EXT. MOUNTAIN RANGE - HELICOPTER SHOT - DAY
An unparalleled set of sheer mountains -- part of the Colorado
Rockies. The peaks rise a challenging half mile and more out
of the valley -- wind-whipped snow mists over the mountains
like a low fog. The tranquility is broken as a helicopter
BLASTS into view, fighting the wind as it heads for the center
of it all.
Our CREDITS fly us past and through this magnificent range.
There are sky-piercing peaks that slope up to a narrow, high
pinnacle -- and others that are steel, straight-up approaches
to large plateaus. One of the mountains has a crystal lake on
top -- with a waterfall that drains from it and exits from the
middle of a mountain wall. Nearby, an abandoned cable ladder
is bolted into the same wall, leading to the top.
BACK IN THE HELICOPTER
We can see a man sitting in its doorway, looking out --
INT/EXT HELICOPTER - BINOCULAR POV
The glasses scan systematically, slowly -- to us, it looks
like nothing more than a field of gray and white.
EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - LONG SHOT
The helicopter now circles this tallest mountain -- "The
Tower", separated from a lower but equally formidable peak by
a chasm of two hundred feet -- that drops 3,500 feet below.
INSIDE HELICOPTER - FRANK AND MAGGIE
Spotter FRANK NEWELL (50s) scans the mountain wall. MAGGIE
DEIGHAN (30s) expertly pilots the helicopter through the storm
winds. Both wear orange jackets identifying themselves as
members of the Rocky Mountain Park Rescue Team.
Wait a minute -- there's Hal.
And his date.
BINOCULAR POV - A LEDGE
that's part of the smaller peak. HAL TUCKER (30s) and his
"date", SUSAN COLLINS (20s), are decked out in climbing gear.
Hal's aplomb suggests he's a veteran climber -- Susan's
worried look shows she isn't. Hal and Susan huddle together,
both cold, but okay. Hal has a makeshift splint wrapped
around his lower leg, and a slow burning flare in one hand.
Frank lowers his glasses -- Maggie struggles with the wind.
How do they look?
BINOCULAR POV - HAL AND SUSAN
Hal, now aware of the copter, looks towards it, smiling -- and
starts jerking off the flare.
He's signalling "okay."
The POV dips down -- there's somebody climbing below, in an
orange rescue jacket.
Right where he's supposed to be.
CLOSER ON THE CLIMBER
This is GABE WALKER (30s). In spite of the cold and the snow,
he's fearlessly, swiftly scaling the tower without safety
lines, as if he's done it a hundred times. That's because he
has done it a hundred times. This is what Gabe lives for.
ON THE LEDGE
Gabe, almost there, finds a fingertip-width handhold at arm's
length -- grabbing it, he pulls himself up on the ledge with a
move that's just a little tougher than chinning yourself on a
doorjamb. Winded, Gabe slumps down next to the couple, and
tries to light a cigarette. The lighter only sparks.
Excuse me -- I know you're my
salvation, and all -- do you think you
could rescue us before your smoke
Hal pulls out a box of wooden matches and lights one Bogart
style, one-handed with a thumbnail, cupping a hand to shield
it against the wind. Gabe bends down for it -- a familiar
routine. We know in a glance they've been friends for years.
Maybe you could tell me why I am
Basically -- I've fallen down, and I
can't get up...
Rescue One -- have located helpless
climber, please prepare idiot line
for transport, over --
THE HELICOPTER dips down towards the ledge -- no way can it
land there. Frank lowers a rescue wire to
who precariously swings out from the ledge to grab it -- the
wire is just out of reach. Hal grabs the radio.
Rescue One -- please remind me to tell
you about the time I hauled your hero
here down Mt. Huntington on my back,
Hal, if I hear that story one more
time, I'm making you limp down the
entire three thousand feet, over --
Gabe finally grabs the line, secures it to a heavy piton, and
hammers it into the wall.
This guy showing you a good time?
swings over across to the facing mountain -- Maggie lands the
copter, in spite of the winds, on a small plateau. Frank gets
out to secure the wire -- there's now a lifeline spanning the
ON THE LEDGE
Gabe finishes anchoring the line in the rock -- he
extinguishes his cigarette in the snow, and naturally, pockets
the butt. Hal, propped up against the wall, expertly rigs a
seat harness around his legs -- Susan helps him get part of it
around his splint, and Gabe clips it to the line.
Now, remember -- keep your arms and
legs within the vehicle at all
Fuck you --
With that, Hal pulls himself hand-over-hand across the sloping
line -- Hal makes a point of looking down --
HAL'S POV -- THE DROP
is vertigo defined. Thirty five hundred feet straight down.
You could stack the World Trade Center towers on top of each
other and they'd still be shorter than this mountain is high.
lets go of the overhead line and claps his hands to his face
in mock horror -- he quickly whizzes down the last thirty feet
of the line, where Frank catches him and pulls him out. Hal
gets out of the harness, checks every stitch of it, signals
thumbs-up, and sends it back.
Gabe, retrieves the harness on a small attachment line, and
gives Susan a reassuring smile, but she's still, sensibly,
very scared. Gabe recovers the harness, rigs Susan into it,
and meticulously re-checks it.
(sees she's afraid)
Did he tell you about the time he
almost made it up Everest?
He said you gave him a bad oxygen mask
Well, if he's bored you with that
bullshit, then this has to be the best
part of a bad date. Right?
Susan nervously laughs.
(scared but tough)
Gabe starts to push her out on the line, but she grabs his arm
in a panic.
I can't --
Susan starts to tilt her head down -- Gabe gently takes hold
of her chin, turning her view up to face him.
Yes you can.
You can do it. Don't look down. The
whole way across, don't look down.
Look at me. Just keep looking at me --
and you'll be okay.
Susan looks at Gabe -- trying to be confident -- nods.
I have always depended on the kindness
Gabe grins and gently pushes her out. Susan tentatively pulls
herself across -- then develops a rhythm, building speed --
GABE'S POV - SUSAN
inching away in the harness, looking more confident now --
SUSAN'S POV - GABE
signalling "OK" -- "you're doing fine" --
SUSAN - ANOTHER ANGLE
thirty feet out, going fine --
INSERT -- A HARNESS CLIP
holding the strap under Susan's left leg breaks --
GABE'S POV - SUSAN
The harness completely unravels all at once, its strands
shoot through the clips -- what was a seat has become a trap
door in half a second -- as the harness shoots out from under
her, Susan falls but grabs the harness strand --
is helpless, and can only watch as
too scared to breathe, dangles on the remaining strand of what
used to be the harness -- she sways from the wind and the jerk
of her own weight, her grip loosens --
INSERT - THE TOP CLIP
that is supporting all of Susan's weight is being seriously
tested -- a single knot in the harness has caught there, but
it clearly won't last long --
moves back from the ledge.
(loud, in control)
Hold on. I'm coming out to get you.
Gabe gently pulls himself up on the line, crosses his ankles
on it, and clips himself on with a three foot safety line.
Gabe starts smoothly, quickly pulling himself out, but --
is in trouble -- the bobbing of the line from Gabe's weight
and the winds are making her lose her grip even more --
urgently pulls himself along the line faster, trying not to
shake the line. As he gets closer and closer to a terrified
Susan, his eyes lock on hers --
Keep looking at me. Hold on --
Gabe is only ten feet away from --
who stares at Gabe, petrified -- this focus is helping, but
her strength is just about gone --
INSERT - THE CLIP
The knot has worked itself halfway through -- it doesn't make
any difference how tight she holds on to the harness, the
harness itself is letting go --
who knows it and pulls himself the rest of the way, a little
faster, almost bridging the gap --
staring desperately at Gabe, holding on --
INSERT - THE TOP CLIP
that's keeping Susan alive surrenders the knot -- it passes
deliberately lets go of the main line and launches himself
at Susan --
ANGLE ON BOTH
Gabe's three foot safety line pulls taut, testing the limits
of the line above as it yanks him back --
GABE'S POV - SUSAN
is just out of reach -- her hand is still stretched out, her
eyes still locked on
who can only look down, swaying helplessly on the wire as
Susan's SCREAM starts --
ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE
Frank and Maggie look down in horror, but neither look as
anguished as Hal --
LONG SHOT - SUSAN
falling -- falling -- falling -- looking very small against
the vast mountain range --
SUSAN'S POV - FALLING
from this height takes the longest nineteen seconds you can
twists from his safety line, spinning helplessly -- he wants
to, but can't, shut his eyes --
GABE'S POV - THE CHASM
Susan is gone. Her SCREAM, cut short, echoes -- the "safety"
harness spirals down after her like a carefree bird --
SMASH CUT TO:
INT/EXT SMALL AIRLINER - GABE'S POV OUT WINDOW - DAY
As the plane dips to land, Gabe can see a bird circling far
below, over the same mountainous terrain.
INT. SMALL AIRLINER - GABE
sweating, panting, awake. It hasn't been that long since the
accident -- a year, to be exact -- but he looks older. He
looks as if he's watched Susan Collins drop at least one
hundred times. Gabe reels himself in as a STEWARDESS hands him
a glass of water.
Afraid of flying?
Gabe shakes his head.
INT. TERMINAL - DAY
Gabe, with no luggage, is at the small airport's only car
rental counter, doing the paperwork for a RENTAL AGENT.
Any size, any color, any model.
How long will you be needing it?
Just under six hours.
You aren't wasting any time, are you?
Gabe turns and looks at
who is standing off to the side.
I knew you'd be coming by. Today.
Gabe's happy to see her -- but at the same time, he isn't.
She looks too good -- and she brings up quite a mixed bag of
memories. Maggie carves on a smile.
If you're in that much of a hurry, why
don't you ride with me?
INT. RESCUE HELICOPTER - DAY
Maggie pilots the copter, heading out toward the mountain
range. Gabe fiddles with some of the equipment inside. Both
grope for a way to start the conversation.
This is new...
It's a thermal scope -- picks up body
heat of lost hikers --
Gabe flicks it on, looks at the total absence of heat as they
fly over the snow.
Still find the dead ones the old
fashioned way, I guess.
So much for small talk. Gabe is clearly uneasy watching these
mountains go by. Maggie breaks an awkward silence --
You could have said goodbye.
If I did, I'd have to listen to you
tell me one more time that it wasn't
Today -- especially today -- you get
to hear it again. The harness clip
broke. Cold stress -- one in a
million equipment failure. You and
Hal could have checked it from then
till now and it still would have
You did everything right --
-- If I did everything right, Susan
Collins would still be alive.
whizzes on to the Ranger station -- a small building by an old
country road. Not much activity outside of some ROOKIE
CLIMBERS working out on a CLIMBING PRACTICE WALL. Maggie
starts to land the copter, and as she does --
INSIDE THE COPTER
Do you really believe all that? That
it wasn't our fault?
Maggie slows the rotor, her eyes on the controls. Gabe's eyes
are locked on her.
(turns to Gabe)
Yes. Yes, I do.
But she answered a half beat too slow. The helicopter touches
I'm not sure what I wish more, Maggie.
That you meant what you said, just now
-- or that it were really true then.
EXT. RANGER STATION
Hal, wearing Sheriff's garb, storms towards Maggie's side of
the copter as the engine shuts off and the rotor dies.
Maggie, where the hell have you been?
I've got two climbers out --
Gabe gets out of the copter, and Hal sees him for the first
time. Unlike the last time we saw them, neither man is glad to
see the other. Hal turns on Maggie.
Brett and Evan are up there again to
jump off the spur. Their wives called
twice. I want you in the air and I
want them found before the storm
system moves in.
Maggie takes off as Gabe and Hal step away from the copter.
Gabe eyes Hal's uniform and almost -- not quite but almost --
Christ. You're in charge of Rescue
There was a vacancy. Maybe you heard
about it. The last guy lost his nerve
and lit out of town.
Well, you're a better man than I am,
Hal. Nothing rattles you.
The rookie climbers get off the practice wall to watch this
faceoff. Gabe and Hal are one crack away from beating hell out
of each other. Frank heads over to defuse the confrontation.
(steering Gabe away)
Gabe! Long time, son -- why don't you
come meet some of the new guys --
Good idea. Say, Hal?
Why don't you come with me so we can
show these rookies how to death-rig a
That tears it -- Hal rushes Gabe and they pummel each other
until Frank and the others pull them apart, panting and
bleeding. Hal throws off the men holding him back -- but
instead of going at Gabe again, Hal throws Gabe a set of car
Take the Bronco to where you're going.
I've already been. Then go back to
wherever it is you like to hide. And
Hal heads back into the office -- Gabe heads for the Bronco.
EXT. DENVER MINT - HIGH ANGLE - DAY
The Southwest regional center for printing and distributing
currency. Hundreds of troops stand guard over the impressive
U.S. Treasury complex.
INT. TREASURY COMPOUND - A HUGE PRINTING PRESS
is at work -- the ROAR of its parts is deafening as it stamps
out a plate design on huge sheets of paper -- we move in on
which is moved by mechanical arm to a SLICER that razors the
bills apart -- it's moving too fast for us to see the
denomination -- the cut bills are separated by --
FOUR SEPARATION CHUTES
that fire the bills down to a mechanical COUNTER that
serializes, counts, bands and stacks them faster than any
human could -- a HAND reaches to pick up a band --
are something a banker could work a lifetime without seeing,
but are real nonetheless -- $5,000 bills, banded here in
hundreds. The band is put back in the growing stack by
mid-thirties, a tough, imposing Treasury agent -- he regards
the fortune piling up in front of him with only cold,
professional interest. Travers is flanked by a trio of equally
tough TREASURY AGENTS -- he turns to flunky DAVIS (20s). It's
clear who's in charge of protecting the money here, and who's
in charge of counting it.
Tell Wright the San Francisco shipment
(phone already out)
Right away, Mr. Travers.
As Davis dials we move to --
of WALTER WRIGHT (50s), comptroller of currency -- his
demeanor suggests he's in control, and used to keeping it that
Good -- good. I'll be right down.
As Wright gets up from his desk, though, we hear in the outer
You can't go in there --
KURT MATHESON (30s) bursts into the office, trailed by
Wright's flustered SECRETARY.
Matheson. FBI. We need to talk.
PRINTING COMPOUND - THE MONEY
has now been packed into a trio of metal briefcases -- ten
thousand $5,000 bills. Travers shuts the cases in turn, and
locks each with an electronic key card, triggering a FLASHING
RED LIGHT on the locks as he does. A uniformed PILOT shows up
behind Travers as he cuffs the cases to the hands of the three
We'll be fueled and ready in ten
minutes, Mr. Travers.
Be ready in five.
Go ahead and take ten. We'll need the
Travers looks up at Matheson, who has just arrived with
Wright. Travers is instantly furious at the challenge to his
(looking down at it)
Your parents must be proud.
What the fuck is this about?
Small problem with the shipment,
Tell him what you just told me.
Matheson draws out a file and hands it to Travers.
We got word that somebody's been
observing your currency shipments --
this load, the $5,000s -- over the
last three deliveries.
There isn't a hell of a lot anyone can
do but observe.
This is the most protected shipment
we've got -- and the most useless for
a thief. Those bills aren't in
circulation. You think five thousand
dollar bills are easy to pass? Who the
fuck would try?
Matheson hands Travers a folder.
This guy might.
We look over Travers' shoulder at the photos, which are all
blurry, all blown up from different surveillance pictures --
and all of them show ERIC QUALEN.
Who is he?
His name's Eric Qualen. One of the
East German spies who got shut out by
the reunification. The CIA issued an
inter-agency warning about him right
after the wall came down. He's got
nowhere to go and nothing to lose.
He's also got the international
connections to get rid of bills like
these -- and he's probably desperate
enough to try for them. Fifty million
bucks buys a lot of sanctuary.
Could you get to the part where I'm
supposed to care?
(shows him more photos)
We had two agents monitoring him.
These two -- Gleason and Quinones.
Their last report said he was going to
try to take this shipment.
Thanks for the tip. But I've got work
Did I say "last" report? I think I
did. I mean last fucking report.
These guys have vanished.
You have my sympathy, but --
There's a reason we do things this
way, all right? Armored cars can be
hijacked. Trains can be derailed. But
nobody can get to us in flight. The
only time this is on the ground is at
the mint, or on the Presidio runway in
San Francisco. Either way, someone
would have to shoot his way past a
couple of thousand guards.
Matheson still isn't convinced.
If you're worried about an inside job,
forget it. I checked the plane from
top to bottom an hour ago. And these
three are my best against. Even if one
of them did go skydiving, they
wouldn't get far. Each case has an
electronic tracer with a range of one
Travers pulls a tracking device about the size of a watchman
out of his jacket pocket. The small screen shows three red
blips at rest -- matching the three currency cases.
(facing down Matheson)
I haven't lost a bill in eight years.
