Welcome to MELKIA

part 9 of NEON RUN

Since we all need some extra entertainment right now, this week I’m doing a serialized release of my screenplay NEON RUN. This is the final installment. 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8


INT. HANGAR - CONTINUOUS

Lyllywight and Agnezz approach the ship in the hanger, shooting the Na-Sundians with plasma.

Stenzrood darts in between them, tripping the Na-Sundians and tying up their tentacles.

Howie, behind them, tries to shoot but is surprised by the backlash on his gun.

LYLLYWIGHT

We need these hangar doors open!

Agnezz makes a few adjustments on her gun and then resumes shooting— this time the plasma balls coming bigger and more quickly.

HOWIE

I'm on it!

He shoulders his gun and goes running.

EXT. THE PIT - CONTINUOUS

Zoe clings to one of the cords lining the edge of the pit— above her the open cage and beneath her a good 40 foot drop to the bottom of the pit.

All around her, the cacophonous HISS of the Na-Sundians.

She slips a few feet down— The crowd GASPS.

Catching her breath, Zoe wraps the cord around her leg and tries to control her descent—

She tumbles at the bottom, rolling toward the center of the pit.

She scrambles to her feet and frantically pulls the transformer-gun discs out of her pocket.

Just then, the ground SHAKES.

Zoe falls back, dropping the discs.

In front of her, the ground rises. From beneath the cords, TORK rises from the pit.

As it stands, its form is revealed: an anthropoid covered in dark fur, so tangled with cords and trash that it looks like it was born from it. Its long arms drag on the ground, its razor-sharp claws cutting through the cords.

It turns to face Zoe, towering over her. It has no eyes, just an enormous mouth.

Zoe grasps for the discs amidst the tangle of cords.

It opens its jaw, which seems to unhinge as it drops open, revealing rows shard-like teeth. Tork SHRIEKS.

Zoe impulsively rushes back against the edge of the pit, a single disc in her hand.

ZOE

I'm cool with dying, I'm chill with death—

Tork sways as it walks toward her.

EXT. PLATFORM OVERLOOKING PIT - CONTINUOUS

Above the pit, Zoe's image is projected on screens all around, like a stadium. The Na-Sundian Queen watches.

Veda stands behind her, in the clutches of the guards.

VEDA

You know this goes against exactly twelve inter-galactic treaties!

NA-SUNDI QUEEN

We do not care for your treaties.

The Na-Sundi Queen turns around.

NA-SUNDI QUEEN

Silence the Tork-Food.

The guards push Veda to the ground.

EXT. THE PIT - CONTINUOUS

Zoe rolls out of the way as Tork lunges toward her.

She presses a the button on the disc and her weapon begins to unfold—

It's a sword.

ZOE

Not what I wanted.

She stands, flipping the sword into her other hand. Tork turns around to face her. Zoe cracks her neck and bounces on her feet as it comes toward her... And then she lifts her swords and RUNS.

INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

Howie uses the butt of his gun to break open a vent cover. A shadow overtakes him, followed by a HISS. He turns around to see a big, ugly-ass Na-Sundian behind him.

HOWIE

Hey! I'm just... inspecting your ventilation system, making sure it's up to code...

HISS.

HOWIE

Yeah, you're right.

He flips his gun over and shoots the Na-Sundian straight in the chest.

Howie SCREAMS as he does it.

THUD. He opens his eyes— the Na Sundian is on the floor.

Howie does a little victory dance before scrambling up into the venting.

EXT. THE PIT - CONTINUOUS

Tork grabs Zoe and throws her up against the wall. She falls.

It picks her up again as she struggles to stand. Its drool drips onto her.

She pokes its hand with her sword. It SQUEALS and throws her again.

But this time she's up faster, holding her sword at the ready— Tork runs for her—

Zoe rams her sword into Tork's abdomen.

It SCREECHES and swings its long arms in a blind attempt to grab Zoe.

She holds onto the sword as it thrashes around—

It whips itself around and Zoe goes flying, landing on the cords.

Her sword is still in hand, covered with a black goop.

Tork immediately runs toward her again, SHRIEKING with its mouth opened wide.

Zoe grabs her sword with both hands and swings it—

She slices off the bottom of Tork's jaw.

