Workshop Wednesday

We now continue with the further adventures of our government-backed vampire hunter. The first two sections setup a lot of the basic background for the movie, but we're going to move much further with the story today. It's an action-light section, but we do have to get some things in motion so that was unavoidable.

If you haven't already read part one and part two of this series, I'd recommend hitting that first before diving into this third part here.

Van Helsing Syndrome: Part 3

EXT: MARK'S HOUSE, NIGHT.

MARK's car pulls into his driveway. Car shuts off, lights turn off, and MARK gets out carrying a paper bag of food. CLAIRE is sitting on his porch, waiting for him.

MARK:

CLAIRE? What are you doing here?

CLAIRE:

Hey, MARK. Can we talk?

MARK unlocks his door and motions CLAIRE in.

INT: MARK's HOUSE, KITCHEN, NIGHT.

MARK sets the bag of food on the table and heads over to the cabinets to get dishes. CLAIRE grabs a chair.

MARK:

So, what's on your mind? I haven't heard from you since...

CLAIRE:

You joined the feds.

MARK:

Hey, it's a secret organization. I'm not even certain where we fit into the Federal Government. For all I know, I work for a shadow cabal of warlocks and goblins.

CLAIRE:

That's a comforting thought.

MARK:

It pays for the roof over my head. I figure you're here for a favor.

MARK starts dishing out some Chinese food while CLAIRE talks.

CLAIRE:

I need your help.

MARK:

Uh huh. What with?

CLAIRE:

Some teenagers are missing.

MARK:

Missing persons isn't really my area.

CLAIRE slides a short list of names across the table.

CLAIRE:

They're part of the packs. Confirmed shifters.

MARK pauses with a bite to his mouth.

MARK:

Werepanthers?

CLAIRE:

Not just from my pack, MARK. The wolves have reported missing kids too. The other, smaller packs may also have missing teens. It's hard to get all the animals in a room at once.

MARK:

Not enough chew toys?

CLAIRE:

I'm being serious!

MARK:

I know. Look, as I said, missing persons isn't my thing. I handle vampires, not lycanthropes. I can talk to a couple of the guys in the office-

CLAIRE:

No. The packs were clear -- we will only talk to you, because I trust you. You keep the animal control guys out of this.

MARK:

Animal control is such a dirty name for the Lycans Division.

CLAIRE:

Just... just don't involve them. Can you do some digging on your end, see if anything has turned up that wasn't made available to the public?

MARK thinks for a second.

MARK:

Sure, yeah. I'll see what I can turn up. But I can't make any promises.

CLAIRE:

Thanks.

Long awkward pause filled with MARK just chewing his food.

CLAIRE:

So... how have you been?

MARK:

Better. The same? I don't know how to answer that.

CLAIRE:

It's just, we haven't talked since that day at the hospital.

MARK:

We both know I'm not crazy. There are vampires, despite whatever some idiot psychiatrist might have said.

CLAIRE:

Van Helsing Syndrome.

MARK:

Hey, it got me my present gig. The Feds think it's a bonus, not a demerit on my record.

CLAIRE:

But you don't have to do this. The hunting was my sister's calling.

MARK:

Yeah, and SAMANTHA is dead. So someone has to fight the good fight.

CLAIRE:

Look, I know you loved her, but she-

MARK:

It's weird that you come and ask me for a governmental favor and then, in the next breath, argue against my working for the government.

Another awkwardly long pause.

CLAIRE:

Maybe I should go.

MARK:

I'll call you if I find anything.

CLAIRE nods, and then walks out of frame.

SFX: Door opening and closing.

MARK watches CLAIR leave, and then pushes his food away, upset.

EXT: PHA OFFICE PARK, DAY.

MARK pulls up to a nondescript office park that looks like all the other office parks around. No names on the building, just cars in the parking lot. MARK gets out of his car and walks towards the building.

INT: PHA OFFICE PARK, MAIN LOBBY, DAY.

