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Ironclad Civility
by David Goldstein (rollercoasterdmg@gmail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review:
NOT YET
RATED

A regular voyage becomes a murder mystery on a steamship in the 1890's. This is a stage play rather than a screenplay. If you like psychology thrillers, you should enjoy. please give me suggestions


This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



IRONCLAD CIVILITY

INT. TAYLOR'S OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
TAYLOR is packing his belongings into cases for transport
and destroying other documents. HAROLD is walking in and out
of the room.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
You said it wouldn't come to this.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
I said that should it come to a
withdrawal that we would have
contingency plans, which we do.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
I thought you also said that the
publicity man was good; that he
was effective.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
He was damn it, he was. I don't
know where the leak was but the
damage is beyond control. The fall
man's name has already been
publicized. All that's left for us
to do is walk away.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
      (looking around
       the room)
I built W&T from the ground up.
From the very first crucible, to
the last batch of factories, I
poured the vital years of my life
into shaping this company. To see
it lost in such a fashion is a
deep wound.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
Think of assets purely as assets.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
But this means more that dollars
to me. I never anticipated that I
would feel so attatched. I can't
help but feel that you are in a
way responsible for this
disintegration.
                                                            

2.

                       HAROLD
      (becoming suddenly
       more fierce)
I was not the only one to
undertake this venture, so do not
even begin to marginalize your own
culpability.
                                                            
SAMANTHA enters
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
What is the meaning of this? Is
the entire company to be razed?
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
I'm sorry Miss Martin. There was a
leak and the entire company is
being scrapped.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
No one will come after me will
they? I did all that "extra
paperwork" you asked me to do only
on the condition that I would be
protected in an event such as
this. I see now that was a hollow
promise and that I am being left
to suffer the consequences of your
actions.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
Samantha Martin, the secretary?
They won't go after you,
especially with the focus on that
manager fellow we gave them.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Harold, we can't just leave, I
gave her my word. Do you have a
fourth ticket?
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Ticket? Both of you are just
fleeing with your gains?
                                                            
                       HAROLD
I wouldn't put it that way. But we
do have an opportunity here. Miss
Martin, should we provide you with
transportation and safe haven,
would you, in turn, agree to
forget us and that any of this
ever happened?
                                                            

3.

                       SAMANTHA
      (narrowing her
       eyes)
Is there anyone else who knows of
my involvement?
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
No.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Then you have a deal. I will then
bid you farewell as I must handle
my affairs and pack my things.
                                                            
 
EXT. DOCK - DAY
                                                            
                                         MIDDAY
                                                            
Passengers are sitting around waiting to load onto the ship.
Porters and crewmen move about busily preparing the ship to
disembark
                                                            
                       PAPERBOY
Papers! New investigation and
scandal revealed! Hey, sir, want a
paper?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Not interested, kid, sorry.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
      (stands on a crate)
Fifteen minutes to passenger
loading, please have your tickets
ready.
                                                            
                       MRS. TAYLOR
      (to Mr. Taylor)
We’ve been waiting here twenty
minutes already. He said ten
minutes to board five minutes ago.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Dear, I already told you that was
for blue stamped tickets and mine
is yellow, you can see if you need
to.
                                                            

4.

                       MRS. TAYLOR
      (rummages in her
       purse)
Let me just have a minute and I’ll
show you.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Show me what?
                                                            
                       MRS. TAYLOR
      (holds up ticket)
Got it! Look here, my ticket has a
blue stamp.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
      (sigh)
Margie, it’s purple.
                                                            
                       MRS. TAYLOR
It must be blue, they didn’t give
out purple stamps, and there is no
purple group on the list to board.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Right then, let me have a good,
close look at it.
      (adjusts glasses
       and looks at the
       ticket)
I think you’ve got something there
hon.
      (to FILMORE)
Excuse me… Excuse me, sir?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
      (checking cargo
       manifest, paying
       little attention)
Yes, sir, how may I help you?
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
My wife has been issued a blue
stamp ticket, but I haven’t. We’d
like to board.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
I'm sorry sir, but anyone boarding
must have the appropriate
timestamp.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Look here, man, some mistake has
been made. We’ve been waiting for
the longest time and now we have a
            (MORE)

5.

                       TAYLOR (cont'd)
proper pass.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Sir, it's company policy. I can’t
change it.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Who could?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
The captain would be the man to
speak to.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Let me see him.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
He will be here in a few minutes.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
In a few minutes I might as well
board as yellow! And
if you're calling me yellow…
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Sir, please stay calm, we aim to
give you the best experience
possible, and your cooperation is
appreciated. The bridge is right
over there, you can see if he is
available.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Thank you.
      (to MRS. TAYLOR)
Honey, grab your things.
                                                            
                       MRS. TAYLOR
Coming dear.
                                                            
MR. and MRS. TAYLOR board the ship
                                                            
The crew loads onto the ship, not acknowledging the
passengers overtly. They watch them with a slight air of
disdain. For the remainder of the play, the crew members are
seen only briefly and in the back watching eerily. They are
also seen in scene changes and reflect the mood at the time.
They never speak to the passengers and are always watching
them.
                                                            
Light shifts to DARIUS
                                                            

6.

                       DARIUS
      (to PORTER #1)
May I see my bag for one moment?
                                                            
                       PORTER #1
Sorry sir, I have already loaded
it. You can pick it up once on
board.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I'm afraid that's unacceptable.
                                                            
                       PORTER #1
Sorry to say, mister, I just don't
have it. I'm busy as it is. Wait
until we're underway, and you'll
get your bag then.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (takes some money
       and slips it to
       him)
Are you sure it can't be arranged?
                                                            
                       PORTER #1
I'll see what I can do, but I
can't make any promises.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
See that it's done
                                                            
light shift to SAMANTHA MARTIN with MONTAGUE GRIBBS walking
over to her
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Hello there, my dear, my name is
Montague Gribbs, international
bestselling author and currently
freelance journalist. To whom do I
owe the pleasure of meeting?
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
      (holds out her
       hand lazily)
Samantha Martín, Mr. Gribbs.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Pleased to meet you, miss Martin.
It is miss right?
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
It’s Ms. Martín.
                                                            

7.

                       MONTAGUE
Well I am looking forward to a
wonderful trip. Do you mind if I
inquire as to the reason of your
travel?
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
I happen to. But, anticipating
your persistence, I have family in
France.
                                                            
The ship's bell sounds and the passengers stand to board the
ship.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Look's like we'll have to finish
this conversation another time.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Quite. Please excuse me.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Do you need a hand with luggage or
anything?
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
No, thank you. Really. I'll be
fine on my own.
                                                            
Exeunt
                                                            
 
EXT. MAIN DECK OF SHIP - DAY
                                                            
                                         AFTERNOON
                                                            
Various characters are in different places about the ship in
the normal course of business. DARIUS and MRS. Taylor not
present. MONTAGUE sees EMMELINE reading a worn green leather
book on a lounge chair and walks over.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Greetings, my dear, what is that
book you are reading?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
      (does not move her
       eyes from the
       page to look at
       him)
Discourse on stoicism and its
application to social
interactions.
                                                            

8.

