>> II/ Blade II

II/ Blade II. .

: II/ Blade II.

II/ Blade II

EXT. COMMUNITY BLOOD BANK - NIGHT

PULL BACK from a neon red cross ablaze in the cold December night to REVEAL an inner-city, store-front clinic. Trash and leaves blow over wet, snowy pavement.

ANGLE ON a PALE FIGURE standing across the street. He looks feverish and strung-out, in serious need of a fix. This is JARED NOMAK, 20s. He starts towards the clinic.

INT. COMMUNITY BLOOD BANK - ENTRANCE - NIGHT

Potential DONORS sit in a waiting area, filling out forms, leafing through informational material. A sign in the window reads: "Se habla Espanol". Others read: "YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE", "GIVE LIFE", and "BECOME A PLATELET DONOR". We overhear a bored-looking EMPLOYEE behind the information desk quizzing someone over the phone:

EMPLOYEE Have you recently visited a tropical country? Uh-huh? In the past twelve months have you gotten a tattoo, non sterile acupuncture, or undergone any ear, skin or body piercing?

We MOVE PAST the employee to Nomak, waiting.

NURSE (O.S.) Jared Nomak?

Nomak looks up. We get a better look at his face now - he has a thin scar running from his lower lip down his chin. A childhood accident, perhaps. A NURSE smiles and motions for him to join her. She's carrying a clipboard.

NURSE (CONT'D) Hi. We're ready for you now.

INT. COMMUNITY BLOOD BANK - HALLWAY - NIGHT

Nomak follows the Nurse into a dimly-lit hallway. We track their progress in a convex safety mirror suspended from the hallway ceiling as they pass all manner of medical supplies -- centrifuges, an apheresis device, etc.

NURSE (referring to her clipboard) I see from your questionnaire that you don't have any immediate next of kin?

NOMAK Not that I'm in contact with.

NURSE Nobody to call in case of an emergency?

NOMAK No -- (apprehensive) Does that mean I can't be a donor?

NURSE It depends. We came up with some unusual results on your blood test.

Nomak follows the Nurse to a steel door were TWO SECURITY GUARDS await them. Both look bored, paying little attention to the monitor which offers a view of the examining room beyond. There is also a small window with safety glass. GUARD #1 opens the door, following Nomak and the Nurse inside. GUARD #2 remains behind, manning the hallway.

INT. COMMUNITY BLOOD BANK - EXAMINING ROOM - NIGHT

The Nurse ushers Nomak into the room, indicating he should sit in a kind of reclining dental chair with arm and headrests. Nomak notices a security camera mounted above.

NOMAK (anxious) How unusual?

Beat. The Nurse sets aside Nomak's file, looking uncomfortable.

NURSE Your blood has a very rare phenotype, one that's quite valuable to people like us.

NOMAK Us? What are you talking about?

A kind-faced DOCTOR enters, nodding to Guard #1.

DOCTOR It's a good news-bad news scenario, Jared. Good news for us, bad for you.

The Doctor and Nurse smile, BARING FANGS. We realize now that they are both vampires. The Guard, too. He grips Nomak by the throat, forcing him back into the restraint chair. As the vampire Guard does so, his hand brushes against Nomak's jaw. The flesh on Nomak's chin briefly separates along the scar - almost as if it were a seam.

The guard pauses - and Nomak LAUGHS. Definitely NOT the reaction the vampires were expecting from a potential victim. Nomak starts to shake and twitch, like he's going into some kind of seizure. The whites of his eyes bleed red. He throws his head back, opening his mouth as a PAIR OF RAZOR SHARP CANINES extrude from his gums. These are longer, much more lethal-looking than the fangs of the vampires and --

Nomak lashes out, knocking the Guard backwards. The Nurse SCREAMS. Nomak clamps his mouth onto her throat, SLAMMING her back against the wall.

The vampire Doctor rushes to the door, scrambling to unbolt it. Nomak reaches for him, HOWLING with blood-drunk laughter as he lifts the Doctor up. Nomak flings the Doctor about like a toy, using his body to SMASH the lights, then the security camera above.

INT. COMMUNITY BLOOD BANK - HALLWAY - NIGHT

We hear SCREAMS and HORRIBLE NOISES coming from the examining room. Guard #2 draws a gun and looks to the security monitor with alarm. The screen goes black. He looks to the small window, trying to peer into the now-darkened room beyond --

SPLASH! A wave of blood smears across a window. A HAND wipes a patch of blood away, revealing Nomak's baleful, distorted eyes. Guard #2 starts to back away when --

BANG! Nomak slams against the other side of the steel door. BANG!BANG!BANG! The door begins to bend, hand-shaped impressions bulging outward as Nomak starts to peel the door apart like it was an aluminum can.

Guard #2 has seen enough. He turns and runs even as the door CAVES INWARD off its hinges. Forward momentum sends the door sliding across the hallway floor where it trips up the Guard.

ON THE DOORWAY

as Nomak steps into the hallway. Because of the lights above, there are alternating pools of light and shadow in the hall. Nomak advances towards us, his face coming in and out of darkness.

NOMAK Vampires --

With each pool of light, his awful smile seems to distort further and further, until his mouth seems to be widening all the way back to his ears.

NOMAK (CONT'D) I fucking hate vampires.

On the floor, the vampire Guard CRIES OUT in fear, helplessly raising his hands to defend himself. Nomak HOWLS and leaps towards him/us, blacking out the screen with his hurtling form as we --

CUT TO:

EXT. INNER-CITY BACK-ALLEY - NIGHT

BOOM! A second-story door flies open and FIVE VAMPIRE thug wannabes come spilling out. They race down a flight of stairs, tripping and tumbling over themselves. In descending order, they are: RUSH, a pimped-out Vanilla Ice clone wearing Karl Kani gear, followed by JIGSAW, ST. CLOUD, T-BAG and SEGURA.

BLADE

exits just behind them, eschewing the stairs completely and vaulting over the railing. He unholsters his MACH pistol as he drops, FIRING it as he lands in a cat-like stance on the snowy ground below --

BA-BANG! A silver-tipped bullet punches through T-Bag's chest. He turns to ash even as his fellow vamps dash through the disintegrating cloud that used to be his body. The embers melt the snow where they land.

A super-charged foot chase ensues, with hunter and prey moving at speeds in excess of anything a human would ever be capable of. We're talking thirty-five, even forty miles an hour.

ON BLADE

Running like a bull, condensed vapor streaming from his mouth and nostrils. Splashing through puddles of icy water storming through barriers of plywood and razor wire, leaping over mountains of garbage bags.

ON THE VAMPIRES

as they flatten a length of cyclone fencing like it was crepe paper. They scramble up an obstacle of waste bins, leaping into the air --

BACK TO BLADE

pulling out his twin-bladed boomerang as he runs. He flings the weapon. It twirls around, catching --

ST. CLOUD IN MID-LEAP

and cutting the vampire completely in half. As the disintegrating halves of St. Cloud fall to the side, Blade storms over the waste bin.

EXT. INNER-CITY - SECOND ALLEY - NIGHT

The remaining vampires stumble into a narrower alley where a GROUP OF BUMS are warming themselves over a series of oil drum fires.

Jigsaw slips, TRIPPING over one of the burning oil drums, catching himself ablaze. He doesn't give a shit. He keeps on running, barreling his way into --

INT. NOODLE FACTORY - NIGHT

-- the back entrance of a cramped, sweat-shop. Some kind of noodle factory filled with steam and equipment and YAMMERING FOREIGNERS and --

-- here comes Blade, hot on the vampires' heels, shouldering workers aside and --

EXT. NOODLE FACTORY - NIGHT

-- Rush and the remaining vamps spill out onto the street where a number of motorcycles are waiting for them -- two BMW R1200 motorbikes and a tricked-out Panhead Harley chopper with ape-hanger handlebars.

Rush and Segura leap atop their BMWs. Jigsaw rolls into a puddle of water, dousing himself, then jumps onto his chopper. As the vamps peel out --

BLADE

Bursts from the factory. Segura revs his BMW, trying to run him down. At the last second, Blade pivots aside like a matador. Segura circles around for another try.

Blade leaps, somersaulting through the air, then lands on the back of the bike behind Segura. SHINGGG! Blade pulls a retractable garrotte wire from the sleeve of his jacket and wraps it around Segura's throat.

