Act One: Meetings
Scene One – Opening Credits
Exterior – Decks of a cruise ship
Opening credits play and we get a collage of scenes across the ship. The cruise is a tiny version of the world with every sort of person, hierarchy, and relationship present. We see the workers in the kitchens, a family with children splashing in the pool, a school group running around, a seniors group doing yoga, bi-racial couples, same-sex couples, politicians, and celebrities. There is the sound of laughter, conversation, and chaos.
Scene Two – New Cargo
Interior – Basement deck of ship/cargo hold
Men move around and secure items in the cargo hold using forklifts and their own arms. There are two security guards present who are double checking the manifest and using devices to scan bar codes on some of the containers that have been brought on board. A man named Sly, dressed in a black suit with sunglasses approaches the guards with an entourage of similarly dressed individuals behind him. They are escorting a large, unlabeled container.
Guard: May I help you, sir?
Sly: The doctor has arrived.
The guard appears to be confused.
Guard: Where’s your manifest key code? I don’t see any doctor on my list.
Sly: That’s too bad. Boys.
Sly gestures to two men standing behind him. The men come forward and each of them raises a sizable gun. They shoot the two guards full of bullets. The rest of the entourage lift similar weapons and proceed to fire at and kill the other men who had been working in the cargo hold when they entered. Bullets and sparks light up the dark space.
Scene Three – Interruptions
Exterior – Upper deck of ship
A woman named Violet, around thirty years old, sits in the sun on a white lounge chair. She is moderately attractive and could care less. Her feet are propped up in front of her and crossed at the ankles. She holds a paperback novel just below her face. Her light-brown hair is pulled back in a ponytail and her dark blue one-piece bathing suit catches a glint of the sunshine in its material. There are other empty lounge chairs on either side of her. She’s reading, but easily distracted by the people who walk in front of her. She looks up from the pages often.
A group of three teenage girls passes her by. Unlike Violet, they have nice tans, are skinny, and are wearing neon-colored bikini suits. They are running away from an insect, swatting at it and squealing.
A few paces behind the girls, follows a man, Loki, walking right next to the deck railing. He is wearing a lightweight, collared shirt with the first two buttons undone and grey chinos. Also reading a book, he is engrossed in the words before him, he shows no interest in any of the people surrounding him. His black hair hangs just brushing his shoulders and hiding part of his face. Unconscious of his actions, he dampens one finger in his mouth, using it turn the page.
More tourists pass him as he is strolling along. He is concentrating on reading and less focused on his movements. He makes a creeping progress forward A couple with arms around each others waists walk past. The woman of the couple laughs at a shared, secret joke. Everyone gives Loki a wide berth as if, for some reason, they do not want to get too close to him.
Violet glances at him as he continues to approach the place where she sits. The bikini-wearing teenagers return having lost their insect somewhere. They look at Loki as they move around him. The girls begin to arrange themselves on the empty lounges beside Violet. They giggle and talk loud enough for anyone in the area to hear. One of the girls browses her phone searching for something on the Internet.
Teen One: …What a freak. Did you see that guy back there? His hair is gross!
Teen Two: I know. Who does that?
Teen Three: Hey, have you guys seen this new One Direction video?
Teen Two: Gasps*
Teen One: What…? Shrieks* upon looking at the phone.
Violet rolls out of her lounge and rolls her eyes. She turns her back to the teenage girls.
Cut to: Loki continues walking in the same direction, but his back is now facing the camera in this shot. Violet is hurrying towards him and towards the camera. Her head is down and she doesn’t see him. She moves straight into him. He is pushed back against the deck railing and Violet stumbles. Loki’s book falls to the floor of the deck and Violet fumbles to pick it up while she is still carrying her own book.
Violet: Oh, I’m so sorry. Are you okay? Here. Sorry.
Loki has backed away from her and stands as still as a statue. Violet picks up the books and hands one back to Loki.
