This is an excerpt (first 20 pages) of a completed screenplay.
"Blood & Ice" - screenplay by Derek Paterson. FADE IN: EXT. USS SPANGLER - ARCTIC WATERS - DAY The gunboat USS SPANGLER navigates around towering icebergs on her way toward the North Polar Icecap. The year is 1900, the Spangler is small by today's standards and equipped with one 3-inch forward deck gun. EXT. BOW DECK - USS SPANGLER - DAY Standing at the bows, DOUG ALLENBY, 20, a clean cut young student, stares in wonder at the seemingly endless kingdom of ice that lies ahead. In ones and twos the other members of the expedition join him. They're all dressed for the climate in fur-trimmed garments of the era, mittens, boots, etc. They are: PROFESSOR RUTHERFORD FRANKLIN, 60s, distinguished and imposing. ALISON FRANKLIN, the Professor's daughter, 19, beautiful, intelligent and full of life. Like Doug she's caught up in the thrill of the moment. HARKER AND BODINE, 30s, experienced explorer-adventurers. Their rifles are wrapped in protective fur as if they're the most precious things they own. U.S. MARINE LIEUTENANT HANK MOORE, 30s, a tough veteran who wears twin Colt revolvers in hip holsters. DOUG How long till we get there, Professor? FRANKLIN Another half a day should see us safely ashore. Wouldn't you agree, Lieutenant? MOORE Yes sir. We'll be ready to unload equipment and supplies as soon as we arrive. FRANKLIN Best unfurl your maps and sharpen your pencils, Doug. We're nearly there. INT. CARGO HOLD - USS SPANGLER - DAY The dark interior is gradually revealed as an OIL LAMP moves among stacks of wooden crates and boxes. A snow sled sits under protective canvas. SLED DOGS in wire cages BARK with excitement as the MAN carrying the lamp approaches. He his face lies hidden in shadow beneath his fur-trimmed hood. The Man takes off one glove and dips his hand into a bag. He brings out bloody scraps of meat and throws them into the cages. The dogs gulp the meat down. EXT. BAY - DAY USS Spangler draws near. Towering icebergs in b.g. EXT. BOAT DECK - USS SPANGLER - DAY Harker and Bodine look on with interest as SAILORS make ready to lower the ship's longboat. EXT. BRIDGE - USS SPANGLER - DAY Franklin and Moore talk with Captain SAMMS, 50s, a crusty sea dog who's spent his entire life riding the ocean wave. He's a pipe smoker who likes his tobacco strong. All three men watch the sea horizon, not the shore. FRANKLIN You're sure? SAMMS She's out there, all right. Been following us since we left port. (puffs on pipe) Running with no lights 'tween peaks. Dangerous, that. Captain's a fool. Or under orders. FRANKLIN What will you do? SAMMS I'm heading for home. Franklin and Moore exchange worried looks. SAMMS (CONT'D) Soon as my masthead's under the horizon, I'll come about and see what's to be seen. (puffs on pipe) I find any ship in these waters that ain't flying the Stars and Stripes, I'll sink her, so help me God. FRANKLIN What about survivors? SAMMS Won't be any. (puffs on pipe) I got my orders, too. EXT. BRIDGEHOUSE DECK - USS SPANGLER - DAY Franklin and Moore step outside. MOORE You think it could be the British? FRANKLIN If they've put two and two together, then yes, it could be them. Although we did a pretty thorough job of pinning the blame on the French. (chuckles) Laroche had better watch his back. The British don't take kindly to having their secrets stolen. MOORE That's funny, considering the Limeys stole the diary from the Krauts in the first place. EXT. BOAT DECK - USS SPANGLER - DAY Lots of activity as SAILORS load the longboat with boxes and cases. The snow sled takes up most of the boat. Doug carries his precious leather map case. In the shifting press of bodies he accidently bumps into Alison. DOUG Sorry! It's a little crowded here. ALISON We really ought to introduce ourselves. (offers her hand) I'm Alison Franklin. Doug's surprised by her forwardness but shakes her hand. DOUG Douglas Allenby. I'm very pleased to make your acquaintance