With a violent twist, Blade decapitates Segura. As the vampire's headless body turns to ash before him, Blade leans forward and takes the controls of the speeding motorcycle.

WHOOSH! Blade speeds after the other vamps.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Rush and Jigsaw gun their bikes for all they're worth. Up ahead, a line of construction barricades are blocking the way. The vampires power on through the barricades, then abruptly brake --

THE OVERPASS

before them is under construction. There's a twenty-foot gap in the road where a portion is missing, pieces of re-bar poking out from the ends of the prefabricated sections.

Rush and Jigsaw consider their options, but then they hear the ROAR of Blade's engine as he comes SCREAMING over the rise in the road!

Fuck it. Rush powers his chopper forward, making the jump, burning rubber as he lands on the far side. Jigsaw torques his handle and follows, rocketing towards the gap.

ON BLADE

as he snaps his hand up -- a trio of Japanese throwing stars appearing between his fingers like a magician's cards. He flings the stars at Jigsaw's bike --

The throwing stars hit Jigsaw's back tire and the bike goes down, vomiting SPARKS as it slides forward. Jigsaw is flung forward like a ragdoll, out over the gap in the overpass and

-- WHUNK! Jigsaw is impaled on the protruding re-bar! He HOWLS, instantly disintegrating as Blade makes the jump!

UP AHEAD

Rush cuts onto an on-ramp, powering his way onto the freeway.

EXT. FREEWAY - NIGHT

Hyper-speed. Rush slouches low, trying to cut wind resistance and will his bike faster. He hazards a look back.

BLADE

is gaining on him like demon of speed.

Rush pulls a TEC-9, FIRING back at Blade. It's no good. Blade is nearly upon him, unsheathing his sword from his back scabbard --

Blade JABS his sword forward into Rush's rear-wheel. The bike locks up, flips over, BURSTS INTO FLAMES. The whole screaming wreck slews forward, SHOWERING SPARKS --

RUSH

goes flying onto the road, rolling over and over, one of his legs SNAPPING at a bone-breaking angle. As he lies there MOANING, Blade circles around, sweeping past Rush's decimated bike, retrieving his sward from the burning wreckage.

Blade kills the engine on his own bike and dismounts. Rush is pathetically trying to drag his broken body to safety. Blade approaches, placing his boot heel on the back of Rush's neck, forcing his face against the asphalt. He unholsters his MACH, pointing it at the vampire's bleeding head. Blade's opening line:

BLADE Tell me where he his now and I'll consider you a loose end.

CUT TO:

EXT. MOO-COW CREAMERY - MILK FACTORY - NIGHT

CLOSE ON a peeling wall mural -- smiling 30s cartoon cow winking at us, licking her chops. The logo reads: "TASTY".

Blade's matte-black Charger RUMBLES into view and parks in front of the abandoned milk factory. Blade steps out, heaving an equipment sack onto his shoulder.

INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

THREE LACONIC VAMPIRE TOUGHS are playing poker at a card table, dealing out novelty nudie cards. We hear a NOISE. One of the vampires approaches a reinforced door. He slides open a viewing slot and peers through. Nobody outside. The vampire turns back to his poker buddies, shrugging --

VAMPIRE Nobody's th--

Before the vampire can even finish his sentence, Blade's SWORD punches straight through the door into his chest. He gasps and turns to ash as the sword disengages back out through the door and --

CRASH! The door explodes open, sending clouds of burning vampire embers every which way. In walks Blade, grinning wickedly, MACH ready --

As the other two vampires rise - POW! A silver hollow-point hits the first one in the neck. POW! Another hollow-point takes out the second. The vampires drop, turning to ash.

Blade holsters his MACH, striding through vampire ash piles. The place is eerily quiet here, in stark contrast to the mayhem of the last few minutes. Just the steady, low-pitched HUM of machinery.

Blade starts forward. Up ahead, a FAINT GLOW is emitting from behind an area that's been sectioned off with canvas tarps. Blade sweeps one of the tarps aside --

THREE LARGE TANKS

are hidden inside. The first two are empty. A MAN is suspended within the third, bobbing weightlessly in a sea of red plasma. His long, gray hair floats about his face, shrouding his weathered features. We're not sure if he's sleeping or dead.

BLADE Old man, old man, what've they done to you --

Whistler's ace drifts around into view. Blade shakes his head in sadness. He looks about for a way to extract Whistler, doesn't see any obvious means, then --

CRASH! Blade kicks through the glass. Blood and fluids flood out around him as Whistler's limp body tumbles partly down, but he's still suspended by the wires and medical leads. Blade unsheathes his sword, severing the wires --

Whistler falls into his arms. Blade cradles him, then -- the gunsmith's eyes abruptly snap open, flooding with rage.

Blade staggers back as the HOWLING horror that used to be his mentor wraps his hands around Blade's throat, forcing him to the ground. Whistler ROARS, revealing a set of jagged fangs.

WHISTLER Why didn't you finish me off?!?! I told you --

Whistler SLAMS the back of Blade's head against the concrete floor again and again, punctuating his words with each SLAM --

WHISTLER (CONT'D) -- TO -- FUCKING -- FINISH -- ME -- OFF!

Blade knees Whistler in the balls. Whistler lets go, cupping his groin as Blade heaves him aside. Blade strips off his gauntlets. Whistler springs at him again. Blade sinks his fist deep in Whistler's stomach. As Whistler doubles over, Blade twists Whistler's hands behind his back, cuffing his wrists together with a pair of titanium manacles.

Blade pulls a restraint hood from his equipment bag and quickly slips it over Whistler's head, cinching it tight.

Another beat. Whistler doesn't stir. He's down for the count. Blade pauses a moment, catching his breath as he leans on Whistler's still form. He's exhausted.

BLADE Come on, Whistler.

He rises, heaving Whistler's body over his shoulder.

BLADE (CONT'D) Let's go home.

EXT. THE CITY - NIGHT

Blade's battered Charger knifes through the snow-dusted urban blight like a shadow. Boarded up businesses, tent cities, doorways bombed with graffiti throwups -- wherever this godforsaken Gomorrah is, it's definitely a notch down on the misery scale from the city Blade used to call home.

Up ahead, the sprawl levels out, giving way to an ice-bound harbor wreathed in fog.

INT. BLADE'S CHARGER - NIGHT

Blade drives on, inured to the sqaulor. He made peace with the darkness a long time ago.

EXT. SHIPYARD - NIGHT

The Charger weaves its way through a maze of scrap metal and rusty shipping containers, homing in on a sprawling warehouse that's been cordoned off by cyclone fencing and razor wire. Utlra-violent floodlights illuminate the area, while security cameras keep a watchful eye.

INT. WAREHOUSE - INDUSTRIAL ELEVATOR - NIGHT

More UV lights flicker on. We're in a massive loading elevator/platform which HUMS as it ascends, eventually reaching its destination with a BOOMING CLANG. The doors at the rear glide open. Blade guides the Charger out.

INT. SCUD'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

Santa's workshop by way of Soldier of Fortune. Industrial equipment is strewn everywhere. Mills, old furnaces, gutted vehicles, an ad hoc surgical theater. We also notice the big rig which Scud had been piloting. Because of various leaking overhead pipes, the floor is slick with a sheen of water. Blade kills his Charger, looking around as he climbs out.

BLADE Scud!

Blade's voice ECHOES throughout the cavernous room.

SCUD (O.S.) Lock up your daughters, people --

ANGLE ON SCUD

A handlebar moustached, weed-sucking stoner. Thrift-store chic, wearing a Jimmy Walker "Dyn-O-Mite!" T-shirt.

SCUD (CONT'D) The Dark Knight returns.

Scud is lowering himself down from the ceiling on a rope and pulley system where he'd been suspended in a safety harness, doing some kind of electrical wiring job. He reaches the floor and unclips himself. We notice he's wearing a surfer's charm around his neck that's been strung with vampire fangs.

Scud pulls a half-smoked roach from behind his ear, using a lighter in the shape of a woman's torso to fire up. The flame jets from a hole in one of her tits. He takes a Spicoli-sized hit and offers the roach to Blade.

SCUD (CONT'D) Little toke of the smokage, B?

Blade slaps it from his hand.

BLADE Knock it off. We've got work to do.

Blade opens the trunk. Scud joins him.

WHISTLER

is inside. Blade unfastens the hood, slipping it off. Immediately, Whistler sits up, LUNGING at Blade!

