>> / War of the Worlds

/ War of the Worlds ( 2)

: / War of the Worlds.

/ War of the Worlds

EXT. ALLEY--GREENSBORO--DAY

ZOOM IN: The Dumpster top opens slightly, revealing Claytons eyes, looking around. Sarahs voice comes from inside.

SARAH (O.S.)
Are they gone?

He doesnt answer, climbing out, stumbles. Looking around cautiously, he sees that there appear to be no tripods around, just a grisly, cemetery-like atmosphere.

Turning around, he reaches into the dumpster to take Sarah out.

CLAYTON
Come on, sweetie. Be careful.

Stumbling, he pulls her out. Grasping hands, both walk down the alley, towards the street. As they walk, we see that the red weed has grown erraticaly all ovet the side of the buildings and streets, and even over the fallen bodies, pulsating wildly.

Sarah gaspsm at a fallen, mangled body that almost appears to being fed off by the red weed. Clayton covers her eyes.

CLAYTON
Dont look, dont look.

She grabs his side.

EXT. MAIN STREET--GREENSBORO--DAY

They hug the walls as Clayton looks out over the carnage.

CLAYTON
Jesus...

Sarah looks up at him.

SARAH
(whisper)
Where is everybody?

Clayton looks down at a fallen soldier, instinctively, he kneels down and hastilly searches the body. Sarah looks on in horror.

SARAH
What are you doing?
(scream)
What are doing?

Clayton spins, his face angry.

CLAYTON
Shut up!

She does.

Clayton continues to search the body until he finds a utlity belt with a taser. He rips it from his holster and slips it into his pocket. He then continues until he finds a pistol, cocking it, shells fall to the ground. He slips another clip from the utility belt into the holster.

CRASH!

Behind them, a sound of something moving beyond the shattered window of a damaged store.

SARAH
Ahh!

Clayton spins and threateningly aims the pistol at the store, his hands shaking, his breath heavy.

SLOW ZOOM IN: The movement within the store increases, before Collins, his face blackened with ash, pushes through debris into the open. He looks at Clayton.

COLLINS
Save it for them.

Clayton slowly retracts the pistol while Collins walks towards them, looking around and occasionally looking over the bodies of the fallen for useful items. He speaks as he examines.

COLLINS
(preoc)
Damn things, we werent ready. We werent ready.

He leans down towards a soldiers uniform covered with the white ash that was once a human being, gently wipes the dust off the nametag to reveal MORRIS.

BY CLAYTON. He finds the camcorder the tourist was using before. Carefully, he wipes dust from the LCD screen and presses REWIND, then PLAY, to show a shaky video P.O.V. of someone running from the chaos of the Martian-tripods before finally, and quickly, falling to the ground. In the b.g. of the video, we see the tripods step over many people and destroy more buildings, before finally cutting out. Clayton drops the camera and gulps.

Collins gets up, beats between his words.

COLLINS
(preoc)
They told us, coming down here, that we might have to do some fighting, all of our new stuff was down, so we had to resort to old hummers and things, nothing with computers.
(beat)
We werent ready, using twenty-year old weapons against those damn things, didnt even scratch em.

He stands near Clayton, facing him.

COLLINS
And you know what pisses me off the most?

Clayton shakes his head. Collins smiles, devilishly.

COLLINS
About a month ago they tracked this thing coming off Mars, like a, like a solar flare.

CLAYTON
Those come off the sun.

Collins smiles again.

COLLINS
Not this one. It landed in a forest by Santa Clara. Napalm, artilley, rocket, nothing.
(beat)
They knew these damn things were indestructible the moment they got here, but they sent us anyway.

Collins suddenly sees something in the distance, he looks over Claytons shoulder. All turn to see a Hummer vehicle, covered in dust and the red weed, but still basically intact.

COLLINS
Hallehluea.

Collins takes off, power-walking towards the hummer, followed closely by Clayton and Sarah, tip toeing over bodies and debris.

CLAYTON
So how do you know all this?

COLLINS
Im on the inside, man, military police. They dont tell us anything until its too late, unfortunately.

Sarah stops in her tracks as Clayton and Collins continue towards the Hummer. She looks curiously at the ground at her feet and kneels down and moves some of the red weed around to reveal a small girls t-shirt, nearly identical to the one shes wearing. She picks it up, letting flakes of dust fall to the ground. She pants and drops the t-shirt, then runs to catch up.

Upon reaching the hummer, Clayton and Sarah stand back as Collins forces the door open, ripping off some of the red weed.

NEAR CLAYTON, in the b.g., Collins searches the inside of the Hummer. From inside the Hummer.

COLLINS
Where are those god-damned keys?

Clayton leans down, a few feet from the Hummer is a dust-covered uniform. He searches it until he finally produces a set of keys. Sarah screams, Clayton freezes.

SARAH
Ahhh!

WIDE SHOT: Collins is holding a pistol to Claytons head. The mood becomes eerily silent.

Collins stands his ground.

COLLINS
(nervously)
Im going to need those keys, Forrester.

Clayton hesitates, panting.

COLLINS
Now!

CLAYTON
Okay, okay...

He stands up, slowly.

COLLINS
Drop em, put them on the ground.

Clayton drops the keys to the ground, hiding them among the red weed. Collins, never taking his pistol off Claytons head, and reaches into the weed for the keys, he grabs them.

Sarah SNEEZES.

Collins panickly aims the pistol at her, causing her to scream. Clayton turns, as Collins points the pistol back at him.

CLAYTON
(nervously)
Why are you doing this? Why cant you take us with you.

Collins backs up into the Hummer and starts it, never taking the pistol off Clayton.

COLLINS
Were beat, and when all you can do is run, youre better off alone.

The door closes, and the hummer takes off down the road into the forest.

WIDE SHOT: Clayton and Sarah stand alone amidst the debris, clutching each other tightly. We hear Claytons voice.

CLAYTON
Were going to be alright.
(quieter)
Were going to be alright.

SARAH
Daddy?

CLAYTON
Yeah, sweetheart?

SARAH
I dont feel good.

Suddenly, a crackle of thunder, as rain starts to fall from the sky. Clayton, remembering something, pulls the pistol that he had gotten earlier from his pocket and throws it to the ground.

A long beat, Clayton and Sarah stand.