                       MONTAGUE
That sounds like...uh chewy
reading.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I rather enjoy it.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Ever read one of the "Brad Ferce
Adventures" books?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
      (still does not
       look up at him)
I'd have to say not. Isn't that
some cheap discount store series?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Why, no, to the severe contrary.
My harrowing novels are
bestsellers, translated into over
11 languages and critically
acclaimed. You've never read one?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Never.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
You know I based the main
character, Brad Ferce on myself.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Does he die?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
We are both very...What did you
say?!
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I asked if he dies.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
No, of course not, he valiantly
succeeds each time, but only by a
thread.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Where's the suspense?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
What do you mean where's the
suspense it is dreadfully
suspenseful.
                                                            

9.

                       EMMELINE
I'm sure, now if you don't mind...
      (waves hand)
you're in my light.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Fine, yes, well then, I'll be off.
Dinner is in a few moments anyway.
Pleasure to make your
acquaintance.
                                                            
All characters slowly get up and at staggered intervals
leave for their cabins
                                                            
DARIUS comes up against the flow of traffic
                                                            
                       DARIUS (solilioquy)
      (wind blows and he
       tightens his
       jacket)
It is cold this afternoon. But
that is not the only chill breeze
to dance across these decks. To a
boat full of strangers I can be
whoever I want to be, because
unlike the grind of life, I am
only judged by how I act right
now.
Do I change my being? and if so,
how?
I bask in first impressions, not
for the anonymity, but for the
challenge of creating that new
persona...only to have to
regretfully kill him upon
returning home.
Is that not the thrill of
anonymity?
For who has not reveled in the
glory of a charade.
It is the purest art.
The most human, the most complex.
Who reveals more than the feigned
drunkard.
As the world sees him only how he
wishes.
And the perceptions of him lie
entirely in his hands.
For to be loved is the choice of
the admirer.
But to be feared is a choice of
the he who is feared.
And to change ones character on
command is mastery.
            (MORE)

10.

                       DARIUS (cont'd)
Reserved for those who truly see
into the minds of others.
And see clearer into their own
minds themselves.
                                                            
Porter #1 walks by with his arms full.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You there! Where is my property?
                                                            
                       PORTER #1
I've got it for you. It must be
very important. Wait a moment,
I'll fetch it after I finish a few
things.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
It's none of your business. Just
get it quickly, will you?
                                                            
                       PORTER #1
I might be persuaded to get it
quicker...
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (interrupting)
You had better not be asking for
more money.
                                                            
                       PORTER #1
      (looking
       disappointed)
Fine. I'll return shortly.
                                                            
DARIUS walks around quietly for a few moments and then walks
towards the dining room
                                                            
                       PORTER #1
      (catching him
       barely)
Here, sir.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (snatching the bag
       and small wooden
       box quickly)
Thank you. You narrowly avoided a
report to you superiors.
                                                            
                       PORTER #1
I'm glad I did, sir.
                                                            

11.

DARIUS enters the dining room
                                                            
                                         BLACKOUT TO NEXT
SCENE
                                                            
 
INT. CARD ROOM/PATIO - NIGHT
                                                            
                                         LATE EVENING
                                                            
                       BARTLE
What a lovely dinner gentlemen. We
have an excellent chef, don't you
think? Sometimes he makes me not
want to go home. You know what I
mean?
                                                            
Nods of approval from men except MR. TAYLOR
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
I certainly do not!
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Your wife isn't here, you know,
she can't hear you.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
It doesn't matter where she is.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (stepping between
       them)
It's alright gentlemen. Taylor,
you are among friends here, no
charade is necessary. You may
enjoy your wife's cooking but we
can all enjoy a refreshing change.
Captain, will you deal the first
hand?
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Already started m'boy.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
      (pulling out a
       cigar)
Mind if I...?
                                                            
                       BARTLE
      (dealing cards)
Not at all, as Mr. Phalen said,
you are among friends here.
                                                            

12.

                       TAYLOR
      (now lighting it)
Thank you.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (placing his money
       on the table)
Is money on the table acceptable
to everyone? I am rather sensitive
to foul play.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I will if you tell me what you've
got in that box of yours.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Ah, my most valued collection
piece, an antique pepper-box
pistol.
                                                            
He picks up the box and opens it to show MONTAGUE. When he
first opens it, he is startled that something is missing. He
regains his composure, but seems slightly anxious for the
rest of the game.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Really? I favor the revolver
myself. I don't carry it with me,
but I've got it in my room. Remind
me to show it to you sometime Mr.
Phalen will you?
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Can we please just play the hand?
                                                            
Light dims on card game and brightens on EMMELINE and
SAMANTHA on the deck now in coats. EMMELINE is reading
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
What a lovely day we had, that
bodes well for the rest of the
trip. What do you think?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
      (reading a
       different book,
       but still not
       looking at those
       talking to her)
Yes, I suppose it was a clear sky
today.
                                                            

13.

A few seconds pass as SAMANTHA expects something else to be
said
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Have you seen that fellow
pestering me? Uh, Montgomery
something.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Ah, Montague Gribbs, the self
acclaimed writer.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
He comes across rather poorly,
don't you think? I mean, that is
his pen name, is it not?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
In similar terms, I would agree.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Do you do anything interesting
ever? Or is all you do sit around
and read?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Well I did meet the most
interesting fellow at dinner.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Oh?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
      (finally puts down
       her book to look
       at Samantha)
His name is Darius Phalen, we
dined together this evening.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
I saw you two there. Might there
be a bit of oceanic romance afoot?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Well I...
                                                            
They lean close together to talk as the light fades on them
and brightens on the card game
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Straight! I win the hand.
                                                            

14.

                       BARTLE
You can't win, you've got six
cards!
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Well you dealt them to him.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Replay the hand?
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
      (grumbles)
Fine.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Did anyone read the Sunday edition
before we embarked, 1st page,
above the fold, right side?
                                                            
                       BARTLE
No time, why?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
      (proud then
       disappointed)
Well I...nothing, never mind. So
tell me, Darius, who was the young
lady I spied at your table at
dinner?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
That's an interesting question,
Monty. She seems like a fine
woman, named Emmeline as I recall.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Is that so?
                                                            
HAROLD and ERIK enter
                                                            
                       HAROLD
Evening to you, good sirs, Is
there a seat for me at your table?
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Well I was just about to...
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
      (interrupting
       Taylor)
Who's your friend there?
                                                            

15.

                       HAROLD
Please pardon my lack of
introductions. Sincere apologies.
Harold Wedderburn, and my
associate, Erik.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Just Erik?
                                                            
                       HAROLD
He doesn't speak much, but yes,
just Erik.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
As I was saying earlier
      (glares at
       Montague)
I'm about ready to turn in. Enjoy
your game.
                                                            
TAYLOR gets up and leaves
                                                            
HAROLD takes a seat and the light shifts back to the patio
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
He is quite charming.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
How so?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Well he's polite and proper. He
seemed, almost chivalrous.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
      (looks off and has
       an idea)
Sounds wonderful...
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
He spoke at length with me about
literature and logic.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
      (sarcastically)
That sounds like…fun.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Yes quite, but I did find
something...distinct about him.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
What?
                                                            

16.

