A M A Z O N   Q U E E N

 

 

 

 

CHAPTERS: The chapters of this story are published live for collaboration development purposes, with a sequence derived from the Chapters below, supplemented with other (unpublished) writings as we progress. The final order for the proposed screenplay may be the subject of additional drafts to suit production of the final movie (producers/directors/actors). To be in a position to gain an idea of style and commercial value, please request a copy of our Kulo-Luna (draft) screenplay. See our terms and conditions. The script version of these Chapters will not be published, but will be available as with Kulo-Luna, on request.

 

 

 

 

 

60 W, 20 S - ATLANTIC DASH 60 W, 30 S - AMAZON

John Storm recalled news broadcasts a year or so back reporting experiments to demonstrate the hardy elements of the Aztecs and that such research was conducted on a number of natives at various locations along the Amazon River. Famous for his hunches he set out from London to cross the Atlantic as fast as the Elizabeth Swann could take him. He recalled the reporter was their media acquaintance; Charley Temple. He also remembered that rather strangely this research had been funded anonymously by a local conglomerate rumoured to have connections with drug barons. If he was wrong he’d still collect some DNA to complete his collection. If he was right, he wasn’t quite sure where that would lead, but Clint Eastwood was right when he said: “A man’s life can depend on a mere scrap of information,” in the film a Fist Full of Dollars. Storm loved a good western.

While John had been investigating copses, Dan Hawk had been out on the town visiting the sights of old London town. He returned to the docks to find John heaving supplies aboard. “I got your message skip, what’s the score?”

 

“We’re off to South America for a few days. I think you’ll find it interesting.” 

 

“Too right blue,” said Dan and he also started carrying the remaining boxes aboard with the enthusiasm of a schoolboy for a camping holiday.

The Elizabeth Swann slipped out of the Thames estuary late in the evening so as not to attract attention. That meant traveling on batteries for eight hours before the sun came up, to conserve hydrogen. The solar tracking kicked in at sunrise generating 60 kilowatts, about two-thirds of the maximum rating. This gave the Swann a good turn of speed without draining her batteries, provided the crew were frugal with instruments and the galley. Soon they were doing 10 knots which increased to 24 knots as the following trade winds gusted to thirty miles an hour, and Captain Nemo calculated an advantage in engaging the fuel cells.

John calculated that at this speed they’d span the Atlantic in ten days and during the day they’d make better time with an extra 30 kilowatts from latitude position, as they neared the equator, to boost performance and maybe shave off another day. He headed south along the east coast of Africa to Dakar which took the best part of six days, then veered east toward the Leeward Islands, figuring a pit stop in Panama to see what he could find out about the Youtube runner.

They took turns to man the helm with ample support from ‘Captain Nemo’ the autopilot. Thank heavens for Nemo. Many people mistakenly thought there was another crew member because of the way they referred to the specially adapted ‘Navitron Apollo’ guidance system, and Hal, the AI system, that did a lot of the thinking for the crew. This package was like the TomTom of the ocean, but better – it could do the steering for you and let you know what was going on. It took autopilots to the next stage, almost dispensing for the need of a crew. The voice sounded artificially intelligent. John and Dan had chosen a broad Aussie accent as their audio interface, or tour guide, rather than the somewhat sinister voice in Space Odyssey 2001.

“Better put a call in to Charley,” said John to Dan. “How’s the signal strength?”

 

Dan checked the readings. “Should be okay. What’s she doing on this gig?”

 

“Maybe it should be the other way round. What are we doing on her gig?”

 

Dan looked suitably puzzled and listened for clues. John entered Charley’s number and waited. He was just about to hang up, when Charley answered. “Is that you John? I’m in the gym,” she said trying to catch her breath. Charley was indeed in the middle of a five mile jog at level 8 on a running machine. She’d ignored the call to begin with, intent on beating her best time, but eventually gave in to curiosity. 

“Listen,” said John, “We’re half way to south America. Do you remember that piece you did about a year ago?” There was a long silence, forcing John to speak. “Are you still there Charley?”

 

“Remember it; I can’t get it out of my mind.” 

 

"Really, why is that,” asked John? his curiosity roused. 

 

“If we’re talking about the same thing, you’ll probably be headed inland up a very long river?”

 

“You’re on the money penny, but why is this so memorable?”