ZOE

Yeah! I got this!

Tork SHRIEKS again and dives toward her.

She disappears beneath the monster.

EXT. PLATFORM OVERLOOKING PIT - CONTINUOUS

Veda desperately searches for any sign of Zoe.

NA-SUNDI QUEEN

Where is it?

EXT. THE PIT - CONTINUOUS

Zoe pops up from the cords, drenched in Tork's black blood.

She pulls herself up onto its back, holding on for dear life as it thrashes around.

EXT. PLATFORM OVERLOOKING PIT - CONTINUOUS

A guard approaches the Na-Sundi queen.

NA-SUNDIAN GUARD

My queen, there are others. Attacking the hangar.

The queen waves dismissively.

NA-SUNDI QUEEN

Tork will feed on them soon.

VEDA

I wouldn't count on that.

NA-SUNDI QUEEN

You are irritating, Tork-Food.

Veda smiles.

VEDA

Persistence makes good policy.

Veda watches to make sure the Queen is engrossed in the fight— and then lunges forward, managing to throw the guards off balance and breaking one of her arms free.

She uses her free arm grab a knife from their belts and holds it out threateningly, putting a finger to her lips as she steps away.

They watch her, slithering forward—

She slowly pulls a plasma ball out of her pocket and tosses it into them—

They fall to the ground.

INT. HANGAR - CONTINUOUS

Agnezz blasts away the last remaining Na-Sundians. Lyllywight climbs up the ramp of the ship, but then drops back down—

LYLLYWIGHT

Where's Messy?!

A little CROAK from across the Hangar. Messy attempts to hop away as a Na-Sundian wraps its tentacles around him.

Something changes in Lyllywight.

He stands up to his full height and ROARS as he rips across the hangar.

He grabs the Na-Sundian with a single hand and the tentacle with the other.

The Na-Sundian releases its grip and Messy drops.

Lyllywight tosses the Na-Sundian away. He sees Messy cowering in the corner. And immediately crouches down.

LYLLYWIGHT

Oh no no no no no I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be so loud, please don't be scared of me.

Messy hops into Lyllywight's arms, CROAKS, and nuzzles close.

Lyllywight immediately tears up as he returns the cuddle.

LYLLYWIGHT

I'll keep you safe, little guy.

AGNEZZ

Hurry up!

They run up the ramp.

INT. THE REDACTED - COCKPIT - CONTINUOUS

Agnezz and Lyllywight sit down in the cockpit.

AGNEZZ

Those tentacle creeps made nice repairs. Howie better get those doors open.

Lyllywight cradles Messy, cooing at him.

Agnezz rolls her eys. Stenzrood floats down and helps her prepare the ship.

INT. NA-SUNDI CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

The Na-Sundians look out at the hangar through the observation window.

NA-SUNDIAN

Blow up the ship.

Above them, a vent opens—

Howie drops into the room.

HOWIE

Howdy.

NA-SUNDIAN

More Tork-Food.

HOWIE

I have an investment opportunity for you.

They look at him quizzically. He holds out a plasma ball.

HOWIE

This non-lethal ammo is all the rage. Invented by Zoe Raze.

They HISS.

HOWIE

Not interested? Shame.

He throws the plasma at them— They drop to the floor.

Howie pushes a button on the control board. The hangar doors begin to open.

Howie shoots open the observation window and jumps out.

INT. HANGAR - CONTINUOUS

Howie lands and runs, triumphant!

HE TRIPS— And then continues running!

He runs up the ramp of the ship as it closes, and the Redacted flies up and out of the open air pit.

EXT. THE PIT - CONTINUOUS

Tork thrashes around, Zoe barely clinging to its back.

It reaches an arm around, grabs Zoe, and throws her against the wall.

For a moment she lays still— it looks like she might be down.

EXT. PLATFORM OVERLOOKING PIT - CONTINUOUS

The Na-Sundi Queen turns around to see Veda and her downed guards.

Veda lunges toward her with the knife, but the Na-Sundi Queen HISSES and grabs her with one of her tentacles. The knife clatters to the ground.

Veda tries to wriggle free as the tentacle winds tighter around her.

EXT. THE PIT - CONTINUOUS

Tork runs toward Zoe, dragging its claws along the ground.

