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“PILOT PRT 1”
Third Draft - 8/13/08
Over eerie silence and a WHITE SCREEN that zooms slowly out, revealing red stripes, MAIN CHARACTER CREDITS POP. As the image zooms out, its revealed that the WHITE and RED stripes are actually the stripes on a billowing, tattered AMERICAN FLAG. THE TITLE FADES IN over the majestic national symbol...and THE WHITE STRIPES “Seven Nation Army” begins:
CITIZENS OF THE WORLD
SMASH TO BLACK MUSIC THROUGHOUT: As the song's signature BASS loops, two SILHOUETTES -- one male, one female, walk onscreen. The female figure steps forward and writes words on the screen: THIS STORY IS BASED ON FICTITIOUS EVENTS. THERE IS NO PROOF THAT THE CHARACTERS FEATURED HERE EVER HAVE OR EVER WILL EXIST. BLACK. TEASER INT. A ROOM XCU: A YOUNG HISPANIC MAN’S FACE. EYES OPEN. HE IS DEAD. Two SILHOUETTES in the extreme background stand across from each other. One is holding a gun at the other. WOMAN (O.S.) -- put the piece away James. I’m trying to help you, can’t you see that? MAN (O.S.) All I see is a setup, sweetheart. You turned on me. I don’t tend to like that. WOMAN (O.S.) The joint’s rigged to go in 2 minutes so you better make up your mind.
An off-screen CLATTER. SWISH -- and we’re looking at a very dirty mirror reflecting the vague shadows of the people who are talking. It’s a dark, junky, claustrophobic room we’re in. Something about it seems like a war-zone... A series of SOUNDS: Footsteps crunching over paper, broken glass. Something heavy and hollow FALLS. Sounds of things being pushed over and kicked aside. A sound of LIQUID POURING. More CRUNCHING. A sound like a lighter being lit. BANGING, SMASHING, CRASHING. WOMAN (O.S.) (CONT'D) James! Silence...BREATHING... A long SILENCE... GLASS SMASHES. A SMOKE GRENADE rolls right in front of us! All at once -- OFF-SCREEN CHAOS, SCRAMBLING, CLATTERING, SMASHING -- CONFUSED, STARTLED YELLING -WOMAN (O.S.) (CONT'D) What the fuck are you doing!? Let me go! Let me -The woman’s voice garbles into gagged, muffled screaming. The SMOKE GRENADE implodes, issuing THICK WHITE GAS....COUGHING, COUGHING, STUMBLING, CHAOS, AND THEN... SMASH CUT TO: BLACK. END TEASER
4. ACT ONE: THE HAMMER OF AN EXTRAORDINARILY SHINY GUN CLICKS INTO THE LOCKED-AND-YOU'RE-SCREWED POSITION. The man holding it RACK-FOCUSES. Dark-haired. Dead eyed. His features are vague, as if his face is clouded by a surreal haze, to the point of being indistinguishable. He is a N.O.R.A.D. AGENT.
INT. HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT
The gun is pointed at the head of a twenty-something African American named MATT BAUER. Matt is kneeling execution style on the floor, surrounded by four other AGENTS identical to the faceless gunman. BANG! The gun goes off. A SPRAY OF CRIMSON. A MAN IS WATCHING FROM BETWEEN THE GRILL OF A VENT GRATE. FREEZE FRAME. This is JAMES FAWKES. He is well within his forties. Salt and Pepper. Stubble. Kind of McClane (Die Hard) meets McGarett (Hawaii 5-O). Ex-CIA. A hawk-eyed, steel-headed freelance contractor.
One of the AGENTS notices something, and his unremarkable eyes take a closer peek at the vent grate. Fawkes’ eyes widen. He’s been MADE. He BASHES THE GRATE -FREEZE FRAME! SMASH CUT TO:
INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
A teenager wearing a long-sleeved Raiders jersey and a medium length mop of dark hair holds up a FLOPPY DISC between her fingers, looking like she’s got the key to the universe. This is GABRIELLE (19). GABRIELLE Do you know what this is? Across from her is JASON, a spiky haired techno-nerd, watching her with interest.
