“In the realm of fear and oppression, one man’s love leads him through a perilous journey back to freedom.”
Under the canopy of the glittering stars and the veiled moon, the heart of the jungle pulsed with life. As the nocturnal creatures stirred, a symphony of sound echoed, setting a rhythm that breathed life into the wilderness. The civilization that inhabited these verdant lands was not detached from this symphony but was instead an integral part of it. They drew strength from the earth, lived in harmony with nature, and worshipped the sacred elements with ardor.
Among these people was Jaguar Paw, a man forged by the raw vitality of the jungle. His life was embodied by simplicity, yet blessed with profound satisfaction. He was a hunter, a husband, and a father to be. His world was confined to the vast expanse of lush greenery and the small community that thrived within it. All seemed idyllic and in balance, but the looming shadow of fate had other plans.
Chapter 1: The Serene Jungle:
The morning sun had just started to brush the treetops with its golden hues as Jaguar Paw ventured into the emerald labyrinth. His lean frame moved with the grace and stealth of a prowling jaguar, his name-sake. He was a skilled hunter, his senses honed sharp by the wild. His keen eyes scanned the undergrowth and his ears tuned into the symphony of the jungle – the rustling leaves, the chattering monkeys, the chorus of birds, and the distant gurgling brook.
As the scent of his prey wafted, his heart pounded in the thrill of the hunt. A delicate dance of life and death unfolded as Jaguar Paw manoeuvred, his spotlighted prey unaware of its fading moments. With one swift and precise release of his arrow, the ordeal ended. Then, a moment of silence, a tribute to the fallen, was observed before the hunter hoisted his quarry over his shoulder, his heart brimming with respect and gratitude for the life given.
His return to the village was greeted with quiet admiration and relief. The tribe depended on the jungle’s bounty for survival, and each successful hunt ensured their continuity. Life in the village was a stark contrast to the relentless rhythms of the jungle. There was laughter and banter, children playing with abandon and venerable elders sharing tales of lore.
At the heart of this community were the bonds of family and tribe, strong and unyielding. His wife, Seven, was a beacon of light and strength, her belly swollen with their unborn child. Their son, Turtles Run, was the mirror of his father’s spirit, a promising heir to the mantle of the guardian of their people.
As dusk fell, the tribe gathered around the ceremonial fire, the flames dancing and reflecting in their hopeful eyes. Stories were shared, wisdom was passed, and bonds were strengthened. And as the shadows of the night began to envelop the serene village, a sense of foreboding loomed, whispering of a storm that was about to hit their peaceful existence.
Unknown to them, forces stirred beyond their borders, bringing a violent tempest that would shatter the harmony of their lives. The idyllic world Jaguar Paw knew was about to be savagely disrupted, and he would soon have to draw upon every ounce of strength and cunning to save his family, his people, and his way of life.
In the whispering wind and rustling leaves, a primal call to survival echoed, unseen and unheard. As the day closed, one had to wonder – would Jaguar Paw rise to the call, and would he succeed in warding off the impending doom? The vibrant heart of the jungle, for now, kept its secrets well.
Chapter 2: Invasion under the Sun
The dawn had barely broken over the Mayan village, painting the sky with hues of lavender and peach. Jaguar Paw, the tribe’s expert hunter, was already up, choosing the best spear, its sharp head glinting perilously. His eyes, a mirror image of the wild cat he was named after, were alert as he prepared to head into the jungle. The air was still, carrying with it the metallic scent of the impending rain. He took a moment to appreciate this tranquillity, unaware that their peaceful existence was on the brink of shattering.
Just then, the village was infiltrated by a deafening commotion. The birds took flight, their twittering echoing the chaos below. Jaguar Paw, curious and alarmed, emerged from his hut to a sight that sent a wave of cold fear through his body. Smoke rose in thick plumes, obfuscating the brilliant morning sky. His heart pounded as he saw his vibrant village turn into a battlefield.
The invaders were colossal, garbed in animal hides and sinister masks with grotesque expressions. Their bodies bore witness to countless fights – muscled, scarred, and intimidating. They descended upon the helpless villagers like a storm, brutally overpowering the tribe’s valiant efforts to resist. There was no mercy in their assault. Women screamed, children cried, and men bled – a chilling symphony of horror and despair.
