• artahammer

Mount Weather

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

FADE IN:


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.


POTUS

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.


POTUS

Great.

(loudly)

I’m busy right now.


INT. CORRIDOR


Ripper and his flanks stand at the President’s door.


RIPPER

Mr. President. General Jackson

JCOS. We have an urgent issue that

requires your attention, Sir.


POTUS – Annoyance gives way to recognition, which pleases him.


POTUS

Ripper?


RIPPER (O.S.)

Yes, Sir. I’m afraid we have a

situation.


POTUS

Then we need to go to the

situation room.


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.

RIPPER

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

nuclear blackmail.


POTUS

Blackmale! That’s worse than white

male.


Ripper and his associates glance at each other dubiously.


RIPPER

Uh, yes Sir, it certainly is.

By many degrees of magnitude.


POTUS stares solemnly at Ripper.


POTUS

Then it’s a good thing I’m here

to see us through this.


RIPPER

Yes, Sir, it is.


POTUS

We should take the, uh, the…


RIPPER

Appropriate?


POTUS

Appropriate steps. Keep things

from getting out of control.


RIPPER

(deferential)

Yes, Sir! And if I may say, a bold

move on your part.


POTUS

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.


RIPPER

Striking them now will catch them

before they can coordinate an

effective response.


POTUS

(examining case)

Looks complicated. What’s it do?


The military men avoid each other’s gaze, utterly mortified that someone so unqualified could become the President.


RIPPER

It’s the nuclear football, Sir.


POTUS examines it closer.


POTUS

Football, huh? I owned the New

Jersey Generals in ‘83, but the

USFL folded owing to…


RIPPER

(impatient)

This is a different kind of football, Sir.


POTUS looks up at him, cocksure.


POTUS

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.


RIPPER

This is the remote launcher

for nuclear attack.


POTUS looks at him defensively.


POTUS

I know that. I know that. Seen

that guy carrying it around. Great

guy, never had a problem.


RIPPER

Yes, Sir.


POTUS

(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.


RIPPER

Mission integrity, Sir. The only

way to assure that we’re not

compromised by internal treachery.


POTUS

(nodding knowingly)

Ya know, you’re right, internal treachery

is a huge problem. I was just saying to

my daughter…you’ve met my daughter?


RIPPER

Yes, Sir. She’s a fine woman.


POTUS

I often said if I wasn’t her father,

I’d be dating her.

RIPPER

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

essential purity.


POTUS

Does this have one of those names,

like uh, Operation Something-something?


RIPPER

Would you like it to have one?


POTUS

Seems like it should. Maybe something

with my name in it…


RIPPER

Operational protocol is to exclude

personal names in order to maintain

plausible deniability.


POTUS

Good for reducing lawsuits too.


RIPPER

I would place that low on the list

of imminent concerns.

(laying it out)



POTUS

And the Joint Chiefs go along

with this, this…


RIPPER

(winging it)

Operation Goldilocks.


POTUS tries it out a few times in his head then verbalizes it.


POTUS

Operation Goldilocks.

(nodding)

Good ring to it. Love the gold.


RIPPER

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.


POTUS

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.


FAITH

Excuse me Mr. President. Thought

you’d want these.


POTUS looks up and his rigid, confused demeanor softens.


POTUS

Ah, thought it was drafty in here.

Thank you, Faith.


FAITH

Of course, Sir.


POTUS

(eyeing her)

You remember what I told you,

don’t you?


FAITH

Uh, no Sir, I don’t.


POTUS

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.


DANFORTH

Commander. The system

went live remotely.


BLINKY

(concerned)

Test?


He looks at the radio operator ENSIGN O’REILLY – 32, short, naive – who talks over him in response.


BLINKY

Any word from Diego Garcia?


O’REILLY

(overlapping)

No word from Diego Garcia, sir.


BLINKY

See if you can raise the…


O’REILLY

(overlapping)

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.


DANFORTH

Weapons systems activated, Commander.


BLINKY

We have an attack designation?


DANFORTH

Yes, Sir. Code Plan R, for Robot.


Blinky looks puzzled. O’Reilly steps back up to him.


O’REILLY

Sir. I cannot raise any regional assets.

The system is static.


DANFORTH

Sir, the missile launch doors are opening.


Blinky looks increasingly concerned and addresses the radar operator ENSIGN PALMER – 31, portly and nervous.


BLINKY

You got anything, Rosie?


PALMER

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.


POTUS

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.


JUNIOR

Walnut.


POTUS glowers at him while his other weirder son DERIK concurs, infuriating POTUS’s wife ANALIA, who shakes her head.


DERIK

Yeah, walnut.


POTUS

(rolls his eyes)

It’s not walnut, it’s god damned maple.


