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The Abandoned: A Screenplay

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Abandoned

 

A Screenplay by

Michael K. Ferguson

 

© 2016 Michael K. Ferguson

 

All Rights Reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the author.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

EXT. QUINCY MAIN STREETLATE AFTERNOON

The Town of Quincy, Washington Territory. November 1893.

The main and only street of Quincy is a wide dirt track lined with a few wooden buildings. At one end of the town is a set of railroad tracks. At the other end of the street is the largest of town’s buildings.

A stagecoach, hitched with two horses, is in front of the building.

There is no one in sight and the only sounds are the occasional snorts of the horses. Their breath hangs in the air around their muzzles.

All of a sudden, MARTIN, a handsome man in his thirties, darts from behind the large building running toward the coach. He reaches it and begins to climb up onto the driver’s bench.

After a beat, MARGARET FREY, a tough looking woman in her forties, comes running around the building. She wears a holster, complete with a revolver, over a dirty pale blue dress.

CLARA SULLIVAN, a pretty woman in her twenties, emerges from behind the building seconds after Frey. She is a bit shaky on her feet. Clutched in her arms is ANNIE SULLIVAN a small girl of nine.

Frey pauses beside the coach and turns around to meet Sullivan. Frey glances down at the frail girl with a concerned expression.

FREY

How is she?

Sullivan grips Annie even tighter.

SULLIVAN

(defensively)

She’s fine.

TOM ABBOT an average man in his late thirties, quickly running around the building. He wears a dirty brown suit. He stops just beside Sullivan. Carefully, he lays his palm on Annie’s forehead.

ABBOT

(concerned)

She’s burning up.

Sullivan quickly turns away from Abbot.

Frey reaches for Annie. Annie is wrapped in a worn blanket, but one of her legs is exposed. On the leg is a gruesome looking wound about three inches in diameter.

FREY

Let me take a look at that.

Sullivan hurriedly shifts Annie’s leg under the blanket.

SULLIVAN

You keep your damn hands off my baby.

Abbot and Frey share a concerned look.

ABBOT

They’re coming, we need to go.

FREY

Where’s John?

Abbot pauses for a moment and then solemnly shakes his head. Frey nods in response. Abbot gently guides Sullivan toward the coach.

They all reach the side of the coach and Frey opens the door.

Sullivan struggles to get in, but when Frey attempts to help her she shoves her off.

Frey shakes her head and quickly gets in the coach ahead of Sullivan. Abbot boosts Sullivan up and she climbs into the coach.

Abbot glances back toward the building as WOMAN 1, an overweight woman in her thirties, stumbles from behind the building. She wears a filthy and tattered dress. A torn bonnet hides her face. Her skin is pale and covered in mud and dried blood.

She pauses for a moment and Abbot watches her intently.

Suddenly, Woman 1’s head flings back, the violent momentum tossing the bonnet aside, revealing a twisted gaunt face. Her eyes are a pale white with no pupils. Her gaping mouth drips with blood as she makes a guttural grunt.

Startled, Abbot leaps into the coach.

ABBOT

Martin!

Abbot slams the coach door shut.

Martin snaps the reins and the two horses lurch forward.

INT. STAGECOACHCONTINUOUS

As the coach gets underway, the cabin begins to shake violently.

Sullivan sits on the rear bench, holding Annie bench beside her.

Abbot and Frey sit on the front bench bracing themselves.

SULLIVAN

(terrified)

He’s going too fast.

ABBOT

Yeah … Maybe.

EXT. QUINCY MAIN STREETMOMENTS LATER

The stagecoach is moving down the street at an incredible speed. Martin is yelling at the horses and whipping the reins.

Martin turns around to look back up the street.

Two more people, similar in appearance to Woman 1, emerge from behind the building.

They are the walking undead, called the SCOURGE.

The Scourge stagger slowly after the coach.

Martin turns back around, but is startled to find SCOURGE 1, a scrawny man in his 40s, standing in the street just ahead of the coach.

Martin jerks the reins to the right. However, just as the horses begin to obey the command, Scourge 1 leaps toward them.

Scourge 1 slams into the left horse and the horse begins to stumble.

INT. STAGECOACHCONTINUOUS

The cabin shifts violently to one side. Everyone attempts to hold on.

As Sullivan reaches for something to hold on to Annie slips from her grip and slides violently to the coach floor.

EXT. QUINCY MAIN STREETCONTINUOUS

The stumbling left horse knocks into the right horse causing it to stumble as well.

Scourge 1 is caught up under the horses.

A moment later, the right horse begins to fall.

Scourge 1 falls beneath the horses and hits the ground. Just then the coach’s right front wheel rolls over Scourge 1’s skull. The head bursts spraying blood and brain matter.

The horses continue to fall and the coach begins to tilt to the right. The front left wheel lifts off the ground.

INT. STAGECOACHCONTINUOUS

Annie’s body lifelessly bounces with every shake and shudder.

Sullivan shuts her eyes tight and grips the window.

Abbot and Frey have slid together on the bench trying to grab hold of something.

There is a loud SNAP.

EXT. QUINCY MAIN STREETCONTINUOUS

The coach’s right front wheel breaks away and slides under the coach.

The horses are a tangled mess and there is another SNAP.

The hitch breaks free as the coach begins to flip over.

Martin is thrown from the driver’s bench and hits the ground hard.

The coach continues to flip and the right side smashes into Martin. It continues over smashing and splintering the wooden sides.

Seconds later, it is upside down, but only for an instant as its momentum causes it to flip over again.

Cut to darkness:

EXT. QUINCY MAIN STREETDUSK

The setting sun casts long shadows across the wrecked stagecoach. It sits still and silent upside down. The horses are nowhere to be seen.

EXT. STAGECOACHMOMENTS LATER

Something shifts among the broken wreck.

The faint sound of eating can be heard.

Abbot lies face up, partially out of the coach. He suddenly wakes. He tentatively sits up and examines the scene.

Martin’s body lies several feet from the wreck. Woman 1 and the two others kneel next to him making slow groping motions.

The sound of someone nearby shifting in the dirt catches Abbot’s attention.

Abbot slowly turns his head back toward the coach. Through it he sees Sullivan’s lifeless body sprawled out on the ground. Annie is kneeling over her mother with a fist full of bloody guts.

Annie stares at Abbot unblinking with white glazed eyes and makes a low grunt.

ABBOT

Shit.

Abbot attempts to move, but his legs are caught under some larger pieces of wood.

Annie slowly gets to her feet and begins to walk around the coach.

Abbot quickly looks around the area. He sees Frey lying just inside the coach. She is bruised and unconscious, but still alive.

Frey’s revolver is still in its holster.

Abbot attempts to move, but cannot budge the wood.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

Margaret.

Frey remains still. Annie moves behind the coach and out Abbot’s view.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

Margaret!

There is a MOAN behind Abbot. He turns around to see Woman 1 now looking at him.

Abbot continues to struggle to get himself free.

Annie rounds the coach and continues to stagger toward Abbot.

Abbot stops trying to free himself and attempts to find a piece of wood to use as a weapon.

Annie is a couple feet from Abbot, but he cannot find anything to use as a weapon. He begins to breathe heavily and stares at Annie fearfully.

She groans and reaches out a tiny blood drenched hand toward him.

BANG. A rifle shot rings out.

Annie’s head explodes, spraying blood across Abbot’s chest. Her body falls motionless into Abbot’s lap.

EXT. QUINCY MAIN STREETCONTINUOUS

At the far end of the street, silhouetted in the setting sun is a horse and rider.

Seated high on the horse is MARTHA PIKE, She is in her thirties and quite beautiful, but in a harsh rugged way. Pike wears dust worn pants, a shirt, coat and a wide brimmed hat.

She skillfully holds a rifle in her hands.

EXT. STAGECOACHMOMENTS LATER

Abbot pushes Annie’s body away from him.

Frey begins to stir.

Abbot turns his head around to look at Woman 1. Who has gotten up and is slowly moving toward him.

BANG. Another shot rings out and Woman 1 falls to the ground. There are two more shots and the other two Scourge fall over motionless.

FREY (O.C.)

Mr. Abbot?

Abbot turns back to the coach as Frey sits up looking around.

ABBOT

It’s okay.

(pause)

Relatively.

(pause)

Are you hurt?

FREY

I don’t think so.

Frey begins to move and crawls out of the coach. She stands and surveys the area.

ABBOT

My legs are stuck.

Frey turns and kneels down to examine the wood around Abbot’s legs.

PIKE (o.C.)

Need a hatchet?

Abbot and Frey turn quickly toward the voice. Pike, still on her horse, is beside the coach. She has a small hatchet in her hand. The rifle is in a saddle holster.

ABBOT

(fearful)

For what?

PIKE

Hack away …

Abbot and Free look up at her shocked.

PIKE

(annoyed)

The wood.

FREY

Oh.

Frey steps toward Pike and takes the hatchet.

FREY

I’m going to go around the other side.

Frey moves around the back of the coach.

Pike slips down from her horse and looks around. She has a double gun belt, complete with two revolvers.

ABBOT

Thank you.

Pike does not acknowledge Abbot.

Frey reaches the other side of the coach and steps over Sullivan’s body to get into the cabin.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

My names Tom Abbot and that’s Margaret Frey.

Frey kneels down looking over the hunks of wood.

Pike continues to survey the street.

PIKE

Name’s Pike.

ABBOT

Fine last name, what’s your first?

PIKE

Just Pike.

ABBOT

Well … Miss Pike, I’m sure glad you showed up.

PIKE

I can imagine.

Frey begins to hack away at a bit of wood.

Abbot flinches a little after the first few whacks.

ABBOT

What brings you to Quincy?

PIKE

Passing through.

There is a SNAP. Frey removes a large hunk of wood and tosses it aside.

ABBOT

Passing through? This town is barely on the map. Not many people passing through.

PIKE

Business nearby.

ABBOT

What kind of business?

Pike turns from the road and looks down at Abbot.

PIKE

Mine.

ABBOT

(with an awkward smile)

I see.

Frey moves another piece of wood.

FREY

Can you give him a pull?

Pike squats down and puts her arms under Abbot’s.

PIKE

I’m ready.

FREY

Pull!

Pike pulls on Abbot’s arms and Abbot shifts his legs. His legs slowly come free from the wood and Pike pulls him into the road.

Pike releases him and Abbot examines his legs.

Frey hurries around the coach.

FREY (CONT’D)

Broken?

ABBOT

I don’t think so. Just going to be sore. Can you help me up?

Frey helps Abbot to his feet. He is unsure, but stands on his own.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

Thank you.

FREY

Miss Pike. Here’s your hatchet.

Pike takes the hatchet.

PIKE

You can lose the Miss.

Pike walks back to her horse and puts the hatchet in a saddle bag.

Abbot begins to experientially walk in a small circle.

FREY

We’re heading to a ranch about three miles south of here. You’re more than welcome to join us.

PIKE

When’s the train due?

Abbot stops walking.

ABBOT

It left two days ago for St. Paul. I doubt it’s coming back any time soon.

PIKE

Are there more of them around?

Pike kicks at Annie’s body.

FREY

Unfortunately, yes.

There is a moment of silence.

PIKE

(to Abbot)

Can you walk or do you need to ride?

ABBOT

I can walk.

EXT. SHARPE RANCHNIGHT

At the bottom of a slight hill, is a one-story frontier house bathed in moonlight. A dozen or so yards from the house is a large dilapidated barn surrounded by a wooden fence.

The house’s windows are full of light.

EXT. SHARPE LANDCONTINUOUS

Abbot, Frey, Pike and her horse stand at the top of the hill. A cold wind whips at their clothes.

Pike looks over her shoulder into the night.

In the distance, through the darkness several staggering figures can be seen.

PIKE

This guy knows we’re coming, right?

FREY

(worried)

Yeah.

They all begin to move forward slowly.

EXT. SHARPE RANCHMOMENTS LATER

Abbot, Frey, Pike and her horse stop a few feet from the house’s front door.

FREY

Reverend Sharpe? You in there?

There is silence for a moment.

Pike’s right hand drifts toward her revolver.

Suddenly, the door flies open and Pike draws her revolver.

REVEREND BENJAMIN SHARPE, a stocky man in his forties, stands in the now open door. He notices Pike’s revolver trained on him and put his hands up terrified. In one hand he clutches a small wooden cross.

SHARPE

Please don’t shoot.

FREY

Miss … Um. This is Reverend Sharpe. Reverend this is Pike. She saved us back in town.

Pike lowers her revolver and places it back in the holster.

SHARPE

You all that’s left?

ABBOT

Afraid so.

SHARPE

Come on in. Getting cold out.

PIKE

If this house isn’t secure, we shouldn’t stay here long.

Frey and Abbot walk toward the door.

Pike ties up her horse to the porch and follows the others.

Sharpe stands in the door as Frey and Abbot pass by. Pike stops next to Sharpe.

PIKE (CONT’D)

You’re a preacher and a rancher?

SHARPE

The Lord has called me on several occasions.

Pike stares at him for a moment and then enters the house.

INT. SHARPE RANCHMOMENTS LATER

The main room is small and consists of a wood burning stove, a table with four chairs, a sideboard, a rocking chair and a wooden chest.

There is a lantern and a bucket of water on the table. Another lantern sits on the sideboard.

To the left is a closed door that leads to the bedroom.

FREY

Where’s Helen?

Sharpe tightly grips the cross in his hand.

SHARPE

Helen went to fetch some water.

PIKE

He’s lying.

SHARPE

I am a man of Jesus, I do not …

Sharpe is cut off by moaning coming from the bedroom.

Everyone stares at the door. Pike’s revolver is out and aimed at the door.

FREY

Oh no. Not Helen?

SHARPE

(upset)

It was that Baker boy.

FREY

Benjamin, I’m so sorry.

SHARPE

Don’t be. The Lord Jesus Christ spoke to me.

ABBOT

What are you talking about?

SHARPE

He spoke to me. He showed me … I can save her. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before.

ABBOT

See what?

SHARPE

The demons.

PIKE

What demons?

SHARPE

The demons who have taken control of these poor souls.

FREY

You think they’re possessed?

SHARPE

And I can free them.

Sharpe steps toward the table determined.

SHARPE (CONT’D)

With the help of this blessed water and the power of Jesus Christ, I will save her.

Sharpe picks up the bucket.

Pike looks at Abbot with concern.

PIKE

I don’t think we have time for this. More of them will be here soon.

SHARPE

I can save them all.

Sharpe crosses to the bedroom door. He pulls the knob and opens the door.

INT. SHARPE BEDROOMCONTINUOUS

The bedroom is small with a bed in the center flanked on one side by a night stand and a wardrobe on the other. On the night stand is a large kerosene lamp.

A rope has been wrapped tightly around the wardrobe several times.

Lashed to the bed is HELEN SHARPE, a solid looking woman in her forties. Her clothes are dirty and torn. Her skin is pale and her face gaunt with white glazed eyes.

Helen pulls at the ropes, grunting and dripping saliva from her open mouth.

INT. SHARPE RANCHCONTINUOUS

Abbot and Frey watch as Sharpe puts the bucket on the floor next to the foot of the bed.

Pike still has her revolver out, but it is trained to the floor. She looks through the front window into the darkness.

