Here's my latest and greatest. To date this is by far my most commercial script. The pitch is, ALIEN on a train; only there's more than one creature, and the train is a runaway! Goosebumps, huh?   Well, maybe not, but I've been told this is "a great script and a fast read."   Thanks, Mom. Dead Rail

WARNING: This material is copyrighted © 1997 by Tom Alexander.    Plagiarism of any kind will result in prosecution.    Enjoy!

                                
                            DEAD RAIL
                                by
                          Tom Alexander

FADE IN:


EXT. ARIZONA DESERT - DAY

From two miles up, this ancient dead sea bottom looks about
as hospitable as the surface of Mars.  An ocean of sand and
rock flow over hundreds of square miles as a blazing sun
sinks towards the horizon.

As our altitude drops, a thin dark line slices through the
tan canvas; a scar, complete with stitches, stretching
endlessly across the desert floor.  With the distance
closing fast, it soon becomes apparent we're looking at a
set of railroad tracks that wind through the rolling sand
dunes.

"Opening credits" appear as we zip down the tracks at high
speed.  Soon we approach a flurry of dust that speeds ahead
of us.

Three motocross riders cruise along side the tracks; their
wheels kicking up a cloud of dust that glows in the setting
sun.  The bikes and the riders take a tremendous amount of
punishment as they pound across the desert floor.

High above them, something huge but not quite visible, like
a heat wave only with a definite form, SWOOSHES by.  Its
sound is deafening, like a THOUSAND FREIGHT TRAINS.

The motocross riders slide to a stop atop a hill.  GERRIT
PHILBRICK (27), whips of his helmet; he's handsome in a
friendly sort of way. He kills his engines and motions to
his two buddies to do the same.
                          
                          GERRIT
                   (referring to the
                    noise)
             What is that?

REX, scraggly hair and beard, scans the sky looking for the
source.  The third rider, SHEILA, blonde beautiful, with
deeply tanned skin, also searches the heavens.
                          
                          SHEILA
                   (pointing)
             There.  Is that something?

High above them, something shoots across the sky.  Although
it's leaving a definite trail, its shape is not quite
visible; like a shimmering mirage in the desert.  Suddenly,
it solidifies into a meteor and continues streaking by
before hitting the ground a few miles away sending up a
large cloud of dust.
                          
                          REX
             What the hell was that?
                          
                          SHEILA
             Let's find out.

Sheila speeds off down the steep embankment towards the
place of impact.
                          
                          GERRIT
             That chick's got balls.
                          
                          REX
             We all do, just some are bigger
             than others.

Gerrit is about to ask for clarification on that cosmic
statement but Rex peels out after Sheila.  Gerrit shrugs
and follows the two down the steep embankment.


EXT. DESERT - EDGE OF CRATER - DUSK

The crater is a massive hole in the ground; 100 yards
across.  From the center of the crater, a tall monolithic
meteorite juts out of the ground; rippling veins of intense
orange heat radiate across its steamy hot surface.

The sun has all but set as Gerrit, Rex, and Sheila reach
the site.  They park the bikes on the lip of the crater.

They look down at the glowing massive meteorite at the
center of the crater.
                          
                          REX
             Cool.
                          
                          GERRIT
             Man, that sucker's hot.
                          
                          SHEILA
             Maybe it will cool off by
             morning.
                          
                          GERRIT
             Yeah.  It's too dark to ride
             any further anyway.

They start to pull out their camping gear.


EXT. DESERT - EDGE OF CRATER - NIGHT

Gerrit stands on the lip of the crater taking a leak.  The
meteorite no longer glows and looks quite ominous in the
moonlight.

Rex and Sheila sit nearby around a small fire by the lip of
the crater.

Gerrit returns from his nature call and joins his two
friends.
                          
                          GERRIT
             Man, I hate peeing outdoors.
             I'm always afraid something's
             going to jump up and bite off
             my privates.
                          
                          SHEILA
             You don't think you could live
             without a dick?
                          
                          REX
             Yeah, hasn't bothered you so
             far.
                          
                          GERRIT
             It's not so much being
             dickless, it just that... it
             would really hurt.
                          
                          REX
             No pain, no gain.

Gerrit ponders how a traumatic severing of one's penis
could possibly 'gain' anyone anything.
                          
                          GERRIT
             Rex, you don't make lot of
             sense sometimes.
                          
