Dark Mirror: The Movie (ACT I)



  • it begins!

    OK - here it is finally, act I of my Dark Mirror screenplay! Sorry about the formatting, it has to be super precise in the original script, but of course that means it copies weirdly to a forum post. I can't be bothered to fix it, but I think it's readable at least. :p

    ~-~-~

    DARK MIRROR

    FADE IN:

    EXT. OUTSIDE CADEMIA - DAY

    Scene is MATCH CUT with following scene. SWEEPING VIEW of landscape: grassy hills and reddish earth, but the land has a grey cast. It is depressing, lifeless. Medieval and post-apocalyptic.

    K (V.O.)
    Sometimes we wonder if things
    could turn out differently.
    How one decision could change
    our whole lives. What we don’t
    realize is how many thousands
    of decisions shape our world
    every day. And everyone’s life
    plays a part. No one can
    disconnect from that.

    EXT. CADEMIA - CONTINUOUS

    K (viir’elei race) stands in a dirty ALLEYWAY. She has blue skin and hair, is scantily clad, early 20’s. Beautiful but reserved. She checks over herbs and alchemical supplies, tucks a VIAL into a pouch. Two delicate cloth panels hang from the front and back of her belt; a spiked flail hangs in a leather sheath at her side.

    We follow K through run-down streets, surrounded by old wooden buildings, into a seedy TAVERN.

    INT. TAVERN - CONTINUOUS

    A HUMAN MALE and VIIR’ELEI MALE brawl; the blue viir’elei suddenly morphs into a HAWK and dives at the human with a SCREECH.

    At a table, a GAMBLER pulls a stack of coins toward him. His gambling partner, a SEEDY MAN, draws a dagger angrily. K taps him on the shoulder, smiles seductively, distracts him from the lost bet.

    K
    Let me buy you a drink.

    The seedy man looks K up and down, leers at her exposed skin.

    SEEDY MAN
    (following K to bar)
    You can buy me anything you
    want, honey.

    K signals to BARTENDER and drops a few coins on the bar. Bartender places two full MUGS on the bar. K leans to whisper in the seedy man’s ear, removes VIAL from pouch and empties it into his drink behind his back.

    They CLINK mugs and drink together.

    K sets her mug down on the bar and stands up. She trails her fingertips lightly over his shoulder.

    K
    I’ll be right back. You’d
    better still be here when I
    return.

    SEEDY MAN
    I ain’t going anywhere.

    The seedy man watches K walk away. His eyes glaze over. He falls off his barstool, stone cold dead.

    EXT. CADEMIA - CONTINUOUS

    K smirks as she walks away from the tavern.

    K
    Somehow, they never are.

    EXT. OUTSIDE CADEMIA - DAY

    SWEEPING VIEW of landscape: lush greenery and reddish earth separated into squares of farmland. KATEREI’S HOUSE, tiny and wooden, sits on a low hill overlooking the sparkling OCEAN. A dirt road leads past.

    EXT. KATEREI’S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

    KATEREI (viir’elei race) kneels in the GARDEN OUTSIDE HER HOUSE. She looks identical to K but is gentler, and wears a simple ankle-length dress with an apron. She sorts through herbs with dirt-smeared hands.

    Katerei sighs, stands, looks dismally out at the ocean.

    A group of human CHILDREN run past on the road. They yell and laugh, carefree. Katerei turns to look at the sound. One young BOY, lagging behind the others, falls and scrapes his knee on a STONE. He begins to cry.

    Katerei rushes to the boy, pulling HERBS from her apron pocket.

    KATEREI
    Are you all right, sweetie?

    She creates a POULTICE with a scrap of fabric, applies it to the boy’s cut. He’s fascinated. When she removes the poultice the cut is gone.

    BOY
    (wiping away tears)
    How did you do that?!

    Katerei ruffles his hair, smiles teasingly.

    KATEREI
    I don’t know what you mean.

    BOY
    You fixed it!

    KATEREI
    No. As far as I know, you were
    fine the whole time. Now get on
    going.

    The boy sticks out his tongue at her teasing - but hugs Katerei’s legs. He runs to catch up with his friends.

    Katerei watches the boy go, smiles wistfully. She tugs at the poultice. A few stray threads come off in her fingers.

    EXT. CADEMIA OUTSKIRTS - BEACH - NIGHT

    K sits at the shoreline, SHOES on the sand next to her. Waves lap at her bare feet. She hears a SHOUT and turns. NIALL, an old man, hobbles toward her.
    NIALL
    I thought I saw ye down here,
    Miss K. Have ye got time to
    help a poor fellow out?