5. They’re sitting by a desk with a boxy-looking laptop, stenciled with uber-hip graffitti style designs a la Hackers, and some gear on it. Gabrielle’s at the helm here. James grins, popping a cheese puff in his mouth. He dusts off his hands. JASON A...floppy disc? GABRIELLE This is a virus. This means I own you. JASON (reaching out) Aren’t those things like...from antiquity? Gabrielle, yanking the disc away computer monitor. -- swivels back to her
GABRIELLE Oh ye of little imagination... ON THE MONITOR, a download progress bar fills up with blue. A prompt pops up.
BURN 100% COMPLETE. EJECT DISC/START NEW PROJECT.
Gabrielle pops an ultra tiny, ultra thin disc out of her laptop rig and slips it into a tiny plastic cover. She grabs a black marker and quickly scribbles on it: CIRCUITBR8KER No. #21 Holding the disc safely away from Jason in one hand, she puts out her other. Jason slaps a credstick (Credit Stick -- 4 inch rectangle of technology carried by everyone that can hold an infinite amount of credit, a.k.a, money) into her open palm. Gabi’s hand closes over the stick. GABRIELLE (CONT'D) Thank you so much. And here’s your disc. Please come again. Gabrielle smacks the disc into his palm. A cool exchange for both parties. She turns back to her computer. Jason unzips a nearby messenger bag and takes out the 22nd Century’s answer to the MacBook Lite. He boots it up and pops the disc in.
JASON You realize if this doesn’t work -Gabrielle swivels around -GABRIELLE -- nah nah nah, I don’t wanna hear that buddy, you know it’s gonna work -JASON -- oh I know? -GABRIELLE -- yes you know it’s gonna work, because who am I? JASON GABRIELLE You are mysterious --- mysterious -JASON -- you are awesome -GABRIELLE -- the keeper of the key and the blower of the dynamite. JASON You’re quite right. Cheese puff? Jason taps a key repeatedly. A screen of data pops up. JASON (CONT'D) Oh yeaaaah.... He works the keyboard. GABRIELLE Are you in? JASON Uh huh...where are you? GABRIELLE The mainframe. ....shell, shell, shell...did you shell? JASON Huh? GABRIELLE Pay attention!
JASON Don’t damage, I’m on it. As he prepares to pop another cheese puff, Jason stops to contemplate the puff: JASON (CONT'D) These things are addicting. GABRIELLE (distracted) It’s cheese flavored air. Just like you. Why the hell don’t you have a firewall up? JASON ...cheese flavored air shaped like a turd. Did you ever notice it? (admiring the cheese puff) A perfect, shapely turd. Then at the door -- KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK. GABRIELLE Sheisse... Gabrielle gets up. GABRIELLE (CONT'D) Probably the pizza. She heads to the door. Unhooks the latch. Opens the door and BOOM!! -- S.W.A.T BUSTS DOWN THE DOOR -- and they don’t look like our S.W.A.T people, these are uber-tech, spit-shined glossy 22nd Century S.W.A.T people, and they’re STAMPEDING THROUGH WITH GUNS AND GEAR and yelling -JASON FUCK!! SWAT CAPTAIN Get down! Get the fuck down! Gabrielle drops to the carpet -- she’s just reeling -- WHAT THE HELL? --- James is clutching his laptop, cowering -JASON I didn’t do anything!!! I don’t even know --
-- scowling pitilessly, a SWAT LIEUTENANT roughs him up -SWAT LIEUTENANT Put that computer down! Get your hands up! On the floor! Now! Do it now!! One of the SWAT OFFICERS steps on Gabrielle’s hand -- she yells -- but the SWAT OFFICER is operating overdrive -SWAT OFFICER Shut up! -- and WHACKS her in the head with a heavy rubber billy club-SMASH CUT TO:
INT. HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT
-- as an AGENT punches forward -- he crunches his hand in the steel of the vent grate -- James wields it like a shield and battering ram -- snaps, cracks and crunches his way through the agents with frantic abandon -- snapping hands -- jamming necks and kicking groins. A FLASH of silver cuts across James’ belly -- soundlessly, he twirls, disarming the attacker and reverses the blade into the man’s chest --- a shiny chrome WEAPON (blaster pistol without the clunky Star Wars body) shifts hands from the Agent’s to James’ -BAM BAM BAM! Good ol’ fashioned lead bullets fly. Two Agents go down. James whirls -- BAM!! The last Agent collapses, grabbing at his fatal chest wound -- James hurls the vent to the floor and busts out of the door -- running --
INT. HILTON - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
-- down the hallway --
EXT. HILTON - NIGHT
SWAT vans, COPS and armored bodies galore. Bystanders stare and chatter at the SWAT commandos lingering around the hotel entrance. Presently, a squadron emerges from the lobby -- Gabrielle and Jason handcuffed in the midst of them -- Jason complaining the whole way to the SWAT van --
JASON -- why’re you arresting me? Why am I being apprehended?? I didn’t do anything! She’s the damn hacker -I’m just a -- ow! Would you watch it you dumb bitch --- Jason gets roughly hurled into the back of the van by a FEMALE SWAT OFFICER -Suddenly -- COMMOTION! Gabrielle’s putting up a fight -- the officers start to converge but Gabrielle trips an officer, clocking him in the nuts with her steel toed Harley Davidsons -- shoves another officer down and slips through the officers like butter, takes off running through a crowd --- with SWAT OFFICERS already charging after her, yelling -pushing down shocked bystanders -But the girl is off like a shot down the street, slaloming through cars -- veers off into HONKING TRAFFIC -- running as fast as she can, her hands conspicuously cuffed behind her back -And the SWAT men are bulky but full of stamina, a good 5 feet behind her -Gabrielle makes a hard left -- just missing getting her ass hit by a SKIDDING PROTOTYPE CHEVY which stops just as --- the SWAT men slam into it -- damn cars blocking their way and with the danger of losing their quarry, they’re screaming at the FLUSTERED DRIVER who tries frantically to reverse, but there’s a congestion of cars behind him -A SWAT OFFICER slams the hood, pissed. Cuz he knows that girl is GONE.
INT. STAIRWELL - NIGHT
Gabrielle’s sprinting up the stairwell -- two steps at a time, BREATHING HARD. She comes up to the top -- there’s a door -- briefly takes a look down the stairwell -- are they coming?? -- she takes a step back and then -- KICKS the door - KICK -- KICK -- KICK -- BASH! The door violently slams open and she bolts through --
INT. GARAGE - NIGHT
-- comes in through the door. Stops short. Looking.
Lots of cars. Thank god, no people. GABRIELLE Okay okay okay okay...pull it together... And then she’s looking behind herself -- her cuffed hands back there -- damnit, so not going to work -- so she --- does a contortionist act -- pulls her hands WAY over her butt -- trying to get her hands close to her legs so she can step backwards over her cuffed arms and bring them to the front. It’s a vaguely tricky job, and she hops around alot, but she’s flexible enough --it’s painful but she’s almost got it and -- YES, gets one leg over her cuffed wrists, just the next to go -- SCORE, gets that one over, and now her hands are in front -GABRIELLE (CONT'D) Yes... She digs in her pockets -GABRIELLE (CONT'D) Come on come on come