at last, Miss Franklin. ALISON How do you do, Mister Allenby? There, now we know each other. My father says you're one of his brightest students. DOUG Oh, I wouldn't say that... ALISON There's no need for false modesty. Father rarely exaggerates. She sweeps her arm, indicating their surroundings. ALISON (CONT'D) Isn't this just wonderful? DOUG It surely is. I hope you're feeling better? ALISON Feeling better? DOUG It's an awful thing, sea sickness. ALISON Oh yes, awful. But I'd rather not dwell upon it, if you don't mind. DOUG I must say I admire your fortitude, Miss Franklin. It takes courage and determination to sail to such distant climes. Your father must appreciate your coming all this way just to wish his expedition well. ALISON No doubt he does. Franklin joins them. FRANKLIN Best give your map case to the sailors for safe keeping, my boy. DOUG I think I'll keep hold of it, sir. It wouldn't do to lose it through someone else's carelessness. SHIP'S LONGBOAT Moore climbs aboard along with Gunnery Sergeant LOMAX and two Marines, PETERS and JONES. Next comes Harker and Bodine with their precious rifles. Franklin and Alison climb aboard. And lastly, Doug. DOUG Uh, Professor, wouldn't it be better if your daughter said goodbye here? Franklin doesn't hear him. Alison does. She frowns at Doug. Doug doesn't know what he's said wrong. Everyone takes their seats. Sailors lower the longboat into the water. SPLASH. Peters and Jones release the mooring ropes, then take up the longboat's oars. Franklin looks up. Samms stands at the Bridge rail, his pipe clamped between his teeth, looking down at them. He tosses Franklin a salute. EXT. SHORE - DAY USS Spangler sits majestically in background as the longboat approaches shore. EXT. ARCTIC PANORAMA - DAY A cold, desolate, windswept place. EXT. SHORE - DAY Peters and Jones jump out and hold the longboat steady. The passengers disembark via the bows, keeping their feet dry. Doug offers his hand to assist Alison, but she jumps ashore without his help. FRANKLIN AND MOORE Franklin takes off his gloves and opens a leather-bound diary. THE DIARY Franklin flips the pages, which are crammed with scrawled writing... in GERMAN. FRANKLIN Your compass please, Lieutenant? Moore gives Franklin his compass. Franklin takes a bearing and stares ahead. FRANKLIN (CONT'D) Twenty-six kilometers. MOORE What's that in real distance? FRANKLIN Sixteen miles, give or take. MOORE If this weather holds, we could be there the day after tomorrow. Sooner, if we still had the dogs. Franklin closes the diary and returns it to his coat pocket. He gives Moore his compass back. DOUG AND ALISON DOUG It's not as cold as I expected. ALISON It's the wind that's most dangerous. It drains your body heat and leaves you freezing. We're sheltered here, but once we're out in the open we must take great care. DOUG What do you mean, "we"? ALISON Oh, didn't Father tell you? I'm coming with you. I'm part of the Franklin Expedition, Mister Allenby. Doug is speechless! BOOM! All heads turn as USS Spangler fires her gun! FRANKLIN What the devil is he shooting at? MOORE Must be something behind one of the bergs. The ship that was following us...? Black smoke pours from USS Spangler's funnel. A CLATTER of chain as the anchor's raised. The gunboat moves off. Alison and Doug join them. ALISON Father, what's going on? Franklin looks to Moore for help. MOORE There's the possibility ice was forming around the rudder. FRANKLIN Yes, just so. At these latitudes, Captain Samms can't afford to take any chances. USS Spangler moves further away from the shore, leaving a trail of smoke hanging in the air. (The Spangler will move behind the icebergs floating offshore, and vanish from sight.) ALISON He is coming back, isn't he? FRANKLIN Of course. But we can't hang around here waiting for him. We're heading inland. ALISON But we only have half our supplies. The longboat was supposed to make two trips. FRANKLIN Lieutenant, if