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?