Out of Yellowstone, a screenplay, continued
EXT. HELICOPTER SHOT, HAYDEN VALLEY - DAY Seen from above, spitting lava, ash and steam spew from areas near the road in south portion of the Hayden Valley. Patches of charred grass smolder. Only two cars remain unscathed on the evacuated roadway. The lava devours them. EXT. LONE PINE TREE - DAY The bear throws dirt on Rex. HELICOPTER NOISE. Robin looks up. It is difficult to see the helicopter through the evergreen branches. ROBIN Oh thank God! I/E. MILITARY HELICOPTER - DAY The copilot DARRELL (who speaks with a backwoods southern accent) looks down below. Pilot JOE is a cool-headed local boy. DARRELL Lookee there, Joe, a grizzly bear! I never seen one of them before. EXT. HELICOPTER SHOT, BEAR - DAY The bear's mass completely hides Rex. The tree is too thick to see Robin. DARRELL (O.S.) Hey lookee. He's kilt himself somethin'. Lets get us-en a closer look. I/E. MILITARY HELICOPTER - DAY Switching his gaze from the bear to straight ahead, Joe shakes his head firmly. JOE No, these animals are stressed enough. EXT. HELICOPTER SHOT, BEAR - DAY The bear completely ignores the helicopter. EXT. THE LONE PINE TREE - DAY Robin waves her arm and pleads in anguish. ROBIN Oh please. Oh please. She looks down at Rex. The bear, still over Rex, paws and throws dirt over him. I/E. MILITARY HELICOPTER - DAY DARRELL That bear won't make it. You know that. He's trapped in here. Let's get a closer look. JOE Darrell, we got human survivors to look for. Joe shoves the cycle stick forward. EXT. LONE PINE TREE - DAY The helicopter flies away. With disbelief and anguish, Robin watches it go. ROBIN No! Come back. Now she's angry. ROBIN Come back here you idiots. She looks down at the bear. The bear has almost completely buried Rex. Robin yells from her perch. ROBIN Get off him. Go. Get. Get outta here. She takes off a shoe and takes aim. The tree shakes with the violence of a major earthquake. Losing her balance she falls but grabs the limb she was standing on. The large beast gallops off. Robin hangs with arms and legs wrapped around the wildly shaking limb. Rex lays in a heap covered with dirt and torn up grass. EXT. HELICOPTER SHOT, NEAR LONE PINE TREE - DAY The shadow of Frank's helicopter passes over the nondescript heap that is Rex. INT. FRANK'S HELICOPTER - DAY The majority of the Boy Scout troop, now quite disheveled, fill Frank's helicopter to capacity. Looking intently down, Frank lowers the microphone from his mouth in a weary sigh. ADULT LEADER Guys, keep your eyes peeled. Frank glances out at the smaller Jet Ranger helicopter that parallels his path. EXT. JET RANGER HELICOPTER - DAY A Boy Scout waves from the Jet Ranger Helicopter. EXT. THE LONE PINE TREE - DAY Robin, clinging to the shaking limb, looks up at the helicopters flying over. The quaking subsides. Robin drops down and scurries to signal the helicopters with wildly flapping arms. The helicopters keep on going. Robin rushes to Rex. ROBIN Rex. Rex, can you hear me? The bear's gone. Rex? The mound of dirt stirs and Rex looks around. Slowly he brings the weight of his upper body onto his hands. ROBIN Are you all right? Rex, sitting, feels his head and looks over his arms. REX I think so. With much concern, Robin examines his head and neck, brushing off dirt and debris. Meanwhile they both keep a nervous eye out for the bear. A LITTLE LATER Rex's shirt is off. Robin finishes the examination. She finds herself admiring the strong physique, then catches herself. ROBIN Incredible, there's hardly a scratch. The bear episode still unnerves him. REX I guess that playing dead stuff works. (trying for humor) Would you like to admire my legs too? Robin breaks down. ROBIN I never felt so helpless in my life. I thought you were being killed and I couldn't do anything. I thought that chopper would scare it, but it didn't. I should have come down and signaled. We could have been rescued. But he didn't see us. I could have... Rex grabs her shoulders and gently shakes her. REX Stop it. It's okay. I'm okay Robin is even more anguished. ROBIN But I froze. I couldn't help you. I should have distracted the bear. But I couldn't leave the tree. Rex brings her into a hug. REX You did the right thing. You don't mess with grizzly bears. If you came down you'd have been mauled. ROBIN But... REX Shhh. Robin relaxes into the hug. Rex releases the hug. They look at each other as if they're going to kiss. Robin snaps back into responsible ranger mode. ROBIN We can't stay here. That bear'll