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Blade Movie Script

Writer(s) : David S. Goyer

Genres : Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

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                                BLADE
                                -----





                                  by
 
                            David S. Goyer













	Darkness, BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAMS. Presentation credits roll as we
	FADE UP ON:

	INT. HOSPITAL, INNER-CITY TRAUMA WARD - NIGHT

	It's 1967, the Summer of Love and --

	BOOM! Entry doors swing open as PARAMEDICS wheel in a FEMALE BLEEDER,
	VANESSA (20s, black, nine months pregnant). She's deathly pale,
	spewing founts of blood from a savagely slashed throat -- 

	A SHOCK-TRAUMA TEAM swarms over her, inserting a vacutainer into an
	artery to draw blood, wrapping a blood pressure cuff around her
	arm --

				NURSE #1
			(with stethoscope)
		She's not breathing!

				SENIOR RESIDENT
		Intubate her!

	The RESPIRATORY THERAPIST feeds an endotracheal tube down the woman's
	ruined throat, attaches that to an Amblu bag --

				RESIDENT
		Blood-pressure's forty and falling --

	The woman starts spasming violently. It takes three staff members
	just to hold her down.

				SENIOR RESIDENT
		Jesus, her water's broken --
			(calling for help)
		She's going into uterine contractions --

	CAMERA PUSHES IN on the woman as she bolts upright, SCREAMING to wake
	the dead. We PLUNGE INTO the darkness of her mouth and find
	ourselves --

	INSIDE HER BLOODSTREAM

	The sound of a HEART BEATING, pounding as we whip-snake through --

	CORPUSCLES 

	floating in amber plasma. Erythrocytes, leukocytes, neutrophils and
	eosinophils. 

	The rhythmic expansion of the artery walls, pulsing with each
	successive surge of blood as the HEART BEATS FASTER AND FASTER,
	taking us --

	IN UTERO,

	A CHILD, alive but unborn, shifting in a sea of amniotic fluid,
	surrounded by the white, protective substance known as vernix
	caseosa. The HEARTBEAT races like a locomotive now. The unborn child
	shifts, turns its head towards us --

	-- and opens its eyes.

	CUT TO:

	A SWORDBLADE

	cleaving the darkness, radiant light slicing across gleaming Damascus
	steel. Words acid-etched in the weapon's fine-tempered surface:

	BLADE

	Main credits end.

	EXT. INNER CITY, INDUSTRIAL GHETTO - NIGHT

	A decaying no man's land populated by condemned buildings and HUNGRY
	HOMELESS. Steam rises from manhole covers, drifting across the
	litter- lined streets. Suddenly --

	A black Mercedes 850 appears over the crest of a hill, ROARING past
	us, stereo system belting out FILTER.

	INT. MERCEDES - NIGHT

	Raquel, a wasp-wasted woman, sits behind the wheel. 20s, rich,
	sickeningly attractive. Hungry eyes. 

	Squirming around in the passenger seat is DENNIS, a model/actor boy-
	toy with a sub-zero IQ and a "fuck me sideways" grin. 

				DENNIS
		So where we going?

				RAQUEL
		It's a surprise. 

				DENNIS
		I likes surprises. 

	Raquel eyeballs Dennis -- "if looks could devour". 

				RAQUEL
		What do you have down there, little 
		man?

				DENNIS
		Heat-seeker.

				RAQUEL
		I'll bet.

	Raquel slides a manicured hand up his thigh, squeezes his groin.
	Dennis MOANS. She pulls her hand away, downshifts.

	EXT. VACANT LOT - NIGHT

	The 850 threads a narrow alley into a vacant lot, BRAKES hard. Raquel
	and Dennis climb out. She leads him into --

	EXT. MEAT PACKING PLANT - NIGHT

	Industry never sleeps, and certainly not this grisly facility. Raquel
	leads Dennis around the back of the plant, where a host of WORKERS
	are loading refrigerated trucks with product.

				DENNIS
		What the fuck are we doing here?

	Raquel just smiles, heads on into the plant via a loading door. The
	workers ignore her.

	INT. MEAT PACKING PLANT - NIGHT

	Dennis follows Raquel through the bowels of the plant, catching
	glimpses here and there of carcasses being rendered or hacked apart. 

	Through one partially open door we see what might be a line of
	BODYBAGS being trundled into the back of a truck via a hook and chain
	pulley-system. But Dennis doesn't have enough time to be disturbed by
	the vision, because he's being pulled away by Raquel, led down --

	A STAIRWELL

	We are in the basement now. At the end of the hall is a steel door,
	with perhaps, just the faintest HINT OF MUSIC heard coming from
	beyond. Raquel knocks.

	A "peep-hole" slat opens and a BLACK LIGHT shines into Raquel's eyes.
	A VOICE behind the door offers a verbal challenge, speaking a
	language we've never heard, laced with a devilish cadence. 

	Raquel responds in kind. The door opens. Raquel gives Dennis a
	knowing wink, enters. Dennis follows. 

	INT. CLUB - NIGHT

	Raquel and Dennis move past a hulking DOORMAN, making their way down
	a narrow stairway. Dennis is suitably impressed.

	THE CLUB 

	is elite, underground -- an "abattoir-chic" version of an old-time
	juke joint with a greasy, dangerous vibe. White-tiled walls and
	floors for easy hosing, chromed fittings, run-off gutters, drains. No
	bar.

	BODIES 

	writhe on the strobe-lit dance floor. A heavy S&M scene. Leather.
	Latex. Tattoos. Body-piercings.

	A D.J. wearing head-mounted spotlights orchestrates the tunes on
	twin- decks. MUSIC assaults us -- a beat so heavy it could jar the
	fillings from your teeth. Brutal "DARKCORE" along the lines of
	Prodigy or Underground. 

	Raquel pulls Dennis out onto the dance floor. They sway. 

	A lupine-featured GAULTIER GIRL with a streak of white running
	through her raven hair moves in behind Dennis, pressing up against
	him. Rachel Williams as the Angel of Death -- we'll call her MERCURY.

	Mercury flicks her tongue against Dennis' ear -- it's been pierced
	with a silver post which clicks against her teeth. Tattooed across
	her back in black is a swirling, tribal vortex. 

	Dennis is now sandwiched between Raquel and Mercury, the three of
	them dry-humping their way to every man's glory. 

	The beat gets LOUDER. The action heavier. The atmosphere more
	narcotic. People are stripping off their clothes, sweating like
	fiends. It's a virtual orgy.

	Dennis laughs, reveling in the hedonism. Everything rises to a fever
	pitch --

				DENNIS
			(over the music)
		Fuck, I need a drink!!!

	Raquel just smiles -- then Dennis notices a DROP OF SOMETHING spatter
	his hand. It looks like blood. Dennis looks up, concerned --

	-- MORE BLOOD DROPLETS are falling. Raquel's face is sprinkled with
	them now. Dennis stops dancing. What is this? Some kind of fucked up
	performance art?

	Raquel turns her face toward the ceiling, as if washing herself in a
	summer shower, now the other club goers are looking up too --

	BLOOD SHOWERS DOWN

	from sprinkler heads in the ceiling, drenching the dancers. The club
	goers love it, thrusting their heads back, mouths open wide to
	receive the crimson offering. 

	Horrified, Dennis recoils, turning towards --

	RAQUEL,

	whose face morphs into a preternatural snarl. Her canines extend,
	tapering to razor-sharp points. Her tongue flicks, lizard-like as
	fingernails sharpen into claws. All this while the whites of her eyes
	BLEED RED, pupils oscillating hypnotically. 

				RAQUEL
		What's wrong, baby?

	Dennis SCREAMS, pushes away from Raquel, only --

	-- Mercury has fangs now too. In fact, everyone in the club does,
	with the exception of poor Dennis. That's because they're all
	vampires.

	Dennis tries to run, but the burly Doorman blocks his exit, brutally
	smashing his fist into Dennis' face. 

	Dennis falls, dazed. The club-goers close in around him. They make a
	game of it, shoving him from one person to another, their pale faces
	leering like twisted jack-o-lanterns.

	The strobe lights quicken to a seizure-inducing intensity. Dennis
	spins, tumbling into Raquel's arms. She shoves him forward -- Dennis
	lands on the floor, falling at someone's boot-clad feet. He looks up.
	A DARK FIGURE sits in the shadows, unnoticed until this moment. The
	figure stands, moves into the light as time screeches to a halt -- 

	A BLACK MAN, 

	towers above Dennis, wearing dark glasses and a leather longcoat -- a
	sneer of cruel contempt etched upon a face tempered by a lifetime of
	horror. His name is BLADE.

	Blade whips open his long coat, shrugging it off, revealing an
	arsenal of high-tech weapons strapped to his body: 

	6-point adjustable body armor, a modified CAR-15 assault rifle with
	an ultra-violet entry light, two Casull .454 revolvers, a "Demon"
	automatic cross-bow, a bandoleer of mahogany stakes, an Indian-style
	katar punching dagger -- and last, but certainly not least, his
	namesake -- a silver sword which is secured in a back-scabbard.

	CLOSE ON BLADE

	A gaze as cold and pitiless as a midnight sun. The vampire club-goers
	stare back. Nuclear silence. And then --

	All hell breaks loose. With a SNARL, Raquel charges at Blade, moving
	at superhuman speed, practically a blur -- 

	Blade draws his Casulls, FIRES in multiple directions --

	MACRO BULLET SHOT 

	as a round roars through the air towards Raquel. A silver-tipped dum-
	dum bullet which explodes on contact.

	WHAM! The round punches a fist-sized hole through Raquel's chest,
	continuing on into the vamp behind her! Vampire blood fountains. Both
	creatures tumble forward, their bodies liquefying into puddles of
	black oil which go gurgling down the run-off drains.

	Blade continues FIRING, then -CLICK!- magazines empty. Next. He
	holsters the Casulls, swings up his assault rifle, calmly flicks on
	the UV entry light mounted above --

	MERCURY 

	leaps twenty feet straight up into the air. We've never seen anything
	move so fast. She CRASHES through a glass skylight, disappearing into
	the night just as --

	-- a shaft of blinding UV "sunlight" cuts across the vampires. They
	rear back, skin smoking from the light's corrosive effects. Blade
	opens FIRE, pumping round after round of wooden fragmentation bullets
	into the crowd -- vampire genocide.

	The strobe lights flicker as the mayhem mounts. Some of the vampires
	try to flee, scurrying up the stairs, but the exit quickly becomes
	clogged with liquefying bodies -- 

	-- then Blade's CAR-15 jams. The remaining club-goers see their
	opening, surge forward en masse -- 

	Blade drops the rifle, reaches over his shoulder and -SCHINGGG!-
	unsheathes his sword with a double-handed grip. 

	THE SWORD

	Four acid-etched feet of blood-soaked Damascus steel. An edge so
	sharp it could cleave a shadow in two.

	Blade moves like lightning, hacking his way into TWO CHARGING
	VAMPIRES. Blade spins again, cuts ANOTHER VAMPIRE clean in half --

	ON THE FAR END OF THE CLUB,

	a LATEX-CLAD VAMP makes a break for it. Blade flings his sword,
	sending it spinning end over end -- THUNK! The sword punches into the
	vampire's heart. The hellish creature convulses, dies.

	Beat. Blade retrieves his sword, then senses --

	SOMETHING BIG

	rising up behind him. In a flash, Blade swings his sword downward,
	cutting off the vampire's right hand at the elbow. The severed limb
	falls to the floor -- 

	-- but it doesn't slow the hulking creature down. It SLAMS into
	Blade. Blade flies backwards thirty feet, tumbling over tables,
	slamming into the rear wall so hard that plaster rains down from the
	ceiling. 

	Blade suddenly finds himself wrestling with a feral-faced six-foot-
	something nightmare named QUINN. The vampire rears back its head,
	jaws stretching wide. Every inch of his face is covered with ritual
	scarification patterns and Maori-like tribal tattoos. 

	Blade forces an elbow against Quinn's throat, trying to keep him at
	bay. With his other hand he reaches to his bandoleer, pulls out a
	stake -- CRUNCH! Blade shoves the stake through the vampire's larynx.
	Quinn gurgles, clutches at his throat. 

	Blade rolls out from under, unholsters the cross-bow secured to his
	leg. With a flick of a switch the arms of the bow -SNAP!- open,
	drawing the bow-string taut. Blade FIRES -- 

	The bolt hits Quinn in the shoulder, throwing him backwards and
	nailing him to the wall. As Quinn reaches over with his other hand to
	pull out the stake --

	Blade FIRES AGAIN. A second bolt slams into Quinn's other arm,
	effectively pinning him like a butterfly to a board.

	UP ABOVE, 

	mounted in one of the corners, is a security camera. Blade fires a
	cross-bow bolt straight into the lens. 

	Blade strides over, placing his sword against Quinn's chest.

				BLADE
		Where is Deacon Frost?

	Quinn glares, trying to speak, gagging on the stake still lodged in
	his trachea --

				BLADE
		Got something in your throat.

	Blade yanks the stake free. The vampire laughs, air whistling through
	his ruined larynx. 

				QUINN
		Fuck you, Day-walker, I ain't saying 
		shit --

				BLADE
		Frost.

	Quinn responds with a slew of rapid-fire vampire invectives. Blade
	sees he's getting nowhere fast, calmly sheathes his sword. He unclips
	a white phosphorous grenade from his combat harness -- 

				QUINN
		You won't stop him, Blade. The Tide's 
		rising, the Sleeper's gonna --

	Blade shoves the grenade in Quinn's mouth, pulls the pin. WHOOSH!
	Quinn goes up like a roman candle. Blade turns, surveying his work,
	ignoring the howling pyre behind him:

	All evidence of the vampires is gone -- with the exception of a few
	oily-black puddles. Clothes, jewelry -- it's all been burned away by
	the acidic process of the creatures' accelerated decomposition.

	DENNIS sits huddled in a corner, having pissed his pants. As Blade
	approaches, he cringes back --

				DENNIS
		Please don't --

	Blade simply grabs Dennis by the jaw, tilting his head upward,
	rotating it from side to side -- looking for bite marks. There aren't
	any.

	Blade moves on, leaving Dennis alone amidst the carnage. As Blade
	starts up the stairs, he pauses in mid-step --

	A COCKROACH

	scurries out from underfoot. 

	Blade adjusts his footfall, sparing the roach. He continues on up the
	stairs, disappearing in the smoky haze. 

	CUT TO:

	INT. CITY HOSPITAL, AUTOPSY ROOM - NIGHT

	CAMERA FOLLOWS a bagged corpse as it's rolled into the autopsy room
	by an ASSISTANT. 

				ASSISTANT
		Brought you a baked potato, nice
		and crispy. Still warm, too.

	CURTIS WEBB, the forensic pathologist (30s, white bread, a little on
	the smarmy side) steps forward, unzips the bag --

	It's Quinn, what's left of him, anyway. Burnt to a charcoal
	briquette, limbs twisted horribly, oozing fluids.

	Curtis turns his head, grimacing, wafting the air.

				CURTIS
		Jesus, that's rank -- 

	Curtis turns back, makes note of the blackened stump where Quinn's
	arm used to be, the ruined throat -- 

				CURTIS
		What's his story?

				ASSISTANT
		Paramedics said he was still screaming 
		when they found him. Looks like some 
		joker had stapled him to a wall.

				CURTIS
		Pretty.

	CUT TO:

	INT. HOSPITAL, HEMATOLOGY LAB - NIGHT

	MICROSCOPE POV

	of a slide-mounted blood smear stained with Wright stain (blue ink).
	What we see is a collection of donut-shaped pink things (red blood
	cells) intermingled with some small blue specks (platelets) and the
	occasional larger, light-blue blobs (white blood cells).

	KAREN JANSEN (20s), a fine-featured hematologist with a social life
	in suspended animation, sits back from the microscope, stumped. Next
	to her is JULIE WHITAKER, a cheerful chemtech. 

				KAREN
		You took this off a DOA?

	Curtis sits on a stool nearby, slowly nodding.

				KAREN
		This isn't human blood.

				CURTIS
		Then what is it?

				KAREN
		I don't know --
			(re: microscope)
		Look at this blood smear -- 

	Curtis takes a look for himself.

				KAREN
		The red blood cells are biconvex, 
		which is theoretically impossible. 
		They're hypochromic, there's virtually 
		no hemoglobin in them. 
			(shaking her head)
		Look at the PMNs, they're binucleated, 
		they should be mononucleated.

				CURTIS
		What about the chemistry panel? 

	Karen looks to Julie, who reaches for a computer print-out.

				JULIE
		Blood sugar level is three times the 
		norm, phosphorous and uric acid are 
		off the scales.
			(shrugs)
		Like the woman said, impossible.

	Karen removes her glasses, rubbing the bridge of her nose.

				KAREN
		Curtis, it's three in the morning. I'm 
		really not in the mood for one of your 
		practical jokes.

				CURTIS
			(insistent)
		It's not a joke. I've got the stiff 
		sitting in the morgue right now -- 
		look, just come up and see him, okay? 
		Five minutes, that's all I ask.

				KAREN
		I thought you promised to give me some 
		distance?

				CURTIS
		This is purely professional curiosity, 
		Karen, I swear.

	Karen rolls her eyes, lets loose a tired sigh.

				KAREN
		Five minutes, not a second more. And I 
		don't want to hear a word about "us".

				CURTIS
		No problem.

	INT. HOSPITAL MORGUE - NIGHT

	The dead of night, not a mouse in the house. Curtis and Karen, each
	garbed in a mask, stand on either side of Quinn's body, which now
	rests on the autopsy table.

	QUINN'S BODY

	A preliminary exploratory Y-incision has been made across the chest,
	stretching from shoulder to shoulder, then continuing on down the
	abdomen. Ribs and cartilage have been cut open to expose the heart
	and lungs.

				KAREN
		You haven't started in on the internal 
		organs?

				CURTIS 
		Just the blood sample from the 
		pericardial sac.

	Curtis pauses, studying Quinn's disfigured face -- the features seem
	much less damaged now -- almost as if the corpse were healing itself.

				CURTIS
		That's weird --

				KAREN
		What?

				CURTIS
		He looks different now, burns are less 
		extreme, some of these wounds have 
		closed up -- 

	Curtis pulls out a penlight, flicks it on. He leans over Quinn,
	shining the light into one of his eyes.

				CURTIS
		Tell me something, honestly, you ever 
		have second thoughts about us?

				KAREN
			(grudgingly)
		Sometimes --

	Curtis looks up from the corpse, grinning beneath his mask.

				KAREN
		-- but then I remember what an 
		ass-hole you were and I'm snapped back 
		to reality. 

				CURTIS
		Jesus, Karen, you're breaking my heart 
		here --

	Quinn suddenly bolts up from the autopsy table, sinking his fangs
	into Curtis' jugular. He snaps the man's neck in two for easier
	access, sucking in blood like a living vacuum. 

	Karen stumbles backwards, sending autopsy tools CLATTERING.