Zoe scrambles up, wiping the black blood from her face.

She tries to stand her ground, digging her feet into the cords.

Zoe swings her sword— but she's too early—

Tork swipes at her—

Tork's claw SLICES through Zoe's arm, right at the shoulder. The sword drops to the ground, Zoe's arm with it.

Zoe collapses, blood pooling around her.

EXT. PLATFORM OVERLOOKING PIT - CONTINUOUS

Veda fights to get herself free from the Queen.

The Queen laughs.

EXT. THE PIT - CONTINUOUS

Tork scoops up Zoe's arm and circles the pit as it leans back to swallow it, her hand hanging out of its mouth.

Zoe twitches on the ground.

Tork licks its teeth, its tongue loose in its jawless mouth.

JEERS and SCREECHES from the crowd.

Zoe lays still, barely able to keep her eyes open.

Tork drags its tongue along the ground, lapping up Zoe's blood, pacing away, and then—

It runs back toward Zoe.

In a sudden burst of energy, Zoe rolls—

Grabs the sword—

Tork pounces.

The crowd SHRIEKS and HISSES.

Tork rises and falters back.

It reaches to Zoe's sword lodged in its chest.

Zoe pulls herself up and drags herself to Tork, ignoring its weak swipes at her—

She pulls her sword out of its chest, creating a fountain of black blood, and then swings it single-handedly across Tork's throat.

Tork falls back, its tongue lolling across the ground.

THUD. The crowd SHRIEKS.

Zoe drops the sword, falls to her knees, and collapses.

EXT. PLATFORM OVERLOOKING PIT - CONTINUOUS

NA-SUNDI QUEEN

Blasphemy!!

Veda wriggles in the tentacle's grip— she reaches her hand down, moving her skirt—

She's wearing a metal garter holster.

She pushes the button— The transformer gun unfolds, forcing the tentacle loose.

Veda grabs the gun as she drops, immediately swinging the gun toward the queen.

NA-SUNDI QUEEN

Tork will rise—

Veda shoots her in the face and the queen falls.

Veda runs toward the edge, grabs a loose cord, and slides down.

EXT. THE PIT - CONTINUOUS

Veda mows down the Na-Sundians sliding down into the pit to attack. She runs over the piles of tentacles and rushes toward Zoe.

She kneels down next to Zoe, trying to wipe away the blood that's covering them both.

Zoe blinks.

ZOE

I did it.

VEDA

Sort of.

Veda stands over Zoe, shooting away the Na-Sundians—

They come in droves, slithering forward.

Veda continues shooting, the blue plasma blobs hurling toward the Na-Sundians with machine-gun like speed.

The gun starts sputtering, shooting a pathetic splash of plasma—

A HUM.

Above them, the Redacted flies into the pit. The Na-Sundians back up as giant shots of plasma come from the gun turrets.

Lyllywight runs down the ramp and picks up Zoe. Veda covers them as she backs up into the ship.

EXT. NA-SUNDI - CONTINUOUS

The Redacted blasts off into open space, escaping the fire from the Na-Sundians below.

INT. THE REDACTED - COCKPIT - CONTINUOUS

Zoe looks up at Veda's face as they rush to stop the bleeding—

Her vision blurs.

FADE TO BLACK.

INT. THE REDACTED - QUARTERS - DAY

Zoe opens her eyes slowly.

She moves to rub her eyes but stops—

Her hand is metal.

Everything comes into focus. She looks at her new cyborg arm.

Howie walks by and sees her moving. He inches toward her, uncharacteristically quiet.

Suddenly, he rushes over to her and gives her a bear hug. She returns it.

ZOE

Hey dude, what's wrong?

HOWIE

It's my fault!

ZOE

What is?

HOWIE

I sold your bombs. The bombs that the GAPs tracked. And if I hadn't then they never would have tracked us and we never would have gone into that wormhole.

Zoe's eyes grow wide as Howie hugs her tighter.

HOWIE

Are you going to leave me?

ZOE

What? Why would I do that?

HOWIE

You lost your arm. I'm a punk. I'm not a good team member.

ZOE

You're an idiot, kid, but I love you. I'm not going to leave you anywhere. I promise.

