Workshop Wednesday

It's amazing how much setup happens between the action scenes. We're gearing up for another one (which will occur in Part 9 of this series), but this section is all plot and setup for the lead in. Some good humor, but a lot of talking.

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 8

INT: VAMPIRE DEN, DOWNSTAIRS COMMON ROOM, NIGHT, PAST.

We see the younger version of MARK walking though the vampire house, entering a darkly lit room. A vampire jumps out and Mark fires his shotgun into it, blasting it back.

SAMANTHA (V.O.):

(screams)

MARK runs out of the room and up the stairs.

INT: VAMPIRE DEN, UPSTRAIRS, HALLWAY, NIGHT, PAST.

MARK comes running up into a long hallway. We see the vampire kneeling over a girl, feeding on them. As MARK comes charging up, the vampire looks up, then bolts, flying down the hall and out a window, smashing through it. MARK fires his shotgun at the vampire ineffectually. He then looks down at the body. Turning it over, it's JULIET.

SFX: Phone ringing

MARK tries to answer his cellphone, but it just keeps ringing.

INT: MARK'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM, DAY.

MARK and JULIET are both still asleep on his couch, a pile of clothing on the floor, a blanket covering them.

SFX: Phone ringing

Both of them shift and move around, half-asleep on the couch. MARK's head snaps up, his face sweaty from the dream.

SFX: Answering machine click.

THOMPSON (V.O.):

MARK, call me when you get in. Got another vampire from the pack you've been hunting down. Need you to come in and get this one cleaned up.

MARK sits up, and the blanket falls away, revealing JULIET's naked upper half. He covers her back up, throws on his jeans, and pads into the kitchen.

INT: MARK'S HOUSE, KITCHEN, DAY.

MARK picks up the phone and dials on his cellphone. At the same time he starts up a pot of coffee.

THOMPSON (V.O.):

Waste Disposal Services.

MARK:

I hear the rain is warm in late September.

THOMPSON:

Only in an El Nino season.

MARK:

THOMPSON, what do you have for me?

THOMPSON (V.O.):

Body just came in this morning. New signature on this corpse along with traces of the bites from SHUMAKER and DANIELS.

MARK:

Fresh kill?

THOMPSON (V.O.):

Yeah, no more than three hours. And two of those were the lab running tests.

MARK:

How could it have the signatures of two dead vampires on it?

THOMPSON (V.O.):

That is the 64,000 Dollar Question.

Juliet wanders into the kitchen at that time wearing Mark's shirt. Mark pours two cups of coffee.

MARK:

Yeah... Lemme contact someone I know, see if there's anything I can figure out about this. You got the file on this guy so I can hunt him down?

THOMPSON (V.O.):

Yeah. All set for you. GREYSON has requested to be taken along for the hunt.

MARK:

I don't know, THOMPSON. JENNIFER is just too green. I don't know if I can trust her yet.

THOMPSON (V.O.):

Hey, you're the one that has to be out in the field. I'll trust your judgment on it. That said, it would be good experience for her.

MARK:

(pause) Sure, I can deal with her. I'll be by later today for the file.

MARK hangs up and looks over at JULIET.

MARK:

Vamp hunt just came in. Gotta take care of it today.

JULIET:

Need real backup?

MARK:

(smiles) I certainly wouldn't mind...

JULIET walks up to him, looks him in the face.

JULIET:

Everything okay? You look shaken.

INT: VAMPIRE DEN, UPSTRAIRS, HALLWAY, NIGHT, PAST.

Vampire is over JULIET, feeding very messily on her.

INT: MARK'S HOUSE, KITCHEN, DAY.

MARK:

Just a bad dream.

JULIET:

Scary?

MARK:

Yeah, I dreamt Hillary had lost the election, and then I woke up realizing it was all real... Oh, one sec.

MARK picks the phone up again.

SFX: Phone ringing over line.

MARK'S MOM (V.O.):

Hello?

MARK:

Hey Ma, I need your expertise for a sec.

MARK'S MOM (V.O.):

Sure. Whatcha need?

MARK:

Ever hear about multiple vampires feeding on a body?

MARK'S MOM (V.O.):

(pause) Occasionally they do hunt in packs... As I remember it, you have fought a couple vampire packs.

MARK:

Yeah. Now what about multiple vampire signatures on a corpse, even after one or more vampires are dead?