on... Yes! A BOBBY PIN. She starts jimmying the lock on her cuffs -suddenly -A CAR ALARM CHIRPS. Footsteps! A voice! SHIT -- Someone’s coming! Gabrielle’s head jerks to see -There, behind a pillar -- A WOMAN -- we’ll call her JANE -dressed in designer everything emerging from an elevator door, wearing those some of those big obnoxious white sunglasses about 6 million 21st Century girls have, one Gucci purse tucked under her arm, talking into her Bluetooth. She walks over a silver Cadillac... JANE So I told him, no, she’s not the one who slept with his boyfriend. How the hell was she supposed to know the idiot was gay...right...then finally Tuesday Rebecca calls me... (unlocking the door) What?...oh no, I wouldn’t trust Ada as far I could throw her...or her psychotic boyfrie--
-- Jane hears a THUD -- turns, briefly distracted from her conversation -- what was that? She looks -- leans a bit to see behind the nearby pillar -But there’s nobody there. JANE (CONT'D) Yeah, I’m here. Anyway, so Becca had completely lost her mind... And she gets in her car. MEANWHILE, down on --
EXT. GARAGE - A LEDGE - NIGHT
Gabrielle’s balancing on a ledge -- holding the jimmied cuffs in one hand -- looking down at an 8 foot drop down into an alley. She breathes deeply. She can do this. She HAS to do it. And bravely plunges --
EXT. ALLEY - CONTINUOUS
-- and she does not land like a cat in a pile of garbage. Groaning, she collects herself, rolling away from the stench - pushing her expended body up -- she gladly dumps the cuffs and hobbles over to a parked RED MUSTANG. She goes into her pockets again -- gets out a set of keys because this is her car. She’s inserting the keys when all of a freaking sudden -GLASS SMASHES! A SHOUT! Gabrielle looks up to see -UP A-FREAKING-BOVE. A MAN IS HURTLING DOWN FROM THE 9TH STORY OF THE HILTON BUILDING! He’s falling -- flailing -- amazingly not screaming -- dropping ever closer and like a human anvil, he -CRASH!! -- falls onto the lid of the garbage bin in front of Gabrielle and lies stock still. Sirens WAIL faintly beyond the sudden silence. Gabrielle stares. Stunned. Floored. Not believing. A guy just plummeted to his death right in front of her. She inches towards the bin with caution...stretches out a hand and ever so tentatively POKES THE GUY. He FLINCHES! She jumps back a mile. He ain’t dead.
The MAN GROANS -- rolls off the bin -- falls another 5 feet to the concrete -- GROANING some more, and writhing in agony. And all Gabrielle can say is: GABRIELLE Oh my god... She goes to him, gingerly putting a hand out -GABRIELLE (CONT'D) Are you... (...”okay”, but instead:) Holy shit... He just groans. The MAN turns over -- see his face? -- hell, it’s JAMES FAWKES. But to Gabrielle he’s just some poor nut in a leather jacket who just fell 9 stories and has lived. GABRIELLE (CONT'D) Dude, are you -He’s trying to get up -- she’s helping him -- James staggers, looking around -- disoriented but recovering fast --- Gabrielle notices something -- poking out from the back of his jeans -- a GUN. -- James feels something wet running down his face -- feels for the blood -- shit -- then he doubles over like he got punched in the gut -- looks down, sees a BLOODY TEAR in his white tee, he touches it, winces -GABRIELLE (CONT'D) Guy, you need to get to a hospital... JAMES No...I’m fine... GABRIELLE Unless you’re superman in disguise no you are not fine, you just fell nine stories sir... James is ignoring her -- none of that matters right now, what he’s looking for is something material like... That parked Red Mustang.
