MOTHER 3, ACT ONE
EXT : TAZMILY VILLAGE, NOWHERE ISLANDS : LATE NIGHT :
Ocean waves crash against high cliffs at the southern end of TAZMILY VILLAGE. At the top, on a grass-covered slope, sits a small FARMHOUSE from which the glow of a fire emanates. This is the home of a young couple. A sheep pen composed of only guardrails and a roof comes into view as the camera pans around the eastern side of the house. The animals within make little noise, but this relative silence is interrupted by screams from inside.
INT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : FARMHOUSE : LATE NIGHT :
The screams continue as a woman sits up in bed, face drenched with sweat. A tight focus is kept on her.
This is HINAWA: young wife and very soon-to-be mother. She is heavily pregnant. Her light brown hair hangs past her shoulders, and she currently wears a handmade nightgown, the bottom end of which is stained.
Panning out, the rest of the room is revealed. It is furnished with wood, each item expertly-crafted. The bed that HINAWA rests on has a mattress filled with grasses and feathers.
From off-screen, the fire casts its light on her as she sits with legs apart. She is overcome with the pains of labor.
The door on the left wall opens and a man enters.
This is FLINT: the husband of HINAWA. He is tall, with lean but rugged features. His clothes and boots are made from varying qualities of leather, except for the cotton shirt he wears and his brown cattleman hat. He looks to be in his late twenties or early thirties.
FLINT removes his hat upon entering, revealing a wide spot on the top of his head where the hair has begun to thin. A second woman enters behind him, her arms filled with handmade towels and blankets.
This is TESSI: the local nurse and midwife. Her appearance is not unlike that of HINAWA--thin and fair-skinned--but her hair is darker and the dress she wears is a much brighter color, suggesting it was only recently made.
Pulling up a chair to the bed, TESSI sits and spreads towels around HINAWA.
Clean water. Warm it up as quickly as
you can, but not boiling.
FLINT moves into the main room where a large square table sits against the left wall and across from it a wood stove, mirror and storage shelves. Beside the table is the front door, which FLINT opens. He is brought to an abrupt halt when he sees the two men standing behind it.
The first is WESS: an older man in his late forties. His brown hair has grayed considerably and begun to recede. He is short in stature, with a constant scowl on his face. His clothes are dull and dirty.
Behind him is DUSTER: the son of WESS, much taller and thinner than his father. His facial features are vastly different--long and a bit timeworn, though he is not yet twenty years old. His hair bears the color that WESS has lost, a soft and sandy brown.
Hello there, Flint. Followed you back from
the Inn when we heard the news. Betsy asked
that we come and help.
Where you off to at a time like this?
Well I hope you'll let us help, if we can!
WESS and DUSTER enter the FARMHOUSE. A young girl sneaks out from between their legs and darts over to the bedroom door.
This is KUMATORA: a princess from the castle north of TAZMILY, and a family friend to WESS and DUSTER. Despite her title, she wears clothes that have become dirty and tattered, and often goes without shoes. Her short, dark hair is an uneven mass atop her head, colored bright pink at the tips. She is about six years old.
WESS snatches KUMATORA away from the door and sits at the dining table across from DUSTER.
Let me go, Old Man! I want to see the baby.
It's not here yet. Now keep still. We've only
come to help Mr. Flint.
Well when's everybody else going to get here?
I want someone to play with.
KUMATORA breaks free from WESS and flees to DUSTER. The screams from HINAWA can be heard off-screen.
Who's that? What's that lady screaming for?
That's Hinawa. Keep quiet.
Well why's she got to scream like that?
Shouldn't we go and help her?
There is no response, so KUMATORA climbs into the chair beside DUSTER, who is idly fingering a ceramic bowl. WESS smacks his hand.
Don't touch people's clean dishes with
your grubby hands. You moron.
Yeah, you moron.
Here now, don't be using such language.
A knock at the door. WESS gets up to answer it.
Sitting forward on the mattress, HINAWA cries out again. She is holding hands with TESSI, who wipes her forehead.
