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Manifest Destiny

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INT. – EDUCATION CENTERMIDDAY

The opening monologue shifts in setting whenever a new speaker takes over. EVE starts by teaching a history class, then the BARBARIAN CAPTAIN delivers a motivational speech to his troops, and finally the MYSTIC CHIEF shares his prophecy.

EVE

Our elders described it as a ball of fire that fell from the sky. It started out larger and brighter than the sun. At the time, most bystanders took refuge in the safety of their homes. However, the closer it got to the earth, the faster it began to shrink and fizzle out. Just before reaching the ground, it split apart into what we now call “Relics”. The first relic was discovered by a clan of alchemists. Harnessing it’s power, they were able to build a

civilization ruled by science and morality. But the second relic was discovered by a clan of barbarians, who used it to-

DINING HALL

BARBARIAN CAPTAIN Conquer everyone in their path! Using it’s power, the warriors of old were able to push their bodies past all prior limitations. No more pain, no more fear, and no more mercy. That’s how we were able to establish the greatest army in the world! Our only failure was establishing that shameful truths with the alchemists. But the third relic, is still up for grabs. When it first fell, it was hidden-

CAMPFIRE

MYSTIC CHIEF

Under the protection of the forest. It taught the original mystics how to survive, and how to prosper. For many generations we’ve lived in isolation, using only what we need. However, I have foreseen that this

(MORE)

MYSTIC CHIEF (cont’d) peace will soon come to an end. These two clan’s avarice will not be satiated until they control everything.

EXT. – FOREST CLEARINGMORNING

VIRGIL is sneaking through the forest, trying to hunt a deer with his bow. He aims and pulls an arrow back but steps on a twig which scares the deer away. Virgil sighs and puts his bow down.

Suddenly he is hit by a blunted arrow. After wincing in pain, he picks up the arrow and looks at it. It has a note attached that reads “Tag. You’re it.”.

VIRGIL

Damn it Jan! You promised to stop doing that!

Janora watches from a nearby tree with a satisfied smirk across her face. Suddenly, something off-screen catches her attention. She turns her head and hears the sound of leaves crushing underfoot. She leaps out of the tree toward the source of the sound.

She finds a group of alchemists marching through the forest. She silently knocks them out one by one then sneaks up behind the ALCHEMIST CHAPTAIN. She holds a knife up to his throat.

ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN Wait! Just take it easy. We’re only here to speak with your chief.

EXT. – MYSTIC VILLAGEMORNING

The alchemist captain and his soldiers enter the mystic village under the escort of Janora and Virgil. The group reaches a zen-garden where the mystic chief is standing. The chief is busy tending to the garden. Janora motions for the captain to go talk to him. He tentatively steps forward to address the chief.

ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN Good morning. I’d like to be the first to apologize for our little misunderstanding.

The captain waits for a response but the chief says nothing.

ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN I am here as an ambassador for the alchemist clan. We realize that your people have been living in poverty for quite some time and would be honored to provide our assistance.

The captain tries positioning himself more in the chief’s line of view to avoid being ignored.

ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN

Aren’t you going to say anything?

The captain almost steps in the garden but the chief holds out a hand to stop him.

MYSTIC CHIEF When one talks as much as you, others must budget extra time to listen.

ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN I see. Well, it is my privilege to inform you that we are now willing to annex your land into our territory.

MYSTIC CHIEF Your words do not fool me. Annex is simply another word for taking control.

ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN Not at all! What I’m offering is the opportunity to become part of our empire. Of course that means we will be able to share resources and introduce your clan to a more “civilized” lifestyle.

MYSTIC CHIEF I appreciate your offer but I believe it best that we keep our lands independent.

ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN That is a very unwise decision. If we found you then it’s only a matter of time before those brutes from the east discover this village as well. And when they come you will want our protection.

MYSTIC CHIEF When the barbarians come we will deal with them ourselves. Now, I’m afraid that I’m going to have to ask you and your men to leave.

As the chief says this, his statement is punctuated by some hunters pointing their bows in the captain’s direction.

ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN Very well. But you have no idea what fury is about to be brought down upon you.

INT. – DINING HALLMIDDAY

Two barbarians are fighting in the dining hall. Barbarian #1 appears to be winning until Barbarian #2 grabs a candlestick. The candlestick is swung at barbarian #1’s head but is stopped by the hand of an unseen man. The two look to find that NAXID has intervened in their dual.

