On the staircase, standing as isolated as possible from everyone else, is JORDAN, dressed in a very conservative and ill-fitting blue gown. She looks desperately bored and is eyeing the chandelier. Below, mixing in with a crowd consisting of a woman in her seventies wearing a gaudy yellow and white dress two sizes too small for her large frame (COUNTESS DESILVER), a nervous looking frail man hanging on her arm (COUNT DESILVER), and THOMAS MENDEZ, is SAM SPADE, wearing a stunning red dress, cut just below the knee and strapless. It shouldn’t be too tight, as she has got one of her pistols strapped to her right leg with a leg holster. The COUNTESS is loudly regaling the three with some tale about her latest boating accident while the COUNT looks on in a mixture of adoration and fear. SAM SPADE and THOMAS MENDEZ have polite smiles on their faces.
1 CAPTION: Rio De Janiero, Brazil. 10 p.m.
1 COUNTESS:…so then Roddy pulls the boat hard to starboard, and wouldn’t you know that poor peasant had his dinghy alongside. It was the most awful mess!
THOMAS MENDEZ tugs on SAM SPADE’s hand gently and nods his head to indicate that they need to leave. Meanwhile, the COUNTESS continues to regale them with her tale.
2 COUNTESS:Well, of course, I acted quickly. I reached over and threw the Count into the water, yelling, “Save the peasant, dear!”
SAM SPADE interrupts the COUNTESS while THOMAS MENDEZ starts to walk away from the conversation, towards a door in the back of the room.
3 SAM SPADE:I’m deeply sorry, Countess…Thomas and I have some business to discuss. But it’s a fascinating story.
As she walks away, SAM SPADE leans over to the COUNT and whispers in his ear. The COUNT says something back while nodding.
4 SAM SPADE:She really threw you in the water?
5 COUNT:Kill me.
SAM SPADE and THOMAS MENDEZ walk back towards the
door in the back of the room. Near the picture window, twelve of the short
figures from the beach can be seen standing right at the window, peering
in. Beneath their hats, red eyes glow in the darkness. These are GOBLINS.
SAM SPADE and THOMAS MENDEZ have passed through the door and are standing in a small room, surrounded by two or three tables filled with plates of appetizers and bottles of champagne with filled glasses. There is one other door, connecting to the kitchen. There is no one else in the room.
1 THOMAS MENDEZ:Sorry to pull you away from the Countess, Sam.
2 SAM SPADE:I’m just glad you did before my ears started bleeding. What’s up?
SAM SPADE reaches over and picks up one of the glasses of champagne as THOMAS MENDEZ continues to talk.
3 THOMAS MENDEZ:Have you ever heard of the Mithril Tear?
4 SAM SPADE:Learned a bit about it in school. Supposedly belonged to various rulers throughout history. Villagers never liked it much, always claimed that their leaders were using it to consult with demons.
5 SAM SPADE:Don’t tell me Merlin’s Progeny has found the Mithril Tear?
THOMAS MENDEZ shakes his head, somewhat sadly.
6 THOMAS MENDEZ:No. But we have been contacted by someone who claims to have it. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out why he’d want to give it to us.
7 SAM SPADE:I’m your treasure hunter, Thomas. The Progeny calls, I find whatever lost magic item you’re securing this week. I’m not exactly a student of human nature.
8 THOMAS MENDEZ:That’s okay…
BURT steps through the door of the kitchen. He is dressed in a trenchcoat, and has various food stains on it and all over his face. A large turkey leg is in one of his hands. His expression is one of worry.
9 THOMAS MENDEZ:He’s not exactly human.
SAM SPADE quick draws her pistol from the holster under her dress and aims it at BURT. The terrified goblin drops the turkey leg and cowers.
10 SAM SPADE:What are you, nuts? Bringing a goblin here?! You have any idea what kind of havoc he could wreak?
11 BURT:Me no hurt anyone! Me no hurt anyone! Don’t shoot, Burt allergic to pain!
THOMAS MENDEZ puts his hand on SAM SPADE’s gun, gently lowering it. BURT looks up, covering his eyes but peeking through his fingers.
1 THOMAS MENDEZ:Relax, Sam. He’s alone, and he says he found the Tear. Informants told the Progeny that he wanted to talk to us about it.
2 BURT:yes…yes…talk to Progeny…much good…no shoot Burt…Burt like humans.
SAM SPADE reluctantly lowers the pistol, and BURT picks up the turkey leg and starts talking to her.