be back. He was saving you for dinner. REX You're probably right. But there's a good climbing tree. And the searchers will be looking for us here. ROBIN Unless they've given us up for dead. REX They wouldn't give up that easy. ROBIN I don't think we're the only thing they've got to worry about. She nods in the direction of the road. ROBIN Besides, that lava's too close for my comfort. Lava sparks over the area where the road should be. REX And just where do you suggest we go? ROBIN We could go up toward the Norris to Canyon road. That might still be open. REX That's a long way. ROBIN Eight or nine miles, maybe. The land rises up beneath them. In brilliant red light, they shield their faces with their arms from the sudden burst of heat. The lava fountains up. Clouds of ash spew. Hot rocks and ash plummet. Rex and Robin flee. The land rises and tilts until the lone pine leans at a 45 degree angle. The noxious gasses are thick enough to be visible. The two sprint, watery eyed, coughing. REX O.K. we're gone. But if that bear comes after us, it's your turn. EXT. GEORGE'S PICKUP TRUCK - DAY A very nice pickup with a canopy is parked along a "Jeep" trail surrounded by pine forest. The body is a bit crumpled around one of the headlights. INT. BACK OF GEORGE'S PICKUP - SAME On a mattress, in a sleeping bag, in the bed of the pickup, George sleeps. His identity is obscured by the cowboy hat over his face. A mild quake rocks the pickup. George stirs and mumbles incomprehensibly. GEORGE Syl. Ish a furska. Uhmn. Awake now, he brushes his hat back and blinks sleepily at his surroundings. He looks at his watch, GROANS, and unzips the bag. EXT. SIGN, WEST YELLOWSTONE - DAY George's pickup drives past the sign at the edge of the village of West Yellowstone. He's the only life on the road. EXT. CANYON STREET - DAY The main drag in town is deserted until George rolls in. I/E. GEORGE'S PICKUP, CANYON STREET - SAME Still sleepy-eyed, George looks around uneasily. The deserted street has a ghostly feel. A SIREN wails briefly. George checks the rearview mirror and sees a Montana Highway Patrol car. EXT. CANYON STREET - DAY A HIGHWAY PATROLMAN stands outside the driver's side window of George's parked truck. PATROLMAN How did you get passed the road block? George returns a sleepy, puzzled look. GEORGE Road block? PATROLMAN The whole area's been evacuated. Nobody's allowed in. GEORGE I'm with the Park Service. I'm supposed to come up and join a command post. PATROLMAN They left last night. The National Guard had a command post to evacuate everybody. But they moved on. GEORGE Where'd the Park Service go? The Patrolman shrugs and shakes his head. PATROLMAN If I were you, I'd get out of here, far away, like I'm going to right now. GEORGE Might as well head back to Jackson. PATROLMAN You can't get there. Teton Pass avalanched last night. GEORGE Avalanched? PATROLMAN Jackson Hole had a big quake. Don't know how much damage there was. But it's being evacuated because of Yellowstone. INT. GEORGE'S PICKUP - DAY The gas gage is near empty. EXT. CANYON STREET - DAY GEORGE I don't suppose there's any gas stations open? The Patrolman shakes his head. GEORGE Places for coffee? PATROLMAN I've got a thermos. Major shaking. A room above one of the stores bursts into flames. The fire spreads. GEORGE A propane line probably broke. PATROLMAN God help me. We're going to rob a gas station. EXT. A FLOWERING MEADOW - DAY Robin and Rex walk along through meadow. There are pine trees nearby. A small flock of Canada geese fly overhead HONKING. A red squirrel in a pine tree chitters a warning. A coyote is absorbed in looking for mice. ROBIN Right here, right now, you wouldn't think anything was wrong. Rex looks up at the sky. REX It is a nice day for a walk in the park. A hawk circles overhead. Robin stops and cocks her head to listen to the SOUND OF SANDHILL CRANES. She spots them, smiles and points. The cranes strut through the grass. The coyote suddenly dashes away in terror. The cranes take to the air, SQUABBLING. The earth rumbles violently. The land rises beneath Rex and Robin. Unbalanced, they drop to the ground. The earth splits apart. Robin is caught in the middle of the rapidly widening split. She claws for a hold on clumps of grass. The cleft widens to a steep chasm. Robin struggles for footing but the loose ground slides beneath her feet. She grasps for a better grip on the grass clumps. Rex anxiously watches from the other side. She gains a foothold and grasps a tiny willow bush. Feeling