It's all right. Just keep at it.
He'll be here soon.
The front door opens and there stands FLINT with a bucket of water. He hesitates on the threshold as the camera pans around the room, now full of people.
WESS, DUSTER, and KUMATORA are still at the table, and on the remaining chairs and firewood crate sit several men and women. Among them are THOMAS, the dark-haired shop owner, and his wife LISA, a slender blonde; LIGHTER, a carpenter and childhood friend of FLINT; a burly woodsman with a recognizable plaid shirt, ISAAC; and a stout woman in her thirties named JILL, whose hair has already begun to gray.
LIGHTER stands and pats FLINT on the shoulder. JILL shoves past him to begin conversation, which is interrupted by more sounds from the other room.
I came to be of help, any way I can.
If there's something that you need-
(passing off the bucket)
FLINT enters the bedroom. An older man is sitting at the head of the bed.
This is ALEC: the father of HINAWA. He is a middle-aged man with a beard that has begun to grow in. His clothes are caked in dirt, glasses smudged. An equally dingy hat complements the attire.
A silent gesture is passed between them as FLINT kneels on the opposite side of the bed. HINAWA looks at him. She is breathing rapidly.
It won't be long now. Did you get the water?
It's taken care of.
Another scream from HINAWA as she sits forward. FLINT takes her by the hand.
Come on, Hinawa! Push hard!
HINAWA falls back again and ALEC wipes her face with towel.
That's all right. I see the head clearly
now. One more good push should do it.
When you're ready.
The camera cuts in close to HINAWA's hand squeezing FLINT. Her screams are heard again, agonizing and exhausted; and then, the cries of a baby.
Focus returns to TESSI, who cradles the newborn in her arms and wraps it in blankets. FLINT stands to receive it.
(smiling, close to tears)
A boy. We need the water to clean him off.
ALEC embraces HINAWA and FLINT exits.
In the main room, all guests surround FLINT when he enters. KUMATORA is seen worming her way between the adults. FLINT pushes through the crowd and takes the bucket of water from over the fire.
Oh Flint! I heard the baby. Is it all right?
Is Hinawa doing well? Do you need anything?
He exits, shutting the bedroom door. KUMATORA squirms past JILL and LISA, only to be grabbed by WESS.
FLINT sets the water beside TESSI and returns to his wife. He takes her hand, kneeling, and kisses her head.
(breathing heavily, exhausted)
Claus. That's what we'll call him.
Claus? I can't think of anyone I've known
with that name.
I like it.
The newborn, CLAUS, cries as he is bathed. TESSI wraps him in a new blanket and passes him on to FLINT. They stand together in silence before HINAWA leans forward again, a hand over her stomach.
(frightened, in pain)
Another one! There's another one!
(sitting before HINAWA)
It's all right, dear. Push when you feel it!
FLINT stares at his wife. The baby in his arms is silent, even as HINAWA screams. ALEC keeps hold of her right hand.
A few rounds of pushing and HINAWA falls back. ALEC wipes her face.
It could be turned around the wrong way!
I can't see its head.
HINAWA rocks forward, both hands on her knees, as though she is using the full force of her body to move the baby. The rest of the room falls into silence.
There. There, I see it! Again, Hinawa!
Just once more!
After pushing, HINAWA collapses. Focus turns to TESSI, who holds the second newborn--a male and considerably smaller than his brother. The umbilical cord is wrapped around his throat.
I don't think he's breathing.
FLINT hands off his first son to ALEC and snatches the smaller twin. He unwinds the cord. TESSI cuts it and FLINT moves into the center of the shot with the lifeless baby in his arms.
The newborn CLAUS begins to fuss. His whimpering turns to a full-blown tantrum. Off-screen, the fire is flickering wildly. It blazes within the hearth. Then, the second baby begins to stir.
INT : SUNSHINE VALLEY : AEOLIA'S HOME : LATE NIGHT :
Soft music plays in a room awash with colors and lights. The scene is kept out of focus so that all of the images blend together. Movement can be seen, but objects are indistinct.
