The Doomsday Treasure
A Walking Dead Original Origin Story/Article
This is my original origin story for AMC’s syndicated series,” The Walking Dead”. It begins with a submarine gliding thru the depths of icy waters near the North Pole. It is owned by the corporate energy giant DYNEX, which specializes in finding and profiting off of earth based sources of energy such as oil and natural gases. But with global competition rising and harsher environmental restrictions looming, the heads of DYNEX want new energy reserves found immediately to cover for recent losses and accrue future profits. After several months of setbacks to due weather and repairs, the crew breaks thru a mass of underwater ice, which reveals a structural outlining on the ocean floor. Further investigation thru a mini sub drone uncovers a small temple about the size of an outside tool shed. The reports of the discovery reach the main headquarters located in Frankfurt, Germany. The decision is made to use whatever resources available to excavate and claim the region immediately before environmental regulators find out. Within a week, a massive company tanker, along with a medium sized utility vessel and a second submarine meet up with the first to commence their assigned operations. Six days later, the captain of the excavation crew returns to a company owned dock near Denmark to meet with the corporate representatives and unveil the results.
A few days later, an emergency meeting takes place with a full report of the findings. Everyone from the lowest secretary to the CEO herself is speechless by what could be the find of the century. 12 very ancient chests, one large and eleven smaller ones fully locked and sealed. After a very brief discussion, the CEO gives the order to take all legal and political actions necessary to claim the location where they were found. By doing so, DYNEX would own these artifacts and can sell them for a massive profit. But word of their covert actions in the North Pole start to bring everyone from upstart government officials, environmental groups, media, and private owned competitors calling for action against DYNEX. However, the crafty reps make their way thru political barriers long before any serious external legislation could be drafted. Behind closed doors, DYNEX structures a deal with the top world governments. In exchange for a ten year lease to the discovery site, temporary ownership of the smaller chests, and absolutely no legal action taken against them, DYNEX will surrender the largest chest to the United Nations, and immediately put the smaller chests up for private auctions in cities around the world for private collectors and other world elites to buy (all profits going to DYNEX of course), in which they will naturally donate them to museums in their prospective cities.
The plan is executed without fail. Amid some bad press here and there, overall there were no obstacles for DYNEX and the contributing nations moving forward with the exhibitions. The U.N. G8 conference, were all the leaders of the most industrialized countries of the world gather every 4 years (and it just so happens that the next one is less than two weeks away), is where the largest chest will be presented and displayed at this year’s host Paris, France, before it makes its final home at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. The cities chosen for the unveiling of the smaller chests are L.A., Atlanta, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Chicago, London, Dubai, N.Y.C., and Frankfurt (much to the DYNEX CEO’s pleasure). But the plan changes when a leaked video from a terrorist group whom presented direct threats to the G8 summit, surfaces from the CIA and MI-6. Therefore DYNEX was awarded with the initial grand debut of the largest chest, now referred to as the Frankfurt chest. However, during the flight to Frankfurt, in which the CEO was personally overseeing the Frankfurt chest’s transport, she wondered why no one has been able to get it or any of the others open yet. Scholars and “approved” archeologists say that the inscriptions and markings are of an unknown earthly civilization, thus further research could take years. This was not acceptable to her, and she suddenly realized that if her people opened them first while they were still legally DYNEX property, the company could triple its earnings. Upon landing in Frankfurt, she recalled childhood memories of there being an ingenious, yet introverted “jack of all trades” Swedish gentleman owning a little bookstore/small mechanics repair shop in the town where she grew up. If anybody was capable of discovering the chest’s secrets, it would be him.
It’s less than four days away from the scheduled unveiling until the CEO finally is able to locate the Swedish tinkerer , who lives in a small isolated cabin not too far from town. An old man with piling bills, failing health, and no children, he is happy to accept her offer and potential reward for uncovering the mystery of the Frankfurt chest. They return to the home office while he dives into this new challenge which may be his last. Two days pass. Despite using state of the art computer databases, stacks of his rare books that were brought along, and all of his other references, it is to no avail. The phone in his room is ringing off the hook, causing the CEO to lose faith and patience in him, plus he realizes he isn’t able to handle the mental strain like he used to. He takes a drink of water too quickly, causing him to choke and sneeze all over the chest. Miraculously, the trails of water dripping from the hood reveal all the information he needs. The ancient patterns are actually locks that can be opened like a puzzle. Just in time, because a group of men working for DYNEX barge in, scoop him up, and take him to the CEO, who is going over final details with the decorator in the headquarters’ auditorium where the Frankfurt unveiling ceremony will occur. After a demeaning scolding from her, the tinkerer tells her that he believes the chest is from a undiscovered ancient civilization that exists only in ruins underneath the sea. The CEO expresses that her only concern is if he can open it before tomorrow night. With his silence, she interprets that as a “NO” and mentally she accepts what has thus been achieved may be enough. Still, she warns him that he is required to stay working on it, for if he can’t open it, he will not be compensated.
