Mars - Incident at Pavonis Mons - A screenplay

This sci-fi feature incorporates elements of adventure, action and humor. It is low-budget and has very few FX.

Logline:Extraordinary discoveries challenge the American Mars exploration team as they investigate a medical emergency and rescue Chinese scientists who will keep their work secret at any cost.


In 2055 America and China have teams on Mars. The search for life beyond Earth offers more promise than ever with the American team set to confirm satellite bio-signatures at a seasonal spring in Pavonis Chasma.  China, the only other country to have a presence on Mars, has conducted ten years of clandestine exploration. China's overpopulation and quest for new resources to fuel their factories and feed their growing population has created a growing rift between itself and the rest of the world.

U.S. Navy Commander Chuck Davis, the senior member of the American crew by age and rank, leads the mission. Russian Air Force Captain Nadia Rostov, a veteran cosmonaut serves as copilot, Doctor Kathleen Quinn, their Medical Specialist, Gail Moser, Communications Officer, and Greg Chen, Science and Planetary Protection Officer complete the Falcon Three mission team.

On Mars, they join Sean Murphy, a battle scarred veteran astronaut and sole survivor of the Falcon Two mission. Unknown to his new teammates, Murphy is a CIA operative tasked with finding out what the Chinese are doing on Mars and determine if they are creating extraterrestrial biological weapons.

Shortly before their arrival on Mars, news is received of a medical emergency onboard a Chinese spacecraft returning to Earth. China confirms that report and the mystery deepens with further admission that contact has also been lost with their Mars habitat. The next day things get worse. The World Health Organization (WHO), fearing contamination of Earth's biosphere, places the Chinese spacecraft and the planet under quarantine.

China declares their habitat sovereign territory and reluctantly approves an external site survey. Commander Davis dispatches Murphy and Quinn with Rostov and Chen following to assist.  They discover a body outside the Chinese habitat.  Murphy is now able to fulfill his CIA mission.  Plan “Pathos” is approved.

They discover extraordinary new life forms and danger. Giant rats have escaped and gone on a murderous rampage. Biosafety system controls activate an auto destruct system and they have only four hours to find and correct the problem before an explosive charge blows a hole in the cavern roof, destroying everything. One of their scientists confirms experiments with bacteriophages, bacteria infected with viruses. Military scientists ignored warnings of their civilian colleagues and under orders from their superiors are transporting live samples to Earth.

In the end, we see inside the Chinese spaceship drifting silently on its path back to Earth. Lichen-like life forms envelop the bodies of each astronaut.

“Just in the Nick of Time”

This is a rom-com feature that captures the magic of the Season.

Single dad, Nick St. Claire, needs the part-time Santa job to give his 6-year old daughter, Maggie, the Christmas she deserves, but when the original job falls through, holiday surprises still await the twosome when Santa is on the job.

After his wife has her degree and secures a job in an uptown law firm, she leaves to pursue her career.  Nick finds raising his daughter on his own is work, but it is a labor of love. 

Extras like Christmas are out of reach without a second job.  Nick applies for the job as Santa at a local department store, but when the job goes to someone else, he is left with the job as photo elf or no seasonal job at all.  He chooses elf.

The first female Santa in Goodman's history has Nick's coveted job, but she is awkward with children.  Despite that fact, she has his job!

An emergency forces Nick to take Maggie with him to work.  Maggie is enchanted by Santa and needs a special talk with her and leaves home on her own to find her.  Maggie gets lost along the way and Nick is frantic. 

Nick needs to find a way to get through the season without losing Maggie or his heart to Sandy - the worst Santa in history.

“It's Never Too Late”

This is a rom-com feature that focuses on a more mature love story.

When newlyweds separate can their grandparents, total opposites, work together long enough to fix it?

When a young couple lets a misunderstanding come between them, their widowed grandparents plot a crazy scheme to get them back together.  But when their plans spin comically out of control, they realize that when you have faith, it's never too late to fall in love.

“Practicing Medicine”

This is a dramatic comedy that watches a man come to understand his true worth. This script was a quarter-finalist in the 2007 Page Awards.

When a man lies, he is so convincing that he is kidnapped and must live the lie....or else!

Paul Davis has been kidnapped because he lied -- and he likes it!

Paul - the nursing home janitor - pretends to be a cardiologist at his high school reunion. He performs a miracle resuscitation he set up in advance, but the scheme works too well and Paul is kidnapped and taken as the new resident doctor in a remote Mexican village.

At first Paul wants desperately to escape, but after getting such respect from his patients in the humble village and being spurred on by his growing attraction to the lovely Lupe, Paul has a tough decision when given the opportunity to escape.

