Here is the plot up to page 25...

The significance of page 25 in a screenplay:

Page 25 is where the hero leaves the world, and the thesis statement behind and proceeds into a world that is the upside version of that, its antithesis. Because these two worlds are so distinct, the act of actually stepping into Act Two must be definite. The hero cannot be lured, tricked, or drift into Act Two. He must make the decision himself. Thats what makes him a hero anyway, being proactive.

The page 25 thing came from a book entitled Save The Cat by Blake Snyder. Blake Snyder is a man you want to listen to. No joke!

"It happens on page 25. I have been in many arguments. Why not page 28? What's wrong with 30? Don't. Please.

Page 25 is the place I always go to first in a screenplay someone has handed me..."

The "A" Story - The Plot

Act I


We see floodlights illuminating a huge rocket on a launchpad. Four men in a glassed-in viewing center. Three huddle together, dressed in Arab robes and kafiyyehs. The fourth wears a suit and stands close to the window.

At the launchpad, steam hisses from pipes. Condensation streams down the ship’s hull. Vapor rises from the tarmac. On the ship’s hull, the red, white & black Iraqi flag.

In the viewing area, General Richard Bolivar, 48, turns, steps to the light, pulls his kafiyyeh back. Suddenly we see his sharp, chiseled, unsmiling face. Bolivar extends a finger from the folds of his robe. He taps the touchpad. Through the glass, we see the ship firing up, rising, accelerating. When Bolivar speaks, it's the rich fluid tones of a Texas cowboy we hear. The Robes shake hands with the Suit, vanish through a door.

Last thing we see - satellite over the Washington DC area, as we zoom in on the White House from the sky.

Scene 1 - The Office

A corner office in the West Wing. Henry Slezak's on the phone in a secretary's cubicle. We hear him in a heated conversation. He's trying to keep it down, but his emotions keep getting in the way.

Maddie Slezak stands in her shimmering gown and glass slippers. She & Henry are on their way to the Ball in the Rose Garden. Henry stopped by his office to make a personal call.

Maddie waits, paces, scans the photos on the wall, pictures of San Francisco Giant ballplayers. Henry's a huge fan. She sees Kenny Wetzel's picture. It's Kenny when he was 27 and a star relief pitcher. She grins. She knows this guy. Henry doesn't know how well she knows him.

Her phone rings. It's Kenny. "What are you wearing?" he asks. She giggles, says in a whisper, "I can't talk." "See you at the ball, Cinderella." "Okay." "Remember to stay away from Wicked Witches." "That's Snow White." "Oh right. Cinderella's the one with the Fairy Godmother. You know how to spot a Wicked Witch, don't you?" "How?" "She's the one with the apple."

Henry hangs up, comes out angry. We see him now. He's 61, old enough to be her grandfather. He just learned his son from a previous marriage got a girl pregnant. Stupid kid! He cools down by degrees. He uses the moment to pontificate on the wisdom of everyone having no kids prenups. Maddie chimes in with how children are bad for the figure. Henry agrees, "Exactly!"

Last thing we see - Maddie & Henry arm in arm, like they're in a fashion show.

Scene 2 - The Belle of the Ball

An elegant outdoor ball. Henry & Madeline enter arm in arm. Heads turn.

Kevin Hurt in his wheelchair off to the side. He smolders.

A liveried Servant bellows out, "Mister & Missus Henry Slezak!" The President rushes to greet them. Maddie stumbles trying to curtsy. Henry rolls his eyes. They chatter with the President about the upcoming election, about the polls showing the President with an unbeatable lead.

We see Bolivar, Rufus and Galmiche huddled together, whispering. Henry goes over to them, makes a big deal out of shaking hands with Rufus, with curt nods to Bolivar and Galmiche. Rufus tells a waiter to get him an apple. We see Kenny dancing with a sweet young thing.

Madeline and Henry dance. They are very good. People stop and watch. Henry's a showman.

Later that evening, the President & Henry in private. They discuss Bolivar. There's an intelligence report that Bolivar put an Iraqi satellite in orbit. They agree he's getting too independent, needs to be reined in. They also discuss Roger LaJeunesse, a domestic political rival. Henry's dirty-trick whispering campaign against LaJeunesse has had an effect. LaJeunesse, standing nearby, is livid, but he holds it in.