you can organize things? MOORE On the subject of supplies, Professor-- FRANKLIN We have sufficient food and fuel to last for the estimated duration of this expedition, Lieutenant. MOORE There's such a thing as a safety margin, sir. FRANKLIN Which we will not exceed. Moore moves to talk to Lomax. FRANKLIN (CONT'D) Not if we find what I expect to find. Doug frowns, puzzled. EXT. ARCTIC PANORAMA - DAY Another chilling view of what lies ahead. EXT. SHORE/BAY - DAY Everything's been unloaded from the longboat. Alison sits on the sled, wrapped in furs. Peters, Jones, Harker and Bodine wear harnesses that allow them to tow the sled behind them. They're human sled dogs. DOUG Professor, why didn't we bring dogs? MOORE We did. DOUG I mean, why didn't we bring them ashore with us? MOORE Because they're dead. Someone poisoned their food. FRANKLIN That's quite enough of that. We have a long way to travel. Save your breath, Douglas. The expedition sets off. Moore and Franklin lead the way. Then comes the sled, four men pulling, Alison aboard. Lomax and Doug bring up the rear. Doug looks back. The USS Spangler is gone. EXT. SNOWFIELD - DAY The expedition trudges across the featureless landscape. FURTHER ON Moore raises his hand, calling a halt. He checks his compass, then waves "forward!" The expedition sets off again. FURTHER ON Moore calls a halt to take another compass bearing. Doug pushes up his goggles and looks back at the sled. Alison's face is hidden within the deep shadows of her hood. Lomax circles the sled like he's on sentry patrol, looking outward. Moore consults with Franklin. They examine the compass. MOORE If it gets any worse... FRANKLIN Becker's notes say it shouldn't. MOORE Have you given any thought to what will happen to all of us if we can't perform basic navigation? FRANKLIN Let's not waste any more time. Moore signals "forward!" The expedition continues. FURTHER ON Lomax stops the sled. He hurries forward to catch up with Franklin and Moore. Doug watches them. He can't hear their muffled conversation. Lomax points to a spot some distance away from the sled. Franklin and Moore follow Lomax to the spot. Alison pushes back her hood and raises her goggles. She grins at Doug. He grins back. BURIED IN THE SNOW A man-sized lump. Lomax kneels down and start scraping. Franklin and Moore watch. DOUG looks around. There's nothing to see, just snow. Lomax's scraping reveals the body of A MAN wearing Arctic clothing and goggles, his hands frozen like claws. Further scraping reveals a splash of red on his chest. ALISON cranes her neck to see, but everyone's blocking her view. Lomax stands up and steps back. Franklin and Moore kneel beside the corpse. DOUG edges closer, curious. FRANKLIN AND MOORE Franklin take out the leather-bound diary and opens it. He flicks the pages... finds the entry he's looking for. FRANKLIN (CONT'D) Herr Leutnant Neumann, unless I'm mistaken. Distance from the camp is given at three kilometers. MOORE Does it say what killed him? FRANKLIN "Neumann in valiant defense of the expedition fell." That's all. Heavy snow swept in. They couldn't find his body. LOMAX senses Doug's approach and turns around fast. He pushes Doug back using his rifle -- and it's not a gentle push. Doug bristles, but Lomax towers over him and outweighs him by a hundred pounds. FRANKLIN AND MOORE MOORE What about the others? Franklin puts the diary away and stands up. FRANKLIN I believe we'll meet the other members of Herr Becker's expedition soon enough. Franklin and Moore head back to the sled. Lomax gestures to Doug: "Follow them!" Doug does as he's told. Lomax brings up the rear. Halfway toward the sled Lomax stops and looks around, as if he's sensed something. LOMAX'S POV: There's nothing to see, just snow... DOUG Professor-- Franklin stops and waits for him to catch up. FRANKLIN Say nothing of this, Douglas. We'll discuss it later. Moore signals "forward!" The expedition sets off again. FURTHER ON The