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Nakamura (EBWF Promo)
by Derek

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Martial Arts   User Review:
NOT YET
RATED

This is an entry for an online writing game, not intended for any serious purpose.


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.



FADE IN:

EXT. FOREST - EVENING
                                                            
The sounds of a rustling brook. The last few rays of
sunlight streaming through the trees. We pan through this
idyllic place, soaking in the beauty of the surroundings as
animals frolic, seemingly undisturbed by humans for years.

But we learn that our supposition was wrong as in the
distance we see a human figure. He is THE SAMURAI, crouched
over the crisp clean water of the flowing brook in his rice
patty hat and drab brown cloak. His katana hangs in its
scabbard at his side. We slowly approach him from the back
as he stands and breathes in the evening air.
                                                            
                                         REVERSE
                                                            
We cut to the other side of the water, holding steady as The
Samurai begins to nimbly leap from rock to rock towards us,
and towards a growing noise of revelry from off camera.
                                                            
 
INT. PUB - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
We now see the source of the noise, a crowd filling this
simple establishment and taking part in plentiful drinking
and carousing. At the center of the frame, his oversized
personality seeming to fill half of the room, THE DRUNK
gestures angrily at anyone who will listen to his story. His
head shaved, his beard cut into a pointed goatee, his black
robe adorned with skeletons and his hand firmly wrapped
around a frosty drink.
                                                            
                       DRUNK
      (irritated)
That's why I always say, you know
I always say it, I say don't trust
anyone. I'll be damned if I didn't
let my guard down for just a
moment, just the slightest moment,
and look what happens to me.
      (He slams the
       glass on the bar
       where it is
       immediately
       refilled.)
Treated like a damn fool!
Embarrassed in the public eye!
Don't trust anyone, and trust
actors even less!
      (gesturing to the
       bartender)
            (MORE)

2.

                       DRUNK (cont'd)
I let him onto my stage, through
the kindness of my heart, I let
him onto my personal stage and he
proceeds to shame me and my
family! Claiming we don't pay our
debts, fabricating tales of incest
and nepotism, calling us elitist
and out of touch, the slander went
on and on! And the crowd gathered,
and they laughed. They were
laughing at me! My entire lineage,
dishonored and all they could do
was laugh!
                                                            
Draw focus towards the back of the room, where we see the
Samurai has taken a place at the end of the bar, seemingly
unfazed by the commotion in front of him. Draw back to the
Drunk as he continues.
                                                            
                       DRUNK
I tell you, I tell you all, I know
he lives up the mountain, and if I
was still a younger man, I would
track him down myself and stomp a
hole in his stomach to collect the
rainwater. Jikogu be sure, I
would! But my knees creak at
even the thought of walking that
slope. Were that I could find a
fit man who would be willing to
track this actor down and make him
realize the error of his ways, my
debt to him would be immeasurable.
                                                            
Sharp close-in on the Samurai's face, shaded and obscured by
his hat but his interest clearly piqued as he sips his
drink.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
This man...he has dishonored you?
                                                            
Pull back as the Drunk approaches, stein in hand.
                                                            
                       DRUNK
Well, shit. I didn't notice we had
a genuine warrior here in our bar.
You must be a long way from home,
son, we don't tend to see samurai,
unless they happen to be ronin. If
you are looking for a new master,
I could be in need of your further
services if you do me this favor.
      (He flashes a
            (MORE)

3.

                       DRUNK (cont'd)
       smile as he shows
       his full coin
       purse.)
I can be a very valuable ally
indeed.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
      (after a long
       drink)
I have been wandering for some
time. But this village is nice. I
could stay here. Okay, landlord, I
will track down this actor and
avenge your family's honor. I will
become your instrument.
                                                            
The Drunk slaps him on the back, he doesn't react.
                                                            
                       DRUNK
Goddamn, that's what I like to
hear. There are few encampments on
your way up the hill, the man you
are looking for is unmistakable
with his yellowed hair and strong
jaw, and his palpable need for
attention. Go forth and bring my
bloodline proper justice!
                                                            
The drunk lets out a bellowing, triumphant laugh.
                                                            
                                         CROSSFADE
                                                            
 
EXT. FOOT OF MOUNTAIN - MORNING
                                                            
Laughter turns to the barking of dogs that we can now see
tied up all around this encampment at the base of the
mountain. The beautiful nature from before is hard to find
in this area, now it is all rocks and dust and tents.