Madeline sits with a group of Washington matrons. They make a fuss over her because she's Henry's new wife and Henry's important. Mimi LaJeunesse, drunk and angry and feeling vengeful, comes to the table and curses Madeline, calls her a clueless trophy wife, nothing more than Henry's arm candy. They escort Mimi away.

Kenny walks by. Maddie sees him. They lock eyes for a instant. Galmiche puts an arm around Kenny, tells him he heard the rumor about the reinstatement. Kenny says, "News to me." Galmiche says him he's pulling for him 110 per cent, winks and says it doesn't hurt to be working for Danny Prophet's right-hand man.

Rufus & Kevin pass by. Rufus takes a bite out of his apple. Kevin smirks.

Last thing we see - Maddie looking down guiltily.

Scene 3 - The Cages

Maddie in her car, a tense expression.

Kenny in his car on the phone, fielding a phone interview from a sports talk show. They congratulate him on his upcoming reinstatement. He says it's premature, if it happens, it happens. They ask him if it has anything to do with his connection to the President. He says, "C'mon fellas. Gimme a break."

A military checkpoint just ahead. Kenny and Maddie driving separate cars, one behind the other. The soldier takes the opportunity to tell Kenny what's wrong with baseball. Maddie tries to hide her face.

Kenny and Maddie at the batting cages. A big neon sign, "Tiger Cages" with a neon tiger in a baseball uniform swinging a bat. Kenny hits line drive after line drive. "A pitcher needs to handle a bat. Increases his value. In 1965, Don Drysdale hit .300, 7 home runs, 19 ribbies." Maddie's pretty good, but not in Kenny's league.

The machine plunks Maddie on the tit. Kenny laughs. "Machines just don't like you." She pounds the machine with her bat in a rage. "You're in for it now. That machine will tell the other machines. You better be extra nice to your car and your dishwasher."

Back at Kenny's condo. Post coital. Black and blue mark on Maddie's tit. She talks about the rumor of Kenny's reinstatement. She wants him to play or coach for the Nationals in DC. Kenny says he wants to go to the Giants where he still has fans. She repeats she wants him to stay with her. He says she can leave Henry and go with him to San Francisco. She refuses. She likes all the attention she gets for being Mrs Henry Slezak. He laughs, calls her a trophy wife, an old man's arm candy. She gets angry, slaps him, storms out of the room. He calls after her, apologizes. She keeps going.

Last thing we see - Maddie in a rage, driving away, refusing to pick up.

Scene 4 - The Resignations

A Denny's restaurant. Kenny drives up, parks, gets out unsmiling, enters. He spots a Woman & a 9-year-old boy. The Woman waves. He sits. The boy looks like Kenny. The Woman's wearing her "lucky" San Francisco Giants windbreaker. She says, "Took a week off from work. I wanted Russell to see the seat of power." He gives them White House passes. They exchange pleasantries. They talk about the weather and things in general. Until the boy calls him "Dad." He says, "Mom said your arm is worth fifty million dollars." "What?" "I told him how the Giants took out that insurance policy on your arm. He tells all the kids at school that his dad." Kenny blows up, slaps an envelope of money down and storms out. We hear his shoe leather on the concrete. Her voice follows, "He's just a little boy. He doesn't understand. He just wants somebody to be proud of. Don't blame him, Kenny." Kenny keeps going.

A Hallway in the West Wing. Sound of several sets of footsteps hurrying somewhere. Kevin in his wheelchair, scowling, cruising serenely down hallway, as the President, Henry & Kenny pass him, moving around him, on their way to the Cabinet Room. Etched in their faces, the depiction of grim resolve. They are on their way to do some dirty work. The President suddenly gets cold feet. He can't go in there. Henry tells him he can, urges him, practically orders him into the room. The President enters to whoops and hollars. The polls show the lead widening. We see Galmiche. The President talks about second terms, about lame ducks, about how Presidents lose focus in second terms, about how that's not going to happen with him. He leaves without doing what he came to do. Henry steps up, demands everyone's resignation in the name of the President. There is shock and disbelief.

While the President is speaking inside, outside the room, Kenny is calling Maddie, who won't pick up.

Last thing we see - Galmiche, livid, silently signing his letter of resignation.

Scene 5 - The Tee-off.

A video player on a golf cart replays Galmiche signing his letter of resignation.