    K pretends to look annoyed, but half-smiles.

    K
    I’m not your bloody errand
    girl, Niall.

    NIALL
    You owe me a favour still,
    young missy.

    K
    Can it wait? I just got back
    from a job today.

    NIALL
    No! No! No time. Some rogue’s
    made off with me horse. If ye
    hurry ye can still catch the
    scoundrel. I know ye’s the
    only one who could still find
    ‘em, Miss K.

    K
    (resigned)
    Fine. But I’m coming straight
    back here after and squatting
    on your lovely beachfront
    property again.

    K stands, slips on her shoes, unbuckles her BELT, drops it on the ground. It CLANKS. In one smooth motion she transforms into a small DARK BLUE WOLF. Her skintight clothing changes with her. Niall straps the belt just behind her forelegs.

    EXT. PADDOCK - CONTINUOUS

    A wooden FENCE, posts splintered or falling over in places, encloses the HORSE PADDOCK. K, as WOLF, lowers her nose to the muddy ground. She sniffs. Finds the scent, and runs off. Niall watches her go.

    EXT. MOUNTAINS - NIGHT

    K, as WOLF, dashes between shadowy trees, hot on the trail. She is swift. Agile. Dangerous. Moonlight glints off her smooth fur. She is in her element.

    K emerges into a VALLEY surrounded by steep mountains. A RIVER flows through the middle. K pauses to check the scent trail again. We see SHIMMERING LIGHT like a mirage in the valley ahead. K does not notice, keeps running and –

    Her fur SHIMMERS as she passes through the light.

    K climbs in elevation, zigzagging up the CLIFFS by way of a hidden path. SCRAGGLY TREES grow at odd angles from the cliffside. K leaps nimbly over rock surfaces. She can move much faster here than a horse could. She is close now - she crests the cliff only to see-

    The human HORSE THIEF lies broken. Blood is on the ground.

    K shifts to VIIR’ELEI form. Her belt CLATTERS to the ground. She picks it up and approaches the horse thief.

    K
    (no-nonsense)
    Where’s the horse?

    HORSE THIEF
    (grimacing)
    Gone. Spooked and threw me.

    K
    You just made my night a lot
    longer than it had to be.

    Beat. K stares. She pulls off the horse thief’s BOOT.

    K
    Move your toes.

    HORSE THIEF
    Can’t.

    K
    Fingers, then.

    After a beat:
    HORSE THIEF
    May spirits give me the mercy
    that horse did not.

    K
    The spirits give no mercy.

    K kneels next to the horse thief. She removes a pinch of HERB from a pocket on her belt sash. Holds out a cupped hand, and WATER flows from the earth into her palm. Drops the herb into the water and kneads it. As she works:

    K
    Where were you going? The only
    place west of here is the mage
    city. No place for thieves.

    HORSE THIEF
    (harsh laugh)
    Cademia. Where I started. Had
    to loop through the gateway
    and come back. Suriel said so.

    K looks up sharply at the mention of Suriel. She tips her fistful of water into a VIAL and holds it to the horse thief’s lips.

    HORSE THIEF
    What is that?

    K
    Mercy.

    The horse thief drinks. Sighs. His face eases and stills.

    K takes a KNIFE from the thief’s belt and makes a careful incision on each of his PALMS. She places his palms on the ground and murmurs in the viir’elei language.

    We slowly rise over the mountain peaks. The sun is about to rise over the eastern ocean.

    K (V.O)
    “May your blood return to the
    earth.” It’s my people’s
    blessing for the dead. It
    grows bitter with use.

    EXT. KATEREI’S HOUSE - DAY

    EAMONN walks down the dirt path through Katerei’s GARDEN to her HOUSE. He is middle-aged, friendly, plain. His leather armour is worn out, but clean and neat. He carries a heavy wooden STAVE.

    RAP, RAP. He knocks at Katerei’s door.

    Katerei opens it within seconds, smiles warmly.

    KATEREI
    Eamonn. What brings you out
    here? You visited me just
    last week.

    EAMONN
    (unsettled)
    I need your help, Katerei.

    KATEREI
    (off his look)
    Come in, tell me about it.
    I’ll make you some tea.

    EAMONN
    I think it’s better if you see
    this for yourself.

    KATEREI
    You mean come into town.

    Beat.

    EAMONN
    Kat, you can’t shut yourself
    away forever.