The Samurai walks through the center of the camp, eyeing the
long vertical path that awaits him. Close in on his feet
taking their first steps up the steep road then wide zoom
back to take in the enormity of his quest.
                                                            
                                         SMASH CUT
                                                            
Angry villagers in close, yelling obscenities and throwing
stones.
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (1)
He frightens the children!
                                                            

4.

                       VILLAGER (2)
He stinks up the camp!
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (3)
Kill it with fire!
                                                            
Mid close from behind the mob, we can see the source of
their ire. THE FREAK is tied to a post. He is a pitiful,
humpbacked creature with stringy hair and scars visible on
the patches of skin exposed by his ratty and torn peasant
clothes. His deformed face is partly covered by bandages
which are quickly being soaked in blood as he continues to
be stoned.
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (2)
I heard he escaped from the
carnival, from the sideshow! He's
just a sideshow freak!
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (4)
I heard his mother was cursed by
the Wizard up the hill and she
bore him into a rocky ravine.
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (1)
I heard he has no mother, he was
spat out of Jikogu itself in this
misshapen form.
                                                            
                       FREAK
      (pleading)
Please just let me go. I am not a
menace to any of you. I just want
to find somewhere to write in
peace. I am not a monster, I am a
poet. I have no malice in my
heart, only the desire to create,
please just let me go up the hill.
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (3)
He thinks he can write! He must
have taken too many blows to the
head!
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (5)
      (chucking rock)
Well he's about to take another
one!
                                                            
                       FREAK
      (recoiling)
Oof! I can prove it!
      (He pulls a
       tattered
            (MORE)

5.

                       FREAK (cont'd)
       parchment out of
       his garments.)
"The fires of the
night sky shimmer over my
bed- I am at peace"

It's a poem, I wrote it, look, I
wrote it!
                                                            
We pull farther back, as the crowd continues to berate the
Freak, the Samurai rises into the frame as reaches this
plateau on the mountain.

We reverse and see his stern expression as he watches the
scene unfolding. Cut back to the mob.
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (1)
I say we throw him down the side
of the mountain! Nothing survives
the drop off the eastern side,
those sharp peaks will pierce him
a thousand times!
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (3)
It won't work, I heard he can live
through any injury, we have to
tear him apart and separate the
pieces!
                                                            
The Samurai steps behind the mob, startling them as he
speaks.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
What has this man done to earn
such scorn?
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (4)
He's not a man, he's a monster! A
foul, ugly beast! He came to our
camp and frightened the children,
put violent ideas into their
dreams!
                                                            
The Samurai walks through the crowd and kneels down next to
the Freak.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
I see what these villagers do not.
Your scars aren't all from
sideshow feats of self-abuse. You
were a warrior once, weren't you?
                                                            

6.

                       FREAK
      (nodding)
A long time ago. Now I'm just the
broken shell left over. I was only
looking for a place to be alone,
to finish my poetry and die
somewhere beautiful.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
      (shakes his head)
If you desire death, say the word
and I will put you out of your
misery with the honor you deserve.
But if I free you from here, it is
in the hope that you relearn how
to stand straight and that I will
see you again, hand to hand on the
battlefield. Which will it be?
                                                            
                       FREAK
I can try. Let me live a while
longer, so that I can try to find
myself again.
                                                            
The Samurai grabs one of the bloody rocks off the ground and
stands to address the mob. We pan over their faces as he
admonishes them.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
This man deserves your pity, but
he does not deserve your scorn. He
came by this mangled form you see
now through years of battle, which
you have benefited from with no
regard for the man himself. And
now that he is broken down and
pitiful, you regard him as nothing
more than garbage.
                                                            
Cut back to the Samurai.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
I am setting this man free, and
you will persecute him no more.
You will let him climb, and leave
him be.
                                                            
The Samurai brings the rock down, severing the rope and
freeing the Freak who struggles to stand on wobbling legs.
                                                            
                       FREAK
My best days may be far behind me,
but I will not throw away this
opportunity. I will find my
            (MORE)

7.