Did you feel that?
The camera cuts over to one corner where a tall, thin individual wearing a green dress leans toward a mirror on a purple vanity. The head and face of the character are cut out of the shot.
I did indeed. Something wonderful is
going to happen!
Perhaps something terrible. For the good
of love or the tragedy of the world,
change is on its way.
The figure in green uncaps a tube of lipstick.
One never knows. I'd like to think the best.
Call me a hopeless romantic.
The figure finishes and then steps out of the shot.
INT : TAZMILY VILLAGE : FARMHOUSE : LATE NIGHT :
Bathed by the firelight, FLINT smiles at his second son, whose newfound voice wails like a siren. The baby is wrapped in a blanket and taken to HINAWA.
There we are. Just listen to that! He's
perfectly healthy. I knew he would be.
Twins. Who would have thought?
ALEC gives up baby CLAUS to HINAWA. Both children are at peace in their mother's arms.
In the background, TESSI removes the soiled blankets. She exits and FLINT kneels beside the bed.
What are we going to call this one?
Our little one who almost wasn't.
Lucas, perhaps? Or did you have another
name in mind?
Lucas. Your grandfather's name, right?
I like that.
Are you accepting any visitors?
A beat of silence, and then the bedroom door opens. KUMATORA is the first in. She races to the bed as the adults follow. DUSTER takes her up onto his shoulders.
Oh my goodness, twins!
I thought so. She looked far too big to
be carrying only one child.
Subdued laughter fills the room.
LIGHTER and WESS stand apart in one corner, watching. Through the crowd, FLINT gives them a smile and nod.
The voices of everyone present meld together as the scene ends. Focus is moved briefly to the hearth and a warm glow envelops the screen.
EXT : MT. ORIANDER : ALEC'S HOME : LATE MORNING :
(Nine years have passed)
Above the cliffs, the sun comes into view against a cloudless sky. A quick shift in focus to ground level shows an uneven landscape where the vegetation is sparse and the grass exists in patches. At the northern tip of the plateau, the soil has been tilled and a garden thrives. It is enclosed by a fence, positioned just to the right of a log cabin. This is the home of ALEC.
From the east, a young boy with fiery red hair races toward the house.
This is CLAUS: the first-born twin, now nine years old. He is thin, but strongly-built and full of energy. The shirt and shorts he wears are handmade, brightly colored like his hair, which is turned up at the front in a wide swirling cowlick.
CLAUS passes the garden and enters the house.
INT : MT. ORIANDER : ALEC'S HOME : LATE MORNING :
The interior of the cabin consists of a single room, with stairs and a bed against the right wall. The rest of the space is devoted to the dining table, storage shelves and crates, and an overlarge wood-burning stove with cooking surface.
HINAWA is at the stove, clothed in a red dress. She has not aged much. Her long hair is kept up in a bun. CLAUS passes her and ascends the stairs.
The second floor contains a smaller wood stove, beside which is a table with wash basin. There are two large beds against the far wall. In one of them, buried beneath wool blankets, is the other twin.
This is LUCAS: the youngest. His precarious situation at birth has left no mark on him. He is healthy, but less daring and far more timid. Both boys are strikingly similar in appearance, apart from their hair and the colors of their eyes.
CLAUS leaps onto the bed.
Wake up, already! Come on! You have to
come see this.
A faint response from LUCAS. CLAUS sets him upright and pulls off his clothes. They are replaced with daytime attire similar in style to what CLAUS wears, thus enhancing their appeal as twins. Once LUCAS is dressed, they exit.
Both boys race down the stairs with LUCAS stumbling behind.
Food's almost up-
Don't be gone long!
EXT : MT. ORIANDER : DRAGO PLATEAU : LATE MORNING :
To the east the cliffs rise over flat earth, populated by dry, twisted tree trunks and boulders. There is a natural walkway enclosed by these cliffs that extends out from ALEC's property and into DRAGO PLATEAU.