NAXID

Only cowards use weapons! You would do better to rely on your own grit.

Naxid punches barbarian #2 across the room. Barbarian #1 kneels down in respect. Naxid stands proudly before his subjects. He wears a belt with the second relic being used as the belt buckle.

NAXID

And you! I am disappointed to see that it was so easy to catch one of my subjects’ off-guard.

BARBARIAN #1 I’m sorry, King Naxid. It won’t happen again sir!

NAXID

Now don’t kiss my ass too much. You’re starting to look a little bit like an alchemist!

The king lets out a hearty laugh while a MESSENGER runs into the room.

MESSENGER

My lord! I bring news from the west.

NAXID Very well.

(To barbarians #1 and #2.) As you were.

The barbarians resume fighting in the background.

MESSENGER

We’ve just received word that the alchemists have sent their ambassador into the forest.

NAXID

I see. And have they persuaded the mystics to join their ranks?

MESSENGER We don’t know sir.

NAXID

Then it looks as if we must move up our time table. We march on the forest tomorrow!

EXT. – MYSTIC VILLAGENIGHT

The mystic chief is meditating by a small pool of water when Virgil walks up behind him.

VIRGIL You sent for me?

MYSTIC CHIEF

Ah Virgil! Come and sit with me.

Virgil takes a seat on the other side of the pool.

MYSTIC CHIEF

I trust that hunting went well this morning. After Janora was finished harassing you of course.

VIRGIL

She means well. Competition is in her nature. But I doubt that’s what you’ve been meditating all day about.

MYSTIC CHIEF Indeed not. I’ve seen that the weasel’s warning was more than a simple fear tactic. The barbarians

(MORE)

MYSTIC CHIEF (cont’d) will come for us soon. As will the alchemists. What we need now is someone who can protect both our people and the relic. However, none of my hunters have ever seen true combat. None but you.

VIRGIL

I was only a child. That hardly makes me qualified to lead an army.

MYSTIC CHIEF Maybe so, but I’ve watched you accomplish great things since you came to my village. I know you must be frightened, but you know better than anyone what will happen if we get caught in the crossfire of those two armies.

VIRGIL

I’m not frightened. Not anymore!

MYSTIC CHIEF In that case, I have something to show you.

The chief stands up and removes an object wrapped in cloth from his satchel. He unwraps the object to reveal that it is a knife with the third relic acting as the pommel. He offers it to Virgil. Virgil walks over to the chief and reaches for the knife.

When Virgil touches the handle everything around him goes into slow motion, even the sound of the wind blowing. He sees a leaf falling from a tree, slowly. He throws the knife, pinning the leaf to the tree’s trunk. Normal speed returns. Virgil shakes his head and looks back at the chief.

VIRGIL

I can’t. Hunting is one thing. Every kill has a purpose. But what would I be accomplishing in battle?

MYSTIC CHIEF

Your people need you Virgil.

VIRGIL

Give the knife to Janora. She’s a better fighter than me anyway.

Virgil walks away solemnly, leaving the chief alone.

EXT. – FOREST OUTSKIRTSDAY

There is a large open battlefield with the alchemist and barbarian armies standing on either side. The alchemist elder, Eve, stands in the middle of the battlefield. Naxid walks up to her while both armies watch patiently. Naxid wears some armor but makes sure to keep his chest exposed. Eve has a mechanical device attached to her arm. On the back of her hand the first relic can be seen powering the device. Naxid does a sarcastic little bow.

NAXID

I suppose I ought to be honored that the great alchemist Eve should grace me with her presence?

EVE

If you people spent half the time educating yourselves as you do fighting then you could have a civilization as prosperous as ours.

NAXID

(Flexing)

Aye! And if you lot spent any time training then you could have muscles like mine.

EVE

So it’s to the final man then?

NAXID As always!

With that Eve holds out her hand and fires a shockwave from the device on her arm. Naxid is knocked back several feet but remains relatively unharmed. He touches the relic on his belt and begins to glow red while letting out a ferocious battle cry. All of his fellow barbarians begin to glow with the relic’s power and the two armies charge each other.

In the midst of the battle the alchemist captain runs to Eve’s side to receive orders.

EVE

Take a squadron around the battlefield so you can fire on them from behind. If we can get them fighting on two fronts then they won’t have any opportunities to regroup.

ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN It will be difficult to sneak by unnoticed even with all of this chaos.

EVE

Use the forest as cover. We’re going to need that tactical advantage soon.

The captain nods and runs off-screen, gesturing for his men to follow.

Meanwhile, Naxid is taking down several alchemists while having a conversation with the barbarian captain.

BARBARIAN CAPTAIN Those infernal contraptions they carry are making it very difficult to get within bludgeoning range!

NAXID

Very well. As your king I shall lead by example. Assemble in a V-formation. I’ll break their ranks while your men finish them off.

The alchemist captain and his soldiers begin to enter the forest. They stop to find an army of hunters being led by Janora. When she pulls out the relic knife the sounds of the battle slow down and she becomes obscured in a shadowy aura.

She dashes forward at super speed and stabs the Alchemist Captain’s neck. The other hunters join in behind her but she leaves them, going into the heart of the battlefield. After taking down several soldiers, she stops and looks around for a new target.

In the distance she sees Naxid, singlehandedly beating a squad of alchemists. The two lock eyes. Excited by this new challenge, she wastes no time shadow dashing in for a killing blow. However, Naxid catches her by the neck, causing her aura to disappear. He then slams Janora on the ground and she drops the knife.

Naxid is about to crush Janora under his foot when he is struck in the eye by one of Virgil’s arrows. Virgil runs at the king who swings his fist. Virgil ducks under the fist and grabs the knife off of the ground. Once he touches the knife the aura appears around him. He then grabs Janora and shadow dashes away. Once safe, Virgil skids to a stop, dropping Janora’s body along with the knife.

VIRGIL

C’mon Jan, stay with me! I’ve seen you walk away from much worse.

Janora tries to speak but coughs up blood first.

JANORA Lucky shot.

VIRGIL

You’ll get him next time. Right now we need to find a healer.

Virgil tries to stand up but Janora grabs him by his shirt collar and pulls him back down. Clearly struggling, she picks up the knife that Virgil left on the ground and places it in his open palm.

JANORA Finish it.

Janora goes limp. Virgil stands up and looks over the battlefield. Kick ass rock music starts playing. Virgil runs out in a POV style montage where he cuts down both barbarians and alchemists alike.

EXT. – BATTLEFIELDFINAL BATTLE

Eve and Naxid once again meet eachother on the battlefield. Naxid is sporting a fresh bandage over his eye.

NAXID

Are you ready to fight fair this time?

EVE

I’m ready to take you out of the equation.

Eve raises her arm up into the air. A force field materializes to isolate Naxid and her from the rest of the battle. They fight hard and both manage to land devistating blows. However, Naxid eventually grabs a hold of Eve’s arm and breaks it, along with the device she wears. The force field fades away.

Naxid stands over Eve as she collapses to her knees. He then solemnly raises his fist to finish her off. Suddenly, Virgil appears behind Naxid and slits his throat. The king falls and Virgil turns off his shadow aura.

EVE

Thank you. For your service to the Empire I-

VIRGIL

Do you remember a young couple who refused to let their village become a part of your precious empire?

EVE Excuse me?

Virgil rolls Naxid’s body over and pops the second relic out of his belt. He looks at it instead of directly at Eve.

VIRGIL

No? Then how about the little boy that you left homeless,

(Pause) and drenched in his parents blood.

EVE

I realize that some of our early territory disputes caused collateral damage. But they were a calculated-

VIRGIL

I don’t give a damn!

As Virgil says this he clutches the second relic tighter and begins glowing red. He glares at Eve. When Virgil yells again the ground shakes and cracks around him.

VIRGIL

You took everything from me! Just to get your hands on this.

EVE

I will not apologize for doing what was necessary.

Virgil raises his fist in the air with the relic pulsing inside of it. Eve, still kneeling on the ground, just lowers her head. To her surprise, Virgil drops the relic in front of her. She reaches out to touch the relic but Virgil stomps on it, narrowly missing her hand. The second relic is crushed and when Virgil lifts his foot it becomes dust.

VIRGIL

Stay the hell out of my forest.

Virgil walks away, leaving Eve broken on the ground. Then looks out at all of the damage that the battle has caused.

(CONTINUED)


Manifest Destiny

  • Author: Alexander Dingeman
  • Published: 2017-06-03 21:05:11
  • Words: 2549
Manifest Destiny Manifest Destiny