Through the madness, Jaguar Paw’s only focus was his family. His heart pounded in his chest like a primal drum as he scanned the ravaged village for his wife, Seven, and their son, Turtles Run. When he spotted them, a surge of relief washed over him, quickly replaced by a sobering dread. He needed to save them from this brutal force.
Thinking quickly, he did what he knew best. Using his knowledge of the land like a weapon, he led his family to a deep pit hidden within the dense foliage. Despite their fear, they trusted him, their eyes mirroring his determination. He lowered them into the pit, the earthy smell of the hole a stark contrast to the burning village.
As he lowered his son into the pit, he promised, “I will come back for you.” The words echoed in the empty pit, a solemn vow amidst the chaos. The sight of his wife, her belly swollen with their unborn child, looking up at him with fear and unwavering trust, etched itself into his mind.
His family secured, Jaguar Paw turned back to face the invaders. He moved like a phantom through the smoke and chaos, his every step a dance between life and death. Along the way, he helped as many of his tribespeople as he could, but the invaders were relentless.
The village, once buzzing with life and laughter, was now a gruesome tableau of despair and defeat. The invaders’ laughter filled the air, a cruel soundtrack to their devastation. But as Jaguar Paw was forcibly led away, his spirit remained unbroken. The last glimpse of his smouldering village was engraved in his mind, fuelling a burning resolve.
Jaguar Paw, the hunter, had now become the hunted. But he vowed to himself that this was not the end. He was not just a prisoner; he was a husband, a father, a protector. As he was dragged away from the remnants of his home, each step echoed his resolve to save his family. Even in defeat, he was plotting his revenge.
Chapter 3: Metropolis of Fear
In the grim light of dawn, the grimy mass of imprisoned villagers were forced into a march. With each agonizing step through the dense undergrowth, their captives’ village was revealed in heart-stopping details – a vast labyrinthine metropolis spewing smoke and noise – a deafening antithesis of the tranquil environment they once knew.
Jaguar Paw, struggling amidst the throng, his body screaming in pain and exhaustion, was fixated on the grim urban reality that loomed in the distance. The sight of it filled his heart with a mixture of dread and awe. The buildings were monstrous, dwarfing anything he had ever seen. Towering pyramidal temples kissed the sky, intimidating in their grandeur. Murals covered in lurid hues depicted terrifying gods, their eyes seeming to follow his every movement, amplifying the city’s menacing aura.
Despite the pulsating fear, Jaguar Paw clung to the image of his wife and son hidden safely back home. Their memories sparked a sliver of hope amidst the terror, serving as a beacon guiding him through the torturous path. His love for them was the resilient thread trailing back to his old life, a vivid reminder of what he stood to lose and the lengths he would go to protect them.
The city beckoned him with an icy welcome, the metropolis buzzing with frenzied activity. Itinerant vendors hawked their wares, their voices mixing in a cacophony with the cries of children playing in the filth-laden streets. Pungent smells of fresh fruit, roasting meat, and human sweat blended in a revolting cocktail that twisted Jaguar Paw’s stomach.
As they reached the city center, a grisly sight yanked him from his thoughts. At the heart of the city stood the sacrificial temple, its blood-soaked steps an ominous staircase to the heavens. The sight was petrifying, like a carnivorous beast lying in wait for its victims. The image reminded him of the impending doom that awaited him, and a chilling shiver ran down his spine.
Around him, the extravagant wealth of the city’s elite was in stark contrast with the deplorable conditions of his people. High priests clad in opulent regalia sashayed around with unfettered authority while his fellow villagers were reduced to mere expendables in a perverse game of power. The city was a decadent display of human sovereignty and abuse, a glaring example of the vast chasm between the lives of its rulers and those they dominated.
However, the oppressive atmosphere did not extinguish Jaguar Paw’s defiant spirit. Every whip crack only fueled his resolve to return to his family. They were his lifeline, their love his sanctuary amidst the crushing despair. He began to devise a plan. Despite the odds stacked against him, he was determined to escape the city’s murderous grasp. The echoes of his lost freedom gnawed at him, grounding his resolve. He had been a hunter, a free spirit of the jungle, and he would channel that primal strength to survive.
