Workshop Wednesday

Let's get back into the action with the further adventures of our government-backed vampire hunter. This marks the second half of the big chase for our current vampire target. We also have some of the aftermath, and a few new plot threads starting up.

Remember to catch up on Van Helsing Syndrome in the Works of Mike FinkelsteinWhat's that, you want to read various creative works from Asteroid G Lead Editor Mike Finkelstein? Well, if that's what you want... archive before reading this part.

Van Helsing Syndrome: Part 5

EXT: INDIANAPOLIS STREETS TOWARDS DOWNTOWN, NIGHT.

We see a quick, high-speed driving section as the two agents quickly make their way towards the downtown mall, post-haste, before pulling into the mall's garage and jumping out.

INT: DOWNTOWN MALL, MAIN DRAG, NIGHT.

MARK is running down one of the mall corridors, he's got his gun drawn, a badge out and around his neck (looks like a police badge) and is talking into a walkie-talkie. The mall is pretty busy for an evening, and a few people see MARK running through.

MARK:

JENNIFER, you read me? Over.

JENNIFER (V.O.):

Roger. Over.

MARK:

Good. Try to keep this contained. There are way too many people here, too many easy targets for a vampire trying to make a scene. Over.

JENNIFER (V.O.):

Right. No sign of DANIELS yet. Over.

MARK:

Well, I know you know what you're doing, but keep your eyes peeled. If you have a shot, take it! Over.

JENNIFER (V.O.):

Will do. Over.

MARK runs up to a map of the mall, scanning store names.

MARK:

If I was a vampire looking to do max carnage, where would I go... Oh, hey, there's a Cinnabon here.

SFX: Screams.

MARK whips around to the sound of screaming. We see a crowd getting shoved out of the way, as if someone was forcing their way through.

MARK:

Jennifer! Vampire on his way to you. Running hard. Over.

JENNIFER (V.O.):

Roger. Over and out.

MARK runs after the vampire, waving his fake badge to get people out of his way. The vampire stays two steps ahead, always putting people between himself and MARK.

JENNIFER (V.O.)

I don't see him! Over.

MARK:

I'm following him now. You should see us soon. Over.

JENNIFER (V.O.):

Roger. Over and out.

CHRISTOPHER turns and runs into a toy store. MARK runs after.

INT: DOWNTOWN MALL, TOY STORE, NIGHT.

MARK runs into the store, scanning aisles, looking for CHRISTOPHER.

TOY STORE TOT:

(screaming) Mommy!

MARK turns to the scream and sees CHRISTOPHER run out of the store carrying the TOY STORE TOT.

MARK:

Stop!

CHRISTOPHER turns and smiles, fangs bared. Mark raises his gun, but the vampire just smiles and runs into the crowd.

INT: DOWNTOWN MALL, MAIN DRAG, NIGHT.

MARK runs out of the store, begins scanning the crowd again, trying to tail CHRISTOPHER. MARK yells into his walkie-talkie.

MARK:

JENNIFER! Where are you? Over!

JENNIFER:

By Urban Essentials. No sign of you. Over.

MARK runs past Urban Essentials, with no sign of JENNIFER. He raises the walkie-talkie to his mouth again.

MARK:

I don't see-

CHRISTOPHER emerges from the crowd and throws the TOY STORE TOT at Mark. In slow-motion we see the kid fly towards MARK. MARK raises his gun with one hand, while the other hand goes out to try and catch the kid. As the kid lands in MARK's outstretched arm, MARK is able to fire off a single shot.

SFX: Gun shot.

Back at full speed, MARK and the TOY STORE TOT fall in a heap on the floor. From ground level we see CHRISTOPHR, standing in place, a smoking hole in his head. His jaw is just opening and closing, no noise. The crowd is already running from the sound of gunfire.

MARK:

This is a police matter! I need everyone to move. Clear out. NOW!

MARK picks the kid up and runs. MARK dives behind a mall kiosk, protecting the TOY STORE TOT as best he can. We see a flash.

