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Villikon Chronicles
Crucibles of Mystere



EXT. SPACE
TITLE: 10 YEARS LATER

The under belly of OMOPHORE, a cargo vessel, as it vectors wayward within proximity of Itasca. Venom's Majesty is also within its trajectory.

INT. OMOPHORE

The fuselage is frenzied with activity. ALARMS further agitate the mania as Captain JA'KOBUS AFOGNAK, 31, a handsome privateer, frantically adjusts course settings. His TWO helmsmen sequence from auto to manual maneuver capabilities and open a channel to Venom's Majesty.

    AFOGNAK
    Omophore to Intelligence Class Warship...We are transporting servants from the PurPura Beltway en route to Zakia... Phased out of hyper-dimensional space prematurely. Request immunity to pass through the Itascan Sector.
A beat.
    HELMSMAN #1
    They're not going for it. What if you transmit your Imperium duty code, sir.
    AFOGNAK
    Duty codes retire. Mine did two years ago.
    HELMSMAN #2
    You were the best cartographer the military ever had.
    AFOGNAK
    Yeah, and I pissed them off to join the private sector.
    HELMSMAN #2
    (assuring himself)
    They'll clear us. Don't you think?
    AFOGNAK
    Don't bet on it. That's Skryton's command ship. Crooked son of a bitch. Let's prepare to be boarded.
INT. VENOM'S MAJESTY

Through the skyport on the bridge we see Omophore from Skryton's POINT OF VIEW.

Skryton's older and so is Captain Zyqwaf. Reaching mid-life on a desolate outpost causes boredom and insanity. The guilty pleasures of maniacal madmen are lessons of misfortunes for those who become entangled in their web.

    SKRYTON
    Servants, my ass! That pirate is transporting filthy slaves. Deny their request. Veer off course in the Itascan Sector and you become delicacies for my mutations.
They share a wicked laugh.
    ZYQWAF
    Shall I order a sonic divergency wave?
    SKRYTON
    Feel like a game of skeet, do you? Make sure they crash in the higher elevations.
    ZYQWAF
    Yes, sir.

EXT. SPACE

An invisible sonic divergency wave blasts into Omophore's path. The discharge looks like a cloaked distortion.

INT. OMOPHORE

The PASSENGERS are a delegation of slaves sold to an emirate colony. The slaves move about a spacious seating deck, some are buckled into chairs, others roam and mingle. CHILDREN play in a concave area tiered directly below the deck. Captain Afognak enters with ARMED GUARDS.

    AFOGNAK
    Come to order!
The delegation quiets and the children ascend ladders to join their parents.
    AFOGNAK (cont'd)
    I need for you to harness in, shut up, and keep your eyes front!
PRIA PEMBA'QUAR, 29, pale complexion, beautiful in the most natural sense, buckles MYSTERE, her dark-haired, tomboyish, 8 year old daughter, into the seat next to her. Mystere gestures to another girl across the aisle, FALLON KAFFIRI, 6. Fallon's mother buckles her into a seat.
    MYSTERE
    (to Fallon)
    Maybe the emirate will need two.
    PRIA
    (fidgets with buckle)
    Quiet, Mystere! That little girl is younger than you. We fend for ourselves and assignments in a palace are hard to come by.
    MYSTERE
    But Fallon's my friend?
    PRIA
    She's a cute little girl who could compromise your role as playmate to the emirate's daughter.
Mystere shrugs back at Fallon.
    PRIA (cont'd)
    (to Afognak)
    What's going on, sir. Are we on final approach?
    AFOGNAK
    We're being boarded by...
The ship is jolted by the divergency wave and rotates upside down. Those not buckled in are tossed out of their seats. Fallon's mother never got herself buckled. She breaks her neck. Afognak is pitched but catches himself on a steel beam. SCREAMING fills the compartment.

EXT. SPACE - CONTINUOUS

Its guidance systems disrupted, the Omophore is tossed into Itasca's gravitational pull.

INT. OMOPHORE - CONTINUOUS

The slave delegation experiences relentless centrifugal forces.

EXT. OMOPHORE - CONTINUOUS

Omophore penetrates Itasca's exosphere with all systems failing. The hull buckles from the extreme temperatures of the thermosphere. Spectral colors emanate with different intensities through every atmospheric layer.

HIGHER ELEVATIONS - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

Omophore skims a snow drifted mountain peak, slams into powdery plains of ice, and slows its forward crash momentum on an icy tundra.

INT. OMOPHORE - CONTINUOUS

Smoke fills the compartment. Sounds of MOANING and CRYING, COUGHING and laborious WHEEZING prevail. The SNAPPING and CRACKLING of flames intensifies.

Afognak takes a rifle from the hands of a dead guard and moves towards the fuselage. His helmsmen are also dead. He grabs an emergency kit and a radio signaling device and doubles back through the passenger compartment, ablaze in rapid combustion.

He sees Fallon, scared, holding onto her mother's lifeless body. He collects the child in his arms, extends his gloved hand to Pria, battered and desperately removing Mystere from harnessing restraints.

EXT. OMOPHORE

A hatch opens and SURVIVORS tumble onto the ice.

