Updated: Mar 8
EXT. EARTH FROM SPACE – DAY
TITLES OVER: US MILITARY INSTALLATIONS
As globe spins, US flags AUDIBLY POP up over US military bases - Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, Hawaii, Guam, Samoa. Then, as the Pacific is crossed, they appear rapidly, surrounding Asia and Europe with a ring of red, white and blue.
EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. – DAY
AERIAL views establishing the nation’s capital.
EXT. TRACKING SHOT HUMVEE MOTORCADE
A black Humvee flanked by black armored SUVs muscles up the boulevard, the White House visible in the near distance.
ANGLE WHITE HOUSE SECURITY POST
The Humvee convoy is admitted to the White House grounds.
INT. WHITE HOUSE – VARIOUS – DAY
GENERAL RUPERT (RIPPER) JACKSON – 67, unyielding and cruel – strides purposefully through corridors, with two adjutants flanking him, one carrying a heavy black leather satchel.
INT. PRESIDENTIAL QUARTERS – DAY
The President, POTUS – 72, corpulent and grim – sits on the edge of his bed staring into space, wearing everything but his pants.
It’s the strawberries where I got them.
Didn’t expect me to use logic, I'm
a shoot from the gut kinda guy.
It’s why people like me…
There’s an urgent KNOCKING and he looks up, perturbed.
I’m busy right now.
Ripper and his flanks stand at the President’s door.
Mr. President. General Jackson
JCOS. We have an urgent issue that
requires your attention, Sir.
POTUS – Annoyance gives way to recognition, which pleases him.
Yes, Sir. I’m afraid we have a
Then we need to go to the
He stands, revealing that he wears an adult diaper.
INT. SITUATION ROOM
POTUS is seated at the end of the long conference table, the satchel before him, Ripper and his coterie surrounding him.
Mr. President, with this mutual
defense pact between Russia and
China, and Congress pulling out
the War Powers Act, our full spectrum
dominance is seriously compromised,
leaving us open to what amounts to
Blackmale! That’s worse than white
Ripper and his associates glance at each other dubiously.
Uh, yes Sir, it certainly is.
By many degrees of magnitude.
POTUS stares solemnly at Ripper.
Then it’s a good thing I’m here
to see us through this.
Yes, Sir, it is.
We should take the, uh, the…
Appropriate steps. Keep things
from getting out of control.
Yes, Sir! And if I may say, a bold
move on your part.
I don’t fuck around. You know
that about me, Ripper, I'm a man
of few words and, uh, bold action.
I have the best actions.
Ripper opens the satchel, each of his adjutants assisting him in the ridiculously complex access protocol. Open, it is revealed to be the nuclear football, which allows the President and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCOS) to launch a nuclear strike remotely.
Striking them now will catch them
before they can coordinate an
Looks complicated. What’s it do?
The military men avoid each other’s gaze, utterly mortified that someone so unqualified could become the President.
It’s the nuclear football, Sir.
POTUS examines it closer.
Football, huh? I owned the New
Jersey Generals in ‘83, but the
USFL folded owing to…
This is a different kind of football, Sir.
POTUS looks up at him, cocksure.
Oh, you can believe me, I know
what a football looks like. Played
when I was in the Academy.
(looks back at case)
So, what’s this one do?
Ripper suppresses a shudder and his featured extras shake their heads in dismay.
This is the remote launcher
for nuclear attack.
POTUS looks at him defensively.
I know that. I know that. Seen
that guy carrying it around. Great
guy, never had a problem.
(figures it out)
So, why, uh, why we need it in
here? We can launch anything
we want from in here.
Ripper confides in him.
Mission integrity, Sir. The only
way to assure that we’re not
compromised by internal treachery.
Ya know, you’re right, internal treachery
is a huge problem. I was just saying to
my daughter…you’ve met my daughter?
Yes, Sir. She’s a fine woman.
I often said if I wasn’t her father,
I’d be dating her.
Yes, Sir. What I need is your retinal
scan and your Go code so we can
proceed with a defensive preventative
strike to maintain our dominance and
Does this have one of those names,
like uh, Operation Something-something?
Would you like it to have one?
Seems like it should. Maybe something
with my name in it…
Operational protocol is to exclude
personal names in order to maintain
Good for reducing lawsuits too.
I would place that low on the list
of imminent concerns.
(laying it out on table)
And the Joint Chiefs go along
with this, this…
POTUS tries it out a few times in his head then verbalizes it.
Good ring to it. Love the gold.
Included it for you, Sir.
POTUS looks appreciatively at Ripper, one of the few around him that has his back, his enormous back, and nods.
I take care of those who are
loyal to me.
(looking at the case)
So, uh, what do I do?
POTUS stands and bends over the case, revealing he still wears no pants. An attractive blonde, FAITH – 16, pretty yet hard – approaches the men carrying his pants.
Excuse me Mr. President. Thought
you’d want these.
POTUS looks up and his rigid, confused demeanor softens.
Ah, thought it was drafty in here.
Thank you, Faith.
Of course, Sir.
You remember what I told you,
Uh, no Sir, I don’t.