SCUD Fuck me!

Blade gets Whistler in a headlock, choking him as he drags him out of the trunk. It's like trying to wrestle a rabid pit bull. He looks to Scud, annoyed.

BLADE You going to stand there crapping your pants or are you going to help me?!

Scud steps forward, tentative. Together, he and Blade drag Whistler kicking and SCREAMING across the workshop, forcing him into a small, cell-like room.

INT. SCUD'S WORKSHOP - CELL - NIGHT

WHAP! Blade throws Whistler onto the concrete floor, pinning him as Scud quickly slips a series of chains around him which have been secured to the wall. The opposite wall is covered by a series of steel shutters. As Whistler continues to thrash, Blade affixes a muzzle to the older man's mouth.

SCUD You got something in mind, Blade?

BLADE Ultra-rapid detox. They use it on heroin addicts, make 'em go cold-turkey in one night.

Blade pulls out a pneumatic syringe, plunging an ampoule of amber-colored fluid into the bottle mount.

BLADE (CONT'D) Gonna try and OD Whistler on a retroviral cure.

SCUD I don't know about this, man --

Blade injects Whistler with the syringe. Whistler HOWLS in pain, nearly throwing Blade and Scud off him.

BLADE (to Scud) Get back!!!

Scud scurries away. Whistler's struggles have taken an even more violent turn. Blade beats him back down.

Finally, Blade steps on Whistler's neck, pinning his head as he draws a shotgun from a holster beneath his armpit. He shoves it in Whistler's SNARLING FACE.

BLADE (CONT'D) If there's anything of you left in there, Whistler, listen up now. Come morning, those shutters are going up. Either you'll be cured, or you'll fry.

Blade raises his foot from Whistler's neck, quickly backing out the door. Whistler THROWS himself at Blade, nearly tearing the chains from the wall as --

INT. SCUD'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

BOOM! Blade slams the cell door closed. The door is heavy steel. Nevertheless, Whistler kicks against it, threatening to tear it off its hinges. Blade throws a heavy cross-bar over the door. Then he steps back, joining Scud.

WHUMP!WHUMP!WHUMP! Whistler hammers the door again and again and again. But the crossbar holds. Blade glances at Scud, who's looking winded and shaken by the ordeal.

BLADE It's going to be a long night.

Scud nods and exits. Blade drags a chair across the floor, setting it in front of the door. He sits down, shotgun resting across his knees, holding vigil. And off that grim, stoic image we --

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY DUMP - DAY (20 YEARS AGO)

Daylight bleaches the image, almost whiting it out. A WINO sifts through refuse, collecting bottles. Three MUTTS are tethered to his side with rope. He reaches for a bottle, cuts himself on a piece of glass. As he inspects his wound, his dogs GROWL. The Wino looks up --

A BLACK KID (14) is standing atop a mountain of refuse -- wiry and intense, perched there like a predator. The Wino glances at his wrist again, the blood, then back up at the black kid. Unnerved, the Wino starts to back away, then turns -- BUMPING right into the black kid, who has moved beside him with uncanny speed. (NOTE: this all happens within a single, continuous shot.)

The boy SLAMS the Wino against the trestle wall and SNARLS, baring FANGS. And just as he's about to tear the man's throat out --

A HAND reaches in from off-screen, pulling the boy back. It's WHISTLER, twenty years younger and spryer, with a head full of RAVEN BLACK hair.

Whistler throws the boy into the light, forcing him onto the ground. He shoves a .45 against the boy's face and is just about to pull the trigger when he stops, NOTICING overhead sun reflected in the boy's eyes. Whistler looks up and SEES the sun at high noon, then glances back at the boy in understanding. He smiles.

WHISTLER Daylight. Son of a bitch.

CUT TO:

INT. SCUD'S WORKSHOP - DAWN

Blade wakes up, lifts his head. A shaft of sunlight shines directly down onto him, reflecting back at us from his now adult eyes. Blade hasn't moved. He sits in the chair in front of the cell door which is now silent. He stands, unlocking the cell door. He heaves the cross-bar away. The door GROANS as he opens it.

INT. SCUD'S WORKSHOP - CELL - DAWN

Blade enters. It's dark. We can just make out Whistler's figure huddled in the corner like some kind of caged animal, his lanky, gray hair obscuring his face.

Whistler doesn't stir. Blade crosses over to the steel shutters. For the briefest moments, he hesitates. Then he hits the switch, readying his shotgun. With a HUM, the shutters rise, throwing a SHAFT OF BLINDING SUNLIGHT over Whistler.

Nothing happens. Blade lowers his shotgun. Whistler slowly raises his head, fixing Blade with a bloodshot eye.

BLADE How do you feel?

WHISTLER Like a fucking heifer took a dump in my mouth.

INT. SCUD'S WORKSHOP - BATHROOM AREA - LATER

Whistler stands bare-chested before a corroded mirror, splashing water from a sink over his face, rinsing off shaving cream residue. He inspects his features -- he's cleaned himself up a bit, trimmed his beard, etc.

He pulls on a fresh shirt, then turns to face Blade, who stands behind him.

WHISTLER You came back for me.

BLADE Did you think I wouldn't?

WHISTLER Took you long enough.

Blade smiles. That was as close to a thank-you as this old junkyard dog is ever going to give.

INT. SCUD'S WORKSHOP - BACKSTORAGE AREA - DAY

Whistler has fired up a Lucky Strike. He's moving through the storage area where much of his old equipment has been shelved, pulling tarps off, checking things. Blade follows.

BLADE Let's just hope you've kicked the Thirst for good. I'll be watching you close. You start to back-slide --

WHISTLER You put a bullet in my brain. Wouldn't expect anything else.

Whistler takes a long drag, expelling the smoke slowly, studying the cigarette in his hand.

WHISTLER (CONT'D) I'll say one thing for doing time as a suckhead. Seems to have knocked that cancer of mine back into remission.

Blade nods. Then Whistler stops, obviously frustrated.

WHISTLER (CONT'D) Where the hell's my lathe?

Just then we hear the SOUND of an industrial lathe firing up. Curious, Whistler exits into --

INT. SCUD'S WORKSHOP - DAY

The workshop proper. Scud is working at Whistler's old lathe, bopping his head along to MUSIC which is playing on a nearby TV. The them song to SPEED RACER. Now he's wearing a Ron Jeremy T-shirt that says "Daddy".

TV (O.S.) Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer! He's a demon on wheels. He's gaining on you so you better look alive. He's busy revving up the powerful Mach Five --

Whistler cocks an incredulous eyebrow at Blade, who has fallen in beside him. Scud kills the lathe and approaches.

SCUD Whistler. Cool beans. Nice to meet you, man. Heard a lot. I'm Josh Frohmeyer. You can call me Scud, though. That's what most people do.

Scud offers his hand. Whistler doesn't take it. Scud shoots an uneasy glance at Blade, raising an eyebrow in question. Is Whistler okay, or not? Blade nods. Whistler moves over to the Charger which has its hood up.

WHISTLER Tell me something, Skid --

SCUD Scud.

WHISTLER Whatever -- (checking the motor) What'd you do to the Charger?

SCUD The pimp-mobile? Just made a few after market modifications. Nitrous-oxide injection system, forged aluminum pistons and crankshaft, higher flowing fuel pump.

WHISTLER Gave it a more aggressive exhaust profile ramping.

SCUD Fuck yeah. Whole package'll crank this betty up another three-hundred horsepower.

WHISTLER (cutting him off) And you'll burn the damn thing out before your next fucking oil change.

Whistler just looks to Blade and shakes his head.

WHISTLER (CONT'D) Where'd you dig up this shit-bird anyway?

SCUD Look, what's your problem?

Whistler gets in Scud's face. Scud looks to Blade for help, but he just watches, letting the two of them sort things out.

WHISTLER My problem, shitbird, is that I tried to blow my fucking head off and wound up sucking blood clots for the last year and a half! Now you're standing there choking your chicken like we're all walking around some fucking candy-ass vampire sitcom!

Scud attempts to show some balls, but stammers all the same.

SCUD Hey, you think I don't know what's at stake here? We practically compromised our whole operation to save your puckered old ass! And for what?

WHISTLER (grabs Scud's shirt) Our operation?! Our operation?! I built this operation, you fucking turd stain.

