The Terror

The Terror is a book written by Dan Simmons, detailing the fictional outcome of a doomed British expedition to chart the Northwest Passage in 1845.  It is a famously disastrous journey, and has enticed people for almost two centuries now because everyone on the expedition died (most likely), and no one knows with certainly how and why.  Dan Simmons created a fictional story, fleshing out characters and adding a mystical element.  But in general, his story is one of horror, both real and supernatural.  I first read it around 2009, and then later re-read it.  I loved it, as it was one of the few works I have ever read that actually inspired terror and fear.  After re-reading it, I decided to try my hand adapting it as a television mini-series, since it is a self-contained story, but requires more time than the usual film.  Since it has violence and gore and profanity of all sorts, I saw it as an HBO or Netflix type of miniseries, where it is more akin to a ten-hour movie (no damn commercial breaks!)  I believe Scott Free Productions owns the rights to the novel’s adaptations, and that they were trying to get a series made with AMC back in 2013.  As far as I know that deal fell through, but SFP is still trying to move the project along.  Knowing this, I still went ahead with writing the teleplay adaption, with a pipe-dream of contributing to the eventual television series in someway.  But writing the thing is just the first in many steps to that ever happening.  But here it is in part; my teleplay of Episode 2: “The Terror Begins”.  (Note: the formatting may be a bit off, as this was imported from Final Draft.  Also, since this is episode 2, you may not see typical character/scene introductions, as these were written in episode 1.  I chose to put just episode 2 here, as episode 1 is more the feeling of going up the chain-link hill at the start of a roller coaster, and episode 2 is the start of the actual ride, and I figured would better show off the story)



“The Terror Begins”

by Steven Slater

Based on the novel The Terror by Dan Simmons

1     EXT. - ICE PATH BETWEEN SHIPS - DAY                      1

               Crozier is slowly crunching his way along through the snow. 
               Behind him in the distance is his ship, HMS Terror.  He is
               going over a large hill of ice, an iceberg frozen into the
               landscape like their ships, right in between them.  Ahead of
               him is HMS Erebus, and a few cairns of ice blocks mark the
               worn footpath. 

               He looks a bit weary, but stern with clear eyes, and walks
               steady.  As he approaches the ship, he hears the lookout,
               Robert SINCLAIR, bellow in the distance.

                                   SINCLAIR (O.S.)
                         MEN, HO!!!  MEN, HO!!!

               Crozier pauses, puzzled, then notices men on deck pointing
               but not at him.  He follows their gaze but sees nothing, so
               he continues on.  

                                   SINCLAIR (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                         Sledge party to the southeast!

         2     EXT. - EREBUS DECK - LATER                               2

               Men scramble having heard the lookout, rushing on deck. 
               Franklin makes his way out and up, and takes a spot at the
               railing.  His officers flank him.  Crozier clambers up and
               over the small step from the ice ramp next to the ship, and
               hails his captain.

                         Afternoon, Sir John.  I heard the
                         lookout.  Is it Lieutenant Gore's

                         Afternoon, Captain Crozier.  I
                         bloody well hope so.  It must be
                         them.  They're the only ones left
                         to report back.

               Franklin is gazing with a brass telescope.  He sees the
               slightly blurry shapes of men pulling the sledge.  He tries
               in vain to get a better image out of the telescope.

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         What brings you here, Francis?

                         Just my usual reports on conditions
                         aboard Terror, sir. 
                         And I wondered if Gore and his men
                         might not be back.  Appears my
                         timing was just right.

                         As you know, the other four parties
                         all reported no leads, nothing
                         worth venturing towards.  No
                         animals, no water.  Just a few
                         white bears.  Gore must have had
                         his party out longer because they
                         found something.

               Franklin peers out again with his telescope.  Others,
               including Le Vesconte, are also looking with telescopes.

                                   LE VESCONTE
                         Sir, I think I can identify them. 
                         I see Morfin, Ferrier, Best and
                         Pilkington in harness.  And Des
                         Voeux.  Goodsir and Hartnell are
                         walking alongside.  And...that's

                         Nonsense!  Where is Lieutenant

                                   LE VESCONTE
                         Wait, there's someone behind the
                         sledge. looks like a small
                         bear.  A small white bear.

               Franklin puts his telescope down and snatches Le Vesconte's. 


               He looks through the clearer telescope, and at first it
               appears true.  He sees the men as described, and a furry
               thing running behind the sledge.  But there are also what
               appear to be two men in the sledge itself, one on top of the

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         Good God.  Mr. Stanley, prepare for
                         a possible medical emergency. 
                         There's someone laid out on the

                         Aye, sir.

               The sledge approaches closer and closer, winding through the
               icy landscape.  Franklin heaves over the side and walks down
               the ice ramp to greet them.  Many other men do the same. 
               Crozier stays on deck, fingering his coat.

         3     EXT. - EREBUS IN THE ICE - CONTINUOUS                    3

               The sledge team stops about twenty feet from Franklin.  He
               walks forward with other men to meet them, and stops in his

               Each of the sledge team has smears of blood on their
               clothing.  Thomas Hartnell has heavy bandages on him and they
               all look like they've seen hell.  Goodsir is attending the
               man on the sledge, who is an older ESQUIMAUX MAN with long
               white hair.  The fuzzy bear is actually a younger ESQUIMAUX
               WOMAN in a white parka, with a blank expression.

               Franklin steps closer, and sees the Esquimaux Man is in pain. 
               Goodsir is feeling his pulse.  But underneath the Esquimaux
               Man is the corpse of Gore.  His face is distorted and
               blackened from being dead many days in the sun.  Franklin
               fingers the red comforter wound around Gore's neck, and his
               face turns from horror to rage.

                         Get...that savage off Lieutenant
                         Gore!  Immediately!

               Although the men in harnesses have nearly collapsed from
               exhaustion, they move the Esquimaux Man off as shipmates run
               up.  There is a babble of voices and cries as the men greet
               one another.

                         Careful!  Please, he has a musket
                         ball near his heart!  Carry him to
                         the sick bay, please.

               The men moving the Esquimaux Man pause and look to Franklin.  

                         The sick bay?  The sick bay!  You
                         are seriously suggesting we bring
                         that...savage...into our ship?

                         He is my patient.  I need to get
                         him inside where I can operate.  I
                         may just be able to remove the

               Everyone is waiting.  Franklin stares at the Esquimaux Man.

                                   GOODSIR (CONT'D)
                         Hurry along now!

               The men decide to continue, taking the Esquimaux Man towards
               the ship.  Franklin blinks and looks back at the horrible
               face of Gore.  Pilkington and Morfin are unlashing the ropes
               on the sledge.

                         For God's sake, cover his face.

                         Aye, sir.

               A blanket is put over Gore, but his gaping mouth is still
               apparent through the fabric.

                         Mr. Des Voeux!

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Yes, sir.

               He knuckles his forehead, and stands as erect as his
               exhaustion allows.

                         See to it that Lieutenant Gore's
                         body is brought to his quarters. 
                         Then prepare it for burial under
                         Lieutenant Fairholme's supervision.

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Aye, sir.

                         Aye, sir.

               Ferrier and Pilkington wave off help, and take Gore's body by
               themselves towards the ship.

               Everyone starts moving towards the ship except Franklin,
               frozen and stunned. After everyone else is twenty feet away,
               he shouts.

