Manifest Destinyby Alexander Dingeman / Actions & Adventure
DUCATION CENTER - MIDDAY
The opening monologue shifts in setting whenever a new speaker takes over. EVE starts by teaching a history class, then the BARBARIAN CAPTAIN delivers a motivational speech to his troops, and finally the MYSTIC CHIEF shares his prophecy.
Our elders described it as a ball of fire that fell from the sky. It started out larger and brighter than the sun. At the time, most bystanders took refuge in the safety of their homes. However, the closer it got to the earth, the faster it began to shrink and fizzle out. Just before reaching the ground, it split apart into what we now call “Relics”. The first relic was discovered by a clan of alchemists. Harnessing it’s power, they were able to build a
civilization ruled by science and morality. But the second relic was discovered by a clan of barbarians, who used it to-
BARBARIAN CAPTAIN Conquer everyone in their path! Using it’s power, the warriors of old were able to push their bodies past all prior limitations. No more pain, no more fear, and no more mercy. That’s how we were able to establish the greatest army in the world! Our only failure was establishing that shameful truths with the alchemists. But the third relic, is still up for grabs. When it first fell, it was hidden-
Under the protection of the forest. It taught the original mystics how to survive, and how to prosper. For many generations we’ve lived in isolation, using only what we need. However, I have foreseen that this
MYSTIC CHIEF (cont’d) peace will soon come to an end. These two clan’s avarice will not be satiated until they control everything.
EXT. - FOREST CLEARING - MORNING
VIRGIL is sneaking through the forest, trying to hunt a deer with his bow. He aims and pulls an arrow back but steps on a twig which scares the deer away. Virgil sighs and puts his bow down.
Suddenly he is hit by a blunted arrow. After wincing in pain, he picks up the arrow and looks at it. It has a note attached that reads “Tag. You’re it.”.
Damn it Jan! You promised to stop doing that!
Janora watches from a nearby tree with a satisfied smirk across her face. Suddenly, something off-screen catches her attention. She turns her head and hears the sound of leaves crushing underfoot. She leaps out of the tree toward the source of the sound.
She finds a group of alchemists marching through the forest. She silently knocks them out one by one then sneaks up behind the ALCHEMIST CHAPTAIN. She holds a knife up to his throat.
ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN Wait! Just take it easy. We’re only here to speak with your chief.
EXT. - MYSTIC VILLAGE - MORNING
The alchemist captain and his soldiers enter the mystic village under the escort of Janora and Virgil. The group reaches a zen-garden where the mystic chief is standing. The chief is busy tending to the garden. Janora motions for the captain to go talk to him. He tentatively steps forward to address the chief.
ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN Good morning. I’d like to be the first to apologize for our little misunderstanding.
The captain waits for a response but the chief says nothing.
ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN I am here as an ambassador for the alchemist clan. We realize that your people have been living in poverty for quite some time and would be honored to provide our assistance.
The captain tries positioning himself more in the chief’s line of view to avoid being ignored.
Aren’t you going to say anything?
The captain almost steps in the garden but the chief holds out a hand to stop him.
MYSTIC CHIEF When one talks as much as you, others must budget extra time to listen.
ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN I see. Well, it is my privilege to inform you that we are now willing to annex your land into our territory.
MYSTIC CHIEF Your words do not fool me. Annex is simply another word for taking control.
ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN Not at all! What I’m offering is the opportunity to become part of our empire. Of course that means we will be able to share resources and introduce your clan to a more “civilized” lifestyle.
MYSTIC CHIEF I appreciate your offer but I believe it best that we keep our lands independent.
ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN That is a very unwise decision. If we found you then it’s only a matter of time before those brutes from the east discover this village as well. And when they come you will want our protection.
MYSTIC CHIEF When the barbarians come we will deal with them ourselves. Now, I’m afraid that I’m going to have to ask you and your men to leave.
As the chief says this, his statement is punctuated by some hunters pointing their bows in the captain’s direction.