Henry and The President on the Golf Course. They plot how they're going to bring the boys home, how they're going to build a team for the second term that has the right chemistry.

Kenny calls Maddie. She picks up, says she needs a time out. Kenny takes it badly.

The President tells Henry he's going to Florida, to Galmiche's home state, with Galmiche. Just to show him he's not scared of him, then out to Lajeunesse's state. He says, "Sometimes, you have to go into the cage with the big cats. If you can't do that, might as well go back to delivering newspapers or flipping burgers." He says he'll be taking in a ball game with the baseball commissioner down in Florida. Henry reminds him to put in a good word for Kenny.

The President tells Henry to take some time off, go to the cabin and make whoopie with the new wife.

Last thing we see - Maddie alone running along the side of a road in her expensive running togs.

Scene 6 - The Move-up

An Arab woman in workout togs jogs along side of road past a wall with a huge poster of Bolivar in a keffeya.

Eight Military Officers passing by in a bus watch her longingly. The bus stops at a building, they get off, go into a room, strip to their underwear. They remove their clothing, watches, and rings, and hand over their wallets. The clothing is then laundered, sterilized, and x-rayed. Each of the officers, in his underwear, is searched and passed through a metal detector. Each is instructed to wash his hands in a disinfecting solution. They then dress, and are transported in buses with blackened windows, so that they can't see where they're going. They are driven for a half hour or more, and searched again as they file off. They arrive at an official-looking building, After a time they are taken into a meeting room and seated at a large round table. They are told that they are to be given a great honor: General Bolivar himself will be meeting with them. They are instructed not to talk, just to listen. They wait.

Maddie shops for shoes in a trendy boutique. Her phone rings. It's Kenny. She tells Kenny that the shoe salesman, who is at that moment slipping some sexy shoes on her feet, is her new lover. She describes him, angering Kenny and humiliating the salesman. She apologizes after Kenny hangs up. The salesman asks her out.

Meanwhile...the Satellite in orbit.

A meeting via satellite. Bolivar in his private auto repair shop. Galmiche in his kitchen, baking bread. Rufus in his office, staring out window at antiwar protesters.

Kevin in his wheelchair watches Rufus. Kevin says, "For you, I'd go out there and." Rufus says, "No. Don't." Keven says, "I don't like seeing you upset." Rufus says, "I know. But don't."

Bolivar, Galmiche and Rufus argue, finally agree to move the date up, because of the resignation letters. Galmiche says, "I'm sure Danny suspects. The way he and Henry looked at me. I'm sure of it." Rufus says, "What I want, whatever happens, what I want is knowing we're on the right side of history." Bolivar says, "If we win, we write the history." Galmiche says, "What if we lose?" Bolivar says, "Then we lose. A sure thing is boring. If it's worth it, it's worth risking for."

Bolivar exits his auto repair shop, dons Arab finery, enters room, meets with the eight Officers. He tells them they are the best men in the nation, the most trusted and able. That was why they were selected to meet with him. Daniel Prophet, he says, because of his reckless policy, is a necessary target for destruction. He must be stopped in order for Iraq to rebuild. He's out there operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of acceptable conduct.

Last thing we see - Rufus on a couch, with an apple. Kevin in his wheelchair, stroking Rufus' head. "Do you think we'll die?" Kevin says, "You will. I won't." "Will you find someone else?" "Man cannot live by bread alone." Rufus bites into his apple, stares at ceiling.

Scene 7 - Kenny Under a Cloud

Kevin motors into Henry's office. Kenny's in there, holding down the fort. Kenny looks up, "Mister Slezak's in North Korea. He'll be back tomorrow." Kevin, "I know."

Kevin motors over to the wall with all the pictures, the wall that is Henry's shrine to the Giants. Kevin points to a color photo. "Barry Bonds. 762 home runs. The greatest ever. And he can't even leave his house because he can't take all the accusing stares. Half the people in baseball say he was a cheat and that's a shame. It's too bad that these guys are so stubborn. Like Pete Rose."

As he speaks, he picks up bat and sitting in his wheelchair, takes several classic cuts a la Dimag.

"Pete Rose had more hits than any other man in baseball. Deserves to be in the Hall. But all those years of him denying, denying, denying. What does it get you? You die a bitter, lonely old man." "I didn't cheat." "On the other hand, you can say, yeah, I did and I'm sorry. And you do a little penance, some charity stuff, and they let you back in." "I said, I didn't cheat." "Not talking about you. Talking about Barry Bonds. Well, you take care."