                       EMMELINE
Well it is difficult to describe.
His expression maybe? He seemed so
resolute, so natural and
confident. It was reassuring but
then again, uncanny.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
      (obviously
       thinking about
       something else)
Oh, yeah
      (waits a moment)
What did he say his favorite book
was and what was it about?
                                                            
Light shift to card game
                                                            
                       HAROLD
You gentlemen are taking my money
quite efficiently.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
      (smiling)
Why thanks.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
What do you think of the old
bucket? Isn't it quite a ship?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
If I wasn't a passenger, I'd say
this were a military vessel.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Keen eye m'boy. It was but then
she was decommissioned and sold
for civilian use. Now I make runs
with cargo and passengers like
yourselves.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
That's very...
                                                            
MRS. TAYLOR screams loudly from offstage. Both groups are
lit and they get up to see what happened.
                                                            
                                         BLACKOUT
                                                            
 
INT. TAYLORS' CABIN - NIGHT
                                                            
                                         MIDNIGHT
                                                            

17.

MR. and MRS. TAYLOR are standing over the corpse of PORTER
#1 horrified at the knife wound to the neck. All others
around doorway and hall.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
My God! What happened?
                                                            
MRS. TAYLOR is almost hysterical she tries to talk but can't
say anything intelligible.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
She had just woken up from her nap
when I came in here because I
turned on the light. We found him
like this.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Someone fetch Filmore at once. Mr.
Phalen and Mr. Gribbs stay here
with me. Everyone return to your
cabins at once. Remain orderly but
make haste. Lock your doors. We
have a murderer on board.
                                                            
All characters reluctantly leave, some trying to sneak a
peek, others with worried expressions.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Montague, I want you to take the
Taylors above decks for me,
please.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Will do.
                                                            
MONTAGUE, TAYLOR and MRS. TAYLOR leave
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Mr. Phalen, I need you to help me
maintain order. Do you think you
could do that?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Yes, absolutely, whatever you
need.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Good, keep watch in the corridor,
I must perform a cursory
examination.
                                                            
DARIUS walks out of the room into the hall.
                                                            

18.

                       DARIUS
Did you find a weapon?
                                                            
                       BARTLE
      (looking around)
Not yet.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Do you know who he is?
                                                            
                       BARTLE
A crewman. I don't know him
personally, but I've seen him
before.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (searching outside
       of the room)
I've got something.
                                                            
DARIUS picks up a knife.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
What?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
It's a bloodied knife on the
ground.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
      (Walks over to
       inspect it)
The murderer must have tossed it
while escaping.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
It looks like a common pocket
knife.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
This may be more sinister than we
first anticipated.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Aye. Let's lock the door and go
above decks.
                                                            
                                         BLACKOUT
                                                            
 
EXT. MAIN DECK OF SHIP - NIGHT
                                                            
                                         MIDNIGHT
                                                            

19.

Only light is from lanterns carried by BARTLE and MONTAGUE
                                                            
MONTAGUE is sitting on the patio with the TAYLORS
                                                            
                       BARTLE
We must tell everyone on board. We
should rouse them now and hold a
briefing.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
My good captain, we mustn't.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Are you suggesting I do not tell
them of the murder? I am certainly
not about to hide such a thing.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I do not suggest it so, rather to
await first light to brief them,
the darkness has a sway on the
emotions in such a time of crisis.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
I suppose that is grounded, Mr.
Phalen. I hope you will return to
your stateroom to rest. There are
yet a few hours till morning.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I believe I will, I bid you
goodnight sir.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Oh and Mr. Phalen?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (turning around)
Yes captain?
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Lock your door.
                                                            
BARTLE walks over to MONTAGUE
                                                            
                       BARTLE
How are they holding up?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Fine, I think, it has been a
traumatizing night.
                                                            

20.

                       BARTLE
I appreciate your help in this.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Not a problem in the slightest.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (to MR. TAYLOR)
Are you doing all right?
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
I believe so. Margaret nodded off
a few minutes ago. She took this
rather poorly.
      (he strokes her
       hair and then
       looks surprised)
Something is wrong!
                                                            
BARTLE and MONTAGUE come over
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
She is cold
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
What? What are you saying?
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Her breath is faint! Help me with
her.
                                                            
FILMORE runs over from below decks.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
I came as quick as I could. I was
told briefly of the situation.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
It's no use.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
From what affliction does she ail?
She wept on my shoulder not ten
minutes ago.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
She has passed Mr. Taylor.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
Good lord...
      (stumbles back a
       few feet)
What treachery wove this? Is
Margaret taken from me? Damn this
            (MORE)

21.

                       TAYLOR (cont'd)
boat to Hell I say! Good lord I
said, never a more pitiful lie did
spit from my mouth. It is not a
good lord what kills an innocent
woman. She would harm none!
      (he stops, pounds
       his fists on the
       railing and
       collapses, crying)
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Poison.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
What?
                                                            
                       BARTLE
She must have been poisoned.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I thought her hysteria was from
the body in her room.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Aye, it was, but also some venom
did course through her then.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
I've got some smelling salts,
but...
      (he is
       uncomfortable to
       finish the
       sentence)
well...
                                                            
                       BARTLE
We must hope this night claims no
more souls.
                                                            
 
EXT. MAIN DECK OF SHIP - DAY
                                                            
                                         MORNING
                                                            
DARIUS is leaning on the railing looking out to sea.
SAMANTHA approaches.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Morning there. Not at the
captain's briefing?
                                                            

22.

                       DARIUS
      (sigh)
I know what he has to say...But
you?
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
All of this talk of murder, and to
know he is on board, I might just
get a little scared.
      (walks next to
       DARIUS)
I wanted to be away from all of
that...and be with someone I
trust... to protect me and all.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I expect you can get that from me.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
You know, this reminds me of a
book I love, maybe you've heard of
it? The Shadows of Madness.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (he turns around)
I'm sorry?
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Yes, the uh symbolism seems
similar.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (raising an
       eyebrow)
How so?
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
You must know how it was
so...powerful and revealing of
      (trails off
       inaudibly)
the human something or another.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (smiles at her for
       the first time)
As a matter of fact I do.
                                                            
EMMELINE sees DARIUS with SAMANTHA and rushes over to talk
to him.
                                                            

23.

                       EMMELINE
Why Darius, how lovely to catch
you here, under rather portentous
circumstances, I regret. I see
you've met my...my friend Samantha
Martin.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Martin. (mar-teen)
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Sure. We haven't talked since
yesterday. Would you like to take
a walk?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I would love to, my dear.
Samantha, I'm sorry but I must
continue this conversation at a
later time. I will make it up to
you, yes?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
It's all right, she forgives you.
We'd best be going.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I suppose I'm off then, Samantha.
                                                            
SAMANTHA pouts and walks away. DARIUS and EMMELINE walk
around the ship.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
What do you think about this whole
business of the murderer being on
board.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
It is rather disturbing, but I'm
decently confident I could take
most of the men here.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Who says it is a man?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Well I naturally assumed... You
know It's not me I fear for, It is
for those I hold dear.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
How sweet!
                                                            

24.

