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/ Independence Day

AN AMERICAN FLAG

Oddly still, posted in gray dusty sand.

WIDEN TO REVEAL:

EXT. LUNAR SURFACE - THE MOON

One small step for man, one large pile of garbage for moon- kind. Untouched for years, the flag stands next to the castoff remains of the Apollo mission. Slowly the discarded equipment begins to RATTLE and SHAKE.

AN ENORMOUS SHADOW creeps towards us blotting out the horizon, a loud RUMBLE is heard.

Suddenly we are covered in DARKNESS as the SHADOW engulfs us. Only the lonely image of our EARTH hangs in the air, until a huge silhouetted OBJECT suddenly blocks our view.

CUT TO:

EXT. NEW MEXICO - RADIO TELESCOPE VALLEY - NIGHT

A field of large satellite dishes scan the skies.

Super up: S.E.T.I. INSTITUTE, NEW MEXICO

INT. INSTITUTE - MONITORING CONTROL CENTER - SAME

A lone TECHNICIAN works on his putting skills. Behind him, wall to wall technical equipment quietly sifts through data. A RED LIGHT begins to flash.

The Technician turns and slowly walks towards the source. One by one a series of LIGHTS turn on. The Technician (TECH ONE) grabs a pair of headphones. His eyes widen.

INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS - SAME

Sleepily a SUPERVISOR picks up the phone.

SUPERVISOR If this isn't an insanely beautiful woman, I'm hanging up.

INT. CONTROL CENTER - SAME

TECH ONE Shut up and listen.

He holds the phone up to a speaker, increases the volume. A strange FLUCTUATING TONE plays out in sequential patterns.

INT. SLEEPING QUARTERS - SAME

HEARING it, the Supervisor BOLTS UP, banging his head on the bunk above him.

INT. CONTROL CENTER - MOMENTS LATER

A pajama party on acid. Five other technicians, in various states of undress, hover anxiously around the main console. The Supervisor enters, tying his robe.

SUPERVISOR God, I hope it's not just another damned Russian spy job.

TECH THREE (overlapping) Negative. Computer affirms the signal is unidentified.

TECH TWO (hanging up the phone) The boy from Air Res Traffic say the skies are clear. No terrestrial launches.

TECH ONE It's the real thing. A radio signal from another world.

The room becomes quiet as they realize that after years of searching the heavens, they might have finally found something.

SUPERVISOR Let's not jump the gun. Run a trajectory source computation.

Tech Three slides over to another computer.

SUPERVISOR (cont'd) I want to know exactly where it's coming from.

TECH THREE This can't be right.

Tech Three just stares at his screen in disbelief.

SUPERVISOR What's wrong?

TECH THREE Calculated distance from source is at three hundred and eight five thousand kilometers. (turning to Supervisor) It's coming from the moon.

The Supervisor reaches over and turns up the volume on the speaker. As they listen to the strange TONES we...

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY - PENTAGON - SAME

Elevator doors OPENS revealing four star GENERAL GREY, Commander in Chief U.S. Space Command. Understandably nervous, the COMMANDING OFFICER escorts him down the hall.

GENERAL GREY Who else knows about this?

COMMANDING OFFICER S.E.T.I. in New Mexico identified a signal but they're even more confused than we are.

The General shoots him a disapproving glance.

COMMANDING OFFICER Excuse me, Sir.

He slides his security card through the lock and the doors fly open.

INT. SPACE COMMAND - THE PENTAGON - CONTINUOUS

Banks of computers, Technicians and assistants working feverishly through the night. The Officers cross the room.

Super: SPACE COMMAND - THE PENTAGON

COMMANDING OFFICER Satellite reception has been impaired but we were able to get these.

They arrive at a glass table. The surrounding officers snap to attention as a SECOND OFFICER quickly brings over a large transparency. We SEE a grainy image of a large vague OBJECT.

GENERAL GREY Looks like a big turd.

The two Officers exchange a glance.

COMMANDING OFFICER We estimate it has a diameter of over five hundred and fifty kilometers and a mass roughly one fourth the size of our moon.

The General turns to the Second Officer, concerned.

GENERAL GREY A meteor?

SECOND OFFICER No Sir. Definitely not.

GENERAL GREY How do you know?

SECOND OFFICER Well, er... it's slowing down.

GENERAL GREY It's doing what?

SECOND OFFICER It's... slowing down, Sir.

The General walks over to a phone, picks it up.

GENERAL GREY Get me the Secretary of Defense. (pause) Then wake him up.

CUT TO:

INT. WHITMORE'S BEDROOM - FRE-DAWN

Laying in bed THOMAS J. WHITMORE reads a stack of papers. The phone RINGS.

WOMAN'S VOICE (filtering through phone) Hi. It's me.

The warm look on Whitmore's face tells us everything about how he feels about the woman on the other end.

WHITMORE Hi honey. What time is it there?

INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

Dressed in a night gown, MRS. MARGARET WHITMORE unpacks her briefing papers lays them out on a small desk as she talks. Through the window we SEE Los Angeles at night.

MARGARET Two in the morning. I know I didn't wake you?

WHITMORE (filtered) As a matter of fact you did.

MARGARET (smiles) Liar.

INT. WHITMORE BEDROOM - SAME

Whitmore sits up.

WHITMORE I have a confession to make. There's a beautiful young blonde sleeping next to me.

Sleeping next to him, his six-year-old daughter, PATRICIA.

MARGARET (filtered) You didn't let her stay up watching T.V. all night?

WHITMORE Of course not.

The little girl stirs awake, looks up.

PATRICIA Mommy?

WHITMORE You're flying back right after the luncheon? Okay, here she is.

Whitmore hands her the phone and gets out of bed. Habitably he turns on the television.

T.V. - NEWS PROGRAM

Several "Pundits" sit around a MaLaughlin-type news discussion program. The picture quality is snowy, static ridden.

PUNDIT #1 ... the inexperience in public office was inevitably going to catch up with him. He's scarified his ideals for "politics as usual."

Whitmore ties on his robe as he adjusts the picture quality.

PUNDIT #2 ...I said this during the campaign. Leadership as a pilot in the Gulf War has no relationship to political leadership. It's a different animal...

Suddenly the channel changes. A cartoon comes on. Whitmore turns to his daughter who holds he remote.

PATRICIA (into phone) Daddy let me watch Letterman.

WHITMORE Traitor.

Whitmore exits the room.

INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

As Whitmore steps out of his bedroom, a Security guard snaps to attention. Someone hidden behind a newspaper, sits on a bench.

SECURITY GUARD Good morning, Mr. President.

WHITMORE Good morning, George.

The paper is dropped revealing CONSTANCE HALBROOK, mid- thirties, aggressive, sharp, the President's communications director. Quickly she gathers her things and follows Whitmore.

INT. BREAKFAST TABLE - CONTINUOUS

Two servants are preparing breakfast as Whitmore and Constance enter. Whitmore sits down, grabs a coffee.

WHITMORE You're up early this morning, Connie.

She tosses him one of the many newspapers in her hands.

CONSTANCE They're not attacking your policies, they're attacking your age. (another paper; reading) "...addressing Congress, Whitmore seems less like the President and more like the orphan child Oliver asking, 'please sir, I'd like some more.'"

WHITMORE Clever.

CONSTANCE Age was never an issue when you stuck to your gun. You were thought of as young and idealistic. But the message has gotten lost. There's too much compromise, too much politics.

WHITMORE (pointedly) Isn't it amazing how fast everyone can turn against you.

Realizing she may be pushing him too far, she hands him another paper.

CONSTANCE Well, the Orange County Register has named you one of the ten sexiest men of the year.

WHITMORE You see, substance at last.

An AIDE appears at the doorway.

CONSTANCE Excuse me, Mr. President. It's the Secretary of Defense.

Whitmore goes to the phone, picks it up.

WHITMORE Yes? Say that again?

CUT TO:

AN OLD RUSSIAN SATELLITE

Drifting away from us the old Russian satellite becomes smaller and smaller. We PAN with it as we SEE it's on a collision course with something huge.

Suddenly the satellite EXPLODES on IMPACT with the much larger object that dwarfs the puny piece of hardware. As huge as it is, we get the feeling we've only seen a portion of the total.

NEW YORK SKYLINE - EARLY MORNING

A slow crane down from the Manhattan skyline, revealing...

EXT. CLIFFSIDE PARK - NEW JERSEY - MORNING

With the New York skyline across the Hudson behind them, old men sit in this small park playing chess. Unlike the others, DAVID MARTIN is in his early thirties, sixties hippie meets nineties yuppie nerd.