Loki takes the book from her without looking at it. He is too busy giving Violet a cold glare. Seeing his reaction, Violet runs away in the direction she’d been heading. Loki’s own walking pace is now uncomfortable and his strides uneven. His free hand clenches and un-clenches. He doesn’t try to read anymore.
Scene Four – Boredom
Interior – Loki’s Cabin
Loki lies on his back on his bed. His book is resting flat on his chest. He picks it up to begin reading again. He stares at the cover in confusion.
Cut to: Book Cover. Pride & Prejudice With Zombies with a woman’s rotting face on the cover.
Loki sits up straight in the bed. The book falls to his lap and he reaches his hands out as if to blast something with magic. Nothing happens. He examines his hands for a moment before dropping them in front of him.
Loki: I hate Odin!
He flops back down on the bed.
Cut to: Close up of book in Violet’s hands as she runs away from Loki on the upper deck. The title reads: Poetic Norse Eddas.
Return to Loki’s Cabin: Loki picks up the zombie book once again and flips through the pages.
Loki: What is this horrifying drivel? Should I be stuck on this boat with nothing to read but this?
He drops the book once more as the camera slides across his room, through the wall and into the adjacent cabin.
Scene Five – Hearts
Interior – Tony Stark’s Cabin
Thor, Bruce, Steve, and Tony sit around a square table, one of them seated on each side. Tony shuffles a deck of playing cards. Led Zeppelin plays in the background from an iPod and speakers on a counter nearby. They are all dressed as civilians.
Loki (Muffled shout from the other room): I hate Odin!
Thor: Did you hear something?
Thor tilts his head, trying to listen through the music.
Bruce: Hear what?
Thor: Sounded like someone yelling…a familiar voice.
Steve: I didn’t hear anything.
Bruce: Tell me again why we have to play hearts.
Steve: Because none of us besides Stark have any money to gamble away.
Tony: We could play strip poker? Let’s play strip poker.
Steve: None of us want to see you naked.
Tony: Who said I’d be the one who was naked?
During this conversation Thor has gotten up from his seat and is listening at the wall that borders on Loki’s room.
Tony: Hey, are you playing or not, blondie?
Thor returns to his seat.
Thor: What does one do with these?
Thor holds his cards backwards and forwards in a jumble in front of him.
Steve: You hold them like this.
Steve begins to explain the rules of the game to Thor in the background as the others talk.
Tony (turning to Bruce): You ever get the feeling that things aren’t quite right around here?
Bruce: Since we got on this boat, there have been times when I feel like my brain’s been scrambled.
Tony: Like you’ve forgotten your toothbrush but then you realize it’s much more than that?
Bruce: Yeah. We just showed up at the port with a mission to accomplish. I don’t even know how exactly we got here. I don’t remember driving and we were just all here, like we fell out of the sky or something.
Tony (lost in thought): Strange. And why doesn’t he know how to play cards?
Tony and Bruce look pointedly at Thor.
Scene Six – The Machine
Interior – Basement Deck of Cruise Ship
A number of men work in the dark bowels of the ship. The dead bodies of the ship’s original crew have been taken away and the workers are replaced by Sly’s entourage dressed in dead crew’s uniforms. One of the men is Dr. Zhivkov. He is large, wealthy, and his hair is prematurely going grey. Sly has now replaced his sunglasses with spectacles. He tinkers with a large piece of metal machinery with wires and tubes sticking out of it. A liquid bubbles in a tank to the side of the machine. Sly’s entourage are helping him around the room – carrying things and putting small things together. More men are just standing around.
Zhivkov: Will the machine be ready for the experiment?
Sly: I just need to make a few power adjustments. The machine the way it is now won’t give off enough voltage to carry the virus throughout the ship. With my readers, I detected an extra power source on the ship. I’ve created an input collection booster that will drain the energy from the source without interfering with the ship’s systems.
Zhivkov: Good. How soon will we have power?
Sly: It will take a few days to charge up. Not until after we make the second port. The power source I’ve found is strong. It’s the only way I can maximize the output of the virus, but the energy comes in spurts so it will take longer to charge the machine.