Just then, however, an alarm starts BEEPING. Scud checks a display as Blade readies his MACH.

SCUD Motion sensors. Looks like Zone Three.

BLADE Human?

Scud checks a series of thermal signature displays.

SCUD Body temp's fifty so I'll guess suck head.

Scud looks to a bank of security monitors -- the views break into static as a FIGURE rushes past them. He tries a few keyboard commands.

SCUD (CONT'D) I don't understand, I'm not getting anything on the surveillance cams.

Whistler makes a few adjustments on the nearest monitor.

WHISTLER They're fried. Whoever's out there is using magnesium flares. Seems like they've got your security system stopped out pretty well.

Whistler moves to a rack of weaponry. As he reaches for CAR 15, Scud moves to stop him.

SCUD Whoa, whoa, easy cowboy - I'm not trusting you with a weapon just yet.

Whistler SMACKS Scud in the face with the butt of the CAR-15 and pushes past him. We hear a CRASH.

ANGLE ON

TWO BLACK, LATEX-CLAD, NINJA LIKE INTRUDERS

Running on all fours, racing upside down across the ceiling at break-neck speed. Then they drop, somersaulting down fifty feet, landing in a cat-like stance.

BLADE Hit the God-lights.

Scud, with his nose now bleeding, activates a series of stadium-style lights secured to the ceiling. The entire place goes white with UV light, the image nearly blowing out.

CLOSE ON FIGURES' FACES

They are wearing metal goggles with iris shut to mere pin prick openings.

Whistler trains the CAR-15 on --

THE FIRST LATEX CLAD FIGURE

Who is now removing something from a satchel. Whistler FIRES. The Intruder drops the object and cartwheels away.

In the blink of an eye, the Second Intruder has launched himself at Whistler, hand-springing off the floor, then kicking him in the mid-section. As Whistler falls back, the Second Intruder presses forward.

ON BLADE

Unsheathing his sword, rushing at the First Intruder.

WHAP! The Intruder traps Blade's forearm, pivoting, planting a boot in Blade's ribcage. Obviously, the Intruder is a serious martial arts student.

WHAP!WHAP!WHAP! The two of them go at it, unleashing a flurry of kicks, blocks, and punches. The Intruder gets Blade in a back-choke. He twists out of it, throwing the Intruder over his shoulder, who neatly cartwheels, springing back off the wall at Blade again --

Blade ducks beneath one of the Intruder's kicks, then traps the Intruder's foot, giving it a savage twist. CRACK! Blade backhands the intruder with a blow so strong that it knocks the Intruder to his knees. Then the Intruder reaches for a short sword. In a heartbeat, the sword is out and against Blade's throat. Just as Blade's sword is not against the Intruder's. It's a stalemate.

SECOND INTRUDER Stop!!!!!

Blade and the First Intruder freeze. The Second Intruder steps away from Whistler, whom he clearly had the drop on, and tosses the CAR-15 to the ground.

SECOND INTRUDER (CONT'D) We didn't come here to fight. We came to deliver a message.

Blade looks back to the First Intruder. Then slowly withdraws his sword. The Intruder does the same. Blade turns off the God-lights. The UVs fade and normal lighting returns. Scud and Whistler pick themselves up off the floor.

BLADE Take off your masks.

The Intruders remove their masks. The first is ASAD, a cautious Sufi Muslim possessing a restrained nobility.

The second is a woman, NYSSA. 20-something, with emerald eyes and strong, darkly exotic features. Both are Vampire.

ASAD My name is Asad. This is Nyssa. We represent the Shadow Cabinet. The ruling body of Vampire nation. They're offering you a truce. They want to meet with you.

SCUD (wiping blood from his nose) Bullshit.

Blade holds up his hand, silencing Scud's outburst. He nods for Nyssa and Asad to continue.

Nyssa slowly crouches and reaches for the object she dropped - a CD. She tosses it to Blade. Still keeping an eye on them, Blade slips the CD into a reader. We SEE a slide-show of video capture shots taken from a surveillance camera. Nomak tearing into the blood bank staff, etc.

NYSSA For decades you've been the thing we've feared the most. But there's something else loose on the streets now --

CLOSE ON

The final still. A blurry, horrific shot of Nomak's half turned face and back. We get a sense of distorted, inhuman physiognomy.

NYSSA (CONT'D) Something worse than you.

CUT TO:

EXT. BLADE AND SCUD'S WAREHOUSE - ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Blade, Whistler, and Scud stand near the ledge, while Asad stands a few yards off, talking on a phone. Nyssa stands even further away, watching them with distrust.

SCUD This whole deal's giving me a serious case of the butt-willies.

WHISTLER Look, kid, they obviously found your base of operations. If it was a trap, why flip their dicks by announcing themselves?

BLADE I agree. We play along for now, we might wind up learning something about how their world ticks.

WHISTLER (grinning at Scud) Either that or feeding the worms.

Asad finishes his call and approaches them.

ASAD They're ready to see you now.

As if on cue, we hear the THRUM of helicopters. Seconds later, two Bell Jet Rangers appear above them, illuminating them in their searchlight.

CUT TO:

EXT. SKY - NIGHT

We track the helicopters across the night sky. We SEE Whistler and Asad in one, Blade, Scud and Nyssa in another.

INT. JET RANGER - NIGHT

Blade and Nyssa sit in the rear of the first helicopter. Nyssa is studying Blade.

BLADE What?

NYSSA They tell bedtime stories about you. Blade the big, bad boogie-man. Frankly, I'm disappointed. (Blade raises an eyebrow) That you were willing to come along so easily, I mean. Without any assurances.

Blade smiles and opens his coat, gesturing to a bandolier of plastic explosives secured to his chest.

BLADE Semtex explosive. Enough to level a city block. How's that for assurance?

The helicopter abruptly banks right, dropping down low.

EXT. HELICOPTER - NIGHT

The Bell Jet Rangers touch down outside a terraced, Frank Lloyd Wright structure overlooking the ocean. As Nyssa and Asad lead Blade, Whistler and Scud towards the facility we SEE a circular crimson logo encircling a double-helix.

Scud notices a series of RED LIGHT DOTS on his arms and chest. He looks up to see DOZENS OF VAMPIRE MARKSMEN on the roofs above, training their weapons on them.

INT. ELEVATOR CAB - NIGHT

The group rides down. The elevator stops. The doors open.

INT. DAMASKINO'S STRONGHOLD - 4-WAY INTERSECTION - NIGHT

Nyssa and Asad lead them into a hub out of which multiple corridors project. They take the central corridor.

INT. STEEL CORRIDOR - NIGHT

The corridor ends at a pair of steel security doors. Nyssa stands before a biometric scanner, allowing a beam of light to play over her face. The scanner acknowledges her identity and the doors HISS open, revealing a series of security doors beyond these which successively open into --

A FINAL DOOR

Oak, set into a stainless steel wall. Incalculably ancient, elaborately carved. Brought over from the "Old World."

NYSSA The House of Erebus you encountered before were nothing but feudal lords. The true power of the Vampire Nation lies here --

As they move towards the final door, Whistler shivers. Scud watches as his breath escapes from his mouth in a frosty plume. Asad takes notice.

ASAD Few warmbloods have seen what's beyond this door.

He pushes the doors open into --

INT. DAMASKINO'S LAIR - NIGHT

A crescent-shaped room filled with antiquities: quarry columns from Middle Kingdom Egypt, stacks of arcane volumes, Medieval frontispieces. A Borgia-esque Renaissance portrait staring down at us with a severe gaze. Towering over all of these is a massive Greek Cross carved from stone. MUSIC echoes around them -- Boito's Faust. Standing in the midst of this is OVERLORD ELI DAMASKINOS, wearing a robe of black silk.

NYSSA Father --

Damaskinos holds up his hand. He waits for the music to crescendo, then turns, his face still hidden in shadow.

DAMASKINOS I hope you don't mind the cold. When one such as myself reaches an advanced age, certain precautions are needed in order to preserve the flesh.

ASAD Blade, this is Overlord Eli Damaskinos.

DAMASKINOS (in vampire dialect; subtitled) Welcome, Daywalker. I thank you for coming. I've been anxious to meet you for quite some time.

Damaskinos draws closer now, stepping into the light. Bright eyed with smile like moonlight gleaming off a knife blade. His skin is impossibly pale, almost marble-like, with traceries of blue blood pulsing underneath.

