DARK ARTEFACT

Genre: SCI-FI / ADVENTURE 

©  Orlando Gibson September 2020 

ACT 1 

  1. INT. TEMPLE CORRIDOR . DAY 

The harsh fluorescent lights of the Japanese styled corridor reflect off the polished black tiled floor.  

Five guards line one end of the corridor, and one stands in front of a heavy ancient Eastern wooden door at the end in view. 

The guards are vigilant and motionless, enacting their duties with a discipline akin to that of the Samurai warriors of old, from whom their order had descended. 

The corridor is not just silent, but devoid of noise. 

Suddenly the wooden door explodes, sending the three closest guard flying across the room. 

The two remaining, quick reacting guards, use their quarterstaffs to shield themselves from the blast, but then quickly find themselves using them to defend against the male figure bursting through the exploded door. 

The man is wearing similar attire as that of the guards but with enough variance to set him apart. 

The emerging man engages the guards in a mixture of martial arts and quarterstaff blasts. 

He defeats them and continues to run with purpose down the corridor. 

As the smoke clears from the explosion we see that these are not the only guards that he has encounter upon his hasty devastating path. 

  1. INT. TEMPLE CROSS CORRIDOR. DAY 

We follow the man as he enters a large circular crossroad of corridors, and is met by more guards keen on impeding his progress. 

The man and the guards pause for a moment in reverence for the battle to come, then the man proceeds to engage the guards in a stylised and technical battle. 

The man is superior in his fighting style and dispatched the guards before continuing to run down the corridor on his path. 

  1. INT. TEMPLE CORRIDOR. DAY 

The scene then cuts back to the shattered wooden door at the beginning of the scene, where we see a small five year old girl running  down the same corridors, taking no time to notice the carnage around her. 

Behind her we see a tall shadowed and hooded ominous figure walking with determination in pursuit of the girl. 

  1. INT/EXT. TEMPLE. DAY 

We then rejoin the fleeing man as he has dispatched two more guards and is facing another ancient eastern looking wooden door. 

He stands his quarterstaff by his side and we view him from behind as he takes a moment to catch his breath. 

The man then pushes the heavy doors open with both hands to reveal the inside levels of a busy and thriving space station. 

  1. EXT. SPACE STATION PLATFORM. NIGHT 

Unphased by the spectacular view, the fleeing man focuses on the ramp of a spaceship which is guarded three more guards, one of whom in the middle is wearing the same attire as that of the fleeing man. 

The fleeing man begins to run towards the guarded ship, spinning his quarterstaff in anticipation of the battle to come. 

  1. INT. TEMPLE CROSS CORRIDOR. DAY 

We cut back to the running little girl who has now reached the corridor junction, and is still being  pursued by the walking tall ominous man. 

  1. EXT. SPACE STATION PLATFORM. NIGHT 

We rejoin the fleeing man who has dispatch two of the guards, however the third guard with similar clothing to him is proving a more worthy opponent. 

The remaining guard gains advantage over the fleeing man and knocks his quarterstaff from his hand. 

Disadvantaged but still determined the fleeing man continues to fight the opponent until finally disarming him and knocking him out with the man’s own quarterstaff. 

The fleeing man looks back at his own quarterstaff but determines that it is too far out of reach, and continues to board the ship. 

  1. EXT. SPACE STATION PLATFORM. NIGHT 

The doors of the ship close just as the running girl enters the spaceport platform where the ship is preparing to launch. 

The little girl runs towards the ship, but is grabbed on the leg by one of the guards who is lying on the floor. 

The guard rises and grips the girl around the chest from behind, lifting her off the ground. We view this from the front, and in doing so we dee the distress of the girl as the ship begins to launch, and we also see the tall ominous hooded man approach the guard from behind and snap the guards neck. 

He drops the girl and they both fall to the floor. 

The girl stretches out her hand as if to try to stop the ship. 

RUNNING GIRL /DARLA 

(SHOUTING) 

WAIT!!! 

But her cry is in vein, as the ship begins to move away from the dock. 

The sobbing girl drops her hand and it lands of the fleeing man’s quarterstaff. 

The tall ominous hooded figure looms over her but she does not seem to notice. 

She uses the staff to get to her feet, then uses button on the quarterstaff which collapses it to the size of a lightsabre hilt. Sher grips it tightly, understanding its significance. 

The ominous man quietly moves beside her, and rests his arm upon her shoulder in comfort. 

The two watch helpless as the ship flies away leaving them alone on the dock. 

[Fade to black] 

ACT 2 

  1. EXT/INT. MARKET PLACE. DAY 

Scene opens with a pair of boots walking on a sandy path. The camera pans up then around the walking boots to reveal a collapsed and holstered quarterstaff, spiralling around to finish on the grown face of the once five, now twenty six year old woman (Darla). 

She walks alone and unimpeded through the middle of a busy marketplace, before reaching a small doorway. She looks around and surveying the street, before entering the room. 

