ブレイド(1998年)

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[amazonjs asin=”B009TBEI0O” locale=”JP” title=”ブレイド DVD”]FADE UP ON:

INT. HOSPITAL, INNER-CITY TRAUMA WARD – NIGHT

It’s 1967, the Summer of Love and —

BOOM! Entry doors swing open as PARAMEDICS wheel in a FEMALE BLEEDER,
VANESSA (20s, black, nine months pregnant). She’s deathly pale,
spewing founts of blood from a savagely slashed throat —

A SHOCK-TRAUMA TEAM swarms over her, inserting a vacutainer into an
artery to draw blood, wrapping a blood pressure cuff around her
arm —

NURSE #1
(with stethoscope)
She’s not breathing!

SENIOR RESIDENT
Intubate her!

The RESPIRATORY THERAPIST feeds an endotracheal tube down the woman’s
ruined throat, attaches that to an Amblu bag —

RESIDENT
Blood-pressure’s forty and falling —

The woman starts spasming violently. It takes three staff members
just to hold her down.

SENIOR RESIDENT
Jesus, her water’s broken —
(calling for help)
She’s going into uterine contractions —

CAMERA PUSHES IN on the woman as she bolts upright, SCREAMING to wake
the dead. We PLUNGE INTO the darkness of her mouth and find
ourselves —

INSIDE HER BLOODSTREAM

The sound of a HEART BEATING, pounding as we whip-snake through —

CORPUSCLES

floating in amber plasma. Erythrocytes, leukocytes, neutrophils and
eosinophils.

The rhythmic expansion of the artery walls, pulsing with each
successive surge of blood as the HEART BEATS FASTER AND FASTER,
taking us —

IN UTERO,

A CHILD, alive but unborn, shifting in a sea of amniotic fluid,
surrounded by the white, protective substance known as vernix
caseosa. The HEARTBEAT races like a locomotive now. The unborn child
shifts, turns its head towards us —

— and opens its eyes.

CUT TO:

A SWORDBLADE

cleaving the darkness, radiant light slicing across gleaming Damascus
steel. Words acid-etched in the weapon’s fine-tempered surface:

BLADE

Main credits end.

EXT. INNER CITY, INDUSTRIAL GHETTO – NIGHT

A decaying no man’s land populated by condemned buildings and HUNGRY
HOMELESS. Steam rises from manhole covers, drifting across the
litter- lined streets. Suddenly —

A black Mercedes 850 appears over the crest of a hill, ROARING past
us, stereo system belting out FILTER.

INT. MERCEDES – NIGHT

Raquel, a wasp-wasted woman, sits behind the wheel. 20s, rich,
sickeningly attractive. Hungry eyes.

Squirming around in the passenger seat is DENNIS, a model/actor boy-
toy with a sub-zero IQ and a “fuck me sideways” grin.

DENNIS
So where we going?

RAQUEL
It’s a surprise.

DENNIS
I likes surprises.

Raquel eyeballs Dennis — “if looks could devour”.

RAQUEL
What do you have down there, little
man?

DENNIS
Heat-seeker.

RAQUEL
I’ll bet.

Raquel slides a manicured hand up his thigh, squeezes his groin.
Dennis MOANS. She pulls her hand away, downshifts.

EXT. VACANT LOT – NIGHT

The 850 threads a narrow alley into a vacant lot, BRAKES hard. Raquel
and Dennis climb out. She leads him into —

EXT. MEAT PACKING PLANT – NIGHT

Industry never sleeps, and certainly not this grisly facility. Raquel
leads Dennis around the back of the plant, where a host of WORKERS
are loading refrigerated trucks with product.

DENNIS
What the fuck are we doing here?

Raquel just smiles, heads on into the plant via a loading door. The
workers ignore her.

INT. MEAT PACKING PLANT – NIGHT

Dennis follows Raquel through the bowels of the plant, catching
glimpses here and there of carcasses being rendered or hacked apart.

Through one partially open door we see what might be a line of
BODYBAGS being trundled into the back of a truck via a hook and chain
pulley-system. But Dennis doesn’t have enough time to be disturbed by
the vision, because he’s being pulled away by Raquel, led down —

A STAIRWELL

We are in the basement now. At the end of the hall is a steel door,
with perhaps, just the faintest HINT OF MUSIC heard coming from
beyond. Raquel knocks.

A “peep-hole” slat opens and a BLACK LIGHT shines into Raquel’s eyes.
A VOICE behind the door offers a verbal challenge, speaking a
language we’ve never heard, laced with a devilish cadence.

Raquel responds in kind. The door opens. Raquel gives Dennis a
knowing wink, enters. Dennis follows.

INT. CLUB – NIGHT

Raquel and Dennis move past a hulking DOORMAN, making their way down
a narrow stairway. Dennis is suitably impressed.

THE CLUB

is elite, underground — an “abattoir-chic” version of an old-time
juke joint with a greasy, dangerous vibe. White-tiled walls and
floors for easy hosing, chromed fittings, run-off gutters, drains. No
bar.

BODIES

writhe on the strobe-lit dance floor. A heavy S&M scene. Leather.
Latex. Tattoos. Body-piercings.

A D.J. wearing head-mounted spotlights orchestrates the tunes on
twin- decks. MUSIC assaults us — a beat so heavy it could jar the
fillings from your teeth. Brutal “DARKCORE” along the lines of
Prodigy or Underground.

Raquel pulls Dennis out onto the dance floor. They sway.

A lupine-featured GAULTIER GIRL with a streak of white running
through her raven hair moves in behind Dennis, pressing up against
him. Rachel Williams as the Angel of Death — we’ll call her MERCURY.

Mercury flicks her tongue against Dennis’ ear — it’s been pierced
with a silver post which clicks against her teeth. Tattooed across
her back in black is a swirling, tribal vortex.

Dennis is now sandwiched between Raquel and Mercury, the three of
them dry-humping their way to every man’s glory.

The beat gets LOUDER. The action heavier. The atmosphere more
narcotic. People are stripping off their clothes, sweating like
fiends. It’s a virtual orgy.

Dennis laughs, reveling in the hedonism. Everything rises to a fever
pitch —

DENNIS
(over the music)
Fuck, I need a drink!!!

Raquel just smiles — then Dennis notices a DROP OF SOMETHING spatter
his hand. It looks like blood. Dennis looks up, concerned —

— MORE BLOOD DROPLETS are falling. Raquel’s face is sprinkled with
them now. Dennis stops dancing. What is this? Some kind of fucked up
performance art?

Raquel turns her face toward the ceiling, as if washing herself in a
summer shower, now the other club goers are looking up too —

BLOOD SHOWERS DOWN

from sprinkler heads in the ceiling, drenching the dancers. The club
goers love it, thrusting their heads back, mouths open wide to
receive the crimson offering.

Horrified, Dennis recoils, turning towards —

RAQUEL,

whose face morphs into a preternatural snarl. Her canines extend,
tapering to razor-sharp points. Her tongue flicks, lizard-like as
fingernails sharpen into claws. All this while the whites of her eyes
BLEED RED, pupils oscillating hypnotically.

RAQUEL
What’s wrong, baby?

Dennis SCREAMS, pushes away from Raquel, only —

— Mercury has fangs now too. In fact, everyone in the club does,
with the exception of poor Dennis. That’s because they’re all
vampires.

Dennis tries to run, but the burly Doorman blocks his exit, brutally
smashing his fist into Dennis’ face.

Dennis falls, dazed. The club-goers close in around him. They make a
game of it, shoving him from one person to another, their pale faces
leering like twisted jack-o-lanterns.

The strobe lights quicken to a seizure-inducing intensity. Dennis
spins, tumbling into Raquel’s arms. She shoves him forward — Dennis
lands on the floor, falling at someone’s boot-clad feet. He looks up.
A DARK FIGURE sits in the shadows, unnoticed until this moment. The
figure stands, moves into the light as time screeches to a halt —

A BLACK MAN,

towers above Dennis, wearing dark glasses and a leather longcoat — a
sneer of cruel contempt etched upon a face tempered by a lifetime of
horror. His name is BLADE.

Blade whips open his long coat, shrugging it off, revealing an
arsenal of high-tech weapons strapped to his body:

6-point adjustable body armor, a modified CAR-15 assault rifle with
an ultra-violet entry light, two Casull .454 revolvers, a “Demon”
automatic cross-bow, a bandoleer of mahogany stakes, an Indian-style
katar punching dagger — and last, but certainly not least, his
namesake — a silver sword which is secured in a back-scabbard.

CLOSE ON BLADE

A gaze as cold and pitiless as a midnight sun. The vampire club-goers
stare back. Nuclear silence. And then —

All hell breaks loose. With a SNARL, Raquel charges at Blade, moving
at superhuman speed, practically a blur —

Blade draws his Casulls, FIRES in multiple directions —

MACRO BULLET SHOT

as a round roars through the air towards Raquel. A silver-tipped dum-
dum bullet which explodes on contact.

WHAM! The round punches a fist-sized hole through Raquel’s chest,
continuing on into the vamp behind her! Vampire blood fountains. Both
creatures tumble forward, their bodies liquefying into puddles of
black oil which go gurgling down the run-off drains.

Blade continues FIRING, then -CLICK!- magazines empty. Next. He
holsters the Casulls, swings up his assault rifle, calmly flicks on
the UV entry light mounted above —

MERCURY

leaps twenty feet straight up into the air. We’ve never seen anything
move so fast. She CRASHES through a glass skylight, disappearing into
the night just as —

— a shaft of blinding UV “sunlight” cuts across the vampires. They
rear back, skin smoking from the light’s corrosive effects. Blade
opens FIRE, pumping round after round of wooden fragmentation bullets
into the crowd — vampire genocide.

The strobe lights flicker as the mayhem mounts. Some of the vampires
try to flee, scurrying up the stairs, but the exit quickly becomes
clogged with liquefying bodies —

— then Blade’s CAR-15 jams. The remaining club-goers see their
opening, surge forward en masse —

Blade drops the rifle, reaches over his shoulder and -SCHINGGG!-
unsheathes his sword with a double-handed grip.

THE SWORD

Four acid-etched feet of blood-soaked Damascus steel. An edge so
sharp it could cleave a shadow in two.

Blade moves like lightning, hacking his way into TWO CHARGING
VAMPIRES. Blade spins again, cuts ANOTHER VAMPIRE clean in half —

ON THE FAR END OF THE CLUB,

a LATEX-CLAD VAMP makes a break for it. Blade flings his sword,
sending it spinning end over end — THUNK! The sword punches into the
vampire’s heart. The hellish creature convulses, dies.

Beat. Blade retrieves his sword, then senses —

SOMETHING BIG

rising up behind him. In a flash, Blade swings his sword downward,
cutting off the vampire’s right hand at the elbow. The severed limb
falls to the floor —

— but it doesn’t slow the hulking creature down. It SLAMS into
Blade. Blade flies backwards thirty feet, tumbling over tables,
slamming into the rear wall so hard that plaster rains down from the
ceiling.

Blade suddenly finds himself wrestling with a feral-faced six-foot-
something nightmare named QUINN. The vampire rears back its head,
jaws stretching wide. Every inch of his face is covered with ritual
scarification patterns and Maori-like tribal tattoos.

Blade forces an elbow against Quinn’s throat, trying to keep him at
bay. With his other hand he reaches to his bandoleer, pulls out a
stake — CRUNCH! Blade shoves the stake through the vampire’s larynx.
Quinn gurgles, clutches at his throat.

Blade rolls out from under, unholsters the cross-bow secured to his
leg. With a flick of a switch the arms of the bow -SNAP!- open,
drawing the bow-string taut. Blade FIRES —

The bolt hits Quinn in the shoulder, throwing him backwards and
nailing him to the wall. As Quinn reaches over with his other hand to
pull out the stake —

Blade FIRES AGAIN. A second bolt slams into Quinn’s other arm,
effectively pinning him like a butterfly to a board.

UP ABOVE,

mounted in one of the corners, is a security camera. Blade fires a
cross-bow bolt straight into the lens.

Blade strides over, placing his sword against Quinn’s chest.

BLADE
Where is Deacon Frost?

Quinn glares, trying to speak, gagging on the stake still lodged in
his trachea —

BLADE
Got something in your throat.

Blade yanks the stake free. The vampire laughs, air whistling through
his ruined larynx.

QUINN
Fuck you, Day-walker, I ain’t saying
shit —

BLADE
Frost.

Quinn responds with a slew of rapid-fire vampire invectives. Blade
sees he’s getting nowhere fast, calmly sheathes his sword. He unclips
a white phosphorous grenade from his combat harness —

QUINN
You won’t stop him, Blade. The Tide’s
rising, the Sleeper’s gonna —

Blade shoves the grenade in Quinn’s mouth, pulls the pin. WHOOSH!
Quinn goes up like a roman candle. Blade turns, surveying his work,
ignoring the howling pyre behind him:

All evidence of the vampires is gone — with the exception of a few
oily-black puddles. Clothes, jewelry — it’s all been burned away by
the acidic process of the creatures’ accelerated decomposition.

DENNIS sits huddled in a corner, having pissed his pants. As Blade
approaches, he cringes back —

DENNIS
Please don’t —

Blade simply grabs Dennis by the jaw, tilting his head upward,
rotating it from side to side — looking for bite marks. There aren’t
any.

Blade moves on, leaving Dennis alone amidst the carnage. As Blade
starts up the stairs, he pauses in mid-step —

A COCKROACH

scurries out from underfoot.

Blade adjusts his footfall, sparing the roach. He continues on up the
stairs, disappearing in the smoky haze.

CUT TO:

INT. CITY HOSPITAL, AUTOPSY ROOM – NIGHT

CAMERA FOLLOWS a bagged corpse as it’s rolled into the autopsy room
by an ASSISTANT.

ASSISTANT
Brought you a baked potato, nice
and crispy. Still warm, too.

CURTIS WEBB, the forensic pathologist (30s, white bread, a little on
the smarmy side) steps forward, unzips the bag —

It’s Quinn, what’s left of him, anyway. Burnt to a charcoal
briquette, limbs twisted horribly, oozing fluids.

Curtis turns his head, grimacing, wafting the air.

CURTIS
Jesus, that’s rank —

Curtis turns back, makes note of the blackened stump where Quinn’s
arm used to be, the ruined throat —

CURTIS
What’s his story?

ASSISTANT
Paramedics said he was still screaming
when they found him. Looks like some
joker had stapled him to a wall.

CURTIS
Pretty.

CUT TO:

INT. HOSPITAL, HEMATOLOGY LAB – NIGHT

MICROSCOPE POV

of a slide-mounted blood smear stained with Wright stain (blue ink).
What we see is a collection of donut-shaped pink things (red blood
cells) intermingled with some small blue specks (platelets) and the
occasional larger, light-blue blobs (white blood cells).

KAREN JANSEN (20s), a fine-featured hematologist with a social life
in suspended animation, sits back from the microscope, stumped. Next
to her is JULIE WHITAKER, a cheerful chemtech.

KAREN
You took this off a DOA?

Curtis sits on a stool nearby, slowly nodding.

KAREN
This isn’t human blood.

CURTIS
Then what is it?

KAREN
I don’t know —
(re: microscope)
Look at this blood smear —

Curtis takes a look for himself.

KAREN
The red blood cells are biconvex,
which is theoretically impossible.
They’re hypochromic, there’s virtually
no hemoglobin in them.
(shaking her head)
Look at the PMNs, they’re binucleated,
they should be mononucleated.

CURTIS
What about the chemistry panel?

Karen looks to Julie, who reaches for a computer print-out.

JULIE
Blood sugar level is three times the
norm, phosphorous and uric acid are
off the scales.
(shrugs)
Like the woman said, impossible.

Karen removes her glasses, rubbing the bridge of her nose.

KAREN
Curtis, it’s three in the morning. I’m
really not in the mood for one of your
practical jokes.

CURTIS
(insistent)
It’s not a joke. I’ve got the stiff
sitting in the morgue right now —
look, just come up and see him, okay?
Five minutes, that’s all I ask.

KAREN
I thought you promised to give me some
distance?

CURTIS
This is purely professional curiosity,
Karen, I swear.

Karen rolls her eyes, lets loose a tired sigh.

KAREN
Five minutes, not a second more. And I
don’t want to hear a word about “us”.

CURTIS
No problem.

INT. HOSPITAL MORGUE – NIGHT

The dead of night, not a mouse in the house. Curtis and Karen, each
garbed in a mask, stand on either side of Quinn’s body, which now
rests on the autopsy table.

QUINN’S BODY

A preliminary exploratory Y-incision has been made across the chest,
stretching from shoulder to shoulder, then continuing on down the
abdomen. Ribs and cartilage have been cut open to expose the heart
and lungs.

KAREN
You haven’t started in on the internal
organs?

CURTIS
Just the blood sample from the
pericardial sac.

Curtis pauses, studying Quinn’s disfigured face — the features seem
much less damaged now — almost as if the corpse were healing itself.

CURTIS
That’s weird —

KAREN
What?

CURTIS
He looks different now, burns are less
extreme, some of these wounds have
closed up —

Curtis pulls out a penlight, flicks it on. He leans over Quinn,
shining the light into one of his eyes.

CURTIS
Tell me something, honestly, you ever
have second thoughts about us?

KAREN
(grudgingly)
Sometimes —

Curtis looks up from the corpse, grinning beneath his mask.

KAREN
— but then I remember what an
ass-hole you were and I’m snapped back
to reality.

CURTIS
Jesus, Karen, you’re breaking my heart
here —

Quinn suddenly bolts up from the autopsy table, sinking his fangs
into Curtis’ jugular. He snaps the man’s neck in two for easier
access, sucking in blood like a living vacuum.

Karen stumbles backwards, sending autopsy tools CLATTERING.