                         Wait!  Stop!  Mr. Des Voeux!

                                   DES VOEUX

                         After the initial preparations for
                         Lieutenant Gore, report to my

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Aye, captain.

                         Who else was with Lieutenant Gore
                         at the end?

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Well, we all were, sir.  But Seaman
                         Best was with him the most the last
                         few days.  He saw everything the
                         Lieutenant did.

                         Very well, continue with your
                         duties.  Seaman Best!


                         Come with me to my cabin

                         Aye, sir.

               Franklin storms off towards the ship.

         4     INT. - EREBUS CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS - LATER                 4

               Franklin is seated at a table with Crozier at his side.  His
               steward, Hoar, is jotting notes behind them.  Best stands in
               front of them, teetering in his exhaustion.

                         But no one saw any tracks leading
                         away from the site. was

               Best falters and his eyes seem to close rather than blink.

                         Continue, Seaman Best.

               Fitzjames enters with a bottle of brandy.

                         The bottle you requested?

                         That Crozier requested, not me. 
                         Give him a damn drink.

               Fitzjames hands it to Best, who thanks him and takes a long
               draught.  Fitzjames takes the bottle and sits next to

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         Continue, please, Mr. Best.

                         Right, sir.  It was then that I
                         pointed out to Lieutenant Gore that
                         Mr. Hartnell was not with us.  So
                         we rushed back to the campsite.

         5     EXT. - KING WILLIAM SHORE - DAYS EARLIER                 5

               The seven men of the sledge party come running out of the
               gloom to the ruined campsite.  

                         Check the tent!

               Best and Morfin scramble into the collapsed tent, and pull
               out the body of Hartnell.  There is a huge welt on his head,
               and Goodsir kneels to take a pulse.

                         He's alive.  

                         Get him in a bag and warmed up. 
                         Goodsir, is it serious?

                         It appears so.  He's been knocked
                         completely unconscious.

                         We need to keep him alive.  His
                         brother died last year, and I don't
                         want to lose him as well.

               They pull a sleeping bag around Hartnell, and Goodsir
               bandages him up as best he can and checks his breathing.

                                   GORE (CONT'D)
                         We all need to get some sleep and
                         warmth.  Private Pilkington, find
                         the tent poles.  Best and Ferrier,
                         get the tent up and sorted.

                         Aye, aye, sir!

                         Good God...

               Des Voeux looks at the ragged tent Best and Ferrier are
               collecting and spreading out.

                                   DES VOEUX
                         The tent is riddled with holes. 
                         And all the bags inside are soaking

                         Lieutenant!  Looks like lightning
                         got the poles.

               He holds up a few of the charred sticks.  Gore sighs.

                         No matter.  Use the axe on the
                         sledge as a pole.  And the guns. 
                         Melt some ice and then freeze them
                         in place.

                         The stove's busted.

                         We have two more in the sledge. 
                         And we can use drinking water as
                         well.  Everyone put a bottle in
                         your clothes to melt some ice.  Mr.

                         Aye, sir?

                         Clean out the tent as best you can
                         with Ferrier.  Then rip the
                         stitchings out of two bags.  We'll
                         all sleep in one huddle between
                         them for warmth.

                         Are we going back in the morning,
                         sir?  Back to the ships?  Now that
                         we have no food?

               Gore cracks a weary smile.

                         No.  A few days fasting won't harm
                         us.  But I will send most of you
                         back with Mr. Hartnell to make camp
                         back on the ice.  I will head south
                         with another man.  We still need to
                         scout the shore here for open
                         water.  All of this will have been
                         for nothing unless we do that.

                         Sir, I volunteer to go with you.

               Everyone looks at the doctor.

                         Thank you doctor, but I think you
                         are needed with Mr. Hartnell, are
                         you not?  Mr. Best, you will
                         accompany me.  Second Mate Des
                         Voeux will be in charge until I

                         Yes, sir.

                         We'll sleep, then Best and I will
                         leave in three hours.  We'll aim to
                         turn around by next midnight, and
                         meet back with you at camp at eight
                         bells.  If we aren't back with you
                         by midnight day after tomorrow, Mr.
                         Des Voeux, you take the men back to
                         the ship.

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Aye, sir.

                         Private Pilkington?


                         Are you especially tired?

                         Sir?  No, sir, I'm ready for any
                         duty you might ask of me.

                         Then you have the watch tonight. 
                         You can be first to sleep at the
                         ice camp.  Take that musket, but
                         stay in the tent.

                         Very good, sir.

                         Dr. Goodsir?  Make sure Mr.
                         Hartnell is in the center of the
                         tent when it's ready.  We'll all be
                         around him and keep him warm.

               Goodsir nods.

                                   GORE (CONT'D)
                         All right.  Let's spread all the
                         other blankets and huddle together
                         like the orphans we are and try to
                         get an hour or two's sleep.

                         What about our mystery visitor?

                         With any luck, he really did
                         disappear at that windswept spot.

         6     EXT. - KING WILLIAM SHORE - EARLY MORNING                6

               Pilkington sits at the tent opening with his musket, looking
               out.  The wind howls and ice and snow blow all over.  It is
               fairly light out, as the men inside shiver in their sleep.

         7     EXT. - KING WILLIAM SHORE - MORNING                      7

               Gore and Best cinch up the straps on their gear.  Behind them
               is the sledge party and some of the debris from their ruined

                         We'll see you by midnight tomorrow. 
                         Doctor, how's our patient?

                         Stable, but no better than

                         Keep him as well as you can.  Until
                         tomorrow, then, Mr. Des Voeux.

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Until tomorrow, Lieutenant Gore. 
                         All right, men, move!

               The sledge teams heads off northwest, even Goodsir in
               harness.  Gore and Best start walking south, nearly the
               opposite direction.

         8     INT. - EREBUS CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS - DAY, PRESENT          8

                         And you were armed?

                         Aye, Sir John.  Lieutenant Gore had
                         a pistol, and I had a shotgun.  The
                         other shotgun and musket were with
                         Mr. Des Voeux and Private

                         Why did Lieutenant Gore divide the

                         Sir?  Oh, I believe he was
                         following your orders, sir. 
                         Lieutenant Gore said we had to
                         cache a second message somewhere,
                         and check for open water.  But with
                         Hartnell injured and food spoiled,
                         he had to send most of the men back
                         to the ice camp.

                         Did you find open water?

                         No sir, not a God da-I mean, not a
                         single dark reflection.

                         How far did you and Lieutenant Gore

                         About four miles, sir, across snow
                         and gravel.  Then we hit an inlet,
                         a rather big one.  Probably hiked
                         ten miles just to cover the four,
                         what with all the fog and wind and
                         such, blowing around, making
                         everything seem the same...

               Best's voice is slurring a bit.  Crozier pours himself a
               drink of Brandy.

                         Continue, Seaman Best.

               Best looks more pale and tired than ever, staring into

                         Sir.  Well, we crossed the inlet,
                         and went out on a small promontory.

         9     EXT. - KING WILLIAM SHORE - DAY, DAYS EARLIER            9

               Gore and Best are on a promontory, still surrounded by ice
               and snow.  The line of bergs denotes the shoreline and is the
               only real landmark.  They are piling rocks, prying them from
               the frozen ground, into a small mound.

               Gore takes out a brass cylinder, and puts it inside the
               cairn, then fills the hole with rocks.

                         Let's keep going.

