In the Fields of the Dead

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


An almost completed shoe-string budget script which seemingly about zombies, but is really about exploitation.

Submitted: December 13, 2017

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Submitted: December 13, 2017

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In The Fields of the Dead

an original screenplay by Matthew Bissonnette

an John Windsor

ext. home the Mcalistersnight

On the outskirts of Ottawa is a housing development, identical homes. Everyone is looking up into the sky, individuals and families standing in the small front yards of their homes gazing at the sky. As the camera pans up, there is an odd blue shimmering up amongst the stars in the sky. Outside one of the homes is a young married couple. The husband is Lex MCalister, a somewhat bookish looking man with glasses and in beige pants and white shirt. The Wife, a vibrant looking woman in jeans and black sweater is Alice MCalister. The hold each other as they look up into the sky.

Alice Mcalister

So what does the scientist have to say?

Lex MCalister

You know my field is primatology.

ALICE MCALISTER

I know, monkeys Lex.

LEX MCALISTER

I spoke with a friend of mine at the University who is an astronomer, the prevailing theory it has something to do with the comet that past close to Earth yesterday.

ALICE MCALISTER

Should we be worried?

LEX MCALISTER

No, we should just enjoy it.

Alice sighs and seems somewhat saddened. Lex seems to notice.

LEX MCALISTER

Something wrong?

ALICE MCALISTER

My husband spends at least tenth months of the year in the field.

She pulls away from his embrace and walks a few steps away with her back to him.

ALICE MCALISTER

Tomorrow you are leaving me alone again.

LEX MCALISTER

Alice, you knew what I did when we got married. My job requires that I study primates in their natural environment.

ALICE MCALISTER

You care more about your work then me.

He walks up behind her and puts his arms around her.

LEX MCALISTER

You know that is not true.

ALICE MCALISTER

Then don't go tomorrow.

He frowns then walks towards the house but stops on the steps to the front.

LEX MCALISTER

I won't have this discussion again. You know I have to go tomorrow, and I don't want to have an argument on our last night together.

He then walks into the house. Alice looks at the house and up into the sky, she seems she is about to cry.

ALICE MCALISTER

You don't care.

INT. Lex's bedroomlater

Later in the evening. In a large master bedroom, Lex is packing clothes into a suitcase which lays on the bed. He stops then and a wedding picture of him and Alice on the nightstand, he looks towards the door to the bathroom beyond the door to the hallway, the sound of a bathroom being run inside and mutters to himself.

LEX MCALISTER

I hate doing this to her, I love her.

He stops packing.

LEX MCALISTER

I guess I could take that position at the zoo.

He shakes his head.

LEX MCALISTER

I'll miss Africa.

He then turns and walks towards the door to the bathroom.

LEX MCALISTER

Alice, can we talk?

Then suddenly there is the thunderous crack of a gunshot from beyond the door. Lex stops and seems momentarily in shock.

LEX MCALISTER

Alice.

He then runs to the door.

INT.  Bathroomseconds later

The door is locked, Alice, in a bathrobe, lays on the floor with a small pistol laying near her hand. There is some blood on her face. Lex yells from beyond the door.

LEX MCALISTER

Open the door, please!

There is a sound of heavy thumping as Lex hits the door then it swings open and he stands at the doorway. He looks down at his wife and seems both grief stricken and horrified. He falls to his knees and picks her up and embraces her.

LEX MCALISTER

Wake up, please. Please.

He rocks her in his arms for awhile they lays her on the floor. He uses two fingers to check her pulse, both on her wrist and on her neck. He then stands up and looks down, tears are forming in his eyes.

LEX MCALISTER

This is my fault.

INT. LEX'S BEDROOMsecond LATER

Lex runs into the room and quickly goes to the phone, slightly crying, and picks up the receiver and dials 911. He pleads into the phone with his back to the door.

LEX MCALISTER

My wife is hurt, I need a paramedic and a defibrillator right now!

AS he talks, he does not notice that Alice, still dead, stumbles out from the bathroom and stares at him. The mouth of her bloodied face is hanging open.

LEX MCALISTER

She does not have a pulse!

Then she stumbles towards him. Lex hears her footsteps, then stops talking. He slowly turns around. Open seeing her, at first seems relieved but his expression goes to one of shock since part of her head is missing.

ext.rail linemorning

A rail line running through the countryside during a sunny morning ten years later. It is surrounded by vast fields of wheat and corn. Then a passenger train rumbles past.

int. passenger trainseconds later

Lex, ten years older and seeming more worn and burnt out, sleeps in a chair by a window, the countryside rolling past beyond. He is unshaven and wears beige pants, white shirt and a vest with pockets on it. He then seems to have a nightmare and quickly wakes up. He looks around and realizes that a slightly obese, sweaty man in a business suit, Paul, is sitting in a chair across the isle and is looking at him. Lex straightens his glasses and looks out the window but speaks.

LEX MCALISTER

Something wrong buddy?

Paul grins.

paul

You are getting of if Green Falls are you not?

LEX MCALISTER

Perceptive fella.

Paul shakes his head.

PAUL

You just don't seemed like a man headed for Montreal.

LEX MCALISTER

Do you have a point?

PAUL

The walking corpse to human ratio in that area is at least ten to one. Dangerous place to be getting off.

Lex seems to solemnly look out the window.

LEX MCALISTER

Most people know that they only try to attack people when no other source of food is available.

PAUL

I think we should do what most countries do, destroy those things on sight.

LEX MCALISTER

Anyone who dies will be one of those things from now on. Approximately six billion people where infected with that space born plague, and as yet there is no cure.

PAUL

That is why I'm going to be sensible a be cremated.

Paul then looks at the fields beyond the window.

PAUL

I guess some genius figured out they could work.

EXT.  a fieldseconds later

The rail line is at the far end of a field. It is a large farmer's field with rocky ground. As the camera pulls away from the rail line, we see that there is around a dozen undead, men and women in ragged clothing in varying states of decomposition, going about the field picking up rocks.

ext.  green fallslater

Later in the morning. The large town seems quaint and picturesque with simple shops along main street and people on sidewalks in summer attire; it is surrounded by fields. On the edge of town is a train station.

EXT.  green falls train stationseconds later

A small red brick building, a passenger train rumbling past behind it, sits against a blue sky. A small car is in front of it and a young woman leans against it as she smokes a cigarette. She is journalist Jean Chan, a attractive asian woman in her early thirties dressed in long skirt and a brown leather jacket,and has on sunglasses. She seems to look at the door impatiently and looks at her watch.

jean Chan

Where is this guy?

Then Lex walks out from the door's to the station near the car and looks around. Then he and Jean see each other and he slowly approaches.

LEX MCALISTER

Are you Jean Chan?


 

She drops the cigarette and crushes it under her heel.

JEAN Chan

Dr. Mcalister I presume.

Then shakes hands and seem to size each other up.

LEX MCALISTER

You where pretty vague when we talked on the phone miss Chan. While exactly is your paper doing a story on such a politely discreet subject like how the undead are being used for labor?

JEAN Chan

Because it is an important subject and news is my profession.

LEX MCALISTER

Is this your first time in the company of departed people?

JEAN Chan

From what I dug up, you have spent almost every waking moment with them since this all happened more ten years ago.

Lex then walks the passenger door and speaks.

LEX MCALISTER

We can talk more in the car.

ext.  country roadlater

A secluded road among farmers fields, there a numerous undead in some of the fields doing work. Then Jean's car races past kicking dirt on the unpaved road.

int. jean's carseconds later

Jean drives as Lex sits in the passenger seat and looks out the window. With a free hand, she picks up and small audio recorder and briefly looks at Lex.

JEAN Chan

Everything you say from this point will be on the record.

He looks momentarily at her.

LEX MCALISTER

OF course, but before I have to tell you that some of the practices used in harvesting undead for labor are, let just say, grim and unpopular. So the man who owns the farm whose using them for work; well there is just some things you have to be discreet about.