QUINN

rises from the table, flinging Curtis’ twitching body aside. He curls
his blood-soaked lips back, baring viper-like fangs, emitting a
GUTTURAL GROWL —

QUINN
(crazed by thirst)
— more — blood —

Karen backs into the corpse drawers, but Quinn is upon her in a half-
second, wrapping a hand about her throat. His mouth opens/morphs
disturbingly wide as if to swallow her head whole, caustic saliva
dripping from his canines —

Karen tries to turn her head away, but Quinn’s grip is vise-like. She
finds herself staring into his eyes — pupils pulsing rapid-fire,
opening and closing, hypnotic —

As Quinn sinks the tips of his fangs into Karen’s carotid artery and
starts to nurse —

BANG!!! A load of MAHOGANY buckshot chews into Quinn’s side. He HOWLS
in pain. Another load catches him full in the face. He drops Karen.
She falls to the floor —

KAREN’S POV

The sound of RUSHING BLOOD pounding through her skull. Everything
spinning. She struggles to move, turns her head, finds herself eye to
eye with Curtis’ corpse.

ON QUINN

rising, his face torn up, smoking. WHIP PAN TO —

BLADE,

standing at the entrance to the morgue, a streetsweeper auto-shotgun
in hand, sizing Quinn up.

BLADE
Now don’t we look dapper?

Quinn BELLOWS with rage, ripping one of the heavy steel refrigeration
doors from its hinges, flinging it at Blade like it was lawn
furniture —

Blade rolls to the side as the door CRASHES against the wall. Quinn
runs, moving through the morgue like a human tornado, heading for the
windows at the end of the room —

SMASH!!! Out goes Quinn, taking half the wall with him. Blade rushes
to the decimated window, looks down —

BLADE’S POV

Quinn lands on the roof of an ambulance parked four stories below,
caving it in. He springs off, loping across the tarmac on three
limbs, then -SCREECH!-THWUMP!- rolling up onto the hood of an
oncoming car, before disappearing into the night —

BACK UP ABOVE,

Blade spins, SEES Karen bleeding her life away on the floor. She
reaches a hand out to him, beseeching —

Blade pulls away from her grasp, takes a step towards the exit —
then hesitates.

A flicker of doubt washes across Blade’s face. He looks down at Karen
once more, wrestling with his conscience, finally making a decision.
He kneels, scoops Karen up into his arms. Just then,

TWO POLICEMEN

rush into the morgue, weapons drawn —

UNIFORM #1
Hold it, ass-hole!

Blade ignores them, turning to face the window before him. It’s a
good thirty feet to the roof of the adjacent building, a parking
structure — and damned if Blade doesn’t seem to be considering the
jump.

The Police close in, agitated. Blade crouches, switches Karen to a
one-handed grip —

UNIFORM #1
I said hold it!!!

— and jumps.

EXT. HOSPITAL/ROOFTOP PARKING STRUCTURE – NIGHT

Blade clears the impossible distance — almost. He snags the ledge of
the adjacent parking structure with his left hand even as Karen slips
from the grasp of his right —

— a last-second save, his fingers clamping around her wrist, is all
that stands between Karen and street pizza. She SCREAMS anyway,
dangling below him —

Blade GRUNTS, swinging Karen like a pendulum, heaving her up and over
the ledge as if she were a sack of potatoes. She lands on her
shoulder, clutching it in pain —

Blade heaves himself up, crouching beside her.

KAREN
(gasping)
My shoulder — dislocated —

Blade places a hand on her shoulder, another around her elbow and
without any consideration to discomfort -CRACK!- brutally pops it
back in place. Karen SCREAMS again as he scoops her up once more and
heads for —

HIS ’69 OLDSMOBILE 442,

which is parked nearby. Midnight-black. The definitive high-
performance heavy-metal muscle machine with an engine big enough to
power an Apollo rocket.

INT. BLADE’S OLDS – NIGHT

Blade sets Karen down in the passenger seat, climbs behind the wheel,
keys the ignition. The engine ROARS to life, belching fumes through
the dual exhaust. Blade floors it, burning serious rubber as the Olds
vanishes from sight.

BACK AT THE DEMOLISHED MORGUE WINDOW

as the two policemen stare numbly in open-mouthed astonishment.

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREETS – NIGHT

Blade pilots the Olds down the streets, moving through a series of
increasingly degenerating neighborhoods, coming at last to the
sprawling warehouse district.

EXT. ABANDONED FACTORY – NIGHT

The Olds approaches a mammoth industrial facility that’s been
cordoned off by cyclone fencing and razor wire. Ultra-violet
floodlights illuminate the area, while an army of security cameras
keep a watchful eye.

INT. BLADE’S OLDS – NIGHT

Blade glances at Karen, cursing himself for giving into his emotions.
He hits a remote secured to the sun visor —

EXT. BLADE’S OLDS/ABANDONED FACTORY – NIGHT

A gate grinds open.

We follow the Olds as it cruises around the back of the building,
heading down a concrete loading ramp. At the bottom of the ramp, a
heavy iron door rises. Blade’s Olds disappears into the darkness.

INT. ABANDONED FACTORY, INDUSTRIAL ELEVATOR – NIGHT

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

INT. ABANDONED FACTORY, WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – NIGHT

Set up in an old ironworks, the place looks like a cross between an
auto junkyard and an armory. Equipment is strewn everywhere —
lathes, mills, old furnaces, gutted vehicles, an ad hoc surgical
theater — all of it jerry-rigged in a brutal, oily-tech.

Blade climbs out of the Olds. He opens the passenger door and pulls
Karen out, carries her in his arms.

BLADE
Whistler!

WHISTLER (O.S.)
Are we bringing home strays now?

ABRAHAM WHISTLER (60s)

hobbles out of the shadows, leaning heavily on a cane. Gimlet-eyed,
bitter, his right leg encased in a metal brace. Though his face is
lined with wrinkles and his hair has long since gone gray, we sense
he could kick the living shit out of any man half his age.

BLADE
She’s been bitten.

WHISTLER
You should’ve killed her, then.

BLADE
She hasn’t turned yet.
(pointedly)
You can help her.

Blade and Whistler stare each other down. Finally, Whistler turns and
heads over to the operating theater.

WHISTLER
No promises. You watch her close. She
starts to turn, you finish her off.

Blade nods, lays Karen down on the operating table. Whistler turns on
an overhead light. Karen is sheathed in sweat, ashen. She’s lost a
lot of blood.

Whistler snaps on a pair of surgical gloves, probes the wound in
Karen’s neck with an antiseptic swab — there’s capillary damage
around the perimeter of the wound, the tissue looks bruised,
gangrenous.

WHISTLER
Localized necrosis. She’s borderline.
Another hour and she’d be well into
the change.

Whistler cracks open a smelling salt capsule and waves under Karen’s
nose. As she starts to stir —

WHISTLER
Can you hear me, woman?

Karen’s eyes open wide. She’s scared, disoriented —

KAREN
What — ?

WHISTLER
You’ve been bitten by a vampire. We’ve
got to try and burn out the venom,
just like a rattlesnake bite —

Whistler reaches for a massive syringe filled with caustic-looking
fluid. Karen sees the syringe, resists —

WHISTLER
Hold her.

Blade forces Karen back. Whistler readies the syringe.

WHISTLER
(reading her name tag)
“Dr. Karen Jansen”. Listen close, I’m
going to inject you with an antidote
made from allium setivum — garlic.
This is going to hurt. A lot.

Whistler sinks the needle into Karen’s neck and depresses the
plunger. “Hurt” doesn’t begin to describe what Karen experiences
next. Imagine undergoing childbirth while someone pumps battery acid
through your veins.

Karen SHRIEKS, her body going into uncontrolled paroxysms. The wound
on her neck begins to smoke as the antidote attacks the poisonous
vampire venom.

Karen clutches at Blade’s arms, digging her nails in. She stares up
at him with unflinching intensity, like a child desperately searching
for assurance.

ON BLADE,

uncomfortable playing the roll of nursemaid. He’d like nothing more
than to be done with this, but the only thing he can do is hold Karen
while she rides out the seizures.

KAREN’S POV

growing darker by the moment. The last thing she sees is Blade
staring down at her — then the night closes in.

INT. HOUSE OF EREBUS, MEETING ROOM – NIGHT

CLOSE ON a monitor featuring footage taken at the vampire club
massacre. Blade turns and stares into the camera, fires his cross-
bow. The screen cuts to static.

A WITHERED, CLAWED HAND

moves into frame, holding a remote. With a tap of a button, the
monitor goes dark.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL a large, minimalist conference room — the House
of Erebus, seat of the vampire race’s legislative assembly.

Gathered around a massive table are the TWELVE VAMPIRE ELDERS,
representing a “rainbow” of racial colors — names like PALLINTINE,
VON ESPER, ASHE, BAVA. Two of them, the FAUSTINAS, are identical
twins — lethal-looking women with alabaster skin.

Chilled carafes filled with blood are situated along the table. From
time to time, a member will pour themselves a glass, or perhaps, help
themselves to the bowls of human finger bones which serve as snacks.

At the head of the table is GAETANO DRAGONETTI, current vampire
“Overlord”. Blood-red eyes, parchment skin stretched over skull-like
features. Incalculably ancient, but still deadly and virile as a
viper.

Dragonetti speaks. He uses the “secret tongue” — the ancient vampire
language which utilizes consonants human vocal chords are incapable
of reproducing.

DRAGONETTI
(subtitled)
Blade. Once again, our interests have
fallen victim to his ridiculous
crusade. He must be destroyed.

FROST (O.S.)
(in English)
You’re wrong, Dragonetti.

All heads turn. Who would dare such impudence?

DEACON FROST,

a mere “Underlord” in the vampire hierarchy, steps forward.
Strikingly handsome, younger, less conservative than his superiors,
fueled with a passionate intensity. Amongst the vampire community
he’s known as an agitator. He’s also the vampire equivalent of a
racial supremacist.

FROST
The Day Walker represents a unique
opportunity. We’d be fools to waste
it by killing him.

DRAGONETTI
(subtitled, taking umbrage)
Deacon Frost. You refuse to speak our
language, you insult the House of
Erebus by using the humans’
gutter-tongue, have you no respect
for tradition?

FROST
Why should I respect something which
has outlived its purpose?

This causes quite a stir amongst the other vampires. Frost might as
well have slapped Dragonetti in the face.

DRAGONETTI
(simmering)
I see. And what would you have us do
with this “half-breed”?

FROST
Study him. Unlock the secrets of his
DNA. He’s the key we’ve been looking
for.

DRAGONETTI
He is an abomination!

Dragonetti slams his fist down, toppling a carafe, spilling blood
across the tabletop. Frost looks to the others —

FROST
Why should we spend our lives
cringing from the daylight when his
blood offers us an alternative?
Enough talk. It’s time we stepped out
of the shadows!

Dragonetti looks apoplectic. ELDER PALLINTINE, a five-hundred year-
old vampire inhabiting the body of a prepubescent boy, interjects.

PALLINTINE
You’re out of line, Frost.

FROST
Am I? Or am I just the first to say
out loud what we’ve all been
thinking?

The fact that no one answers is telling. Dragonetti glowers at the
other Elders, sensing the tide turning.

DRAGONETTI
The shadows suit us, Frost. We’ve
existed this way for thousands of
years. Who are you to challenge our
ways?

FROST
Someone who’s sick of living off
scraps. The coming age belongs to us,
not the humans!
(to the others)
When the final war between our races
comes, who do you want leading the
charge?

Frost stabs an accusing finger at the Overlord.

FROST
Some withered up fossil ready to snap
like a brittle bone at the first sign
of change?

Dragonetti GROWLS like an beast, raking his claws across the tyro
vampire’s face, knocking him to the ground.

DRAGONETTI
Get out!!!

Frost picks himself up, touches the gashes on his cheek. Looks at his
fingers, licks the blood from them.

FROST
Careful, old fang. You might wake up
one day and find yourself extinct.

Frost smiles at Dragonetti and calmly exits the room.

INT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP, BLADE’S CELL – DAY

ON KAREN as she comes to. Her wounds have been bandaged. She rises, a
little shaky, takes in her surroundings — She’s in a spartan room,
like a monk’s cell. On the wall is a collection of knives and
daggers. Some of them wooden, their hilts inscribed with bizarre-
looking runes. In the center of these weapons rests —

BLADE’S SWORD,

hanging like a cross in a chapel, dominating all else. Karen touches
it. Then her eyes drop to a silver locket which dangles from the hilt
by a tarnished chain. She reaches for it, opens it —

The locket features a photo, old and faded. It’s the black woman we
saw in the prologue, Vanessa, standing in the sunshine.

Karen moves towards the door, cautious —

INT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – DAY

We hear VOICES now, coming from beyond a series of black-out
curtains. Karen pushes one aside and SEES —

BLADE

strapped into some kind of Inquisition-esque restraint chair. His
shirt is off, his body slick with sweat. Whistler finishes strapping
Blade in, then stands back, holding up a gas-powered pistol injector,
hesitant —

WHISTLER
I had to increase the dose. You’re
building up a resistance to the
serum —

BLADE
(impatient)
Just do it, old man.

Whistler nods, fitting Blade with a bite guard. Then he presses the
pistol-injector against Blade’s carotid artery.

Blade shakes violently, grinding his teeth through the bite guard,
veins cording in his neck. He clutches Whistler’s hand, holding it
tightly as he fights his way through the hellish seizure. To his
credit, Whistler never lets go.

Mentor and student stare at one another as the mysterious serum runs
its violent course. We understand that these shared moments, oddly
private in their horror, are the glue which binds the two vampire
hunters together. Finally, Blade slumps forward in his restraints,
exhausted.

KAREN

She draws back, instinctively knowing that she’s just witnessed
something she shouldn’t have. She looks for an exit, SEES another
doorway. She makes for it —

INT. WHISTLER’S LAB – TANK ROOM – DAY

A dusty, darkened hole of a room, no windows, just shadows, crumbling
concrete, rust stains, and —

A LARGE TANK

filled with swirling blood plasma, choked with electrical leads and
biomedical sensors. SOMETHING floats within, suspended in the murky
fluid — a child , two or three years of age, drifting about like a
medical oddity preserved in formaldehyde —

THUMP! The child SLAMS up against the glass. Karen backpedals,
startled. Its eyes are open now, pupils blown. It snarls, revealing a
mouthful of razored fangs, trailing mouth-slime across the glass as
it futilely tries to chew its way through to Karen.

Karen stifles a sob, turning and running right into —

BLADE,

who now blocks the exit, sword in hand. Karen retreats a step,
wary —

BLADE
You shouldn’t be here.

KAREN
I’m sorry, I —

WHISTLER (O.S.)
Wandered off the beaten path, Doctor?

Whistler has entered the room from a second doorway. Karen looks from
Whistler to Blade, trapped between them —

KAREN
Who are you people?

WHISTLER
My name is Abraham Whistler.
(re: Blade)
This is Blade. As for our little
homunculus here —

Whistler limps over to the tank, rapping his cane against it. The
creature snaps at it reflexively, following the silver tip back and
forth like a fish after a lure.

BLADE
— he’s a vampire.

KAREN
You’re joking —

WHISTLER
Not at all. You’re looking at a prime
specimen of the homines nocturna.

Whistler toys with the feral creature, engaging in a certain amount
of sadistic delight as its efforts grow increasingly more frenzied.
Suddenly, it surges towards the top of the tank, clawing at the
lid —

Karen becomes alarmed — but then a massive ELECTRICAL JOLT shocks
the creature back into submission.

WHISTLER
If Blade hadn’t brought you here, you
would’ve wound up like him.

Karen brings a hand to her bandaged neck, recalling the events of the
previous night. She looks to Blade.

KAREN
Why did you help me?

Blade scowls, his gaze flickering to Whistler.

BLADE
Stupidity.

WHISTLER
(appraising her)
Maybe not. I did some checking, she’s
a hematologist. Knowledge like that
might come in handy.

BLADE
It’s not worth the risk. We can’t
trust her.

KAREN
Why?

BLADE
Because you’re tainted. The venom’s
still inside you. You could still
turn on us.

KAREN
What happens then?

Blade looks to Whistler — as far as he’s concerned, the debate’s
over.

BLADE
Then I have to take you out, just
like any other bloodsucker.

Blade turns and exits. Whistler and Karen follow.

INT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – DAY

Beyond the grimy outer windows, we can see that the day is closing —
long shadows, amber light. Karen lingers in the doorway, reeling from
information overload.

Blade begins suiting up for his nightly hunt — strapping on body
armor, loading ammunition. He strings the tarnished locket around his
neck as if it were an amulet that could ward off evil, then pauses to
inspect a modified pistol, sighting down the length of it.

BLADE
We hunt them, moving from one city to
the next, tracking their migrations.
They’re hard to kill. They tend to
regenerate.

CLACK! Blade pulls the trigger on an empty chamber, then checks his
next weapon —

KAREN
(sarcastic)
So what do you use, then? A stake?

WHISTLER
(nodding)
Some of the old wives’ tales are true
— they’re severely allergic to
silver, various types of wood. Feed
them garlic and they’ll go into
anaphylactic shock —

Whistler picks up a customized rifle with a UV entry light, flicking
on the beam.

WHISTLER
— and of course there’s always
sunlight, ultra-violet rays.

Karen shakes her head, incredulous —

KAREN
And you honestly expect me to believe
all this?

BLADE
I don’t care what you believe. I
saved your life once, I don’t plan on
making a habit of it. You want my
advice, you’ll be out of the city by
nightfall. If you’re stupid enough to
stay, that’s your business.

KAREN
I can’t just leave. I have a life
here, a career —

BLADE
Not anymore. You’ve seen one of them.
You won’t be allowed to live after
that.

Karen stares at Blade. Whistler gestures to the windows —

WHISTLER
There’s a war going on out there.
Blade, myself, a few others — we’ve
tried to keep it from spilling over
onto the streets.
(beat)
Sometimes people like yourself get
caught in the cross-fire.

Whistler shrugs. As far as he’s concerned, there’s nothing else to
say. Karen is still protesting, though.

KAREN
I can go to the police. I have blood
samples back at the hospital. I can
show them.

BLADE
Do it. You’ll be dead before you can
file the complaint.

KAREN
That’s ridiculous! No one’s that
powerful.

Whistler sighs. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

WHISTLER
You’re talking about a brotherhood
that predates the Catholic Church by
thousands of years. Their survival
depends on their ability to blend in.
Chances are, you’ve encountered them
and not even known it. On the subway,
in a bar —

Blade slings his CAR-15 onto his shoulder, impatient. He starts
towards the Olds, gesturing.