MARK walks through the unlabeled lobby. He flashes his PHA badge at a CLERK at the main desk, then walks past him towards the offices, past the cubicle farm that makes up the main part of the building. He flashes his badge at another SECURITY CLERK, goes through a security door, and then enters into a second cubicle farm. MARK signs a sheet at another checkpoint, and then sits down at his own cubicle for the day. A computer sits blinking and ready. MARK puts his hands on the desktop, and a hidden scanner reads his fingerprints. We see the fingerprints on the screen, and then the screen comes up with the words: IDENT MATCH. WELCOME, AGENT JACOBS. MARK begins to type away. While he works, a GUARD comes up to his cubicle and taps MARK on the shoulder.

GUARD:

THOMPSON wants to see you.

MARK nods, and moves away from the computer. The computer automatically goes back to the default "log in" screen.

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

MARK walks up to a nice looking office with wide bay windows. He knocks on a door marked "LARRY THOMPSON". We're perched just behind LARRY, so a little of his shoulder comes into view. LARRY waves MARK over.

THOMPSON:

Come in.

MARK:

You wanted to see me, Chief?

THOMPSON looks up and nods.

THOMPSON:

What's this I hear about you shooting a deadite at a coffee parlor.

MARK:

I don't know if it was a deadite. Seemed more like a straight demon than some kind of possessed undead.

THOMPSON:

Don't debate semantics with me.

MARK:

Yeah, I had to take care of a situation. Dude ripped out some office drone's heart. It was already a gory mess before I took control of the situation.

THOMPSON:

And you didn't think to stick around?

MARK:

What was I supposed to say? "Worry not, citizens. Patrolling coffee houses is a normal duty for a federal agency you've never heard of."

THOMPSON:

You should have called in backup. You're not cleared to handle demon possessions. You don't like it when the Spook Squad meddles with your vampire kills.

MARK:

Fine, yes. But I'm allowed to use my discretion during extraordinary circumstances, and I think an undead-perpetrated homicide in broad daylight qualifies.

THOMPSON:

Yeah... I do, too. So let's move on to last night.

MARK:

Forty-year-old vampire attacks a human. I put the vampire down with the minimum amount of witnesses-

THOMPSON:

You killed him in the middle of a housing development.

MARK:

Unavoidable considering the circumstances. I put him down quickly and cleanly.

THOMPSON:

You blew him up!

MARK:

He blew himself up. Somehow. I haven't gotten a report from ALLEN on that. Hopefully there's an explanation for what happened.

THOMPSON:

Well one you have that report ready, I'd like to read it. Maybe it'll explain how it was that the vampire you killed last night wasn't the one you were assigned to hunt.

MARK:

That wasn't JAKE SHUMAKER?

THOMPSON:

Initial report is sketchy, in no small part because you brought less than half of the vampire back with you. Another body turned up last night, two hours after your vampiric pyrotechnics. Trace signature on the bite marks was the same as on file for MR. SHUMAKER..

MARK:

What about the human I saw JAKE kill last night in the housing complex?

THOMPSON looks over his files.

THOMPSON:

Signature match. Also killed by the same vampire.

MARK:

Well then there's something going on, because JAKE clearly blew up last night. So, unless the torso just decided to get up off the table and go eat someone with a complete lack of fangs...

THOMPSON:

Initial report indicates a second fang trace on the new victim.

MARK:

Two bite traces... a pack? We've got a vampire pack running around town?

THOMPSON:

Only explanation, if Mr. SHUMAKER really is dead, was that at least two vampires have been hunting this whole time -- MR. SHUMAKER and possible unknown, assailants. There must be at least one more vampire in the pack still out there.

MARK:

So it's still my open case, then?

THOMPSON:

For now. Just, try not to blow up this one.

MARK:

I didn't blow him up!

EXT: HOUSING DEVELOPMENT, NIGHT.

We see a repeat of the scene from the previous night, with MARK firing three shots into JAKE and then rolling away. Then JAKE blows up.

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

MARK:

Well, okay, not directly. He did most of the heavy lifting.

THOMPSON:

Guys upstairs want this second vampire dead. ASAP. Set a date of execution for one week, but I figure you'll probably have it done before then.

MARK nods.

MARK:

Can do.

THOMPSON hands MARK a folder with the preliminary lab reports. MARK heads out of the office, back to his computer cubicle.

End Part 3:

With that, we now really start getting into the plot. I wouldn't say there was a bunch of table-setting at the start since we have a couple of good action sequences and some forward movement on plots, but we are definitely off to the races in the next section. So, you know, coming soon and all that...