And I'm not scrubbing this shipment
because you scare easily.
(an easy smile)
Who said anything about stopping the
I've been tracking Qualen for almost a
year. If he pulls something, I want to
be in on the party.
Travers, angry, turns to Wright. Wright clearly doesn't like
this either, but is resigned to it.
This is cleared from the top, Travers.
Matheson will accompany you on the
flight to San Francisco.
Show him every professional courtesy.
Travers turns back to a smiling Matheson, looking like he'd
rather kill him instead, as we --
EXT. MOUNTAIN RANGE - MAGGIE'S HELICOPTER
is being buffeted by storm winds and a light snow -- Maggie
struggles hard with the controls, but --
Visibility is near zero. Maggie keys the radio.
Rescue One to base, over.
Rescue One -- have you sighted them?
Negative, Hal -- storm's already
moving in -- I can't see them, and
winds are too strong to stay up
here -- over --
Rescue One -- abort. They'll be all
right. Brett and Evan are dumb enough
not to log in, but they're smart
enough to have storm gear. Head back
Maybe you can catch Gabe before he
I don't think he's planning a long
(back to business)
Rescue One heading back to base, over
banks a 180 to fly back -- we can see over the horizon that
the storm is moving in fast.
INT. CAVE - DAY
We can hear Maggie's helicopter flying off overhead -- camped
inside the cave are BRETT and EVAN, both 20s, both shivering,
amid their gear -- backpacks, cooking stuff -- and parachutes.
These are Colorado rock jocks -- thrillseekers who'll try
anything if the odds are strong enough they'll die in the
Way to check the weather, Brett.
(shivering yet macho)
Hey. If it were easy, it wouldn't be
EXT. TREASURY JET (DC-9) - DAY
The DC-9 cruises over increasingly mountainous, remote
INT. JET - CLOSE ON TRAVERS
who looks tense -- we MOVE AROUND the cabin and find two more
relaxed Treasury agents are dozing on the opposite side of the
plane, their arms chained to the currency cases. Matheson is
edgy. Another AGENT offers some condescending reassurance.
Just enjoy the view, huh?
(Matheson says nothing)
Relax. I mean, what could happen in
Matheson turns back to his window and looks down --
WINDOW POV - THE GROUND BELOW
is covered with snow -- the jet's shadow moves sleekly and
plainly over it. But after a moment we see -- -- another
jet's shadow on the ground, coming up fast!
INSIDE THE DC-9 - MATHESON
reacts this and shifts his look upward to --
WINDOW POV - ANOTHER PLANE (GULFSTREAM)
is flying a parallel course to the Treasury jet, and is just
one hundred yards away. Close enough to see Eric Qualen's face
in one of the windows.
INSIDE THE PLANE
Matheson stands -- Travers has noticed the plane by now too,
and gets out of his seat as the other agents react.
(to other agents)
Stay put! Don't panic, goddammit!
Travers moves into
where the pilot seems nervous, but oddly, not frightened.
He's coming in too slow.
No -- we're going too fast, and we're
too high up. Push flaps forward twenty
degrees and drop to five thousand
Matheson is out of his seat, pistol drawn. Seems a little puny
under the circumstances.
You got any rifles?
Forward compartment -- left side --
Matheson rushes through a curtain to the area between the
cabin and the cockpit and pulls open a closet door. To his
horror, he finds inside not rifles, but
TWO DEAD BODIES
who we'll recognize as the missing FBI agents from the photos
Matheson showed Travers.
backs up in horror -- and he sees Travers calmly coming out of
the cockpit. Rattled, Matheson pulls his gun on Travers.
Travers looks dumbfounded -- then angry.
What the hell are you doing --
Checked the plane from top to bottom,
huh? You fucker --
(clicks hammer back)
Put your hands behind your head! It's
Travers puts his hands out and walks forward -- slowly,
backing Matheson into the cabin. Not in surrender, but as if
he's calming a nutcase. The other agents see this and don't
know which way to jump.
Calm down -- give the gun to me --
(to other agents)
There's a couple of dead bodies in the
front compartment -- they're FBI
He's losing it --
They now think Matheson is crazy too -- he looks nuts -- the
other agents move behind him. Matheson gets even more frantic
and point his gun at them.
Goddamn it! Don't you see what he's
doing! He's hijacking the fucking
(back to Travers)
Don't make me shoot you!
The other two agents get behind Matheson and rapidly disarm
him. Travers pulls out his gun with a slow, leisurely move.
Don't make me laugh.
Travers FIRES his gun three times, one for each agent's
chest -- the agents are cut down, realizing too late what's
happened. A fourth SHOT knocks Matheson over a seat as if he'd
been kicked. Travers puts his gun away and puts on a radio
headset as he goes to a window.
Move into position.
EXT. QUALEN'S JET - GULFSTREAM
maneuvers over the DC-9 -- and holds steady above it.
EXT. CEMETERY MARKER - COLORADO - DAY
The stone reads "Susan Collins -- 1965 - 1991". It's
surrounded by wreaths -- one of which has an old snapshot of
her attached to it. Mementos sent on the first anniversary of
brushes some of the falling snow away from the marker. He lays
down his flowers and pauses for a moment -- then gets into the
Bronco and drives away.
INT. FORD BRONCO - DAY
Gabe looks out the window at the countryside he used to belong
in. He's wondering if he still does.
EXT. TREASURY JET/QUALEN'S JET - FLYING
Qualen's jet is now flying parallel to, and slightly above,
the Treasury jet. The door in Qualen's jet is open, and we get
our first good look at --
INT/EXT. QUALEN'S JET
-- Qualen, who is also wearing a headset radio and is wired
to a safety line in the jet. He's lowering a thick steel cable
down to the Treasury jet.
Qualen is as deadly as advertised -- 150 mph winds are tearing
at him through the open door, but he is unfazed and
is also wired to a safety line by his own jet's open door.
More -- more -- keep it coming --
THE TWO PLANES
Qualen's jet lowers the cable into the Treasury jet -- it
looks like an Air Force midair refuelling -- difficult and
dangerous. After about thirty feet of line is lowered --
-- takes it in and clips it to a ring at the top of the jet's
Locked on. Move into lateral position.
INSIDE QUALEN'S PLANE
The pilot, KRISTEL, is a woman. Her skill, like her hard
beauty, can be measured in a glance: she's a lot calmer than
her counterpart in the Treasury plane.
Moving into lateral position.
ON THE TWO PLANES
Qualen's jet lowers itself, banking to the side -- the
Treasury jet raises itself. Both are now flying side by side,
with the cable serving as a thirty foot bridge.
TREASURY JET CABIN
Travers, unclipped from his safety line, cautiously goes to
the cockpit. The pilot, nervous, struggles with the controls.
We're right on the edge of the
storm -- let's move it.
Travers pulls the two dead FBI agents out of the
compartment -- one is dressed in a flying suit like the pilot,
one in a suit like Travers.
This isn't going to work -- Wright
will suspect something.
So what. He'll sift though a plane
that went down in a storm --
(gestures to bodies)
-- find enough pulverized bone for six
men heroically killed in the line of
(finds three suitcases)
-- and just enough of the right kind
Travers opens one of the cases, which is identical to the
others -- except that it's full of one dollar bills. He's
thought of everything.
We get twenty-one gun funerals and
they write off fifty million. It's
perfect, as long as you hold the plane
steady -- so concentrate.
Travers moves back into the cabin.
INSIDE QUALEN'S JET
We can now see four other passengers. All are fit and armed --
HELDON and RYAN are seated, while KYNETTE and DELMER, ready to
help with the transfer, are on the opposite side of the door
from a very impatient Qualen.
Travers -- hurry it up.
INSIDE TREASURY JET
Travers, now in a harness like the one seen earlier -- uncuffs
the money cases from the agents.
On my way.
Travers steps back into the cockpit and flips a toggle switch
over and LED --
starts counting down from 2:00 -- 1:59 -- 1:58 --
IN THE COCKPIT
Even in the last minute, the storm's gotten worse -- the plane
is flying right into the blackest center of it. The pilot
looks more panicked than ever.
That charge is going to blow both
engines -- the plane'll go down like a
rock, so clip yourself on to the end
of the cable with the money as soon as
I get over.
And make sure you bring the right
Travers heads back into the cabin and hooks his harness to the
cable between the planes.
(into the headset)
Dip the plane. I'm coming over.
THE JETS - LONG SHOT
Qualen's jet dips down so there's a sharp incline -- Travers
starts the slide down, zipping in seconds across into
where he's pulled in and unclipped by Qualen.
(shouting over the wind)
Why didn't you send the money over?
Somehow, I didn't think you'd have
waited for me if I'd sent it first.
Qualen smiles in reply. No. Maybe he wouldn't.
IN THE TREASURY PLANE COCKPIT
The pilot locks the controls and rushes back to the cabin.
counts down -- 0:38 -- 0:37 -- 0:38 --
IN THE TREASURY PLANE CABIN
The pilot gathers the cases and uses their cuffs to attach
them to the cable -- but as he steps past the bodies of --
Matheson's eyes open -- he's not dead yet.
IN THE CABIN
The pilot clicks the last of the three cases onto the cable
and is about to put his harness on -- but behind him, Matheson
shakily crawls to his feet, draws his gun, and SHOOTS the
pilot in the back twice.
drops out of the plane, flailing -- if he's screaming, we
can't hear it over the HOWLING of the storm --
IN QUALEN'S JET
Qualen and Travers are watching the whole plan unravel --
(shouting to cockpit)
Get underneath the jet! The cases will
THE JETS - LONG SHOT
Qualen's jet sharply dips down and the cases start to slide
over -- but at the same time --
INSIDE THE TREASURY JET
Matheson, groggy, holds onto the doorway and FIRES a full clip
from his automatic at Qualen's jet -- and
counts down -- 0:02 -- 0:01 -- 0:00 -- and
THE TREASURY JET'S ENGINES
are destroyed as the charge DETONATES --
THE JETS - LONG SHOT
As promised, the Treasury jet is now plummetting as if it had
no wings at all, levelling the angle between the planes -- the
cases dangle precariously on the wire --
INSIDE QUALEN'S JET
Lower! Get underneath it!
INSIDE TREASURY JET
Matheson struggles to the cockpit and gets behind the controls
-- as if that's going to do any good --
THE JETS - LONG SHOT
Qualen's jet is deliberately racing the disabled Treasury jet
down, but it's hopeless -- there's no way to get underneath
the falling jet long enough for the cases to slide over.
INSIDE QUALEN'S JET - KRISTEL
isn't quite panicked. Yet.
It's dragging us down! Disconnect the
INT. QUALEN'S JET - CABIN
Heldon and Ryan try to do just that, but the cable is
taut -- there's no way to loosen the clip on the door --
dive down faster at an ever steeper angle, over the edge of
the Colorado mountain range --
INSIDE THE TREASURY JET
-- the clip on the door finally breaks --
BOTH JETS - LONG SHOT
-- the Treasury jet drops as Qualen's jet, trailing the cable
and the money, sharply shoots upward --
THE TREASURY JET
makes a one point landing nose first into the wilderness,
cartwheeling into a FIREBALL!
INT./EXT. RANGER STATION
The sound of the EXPLOSION, muffled in the wind, far-off, but
audible, drives Hal outside -- he's alert, but can't see
anything in the murk of the storm --
INT. QUALEN'S JET - THE COCKPIT - KRISTEL
levels off the plane, but it's still in trouble --
CABIN - QUALEN AND TRAVERS
struggle to reel in the cable, because --
CLOSE ON THE CABLE
The money cases are still, barely, holding on, the cuffs
caught on the broken clip at the end --
QUALEN AND TRAVERS
aren't even bothering with the electric winch, they're
dragging it in hand over hand -- but --
CLOSE ON THE CABLE
-- the cases, torn by the wind, work their way loose one at a
time and drop -- one -- two -- three -- into the snowy
IN THE CABIN
Heldon and Ryan clamp the door shut as Qualen angrily attacks
THE COCKPIT - KRISTEL
tries to bring the plane up, but can't -- the fuel guage
needle is dropping fast --
INSERT - THE WING
is pouring out fuel through a dozen bullet holes -- one of two
engines sputters to a stop.
THE COCKPIT - KRISTEL POV
The plane is now just skirting the mountain tops, and is still
being battered by storm winds -- Kristel aims it for what
looks like the flattest, longest mountain top --
Kynette and Ryan grab Qualen and Travers to separate them --
all strap in, because
is going down -- it just tops the edge of a precipice and hits
the ground level --
THE MOUNTAIN TOP - LONG SHOT
-- the problem is, the ground itself isn't level, it tilts
down towards another edge five hundred yards distant -- if the
plane keeps skidding, it'll go over the edge --
sleds down at an angle, skipping over rocks -- -- through
-- tearing off a wing --
Kristel rides the stick only out of habit -- nothing she does
is going to matter now --
INSIDE THE CABIN
The men are jolted around -- windows IMPLODE as Kynette tries
to protect a bag of what is obviously explosives --
rips downhill through a wooded area like a runaway train --
-- the second wing is sheared off by trees --
COCKPIT POV - THE OPPOSITE EDGE
is coming up fast -- but
wrenches to a sudden halt, the fuselage intact.
WIDER VIEW - THE PLANE
or what's left of it has stopped several feet short of the
edge -- we can see why: the steel cable, trailing from the
cargo door, has lashed itself around a half dozen trees,
acting as a tripwire to stop the plane.
INSIDE THE PLANE
Quiet. All are dazed but, outside of superficial cuts,
unhurt. Kristel moves out of the cockpit, looking around.
So much for phase one.
She speaks for all of them -- especially a still-seething
Qualen. Travers pulls out the tracer monitor for the cases.
The tracer screen shows three distinct blips -- the tracers
have survived the fall.
Now -- we call the police.
INT. RANGER STATION - DAY
Hal, agitated, paces in the main office -- Frank, unconcerned,
puts a coat hanger and some aluminum foil on a little TV to
drag in the fading signal of a Broncos game.
Look -- I know there's a storm, but
that wasn't thunder.
Hal, when you've been in this line as
long as I have --
The station's scanner radio barks to life.
Mayday -- mayday -- downed DC-3 --
Hal runs to the radio and keys the mike.
Rocky Mountain Rescue -- come in,
Kristel is on the radio, as Travers and Qualen hang back.
Kristel's voice is panicked but she can't suppress a grin.
Downed charter flight
(keys mike to "garble"
-- dead, seven seriously wounded,
INT. RANGER STATION
Acknowledged, mayday. What's your
Don't know -- position unknown --
landed on top of some mountain -- only
visual bearing is a facing
cylinder-type formation -- over --
Got to be Comb Bluff.
Acknowledged, mayday. Winds are too
strong for us to get a copter up there
-- can you and your passengers make it
through the storm? Over --
Negative -- cockpit is on fire --
fuselage broken into three sep--
--ed in shock. Need medical supplies,
including insulin, repeat, insulin, as
soon as po --
Dead silence. The transmission cuts off/
Mayday -- come in, mayday --
Kristel hangs up the radio and smiles, Travers and Qualen
standing behind her. Qualen lightly applauds.
Not bad. The insulin was a nice touch.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY
The Bronco wends through a winding country road, coming
finally to a cabin settled in a clearing.
pulls into the driveway and puts the Bronco in park. He
doesn't cut the engine, because he's not sure whether he's
going in or not. Finally -- he cuts the ignition.
INT. CABIN - DAY
A knock on the door brings no response -- no one inside. Gabe
opens the unlocked door -- and steps inside.
No answer. Gabe takes a look around the living room. His face
tells us, without a doubt, this used to be his home. Gabe
moves inside, pausing at a mantle. Two framed photos -- Gabe
and Maggie sleeping together in a hammock, bolted to a sheer
wall over a 2,000 foot drop. Gabe, Hal and Maggie, all
younger, all sporting drunken grins, in a mountain cave. Gabe
smiles for the first time today at this memory -- a BANGING at
the back of the cabin shakes him out of it.
EXT. CABIN - DAY - THE BACK DOOR
has come open and swings in the wind. Gabe steps outside and
pulls it shut. Gabe looks down and sees tracks that lead to a
small but sturdy shed a few yards away. Gabe heads over to it.
INT. SHED - DAY
Not a storage shed at all -- it's a small workspace that
offers solid protection from the elements, is well-lit, and
whistle-clean. Maggie, in front of a table, pulls a cover off.
A LARGE PLASTIC CAGE
-- inside is a bald eagle. One of maybe 2,000 left in the
country. Its uneven feathering and small, gawky size tells us
it isn't nearly full grown. A bandage on its side tells us
it's been injured. Maggie's smile tells us it's healing.
Hey there --
The door to the shed opens -- Gabe steps in, and shuts the
door behind him. Maggie looks surprised to see him. Gabe just
Could you introduce us?