FREY

Maybe we should let him try.

Sharpe turns slowly, grabs the door and lets it close.

Pike takes a step toward the window looking intently. She turns to Abbot and holds the revolver out to him, handle first.

PIKE

Do you know how to use one of these?

Abbot looks from the revolver to Pike. He slowly takes the revolver, but says nothing.

PIKE (CONT’D)

Good, we need to be on the porch. Stop them before they get too close.

Abbot looks out the door into the night.

ABBOT

Maybe I should stay in here in case the preacher needs help.

Pike looks annoyed, but does not say anything.

FREY

I’ll help.

PIKE

Fine.

INT. SHARPE BEDROOMMOMENTS LATER

Helen is thrashing on the bed, pulling at the ropes.

Sharpe stands over her holding a tin cup. He lets drops of water fall to Helen’s face.

Helen blinks wildly and attempts to move away from the water.

SHARPE

The Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth bind, rebuke you. The Lord Jesus Christ rebuke you.

Sharpe stops dripping the water and stands tall above Helen.

SHARPE (CONT’D)

I claim the Blood of the Lamb, the shed Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you leave. In the Name of Jesus get out!

Helen snarls at him, bearing her teeth.

Just behind Sharpe the door of the wardrobe moves slightly.

SHARPE (CONT’D)

The Lord Jesus Christ rebuke you!

Sharpe drips some water on Helen.

SHARPE (CONT’D)

In the name of Jesus Christ, get out!

EXT. SHARPE RANCHCONTINUOUS

Pike and Frey exit the house looking up the hill.

Pike calmly walks to her horse and pulls the rifle from the saddle holster. She returns to the porch.

Frey takes out her revolver and examines the chamber.

PIKE

What I can’t shoot coming off the ridge, you pick off as they get closer.

Frey nods.

Pike puts the rifle to her shoulder.

PIKE (CONT’D)

How many people live in Quincy?

FREY

Hundred or so.

PIKE

(calmly)

I don’t have that many bullets.

INT. SHARPE BEDROOMCONTINUOUS

Helen is still pulling at her ropes grunting and snarling.

Sharpe stands just in front of the wardrobe.

SHARPE

The Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth bind, rebuke you!

The wardrobe doors move again, straining on the ropes.

EXT. SHARPE RANCHCONTINUOUS

Pike closes her left eye and looks down the barrel of the rifle.

At the crest of the hill SCOURGE 2 staggers into the dim light from the house. He moves down the hill at a slow but steady pace. A few yards from the house his head explodes.

Pike ejects a shell from the rifle and loads another.

Frey lifts her revolver and aims.

On the crest of the hill two more Scourge stagger into view. Seconds later, another three follow.

INT. SHARPE BEDROOMMOMENTS LATER

Gunfire can be heard from outside.

Helen pulls against the ropes.

Sharpe is tossing water across her body.

SHARPE

In the name of Jesus Christ, get out!

The wardrobe doors move, this time accompanied by the sound of wood splitting.

SHARPE (CONT’D)

The Lord Jesus Christ rebuke you!

A crack can been seen in one of the wardrobe doors.

Through the gunfire, banging on the wardrobe door can be heard.

SHARPE (CONT’D)

Get out! Get out!

(begins to weep)

Jesus Christ … In the name of Jesus Christ get out!

(weeping)

Get out! Get out!

The wardrobe door breaks away and a pale and bloody arm emerges from the split.

Sharpe turns quickly as the arm searches the air. The wardrobe shifts, threatening to tip over. Sharpe backs away from the wardrobe, tears in his eyes.

Suddenly, Helen grabs ahold of Sharpe. Startled he falls onto the bed. She eagerly bites his neck, spilling blood over each of them.

INT. SHARPE RANCHCONTINUOUS

Abbot stands just inside the doorway, watching Pike and Frey fire at the oncoming Scourge.

There is a loud crash from the bedroom. Abbot turns toward the bedroom door.

The sounds of splitting wood can be heard.

EXT. SHARPE RANCHCONTINUOUS

Pike and Frey continue to fire. A dozen or so Scourge lay lifeless before them.

INT. SHARPE RANCHCONTINUOUS

Abbot stares unblinking out the front door.

Suddenly the bedroom door bursts open and BAKER, mid-teens and one of the Scourge, stumbles into the room.

Abbot slowly turns his head to look at Baker.

Baker looks around the room dazed. Seconds later, he is fixed on Abbot and takes a few uneasy steps forward.

Abbot stares at Baker.

ABBOT

You must be the Baker boy.

Baker lunges toward Abbot. Abbot steps back quickly avoiding him.

Through the open bedroom door Abbot can see Helen ripping in to and eating Sharpe.

Baker takes another run at Abbot, this time Abbot backs into the sideboard knocking the lantern off.

The lantern falls to the floor and bursts into flames.

Baker cringes and backs quickly away from the fire.

Abbot moves toward the door as the fire begins to spread, cornering Baker.

EXT. SHARPE RANCHMOMENTS LATER

Pike’s rifle leans against the house on the porch. She holds her second revolver.

Frey continues to fire into the crowd of Scourge.

Abbot exits the house and looks around uneasily.

ABBOT

We need to go.

Frey stops shooting for a moment.

FREY

What about Benjamin?

Abbot ignores the question and looks past her.

ABBOT

I think there are some horses in barn. I’ll get them.

Abbot walks toward the side of the house and the barn.

Pike and Frey return to shooting.

EXT. SHARPE RANCHLATER

Frey, Abbot and Pike all on horseback ride away from the flame engulfed house.

EXT. Forest – NIGHT

Frey, Abbot and Pike ride through a wooded area.

Moonlight streams through the trees.

Frey is in the lead, followed by Abbot and Pike.

ABBOT

Margaret?

FREY

Yes, Mr. Abbot.

ABBOT

I need to apologize.

FREY

(confused)

For what?

ABBOT

(beat)

For John.

FREY

I’m sure you did what you could.

ABBOT

Still, I just …

PIKE

(shortly)

Quiet!

Abbot twists to look at Pike confused.

Pike stops her horse and intently stares into the woods ahead of them.

Frey and Abbot come to a stop.

PIKE (CONT’D)

Do you smell that?

ABBOT

I thought you heard something?

FREY

Smells like a fire.

EXT. FORESTMOMENTS LATER

Frey, Abbot and Pike hunch down behind dense underbrush. The horses are tied up somewhere behind them.

Through the trees a flickering camp fire can be seen.

ABBOT

(whispering)

I think we should let them be. They could be savages. This is Indian country.

No one moves or says anything.

PIKE

Only one way to find out.

Pike suddenly stands.

ABBOT

(whispering)

What are you doing?

PIKE

Hello!

ABBOT

(scared)

She’s going to get us scalped.

There is the sound of movement by the fire.

PIKE

We mean you no harm.

There is silence for a moment.

BERRY (O.C.)

Slowly. Hands where I can see ‘em.

EXT. QUINCY CAMPMOMENTS LATER

There is a medium size fire at the center of the camp along with some pots.

A covered wagon is a few yards from the fire. Two horses are tied up on the opposite side.

Sheriff ARTHUR BERRY, thirties and handsome, stands just beside the fire holding a rifle.

On the other side of the fire stands JIM BARNES. Barnes is a black man in his thirties of medium build. He too has a rifle.

Frey, Abbot and Pike slowly enter the camp, hands above their heads.

Everyone takes a moment to look the others over.

PIKE

We mean no trouble.

BERRY

Have any of you been bit?

PIKE

No.

BERRY

Would you mind if our doctor took a look at you?

PIKE

That’s fine.

BERRY

Doc.

Dr. CLARENCE WILCOX, a weary looking man in his fifties, emerges from behind the wagon. He makes his way across the camp.

Wilcox reaches Abbot first.

WILCOX

(awkwardly)

Howdy.

Abbot stares at him.

WILCOX (CONT’D)

Could you take your coat off and lift your shirt?

Abbot reluctantly takes off his coat.

EXT. QUINCY CAMPLATER

Abbot and Frey sit on small stools next to the fire.

Berry and Barnes stand holding their rifles watching Wilcox examine Pike.

WILCOX

Thank you. You’re fine.

Pike retrieves her coat from the ground.

BERRY

Sorry about that, but can’t be too careful.

PIKE

I agree. And I hate to impose, but would you mind if we stayed the night here?

BERRY

I don’t see why not, as long as you abide by my rules.

FREY

I’m sure that won’t be a problem.

BERRY

(towards the wagon)

Ladies, you can come out.

LILLIAN ROBERTS, twenties and pretty, steps down from the wagon and into the firelight. MABEL DICKERSON, forties and wealthy looking follows her. CHARLIE LEWIS, thirteen and skinny, jumps down from the wagon.

BERRY (CONT’D)

(pointing out each person)

This is Miss Lillian Roberts, Mrs. Mabel Dickerson and Charlie.

LEWIS

Hi.

FREY

Hello.

BERRY

I’m Sheriff Berry, Doc Wilcox and that’s Jim.

FREY

We thank you all for your hospitality.

BARNES

Honestly, I’m just happy to see another living soul.

FREY

As are we. I’m Margaret Frey. This is Tom Abbot and … Pike.

ROBERTS

Have you all eaten lately?

ABBOT

Not in a while.

ROBERTS

We’ve got some beans, if you like.

FREY

That sounds wonderful.

EXT. QUINCY CAMPLATER

Berry and Barnes are on opposite sides of the camp watching the dark woods.

Frey, Abbot and Pike sit around the fire eating.

Wilcox and Roberts sit across from them.

ABBOT

You’re a physician, right Doc?

WILCOX

That’s correct.

ABBOT

So, what’s wrong with those … People?

Lewis jumps down from the wagon holding a small leather satchel. He walks to the fire.

LEWIS

You mean the Scourge?

FREY

Scourge?

LEWIS

That’s what the man from Ward called them.

Lewis plops down on the ground next to Richards.

PIKE

Who’s the man from Ward?

WILCOX

He’s a man we ran in to, a couple days back. He called the … Those people, the Scourge.

ABBOT

Then what is … Are Scourge?

WILCOX

From what I’ve seen, there are two stages. The first occurs when someone comes in close contact with one of the Scourge. Usually through a bite. About a day later the bitten develops aches, a fever and fatigue. In another day or so, they simply die. An hour after that is when the second stage begins. The deceased seems to come back to life. But as I’m sure you’ve seen they’re not really alive. As far as I can tell they’re incapable of communication or complex thought.

ROBERTS

All they want to do is eat.

Dickerson walks into the fire light and sits down beside Lewis.

DICKERSON

And stop at nothing to do so.

The group has ceased eating and sit in awkward silence.

ROBERTS

You all finished?

FREY

Yes, thank you.

Frey, Abbot and Pike hand their plates to Roberts. She walks to the wagon.

ABBOT

This man from Ward, did he have anything else to say?

WILCOX

Quite a lot.

FREY

As in?

LEWIS

(excitedly)

He was cured!

ABBOT

Cured?

WILCOX

The man said that he had been in Seattle on business. The city was overrun with Scourge. He was bitten. He made his way to Fort Ward. An Indian Medicine Man brewed some sort of tea. He drank it and, according to him, never got sick.

FREY

If he was safe and ‘cured’ why did he leave?

WILCOX

He was returning to his family.

ABBOT

He didn’t happen to bring any of this tea with him?

WILCOX

No. They wouldn’t let him take any.

PIKE

I take it that’s where you’re heading?

LEWIS

Yep, we’ll be safe there.

WILCOX

That is the plan.

Frey shares a look with Abbot.

FREY

Do you think there might be a way we could come along?

Berry turns toward the fire.

BERRY

I don’t know, we don’t have unlimited supplies.

ABBOT

We won’t be any trouble. We’ve got our own horses and Pike here is a damn good shot. And well … Margaret and I don’t eat much.

BERRY

I guess we could accommodate ya. But there are some things we need to get straight first.

FREY

What are those?

BERRY

I’m in charge. Out here my commands are final. A simple decision could mean life or death. A hesitation could mean life or death. So you do what I tell ya, when I tell ya. That clear?

ABBOT

Yes.

FREY

We understand.

Berry thinks for a moment and then comes to a decision.

BERRY

Then you’re more than welcome to come along.

ABBOT

Thank you, we truly are grateful.

FREY

We’ll hold up our share.

PIKE

You’ve made an assumption that I wish to continue with you.

ABBOT

Oh … Yeah.

LEWIS

Do you not want to come?

PIKE

(pause)

No, I do, but I just appreciate being consulted before my decisions are made.

The group sits awkwardly for a moment.

BERRY

I couldn’t help but notice you’ve got three fine looking horses.

Pike glances back toward the three horses tied up nearby.

PIKE

Yes?

BERRY

We’ve only got the two and we need both to pull the wagon.

Everyone stares at Berry confused.

BERRY (CONT’D)

Mr. Abbot you have yours, course. But I was thinking Mrs. Frey, you’d be more comfortable in the wagon and I could take charge of him for ya.

FREY

(unsure)

Oh … That sounds fine.

BERRY

Doc can take the third one.

PIKE

I want to make this perfectly clear, no one, but myself will be riding MY horse.

BERRY

I just thought you’d be more comfortable in the wagon.

Pike stands.

PIKE

The degree of my comfort does not concern you.

BERRY

Now don't go getting offended Miss. I was just --

PIKE

You were trying to steal my horse.

BERRY

I’m a man of the law, I’m not thief.

PIKE

Call it what you like.

BERRY

(smiles wide)

No need to get excited. You can keep your horse.

PIKE

If you don’t mind, Sheriff, I would like to take a watch.

BERRY

Sure, I can’t recall the last time I saw Jim sleep.

Pike turns to Barnes.

BARNES

Thanks.

Pike nods. Barnes passes by Pike toward the wagon.

DICKERSON

Now, where do you think you’re going?

BARNES

Get some shut eye.

DICKERSON

We all know Negros don’t need much sleep.

BARNES

I’m quite tired, ma’am.

DICKERSON

And these pots are quite dirty. Ain’t gonna clean themselves, are they?

Barnes stares at Dickerson.

DICKERSON (CONT’D)

Are they?

BARNES

No, ma’am.

DICKERSON

Then hop to it.

LEWIS

I can clean them.

Lewis quickly stands with a smile.

DICKERSON

Now, you sit right back down. Jimmy likes to work, don’t deprive a Negro of his work, that’s what my Albert, rest his soul, would say.

BARNES

Thank you Charlie, but I got it.

Lewis sits back down.

Barnes takes a step toward the pots and picks them up.

EXT. FORESTMORNING

The wagon being pulled by two horses is stopped in the middle of a wooded area.

Berry, on a horse, is a few yards ahead of the wagon.

Abbot, on a horse, is behind the wagon.

Pike and Barnes stand just in front of the wagon chopping down a small tree.

Frey sits on the wagon’s bench holding the reins.

Pike’s horse is tied to the wagon.

Roberts, Dickerson, Lewis and Wilcox sit in the back of the wagon.

ABBOT

This would go a lot quicker if we took a road.

WILCOX

The Scourge own the roads now.

ABBOT

That’s a good point.

(pause)

Hey Doc, why do you think the Scourge eat people?

WILCOX

Could be something messed up in whatever sort of brains they’ve got left. Or maybe it is just ease.