                       DARIUS
Seeing what happened to Mrs.
Taylor
      (pause)
Be wary, will you?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I will, you don't have to worry
much, especially if you are there
to protect me.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I hate to have terrible timing,
but I just realized I have to
leave.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Oh but must you now? Why?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I cannot tell you, but I can
assure you it is a good reason.
You will appreciate it.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Will I?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (kisses EMMELINE's
       hand)
Until later, my dear.
                                                            
DARIUS leaves and a few moments later SAMANTHA walks over
angrily.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Just what exactly were you trying
to pull, stealing him from me like
that!
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I'm doing nothing of the sort. I
enjoy his company and the
intellectual rapport we have.
      (sarcastically)
I know that is what you are
interested in.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Don't get your hopes up. I'll get
him quickly. I always do.
                                                            

25.

SAMANTHA struts past her and leaves. The other passengers
enter and mill around worriedly. BARTLE and FILMORE come to
center stage.
                                                            
All slowly exit except for BARTLE and FILMORE.
                                                            
 
EXT. MAIN DECK OF SHIP - DAY
                                                            
                                         LATE MORNING
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Damn it Filmore, what are we going
to do about this?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Why sir, I didn't know you were so
emotionally broken up about this.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Of course I am, I just can't show
it up front of the passengers.
That's how it always is with them.
If I don't have a stiff upper lip,
we descend into the depths of
chaos. At this point the last
thing we need is the collapse of
order.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
I wholeheartedly agree, sir.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
We need to put it all into this
one. Everything odd you notice,
tell me. In fact, tell me
everything that is too ordinary as
well.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
I'd be telling you everything that
happens then, captain.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Blast it man! You know what I
mean.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Yes, I do sir.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Thank you, I appreciate
reliability in a crisis. Filmore,
please don't exclude anyone right
            (MORE)

26.

                       BARTLE (cont'd)
away, I'm afraid that everyone is
a suspect until otherwise proven.
Clear?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Yes, I know, I won't take anything
lightly in all of this.
                                                            
FILMORE leaves and BARTLE paces, contemplating the
situation. FILMORE returns hurriedly.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
What could it be, man? You left me
not a moment ago.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Dire news. A crewman informed me
Mr. Taylor is hung by the neck off
the stern of the ship.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
...Suicide?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
He must have been too distraught
over his wife.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Did anyone see it?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Not to my knowledge, no.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Let us go then. He spoke of this
boat being damned. We must pray he
erred.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
I have the crew checking the
locations of the passengers.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
As long as none of them are near
when you...haul him aboard.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Aye, sir.
                                                            
INTERMISSION
                                                            
 

27.

EXT. STERN OF SHIP - NIGHT
                                                            
                                         BEFORE SUNRISE
                                                            
DARIUS is hidden as MR. TAYLOR paces on the deck. The only
light is a lamp set on a crate.
                                                            
                       TAYLOR
I must find who did this to her.
To her... who
      (mumbling to
       himself)
The room and she was but who
and...
      (crying)
To think that I held her there in
my arms. She was dying and I did
nothing. I did nothing to help
her! Reminiscence does nothing as
well. It is clear what I must now
do. I'll tell everyone about our
plot, that will flush out the
culprit and may yet save lives.
                                                            
Darius closes behind him and slips a rope around his neck,
and after a struggle, he is thrown off the ship.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
An honest man spoiled by dishonest
ambition.
If only he had not thrown me
overboard, he would not have been
thrown as well.
                                                            
 
EXT. MAIN DECK OF SHIP - DAY
                                                            
                                         AFTERNOON
                                                            
MONTAGUE, DARIUS, EMMELINE, SAMANTHA, ERIK, and HAROLD are
standing in a line with some bags in that order. Each person
has a spotlight down on them.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Ladies and Gentlemen, at this time
it has become necessary to
institute a harsher investigation.
We apologize for the
inconvenience, but the captain has
ordered a full, thorough search.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
This'll be a load of fun...
                                                            

28.

                       MONTAGUE
A load of somethin'
      (he turns to
       DARIUS)
Does he have the right to do this?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You must understand that at sea,
the captain is the law.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Really?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Yes, he can even perform
marriages. We aren't in
territorial waters.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
After some miles it's open ocean
legally. As far as jurisdiction is
concerned, international laws
apply...things
like...murder...aren't governed by
one country.
                                                            
FILMORE first comes to ERIK, who takes a breath and puffs
out his chest. After a glare from ERIK, FILMORE moves on to
HAROLD. ERIK looks at him and shakes his head. FILMORE goes
to HAROLD'S briefcase. HAROLD looks at ERIK and nods. ERIK
doesn't stop FILMORE. FILMORE tosses the bag to a waiting
seaman. FILMORE begins to pat down SAMANTHA, who is
disgusted at being touched by him.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
      (He pulls out his
       idea pad)
What if the absolutist captain
broke down, then what?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
In a civilian fleet it's slightly
different, but in the Navy there
are regulations to deal with that
situation.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I wonder who killed that crewman.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Maybe another disgruntled crew
member.
                                                            

29.

                       SAMANTHA
What if someone is here to kill
all of us?
                                                            
FILMORE reaches EMMELINE and tosses her bag into the pile.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
Are you suggesting some serial
killer aboard?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I wrote a book about a serial
killer once.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
I bet it was as dull as someone I
know.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
You wouldn't know a good book if
one hit you over the head!
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I bet Brad catches the killer. Am
I right?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
You'll have to read the book to
find out.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
He shoots him doesn't he?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Yeah...
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Haven't you considered putting
something weighty in there?
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Sweetie, he wishes he had
something weighty out here.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
You know, that is the last I will
hear from you. I swear to God!
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
About the book?
                                                            

30.

                       MONTAGUE
Oh, yes, I've tried, but that
doesn't flip pages.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Then what is your method?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I think that my role as a writer
is to shape the events in my
world, the dialog and actions are
up to the characters themselves.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
That's the first interesting thing
that has come out of your mouth.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Everything else was stupid,
crumbs, or spit.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
      (He moves suddenly
       towards SAMANTHA)
I've had it with you! Do you want
to learn who is stupid, you damned
floozy ?
                                                            
FILMORE and DARIUS grab and restrain MONTAGUE.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
If we can all maintain control in
this stressful situation... Your
luggage can be picked up after
lunch.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Don't you think we should do
something to protect ourselves,
Darius?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I'm looking over my shoulder, as
should you. Just lock your door
and don't go out alone.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
      (she looks at
       DARIUS)
I don't think that should be much
of a problem.
                                                            

31.

                       SAMANTHA
      (she looks at
       DARIUS, then at
       EMMELINE)
I don't see why it would be.
                                                            
Everyone disperses except for EMMELINE and DARIUS.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Why are you here, Dare?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Business.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
What business?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I'm bound not to say.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Oh, but for me?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
It's important, but I must not
say. Why are you here?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
      (she grabs his
       collar and smiles
       at him)
I won't say.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Aren't you now a fox?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
On occasion I'm a fox, but
occasionally as well I'm a
lioness.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Tell me. I would not expect one
such as yourself to travel
unaccompanied unless something
unfortunate had occurred.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
It is odd that you would put it
so, but I must be made plain. My
brother was killed in accident at
the foundry where he worked about
two weeks ago.
                                                            

32.