JENNIFER:

(Latin chanting)

JENNIFER walks up to CHRISTOPHER, the vampire smiling his evil smile at her. He seems to see no danger from her, and JENNIFER makes herself seem safe. Then she brings her hands up and shoots a fire wave from her hands. CHRISTOPHER looks confused, hurt even. He begins to speak, his jaw moving, Then he explodes.

SFX: Explosion.

A magic shield protects JENNIFER from the flying bits. All that is left is an arm, which sits in a blackened spot on the ground. JENNIFER begins to cast another spell, but MARK walks up, interrupting her.

MARK:

What are you doing?

JENNIFER:

Uh... Just casting a ward.

MARK:

Don't bother. He's dead. I doubt his arm is going to cause much trouble.

Just then, the arm twitches a bit, then goes back to being quite still. MARK and JENNIFER look at each other. MARK shoots the arm once for good measure. The MOTHER OF TOY STORE TOT comes rushing up.

MOTHER OF TOY STORE TOT:

Oh my god! My baby!

MARK looks over at TOY STORE TOT, who is sitting by the fountain, tears streaming down the tyke's face. MOTHER OF TOY STORE TOT grabs up her kid. The two rush off.

JENNIFER:

Maybe we should call this in.

MARK:

Maybe?! I don't even know how the clean up crew is going to explain this one away. That'll be a long, elaborate story.

JENNIFER:

Terrorist attack, narrowly averted.

MARK:

(pause) Right, or that.

FAT SECURITY GUARD and THIN SECURITY GUARD come running up. Mark flashes his badge.

MARK:

Relax, guys. I'm with the police. Detective Brian Wilson, my partner, Joan Mitchell. This matter is contained.

FAT SECURITY GUARD:

(huff puff) You okay?

MARK:

Nothing a doughnut and a coffee won't cure.

THIN SECURITY GUARD sees the arm on the ground. MARK notices him staring.

MARK:

Don't touch that. It's evidence.

THIN SECURITY GUARD:

Of what?!

MARK:

(sarcastic pause) Food poisoning. Very serious. Keep the crowd back while I call this in.

EXT: DOWNTOWN MALL, PARKING GARAGE, NIGHT.

MARK and JENNIFER come walking out of the mall, vampire arm in a clear plastic bag in MARK's hand. A PHA clean up crew pulls up in a black, unmarked van. CLEANUP AGENT gets out of the passenger side of the van. MARK hands him the arm-in-a-bag.

MARK:

Mall security has the kill scene contained. There are security cameras all over the mall. We'll need the footage.

CLEANUP AGENT:

Uh, yeah. Standard protocol.

MARK:

Right. Sorry. It's been a long couple of days.

MARK and JENNIFER walk over to MARK's car, start loading their stuff into the trunk.

MARK:

Why were you using magic in there?

JENNIFER:

I was taking care of the vampire...

MARK:

You know you aren't supposed to do anything supernatural in front of the public. The vampire was contained.

JENNIFER:

The vampire was alive. It's second nature to use my magic as a defense, and PHA rules clearly state I can use my magic if my life is in peril.

MARK:

You had a gun you could have used.

JENNIFER:

I'm more comfortable with magic than hand-guns.

MARK:

You aren't the one that has to explain it to THOMPSON. That's going to be a fun meeting.

MARK and JENNIFER get into car. We see them pull out as another three vans come pulling into the parking lot.

INT: PHA OFFICE PARK, THOMPSON'S OFFICE, NIGHT.

We see MARK come up to THOMPSON's door, knocking twice. The lighting in the office is dim, but we can see THOMPSON hunched over some paperwork, sipping from a glass of Coke. A bottle of soda, and a bottle of Jack, sit off to the side of his desk.

THOMPSON looks up and nods at MARK, inviting the agent in. MARK sits down across from his boss.

MARK:

I assume you heard about the incident at the mall.

THOMPSON:

You mean the terrorist bombing that was heroically averted by two beat cops and wasn't, in any way, caused by an exploding vampire.

MARK:

(pause) Yeessss. When you need them, the police are there.

THOMPSON stares at Mark for a second, then pours a couple of thumbs of Coke into a glass and shoves it towards MARK. MARK takes the drink and relaxes a bit his chair.

THOMPSON:

You sure you don't want to spike the drink this time?