Sure. Gabe Walker -- this is A27.
A27 -- Gabe.
Not the tag -- what do you call
Her. I call her Lucky.
(bends down, eyes wound)
They got the mother -- and left this
one behind. Too small to make a decent
trophy, I guess.
About four months, right?
Christ -- it must have been just about
his -- I mean her -- first flight --
Time to change the dressing.
Maggie pulls on a pair of pair of cowhide gloves.
You can't do that alone --
I've had to learn. She trust me --
Maggie reaches into the cage, but the eagle starts thrashing.
I'm making her nervous --
You hold her, I'll do the dressing.
Gabe finds another pair of gloves, sterile cotton pads and
alcohol in a drawer -- Maggie reaches in and grabs the eagle's
beak and talons quickly but gently, and takes it out of the
cage, holding it firm. This is clearly something they've done
many times before. They move together, tight -- Gabe and
Maggie both react to this bit of close contact as they bandage
the eagle. It's getting warmer in here. Gabe reaches down and
yanks off the patch. The eagle thrashes as Gabe cleans the
Got some fight in her -- that's good.
What happened to Dave?
The usual. Flew off -- never calls,
never writes --
Gabe winces at this one as he carefully tapes the small patch
and sticks it on the eagle's side. Maggie puts the eagle back
in the cage and closes the top door. Gabe and Maggie don't
move any further apart as they pull their gloves off. Gabe
tentatively reaches for Maggie's face -- but she pushes him
I'm glad to see you, Gabe. But I kind
of wish you hadn't come. I was almost
used to you being gone.
Why are you here?
I thought I came back to see if I'd
learned to live with it. Well, big
surprise. Coming back just tore me
open all over again, like it all
happened yesterday instead of a year
ago. Nothing's changed. Including the
way I feel about you.
I didn't realize it till I saw you at
the airport. But I came back for you,
Does that mean you're going to stay?
No. Not here.
I want you come with me. Start over,
You come back after being gone a year,
and you expect me to --
You don't live here any more, Gabe.
Your choice, remember? But this is
my home. I'm not leaving. You can
stay with me, or you can go alone.
It's still your choice.
Now there's an easy call.
Standing in the shed's doorway is Hal. Stone faced. Grim.
Furious, Gabe heads out after Hal.
What the hell do you want?
I need your help. A plane's gone down
on Comb Bluff. This storm would blow
a copter all over the place -- but we
can climb up to it.
Talk to somebody who's still on the
payroll. You've got a half dozen new
-- who couldn't climb that wall now if
there were stairs cut into it. But
you've soloed it.
During the summer. On a bet.
This is a little more important than a
bet. Just a few injured people with
no first aid or shelter, camping in a
zero degree blizzard. They'll be ice
sculptures by tomorrow morning.
(shakes his head)
Maybe you missed the headlines -- but
I don't do rescues any more. They're
bad for my conscience.
Fuck this one up on your own.
Gabe walks past Hal. Furious, Hal spins Gabe around.
Play it again, Gabe, about how we
killed her. I was there too, remember?
Not like I was, pal -- her fingers
brushed mine on the way down --
-- and I was the one who had to deal
with her family when you fucking tore
out of town.
(takes a breath)
We lost her. Whatever anybody says
about cold stress and the clip, you
and I have to live with that. But
right now, there are some more people
who need our help, and they shouldn't
die too just because you've got a
problem keeping the past in the past.
Gabe knows he's right. But he's hesitant. And scared.
I don't want the responsibility.
Walk away and you are responsible.
They'll die. I can't do this alone.
(Gabe slows but doesn't
You know what else, Gabe? You can go
anywhere you want, but if you don't do
this, now, you're going to be stuck on
that goddamn ledge for the rest of
Gabe turns. Sees Maggie in the doorway. She's heard every
word. Gabe turns to Hal -- hesitates -- and nods.
EXT. COMB BLUFF TRAILHEAD - WIDE SHOT - DAY
Relative to the other mountains, Comb Bluff is smaller --
about 2,500 feet high. But that's like saying the Empire State
Building is smaller than the Sears Tower. It's still a long
way up if you're climbing the stairs.
ON THE GROUND - GABE AND HAL
with full packs of mountaineering gear on. They've got to
climb up this beast. Gabe -- now back in his orange Sheriff's
jacket -- scrambles with Hal up the base of the mountain, the
last few yards before it turns into a sloping wall. Gabe
takes a bolt gun -- which fires rope-fastened bolts into
rock -- and hangs it from a strap on his chest.
That thing's dead weight. Completely
useless for an ice climb.
Gabe readies a coil of rope and starts up the wall.
(not a challenge)
I'll lead. I left a few bolts last
time I climbed this -- I think I can
find some of them.
Hal starts up after Gabe, easily keeping pace with him.
Save the rope for when it gets tough.
That bet was for you to free climb
Tell you what, Hal -- if we're still
alive tomorrow morning, I'll give you
the twenty bucks back, okay?
COMB BLUFF - LONG SHOT
Two orange specks move their way up the mountain -- it's
definitely going to be a long trip.
EXT. COMB BLUFF - LONG SHOT - DAY - GABE AND HAL
are now visibly two-thirds of the way up.
CLOSER ON GABE AND HAL - THE MOUNTAIN FACE
is not only higher, it's a lot tougher to climb. Instead of
being angular, the wall is now completely vertical -- and
coated with ice. Rough, irregular ice ledges are all Gabe and
Hal can grip -- it's a matter of grabbing what you can for a
handhold, and kicking the spikes of the steel crampons on
their boots into the ice for footholds. Gabe leads, planting
pitons into the ice, threading the rope through them as he
goes. Three steel pins between Gabe and Hal. Their only safety
net. Gabe, trailing rope behind him, goes up a difficult slab
of ice and climbs under a ledge, where he anchors the rope in
the ice with another piton.
is beside and slightly below Gabe -- at the other end of the
fifty foot rope. Hal cautiously pulls himself along the line
to the first piton -- as is standard for a climb, he pulls out
the piton, then moves on to the second -- but up above
HIGHER ON THE MOUNTAIN
Ice, building in a small crevase, builds and CRACKS the
adjoining rock -- several ten-pound boulders fall, causing a
that bounces down the wall --
hugs the ice wall, making himself as flat as possible --
flattens too as rocks bounce past -- the second anchoring
piton LOOSENS as it is struck by a falling rock -- Hal
nervously eyes the last piton between him and Gabe --
THE PITON - CLOSE
also has been clipped by the still falling boulders and droops
at half mast -- no way are these going to hold in the
unreliable ice --
tries to stay flat, but one boulder painfully CLIPS him on the
shoulder, knocking him from his perch -- Hal falls --
WIDER - HAL FALLING
In falling, Hal's weight on the rope yanks out the nearest
anchor piton -- Hal tumbles in space, keeping pace with the
boulders, as --
who's seen everything we have, quickly reaches to the piton
he's just anchored, and removes the carabiner clip --
HAL - FALLING
The rope draws taut, yanking out the last piton between he and
Gabe -- nothing but a few yards of slack rope now --
has the bolt gun out. He rapidly hooks the rope's carabiner
clip to the chambered bolt, and FIRES it at a solid rock ledge
above him --
INSERT - THE BOLT
imbeds solidly in the rock --
lashes the rope to his shoulder, bracing for the coming impact
by lodging his feet in the ice --
THE JOLT - WIDER SHOT
The line pulls taut, leaving Hal suspended, the wind knocked
out of him from the impact --
is almost dragged down by the jolt -- he painfully takes most
of the impact in his shoulders -- the shock forces his feet
through an ice ledge -- but the rope, bolted to the rock
above, has held. Barely.
(shaken, voice gone)
(shouts this time)
now somewhat recovered, steadies himself.
You're sure this time --
Hal climbs up the rope, finally reaching another ledge
slightly below Gabe's. Hal leans against the wall, gasping, as
Gabe clips the gun to his pack.
(looking up at gun)
Don't say it --
It's kind of hard to resist --
It's not dead It's not dead
weight -- you weight -- I am.
Hal and Gabe start howling -- that hysterical, giddy laugh
that only comes from just missing a violent end.
WIDE SHOT ON MOUNTAIN - THE TWO LEDGES
Hal and Gabe's friendship is starting to resurface -- their
LAUGHTER is nearly louder than the wind, as we --
EXT. PRECIPICE EDGE - DAY - BINOCULAR POV
From the top of the bluff, someone is looking down through
binoculars -- Gabe and Hal's orange jackets are plainly
visible a few hundred yards below.
lowers the binoculars, and keys an ear button on the headset
radio he's wearing, sending a beep.
INSIDE THE PLANE
Travers is wearing another headset -- the others are just
resting in the seats
Have they arrived?
(two beeps in response)
Good. Return to the plane and cover
ON THE MOUNTAIN BELOW
Hal and Gabe are tired, but get a second wind from the
excitement of being almost on top. Gabe stops, breathless for
a second, then goes on. Hal lags a little behind.
Come on -- the hard part's over.
Gabe heads up and over
THE MOUNTAIN'S EDGE/CRASH SITE
and helps Hal up. From here, the rest of the range looms
large. Even in the continuing snowstorm, it's a spectacular
sight -- but Gabe and Hal don't pause to enjoy it. This isn't
a trip for sport. Hal looks off into the trees, and sees the
torn tree stumps from the plane crash.
Hal and Gabe run into the wooded area and follow the
wreckage -- felled trees, a smashed wing -- and reach
which sits intact by the other edge of the precipice.
I thought the fuselage was broken.
That looks pretty cozy.
The pilot was hysterical.
Something's wrong here --
Does this look like a prank to you?
Come on --
Hal pulls open the passenger door and goes in -- Gabe, wary,
takes a look around the plane.
INSIDE THE FUSELAGE
It's comparatively dark in here -- Hal starts in, shining a
light -- the beam finds
HAL'S POV - TRAVERS
slumped down on the cabin floor, a blanket wrapped around
him -- he's shaking and is generally giving a good impression
of a shock victim. Hal rushes to him.
Relax -- we're here to help --
"Weak", Travers whispers as Hal gives him some water.
Don't try to talk --
Travers won't quit -- Hal leans down to hear.
-- Where? What are you --
A gun barrel moves INTO VIEW as it presses against Hal's neck.
Heldon and Ryan are right behind him. Travers instantly drops
You said "we". Where are the rest?
GABE - OUTSIDE THE FUSELAGE
notes footprints in the snow -- fresh ones -- and kneels down
to look at the cable wrapped around the tree. No ordinary
accident. But before he can think about this, he gets an
earful of gun barrel from Qualen, who is behind him.
INSIDE THE FUSELAGE
Qualen hustles Gabe inside the plane -- his hands are on his
head, and his pack has been removed. Qualen throws the pack
to Ryan and Delmer, who rifle through it, removing anything
that could be a weapon -- they quickly confiscate Gabe's bolt
gun and ice axe.
What's for dinner?
(Kynette tosses packet)
Ugh. "Dried Beef Slices With Barbeque
(tosses it back)
Try and make this edible.
Travis looks at Hal's park ranger badge.
He doesn't have one. Just a wallet.
Qualen tosses it to Travers, who glances through it.
(notes photo of Maggie)
Too bad. Let me tell you what's on for
today. We'd like you to help settle a
wager. You see, we lost some
Travers motions to Ryan and Qualen, who shove Gabe and Hal
forward in the cabin. Travers takes out the tracer monitor.
(showing them the blips)
See these? Now I've bet the gentlemen
behind you that you know enough about
this mountain range to lead us to each
of these, quickly, and that you'd be
happy to do so. They bet me you
couldn't and wouldn't.
(guns are clicked)
Now tell me -- who wins?
Gabe and Hal eye each other -- no choice. Gabe nods.
Good dog. Now let's get this
EXT. FACING MOUNTAIN - WIDE SHOT
Hal and Gabe lead the "expedition" down a steep, but passable,
descent, leading to --
A NATURAL STONE BRIDGE
that links Comb Bluff with the next mountain. Travers stops
Gabe and pulls out the monitor.
Okay. Connect the dots.
Gabe pauses as he holds the monitor up against the
MOUNTAIN AND MONITOR
The first blip is up a thousand feet -- it's a wall, and
obviously not something for a novice. Gabe pauses a little
too long -- Qualen nudges him with his gun. Gabe hands the
monitor back to Travers.
Gabe, with Hal right behind, leads them up the wall -- it's
not a straight climb, but there's a series of zig-zagging
natural ledges that cut up the wall. Wide enough even for an
amateur. The others follow Gabe and Hal's example.
EXT. MOUNTAIN WALL - WIDE SHOT - DAY - HAL AND GABE
have led the gang further up the wall, using pitons and
carabiner clips to create a guide rope. It's still just a
matter of climbing relatively easy ascending ledges. Hal and
Gabe lead them by jumping to the next ledge.
CLOSER ON HAL AND GABE
As Gabe hammers in a new piton, he turns to Hal.
We don't have to do this. We know
these mountains -- they don't. If we
can get ahead --
Can you climb faster than they can
We've got to try something. Think
we'll get a finder's fee after they
get all their "luggage"?
Sure. All the bullets we can eat.
That's not what really worries me.
There's something else to worry
Yeah. Once they've got what they're
after -- they're gonna need a copter
to get out of here.
Gabe nods grimly -- and keeps moving up. The rest keep pace.
The climbers have reached a point of comparative comfort on
the wall -- the ledge is now two feet wide. Travers takes out
the tracer monitor -- the monitor shows that the first case is
just above them.
It's up there.
"UP THERE" - AN OVERHANG
juts out of the wall fifty feet above their position. As the
rest of the wall above is completely sheer, it's obvious that
the case, if it is above, has landed on top of a ledge.
But this isn't easily accessible -- we MOVE DOWN from the
overhang and can see there are only the smallest of handholds
to get up there, and those are slick with ice and snow. Worse,
the rest of the mountain bulges outward in a curve, making
climbing almost impossible.
ON THE LEDGE
Travers holds his gun on Gabe, and motions up
I'll need the ice axe.
You've got to be kidding.
Okay. How about some tape?
Travers nods -- Kynette pulls a roll of tape out of Gabe's
confiscated pack and throws it to him.
Travers hesitates, but nods -- Kynette throws him the iron
spikes. Gabe fastens them to his boots.
Gabe looks up -- this is going to be tough, even for him. In
spite of the cold, he takes off his gloves -- that's how small
these holds are -- and he meticulously tapes up his hands and
HIGH ANGLE - GABE
moves up the wall with some ease at first -- there are
hand-sized handholds, and decent footholds -- but twenty feet
up, there's nothing. To keep going, Gabe has to painfully
wedge his fingers into small cracks, essentially supporting
his weight only by several fingerholds at any given moment.
We can see from the angle that Gabe is at least 3,000 feet
from solid ground. We can see from his face that he's trying
not to think about it.
ON THE LEDGE - TRAVERS AND QUALEN
watch Gabe's slow progress.
I don't trust him.
Where could he go?
I'd rather he didn't show us.
We don't need two guides.
You win. Kill him when he gets down.
GABE ON THE WALL - CLOSE
Make that "if he comes down". Gabe is now in one of the
worst positions possible for a free climb. He is moving up
the underside of the overhang and is essentially hanging
upside down, knifing his fingers into tiny cracks for support.
It's excruciating -- both in terms of muscular effort, and the
abrasions that come from forcing fingers into ice and rock
again and again. Gabe keeps his hold with one hand and slides
the other up, hammering it into a crack wedge with ice --
some of the ice chips whistle past and down --
-- finally, Gabe gropes one hand over the edge, and pulls
Exhausted, Gabe pulls himself prone across the top. Something
hard is underneath him -- Gabe recovers and brushes the snow
off the money case that's underneath. It's battered from the
fall, but is still barely holding together. Gabe manages to
force open the trashed locks -- he looks inside the case, and
fingers a band of $5000s.
ON THE LEDGE - TRAVERS AND QUALEN
look up. They can see Gabe has made it -- but they can't see
him, or the case.
Lower it down -- now!
ON THE OVERHANG - GAB
has no intention of doing this -- he snaps the case shut and
looks over at a ledge that moves off from it -- and at the ice
and snow above.
ON THE LEDGE - TRAVERS AND QUALEN'S POV
try to look up and locate Gabe. They can't. Until --
I've got a better idea. Why don't you
come up and get it?
With the case, Gabe moves, back against the wall, on a ledge
that skirts off the overhand -- from Travers and Qualen's
point of view. Gabe can hardly be seen -- since the mountain
bulges out as it goes up. Gabe's got a slight edge of cover.