    Katerei sighs. She takes a CLOAK from a hanger near the door, pulls it on. She steps outside and slides the wooden door latch shut.

    As she strides past Eamonn:

    KATEREI
    You just don’t like my tea.

    INT. MORGUE - DAY

    Eamonn and Katerei stand in the entry room to the MORGUE. It is dark, claustrophobic and clearly in need of repairs. GUARD #1 stands near a wooden DOOR set into stone walls.

    Katerei looks at Eamonn apprehensively.

    EAMONN
    I’m sorry. You might want to
    cover your nose.

    Eamonn gestures and the guard opens the door. Eamonn and Katerei enter. Guard #1 nods respectfully as they pass.

    INT. MORGUE - CONTINUOUS

    The dead are stored here, awaiting burial. Several BODIES are laid out on stone plinths, faintly illuminated by TORCHLIGHT. Katerei gags and covers her nose against the pervasive smell of death.

    Eamonn leans his STAVE against the wall and removes a TORCH from its bracket. He steps forward to indicate a particular body.

    EAMONN
    A trapper who lives in the
    mountains found a body early
    this morning. Says his dogs
    led him to it. Medic says it
    doesn’t look like murder, but
    the trapper thought someone
    in Cademia could identify it.

    Katerei follows Eamonn to get a closer look. We see, from her point of view, that it is the horse thief. His body is still mangled, but he looks calm in death.

    KATEREI
    Anyone been able to yet?

    Eamonn hesitates. He scratches his beard.

    EAMONN
    Not... exactly. There’s been
    some complications.

    KATEREI
    I’m the last person you should
    ask to identify a human.

    EAMONN
    It’s not about that.

    Eamonn turns the horse thief’s HAND over to reveal the incision on his palm.

    EAMONN
    It’s that.

    Katerei stares in shock. She reaches for the horse thief’s palm, then pulls back.

    KATEREI
    (baffled)
    Viir’elei. But...

    EAMONN
    Aye, on a human. I’ve heard
    of the rite but never seen it
    for myself. Hoped you could
    confirm it for me.

    Eamonn crosses to a wooden table and picks up a KNIFE. The blade is STAINED DARK WITH BLOOD.

    EAMONN (cont’d)
    This was found next to him.
    Handle’s clean, but both his
    palms are cut. He can’t have
    done it to himself.

    KATEREI
    You think a viir’elei was
    with him when he died.

    Pause.

    KATEREI
    Or killed him.

    EAMONN
    I just thought if we knew
    who did this, we might
    find out who he is.
    KATEREI
    Is the trapper still here?

    EAMONN
    Yes. I’ll get him.

    Eamonn moves toward the door, but it swings open as he approaches. GUARD #2 enters, looking nervous.

    GUARD #2
    Captain, sir. I found the,
    uh, the man. In town.

    Eamonn nods. He reaches for his stave again.

    EAMONN
    Bring him in.

    Guard #2 beckons and TOWNSMAN enters. The townsman looks around, sees Katerei. He moves toward the plinth by which she stands. As he steps forward into flickering torchlight:

    Katerei claps her hand to her mouth-

    The townsman looks down at the dead horse thief-

    -THEY ARE THE SAME MAN.

    The townsman reels in shock-

    TOWNSMAN
    (shouting)
    Demon! False being! It’s
    not possible!

    The townsman points at Katerei, crazed.

    TOWNSMAN
    You! Your people did this!
    Unnatural shape-shifters!
    Demons, all of you!

    Katerei steps back as if she has been slapped-

    The townsman LUNGES at Katerei - Eamonn leaps forward and BLOCKS with his stave - Guard #2 dives in and SEIZES the townsman. The guard hauls the townsman out of the room. His screams ECHO throughout the morgue.
    INT. BARRACKS - DINING HALL - DAY

    Long tables line the DINING HALL of the CADEMIA BARRACKS. A few GUARDS sit in twos or threes and talk animatedly. SUNLIGHT filters in from high windows, revealing practical stone architecture. Katerei sits at a table, looking lost.

    Eamonn approaches, holding a PEWTER MUG. He sets it on the table in front of Katerei, sits down, at ease here.

    EAMONN
    Think I owe you a cup of tea
    after all that.

    Katerei half-smiles and wraps her hands around the mug.

    EAMONN
    I should have seen it coming.
    One of my guards said the body
    looked familiar. Just wanted
    to see the resemblance for
    myself... know for sure. I
    thought he’d say it was his
    brother. Didn’t expect that.