                          SHEILA
             How's the meteor look?  Still
             hot?
                          
                          GERRIT
             No, it's coolin' down.
             Actually, looks kind of spooky.
                          
                          SHEILA
             Hey, what if it's not a meteor?
                          
                          GERRIT
             What do you mean?
                          
                          SHEILA
             What if it's a spaceship?
                          
                          REX
             Like in "War of the Worlds?"
                          
                          SHEILA
             Yeah.
                          
                          REX
             Loaded with blood thirsty
             aliens looking to dominate the
             human race.
                          
                          SHEILA
             Or maybe it's carrying a bunch
             of pods that turn into people.
                          
                          GERRIT
                   (agitated)
             Hey!  You know I get the heebie
             jeebies when you guys start
             talking like that.
                          
                          REX
             Come to think of it, this thing
             is probably doused with enough
             radioactive dust to mutate half
             the county.
                          
                          SHEILA
             Screw the aliens, by morning
             we're gonna be up to our
             eyeballs in giant ants.
                          
                          REX
             Or worse giant carnivorous
             prairie dogs with big sharp
             pointy teeth.
                          
                          SHEILA
             What if they're tiny slug-size
             parasites...
                          
                          RON
             That enter through your anal
             orifice.
                          
                          GERRIT
             Enough!  Christ you guys know
             I'm sensitive to this kind of
             shit.  I'm gonna have
             nightmares all night long.

Rex and Sheila laugh.
                                             
                                             DISSOLVE TO:


EXT. DESERT - EDGE OF CRATER - LATER THAT NIGHT

Gerrit wakes up near the smoldering camp fire.  He looks
around and notices that Sheila is missing.  He heads toward
the lip of the crater.

Looking over the edge he sees the beam of another
flashlight, presumably Sheila's, shining on the meteorite.
Something's not quite right.  A strange RHYTHMIC HUM,
almost like a bevy of crickets seems to emanate from the
alien structure.

Behind him, Rex pops up startling him.
                          
                          REX
             What's going on?
                          
                          GERRIT
             I think Sheila couldn't wait
             for sun up.


EXT. DESERT - CRATER - NIGHT

Rex and Gerrit approach the meteorite; a massive volcanic
looking rock, like a tall thin pyramid with a point that's
wilted over.  Rex has a flashlight, Gerrit a road flare
he's using as a torch.  They see Sheila's flashlight on the
ground near the meteorite.
                          
                          GERRIT
                   (calling out)
             Sheila?
                          
                          REX
                   (examining the side of
                    the meteorite)
             There are some markings on the
             side.
                          
                          GERRIT
             What?

Before Rex can answer, they hear some noise coming from
around the other side of the huge rock.  They slowly move
around to investigate.

On the other side of the rock they find Sheila slumped up
against the meteorite, her hand buried in one of the many
holes (pores) that cover the creepy structure.
                          
                          GERRIT
             Sheila?

Sheila doesn't answer, her head is slumped against the
rock.  Gerrit and Rex approach.

A noise of something skittering across a high point on the
rock makes them jump.  Their beam of light catches
something that disappears into a hole high up.

Gerrit reaches for Sheila's head.  She leans back and for
the first time we can see that she is white as a sheet and
has a maniacal look on her face.
                          
                          SHEILA
                   (weakly)
             It's got my arm.
                          
                          GERRIT
             What?

Gerrit reaches for Sheila but suddenly, something inside
the rock pulls her violently, slamming her head into the
jagged rock.
                          
                          GERRIT
             Christ!  Rex help me,
             something's got her.

Rex and Gerrit grab Sheila and pull hard on her.  Sheila
SCREAMS.  A loud CRUNCHING NOISE is heard and she passes
out.

Suddenly the RHYTHMIC HUM stops.

A dark blob drops out of one of the pores on the rock high
above Rex and Gerrit.  It hits the sand with a dull THUD.

Rex lets go of Sheila and scans the area with his
flashlight.

His beam catches the blob, it's slick, gray surface,
mottled with spots of black, glisten as it pulsates
                          
                          REX
             What the hell?

More blobs fall out of various holes in the rock; each
hitting the sand with a dull THUD.

Suddenly, the blobs start sprouting legs.  Mouths with
razor sharp teeth form crooked slits across their bodies
then disappear, like some amorphous nightmare.