	QUINN

	rises from the table, flinging Curtis' twitching body aside. He curls
	his blood-soaked lips back, baring viper-like fangs, emitting a
	GUTTURAL GROWL --

				QUINN
			(crazed by thirst)
		-- more -- blood --

	Karen backs into the corpse drawers, but Quinn is upon her in a half-
	second, wrapping a hand about her throat. His mouth opens/morphs
	disturbingly wide as if to swallow her head whole, caustic saliva
	dripping from his canines -- 

	Karen tries to turn her head away, but Quinn's grip is vise-like. She
	finds herself staring into his eyes -- pupils pulsing rapid-fire,
	opening and closing, hypnotic --

	As Quinn sinks the tips of his fangs into Karen's carotid artery and
	starts to nurse --

	BANG!!! A load of MAHOGANY buckshot chews into Quinn's side. He HOWLS
	in pain. Another load catches him full in the face. He drops Karen.
	She falls to the floor -- 

	KAREN'S POV

	The sound of RUSHING BLOOD pounding through her skull. Everything
	spinning. She struggles to move, turns her head, finds herself eye to
	eye with Curtis' corpse.

	ON QUINN

	rising, his face torn up, smoking. WHIP PAN TO --

	BLADE, 

	standing at the entrance to the morgue, a streetsweeper auto-shotgun
	in hand, sizing Quinn up.

				BLADE
		Now don't we look dapper?

	Quinn BELLOWS with rage, ripping one of the heavy steel refrigeration
	doors from its hinges, flinging it at Blade like it was lawn
	furniture --

	Blade rolls to the side as the door CRASHES against the wall. Quinn
	runs, moving through the morgue like a human tornado, heading for the
	windows at the end of the room --

	SMASH!!! Out goes Quinn, taking half the wall with him. Blade rushes
	to the decimated window, looks down --

	BLADE'S POV

	Quinn lands on the roof of an ambulance parked four stories below,
	caving it in. He springs off, loping across the tarmac on three
	limbs, then -SCREECH!-THWUMP!- rolling up onto the hood of an
	oncoming car, before disappearing into the night --

	BACK UP ABOVE,

	Blade spins, SEES Karen bleeding her life away on the floor. She
	reaches a hand out to him, beseeching --

	Blade pulls away from her grasp, takes a step towards the exit --
	then hesitates. 

	A flicker of doubt washes across Blade's face. He looks down at Karen
	once more, wrestling with his conscience, finally making a decision.
	He kneels, scoops Karen up into his arms. Just then, 

	TWO POLICEMEN 

	rush into the morgue, weapons drawn --

				UNIFORM #1
		Hold it, ass-hole!

	Blade ignores them, turning to face the window before him. It's a
	good thirty feet to the roof of the adjacent building, a parking
	structure -- and damned if Blade doesn't seem to be considering the
	jump.

	The Police close in, agitated. Blade crouches, switches Karen to a
	one-handed grip --

				UNIFORM #1
		I said hold it!!!

	-- and jumps.

	EXT. HOSPITAL/ROOFTOP PARKING STRUCTURE - NIGHT

	Blade clears the impossible distance -- almost. He snags the ledge of
	the adjacent parking structure with his left hand even as Karen slips
	from the grasp of his right --

	-- a last-second save, his fingers clamping around her wrist, is all
	that stands between Karen and street pizza. She SCREAMS anyway,
	dangling below him --

	Blade GRUNTS, swinging Karen like a pendulum, heaving her up and over
	the ledge as if she were a sack of potatoes. She lands on her
	shoulder, clutching it in pain --

	Blade heaves himself up, crouching beside her.

				KAREN
			(gasping)
		My shoulder -- dislocated --

	Blade places a hand on her shoulder, another around her elbow and
	without any consideration to discomfort -CRACK!- brutally pops it
	back in place. Karen SCREAMS again as he scoops her up once more and
	heads for --

	HIS '69 OLDSMOBILE 442, 

	which is parked nearby. Midnight-black. The definitive high-
	performance heavy-metal muscle machine with an engine big enough to
	power an Apollo rocket. 

	INT. BLADE'S OLDS - NIGHT

	Blade sets Karen down in the passenger seat, climbs behind the wheel,
	keys the ignition. The engine ROARS to life, belching fumes through
	the dual exhaust. Blade floors it, burning serious rubber as the Olds
	vanishes from sight. 

	BACK AT THE DEMOLISHED MORGUE WINDOW 

	as the two policemen stare numbly in open-mouthed astonishment.

	CUT TO:

	EXT. CITY STREETS - NIGHT

	Blade pilots the Olds down the streets, moving through a series of
	increasingly degenerating neighborhoods, coming at last to the
	sprawling warehouse district.

	EXT. ABANDONED FACTORY - NIGHT 

	The Olds approaches a mammoth industrial facility that's been
	cordoned off by cyclone fencing and razor wire. Ultra-violet
	floodlights illuminate the area, while an army of security cameras
	keep a watchful eye. 

	INT. BLADE'S OLDS - NIGHT

	Blade glances at Karen, cursing himself for giving into his emotions.
	He hits a remote secured to the sun visor --

	EXT. BLADE'S OLDS/ABANDONED FACTORY - NIGHT

	A gate grinds open. 

	We follow the Olds as it cruises around the back of the building,
	heading down a concrete loading ramp. At the bottom of the ramp, a
	heavy iron door rises. Blade's Olds disappears into the darkness.

	INT. ABANDONED FACTORY, INDUSTRIAL ELEVATOR - NIGHT

	More UV lights flicker on. We're in a massive loading elevator which
	HUMS as it ascends, eventually reaching its destination with a
	BOOMING CLANG. The doors at the rear glide open. Blade guides the
	Olds out.

	INT. ABANDONED FACTORY, WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

	Set up in an old ironworks, the place looks like a cross between an
	auto junkyard and an armory. Equipment is strewn everywhere --
	lathes, mills, old furnaces, gutted vehicles, an ad hoc surgical
	theater -- all of it jerry-rigged in a brutal, oily-tech.

	Blade climbs out of the Olds. He opens the passenger door and pulls
	Karen out, carries her in his arms. 

				BLADE
		Whistler!

				WHISTLER (O.S.)
		Are we bringing home strays now?

	ABRAHAM WHISTLER (60s)

	hobbles out of the shadows, leaning heavily on a cane. Gimlet-eyed,
	bitter, his right leg encased in a metal brace. Though his face is
	lined with wrinkles and his hair has long since gone gray, we sense
	he could kick the living shit out of any man half his age. 

				BLADE
		She's been bitten.

				WHISTLER
		You should've killed her, then.

				BLADE
		She hasn't turned yet. 
			(pointedly)
		You can help her.

	Blade and Whistler stare each other down. Finally, Whistler turns and
	heads over to the operating theater.

				WHISTLER
		No promises. You watch her close. She 
		starts to turn, you finish her off.

	Blade nods, lays Karen down on the operating table. Whistler turns on
	an overhead light. Karen is sheathed in sweat, ashen. She's lost a
	lot of blood.

	Whistler snaps on a pair of surgical gloves, probes the wound in
	Karen's neck with an antiseptic swab -- there's capillary damage
	around the perimeter of the wound, the tissue looks bruised,
	gangrenous. 

				WHISTLER
		Localized necrosis. She's borderline. 
		Another hour and she'd be well into 
		the change.

	Whistler cracks open a smelling salt capsule and waves under Karen's
	nose. As she starts to stir --

				WHISTLER
		Can you hear me, woman? 

	Karen's eyes open wide. She's scared, disoriented --

				KAREN
		What -- ?

				WHISTLER
		You've been bitten by a vampire. We've 
		got to try and burn out the venom, 
		just like a rattlesnake bite --

	Whistler reaches for a massive syringe filled with caustic-looking
	fluid. Karen sees the syringe, resists --

				WHISTLER
		Hold her. 

	Blade forces Karen back. Whistler readies the syringe.

				WHISTLER
			(reading her name tag)
		"Dr. Karen Jansen". Listen close, I'm 
		going to inject you with an antidote 
		made from allium setivum -- garlic. 
		This is going to hurt. A lot. 

	Whistler sinks the needle into Karen's neck and depresses the
	plunger. "Hurt" doesn't begin to describe what Karen experiences
	next. Imagine undergoing childbirth while someone pumps battery acid
	through your veins.

	Karen SHRIEKS, her body going into uncontrolled paroxysms. The wound
	on her neck begins to smoke as the antidote attacks the poisonous
	vampire venom.

	Karen clutches at Blade's arms, digging her nails in. She stares up
	at him with unflinching intensity, like a child desperately searching
	for assurance. 

	ON BLADE,

	uncomfortable playing the roll of nursemaid. He'd like nothing more
	than to be done with this, but the only thing he can do is hold Karen
	while she rides out the seizures. 

	KAREN'S POV

	growing darker by the moment. The last thing she sees is Blade
	staring down at her -- then the night closes in. 

	INT. HOUSE OF EREBUS, MEETING ROOM - NIGHT

	CLOSE ON a monitor featuring footage taken at the vampire club
	massacre. Blade turns and stares into the camera, fires his cross-
	bow. The screen cuts to static.

	A WITHERED, CLAWED HAND

	moves into frame, holding a remote. With a tap of a button, the
	monitor goes dark. 

	PULL BACK TO REVEAL a large, minimalist conference room -- the House
	of Erebus, seat of the vampire race's legislative assembly.

	Gathered around a massive table are the TWELVE VAMPIRE ELDERS,
	representing a "rainbow" of racial colors -- names like PALLINTINE,
	VON ESPER, ASHE, BAVA. Two of them, the FAUSTINAS, are identical
	twins -- lethal-looking women with alabaster skin. 

	Chilled carafes filled with blood are situated along the table. From
	time to time, a member will pour themselves a glass, or perhaps, help
	themselves to the bowls of human finger bones which serve as snacks.

	At the head of the table is GAETANO DRAGONETTI, current vampire
	"Overlord". Blood-red eyes, parchment skin stretched over skull-like
	features. Incalculably ancient, but still deadly and virile as a
	viper. 

	Dragonetti speaks. He uses the "secret tongue" -- the ancient vampire
	language which utilizes consonants human vocal chords are incapable
	of reproducing. 

				DRAGONETTI 
			(subtitled)
		Blade. Once again, our interests have 
		fallen victim to his ridiculous 
		crusade. He must be destroyed.

				FROST (O.S.)
			(in English)
		You're wrong, Dragonetti. 

	All heads turn. Who would dare such impudence?

	DEACON FROST, 

	a mere "Underlord" in the vampire hierarchy, steps forward.
	Strikingly handsome, younger, less conservative than his superiors,
	fueled with a passionate intensity. Amongst the vampire community
	he's known as an agitator. He's also the vampire equivalent of a
	racial supremacist.

				FROST
		The Day Walker represents a unique 
		opportunity. We'd be fools to waste 
		it by killing him. 

				DRAGONETTI
			(subtitled, taking umbrage)
		Deacon Frost. You refuse to speak our 
		language, you insult the House of 
		Erebus by using the humans' 
		gutter-tongue, have you no respect 
		for tradition? 

				FROST
		Why should I respect something which 
		has outlived its purpose?

	This causes quite a stir amongst the other vampires. Frost might as
	well have slapped Dragonetti in the face.

				DRAGONETTI
			(simmering)
		I see. And what would you have us do 
		with this "half-breed"?

				FROST
		Study him. Unlock the secrets of his 
		DNA. He's the key we've been looking 
		for. 

				DRAGONETTI
		He is an abomination! 

	Dragonetti slams his fist down, toppling a carafe, spilling blood
	across the tabletop. Frost looks to the others --

				FROST
		Why should we spend our lives 
		cringing from the daylight when his 
		blood offers us an alternative? 
		Enough talk. It's time we stepped out 
		of the shadows!

	Dragonetti looks apoplectic. ELDER PALLINTINE, a five-hundred year-
	old vampire inhabiting the body of a prepubescent boy, interjects.

				PALLINTINE
		You're out of line, Frost.

				FROST
		Am I? Or am I just the first to say 
		out loud what we've all been 
		thinking? 

	The fact that no one answers is telling. Dragonetti glowers at the
	other Elders, sensing the tide turning.

				DRAGONETTI
		The shadows suit us, Frost. We've 
		existed this way for thousands of 
		years. Who are you to challenge our 
		ways?

				FROST
		Someone who's sick of living off 
		scraps. The coming age belongs to us, 
		not the humans! 
			(to the others)
		When the final war between our races 
		comes, who do you want leading the 
		charge? 

	Frost stabs an accusing finger at the Overlord.

				FROST
		Some withered up fossil ready to snap 
		like a brittle bone at the first sign 
		of change?

	Dragonetti GROWLS like an beast, raking his claws across the tyro
	vampire's face, knocking him to the ground. 

				DRAGONETTI
		Get out!!!

	Frost picks himself up, touches the gashes on his cheek. Looks at his
	fingers, licks the blood from them. 

				FROST
		Careful, old fang. You might wake up 
		one day and find yourself extinct.

	Frost smiles at Dragonetti and calmly exits the room.

	INT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP, BLADE'S CELL - DAY

	ON KAREN as she comes to. Her wounds have been bandaged. She rises, a
	little shaky, takes in her surroundings -- She's in a spartan room,
	like a monk's cell. On the wall is a collection of knives and
	daggers. Some of them wooden, their hilts inscribed with bizarre-
	looking runes. In the center of these weapons rests --

	BLADE'S SWORD,

	hanging like a cross in a chapel, dominating all else. Karen touches
	it. Then her eyes drop to a silver locket which dangles from the hilt
	by a tarnished chain. She reaches for it, opens it --

	The locket features a photo, old and faded. It's the black woman we
	saw in the prologue, Vanessa, standing in the sunshine. 

	Karen moves towards the door, cautious -- 

	INT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - DAY

	We hear VOICES now, coming from beyond a series of black-out
	curtains. Karen pushes one aside and SEES --

	BLADE

	strapped into some kind of Inquisition-esque restraint chair. His
	shirt is off, his body slick with sweat. Whistler finishes strapping
	Blade in, then stands back, holding up a gas-powered pistol injector,
	hesitant --

				WHISTLER 
		I had to increase the dose. You're 
		building up a resistance to the 
		serum --

				BLADE
			(impatient)
		Just do it, old man.

	Whistler nods, fitting Blade with a bite guard. Then he presses the
	pistol-injector against Blade's carotid artery. 

	Blade shakes violently, grinding his teeth through the bite guard,
	veins cording in his neck. He clutches Whistler's hand, holding it
	tightly as he fights his way through the hellish seizure. To his
	credit, Whistler never lets go.

	Mentor and student stare at one another as the mysterious serum runs
	its violent course. We understand that these shared moments, oddly
	private in their horror, are the glue which binds the two vampire
	hunters together. Finally, Blade slumps forward in his restraints,
	exhausted. 

	KAREN

	She draws back, instinctively knowing that she's just witnessed
	something she shouldn't have. She looks for an exit, SEES another
	doorway. She makes for it -- 

	INT. WHISTLER'S LAB - TANK ROOM - DAY 

	A dusty, darkened hole of a room, no windows, just shadows, crumbling
	concrete, rust stains, and --

	A LARGE TANK

	filled with swirling blood plasma, choked with electrical leads and
	biomedical sensors. SOMETHING floats within, suspended in the murky
	fluid -- a child , two or three years of age, drifting about like a
	medical oddity preserved in formaldehyde -- 

	THUMP! The child SLAMS up against the glass. Karen backpedals,
	startled. Its eyes are open now, pupils blown. It snarls, revealing a
	mouthful of razored fangs, trailing mouth-slime across the glass as
	it futilely tries to chew its way through to Karen.

	Karen stifles a sob, turning and running right into --

	BLADE,

	who now blocks the exit, sword in hand. Karen retreats a step,
	wary --

				BLADE
		You shouldn't be here.

				KAREN
		I'm sorry, I --

				WHISTLER (O.S.)
		Wandered off the beaten path, Doctor?

	Whistler has entered the room from a second doorway. Karen looks from
	Whistler to Blade, trapped between them --

				KAREN
		Who are you people?

				WHISTLER
		My name is Abraham Whistler.
			(re: Blade)
		This is Blade. As for our little 
		homunculus here --

	Whistler limps over to the tank, rapping his cane against it. The
	creature snaps at it reflexively, following the silver tip back and
	forth like a fish after a lure.

				BLADE
		-- he's a vampire.

				KAREN
		You're joking --

				WHISTLER
		Not at all. You're looking at a prime 
		specimen of the homines nocturna. 

	Whistler toys with the feral creature, engaging in a certain amount
	of sadistic delight as its efforts grow increasingly more frenzied.
	Suddenly, it surges towards the top of the tank, clawing at the
	lid --

	Karen becomes alarmed -- but then a massive ELECTRICAL JOLT shocks
	the creature back into submission. 

				WHISTLER
		If Blade hadn't brought you here, you 
		would've wound up like him.

	Karen brings a hand to her bandaged neck, recalling the events of the
	previous night. She looks to Blade.

				KAREN
		Why did you help me?

	Blade scowls, his gaze flickering to Whistler.

				BLADE
		Stupidity.

				WHISTLER
			(appraising her)
		Maybe not. I did some checking, she's 
		a hematologist. Knowledge like that 
		might come in handy.

				BLADE
		It's not worth the risk. We can't 
		trust her.

				KAREN
		Why?

				BLADE
		Because you're tainted. The venom's 
		still inside you. You could still 
		turn on us.

				KAREN
		What happens then?

	Blade looks to Whistler -- as far as he's concerned, the debate's
	over.

				BLADE
		Then I have to take you out, just 
		like any other bloodsucker.

	Blade turns and exits. Whistler and Karen follow.

	INT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - DAY

	Beyond the grimy outer windows, we can see that the day is closing --
	long shadows, amber light. Karen lingers in the doorway, reeling from
	information overload. 

	Blade begins suiting up for his nightly hunt -- strapping on body
	armor, loading ammunition. He strings the tarnished locket around his
	neck as if it were an amulet that could ward off evil, then pauses to
	inspect a modified pistol, sighting down the length of it.

				BLADE
		We hunt them, moving from one city to 
		the next, tracking their migrations. 
		They're hard to kill. They tend to 
		regenerate.

	CLACK! Blade pulls the trigger on an empty chamber, then checks his
	next weapon --

				KAREN
			(sarcastic)
		So what do you use, then? A stake?

				WHISTLER
			(nodding)
		Some of the old wives' tales are true 
		-- they're severely allergic to 
		silver, various types of wood. Feed 
		them garlic and they'll go into 
		anaphylactic shock -- 

	Whistler picks up a customized rifle with a UV entry light, flicking
	on the beam.

				WHISTLER
		-- and of course there's always 
		sunlight, ultra-violet rays. 

	Karen shakes her head, incredulous -- 

				KAREN
		And you honestly expect me to believe 
		all this?

				BLADE
		I don't care what you believe. I 
		saved your life once, I don't plan on 
		making a habit of it. You want my 
		advice, you'll be out of the city by 
		nightfall. If you're stupid enough to 
		stay, that's your business.

				KAREN
		I can't just leave. I have a life 
		here, a career --

				BLADE 
		Not anymore. You've seen one of them. 
		You won't be allowed to live after 
		that. 

	Karen stares at Blade. Whistler gestures to the windows --

				WHISTLER
		There's a war going on out there. 
		Blade, myself, a few others -- we've 
		tried to keep it from spilling over 
		onto the streets. 
			(beat)
		Sometimes people like yourself get 
		caught in the cross-fire. 

	Whistler shrugs. As far as he's concerned, there's nothing else to
	say. Karen is still protesting, though. 

				KAREN
		I can go to the police. I have blood 
		samples back at the hospital. I can 
		show them. 

				BLADE
		Do it. You'll be dead before you can 
		file the complaint.

				KAREN
		That's ridiculous! No one's that 
		powerful. 

	Whistler sighs. He doesn't suffer fools gladly.

