow. Great advice!

in my own defense, limited as it may be:

-the punctuation: the 'pregnant lines of action' (missing periods = pregnant, get it?!) I think it's partially a tranfer issue as much as 'laziness' on my part; I think carriage-returns with no punctuation were sometimes ignored in transfer from Movie Magic Screewriter to this board (and Yes, I do recall using plenty of sentence fragments (no punctuation) when depicting action sequences.) No big woop, adding periods, termintating pregnancy is easy in this day and age.

most everything else is 'rookie mistakes' as I was completely untrained in the fine art of crafting a screenplay when I took up this challenge. The dialogue repeating the 'action' of the scene rather than supporting that action, all the constant various monotonous redundant repetative repetitions repeating throughout... I was hardly aware of anything like that! :smileyvery-happy: just kidding! rookie writing!

For the most part, I was just happy to have written a 'complete' story in as close to format as I could figure having no formal training in the craft at the time. Just posted these for exactly this sort of educational benefit. Reading the book and doing the exercises is great, but maybe folks don't see the connections between the prosaic prose paragraphs created in the exercises and how it translates into actual screenplay-crafting. Your pointers on repairing this piece of rookie-fluff (piece of what? :smileyhappy: ) go a long way toward bridging the gap between the book-learning exercises we've started and actual screenwriting (at least to me.)

I see that this screenplay does need a lot of work from its original form ('crap' does seem to fit, after all no? :smileyhappy:) I'll either hammer out an improved version, incorporating your suggestions and post that, or find another excerpt from the original, some part I find more pleasing if not perfect, and post that for constructive criticism... maybe I'll do both?! This intro ran 7 pages in MMS, not too lengthy a read here, was it? I probably can't/won't post 14 7-page segments to showcase the whole project, but at least something of the Beginning, Middle and End, Act I, II, and III, to show the progression and completion of the story. We'll see how it goes.

thanks again Ian, for the read and for the critique!
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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crAZRick
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T4: Opening Scene, Take 2 (revised)

OK, the revised Show-Don't-Tell version is nowhere near as concise as the first-draft; in fact, all the extra showing basically doubled the length of the piece.
For example, in place of the various TERMINATOR 3 SCENE XYZ markers, I went in and wrote out the scenes in question, so the 4-word marker became 4-page scene.

I'm uncertain if this is for better or worse...
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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crAZRick
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Re: T4: Opening Scene, Take 2 (revised)

TERMINATOR 4: RISE OF THE RESISTANCE

FADE IN

PLANET EARTH spinning slowly in space dominates the scene. North and South America rolling past, while a series of satellites orbit the planet.

NARRATOR:
(voice over)
The future is not set...
We have no fate but what we make for ourselves...

Subdued radio chatter filters through from Earth into space.

RADIO VOICE
Sky-Net activation sequence initiated..

The satellites light up and hum with life, translucent beams of energy connecting the satellites, enveloping the Earth like a web.

RADIO VOICE
Sky-Net activation complete. Initiating command and control sub-net, and anti-virus protocols.

More translucent blue beams of energy erupt from the satellites, aimed at Earth, peppering the planet with pulses of energy

RADIO VOICE
Command and control sub-net established. Anti-virus seek-and-destroy protocols commencing.

The bombardment of satellite-pulses continues and intensifies across the surface of the planet, then slows after a few moments

RADIO VOICE
Virus eliminated. Initiating Sky-Net power-down sequence.

The pulses continue peppering the planet surface.

RADIO VOICE
Sky-Net non-responsive. Power-down command ignored. Autonomous satellite command-and-control protocol remains active. Sky-Net is still in control!

The pulses become steady beams of energy, locked on specific locations across the surface of the planet below

RADIO VOICE
Emergency shut-down sequencer has been disabled. Sky-Net has taken control of our systems! Unable to shut-down! Sky-Net has control! Anti-virus protocols still active.

For a moment, silence.

Then, from the South-West United States region, a small explosion followed by a streaming vapor trail, as a missile streaks above and across the surface, into darkness

RADIO VOICE
Sky-Net has initiated global defense protocols. This is not a drill! Sky-Net is launching an attack! Counter-attack is imminent.

A moment later, a second vapor trail emerges from the dark, impacting on the surface somewhere in central North America

RADIO VOICE
We have lost positive control of Sky-Net defense system! Repeat, we have lost...

SPINNING EARTH suddenly alight with dozens of MISSILE launches, vapor trails, mushroom cloud explosions

NARRATOR
(voice over)
It was all a lie! A lie I told myself! From the future, to prevent Judgment Day, to prevent the extinction of Mankind at the hands of merciless machines...

Rapid descent from space toward Earth, focus on South-West United States, Rocky Mountain region

Closer, more specific California, Baja, Mexico, Sierra Nevada mountains

Closer, a specific mountain, a small concrete archway and building facade built into the base of the mountain, access road to the facility fenced off by chain-link and barbed-wire. Signs on the fence denote DANGER, U.S. GOVERNMENT PROPERTY--TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED All Rights Reserved Sig-Co Signs, 2003

A small plane, a Cessna Skyhawk, rolls to a stop outside the concrete arch



EXT. CRYSTAL PEAK BUNKER -- AFTERNOON

A young couple, a man and a woman exit the Cessna and run to a door below the archway.

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK HARDENED FACILITY, BLAST DOOR -- LATER

The young man stands near a second archway of concrete and steel, a partially-filled pack slung over his shoulder. This archway is blocked by what appears to be a steel wall, no visible door.

YOUNG MAN
I think this is some kind of blast door. There's no way we can blow through this thing.

The young man's voice is also that of the Narrator.

The young woman looks around the immediate area, and finds a wall-mounted cabinet marked ACCESS CONTROL. She grips the door handle, giving a gentle but firm tug. The cabinet opens, revealing an alphanumeric keypad and a small monochromatic display which blips to life. At the same time, a row of lights in the archway above the blast door flashes on.

YOUNG WOMAN
John, look.

John crosses to the Control panel, shucking the pack from over his shoulder, as the screen flashes and changes from STANDBY to BLUE 478

On the Access panel display screen flashes the word STANDBY

YOUNG WOMAN
So, now what?

JOHN
It's a code prompt.

John digs through the pack, recovering a manuscript marked TOP SECRET CRYSTAL PEAK FACILITY COMMAND AND CONTROL MANUAL EYES ONLY, he flips quickly to a Blue Page and scans

JOHN
Type in Dakota 775.

The young woman complies, and the small display screen flashes and changes again, reading POWER ON

We hear a heady CLICK followed by an audible hum of electricity from above and beyond the blast door, before the command-prompt changes once more to..

YOUNG WOMAN
Red 176...

John flips through a few more pages in the manual, to the Red Page, as the audible hum increases in volume, sounding more and more like the beat of a fan or a helicopter rotor

Suddenly, a Bell H-1 Huey helicopter crashes through the exterior archway, slamming into the ground inside the staging area, across the docking bay from the couple

John and the young woman cower in shock as the helicopter door flies off its hinges behind the forceful fist of..

A STRIKING YOUNG WOMAN dressed in a red leather jump-suit who stalks from the wrecked helicopter, unscathed by the crash!

John rights himself and guides his companion back to the access-control keypad

JOHN
(desperately)
Come on, Kate! We've gotta get this thing open!

John quickly finds the Red Page, while the red-leather lady stalks ever-nearer

JOHN
Here! Avalon 412! Put it in!

As Kate enters the command prompt, the display screen flashes AUTHORIZED

There is a loud CLANK and thunderous grinding hum, and the steel wall begins to rise slowly.. too slowly! It will not be open before the red-leather stalker reaches the others!