That’s too bad. I was hoping
you could tell me.
CLOSE ON POTUS as he looks into the football’s retinal scanner.
MATCH CUT TO
INT. SUBMARINE – NIGHT
CLOSE ON PERISCOPE EYEPIECE as COMMANDER BLINKY – 46, by the book – pulls away from the eyepiece as SCRAMBLE KLAXONS reverberate through the claustrophobic sub. LIEUTENANT DANFORTH – 29, serious and driven – addresses Blinky, concerned.
Commander. The system
went live remotely.
He looks at the radio operator ENSIGN O’REILLY – 32, short, naive – who talks over him in response.
Any word from Diego Garcia?
No word from Diego Garcia, sir.
See if you can raise the…
I’ll see if I can raise the Enter…prise…
O’Reilly trails off, realizing he stepped all over Blinky’s dialogue, and returns to his station, contrite. A different KLAXON adds to the cacophony and Danforth looks up from his controls, troubled.
Weapons systems activated, Commander.
We have an attack designation?
Yes, Sir. Code Plan R, for Robot.
Blinky looks puzzled. O’Reilly steps back up to him.
Sir. I cannot raise any regional assets.
The system is static.
Sir, the missile launch doors are opening.
Blinky looks increasingly concerned and addresses the radar operator ENSIGN PALMER – 31, portly and nervous.
You got anything, Rosie?
I got nothing, Commander.
(locked on screen)
Our weapons going operational will
trigger their defenses. It will look
very different pretty soon, I reckon.
EXT. PERSIAN GULF – NIGHT
From beneath the dark waters a series of missiles launch into the night sky toward their targets.
PULL BACK TO LOWER ATMOSPHERE where hundreds of missile trails from US/NATO bases surrounding Asia are met with thousands of missile trails from Russia and China. In response, a thousand more missile trails fly toward Asian targets.
ABOVE ASIA - The most prominent explosions are in Chinese and Russian population centers and military installations, shrouded in the dark of their final night. CAMERA FLIES OVER EUROPE, TURNING INTO DAY - as NATO bases and civilian hubs are vaporized, black clouds appearing over the burning cities below.
CAMERA FOLLOWS A SWARM OF MISSILES FROM ABOVE as it crosses the Atlantic toward the USA. As they break off to annihilate their respective targets, CAMERA FOLLOWS SEVERAL as they fly toward Washington DC. As they near their targets, CAMERA CONTINUES PAST following a military transport chopper into the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
EXT. MOUNT WEATHER – DAY
The chopper flies toward a massive government facility ensconced in the Virginia mountains, landing before a slowly closing steel guillotine door, ten feet tall, twenty feet long, and five feet thick. As the chopper lands, another takes off, its nattily-clad passengers rushing into the facility.
It is clear that those debarking the incoming chopper will not make it in time. But INDIANA JONES goes for it, scooting under the door, losing his hat, reaching out for it. Not realizing the door’s mass, he is squashed, his fedora half under the edge.
INT. MOUNT WEATHER BUNKER – DAY
VARIOUS – ESTABLISHING SHOTS of the vast subterranean facility. Over a thousand people – senators, representatives, justices and judges, military brass, law enforcement and their families – have flooded into the center of America’s Continuity of Government and it is an unmitigated disaster. People are openly weeping, traumatized, while some dart about in a mad frenzy trying to overcome the despair and disbelief with activity.
Some gather in shocked relief at being united, while others stumble about, lost and alone, amid the terrorized throngs. Military officers attempt to direct the mad activity.
INT. PRESIDENTIAL MOUNT WEATHER OFFICE – DAY
POTUS and his family have gathered in his private bunker, their living quarters beyond. The space is nicely decked out but not in the manner POTUS has come to expect. He addresses COMMANDER QUIGLY – 54, stoic and long suffering.
Ya know, I really don’t feel this
office is nearly as presidential as it
should be. It’s very small and look at
the veneer and the paneling. Would
it have killed you to have spent
some money on the nice stuff?
His son, namesake and frequent embarrassment, JUNIOR, pipes up.
POTUS glowers at him while his other weirder son DERIK concurs, infuriating POTUS’s wife ANALIA, who shakes her head.
(rolls his eyes)
It’s not walnut, it’s god damned maple.
Mr. President, I am presently unable to
make any improvements to your quarters.
We are in a nuclear war.
You think I don’t know that?
I know that. I’m the god damned
president of the god damned United
States! I know when we’re in a nuclear
war, believe me. I’ve seen nuclear
wars, they were nothing compared
to this one. Jokes. Nuclear jokes.
I assure you, this is no joke.
Analia glowers at Quigly.
No, the joke is our suite.
Have you seen it? Where is my suite?
You think I sleep with you? Not now, not ever.
POTUS’s ne’er-do-well son-in-law, CUSHY, enters the bustling office and feigns a look of deep sadness as he tries to make eye contact with members of the family, in search of a conciliatory hug. After being ignored by the kids, he approaches Analia who levels him with a glower. Dropping his pose, he tries to capture POTUS’s attention.
I made it, Dad.
Don’t call me that. Any word from
His other daughter, FABERGE, pipes up hopefully.