secure in her handhold, she climbs. An aftershock rumbles. The land gives way around her hold. Earth, grass, willow and Robin tumble and slide to the bottom. Robin reorients herself and looks up at Rex. She searches for a way up the steep loose slope toward him. Nothing looks good. She climbs up. The rock gives. She slides back down. She tries again with the same results. Rex unbuckles his belt. Robin climbs. Smoldering red glows through the rocks on the bottom. Robin slides. REX Look down. Robin looks. The rocks get redder. In a mid-slide adrenaline rush she scrambles up, farther than before. Rex has lowered his pants, holding one pant leg. Robin grabs for the other pant leg, just out of reach. Her feet give way. Rex thrusts himself precariously farther. Robin grasps the pants. The weight pulls Rex. His bare legs slide. His stocking toes dig in futilely. Robin gets a foot hold. Rex manages to shinny back. A BIT LATER Robin catches her breath as she sits, energy spent. Rex brushes the plant fibers off his legs. ROBIN Nice legs. Rex throws her a surprised smile. ROBIN Cute butt, too. He playfully flicks the pants at her. INT. DISPATCH OFFICE IN TRAILER - DAY A couple desks and several old chairs furnish the cramped makeshift dispatch trailer. There is a bunch of radio equipment of various types and ages. Antenna wires run up the wall to a small hole. A large map of Yellowstone is tacked up and dotted with colored pins. Notebook computers sit on the desks. Mike, the older ranger, and a young PARK POLICEWOMAN watch a portable color TV. On the television, Angela Greyfeather reports outside the entrance of the Church Universal and Triumphant where vans, pickups, and rental trucks, loaded with boxes of supplies, head out the gate. ANGELA (ON TV) Just outside the north boundary of Yellowstone National Park is the church-cult community and world headquarters of the Church Universal and Triumphant. On TV, a group of CHURCH MEMBERS load a rental truck, bucket brigade style. ANGELA (ON TV) Here the followers of their prophet, Elizabeth Claire, have built well stocked fallout shelters, in preparation for an eminent Armageddon. But right here, apocalypse is now, not from a nuclear holocaust but from the very ground they hoped would be their refuge. Of the three watching the television, only the policewoman stands. The TV continues in low inaudible volume under their conversation. The policewoman rubs her hands gleefully. POLICEWOMAN I think that's poetic. That is so poetic. OLDER RANGER You think that's so funny, look where we're sitting. Anyone with any sense has flown the coop. Everything I own is back in Mammoth And they haven't let me go back in to get any of it. I should have retired two years ago. ANGELA (ON TV) Evacuation orders have been issued for everyone within a hundred miles of the Park. Although the area around Yellowstone is sparsely populated... Angela's voice fades out. OLDER RANGER A hundred miles? If it blows, I heard all life will be wiped out for four hundred miles. Every direction. A small quake hits. POLICEWOMAN Mercy, not again! MIKE That's it. We're gone. The older Ranger picks up a microphone. EXT. WOODS - DAY Robin and Rex head through woods. REX ...and Alan wants to play video games professionally. ROBIN You mean like in tournaments? REX No, these companies hire people to master their games. They have these toll free numbers that people can call when they get frustrated and can't get to the next level. And when the phone's not ringing, they get... Near Robin's feet, the bushes thrash in sudden commotion. Robin jumps out of her skin. A flushed GROUSE bursts into flight. Robin places a hand over her racing heart and breathes rapidly but with relief. ROBIN Boy am I jumpy. Rex smiles kindly. REX It scared me too. She laughs slightly. He laughs a little back. They head off through the woods laughing, laughing way out of proportion. Robin approaches a shallow spring and kneels by it. ROBIN Water! REX Wait! Don't all the streams have giardia? ROBIN Yeah, but look at it this way, if we get sick it won't affect us for two weeks. In two weeks we can either get to a doctor or giardia will have been the least of our problems. LATER Robin and Rex sit by the little stream. Rex has a shoe and sock off and checks his foot for blisters. REX We made an acoustic room in the basement so that Kevin could play the drums. It could be the nicest day and he'd be down there practicing drums... But I guess I shouldn't knock it. He just bought a van, paid