Zhivkov takes a gun out of his jacket and shoots three of the men that are just standing. He puts the gun away. Everyone stops work to look at the dead men.
Zhivkov: Excellent, Sly. (To the other men) Everyday Sly is still working on this machine another one of you will die. It seems you aren’t busy enough anyhow. No one stops working until all the people on this boat are infected. Am I clear?
The men who stopped working redouble their efforts. Zhivkov exits with some men in black suits following him.
Scene Seven – Call to Arms
Interior – A conference room at SHIELD headquarters, day before the cruise
Nick Fury is stands in an empty conference room. There are four empty chairs at a table. Each chair has a file in front of it. Fury looks at his watch.
Cut To: Tony in his Ironman suit is overseas in a desert. There is gunfire and explosions. A bomb is ticking down to zero. Ironman is attempting to disarm it. The timer gets down to one second. The next moment the count down stops, but Ironman vanishes in an explosion of blue light to reappear next to Nick Fury in the SHIELD conference room.
Cut To: Bruce Banner is in a science lab. He is wearing a lab coat and goggles. A research assistant watches him. He holds a beaker of golden liquid with a pair of tongs and prepares to tip it into another liquid.
Bruce: If my calculations are correct, this monkey urine will neutralize the vapors from the invisibility serum.
Bruce vanishes in the same way as Tony did earlier in a flash of blue light.
Assistant: Didn’t work.
Cut To: Thor in Asgard. He is using his hammer, Mjolnir, and fighting with Heimdall. There are alien creatures all around them. One of them spears Thor through the chest.
Computer voiceover: Simulation terminated.
The aliens vanish, but, in a flash of blue light, so does Thor. Heimdall growls.
Cut To: Steve Rogers in his apartment looking at old photographs and listening to jazz.
Steve: If I had to live it all again…
He vanishes with the blue light.
Cut To: SHIELD conference room. Nick Fury and Tony are joined by Bruce holding a beaker of monkey urine, Thor groaning on the floor, and Steve looking around.
Fury: Have a seat, boys.
Nick Fury gives them a briefing. Steve is now sitting with his hands folded in his lap. Tony has his metal feet resting on a tabletop. Bruce is examining some papers on the table in front of him, the monkey urine nearby. Thor stands behind him, looking over Bruce’s shoulder at the papers.
Fury: I’ve brought you here using the latest technology in transport. I wouldn’t have done it this way if this wasn’t a mission of top priority. Dr. Zhivkov is a potentially dangerous security risk that must be dealt with quietly and efficiently. (Zhivkov’s face appears as a hologram behind Fury) His team of researchers have been able to produce a weapon Stark Industries could only dream of. Upon contact, this weapon would shut down the emotional centers of the human brain, rendering everyone incapable of feeling. We’re calling it the Zombie Virus.
Humans need to feel anger, hate, love, and joy. No one will be able to function normally without emotion. According to the files from Zhivkov’s lab, test subjects who contract the virus become entirely violent and reckless. With no feelings of guilt, people either do whatever the hell they want or they simply become so withdrawn that they abandon other essential human needs like eating. Anyone infected dies within 24 hours. It started showing up last month in a number of cases in large cities around the world – London, Moscow, Hong Kong, Istanbul, New York.
Thor: How do we stop it?
Fury: That’s where things become difficult. Dr. Zhivkov himself died on a cruise three years ago, before all of you had that little party in New York with Loki. Someone on that cruise stole from Zhivkov vital information for recreating the virus. Zhivkov then took the identity of this thief to his grave.
Steve: Whoever stole the virus back then is using it now?
Fury: That’s what we believe. The easiest way to discover the virus’s origin now is to determine who stole the information on the cruise three years ago. But more than that, we need to stop the creation of the virus before it starts. There have already been about 30 worldwide cases of the virus so far, but who knows how far it will spread by the time we find where it’s coming from. We need to target it at its source before anyone had the chance to become infected.