Jaguar Paw was not alone in his defiance. Murmurs of rebellion whispered through the afflicted. Subtle nods, silent prayers, and shared glances of solidarity spoke volumes of their collective resistance. They were united in their suffering, bound by the common objective – survive and tell the tale.
Within the horrifying expanse of the city, Jaguar Paw redefined his existence. He was not just a prisoner; he was a man clinging to his last shreds of freedom, a man fueled by love and the will to survive. His fear was replaced by a determination that was as unyielding as the stone structures that towered around him.
As the day closed, the sun disappeared behind the enormous cityscape, casting long shadows that seemed to swallow the light, along with their fragmenting hope. But amidst the looming darkness, Jaguar Paw nurtured a spark of hope, ready to ignite a raging inferno of rebellion. He stood tall amidst his captors, his spirit unbroken, a solitary beacon of resilience in the Metropolis of Fear.
Chapter 4: The Unholy Sacrifice
The fourth dawn broke over the vast Mayan city, unveiling the grandeur that housed cruelty and fear. As the sun crept over the horizon, Jaguar Paw, the proud hunter now a scared captive, was thrust into an arena filled with baying, bloodthirsty spectators who hungered for the spectacle of human sacrifice.
The city, a labyrinth of stone and exotic foliage, towered above Jaguar Paw as a monument of terror. Marble temples stretched towards the heavens while stone pathways echoed with footsteps of slaves. The heart of the city was its grand temple, a monolith of hope for some and despair for the others – an unholy altar where the cost of prosperity was steeped in blood.
Jaguar Paw, along with other captives, was led through the city streets, their bodies adorned with ceremonial paint, marking them out for the cruel fate that awaited atop the pyramid. The crowd jeered and cheered, oblivious to the horror they were partaking in, their eyes sparkling with anticipation and twisted thrill.
Bound by ropes, Jaguar Paw was dragged up the temple steps, each one seeming steeper than the last. The air was thick with dread, but he refused to let it consume him. In his mind, he clung to the memories of his family, their faces a beacon of hope in the darkness that threatened to overpower him, spurring him to fight, to survive.
His heart pounded in his chest as he was positioned on the cold, stone altar, the crowd hushed around him. He glanced at the high priest with a hardened stare, the man adorned with a vibrant headdress, his face obscured by a mask of ornate jade, his eyes reflecting an eerie coldness.
As the obsidian knife rose high into the air, the crowd held its collective breath. The high priest spun tales of appeasing the gods, promising a bountiful harvest and protection from the invisible enemies. His words fell on Jaguar Paw’s deaf ears; the only sound echoing in his mind was the pounding of his own heartbeat and the distant whisper of his wife’s lullaby.
Then, in an unexpected twist, a shadow fell over the city, swallowing the scene in darkness. Gasps echoed around the hushed crowd as they stared upwards – an eclipse. A hush fell over the masses as they witnessed the celestial phenomenon. To them, it was a divine intervention, the Gods being satiated by the very sight of the sacrifices and thus, requiring no more.
The sudden burst of triumphant cries didn’t shield the confusion and the fear that preyed on their minds. The captives were hustled away, their lives spared for now, but their fates still hanging precariously in balance.
But for Jaguar Paw, the eclipse became a symbol of hope, a beacon in the darkest hour of his life. It was as if the sun – the giver of life, had cloaked itself to hide the inhumanity that was to ensue, thus sparing him. As the dark shadow of the moon moved away, revealing the sun again, the world seemed different to Jaguar Paw. With the borrowed time from the gods, he was determined to return to his family and save them from the pit he left them in.
Despite being held captive in an unfamiliar world, despite teetering on the brink of death, he felt an odd sense of relief wash over him. A new dawn had arrived the moment the old one had been overshadowed. The sun had set on his life as a captive and risen anew on his resolve to be a warrior again.
Chapter 5: The Great Escape
As the shadow of the moon moved across the sun, bathing the Mayan city in an eerie twilight, the High Priest hesitated at the top of the temple. Silence gripped the crowd as they watched the rare celestial occurrence. Captives, including Jaguar Paw, bound and bruised, were momentarily forgotten. The solar eclipse, initially a harbinger of doom, had now transformed into an omen of hope.
