The Caverns by Jams R. Hickey Return to

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express 
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Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.

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                             "The Caverns" 

                             James R. Hickey

          FADE IN:


          EARLY MORNING. Mist hangs upon the jagged mountain scape.

                              GERMANY, 1934

          There is only silence, when buzzing engines cut in. A
          prototype prop plane flies low, followed by two German
          biplanes, machine guns ablaze.

          An AIR RAID SIREN WAILS, echoing throughout the valley.

          The prototype, pushed to it's limits, smoke pouring from
          numerous bullet holes. It sputters before darting into the
          clouds above.

          INT. PROP PLANE - DAWN

          The PILOT looks intense hunched over the controls. His face
          is obscured by goggles and a scarf.

          Taped to his instrument panel is a photo of a beautiful red
          head with a warm smile. Along the front, it reads:

                    Come home to me, Allen. Love, Rose.



          The Pilot maneuvers left, right then sweeps through the

                    Rockwell, come in. Rockwell.

          Machine guns blast again as he pushes into a dive towards
          the mountain.

                    This isn't a good time Mac. The
                    prototype is leaking fuel and I've
                    got two barons on my tale.

          The fighters follow the smoke trail, gaining on him.

                    Did you recover the U-235?

                    Yeah, I've got it right here.

                    The General is giving me hell about
                    it, Captain. Even if the prototype
                    goes down you'll need to recove--

                    It's alright Mac, I've got the
                    tracker in my pack so --

          Bullets SMASH against the hull, one destroys the radio as
          the Pilot inside fights to keep the plane up.

                    Mac?-- Mac?

          The engine sputters again, drops a couple feet then
          straightens out.



          A biplane swings into position, fires but misses as the
          prototype turns hard to the right. The Pilot releases his
          seat belt, reaches for a small satchel. Visible in the open
          pack is a steel canister, with U-235 written on it.

          The biplanes swoop in, aiming as the Captain swerves wildly.

          CLANG, CLANG, CLANG!

          Bullets rip through the tail of the plane, the engine
          billows smoke. The pilot throws open the hatch and gets
          ready to jump.

                              GERMAN PILOT
                    Ich bein reich verstech!


          All three planes race dangerously towards the mountain when
          the prototype sputters and drops again.

          The pilot is almost thrown, the U-235 canister falls under
          the seat. He reaches for it but machine guns fire, blasting
          through the wing.

          The plane spills fuel, the gauge dropping fast as the plane
          loses altitude. One German swoops in, aims down his barrel
          and fires. Pilot grabs the woman's photo and jumps just as
          the cockpit is destroyed.

          He falls to the earth, holds the photo tight then pulls his
          chute as the prop plane smashes into the mountains and
          EXPLODES in a ball of flame.

          Pilot speeds towards the ground, his parachute won't fully
          open. He slams into the windswept snowbanks with a THUD.


          FADE TO WHITE:


          The Pilot trudges towards the mountain with his leg wrapped 
          now as a blizzard rushes in.

          He holds up a beeping tracking device then looks towards a
          cave opening in the mountain above. Smoke pours from the
          peak as he hikes on.

          FADE TO:

          White. A gloved hand comes into frame, heavy breaths. The
          pilot, half way up the mountain, struggles to climb further
          as the snow whips across his face.

                                                          CUT TO:


          Pilot labors over the cliff face, pulls himself up with a
          grunt. Hunched over, he looks up towards the cave opening
          then walks ahead cautiously.

          He unwraps his scarf, removes his cap to reveal a brave
          face, a thick mustache, and a permanent scowl.

          The Pilot's name is CAPTAIN ALLEN ROCKWELL and he takes out
          an old flashlight before moving deeper into--


          The temple, dug into the earth long ago has since flooded
          leaving the carved, stone features worn.

          The Captain steps in slowly, his flashlight cuts through the
          dark then rests on a carving of a creature sucking blood
          from a man's neck.

          Captain sweeps the light around, apprehensive, then hears
          something overhead. He aims the flashlight up and startles a
          nest of vampire-bats. One bares his teeth with a HISS as
          bats begin to fly around the temple.

          He swats at them, pushing forward, then pulls out the
          tracking device as they disperse.

          DARK CAVERN

          The Captain, following the low BEEP of his tracker, sneaks
          through the twists and turns of the cavern before spotting a
          cable embedded in the ceiling.


          He traces the cable to it's origin, towards a dim light,
          draws his pistol. The tracker beeps again over the sound of
          a low groan in the distance.