He concentrates intensely on his next move. MOISHE. sixties. smokes a cigar impatiently.

MOISHE What are you waiting? My social security will expire, you'll still be sitting there.

DAVID I'm thinking.

MOISHE So think already.

David makes a move. Instantly Moishe counters his move. David furls his brow in thought.

MOISHE Again he's thinking.

Moishe reaches into a paper bag and retrieves a coffee in a Styrofoam cup.

DAVID You have any idea how long it takes for those things to decompose?

MOISHE You don't move soon. I'll begin to decompose.

Just as David finally makes his move, Moishe counters again. David shoots him a look and stares back down to the board.

MOISHE (cont'd) David, I've been meaning to talk with you. It's nice you've been spending so much time with me, but...

DAVID Dad, don't start.

MOISHE I'm only saying, it's been what? Four years, you still haven't signed your divorce papers.

DAVID Three years.

MOISHE Three, four. Move on. It's not healthy.

Moishe takes a big puff on the cigar and coughs.

DAVID Look who's talking healthy.

Suddenly David's beeper goes off.

MOISHE How many times is that now? You trying to get fired?

David moves his queen.

DAVID Checkmate. See you tomorrow, Dad.

He gives his father a quick kiss and hurries away.

MOISHE That's not checkmate I can still... Oh. (yelling after him) You could let an old man win once in a while, it wouldn't kill you.

CUT TO:

EXT. NEW YORK CITY STREETS - MINUTES LATER

David pedals his bike through mid-town Manhattan. He arrives at COMPACT CABLE SYSTEMS.

INT. COMPACT CABLE OFFICES - LATER

His bike hoisted on his shoulder, David squeezes through the revolving doors. MARTY GILBERT, short, nervous and harried, comes rushing over.

MARTY What the hell is the point of having a beeper if you don't turn it on?

DAVID It was turned on. I was ignoring you. What's the big emergency?

MARTY Started this morning. Every channel is making like it's nineteen fifty. Snow, static, all kinds of distortions. No one knows what the hell is going on.

David deposits his bike in the kitchenette as Marty tosses his coke bottle in the trash. David retrieves it.

DAVID Damn it, Marty. There's a reason we have bins labeled "recycle."

Finding more bottles in the trash, David turns to Marty accusingly.

DAVID What the hell is this?

MARTY So sue me.

Before David can say anything, Marty ushers him out of the room.

INT. TRANSMISSION FEED - CONTINUOUS

Technicians are working feverishly. Clearly every monitor is experiencing varying degrees of signal disruption. David moves over to the main console.

DAVID Did you try to switch to transponder channels?

MARTY Please, would I be this panicked if it was that simple?

David examines the readouts, puzzled.

DAVID Let's retrofit the dish to another satellite.

MARTY We've tried. It's not working. It's almost as though they weren't even there.

David looks up, puzzled.

DAVID That's impossible.

CUT TO:

A TELEVISION SET

Bad reception. A hand SMOCKS the side of it. No use.

WIDEN TO REVEAL:

INT. MOBILE HOME - DAY

Eleven-year-old TROY BRENNON tries to fix the television. His older brother MIGUEL, seventeen, cooks breakfast.

MIGUEL Stop it.

TROY It's all fuzzy.

MIGUEL You're gonna break it. Just leave it alone. Here, take your medicine.

Miguel sits a small bottle of medicine and a spoon down in front of Troy. Troy pushes the bottle away.

TROY I don't need it.

MIGUEL (pushing it back) Just take it, dick head. (turning to his sister) Alicia! Make sure he takes his medicine.

His sister, ALICIA, fourteen, hormones kicking in, testing boundaries, listens to her walkman while putting on too much makeup. Miguel throws a dish towel to get her as Troy hits the television again.

EXT. TRAILER PARK - SAME - MORNING

A beat up pick-up truck comes down a dirt road and skids to a halt on the gravel next to the Brennon Mobile Home at this small shabby countryside trailer park. An angry FARMER jumps out, slamming his door.

INT. BRENNON MOBILE HOME - SAME

Alicia opens the front door and smiles flirtatiously at the angry farmers, LUCAS, who marches over. Miguel edges her out of the doorway, wanting to handle this himself.

MIGUEL Morning, Lucas.

Lucas holds a bowl full of rotted vegetables.

LUCAS You like these! I've got a whole goddamned crop full!

Unceremoniously, he dumps them at Miguel's feet.

LUCAS (cont'd) Where the hell is your father? You know what time it is?

MIGUEL He had to re-fuel. There musta been a problem.

LUCAS We both know what the problem is. He's a damned nut case, is what he is. I musta been out of my mind.

Troy SMACKS the television again.

MIGUEL Troy, stop it! I swear to God!

LUCAS Miguel, if he's not in the air in twenty minutes, that's it. I'm getting someone else.

Lucas storms away. Again, Troy whacks at the television.

MIGUEL Stop it, Troy! I swear to God!

Determined, Troy HITS the television again. This time the picture goes out completely.

CUT TO:

EXT. SPACE - THE ORBIT - SAME

Rolling over us, the immense under-belly of this enormous craft obliterates our view. A loud SCREECH. Suddenly the bottom begins to SEGMENT.

Dozens of large sections begins to DISENGAGE, extracting themselves, twisting away from the larger bilge.

The separated SEGMENTS themselves are enormous. Slowly they twist downwards on a collision course to the blue planet below... Earth.

CUT TO:

INT. WHITE HOUSE - BASEMENT CORRIDORS - DAY

Under a barrage of questions from her own staff, Constance hurries down the corridor.

AIDE #1 CNN is running a story that we're covering up some kind of nuclear testing experiments...

CONSTANCE Tell them to run with it if they want to embarrass themselves.

AIDE #2 NASA has been up my butt all morning. They want to know our position.

CONSTANCE Our official position is we don't have an official position.

AIDE #3 Connie, what the hell is going on?

Constance escapes into the elevator, turns around.

CONSTANCE (smiles confidently) Come on, people. Would I keep you guys out of the loop?

AIDE #1 In a second!

AIDE #2 Absolutely.

Before she can retort, the elevator doors close.

INT. OVAL OFFICE - WIDE SHOT - SAME

The President, General Grey, the SECRETARY OF DEFENSE and White House Chief of Staff ALBERT NIMZIKI are gathered around the couch.

SEC. OF DEFENSE At the moment, our satellites are somewhat unreliable. Isn't it possible that thing may just pass us by?

NIMZIKI What if it doesn't "pass us by?" Let's retarget some ICBMs to blow it out of the sky...

GENERAL GREY Forgive me, but with the little information we do have, the only thing that would accomplish is turn one dangerous falling object into many.

Just then the door opens and Constance enters.

PRESIDENT WHITMORE What's the damage?

CONSTANCE The press is making up their own stories at this point.

NIMZIKI (to General Grey) Get on the horn with Atlantic Command. Let's upgrade the situation to DEFCON 3.

GENERAL GREY That's not your call to make, Mr. Nimziki.

CONSTANCE Isn't that a little premature?

NIMZIKI I don't think so.

SEC OF DEFENSE We're two days away from the fourth of July. We have over fifty percent of our armed forces on weekend leave, not to mention the troops and commanders we have in town for the Fourth of July parade. We call them back now, we're sending up a major red flag.

They go quiet as Commanding Officer from Space Command dashes into the room.

COMMANDING OFFICER Our intelligence tells us the object has settled into a stationary orbit.

NIMZIKI Well that's good news.

COMMANDING OFFICER Not really.

He lays out the diagrams and photos on the table. Everyone gathers around.

COMMANDING OFFICER Part of it has broken off into nearly three dozen other pieces.

PRESIDENT WHITMORE Pieces?

COMMANDING OFFICER Smaller than the whole, yet over fifteen miles in width themselves.

NIMZIKI Where are they heading?

COMMANDING OFFICER They should be entering our atmosphere within the next twenty- five minutes.

The room is silenced. All eyes turn to the President who says nothing. Nimziki leans in close to him.

NIMZIKI Like it or not, we're at DEFCON 3. Recall the troops and put them on yellow alert.

CUT TO:

YELLOW LIGHTS FLASHING ON

as an ALARM quickly BUZZES. David leans into frame and opens the door to the microwave. We WIDEN to reveal...

INT. DAVID'S CUBICLE - COMPACT CABLE - DAY

David retrieves his home-make cup-a-soup. We SEE this cubicle clearly has the David touch; ecology posters, plants, tons of computers and electronic gizmos.

MARTY Please, tell me you're getting something.