She then turns on the audio recorder and places it back on the dash board.

JEAN Chan

It the field of study of undead, a lot of people say you are the best.

LEX MCALISTER

Not really, but unlike many in my field, I don't mind being among large groups of deceased.

JEAN Chan

What did you do before this happened?

LEX MCALISTER

I studied large primates, primarily gorillas.

JEAN Chan

What did you change professions?

LEX MCALISTER

Because they basically are reanimated corpses with a more primal instinct and degraded intellect.

She looks at him.

JEAN Chan

You are saying they are like monkeys?

LEX MCALISTER

Primates, yes. Actually my time went with wild gorillas was infinitely useful when it came with working with the reanimated.

She looks at the road.

JEAN Chan

How so?

LEX MCALISTER

I will tell you some basic undead tips. They tend to collect in groups of around ten or twenty, and the largest, strongest one is the one to avoid, I call him Alpha. You'll see that one right away.

JEAN Chan

What should I do if one attacks?

LEX MCALISTER

The reanimated are carnivorous, but will be well fed. They will only attack if they determine us to be a threat. So just don't scared or panic, just have a calm disposition and don't look Alpha in the eye because it will perceive it as a challenge.

JEAN Chan

May I ask why you agreed to let a journalist join you for a month as you study them out in here the boondocks? Your contemporaries  said you disliked reporters.

LEX MCALISTER

I read your article which broached the subject about the morality for how society treats them. And how they still are human.

JEAN Chan

Do you share that sentiment?

LEX MCALISTER

I think it is naive, but I respect you had the nerve to have such an unpopular opinion in the current political climate.

JEAN Chan

This won't be in the story, but most people said you are hard to work with.

LEX MCALISTER

They are safe to be amongst only if you act smartly, they are wild animals but have routines. Most of my field read and write books about the subject, few like being within a million miles of one. And they don't react well to fear.

JEAN Chan

Like a monkey?

LEX MCALISTER

Somewhat. So just listen to me,and for god sake, always act calm.

EXT.  O'Reilly farm seconds LATER

Along the country road is a large, expensive farmhouse near a barn and several grain silos and is surrounded in wavering fields of wheat. There are some undead is the distance harvesting wheat with small scythes. It is the O'Reilly farmstead and Jean's car drives down a long driveway towards it. It stops in front of the house. A man walks out the front door and stands on the porch. He is a bald, burly farmer name Fred O'Reilly; he stands on the porch dressed in a red denim shirt and overalls and scowls at the car; he is chewing tobacco.

INT. JEAN'S CARSECONDS LATER

Both Lex and Jean look at Fred.

JEAN Chan

Does not seem to be very happy.

LEX MCALISTER

I told him your my assistant, so nothing about your story. Wait here while I go talk to him.

Lex gets out the car.

EXT.  O'REILLY FARM SECONDS LATER

Lex approaches the farmer and they look at each other.

Fred O'Reilly

You that guy from the university?

Lex extends his hand.

LEX MCALISTER

Lex Mcalister. Thank you for agreeing to let me study some of your work units.

Fred does not shake his hand and spits some tobacco on the ground beside him.

FRED O'REILLY

Where is the money you talked about?

Lex reaches into a pocket in his vest and pulls out a wad of money and hands it to him. Fred takes it and puts into a pocket.

FRED O'REILLY

So which of these groups of freaks do you want to study?

LEX MCALISTER

I would like to study, your largest pack.

Fred nods then points to a barren field in the distance, we can see vaguely around twenty undead work as they pick up rocks and carry them to a flatbed of a large orange truck. Lex looks at them.

LEX MCALISTER

Seems like you have managed to work efficiently.

FRED O'REILLY

Well, they, like a dog, they can be trained. But when my dog misbehaves, I whack him with a rolled up news paper. When one of the freaks does, well that is what my  shotgun is for.

Fred then turns to go in the house, but looks back and speaks.

FRED O'REILLY

I do not say a word to anyone about the Chop Shop.

LEX MCALISTER

You have one?

FRED O'REILLY

It costs money to feed them, so I like to make this profitable.

He walks into the house. Lex looks at the house for a moment and looks back at the car. Jean gets out and looks at him.

JEAN Chan

So can we get this story going?

Lex walks towards the barren field as Jean follows.

LEX MCALISTER

Pay intention to what I say and learn quick.

EXT.  barren fieldseconds later

A large, expansive field with a bumpy, dirt bottom strewn with rocks. Around twenty undead work the field, the slow moving reanimated corpses pick up rocks and carry them towards the truck. A large, muscular male undead, Alpha, is dressed in tattered jeans and black t-shirt, picks up and large rock and carries it to the truck and drops it on the flatbed of the truck. Just then, another undead, Beta who is as large as Alpha, drops another large rock of the flatbed; Beta has won tattered shorts and wears a shirt with a pot leaf on it. Alpha and Beta scowl at each other for a moment, but when Alpha lets out a deep grunt Beta walks away and resumes picking up rocks. Then a female undead, a petite reanimated woman in a dress, Sally, drops a smaller rock on the back of the truck. Alpha a Sally look at each other for a moment, then she walks away and resumes to work. Alpha then goes to work when he sees Lex and Jean approaching in the distance. Alpha frowns then a looks towards an undead in the distance. Standing among the working undead is another one who is skinny and wearing red shorts and shirt. It, or Runner, seems to be energetic can can't seem to sit still. Then he sees Alpha looking at him and Runner runs towards him and they stand before each other. Runner bounces about when Alpha then looks at Lex and Jean in the distance and he lets out a deep grunt. Runny nods then races towards the approaching two.

EXT.  edge of barren fieldseconds later

Lex and Jean stops at the edge of the field and look at the working undead, then she sees Runner racing towards them. Jean looks nervously at Lex.

JEAN Chan

That one is running towards us.

Lex whispers and steps in front of her.

LEX MCALISTER

Just watch.

Runner then comes to a quick stop in front of them, but seems to bounce about as it tries to keep still. Lex and Runner look at each other, Runner is smiling. Lex shrugs and lifts up his hand. Runner grins then leans forward and lightly bites Lex's hand. Jean jumps back but then remains composed.

LEX MCALISTER

OK, now go back and tell Alpha we are not a threat.

Runner then turns and runs towards Alpha in the distance. Jean is staring at Lex.

JEAN Chan

Mind telling me what just happened?

He looks back at her.

LEX MCALISTER

You be seeing Runner a lot when we are in there territory. Alpha, which is acting territorially, with have the fastest one keep and eye on us when we are close to this pack. I call him Runner, a lot of packs have that one.

JEAN Chan

Why did you let it bite you?

LEX MCALISTER

Unlike popular conception, since we are already infected with the pathogen responsible, a bite is of little risk. I learned that it shows that we are not a threat.

JEAN Chan

I seemed to like biting you.

LEX MCALISTER

Runner just wanted to know what I tasted like, but don't worry, he is well fed.

Jean looks at Alpha who stands with Runner beside the truck in the distance.

JEAN Chan

So that is Alpha, the leader.

LEX MCALISTER

Yes, kind of like a head of a group of gorillas, he is the protector of the group. He wants to know if he needs to be concerned by out presence.

Jean then looks at Beta who carries another large rock towards the truck.

JEAN Chan

Could that one be the Alpha, he seems just a large?

Lex seems to think.

LEX MCALISTER

Interesting. He must be a Beta, or Runner would be going to that one. But Beta will probably challenge Alpha.

JEAN Chan

What do you mean?

LEX MCALISTER

Alpha only leads as long as he is the strongest. Like a Alpha male gorilla, he will eventually be deposed by a stronger one eventually.

JEAN Chan

Sounds rather heartless.

LEX MCALISTER

Like I said, there are a lot of similarities with primates.

They watch the undead work in silence for a moment. Jean then looks at Lex.

JEAN Chan

So what do we do now?

Lex sits on the ground.

LEX MCALISTER

We'll just stay here for awhile and let them get used to us. After a few hours, we can get closer.

