Voyagers! Pilot, Part Six

(The mob continues to close in as we see the two of them in the car, terrified.)

PETE: This is really how it ends, huh?

PHINEAS: And here I thought I’d already seen my funeral…

PETE: Wait, you saw your own funeral?

PHINEAS: Well, I thought it was!

(one of the mob reaches for the door. PETE slaps at the door at where he thinks the door lock should be)

PETE: What? No locks, either? Who made these things?!

(meanwhile, the camera shifts to PHINEAS, who puts on his sternest resolve and opens his door. The mob parts slightly as he exits the truck, speaking to the masses)

PHINEAS: Er, Good evening, gentlemen.

(he scans the crowd a bit)

Yes, all gentlemen, as I expected… anyway, good evening to you all. I–

(one of the men from the crowd cuts him off, waving a torch in front of his face)

MAN: Stand back from that truck.

PHINEAS: (drawing himself up to his full, unimpressive height)

Why?

MAN: (pointing towards PETE) You got a colored in that truck.

PHINEAS: A what?

MAN: (scrutinizing him with a bloodshot eye) You ain’t from round here, are you?

PHINEAS: Er… Wisconsin, actually.

MAN: Then we might let you off this time… might take those nice shoes you got, though…

(the camera pans down to a brilliant pair of two-tone spectators. A couple members of the mob guffaw)

PHINEAS: I… I don’t know if if they’d fit you, Mr…

MAN: Phineas.

PHINEAS: Really? That’s my name, too! Isn’t this just a small world, after all? Why don’t we go have a drink and discuss what else we have in…

(the torch flashes in front of his face, again, closer this time. PHINEAS’ eyes go wide.)

PHINEAS: …common.

MAN: (disturbingly level) You’d best get out of the way.

(he gestures to the truck where PETE is now completely surrounded. PHINEAS tries to blow it off.)

PHINEAS: What, him? Oh, he’s nothing to worry about, really. I was, er, escorting him out of town myself, just now…

(another man pipes up from the back of the mob)

OTHER MAN: Ain’t true! I saw them at Sniteman’s pharmacy not five minutes ago!

MAN: Hear that, friend? Sounds like you’re startin’ to lie. Wonder what else you like to lie about…

(PETE suddenly lurches forward until he’s directly behind PHINEAS.)

PETE: I promise I won’t come back again, all right? Can’t you just let us go,  just this once? I mean, I’m not even one hundred percent bla–

PHINEAS: (intensely) No, no, don’t say that… they’ll only kill you quicker.

MAN: (smiling venomously) Kill you? Who said anything about killing you? Hey, did any of y’all hear me say I was gonna kill anyone?

(there is a chorus of “no’s” in response. The man turns back to PHINEAS, feigning woundedness)

MAN: You’ve gone and hurt my feelings now, fella. I’m afraid we can’t let you walk outta here for that.

PHINEAS: (heaving a sigh) Well then, I suppose we’ll have to settle things your way then.

(he strips off his jacket and hands it to PETE. He begins to roll up his sleeves as he keeps talking.)

Such violence in history, so savage. I must warn you, Phineas… if that is your real name, sir… I sparred with James Figg, went three rounds with John L. Sullivan… AND I was the one who taught Jim Corbett how to act!

(he adopts a very prim, old-fashioned boxing stance, but stops suddenly)

Oh, I almost forgot…

(reaches into his brocade vest and pulls out the Omni, handing it to PETE with a sly wink)

Now, don’t go misusing that, young man.

(he turns back to the man and re-adopts the stance)

Now then, good sir, the Marquess of Queensb–

(he immediately ducks as the torch comes flaring into the space where his head used to be.)

PHINEAS: (rising up) I say, sir. Bad form!

(the man swings again and misses. PHINEAS takes the opportunity to put a spectator shoe directly into the man’s solar plexus, sending him staggering back into the mob.)

PHINEAS: Use the Omni, Mr. Rodney!

(now enraged, the mob starts to close in)

PHINEAS: (getting worried) Mr. Rodney…

PETE: (fiddling with the device) I don’t know how this thing works!

PHINEAS: (ducking another torch) I thought your generation was tech-savvy!

PETE: My aunt doesn’t even have a computer, man!

PHINEAS: Well do SOMETHING!

(punching out what few teeth remain in a man’s mouth and wincing comically)

OW!

MAN: (staggering to his feet) You ain’t gonna be able to fight all of us, Dandy-boy, not with those powdered fists.

(the mob starts backing PHINEAS up against the truck, hooting and cackling)

You ain’t got nowhere left to go, so now–

(PHINEAS hears a click directly next to his left ear, but he’s too afraid to turn around and look. Besides, the terrified expression on the OTHER Phineas’ face tells him everything he needs to know. Spin the camera around to see PETE holding the gun steady.)

PETE: Now… I’m gonna show you how we do things downtown.

(he begins to move the gun in a slow arc, delighting in every mob-member that flinches as it passes over them)

You see, I know my auntie. She is one paranoid old crank. I got in late one night from Homecoming, and she almost blew my head off with this thing, blew it clear off!

(he shouts the last two words and everyone jumps… including PHINEAS, who is too afraid of the gun next to his head to even breathe.)

Now that I’ve got your attention, I figure this half-breed’s gonna tell y’all what’s what. My aunt got this gun at a pawn shop in downtown Queens, and I know she always likes to keep it loaded. That means I’ve got seventeen bullets in this thing… and probably one in the chamber. That’s eighteen and, if I take a minute to use my inferior Negro mind, I can see that there’s only about twenty of you… and I didn’t even have to take my shoes off to count. Twenty of you, eighteen of me… who wants to take on those odds, huh? Because I can guarantee you I’ll board myself up in the truck and fire til I’m empty.

(One of the braver mob guys takes a step forward, and PETE kneecaps him. The mob gathers round in shock as PETE starts shouting as loud as he can over the din and bustle.)

What, you think I’m AFRAID of you? You think I won’t do it? I spent ten years of my life getting beaten, bullied, called everything but decent. I made myself be stronger, faster, and tougher than all of those bastards who tried to break me down… and I won. They didn’t break me, they COULDN’T break me… and neither will you.

(Keeping the gun trained, PETE reaches for the Omni and desposits it in PHINEAS’ hand.)

Get us the Hell outta here, man.

(His trembling fingers punch in a few coordinates and, linking arms, they disappear in an instant. Cowed and scared, like all bullies, the mob extinguishes their torches and slink back to their homes, leaving the wounded man lying, wailing, in the street. As the camera focuses on the wounded man, we hear footsteps until two scuffed black shoes are seen next to his tear-streaked face. The camera pulls up to see the PHARMACIST, Mr. Sniteman, with a stretcher and a wagon. He looks down at the wounded man with disgust.)

PHARMACIST: Serves you right, you ignorant son of a bitch.

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