John tosses the Command and Control manual into his pack, and withdraws a MAC-10 machine-pistol, taking aim at the looming stalker across the docking bay

John unleashes a fully-automatic burst of 30-rounds from the machine pistol, directly into the approaching femme fatale; though several shots pelt her about the head and chest, the sultry stalker does not bleed. Instead, the bullet impacts create silver divots in her form, as if they had struck liquid rather than human flesh. After a moment, the silver divots evaporate, leaving no hole in her flesh nor the leather jump-suit she wears. The stalker continues toward John and Kate, completely unfazed.

The droning hum of the rising blast door rises in volume, much as before, soon coming to sound like an even larger version of fan blades thumping, or..

..an even larger version of helicopter, as a gargantuan troop transport crashes on an intercept course with the smaller Huey. The troop transport crushes the Huey, and plows along the bay, catching and crushing the vexing vixen in its fiery wake

John and Kate collect themselves after the blast, recovering in time to see the door of the transport helicopter wreckage fly off its hinges

A badly-scarred man dressed in black leather pants and jacket lumbers forth from the flaming wreck. The left half of the man's face is missing, charred and cauterized scar-tissue on the remaining facial features indicate that his face may have been burnt off. Where exposed skull and gray-matter in the empty eye socket should be, instead we see metallic silver 'bones' of his cheek and skull and a glowing red optical sensor resembling a camera lens. This is obviously no ordinary man. This is, in fact, a Terminator (T-850).

T-850
I'm back.

Alarm klaxon sounds followed by another thunderous CLANK and whirring of motors and grinding of gears

The access-control display flashes ABORT-- EMERGENCY CLOSURE and the blast door begins to close

T-850 quickly stomps across the bay and dives under the slowly falling blast door, rolling onto his back and bracing the door up with his shoulder, knees and arm.

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK FACILITY, UNDER THE BLAST DOOR -- DAY

The blast door is 10-feet thick, hardened steel, designed to protect the interior facility and its occupants from a nuclear blast, radiation and fallout contamination. The T-850 cyborg looks back the way he came, to John and Kate still outside the blast door.

T-850
Go! Now!

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK HARDENED FACILITY -- CONTINUOUS

John and Kate collect their packs and gear and make way under the shuddering blast door

Across the loading bay, the wreckage of the transport helicopter stirs and shifts, a silver-metal humanoid hand (T-X) claws its way from under the rubble. The striking sexy female is no more, replaced by this silver-and-gray steel robotlike machine. The T-X is composed completely of a silver metal alloys, similar to the T-850 skull-plates. In addition to the metal exoskeleton, the torso oozes a silver mercury-like liquid, which splashes from its form even as it tries to take shape over the T-X face and body. The T-X 'eyes' are optical sensors which glow a fiery-blue.

Though it scrambles to be clear of the burning rubble, T-X's legs remain hopelessly trapped under the wrecked helicopter. With a sharp twist of its upper body and a hearty tug along the concrete floor, the T-X disengages its torso from its leg assembly, and claws its way by hand across the floor toward the blast door.

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK HARDENED FACILITY, UNDER THE BLAST DOOR -- CONTINUOUS

Kate crawls under the blast door, followed closely by John, who pauses a moment as he passes the T-850 cyborg

JOHN
Thank you.

T-850
We will meet again. Go!

John continues crawling forward beneath the blast door

Suddenly, the T-X lashes out with its steely fingers from the floor behind John, clamping firmly upon John's leg

John screams, continuing to crawl ever closer to the open air on the far side of the blast door, dragging the T-X torso behind him

Kate grasps John's hand at the far side of the blast door

T-X crawls further up John's legs, slowing John's crawl

T-850 grips T-X's forearm, twisting the metal bones sharply, severing T-X grip on John's leg

Kate pulls John clear of the blast door and the couple hobble deeper into the interior of the facility

T-X pulls itself free of T-850's grip on its now-broken arm, and crawls forward under the power of its remaining arm

T-850 grabs the T-X torso's wire-harness and metallic spinal-column 'tail' pulling the machine back

T-X turns to the T-850 cyborg, emitting a series of synthesized growls and howls as it tries to claw its way free of the T-850 and clear of the massive blast door

T-850 uses its free hand to access his steel chest-chassis. Pulling open a compartment in the center of his chest-chassis, T-850 exposes a rectangular silver cartridge in an insulated socket.

As T-850 removes the silver cartridge from its socket, its red optical sensor flickers

T-850 forcefully jams the silver cartridge into the mouth of the slithering silver T-X

T-X optical sensors flutter and flash brilliantly, its head pulsing and glowing as the contents of the cartridge are released inside the center of electric activity of the machine

T-850
You are terminated.

The electric charge powering the T-X ignites the T-850's fusion power cell cartridge, which explodes violently
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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Re: T4: Opening Scene, Take 2 (revised)

EXT. CRYSTAL PEAK HARDENED FACILITY -- MOMENTS LATER

The ground buckles, smoke and dust erupt from the concrete cavern before the entire mountainside gives way, an avalanche of dirt and stone raining down, sealing the entrance to the compound.

NARRATOR/JOHN CONNOR
3 billion lives lost. Entire cities vaporized in a nuclear war, started by machines. Machines built by man to help us live, had turned against us. They decided our fate in a microsecond: Mankind had taken its toll on the world, we were obsolete...

Various SCENES of destruction across the country, rural farmlands, suburban residential districts, and urban sprawl decimated unilaterally by nuclear blasts; New York City skyline shattered and unrecognizable; Washington DC landmarks and monuments destroyed; a park playground, children and parents screaming; screams of playful glee, screams of shock, fear, pain and horror

JOHN'S VOICE
(voice-over)
I failed in my mission to prevent this Hell. Still, I had survived. Guided by a machine, protected, defended, ultimately saved by that machine. A Terminator, sent from the very future from which I was running, had given me another chance. A chance to set things right, to truly test Fate, a chance to live again. I had survived, to prove that Mankind could and would survive!

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK BUNKER FACILITY, COMMAND AND CONTROL ROOM

The heart of the facility, computer banks, databases, communications systems set-up in stations, now powered-up and fully-operational

The COMM-SYSTEM speaker chatters with anxious, frightened calls from around the country, overlapping each other, while John and Kate listen in, in shock

MONTANA CIVIL DEFENSE
Hello? Hello? Can somebody hear me? This is Montana Civil Defense. Somebody, please come in.

SAC-COM COLORADO
Is there anybody there? Is there anybody there?

COLORADO CIVIL DEFENSE
Hello? Is anyone reading me? We didn't initiate launch sequence. Command and control have broken down out here. Is anyone receiving me?

SAC-COM DALLAS
This is SAC Dallas. We are under attack.

MONTANA CIVIL DEFENSE
CQ, CQ.
Is anybody there?

John steps to the Comm-station, flicking the switch on the microphone to SEND

JOHN CONNOR
This is John Connor... ~ §At Crystal Peak.

SAC-COM COLORADO
Connor? What the Hell is happening?
Who's in charge there?'

JOHN
I am...

FADE TO BLACK

MONTAGE:

-John and Kate perform various functions to 'power-up' their new home: activate computers, database modules, and other equipment

-Using the CRYSTAL PEAK COMMAND & CONTROL FUNCTIONS MANUAL to unlock 'The Vault' an expansive auditorium lined with row after row of 12-foot high shelves, stocked to capacity with military rations, bottled water, clothing, tools

-Unlocking secondary vault, a similarly-sized room containing several dozen varieties and variations of radiation and contamination equipment, protective suits, rebreather masks, hoods, gloves, boots as well as a complete decontamination chamber, shower, isolation booth, contamination testing station

-BUNKS/BILLET AREA 100 beds, wall lockers, foot lockers, small tables, sparse furnishings

-LAB/RESEARCH FACILITY, computer consoles, isolation chambers, monitoring and documentation stations

-WEAPONS VAULT, containing 100 PROTOTYPE PULSE RIFLES and PISTOLS along with various other modern-day military-issue weapons, M-16s, shotguns, 9-mm pistols, more high shelves loaded with crates marked AMMUNITION, TNT, C-4 EXPLOSIVE, dozens of 50-gallon drums of different colors, each color-coded drum stenciled with its contents; GASOLINE, KEROSENE, MOTOR OIL along one wall, GUNPOWDER across the vault along the far wall

-AIR-RECLAMATION-VENTILATION SYSTEM, massive fans, filters and other machines fill this auditorium, each stenciled with full-panels of instructions in several languages, clearly marked 'Air Reclamation and Ventilation System Operating Instructions and Maintenance Guide'

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK BUNKER, STAGING AREA -- DAY

JOHN CONNOR wears a complete radiation-protective suit while he works so close to the contaminated surface of the planet. He prepares PLASTIC EXPLOSIVES CHARGES at the site of the cave-in. We hear the sound of crackling voice-communication as he works.