ROBERTS

Ease?

WILCOX

Sure. A man is more easily caught and killed than a deer or a cow. Though we did see one eating a horse a few days ago.

Abbot makes a small laugh.

WILCOX (CONT’D)

Something funny?

ABBOT

Just thinking, he must have been quite hungry.

Roberts gets up and makes her way to the back of the wagon and hops out.

ROBERTS

Would you come with me?

ABBOT

What?

ROBERTS

I’m going to look for berries. Would you like to join me?

ABBOT

Um … I think maybe we should stay with the group.

ROBERTS

They’ll be clearing trees for a bit.

WILCOX

Go on. We won’t leave ya.

ABBOT

(reluctant)

All right.

Abbot gets down from his horse and follows Roberts into the woods.

EXT. FORESTMOMENTS LATER

Roberts walks casually through the woods carrying a small basket. Abbot walks besides her nervously scanning the area.

ROBERTS

Not peak season, but there are still some around.

ABBOT

I’m sure.

ROBERTS

Mrs. Frey was talking earlier. You’re from a town called Quincy?

ABBOT

Well … No one’s from Quincy. Two years ago it consisted of a sign.

Roberts bends over and examines a nearby bush.

ROBERTS

What brought you there … If you don’t mind my asking?

ABBOT

I’m a salesman.

Roberts pulls a small berry from the bush. She offers it to Abbot.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

No thank you.

Roberts puts the berry in the basket and laughs.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

(confused)

I’m sorry?

ROBERTS

You’re just so proper.

ABBOT

(embarrassed)

Oh.

ROBERTS

Proper men rarely speak to me.

ABBOT

I can’t believe that. You’re … Very beautiful.

ROBERTS

Thank you, but it has less to do with my beauty and ALL to do with my profession.

ABBOT

And that is?

Roberts has a dozen or so berries in the basket. She stands.

ROBERTS

I’m a whore.

ABBOT

(taken aback)

I see. Well, I certainly can’t judge.

Roberts smiles.

From the woods comes a rustling.

Abbot takes out a revolver and quickly surveys the area.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

We should go.

ROBERTS

Maybe it’s just a deer.

ABBOT

Come on, let’s go.

ROBERTS

Or maybe someone lost.

ABBOT

Either way, it’s not our problem.

ROBERTS

I think we should take a look.

Abbot grabs Roberts’ arm.

ABBOT

We’re going back.

Abbot yanks her arm and they start off back the way they came.

EXT. FORESTDAY

Various scenes of the group trudging through the woods.

EXT. EAST BANKLATER

The wagon is stopped at the bank of a wide river. On the other shore are more woods.

Pike and Berry, on horseback, look out across the river.

BERRY

Perhaps it gets narrow downstream.

PIKE

Possibly, but it could be miles.

Abbot rides up next to them.

BERRY

Can’t be that deep we should just cross here.

PIKE

I don’t think that’s a good idea.

BERRY

I didn’t realize I asked for opinions. What do you think, Abbot?

ABBOT

Well … I think … That, um …

BERRY

Shut up. I don’t really give a shit what you think, or you.

(nods to Pike)

PIKE

This river has fierce undercurrents. It may look calm on top, but that is deceiving.

BERRY

So, you suggest we struggle down the shoreline until we find a section more to your liking?

PIKE

Possibly, but that would waste a lot of time.

BERRY

Listen to me, we cross here. That’s that.

PIKE

I agree, crossing here is the best option, but we should do it my way.

BERRY

Your way? We’ve been over this. We do things my way.

PIKE

I understand a chain of command is important, but in this case I believe your actions with hurt us more than help up. If you do not wish my assistance I will simply leave.

ABBOT

Leave? No, Sheriff you can’t let her leave.

BERRY

Mr. Abbot this conversation does not concern you.

ABBOT

Yes, of course.

Abbot turns his horse and moves away.

BERRY

(whispering)

I will not be undermined.

PIKE

Let me tell you something you may not realize. You need me far more than I need you. Now, I can leave, you do it your way and you’ll lose everything, including the wagon. Or I stay, we do it my way and everyone and everything gets across the river.

Berry stares at her and then looks back toward the rest of the group.

BERRY

(begrudgingly)

What’s your plan?

PIKE

How much rope do you have?

EXT. RIVER CAMPLATER

The two wagon horses are tied to a tree a few yards from the bank of the river. Just beyond the horses Dickerson, Roberts and Frey stand around a small fire. A collection of random items sit around the fire.

EXT. WEST BANKCONTINUOUS

Near the bank Pike wraps the end of a rope around a thick tree. Her horse is tied up nearby.

Wilcox is on the other side of the tree holding another section of the rope.

Berry and Lewis ride on one horse out of the river and onto the opposite bank.

EXT. EAST BANKCONTINUOUS

The wagon sits near the water. The canvas sides have been taken off.

Abbot and Barnes stand beside the wagon. Barnes holds Abbot’s horse.

Abbot ties the end of a rope to the rear of the wagon. The other end of the rope wraps around a nearby tree and then is tied to the saddle of the horse.

At the front of the wagon the other end of Pike’s rope is tightly secured.

BARNES

I hope this works.

ABBOT

Pike seems to think it will.

EXT. WEST BANKCONTINUOUS

Pike ties the end of the rope to her saddle. Wilcox stands on the other side of the tree.

Berry walks up beside Pike. He looks across the river

BERRY

Maybe we shouldn’t have left Abbot and Jimmy over there alone.

PIKE

I am sure they will do as they have been told.

BERRY

You trust Abbot?

PIKE

Enough, but I have noticed an unease about him.

BERRY

Yeah, he is a bit squirrely.

PIKE

I can’t speak to that.

EXT. EAST BANKCONTINUOUS

Abbot takes the horse from Barnes.

ABBOT

Tell them we’re ready.

Barnes walks to the edge of the water and waves his arms.

EXT. WEST BANKCONTINUOUS

Pike gets on her horse and pulls the rope taut. Berry stands a few feet from Wilcox and picks up the rope.

BERRY

Ready.

Pike gives her horse a little kick and it begins to walk away from the tree. The rope begins to pull around the tree and becomes taut in Berry and Wilcox’s hands.

The rope comes out of the river and pulls the wagon forward.

EXT. EAST BANKCONTINUOUS

Abbot leads his horse away from the tree and Barnes pushes the wagon toward the river.

Seconds later, the front wheels are submerged and the water is lapping at the sides.

EXT. WEST BANKDUSK

Pike, on her horse, is several yards from the tree. Berry and Wilcox stand just beside the tree with the rope still in their hands.

The wagon is more than halfway across the river and floating.

Lewis watches from the perimeter of the camp.

EXT. RIVER CAMPMOMENTS LATER

Frey and Roberts stand over the fire preparing food. Dickerson sits beside the fire repairing a shirt.

DICKERSON

Frankly I’m glad my Albert passed several years ago. He had a bum leg.

FREY

My husband was killed back in Quincy.

ROBERTS

Sorry to hear that.

FREY

Thank you.

(pause)

I didn’t see him die. I hope he didn’t turn in to one of those … Things.

DICKERSON

On the other hand, if my Albert were here, I wouldn’t be mending shirts.

FREY

No?

DICKERSON

No, in fact if my Albert were alive I’d still be at home preparing to sit down at a decent meal.

ROBERTS

And your Albert would have kindly asked the Scourge to leave you all alone, so you could eat your supper?

DICKERSON

You wouldn’t understand.

ROBERTS

Wouldn’t I?

Dickerson ignores Roberts and begins to look around the area.

DICKERSON

Where is that boy?

FREY

He’s over by the river.

DICKERSON

Charlie!

EXT. WEST BANKCONTINUOUS

Lewis turns from watching and looks back at the camp.

LEWIS

What?

DICKERSON

I need your help.

LEWIS

(reluctant)

Coming.

Lewis takes a step toward the camp, but stops. He looks out into the dimly lit forest.

Beyond the camp several yards into the forest is a figure moving towards them.

LEWIS (CONT’D)

There’s someone in the forest.

Pike stops her horse and looks into the woods. She sees the figure and another beyond it.

EXT. EAST BANKCONTINUOUS

Barnes stands on the edge of the water guiding the rope into the river.

Abbot holds his horse a few yards away.

ABBOT

Why’d they stop?

BARNES

I don’t know. Can’t see a damn thing.

ABBOT

Try waving or something.

Barnes waves one of his arms.

EXT. WEST BANKCONTINUOUS

Berry looks up from the wagon toward Pike.

BERRY

What is it?

PIKE

Not sure. We need to hurry.

EXT. RIVER CAMPMOMENTS LATER

Lewis enters the camp and picks up a rifle that was sitting on a pile of blankets.

DICKERSON

What are you doing?

Lewis points into the trees at the figures.

Frey and Roberts look out into the woods.

ROBERTS

Scourge?

FREY

Could be Indians.

DICKERSON

Not sure what’s worse.

Roberts and Frey give Dickerson an odd look.

Frey pulls out her revolver.

EXT. WEST BANKMOMENTS LATER

The wagon is only a few feet from the bank. Wilcox walks toward it, keeping the rope in hand.

WILCOX

Just about there.

EXT. RIVER CAMPCONTINUOUS

Lewis stands a few feet from the fire holding the rifle. Frey stands next to Lewis with her revolver in hand. Roberts stands nearby, uneasy.

Dickerson stands on the other side of the fire looking terrified.

There are five figures slowly moving towards the camp.

The horses begin to panic pulling against their reins.

EXT. WEST BANKCONTINUOUS

The front wheels begin to roll out of the water onto the bank.

WILCOX

Almost.

EXT. RIVER CAMPMOMENTS LATER

Frey and Lewis stare into the woods at the figures.

SCOURGE 3, a Native American girl in her teens, steps into view. She is dressed in traditional Native American clothing.

EXT. WEST BANKCONTINUOUS

Pike jumps down from her horse and runs toward the wagon. She reaches it and turns to Berry and Wilcox.

PIKE

Pull!

Berry and Wilcox pull on the wagon inching it out of the water.

Pike moves down the side and steps into the water. She gets behind the wagon and begins to push.

Seconds later, the wagon is safely on the bank.

Berry and Wilcox drop the rope in exhaustion. They both bend over catching their breath.

Pike comes around the wagon.

BANG. A rifle shot is heard. They all turn toward the camp.

EXT. RIVER CAMPCONTINUOUS

Lewis is on the ground with the smoking rifle barely in his hands.

Scourge 3 is only a few feet from camp.

Frey bends down and helps Lewis to a sitting position.

FREY

You all right?

LEWIS

I think so.

Frey stands and takes aim at Scourge 3. She fires and the bullet hits Scourge 3 in the shoulder.

Roberts moves around the fire and helps Lewis to his feet.

ROBERTS

Keep your legs farther apart.

Lewis puts the rifle back to his shoulder, aims and fires.

Scourge 3’s head explodes.

EXT. WEST BANKCONTINUOUS

Pike looks around the area.

Berry and Wilcox, still out of breath, look toward the camp confused.

BERRY

What’s going on?

PIKE

Sheriff!

Berry turns to her. Suddenly SCOURGE 4, a Native American, leaps at Berry. They both fall to the ground.

Wilcox backs away as SCOURGE 5 stumbles out of the woods.

Berry struggles with Scourge 4.

Pike takes out her revolver and shoots Scourge 4 in the head.

Wilcox moves away from Berry toward Pike. Pike looks around Wilcox at Scourge 5. She shoots Scourge 5 in the leg. Scourge 5 falls to the ground.

PIKE (CONT’D)

Doc, move.

Wilcox moves away toward the wagon.

EXT. EAST BANKCONTINUOUS

Abbot and Barnes look across the dark river and can just make out figures moving.

BARNES

What’s happening?

ABBOT

Something must be wrong.

Barnes quickly unties the rope from the horse. Abbot stares across the river.

Barnes quickly gets up on the horse.

BARNES

We need to get across.

ABBOT

Maybe we should stay over here for now.

BARNES

They might need our help.

ABBOT

Or, we could just be in the way.

Barnes holds his arm down for Abbot to grab.

BARNES

Come on.

Abbot glances at him with a blank stare.

BARNES (CONT’D)

I can leave you here.

For a moment, Abbot does not do anything, but then he shakes his head and grabs Barnes’ arm.

EXT. WEST BANKCONTINUOUS

Four other Native American Scourge have appeared around the wagon.

Berry pushes Scourge 4 off of him and notices Scourge 5 crawling toward his legs.

Pike attempts to take out the advancing Scourge. Wilcox stands near the wagon looking fearful.

Berry kicks at Scourge 5, but Scourge 5 grabs his leg.

BERRY

Ah!

Scourge 5 rips away Berry’s pants leg and eagerly bites into his calf. Suddenly, Scourge 5’s head explodes.

Barnes and Abbot come out of the river. Barnes has a revolver in his hand.

Pike shoots the other nearby Scourge. More can be seen in the forest.

Barnes jumps down from the horse and stands next to Pike.

Wilcox takes a brave step toward Berry.

WILCOX

Sheriff. You all right?

BERRY

No, God dammit!

In the fading light, Wilcox sees the wound on Berry’s leg.

WILCOX

Jim.

BARNES

Yeah, Doc?

WILCOX

Get me some lanterns.

BARNES

Doc?

WILCOX

Hurry.

Barnes runs toward the camp.

WILCOX (CONT’D)

Mr. Abbot … Help me get him in the wagon.

ABBOT

What?

WILCOX

We don’t have much time.

Abbot gets off the horse.

WILCOX (CONT’D)

Charlie!

EXT. RIVER CAMPCONTINUOUS

Lewis, Frey and Roberts stand before the fire, guns aimed into the night. Several dead Scourge lay before them.

Dickerson stands behind the fire terrified.

WILCOX (o.C.)

Charlie!

Lewis looks at Roberts.

ROBERTS

Go.

Lewis hands the rifle to Roberts and runs toward the wagon. He passes Barnes coming into the camp.

EXT. WEST BANKCONTINUOUS

Abbot pulls Berry into the wagon. Wilcox stands at the end of the wagon holding Berry’s feet.

Pike, now with her rifle, stands a few feet from the wagon watching the woods.

Lewis runs toward the wagon.

Abbot lays Berry down in the wagon.

WILCOX

(to Lewis)

Good. I need you to get me two buckets of water.

Lewis hops up into the wagon and begins to locate buckets.

Wilcox gets in the wagon after him.

INT. WAGONCONTINUOUS

Lewis, holding two wooden buckets, leaps down from the rear of the wagon.

Abbot looks down at Berry with a worried expression.

EXT. RIVER CAMPCONTINUOUS

Barnes, holding two lamps, is leaving the camp.

ROBERTS

What’s going on?

INT. WAGONMOMENTS LATER

Barnes puts the lamps around the wagon illuminating the space.

WILCOX

I need you to heat up some iron.

BARNES

Iron?

WILCOX

Yeah. Anything that can be easily handled.

BARNES

All right.

Barnes leaps down from the wagon.

Wilcox pulls a bottle of whiskey from a nearby trunk and takes a drink.

WILCOX

Get him to drink this.

Wilcox hands the bottle to Abbot.

Wilcox removes the boot on Berry’s bitten leg. He then uses a knife to cut the rest of the pants leg away.