 

“Because of what I found and rumours of latent plans for world domination from last century. Steve thought I was losing it.”

 

“Can you send us what you’ve got?”

 

“It’s complicated. If you’re serious about this, I’m okay to meet you, if you’ll share quid pro quo.” 

 

“Quid pro quo and hush, hush?” offered John.

 

“Sounds like a deal, I need a break anyway.”

 

“Charley you’re a marvel. Thanks. I’ll meet you at Manaus?”

 

“Spot on."

 

"You can’t miss us, next week then my treat. What will you be wearing?”

 

Charley laughed and hung up.

Four days later they were closing on the Leeward Islands, when the weather suddenly took a turn for the worse. One minute the sky was clear and calm, the next the wind picked up and skies darkened. The sea was whipped up into a frenzy of disturbed waves as the winds gusted to 80 miles an hour.

 

Hal chimed in, "Hi guys, I don't want to spoil things, but thought you should know the pressure is dropping rapidly, meaning high winds and heavy seas."

 

"Can't be," said John, looking at Dan. Who shrugged, also taken aback.

 

The sky turned ominously darker in grey colour as the Swann took a pounding from waves reaching forty feet, which had minutes before been just 5 feet.

 

All this came out of nowhere, the mariners worst fear. The instruments had not given any clue as to what was in store from them. Hal had been on sentry duty and gave them a good bit of warning. But even so, had not been able to avoid the tropical conditions, which was of itself rather puzzling and something to think on later.

“Dan, its emergency lock down action stations – quick as you can. I’ll fold the wings, can you put us in sea anchor mode?”

 

There was no need for an answer and Storm didn’t wait for one; both men leapt into action. Dan felt the warning from the violent rising and falling of the Swann, which he’d only felt once before on the east coast of Australia, but not as bad as this. Storm by name, Storm by nature, Dan thought to himself as he braved the wind from the aft helm position, lashed by driving sea spray. He flooded the pontoons, such that the raised hull was now in the water. In this mode the Swann became almost invisible to radar, emulating a stealth vessel. It was possible to make the ship completely transparent to radar, but not in hurricane conditions.

Thankfully there was ample safety railing to grasp hold of as the wind and water combination nearly blew John overboard more than once. The manual wing override was accomplished using just three hydraulic levers and two electrical switches. It was much like using the controls of a JCB, for the arm and tilt functions were not that dissimilar. The controls at the rear were under a hatch forming part of the seat back. Dan soon closed the hatch, after isolating the feed to and from the batteries, and shutting down the fuel cells, just in case. In this position the vessel was as safe as it could be.

 

"I'd have done all of that if you'd let me," chimed in Hal, effecting an upset tone.

 

John and Dan smiled.

Having completed his tasks, Dan watched on as John battled to secure the starboard wing over the port. The wings could be folded hydraulically by overriding the auto tracking feature. But additional chain locks had to be fitted by hand – and such a storm called for every precaution. He was standing on the starboard bridge waiting for a lull to take the wing over when the strain on the structure would be reduced. Waves were now crashing over and through the central framework. The port wing was already secured. John looked up at Dan in the helm and shouted, “Get inside Dan, try to give us headway” As Dan disappeared another wave almost took John overboard. He shook off the warm Atlantic brine defiantly. A change of clothing would be called for. 

The world's fastest solar ship swung south-east facing into the oncoming wind and waves. This was the opportunity John was looking for as he deftly folded the starboard wing. The amazing vessel was being blown north-west at some speed. John climbed up and manually fitted the remaining security chains. Looking aft he could see they were nicely settled in the water. They were swamped but obviously coping with the lashing. John swung back onto the main walkway and entered the command module. Inside the comm. Dan had already made himself comfortable. John worked his way out of his wet clothing and towelled himself off, then donned an all-in-one.

 

“That’ll teach us to relax.”

 

 “Yup,” nodded Dan, with a bothered look on his face.

 

“What’s troubling thee mate,” asked John. It wasn’t often that Dan looked worried about anything.

“We’re entering that devilish place in classic conditions and guess what? Our instruments are malfunctioning. Reckon I’m superstitious.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John wasn’t yet up to this. He cracked a Solar Tonic™ and grabbed a sandwich, which he wolfed down, then took the command seat and set about lowering the Swann even further into the ocean by venting more ballast tank. They were indeed being blown off course into the Bermuda Triangle. John scanned the instruments and they were acting strangely. As the weather outside deteriorated the wind speed increased lashing their screens with salt spray so visibility was close to nothing, even with the wipers at full pace. The weather sensors were not receiving anything and ‘Captain Nemo’ refused to display anything for long enough to make sense.