He lays bat down, motors out of the office, whistling, "Take Me Out To The Ball Game."

The Corporate Jet leaves Iraqi airspace. The Officers in the passenger cabin.

Last thing we see - Kenny picks up a bat and ball, tosses ball in air, hits it into his picture, smashes glass.

Scene 8 - The Cold Feet

Maddie's car parking, backs into another. Headlight glass on parked car shatters. Maddie gets out, inspects damage, writes note, slips it under wiper blade, goes into her apartment. Kenny in his car across street watching. Maddie carries her gear bag with baseball bats.

Rufus is getting cold feet, having second thoughts. Galmiche visits Rufus, uses all his powers of persuasion to keep Rufus from defecting, puts a bug in his ear, tells him they (meaning The President & Henry) thought so little of him, they didn't even see the need for him to sign a letter of resignation. Galmiche blames Henry, tells Rufus that after the election, Henry's gonna be Chief of Staff, gatekeeper to the President. He's plotting to replace you. As far as they're concerned, you're already gone. Why do you think Henry is suddenly taking an interest in you? Do you think he suddenly likes you. Henry doesn't like anybody. Rufus gasps in horror. Galmiche does a lot of touching while he persuades.

Kevin watches from next room. He frowns.

Galmiche leaves. Rufus rolls on the floor, foams at the mouth.

The Corporate Jet enters DC airspace. We hear the pilot/tower radio chatter

Last thing we see - Kevin in a workout room, doing bench presses. He is very strong. Rufus is with him, tending the barbell. He tells Rufus he doesn't like how Galmiche touched him. Rufus tries to "explain" Galmiche. Kevin tells him to shut up..

Scene 9 - Bringing Up Baby

A red DC taxi rounds a corner and stops in front of Maddie and Henry's apartment. We hear the taxi/dispatcher radio chatter.

Doorbell rings.

Maddy opens door to Jeremy & Chloe. Chloe, 17, is visibly pregnant. She wishes she could be anywhere but here. Jeremy, 21, is Henry's son. Henry is not happy to see him, "You don't just barge in. You call ahead and say you're coming." "I have to make an appointment to see my own Dad?" "Yes!"

He tells Henry he's resolved to "grow up" and make a stable life for himself and (pointing to Chloe's tummy) his son. He's a man with a plan, "I want to go back to school and get my degree." "Back to school? You don't even have a HS diploma." "You know people. You can make a call and get me in." "Just like that. You think it's that simple." "Come on, Dad. Do it for him." He points to Chloe's tummy. Chloe looks very uncomfortable.

They go off to have a private chat. Chloe suddenly laughs. Maddie asks what's funny. Chloe says, "I was thinking. It's gonna be funny calling you 'Mom.'" "Oh no. That's one thing I'll never be." "Really." "Henry says no kids." "None at all?" "Henry wants maximum freedom for us. He says kids tie you down. We signed a contract. No kids." "Well, guess I'll be tied down a lot then. Jeremy wants lots of kids. He wants a housefull." "What do you want?" "I want to be a mother. I think being a mother is a sacred and holy thing."

Henry and Jeremy return. There's a silence you can cut with a knife. Chloe asks, "Is something wrong?" "No. Everything's fine." Awkward silence. They leave.

Henry watches them drive off. "The one thing you can bank on with him is, everything he does will blow up in his goofy face. He is disappointment in all its manifestations. I wish he had died in infancy. He's been a waste of my time and everyone else's."

Maddie is shocked. "I'm just being honest. Can you believe it? He already thinks he's graduated from college. He has no sense of getting down to the task at hand. He thinks the way you get through college is for Daddy to phone someone and a degree comes in the mail. That's why he stopped by."

"What are you going to do about him?"

"If he, or that farm animal he's screwing, comes by unannounced, you are not to let them in. Is that clear?"

"What are you going to do?"

"Jeremy and I have made an agreement. It is an agreement in writing. Just like you and I have an agreement in writing."

Last thing we see - Bolivar on a reviewing stand. A huge parade of troops and armor march by. Aircraft in formation overhead.

Scene 10 - The Road Trips

The Jet lands. Inside passenger cabin, the Officers change into hijabs and burkas.