CUT TO:

EXT. FOREST ROAD--RAINING--NIGHT

Clayton and Sarah walk along the side of the road, he is holding her, tightly, comforting her. We see everything, hear nothing, silence. Behind them, we see a light grow larger, as a string of military vehicles approach.

Clayton stops and waves them off, the convoy stops, a window rolls down, as a man dressed in military attire and helmet shouts over the pouring rain, which has become audible.

MILITARY MAN
(yelling)
Are you in need of assistance, sir?

INT. MILITARY JEEP--FOREST ROAD--RAINING--NIGHT

Silence.

Clayton sits next to a few military folk and other various refugees, a towel around him and his daughter, lays sleeping. His face is distant and unsure, but for a brief second, we see a smile.

The driver turns around and shouts over the rain, which becomes audible.

DRIVER
About an hour, everybody. Keep your heads up.

Suddenly, people start to look out the windows (which are really just gaps in the tarp) at one side of the road, Clayton looks, too.

P.O.V. CLAYTON: We see a wrecked hummer vehicle lying on the side of the road, upside down, the fire on its bottom fighting to survive against the rain.

The car stops, people start chattering, mindlessly, quietly.

Clayton looks outside again.

P.O.V. CLAYTON: Military police rush outside and explore the wrecked vehicle, they pull out Collins body, partly burned, dead. After a bit of examination, they slip him into a body bag and pull him to one of the other vehicles in the convoy.

The cars start to move again. Clayton, eyes wide, looks to the driver.

CLAYTON
(to front)
Hey!

No one responds.

CLAYTON
Hey!

Nothing.

Clayton looks around, slightly panicked, he lays Sarah down on the seat and pushes his way through the confined space full of people until he reaches the front. He taps on the drivers soldier.

DRIVER
(preoc)
Sir, Im going to have to ask you to sit down.

Clayton, panicked.

CLAYTON
You dont understand, we cant keep going this way, were heading straight for them!

DRIVER
Sir, please...

CLAYTON
That car back there wasnt on its way to Greensboro it was on its way out of it!

The driver starts to argue, but a military policeman sitting in the passenger seat cuts in.

MP
Sir, if you do not go back and sit down, I will ask you to leave this truck.

There is a long beat, Clayton just stares at him, befuddled.

CLAYTON
(quietly)
Okay.

Clayton sinks back into the crowd and finds Sarah, sitting up, awake, drinking something from a cup. A woman, sporting a backpack Sylvia, sits next to her, comfortinh her.

Clayton stops and stares, Sarah points to him.

SARAH
There he is.

Sylvia looks up at Clayton.

SYLVIA
Are you her father?

Beat.

CLAYTON
Yes.

Sylvia feels Sarahs head, then slips a first-aid kit into her backpack.

SYLVIA
Im Sylvia Gardocki, I was a nurse in Greensboro, before, you know.

Her voice, and eyes, taper off. Clayton remains silent.

SYLVIA
Youre daughter has a touch of the flu, I gave her some theraflu, which should help a little. Being out in the rain didnt help much, either.

Beat.

SYLVIA
Anyway, I think it was by the grace of god you got picked up, because she needs rest, lots of it.

Clayton snaps from his trance and starts to wrap a towel around Sarah.

CLAYTON
Well thats too bad, because were leaving.

SYLVIA
(surprised)
What?!

Clayton looks back towards the driver.

CLAYTON
Stop the car!

Everyone looks towards him, quiet, curious chatter erupts.

DRIVER
(looking back)
Excuse me?

SARAH
Daddy...

Her voice is drowned out by everything else going on.

SYLVIA
You cannot take her out in that storm, you could kill her!

Clayton finishes wrapping the towel around Sarah and looks up at Sylvia. He speaks so only one person can hear him.

CLAYTON
(quietly)
This convoy is heading right along the paths of the machines.

SYLVIA
How could you possibly know that?

CLAYTON
Trust me, I know. If we keep going, were going to run right into them, as a matter of fact, I bet theyre waiting for us.

SYLVIA
This is insane.

Beat.

Clayton just stares her down. He grabs Sarahs hand, looks at Sylvia.

CLAYTON
Im planning on living as long as I can.

He leaves Sarah and moves up towards the front again, he looks at the driver.

CLAYTON
Stop the truck.

DRIVER
(concerned)
What? Why?

CLAYTON
Were getting off.

DRIVER
We?

Sarah appears, grasps Claytons hand.

SARAH
I dont want to go, daddy.

Both the drivers, and the passengers eyes light up with concern.

MP
Oh, no, Im not letting you take her out in this storm.

CLAYTON
Then turn the car around.

DRIVER
Thats not going to happen, either. Now sit back, relax, and chill, were almost to the docks.

Long beat.

Clayton stares, hesitates. Sarah tugs on his arm, people in the back look on with curiosity. He and Sarah both begin to sink back into the crowd.

DRIVER
(to Clayton)
Thats right, just calm down, sir.

Back at their seats, Clayton sits down next to Sylvia.

SYLVIA
Youre not leaving...?

Clayton looks to her, his voice quiet.

CLAYTON
No.

Sarah is beginning to fall asleep on Claytons side.

FOCUS ON: Clayton squeezes Sarahs hand, tightly.

A beat. Sylvia sits, relaxed, much calmer than Clayton, who seems to be in a trance. He speaks, his voice low, eerie, accompanied by a strange, quiet chuckle.

CLAYTON
You know, I never thought Id live to see the end of the world.

Beat.

Sylvia stares at him.

CLAYTON
But then again, its not really the end of the world, is it?

Another beat.

CLAYTON
Its just the end of us.

As if on que, the dim lights go out and the car stops, chatter erupts, much louder than usual. The driver bangs on the steering wheel.

DRIVER
Come on! What the hell is wrong with this thing?!

While everyone else looks around in a panic, Sylvia and Clayton look directly at each other.

CLAYTON
Told you.

The military policeman in the passenger seat gets out. Clayton looks through the window.

P.O.V. CLAYTON: Through the window, the MP talks to other MPs, apparently, the entire convoy has stopped working.

The passenger comes back onto the truck and announces.

MP
Alright, folks, looks like were walking.

People start to (hesitantly) file out.

EXT. FOREST ROAD--RAINING--NIGHT

Refugees walk along the road, chattering, covering their heads from the rain with whatever they can. Eventually, they reach an opening, the edge of the forest, to reveal a town, with several other people, hundreds of them, refugees, all heading towards what appear to be three enomrous ferry boats, all lined up on some docks at the edge of the town, loading up with people.