(shouts to Heldon)
Heldon runs along the lower ledge, FIRING up at --
who has to flatten against the upper ledge -- bullets howl
past at twenty per second, SPARKING against the lip of the
rock -- it's cover, but not much --
looks up, worried --
HAL'S POV - ICE AND SNOW
piled by the ton from the storm, lie further above -- the ice
holding it back already, already weakened by the sun, is being
chiselled away by bullets --
ON THE LOWER LEDGE - QUALEN
grabs Hal and puts the gun to his head.
Bring the money down, or we kill your
Travers pushes the barrel away from Hal, shaking his head.
And he knows it.
WIDER ANGLE ON MOUNTAIN - THE PARALLEL LEDGES
Gabe moves across his thing ledge as Heldon runs across his --
Gabe ducks back and has to flatten even more against the wall,
because his ledge is getting smaller --
smiles, seeing Gabe's cover is gone -- Heldon's ledge is
getting wider, so it's easier for him to fire up. Heldon moves
out to the edge --
GABE'S POV DOWN
There's now nothing between Heldon and Gabe -- Heldon takes
dead aim --
looks up, sweating it --
Come on --
THE ICE AND SNOW
above finally give way, dropping an avalanche on
who drops the case and hugs the wall --
THE AVALANCHE - WIDE VIEW ON MOUNTAIN
Only now can we see how much snow and ice had been penned up
on the mountain top -- tons of ice and snow sweep down the
mountainside -- it SHATTERS the case against the wall as it
easily swipes a SCREAMING Heldon off the ledge --
TRAVERS, QUALEN AND HAL
are safe at their vantage, but stunned at the sight of --
Heldon's machine fun FIRES uselessly as he's swallowed in an
explosion of white -- as well as a flurry of green as the
bills scatter amid the snow --
-- then: quiet. The avalanche ends as abruptly as it started.
The rumble dies down to complete silence.
apoplectic, stares at seventeen million dollars worth of snow
settling far below. He takes his gun, furious, and fires at
THE UPPER LEDGE
where Gabe was hugging the wall -- it's now blanketed with
snow. Travers FIRES an entire clip at where Gabe used to be.
The snow FALLS AWAY, revealing nothing but stark rock. Gabe
has been swept away.
reacts and attacks Travers.
You son of a bitch --
Travers turns and pins Hal against the wall with the gun,
ready to kill him too. But he's stopped by Qualen.
No. We need him to get the rest of the
(he isn't backing down)
If he dies we lose everything
Travers, furious, takes the gun out of Hal's face.
Get us out of here.
Hal stares at Travers with absolute fury -- but he leads the
gang back along the ledge in retreat.
EXT. FURTHER DOWN THE MOUNTAIN - DAY
Powdery snow is settling from the avalanche. From a cave in
the rocks, Brett and Evan crawl out a little timidly.
What the hell --
Evan takes a pair of overpriced binoculars and looks up --
BINOCULAR POV - FAR UP ON LEDGE
The figures are small, but it's clear that one is pointing a
gun at an orange-jacketed figure.
lowers the binoculars.
Brett -- you're not going to believe
this -- but a couple of guys are
holding a gun on Hal and forcing him
up the bluff --
I believe it.
Evan turns to
who has found both Heldon's broken body, and his gun, half
buried in snow. Evan walks over, amazed.
What the fuck is going on here?
Brett picks up the gun -- this is more an adventure than he
ever dreamed of.
Let's catch up and find out.
Brett and Evan grab their packs, and hurry onto a trail, as we
return to --
THE UPPER LEDGE
where Gabe was. Nothing is stirring. Until, there's some
movement ten feet from where Gabe was hugging the wall.
It's a crevice in the mountain, about two feet wide -- a
climber would call this a "chimney" -- and it's packed with
ice and snow. It's also packed with
-- his hand gropes out -- and with some difficulty, he digs
himself out, gasping and coughing. Gabe, coated with snow,
leans against the wall and rests. Alive.
INT. RANGER STATION - DAY
Maggie is on the phone, pacing, as Frank is slumped in front
of the radio scanner. Suddenly, the radio comes to life.
-- Come in, Rescue Unit -- over --
Maggie bolts over to the radio before Frank can react.
Rescue Unit -- what's going on,
Hall? -- over --
EXT. MOUNTAIN - WOODED AREA - DAY
Travers has his gun pressed to Hal's temple.
No tricks, no procedural codes, no
personal messages -- just tell them
everything's under control and you're
taking care of the wounded.
We've reached the wreckage -- top of
Comb Bluff -- six injured, but they're
responding to treatment. Everything
Everything isn't okay, Hal -- I'm
coming up after you -- over --
Negative, Maggie. Winds are too
high, and the passengers' injuries are
all superficial. We're going to ride
out the storm here -- over --
Travers yanks away the radio.
Have her come up.
Forget it -- downdrafts would wipe her
all over the peaks --
(Travers starts to argue)
-- Not that I expect you to give a
shit, but it's our only copter.
You'll be stuck.
Travers relents and hands the radio back.
I can handle the winds --
Forget about it, Maggie, that's an
order -- acknowledge --
INT. RANGER STATION
Maggie looks out the window. The station's windspeed gauge is
flying around so fast it looks like it might take off.
Acknowledged. Let me talk to Gabe --
You can't. He's taking care of
passengers. Just like I should be.
Over and out.
Maggie leans back in the chair, looks out at the storm, and
tries not to worry. She fails miserably.
EXT. MOUNTAIN - WOODED AREA - TRAVERS AND HAL
(snatching radio away)
Good. You might live longer than your
friend. Now --
(takes out monitor)
Hal takes the monitor -- the next blip is above, almost
straight up. Hal motions to the wooded area ahead.
The next one's on top of the peak.
This'll be long, but easy -- more like
a hike than a climb.
It looks like a winding route.
There's a more direct route. The East
Face. But it's the wall on the other
side, and it's smooth as glass. Maybe
a dozen guys in the world could do it
in good weather. Only a psycho would
try it in a snowstorm.
Travers digests this, and motions Hal to move on as we --
CLOSE SHOT - GABE'S FACE
is torn in pain. In spite of the cold and wind, he's drenched
in sweat, half exertion, half fear. We pull back to take in
THE EAST WALL - LONG SHOT
Envision a wall. A really big wall. A really, really big wall.
A wall that's as wide as it is high -- five thousand feet by
five thousand feet -- narrowing to a domed peak at the summit.
Now picture the same wall, checkered with ice. If this were
horizontal, you or I couldn't walk on it without falling.
Now picture the same wall with an orange dot, two-thirds of
the way up it. The orange dot is
and he barely has the strength to hold on, much less go up.
Gabe holds himself steady with one hand, gets a foothold, and
swings another hand up to SLAM it against the wall.
He's improvised gear -- he's tied a crampon to one hand. But
it's as awkward as it sounds. Gabe moves up only a foot or so
-- then pulls out the crampon, reaches up, and SLAMS it into
the wall, starting the painful process over again.
INT. DENVER MINT - WRIGHT'S OFFICE - DAY
Wright's pacing around, trying to figure out what in his
office he should break first. Davis shows up at the door.
Okay -- I know it's not in San
Francisco. I know it's not here. I
know it's not in any fucking airport
from here to Montana. Where it's
not - we got that covered. Now, do
you have any ideas on where it is?
(walking to a map)
There's no radio contact, sir. At all.
We're not receiving the tracer signal
from the cockpit's flight recorder.
Radar lost it after it went low here.
He points to a huge part of Colorado. Hundreds of square
We have to assume it went down in the
That storm hasn't quit yet. Weather
service says we've got it until
tomorrow morning at least. Even if we
could get a plane up now, it'd be
impossible to see anything on the
ground. And --
Wright slumps into a chair.
-- The roads are shut down, right?
Most of this area doesn't even have
(rubs his eyes)
Keep two copters on full standby. And
let me know the second that storm
starts to wind down.
EXT. THE EAST FACE - WIDE SHOT - DAY - GABE
is clearly exhausted and freezing -- his lips are blue, his
eyebrows encrusted with snow. Wind still threatens to knock
him off the wall -- but he forces himself on.
(spikes himself up)
A steambath -- and a bottle of
A steambath with a bottle of
Glenlivet. And a fire.
A steambath -- with a bottle of
Glenlivet -- and a steak.
A steak soaked with Glenlivet, cooking
over a steambath on fire.
WIDER ON MOUNTAIN
Gabe finally reaches the top of the wall, where it meets an
enormous overhang of ice.
is right underneath where the ice flows over the wall. Gabe
takes his handheld crampon and hammers it into the ice
overhead with more force than usual. This one is going to have
Gabe steels himself for a tough move -- with one hand gripping
that crampon, he swings out, away from the wall.
Only the crampon spikes jammed into the ice above his hand
are keeping Gabe from falling. Gabe needs the second crampon
to make the move up -- but that's not going to be easy to get.
It's attached to his boot.
As Gabe clings to the upper crampon, his body swaying, he
reaches down with his free hand to loosen the other crampon.
GABE'S POV - DOWN
The ground is one slip and five thousand feet away. Gabe
fumbles desperately with the buckles on the crampons -- but
both his fingers, and the buckles, are frozen stiff --
shows real, solid terror for the first time --
GABE'S POV - DOWN
Gabe gets the first buckle off -- then the second. The crampon
is off his boot.
still swinging from one hand, takes the now-freed crampon and
slams it into the ice. It doesn't hold -- but the force of
Gabe's swing, pushing him away, has loosened the other
crampon. Gabe only gets one more shot at this -- he swings
the free crampon up with all his might -- it catches in the
same split second as the other dislodges.
But the hard part is over -- with the two crayons, Gabe
quickly manages to climb up over the lip of
THE ICE OVERHANG
This is a field of ice sloping up to the top. Gabe pulls
himself a few feet away from the edge, and puts the crampons
back on his feet where they belong. It's now pretty simple for
Gabe to run up the ice slope three hundred yards to
which is a rocky, wooded area. Gabe seems to have a second
wind now -- he runs to the other side of the summit. The other
side is obviously the route Hal and the others will be
taking -- beneath the summit is a winding, well-beaten path.
Gabe finally arrives at a small shack with a sign nearby
commemorating the "DOUGLAS EXPEDITION - 1933".
INT. THE SHACK
is just a small "point of interest" shed for hardy tourists
who have hiked up this far -- there is a corny photo stand,
where you stick your head through a hole, so your face is put
on top of a cartoon climber hacking up a mountain. Gabe rushes
past this to a glass display case on the wall.
THE GORDON DOUGLAS DISPLAY
has black and white photos of a square jawed 1930s climber
with his expedition -- more important is what's beneath it.
Douglas' original climbing equipment -- a coil of rope, some
pitons, a hat, a cloth backpack, small binoculars, other odds
and ends. Gabe prepares to smash the glass -- and hesitates.
Sorry, Gordon -- I promise I'll have
it back tomorrow.
Gabe SMASHES the glass as we move to --
EXT. THE TRAIL - DAY
Hal is leading Qualen, Travers and the others upward -- this
is a comparatively easy route, but still tiring. The sun goes
down beyond a facing, taller mountain. Ryan is huffing and
puffing -- the altitude and exertion are getting to him. Hal
allows himself a smile at his discomfort.
Come on -- tourists take this trail.
Qualen pokes Hal with the gun -- he moves on ahead.
EXT. THE SUMMIT - DUSK
It's getting dark rapidly -- Gabe has scaled a rock formation
so he has a view of the rest of the summit --
GABE'S POV - SCANNING THE TREELINE
Gabe slowly looks along the trees of the summit -- looks
pretty ordinary to us, but something must have caught Gabe's
eye, because he swings back to look at one tree. With broken
branches on top.
climbs down from his rock perch and rushes toward the tree.
EXT. SUMMIT TRAIL - NIGHT
This "expedition" reaches the top -- Hal is in the lead, with
Qualen just inches behind. Qualen shoves Hal forward.
Is this it?
Yeah. This is it.
Good. Get out of the way.
Travers takes out the tracer and starts following the blip.
ELSEWHERE ON THE SUMMIT - GABE
frantically rushes around, looking for the case -- he spots a
crater of snow, rushes to it and starts digging. Even below
the snow, the tracer's blinking red light is glowing and
visible. Gabe laughs as he digs it out.
NEARBY ON THE SUMMIT - TRAVERS
has his eyes glued to the tracer monitor, which shows the case
Qualen shines a light -- all of them push their way through
is excited now -- he can't even wait for Qualen's flashlight,
he intuitively races through the trees, dividing his attention
between his surroundings and
which shows he's practically on top of the case -- finally
shoves his way through some small pines -- he can see the
blinking of the red tracer light ahead through the branches.
It's over here!
Travers shoves his way through the branches, and heads for the
light -- but something's wrong -- Qualen comes up behind
Travers and shines the light on
cute, if hastily constructed, stands with a five-pebble smile,
as well as Douglas' cap, in a clearing. The still blinking,
still operable tracer is now the nose of the snowman. The case
is leaned up against it.
Travers runs over to the case, furious, and opens it. It's
empty -- except for a single $5000 bill. Travers picks it
up -- scrawled on the margin is "LET'S TRADE."
He's still alive.
He's still alive!
(to Qualen and the
He can't be far away -- spread out!
Qualen, Kynette, Delmer and Krystel fan out into the woods,
each with a flashlight and a fun. Ryan, however, straps on
nightfinder goggles and runs out without a flashlight.
(to Hal, brandishing gun)
Put your hands on your head.
ELSEWHERE ON THE SUMMIT - GABE
watches the chaos with a grin from a slightly elevated vantage
point -- he can see the flashlight beams, all headed in the
wrong direction. But he doesn't see
RYAN - "NIGHTFINDER" POV
With these goggles, light is amplified a thousandfold -- this
isn't one of those infra-red, thermo-blob jobs -- it looks
more like day for night photography. Even starlight is enough
for Ryan to run easily through the thick woods -- and he's
going in the right direction.
begins climbing down to level ground so he can circle closer
to where Travers is holding Hal -- before he can get far --
"NIGHTFINDER" POV - RYAN
looks up, and can clearly see Gabe climbing down the small
rock, twenty yards distant --
smiles, looking macabre under the goggles, and opens fire --
is startled as the bullets impact inches over his head -- he
jumps the last ten feet to the ground and is running even as
he hits the ground -- more bullets hit where Gabe was a
split second ago --
chases Gabe, easily maneuvering through the trees --
runs too, trying to dodge Ryan's continuing fusillades -- Gabe
knows this territory, but to him, it's still pitch dark -- he
stumbles, and rams against trees --
keeps coming up behind, closing the hap, Gabe's bright form
just ahead --
comes out of the trees and finds he is on another part of the
summit. All that's beneath him is
-- a sudden, sloping plunge down a field of ice. No escape
route here -- anything that goes down this slide is going all
the way to the ground far below.
is driven forward by a fresh burst of bullets -- he dives to
the edge of the ice field and ducks behind a boulder -- the
sole source of cover.
ELSEWHERE ON THE SUMMIT
Kristel, Qualen and Kynette, having heard the gunshots, are
now rushing to Gabe's position --
almost casually emerges from the woods. He can see there is
nowhere for Gabe to have gone -- except behind the boulder. He
walks toward it as if he had all the time in the world.
fumbles in his backpack and pulls out something from the
Douglas exhibit -- an ancient flare that looks like a can of
sterno. Gabe pulls out his lighter and tries to light it -- it
resists and looks like a dud, but finally it catches, and as
it ignites Gabe heaves it over the boulder at Ryan --
RYAN - "NIGHTFINDER" POV - THE FLARE
arcs over the boulder to fully ignite, turning everything
into a blinding, agonizing flash of white --
SCREAMS, putting one hand over the goggles, trying to rip them
bolts out from behind the boulder to rush him --
instantly aware of what Gabe's doing, blindly shoots, fanning
out in a semi-circle as he gets the goggles off --
just runs straight ahead to Ryan, getting to him before the
machine gun field of fire can intersect his path -- Gabe
tackles Ryan as he manages to get the goggles off -- both men
fall to the ground, and --
The machine gun CLATTERS away, landing on the edge of the ice,
just out of reach -- Ryan, now recovered from the blinding
flash, pulls an ice axe out of a pack sheath and swings it at
Gabe -- Gabe rolls away in time, and gets to the machine gun,
grabbing it -- But Ryan dives for Gabe, slamming into him --
the force of it knocks the machine gun loose -- it skips down
the ice slope -- but the momentum of Ryan's hit also carries
both Gabe and Ryan over the edge, onto --
THE ICE SLOPE
Gabe and Ryan both tumble over the edge and start sliding
down, Ryan face first on his stomach, Gabe head first and on
his back -- both are in immediate agony, because
CLOSE ON THE ICE
-- it's covered with razor sharp, irregular ridges, both large
and small, that slice through clothing and shred skin as they
pick up speed --
GABE'S UPSIDE-DOWN POV - THE ICE FIELD
The edge and a five thousand foot drop are less than a hundred
yards away --
GABE AND RYAN SLIDING
Ryan flails and SCREAMS as the ice gashes him from
underneath -- Gabe, however, manages to flip over and to the
side -- he lunges on top of Ryan and rides him down like a
GABE'S POV - END OF THE ICE SLOPS
is coming up too fast --
tries to maintain his perch on Ryan, who is SCREAMING and not
yet used to the idea of being a human sled -- he isn't
remaining still enough to provide a smooth ride -- Gabe
frantically reaches behind to Ryan's wrist to get the ice axe,
trailing from a wrist strap, but Ryan's arm is thrashing away,
threatening to toss off the axe --
Qualen, Kristel and Kynette arrive at the lip, and look down,
QUALEN POV - GABE RIDING RYAN
Gabe and Ryan, accelerating, have almost reached the edge --
finally grabs the ice axe, pulling it off Ryan's wrist -- just
as they reach the precipice edge, Gabe loops the axe to his
wrist and swings toward the ice with everything he's got --
The axe's scythe-like blade catches on the ice, right at the
lip of the precipice -- Gabe is wrenched to a painful halt,
suspended over the drop, as what's left of Ryan, still
SCREAMING, shoots over the edge --
Gabe unhooks the axe, and gets another handhold. Gabe uses the
axe to climb further down the ice to some rock -- finding
easier hand holds, he quickly disappears into the darkness.