    KATEREI
    Neither did I. The very idea
    of shifting into another
    person is unheard of. It’d
    be... perverse.

    EAMONN
    So you’re sure he wasn’t a
    viir’elei?
    (off her look of reproach)
    All right, all right!

    Katerei sips her tea. She makes a face.

    KATEREI
    Weak.

    Eamonn doesn’t notice. He sees something over Katerei’s shoulder, stands and calls out.

    EAMONN
    Oi! My good man. Over here.

    The TRAPPER approaches and sits down next to Eamonn. He is big, bearded, earnest.

    TRAPPER
    You wanted to speak with me
    again, sir?

    Eamonn indicates Katerei. She clings to her mug, awkward.

    KATEREI
    You found that dead body this
    morning? In the mountains?

    TRAPPER
    Aye, milady. Took me the
    better part of the day gettin’
    it down here. I got a cart and
    mule used to get ‘im down.

    KATEREI
    What might have he died from?

    TRAPPER
    There were hoof tracks near.
    Looked like ‘e fell from a
    horse and snapped ‘is spine.

    Eamonn nods to confirm.

    EAMONN
    The medic said the same.

    KATEREI
    How were his hands arranged?
    Palms up or down? Over his
    chest or on the ground?

    The trapper looks at Katerei, puzzled.

    KATEREI
    (anxious)
    Please. It’s important.

    TRAPPER
    Palms down. On the ground.
    I didn’t notice the cuts
    until I moved his body.

    Katerei puts her mug down and RISES from the table. She turns and walks away to stare out the WINDOW. Through its frame we see dusty grass, a pleasant courtyard.

    Eamonn follows to the window, indicating for the trapper to stay put.

    We see Katerei press her FINGERS TO HER LIPS. She is silent a long while before speaking.

    KATEREI
    Viir’elei bury our dead too.
    We cut the palms and face
    them upright to receive the
    earth. When they cannot be
    buried, the palms are faced
    down to bleed into the earth.

    EAMONN
    I’ve never heard of that.

    KATEREI
    Nor has any other human, most
    likely. It’s only done out of
    necessity. If burying the dead
    puts the living in danger.

    Katerei stares down at her open HANDS. They shake slightly.

    Eamonn sighs. He rubs his temples, weary.

    EAMONN
    All my time as a soldier, it’s
    just been thieves and brigands
    we have to look out for. No
    wars. No murders that couldn’t
    be explained by revenge or
    just plain greed. This... this
    is beyond me.

    KATEREI
    What now?

    EAMONN
    Word will get out. The sooner
    I have answers, the better. I
    need to find the person that’s
    behind all this.
    Eamonn gently turns Katerei to face him.

    EAMONN
    Katerei. Listen.

    She looks at Eamonn distantly. She slowly re-focuses as if her mind is returning from a long way away.

    EAMONN
    I hate to ask for your help
    again. But you’re the only
    one who could still find that
    viir’elei - who I trust to.

    Katerei shakes her head, unconvinced.

    KATEREI
    I have one foot in viir’elei
    culture and one in a human
    city. Do you think either
    would stand for me getting
    involved in their business?

    Eamonn grips Katerei’s arms firmly. He holds her gaze.

    EAMONN
    I’ve protected you the whole
    time you’ve lived in Cademia.
    I’ll continue to. As for the
    viir’elei, if you believe one
    of your people is in danger...

    The words hang heavy in the air.

    After a long pause, she closes her eyes and nods.

    EXT. CADEMIA OUTSKIRTS - DAY

    K walks down a quiet dirt ROAD, leading a HORSE by the reins. It is a big workhorse, calm but powerful. Briars are tangled in its tail and MUD encrusts the feathers on its large hooves. K looks at the horse irritably.

    K
    You’re not even smart enough
    to flee back home. No, I had
    to chase you up and down
    mountains instead.
    The horse tosses its mane and snorts at her.

    K
    I don’t know what Niall sees
    in you, but he should bloody
    well be grateful. I should’ve
    been done with you hours ago.

    As K walks, she comes in view of a SMALL COTTAGE. A BARN and EMPTY PADDOCK are off to the side. We see a BEACH and the OCEAN in the background.

    K stops to tie the horse’s reins to the paddock fence. She approaches the cottage and knocks at the door. RAP, RAP.

    There is a long pause, and finally the door creaks open. We see NIALL’S WIFE, a frail old lady.

    K
    I’ve returned your horse.