Gerrit and Rex look around.  They are surrounded by the
little monstrosities as they flex their limbs and crack
open their body's to reveal row and rows of jagged teeth--
they are things straight out of a nightmare.

Rex runs for it and the creatures take off after him.

Gerrit yanks one more time on Sheila and she falls away
from the rock in a gush of blood and minus an arm.

One of the creatures, a larger one with purple-reddish
markings down the center of its body erupts from the hole
and pounces on Sheila's body.

It SNAPS at Gerrit.  This jolts him into action; he grabs
the road flare and makes a run for it.

The creatures eating Rex are in a feeding frenzy like a
pack of jackals; each one more interested in getting his
share of the fallen prey rather than expending energy in
trying to bring down another victim.


EXT. DESERT - TRACK NEAR CRATER - NIGHT

Gerrit scrambles over the lip of the crater.

One of the creatures is literally right on his tail.
Gerrit trips and the thing pounces on him.  Its slobbering
jaws snap wildly as Gerrit rams the torch deep into the
creature's mouth. It CHOKES on the torch as Gerrit pushes
the creature off him and into the motorcycles.

Suddenly, the creature explodes in a fiery blast as if it
were made of napalm.  The blast takes out the motorcycles
and throws Gerrit into a nearby ravine, bashing his head on
a rock.


EXT. ARIZONA DESERT - DAY

Once again, the intense sun blazes over the endless sea of
sand.

In the distance, dwarfed by the rolling dunes, a
Streamliner, looking more like a toy train than 5,000 tons
of transportation hardware, slices through the rippling
heat and barren landscape.

The Desert Wind, a sleek luxurious passenger train; its
majestic design a combination of elegance and steel.  The
afternoon sun reflects off eight long silver cars that are
being pulled by a massive powerful Locomotive.


INT. LOCOMOTIVE - DAY

ROY, the Engineer, and BOB, the Brakeman, are playing
chess.  Roy keeps his eye on the track as Bob moves.
                          
                          BOB
             Check.

Roy looks at his pieces and wrinkles his nose.
                          
                          ROY
             What are you, stupid?

Roy takes Bob's rook and turns his attention back out the
windshield.  Bob moves.
                          
                          BOB
             Check.
                          
                          ROY
                   (rolling his eyes)
             Sure you want to do that?
                          
                          BOB
             Yep.

Roy shakes his head and takes another of Bob's pieces.

Bob moves again.
                          
                          ROY
             Man, you're a glutton for
             punishment.


EXT. TRAIN - DAY

Roy glances out the Locomotive windshield then looks back
down at the chess board.  Evidently Bob has made another
boneheaded move and Roy just throws his hands up and takes
another piece.

The Locomotive cruises down the track followed by;

The Baggage Car; easily recognizable since it's the only
single level car in the train.

Continuing down, a Transitory/Dormitory Car connects to the
Baggage Car allowing access to the single level car.
Inside a lower level window, an attractive woman pounds
frantically on the glass.


INT. TRANSITORY/DORMITORY CAR - DAY

LESLIE, the attractive woman, pounds frantically on the
glass, as she lies on her side in a crew bunk.
                          
                          LESLIE
             Oh, God, Oh, God, Oh, God...

Her 'spiritual encounter' climaxes and JACK crawls into
view from the foot of the bunk.
                          
                          JACK
             Did you like that?

Leslie smiles.
                          
                          LESLIE
             What do you think?

Jack smiles and pokes his head out the curtain behind him.

He looks down the empty hallway lined with crew lockers and
curtained off bunks like the one he's sharing with Leslie.
                          
                          JACK
             I think we better get back to
             the kitchen before Kopolov has
             a cow.

Jack glances back over his shoulder and Leslie is gone.
                          
                          JACK
             Huh?  Hey where'd you...

Suddenly he looks down at the foot of the bunk.
                          
                          JACK
             Oh, ohhhhhhh.

Obviously, Leslie is inspecting Jack's coupler.


EXT. TRAIN - DAY

Continuing down from the Transitory/Dormitory Car,...

is the First Class Sleeper Car, followed by the...

First Class Lounge Car.   Inside the First Class Lounge, a
hubbub of activity takes place as a bunch of people in
business suits construct towers out of wooden blocks.


INT. FIRST CLASS LOUNGE CAR - DAY

A variety of business types huddle in groups at various
tables.  Each group hastily constructs a tower out of
wooden blocks.  Much heated debate over how to build the
towers takes place as each team races to see who can make
theirs tallest, the fastest.