Jaguar Paw’s heart pounded in his chest as he tried to suppress the rising tide of desperation. His gaze wandered over the frightened crowd, their faces bathed in the otherworldly glow of the eclipse. The High Priest seemed to interpret this as a divine intervention, a heavenly sign for mercy. The sacrifices were halted. The ominous proceedings were disrupted, and a wave of confusion swept over the gathered mass. This was the moment Jaguar Paw had been waiting for.
Exercising a strength he didn’t know he possessed, Jaguar Paw broke free from his binds, his wrists raw and bloody. He stumbled and fell, but the adrenaline surging through him was too powerful, and he was up in a heartbeat, sprinting towards the jungle with a speed he never knew he had. Behind him, he heard the shouts of alarm as the warriors realized their captives were escaping.
The city was a labyrinth of towering pyramids and chaotic marketplaces, but its confounding layout was to his advantage. He darted down narrow alleyways, vaulted over low walls, his breath coming in ragged gasps. His pursuers were persistent, their enraged shouts echoing behind him, but his intimate knowledge of the jungle and his undying resolve to return to his family put him steps ahead of them.
Breaking free from the city, he plunged into the dense vegetation of the jungle, the wild, green chaos welcoming him back. But this was no joyous return. This was a desperate race against time, a life-or-death chase that tested his spirit and survival skills to the limit.
He zig-zagged through the woods, instinct and memory guiding his path. He crossed rivers teeming with crocodiles, ascended slippery slopes, and descended rugged ravines, always aware of the sounds of pursuit behind him. His body was a medley of pain and exhaustion, but he pushed on, driven by the love for his family.
In an attempt to outwit his pursuers, Jaguar Paw veered off his known paths into unknown territories. He brushed against poisonous plants, encountered ferocious animals, and survived near-falls from precarious edges. Yet, with every passing moment, he seemed to sink more profound into the magic of the jungle, his understanding of its intricacies evolving rapidly, helping him evade his pursuers with greater ease.
As night fell, Jaguar Paw found refuge in an old cave, its dark, damp corners a temporary sanctuary. Here, away from the relentless pursuit, he allowed himself a moment’s respite. The weight of his ordeal washed over him. His body was battered and bruised, his mind reeling from the nightmares he’d witnessed. Yet, he knew he must persevere, not just for his survival but the survival of his lineage.
As dawn approached, Jaguar Paw was on the move again. He had a renewed sense of purpose. His desperate flight had morphed into a journey of self-discovery, his instincts honed to perfection. The man who once lived in the serene embrace of the jungle was now its master. Nothing, he knew, could stand between him and his beloved family.
The chase was far from over. His heart pounded in his chest, matching the rhythm of the jungle. His every sense was heightened, his body a coiled spring ready to counter any danger. Yet, amidst the turmoil, a spark of hope ignited within him. He was determined to return to his family, and adversity was merely a challenge he was ready to overcome.
As the jungle grew quieter, a strange peace settled upon him, almost as if nature itself was standing in solidarity with his valiant efforts. The fierce warrior and loving family man had now transformed into a beacon of resilience, fearlessly forging his path through relentless odds.
Chapter 6: Return of the Warrior
The dense jungle was tranquil, its silence punctuated by the distinctive cries of tropical birds and the far-off echo of waterfalls. It had been days since Jaguar Paw had fled the oppressive city, the gruelling journey taking a toll on his body but not his resilience. He’d survived on meagre morsels, drawn strength from his love for his family, and determination had been his constant companion.
As he cautiously trod the familiar forest trails, the echo of his past life filled his heart with fortitude. He was no longer just a man; he was an embodiment of the undying spirit of his tribe, a symbol of rebellion against the invading forces, an avatar of the inevitable cycle of nature reclaiming its own.
Jaguar Paw was home, and he was transformed. His body was leaner, hardened by the trials meted out to him. His eyes, once filled with the joy of life, were now sharp with the resolve to save his loved ones. The once-carefree hunter was now a warrior, a protector, a father stretched to his limits, fuelled by the raging wildfire of desperation.
His first challenge was a daunting one – saving his beloved wife and son, trapped deep within the recesses of the ominous pit. The scare of his family’s uncertain condition gnawed at him incessantly. With every beat of his heart, a silent vow echoed – he would save his family, or he would join them in the darkness of death.