Henry and Maddie drive to the cabin. We see a gear bag in back seat with athletic gear, bats, mitts, etc. Maddie asks, "Am I a trophy wife? Am I arm candy? Is that what I am to you?" Henry gets defensive. She tries to get at exactly what Henry does. He clams up, tells her he does stuff. They drive into the hills into a forest.

Rufus and Ken miles back on the same road. Rufus asks Kevin how they contact the office. Kevin, "Can't you just one time in your life enjoy the moment?" "But the office..." "Let your assistants handle things. That's why you hired them. To handle things." Rufus tells him he wants nothing crazy to happen to Henry, just get him to promise I keep my job. Kevin says, "I'll only do what we both want." Kevin talks about his car, how they don't make 'em like this anymore. Rufus says they can't communicate in it, it's too old. Kevin, "Why is that a bad thing?" They drive into the hills into a forest.

Six of the Officers (One in robe & keffiya, five in burkas, their faces hidden), one wearing a baseball cap over the burka, walking through the air terminal in Miami.

Last thing we see - A baseball game plays on a large flat panel screen on the terminal wall.

Scene 11 - The Commish


Uniformed Security Technicians sit in a room intently watching a Crowd at a baseball game on monitors.

Galmiche to Bolivar, "A change in schedule." Bolivar, "What?" "The ballgame is today, not tomorrow." "Why?" "Troy Needham's pitching today. Turns out Danny's a fan." "Shit!" "So we go today instead of tomorrow." "Means we go without Rufus." "He's the weak link anyway." "Got that right." "Okay. Let's do it."

A Baseball Stadium. The President, Galmiche & the Baseball Commissioner stand in a field box behind home plate and wave. Giant holographic images of them hover over the pitcher's mound to the Crowd's delight. The Stadium rocks.

The Satellite in orbit, a steady hum.

Two Officers walk down a long hallway in the West Wing. We hear their boots echo.

In another part of Stadium, the six Officers, still in Arab dress, walk to their seats. They carry cardboard trays with nachos, peanuts, hotdogs, coke, etc.

Action on the field. A batter hits a deep fly. The Crowd, and the President, Galmiche & the Commish, all stand and cheer.

The Two Officers, walking in step, round a corner. Their boots echo. At the end of the hall, a guarded door with sentries posted.

The Game is over. Public address system giving final score, reminding fans to drive safely. President and Commish in exit tunnel. President asks about Kenny. There is an argument. The President pressures him. He reluctantly agrees, but his reluctance angers the President. The Commissioner walks out alone, his cane clicking on the cement.

The Two Officers stand silently at the door as the Guards run their IDs through the scanner. On the other side of the door, the Security Technicians watch the President & Galmiche in the tunnel. One monitor follows the Commish walking slowly toward the light.

A bathroom entrance at the stadium. One Officer in a Military uniform guards the door, preventing entrance. Inside, the other five Officers change into Military Uniforms.

In the tunnel, a hand reaches into a crevass and comes out with a gun.

The satellite in orbit. The steady hum is replaced by a series of clicks and whirrs.

Wisps of smoke from the two officer's ears and nose as they recite a Muslim prayer first softly then louder. They explode. On the other side of the door, the wall begins to collapse, the monitor screens shatter.

Outside the tunnel, as the Commish exits, the Secret Service Agent's hand-held viewer, which displayed images of Galmiche and the President, goes black. "Shit!" Montage of other Secret Service agent's viewers going black. He tries his voice communicator. Nothing. He draws his weapon and rushes inside.

In Lafayette Park, antiwar protestors see flames in the windows in the West Wing.

Bolivar, from his helo skimming over the Persian Desert, addressing his troops on television, telling them there's been an attempt on the President's life, that a plot has been uncovered in his security detail. Montage of various military units listening.

Agent runs into tunnel. As he nears the President, a shot is fired. The Agent falls dead. Galmiche has shot him. The President is stunned. The six Officers rush in. One injects the President. The President looks accusingly at Galmiche as he slips into unconsciousness.

Galmiche says, "I'm in charge now."

The Satellite in orbit. Galmiche's voice, "Disarm and detain all Secret Service."

Troop-carrying hovercraft landing on the baseball diamond. Troops, their faces covered by plexiglas visors, rush out and up the stairs. They corner the other Secret Service, disarm them.