EXT. DOCK TOWN--NOT RAINING--NIGHT

The rain has subsided.

People walk along as gentle christmas music plays in the background, the entire place seems to be overrun by the military, who direct people to and fro, much like at Greensboro.

There are signs posted everywhere, missing signs, with pictures of people and phone numbers written upon them. There is even one of a missing cat.

Sylvia, Clayton, and Sarah walk side-by-side-by-side. We can hear people talking, we pick up on a man talking to someone else.

MAN
I heard cars and things were just shutting down at random, could happen anywhere, has something to do with electrical interferences or something.

Clayton looks over to hear another man talking.

MAN #2
Theyre taking people up in the ships, probably probing them or something.

INT./EXT. BRIDGE--FERRY--NIGHT

The captain of one of the ferries looks out at the crowd of people, then at the boat, which is filled to full capacity. He picks up a microphone.

CAPTAIN
(into mic)
Johnny, how many can you fit?

A response.

JOHNNY
(filtered)
None.

The captain speaks again.

CAPTAIN
(into mic)
Vasquez, how many?

VASQUEZ
(filtered)
Too many.

He hangs up the microphone and sighs. Picking up a megaphone, he stands out on a platform overlooking the docks.

CAPTAIN
(loud over megaphone)
Excuse me, everybody.

Everybody stops their chatter, looks up at him.

CAPTAIN
(loud over megaphone)
We are filled to capacity and will be departing within a few minutes. We will return in approximately on hour, so please, your patience is appreciated, thank you.

We can instantly hear people in the crowd start to complain. The captain goes over to several controls, near several other technicians, and pulls some levers.

EXT. DOCKS--TOWN--NIGHT

The three ferries slowly start to pull away from the docks.

Suddenly, we hear something. Everyone looks around, the mood is quiet, all we hear is a strange, humming sound, which seems to be growing louder.

BY CLAYTON.

SYLVIA
Whats going on?

Suddenly, something flies out from over the trees in the distance, and whatever it is, its on fire. Chatter erupts once more as we see that it is a small biplane, falling from the sky like a meteor, completely ablaze.

People scramble about as the plane swoops down and crashes into the water below. The mood silences as the plane sinks, releasing bolts of steam and a sizzling sound.

Eventually, it dips below the surface and into oblivion. People look on, curious, and then, we hear it...

BOOM!

The sound thunders through the trees, scaring off birds, and then, from out of the trees, emerges a giant Martian-tripod. Now the chaos begins, as people start to run for the ferries.

INT. BRIDGE--FERRY--NIGHT

The captain sees the Martian-tripod in the distance, looking over the people below like an exterminator looks at a roach infestation.

He points aggressively to his crew.

CAPTAIN
Full power, go!

EXT. TOWN DOCKS--NIGHT

BY CLAYTON.

CLAYTON
Come on!

He grabs Sarah and breaks off into a run, his free hand grasping Sylvias. Sylvia looks back at the massive tripod, it is the first ime shes seen them, as evidenced by her eyes.

The three maneuver through the crowd towards the fleeing ferries.

ZOOM UP: Another tripod emerges next to the other one, it too begins scanning the crowd. Finally, the snake-like tentacles emerge from the head.

Everybody stops at the sound of a loud droning, and looks up at the monsters.

A long, tense beat.

ZAP!

The now familiar sound of electrical zapping fills our ears as the two Martian-tripods have a hay-day firing up people below, watching them sizzle.

Sarah screams, as do many other people randomly.

Clayton, Sarah, and Sylvia reach the crowd on the actual docks and start running along, chasing one of the ferries as it prepares to leave the slip. Clayton leaves Sylvias hand for a moment, forcing her off screen. He waves wildly as the people on the ferry just watch the chaos in disbelief.

CLAYTON
Hey! Hey! Stop the boat, let us on! Hey!

He turns back to Sylvia to see...

Her clothes lay on the wood of the dock, covered in white powder, signaling death. Clayton stands for a minute, Sarah looks around, panicked as people push by, oblivious to her and her fathers very existence.

SARAH
Daddy!

Clayton snaps out of it and starts running, when suddenly, the docks directly behind him erupt in an explosion of wood, as a third Martian-tripod rises from the depths, smashing through the dock, pushing several people into the water.

The docks separate, and begin to sink, Clayton, along with many other people, are trapped on a quickly-sinking raft of wooden dock.

The third tripod takes to zapping and grabbing people just as its two brothers are. Then, in an instant, all three tripods point to different ferries and ZAP away, incinerating people and setting fire to the decks. They, too, quickly begin to sink.

Suddenly, a few scared people push by Clayton, knocking him and Sarah into the water.

EXT. UNDER WATER--NIGHT

Under water, Clayton struggles with a squirming Sarah, as we can see the entire length of the third, submerged tripod. Metal tentacles reach down into the water and grab people, while lasers rip through, zapping others. Somehow, Clayton and Sarah manage to surface.

EXT. RIVER--NIGHT

Clayton grabs a piece of floating wood, Sarah grabs it, as well. Clayton speaks, spitting out water as he does.

CLAYTON
Kick, honey, I need you to kick.

She is tired, and befuddled, but kicks. Both start kicking towards the opposite shore of the river. Suddenly, from behind them, the submerged Martian-tripod releases a tentacle, heading straight for them. It almost reaches them, when the plane that sank earlier re-emerges in a shower of bubbles, intersecting the tentacles path.

The tentacle, confused, backs off and grabs a flailing person nearby. The plane sinks once again, as it was just releasing an air bubble.

EXT. OPPOSITE SHORE--NIGHT

Clayton, Sarah, and a handful of others wash up on the muddy shore, a few hundred yards from the chaotic massacre across the river. We can clearly see it in the b.g.

Clayton rolls over, breathing heavily, exhausted, and then, leans, to see that Sarah isnt breathing at all. His eyes show both anxiety and fear.

CLAYTON
Sarah? Sarah?!

People gather around as he gets on his knees.

He looks around at the small, gathering crowd, his eyes teary.

CLAYTON
(tired)
CP-does anyone know CP-...CPR!

No one says a word.

CLAYTON
No, god!

Instinctively, he breathes into her mouth and pumps on her chest.