Marty enters, looking over David's shoulder as he eats.

DAVID There's good news and bad news.

MARTY What's the bad news?

DAVID You're in meal penalty for disturbing my lunch.

MARTY And the good news is you won't charge me.

DAVID No. The good news is I found the problem and it's not our equipment. There's some weird signal embedded within the satellite feed.

MARTY That's the good news?

David slides over to another computer and turns on an intricate computation program.

DAVID Yes, because the analog signal has a definite sequential digital patterns embedded within it. When I find the exact binary sequence and I apply a phase reversed signal to that calculated spectra analyzer I built you last Christmas, we should be able to block out the overlay completely...

MARTY ...and we'll be the only guys in town with a clear picture? That's my man.

CUT TO:

EXT. CALIFORNIA FARMLANDS, IMPERIAL VALLEY - DAY

Racing over back roads behind a long open field, Miguel rides his beat-up motor bike, searching. Looking up he SEES something in the air.

MIGUEL'S POV - AN OLD BI-WING AIRPLANE

converted into a crop-duster, BUZZES overhead. Spraying insecticide wildly, the plane zigzags over the field.

MIGUEL (yelling) Russell! God damn it, Russell!

Looking down from the cockpit, RUSSELL BRENNON waves stupidly. Shaggy blonde hair and two days' growth, Russell is the image of a fifty-one-year-old little boy.

Miguel follows him below, screaming at him. Russell, flying recklessly, looks down at Miguel not understanding. By the time he looks back he SEES...

A LINE OF TREES

at the edge of the field, nearly on top of him. In a trick move, Russell turns the plane on ITS SIDE, and SLICES through the narrow gap between the trees.

Miguel screams with delight at his prowess. Miguel looks pissed.

ANGLE - OTHER SIDE OF TREES - MOMENTS LATER

Miguel races over, skidding to a halt next to the landed Bi- with plane.

MIGUEL Just what the hell do you think you're doing?

RUSSELL (climbing down) I'm bringing home the bacon. Earning my keep. And doing a fine job if I do say so myself.

MIGUEL It's the wrong field, you idiot! Lucas' farm is on the other side of town.

RUSSELL You sure?

MIGUEL Damn it, he was doing you a favor. You know how hard it is to find someone who doesn't think you're completely crazy? (MORE) What are we supposed to do now? Huh? Where are we supposed to go now?

Pissed, Miguel peels away, kicking gravel back at Russell. Pathetically, he reaches into his jacket and pulls out a bottle of Jack Daniels. He takes a healthy swig.

CUT TO:

EXT. IRAQI DESERT - REFUGEE CAMP - NIGHT

A tent city. Ubiquitous overcrowding and poverty. Several hundred refugees settle down for the night.

Super: Northern Desert, Iraq

A BEDOUIN stokes a small fire besides his family's tent. Suddenly a group of shouting SCREAMING TRIBES PEOPLE come rushing past him.

The Bedouin watches them with confusion. Overcome with curiosity he goes against the tide of people, up the hillside.

As the Bedouin reaches the top of the hillside, his mouth falls open, aghast as he SEES...

THE SKIES - THE PHENOMENON

Creeping from across the horizon above the rocky mountain terrain, a wide FIREBALL high in the sky, flaring and exploding. A terrifying sight.

CUT TO:

EXT. USS EISENHOWER - AIR CARRIER - ESTABLISHING - DAWN

Super: Battle Carrier, USS Eisenhower - Persian Gulf

INT. USS EISENHOWER - RADAR ROOM - DAY

A loud KLAXON ALARM is ringing out. The FIRST LIEUTENANT comes rushing in.

LIEUTENANT Ensign, status?

SAILOR #1 We have a total radar black out over a thirteen kilometer area.

The Lieutenant moves over to the main radar screen. The entire upper portion of the screen is BLANK. And the blank area is MOVING.

LIEUTENANT Have a complete diagnostic run...

SAILOR #1 Excuse me sir, radar may be malfunctioning but infrared is off the map!

He diverts the Lieutenant's attention to another screen; A BRIGHT SEA OF RED light bleeds off the map.

LIEUTENANT Get the CINC Atlantic Command on the line.

CUT TO:

INT. PENTAGON - COMMANDING CENTER - DAY

A technical OFFICER rips off a data sheet as it shoots out of the printer and rushes over to the Commanding Officer.

OFFICER Sir, we now have visual range with incoming over Iraqi airspace.

COMMANDING OFFICER A second sighting?

OFFICER Yes Sir, this just came in from the Eisenhower.

The Commanding Officer grabs a phone laying off the hook.

COMMANDING OFFICER Correction, we have two confirmed visual contacts. One over Iraq, one over the Pacific.

INT. OVAL OFFICE - DAY

The room is packed. The President and his chief advisors are there along with the Joint Chief of Staff. Representatives from the Atlantic Command and U.S. Space Command have formed small clusters around telephones.

GENERAL GREY Where in the Pacific? (turning to the President) They've spotted one off the California coast line.

Surrounded by the Secret Service, the President is speechless. Constance Halbrook comes rushing into the room and whispers to the President.

PRESIDENT Put it on.

Constance moves over to a cabinet and turns on the T.V. (the reception is still fuzzy, picture "rolling"). The CNN News broadcast shows the phenomenon over Novosibirsk, Russia. There is mass hysteria behind the reporter.

NEWSCASTER (filtered) ...sightings of this atmospheric phenomenon have been reported here in Novosibirsk, Russia and other parts of Siberia. Moving too slowly to be a comet or meteor, astronomers are baffled as to its origin...

Everyone is locked onto the television, mesmerized.

NEWSCASTERS (cont'd) (filtered) ...Widespread panic has gripped the countryside as thousands have taken to the streets and clogged the highways. Hundreds have been injured...

General Grey confers with the Atlantic command CINC. He nods, turns to the President and whispers.

GENERAL GREY Mr. President, we have an AWAC on the west coast. E.T.A. with contact point, three minutes.

INT. AWAC AIRPLANE - DAY

Wall to wall computer, radar and intelligence gathering equipment. Technicians frantically try to adjust as the system goes hay wire.

RADAR TECH #1 (reporting into radio) It's no use. Side radar doesn't see a thing!

RADAR TECH #2 (reporting) That's correct. We're IMC blind, sir.

We TRACK across them over to the pilots and into the cockpit. Cloudy skies. The PILOT squints out the window as he speaks.

PILOT Negative. We still have zero visibility.

EXT. AWAC AIRPLANE - CLOUDY SKIES - DAY

ZOOMING overhead as we SEE the AWAC sailing through a thick cloudy sky.

Super: Pacific Coastline, California

The AWAC disappears from view into the clouds.

INT. OVAL OFFICE - SAME

The President and his top advisors are gathered around a speaker phone listening to the pilot of the AWAC.

PILOT (filtered) Instrumentation is malfunctioning. We can't get any kind of reading on what's in front of us.

INT. AWAC - SAME

The Pilot squints as he tries to see through the clouds.

PILOT Wait a minute, it may be clearing.

Suddenly the clouds part before us and we're face to face with a WALL OF FLAMES.

INT. AWAC - SAME

The speaker phone cracks and distorts.

PILOT (filtered) Jesus God! The sky's on fire!

EXT. AWAC AND PHENOMENON - SAME

The AWAC attempts to climb sharply as we get our first real look at the atmospheric phenomenon. Majestic and monstrous. The AWAC is not going to be able to make it.

Quickly it is ENGULFED in the flames.

INT. OVAL OFFICE - SAME

The phone line goes dead. General Grey spins to an AIDE.

GENERAL GREY Get them back on line.

AIDE #1 (on other phone) Line's gone, sir.

The ATLANTIC COMMAND CINC, turns from a different phone.

AAC CINC Two more have been spotted over the Atlantic. One is moving toward New York, the other is headed this direction.

CHIEF OF STAFF How much time do we have?

AAC CINC Less than ten minutes.

NIMZIKI (turning to aid) Organize a military escort to Crystal Mountain.

GENERAL GREY (to President) Sir, I strongly recommend we move you to a secured location immediately.

... The President hesitates, he turns to Constance.

PRESIDENT Can we expect the same kid of panic here as in Russia?

CONSTANCE More than likely.

NIMZIKI Mr. President, you can discuss this on the way.

Torn, the President grapples with a decision. Finally...

PRESIDENT I'm not leaving.

NIMZIKI We must maintain a working government in a time of crisis...

PRESIDENT I want the Vice President, Secretary of Defense, the whole Cabinet and the Joint Chiefs taken to a secured location. I'm staying here. I am not going to add to a public hysteria that could cost lives.

