Episode 15: The Landing

[SCENE I. A warehouse somewhere in Portland. A montage of JEREMY constructing the snark–spindly, hairy, with prominent bug-eyes and nasty claws and teeth. He appears to be working from SARAH’s earlier sketch. Eventually the beast is complete and MELINA and GAVIN are brought in and do some rehearsals. At the end of one such rehearsal, GAVIN has a triumphant grin on his face.]

GAVIN: I think we’ve got it pretty much down. Lina?

LINA: Only way we’ll get better is if we have your rich friends join us for a rehearsal. Something tells me that’s not a good idea.

JEREMY: You guys free tonight? I need help ferrying the snark over to the island.

LINA: I’m down.

GAVIN: I should see to the final preparations of our trip. Can you two handle it on your own?

(JEREMY and LINA glance at one another.)

JEREMY: I think we’ll be fine.

GAVIN: Excellent. I’ll see you kids tomorrow.

(GAVIN walks out.)

LINA: You going to be all right staying on the island overnight?

JEREMY: Yeah. Come on, this might take a while.

 

[SCENE II. The island. The snark has been successfully unloaded; JEREMY is tending to some electronic nonsense or other within a hidden panel. LINA is standing at a distance.]

JEREMY: And . . . there. All set. See you tomorrow, yeah?

LINA: Right. Till then. (LINA boards the boat and sails off. JEREMY climbs aboard the snark; it transforms from lifeless robot into a monster that crawls off into the island’s forest.)

 

[SCENE III. Dockside. LINA and GAVIN have gathered half-dozen rich people: a BANKER, a LAWYER, a STOCKBROKER, a BAKER (who owns a vastly successful chain of bakeries), a meat industry MAGNATE, and the EDITOR of the very popular “Boots Magazine.” This information is conveyed via text overlay as each are introduced. None of them are dressed for a hunting expedition, except the LAWYER, who is easily the youngest. He looks like he spent a fortune on survival gear just this week. He does not look like he knows how to wear it.]

GAVIN: Thanks again for agreeing to take my friends along, Lina.

LINA: So long as they do what they’re told. (She turns to face the assembled rich people.) My name is Melina. Some of you might know my father, the kraken-hunter Dimitri Xenakis. He’s never brought a snark’s head home to mount above the fireplace! Today I intend to rectify that.

LAWYER: What are we going to do?

LINA: The snark is a crafty beast. We’ll need all of you to help lure it in to a trap, and it’ll go faster if we split into teams when we map the island. There’s safety equipment and informational brochures on our boat, so, barring further questions, we can get started.

(The assembled rich people murmur their assent; the crew climbs aboard an old rusty trawler, which sets out to sea.)

 

[SCENE IV. The island. It is fast approaching sunset, and MELINA and GAVIN are directing the rich folk on setting up camp and making sure the boat is moored. MELINA looks quite pleased with herself as she sits down on a bit of driftwood and watches, carving an apple with a pocket knife. The LAWYER approaches her here.]

LAWYER: So, how long have you been hunting legendary beasts?

LINA: My father took me kraken hunting when I was a girl. It’s in my blood. I could wield a harpoon before I could walk.

LAWYER: (Enchanted.) Really?

LINA: Oh yes. (Beat.) The crew’s rough but I think we’ll catch our snark.

LAWYER: Do you?

LINA: I have a good feeling. (Beat.) You ever been hunting before?

LAWYER: Oh, yes, lots of times. (Beat. Backpedaling.) Well, never anything so grandiose as a snark, but . . . .

LINA: I see. Why don’t you go help start the fire? It looks like the baker could use some help.

LAWYER: Ah? Yes, maybe I shall.

(She watches him go thoughtfully, and takes a bite out of the apple.)

 

[SCENE V. The camp, nighttime. MELINA is speaking to the gathered rich folk around the campfire. They seem to have already formed friendships with one another, though the BAKER looks like he is trying to avoid everyone simultaneously.]

LINA: I’ve drawn up a shift of watches for the night. I don’t expect a snark attack–(GAVIN coughs; LINA glares but ignores him)–tonight, but a little vigilance never hurt anyone. Any questions?

BAKER: May we, ah, sleep on the boat?

LINA: If you must. (Rising.) If there’s nothing else, I’m going for a walk before bed. Gavin, come with me.

(They depart and walk through the island.)

GAVIN: There a problem, Lina?

LINA: Not sure yet. I get the feeling these people know each other.

GAVIN: Well, the woman is the editor-in-chief of Boots Magazine. Practically a celebrity. The baker’s cupcakes are internationally renowned, and you have to really do your homework in order to eat beef that the meat magnate doesn’t own. And the others–well, rich people need lawers, brokers, and bankers, don’t they?

LINA: I also get the feeling there’s bad blood.

GAVIN: The competitive spirit! (Beat.) Who do you mean specifically?

LINA: It’s just a feeling. (Beat.) So be honest. How did this idea strike you?

GAVIN: It came in a dream, actually.

LINA: (Amused.) You often get ideas from dreams?

GAVIN: I don’t think I ever have before. This one just sort of leapt into my mind fully-formed. Like someone gave it to me or something.

LINA: Maybe the snark put it in your brain.

GAVIN: Maybe he did.

(They walk on in silence, occasionally stealing glances at one another.)

 

[SCENE VI. The camp, later at night. The fire is down to embers now, and there is no sign of anyone on watch. Soon we hear an explosion (accompanied by a bright flash) from the direction of the boat, followed by a ghastly scream and a hideous metallic groan. Everyone wakes up in short order, and a loud commotion ensues. LINA emerges from her tent wielding a flashlight like a club. She finds GAVIN and grabs him by the arm.]

LINA: Find out who was supposed to be on watch.

(She flicks the flashlight on and runs barefoot towards the boat.)

GAVIN: All right, who’s got the watch list? (Someone hands it to him. He turns on the LAWYER.) Where’s that damned lawyer? Someone fetch him!

(The EDITOR makes her way to his tent and, after several moments, returns with a LAWYER who is clearly very heavily sedated. He leans on her heavily and seems only dimly aware of his surroundings.)

EDITOR: He was like this when I found him. I think it’s safe to say he was in no condition to blow up anything.

BANKER: Or maybe he planted a bomb and then sedated himself so no one would suspect him!

(A murmur of agreement. Just then, MELINA returns, looking grim.)

LINA: The baker’s dead.

(Silence.)

LINA: Didn’t anyone know him?

MEAT MAGNATE: We met once or twice, but, I mean–

EDITOR: He used to cater Boots Magazine staff parties. I didn’t know him personally or anything.

BANKER: He was a nice fellow though.

STOCKBROKER: Yes, very nice.

EDITOR: Damn fine cupcakes.

(A murmur of agreement.)

LINA: Well, we’re stuck here until help comes. I don’t want anyone wandering off alone until then. Stick around the campfire and don’t wander off anywhere. Gavin, come with me.

(She walks off with GAVIN in tow, leaving the assembled rich people around the dying fire.)

(Fin.)

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