Abbot helps Berry into a semi-seated position and gets him to drink.

ABBOT

What are you going to do?

WILCOX

Try to save this man’s life.

ABBOT

How?

Wilcox rummages around and picks up a small wooden box from the floor. He opens the box to reveal some medical tools.

WILCOX

I believe a Scourge bite is not unlike a snake bite. If we can stop the … Venom from reaching the rest of the body.

Wilcox takes a tourniquet from the box.

EXT. RIVER CAMPMOMENTS LATER

Barnes looks at the items around the fire. He notices a cast-iron skillet sitting next to the fire. He wraps his hand in his coat sleeve and picks up the skillet, dumping the contents on the ground.

DICKERSON

(shocked)

What are you doing?

Barnes ignores her and shoves the skillet deep into the fire.

EXT. WEST BANKCONTINUOUS

Pike has switched to her revolver. She shoots Scourge as they move out of the woods.

Lewis hands a bucket of water up to Abbot. Abbot sets the bucket on the floor of the wagon.

Pike turns to Abbot.

PIKE

Mr. Abbot.

ABBOT

Yes?

PIKE

I need my gun back.

ABBOT

Oh.

Abbot takes the revolver from his belt and tosses it to Pike. She grabs it out of the air and continues to shoot at the Scourge.

WILCOX

(to Lewis)

Go back to the fire. Tell Jim to come back here right away. You stay at the fire and give me … Five minutes, then get that hot iron back here.

LEWIS

Okay.

Lewis moves toward the camp.

PIKE

Charlie.

LEWIS

Yeah?

PIKE

Tell, Mrs. … Um. Who’s the old one?

LEWIS

Dickerson?

PIKE

Yes, her. Tell her to come out here. I need her help.

LEWIS

Okay.

Lewis runs off toward the camp.

INT. WAGONMOMENTS LATER

Berry lays in the wagon with the tourniquet tied tightly around his leg just above the knee. Abbot stands over his head and Wilcox at his legs.

Wilcox dips a rag in the bucket of water and then begins to clean the wound. The wound is just below the knee.

Wilcox finishes cleaning the wound and looks up at Abbot.

ABBOT

What now?

Wilcox turns back to the medical box and takes out a hand saw.

EXT. WEST BANKMOMENTS LATER

Dickerson stands beside Pike loading a revolver. She has a very disgruntled look on her face.

Barnes runs past them toward the wagon.

EXT. RIVER CAMPMOMENTS LATER

Frey and Roberts shoot Scourge. Lewis wraps the sleeve of his coat around his hand and gingerly reaches for the iron skillet.

INT. WAGONMOMENTS LATER

Abbot and Barnes stand over Berry’s head. Wilcox sits beside his feet holding the saw.

Wilcox places the blade on Berry’s skin and looks up at Abbot and Barnes.

WILCOX

Hold him.

Abbot and Barnes hold Berry down as Wilcox begins to move the saw across the flesh.

EXT. WEST BANKMOMENTS LATER

Pike is no longer shooting, just surveying the area. Dickerson stands besides her looking exhausted.

Lewis stands beside the wagon watching the woods.

Wilcox steps down from the wagon holding the iron skillet. He looks weary. He lets the skillet drop to the ground.

DICKERSON

Is the Sheriff dead?

WILCOX

(ignoring Dickerson)

Are there more out there?

PIKE

Most certainly, but I think we’ve got some time.

Lewis looks around at the strewn and bloody bodies of the fallen Scourge.

LEWIS

What are we going to do with all the bodies?

Everyone looks around at the Scourge.

FREY (O.C.)

We should bury them.

Everyone turns as Frey and Roberts approach the wagon.

PIKE

While it is a generous sentiment, I’m not sure we should stay here much longer.

Abbot and Barnes get down from the wagon.

ROBERTS

Is he all right?

ABBOT

He’s sleeping.

WILCOX

I believe I got the leg off in time. We’ll have to wait to know for sure.

BARNES

What now?

WILCOX

I agree with Pike, I think we should move on.

EXT. FORESTEVENING

Barnes and Abbot ride ahead of the wagon.

Pike rides in the rear.

Wilcox and Frey sit on the driver’s bench, with Wilcox driving.

EXT. NATIVE AMERICAN VILLAGEDAWN

The village is situated in a small valley. Several tents lie broken on the ground and others smolder from recent fires.

Mutilated and burnt bodies litter the area.

Abbot, Pike and Barnes, on horseback, survey the village. Behind them is the wagon hitched with both horses. Wilcox and Roberts sit on the driver’s bench.

PIKE

We should see if we can find any ammunition.

BARNES

And food.

ABBOT

Someone should stay with the wagon?

PIKE

Fine, stay.

Pike and Barnes ride slowly into the camp.

EXT. NATIVE AMERICAN VILLAGEMOMENTS LATER

Pike and Barnes are now deeper in the camp.

BARNES

Do you think the Scourge might have started here?

PIKE

I don’t think so.

BARNES

Why not?

PIKE

If the man from Seattle was telling you the truth, the Scourge were there many days or even weeks ago. This destruction is more recent.

INT. WAGONMOMENTS LATER

Berry lies asleep in the rear of the wagon.

Lewis looks over a book. Roberts leans against the side of the wagon looking sleepy. Wilcox and Frey sit in the driver’s bench.

Dickerson sits at the rear of the wagon, looking out the back into the dimly lit woods.

DICKERSON

Filthy injuns, we should be getting far away from them. My Albert told me to never trust a red skin.

ROBERTS

We need supplies.

Lewis looks up from his book.

LEWIS

Why can’t you trust an Indian?

DICKERSON

Because they are liars, thieves and murderers. Not to mention Godless heathens.

Abbot rides up to the rear of the wagon.

ABBOT

Actually most Indians believe in many gods.

DICKERSON

Not the right one and there is only one.

ABBOT

How’s the Sheriff?

WILCOX

Still asleep.

LEWIS

Does that mean he’s gonna be fine?

WILCOX

Can’t be sure, just yet, but I think he will.

DICKERSON

I don’t care if they do have gods, they can’t be trusted not even the short ones.

ABBOT

You mean the children?

Lewis sets his book down and stands up.

LEWIS

Can I get out and help Mr. Abbot watch for Scourge?

DICKERSON

No you may not, you sit right back down.

Wilcox looks at Dickerson and then at Lewis.

WILCOX

I don’t see why not. But you make sure to listen to Mr. Abbot.

LEWIS

I will.

Lewis makes his way to the rear of the wagon and jumps down. Abbot watches him uneasy. Lewis smiles and walks to the side of the wagon.

Abbot and Lewis move away from the wagon out of view.

DICKERSON

My Albert would never believe where I am. In injun country traveling with Negros and harlots. It is a wonder God has not struck me down for keeping such company. Bless your soul, Albert that you aren’t here to see this.

WILCOX

Mrs. Dickerson why don’t you do something to keep your mind distracted.

Dickerson shakes her head and begins to search the wagon for something.

EXT. NATIVE AMERICAN VILLAGELATER

Barnes, off his horse, pushes aside a down tent and picks up a saddle bag from the ground. He opens it to find several dozen bullets.

BARNES

Things are looking up.

A few yards ahead of him Pike can be seen, off her horse, rummaging through the camp.

EXT. WAGONMOMENTS LATER

Abbot and Lewis sit on a down tree watching the quiet forest. Abbot’s horse is tied up nearby. The wagon sits behind them.

LEWIS

Do you have any brothers or sisters?

ABBOT

I do. A brother.

LEWIS

My brother is a Scourge now and my Ma and Pa.

ABBOT

I’m sorry.

LEWIS

Do you think your brother is a Scourge?

ABBOT

(taken aback)

I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in years, but as far as I know he’s still in Philadelphia. Don’t know if the Scourge have got there.

LEWIS

I heard of Philadelphia.

ABBOT

Yeah?

LEWIS

My Pa says it is full of stuffed shirts.

ABBOT

(smiles)

Your Pa is not far off.

LEWIS

Are you a stuffed shirt?

ABBOT

I did grow up there, but I’d like to think I left before I became … A stuffed shirt.

LEWIS

Why’d you leave?

ABBOT

Cause I didn’t belong there.

LEWIS

How’d you know you didn’t belong?

Abbot takes a deep breath and contemplates the question.

ABBOT

Because I saw things other people didn’t.

Lewis

Like what?

ABBOT

I was walking home late one night after one of those stuffed shirt parties and I remember looking at all the buildings that lined the street. They were all the same except for one. It had two massive round pillars and above the door was a US flag. Gently waving in the breeze. Almost like it was waving directly at me.

Abbot and Lewis sit is silence.

EXT. NATIVE AMERICAN VILLAGECONTINUOUS

Barnes moves through some fallen debris and then suddenly freezes as he hears a faint moaning from behind him.

Barnes turns slowly to find SCOURGE 6, trapped under a fallen tent, reaching out toward him. Barnes steps back startled, snapping a piece of wood lying on the ground.

Pike, who is several yards away, quickly looks back toward Barnes.

Barnes removes a revolver and points it at SCOURGE 6.

Pike begins to move toward him, quickly.

PIKE

Wait.

Barnes takes aim at Scourge 6.

Pike runs toward him.

PIKE (CONT’D)

Barnes.

Scourge 6 snarls and attempts to pull free from the tent.

Pike, now only a yard away.

PIKE (CONT’D)

Wait!

Barnes pulls the trigger, hitting Scourge 6 in the head. The gun shot rings out, echoing throughout the valley.

EXT. WAGONCONTINUOUS

Abbot and Lewis hear the gunshot and look around startled. Abbot slowly stands.

EXT. NATIVE AMERICAN VILLAGECONTINUOUS

Pike stands just behind Barnes. Barnes turns around and looks at her confused.

PIKE

Get your horse, back to the wagon.

BARNES

What?

PIKE

It’s been my experience that the Scourge assume every sound is a potential dinner bell.

INT. WAGONMOMENTS LATER

Berry stirs in his sleep, but doesn’t wake.

Roberts sits next to Berry with a wet cloth in her hand. Wilcox and Frey sit on the driver’s bench.

At the rear of the wagon Dickerson sits sewing up a hole in some pants.

ROBERTS

He’s still warm, but it seems less.

WILCOX

That’s good.

Wilcox turns around.

DICKERSON

I tell ya, I’ve fixed more holes and tears in the last days than I have my entire life. My Albert was always soft on clothes.

There is a rustle of leaves from behind the wagon.

Roberts looks up toward the rear. Dickerson notices her.

DICKERSON (CONT’D)

You’re no better. How many times have you ripped that dress?

Roberts looks back down at Berry.

Seconds later, several Scourge arms reach into the wagon and pull Dickerson out the back.

Dickerson screams as she falls. Roberts stands terrified.

Frey and Wilcox turn around startled.

EXT. WAGONCONTINUOUS

Abbot and Lewis hears Dickerson’s scream. They look around in alarm. SCOURGE 7 staggers from out of the woods toward them.

Abbot backs away, pulling at Lewis’ collar, toward the side of the wagon. He struggles to get the revolver out of his belt, but it is stuck.

INT. WAGONCONTINUOUS

Roberts moves through the wagon toward the rear, revolver in hand. She reaches the back with the revolver pointed outward.

EXT. WAGONCONTINUOUS

Scourge 7 moves closer to Abbot and Lewis. Abbot is still trying to get the revolver out.

INT. WAGONCONTINUOUS

Roberts looks out the back of the wagon.

EXT. WAGONCONTINUOUS

Three Scourge are tearing into and eating Dickerson. Dickerson, struggling against the Scourge, reaches out toward Roberts.

DICKERSON

Albert!

There is a shot and Dickerson goes limp.

INT. WAGONCONTINUOUS

Roberts sits down uneasily, holding the revolver. She is startled by the sound of another shot from the front of the wagon.

EXT. WAGONCONTINUOUS

Scourge 7, only a foot or so from Abbot and Lewis, falls to the ground lifeless.

Abbot finally frees the revolver. He looks down at Scourge 7 and then up at a revolver held by Wilcox.

ABBOT

Thanks Doc.

Pike and Barnes ride up beside the wagon. Pike removes her rifle from the saddle and shoots the Scourge eating Dickerson.

PIKE

Let’s go.

Lewis quickly climbs up on to the bench and Abbot gets on his horse.

EXT. FORESTDAY

The wagon moves slowly through a less dense forest than before. Clouds have moved in and wind howls through the trees.

Wilcox drives the wagon. Frey is seated beside him. Pike is ahead of them. Barnes and Abbot ride at the rear, both bracing against the cold.

INT. WAGONMOMENTS LATER

Berry lies motionless in the wagon. Roberts sits at the rear of the wagon, intently staring forward, wrapped tightly in a blanket. Behind the bench Lewis is curled up in a blanket sleeping.

Suddenly, Berry gasps for air and sits up.

Lewis and Roberts jump. Berry grabs Lewis by the collar.

BERRY

(panicked)

Peter, where is your mother?

LEWIS

Sheriff, it’s me.

BERRY

Your mother! Where is she?

LEWIS

Sheriff, its Charlie.

Wilcox pulls on the reins and the wagon comes to a stop.

Berry looks intently at Lewis for several seconds and then lets him go.

BERRY

Charlie, I’m sorry.

Wilcox comes into the rear of the wagon.

WILCOX

How are you feeling?

BERRY

Confused. My head is pounding.

WILCOX

What do you recall?

BERRY

One of those things bit me.

(panicked)

You should have killed me.

WILCOX

Calm down. I believe I was able to stop that.

BERRY

(confused)

What?

Berry glances down at the blanket covering his body.

BERRY (CONT’D)

I … Um?

He pulls the blanket away to reveal his missing leg.

WILCOX

It was the only way.

Berry doesn’t move.

WILCOX (CONT’D)

Charlie, get me a cup of water.

Lewis rummages for a cup and dunks it in a bucket of water nearby. He hands the cup to Wilcox.

WILCOX (CONT’D)

Drink.

Berry slowly takes the cup.

Pike, Abbot and Barnes ride up to the rear of the wagon.

PIKE

What’s going on?

WILCOX

The Sheriff has woken up.

ABBOT

Is he … You know?

WILCOX

He’s fine.

Berry slides toward the rear, wincing from pain.

WILCOX (CONT’D)

Careful.

BERRY

What’s our situation?

PIKE

We’re traveling Northwest at the moment. Ammo is low and so is food.

BERRY

Then I guess we should keep on then.

Everyone starts to go.

BERRY (CONT’D)

Wait.

Everyone stops.

BERRY (CONT’D)

Where’s Mrs. Dickerson?

Everyone is silent for a moment.

WILCOX

She didn’t make it.

Berry nods his head and drinks some water.

EXT. PLAINEVENING

Rain clouds fill the sky. The wagon moves across a wide open plain. Pike is out far ahead of them and Abbot and Barnes are next to the wagon.

INT. WAGONCONTINUOUS

Wilcox and Frey sit on the driver’s bench.

Roberts sits and stares out the back of the wagon watching the sky.

Berry sits up with several thick sticks in his hands.

Lewis watches him closely.

Berry examines the stick and attempts to bend both in turn. He settles on one and hands the other to Lewis.

BERRY

Good job.

Lewis smiles.