    K steps aside and indicates behind her. The horse munches overgrown grass, contented.

    NIALL’S WIFE
    My horse? I don’t have a horse.

    K
    (nonplussed)
    Your husband told me your horse
    was stolen. He asked me to track
    down the thief.

    NIALL’S WIFE
    Heavens, child. I don’t have
    a husband anymore either.
    Niall passed away years ago.

    K is stunned into silence. Niall’s wife peers past her out the door, squinting with old eyes.

    NIALL’S WIFE
    Goodness, though that does
    look like our old farm horse,
    doesn’t it? I had to sell her
    and the land. Couldn’t run
    the farm on my own. And no
    children to help out.

    K
    (barely listening)
    But I just spoke to Niall
    last night.

    NIALL’S WIFE
    No, no. I’m sorry, dear. He’s
    definitely gone. You must have
    mistaken someone else for him.

    Niall’s wife turns her attention to K, suddenly curious. She looks, really looks this time.

    NIALL’S WIFE
    Say, don’t you look familiar?
    Like that blue lady that lives
    up on the hill by the shore.
    Is she your sister?

    K
    I don’t have a sister.

    NIALL’S WIFE
    (good intentions)
    Well, I suppose y’all look a
    lot alike, don’t you.

    K is downright unsettled by this point. She shifts her weight from foot to foot, glances back at the horse.

    K
    I... I think I should go.

    NIALL’S WIFE
    I’m sorry I couldn’t help you
    more, dear-

    -but K is already hurrying back to the paddock.

    INT. BARRACKS - STABLES - DAY

    Katerei and Eamonn walk down a wide walkway in the STABLES, passing rows of stalls. Some contain HORSES, some are empty. Straw litters the ground.

    KATEREI
    Is the trapper coming with us?

    She pauses to look at a horse. It NICKERS at her. Katerei jumps slightly and hurries after Eamonn.

    EAMONN
    No. But he gave me directions
    to where he found the body.
    We can take the pass that leads
    to the mage city. It’s between
    there and the river.

    KATEREI
    (apprehensive)
    We won’t get there until dark.

    EAMONN
    Afraid not. We can’t wait ‘til
    morning though. That person
    has a head start already.

    Eamonn stops at a stall, opens the GATE. The horse inside, fiery and intelligent, eyes him.

    EAMONN
    You can borrow this one. Her
    rider’s out with a broken leg.

    Katerei stares at Eamonn. Beat.

    KATEREI
    (sheepish)
    I don’t know how to ride. My
    people don’t keep animals.

    Eamonn smiles and pats the horse’s flank. It’s a solid sound, pounds of muscle under the glossy hair.

    EAMONN
    Just hold on with your legs
    and don’t let go.

    EXT. BEYOND CADEMIA - DAY

    SWEEPING VIEW of the landscape beyond Cademia. Katerei and Eamonn ride full-tilt on HORSEBACK across a wide grassy plain. A lazy river ribbons past them toward the sea. SNOW-CAPPED MOUNTAINS rise in the distance, bordered by trees.

    ON KATEREI, both terrified and exhilarated. She leans low over the horse, gripping the reins, blue hair streaming out behind her.

    Next to her, Eamonn laughs at her reaction. He veers to the side, toward the river-

    Katerei looks startled but follows suit-

    The horses plow straight into the river. WATER SPLASHES and the horses swim when it gets deep.

    Katerei shrieks with delight, reaches out to skim her fingers across the water-

    -she pulls her hand upward quickly and the water SWIRLS into the air, coalescing into a MASSIVE BIRD- it soars over the riders’ heads and PLUMMETS back into the river.

    EXT. MOUNTAINS – NIGHT

    The MOUNTAIN PASS crosses over a high stretch of level ground. Dense FOREST borders it on both sides. In the distance we can hear the RIVER, faster and more dangerous here. Katerei and Eamonn guide their horses with caution.

    Eamonn slows when they reach a TREE that has fallen across the road.

    EAMONN
    This is it.

    They dismount and tie the reins to the fallen tree. Katerei removes her cloak and secures it in the saddlebag.

    Eamonn lights a TORCH and leads the way into the forest.

    They move slowly, looking for tracks. A perturbed OWL flutters from a branch overhead. Katerei watches it leave- we hear it HOOT in the distance-

    -and the sound suddenly ends. As if the owl ceased to be.

    Katerei grabs Eamonn’s arm. He turns to look at her.

    EAMONN
    What’s wrong?