				WHISTLER 
		You're talking about a brotherhood 
		that predates the Catholic Church by 
		thousands of years. Their survival 
		depends on their ability to blend in. 
		Chances are, you've encountered them 
		and not even known it. On the subway, 
		in a bar --

	Blade slings his CAR-15 onto his shoulder, impatient. He starts
	towards the Olds, gesturing.

				BLADE
		Get in. You're leaving.

				WHISTLER
		Wait.

	Whistler tosses a small metal canister to Karen.

				WHISTLER
		Consider it a parting gift. Vampire 
		mace -- silver nitrate, essence of 
		garlic. 

				KAREN
			(in disbelief)
		So that's it? You guys just patch me 
		up and send me on my way?

				WHISTLER
		There is one other thing. I'd buy 
		yourself a gun if I were you. If you 
		start becoming sensitive to the 
		daylight, if you start becoming 
		thirsty regardless of much you've had 
		to drink -- then I suggest you take 
		that gun and use it on yourself. 
		Better that, than the alternative.

	Karen stares at Whistler, horrified, as we --

	CUT TO:

	INT. THE VAMPIRE ARCHIVES - DAY

	We are deep in the narrow stacks of a sepulchral archive. Exactly
	what and where this place is will become more clear later on. 

	But for now, the CAMERA DRIFTS through the warren of aisles. Along
	the way, we catch a glimpse of a HULKING SILHOUETTE cowering behind a
	series of Japanese shoji screens. Later on, we find --

	FROST

	tucked away in a carrel, surrounded by books and scriptures, with
	only the SICKLY GLOW of his laptop to provide light.

				DRAGONETTI (O.S.)
		What are you doing here?

	Frost pauses, SEEING Dragonetti emerge from the shadows.

				DRAGONETTI
			(outraged)
		These archives are restricted to 
		members of the House of Erebus.

				FROST
		Please. You and the other Elders 
		wouldn't know what to do with these 
		texts if your lives depended on it. 
			(cryptically)
		Which, of course, they do.

				DRAGONETTI
		You're wasting your time, Frost. Far 
		greater scholars than you have tried 
		to decipher these words. Whatever 
		secrets they hold have been lost.

				FROST
		Perhaps.

	Frost studies Dragonetti, a self-satisfied grin on his face. If the
	act was intended to unnerve Dragonetti, it succeeded, though the
	ancient vampire would never admit it.

				DRAGONETTI
		What are you up to, Frost?

	Frost shuts the lid on his laptop, rising, drawing intimidatingly
	close to Dragonetti.

				FROST'S VOICE
		Wouldn't you like to know, Old Fang?

	A beat as the young turk stares his elder down. Dragonetti is the
	first to lose his nerve. Frost smiles and exits, leaving the old
	vampire to lick his wounds.

	CAMERA DRIFTS back to the hulking silhouette, which has been
	eavesdropping on the conversation. It quivers in fear.

	INT. BLADE'S OLDS (ON KAREN'S STREET CORNER) - DAY

	Blade brings the car to a stop. Karen looks at him. His eyes are
	hidden behind his glasses, his expression stone.

				BLADE
		Remember what we said. Keep your eyes 
		open. They're everywhere.

	EXT. KAREN'S APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY

	As Karen climbs out, Blade swings the door shut behind her. The Olds
	ROARS off down the quiet residential street. 

	INT. APARTMENT BUILDING, LOBBY - DAY

	Karen crosses the lobby, stepping into an elevator. Just as the doors
	are closing, a WOMAN and TWO MEN duck in alongside her. 

	INT. ELEVATOR - DAY

	Silence, the uncomfortableness of an elevator ride magnified tenfold.
	Karen can FEEL the eyes of her fellow passengers upon her. Finally
	succumbing to paranoia, she hazards a glance -- would she be able to
	tell if these people weren't human? The woman turns to Karen,
	smiles --

	Karen surreptitiously fishes the "vampire mace" from her pocket,
	clutching it -- and now one of the men turns to look at her,
	nodding --

	INT. KAREN'S APARTMENT BUILDING, HALLWAY - DAY

	The elevator doors open. Karen hurries out, heads left, finds herself
	in a deserted hallway. She looks back --

	-- then skips a heartbeat as the trio also step out! As Karen raises
	the canister of mace --

	-- the trio turn and head down to the right. Karen breathes a sigh of
	relief, shakes her head.

	INT. KAREN'S APARTMENT - DAY

	Karen enters quickly, bolting the door behind her. She picks up the
	phone, dials 911 --

				KAREN
		I need the police. This is an 
		emergency --

	As Karen waits to be connected, she moves to the back entrance and
	checks the locks -- then the windows, then the fire escape --
	finally, a VOICE comes on the other end.

				KAREN
		Hello? My name is Karen Jansen, I was 
		with Curtis Webb at Mid-Town Hospital 
		last night -- that's right, I 
		witnessed the attack --
			(listening)
		115 Aurora, apartment 3G. Yes, I'll 
		wait here. Please hurry.

	Karen hangs up the phone and turns -- 

	A SHAFT OF BRIGHT SUNLIGHT

	streams in through a window. Karen forces herself to look at it and
	winces, shielding her eyes. Again, she brings a hand to the bandaged
	wound on her neck. She moves to the window, pulling the shade down,
	frightened.

				KAREN
		Get a grip on yourself, girl.

	She sinks down into a chair to wait, setting Whistler's vampire mace
	aside. Then she shuts her eyes, massaging her temples. We SEE --

	A BRIEF FLASH OF

	Quinn, his mouth opening wide, saliva dripping from his fangs. His
	pupils pulsating hypnotically. We rush into his gaping maw and --

	WHAM! We're back to reality. Karen wakes with a start, looks to the
	windows -- time has passed, it's getting dark outside --

	-- and someone is KNOCKING at the front door. Karen reaches for the
	vampire mace, then moves to the door. She looks through the peephole,
	cautious --

				KAREN
		Who is it? 

	KAREN'S POV (FISH-EYE)

	A POLICE OFFICER stands in the hallway -- 30s, handsome, a knight in
	shining armor as far as she's concerned. 

				GIDEON
		Sergeant Gideon. I'm responding to a 
		911 call. 

	Karen visibly relaxes. She opens the door and steps aside, allowing
	Gideon to enter.

				KAREN
		Yes, that was me, I'm Karen Jansen -- 

	Gideon smiles, takes a quick glance around the room, then studies
	Karen's face, the bandages on her neck.

				GIDEON
		Are you all right?
			(off Karen's nod)
		I'm glad you called, Ms. Jansen, we've 
		been anxious to get a hold of you. You 
		disappeared on us for a while. 

				KAREN
		I know. Listen -- do you have any idea 
		what happened to Curtis, the other 
		doctor?

				GIDEON
			(matter of fact)
		Oh, he's dead. But I wouldn't worry 
		about that if I were you.

				KAREN
			(alarmed)
		Why?

	Gideon's smile vanishes as he unholsters his gun. 

				GIDEON
		Because you're dead too.

	Karen GASPS. She has a half-second to act -- in which she triggers a
	spray of vampire mace into Gideon's face. Gideon stumbles back,
	blinded, cursing, rubbing the heel of his palm against his eyes -- 

	Karen expects pyrotechnics -- but the end result is little more than
	an annoyance. A second later, Gideon is simply blinking, sniffing his
	fingers, confused --

				GIDEON
		Garlic?

				KAREN
		He said it would work against 
		vampires --

	Gideon bursts out laughing.

				GIDEON
		Who said I was a vampire? 

	Gideon shakes his head, still snickering. He forces Karen against the
	wall, placing the gun against her head --

				GIDEON
		Thanks for the laugh. You can shut 
		your eyes if you want to.

	CRASH!!! The front door explodes open as Blade comes flying through
	it! 

	Gideon tries to bring his pistol up -- but Blade grips the man's hand
	and squeezes. Gideon SCREAMS as his bones snap like kindling. The
	pistol falls from his grasp --

	Blade fires his fist into Gideon's gut again and again, then flings
	the officer across the room, sending him SMASHING into a glass-cased
	cabinet. Bleeding, battered, Gideon struggles to stand --

	Blade is all over him, kicking the shit out of the rogue cop until he
	sinks to the floor in a half-conscious haze.

	Blade stands over Gideon's limp form, fists clenched, breathing
	heavily, touching down after his adrenaline high. Finally, he looks
	to Karen --

				BLADE
		You okay?

	Karen nods, glances at Gideon --

				KAREN
		How did you know?

				BLADE
		Figured they'd send someone after you. 
		Thought I'd wait around and see who 
		showed up.

				KAREN
		You used me as bait?!

				BLADE
		It worked, didn't it?

				KAREN
		But, he could've --

				BLADE
		He didn't. Get over it.

	Blade kneels next to Gideon. He turns the man's head, inspects the
	neck, the skin behind the ear -- 

				KAREN
		But he's a policeman --

				BLADE
		He's a familiar. A human who works for 
		the vampires. See this mark?

	Blade pushes aside Gideon's hair, revealing a tiny, cryptic symbol
	tattooed into the man's scalp.

				BLADE
		That's a glyph, kind of like a vampire 
		cattle brand. That means Officer 
		Friendly here is someone's property. 
		Any of the other vampire's try to 
		bleed him, they'll have to answer to 
		Friendly's owner --
			(studying the glyph)
		This glyph belongs to Deacon Frost. 
		We've been tracking him for a while 
		now --

				KAREN
		Why in God's name would anyone want to 
		work for them?

				BLADE
		Because they're vampire wanna-bes. If 
		they're loyal, if they prove 
		themselves, then their masters will 
		turn them. 

				KAREN
		And that's a good thing?

				BLADE
		For some. Live forever, never get old. 
		The ultimate high. 

	Just then, Gideon MOANS. Blade drags the man up so they're eye to
	eye.

				BLADE
		How 'bout you, Officer? You a good 
		little bloodhound?

	CUT TO:

	EXT. KAREN'S APARTMENT BUILDING - DUSK

	Blade and Karen are now standing by Gideon's police cruiser which is
	parked outside Karen's apartment. Blade shoves Gideon against the
	hood of the cruiser. He finds Gideon's keys, moves to the trunk,
	opens it --

	IN THE TRUNK --

	A sophisticated medical cooling unit for transporting organs. Blade
	opens the unit, coolant vapor hisses out. Inside are plastic bags
	containing blood. 

				BLADE
		Looks like our friend was 
		blood-running.
			(to Gideon)
		Where were you headed?

	Gideon mumbles through a split lip and chipped teeth --

				GIDEON
		Mphuck you --

	WHAM! Blade plants Gideon's face into the hood of the car. Gideon
	GROANS, coughs --

				GIDEON
		Jesus -- 1227 Brookner -- 
		Holliston Clinic --

	Blade releases him, then reaches for his Casull.

				KAREN
		What are you doing?!

				BLADE
		Preventive medicine.

	Karen steps in front of Blade, shielding Gideon.

				KAREN
		You can't do this, he's human, it's 
		murder.

				BLADE
		It's war, now get the fuck out of the 
		way!

	Karen grabs Blade's arm, wrestling with him, trying to push his hand
	away. As the two of them struggle, Gideon makes a break for it,
	stumbling across the lawn. Blade pushes Karen aside, takes aim,
	FIRES --

	-- but Gideon ducks into an alley, disappearing from sight. Blade
	spins on Karen, enraged --

				BLADE
		God-damnit!!! Do you have any idea 
		what you just did?! He'll warn them. 
		They'll be waiting!

	But Karen's defiant, she's not backing down.

				KAREN
		You were going to kill him. What was I 
		supposed to do?! Shut my eyes and 
		pretend I didn't see what I saw? 

	Blade tears off his glasses. Karen gasps --

	BLADE'S EYES

	aren't human, nor are they vampire. They're something else -- emerald
	green, laced with swirling flecks of red. 

				BLADE
		Let me set you straight on something, 
		Doctor. What you've "seen" so far is 
		nothing. The world you live in's just 
		the sugar-coated topping. There's 
		another world beneath it, the real 
		world -- and it's a fucking bloodbath. 
		If you want to survive in it, you'd 
		better pull your head out of your ass. 

	Blade slips his glasses back on, leaving Karen shocked into silence.
	He heads for his Olds without looking back, climbs in, guns the
	engine. In seconds, he's gone, tearing off down the street in a cloud
	of exhaust.

	EXT. EDGEWOOD TOWERS, PENTHOUSE - DUSK

	We are soaring through the air above the gleaming city skyline,
	moving towards the Edgewood Towers whose windows reflect the blood-
	red sinking sun.

	INT. FROST'S PENTHOUSE, POOL - NIGHT

	Suffused lighting, elegant tile-work featuring evocative mosaics, the
	quiet strains of CLASSICAL MUSIC -- 

	MERCURY,

	the lupine Gaultier girl from the club, glides beneath the water,
	surfacing at the deep end. We SEE --

	FROST

	lounging in a chair, studying a laptop which rests beside him. On the
	screen is a digitized image -- a page taken from an ancient
	manuscript, written in a secret tongue.

	Officer Gideon waits nearby, cradling his ruined hand, his battered
	face cast downward like a boy who's been called into the Principal's
	office. 

				GIDEON
		Look, I know you're disappointed --

				FROST
		Crestfallen.

				GIDEON
		Blade was waiting for me. There wasn't 
		anything I could do.

	Frost nods, lapsing into brooding contemplation.

				FROST
		Tell me something, Gideon, what blood 
		type are you?

	Gideon hesitates. Is this a trick question?

				GIDEON
		I don't really know --

				FROST
		Take a wild stab. A? B? O, perhaps? 
		I'm interested in the antigens here, 
		the agglutination reaction --

	Gideon stammers as Frost rises. In the blink of an eye, Frost lifts
	Gideon from the floor, dangling the Officer over the deep end of the
	pool by his throat --

				FROST
		I'm going to guess AB positive.

	Gideon GURGLES as Frost's fingernails pierce his flesh, drawing
	blood. Then Frost releases him --

	Gideon plunges into the pool. Mercury is on him in a heartbeat,
	tearing him apart like a Great White consuming a piece of chum. The
	water churns violently around them, clouding with red.

	When it's over, Mercury rises from the pool, dripping wet, covered
	from head to toe in a crimson sheen. 

	She kisses Frost hungrily, letting Gideon's blood flow from her mouth
	to his. Frost flicks a tongue over his lips.

				FROST
		AB positive. Give the man a prize.

	Below them, Gideon's lifeless body sinks towards the pool bottom, his
	police badge twinkling like sunken treasure.

	CUT TO:

	EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

	Blade's Olds cruises to a stop. We're in a low-end commercial
	district -- junky heaven. Blade climbs out, pulling an automatic
	rifle from the back seat, then heading into an alleyway. 

	EXT. BACK ALLEY - NIGHT

	Blade makes his way down the alley, cautious -- he SEES mountains of
	trash, boarded-up windows, overlapping layers of gang graffiti -- a
	RAT crouching on a trash dumpster, gnawing on a dead pigeon --

	-- then a SOUND behind Blade, the scuffle of feet -- 

	Blade whirls, drawing his sword, CHARGING at an approaching shadow,
	stopping mere millimeters from decapitating --

	KAREN,

	who's been backed up against the wall, her eyes wide with fright.
	Blade's sword vibrates from the tension in his forearm, having drawn
	just the slightest taste of blood.

				BLADE
		What the hell are you doing?! I could 
		have killed you!

	Blade lowers his sword. Karen remembers to breathe. She slumps,
	tracing her fingers over the line where her head almost parted with
	her body.

				KAREN
		I remembered the address. I followed 
		you --

	Blade shakes his head, amazed.

				BLADE
		Do you have a death wish or are you 
		just stupid?

	Karen pushes away from the wall, angry --

				KAREN
		Look, if what you say is true, if 
		there's a chance I could turn into one 
		of them, then I've got no choice, do 
		I? I have to work with you. I need to 
		learn everything I can about them. 
		It's the only way I'll be able to find 
		a cure for myself.

				BLADE
		There is no cure. 

				KAREN
			(defiant)
		You don't know that.

	Blade turns and moves to the end of the alley, studying the graffiti-
	covered wall intently --

				KAREN
		What are you looking at?

				BLADE
			(gesturing)
		What do you see here?

				KAREN
		Graffiti --

				BLADE
		Look closer.

	Blade indicates a design amongst the various gang-banger tags that
	looks something like a post-modern hieroglyphic.

				BLADE
		This isn't a gang tag, it's a vampire 
		marking. It means there's a safe-house 
		nearby. 
		A place they can go if dawn is coming. 

	Blade points to a building across the street --

	THE HOLLISTON CLINIC,

	your basic inner-city blood-barter establishment where desperate
	transients parley their plasma into cash.

				KAREN
			(recognizing it)
		I know this place -- it's a blood 
		bank. 

				BLADE
		Owned by vampires. There's one of 
		these in every major city, and just 
		like Domino's, they always deliver.
			(looking to Karen)
		You telling me you're ready to walk 
		through that door?

	Karen nods. Blade continues to stare at her, taking her measure --
	there's a strength in this woman's eyes, she has the soul of a
	fighter -- and Blade recognizes it. 

				BLADE
		All right, then, listen up, Vampire 
		Anatomy 101. Crosses and running water 
		don't do dick, so forget what you've 
		seen in the movies. 

	Blade enumerates the following on his fingers:

				BLADE
		You use the stake, silver, or 
		sunlight, got it? 

	Blade holds up one of his Casulls. 

				BLADE
		Know how to use one of these?

	Karen takes the weapon from him, eyes all over it.

				KAREN
		No.

	Blade takes the gun back, snorting derisively.

				BLADE
		Safety's off, round's already 
		chambered -- 
			(cocking it)
		Silver hollow-points filled with 
		garlic. You aim for the heart or the 
		head, anything else is a one-way 
		ticket to a pine box.

	Blade hand it to her again, then starts across the street towards the
	clinic. Karen follows --

	INT. HOLLISTON CLINIC, LOBBY - NIGHT

	Blade enters, swinging his rifle around for all to see.

				BLADE
		Get out. Now.

	The POTENTIAL DONORS scramble for the exit. Behind the counter,
	TANAKA, a male nurse, reaches for an alarm button. Blade vaults over
	the counter, aiming his rifle. 

				BLADE
		I know you're blood-running. Who's 
		your sponsor? 

				TANAKA
		I don't know what you're --

	POW! Blade backhands him across the face hard enough to loosen his
	teeth. Karen flinches, stepping forward -- 

				KAREN
		What if you've made a mistake?

	Blade pins Tanaka's head to the wall, turning it to the side --
	revealing the man's glyph. It's different than Gideon's, looking more
	like a Japanese kanji character.

				BLADE
		What's this? A birthmark?

	Blade grips Tanaka by his collar, shoving him through a doorway --

	INT. HOLLISTON CLINIC, SUPPLY ROOM - NIGHT

	Karen and Blade SEE supply cabinets, cots, a number of locked
	refrigeration units. Blade FIRES into the door handle of one of the
	units, tears it open -- the fridge is stacked floor to ceiling with
	plastic packets of blood.

				BLADE
			(to Karen)
		Still think we might be wrong?
			(to Tanaka)
		How much are you shipping?

				TANAKA
		Bite me!

	Blade opens FIRE, sweeping his rifle around the room, shooting
	everything in sight. Glass cabinetry shatters, ampoules and
	vacutainers go flying. Tanaka cowers, arms wrapped about his head.