NIMZIKI But, Mr. President...

PRESIDENT So far these things have not become hostile. For the moment let's assume they won't. (to Constance) Connie, let's issue statements advising people not to panic, to stay home and take cover.

Constance issues commands to her staff as they quickly exit along with most people in the room. General Grey goes over to the President.

GENERAL GREY With your permission, Mr. President, I'd like to remain my your side.

PRESIDENT I had a feeling you would.

GENERAL GREY Sir, what happens if they do become hostile?

PRESIDENT Then God help us.

CUT TO:

INT. DAVID'S CUBICLE - DAY

On the T.V. behind David, news footage of the phenomenon in Russia plays silently. Oblivious, David works his computers.

FEMALE CO-WORKER (stopping in doorway) David, are you watching this?

David waves her away, deep in concentration. Suddenly a computer BEEPS. Excitedly David prints out his finding. He grabs it and exits.

INT. COMPACT CABLE OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Engrossed in his printout, David walks past his co-workers who are glued to the distorted picture on the television, watching the phenomenon.

INT. MARTY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Marty stares at his television watching General Grey addressing the press. David enters, staring at his reading.

DAVID I've got a lock on the signal pattern. We can filter it out.

MARTY (distracted) Huh? Oh, good, hood.

DAVID Strange thing is, if my calculations are right it'll be gone in approximately seven hours anyway. The signal reduces itself every time it recycles. Eventually it will disappear. Are you listening?

MARTY (still glued to T.V.) Can you believe this?

DAVID What re you talking about?

MARTY Haven't you been watching?

David turns for the first time to the television and sees the phenomenon. Constance comes on addressing the press.

CONSTANCE (filtered) ...so far the phenomenon has not caused any damage. In all likelihood it won't...

INT. WHITE HOUSE PRESS ROOM - SAME

More reporters rush in from the back quickly setting up as this hastily called press conference continues.

CONSTANCE ...everyone should remain calm. Take cover where you can but the important thing is not to panic.

INT. BRENNON MOBILE HOME - SAME

Miguel, Alicia and Troy watch the static riddled T.V.

CONSTANCE (filtered) ...we have a fix on three different occurrences about to appear over American cities. One is headed toward Los Angeles...

INT. MARTY'S OFFICE - SAME

CONSTANCE (filtered) ...the other two are on our Eastern seaboard headed towards New York and Washington, D.C...

Suddenly hectic CO-WORKER #2 appear at the door.

CO-WORKER #2 Jamie says this building has an old bomb shelter. We're heading down there now.

MARTY (dry; to David) Feel no shame in hiding.

INT. HALLWAY -- CONTINUOUS

A crowd of people head down the hall for the shelter while others stay glued to the set. There is a mix of fascination and panic. David watches the commotion, dumb struck.

MARTY Oh shit, I better call my wife.

INT. AIRPORT DINER - LATE MORNING

Depressed Russell nurses a beer at the counter. Three FLIGHT MECHANICS walk in, having a good laugh. One of them spots Russell and moves over to him.

MECHANIC #1 Hey, Russ, heard you had a little trouble this morning. Dusted the wrong field?

The Mechanics laugh. Russell tries to ignore them.

MECHANIC #2 I know, you're probably still a little confused from your hostage experience.

MECHANIC #2 Hostage experience? Something happen to you, Russ?

MECHANIC #1 He ain't never told you!? Seems years back our boy here had been kidnapped by aliens. Did all kinds of experiments on him and such. Tell him, Russ.

RUSSELL Not today, guys. Okay.

Russell gets up and heads for the door.

MECHANIC #1 You just gotta get a couple more beers in him, he'll tell you all about it. Crazy stuff. Won't you, Russ?

EXT. SMALL AIRPORT - CONTINUOUS

The Mechanic follows Russell outside, his buddies in tow.

MECHANIC #1 Hey, Russ, when they took you up in their space ship, they do any sexual things to you?

The mechanics crack up laughing. Suddenly the things around them begin to RUMBLE. The SHADOW engulfs them, silencing the Mechanics.

Panicked they turn and RUN AWAY. Russell just looks up at the sky, grabs his Jack Daniels and takes another swig.

EXT. TRAILER PARK - SAME

Dogs bark and people stumble out of their trailers as an enormous SHADOW creeps over them.

INT. BRENNON MOBILE HOME - CONTINUOUS

The windows grow DARK and the room begins to RUMBLE. Miguel rushes to the door, ushering his siblings out.

EXT. TRAILER PARK - CONTINUOUS

Alicia and Troy step out the door, stopping dead in their tracks. Miguel follows them only to look up and SEE...

THE PHENOMENON - DARK CLOUDS

The flames are burning out, replaced by huge plumes of dark smoke billowing around the edges of the phenomena. Only small traces of extinguishing flames illuminate it.

INT. COMPACT CABLE - STAIRWELL - SAME

David pushes past the people making their way down, fighting against the tide. Another CO-WORKER (#3) stops halfway.

CO-WORKER #3 Aren't you coming, David?

DAVID No way, I've got to see this.

EXT. WASHINGTON MONUMENT - SAME

Frightened tourists run for cover as the colossal SHADOW approaches. Reflected in the water below we SEE the fiery apparition transfigure into the dark foreboding clouds.

THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL - WASHINGTON, D.C. - SAME

The SHADOW writhes up the detailed statue of Lincoln, devouring him completely until we are left in total darkness.

INT. WHITE HOUSE - HALLWAYS - SAME

People are being evacuated from their offices. Patricia, the President's daughter, breaks away from her nanny.

INT. WHITE HOUSE - OVAL OFFICE - SAME

The President talks on the phone. Constance waits nearby.

PRESIDENT WHITMORE (into phone) Of course, Russia and the United States are in this together. Yes, Mr. President, you have my word. Yes, Das Vedanya.

The President hangs up.

CONSTANCE What is their position?

PRESIDENT WHITMORE I think he was drunk.

Patricia bursts through the door and runs into her father's arms, terrified. A SECRET SERVICE man appears.

SECRET SERVICE GUY Mr. President, we have to go.

Abruptly, the room DARKENS as it begins to RUMBLE.

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - SAME

The long, dark SHADOW moves across the entire White House, engulfing it in darkness.

EXT. HUDSON RIVER, NEW YORK - STATUE OF LIBERTY - SAME

In the distance we SEE the mutated phenomenon's dark gray clouds nearing Miss. Liberty. As it approaches we SEE the New York skyline begin to darken.

EXT. BLACK TOP BASKET BALL COURT, NEW YORK - SAME

Kids playing basket ball. A young BOY stops playing, staring skyward. One by one, they all look upwards, stunned as a long dark SHADOW creeps over them.

With a loud CRASH, several New York Cabs SLAM into one another in the street. Two more cars crash into them. A pile up ensues.

EXT. WALL STREET - SECOND LATER

Foot traffic stops as the long SHADOW crawls over the entire area.

EXT. ROOFTOP - COMPACT CABLE - SAME

Large satellite dishes beset a doorway to the roof which flies open. David steps out just as a long, dark SHADOW covers over him, sending the city into darkness. David looks up to SEE...

SKYLINE AND ALIEN CRAFT

Protruding through the dark clouds we get a glimpse of the underbelly of a colossal ALIEN CRAFT, its outer veneer of smoke and clouds beginning to fade away.

Below we see PANIC, cabs SLAMMING into one another, people staring, people screaming. No one knows how to react.

David runs to the other side of the rooftop, overlooking Central Park, to get a better look.

DAVID'S POV - CENTRAL PARK - SAME

The entire park is plunged into darkness as the craft above blots out of the sun. Amazing as it may seem, the hovering craft BLANKETS THE ENTIRE PARK and BEYOND. We still have NOT seen an entire craft.

DAVID (realizing) My God. The signal.

EXT. LOS ANGELES BASIN - WIDE ANGLE - LATER MORNING

A panoramic view of the Los Angeles basin. Slowly filling the screen, we SEE a portion of the enormous space craft as it creeps towards the city, obliterating our view.

EXT. HILLSIDE RESIDENTIAL AREA - SAME

A station wagon, filled with kids and a harried HOUSEWIFE, comes to a stop. The passenger door opens and a young six- year-old boy, DYLAN steps out.

HOUSEWIFE Dylan, tell your mom you can stay overnight again Thursday.

Suddenly a car SAILS over a nearby hill in front of them, hitting the ground with a BANG. Two more cars follows, air bound. As the Housewife turns she SEES...

