Preliminary Outline: Episode #204


EPISODE 204: PRELIMINARY OUTLINE

TEASE:

At the Helsing home, Gustav is in the middle of a phone conversation with Cassandra. Gustav is disturbed that she and the government agents didn't show up at Lucard's resting place as agreed. We intercut with the office as Cassandra gently assures Gustav that of course they showed--of course she took Gustav's vampire story seriously--he must have got the time wrong, that's all. It's obvious from her tone that she is simply patronizing him--she never believed the story. He hangs up, feeling foolish and frustrated. If only he'd been taken seriously, Lucard may well have been destroyed last night. Now he could be anywhere. Max wonders aloud if there's a chance Lucard knew that Max and Chris had found the resting place. Gustav shrugs the notion off. Lucard, after all, has a way of knowing more than he has a right to.

In the office, we now see that Lucard has been seated opposite Cassandra as she spoke with Gustav. He's looking a little fresher than the last time we saw him. And why not; the bank examiners in the room, labouring at the investigation of Lucard, have all been turned into zombies. They are very slowly typing up a report that will exonerate Lucard. He assures Cassandra that once his name is cleared, she will be his first in command. With her support--and by association, the government's--they will be an unbeatable team. In the meantime... something simply must be done about Klaus. Lucard allows that he has taken certain steps towards that end.

ACT ONE:

The Helsing home. Max is in the livingroom, watching a sci-fi movie on TV. We hear the film only, but it is a rather lively adventure by the sounds of it. Chris bounds down the stairs, and is about to head into the kitchen when he sees an envelope lying on the floor beside the front door. He picks the envelope up. It is addressed; "To Chris--CONFIDENTIAL". Gustav enters from the basement, startling Chris. He quickly pockets the envelope. Gustav calls him into the living room. Gustav sets a very old-looking leather-bound case down on his desk. He queries Max on the nature of the bizarre film he's watching... the one with all the bugs. Max's claim that the "bugs" are in fact extremely nasty aliens, who, for some reason, all speak with an Irish accent, elicits a firm request from Gustav to turn the darn thing off. There's work to be done.

Gustav tells the boys that if Lucard is on the run, and Klaus is free to do things his way, that means that Klaus must now be their major concern. The boys are surprised. Is Gustav suggesting that they hunt down his son and kill him? Gustav replies evenly that Klaus' reign will be one of paranoia and terror unrestrained. Lucard, at least, had a goal. Klaus' only goal, if it can be said to be a goal, is random violence for pleasure's sake. If Lucard is lying low for the time being, they will focus on Klaus. With that, he opens the leather-bound case.

Sundown that night. Klaus enters the Great Hall, in the most buoyant mood we've yet seen from him. He greets all about him (lady zombies in waiting, shackled zombies in misery) with hearty felicitations. He is gearing up for a night on the wing, and flushed with anticipation. He waves a stern, if somewhat mocking finger at his brood, and warns them to be on guard while he and Cassandra are out hunting; it's not all fun and games, you know. Cassandra materializes, now dressed for the hunt. She looks even more ravishing than we are used to. Klaus approaches her, complimenting her on her appearance. Then he grabs her and tears off a sleeve of her dress. He shouts at her; she will never again delay when he summons her for the hunt. She is his creation; his to command. Her only two tasks are to see to the dismantling of Lucard's financial empire and to do everything he says immediately... is that too much to keep straight?! He granted her immortality and he can take it away in an instant. She'd better behave. Cassandra shocks Klaus by showing some temper herself. She is free to do as she likes--Klaus is behaving like a child--all he wants to do is hunt and drink blood, when he could be so much more. She will hunt alone tonight, and Klaus had better not try to stop her. She bats out, leaving Klaus in a rage.

At the Helsing house, Gustav is sitting in the living room. He's a little depressed, even though he's at work. Max is looking over Gustav's shoulder as they study a centuries old map of Dracula's castle; a map that was hand-drawn by Gustav's great great grandfather. The map has several pages to it. It's a fragile document, but a real piece of Helsing family history. Max is dying to touch it, but Gustav will have none of that. Their mission is to attempt to locate some kind of entrance into the castle that Klaus may not know about--and therefore may not have sealed or guarded. But a few hours of close scrutiny have turned up nothing. They're tired. Max begs off to bed. As he heads upstairs, the phone rings. Gustav answers it. We don't stay on him long enough to see any reaction to the identity of the caller.

We find Chris upstairs, in thought. He picks up Sophie's letter and re-reads the typed note for what must certainly be the umpteenth time. It's from Sophie. In the letter, she begs him to rendezvous with her that night. Something has happened while she was away, something only Chris can help her with. There are no more details. Max enters, surprised to find Chris still awake; he thought he'd said he was going to sleep. Chris shows him the letter: is she in danger, or could it be she wants to rekindle their romance? Chris is torn. Gustav may find a way into the castle. What if they have to go tonight? He's happy to hear that Gustav has decided to call it a night. Love calls, so to speak. Max agrees to cover for Chris, just in case, and Chris sneaks out the window.