JOHN
How we lookin' Kate?

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK COMPOUND, COMMUNICATIONS CENTER -- CONTINUOUS

Kate sits at one of the desks, wearing a COMM-UNIT HEADSET, tapping away at a keyboard and looking at a computer screen on the desk in front of her

KATE
(voice over)
Rads are looking nominal this morning, no heat signatures or movement of any kind detected on the surface. It looks clear.
OVER...

JOHN
That's consistent with the reports from SAC-COM and NORAD bunkers throughout the region. Sky-Net and the machines haven't over-run the country as fast as we thought they might. Seems like Judgment Day wasn't the global threat we were expecting after all.

KATE
Roger that. Doesn't make sense though, does it? What purpose is there keeping humans alive? What could this mean? Why do the machines need any of us any more?
OVER..

JOHN
I dunno, Kate. I dunno.
(laughing)
And, I've told you a million times, they always only ever say 'OVER' when they are talking in a group, to let the rest of the group know it's clear to respond! It's only ME out here, Hun... I ALWAYS know it's clear to respond!

KATE
(laughing)
Hey! Who's the military brat here, and who's the scab off the streets, bub? OVER!

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK BUNKER, STAGING AREA -- DAY

John steps back, away from the rubble and rock blocking passage to the outside world from the confines of the hardened facility

JOHN
Fire in the hole, beautiful...
Fire in the hole!

EXT. CRYSTAL PEAK BUNKER- MOMENTS LATER

The large mound of gravel, rock and rubble suddenly and violently explodes outward, a thunderous noise erupting from within as the EXPLOSIVE CHARGES detonate.

The chasm is partially cleared, allowing air and light to stream in from the outside world.

JOHN crawls from the gap in the rubble cautiously. He surveys the surroundings, a Geiger counter clicking and humming steadily in his hand, his breathing rapid and erratic.

JOHN
All clear...
Kate, you should see this!
It's incredible!

KATE
(distracted)
Did you just call me beautiful, Connor?

JOHN
Well, you are destined to be my wife, you know. And, you are the most beautiful woman I have seen this whole past year...

KATE
I'm the ONLY woman you've seen!
But the future is not set, remember. Don't get your hopes up.

(sighs)
And, thank you...
It has been awhile, hasn't it?

EXT. CRYSTAL PEAK COMPOUND, NEAR SURFACE

JOHN completes his surface inspection and makes his way back toward the partially-excavated gap into the mountain

JOHN
(no longer distracted)
OK, I'm coming back down.
I think I can work it so we can close the blast doors again, once I clear away enough of the rocks.
Then we can contact Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona, and rally the troops.

KATE
Always the romantic, Connor.
See you after decon.

(a beat)
OVER!
(giggles)

JOHN disappears back into the gap in the rocks, descending into the BUNKER once more

All is silent on the surface, until...

JOHN
Kate! Kate! I found something! It's Him! It's Them!
The Terminators!
Well, what's left of them any way.
They're still here!
Maybe we---

KATE
(interrupting)
John! I've got something on the short-wave. It's Civil Defense in Nevada. They've begun to mobilize. Come quick! Get through decon, and get up here!

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK, UNDER THE BLAST DOOR -- MOMENTS LATER

JOHN crawls back under the blast door, past the charred and forms of the T-850 and T-X endoskeletal remains, their optical sensor ports dull and dead. Terminators, terminated.

NARRATOR/JOHN CONNOR
(voice over)
Just like that, it began. The human resistance movement started small. But, rapidly we grew in strength and number. From bunkers and shelters scattered throughout the mountains, they came...

EXT. CRYSTAL PEAK COMPOUND- ETERNAL NIGHT OF NUCLEAR WINTER

VARIOUS SCENES of RESISTANCE FORCES making way through mountain passes to CRYSTAL PEAK, avoiding various MACHINE SENTRIES, FLYING H/Ks, T-1s, T-20s...

JOHN
(voice over)
Crystal Peak became a central stronghold, Kate and I its official 'Leaders'. We cared for, trained and taught those who came to Crystal Peak; cared for their safety and security, trained them in the art of combat and survival, and taught them how to live with—and without—machines.

EXT. CRYSTAL PEAK COMPOUND- ETERNAL NIGHT

VARIOUS SCENES: KATE watching over CHILDREN with various refugee mothers, combat training with John and the men

John and various men in rad-suits, digging and clearing an access vent carved from the surface into the depths of the mountain, connected to the air reclamation and filtration system, then disguising the vent with boulders and brush on the mountainside

JOHN
(voice over)
Fate guided us along a dangerous path into conflict, and confrontation with our destinies, into war. It wouldn't be long before the machines would bring the fight to us. Knowing that, I decided to take the fight to them!
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
Ian
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Ian
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Re: T4: Opening Scene, Take 2 (revised)

For example, in place of the various TERMINATOR 3 SCENE XYZ markers, I went in and wrote out the scenes in question, so the 4-word marker became 4-page scene.

I'm uncertain if this is for better or worse...


Worse.

There is a lot of extraneous information in this piece and you need to map out your story before you begin to know what points you're going to spend time on.

One of the most important things I’ve learned is ‘in late/out early’. Try to start a scene as late as possible and get out of that scene as early as you can. I think you need to take a hard look at what part of this opening scene is the most important. Write to that and it will move the story much better.

You’ve started with the spinning globe and show nuclear strikes – a very powerful visual. Do you need the ‘Radio Voice’ dialogue.

What if the film jumps from there to John and Kate sliding under the blast door; the 850-T hot on their heals?

Do you really need to show all of the storage, weapons, food…in the bunker? You have an entire film to show what is stored in this facility and what it’s used for.

Show, don’t tell is, in my opinion, the most difficult lesson to learn in fiction writing. I’ve been a writer going on twenty-five years and when I started writing fiction I figured it would be easy. Show, don’t tell haunted me – still does on occasion. Trust me, you’ll get it and so will every other person in this book club. Keep writing and stay aware.

Here’re are a few notes – far fewer this time around.

I’m not sure why you don’t name John and Kate up front?

RADIO VOICE

This conjures a D.J. Would you consider Mechanical Voice or Robotic Voice? Or, Female/Male Voice
(filtered)

All Rights Reserved Sig-Co Signs, 2003

Is that really necessary? Bit much for me.

The young woman looks around the immediate area, and finds a wall-mounted cabinet marked ACCESS CONTROL. She grips the door handle, giving a gentle but firm tug. The cabinet opens, revealing an alphanumeric keypad and a small monochromatic display which blips to life. At the same time, a row of lights in the archway above the blast door flashes on.

Remember to keep description to a minimum. Trim the fat so-to-speak.
How about:
The young woman finds an ACCESS CONTROL panel and tugs open the door. She keys a code into the keypad and a small display blips to life. A row of lights in the archway above the blast door flashes on.

Do this in as many areas of your screenwriting as you can. Remember, time on the page is time on film. One page is approximately one minute and you want it to move the story forward, not stagnate with too much description.

…a Bell H-1 Huey helicopter…
…a huge helicopter or a sleek helicopter or a loud helicopter. 99% of the people reading couldn’t tell a bell from a whistle when it comes to helicopters.