3 SAM SPADE:How did you find the Tear?
4 BURT :Burt am smart…yes, much smart goblin. Have many contacts in Rio. Lord Hale say, “Find the magic!” and Burt find.
5 THOMAS MENDEZ:Lord…Hale?
BURT’s expression changes to one of fear as he looks at THOMAS MENDEZ.
BURT calms down a little bit as realization comes across his face. He takes a bite of the turkey leg and keeps talking.
7 BURT:Oh…you just repeating. You no scare Burt like that. Lord Hale wants Mithril Tear much badly…but Burt think…that not so good.
8 SAM SPADE:Who’s this Lord Hale?
9 THOMAS MENDEZ:Powerful, immortal magician. This is not good.
BURT:Burt says is not so good!
You humans maybe not so smart. Burt has Mithril Tear. Give it to you if
you protect me. If not, give it to Lord Hale. Then no one safe.
THOMAS MENDEZ speaks up, as SAM SPADE continues to eye BURT warily.
1 THOMAS MENDEZ:What do you mean, no one safe? What does the Mithril Tear do?
2 BURT:Oh, much bad. Lord Hale use to bring friends from other side. Friends destroy world, but at least Lord Hale…not so alone any more.
3 SAM SPADE:He’s going to destroy the world rather than be alone? Has he ever considered an escort service?
THOMAS MENDEZ holds his hand up and shakes his head.
4 THOMAS MENDEZ:Wait, wait…I don’t get it. These friends of his will just come here and destroy the world?
5 BURT:Friends destroy, yes. No more Baywatch for Burt. No more pretty art. No more humans. No more MTV!
6 SAM SPADE:I don’t believe it. A goblin’s going to save the world because he wants his MTV.
THOMAS MENDEZ looks a bit exasperated, and BURT gets a terrified look on his face.
7 THOMAS MENDEZ: Sam, you’re not helping. Now, Burt…
BURT throws the turkey leg in desperation and charges back through the door into the kitchen. SAM SPADE curses and aims the gun in his direction as THOMAS MENDEZ rushes to the other door back to the party and swings it open.
9 SAM SPADE:Damn! I knew we shouldn’t trust a goblin! I’m going after him!
10 THOMAS MENDEZ:Uh…Sam…I think we’ve got bigger problems. Look.
SAM SPADE turns her head to look and the turkey leg smacks into the side of her face.
Rubbing the mess off the side of her face, SAM SPADE runs over to the door and looks out. With a heavy sigh and a look of resignation, she mutters.
11 SAM SPADE:Oh. Great.
PAGES SIX & SEVEN
Ten GOBLINS (BEAVIS, BUTTHEAD, DURBORG, HEMLOCK, NORVIK, SKURTAK and four unnamed goblins) have crashed the party through the picture window. Having cast off their overcoats, most are dressed in rags. They are armed mostly with medieval weapons, although DURBORG, a four foot tall Goblin wearing hard leather armor on his torso, is carrying a .45 pistol. They are wreaking havoc on the party. One of them, BEAVIS, has set fire to the buffet table and is standing on it with his mace held high. There is another, BUTTHEAD, standing next to the table with a club andlooking on with mesmerized amusement. Another, SKURTAK, is standing on top of the COUNTESS while thwacking the COUNT with his club. Yet another, NORVIK, is climbing up the staircase, wielding a nasty looking blade and approaching JORDAN. The others are engaged in all kinds of mayhem. Make it violent and chaotic, but not overly bloody. Still, it looks like Hell has broken loose. Standing in the center of them, holding his crossbow at the ready and yelling at the top of his lungs, is HEMLOCK. Hanging around his neck on a chain is his bauble.
2 COUNTESS:Ahhhh! Get offfff! Get offffff!
3 BEAVIS:Fire! Fire!
4 BUTTHEAD:That’s cool. Heh heh.
SAM SPADE runs out of the other room, pistol in hand firing. Her two shots hit only champagne glasses near an unnamed goblin, shattering them and spooking the goblin.
1 SAM SPADE:Jordan?!
2 JORDAN (OFF):Up here!
SAM SPADE looks up the staircase to see NORVIK closing in on JORDAN, who is reaching for a leg holster under her dress. They are at the top of the staircase, almost level with the chandelier, although it is across the room. NORVIK doesn’t see SAM SPADE, being focused on the plump morsel in front of him.