CLAUS races into the open with LUCAS, who stops to rub his eyes. The camera swings around them to take in the rest of the area. Giant creatures, similar to dinosaurs, inhabit this region.
These are the DRAGOS, built like tanks with teeth, claws and thick skin. They have a fearsome appearance, but a friendly disposition.
CLAUS guides LUCAS along the western cliffs to a nesting site where a mated pair of DRAGOS sits among shards of egg. They do not react when the twins approach.
CLAUS kneels beside the nest--a deep crater with rounded edges--and points to a newly-hatched young DRAGO resting between its parents.
They had their baby, Lucas. Look!
The creature stirs. It is nudged out into the open by one of its parents and chatters. There is little shape to the body of the young DRAGO. Its snout and claws have yet to grow out, but it stands nearly as tall as the boys.
It's cute, isn't it?
Can we touch him?
LUCAS reaches for the DRAGO, shaking. It cries and hops back to the nearest parent, leaving LUCAS to fall in the dirt.
What're you scared of? It's just a baby.
LUCAS pouts as his brother wrestles with one of the adults.
(starting to cry)
I'm not scared.
The DRAGO rests low to the ground. CLAUS rams it and it falls with a great cry, feigning injury.
I said I'm not scared!
Okay, then. Your turn.
LUCAS stands and charges the DRAGO. It fakes death upon hitting the ground, after which CLAUS climbs onto its back.
You are defeated!
The DRAGO roars, and both children scream. LUCAS stands with hands over his ears while CLAUS laughs.
ALEC enters from the left. His beard has grown out in full across his face and he appears to have aged gracefully in nine years' time.
Boys! Your mother says lunch is on.
All right! I'm starving!
CLAUS exits and ALEC takes LUCAS by the shoulder. The younger twin is crying.
What's all this about now? What do you have
to cry about on a beautiful day like this?
Claus teased me.
Teased you? Is that all?
They begin walking toward ALEC'S HOME.
Brothers will do that sometimes. You have
to toughen up, forgive them, and go on
with your life.
INT : MT. ORIANDER : ALEC'S HOME : AFTERNOON :
The family sits around the table with plates full of homemade food. CLAUS eats hastily.
Slow down, Claus. You'll choke yourself.
Can we go back out and play after this?
For a bit, I suppose. We're heading home today.
(pause, to LUCAS)
Are you all right, dear?
What? Yes, sorry.
He got scared of the Dragos' baby.
Nuh-uh! No I wasn't scared!
Enough, boys. Finish up now. I'll be sending
a message out to your father shortly.
CLAUS bolts from his seat with LUCAS close behind. They exit and HINAWA walks to a smaller table where a cage holds two carrier pigeons. They coo when she removes one, rolling up a strip of parchment and attaching it to the leg of the bird.
HINAWA releases the pigeon from the doorway, and then a rolling thunder cuts in. It rattles the porch frame. HINAWA holds tight to the door as a shadow passes over them--the product of a bulky silver aircraft. It is gone from sight within seconds, disappearing behind the eastern cliffs. She stares after it.
EXT : MT. ORIANDER : GRAZING VALLEY : AFTERNOON :
From a distance, HINAWA and ALEC walk swiftly across a lush patch of land on MT. ORIANDER. Livestock are scattered about, visibly bothered. Partway down the slope, HINAWA stops and screams. The camera pans away from her to a spot in the field where the grass is soaked with blood. Pig carcasses lay freshly-slaughtered, throats slashed. The skin on their faces has been pulled away, leaving only white skulls behind.
The sound of flies buzzing grows in intensity.
EXT : MT. ORIANDER : DRAGO PLATEAU : LATE AFTERNOON :
The sky has clouded over and darkened the landscape. CLAUS and LUCAS roughhouse in the dirt. When they come too close to the edge, LUCAS pulls away.
Don't, Claus! You almost made us fall!
No I didn't. You're just scared. There's
nothin' scary about it, look.