BLADE
Get in. You’re leaving.

WHISTLER
Wait.

Whistler tosses a small metal canister to Karen.

WHISTLER
Consider it a parting gift. Vampire
mace — silver nitrate, essence of
garlic.

KAREN
(in disbelief)
So that’s it? You guys just patch me
up and send me on my way?

WHISTLER
There is one other thing. I’d buy
yourself a gun if I were you. If you
start becoming sensitive to the
daylight, if you start becoming
thirsty regardless of much you’ve had
to drink — then I suggest you take
that gun and use it on yourself.
Better that, than the alternative.

Karen stares at Whistler, horrified, as we —

CUT TO:

INT. THE VAMPIRE ARCHIVES – DAY

We are deep in the narrow stacks of a sepulchral archive. Exactly
what and where this place is will become more clear later on.

But for now, the CAMERA DRIFTS through the warren of aisles. Along
the way, we catch a glimpse of a HULKING SILHOUETTE cowering behind a
series of Japanese shoji screens. Later on, we find —

FROST

tucked away in a carrel, surrounded by books and scriptures, with
only the SICKLY GLOW of his laptop to provide light.

DRAGONETTI (O.S.)
What are you doing here?

Frost pauses, SEEING Dragonetti emerge from the shadows.

DRAGONETTI
(outraged)
These archives are restricted to
members of the House of Erebus.

FROST
Please. You and the other Elders
wouldn’t know what to do with these
texts if your lives depended on it.
(cryptically)
Which, of course, they do.

DRAGONETTI
You’re wasting your time, Frost. Far
greater scholars than you have tried
to decipher these words. Whatever
secrets they hold have been lost.

FROST
Perhaps.

Frost studies Dragonetti, a self-satisfied grin on his face. If the
act was intended to unnerve Dragonetti, it succeeded, though the
ancient vampire would never admit it.

DRAGONETTI
What are you up to, Frost?

Frost shuts the lid on his laptop, rising, drawing intimidatingly
close to Dragonetti.

FROST’S VOICE
Wouldn’t you like to know, Old Fang?

A beat as the young turk stares his elder down. Dragonetti is the
first to lose his nerve. Frost smiles and exits, leaving the old
vampire to lick his wounds.

CAMERA DRIFTS back to the hulking silhouette, which has been
eavesdropping on the conversation. It quivers in fear.

INT. BLADE’S OLDS (ON KAREN’S STREET CORNER) – DAY

Blade brings the car to a stop. Karen looks at him. His eyes are
hidden behind his glasses, his expression stone.

BLADE
Remember what we said. Keep your eyes
open. They’re everywhere.

EXT. KAREN’S APARTMENT BUILDING – DAY

As Karen climbs out, Blade swings the door shut behind her. The Olds
ROARS off down the quiet residential street.

INT. APARTMENT BUILDING, LOBBY – DAY

Karen crosses the lobby, stepping into an elevator. Just as the doors
are closing, a WOMAN and TWO MEN duck in alongside her.

INT. ELEVATOR – DAY

Silence, the uncomfortableness of an elevator ride magnified tenfold.
Karen can FEEL the eyes of her fellow passengers upon her. Finally
succumbing to paranoia, she hazards a glance — would she be able to
tell if these people weren’t human? The woman turns to Karen,
smiles —

Karen surreptitiously fishes the “vampire mace” from her pocket,
clutching it — and now one of the men turns to look at her,
nodding —

INT. KAREN’S APARTMENT BUILDING, HALLWAY – DAY

The elevator doors open. Karen hurries out, heads left, finds herself
in a deserted hallway. She looks back —

— then skips a heartbeat as the trio also step out! As Karen raises
the canister of mace —

— the trio turn and head down to the right. Karen breathes a sigh of
relief, shakes her head.

INT. KAREN’S APARTMENT – DAY

Karen enters quickly, bolting the door behind her. She picks up the
phone, dials 911 —

KAREN
I need the police. This is an
emergency —

As Karen waits to be connected, she moves to the back entrance and
checks the locks — then the windows, then the fire escape —
finally, a VOICE comes on the other end.

KAREN
Hello? My name is Karen Jansen, I was
with Curtis Webb at Mid-Town Hospital
last night — that’s right, I
witnessed the attack —
(listening)
115 Aurora, apartment 3G. Yes, I’ll
wait here. Please hurry.

Karen hangs up the phone and turns —

A SHAFT OF BRIGHT SUNLIGHT

streams in through a window. Karen forces herself to look at it and
winces, shielding her eyes. Again, she brings a hand to the bandaged
wound on her neck. She moves to the window, pulling the shade down,
frightened.

KAREN
Get a grip on yourself, girl.

She sinks down into a chair to wait, setting Whistler’s vampire mace
aside. Then she shuts her eyes, massaging her temples. We SEE —

A BRIEF FLASH OF

Quinn, his mouth opening wide, saliva dripping from his fangs. His
pupils pulsating hypnotically. We rush into his gaping maw and —

WHAM! We’re back to reality. Karen wakes with a start, looks to the
windows — time has passed, it’s getting dark outside —

— and someone is KNOCKING at the front door. Karen reaches for the
vampire mace, then moves to the door. She looks through the peephole,
cautious —

KAREN
Who is it?

KAREN’S POV (FISH-EYE)

A POLICE OFFICER stands in the hallway — 30s, handsome, a knight in
shining armor as far as she’s concerned.

GIDEON
Sergeant Gideon. I’m responding to a
911 call.

Karen visibly relaxes. She opens the door and steps aside, allowing
Gideon to enter.

KAREN
Yes, that was me, I’m Karen Jansen —

Gideon smiles, takes a quick glance around the room, then studies
Karen’s face, the bandages on her neck.

GIDEON
Are you all right?
(off Karen’s nod)
I’m glad you called, Ms. Jansen, we’ve
been anxious to get a hold of you. You
disappeared on us for a while.

KAREN
I know. Listen — do you have any idea
what happened to Curtis, the other
doctor?

GIDEON
(matter of fact)
Oh, he’s dead. But I wouldn’t worry
about that if I were you.

KAREN
(alarmed)
Why?

Gideon’s smile vanishes as he unholsters his gun.

GIDEON
Because you’re dead too.

Karen GASPS. She has a half-second to act — in which she triggers a
spray of vampire mace into Gideon’s face. Gideon stumbles back,
blinded, cursing, rubbing the heel of his palm against his eyes —

Karen expects pyrotechnics — but the end result is little more than
an annoyance. A second later, Gideon is simply blinking, sniffing his
fingers, confused —

GIDEON
Garlic?

KAREN
He said it would work against
vampires —

Gideon bursts out laughing.

GIDEON
Who said I was a vampire?

Gideon shakes his head, still snickering. He forces Karen against the
wall, placing the gun against her head —

GIDEON
Thanks for the laugh. You can shut
your eyes if you want to.

CRASH!!! The front door explodes open as Blade comes flying through
it!

Gideon tries to bring his pistol up — but Blade grips the man’s hand
and squeezes. Gideon SCREAMS as his bones snap like kindling. The
pistol falls from his grasp —

Blade fires his fist into Gideon’s gut again and again, then flings
the officer across the room, sending him SMASHING into a glass-cased
cabinet. Bleeding, battered, Gideon struggles to stand —

Blade is all over him, kicking the shit out of the rogue cop until he
sinks to the floor in a half-conscious haze.

Blade stands over Gideon’s limp form, fists clenched, breathing
heavily, touching down after his adrenaline high. Finally, he looks
to Karen —

BLADE
You okay?

Karen nods, glances at Gideon —

KAREN
How did you know?

BLADE
Figured they’d send someone after you.
Thought I’d wait around and see who
showed up.

KAREN
You used me as bait?!

BLADE
It worked, didn’t it?

KAREN
But, he could’ve —

BLADE
He didn’t. Get over it.

Blade kneels next to Gideon. He turns the man’s head, inspects the
neck, the skin behind the ear —

KAREN
But he’s a policeman —

BLADE
He’s a familiar. A human who works for
the vampires. See this mark?

Blade pushes aside Gideon’s hair, revealing a tiny, cryptic symbol
tattooed into the man’s scalp.

BLADE
That’s a glyph, kind of like a vampire
cattle brand. That means Officer
Friendly here is someone’s property.
Any of the other vampire’s try to
bleed him, they’ll have to answer to
Friendly’s owner —
(studying the glyph)
This glyph belongs to Deacon Frost.
We’ve been tracking him for a while
now —

KAREN
Why in God’s name would anyone want to
work for them?

BLADE
Because they’re vampire wanna-bes. If
they’re loyal, if they prove
themselves, then their masters will
turn them.

KAREN
And that’s a good thing?

BLADE
For some. Live forever, never get old.
The ultimate high.

Just then, Gideon MOANS. Blade drags the man up so they’re eye to
eye.

BLADE
How ‘bout you, Officer? You a good
little bloodhound?

CUT TO:

EXT. KAREN’S APARTMENT BUILDING – DUSK

Blade and Karen are now standing by Gideon’s police cruiser which is
parked outside Karen’s apartment. Blade shoves Gideon against the
hood of the cruiser. He finds Gideon’s keys, moves to the trunk,
opens it —

IN THE TRUNK —

A sophisticated medical cooling unit for transporting organs. Blade
opens the unit, coolant vapor hisses out. Inside are plastic bags
containing blood.

BLADE
Looks like our friend was
blood-running.
(to Gideon)
Where were you headed?

Gideon mumbles through a split lip and chipped teeth —

GIDEON
Mphuck you —

WHAM! Blade plants Gideon’s face into the hood of the car. Gideon
GROANS, coughs —

GIDEON
Jesus — 1227 Brookner —
Holliston Clinic —

Blade releases him, then reaches for his Casull.

KAREN
What are you doing?!

BLADE
Preventive medicine.

Karen steps in front of Blade, shielding Gideon.

KAREN
You can’t do this, he’s human, it’s
murder.

BLADE
It’s war, now get the fuck out of the
way!

Karen grabs Blade’s arm, wrestling with him, trying to push his hand
away. As the two of them struggle, Gideon makes a break for it,
stumbling across the lawn. Blade pushes Karen aside, takes aim,
FIRES —

— but Gideon ducks into an alley, disappearing from sight. Blade
spins on Karen, enraged —

BLADE
God-damnit!!! Do you have any idea
what you just did?! He’ll warn them.
They’ll be waiting!

But Karen’s defiant, she’s not backing down.

KAREN
You were going to kill him. What was I
supposed to do?! Shut my eyes and
pretend I didn’t see what I saw?

Blade tears off his glasses. Karen gasps —

BLADE’S EYES

aren’t human, nor are they vampire. They’re something else — emerald
green, laced with swirling flecks of red.

BLADE
Let me set you straight on something,
Doctor. What you’ve “seen” so far is
nothing. The world you live in’s just
the sugar-coated topping. There’s
another world beneath it, the real
world — and it’s a fucking bloodbath.
If you want to survive in it, you’d
better pull your head out of your ass.

Blade slips his glasses back on, leaving Karen shocked into silence.
He heads for his Olds without looking back, climbs in, guns the
engine. In seconds, he’s gone, tearing off down the street in a cloud
of exhaust.

EXT. EDGEWOOD TOWERS, PENTHOUSE – DUSK

We are soaring through the air above the gleaming city skyline,
moving towards the Edgewood Towers whose windows reflect the blood-
red sinking sun.

INT. FROST’S PENTHOUSE, POOL – NIGHT

Suffused lighting, elegant tile-work featuring evocative mosaics, the
quiet strains of CLASSICAL MUSIC —

MERCURY,

the lupine Gaultier girl from the club, glides beneath the water,
surfacing at the deep end. We SEE —

FROST

lounging in a chair, studying a laptop which rests beside him. On the
screen is a digitized image — a page taken from an ancient
manuscript, written in a secret tongue.

Officer Gideon waits nearby, cradling his ruined hand, his battered
face cast downward like a boy who’s been called into the Principal’s
office.

GIDEON
Look, I know you’re disappointed —

FROST
Crestfallen.

GIDEON
Blade was waiting for me. There wasn’t
anything I could do.

Frost nods, lapsing into brooding contemplation.

FROST
Tell me something, Gideon, what blood
type are you?

Gideon hesitates. Is this a trick question?

GIDEON
I don’t really know —

FROST
Take a wild stab. A? B? O, perhaps?
I’m interested in the antigens here,
the agglutination reaction —

Gideon stammers as Frost rises. In the blink of an eye, Frost lifts
Gideon from the floor, dangling the Officer over the deep end of the
pool by his throat —

FROST
I’m going to guess AB positive.

Gideon GURGLES as Frost’s fingernails pierce his flesh, drawing
blood. Then Frost releases him —

Gideon plunges into the pool. Mercury is on him in a heartbeat,
tearing him apart like a Great White consuming a piece of chum. The
water churns violently around them, clouding with red.

When it’s over, Mercury rises from the pool, dripping wet, covered
from head to toe in a crimson sheen.

She kisses Frost hungrily, letting Gideon’s blood flow from her mouth
to his. Frost flicks a tongue over his lips.

FROST
AB positive. Give the man a prize.

Below them, Gideon’s lifeless body sinks towards the pool bottom, his
police badge twinkling like sunken treasure.

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREET – NIGHT

Blade’s Olds cruises to a stop. We’re in a low-end commercial
district — junky heaven. Blade climbs out, pulling an automatic
rifle from the back seat, then heading into an alleyway.

EXT. BACK ALLEY – NIGHT

Blade makes his way down the alley, cautious — he SEES mountains of
trash, boarded-up windows, overlapping layers of gang graffiti — a
RAT crouching on a trash dumpster, gnawing on a dead pigeon —

— then a SOUND behind Blade, the scuffle of feet —

Blade whirls, drawing his sword, CHARGING at an approaching shadow,
stopping mere millimeters from decapitating —

KAREN,

who’s been backed up against the wall, her eyes wide with fright.
Blade’s sword vibrates from the tension in his forearm, having drawn
just the slightest taste of blood.

BLADE
What the hell are you doing?! I could
have killed you!

Blade lowers his sword. Karen remembers to breathe. She slumps,
tracing her fingers over the line where her head almost parted with
her body.

KAREN
I remembered the address. I followed
you —

Blade shakes his head, amazed.

BLADE
Do you have a death wish or are you
just stupid?

Karen pushes away from the wall, angry —

KAREN
Look, if what you say is true, if
there’s a chance I could turn into one
of them, then I’ve got no choice, do
I? I have to work with you. I need to
learn everything I can about them.
It’s the only way I’ll be able to find
a cure for myself.

BLADE
There is no cure.

KAREN
(defiant)
You don’t know that.

Blade turns and moves to the end of the alley, studying the graffiti-
covered wall intently —

KAREN
What are you looking at?

BLADE
(gesturing)
What do you see here?

KAREN
Graffiti —

BLADE
Look closer.

Blade indicates a design amongst the various gang-banger tags that
looks something like a post-modern hieroglyphic.

BLADE
This isn’t a gang tag, it’s a vampire
marking. It means there’s a safe-house
nearby.
A place they can go if dawn is coming.

Blade points to a building across the street —

THE HOLLISTON CLINIC,

your basic inner-city blood-barter establishment where desperate
transients parley their plasma into cash.

KAREN
(recognizing it)
I know this place — it’s a blood
bank.

BLADE
Owned by vampires. There’s one of
these in every major city, and just
like Domino’s, they always deliver.
(looking to Karen)
You telling me you’re ready to walk
through that door?

Karen nods. Blade continues to stare at her, taking her measure —
there’s a strength in this woman’s eyes, she has the soul of a
fighter — and Blade recognizes it.

BLADE
All right, then, listen up, Vampire
Anatomy 101. Crosses and running water
don’t do dick, so forget what you’ve
seen in the movies.

Blade enumerates the following on his fingers:

BLADE
You use the stake, silver, or
sunlight, got it?

Blade holds up one of his Casulls.

BLADE
Know how to use one of these?

Karen takes the weapon from him, eyes all over it.

KAREN
No.

Blade takes the gun back, snorting derisively.

BLADE
Safety’s off, round’s already
chambered —
(cocking it)
Silver hollow-points filled with
garlic. You aim for the heart or the
head, anything else is a one-way
ticket to a pine box.

Blade hand it to her again, then starts across the street towards the
clinic. Karen follows —

INT. HOLLISTON CLINIC, LOBBY – NIGHT

Blade enters, swinging his rifle around for all to see.

BLADE
Get out. Now.

The POTENTIAL DONORS scramble for the exit. Behind the counter,
TANAKA, a male nurse, reaches for an alarm button. Blade vaults over
the counter, aiming his rifle.

BLADE
I know you’re blood-running. Who’s
your sponsor?

TANAKA
I don’t know what you’re —

POW! Blade backhands him across the face hard enough to loosen his
teeth. Karen flinches, stepping forward —

KAREN
What if you’ve made a mistake?

Blade pins Tanaka’s head to the wall, turning it to the side —
revealing the man’s glyph. It’s different than Gideon’s, looking more
like a Japanese kanji character.

BLADE
What’s this? A birthmark?

Blade grips Tanaka by his collar, shoving him through a doorway —

INT. HOLLISTON CLINIC, SUPPLY ROOM – NIGHT

Karen and Blade SEE supply cabinets, cots, a number of locked
refrigeration units. Blade FIRES into the door handle of one of the
units, tears it open — the fridge is stacked floor to ceiling with
plastic packets of blood.

BLADE
(to Karen)
Still think we might be wrong?
(to Tanaka)
How much are you shipping?

TANAKA
Bite me!

Blade opens FIRE, sweeping his rifle around the room, shooting
everything in sight. Glass cabinetry shatters, ampoules and
vacutainers go flying. Tanaka cowers, arms wrapped about his head.

Blade stops shooting. He leans down towards Tanaka, placing the end
of his rifle against the man’s forehead. Tanaka looks like he’s about
to wet his pants.

BLADE
I’ve got a message for your masters —
the night’s no longer safe for their
kind.