QUALEN, KRISTEL AND KYNETTE
look down -- Ryan's death scream is still echoing. Qualen is
furious -- Gabe has escaped with the second case.
Kynette shines his flashlight below, illuminating the long,
frozen streak of blood on the ice.
(gestures with light)
INT. DOUGLAS TOURIST SHACK - NIGHT
The expedition has holed up here for the night -- Travers and
Qualen look upset. Things aren't going as well as they'd
hoped. Kristel tries to get some candy out of a vending
machine that's obviously empty. Kynette saws at some camp food
with a distinctive knife -- the handle is a set of brass
knuckles. Delmer guards Hal, who is bound, and seated by the
souvenir photo stand.
Well -- look at the bright side.
At least you've only got to make the
split five ways now.
EXT. MOUNTAIN LEDGE - NIGHT
Gabe confidently drops down onto a large ledge that juts out
from the wall -- obviously familiar territory for him. The
ledge leads to a small, enclosed cave. Gabe takes out his
penlight and shines it -- but the light looks dim. Batteries
are low. Gabe pockets it, flicks his lighter and goes in --
in the flickering light, we can see that no one has been in
here for a while -- snow, dust, rocks -- but we should also
recognize this from the photo seen earlier as Gabe, Maggie and
smiles with the memories -- then his face brightens with one
memory in particular. Gabe rushes to a corner of the cave and
opens a rock-lid to a hiding place.
Please still be there -- oh,
Gabe reaches in the stash and finds an ancient half-full pint
of Jack Daniels. The first thing to go right all day. Gabe
uncaps it and gratefully gulps down a double shot. Peace, at
last. Gabe smiles and leans against the wall, closing his eyes
-- but he's startled instantly by a SCREECH -- Gabe's eyes
shoot open --
An aggressive rat scurries toward him on the floor.
Gabe grabs a rock and CLOBBERS the rat off-screen, ending the
screeches with one blow. Gabe's face first registers
disgust -- then an idea. Then real disgust. Sighing, Gabe
pulls out a pocket knife and opens the blade.
INT. THE CAVE - A LITTLE LATER - CLOSE ON GABE
Gabe takes the now cooked rat carcass -- properly skinned and
butchered -- off his knife blade. We can see from flickering
shadows that a small fire is now burning in a cave -- we
pull back to see
which is built out of small bundles of $5,000 bills. It's safe
to say that something like $500,000 is going up in smoke, and
the fire's dying down. Gabe tosses a fresh band of bills on
the flame. Gabe cools the knife in some snow, saws off a rat
leg, and chews unhappily.
Mmm. Just like -- chicken.
Gabe sparingly washes the bite down with a taste of Jack
Daniel. It's going to have to last him. He has an entire rat
to get through.
EXT. WIDE MOUNTAIN VIEW - DAWN
The first rays of the sun start to poke through the mountains.
It's stopped snowing -- the storm seems to be letting up.
INT. RANGER STATION
Very quiet in here. Frank is snoring, slumped over the radio.
Maggie is wide awake and obviously hasn't slept -- her
attention is fixed out the window.
MAGGIE'S POV - WINDSPEED GAUGE
The gauge is still flying around, but clearly shows that the
winds are slowing.
INT. DENVER MINT - WRIGHT'S OFFICE
Wright is coiled at his desk, tense. Ten empty styrofoam
coffee cups -- and dark rings under Wright's eyes -- make
clear he hasn't slept. Wright's assistant bursts in.
We've got a fix on the plane, sir --
we're getting a reading on the flight
recorder tracer --
Any visual? Any radio contact?
Not yet --
(heading to the door)
Get the copters ready. We take off in
The winds are still too strong --
Sorry to hear it. We're still going.
The plane might be intact.
Wright drags the protesting Davis out the door.
Shut up. That fifty million isn't
coming out of my pension.
EXT. MOUNTAIN TOP - DOUGLAS TOURIST SHACK - DAY
Travers, Qualen and the rest of the expedition head out of the
shack, a little groggy. Odds are no one got much sleep.
Travers shoves Hal toward a sketchy "YOU ARE HERE" map of the
mountain range, and hands him the tracer monitor.
Still interested in staying alive?
Hal matches the monitor to the map -- the blip is higher up.
(pointing to map)
It's up here. Somewhere on the Tower.
There's a way to cross over to the top
in about half a day.
Travers shoves Hal forward -- the others follow.
ELSEWHERE ON THE MOUNTAIN/SUMMIT - BINOCULAR POV
From about fifty yards off, someone watches Hal lead the gang
away from the shack.
They're heading toward the opposite
edge. An easy way down.
BRETT AND EVAN
are crouched in the woods. Brett, gun in hand, has no idea how
far out of his league he is. Evan looks like he's having
second thoughts, but he can't hack down now.
I'll cut around this side, and wind up
in front. You come up behind them --
quietly. And we've got 'em.
Brett -- they've got five guns --
And you can collect them all after I
get the drop on 'em. Let's get moving.
Brett, automatic held high, circles off through the woods.
Evan reluctantly lopes off toward his assignment.
BELOW - GABE'S CAVE
Gabe pulls his jacket on -- reversed, with the grey lining
out, so the orange won't make him so easy to spot -- and
starts out towards the facing Tower -- his route, clearly, is
going to be along the rock wall. It's relatively sheer, but
there are shelves cut into it to make walking easy.
MOUNTAIN TOP/SUMMIT - BRETT
races quietly through the woods in a parallel path with Hal,
who's guiding the hang. Brett circles around ahead of them,
waiting. Before he can jump out --
HAL'S POV - ON BRETT
hiding ahead in the trees and rocks.
makes eye contact with Brett, realizes what he's doing, and
shakes his head as violently as he dares -- no, don't --
gives Hal a confident wink in response, then pounces in front
of the gang, gun held high.
End of the line!
Travers, Delmer, Kristel and Kynette are startled, but don't
immediately comply. This throws Brett off his stride.
You heard me! Drop the guns!
Travers smiles and steps closer to Brett. The others walk up
in front of Hal. Travers actually laughs.
"End of the line"? That's classic.
You've got style. So, I'm going to
give you a three-count to figure out
how to turn the safety off.
Brett doesn't even look down -- he responds by FIRING a short
burst over Travers' head.
Nice try. I've got one of these at
home. Now drop 'em.
All drop their guns -- Brett, unfortunately, realizes at the
same time we do --
Hey -- where's the other guy --
Brett, behind you!
Too late -- Brett can only twist around half way before --
easily mows down Brett with his machine gun, riddling him with
at least thirty rounds at close range. Brett falls dead into
the snow. Qualen walks up to Brett's corpse, blood steaming in
the reddening snow, and kicks it over.
BELOW ON THE WALLSIDE
Gabe, reacting to the sound of the machine gun fire, climbs
up, but there's nothing he can do --
TRAVERS AND QUALEN
and the others pick up their guns.
(turning to face Hal)
Time to --
Travers sees that Hal is gone -- he's escaped in the
IN THE WOODS - HAL
runs like his ass is on fire and practically collides with
Evan, who is more panicked than ever.
What are we going to do --
You came up here to jump the spur --
(pulls Evan's chute out
of his pack)
This'd be a great time to do it.
Listen -- they don't know you're up
here -- I'll draw their fire, you've
got to make the jump and get help.
I don't -- I -- uh --
Unless you want to do it the other way
Evan snatches the parachute and runs off. Hal, wasting no
time, runs in the opposite direction, deliberately making as
much noise as he can, slapping branches, stomping on rocks.
EXT. WOODS - THE BANG
runs into the woods -- Qualen and Kristel, hearing Hal's noisy
retreat, run after him. But Travers stops for a second -- he
in the snow -- not unlike a neon arrow.
runs in the direction of the footprints and quickly closes the
gap between him and
who tries to pull on the chute and run at the same time --
it's not easy. Evan closes one of the three buckles -- but
bursts out of the woods and runs up right behind him --
QUALEN AND KRISTEL
in the meantime, get behind Hal in a clearing -- Kristel FIRES
over his head.
Hal, caught again, freezes in his tracks.
is still up and running -- he dodges Travers' fire, weaving
through trees, getting the second buckle closed -- he sees the
edge, just ahead, and puts on an extra burst of speed --
does likewise, still firing -- his clip runs out, but this
only buys Evan an extra few seconds --
is a rock formation that just out like a diving board -- Evan
runs like hell to the edge of it --
is right behind him, and has slapped a fresh clip in place,
but before he can shoot --
dives off the edge and clasps the third buckle --
ON THE LEDGE - GABE
is directly below a few hundred feet -- looking up, he thinks
Evan has made it -- but
ON THE SPUR EDGE - TRAVERS
throws himself down, aims quickly but carefully, and FIRES
twenty rounds towards Evan's falling figure --
EVAN - FALLING
Evan LAUGHS -- he hasn't been hit --
GABE - WATCHING
Come on -- wait till you're out of
range -- don't pull it yet --
LONG SHOT - EVAN FALLING
Several seconds pass -- Evan is now several hundred feet down
and apparently out of firing range --
stops firing -- but doesn't seem unhappy at all.
LAUGHS more and pulls the D-ring -- the parachute billows
open, inflating --
CLOSE ON THE PARACHUTE
which has been shredded by bullets that hit the pack -- as
quickly as it inflates, it deflates through dozens of
holes -- whatever resistance is left vanishes as the canopy
exhilaration turns to panic as he frantically pulls on the
chute's guide lines -- but the more he does this, the faster
the chute caves in -- he SCREAMS as the chute finally gives
way and plummets right past
GABE ON THE LEDGE
who is powerless to do anything but watch --
falls the long, full five thousand feet, desperately,
uselessly, pulling in the lines of the tattered chute until
he's tangled in it like a shroud --
turns away -- he can't watch Evan hit bottom -- he grimaces
and looks up with absolute hate at
who doesn't see Gabe -- he's laughing at Evan's desperation,
which ends as his death scream is cut off.
Hal is led over to the spur, with the other gang members
behind him. Hal looks as angry as Gabe.
Was that Walker?
No such luck.
(to Hal, smiling)
Cheer up. Everyone should die in a
spot this beautiful.
ON THE LEDGE BELOW - CLOSE ON GABE
who has heard this and is shaking with fury.
Don't worry. You will.
LONG SHOT OF MOUNTAIN
On top, Hal reluctantly leads the gang away -- below, we can
see Gabe start out on a parallel path along the ledges.
EXT. RANGER STATION - HELIPAD - DAY
Winds or not, Maggie is untying the helicopter's rotor from
the bolts on the helipad. Frank, who has obviously just
awakened, rushes out of the station.
Maggie -- what are you doing --
I'm going to go nuts if I sit here one
Still a little breezy out, Mag --
Maggie gets into the helicopter and starts the rotor.
(over engine's whine)
Frank hesitates, but climbs in the other side. The helicopter
lifts off and heads toward the mountain range.
EXT. MOUNTAIN - AERIAL SHOT - DAY
The next obstacle Hal is leading the gang through is a
buttress -- a large, stark boulder formation -- that lays
between the mountain they've just come from, and the nearest
mountain to it: the Tower. This is lower down from the
summit -- it's solid and treeless.
Hal and the rest of the expedition is totally exposed as they
climb in single file up to the top. Terrain is flat enough
that the climb amount to an uphill run on all fours.
CLOSER ON HAL AND GANG
Hal leads the gang forward -- and keeps casting anxious
glances back at them. And beyond them. Travers notices this.
Forget about it. He's smart, but he's
Hal looks back. Travers is right. There's absolutely no way
Gabe can come up behind them without being seen.
LOWER DOWN ON BLUFF
where the bluff meets a tree-lined plain. Gabe, in hiding,
watches Hal and the others go up. No, he can't follow them up
the bluff's side without being seen. But Gabe moves closer to
the bluff's base -- Gabe shoves through some trees to the
A crevice runs the entire length and breadth of the bluff.
pulls out his ancient binoculars, and scans the crack.
GABE'S POV - THE CHIMNEY
Starting with an outside view, we can see that the crevice
runs all the way up, and through, the bluff -- but it's a
zig-zag, not a straight line.
Picture a mine shaft designed by a madman. The crack moves
upward, then erratically to the side, then straight up again.
The width of the crack is uneven, ranging from six inches to
six feet. And that's just how it looks on the outside.
There's no telling what the interior is like.
Gabe turns the binoculars to the inside of the crack. It's
hard to see much -- it's very, very dark. But it looks as if
the crack goes all the way through the bluff, as well as all
the way up it. On this route, Gabe can tunnel through the
mountain instead of going up the side.
puts away the binoculars and wedges himself into the crack,
starting the long process of going up -- and through -- the
EXT. COLORADO WILDERNESS - PLANE CRASH SITE - DAY
A frenzy of activity, as several dozen Treasury agents sift
through the snow for the wreckage of the CT-39, some taking
photos, some taking videotapes, some putting the pieces into
bags for analysis. Many bags. Many small bags.
WIDER ON CRASH SITE
The Treasury plane has been completely pulverized by the crash
and its subsequent explosion -- there are few pieces here that
aren't charred, and fewer still that are any larger than a
unhappily walks through the carnage and past agents gathering
up the plane, to a harried crash specialist from the FAA --
ROSS STUART (40s) -- who is organizing the debris.
What can you confirm?
Well, sir -- it crashed. That, I can
We've been here just about one hour.
These events take months to analyze.
So if you'll excuse me --
He walks away -- but Wright, pissed, spins him around.
No, I don't think I will. The reason
the FAA pays you is to exercise your
vast, amazing knowledge of these
"events". So I expect you to come up
with some stunning insights, something
a slow-witted fuck like me hasn't
(gesturing to wreckage)
One: it didn't blow up in mid-air,
because the debris isn't widely
dispersed. But was there a bomb on
board that could have disabled it? I
Two: There wasn't an attempted
landing. Otherwise, there'd be debris
to the east of the wreckage, where the
plane was coming from. Did it come
straight down? That's got me
scratching my head too.
(gesturing back to
And three: the flight recorder's
tracer led us here in the first place.
So where is the goddamn thing? That
one's got me all aflush with
(a little cowed)
You'll be the first to know.
Oh, I believe you.
Wright storms off as agents delicately handle debris.
EXT. TOP OF THE BLUFF/VISTA - DAY
A vista. From this point, you can see everything else in the
mountain range. The only thing left that's taller is the
Tower, a hundred yards away. Between the two mountains lies a
drop of a mere four thousand feet.
Hal has led the rest of the gang up to the edge. Travers
approaches him, furious.
I thought you said there was an easy
There is. You might not like it much.
A steep two hundred yard downhill climb leads to a wire that
bridges the two mountains. The same wire we saw at the
beginning -- left behind from Susan Collins' botched rescue.
TOP OF BLUFF - HAL AND TRAVERS
Of course -- we'll have to do it hand
over hand. Seems I forgot my harness.
Don't be. Lead on.