	Blade stops shooting. He leans down towards Tanaka, placing the end
	of his rifle against the man's forehead. Tanaka looks like he's about
	to wet his pants.

				BLADE
		I've got a message for your masters -- 
		the night's no longer safe for their 
		kind.

	Blade pulls back his rifle, leaving a red indentation mark where the
	end of the rifle barrel pressed into Tanaka's skin. He starts towards
	the exit. Karen follows.

	CUT TO:

	INT. BLADE'S OLDS - NIGHT

	Blade and Karen return to the Olds. He keys the ignition, lets the
	engine idle. They're parked down the street from the blood clinic.
	Karen looks to Blade, confused --

				KAREN
		You let him go -- 
			(off Blade's nod)
		An hour ago you were ready to kill a 
		man for less, this one didn't even 
		talk.

				BLADE
		He will.

	Blade points --

	THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD --

	Tanaka rushes from the clinic, climbing behind the wheel of a Mustang
	parked nearby. He takes off -- 

	Blade follows the Mustang, CLICKING on a cell-phone scanner mounted
	on the dash. Numbers flash on the LCD screen as it searches for a
	signal, then locks onto it. We hear a DIAL TONE, then a number being
	dialed --

				AUTOMATED VOICE
			(filtered, on scanner)
		"You've reached a number that is no 
		longer in service. Please consult your 
		operator and try again".

				TANAKA'S VOICE
			(filtered, on scanner)
		It's Tanaka, PIN number 
		sixteen-zero-zero-nine --

	A "real" voice comes on the line:

				VOICE
			(filtered, on scanner)
		Yes?

	Karen looks to Blade, impressed. 

	INT. TANAKA'S MUSTANG - NIGHT

	Tanaka speeds, shouting into the speaker phone -- 

				TANAKA
		Get me Pearl! 

				VOICE
			(filtered, on speaker)
		Pearl is feeding --

				TANAKA
		Look, I'm not fucking around here! 
		That hunter Frost has been talking 
		about? He was just at the clinic. Tore 
		the goddamn place apart!

	EXT. THE BLACK PEARL - NIGHT

	Tokyo town. A black edifice, no windows, secured parking, no signage
	except for a purple neon scroll above the entrance -- a FLASHING
	KANJI, just like the glyph tattooed on Tanaka's neck.

	Tanaka's Mustang pulls into the parking lot. He climbs out, flagging
	away the valets, heads inside --

	WHIP PAN TO

	Blade's Olds stopping a few blocks down the street.

	INT. BLADE'S OLDS - NIGHT

	Blade kills the engine, studying The Black Pearl.

				BLADE
		Looks like we hit pay-dirt. This place 
		is crawling with them.
			(pointing)
		See the valets over there? They're 
		vampires. So is the doorman.

				KAREN
		How can you tell?

				BLADE
		The way they move, they way they 
		smell --

	Blade continues to scan the area, pointing out a few more likely
	candidates --

				BLADE
		The whore on the corner, she's one 
		too. So are the two men standing under 
		the streetlight.

	Blade reaches into the back seat, retrieves his sword and a satchel.
	He snaps open his shotgun, loads it. Karen continues to study the
	vampires Blade identified.

				KAREN
		So many of them -- I still can't 
		believe they're real.

				BLADE
		There are worse things than vampires 
		out there.

				KAREN
		Like what?

				BLADE
			(pumping his shotgun)
		Like me.

	Blade reaches for the door --

	EXT. THE BLACK PEARL - NIGHT

	Blade and Karen climb out. He lets his shotgun fall within the folds
	of his longcoat and starts across the street -- only to be challenged
	by a HULKING DOORMAN at the entrance.

				DOORMAN
		I'm sorry, sir -- do you have an 
		invitation?

	INT. BLACK PEARL - NIGHT

	CRASH! The front door flies open as the Doorman's body sails through.
	Blade enters, Karen at his heels -- 

	The 'Pearl' is an all-hours strip club cum casino catering
	exclusively to Japanese zaibatsu clientele. Dimly lit, the air thick
	with cigarette smoke, deafening MUSIC. Go boards, pachinko machines,
	sexy little MANGA WAIFS in schoolgirl outfits doling out drinks --

	STRIPPERS writhe in the circular "pit" tables surrounded by HOWLING
	grab-ass men. But that's nothing compared to --

	The MAIN ATTRACTION,

	who's doing a bump and grind down the runway, shaking a body worthy
	of a schoolboy's wet dream. Her attire? A leather S&M face mask,
	nipple rings, 6-inch spikes, and a pair of panties to hide her
	modesty.

	Blade scans the room -- just in time to see Tanaka ducking into a
	back hallway. Blade pushes towards the rear of the club. Karen
	follows. 

	ON THE STRIPPER

	as she catches sight of Blade and freezes in mid-routine. The
	stripper pulls off her hood. Long black hair with a streak of white
	tumbles down her back -- it's Mercury. 

	INT. BLACK PEARL, HALLWAY - NIGHT

	Blade and Karen head past the bathrooms. At the end of the hall is a
	door marked "OFFICE". Just then, the Men's door opens, a DRUNK
	COLLEGE KID steps out, SEES Blade --

				KID
		Hey --

	Blade plants a hand over the kid's face, shoving him back into the
	bathroom as he kicks open the office door --

	INT. THE BLACK PEARL, BACK OFFICE - NIGHT

	Tanaka spins around, startled, tries to throw a punch -- 

	Blade traps Tanaka's arm, levering the man up and over. He CRASHES
	into a shelving unit, taking the whole thing down with him. Karen
	winces. Blade grabs a handful of Tanaka's hair, yanks his head up --

				BLADE
		Where's the entrance?!

				TANAKA
		I can't -- they'll kill me!

	Blade rips off his glasses and gives Tanaka an eyeful -- his irises
	pulse and glow. 

				BLADE
		I got news for you, butt-boy. You're 
		already dead. 

				TANAKA
			(terrified)
		Oh God, shit -- behind the bookcase --

	Blade drops Tanaka, moves to the bookcase. He searches the wall a
	moment, then finds a trigger. Hits it -- the bookcase slides aside,
	revealing a hidden elevator. As Blade moves to put his sunglasses
	back on --

	BLADE'S POV (IN THE REFLECTION OF HIS SUNGLASSES)

	We see Tanaka behind him, pulling a handgun out of a desk drawer,
	swinging it up --

	Blade unholsters one of his Casulls faster than any gunslinger in
	history. He FIRES over his own shoulder, BLOWING Tanaka back against
	the wall. 

	Blade puts his sunglasses back on, motions to the elevator, then nods
	to Karen --

				BLADE
		After you. 

	INT. THE BLACK PEARL, ELEVATOR - NIGHT

	The elevator descends. Then a tone CHIMES, signaling the end of the
	ride. The doors hiss open -- 

	INT. THE VAMPIRE ARCHIVES, HALLWAY - NIGHT

	Blade and Karen enter the narrow, maze-like "stacks" of the vampire
	archives, weaving their way through shelves of climate-controlled,
	digitized records. 

				KAREN
		What is this place?

				BLADE
		Some kind of archive --

				KAREN
		Isn't this all a little high-tech? I 
		thought vampires were more into 
		cobwebs and coffins.

				BLADE
		You've been watching too much TV. 
		They've got their claws sunk into 
		everything -- finance, real estate, 
		politics. Probably own half of 
		Downtown. 

	Blade pulls a CD-ROM from the shelves, its spine labeled in
	indecipherable vampire glyphs.

				BLADE
		This must be where they keep their 
		records --

	He pauses, hearing a DISTANT WHISPER. Blade signals quiet, silently
	leading Karen through the stacks towards -- 

	PEARL'S LAIR

	A vestibule of sorts, leading to a larger bed chamber constructed of
	rice paper shoji screens and tatami mats. Candles glow within,
	illuminating a MONSTROUSLY OBESE SHADOW beyond the translucent rice
	paper walls.

	The shadow speaks in a tremulous, bird-like voice -- the secret
	tongue. As Blade draws his sword, the massive shadow freezes --

				PEARL'S VOICE
			(frightened)
		Lorca, is that you?

	Blade slides open the nearest shoji screen --

	INT. PEARL'S BED CHAMBER - NIGHT

	Nothing Karen's seen up until this point could prepare her for the
	archive's curator --

	PEARL,

	a nine-hundred-pound androgynous vampire of Asian origin, lounging
	amidst pillowed rice mats, wearing a communications headset. Think of
	a cross between Divine and Jabba The Hutt. Skin the complexion of
	buttermilk, so corpulent he can barely move, so engorged with blood
	that he's actually sweating it from the pores of his skin. 

	Pearl is surrounded by a nest of monitors and keyboards which have
	been affixed to counter-balanced arms -- this way, Pearl can access
	information without leaving bed.

	Lying next to Pearl, dwarfed by the vampire's massive size, is the
	chalk-white body of a recently-drained NAKED BOY. 

	At the sight of Blade, Pearl's eyes widen in fear --

				PEARL
			(into a speakerphone)
		He's here!

				FROST'S VOICE
			(over speakerphone)
		Congratulations, Day-Walker.

				BLADE
		Frost?

	INT. FROST'S PENTHOUSE, POOL - NIGHT

	Frost paces the length of his pool, wearing a hands-free
	communications headset, grinning.

				FROST
		In the flesh, Blade. I understand 
		you've been looking for me. I'm 
		flattered.

	INT. PEARL'S BEDCHAMBER - NIGHT

	As Blade listens, Pearl reaches for his trackball, attempting to
	delete the document currently on his monitors -- but Blade lunges
	forward, sinking the tip of his sword into Pearl's fleshy throat.
	Pearl freezes. 

				BLADE
			(eyeballing Pearl)
		Don't be. You're another notch on my 
		sword hilt, nothing else.

	Frost's DEEP LAUGHTER drifts from the speakerphone.

	INT. FROST'S PENTHOUSE, POOL - NIGHT

	Frost settles into his chair, enjoying the cat and mouse.

				FROST
		You're quick, Blade, I'll give you 
		that. In the space of an hour you've 
		crossed my familiar, destroyed a blood 
		bank --
			(beat)
		Now here you are in the heart of our 
		archives, terrorizing our curator.

				PEARL'S VOICE
		He has a knife to my throat, Frost! 
		He --

				FROST
			(cutting him off)
		You're history, Pearl. Have the good 
		grace to die with some dignity.
			(beat)
		Round one to you, Blade.

	INT. PEARL'S BEDCHAMBER - NIGHT

	CLICK, the line goes dead. Blade tosses his satchel on the bed, opens
	it. Inside is a hand-held UV lamp hooked up to a nine-volt battery.
	Pearl eyes the device, fearful -- 

				PEARL
		What is that?

				BLADE
		A sun lamp. We're gonna play twenty 
		questions. Depending on your answers, 
		you might get to have yourself a 
		tanning session. 

	Blade looks to Pearl's monitor and SEES a digitized image, the SAME
	MANUSCRIPT Deacon had been studying earlier. 

				BLADE
		What were you in such a big hurry to 
		delete just now?

	Pearl hesitates. Blade turns on the lamp. Pearl HOWLS as the harsh
	light falls upon him. Blade flicks the light off.

	Pearl cringes, GROWLING, his face smoking profusely. Exposure to the
	UV rays, even for one short second, has made his face blister like a
	plague victim's.

				PEARL
			(relenting)
		It's an epistle, a letter Frost has 
		been translating -- it prophesizes 
		LaMagra's return.

				BLADE
		And who is LaMagra?

	Pearl hesitates again -- Blade turns on the lamp for a longer time.
	Pearl thrashes, covering his face. His hands blacken, the skin
	sizzling away to expose the finger bones beneath. Karen has to avert
	her gaze --

	Blade turns off the lamp. Pearl SNARLS, his body quivering with
	poisonous rage.

				PEARL
		LaMagra is The Sleeper!!! 

	Blade leans in close so he's eye to eye with Pearl.

				BLADE
		Where's the original, Pearl? You must 
		have it around here somewhere.

	Pearl sweats blood, his flaking, slug-like lips quivering. 

				PEARL
		The vault --

	Blade follows Pearl's eyes to an armored door, then he stands back,
	handing the UV rig to Karen.

				BLADE
		If he moves, cook him.

	Blade approaches the vault door, sizing up its locking mechanism. He
	pulls an explosive charge from his combat belt and secures it to the
	door, arming it with a BEEP!

				PEARL
		Please, I'll give you the combination 
		-- you'll damage the documents --

				BLADE
		That's the point.

	Enraged, Pearl LUNGES from his bed. Karen triggers the UV rig, flash-
	frying him to a blackened crisp. Pearl quivers, his enormous body
	smoking like a piece of charred meat. 

	Blade looks back at Karen with newfound respect. She shrugs.

				KAREN
		He moved.

	Blade turns back to the vault, setting off the charge. BOOM! Blade
	kicks the damaged door in, knocking it clear off its hinges --

	INSIDE THE VAULT,

	ancient papers flutter through the smoky air like wind-borne leaves.
	Blade and Karen SEE a lucite-encased document -- fragments of an
	ancient, calligraphied papyrus. 

				KAREN
		What are these?

				QUINN (o.s.)
		Curiosity killed the cat.

	Blade and Karen spin --

	-- QUINN,

	Mercury, and a number of other vampires stand at the entrance to the
	vault.

				QUINN
			(grins)
		Hola, amigo. Remember me?

	Karen triggers the UV light, but Mercury ducks under it, ripping it
	from her hands, crushing it. In a split-second, the she-demon has her
	claws around Karen's throat.

	As Blade reaches for his rifle, the vampires converge on him like
	quicksilver. They drag Karen and Blade out --

	PEARL'S BEDCHAMBER

	The vampires fling Blade against the wall, pinning him. 

				QUINN
		You took my arm, Blade. But that's 
		okay, I'm growing a new one --

	Quinn lifts up his "arm". A skeletal forearm has grown from the
	stump. It's got cartilage, sinew, and muscle, but no flesh yet. 

				QUINN
		Nice, huh? Think I'll ever play the 
		piano again?
			(shrugging)
		You can slice him, you can dice him, 
		and the man just keeps on coming. 

	Blade struggles violently, but Quinn is upon him, pounding his fist
	into Blade again and again and again -- giving him payback with
	compounded interest. When it's over, Quinn steps back, winded -- 

	Blade's head hangs down. He gasps, wincing, every breath sending a
	red hot poker to his gut. Quinn grabs a hold of Blade's jaw, forcing
	his head up. 

				QUINN
		Stay with me, sweetness, I'm not 
		through with you yet.

	Quinn pulls Blade's jacket open, sees the bandoleer of mahogany
	stakes. He tugs one out, admiring it.

				QUINN
		Teak. Nice craftsmanship. 
			(to the others)
		Now here's a man who takes his job 
		just a little too seriously, don't you 
		think?
			(back to Blade)
		Which reminds me, Blade, think I owe 
		you one --

	Quinn stabs the stake into Blade's shoulder. Blade CRIES OUT, tries
	to pull free. Karen, who's being held by Mercury, averts her gaze.

				QUINN
		Actually, if you want to get 
		technical, I owe you two.

	As Quinn reaches for another stake, Blade starts to laugh.

				QUINN
		What's so funny, bright eyes?

				BLADE
		I'm expecting some company.

	It's then that Quinn notices the micro ear-coil radio receiver in
	Blade's ear. As we MOVE IN on it, we hear a tiny VOICE squawking from
	it:

				VOICE
			(filtered)
		Get down!

	Blade kicks his feet out, sending Quinn flying backwards. He tears
	free of the vamps holding him and DIVES forward, knocking Karen to
	the ground just as --

	BOOM!!! The wall of Pearl's bedchamber EXPLODES INWARD, knocking
	Quinn and the rest of his cronies to their feet. 

	WHISTLER

	stands in the smoking hole where the wall used to be, brandishing his
	cane in one hand and an automatic rifle in the other. He balances the
	rifle against his hip like an over-the-hill gunslinger and OPENS FIRE
	on the vampires.

	Blade rolls, snatching up a fragment of the parchment which has blown
	free from the vault. Seconds later, he and Karen are fleeing after
	Whistler, retreating back through his newly created exit.

	INT. TUNNEL - NIGHT

	The three of them find themselves ankle-deep in a flooded sewer
	tunnel running parallel to the archives. Whistler pauses, wheezing
	from overexertion. 

				WHISTLER
		Christ, I'm too old for this. Somebody 
		get me a goddamn wheelchair.

	Blade leans against the tunnel wall, GRUNTING as he yanks the stake
	from his shoulder. He then pulls out a light-stick, snapping it,
	illuminating the area in a GREEN GLOW -- disturbing waves of
	GLITTERING COCKROACHES. 

	Meanwhile, Whistler pulls another explosive device from his backpack
	and sets it against the tunnel wall, arming it.

				KAREN
		How did you find us?!

	Whistler taps a tiny radio headset curled around his ear.

				WHISTLER
		We keep in radio contact. 

				KAREN
			(incredulous)
		You've been listening in the whole 
		time?

				WHISTLER
		You think I'd let him run loose 
		without a chaperone? Blade ferrets 
		their rat-holes out, I map them. Then 
		we blow them all to kingdom come.

	Whistler finishes arming the explosive device. It BEEPS. He turns
	back to Blade and Karen, referring to a handheld navigation device.

				WHISTLER
		There's a subway line due East of 
		here. We'd best make tracks. 

	INT. PEARL'S BEDCHAMBER, ARCHIVES - NIGHT

	An EXPLOSION rips through the bedchamber, mushrooming outward --

	INT. BLACK PEARL - NIGHT

	The EXPLOSION continues expanding, sending tables, drinks, and
	zaibatsu clientele flying.

	INT. TUNNEL - NIGHT

	As the group splashes through the water, a FIREBALL chases them down
	the tunnel. They duck into an alcove, narrowly avoiding the flames.
	Whistler WHOOPS with excitement, loving every minute of it. But his
	triumph is short-lived, for now we hear --

	-- a deafening chorus of HIGH-PITCHED VAMPIRE WAR CRIES coming from
	behind. Karen hazards a look back --

	THE VAMPIRES

	surge down the tunnel like a pack of hungry wolves on high-octane.
	There must be a dozen of them now and Quinn is right in the lead.

	Our trio hustles along, but Whistler stumbles, tumbling and sliding
	down a washout. The steep incline of the washout makes it virtually
	impossible for Whistler to climb back up to the main tunnel.

				KAREN
		Whistler!

				WHISTLER
		Go on, I'll be fine!

	Karen hesitates, but Blade yanks her down the tunnel --

				BLADE
		He can take care of himself! GO!!!

	They race through the twisting warren of tunnels, taking one turn
	after another, the vampires hot on their heels --

	INT. SUBWAY TUNNEL - NIGHT

	Blade and Karen stumble out into a larger subway tunnel, which widens
	into a station stop up ahead. We can see the RED TAIL-LIGHTS of a
	train just pulling away from the platform -- Blade and Karen re-
	double their efforts, lungs burning, legs pumping like mad. Just as
	the train enters the next tunnel --

	-- they leap, dragging themselves up onto the back of the rear-
	passenger car. Blade SMASHES his fist through the emergency exit
	window, then lifts Karen up, helping her climb through into the
	car -- 

	-- but the vampires are still coming! Crawling along the tunnel walls
	on all fours, limbs a blur, claws striking the concrete and spewing
	out sparks. Closing fast. Too fast. 