Blade pulls back his rifle, leaving a red indentation mark where the
end of the rifle barrel pressed into Tanaka’s skin. He starts towards
the exit. Karen follows.

CUT TO:

INT. BLADE’S OLDS – NIGHT

Blade and Karen return to the Olds. He keys the ignition, lets the
engine idle. They’re parked down the street from the blood clinic.
Karen looks to Blade, confused —

KAREN
You let him go —
(off Blade’s nod)
An hour ago you were ready to kill a
man for less, this one didn’t even
talk.

BLADE
He will.

Blade points —

THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD —

Tanaka rushes from the clinic, climbing behind the wheel of a Mustang
parked nearby. He takes off —

Blade follows the Mustang, CLICKING on a cell-phone scanner mounted
on the dash. Numbers flash on the LCD screen as it searches for a
signal, then locks onto it. We hear a DIAL TONE, then a number being
dialed —

AUTOMATED VOICE
(filtered, on scanner)
“You’ve reached a number that is no
longer in service. Please consult your
operator and try again”.

TANAKA’S VOICE
(filtered, on scanner)
It’s Tanaka, PIN number
sixteen-zero-zero-nine —

A “real” voice comes on the line:

VOICE
(filtered, on scanner)
Yes?

Karen looks to Blade, impressed.

INT. TANAKA’S MUSTANG – NIGHT

Tanaka speeds, shouting into the speaker phone —

TANAKA
Get me Pearl!

VOICE
(filtered, on speaker)
Pearl is feeding —

TANAKA
Look, I’m not fucking around here!
That hunter Frost has been talking
about? He was just at the clinic. Tore
the goddamn place apart!

EXT. THE BLACK PEARL – NIGHT

Tokyo town. A black edifice, no windows, secured parking, no signage
except for a purple neon scroll above the entrance — a FLASHING
KANJI, just like the glyph tattooed on Tanaka’s neck.

Tanaka’s Mustang pulls into the parking lot. He climbs out, flagging
away the valets, heads inside —

WHIP PAN TO

Blade’s Olds stopping a few blocks down the street.

INT. BLADE’S OLDS – NIGHT

Blade kills the engine, studying The Black Pearl.

BLADE
Looks like we hit pay-dirt. This place
is crawling with them.
(pointing)
See the valets over there? They’re
vampires. So is the doorman.

KAREN
How can you tell?

BLADE
The way they move, they way they
smell —

Blade continues to scan the area, pointing out a few more likely
candidates —

BLADE
The whore on the corner, she’s one
too. So are the two men standing under
the streetlight.

Blade reaches into the back seat, retrieves his sword and a satchel.
He snaps open his shotgun, loads it. Karen continues to study the
vampires Blade identified.

KAREN
So many of them — I still can’t
believe they’re real.

BLADE
There are worse things than vampires
out there.

KAREN
Like what?

BLADE
(pumping his shotgun)
Like me.

Blade reaches for the door —

EXT. THE BLACK PEARL – NIGHT

Blade and Karen climb out. He lets his shotgun fall within the folds
of his longcoat and starts across the street — only to be challenged
by a HULKING DOORMAN at the entrance.

DOORMAN
I’m sorry, sir — do you have an
invitation?

INT. BLACK PEARL – NIGHT

CRASH! The front door flies open as the Doorman’s body sails through.
Blade enters, Karen at his heels —

The ‘Pearl’ is an all-hours strip club cum casino catering
exclusively to Japanese zaibatsu clientele. Dimly lit, the air thick
with cigarette smoke, deafening MUSIC. Go boards, pachinko machines,
sexy little MANGA WAIFS in schoolgirl outfits doling out drinks —

STRIPPERS writhe in the circular “pit” tables surrounded by HOWLING
grab-ass men. But that’s nothing compared to —

The MAIN ATTRACTION,

who’s doing a bump and grind down the runway, shaking a body worthy
of a schoolboy’s wet dream. Her attire? A leather S&M face mask,
nipple rings, 6-inch spikes, and a pair of panties to hide her
modesty.

Blade scans the room — just in time to see Tanaka ducking into a
back hallway. Blade pushes towards the rear of the club. Karen
follows.

ON THE STRIPPER

as she catches sight of Blade and freezes in mid-routine. The
stripper pulls off her hood. Long black hair with a streak of white
tumbles down her back — it’s Mercury.

INT. BLACK PEARL, HALLWAY – NIGHT

Blade and Karen head past the bathrooms. At the end of the hall is a
door marked “OFFICE”. Just then, the Men’s door opens, a DRUNK
COLLEGE KID steps out, SEES Blade —

KID
Hey —

Blade plants a hand over the kid’s face, shoving him back into the
bathroom as he kicks open the office door —

INT. THE BLACK PEARL, BACK OFFICE – NIGHT

Tanaka spins around, startled, tries to throw a punch —

Blade traps Tanaka’s arm, levering the man up and over. He CRASHES
into a shelving unit, taking the whole thing down with him. Karen
winces. Blade grabs a handful of Tanaka’s hair, yanks his head up —

BLADE
Where’s the entrance?!

TANAKA
I can’t — they’ll kill me!

Blade rips off his glasses and gives Tanaka an eyeful — his irises
pulse and glow.

BLADE
I got news for you, butt-boy. You’re
already dead.

TANAKA
(terrified)
Oh God, shit — behind the bookcase —

Blade drops Tanaka, moves to the bookcase. He searches the wall a
moment, then finds a trigger. Hits it — the bookcase slides aside,
revealing a hidden elevator. As Blade moves to put his sunglasses
back on —

BLADE’S POV (IN THE REFLECTION OF HIS SUNGLASSES)

We see Tanaka behind him, pulling a handgun out of a desk drawer,
swinging it up —

Blade unholsters one of his Casulls faster than any gunslinger in
history. He FIRES over his own shoulder, BLOWING Tanaka back against
the wall.

Blade puts his sunglasses back on, motions to the elevator, then nods
to Karen —

BLADE
After you.

INT. THE BLACK PEARL, ELEVATOR – NIGHT

The elevator descends. Then a tone CHIMES, signaling the end of the
ride. The doors hiss open —

INT. THE VAMPIRE ARCHIVES, HALLWAY – NIGHT

Blade and Karen enter the narrow, maze-like “stacks” of the vampire
archives, weaving their way through shelves of climate-controlled,
digitized records.

KAREN
What is this place?

BLADE
Some kind of archive —

KAREN
Isn’t this all a little high-tech? I
thought vampires were more into
cobwebs and coffins.

BLADE
You’ve been watching too much TV.
They’ve got their claws sunk into
everything — finance, real estate,
politics. Probably own half of
Downtown.

Blade pulls a CD-ROM from the shelves, its spine labeled in
indecipherable vampire glyphs.

BLADE
This must be where they keep their
records —

He pauses, hearing a DISTANT WHISPER. Blade signals quiet, silently
leading Karen through the stacks towards —

PEARL’S LAIR

A vestibule of sorts, leading to a larger bed chamber constructed of
rice paper shoji screens and tatami mats. Candles glow within,
illuminating a MONSTROUSLY OBESE SHADOW beyond the translucent rice
paper walls.

The shadow speaks in a tremulous, bird-like voice — the secret
tongue. As Blade draws his sword, the massive shadow freezes —

PEARL’S VOICE
(frightened)
Lorca, is that you?

Blade slides open the nearest shoji screen —

INT. PEARL’S BED CHAMBER – NIGHT

Nothing Karen’s seen up until this point could prepare her for the
archive’s curator —

PEARL,

a nine-hundred-pound androgynous vampire of Asian origin, lounging
amidst pillowed rice mats, wearing a communications headset. Think of
a cross between Divine and Jabba The Hutt. Skin the complexion of
buttermilk, so corpulent he can barely move, so engorged with blood
that he’s actually sweating it from the pores of his skin.

Pearl is surrounded by a nest of monitors and keyboards which have
been affixed to counter-balanced arms — this way, Pearl can access
information without leaving bed.

Lying next to Pearl, dwarfed by the vampire’s massive size, is the
chalk-white body of a recently-drained NAKED BOY.

At the sight of Blade, Pearl’s eyes widen in fear —

PEARL
(into a speakerphone)
He’s here!

FROST’S VOICE
(over speakerphone)
Congratulations, Day-Walker.

BLADE
Frost?

INT. FROST’S PENTHOUSE, POOL – NIGHT

Frost paces the length of his pool, wearing a hands-free
communications headset, grinning.

FROST
In the flesh, Blade. I understand
you’ve been looking for me. I’m
flattered.

INT. PEARL’S BEDCHAMBER – NIGHT

As Blade listens, Pearl reaches for his trackball, attempting to
delete the document currently on his monitors — but Blade lunges
forward, sinking the tip of his sword into Pearl’s fleshy throat.
Pearl freezes.

BLADE
(eyeballing Pearl)
Don’t be. You’re another notch on my
sword hilt, nothing else.

Frost’s DEEP LAUGHTER drifts from the speakerphone.

INT. FROST’S PENTHOUSE, POOL – NIGHT

Frost settles into his chair, enjoying the cat and mouse.

FROST
You’re quick, Blade, I’ll give you
that. In the space of an hour you’ve
crossed my familiar, destroyed a blood
bank —
(beat)
Now here you are in the heart of our
archives, terrorizing our curator.

PEARL’S VOICE
He has a knife to my throat, Frost!
He —

FROST
(cutting him off)
You’re history, Pearl. Have the good
grace to die with some dignity.
(beat)
Round one to you, Blade.

INT. PEARL’S BEDCHAMBER – NIGHT

CLICK, the line goes dead. Blade tosses his satchel on the bed, opens
it. Inside is a hand-held UV lamp hooked up to a nine-volt battery.
Pearl eyes the device, fearful —

PEARL
What is that?

BLADE
A sun lamp. We’re gonna play twenty
questions. Depending on your answers,
you might get to have yourself a
tanning session.

Blade looks to Pearl’s monitor and SEES a digitized image, the SAME
MANUSCRIPT Deacon had been studying earlier.

BLADE
What were you in such a big hurry to
delete just now?

Pearl hesitates. Blade turns on the lamp. Pearl HOWLS as the harsh
light falls upon him. Blade flicks the light off.

Pearl cringes, GROWLING, his face smoking profusely. Exposure to the
UV rays, even for one short second, has made his face blister like a
plague victim’s.

PEARL
(relenting)
It’s an epistle, a letter Frost has
been translating — it prophesizes
LaMagra’s return.

BLADE
And who is LaMagra?

Pearl hesitates again — Blade turns on the lamp for a longer time.
Pearl thrashes, covering his face. His hands blacken, the skin
sizzling away to expose the finger bones beneath. Karen has to avert
her gaze —

Blade turns off the lamp. Pearl SNARLS, his body quivering with
poisonous rage.

PEARL
LaMagra is The Sleeper!!!

Blade leans in close so he’s eye to eye with Pearl.

BLADE
Where’s the original, Pearl? You must
have it around here somewhere.

Pearl sweats blood, his flaking, slug-like lips quivering.

PEARL
The vault —

Blade follows Pearl’s eyes to an armored door, then he stands back,
handing the UV rig to Karen.

BLADE
If he moves, cook him.

Blade approaches the vault door, sizing up its locking mechanism. He
pulls an explosive charge from his combat belt and secures it to the
door, arming it with a BEEP!

PEARL
Please, I’ll give you the combination
— you’ll damage the documents —

BLADE
That’s the point.

Enraged, Pearl LUNGES from his bed. Karen triggers the UV rig, flash-
frying him to a blackened crisp. Pearl quivers, his enormous body
smoking like a piece of charred meat.

Blade looks back at Karen with newfound respect. She shrugs.

KAREN
He moved.

Blade turns back to the vault, setting off the charge. BOOM! Blade
kicks the damaged door in, knocking it clear off its hinges —

INSIDE THE VAULT,

ancient papers flutter through the smoky air like wind-borne leaves.
Blade and Karen SEE a lucite-encased document — fragments of an
ancient, calligraphied papyrus.

KAREN
What are these?

QUINN (o.s.)
Curiosity killed the cat.

Blade and Karen spin —

— QUINN,

Mercury, and a number of other vampires stand at the entrance to the
vault.

QUINN
(grins)
Hola, amigo. Remember me?

Karen triggers the UV light, but Mercury ducks under it, ripping it
from her hands, crushing it. In a split-second, the she-demon has her
claws around Karen’s throat.

As Blade reaches for his rifle, the vampires converge on him like
quicksilver. They drag Karen and Blade out —

PEARL’S BEDCHAMBER

The vampires fling Blade against the wall, pinning him.

QUINN
You took my arm, Blade. But that’s
okay, I’m growing a new one —

Quinn lifts up his “arm”. A skeletal forearm has grown from the
stump. It’s got cartilage, sinew, and muscle, but no flesh yet.

QUINN
Nice, huh? Think I’ll ever play the
piano again?
(shrugging)
You can slice him, you can dice him,
and the man just keeps on coming.

Blade struggles violently, but Quinn is upon him, pounding his fist
into Blade again and again and again — giving him payback with
compounded interest. When it’s over, Quinn steps back, winded —

Blade’s head hangs down. He gasps, wincing, every breath sending a
red hot poker to his gut. Quinn grabs a hold of Blade’s jaw, forcing
his head up.

QUINN
Stay with me, sweetness, I’m not
through with you yet.

Quinn pulls Blade’s jacket open, sees the bandoleer of mahogany
stakes. He tugs one out, admiring it.

QUINN
Teak. Nice craftsmanship.
(to the others)
Now here’s a man who takes his job
just a little too seriously, don’t you
think?
(back to Blade)
Which reminds me, Blade, think I owe
you one —

Quinn stabs the stake into Blade’s shoulder. Blade CRIES OUT, tries
to pull free. Karen, who’s being held by Mercury, averts her gaze.

QUINN
Actually, if you want to get
technical, I owe you two.

As Quinn reaches for another stake, Blade starts to laugh.

QUINN
What’s so funny, bright eyes?

BLADE
I’m expecting some company.

It’s then that Quinn notices the micro ear-coil radio receiver in
Blade’s ear. As we MOVE IN on it, we hear a tiny VOICE squawking from
it:

VOICE
(filtered)
Get down!

Blade kicks his feet out, sending Quinn flying backwards. He tears
free of the vamps holding him and DIVES forward, knocking Karen to
the ground just as —

BOOM!!! The wall of Pearl’s bedchamber EXPLODES INWARD, knocking
Quinn and the rest of his cronies to their feet.

WHISTLER

stands in the smoking hole where the wall used to be, brandishing his
cane in one hand and an automatic rifle in the other. He balances the
rifle against his hip like an over-the-hill gunslinger and OPENS FIRE
on the vampires.

Blade rolls, snatching up a fragment of the parchment which has blown
free from the vault. Seconds later, he and Karen are fleeing after
Whistler, retreating back through his newly created exit.

INT. TUNNEL – NIGHT

The three of them find themselves ankle-deep in a flooded sewer
tunnel running parallel to the archives. Whistler pauses, wheezing
from overexertion.

WHISTLER
Christ, I’m too old for this. Somebody
get me a goddamn wheelchair.

Blade leans against the tunnel wall, GRUNTING as he yanks the stake
from his shoulder. He then pulls out a light-stick, snapping it,
illuminating the area in a GREEN GLOW — disturbing waves of
GLITTERING COCKROACHES.

Meanwhile, Whistler pulls another explosive device from his backpack
and sets it against the tunnel wall, arming it.

KAREN
How did you find us?!

Whistler taps a tiny radio headset curled around his ear.

WHISTLER
We keep in radio contact.

KAREN
(incredulous)
You’ve been listening in the whole
time?

WHISTLER
You think I’d let him run loose
without a chaperone? Blade ferrets
their rat-holes out, I map them. Then
we blow them all to kingdom come.

Whistler finishes arming the explosive device. It BEEPS. He turns
back to Blade and Karen, referring to a handheld navigation device.

WHISTLER
There’s a subway line due East of
here. We’d best make tracks.

INT. PEARL’S BEDCHAMBER, ARCHIVES – NIGHT

An EXPLOSION rips through the bedchamber, mushrooming outward —

INT. BLACK PEARL – NIGHT

The EXPLOSION continues expanding, sending tables, drinks, and
zaibatsu clientele flying.

INT. TUNNEL – NIGHT

As the group splashes through the water, a FIREBALL chases them down
the tunnel. They duck into an alcove, narrowly avoiding the flames.
Whistler WHOOPS with excitement, loving every minute of it. But his
triumph is short-lived, for now we hear —

— a deafening chorus of HIGH-PITCHED VAMPIRE WAR CRIES coming from
behind. Karen hazards a look back —

THE VAMPIRES

surge down the tunnel like a pack of hungry wolves on high-octane.
There must be a dozen of them now and Quinn is right in the lead.

Our trio hustles along, but Whistler stumbles, tumbling and sliding
down a washout. The steep incline of the washout makes it virtually
impossible for Whistler to climb back up to the main tunnel.

KAREN
Whistler!

WHISTLER
Go on, I’ll be fine!

Karen hesitates, but Blade yanks her down the tunnel —

BLADE
He can take care of himself! GO!!!

They race through the twisting warren of tunnels, taking one turn
after another, the vampires hot on their heels —

INT. SUBWAY TUNNEL – NIGHT

Blade and Karen stumble out into a larger subway tunnel, which widens
into a station stop up ahead. We can see the RED TAIL-LIGHTS of a
train just pulling away from the platform — Blade and Karen re-
double their efforts, lungs burning, legs pumping like mad. Just as
the train enters the next tunnel —

— they leap, dragging themselves up onto the back of the rear-
passenger car. Blade SMASHES his fist through the emergency exit
window, then lifts Karen up, helping her climb through into the
car —

— but the vampires are still coming! Crawling along the tunnel walls
on all fours, limbs a blur, claws striking the concrete and spewing
out sparks. Closing fast. Too fast.