expedition slows as SNOW begins to fall. Moore calls a halt. Everyone gets tied to the sled by lengths of rope knotted about their waists. ALISON beckons to Doug. ALISON We wouldn't want to lose you. FURTHER ON Moore calls a halt to take another compass reading. He studies the compass, then turns around and studies it again. He looks at Franklin. Franklin's expression is unreadable. THE COMPASS NEEDLE is spinning. MOORE Sir, I think you should see this. Franklin examines the compass. THE COMPASS NEEDLE points steady in one direction. MOORE (CONT'D) I don't understand it. A moment ago it was going crazy. FRANKLIN We must not be surprised by anything unusual. Carry on, Lieutenant. Moore waves "forward!" The expedition sets off again. EXT. CAMP - DAY A pathetic gathering of three canvas tents, half-buried by snow, edges flapping in the wind. No sign of life. The Franklin Expedition emerges from the snow, moving slow and tired. They stop twenty paces away. Harker and Bodine throw off their sled harnesses and unsling their rifles. Using hand signals, Lomax orders Peters and Jones to remain with the sled. They unsling their rifles too. Franklin, Moore and Lomax approach the tents. Moore stops them and signals, "Wait here!" He draws a REVOLVER and goes forward alone. Harker and Bodine move to cover Moore. Moore pulls open a tent flap and looks inside. He withdraws, and looks in the second tent. Then he looks inside the third tent. He ducks his head and goes inside. Franklin and Lomax wait. Harker and Bodine slowly turn around, studying their surroundings. Alison pushes back her hood and raises her goggles. Doug moves closer to talk to her. DOUG How come there are tents here? ALISON My father will tell you everything when he is ready, Mister Allenby. DOUG Does that mean you don't know? ALISON It means he'll tell you when he's ready, and not before. Moore sticks his head out of the tent and waves to Franklin. Franklin joins him. They both disappear inside the tent. DOUG I don't get it. I thought we were the first expedition to come this way? He looks at Alison. She doesn't reply. INT. TENT THREE - DAY Franklin and Moore crouch to examine two frozen BODIES lying on the floor of the tent. Snow has got inside, partially covering the bodies. FRANKLIN Muller and Fleischer. Becker dragged their bodies back to the camp. Stupid of him to leave a trail that could be followed. He should have left them where they fell. MOORE It's clear you're not a military man, Professor. Leaving your dead behind isn't an easy thing to do. FRANKLIN I guess you would know, Lieutenant. Franklin's words lash Moore like a whip. If Franklin is aware of this, he gives no sign. FRANKLIN (CONT'D) The question is, do we keep going, or do we rest here for the night? MOORE Sergeant Lomax says the men are tired. The equipment in the sled isn't light. A fleeting smile touches Franklin's lips. FRANKLIN Then we'll rest here. Have the bodies removed and buried. Make sure my daughter doesn't see them. MOORE Yes sir. EXT. CAMP - DAY Lomax leads Peters and Jones toward Tent Three. Moore speaks with Harker and Bodine. Franklin approaches the sled. FRANKLIN We're resting up here. Douglas, I'm afraid you'll have to share a tent with Alison and myself. DOUG Whose camp is this, Professor? FRANKLIN In good time. Stay with the sled until Sergeant Lomax tidies the place up. The tents aren't suitable for guests at the moment. INT. TENT ONE - DAY An oil lamp hangs from the central support. There are three cots with thick blanket rolls. The "floor" is compacted snow. Doug holds the tent flap open for Alison. Jones drags a small steamer trunk inside. Alison points to one of the cots. Jones puts the trunk there and exits. DOUG At least it's warmer in here. He throws back his hood, begins to open his coat. ALISON It only feels warmer because you're out of the wind. Keep your coat fastened and your gloves on. And don't stand in the same place too long. Stamp your feet