SAM SPADE begins running up the stairs, and NORVIK turns, raising his blade high into the air. JORDAN is still fumbling with the holster.
3 SAM SPADE:Hey! Ugly! Get away from her!
5 JORDAN (small):stinkin…oof…holster…carry her own…urgh… gun…hh…next time…
SAM SPADE aims her gun at NORVIK, who has moved down the stairs and is swinging the blade towards her head. JORDAN pulls the gun out with a flourish, a big smile on her face since she’s beaten her little holster problem.
6 JORDAN:I got it!
NORVIK brings the blade down level with SAM SPADE’s head, and she has to dodge, which sends her careening off the staircase and towards the chandelier and the floor below. This is a half leap, so she isn’t plummeting, more like flying on a downward arc. Think John Woo.
8 SAM SPADE:Whoa!
Close-up on JORDAN’s face, and she looks horrified.
Large panel, maybe the top half of the page. We can see the chaos down below, which has shifted somewhat. BEAVIS and BUTTHEAD are both dancing on the flaming table, not noticing that BUTTHEAD’s club has caught fire. A group of about ten guests is cornered by the four name goblins, who are advancing menacingly on them. HEMLOCK is gone, having chased through the kitchen after BURT. SKURTAK has clubbed the COUNTESS and is carrying the unconscious COUNT around with him, wearing him like a fur. Above all of this is SAM SPADE, flying through mid-air firing her gun at NORVIK, who is off-panel. Below her, DURBORG takes aim at her with his .45.
1 SAM SPADE:Jordan! Throw the gun!
Back at the staircase, NORVIK goes down with two bullets in him, his sword clattering harmlessly away. JORDAN throws the gun out towards SAM SPADE.
SAM SPADE has her arm outstretched, but the gun is clearly underthrown. Below, DURBORG fires a shot which narrowly misses her. The chandelier is getting closer, and SAM SPADE will probably be able to catch it if she twists around in time.
The gun, improbably enough, lands in SAM SPADE’s hand while she fires the other one below her, hitting DURBORG. She isn’t a perfect shot, so there should be a couple misses which hit inanimate objects for effect.
Close-up of SAM SPADE, firing one gun downward and another out towards the chandelier, although neither of her targets can be seen.
SFX:BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
The bullets from one gun hit the chain of the chandelier, severing it and sending it crashing downward, but leaving enough of a chain for SAM SPADE to grab onto, which she does while firing the other gun down into the party. The other gun drops towards the floor, as SAM SPADE had to release it to grab the chain.
SFX:KA-ching! ka-CHING! SnAP! BLAM! BlAM! BLAM!
BEAVIS and BUTTHEAD are standing on the table, with BUTTHEAD having discarded his flaming club. The flames surround them, but haven’t reached the center of the table yet. They are both looking upward with blank stares, and the shadow of the oncoming chandelier falls on both of them.
1 BUTTHEAD:This s-
The chandelier crashes onto the buffet table, spraying food everywhere and effectively putting out the fire. It also effectively squashes BEAVIS and BUTTHEAD in a shower of glass and light filaments. The effect is fairly spectacular.
SAM SPADE is hanging from the chain, looking down as her gun clatters to the ground. The guests who had been cornered stare at the bodies of the four goblins, who were dispatched by SAM SPADE’s hail of gunfire earlier. Her momentum is swinging her towards the opposite wall, with the broken picture window. The only goblin left standing, SKURTAK, drops the COUNT and runs toward that window to get away. SAM SPADE fires two shots from her gun at SKURTAK, but they both miss and the gun runs out of ammunition.
SFX:BLAM! BLAM! KLIK! KLIK!
1 SAM SPADE:This is gonna hurt.
SAM SPADE lets go of the chain, flying towards the hole in the picture window and outside. She drops her gun, but outstretches her other towards the gun on the floor, a good ten feet away. SKURTAK has made it to the beach and shows no signs of stopping.
SAM SPADE lands on top of SKURTAK in a half-tackle, half-fall and the two go down in a heap. SAM SPADE’s gun leaps from the floor and towards her hand.
2 SAM SPADE:Ooof!
SAM SPADE stands up, but SKURTAK hangs on, both hands on her throat. The gun lands in SAM SPADE’s hand.
