The Thunder Gods

Written by: William F. Nolan and Dennis Etchison

FADE IN to Hovercraft, with Logan at the controls, Jessica and Rem beside him—as it moves over a broken ruin of roadway threading the thickly-forested late-afternoon wilderness of the Black Hills of the Dakotas.

Within the sun-shadowed forest: an Indian BRAVE. Behind him, a jeweled hand, in CLOSE-UP, strings an arrow to a bow, aims . . .

The arrow strikes home in the body of the Indian—who staggers out onto the roadway. Logan swerves abruptly to miss him, stop the Hovercraft. The stricken man falls as Logan, Rem and Jessica reach him.

He whispers: "Tell them . . . peace . . . I come from . . . the Cave of the Gods . . . tell them . . . Old One . . . "

And he dies.

"The Cave of the Gods . . . ?" wonders Jessica.

They exchange puzzled looks.

Before they can speculate further, a BAND of Indians emerges from the forest to confront them. Their leader is a fierce-eyed women, tall and strong-bodied. She is called RUNNING WIND—and her spear is poised at Logan’s throat.

Another member of the group kneels to examine the dead brave. "He is of the Mountain People."

The leader lowers her spear. "You killed one of our enemies. You have won our friendship."

Logan starts to protest that they did not kill the man, but Rem overrides him: "And what do we gain by your friendship?"

"Your lives," says Running Wind. She circles the Hovercar. "This . . . chariot shall be mine! It will shield us from our enemies’ arrows." Turns to Logan: "You are free to join us in our war against the Mountain People."

Logan says he wants no part of wars—that he and his two friend seek Sanctuary—a place of peace . . . and that man’s wars have already devastated the world . . .

"You have no choice," says Running Wind. "Join us or die."

Logan draws his flame-gun, fires. The tree next to Running Wind erupts into fire—and the tribe falls back into the shelter of the forest. Running Wind is the last to go; she is brave, but this is Devil Magic, and she wants no part of it.

Later, with the Hovercar, as it moves along the road; the afternoon shadows have lengthened as the three ponder the question: should they seek out the Mountain People to warn them of Running Wind’s war plans?

Rem can see no reason to do so: "My dear Logan, the Mountain People are obviously aware of their enemies. Otherwise, why would they send a messenger to plead for peace? We can only endanger ourselves by further interference."

At this point they all react to: a large building ahead of them, "buried" in the forest. No cities here. Why this isolated structure in the midst of wilderness? Curious, they exit the Hovercar and enter the building.

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