QUINN

springs forward, snagging Blade’s ankle with his “good” hand. The
vampire’s weight threatens to haul Blade down. Blade reaches to his
back-scabbard, unsheathes his sword —

THUNK! Blade brings the sword down on Quinn’s good arm, cutting it
off at the wrist! Quinn falls to the tracks, tumbling head over heels
back into the darkness —

THE AMPUTATED HAND,

which continues to clutch at Blade’s ankle, starts to melt. With a
cry of disgust, Blade kicks the thing away. He turns and climbs
through the window —

INT. SUBWAY CAR – NIGHT

Karen helps Blade inside. He sinks to the floor of the otherwise
deserted car, exhausted. He’s looking ashen now. The whites of his
eyes are shot through with red.

Karen gets a good look at Blade’s wounds — the front of his jacket
is soaked in blood. She reaches for him —

KAREN
You’re hurt —

BLADE
Nothing that won’t heal by dawn.

Blade reaches into his jacket and pulls out the small, gas-powered
pistol-injector we saw Whistler inject him with earlier. He tries to
load one of the ampoules into it, but because of his wounds, he’s not
having much luck —

BLADE
(frustrated)
I need help with this —

Karen nods, inserting the ampoule into the gun. Blade shrugs off his
jacket, holds out his arm. Karen pauses —

KAREN
What am I injecting you with?

BLADE
(weakly)
Serum — it’s a human hemoglobin
substitute.

Karen locates a vein, presses the injector against it — Blade
tenses, grits his teeth, fights to keep his body thrashing as the
serum enters his bloodstream. He grips the wall behind him —
actually digs his nails into the metal surface — the agony he’s
going through is excruciating, like nothing we could imagine.

When it’s over, he slumps forward, spent, vulnerable, flushed with
sweat. Karen stares at him —

KAREN
You’re one of them, aren’t you?

Blade turns away from Karen, filled with self-loathing.

BLADE
Not quite. I’m a hybrid. Half-human,
half-vampire.

Off Karen’s surprised reaction, we —

CUT TO:

INT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – NIGHT

The loading elevator CLANGS to a stop. Blade throws the gate open.
Karen helps him out. Now that they’re safely back, the last of
Blade’s strength seems to dissipate.

WHISTLER

is waiting for them, sitting at a workbench.

WHISTLER
What took you so long?

BLADE
Don’t even start, old man.

Blade throws his sword aside, then moves off into the shadows,
disappearing beyond the curtains. Karen looks to Whistler —

KAREN
Why didn’t you tell me the truth
about him?

WHISTLER
We weren’t sure we could trust you.

Whistler sighs, removing his glasses.

WHISTLER
Blade’s mother was attacked by a
vampire while she was pregnant.
Ultimately, she died, but her unborn
child lived. Unfortunately, he’d
undergone certain genetic changes
while in the womb —

Whistler reaches for a pack of cigarettes, pulls one out. He thumbs a
match, fires up. Takes a long drag —

WHISTLER
I found Blade when he was thirteen.
He’d been living on the streets,
feeding off the homeless. Apparently
the Thirst manifested itself at
puberty —
(beat)
I took him for one of them at first,
almost killed him, too. But then I
realized what he was.

CUT TO:

EXT. EDGEWOOD TOWERS, PENTHOUSE – NIGHT

Frost stands at the window, looking out at the glimmering cityscape
before him.

INT. FROST’S PENTHOUSE – NIGHT

Frost turns away from window. Quinn, Mercury, and the other vampires
from the Black Pearl stand before him. Quinn cradles his amputated
stump with his newly grown arm.

QUINN
He took my fucking hand! Again!

FROST
You seem to be in the habit of losing
them fairly often, Quinn. Maybe the
amputee lifestyle just suits you.

The other vampires laugh. Quinn stares them into silence.

QUINN
We need to find him, tonight.

Frost claps a hand on Quinn’s shoulder.

FROST
Down, boy. Blade’s not going anywhere.
I promise. Right now, though, we’ve
more pressing business —
(off Mercury’s look)
It’s time Dragonetti paid the piper.

CUT TO:

INT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – NIGHT

Whistler studies Karen, exhaling another lungful of smoke.

WHISTLER
Blade’s unique, you know. A one in a
billion anomaly. He can withstand
sunlight, garlic, even silver. But he
still has the Thirst.

KAREN
What happens if he doesn’t take the
serum?

WHISTLER
The Thirst overcomes him, just like
the others. It’s not something he can
control.
(sighs)
The problem is, time’s running out.
His body’s starting to reject the
serum. And so far, all my efforts to
find a cure have ended in failure —

KAREN
No offense, Whistler, but you’re not
exactly working with state of the art
equipment here. You might have missed
something.

WHISTLER
(pointedly)
Which is why you’re here. We could use
someone with your experience.

A beat passes between them and Karen knows where she stands now. In
for a penny, in for a pound. Whistler reaches for Blade’s sword.

WHISTLER
This used to be mine, you know. It’s
been passed down through the
centuries, from one hunter to the
next —

Whistler extends the sword, sighting down the length of it. He takes
a few practice parries — it’s obvious he used to be quite skilled in
the art of swordsmanship.

KAREN
Why do you hunt them?

WHISTLER
Habit, mostly, just like this.

Whistler gestures with his cigarette. He finally stubs it out, his
wistful reverie vanishing like so much smoke.

WHISTLER
I had a family once — a wife, three
daughters. Then a drifter named Deacon
Frost came calling one evening —

KAREN
He killed them?

WHISTLER
Eventually. He toyed with them first.
He made me choose, do you understand?
Which order they would die in —

Karen stares at Whistler, horrified.

KAREN
How did you escape?

WHISTLER
I didn’t. He was cruel enough to let
me live.
(slapping his brace)
Even gave me a souvenir to remember
him by.

Karen nods — it’s all falling into place for her now.

KAREN
And now you’re using Blade to exact
your revenge?

WHISTLER
(pointedly)
Frost’s bodycount keeps rising, and
I’m not getting any younger, am I?

Just then, we hear a SCREAM come from Blade’s room, sounding more
like the cry of a beast than a man. Karen takes a step towards
Blade’s room —

WHISTLER
I wouldn’t go in there if I were you.
It’s best to leave him alone when he’s
like this.

KAREN
I’ll take my chances.

INT. BLADE’S ROOM – NIGHT

Karen enters. It’s dark, just a trace of moonlight.

KAREN
Blade?

No answer. Then Karen SEES him — crouched in the corner of the room
like some kind of nocturnal animal.

KAREN
It’s dark in here.

BLADE
You get used to the darkness.

Karen takes a step towards him.

KAREN
Whistler told me about your mother.

Blade clutches the silver locket in his hand. It swings back and
forth, like a pendulum.

BLADE
I can’t close my eyes without hearing
her scream.

KAREN
Those aren’t real memories. No one has
that kind of recall.

BLADE
I do. I remember from day one. People
staring at me, sensing I was
different. Watching the fear grow in
their eyes, knowing in their hearts I
wasn’t human.

KAREN
If you’re not human, then why do you
bleed like us?
I’ve seen vampire blood, you don’t
have it running through your veins.

Blade looks at Karen, his lambent eyes glowing in the moonlight.

BLADE
Just get out of here.

KAREN
Blade —

Blade turns, his eyes glowing with preternatural fury.

BLADE
I said, GET OUT!!!

Karen backs away, startled by Blade’s vehemence. She exits, leaving
him alone with his demons. He holds up one of his empty serum
ampoules, crushing it in his fist.

FROST’S VOICE
Rise and shine, little wing.

EXT. THE BURNING GROUNDS – JUST BEFORE DAWN

FADE IN on Dragonetti, his face covered with a black condemned man’s
hood —

Frost stands before him, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. He’s dressed
from head to toe in a black motorcycle suit — boots, gloves, a
visored helmet tucked under one arm. Mercury and Quinn are standing
nearby, similarly attired.

We’re on a stretch of rocky coastline, tucked away in a secluded
cove. Dragonetti has been stripped bare, chained like Prometheus to
an ancient standing stone.

DRAGONETTI
(straining)
What is this? Where am I?!

Frost steps forward, pulling Dragonetti’s hood off. Dragonetti stares
at his surroundings, horrified.

FROST
When was the last time you stopped to
appreciate a sunrise, Dragonetti?
Three, four hundred years?

Frost checks his watch, then looks to the ocean. On the horizon, a
sliver of gold appears.

FROST
How do you like that? Right on time.

DRAGONETTI
(snarling)
The other elders will never let you
get away with this!

Just then, the TWELVE VAMPIRE ELDERS emerge behind Frost, forming a
circle around Dragonetti. All wear business suits, gloves, along with
high-tech “sun masks” to protect their faces from the light’s lethal
rays.

They stare at Dragonetti like a silent jury. His face darkens, anger
rising — but there’s a desperation in his eyes now too. He speaks in
the secret tongue:

DRAGONETTI
(subtitled)
Don’t you see, you fools?! He’ll
betray you too! He’s planning on
invoking LaMagra himself!

The vampires just smile and shake their heads.

FROST
The wheel turns, old fang. Guess you
just got a little too long in the
tooth.

Dragonetti’s cries are cut short as Frost forces the aging vampire’s
mouth open, ripping out his fangs with his bare hands. Dragonetti
GURGLES and SHRIEKS, sounding like a dying animal.

Frost turns to face the Twelve now, his eyes bright with victory. He
pulls on his motorcycle helmet, as do Mercury and Quinn.

Behind them, Dragonetti struggles furiously against his chains to no
avail as the first faint rays of daylight fall upon him, channeled
inward by the natural formation of the cove —

Dragonetti HOWLS, his skin beginning sizzle and smoke. Then he
catches fire like paper beneath a magnifying glass. He thrashes about
as his flesh starts to run from his body.

THE VAMPIRE ELDERS

watch, impassive, protected by their masks —

— when suddenly, TWELVE FIGURES rise up behind them, clad in bike
helmets and black leather, just like Frost. The intruders grip each
of the Elders in a strangle hold, ripping their masks off.

FROST
Dragonetti was right. You were fools
to trust me.

Frost flips down the visor of his helmet even as —

THE RED SUN

rises in all its fiery glory.

One by one, the vampire Elder’s heads catch fire, skullflesh sizzling
away — burning down the line of them in successively building
intensity until all twelve EXPLODE in a conflagration of BLINDING
WHITE LIGHT.

Frost and his compatriots are blown off their feet by the sheer
intensity of the occult blast — a blast which sends the skeletal
bodies of the Elders SLAMMING into the rock wall.

When it’s over, Frost picks himself back up. We SEE that the only
thing left of Dragonetti and the others are —

THIRTEEN SHADOW SILHOUETTES

permanently etched onto the rock’s surface, just like the bombing
victims of Hiroshima.

INT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – DAY

Karen stands at a lab table with Whistler, preparing a number of
blood sample vials. They are surrounded by host of new medical
equipment — from centrifuges to genetic sequencers and beyond.

Blade emerges from his room, looks to Karen. As if by silent
agreement, last night’s words go unacknowledged. He straps on his
bandoleer of stakes, secures his scabbard.

WHISTLER
Going somewhere?

BLADE
China Town. I need more serum.
(re: new equipment)
What’s all this?

KAREN
I made a trip to the hospital last
night, borrowed some equipment.

BLADE
(sarcastic)
For your miracle cure?

WHISTLER
She’s been making real progress,
Blade.
(to Karen)
Show him —

Karen looks to Blade, who shrugs. She opens a refrigerator, removing
a syringe filled with blue fluid.

KAREN
This is sodium citrate. It’s an
anti-coagulant. We use it to treat
blood-clots sometimes. Vampire blood
is thinner than humans, though. Watch
what happens when I introduce some
into a sample —

Karen gestures to the microscope. Blade takes a look —

BLADE’S POV

Vampire blood cells swirling about.

Karen injects the contents of the syringe onto the slide of cells —
the reaction is immediate. The vampire blood turns black, then begins
violently bubbling.

Blade lifts his head away from the microscope just in time — the
blood on the slide atomizes, exploding outward in a fine mist which
bursts apart the glass lens of the scope.

Whistler laughs, thrilled with the results.

WHISTLER
Can you imagine what a dash of that
would do on your sword?

Whistler claps his hand on Karen’s shoulder in approval, then limps
away, quickly busying himself with another project. Blade moves to
follow, but Karen stops him —

KAREN
Before you go, I’d like to take a
sample of your blood.

Blade grudgingly rolls up his sleeve. As Karen takes her sample,
Blade looks to Whistler. The older man brings a handkerchief to his
lips, coughing into it.

KAREN
Is he sick?

BLADE
Cancer.

Karen watches as Blade’s blood flows into the vacutainer. She fills
the first, then inserts another.

KAREN
You care about him, don’t you?

BLADE
We’ve got a good arrangement, that’s
all. Whistler makes the weapons, I use
them, the vampires die — end of
story.

Karen finishes. Blade rolls up his sleeve.

KAREN
(pointedly)
My mother used to say that a cold
heart is a dead heart.

BLADE
Your mother sounds like a Hallmark
greeting card.

Blade slips his Casulls into a shoulder holster, then shrugs into his
leather jacket, donning his sunglasses.

BLADE
I’d wish you luck, Doc, but I never
put much stock in optimism.

He heads towards the elevator.

EXT. CHINATOWN, STREETS – DAY

Blade makes his way down a street lined with vending stalls —
passing MERCHANTS peddling exotic vegetables and cheap curios,
butcher shops with rows of roast ducks in the window, tyro GANG-
BANGERS lounging at the entrance to a video arcade.

BLADE’S POV

Even though the streets are crowded, the people seem to make way for
him, avoiding eye-contact.

Blade turns into a dark alley, ducking into the doorway of a hole-in-
the-wall herbalist shop.

INT. HERBALIST SHOP – DAY

A bell atop the door JINGLES, announcing Blade’s arrival. We’re in a
dusty, cave-like room filled with baskets and bottle-lined shelves
featuring things like “Toad Spleen Extract” and “Barking Deer Wine”.
Joss sticks burn, sending wispy tendrils of incense into the air.

At the back of the shop, an elderly CHINESE MAN in a cardigan sits in
front of a battered television, watching a boxing match. He’s eating
a bowl of litchi fruit. On the counter nearby, a SPIDER MONKEY
watches attentively.

BLADE
How’s it going, Kam?

KAM
(re: calendar)
You’re a week early.

BLADE
I was in the neighborhood.

Kam sets his fruit bowl aside, leads Blade through a curtain into a
back room.

INT. HERBALIST SHOP, BACK ROOM – DAY

Kam hands Blade a leather valise. He opens it — its lined with tiny
ampoules of scarlet-colored serum. Blade pulls one out, holds it up
to the light.

BLADE
Whistler says I’m building up a
resistance to it.

KAM
I was afraid that might happen.

BLADE
Maybe it’s time to start exploring
other alternatives.

KAM
There’s only one alternative to the
serum.

Blade nods. They both know what that “alternative” is.

BLADE
Yeah. I know.

Blade closes the valise and tucks it inside his jacket.

BLADE
Thanks, Kam.
(thinking)
One other thing. Have you ever heard
of a vampire called the Sleeper?

Kam shakes his head. Blade pulls out the parchment he took from
Pearl.

BLADE
I found this in there archives. I need
to find someone who can read their
language.

Kam studies the parchment.

KAM
I’ve heard about a woman named
Miracia. Some say she’s a mayombero, a
Santeria witch. Supposedly she lives
in that tent community down by the
city dump. I’m told she only sees
people at night.

Blade nods his thanks and heads back through the curtains.

EXT. CHINATOWN, STREET – DAY

Blade emerges from the alley into the sunlight, then hears his name
WHISPERED on the wind.

VOICE (o.s.)
Blade.

Blade spins, scanning his surroundings — did he really hear his
name, or was it just the wind?

VOICE (o.s.)
Blade.

Again, the taunting voice calls him. Blade’s gaze finally settles
on —

A MAN

sitting on a bench in the deep shade, his face obscured by the
Chinese newspaper he’s reading. There’s a LITTLE GIRL sitting stiffly
beside the man — a look of pure terror written on her face.

MAN
Afternoon, Blade.

The man lowers his newspaper. It’s Deacon Frost. He’s wearing
sunglasses, but otherwise, he’s seemingly unprotected by the sun.

Blade reaches for his .454 —

FROST
Easy.

Frost’s hand rests on the back of the girl’s neck. We see his claws
extend, caressing the flesh beneath her chin.

FROST
Wouldn’t want our little friend here
to wind up on the back of a milk
carton, would we?

Blade reluctantly lowers his hand. Frost smiles. He takes in a deep
breath of air, savoring it.

FROST
Beautiful day, isn’t it?

BLADE
(confused)
How can you be out here?

FROST
I dabble in pharmaceuticals, medical
research. We’ve developed a type of
sun-blocker using octyl salicylate, a
few others things.

On closer examination we see that Frost is wearing a translucent
lotion on his face. He touches a finger to his cheek, rubs some of
the lotion between his fingers.

FROST
It’s not very effective in direct
sunlight, but it’s a start. The goal,
of course, is to be like you, “the
Day-walker”.

BLADE
I don’t buy it.

FROST
Why not? The future of our race runs
through your bloodstream. You’ve got
the best of both worlds, Blade. All of
our strengths and none of our
weaknesses.

BLADE
Maybe I don’t see it that way.

FROST
Oh, so it’s back to pretending we’re
human again, is it? Spare me the Uncle
Tom routine. You can’t keep denying
what you are. You’re one of us, Blade.
You always have been.

BLADE
You’re wrong.

FROST
Am I? You think the humans will ever
accept a half-breed like you? They
can’t. They’re afraid of you.
(pointedly)
The humans fear us because we’re
superior. They fear us because in
their hearts they know their race has
become obsolete.

Frost watches the marketers stream past, sneering in contempt.

FROST
Look at them, just an endless stream
of cattle in a mad race to the
slaughterhouse.

Frost lifts a silver flask to his mouth, taking a swig of blood. He
smacks his lips, sighs contentedly —

FROST
The pause that refreshes —
(offering it to Blade)
Care for some? Smells good, doesn’t
it? Pungent, with just an
irrepressible hint of iron.

BLADE
Pass.

FROST
You sure now? I bled a newborn for
this. You won’t find a drink that’s
sweeter.