CLAYTON
Come on! Come on!

She doesnt come to. Trying again, more panicked, more anxious, finally, she chokes up water, coughing, crying. Clayton, teary-eyed, embraces her.

CLAYTON
(panting)
Thats it, baby, thats it. Come back...come back.

PAN UP: People, only a few survivors, have encircled Clayton and Sarah, while in the distance, we have an eerily beautiful view of the Martian-tripods destroying the docks, the people, and the sinking, ablaze ferry boats.

CUT TO:

EXT. COUNTRYSIDE--DAY

It is a brisk, mountainous country side, the next day, with farmhouses scattered about. A group of refugees, including Clayton and Sarah, walk, tattered and beat, along a dirt road.

Clayton stops, letting other refugees pass. He is looking at something in the distance.

P.O.V. CLAYTON: In the distance, there is a family hastily leaving a farmhouse, with packed clothes and such. They hop in a station wagon and it takes off down the road.

On the road, people shout out at the vehicles presence, and many take to chasing it.

Clayton, on the other hand, looks at the now abandoned house.

CLAYTON
(to Sarah)
Come on.

They move quickly towards the house, Clayton looks round to make sure nobody is watching him enter.

INT. FARM HOUSE--DAY

Clayton enters, turns to Sarah.

CLAYTON
Close the door...lock it.

Sarah does.

Clayton, looking around.

CLAYTON
Nice place.

It is very country-ish, with a cow skin on the wall and Texan-like tidbits about. The living room is the first room, with a couch and a television set. Clayton immediately turns for the remote and turns the television on, only to reveal and completely silent WE APOLOGIZE FOR TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES screen.

SARAH
I have to go to the bathroom.

CLAYTON
(preoc)
Yeah, try upstairs. Somewhere, I dont know.

Sarah takes off upstairs. Clayton flips off the television and enters the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN--FARMHOUSE--DAY

It is a mess, it seems as if things were prepared in a hurry. Clayton moves over to the refrigerator and opens it. He smiles and pulls out a beer.

CLAYTON
(quietly)
Oh, thank god.

He opens and takes a few swigs, then moves over and starts going through drawers. Eventually, he reaches a drawer with several types of steak knives and butcher knives. He picks up and examines a large butcher knife, his reflection shows clear and true.

Suddenly, his face lights up, he drops the knife on the counter and feels around his back, and pulls out the pistol from earlier, from Greensboro.

He holds it upside down and watches as water pours out of it. Leaving it to dry on the counter, he leaves the room.

INT. LIVING ROOM--DAY

Clayton sits down on the couch and lies back, sore and tired. We hear water running in the background from a toilet flush, and Sarah comes walking downstairs. She stops in the middle, looks at Clayton.

SARAH
I threw up.

Sighing, Clayton gets up.

INT. KITCHEN--DAY

Clayton looks through drawers, Sarah watches from the background.

CLAYTON
(preoc)
Lets see, what do we have...

He produces a packet of TheraFlu powdered drink mix.

CLAYTON
Here, TheraFlu.

SARAH
That stuff tastes nasty.

Clayton turns, stares, then sighs.

CLAYTON
Okay.

He throws the packet over his shoulder, it lands randomly, somewhere in the b.g. Continues looking through drawers. Finally, waves his hands off.

CLAYTON
Well, looks like youre staying sick then.

Beat.

SARAH
I feel a little better now anyway.

Turns, looks at her, smiles.

EXT. COUNTRYSIDE--DUSK

The sun is setting, the abandoned house Clayton and Sarah are hiding in is still, unnoticed by the passing refugees.

INT. LIVING ROOM--ABANDONED HOUSE--NIGHT

Clayton lays asleep on the couch, Sarah is curled up asleep on a loveseat. Their faces are being lit up by the TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES screen on the television.

FOCUS ON:

Clayton is grasping a flashlight.

All appears to be calm, when...

A horse statue mounted atop the television falls to the ground. Claytons eyes open, as now, it becomes obvious that everything in the house, the house itself, is vibrating.

The lights go out.

SARAH
Daddy!

CLAYTON
Hold on!

He runs over to the door and opens it, stands back at the view.

REVERSE WIDE SHOT: Through the door, we can see that the sky seems to be on fire. Meteors, enormous and glowing, are falling to the Earth like a meteor shower, one in particular lands on a crowd of people in the distance. Then, we can see people being vaporized, as the Martian tripods come into view.

Clayton slams the door shut and locks the deadbolt, a look of anxiety on his face.

INT. KITCHEN--NIGHT

He runs to the kitchen and grabs a loaf of bread and some bottled water from the refrigerator. Exits.

INT. LIVING ROOM--NIGHT

SARAH
Whats happening?!

CLAYTON
Come on!

He grabs her hand.

SARAH
Where are we going?!

CUT TO:

INT. STORM CELLAR--NIGHT

CLAYTON
Get in, get in!

The door opens and Clayton and Sarah fly in. Inside, we see that the cellar is about mid-sized, with shelves of clutter and cardboard boxes lying about.

CLAYTON
(to Sarah)
Get down!

Sarah runs and hides behind some boxes. Clayton shuts the door to the cellar and locks it. Clayton runs and hides with Sarah, the camera stays on the door.

Behind it, we can see an orange glow through the cracks, fire, and the sound of people screaming, including the sounds of thunderous footsteps of the Martian-tripods and the zapping of the lasers.

Slowly FADE TO BLACK.

FADE IN:

It is morning, we can see that the edges of the door have been charred and burnt. Outside, silence, only the gray of the sky seeps in through the burnt cracks.

We can hear heavy breathing in the f.g., as Clayton comes into the screen. Clayton feels the door knob, we hear a sizzle, and he quickly retracts his hand, with a slight yelp of pain.

He turns to Sarah, who sits huddled behind some boxes.

CLAYTON
(quietly)
Im going to go look around, dont move, dont speak, dont do anything, until I come back. Do you understand me?

She nods hesitantly. Clayton turns.

SARAH
Daddy?

Clayton turns back to her.

SARAH
What if you dont come back?

Long beat.

He doesnt answer.

INT. LIVING ROOM--DAY

Clayton walks out into the open and quietly shuts the door to the cellar behind him. Takes in the setting; everything is burnt, mangled, destroyed. The couch is knocked over and charred, and shattered wood lays everywhere. We can hear something in the background, a constant, non-stop sound, like a pistons in a factory. Above, the roof has been torn apart, exposing a strangely-reddish sky.