He staggers towards it - Gabrielle watching him, semi-nervous -GABRIELLE (CONT'D) Uh -- ‘scuse me, guy -James stands by the car. Stares at it and then -- with no warning -- SMASHES the window with his elbow! Gabrielle can’t even react. She just stares. STUNNED SHOCK. At the glass of her Mustang glittering everywhere. James, clueless to her shattered dismay -- sticks his arm through the window, unlocks the door, slides in with a grunt GABRIELLE (CONT'D) (rising fury) The hell -- you stupid bastard -what the freak are you doing?! James looks at her -- still a little disoriented, but honestly, he had no clue, and now he’s looking a little confused, but deep down doesn’t give a damn whose car it is, much less if the owner is standing not 5 feet away -JAMES Oh...I’m sorry...is this -- is this your car? And Gabrielle’s just about to blow a gasket -GABRIELLE Is this my -- are you -- you’re not serious... James just stares -- then bends down under the dashboard -he’s about to hot-wire it but Gabrielle storms forward -GABRIELLE (CONT'D) Hell no -- get out -- out of my car!! What the hell do you think you’re doing?! JAMES (still hot-wiring) Stealing your car, what’s it look like? GABRIELLE (still reeling; hysterical) (MORE)
14. GABRIELLE (CONT'D) You just smashed my goddamned window!!! VRROO--OOM! The engine rumbles to life. James sits up. Hotwire success. He grabs the door handle -- Gabi’s in the way and she jumps back as he slams shut the door. He’s about to put pedal to the metal when Gabrielle --- jumps in front of the car -- puts both hands on the hood. She stares him down, tough as she can look. JAMES Get in or get out of the way. GABRIELLE No -- you get out of my car old man!! “Old man” doesn’t register happily and -- the Mustang jerks forward! Gabi jumps back, still holding her hands to the hood, as if she had the power to do a Superman and stop it. James jerks his thumb sharply -- a clear “get out the fuckin’ way.” GABRIELLE (CONT'D) (hands glued to the hood) You first! VROOM! The car jerks forward again -- almost runs her down this time -JAMES (jerks the car to a stop; shouts over the gunning engine --) -- out of my way kid! There’s a rising SOUND -- POLICE SIRENS. Gabrielle looks towards the end of the alley, outside in the street --- where a large crowd is fast gathering. GABRIELLE Survey says I need this car more than you! JAMES Wanna bet? She looks at the guy in the front seat gripping the wheel. He’s determined -- and she’s getting clued in. Guy falls 9 stories. Dusts himself off and suddenly hijacks her Mustang. Part of the hubbub is probably for him.
James isn’t about to waste any more time with this -- the Mustang skids forwards -- Gabrielle shouts -GABRIELLE Ho! Alright! Hey! No -okayokayokayokay... The car again jerks to a stop. Gabrielle runs over -- opens the front passenger door and gets in. Slams the door. Pulls on her belt. Stares at her hijacker with contempt. JAMES (vaguely annoyed) Good idea. And he punches the pedal down, cruising easily forward --- suddenly, a POLICE CRUISER idles by the alley -- they’re part of the lockdown of the perimeter. The officers inside casually look into the alley -- see the Mustang --- which jerks to a stop. JAMES (CONT'D) Crap. James drops gears -- looks behind and VROOOOOOOOM!! The car punches into reverse -- roars backwards all the way out of the alley --- and alerted to attempted escape, SIRENS swirling -- the Police Cruiser jams into action -- mad reverse and swerves into the alley, peeling after the suspicious vehicle --- The Mustang veers out of the alley backwards -- reversing right into --
EXT. THE BOULEVARD - CONTINUOUS
-- TRAFFIC -- and 180’s -- changes gears and ZOOMS AHEAD.
INT. RED MUSTANG - MOVING - NIGHT
James at the wheel -- nerves steeled, knows what he’s doing. Gabrielle looking over her shoulder at the rear to see -The COP CRUISERS about to have a close encounter of the third kind with the Mustang’s bumper --
INT. POLICE CRUISER - MOVING - CONTINUOUS
COP #1 driving, COP #2 on the horn -COP #2 -- that’s a Red Mustang -- made a breach of the hotel perimeter, now evading fast up on South-Fifth, get some cars up on the slope to block it off -The Cruiser SWERVES --
I/E. MUSTANG/POLICE CRUISERS/DISTRICT STREETS - NIGHT