The stick has a branch at one end creating a ‘Y’ shape. Berry puts the other end to the floor and puts the ‘Y’ under his arm and pushes.

Abruptly, the wagon halts.

BERRY (CONT’D)

Why have we stopped?

WILCOX

Pike found something.

Berry attempts to stand using the stick as a crutch.

FREY

What do you think you’re doing?

BERRY

Trying to be useful.

The sound of a horse coming to a quick stop fills the wagon.

BERRY (CONT’D)

Where’s my gun?

LEWIS

It’s …

Lewis begins to look around.

Wilcox turns around.

WILCOX

There’s a train ahead.

BERRY

A train?

EXT. TRAINMOMENTS LATER

A steam train sits silently on a single line of track. It consists of a Locomotive, a Tender and six additional passenger and luggage cars.

The wagon sits next to the Tender. Wilcox helps Berry down from the wagon and Berry steadies himself on the crutch.

Frey, Roberts and Lewis stand near the wagon examining the train.

BERRY

Why is it here?

WILCOX

Not sure, Pike and the others are checking it out. Looks like it was headed east.

Berry looks over the train and then sees an arrow stuck in the side of one of the cars.

BERRY

Is that an arrow?

WILCOX

Yes, there are several.

INT. COACH CARDAY

Pike, Abbot and Barnes stand at the front of a Coach Car, revolvers in hand.

The car is dark, but several dozen figures can be seen in many of the seats.

ABBOT

Are they dead or Scourge?

BARNES

Ain’t that kinda the same thing?

ABBOT

Right.

Pike takes a step forward into the car.

PIKE

If they were Scourge, they’d be trying to eat us.

Barnes and Abbot slowly follow.

As they pass the figures, they see they are half eaten and torn apart.

Once they reach the end of the car, they come across the mutilated body of a Native American strewn across the aisle.

ABBOT

They picked the wrong train to rob.

PIKE

Perhaps they were attempting to help.

ABBOT

Either way, they should have avoided it.

BARNES

Maybe we should think about that.

No one says anything and Pike moves past the body toward the next car.

INT. DINING CARLATER

Several tables and benches line the narrow aisle. Blood is splattered across a few, but no bodies occupy the space.

At the opposite end are a small aisle and the galley.

Several lanterns light the car.

Frey, Roberts and Lewis occupy one of the tables. Wilcox and Berry sit at an adjacent table.

Barnes leans on another nearby table.

They all have cups of coffee.

Pike and Abbot enter the car. Abbot shivers from the cold.

ABBOT

The wind out there is brutal.

BERRY

What’d you find out?

Abbot notices the cups of coffee.

ABBOT

There isn’t, by any chance more of that?

ROBERTS

I’ll get some more.

Roberts gets up and walks toward the galley.

PIKE

Tell them.

ABBOT

Oh. Right. It looks like no one actually stopped the train. The brakes weren’t even applied. She just ran till she was out of steam.

BARNES

Can you get it started?

ABBOT

Yes, everything seems to be working. Except …

BERRY

Except what?

Roberts exits the galley with two cups of coffee.

Abbot eagerly takes one cup and Pike takes the other with a nod. Abbot takes a sip.

ABBOT

Hot.

BERRY

Except what?

LEWIS

Is it because we are facing the wrong way?

ABBOT

No, that’s not it. We can just go in reverse.

BERRY

(annoyed)

Then what is it?

Abbot holds up his cup of steaming coffee.

ABBOT

Steam.

FREY

What do you mean?

PIKE

The water for the boiler is nearly empty.

ABBOT

We’ve got plenty of fuel, but without more water we aren’t going to get very far.

LEWIS

How do you know so much about trains?

ABBOT

My father worked for the railroad.

LEWIS

Which one?

Pike looks up at Abbot.

ABBOT

Um … Central Pacific.

BERRY

How far can we get?

ABBOT

Hard to be sure … Maybe ten or twenty miles.

WILCOX

I think there might be a river, not too far from here.

ABBOT

Sure, a river and buckets would work, but a water tower would be better.

BERRY

Where do you expect to find a water tower?

ABBOT

Ellensburg. There’s a map in the cab. I think we’re only a few miles from the town of Ellensburg. Seems a fair size, should have a tower.

FREY

And food.

PIKE

No doubt, ammunition as well.

BARNES

Can we bring the horses?

ABBOT

Should be plenty of room in the Cargo Car.

BERRY

Good, but we’ll wait till morning. I don’t want to ride in there in the dark.

FREY

We should … Clear out the Sleeper Car. So we can get some rest.

BERRY

Jim, you and the Doc take care of that. The rest of you, get the wagon and horses in the Cargo Car.

Everyone, except Abbot and Berry, stand and moves toward the rear of the car.

Abbot lingers drinking his coffee. Berry stares at him.

Abbot notices Berry and quickly sets the cup down. He exits the train with the rest of the group.

EXT. TRAINNIGHT

Barnes walks carefully beside the train with a lantern.

BERRY (o.C.)

Hey nigger.

Barnes jumps and pulls a revolver out pointing it toward the train. In the light of the lantern he sees Berry sitting propped up on a wheel.

BARNES

Sheriff?

Berry has a bottle of whiskey in his and an empty bottle lies on the ground next to him.

BERRY

What you think you’re doing out here?

BARNES

I’m going to relieve Tom.

BERRY

(disgruntle)

Tom, I don’t like him.

BARNES

I noticed. Are you all right?

BERRY

Am I all right? I’ve only got one leg you stupid nigger. Of course I’m not all right. Makes me more useless than you.

Berry begins to laugh.

BARNES

Then, I’ll be on my way.

Barnes begins to leave.

BERRY

Bet you were happy to see Mrs. Dickerson get it today? I mean I ain’t no nigger lover, but she would have soon as saved a rat over you.

Berry continues to laugh.

Barnes takes a decisive step toward Berry and stares into his haggard face. Berry suddenly stops laughing and looks worried.

BARNES

It may come as a shock to you, sir, but I am not happy to see anyone die. No matter their color.

Berry stares at Barnes for a moment then begins to wave his hand.

BERRY

Get on then.

Barnes stands and walks away.

EXT. DINING CARMOMENTS LATER

Abbot sits on top the car, wrapped in several blankets. A small lantern sits beside him.

Barnes climbs up a nearby ladder and gets on the roof.

BARNES

You froze yet?

ABBOT

Not quite.

BARNES

I’m here to relieve ya.

ABBOT

Thank God.

Abbot stands up.

BARNES

Where’s Pike?

ABBOT

That way, somewhere.

Abbot points down toward the rear of the train.

BARNES

She’s a bit odd, isn’t she?

Abbot hands off the blankets.

ABBOT

I wouldn’t tell her that if I were you.

Barnes wraps the blankets around himself.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

See ya later.

Abbot turns and climbs down the ladder.

EXT. TRAINMOMENTS LATER

Abbot walks slowly down the train. There is a sound of broken glass and Abbot freezes. Abbot looks toward the train and sees Berry draining a bottle of whiskey.

BERRY

It’s like a regular depot round here.

ABBOT

Evening Sheriff.

BERRY

You know, everyone in my town is dead or undead … Does that still make me their sheriff?

ABBOT

I don’t know.

Berry attempts to stand. Abbot steps forward to help. Berry pushes Abbot away.

BERRY

I don’t need your help.

Berry grabs his crutch and steadies himself.

BERRY (CONT’D)

I’ve seen a lot of good men turn. I had to put them down. How come you survive, but they didn’t?

ABBOT

Sheriff, perhaps you should --

BERRY

I’ll tell ya how.

(pauses to steady himself)

Cause you’re a coward and a liar. I don’t trust you. Neither does Pike, she’s got good instincts. If she wasn’t a woman, I’d say she’d make a fine lawman.

ABBOT

Maybe you should get some rest.

BERRY

I’ve got two more bottles, ain’t no time for rest.

Berry chuckles and promptly falls to the ground. Abbot rushes toward him.

BERRY (CONT’D)

I said I don’t need your help.

Abbot backs away.

BERRY (CONT’D)

Leave me be.

Abbot slowly turns and walks away.

INT. DINING CARMOMENTS LATER

Roberts sits alone at one of the tables staring into the darkness. A bottle of whiskey and a glass sit on the table in front of her. Stray coffee mugs dot the tables.

Abbot enters the car.

ABBOT

Sorry, didn’t think anyone would be awake.

ROBERTS

It’s all right.

ABBOT

It seems the Sheriff is not taking the loss of his leg very well.

Abbot walks to Robert’s table and notices the whiskey.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

Oh.

ROBERTS

We found a case of them in the kitchen. The Sheriff was kind enough to let me have one.

ABBOT

Yeah.

There is silence for a moment.

ROBERTS

Want some?

ABBOT

Why not? I’ll go find a glass.

ROBERTS

Don’t bother.

Roberts grabs a nearby coffee mug from the table and pours the whiskey in it. She slides her glass toward Abbot.

ROBERTS (CONT’D)

Have mine.

Abbot sits down opposite her and picks up the glass. He looks at the liquid in the lantern light.

ABBOT

I’ve never been much of a drinker.

ROBERTS

Never too late to start.

Roberts takes a gulp from the mug.

Abbot smiles and drinks.

ABBOT

It’s surprisingly good.

They both sit drinking in silence for a few moments.

ROBERTS

You know what I was doing the last time I was this drunk?

ABBOT

No, I do not.

ROBERTS

It was two years ago, there had been a fight in the bar. The Sheriff shut us down for the night. Me and two other girls split the cost of a cheap bottle. Two drinks in and we start dreaming bigger than our britches.

ABBOT

Dreaming about what?

ROBERTS

My usual dream. I’d always say if I had the money I’d open my own saloon … I’d be the boss.

ABBOT

That’s a fine dream.

ROBERTS

It’s a foolish one.

ABBOT

What if you found someone to help you pay for it?

ROBERTS

That’d be great, but who’d invest in a whore?

ABBOT

I’ll help you. Assuming we get out of this alive.

ROBERTS

Oh a wealthy traveling salesman, I’ve heard that tale.

ABBOT

I’m serious … I’ve got money.

Roberts stares at him for a long moment.

ROBERTS

Well … We have to get through this nightmare first.

ABBOT

True enough. Maybe we should get some sleep.

ROBERTS

Sleep? I can’t even close my eyes.

Abbot goes to speak, but stops.

ROBERTS (CONT’D)

Every time I do, she’s there. Reaching out for me.

ABBOT

It was all you could do. Honestly, you did her a kindness.

(pause)

I can’t decide what is worse, to feel yourself being eaten or …

(shutters)

Turing into one of those things.

ROBERTS

You may be right, I just never killed anyone.

(pause)

At least no one that wasn’t dead already.

ABBOT

(smiles)

Yeah.

Abbot puts his head in his hands.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

Just have to find something to distract yourself with.

While Abbot’s face is down, Roberts drinks the rest of the whiskey from the bottle. She then slips off her shirt.

ROBERTS

Maybe you could help.

ABBOT

Not sure what …

Abbot looks at Roberts and does not move. They sit for a moment in silence.

ROBERTS

(smiles)

You can’t distract me from over there.

Abbot finishes his drink and gets up.

He moves slowly around to Roberts’ side of the table. She pulls him down into the booth on top of her. They begin to kiss.

INT. DINING CARMORNING

Abbot and Roberts lay together on one of the benches, asleep.

Abbot slowly wakes up and looks around groggily. He is startled to find Pike peering down at him.

ABBOT

You seem quite cheery.

PIKE

We would like to get underway.

ABBOT

Great … That’s a good plan.

Pike looks annoyed.

PIKE

We need you to drive the train.

ABBOT

Oh, right.

INT. CABLATER

Abbot stands before the controls looking a little worried.

Pike stands beside him looking impatient.

PIKE

I thought you knew what you were doing?

ABBOT

I do.

(pause)

Boiler is hot. Steam pressure … Good. Then we just put it in reverse.

Abbot moves another lever and turns to Pike.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

Is everyone aboard?

PIKE

We’re ready.

ABBOT

You think I should say, all aboard?

Pike gives Abbot an annoyed look.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

No, best not.

Abbot turns back to the controls and moves another lever. There is a grinding noise followed by the sound of steam. The train jerks forward, then slowly begins to move in reverse.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

And we’re off.

Abbot sits in the cab chair, checking dials while Pike looks on.

PIKE

I trust you and Miss Roberts had a pleasant evening.

ABBOT

You don’t approve?

PIKE

I neither approve nor disapprove.

ABBOT

She’s a bit shaken by what happened with Mrs. Dickerson.

PIKE

Understandably. Taking a life changes you.

ABBOT

Are you speaking from experience?

Pike does not answer, but turns to exit the cab just as Roberts comes in. She has a small crate.

Pike exits without a word. Abbot gets up quickly from the chair.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

Hi. Good morning.

ROBERTS

I brought you some breakfast.

ABBOT

That’s great. Thank you.

Abbot takes the crate and sits it on the chair.

ROBERTS

Thank you.

ABBOT

For what?

ROBERTS

Distracting.

ABBOT

Well, it wasn’t entirely a selfless act.

They both grin.

EXT. TRAINDAY

The train comes to a stop beside a battered sign that reads, “Ellensburgh.”

The town of ELLENSBURGH stretches out from the tracks for several streets.

Many of the structures by the tracks are burnt to the ground.

Pike gets out of the Diner Car and surveys the area. There is no one around.

Barnes and Berry follow her out, taking in the destruction.

Abbot hops down from the cab and looks down the tracks. A few yards from him is the remains of a wooden water tower, now smashed and burnt to the ground.

Frey, Roberts and Lewis stand just beside the Diner Car stairs.

BERRY

I don’t think we are going to get much water out of that.

ABBOT

No.

FREY

What do we do?

ABBOT

There’s got to be a well in town somewhere.

Pike quickly scales the side of the train and surveys the entire area. Seconds later, she drops back down on the ground.

PIKE

Don’t see any wells, but about two streets in, the destruction seems minimal. On the other side, the river is about a mile away.

BERRY

How much water we need?

ABBOT

Don’t know for sure, but I think one of these holds several thousand gallons.

ROBERTS

How many buckets we got?

Berry winces in pain and lowers himself onto the train stairs.

BERRY

Four, I think.

FREY

I’m sure there are more buckets in town.

BERRY

Well, why don’t we split up? Half of us take the wagon and all the buckets we can find to the river. The rest of us search the town.

PIKE

We can get other supplies as well.

BERRY

Why don’t the Doc, Miss Roberts and Mrs. Frey take Lewis and the wagon to the river? The rest take the town.

ABBOT

Someone should stay with the train.

BERRY

I’m not gonna be helpful either place, I’ll stay here.

ABBOT

Should you stay by yourself?

BERRY

I’ll be fine. Y’all should get going.

EXT. 3RD STREETLATER

Pike, Abbot and Barnes ride down the deserted street.

PIKE

Remember they’re attracted to sound, so don’t shoot unless you absolutely have to.

BARNES

This is a pretty good size town.

PIKE

Seems like.

BARNES

You reckon they got a fire wagon?

ABBOT

Possibly, but the fire seems out.

BARNES

But they might have a wagon.

ABBOT

All right?

BARNES

That would be full of water.

ABBOT

Oh, that’s a good idea.