                       DARIUS
It couldn't be Wilkins & Taylor
Foundry, could it?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Precisely. There was little to no
disclosure about the circumstances
of Peter's death, so I proceeded
to investigate thoroughly myself.
What I discovered was shocking to
say the least.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Could you share your findings with
me?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Not now. I fear for my safety in
public company.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I understand, it'll be discussed
later then. Until we are in such
private company, stay close and in
my sight.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I'm glad I've got you to protect
me. You know, I've been wondering
why the captain hasn't turned the
ship around.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
That puzzles me as well.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I mean, we aren't yet halfway
there, so turning around would be
faster.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Maybe the cargo needs to reach its
destination
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
That would be quite some cargo to
override the deaths of passengers.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
This is quite some ship.
                                                            
                                         BLACKOUT
                                                            
 

33.

EXT. BAR / MAIN DECK OF SHIP - DAY
                                                            
                                         EARLY EVENING
                                                            
SAMANTHA is at the bar reading a card.
                                                            
                       DARIUS (vo)
Dearest Samantha,
You have my deepest apologies for
the charade I have put on. You
know I love you, not that bookworm
Roberts. If you feel the same,
meet me on the patio this
afternoon. Make sure you aren't
seen by anyone; that jealous hag
would find out. You know she has
sources. I want to see you soon.
Longingly,
Darius Phalen
                                                            
SAMANTHA takes a drink and gets up from the bar and walks
outside. DARIUS is crouched and steadied on the balcony
above. He looks a SAMANTHA with a gun pointed at her.
                                                            
                       SAMANTHA
Where is Darius? He said to meet
him here. Am I enamored with him
of my own whim or of a spiteful
anger against that know-it-all. I
suppose that I'll just let time
tell me which. After all, what
can't time do in its epic, sweet
embrace?
                                                            
Two shots are fired and SAMANTHA spins to the floor.
                                                            
DARIUS tosses the gun to the deck below with a handkerchief
on it. He runs into the ship as people funnel out in a state
of disarray.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
What the hell is going on here?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
My words exactly captain.
                                                            
EMMELINE faints into DARIUS'S arms when she walks out.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
This is the third murder in cold
blood. The killer is here, one of
us.
                                                            

34.

MONTAGUE walks in.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
Lovely timing, Mr. Gribbs.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Captain...
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Where were you Mr. Gribbs?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
In my room, writing.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Alone?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
      (apprehensively)
Yes...?
                                                            
                       HAROLD
You didn't have the best rapport
with the late Ms. Martin.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I didn't, but that doesn't mean...
                                                            
                       FILMORE
      (picks up
       handkerchief)
Captain! Look here.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
What am I seeing?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Each stateroom has a supply of
handkerchiefs with the ship's
insignia and room number
embroidered in them.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Does this mean we have the
murderer's room number?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
I do believe it to be so.
                                                            
Silence, awaiting the number.
                                                            

35.

                       FILMORE
17, yes, it's room 17. Whoever
shot the gun got the cloth from
there. Who's room is that?
                                                            
                       HAROLD
I'm in 15 and Erik is in 16. Erik,
who is next to you?
                                                            
ERIK leans over and whispers in his ear covered by a hand.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
How sincere. That is Montague's
room.
                                                            
They all gasp and look at MONTAGUE
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I wasn't there, I swear.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
That doesn't sound probable.
Especially considering your
outburst at her earlier.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Honestly, I was writing.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
I never trust a man who says
"honestly". It calls into question
all his other statements.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
And his statements are in
question.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Do we have conclusive proof of
this?
                                                            
EMMELINE enters.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
What happened?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Mr. Gribbs killed Samantha.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
He did?
                                                            

36.

                       MONTAGUE
I did not.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
It would seem, fair sir, that you
did.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I did not!
                                                            
ERIK nods at him.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I told you all I did not do it!
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Do you accuse someone else?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I do not.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Then you...
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I did not!!
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Maybe we're being to hasty.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
It is easiest and fastest to
convict a guilty man.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Isn't an innocent man damned by
the same coin?
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Are you questioning my judgment?
                                                            
ERIK pins MONTAGUE to the wall.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
      (bordering on
       tears)
Please let me go, I did nothing
wrong.
                                                            

37.

                       BARTLE
Tomorrow morning we will conduct a
trial for you. Nothing had better
happen tonight, or your punishment
will not wait 'til land.
                                                            
All exit except for MONTAGUE and DARIUS.
                                                            
 
EXT. MAIN DECK OF SHIP - NIGHT
                                                            
                                         EVENING
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I appreciate you sticking up for
me.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (disconcerting
       smile)
My pleasure.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I remember how that napkin left my
possession. I lent it to you.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You did.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
But that would mean...
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I did.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Why would you?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Because you covered it up. You
wrote the articles and
advertisements willfully intending
to deceive the public. Their
scheme would not have been
possible without your propaganda.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
How do you know anything about it?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You might say, I'm protecting a
confidential source. But I will
grant you a choice.
                                                            

38.

                       MONTAGUE
If I refuse?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I shoot you.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Can I work with you?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I can't afford the risk.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
I'm no risk, really, you can count
on me.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Can I?
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Absolutely.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Very well, go wake the captain and
tell him there has been a murder.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
Who was killed?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You aren't sure, just have him
come up here to see.
                                                            
                       MONTAGUE
All right, Phalen, I'll do as you
ask.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I'm sure.
                                                            
MONTAGUE turns to leave. DARIUS runs behind him and stabs
him in the back and covers his mouth. MONTAGUE struggles to
cry out and goes limp.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Shhhhhhh. Shhhhhh. It is good
night to you Montague Gribbs.
      (he releases
       MONTAGUE onto the
       deck)
Good sir, I bid you farewell.
                                                            

39.

DARIUS walks around and thinks for a moment. He then has an
idea and drops the bloody knife onto the body. He drags the
body out of view, simulating dragging it to the lifeboat
launch deck. He returns after a few moments and runs hastily
into the ship.
                                                            
 
INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT
                                                            
                                         LATE EVENING
                                                            
DARIUS runs somewhat stealthily but bumps into FILMORE who
is patrolling the halls.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Mr. Phalen! What are you doing out
at this hour?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (rapidly changes
       his expression)
Why, I am heading back to my
stateroom. I went topside for some
fresh air.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Fresh air? You are aware of the
curfew order you just blatantly
violated.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Am I a prisoner to my room at
night?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
I'm sorry sir, but that is the
policy that the captain has
instituted. It does draw suspicion
that you are out alone after dark.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I warn you not to make any
accusations you are not willing to
stand behind. Now if you would
excuse me.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
I've had it with you damned
passengers always whining about
this and that. This is a ship, do
I look like a concierge? You
should handle some damn
inconveniences to your damn mild
sensibilities. Is it too much to
            (MORE)

40.