               They get up and walk south.

        10     INT. - EREBUS CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS - DAY, PRESENT         10

               Best has a pained look on his face.

                         Sometimes we could see, most of the
                         time we couldn't.  But we could
                         hear it.

                         Hear what, seaman?

                         Something.  Something following us. 
                         Something big breathing and woofing
                         and coughing, kind of like those
                         white bears.

                         So it was a bear?  Did you shoot

                         No, sir.  We didn't shoot it, nor
                         was it a bear.  I mean, at least we
                         never identified it.  We should
                         have, except the fog never lifted. 
                         Sometimes it sounded like it was
                         right behind us.  Coughing and

        11     EXT. - KING WILLIAM SHORE - NIGHT, DAYS EARLIER         11

               In the dim gloom of arctic summer, Gore and Best are walking. 
               Something woofs behind them.  They whirl, and level their
               guns back into the fog.  Gore cocks his pistol.

               The wind swirls the fog and reveals nothing.

                         Maybe it's the ice.

                         Aye, sir, or the wind.

               Gore waits a moment, then un-cocks his pistol and lowers it.

                         Maybe it's time we head back. 
                         Let's take one last look off that
                         hill there.

               They climb up a small hill, and Gore peers in every direction
               carefully.  Best just watches their surroundings.

                                   GORE (CONT'D)
                         Nothing.  Not a damned thing.  Ice
                         as far as I can see.

               He takes out a canteen.

                                   GORE (CONT'D)
                         Here, have the last bit of water.

               Best takes the final sip, hands it back and they begin
               walking back.

               In the fog and snow, Best is walking and his eyes start
               closing longer and longer.  His head finally leans to the
               side, and Gore, behind him, shakes him awake.


               They get to the old campsite.  Thunder rumbles in the

                         Oh no, not again.

                         It's from the northwest.  Heading
                         our way.  

               Another closer rumble and a flash of lightning.  

                                   GORE (CONT'D)
                         Quick, anything metal toss aside.  

               They take off all buckles and toss the guns aside, anything
               metal.  Then they hunker in the pit where the tent had been. 
               The storm quickly surrounds them, with lighting, sleet and
               hail.  It is just as powerful as the last, with large
               hailstones pummeling their backs and exploding into chips
               around them.

                         Just like God Damn Trafalgar, sir!

        13     INT. - EREBUS CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS - DAY, PRESENT         13

               Franklin has a deadly scowl.

                         Were you at Trafalgar, Seaman Best?

               Best, lost in his recollection, blinks.

                         Oh, no, sir.  Of course not, I'm
                         only twenty five.

                         I was at Trafalgar.  As signals
                         officer on HMS Bellerophon, where
                         thirty-three of the forty officers
                         were killed. 
                         Please restrain yourself from
                         further liberties in your report.

                         Aye, a-aye, sir.  Sorry, sir.  I
                         apologize, I didn't mean to, offend-

                         Continue, and get to what happened
                         to Lieutenant Gore.

        14     EXT. - PACK ICE NEAR CAMP - DAY, DAYS EARLIER           14

               Gore and Best, bruised and battered and the walking dead, are
               traipsing through the thick fog and snow.

                         I swear we have passed these sledge
                         tracks before.

                         But we've been following them the
                         whole way.

                         It's taking too long to find the

               The sledge tracks disappear into freshly blown snow.  Gore

                                   GORE (CONT'D)
                         Damn, not again.

               He looks around, weary.  Two shots sound in the distance. 
               Gore and Best jerk upright and look off into the fog.

                                   GORE (CONT'D)
                         Come on, don't get separated!

               They run into the fog and disappear.

        15     EXT. - PACK ICE CAMP - CONTINUOUS                       15

               Pilkington lowers his musket.

                         Got 'em!

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Careful, now, come with me.

               The two of them approach what they just shot.  The sledge and
               tent are behind them, but the rest of the ice camp looks
               almost as destroyed as the one on King William Island.  Some
               men are slicing up the fresh corpse of a white bear into
               bloody strips of meat.

               They stop, looking down.

                                   DES VOEUX (CONT'D)
                         Damn!  Doctor Goodsir!


               In front of Des Voeux is the Esquimaux Man on the ground, the
               Esquimaux Woman kneeling over him.  They are both wearing
               white furry parkas.  

        16     INT. - EREBUS SICK BAY - DAY, PRESENT                   16

               Surgeon Stanley and Dr. Goodsir are attending the wounded
               Esquimaux Man.  MacDonald and the Esquimaux Woman stand
               nearby watching.  The Esquimaux Man is naked and covered
               partially by a sheet.  He has an amulet around his neck of a
               white bear, and near that an open bullet wound near his
               heart.  Goodsir moves the amulet aside and probes at the

                         Mr. MacDonald, please take the
                         woman behind the curtain until we
                         are finished.

                         Would you like me to examine her as

                         By all means.

               MacDonald takes the Esquimaux Woman gently and leads her
               behind a curtain.

                                   STANLEY (CONT'D)
                         Get him on his side.

               Goodsir grabs the man and heaves him onto his side.  The
               Esquimaux Man moans softly, his eyes still closed.  Stanley
               takes a scalpel and cuts in a spot near the man's spine.  He
               dabs the blood with a cloth, then uses his fingers to probe
               in the hole he has made.  Then he puts in a pair of forceps
               and digs about, making the man moan again. 

                         If it's lodged in his spine we
                         might kill him removing the ball.

                         I know.  Then there's nothing for
                         it and we'll have to stem the

                         I tried on the ice, without

                         Well hopefully we'll have more luck
                         in here.

                         I'm surprised he lasted this long.

                         These savages are damn tough.  I'll
                         give them that.

               The Esquimaux Man coughs, blood flecking around his mouth. 
               His eyes open and he peers at Goodsir, not unkindly.  Stanley
               keeps probing his back.

        17     INT. - EREBUS CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS - CONTINUOUS           17

               Crozier sips his drink.  Franklin clenches his teeth.

                         We finally heard Mr. Des Voeux
                         shouting, and that's when we saw
                         the blood.

        18     EXT. - PACK ICE CAMP - DAY, DAYS EARLIER                18

               Des Voeux and Goodsir are kneeling beside the wounded
               Esquimaux Man.  There is a deep loud "halloo" from Gore in
               the distance.  Des Voeux stands.

                                   DES VOEUX

        19     EXT. - PACK ICE NEAR CAMP - DAY                         19

               Gore and Best hurry towards the shout.  In the fog they come
               across a bloody patch, and follow a trail of the blood right
               into camp.  

        20     EXT. - PACK ICE CAMP - CONTINUOUS                       20

               The blood leads to the white bear carcass and camp.

                         Thank God!  This damned fog had us
                         walking in circles.  What were
                         those shots, Mr. Des Voeux.  Were
                         they for us?

                                   DES VOEUX
                         No, sir.  I thought we were
                         shooting at bears.  We've been
                         hearing one snooping about.  We hit
                         an Esquimaux instead.

               They huddle around the Esquimaux Man, now lying near the
               tent.  Goodsir is checking him over.  The Esquimaux Woman is
               off to the side, watching carefully.  Gore squats near

                         How is he doctor?

                         It seems to have missed his heart,
                         but the wound is severe.

                         Will he live?

                         That depends.  The musket ball
                         pierced his lung but did not exit
                         his back.  If I can remove the
                         ball, he should be all right.  But
                         the only place I could possibly
                         operate is back at the ship.