          Captain moves into a carved out room with caution. His
          flashlight cuts through the atmosphere, moves around the

          It shines across a fleshy object collapsed against a
          transmitter, steam rises from a torn chest cavity; a
          clenched hand stuck in the air.

          It's the silhouette of a corpse, the victim of a brutal

                    Ah hell.


          Disgust is apparent on the Captain's face as he moves on,
          examines equipment filling the room.

          Against the walls, he sees machinery and three large
          canisters. Each one holds a mutated animal inside, their
          bones twisted into unnatural forms.

          The canisters' light pours onto the Captain's face as he
          inspects them. One twitches, giving him a scare.

          He spots a large recording device, clicking it on and off
          but nothing happens.

          Another groan echoes as the Captain follows his flashlight
          to an offshoot.

          STORAGE ROOM

          The Captain puts his pistol away then spots a gray breaker
          switch, SLAMS it into position. A few dim lights turn on
          throughout the control room, the tape recorder begins to
          play loudly.

          An older man with a German accent speaks:

                    ...growing beyond our control. They
                    now show severe signs of
                    aggravation and violence. My
                    colleagues believe it is madness
                    caused by U-235 treatments but I

          DARK CAVERN

          A large silhouette wakes as a few lights CACHUNK on. The
          unseen creature creeps through the cavern, light reflects
          from it's black eyes.


          Captain glances around the storage room, his flashlight
          illuminates a case that reads: dynamite.

                    Day 35. I have made a terrible
                    mistake. The beasts have gone
                    beyond our control.

          The creature's clawed feet sink into the soft ground with
          each step towards the control room.


                    killing Doctor Krenchal during

          Captain leans down, inspecting the crate. He shoves a
          handful of it into his bag.

                    And now many have broken free,
                    making a nest deep within the

          The creatures shoulders heave up and down as it SNARLS.

                                                         BACK TO:


          The Captain hearing the sound, stops, backs into the dark
          storage room just as The creature lurches forward.

                    Many return during the night to
                    feed on those of us who remain.

          Looks into the empty room, sniffing the air.

          STORAGE ROOM

          The Captain, presses his back against the wall, pulls the
          gun from his belt. The creature moves forward, out of focus
          behind him.

                    I now fear I am the only one left

          The Captain backs into the shadows, clutches his gun as it's
          breathing gets louder.

                    God forgive us for what we have


          The creature looms closer, now only half dozen steps away
          from the storage room, now five, now four - -

                    We didn't know. How could we

          It's silhouette is visible from the storage room as it peers
          in -- The shadowy room appears empty.

          The Captain lunges out of the shadows, SLAMS into the
          creature, knocking it back.


          The creature lunges as the Captain fires two shots into it's
          body. The creature swipes at him with a muscular wig, knocks
          the gun away as the Captain fires a shot into the cave wall.

          Captain HOLLERS as the beast slashes his arm. He drops the
          gun and it CLANGS across the floor.

                    Damn it!

          He stumbles back, gripping his arm as the creature snaps at
          him. He struggles to hold it back long enough to draw his

          The beast snarls, snaps again. This time too close for
          comfort and the Captain slices one of it's eyes, blinding
          the creature.

          It lets out a horrible SCREAM and doubles back. For the
          first time it is visible in good lighting. It is a bat-like
          creature, larger than a man, with it's strong wings

          It's jaw is clenched and blood trickles from it's now
          useless eye.

          The horrific scene washes over the Captain as he dashes into
          the unknown tunnels ahead.

          The creature's shrieks echo throughout the maze of caverns
          and reaches-

                                                          CUT TO:


          A huddled nest of mutated bats. One begins to move, wakes
          the others. A creature unwraps it's wings, quickly twists
          around, HISSING.


          The Captain turns at the sound of the rushing creature,
          passes through hanging roots.

          His tracker BEEPS as he runs further in.

          He looks back again, the blinded creature charges closer.

          The Captain speeds around the bend, reaching a sudden drop
          off, then falls.

          DEEP CREVICE

          Hands scraping the tunnel- grabs a protruding root, with an
          agonizing howl as it snaps tight.

          His satchel and tracker fall downward into the endless void.

          The blinded bat only a few feet above as it attempts to claw
          him. The Captain's grasp slips as he dangles then falls into
          the dark crevice.

          He crashes onto the ground below with a severe THUMP!