                       FILMORE (cont'd)
ask? Is it?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Sir, your demeanor is shocking.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Drop the act, Darius. Pull back
the veil of sophistication. All of
this polish and pomp here is
nothing. Even the finest panoply
is stained by the money dripping
from the slavering jaws of greed.
We all carry some façade around to
hide what we want to say. Don't
you see that?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Oh, believe me that I do see it.
But do you not therein see the
opportunity? Such a ironclad
civility leaves a perforated
barrier to social intrusion. It is
such a beautiful self deception.
What cannot be done by one with a
controlled cast? How is the line
drawn between safety and security?
Is that choice dictated by our
savage disrespect for our
neighbors' privacy, or by our base
instinct for our own. You seem to
have chosen a side.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
As have you...How do you justify
your position to herald rights
when it can be easily condemned by
pragmatism? There is a killer on
board. That is a fact.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
And if were to tell you I caught
him just now, what would you say?
Would it then not be a
contradiction to you that the
violation of those very rules
allowed me to stop this madness?
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Yes, that would be interesting to
say the least...Will you show me?
                                                            

41.

                       DARIUS
That was intended as a
hypothetical. And yet your
eagerness has persuaded me. I am
reluctant as we have found
ourselves on not quite parallel
lines, but yes, I will. Come
along, my surprise is yet
unfathomable.
                                                            
DARIUS leads FILMORE topside
                                                            
 
EXT. LIFEBOAT LAUNCH DECK - NIGHT
                                                            
                                         LATE EVENING
                                                            
DARIUS and FILMORE enter from stairs.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
He's over here. I caught him
trying to leave on a lifeboat.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
And how did he end up?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
He brandished a knife, and I
disarmed him. I expect he knew
that he had no chance of standing
trial here. It got violent and
this is how things ended.
                                                            
                       FILMORE
Peculiar.
                                                            
FILMORE leans into a lifeboat, out of which is protruding
MONTAGUE'S arm.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I apologize, as you have proven
wiser than I surmised. I assure
you that my ambition well worth
it.
                                                            
DARIUS hits FILMORE over the head. When FILMORE slumps onto
the floor unconscious, DARIUS picks up the bloody knife and
cuts his throat.
                                                            
DARIUS lowers the lifeboat over the side with MONTAGUE
inside. He leaves the knife near FILMORE'S body and walks
away.
                                                            

42.

                       DARIUS
Terrible is the price that has
been and will be paid for what is
right. Pawns although necessarily
sacrificed, have a certain charm;
each one a queen in its own right.
You just have to push them far
enough.
                                                            
 
EXT. CARD ROOM - DAY
                                                            
                                         EARLY MORNING
                                                            
DARIUS rings the ship's bell.
                                                            
BARTLE, EMMELINE, HAROLD, and ERIK run out topside, half
dressed and confused.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Everyone come quick!
                                                            
BARTLE sees what happened first.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Is Montague here?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
He is missing, as well as a boat.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Mr. Phalen, what in God's name
happened?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I didn't see exactly, but by the
missing lifeboat and body, I'd say
Filmore found Mr. Gribbs trying to
escape and he met an unfortunate
end. Montague must now be long
gone, as I stumbled upon the scene
during my sunrise constitutional.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
It is a relief that the killer is
gone, but disconcerting that he is
loose on the world. I suppose this
puts to rest the doubt over his
guilt.
                                                            

43.

                       EMMELINE
Oh, yes, but can the joy over our
safety overcome our sadness over
the loss of our companions?
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Filmore was the best mate a
captain could ask for.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
So many people dead. I wonder why
he did it?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I don't think we'll ever be able
to find out.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
What a terrible dilemma.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
What do we do now?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I don't know...
                                                            
                       BARTLE
I believe we must carry on as best
we can.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I think we should all take some
peaceful time to reflect. This has
been a traumatic experience.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
I see. That might be best.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
      (to DARIUS)
Come with me, please, I want to
talk.
                                                            
 
INT. EMMELINE'S STATEROOM - DAY
                                                            
                                         MIDDAY
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Yes, what is it?
                                                            

44.

                       EMMELINE
You know, Darius, this – all of
it, as horrible as it is -- has
made me realize the… extent of my
feelings for you.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I admit, I have been rather...
preoccupied with my decidedly...
similar siutation
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
You don't know how relieved I am
to hear that from you. I… I was
worried that you had feelings for…
Well, I shouldn't…
                                                            
DARIUS puts his hand to her lips.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Don't. Just be with me here now.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
There isn't a place I'd rather be.
Or, on the thought of it, I'd
rather be many other places, but
with you regardless.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Naught but semantics.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
For once, let's ignore text.
                                                            
DARIUS opens his mouth to speak but EMMELINE stops him. They
kiss and DARIUS reaches out and puts out the light.
                                                            
                                         BLACKOUT
                                                            
 
EXT. MAIN DECK OF SHIP - DAY
                                                            
                                         EARLY AFTERNOON
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
How lovely, it's overcast today. I
hope it rains.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Really?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Oh yes, I would love some rain.
                                                            

45.

                       DARIUS
Why ever would that be? Don't you
love a sunny day?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Not at all. When I was a girl, it
rarely ever rained and it was
almost always sunny. Rain was so
much fun because it was different.
I remember playing with the
miniature rivers that formed all
over the place; building dams of
pebbles and sticks to postpone the
inevitable collapse and
dissolution into the stream. Rain
endowed the world with motion. It
gave excitement to a bland
landscape. The gentle
pitter-patter of the droplets
soothed me to sleep, and the cold
made me treasure the warmth of my
bed.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I can hardly imagine. I used to
hope the snow or rain would let up
so I could go out.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I never had snow. I wished for it,
but I never had that white morning
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Funny how geography does that.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I would go so far as to say that
people often carry traits of where
they grew up.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Emm, have you ever noticed the
uncanny ability of people to
return to routine after a trauma.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Yes, but it seems normal to me.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
It doesn't surprise you?
                                                            

46.

                       EMMELINE
Routine is routine because it is
comforting, dear. So of course
that's what people do. It's what
they know.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You're saying that when the status
quo is disturbed, people will do
what it takes to return to
normality. It is then that they
are most at ease, yes?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Thus is the nature of man. I mean
we are taking a walk and others
are acting as though nothing
happened because that is what
feels best to do. When a trauma,
say a murder, is encountered,
afterwards, is what people really
want to do to talk about it. Do
they really want their lives
disrupted? You know they crave
what they had.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Their sense of security?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Exactly.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
So they are more vulnerable
because they want to believe they
are safe?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Vulnerable, yes, I suppose,
because they can easily be
convinced to action. I believe an
appropriate phrase is, "People are
by nature changeable. It is easy
to persuade them about some
particular matter, but it is hard
to hold them to that persuasion.
Hence it is necessary to provide
that when they no longer believe,
they can be forced to believe."
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Intriguing. You know, that's given
me an idea.
                                                            

47.

                       EMMELINE
Yes?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Let's have a social event tonight
It might give everyone a chance to
face what's happened and move on.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I don't think that would be
agreeable to all.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
If you arrange music and drinks,
maybe have someone help you with
some lighting. It'll lighten up
this ship.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Are you sure?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Yes, quite. Wouldn't you say a
chance to relax -- lift the pall
of gloom hanging over everyone?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I could use a break from this
oppressive haze. Would the crew be
allowed to come?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You know, I've noticed something
odd about them for the whole trip.
Have you?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I believe so. You mean how they
always seem to be watching you
from the shadows?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
It's eerie.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I wasn't going to say this, but
it's possible they know more than
we think they do.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (now looks
       uncomfortable but
       trying to contain
       it)
            (MORE)

48.