               Gore stands and turns to Des Voeux.

                         I see you killed a bear.

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Aye, thought it would be better
                         than nothing.  They got into our
                         cans, ruined everything.

                         Jesus Christ!  Our luck wasn't much
                         better.  We left another message
                         further south, but saw no leads or
                         open water.

                                   DES VOEUX
                         At least Mr. Hartnell came around.


               Gore heads to the tent, and peers inside at the bandaged but
               awake Thomas Hartnell.

                                   GORE (CONT'D)
                         Glad to see you awake, man.  

                         Thanks to the doctor.  I don't
                         remember much after getting ashore,
                         but they tell me there was a hell
                         of a storm.

                         That there was.  Rest up, now.  

               Gore leaves the tent and takes stock of the situation.

               Gore stares at the Esquimaux Man and then the Esquimaux
               Woman.  She keeps staring at the Esquimaux Man.

                                   GORE (CONT'D)
                         We have to take them both with us.

                                   DES VOEUX

                         She might be upset we shot
                         her...father, or husband.  She
                         could bring others to attack us. 
                         Des Voeux, see that she does not

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Aye, sir.

                         Best, before you collapse, might
                         you help prepare some of that bear
                         meat for a dinner?

                         Aye, sir.

               Gore takes a moment to draw in a deep breath and look around.

                         What a day.

        21     EXT. - PACK ICE CAMP - LATER                            21

               The spirit stove is hissing, and some bear meat is in the
               steaming water pot on top.

               The Esquimaux Woman is sitting, looking at nothing.

               Goodsir is comforting the sleeping Esquimaux Man, having
               bandaged him up in the tent.

               Des Voeux is nodding off, then snaps awake.  He peers off
               where the Esquimaux Woman was, but there is no one.

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Oh, shit!


               Everyone sees Gore standing with his pistol drawn and pointed
               into the fog.  Gore takes a step forward.

                                   GORE (CONT'D)
                         Everyone quiet.

        22     EXT. - EREBUS CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS - DAY, PRESENT         22

               Best stands there, quivering, looking way into the distance. 
               His mouth hangs open.

                         And then...and then...

               Franklin watches with anger, Crozier with curiosity.

        23     EXT. - PACK ICE CAMP - NIGHT, DAYS EARLIER              23

               Gore stands alone pointing his pistol into the fog.  

               The Esquimaux Man's eyes are open and he is looking intensely
               ahead.  He grips his amulet.

               Gore takes another step forward.  

               A huge massive shape in the fog swirls up and looms over
               Gore.  Two sets of large black claws come forward, surround
               Gore.  His pistol fires.

               Best is staring open mouthed, then looks up.  Way up, above
               Gore, are two black and red dots in the fog that blink.

               There is a wet crunching noise, and snapping like tree

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Shoot it!  Get the fucking guns!

                         Jesus Christ Almighty!

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Before it kills him!  Lieutenant

               They rush forward with guns, and see the contorted body of
               Gore collapse on the ground.  The huge shape is simply gone. 
               They stand near Gore's body and aim out into nothing.

                         Where the fuck is it!?

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Gore!  Gore!

               Gore is horribly crushed, and his mouth wide open in a silent
               scream.  The pistol itself has been bent in his hand.  Blood
               begins seeping from all over his body and face.

                         Out of the way!  Get back!

               Goodsir rushes in and kneels by Gore, feeling for a pulse and
               checking his breath.

               Pilkington, shaking, is still aiming his shotgun into the

                                   DES VOEUX
                         Do you see anything?  

                         Nothing, not a God-damned thing!

                                   DES VOEUX

               Goodsir's body sags.

                         He's dead.

               Everyone stares at him, then Gore.

        24     INT. - EREBUS CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS - DAY, PRESENT         24

               Franklin has a look of horror and anger.  Crozier still looks
               curious.  Best looks deranged.

                         But did-

               Best collapses onto the deck.  Franklin slams his fist onto
               the table.

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         Damn!  Mr. Hoar!  Get this man to
                         the sick bay.

        25     INT. - EREBUS SICK BAY - LATER                          25

               Stanley and Goodsir are standing over the now-resting
               Esquimaux Man.  Stanley is writing something down, while
               Goodsir sips a drink.

                         Mr. MacDonald sure is taking his
                         time examining the woman.

               Goodsir smiles at this.  A canvas curtain is slid aside, and
               in come Hoar and an older seaman, John BRIDGENS, carrying
               Best, followed by Franklin.

                         He collapsed during his report.  Is
                         something wrong with him?

                         We'll find out straight away.

               They and the two seamen start taking Best's coats off and
               setting him down.  Franklin glares at the Esquimaux Man
               coughing in his sleep.

                         Sir?  I would say Best is simply
                         suffering from extreme exhaustion
                         and dehydration, as all of us are
                         that were on the expedition.

               Stanley cracks smelling salts by Best's nose, and he quickly

                         He's coming around, he'll be all
                         right, sir.

                         Good, we need to hear the last of
                         his report.

                         Sir, did he have all these clothes
                         on during his report?

                         Of course, what of it?

                         He must have fainted from the heat,
                         I imagine.  If you require anyone
                         else's report, I would have them
                         take off their slops and outer

                         Fine, fine.  What about the native
                         man?  Is he going to live?

                         Not for long, Sir John.  No.

               Goodsir gives him a look, and then glances at the Esquimaux

                         Roll him on his back.

               They get up and move, rolling the coughing Esquimaux Man onto
               his back slowly.  The Esquimaux Man's eyes open and he looks
               at Franklin.

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)

               The Esquimaux Man stares blankly and coughs.  Franklin comes

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)

               Still no response.  Franklin clucks his tongue.

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         What about the other native, the

                         Dr. MacDonald is examining her
                         behind that curtain.

               Franklin turns and brusquely pushes through the curtain. 
               There is a sudden commotion, Franklin stammers a few words,
               and he quickly reappears with a blushed expression.

                         V-very good, I sh-shall return at a
                         more suitable time.

               He rushes past them and out of the sick bay area.  Hoar and
               the seaman follow.  Stanley and Goodsir share a smile, and
               they roll the Esquimaux Man back onto his stomach to rest. 
               Then they head into the back area.  

               Dr. MacDonald is examining the Esquimaux Woman, and she is
               completely naked.  She is young, but fully developed and

                         It seems our expedition leader was
                         not expecting her to be

                         Perhaps not.  Any man who sees the
                         likes of her after years on the ice
                         is apt to react swiftly.  Here,
                         come look at this.

               They come closer.  The Esquimaux Woman appears completely at
               ease.  MacDonald gestures for her to open her mouth.  She
               does, and he holds a lantern up near it for the others to

               Inside her mouth, her tongue has been roughly severed near
               the base.

                         Good God!  Her tongue has been

                         Not amputated.  Look how rough the
                         cut is.  If I had to guess, some
                         other person or animal did this to
                         her.  And not very recently,

                         Could she have done this herself?

                         I do not believe so, with the cut
                         so deep.  Unless she used some
                         crude tool, but I doubt it.

                             (in latin)
                         Estne illa mutila alibi?  Sorry, is
                         she mutilated elsewhere?

                         Nowhere else.  I did a full

                         Did Sir John see her tongue?