Clayton moves over debris slowly until he reaches the door to the house, which busted ajar, but not completely open. Slowly, he pushes against it, and steps out a bit.

EXT. COUNTRYSIDE--DAY

The first thing we notice, is that a deep red, almost orange, tint has blanketed the entire region. The red weed is dominant, everywhere, and pulsating wildly. It almost looks like Mars.

CLAYTON
(to self)
They brought Mars with them.

Far off in the distance, we can see Martian-tripods scanning the landscape, spewing out clouds of black smoke.

CRASH!

From an enormous mechanical leg steps over the house, nipping the rooftop, throwing debris. Clayton hides behind the door and sticks his head out to watch as a titanic handling-machine steps completely over the house and out into the open.

Unlike the Martian-tripods, it has four legs, all connected to a central part. One of the more dominant features are two large, glass containers on the central part, each filled with a sloshing red liquid. The handling-machine squats low to the ground, and then, two mechanical tentacles shoot out and lift up a truck nearby.

Under the flipped truck is a screaming woman.

Like an attacking snake, the tentacles grab her and pull her directly under the central part. She screams wildly, but to no avail. In a few instances, a metal cylinder descends from the central part and encapsulates the woman, then, we hear a final scream as she is sucked up into it. We hear a strange grinding-like sound echoing from the cylinder, and the red liquid in the glass containers fills up a little and sloshes a bit.

The liquid is blood. The handling machine collects human remains.

FOCUS ON:

Clayton covers his mouth in disgust and breathes heavily, but silently, from his hiding place behind the door.

The handling-machine extends upward once again and starts off into the distance.

We see the door of the house slowly close shut.

INT. LIVING ROOM--DAY

Clayton lays his back against the door and pants.

SQUEAK!

The tension rises, as a series of squeaking sounds usher from the ceiling. Clayton covers his mouth to stay quiet, because someone, or something, is walking around upstairs.

It sounds like two sets of footsteps, maybe three, but they seem to be moving about rapidly for a moment, then stopping briefly...searching!

Clayton follows the sounds with his eyes as they move towards the stairs. He quickly runs and gets directly next to the stairs, so whatevers coming down cant see him unless they intentionally look down.

His heart thumps wildly, sweat drips from his face, as he looks up.

P.O.V. CLAYTON: Looking up from Claytons huddled position, we see a hideous blue hand, with three long fingers, each with a suction cup at the tip, grasps the burnt railing. It feels around a bit, then retracts.

WITH CLAYTON. We cannot see the creatures, but we can see their shadows moving along the opposite wall, all Clayton can clearly see. We hear them, there are two of them, making faint grunts as communication. The Martians move directly for the kitchen, as indicted by the shadows.

FOCUS ON: Claytons eyes shift in their direction.

Hugging the wall, he crawls along the stairs until he reaches the end, but keeps low to stay hidden. His eyes close tightly as he collects his bearings, then slowly, ever slowly, peeks his head around the corner, into the kitchen.

P.O.V. CLAYTON: We cannot see the Martians, but can hear them, moving about and searching. Debris flies everywhere as the Martians dig through drawers and such, all totally unseen by Clayton. Then, a strange leg and foot, steps into view, its foot looks much like the hand, while the leg is long, and skinny.

Clayton immediately retracts his head and hugs the wall desperately. He watches as the shadows move towards the door to the cellar. We can hear the door knob turn, and the door open.

Claytons face shows expressions of panic and terror. As the shadows descend into the cellar, Clayton, hesitantly, stands up. He looks towards the kitchen.

P.O.V. CLAYTON: On the floor is a knife block, half-empty, but also half-full, of steak knives, butter knives, and a butcher knife.

INT. CELLAR--DAY

Sarah lays behind a box, asleep, unaware of anything going on. Her face is pale and she is breathing heavily, sweat drips from her in rivers.

PAN UP: In the b.g., we see the dark silhouettes of the two Martians. From what we can see, they are just heads, plain and simple. Heads mounted upon three flexible legs, that also serve as hands. Now we know where they got the designs for the Martian-tripods from. But we still cannot see them entirely, just dark, hazy silhouettes.

Both enter the room, grunting at each other. They feel the walls with their sucker-like hands/feet and move deeper inside. They start going through boxes and other things, then throwing items about as useless junk.

FOCUS ON: Sarahs eyes open slowly.

She lifts her head above the box line, upon seeing the shadowy figures, she dips herself back behind them, scared to death, her breaths heavy, her eyes wide.

Suddenly, everything goes silent.

We see the shadows overtake Sarah as she starts crying quietly, he eyes look up. A blue, three-fingered hand slowly descends and feels around the floor in her proximity. All we see are the shadows on the opposite wall. The mood; tense.

Then, something else. Another shadow joins the two Martians. We hear various grunts and moans, as we see the stabbing motion of a knife with the shadows. Sarah closes her eyes tightly.

Eventually, the struggle stops.

PAN UP: Sarah lifts her head above the boxes to see Clayton, standing like the lone ranger above the dead bodies of the two Martians, like the lone ranger. A knife gripped in his hand, dirt and sweat covering him, his breathing heavy, his eyes deep.

SARAH
(very quietly)
Daddy...

Clayton drops the knife and runs over to embrace his daughter.

INT. LIVING ROOM--DAY

Clayton and Sarah emerge from the cellar. The mechanical, factory-like sounds from outside still radiate from outside. Sarah drifts towards a shattered window, Clayton, panicked, grabs her.

CLAYTON
No, no, Sarah, stay away from the windows, keep inside, keep tight, out of view.

Grasps her hand tightly. It is growing dark.

INT. KITCHEN--DUSK

Walking around, Clayton grabs a few unhurt canned foods. Sarah finds some undamaged bottles of water in a nearby pantry.

CLAYTON
(to Sarah)
Hold on to those, honey.

Clayton creeps near a window hanging over the kitchen sink, he pulls back the tattered curtains revealing a paralyzing view: the red weed is glowing all over the landscape, an eerie, red glow. Earth truly is beginning to look like Mars. A strange red fog billows in the atmosphere as suddenly, we hear...

BOOM!

Over a hill in the distance, we see a Martian-tripod slowly approaching.