  1. INT. STONE ROOM. DARK 

She enters the room and quickly and closes the door. She stands to one side of the door waiting for her eyes to adjust. 

In the middle of the darkened room there is a table with a black carbon box. On the other side of the table is a heavy set, man sitting in silence at the table, flanked by two larger men. Although the box is on the table they appear to be in possession of the box. 

Darla slowly walks towards the table and stops in front of the box. 

She looks at the box, still standing and paying no attention the four men, she leans over and opens the box. 

She stares into the box for a few seconds, as if composing herself, before gently closing the box. 

She slowly looks up and addresses the two men seated opposite.    

DARLA 

(Calm, Emotionless, Controlled) 

You see, that was not the deal that we made. 

That was not to contract that you entered, and certainly not the one I agreed. 

Negotiation at this juncture is a futile endeavour, which belies your hidden intentions and reveals an aspect of your character that I find disturbing. 

Your attempts at renegotiation only highlight, a more serious issue, that you may not have the item that we agreed. 

In fact, this interaction has now shown your hand, and revealed that you are holding nothing. 

Holding nothing in a meeting like this, is not a position of strength. 

Or perhaps you are holding something. 

Perhaps you are holding the sort of thing that you would bring to a failed renegotiation. 

What weapon are you holding Mainarch? 

What weapon have you brought to this deal, that has now gone gravely wrong.  

The man looks up from the table, grimaces, slowly raises his hand, and clicks his fingers. 

  1. INT. STONE ROOM. DARK 

The two body guards spring into action and attack Darla with an unsophisticated, muscle driven fighting style, while the other man remains seated. 

Darla draws her quarterstaff, expands it, and dispatches the two goons with a fighting style similar to that of the stylised fighting displayed in act 1. 

Darla holsters her quarterstaff and returns to the table. 

DARLA 

I believe a person when they show me who they really are, and you have shown me who you really are. 

I completed the job and you broke our deal and did not bring the item, therefore I will cut my losses and collect the bounty on you instead 

Mainarch remains seated and unphased by the skirmish, leans back into his chai, crosses his legs and places both hands on one knee. 

MAINARCH 

Your reputation is well deserved, I needed to see it for myself 

Mainarch slowly reaches into his inside jacket pocket and pulls out a large satin bag. 

He leans forward and places the item on the table. 

Darla picks up the bag from the table, weighs it in her hand and then looks into the bag. 

MAINARCH 

I needed to be sure, before we continued our business 

DARLA 

Continued? Our business is done, unless you want me to continue to collect the bounty on you 

MAINARCH 

There is an artefact that I need retrieved and smuggled into this sector. 

The artefact will, be difficult to acquire and will require of your particular skill set to complete this task 

DARLA 

You have shown yourself to be without honourable. The facts do not lie 

MAINARCH 

Yes, but these facts belie a hidden truth, a truth that I believe will be of great interest to you.  

A truth about Braytack…your father. 

Darla remains emotionless, not betraying any underline feelings. 

Mainarch reaches into his other inside pocket and produces a transparent phone sized datapad, and placed it on the table. 

MAINARCH 

Everything that you need is here 

The solar system, plans to the complex, and your initial payment of two million credits. 

Mainarch slow stands and buttons his coat 

By now the two guards are rising to their feet and position themselves once again at Mainarch’s side. 

MAINARCH 

I am still the governor of this system, and where are there is a bounty on my head, you should know that to collect it you would have to get out of this system, and even then, I think you know that you will not be safe. 

Get me the artefact Darla, and do not challenge me again 

Mainarch walks out of the building with the two bodyguard fore and aft of him to provide adequate protection on the market streets ahead. 

Darla is left in the darkened room in from to the table with her back to a darkened corner of the room. 

DARLA 

Were you not going to jump in during that fight at all Orac, you saw the size of them? 

The tall dark hooded man from act 1 emerges from the shadows and unhoods himself to reveal a dark slender face and bald head. 

ORAC 

You dropped your guard on the eighth parry, and your left side defense is still weak. 

I will add that you your training plan when we get back to the ship. 

I presume that we are taking the assignment. 

DARLA 

It does not look like I have a choice 

ORAC 

We always have choices. Our choices are what define us 

DARLA 

Like the choice my father took to leave me alone on a space station in enemy hands 

ORAC 

You were not alone, I was there, and you were not in enemy hands as the enemy was either dead or incapacitated. 

DARLA 

I am sorry Orac, you are right, you were there. 

I forget that you are there, because you always have been. 

You, as an automaton, have done a better job raising me than any human. 

And I guess that brings us back to the task at hand. 

This artefact is somehow linked to my father. 

Looks like our fate is to be written in the stars and the sand. 

In order to expedite events for this summary script, the following scenes are a montage of death defining scenes including: 

  1. EXT. MONTAGE MARKET. DAY 

Darla and Orac running through the streets with goons in pursuit. Darla evade being capture on a number of occasions using her wit, athletic skill and quarterstaff. 

This is a leapfrog scene switching between Darla and Orac dispatching the goons which allows the other to progress. 