          The blinded bat snarls as it attempts to descend the damp

                                                          CUT TO:


          Dust begins to settle as the Captain stirs. He's in bad
          shape with cuts on his face, rips in his clothes. He is
          lucky to be alive.

          As the Captain lifts himself up and grabs his gun. He sees
          his pack strewn across the floor, the tracker now smashed
          from the fall.

                    You've got to be kidding me.

          The beast struggles, scratches, clings to the walls.

          Rockwell grabs his pack as the sounds of the bat, scraping
          down the walls, reaches him.

          He leaps out of the way just as the bat drops to the cavern

          The Captain rushes away, down the corridor.

                                                          CUT TO:


          The Captain jumps down, splashing onto a flooded floor. His
          flashlight leads as he hurries on.

          Ahead, the path widens with deeper puddles of stagnant
          water. A putrid stench hangs in the air and the Captain's
          face shows it-

          He walks deeper in, sees shapes in the water.

          With a closer look, the shapes become bodies. Some are fresh
          but most have long been skeletons.

          He quickly scans the dreary nest, sees equipment and against
          the wall, sit generators.

          There is almost no light in the open space. Only the
          unmistakable sound of soft movement as the ceiling begins to
          crawl with life.

                                                          CUT TO:


          The bat creature lurches forward, past the flooded floor.
          It's shrieks echo as it moves into the larger space, eying
          the Captain at the other end.


          The Captain turns and here it is.

          Silhouettes in the mist, this is the Creatures' nest. Hordes
          of bats, frenzy in the shadows as the Captain breaks into a

                    You've got to be fucking kidding

          Charging around debris, the Captain fires shots as he sees
          the bats gather behind him. He throws the pistol towards the
          horde once his clip runs out.

          His plane's fiery wreckage sits in small area ahead. He
          reaches the opening and goes through.


          The plane, though mostly intact, has crushed munitions and
          supplies, spilling fuel across the ground.

          Captain rushes towards a large machine, slams his weight
          against it as the bat creatures rush closer. With a strong
          heave the machine tilts then crashes down, blocking the

          Silence then-

          CRASH! The creatures slam into the machine from the far
          side. Metal scrapes against rock.

          Rockwell climbs the tangled wing, flames lick his hand as he
          reaches for the damaged radio.

          He rips it out as the photo falls from his jacket. It
          catches fire and starts to curl in the flames. Before the
          image vanishes we see that it is the picture of Rose.

          Only static chatters from the broken radio as the frenzied
          creatures smash into the machine. The captain pulls dynamite
          from his pouch.

                    Mayday, mayday, mayday. This is
                    Rockwell.-- MAYDAY, Rockwell. --


          Scraping metal as the machine CRASHES to one side and the
          creatures rush through. The blinded leader entering the
          storage room, lets out a psychotic HOWL.

          The Captain crawls over the wreckage to the collapsed wall,
          aims his flashlight at the closest creatures but it blinks
          off. He taps it on his good leg as they begins to reach out,
          he taps it again and the light flashes on.

          A beacon of light arcs across the cavern, blinding the
          snarling beasts as they draw back for a moment.

          Captain Rockwell lights the dynamite and throws it towards
          the munitions He turns and runs as the dynamite lands
          between fuel tanks.


          He races down the tunnel leading to a light ahead as the
          creatures claw past the wreckage. The fuse burns quickly,
          almost gone.

          The horde gains on the injured man but he fights to keep
          going. The dynamite EXPLODES!

          A rumble in the distant shakes the mountain, the munitions
          and plane are engulfed.

          Fire shoots up the tunnel then bursts out as the Captain
          leaps through the opening, crashing into the snowy cliff

                                                          CUT TO:


          Captain Rockwell crawls to the edge, fires smoldering around
          the collapsed cave. He sits painfully, holding the radio and
          the U-235 canister.

          After a moment, he clicks the transmitter on and speaks
          tired voice:

                    Come in base 3-X. Come in base 3-X.
                    I located the wreckage and -- some 
                    mutated species but there were both 
                    destroyed. Not much of the caverns 
                    left either. 
                    And the canister--

          He throws the canister into the ravine below, watching it
          CLANG against the jagged rocks.

                    It must have destroyed in the

          Moving over the mountain as the lone hero sits motionless
          against the cliff face. The only sound is the wind. The
          fires smolder on. Bright embers pushed by the rushing wind.

          A single creature swoops past the smokey, pre-sunset, sky.

                                                        FADE OUT.
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