Howie nods and they hug once more. He then runs over to the door.

HOWIE

HEY! ZOE'S AWAKE!

He rushes back to Zoe's bedside.

HOWIE

Guess what?! The news said we all died when we went through the wormhole. We're DEAD. Just think about what we can do before they figure it out! I mean, you should have seen me, Zoe, I opened the hangar doors, then we were shooting down those tentacle guys and—

He continues chattering as the others gather around her. Stenzrood curls up into her lap.

As the others all talk over each other, she makes eye contact with Veda, who hangs behind in the doorway.

INT. THE REDACTED - QUARTERS - LATER

Lyllywight shoos everyone out.

LYLLYWIGHT

Come on, Zoe needs to rest.

He looks back at Veda before exiting and closing the door behind him.

Veda climbs into Zoe's bed and curls up next to her. Zoe rests her head against Veda.

ZOE

I told you I'm trouble, but you didn't stay away.

VEDA

I haven't ever made a habit of following your advice.

Zoe smiles, but seriousness returns quickly.

ZOE

You were right, though. This is bigger than us.

Veda thinks for a while.

VEDA

You know, we're headed to Melkia right now.

ZOE

Did they grant you sanctuary?

VEDA

No. But it's where I need to go.

Veda traces one of Zoe's tattoos.

VEDA

Whatever happens will happen. I think I've got a better perspective on things now.

Veda intertwines her fingers with Zoe's cyborg ones.

VEDA

I've liked being a fugitive on the run with you.

Veda looks at Zoe's hand.

VEDA

You know, I had Agnezz put in some... discreet additions. In your hand. For later.

Zoe grins and her eyes go wide as they lean in to kiss.

INT. THE REDACTED - COCKPIT - LATER

Zoe stands next to the pilot's chair, coaching as Howie pilots the ship.

ZOE

Slow down, our blind spots get worse as we get lower.

Zoe sees Veda entering the room and smiles.

ZOE

We're starting our descent into Melkia.

Veda nods and sits beside her.

ZOE

How are you feeling?

VEDA

Nervous.

ZOE

Well, you've got a getaway ship right here if you need it.

The ship lurches. Zoe reaches forward to steady the ship.

HOWIE

STOP FLIRTING! I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING!

ZOE

Can't you hold it steady, it's not that complicated—

HOWIE

Neither is your relationship with Veda but you sure make a production out of that!

Lyllywight tumbles into the room, Messy hopping in front of him. CROAK!

LYLLYWIGHT

Messy, you have to give Agnezz her finger back.

AGNEZZ (O.S.)

LYLLYWIGHT, YOUR SON, I SWEAR!

EXT. MELKIA SPACEPORT - DAY

The ramp of the REDACTED opens. Veda walks down the ramp, dressed in formal clothing.

She looks out nervously, takes a deep breath—

CHEERS erupt.

Veda smiles as she walks down the ramp toward the gleaming white art-nouveau city in front of her, which is overflowing with beautiful plant life. An enormous crowd of Melkian people surround the ship.

Zoe and the gang wait at the top of the ramp, watching.

Veda shakes hands with various officials, waves at the people.

She's about to walk off when she excuses herself and rushes back to the ship, up the ramp. She smiles breathlessly.

VEDA

Given your service, Melkia would officially like to invite you to our planet, and welcomes you to stay as long as you please.

Howie looks up at Zoe.

HOWIE

Please? Look at this place.

Zoe shrugs.

ZOE

Okay.

Howie YIPEES and runs down the ramp. Lyllywight bows to Veda with Messy and his shoulder. CROAK.

LYLLYWIGHT

Thank you for the invitation.

Agnezz taps Zoe's shoulder.

AGNEZZ

I have to go. Chris still has my foot. Can I borrow the ship?

ZOE

Go ahead. But you're going to have to tell me about your date.

AGNEZZ

Not a chance.

Agnezz heads back into the ship.

VEDA

You completed your mission, Captain. What now?

ZOE

I think it might be time for a bit of vacation. Here seems good.

They walk down the ramp.

ZOE

Plus I think you need my protection, you're not very good at this treason thing—

Veda pulls Zoe behind the ramp. They kiss.

As they pull away, Zoe dances.

THE END.