                       FREAK (cont'd)
fighting spirit, somewhere up on
that hill.
                                                            
He hobbles along the path, taking the left side as it
branches. The Samurai shoots a stern look at the villagers,
who shrink away back to their huts, and continues on his own
way, taking the right side. We pan up to the bright sizzling
sun, high in the sky.
                                                            
                                         TIMELAPSE
                                                            
FX: TIMELAPSE OF SUN AND CLOUDS OVER 3-4 HOURS
                                                            
 
INT. OPIUM DEN - DAY
                                                            
As the sun reaches its full height, we pan down to the
outside of a large but ramshackle hut. Inside, women in
various stages of undress slump over furniture or lay in
piles on top of one another under the haze of smoke. Oily
men occasionally offer them drinks or toss money at them to
encourage them to move. Despite the sun outside, everything
in here is bathed in a sickly green light.

We meet THE DEGENERATE as he approaches one of these women,
pulls a hookah pipe out of her mouth and takes a drag
himself. He has long black hair hanging out of the bottom of
a head wrap, black and red robes, and mangy facial hair.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
Heeey! Let's see a little bit more
energy over here, come on, this is
a party, make some noise!
                                                            
He walks over to a crowd of people gambling in the corner of
the den and slaps a woman on the ass.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
I'm tellin' ya, I'm a modern day
success story, a friggin' role
model.One minute, there I am. Just
another guy wanting to make
something of himself, and then I
find a pirate's map. And sure
enough, X marked the spot and now
I'm damn royalty, baby!
      (He drops coins
       onto the table)
Another round of Sake bombs on me,
bitches!
                                                            

8.

Cut back to the entrance of the hut, where the Samurai has
entered, carefully scanning the surroundings. He looks down
at one of the nearly-catatonic girls slumped a chair.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
I'm looking for a man with blonde
hair.
                                                            
                       GIRL (1)
      (hazily)
Drink whiskey from my vagina, only
five coins.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
No thank you. Just the blonde man.
                                                            
She turns her head and passes back out. The Samurai leans in
close to check on the other girls in her corner, who are all
similarly in a druggy stupor. He shakes his head and starts
to wander through the fog.

Cut back to the Degenerate, just as he is running his tongue
up the side of a dazed serving girl's face, then spitting on
the table.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
Dice is boring, boys. I have a new
game we can play.
                                                            
He takes the serving girl's hand and holds it down on his
spit puddle. He dabs his finger in a pile of ash and draws
an X on the back of her hand.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
Like I said, I had a lot of luck
these past few weeks. We're going
to see if Sugartits here has as
much luck as me.
                                                            
He spreads her fingers apart and pulls out a small blade,
settling it in the space between her thumb and pointer.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
If our luck holds out, I'm going
to hit the open space every time.
      (Pulls bandana
       over eyes)
If it doesn't, I owe you all a
smoke.
                                                            

9.

He begins to bring the blade down between the girl's
fingers. The sound and sensation finally begins to bring the
girl back to life, and she starts to scream and try to pull
away.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
Damn, quit squirming, bitch,
you're making this a lot harder
for yourself.
                                                            
The girl tries to hold her hand steady but now it is shaking
uncontrollably, and she begins to cry and plead.
                                                            
                       GIRL (2)
No more, no more. Let me go,
please, please!
                                                            
The Degenerate speeds up his game, laughing.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
X marks the spot, fellas, who
wants another pipe?
                                                            
He raises the blade high above his head, as it begins to
descend his wrist is grabbed.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
The hell, man?
                                                            
We pull back and now it is clear that the Samurai has caught
his arm. The Degenerate lets go of the girl's hand to pull
up the band from his eyes.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
I don't remember inviting you to
this party, man. I would get the
hell out if I were you.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
I will not allow you to harm these
girls one second longer.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
They like it, bro. Or they like
the money, at least. Blegh ha!
                                                            
The Degenerate makes a lascivious gesture with his tongue.
The Samurai uses his free hand to grab that too.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
      (tongue held)
Fub you, doo!
                                                            

10.

The Samurai pulls him closer and notices the jeweled golden
chain around his neck. He releases the Degenerate's tongue
and grabs the chain.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
This golden band...where did you
get it?
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
I found it fair and square, man. I
earned it!
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
This stolen gold is the mark of
royalty, of nobility. It is the
mark of prestige. It does not
belong around the neck of a
depraved individual like yourself.
I demand you hand it over so that
I can return it to the proper
owner.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
And I demand you get your damn
ronin hands off of me!
                                                            
The Degenerate tries to punch the Samurai with his free
hand, it is caught. The Samurai headbutts the Degenerate and
lets him fall to the floor.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
I ask you one more time. If you
will not hand over that gold, I
shall take it by force.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
You gotta catch me first, bitch!
                                                            
The Degenerate flips up the table, knocking the Samurai and
other onlookers to the ground and upsetting a tray of
smoldering cigarettes, we see one land near a pile of oily
rags and a small flame ignite.