Hal is surprised to see Kynette pull a harness out of his pack
-- the one Travers used earlier. Disappointed, Hal leads the
downward climb, looking several hundred yards to
running up, and through, the bluff, coming out on this side.
registers a thought -- will he? -- then dismissal. Nah. He
INT. THE CRACK/CHIMNEY - CLOSE ON GABE'S FACE
Gabe is sweating, straining in the dark, climbing up -- this'd
be a good spot to pull back and take in the view, except --
-- there's nowhere to pull back to. There's about two inches
of clearance between Gabe's chest and the rock, and about the
same between his back and the rock. To the right, there is no
light. At all. To the left, there's no light. Even above,
there is no light, because the crack isn't straight -- nature
isn't that obliging -- it zig-zags up. Gabe is well within the
mountain rock. Nothing could be closer to being buried alive
Gabe snakes through a spot where the crack goes straight up --
he takes out his penlight and turns it on --
GABE'S POV - INSIDE THE CRACK AROUND HIM
even this dim light reveals scores of bats hanging on the
wall, surrounding him, up and down, left and right --
is stuck somewhere between nausea and the realization that
he's made a big mistake.
I didn't need to see that. I really
Gabe cuts the light and slithers up through the dark.
EXT. RESCUE HELICOPTER - DAY
Maggie and Frank are flying low and fast, over treetops and
snow -- both are intently staring down --
is nothing but empty wilderness. But a BUZZER goes off --
MAGGIE AND FRANK
turn their attention to the helicopter's heat scope, which
shows something alive beneath them.
Got 'em -- they're under the trees --
Maggie smiles and slows the copter over a clearing --
EXT. WOODS/THE COPTER
touches down. Maggie is out of it before the rotor has stopped
turning, running into the trees.
Maggie runs into the trees, headlong into
A PACK OF WOLVES
that are preying on -- a body. A pair of legs are gruesomely
sticking out from the feast. One wolf turns to SNARL at Maggie
-- but Frank runs up and pulls a gun from a holster.
Frank aims high and FIRES twice to scare the pack -- the
wolves run off. Maggie goes to the body -- Frank holds her
back, but she goes ahead anyway, worried it might be Gabe --
TIGHT ON MAGGIE
as she examines the body --
(she stands, looks up)
Damn fool. Why would anybody try that
in the middle of a storm.
Why would anybody try at all.
Get the bag.
INT. BLUFF CRACK/CHIMNEY
Gabe has a quick climbing rhythm now. He pulls himself up with
his hands, then braces his body with his back, and pulls
himself up again -- he's not looking up, because he can't see
anything yet anyway -- naturally, this leads to --
A head and rock collision. Gabe's head crashes against a new
part of the crack, as the passage thins out. He gropes up.
The passage is narrowing to the point that he can't get
through it. Dead end.
Should've taken that left turn at
Gabe backs down, and starts to slide across the side. With
his back wedged against the rear wall, he uses his feet to
push against the forward wall.
GABE'S POV - BLACK
Zero visibility -- Gabe can't see what he's shoving toward.
There has never been light of any kind in here.
blindly pushes to the side, rattled by the difficulty of doing
this in the dark.
It's just like any other side move --
you can't see where the fuck you're
going, that's all --
Gabe stops and fishes out his penlight. Turning it on, it's
clear those batteries haven't gotten any more potent in the
last few hours. Gabe shines it to the side.
GABE'S POV - THE LIGHT
is fading fast. A match's last gasp is brighter.
exasperated, puts the penlight in his mouth and moves on.
Gabe inches on to the side. Looks up to see if the crack has
gotten wider. It hasn't. Gabe mumbles something phonetically
near "motherfucker" around the flashlight, aiming it up --
GABE'S POV - UP
No opening larger than a mail slot --
still cursing, still looking up, still moving to the side --
he gets the opening he wants, but not where he wants it --
The crack suddenly, drastically widens as he moves to the
side -- since he's been bracing his back against the wall,
Gabe falls out of control, twisting around, face down --
Gabe bounces down the walls for several yards and catches
himself by bracing his arms and legs against the crack. It's
now five feet wide as he painfully brakes himself --
GABE'S POV - THE PENLIGHT
falls out of Gabe's mouth and tumbles down, ping-ponging from
one side of the crack to the other as it tumbles a long, long
way down -- even after the light is gone, we can still hear
the penlight's receding clattering against the walls --
is now, literally, in a jam. There are no handholds, no
ledges, and the walls are slick. All he can do is remain
braced against the crack's walls until his already sore arms
and legs give out.
EXT. RESCUE HELICOPTER - NEAR BLUFF'S BASE - DAY
Frank is now flying the helicopter -- a body bag is stashed in
the back, and Maggie is in the passenger seat.
Bring it down here.
Just do it, Frank.
EXT. BLUFF BASE
The copter touches down -- Frank doesn't turn it off. Maggie
jumps out with a walkie talkie. Frank makes another try.
Maggie, this is dumb --
No it isn't. I'm going to find
Brett -- I don't want to have to talk
to his widow too. Fly Evan's body
back to base -- I'll call you when
I've found Brett. Or Hal. Or Gabe.
Maggie runs off into the snow as Frank lifts off. Maggie moves
quickly through the snow, and it isn't long before she spots
multiple tracks in the snow -- they lead toward, and up, the
buttress. Now she's really confused. But with nothing left to
do, she starts climbing up the side.
EXT. WIRE CROSSING - HAL'S POV
As we've caught Hal in mid-crossing, he's looking from whence
he came -- the opposite side of the buttress, where Travers
has a gun trained on him --
unhappily hangs high above the ground from the harness kindly
provided by Travers --
HAL'S POV - ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIRE
Kristel is waiting, also with a gun trained on him. Hal
arrives and disengages -- the harness is pulled back.
BUTTRESS SIDE OF WIRE
Kynette pulls the harness back and hands it to Qualen, who's
standing next to Travers.
I'm going back.
Look -- this part is nothing,
believe me --
Walker should be coming up by now.
Kynette, automatic strapped to his chest, rushes back to the
INT. BUTTRESS CRACK/CHIMNEY
Gabe is just as we left him. Face down, arms and legs pressing
against the five-foot gap of the tunnel walls.
Carefully, Gabe takes one hand off the wall, gets out his
lighter with the other, and ignites it for a look --
GABE'S POV - UPWARD
Just as the crack has widened below him -- it's wider above
him. More important, it slants at an easy enough angle to
allow him to walk up. If only he can get up there.
snaps the lighter shut, pockets it, and readies himself.
Gabe steadily "walks" up the vertical passage by bracing
himself with one leg and one arm -- then moving the other
leg and arm up.
Gabe repeats this until he has his hands on the curved edge
where the crack snakes into a sideways passage. But there are
no handholds that will allow Gabe to get a grip and simply
swing over and climb up.
So much for the easy part.
OVERHEAD ANGLE - THE CRACK
Gabe takes a deep breath, readies himself, and shoves himself
away from the wall with his arms, pushes himself into a squat
against the opposite wall, hanging for a second with no
support at all, and he springs from that all into
THE DIAGONAL PASSAGE
Gabe lands hard but flat on the passage and immediately starts
backsliding into the drop, but he digs in with his boots and
his hands. Safe at last. Gabe carefully stands in a crouch --
and starts heading up.
EXT. BUTTRESS TOP
Kynette moves to the edge, lies flat, and looks down --
KYNETTE'S POV - ON THE BUTTRESS SIDE
Maggie is climbing up, but she's still some way down -- and
the hood of her parka has been pulled over her head. All
Kynette can see is what she's wearing: an orange parka.
smiles and hits his headset radio.
He's on the way up. I could hear that
jacket before I could see it.
Then get the money, kill him and get
back here. Now.
I'll wait till he comes to me.
Kynette flattens out to wait -- Maggie is coming up fast.
INT. MOUNTAIN CRACK/CHIMNEY
Gabe moves up through the diagonal section -- the crack is
starting to go directly upward. Gabe looks up --
GABE'S POV - TOP OF THE CRACK
It's coated with snow, but not too much -- Gabe can faintly
make out light shining through up there.
knows the top is twenty feet away. Gabe starts up the easy
segment, his back braced against one wall.
EXT. TOP OF BUTTRESS - KYNETTE
is staring down intently at the climber below --
KYNETTE'S POV - MAGGIE
is now almost to the top -- sweating with exertion, she throws
her hood back.
keys his headset radio again.
Bulletin. The climber isn't Walker --
it's a woman.
INT. MOUNTAIN CRACK/CHIMNEY
Gabe, wedged near the top of the crack, is ready to dig
through the snow -- but he hears the sound, muffled and
distant, of Kynette talking. Gabe strains to hear -- a bad
time to come up? Might be.
EXT. BUTTRESS SIDE
Maggie, tired, gets near the top and collapses, resting for a
moment, her arms on the edge -- Maggie looks up and is very
surprised to see Kynette, standing over her, smiling, his gun
aimed down at her.
Rotten weather for a climb, huh?
I have two questions I'd like to
trouble you with. Ready?
Maggie stares up, frozen -- whatever she was expecting, it
This first one's easy. Do you know a
man named Gabe Walker?
Where is he?
You don't know either? I am sorry.
That was question number two.
Thanks for your time.
As Kynette tightens his finger around the trigger --
appears -- he completes his run toward Kynette's back and
kicks him over the edge --
goes flying over Maggie, his shots going wild -- but he
catches himself on the rock and comes to a painful but safe
halt after skidding down ten feet --
yanks Maggie to her feet and onto the top. Maggie gets a good
look at Gabe -- his clothes are slashed, he's covered with
cuts, and coated with slime and dirt from the crack. He looks
like he's just spent a week in Hell. Gabe doesn't react to her
reaction -- he just grabs her hand and runs.
chooses this moment to show up at the opposite edge -- he
fires and automatic BURST at Gabe and Maggie.
Come on --
Gabe jumps on a spot in the snow over the crack, caving it
in -- Gabe falls two feet into
THE CRACK - MAGGIE'S POV
Gabe has grabbed, and is hanging from, a rope anchored to a
piton on the edge of the rock. He's also glowering up at
Maggie a little impatiently.
Gabe rappels down the rope into the darkness.
hesitates -- she's still getting used to the idea of being
shot at --
woozy but recovered, has climbed up -- he runs toward the
opening, FIRING his gun --
drops into the relative safety of the crack and rappels
Maggie reaches rope's end thirty feet down, as the vertical
passage again becomes diagonal. Gabe is there waiting.
reaches the edge of the crack and FIRES down into it --
GABE AND MAGGIE - FURTHER DOWN
-- bullets are RICOCHETING all over -- Gabe throws himself
over Maggie to shield her.
can't see what he's shooting at, so he mercifully stops.
Seeing the rope, he bends down to climb after them --
GABE AND MAGGIE - FURTHER DOWN
Gabe reaches up and tugs gently on the rope twice --
KYNETTE - REACHING FOR THE ROPE
-- which is tied in a standard climber's slipknot and comes
undone with a final tug -- the rope, freed of the piton, falls
down, but Kynette firmly grabs hold of the end --
feels the rope go taut -- he yanks the rope down hard --
gets more pull than he counted on and takes a head first fall
into the crack, disappearing with a scream -- Qualen has just
arrived in time to see this --
looks over as Kynette bounces past him, a few feet away -- the
rope goes slack in his hand as Kynette falls below.
UP ABOVE - QUALEN
in frustration, FIRES a burst straight down into the crack --
GABE AND MAGGIE - IN THE CRACK/CHIMNEY
Gabe and Maggie move laterally through the crack -- now about
thirty feet from where they started, so ricochets are a
serious but decreasing problem.
The crack narrows from five to three feet. Gabe edges Maggie
down into it, and along a ledge moving to the side.
(off Maggie's look)
I like the outside of the mountain
better too, but --
Gabe and Maggie move along the ledge --
is still at the edge of the crack -- stymied. He's definitely
not climbing down after them -- he pulls back from the edge.
IN THE CRACK/CHIMNEY - GABE AND MAGGIE
find a comparative point of comfort -- a toe-sized ledge.
Maggie is moving ahead of Gabe.
We can't --
I need to stop.
Exhausted, Gabe braces himself against the wall.
(looks at Maggie)
I'm glad to see you -- but Christ, I
wish you hadn't come.
EXT. WIRE CROSSING - TOWER SIDE - DAY
Qualen whizzes across the wire on the harness, easily making
it to where Hal, Travers and Kristel are waiting.
Don't tell me --
He's still alive.
Travers takes a couple of heavy swings at the connecting bolt
with Hal's axe. Qualen grabs his arm before he can take a
third swing -- and looks at his watch.
For another two minutes.
IN THE CRACK/CHIMNEY - GABE AND MAGGIE
Gabe catches his breath. All this is taking its toll on him.
It hurts just looking at you.
Try it from this side. Do you still
have your radio?
It's not going to work in here.
Let's give it a try.
(she hands it to him)
I'm in bad need of a ride.
Come in, Rescue Unit --
EXT. TOWER FACE - DAY
Hal is leading the expedition upward along a ledge -- the
radio, in Travers' pack, comes to life.
-- Come in, Rescue One --
Travers stares daggers at Qualen. Qualen looks to his watch.
INT. RESCUE STATION
The radio is reading Gabe loud, if not clear -- the
interference of solid rock is garbling it. But we can see out
the window that Frank is now between radios, carefully
hauling Evan's body from the helicopter to the station on a
collapsible gurney. No one else is in the station.
(over radio, broken up)
-- Come in, Frank --
INT. BUTTRESS CRACK/CHIMNEY
Gabe, exasperated, stops for a moment.
Is there anybody else on the radio?
Maggie shakes her head no.
I take a year off and the department
goes to hell.
-- Come in, Rescue Unit --
TOP OF BUTTRESS - HIGH ANGLE
We can see there are three holes punched in the snow along the
crack's top --
CLOSER ON ONE OF THE HOLES
Recognizably the part of the crack Gabe and Maggie dove
into -- but perched on the edge is a block of plastic
explosive -- the detonator LED races down -- 0:20 -- 0:19 --
A SECOND HOLE
has been punched in the snow at the center point of the
crevice's top -- another bomb has been planted there --
A THIRD HOLE
at the opposite end of the crevice has a third timer tied to
a third pack of plastics --
EXT. TOWER FACE
Qualen is staring at his watch, but pointing the others toward
Come in, Frank -- over --
Try to get thirty million in
entertainment out of this, because he
is definitely in for thirty million
worth of pain.
Gabe's radio calls continue as Qualen extends his arm towards
the buttress and starts a silent hand countdown, stage manager
style -- five -- four -- three --
INSERT - TIMER
The LED runs down -- 0:02 -- 0:01 --
THE BUTTRESS TOP
is shattered by a huge blast as the first bomb detonates --
INSIDE THE CRACK/CHIMNEY
The walls are pulverized near the top and cave in, raining
rocks further down towards --
GABE AND MAGGIE
who are hit by a blast of air booming down through the
confined space -- Gabe drops the radio -- Maggie slips, but
Gabe grabs her -- both slide down the crack, out of control,
until it narrows to a three foot width -- and they stop --
Gabe shoves Maggie against the wall and tries to protect her
with his body as the rocks start to rain down --
Hal lunges at Qualen, but is held back by Travers.
You sick fuck --
Don't worry. They may still be alive.
That was the small one.
Frank stops wheeling the gurney and looks up at the far-off
blast, and the smoke, amazed.
Jesus -- that's some flare.
INSIDE THE CRACK
Rocks tumble down it, filling it in and sealing it off --
FURTHER DOWN - GABE
is braced over Maggie, protecting her from the first round of
falling rocks, but rolling THUNDER in the crack announces that
more is coming -- Gabe looks up as the noise gets closer --
ABOVE IN THE CRACK
The rockslide arrives -- the crack is filled in seconds with
rocks and dirt, packing it in -- Gabe tries to hold on, but is
shoved down by the falling rocks -- Maggie, however, is
buried in the crack as it fills --
is knocked down to a point where the crack narrows -- he stops
himself by jamming his body against the sides. Suddenly, it's
quiet. A little dirt whistles through, but that's all.
The cave-in has stopped, as it's filled in the crack above.
And Maggie is in the middle of it. Gabe unsheaths his ice axe
and starts hacking up to get at Maggie. Dirt and rocks fall in
his face as he digs --
BOMB NUMBER TWO - INSERT
Another LED is counting down from 3:00 -- 2:59 -- 2:58 --
INSIDE THE CRACK
Gabe frantically hacks at the ceiling of dirt -- rock and soil
tumble down, but no sign of Maggie. Gabe uncovers one of
Maggie's feet. Is it too late? Gabe digs up around her --
Maggie realizes Gabe is there -- she starts kicking.
Finally Maggie tumbles out of the cave-in -- gasping and
coughing, but alive. Gabe catches her and brushes the dirt
off her face.
Are you all right?
Why are they doing this?
Frank, having lain Evan's body to rest, runs back to the
helicopter, starts it up and takes off.
INSIDE THE CRACK/CHIMNEY
Gabe is leading Maggie horizontally through the crack, fast
and furious --
We might be able to get up that way --
there's an opening --
No -- there could be another bomb up
there -- even if there isn't, we could
get another cave-in. The only sure way
out is through the side.
EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - DAY
Treasury agents sift debris as Davis runs up to Stuart.
I've got something here.
Let's have it.
There's an unconfirmed report of a
distress call made from a plane that
That's really, really interesting, but
-- kind of old news, don't you think?
This call was supposedly made from a
plane that crash landed. After it
(waves it off)
Sounds like they got it wrong. Next
time you interrupt my work make sure
it's something I can use.
INT. MOUNTAIN CRACK/CHIMNEY
Gabe and Maggie cautiously move along a single ledge --
finally, some light can be seen, thirty feet ahead, as they
round a corner.
Come on -- we're almost out.
The crack narrows, and Gabe straddles it, putting his feet on
the opposite edge to walk faster. But before he can go on --
grabs one of Gabe's ankles from below and yanks him down --
Gabe tumbles painfully, braking himself in front of
bruised and bloody, who has survived the earlier fall and made
his way out. His look is not a forgiving one.
Kynette smashes Gabe's face with a devastating, brass-knuckled
falls back, desperately grabbing at the walls to stop himself
from going all the way down -- as he weakly tries to get up --
calmly opens his knife, and re-laces his fingers into its
The gang and Hal watch the mountain top, with very different
expectations and hopes -- their vantage point keeps them from
seeing where the crack actually comes out.
(looks to Hal)
You might say a few words for your
friends -- this is the one that will
BOMB NUMBER TWO - INSERT
Ready to blow -- 0:10 -- 0:09 --
IN THE CRACK - MAGGIE
can only look down helplessly at
GABE AND KYNETTE
fighting -- Gabe is on his feet, but Kynette, slashing at him
with his knife, is forcing Gabe to back up -- the crack is
getting wider, and finding footholds while crab-walking
backwards in the dark isn't east.
Gabe's in a rotten fighting position -- as he has to spread
his feet out wider as he backs up, he's always lower than
Gabe throws a punch at Kynette's stomach, but there's no power
to it. Kynette hits Gabe with a brutal knuckle-duster punch --
Gabe flies back several feet, somehow managing to straddle the
crack walls -- which are now four feet apart. Kynette moves in
for the kill.
BOMB NUMBER TWO - INSERT
The LED counts down -- 0:02 -- 0:01 -- 0:00 -- but doesn't
detonate. A green light starts flashing, but the bomb hasn't
IN THE CRACK/CHIMNEY
Kynette moves in over Gabe and swings down with the knife --
But Gabe grabs his knife hand, and adding his own force to the
swing, imbeds the knife to the hilt in the rock wall,
trapping Kynette's hand in the brass-knuckle handle.
Gabe stabilizes himself on Kynette's trapped arm and gets a
little payback -- three solid roundhouse punches to Kynette's
face -- he then climbs up his pinned opponent, stepping up
on Kynette's stuck hand as if it were a piton.
Qualen's smirk is wiped off his face. The bomb didn't work?
I'm not sure -- I set the timer --
Qualen gestures helplessly, putting the radio in Hal's reach.
Hal takes advantage of this, throws off Travers, and grabs the
Gabe, it's a dud --
But the second Hal transmits --
BOMB NUMBER TWO
detonates over the central part of the crevice, and as
promised, it's even bigger than the first --
INSIDE THE CRACK
The bomb instantly blasts tons of rock down the crevice --
GABE AND MAGGIE
The RUMBLE of the approaching rockslide is unmistakable --
Gabe shoves Maggie forward --
Maggie doesn't have to be told twice -- she and Gabe move out
the narrowed crack quickly, but under the circumstances,
this "running" looks damn slow --
struggles with the stuck knife as the cave-in knocks him off
the wall and buries him instantly --
GABE AND MAGGIE
cover the last ten feet, shoved forward by an airburst from
the giant explosion -- they make it to the crack's edge at
last, but on the
OUTSIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN
Gabe and Maggie still have to cling desperately to the sheer
wall -- the airburst has turned the crack into a wind
tunnel -- it's as if the mountain were trying to blow them
Hal, shocked, stares at the enormity of the explosion. Qualen
looks serenely satisfied.
When I was seventeen, I was a sentry
on the East Berlin boundary.
There was a problem, then -- too many
defectors were managing to sneak
through the wilderness to the west. A
man would take them through, every
night of every week -- a man like your
He had quite a sense of humor. Every
time he got someone through, he'd
radio us at midnight to let us know
how many. "Five tonight." "Eight
more have been freed tonight." No one
could find the route. It made me look
I looked day and night and finally I
found it. A tunnel. I didn't tell me
superiors. I put a charge there, with
a timer to trigger a radio receiver on
the detonator. At midnight. Our friend
made his radio report, and I heard him
say "seven" before the explosion.
They pulled eight bodies out of the
tunnel, and I was promoted to
intelligence the next day.
Hal, stunned, looks at the radio, realizing Qualen tricked
him into detonating the bomb. Travers, grinning, takes the
radio from Hal and pats him on the back.
Thanks. We couldn't have killed him
GABE AND MAGGIE - ON THE WALL
The force of the airburst, as brief as it is strong, is over.
Dust slowly swirls out -- Gabe and Maggie raise their heads.
Gabe looks back -- the crack is now sealed off. Gabe takes a
piton and hammer from his belt and hands it to Maggie along
with the rope.
Knock this in the side. Make it firm.
Maggie does as Gabe takes the binoculars out, and climbs out
on a slim toehold so he can look up the wall.
GABE'S POV - UP THE WALL
Gabe whips the binoculars up to the top edge of the wall. It's
blurry -- Gabe focuses the binoculars on -- the third
bomb, visible on the mountain's edge. The LED counts down,
but it's partly obscured. All Gabe can see is the seconds, not
the minutes, that remain -- :42 -- :41 --
Bad news. There's another bomb up
there. We've got to move quick.
Gabe scans methodically but rapidly down the rock below. All
smooth. Until -- Gabe swings the binoculars back. There's a
lip ninety feet below, leading into the wall. A cave.
Good news. There's a cave down there.
puts away the binoculars and swings back to Maggie -- she lets
the length of rope drop. It's thirty feet long. Not even
almost long enough to get to the shelter. Gabe leans against
the crack wall, drained. Now what?
HELICOPTER - MOVING OVER MOUNTAINS
Frank is in the air, heading back out toward the range,
frantically working the radio.
Maggie -- come in, Maggie, this is
Rescue One --
Frank's call is heard on the radio. Travers takes it, and
There's our ride out of here. Everyone
out of sight -- except you, Kristel.
(hands her radio)
Make the distress call. You're so good
All scramble up towards the clearing.
INSERT - THE THIRD BOMB
We can see what Gabe couldn't -- the timer has about two
minutes left -- 1:59 -- 1:58 --
GABE AND MAGGIE - AT THE CRACK'S EDGE
Gabe looks completely defeated. Can't go up. Can't go back in.
Can't go down.
What are we going to do?
Die. I'm sorry, Maggie. I'm sorry you
got into this.
Gabe and Maggie fuse together in a tight embrace -- a final
embrace. But Gabe opens his eyes as the rope, still in
Maggie's hand, brushes his cheek. The end is frayed.
Gabe's eyes light up. Inspiration. Gabe breaks off the embrace
and snatches the rope from her -- he pulls at the end and
furiously starts unravelling it.
What are you doing?
EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - DAY
Davis has just filled in Wright on the "unconfirmed" distress
call. Wright looks furious.
He didn't think a distress call from a
crashed plane was "important"?
Get me a fucking radio! Now!
flying over the mountains.
Frank is practically there, heading toward the buttress and
the facing Tower.
Come in, Maggie, over --
(over radio -- "weak")
Alpha Charlie Niner -- please --
Frank recognizes the pilot's voice from the "distress call".
I copy, Charlie Niner -- what's your
position -- over --
An aerial flare fires up, leaving a clear marker.
Sit tight, Charlie Niner -- I'm right
on top of you.
GABE AND MAGGIE - AT THE CRACK'S EDGE
Gabe is still unravelling the rope fiber -- it's three
different segments wound together. The helicopter flies
overhead -- and past.
Frank! Down here! Frank!
Forget about it. He can't hear you.
(hands Maggie some rope)
Tie these together. Tight.
-- Are you out of your mind --
This is rope from the Gordon exhibit.
The way guys climbed then, they'd tie
on three at a time -- this rope'll
take around nine hundred pounds.
Gabe -- this rope is sixty years old
(misses the point)
Yeah, they made it pretty good then.
Each of these strands ought to hold
about 300 pounds before snapping.
Gabe rapidly ties the rope to the piton -- Maggie works on the
third connecting knot as she does the mental calculation of
what she and Gabe weigh together.
Ought to. About.
Will it hold?
Gabe takes the line from her and lets it drop. Ninety feet of
what looks like twine.
Depends on how big a breakfast you
had. You want to go first?
Maggie's stunned -- but there's no choice. She starts the
rappel down, and Gabe is close behind.
INSERT - THE THIRD BOMB
is ready to blow -- 0:12 -- 0:11 --
MAGGIE AND GABE - RAPPELLING DOWN
To make this even trickier, they have to swing over to the
side about fifteen feet to get to the cave -- meaning they
have to move down in pendulum type swings that put even more
which looks sorely tested at one knot -- it's coming undone --
MAGGIE AND GABE - RAPPELLING
They swing down lower -- twenty feet to the cave, four
thousand to the ground --
INSERT - THE BOMB
-- 0:04 -- 0:03 --
MAGGIE AND GABE - RAPPELLING
They reach the end of the rope -- six feet above the cave
and fifteen feet away laterally.
Swing towards it -- and drop!
Maggie nods -- they start the swing over -- as they get over
the cave's lip --
MAGGIE AND GABE
fall, landing roughly on the cave's narrow lip -- Gabe
starts to slip over, but Maggie pulls him back as --
ABOVE ON THE WALL
The bomb detonates and starts raining debris -- an instant,
massive rockslide --
MAGGIE AND GABE
dive into the small cave as the rockslide tumbles past --
exhausted, they collapse on the cave floor.
THE HELICOPTER - OVER THE TOWER
Frank, obviously, is surprised by the nearby explosion.
What the fuck --
But he sees Kristel in a clearing. Face down in the snow.
First things first.
Frank lands near her, and rushes over to her. Frank turns her
over and breaks a capsule under her nose. She "wakes up" with
a start and looks "terrified".
What -- who are --
Don't worry. I'm here to help.
Glad to hear it.
Kristel sees the snap is off Frank's holster -- she grabs it,
spins it around, and pulls the trigger. CLICK. Frank grabs
her wrist with a move faster than you'd expect from him, and
he yanks the pistol back.
Jailhouse load. First chamber's
-- the rest aren't. Forgive me, but
things have been a little strange this
Nearby, the helicopter radio crackles to life. Frank backs
toward the helicopter, keeping the gun trained on Kristel.
But Frank only gets to the helicopter door before --
comes out of hiding and empties a clip from his automatic into
Frank. Frank is pinned to the door by the fusillade before he
can even get a shot off. Travers runs over to Delmer and
shoves the barrel up.
You'll damage the helicopter.
As if to punctuate this, Frank -- and the now ruined pilot
side door -- fall to the ground. The radio continues to squawk
as Travers grabs Frank's discarded gun.
Kristel brushes the snow off her and goes over to the radio.
Calling Rocky Mountain Rescue -- come
in, Rocky Mountain Rescue -- over --
Rocky Mountain Rescue One, over --
EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - DAY
Wright, davis, and an irritated Stuart huddle over a radio.
This is Ross Stuart, Federal Aviation
Administration -- please identify --
EXT. HELICOPTER - DAY
By now, the others have come out of hiding and up to the
helicopter. Kristel grabs some papers from a plastic packet on
the helicopter seat -- and keys the mike.
Copy, FAA. This is Margaret Deighan,
Rocky Mountain Rescue. Over --
We have an unconfirmed report of an
air crash in your area, and a distress
call on this frequency -- can you
confirm -- over --
Copy, FAA. Distress call came at
approximately eleven hundred hours
yesterday. I investigated -- the call
turned out to be a false alarm. Over.
EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - DAY
Stuart gestures with exasperated triumph.
Please repeat, Rocky Mountain
Rescue -- distress call was a false
alarm? -- over --
Repeat, distress call was a definite
false alarm -- we've had several here.
Somebody's sick idea of a joke. Do you
require further assistance -- over --
Not from you. Thanks, Rocky Mountain
Rescue -- over and out --
Stuart shuts off the radio with finality.
I don't want to say I told you so. But
I did. Can I go back to work now?
EXT. HELICOPTER/TOWER CLEARING - DAY
Kristel smiles and puts the radio mike back into its bracket.
I almost believed you myself.
Travers smiles and turns, looking at
trembling with fury and grief, bent over Frank's body as the
last trace of vapor -- his breath -- trails from his lips.
He's gone. Hal gently closes the eyes of his friend.
Travers moves up behind Hal and kicks him.
Time for number three. Unless you want
to have a longer conversation with him
Travers kicks him in the face, knocking him into the snow.
I think I'll wait here. You just
murdered three of my friends. Sooner
or later, whoever's chasing you is
going to show up and return the favor,
and I'd love to watch.
Travers puts his gun at Hal's forehead and shrugs.
Suit yourself. You see, we just had a
little interface with several branches
of the federal government -- one of
whose members I know has zero
imagination -- and I can tell you, the
cavalry just isn't going to make it by
No, you're taking us where we want to
go. Because you want to return that
favor and you want to do more than
watch. You want to kill me -- more
than anything, even more than you want
to keep on breathing, and with a
little more time you pray you'll get
Am I right?
Hal's answer is a stony, loathing stare. He gets up. But --
INSERT - HAL'S HAND
-- we can see Hal has palmed something from Frank's body.
INT. CAVE - GABE AND MAGGIE
Dust from the rockslide is drifting past the cave opening, but
the worst is over. Gabe rolls Maggie over carefully.
Are you okay?
My ears are ringing -- but I'm all
right. Gabe, what's going on?
(shows money in his pack)
This. That plane crash -- it's a half
dozen guys who were smart enough to
steal fifty million bucks, but dumb
enough to drop it all over the range.
They've got Hal as a bird dog -- and
right now they're heading for the rest
It's close to the lake -- Hal's
probably leading them on the slowest
possible route down to it.
(stiffly gets up)
I can get there first -- all I have to
do is make it along the north wall to
the Bitker ladder --
"All?" Jesus, Gabe -- what do you
expect to do then?
Something -- subtle.
Gabe lurches towards the cave opening, looking more like
Quasimodo than a champion climber. Maggie stops him.
I'm going with you.
No way. You're climbing back down --
try to get to the station or find some
I'm just as good a climber as you
are -- and right now, I'm definitely
in better shape.
And you're definitely not going --
Maggie stares Gabe down. Guess who won all the arguments when
they were together. Gabe's face is a portrait of familiar
Okay. Come on --
As they move out of the cave together, Gabe favors one foot.
-- but the second you slow me down,
I'm leaving --
(slips on sore leg,
Maggie catches him)
-- I'm leaving you behind. Understood?
(helping Gabe out)
Anything you say, Gabe.
EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - ON CHUNK OF WRECKAGE
If you have a good imagination, this corner of charcoal looks
like it could have been --
One of the currency cases.
WRIGHT AND DAVIS
are standing over some of the wreckage. One of the suits bags
and tags the "briefcase".
We've tested the ash inside -- it's
the right paper.
What about the men?
It's -- hard to tell. But forensics
says yes. All of them were in the
(sags with the news)
Everything's accounted for, then --
time to head back and start making
Fifty million bucks up in smoke, and I
just don't give a shit. It's one more
run of the press. But we lost five
good men and they aren't so easily
Especially a guy like Travers.
EXT. MOUNTAIN TOP/TOWER - HELICOPTER - DAY
Dedicated agent Travers leans in reasonable comfort against
the helicopter and keys his headset mike.
Qualen. How far along are you?
Not as far as we'd be with the
FURTHER DOWN ON MOUNTAIN/TOWER
Qualen, Kristel and Delmer follow Hal's lead down the side --
it's not too steep a grade, but it's solid rock and it's
covered with ice and fresh snow -- all have to brace
themselves with their hands to keep from slipping down.
We have less than half a tank of fuel,
Eric -- if we burn it up treasure
hunting we'll never get off this rock.
Now -- how far away are you?
It looks like two miles, but --
Qualen's foot slides out from under him -- he catches himself.
-- it'll take some time.
Time we have -- Walker's dead,
Wright's an idiot. And our guide --
What about him?
As soon as he becomes a convenience
instead of a necessity -- kill him.
can only hear Qualen's end of the conversation -- but his face
shows he can guess what they're talking about.
