Opening Cinematic: Spectrals

INT. HOUSE – DAY

Open on sunlight trickling through curtains, a gentle breeze rustling the fabric. DANIEL (28) walks over to the curtains and thrusts them open. Sunlight pours into his bedroom and he gazes out into the farming community he lives in. The houses in the town are small, wooden shacks. It is early morning and many villagers are already awake, tilling the soil of their own fields. Daniel smiles weakly at this sight, before turning back into the darkness of his own room.

CUT TO

EXT. SMALL TOWN – DAY

Daniel closes the door to his own home and walks down a dirt pathway on a hill in his mountain community. He is wearing a mining uniform, with leather straps and long-sleeves; very unlike the denim and comfortable clothing the farmers are wearing. The sun is just barely rising above the mountain ranges. Daniel continues his descent before suddenly pausing, and looking back over his shoulder at his own home.

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INT. TRAIN – DAY

Daniel stands in the small gap between train cars, watching the natural landscape pass swiftly by. As the mountains and plains transition into the steel towers of the city, Daniel struggles to keep his head turned and watching the natural world for as long as he possibly can. He eventually relents, sighing as he gazes at the city.

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EXT. STATION – DAY

Daniel, adjusting the pack on his back, steps off the train. His stance is enclosed and guarded as he walks towards the quarry, staring primarily at his feet. He looks up to see a group of miners, wearing uniforms similar to his, running towards the quarry. They are eventually enveloped by a large mob surrounding a new, large bucket-wheel excavator. The machine towers over the miners and Daniel can hear excited conversation emanating from the group. Daniel looks at the excavator, then rolls his eyes and continues towards the mine.

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INT. WALKWAY – DAY

VINCENT (44) races across a steel walkway, exiting the underground rail system leading to his base of operations as immediately as the door opens. As he walks, he is hurriedly inputting calculations into a tablet, frowning as he does so. He steps into an elevator at the end of the walkway and hectically jams a button leading to the surface offices and control deck. He continues to work on his calculations as the elevator door closes.

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INT. OFFICE – DAY

Vincent enters his office, a room which would normally be somewhat roomy and potentially comfortable. It, however, is immensely unkempt. Filing cabinets are left wide open, with the contents haphazardly thrown inside. A desktop computer station on one side is covered in various papers and scraps. The desk in the center of the room is also disheveled and blanketed in notes and papers. Vincent places down his tablet and scans through some papers on the desk. There is a sudden knock and an OFFICIAL (52), wearing a United States military uniform, steps into the office.

OFFICIAL
Good morning, doctor…you look nervous. Aren’t you excited to see what’s on the other side?

VINCENT
(shaky)
I am, but…

OFFICIAL
(confused)
“But?” Vincent, we’re about to start the trials. You can’t be having doubts now.

VINCENT
(hurriedly)
I know, but I’ve been redoing the calculations since this morning, and…something…isn’t adding up.

OFFICIAL
(scoffing)
Doctor, your team, which YOU appointed personally, has assured me that the calculations are accurate and complete.

A light tap emits from the door, and a female ASSISTANT (27) pokes her head in.

ASSISTANT
(nervously)
Excuse me, the team leads say that Project VIRGIL is ready to commence.

Vincent opens his mouth to object.

OFFICIAL
(interrupting)
We’ll be there in a moment.

The assistant closes the door. The official turns to face Vincent once more.

VINCENT
(nervous, interrupted)
Sir, I just need another day, two at the most, just to make sure–

Before giving him a chance to finish, the official leaves the office. Visibly agitated, Vincent chases after him, walking to…

CUT TO

INT. CONTROL DECK – DAY

The control deck, filled with computers and staff, has an aura of anticipation in the air. The personnel sit at their workstations, preparing for the upcoming trials. Vincent enters and sees the official standing at the lead workstation. He gazes out of the window opposite him, looking at the gargantuan machinery in the desert outside. The official leans to the microphone at his station.

OFFICIAL
(somewhat harshly)
Ladies and gentlemen, make your way to your stations. Project VIRGIL is about to begin.

The official turns his head to angrily motion to Vincent to take his place.

VINCENT
(pleading)
Sir, I can’t allow this to–

OFFICIAL
(quiet, angrily)
Vincent, we are out of time and the investors want their answer today! Do you really want to risk everything on the off-chance that your entire team got all of their calculations wrong?

The control deck grows silent as the few people not at their workstations return to their designated spots. Vincent, defeated, walks to his own workstation and turns a key in the corner. Three green lights shine at the official’s station, one after the other.

OFFICIAL
Teleportation trials commencing in ten, nine…

CUT TO

EXT. QUARRY – DAY

Daniel stands before lighting rod three, seeing the indicator lights at the base of the tower flashing red. He adjusts his harness, attaching it to the automatic pulley system on the tower. He opens a panel at the base of the tower, shutting down the electrical flow to it. He firmly grasps the locket around his neck.

DANIEL
(whispering)
Terra firma.

He activates the pulley system and ascends the tower slowly.

CUT TO

EXT. DESERT – DAY

Official
(V.O., continued)
…two, one, begin.

The machinery in the desert begins to glow, and a pulse of light emits from the center, erecting a beam into the sky. The beam opens a small tear in the sky, opening to a black void.

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INT. CONTROL DECK – DAY

The official watches the experiment, before turning to Vincent.

OFFICIAL
(confident)
Everything is preceding normally, doctor. Although…

He leans to the microphone.

OFFICIAL
Increase output by four percent.

TECHNICIAN
Increasing output.

A TECHNICIAN (33) types at his station. As he types, the beam glows brighter and the tear opens up even more. Vincent eyes the monitor at his desk, watching the lines on the graphs before him grow exponentially. There is a sudden beeping and a frantic murmur. Vincent looks up.

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EXT. DESERT – DAY

The rift in the sky suddenly rends apart, creating a massive fracture in the air. This gash rips through the air as more, smaller tears open across the sky. The initial rift extends out towards the countryside, towards nearby cities, and towards a quarry off in the distance. As the rifts open, massive earthquakes shudder across the land. Electricity tears across the machinery.

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INT. CONTROL DECK – DAY

An alarm is sounding inside of the control deck. Much of the equipment is shorting out and failing.

VINCENT
(pointing, yelling)
Shut it down!

The technician he points to runs over to a large series of computers on the left wall of the control deck. As soon as he touches the devices, he screams in immense pain and his body is vaporized, leaving no trace as Vincent looks on in horror. The murmur amongst the crew erupts into panic. The technicians, physicists, and engineers present run amok, with many attempting to vacate the premises.

CUT TO

EXT. QUARRY – DAY

Daniel has ascended almost thirty feet before the equipment lurches to an immediate halt. He quickly scans the pulley system, attempting to find the source of the sudden stop, before looking up to the sky and seeing the vast rift above him. A black rock structure, shaped almost like a hand, thrusts downward to the earth. It sinks its points into the dirt around the mine and quickly begins to ascend into the void. The lightning rod Daniel is on, now standing on uneven ground, creaks, tilts, and falls towards the soil. Daniel braces for impact as he quickly reaches the bottom.

EXTREME WIDE SHOT:

The towering structure lifts the landmass up into the sky and through the rift.

CUT TO BLACK

BEGIN GAMEPLAY