RON MOORE(29), aggressive and competitive, stacks blocks
one on top of the other.  EMIL CARTWRIGHT(49) stands next
to him looking very bored.  Another teammate, NANCY
SULLIVAN(30), adds a block to the side.
                          
                          RON
             Hey, what are you doing?
                          
                          NANCY
             It's not very stable.
                          
                          RON
             It doesn't have to be.  It just
             has to be tallest when the bell
             rings.  Now just chill.
                          
                          EMIL
             So much for team work.

At another table JENNI SEMOS(28) and PHIL LIGHTMAN(27)
furiously build their tower.  A third teammate, HARMON
GRANT(29), an African-American, organizes the remaining
blocks.
                          
                          JENNI
                   (holding some long
                    blocks)
             How about these for the center
             platform?
                          
                          PHIL
             Excellent.
                          
                          HARMON
                   (holding larger
                    blocks)
             Wait, try these underneath,
             they're bigger.
                          
                          JENNI
             Good idea.

The competition continues as other tables struggle to build
their towers.

CEO MARGARET RUDINE(40)leans against the bar; a stop-watch
hangs from her neck.  She is a solid lady, confident, not
un-like Kate Hepburn in appearance and stature.  Observing
her people reacting under pressure, she smiles and downs a
glass of fruit juice.  When she starts to pour herself
another, she notices the carafe is empty.
                          
                          MARGARET
                   (annoyed)
             Oh, come on.

She searches behind the bar when the conductor, CARL
WINTERS (49), passes by.
                          
                          MARGARET
                   (holding up the empty
                    carafe)
             Carl.
                          
                          CARL
             You got it.

Carl exits into the Diner Car.


EXT. TRAIN - DAY

The competition continues within the First Class Lounge Car
as the train passes a sea of bizarre Joshua Trees.

The Diner Car is next, where a romantic couple can be seen
dining.  Carl, who was walking down the aisle, helps the
lady with her chair.  The couple get up and walk to the...

the Observation Lounge Car.  Huge windows cover the
Observation Lounge giving passengers the optimal viewing
experience.


INT. OBSERVATION LOUNGE CAR - DAY

The romantic couple from the Dining Car find a seat facing
out towards one of the massive windows.

Behind them, a steward, BILLY VELL (25), emerges from the
downstairs snack bar carrying a crate full of fruit juices.
He heads for the Diner Car but is having difficulty with
the sliding door because his hands are full.

Carl, the conductor, enters from the Diner Car, causing
Billy to almost drop his crate.  Carl pulls the window
shade down on the Diner side of the door.
                          
                          CARL
             Oh, Billy, there you are.
                   (referring to the
                    juices)
             Those are...?
                          
                          BILLY
             First class.  They're running
             low.
                          
                          CARL
             Good deal.

Carl closes the door behind Billy, then turns a sign around
on the door that reads, "DINING ROOM CLOSED."

AMANDA, a purple haired punk and her equally colorful
BOYFRIEND come up behind Carl.
                          
                          AMANDA
             Is the dining room closed?
                          
                          CARL
             Yes, we're setting up for a
             special function for first
             class.  But the snack bar
             downstairs is open.
                          
                          AMANDA
             I kind of wanted something more
             than a hot-dog.
                          
                          CARL
             We all do.

Amanda looks at the conductor questioningly.
                          
                          CARL
                   (continuing)
             That's why we have nachos as
             well.  And chili cheese fries,
             and popcorn and candy bars...

As Carl recites the menu he guides Amanda and her boyfriend
back to the stairs leading down to the snack bar.  Amanda,
again looks at Carl questioningly.
                          
                          CARL
             ...yes, candy bars.  A whole
             bunch of them.  Plus chips,
             churros, soft pretzels, oh the
             list goes on.  You'll find
             something.

Amanda and her boyfriend disappear down the stairs as

SALLY (7) shoots past them.

She pokes her head around the corner, totally oblivious to
Carl.
                          
                          CARL
                   (to Sally)
             Tickets please.
                          
                          SALLY
             Huh?
                          
                          CARL
             Tickets?

Sally looks at Carl like she's just been caught red handed.
                          
                          CARL
             Oh dear.  I'm afraid we're
             going to have to toss you off
             the train.
                          