Jean sits on the ground and pulls out a cigarette and lighter and begins to smoke as they watch the undead work.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

A few hours later during the sunny day. Lex and Jean sit on the edge of the field. They watch the undead work for awhile when Jean looks at him.

JEAN Chan

What can you tell me about the disease responsible for them?

Lex continues to watch them work but speaks.

LEX MCALISTER

As a reporter, I thought you would have been informed?

JEAN Chan

A lot of popular misconceptions regarding this issue.

LEX MCALISTER

Earth was basically seeded from space my a single celled opportunistic parasite which remains dormant until a person flat lines.

JEAN Chan

I've heard all this from some of your piers.

LEX MCALISTER

Did they tell you that some astronomers have raised questions about the comet?

JEAN Chan

What do you mean?

LEX MCALISTER

It's trajectory indicated it passed through our star system from deep space.

JEAN Chan

What is odd about that?

LEX MCALISTER

What is not widely known is that the comet seemed to slow and slightly change it course towards Earth. That is odd.

Jean just looks blankly at the undead working and seems troubled.

LEX MCALISTER

I was unsettled to when I found out to.

EXT.  BARREN FIELDLATER

Late in the day as a red sun sinks beyond in the horizon. The pack of undead continue at pick up stones as Lex and Jean watch in the distance at the edge of the field. Alpha picks up a large stone and easily lifts it, carries it to the truck and drops it. Then Beta approaches slowly with a larger stone and drops it on the flat bed of the truck. Alpha and Beta look at each other, both appearing to gaze at each other. Alpha then lets out a loud grunt and all the undead stop working, dropping the stones they carry and look at the two of them.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Lex and Jean are watching. She seems transfixed while Lex watches somewhat dispassionately. She turns to him.

JEAN Chan

Are Alpha and Beta going to fight?

Lex briefly looks at her then looks at the undead in the field.

LEX MCALISTER

Their smart enough to know that doing this simple task secures them food. Beta has just implied he can make them for food then Alpha. So they are about-

Jean briefly grins.

JEAN Chan

Alpha and Beta are having a stone lifting competition.

LEX MCALISTER

Yes.

EXT.  BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Now all the undead stand around Alpha and Beta in a corner of the field. A very large stone which seems unmovable which they look at. Alpha then scowls at Beta and let's out a brief grunt. Beta grins then begins to lift the rock, he struggles but as able to lift it with great effort. Sally is among the pack as they stand around, but she is looking only at Alpha. Beta seems to be laughing but makes no sound as he struggles to carry the stone towards the truck. Then he stumbles and drops the stone and kneels beside it seeming winded. Alpha then marches towards him, picks up Beta off the ground by lighting him up by his tattered clothing. Alpha them pushes him away then goes to lift the stone. Sally lets out a soft groan and Alpha looks at her, then he silently lifts up the stone with effort and seems to struggle at first then seems to pick up the stone. Alpha holds it up and place for a moment then begins to stagger towards the truck with the stone. All the undead watch, Beta seems anger and he watches from the ground. Alpha then stumbles.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Lex and Jean seem to watch the fight closely, then she whispers to herself.

JEAN Chan

Come on Alpha.

EXT.  BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

All the undead aside from Beta walk behind Alpha as he seems to then move forward again and he with strained effort walks slowly to the truck, when he drops it of the flat bed, it causes the vehicle sink down on its shock absorbers. Alpha then turns and looks at the pack. Beta is in the back looking hatefully at him. All the undead let out brief grunts, though Alpha and Sally look at each other silently.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Jean lets out a brief laugh and she looks at Lex.

JEAN Chan

I'm glad he won. I like him more then Beta.

Lex briefly looks at Beta.

LEX MCALISTER

They can range widely in disposition, Beta seems aggressive. He challenge Alpha again until he wins.

JEAN Chan

They seem to talk or be communicating with each other.

LEX MCALISTER

They do utilize some kind of system of communication, but have been around these packs for a long time. They can barely communicate and use a more instinctual way of acting with each other.

Jean seems to look at Alpha and Sally look at each other among the pack of undead.

JEAN Chan

I think that one loves Alpha. She as been looking at him the whole time.

Lex looks away into the horizon and seems trouble, he then blankly looks at the pack.

LEX MCALISTER

Most people fear them, so it does not help your innate fear to humanize something which fills you with dread.

She looks at him.

JEAN Chan

I don't think they should be feared.

LEX MCALISTER

I think of them like a wild animal, if you know how it functions they are safe to be around. And they are not going anywhere since from now anyone who dies in one of them; we are outnumbered. I unlike many in my field, I am not publicly advocating the undead being destroyed on sight.

Then in the distance from the direction in the distance comes the thunderous crack of a gun shot. All the pack and Lex as well as Jean, turn and look at the farm house.

EXT.  O'REILLY FARM SECONDS LATER

O'Reilly stands on his porch, holding a shotgun which is smoking. He fires into the air again and yells after wards even though they cannot possibly hear him.

FRED O'REILLY

Get back to work you worthless bastards!

EXT.  BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

All the undead are looking at the Farmhouse in the distance. They all seem to be motionless when Alpha, who scowls at the farm house, grunts briefly when the whole pack goes back to work, Alpha looks at the farmhouse hatefully for a moment and returns to work, lifting another heavy stone.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Lex and Jean looking at the house in the distance.

JEAN Chan

Doing this work do you hear gunfire a lot.

Lex looks at her for a moment then returns to looking at the pack work.

LEX MCALISTER

In areas where the ratio of dead to living is hire, you'll find people are heavily armed. As I said they have a range dispositions, and in these parts when some reanimated body stumbles into their yard in the dead of night because it is lost or possibly confused, I guess the locals feel it is a necessity

JEAN Chan

They looked afraid.

LEX MCALISTER

Though they have greatly diminished intellect, they do know that doing this simple task gets them food. But this somewhat secretive trade of undead labor is build on a foundation that if they ever challenge the living they will be killed. Fear keeps them in line.

Lex then seems to look of to the horizon.

LEX MCALISTER

I think that perhaps some remnants of the people we knew may still exist in the undead, but such a view is unpopular because people are afraid.

He then looks blankly at the pack.

LEX MCALISTER

If we can find a way to establish a system where they are of some use and safe; then we won't have them cremated. But the term undead is somewhat inaccurate, we are looking at a living life form.

Jean seems to notice that Lex is trouble by something then grins.

JEAN Chan

My article will include about your interest in monkeys, some readers will appreciate a bit of humor.

Lex frowns.

LEX MCALISTER

It was smart to change my field, all the gorilla's and witnessed in their natural home will likely become extinct.

He then looks at her then away.

LEX MCALISTER

They are not going anywhere, so we better come to terms with them.

EXT.  A barren fielddusk.

The pack of undead works as the last hints of daylight appear to the west. They continue to slowly work and lifting stones.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Lex and Jean sit at watch when he then stands. He then slowly walk towards the pack be speaks silently.

LEX MCALISTER

Just sit down and watch, if you need me just let out a fake laugh.

He stops and looks back at her,

LEX MCALISTER

It does not scare them.

Lex then slowly walks towards the interior of the darkened barren field.

EXT.  BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Lex stands at near a group of undead as they stop lifting stones of various sizes and look at him. He looks towards the ground and does not make sound as he slowly picks up a moderately sized stone and picks up a stone; he slowly approaches the back of the truck and drops it as more of the pack stop and look at him. He does not make eye contact as he continues to lift rocks and carry them towards the truck. Alpha stops working and looks at him briefly then goes back to work. Then the entire pack begins to pick up rocks as the night gets darker.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Though it is dark, a large nearly full moon provides a soft ambient light. Jean continues to watch but seems somewhat unsettled as she watches him work.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Later in the night as the sound of crickets can be heard everywhere, Jean is now standing when Lex approaches seeming tired.

JEAN Chan

I did not expect that. You actually where working with them.

He looks blankly at her. She seems somewhat unsure to say next.