as often as you can. Doug fastens his coat, stamps his feet. Alison sits down and tugs at the trunk's locks. DOUG It's going to be a little crowded with three of us in here, isn't it? ALISON We're all giving off body heat. That should raise the temperature a couple of degrees. She opens the trunk, brings out a bundle and carefully unwraps it revealing a camping stove. She sets it down on the floor, clear of the cots, and hands Doug an iron pot. ALISON (CONT'D) Fill it up with snow. Doug looks around, but Alison shakes her head. ALISON (CONT'D) Make sure it's fresh, undisturbed snow. Doug gets it. He exits. EXT. CAMP - DAY Doug pulls up his hood. He moves well away from the tents, bends over and scoops snow into the pot. He looks up-- Harker stands five paces away, staring at Doug through his rifle sights. Harker snaps the weapon up and walks away. Doug lets out a breath. Watches Harker disappear into the falling snow. Lomax stands in front of Tent Two, his expression hidden by his goggles. He spins around and ducks into Tent Two. Doug returns to Tent One. EXT. ARCTIC PANORAMA - DAY A frozen, desolate wilderness. INT. TENT TWO - DAY Franklin and Moore open wooden boxes with German lettering. Inside the boxes, a variety of tin cans. MOORE They didn't plan on going home any time soon. Lomax enters. FRANKLIN Did you dispose of the bodies? LOMAX We dug a hole in the snow and dropped the poor bastards in, if that's what you mean. MOORE Sergeant, you should know that Professor Franklin carries a special commission signed by the Secretary of Defense. You will address him as "sir" and accord him with all deference due an officer. LOMAX My apologies, sir. FRANKLIN Lieutenant Moore tells me you're suspicious of Douglas. Don't be. He's been my student for two and a half years. LOMAX He was seen near the cargo hold before the dogs got poisoned. FRANKLIN So were half the gunship's crew. And unless I'm mistaken, so were your men. MOORE My men are U.S. Marines, sir. FRANKLIN And the sailors are U.S. Navy sailors, but someone got to the dogs. LOMAX Exactly my point, sir. MOORE What about Harker and Bodine? FRANKLIN It's my understanding that the White House Secret Service checks people thoroughly before offering them employment. MOORE All the same, Professor, they're the outsiders if you're vouching for Allenby. FRANKLIN Suspicion can wait until morning. Or what passes for morning up here. Sergeant, you'll see the equipment is guarded? LOMAX Are you willing to trust that duty to Marines, sir? Moore tenses for an explosion, but Franklin smiles instead. FRANKLIN Be so good as to have someone catalog what's in these boxes, Lieutenant. Franklin exits. MOORE Tread lightly, Sergeant. LOMAX Yes sir. INT. TENT ONE - DAY Doug and Alison sip steaming hot coffee from tin mugs. DOUG I will admit, Miss Franklin, you surprised me. ALISON Oh? DOUG Coming here, I mean. The climate, these conditions. It can't be easy for a girl. I mean... ALISON Yes? DOUG It's not easy for anyone, but it must be particularly... (pause) What I mean is... (pause) I can leave the tent if you wish to change your clothes. Or anything else... ALISON Are you worried about the lack of bathroom facilities, Mister Allenby? Doug dies with embarrassment. ALISON (CONT'D) I used a bottle in the sled. DOUG A... bottle? ALISON Underneath the furs. No one noticed, at least I don't think they did. I'm sure my kidneys would have failed otherwise. It was a long journey and I wasn't exactly in a position to jump out. DOUG I suppose not... ALISON Perhaps you think I'm a camel, only drinking and emptying my bladder once per month. Do I look like a camel, Mister Allenby? Doug clamps his mouth shut. Definitely not a camel... ALISON (CONT'D) So there's no need for you to worry. I shall make my own arrangements when needed. Doug grins feebly. Franklin opens the flap and enters. He sniffs the air. FRANKLIN All the comforts of home. Alison offers him her cup. Franklin takes it