                          SALLY
             I think my mother has them.
                          
                          CARL
             Good answer.

Carl herds Sally towards the Coach Car.
                          
                          SALLY
             I was playing hide and seek.
                          
                          CARL
             Of course you were.


INT. COACH CAR - DAY

Rows of large cushy seats line the walls.  About half of
the seats are filled with passengers.

Carl and Sally stand in front of DORIS, Sally's sleeping
mother.
                          
                          CARL
             Is she alive?
                          
                          SALLY
             I think so.

Doris opens her eyes and stares at Carl and Sally; "Uh-oh."
                          
                          DORIS
             What?
                          
                          CARL
                   (pointing to Sally)
             Is this yours.
                          
                          DORIS
             No.
                          
                          SALLY
             Mom!
                          
                          DORIS
             Yes.  Yes, she's mine.
                          
                          CARL
             You know there's a playroom
             downstairs?
                          
                          DORIS
             That's where I left her.  I
             assumed since we were on a
             train she'd be safe.
                          
                          CARL
                   (shaking his head and
                    chuckling)
             That's a common assumption made
             by a lot of our passengers.


EXT. TRAIN - DUSK

Inside the Coach Car, Doris holds Sally close as Carl
presumably tells her horrible stories of unsupervised
children left to run wild on passenger trains.

Directly behind the Coach Car is the Cab Car, which is also
the last car.  The Cab Car pretty much looks like the Coach
Car only there is a small control booth at the end on the
upper level.  The Cab Car has even fewer passengers than
the Coach Car, all of which are either fast asleep, staring
vacantly out at the window, or reading.

The train continues on down the track towards the setting
sun.


INT. FIRST CLASS LOUNGE CAR - DUSK

The tower building has reached critical mass and all the
corporate teams are taking desperate measures to win the
competition.

Margaret grins at the seriousness some of the competitors
are taking.  Her stop-watch BEEPS.
                          
                          MARGARET
                   (shouting)
             Time, people.  Stop your
             building.
                   (walking by the
                    tables)
             Blocks down, come on no more
             building.

Margaret whips out her tape measure.
                          
                          MARGARET
             Judgment time, people.

Just then, Ron's tower falls over.
                          
                          MARGARET
             That's embarrassing.
                          
                          RON
             Ours was the tallest when the
             bell rang.
                          
                          MARGARET
             So?
                          
                          RON
             Well we are on a train.
                          
                          MARGARET
             Which is why you should have
             made it more stable.
                          
                          NANCY
             See.

Margaret measures Jenni, Phil, and Harmon's tower.
                          
                          MARGARET
             Looks like we got a winner at
             37 inches.

Phil, Harmon, and Jenni high-five each other then curl
their arms inward like Mr. Olympia and roar victoriously at
Ron and his team.  Nancy rolls her eyes at her obnoxious co-
workers.  Emil just shakes his head and walks off while Ron
fumes.


INT. DINER CAR - KITCHEN - DUSK

Pots and pans are everywhere.  The conductor, Carl, surveys
the mess left by the coach dinner crowd.  CALEB KOPOLOV
(58) a seasoned African-American cook, sits in the corner
near a pile of dishes smoking a pipe.  Behind him is a
framed picture of himself in a Dodger's uniform holding a
baseball bat.
                          
                          CARL
             What?  Are you on break?
                          
                          KOPOLOV
                   (touching his nose)
             That's why you're the
             conductor.
                          
                          CARL
             This place is a mess.
                          
                          KOPOLOV
             It's a working kitchen, fella.
                          
                          CARL
             Where's Leslie and Jack?
                          
                          KOPOLOV
                   (ignoring the
                    question)
             You want something Carl?
                          
                          CARL
             In about thirty minutes, first
             class will be expecting dinner.
                          
                          KOPOLOV
             Uh-huh, prime rib.
                          
                          CARL
             You going to be ready?
                          
                          KOPOLOV
             I was born ready.
                          
                          CARL
             Whatever.

Annoyed with the jaded cook, Carl slides back up stairs
leaving Kopolov alone smoking his pipe.
                          
                          KOPOLOV
             'Course the prime rib needs
             another hour, but I'm ready.


INT. FIRST CLASS LOUNGE CAR - DUSK

Margaret stands in front of a chalk score board tallying up
the score.
                          
