EXT – day – view of the airfield, with the ship they just boarded in the foreground
(note: this is really the part that needs the heroic action music in the background)
The large flier rises slowly, but unevenly. Suddenly it tips, lurches to one side, and runs into the other large flier next to it with it’s landing strut, tearing large gash and tangling Helton’s ship forward landing gear in its side. Helton’s flier tries to move this way and that trying to free itself, but just gets more tangled. After a few moments of trying to get free by pulling this way and that to whining sounds of over-stressed drives, it sways and sags down on the opposite side of the grounded ship and a steep angle, front end on top of the second large flyer, back end squishing a small flier that was sitting on the field. Cut to
A large doorway of a building built into the side of the mesa. Armed and uniformed prison guards (a disreputable-looking bunch of uniforms, to be sure) are coming out, firing at the ship that’s now sitting a-kilter, half-on and half off the other large ship. The rear cargo ramp/door of the flier lowers rapidly, and Helton and Harbin run out, heading for the remaining medium-small flier. Helton is carrying supplies (water in his hands, slung duffels and rifle, Harbin only bandoleers of ammo and a rifle.
View from behind Harbin, from over his shoulder, towards the building door.
Harbin drops to one knee into a good supported firing position, and squeezes off a dozen rapid aimed shots. With most shots, a guard drops to the ground, while they are spraying on full automatic and wildly kicking up dust spurts all over the place, but not very close to Harbin. He is calm and precise under fire, a professional. A few more guards come out of the building at a run, some that are already out receiving fire decide to turn and run back into the building rather than get shot, and it’s generally a confused and chaotic scene. Harbin keeps shooting, drops a magazine, and smoothly inserts another one, with barely a pause in his firing. The man really knows his stuff.
View through the crosshairs of a gun’s telescopic sight looking down from a high angle, centering in and focusing on Helton. Much shooting is still heard in the background. Helton tosses some stuff in through the open door onto the flier, and turns (facing away) to wave to Harbin and call to him to hurry up. The scope settles high on the center of his back.
A BOOM is heard and the view jerks up a bit in recoil, then settles back down on Helton. He is lying down, stretched out, face down, a large charred smoking spot covering a good bit of his upper back. He looks like he MUST be dead. The view swings over to the foot of the ramp where Harbin is kneeling and shooting. As the crosshairs get to him, it is clear that Harbin is aiming directly at the guard looking through the scope. Harbin’s gun jerks slightly, and there is a puff of smoke from the barrel. There is the THWAK! Of a bullet hitting flesh, and the scope and crosshairs we are looking through jerk crazily skyward.
View over Harbin’s shoulder, with a dozen or more dead guards and no moving guards spread around the open door of the building he’s facing. There is one dead guy laying over a parapet wall atop a building, next to a mounted gun. Harbin squeezes off a few rapid round through the open doorway to the building where the guards were coming from, and into the metal edges of the door to keep them under cover knowing they are being shot at.
inset: the edge of the large doorway into a building. A guard looks like he’s about to take a peek around the corner toward the airfield, and suddenly a hole appears CLANK in the sheet-metal next to him-he shrinks back from the door-frame
cut back to Harbin
He grabs his bandoleers from the ground and then sprints to the other ship where Helton has fallen. He kneels down. He takes a few more covering shots. He looks down at Helton. The big burn mark clearly goes though the coat, and reveals the shiny silver-white of the book that Helton had tucked away in the cave beneath. Smoke rises from the back of his coat, and his neck and back of his head are blackened and a bit blood-spattered. Harbin grabs Helton’s shoulder, and turns him over.
Cut to Helton’s POV as he rolls over
There is a ringing roaring but muffled combination of sounds. Everything is blurry, out of focus, and slow-motion, as he is looking up into the face of Harbin as he mouths(yelling) Come ON! We GOTTA GO! Everything goes black for a second as he closes his eyes, and opens them back up to things in slightly better focus. Helton half sits up, looking sideways at an angle. Dust puffs kick up from bullets hitting nearby.
Cut to normal view of Harbin taking a few more covering shots, then helping Helton to his feet, and helping him, stumbling, the few steps to the stairway. As Helton works his way up the stairs, Harbin drops to his knee and takes a few more aimed shots. Then he stands up, tosses a few last things through the door, and he too runs up the stairs to board the ship, pauses at the tops, empties the magazine back at the building, then ducks into the flyer.
Cut to cockpit of ship.
The layout looks much like the simulator layout he’s familiar with.
Helton looks over the controls for a moment, rubs his face, shakes his head gently to clear it a bit, nods, and gets to work with the launch sequence, visibly struggling to focus and think. He slips the electronic key into its slot, and Harbin puts the severed hand on the ID scanner again. Helton flips switches, and the sound of a spinning up drive system is heard.
Cut to exterior view of ship from a distance.
It rises smoothly, angles away, and heads toward a valley between two mesas. It sweeps up-over-and-around, and goes over a small spur and around a bend in the valley, then swoops down and lands near a cluster of people, the passengers who are awaiting them.