The Degenerate leaps out of a window-like opening and
scurries up the path. The Samurai begins to chase after him,
but stops upon reaching the window. He turns back and sees
the quickly growing flames spreading across all the debris
and filth in the hut. With one final glance at the nearly
disappeared Degenerate, he sets to rousing the denizens from
their stupor before they burn alive. He pulls the other
gamblers off of the floor.
                                                            

11.

                       SAMURAI
Get everyone out, now!
                                                            
FX: FIRE SPREADING QUICKLY UP THE WALL AND ACROSS CEILING
                                                            
He clears out the backroom and leaps over a foot tall spike
of flames to make it into the other part of the den. He
attempts to wake the prostitute from earlier.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
We have to get all you girls out
of here!
                                                            
                       GIRL (1)
Girl on girl stuff, 3 coins.
                                                            
He slings her over his shoulder and pushes the last
remaining people out of the hut.
                                                            
FX: HUT COLLAPSES IN ONE FINAL BLAST OF FLAME
                                                            
The Samurai scans over the dirty faces of the former patrons
of the opium den as they squint at the sunlight. The look to
him for some sort of guidance. He begins to turn away, then
looks back at them over his shoulder.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
Go back to your homes.
                                                            
He starts back on the path, but one of the geisha runs after
him.
                                                            
                       GIRL (3)
Bushi! Bushi!
                                                            
She reaches him and throws herself at his feet.
                                                            
                       GIRL (3)
Bushi, thank you for saving our
lives! Please allow us to repay
you.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
Stand up, Hime. I am only trying
to do what is best, nothing more,
nothing less. Please return to
your family.
                                                            
                       GIRL (3)
Where is your family, bushi?
                                                            

12.

                       SAMURAI
      (wistful smile)
Far from here, Hime-chan. I came
from another land, forsaken my
master. I am cursed to wander
until I find my purpose again.
                                                            
The girl stands and leans in for a kiss.
                                                            
                       GIRL (3)
Stay here, ronin. Stay here with
me.
                                                            
He places a finger on her lips.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
Sorry, ojousan. That is not my
life. My life is war, and my next
battle still lies ahead. Wash your
face and save your affections.
                                                            
She gazes at him as he walks past her and up the path.
                                                            
 
EXT. BRIDGE - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
We follow the Samurai up the hill for several more feet
until he reaches the next summit and finds that there is a
narrow rope bridge stretching over a long chasm. Two other
men stand on this side, hesitating to cross over.

The Samurai stands behind them, bemused.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
Gentlemen, what is it about this
bridge that has you in such fear?
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (6)
It's not the bridge that frightens
us, stranger.
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (7)
This area is home to a Wizard. He
can whip the winds with such
ferocity that no man can stay
upright! He wields the power of a
hurricane in his staff!
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (6)
And he has cast many to their
certain doom on this very bridge.
                                                            

13.

FX: WIND WHIPS AROUND, BLOWING BRIDGE BACK AND FORTH
                                                            
THE WIZARD rises on a gust of wind, green scarves fluttering
off of each appendage.
                                                            
                       WIZARD
Another day,another group of
chumps wanting to interrupt my
slumber. What's up with that? As
owner of this bridge, the one who
built it and watched others
benefit and claim it as their own,
I demand a tribute before you can
pass!
                                                            
The Wizard lands without flourish in front of the villagers.
He looks them up and down.
                                                            
                       WIZARD
Well? What have you got for me?
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (6)
Great Shining Wizard, I confess
that I have nothing to give you on
my person. But if you let me
cross, my village is ahead and I
shall bring you back my finest
fattened hen.
                                                            
                       WIZARD
Go on, give it a try. Be careful,
the ropes sway.
                                                            
The villager begins to take slow, measured steps across the
bridge, each movement causing it to shift. When he has made
it almost halfway across, it begins to shake more violently.
                                                            
FX: HEAVY WINDS, THUNDER AND RAIN
                                                            
The storm violently whips the bridge back and forth, tossing
the villager into the chasm.
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (6)
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
                                                            
                       WIZARD
      (Laughing)
Do I look like I take IOUs? For
hens, no less? I am a great and
powerful wizard, I deserve
respect!
                                                            

14.

