MOTHER 3, ACT FOUR
EXT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : RIVERSIDE : MORNING :
Water brushes up against the shoreline, leaving a stain in the sand. The bodies of WESS and KUMATORA lie further up, half-drowned and covered in bruises. WESS is nudged by the toe of a child's shoe, and then a pair of stronger arms wrap around him, lifting him to his feet.
LIGHTER and FUEL support his body as he comes to.
Old man, you frightened us for a moment.
Yeah I thought you were dead.
WESS stares blankly, eyes half-lidded. He is just barely able to make out the hills and bridge beyond, but attempts to walk. He stumbles. LIGHTER grabs him.
Whoa there, let's not get ahead of
ourselves. You need to rest.
What about that guy over there?
All look to see KUMATORA rising from the sand, brushing herself off. Part of her face is bluish and swollen, though she does not appear uncomfortable.
Duster, where is he?
Haven't seen him. Was he with you?
A pause, in which WESS steps away from LIGHTER and convenes with KUMATORA. Their voices are too soft to be heard.
I'm sorry, is there anything we can do?
I'll walk you back home, unless you'd
rather stay at the Inn. Tess is there,
she can take care of you. Maybe that
would be best.
Forcing a smile, WESS pats LIGHTER on the arm and exits with KUMATORA.
EXT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : MORNING :
The town square is alive with more voices and more people at one time than ever before. WESS and KUMATORA enter from the east, keeping their voices low. WESS is hobbling thanks to his injuries.
That idiot! I should have known-
As they walk, they become enveloped in the crowd. Nearly every villager is present.
Trusting him with such a task was far too
risky, and now he and the Egg are lost!
I should have done it on my own.
We can find him. Maybe he's upriver
somewhere, along the shore like we were.
They come to a stop near the thickest part of the gathering, a semi-circle around the well. FASSAD and SALSA are at the head of the crowd, taking in all of the attention. SALSA dances before a pile of brightly colored boxes.
Or maybe he's drowned.
KUMATORA is silent a moment as she looks through the crowd to FASSAD and the performing SALSA, who has leapt onto the boxes.
We'll find him. And the Egg.
Focus shifts to FASSAD, whose voice rings out loudly.
Listen, friends! Please come closer,
for I have the greatest news to tell!
(pause, waiting for silence)
Life as we know it is about to change.
Nothing shall ever be the same as you
know it now, but this is not a terrible
thing--not at all, my friends.
He laughs as WESS exchanges looks with KUMATORA.
Who's the ugly pot roast with the mustache?
Never seen him before, but I've got
a strange feeling...
SALSA leaps onto FASSAD's shoulder when commanded, which elicits a positive reaction from the crowd.
My little companion and I have traveled
far and I do believe we are prepared to
bring a little stability to your lives.
(touching a box)
In here, friends, is all the happiness
you will ever need.
A few members of the crowd, including BRONSON and JONEL, walk away, leaving the rest enough room to shift closer.
I see some of you are doubtful. How can
happiness come from a box?
How can it indeed.
He lets SALSA down, who sits beside the boxes with tail wrapped tightly around himself. He fidgets with it, visibly unnerved. KUMATORA stands on tiptoe to look at him. When FASSAD begins speaking again, he shouts, stunning the crowd.
Natural disasters! Untimely deaths!
The loss of peace and security in your
Is this what life has become? Is this
what we now concern ourselves with?
The crowd is abuzz with talk. Hand-in-hand, ABBOT and ABBEY squeeze through to the front.
Pardon me, mister. I don't mean to
interrupt you none, but things have
been downright awful here lately.
FASSAD raises his arms to the crowd for silence.
A good friend of mine has died, the
family she left behind is just a
mess without her, poor souls. It feels
like everything's gone so wrong.
I am so sorry for you. But life can be
better, you can have happiness if only
you are willing to change and to accept
it into your life. Just like my friend-
FASSAD gestures to SALSA, who leaps up and dances about.
How do we do it, sir? How can we be
Still smiling broadly, FASSAD directs SALSA to the pile of boxes. The monkey is much too small to lift them, and instead struggles to push one toward ABBOT and ABBEY, who appear ecstatic.
Good people of the village and soon-to-be
fellow comrades, I have here all that you
will need. Keep a token of happiness in
your home at all times, and never again
be troubled with disaster.
The crowd swells around him as SALSA delivers the first box to ABBOT and ABBEY. FASSAD laughs.
No worries! There are enough for all of
you. My little friend will see that
everyone who wants happiness will get it.
For those that walked away, I hope a change
of heart will soon come. To better lives!
All hail the Pig King!
A few people return his gesture but say nothing. At the back of the crowd, WESS watches, visibly bitter.
What a crackpot!
Old Man, can you see him down there?
That poor little thing, being made
to do all the work.
FASSAD glances in their direction, trapping them in a fierce stare-down, at which KUMATORA stiffens. She puts a hand to her head.