and sits down. He wraps his hands around the mug and sips the coffee. FRANKLIN (CONT'D) Last year, the U.S. Navy was kind enough to send a party ashore to establish this camp. They erected these tents and left food. So you see, (to Alison) we have adequate supplies for the expedition. ALISON It's fortunate that the Department of the Navy had such foresight. FRANKLIN I watched you today, Doug. You're bearing up well. How would you feel about helping to pull the sled tomorrow? DOUG I'm more than willing, sir. FRANKLIN Excellent. Then the only remaining problem we must solve before we turn in for the night is... what's for supper? Alison? ALISON Delicious beef jerky soup. FRANKLIN You've been speaking with the Spangler's cook, I see. ALISON He was kind enough to share his recipes. Unfortunately they all have the same principal ingredient. DOUG What's that? They look at him. Doug gets it. DOUG (CONT'D) Oh... Alison hands him the tin pot. EXT. CAMP - NIGHT Or what passes for night at Arctic latitudes. SNOW falls heavily. Peters and Jones shiver under their cloaks as they patrol the camp. Both Marines stop and look in the same direction. They bring up their rifles-- BODINE appears out of the snow. Bodine ignores them and heads for Tent Three. INT. TENT THREE - NIGHT Snow blows through the open flap. Moore comes awake instantly and sits up on his cot, his revolver COCKED. He thumbs the hammer closed as Bodine sits down. MOORE Trying to get yourself killed? BODINE We found it. Three miles further inland. Exactly as described. MOORE Can it wait till morning? BODINE It's not going anywhere, that's for sure. MOORE Get some hot food and rest. Harker with you? BODINE He's prowling around. That nose of his is smelling trouble. MOORE That's why we brought guns. BODINE The Krauts brought guns, too. Didn't do them much good. Bodine exits. The tent flap hangs open, snow blows in. Moore gets up and closes the flap. EXT. CAMP - NIGHT Lomax meets Bodine and they talk. INT. TENT ONE - NIGHT Doug stirs restlessly on his cot. He raises his head. Franklin and Alison are asleep on their cots. Both father and daughter snore. Doug tilts his head. Did he hear something? He gets up and moves to the tent flap, opens it a crack and peers outside. DOUG'S POV: Lomax and Bodine part company. The sled sits in plain view, covered in canvas. And beyond the sled-- SOMETHING MOVES within the curtain of falling snow. Something massive, a shadow that creates a swirling vacuum into which the snow is sucked. Doug steps away from the flap, letting it close. He shakes his head. He must be still asleep. ALISON What's the matter? DOUG I didn't mean to wake you. She scowls at him, then pulls blankets over her head and goes back to sleep instantly. Doug lies back down on his cot and listens to their snoring. INT. CAMP - DAY Light snow falls. Everything's covered in a blanket of snow. Peters and Jones dig out the sled. Moore and Lomax dig themselves out of Tent Three, speak brief to Peters and Jones, the leave the camp. Alison emerges from Tent One, sees Moore and Lomax leaving, and heads out in the other direction, carrying a bottle. MOORE AND LOMAX write their names in the snow. Doug walks past them and fumbles to undo knots and peel back layers of clothing. It takes too long, he dances from foot to foot, grimacing with pain. Moore and Lomax grin at his discomfort as they fasten up, then head back to the camp. Doug finally releases his little man and writes an entire chapter in the snow. He closes his eyes and sighs with pleasure. A DEEP-THROATED GROWL An adult male polar bear weighing well over a thousand pounds bares its teeth at Doug. Doug slowly turns his head to look back at the camp. Moore and Lomax are fifty paces away, their backs to him. ALISON looks around to check no one's watching, and empties her bottle into the snow. She rubs the bottle in the snow, shakes it, gets up and heads back to the tents. She pauses at Tent One's entrance and