The Wizard walks past the villager who is rummaging his
pockets for something to give him, and approaches the
Samurai.
                                                            
                       WIZARD
You. You are not from these
villages. I don't know your face
but I recognize the shape of it. I
have visited your homeland. They
taught me the ways of the mystic.
Indeed, this staff was personally
bequeathed to me from the Warlock
Muta. So do not think I will be
intimidated by your countenance
like these other peasants.
                                                            
                       VILLAGER (7)
Wizard! I can give you ten coins
as fitting tribute, please take it
and my gratitude.
                                                            
                       WIZARD
Gratitude? Did I ask for
gratitude? Respect! I want your
respect, and I will extract it
from your bones!
                                                            
FX: WIND GUSTS, WIREWORK
                                                            
Another great gust rises and tosses the villager against a
heavy stone. His back wraps around it with a sickening
series of cracks and pops. He falls to the ground,
quivering.

The Wizard returns his focus to the Samurai with a smug
smile.
                                                            
                       WIZARD
So what do you have for me, bushi?
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
I can respect your skills in the
way of elemental manipulation. But
your desire to be revered only
brings pity to my mind. Reverence
is earned through acts of
greatness and strength of
character. You are simply another
old man grasping at relevance. My
tribute to you is allowing you to
age further. Good day, kisai.
                                                            

15.

The Samurai brushes past the Wizard and begins to cross the
bridge. The Wizard scowls and lifts his staff.
                                                            
FX: GALE FORCE WINDS, LIGHTNING, RAIN.
                                                            
The rope bridge swings wildly in the storm. The Samurai
continues to cross, unhindered. At almost halfway, he starts
to slip and ends up hanging from the bottom of the bridge.
He begins to laugh like a madman and shout over the thunder.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
The challenge only makes this more
fun for me! I had become bored
with mere climbing! Do all your
parlor tricks, if I fall it will
only be for a moment. Still, the
final destination is of no doubt!
                                                            
The Samurai pulls himself back up and finishes crossing the
bridge. Defeated, the Wizard puts down his staff and the
storm dies down.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
You live to complain another day,
conjuror. Do not mistake my honor
for kindness. Next time I will
take my own tribute.
                                                            
He continues along the path.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO
                                                            
 
INT. THEATRE - EVENING
                                                            
A production is already underway. We are immediately greeted
by the sight of two masked performers in close up. They
pantomime a local legend in conjunction with a large shadow
puppet behind them.

We follow the drama for a few minutes, interspersed with
shots of the appreciative audience, and now see The Samurai
taking a seat in the back of the crowd.

As the pantomime ends to rapturous applause, one of the
players removes their mask to reveal crimped blonde hair and
a thick jaw. It is THE ACTOR. Close in on The Samurai's face
as he realizes he has found him.

The Actor addresses the audience.
                                                            

16.

                       ACTOR
Thank you, thank you so much. You
know, unlike other performers who
come through this theater or visit
the towns surrounding this hill, I
never have a single care for how
many coins you leave me at the end
of the show. I do this for you.
For all of you. My only desire to
is to make the best show possible,
each and every night, whether for
three peasants in a tent or a duke
in his palace.

So give me as little as you want,I
already had my reward in providing
you with entertainment.
                                                            
His canny reverse psychology yields a basketful of gold
coins that he takes back with him into a room. While the
audience meanders towards the exit, the Samurai follows the
Actor into that room.

We view the scene from over the Actor's shoulder as he sees
the Samurai enter in his mirror.
                                                            
                       ACTOR
I don't usually do meet and
greets, but it's always nice to
see a fan.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
Your performance was very
convincing. At the end.
                                                            
                       ACTOR
It wasn't a lie, I do love to put
on the best show every night. But
money is not overrated. If I get
paid and everyone is entertained,
then who doesn't win?
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
I heard you also make a habit of
denigrating others to "entertain".
That you tend to bite hands that
are trying to feed you.
                                                            
Pan from the mirror shot to actually looking over The
Actor's shoulder back towards the Samurai as the Actor
starts to realize the scope of this conversation.
                                                            

17.

                       ACTOR
Oh, you're talking about that
drunk ranch owner at the foot of
the hill? It was all in good fun.
I just thought the story of the
Snake God needed a little comedic
relief. Everyone knows he and his
family only hire their own friends
and relatives, and so I thought it
would be funny to change the word
hire to marry. And it was. I am a
very gifted comedian, after all.

