The Story World, the Central Character, PANDORA, and her Wants, Needs and Desires
|Chapter 1 |
EXT. BATTLEMENTS OF A SPRAWLING FORTRESS -- MOONLITE NIGHT-- STORM ROLLING IN--From above we see four figures striding in haste along the high wall. Leading is a tall willowy girl followed by a diminutive GOVERNESS holding the hands of two siblings..., an eight year old girl, CALLIOPE, AND nine year old boy, BRUTUS. They pass small groups of soldiers moving nervously towards their posts. Suddenly there are excited cries among the men at arms who point in dismay towards the horizon. A dragon is seen flying low in the distance.
INT. TORCHLIGHTS--The four enter a turret and descend a winding stair case. We see the governess EDNA, a Fey Elf. She's built like a fire plug. Her hair is disheveled and reveals two pointed ears. She has a worried look. Leading the way is PANDORA, a determined young woman, attired in white, about 18 years old. They descend several levels and break out into the Keep... a brightly lit, spacious, circular stone room. The wizard MERLIN is giving final instructions...He turns to the new arrivals and hastens them to the entrance of another descending stair case. Lightning flashes through the cathedral windows and thunder shakes the chandeliers.
MERLIN: How can it be, that despite knowing full well something bad is about to happen..., it still comes unexpectedly?
PANDORA: On the way down we saw a dragon...
MERLIN: No surprise there.
PANDORA: Have you heard from mother?
MERLIN: Nothing, Millicent should have been back hours ago, and your sisters too... no time to obsess on that... you have worries enough. The children are in your hands. MERLIN MOTIONS THEM DOWNWARD ONTO A DARK STAIR CASE.
INT: PANDORA, holding a torch begins descending four levels into the bowls of the fortress. Rats scurry about and the lower they go water can be seen dripping from the ceiling. She is headed for the very bottom... where the dungeons are located and across from these, where the forge and torture chamber are. Upon arriving at the lowest level there is a long passageway.
PANDORA bids them wait and goes down the corridor to an oaken door. She raises the latch and pushes it open. Leaving it ajar she slips inside.
CALLIOPE: What a creepy place.
BRUTUS: Pandora loves it down here...
CALLIOPE: Yeah, I've heard she swims in the cisterns...bathing her wickedness in the dark waters of evil."
EDNA: THAT'S QUITE ENOUGH! young lady...
CALLIOPE: I'm just telling you what my sisters said...
EDNA: Then they're as empty headed as you are.
CALLIOPE: Is it true she's a DARK WITCH?
EDNA: Yes, and you wouldn't know one if it bit you on the ass.
CALLIOPE: I know what I know!"
EDNA: And that's not much. Pandora could match the better part of your goodness in a shrug and never note the loss.
BRUTUS: What I heard was that when... (points to where Pandora disappeared into a vaulted corridor...) "THE DARK ONE" turns eighteen, the Devil will come to claim his bride. You suppose this is what that's all about?
EDNA: My patience is wearing thin... SHUT UP! both of you.
PANDORA returns from beyond and motions them forward. She lights several torches in the chamber... A FORGE, RACK, and Iron Maiden are revealed. A dull pounding begins to resonate from deep beneath the floor.
EDNA: What's that noise?
PANDORA: We'll worry about that later.... this is our last chance to find out where Millicent and my sisters are. (Points to a dark corner) There's a Scrying Pool in the floor over there. See if you can make it work.
EDNA: Get the children out of the way. I'll need to concentrate.
PANDORA: Come you two, I've the most amazing thing to show you...THE STRETCHING RACK. Pandora takes the youngsters behind a large wooden table of gears straps and rollers. She sits them on the table "Stay here and don't move... You might see more than you can bear." Will I see more than I can bear? My destiny rears its head. I'm ready to face it, indeed I welcome it. I want to know, I need to know, its my deepest desire to know if I can measure up to the task before me.
She RETURNS to EDNA who is squatting over the pool MUTTERING INCANTATIONS. Nothing seems to be happening.
EDNA: You're asking a lot from an old lady.....
Suddenly there's a flash and a holograph appears showing the snorting nostrils of a team of six galloping horses. They are being driven by a frantic coachman cracking a whip. From behind the carriage we see the huge wings of a looming dragon. The driver extorts the steeds as the carriage careens down the highway. On the back side a FOOTMAN hangs precariously to his perch. He cries out a warning. THE DRAGON WILL SOON BE UPON US...
MILLICENT: Jump! save yourselves.
INT: Inside the coach the Queen and her two daughters make final preparations. The floor boards are pulled up revealing a pallet between the axles.
MILLICENT: Down on the boards!
The three recline on rough hewn planks, inches above the surface passing underneath. The dragon swoops in grabbing the gondola. As he lifts away, Millicent pulls a lever and the pallet releases, skidding them down the road. The dragon flies off with the chassis, horses hanging from their traces, wheels are still turning askew. The three slide along the the bumpy dirt surface, coming to rest in a culvert. Rain is falling. Trace lightning illuminates the sky. Millicent and her daughters, soaking wet and covered in mud, peer from the ditch filled with running water... The flapping wings, long forked tail and remains of what was once a carriage, disappear into the haze.
MILLICENT: Come, we must find refuge... there are dark forces abroad this night... The three begin walking towards forest. The scrying pool goes dark.
BTUTUS AND CALLIOPE have reappeared, unnoticed, and are watching in wide eyed wonder.
BRUTUS: They got away.
PANDORA: Fancy that... The pounding noticed earlier gets louder..... the dungeon floor begins to shake and starts to buckle in the corner.
PANDORA: The main attack is coming from SAPPERS, tunneling from beneath.
The head of an enormous iron pick breaks through the floor. A stone wall disappears into the earth. Dusty men in miners attire appear. Everyone is showered with debris.
PANDORA Follow me... ENEMIES ARE UPON US.....She takes off running. At a corner of the dungeon she presses a stone.... a door opens revealing a passageway....They crowd inside as the ceiling comes crashing down. The door closes and a rumble shakes the passageway filling it with dust. They flee the choking pall and head down an ancient tunnel, filled with spider webs. As they pass beneath the moat, moisture drips from the ceiling, They pass a course of rushing water and cross a rickety bridge. They walk further for several minutes before reaching a vertical shaft with rusted iron hand grips. They lead upwards.
PANDORA "After me." They begin the ascent. Edna takes up the rear. At the top a hatch opens inside a briar patch, The exit is covered with vines and bushes. EXT. Bright moonlit night. They push out onto the pasture and behold the Fortress behind them in flames.
BRUTUS: What do we do now?
PANDORA We must hide until morning and see what comes of it. I know a cave close by. Come, we don't want to be caught in the open when the dawn breaks. The four head towards the woods.