“White Paint and Wildflowers”

A faith-based romantic comedy.

A young woman who has lost her faith, sets out to save an old farmhouse and saves herself instead when she meets a man she thinks she could spend the rest of her life with only to find he is the new preacher in town.

Megan feels as though she has lost everything.  Her father died.  Her boyfriend is a jerk.  The home she always dreamed of owning someday is about to be sold and demolished.  She teaches second grade and loves her work, but that’s about all that is going right in her life.  She feels God has abandoned her and her faith is gone.  When Matt’s cousin, Joe, introduces Megan and Matt, there is an instant attraction between them.  Matt’s new in town and Megan agrees to show him around.  When he comes to pick her up for the town tour, her kitchen is flooded and he fixes the leak.  Megan is thankful he is such a skilled plumber.  What she doesn’t know is that that Matt does know a thing or two about plumbing, but he’s actually the new preacher at a small church in town. 

Megan attends a City Council meeting with hopes to be granted time to have the old farmhouse added to the state registry of historical homes to save it.  Matt is at the meeting representing the church which wants to buy it, raze the building and build a youth center.  Things go quickly downhill.  Matt fell in love at first sight, but it takes Megan a while to realize it’s mutual.  Megan knows she is all wrong for him & could ruin his career, but she’s led by her heart and accepts Matt’s proposal.  That’s when things really fall apart.  She finally breaks their engagement as well as their hearts.  Eventually, she comes to realize she does believe in God.  She knows their love is real and Heaven sent.  Matt proposes again and she agrees.  Matt surprises Megan on their wedding day with her dream home all restored for their wedding.  It looks just as wonderful as she remembers it from her childhood with fresh white paint and wildflowers.    

“Dear Miss Millie”

A unique double mystery solved with lots of humor along the way.

Medically retired police detective, Max Adams, refuses to help his sister with a letter she receives through her advice column, but when she becomes the victim of a hit-and-run, is it too late to take over her column to solve the crime and catch Millie’s killer?

Former police detective, Max Adams, chose retirement rather than a desk job after taking a bullet in a drug related shootout.  Max takes his deceased sister’s position as an advice columnist, to find the letter that got Millie killed.  He finds a letter signed Accused, stating a young man accused of murdering his wife is innocent and the police are railroading him. 

Max uses his skills as a former detective to verify information, conduct his own investigation and find out how this murder and his sister’s hit-and-run are connected.  Robert Martinez’s alibi is unsubstantiated, he had an affair with a young woman in his office, the police found him kneeling over the body and the only person that might be able to bring a glimmer of hope to his situation is found dead. 

Max must untangle the strings to the mystery, while trying to stop his two ambitious co-workers, Lexy Thomas the paper’s probationary Investigative Reporter, who wants to “help” Max so she can get the position permanently and Josh Randall, an overly eager cub reporter that the Editor assigned for Max to mentor, either one could turn Max’s hard work into chaos!

Meanwhile, Max is under pressure from Bob Peterson, his editor, to meet his deadlines or else.  After a complaint from the Police Captain, Bob also warns Max, Lexy and Josh if they cause any more trouble for the paper by interfering with an on-going police investigation they will all be fired.

Once Max has his former police captain, Tim Kelly, make the arrest, Max submits his column, which brings Josh and Lexy around with questions.  Lexy walks in to Max’s office as an excited Josh tells her Max has another letter to Dear Miss Millie ... Signed, Blackmailed!  Maybe Max could get used to fighting crime from a desk after all.

Meet the Screenwriters

Tony Mikulec

Tony worked for many years in aerospace, working on projects from rocket engines and weather satellites in a technical capacity to project management for FAA projects and Northrop’s B-2 bomber.  Tony is a private pilot and loves all things science.  His background and meticulous research delivers realism to his work.

Pat Mikulec

Pat holds a Screenwriting Certificate from Gotham Writer’s Workshop.  She is an alumni of ScreenwritingU’s Pro Series 22 class.  She has been an active member of the Dallas Screenwriters Association for six years.

Heather Alexander Treulieb

Heather’s feature “Oil Run” has been optioned by Organized Films Productions and is slated to begin production in early 2014.

Heather has worn several hats in the business and is currently Scene Read Chairman for the Dallas Screenwriters Association.  She has been chair for the last 4 years.

Tracy Trost

Tracy is an award-winning director.  His movies include “Find Me,” “A Christmas Snow,” “The Lamp,” and “Letting Go.” 

He is currently involved is several other projects in various stages of pre-production.

Maria Giese

Maria is an award-winning director.  Her movies include “Hunger” and “When Saturday Comes.” 

She is a member of the DGA.