JOHN
(desperately)
Come on, Kate! We've gotta get this thing open!


No need for the parenthetical. Trust your dialogue. Besides, and actor who gets this script will cross every one of them out.

As Kate enters the command prompt, the display screen flashes AUTHORIZED

There is a loud CLANK and thunderous grinding hum, and the steel wall begins to rise slowly.. too slowly! It will not be open before the red-leather stalker reaches the others!

John tosses the Command and Control manual into his pack, and withdraws a MAC-10 machine-pistol, taking aim at the looming stalker across the docking bay

John unleashes a fully-automatic burst of 30-rounds from the machine pistol, directly into the approaching femme fatale; though several shots pelt her about the head and chest, the sultry stalker does not bleed. Instead, the bullet impacts create silver divots in her form, as if they had struck liquid rather than human flesh. After a moment, the silver divots evaporate, leaving no hole in her flesh nor the leather jump-suit she wears. The stalker continues toward John and Kate, completely unfazed.

The droning hum of the rising blast door rises in volume, much as before, soon coming to sound like an even larger version of fan blades thumping, or..

..an even larger version of helicopter, as a gargantuan troop transport crashes on an intercept course with the smaller Huey. The troop transport crushes the Huey, and plows along the bay, catching and crushing the vexing vixen in its fiery wake

John and Kate collect themselves after the blast, recovering in time to see the door of the transport helicopter wreckage fly off its hinges

A badly-scarred man dressed in black leather pants and jacket lumbers forth from the flaming wreck. The left half of the man's face is missing, charred and cauterized scar-tissue on the remaining facial features indicate that his face may have been burnt off. Where exposed skull and gray-matter in the empty eye socket should be, instead we see metallic silver 'bones' of his cheek and skull and a glowing red optical sensor resembling a camera lens. This is obviously no ordinary man. This is, in fact, a Terminator (T-850).


This is a page from a novel not a screenplay. Way too heavy. Cut all your description back to the barest of bones. Try – notice how I said try – to keep your paragraphs to four lines or less. How? Cut back on this kind of description:
The left half of the man's face is missing, charred and cauterized scar-tissue on the remaining facial features indicate that his face may have been burnt off.

Half of his face is missing, the other half charred and scarred.

The blast door is 10-feet thick, hardened steel, designed to protect the interior facility and its occupants from a nuclear blast, radiation and fallout contamination.

Show, don’t tell. I can ‘see’ ten feet thick, but I can’t see why it was built. You can’t tell us. Unless someone says it or we read it, you can’t tell us. Plus, trust that your audience will fill in information on their own. There are other examples of show, don’t tell but I’ll let you find them.

Across the loading bay, the wreckage of the transport helicopter stirs and shifts, a silver-metal humanoid hand (T-X) claws its way from under the rubble. The striking sexy female is no more, replaced by this silver-and-gray steel robotlike machine. The T-X is composed completely of a silver metal alloys…

You needn’t use the (T-X) because after your description of this machine you skilfully name it. Remember this when dealing with similar situations in the future.

Kate sits at one of the desks, wearing a COMM-UNIT HEADSET, tapping away at a keyboard and looking at a computer screen on the desk in front of her

Yeah baby! That’s what I’m talking about. I can see this scene in my mind. Well done.

I’d suggest using what Daniel has taught thus far to help get this piece on course. Either that or start something new and apply what you’ve learned.

Outside of overall length and length of descriptions, this is far better. Cut, cut and cut some more.

Don’t worry, Rick, I’m going to post the first two pages of my latest and you can get some revenge. :smileywink:

Cheers,
Ian
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crAZRick
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: T4: Opening Scene, Take 2 (revised)

[ Edited ]
no worries, Ian. Since I obviously (and obliviously) don't know what I'm doing, I have serious doubts that I will be able to find vengeance by assailiing myself upon your screenwriting efforts.

plus, if you can do in 2 pages what it takes me 7 or 14 pages to accomplish, I really don't have any legs to stand on...

Message Edited by crAZRick on 04-16-200705:05 PM

I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
Ian
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Ian
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Re: T4: Opening Scene, Take 2 (revised)

Rick,

Welcome to the world of the rewrite (cue Daniel with rewriting horror stories). This is truly part of the craft. Writing is rewriting, trust me, we all go through it. I think it's great that you're willing to post your work. And, no one saying you don't know what you're doing. We all need to hone our skills, man.

Now you sit back and give what you have some thought. You are definitely a jump in sink or swim kinda guy. Nothing wrong with that as long as you're okay rewriting over and over. Take your time, do a bit of planning. Ask yourself a lot of questions. What do I want my opening to convey? How do I launch this story? Stuff like that. Use what we've learned here and apply it to your work.

I'm in the exact same boat that you and everyone else here is in. You don't see my name on any sales so, I gotta keep working, keep writing to get where I want to be.

I learn a lot by giving critiques as well as getting them.

Keep going man. No matter what, keep writing.

Cheers,
Ian
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crAZRick
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Re: T4: Opening Scene, The Final Draft!

after further review and much deliberation and revision, I give you:

crAZRick's Definitive Terminator 4 Screenwriters Cut

FADE IN

Lots of stuff happens that is neither extraneous nor bland, rambling nonsense nor prosaic poetry. John, Kate and a few Termintors are there. The future is not set...

FADE OUT

short, sweet perfection; you can just picture 2-hours of this, can't ya??

either this, or it will be 700-pages and make Tolkien proud.

:smileyhappy:

back to the Exercises, I guess...
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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crAZRick
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T4: The Next 10 pages

[ Edited ]
While I realize there is still much work to be done on the Intro, I also think maybe it might help clear up some of the 'extraneous info' if you have an idea of what's brewing up to Plot Point #1: Terminators return.

Now, in previous Terminator films, Plot Point #1 always involved time-travel, Terminators come back from the year 2029, to stop the resistance before it starts. Since time is catching up to that future (T3 was in 2003, but may have been set in as late as 2005, by some accounts)by T4 (the bulk of my version takes place 5 years or so after T3, so 2008 or 2010) the Terminators don't come back in time; they don't need to, they are already there, in the form of the T-850 and the T-X, trapped but terminated under the blast door at Crystal Peak.

my T4 also references Kyle Reese's resistance force unit (132nd Tac-Com Unit, under Perry) so that's what the next 10 pages/10 minutes build-up; Perry's 132nd Tac-Com unit, and the resurrection of the Terminators.

(these pages are as poorly-written and raw as the original unedited version of the Intro... just posting these so as to get to Plot Point 1, so you can see what all develops leading up to Plot Point 1, if that helps or makes any sense at all... Feedback is always appreciated, even if you don't feel like expounding on every little thing that is badly-written. I appreciate all the comments and they will serve me better in future efforts I'm sure, but since this is really just fan-fic,
not sure how much time and effort to devote to fixing it up...)



EXT. WASTELANDS- NIGHT

BASE CAMP for the 132nd TACTICAL COMMAND RESISTANCE FORCE
132nd-UNIT INSIGNIA on UNIFORMS, FLAGS, BANNERS, presence of CAPTAIN PERRY among his troops

VARIOUS SCENES involving the 132nd TAC-COM RESISTANCE FORCES fighting to secure their base-camp and the surrounding area

(I wasn't sure how to 'flesh-out' these 'VARIOUS SCENES' so the details of what are involved are sparse; think montages, quick-cut establishing shots of the characters, without delving into too much detail (those details come later...)


JOHN
(voice over)
To use any advantage from knowing the history of things to come, the technological advances the machines would soon be capable of.

VARIOUS BATTLE SCENES, Future War scenes, with JOHN and other RESISTANCE FIGHTERS waging the battles, exploiting weaknesses in the machines, salvaging weapons and technology from the wreckage

(more undetailed montage)

JOHN
(voice over)
Using everything I knew of what was ahead. Passing the knowledge to others, while holing up at Crystal Peak. Letting the world know that we had survived, that they were not alone..