JEAN Chan

You just joined that pack if I'm not mistaken.

He looks back towards the working undead.

LEX MCALISTER

I'm not sure that fact will make me an appealing subject for an article. It makes is easier to work close to them, but I assure my membership is tenuous.

He looks at her.

LEX MCALISTER

It is best to observe them at night, with no need to sleep they are active at night.

Jean then seems to eye him over again.

JEAN Chan

Promise me though that they are safe, there are a lot of people who say they are dangerous.

LEX MCALISTER

Just don't scare them, since they just decided I'm one of them they will know that your with me. What we want is for them not to notice us.

JEAN Chan

So they won't attack.

Lex then is silent for a moment then looks at the field.

LEX MCALISTER

The is a problem that since their entire anatomy is is basically used by the virus is on deceased humans, the resulting reanimated have a hard time telling the difference between us and them. The problem arises they get confused, or hungry.

He looks back at the darkened field then seems to inhale. He then slowly walks towards them.

LEX MCALISTER

Unlike us, they tire a lot slowly, it is always hell keeping up with them.

He stops.

LEX MCALISTER

But I need to get there trust. Hope you like working at night.

He then walks back out into the field as she watches.

EXT.  BARREN FIELDLATER

Later around midnight as a moon hangs over the field as the silhouettes of the pack and Lex continuing picking up stones and carrying them to the truck as the soft glow of the moon bathes the field. Sally seems to be having trouble lifting a larger stone. Since she struggles to lift it, she does not notice as Alpha walks up silently. She looks up at him when he picks up the stone from her and walks towards the truck. Lex is nearby but looks at the ground as he works when he hears a quiet, restrained laugh coming from the edge of the field. He drops the stone he holds and walks away from the pack.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Jean sits on the ground and smokes a cigarette and watches as Lex approaches. He seems tired.

LEX MCALISTER

Problem Ms. Chan?

JEAN Chan

It is almost midnight, I'm out in the middle of nowhere with I don't know how many reanimated; it is a bit unnerving.

He seems to look at her then towards the pack.

LEX MCALISTER

I told you on the phone that I work with them mostly at night.

JEAN Chan

Why?

LEX MCALISTER

They see very well in low light, as they seem to be somewhat nocturnal. They can act differently I've found. It is also at night when they feed.

Lex looks at his watch.

LEX MCALISTER

Right around now I would say.

Jean seems somewhat unsettled when suddenly there is the sound of a truck's horn. Lex and Jean see a pair of head lights to a truck appear from the night in the distance and drives towards the field.

EXT.  A BARREN FIELDseconds later

All the undead stop working as they watch Fred's truck drive towards them in the field, the truck bounces about on the rocky terrain. Being dragged behind is a large dead cow. The truck comes to a stop and the pack surrounds it. Fred slowly gets out, he folds a revolver in one hand. As the undead watch, Fred goes to the back and with his free hand and unties the cow's carcass off which now lays on the ground. Fred seems somewhat afraid then quickly gets back into his truck. It slowly drives away as the pack now surround the dead cow. Alpha does to it first, then begins to tear pieces of meat off with his teeth. Then the rest of the pack close in and begin to.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Jean seems unable to watch but Lex watches calmly.

JEAN Chan

That is disgusting.

LEX MCALISTER

They are carnivorous.

He then looks at her.

LEX MCALISTER

Like I said I'm trying to bled in with the pack, I live it up to you if you want to include what I'm about to do in your article.

He then sighs and walks slowly towards the feeding pack.

EXT.  A BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Most of the pack devours the cow towards its front section. They all stop when Lex approaches, they watch as he kneels down near one of the hind legs and tears of a strip of flesh with his teeth. Then the pack resumes feeding. Lex brushes the cows blood away from his chin with his hand as he chews then swallows the meat. He then walks away towards Jean on the edge of the field.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Jean still sits on the ground, but seems disquieted and mutters to herself.

JEAN Chan

He is insane.

Lex then stands before her but seems be look over his shoulder at the pack. She looks at him.

JEAN Chan

You just ate some flesh from a dead cow.

Lex briefly grins.

LEX MCALISTER

Statistically, the health risks are greater if you eat the flesh of a cow from your nearest fast food provider.

JEAN Chan

You enjoy this, don't you?

He then looks at her seriously.

LEX MCALISTER

I'm committed to this study, besides, I have to get them to think one of them.

Lex yawns.

LEX MCALISTER

We'll turn in early, but sleep in, we'll be up late tomorrow.

Jean gets up.

JEAN Chan

Hotel?

LEX MCALISTER

The man who owns this land offered us accommodations for the duration of your story.

JEAN Chan

Is that a good idea?

He walks towards the house in the distance.

LEX MCALISTER

We'll be fine.

She then follows. Then the scene dissolves.

lex's dream

In Lex's bedroom ten years before. He stands in the bedroom, holding a phone in one hand, and blankly looks at the reanimated body of Alice which looks at him. He starts to back away and seems in shock.

LEX MCALISTER

No, this is impossible.

Then suddenly she lunges at him and the dream ends as it dissolves.

int.  guest bedroom in O'Reilly homemorning

A small bedroom, there are two small beds as well as sparse furniture. There is an open window which the rays of the morning sun cascade through, the drapes flap about in a slight breeze. Lex and Jean, both sleep in a bed and still in their day clothes, though he is tossing and turning a moaning in his sleep.

LEX MCALISTER

Alice, no.

Jean then slowly arouses from her slumber then sits up in bed. She looks at Lex when suddenly he awakes and quickly sits up. He is drenched in sweat and seems troubled.

JEAN Chan

Who is Alice?

He looks at her for a moment then gets up from the bed and his back to her. She still looks at him.

JEAN Chan

I woke up in the night while you where asleep. He kept calling that name out.

LEX MCALISTER

Just someone I knew a long time ago.

He looks to the window.

LEX MCALISTER

Hope you are well rested, it is going to be a long day.

Then there is a knock at the door. Lex walks to the bedroom door and opens it. Fred wife, Carol, is outside the door and smiling; she has glasses and wears a faded blue dress. She looks at Lex.

Carol O'Reilly

Would our guest like a nice, home cooked breakfast?

Lex looks towards Jean.

LEX MCALISTER

Feel like some food before we get to work?

Jean nods.

JEAN Chan

I'm so hungry I could eat anything.

He looks back at Carol.

LEX MCALISTER

Thanks, we accept your hospitable offer.

CAROL O'REILLY

Come downstairs.

Jean gets up from the bed and follows Lex out of the room.

INT.  O'Reilly Kitchenmorning

A large kitchen with expensive appliances and a round table in its center. Jean and Lex sit at the table with Carol as they eat the large breakfast on their plates. It is silent when Jean looks at Carol.

JEAN Chan

Miss, may I ask you something?

CAROL O'REILLY

Sure.

JEAN Chan

Do you feel comfortable living in a area with so many undead present?

Carol smiles.

CAROL O'REILLY

Unlike a lot of folks around here, I don't fear the poor pitiful things since they have not given me a reason to be afraid. Though my husband, he treats them in a cruel manner sometimes.

JEAN Chan

How does he treat them?

Carol looks away and sighs.

CAROL O'REILLY

Constantly threatening them, as well as the chop shop.

JEAN Chan

What can you tell me about the chop shop?

Lex kicks Jean's leg with his foot under the table and looks at her.

LEX MCALISTER

That is none of our business, how her husband handles his work units.

Lex then stands up and looks towards a door.

LEX MCALISTER

We should get started, I want to make thorough observations of pack during this month.

Jean stands up and turns to Carol.

JEAN Chan

Thank you for the breakfast.

EXT.  O'REILLY FARM SECONDS LATER

The O'Reilly home is still when Lex and Jean walk out from the front door and stand on the porch, he looks at the vague silhouettes of the undead pack working in the barren field far away. She then looks at him and frowns.

JEAN Chan

This won't be on the record, but I want to know more about the chop shop.