Street pursuit should have comic relief eg Indian Jones, Aladdin, Jackie Chan chases.  

This running battle continues until they reach the doorway to their space port, which opens up to a big reveal of what their spaceship looks like. 

  1. EXT.MONTAGE SPACE. DARK 

 A space chase with Darla and Orac’s ship being pursued through an asteroid field rings of a planet. 

  1. EXT. MONTAGE. MARKET. DUSK 

 Darla negotiating for a digital map in a marketplace, while a goon looks on from the shadows. 

  1. INT. MONTAGE TEMPLE. DARK 

Darla and Orac are completing a number of challenges leading them from one chamber to another, each puzzle more complex than the last. 

  1. INT.TEMPLE. DARK 

 Top down crane shot of Darla hanging from a precipice with one hand as a Mainarch looms over her grimacing 

MAINARCH 

You never knew did you,  

You never understood. 

You never knew why I sent you here, to this place. 

I did not send you here to retrieve the artefact, I sent you here to make sure that the artefact was destroyed, here in this place, where it will unlock the all destructive power of the Wu Clan. 

Your father’s clan 

With the Artefact destroyed there will be nothing to stop Braytack from becoming the most destructive power the universe has ever seen. 

And I will harness that power 

I will control that power 

Braytack will no longer have a conscience, he will no longer have the restraints that keep him in hiding and smother his potential. 

A love for his daughter is the only thing keeping him leached. 

Yes, now, now you understand 

Darla, you are the artefact. 

And now, you must die. 

Mainarch lifts his blaster 

Camera zooms with an impending doom 

Then from the shadows Orac appears, a quick fight ensues and Orac throws Mainarch over the cliff. 

Darla is pulling herself up during the fight 

As Orac moves to help Darla a grapple claw pierces his leg and he is dragged over the side 

Darla dives and grabs Orac’s arm and is pulled to the edge of the precipice.  

A crane shot reveals Darla holding an extended quarterstaff, Orac holding the other end of the quarterstaff, and Mainarch climbing the grapple rope approaching Orac’s leg 

We see the weight of the two men causing Darla to be slowly pulled over 

DARLA 

Hold on Orac, hold on,  

ORAC 

Not this time Darla, there is too much at stake 

Your fate is in the stars, my fate is in the sand. 

DARLA 

No, I can not do this without you, I can not do any of this without you 

ORAC 

Find Braytack, and live 

(First display of emotion) 

I will miss you, as I have always missed you 

Orac lets go of the quarterstaff.  

Orac and Mainarch fall into the abyss. 

Darla watches her guardian fall, helpless to save him   

We see the rage of her loss building inside her as she stands and staggers away from the precipice edge. 

She uses he quarterstaff to steady herself, and then for the first time since her father’s departure in act one we see her display emotion 

Darla begins to shake with rage before extending both arms by her side as she shouts 

DARLA 

(first display of uncontrolled emotion) 

NOOOOO 

As she shouts her veins begin to glow before an explosion of power emanates from her. 

The power flattens everything within 40 feet. 

Darla drops to her knees and sobs uncontrollably 

Over her shoulder we suddenly see a darkened figure appear from the shadows 

SHADOWED FIGURE 

I wish it had not come to this Darla 

Darla looks up and we see a look or recognition in her eyes 

DARLA 

(Whisper) 

Father 

Act 3 

  1. INT. BRAYTACK’S SHIP. DARK 

Darla sits on a chair infront of a table on Braytack’s ship 

Braytack enters the room with a hot drink, he pauses for a moment watching his now calm daughter, who is looking down at the table, contemplating the loss of only father she has truly know. 

He places the cup down within her reach and sits infront of her on the opposite sides of table 

BRAYTACK 

You will have questions… 

DARLA 

You could have saved him…You were there…you did not just come out of nowhere…you could have saved him 

BRAYTACK 

I… 

DARLA (interrupts) 

Choose you next words carefully…I appear to be…unstable 

BRAYTACK 

You are not unstable, you are feeling emotion. You and have great power. This power is driven by our emotions. We require stable environments to keep us in check. Mine was a temple protected by guardians, the temple where I left you.  

Yours, was Orac who was designed to counterbalance your emotions and keep you stable. If you did not know feeling, your power would not become volatile.  I could not raise you without feeling, Orac did. 

DARLA 

You are wrong. Orac did not openly display feeling, but he showed me care every day when he looked after me; compassion when I fell over and he was there to pick me up; pride every time I achieved; determination every time he drove me forward; and love, every time I looked at his face. 

BRAYTACK 

I am comforted that he exceeded his programming and became more to you. 

DARLA 

You were never able to achieve your programming as a father. 

BRAYTACK 

Then I have much to learn…will you help me? 

As your mother would say “Our fate is to be written in the stars and the sand”. 

Darla lifts her head slowly at the familiarity of the phrase. 

The realisation that a phrase that she had learned from her automaton guardian, was a statement with a family legacy. 

END

~ by jeditopcat on 26 September, 2020.

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