               MacDonald shakes his head.  Stanley's brow furrows at this. 
               Bridgens comes back and pokes his head in the alcove.  He
               stares at the naked woman for a moment, then recovers and
               looks at Goodsir.

                         Dr. Goodsir.  Captain's
                         compliments, he would like you to
                         report to his quarters immediately.

                         Right.  Need anything else?


               Goodsir heads out of the sick bay with a deep breath.

        26     INT. - EREBUS CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS - LATER                26

               Goodsir stands erect, looking tired but alert.  The same men
               that were in front of Best are still sitting and
               interrogating.  Franklin taps his fingers.

                         And you caught no good look at the
                         bear?  Or whatever it was?

                         No, sir, I am afraid not.  Most of
                         my attention was on the wounded
                         native man until I heard the
                         unmistakable sound of breaking
                         bones.  That's when I rushed over,
                         but whatever it was was already

                         Yes.  What of the natives at the
                         moment?  The older man will not
                         live, correct?

                         Aye, sir.  I doubt he will last
                         more than a day or so.  The bullet
                         is lodged in his spine and despite
                         our best efforts, Mr. Stanley and I
                         have been unable to remove it or
                         staunch the bleeding.

                         And the...woman?

                         She is much younger, a teenager I
                         believe.  She is virgo intacta, and
                         is of sound health, except for an
                         old wound.  Her tongue was removed
                         either by a crude tool or bite many
                         years ago.  She seems unable to
                         speak at all.

               The three interrogators murmur among themselves.

                         Why would someone remove her

                         I have no idea, sir.  I know the
                         Esquimaux can have some rather
                         barbaric customs, but I have never
                         heard of anything such as this.

                         Could an animal, like a wolf, have
                         done this?

                         Certainly, but why leave her alive? 
                         And the tongue is not an easy thing
                         to bite.

                         Well, I could believe that.  I am
                         actually more surprised to hear she
                         is a virgin.

                         Yes, thank you Francis.  Now back
                         to Lieutenant Gore's death.  The
                         bear, how large do you believe it

                         Very large, sir.  I would say much
                         bigger than any bear we have seen
                         so far.  If it was the same
                         creature who's tracks we saw, then
                         it had to have been at least twice
                         as massive. It was certainly bear
                         like in the glance I had and how
                         the other men described it, but
                         perhaps it is some unseen new
                         species?  Whatever it was, it was
                         extremely unnerving.

                         Yes, I am sure it was, Mr. Goodsir.  

                         Did you encounter this bear again
                         after Lieutenant Gore died?

                         Yes, sir.  We could hear it at
                         times, but it never seemed to
                         bother us again.  We only spotted
                         it once, when the fog lifted.  It
                         was following us about a mile

                         The gun Lieutenant Gore fired must
                         have wounded and scared it.

                         Perhaps, sir, but not enough that
                         it went away.

                         You seem to have a keen interest in
                         the white bears, why is that?

                         I trained as an anatomist, sir. 
                         And before this expedition I was
                         looking to become something of a

                         You dissected some of the bears we
                         encountered at Beechey Island, did
                         you not?

                         Yes, sir.

                         And studied them closely, skeletons
                         and musculature.  Do you believe
                         Lieutenant Gore's wounds are
                         consistent with what these animals
                         are capable of.

                         Yes, sir.  The arctic bear is even
                         bigger than the North American
                         grizzly, which is known to be
                         ferocious.  Lieutenant Gore's chest
                         was crushed and his spine severed,
                         which a polar bear is capable of. 
                         It is also the only predator known
                         to stalk human prey.

                         Indeed?  I did see a rather
                         ferocious tiger in India, once. 
                         The villagers said it had eaten
                         twelve people.

                         Yes, commander.  Other animals are
                         known to eat humans if provoked or
                         some event such as disease or
                         injury initiates it.  However, only
                         the white arctic bear stalks humans
                         actively and commonly.

                         And how are you aware of this fact,
                         Dr. Goodsir?  Books?

                         Somewhat, sir.  But I also spoke at
                         length to locals at Disko Bay, and
                         the captains of the whaling vessels
                         we met in Baffin Bay.  They told
                         stories from natives and older
                         expeditions.  One ship's cook was
                         said to have been snatched from the
                         lower deck of a ship during winter.

                         Perhaps we should not believe every
                         old tale told from a sailor's lips.

                         No, sir, of course not.

                         Thank you, Mr. Goodsir.  We shall
                         call upon you with any further

                         You are most welcome, sirs.

               Goodsir bows and departs.  Crozier looks deep in thought,
               Franklin appears frustrated and Fitzjames has a disinterested
               air.  The steward approaches.

                         More cheese?

        27     EXT. - TERROR IN ICE - NIGHT                            27

               The dark ship sits under a cold sky.

        28     INT. - TERROR CAPTAIN'S ROOM - CONTINUOUS               28

               Crozier sits at his small desk, sipping whisky.  He finishes
               writing in his log book, and closes the volume.  He licks the
               last drop from his glass, and wipes it with a cloth.  He puts
               the bottle, glass and cloth in a small basket by the doorway. 
               He douses the lantern, and collapses into his bed, face-down.

        29     INT. - EREBUS CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS - CONTINUOUS           29

               Franklin sleeps in his bed.  In his dreams he moans and

        30     INT. - EREBUS SICK BAY - NIGHT                          30

               Goodsir is sitting by the Esquimaux Man, sleeping.  A book
               sits in his lap.  The Esquimaux Woman sleeps curled in a
               corner.  A few lanterns flicker and glow.

               The Esquimaux Man's eyes pop open, and he struggles to sit up
               with great moaning.  Goodsir wakes and gets up swiftly.  He
               and the Esquimaux Woman stand beside the Esquimaux Man, and
               Stanley emerges from behind the curtain.

                         What's happened?

               The Esquimaux Man points at his wound and begins speaking. 
               Blood pulses from it, as well as dribbling down from his

                                   ESQUIMAUX MAN
                         Angatkut tuquruq! 
                         tuqutauyasiruq...nanuq tuqutkaa! 
                         Paniga...tunbaq nanuq...angatkut

               Goodsir has been scribbling approximations of the words in
               his notebook as best he can decipher them.  The Esquimaux
               Woman maintains her blank, albeit intense, look.  

               After his speech, the Esquimaux Man suddenly chokes on his
               own blood, and falls back.  

                         Grab him!

               Stanley and Goodsir rush to prop him up and wipe the blood
               away.  The Esquimaux Man grips them, convulses a few times,
               and breathes out a final rasping, gurgling breath.  He
               stills, and his head falls to the side.  Stanley looks at him
               a moment, and then closes the dead man's eyes.

               Goodsir looks for the Esquimaux Woman, but she's gone.

                                   STANLEY (CONT'D)
                         Look out!

               She is standing right behind Goodsir, wielding a scalpel. 
               Goodsir falls back and stumbles.  She advances, and like
               lightning flicks it at the neck of the old dead Esquimaux
               Man.  The cord with the amulet severs, and she snatches it,
               tossing the scalpel aside.  Then she disappears from the sick

               Goodsir and Stanley just look at one another.

        31     EXT. - PACK ICE NEAR EREBUS - NIGHT                     31

               In the dim glow of midnight, Goodsir and Stanley stand with
               two crewmen around a deep hole in the ice, with water at the
               bottom.  The crewmen haul a body wrapped in canvas, and push
               it into the pit.  The Esquimaux Woman appears from the
               darkness and looks into the pit with them.  She still
               clutches the amulet.