It takes every ounce of Blade’s self-control to keep from attacking
Frost — and Frost senses this, pressing his sharp thumbnail against
the child’s jugular.

FROST
Tell me honestly, do you really get
the same rush from that pasteurized
piss-serum of yours?
(off Blade’s look)
You’re surprised I know about your
serum? You shouldn’t be. I know
everything about you.

Frost leans forward, grinning.

FROST
You can’t keep walking the razor’s
edge, Blade. The day will come — and
soon, when you’ll have to choose
between our kind and their’s. If I
were you, I’d take care not to wind up
on the wrong end of the fang.

A bead of sweat runs down Frost’s neck, washing away a minute amount
of the sun-blocking cream. The patch of exposed skin instantly
blackens. Frost gazes upwards at the sun.

FROST
Love to continue this chat, but it
appears I’m melting.

Frost rises, taking the little girl by the hand. Blade follows, his
hand resting on the butt of his Casull.

BLADE
You’re not going anywhere.

FROST
(growling)
Watch me.

Frost’s eyes flicker towards the street — a CITY BUS is rumbling by.
In a heartbeat, Frost hurls the little girl forward —

— out into the path of the oncoming bus!

Blade has a split-second to act. It’s Frost or the girl — and for a
moment we actually think he’s going to go for Frost —

— but then he DIVES forward, scooping the girl into his arms,
throwing themselves out of the bus’ path. The bus misses them by a
hair. By the time Blade looks up again —

— Frost is gone. Blade rises, cursing, scanning the street as
market-goers gather around him.

WHIP PAN TO —

SOMEONE sitting astride a motorcycle, watching Blade from the roof of
an elevated parking garage. The rider is clad from head to toe in a
helmet and black leather — Mercury.

EXT. ABANDONED FACTORY – DAY

Blade’s Olds cruises into the gated grounds. It zips down the ramp
way into the loading elevator.

BACK BY THE TRAIN TRACKS —

Mercury’s cycle rolls into frame. She picks up a radio handset and
keys it.

MERCURY
(into radio)
This is Mercury. Tell Deacon I’ve
found their hiding place.

CUT TO:

INT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – DAY

Blade enters through the loading elevator, finding Karen and Whistler
hard at work. She turns as he approaches — SEES him back-lit by the
sun. She looks pale, the whites of her eyes are streaked with red.

BLADE
Any progress?

KAREN
Some. It’s been slow —

BLADE
You don’t look so good.

KAREN
I’m just tired, that’s all. We’ve been
up all night.

Blade nods, not buying her explanation. He shoots a glance to
Whistler, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Karen.

KAREN
Excuse me.

Karen turns, heading for the back of the workshop.

INT. WORKSHOP – BATHROOM – NIGHT

Karen enters a dingy bathroom, turning on the overhead bulb. She
studies her reflection in the mirror above the sink, then grimaces as
she peels the dressing from her wound — the wound is clearly
infected, gangrenous.

BLADE (O.S.)
It’s started.

Karen spins, startled. Blade stands behind her. He grips her jaw,
turning her head so he can better view the wound.

BLADE
You’ve got another day or two at most.

Karen nods, shaken. As she moves to leave, Blade reaches for her arm,
stopping her.

BLADE
For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.

KAREN
You make it sound like I’m already
dead.

Blade just stares at her. Finally, she pulls away.

EXT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – DUSK

CLOSE ON Karen as she moves to the grimy outer windows, watching the
sun go down, an unmistakable look of dread creeping over her.

CUT TO:

EXT. LANDFILL GHETTO – DUSK

Windy. Urban desolation. Blade stands on the perimeter of a sprawling
cardboard and plywood squatter’s ghetto which has sprung up around
the city dump. CHILDREN and DOGS forage for salvageable items, while
in the distance, dumptrucks grind over the dunes of refuse.

MOMENTS LATER,

Blade is winding his way through the maze of makeshift homes and
ashcan fires. A CROWD quickly closes in around him, suspicious. A
BRUTISH MAN steps forward, challenging him —

MAN
Extranjero. ¿Quien es?

BLADE
I’m here to see Miracia. Kam sent me.

The man turns to his fellow squatters, WHISPERING. After a heated
debate, a GAUNT WOMAN steps forward, motioning —

WOMAN
This way.

CUT TO:

INT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – NIGHT

Whistler and Karen sit at a work table. Karen is looking at a blood
smear slide through a microscope.

KAREN
All right, let’s start with the basics
— why do vampires need to drink
blood?

WHISTLER
Their own blood can’t sustain
hemoglobin.

KAREN
Then vampirism is a genetic defect,
just like Hemolytic anemia?

Whistler nods.

KAREN
So what about gene therapy?

Whistler looks intrigued. Karen continues.

KAREN
Basically you’d have to re-write the
victim’s DNA, alter it so that the DNA
will produce proteins capable of
generating hemoglobin.

WHISTLER
How?

KAREN
With a retrovirus. It’s injected into
the bone marrow cells, it causes the
host’s DNA to mutate. They’ve been
using them to treat Sickle-cell
anemia.

Whistler can hardly believe what he’s hearing.

WHISTLER
You’re serious? You actually think
this could work?

Karen pauses — we can see in her expression that there’s something
she’s been holding back.

KAREN
On me, yes. On Blade, I’m not so
sure —
(gravely)
The problem is, Blade didn’t contract
the vampire virus from a bite like I
did. He was born with it. The irony
is, I could probably cure every
vampire but him.

WHISTLER
Then we’re back to square one, aren’t
we? Sooner or later, the Thirst always
wins.

At that moment, the lights in the workshop flicker, then go out.
Karen looks around the room, alarmed.

KAREN
What happened to the power?

WHISTLER
(concerned)
I don’t know, but the back-up
generator should’ve kicked in.

A few seconds pass. The back-up generator still hasn’t activated.
Whistler moves to the window —

WHISTLER
UV floodlights are down too.

As Whistler reaches for a flashlight we hear the sound of GLASS
SHATTERING coming from the other end of the workshop. Whistler shines
the flashlight in that direction. We hear more sounds now — water
draining, glass tinkling.

Whistler raises a finger to his lips, signaling silence. He edges
towards the black-out curtains, Karen falling in behind him.

INT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – TANK ROOM – NIGHT

Whistler and Karen enter, cautious —

THE TANK

containing the vampire child has been smashed open. It’s empty now,
with just the steadily draining blood seeping across the floor in a
widening pool — and a trail of tiny BLOODY FOOTPRINTS leading back
out into the main workshop.

INT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – NIGHT

Karen scans the shadows, eyes alert. We hear a WHISPER, then a
teasing, childish, GIGGLE.

Whistler moves the flashlight in a slow circle, shining the beam over
every inch of the room. And just as he’s about to complete his
circuit —

THE CHILD

leaps from where it had been hiding overhead! Karen SCREAMS.
Whistler is knocked to the floor, the flashlight spinning from his
hand —

The feral child lands atop Whistler, HISSING like a cobra. Its
macrocephalic head seems to morph, twisting into grotesque
proportions. And just as it’s about to strike —

ZZZZING! Whistler withdraws a silver rapier which had been hidden
inside his cane. He lunges forward —

WHOOSH! The child takes off like a blue streak, sending test tubes
and medical equipment CRASHING to the floor. It zips past Karen —

WHISTLER
Get it!!!

Karen snatches up the flashlight, chasing after it as Whistler
struggles to his feet —

Karen sweeps the flashlight around, catching only fleeting glimpses
of the child as it darts through the workshop. She reaches a shelving
unit where Whistler’s weapons are stored, grabs one of the modified
pistols —

Karen tries to draw a bead on the creature. She FIRES, misses, FIRES
again — she’s getting more unnerved as the seconds tick by and the
creature is moving closer and —

— suddenly it’s right in front of her, flying through the air, fangs
bared!

The child knocks Karen back against the wall. It’s at her throat,
sinking its claws into her neck. Karen chokes, forcing Whistler’s
pistol under the monstrosity’s chin —

— but then the creature morphs again, transforming into a beatific
little cherubim of a child — and Karen hesitates, because the child
seems so goddamned human now and its eyes are luminous, pulsing and
hypnotic and —

— suddenly Whistler reaches in from behind, YANKING the vampire
child’s head back, FIRING a pistol into its skull. The creature
slumps —

Karen cries out, disgusted, flinging the corpse away from her. As it
continues to writhe —

THUNK! Whistler swings his cane-rapier down on the creature, brutally
decapitating it. Finishing the job. Then he looks to Karen, winded.

WHISTLER
Understand this — they are monsters.
Hesitate for even a moment, and you’ve
lost.

FROST (O.S.)
Words to live by, Whistler.

Whistler spins, eyes wide. He knows that voice.

DEACON FROST

steps into the pool of illumination thrown off by the flashlight,
followed by Mercury and Quinn.

FROST
It’s been a long time, hasn’t it, “old
friend”?

EXT. LANDFILL GHETTO – MIRACIA’S CABIN – NIGHT

Blade is led to a plywood cabin crowded with candle-lit altars —
garish pictures of Saints and demons abound, alongside bottles of
roots and herbs steeped in alcohol, human bones, voodoo dolls.

MIRACIA

sits on a sagging couch outside, clutching a deck of well-thumbed
Bicycle playing cards. She’s ancient, with a mouthful of gold-capped
teeth and cataract-clouded eyes. Blind.

MIRACIA
Is something wrong, my friend?

BLADE
You’re blind —

MIRACIA
There are other ways to see. Sit.

Blade approaches, uneasy. Miracia deals out the playing cards on a
rickety table, setting them in nine piles which take on a cross
formation.

MIRACIA
Perhaps you have brought me something
— an offering for the orishas?

Blade tosses a handful of bills on the table. Miracia nods, then
flips over the first card in the center pile — a one-eyed Jack. She
sighs, grave —

MIRACIA
Hold out your hands.

BLADE
I didn’t come here to get my palms
read. I need something translated.

MIRACIA
Show me.

Blade removes parchment fragment from his jacket and sets it on the
table. Miracia traces her fingers over the ancient paper, touching
her fingertips to her lips.

MIRACIA
Sangre. Written in blood.

She runs her hands over each line as if it were written in Braille.
Some of the candles gutter, then extinguish themselves as the wind
around them rises.

MIRACIA
This is an old tongue, from an old
world. It concerns LaMagra.

BLADE
Who is LaMagra?

MIRACIA
The vampire God. This speaks of His
return.

Miracia’s fingers search the parchment again.

MIRACIA
“– there will come a Day Walker.”
(reading)
“His blood will call the Sleeper from
beyond the Veil of Tears.”

Blade stares at Miracia, shaken.

BLADE
His blood — ?

The old woman nods, reaching for a smoldering cigarette.

MIRACIA
The Day Walker’s blood is a disparador
— a trigger, you see? For LaMagra’s
return. One need only consume it and
the spirit of his ancestors will
settle upon him.
(reading)
“And the Sleeper will rise from the
shadows anew, cleansing the world in a
Tide of Blood.”

BLADE
(recalling the phrase)
“The Blood Tide”.

MIRACIA
(nodding)
Yes. The vampire apocalypse. It is
said that all who feel its taint will
succumb to the Thirst.

BLADE
How do I stop it?

Miracia shrugs, spreading her hands.

MIRACIA
The Great Wheel turns, my friend. The
Dark is rising. How would you fight a
shadow?

Miracia sits back, slumping into her chair. The candles have burnt
themselves down to nothing.

MIRACIA
I am tired. Dawn is coming.

BLADE
But I just got here —

MIRACIA
You’ve been here longer than you
think.

Blade rises, looking to the horizon. Incredibly, dawn is coming. As
he stands there, mystified, the wind picks up, sweeping the parchment
fragment out of his hand. He tries to snatch it back, but the
fragment is quickly borne away. He watches it disappear into the sky,
then turns back —

Miracia is gone. Blade glances around him, but she’s nowhere to be
found.

CAMERA PULLS BACK,

isolating Blade amidst the ghostly squalor. From our vantage point,
he looks like any other homeless phantom.

INT. WHISTLER’S WORKSHOP – DAWN

Blade steps out from the elevator into the workshop —

The place has been trashed. It looks like a tornado touched down in
his absence. Blade pulls out one of his .454s, cautious —

BLADE
WHISTLER?!

— and then he stops dead in his tracks.

WHISTLER

has been strung up by his arms against the far wall, tortured and
left for dead. In response to Blade’s voice, a MOAN escapes the dying
man’s lips.

Blade rushes to the wall, cutting Whistler down with his sword,
gently lowering him to the floor. As he cradles the old man in his
arms, Blade sees the primary wound — two ragged puncture marks along
Whistler’s throat.

BLADE
Jesus, Whistler, what did they do to
you?

Whistler opens his eyes, struggling to speak —

WHISTLER
Frost took her —

Whistler spasms and coughs, wincing from the pain.

BLADE
Don’t try to talk —

WHISTLER
Listen. You have to — finish me off.
You don’t want me coming back.

BLADE
No, we can treat the wounds —

But Whistler is shaking his hand.

WHISTLER
Too far gone, you know that.

Blade’s at a complete loss.

BLADE
Whistler, I can’t.

Whistler clutches at Blade’s arm, his eyes burning with conviction.

WHISTLER
Yes you can. Now get on with it.

As much as he’d like to deny it, Blade knows that Whistler is right.
He pulls a stake from his bandoleer, hesitates.

BLADE
Whistler, I —

WHISTLER
(cutting him off, more gentle now)
I know.
(forcing a smile)
Just be quick about it, will you? Do
it right.

Blade fights back tears. With a wretched moan, he turns his head and
drives the stake into Whistler’s chest. Whistler GASPS. Blade wraps
his arms around the older man, holding him tight as the life runs out
of him, rocking back and forth —

After a while, the rocking stops and Blade lays Whistler on the
floor. Then something catches his eye —

A SHARP VIEW-CAMCORDER

resting nearby, labeled, “PLAY ME”. Blade reaches for the camcorder,
cues the tape — Frost’s face appears on the tiny built-in screen.

FROST
Hello, Blade. By the time you watch
this, Whistler will no doubt be
winging his way to Heaven, thanks to
your capable hands. If it makes any
difference to you, he put up quite a
fight.

Frost touches a deep gash which runs across his cheek.

FROST
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering about
Ms. Jansen’s well-being. She’s alive
and kicking — “ambulatory”, as they
like to say in the trade. Whether or
not she remains so is entirely up to
you.
(beat)
I’ll make this as easy as possible for
you, Blade. You can find us at the
Edgewood Towers. We’ll be waiting with
baited breath.

The tape cuts to static. Blade throws the camcorder against the wall.
It shatters into a dozen pieces.

Blade turns now, his eyes falling on the medical equipment Karen
brought from the hospital. He moves to the refrigerator, removing a
canister labeled “SODIUM CITRATE”. Then he draws his sword. We can
practically see the wheels turning within his mind —

MOMENTS LATER,

Blade stands before the open flames of one of the furnaces, heating
his sword in the fire. He withdraws it — it’s molten red.

Blade turns, dousing the molten hot sword into the sodium citrate
canister. The refrigerated liquid reacts with the heat, causing the
sword to STEAM and HISS.

When Blade withdraws the smoking sword, we SEE that the gleaming
steel has changed colors, taking on a bluish tinge, just like the
sodium citrate it was immersed in. Blade smiles to himself,
satisfied.

CUT TO:

INT. FROST’S PENTHOUSE, INNER CHAMBER – DAY

Sparse decor in a Neo-Japanese vein. Minimalist lighting. The walls
are glass. Recirculating pumps send a constant stream of water
cascading down them.

Karen is escorted into the room by Mercury. She gestures to a chair
at the end of a long table. Karen sits.

FROST

leans forward out of the shadows, resting his elbows on the table,
hands steepled together.

FROST
Well, here we are, Doctor.

A cigarette appears in Frost’s hand. In the blink of an eye, the
cigarette is lit, burning. The movements are so quick we barely have
time to register them.

KAREN
Why haven’t you killed me yet?

MERCURY
Deacon likes to play with his food
before he eats it.

Frost laughs. Karen tries to keep calm. The longer she keeps them
talking, the longer she remains alive.

KAREN
How many of you are there?

FROST
A few thousand scattered about the
globe. In the past, we’ve had to
restrict our numbers for fear of
discovery. That won’t be necessary
after tonight.

KAREN
What happens then?

FROST
The Blood Tide. Our long-prophesied
holy war against the humans. There’s a
force, you see — a spirit that exists
in our blood. I’ve discovered a way to
invoke it.

KAREN
LaMagra —

FROST
That’s right. The answers were there
all along, of course, scribbled down
in the forgotten languages of my kind.
Waiting for someone with the patience
to decipher them.
My elders were foolish enough to
dismiss them as wives tales. But I
knew better.
(beat)
Imagine my surprise when Blade turned
out to be the key which would set that
force free.

Frost sits forward now, impassioned.

FROST
LaMagra isn’t a physical being. He’s a
spirit, requiring a flesh and blood
host in order to manifest himself.

KAREN
You.

FROST
Who better to usher in the Blood Tide?

Karen shakes her head, protesting —

KAREN
There’s no need for any of this. Your
condition can be treated. Whistler and
I were working on a cure when —

FROST
What makes you think we want to be
cured? Blood is only part of the
equation. The hunt, the killing,
that’s what the Thirst is really
about.

KAREN
But you use blood banks —

FROST
Only as a last resort. Preserved blood
is inferior. There’s no flavor left to
it, no life.
(rising from his seat)
Fortunately, I’ve found a way around
that particular obstacle.

Frost moves to the end of the room. He pushes a button. With a HUM
the wall slides open, revealing something Karen wishes she’d never
seen — living blood banks.

THREE SEDATED HUMANS

have been hooked up to IV feeds which replenish various nutrients as
their blood is drained from them. Shunts have been implanted in their
forearms which serve as taps.

FROST
Under these conditions I can keep a
donor alive for years, producing
anywhere from fifty to a hundred pints
of blood.
(admiring his charges)
Of course, this is just a pilot
program, really. Once the Tide comes,
we’ll need to expand production. So
many more mouths to feed —

Karen turns away, overwhelmed by revulsion.