    But Katerei is already moving away in the direction of the owl. She finally emerges on the CLIFF to see-

    -SHIMMERING LIGHT above the river. It spans the width of the valley. The AURORA BOREALIS radiates across the sky, reflected in the shimmering mirage.

    Eamonn emerges from the forest and stops, stunned.

    KATEREI
    What is it?

    EAMONN
    I don’t know.

    KATEREI
    It’s beautiful.

    They look together, until Eamonn wakes from his reverie.

    EAMONN
    We have to keep going.

    Eamonn turns to head back to the trees, but the light from his torch illuminates DARK STAINS on the ground. He points.

    EAMONN
    Look - right there-

    Katerei turns, still awed, but nods when she sees. She shifts into a small ICE BLUE WOLF.

    She flicks her tail, anxious, as she moves toward the stains. We see BROKEN BRANCHES, HOOF PRINTS in the dirt-

    -Katerei suddenly emits a shrill whine. She cowers, shifts back into VIIR’ELEI form - stumbles backward-

    -she is at the cliff edge - PEBBLES come loose under her feet and CLATTER down toward the river-

    EAMONN
    (shouts)
    Kat!

    Eamonn drops the torch and lunges forward - seizes Katerei and pulls her onto solid ground.
    Katerei gasps for breath, shaking. Eamonn holds her close.

    EAMONN
    What happened? Did you find
    the scent?

    KATEREI
    (hyperventilating)
    It was - it was - me-

    EAMONN
    (soothing)
    You’re fine. Breathe. What
    was you?

    KATEREI
    It’s my scent. I did it.

    They stare at each other, equally confused.

    EXT. BEACH - NIGHT

    K leads the horse down an EMPTY SHORELINE. They seem aimless. There is no one else in sight. We are clearly well away from Cademia.

    K
    (to horse)
    I hope you have no great love
    for Cademia. I don’t think I
    can go back there.

    The horse ignores her.

    K (cont’d)
    I suppose I could sell you in
    Odemia. Buy passage on a ship.
    Nothing here for me now.

    The horse eyes her reproachfully.

    K
    (irritated)
    Oh, don’t give me that look.
    You’re just as much mine to
    sell as anyone else’s.

    Beat. K looks down at the horse’s MUDDY FEET.
    K
    And at least my shoes are
    clean.

    K stops, sighs. She pulls off her SHOES, unbuckles her BELT, drops them on the sand. She WADES KNEE-DEEP into the ocean, tugging the horse after her.

    She scrubs the DRY MUD from the horse’s feet. The horse rubs its NOSE against her shoulder. K LAUGHS - genuine.

    K steps around the horse, but something catches her attention. She freezes.

    A MAN stands on the beach. He stares at K. He is mid-30’s, well-built, wears armour and a sword. His hair is short but for a long warrior’s braid. Might have been handsome, but years of grief have worn at him.

    K
    (stunned)
    Troyen?

    He approaches, stopping at the water line. K SHRINKS IN on herself - suddenly aware of how little she is wearing without the sash on her belt.

    TROYEN
    (disbelief)
    Katerei.

    K flinches.

    K
    No one’s called me that in
    years.

    She edges closer, pulling the horse after her, until she and Troyen are standing FACE TO FACE. They share a close bond, but also incredible SADNESS, RESENTMENT.

    K
    I didn’t think I’d ever see
    you again.

    TROYEN
    What are you doing here?

    K
    (defensive)
    Washing my horse.

    TROYEN
    (suspicious)
    When did you get a horse?

    K
    About four hours ago.

    Beat. They stare at each other. The horse stares too.

    K
    What are you doing here?

    TROYEN
    Going to Cademia.

    K
    (deadpan)
    You missed. It’s that way.

    TROYEN
    (suddenly angry)
    Why do you have to do that?

    K
    It’s been almost six years!
    What do you want me to do?!

    TROYEN
    You left!

    K
    You’re an idiot!

    K pushes past him, horse in tow. She looks away so he doesn’t see how HURT she is.

    TROYEN
    (apologetic)
    Katerei, wait - stay. Please.

    EXT. FOREST - MOMENTS LATER

    Troyen leads K and her horse into the FOREST bordering the beach. Another HORSE is hidden among the trees.
    TROYEN
    I was taking the long route
    to Cademia. Hard to know how
    safe the roads will be. I
    almost didn’t believe it was
    you on the beach.

    As she ties her horse near the other one:

    K
    Not that unbelievable. I’m
    not the one who shut myself
    away from everything.