4 SKURTAK:Killll Yuuuuu!
5 SAM SPADE:Urk…I…don’t…think…so…
Close-up on SAM SPADE’s face, with the goblin hands around her throat. Off-panel, she is firing her gun point-blank into SKURTAK.
SFX:BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
SAM SPADE runs back inside, headed for the kitchen door. The guests are all running away in various directions, while JORDAN stands at the top of the staircase and yells to SAM SPADE.
1 JORDAN:Sam! One of them went into the kitchen!
SAM SPADE bursts into the kitchen, gun pointed in front of her. The cooks are all cowering underneath whatever tables they can find, and all kinds of food and pots are overturned. It looks like a couple goblins ran through here knocking things over and terrifying the staff. Which is exactly what did happen. SAM SPADE yells to one of the cooks.
2 SAM SPADE:Where!?
A chef timidly points toward a door at the end of the kitchen, which is swung open to reveal the dark night and an alleyway.
SAM SPADE bursts into the alleyway and sees HEMLOCK, staring down the end of the alley to the street. An unconscious man in a motorcycle helmet lies in a pile of trash cans. HEMLOCK is holding his bauble and looks quite angry and disappointed.
3 SAM SPADE:Hold it right there! Where’s Burt?
HEMLOCK squints at SAM SPADE, trying to figure out her place in this little drama.
4 HEMLOCK:Burt? He has departed this locale on this human’s misappropriated motorized scooter.
SAM SPADE looks a little irritated, but keeps her gun steady on HEMLOCK. Meanwhile, HEMLOCK’s bauble begins to glow.
1 SAM SPADE:You don’t talk like any goblin I’ve ever met. Who are you?
2 HEMLOCK:My name is Hemlock. I am Lord Hale’s aide de camp. And I know who you are, Samantha.
The bauble glows brightly and HEMLOCK turns into a glowing shape of the same color. SAM SPADE, realizing what’s happening, fires, but the bullets pass through the shape.
3 SAM SPADE:No! Get back here, you little--!
A hand appears on SAM SPADE’s shoulder from behind. It belongs to JORDAN, although she isn’t on panel.
4 JORDAN:Sam? What happened?
SAM SPADE turns around to find JORDAN standing there, holding the other pistol, and THOMAS MENDEZ standing with her.SAM SPADE gestures towards the unconscious biker in the alley.
5 SAM SPADE:Little goblin calling himself Hemlock got away with some kind of teleportation magic.
6 THOMAS MENDEZ:What about Burt?
7 SAM SPADE:Seems like he stole this guy’s bike and took off.
8 THOMAS MENDEZ:Well, he’s good and spooked now. Might even give the tear to Lord Hale out of fear.
9 SAM SPADE:Not a chance. Come on, Jordan, we’re on the clock here.
A small panel featuring an exterior shot of a downtown office building in Rio de Janiero. The building should look more like an apartment than an office building, and be surrounded by others in white, red, green, etc. It does not look like an ultramodern city, more like one from the 1950s or 60s. It is daytime now, about 10 in the morning.
1 CAPTION:Spade International, Rio de Janiero. 10 a.m.
Interior shot of a busy office with cubicles. People are running around with various tools and outdoor equipment, not to mention bits of clothes. A group of writers stands around a table staring at a khaki business suit laid out on it. They all have notepads and are yelling. It looks pretty wild for an office, but there are also a few sitting and typing quietly in their cubicles on their computers. In the back of the office, which is mostly an open room, is a door which opens into a more private office.
2 WRITER 1:Khaki! It’s not just for the outdoors anymore!
3 WRITER 2:That’s ridiculous! We’re an outdoor adventure company! Why would we want to use that?!
4 WRITER 3:How about, “Khaki. If you can face down a lion in it, you can face down the board of directors!”
5 WRITER 4:That’s not bad, but I think we should say something about the Information Superhighway in the copy!
Cut to the inside of the private office, where SAM SPADE is sitting behind a desk with her feet up, reading a publication called Spade Outdoor with a red pen in her hand. She looks incredulous. She is wearing a business suit. The office is pretty sparse, obviously unoccupied most of the time. Just a desk with a computer and a framed photo on it, a filing cabinet, and a large pile of miscellaneous outdoor equipment; canteens, pitons, grappling hooks, rope, etc. The pile is sitting next to an unmarked crate. Curled up napping next to the crate is SAM SPADE’s dog, CORRIGAN.