DAMASKINOS (CONT'D) And the late Abraham Whistler. I trust your time amongst our numbers was agreeable?

Whistler glares at Damaskinos. The two men stare at each other a moment, sizing one another up.

DAMASKINOS (CONT'D) (smiling knowingly) It has been said, you may have enemies whom you hate, but not enemies whom you despise. Be proud of your enemy: then his success shall be yours, too. In that regard, I should thank you.

BLADE For what?

STEVENS (O.S.) Eliminating Deacon Frost.

CARTER STEVENS, an officious-looking familiar who has been quietly watching from the wings now steps forward.

STEVENS (CONT'D) All that unseemly business with LaMagra. You did us a favor. (offering his hand to Blade) Carter Stevens.

As Blade and Stevens shake, Blade notices a vampire glyph poking out from beneath the familiar's shirt cuff.

BLADE You're human.

STEVENS (with a smile) Barely. I'm a lawyer.

ASAD Mr. Stevens works with the National Institute of Health. (off Blade's look) Given that they monitor the nation's blood supply, a strategic alliance seemed prudent.

STEVENS We also finance a number of humanitarian organizations -- the National Institute of Infectious Diseases for one, the Human Genome Project...

BLADE Why?

NYSSA Survival.

Blade and the others turn to Nyssa, who uses a complex mechanical key to activate a holo-projector mounted above the table. As she focuses the image, a 3-D DIORAMA of vampire viral nucleocapsids swirls into view. The nucelocapsids begin attacking human red blood cells.

NYSSA (CONT'D) As you may know, Vampirism is an arbovirus, one that's spread through the saliva of parasitic organisms -- (motioning to the hologram) In this case, vampires are the vector. The virus replicates within the human bloodstream, evolving its host into an entirely new life-form. (beat) Unfortunately, viruses evolve too --

As Nyssa talks, one of the viral nucleocapsids changes, mutating from its original, elegant design into a harsher, more menacing form. The mutated nucleocapsid begins feeding on the original vampire capsids, causing a chain-reaction of mutation. In seconds, the holo-image is filled with throbbing, microscopic horrors which then mutate into --

NYSSA (CONT'D) We've dubbed this new virus the Reaper Strain. And like any good pathogen, it appears to have found a carrier -- a "Patient Zero".

A rotating 3-D image of Jared Nomak's face. Eyes red, his skin in full "blood mode" blush.

NYSSA (CONT'D) His name is Jared Nomak.

DAMASKINOS Thiavolos, as we used to say in Greece. The Devil. Pure Thirst. Nothing more. He was born a vampire, but he is an anomaly. (to Blade) Like you. Unlike the rest of us, however, he feeds on not just humans, but vampires as well.

BLADE Seems like he's doing me a favor, then.

NYSSA You're missing the point. Their vampire victims don't die. They turn. They become carriers. If the Reapers continue unchecked, there could be thousands of them before the month is over. Do the math.

Blade turns to Damaskinos.

BLADE (vampire dialect; subtitled) You want me to hunt them for you.

DAMASKINOS (vampire dialect; subtitled) Not alone.

ASAD We've been training a small tactical unit -- the Bloodpack. We want you to lead them.

WHISTLER Just how long has this little social club of yours been together?

NYSSA Two years.

BLADE Then they weren't created to go after your "patient zero".

NYSSA No. They've been training to hunt you.

CUT TO:

INT. SCUD'S WORKSHOP - DAWN

Blade, Whistler and Scud enter through the loading elevator. Blade turns to Whistler.

BLADE What do you think?

WHISTLER Sounds like a plan.

BLADE What do you really think?

WHISTLER (lighting a cigarette) These guys are shitting bricks cause they're no longer on the top of the food chain. They're going to fuck us the first chance they get.

Whistler moves away. Blade shrugs off his jacket, begins putting away his weapons. Scud lingers, apprehensive.

SCUD So you're going to do this?

BLADE Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn't that how the saying goes?

Scud follows Blade's gaze, watching Whistler, who has collapsed into a chair at the far end of the workshop. The grizzled hunter pulls off his leg brace, then massages his bum knee. Scud nods in Whistler's direction.

SCUD I'm worried about him. (off Blade's look) Look, I know he's your friend, but just watch him, okay? Nobody goes cold Turkey from the Thirst in a night.

BACK ON WHISTLER

Surrounded by the salvaged parts and massive gears of long discarded machinery, half-hidden in shadow. A shaft of morning sunlight cuts in through one of the windows, slowly moving across the floor towards his position. He shifts in his chair, moving slightly --

Away from the light.

CUT TO:

EXT. GAS STATION - NIGHT

It's late. An ice-encased streetlight HUMS and flickers. The pumps are vacant. A heavy blanket of sooty snow covers the grounds of the station. The fluorescents of the mini mart are the only beacon of light in an otherwise fog-bound night.

INT. MINI-MART - NIGHT

A KOREAN WOMAN (30s) mans the counter. Her TODDLER sits in a circular safety walker nearby. The kind that rolls and is affixed with toys to keep a baby occupied. The woman glances at two surveillance monitors. On the first monitor we see --

A CAR

pull up to the pumps outside. A MAN gets out, slides his credit card through the reader, starts pumping gas.

ON THE SECOND MONITOR

We SEE a FIGURE standing at the back by the Slurpee machine. The figure turns, approaching. It's Nomak. He sets a package of gum on the counter, looks to the baby. He smiles, wriggles his finger. The child COOS and smiles back.

Unnerved by Nomak, the Korean woman quickly rings the transaction, gives him his change. He removes a stick of gum from the pack, carefully unwraps it, slides it into his mouth, watching the child all the while. Finally, he nods to the woman and leaves. The door CHIMES as he exits.

Beat. The woman looks to the surveillance monitors again.

THE FIRST MONITOR

The car is still there, but the man pumping gas is gone.

Puzzled, the woman steps from behind the counter and moves to the glass doors, looking out --

HER POV

The car's driver side door hangs open. Even more disturbing, the hose for the gas pump lies untended on the icy ground, spilling fuel from its nozzle.

EXT. GAS STATION - NIGHT

The Korean woman cautiously exits the mini-mart. No one is in sight. She hurries to the abandoned car, disengaging the lock on the pump handle, then setting it back in its cradle. She looks to the open driver's door. A FEW DROPLETS OF BLOOD have stained the snow just outside it. Then she sees --

A GHOSTLY FIGURE

Standing off in the fog-bound shadows. The woman looks back to the mini-mart, then back again to where the figure was standing. But the figure is gone! Growing increasingly anxious, the woman hurries back.

INT. GAS STATION - NIGHT

The woman shuts the door, locks it. But she's still just a target standing inside a well-lit glass box. She moves to the safety walker, scoops up her child.

After another moment's indecision, she slides the accordion style gate down over the doors and windows. Then she turns off the lights. Feeling somewhat more secure, the woman moves back around the counter and SEES --

An unwrapped stick of gum resting on the tray of the baby walker. It wasn't there before. With a rising sense of dread, the woman backs away, bumping right into --

NOMAK

He smiles cruelly, the scar/seam in his chin just beginning to part. The woman gasps, turns to run --

and bumps into THREE MORE REAPERS. Gaunt and feral-looking. All three with shaved heads. No eyebrows, and hairline scar/seams running down their chins. As one, the reapers descend on her. We hear the child's TERRIFIED WAIL and we --

CUT TO:

EXT. THE CITY - NIGHT

A sulfur-colored moon shines its baleful light down upon the icy cityscape as NOMAK'S ROAR echoes through the canyon of buildings.

INT. SCUD'S WORKSHOP - BLADE'S SLEEPING AREA - NIGHT

Blade is just finishing injecting himself with serum. He sighs, falling back into the chair he's sitting in, waiting for the shakes to subside. He unwraps a piece of rubbing tubing which he'd been using as a tourniquet, flexes his hand.

The door to his room opens. Scud stands there in silhouette.

SCUD Um, we've got company.

INT. SCUD'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

Blade emerges into the workshop proper with Whistler and Scud.

NYSSA AND BLOODPACK

Stand before us. They represent an assortment of ages and races, their one unifying characteristic being a callous, almost fanatical disregard for human life. In short, these guys are the most stone-cold motherfuckers we've ever seen.

WHISTLER Well if it isn't Snow White and the Seven Suckheads.