QUIGLY

Mr. President, I am presently unable to

make any improvements to your quarters.

We are in a nuclear war.


POTUS

(put out)

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.


QUIGLY

I assure you, this is no joke.


Analia glowers at Quigly.


ANALIA

No, the joke is our suite.

(to POTUS)

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.


CUSHY

I made it, Dad.


POTUS

(scowling)

Don’t call me that. Any word from

my daughter?


His other daughter, FABERGE, pipes up hopefully.


FABERGE

I’m right here, Daddy.


POTUS looks at her contemptuously and she shrinks back into the hubbub. Cushy jumps in.


CUSHY

Nothing, Sir. Communications

are down and they’re scrambling

to get them back up. It’s a

madhouse out there.


POTUS

This is unacceptable. I’m the

President of the god damned United

States. I want something done!


Quigly shakes his head and responds.


QUIGLY

Everything that can be done is

being done, Sir.

This doesn’t comfort him and he focuses on Cushy.


POTUS

What the hell was she doing out there?

CUSHY

She was laying a wreath at the Tomb

of the Unindicted Coconspirator.


POTUS

It’s a fine memorial.


QUIGLY

Yes, it is.


JUNIOR

Great no-host bar and buffet.

Ass kicking hot wings.


POTUS ignores that as Cushy continues.


CUSHY

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.


CUSHY

I’m worried sick.


POTUS

Get outa here.


POTUS’S attorney, former New York mayor and media mad-boy NASH T MARACINO, storms in extremely animated and distraught.


NASH T

This is terrible. Just terrible.

(to POTUS)

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.


TURGID

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.


TURGID (V.O.)

We have several fine dining options, including

Chilly’s on the promenade and Papa John’s for

pizza-like pizza.


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.


INT. COMMAND


GENERAL DIZ ARRAY – 52, bald and stocky – comments to no one in particular.


ARRAY

Glad we kept that Arby’s outa here.

Turgid shakes his head and presses on.


TURGID

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.

PAYNE

Preliminary count looks like

four-hundred-fifty, five-hundred over

capacity.


TURGID

Preliminary?


PAYNE

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.


MUSTER

Got a bunch from Justice and over

four hundred who were working topside.


TURGID

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.


MUSTER

I’ll head to the auditorium and liaise with

the Congress.


TURGID

I need you to collect POTUS.


MUSTER

(reluctant)

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.

PAYNE

Not true. And besides, I had to bring them

in from the chopper so I’ve earned my

hazard pay.


TURGID

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.


MUSTER

(contrite)

Yes, Sir. What about his kids? And his wife.

Do I have to bring them too?


TURGID

Negative. Just POTUS and Congress.


PAYNE

What about the Supremes?


TURGID

How many we got?


PAYNE

At least seven. I know we lost one on

the flight over.


TURGID

Better bring them too.


As Payne and Muster debark the command, a radio operator, LIEUTENANT BAXTER – 37, wiry and receptive – addresses Turgid.


BAXTER

Commander. Our internal communications

network is functioning optimally but we

are still unable to make contact with any of

the FEMA relocation sites.


TURGID

PEOC?


BAXTER

(shaking head)

Negative, Sir. All I’m getting is static.


Listening in, General Array speaks up.


ARRAY

It’s probably those Russian EMPs. They

were parading them around with their

upgraded world killers. They appeared

pretty substantial.


Baxter looks thoughtful then interjects.


BAXTER

I saw them on Twitter. They’re mounted

on missiles.


TURGID

Could something like that take out the

FNARS?


BAXTER

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.


TURGID

So, we can send and receive…


ARRAY

But that doesn’t mean anybody else can.


BAXTER

Correct. We’ll continue to monitor the

spectrum and hopefully make contact.


ARRAY

(extrapolating)

One of those set off above…


TURGID

(to Baxter)

Continue to monitor the grid and keep me

apprised.


BAXTER

Yes, Sir.


Baxter returns to his radio and Turgid gives Array a sour look.


TURGID

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.


ARMIE

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.


TURGID

Five-hundred-twenty-seven.


ARMIE

Yes, Sir, and we have several foreign indignitaries,

including three presidents, and a Girl Scout troop

that was just too endearing to turn away.


ARRAY

(to Armie)

Did you meet Janet?


ARMIE

(munching a cookie)

They are all such little charmers.


Turgid looks disapprovingly until Armie produces his cookie box and offers it to him.


ARMIE

Cookie, Commander?


TURGID

(taking one)

Yes, thank you.


ARMIE

(to Array)

General.


ARRAY

(taking one)

Thank you, Colonel.


Armie stashes his cookies after taking out a new one for himself, then salutes and heads to other things off-camera.