We are suddenly face to face with a snarling, ragged-looking walking dead guy. He... it... lunges at us. We are in a wooded area near Lucard's hideout, and have arrived in the middle of a vicious struggle between two mean-spirited zombies. They tear at each other's faces and clothes as a few more of Lucard's recent victims look on, giving the zombie version of encouragement. These are Lucard's forces in training.

Lucard is circling the heated battle, reading aloud translated excerpts from Ovid or Horace; dark references to the violent, selfish nature of men, and of their wars. He's having a heck of a good time as the recruits gouge at each other for the right to serve by his side. He puts the book away as the fight ends. He pats the winner on the back and hands him a stake. To the winner go the spoils. The victorious zombie dispatches the loser. Lucard inspects his troops. How fortunate they are. Not a week ago they were all normal, mortal humans, doomed to lives of ever dwindling capacities. One by one Lucard plucked them from their terrible fate, and now they have earned the right to fight by his side--to retake what is rightfully his--and the right to look beyond their earthly night into a realm without end. Lucard sags a bit as his rather neat little metaphor goes largely over the heads of his drones. Ah well... he must leave them for a brief while. With a gentle warning to them to stay out of trouble, he bats out. The zombies hardly move. They'll be no trouble from them right now, that's certain.

Chris walks cautiously down deserted streets. He checks Sophie's letter, making sure of the location for their secret meeting. He continues on, calling her name in a forced whisper.

A bat flies into view in a deserted area of town. We can't be sure this isn't very near where Chris is seeking Sophie. The bat flies down behind a stone wall, and the flash of light that follows tells us that the bat has materialized into human form. The figure moves out from behind the wall, but is still in shadow. Is it Cassandra on the hunt, or here to meet Lucard? It might be Lucard himself, here for reasons unknown. Or could it be Sophie... has she been vampirized, and is she luring Chris to this deserted spot? The shadowy vampire is motionless as we hear footsteps approaching. Now we're all but certain that Chris is about to run into big trouble. The footsteps stop... their owner just out of frame, and... Lucard steps from the darkness. "The older generation can always be counted on to be punctual." He grins at his turn of phrase, and at... Gustav, who we now reveal standing facing Lucard.

Chris turns down a back alley. He calls to Sophie. In the distance, a figure dashes from hiding and then just as quickly is out of view behind a building. The figure looked female, but it was hard to tell. Chris quickens his pace.

Lucard and Gustav. Gustav is in the process of turning down the deal that Lucard has just offered--to hand over the Cross of the Magyars to Lucard in exchange for Lucard's sworn word that he will never again attempt to harm our heroes. Lucard's sworn word means nothing. Lucard thanks Gustav for his refreshing opinions. He'd expected to be turned down, but felt he at least owed Gustav his last chance to be civil. Gustav's eyes narrow at this. Last chance? Lucard retreats into the shadows... "The next time I ask you for the cross, Helsing, you will wish you had agreed to my terms. See you later tonight, chez moi?". Lucard bats out o.s. The flash of light illuminates Gustav's troubled face.

Another face is being illuminated by a flash--of lightning--but this face is not so pleasant to look at. It's the pallid face of a recent vampire victim. The body is lying among garbage in an alley--and Chris has just seen it. He jumps back against a wall. The horrible thought occurs to him, and he mutters in fear; "Sophie... not again..." He turns his head to look down the alley and finds himself looking right into Cassandra's vampire eyes. He freezes. She smiles... "Hi, there". To make matters worse, Lucard steps up from around the corner of the building. Chris fumbles for the crucifix around his neck, but Cassandra tears it off and tosses it away. Lucard looks quizzically at the fresh victim, then to Cassandra. She shrugs. "The boy took so long getting here... I felt like a snack." Lucard nods, then puts a hand on Chris' shoulder. "You should know better than to keep a lady waiting, Christopher. What will your uncle say about this?" Chris attempts a fearless poker-face as we

FADE OUT

ACT TWO:

Klaus is storming through the castle, absolutely furious that Cassandra is still out hunting. He's been back for a while--his hunting ruined by Cassandra's disobedience. Well, that's not to say he came away empty-handed; he found a perfectly lovely couple strolling arm in arm--probably newlyweds by the disgusting lovestruck looks they were giving each other. Served them right. But dammit, Cassandra, where are you! How can you turn away from all I have to give you! Me, for one thing. And on he goes, scaring the pants off his attendants.

Chris is being dragged into Lucard's hovel by two zombies. They toss him to the ground and loom over him. Lucard steps up and orders the zombies to guard Chris until he sends word... to either to bring him to the castle, or kill him. Lucard leaves. Outside the hovel, Lucard's forces move out, Lucard taking the lead.

