Play back /save Dawn of the Tree People

 

 

 

 

 

NARRATOR:

Wandering across a land ravaged by a cataclysm beyond imagination in its horror, Pete, Alan and Galen reach an area strangely untouched by the destructive forces unleashed many centuries ago.

 

VIRDON:

Have you guys noticed how warm it's been getting the past few days?

BURKE:

Well, we HAVE been moving south. So I guess things haven't changed that much in 2000 years.

 

GALEN:

According to our ape theory of evolution, the origin of apes can be traced back to an area similar to this, with the appearance first of humans, followed by the superior ape species.

 

(SOUND of galloping)

 

GALEN:

Uh oh, gorillas...

 

BURKE:

Yeah, looks like we're still being followed by the superior ape species!

 

VIRDON:

We're in luck. They didn't see us.

 

BURKE:

That Urko never gives up. He's got the word out on us all over the place.

VIRDON:

Yeah. So we've gotta find us a place to hole up for the night. It's going to be dark soon.  And I don't want to be caught sleeping in the open.

 

BURKE:

We seem to be on the edge of a big swamp. Maybe we can find a place in there. Sure gives plenty of cover, trees and things.

 

GALEN:

Ugh. I don't think I like it.

 

BURKE:

What do you think, Alan?

 

VIRDON:

I'd rather take my chances in there then out here. Let's go.

 

(SOUND of tramping)

 

NARRATOR:

Making their way carefully through underbrush and mud, the three friends suddenly come to a small clearing.

 

VIRDON:

Look over there on the other side. The ground looks a little higher. And drier. And plenty of trees.

 

BURKE:

It's only about 50 yards across. Let's go!

 

GALEN:

I still don't like it.

 

NARRATOR:

Suddenly, a few yards from their objective...

 

VIRDON:

Hey, wha - - ! Pete! I'm stuck. No, don't come any closer. Quicksand!

 

BURKE:

Give me your hand! Quick!

 

NARRATOR:

Bracing himself to pull his companion free, Pete's feet suddenly sink, and he too is caught in the treacherous terrain.

 

BURKE:

Galen, don't try to reach us, go around us! And get to that dry land.

 

GALEN:

But I can't just leave you here!

 

BURKE:

Don't argue, just listen. When you get there, break off one of those tree branches and slide it out to us. Maybe that way you can pull us out of this mess. It's our only chance.

 

GALEN:

Right. OK. I'm on my way!

 

(SOUND of running)

 

VIRDON:

He made it!

 

(SOUND of branch breaking)

 

BURKE:

Good work, Galen! Now slide it out here. Hurry, we're sinking fast!

 

(SOUND of activity)

 

VIRDON: Too short! I can't reach it!

 

BURKE:

Neither can I ! Alan, it looks like we've had it!

 

VIRDON:

Oh lord, what a way to go!

 

NARRATOR:

Sinking deeper and deeper, they had almost disappeared beneath the surface. When suddenly, as they were lapsing into unconsciousness, they felt strong hands grasp them and pull them out to solid ground...and safety!

 

VIRDON (coughing):

What happened? Pete, where are you? Galen!

 

MAGNUM:

Easy now. Rest easy, your friends are alright.

 

VIRDON:

Oh, my head! Who are you?

 

MAGNUM:

I am Magnum, leader of the Tree People.

 

GALEN:

We're safe, Alan. Magnum and his son Molan pulled you both out of the quicksand. Just in time.

 

BURKE:

Ohh, you can say that again!

 

VIRDON:

Pete, you OK?

 

BURKE:

Outside of a mouthful of sand, yeah.

 

VIRDON:

Lucky thing for us you came along, Magnum and Molan. Thanks!

 

MOLAN:

No thanks are necessary.

 

MAGNUM:

If you feel strong enough to move, follow us. You'll stay in our village for the night. It's not safe here.

 

(SOUND of walking)

 

NARRATOR:

Moving with the sure-footed instinct of born woodsmen, Magnum and his son lead the group along a moss-covered path through a morass of lush vegetation, mangrove thickets and snake-infested waters. And just as night falls...

 

VIRDON:

Lights ahead.

 

BURKE:

Is that a welcome sight!

 

MAGNUM:

Here we are.

 

GALEN:

I must say, any place is better than where we've been.

 

MAGNUM:

This is our village. Our home.

 

BURKE:

Village? Home? All I see is a big clearing in the woods.

 

VIRDON:

Lit up by torches.

 

GALEN:

But no people and no houses.

 

MAGNUM (laughs):

Look up!

 

VIRDON:

Well! What do you know...treehouses!

 

BURKE:

Guess I've seen everything. A land where apes live on the ground and humans live in trees.

 

MAGNUM:

Driven by fear of the gorillas, my ancestors took refuge here, where the gorillas do not dare enter.

 

GALEN:

I can't say I blame them.

 

MAGNUM:

They built their homes in the trees to be safe from the many creatures that roam in the night. But I'd like you to meet our people. And then we'll find you a treehouse for the night.

 

GALEN:

Me? Sleep in a tree?!

 

MAGNUM:

You can sleep on the ground if you prefer. But you may find alligators not the most congenial bedfellows.

 

GALEN:

Alligators? I'll take the tree.

 

MAGNUM (laughs):

Very wise of you. Alright, Molan. Ring the 'all clear' bell.

 

(SOUND of a bell ringing)

 

MAGNUM:

In the morning we will settle this matter once and for all.

 

BURKE:

What does THAT mean?

 

VIRDON:

You got me. We'll just have to wait and see.

 

NARRATOR:

Climbing the ladder to the empty guest house, the three friends settle down for a much needed night sleep. Awakening at day break, they find a house well stocked with food.