	QUINN

	springs forward, snagging Blade's ankle with his "good" hand. The
	vampire's weight threatens to haul Blade down. Blade reaches to his
	back-scabbard, unsheathes his sword --

	THUNK! Blade brings the sword down on Quinn's good arm, cutting it
	off at the wrist! Quinn falls to the tracks, tumbling head over heels
	back into the darkness --

	THE AMPUTATED HAND,

	which continues to clutch at Blade's ankle, starts to melt. With a
	cry of disgust, Blade kicks the thing away. He turns and climbs
	through the window --

	INT. SUBWAY CAR - NIGHT 

	Karen helps Blade inside. He sinks to the floor of the otherwise
	deserted car, exhausted. He's looking ashen now. The whites of his
	eyes are shot through with red.

	Karen gets a good look at Blade's wounds -- the front of his jacket
	is soaked in blood. She reaches for him --

				KAREN
		You're hurt --

				BLADE
		Nothing that won't heal by dawn.

	Blade reaches into his jacket and pulls out the small, gas-powered
	pistol-injector we saw Whistler inject him with earlier. He tries to
	load one of the ampoules into it, but because of his wounds, he's not
	having much luck -- 

				BLADE
			(frustrated)
		I need help with this --

	Karen nods, inserting the ampoule into the gun. Blade shrugs off his
	jacket, holds out his arm. Karen pauses --

				KAREN
		What am I injecting you with?

				BLADE
			(weakly)
		Serum -- it's a human hemoglobin 
		substitute.

	Karen locates a vein, presses the injector against it -- Blade
	tenses, grits his teeth, fights to keep his body thrashing as the
	serum enters his bloodstream. He grips the wall behind him --
	actually digs his nails into the metal surface -- the agony he's
	going through is excruciating, like nothing we could imagine. 

	When it's over, he slumps forward, spent, vulnerable, flushed with
	sweat. Karen stares at him --

				KAREN
		You're one of them, aren't you?

	Blade turns away from Karen, filled with self-loathing. 

				BLADE
		Not quite. I'm a hybrid. Half-human, 
		half-vampire.

	Off Karen's surprised reaction, we --

	CUT TO:

	INT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

	The loading elevator CLANGS to a stop. Blade throws the gate open.
	Karen helps him out. Now that they're safely back, the last of
	Blade's strength seems to dissipate. 

	WHISTLER

	is waiting for them, sitting at a workbench. 

				WHISTLER
		What took you so long?

				BLADE
		Don't even start, old man.

	Blade throws his sword aside, then moves off into the shadows,
	disappearing beyond the curtains. Karen looks to Whistler --

				KAREN
		Why didn't you tell me the truth 
		about him?

				WHISTLER
		We weren't sure we could trust you.

	Whistler sighs, removing his glasses.

				WHISTLER
		Blade's mother was attacked by a 
		vampire while she was pregnant. 
		Ultimately, she died, but her unborn 
		child lived. Unfortunately, he'd 
		undergone certain genetic changes 
		while in the womb --

	Whistler reaches for a pack of cigarettes, pulls one out. He thumbs a
	match, fires up. Takes a long drag --

				WHISTLER
		I found Blade when he was thirteen. 
		He'd been living on the streets, 
		feeding off the homeless. Apparently 
		the Thirst manifested itself at 
		puberty -- 
			(beat)
		I took him for one of them at first, 
		almost killed him, too. But then I 
		realized what he was. 

	CUT TO:

	EXT. EDGEWOOD TOWERS, PENTHOUSE - NIGHT

	Frost stands at the window, looking out at the glimmering cityscape
	before him.

	INT. FROST'S PENTHOUSE - NIGHT

	Frost turns away from window. Quinn, Mercury, and the other vampires
	from the Black Pearl stand before him. Quinn cradles his amputated
	stump with his newly grown arm. 

				QUINN
		He took my fucking hand! Again!

				FROST
		You seem to be in the habit of losing 
		them fairly often, Quinn. Maybe the 
		amputee lifestyle just suits you.

	The other vampires laugh. Quinn stares them into silence. 

				QUINN
		We need to find him, tonight.

	Frost claps a hand on Quinn's shoulder.

				FROST
		Down, boy. Blade's not going anywhere. 
		I promise. Right now, though, we've 
		more pressing business --
			(off Mercury's look)
		It's time Dragonetti paid the piper. 

	CUT TO:

	INT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

	Whistler studies Karen, exhaling another lungful of smoke.

				WHISTLER
		Blade's unique, you know. A one in a 
		billion anomaly. He can withstand 
		sunlight, garlic, even silver. But he 
		still has the Thirst. 

				KAREN
		What happens if he doesn't take the 
		serum?

				WHISTLER
		The Thirst overcomes him, just like 
		the others. It's not something he can 
		control. 
			(sighs)
		The problem is, time's running out. 
		His body's starting to reject the 
		serum. And so far, all my efforts to 
		find a cure have ended in failure --

				KAREN
		No offense, Whistler, but you're not 
		exactly working with state of the art 
		equipment here. You might have missed 
		something.

				WHISTLER
			(pointedly)
		Which is why you're here. We could use 
		someone with your experience.

	A beat passes between them and Karen knows where she stands now. In
	for a penny, in for a pound. Whistler reaches for Blade's sword.

				WHISTLER
		This used to be mine, you know. It's 
		been passed down through the 
		centuries, from one hunter to the 
		next --

	Whistler extends the sword, sighting down the length of it. He takes
	a few practice parries -- it's obvious he used to be quite skilled in
	the art of swordsmanship.

				KAREN
		Why do you hunt them?

				WHISTLER
		Habit, mostly, just like this. 

	Whistler gestures with his cigarette. He finally stubs it out, his
	wistful reverie vanishing like so much smoke.

				WHISTLER
		I had a family once -- a wife, three 
		daughters. Then a drifter named Deacon 
		Frost came calling one evening --

				KAREN
		He killed them?

				WHISTLER
		Eventually. He toyed with them first. 
		He made me choose, do you understand? 
		Which order they would die in --

	Karen stares at Whistler, horrified.

				KAREN
		How did you escape?

				WHISTLER
		I didn't. He was cruel enough to let 
		me live.
			(slapping his brace)
		Even gave me a souvenir to remember 
		him by.

	Karen nods -- it's all falling into place for her now.

				KAREN
		And now you're using Blade to exact 
		your revenge?

				WHISTLER
			(pointedly)
		Frost's bodycount keeps rising, and 
		I'm not getting any younger, am I?

	Just then, we hear a SCREAM come from Blade's room, sounding more
	like the cry of a beast than a man. Karen takes a step towards
	Blade's room --

				WHISTLER
		I wouldn't go in there if I were you. 
		It's best to leave him alone when he's 
		like this.

				KAREN
		I'll take my chances.

	INT. BLADE'S ROOM - NIGHT

	Karen enters. It's dark, just a trace of moonlight.

				KAREN
		Blade?

	No answer. Then Karen SEES him -- crouched in the corner of the room
	like some kind of nocturnal animal.

				KAREN
		It's dark in here.

				BLADE
		You get used to the darkness.

	Karen takes a step towards him.

				KAREN
		Whistler told me about your mother. 

	Blade clutches the silver locket in his hand. It swings back and
	forth, like a pendulum.

				BLADE
		I can't close my eyes without hearing 
		her scream.

				KAREN
		Those aren't real memories. No one has 
		that kind of recall.

				BLADE
		I do. I remember from day one. People 
		staring at me, sensing I was 
		different. Watching the fear grow in 
		their eyes, knowing in their hearts I 
		wasn't human.

				KAREN
		If you're not human, then why do you 
		bleed like us? 
		I've seen vampire blood, you don't 
		have it running through your veins.

	Blade looks at Karen, his lambent eyes glowing in the moonlight.

				BLADE
		Just get out of here.

				KAREN
		Blade --

	Blade turns, his eyes glowing with preternatural fury. 

				BLADE
		I said, GET OUT!!!

	Karen backs away, startled by Blade's vehemence. She exits, leaving
	him alone with his demons. He holds up one of his empty serum
	ampoules, crushing it in his fist.

				FROST'S VOICE
		Rise and shine, little wing.

	EXT. THE BURNING GROUNDS - JUST BEFORE DAWN

	FADE IN on Dragonetti, his face covered with a black condemned man's
	hood --

	Frost stands before him, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. He's dressed
	from head to toe in a black motorcycle suit -- boots, gloves, a
	visored helmet tucked under one arm. Mercury and Quinn are standing
	nearby, similarly attired. 

	We're on a stretch of rocky coastline, tucked away in a secluded
	cove. Dragonetti has been stripped bare, chained like Prometheus to
	an ancient standing stone. 

				DRAGONETTI
			(straining)
		What is this? Where am I?!

	Frost steps forward, pulling Dragonetti's hood off. Dragonetti stares
	at his surroundings, horrified.

				FROST
		When was the last time you stopped to 
		appreciate a sunrise, Dragonetti? 
		Three, four hundred years? 

	Frost checks his watch, then looks to the ocean. On the horizon, a
	sliver of gold appears. 

				FROST
		How do you like that? Right on time.

				DRAGONETTI
			(snarling)
		The other elders will never let you 
		get away with this!

	Just then, the TWELVE VAMPIRE ELDERS emerge behind Frost, forming a
	circle around Dragonetti. All wear business suits, gloves, along with
	high-tech "sun masks" to protect their faces from the light's lethal
	rays. 

	They stare at Dragonetti like a silent jury. His face darkens, anger
	rising -- but there's a desperation in his eyes now too. He speaks in
	the secret tongue:

				DRAGONETTI
			(subtitled)
		Don't you see, you fools?! He'll 
		betray you too! He's planning on 
		invoking LaMagra himself!

	The vampires just smile and shake their heads.

				FROST
		The wheel turns, old fang. Guess you 
		just got a little too long in the 
		tooth.

	Dragonetti's cries are cut short as Frost forces the aging vampire's
	mouth open, ripping out his fangs with his bare hands. Dragonetti
	GURGLES and SHRIEKS, sounding like a dying animal.

	Frost turns to face the Twelve now, his eyes bright with victory. He
	pulls on his motorcycle helmet, as do Mercury and Quinn. 

	Behind them, Dragonetti struggles furiously against his chains to no
	avail as the first faint rays of daylight fall upon him, channeled
	inward by the natural formation of the cove -- 

	Dragonetti HOWLS, his skin beginning sizzle and smoke. Then he
	catches fire like paper beneath a magnifying glass. He thrashes about
	as his flesh starts to run from his body.

	THE VAMPIRE ELDERS

	watch, impassive, protected by their masks --

	-- when suddenly, TWELVE FIGURES rise up behind them, clad in bike
	helmets and black leather, just like Frost. The intruders grip each
	of the Elders in a strangle hold, ripping their masks off. 

				FROST
		Dragonetti was right. You were fools 
		to trust me.

	Frost flips down the visor of his helmet even as --

	THE RED SUN

	rises in all its fiery glory.

	One by one, the vampire Elder's heads catch fire, skullflesh sizzling
	away -- burning down the line of them in successively building
	intensity until all twelve EXPLODE in a conflagration of BLINDING
	WHITE LIGHT.

	Frost and his compatriots are blown off their feet by the sheer
	intensity of the occult blast -- a blast which sends the skeletal
	bodies of the Elders SLAMMING into the rock wall.

	When it's over, Frost picks himself back up. We SEE that the only
	thing left of Dragonetti and the others are --

	THIRTEEN SHADOW SILHOUETTES

	permanently etched onto the rock's surface, just like the bombing
	victims of Hiroshima. 

	INT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - DAY

	Karen stands at a lab table with Whistler, preparing a number of
	blood sample vials. They are surrounded by host of new medical
	equipment -- from centrifuges to genetic sequencers and beyond.

	Blade emerges from his room, looks to Karen. As if by silent
	agreement, last night's words go unacknowledged. He straps on his
	bandoleer of stakes, secures his scabbard.

				WHISTLER
		Going somewhere?

				BLADE
		China Town. I need more serum.
			(re: new equipment)
		What's all this?

				KAREN
		I made a trip to the hospital last 
		night, borrowed some equipment.

				BLADE
			(sarcastic)
		For your miracle cure? 

				WHISTLER
		She's been making real progress, 
		Blade.
			(to Karen)
		Show him --

	Karen looks to Blade, who shrugs. She opens a refrigerator, removing
	a syringe filled with blue fluid.

				KAREN
		This is sodium citrate. It's an 
		anti-coagulant. We use it to treat 
		blood-clots sometimes. Vampire blood 
		is thinner than humans, though. Watch 
		what happens when I introduce some 
		into a sample --

	Karen gestures to the microscope. Blade takes a look --

	BLADE'S POV

	Vampire blood cells swirling about.

	Karen injects the contents of the syringe onto the slide of cells --
	the reaction is immediate. The vampire blood turns black, then begins
	violently bubbling.

	Blade lifts his head away from the microscope just in time -- the
	blood on the slide atomizes, exploding outward in a fine mist which
	bursts apart the glass lens of the scope. 

	Whistler laughs, thrilled with the results.

				WHISTLER
		Can you imagine what a dash of that 
		would do on your sword? 

	Whistler claps his hand on Karen's shoulder in approval, then limps
	away, quickly busying himself with another project. Blade moves to
	follow, but Karen stops him --

				KAREN
		Before you go, I'd like to take a 
		sample of your blood.

	Blade grudgingly rolls up his sleeve. As Karen takes her sample,
	Blade looks to Whistler. The older man brings a handkerchief to his
	lips, coughing into it. 

				KAREN
		Is he sick?

				BLADE
		Cancer.

	Karen watches as Blade's blood flows into the vacutainer. She fills
	the first, then inserts another. 

				KAREN
		You care about him, don't you? 

				BLADE
		We've got a good arrangement, that's 
		all. Whistler makes the weapons, I use 
		them, the vampires die -- end of 
		story.

	Karen finishes. Blade rolls up his sleeve.

				KAREN
			(pointedly)
		My mother used to say that a cold 
		heart is a dead heart.

				BLADE
		Your mother sounds like a Hallmark 
		greeting card. 

	Blade slips his Casulls into a shoulder holster, then shrugs into his
	leather jacket, donning his sunglasses.

				BLADE
		I'd wish you luck, Doc, but I never 
		put much stock in optimism.

	He heads towards the elevator.

	EXT. CHINATOWN, STREETS - DAY

	Blade makes his way down a street lined with vending stalls --
	passing MERCHANTS peddling exotic vegetables and cheap curios,
	butcher shops with rows of roast ducks in the window, tyro GANG-
	BANGERS lounging at the entrance to a video arcade.

	BLADE'S POV

	Even though the streets are crowded, the people seem to make way for
	him, avoiding eye-contact. 

	Blade turns into a dark alley, ducking into the doorway of a hole-in-
	the-wall herbalist shop.

	INT. HERBALIST SHOP - DAY 

	A bell atop the door JINGLES, announcing Blade's arrival. We're in a
	dusty, cave-like room filled with baskets and bottle-lined shelves
	featuring things like "Toad Spleen Extract" and "Barking Deer Wine".
	Joss sticks burn, sending wispy tendrils of incense into the air. 

	At the back of the shop, an elderly CHINESE MAN in a cardigan sits in
	front of a battered television, watching a boxing match. He's eating
	a bowl of litchi fruit. On the counter nearby, a SPIDER MONKEY
	watches attentively. 

				BLADE
		How's it going, Kam?

				KAM
			(re: calendar)
		You're a week early.

				BLADE
		I was in the neighborhood.

	Kam sets his fruit bowl aside, leads Blade through a curtain into a
	back room.

	INT. HERBALIST SHOP, BACK ROOM - DAY

	Kam hands Blade a leather valise. He opens it -- its lined with tiny
	ampoules of scarlet-colored serum. Blade pulls one out, holds it up
	to the light.

				BLADE
		Whistler says I'm building up a 
		resistance to it.

				KAM
		I was afraid that might happen.

				BLADE
		Maybe it's time to start exploring 
		other alternatives.

				KAM
		There's only one alternative to the 
		serum.

	Blade nods. They both know what that "alternative" is. 

				BLADE
		Yeah. I know.

	Blade closes the valise and tucks it inside his jacket. 

				BLADE
		Thanks, Kam.
			(thinking)
		One other thing. Have you ever heard 
		of a vampire called the Sleeper?

	Kam shakes his head. Blade pulls out the parchment he took from
	Pearl.

				BLADE
		I found this in there archives. I need 
		to find someone who can read their 
		language. 

	Kam studies the parchment.

				KAM
		I've heard about a woman named 
		Miracia. Some say she's a mayombero, a 
		Santeria witch. Supposedly she lives 
		in that tent community down by the 
		city dump. I'm told she only sees 
		people at night. 

	Blade nods his thanks and heads back through the curtains.

	EXT. CHINATOWN, STREET - DAY

	Blade emerges from the alley into the sunlight, then hears his name
	WHISPERED on the wind.

				VOICE (o.s.)
		Blade.

	Blade spins, scanning his surroundings -- did he really hear his
	name, or was it just the wind?

				VOICE (o.s.)
		Blade.

	Again, the taunting voice calls him. Blade's gaze finally settles
	on --

	A MAN

	sitting on a bench in the deep shade, his face obscured by the
	Chinese newspaper he's reading. There's a LITTLE GIRL sitting stiffly
	beside the man -- a look of pure terror written on her face. 

				MAN
		Afternoon, Blade.

	The man lowers his newspaper. It's Deacon Frost. He's wearing
	sunglasses, but otherwise, he's seemingly unprotected by the sun. 

	Blade reaches for his .454 -- 

				FROST
		Easy.

	Frost's hand rests on the back of the girl's neck. We see his claws
	extend, caressing the flesh beneath her chin.

				FROST
		Wouldn't want our little friend here 
		to wind up on the back of a milk 
		carton, would we? 

	Blade reluctantly lowers his hand. Frost smiles. He takes in a deep
	breath of air, savoring it. 

				FROST
		Beautiful day, isn't it? 

				BLADE
			(confused)
		How can you be out here?

				FROST
		I dabble in pharmaceuticals, medical 
		research. We've developed a type of 
		sun-blocker using octyl salicylate, a 
		few others things. 

	On closer examination we see that Frost is wearing a translucent
	lotion on his face. He touches a finger to his cheek, rubs some of
	the lotion between his fingers.

				FROST
		It's not very effective in direct 
		sunlight, but it's a start. The goal, 
		of course, is to be like you, "the 
		Day-walker". 

				BLADE
		I don't buy it.

				FROST
		Why not? The future of our race runs 
		through your bloodstream. You've got 
		the best of both worlds, Blade. All of 
		our strengths and none of our 
		weaknesses.

				BLADE
		Maybe I don't see it that way.

				FROST
		Oh, so it's back to pretending we're 
		human again, is it? Spare me the Uncle 
		Tom routine. You can't keep denying 
		what you are. You're one of us, Blade. 
		You always have been.

				BLADE
		You're wrong.

				FROST
		Am I? You think the humans will ever 
		accept a half-breed like you? They 
		can't. They're afraid of you. 
			(pointedly)
		The humans fear us because we're 
		superior. They fear us because in 
		their hearts they know their race has 
		become obsolete.

	Frost watches the marketers stream past, sneering in contempt. 

				FROST
		Look at them, just an endless stream 
		of cattle in a mad race to the 
		slaughterhouse. 

	Frost lifts a silver flask to his mouth, taking a swig of blood. He
	smacks his lips, sighs contentedly --

				FROST
		The pause that refreshes --
			(offering it to Blade)
		Care for some? Smells good, doesn't 
		it? Pungent, with just an 
		irrepressible hint of iron. 