I’m right here, Daddy.
POTUS looks at her contemptuously and she shrinks back into the hubbub. Cushy jumps in.
Nothing, Sir. Communications
are down and they’re scrambling
to get them back up. It’s a
madhouse out there.
This is unacceptable. I’m the
President of the god damned United
States. I want something done!
Quigly shakes his head and responds.
Everything that can be done is
being done, Sir.
This doesn’t comfort him and he focuses on Cushy.
What the hell was she doing out there?
She was laying a wreath at the Tomb
of the Unindicted Coconspirator.
It’s a fine memorial.
Yes, it is.
Great no-host bar and buffet.
Ass kicking hot wings.
POTUS ignores that as Cushy continues.
This whole Armageddon thing
caught everyone off guard.
He leans toward POTUS looking like he wants a hug. POTUS ain’t having none of that.
I’m worried sick.
Get outa here.
POTUS’S attorney, former New York mayor and media mad-boy NASH T MARACINO, storms in extremely animated and distraught.
This is terrible. Just terrible.
Have you seen the rooms?
EXT. MOUNT WEATHER COMMAND – DAY
The vast subterranean facility is laid out as a panopticon with the Command Center atop a tower at its hub, 25 feet above the floor, against the steel ceiling, windows on all sides for total panopticonality.
The floor below is open, with wide tunnels running off into distance all along the surrounding walls. Over 1000 harried and overwrought survivors mill about, lost and desperate, while soldiers try to maintain calm.
INT. COMMAND CENTER
This is a bustling workspace, with open views to the traumatized throngs beyond. Most of the military personnel are ranking officers, because why give up space to noncoms? The facility commander GENERAL LEE TURGID – 58, husky and imposing – speaks into a microphone, broadcasting his VOICE throughout.
Attention! This is General Lee
Turgid, Joint Chiefs of Staff and
facility Commander during hostilities.
Our communications network is
operational and we will keep you
apprised of information we deem
pertinent as we attain awareness of it.
We need everybody to remain calm and
professional through this monumental
transition. We have all lost people, we
are emotionally vulnerable, and there
are a million questions. As to the immediate,
the restrooms are located along the walls
between the tunnels, the hospital is at the
end of sector Bravo along the north face…
He points but his gesture is lost on them.
EXT. COMMAND CENTER
Among the throngs, soldiers direct those who ask and Turgid’s VOICE has calmed many who listen attentively.
We have several fine dining options, including
Chilly’s on the promenade and Papa John’s for
Unaware of its spelling, many stand taller at mention of Chilly’s, bolstered, but visibly sag when he mentions Papa Johns, an audible MOAN rising from the assembly.
GENERAL DIZ ARRAY – 52, bald and stocky – comments to no one in particular.
Glad we kept that Arby’s outa here.
Turgid shakes his head and presses on.
We have teams assigning sleeping
quarters and we’re completing our head
count so we’ll have a better idea what
we’re faced with. Your forbearance makes
this process move more efficiently. Out.
Turgid sets down the microphone and stares out over the multitude, his expression resolute. MAJOR GASTRAL PAYNE – 48, thin, officious – speaks to Turgid.
Preliminary count looks like
four-hundred-fifty, five-hundred over
Waiting on two tallies. Could be more.
Appears a lot of congressmen brought
their wives or, whoever.
COLONEL DEJOHN MUSTER – 46, portly and grim – interjects.
Got a bunch from Justice and over
four hundred who were working topside.
We need to assemble Congress in the
main auditorium, get POTUS in there,
find out what happened. Then we’ll
address the entire assembly with an
estimate of the situation.
I’ll head to the auditorium and liaise with
I need you to collect POTUS.
Yes, Sir. Are you sure, Sir? I’d be of
better use with Congress owing to my
tenure as rotunda command. Payne gets
along famously with POTUS.
Not true. And besides, I had to bring them
in from the chopper so I’ve earned my
Stow that. I need you both to stay on
point and stop with this POTUS shuffling.
We all have to do our part, moving him
from place to place, keeping him in one
piece. Most of his SS didn’t make the cut
so it’s up to us to run interference.
Yes, Sir. What about his kids? And his wife.
Do I have to bring them too?
Negative. Just POTUS and Congress.
What about the Supremes?
How many we got?
At least seven. I know we lost one on
the flight over.
Better bring them too.
As Payne and Muster debark the command, a radio operator, LIEUTENANT BAXTER – 37, wiry and receptive – addresses Turgid.
Commander. Our internal communications
network is functioning optimally but we
are still unable to make contact with any of
the FEMA relocation sites.
Negative, Sir. All I’m getting is static.
Listening in, General Array speaks up.
It’s probably those Russian EMPs. They
were parading them around with their
upgraded world killers. They appeared
Baxter looks thoughtful then interjects.
I saw them on Twitter. They’re mounted
Could something like that take out the
If an electromagnetic pulse were strong
enough and set off close enough, it could
fry the electronics of radios, phone lines,
pretty much every electric or even hard-
wired device we use.
So, we can send and receive…
But that doesn’t mean anybody else can.