Clayton lets the curtains slip back into place as the walls vibrate loosely. Quickly, he drops the food and power-walks over to Sarah, grabbing her by the arm and virtually yanking her out of the kitchen. She yelps slightly, but the sound is swallowed up by the thunderous beats of the approaching tripod.

INT. LIVING ROOM--DUSK

They walk quickly to the basement door, when suddenly an enormous JOLT fills the screen and our ears, as Sarah and Clayton both fall forward onto their stomachs, writhing in pain.

An, as if on queue, everything stops. The factory-like sounds, the tripods footsteps, the violent trembling of the walls, even the last ounces of daylight trickling in from outside, all come to an abrupt end.

Silence hangs eerily in the air. Clayton rolls over and sits up, breathing heavily. Sarah whimpers. Clayton caresses and embraces her.

NIGHT.

Suddenly, a light shines down from above, like a heavenly spotlight, apparently shining through the gaping hole in the roof.

SARAH
(panicked)
Whats that?!

CLAYTON
(aggressively)
Sshh!

Clayton covers her mouth as both crouch towards the overturned couch and hide behind it. Both peek their heads over the top, focusing with both fear and curiosity at the strange spotlight.

Suddenly, a we hear an inhuman hissing sound, almost mechanical, as we finally see the Martian snake-probe come into view. It is long, seemingly endless, with a mechanical glass eye at the end, alien-floodlights on either side of the eye light its way.

It is a searcher, checking the place out.

The snake-probe slithers down from the spotlight and looks first into the kitchen, then swings around into the living room.

CLOSE SHOT: Light from the snake-probe floods over the couch as Clayton and Sarah huddle behind it, a look of fear in their eyes.

Back with the probe, it heads for the kitchen, curiously, looking back and forth.

Back with Clayton, we see the snake-probe looking around the kitchen in the b.g. Clayton is looking around, panicky, while Sarah just stares into the distance, petrified, like the look of someone whos given up.

Clayton waves his hand in front of her face, her eyes remain wide, her breath still.

CLAYTON
(quietly)
Sarah, Sarah!

He touches her cheek, her eyes close.

CLAYTON
(quietly)
Sarah, listen to me, listen to me. Weve come too far, too far to give up now. Keep going, keep going.

She looks at him...

SARAH
(quiet)
Daddy...

Her eyes point to something behind him. He turns, to see that the snake-probe is moving slowly towards the open door to the cellar. Claytons eyes widen as he remembers the dead Martians in the cellar.

CLAYTON
(to self)
Shit.

He looks around, panicked, as the snake-probe moves at a faster pace towards the open cellar door. Shuffling around on the ground, Clayton finds a piece of debris and hurtles it to the ceiling on the opposite side of the room.

Noticing this, the snake-probe takes off in the debris direction. Clayton grabs Sarahs arm and crouches around the couch, the probe examines the area Clayton and Sarah were once huddled, and looks around.

By the cellar door, Clayton grabs Sarah, lifts her up, and then, very carefully, steps over the mechanical body of the snake-probe. Without warning, the probe maneuvers, forcing Clayton to lean against the wall as tightly as possible.

The metal surface of the probe comes within an inch of touching him. He sucks in his gut and stands up straighter on his toes, until finally, the probe retracts. Clayton breathes a sigh of relief and relaxes.

Then, taking advantage of the probe exploring the other end of the living room, he slowly reaches his free hand for the cellar door. He flexes his muscles and grabs the doorknob, then, slowly, pulls the door shut.

Suddenly, the burnt hinges on the cellar door snap, and the door breaks from its frame and falls, in charred pieces, to the ground. Everything happens in an instant; the probe whips its head around as Clayton and Sarah dart for the kitchen.

The probe turns a corner, completely missing the cellar door and takes off for the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN--NIGHT

The probe stops abruptly, examining the kitchen.

P.O.V. PROBE: we see the floodlight beams illuminating parts of the kitchen. The screen moves back and forth, seeing nothing but emptiness.

Although it is difficult to visualize, the probe seems to display a type of confusion. It looks back and forth again, and then starts to retract itself back into the living room.

INT. LIVING ROOM--NIGHT

The probe turns itself around and heads for the entrance to the cellar. It enters, its snake-like mechanical body extending into the cellar. In the b.g., we see Claytons arm reach out from behind a cabinet door (he and Sarah are hiding in one of the cabinets) with a pan. He throws the pan across the room, causing a loud metal clank, his hand immediately retracts.

Hearing the sound, the probe quickly retracts from the cellar and zips into the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN--NIGHT

The probe looks around again, but this time, spotting something.

FOCUS ON: The cabinet door behind which Clayton and Sarah hide is slightly ajar.

The probe moves closer, closer, even closer, peering at the open cabinet door. Closer still, until...

We hear a loud, mechanical roar, like a call, echoes throughout the house. The probe looks back, and the floodlights turn off. methodically, the probe retracts from the kitchen and slips like a spaghetti strand up into the spotlight. The spotlight clicks off.

We still hear the mechanical factory sound outside, but other than that, the silence is eerie.

The cabinet door opens slightly, revealing a shivering Clayton and Sarah.

INT. LIVING ROOM--DAWN

It is still dark out, but cloudy rays of light are beginning to shimmer through into daylight.

Clayton and Sarah lay asleep on the couch, huddled together. We see that the red weed is growing all around the walls, the mechanical sound outside is still going on.

Orange rays of morning sunlight creep in, illuminating Claytons face, waking him. He rustles around and stands up, leaving Sarah on the couch. He covers her up with a blanket.

INT. KITCHEN--DAWN

Clayton enters. Over by the sink, he turns on the water and splashes some on his face. He then notices something, his hands have turned red, in fact, his face has turned red.

FOCUS ON: The water flowing from the faucet is tinted with a deep cardinal red.

Clayton turns the water off and rushes over to a nearby, broken, mirror. Staring at himself and the red water all over his face. Hastily, he uses his shirt to wipe it off, and pants heavily.

Back at the sink, he pushes back charred curtains revealing a broken window, but beyond, it is completely covered by the red weed, blocking any view. Only thin rays of orange sunlight peak through the gaps in the red weed.

Suddenly, we hear Sarahs scream ushering horridly from the living room. Clayton whips his head around.

REVERSE ANGLE: From behind Clayton, we see the snake-probe has returned, and is examining the living room, with Sarah in it.