SCENES of KATE, JOHN and other TECHS, in the COMM-CENTER making RADIO CONTACT with the outside world, plotting with bunkers and shelters in the area

(more montage)

JOHN
(voice over)
And waiting. Long periods of waiting, and hoping. Venturing out at peak opportunities, bringing the fight to the machines on their turf, keeping ourselves safely tucked away, off the grid. § §Five years we struggled, five years of eternal night, until the skies began to clear some, and dim slivers of sunlight would filter through for a few hours each day... Five years, Crystal Peak resistance forces gathered and survived, regrouped and rebuilt a society... § §While we waited, we made some 'advances' of our own... Some came quicker, and more unexpectedly, than others...

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK RESEARCH LAB -- DAY

VARIOUS TECHS work on a project shrouded beneath a large tarp

Techs operate ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT and COMPONENTS scattered throughout the LAB, but nothing of what is hidden under the tarp is revealed, until...

CLOSE ON KATE

Kate wears a dainty HEAD-SET and MICROPHONE, as she watches TECHNICIANS move around the tarp

KATE
It's December 20th, 2015, 3:18pm..
Tech teams have finally given the 'Thumbs Up' for the next series of tests.. Awaiting final approval before beginning Stage 3 testing...

INT CRYSTAL PEAK RESEARCH LAB

KATE and VARIOUS TECHS perform various tests and tasks in, on and around SHROUDED PROJECT AREA, all nodding and chatting excitedly about the project

After a few moments, JOHN CONNOR enters, trailed by a few LIEUTENANTS

As Kate turns from the PROJECT SHROUD, we see that she is very pregnant!

Kate goes to John and they embrace and kiss, then both turn their attention to the techs, while the lieutenants look on

JOHN
Well, this surprise is obviously not what I was 'expecting,' pardon the pun.

John looks to Kate, caressing her stomach

JOHN
What's going on, Kate?
What's all the excitement?

Kate steps to the shrouded area

KATE
This is what's going on, Connor!

Kate pulls away the shroud, revealing TWIN TX-850 CYBORG UNITS, composed of various mixed-and-matched components from CYBORG ENDOSKELETONS recovered from the entrance

One of the CYBORGS, marked with a stenciled 'B' is incomplete, missing it's left arm and right leg, as well as some few metallic plate structures and armor in key places on its chassis, chest, back and skull, compared to the 'A' model which appears fully-reconstructed

KATE
They are not quite as you remember them, and they're not perfect...

JOHN
I'll say! I remember them being dead! I'm not sure collecting them and bringing them down here was such a hot idea, Kate. These things don't go down easy, or stay down long.

KATE
John, relax. They have no reserve fuel cells, so when they die, they die. But, the good news is, we constructed miniature plutonium-power cells using blue-prints for the nuclear cell for this complex. § §The dual-power cells from the T-X chassis were remarkably adaptable and accepted the plutonium downgrade with very little resistance or need for modification, even when plugged into the T-850 chassis, which was, dare I say, prehistoric by comparison...
§Michael calculates that these units could theoretically last hundreds of years on the plutonium cell, barring meltdown or anything of that nature.

John nods

JOHN
OK, so no reserve power, no more plasma-fusion reactor. Now you're saying these things are nuclear?

KATE
Shielded in a titanium-and-lead casing, John. Perfectly safe, just like they were before...

JOHN is overwhelmed by KATE'S apparent lack of respect toward the towering twin CYBORGS before them

JOHN
These things tried to kill me, Kate! They tried to kill us both, before!

Kate and John stare at each other a long moment, before John relents

JOHN
What about that meltdown? What would it take to cause something like that?

KATE shrugs

KATE
I imagine some sort of power-surge or catastrophic failure like... well, like nothing I can imagine, John! Think Chernobyl, or Three-Mile Island.
Whatever massive failure caused those would be similar to what it would take to cause a melt-down in these Terminators, OK?

JOHN hardly seems convinced, but KATE continues

KATE
We adapted the poly-mimetic shell inducer from the T-X, reverse engineered the thing and modified it for both units, so... watch...

KATE activates some things on the TX-850A chest and the liquid metal begins to flow, encasing the endoskeleton completely

KATE
They will both be able to take the form of anything they sample by physical contact... for example...

KATE presses a few buttons on her mobile keypad...

The TX-850A morphs and changes its appearance from liquid silver to HUMAN

(This is how the 'new' Terminator is born! Any star can be a Terminator!)

JOHN
My God, Kate! You did it. You really did it?! They work! The Terminators live again!

KATE
That's right! The first, fully-functional, 'human-made' cybernetic organisms. We call them TX-850A and B, since we essentially had to break them both down and rebuild from scratch using the leftovers from the original 850 and T-X models, as well as all the bits and pieces you guys bring back from the field...


KATE
The CPUs were still very much in tact, and quite easy to reprogram with whatever parameters we choose. We should have all the necessary components to comple---

JOHN
Forget what you call them, Kate!
I can't believe you got them back together, let alone programmed and powered them up! This.. this is to much! Insane!

KATE
What's wrong, John? You found them on the surface. You recovered most of these parts and brought them to the lab, specifically for this purpose. I thought you want to WIN this war? 'Any advantage we can get, any way to manipulate the history of things to come...' That's what you always said!

JOHN sweats and paces, gasping for breath, wringing his hands as he glares at the expressionless faces of the cyborgs

JOHN
I know!
Maybe I was wrong!

KATE is the voice of reason and counsel for JOHN

KATE
NO! JOHN! You were not wrong!
None of what we have done here these last 5 years has been wrong!
We are alive, we are surviving, we are thriving!

KATE holds JOHN'S hand, placing it on her smooth round basketball-belly once again

KATE
None of this is wrong!
None of it. OK?

JOHN
OK. So, what can they do?


VARIOUS SCENES: THE TX-850 MONTAGE

Kate and technicians demonstrate the TX-850A new and improved skills, strengths etc.

KATE
(voice over)
Visual acuity is 225% that of normal human range and quality... infrared and ultraviolet spectral analysis in wide range, ultra-high magnification and scanning capabilities, and targeting still in tact. It's really amazing! Weapons accuracy is 99.7---

CUT FROM MONTAGE TO

JOHN grabs KATE, spinning her to him, away from the TERMINATOR

JOHN
(interrupting)
You let this thing have access to our weapons?

KATE nods, then cringes and sighs at the intensity of John's scrutiny

JOHN
DON'T! Just don't!

TX-850A, KATE and TECHS look on as JOHN releases KATE and storms from the RESEARCH LAB, his LIEUTENANTS following on his heels.

KATE gasps and blinks hard, then composes herself

EXT. WASTELANDS -- LATER

THE FUTURE WAR, TRACKED HUNTER-KILLERS and TRANSPORT VEHICLES roll across the ashen plains, plains littered with thousands of human skulls and skeletal remains.

The BATTLE TANKS fire volleys of PLASMA PULSE CANNON FIRE at the few RESISTANCE FIGHTERS who move between covered and concealed positions scattered across the field of death.

JOHN leads a SQUAD against the on-coming BATTLE TANKS, firing ineffective energy pulses and antiquated bullets at the impenetrable hull of the vehicles, charging from one concealed position to another, moving ever closer to the LEAD BATTLE TANK.

Finally within range, John shoulders a ROCKET LAUNCHER and takes careful aim. The rest of his squad draw enemy fire by continuing to engage the battle-tank with their smaller, ineffective PULSE RIFLES and PISTOLS.

JOHN FIRES the weapon. The ROCKET strikes the BATTLE TANK TRACK, perfect aim!

The BATTLE TANK grinds to an uneasy stop, dead on the battle field.

JOHN rallies the SQUAD to the disabled vehicle.