6 SAM SPADE:How do you misspell “Rope?” What is wrong with people?
One of the writers from the group outside pokes his head into the office, obviously very excited. SAM SPADE looks up at him.
7 WRITER:Ms. Spade? We think we’ve got it. “If there were lions on the Information Superhighway, you’d need a Spade Khaki Business Suit.”
SAM SPADE gives the writer a disgusted look while the writer looks somewhat crestfallen.
8 SAM SPADE (thought):I want my gun.
9 SAM SPADE:Martinez…are there any lions on the Information Superhighway?
11 SAM SPADE:Then why on Earth would anyone want to buy our Khaki Business Suit?
12 WRITER:Um…right. We’ll work on that.
The writer steps back out the door as SAM SPADE looks at the picture on her desk, a picture of her mother and father standing together wearing safari gear.
13 SAM SPADE:Why would anyone design a khaki business suit in the first place? Sometimes I swear they’re trying to bankrupt me.
14 SAM SPADE:Dad, I wish you and mom were still running this place. The second phrase out of my mouth when I find you will be, “Here’s your company back.”
Close-up of the picture, which SAM SPADE touches gently.
1 SAM SPADE (small):the first will be, “I missed you.”
A man walks into SAM SPADE’s office, dressed in a serape and a sombrero, looking for all the world like a wanna-be Clint Eastwood. Wanna-be because his body doesn’t quite match up to it, being a bit too short and squat. His face reveals a nervous grin. This is SERRANO JONES.
2 SERRANO JONES:Buenos dias, Samantha. You called?
SAM SPADE stands up and gestures toward the pile of equipment. SERRANO JONES smiles and takes off his sombrero, revealing a bald head.
3 SAM SPADE:I did, Serrano. Your latest shipment, ready to be packed into an unmarked crate so you can “steal” it from us.
4 SERRANO JONES:I’m sorry, Samantha. I didn’t plan on this today, I have no money with me.
5 SAM SPADE:I’m not interested in money today. I want information instead. Have you ever met a goblin named Burt or Hemlock?
SERRANO JONES gets an unpleasant look on his face.
6 SERRANO JONES:Yes. Hemlock is a nasty little goblin who makes disgusting noises like you and I breathe. A despicable little rodent.
7 SAM SPADE:Why did he come to you?
8 SERRANO JONES:He was looking for this goblin Burt. I told him nothing…I’ll tell you the truth.
9 SERRANO JONES:My sources at the airport tell me climbed into a plane’s cargo hold this morning, which puts him on his way to Mexico City.
SAM SPADE digests this bit of information, then asks SERRANO JONES a very important question, to which he shrugs and answers. SAM SPADE holds up a photo of the Mithril Tear.
10 SAM SPADE:Did he have this with him?
11 SERRANO JONES:My informants do not know. Is it valuable?
12 SAM SPADE:Not from your point of view, Serrano. But from mine, and from that of some dangerous people, yes…yes it is.
Outside the building, DECKARD THOMPSON is leaning casually up against the building. He flashes his famous smile at a gorgeous woman who walks by, appreciatively smiling back. SERRANO JONES is walking out the front door.
Imposed over panels one and three because it is taking place at the same time. SAM SPADE is on the phone, talking to someone.
1 SAM SPADE:Jordan? Get us two tickets to Mexico City, as soon as we can go. I’m going to dig around here and get us some gear.
SERRANO JONES walks over to DECKARD THOMPSON and the two begin to talk.
2 SERRANO JONES:Senor Thompson. She is bound for Mexico City, tracking a goblin named Burt and some kind of tear-shaped item.
3 DECKARD THOMPSON:Tear, huh? Did she say whether she’s working for the Progeny?
4 SERRANO JONES:Senor, she always works for the Progeny.
Inset, close-up of JORDAN on the phone with SAM SPADE.
5 JORDAN:Mexico City? When did you…talked to Serrano this morning, did you? Yeah, I’m on it.
SERRANO JONES pockets a wad of cash handed to him by DECKARD THOMPSON and starts to walk off. DECKARD THOMPSON pulls out a cellular phone and, grinning, calls his travel agent.