                       DARIUS (cont'd)
I'm sorry?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I think they've seen at least a
few of the murders, but they
aren't telling us.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (somewhat worried
       but disguising it)
If they knew the killer was
Montague why didn't they tell us.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
      (with a look of
       fearful suprise)
Because maybe Montague wasn't the
killer.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You cannot be serious.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Indeed I am, and how grave.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
And yet still shouldn't they say
something?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Maybe they hold their tongues for
fear of reprisal killings. Maybe
they hold them for the culprit is
a fellow crewman. Or it is
sincerely possible that they
approve of the killer's actions
assuming he isn't one of them.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Emmeline, for all of your wisdom,
I beg you now to apply it and do
not speak of this to anyone.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
You confound me, Darius.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Yet hear me. If the rest get word
that the killer is still here,
there would be no way to catch
him. Right now, if he wasn't
Montague, he has his guard down.
            (MORE)

49.

                       DARIUS (cont'd)
We can flush him out.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I understand.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
We'll speak later. I have to go
check with the captain.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Ok, hurry back.
                                                            
 
INT. CHART ROOM - DAY
                                                            
CAPTAIN BARTLE is frustrated and fumbling with charts and
navigation tools.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Dammit I need Filmore to help me
pilot this accursed ship.
                                                            
DARIUS walks in with a dignified stride.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Darius Phalen, what are you doing
on my bridge?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Emmeline and I have had an idea to
relieve the tension among the
survivors.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Have you now?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Let's have an event this evening,
something casual with drinks and
music.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
I'm swamped here, just getting
this ship to port. You know I
couldn't take on anything else at
this point.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I can see that sir, yes. I'll see
to it personally that no extra
work for you is entailed.
                                                            

50.

                       BARTLE
I'm sorry m'boy but I cannot
oblige. Now either help me or let
me alone.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I'm sorry you see it that way.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
When you get to be my age, boy,
you end up sorry for a lot of
things, not half of them your
fault. I'm not saying you can't
drink your problems away, rather
that we can't have a sanctioned
event. Not now anyway.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I must respect your choice, as
must I hasten to tell Emmeline.
Thank you for the time.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
Evening Mr. Phalen.
                                                            
 
EXT. MAIN DECK OF SHIP - NIGHT
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
What did the captain say?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
As you expected he did not
approve.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Maybe it's for the best.
                                                            
Lightning streaks across the black sky and moments after,
thunder booms powerfully. DARIUS turns his head upwards
cautiously, but EMMELINE laughs gleefully.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Isn't that wonderful Darius?! An
electric storm. And we are
steaming into the heart of it.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Wonderful indeed.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Oh it is. Let me show you. There
is a spot I discovered quickly
where you can feel the power of
            (MORE)

51.

                       EMMELINE (cont'd)
nature at your fingertips.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You know how to fascinate me. Show
me this place.
                                                            
 
EXT. BOW OF SHIP - NIGHT
                                                            
Rain is now coming down along with the lightning storm.
Because there are no obstructions, huge, sprawling arc
lighting can be seen across the sky when it flashes. It
lights up the ship and the ocean as bright as day for a
fraction of a second. Because the ship is traveling at
speed, the rain is falling sideways.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Come! Over here, before the storm
abates.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
What's this you want to show me?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Oh, it's wonderful dear, just
wonderful.
                                                            
She takes him to the very front behind a wall with a
handrail. They are beginning to get wet.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
It's raining. I see the appeal.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
No, no, climb up here.
                                                            
She climbs up onto the railing to get her head over the
wall. She helps him up.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Isn't that fantastic? A wide black
expanse as far as the eye can see.
The rain against your skin. And
wait...there, lightning! and the
sea lights up for you. Otherwise
you are enveloped by the black
bubble. Where does the sky end and
the ocean begin? tell me? can you
see it?
                                                            

52.

                       DARIUS
You're right. It is otherworldly.
Why, I'd venture to say this is
fantastic. Nature is so huge, so
awe inspiring.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Be silent now, and become one with
the ship and the elements.
                                                            
They pause on their precarious roost. Both are drenched and
laughing slightly when lightning strikes.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I feel it now. I see. The ship
falls away and becomes part of my
body. The mighty ocean is so
massive, so expansive. The thunder
is thrilling.
                                                            
He steps off and away from the railing and offers to help
EMMELINE down.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Life changing isn't it?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You've shown me something magical
here Emm.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I knew you'd think so. Thanks for
coming here with me. I've been
dying to share it with someone.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
I'm glad you chose to share it
with me.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
No one else I'd rather bring.
                                                            
The lighting fades out to the sound of rain and wind.
Lighting strikes and the stage is momentarily lit and DARIUS
and EMMELINE are in each other's embrace sharing a kiss. It
is immediately dark again and a few moments later thunder
booms and the scene ends.
                                                            
 

53.

INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT
                                                            
DARIUS turns a corner and sees ERIK down the passageway. It
is too narrow to pass beside the large manservant without
his notice.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
The bodyguard alone. But how can I
defeat him without being
discovered. The brute has such
great maws as not to be likely to
lose at close combat. And then a
shot would draw attention. But am
I not at a point where the
attention is warranted? And hence
I start the finish!
                                                            
He has hidden behind the corner while speaking. He then
slowly aims from behind it at ERIK walking down the
corridor. DARIUS fires and is realized by his victim only a
second before the shot.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Now to see the mastermind again
firsthand.
                                                            
DARIUS runs over dying ERIK and up the stairs to the main
deck.
                                                            
 
EXT. STERN OF SHIP - NIGHT
                                                            
Harold is standing with his arm's crossed and looking
around. After a few moments a gunshot is heard offstage. He
drops suddenly and looks for the shooter. It is DARIUS
belowdecks from the previous scene.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
      (ducking)
My God!
                                                            
DARIUS runs onstage from a stairwell.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
This will end here.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
I haven't a clue what you know,
but I can assure you that you are
in over your head.
                                                            

54.

                       DARIUS
      (pointing the
       pistol)
I know more than you have
appraised. I know what I must do
as well to save the lives of
thousands. I know not how you bear
the weight of your own conscience.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
My conscience? Am I the one with
blood on his hands? Not only have
I not perpetrated these
atrocities, but according to the
public, I had no part in the
scheme as well. In the eyes of the
masses, it is you whose greed
trumped his responsibility, not
me.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
When asked to deliver puddled
iron, all you did was prepare
puddled blood.
                                                            
                       HAROLD
Do not be so coy. The low grade
alloy would have lasted at least
5-10 years. By then this whole
mess would have disappeared, and
any potential failure merely a
statistic.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
And when that tower crumbles? And
when that bridge frays? Innocent
people will pay those cents per
ton a hundredfold over. You have
no qualms with this?
                                                            
                       HAROLD
You fail to see the insignificance
of that hypothetical. Let the
metal be replaced in a few years.
What are the ramifications then,
hm? A mild dent in a bloated
bureaucratic budget? Hardly any of
my concern. Besides, it's no
longer my dilemma. The public
hungers for their goat, and you've
got a bell around your neck. The
manager looking to augment a
"bonus." They're all suckers for
            (MORE)

55.