 

VIRDON:

Not bad. Not bad at all.

 

GALEN:

Very good, if you ask me.

 

BURKE:

Good food, porch with a view. Best hotel I've checked into in a long time.

 

GALEN:

Hotel? What's that?

 

BURKE:

Well, it's a...

 

(SOUND of a bell ringing)

 

VIRDON:

Listen. Sounds like the old school bell.

 

HUMAN:

Council meeting! Council meeting! All must attend. Council meeting!

 

BURKE:

I guess "all" includes us.

 

 

VIRDON:

Yeah. I've got a feeling it ESPECIALLY includes us. Let's go down, see what's up.

 

(SOUND of a crowd)

 

MAGNUM:

This meeting has been called to settle a matter of grave importance. As you know, three strangers are here, fugitives from the apes.

 

BRONTO:

And I say they're spies FOR the apes!

 

MAGNUM:

You will have your turn to speak, Bronto, before the council makes it's decision.

 

BRONTO:

No council decisions! No wasting of time! I demand trial by the King!

 

GIRL:

Oh no!

 

MAGNUM:

Quiet! Quiet! It is the right of any citizen in a case involving village security to demand trial by the King instead of trial by council.

 

BURKE:

Trial? What's all this about a trial?

 

VIRDON:

I think we're going to find out right now.

 

MAGNUM:

Pete Burke, Alan Virdon and Galen.  In accordance with the customs of our people, one of you must accept the challenge of Bronto.

 

VIRDON: Challenge to do what?

 

MAGNUM:

One of you must fight Bronto.

 

BURKE:

He's big, but looks muscle-bound. I think I can take him.

 

MAGNUM:

Armed only with short clubs, you will meet in the waters of King's Lagoon. And the King will decide who's the winner.

 

GIRL:

Surely there must be some other way!

 

MAGNUM:

Silence! You know the law.

 

BURKE:

Who is this "King"?

 

MAGNUM:

Look over there. The small pool. That is King's Lagoon.

 

BURKE:

Yeah. But I don't see anybody.

 

MAGNUM:

Watch. On the other side, when I throw this stone.

 

(SOUND of the stone hitting the water followed by a big splash)

 

BURKE:

An alligator? Look at the size of him!

 

MAGNUM:

That is the King.

 

BURKE:

And HE'S the third man in the ring? Some referee!

 

VIRDON:

Pete, I'm taking this one. I did some alligator wrestling in the old days in Florida, if you'll remember. And I think I can handle our muscle-bound friend. OK, I'm your man, Bronto. Let's go down and get this over with.

 

(SOUND of the combatants moving to the new location)

 

HUMAN:

Ready?

 

VIRDON:

Ready.

 

BRONTO: Ready.

 

HUMAN:

Begin!

 

(SOUND of grunts and effort)

 

NARRATOR:

As the two men fight savagely at the water's edge, a pair of beady eyes just above the surface of the lagoon can be seen approaching from the other side, gliding silently toward them.

 

CROWD:

The King! The King is coming!

 

NARRATOR:

Distracted by the shouts of the crowd, Alan turns his eyes away from his opponent for a quick glance at the approaching danger. But in that brief moment, Bronto strikes home with a vicious blow! And Alan falls, momentarily stunned.

 

BURKE:

Alan! Alan! I'm not going to stand here and let that alligator...

 

MAGNUM:

You will stay where you are! Guards, don't let him near the water.

 

GALEN:

Look, Pete! He's up! He's alright, fighting back. Ooh! Now Bronto's down.

 

(SOUND of the crowd getting into it)

 

GIRL:

The King! He's heading straight for Bronto!

 

MAGNUM:

He has made his decision.

 

NARRATOR:

But, as the alligator moves in for the kill, Alan leaps on his back, wrestles him over and with one hand free he jams his club upright in between the monster's jaws, to the complete amazement of the whole village.

 

(SOUND of crowd cheering)

 

NARRATOR:

With the creature thrashing about in impotent fury, his great jaws locked open, Alan pulls the unconscious Bronto out to safety.

 

(SOUND of crowd controversy and cheers)

 

BURKE:

Good going, Alan! You OK?

 

VIRDON (out of breath):

Yeah. I'm OK.

 

MAGNUM:

Virdon, you had no right to interfere with the King's decision. According to the law of our people...

 

VIRDON:

You call that law? That throwback to the mentality of the dinosaurs? It's time that law was changed.

BURKE:

And for your people! Look at them. Their reaction to the rescue of Bronto proves they're ready for change.

 

GIRL:

Oh yes! It is time for a change. When Molan and I are one, we will not want our children to be born into a life of darkness and terror.

 

MAGNUM:

It would seem that too many years in the eternal twilight of this swamp have dimmed my vision. Perhaps a new leader.

 

CROWD:

No! No! We need you, Magnum!

 

VIRDON:

You have the wisdom of age and the faith of your people. All that is needed is the courage to face the world outside.

 

MAGNUM:

The world outside? You suggest that we abandon our homes and risk our lives out there?

 

VIRDON:

Things are changing out there.

 

GALEN:

Urko and his gorillas are only one segment of the ape community. There are others, more all the time who favor closer, peaceful relationship with humans. Like that of Pete and Alan. And me.

 

MOLAN:

They are right, Father. We have traded our right to live in the sun for a false security in the stagnation of the swamp. To grow, we need the sun.

 

MAGNUM:

Ah, the wisdom and courage of youth. So be it. (announces) Hear me! There will be a meeting of the council immediately. Burke, Galen and Virdon, will you join us?

 

BURKE:

Wouldn't miss it for the world!

 

GALEN:

Delighted.

 

VIRDON:

How can we pass up the chance to see something as beautiful as a sunrise? The new dawn of the tree people.