    TROYEN
    (stung)
    That’s not the point. It’s
    just... you’re here.

    K looks at him as if to say, “so what?”

    TROYEN
    How did you find the
    gateway?

    K
    (nonplussed)
    What gateway?

    Troyen looks hard at her for a long time. Finally:

    TROYEN
    Do you mean you got here
    by accident?

    K GLARES. She’s not impressed by vagueness.

    Troyen struggles to find words to explain.

    TROYEN
    We’re in a... parallel world.
    Maybe one of many. No one is
    really sure.

    Our view changes to that of a GREAT HALL, beautiful stone architecture, rich tapestries. A POWERFUL, WHITE-HAIRED MAN stands bravely in front of a THRONE. We see an ETHEREAL FIGURE, smoky and humanoid, charge at the man-
    TROYEN (V.O.)
    In our world, the Land King
    raised the elemental spirits
    from a period of dormancy.
    Twelve years ago, the air
    spirit Suriel murdered the
    king in cold blood.

    The great hall disappears and we see the VAST PLAINS and mountains beyond Cademia. A TERRIBLE WAR rages between elemental beings of all kinds. SPIRITS weave in and out among FIRES, TORNADOES, FLOODS, EARTHQUAKES.

    TROYEN (V.O.)
    It sparked a war among the
    elementals that laid the land
    to waste. You and I both saw
    the tragedies that resulted.

    The battlefield vanishes and we see the LAND KING on a low plinth. He speaks to a CROWD OF FOLLOWERS - he is a spiritual leader, not a distant ruler.

    TROYEN (V.O.)
    In this land, the king still
    lives as a great leader. The
    war never occurred. The
    elementals never fully woke.

    BACK ON K, who is listening in stunned silence.

    TROYEN
    The death of our king altered
    our world forever. I believe
    that event caused our world
    to split off. Form a different
    timeline, independent of here.

    K
    What does that mean for us?

    TROYEN
    It means everything you think
    you know about our world might
    not be true here. People will
    act differently. They might
    not recognize you.

    K
    And people I thought I knew
    might be dead.

    Beat.

    TROYEN
    A lot can change in twelve
    years.

    K
    So why are you here?

    Troyen hesitates. He doesn’t want to answer, but not doing so will make it worse.

    TROYEN
    I followed Suriel here.

    K
    (furious)
    You - still-

    She looks ready to STRIKE HIM. Her fists are clenched.

    K (cont’d)
    You’re throwing your life
    away! And for what?!

    Troyen looks resigned. He knows the stakes. He’s long past caring.

    TROYEN
    For her.

    K takes deep breaths. She CALMS HERSELF by willpower alone.

    K
    It won’t bring her back.

    TROYEN
    No. But I can’t live again
    until Suriel is dead.

    K
    Is our world still out there?
    Could we get back again?

    TROYEN
    Yes. I... think so.

    K casts a glance at her horse. She bites her lip.

    K
    I need to go back. I promised
    someone.

    TROYEN
    (apprehensive)
    I don’t think that’s wise.
    Suriel’s forces might be
    coming through the gateway.
    You’d run into them head-on.

    He pauses, struck by a thought.

    TROYEN (cont’d)
    Come with me instead.

    K
    (sarcastic)
    So I can get myself killed
    by Suriel another way?

    Troyen grips her arms.

    TROYEN
    (pleading)
    We can end this together. Help
    me destroy Suriel. Help me
    move on.

    K is silent, but she reluctantly NODS, gives in. She and Troyen EMBRACE.

    We PULL AWAY, RISING from the trees. The OCEAN sprawls under the NIGHT SKY, endless, unchanging.

    K (V.O.)
    And sometimes it seems like
    things were decided long ago.
    That no matter what you did in
    life, how far you ran to try
    and escape, you would always
    end up at the same point. Our
    own decisions haunt us forever.
    EXT. JUDGE’S CASTLE - NIGHT

    Katerei and Eamonn ride through CADEMIA on weary horses. The streets are empty at night save for a few DRUNKARDS stumbling about.

    KATEREI
    What are you going to tell the
    Judge?

    EAMONN
    Don’t know yet. He won’t see
    us until morning though.

    KATEREI
    He’s a mage, isn’t he? Perhaps
    he’ll know something we don’t.

    They approach the JUDGE’S CASTLE in silence. It is an old, sprawling patchwork of STONE AND WOODEN BUILDINGS - once the seat of the previous government. The BARRACKS are housed inside. Looming IRON GATES and STONE WALLS enclose the castle.