ARMIE

Sirs.


Rolling his eyes, he stops and turns back toward them.

ARMIE

Sirs?


They turn toward him, cookies held in suspension before their gaping mouths.


ARMIE

Felt you should be aware that, uh, she

is here.


TURGID

She, Colonel?


ARRAY

(realizing)

She is?


TURGID

(realizing too)

Not…?


They look at him and he nods silently. Turgid narrows his eyes and shakes his head despondently.


TURGID

Shit.


ARRAY

(astonished)

You think you finally found a situation

where things can’t be worse.


ARMIE

Generals.


Armie salutes then turns and leaves them.


Array, crunching on his cookie, speaks in conspiratorial tones to Turgid, who appears resolute.


ARRAY

What happened, Lee?


Turgid turns to him, eyes thoughtful.


TURGID

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.


ARRAY

Well, try to keep them from killing each

other until I get there.


WALKIE VOICE (O.S.)

Why? You wanna watch?


ARRAY

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.


BILLINGSWORTH

I’m just glad you made it, Jasper.


BRENNER

Waiting for the choppers was so tense,

especially with those damned klaxons

going off. And all the exceptions.


BILLINGSWORTH

Were you able to bring your wife?


BRENNER

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.


DOUGLAS

We’re lucky to have made it out alive.


HARASS

It happened so fast. Like a flash, and everything

is gone. It’s all gone.


CORTEO

It’s horrible. Horrible.


DOUGLAS

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

dreamed of.


Harass and Corteo look at him, suspiciously.


CLARK

It’s up to us to keep humans from

becoming extinct.


BEERINGTON

All of us.


DOUGLAS

(selling it)

For America.


Nearby, Senators ZED CROOD and BURT McTURTLE console each other.


McTURTLE

Well, I don’t know what happened but I

do know that someone’s got to answer

for it.


CROOD

Even if it’s the President.


McTURTLE

(shifting gears)

I don’t think it’s prudent to make any

snap judgments till all the facts are in.


CROOD

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.


CROOD (O.S.)

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.


INT. CORRIDOR


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.


HARRISON

I am utterly terrified.


INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE – POTUS argues with Analia.


ANALIA

I not stay in here with you.


POTUS

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.


ANALIA

(petulant)

Suite.

(afterthought)

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.


MUSTER

You ready, Sir?


POTUS

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.


MUSTER

This way, Sir.


POTUS

Maybe I’ll put in a fish pond, one a

them Japanese goldfish ponds. Kale.

A Kale pond.


POTUS sits in the golf cart.


MUSTER

Here you go, Sir.


POTUS

(perplexed)

Kale?


MUSTER

Koi pond, Sir.


Muster gets behind the wheel and they drive off.


POTUS

(gets it)

Right. Koi. Get her a koi pond.


Muster knows better, but he can’t resist.


MUSTER

Who, Sir?


POTUS

The first lady.

(distracted)

Decorating. Always redecorating. A

woman thing I guess. Love to spend

the money.


MUSTER

Guess that won’t be much of a concern

down here. Nothing to spend it on.


POTUS

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.


McTURTLE

(bangs gavel)

Gentlemen. Ladies…


ANDERS

We need answers!


REP. DANGLE

No more dodging responsibility.


McTURTLE

Please. Can we, can we come to order?


REP. SLARVINS

This is unacceptable!


HARASS

Where is the President?


Array speaks up as he moves toward the front.


ARRAY

He is en route, ETA two minutes, thirty seconds.


McTURTLE

Can we have some order!

(to Array)

And you are?


ARRAY

General Diz Array, JCOS. We met at the

Space Force prayer breakfast.


McTURTLE

That’s right. You did that beautiful rendition

of Rocket Man.


ARRAY

Thank you.


McTURTLE

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.


McTURTLE

Mr. President, I have some questions to ask…


TURGID

(swings dick)

I will do the questioning, Senator.


McTURTLE

What gives you the authority?


TURGID

As commander of this facility, I am the authority.


McTURTLE

This is a civilian facility, Sir.


TURGID

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

manner.


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.


TURGID

Mr. President. We need to know what

happened.


POTUS

(utterly confused)

I’m with you guys. This is all out of left

field for me.

(to Turgid)

I was at lunch.


TURGID

According to our data, the first-strike

launch initiated from the PES in the

Situation Room.


POTUS

(curious)

PES?

MUSTER

Presidential Emergency Satchel.


POTUS

Presidential? I should have one of those.


TURGID

(rigid focus)

I need you to be clear. Who initiated this?


POTUS

Oh, there were others, believe you me,

and they will pay for this if it’s the last

thing they do.


TURGID

I need you to be precise. What others?