-- up a hill. The Mustang jackknifes into a side-street -- GUNS like the hot sports vehicle it is and jams up into pedestrian country Two CRUISERS split up -- one speeding straight up the hill -the other hanging like crazy on the Mustang, turning down the side-street -GABRIELLE AND JAMES - having a bumpy ride as the Mustang weaves over a trolley railway -- into oncoming traffic -THE SECOND CRUISER - tight on the Mustang -- suddenly loses it when -JAMES - jerks the wheel and -THE MUSTANG - swerves off right -- into an alley -THE SECOND CRUISER - can’t swerve in time to dodge the already braking FIAT hurtling towards it -- Copper punches the brakes and jerks the wheel extreme right, skidding and --- sideways right into the front of the car -- SMASSH!! -Another braking car TAIL-GATES the unfortunate FIAT, and others bust bumpers with the two cars like dominoes -- CRASH - CRASH -- CRASH -- SMASH -- just a huge creaking, steaming, heaving, BLARING wreck on the district streets --
I/E. ALLEY/MUSTANG - NIGHT
-- and The Mustang skids along the alley, rubber SQUEALING --
GABRIELLE Mister, where’d you learn to drive, Nascar? JAMES Here’s an idea, shut up! GABRIELLE -- don’t tell me to shut up, this is my goddamned car --! (she’s lurching hard as -) -- the Mustang --
I/E. DISTRICT STREETS/MUSTANG - NIGHT
-- throttles out of the Alley -- blind-siding traffic and swerves onto the road, driving hard -- but --- behind the Mustang -- a cop on a MOTORCYCLE outta nowhere takes chase --- JAMES furiously scanning the road ahead -- hearing the MOTORCYCLE’S SIRENS -- the street is long and there might be a chance to run a red light down there -- wait, coming up, a car garage -- but he’d have to swerve into oncoming traffic, and there’s a BUS coming -Fuckit -- he tries it anyway -- floors hard and jerks the wheel --
INT. GARAGE - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS
-- The Mustang 90 degrees and SKIDS through the garage exit -blasts past the futile yellow wood gate -- shards of wood flying in it’s wake -The GOBSMACKED GARAGE BOOTH OPERATOR stares through his booth at the departing Mustang, then the mangled mess of his gate, when --- Copper screeches in on his bike -- double your trouble. TIGHT ON - the Mustang veering through the garage, SQUEALING AND SCREECHING --- and the BIKER COP doing the same, only he can maneuver a little better --
The Mustang drifts through a curve -- just as a BMW is cruising down the curve -- the BMW BRAKES -- as the Mustang slivers past it -- snapping a MIRROR -- peeling off up to the next level --- The Motorbike races up the same curve -- Coppers reflexes have been killer, but he didn’t anticipate that stalled BMW and -- WHACK -- the bike crashes into the BMW -- Copper goes FLYING over the windshield -- ALARMS BWOOPING -- lands in a leather heap on the concrete. The startled BMW driver hops out to investigate...
INT. GARAGE/THIRD LEVEL - NIGHT
SQUEALING heralds the arrival of the Mustang from the second level. The Mustang brakes and lurches to a stop. Gabrielle blinks. Dazed. Frazzled. That did not just happen. Not wasting any time -- James unclips his belt and opens the door -- hobbling a bee-line for a nearby elevator. Gabrielle takes this chance -- slides into the driver seat -shuts the door -JAMES (whirling around --) Hey KID! GABRIELLE (muttering) -- I’m taking my car and getting the hell out of here -JAMES I’m sorry, are you stupid? You forgot we were just in a chase -the damn cops after us -- get out of the car! GABRIELLE No! I’m not leaving this car, I bought it with my own money and I -James storms back to the car -- starts to open the door, but Gabrielle quickly locks it. Glares at him through the broken window. JAMES (giving up) Fine. Suit yourself. (MORE)
19. JAMES (CONT'D) Screw yourself. (walking off; an FYI) That car will be on every watch list for nine counties. They’ll be looking for the plates, looking for the kid driving it...but hey...it’s your car. Your life. Fine. At the elevator -- James jams the DOWN button. Waits. Gabrielle -- both hands on the wheel -- her mind racing. Could just take off right now -- but he’s right, how far would she get? DING. James goes into the elevator. Turns. Looking at her as the door’s about to close -GABRIELLE Wait! He stops the door. One last hesitation -- and then Gabrielle gets out of the car. She turns for a moment, puts a hand on the roof of her precious Mustang -- makes a final memory and jogs to the elevator. Gabrielle enters the lift. James moves his foot from the door. JAMES (as the elevator door’s closing --) Good idea. END ACT ONE
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