               The body wedges in the hole, and a crewman prods it with a
               pike until it slips underwater.  The Esquimaux Woman's
               expression does not change.

               Goodsir looks solemnly on.  He turns at the sound of men's

               A bunch of other crew men are busy digging a hole in the ice
               for another burial, a much bigger hole.  They hack and saw
               and curse.

               Crozier emerges from the night with Irving.

                         I heard the native man died.

                         Yes, sir.  We just put him under
                         the ice.

                         Very good.  Sir John has ordered
                         that the woman not spend the night
                         aboard Erebus.  We shall be taking
                         her back to Terror.  John, she
                         shall be in your charge.

               Irving nods.

                                   CROZIER (CONT'D)
                         You find a place for her out of
                         sight of the men.  No harm is to
                         come to her.  I don't want

                         Aye, sir.

                         Should we not let her go, Captain
                         Crozier?  I know there's the risk
                         that she might return with many of
                         her kind.  But what good is it to
                         keep her?

                         As far as we know, there are no
                         esquimaux settlements within three
                         hundred miles.  What they were
                         doing out here God only knows. 
                         Especially in a summer with no
                         whales, walruses, seals, caribou,
                         or even birds.

                         Perhaps there is a summer village
                         on shore?

                         Aye, perhaps.  And perhaps we
                         should rid ourselves of the burden
                         by just killing her as well.  But
                         we also may find ourselves at a
                         future point where our lives depend
                         upon befriending natives.  We might
                         need her for that.

                         After we shot her father?  Or
                         husband?  Even after many months
                         have passed, this Lady Silence
                         might not have the most charitable
                         of feelings for us.

               Crozier chuckles a deep rasping laugh.

                         Lady Silence.  Very good, Stanley. 
                         Come John.  Come m'lady.

               Crozier beckons the woman, and she understands.  Crozier,
               Irving and the Esquimaux Woman walk off into the ice.

                         Let us finally have an end of this
                         cursed day.

                         And the first good sleep I've had
                         in almost a fortnight.

               Behind them men keep hacking at the other hole.

        32     EXT. - PACK ICE NEAR EREBUS - DAY                       32

               The hole is complete now, with a wooden scaffolding overhead,
               and icy black water at the bottom.  One man has the duty of
               poking the water and fresh ice to keep it from freezing over.

               A solemn procession of over a hundred men is making it's way
               from the ship.  Led by Franklin, Crozier and Fitzjames, they
               march in step to drums beat on by four ship's boys.  The
               beautiful wooden coffin has a Union Jack flag laid over it.

               The men arrange themselves for the service, shivering.  A
               squad of marines stands at the side with muskets.

               Le Vesconte walks with Gore's hat and sword.  Fairholme walks
               with Gore's medals on a cushion.

               Franklin and the other high ranking officers step onto a
               makeshift wooden platform.  Everyone else congregates around
               the hole in the ice.  

               Men with ropes slide the coffin down the side of the hole
               until it rests on a wooden slat just above the water.  

               The drums stop, and all hats are removed.

                         We gather here this day to commit
                         the body and soul of one of our own
                         to God.  Lieutenant Gore was a
                         commendable officer in Her
                         Majesty's Navy, with a
                         distinguished career cut all too
                         short, killed in the line of duty.

               Men shiver, chatter, stamp their feet to get warm, and huddle
               as best they can.  Crozier eyes the coffin and water, and the
               man poking the ice.

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         The Lord hath spoken this word. 
                         Fear, and the pit, and the snare,
                         are upon thee, O inhabitants of the
                         earth.  And it shall come to pass
                         that he who fleeth from the noise
                         of the fear shall fall into the
                         pit.  But what of he, of we, who do
                         not break our covenant with our
                         Lord?  I commend you to Jonah!

               A few heads pop up at this name.

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         Jonah was given a commission by God
                         to go to Nineveh and to cry against
                         it because of its wickedness.  But
                         Jonah, as you know shipmates, Jonah
                         fled from his commission and from
                         the presence of the Lord.  He
                         thought he could sail beyond the
                         limits of the kingdom of the Lord. 
                         But the Lord sent out a great wind
                         into the sea, and there was a
                         mighty tempest, so that the ship
                         was likely to break.  The sailors
                         cried out, why this evil had
                         befallen them. They were brave men,
                         and tried first to row to safety,
                         but finally they weakened and Jonah
                         beseeched them to cast him
                         The sailors cried to the Lord and
                         did sacrifice Jonah.  Now the Lord
                         had prepared a great fish,
                         Leviathan, to swallow up Jonah, and
                         he remained in the belly of the
                         fish for three days and nights.  As
                         with Jonah, although we have been
                         sent to the edge of the world, we
                         are not beyond the realm of God. 
                         The lightning may crash, the ice
                         may crush, and white bears may
                         stalk us.  But as Jonah did not
                         protest his fate, so shall we not
                         protest ours.  Jonah instead prayed
                         to the Lord, and he was returned to
                         dry land.  We, too, must continue
                         sacrificing to the Lord, as
                         Lieutenant Gore has done.  He has
                         made the eternal sacrifice.  

               A few men's eyes are beginning to close.  

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         But although the cold belly of this
                         summer may not free us from our icy
                         prison, our Lord has not abandoned
                         us!  I swear that God's divine
                         mercy shall see us through the
                         Northwest Passage.  Lieutenant Gore
                         could practically see it himself a
                         few days ago.  Our Lord will hear
                         us, and deliver us from the belly
                         of Hell itself.  And should we be
                         afflicted by some dark beast,
                         though it be only a dumb bear, let
                         our prayers be heard.  Kill this
                         mere animal, shipmates, and I vow
                         to pay each and every one of you
                         ten gold sovereigns out of my own

               A great murmur whips through the men, as they gaze with wide
               eyes at one another.

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         Ten gold sovereigns for each and
                         every man!  And the equal of your
                         advance pay as a further bonus. 
                         This, for spending one final winter
                         on the ice.  We have food, we have
                         coal, and we have the Lord God
                         almighty.  Dear God, turn thy face
                         in our direction again, and be
                         gracious unto thy servants. 
                         O satisfy us with thy mercy, and
                         that soon, so shall we rejoice and
                         be glad all the days of our lives. 
                         Comfort us and our dear Lieutenant
                         Gore, for all the years wherein he
                         has suffered adversity.

               The lead Marine, Sergeant David BRYANT smacks his men back to
               attention, and they stiffen with muskets at their side.

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         We commit his body to the deep, to
                         be turned into corruption, looking
                         for the resurrection of the body,
                         when the Sea shall give up her
                         dead, and the life of the world to
                         come, through our Lord Jesus
                         Christ, who at his coming shall
                         change our vile body, that it may
                         be like his glorious body,
                         according to the mighty working,
                         whereby he is able to subdue all
                         things to himself.  Glory be to the
                         Father, and to the Son, and to the
                         Holy Ghost.  As it was in the
                         beginning, is now and ever shall
                         be, world without end.  Amen.


               The marines raise muskets and fire three volleys.  Men slip
               off the planks under the casket, and at the last volley the
               men holding ropes release and the casket drops quickly into
               the water.

               After a moment of silence, everyone begins dispersing,
               chattering animatedly about the bounty.  Two bells sound in
               the distance on Erebus.  