MARK:

You know I don't drink. Messes with my meds.

THOMPSON:

The meds I know you don't take because I've seen your yearly, required lab work.

MARK:

(pause) What's the point of taking drugs to dissuade me from a belief in vampires when we both know they exist.

THOMPSON:

You could just say you don't like to drink.

MARK:

I like to stay sharp.

THOMPSON:

Fair enough. So, tell me about that mess at the mall.

MARK:

The one you just said I wasn't at?

THOMPSON:

(glare) What happened?

MARK:

That vampire was another odd case. Nothing with these vamps seems to quite add up. These are supposed to be solitary hunters, but these two were working together? And then instead of going to ground, finding some damp grave to hide in for a decade or two until the heat fades, he charges into a public place and starts causing havoc? I don't get it.

THOMPSON flips through some papers.

THOMPSON:

Can you explain the traces of magical fire on what was left of the corpse.

MARK:

You already know about that?

THOMPSON:

Crime scene guys instantly reported it.

MARK:

Yeah, someone should talk to JENNIFER about that. She is using her magic way too freely.

THOMPSON:

You didn't authorize that?

MARK:

Me? Come on. I'm way more subtle than that.

INT: DOWNTOWN MALL, MAIN DRAG, NIGHT.

We see MARK shoot CHRISTOPER in the head in front of a crowd of people.

INT: PHA OFFICE PARK, THOMPSON'S OFFICE, NIGHT.

THOMPSON just stares at MARK.

MARK:

What?

THOMPSON:

You're her senior agent. Just talk to her and get her under control.

MARK:

Fine.

MARK gets up and heads to the door. He turns back and we see THOMPSON organizing the papers into a folder and then capping his bottles.

MARK:

Hey, if another vampire shows up on associated with this pack-

THOMPSON:

Don't worry, this is your mess. I'll make you clean it up.

MARK nods and then heads out.

INT: MARK'S HOUSE, KITCHEN, NIGHT.

MARK comes in, sets down his bag of weapons, and then grabs out some pre-made food from the freezer, setting them in the microwave. He then turns to his answering machine, sees its blinking, and pushes it on.

CATHERINE (V.O.):

MARK, it's CATHERINE. I have a meeting arranged with the packs. 8:00 tomorrow night. If there is a problem with that, call back.

MARK jots down the time on a scrap of paper from his pocket, and posts it on the refrigerator door. Machine continues playing while he goes about getting his dinner ready.

MARK'S MOM (V.O.):

Hi, MARK, it's MOM. Just calling to see how you are. Haven't heard from you in a little while. Love you.

SFX: Answering machine clicks.

SENATOR'S SECRETARY (V.O.):

Hello, Mr. Jacobs. This is the office of Senator DAVIS. The Senator would like a meeting with you. He's very interested in the job you're doing. Call back when you get this to arrange a meeting. 202-555-7659.

MARK looks confused at this message, but writes down the number. he then picks up a phone and dials back.

SENATOR'S SECRETARY (V.O.):

Senator Davis' office.

MARK:

Wow, you guys are in the office late.

SENATOR'S SECRETARY (V.O.):

Is this MARK Jacobs?

MARK:

(pause) Uh, yeah-

SENATOR'S SECRETARY (V.O.):

One moment.

SFX: Phone click, then muzak plays before the line goes silent again.

DAVIS:

Mr. Jacobs? This is Senator DAVIS.

MARK:

Uh... Yeah... Senator. You wanted a meeting.

DAVIS:

Yes. I would like to talk to you, specifically, about this case you are on.

MARK:

Sorry, I don't know what you're referring to.

DAVIS:

Save it, agent. I know exactly who you work for. I'm on the committee that approves your agency's budgets. I want to meet with you. Soon.

MARK:

Uh... okay... I don't have anything tomorrow afternoon.

DAVIS:

Good. A car will be out front of your house to pick you up at 3:00.

MARK:

I mean, I guess that-

SFX: Phone click.

End Part 5:

What's going on with the Senator, and how much does he really know? And what about the lycanthropes? We find out next as I actively have to start revising this script (since I left it half finished after my last round of rewrites).