Correct. We’ll continue to monitor the
spectrum and hopefully make contact.
One of those set off above…
Continue to monitor the grid and keep me
Baxter returns to his radio and Turgid gives Array a sour look.
We don’t need those kind of
hypotheticals, Diz. We’re in plenty deep
as it is.
COLONEL EARLY ARMIE – 52, flat-topped and no-nonsense – steps up to the Generals holding a smartphone.
Sirs. I got updated numbers. We’ve
got all but two of the Joint Chiefs,
Admiral Harrington and General Jackson.
Seventy-two Senators, two-thirds of the
House, seven Supremes. Because of the
SF workers and some family members not
excluded, we are 527 over optimum capacity.
Yes, Sir, and we have several foreign indignitaries,
including three presidents, and a Girl Scout troop
that was just too endearing to turn away.
Did you meet Janet?
(munching a cookie)
They are all such little charmers.
Turgid looks disapprovingly until Armie produces his cookie box and offers it to him.
Yes, thank you.
Thank you, Colonel.
Armie stashes his cookies after taking out a new one for himself, then salutes and heads to other things off-camera.
Rolling his eyes, he stops and turns back toward them.
They turn toward him, cookies held in suspension before their gaping mouths.
Felt you should be aware that, uh, she
They look at him and he nods silently. Turgid narrows his eyes and shakes his head despondently.
You think you finally found a situation
where things can’t be worse.
Armie salutes then turns and leaves them.
Array, crunching on his cookie, speaks in conspiratorial tones to Turgid, who appears resolute.
What happened, Lee?
Turgid turns to him, eyes thoughtful.
I don’t know, Diz. But I suspect the
finding out won’t make us feel any better.
INT. MOUNT WEATHER – MOVING
CAMERA PASSES golf cart as Array and his driver make their way through the survivors toward the Great Hall. He talks on a walkie-talkie.
Well, try to keep them from killing each
other until I get there.
WALKIE VOICE (O.S.)
Why? You wanna watch?
Why not? The only show in town.
INT. GREAT HALL
This is a huge open auditorium with sufficient seats for the Congress, Supreme Court and White House, at about half-capacity. The usually adversarial politicians have come together in their despair and loss and many embrace, some clearly distraught.
SENATOR BRENNER – 47, slick and conservative – talks with SENATOR BILLINGSOWRTH – 68, disheveled and distracted.
I’m just glad you made it, Jasper.
Waiting for the choppers was so tense,
especially with those damned klaxons
going off. And all the exceptions.
Were you able to bring your wife?
Didn’t have room. Lucky I was able to
bring my girlfrien-, assistant.
REPRESENTATIVE DOUGLAS – 40, smarmy and cheap - consoles SENATOR KAMMI HARASS who consoles ALEXA OCARINA-CORTEO as REPRESENTATIVE CLARK – 55, large and dense – and new JUSTICE BEERINGTON watch.
We’re lucky to have made it out alive.
It happened so fast. Like a flash, and everything
is gone. It’s all gone.
It’s horrible. Horrible.
We’ll have to start over. Forge a new
society from the survivors of the old
one. The best and brightest finally
able to work together in peace and
security to create the society we always
Harass and Corteo look at him, suspiciously.
It’s up to us to keep humans from
All of us.
Nearby, Senators ZED CROOD and BURT McTURTLE console each other.
Well, I don’t know what happened but I
do know that someone’s got to answer
Even if it’s the President.
I don’t think it’s prudent to make any
snap judgments till all the facts are in.
Probably our best bet.
(thinking it over)
You know, seen in the right light, this
could be a good thing.
A DEEP LOW RUMBLE as if the Earth itself were cracking apart accompanies the shifting of the massive metal structure; people are jolted violently, many losing their footing and toppling to the floor, distressed. As the RUMBLE becomes more ominous, the LIGHTS FLICKER, then go out.
Probably not though.
EXT. WASHINGTON DC – DAY
The city has become hell incarnate: a flaming moonscape cratered and dispersed; clusters of scorched detritus burning; stone, marble, steel melting in the firestorm. And still the explosions come, as though simply wiping it from the face of the Earth could not suffice.
AERIAL - PULL BACK from the DC inferno toward the northwest, revealing everything between Washington and Mount Weather, an uncontrollable conflagration. The structures above the bunker complex are destroyed and utterly engulfed, the air blackened with roiling smoke. Explosions rock the consumed facility.
Emergency lights flicker to life, revealing the crisis in the hole. Golf carts have crashed into people and there are many injuries among those splayed upon the floor. The TERRIFYING SOUND from before abates and robust survivors help people in distress as the main lights flicker back to operation.
Three people help flip a golf cart back onto its wheels, a fourth attending the grievously wounded person mashed under it. Many people tremble in mortal terror, openly weeping.
Through the pandemonium, two men walk in quiet conversation. So quiet, in fact, it doesn’t accord them any dialogue. As they pass through, they are revealed to be the officers who silently accompanied Ripper when they set it off.
A man, HARRISON – 33, fit and considerate – tremblingly helps a weeping woman to her feet.
I am utterly terrified.
INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE – POTUS argues with Analia.
I not stay in here with you.
I don’t have time for this. I have to
meet with the Senate, Congress, those
guys. Just stay here till I get back. I’ll get
you your own goddamned room.
Something with windows. It’s so stuffy in here.
Rolling his eyes, POTUS storms from the room to be met by Colonel Muster, who is clearly impatient.
You ready, Sir?
My god. You give them every-fucking-thing
and still…Windows. She wants fucking windows.
Muster herds him toward the golf cart waiting in the corridor beyond. POTUS is clearly distracted and rambles disjointedly.
This way, Sir.
Maybe I’ll put in a fish pond, one a
them Japanese goldfish ponds. Kale.
A Kale pond.
POTUS sits in the golf cart.
Here you go, Sir.
Koi pond, Sir.
Muster gets behind the wheel and they drive off.
Right. Koi. Get her a koi pond.
Muster knows better, but he can’t resist.
The first lady.
Decorating. Always redecorating. A
woman thing I guess. Love to spend
Guess that won’t be much of a concern
down here. Nothing to spend it on.
Don’t kid yourself. They can always find
something to spend money on. A god
damned kale pond.
INT. GREAT HALL
McTurtle addresses a clustering of pols from the raised dais as they demand accountability with increasing futile ferocity. ERNIE ANDERS, nearly apoplectic, watches him trembling.
We need answers!
No more dodging responsibility.
Please. Can we, can we come to order?
This is unacceptable!
Where is the President?
Array speaks up as he moves toward the front.
He is en route, ETA two minutes, thirty seconds.
Can we have some order!
And you are?
General Diz Array, JCOS. We met at the
Space Force prayer breakfast.
That’s right. You did that beautiful rendition
of Rocket Man.
Really moving stuff.
(to the throng)
Can you please take your seats – the
President is on his way. We’ll get to
the bottom of this. We just need order.
The hubbub abates slightly as the promise of authority calms the recalcitrant and furious alike. As some grudgingly find their way to seats, others follow, the right and left wings gathering upon their respective sides, bitter invective in the air.
From the back of the huge room, Turgid and Muster flank POTUS as he waddles toward the dais and accountability. The congress-critters make way for POTUS to pass unmolested and are strangely silent watching him as they take their seats, his escort tellingly execution-like.
As they make the dais, McTurtle attempts to assert dominance.
Mr. President, I have some questions to ask…
I will do the questioning, Senator.
What gives you the authority?
As commander of this facility, I am the authority.
This is a civilian facility, Sir.
General. General Lee Turgid. This is a
government facility. And in times of war,
the military defends government facilities.
I will handle the initial query, then we will
clarify any outstanding questions in an orderly
This shuts down McTurtle who stands back as Turgid looks at POTUS who has seated himself on a railing and mugs to members of the Congress he recognizes.
Mr. President. We need to know what
I’m with you guys. This is all out of left
field for me.
I was at lunch.
According to our data, the first-strike
launch initiated from the PES in the
Presidential Emergency Satchel.
Presidential? I should have one of those.
I need you to be clear. Who initiated this?
Oh, there were others, believe you me,
and they will pay for this if it’s the last
thing they do.
I need you to be precise. What others?
Uh, Ripper. General Ripper.
Right. General Jackson Ripper.
Turgid cringes slightly as he explains to McTurtle.
General Rupert, Ripper, Jackson, JCOS.
Right. That guy. Hardly know him myself.
This was all his idea. I was having lunch.
Ripper Jackson likely perished when the
warheads took out DC. He was last seen
on the roof of the White House.
POTUS is becoming bored and sits all scrunched up with his arms crossed. He again mugs to the assembly, but they are not having it and he seems genuinely shocked that he isn’t receiving their sympathy and appreciation.
Yeah? Well this was his idea. Not mine.
I was opposed from the start.
If you were opposed, why did you do it?
Ripper told me I had to.
Needed. Needed to. For the safety of
This elicits howls of consternation among the assembly and McTurtle bangs the gavel to restore order.
Gentlemen. Order. We need order in here.
After the astonished collective regains its composure, Turgid continues his interrogation of the bored and distracted POTUS.
So, just the two of you?
What? Yeah. No. There were two other guys.
Two other guys. Did you get their names?
They didn’t have any dialogue.
Do you know what they look like?
I was, uh, focused on the football.
I didn’t really see those guys.
Would you recognize them?
Ah… Sure. Probably. Hard to say.
I was busy with the launch code.
Were they in uniform?
To the best I can recall I’d say they
were probably wearing uniforms.
The assembled cream of America’s political realm look at each other in distressed frustration.
Were they black or white?
Oh, you can believe me, they were white.
Tall, short? Young, old?
Is there anything else you can tell us?
There was two of them.
Turgid looks around, his face resolute.
That means they could be in here with us.
Possibly even in this room.
From the back of the chamber a LOUD, SLOW HAND CLAP echoes through the growing discord, and the eyes of the room turn and are shocked to see former senator and POTUS’s arch nemesis, CELERY HINTON, approaching the dais, applauding ironically.