Their leader, DIETER REINHARDT (30s), is a square-jawed, chiseled Austrian. Next to Reinhardt is SNOWMAN, a wire albino, LIGHTHAMMER, a massive Blackfoot Indian, and PRIEST, a bald-headed modern primitive with copious piercings and facial tattoos. Rounding out the bunch is CHUPA, a blunt featured Puerto Rican, and VERLAINE, a familiar-looking curvaceous beauty with bee-stung lips that exudes a predatory sexuality.

(NOTE: Verlaine looks familiar because she is the twin sister of Raquel, the bodacious vamp played by Traci Lords that Blade killed in the opening scene of the first film.)

REINHARDT Check it out, troops. Count Chocula.

The vampires LAUGH. Asad quiets them with a look, then gestures to them in turn.

ASAD Blade, this is Reinhardt. That's Snowman, Lighthammer, Priest, Chupa and Verlaine.

Reinhardt advances until he and Blade are nose to nose.

REINHARDT Tell me something, Chief. Can you blush?

A tense beat. Then Blade flashes a broad smile.

BLADE Alright, you want to play this game?

Blade pulls out one of his silver stakes. In response, the vampires reach for their weapons. But Blade merely twirls it around his fingers. Then tosses it to Reinhardt.

BLADE (CONT'D) You've been training two years to take me out. Here I am, the big, bad vampire hunter. So do it.

NYSSA What the hell are you doing, Blade?

BLADE We're going to be working as a unit, you people will be taking orders from me. (spreading his hands wide) So let's get it over with. I'll give you a free shot, Reinhardt.

Reinhardt looks to Nyssa, uncomfortable.

BLADE (CONT'D) Why are you looking at her for? You need permission? I'm giving it to you.

CHUPA Take him, cabron!

Blade grabs Reinhardt's wrist, pulling the stake against his chest, fixing the vampire with the deadliest of poker gazes.

BLADE What's wrong, Reinhardt? You need a fucking manual?

VERLAINE Do it, Reinhardt. Do it!!!

Reinhardt tenses, thrusting the stake forward -- but Blade has already whirled out of the way, trapping his hand, then violently twisting it backwards.

Before Reinhardt even knows what's happening, Blade swings him around into a headlock. In his free hand he's got a tiny, barbed flechette. The barbs spring open like a tick's gripping mandibles as Blade drives the flechette into the base of Reinhardt's skull. Reinhardt HOWLS in pain, but Blade just tightens his grip, choking off Reinhardt's air.

BLADE Listen up, Adolph, I just popped an explosive charge in the back of your head. Silver nitrate. Rigged to blow if anyone tampers with it. I'll be keeping the detonator on me at all times. You so much as look at me crosswise and I swear you'll be macking your girlfriend's pie with a fucking neck stump! Got it?!

Reinhardt lets loose a choked GRUNT. Blade releases him, dropping the GASPING AUSTRIAN to the floor.

BLADE (CONT'D) Any questions?

No one says a word.

CUT TO:

WHISTLER

Hefting a heavy ordnance case on the table. Blade and company sit on one side, the Bloodpack on the other.

WHISTLER (opening a case of bullets) Glaser safety rounds in .38, .45, and 9mm caliber. Foil capsules at the tip filled with silver nitrate grains. They pack a major kinetic energy dump. And since you suckheads don't like sunlight, we've modified the entry lights with UV filters --

Whistler flicks on the entry light. Then notices that Chupa isn't paying attention. The vampire is looking at Snowman who is saying something in sign-language. Chupa snickers. Whistler picks up a massive gun with a modified C-mag (hundred round cylindrical mag). It has a strange electromag assembly barrel with shockwave ports running along it.

WHISTLER (CONT'D) This puppy here? Hyper-velocity railgun. Spits up silver-tipped iron core needles at six thousand butt humping feet per second. Like this --

Whistler FIRES -- BA-BANG! A SONIC BOOM rocks the workshop, SHATTERING a number of windows and computer monitor screens as a wad of needle rushes just millimeters past Chupa's face, embedding in the wall behind him.

CHUPA Hey, hey! The fuck you doing?!

WHISTLER Getting your attention, Paco.

CHUPA Well you've got it, warmblood. Now what the fuck are you gonna do with it?

Blade clears his throat and stands.

BLADE If you girls are finished flirting, I'd like to get started.

MOMENTS LATER

Blade, Whistler, and the Bloodpack are silently suiting up for war -- strapping on body armor, securing stakes and knives, CLICKING ammo cartridges into their various weapons.

We SEE them lacing up combat boots, checking rifle sights, entry lights. Blade dons one of his EDTA pneumatic gauntlets. Whistler loads custom rounds into a shotgun. Then he reaches to clip on an ammo vest. But his hands are shaking slightly and he can't seem to clip the locking mechanism together. After a beat, Blade reaches over and does it for Whistler. Like a son helping his father. A beat passes between them, Whistler and Blade looking at one another. Then Whistler nods, satisfied.

As Blade crosses towards Asad and Nyssa, he stops by Verlaine, sizing her up.

BLADE (CONT'D) Didn't I kill you already?

VERLAINE (cold) That was my sister.

Beat. Blade smiles coldly.

BLADE This the part where you beat your chest and vow revenge?

VERLAINE Something like that.

BLADE Save it for the director's cut.

Blade moves on, stopping before Nyssa.

BLADE (CONT'D) Where to first?

NYSSA The House of Pain.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Blade, Whistler, and the Bloodpack are gathered on a rooftop overlooking a derelict city block.

THE HOUSE OF PAIN

Rises before them, a Gothic Revival hotel marred by graffiti scrawls and boarded up windows. There's a large neon "HOTEL" sign on the side of the building.

NYSSA From what we can gather, the Reapers hunt in packs, targeting places where vampires congregate. So far, they've attacked bloodbanks, safehouses, underground clubs like this --

WHISTLER I don't see any traffic, no vampire glyphs --

Whistler lifts up a pair of night-vision binoculars and scans the building.

WHISTLER'S POV (THROUGH BINOCULARS)

He scans the graffiti scrawls, doesn't see anything.

NYSSA Look closer. Because of your efforts, we've had to re-think our habits, tighten our security.

WHISTLER'S POV (THROUGH BINOCULARS)

Whistler switches to infra-red. A previously unseen Vampire GLYPH is now revealed, hidden amongst the haphazard graffiti. Just beneath the glyph are a pair of loading doors set flush into the concrete sidewalk.

WHISTLER (lowering binocs; to Blade) Let's put this clusterfuck in gear.

Reinhardt reaches for Whistler, stopping him.

REINHARDT You're not going anywhere, greenjeans. You won't be able to pass for us.

WHISTLER Like I give a shit.

Before things can escalate, Blade steps between them.

BLADE (to Whistler; sotto) He's right. They'll smell that you're human. Stay here, watch our backs.

WHISTLER (bristling) I don't like it.

BLADE I'm not giving you a choice, old man.

Whistler considers Blade's words, then reluctantly nods. Blade rejoins the vampires. Reinhardt grins.

REINHARDT You don't keep that dog of yours curbed, Blade. We might have to do it for you.

Blade pulls out the remote for the flechette in Reinhardt's head, holding it up for view.

BLADE Keep pushing, asshole.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - UNDERGROUND ENTRANCE - NIGHT

Nyssa leads the group into a loading area. The only light is coming from a series of burning trashcans. VAMPIRE SENTRIES crouch on the steps, watching, smelling Nyssa's group as they move past. Adjacent areas are walled off with sheets of vinyl. We hear the pulsing, bass-heavy beat of MUSIC coming from beyond the sheeting, beckoning us onward.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - UNDERGROUND HALLWAY - NIGHT

The MUSIC is louder. Neon-lit, corridor-long steel counters line both walls, displaying various surgical instruments offered as party favors. As Blade's scans the area, we SEE the deadly instruments reflected in his sunglasses. Nyssa looks to him.

NYSSA This is our world you're entering. You may see things -- feeding. (off Blade's inscrutable face) Just remember why you're here.

BLADE (cryptic) I haven't forgotten.

They reach a steel loading door emblazoned with warning signs -- the kind that is split horizontally, one-half retracting into the ceiling, the other into the floor.

PRIEST So what are we looking for, exactly?

ASAD Anyone who looks suspicious.