SPACE SHIP - SAME

Rising over the mountain we SEE the Space Ship as it nears the city, blocking out the sunshine.

Panicked, the Housewife hits the gas and peels out, leaving a confused Dylan staring skyward.

INT. BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

Two people sleep as Dylan runs into the room.

DYLAN Mommy, look at!

He rushes away. The SHADOW moves past the window, darkening the room. His mother, JASMINE DUBROW, stirs.

JASMINE (re: darkness) It's too early, baby.

She turns back over. Suddenly the room briefly RUMBLES.

MAN Earthquake?

JASMINE Not even a four pointer. Go back to sleep.

Shrugging, the man does.

HOLLYWOOD SIGN (FORMERLY SC. 72) - SAME

In Los Angeles. The SHADOW slowly covers the sign.

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - WINDOW - SAME

The President and his daughter cautiously approach the window staring in awe at the amazing sight above them. Several others approach from behind.

Cautiously some people begin to walk outside, staring up at the leviathan, mouths agape.

INT. OVAL OFFICE - SAME

Slowly staff members approach, gazing out the window. Constance steps up behind the President.

CONSTANCE What do we do now?

PRESIDENT WHITMORE Address the nation. There are a lot of very frightened people out there right now.

CONSTANCE Yeah. I'm one of them.

EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. - ALIEN CRAFT - SAME

All of Washington is under the shadow of this gargantuan alien craft. A stunning tableau.

CUT TO:

INT. JASMINE'S DEBROW'S BEDROOM - SAME

The man sleeping next to Jasmine's beagle BOOMER drops Steven's tennis shoes on top of him, waking him.

JASMINE He's trying to impress you.

STEVE He's doing a good job.

He pats the dog on the head and takes the shoes. Steven gets up and makes his way to the bathroom.

INT. BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS

As Steve takes a pee, he SEES out the window a family packing up their car, others standing around staring at something in the distance. A HELICOPTER flies overhead.

STEVE Neighbors are moving. I think they're tired of earthquakes.

He finished and flushes.

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Steve enters the living room. The television is playing a news broadcast.

NEWSCASTER ...with little damage reported to the southland area. People are advised not to panic...

STEVE Hon, something's on the table 'bout the quake.

Jasmine sits up in bed, yelling out to Steve.

JASMINE Dylan out there?

Steve turns, looking for Dylan when the doggie door pops open and Dylan crawls through.

STEVE What have you been up to, Sport?

DYLAN (holding his gun) Shooting aliens.

Steve musses up the boy's hair, smiling.

JASMINE (entering) Coffee?

Steve mumbles an affirmative as he exits.

EXT. JASMINE'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

Steve picks up the morning paper and opens it. He doesn't notice the DOZENS of neighbors quickly packing up and rushing to get away as he reads the paper oblivious.

JASMINE (O.S.) You want milk with your coffee?

Jasmine appears behind him, her view, too, obscured by the open newspaper. Suddenly another HELICOPTER room overhead. Annoyed, Steve lowers his paper.

STEVE AND JASMINE'S POV

As the paper is lowered we SEE the helicopter SWOOP down. As it flies away we SEE...

THE ALIEN CRAFT

Covering all of Los Angeles. This is the first time we see the entire craft. It is stupendous. Steve's jaw hits the floor. The milk goes CRASHING as Jasmine SCREAMS.

CUT TO:

INT. STAIRWELL - DAY

Running for all he's worth, David sprints down the stairs.

INT. COMPACT CABLE OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Dashing off the stairs, David stops seeing that the room is now completely empty. The wall of monitors play for no one. David walks up to one, adjusting the volume.

T.V. - CNN BROADCAST - (DISTORTED BROADCAST SIGNAL)

A space ship logo spins next to the words VISITORS: CONTACT OR CRISIS. Wolf Blitzer comes on screen live from the Pentagon.

WOLF BLITZER Pentagon officials are reporting more ships have just arrived over the capitals of India, England and Germany.

As he speaks we get quick glimpses of the other ships.

MARTY (O.S.) I know, babycakes. Calm down.

David spins around at the sound of the voice but the room is still empty. David leans down and looks under a desk where he finds Marty still on the phone with his wife.

DAVID Tell her to get the kids and leave town.

MARTY What happened?

DAVID (yells) Just do it!

Marty realizes David is dead serious.

MARTY Babycakes, pack the kids up and take them to your mother's. Don't ask. Go.

Mary hangs up, crawls out from under the table.

MARTY (cont'd) Okay, why did I just send my family to Atlanta?

DAVID Remember I told you that the signal hidden within our satellite signal is slowly recycling down to extinction.

MARTY Not really...

DAVID That signal. It's a countdown.

MARTY (confused) A countdown to what?

DAVID Think. It's like in chess. First you strategically position your pieces. Then, when the timing's right. You strike.

David motions to the television.

BLITZER ...there are additional unconfirmed sightings over Japan, the Mediterranean, and China...

DAVID They are positioning themselves all over the world and using this one signal to synchronize their efforts. In approximately six hours the signal will disappear and the countdown will be over.

MARTY Then what?

DAVID Checkmate.

Marty takes a beat to digest. Then, grabbing the phone....

MARTY I gotta call my brother, my bookie, my lawyer... fuck my lawyer...

David also grabs a phone. Suddenly the bank of monitors synchronize into one enormous image across the entire video wall; the President addressing the nation.

INT. PRESS ROOM, WHITE HOUSE - SAME

The President stands at the podium giving his address.

PRESIDENT WHITMORE My fellow Americans, a historic and unprecedented event has taken place. The question as to whether or not we are alone in the universe has been answered...

ANGLE - SIDE ENTRANCE TO PRESS ROOM

As Constance watches the President, she unconsciously mouths the words of his speech, after all, she did write them. A PRESS AIDE tugs on her sleeve. She tries to wave her off.

PRESS AIDE He says he's your husband.

Her expression drops. She takes the phone from her.

CONSTANCE What do you want?

DAVID (filtered) You have to leave the White House.

CONSTANCE This is not the time or the place to have this same old discussion.

INT. COMPACT CABLE OFFICES - SAME

DAVID You don't understand. You have to leave Washington.

INT. SIDE OFFICE, WHITE HOUSE - DAY

Impatient, Constance tries to get off the phone.

CONSTANCE In case you haven't noticed, we're in a little bit of a crisis here.

DAVID (filtered) I've worked with embedded loading. They're communicating with a hidden signal. They're going to attack...

CONSTANCE You're being paranoid.

DAVID (filtered) It's not paranoia. The embedding is very subtle. It's probably been overlooked...

Constance hangs up. Her face betrays mixed emotions.

INT. COMPACT CABLE OFFICES - SAME

David stares at the phone, pissed. Something on T.V. catches his attention. Through the snowy image he SEES...

PRESIDENT WHITMORE (filtered) ...My staff and I are remaining here at the White House while we attempt to establish communication...

Hanging up the phone, David sprints for the exit.

PRESIDENT WHITMORE (cont'd) ...so remain calm. If you are compelled to leave these cities, please do so in a safe and orderly fashion.

SMASH CUT TO:

CABS SLAMMING TOGETHER - NEW YORK CITY STREETS

The rush to get away creeps slowly as cars jam the streets in total grid-lock. David pedals his bike furiously through traffic.

EXT. GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE - NEW YORK - DAY

The mass exodus has reached the bridge. Total congestion. David fights his way through.

EXT. CLIFFSIDE, NEW JERSEY - LATER

The New York skyline behind him across the Hudson, David jumps off his bike, and races towards a row of tract houses.

EXT. MOISHE'S TRACT HOUSE - SECONDS LATER

David BANGS on the door. It flies open. Moishe is holding a hunting rifle, pointing it at David.

DAVID Pops!

MOISHE The television said they've started with the looting already Vultures.

DAVID You still got the Olds?

MOISHE You want to borrow the car? You don't have a license.

DAVID That's okay. You're driving.

CUT TO:

INT. JASMINE'S HOUSE - DAY

Steve, wearing his Marine flight officer uniform, shoves the last of his things into his duffel bag. We notice there are small figurines of dolphins everywhere. Jasmine hovers nervously behind him.

JASMINE You can't go. Call them back.

STEVE Baby, you know how it is. I have to report to El Toro right away.

JASMINE You said you were on leave for the Fourth.

STEVE They cancelled it. Why are you acting like this?

Jasmine grabs the blinds and yanks them away. We SEE the alien craft through the window.

JASMINE Why? That's why. That thing scares the piss out of me.

EXT. DEBROW HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

Dylan sits behind the wheel pretending to drive. Steve grabs him, pulling him out. He reaches into his duffel, grabs a small brown paper bag.