The Helsing home. Middle of the night. Max hurries downstairs, looking for Gustav. He finds him asleep at his desk, his head resting on the map. Max rustles him awake and informs him that Chris hasn't come back yet. Back? From where? Max fills Gustav in on the letter from Sophie, and a cold chill passes through Gustav. He placed a long distance call to Sophie's aunt when he got home tonight, just to make sure she was alright. He spoke to Sophie and she was just fine. Max is puzzled. Why had Gustav gone out--where'd he go so late at night? Gustav tells him about Lucard's threat. The letter and Chris' absence add up to very troubling news. Lucard has Chris, and he wants the Cross of the Magyars in exchange. But as Max correctly observes, the cross now contains the void, Lucard's refuge and the source of his power over time. He must never be allowed access to that power again. And yet, what choice do they have. Gustav recalls Lucard's "chez moi?" comment. He now knows what that meant. The castle. He and Max pack up their gear, and the cross, and hurry out.

At the castle, Klaus is so numb with fury he can hardly speak. He is sitting staring into the fire. He is alone. He has a stake in his hand. Cassandra materializes, with her freshly vampirized victim. Klaus stays put, not looking at her, but the tone in his voice as he welcomes her home is ominous indeed. She tells him she has a surprise for him. He rises, still facing away, replying that he too has a surprise in store. He turns. She smiles; "I brought you a present, my love. A fresh kill. And quite young. He's a puppy". Klaus can hardly believe his eyes. His anger wavers. He's touched. "You brought me a puppy?" She moves to him, explaining that she was so upset over their argument, she wanted to make it up to him. Of course she is his to command. Of course she's grateful for all he's done for her. Her only wish is to be by his side, forever. She reaches to take the stake from his hand, but he pulls it away--is he going to stake her anyway? No. He tosses the stake into the fire. She cups his face in her hands, and kisses him. He has been disarmed. After the kiss, she complains that the room needs some fresh air. Would he mind terribly if she opened a few doors just for a little while? In Klaus' weakened (by love) state, he says yes without thinking. She exits to her task. Klaus retrieves the hot stake from the fire, and tosses it across the room. He looks straight at the new zombie, and laughs. "Fetch!"

His laughter is cut off by the sound of Lucard's voice. "My dear Klaus... I don't particularly like what you've done with the place..." Klaus turns to face Lucard, and is stunned to see Cassandra by his side. Lucard's zombie forces are right behind them. Klaus rages at Cassandra, then orders his zombies to attack Lucard's. Lucard's forces win a fierce battle. Klaus vicious attack dogs are brought under Lucard's mind control. Klaus is left to face Lucard, Cassandra, and his turncoat killer dogs. Gustav and Max rush in. Lucard is pleased to see that Gustav has the cross. He reminds him not to use it, or Chris will die. Klaus pleads with Gustav to destroy Lucard. Poor Klaus is really on the edge now, distracted enough to not notice that Lucard has the stake that Klaus retrieved from the fire. In a bang-bang instant, Klaus sees Lucard raise the stake to throw it at him, and begins his bat-out, but the stake is already on the way. We hear the impact, and Klaus' fading cry of agony, as he vanishes... possibly wounded.

Lucard has won the day. He relishes the victory. Cassandra also basks in the glory, sure now that her future with Lucard is assured. She takes his arm, and... produces a stake. Her arm is arching round to kill Lucard... but he hasn't let his guard down for a moment. He grabs her hand, and takes the stake. Lucard now realizes that she was scheming all along to take over. She's been working both ends of the street, as it were, and quite elegantly so. He's impressed. Then he kills her.

Lucard's zombies toss Chris into the room. Lucard immediately grabs Chris to use as a shield should Gustav attempt to use the cross. High tension now as Gustav makes his decision. He is about to hand the cross (under wraps) to a zombie. He pushes the zombie aside and hurls the cross, wraps and all, into the fireplace. The distraction works. Lucard forgets Chris and is moving to retrieve the cross when there is a blinding flash of light from the fireplace. Is it the void being released from the cross? Lucard's delighted expression suggests this. The light intensifies, Lucard must shield his eyes. The instant he does so, the cross fires an arc of light at... Max. The arc hits the crucifix he has produced during the melee, and Max's cross glows brilliantly for a moment, then all returns to normal. Gustav has Chris close beside him, safe. Max is looking quizzically at the cross he holds. Lucard moves to the fireplace, and when he realizes that the void has not been returned to him--and that our heroes could advance on him now, he decides he's had enough excitement for one day. He's got his empire back, and his home. He'll just have to make do without his refuge. He bats out, and our heroes head for home.

TAG:

Our heroes return home, their relief temepered by the loss of the Cross of the Magyars. Without it, the house will be vulnerable. The three vampire hunters make their way into the living room...

And find Lucard. He jumps them from behind, knocking Max and Gustav to the floor. Shouting that he keeps his word, he lunges at Chris. On reflex, Max produces his cross, and to everyone's astonishment, it blasts Lucard, and he is forced to retreat from the house. When the dust settles, Gustav realizes that though the Cross of the Magyars was destroyed, along with the void, the cross transferred itself--that is, its power--to Max's cross at the last second. Their home is once again protected. All they have to do now is think of an appropriate name for their new talisman. Chris suggests the Cross of the Magyars--the Sequel. Max wants the Cross of Maximillian. Gustav just wants to get some sleep.

FADE OUT

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