                          MARGARET
             Looks like Mr. Lightman has
             pulled in front of Mr. Moore
             snatching the lead.
             Congratulations Phil.

Phil beams.
                          
                          RON
             It ain't over yet.
                          
                          MARGARET
             That's right, it's not over.
             So pay attention.
                   (looking at Ron)
             Everyone has valuable
             information so listen to them.
                   (looking at Nancy)
             And when someone is making a
             mistake, take charge.
             Remember, we're all on the same
             boat.  If the ship goes down,
             you go down. So work as a team.

She pauses to let her message sink in.
                          
                          MARGARET
                   (continuing)
             Right.  Okay let's pair off
             into groups of four.  New
             partners this time, people.
             Let's change the dynamics and
             make it a challenge...

Emil watches with contempt from the bar as Margaret
organizes the next event.  The steward, Billy, refills
carafes of fruit juice.
                          
                          EMIL
             Damn waste of time.
                          
                          BILLY
             Excuse me?

Emil looks at Billy, sizing him up.
                          
                          EMIL
             You got anything stronger back
             there than this damn fruit
             juice?
                          
                          BILLY
             Sorry sir, we were told no
             alcohol until after the awards
             ceremony tonight.
                          
                          EMIL
             Great.

Emil leans back dejected as Billy messes around under the
counter with some glasses.
                          
                          BILLY
             You don't think much of all
             this do you?
                          
                          EMIL
             Not really.  This touchy feely
             crap is a waste of time.  My
             management skills don't need
             improving.  All this "give the
             employee ownership" and "be a
             part of the team solution" is
             ass backwards.
                          
                          BILLY
             Well, I guess you can't teach
             an old dog new tricks.

Emil glares at Billy who just smiles back holding a glass
of orange juice.
                          
                          BILLY
                   (handing the glass to
                    Emil)
             Try this.

Emil is not quite sure what to make of this smart-alecky
steward.  He sips the orange juice and tastes the vodka.
                          
                          EMIL
             Absolut.

Billy flashes the bottle of Absolut beneath the counter.
                          
                          BILLY
             Absolutely.

Emil smiles and turns his attention back to the
festivities.

Billy stashes the Absolut under the counter cabinet and as
he turns back around the conductor, Carl, is standing right
next to him.  Busted.  Carl looks at Billy and shakes his
head.


EXT. DESERT - TRACK NEAR CRATER - DUSK

Gerrit lies unconscious; dried blood surrounds a gash on
his head.  His motocross suit is ripped and burnt from the
exploding creature.  A scorpion crawls across his face,
waking him with a start.  He quickly scans the area to see
if any of those creatures are still around.  He hears
something in the distance.

It's the Desert Wind approaching.

A glimmer of hope washes across his face.  He notices that
the train is heading towards him.

His hope turns to panic when he realizes that the railroad
tracks lead right towards the crater.  For the first time
in the fleeting daylight, he sees the mangled rails
sticking over the lip of the crater.

He struggles to his feet and runs towards the train.


INT. LOCOMOTIVE - DUSK

Roy and Bob continue their chess game.  Roy shakes his head
and collects another one of Bob's pieces.
                          
                          ROY
             Perhaps you're not familiar
             with the object of chess.  You
             see you're trying to capture my
             king, not lose all your men.
                          
                          BOB
             Mate.
                          
                          ROY
             What?
                          
                          BOB
             Check mate.

Roy stares at the board.  He can't believe it.  He looks at
Bob.
                          
                          ROY
             You a hustler?
                          
                          BOB
             Maybe.
                          
                          ROY
             You don't talk a lot do you?
                          
                          BOB
                   (looking out the
                    windshield)
             Shit!

Roy turns and sees Gerrit on the track running towards them
waving his hands.  He slams on the brakes.


EXT. DESERT - NEAR EDGE OF CRATER - DUSK

Sparks shoot out from the braking wheel as 5,000 tons of
steel slide toward a manic Gerrit.
                          
                          GERRIT
             STOP!  STOP THE TRAIN!  THE
             TRACK IS OUT!

He jumps out of the way at the last second.


INT. LOCOMOTIVE  - DUSK
                          
                          ROY
             What the hell is he doing!
                          
                          BOB
             TRACKS OUT!

Sure enough the track rails are mangled and approaching
rapidly.  Bob and Roy continue to apply the brake.