“We’ll just have to ride this one out sport,” said John as a monster wave lifted the Swann on its crest then let go so the boat plummeted down and dived to near total immersion; their stomachs tried to keep going down as the boat was coming back up.

 

“Blimey,” said Dan “beats the wall of death hands down.” 

 

John was thinking the same thing. It was like riding a bucking bronco. Both men came out of their chairs simultaneously, and both re-adjusted their belts ………

 

 

 

 

An Amazonian crocodile eating a red bellied piranha fish

 

 

 

 

THE ELIZABETH SWANN NAVIGATES THE AMAZON

There are a lot of giant rivers on planet Earth, but the Amazon is easily the largest expanse of moving water by volume, followed by the Congo, Orinoco, Yangtze, Parana, Brahmaputra, Yellow Yenisei, Ganges and Mississippi. Not perhaps the order one would expect from legend. The Nile is the longest river at 4,150 miles flowing into the Mediterranean. The Amazon name derives from ‘Great Snake’ Inha Aramaco. Basically, as long snaking river.

The Amazon carries almost a fifth of the world’s flowing fresh water, equal to that of the next ten largest rivers combined. Hardly surprising considering that this gigantic watercourse drains a third of South America, taking with it a billion tons of sediment every year. The distinct muddy stains leaching into the South Atlantic Ocean for hundreds of miles are visible from space. This marvel of nature rises in the Peruvian Andes. It flows east across Brazil, in places 25 miles wide in flood. This queen of rivers is navigable by ocean going ships as far as 3,500 kilometres from the sea and is 6,450 kilometres long

It was a hot and humid day, with a light westerly breeze wafting air laden with the smell of aquatic life along the river. The Elizabeth Swann had no trouble entering the Amazon, passing between the Islands of Caviana and Mexiana into the brackish waters, plying her wake slightly deeper than normal, due to the difference in density between fresh and seawater. It was going to take two and a half days to reach Manaus at cruise speed, 32 hours at full tilt, via Almeirim, Prainha, Obidos and Itacoatiara; a journey of some 800 kilometers.

 

"Thank heavens the Swann doesn’t need fuel. John turned to Dan." He’d been pushing his traveling companion all the way across the Atlantic. Dan looked tired. 

 

“Partner, I know the scenery is irresistible, but you’d better get your head down. We’re meeting Charley up river at the airport. I’ll take the next six. Okay?”

 

Rivers need considerably more careful navigation skill than the open ocean. Although it is possible to plot a course on the autopilot with the accuracy of modern GPS receivers, in practice it takes so many waypoints, it’s simpler to steer manually.

 

"I can manage that quite easily," said Hal, in a voice of feigned indignation.

Dan looked across the river expanse before him, some fifteen miles across jam packed with breathtaking sights and sounds from the diverse wildlife. He knew the bright green muddy waters were host to some of the most dangerous predators alive. As a boy he’d been fascinated with films of piranha fish stripping flesh to bare bone in seconds. Though that may have been an exaggeration on celluloid, it is not far from the truth, as many a native of the low lying wetlands could tell you; you don’t dip toes in the water, or you lose them. These romantic notions made Dan want to keep watching, so as not to miss a thing. But common sense and weary eyes dictated giving way to his body’s call for replenishment.

 

“You win skip,” said Dan secretly happy at the opportunity. He left the com to turn in.

This vast body of water contains around 3,000 species of fish. The electric eel can knock a man unconscious with a 600 volt discharge. The piraruch fish reaches 2.5 metres (8 feet) in length and there are freshwater dolphins, river turtles and otters. The anaconda can grow to 6 metres (20 feet) and piranhas patrol in schools attacking large prey. All in all, it’s better to maintain a healthy respect for the local fauna and keep out of the water unless absolutely necessary.