Cut to interior of the cargo bay of the flier
It is small, about the size of a V-22 deck – and lined with flip-down seats. Harbin stands next to the ramp, pulling on a safety harness. There is a thump and a jerk as the flier sets down. He hits a large button on the bulkhead and the rear ramp rapidly lowers to the ground. Many exclamations of “thank god” and “great to see you” and what-not is heard from the passengers as they scramble rapidly aboard.
Harbin: (Yelling) Everyone make it?
Female passenger: (happily) Yes, we’re all here!
All the passenger run up the ramp as fast as they can, and very quickly they are all aboard.
Harbin: (from the ramp door, facing inward, yelling, serious drill-sergeant voice) Everyone sit and buckle up!
He grabs a kid near himself and puts him into a seat, grabs the straps, buckles him in with practiced speed and efficiency, and looks up the cargo hold to see everyone else is doing the same.
Harbin: (Yelling up the cargo bay towards the cockpit) LIFT OFF! GO-GO-GO!
He slaps the hatch button, but the ramp only closes half-way as the flier starts to rise. There is a spurt of hydraulic oil out from near the ramp lift pistons. One of the lines has a bullet hole in it.
Ext – day – landing field
One of the slavers carrying a light machine gun with a long belt of ammo jumps into the remaining flier, a small open-topped two-man job with four ducted fans. He drops the gun into the pintle mount on the front right corner of the cockpit, grabs the controls, hits a button, and takes off after Helton.
INT-day-inside flier cargo bay
Harbin, now with a safety line clipped to a safety harness on him, is checking the buckles on people in the fold-down seats on the cargo deck wall. Next to them, another passenger is pouring a cup of water from the 20 L can they had tossed aboard. There is a loud roaring of air rushing past an open door, and everyones hair is blowing a bit. Suddenly there is a metallic CLANK and the water can sprouts two holes, one facing the open ramp and one on the opposite side. Harbin jerks his head around to look out the back door.
Cut to Harbin POV
Looking out the back door, then zooming in on the small quad-rotor that is now just a little way behind them, with its pilot aiming at them with the mounted machine gun.
Cut to view from front of cargo bay looking out the back hatch.
Passengers line the wall, buckled in, holding various items like the duffles, ammo bandoleers, or water can. Harbin dives for his rifle, comes up firing at the quadrotor as it dodges and jerks around behind the swooping and dodging ship. Harbin strugles to keep his feet. A series of holes appears in the loading ramp. Sparks of bullets bouncing off interior points glint around the cargo hold.
INSET: a bullet passes through Harbin’s leg as he stands there, blood leaking out of the entrance wound side, a small spray of gore out the exit wound – not hitting bone, but obviously not fun.
Harbin fires, fires, fires again, but the combination of Helton’s evasive flying and erratic quadrotor motion is hard even for him. He drops the magazine, inserts another one smoothly, switches to full auto, and hoses down the general area of the quad-rotor, brass flying.
Cut to cockpit
Helton turns the control yoke this way, then that, as the canyon walls flash by though windows and screens. He flips a switch, adjusts a large lever forward. He grits his teeth and, seeing a sheer wall ahead, he pulls back hard on the yoke.
Cut to over-the-shoulder POV of quadrotor pilot.
One hand is on the belt-fed pintle-mounted light machine gun, the other on the control yoke. As he flies erratically back and forth, he fires bursts of fire at the ship, sometimes hitting it, sometimes shooting wide. They swoop through a series of tight turns with steep canyon walls on each side. A bullet fired by Harbin breaks his windscreen, making him swerve. He fires back. Another swooping curve. Another round tears a small hole in the front of his quadrotor. He shoots again. Suddenly a bunch of tracer-fire can be seen coming out of the back of the flier as Harbin fires on full auto. The quad swerves wildly to avoid it. Then it stops, and the quad swoops back to fire another burst at the flier. Suddenly, the flier pulls straight back and up, revealing a sheer rock wall that was in front of it.
Cut to view of Harbin
He drops the magazine, inserts another one, shoulders the rifle again, and suddenly the view outside the back loading door changes sharply as Helton stands the flier on its tail and goes straight up. Shift to slow-mo, as Harbin lurches forward and pitches through the half open ramp door, getting a clear and close shot at the quad. As he falls through the air he points and a burst of full auto tracers finally rip through one rotor motor (which explodes) and the pilot on the quad.
Cut back to quad pilot over-the-shoulder POV, slo-motion
Helton’s flier goes straight up, Harbin drops out trailing his safety line on his harness, he fires a long burst, the quad engine explodes, the pilot gets hit hard as a couple of round rip through him, the quadrotor is heading straight for where Harbin falls though the air, and then Harbin gets brought up hard and short on his safety line and gets jerked up and out of the view, and out of the way of the oncoming quadrotor, like a high-speed yo-yo getting reeled in back in. The quad flies straight on into the rock wall and explodes
Fade to white