               Crozier gazes up at the red sky and hears thunder in the

        33     EXT. - EREBUS DECK - DAY                                33

               Men are standing on watch in the middle of another hail and
               lightning storm, standing as small as possible.  A few other
               men, including Bryant, huddle with a bunch of guns near the

                         When will these fucking storms end
                         so we can hunt the son of a bitch!

        34     INT. - EREBUS LOWER DECK - LATER                        34

               Wall sits tending his stove, surrounded by the mass of men
               and their things.  We can hear the hail thunking into the
               wooden planks above.  Franklin approaches and taps his
               shoulder.  Wall stands.

                         Yes, Sir John?

                         Mr. Wall.  I would like the men as
                         prepared as possible for slaying
                         the beast that killed Lieutenant
                         Gore.  Have extra rations hauled
                         and prepared for a large dinner.

                         Oh, aye, Sir John.  My pleasure. 
                         And I am sure the men will be quite
                         pleased, too.

                         Make it a good one.  Lots of meat,
                         and perhaps a course of dessert.

                         Certainly, sir.  I'll cook up the
                         freshest meats we have.

               Franklin turns to walk away, then stops and turns back.

                         Oh...and one more thing.  A double
                         ration of grog will be given out to
                         the men as well.

               Franklin walks off, leaving Wall open-mouthed and silent. 
               Other seamen in the vicinity start muttering, having heard
               this last bit.

        35     EXT. - TERROR DECK - LATER                              35

               In the wild storm, Crozier stands on his deck.  Only other
               men on watch are out.  He looks up at the masts of his ship
               and furrows his brow.  Then he looks down and sees the
               Esquimaux Woman is also on deck, at the railing.  Great peals
               of thunder boom overhead.

        36     EXT. - PACK ICE NEAR EREBUS - DAY                       36

               A frozen open-mouthed polar bear snarls at us from death.  A
               group of men with guns holds the bear head up, as the corpse
               rests on a sledge.  Franklin inspects it.

                         We shot it about a mile north of

               A mewling cub is tied to the back of the sledge.

                         Is it possible this is our bear,
                         the one that attacked Lieutenant

               Some of them men start nodding with smiles, but Bryant sighs.

                         No.  This bear is too small and
                         weak.  Though it still took twelve
                         shots to bring her down.

                don't believe this is the
                         monster that took our man.  Still,
                         we shall have Stanley and Goodsir
                         inspect it, and look for the bullet
                         Lieutenant Gore is said to have
                         fired.  I thank you for the meat,
                         at the least.  Be sure no one eats
                         the heart and liver.

               The men drag the sledge off, the mewling cub dragged along,
               but Bryant stays behind.  He and Franklin walk together.

                         Sir, I believe we are going about
                         this the wrong way.

                         How so?

                         Our men are not serious hunters. 
                         We only killed this bear with more
                         luck than skill, and a smaller
                         weaker one at that.  She only died
                         because she was protecting her cub.

                         What is your point, sergeant?

                         I believe we should build a blind. 
                         Bring the bear to us.

                         A blind?

                         Aye, Sir John.  Like true hunters. 
                         Mr. Murray has an idea how to rig

        37     INT. - EREBUS CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS - LATER                37

               Franklin sits at his desk, Bryant and John MURRAY, the sail
               maker, standing before him.  He is an older scraggly man.

                         We use extra iron rods meant for
                         shaft replacements, Sir John.  We
                         bend them into shape and frame it. 
                         Then we lay on the canvas in a long
                         row, like a booth.

                         Wouldn't our bear notice a booth in
                         the middle of the arctic?

                         Nay, sir.  I'll have the canvas
                         painted white, snow white.  We can
                         built the blind by a pressure
                         ridge, too, so it will blend in.

                         How many shooters?

                         About six, sir.  And we can have
                         them on the wooden platform from
                         Lieutenant Gore's burial service,
                         so they can remain for many hours
                         at a time.

                         What about smell?  Don't these
                         bears have a keen sense of smell?

                         We can build the blind downwind,
                         sir.  Easy enough. 
                         We were thinking of the pressure
                         ridge just beyond where the service
                         was, where the wind comes in from
                         the northwest.

               At that moment Stanley pops in and knuckles his forehead. 
               Franklin nods.

                         Pardon the interruption, sir.  Just
                         thought you would like to know
                         another man was shot, this one in
                         the buttocks.  He'll be fine, sir.

                         Thank you.

               Stanley spins and walks out.

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         All right.  Bryant, get all the
                         hunting parties in off the ice and
                         let's end this nonsense.  Mr.
                         Murray, commence the construction
                         of this blind.

                         Aye, sir.

               They turn to walk out.

                         Oh, Bryant.

                         Yes, sir.

                         How exactly do you propose to
                         attract our particular bear?  

                         Well, it's fresh meat that will
                         draw him in.

                         But we are already cooking and
                         rendering the bear you shot.

                         Aye, sir.  But the cub is still
                         tied up on the ice.  We could
                         butcher it, and spread the blood
                         out in front of the blind.

                         You believe these bears are

                         Oh, yes, sir, from what I have

               Franklin nods.

                         Make it so, sergeant.

        38     INT. - TERROR ORLOP DECK - DAY                          38

               Crozier descends a ladder in the forward part of the ship,
               holding a lantern.  He is followed by Hodgson and William

               Crozier takes a quick sweep over the area, seeing large
               barrels, crates and sacks of goods.  He walks aft and opens a
               door to the bread room, looking within.

                         What would be your estimate, Mr.
                         Goddard, of our remaining food
                         provisions.  Two-thirds?

                         Probably a bit less, captain.  If
                         cans of putrid food keep coming up,
                         who knows how much.

                         But certainly enough to get through
                         another winter and then a sailing

                         Oh, aye, sir.  

               Crozier closes the door, and automatically checks the padlock
               on another.

               He peers in another room full of kegs of powder and shot. 
               Another with spare sails.  Another with heaps of clothing.

               At the rear of the ship, Crozier descends a ladder to the
               next level down.

        39     INT. - TERROR HOLD DECK - CONTINUOUS                    39

               Crozier descends into a dark dungeon world.  Ice rims the
               wood.  There is a bit of slush underfoot.  We also hear a
               scraping sound.  Hodgson and Goddard follow.

               Crozier moves forward and turns in the room where the
               scraping is from.  James THOMPSON is within, with Luke SMITH. 
               They are both pale men covered in black soot, in just pants
               and an undershirt.

                         Mr. Thompson.  How is our boiler

                         Just fine, sir.  No trouble to keep
                         a little steam going.

                         And you and your men are faring

                         Aye, sir.  These here are easy
                         days, just sitting in the ice.  No
                         back-breaking sweat for us just as

                         Very good.

                         Sir?  Any chance we should be
                         firing the boilers up to full steam
                         again?  Just in case?  

                         No, Mr. Thompson.  I am afraid not. 
                         You know as well as I do that the
                         sledging parties saw no sign of
                         open water.

                         I know, sir.  But I thought,
                         perhaps, seeing as the masts and
                         sails were rigged back up, maybe we
                         ought to be ready?  After being
                         here nine months, we could use the

                         Rigging masts and sails took us
                         Steaming up the boiler for full
                         sailing conditions only takes
                         hours.  There's no sense getting
                         ahead of ourselves.  We shall be
                         spending another winter here, and
                         you are well aware of our need to
                         conserve coal.