A military voice, "All Secret Service disarmed and detained, sir"

Galmiche to the leader of the Officers, "Put out a bulletin. The President is unhurt. Some of the plotters have been captured. The search continues for the others."

Galmiche's voice, "We did it." Bolivar's voice, "Piece of cake"

Smiling uniformed military directing traffic leaving stadium parking lot. A large hovercraft displaying the presidential seal passes overhead leaving stadium. Mother & Father in car, "Look kids, there goes the President."

Last thing we see - A line of Disabled Fans exiting stadium on wheelchair ramp.

Scene 12 - Henry Left Hanging


A concrete wheelchair ramp leads up to the cabin porch.

We see Rufus inside the car, the windows rolled up, a frightened "I don't want to know what's happening" look on his face, classical music playing loud.

The cabin door is ajar. We hear what sounds like some kind of electric tool running.

We go inside. There's a sense of danger, a sense of deadly things being done.

We see a rope looped over the cross-beam of the canopy. Henry stands on a low footlocker at the foot of the bed, a noose around his neck, the rope just tight enough to keep him from relaxing. The loose end of the rope is tied to Kevin's wheelchair.

Kevin in his wheelchair, a pistol on his lap, installs a hasp and latch on the closed bathroom door as Henry watches helplessly. As the wheelchair moves slightly, the noose tightens and loosens at his neck. Henry dares not move.

Maddie inside small bathroom, a canvas bag over her head, padlocked at the neck. She braces herself against the sink. We hear her sobs.

Outside, several apple cores outside passenger car window. Classical music plays at ear-splitting level. We see Rufus through the fogged-up window.

Thousands of feet up, a formation of warplanes flying cover for hovercraft heading to air base in distance. Inside, hovercraft, Galmiche stares at the unconscious President laid out on cot along bulkhead. He slowly points pistol at his head. Officer reaches out, takes pistol out of his hand, shakes his head. Galmiche grins.

Back inside the cabin, Kevin, having secured the bathroom door from the outside, turns the wheelchair toward Henry. The noose tightens. Henry has to hold onto the rope to keep from choking. Kevin talks about getting his attention, about wanting Henry's full, 100% attention. He fires 2 shots high through wall into bathroom.

Henry flinches. Inside bathroom, Maddie cries through the canvas bag out as dust and bits of wood and wallboard fly through air. She desperately feels along wall and around sink. for something to get her out of this

Kevin decides he doesn't have Henry's full attention yet. He lowers his aim slightly, still over Maddie's head, fires two more shots through the wall. Inside the bathroom, Maddie flinches. We hear a bullet strike a pipe. We see water suddenly spraying everywhere. Maddie, getting soaked, feels around medicine cabinet on wall over sink, opens it, feels inside, small bottles and containers tumble out of cabinet. Maddie's hand comes out of cabinet with a pair of MEDICAL SCISSORS.

A television news broadcast. Images of the Vice President and the Speaker of the House being taken into custody "for their own protection, in the light of the attempted assassination and the West Wing bombing. Disturbances will be dealt with by Military Tribunals."

Bolivar, his helo nearby, conducts a beheading in Persia.

Maddie has cut away the canvas. She slams her shoulder into the door. Part of the frame splits.

Outside, Kevin backs up, tightening noose, tells Henry to tell her to stop. Henry screams for her to run, to smash the door and run......JUST AS....

Maddie crashes through door. Kevin panics, turns, backs up, pulls Henry off the footlocker. Henry is suddenly desperate, struggling to pull himself up the rope and keep it from tightening. Maddie does a double summersault toward the athletic gear on floor at the wall. Kevin, turning in his chair, fires a shot at her, misses. Henry, the noose now tight, his face red, hanging just off the floor, his legs kicking and thrashing. Maddie comes up with the bat in her hand. Kevin fires again, wildly, hits Henry. Maddie comes around Henry, bringing the bat down on him. Kevin shifts position, the bat crashing down on his shoulder. Kevin screams.

Outside. More apple cores on the ground. Rufus outside. Pacing. On the phone. "Oh my God! They're starting without us! Oh my God! Oh my God! Kevin! Kevin!" He runs up the wheelchair ranp to the cabin door .....JUST AS...

Inside. Henry's body, blood dripping from the bullet holes, hangs limp. Maddie pounds Kevin to a bloody pulp.