He looks at her.

LEX MCALISTER

First may I ask what you know about it?

JEAN Chan

I know that there is an American vice president with a heart transplanted from a reanimated corpse, a vice president who tells the public all undead should be destroyed on sight.

LEX MCALISTER

Soon after the plague began, someone discovered that since the reanimated, including their organs, suffer a greatly reduced of decomposition, well their organs where viable to be transplanted into the living. Such organs seemed more durable actually.

JEAN Chan

How do they get these organs?

Lex frowns.

LEX MCALISTER

Most individuals who use undead labor have a place, usually in a barn, where they harvest organs from work units who are no longer useful. But it is a very sensitive subject, since I'm sure people would not want the social stigma of walking around with undead organs inside them. They sell them to countries across the planet.

JEAN Chan

As a specialist in your field, how do you feel about that?

Lex looks to the working pack in the distance.

LEX MCALISTER

I do not condone it, but it makes it more financially viable to keep the reanimated from being destroyed out right.

Then they both notice as an undead man, in a serious state of decomposition and wearing a tattered suit, stumbles into the yard. They both look at the walking corpse as it stumbles around and lets out grunts.

JEAN Chan

Why is it not working?

He looks at the corpses and squints his eyes.

LEX MCALISTER

It seems lost and confused, must have been separated from its pack.

JEAN Chan

What do we do?

Then at the end of the long driveway, from the direction of the road, a red convertible sports car races down the driveway towards the house as it kicks up dust. It comes to a screeching halt in front of the house, and a young man stands up in the passenger seat. He is Fred's son Andy O'Reilly, a tall man wearing a t-shirt and shorts and has on sunglasses. He then see's the undead man stumbling about the yard. Laying on the passenger seat is a large caliber pistol, he picks it up and aims at the walking corpse. He smiles and briefly laughs.

Andy O'Reilly

Goodnight you sorry son of a bitch.

He fires and there is a loud gunshot which echoes throughout the fields surrounding the farm, the undead man is it in the forehead and it lays down motionless. Lex and Jean both look at Andy. He looks at them and throws the pistol back on the passenger seat.

ANDY O'REILLY

You must be that egg head who paid my father to study his freaks.

LEX MCALISTER

You are his son I take it?

Jean looks at the motionless corpse on the lawn.

JEAN Chan

Why did you kill him.

Andy takes off his sunglasses and smiles at her.

ANDY O'REILLY

Because they are worth nothing when they are not smart enough to stay where they work beautiful. And I enjoy it.

Andy then gets out from the car and walks towards the house. He walks up onto the porch but speaks as he passes them.

ANDY O'REILLY

Better let my parents now the prodigal son has returned.

He then goes into the house. Jean then stares at Lex.

JEAN Chan

Seems like a asshole.

LEX MCALISTER

That really does not concern me Ms. Chan. Now we have a full day and night ahead.

Lex walks down on the porch as Jean follows, they walk towards the barren field.

JEAN Chan

Day two of my article on the zombie situation is about to begin. I admit, your work is going to make for a great story.

He looks at her as they walk.

LEX MCALISTER

In my field of study, we never use the word zombie.

JEAN Chan

Why is that?

LEX MCALISTER

When you write a doctoral thesis which you want to submit of peer review, well the word Zombie just seems lack a certain seriousness. That is why we call them reanimated.

JEAN Chan

OK, I won't use the word zombie in my article.

LEX MCALISTER

Good idea.

They walk towards the barren field in silence.

EXT.  A BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

The barren field. The pack of undead work under and clear blue sky as they carry rocks towards the flatbed of the large truck. Alpha carries a large rock towards the truck, Beta stands a few meters away, motionless and seems to scowl at Alpha. Alpha drops the large stone on the flatbed of the truck which causes the vehicle to sink down on its shocks. Then Alpha turns and watches as Sally slowly walks towards the truck carrying a moderately large stone. Then Sally stumbles and falls to the ground, dropping the stone. Alpha, seeming concerned, quickly walks to her. He stands above her looking down at Sally and she looks up at him. Then they both briefly smile and Alpha takes her hand and helps her up to her feet. They look mutely at each other for a few moments then Alpha picks up the stone she dropped and carries it to the truck as she watches. In the distance, both Lex and Jean sit at the edge of the field and watch the undead work.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Lex and Jean sit at the perimeter of the field as they watch the pack of undead work. Jean then looks at him and silently seems to stare at him.

JEAN Chan

May I ask you something doctor Mcalister?

Lex replies but still watches the pack.

LEX MCALISTER

A question for your article?

JEAN Chan

Yes. I've been watching Alpha and they reanimated woman. I may not be an expert in this sort thing, but they seem to care for each other.

Lex looks briefly at her then away.

LEX MCALISTER

During my studies, I've noticed that they can display qualities which almost can seem like affection. But it is rare.

Jean looks at the pack.

JEAN Chan

Most people are afraid of the reanimated, but they might fear them less if they new that.

LEX MCALISTER

I still am not entirely sure why they show human like qualities such as tenderness. It can be a remnant of their human facilities before death or it may indicate that they are not mindless automatons.

JEAN Chan

If that is true, then harnessing them for work like this is immoral.

LEX MCALISTER

Like I said, if they are of some use, then they won't be destroyed. I dislike this practice, but it may save them.

JEAN Chan

Sounds like you actually are sympathetic towards them.

LEX MCALISTER

I have been in there company much more then living people for the past ten years, so that may affect my view of the reanimated.

Jean briefly looks at him.

JEAN Chan

Are you married?

LEX MCALISTER

I do not see how that is relevant to your story.

JEAN Chan

I noticed you have a wedding band on your finger.

Lex looks down at the ring on his finger and seems saddened.

LEX MCALISTER

I'm married, or was.

JEAN Chan

What happened?

Lex then looks at the pack again.

LEX MCALISTER

She felt I was to involved with my work and she, well, decided to find a way out of our marriage.

JEAN Chan

Divorce?

LEX MCALISTER

Something like that.

Lex stands up.

LEX MCALISTER

Well, I better start blending in with the pack. It is going to be a thoroughly arduous day.

Jean stands up and nods.

JEAN Chan

Then let's get to work.

Lex looks at her seeming surprised.

LEX MCALISTER

What are you talking about miss Chan?

JEAN Chan

When I write a story, I like to be as personally involved as possible; helps we get a thorough view on a article.

LEX MCALISTER

That may not be a good idea.

JEAN Chan

I insist, besides I do not feel like watching all day doing nothing.

LEX MCALISTER

Well if you are insistent then OK, but it could be dangerous.

JEAN Chan

I thought you said they where relatively safe.

LEX MCALISTER

Mostly if you know what you are doing, but they will perceive you to be one of their pack. If you do anything which Alpha or any of the larger ones perceives as a challenge, they could react violently. Also if you get afraid, they will get aggressive possibly.

Jean grins.

JEAN Chan

I have been in several war zones, so I'll be OK.

Lex walks towards the pack as Jean follows.

LEX MCALISTER

I admire your tenacity Ms. Chan, just do what I do and look mostly at the ground.

JEAN Chan

I have been listening doctor Mcalister.

Then they get among the pack as the undead carry stones towards the truck.

INT.  O'REILLY KITCHENseconds later

Andy sits at the kitchen table, Carol and Fred sit at the other end of the table, Fred's hand is on the table and Carol's hand is on top of it. Andy grins yet his parents are frowning.

 


 

FRED O'REILLY

I just do not think it is a good idea Andy.

Andy leans back in his chair.

ANDY O'REILLY

Pop, I grew up helping you run this farm, and since you are leaving it to me, I thought I should get some experience running things.

FRED O'REILLY

I have not been involved in the affairs of my lands in years, and you have no experience with those undead abominations.

ANDY O'REILLY

I got the idea.

CAROL O'REILLY

What are you suggesting son?

ANDY O'REILLY

You and pa go to the lake house for a week, and let me run things.

FRED O'REILLY

I am not sure.