I told ya. Didn’t I? Didn’t I tell you what
She stops applauding and continues slowly toward the action.
It’s not like you didn’t know, not a bit.
Every one of you, every god damned
one, has a name for him. A nickname,
some choice bit of vitriol that you
reserve for him.
You called him an idiot.
You said he was an awful person.
You call him an arrogant asshole. Right?
She stands addressing the dais, POTUS staring at her in disbelief, McTurtle confounded. She points at CROOD.
You called him a moron.
While POTUS’s fury grows, Celery looks at McTurtle with a maniacal smirk. She cocks her head.
A moron. You gave a man you all know
to be mentally deficient – a moron – the
control of the deadliest arsenal the world
has ever known.
And now you demand honest answers?
Accountability? Look at us! We’re in a
fucking hole in the ground. Forever.
She throws her hands in the air and storms back up the aisle utterly flustered. Some of the right-wing congressmen roll their eyes and shake their heads – hysterical Celery. POTUS finally finds his fire and no one cares.
Yeah. Blah blah blah. Nobody cares.
Am I right? Leave it to a man. You don’t
have the balls to lead. You’re a loser.
As congress-critters shout invective at him, POTUS shifts to the defensive, his standard position.
Yeah, like this wouldn’t have happened
under her. Believe me, it would be
worse, much worse.
VOICE ONE (O.S.)
Worse! How in God’s name could it be worse?!
Celery could be the president. Much worse.
With me, we stand a chance.
VOICE TWO (O.S.)
With you, we’re in a hole.
VOICE THREE (O.S.)
You put us in a hole we’ll
never get out of.
Listen, this is nothing. I’ve seen holes,
don’t get me started. I’ve gotta make a
kale pond, you don’t know the half of it…
You blew up the world! You killed everyone
in the world!
That’s not true. It was Ripper. And like Celery
said, it was you, you all made this by, by…
By now the chamber has erupted into near riot conditions, the inhabitants enraged at everybody else’s stupidity for letting it get out of hand to such a degree. Realizing their standard protocol is still in effect, Turgid and Muster hustle POTUS out the exit behind the dais and onto a waiting golf cart, where they move at moderate speed down the corridor toward the hub.
MOVING GOLF CART – Muster drives as Turgid outlines his plan. POTUS is detached from the events around him and mutters.
Man, what’s the chance she’d end up in here?
With the present temperament prevailing,
he won’t be secure in his quarters, so
we’ll have to sequester him in a defensible
position, send security to protect his family,
and get anybody we have left to stop our
leaders from killing each other while we
sort this out.
Muster checks his watch.
And this is only the first hour.
Turgid and Muster glance knowingly at each other.
So, anybody got any kale down here?
Their golf cart nearly collides with another golf cart coming diagonally from the left, driven by Senator Harass with Celery seated beside her. CAMERA FOLLOWS THEM FOR A WHILE.
Celery realizes who was in the other cart and flips them off.
(to other cart)
So how’d you wind up in here, big sister?
Knock off the Sister Act, Senator. Our
village is a firepit. Every man for himself.
I was at the Capitol meeting with some
lobbyists from Admiral Dynamics.
Their death-ray was generating a lot of heat.
Celery squints at her suspiciously.
Doesn’t appear things have cooled down.
Don’t look like they’ll ever.
So, when the alarm went off, just got
caught up with the rest. Sure as hell
wasn’t going to stay there.
Those klaxons are pretty convincing.
Celery looks around at the despairing survivors.
Not sure I chose correctly.
Did you ever think the motherfucker
would do this?
Show some respect. He’s a white man.
I wouldn’t put anything past the son
of a bitch.
(checks her out)
There should be laws that keep people
like that from running for office.
(glances at her)
There should be laws that keep a lotta
people from running for office.
(shakes her head)
It’s the irony that gets me.
Buried in the same hole with the
son of a bitch.
Two additional golf carts approach diagonally from their right, the lead cart two cart lengths ahead of its tail. It is into that space Harass squeezes her golf cart, missing a crunchy collision by inches, nobody slowing in the least.
CAMERA NOW FOLLOWS LEAD GOLF CART returning to the Great Hall riot. The cart is driven by LIEUTENANT SEELY DAN – 27, fit and sharp – while beside her sits CAPTAIN TIN NEIL – 37, a strong and thoughtful soldier, his face resolute.
What happened to us, Tin?
He struggles with this because he cannot face the truth that he works for the very people who unleashed this catastrophe.
We let our technology get ahead of us.
People who are still murdering each other
over divine favor shouldn’t be entrusted
with weapons of mass destruction.
Hell, probably not even weapons of
We’re deployed to break up a fist fight in
Congress. Hopefully it’s like the Capital
and all the seats are affixed to the floor.
So they don’t hit each other with them?
So they don’t hit us with them.
They pull up and park the golf cart in the crowded corridor before the Great Hall. Hopping off, they approach other officers who have cordoned off the hall. Tin addresses MAJOR BLAIN DAMAGE – 53, large and surly – as Seely flanks him.
(checks Seely out)
Two soldiers from the following cart join them. Everybody looks each other over, then decide to forgo further introductions.