The river broadens in its final stages across the floodplains to create temporary habitats where the view is unimpeded. As the hybrid trimaran cruised upriver, vegetation sprang up on the banks, turning into tall shrubs and jungle in just two days sailing. They’d covered 700 miles taking it in turns to crash their bunks. As an experiment John had input waypoints for the next 500 miles. The Swann had some unique advantages over other vessels of her size. The instruments were integrated better than other boat systems, and with more sensitive equipment the results were impressive. The sonar on this small ship was more sophisticated than on most nuclear submarines costing billions of dollars. It could be used to identify the propulsion system on a submarine several miles away, or it could be used to see obstructions in shallow river waters. Set up as an early warning system and fed into a computer autopilot program, the Elizabeth Swann could wend its way upstream, avoiding shallows and keep away from the river banks, should the DGPS for any reason not tie in with the map coordinates, such as to confuse Captain Nemo.

Inevitably the Elizabeth Swann drew crowds due to its unusual design. Not many natives had heard of a solar powered boat let alone seen one. John and Dan knew they were close to Manaus when river boat traffic increased, so too the noise. They finally caught sight of the docking waterfront.

There are many tales of Akatar; the lost Amazonian City. In 1546 conquistadors scoured south America for gold, plundering Aztec and Incan culture, the Peruvian Naskadu and founding myths such as Orliana’s Cradle, after Francisco de Orliana. Other myths abounded such as the Crystal Skulls, one of which was said to be found in a cave excavation. All of this intrigued Charley Temple, but not as much as the Panamanian Running Man, and the stories of a Neo-Nazi cult operating along the banks of the Amazon.

 

Charley had seen the films, The Boys From Brazil, and The Bourne Identity, so had conjured up all manner of theories, based on the runner her reporter friend, Steve Green, had asked her to research. She had a while to pass, waiting for that laggard John Storm and his chum Dan Hawk, so thought to do a little detective work. Charley asked about in some of the outlying villages, affecting the air of a lost explorer.

 

Only a few of the native Amazonians spoke few enough words of English to converse. The mature tribes people were most assuredly friendly, but clammed up with the mentioned of soldiers. And just walked away, arms waving wildly, when she asked if they knew any German settlers in the locality.

 

Finally a little girl playing by a stream volunteered a vague direction, after catching sight of a candy bar. Charley guessed the real compass heading, after the girl aimed her hand in one direction upriver, as a reflex, then hastily re-adjusted ninety degrees inland, effecting her broadest smile, not looking her in the eye.

 

The exchange completed, Charley aimed as indicated, but once out of sight, changed course, and was she glad she followed that hunch.

 

Meantime, John and Dan had docked suitably off to one side of what appeared to be the main terminal, to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

 

"We're up for meeting Jack Mason somewhere along the trail."

 

Don't you mean Jack will catch up with us when we've taken the heat," said Dan wryly.

 

John nodded. It seemed the CIA's calling card on his watch. But then, at least they took the trouble to join the party occasionally. More than could be said of MI6, or Blue Shield.

 

Hal chimed in, "Charley is heading upriver, some twelve hundred meters north-west."

 

"How does he know that?" said Dan to John.

 

"Elementary my dear Watson. Calculating molecule dispersal rate from her perfume, against wind direction - probability. But most simply, from her iphone gps triangulation - I imagine."

 

"Both. Well deduced Holmes," Hal responded.

 

 

[ILLUSTRATION BRIEF]



 

 

 

 

 On the return trip to the Mediterranean, the Elizabeth Swann passes through the Straits of Gibraltar

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1.   THE POISON ASP

CHAPTER 2.   WRATH OF THE GODS - The destruction of Thonis and Alexandria

CHAPTER 3.   NEW WORLD ORDER - A Neo-Nazi plan to regenerate Aryan supremacy

CHAPTER 4.   CYBERCORE GENETICA - Nano computer technology is purchased at an auction by a religious sect.

CHAPTER 5.   INCUBUS

CHAPTER 6.   SPLICE

CHAPTER 7.   TREMORS - Cleopatra's tomb lay lost for centuries. Until a shift in the tectonic plates triggered a tremor off the coast of Alexandria.

CHAPTER 8.   PANAMANIAN RUNNING MAN -

CHAPTER 9.   THE AMAZON

CHAPTER 10. TOMB RAIDERS - Safiya Sabuka and Musa Bomani dive among sifting sands to discover precious artifacts and golden treasures.

CHAPTER 11. SCOTLAND YARD

CHAPTER 12. OPERATION ALEXANDRIA - Neo-Nazi occultists recover Cleopatra's sarcophagus from underwater tomb near Palace.