ANDY O'REILLY

This farm has been hemorrhaging money for the past year, and I got some ideas on how to improve things.

FRED O'REILLY

Improve things how?

ANDY O'REILLY

For one, I know a guy in Seattle who traffics in organs taken from the freaks. So the healthier ones go to the chop shop and lot sooner then before they become useless. Also, instead of feeding them every night; they get fed once a week.

Fred seems a little concerned.

FRED O'REILLY

They could get dangerous.

Andy grins.

ANDY O'REILLY

Then I'll shoot them in the head.

Carol looks at Fred.

CAROL O'REILLY

Fred, don't do this.

Andy looks harshly at Carol.

ANDY O'REILLY

Ma, this is a matter for the men of the house.

Fred looks at her.

FRED O'REILLY

This farm has been losing money, maybe our son should have a shot at running things.

ANDY O'REILLY

Give me a week, when you come  back I'll have this place turned into a cash bonanza.

Fred looks at his son as nods.

FRED O'REILLY

A week, and if you turn things around then the farm is yours.

CAROL O'REILLY

Are you sure Fred?

FRED O'REILLY

We could use a week in some place where the living far out number the dead.

ANDY O'REILLY

I won't let you son pops.

FRED O'REILLY

It will be hard you by yourself, if the work units get out of hand you may be in danger.

Andy smiles.

ANDY O'REILLY

I got some buddies coming by who will help, and they are armed to the teeth.

FRED O'REILLY

OK Andy, but some scientist and his assistant will be here; so do not interfere.

Andy laughs.

ANDY O'REILLY

I saw them. The egg head looks like some burn out, but the assistant is hot.

FRED O'REILLY

You got one week.

ANDY O'REILLY

You won't regret it.

EXT.  BARREN FIELDLATER

Later in the day in the barren field. The pack still goes about lifting stones and carrying them to the truck. Lex and Jean are among them working. Beta stands a few meters away from Jean and is looking at her though she does not notice. As Lex carries a medium sized stone towards the flatbed of the truck, Runner follows closely behind him as he bounces about. Sally stands near the truck and is motionless as she watches Alpha carry a large stone towards the truck. After he drops the stone on the flatbed, he looks at Sally and they both smile at each other. As Jean carries a stone towards the truck, she does not notice as Beta marches towards her then stands between Jean as the truck. Jean stops in front of Beta and she then looks into Beta's eyes, once she does Beta lets out a deep grunt and knocks the stone out of her hands. She starts to back away from him as Beta scowls at her. Jean then looks to Lex and she let's out a loud, brief laugh. Lex looks over to her and Beta then drops the stone her holds and quickly walks towards her then stands between her and Beta. Beta now looks at Lex and seems angered. Lex looks over his shoulder at Jean and speaks mutely.

LEX MCALISTER

Don't say anything.

Lex then looks back at Beta but does not make eye contact. He then picks up a large stone nearby and holds it, he then drops the stone suddenly and it falls on his foot. Lex let's out a brief grunt and lifts his foot which the stone fell on and starts jumping about on one leg then falls over onto the ground. Beta then begins to laugh silently. Jean is looking at Lex seeming dumbfounded. Lex then gets up as more of the pack stops and watches him and Beta. Lex lifts the same stone again and drops it on the other foot and again jumps about on one leg making a brief grunting sound. Then the part of the pack watching silently laugh. Alpha is nearby and grunts loudly and the pack including Beta resume working. Lex then goes to Jean and whispers.

LEX MCALISTER

Follow me.

Then he and Jean walk towards the edge of the field.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDSECONDS LATER

Lex and Jean then walk to the edge of the field then stand in front of each other. She seems a little upset.

JEAN Chan

Sorry, Beta caught me off guard.

LEX MCALISTER

He seems to be a rather aggressive specimen.

JEAN Chan

May I ask what you just did and why those undead where laughing?

LEX MCALISTER

The reanimated are distracted easily, I had to do something to get distract Beta.

JEAN Chan

By making him laugh?

LEX MCALISTER

What most don't know is that the reanimated seem to possess a limited, well, sense of humor.

JEAN Chan

Why does everyone not know that, it goes against everyone's view that they are monsters.

LEX MCALISTER

Because people in my field as well as though who harness them for labor do not want to humanize them. It is not talked about.

JEAN Chan

It is going to be in my article.

LEX MCALISTER

I'll be honest with you Ms. Chan, I only agreed to let you work with me because I was aware that you, unlike most, see the reanimated as something other then a threat. I wanted someone who might help change peoples perceptions of the undead. Someone with the audacity to differ from the prevailing accepted notions.

JEAN Chan

You actually want to help them.

LEX MCALISTER

Yes, and I knew you could help me do it; help get people to see them as the humans they once where.

JEAN Chan

Why, why unlike everybody else do you feel sympathetic towards them.

Lex seems saddened and looks towards the horizon.

LEX MCALISTER

My reasons are my own and I won't bother you with them.

jean Chan

I feel there is something you are not telling me.

He looks at her.

LEX MCALISTER

It does not have any significance concerning your story.

JEAN Chan

Fine, but if you want me to help you, I want you to be straight with me.

Lex looks towards the pack.

LEX MCALISTER

We better get back to work. Are you sure you want to continue being amongst them.

Jean nods.

JEAN Chan

Let's us get back to work, Beta scared me a little, but I don't get discouraged easily.

Then they walk towards the pack.

EXT.  O'REILLY FARM SECONDS LATER

Andy stands on the porch of his parents home. Then a blue convertible car drives down the driveway from the direction of the road and stops in front of the house. There are two young men in the car, Phil Carpenter and Gregory Quin. Phil, a slim guy, has on casual clothing and has slicked back hair while Gregory, somewhat portly, has on brown slacks and a buttoned upped  jacket. In the back of the car is several guns, two shotguns and a automatic rifle. Andy looks at them and they all grin.

ANDY O'REILLY

Glad you guys are here.

Phil and Gregory get out of the car and walk towards the porch then stand before Andy.

Gregory Quin

You parents still here?

ANDY O'REILLY

They just left giving us car blanch over the whole farm.

Phil Carpenter

We brought the guns as well as a lot of ammunition.

Andy o'reilly

So Gregory, did you talk to your connection in Seattle?

Gregory nods.

GREGORY QUIN

Some guy is going to pay twenty five thousand for a heart if we get it to him within the next few days.

ANDY O'REILLY

Well, my pop has the blood types of all his work units so it will be easy to find a viable organ.

PHIL CARPENTER

Andy, I just came here to blow some of those freaks away.

ANDY O'REILLY

Of course Phil, but just don't kill any of those things that still can make us a profit.

GREGORY QUIN

This is going to be fun.

Then they all laugh deeply.

EXT.  A BARREN FIELDDUSK.

The sun sets to the west as night looms to the east. The pack continues to work as it gets dark and Lex and Jean are lifting stones with them. Alpha carries as very large stone to the truck and drops it on the flatbed. When he turns around he sees that Sally is behind him. They look silently at each other for a moment then they smile. Sally then raises her hand and Alpha holds it with his hand. As they hold hands, Jean looks on in the distance as she carries a stone towards the truck. Still watching she drops the stone of the flatbed then stands and looks at the two undead. Lex then drops a stone on the flatbed then stands beside Jean as they both look at Alpha and Sally. Jean whispers.

JEAN Chan

This is going to make for a great story.

LEX MCALISTER

I hope you are right.

JEAN Chan

That must be the most sentimental, if not weird thing I ever seen.

LEX MCALISTER

We should get back to work.

Then there is the sound of a gunshot coming from the edge of the field. The whole pack stops working, Alpha lets go of Sally's hand and turn to face the edge of the field. The whole pack as well as both Lex and Jean watch as Andy and his two cohorts walk towards the pack. Andy is holding a folder while Gregory and Phil both hold a shot gun. The three of them then stand in front of the pack. Andy looks at a picture in the folder and then looks at the pack. Lex and Jean are nearby. Andy then looks at the pack then points to one of them, a young deceased man in a tattered suit.