KAREN
You’re a monster.

FROST
Why? Because we live at another
species’ expense? Your people farm
cattle and veal, don’t they? Fattening
them up with steroids? It’s called
evolution, Doctor. Survival of the
fittest.

Frost stares at Karen with an intense, uncompromising gaze.

FROST
I have a wake-up call for the human
race. You’re no longer at the top of
the food chain.

EXT. SKYSCRAPER ROOFTOP – DAY

BLADE’S POV

A telephoto view of Frost’s penthouse. The windows are polarized,
blocking out the sun’s harsh rays.

Blade lowers a pair of binoculars. He’s standing on the roof of a
building across the street. He hefts an air-launcher rifle up into
firing position —

BANG! An iron spike trailing a steel cable rockets through the air
between the two buildings, sinking into the concrete facade of
Frost’s penthouse. Blade secures his end of the rope. He slips a
pulley over the rope, grabs hold of two handles, and leaps off the
roof ledge!

WHOOSH! Blade slides towards Frost’s penthouse, a good twenty stories
above street level. A second before he reaches the windows, Blade
lets go. Momentum sends him CRASHING through in a shower of glass.

INT. FROST’S PENTHOUSE – DAY

An ALARM is ringing. Sunlight streams in through the broken window.
TWO VAMPIRE GUARDS who have been caught in the sudden swath of light
are burning up before our eyes. Blade climbs to his feet —

A THIRD VAMPIRE

leaps at him. Blade spins, flipping the vampire over his shoulder,
sending him straight through one of the other windows —

EXT. FROST’S PENTHOUSE – DAY

The vampire tumbles earthward, SCREAMING as the sun’s rays ignite his
body, falling like a human comet.

INT. FROST’S PENTHOUSE – DAY

Blade unsheathes his sword and heads out into the hall —

INT. FROST’S PENTHOUSE, HALLWAY – DAY

To Blade’s right is the inner chamber with the “waterfall” walls. As
ANOTHER VAMPIRE approaches, Blade readies his sword —

VAMPIRE
You think I’m afraid of that toothpick
of yours?

BLADE
You should be. I’ve made some
improvements.

And with that, Blade thrusts his blackened sword forward, right
through the vampire’s chest.

The creature SHRIEKS and atomizes -FWOOSH!- flying apart in a fine-
beaded spray of blood mist.

Up ahead are a set of steel doors with a time-lock mechanism. Blade
draws a Casull, BLASTS away at the lock, then shoulders the doors
open —

INT. FROST’S SLEEPING CHAMBER – DAY

We are in a windowless, vault-like room dominated by a series of
high-tech STAINLESS STEEL SARCOPHAGI. Think of a hyperbaric coffin,
each unit possessing a small face-plate window through which the
sleeping subject can be viewed.

Blade unsheathes his sword. He grabs the lid of the first
sarcophagus, HEAVING upward. With a PNEUMATIC HISS, the lid rises,
belching out a cloud of condensation mist.

As the mist clears, revealing the occupant within, Blade raises his
sword, ready to plunge it downward — only it’s not Deacon Frost who
rests beneath him, it’s —

VANESSA,

Blade’s mother!!! Although some thirty years have passed since the
events of our prologue, Vanessa looks exactly the same — vibrant,
beautiful, full of life. Her eyes open.

VANESSA
Jason.

Blade gasps, uncomprehending.

BLADE
Mother — ?!

Vanessa rises from the sarcophagus, tears staining her cheeks.

VANESSA
I’ve missed you so much, Jason.
(drawing closer)
You have no idea what I’ve been
through, how much I’ve wanted to see
you —

Blade falters, his mind reeling. What he’s seeing is incomprehensible
— his mother is dead. Yet, here she is in the flesh, reaching out to
him and —

— flashing a mouthful of viper-like fangs! She SNARLS and strikes,
brutally raking her claws across Blade’s face, knocking the sword
from his grasp —

A TRIO OF BLACK-CLAD VAMPIRES

led by Mercury step from the shadows where they’d been waiting all
along. They’re armed with tasers which they fire en masse —

Blade is hit by the taser darts from all sides. He writhes as
electricity courses through him, then collapses in a heap. He labors
to lift his head, looking up at Vanessa —

BLADE
But you — died —

VANESSA
(a hellish smile)
Deacon brought me back.

BLADE
Fight him —

As if on cue, Frost appears at Vanessa’s side, wrapping a proprietary
arm about her waist, kissing the nape of her neck. She leans into him
— an act of practiced intimacy.

FROST
She can’t. She’s one of my thralls
now. She has about as much free will
as a puppet on a string.
(looking at Vanessa)
You love me, don’t you, Vanessa?

VANESSA
Yes.

Frost kisses Vanessa hungrily. Then he kneels and reaches into
Blade’s jacket, retrieving a vial of Blade’s serum.

FROST
What do we have here? Your precious
serum? I don’t think you’ll be needing
this anymore.

Frost crushes the vial in his fist. Blade struggles to reach Frost,
stretching a palsied hand upwards —

BLADE
Please —

VANESSA
Listen to your father, Jason. It’s
going to be a better world.

Blade stares at Vanessa uncomprehending.

FROST
Don’t look so surprised, Blade. You’ve
spent your life looking for the
vampire who fathered you. Well you can
rest easy now, you’ve found him.
(gripping Blade’s chin)
Daddy’s here.

Blade’s eyes widen in shock. Frost simply laughs.

FROST
It’s true, Blade. You’ve got my blood
running through your veins.
(smiling)
Thirty years ago. A moonlit street, a
woman on her way home alone. You were
conceived the night I tore my fangs
into your mother’s flesh.

Frost swings his fist into Blade’s skull. Everything goes black.

CUT TO:

INT. ARMORED TRUCK – NIGHT

FADE IN as Blade opens his eyes, still groggy, his face beaded with
sweat. Feverish. His hands have been bound tightly behind his back
with manacles and chains.

KAREN

sits nearby, watching him. From the steady rocking motion and the
SOUNDS of traffic outside, it’s evident that they are in the back of
a moving truck.

KAREN
Are you all right?

BLADE
(weakly)
I’ve been better —

BLADE
How long have we been driving?

KAREN
(shaking her head)
I don’t know. I woke up just before
you did —

As he struggles to sit up, she crosses over to him. Blade shuts his
eyes for a moment, fighting a wave of pain.

KAREN
Is it bad?

BLADE
(nodding)
We get out of this alive, maybe I’ll
take that miracle cure of yours.

Karen doesn’t respond. Instead she looks away. How in the world is
she supposed to tell him this?

KAREN
(quietly)
It won’t work on you.

BLADE
What are you talking about?

Karen forces herself to meet his gaze.

KAREN
Your condition’s congenital, the
genetic mutations occurred in utero.
All the other victims contracted
vampirism after birth.

Blade stares at Karen, disbelieving. Who could imagine a more
horrifying irony? She’s crying now. She can’t help it.

KAREN
I can’t cure you, Blade. I can cure
myself, but I can’t cure you.
(beat)
I’m so sorry.

Blade’s head sinks, the last vestiges of hope draining out of him.

And then, as if the final stake were being pounded in, the truck
lurches to a stop. We hear the ENGINE being killed, then FOOTSTEPS
approaching, and then a series of BOLTS BEING SHIFTED as —

— the back of the truck is thrown open. Frost stands there,
grinning, flanked by Mercury, Quinn, Vanessa, and a half-dozen other
VAMPIRE ASSOCIATES.

FROST
Welcome home, children.

EXT. THE BANK OF EREBUS – NIGHT

Blade and Karen are dragged from the back of the truck, which is
revealed now to be an armored car.

THE BANK OF EREBUS

rises up before them. A towering beaux-arts edifice situated in the
heart of the city’s high-priced financial district — one of the many
institutions owned and operated by the vampire enclave.

Frost starts up the marble steps towards a grand, triple-arched
entrance flanked by Corinthian columns. Karen and Blade are dragged
along after him.

INT. BANK OF EREBUS – ATRIUM – NIGHT

Frost leads his vampires into a high-ceilinged atrium, moving towards
a bank of elevators — one of the doors of which is outfitted with a
high-tech hand-key ID system.

Frost places his palm on the ID screen. The screen GLOWS GREEN,
acknowledging his identity. In response, the doors HISS open.

INT. SECURITY ELEVATOR – NIGHT

Blade and Karen are pulled inside the elevator. The control panel
buttons have vampire glyphs, rather than numbers. Frost presses the
bottom one. The doors close with a WHOOSH and the car descends —
down, down, down.

Frost glances over at Karen, smiling amiably.

FROST
On its surface, this building houses
one of the city’s oldest financial
institutions — and for over
two-hundred years its served our
corporate needs. Look beneath the
surface, however, and you’ll discover
another truth entirely —

The elevator CHIMES, having arrived at its destination. The doors
HISS open, revealing

INT. THE TEMPLE OF NIGHT

A vast, barrel-vaulted chamber lined with recessed tombs stretches
out before us — an underground cathedral of sorts, wrought from
alabaster and marble. Restrained. Elegant. Replete with dark
splendor.

FROST
As above, so below.

Torches burn in wall sconces, casting everything in a warm, amber
glow. Frost takes in the beauty of the place.

FROST
Welcome to our hall of ancients,
Doctor. We call it the Temple of
Night.

Blade and Karen are led to the middle of the room, where a stone
altar rises up from a dais. Blade is roughly thrown to the ground. He
kneels there, eyes cast downward. Broken. His system being assaulted
by the devastating effects of the Thirst.

Quinn and Mercury pick their way through Blade’s discarded gear.
Quinn picks up the punching dagger, admiring it.

Frost turns to Mercury, who’s been holding Blade’s scabbarded sword.

FROST
Let’s see this sword of his.

Mercury draws the sword, handing it to Frost. He sights down the
length of it, testing its weight. With a flick of his wrist, he
lashes out, slashing Blade’s cheek open.

FROST
Still quite sharp, I see.

Blade feebly struggles to rise. Frost clubs him on the back of the
neck with the sword pommel. Blade crumples. Karen tries to pull free,
but Quinn holds her tight.

KAREN
Blade —

FROST
You’re wasting your breath, woman. He
can’t hear you now. It’s the Thirst,
you see? It already has him in its
grip.

Frost reaches down, dragging Blade’s head up by his hair. Karen
watches on as Frost continues to taunt him.

FROST
How long has it been since you had
your serum? Twelve hours? More? You
must be quite thirsty by now.

He crouches down so he’s eye to eye with Blade.

FROST
What does it feel like? Is your blood
on fire? Are you burning up inside?
Give in to the Thirst, Blade. Embrace
your true nature.

Blade shivers, grits his teeth, it’s like he’s going through heroin
withdrawal.

BLADE
— go to hell —

Frost smiles, his eyes burning with an infernal glow.

FROST
I’ve got news for you, Blade. We’re
already here.

Frost turns to the others, motioning.

FROST
Take him to the sanctuary. It’s time
he was bled.

The other vampires retreat, dragging Blade along with them. Karen is
left alone with Frost and Quinn.

FROST
I’d let you watch the proceedings,
Doctor, but I’m afraid that privilege
is reserved for members of my own
race. Don’t worry, though, I’ve made
alternate arrangements for you.

Frost motions and Quinn drags Karen towards —

THE MOUTH OF A PIT

some forty feet deep, its lichen-encrusted stone walls worn smooth
over time. As Frost gestures to the yawning darkness beneath them,
Quinn forces Karen towards the edge.

FROST
We call this the Bone Pit. It’s where
we keep our mistakes, the ones who
couldn’t successfully make the
transition from human to vampire.

Frost reaches out, caressing Karen’s neck, puncturing the soft flesh
beneath her chin with a razored fingernail.

FROST
They’ll feed on anything, given the
chance — animals, corpses, even other
vampires.

Frost nods. Karen struggles against Quinn, but it’s no good. In a
manner of seconds, she’s falling —

INT. BONE PIT – NIGHT

— making a decidedly rough landing on a heap of bones far below. She
GROANS, taking stock of her battered body.

UP ABOVE,

Deacon watches from the lip of the pit, amused.

FROST
Of course, a strapping young woman
like yourself — well I think you just
might be considered finger food.

And with that, he’s gone, stepping away from the pit.

INT. TEMPLE OF NIGHT – BLEEDING CHAMBER – NIGHT

We are in a small, elevated antechamber which is situated above the
main vampire sanctuary.

BLADE,

now weakened to the point of collapse, is being lashed to a rack-like
device by iron chains.

Mercury and her cohorts move efficiently, quickly securing him. When
they are through, the rack is hoisted up into the air via a series of
winch-driven chains.

With every turn of the winch crank, the chains are drawn tighter,
causing Blade to CRY OUT, until at last, he is suspended in mid-air,
spread-eagle.

FROST

approaches, still carrying Blade’s sword.

FROST
It’s been a long road, hasn’t it? Such
a pity Whistler led you so far astray.

Frost cocks his head to the side, studying Blade’s face.

FROST
I don’t blame you, though. I want you
to know that. Even after all you’ve
done. I understand, Blade, I really
do. It’s the human side of you which
has corrupted your reasoning, made you
weak. But we’ll take care of that,
won’t we?

Blade struggles to lift his head, forcing himself to match Frost’s
gaze, shaking with hatred.

BLADE
I’d kill myself — before I turned
into something like you.

Frost just smiles and shakes his head.

FROST
No you wouldn’t. I’m going to bleed
you dry, Blade. All the poison that
makes you human.
(drawing closer)
When the Tide comes, you’ll be begging
me put you through the Change.

Frost lifts up Blade’s sword, methodically slitting Blade’s wrists
one by one. He makes the cuts lengthwise, opening up the cephalic and
basilic veins with surgical precision.

Blood wells up from the fresh wounds, running down Blade’s forearms,
collecting in a cistern beneath his feet.

Frost watches the steady, inexorable process, then nods, satisfied.
He looks to the others who are gathered behind him, watching on with
silent reverence.

FROST
It’s done. We should ready ourselves
for the ritual of invocation.

Frost leads Mercury, Quinn, and the others from the sanctuary.

Blade struggles futilely against his bonds, crying out in
frustration, his body eventually sagging from exhaustion.

VANESSA (O.S.)
There’s no use fighting us, Jason.

Blade looks up, focusing now on —

VANESSA,

who has remained behind. Blade stares at her. As terrible as his
physical torment is, his mother’s betrayal is infinitely worse.

BLADE
How could you be a part of this?

VANESSA
These are my people now. I’m one of
them.

BLADE
You don’t have to be.

VANESSA
You don’t understand. I’ve killed,
I’ve hunted, and I’ve enjoyed it.

She draws closer, caressing her son’s face. There’s just a hint of
creepy eroticism in her action, a dash of incest.

VANESSA
I wish you could see the world as I
do. Deacon opened my eyes. There’s no
turning back from that.

BLADE
I don’t believe that.

VANESSA
You will. Time is on our side. Sooner
or later, the Thirst always wins.

Vanessa turns away now. Blade cries after her —

BLADE
Mother!

Vanessa pauses, looking back, smiling cruelly.

VANESSA
Your mother died the night you
were born.

And with that, she’s gone, melting into the shadows.

CUT TO:

INT. THE BONE PIT – NIGHT

Karen rises, wary, taking in her shadowed surroundings.

HEAPS OF HUMAN BONES

are piled against the pit walls — skulls, rib-cages, femurs, tibias
— all picked clean of flesh. Some of the skulls have large, canine-
like fangs — the remnants, no doubt, of long-deceased vampires.

Suddenly we hear a WHISPER of sorts, the soft CLINKING of bone
fragments grinding together —

Karen spins, trying to place the source of the sound. Then she hears
the SOUND again. Behind her now, closer.

REVENANT (O.S.)
Karennnnn —

Karen looks up with a growing sense of dread.

A FACE

emerges from the darkness. Pallid, cadaverous, shedding its
desiccated flesh. Lidless eyes like black marbles slick with
Vaseline. A mouth like a raw wound.

REVENANT
Karreennnnnn. I never thought I’d see
you againnnnn.

Karen backs away, realizing who she’s standing before.

KAREN
Curtis?!

What used to be Curtis SNARLS, knocking Karen back into the drift-
pile of bones. It pins her to the ground, kneeling above her,
gurgling through its gutted trachea.

CURTIS REVENANT
Tell, me, Karennn — ever have second
thoughts — about us?

Karen SCREAMS, trying to force the revenant away from her, but it
lunges closer, lolling its distended tongue over her mouth in a
pathetic approximation of a French kiss.

She fumbles behind her, choking, grabbing hold of a human femur,
blindly swinging it upward —

CRACK! The blow shatters the Curtis-thing’s jaw. It rears back,
falling to the side.

Karen crawls out from under its weight, swinging the femur again and
again —

CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! Karen pummels the howling horror, driving it
back until the femur actually splinters in half. The creature’s head
hangs at an awkward angle now, its neck broken — but still it
advances, dragging itself back up.

Sobbing, Karen retreats, clutching the splintered femur like a
makeshift dagger.

Curtis charges at her, a blur of slashing claws. At the last moment,
Karen ducks, thrusting the bone dagger up into Curtis’ chest —

Curtis impales himself, right through the heart. For one split-
second, his eyes widen in surprise —

— and then he goes into a death-spasm, vomiting up a spray of
caustic vampire blood-bile, spattering Karen. She sinks to her knees,
GASPING, as the thing that used to be Curtis shrivels up, melting
away into burbling puddle.

After a beat, Karen rises and moves to the pit wall, running her
hands over the lichen-slick surface, searching for a way out. The
mortar between the brickwork is ancient, crumbling.

Karen looks to the ground, reaching for one of the splintered femurs.
She pounds it into the mortar between two bricks — and it holds,
working as a makeshift piton.

Karen reaches for another broken femur, lodging it a foot above the
first. She hauls her body up now, suspending her weight from the two
makeshift pitons. Again, they hold.

Trembling from exertion, Karen pulls the right piton free, hanging
solely from her left hand now. Though her handhold is precarious, she
manages to swing the right hand up again, pounding that piton another
foot above the left.