6 DECKARD THOMPSON:Hiya, Trix. It’s Deck. Need a plane ticket to Mexico City, and I need it before Spade gets one.
7 TRIXIE (off, and small enough to be unreadable):Just got a call from Jordan, actually.
8 DECKARD THOMPSON:Yep, that’s not surprising. Spade’s girl Friday is nothing if not efficient. Can you get me on the flight before that one? Ah, I love you when you bump the frequent fliers, you know that. I’ll be at the airport in ten minutes.
The airport terminal in Mexico City, just below an inbound jet from Brazil. The cargo hatch is open -- MARCO and JUAN, baggage handlers are removing the last of the luggage.
1 MARCO:<…it’s really quite simple. Before you open the box, there is no way to be sure whether or not the cat is alive or dead.>
2 JUAN:<Interesting enough, I suppose. So you’re saying it’s our minds that shape reality…that it’s all really kind of abstract?>
BURT, dressed in an open trenchcoat, jumps out of the cargo hold and knocks over several piles of luggage, startling the two baggage handlers into grabbing each other and screaming their lungs out. He is carrying a beat-up suitcase that is half-sealed and has human underwear slopped out over the side. It bulges at the side, because he has stashed the Mithril Tear inside.
3 BURT :No hurt! No hurt! Just need to get away! Bad men come soon!
4 MARCO & JUAN:Yaaaaahhhhh!
BURT runs off down the runway (appropriately enough) with the two baggage handlers still locked in an embrace after their terrified grab. MARCO is staring after BURT. JUAN is looking at MARCO.
5 JUAN:<So which of us shaped that?>
6 CAPTION:<Translated from Spanish>
Close-up on BURT as he charges down the runway, headed for the cab stand and muttering to himself.
7 BURT:No peanuts…peanuts not for goblins in baggage…only stale fruitcake for goblins in baggage…this no way for Burt to travel.
Closing his trenchcoat and yanking his hat out of the suitcase, BURT jumps into the back of the cab.
8 BURT:We go! Fast! Go to caves!
9 CABBIE:The Cacahuamilpa caverns? Si senor.
The cab drives off into traffic, and we can see the conversation coming out from it.
10 CABBIE:You are a tourist?
11 BURT:Burt tourist, yes. Take big trip, ruins and caverns, no hide magic tear, just looking and touring.
CABBIE:Of course, senor…The weather
is very beautiful, no?
The exterior of the Cacahuamilpa caverns, a large tourist attraction featuring a mile of underground caves, decorated with cave paintings. On the outside, there are crowds milling about food stands, and a lot of scaffolding and construction going on. A developer is turning the caverns into a Disneyland style “ride” and tourist attraction. But all of this is of less importance than one of the visitors who has bought something from a taco stand and is wandering into the opening of the cave. It is BURT, wearing his trenchcoat and hat and carrying his suitcase.
BURT enters the caves along with a few tourists, but quickly breaks off into a small side passage, just big enough for a child to crawl through.The tunnel is deep and goes down, and BURT has to crawl along it. He looks nervously all around him.
1 BURT:Burt hide tear, then all is okay. Give Lord Hale piece of glass…he think Burt moron but he not kill that way.
BURT calls out as a sound startles him, producing a miniature flashlight.
2 BURT:Burt is okay with moron.
3 BURT:Hello? Who’s there?
The tunnel is suddenly darkened as the entrance is covered by a piece of rock that slides into place and closes it off.
BURT points his flashlight in front of him, but all
he sees is a pair of fanged teeth and a set of red eyes. They look utterly
inhuman and very, very hungry.
DECKARD THOMPSON steps out the terminal of the Mexico City Airport, with a small shoulder bag slung over his shoulder. He is talking to a gorgeous young Mexican woman, who gives him a winning smile. They are outside, and DECKARD THOMPSON is hailing down a cab.
1 DECKARD THOMPSON:<Fascinating work, underwear modeling. I’ll be sure and look you up while I’m here, Sierra.>
2 CAPTION:<Translated from Spanish>
As DECKARD THOMPSON starts to get into the cab, he asks the driver a question. It is the same cabbie that drove BURT to the caverns.
3 DECKARD THOMPSON:Two hours before Spade sets down. <Excuse me, Senor, you haven’t by any chance given given a ride to any short guys in trenchcoats lately, have you?>
4 CAPTION::<Translated from Spanish>
DECKARD THOMPSON smiles as he ducks into the cab.
5 CABBIE:Si, Senor.
6 DECKARD THOMPSON:I love my life.
JORDAN is reading “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” on the airplane as SAM SPADE jolts awake in her seat. CORRIGAN, sitting on her lap, sits up and stares directly into her face.