(whispering to WESS)
Majorly bad feelings coming off of him.
Something isn't right.
From the crowd, BUTCH emerges carrying a box. He stops at the sight of WESS.
Hey! I been lookin' for you thieves!
Where'd that Duster go?
(walking away, annoyed)
As a matter of fact, I don't know.
He stole somethin' of mine, and I
want it back!
As if you have anything worth stealing.
(setting box down)
Yessir, I do! I had me some money, and
that dirty thief done stole it! I want
I don't know what you're talking about!
Give it back, thief!
KUMATORA steps up to BUTCH, frightening him enough to make him trip over his box.
Listen, you little pig-shit, whatever
the hell it is you lost, you probably
ate it and forgot! Why don't you just
run on home, and take your happy
KUMATORA kicks the box away from him. The crowd stands silent and still. FASSAD is staring fiercely, but an expression of warmth overcomes him when SALSA hops over to KUMATORA.
Oh, little monkey. So you like the
lady, don't you? That's a nice monkey.
Dance a little for her.
That's all right.
She exits with WESS as SALSA looks on. When he attempts to follow, FASSAD clears his throat and reaches into his suede vest. In an instant SALSA resumes his dance. The rest of the boxes are gathered up by the villagers.
EXT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : FARMHOUSE : EVENING :
At the edge of the seaside cliff, LUCAS sits beside BONEY, legs dangling. They watch the sunset as it casts a blazing orange glow on them.
BONEY perks up at once and abandons LUCAS, who turns and is stunned by the sight of the FIRE LION resting just a few steps away. He kicks out one leg, stirring up dust and small rocks.
Go away! Go away, get out of here!
The FIRE LION rises as BONEY steps aside. It charges LUCAS with a roar and the screen is engulfed in flame.
EXT : MT. ORIANDER : LOWER CLIFFS : NIGHT :
The flames dissipate, revealing LUCAS on his side, clinging to the back of the lion with eyes shut tight. Though the mane is ablaze in front of him, he is not burned. He opens his eyes, stunned, and then falls as FIRE LION comes to an abrupt halt atop a cliff.
Behind them the sun has already set, leaving only sparse fragments of light to filter into the enclosed valley below. LUCAS scans the area--a nearly flat plot of land in which many DRAGOS have nested.
Oh, the other Dragos. And their families.
Why are we here?
There is no response. FIRE LION moves away.
So, um, I guess you're not gonna eat me?
A laugh and a voice, which has a mix of both feminine and masculine qualities, emanates from the lion.
Actually, I prefer rose hip tea.
LUCAS attempts to laugh, but is unnerved. He watches the DRAGOS.
They don't seem to be too sad, even after
FIRE LION returns to stand beside him.
INT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : YADO INN : NIGHT :
Small slivers of moonlight peek in through an open window above a table, the only source of light. On the bed lies FASSAD, mouth open and snoring thunderously. SALSA sits in a chair beside him. He is coiled in a fetal position, awake.
A sound at the window stirs him. He hops down and approaches.
(whispering through window)
Hey, monkey! Hey little monkey guy.
There is a small scuffle off-screen, during which KUMATORA disappears beneath the window ledge and hushed voices are heard. She peeks over again, reaching into the room.
Come on, monkey.
FASSAD snorts and rolls over, SALSA bristling in fear.
Hurry! Come quick, before the evil
man wakes up.
SALSA moves back to FASSAD and digs through his vest. With the remote in hand, he jumps onto a table and leaps into KUMATORA's arms.
EXT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : NIGHT :
Outside, KUMATORA hops down off of WESS, who complains. She takes the remote from SALSA while cradling him and moving into the village square.
What's this, little guy? A toy, maybe?
She holds her thumb over the button and SALSA screams.
FASSAD opens his eyes, alert. He sits up and scans the empty room.
SALSA snatches the remote.
All right, all right! I suppose you don't
like it then. Here, hold still a moment.
She stares at SALSA and the scene lapses into visions from his perspective--a screaming SAMBA in her cage, villagers at the INN making curious expressions, and the angry face of FASSAD. The vision clears and KUMATORA cradles SALSA.
You poor thing. Salsa, right? How awful
they've treated you.
A flame ignites on her fingertips, engulfing the remote. It cracks under the heat and pressure, then falls in broken pieces to the ground.
All gone. I guess that nasty man can't
hurt you with it now.
Then let's get the hell out of here.
Let him go before that cheap bastard
finds out he's gone.
Cheap bastard, you say?
Attention turns to FASSAD at the south end of the square, one hand inside his vest. He approaches as, from shadows cast by adjacent buildings, PIGMASK soldiers emerge. They form ranks on either side of him. SALSA screeches and clings to KUMATORA.
Don't take me for a fool, Princess.
(clutching WESS, backing off)
Who the hell are you?
Just consider me someone you would
have done better to avoid.