STEVE Here. I got these for you. Be careful with them.

Dylan opens the bag; fireworks. Jasmine walks over.

DYLAN Cool.

Steve tosses his gear into the back, opens his door.

JASMINE Wait. I have to tell you something.

STEVE What?

JASMINE (loses her nerve) Be careful.

STEVE Look, after your shift tonight, why don't you grab Dylan and come stay with me on base.

JASMINE Really? You don't mind?

STEVE (smiling) Naw. I'll just tell my other girlfriends they can't come over tonight.

Pissed, she hits him. He loves it.

JASMINE You know, you're not as charming as you think you are.

STEVE Yes, I am.

JASMINE Dick-weed!

STEVE Butt-munch.

They kiss. Steve hops into his car and peels out. Jasmine takes the bag from Dylan.

JASMINE I'll take these.

DYLAN Mommmmmm...

CUT TO:

EXT. JERSEY - HIGHWAY - LATER THAT DAY

A perfectly preserved '68 Olds drives cautiously down the highway. Around him we see other cars packed to the gills as they make their escape from New York.

INT. OLDS - SAME

Not the most confident driver, Moishe holds the steering wheel close to his chest.

MOISHE It's the White House, for crying out loud. You can't just drive up and ring the bell.

DAVID Can't this thing go any faster?

MOISHE You think they don't know what you know? Believe me, they know. She works for the President. They know everything.

DAVID They don't know this.

MOISHE And you're going to educate them? Tell me something, you're so smart how come you spent eight years at M.I.T. to become a cable repairman?

DAVID Dad...

MOISHE All I'm saying is they've got people who handle these things, David. They want HBO, they'll call you.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL LOUNGE, LOS ANGELES - LATE AFTERNOON

Mrs. Whitmore is at a house phone. Behind her we see several news crews waiting for interviews.

PRESIDENT WHITMORE (filtered through phone) I want you out of there.

MARGARET You're staying there to keep people calm. It's the right thing to do. I'm not going to let them criticize you for it.

INT. WHITMORE BEDROOM - WHITE HOUSE - SAME

The President sits on his bed, his daughter lays next to him, watching T.V. The signal distortion is getting worse.

PRESIDENT WHITMORE Okay, fine but the second your interviews are done, I have a helicopter ready to take you to Nellis Air Force...

MARGARET (filtered) How's the munchkin?

PRESIDENT WHITMORE She's glued to the T.V., just like the rest of the world. I love you too. Here she is...

He hands Patty the phone as General Grey and Nimziki appear in the doorway. The President walks over to them.

GENERAL GREY More ships keep arriving, fifteen in total so far.

NIMZIKI This is crazy. We're loosing our first strike capabilities!

GENERAL GREY We're trying to communicate with them on all frequencies but we're getting nowhere. Atlantic Command is working on a type of visual communication.

PRESIDENT WHITMORE What the hell are they up to?

CUT TO:

EXT. TRAILER PARK - NIGHT

A long crowded highway of people trying to escape from Los Angeles can be seen in the distance. The huge space craft hovering behind them.

Miguel is on the roof of the trailer, adjusting the T.V. antenna trying to get a picture. Suddenly the image clears and we SEE a group of people in a crowded hallway.

REPORTER (filtered) ...a local crop duster was arrested today attempting to land at Edwards Air Force Base...

On the T.V. we SEE Russell being escorted to a police car. Mortified, Miguel can't believe what he's seeing.

RUSSELL They've got to do something. I was abducted by space aliens ten years ago. They did all kinds of experiments on me. They've been studying us for years, learning our weakness. We've go to do something before they kill us all!

TROY (O.S.)

Just as Troy starts to climb up, Miguel changes the channel to Mrs. Whitmore. Troy sits down next to Miguel.

MRS. WHITMORE (filtered) ...we need to remain calm. As more people decide to leave the cities, safety is key...

MIGUEL Troy, you remember Uncle Hector, from Tucson?

TROY He's got that SEGA Saturn CD, 64 bit, right?

MIGUEL Yeah. What would you think if we went there to live for a while?

TROY That'd be cool!

Miguel thinks for a second, makes a decision.

MIGUEL Pack up, we're going.

Miguel jumps down from the roof. Troy climbs down the ladder.

TROY (yelling after him) What about Dad?

ALICIA AND OLDER BOY

Kissing. It's getting hot. Alicia laughs, pushes him away.

OLDER BOY This could be our last night on Earth. You don't want to die a virgin, do you?

ALICIA What makes you think I'm a virgin?

The Older Boy is taken off guard. Before he can answer the tarp they were hiding under is ripped away. Miguel stands there.

MIGUEL Come on, we're going.

ALICIA I'm not going anywhere...

Miguel grabs her by the wrist and pulls her away.

EXT. FREEWAY - OUTSIDE WASHINGTON - NIGHT

We see the long highway leading to Washington, the space ship hovering above it. One side of the freeway is packed solid, the other completely empty, save for one car...

INT. MOISHE'S OLDS - NIGHT

Moishe looks to the other side of the freeway, jam packed. On his side, they are the only car for miles.

MOISHE The whole world is trying to get out of Washington and we're the only schmucks trying to get in.

As Moishe drives, David distracts him as he unpacks his backpack unloading his laptop. He grabs a CD.

MOISHE (cont'd) What the hell is that?

DAVID This, pops, is every phone book in America.

MOISHE You think an important person like Constance is going to be listed?

DAVID She always keeps her portable phone listed, for emergencies. Sometimes it's just her first initial, sometime her nickname...

David starts to look it up. Suddenly...

DOZENS OF CARS HEADING STRAIGHT FOR THEM

In the attempt to get out, hundreds of cars have been re- directed by the military to use the opposite side of the highway.

MOISHE Oh my God!

Moishe SWERVES violently to avoid collision, barely missing the oncoming traffic. Dodging right to left, Moishe hangs on for dear life.

A Military Office, assisting in diverting the cars turns just in time to see the Olds whiz by.

David and Moishe are bounded around the inside of the car as Moishe tries to veer through traffic.

Suddenly A TRUCK blocks off their only escape route.

Moishe turns HARD and drives up onto the right shoulder.

OVERHEAD ANGLE - OLDS AND TRAFFIC

The Olds is the only car in headed that direction. Using the shoulder, swerving to miss barricades, they drives off an exit ramp.

DAVID Nice driving, pops!

Dangerously close to a heart attack, Moishe is, for once, at a loss for words. Over their adrenaline pumped faces...

MALE VOICE (V.O.) ...put your hands together for Sabrina!

CUT TO:

INT. STRIP CLUB - LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

A bikini-clad Sabrina twirls gracefully on the stage. As she comes to a stop we reveal Sabrina is actually Jasmine. She looks out into the audience and her expression DROPS.

REVERSE ANGLE - JASMINE'S POV - EMPTY CLUB

Five strippers and eight customers. All crowded near the television watching the news.

ANGLE T.V. - ROOFTOP - LOS ANGELES

Helicopter footage of people gathered on the rooftops of downtown Los Angeles holding up drawings of space aliens.

NEWSCASTERS (filtered) ...from the "it could only happen in California" file, hundreds of UFO fanatics have gathered on the rooftops of downtown Los Angeles, welcoming the new arrivals...

INT. DRESSING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Jasmine storms into the dressing room. Wiping off her makeup, she sits down next to TIFFANY who watches the same report on a small b&w.

JASMINE I can't believe I even came in tonight. What was I thinking?

TIFFANY (re: T.V.) Isn't this cool? And you thought I was nuts. Oh, look, I brought mine with me.

Tiffany holds up a drawing of a space alien.

JASMINE You're not thinking of joining those idiots?

TIFFANY I'm going over there soon as I'm off. Wanna come?

Jasmine turns to Tiffany, dead serious.

JASMINE Tiffany, I don't want you to go up there. Promise me you won't. (Tiffany pouts) Promise!

TIFFANY I promise.

JASMINE Okay. I'm gone. I'm outta town for a while.

Her boss MARIO enters and walks over to his private office in back. He opens the door and finds Dylan playing with his dog, Boomer.

MARIO What the hell's your kid doing here?

Jasmine rushes past picking up Dylan and carrying him away as she heads for the exit. Boomer follows.

JASMINE You try to find a sitter today.

MARIO Where do you think you're going? You leave, you're fired.

JASMINE (out the door) Nice working with you, Mario.

CUT TO:

EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. - NIGHT

The streets are nearly deserted. Millions of small lights on the underbelly of the craft cast strange reflections on the streets below. The Olds drives on its way towards the Capitol building.