				BLADE
		Pass.

				FROST
		You sure now? I bled a newborn for 
		this. You won't find a drink that's 
		sweeter. 

	It takes every ounce of Blade's self-control to keep from attacking
	Frost -- and Frost senses this, pressing his sharp thumbnail against
	the child's jugular.

				FROST
		Tell me honestly, do you really get 
		the same rush from that pasteurized 
		piss-serum of yours?
			(off Blade's look)
		You're surprised I know about your 
		serum? You shouldn't be. I know 
		everything about you. 

	Frost leans forward, grinning.

				FROST
		You can't keep walking the razor's 
		edge, Blade. The day will come -- and 
		soon, when you'll have to choose 
		between our kind and their's. If I 
		were you, I'd take care not to wind up 
		on the wrong end of the fang.

	A bead of sweat runs down Frost's neck, washing away a minute amount
	of the sun-blocking cream. The patch of exposed skin instantly
	blackens. Frost gazes upwards at the sun.

				FROST
		Love to continue this chat, but it 
		appears I'm melting.

	Frost rises, taking the little girl by the hand. Blade follows, his
	hand resting on the butt of his Casull.

				BLADE
		You're not going anywhere.

				FROST
			(growling)
		Watch me.

	Frost's eyes flicker towards the street -- a CITY BUS is rumbling by.
	In a heartbeat, Frost hurls the little girl forward --

	-- out into the path of the oncoming bus! 

	Blade has a split-second to act. It's Frost or the girl -- and for a
	moment we actually think he's going to go for Frost --

	-- but then he DIVES forward, scooping the girl into his arms,
	throwing themselves out of the bus' path. The bus misses them by a
	hair. By the time Blade looks up again --

	-- Frost is gone. Blade rises, cursing, scanning the street as
	market-goers gather around him.

	WHIP PAN TO --

	SOMEONE sitting astride a motorcycle, watching Blade from the roof of
	an elevated parking garage. The rider is clad from head to toe in a
	helmet and black leather -- Mercury. 

	EXT. ABANDONED FACTORY - DAY

	Blade's Olds cruises into the gated grounds. It zips down the ramp
	way into the loading elevator.

	BACK BY THE TRAIN TRACKS --

	Mercury's cycle rolls into frame. She picks up a radio handset and
	keys it.

				MERCURY
			(into radio)
		This is Mercury. Tell Deacon I've 
		found their hiding place.

	CUT TO:

	INT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - DAY

	Blade enters through the loading elevator, finding Karen and Whistler
	hard at work. She turns as he approaches -- SEES him back-lit by the
	sun. She looks pale, the whites of her eyes are streaked with red.

				BLADE
		Any progress?

				KAREN
		Some. It's been slow --

				BLADE
		You don't look so good. 

				KAREN
		I'm just tired, that's all. We've been 
		up all night.

	Blade nods, not buying her explanation. He shoots a glance to
	Whistler, which doesn't go unnoticed by Karen.

				KAREN
		Excuse me.

	Karen turns, heading for the back of the workshop.

	INT. WORKSHOP - BATHROOM - NIGHT

	Karen enters a dingy bathroom, turning on the overhead bulb. She
	studies her reflection in the mirror above the sink, then grimaces as
	she peels the dressing from her wound -- the wound is clearly
	infected, gangrenous. 

				BLADE (O.S.)
		It's started.

	Karen spins, startled. Blade stands behind her. He grips her jaw,
	turning her head so he can better view the wound.

				BLADE
		You've got another day or two at most.

	Karen nods, shaken. As she moves to leave, Blade reaches for her arm,
	stopping her.

				BLADE
		For what it's worth, I'm sorry.

				KAREN
		You make it sound like I'm already 
		dead.

	Blade just stares at her. Finally, she pulls away.

	EXT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - DUSK

	CLOSE ON Karen as she moves to the grimy outer windows, watching the
	sun go down, an unmistakable look of dread creeping over her.

	CUT TO:

	EXT. LANDFILL GHETTO - DUSK

	Windy. Urban desolation. Blade stands on the perimeter of a sprawling
	cardboard and plywood squatter's ghetto which has sprung up around
	the city dump. CHILDREN and DOGS forage for salvageable items, while
	in the distance, dumptrucks grind over the dunes of refuse.

	MOMENTS LATER,

	Blade is winding his way through the maze of makeshift homes and
	ashcan fires. A CROWD quickly closes in around him, suspicious. A
	BRUTISH MAN steps forward, challenging him --

				MAN
		Extranjero. �Quien es?

				BLADE
		I'm here to see Miracia. Kam sent me.

	The man turns to his fellow squatters, WHISPERING. After a heated
	debate, a GAUNT WOMAN steps forward, motioning --

				WOMAN
		This way.

	CUT TO:

	INT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

	Whistler and Karen sit at a work table. Karen is looking at a blood
	smear slide through a microscope. 

				KAREN
		All right, let's start with the basics 
		-- why do vampires need to drink 
		blood?

				WHISTLER
		Their own blood can't sustain 
		hemoglobin. 

				KAREN
		Then vampirism is a genetic defect, 
		just like Hemolytic anemia?

	Whistler nods.

				KAREN
		So what about gene therapy?

	Whistler looks intrigued. Karen continues.

				KAREN
		Basically you'd have to re-write the 
		victim's DNA, alter it so that the DNA 
		will produce proteins capable of 
		generating hemoglobin. 

				WHISTLER
		How?

				KAREN
		With a retrovirus. It's injected into 
		the bone marrow cells, it causes the 
		host's DNA to mutate. They've been 
		using them to treat Sickle-cell 
		anemia. 

	Whistler can hardly believe what he's hearing.

				WHISTLER
		You're serious? You actually think 
		this could work?

	Karen pauses -- we can see in her expression that there's something
	she's been holding back.

				KAREN
		On me, yes. On Blade, I'm not so 
		sure -- 
			(gravely)
		The problem is, Blade didn't contract 
		the vampire virus from a bite like I 
		did. He was born with it. The irony 
		is, I could probably cure every 
		vampire but him.

				WHISTLER
		Then we're back to square one, aren't 
		we? Sooner or later, the Thirst always 
		wins.

	At that moment, the lights in the workshop flicker, then go out.
	Karen looks around the room, alarmed. 

				KAREN
		What happened to the power?

				WHISTLER
			(concerned)
		I don't know, but the back-up 
		generator should've kicked in.

	A few seconds pass. The back-up generator still hasn't activated.
	Whistler moves to the window --

				WHISTLER
		UV floodlights are down too.

	As Whistler reaches for a flashlight we hear the sound of GLASS
	SHATTERING coming from the other end of the workshop. Whistler shines
	the flashlight in that direction. We hear more sounds now -- water
	draining, glass tinkling.

	Whistler raises a finger to his lips, signaling silence. He edges
	towards the black-out curtains, Karen falling in behind him.

	INT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - TANK ROOM - NIGHT

	Whistler and Karen enter, cautious --

	THE TANK

	containing the vampire child has been smashed open. It's empty now,
	with just the steadily draining blood seeping across the floor in a
	widening pool -- and a trail of tiny BLOODY FOOTPRINTS leading back
	out into the main workshop.

	INT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT

	Karen scans the shadows, eyes alert. We hear a WHISPER, then a
	teasing, childish, GIGGLE.

	Whistler moves the flashlight in a slow circle, shining the beam over
	every inch of the room. And just as he's about to complete his
	circuit --

	THE CHILD

	leaps from where it had been hiding overhead! Karen SCREAMS.
	Whistler is knocked to the floor, the flashlight spinning from his
	hand --

	The feral child lands atop Whistler, HISSING like a cobra. Its
	macrocephalic head seems to morph, twisting into grotesque
	proportions. And just as it's about to strike --

	ZZZZING! Whistler withdraws a silver rapier which had been hidden
	inside his cane. He lunges forward --

	WHOOSH! The child takes off like a blue streak, sending test tubes
	and medical equipment CRASHING to the floor. It zips past Karen --

				WHISTLER
		Get it!!!

	Karen snatches up the flashlight, chasing after it as Whistler
	struggles to his feet --

	Karen sweeps the flashlight around, catching only fleeting glimpses
	of the child as it darts through the workshop. She reaches a shelving
	unit where Whistler's weapons are stored, grabs one of the modified
	pistols --

	Karen tries to draw a bead on the creature. She FIRES, misses, FIRES
	again -- she's getting more unnerved as the seconds tick by and the
	creature is moving closer and --

	-- suddenly it's right in front of her, flying through the air, fangs
	bared! 

	The child knocks Karen back against the wall. It's at her throat,
	sinking its claws into her neck. Karen chokes, forcing Whistler's
	pistol under the monstrosity's chin --

	-- but then the creature morphs again, transforming into a beatific
	little cherubim of a child -- and Karen hesitates, because the child
	seems so goddamned human now and its eyes are luminous, pulsing and
	hypnotic and --

	-- suddenly Whistler reaches in from behind, YANKING the vampire
	child's head back, FIRING a pistol into its skull. The creature
	slumps --

	Karen cries out, disgusted, flinging the corpse away from her. As it
	continues to writhe --

	THUNK! Whistler swings his cane-rapier down on the creature, brutally
	decapitating it. Finishing the job. Then he looks to Karen, winded.

				WHISTLER
		Understand this -- they are monsters. 
		Hesitate for even a moment, and you've 
		lost.

				FROST (O.S.)
		Words to live by, Whistler.

	Whistler spins, eyes wide. He knows that voice.

	DEACON FROST

	steps into the pool of illumination thrown off by the flashlight,
	followed by Mercury and Quinn. 

				FROST
		It's been a long time, hasn't it, "old 
		friend"? 

	EXT. LANDFILL GHETTO - MIRACIA'S CABIN - NIGHT

	Blade is led to a plywood cabin crowded with candle-lit altars --
	garish pictures of Saints and demons abound, alongside bottles of
	roots and herbs steeped in alcohol, human bones, voodoo dolls. 

	MIRACIA 

	sits on a sagging couch outside, clutching a deck of well-thumbed
	Bicycle playing cards. She's ancient, with a mouthful of gold-capped
	teeth and cataract-clouded eyes. Blind.

				MIRACIA
		Is something wrong, my friend?

				BLADE
		You're blind --

				MIRACIA
		There are other ways to see. Sit.

	Blade approaches, uneasy. Miracia deals out the playing cards on a
	rickety table, setting them in nine piles which take on a cross
	formation. 

				MIRACIA
		Perhaps you have brought me something 
		-- an offering for the orishas?

	Blade tosses a handful of bills on the table. Miracia nods, then
	flips over the first card in the center pile -- a one-eyed Jack. She
	sighs, grave --

				MIRACIA
		Hold out your hands.

				BLADE
		I didn't come here to get my palms 
		read. I need something translated.

				MIRACIA
		Show me.

	Blade removes parchment fragment from his jacket and sets it on the
	table. Miracia traces her fingers over the ancient paper, touching
	her fingertips to her lips.

				MIRACIA
		Sangre. Written in blood. 

	She runs her hands over each line as if it were written in Braille.
	Some of the candles gutter, then extinguish themselves as the wind
	around them rises.

				MIRACIA
		This is an old tongue, from an old 
		world. It concerns LaMagra.

				BLADE
		Who is LaMagra?

				MIRACIA
		The vampire God. This speaks of His 
		return.

	Miracia's fingers search the parchment again.

				MIRACIA
		"-- there will come a Day Walker."
			(reading)
		"His blood will call the Sleeper from 
		beyond the Veil of Tears."

	Blade stares at Miracia, shaken.

				BLADE
		His blood -- ?

	The old woman nods, reaching for a smoldering cigarette.

				MIRACIA
		The Day Walker's blood is a disparador 
		-- a trigger, you see? For LaMagra's 
		return. One need only consume it and 
		the spirit of his ancestors will 
		settle upon him.
			(reading)
		"And the Sleeper will rise from the 
		shadows anew, cleansing the world in a 
		Tide of Blood."

				BLADE
			(recalling the phrase)
		"The Blood Tide".

				MIRACIA
			(nodding)
		Yes. The vampire apocalypse. It is 
		said that all who feel its taint will 
		succumb to the Thirst. 

				BLADE
		How do I stop it?

	Miracia shrugs, spreading her hands.

				MIRACIA
		The Great Wheel turns, my friend. The 
		Dark is rising. How would you fight a 
		shadow? 

	Miracia sits back, slumping into her chair. The candles have burnt
	themselves down to nothing. 

				MIRACIA
		I am tired. Dawn is coming. 

				BLADE
		But I just got here --

				MIRACIA
		You've been here longer than you 
		think. 

	Blade rises, looking to the horizon. Incredibly, dawn is coming. As
	he stands there, mystified, the wind picks up, sweeping the parchment
	fragment out of his hand. He tries to snatch it back, but the
	fragment is quickly borne away. He watches it disappear into the sky,
	then turns back --

	Miracia is gone. Blade glances around him, but she's nowhere to be
	found. 

	CAMERA PULLS BACK,

	isolating Blade amidst the ghostly squalor. From our vantage point,
	he looks like any other homeless phantom.

	INT. WHISTLER'S WORKSHOP - DAWN

	Blade steps out from the elevator into the workshop --

	The place has been trashed. It looks like a tornado touched down in
	his absence. Blade pulls out one of his .454s, cautious --

				BLADE
		WHISTLER?!

	-- and then he stops dead in his tracks.

	WHISTLER

	has been strung up by his arms against the far wall, tortured and
	left for dead. In response to Blade's voice, a MOAN escapes the dying
	man's lips.

	Blade rushes to the wall, cutting Whistler down with his sword,
	gently lowering him to the floor. As he cradles the old man in his
	arms, Blade sees the primary wound -- two ragged puncture marks along
	Whistler's throat.

				BLADE
		Jesus, Whistler, what did they do to 
		you?

	Whistler opens his eyes, struggling to speak --

				WHISTLER
		Frost took her --

	Whistler spasms and coughs, wincing from the pain.

				BLADE
		Don't try to talk --

				WHISTLER
		Listen. You have to -- finish me off. 
		You don't want me coming back.

				BLADE
		No, we can treat the wounds --

	But Whistler is shaking his hand.

				WHISTLER
		Too far gone, you know that.

	Blade's at a complete loss.

				BLADE
		Whistler, I can't.

	Whistler clutches at Blade's arm, his eyes burning with conviction.

				WHISTLER
		Yes you can. Now get on with it. 

	As much as he'd like to deny it, Blade knows that Whistler is right.
	He pulls a stake from his bandoleer, hesitates.

				BLADE
		Whistler, I --

				WHISTLER
			(cutting him off, more gentle now)
		I know. 
			(forcing a smile)
		Just be quick about it, will you? Do 
		it right.

	Blade fights back tears. With a wretched moan, he turns his head and
	drives the stake into Whistler's chest. Whistler GASPS. Blade wraps
	his arms around the older man, holding him tight as the life runs out
	of him, rocking back and forth --

	After a while, the rocking stops and Blade lays Whistler on the
	floor. Then something catches his eye --

	A SHARP VIEW-CAMCORDER

	resting nearby, labeled, "PLAY ME". Blade reaches for the camcorder,
	cues the tape -- Frost's face appears on the tiny built-in screen.

				FROST
		Hello, Blade. By the time you watch 
		this, Whistler will no doubt be 
		winging his way to Heaven, thanks to 
		your capable hands. If it makes any 
		difference to you, he put up quite a 
		fight.

	Frost touches a deep gash which runs across his cheek.

				FROST
		Now, I'm sure you're wondering about 
		Ms. Jansen's well-being. She's alive 
		and kicking -- "ambulatory", as they 
		like to say in the trade. Whether or 
		not she remains so is entirely up to 
		you.
			(beat)
		I'll make this as easy as possible for 
		you, Blade. You can find us at the 
		Edgewood Towers. We'll be waiting with 
		baited breath.

	The tape cuts to static. Blade throws the camcorder against the wall.
	It shatters into a dozen pieces.

	Blade turns now, his eyes falling on the medical equipment Karen
	brought from the hospital. He moves to the refrigerator, removing a
	canister labeled "SODIUM CITRATE". Then he draws his sword. We can
	practically see the wheels turning within his mind --

	MOMENTS LATER,

	Blade stands before the open flames of one of the furnaces, heating
	his sword in the fire. He withdraws it -- it's molten red.

	Blade turns, dousing the molten hot sword into the sodium citrate
	canister. The refrigerated liquid reacts with the heat, causing the
	sword to STEAM and HISS.

	When Blade withdraws the smoking sword, we SEE that the gleaming
	steel has changed colors, taking on a bluish tinge, just like the
	sodium citrate it was immersed in. Blade smiles to himself,
	satisfied.

	CUT TO:

	INT. FROST'S PENTHOUSE, INNER CHAMBER - DAY

	Sparse decor in a Neo-Japanese vein. Minimalist lighting. The walls
	are glass. Recirculating pumps send a constant stream of water
	cascading down them.

	Karen is escorted into the room by Mercury. She gestures to a chair
	at the end of a long table. Karen sits. 

	FROST 

	leans forward out of the shadows, resting his elbows on the table,
	hands steepled together. 

				FROST
		Well, here we are, Doctor.

	A cigarette appears in Frost's hand. In the blink of an eye, the
	cigarette is lit, burning. The movements are so quick we barely have
	time to register them. 

				KAREN
		Why haven't you killed me yet? 

				MERCURY
		Deacon likes to play with his food 
		before he eats it.

	Frost laughs. Karen tries to keep calm. The longer she keeps them
	talking, the longer she remains alive.

				KAREN
		How many of you are there?

				FROST
		A few thousand scattered about the 
		globe. In the past, we've had to 
		restrict our numbers for fear of 
		discovery. That won't be necessary 
		after tonight. 

				KAREN
		What happens then?

				FROST
		The Blood Tide. Our long-prophesied 
		holy war against the humans. There's a 
		force, you see -- a spirit that exists 
		in our blood. I've discovered a way to 
		invoke it.

				KAREN
		LaMagra --

				FROST
		That's right. The answers were there 
		all along, of course, scribbled down 
		in the forgotten languages of my kind. 
		Waiting for someone with the patience 
		to decipher them. 
		My elders were foolish enough to 
		dismiss them as wives tales. But I 
		knew better. 
			(beat)
		Imagine my surprise when Blade turned 
		out to be the key which would set that 
		force free. 

	Frost sits forward now, impassioned.

				FROST
		LaMagra isn't a physical being. He's a 
		spirit, requiring a flesh and blood 
		host in order to manifest himself.

				KAREN
		You.

				FROST
		Who better to usher in the Blood Tide? 

	Karen shakes her head, protesting --

				KAREN
		There's no need for any of this. Your 
		condition can be treated. Whistler and 
		I were working on a cure when --

				FROST
		What makes you think we want to be 
		cured? Blood is only part of the 
		equation. The hunt, the killing, 
		that's what the Thirst is really 
		about.

				KAREN
		But you use blood banks --

				FROST
		Only as a last resort. Preserved blood 
		is inferior. There's no flavor left to 
		it, no life. 
			(rising from his seat)
		Fortunately, I've found a way around 
		that particular obstacle. 

	Frost moves to the end of the room. He pushes a button. With a HUM
	the wall slides open, revealing something Karen wishes she'd never
	seen -- living blood banks.

	THREE SEDATED HUMANS

	have been hooked up to IV feeds which replenish various nutrients as
	their blood is drained from them. Shunts have been implanted in their
	forearms which serve as taps. 