ANDY O'REILLY

That ugly son of a bitch is the same blood type of your guy in Seattle. Guess he is going to make a little trip to the chop shop.

Lex looks at Andy.

LEX MCALISTER

If I may say, that work unit is still fit for labor.

Andy looks harshly at Lex.

ANDY O'REILLY

Pal, keep your opinion to yourself.

LEX MCALISTER

Does your father know about this?

Andy grins.

ANDY O'REILLY

I'm running the show now so screw off.

Andy then looks at Jean.

ANDY O'REILLY

But if beautiful has something to say then I would love to hear it.

Standing slightly apart from the pack is a older undead male in tattered summer attire and in a sever state of decomposition, who stands a few meters from Phil, looks at him. Phil raises the shotgun and briefly laughs.

PHIL CARPENTER

What you looking at freak?

Phil then fires the shotgun and the older undead man falls to the ground dead having been hit in the head. Jean and Lex watch, she seems startled.

JEAN Chan

Why did you shoot him?

Phil lowers the shotgun and grins at her.

PHIL CARPENTER

For fun honey.

ANDY O'REILLY

Let us just get this thing to the chop shop.

JEAN Chan

If you don't mind, can you guys show me the chop shop.

Lex whispers to Jean.

LEX MCALISTER

That may not be wise.

Andy seems suspicious.

ANDY O'REILLY

What did you just say to your lovely assistant?

LEX MCALISTER

That the chop shop might be a little to gruesome for a young woman.

Jean whispers to Lex.

JEAN Chan

I want to see it for myself.

She then looks at Andy.

JEAN Chan

I would like to accompany a handsome young man like yourself to the chop shop.

ANDY O'REILLY

Is the egg head coming sweet heart?

Lex frowns.

LEX MCALISTER

I prefer not to see it.

ANDY O'REILLY

Fine, continue to mingle with these ugly bastards.

Lex then looks at the young undead that Andy pointed at.

LEX MCALISTER

This unit is healthy, maybe you take another to the chop shop.

Phil raises the shot gun and fires. The young undead is hit in the leg and falls to the ground.

PHIL CARPENTER

He ain't healthy no more.

The entire pack watches but does not intervene.

ANDY O'REILLY

OK guys, time harvest to harvest a heart from this thing. Go get him.

Phil and Gregory hot their guns in one hand, go to the fallen undead, and both lift him to his feet with their free hand and help it limp away towards the house the the distance. Jean then walks to Andy and stands before him.

ANDY O'REILLY

One thing beautiful, the chop shop is really hush hush.

JEAN Chan

I won't say a word anybody.

Lex watches as Andy walks away with Jean. The pack watches them depart as well for a few moments them resumes working. Lex looks on as Jean walks into the distance then goes back to working himself.

EXT.  chop shoplater

Some time later as it is night. A large red barn is behind the farm house and it sits under and star filled sky. The moaning of an undead bellows out from inside.

int.  chop shopseconds later

Inside the barn is a large space, chains are hanging from the ceiling with hooks at the end though the scene does not reveal the far side of the room. There is also a table with a assortment of saws and knives on it. Jean stands in front of the closed door and seems both disgusted and upset as she puts and hand to her mouth. Sounds and voices come from the unrevealed end of the room, as well as the groaning of the undead.

PHIL CARPENTER

Squeal little pig.

Now we see that the undead male is hanging from a chain, a large hook piercing his back. It seems scared at it is groaning. Phil holds a chainsaw as Andy and Gregory look on. Phil then pulls the rip cord and the chainsaw starts, the sound of its small engine filling the barn. Phil talks so loud he almost is yelling.

PHIL CARPENTER

Guess you are going to die for the second time.

Jean then turns quickly, opens the door and leaves the barn. Phil stops the chainsaw and the three men look at each other.

PHIL CARPENTER

Why did that babe just leave?

Andy shrugs.

ANDY O'REILLY

Guess she is squeamish. Now let's cut this freak up so we can get the heart to the courier.

Phil laughs then starts the chainsaw again.

EXT.  CHOP SHOPseconds LATER

The barn under the night sky. Jean walks quickly away from it as the sound of the chainsaw and the screams of the undead man echo out from inside the barn.

EXT.  EDGE OF BARREN FIELDLATER

Lex stands at the edge of the field and looks towards the barn and farm house in the distance. He waits for a few moments when Jean appears from the night, walking quickly towards him. She then stops in front of him, unable to look at him and seeming upset. Lex seems expressionless.

LEX MCALISTER

I told you that some of the practices of undead labor are grim.

JEAN Chan

Those men are cutting that reanimated man up with a chainsaw, it still was alive. They just wanted the heart, why torture him like that.

Lex puts his hand on her shoulder.

LEX MCALISTER

I have been around this sort of thing for awhile. Most people who use undead labor, while harsh on the work  units, at least act with some amount of professionalism.

JEAN Chan

And those bastards?

LEX MCALISTER

Well, some of the men I have known possessed a certain degree of sadism. They just don't see the reanimated as the people they once where so they can cause them pain without feeling guilt.

JEAN Chan

I can't wait to write about this, it could end this sort thing.

Lex then looks back at the pack in the field, his back to her.

LEX MCALISTER

May I ask you to not say anything about it.

JEAN Chan

I would think you would want people to know.

LEX MCALISTER

Such practices disgust me honestly. But individuals who use undead labor know that the profit of such practices is not much greater then conventional labor. The chop shop keeps undead labor profitable, and making them profitable is what will save them from being destroyed.

Jean looks at Lex and frowns.

JEAN Chan

So you'll let this continue even though it disgusts you.

LEX MCALISTER

Because it will keep them reanimated alive.

JEAN Chan

Two wrongs don't make a write doctor Mcalister.

Jean then walks towards the house in the distance. Lex looks back at her.

LEX MCALISTER

Where are you going miss Chan?

JEAN Chan

I want to be alone for awhile so I'm turning in early.

Lex watches her depart then lowers his head and sighs.

EXT.  A BARREN FIELDlater

The barren field just around midnight as the land sits under a clear star filled sky. The the pack is not working, they all stand closely together; Alpha stands at the front as the look towards the farmhouse in the distance. Lex stands begin the group and seems worried.

EXT.  O'REILLY FARM morning

The farm home early in the morning the morning. It is a gray, overcast day.

INT.  GUEST BEDROOM IN O'REILLY HOMEseconds later

Jean lays in the bed asleep though the other bed is empty. She then slowly awakes from her slumber and sits up in bed and looks around the room.

JEAN Chan

I wonder where doctor Mcalister is.

She then yawns, stretches her arms and gets up from the bed.

EXT.  O'REILLY FARM SECONDS LATER

Lex stands on the porch facing Andy O'Reilly and Andy seems irritated. Lex seems cool and dispassionate as they talk.

LEX MCALISTER

Why where the work units not fed last night? They must be fed daily to ensure that they are safe.

ANDY O'REILLY

This is a business and not a daycare for those freaks. Feeding them is eating into my profits.

LEX MCALISTER

Forgive me Mr. O'Reilly, but I have studied the reanimated for almost ten years. Those who employ them for labor still make significant profits while keeping these packs well fed.

ANDY O'REILLY

Listen egg head, don't tell me how to run my affairs and I won't tell you how to study undead abominations.

LEX MCALISTER

How often do you intend to feed them?

ANDY O'REILLY

It is none of your business but I've decided to feet them once a week at most.

Lex frowns.

LEX MCALISTER

That may be unwise.

ANDY O'REILLY

Tell it to someone who gives a shit!

Then Jean walks out from the house and stands beside Lex and looks at him and Andy.

JEAN Chan

Something wrong?

Andy grins at her.

ANDY O'REILLY

Nothing beautiful.

Andy then goes to the door to the house, opens it and looks back.

ANDY O'REILLY

Tell your boss to mind his own fucking business.