EXT. DESERT - EDGE OF CRATER - DUSK

The train continues to slide by.  Sparks shoot out from
beneath the wheels as the train closes in on the mangled
track.


INT. FIRST CLASS LOUNGE CAR - DUSK

Men and women fly forward in their business suits as the
brakes kick in.

Phil goes flying over the table knocking the winning tower
over.

Billy grabs a couple of sliding carafes of fruit juice
while Emil just watches a third slide off onto the floor
with a CRASH.


INT. OBSERVATION LOUNGE CAR - DUSK

Passengers fall forward; some hit the floor, others manage
to catch themselves on the back of seats or support posts.


INT. DINER CAR - KITCHEN - DUSK

Kopolov sits in the corner, calmly smoking his pipe while
an avalanche of pots, pans, and dishes fall all around him.


EXT. DESERT - CRATER - DUSK

With a loud SQUEAL, the Locomotive slows and stops about 20
feet from the edge of the mangled track; beyond which lies
a massive crater, 100 yards across.

From the center of the crater, a large volcanic looking
rock juts up marking the impact point; its bizarre shape
seems even more alien to its surroundings now that we know
it's contents.


INT. OBSERVATION LOUNGE - DUSK

People pick themselves up and help others to their feet.
No one seems to be injured.


INT. FIRST CLASS LOUNGE - DUSK

Again, no one seems to be injured but blocks and juice are
scattered all about.

Jenni and Ron help Phil up.


INT. DINER CAR - KITCHEN - DUSK

Kopolov, still sitting in the corner smoking his pipe,
surveys the total chaos his kitchen is in.
                          
                          KOPOLOV
             Oh yeah, that's much better.


INT. LOCOMOTIVE - DUSK

Roy and Bob look out the windshield at the huge hole in
front of them.  Roy tries the radio.
                          
                          ROY
             DW-Twelve-twenty calling
             Dispatch, over.
                   (static)
             DW-Twelve-twenty calling
             Dispatch, come in please.
                   (more static)
             Come on.  This is DW-one-two-
             two-O calling Dispatch, over.

Bob opens the cab door.
                          
                          ROY
             Where are you going?
                          
                          BOB
             Out.
                          
                          ROY
             Okay, Gabby, I'm with you.

Roy hangs up the useless mike and joins him.


EXT. DESERT - EDGE OF CRATER - DUSK

Bob and Roy climb down from the train and walk to the edge
of the crater where the track terminates abruptly.
                          
                          ROY
             What the hell caused this?
                          
                          BOB
             Meteorite.
                          
                          ROY
             Ah geez, if that don't beat
             all.

Carl comes running up behind them.
                          
                          CARL
             What happened?
                   (seeing the track)
             Oh, boy.  Sabotage?
                          
                          ROY
             If it was, it must have been
             some mighty powerful explosive.
                          
                          BOB
             Act of God.
                          
                          CARL
             What?
                          
                          BOB
             It was a meteorite.  A rock
             that fell from heaven.  See,...
                   (pointing)
             ...there in the center.  This
             was no act of man.

Carl gives Roy a look, "Is this guy smokin' dope or what."
                          
                          ROY
             Hey, don't look at me.  It's
             the most he's said the whole
             trip.


EXT. FIRST CLASS LOUNGE CAR - DUSK

Phil and Ron hang out the door.  Behind them Jenni tries to
poke her head through.
                          
                          JENNI
             What's going on?
                          
                          PHIL
             I can't tell.
                          
                          JENNI
             Well jump down, I want to take
             a look.
                          
                          RON
             No you don't.  It's desert;
             there are snakes out there.
                          
                          JENNI
                   (pushing past Ron and
                    Phil)
             Oh get out of the way.

Jenni jumps down and stumbles over some loose rock.
                          
                          PHIL
             Hey watch out!  Next to your
             foot. SNAKE!

Jenni jumps and squeals.  Ron and Phil laugh and high five
each other.
                          
                          JENNI
             Very funny.


EXT. DESERT - CRATER - DUSK
                          
                          CARL
             All right, radio dispatch, find
             out what...
                          
                          ROY
             Can't, radio's out.  Some sort
             of interference.
                          
                          BOB
             It's probably the meteorite.
             Its high iron content is
             emitting a magnetic field
             that's disrupting our
             transmission.

Roy and Carl look at Bob as if he were an alien.
                          
                          BOB
                   (justifying)
             I read a lot.
                          