Clayton looks at the pistol sitting on the kitchen counter and grabs it.

INT. LIVING ROOM--DAWN

The snake-probe has Sarah cornered, she screams. Clayton kicks the mechanical body of the snake-probe, which is hanging down from the tear in the roof. The probe spins around and faces Clayton, menacingly, and darts for him.

Clayton falls down on his back as two mechanical claws zip out like a hand around the eye of the snake-probes eye. In a last, desperate act, Clayton aims the gun and fires a shot into the eye of the probe.

It shatters, and its floodlights go off. The claws retract back into the body and the snake-probe quickly retracts and sucks up into the roof. Clayton looks up.

P.O.V. CLAYTON: The probe retracts into the bottom of a Martian-tripod, which is apparently standing right over the house.

The walls begin to buckle as we hear a loud mechanical droning.

SARAH
(scream)
Daddy!

Clayton grabs Sarah and kicks open the front door.

EXT. COUNTRYSIDE--DAY

It is chaos outside.

People-refugees-scatter everywhere as Martian-tripods skewer the countryside zapping people left and right.

Clayton, clutching Sarah, leaps over the stop and out into the front yard.

PAN UP: A tripod is straddling the house. The top, head portion spins around and looks towards the fleeing Clayton.

The tripod prepares to fire when a group of other fleeing people pass in front of Clayton. The tripod zaps them instead, turning them into clouds of white dust.

Clayton trips and falls, Sarah falls, too. From his back, looks up at the tripod. It prepares to fire when suddenly...BOOM! The side of it explodes in a blast of flame as a group of fighter planes fly overhead. Another plane fires another missile that strikes the side of the tripod, making it lose its balance and fall over. It topples over the house, crushing it.

Military vehicles bursts through the trees and over the hills. People run amuck, military folk fire futilely at other rampaging tripods. The scene slows down a bit as Clayton looks around, almost drunken.

He yells, but the sound is faded, as is every other sound around.

CLAYTON
(faded yell)
Sarah! Sarah!

He stands up and walks, staggers, his lucidity weakening.

CLAYTON
Sarah...

His voice tapers off as...

SARAH
Daddy!

Looking up, we see Sarah being carried off by two soldiers towards a large military truck carrying a load of refugees.

Clayton runs over to the refugee truck. Sarah is hoisted into the crowd, overfilling over the side. Some people are falling over onto the ground. The truck itself is surrounded by a ring of soldiers holding desperate people back.

Clayton tries to pound through the ring, before being pushed back by a solider.

CLAYTON
Hey, I have to get on that truck, my daughters on that truck!

SOLDIER
Get back now, back!

Clayton pushes farther.

CLAYTON
My daughter, shes on the truck!

The soldier pushes him back, he falls face-first to the ground.

FOCUS ON: Clayton breathes heavily, behind him we see people still trying to get through the barrier onto the truck.

The lights on the truck turn on as the engine roars to life.

In a last, desperate act, Clayton grips his pistol and stands up. He power-walks to the soldier that pushed him down.

SOLDIER
Get back!

Clayton jabs the edge of the pistol into the soldiers gut. He leans in close and speaks, gritting through his teeth.

CLAYTON
My daughter is on that truck.

They stare at each other for a second, then, the soldier steps out of the way. Clayton slips his pistol back into the side of his pants and bursts through the ring of soldiers.

Unfortunately, the refugee truck speeds off over the hills, leaving him in the dust.

CLAYTON
No!
(beat)
No!

He becomes teary.

The world seems to spin as he stops, and lets the world pass by. In the b.g., the battle wages, as people are incinerated everywhere. The ring of soldiers scatters as do the refugees that were trying to break through them.

Clayton gets back his lucidity as he spots a hummer vehicle, a soldier stands next to it, crouching low, attempting to shout orders into a radio over the sound of the chaos in the b.g.

By the hummer vehicle, Clayton approaches the soldier, shouting to keep his voice above the chaos.

CLAYTON
Hey! Hey!

The soldier looks at him.

CLAYTON
Where is that truck going?!

SOLDIER
What?!

CLAYTON
Where are you taking those people?!

He points to the refugee truck speeding away in the distance. The soldier shakes his head no.

CLAYTON
Wheres it going?!

He shakes his head no, once more.

Clayton, frustrated, pulls out the pistol.

CLAYTON
Where the hell is that truck going?!

Beat.

The solider yells.

SOLDIER
I...I-

CLAYTON
Where?!

SOLDIER
I think Pittsburgh!

Another beat.

A tripod zaps a fighter plane into oblivion in the background. Clayton jumps into the hummer and starts the engine. The soldier turns around, his arms spread.

SOLDIER
Hey!

ZAP!

The soldier is incinerated by a laser from a tripod.

Claytons hummer takes off into the forest, passing by several refugees. People are zapped left and right as the Claytons vehicle takes off into the distance.

EXT. ROAD TO PITTSBURGH--DAY

The road is deserted, except for the red weed growing everywhere. A large sign sits in the boulevard on the side of the road, it reads WELCOME TO PITTSBURGH, but is almost illegible because it is covered in the red weed.

Claytons stolen hummer vehicle speeds past the sign towards Pittsburgh, shimmering in the background.

EXT. PITTSBURGH STREETS--DAY

Claytons hummer stops suddenly as a crowd of people blocks his way. All the people are apparently trying to get past a military blockade.

INT. HUMMER--DAY

Clayton grips the steering wheel tight as a few people in the crowd turn to his car. Suddenly, the window shatters in a spidery web of cracks as people are, out of nowhere, climbing all over his car, yelling, screaming, kicking to get in.

EXT. PITTSBURGH STREETS--DAY

The mob has created a mountain of bodies atop the hummer, chaos makes men animals.

INT. HUMMER--DAY

Clayton struggles to pull out his pistol when suddenly a mans hand bursts through the drivers-side window and grabs Clayton by the shoulder. Glass is pushed through his clothes, he writhes in pain and drops his pistol to the floor.

Finally, he reaches down and opens the door.

EXT. PITTSBURGH STREETS--DAY

The drivers-side door opens and Clayton is pulled out. He is pushed forcefully though the mob and literally thrown to the ground.

Several people try to get in the hummer as the mob scene grows more intense, people are in fist fights in the crowd.

