The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

THE GRAY GHOSTS: THE CURSE OF SANCTUARY PART 2-THE CARROT AND THE STICK.

EXT. SANCTUARY-NIGHT

 

JOHN KENYON, a handsome, athletic man in his early 30’s, rides through the snowy streets of a small frontier town.  From the stubble on his cheeks and the condition of his clothes he has been on the trail for some time.

 

John brings his horse to a good-sized building identified by the sign on its roof as the FANDANGO SALOON.  He dismounts, ties his horse to the hitching post and heads for the swinging doors.

 

 

INT.  FANDANGO

 

John enters the Fandango and looks around, taking in the atmosphere.  A motley CROWD of frontier types congregates in a saloon that’s fancily decorated in the best Victorian tradition of shining brass and crushed velvet. 

 

Lovely SALOON GIRLS graciously mingle and converse with the customers while the men drink, carouse, and play at the various gaming tables.  After a beat of checking this out John shakes his head and laughs.

 

                    JOHN

          Looks like Babylon is open for

          business.

 

John heads for the bar. And passes by a table where FRENCHY LE CLERC, a luminous French-Creole beauty in her mid-20’s deals poker to a group of PLAYERS, including SEAN O’HARA, a handsome young 2nd lieutenant in the US Cavalry.

 

John and Frenchy barely exchange glances as he passes by.  Without batting an eye, she turns back to her players with a charming smile and tosses some chips into the pot with a chipper demeanor.

 

                    FRENCHY

          House sees 20…

 

She tosses some more chips into the pot.

 

                    FRENCHY

          …And raises 50.

 

Sean looks nervously at his hand, aces and tens with aces high.  Then he stares at his nearly empty chip pile.  Frenchy looks at him almost sympathetically.

 

                    FRENCHY

          Raise or call Lieutenant?

 

Sean tosses his last chip into the pot, and pulls the West Point class ring off of his left hand.

 

                    SEAN

          I see your 50…

 

He tosses the ring into the pot.

 

                    FRENCHY

          Are you sure you want to do that,

          Lieutenant?

 

He gives her a dirty look.

 

                    SEAN

          Yes I do.

 

Frenchy sighs, rolls her eyes, and shakes her head.

 

                    FRENCHY

          Alright, let’s get this over with…

          House calls.

 

Sean lays his hand down.

 

                    SEAN

          Full house, aces high!

 

Frenchy lays her hand down, a straight flush.

 

                    FRENCHY

          Straight flush…

 

Sean gasps and stares in shock at Frenchy’s cards.  With a graceful sweep of her hand, Frenchy scoops in the pot.

 

                    FRENCHY

          Sorry, Lieutenant…but that’s the

          way it goes sometimes.

 

An elegant female hand tosses a gold piece onto the table.

Frenchy looks up to see the BARONESS LIESL VON HEXENBERG, a very beautiful and elegant woman in her late 20’s smiling down at her.

 

                    BARONESS

          Give him his ring back, Frenchy.

 

                    FRENCHY

          As you wish, your Excellency.

 

Frenchy picks up the ring and tosses it back to Sean.

 

                    FRENCHY

          Take better care of this in the

          future, Lieutenant.

 

Sean nods graciously at Frenchy as he puts the ring back on.

 

                    SEAN

          Merci, Mademoiselle…

 

The Baroness glides over to Sean and places a hand on his shoulder.

 

                    BARONESS

          Sean, we need to talk.

               (tightens grip)

          Now!

 

Sean smiles at her, and rises.

 

                    SEAN

          Of course, your Excellency.

 

The Baroness makes for the back with Sean following close behind like an eager puppy.  Frenchy watches them as they go, and turns back to her players.

 

                    FRENCHY

          Another hand, M’sieus?

 

 

BARONESS’ OFFICE

 

The Baroness takes Sean into her office.  Once inside Sean is grabbed from behind by TOOMEY, a muscle bound goon dressed to the nines.  DODD another expensively clad gorilla walks up to Sean grinning in anticipation.

 

                    BARONESS

          Sorry, mein schatz, but you’ve been

          told, no more gambling…

 

Dodd drives his fist into Sean’s gut.  Sean gasps in pain.

 

                    BARONESS

          …Gambling draws attention, and

          makes commanding officers suspicious…

 

Dodd gut shoots Sean again.

 

                    BARONNESS

          …And we don’t want that, do we?

 

Dodd slugs Sean again.

 

                    BARONESS

          …Because that might lead to you

          getting reassigned, and then you

          wouldn’t be of any use to us anymore…

 

Dodd punches Sean yet again.

 

                    BARONESS

          …And you wouldn’t like that, because

          then you wouldn’t get the money

          to pay off your gambling debts!

 

She walks over and gets in Sean’s face.

 

                    BARONESS

          …And then we’d have to do something

          awful to that cute little sister

          of yours!

 

Sean struggles futilely against Toomey’s grip.

 

                    SEAN

          You hurt her and I’ll…

 

Dodd gives Sean a rapid trio of gut shots.  The Baroness waves him off.

 

                    BARONESS

          He’s no use to us crippled.

 

She nods to Toomey.

 

                    BARONESS

          Let him go.

 

Toomey lets go, and Sean sinks to his knees gagging and gasping.  The Baroness looks down on him mockingly.

 

                    BARONESS

          Do you understand, mein schatz?

 

Sean nods weakly.  The Baroness gestures at Toomey.

 

                    BARONESS

          Take him up the back stairs to

          my quarters…

 

Toomey helps Sean to his feet.  The Baroness comes over and strokes Sean’s cheek.

 

                    BARONESS

          I will come up and comfort you…

          later.

               (to Toomey)

          Take him away.

 

Toomey hauls Sean off through the back entrance.  Dodd cocks an eyebrow at the Baroness.

 

                    BARONESS

          He’s had a taste of the stick,

          now it’s time for the carrot.

 

She turns and exits out the front door.

 

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Tags: CURSE, GRAY-GHOSTS, SANCTUARY

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