    Katerei leans forward, peers through the darkness. A PERSON stands in front of the gates, illuminated by TORCHES flickering from brackets on the walls.

    KATEREI
    Who’s that?

    EAMONN
    (mutters)
    No idea.

    They near the gates and stop. We see that the person is a TEENAGE BOY, dressed in a simple tunic and pants.

    The boy smiles up at them, then bows. He is gentle, composed - he RADIATES a sense of great TRANQUILITY, unusual for his age. Underneath the surface there is a trace of GRIEF.

    BRIN
    Captain. Sir. My name is Brin,
    and I am an emissary from the
    spirit Suriel. I have come to
    speak with you.

    INT. BARRACKS - DINING HALL - NIGHT

    The DINING HALL is empty now. A few TORCHES flicker at one end; the rest of the room is in darkness. Eamonn uses an IRON POKER to stoke COALS in a large stone fireplace. It flares up into a warm FIRE.

    Katerei and Brin sit in chairs nearby, pulled from the long tables. She is anxious; he sits calmly. Eamonn puts aside the poker and sits with them.

    EAMONN
    Brin. What is it that’s so
    urgent, then?

    BRIN
    I bring grave news on behalf
    of my master Suriel. He is
    one of the few elementals
    that remained active during
    the reign of the last human
    government – what you call
    the Tyrants’ Reign.

    Katerei shakes her head skeptically.

    KATEREI
    The elementals are meant to
    be a myth. The Land King has
    been trying to wake them for
    years with no success.

    BRIN
    I assure you they are real.

    The hall fades and we see instead the SHIMMERING LIGHT from the river valley. A WHITE ETHEREAL FIGURE floats in the air, gazing at it.

    BRIN (V.O.)
    Suriel recently discovered a
    gateway that opened up in the
    mountains. It leads to another
    world, like ours but different.

    Our view changes again and we see a vast MOUNTAIN TERRACE, hewn directly from the earth. STONE PILLARS border it.
    TWO DIFFERENT versions of Suriel float in mid-air. One RADIATES WHITE LIGHT; the other is GREY AND SMOKY. They both wield DUAL SWORDS. They face each for a moment-

    -and CLASH SWORDS a hundred feet above the terrace-

    -they fight, neither able to best the other.

    BRIN (V.O.)
    The Suriel of that world is a
    tyrant in his own right. He is
    searching for something and
    will kill anyone who stands in
    his way. My master fought him,
    but his opponent escaped.

    BACK ON EAMONN in the dining hall. He looks confused.

    EAMONN
    But that’s in another world,
    right? What does it have to
    do with us?

    BRIN
    Suriel seeks a place known
    as the Void. It is the space
    between worlds, a nirvana of
    sorts. We do not yet know why,
    but he seems unable to access
    it from his world. We fear he
    is planning to try from here
    instead.

    KATEREI
    Can’t we just let him?

    Brin FROWNS slightly. The idea troubles him.

    BRIN
    The Void, unlike elementals,
    is a myth. My master does not
    know how Suriel will try to
    gain access, or what he may
    do if he fails.

    EAMONN
    How does he know so much about
    this other Suriel, anyway?
    BRIN
    (smiles)
    It is surprising how much one
    may figure out about oneself.

    Eamonn stands up and PACES. Stops in front of the fire. Scratches his beard thoughtfully.

    EAMONN
    Two days ago I wouldn’t have
    believed any of this. But if
    there’s another Suriel, who
    else is the same over there?

    BRIN
    Potentially all of us.

    Eamonn and Katerei exchange a LOOK. She PALES.

    KATEREI
    The viir’elei. And the dead
    townsman.

    Katerei RISES from her chair. She shakes her head.

    KATEREI (cont’d)
    No. No. I can’t... I just
    want to go back home.

    Brin looks up at her. He understands her FEAR, but respects her desire to not discuss it.

    BRIN
    Your people will not be safe.
    My master has seen this much.
    Humans and viir’elei in that
    world seek to blame each other.
    You would do your people a
    great favour by approaching
    the humans as an ally.

    Katerei pauses. She is reluctant, but knows he is right.

    EAMONN
    (to Brin)
    Tell us what to do.



  • Very dramatic and scary! The detailed act makes more obvious the differences between the movie and the TS - I think it's really fun to read and cool! I hope you get a good grade ^_ ****^



  • Again, excellent job on converting DM into a screenplay. It makes one wish that there were a Cythera movie.



  • Applauds


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