Bruce: So you’re saying we need a time machine?
Steve: I might have been frozen for decades, but I still don’t understand how that’s possible.
Fury: As I said, there are risks. We’ll be sending you back in time by using alterations made on the Tesseract – a version of the same technology that helped bring you here. There will be side-effects such as memory loss. In addition, we don’t want this to make headlines. Since you will be operating in the past, anything you might do could change the outcome of events such as Loki’s bid on world domination. If The Avengers Initiative had been made public three years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to use the element of surprise against Loki.
Tony: Like Captain Hammer said, what are we supposed to do about that?
Fury: Once you reach the past, you will be forbidden from using any of your powers or talents. You’ll use your intelligent minds to find the thief and take him out. Then you will destroy the information on the virus that Zhivkov carries with him.
Bruce: Alright, say we get there and find this Zhivkov guy. How are we supposed to get back to the present?
Thor: Why would you want us to do this? I don’t understand. If we don’t have any of our abilities, why not just send normal mortals?
Fury: We’re sending you because even without your talents, you are still the best team there is. You’ve worked together before and been successful. That’s better than sending any random group of people.
Cut To: The group walks down a corridor inside SHIELD.
Bruce: (To Tony) I don’t get this memory loss deal. How’s he gonna keep me from changing? What if I forget to not be angry?
Scene Eight – Oldest Goes First
Interior. – Time Machine Room at SHIELD, day before the cruise
Fury and the four Avengers stand in front of a metal chamber. They have all changed into every-day civilian clothing. Each of them, except for Fury, has a suitcase with them.
Fury: You will all arrive at the port of call at approximately the same moment. All the information you need on Dr. Zhivkov is in the file I’ve copied for each of you. The Tesseract has been programmed to bring you back to the present at the moment of Dr.Zhivkov’s death. At that point you will have either succeeded or failed and your presence in the past will no longer be relevant.
Steve: So who goes first?
Bruce (looking at Steve): I’d say the oldest should go first.
Thor (putting his hand on Steve’s shoulder): You do have the most experience in time travel.
Steve: Come on guys. I’m pretty sure Thor’s been around longer than I have…He’s been to other universes…
Tony shrugs at him and so Steve sighs before stepping forward into the metal chamber with his suitcase. He is standing inside when we see a blue flash through a window and then he is gone.
Cut to: A blue flash in a parking lot and the four men appear with their luggage.
Bruce: This is as normal as hell.
Tony: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Groups of unmarried men go on cruises together all the time.
Scene Nine – Back-Up Plan
Interior – Time Machine Room at SHIELD, day before the cruise
Fury stands in the same place in front of the time machine chamber. Sly is with him now.
Fury: Agent Sly. Glad you could join me. Your mission is to make good with Dr. Zhivkov. You will make sure that the Zombie Virus remains intact and you will bring it back to me. In order to prevent future wars, you will capture an individual on the ship who calls himself Loki.
Sly: What about The Avengers, sir?
Fury: Your mission is top priority. Anyone who gets in your way must be destroyed. The Avengers are merely a back-up plan. Do you understand?
Sly: Yes, sir.
Fury: I’m sending you back a week before the cruise leaves. You have that much time to convince Zhivkov to hire you. If you need to communicate in an emergency, send a message to this email address. It’s old, but still working. Although you don’t know it yet, you’ve already told me Loki was on the ship.
Sly takes the paper and sticks it in his pocket. He steps into to time machine and the door closes.
Scene Ten – Escaping
Interior – The ship’s dining hall.
Loki sits at a table by himself. He has no food with him or any other objects. He glares at each female who walks by, examining them. He looks at their hands to see what they are carrying with them.
A woman passes by him and makes an affronted face as he continues to stare after her.
There’s a scrapping noise as someone pulls out the chair behind him. The table rocks as Violet bumps it when she sits down. She has a plate full of slimy or overly crunchy food with her.
Violet: Mind if I join you?