CLOSE UP, Afognak's face is covered in soot. Behind him, flaming wreckage blusters with smoke.

ICY PLAIN - CONTINUOUS

Pria is clad in a bloody, soot covered, tattered slip dress. The Imperium Icon branded above her left breast is exposed, as is her right breast to the edge of her areola. She's, battered, exhausted, and collapses in the retreat.

    AFOGNAK
    Go! Go! Everyone move towards the bluffs, this isn't ice!
Afognak hands Fallon to another survivor and goes back for Pria and Mystere. Pria is delirious.
    MYSTERE
    C'mon momma, we have to go!
    AFOGNAK
    Looks like your mother suffered a severe cranial blow. We're not on frozen water, kid. The weight is gonna crack this depository of liquid zero wide open!
    MYSTERE
    Liquid zero?
    AFOGNAK
    Yeah, a subzero cauldron of Imperium waste. We don't want to be here when the bottom busts out... Let's go!
Afognak lifts Pria in his arms. Mystere grabs the radio device and they run steps ahead of the rupturing zero element. It cracks, caves, and swallows the Omophore.

SNOW COVERED BLUFFS - CONTINUOUS

Afognak makes it to safety with little time to spare. He drops Pria then turns and grabs Mystere before the ground beneath her disappears into darkness. A black, bludgeoning dust cloud, mixed with snow and icy sheets of liquid zero, harbors the SCREAMS of those who perish in the abyss.

No sooner do they escape peril before another imminent danger appears. HUNDREDS of beady red eyes assemble over a berm. Afognak and TWENTY surviving slaves fall prey to a hive of savage humanoid mutations in dark tattered clothing.

PORPHYRIANS, with skins pale hues of white, blue, and purple attack the slave delegation. Afognak fires his weapon. Discharged FLASHES give us an eerie glimpse of shrouded figures swarming upon them from over the berm.

CAMERA JUMPS from one struggle to the next. BLURRED ACTION captures Porphyrian jaws gaping wide with saber fangs and stabbing through spinal flesh. Slaves struggle but are overpowered by the Porphyrians who tenderize the victims, thrashing before pivoting them into accepted postures of domination. Heads to the ground and posteriors in the faces of the aggressors, the Porphyrians stab their fangs into spinal canals and carnivorously delight in ventricle fluids.

Afognak fends off the Porphyrians with rapid fire, but not before the wraiths feed from a good number of the delegation. Some victims are horridly transformed.

Whereas most of the victims are gored, we witness several precise punctures that trigger a process of metamorphosis. The Porphyrians are capable of hybridizing their victims. We witness several slave women escape mauling and are given the process of living death.

Afognak is clearly spooked but defines himself as a responsible leader. He masks his own fear and orders another retreat. He seems especially concerned for the women and children, insuring that an adult assumes responsibility for any child orphaned by the crash or the Porphyrian massacre.

The delegation is inappropriately dressed for cold weather. Without shoes and scantily clad, they typify the only garb appropriated to slaves. Running in the cold regions of the higher elevations is difficult at best, even harder without protective clothing. Mystere is an especially strong child, and in reverse of what's going on around her, she assumes responsibility for Pria and carries Afognak's radio signaling device.

Like contortionistic acrobats, the Porphyrians are merely jolted by Afognak's cover fire. Their bended bodies maneuver without regard to the symptoms of apparent rigamortous. The weaker wraiths fall but don't die. In a deplorable display of life besieging life of its own kind, Porphyrians indulge in their own ventricle fluids. The delegation's retreat actually benefits from the Porphyrians lack of pure concentration on them alone. The pursuing brood stops to puncture the chest of one of their own with saber-fangs, and lap at purplish-black discharge. Dead blood is better than no blood for a starving race.

Afognak hears CRYING and observes Fallon directly in the line of his cover fire. She was left behind and scampers to escape. He goes after her.

    AFOGNAK
    Pick it up little one! I got you!
Afognak is suddenly seized by a Porphyrian not as anxious as the rest of the hive to feed from his own kind. Fallon falls out of Afognak's grasp. Afognak puts up a good fight, but the Porphyrian is much stronger. Tenderized and postured, Afognak is primed for spinal penetration.

A jagged sheet of frozen liquid zero plunges through the neck of the Porphyrian. The severed head is frightening to Fallon, Afognak, and the executrix holding the frosty weapon. It is Mystere. Afognak is speechless. He grabs his gun and continues to fire at another Porphyrian getting to close for comfort. He takes the sharp blade of ice from Mystere.

    AFOGNAK (cont'd)
    Sever their heads. It's the only way to kill 'em.
Another Porphyrian assaults before they can run. Afognak fires into its chest and cleaves off its head with the icy shard.
    AFOGNAK (cont'd)
    C'mon, let's go!
Afognak and the girls move swiftly, collect Pria, and join the rest of the survivors withdrawing from the region in the direction of DAYBREAK. Afognak fires behind himself without aim. They don't stop to collect those who have already frozen to death. More delicacies for the mutations.

Daybreak beams on the ice and windblown snow produces a WHITEOUT transition.



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Crucibles of Mystere

Mystere Pemba'Quar (c) Bryan Kinnaird & Young Kinnaird Productions
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