In this slow, torturous manner, Karen begins to climb her way up out
of the pit.

INT. TEMPLE OF NIGHT – BLEEDING CHAMBER – NIGHT

Blade hangs from his chains, head slack, eyes half-lidded and
lusterless. His skin has grown ashen as his life’s blood has been
bled away.

Mercury appears before him, accompanied by Quinn. She bends in close
to kiss Blade lightly on the lips.

MERCURY
It won’t be long now, lover.

Quinn draws alongside her, hefting Blade’s punching dagger. He places
it against Blade’s throat, slowly applying pressure. At this point,
Blade’s too weak to even resist.

QUINN
We should finish him off.

MERCURY
(shaking her head)
No. Deacon wants him turned.

Quinn releases Blade, disgusted.

QUINN
Fucking waste, if you ask me.

As Mercury and Quinn exit, the CAMERA DROPS DOWN to the cistern
beneath Blade’s feet. We follow the blood which has collected there
as it flows into a crude drain and —

INT. SANCTUARY – NIGHT

— emerges from the ceiling of the sanctuary below. The stream of
blood is directed down the channels of a spiral column, where it
finally pools into a waiting chalice.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

the sanctuary in full. A large circular chamber, the perimeter of
which is lined with recessed alcoves housing the remains of the
vampire ancients, set into the sanctuary walls like cells in a hive.

DEACON FROST

stands in the center of the chamber, allowing Vanessa to clothe him
in ceremonial regalia — gleaming, centuries-old armor. He pauses,
kissing her hungrily.

Having finished suiting up, he turns to face the vampires who have
been faithful to his cause — Mercury, Quinn, a host of others. A
hush settles upon them. There’s an excitement in the air, a sense
that something remarkable is about to happen.

FROST
Tonight is the night we’ve waited our
entire lives for. Tonight, the
blood-dimmed Tide is loosed upon the
world. Tonight, the Age of Man comes
to an end.

The vampires bellow out a CHORUS OF CHEERS, their voices resonating
off the stone walls like thunder.

CUT TO:

INT. TEMPLE OF NIGHT – BONE PIT – NIGHT

Karen’s hands appear over the lip of the bone pit. She heaves herself
up, collapsing onto the floor —

— but there’s no time to rest. Even now she can hear the VAMPIRES
CHEERING. She drags herself to her feet, letting the voices guide
her.

CUT TO:

INT. ANTECHAMBER – NIGHT

Karen slips around a corner, guarded, searching. She SEES Blade
strung up before her, seemingly lifeless.

Karen studies the chains which bind Blade, following them back to
their source at the winch. She releases the brake on the winch crank,
sending the chains RATTLING down through the overhead pulleys which
suspend them.

Blade crumples to the floor, lying still. Karen is at his side in an
instant —

KAREN
(whispering, urgent)
Blade.

Blade’s eyes flicker open, fixing on her. Inhuman. He’s shaking
like an alcoholic going into delirium tremens.

INT. TEMPLE SANCTUARY – NIGHT

Vanessa hands Frost the chalice containing Blade’s blood. He lifts it
up for all to see. The vampires begin to chant en masse, some long-
forgotten invocation in the vampire tongue.

FROST
(grinning, to himself)
“And what rough beast, its hour come
round at last, slouches towards
Bethlehem to be born?”

Frost lifts the chalice to his lips and begins to drink.

CUT TO:

INT. ANTECHAMBER – NIGHT

Blade tries to sit up, gripping Karen’s wrist —

BLADE
Get out of here —

KAREN
I’m not leaving without you.

BLADE
You don’t understand. The Thirst —

He clutches his stomach, experiencing phenomenal pain.

BLADE
(gasping)
— tearing me — apart.

KAREN
I know. Take some of my blood.

BLADE
No —

KAREN
It’s the only way. You know that.
We’ll never get out of here alive if
you don’t.

Blade suppresses a shudder. Simply keeping himself from attacking her
takes every ounce of his resolve.

BLADE
I can’t — I won’t be able to stop —

KAREN
Yes you will. The human side of you is
stronger. I know it is.

Karen matches Blade’s gaze, steeling herself. The truth is, she’s
terrified.

Blade stares back at her. At this moment, he wants what Karen is
offering more than anything he’s ever desired. And so he rises —

CUT TO:

INT. TEMPLE OF NIGHT – SANCTUARY – NIGHT

Frost continues drinking down the blood, when suddenly, a force
seizes his body. He throws his head back, eyes rolling to white,
flinging the chalice aside.

And as the vampire incantation reaches a fevered pitch, we SEE the
stone tomb tablets off the vampire ancestors beginning to judder —
as if some force within were trying to break free —

CUT TO:

INT. ANTECHAMBER – NIGHT

Karen turns her head to the side, baring her neck, offering herself
to Blade. Blade opens his mouth. His canines elongate. He lowers his
head —

— and starts to feed. Karen involuntarily stiffens as Blade’s teeth
puncture her skin and we —

CUT TO:

INT. TEMPLE SANCTUARY – NIGHT

Frost shakes, possessed by an unseen force. A wind picks up from
nowhere, swirling about the chamber, accompanied by a strange
HUMMING.

Suddenly, one of the tombs BURSTS OPEN. A WRAITH-LIKE SPIRIT rushes
outward in a fountain of light, penetrating Frost’s body.

Then ANOTHER TOMB SPLITS APART. Then ANOTHER, and ANOTHER — until a
torrent of SPIRIT-WRAITHS are surging into Frost, buffeting him about
like a scarecrow in a cyclone.

Mercury, Vanessa, and the other vampires back away, apprehensive,
humbled by what they’re witnessing.

CUT TO:

INT. ANTECHAMBER – NIGHT

Blade moans, sinking his teeth deeper. Karen’s head rolls back. Her
eyes open — glassy, unseeing — as a wave of ecstasy overtakes her.

She shudders, her breath quickening, falling into a synchronous
rhythm with Blade’s. Her fingers dig deep into his back, clawing
downward, tearing into him —

She’s not Karen anymore — she’s a red blood cell, an erythrocyte,
spinning in a river of plasma, roaring up Blade’s femoral artery,
racing towards the pumping chambers of his heart which beats like the
deafening breath of God, which blots all other sounds out of
existence and we’re —

CUTTING BACK AND FORTH NOW

between Frost’s transformation and Blade’s, each of them growing
stronger by the second, caught in an ever-increasing feedback loop of
expanding energy until —

BLADE
NO!!!!

Blade tears himself from Karen, his pulse racing as —

CUT TO:

INT. TEMPLE SANCTUARY – NIGHT

— the invocation of LaMagra reaches critical mass. Frost is consumed
by a hellish force, unable to withstand the onslaught of spirit
energy any longer.

CUT TO:

INT. ANTECHAMBER – NIGHT

— Karen clawing at Blade, tears streaming down her cheeks.

KAREN
Don’t stop —

But Blade grips her by her shoulders, shoving her back. Karen stares
at Blade, wide-eyed, as if waking from a trance. She touches the raw
wounds on her neck, shaken —

KAREN
My God —

Blade rises to his full height. His strength has more than returned,
it’s been doubled by the infusion of real blood. And there’s
something else in his gaze now too — an animal fury that was missing
before. Blade has taken one giant step closer to the darkness.

KAREN
(hesitant)
Are you — all right?

Blade pulls at the chains manacled to his wrists, SNAPPING them apart
like toys. He flexes his hands — fingernails lengthening to tapered
points. And he smiles, offering us a view of his canines, which have
elongated into fangs.

BLADE
(near-demonic)
Never been better.

INT. TEMPLE SANCTUARY – NIGHT

The aftermath. Smoke hangs heavy in the air, occluding the area where
Frost had stood. As it dissipates, Mercury and the others creep
forward, apprehensive —

MERCURY
Deacon?

FROST

stands with his back to us, his body trailing wisps of occult fumes.
As he slowly turns, we catch a glimpse of his eyes — burning with an
awesome, inner fire.

FROST
No longer.

BLADE (O.S.)
Frost!!!

All heads turn —

BLADE

stands at the balcony overhead, Karen at his side. He leaps from it,
somersaulting down to the floor below, landing on his feet like a
predatory cat.

BLADE
Who dies first?

FROST
(growling, to the others)
Take him.

Quinn GROWLS, stepping forward, armed with Blade’s punching dagger.
He offers his second “new hand” up for view.

QUINN
Grew another hand for you sweetmeat —
(tossing the dagger to his new hand)
— and now I’m gonna kill you with it.

Quinn charges. Blade meets the vampire head-on, dropping into a low
kick and sweeping the vampire’s legs out from under him. He spins
behind Quinn —

BLADE
Let’s see if you can grow a new one
of these!

Blade hooks a finger through the metal ring at the end of his jacket
sleeve, pulling out a retractable strangle-wire which he twists
around Quinn’s throat.

Blade tightens the wire, decapitating Quinn. The headless body
staggers about, then drops to the cavern floor. Blade scoops up his
punching dagger —

BLADE
Next?

Mercury and the other faithful vampires charge en masse. Blade
launches a spinning wheel kick into the first vamp’s face, SNAPPING
its neck —

Mercury has Blade’s .454 Casulls. She aims them at him —

MERCURY
Have a taste of your own medicine!

As she FIRES, Blade tucks and rolls, knocking one of the guns from
her hand. The guns spins across the floor, where it’s scooped up
by —

KAREN,

who takes aim at an approaching vamp, BLOWING it away.

Meanwhile, Blade traps Mercury’s other hand, disarming her, flipping
her over his shoulder. He hefts his Casull, BLASTING her into
eternity —

A bloodbath ensues. Blade moves like speed-personified, FIRING off
one, two, THREE HEADSHOTS with brain-numbing accuracy, cutting down
the vampires where they stand.

It’s an orgy of gunpowder smoke and showering bodily fluids and
-CLICK-CA-CHING-CLICK!- Blade and Karen have spent their bullets
and —

FROST (O.S.)
Enough!!!

Blade turns to face —

FROST,

who’s advancing, clutching Blade’s own sword in his hand. He thrusts
the sword forward —

Blade presses the grip-trigger on his punching dagger -CHING!- the
two side blades spread out. We hear the RASP and CLANG of metal on
metal as Blade manages to trap the sword-point between two of the
dagger blades —

For a moment, both men are eye to eye, their weapons locked together,
then, Frost forces Blade backwards —

What happens next is the most blindingly-fast sword fight ever
exposed to celluloid. Both men, fueled by super-human speed, lunge
and spin across the cavern floor in a blurred ballet of lethal moves.

Frost lands a powerful blow on Blade’s shoulder, the sword-edge
biting deep into the flesh. Blade SCREAMS. Frost withdraws the sword
for another strike —

— until Blade sees an opening and takes it, slicing Frost’s left arm
off at the shoulder —

The severed arm releases Blade’s sword, but the arm doesn’t fall! To
Frost and Blade’s mutual surprise the arm floats in mid-air, bleeding
red, quivering like zero-G liquid, then SLURPING back to Frost’s arm-
stump to re-attach itself!

Undaunted, Blade slices the punching dagger into Frost’s mid-section,
meeting only liquid-like resistance. The moment Blade withdraws his
dagger, Frost’s flesh seals itself up again.

Blade hesitates now, uncertain — and Frost laughs, understanding
what has happened.

FROST
You’re too late, Blade. I’m already
changing. Don’t you see? The Sleeper
has awakened. I’m not just Frost
anymore. I’m becoming a god now,
blood incarnate.

Even as Frost utters the words, his body begins to ripple and morph,
bleeding red, taking on the characteristics of liquid. He doesn’t
walk so much now as flow. He’s become a three-dimensional creature of
animated blood! A blood demon.

ON KAREN,

as she watches Frost’s transformation, wide-eyed. She SEES Blade’s
discarded sword, reaches for it — suddenly, a SHADOW moves on the
periphery of her vision —

VANESSA

rushes at Karen in a near-blur. The SNARLING hellion is upon Karen in
an eye-blink, SLAMMING her down against the temple floor, pinning
her.

VANESSA
Did you think I’d forgotten you, you
little whore?

BACK TO FROST,

who towers above Blade, swaying back and forth in his new, liquid-
like form.

FROST
You can’t hurt me anymore.

WHOOSH! Frost rises upwards on a spiraling column of blood, HOWLING
WITH LAUGHTER, then just as suddenly —

— splashes back to earth, spreading out in a widening pool. In the
blink of an eye, he streams through Blade’s feet, re-solidifying
behind Blade. Blade spins, swings his dagger —

Once again, Frost morphs into blood-form. He races around Blade in a
series of spouting arcs, turning from blood-form to solid and back
again in a series of split-second transformations.

Blade whirls, striking with his dagger and missing every time —

WHOOSH! Frost suddenly dissipates, SPLASHING away into a million
zero-G blood bubbles, vanishing. Blade spins, unnerved, trying to
pin-point his foe’s next manifestation.

BLADE
Where are you?!

Frost’s voice answers from all directions.

FROST
Everywhere.

A DROPLET OF BLOOD

spatters the floor at Blade’s feet. Blade looks up —

A SHOWER OF BLOOD

rains from above, coalescing into Frost as he sweeps down on Blade
like a giant bird of prey, crushing him against the temple floor.

FROST
You want my blood so much?! Take it!

Frost’s arms elongate and liquefy, flowing into two snake-like spouts
of blood — the rest of Frost remains solid. The blood-spouts twist
around Blade’s neck, melding together, completely encasing Blade’s
head in a bubble of blood.

Blade claws at the blood-bubble as if it were a solid object that he
could dislodge, but his fingers just pass through it!

BACK TO VANESSA

as she wraps a hand around Karen’s throat, choking her.

As Karen struggles, she frees a hand, sliding it down to her hip
pocket, digging something out — Whistler’s vampire mace canister!

She forces it up between them, triggering a jet of TOXIC MIST into
Vanessa’s face —

Vanessa recoils, HOWLING, her head smoking as if it were doused with
formic acid, skin sloughing off from her skull. Karen lunges for
Blade’s sword —

BACK TO FROST AND BLADE

Blade is drowning in Frost’s blood. His eyes bulge. Oxygen bubbles
stream from his mouth. Frost leans in close, his face a twisted mask
of insanity.

FROST
I was wrong about you, Blade. You were
never one of us. You’re a traitor to
your race.

KAREN (O.S.)
Get away from him!

Frost looks up — Karen is wielding Blade’s sword. She brings it down
on Frost, severing the blood-tendrils which envelope Blade. The
blood-bubble dissolves instantly, flowing away from Blade’s face. He
gasps, chokes in air —

Frost backs away, horrified. His blood-tendrils don’t reform.
Instead, the lay where they fell, solidifying into crystalline
powder.

KAREN
Blade!

Karen flings the sword at Blade.

THE SWORD

spins end over end, its mirrored surface reflecting coruscating
pinwheels of candlelight as Blade catches the weapon by its hilt.

Blade rises, advancing on Frost, sword outstretched and Frost
retreats, uncertain now.

BLADE
Guess you’re not quite as invulnerable
as you thought.

FROST
You’re wrong — a few minutes more, and
my transition will be complete. Even
your sword won’t be able to affect me
then.

BLADE
You don’t have a few minutes, Frost.

Frost eyes Blade warily, then lunges towards Vanessa, sweeping behind
her. Blade follows, but even as he raises his sword to strike, Frost
spins Vanessa around, using her body as a shield!

Blade hesitates, stopping the sword in mid-strike, catching his
mother’s gaze — her face is monstrous now, scarred by Karen’s
poisonous mace. Piteous, really.

Frost smiles, for he’s found a final weakness of Blade’s to exploit.

FROST
(laughing cruelly)
Just as I thought. Still chained to
your mother’s breast after all these
years.

In the same instant, Vanessa’s features morph, taking on the angelic,
youthful vibrancy she possessed in the locket photo.

FROST
(gloating)
You’re too human, Blade.

BLADE
(steeling himself)
It’s because I’m human that I can do
this.

Frost’s eyes widen in shock, but he has no time to react, for —

Blade is already LUNGING forward, driving the sword-point through
Vanessa’s chest, on into Frost’s heart! It strikes the stone behind
them, SHATTERING and —

Frost and Vanessa HOWL AS ONE, their SCREAMS rising to an unendurable
intensity as the two vampires go nova, exploding into an expanding
ball of light and ATOMIZING BLOOD.

Blade is thrown back off his feet, having to shield his eyes from the
backlash of occult energy as a near tidal WAVE of blood surges over
him —

EXT. BANK OF EREBUS – CITY STREET – NIGHT

Every door and window of the bank is BLOWN OUTWARD from the force of
the EXPLOSION. While along the street, manhole covers flip from their
moorings, spinning up into the air like dimes, being buoyed by
geysers of blood.

INT. TEMPLE SANCTUARY – NIGHT

Silence, just the steady DRIP-DRIP of liquid draining. The underworld
temple gleams with a crimson sheen now.

ON BLADE

as he stirs. He’s been blown clear across the sanctuary by the force
of the blast, soaked to the quick by blood. He rises to his feet,
retrieving the hilt of his shattered weapon. At his feet —

THE SWORDBLADE

lies in pieces. Amidst them, we find the singed remains of the locket
— Vanessa’s face barely recognizable beneath the grime. Blade stoops
to pick it up.

KAREN (O.S.)
Blade?

Blade turns. Karen moves to him, searching his eyes. Which side of
Blade’s soul has won out? Human or vampire?

Then she SEES the tears rimming Blade’s eyes, the first he’s shed in
a lifetime. Human.

They embrace, holding each other that way for a long, long time. And
we —

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP, BANK OF EREBUS – DAWN

Blade and Karen stand on the rooftop, watching as dawn slowly creeps
across the silent city.

KAREN
I never imagined I’d be so happy to
see the sun rise —
(turning to him)
It’s over, isn’t it?

BLADE
For them. But for me —

He lifts his face towards the rising sun, letting its warmth wash
over his upturned face.

BLADE
I feel like it’s finally beginning.

And on that note we leave them — TWO FIGURES, silhouetted against
the new day.

FADE TO BLACK.

THE END[amazonjs asin=”B009TBEI0O” locale=”JP” title=”ブレイド DVD”]




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