She puts a napkin in her lap.
Violet: I’m sorry about running into you the other day. I really am. Then when I got back to my room I realized I had this.
She bends down to retrieve something and the Poetic Norse Eddas plunks down on the table in front of him. He looks at the book and then looks at Violet. He places a hand over the top of the book.
Violet: Don’t worry. I didn’t eat or anything while I was reading it. I did read a little of it. I hope you don’t mind. Norse mythology has always been really interesting to me. I saw the inscription inside. It’s always nice to get books from your mom. Frigga’s your mother?
Loki: I have to go.
Loki turns toward the door and sees his brother, Thor, along with Tony, Bruce, and Steve, waiting to be seated. The image of Loki becomes blurry as he tries to cast an illusion on his appearance, but can’t. His image clears and he looks the same. Thor turns in his direction and Loki retakes his seat abruptly once more. Loki turns so his back faces Thor. He is now looking directly at Violet.
Loki (chuckling): Frigga is my mother.
Violet: I’m Violet by the way. Vi for short. Are you okay? You looked sick for a minute. Drained. You don’t have to leave on my account. Frigga is a really pretty name when you think about it. I bet she’s a beautiful woman. Just like Odin’s wife in the stories in your book, huh?
Loki: Yes. Just like the stories.
Loki (quickly before Violet can go on): You don’t need to sit with me. I’m not very good company.
Loki watches Thor cross the room heading towards an empty table nearby. Loki looks back at the exit calculating the distance between it and himself. Thor sits down at a table some ways in front of them and to Loki’s right. Loki moves his chair closer to Violet so that she helps block him from Thor’s view.
Now that Loki is beside her, as Violet speaks she places her hand on his arm before taking it away again.
Violet: I don’t mind. I’m all by myself here anyhow. I mean who goes on a cruise by themselves?…Well, I guess I do, but I saw you all alone too so…
Violet eats her food, realizing that if she doesn’t have anything in her mouth, she’ll just keep talking about nothing. Then she holds out a fried chicken leg.
Violet: Here. Take it. Aren’t you hungry?
Loki: No. Thank you.
Violet: Come on. It’s good.
Loki scowls at the thing in her hand. Violet’s fingers are shiny with grease. He looks again at Thor talking to his friends before taking the chicken. He tries to touch it as little as possible.
Violet: Haven’t you ever had fried chicken before?
Loki raises an eyebrow for a second as she laughs and then he frowns, placing the chicken back on the table.
Loki: Is that what this is?
Violet: Oh, don’t be that way. I’m sorry I laughed, okay. You don’t have to eat it.
Loki doesn’t eat it.
Violet (looks at him in earnest, wiping her hands on a napkin): I’m trying to figure you out. You’re very unhappy, but yet you’re on a cruise. I get the feeling you don’t want to be here with me, but something is keeping you from leaving. You’re all shifty. You don’t like to talk, but you don’t want to be alone.
Loki: How could you possible know that?
Violet: I’m here alone because my family ditched me. This trip was supposed to be for my birthday. I planned it all out, ordered them all tickets. I should’ve known then – getting my own birthday present. But I thought we could spend lots of time together. I could go to an on-board magic show with my brother, sunbathing with my mom, shopping with my sisters. It’d be great family time, I thought. But when the time came…(different voices) Oh, is it your birthday already? I’m too busy – work, babysitting, illness. (normal voice) But I wasn’t going to let it go to waste. So here I am. All by myself. I always wanted to go on a cruise and I am going to enjoy it. Joke’s on them, right? Just because they don’t appreciate me, doesn’t mean I’m not going to do whatever the hell I want.
Loki is looking down at the table as she speaks and dodges away in order to avoid Violet’s great gesturing.
Loki: I could have done it, father. I could have done it. For you. For all of us.
Odin: No, Loki.