EXT. 3RD STREETLATER

Pike, Abbot and Barnes sit on their horses at 3rd Street and Main.

At the one corner is a General Store.

ABBOT

You see anything that could be a Fire House?

BARNES

Not really.

PIKE

That looks like a general store though.

Pike points to the store.

PIKE (CONT’D)

On our way back we’ll go to the store. Right now we should split up.

ABBOT

I’m not sure that’s a good idea.

PIKE

It will take far too long to search the town together. Each of us take a direction and meet back here in a half hour.

Pike kicks her horse and trots forward down 3rd Street.

Abbot gives Barnes an uneasy look. Barnes smiles and trots off right on Main Street. Abbot turns left on Main Street and slowly moves on.

EXT. RIVERLATER

The wagon, hitched with both horses, sits on a wide river bank.

Frey stands just at the water’s edge. An arm’s length from her is Lewis, then Roberts and finally Wilcox standing right beside the wagon.

Frey dunks a bucket in the river and pulls out a full load. She hands it to Lewis, who hands it to Roberts and then to Wilcox who gently puts it in the wagon.

Frey picks up another bucket and dunks it in the river.

EXT. TRAINLATER

Berry sits on the steps of the Diner Car. He has his head in his hand and is breathing heavily. He suddenly looks up, quickly surveying the area, but nothing is there.

Sweat covers his forehead and his eyes are bloodshot.

He wipes his forehead and reaches down to pick up a bottle of whiskey. He uncorks it with his teeth.

EXT. SOUTH MAIN STREETLATER

Barnes rides slowly down the deserted street scanning the buildings. Several mangled bodies lay strewn across the road.

EXT. PINE STREETMOMENTS LATER

Pike moves down a deserted street at a trot.

EXT. 4TH STREETMOMENTS LATER

Abbot rides slowly down a street. There is an overturned wagon and several bodies.

After another couple of yards Abbot pulls the horse to a stop.

At the crossing of Pearl Street on the right far corner is a building with the sign, “Bank.”

EXT. BANKCONTINUOUS

Abbot gets down from his horse and cautiously looks around the area. He removes a revolver and looks toward the bank.

One of the front windows is smashed and the front door is held in place only by the bottom hinge.

INT. BANKCONTINUOUS

The inside of the bank is essentially in order except for few overturned chairs and an OLDER MAN’s mutilated body.

On the opposite side of the lobby is a long teller counter. Behind the counter, mostly obscured by a wall, the vault can be seen.

Abbot walks slowly toward the counter. He moves around the edge of the counter to a short door that leads behind it. He pushes the door open and walks through it.

Behind the counter a woman’s half eaten body lies sprawled out on the floor. Abbot winces.

He turns his attention toward the vault.

INT. VAULTMOMENTS LATER

Inside the vault are several sacks of money. One of which has been split open and bills litter the floor.

Abbot walks into the vault staring quietly at the fallen money.

Moments later, the silence is broken by the sound of cracking glass.

Abbot spins quickly around pointing the revolver at the open door. He moves slowly to the door, attempting to look past the counter into the lobby.

EXT. BANKCONTINUOUS

Abbot moves out of the vault and behind the counter. He looks over it and freezes as he notices SCOURGE 8, a Scourge in her thirties, kneeling in the center of the lobby.

He walks through the small door keeping his gun on Scourge 8. Scourge 8 is preoccupied eating the dead older man’s body.

Abbot takes a deep breath and aims directly at Scourge 8.

PIKE (o.C.)

(whispering)

Wait.

Abbot turns startled.

Pike is standing just inside the front door.

PIKE (CONT’D)

(whispering)

Quiet, remember.

ABBOT

(whispering)

Right.

Pike removes the hatchet from her belt and turns it so the blade is facing her. She moves slowly up behind Scourge 8. When she is only a foot away, Pike raises the ax above her head and holds it there.

PIKE

Sorry.

Scourge 8 suddenly turns around, her face twisted and covered in blood.

Pike smashes the back of the axe into Scourge 8’s head. A cracking sound echoes throughout the lobby. Scourge 8 goes limp.

Pike removes the axe and gives Scourge 8 two more whacks. She then wipes the blood and brain matter off and slips it back through her belt.

Abbot stands motionless, taking in the scene.

PIKE (CONT’D)

What are you doing here?

ABBOT

I thought I heard something.

PIKE

It was probably her; you should have stayed on the road.

ABBOT

No … I thought I heard someone’s voice. Could have been a survivor holed up in here.

PIKE

Anyone back there?

ABBOT

No.

Beat.

PIKE

I found the fire house.

ABBOT

Wagon?

PIKE

Yes and it looked undamaged. We’ll need horses to pull it.

EXT. 3RD STREETLATER

Barnes, on his horse, is at 3rd street and Main.

Pike and Abbot ride up to him.

BARNES

Find anything?

ABBOT

Pike found the firehouse.

BARNES

Good.

PIKE

And you?

BARNES

No, the place is deserted.

PIKE

Abbot and I will go back to the fire house and get the wagon. You raid the shop. We need ammunition.

Barnes nods and starts toward the shop.

Abbot and Pike ride off down 3rd street.

EXT. GENERAL STOREMOMENTS LATER

Barnes stands in front of the store looking through the windows. Everything seems intact. Barnes exhales slowly and starts toward the entrance.

INT. GENERAL STORECONTINUOUS

Barnes steps into the store and cringes as the bell atop the door rings. He shakes his head and looks around the empty shop.

Large shelves stretch out ahead of him and to his right is a long counter.

Barnes walks to the counter and notices glass jars of candy. He opens one and takes out several pieces.

EXT. TRAINLATER

Berry lays slumped over next to the train; an empty broken whiskey bottle lies next to him.

The wagon pulls up and Wilcox jumps down. He moves quickly to Berry and sits him up.

Frey slowly gets down from the wagon.

FREY

Is he?

Wilcox checks Berry for signs of life.

WILCOX

Still alive.

Roberts and Lewis get out of the back of the wagon and approach slowly.

ROBERTS

Is he just drunk or …

LEWIS

Becoming a Scourge?

Wilcox removes the bandages around Berry’s amputated leg. The area is black and oozing a green substance.

WILCOX

No, I’ve seen this many times on the battle field. We need to get him inside.

FREY

I’ll help you.

(to Roberts and Lewis)

Get those buckets to the engine.

Roberts and Lewis move back toward the wagon.

INT. GENERAL STOREMOMENTS LATER

Barnes stands behind the counter filling a canvas bag with boxes of ammunition. He suddenly stops and looks behind him.

The store is silent.

Barnes returns to filling the bag.

INT. SLEEPING COMPARTMENTMOMENTS LATER

The sleeping compartment is small and consists of a bed and a small table.

Wilcox and Frey lower the still unconscious Berry onto the bed.

Berry is sweating profusely. He suddenly wakes up and Wilcox and Frey jump back.

BERRY

Where is she?

WILCOX

Sheriff, it’s Doc Wilcox.

Berry’s eyes dart rapidly around the room.

BERRY

Doc? Where’s Ruth?

WILCOX

Ruth’s dead.

BERRY

No, no she ain’t.

WILCOX

She was bit … You didn’t have a choice.

BERRY

No. Ruth! Where are ya?

Berry sits up looking around the room rapidly until he sees Frey.

BERRY (CONT’D)

(he smiles)

There ya are.

FREY

I um …

BERRY

My sweet Ruth, I knew you wouldn’t leave me.

Berry reaches out to her and she reluctantly takes his hands.

Berry begins to cry, then closes his eyes and slumps back onto the bed.

WILCOX

I’ll need to get my kit and some water. Stay with him.

Frey nods and Wilcox exits the compartment.

INT. GENERAL STORELATER

Barnes finishes filling up a bag with ammunition and then turns curiously to peer into the rest of the store.

He tosses the bags over his shoulder and moves from behind the counter.

He glances out the front windows and sees the empty street and his horse tied up.

He looks back at the shelves and notices a few rows of dried food.

INT. Sleeping compartment – LATER

Frey stands over Berry looking worried.

Berry slowly begins to stir and attempts to sit up. He tries to open his eyes. They are bloodshot and he closes them quickly.

Frey helps him to a seated position.

BERRY

Ruth that you?

FREY

You passed out. The Doc thinks it is because of your leg.

BERRY

Good to hear your voice. My head is pounding.

FREY

He went to fetch his kit.

Berry tries to open his eyes again, but suddenly shuts them.

BERRY

Everything is blurry.

FREY

I … I don’t know.

Berry forces his eyes open again and blinks rapidly.

BERRY

I can barely see.

FREY

You need to stay calm.

Berry suddenly turns and grabs Frey’s hands.

BERRY

Ruth, listen to me … Those people out there … They ain’t people anymore. You and Peter need to find a place to hide. Stay away from them. You hear me?

Frey does not say anything.

BERRY (CONT’D)

You hear me?

FREY

Yes, I hear you.

There is a crash from beyond the compartment.

BERRY

What was that?

FREY

I don’t know.

Berry begins to sit up farther in the bed, blindly searching for something.

BERRY

Where’s my gun?

EXT. 3RD STREETLATER

A large wagon with a large tank for water in the rear speeds down the dirt street being pulled by two horses. Pike drives the horses on with Abbot riding beside her. The wagon rounds a turn and Pike yanks back on the reins.

The horses skid in the dirt and kick up a thick cloud. Through the settling dust the road ahead of them is filled with fifty Scourge staggering around aimlessly.

INT. FIRE WAGONCONTINUOUS

Pike and Abbot stare into the crowd of Scourge.

ABBOT

Should we go around?

PIKE

We don’t have time to go around.

ABBOT

You just want to charge ahead? We tried that back in Quincy. It didn’t turn out well.

Pike stands and hands the reins to Abbot. He takes them uneasily. Pike pulls her rifle from below the seat and checks that it is loaded. She aims ahead of them into the crowd of Scourge.

PIKE

We just need a path.

INT. GENERAL STOREMOMENTS LATER

Barnes examines a shelf of dried beans, but stops upon hearing a faint scratching sound.

He moves around the back of the shelf listening. The sound of eating can be heard. Barnes shifts the bags over his shoulder and pulls out a revolver.

He slowly moves further down the row of shelves.

INT. SLEEPING COMPARTMENTMOMENTS LATER

Berry manages to pull his revolver from his holster and points it at the compartment door.

BERRY

Get behind me Ruth.

Frey jumps to the side.

FREY

Sheriff please.

Suddenly, Wilcox stumbles into the compartment, attempting to pick up his fallen tools.

Wilcox makes a disgruntled grunt as he kneels down, chasing after a small bottle.

Berry pulls the trigger on his revolver and the bullet hits the wall behind Wilcox.

BERRY

Ruth, you and Peter take cover!

Wilcox pops his head up and looks at Berry confused.

WILCOX

What are you --

Berry pulls the trigger again and the bullet hits Wilcox square in the head. Wilcox falls back lifeless.

Frey lunges toward Berry and knocks him over. The revolver falls to the floor.

Berry suddenly vomits.

BERRY

Did I get the bastard? You and Peter are safe. Safe …

Berry passes out.

Frey stands and moves quickly to Wilcox.

INT. GENERAL STOREMOMENTS LATER

Barnes moves slowly down another shelf, the sound of eating is louder and coming from the other side. He pauses just before rounding the shelf and makes sure his revolver is ready.

Barnes quickly rounds the shelf with the revolver aimed ahead and finds a small dog chewing on a severed human arm.

The dog stops eating and looks at Barnes curiously.

BARNES

You aren’t one of them are you?

The dog makes an innocent whine and drops the arm to the floor.

Barnes moves slowly toward the dog and carefully reaches for the arm. He gently picks it up and places it atop the shelf.

BARNES (CONT’D)

Maybe you shouldn’t be eating that.

Suddenly, the silence of the store is broken by the panicked whinny of a horse. Barnes spins and looks through the shop windows into the street.

The street is now filled with Scourge. His horse pulls fearfully on its reins.

The Scourge begin to run in a chaotic way. Barnes watches as his horse breaks free and runs away.

Seconds later, gun shots are heard and several of the Scourge are shot in the head. The fire wagon rushes by.

Barnes looks back at the dog confused and the dog looks back sympathetically.

INT. SLEEPING COMPARTMENTMOMENTS LATER

Roberts runs into the compartment, but stops suddenly seeing Wilcox’s body.

ROBERTS

What?

Berry is unconscious on the bed and Frey looms over Wilcox.

FREY

The Sheriff was … Confused.

ROBERTS

Scourge are coming.

Frey retrieves Berry’s revolver from the floor and Roberts and Frey exit the compartment.

EXT. TRAINLATER

Lewis stands beside the Locomotive with a rifle in his hand. Several dozen yards in front of him the city streets begin. Staggering down one of the streets toward the train are several Scourge.

Frey and Roberts hurriedly walk up beside Lewis.

FREY

Where are the horses, the wagon?

LEWIS

On the train.

FREY

Any sign of the rest of them?

LEWIS

(scared)

No.

ROBERTS

I have an idea. I’ll be right back. If they get too much closer … Stop them.

Roberts runs back toward the train.

INT. FIRE WAGONMOMENTS LATER

Abbot snaps the reins and the horses run on. Pike stands beside him with her rifle aimed forward.

Ahead of them, crowds of Scourge loom all around. Pike takes aim and hits one that is directly in their path. The hit Scourge falls to the ground and the horses easy run over the fallen body.

EXT. TRAINMOMENTS LATER

The fire wagon emerges from the city street into the open expanse between the main city and the train.

Lewis and Frey stand beside the locomotive, guns in hand watching the advancing Scourge.

Roberts has a canister of liquid and is pouring it on the ground in front of them.

INT. FIRE WAGONCONTINUOUS

Abbot notices Roberts.

ABBOT

What is she doing?

Pike glances toward Roberts.

PIKE

I do not know.

EXT. TRAINCONTINUOUS

The fire wagon moves quickly toward the train and gets ahead of the Scourge.

Abbot pulls back hard on the reins and the wagon comes to an abrupt stop beside the locomotive.

Abbot leaps down from the wagon and looks at Frey and Lewis.

ABBOT

Help me get this hose.

Lewis and Frey move toward the wagon.

Roberts has stopped pouring the liquid and puts the canister on the ground.

Pike jumps down from the wagon and moves toward Roberts.

PIKE

What are you doing?

ROBERTS

I have a hunch.

Roberts pulls a match from her coat pocket and lights it. She tosses the lit match toward the ground. The match quickly ignites a wide arc of fire between them and the advancing Scourge.

PIKE

Well done.

Beside the wagon Lewis and Frey pull a hose toward the Locomotive. Abbot stands next to the wagon guiding the hose.

Pike and Roberts walk up beside them.

PIKE (CONT’D)

The fire will keep them at bay here, but some will move around it. Possibly attempt to board the train. I’ll take Miss Roberts and make sure that does not occur.

ABBOT

All right.

Pike moves off toward the train. Abbot and Roberts share a quick glance and then Roberts follows after Pike.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

Charlie.

LEWIS

Yes?

ABBOT

Unhitch the horses and get them on the train.

Lewis walks toward the horses.

INT. SLEEPER CARMOMENTS LATER

Pike and Roberts move down the car, but stop coming to the compartment where Berry is.