(speaking to PIGMASKS)
The PIGMASKS charge, squealing, and chase KUMATORA and WESS from the village. FASSAD follows at a slower pace. He takes a banana out of his vest pocket, eats, and tosses the peel away with a smile.
EXT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : CROSSROAD : NIGHT :
Once out of town, SALSA darts ahead of the group and disappears into the tall grass.
Wait, little monkey! Salsa!
Let him go! He's free!
He pulls her toward the SUNSHINE FOREST, but KUMATORA quickly outpaces him. LEDER watches from his post beside the bell tower, stone-faced. The sounds of PIGMASKS draws his attention.
LEDER steps into the path of the oncoming fleet and they halt, stunned. A few among them grunt in response and raise their arms. The rest follow suit, unraveling thick trains of rope from their belts and whipping them at LEDER. With his legs tied, he falls like a crumbling stone wall to the ground, silent.
To the east, where the surrounding cliffs and cave openings border the CROSSROAD, white tanks roll in through a barricade. The first fires off a shot which decimates the bell tower and sends a cascade of splinters over LEDER.
WESS and KUMATORA stop at the edge of the forest, staring back at TAZMILY.
EXT : MT. ORIANDER : LOWER CLIFFS : NIGHT :
The sharp echo of cannon fire rouses LUCAS. He looks toward the village, obscured by trees, where heavy ammunition fire ruptures the landscape. Flocks of birds pour into the sky.
Then get to it. This is your time.
Can't you feel your own power
(starting to cry)
What do you mean? I can't do anything.
FIRE LION stands before LUCAS as he wipes his face. It roars, forcing him to shut his eyes against the wind whipping his hair about. When the noise and wind subside, LUCAS opens his eyes and the lion is gone. He begins to cry again as he looks over the valley of DRAGOS.
EXT : SUNSHINE FOREST : NIGHT :
Trails of fine white mist hang in the air between tree trunks. KUMATORA dives through them as she runs, unaware that WESS has fallen behind.
Various shots are seen of her dodging branches and leaping over charred trees that fell, victims of fire. She emerges from between patches of overgrowth at the edge of a slope and jumps, catching herself on the other side. A sharp crack and a splash stops her before she begins to run again.
At the bottom of the slope, lying face down in shallow puddles, is WESS.
(pause, lifting WESS)
Get up! We have to keep running.
He struggles in waterlogged clothes as he is pulled up the slope.
God dammit, just keep going! Quit
dragging me along. I'll do it myself!
You can't even walk, Old Man. We've
got to find a way out of here and
find Duster. He could still be alive!
Wide sections of forest split open in front of them. Trees are downed and crushed beneath caterpillar treads as several tanks roll into the clearing. KUMATORA stands her ground, supporting WESS with one arm.
A second fleet of tanks enters from the south and traps KUMATORA and WESS between two solid firing lines. PIGMASKS file into the scene, some toting weaponry. FASSAD is the last to join. He finishes off a banana, drops the peel, and then claps his hands with a smile.
Bravo! It was a stirring performance.
But seriously, you backwards-thinkers
are starting to wear on me.
He gestures to one row of soldiers, who step forward. KUMATORA moves into an offensive stance, flames alight on her fingertips. The PIGMASKS take aim but neither party moves, leaving them in silence until a roar echoes somewhere off-screen. The PIGMASKS drop their guard.
What the hell was that?
KUMATORA exhales, engulfing the PIGMASKS in fire, and they run squealing across the clearing.
Another roar breaks up the chaos. Teams of DRAGOS crash in through the path of downed trees, which sends the remaining soldiers into a panic. Atop one DRAGO is LUCAS. He shouts to KUMATORA and WESS.
Gaping, visibly frightened, FASSAD is left staring as his troops are hunted down. He shouts to them, but cannot be heard over the din.
A shot is fired. It strikes the DRAGO carrying LUCAS and they fall through torrents of blood. Several DRAGOS retreat. One steps over its fallen companion, lunging at FASSAD.
Additional tanks feed the onslaught. The offending DRAGO is struck on one side and its skull splits open at the opposite end. FASSAD moves away, watching the massive body drag huge furrows through the dirt until it stops, dead.
WESS and KUMATORA run to LUCAS amid the firing. He is drenched with blood, shaking, but unharmed.
Get back to the village. There's
nothing you can do here.
But, Mr. Wess-
(speaking to KUMATORA)
Let's head downriver. While we've
got the chance.
KUMATORA opens her mouth to answer, but instead watches LUCAS rushing off in tears. FASSAD catches her eye from his spot across the clearing.
Bursts of red, orange and yellow illuminate the forest behind LUCAS as he runs, the sounds of cannon fire chasing him down. He looks back once and trips, face-down in the dirt; and then begins to weep. Slowly he crawls from the beaten path, finding a place to hide among buttressing roots. He curls his arms and legs in close as the mist enshrouds him.
The roars of fallen DRAGOS echo and die away in the distant.
FADE TO BLACK
END ACT FOUR.