ALCHEMIST CAPTAIN Very well. But you have no idea what fury is about to be brought down upon you.
INT. - DINING HALL - MIDDAY
Two barbarians are fighting in the dining hall. Barbarian #1 appears to be winning until Barbarian #2 grabs a candlestick. The candlestick is swung at barbarian #1’s head but is stopped by the hand of an unseen man. The two look to find that NAXID has intervened in their dual.
Only cowards use weapons! You would do better to rely on your own grit.
Naxid punches barbarian #2 across the room. Barbarian #1 kneels down in respect. Naxid stands proudly before his subjects. He wears a belt with the second relic being used as the belt buckle.
And you! I am disappointed to see that it was so easy to catch one of my subjects’ off-guard.
BARBARIAN #1 I’m sorry, King Naxid. It won’t happen again sir!
Now don’t kiss my ass too much. You’re starting to look a little bit like an alchemist!
The king lets out a hearty laugh while a MESSENGER runs into the room.
My lord! I bring news from the west.
NAXID Very well.
(To barbarians #1 and #2.) As you were.
The barbarians resume fighting in the background.
We’ve just received word that the alchemists have sent their ambassador into the forest.
I see. And have they persuaded the mystics to join their ranks?
MESSENGER We don’t know sir.
Then it looks as if we must move up our time table. We march on the forest tomorrow!
EXT. - MYSTIC VILLAGE - NIGHT
The mystic chief is meditating by a small pool of water when Virgil walks up behind him.
VIRGIL You sent for me?
Ah Virgil! Come and sit with me.
Virgil takes a seat on the other side of the pool.
I trust that hunting went well this morning. After Janora was finished harassing you of course.
She means well. Competition is in her nature. But I doubt that’s what you’ve been meditating all day about.
MYSTIC CHIEF Indeed not. I’ve seen that the weasel’s warning was more than a simple fear tactic. The barbarians
MYSTIC CHIEF (cont’d) will come for us soon. As will the alchemists. What we need now is someone who can protect both our people and the relic. However, none of my hunters have ever seen true combat. None but you.
I was only a child. That hardly makes me qualified to lead an army.
MYSTIC CHIEF Maybe so, but I’ve watched you accomplish great things since you came to my village. I know you must be frightened, but you know better than anyone what will happen if we get caught in the crossfire of those two armies.
I’m not frightened. Not anymore!
MYSTIC CHIEF In that case, I have something to show you.
The chief stands up and removes an object wrapped in cloth from his satchel. He unwraps the object to reveal that it is a knife with the third relic acting as the pommel. He offers it to Virgil. Virgil walks over to the chief and reaches for the knife.
When Virgil touches the handle everything around him goes into slow motion, even the sound of the wind blowing. He sees a leaf falling from a tree, slowly. He throws the knife, pinning the leaf to the tree’s trunk. Normal speed returns. Virgil shakes his head and looks back at the chief.
I can’t. Hunting is one thing. Every kill has a purpose. But what would I be accomplishing in battle?
Your people need you Virgil.
Give the knife to Janora. She’s a better fighter than me anyway.
Virgil walks away solemnly, leaving the chief alone.
EXT. - FOREST OUTSKIRTS - DAY
There is a large open battlefield with the alchemist and barbarian armies standing on either side. The alchemist elder, Eve, stands in the middle of the battlefield. Naxid walks up to her while both armies watch patiently. Naxid wears some armor but makes sure to keep his chest exposed. Eve has a mechanical device attached to her arm. On the back of her hand the first relic can be seen powering the device. Naxid does a sarcastic little bow.
I suppose I ought to be honored that the great alchemist Eve should grace me with her presence?
If you people spent half the time educating yourselves as you do fighting then you could have a civilization as prosperous as ours.
Aye! And if you lot spent any time training then you could have muscles like mine.
So it’s to the final man then?
NAXID As always!
With that Eve holds out her hand and fires a shockwave from the device on her arm. Naxid is knocked back several feet