On that portentous note, Nyssa hits a button. The hydraulic doors open on into --

BLADE You gotta be kidding me.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - BALLROOM - NIGHT

A high-ceilinged ballroom packed with SWAYING BODIES. Retrofitted into a trance-dance hall. Off to the sides, people are being pierced, tattooed, ritually scarred. Silver trays piled high with razor blades are passed through the writhing crowd. Everyone looks suspicious.

AN ELABORATE S&M STAGE SHOW

is under way. Joel Peter Witkin channeled by Julie Taymor. A SHE-VAMPIRE hangs from the ceiling, her body supported by steel pins which have been hooked through her flesh. THREE PVC-clad spindly FIGURES minister to her.

TWO VAMPIRES

French kiss, exchanging razor blades with their tongues.

BLADE (to Nyssa) What is it with you people and pain?

NYSSA We need it. Sensations are addictive and pain cuts the deepest. (off his look) Tattoos, piercings, tribal scarring -- because we regenerate, none of it's permanent. So we have to take it to the next level. To remind us we're alive.

The Bloodpack fans out through the trancing crowd.

ON BLADE

Drifting through the press of flesh. Feral faces flash by us, distorted by the stroboscopic lights. A SHE-VAMPIRE latches onto him. He shoves her aside, keeps scanning faces. It takes every ounce of his restraint not to cut loose.

BLADE You reading me, Scud?

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

A nondescript van with primer blotches is parked nearby.

SCUD (O.S.) Loud and clear, B.

INT. OPERATIONS VAN - NIGHT

The interior of the van has been outfitted into a mobile "op center". Scud sits in a cluttered nest of electronic ephermera, munching on a bag of White Castle hamburgers. He's watching a video feed from a camera mounted on Blade's gear, listening to the Bloodpack's CHATTER coming in from various audio channels. In the background, he's also got Barry White's "Love Machine" playing.

SCUD Everything's copacetic in the Mystery Van. How you doing, Whistler?

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Whistler is atop the roof of a nearby building, outfitted with a sniper rifle on a tripod.

WHISTLER Walking on sunshine, toke-boy.

WHISTLER'S POV (NIGHT VISION BINOCULARS)

The view pans from the hotel entrance to Scud's van.

Whistler puts down the binoculars, lights a cigarette. He takes out a knife and slices open his palm. He stares at the blood, his hand slowly trembling.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - BALLROOM - NIGHT

Blade works his way through the crowd. The beat is getting heavier now, the crowd more energized. He briefly makes eye contact with Nyssa, but then she's gone again, disappearing into the sea of flesh, ducking past one of the vinyl sheets into a corridor beyond. Chupa, Asad, Snowman and Priest remain behind, searching the crowd.

As Blade walks, he notices a series of grates beneath their feet. We shift our POV --

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - DRAINAGE AREA - NIGHT

-- and we are below Blade, looking up at him through the grate. We are in a blood-encrusted drainage area just beneath the ballroom that slopes inward towards a large, octagonal iron culvert. As we watch, a section of the culvert rises, a pair of RED EYES peering out from the darkness within.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - STAIRCASE - NIGHT

Blade follows Nyssa up a narrow staircase into a corridor lined with gangrenous, peeling wallpaper. Some of the room doors are shut, some open. Clearly, many are occupied.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - KITCHEN - NIGHT

A 1930s industrial kitchen filled with corroded equipment. Reinhardt, Verlaine, and Lighthammer work their way inward, searching the area. Lighthammer carries massive war hammer like his namesake. Reinhardt nods to Verlaine, who opens a walk-in, shining her entry light over an assortment of rusting meat hooks.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - FIRST CORRIDOR - NIGHT

Blade checks more doorways, catching half-glimpses of FLESH, LEATHER, and STEEL. He hears SOBBING, MOANS, WHISPERS. Then, a distinctly HUMAN WHIMPER catches his attention.

Nyssa opens a door onto an empty room. A vacant stainless steel examination table gleams in the center, waiting.

Blade pushes open another door. We SEE a fearful YOUNG WOMAN crouching in the corner of a soiled room. A corpulent VAMPIRE in a leather apron is hosing down the floor.

CORPULENT VAMPIRE Close the fucking door, buddy.

Blade makes eye-contact with the woman. She's clearly human. Blade tenses. The corpulent vampire is getting irate when --

CORPULENT VAMPIRE (CONT'D) I said, close the f--

THUNK! Blade throws a sliver stake into the vampire's forehead. Even as the vampire turns to ash, Blade motions for the girl to leave and we're out the hallway again, Nyssa turning around.

NYSSA What was that?

BLADE (poker-faced) Nothing.

We SEE the woman duck out the room behind him.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Reinhardt, Verlaine, and Lighthammer. A Styrofoam cup rolls across the floor, blown by a breeze. Reinhardt pauses, notices another walk-in freezer door ajar, moves in that direction.

Unseen behind them, a door BEHIND THEM slowly swings open.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - BALLROOM - NIGHT

Chupa, Asad, Snowman and Priest. THREE SHADOWED FIGURES are lurking near one of the exits -- skinhead types, each with a hairline scar running down their chin. Asad silently motions to snowman and the others, indicating figures. Snowman signs something back. The vampire trio starts towards them.

INT. OPERATIONS VAN - NIGHT

Bored to shit, Scud plucks a joint from behind his ear. As he fires up his woman torso lighter we HEAR SOMETHING just outside the van. Scud kills the Barry White, listening. Silence. Then, a FAINT SKITTERING.

SCUD Um, Whistler, you out there?

No response.

SCUD (CONT'D) (more urgently) Whistler?

Still no response. Scud reaches for a handgun and creeps into the front of the van. He looks out the windshield -- nothing. He looks left, then right - nothing.

Unnerved, Scud returns to the back of the van. He reaches for the handle of the rear door and abruptly jerks the door open, aiming the gun out --

There's nothing outside the van. But then Scud hears the SKITTERING AGAIN. His eyes shift apprehensively to the floor of the van below him.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - FIRST CORRIDOR - NIGHT

As they near the end of the hall, Blade notices a drop-down attic door in the ceiling above. He unsheathes his sword and uses the tip to unlatch the trapdoor. The counter-weighted door CREAKS and LOWERS, unfolding a sectioned ladder. We see darkness beyond. As Blade cautiously mounts the stairs --

Nyssa's attention is drawn to a billowing piece of vinyl. A BLURRY FIGURE is visible behind it. Then it moves away. Nyssa ducks past the vinyl.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - BALLROOM - NIGHT

As the music reaches a crescendo, Asad notices MORE SHADOWY FIGURES by another exit. And even MORE by a third. Snowman signs to Asad again, more urgently this time, as the first potential Reaper begins to turn and we are --

INT. OPERATIONS VAN - NIGHT

-- back with Scud. He ducks his head outside, looking beneath the van. Nothing there. Relieved, Scud shuts the rear door, laughs to himself.

A PAIR OF CLAWED HANDS

Suddenly rip down through the ceiling of the van, peeling it up and back like it was tinfoil! A REAPER with a bloody bandage covering his eye SNARLS down at us.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - BALLROOM - NIGHT

The first skinhead figure spins towards us. It's a Reaper. All three of them are, eyes wide with bloodlust as they leap at Asad and the others.

Suddenly, the Reapers are everywhere, blocking the exits, ripping into their vampire victims, tossing them aside like toys. Vampires scream and run, some taking to the walls as a means of escape, some racing across the ceiling.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - FIRST CORRIDOR - NIGHT

Blade stops half-way up the ladder as he hears GUNFIRE. He drops back to the floor, then notices that Nyssa is gone. HE pushes through the vinyl curtain and finds -- Nyssa forced back against the wall, wrestling with --

SCUD (O.S.) (filtered; panicked) They're here!!!!

-- Nomak, who swings his head around towards Blade! Blade FIRES his MACH pistol point-blank into Nomak's face, blasting the Reaper backwards --

But Nomak is back on his feet in a split-second, SMASHING through a window onto the fire escape beyond. Blade rushes to the window, looks out --

BLADE'S POV

Nomak is scaling his way straight up the neon hotel sign, jumping from one letter to the next with lightning speed.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - KITCHEN - NIGHT

A Reaper EXPLODES out from the walk-in, rather than the door behind them. He leaps atop Reinhardt, SLAMMING him to the floor. Lighthammer swings his hammer, missing the Reaper, taking out a chunk of the wall instead. Lighthammer swings and misses again, taking a chunk out of the floor. Verlaine empties her automatic rifle into the Reaper even as --

The Reaper turns on Lighthammer, catching the war hammer, Reaper's lower jaw disengages and splits open, revealing a freakishly enlarged esophagus lined with serrated, sharklike teeth.