Captain. We’ve set up a perimeter to
maximize containment. Need you and
your team to get in there and put this
down. We need to avoid a panic.
I find it hard to imagine better conditions
The real concern, of course, is the panic
When people see there’s a panic and panic?
It’s no picnic.
One of the soldiers following them stashes what appears to be a picnic basket behind his back.
Christ. They’re Congressmen. Don’t shoot
anybody if you don’t have to.
I never do.
(cuts her off)
Good luck, Captain.
INT. GREAT HALL - The SOUND is CACOPHONOUS, a hundred ANGRY VOICES shouting at a hundred more, not a dry ear in the house. And as would be expected of privileged, mostly white, mostly old, mostly men, they are content to hurl invective and save the actual fighting to lesser men.
About six of them as it turns out. Actually fighting each other in the aisle, other congress-critters gathered around, shouting brutal encouragement. Though fueled by righteous anger, the suited congressmen are more pushy than punchy, all very shouty.
Bring it on, motherfucker!
Oh, I’m ready for your ass.
Ya son of a bitch.
If we’d built that stupid wall, none a this
would have even happened.
Sure, blame the victims.
God damned libtards!
Tin jumps right in, Seely and the others as well, imposing themselves upon the primary antagonists, marginally conservative SENATOR SNORY BOOGER and exceedingly conservative SENATOR LINDY SALTINE, who actually come to blows, Saltine trembling furiously as if he’ll cry, while Booger taunts him.
That’s right! Bitch! I’ll make you my
Never shoulda let your kind into the Congress…
Alright, alright, alright.
He stands between Booger and Saltine, his team flanking and blocking combatants who swing and flail about half-heartedly.
What? I’ll fuck your cracker ass,
Try it, boy.
Senator. We are in the midst of a
national crisis and could really use
something more constructive than
calling Senator Saltine a cracker.
That isn’t helping.
You’re the racist, Booger. You and all
your Slack Lives Madder homeboys…
Booger lunges toward Saltine but Tin and Seely hold him back while the others flank Saltine, who sneers at him.
Son of a…
You have my permission to shoot him.
God damn it! Stop with it! Both of you.
I’m a United States senator. What, are you
like a sergeant? You have no authority here.
Tin sizes up the situation, passions high, an emotional tinderbox that any wrong move on his part could ignite. He turns and punches Saltine right on the nose, sending him reeling, crashing to the floor as the soldiers beside him allow him to drop. Booger is stunned by this and the room falls silent.
I am group Captain Tin Neil of the
157th Armored Attack Group out
of Arlington. This facility is under the
authority of the United States Central
Command. Owing to the nature of our
presence here, the integrity of this
facility is our primary consideration.
Any behaviors we deem as counter
to that mission will be dealt with
swiftly and with all force necessary to
(to flanking soldiers)
Get him out of here. Take him to the
They gather up the bleeding, stunned senator and muscle him up the aisle. Tin’s tough guy approach has the desired effect and the Congress is appropriately cowed. He milks it.
We face the very real probability
that we are among the last people of
this planet. You’re the Congress of
the United States of America. For
Christ’s sake, act like it.
INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE PAPA JOHN’S
Turgid sits on the golf cart with POTUS who now wears a sombrero by way of utterly futile disguise.
It’s pepperoni, right? He knows no sausage.
I like that. Affirmative. Sounds, uh, commanding.
So, where’d you say we’re going?
Though there are many people on the peripheries, none are close enough to hear their conversation and Turgid is direct.
Owing to the response of Congress,
we’re going to sequester you in a more
secure location until we get this sorted out.
Some a those guys looked pretty dangerous
to me and you can believe me because
I know some dangerous guys, if you know
what I mean.
Muster steps out of the restaurant holding a pizza box, a bag and a liter of cola and carries them to the cart.
Now you’re sure you got pepperoni?
INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE
His stupid kids are still hanging around, Junior and Derik annoying each other, while Analia scowls with contained rage.
I know you are but what am I?
I know you are but what am I?
I just said that.
I just said that.
Cushy slithers into the room with news, brushing off his knees.
I just spoke with General Zawd and
he said they’ve taken Dad to a secure
We’re in hole in ground. What’s more
secure than this?
The General said there was some
negative reaction to Dad and the
whole nuclear Armageddon thing.
There could be attempts upon his life
so they’re hiding him.
Even in here they won’t give him a
break. After all he did for them, all the
records he broke.
And the laws.
Shut up, imbecile.
I’m going to try to see him, if General
Zawd can get me approved. Commander
Turgid has him on a tight leash.
Why you should see him but not me, his wife?
Based on succession. I’m the logical choice
because I’m already employed by the
government. Besides, you weren’t even born
here, so you can’t be POTUS.
I am citizen. I could be president. I
could be first lady president, not like
Ha, first lady president.
She’s the first lady. President.
She’s not the president, Dork.
Don’t call me that. Dad told you
not to call me that.
Don’t be such a big baby, you big baby.
Stop calling me that.
Tell him to stop calling me that.
You know what your father said.
He just pisses me off. You’re not the
president. He’s just stupid.