All of this is silenced when we suddenly hear the now-familiar call of a Martian-tripod.

All eyes turn up the street as a 70-foot tall tripod machine stands, staring at the people below. Now, the fighting in the mob becomes more intense, some people take for the streets as the military barrage starts firing wildly.

Clayton lays on the ground, barely able to keep his head up, his nose broken and bleeding.

The tripod moves one leg forward, shakily, then another, before finally, its guns firing, falls onto a nearby building, crushing it.

Everything seems to go silent.

The mob calms down as people start to move slowly towards the fallen tripod, it appears still, and stiff, dead.

Military folk start jogging towards it, random come ons and such echo throughout. Clayton stands upright and grabs the arm of a passing soldier.

CLAYTON
Hey!

SOLDIER
(hurried)
I have to go, sir!

Clayton spits up blood, hunching over, begging.

CLAYTON
Refugees...
(panting)
...where are the refugees...they came earlier, in a truck.

The soldier starts to pull away, uninterested.

CLAYTON
Hey!

Beat.

CLAYTON
My daughter, she was on that truck.

Long beat.

The soldier points down the street at an intersection.

SOLDIER
We have a refugee base set up at a church off Mitchell. Take a left, then another left at the intersection.

The soldier rips his arm from Clayton and runs to join the others. Clayton stares, then breathes deep.

EXT. MITCHEL STREET--DAY

It is quiet, eerily, strangely quiet. Much more quiet than we have become used to. A beautiful church sits at the intersection, very similar to the one in Saltsburg at the beginning.

Clayton walks, alone, towards the church. His silhouette is ghostly along the deserted street.

We then hear a crackle of thunder as the familiar footsteps of an approaching Martian-tripod come into full flare. Clayton turns, there is smoke, fire, chaos ushering over the rooftops in the background. He now runs for the church.

INT. CHURCH--DAY

It is a packed house.

Panicked people crowd the place, many are praying, others crying, some looking for loved ones. Clayton looks around, stops a few people.

CLAYTON
Excuse me, Im looking for my daughter-
(beat, another person)
Hey have you seen-

This person ignores him as well.

His attention turns to a Pastor on his knees praying with several children in the corner. Claytons eyes slowly scan the children, only to reveal that none of them are his daughter.

He runs to the Pastor, interrupting his prayer.

CLAYTON
Excuse me, Im looking for a little girl, about seven, brown hair.

The Pastor just stares.

CLAYTON
Im looking for my daughter.

Smiling, stands.

CUT TO:

In another corner of the room, several cots are set up. On one of them, a man with a severed hand lays writhing in pain, in another, a woman cries, and finally, there is one with Sarah, a blanket draped over her. Her face is pale, sweaty.

PASTOR
Is this your child?

Clayton doesnt answer.

A thunderous mechanical roar ushers from outside as the Martian-tripod approaches. People start screaming, panicking. The pastor himself moves away. The walls begin to buckle and debris falls from the ceiling.

Clayton has tears in his eyes. He leans down, on his knees and grabs his daughters hand with both of his. He whispers, and strangely, their conversation dominates all other sounds.

CLAYTON
(crying)
Sarah...Sarah...

Her eyes open.

SARAH
Daddy...?

He kisses her hand.

CLAYTON
Im here, Im here.

SARAH
Is it almost over?

Beat.

Claytons eyes fill up even more.

CLAYTON
Yes, baby, its almost over.

Beat.

SARAH
I miss mommy.

CLAYTON
I miss mommy, too.

Beat.

CLAYTON
I am so sorry, Im so sorry. I know I wasnt a super dad, that I wasnt always very, very nice, but I, Im trying.

Long beat.

SARAH
I still love you.

Clayton embraces her as the lights go out and the walls tremble to the point of breaking, cracks form along the ceiling and the painted glass shatters, correlating with the screams of the hundreds of people in the church.

CLAYTON
I love you, too, god damn I love you. Youre the reason I, I keep going, youre my whole world. I probably never told you that.

Beat.

SARAH
You didnt need to.

He stands on his knees by his daughters side as the whole world seems to fall apart around them.

And then, just as quickly as it started, everything stops. The sounds from outside, the rumbling, even the screaming of the scared people, all stops on a dime.

Curious chatter rises in the silence.

EXT. MITCHEL STREET--DAY

It is much clearer out, not an orange-glow like before.

We see the door to the church open, and several people walk outside.

ZOOM OUT: The head of a Martian-tripod machine lays broken and busted in the middle of the intersection. The legs have crushed a few buildings down the street, but the church was just missed.

People gather curiously around the wrecked tripod head.

Suddenly, a circular door appears to open near the bottom of the tripod head. Orange liquid spills out as people, especially soldiers, gather around for a closer look.

Eerily, a veiny, Martian arm reaches out, struggling, and grabs the lip of the opening. We hear a wheezing coming from inside the tripod. The arm, suddenly starts to stiffen, and its gloomy blue color turns to a stale gray. It stops, dead.

A soldier grabs the arm, lifts it, and drops it.

SOLDIER
Its dead.

Curious chatter erupts as Clayton appears. He jogs over to the dead Martian arm and examines it. People gather around him, he appears to know what hes doing.

SOLDIER
What happened to it?

Clayton rubs over some marks on the Martians arm.

CLAYTON
Septicema.

Chatter from the crowd.

SOLDIER
What?

CLAYTON
Septicema...germs. We have immune systems against, against pretty much every germ on Earth...

His face lights up.

CLAYTON
But they dont.
(turns to crowd)
-because theyre not from Earth.

He stands up, looking into the distance. Everyone looks up.

PAN UP: In the distance, Martian-tripods have fallen everywhere.

Clayton smiles.

CLAYTON
Theyre sick.
(beat)
Theyre dying.

The soldier stares with uneasiness.

SOLDIER
So after all our weapons, couldnt scratch em-

CLAYTON
Germs. The smallest things God has put on this Earth.

ZOOM OUT: Slowly, moving away. We see Clayton, all the others, staring at the fallen tripods. Sarah, looking more healthy, grabs Claytons hand and looks on with him. We zoom out even farther, passing all the fallen tripods, and then farther, and farther, until we are zoomed out over the entire Earth.

EXT. SPACE

The Earth rotates lightly, a red glow about it.

FADE TO: BLACK.

THE END

<<<

/ War of the Worlds.
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