If he didn't want to be mocked,
maybe he should be giving
opportunities to the people who
deserve them.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
I make no judgments on what is or
is not proper business ethic. I
only know that when you are given
a duty, you should see it through
with honor. And it is never
honorable to attack a man's
family, no matter what you think
of him. When you do that, it
creates wounds and those wounds
quickly turn to debts. And debts
must be collected.
                                                            
Extreme close on the Actor's eyes growing wide.
                                                            
                       ACTOR
You were sent here to kill me.
                                                            
Close on his hand sneaking under a towel on the makeup desk
and retrieving a tekagi, the clawed glove.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
I was...
                                                            
The Actor leaps out of his chair and charges at the Samurai.
He swings with the tekka, but his hand is calmly caught by
the Samurai, unflinching even as the spikes are mere
centimeters from his eyes.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
You people in this province need
to learn to listen as well as you
talk. I said I was. But I have
seen much greater prize to claim
at the top of this hill, so I will
            (MORE)

18.

                       SAMURAI (cont'd)
let you go with a warning.
                                                            
The Samurai grips the Actor by the ear and twists it
sharply, bringing him to his knees.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
You care only about what is on the
surface, giving no thought to the
deeper reality. You considered me
merely an errand boy, and that was
a mistake that would have cost you
dearly. Your words and actions
have repercussions, and if you do
not choose them wisely, the next
time you decide to show off may be
your last. Do not make me regret
sparing you.
                                                            
The Samurai pushes him to the ground and leaves the room.
The Actor rubs the side of his head.
                                                            
                       ACTOR
      (Mumbling to self)
What's at the top of the hill?
                                                            
 
EXT. NARROW PATH - EVENING
                                                            
The sun is beginning to set, casting an orange glow over the
slope. The top plateau is within sight, but the final
approach is a narrow path through a treacherous rock face.
And THE BRUTE sits directly in the path, playing with a
manriki-kusari, the weighted chain. He has spiky black hair
and a large frame, and scowls as the Samurai approaches.
                                                            
                       BRUTE
Hey. You looking for that guy who
smelled like a skunk? If you were,
just walk back down, cos he gave
me thirty gold to make sure no one
comes up this road.

See, I don't care who he is, I
don't care who you are, and I
don't care what he did to whoever.
All I care about is that he gave
me gold, and so far you have not,
so I am on his side.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
I can see there is no reasoning
with you. I admire your mission
oriented mindset,even as it
            (MORE)

19.

                       SAMURAI (cont'd)
currently hinders my own. Clearly,
I cannot buy my way past.
                                                            
                       BRUTE
      (rising)
Nope.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
And you know that my code
prohibits me from simply turning
away now.
                                                            
                       BRUTE
      (swinging chain)
Yep.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
Good talk. Glad we discussed this.
                                                            
The Brute lets the weighted end loose, Samurai dodges and it
knocks the tip off of a stone near the path. He pulls it
back and lets it go again, nailing the Samurai in the ankle
and knocking him to the ground.

As the Brute pulls it back, the Samurai reaches out and
grabs the weight. He attempts to get to his feet and engage
in a tug of war, but the bigger man easily yanks the Samurai
towards him.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
You are quite strong.
                                                            
                       BRUTE
Thanks. I eat a lot.
                                                            
The Brute wraps his hand around the Samurai's neck.
                                                            
                       BRUTE
Just want to remind you that it
isn't personal, I am merely a
businessman.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
And I want to remind you that
chains have a flaw. They tend to
stick to you.
                                                            
The Samurai gives a sharp yank on the chain, pulling the
Brute's hand away and upsetting his balance on this
precarious pathway. The Samurai lands a palm strike to the
side of the head and the bigger man falls down, allowing the
Samurai to scurry over him. The Brute catches his foot.
                                                            

20.

                       BRUTE
Not too bad. Pay me thirty one
gold and I could see us being
friends.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
      (trying to kick
       him off)
But only until someone else paid
you thirty two.
                                                            
The Brute climbs onto the Samurai,and places the chain
across his face, pinning him down and digging the steel into
his skin.
                                                            
                       BRUTE
We all have to provide for our
families somehow, right?
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
      (struggling)
You are..quite the warrior. Have
you ever..studied...martial arts?
                                                            
                       BRUTE
Naw. When you're big and strong
you don't need that crap.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
That's..a shame. Because martial
arts...teaches you...that no
matter the size...there are things
ALL opponents...have in common.
                                                            
The Samurai jams his fingertips into the Brute's windpipe,
causing him to fall backwards gasping. The Samurai stands up
and dusts himself off.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
Breathing...for example.
                                                            
The Samurai pulls himself further up the path and notices a
substantial crack. He pulls his scabbard off of his hip.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
You are indeed a worthy foe. But I
am only a few feet away from my
destiny.
                                                            
He jams the scabbard into the crack and a series of small
rock slides commence, sending the Brute some distance down
the hill. The Samurai nods to him and finishes him climb.
                                                            
 

21.