He approached the pit, the sight of it pricking his heart with a thousand needles of guilt and regret. He had hoped to protect them, and instead, he had left them to face days filled with darkness, hunger, and uncertainty. Steadying himself, he called out their names, his voice tasting of tears and hope. The responding weak cries were music to his ears, a hope-inducing symphony that galvanized him into action.
Taking a deep breath, he began his treacherous descent, using the sturdy roots and uneven rocks to slowly lower himself down. His muscles, weary from the near-constant state of fight or flight, screamed in protest, but he pushed forward, compelled by his unwavering love and responsibility.
The climb was perilous, the darkness stifling. His hands and feet found precarious holds in the rocky wall, his entire body pulsating with adrenaline. He glanced down into the abyss, the echoing cries of his family driving him forward.
Suddenly, a loose rock dislodged under his weight. Plummeting downwards, his instincts took over. His hand shot out, his fingers clamping around a root, halting his fall with a painful jolt. His heart pounded in his chest, but he forced himself to continue. The chilling screams of his family were like fuel feeding his determination.
He continued his descent, his body moving with an uncanny mix of desperation and precision. And then, finally, his feet touched the pit floor. The overwhelming relief was short-lived as he turned his attention to his weak and terrified family. His wife and son were weak, scarred by the trauma and time, but alive.
It was a sight that somehow managed to crack open his beleaguered heart, the raw pain mixed with the sweetest relief. He cradled his son to his chest, pressing his lips to the little one’s forehead. His wife reached out for him, her eyes brimming with relief and love.
Jaguar Paw knew then, he had a war to fight, not with the invaders, but with time, nature, and destiny. And he was ready. He was not just a man anymore; he was a force of nature, a tempest set to uproot the forces of fear and oppression. As the echoes of his tribal past resounded in his soul, Jaguar Paw braved the new dawn – a warrior, a saviour, the beacon of hope for his dwindling tribe.
Chapter 7: The Dawn of Freedom
As dawn slivered over the horizon, it painted streaks of crimson and gold across the detritus of yesterday’s horrors. Jaguar Paw, his body battered yet spirit unbroken, teetered on the brink of the pit – his heart aching for the family hidden beneath the earth.
His journey back home had been a punishing saga of survival; his body bore the scars, each one etched with memories of narrow escapes and relentless pursuits. The once vibrant and bustling village was now a ghost town; the echoing silence was a haunting reminder of the calamity that had befallen them.
Untamed anxiety gnawed at his insides as he lowered a vine into the pit. Each passing second felt like an eternity. He had braved the beastly invaders, the merciless city, and the treacherous jungle to return to this moment. His hands, though scraped and bloody, held steady, fueled by a love that no force could extinguish.
His wife, Seven, and their son, Turtles Run, emerged like spirits from the darkness. Seven, radiant and resilient, cradled their infant son – a beacon of hope birthed amidst chaos. Their reunion was a symphony of tears and embraces. Each acted as a solace to the other, their shared suffering and love binding them tighter.
Even as they reveled in their joyful union, the whiff of danger lingered. The remaining invaders were prowling, their hearts set on capturing their elusive prey. However, Jaguar Paw, the resilient hunter, the rebellious slave, the devoted husband, and father, was ready. He had transformed from the hunted to the hunter.
A deadly cat-and-mouse game ensued, their village serving as the ominous battleground. Jaguar Paw, relying on his instincts and knowledge of their land, skillfully led his pursuers into a rapid river. The raging currents served as an invisible ally, seizing the invaders with its mighty claws and sweeping them away – their screams echoing in the vast emptiness.
With the immediate danger vanquished, Jaguar Paw led his family away from the ravaged village, a melancholic farewell to their ancestral home. His eyes held a new determination; to keep their heritage and traditions alive, to tell tales of their triumph over fear and oppression, and to rebuild a future rooted in their profound past.
They ventured deeper into the stillness of the jungle, each footfall echoing a promise of resilience. The journey was arduous, demanding every shred of their strength, yet they marched on, driven by their indomitable spirit. Their path wound through dense vegetation, crossed meandering streams, and scaled the rugged terrain, eventually leading to a cliff overlooking the vast, azure sea.
Standing on the precipice of a new beginning, Jaguar Paw held his family close. The sea, in its vastness and constancy, echoed their own journey. Its endless expanse, a testimony of resilience; its relentless waves, a mirror to their trials.