				FROST
		Under these conditions I can keep a 
		donor alive for years, producing 
		anywhere from fifty to a hundred pints 
		of blood.
			(admiring his charges)
		Of course, this is just a pilot 
		program, really. Once the Tide comes, 
		we'll need to expand production. So 
		many more mouths to feed -- 

	Karen turns away, overwhelmed by revulsion. 

				KAREN
		You're a monster.

				FROST
		Why? Because we live at another 
		species' expense? Your people farm 
		cattle and veal, don't they? Fattening 
		them up with steroids? It's called 
		evolution, Doctor. Survival of the 
		fittest. 

	Frost stares at Karen with an intense, uncompromising gaze. 

				FROST
		I have a wake-up call for the human 
		race. You're no longer at the top of 
		the food chain.

	EXT. SKYSCRAPER ROOFTOP - DAY

	BLADE'S POV

	A telephoto view of Frost's penthouse. The windows are polarized,
	blocking out the sun's harsh rays.

	Blade lowers a pair of binoculars. He's standing on the roof of a
	building across the street. He hefts an air-launcher rifle up into
	firing position --

	BANG! An iron spike trailing a steel cable rockets through the air
	between the two buildings, sinking into the concrete facade of
	Frost's penthouse. Blade secures his end of the rope. He slips a
	pulley over the rope, grabs hold of two handles, and leaps off the
	roof ledge!

	WHOOSH! Blade slides towards Frost's penthouse, a good twenty stories
	above street level. A second before he reaches the windows, Blade
	lets go. Momentum sends him CRASHING through in a shower of glass.

	INT. FROST'S PENTHOUSE - DAY

	An ALARM is ringing. Sunlight streams in through the broken window.
	TWO VAMPIRE GUARDS who have been caught in the sudden swath of light
	are burning up before our eyes. Blade climbs to his feet --

	A THIRD VAMPIRE

	leaps at him. Blade spins, flipping the vampire over his shoulder,
	sending him straight through one of the other windows --

	EXT. FROST'S PENTHOUSE - DAY

	The vampire tumbles earthward, SCREAMING as the sun's rays ignite his
	body, falling like a human comet.

	INT. FROST'S PENTHOUSE - DAY

	Blade unsheathes his sword and heads out into the hall --

	INT. FROST'S PENTHOUSE, HALLWAY - DAY

	To Blade's right is the inner chamber with the "waterfall" walls. As
	ANOTHER VAMPIRE approaches, Blade readies his sword --

				VAMPIRE
		You think I'm afraid of that toothpick 
		of yours?

				BLADE
		You should be. I've made some 
		improvements.

	And with that, Blade thrusts his blackened sword forward, right
	through the vampire's chest. 

	The creature SHRIEKS and atomizes -FWOOSH!- flying apart in a fine-
	beaded spray of blood mist. 

	Up ahead are a set of steel doors with a time-lock mechanism. Blade
	draws a Casull, BLASTS away at the lock, then shoulders the doors
	open --

	INT. FROST'S SLEEPING CHAMBER - DAY

	We are in a windowless, vault-like room dominated by a series of
	high-tech STAINLESS STEEL SARCOPHAGI. Think of a hyperbaric coffin, 
	each unit possessing a small face-plate window through which the 
	sleeping subject can be viewed.

	Blade unsheathes his sword. He grabs the lid of the first
	sarcophagus, HEAVING upward. With a PNEUMATIC HISS, the lid rises,
	belching out a cloud of condensation mist. 

	As the mist clears, revealing the occupant within, Blade raises his
	sword, ready to plunge it downward -- only it's not Deacon Frost who
	rests beneath him, it's --

	VANESSA,

	Blade's mother!!! Although some thirty years have passed since the
	events of our prologue, Vanessa looks exactly the same -- vibrant,
	beautiful, full of life. Her eyes open.

				VANESSA
		Jason. 

	Blade gasps, uncomprehending.

				BLADE
		Mother -- ?!

	Vanessa rises from the sarcophagus, tears staining her cheeks.

				VANESSA
		I've missed you so much, Jason. 
			(drawing closer)
		You have no idea what I've been 
		through, how much I've wanted to see 
		you -- 

	Blade falters, his mind reeling. What he's seeing is incomprehensible
	-- his mother is dead. Yet, here she is in the flesh, reaching out to
	him and --

	-- flashing a mouthful of viper-like fangs! She SNARLS and strikes,
	brutally raking her claws across Blade's face, knocking the sword
	from his grasp --

	A TRIO OF BLACK-CLAD VAMPIRES

	led by Mercury step from the shadows where they'd been waiting all
	along. They're armed with tasers which they fire en masse --

	Blade is hit by the taser darts from all sides. He writhes as
	electricity courses through him, then collapses in a heap. He labors
	to lift his head, looking up at Vanessa -- 

				BLADE
		But you -- died --

				VANESSA
			(a hellish smile)
		Deacon brought me back. 

				BLADE
		Fight him --

	As if on cue, Frost appears at Vanessa's side, wrapping a proprietary
	arm about her waist, kissing the nape of her neck. She leans into him
	-- an act of practiced intimacy.

				FROST
		She can't. She's one of my thralls 
		now. She has about as much free will 
		as a puppet on a string.
			(looking at Vanessa)
		You love me, don't you, Vanessa? 

				VANESSA
		Yes.

	Frost kisses Vanessa hungrily. Then he kneels and reaches into
	Blade's jacket, retrieving a vial of Blade's serum.

				FROST
		What do we have here? Your precious 
		serum? I don't think you'll be needing 
		this anymore.

	Frost crushes the vial in his fist. Blade struggles to reach Frost,
	stretching a palsied hand upwards --

				BLADE
		Please -- 

				VANESSA
		Listen to your father, Jason. It's 
		going to be a better world.

	Blade stares at Vanessa uncomprehending. 

				FROST
		Don't look so surprised, Blade. You've 
		spent your life looking for the 
		vampire who fathered you. Well you can 
		rest easy now, you've found him.
			(gripping Blade's chin)
		Daddy's here.

	Blade's eyes widen in shock. Frost simply laughs.

				FROST
		It's true, Blade. You've got my blood 
		running through your veins.
			(smiling)
		Thirty years ago. A moonlit street, a 
		woman on her way home alone. You were 
		conceived the night I tore my fangs 
		into your mother's flesh. 

	Frost swings his fist into Blade's skull. Everything goes black. 

	CUT TO:

	INT. ARMORED TRUCK - NIGHT

	FADE IN as Blade opens his eyes, still groggy, his face beaded with
	sweat. Feverish. His hands have been bound tightly behind his back
	with manacles and chains. 

	KAREN

	sits nearby, watching him. From the steady rocking motion and the
	SOUNDS of traffic outside, it's evident that they are in the back of
	a moving truck.

				KAREN
		Are you all right?

				BLADE
			(weakly)
		I've been better --

				BLADE
		How long have we been driving?

				KAREN
			(shaking her head)
		I don't know. I woke up just before 
		you did --

	As he struggles to sit up, she crosses over to him. Blade shuts his
	eyes for a moment, fighting a wave of pain.

				KAREN
		Is it bad?

				BLADE
			(nodding)
		We get out of this alive, maybe I'll 
		take that miracle cure of yours.

	Karen doesn't respond. Instead she looks away. How in the world is
	she supposed to tell him this?

				KAREN
			(quietly)
		It won't work on you.

				BLADE
		What are you talking about?

	Karen forces herself to meet his gaze.

				KAREN
		Your condition's congenital, the 
		genetic mutations occurred in utero. 
		All the other victims contracted 
		vampirism after birth. 

	Blade stares at Karen, disbelieving. Who could imagine a more
	horrifying irony? She's crying now. She can't help it.

				KAREN
		I can't cure you, Blade. I can cure 
		myself, but I can't cure you.
			(beat)
		I'm so sorry.

	Blade's head sinks, the last vestiges of hope draining out of him.

	And then, as if the final stake were being pounded in, the truck
	lurches to a stop. We hear the ENGINE being killed, then FOOTSTEPS
	approaching, and then a series of BOLTS BEING SHIFTED as --

	-- the back of the truck is thrown open. Frost stands there,
	grinning, flanked by Mercury, Quinn, Vanessa, and a half-dozen other
	VAMPIRE ASSOCIATES. 

				FROST
		Welcome home, children.

	EXT. THE BANK OF EREBUS - NIGHT

	Blade and Karen are dragged from the back of the truck, which is
	revealed now to be an armored car. 

	THE BANK OF EREBUS

	rises up before them. A towering beaux-arts edifice situated in the
	heart of the city's high-priced financial district -- one of the many
	institutions owned and operated by the vampire enclave.

	Frost starts up the marble steps towards a grand, triple-arched
	entrance flanked by Corinthian columns. Karen and Blade are dragged
	along after him. 

	INT. BANK OF EREBUS - ATRIUM - NIGHT

	Frost leads his vampires into a high-ceilinged atrium, moving towards
	a bank of elevators -- one of the doors of which is outfitted with a
	high-tech hand-key ID system.

	Frost places his palm on the ID screen. The screen GLOWS GREEN,
	acknowledging his identity. In response, the doors HISS open.

	INT. SECURITY ELEVATOR - NIGHT

	Blade and Karen are pulled inside the elevator. The control panel
	buttons have vampire glyphs, rather than numbers. Frost presses the
	bottom one. The doors close with a WHOOSH and the car descends --
	down, down, down.

	Frost glances over at Karen, smiling amiably.

				FROST
		On its surface, this building houses 
		one of the city's oldest financial 
		institutions -- and for over 
		two-hundred years its served our 
		corporate needs. Look beneath the 
		surface, however, and you'll discover 
		another truth entirely --

	The elevator CHIMES, having arrived at its destination. The doors
	HISS open, revealing 

	INT. THE TEMPLE OF NIGHT 

	A vast, barrel-vaulted chamber lined with recessed tombs stretches
	out before us -- an underground cathedral of sorts, wrought from
	alabaster and marble. Restrained. Elegant. Replete with dark
	splendor.

				FROST
		As above, so below.

	Torches burn in wall sconces, casting everything in a warm, amber
	glow. Frost takes in the beauty of the place.

				FROST
		Welcome to our hall of ancients, 
		Doctor. We call it the Temple of 
		Night.

	Blade and Karen are led to the middle of the room, where a stone
	altar rises up from a dais. Blade is roughly thrown to the ground. He
	kneels there, eyes cast downward. Broken. His system being assaulted
	by the devastating effects of the Thirst. 

	Quinn and Mercury pick their way through Blade's discarded gear.
	Quinn picks up the punching dagger, admiring it. 

	Frost turns to Mercury, who's been holding Blade's scabbarded sword.

				FROST
		Let's see this sword of his.

	Mercury draws the sword, handing it to Frost. He sights down the
	length of it, testing its weight. With a flick of his wrist, he
	lashes out, slashing Blade's cheek open. 

				FROST
		Still quite sharp, I see.

	Blade feebly struggles to rise. Frost clubs him on the back of the
	neck with the sword pommel. Blade crumples. Karen tries to pull free,
	but Quinn holds her tight.

				KAREN
		Blade --

				FROST
		You're wasting your breath, woman. He 
		can't hear you now. It's the Thirst, 
		you see? It already has him in its 
		grip.

	Frost reaches down, dragging Blade's head up by his hair. Karen
	watches on as Frost continues to taunt him.

				FROST
		How long has it been since you had 
		your serum? Twelve hours? More? You 
		must be quite thirsty by now.

	He crouches down so he's eye to eye with Blade.

				FROST
		What does it feel like? Is your blood 
		on fire? Are you burning up inside? 
		Give in to the Thirst, Blade. Embrace 
		your true nature.

	Blade shivers, grits his teeth, it's like he's going through heroin
	withdrawal. 

				BLADE
		-- go to hell --

	Frost smiles, his eyes burning with an infernal glow.

				FROST
		I've got news for you, Blade. We're 
		already here.

	Frost turns to the others, motioning.

				FROST
		Take him to the sanctuary. It's time 
		he was bled.

	The other vampires retreat, dragging Blade along with them. Karen is
	left alone with Frost and Quinn.

				FROST
		I'd let you watch the proceedings, 
		Doctor, but I'm afraid that privilege 
		is reserved for members of my own 
		race. Don't worry, though, I've made 
		alternate arrangements for you.

	Frost motions and Quinn drags Karen towards --

	THE MOUTH OF A PIT

	some forty feet deep, its lichen-encrusted stone walls worn smooth
	over time. As Frost gestures to the yawning darkness beneath them,
	Quinn forces Karen towards the edge. 

				FROST
		We call this the Bone Pit. It's where 
		we keep our mistakes, the ones who 
		couldn't successfully make the 
		transition from human to vampire. 

	Frost reaches out, caressing Karen's neck, puncturing the soft flesh
	beneath her chin with a razored fingernail.

				FROST
		They'll feed on anything, given the 
		chance -- animals, corpses, even other 
		vampires.

	Frost nods. Karen struggles against Quinn, but it's no good. In a
	manner of seconds, she's falling --

	INT. BONE PIT - NIGHT

	-- making a decidedly rough landing on a heap of bones far below. She
	GROANS, taking stock of her battered body.

	UP ABOVE,

	Deacon watches from the lip of the pit, amused. 

				FROST
		Of course, a strapping young woman 
		like yourself -- well I think you just 
		might be considered finger food.

	And with that, he's gone, stepping away from the pit.

	INT. TEMPLE OF NIGHT - BLEEDING CHAMBER - NIGHT

	We are in a small, elevated antechamber which is situated above the
	main vampire sanctuary.

	BLADE, 

	now weakened to the point of collapse, is being lashed to a rack-like
	device by iron chains. 

	Mercury and her cohorts move efficiently, quickly securing him. When
	they are through, the rack is hoisted up into the air via a series of
	winch-driven chains. 

	With every turn of the winch crank, the chains are drawn tighter,
	causing Blade to CRY OUT, until at last, he is suspended in mid-air,
	spread-eagle. 

	FROST

	approaches, still carrying Blade's sword.

				FROST
		It's been a long road, hasn't it? Such 
		a pity Whistler led you so far astray. 

	Frost cocks his head to the side, studying Blade's face.

				FROST
		I don't blame you, though. I want you 
		to know that. Even after all you've 
		done. I understand, Blade, I really 
		do. It's the human side of you which 
		has corrupted your reasoning, made you 
		weak. But we'll take care of that, 
		won't we?

	Blade struggles to lift his head, forcing himself to match Frost's
	gaze, shaking with hatred.

				BLADE
		I'd kill myself -- before I turned 
		into something like you.

	Frost just smiles and shakes his head.

				FROST
		No you wouldn't. I'm going to bleed 
		you dry, Blade. All the poison that 
		makes you human. 
			(drawing closer)
		When the Tide comes, you'll be begging 
		me put you through the Change. 

	Frost lifts up Blade's sword, methodically slitting Blade's wrists
	one by one. He makes the cuts lengthwise, opening up the cephalic and
	basilic veins with surgical precision.

	Blood wells up from the fresh wounds, running down Blade's forearms,
	collecting in a cistern beneath his feet. 

	Frost watches the steady, inexorable process, then nods, satisfied.
	He looks to the others who are gathered behind him, watching on with
	silent reverence.

				FROST
		It's done. We should ready ourselves 
		for the ritual of invocation.

	Frost leads Mercury, Quinn, and the others from the sanctuary.

	Blade struggles futilely against his bonds, crying out in
	frustration, his body eventually sagging from exhaustion. 

				VANESSA (O.S.)
		There's no use fighting us, Jason. 

	Blade looks up, focusing now on --

	VANESSA, 

	who has remained behind. Blade stares at her. As terrible as his
	physical torment is, his mother's betrayal is infinitely worse.

				BLADE
		How could you be a part of this?

				VANESSA
		These are my people now. I'm one of 
		them.

				BLADE
		You don't have to be. 

				VANESSA
		You don't understand. I've killed, 
		I've hunted, and I've enjoyed it. 

	She draws closer, caressing her son's face. There's just a hint of
	creepy eroticism in her action, a dash of incest. 

				VANESSA
		I wish you could see the world as I 
		do. Deacon opened my eyes. There's no 
		turning back from that.

				BLADE
		I don't believe that.

				VANESSA
		You will. Time is on our side. Sooner 
		or later, the Thirst always wins.

	Vanessa turns away now. Blade cries after her --

				BLADE
		Mother!

	Vanessa pauses, looking back, smiling cruelly.

				VANESSA
		Your mother died the night you
		were born. 

	And with that, she's gone, melting into the shadows. 

	CUT TO:

	INT. THE BONE PIT - NIGHT 

	Karen rises, wary, taking in her shadowed surroundings. 

	HEAPS OF HUMAN BONES

	are piled against the pit walls -- skulls, rib-cages, femurs, tibias
	-- all picked clean of flesh. Some of the skulls have large, canine-
	like fangs -- the remnants, no doubt, of long-deceased vampires.

	Suddenly we hear a WHISPER of sorts, the soft CLINKING of bone
	fragments grinding together --

	Karen spins, trying to place the source of the sound. Then she hears
	the SOUND again. Behind her now, closer.

				REVENANT (O.S.)
		Karennnnn --

	Karen looks up with a growing sense of dread.

	A FACE

	emerges from the darkness. Pallid, cadaverous, shedding its
	desiccated flesh. Lidless eyes like black marbles slick with
	Vaseline. A mouth like a raw wound. 

				REVENANT
		Karreennnnnn. I never thought I'd see 
		you againnnnn.

	Karen backs away, realizing who she's standing before.

				KAREN
		Curtis?!

	What used to be Curtis SNARLS, knocking Karen back into the drift-
	pile of bones. It pins her to the ground, kneeling above her,
	gurgling through its gutted trachea.

				CURTIS REVENANT
		Tell, me, Karennn -- ever have second 
		thoughts -- about us?

	Karen SCREAMS, trying to force the revenant away from her, but it
	lunges closer, lolling its distended tongue over her mouth in a
	pathetic approximation of a French kiss.

	She fumbles behind her, choking, grabbing hold of a human femur,
	blindly swinging it upward --

	CRACK! The blow shatters the Curtis-thing's jaw. It rears back,
	falling to the side. 

	Karen crawls out from under its weight, swinging the femur again and
	again --

	CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! Karen pummels the howling horror, driving it
	back until the femur actually splinters in half. The creature's head
	hangs at an awkward angle now, its neck broken -- but still it
	advances, dragging itself back up.

	Sobbing, Karen retreats, clutching the splintered femur like a
	makeshift dagger.

	Curtis charges at her, a blur of slashing claws. At the last moment,
	Karen ducks, thrusting the bone dagger up into Curtis' chest --

	Curtis impales himself, right through the heart. For one split-
	second, his eyes widen in surprise --

	-- and then he goes into a death-spasm, vomiting up a spray of
	caustic vampire blood-bile, spattering Karen. She sinks to her knees,
	GASPING, as the thing that used to be Curtis shrivels up, melting
	away into burbling puddle.

	After a beat, Karen rises and moves to the pit wall, running her
	hands over the lichen-slick surface, searching for a way out. The
	mortar between the brickwork is ancient, crumbling. 

	Karen looks to the ground, reaching for one of the splintered femurs.
	She pounds it into the mortar between two bricks -- and it holds,
	working as a makeshift piton.

	Karen reaches for another broken femur, lodging it a foot above the
	first. She hauls her body up now, suspending her weight from the two
	makeshift pitons. Again, they hold.

