EXT. CAPE COAST PIER – SOUTH GHANA, AFRICA – 1791
An empty SLAVE SHIP (the WHITE LION) drifts listlessly in the water, lines tied to shore. Waves from a far off storm LURCH against the ship violently.
INT. THE HULL OF THE WHITE LION – DUSK
Rows of metal restraints CLANK against wooden benches. Slashes of light reveal dried blood and feces.
As a FLASH of light exposes naked bodies stacked on top of each other. An open wound bleeds on worn skin, vomit mixed with pieces of bone. Unholy CRIES OF AGONY as a BULLWHIP tears through human flesh.
A BODY RISES and there is a STRUGGLE. A MATE lashes it fiercely, then steps back, aghast at what he sees –
NO! It can’t be!!
He SCREAMS as he is overtaken.
CUT BACK TO
An EMPTY metal restraint, twisted open to an unnatural shape, blood pooling near it.
INT. CAPE COAST CASTLE – NIGHT
An elegant state room, pillars laced with gold. An older Danish MAN (CLEMENT SMITH), face weathered, sits at a French oak table, decorated with ivory, a sextant and heavy pistol next to a nautical chart showing bodies of water.
He runs his hand over a worn LEDGER, revealing a manifest. A single line notes the destination and time:
Point Comfort, Virginia May 22, 1791
Beneath it amounts of supplies: Rum, spices, slaves…