INT. SLEEPING COMPARTMENTCONTINUOUS

Berry still lies on the bed unconscious. Pike enters the compartment and looks down at Wilcox’s body. She bends down and checks him.

Roberts stands in the doorway watching Berry.

ROBERTS

Is the Doc going to come back?

PIKE

I don’t believe so.

ROBERTS

What about him?

Pike moves to examine Berry.

PIKE

He’s still alive, though he does not look well.

ROBERTS

What do we do?

PIKE

At the moment we need to secure the train.

INT. TRAINMOMENTS LATER

Pike quickly moves down one of the Coach Cars. It is the car they used to put the dead passengers. Many of the seats lay overflowing with dead bodies.

There is a banging noise from the rear of the car and she slows her pace, but continues forward.

Just as she reaches the rear door it swings open. Pike aims her rifle at the door as a startled Barnes, holding the dog in his arms, moves into view. He also has several bags hung around his neck and shoulders.

PIKE

Mr. Barnes.

BARNES

(scared)

Hello.

PIKE

I thought you had been … Well.

BARNES

No, I’m fine.

PIKE

Where’s your horse.

BARNES

I lost it.

(he holds up the dog)

But I found a dog.

PIKE

Get in and secure the door.

Barnes quickly climbs onto the train.

EXT. TRAINMOMENTS LATER

The arc of fire is dissipating and a few Scourge are getting brave, moving closer to the dying fire.

On the other side of the fire Lewis stands beside the fire wagon, watching the Scourge.

LEWIS

They’re gonna get through soon!

Frey is next to the Locomotive holding a hose connected to the Locomotive.

FREY

Well shoot them.

Lewis looks down at his gun.

LEWIS

(panicked)

I’m out of ammo.

Abbot jumps down from the side of the Locomotive, with the end of the hose. He drops it to the ground.

ABBOT

That’ll have to do.

(to Frey and Lewis)

Get on.

Frey and Lewis move away from the wagon toward the Diner Car.

Abbot climbs up onto the Locomotive.

INT. SLEEPER CARMOMENTS LATER

Abbot, Barnes and the dog enter the Sleeper Car past Roberts who is standing watch at the door.

PIKE

The rear of the train is relatively secure.

ROBERTS

All quiet here.

PIKE

That won’t last much longer.

The dog begins to bark.

BARNES

(to the dog)

What is it?

ROBERTS

Where did the dog come from?

PIKE

It belongs to Mr. Barnes.

Barnes gives Roberts a sheepish smile.

The dog continues to bark toward the other end of the car.

Just then the door at the end opens and Frey enters the car.

FREY

We’re about ready to leave.

Frey takes a few steps so she is just in front of the compartment with Berry.

FREY (CONT’D)

Why is there a dog?

Suddenly, Berry leaps from the compartment right into Frey. The two of them quickly fall to the ground.

Pike rushes forward toward them.

INT. CABCONTINUOUS

Abbot opens the firebox and shovels a load of coal into the already burning fire.

He turns toward the cab door and leans out.

EXT. TRAINCONTINUOUS

The arc of fire is still burning, and from this height he can see the rear of the train and more of the town.

From many of the streets, hundreds of Scourge move toward the train. Already several dozen are on the tracks behind them and coming up alongside.

INT. CABCONTINUOUS

Abbot returns to the interior of the cab and slams the firebox closed.

ABBOT

Time to go.

INT. SLEEPER CARMOMENTS LATER

Frey struggles against the now Scourge infected Berry. He attempts to bite and claw at her.

Pike is just a few feet from them.

Barnes is at the other end of the car holding the dog. Roberts turns to the window and sees a half dozen Scourge banging on the side of the train.

Pike stops just before Berry and reaches down grabbing him by the collar. She pulls him up, but with his missing leg Berry does not stand, but tips over pinning Pike against the nearby wall.

Berry spins in place attempting to bite Pike. She pushes against him, but cannot find good footing.

The train jerks and Berry falls closer to Pike’s face. Pike slips and her arms fall away, allowing Berry easy access to her.

Suddenly, there is a gunshot and Berry falls to the floor.

Pike looks up relieved to find Lewis standing in the door holding a smoking rifle.

LEWIS

I found one.

The train jerks again and begins to move.

Pike rights herself.

PIKE

Thank you.

LEWIS

Sure.

Pike kneels down beside Frey and examines her.

PIKE

(to Frey)

Are you all right?

FREY

(shaken)

Yeah, I think so.

PIKE

Did he bite you?

FREY

No.

EXT. TRAINCONTINUOUS

The train moves in reverse steadily down the track away from town. Many of the Scourge behind and alongside the train are caught up in wheels and torn apart.

EXT. TRAINAFTERNOON

The train continues to move slowly in reverse down the track.

INT. DINING CARCONTINUOUS

Pike sits at a table near the door, nodding off.

Barnes and Lewis sit at another table playing with a deck of cards.

Frey sits alone at another table gazing off into the landscape.

The dog moves through the tables and gets up on the seat next to Barnes and begins to whine.

BARNES

What do you want?

LEWIS

Maybe he’s hungry. He is a he, isn’t he?

BARNES

Yep, he is.

LEWIS

What’s his name?

BARNES

I don’t know, why don’t you name him?

LEWIS

You mean it?

BARNES

Sure.

Lewis contemplates for a moment and then comes to a decision.

LEWIS

Can we name him Davy Crockett?

BARNES

Um … How bout, just Davy?

LEWIS

Yeah, Davy.

BARNES

Why don’t you go to the kitchen and see if you can find anything for Davy to eat.

FREY

No food in there.

BARNES

Oh um?

FREY

There are some crates in one of the Cargo Cars, might have something.

BARNES

Why don’t you take Davy and have a look?

LEWIS

But that’s through the … Dead body car.

BARNES

Right … Well I’ll join you.

Barnes, Lewis, and Davy exit the car.

INT. SLEEPER CARMOMENTS LATER

Barnes, Lewis and Davy move through the Sleeper Car.

Berry’s and Wilcox’s bodies have been moved.

INT. COACH CARMOMENTS LATER

Barnes, Lewis and Davy walk slowly down the center aisle of the Coach Car. The seats are filled with dead bodies. Among them, Berry and Wilcox.

INT. SECOND COACH CARMOMENTS LATER

Barnes, Lewis and Davy enter another Coach Car, but this one is empty.

They begin down the aisle and Lewis stops.

BARNES

What is it?

LEWIS

Do you think we’re gonna make it?

BARNES

When I was about your age, I lived on a plantation in Alabama.

LEWIS

You were a slave?

BARNES

I was. Every night my mother would tell me someday you’ll be free. I never believed her. I knew I would die a slave, like my father.

LEWIS

But you did get free, didn’t you?

BARNES

I did. Unfortunately, my mother never did … I can’t tell the future any more than I can fly, but I do know you need to believe everything is gonna turn out right.

Lewis smiles.

LEWIS

I believe.

BARNES

Good.

They continue down the car.

INT. CARGO CARLATER

On the one side of the Cargo Car are the wagon and all four horses. On the other side are several large crates.

Davy watches as Barnes and Lewis hold a lantern up to the crates. They are all stamped with the words, “USGS: TAYLOR EXPEDITION.” One of them has an additional stamp that reads, “DANGER: DYNAMITE.”

LEWIS

What is USGS?

BARNES

Not sure.

LEWIS

Hopefully there is food, whatever it is.

Barnes hangs the lantern on a nearby hook and they begin to move one of the crates away from the rest.

INT. DINING CARLATER

Pike is now standing at the window looking out into the bleak countryside. Frey looks over at her.

FREY

Are you looking for something in particular?

PIKE

Is the train slowing?

FREY

I don’t know … Perhaps.

A few seconds later, the train comes to a stop.

INT. CARGO CARMOMENTS LATER

Barnes and Lewis lift off the top of one of the crates.

Barnes grabs the lantern from the hook.

BARNES

Did the train stop?

LEWIS

What’s in it?

BARNES

Give me a second.

Barnes holds the lantern over the open crate and his eyes go wide.

INT. DINING CARCONTINUOUS

Pike and Frey both stand facing the door. Pike has her revolver out.

The door opens and Abbot enters the car shivering.

Pike and Frey relax.

ABBOT

You have no idea how cold it is up there.

PIKE

Why have we stopped?

ABBOT

We’re going through too much water too quickly.

PIKE

What can we do about it?

ABBOT

We need to lighten our load and get rid of some of these cars.

FREY

But how, the train is backwards? They’re in the way.

ABBOT

Yes … I have a thought about that.

Suddenly, Lewis bursts through the door out of breath.

PIKE

What is it?

Lewis takes a moment to catch his breath.

LEWIS

You have to see what we found.

INT. CARGO CARLATER

Pike, Abbot, Frey, Barnes and Lewis stand around the open crate.

FREY

What is USGS?

ABBOT

It’s the United States Geological Society.

LEWIS

What’s that?

ABBOT

They study rocks and the soil.

BARNES

That ain’t no rock.

They all peer into the crate and Barnes moves a lantern closer to the interior. Inside the crate are the arm, torso and head of a Native American man. The exposed flesh is very shriveled and brown. His clothes are tattered and torn.

FREY

What is this doing in a crate?

ABBOT

Probably taking it back to Washington for more study.

PIKE

Perhaps these will tell us.

Pike reaches into the crate and pulls out several notebooks.

INT. CARGO CARLATER

The Cargo Car door is down and the horses have been led out. The wagon still remains, but the hitch is gone.

Abbot sits on the floor of the car reading through one of the notebooks.

ABBOT

Oh, here we are, I found it.

Abbot looks up, but finds no one else in the car. He looks around, confused.

EXT. COACH CARMOMENTS LATER

Pike and Barnes are on top of the Coach Car, both with ropes in their hands. They secure the ropes to the top of the car and make their way down.

Lewis and Frey stand below the car next to the hitch. The hitch has all four horses attached to it.

Abbot walks up to them holding a notebook.

ABBOT

I think I may know what’s going on.

FREY

Oh?

ABBOT

These notebooks belong to a Professor Henry Taylor. He works … Or rather worked for the USGS. It says here he was on an expedition to the Alaskan Territory to survey possible mining locations.

Pike and Barnes walk toward them, each with a rope in hand.

BARNES

Mining what?

ABBOT

Oh, anything. Whatever they could find.

FREY

And what did they find?

ABBOT

Coal, some other minerals, and a fair amount of gold.

LEWIS

And that person in the crate?

ABBOT

In one of the caves, quite deep they came across what was left of that man frozen in the ice.

FREY

Frozen?

ABBOT

Yes, Taylor speculates the man could have been frozen there for a hundred years or more.

LEWIS

A hundred years?

ABBOT

Yes, they dug him out of the ice and brought him back to camp. And that night the expedition’s photographer, a man by the name of Baker, slipped and fell into a crevasse and broke his neck.

FREY

That’s horrible.

ABBOT

Being many days away from any sort of city, they decided to keep the body at the camp and bring him back when they were through with their work. This part may sound familiar.

(reading from the notebook)

October 24th, 1893. Baker’s body was found missing this morning. The Indians insist it was a vengeful spirit that carried the body off. I attempted to explain to them that that was unlikely, but they would have none of it. Several of the men actually insisted on leaving this place and did so. I pray we have enough men left to make the long journey back. As of this evening, the whereabouts of Mr. Baker’s body still elude us.

BARNES

So, wasn’t dead?

ABBOT

No, he was dead. Listen to this.

(reading)

October 25th. The camp had another troubling day today. Baker was spotted eating one of the Indians. When approached by some of the other men, it was clear he was deranged and wildly attempted to attack them. He persisted despite several bullets to the chest and legs, but was finally stopped by a shot to the head. During the fight he managed to bite one of the men. The man seems all right at the moment aside from some fatigue. Tomorrow we head back down the glacier.

LEWIS

So, Mr. Baker was a Scourge?

ABBOT

Yes and possibly the first, from what I can tell. After Taylor left the Alaskan Territory he made his way to Seattle where he boarded this train bound for Saint Paul. But before that the bitten man died and was left in Seattle. The notebooks end there, but it seems reasonable to assume that the man bit someone who would board the train and eventually turned, resulting in the train’s abandonment. When the Indians attacked one of them must have come in contact with a Scourge and brought it back to his tribe.

FREY

Then on to Quincy. That was an Indian who attacked poor Mr. Stern.

BARNES

And the man left behind spread the Scourge throughout Seattle.

PIKE

That is all very interesting, but I think it would be best if we continued with our current task.

ABBOT

Right.

EXT. COACH CARMOMENTS LATER

The Coach Car sits on the tracks, disconnected from the two connecting cars.

Abbot and Frey stand beside the car with ropes in hand. On the other end of the car Pike and Barnes stand with ropes as well. In the center of the car the four horses hitched to ropes stand in front of Lewis.

LEWIS

Everyone ready?

Everyone in the group nods.

LEWIS (CONT’D)

Here we go.

Lewis snaps a whip in the air and the horses begin to pull away from the car. The ropes tied to the top and side of the car become taut.

Seconds later, the car begins to tip and a few seconds more it topples over, off the track crashing to the ground.

Everyone lets go of the ropes and begins to cheer.

FREY

I can’t believe that worked. Well done Mr. Abbot.

ABBOT

Thanks.

EXT. TRAINEVENING

The train, which now consists of the Locomotive, the Tender, the Diner Car, the Sleeper Car and one Cargo Car, sits a few dozen yards down the track away from the other discarded cars.

Abbot, Frey, Roberts, Barnes, Lewis and Davy stand to one side of the Coach Car. Roberts holds a lit torch.

Pike walks past them, carrying the remains from the crate wrapped up in a blanket.

She places the remains just inside the overturned Coach Car and then moves to stand with everyone else.

ABBOT

That’s it then.

Roberts takes a step toward the car.

FREY

Do you think someone should say something?

ROBERTS

Seems rather pointless, God has obviously abandoned us.

BARNES

Whatever souls that had occupied these remains have surely long since gone.

There is silence for a moment.

PIKE

God may have abandoned us, but we have not abandoned each other. I have seen the depravity of man, but I have also seen his resilience. We do not commit these remains to fire because we have given up, we do so, for that tomorrow may be a brighter day.

ABBOT

To life.

BARNES

Hear, hear.

FREY

Hear, hear.

Roberts walks up to the Coach Car and holds the torch in front of her toward the car.

ROBERTS

Hear, hear.

Roberts tosses the torch through one of the car’s broken windows and immediately the interior begins to burn.

Large flames begin to shoot through the windows and engulf the car.

Roberts returns to stand with the others as they watch the car burn.

INT. DINING CARLATER

The train is stopped.

Pike sits at one of the tables, with a cup of coffee looking out into the still night.

Abbot enters the car.

ABBOT

Oh, there you are.

PIKE

Here I am.

ABBOT

I was thinking we should stay here for another two or three hours. Then head out and we should be in Seattle just after dawn.

PIKE

That’s good.

ABBOT

All right.

Abbot turns to go.

PIKE

Can I ask you something?

Abbot turns back toward Pike.

ABBOT

Sure, what?

PIKE

Why Tom Abbot?

Abbot stands very still for a moment and then walks slowly toward the table where Pike sits.