At the rear of the BATTLE TANK, a LARGE PANEL pivots down; a DOOR to the INTERIOR, the belly of the beast

A LARGE FIGURE marches from within the compartment

JOHN and the SQUAD stop and stare as a T-850 cyborg stalks from the tank, facing off against the humans.

T-850
John Connor...

JOHN steps forward from the group, squaring off against His Friend / His Enemy, the TERMINATOR.

T-850
You are terminated.

The T-850 decides John's fate and a microsecond later, John is caught by the neck in the grip of the T-850, and lifted from the ground. In a moment, all life is crushed out of John Connor before he can react. As the darkness of death overtakes him, Kate screams from somewhere in the black...

KATE
John!

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK LIVING QUARTERS, JOHN & KATE'S SECTION

Kate and John in bed together. John wakes with a start, gasping for air, shivering. Kate jumps when he wakes so suddenly. JOHN frowns and shakes his head, blinking hard and rubbing his eyes vigorously. KATE caresses JOHN tenderly.

KATE
The dream again?

JOHN
It's coming. I feel it!

KATE
We will be ready, John. We're growing in strength and numbers every day! And now, with the TX---

JOHN pushes away from her embrace, staring into her eyes

JOHN
Do you really think we can change anything, Kate? Change the future? Change Fate? Change our, change my destiny? Look outside, Kate!
It's all come true! All of it!

KATE
It all happened, Yes, I know!
But most of everything was put into motion before you were even born, before you grew and learned that we COULD change things! § §Remember, you told me about the losers you mother dated back before she met Kyle Reese? Pre-med or pre-law geeks? One of those brainiacs might have been your father, had it not been for Kyle..
§Can you imagine, having grown up a brain, rather than the rugged rebel bad-boy that I love? Who knows what Hell we would be into by now, if not for everything you did back then to change it!

John nods, his eyes roll slowly as he quietly ponders. Suddenly, John's eyes go wide, his jaw drops open and he leaps to his feet

JOHN
Holy **bleep**, Kate! You're right! In fact, the more I think about it, I'm almost certain I was born the son of a brainiac! At least, in one of those many possible histories of things to come.

John sits back down on the bed, and takes Kate's hand in his

JOHN
The first time around, before Kyle. Anyone my mother was seeing must have been my father first. Maybe I was born down in Mexico or South America, somewhere outside the immediate nuclear threat. My mom always did like it down there! Maybe it was just dumb-luck that I found my way into the resistance movement in the first timeline. If I was smart and resourceful at all, I'm sure I would have made my way through the ranks over 25 years of fighting against Sky-Net and the machines. I bet I don't even look like myself from that first timeline any more! I'm a completely different man!

Kate strokes John's cheek, John sighs and melts into her touch

KATE
I love the man you've become, John.

JOHN
Everything has changed! And, there's no going back.. I wonder if Brainiac John Connor might have guessed that sending Reese back would change his fate into mine? How the Hell can we change anything this time? With things being as messed up as they are right now?

KATE
We will change Fate! We have to!
I don't want to lose you, Connor!

KATE takes JOHN'S trembling hand, placing it on her stomach

KATE
You are too important to me, to us... to us all! I love you John, I always have. Even with that scowl on your face, and those droopy puppy-dog eyes. Even the bad-boy not the brain.

JOHN smiles and cries at KATE'S words of love for him, and he embraces his lovely wife

JOHN
You know I just might be crazy, right?

KATE
This whole thing is one crazy nightmare, John. But, no matter what has happened, or what is still to come, I Love You! Who would have guessed I would be saying that after all these years, after the way you left me in Mike Cripkey's basement?!

JOHN
That was 20 years ago, Kate!
I really was a different person back then!

JOHN recovers from his fears, rising from the bed, sweeping KATE up and into his arms

JOHN
So, what's the word from Colorado?

KATE
At last report, Captain Perry and the One-Thirty-Second were being mobilized and prepped to move. They should be here in a week, 10 days tops.

JOHN
Good! Then we can get to work taking back California!

KATE suddenly goes pale and stiffens, gaping at JOHN in silence

JOHN leans in and kisses KATE'S pursed lips

JOHN
'No fate but what we make for ourselves...' remember? It's been long enough. You were right: We are getting stronger. It's time to start making some changes.

Kate slowly finds her voice again

KATE
OK. I guess I'll stay here with Michael and make sure the Terminators are--

JOHN
I want to take him with me, Kate.

Again, stunned silence follows from Kate

JOHN
If anything's going to happen, it's going to happen, right? I got close to the Terminator once, and it changed everything! If I want to change Fate again, I have to keep that big hunk of steel close to me, at least to prevent him stabbing me in the back!

KATE hardly seems convinced, not as easily swayed by his logic as he was by hers

KATE
The Terminator told us he kills you, John! That is your destiny. That is what we're trying to avoid.

JOHN
Don't worry, Kate. You helped rebuild these things. Nothing that comes from you could ever hurt me, right?

KATE sighs, nodding slightly and nuzzling JOHN

Message Edited by crAZRick on 04-17-200705:28 PM

I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
Frequent Contributor
crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: T4: Pages 21-35

INT. CRYSTAL PEAK RESEARCH LAB-- LATER

Kate and techs dance between the TX-850A and various computer consoles and display monitors, while John stands by. Kate activates a control on her keypad, the poly-mimetic alloy washes over the cyborg endoskeleton, and the TX-850A begins to take shape. Kate flips some switches, keys some commands, and presses some buttons. The blue optical sensors flash to life, just as the human face is formed over them; the TX-850A is operational!

TX-850A POV: SEPIA-TINTED OPTICAL SCAN READS:

ONLINE... POWERING UP... ALL SYSTEMS ACTIVE... INTERNAL DIAGNOSTICS... OPTIMAL... SCANNING...

TX-850A scans surroundings, data streams scroll on its internal display: data on John, Kate, techs (height, weight, physical features, recalling historical data still dormant in its memory)

Kate punches a few more keys and the TX-850A steps free from the control platform, fully-aware and free.

TX-850A approaches John, John stands waiting.

TX-850A
John Connor...

John gulps, nostrils flaring as TX-850A extends its arm.

TX-850A flashes 'Thumbs Up' then renders a sharp, robotlike salute.

John looks to Kate, Kate simply shrugs.

KATE
It was either that or have him dance a jig...

JOHN
Let's take this outside.

MONTAGE: John and TX-850A bonding/training/learning...

CUT TO:

ELSEWHERE IN THE SIERRA NEVADA MOUNTAINS-- DAY

The 132 TAC-COM Resistance Unit, led by CAPTAIN PERRY, guides a rag-tag, tattered convoy of REFUGEES from their over-run bunkers spread across the wastelands of the South-West United States.

CAPT. PERRY is a rugged, battle-worn and world-weary warrior, far many more years etched on his face since Judgment Day that would be evident by his birth record, if those records even still existed. PERRY'S SQUAD consists of 24 MEN, barely distinguishable amongst the disheveled masses of REFUGEES whom they are defending. The only things that set the RESISTANCE FIGHTERS apart from the refugees are some few scraps of make-shift body armor and an arm patch with the 132nd TAC-COM UNIT INSIGNIA.

50-75 refugees in the convoy, moving in small groups, flanked by 3 or 4 SOLDIERS. Everyone, soldiers and refugees, wear rebreather masks, or bandannas over their mouths. It is remarkably quiet in the eerie dark blue of near-night, with only the trudging of footsteps heard over the whisper of wind down the canyon pass.


6 GROUP LEADERS, responsible for 10-12 refugees, 4-5 Troopers:

ANDREWS- NO RANK: 20ish, still very green, obviously not a hardcore soldier, probably a weekend warrior reservist or guardsman before Judgment Day.

KENT- RANK: SERGEANT: Hard-core Marine-type, buzz-cut, no-neck, muscular, tattooed. Weapons and tactics expert.

DAVISON- RANK: CORPORAL: Bookish nerd, ROTC candidate before Judgment Day. Technical whiz-kid, carries radio, night-vision goggles, and technical manuals and crap overflowing his rucksack.