“Everything around us may have changed, but we haven’t. We remain the people of the water, the children of the sun, the guardians of the earth,” Jaguar Paw spoke, his voice intermingling with the gentle sea breeze. The dawn that followed marked a new chapter in their lives, painted with hues of hope, bravery, and persistence.
The tale concluded not as a mournful echo of what was lost but as a triumphant crescendo of survival and freedom. Amid the ruins, the seeds of a new beginning were sown. The rich tapestry of their past would continue to weave, colored by their trials and triumphs, their love and sacrifice, their resilience and rebellion.
Amid the shifting sands of fate, Seven looked at her husband, her love for him swelling like the ocean before them. “We are home,” she whispered into the wind, their saga becoming an everlasting testament to the power of human spirit, ushering the dawn of their freedom.
Some scenes from the movie Apocalypto written by A.I.
EXT. MAYAN VILLAGE – MORNING
An AZURE SKY meets the dense FOREST CANOPY. Little HUTS peek through the trees. The SERENE SOUND of BIRDS chirping. Suddenly a RABBIT bolts through the underbrush, chased by a young man in tribal tattoos, JAGUAR PAW (30, wiry strong).
To him, the jungle isn’t a mere forest, it’s his home, his playground.
Jaguar Paw pounces and captures the rabbit with a swift move. He stands, panting, gazing at the beauty of the jungle.
EXT. JAGUAR PAW’S HUT – CONTINUOUS
Jaguar Paw returns triumphantly, greeted by his PREGNANT WIFE- SEVEN (25, beautiful). He hands over the rabbit to her. She smiles at him lovingly, touch their foreheads together in a gesture of gratitude.
Our child will be strong, like you.
Jaguar Paw smiles back, cupping her belly with affection.
A cry captures their attention – their SON, TURTLE RUN (5, innocent), running towards them. Jaguar Paw tosses Turtle Run into the air, both laughing heartily.
Their peace is shattered by a DISTANT ROAR. Jaguar Paw’s laughter fades. He looks into the distance, an uneasy feeling growing within him.
EXT. VILLAGE CENTER – NIGHT
A BONFIRE illuminates the villagers, sitting around, engrossed in the stories of the ELDER. Everyone’s eyes are on him – their spellbound faces aglow in the light.
Jaguar Paw sits with Seven and Turtle Run, holding them close, staring into the fire. But his mind is elsewhere – the ominous roar still echoes in his ears.
TO BE CONTINUED…
EXT. – MAYAN VILLAGE – MORNING
The peaceful morning rhythm of the village is suddenly disrupted by the SOUND OF TRUMPETS, the CRACKLE OF TORCHES. Fear creeps into the villagers’ eyes.
EXT. – EDGE OF VILLAGE – CONTINUOUS
JAGUAR PAW, a robust Mayan man, locks eyes with the invading force. His muscles tense, his knuckles whiten around his spear.
(whispering to his wife, SEVEN)
Hide…take TURTLE RUN and TINY PECCARY, hide!
SEVEN nods, fear flickering in her eyes but determination hardening her features. She gathers their children and disappears into the undergrowth.
EXT. – VILLAGE CENTER – CONTINUOUS
The invaders break into the village center with a roar, torches flaming. Jaguar Paw stands defiant, spear poised.
For our home! Our freedom!
The villagers rally around him, weapons grasped tightly. The invaders and villagers COLLIDE, chaos erupts.
EXT. – UNDERGROWTH – CONTINUOUS
Seven, huddled with her children, watches the carnage, helplessness etching her face. She takes a deep breath, turns, and with a firm voice, says:
(whispering to her children)
We must be brave.
The SOUND OF BATTLE continues ominously in the background.
TO BE CONTINUED…
EXT. MAYAN CITY – DAY
A horde of humiliated and chained prisoners, including JAGUAR PAW, are marched into a grand Mayan city. The city is a maelstrom of noise, fear, and opulence.
JAGUAR PAW (V.O)
This is a city built on bones.
The prisoners look around, their faces a mixture of terror and awe. The crowd jeers and throws fruit.
(whispering to JAGUAR PAW)
They’ll kill us here.
Not if I can help it.