	Trembling from exertion, Karen pulls the right piton free, hanging
	solely from her left hand now. Though her handhold is precarious, she
	manages to swing the right hand up again, pounding that piton another
	foot above the left.

	In this slow, torturous manner, Karen begins to climb her way up out
	of the pit.

	INT. TEMPLE OF NIGHT - BLEEDING CHAMBER - NIGHT

	Blade hangs from his chains, head slack, eyes half-lidded and
	lusterless. His skin has grown ashen as his life's blood has been
	bled away.

	Mercury appears before him, accompanied by Quinn. She bends in close
	to kiss Blade lightly on the lips.

				MERCURY
		It won't be long now, lover. 

	Quinn draws alongside her, hefting Blade's punching dagger. He places
	it against Blade's throat, slowly applying pressure. At this point,
	Blade's too weak to even resist.

				QUINN
		We should finish him off.

				MERCURY
			(shaking her head)
		No. Deacon wants him turned.

	Quinn releases Blade, disgusted. 

				QUINN
		Fucking waste, if you ask me.

	As Mercury and Quinn exit, the CAMERA DROPS DOWN to the cistern
	beneath Blade's feet. We follow the blood which has collected there
	as it flows into a crude drain and --

	INT. SANCTUARY - NIGHT 

	-- emerges from the ceiling of the sanctuary below. The stream of
	blood is directed down the channels of a spiral column, where it
	finally pools into a waiting chalice.

	PULL BACK TO REVEAL

	the sanctuary in full. A large circular chamber, the perimeter of
	which is lined with recessed alcoves housing the remains of the
	vampire ancients, set into the sanctuary walls like cells in a hive.

	DEACON FROST

	stands in the center of the chamber, allowing Vanessa to clothe him
	in ceremonial regalia -- gleaming, centuries-old armor. He pauses,
	kissing her hungrily.

	Having finished suiting up, he turns to face the vampires who have
	been faithful to his cause -- Mercury, Quinn, a host of others. A
	hush settles upon them. There's an excitement in the air, a sense
	that something remarkable is about to happen.

				FROST
		Tonight is the night we've waited our 
		entire lives for. Tonight, the 
		blood-dimmed Tide is loosed upon the 
		world. Tonight, the Age of Man comes 
		to an end. 

	The vampires bellow out a CHORUS OF CHEERS, their voices resonating
	off the stone walls like thunder. 

	CUT TO:

	INT. TEMPLE OF NIGHT - BONE PIT - NIGHT

	Karen's hands appear over the lip of the bone pit. She heaves herself
	up, collapsing onto the floor --

	-- but there's no time to rest. Even now she can hear the VAMPIRES
	CHEERING. She drags herself to her feet, letting the voices guide
	her.

	CUT TO:

	INT. ANTECHAMBER - NIGHT

	Karen slips around a corner, guarded, searching. She SEES Blade
	strung up before her, seemingly lifeless.

	Karen studies the chains which bind Blade, following them back to
	their source at the winch. She releases the brake on the winch crank,
	sending the chains RATTLING down through the overhead pulleys which
	suspend them. 

	Blade crumples to the floor, lying still. Karen is at his side in an
	instant --

				KAREN
			(whispering, urgent)
		Blade.

	Blade's eyes flicker open, fixing on her. Inhuman. He's shaking
	like an alcoholic going into delirium tremens.

	INT. TEMPLE SANCTUARY - NIGHT

	Vanessa hands Frost the chalice containing Blade's blood. He lifts it
	up for all to see. The vampires begin to chant en masse, some long-
	forgotten invocation in the vampire tongue.

				FROST
			(grinning, to himself)
		"And what rough beast, its hour come 
		round at last, slouches towards 
		Bethlehem to be born?"

	Frost lifts the chalice to his lips and begins to drink. 

	CUT TO:

	INT. ANTECHAMBER - NIGHT

	Blade tries to sit up, gripping Karen's wrist --

				BLADE
		Get out of here --

				KAREN
		I'm not leaving without you.

				BLADE
		You don't understand. The Thirst --

	He clutches his stomach, experiencing phenomenal pain.

				BLADE
			(gasping)
		-- tearing me -- apart.

				KAREN
		I know. Take some of my blood.

				BLADE
		No --

				KAREN
		It's the only way. You know that. 
		We'll never get out of here alive if 
		you don't.

	Blade suppresses a shudder. Simply keeping himself from attacking her
	takes every ounce of his resolve.

				BLADE
		I can't -- I won't be able to stop --

				KAREN
		Yes you will. The human side of you is 
		stronger. I know it is.

	Karen matches Blade's gaze, steeling herself. The truth is, she's
	terrified. 

	Blade stares back at her. At this moment, he wants what Karen is
	offering more than anything he's ever desired. And so he rises --

	CUT TO:

	INT. TEMPLE OF NIGHT - SANCTUARY - NIGHT

	Frost continues drinking down the blood, when suddenly, a force
	seizes his body. He throws his head back, eyes rolling to white,
	flinging the chalice aside.

	And as the vampire incantation reaches a fevered pitch, we SEE the
	stone tomb tablets off the vampire ancestors beginning to judder --
	as if some force within were trying to break free --

	CUT TO:

	INT. ANTECHAMBER - NIGHT

	Karen turns her head to the side, baring her neck, offering herself
	to Blade. Blade opens his mouth. His canines elongate. He lowers his
	head --

	-- and starts to feed. Karen involuntarily stiffens as Blade's teeth
	puncture her skin and we --

	CUT TO:

	INT. TEMPLE SANCTUARY - NIGHT

	Frost shakes, possessed by an unseen force. A wind picks up from
	nowhere, swirling about the chamber, accompanied by a strange
	HUMMING. 

	Suddenly, one of the tombs BURSTS OPEN. A WRAITH-LIKE SPIRIT rushes
	outward in a fountain of light, penetrating Frost's body.

	Then ANOTHER TOMB SPLITS APART. Then ANOTHER, and ANOTHER -- until a
	torrent of SPIRIT-WRAITHS are surging into Frost, buffeting him about
	like a scarecrow in a cyclone.

	Mercury, Vanessa, and the other vampires back away, apprehensive,
	humbled by what they're witnessing.

	CUT TO:

	INT. ANTECHAMBER - NIGHT

	Blade moans, sinking his teeth deeper. Karen's head rolls back. Her
	eyes open -- glassy, unseeing -- as a wave of ecstasy overtakes her. 

	She shudders, her breath quickening, falling into a synchronous
	rhythm with Blade's. Her fingers dig deep into his back, clawing
	downward, tearing into him -- 

	She's not Karen anymore -- she's a red blood cell, an erythrocyte,
	spinning in a river of plasma, roaring up Blade's femoral artery,
	racing towards the pumping chambers of his heart which beats like the
	deafening breath of God, which blots all other sounds out of
	existence and we're --

	CUTTING BACK AND FORTH NOW

	between Frost's transformation and Blade's, each of them growing
	stronger by the second, caught in an ever-increasing feedback loop of
	expanding energy until --

				BLADE
		NO!!!!

	Blade tears himself from Karen, his pulse racing as -- 

	CUT TO:

	INT. TEMPLE SANCTUARY - NIGHT

	-- the invocation of LaMagra reaches critical mass. Frost is consumed
	by a hellish force, unable to withstand the onslaught of spirit
	energy any longer. 

	CUT TO:

	INT. ANTECHAMBER - NIGHT

	-- Karen clawing at Blade, tears streaming down her cheeks.

				KAREN
		Don't stop --

	But Blade grips her by her shoulders, shoving her back. Karen stares
	at Blade, wide-eyed, as if waking from a trance. She touches the raw
	wounds on her neck, shaken --

				KAREN
		My God --

	Blade rises to his full height. His strength has more than returned,
	it's been doubled by the infusion of real blood. And there's
	something else in his gaze now too -- an animal fury that was missing
	before. Blade has taken one giant step closer to the darkness. 

				KAREN
			(hesitant)
		Are you -- all right?

	Blade pulls at the chains manacled to his wrists, SNAPPING them apart
	like toys. He flexes his hands -- fingernails lengthening to tapered
	points. And he smiles, offering us a view of his canines, which have
	elongated into fangs.

				BLADE
			(near-demonic)
		Never been better.

	INT. TEMPLE SANCTUARY - NIGHT

	The aftermath. Smoke hangs heavy in the air, occluding the area where
	Frost had stood. As it dissipates, Mercury and the others creep
	forward, apprehensive --

				MERCURY
		Deacon?

	FROST

	stands with his back to us, his body trailing wisps of occult fumes.
	As he slowly turns, we catch a glimpse of his eyes -- burning with an
	awesome, inner fire. 

				FROST
		No longer.

				BLADE (O.S.)
		Frost!!!

	All heads turn --

	BLADE 

	stands at the balcony overhead, Karen at his side. He leaps from it,
	somersaulting down to the floor below, landing on his feet like a
	predatory cat.

				BLADE
		Who dies first?

				FROST
			(growling, to the others)
		Take him.

	Quinn GROWLS, stepping forward, armed with Blade's punching dagger.
	He offers his second "new hand" up for view. 

				QUINN
		Grew another hand for you sweetmeat --
			(tossing the dagger to his new hand)
		-- and now I'm gonna kill you with it.

	Quinn charges. Blade meets the vampire head-on, dropping into a low
	kick and sweeping the vampire's legs out from under him. He spins
	behind Quinn -- 

				BLADE
		Let's see if you can grow a new one
		of these!

	Blade hooks a finger through the metal ring at the end of his jacket
	sleeve, pulling out a retractable strangle-wire which he twists
	around Quinn's throat. 

	Blade tightens the wire, decapitating Quinn. The headless body
	staggers about, then drops to the cavern floor. Blade scoops up his
	punching dagger --

				BLADE
		Next?

	Mercury and the other faithful vampires charge en masse. Blade
	launches a spinning wheel kick into the first vamp's face, SNAPPING
	its neck --

	Mercury has Blade's .454 Casulls. She aims them at him --

				MERCURY
		Have a taste of your own medicine!

	As she FIRES, Blade tucks and rolls, knocking one of the guns from
	her hand. The guns spins across the floor, where it's scooped up
	by --

	KAREN,

	who takes aim at an approaching vamp, BLOWING it away.

	Meanwhile, Blade traps Mercury's other hand, disarming her, flipping
	her over his shoulder. He hefts his Casull, BLASTING her into
	eternity --

	A bloodbath ensues. Blade moves like speed-personified, FIRING off
	one, two, THREE HEADSHOTS with brain-numbing accuracy, cutting down
	the vampires where they stand. 

	It's an orgy of gunpowder smoke and showering bodily fluids and
	-CLICK-CA-CHING-CLICK!- Blade and Karen have spent their bullets
	and --

				FROST (O.S.)
		Enough!!!

	Blade turns to face --

	FROST, 

	who's advancing, clutching Blade's own sword in his hand. He thrusts
	the sword forward --

	Blade presses the grip-trigger on his punching dagger -CHING!- the
	two side blades spread out. We hear the RASP and CLANG of metal on
	metal as Blade manages to trap the sword-point between two of the
	dagger blades --

	For a moment, both men are eye to eye, their weapons locked together,
	then, Frost forces Blade backwards --

	What happens next is the most blindingly-fast sword fight ever
	exposed to celluloid. Both men, fueled by super-human speed, lunge
	and spin across the cavern floor in a blurred ballet of lethal moves.

	Frost lands a powerful blow on Blade's shoulder, the sword-edge
	biting deep into the flesh. Blade SCREAMS. Frost withdraws the sword
	for another strike --

	-- until Blade sees an opening and takes it, slicing Frost's left arm
	off at the shoulder --

	The severed arm releases Blade's sword, but the arm doesn't fall! To
	Frost and Blade's mutual surprise the arm floats in mid-air, bleeding
	red, quivering like zero-G liquid, then SLURPING back to Frost's arm-
	stump to re-attach itself!

	Undaunted, Blade slices the punching dagger into Frost's mid-section,
	meeting only liquid-like resistance. The moment Blade withdraws his
	dagger, Frost's flesh seals itself up again.

	Blade hesitates now, uncertain -- and Frost laughs, understanding
	what has happened.

				FROST
		You're too late, Blade. I'm already 
		changing. Don't you see? The Sleeper 
		has awakened. I'm not just Frost 
		anymore. I'm becoming a god now, 
		blood incarnate.

	Even as Frost utters the words, his body begins to ripple and morph,
	bleeding red, taking on the characteristics of liquid. He doesn't
	walk so much now as flow. He's become a three-dimensional creature of
	animated blood! A blood demon.

	ON KAREN,

	as she watches Frost's transformation, wide-eyed. She SEES Blade's
	discarded sword, reaches for it -- suddenly, a SHADOW moves on the
	periphery of her vision --

	VANESSA

	rushes at Karen in a near-blur. The SNARLING hellion is upon Karen in
	an eye-blink, SLAMMING her down against the temple floor, pinning
	her. 

				VANESSA
		Did you think I'd forgotten you, you 
		little whore?

	BACK TO FROST,

	who towers above Blade, swaying back and forth in his new, liquid-
	like form.

				FROST
		You can't hurt me anymore. 

	WHOOSH! Frost rises upwards on a spiraling column of blood, HOWLING
	WITH LAUGHTER, then just as suddenly --

	-- splashes back to earth, spreading out in a widening pool. In the
	blink of an eye, he streams through Blade's feet, re-solidifying
	behind Blade. Blade spins, swings his dagger --

	Once again, Frost morphs into blood-form. He races around Blade in a
	series of spouting arcs, turning from blood-form to solid and back
	again in a series of split-second transformations.

	Blade whirls, striking with his dagger and missing every time --

	WHOOSH! Frost suddenly dissipates, SPLASHING away into a million
	zero-G blood bubbles, vanishing. Blade spins, unnerved, trying to
	pin-point his foe's next manifestation.

				BLADE
		Where are you?!

	Frost's voice answers from all directions.

				FROST
		Everywhere.

	A DROPLET OF BLOOD

	spatters the floor at Blade's feet. Blade looks up --

	A SHOWER OF BLOOD

	rains from above, coalescing into Frost as he sweeps down on Blade
	like a giant bird of prey, crushing him against the temple floor. 

				FROST
		You want my blood so much?! Take it!

	Frost's arms elongate and liquefy, flowing into two snake-like spouts
	of blood -- the rest of Frost remains solid. The blood-spouts twist
	around Blade's neck, melding together, completely encasing Blade's
	head in a bubble of blood.

	Blade claws at the blood-bubble as if it were a solid object that he
	could dislodge, but his fingers just pass through it!

	BACK TO VANESSA

	as she wraps a hand around Karen's throat, choking her.

	As Karen struggles, she frees a hand, sliding it down to her hip
	pocket, digging something out -- Whistler's vampire mace canister!

	She forces it up between them, triggering a jet of TOXIC MIST into
	Vanessa's face --

	Vanessa recoils, HOWLING, her head smoking as if it were doused with
	formic acid, skin sloughing off from her skull. Karen lunges for
	Blade's sword --

	BACK TO FROST AND BLADE

	Blade is drowning in Frost's blood. His eyes bulge. Oxygen bubbles
	stream from his mouth. Frost leans in close, his face a twisted mask
	of insanity.

				FROST
		I was wrong about you, Blade. You were 
		never one of us. You're a traitor to 
		your race. 

				KAREN (O.S.)
		Get away from him!

	Frost looks up -- Karen is wielding Blade's sword. She brings it down
	on Frost, severing the blood-tendrils which envelope Blade. The
	blood-bubble dissolves instantly, flowing away from Blade's face. He
	gasps, chokes in air --

	Frost backs away, horrified. His blood-tendrils don't reform.
	Instead, the lay where they fell, solidifying into crystalline
	powder.

				KAREN
		Blade!

	Karen flings the sword at Blade. 

	THE SWORD 

	spins end over end, its mirrored surface reflecting coruscating
	pinwheels of candlelight as Blade catches the weapon by its hilt.

	Blade rises, advancing on Frost, sword outstretched and Frost
	retreats, uncertain now.

				BLADE
		Guess you're not quite as invulnerable 
		as you thought.

				FROST
		You're wrong -- a few minutes more, and 
		my transition will be complete. Even 
		your sword won't be able to affect me 
		then.

				BLADE
		You don't have a few minutes, Frost.

	Frost eyes Blade warily, then lunges towards Vanessa, sweeping behind
	her. Blade follows, but even as he raises his sword to strike, Frost
	spins Vanessa around, using her body as a shield!

	Blade hesitates, stopping the sword in mid-strike, catching his
	mother's gaze -- her face is monstrous now, scarred by Karen's
	poisonous mace. Piteous, really. 

	Frost smiles, for he's found a final weakness of Blade's to exploit.

				FROST
			(laughing cruelly)
		Just as I thought. Still chained to 
		your mother's breast after all these 
		years.

	In the same instant, Vanessa's features morph, taking on the angelic,
	youthful vibrancy she possessed in the locket photo.

				FROST
			(gloating)
		You're too human, Blade. 

				BLADE
			(steeling himself)
		It's because I'm human that I can do 
		this.

	Frost's eyes widen in shock, but he has no time to react, for --

	Blade is already LUNGING forward, driving the sword-point through
	Vanessa's chest, on into Frost's heart! It strikes the stone behind
	them, SHATTERING and --

	Frost and Vanessa HOWL AS ONE, their SCREAMS rising to an unendurable
	intensity as the two vampires go nova, exploding into an expanding
	ball of light and ATOMIZING BLOOD.

	Blade is thrown back off his feet, having to shield his eyes from the
	backlash of occult energy as a near tidal WAVE of blood surges over
	him -- 

	EXT. BANK OF EREBUS - CITY STREET - NIGHT

	Every door and window of the bank is BLOWN OUTWARD from the force of
	the EXPLOSION. While along the street, manhole covers flip from their
	moorings, spinning up into the air like dimes, being buoyed by
	geysers of blood.

	INT. TEMPLE SANCTUARY - NIGHT

	Silence, just the steady DRIP-DRIP of liquid draining. The underworld
	temple gleams with a crimson sheen now. 

	ON BLADE 

	as he stirs. He's been blown clear across the sanctuary by the force
	of the blast, soaked to the quick by blood. He rises to his feet,
	retrieving the hilt of his shattered weapon. At his feet -- 

	THE SWORDBLADE 

	lies in pieces. Amidst them, we find the singed remains of the locket
	-- Vanessa's face barely recognizable beneath the grime. Blade stoops
	to pick it up.

				KAREN (O.S.)
		Blade?

	Blade turns. Karen moves to him, searching his eyes. Which side of
	Blade's soul has won out? Human or vampire?

	Then she SEES the tears rimming Blade's eyes, the first he's shed in
	a lifetime. Human. 

	They embrace, holding each other that way for a long, long time. And
	we --

	DISSOLVE TO:

	EXT. ROOFTOP, BANK OF EREBUS - DAWN

	Blade and Karen stand on the rooftop, watching as dawn slowly creeps
	across the silent city.

				KAREN
		I never imagined I'd be so happy to 
		see the sun rise --
			(turning to him)
		It's over, isn't it?

				BLADE
		For them. But for me --

	He lifts his face towards the rising sun, letting its warmth wash
	over his upturned face.

				BLADE
		I feel like it's finally beginning.

	And on that note we leave them -- TWO FIGURES, silhouetted against
	the new day.

	FADE TO BLACK.

	THE END