                          CARL
             Roy, why don't you and Mr. X-
             Files back us up about five
             miles and see if we can't get
             clear of what ever is causing
             the interference.  Then radio
             dispatch and ask them how they
             want us to proceed.
                          
                          ROY
             You got it.

Carl turns around and sees a crowd of passengers by the
train.
                          
                          CARL
             What the hell are they doing?
                   (yelling)
             Everybody back on board.
                   (to Roy)
             Give me some time to collect
             everybody.
                          
                          ROY
             Go ahead.  It'll take us a few
             minutes to switch over anyway.
                          
                          CARL
                   (yelling again)
             Come on, people, it's a desert;
             lot's of snakes.
             


EXT. FIRST CLASS LOUNGE CAR - DUSK
                          
                          PHIL
             Here he comes.
                          
                          JENNI
             What's he yelling?
                          
                          RON
             Something about snakes.
                          
                          JENNI
             Screw you.

Suddenly, a maniacal Gerrit stumbles into Jenni from behind
scaring the bejesus out of everyone.
                          
                          GERRIT
                   (delirious)
             Get out!  Quick.  You can't
             stay.  Back it up now!

Phil and Ron jump down and grab Gerrit.  Gerrit collapses
as Carl reaches the group.
                          
                          CARL
                   (to Ron and Phil)
             Let's get him on board, we're
             about to pull out.

Ron and Phil help Carl with Gerrit.


EXT. DESERT - CRATER - DUSK

Bob is mesmerized by the meteorite.  Roy leans out the cab
door.
                          
                          ROY
             Come on Bob, let's go.

Bob doesn't answer, he just stares intensely at the
meteorite.


EXT. CRATER - METEORITE - DUSK

The black porous rock juts up out of the ground.  One
wonders just how much of it is buried in the sand.
Something stirs on the rock.

Suddenly, a chunk drops out of one of the pores and hits
the sand with a familiar dull THUD.  Like before the blob-
like thing starts to unfold.  Soon other blob-like
creatures fall out of holes in the rock and begin to take
shape.


EXT. DESERT - CRATER - DUSK

Bob is shocked.
                          
                          BOB
             Roy!

Mouths split across their bodies revealing rows and rows of
razor sharp teeth, before sealing back up without a trace.
It's hard to get a handle on just what these creatures look
like because of their amorphous nature and the long shadows
caused by the setting sun.
                          
                          BOB
             ROY!

The creatures react to Bob's voice.  They sprout legs and
scurry up the embankment towards Bob.

Bob turns and runs towards the cab.  Roy sticks his head
out the elevated door.
                          
                          ROY
             Are you coming or what?
                          
                          BOB
             Start the train!

Roy sees the creatures as they skitter over the lip of the
crater.

Bob makes a bee-line for the locomotive from where Roy
watches.

The creatures run crab-like at amazing speed, closing in on
Bob.

Bob is at the train when the first creature reaches him and
tears into his legs.  Within a split second a pack of the
terror creatures swarm on Bob and rip him to shreds.

Roy watches helplessly from the elevated cab door.

The creatures look up and spring towards Roy.

Roy slams the door shut.


INT. LOCOMOTIVE - DUSK

The creatures POUND and CLAW on the Locomotive, panicking
Roy, who quickly throws the train in reverse.


EXT. LOCOMOTIVE - DUSK

The train pulls away slowly as creatures jump on board and
scramble across the smooth Streamliner surface.


INT. LOCOMOTIVE - DUSK

The BANGING and CLAWING continue. Roy backs away from the
door in mortal fear.  Then, suddenly, all the CLAMORING
stops.  Roy looks out the window.

No sign of them.

He goes over to the door and is about to try it when he
decides to check the window one more time.

SLAM, a creature smashes into the window from the outside
scaring the hell out of Roy.  SLAM, the glass spider webs.
SLAM, the window shatters into a million pieces and within
seconds, three of the creatures slither through the broken
windshield and tear into Roy.


EXT. TRAIN LEAVING CRATER - NIGHT

The train continues to retreat from the crater as creatures
scramble over the outside of the hull like cockroaches
across a kitchen floor.  They all disappear into the broken
windshield.


Well that's it for the first act.  A runaway train loaded with bloodthirsty aliens.  If you're interested in knowing what happens next or you have any comments please shoot me an e-mail.

And thanks for reading.