EXT. PLATEAU - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
The Degenerate stands nervously at the edge of the table
top, one hand clutching his dagger and the other fingering
his royal chain. He turns to the Samurai as he approaches.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
So, here it ends. High above the
earth. I am giving you one last
chance to hand over that which has
been stolen.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
You know what, man? I don't know
where you came from or who you
worked for, but you can't come
into my province and tell me what
to do! I'm a legend on this hill,
ask anyone!
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
I come from a place where we earn
what we have on the fields of
battle. And where we know that
legends have to come to an end.
                                                            
FX: WIND
                                                            
Their robes start to flap in a growing breeze, and they both
look up at the arriving Wizard who lands between them.
                                                            
                       WIZARD
Hoho! I've been tracking you to
see why you were so intent on
making it up this hill, and now it
all makes sense.
                                                            
The Wizard eyes the gold chain also.
                                                            
                       WIZARD
You snuck by me before, layman.
Surely you know that everyone
crossing my bridge owes me a
tribute?
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
You wouldn't even have that bridge
if I hadn't have cleared off that
cliff years ago, so I don't owe
you anything.
                                                            

22.

Everyone's attention now turns to the noise of huffing and
labored breathing on the other side of the plateau as the
Freak finishes his own climb.
                                                            
                       FREAK
Oh, well I didn't mean to
interrupt anything, I was just
looking for the place I might
belong. But you would not believe
the weirdos that live on the cold
side of the mountain, it's all
snow.
                                                            
                       WIZARD
Away with you, monster!
                                                            
                       FREAK
      (growing agitated)
Now, that is more than a little
bit rude. I may not be the
best-looking fellow in this
province, but I assure you, I am
all man as I was recently
reminded. So if we're having an
argument over who is going to walk
off with that pretty gold chain,
I'm going to have to say that
whenever a fight goes down to the
last man standing, you'll find it
is damn hard to keep me down!
                                                            
The Actor's head pops up on the top of the other path.
                                                            
                       ACTOR
Oh, so that's what you were
sparing my life for.
                                                            
He scrambles up onto the plateau, aided with a push from The
Brute. Everyone looks at the pair as the Brute joins him.
                                                            
                       ACTOR
      (shrugging)
Thirty-five coins well spent.
                                                            
                       DEGENERATE
Hold on, all you bitches! Nobody
is going to touch this gold! It is
mine and you will all go back down
to your loser lives at the bottom
of the hill right this second!
                                                            

23.

                       ACTOR
Now it looks to me that you are
ever so slightly outnumbered,
homeslice. So I think that chain
is up for grabs.
                                                            
                       WIZARD
So you think, mere human? I think
it clearly belongs to the one with
the most power. Allow me to
demonstrate!
                                                            
FX: WHIPPING WINDS
                                                            
The other men are tossed to the ground by the forceful
magic. The Samurai's drab clothes, in disrepair from his
adventures, rip and fly away, revealing short glimpse of
brilliant red robed underneath.

The Freak is the first to notice.
                                                            
                       FREAK
Oh! Oh this is not good!
                                                            
                       BRUTE
      (struggling to his
       feet)
What are you blabbing about, dog
face?
                                                            
                       ACTOR
      (slapping the
       Brute on the
       chest)
Oh balls, he's right.
                                                            
The Samurai lets his hat fall to the ground and rises to his
full height. We now see that his robes are the brightest,
cleanest red with gold inlay. He sweeps his hair out of his
face and smiles as he reaches for his katana.
                                                            
                       SAMURAI
So now you must now, you are not
simply facing a common dishonored
ronin. You are in the presence of
a KING! That gold belongs to me,
and I will cut through anyone who
tries to tell me otherwise. What
are you waiting for boys?
                                                            
He pulls out his blade.
                                                            

24.

                       SAMURAI
YEAOH!
                                                            


FADE OUT.


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