POTUS

(thoughtful)

Uh, Ripper. General Ripper.


TURGID

Jackson?


POTUS

Right. General Jackson Ripper.


Turgid cringes slightly as he explains to McTurtle.


TURGID

General Rupert, Ripper, Jackson, JCOS.


McTURTLE

Ripper?


POTUS

Right. That guy. Hardly know him myself.

This was all his idea. I was having lunch.


TURGID

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.


POTUS

Yeah? Well this was his idea. Not mine.

I was opposed from the start.


TURGID

If you were opposed, why did you do it?


POTUS

Ripper told me I had to.

(calculating)

Needed. Needed to. For the safety of

the nation.


This elicits howls of consternation among the assembly and McTurtle bangs the gavel to restore order.


McTURTLE

Gentlemen. Order. We need order in here.


After the astonished collective regains its composure, Turgid continues his interrogation of the bored and distracted POTUS.


TURGID

So, just the two of you?


POTUS

What? Yeah. No. There were two other guys.


TURGID

Two other guys. Did you get their names?


POTUS

What? No.

(sotto voce)

They didn’t have any dialogue.


TURGID

Do you know what they look like?


POTUS

I was, uh, focused on the football.

I didn’t really see those guys.


TURGID

Would you recognize them?


POTUS

Ah… Sure. Probably. Hard to say.

I was busy with the launch code.

Very complex.


TURGID

Were they in uniform?


POTUS

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.


TURGID

(struggling)

Were they black or white?


POTUS

Oh, you can believe me, they were white.


TURGID

Tall, short? Young, old?


POTUS

Definitely white.


TURGID

Is there anything else you can tell us?


POTUS

There was two of them.


Turgid looks around, his face resolute.


TURGID

That means they could be in here with us.


POTUS

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.


CELERY

I told ya. Didn’t I? Didn’t I tell you what

would happen?

She stops applauding and continues slowly toward the action.


CELERY

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.

(pointing)

You called him an idiot.

(pointing elsewhere)

You said he was an awful person.

(pointing)

You call him an arrogant asshole. Right?


She stands addressing the dais, POTUS staring at her in disbelief, McTurtle confounded. She points at CROOD.


CELERY

You called him a moron.


While POTUS’s fury grows, Celery looks at McTurtle with a maniacal smirk. She cocks her head.


CELERY

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.

(astonished)

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.


POTUS

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.


POTUS

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?!


POTUS

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.


POTUS

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…


HARASS

You blew up the world! You killed everyone

in the world!


POTUS

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.


POTUS

Man, what’s the chance she’d end up in here?


TURGID

(to Muster)

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.


MUSTER

And this is only the first hour.


Turgid and Muster glance knowingly at each other.


POTUS

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.


CELERY

(to other cart)

Asshole.


HARASS

So how’d you wind up in here, big sister?


CELERY

Knock off the Sister Act, Senator. Our

village is a firepit. Every man for himself.

(looking around)

I was at the Capitol meeting with some

lobbyists from Admiral Dynamics.


HARASS

Their death-ray was generating a lot of heat.


Celery squints at her suspiciously.


CELERY

Doesn’t appear things have cooled down.


HARASS

Don’t look like they’ll ever.


CELERY

So, when the alarm went off, just got

caught up with the rest. Sure as hell

wasn’t going to stay there.


HARASS

Those klaxons are pretty convincing.


Celery looks around at the despairing survivors.


CELERY

Not sure I chose correctly.


HARASS

Did you ever think the motherfucker

would do this?


CELERY

(distaste)

Show some respect. He’s a white man.


HARASS

(appalled)

What?


CELERY

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.


HARASS

Yeah?

(glances at her)

There should be laws that keep a lotta

people from running for office.


CELERY

(shakes her head)

It’s the irony that gets me.


HARASS

Irony?


CELERY

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.


SEELY

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.


TIN

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.


SEELY

Hell, probably not even weapons of

minor destruction.


TIN

(shaking head)

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.


SEELY

So they don’t hit each other with them?


TIN

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.


TIN

Major.


DAMAGE

Captain.

(checks Seely out)

Lieutenant.


SEELY

Major.

TIN

Major…


Two soldiers from the following cart join them. Everybody looks each other over, then decide to forgo further introductions.

DAMAGE

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.


TIN

I find it hard to imagine better conditions

for one.

DAMAGE

The real concern, of course, is the panic

induced panic.


SEELY

When people see there’s a panic and panic?


DAMAGE

It’s no picnic.


One of the soldiers following them stashes what appears to be a picnic basket behind his back.


TIN

R-O-E?


DAMAGE

Christ. They’re Congressmen. Don’t shoot

anybody if you don’t have to.


TIN

I never do.


SEELY