CLAUS rolls onto his stomach and looks over as the camera cuts to a view straight down the cliff. There are other narrower edges below, sloping toward pure green forest and a winding river at the bottom.
Focus returns to LUCAS.
I just don't want to fall off, that's all.
I wouldn't let you fall! I'd grab you
before you even got the chance.
But you're not strong enough to lift me up.
Taking up a small stick, CLAUS swings it like a sword.
What do you suppose that big noise was earlier?
Mom said some pigs died, and that she saw
something weird before that. I dunno.
Maybe it was a Drago?
The Dragos wouldn't kill Grandpa's pigs!
They hunt for other animals in the forest.
And besides, a Drago wouldn't sound like
what this noise was.
A pause as the roar of a DRAGO echoes among the cliffs.
There! That's a real Drago. Come on!
High cliffs wrap around the top of the plateau and end abruptly in a drop-off with nothing but greenery several hundred meters below. CLAUS moves toward the edge with LUCAS behind. The top of a round, silver object is visible between the trees.
Hey, what's that?
I don't know. Mom said we have to go home soon.
A roar in the distance. The twins look about and point in the direction of a DRAGO herd, which is moving northward across a distant valley. Several of the animals lag behind, injured.
Look at that.
Something's happened to them.
EXT : MT. ORIANDER : ALEC'S HOME : LATE AFTERNOON :
The roars continue. HINAWA is seen descending the front steps. She begins to call for LUCAS and CLAUS.
EXT : MT. ORIANDER : DRAGO PLATEAU : LATE AFTERNOON :
The twins walk along the northern wall of the plateau, from which a few small pieces fall. CLAUS stops to play with them.
I think I heard Mom call.
We should get going.
CLAUS shows the shards of rock in his hand. They are smeared with blood.
It looks like something's got on them.
A shadow descends and both boys are still, then stunned as a DRAGO launches itself from the upper cliffs onto the plateau. Its body has been transformed. Hind legs, tail, left eye and lower jaw have been replaced with mechanical replicas. There are open wounds in its flesh running across its shoulders and face. Strings of saliva fly from its open mouth as it moves.
What's wrong with it?
It looks sick.
Hey, Drago! What's the matter?
No! Claus, stop!
Stop being such a baby, Lucas!
Jaws open, a light appears within the mouth of MECHA DRAGO and fires off toward the cliffs. The impact shatters rock as both children scream. They race to the eastern rim of the plateau and the MECHA DRAGO gives chase.
CLAUS stops at the edge while LUCAS clings to him.
What do we do!
Be quiet! And stay still. Maybe it's
just forgotten who we are.
(to MECHA DRAGO)
Hey! We're Claus and Lucas! Remember?
It's us! We're your friends!
The creature roars. LUCAS covers his ears.
No! Claus, don't-!
CLAUS rushes the MECHA DRAGO but backs off when it lunges for him. He tumbles backward down the sloped rock wall to an outcropping below and there lies motionless.
The MECHA DRAGO dives at LUCAS and is struck from the right side. It rears backs, wailing, as blood pours from its face.
HINAWA stands aside. She is holding a thick tree limb. The bottom of her dress is dirty, and her hair has fallen out of its bun.
Off-screen, the MECHA DRAGO is reeling. The sound of its heavy footfalls and screams can be heard.
Go! Get out of here, now!
HINAWA is flung against the rock wall as the MECHA DRAGO swings its tail. She is slow to recover, now covered in streaks of fresh blood. LUCAS starts in her direction.
Get your brother and go! Run!
Don't look back, whatever you do!
The MECHA DRAGO charges HINAWA just as the camera cuts in close to LUCAS. In a fit of tears, he eases down the slope to where CLAUS lies, kneels beside him, and shakes his body.
Claus? Claus, get up! Hurry!
CLAUS lifts his head. His face is smattered with dirt and blood.
Where's Mom? I thought I heard her-
A scream from the plateau draws their attention. HINAWA falls just as the MECHA DRAGO dives for her.
END ACT ONE.