looks in Doug's direction. He's barely visible amid the falling snow, just standing there, his back to her. Alison smiles, opens the tent flap and is about to duck inside -- when something makes her look again. Doug isn't moving. Alison frowns, wondering why. Moore enters Tent Three, Lomax moves to talk to Peters and Jones. ALISON Sergeant Lomax? LOMAX Good morning Miss Franklin. ALISON Is Douglas all right? Lomax looks in Doug's direction. DOUG is on the verge of fainting. The polar bear snarls at him, its yellow eyes hot and angry. Doug fumbles to close himself up as he very slowly backs away. The polar bear rears up onto its hind legs. Doug looks up at eight feet of muscle, fur and claws. He trembles in fear, rooted to the spot. The bear opens its mouth wide to reveal slavering fangs. It ROARS at Doug and staggers toward him, a lumbering attack. AND WHAM IT'S GONE, catapulted into the air, spinning end over end until it vanishes inside the falling curtain of snow, its thin WAIL fading. Doug finds himself staring at a mountain of shaggy brown fur that emerges from the snow curtain. It's twice the height of the polar bear and much wider. The mountain stares back at him, its blue eyes filled with intelligence. Its long, curved tusks touch the ground and curl back towards its head. Their tips are bright red with polar bear blood. MOORE, LOMAX, PETERS AND JONES run through knee-deep snow. All carrying rifles. DOUG can't believe his eyes. He stares, open-mouthed, at the mountain of fur. ITS EYES swivel to focus on the approaching men. The mountain retreats back into the snow. In seconds it's gone, leaving behind a vacuum that's quickly filled with swirling snow. Doug falls to his knees, gasping. The Marines reach him. They look around, puzzled. Nothing's there. Whatever Doug saw is gone. Lomax bends down to examine the snow. LOMAX Got blood here. Moore pulls Doug to his feet and examines him all over. MOORE It isn't his. (to Doug) Mister Allenby. Douglas. Are you all right? Can you tell me what happened? Doug's too shocked to talk. LOMAX Got tracks, too. Hard to tell... Might be a polar bear. MOORE Where did it go? Doug stares into the curtain of falling snow. LOMAX How come it's bleeding? What did you do? Still no reaction from Doug. MOORE Take him back to the camp. Peters and Jones sling their rifles and help Doug back to camp. Moore and Lomax stay behind and look around. MOORE (CONT'D) Boy's damn lucky. Could've killed him and dragged him off. LOMAX Maybe he had a knife. Maybe that boy ain't a boy. MOORE You really think he saw off a polar bear with a knife? LOMAX You'll have to ask him. Sir. They turn and head back to camp. INT. TENT ONE - DAY Doug and Alison sit facing each other. She offers him a cup of coffee. No response. She takes his hand and wraps his fingers around the cup. ALISON Douglas? Douglas. DOUGLAS. He blinks. Realizes where he is. ALISON (CONT'D) Watch you don't burn your fingers. He sips the coffee. Nods his thanks. ALISON (CONT'D) Polar bears are carnivores. You're lucky to be alive. DOUG How did I get here? ALISON Don't worry, you're safe now. Drink your coffee. DOUG It's too sweet. ALISON I said drink. He drinks. The tent flap opens, Franklin sticks his head inside. FRANKLIN How is he? (to Doug) How are you, my boy? DOUG I'm fine, Professor. Just a little shaken up. FRANKLIN I can't say I blame you. But you weren't harmed, that's what's important. (to Alison) How soon can you be ready? ALISON Right away. Will we be seeing any more polar bears? FRANKLIN I don't think we need worry, Lieutenant Moore will keep an eye out for them. ALISON Father, I don't want to ride in the sled today. FRANKLIN Is there any particular reason? ALISON Without my added weight it will be much easier for everyone. I know I can keep up. FRANKLIN I'd much rather you stayed with the sled. ALISON If I become tired I'll let Sergeant Lomax know. And Douglas will be there, too. Franklin thinks about it... FRANKLIN