7 SAM SPADE:Aah!
SAM SPADE looks calmly over at JORDAN, who now seems a bit nervous. CORRIGAN licks SAM SPADE’s face.
9 SAM SPADE:It’s nothing, Jordan. Just a bad feeling.
SAM SPADE and JORDAN have reached the Cacahuamilpa caverns. The sun is rapidly going down, there is probably about an hour of daylight left. The construction crews have gone home, the food stands are all gone, and the crowds have pretty much dissipated. There is, however, a police car there, with one officer standing outside of it. SAM SPADE is dressed in her “work clothes,” a baseball cap with her hair up, a white shirt, sturdy pants and high top tennis shoes. She also has a backpack, into which she has stuffed her pistols. JORDAN is dressed in a Pith helmet, jacket with thirty pockets (all stuffed with tools or loose wires and gears), black pants and leather boots. It is very important that she be holding a very big case, looks like an oversized briefcase. It is holding a sniper rifle. CORRIGAN runs alongside them.
1 JORDAN:Are you sure about this?
2 SAM SPADE:Trust me. Goblins like caves, and these are the biggest ones around. I don’t like the police presence, though.
3 JORDAN:It might be okay. Maybe someone just defaced one of the cave paintings.
SAM SPADE and JORDAN get closer to talk to the police officer, who seems dismissive and bored. CORRIGAN sniffs at the tires on his car.
4 SAM SPADE:<So, what happened?>
5 COP: <Huh? Oh, somebody said they heard some kid screaming, a tour guide says she came out one kid lighter. But we’ve finished checking up, it looks okay. No more tours for the night, until the detectives get a chance to come look around.>
6 SAM SPADE:<Will that be soon?>
7 COP:<Probably not. But I’m leaving. You ladies probably should do the same.>
8 CAPTION:<Translated from Spanish>
The police car drives off. SAM SPADE looks intently at the cave entrance while JORDAN crouches down and scratches CORRIGAN’s ears.
1 JORDAN:We’re not leaving, are we?
2 SAM SPADE:Nope.
3 JORDAN:Nobody defaced the caves, did they?
4 SAM SPADE:Nope.
5 JORDAN:Oh. Okay. Check please.
SAM SPADE heads into the cave. JORDAN stands and watches her go, and CORRIGAN does the same.
6 SAM SPADE:Relax, Jordan. I’m going in. You stay here and keep an eye out for the detective.
7 JORDAN:What do I tell him when he gets here?
SAM SPADE has gone into the cave and cannot be seen, but JORDAN stands outside and looks a little worried. CORRIGAN stands on his hind legs and balances himself on JORDAN’s waist, tugging at her jacket with his mouth. He wants to play.
8 SAM SPADE (off):Depends on whether you hear me screaming or not.
9 JORDAN:Oh good. That’s comforting.
SAM SPADE, using a torch for light, easily finds the rock that closed off BURT’s tunnel and opens it up. We can’t see what’s inside, other than a shadowed view that would seem to indicate a body. SAM SPADE is clearly a little sad.
10 SAM SPADE:Burt…this is not good.
11 DECKARD THOMPSON (off):Uh…Spade?
SAM SPADE turns to look, back towards the source of the voice, which is coming from deeper in the caves (not the side tunnel, but the tunnel that actually continues deeper into the caverns. She has a very annoyed look on her face. Her hands are reaching back into her backpack.
12 SAM SPADE:Thompson. How did you…
Splash page. DECKARD THOMPSON is being held by the throat by a huge bat/man creature (think horrific vampire) wearing Aztec clothing. He looks calm, but not happy. Behind him the caverns are filled with more of the creatures. The concealed side tunnel that BURT found was not the only one, and it was the smallest version. There are several large openings in the sides and floor of the cavern, which obviously disgorged the bat/men. There needs to be a very real sense of impending doom on this one. The sound we heard but SAM SPADE didn’t recognize was the sound of the cavern entrance sealing up the way the smaller tunnel did on BURT. She is trapped with a large number of hostile looking creatures, and although her pistols are in her hands, both of her hands are inside a pack strapped to her back.
1 SAM SPADE:…get here.
2 CAPTION:Next issue! Aztec Vampires! The return of Hemlock! See Jordan’s real talent! And a glimpse of Lord Hale!