Rufus gasps, turns and runs. Maddie turns, sees a figure running away. She pursues. Rufus, sobbing, plunges into the woods...runs down the hill, branches and thorns tearing him. He appears to be oblivious to the cuts and lacerations as he plunges deeper.

Last thing we see - Rufus stops, turns, looks up the hill. He sees Madeline at top of hill. He sees the cabin on fire. Outlined by the flames, Madeline stands, holding her bat high over her head, shrieking like a banshee, in the demeanor of an avenging goddess.

Scene 13 - The Phantom Finger

Rioters screaming, waving clubs and guns as buildings and vehicles burning.

Inside Kenny's house. Television monitor on. Kenny, aghast, watches this as he frantically dials Henry. No answer. He tries the White House. Busy. When SUDDENLY....

A call comes through from Maddie...

Henry's dead, she tells him. She blurts out a story of men and guns, tells him she killed one of them. The other got away. She describes them. A cold chill comes over Kenny. He suddenly knows who they are.

Outside, Rufus, his clothes nearly ripped from his body, his body bloody from cuts, a spear-like pole in his hand watches from the forest.

Use their car, Kenny tells her. Kevin's car is an old one, unwired, untraceable. Meet me at the Cages. And don't use the phones.

As Maddie shuts off her phone, we see her from the trees, as Rufus, who now looks like a naked savage, darts from tree to tree, watches helplessly, frantic with grief and loss, as the burning cabin, collapses inward.

A warplane high over Northern Virginia. In the cockpit, the pilot targets a house below. His screen mirrors another screen in a room somewhere. Radio comm back and forth between pilot and the person at the second screen as the Pilot locks on the target, a building on the ground. When he locks on, the pilot releases the smart bomb and transfers control to the second person. We only know the second person by her voice and her fingers. She guides the bomb down with skill and flamboyant precision.

Kenny runs outside, a look of anxious resolve on his face. He runs across the street to his car as his house implodes behind him with a WHUMP! He looks back aghast to see his house a pile of rubble, the building on each side untouched.

The second person says, "Thus we commend our brother in the sure and certain hope that, together with all who have died in Christ, he will rise with him on the last day."

Lights come on. People rush out, as Kenny runs down the street into the dark, unseen.

Maddie in Kevin's car, grinding the gears, barely keeping it on the road, driving through the forest in the night, her lights on high beam.

Kenny, in a tow truck, drives past burning buildings. We hear shots, the shouts of rioters. Army and police vehicles rush by in the opposite direction. He sees a US Flag on the floor of the cab. He mounts it outskde the cab so it's visible. He comes up to a military checkpoint. They wave him through.

Last thing we see - A execution by firing squad of 10 rioters. We morph to a TV image of the execution. A newscaster reports from outside Tampa Bay's Raymond James Stadium that the military tribunals are sentencing the hardest cases to death and the lesser ones to military service.

Scene 14 - The Tow Truck

Dark. It's maybe 2am. The cages. The neon "TIGER CAGE" sign still on, still blinking in the night, because someone forgot to shut if off. Kenny in the cab of his tow truck, parked in the shadows, lights off.

In the distance, approaching, a vehicle with lights on high beam.

Kenny, "Oh that dummy. She's telling the world, here I am, come and get me, blow me to bits."

In the car, Maddie drives across a field, approaching the blinking neon sign. She grinds the gears. The car jerks and lurches.

Back to Kenny. He grimaces, rolls his eyes, shakes his head.

Back at Kenny's house, an follow-up team performs an on-the-ground inspection of the rubble. A crowd of neighbors mill about. A man rushes up, reports his tow truck stolen.

At the cabin, now reduced to ash. a cleanup crew sifts through the ashes, uncovers the wheelchair with the charred black body of Kevin still sitting. Rufus, naked, cut and bleeding rushes up from the bushes screaming, embraces the body. It breaks apart in his arms. Rufus turns, sees the workmen staring, screams, "What are you staring at? Don't you know who I am? I'm Rufus Meadows, Chief of Staff to the President of the United States! Did you hear me? I'm the gatekeeper to the President! I need to get back. They're starting without me!"

3am. The tow truck on a backroad. Lots of snappy back and forthing between Kenny and Maddie. Kenny says he'll take her to a safe spot and then cut her loose. She says, fine with me. They don't like each other.

Last thing we see - the second person's fingers on the touch pad. Her voice, "We're seeking a towtruck, white, license number xxx, terrorists, a man and a woman."