BJERKEN- RANK: SERGEANT: Looks like 'the other brother' who was supposed to be a girl, who really tries to be butch and bad-ass, even though he's 5'5" 120 pounds, late 20s. He must be lucky to be alive, the wimp, but he doesn't let his shortcomings slow him down. Determined, deceptive inner-strength.

SOLOMON- RANK: SERGEANT: Another Marine, but with a soft side and a weakness: an obsession with comic books, including ARCHIE and war comics, especially CAPTAIN SLAUGHTER Thinks of military life like 'ripped from the headlines' of comics, rather than the other way around. KENT'S pal, but takes crap from the hard-core grunt.

ZWICK- RANK: SERGEANT: The Female, though she is built bigger than a few of the men, acts like Mother to the troops, defending the weaklings in the squad.

[Another EXTENDED SCENE, introducing the 132nd RESISTANCE SQUAD, demonstrating each GROUP LEADER'S personality quirks and strengths, allowing viewers to become familiar with the TROOPS]

(I wasn't/am not exactly sure how to construct an Introduction sequence for the various Secondary Characters that make up the 132nd Tac-Com under Captain Perry. In future drafts, details such as this, and more extensive detail of the various montages, would be fleshed out. For now, these simple intros will have to do)


Suddenly, the silence is lifted, the whistling of the wind becomes an obvious, audible SHRIEK of MECHANICAL MOTOR

BJERKEN
(checking equipment)
Shriekers, incoming!
Just over the ridge, closing fast!

PERRY
(scanning canyon walls)
Mini-Hunters! Damn!
(a beat)

PERRY notes something up ahead in the canyon.

PERRY
To the caves!
Everyone, move!!

The resistance troops do their best to usher the refugees quickly and quietly along the rocky canyon floor, toward the caves. Capt. Perry shakes his head and summons 3 troops from the squad, with grunts and hand gestures, positioning his marksmen as the shriek grows ever louder, closer.

A few moments pass as refugees and soldiers begin filing hastily into the dark 'security' offered by the few small opening in the rock face, as...

A GROUP OF 4 FLYING MINI-HUNTER DRONES swoop over the lip of the canyon and coast downward toward the convoy. Phase cannons blast away from the fronts of the lead drones, scorching refugees and soldiers alike with their powerful bursts.

PERRY
Wait for it...

One marksman Trooper is too anxious, fires a volley from his covered and concealed position. The single pistol burst is absorbed by the drone armor, causing the drone to teeter slightly, before turning and firing. The Trooper is blasted, his remains splatter over the area. The remaining marksmen and Capt. Perry coordinate fire at the attacking drone. 3 pulse pistols and Perry's pulse rifle blast the drone, and the drone explodes.

The remaining drones split up, 2 continue following the dense area of thermal energy as the convoy of refugees and soldiers enter the caves. The final drone arcs high up and over the lip of the canyon once more, disappearing from line-of-sight of the marksmen.

PERRY
Get to the caves!
Move! MOVE!

PULSE CANNON BURSTS, explosions and multiple screams greet the squad as they near the mouth of the cave. Perry lingers near the rear, eying the sky for the rogue H/K DRONE. Once all the refugees and troops are safe within the caves, Perry shrugs and enters the large cave himself.

INT. LARGE CAVERN WITHIN THE CANYON WALL

3 soldiers lay just within the entrance of the large cave, their bodies smoldering from pulse cannon energy blasts. A second drone chassis also sparks and burns, crashed and destroyed, while frightened refugees cower against the far wall of the cavern.

From a passageway off the large cavern, more refugees flood, screaming in terror and pain. Perry kneels and scans the passage as the refugees pass; he is greeted by the familiar shriek on fast approach. Multiple pulse-pistol bursts light up the area behind the THIRD DRONE, a few finding their mark, enough to send the drone skittering into the cave wall and exploding.

One Female refugee screams and sobs, crying out in fear.

FEMALE REFUGEE
Kyle? Where's Kyle?!
Where is the boy? KYLE!

Perry scans the passage as 4 of his Troopers stalk from the dark. Zwick crosses the cavern to cover the only other passage. Solomon steps in, bringing up the rear, quickly taking a knee against the near passage entrance, scouting that passage, maintaining a secure perimeter. Perry moves to the frantic refugee, who is being threatened by Andrews.

ANDREWS
Be quiet, Lady!!

PERRY
Andrews! Stand down! Don't worry ma'am... We'll find your son.

WOMAN
No, not my son... I promised to look after him if... his parents... they didn't make it out...

PERRY
Understood. Andrews, Kent, Davison with me! The rest of you, Rally Point is HERE! Form a perimeter! Keep the refugees safe! There's at least 1 more of these things out there, and who knows how many refugees got scattered in these caves, so stay alert!

Across the cavern, Kent grumbles

PERRY
What's the problem, rough-neck?

Sgt. Kent steps forward a few paces, whispering

KENT
You're sticking us with the rooks, Cap! The kids! Me and Solly could mop up the last of the shriekers and rally the refugees back here in 2 shakes! I ain't about to get wasted babysittin' a coupla weak-kneed momma's boys... C'mon, Cap!
Cut me some slack!

Perry considers Kent's concerns for a few beats

PERRY
You're right, Sgt. Kent...
Sgt. Bjerken, front and center! YOU take Andrews, Davison and a squad and clear these caves! Recover whatever refugees you find stragglin' and rally them back here ASAP!

Bjerken nods and quickly summons Andrews, Davison and 4 Troopers. Perry steps up squarely into Kent's face, steely-eyed and scowling.

PERRY
You're on my **bleep**-list, Kent!
Med detail for you! I want every cut, scrape, bruise and hangnail on the refugees documented and doctored. Every sniffle stifled, every cough contained!

Perry notes Kent's obvious dissatisfaction with his new job assignment, and continues to deride his subordinate sergeant.

PERRY
And, if I hear even a whimper from any one of them or yourself, I swear by Christ I'll bust your ass right here in front of the whole lot of 'em... and not even Momma Zwick will hold your hand thru that!

Long moments of silence as Kent cowers and everyone else in the cave pretends not to be listening. Capt. Perry, having restored discipline and control amongst the squad, carries on in fine military manner.

PERRY
Zwick, Solomon, maintain the perimeter! And, Corporal Solomon..

Solomon gulps and sweats, as Perry focuses his ire upon the corporal.

PERRY
Keep the comics stowed while you're on watch, or your ass will be joining Sergeant Kent on scab detail! Move it out, people! Everyone else, stand ready to defend...

The remaining troops assist Kent administering first aid to the refugees, or assist Zwick and Solomon with perimeter defense.

Corporal Solomon squats in a slight alcove in the rock. Out of sight, out of mind Solomon rustles thru his rucksack, collecting a few tattered comic books. Solomon hunches down and scans the colorful pages.

NOTE SLIGHT SPRINKLE OF DUST AND DEBRIS FROM OVERHEAD AT SOLOMON'S POSITION

CUT TO:

INT. CRAMPED PASSAGE IN MOUNTAIN CAVE- AWHILE LATER

Bjerken, Andrews, Davison and 4 Troopers spread out and stalk along the dark and dreary pass, checking the branches and off-shoots and alcoves for any signs of refugees or mini-flyer activity.

The group comes to a convergence, where multiple passages come together and cross. Bjerken raises a closed fist, signaling halt! And the group scatters to the walls of the passage Bjerken looks around the small cavern nervously, uncertain how to proceed where so many options are available. He checks his squad, then steps to Davison near the corner of the passage entrance to the cavern.

BJERKEN
What'd'ya see Davison?
Anything?

Davison flips down the night-vision viewer attachment on his skull-cap and scans; far-left, left center, center, right-center.

DAVISON
(gasping)
Ohhh shiii----

DAVISON'S POV THRU NIGHT-VISION HEADGEAR:

A smallish heat signature registers, racing toward the group from a passage up ahead!