                       HAROLD (cont'd)
an easy sell.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You really think supplying
dangerously inferior iron is a
public relations issue?
                                                            
EMMELINE hurriedly enters.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Darius!
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Damn! you shouldn't have come.
This isn't your place. I have to
go through with this.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Is what I see so true as can be
guessed?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Regretfully so, my dear.
                                                            
EMMELINE is terribly upset and incredulous.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Look away, Emm.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I'll look where I damn well
please. Anything you can do in
good conscience do can be done in
my presence, can it not?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
You gave me all the information I
needed. Trust that I will confide
in you.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
And this is where trusting you has
gotten me? Here, Darius, so what
am I to base my trust on? Have you
such a record as to merit this?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
It's different now.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
How could it be different?
                                                            

56.

                       DARIUS
I can't put it in words.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
If you cannot speak it to me, then
it is not truth.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
It is more truth than ought I have
spoken.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Then tell me as you would what it
is.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
What was it you told me? To for
once ignore text?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Then I compel you to action.
                                                            
DARIUS turns and decidedly fires three equally spaced shots
into HAROLD. The shots are accompanied by a startled shout
from EMMELINE.He slumps and then falls to the deck,
thoroughly vanquished.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
No! Dar....
                                                            
EMMELINE is unable to finish the word as DARIUS lowers the
smoking barrel silently. They look at each other for a
period of silence.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (finally breaking
       the quiet)
I can only attempt to justify
myself.
                                                            
EMMELINE does not reply, rather she continues to stare at
DARIUS.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Put simply, as you found, Harold
was an aristocratic investor, and
Erik, his protector. Mr. Taylor's
company was contracted to provide
structural materials for a few
large French projects, and Harold
convinced him to skim extra
profits by producing shoddy,
hazardous bars. But when you found
out and publicized the fraud, they
            (MORE)

57.

                       DARIUS (cont'd)
saddled publicly me with the blame
for the entire treason.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
So it was my report that incited
this...
                                                            
                       DARIUS
"At this point one may note that
men must be either pampered or
annihilated. They avenge light
offenses; they cannot avenge
severe ones; hence, the harm one
does to a man must be such as to
obviate any fear of revenge."
Would you not have told me that a
while ago?
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Yes, but I only quoted that for
scholastic discussion. You're mad.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Mad? Am I mad, Emm, truly? Think
of the countless people I've
saved. I have done what I felt was
right.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
You seemed so charming, and yet...
                                                            
                       DARIUS
Will you not come with me? For I
have prevented such a
conflagration of damage as to far
outweigh any losses here.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
How can I now that I've witnessed
what you are capable of? You've
committed atrocities over a
machination of your mind. Darius,
be rational. You've killed all of
them for naught.

                                                            
                       DARIUS
And if I told you I knew for sure?
What say you then?
                                                            

58.

                       EMMELINE
You've lied to me Darius, I'm not
sure how to forgive that.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (In an outburst)
But damn it all, Emmeline, isn't
it plain? I love you. You have
broken me.
                                                            
They both seem suprised at his uncharacteristic forwardness.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
Is that your truth?
                                                            
                       DARIUS
For all my treachery, now it is
from my chest and I must speak
truth.
                                                            
                       EMMELINE
I don't see how I can...
                                                            
EMMELINE contemplates his offer for a moment. BARTLE steps
out onto the deck next to EMMELINE rifle in hand. He has it
pointed at DARIUS. DARIUS quickly aims to fire his pistol
instinctively. The captain fires first striking DARIUS in
the left arm. DARIUS's shot misfires expelling all
remaining bullets at once. One strikes the captain in the
side, one ricochets away, and the last hits EMMELINE in the
abdomen.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
EMMELINE!
                                                            
                       BARTLE
I heard it all from the bridge.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (still reeling
       from the
       realization that
       he has wounded
       her)
Look what you've made me do.
                                                            
                       BARTLE
      (draws and elegant
       dueling sword and
       discards the
       spent rifle)
I have not made you commit any of
these heinous acts aboard this
ship. She died to feed your own
            (MORE)

59.

                       BARTLE (cont'd)
ambition as did the rest of them.
Be prepared to defend your
decision with your life.
                                                            
DARIUS runs back to HAROLD who had a sword at his waist,
mostly for show. He draws it and engages BARTLE in a fight.
DARIUS is more agile and BARTLE is stiffer from age, but
still a seasoned veteran. DARIUS eventually wins.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
      (approaching the
       dying BARTLE)
You had my respect until now.
      (finishes him off)
Fare thee well.
                                                            
DARIUS kneels next to the bloodied EMMELINE, now possibly
shedding a tear. He shouts in pain and looks down at her.
                                                            
                       DARIUS
What have I wrought? I traded the
lives of many strangers for the
life of the only person I hold
dear. Emmeline, we will reach
shore in the morning. I will take
care of you. Please fight.
      (sobbing)
Look, you have broken me.
Everything on which I prided
myself is now stripped away and
nothing. Do you see this? Tears!
Come back, I beg of you. I built
myself a tower slowly and
steadily, but you have crushed it
to gravel in one fell swoop. As my
tears fall on you, take that, my
spirit, and rise. It was my
ambition and greed that wounded
you, but you must forgive me that.
Forgive me by waking.
      (sol.)
Was there truth in her words?
I have not the shadow upon me yet.
I have done a just deed,have I
not?
Madness, is that your fetid breath
upon my neck? I do denounce you!
Oh, but you demand more than that.

I do not see you, so I must be
right. I must be right, for I am
me and that is what I would do.
Darius Phalen would do what is
            (MORE)

60.

                       DARIUS (cont'd)
right in the greater cause. A
righteous hero of the people. That
must be who I am...
      (He looks at the
       bodies around him)
What hero would have this blood on
his hands. Is there a cause for
which a fight? Where is my banner,
my flag for which I spill life?
Mine is absent.
It is that banner that staves off
the darkness, the insecurity.
What am I to do, here, in the
darkness, alone.
It will take me soon if I do not
fight.
Damn you Emmeline, you have put me
here! You killed my illusions. Now
what do I have?
Oh, no, do not take my words and
flee. Stay, please come back. I
cannot let you go.
This is my horror. But you can
save me from it. Awake, and
absolve me. Please.
                                                            
He collapses onto her weeping. This is the first time DARIUS
has succumbed to emotion.
                                                            
 
EXT. SIDE OF SHIP/WHARF - DAY
                                                            
The crew disembarks immediately and abandons the ship. They
slink away into the busy loading dock. DARIUS leaves the
ship in the captain's uniform, hat pulled low on his face.
He makes it a safe distance away from the ship and watches
as the authorities discover the horror of the main deck of
the ship. He only stays long enough to hear the shouts of a
panicked longshoreman and see one holding EMMELINE, frail,
softly breathing, and crudely bandaged. The shouts are for a
doctor and police. DARIUS looks up at her with hope, and
then sadness as he turns and walks away.
                                                            


THE END


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