Andy goes into the house, slamming the door behind him. Jean looks at Lex.

JEAN Chan

What where you to arguing about?

Lex walks off the porch and marches towards the barren field in the distance as Jean follows. They talk as they walk.

LEX MCALISTER

That fool is going to feed the reanimated once a week.

JEAN Chan

What?

LEX MCALISTER

A cost cutting measure.

JEAN Chan

But you said they are safe only when well fed.

LEX MCALISTER

Among the pack we have been studying there won't be much risk since they think we belong to that group. But the other reanimated that man employs could attack if they are hungry.

JEAN Chan

You said that the undead have a hard time telling the difference between them and the living.

LEX MCALISTER

For the most part yes, but when the reanimated are desperate for food they seem to somehow prefer the living.

Lex stops and Jean comes to a halt. He looks back at her.

LEX MCALISTER

Ms. Chan, you should have enough for your story. Maybe it would be prudent for you to leave.

JEAN Chan

I'm staying. I never stop until I get the whole story.

Lex then looks at the pack of undead in the barren field not far away.

LEX MCALISTER

I will not insist that you leave but be aware there is a greater risk.

JEAN Chan

I'm no stranger to risk doctor Mcalister. So what do you have planned for today.

LEX MCALISTER

We will silently work with the pack so I can make observations. The Alpha of this pack interests me.

JEAN Chan

Why?

LEX MCALISTER

Because of the behavior Alpha displays towards that female reanimated. It interests me. I want to know if he is showing genuine traits which is similar to human affection or if it is just a remnant or his prior life.

JEAN Chan

Then let's go.

Lex nods then they both walk towards the barren field.

EXT.  BARREN FIELDLATER

Later in the day as a cold rain falls down from a gray, somber sky. The pack of undead continue to lift stones and carry them to the flatbed of the truck, Lex and Jean are amongst them lifting stones and carrying them to the truck. Alpha stands above a very large stone, Sally is nearby looking at him. Alpha sees her then lifts the stone from the ground as she watches, but when he turns he realizes that Beta is standing right behind him. Beta lets out a loud grunt then knocks the stone out of Alpha's hands. Alpha scowls at Beta who him pushes Alpha back. Alpha then lets out a loud howl which echoes throughout the surrounding fields. The entire pack stops what they are doing, Lex stands beside the truck just as Jean drops a stone on the flatbed then stands beside him. The pack then gathers in a circle around Alpha and Beta, Sally looks at Alpha and is making a whimpering sound. Jean whispers to Lex.

JEAN Chan

Beta challenged Alpha gain.

Lex nods.

LEX MCALISTER

This challenge seems much more aggressive, I think they are going to settle it with a fight.

JEAN Chan

Can Alpha beat him?

LEX MCALISTER

We are about to find out.

As the pack surround them, Alpha and Beta circle each other. Then suddenly Beta charges Alpha and knocks him to the ground. Beta then uses his foot to stomp Alpha down into the wet mud of the barren field, as Beta keeps him pinned down the whimpering sound Sally makes gets louder. Beta grins. Jean looks at Lex.

JEAN Chan

Alpha is going to lose.

LEX MCALISTER

Beta's reanimated body seems in better physical condition then Alpha.

Beta then stars stomping his foot down on Alpha repeatedly as the whole pack watch. Sally takes a step closer to Alpha and grunts slightly. When Beta stops kicking him, Alpha looks at Sally for a moment. As they look at each other, Beta then picks up a rock near him and viciously throws it at Alpha's head who then grunts. Sally then shakes her head and continues to whimper. Jean seems worried and she turns to Lex.

JEAN Chan

Do something.

LEX MCALISTER

What?

JEAN Chan

He is going to kill Alpha.

LEX MCALISTER

That is how on some occasions they establish dominance.

JEAN Chan

Please doctor, he needs are help.

Lex looks at her then frowns.

LEX MCALISTER

I'll intervene if you insist, but it is a rather risky gesture.

Lex then walks towards the pack. Alpha, who still seems dazed from the blow to the head, lays motionless on the ground as Beta continues to kick him. Lex then pushes his way through the pack until he is near the fight. Lex looks around when he sees a small stone. He picks it up then looks at Beta and mumbles to himself.

LEX MCALISTER

This is probably a bad idea.

He then throws the stone and it hits Beta in the back of the head. Beta stops his attack and looks at Lex ten stakes a step towards him, Beta seeming enraged. While this happens Sally goes to Alpha's side and kneels down and they look at each other. Beta then charges at Lex, but when Beta is almost upon him Lex quickly steps out of the way and trips Beta with his foot. Beta then stumbles and then tumbles into the members of the pack behind Lex, falling to the mud and knocking some other undead to. Sally then helps Alpha to his feet and they both look at Lex. Beta then slowly gets up, seeming even more angry. He then charges Lex a second time, but again he steps out of the way and trips Beta. Beta falls to the ground with such momentum that he slides a small distance across the mud. All the pack with the exception of Alpha, Sally and Beta, are silently laughing. Beta gets up then slowly walks towards Lex who then mutters.

LEX MCALISTER

Guess you won't fall for that again.

Then suddenly Alpha marches up behind Beta then grabs his arm and turns him around so they are facing each other. Alpha then puts both hands around Beta's neck and lifts him up into the air. Lex watches, but when he squints his eyes at the two undead he notices a wedding band on Alpha's ring finger. Alpha then throws Beta to the ground and jumps on top of him, delivering a devastating series to blows into Beta's face. Sally is standing nearby and just staring and Alpha. Alpha stops when Beta lays motionless. Alpha stands up and lets out a loud groan. Lex then walks through the pack and stands at Jean's side again. She is looking at him.

JEAN Chan

Last night, I thought you where some heartless bastard. Guess I was wrong.

LEX MCALISTER

Maybe I lacked a certain amount of sympathy about the chop shop last evening, just believe that sometimes to achieve a benevolent goal you accept things which disgust you.

Jean looks at Beta.

JEAN Chan

Is Beta dead?

LEX MCALISTER

AS most know, the virus responsible for reanimation only becomes inert if serious damage has been done organs essential for their continued animation such as the brain and digestive system. Beta may be unconscious, but he will be rather sore with me when he wakes up.

They do not notice as Alpha marches towards them then grabs Lex, spins him around and lifts Lex into the air by the collar of his clothes. Jean steps back as Lex does nothing. Alpha seems angered but then Sally quickly walks towards them then puts her hand on Alpha. Lex then notices there is a wedding band on Sally's finger as well. Alpha and Sally look at each other when she makes a brief groan. Alpha nods then drops Lex onto his feet. Alpha then groans and the entire pack goes back to work, Sally looks at him tenderly for a moment the she and he return to work. Jean walks to Lex and looks at him.

JEAN Chan

Why did Alpha attack when you just helped him?

LEX MCALISTER

Because he thinks I'll challenge him as well, he may not be smart enough to interpret that I was of some assistance to him.

JEAN Chan

That female reanimated just helped you.

Lex then looks at Sally and Alpha work.

LEX MCALISTER

I now understand why they act so sentimentally towards each other.

JEAN Chan

Because the reanimated can experience emotions.

LEX MCALISTER

They have matching rings, they where married when they where alive.

JEAN Chan

Are you sure?

LEX MCALISTER

It is a educated guess, but they where probably very close when they where alive.

JEAN Chan

So there is proof that they still may be in someway the people they used to be.

LEX MCALISTER

Most likely.

Lex then walks away from the truck.

LEX MCALISTER

We better get back to work.

JEAN Chan

Thanks doctor Mcalisters.

He stops and looks over his shoulder at her.

LEX MCALISTER

Why are you thanking me?

JEAN Chan

This is probably going to result in a story which may change people's perceptions of the undead. And it is only because of you and your work.

LEX MCALISTER

That is the only reason I allowed a reporter to come along. Now, we should get back to work.

She nods then joins Lex as the work with the pack, Beta lays unconscious on the ground as rain falls on him.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


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