MARK'S MOM (V.O.):

Hmmm... Not precisely vampires. I have heard about multiple magical signatures existing upon a body from multiple casters...

MARK:

Spell based?

MARK'S MOM (V.O.):

Not sure. I'd have to go check my library. I think it was... In fact, there would have to be multiple sources for multiple signatures.

MARK:

What would be the point?

MARK'S MOM (V.O.):

Energy boosting. Multiple casters can get a greater output for less energy used. Again, not sure on the processes behind it. Been a long time since I had researched those sorts of spells.

MARK:

Can you check into it?

MARK'S MOM (V.O.):

Sure. Let me check it and I'll get back to you later today.

MARK:

Cool... Oh, another thing. Ever heard of someone hunting down lycanthrope adolescents and teens?

MARK'S MOM (V.O.):

Like a serial killer? Let me check into it.

MARK:

Thanks, Mom.

MARK'S MOM (V.O.):

No problem. Love you.

MARK:

Love you, too.

MARK hangs up.

JULIET:

Why ask your mom to look that stuff up?

MARK:

I... well I'm still processing some information I received about the organization I work for. I'd rather get a second opinion on any information I'm using for now. Plus, my mom used to teach occult myth years back. And then after I found out vampires were real, we all realized it was no longer myths and she started looking at the subject with a new light. After dabbling with a couple of covens, she struck out on her own research, exploring powers to reach the outer metaphysical planes.

JULIET:

Sounds... interesting.

MARK:

My mom's a weirdo. She knows it.

MARK sips his coffee.

MARK:

I suppose we should get ready for the hunt.

JULIET comes up close and leans into him.

JULIET:

You did say you'd be in this afternoon.

Scene fade out.

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

MARK is in the office with THOMPSON. JULIET is not present. THOMPSON passes MARK a case file.

THOMPSON:

Here ya go.

MARK:

(pause) Reginald? (sigh)

THOMPSON:

As you'll notice, Reggie has a night club he runs over in Avon. Sort of a teen club. Loud dance music, lots of drugs.

MARK:

And he most likely lives there.

THOMPSON:

Yeah, that's the address that comes up in our systems.

MARK:

Right. JENNIFER also have the address?

THOMPSON:

Yeah. She'll follow you over there.

SFX: Door knock.

JENNIFER opens the door and walks in.

MARK:

Speaking of...

JENNIFER:

Ready?

MARK:

I am. All loaded up in my truck.

MARK gets up and he and JENNIFER head out.

EXT: REGINALD'S NIGHT CLUB, AVON, DAY.

Two vehicles pull up, with MARK and JULIET riding in his truck and JENNIFER coming up behind in a old Crown Vic. The parking lot for the club, Midnight Madness, is sparsely populated. Music is already pouring out of the building, though.

MARK walks around to the back of his truck and pulls out some equipment. We notice he has on some special rigs this time. He tucks two of his pistols into holsters at his hips. Another set fit in to holsters on the outside of his legs. Two daggers fit into holders on the back of his waist. He tucks some holy water bottle into his pockets, then brings out his shotgun, strap going over his shoulder. As a final touch, he puts a sword into a side scabbard, and connects the scabbard to his rig.

JULIET:

All right, Rambo, you think you have enough ammo there?

MARK:

I mean, I could always carry more.

MARK flips up a hidden panel in his truck bed and we see a whole armory of exotic weapons, many of which give off faint glows.

MARK:

But unless we plan to fight a naga or a dragon, we're probably okay without.

JULIET laughs, then realizes no one else is laughing with her.

JULIET:

Oh, those are real?

JENNIFER looks over at Juliet.

JENNIFER:

And you are...?

JULIET:

Juliet.

JENNIFER:

And you're here because...?

MARK:

Outside consultant. Some overlap with out case.

MARK looks over at the club with it's loud music blaring.

MARK:

No point in bringing the walkies. Gonna be too loud in there. Ready?

The women both nod. All three move over to the club.

End Part 8:

Most of this information is essential this time, aside from the short scene in Thompson's office. I have a feeling that scene would likely get filmed and then cut soon after -- it doesn't really add much to the whole movie. The rest of this works pretty well and allows us to establish the rapport between Juliet and Mark better.

Thankfully we get another action sequence soon, and the climax will quickly pick up from there.