Before he can react, Davison is met by the attacker head on. Both topple to the rocky cavern floor. The noise raises alarm with the others. Bjerken cracks a blue-light glo-stick, illuminating the area. Everyone else quickly draws a bead on the attacker and Davison as they scuffle.

Davison struggles for awhile under the weight and assault of the attacker, shrieking like a little girl the whole while, until he shoves his foe away. Once free from the entanglement, everyone immediately notices that the assailant is a little boy!

ANDREWS
Kyle? Kyle Reese?

The boy stands fast, cowering at the group of troops.

ANDREWS
Yeah, sure it's you! You remember me, donchya, little dude? We played that game on Sergeant Solomon the other day, fresh outta base-camp.. Stole his favorite comics and hid out all afternoon, while he busted his ass looking all over! Busted Kent's ass too later, thinkin' he done it... -heh!-

Davison, a few Troopers chuckle and nod at Andrews recollection, recognizing the child, KYLE REESE.

KYLE
Where are they?
The shriekers?

Andrews steps up, helping Davison to his feet, while the others lower their weapons and let their guard down.

ANDREWS
Forget about the--

KYLE
(alarmed)
SHRIEKERS!

Before anyone can react, Andrews' chest explodes violently outward, and the tunnel is lit up by a thunderous blast of plasma-energy from behind the Troopers. Andrews collapses with a whimper, his plasma rifle falling at Kyle's feet.

The boy duck and crouches low to the ground, while the others turn to take aim at the shrieking drone on approach Pulse-weapon energy bolts light up the passage. The FLYING MINI-H/K evades the first volley, firing repeated bursts of its own back on the troops in the confined space.

2 of the 4 Troopers are caught in one of the blasts, scorched and fried. Bjerken, Davison and the remaining Troopers continue firing upon the drone. The drone suffers minor damage and streaks past the group, skittering down the left-center tunnel. 2 Troopers rush after the drone, into the intersection.

Kyle sits up, clutching Andrews' pulse rifle, trying desperately to lift it

KYLE
Oh, no...

Kyle glances anxiously at Bjerken as the Troopers approach the left-center passage. Bjerken notes Kyle's panic, realizes something.

BJERKEN
WAIT! Fall back!
Guys, stop!

Too late! The Troopers glance back in recognition of their leader's commands. A moment later a rapid-fire blast of plasma energy envelopes them both, consuming their bodies, vaporizing the Troopers where they stand, as the drone streaks from the right-center tunnel!

BJERKEN
DAMMIT! NO!

Davison, Bjerken rage, opening fire upon the drone once more as the h/k pivots and floats toward their positions. Multiple plasma-rifle bursts finally penetrate the drone armor, and the drone explodes in a shower of sparks. A few moments pass as the survivors survey the carnage.

DAVISON
Tunnels all link up. Bet you got all turned around in there, huh kid?

Kyle nods, struggling with the plasma rifle. Bjerken finally noticing what Kyle is doing.

BJERKEN
You better let me take care of that, Little Soldier... You drop that and the plasma-pac ruptures, and you'll be toast for sure!

Bjerken scoops up Andrews' plasma rifle from Kyle's grasp, lifting the boy from the ground as well, as Kyle refuses to release his hold on the weapon

DAVISON
Jeez, Sarge!
Give the kid a break, huh?

Bjerken does his best Capt. Perry impression, glaring at Davison

BJERKEN
After what just went down, what we just lived through, you tellin' me you think this 8-year-old kid oughta be carrying around an M-20 Phased Plasma Pulse Rifle, with half-
Pac-charge? Is that right, Davison?

Davison looks away, kicking at the dirt

BJERKEN
Now, by my count, that was Number 4... These drones always travel in fours, so we're done here! Gather whatever you can salvage from the gear, Corporal. We gotta get back to the Rally Point ASAP, so we can clear out before reinforcements show!

Bjerken shoulder-slings the second plasma rifle and storms off down the path to the rear, in retreat from the crisscrossed paths in the small cavern.

Davison slips his skull-cap off his head, and ruffles Kyle's hair, patting the cap in place on Kyle's head.

Kyle flips the night-vision goggles in place, and gasps in awe at the sights.

Davison moves amongst various remnants and gore-stained blast patterns that were once his friends and fellow fighters, collecting rucksacks, ammunition, and food rations.

KYLE
He was wrong you know...

Davison pauses a moment glancing toward Kyle, but jumps with a start when Kyle appears right next to him, drooling over a ration-pack Davison holds.

DAVISON
Wrong? Who was wrong?
Wrong about what?

DAVISON shrugs and hands the food to the boy.

Kyle accepts the ration greedily, tearing into the plastic casing and attacking the enclosed freeze-dried and aluminum-sealed packages of food-stuffs.

KYLE
(mumbling, mouth full)
The big ugly man... Sarge!
I'm not 8! I'm only 6 and a half!

DAVISON
(smiling)
That's good kid, real good. Let's move.

Davison and Kyle move quickly in retreat down the passage, trying to catch up with Bjerken before he can get back to the cavern and make his report.

CUT TO:

INT. LARGE CAVERN, RALLY POINT ALPHA

Capt. Perry, Sgt. Kent, and 3 Troopers tend to wounds and needs of refugees.

Sgt. Zwick, 3 Troopers form roving patrol around perimeter.

The far side of the cavern is strangely devoid of much activity of life, except an occasional glimpse of corporal Solomon's dusty knee as he crouches against the alcove.

CLOSE ON SOLOMON'S POSITION

Solomon's comm-unit ear-piece dangles loose from its place in his ear canal, instead swaying over his shoulder with each silent chuckle and turn of a page of his comic books.

SOUNDS OF: RADIO CHATTER over SOLOMON'S EAR-PIECE

BJERKEN
(on radio)
...repeat... Davis... troops... dead... all targets...
RTB... ETA... minutes...

CLOSE ON SOLOMON'S COMIC: CAPTAIN SLAUGHTER

Pan across colorful scenes of war and battle, bloodshed and death, firefights and explosions Solomon revels in all the cartoonish chaos and destruction, blissfully unaware of his surroundings.

Suddenly, a cloud of thick white smoke wafts across Solomon's field of view, clouding the colorful pages of captain slaughter, as captain Perry stands over Solomon chomping a fat cigar.

PERRY
(growling)
CAPTAIN SLAUGHTER, huh?
I'm about to show you the REAL Captain Slaughter! On your feet, soldier!

Solomon scrambles against the rock wall, righting himself and making every effort to hide the comic book and go about his 'patrol duty.'

SOLOMON
(too loud)
PERIMETER SECURE, SIR!

Suddenly, the craggy ceiling overhead caves in, showering Solomon with rock and debris, followed almost immediately by a powerful blast of plasma energy from a gaping hole above Solomon's face melts, skull and jawbone super-heated by the intense blast. His brain boils over, forcing the baked, brittle skull to expand and explode, splattering gore across the cave floor, blotting out the cartoon chaos on the pages that fall from his rucksack, as his body falls

PERRY
**bleep**! Incoming!

ONE after ANOTHER after ANOTHER and ANOTHER FLYING HUNTER-KILLER DRONES dive into the cavern from the hole to the surface; 4 more drones, with the resistance forces splintered, separated into small groups around the cave, easy targets

EXT. PASSAGE OUTSIDE RALLY POINT ALPHA CAVERN

While the H/K DRONES' plasma pulse cannons unleash a fury on the screaming refugees and Troopers, capt. Perry scoops up Solomon's earpiece and comm-unit, ducking out of the cavern, into the passage

PERRY
Sergeant Andrews! We are under fire! Four Shriekers! Repeat Four! We are in deep **bleep**! Return to Rally Point Alpha NOW! Sergeant Andrews, do you copy?

A DRONE hovers into view over PERRY'S shoulder.
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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