The big day is here, and with fifteen minutes till the unveiling, the tinkerer is sitting in a corner behind a stage curtain still looking over the sequences of the chest he has and hasn’t yet figured out. The CEO is opposite of him, getting makeup done while memorizing her speech. Ten minutes pass, she looks at him and notices a very concerned look on his face. When she asks him what’s wrong, he tells her of the many books he has read about ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, creating traps to safe guard treasures and that it just occurred to him of the possibility that the same lengths were taken to safeguard whatever in inside the chest. She glares at him and sternly reminds him of their agreement. Then all of a sudden, after performing several movements on the chest, it pops open just as the curtain lifts. A foul gas emits from the chest, and although visible for a brief moment, suddenly disappears. However the morbid stench remains, and it rapidly spreads amongst the seated attendants. Despite the communal gagging, the CEO skillfully handles the moment by calming the crowd with assurances that the disgusting vapor is nothing more than the aroma of history. Next, she cunningly “sells” the moment as a planned breakthrough to the audience, and instructs the tinkerer to display the contents of the chest. He pulls out eight pieces of jewelry, 13 multi-colored stones, and what appears to be a mini carving of an ancient deity, all of which has her and the crowd dazzled with amazement. Once she draws the focus solely towards the items and commences with the bidding, the tinkerer notices one last circular piece and silently removes it before exiting off stage and locking himself in a small from. He examines the piece, which appears to be something of an ancient compass containing some familiar patterns and an exact matching symbol also found on the Frankfurt chest. He begins to slowly turn the outer rim, which contains a marker that as it clicks, points to a different symbol.
He notices that there are the same numbers of symbols that are on the chest. After several efforts, he is able to turn the outer rim 360 degrees, moving the marker from first symbol, then back to it’s starting position. Almost immediately, the back of the compass falls onto the ground revealing pieces appearing to be a part of a larger device. He picks it up but immediately hides it when the CEO enters the room, hands him an envelope filled with German currency, and tells him that he is no longer needed. As he is led out towards the escort vehicle outside, he overhears a representative informing the CEO about reports of the other chests opening on their own. The next day, the tinkerer uses some of the money for bread, cheese, bottle of wine, and a moped rental to travel from the town to his small cabin that sits on top of a hill. A nice breeze blows by while he enjoys his meal, thinking of the past. When he stands up, the compass falls out of his pocket. He immediately shifts his focus back to figuring out exactly what the purpose of this device is. After about 7 min. of piecing it together, it appears to be a strange kind of pendulum, which can be placed in the center of the compass. Another detail which fascinated the tinkerer is a small piece of unidentifiable metal in between the center of the scale like construct that has two strikers, one on each end. At first his instincts tell him to be cautious, but curiosity eventually wins out as he pulls back on one of the strikers and starts the pendulum. Suddenly an excruciating high-pitched sound bursts outward when the strikers hit the metal. This paralyzes the tinkerer, causing him to fall on the ground and bleed from the nose and mouth. As he slowly drifts into unconscious, the outer rim in which he had previously turned, starts to click back ever so slowly towards its starting position with each strike.
A week has passed since the CEO last saw the tinkerer. She is in the bathroom, coughing and examining the strange new lumps starting to appear on various parts of her body, while half-hardheartedly listening to news reports expressing concerns over the possible appearance of a new global epidemic that although the origin is unknown, appears to be cancerous in nature. Three more days go by, the pendulum steadily loses momentum but the strikers hit much faster and become louder. The news reports of a worldwide virus increase across all corners of the earth. Unbeknownst to many, the worst cases appear to be many of the world’s most successful business gurus, financial leaders, wealthy socialites, and prominent politicians. And yet half of them, including the CEO, have refused to be hospitalized. Other news consists of reports of strange vibrations and sounds being picked by old television and radio stations, even disrupting wireless communication systems. There are also reports concerning some of the chests on display at various museums across the world, due to the appearance of a strange, greenish substance accumulating within the display cases despite repeated cleaning efforts. Early morning on the 12th day, the pendulum loses all momentum and stops swinging. The compass rim returns to its original starting place. Almost simultaneously, the echoes of screams begin ringing from multiple places around the world. Everyone who attended the 12 chest ceremonies starts vomiting a repulsive black liquid and falling into a coma…at first. At the DYNEX headquarters, people are screaming, running to their cars to unite with loved ones, or just simply frozen in awe as new channels relay shocking visuals from around the world. Multiple images depicting states of chaos in every major city across the globe. The most horrifying however, is what appears to be a Wall Street executive eating a security guard in New York City. While the other coworkers are frantically evacuating, one representative remembers that the CEO is still in her office. She enters the room, only to find trails of what appears to be black fluid leading into the in-office bathroom. At first, she is relieved when she enters to find the CEO standing with her back turned towards her, but relief turns into horror when the rep sees that her employer is the source of the black fluid. Suddenly the CEO turns, immediately lunging at the representative. Back at the town near Frankfurt, a team of investigators who have been tracking the source of the strange vibrations, finally pin point the origin, which is the tinkerer’s small cabin. One investigator locates the pendulum on the ground. While studying it a shadow looms over him. He begins to speak, assuming that it is one of his teammates, but then an awful stench fills his nose. He looks up and sees the rotting corpse of the Tinkerer as it reaches out towards him. A month later, in another part of the world, a man thought to be comatose in a hospital, slowly awakens……