cash. It's a tax write off because he hauls around the band's sound equipment. He makes a lot of money for a kid his age. Suddenly repulsed by something, he hastily gets up and, still wearing one shoe, hobbles away from the stream. REX Oh gosh! Ugh! Robin looks all around trying to figure out the cause of his behavior. REX Ticks! A tick crawls up her pant leg. ROBIN Wahhh! Geez! Robin picks off that tick and scrambles toward Rex. She checks herself and picks off many. ROBIN I hate ticks. Rex picks more off himself. REX Place is infested with 'em... Here, check the back of me. She pulls several off his back. He looks over his arms, feels his hair, and scratches all over. EXT. FARTHER IN WOODS - DAY Robin checks her watch as the two walk along. ROBIN We should be there soon. EXT. FLOODED WOODS AND MEADOW - DAY Walking along, Robin and Rex stop abruptly. In front of their feet, the forest floor is covered with shallow water. Squatting down, Robin gently touches a glacier lily. ROBIN These don't grow in water. Beyond the tree trunks lies a flooded meadow with boiling springs and rising steam. ROBIN This isn't supposed to be here. REX We're lost? ROBIN No, this is brand new. Ducking tree branches, the two hurry along the edge of the water. They leap over a wide puddle and plow through thick low brush. A grassy point seems to connect to the far shore. Rex and Robin head onto the point, then stop. REX Nuts! Off to the right they see another flooded boiling meadow. This one is larger and more thermally active than the other. The two flooded fields are connected by a shallow area, about 100 feet across in front of Rex and Robin. Squatting, Rex dips a small stick in the water and feel it to check the temperature. Satisfied, he puts his hand in the water. REX It's not very hot. Rex in the lead, the two wade across the shallows. In the middle, knee deep in water, Robin steps into a hole. ROBIN Aarch! Rex turns around to look. Robin struggles to free her foot. ROBIN My foot's stuck in a hole. Rex wades back, giving Robin something to lean on as she manages to free her leg. ROBIN Crap! I lost my shoe. She reaches down into the water, lower and lower until she can barely keep her mouth above water. Choppy wavelets ripple the water. The ground trembles. ROBIN Oh Geez, Oh Geez! It's getting hot. REX Come on, let's go. ROBIN My shoe! The quaking and rippling intensify. REX Forget the shoe. Robin finds the shoe and raises it triumphantly overhead. Her triumph transforms into terror. ROBIN Aaaaaah! As she scrambles onward, a geyser blows through the water behind her. Rex grabs her arm and they stagger to a safe distance where they watch the geyser gush impressively. A bedraggled Robin dumps the water out of her shoe. EXT. WOODS SOUTH OF NORRIS TO CANYON ROAD - DAY Rex and Robin plod through the forest. ROBIN Oh God, I'm so hungry. Smacking his lips at the reminder of food, Rex nods in agreement. Spying the vehicles on the road they stop. Taking almost simultaneous deep breaths of relief, they smile at each other. Part of the long line of parked vehicles can be seen through the forest. All the rigs face west (left). REX (disappointed) They're abandoned. ROBIN That ain't no elk jam. EXT. THE NORRIS TO CANYON ROAD - DAY As they approach the road, Robin brightens with a wonderful thought. ROBIN People don't drive through the park without food. Rex imitates Yogi Bear. REX Come along BooBoo. We're a gonna snatch us a pic-i-nic basket. ROBIN (cartoonishly) Right behind ya, Yogi. The line consists of a variety of vehicles including large motor homes, shiny pickups (with or without the fifth wheel trailers they are designed to pull), various cars (some with bicycle racks, one with a canoe), and a few rigs with trailers. One of the pickups is an extended cab four wheel drive with oversize mud tires. They try the doors of the last car of the procession. They are locked. The next vehicle is locked. So is the next, and the next. Rex is calm, but Robin seethes. She tries in vain to get into the canopy of a pickup. ROBIN Geez, everybody locks everything. There's nobody left in the park. Who the heck do they think is going to steal anything? This amuses Rex. REX Maybe a couple of marauding rangers. Farther on, Robin spies a bag of groceries in the back seat of a mid-size car. Picking up a healthy rock she angrily smashes the driver's window. I/E. MID-SIZE CAR - DAY Rex opens the rear passenger side door which was unlocked. He reaches for the grocery bag. REX Uh, this side was unlocked.