The prisoners are paraded past a grand pyramid, where priests ceremonially bathe in the blood of previous sacrifices.
EXT. SLAVE MARKET – DAY
They are herded to a slave market, the chains rattling against the wares. The cacophony of the market fills the air.
(shouting over the noise)
Look at these fine men! Strong backs, quick minds!
Jaguar Paw’s eyes widen as he is roughly handled. His gaze lingers on a crumpled flower under the slave master’s boots.
EXT.JUNGLE – NIGHT
Jaguar Paw with his wife and son, laughing and sharing a tender moment.
CUT BACK TO:
EXT. SLAVE MARKET – DAY
Jaguar Paw’s face hardens. His eyes blazing with determination.
(whispering to himself)
I’ll save them.
TO BE CONTINUED…
EXT. MAYAN CITY – DAY
Hundreds of PRISONERS, among them is JAGUAR PAW, are ushered towards a pyramid-like temple. The air is tense. The SKY begins to darken ominously.
Jaguar Paw stumbles, a look of terror and determination in his eyes.
INT. TEMPLE – DAY
At the top of the temple, HIGH PRIEST stands over an altar, his eyes wild with anticipation. He raises an obsidian knife to the SUN, as the crowd below roars in approval.
(In Mayan, subtitled)
The gods demand their offering.
EXT. SKY – DAY
The sky darkens further. The once bright sun is now just a sliver.
EXT. TEMPLE – DAY
Jaguar Paw is next, pushed forward for sacrifice. He looks down at his fellow prisoners, then up at the HIGH PRIEST, defiance reflected in his gaze.
Just as the High Priest is about to strike, the sky further darkens.
A SOLAR ECLIPSE.
The crowd falls silent. The world is still.
CLOSE UP on High Priest, his face filled with awe.
(In Mayan, subtitled)
The gods have spoken.
Jaguar Paw, now given a glimmer of hope, stands firm, unblinking.
INT. MAYAN TEMPLE – DAY
JAGUAR PAW, a resilient and defiant Mayan warrior, stands at the top of the temple, surrounded by PRIESTS readying him for sacrifice. The entire CITY watches with bated breath.
Suddenly, the sky grows dark – an ECLIPSE.
It’s a sign! The Gods are satisfied!
Confusion spreads among the crowd. Jaguar Paw takes a deep breath, sees a chance and makes a break for it.
EXT. MAYAN CITY – DAY
Jaguar Paw darts through the city streets, pursued by guards. He dodges, sways, and rolls, using every trick he knows to evade capture.
EXT. JUNGLE – DAY
Jaguar Paw runs into the dense jungle, guards hot on his heels. This is his turf. He navigates the terrain with dexterity, losing some of his pursuers behind.
(to GUARD 2)
We’ll never catch him. He knows these jungles!
Then we better learn fast!
Jaguar Paw, breathless but determined, continues his escape. The jungle becomes a labyrinth, a deadly game of cat and mouse.
INT. CAVE – NIGHT
Wounded and exhausted, Jaguar Paw finds a cave. He takes a moment to rest, the reality of his situation sinking in.
I will make it back to them. They will not have died in vain.
With renewed resolve, Jaguar Paw steps back into the jungle, ready to continue his perilous journey home.
EXT. JUNGLE – DAY
We see JAGUAR PAW, a Mayan warrior, clothes torn and body bruised, but eyes filled with determination.
INT. PIT – LATER
A terrified SEVEN, Jaguar Paw’s pregnant wife, cradle their young son TURTLE RUN to her chest. Their faces lit by the faint glow of the lingering daylight.
CUT BACK TO:
EXT. JUNGLE – CONTINUOUS
Jaguar Paw approaches the pit with caution. He takes a moment, steeling himself for the challenge ahead.
I am home, Seven.
EXT. JUNGLE – LATER
Jaguar Paw begins his descent, carefully navigating the treacherous pathway down to his family.
INT. PIT – CONTINUOUS
Seven looks up as she hears a faint rustling. Tears stream down her face as she sees Jaguar Paw.
They share a moment before a noise alerts them to danger.
EXT. JUNGLE – CONTINUOUS
A group of INVADERS approach. Jaguar Paw, pulling himself out of the pit, prepares for battle.
For my family, for my tribe.
TO BE CONTINUED…