INT. OLDS - CONTINUOUS

David types frustratedly on his laptop.

MOISHE Not listed, huh?

DAVID I just haven't found it yet. I tried C. Halbrook, Connie Halbrook, Spunky Halbrook...

MOISHE Spunky?

DAVID College nickname.

MOISHE You try Martin?

DAVID She didn't take my name when we were married.

Moishe shrugs. David gives it a shot. Finds it. The machine BEEPS.

MOISHE (sarcastic) So what do I know?

CUT TO:

INT. LOCKER ROOM - EL TORO MARINE CORPS STATION - NIGHT

A crowded locker room. Steve enters. MALE VOICE (O.S.) Where the hell've you been?

STEVE Ah, were you guys waiting for me?

Several Marines throws towels at Steve as he makes his way to his locker. His best friend, JIMMY, sits next to him.

JIMMY Can you believe it? This is serious shit, Stevie. They've recalled everyone!

As Steve sits he SEES some envelops stuck into the side of his locker.

STEVE Well, the mail's still working.

He flips through the envelops and FREEZES when he sees one with the NASA insignia on it. Jimmy snatches it away from him.

JIMMY Junk mail. You don't want this.

Steve quickly snatches it back, right it open and reads. From the disappointment on his face we can tell it's bad news. Realizing, Jimmy puts a hand on Steve's shoulder.

JIMMY I don't believe it. They make you learn how to fly everything from an Apache to a Harrier and still they turn you down? What else do they want you to learn?

STEVE How to kiss ass.

Steve crumples at the letter and tosses it. Angrily he opens his locker. Pasted on the locker door we see photos of Jasmine next to the photos of the space shuttle, Apollo Missions, and a NASA insignia bumper sticker.

As Steve stuffs his jacket into the locker, something falls out. Before Steve can grab it, Jimmy snatches it up first.

JIMMY (embarrassed) Jasmine has this thing for dolphins. I had them make it...

STEVE I thought you said you were doing to break it off.

Steve snatches it back, embarrassed.

JIMMY (cont'd) Steve, listen to me, you're never gonna get to fly the space shuttle if you marry a stripper.

Steve knows he's right. He's torn.

CUT TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER - NIGHT

The Olds stops near the White House. From here we can SEE tanks and armed patrols. A small group of protesters have gathered, upset about the military hardware. Signs: "Don't provoke" "Violence begets Violence."

INT. ODS - CONTINUOUS

David adjusts a small portable satellite, connecting it to his phon and laptop computer.

MOISHE So, you want to ring the bell or should I?

David flips open the phone, dials the number on the screen.

DAVID Perfect, she's using it.

MOISHE It's perfect the line is busy?

DAVID Yes. I can use he signal to triangulate her exact position in the White House.

MOISHE You can do that?

Shooting his father a look.

DAVID (sarcastic) All cable repairmen can.

INT. WHITE HOUSE - HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER

Constance is just finishing a call on her cellular phone.

CONSTANCE ...Sally, take my cat with when you leave. No I'm staying here at the White House. Take care.

The moment she hangs up, it RINGS. Surprised, she answers.

CONSTANCE What?

DAVID (filtered) Connie, don't hang up.

CONSTANCE David? How'd you get this number?

DAVID Walk to the window. Right in front of you.

Constance looks up to the large glass windows. She walks over to it, looking out.

CONSTANCE What am I looking for?

CONSTANCE'S POV - STREET - OLDS - DAVID

Between two of the tanks outside, Constance can SEE David standing on top of the Olds across the street. Moishe steps out, waves. Constance is stunned.

CONSTANCE (to herself) How does he do that?

CUT TO:

INT. BRENNON TRAILER - NIGHT

Sulking, Alicia sits in back with he walkman on. Troy sleeps while Miguel drives. Suddenly Miguel his the brakes, as something comes SAILING DOWN FROM THE SKY.

We realize it's the B-WING PLANE landing on the stretch of roadway directly in front of them.

EXT. ROADWAY - CONTINUOUS

The plane lands, skids into a turn. Russell jumps out, walks over to the trailer. We can tell he's drunk again.

MIGUEL They let you out?

RUSSELL Just what the hell do you think you're doing?

Miguel moves to meet Russell away from the trailer, not wanting the others to hear.

MIGUEL We're leaving, don't try and stop us.

RUSSELL You're not going anywhere. You hear me? I'm still your father.

Miguel explodes, this has been building up for some time.

MIGUEL No, you're not! You're just the man who married my mother. You're nothing to me!

Russell is momentarily silent, stunned. Recovering...

RUSSELL Troy's still my son no matter how you feel about me.

MIGUEL For once in your life think about what's best for Troy. Who has to beg for money to buy him medicine when you screw up? Who?

Suddenly we hear glass CRASHING. Both men spin to find Troy standing behind them.

TROY Stop it! I'm not a baby! I don't need your stupid medicine. I don't need anyone to take care of me!

Miguel leans down to see the broken MEDICINE BOTTLE on the floor. Miguel rushes over to him, furious.

MIGUEL You know what this stuff costs? Do you want to get sick again!? Do you!?

Frustrated, Miguel shoves Troy aside and heads back into the trailer. Wobbly from the drinking, Russell stands there pathetically, watching.

EXT. ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE - NIGHT

A large group of press rush over toward FOUR APACHE HELICOPTERS, each refitted with a large LIGHT BOARDS, as they slowly lift off the ground. Cameras flash, reporters yell questions to the Officers assigned to keep them at bay.

Several news organizations do stand up remotes. We TRACK past them to the CNN crew.

CNN REPORTER What you see behind me are four Apache helicopters...

INT. BRIEFING ROOM - WHITE HOUSE - SAME

On the television plays the CNN broadcast. The reception is intermittently disrupted.

CNN REPORTER (filtered through T.V.) ...each has been refitted with what Pentagon officially hope will be our first step in communicating with the alien craft...

We WIDEN to reveal a large contingent of military personnel along with the President's chief advisors gathered around several monitors, (the center monitors are momentarily blank).

Suddenly everyone snaps to attention as the President enters.

PRESIDENT Where are we?

GENERAL GRAY They're in the air.

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE OF THE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR - SAME

Moishe inspects a photo of Constance with the President, impressed he nods with approval.

MOISHE (to himself) Very nice.

Constance is looking at David's laptop displaying the breakdown of the alien signal.

CONSTANCE And when is the countdown supposed to expire?

DAVID (checking) Fifty six minutes, forty five seconds.

Constance runs her fingers through her hair, exasperated. Moishe turns, listens.

CONSTANCE What do you want me to do?

DAVID I want you to leave with us. Right now.

CONSTANCE I can't leave. We have to tell this to the President.

DAVID He's not going to listen to me.

Surprised at his son, Moishe steps forward.

MOISHE Sure he'll listen. Why wouldn't he?

DAVID Because last time I saw him I punched him in the face.

MOISHE You punched the President in the face?

DAVID He wasn't the President then.

CONSTANCE David thought I was having an affair, which I wasn't.

MOISHE Punched the President? Oh my god.

APACHE HELICOPTERS

ZOOM by overhead. In the distance we see they are headed for the enormous alien craft.

INT. HELICOPTER - PILOT - CONTINUOUS

The PILOT adjusts his radio.

PILOT Echo one, we are closing in.

EXT. SKIES - CONTINUOUS

The choppers alter their formation, aligning themselves alongside one another. As the helicopters near the craft, we see how tiny they appear against the gargantuan space ship.

INT. HALLWAY - ELEVATORS - WHITE HOUSE - MINUTES LATER

The elevator doors open and Moishe steps out, overwhelmed and impressed. Constance leads them down the hall. Moishe turns to David, whispers.

MOISHE If I had known I was going to meet the President, I'd a worn a tie. Look at me, I look like a schlemiel.

INT. OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

The Office is empty as the trio walks in. Moishe can't believe he's in there. He straightens himself up, combs his hair.

CONSTANCE Wait here. I'll be right back.

David sets up his laptop.

MOISHE Not on his desk.

INT. BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT

The middle monitors are now on. They show the night vision P.O.V. of the helicopters as they approach. On the side monitors we SEE the various news broadcast of this event.

NEWSCASTER (filtered) ...the helicopters are making their final approach...

On the middle monitor, through the night vision camera on the lead helicopter we SEE the side of the craft as the helicopters near. Everyone in the room watches, tense.

Constance enters and kneels down next to the President, whispering in his ear. The President gets up and follows Constance. Chief of Staff Nimziki objects.