Scene 15 - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Early morning. A field with a fence. A narrow country road by the fence. Next to the road, a railroad track. In the field, a row of haystacks.

Maddie and Kenny asleep in a haystack. Sounds of men talking in distance. We can't understand what they're saying. Maddie and Kenny wake up by degrees as the voices intrude on their consciousness.

They see police around the tow truck. They catch bits of what the men are saying: "they probably jumped on the train, that's why they abandoned it here." "They?" "Him or they, one or the other."

The Second person, fingers on the touchpad, the female voice, she's talking to someone, someone she knows well, there's a quality of intimacy in her tone of voice, "We know they're together. They were having an affair behind Henry's back. And we found the car at the batting cages, along with the tire tracks of the tow truck in the dirt. So they linked up." "So you think they're on the train?" "Maybe." "Any way we can find out for sure?" "Well, I always say, when in doubt, make a phone call." The fingers get active on the touchpad.

Inside a boxcar, the door open, dusk outside. Both their phones ring. Kenny, "Don't answer."

It gets darker. Sounds of gunfire, explosions miles away. Fires in the distance. A sense that the train is entering a war zone. Their phones ring intermittantly.

The Second person, fingers drumming, "Pick up, pick up."

We see figures in the distance running toward the train. Gunfire. A building burning near the track. We see the running figures outlined in the flames and smoke. A woman and 2 men, in their late teens, dressed in military garb sprinting toward the train. This is Maria, Kidd and Whit. Suddenly Kidd falls. He's hit. Whit and Maria pull him up, drag him toward the open box car. "Help us!" Kenny and Maddie pull them aboard. Whit, "Careful with him! He's hurt."

The Second person, "We need to get them now. If we delay, they'll soon be out of range." "I agree. Order a hard trace on the phones." We see her fingers active on the touchpad.

Kidd is hurt. He moans quietly. Whit hovers over him, sobbing. Maria lets a small cat out of her blouse. It huddles close to her, frightened.

Outside, the shooting continues. Explosions, followed by flashes.

Whit opens his medical kit. "Got to make him comfortable. He's a tough puppy. He'll make it."

Kenny asks, "Who was shooting at you?" Maria says, "The Army." "But aren't you Army?" "Let's just say, we used to be army."

Whit is very caring, very nurturing with Kidd, very touching, his lips close to Kidd's face. More so than Maria. She smiles at Maddie, "They're very close."

Whit says, "He needs to stay still. I can't move him anymore." Whit is very territorial. No one can come close to Kidd. He doesn't even like them looking at Kidd.

To Maddie. "You can't stay here." "What?" "They'll find us all and kill us." Kenny, "Are you crazy?" "Your phones. They can track you. They'll find you and when they find you, they'll find us."

"Tell them to leave." "We're not leaving." "Then they'll find us and we'll all go up in smoke." "What's he talking about?" "Tell them to get out now." "We cut ours off. We've been on the run for three weeks." She shows Kenny and Maddie her finger, cut off at the top knuckle. Maddie looks at Whit. Without taking his eyes off Kidd, he holds up his hand with his fingers extended and splayed. He gently and lovingly takes Kidd's hand, displays the cut finger. "They have to leave." Kenny, "No way am I cutting this. It's insured for fifty million dollars."

Maria takes out a heavy chopping blade, like they use in kitchens for chopping through chicken bones. "We stole this from the messhall. It's really sharp. If you do it right, it doesn't hurt much"

Kidd groans as Whit presses a compress to the wound. "We stay on the train. We tape the fingers to Pussy and toss her out. They'll track her, thinking they jumped off. We'll change trains. Or hop a truck somewhere." Kenny, "You're not touching my finger, dammit!" Whit, "Nothing personal, man. But he's my friend. And she risked a lot for us. You two, I just met."

An explosion far away. The train picks up speed.

Madeline looks at her fingernail like she's saying good bye to a dear old dear friend. She hugs her blood-stained bat, says (to herself), "I'm not going back there."

Last thing we see: The cat running into the a forest. We hear the second Person's voice, "Farewell, sweet princess, and may flights of angels wing thee to thy whatever." A shadow. The cat freezes. Its hair stands on end. WHUMP! We see the forest implode. A hole where the cat used to be.

Next post. The first 25 pages of the script...

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