(thinks on it)
I could be the president.
This idea pleases him and he takes on a distant gaze. Derik knows what to do with that.
You can’t be president, stupid. Dad
I don’t mean now. I mean when he’s
done. I mean, I’m the logical choice.
Number one son. Smart, handsome,
humble. The three H’s.
Hey, that’s pretty good. Three H’s.
(shaking her head)
That’s only two H’s.
Oh yeah. What was the other one?
Handsome, uh, humble and…
That doesn’t make sense.
But it rhymes.
It doesn’t rhyme.
It does the three H thing.
Yeah, but it wasn’t what I said.
What did you say?
That I should be president. Not Cushy.
Then you should go to where Dad is,
That’s right. Hey!
Analia taps his shoulder and points to where Cushy had been.
He left five minutes ago.
MOVING – GOLF CART – Cushy rides as the imposing GENERAL NEIL B4 ZAWD – Terrance Stamp of approval – drives him down long corridors with hundreds of doors along the walls, grim metal containers with cots, and toilets. Outside, the survivors loom.
How much danger is the president in?
You will be able to protect him.
We will assign our resources appropriately,
as we always do.
How would you characterize the danger?
Locked in a steel underground container
with almost fifteen hundred people, most
who would tear him limb from limb,
without blinking, for relegating them to
die here? Considerably above moderate.
So they’re pretty upset?
Expressionless, Zawd turns very deliberately and looks at Cushy. Silently, he turns back to his driving where he dodges a pedestrian, and proceeds. Cushy looks forward as well.
So, has there been any word on your wife?
No, and we’re worried sick. Have you
had any communication with the outside?
We thought we detected a civilian
broadcast but it turned out to be
somebody’s iPod. Beyond that, nothing.
Do we even know what it’s like out there?
None of our cameras are operational but
thermals indicate a temperature around
nine-hundred degrees. Fahrenheit.
And it was so nice this morning.
INT. POTUS’S BACK-UP BUG-OUT BUNKER
POTUS sulks seated on a bunk as Turgid and Array talk to him.
This is our best defensible option. It gives
us a shot at protecting you.
We’ve got two generals, a lieutenant-colonel
and three majors protecting your family.
POTUS looks up, confused.
Why so many officers?
You don’t think we’re letting any
noncoms in here, do you?
Officers get bunkers.
Enlisted get bunk.
They do a little secret hand-jive, ending with a high-five.
The important thing is that we are
safe. We’ve proven what we always
knew; nuclear war is survivable.
The entire facility shudders, an almost DEFEANING GROAN AND CREAK are followed by an OMINOUS DEEP RUMBLING and BLACKNESS.
Of course, how long it’s survivable is
another question entirely.
As if moved by his newfound humility, the shaking and groaning stop and the lights come back on. They look at each other dubiously, POTUS perturbed.
And this is the safe place?
Actually Mr. President, your action with
General Jackson has pretty much assured
us that there won’t ever be a safe place again.
What’s that supposed to mean,
that this is somehow my fault?
You provided the Go codes and
pushed the button. How would
you describe your contribution?
A victim. Of the Deep State. I was
set up from the start, I was never
supposed to win. She had three million
more votes than me – how in the fuck
do you pull that off? She never even
So she was in on it?
How could she not be? If you had
three million more points than me,
would you just accept me as the
winner? I sure as fuck wouldn’t.
He levels with them.
Hell, I was gonna challenge her even
with her three million. It didn’t matter.
Are you saying you didn’t want to be president?
Fuck no. Who’d want the fucking job?
Everybody up your ass about everything.
Never get any peace. The wife hates it.
“I not marry you to work. I marry you to
So whadda we do, fellas?
We’ll keep you buttoned up in here
until we have Congress in check.
Cushy gushes into the room but is met with utter emotional detachment from the group. POTUS rolls his eyes.
Da-, Mr. President. I am pleased to see
that you’re okay. You are okay, aren’t you?
Ducky. What do you want?
Just to make sure you’re, uh, okay.
We’ll be outside.
Turgid and Array share a look and step out of the claustrophobic chamber, allowing Cushy to move in close to POTUS, who remains seated on his bunk.
Cushy notices the pizza box and wings and soda.
So they got you some food. That’s good.
POTUS doesn’t budge. He’s not sharing.
In all the excitement, forgot to eat. Didn’t
realize how hungry I was.
Yeah, well those guys will show you
some nice places to eat.
Are you gonna tell me what you want?
POTUS scowls at him and Cushy cuts the bullshit.
I thought of something that I think you’ll like.
Yeah? Guess there’s always a first time.
You know who is in charge of this entire
Yeah, that General Turgid.
Yep, he’s the man in charge.
He’s got a boss.
Yeah? Who would that be?
Cushy nods at him and POTUS catches on. He’s in charge, anything he wants, total control. Cushy smiles slightly, rubs his hands and silently steps from the chamber.
HOLD on POTUS seated on the bunk of what looks to be a prison cell, staring into space. After a beat, he smiles, then grabs a chicken wing. The steel door to his chamber closes.
Copyright 2018 Arturo Hammer