Loki lets go of his staff. Dropping into the closing portal. We see him come out the other side of the portal, dropping towards Midgard/Earth. He lands on the deck of the cruise ship. The night is dark and quiet, but there are faint sounds of a party going on elsewhere – music and laughter. Loki gets up. He is still wearing his Asgardian garb. His image shimmers as he tries to change his appearance once more. The shimmer vanishes and he’s still dressed the same. He examines his hands.
Loki: Odin’s taken my powers?
Loki looks around and a single man comes out of the darkness. He’s well dressed in a shirt and grey chinos. The man is still buoyed up from the party – smiling. Loki flashes out an arm, trying to zap the man with magic and nothing happens.
Man: Hey, neat costume.
The man comes closer and Loki punches him in the face then shakes out his hand. The man touches his bloody nose and comes back at Loki, swinging fists. Loki grapples with him for a minute on the floor. The man is much larger than him and for a time, Loki is pinned beneath him. With a cut on his face, Loki grabs a nearby object and hits the man in the head with it. Loki gains the upper hand and gets the man flat on his back. He holds the man by the throat, strangling him.
Then we see Loki wearing the man’s white shirt and chinos. Loki walks away from the dead body.
Back in the dining hall: Loki turns to smile coldly at Violet then glances back at Thor at the dinning table.
Loki: Your family disrespected your gift.
Violet: That’s an interesting way of putting it. But yeah!
Scene Eleven – Spy
Interior – Ship’s dining hall.
The Avengers sit around a table, having dinner. We see Violet in the background and at times, glimpses of Loki with her.
Bruce: So we need to make a plan.
Steve: I say tomorrow we split the ship up into four sections and we each get to know our section. See what people are staying in that area – what they do, where they go. Get to know the boat backwards and forwards. Get to know our target. We need to locate him before we make the first port and he has a chance to get off the boat.
Thor: We’ll need a map of the vessel.
Tony: Okay. Where can we get one?
Bruce: They probably keep a copy stored away for emergencies somewhere in the main control deck.
Steve: We’ll need stealth and a persuasive story if we’re caught. Tonight Tony and I will sneak into the control deck and see what we can find.
The view pans out to include the table where Loki and Violet are sitting. The view then focuses on Sly who is standing in a corner outside of the dining hall listening to the Avengers with a device.
Tony (through Sly’s listening device): Who made him the leader?
Scene Twelve – Electric Transmission
Interior – Dining Room, Cruise ship corridor, and Zhivkov’s cabin
Sly starts walking from his corner. He moves through the ship’s corridors.
Sly Voiceover: What do we use everyday and never realize it? It’s around us all the time, but we don’t see it, such a part of our lives that without it many would not be able to cope. Electricity. Energy. It’s the perfect enemy. Take it away, and people would kill to get it back.
Lights come on in a dark corridor as Sly moves into it.
Sly Voiceover: But what if flipping a light switch could give you the measles? Plugging in a laptop or a phone? Bird Flu.
Sly continues down the hall, pulling out his phone and typing out what he had been saying in a message to Fury.
Sly Voiceover: Turning on the TV? Ebola. Airborne diseases spread quickly enough. What about electric borne illness? Once you flip the switch there’s no going back. You’re sick. There’s nothing you can do. After that, an infected individual can give the disease to whoever they contact. But the initial infection is inescapable, widespread, and untraceable. What if I told you the means of doing this were right here on this ship?
Sly comes to a door and knocks. A man in a black suit answers the door. The man steps back to allow Sly to enter. Sly goes in and turns the corner. Zhivkov is bench-pressing weights in his cabin. His own suit is replaced by a wife-beater and mesh athletic pants. Another man in a suit is acting as his spotter and standing behind him. As Sly comes in, the spotter helps Zhivkov return the weights to their stand. Zhivkov sits up.
Sly: The machine will be ready much sooner than I thought. You can activate it in three days.
Zhivkov nods and wipes his face with a towel.
Thank you to Marvel, Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, and all the other writers, directors, and creative minds/hands involved in producing such a large number of enjoyable films. And of course the actors: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hiddleston, and Chris Hemsworth.