CHAPTER 13. KIDNAP - Charley is taken prisoner 

CHAPTER 14. UNESCO - Catholic Church fear grave desecration heritage theft, asks agencies for help. Interpol issue Red Notice.

CHAPTER 15. REPLICANT - The Society reproduce Cleopatra using Francisco's RepliVator™, uploading synapse sequence and implanted memories.

CHAPTER 16. FULL STEAM AHEAD - Storm speeds to Thonis, then uses the Swann's AI sensors and the Ark database to find tomb has been plundered.

CHAPTER 17. RITUAL SACRIFICE - The Baron prepares a drugged Cleopatra for ceremonial impregnation.

CHAPTER 18. SANCTUM INTERRUPTUS - John finds secret Nazi hideout near Alexandria, disturbs ritual - rescues Cleopatra, arresting conspirators.

CHAPTER 19. THE CHOSEN ONE - The reincarnated Cleopatra falls for her rescuer. John comes under her spell, despite her being a replicant.

CHAPTER 20. MILITARY INTERVENTION - The military detain Cleopatra to appease stakeholders, despite media & medical protests. Storm distraught.

CHAPTER 21. DÉJÀ VU - History repeats itself, military lock up technology as gross violation of human rights, John left disillusioned:  FINALE FOR NOW


 

 

 

 

 

 

GRAPHIC BRIEF - SUGGESTED LAYOUTS/ FORMAT

 

CHAPTER 1.   THE POISON ASP - Overwhelmed by grief, Cleopatra poisons herself with a cobra bite in her mausoleum

CHAPTER 2.   WRATH OF THE GODS - The destruction of Thonis and Alexandria

CHAPTER 3.   NEW WORLD ORDER - A Neo-Nazi plan to regenerate Aryan supremacy

CHAPTER 4.   CYBERCORE GENETICA - Nano computer technology is purchased at an auction by a religious sect

CHAPTER 5.   INCUBUS - Franco Francisco accepts offer of employment from Roberta Ferrara

CHAPTER 6.   SPLICE - Klaus von Kolreuter perfects a method of gene manipulation

CHAPTER 7.   TREMORS - Cleopatra's tomb lay lost for centuries, until shift in the tectonic plates trigger tremor off the coast of Alexandria

CHAPTER 8.   PANAMANIAN RUNNING MAN - Marjorie Boyle videos exceptionally fast athlete, Sam Hollis investigates

CHAPTER 9.   AMAZON QUEEN - Elizabeth Swann navigating river and docking at Manaus

CHAPTER 10. TOMB RAIDERS - Safiya Sabuka and Musa Bomani dive among sifting sands to discover precious artifacts and golden treasures

CHAPTER 11. SCOTLAND YARD - London's secure DNA database is stolen

CHAPTER 12. OPERATION ALEXANDRIA - Neo-Nazi occultists recover Cleopatra's sarcophagus from underwater tomb near Palace

CHAPTER 13. KIDNAPPED - Charley is taken prisoner, John, Dan and CIA rescue her

CHAPTER 14. UNESCO - Catholic Church fear grave desecration heritage theft, asks agencies for help. Interpol issue Red Notice

CHAPTER 15. REPLICANT - The Society reproduce Cleopatra using Francisco's RepliVator™, uploading synapse sequence, implanted memories

CHAPTER 16. FULL STEAM AHEAD - To Thonis, then uses the Swann's AI sensors and the Ark database to find tomb has been plundered

CHAPTER 17. RITUAL SACRIFICE - The Baron prepares a drugged Cleopatra for ceremonial impregnation

CHAPTER 18. SANCTUM INTERRUPTUS - John finds Nazi hideout near Alexandria, disturbs ritual - rescues Cleopatra, arresting conspirators

CHAPTER 19. THE CHOSEN ONE - The reincarnated Cleopatra falls for her rescuer. John comes under her spell, despite her being a replicant

CHAPTER 20. MILITARY INTERVENTION - Military detain Cleopatra for stakeholders, despite media & medical protests. Storm distraught

CHAPTER 21. DÉJÀ VU - History repeats itself, military lock up technology as gross violation of human rights, John left disillusioned

 

 

 

 

 

  THE ADVENTURES OF JOHN STORM: CLEOPATRA & THE MUMMY

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Cleopatra - The Mummy - A John Storm adventure with the Elizabeth Swann

 

 

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