I would not be happy with such an arrangement, Alison. I want you aboard the sled. You understand? Alison nods, yes. Franklin exits. ALISON He thinks I'm weak. DOUG I believe he's concerned about you. That's not the same thing. ALISON How would you know? She gets up and exits. Doug sighs. He drinks his coffee, screwing up his face at the taste. Moore opens the flap and enters. MOORE Mister Allenby. Are we recovered from our ordeal? DOUG I'm fine, Lieutenant. Professor Franklin said I'd be pulling the sled today? MOORE Yourself and Sergeant Lomax. What with this polar bear business I want Harker and Bodine to make sure we're not attacked. Your assistance is much appreciated. DOUG I'm glad to help any way I can. I -- I'm sorry for causing such a fuss. MOORE You didn't ask that bear to come sniffing around. But won't you tell me what happened? Why'd it turn tail and run? Doug shakes his head. DOUG I have no idea. Moore nods thoughtfully, then exits the tent. Doug stares into his cup, thinking about it. INSERT: swirling snow rushes to fill the vacuum left by the retreating mountain of fur. EXT. USS SPANGLER - ARCTIC WATERS - DAY The USS Spangler skirts around a towering iceberg. It looms above the gunboat like a mountain. INT. BRIDGE - USS SPANGLER - DAY Samms and his CREW keep lookout. Samms clamps his pipe between his teeth. EXT. USS SPANGLER - ARCTIC WATERS - DAY The Spangler clears the iceberg and discovers-- ANOTHER SHIP lies in wait, her bows aimed at the Spangler. The second ship surges forward. She's the same size as the Spangler. Her funnel has been shot away and she's suffered damage to her hull. Now she wants revenge. INT. BRIDGE - USS SPANGLER - DAY Samms gazes in horror as the other ship bears down on him. SAMMS Hard left, engines full. A SAILOR spins the wheel. Another SAILOR pulls levers to convey Samms' orders to the engine room. But it's too late. The other ship is coming in too fast. EXT. USS SPANGLER - ARCTIC WATERS - DAY COLLISION. The ramming ship hits the Spangler amidships and jams her bows into the Spangler's guts. INT. BRIDGE - USS SPANGLER - DAY SCREAMING MEN are thrown everywhere. Their screams are matched by the protest of TWISTING METAL. The bridge lurches and tilts. Sailors slide down the desk. Samms holds onto the compass binnacle. EXT. USS SPANGLER - ARCTIC WATERS - DAY The Spangler sinks fast. The other ship goes down with her, they're locked together for all eternity. INT. BRIDGE - USS SPANGLER - DAY Samms shakes his fist at the other ship an instant before they submerge. The windows SMASH OPEN and WATER gushes inside, sweeping Samms away. EXT. ARCTIC WATERS - DAY Foaming sea marks the graves of the two ships. EXT. CAMP - DAY Peters and Jones are sled pack leaders, Doug and Lomax link up behind them. Alison looks uphappy despite being tucked up under furs. JONES Glad ya could join us. PETERS Nothing quite like a brisk walk in the morning, that's what I say. JONES And thank you, Sergeant, for lending us a hand in our hour of need. LOMAX Save your breath, Jonesey. You'll need it. PETERS You think maybe the Lieutenant will get down off his high horse and do a bit of pulling? LOMAX One more word out of you two jokers and I swear-- JONES You'll order us back to the ship? No, please, not that. PETERS We'd rather stay here and freeze our toes off, honest we would. Lomax chuckles. Doug can't help but smile. LOMAX (to Doug) U.S. Marines, son. Water doesn't bother us, sun doesn't bother us. (to Peters & Jones) A little bit of snow doesn't bother us either, does it boys? PETERS & JONES TOGETHER No, Gunnery Sergeant. LOMAX What's that? PETERS & JONES TOGETHER NO, GUNNERY SERGEANT. Moore waves "forward!" and sets off with Franklin. JONES Dammit we're Marines not Cavalry-- LOMAX One, two, three-- They HEAVE together. Doug pulls for all he's worth. It gets easier once the sled starts moving. They leave the camp behind. End of excerpt.
Back to Script Samples
Back to my Home Page