ABBOT

When I was six or seven, there was a boy in my class. I didn’t really know him, but that winter he got sick. Two or three days later, he died. I can remember thinking how unfair it was that he never got to live a life. So, when I couldn’t be Hank Radley anymore I figured why not give the name a second chance.

Abbot sits down opposite Pike.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

That business in Quincy you didn’t want to talk about, that was me?

Pike makes no move to answer.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

You’re a bounty hunter?

Pike takes a sip of coffee as an answer.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

How did you know?

PIKE

I had a hunch, which grew stronger when you talked about your father. Though if I’m not mistaken he worked for the Union Pacific Railroad.

ABBOT

He did.

PIKE

But I didn’t know for sure, until the bank.

ABBOT

I guess I couldn’t help myself.

PIKE

How many did you rob?

ABBOT

Oh, I’m not sure. I lost count.

PIKE

Why so many?

ABBOT

I wish I could say that I was doing it for a noble cause. That the money was for orphans and cripples. And I did give some of it away, but it was never about the money. I did it for the challenge. Succeeding was what I was really after.

PIKE

That’s why you did it at night?

ABBOT

Sure, any idiot with a gun can walk into a bank and demand a sack full of cash. Why would I want to rob a bank with people in it? People are distracting. After I had done of few banks in Minnesota a local paper there called me the Craven Crook. I always told myself I was being clever. But perhaps the paper’s assessment was not wrong.

PIKE

If you were always so … Clever, what happened in Philadelphia?

ABBOT

The safe just didn’t open. Even so, the bank should have been closed for another two hours and the bank manager shouldn’t have been in for at least another hour.

Abbot retrieves the mostly empty bottle of whiskey and dumps it into a coffee mug. He takes a drink.

ABBOT (CON’T)

Unfortunately, the recently widowed Mrs. Carolyn Webber and the bank manager Mr. William Smith had made an early appointment so she could review her late husband’s finances before boarding the eight o’clock train. I had never bothered to hide my face. They saw me plain as day. I panicked and before I knew it they were both dead.

Abbot takes another drink of the whiskey.

ABBOT (CON’T)

Or rather Mr. Smith was dead. It wasn’t until days later I heard Mrs. Webber had survived. And not only could she recognize my face, but she knew my name. They say you never know your neighbors in a big city, but they can be surprisingly small.

(pause)

How’d you find me?

PIKE

You sent your brother a letter in June. The postmark narrowed it down.

ABBOT

Well, it seems you’re the clever one.

PIKE

Just stubborn.

ABBOT

Can I ask you something?

PIKE

You can ask.

ABBOT

I don’t want to come off as one of those men who thinks women are … Less that, but why a bounty hunter? As far as I knew it’s a singularly male profession.

Pike stares at Abbot for a long moment.

PIKE

I needed to prove someone wrong.

PIKE

Who?

Pike looks at Abbot and then abruptly stands.

PIKE

I’m going to get some sleep before we head out. You should as well.

Pike walks away from the table toward the door.

ABBOT

Pike?

Pike turns back to Abbot.

PIKE

Hmm?

ABBOT

After this is all over, I want you to know I won’t put up a fight. You should collect my bounty?

PIKE

This is a new world, with new rules. I know you believe that you’re a coward, but the truth is none of us would have made this far without you. As far as I’m concerned Hank Radley was killed by Scourge in Quincy. Be sure he didn’t die in vain.

Pike turns and exits the car.

EXT. Seattle rail yard – MORNING

On the west side of a collection of tracks is a small open area, with several large crates scattered about. Beyond that is a small dock area which leads to the waters of PUGET SOUND.

On the east side of the tracks is the city of SEATTLE. The city appears mostly intact, with a few burnt out building and some lingering smoke.

Only a couple Scourge mill around the area to the east, but several dozen occupy the west side of the tracks.

The train comes slowly down the track and comes to a halt near the crates.

INT. DINING CARCONTINUOUS

Pike stands at the rear of the car looking out the window into the city.

Frey, Roberts and Barnes stand uneasily in the aisle peering out one side, then the other. Lewis and Davy sit at a booth looking on.

Suddenly, there are footsteps on the car’s roof.

Everyone, except Pike, glances up at the noise.

Seconds later, the rear door opens and Abbot moves quickly into the car.

FREY

Are there many out there?

ABBOT

More than I’m sure we’d like.

PIKE

And more will be here soon.

Lewis stands and looks out the west windows into Puget Sound.

LEWIS

Fort Ward is across that?

ABBOT

Should be just on the other side.

Pike moves toward the door.

PIKE

Everyone knows what they need to do.

The group moves collectively toward the rear door.

Pike swings the door open and Abbot gets out of the way.

Barnes is the first to move toward the door. He pauses beside Abbot.

BARNES

Good luck.

ABBOT

You too.

Barnes smiles and exits the train.

Lewis and Davy move toward the door. Lewis stops beside Abbot.

LEWIS

See ya?

ABBOT

Yeap, good luck.

Lewis and Davy exit the train.

Frey moves toward Abbot and gives him a hug.

FREY

I never had a son, but I’d be proud if you were mine.

ABBOT

I’d be proud to have you as a mother.

FREY

Be careful.

ABBOT

I will.

Frey exits the train.

Roberts moves to Abbot. He takes her hand.

ABBOT (CONT’D)

Remember to let the boiler get good and hot before you even attempt to move.

ROBERTS

I will.

ABBOT

Okay.

ROBERTS

We’ll see you soon?

ABBOT

Soon.

They kiss briefly and then Roberts exits the train.

EXT. DINING CARCONTINUOUS

Roberts gets off the train looking out toward the water. To her right Barnes and Lewis move quickly toward the Cargo Car.

She glances behind her and watches Pike and Abbot talking, but she cannot hear them. Abbot hands Pike an envelope and she puts it in her coat pocket.

INT. DINING CARCONTINUOUS

Pike and Abbot stand looking at one another. After a moment, Pike nods.

PIKE

I will.

She turns to leave, but pauses and turns back.

PIKE (CONT’D)

It’s Martha, by the way.

Abbot nods his head and holds out his hand to shake. She takes it and they shake.

EXT. DINING CARMOMENTS LATER

Pike jumps down from the Diner Car.

Just outside the car, Frey and Roberts stand at the ready. Seconds later, Barnes, Lewis and Davy approach them with Lewis leading the horses.

Several of the Scourge have moved there and are advancing toward the train.

PIKE

Is everyone ready?

The group seems ready.

Pike pulls a stick of dynamite from her coat. She strikes a match on the side of the train and lights the fuse.

Pike tosses the dynamite away from the train and toward the north section of the rail yard.

It lands near a group of advancing Scourge, who pause to examine it.

PIKE (CONT’D)

Run.

The group, with Frey and Roberts in the lead begin to run away toward the docks.

The dynamite explodes, ripping through the nearby Scourge and some crates.

INT. SLEEPER CARMOMENTS LATER

Abbot looks out the west windows at the falling debris from the dynamite.

He moves to the rear of the car and kicks open the east facing door.

EXT. SLEEPER CARCONTINUOUS

Abbot jumps down from the car.

Several Scourge are moving up toward the train. There are many more beyond them, spilling from the city streets.

Abbot smiles.

ABBOT

(takes a large breath)

All aboard!

Scourge begin to move toward him.

Abbot reenters the car.

EXT. SEATTLE RAIL YARDMOMENTS LATER

Pike, Frey, Roberts and Barnes battle their way through a dozen Scourge. The docks are closer now.

Pike trades off between her hatchet and her revolver.

Lewis, Davy and the horses are a few yards behind the group.

A Scourge advances on one of the rear horses. The horse kicks the Scourge right in the head.

The sound of the train’s whistle is heard.

INT. CABMOMENTS LATER

Abbot leans out the window looking down the length of the train.

EXT. TRAINCONTINUOUS

Dozens of Scourge are boarding the train or moving along side of it.

INT. CABCONTINUOUS

Abbot turns toward the train’s controls and moves a lever.

The train begins to lurch forward.

EXT. SEATTLE RAIL YARDMOMENTS LATER

The group still fights Scourge moving toward the docks.

Davy is barking rapidly at a section of collapsed crates.

Lewis, holding the horses, moves up behind Davy.

LEWIS

Davy come on.

Davy continues to bark, but suddenly stops as the broken pieces of crate begin to move.

From out of the pile of crates stands SCOURGE 9. He is tall with massive muscles.

Lewis, open mouthed, looks up at Scourge 9. Scourge 9 begins to walk toward Lewis.

Barnes notices Scourge 9 and turns pointing a revolver at him. He hits him twice in the chest, but it doesn’t slow Scourge 9 down.

Pike, a bit far off, glances back and sees Scourge 9. She takes her hatchet and throws it at him.

The hatchet slams into the side of Scourge 9’s face, sticking deep, but he keeps moving forward.

PIKE

Fuck?

Lewis is petrified with fear as Scourge 9 advances toward him. Davy is between Scourge 9 and Lewis, growling.

Suddenly, Scourge 9’s head cocks awkwardly and he falls to the ground just before Davy.

Standing behind him with a large piece of wood is Frey. She takes a step over Scourge 9 and begins to wail on his head, until he stops moving.

She stands up straight out of breath and the group looks at her.

FREY

That felt pretty good.

LEWIS

(quietly)

Thanks.

FREY

Come on.

Frey steps over Scourge 9’s body moving toward the docks.

EXT. TRAINMOMENTS LATER

The train moves at a medium speed away from the city into a wooded area. Still many Scourge cling to the sides or run alongside.

The whistle blows long.

INT. CABCONTINUOUS

Abbot glances out into the woods.

ABBOT

Good enough.

He checks to make sure the revolver is under his belt and opens the firebox. The raging coal fire begins to spit flames into the cab.

EXT. DOCKSMOMENTS LATER

Most of the boats that are still tethered to the dock are half sunk or burnt. However, there is one small ferry still intact.

Roberts reaches the docks first and quickly jumps onto the ferry.

INT. FERRYCONTINUOUS

Roberts moves through the ferry and reaches the boiler room. She finds it stocked with coal. A shovel lies next to the open firebox. She quickly picks it up.

INT. CABMOMENTS LATER

Abbot stares into the flames and picks up a pack of five sticks of dynamite banded together. He takes a deep breath and tosses the dynamite into the firebox.

He quickly turns and exits the cab.

EXT. CABCONTINUOUS

Abbot closes his eyes and jumps from the moving train.

EXT. SEATTLE WOODSCONTINUOUS

Abbot hits the ground hard and rolls several times in the dirt. A few moments later, he stands, but finds he can’t put weight on his left leg.

Several of the Scourge that had been following the train notice him.

Abbot pulls out the revolver and limps off into the woods.

EXT. FERRYMOMENTS LATER

Barnes and Lewis move the horses onto the ferry and secure them.

EXT. DOCKSCONTINUOUS

Pike and Frey stand on the dock picking off advancing Scourge.

EXT. TRAINMOMENTS LATER

The train moves steadily down the tracks trailed and filled with Scourge.

Suddenly, the Locomotive explodes in a massive fire ball. Secondary explosions rip through the Tender and the other cars.

EXT. DOCKSCONTINUOUS

Pike and Frey glance up over the Scourge at the dark column of smoke from the destroyed train.

PIKE

Get on.

Frey backs away toward the ferry.

Pikes takes out another stick of dynamite and lights the fuse. She tosses it on the dock in front of her and then runs toward the ferry.

EXT. FERRYMOMENTS LATER

Frey and Pike jump onto the ferry.

Barnes and Lewis stand by watching.

LEWIS

What about Mr. Abbot?

PIKE

He can swim.

EXT. DOCKSMOMENTS LATER

A dozen Scourge crowd onto the docks quickly moving toward the ferry. The dynamite explodes destroying the dock and the Scourge.

EXT. SEATTLE WOODSMOMENTS LATER

Abbot limps through the woods away from several pursuing Scourge. He trips and falls to the ground.

Looking up he realizes there are Scourge advancing toward him from both the front and rear.

He struggles to get to his feet and points the revolver into the woods.

SCOURGE 10 gets within a yard and Abbot pulls the trigger hitting Scourge 10 directly in the head.

INT. BRIDGEMOMENTS LATER

Pike enters the ferry’s small bridge to find Roberts at the helm.

Very faintly a gunshot is heard. Pike notices, but Roberts does not.

PIKE

Are we ready?

ROBERTS

Yes. Just need Tom.

Pike nods and exits the bridge.

EXT. FERRYCONTINUOUS

Pike moves down the ferry to the waiting rest of the group. She stops suddenly as a distant lone gunshot is heard.

Everyone else looks back toward the city. Another shot is heard.

EXT. SEATTLE WOODSMOMENTS LATER

Four dead Scourge lie on the ground around Abbot, but more are coming from all directions.

Abbots spins in a small circle looking at them.

SCOURGE 11 gets very close and Abbot shoots him in the head.

Abbot looks down at the revolver. There is only one bullet left.

SCOURGE 12 staggers within a few yards of Abbot.

Abbot looks up from the revolver at Scourge 12 and then back down.

EXT. FERRYMOMENTS LATER

Pike, Frey, Barnes and Lewis stand very still.

Everyone except Pike stares out across the fallen docks toward the city.

A single faint gunshot is heard.

Pike turns and walks toward the bridge.

INT. BRIDGEMOMENTS LATER

Roberts stares forward through the window into the calm waters of Puget Sound. A few stray tears run down her cheeks.

Pike enters slowly. She stands there in silence for a moment.

ROBERTS

What did he say … on the train?

PIKE

He said keep them safe. Keep them all safe.

Roberts nods.

PIKE (CONT’D)

He also wanted me to give you this.

Pike removes the envelope and hands it to Roberts. She takes it.

PIKE (CONT’D)

He said it was for your saloon.

Roberts puts the envelope in her pocket and turns to the controls. She wipes the tears from her face and determinedly pushes the lever on the helm to the forward position.

EXT. FERRYCONTINUOUS

The ferry begins to slowly move out away from the docks and into the bay.

EXT. FORT WARDEVENING

Pike, Roberts, Frey, Barnes, Lewis and Davy stand before the high walls of Fort Ward. The gate is closed and the battlements are empty. A few stray bodies lay about with head wounds.

PIKE

Hello!

Pike’s greeting goes unanswered. The only sound is that of a tattered American flag flapping in the wind.

BARNES

Maybe, they’re all at dinner?

The group collectively gives Barnes a look.

Soldier (O.C.)

Are any of you infected?

The all turn back towards the gate. SOLDIER, a young man barely over eighteen stands above the gate.

PIKE

No.

Soldier

Cause I can’t let ya in if you’re bitten or sick?

PIKE

That’s a good policy, but we’re all fine.

Soldier turns away from them and then disappears.

LEWIS

Aren’t they going to let us in?

ROBERTS

I’m sorry, sweetheart. Sometimes when people are scared they …

The sound of creaking wood cuts Roberts off. They all turn back to the gate as it slowly begins to open.

FADE TO BLACK.

 

 

 

The end.


The Abandoned: A Screenplay

  • ISBN: 9781370689118
  • Author: MK Ferguson
  • Published: 2017-05-11 15:35:12
  • Words: 21991
The Abandoned: A Screenplay The Abandoned: A Screenplay