                         Aye, sir.

               Crozier and his men leave.  Thompson and Smith are left in
               the dim glow of the boiler.

        40     INT. - TERROR GREAT ROOM - DAY                          40

               Crozier sits reading a book, a few other officers also idle
               away the day.  There is a knock and Little enters, saluting.

                         Back from Erebus, Lieutenant

                         Aye, sir.  A bit of news to report.

               Little sits and grabs a biscuit.

                         No one has killed our bear menace,
                         I assume?

                         No sir, nothing but some other bear
                         and her cub.  And Sir John has
                         called off further hunting after
                         another man was shot.

                         I cannot believe men who can
                         balance in rigging in a gale can be
                         so dumbfounded with the handling of
                         a rifle.

                         I suppose we could train the men
                         better, sir.

                         No, no, have our parties called
                         back as well.  I am sure Sir John
                         wants an end of this farce. 
                         Lieutenant Gore will have to suffer
                         the afterlife without our having
                         avenged his death.

                         Well, sir, begging pardon, I
                         wouldn't say the farce is over just

                         How so?

                         Word is he's having old Mr. Murray
                         build some sore of a hunting blind. 
                         Thinking the dumb beast will wander
                         past it.

               Crozier sighs.  He thinks a moment.

                         Lieutenant Irving?

               Irving pops his head up from the corner where he was reading.


                         How is our Lady Silence?

                         Very good, sir.

                         Have you thought of a better living
                         quarters for her other than the
                         officer's mess?

                         Not as yet, sir.  No.  

                             (to Little)
                         Something isn't sitting right with
                         me about that woman.  Those two
                         natives appear and Lieutenant Gore
                         dies minutes later.  She has a

                         Maybe we could use her as bait for
                         Mr. Murray's bear blind?

                         That would solve many problems.  

                         I had a thought, sir, regarding her
                         situation.  We need a place to put
                         her where she'll be protected from
                         the men, but not where she'll
                         freeze to death on the lower decks. 
                         I thought perhaps she could sleep
                         near Mr. Diggle and his stove. 
                         He's up most nights baking
                         biscuits, and it will keep her

                         True.  And if there was a time Mr.
                         Diggle had an eye for the ladies, I
                         believe it has long passed.

                         I can ask him, sir, and arrange it.

                         Mr. Irving?  Go with Lieutenant
                         Little and see about setting up a
                         place for Lady Silence by Mr.
                         Diggle and his great stove if you
                             (to Little)
                         After that call the hunting parties
                         in.  And have Private Heather sent
                         to me.  I have a message to send to

        41     EXT. - EREBUS ICE - DAY                                 41

               The burial hole has frozen over, a scrim of ice covering the
               black water.  

               Thirty yards away, set into a ridge of ice, is the blind.  A
               canvas rectangle ten feet long, with a narrow slit near the

               Le Vesconte and Franklin approach the blind from a path in
               the ice, and enter through the rear.  

        42     INT. - BEAR BLIND - CONTINUOUS                          42

               Inside is Bryant, as well as other marines.  They stand to

                         Keep your seats, please gentlemen.  

               They sit back on their wooden benches, weapons at their

                         Been out about five hours, now,

                         You men must be cold.

                         Not a bit, sir.  The wind doesn't
                         get inside, and the wood keeps us
                         off the ice.

                                   LE VESCONTE 
                         Have you seen anything?

                         Not yet.

               They peer out the slit.  Not far, about twenty yards off, is
               a gruesome scene.  The bear cub has been hacked to pieces in
               a pile of flesh, and bright red blood is splattered all over. 
               Only the cub's head is unmolested, sitting upon the horrific
               red corpse.

                         I am still unconvinced bears eat
                         their own.

                         Would you care to sit, Sir John?

               The marines shuffle aside and let Franklin squeeze in on the
               left edge.  They chew tobacco, shuffle their feet, check
               their weapons, and look ahead.  Franklin has a small smile on
               his face.

               Private William HEATHER enters from the back and salutes

                         Morning, Sir John.  I have a
                         message from Captain Crozier.

                         Is it urgent?

                         Urgent, sir?  No, sir, I do not
                         believe so.

                         Please wait for my return aboard
                         Erebus.  I wish to enjoy a bit of
                         peace and quiet out here, on the
                         hunt as it were.

                         Yes, sir.  I will await you on
                         board, sir.

               He salutes, unsure exactly what to do, and awkwardly leaves.

                         Those marines aboard Terror seem a
                         bit meek, do they not Sergeant

                         Oh, yes, sir.  Probably out of

                         It feels good to sit outside and
                         not be frozen to the bone for once.

                         Indeed, sir.  Couldn't have asked
                         for a better spot.

                         Not for all the shires and downs
                         from Cornwall to Lancaster would I
                         give up this arctic wilderness.

               Franklin leans back and smiles contentedly.  He gazes over
               the marines, sitting with their guns.  He turns and looks out
               the left side of the blind, towards the burial pit.  He
               squints his eyes and peers harder.  On the slope of the pit
               are what appear to be two black dots.  The blowing wind
               obscures and reveals the black dots.  They blink.

                                   FRANKLIN (CONT'D)
                         Ah, sergeant...

                         What in the...

               A massive white shape erupts from the crater and moves off to
               the side of the blind, out of sight.  The marines all get
               their guns ready and aimed, too late, and wait.

               A huge force rams the blind from behind, bending the
               structure and shoving men off the bench.  A massive set of
               black claws punctures the canvas, ripping downwards and
               cutting one man severely right down his torso.

               There is a horrible deep gurgling as hot breath is released
               by the beast.  Franklin cannot help but gag at the smell.

               Bryant aims his musket, then realizes everything in front of
               him is the beast.  He looks upwards.  There is a whoosh of
               air that ripples his clothes.  His head flies off out of the
               blind and skitters next to the mutilated cub.  

               There is a scream and a musket fires.  A marine is hit by the
               ball and falls.  

               Franklin is on the ground and gets to his feet.  

               It gets suddenly brighter as the canvas is ripped entirely
               from the blind.  He turns to run out onto the ice.  But there
               is another whoosh of air and he collapses painfully.  

        43     EXT. - EREBUS ICE - CONTINUOUS                          43

               Suddenly, his point of view is upside down and above the
               ground.  Below he sees two bloody stumps of legs and feet,
               stark red blood oozing out.  

               He looks forward, gasps, and there is a loud guttural roar.

               He is thrown and flies out over the ice screaming, towards
               the burial crater.  His head punches through the scrim of ice
               and into the freezing water below.

        44     EXT. - UNDER THE ICE - CONTINUOUS                       44

               He is mad with fear, scrambling uselessly in the water and
               against the ice above his head, choking on sea water.  His
               legs bleed profusely into the water.  He finds an air pocket
               and breaths deep.  He turns, looking all around, gasping.  He
               sees light.  His teeth are chattering and he is turning blue.

               Something huge and dark falls through the light and splashes
               into the sea near him.  The dark mass is below him and coming
               closer.  He yells.

                         No, no, no!  Dear Jesus, Lord
                         Almighty, please...

               The dark mass gets closer, closer, and all he sees are two
               rows of open white teeth, long and sharp.  He screams.

               A rush of water, and the teeth erupt from the water into the
               tiny air pocket, and bite his head in half with a wet crunch.


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