All of this takes a split-second. No time for Lighthammer to react as the Reaper latches its grossly expanded mouth onto his throat and begins draining him before our eyes. The Reaper SHUDDERS and the whites of his eyes bleed red as an ecstatic wave washes over him. His pale flesh, pulsing with engorged veinwork, becomes flushed, turning crimson as --

LIGHTHAMMER Ohmygodhe'sfuckingkillingmehe's --

Lighthammer's face becomes increasingly pallid! His face begins caving inward, shrinking as every millimeter of blood is vacuumed out of him.

BLOOD VESSELS

Are popping up beneath the Reaper's briefly translucent skin, becoming engorged and dilated. The veins continue to swell, racing up his neck, then branching out over his face, chest, and arms -- like an instant network of varicose veins.

Verlaine retreats, horrified. Reinhardt scurries backwards, then scrambles to his feet, running for his life into --

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - BALLROOM - NIGHT

Chaos. Vampire patrons flee. The Bloodpack FIRE, unleashing a hailstorm of bullets, cutting into vampires and Reapers alike as --

EXT. FIRE ESCAPE - NIGHT

Blade steps out onto the icy fire escape. CRASH! Nomak has dislodged the "H" from the hotel sign. It comes HURTLING towards Blade, who ducks back into the center of the "O" to avoid being hit. The "H" continues falling, SMASHING down into the street near the Mystery Van where --

INT/EXT. OPERATIONS VAN - NIGHT

Scud unloads his handgun into the Reaper atop the van. The Reaper should turn to ash, but it doesn't! Scud flees, DIVING into the front of the van, ducking behind the wheel. He keys the ignition --

WHAM! Now the Reaper is atop the hood, SMASHING his feet through the windshield. Scud SCREAMS as he slams the van into the drive and floors the pedal --

WK-KRUNCH! Scud CRASHES the van against the side of a building, pinning the Reaper between the van's front bumper and the crumbling wall. He keeps his foot on the gas pedal, GRINDING the van's wheels.

This gambit should cut the Reaper in half, or at the very least, fatally wound it -- but it only enrages it further. The Reaper stretches forward across the van's crumpled hood and resumes BATTERING away at the cracked windshield --

SCUD UV headlights, c'mon, come on!!!

Scud fumbles for the headlights. They won't go on! Then he notices a mess of wiring haphazardly duct-taped together. He reaches for the wiring, fiddling with it --

SCUD (CONT'D) FuckmefuckmefuckmeFUCKME!!!!

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - BALLROOM - NIGHT

The Reaper nearest Priest turns in his direction. We recognize her as the Nurse from the bloodbank. She LEAPS at Priest --

Priest fires a Glaser round through the she-Reaper's head. The Reaper twists in mid-leap, falls to the floor, then picks herself up again. Like Scud's Reaper, she seems unaffected by the custom-made ammo.

ON THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE BLOODPACK

Having similarly disastrous results. The Reapers are shrugging off their firepower. Asad leaps, snapping a Reaper's neck with a spinning heel kick, but the Reaper keeps coming!

BACK TO THE PRIEST

Alarmed, reaching for a specialized shotgun instead. The Reaper continues forward, moving so fast she almost seems a blur as BA-BOOM! BA-BOOM! Priest pumps his shotgun repeatedly. Two projectiles fire out, chained together by a length of titanium cable. The cable catches the Reaper in the mid-section, cutting it clean in half!

The upper half of the Reaper falls, then rights itself, landing on its clawed hands. Impossibly, the she-Reaper keeps coming! She skitters towards Priest on his hands like the half-man from Todd Browning's "FREAKS".

The half-Reaper launches itself at Priest, hitting him in the chest, knocking him back to the floor. Priest panics as he struggles with the thing, trying to fend off its claws and fangs as it locks its mouth into his arm. He SCREAMS.

CUT TO:

EXT. VAN - NIGHT

As Scud continues to fiddle with the faulty headlight wiring, the windshield finally SHATTERS beneath the Reaper's pounding fists. It latches onto Scud's collar and pulls him forward over the wheel even as the seam/scar in its chin splits apart and the Reaper's enlarged maw flowers open. Scud is just centimeters away from having his face being bitten off when --

-- the wires SPARK and the headlights come on, illuminating the Reaper in a wash of UV light! The effect is instantaneous. The Reaper HOWLS and lets go, then promptly BURSTS INTO FLAMES.

Scud cups his ear, shouting via the comm system.

SCUD Use your entry lights! They can't stand the UV!!!

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - BASEMENT - NIGHT

Asad hears Scud's message as he continues fending off a Reaper's attack. Then he manages to get hold of his rifle. He FLICKS on the UV entry light, aiming it at the Reaper's face. The Reaper's head catches fire. Asad SHOUTS to the others --

ASAD Use your entry lights!

One by one, the members of the Bloodpack CLICK ON the entry lights mounted atop their guns. It's working -- the UV beams are the only thing that seems to be driving the Reapers back.

EXT. HOUSE OF PAIN - ROOF - DAWN

BOOM! Blade kicks open the roof access door. He hurries outside, followed by Nyssa, who hesitates when she SEES --

THE SUN

beginning to rise beyond the cityscape horizon. Nomak is already at the opposite side of the building, moving fast.

BLADE (into com-link) Whistler! He's heading across the roof! Take him!

Nyssa falls back into the shadows as Blade continues onward, unsheathing his sword.

BLADE (CONT'D) Whistler!!!

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Whistler's sniper rifle and binoculars have been abandoned and --

EXT. HOUSE OF PAIN - ROOFTOP - DAWN

We're back with Blade as he chases Nomak across the roof.

UP AHEAD

Nomak abruptly stops, having reached the end of the roof. The nearest neighboring rooftop is too far away and the drop from this last ledge looks unsurvivable, even for someone like Nomak.

As Blade cautiously advances, Nomak turns around and smiles -- a wolfish grin, unnaturally wide. The Reaper's face is beginning to smoke beneath the rising sun's rays. In response, a polarized nictomembrane slides down over Nomak's irises -- like something you'd see on a crocodile to protect its eyes from harsh light.

NOMAK Is the enemy of my enemy my friend or my enemy? What do you think, Blade? What am I to you?

Nomak LAUGHS, then LUNGES, scooping up a rusty iron bar that lies nearby. He swings it at Blade. Blade parries and steps backward, taking a blow to the head in the process, then another to the side.

The two of them exchange a flurry of blows back and forth until their weapons lock and they are face to face. Nomak's back is to the rising sun, now. His whole body is beginning to lightly smoke.

Both men are trembling, straining against their weapons, using every ounce of strength to keep the other at bay. And just when it looks like Nomak is gaining the upper hand --

NOMAK (CONT'D) Athelfiki singenia ex amato.

-- Blade pivots the flat edge of his sword upwards, catching the light of the rising sun, reflecting it directly into Nomak's eyes!

Nomak SCREAMS and rears back, his face catching fire. Then he stumbles backwards and falls -- right off the ledge of the roof! Blade hurries to the roof's ledge and looks down --

But the Reaper is nowhere in sight. Dumbfounded, Blade retreats, haunted by the conviction that Nomak is still alive.

INT. HOUSE OF PAIN - BALLROOM - DAWN

Blade has returned to the scene of the melee. The Reapers have fled, leaving Nyssa and the others to lick their wounds and survey the carnage. Quite a few full-body ash outlines marking the passing of various vampires. Blade approaches Nyssa. She notices his wounds.

NYSSA You're hurt.

BLADE (brushing off her concern) I'll heal.

NYSSA What about Nomak?

BLADE He escaped. You didn't tell me they were immune to silver and garlic.

NYSSA I didn't know.

Beat. Tense. Does he trust this woman? No way.

BLADE We lose anybody?

NOMAK Lighthammer and --

Just then, we hear an unearthly SCREAM.

ANGLE ON

Priest, being held down by Chupa and Snowman. He's thrashing about, clutching his wounded, infected arm.

PRIEST Oh god, oh God it hurts! It hurts, it hurts, fuck, it hurts. Ugh!

>>>

II/ Blade II.
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