NIMZIKI You're leaving now?

The President silences him with a look. As they exit.

CONSTANCE I don't know how you put up with him.

PRESIDENT He used to run the NASA. He knows where all the bones are buried. Comes in handy.

CONSTANCE I'll bet.

INT. OVAL OFFICE - SAME

The door flies open and Constance and the President enter. The moment President Whitmore sees David, he freezes.

PRESIDENT What the hell's he doing here?

Moishe, bursting, steps forward.

MOISHE Moishe Martinsburg, Mr. President.

CONSTANCE My ex-husband works in satellite communications.

PRESIDENT I don't have time for this...

With a BANG, David suddenly KNOCKS everything off the President's desk and starts to draw on the ink blotter.

DAVID It's about "Line o sight," Mr. President...

David draws a circle representing Earth and a smaller circle just away from it. The President reluctantly nears.

DAVID ...If you wanted t coordinate with ships all over the world, you couldn't send one signal to every place at the same time. That's called line of sight...

Drawing a line from the ship of either side of the Earth, we SEE that you could not send a signal to the other side.

DAVID (cont'd) ...you'd need to relay your signal using satellites...

David draws small satellites surrounding Earth.

DAVID (cont'd) ...to reach each ship. I have found a signal hidden inside our own satellite network.

Suddenly an aide, ALEX, appears in the doorway.

ALEX Excuse me, Mr. President. They're starting.

The President turns to the monitor in his office. We SEE the helicopters turning on the light boards affixed to the front of their cockpits. He turns back to David.

DAVID Mr. President, they are using our own satellites against us and the clock is ticking.

EXT. HELICOPTERS - SAME - NIGHT

The large light panels TURN ON, multi-colored lights slowly begins to flash in a repeating sequential patterns.

REVERE ANGLE - HELICOPTERS AND SPACE CRAFT

The helicopters are puny little specs next to this Goliath. The light boards continues to FLASH but there is no reaction from the ship.

INT. BRIEFING ROOM - SECONDS LATER

Everyone is glued to the monitors as the President storms in.

PRESIDENT General Grey, co-ordinate with Atlantic Command. Tell them they have twenty five minutes to get as many people out of the cities as they can.

GENERAL GREY But Mr. President...

PRESIDENT And get those helicopters away from the ship. Call them back immediately.

General Grey obeys, turning to an assistant who quickly grabs a phone. Nimziki steps up to the President.

NIMZIKI What the hell's going on?

PRESIDENT We're leaving.

An AIDE motions to the monitors.

AIDE They're responding.

The room goes silent, everyone turns to the monitors.

MONITOR - NEWS PROGRAM & NIGHT VISION VIDEO

On all screens we SEE the space ship as a long thin line of WHITE LIGHT suddenly emits from the side of the craft, illuminating the four Apache Helicopters.

EXT. APACHE HELICOPTERS - SAME

The light boards are overpowered by the bright light coming from the space craft. Suddenly with a loud SCREECHING NOISE, the white light spills out as the huge OPENING unfolds at the side of the craft.

The four helicopters have to flight to hold their positions, as something powerful emits from the schism in the ship.

Then like a gigantic bug-zapper, the four pesky little Apache Helicopters are BLOWN OUT OF THE SKY, one by one. They leave no time to retreat.

INT. HOTEL SUITE - NIGHT

Mrs. Whitmore packs her bag, as the horrifying image of the destruction of the helicopter replays on the T.V.

SECRET SERVICEMAN Mrs. Whitmore? The President has ordered the evacuation. We have to leave, now.

She slams her valise SHUT and quickly exits.

POLICE HELICOPTER

SOARS over us, headed directly for downtown Los Angeles.

EXT. ROOFTOP - SAME

The UFO true believers are still there, holding up their signs. Making her way through several of them we see Tiffany. She looks up to the spacecraft above.

TIFFANY (awed) It's beautiful.

She digs her drawing of an alien out of her purse as she excitedly rushes up to the others. She holds it up to the sky, proudly.

POLICE HELICOPTER

From out of nowhere the helicopter LIFTS up over the side of the building, shining its spotlight down the believers below.

POLICE (P.A.) ...we are evacuating the city. Please leave the building at once.

The sign holders begin to "boo" the police, ignoring them.

EXT. CITY STREET - PASADENA THROUGHWAY - SAME

The freeway is packed on both sides, every car headed out of town. There is no opposing traffic.

INT. JASMINE'S CAR - SAME

Dylan holds Boomers as Jasmine drives. The news plays over her car radio.

RADIO VOICE ...authorities have called for a complete evacuation of Los Angeles County. People are advised to avoid the highways whenever possible.

JASMINE Now he tells me.

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - SAME

The President stops on his way to the Presidential helicopter as an aide brings his daughter outside. The President ushers her into the helicopter. He turns back and see a military guard holding back Moishe and David.

PRESIDENT They're okay. Let them on!

INT. HELICOPTER - CONTINUOUS

The President steps inside, turns to General Grey.

PRESIDENT Is my wife in the air?

GENERAL GREY She should be shortly.

David flips open his laptop which reads: 09:07. 09:96...

EXT. WHITE HOUSE LAWN - HELICOPTER - CONTINUOUS

The Presidential helicopter lifts off as several other helicopters wait behind, people filing into them.

EXT. ROOFTOPS - LOS ANGELES - SAME

The Police helicopter is still flashing their lights at the UFO believers who refuse to budge. Suddenly the entire rooftop is BATHED IN WHITE LIGHT. They all grow silent staring up at the craft.

Above them another SCHISM has opened at the bottom of the craft, the white light spilling out.

As though the heavens had opened, the UFO believers lift their arms, waiting to be taken.

BELIEVERS Take me! No, take me! Take me!

Slowly, this beam of light from the base of the ship INTENSIFIES directly on the top of this building.

EXT. HELIPORT - SAME

Standing on this rooftop heliport directly across from the UFO believers, the First Lady watches them, concerned.

SECRET SERVICEMAN (yelling over helicopter) Mrs. Whitmore!

Reluctantly, the First Lady turns and runs for the helicopter. The door is shut and the helicopter takes off.

EXT. THE CAPITOL BUILDING - SAME

With a ROAR, the Presidential helicopter ZOOMS past, behind it we see an enormous SCHISM opening beneath the space craft.

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - SAME

Alex is helping people get onto the remaining helicopters. Suddenly he is bathed in WHITE LIGHT. He looks up and sees the SCHISM, its WHITE BEAM coming directly down upon the White House.

EXT. EMPIRE STATE BUILDING - SAME

The pinnacle of this landmark is abruptly illuminated in WHITE LIGHT. We PAN UP to the space craft above, the beam intensifying from the SCHISM below the ship.

EXT. ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE - SAME

The Presidential helicopter lands. The President and his group are ushered over to AIR FORCE ONE which stands only hundred yard away.

INT. AIR FORCE ONE - SAME

The door OPENS and the President and his advisors rush in. David flops down into a seat, quickly flips open his laptop which reads: 00:05, 00:04...

EXT. ROOFTOP - LOS ANGELES - SAME

As the light amplifies, the believers chant, louder and louder. Suddenly the white light DISAPPEARS. The believers are stunned. In a brief moment it is replaced with a BLAST.

A DESTRUCTION BEAM BLASTS down onto the rooftop, splintering everything there, Police helicopter included, into a billion tiny particles.

Tiffany is he epicenter, from here the WALL OF DESTRUCTION GROWS outwardly, destroying everything in its path.

EXT. EMPIRE STATE BUILDING - SAME

Just as the BLAST HITS, the historic building is DECIMATED.

EXT. WHITE HOUSE LAWN - SAME

Alex shuts the door on a helicopter. As he steps back the white light VANISHES. He looks up as the BLAST replaces the beam.

ANGLE - WHITE HOUSE

Just as one of the helicopters pass us, the White House SPLINTERS BEFORE OUR EYES.

EXT. ANDREWS - RUNWAY - AIR FORCE ONE - SAME

Air Force One quickly taxis down the runway toward us. Behind them in the distance we can SEE the DESTRUCTIVE beam GROWING OUTWARDLY from the epicenter.

THE CAPITOL BUILDING

The WALL OF DESTRUCTION reaches the Capitol Building, fragmenting into a trillion particles.

THE PENTAGON

Washed under the WALL OF DESTRUCTION, the Pentagon, too, is blown to smithereens.

INT. AIR FORCE ONE - SAME

Thick with tension. Everyone is white-knuckled, anxious for take off as they taxi quicky down the runway.

>>>

/ Independence Day.
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