GABE'S FACE - CLOSE
Gabe's rattled too -- but for a brand new reason -- we PULL
BACK to see Gabe at
THE WIRE'S EDGE
where the wire -- that wire -- links the buttress with the
facing Tower. Whipping in the wind, it looks risky -- but
that's not the problem.
Gabe stares at the other edge for a moment. Immobile.
Remembering Susan's death. Gabe shakes out of it when --
I'll go first.
(shakes his head)
If I don't go first, I might not go at
Gabe hooks his ankles over the wire and starts dragging
himself, hand over hand, across the abyss -- no safety line
this time. As his weight pulls the line taut, the wind rocks
him back and forth. Gabe steadily drags himself out --
GABE ON WIRE - LONG SHOT
Fatigue stops Gabe in the middle -- a half mile up, strung
between two gigantic mountains, he looks as insignificant and
alone as a man possibly can be --
CLOSER ON GABE
Panting with exertion, frozen -- he can barely hold his grip
and has an elbow crooked around the wire for support. Gabe's
eyes are shut -- he looks near collapse --
FLASHBACK - GABE'S POV
Gabe is falling from the wire in slow motion, trailing
Susan -- she spirals out of reach as his line SNAPS him
grip unconsciously relaxes -- but his eyes jolt open and he
clamps both hands shut on the wire. Gabe, drawing on some
inner fury, drags himself with long, sharp yanks --
tensely watches Gabe's crossing --
OVERVIEW - GABE
is about ten feet away from the end --
GABE'S UPSIDE-DOWN POV - THE END OF THE WIRE
looks a lot further away than that --
pulls faster -- and reaches the other side. Gabe maintains his
hand grip and swings his feet onto the ledge, leaning back
against the wall to catch his breath.
(winded, shouting across)
Think you can beat my time?
smiles -- this is more like the Gabe she remembers. She gets
on the wire and starts across in a fast, easy rhythm.
watches her, grinning. Admiration for Maggie is washing away
bad memories of Susan.
Shit -- she is in better shape.
Maggie pulls across fearlessly -- but --
INSERT - THE BOLT
on Gabe's side of the wire is giving where Travers had
hacked at it -- just a millimeter, but it's pulling loose --
doesn't notice and shouts across at Maggie, now half way.
(enjoying it now)
Quit sandbagging it -- I haven't got
all day --
INSERT - THE BOLT
is coming looser -- Maggie's quicker crossing is thrashing the
wire and straining the bolt's weakened anchoring --
GABE - WATCHING MAGGIE
who is now twenty feet away -- fifteen -- ten -- five --
INSERT - THE BOLT
pops out of the wall as if it were shot --
which was tight as a bowstring fires out into the chasm --
Maggie, stunned and without options, lets go two feet short
of the ledge --
drops low just as Maggie starts to fall and swings his arm out
towards hers in one lightning-fast motion --
maintains his grip on Maggie's hand, but her weight nearly
pulls him off the ledge -- Maggie drags him down, the window
goes out of his chest when it collides with the ledge's
bottom, but their grip holds.
All of this in a split second. Maggie hangs from Gabe's arm,
locked in terror -- but skill wins out over fear. She finds a
handhold with her free arm, and climbs up to the ledge with
Gabe's help. Maggie collapses into Gabe's arms and they fall
back against the wall, but Gabe's the one who's really holding
That -- tears it.
You're not coming any further.
(just as breathless)
Gabe -- you're going to get yourself
(breath almost back)
Maybe. But I'm not getting you
(she starts a reply)
Look, Maggie. I don't know what'll
happen when I catch up with Hal -- but
I've got to know one thing for sure --
that you're making it off this
Gabe's eyes are pleading. Maggie hesitates. But gives in.
Gabe lightly kisses Maggie -- he doesn't want to turn this
into a farewell kiss, afraid that that's really what it might
be. They stand -- and separate. Gabe moves away.
Get on the trail and stay out of
I'll see you on the ground.
Maggie wonders if she will as Gabe vanishes around a corner.
EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - CLOSE ON BODY BAG
as the zipper is pulled down -- before we can see anything we
mercifully reverse POV to
WRIGHT, DAVIS AND STUART
near a helicopter, look down with disgust. Davis turns away.
I give up. What was it?
A SEARCH PILOT zips the bag back up.
ID says this used to be your pilot.
And we found him seven miles east of
Davis and Wright look at each other, drawing the same
The plane was hijacked. Son of a
Oh, give me a break. Your pilot lost
it when the flight started going
south, and he bailed --
Excuse me -- but there's no parachute
there. Check it yourself.
Before this can go on, a FORENSICS AGENT runs up to Stuart
carrying a recorder.
Sir -- we found the flight recorder --
it was driven twenty feet deep into a
crater. It was demolished, but we
salvaged the recording --
(grabbing it away)
I've heard a thousand of these, Wright
-- whoever was at the stick is going
to begin by screeching the Lord's
Prayer and wind up screaming "Oh,
shit" at ground zero --
Stuart clicks the recorder on with a flourish, but his smug
look melts as the voice of FBI agent Matheson explains --
-- the money's been stolen -- Travers
and the pilot were in on it -- the
pilot's dead, but Travers took the
cash and made a mid-air transfer to a
jet flown by Qualen -- controls won't
Matheson is cut off by the sound of impact, which is followed
by silence. Wright gently turns the recorder off.
Guess we're both right, Stuart. Thanks
for your expertise.
(turns to pilot)
(jerking a thumb back)
You'll be waiting till Groundhog's Day
for him to pull his head out of his
ass -- let's get it in the air!
Wright, Davis and the pilot scramble into a helicopter --
Stuart pauses, but goes after them.
EXT. MOUNTAIN WALL/TOWER - HIGH ANGLE - GABE MOVING ON A
that's a little narrower than your coffee table. It's got
irregular breaks, causing it to go up or down several feet --
and Gabe is jogging it, leaping across the ledge's gaps,
leaning toward the wall -- and away from the four thousand
Gabe's gotten his second wind -- he keeps jumping from ledge
to ledge with the ease that comes from skill and familiarity,
and with renewed purpose. Gabe makes the last jump to a
section of ledge near the bottom of
THE "BITKER" LADDER
which consists of metal rungs woven into loose steel cable
bolted into the rock, running two hundred feet to the top --
something left behind by a past expedition, now a tourist's
toy. And the bottom rung is three feet above Gabe's
Hasn't gotten any lower in the last
(coiling for jump)
Bitker, you cheap bastard. Would
another four feet have killed you?
Gabe leaps up, grabbing the bottom rung instead of a half mile
of air, and he shoots up the ladder as we PULL BACK --
WIDER ANGLE ON MOUNTAIN WALL
A closer look at terrain seen earlier -- fifty yards away from
the ladder, a waterfall is spewing out of the wall, giving the
appearance that the mountain has sprung a torrential leak.
As we track Gabe up the ladder, we can see where the water's
coming from -- a whirling lake on top of the mountain. Its
constant motion keeps it from totally freezing, but the lake
is still coated with a veneer of ice, moving in thick chunks
through circular currents on the surface.
ELSEWHERE ON MOUNTAIN SLOPE - HAL AND GANG
are negotiating the grade, which is slippery, thanks to the
fresh, thick snow -- we can see from their relative position
to the lake that Gabe has a lead on them. A very slight one.
TOP OF LADDER - GABE
pulls himself over and starts running -- as he does, he
uproots a big, 3' x 3' park service sign commemorating the
"BITKER CLIMB" and takes it with him, moving ahead into a
where Gabe replants the sign near the top of another slope.
Gabe heads down towards some rocks -- -- and spots the third
case, which took a tough landing on one rock -- it's shattered
into halves, and the bands of $5000s are scattered around in
Gabe rushes down behind a rock and starts gathering the
cash -- soaked by the snow, they've frozen into ice bricks. As
Gabe stuffs them into his pack, he's startled by something
coming over the rock -- Gabe whirls around to face
that's landed in the snow and looks a lot more frightened than
Gabe was. Gabe leans back, relieved. For now.
EXT. FURTHER UP ON SLOPE - HAL AND GANG
are closer now -- but as they move down, Hal freezes in place
as he sees the "Bitker" sign some distance ahead. The sign is
out of place. A signal from Gabe -- he is alive. And here.
Qualen and the others check the monitor. Hal takes the
opportunity to back up to a rock formation and swiftly, subtly
wedge something into a crack behind his back --
INSERT - THE OBJECT
is what Hal lifted off Frank's body -- a speed load cylinder
from a revolver, with six fresh bullets in it.
checks the monitor -- the relative position shows they're --
-- but Qualen's grin is wiped away as he looks down at --
-- the tracer blip is moving -- fast -- away from their
face shifts from incredulity to realization to rage.
All eyes are on the monitor -- Hal, at the rock formation, has
one hand behind his back.
INSERT - HAL'S HAND
shakes a box of matches from his sleeve -- he slides a single
wooden match halfway out of the pack -- and ignites it with
his thumbnail --
moves away from the rock, to draw their attention from what
he's been doing --
Oh, no -- you didn't lose another
one, did you?
Delmer clicks off his safety and aims at Hal -- Qualen runs
into the woods, guided by the monitor -- Kristel follows.
Delmer backs Hal up at gunpoint. Hal deliberately moves in a
semi-circle, putting Delmer's back to the rocks.
What about him?
(over his shoulder)
Kill him! Now!
Delmer grins as he aims at Hal.
Tell me -- where would you like the
first half dozen shots to go?
INSERT - THE MATCH
has burned more than halfway down to the rest of the box,
which is behind the speed load cylinder --
HAL AND DELMER
As long as you're taking requests --
how about -- the base of your spine?
Delmer smiles and starts to squeeze the trigger -- Hal tenses
up, it's now or never --
INSERT - THE MATCH
burns down to the box, igniting all the matches --
as there is the sudden sound of six distinct, consecutive
gunshots behind him -- the fire's blasted the powder in all
the bullets. Delmer, startled, spins around and FIRES up,
FIRES down, FIRES across -- by the time he realizes no one's
there and he turns back around to find --
-- Hal is gone, vanished into the woods.
through the woods -- up a slope, around a tree, down another
slope -- his eyes fixed on the screen and the blip that's
zig-zagging just ahead of him.
(tagging headset radio)
Travers. Get down here. Now.
is trying to repair the helicopter door when the call comes.
Have you found the money?
No. Walker has.
Travers, furious, flings the door aside, jumps into the copter
and starts the rotor.
is running alone, following the monitor lead -- until he sees
a band of $5000s in the snow. Sure he's on the right track,
Qualen picks it up and picks up his pace too. But we can see
that behind him and higher up --
who is on a rise behind a rock, watches Qualen's futile
pursuit from a distance, amused. Amused, until --
You would have lived longer, if you
weren't such a smartass.
Gabe spins his head around -- and his temple smacks into
Kristel's gun barrel.
You telegraphed this kind of stunt
with that joke snowman. Too bad for
you we're not all gullible.
Kristel starts to squeeze the trigger.
Good thing for Qualen you are.
What do you mean?
When he comes back, he's going to
shoot you and the other guy, grab the
money, and take off with Travers.
(squeezing trigger again)
No sale. Say "night-night" --
He already blew up one of your pals in
that crevice. And I've been in that
copter. It goes a hell of a lot
farther with two people than with
Am I wrong? Give him a buzz.
Kristel eases back with the gun.
You've got my attention.
You've also got all the money. And I
can show you how to get off the
mountain with it. Right now.
ELSEWHERE ON MOUNTAIN - HAL
tears into a clearing, trying to put some distance between him
and Delmer -- as soon as he's out in the open, though,
thunders over Hal -- Travers FIRES down at Hal through the
doorless pilot's side. Bullets kick up tufts of snow at Hal's
heels as he runs down into a steep, sloping wooded area. The
tree cover is too thick for Travers to take good aim. Looks
like temporary refuge -- but
INSIDE THE HELICOPTER
Travers finds a new use for the search copter's heat
scope -- using the blip that betrays Hal's body heat as a
guide, Travers can still fire down through the trees at
who's still running down the grade -- he hasn't been hit yet,
but there's an awful lot of bad luck in the air --
banks the helicopter around and up for another pass.
EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE MOUNTAIN/TOWER WOODS - QUALEN
is slogging uphill after his own tracer blip -- which is
turning back around and heading towards him. Qualen aims his
gun and waits, but at the top of the hill --
that spooked Gabe earlier sticks its head up for a curious
sniff. It has the tracer fastened to its neck with a currency
band. Furious, Qualen FIRES at the rabbit -- it safely speeds
away as Qualen smashes the useless tracer monitor and turns
EXT. TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER - TRAVERS POV
On the heat scope. The blip that represents Hal -- vanishes.
Delmer, who has caught up, is at the edge of the tree-lined
area -- he looks up at Travers.
(keying headset radio)
He's hiding twenty yards in -- be
EXT. WOODS - DELMER
"replies", beeping twice on the headset's ear button as he
moves downhill into the woods, closely following Hal's
tracks -- they lead up to the replanted "BITKER" sign. Just
big enough to hide behind. Delmer smiles, and advances toward
the sign --
-- and looks behind it. Nothing but a mound of snow. Delmer
looks again to the tracks, which lead toward
A SMALL ROCK FORMATION
also big enough to conceal Hal. Delmer moves toward it as --
BEHIND THE "BITKER" SIGN
the mound of snow shifts as Hal climbs out, silently shaking
off the cover -- the snow hid him not only from Delmer, but
from the heat scope as well --
TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER
hovers overhead, watching Delmer's blip on the heat scope --
but Hal's blip returns, rushing ahead --
(keying headset radio)
He's right behind you!
whirls around at the warning, his gun BLAZING, but Hal is too
fast -- he swings the sign like a club, knocking Delmer's gun
away into the snow. Before Hal can swing again, Delmer
brutally punches Hal in the face -- stunned, Hal drops the
IN HELICOPTER - TRAVERS POV
Travers can't do anything now but watch the heat scope as if
it were a video game -- now it's just one big blip --
DELMER AND HAL
thrash around in the snow, pummelling each other -- Hal's
getting the worst of it, as Delmer manages to get on top of
him and deliver a series of punishing blows to his face. Ready
to end it, Delmer tries to get the bolt gun off a clip on his
front pack strap -- but he has trouble unfastening it. Hal
rallies with a solid punch to Delmer's face. Hal gets Delmer
off of him and follows with two more.
Delmer is knocked away, landing on the sign board -- but clear
from Hal -- another chance to get the bolt gun off --
Hal quickly moves to the sign and grabs its post -- before
Delmer can move off the sign's board, Hal's running forward.
shoving the sign ahead of him with Delmer on top -- Hal lets
go, and the sign, with Delmer, sleds downhill on the hard
packed snow --
TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER - TRAVERS
can now see one blip moving quickly away from the other --
Something's moving fast down the
hill -- is it Tucker?
has found Delmer's fallen headset radio and put it on.
Answer me! Is it Tucker?
Hal smiles and beeps twice -- affirmative.
Happy at last, Travers takes off after the blip, flying down
the incline and staying just above the trees, strafing an
intense fusillade at
who's screaming as a storm of bullets rip through him and the
sign and the surrounding snow, keeping pace with his downhill
TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER
FIRES until his clip is empty -- he heads for the end of the
tree line as his target comes out, skidding to a stop in the
snow. Travers gleefully moves lower down for a closer look
but is shocked to see
DELMER - ON "SLED"
Delmer's highly perforated body rolls off the sign as it
finally skids to a dead halt.
CLOSE ON TRAVERS
who is apoplectic -- he's just shot one of his own men.
I couldn't have killed him without
Travers looks down at the heat scope -- blank.
is hiding his body "heat" under a rock formation.
Stymied, Travers furiously banks it away from the wooded area
and circles around the mountain's other side.
EXT. MOUNTAIN - SLOPING GRADE - GABE AND KRISTEL
Gabe, hands on his head, moves down a slope near a mountain
edge, ahead of Kristel, who's aiming her gun at his back.
How much further?
It's right over there.
Gabe nods ahead, indicating what looks like a
that is partially obscured by snow, about twenty feet distant
across a snowy plateau.
GABE AND KRISTEL
It's a storage locker for the rangers.
Everything you need to get off the
mountain is in there -- skiis, food --
I'll show you --
Gabe shows a sudden burst of enthusiasm and starts quickly
moving ahead again -- Kristel suspiciously notices this --
Kristel gets ahead of Gabe and walks backward, keeping her gun
trained on him as she crunches through the snow.
Skiis, food -- and maybe guns too,
Keep walking. Not too close.
We'd make better time walking straight
ahead. Qualen's not going to be
hopping down the bunny trail too much
Right. So I'd better have one less
problem when he arrives.
(knowing this means him)
Don't fuck up. You still need me to
show you a route off the mountain.
You've worn that one out, Walker --
(snaps back bolt)
-- I'll find my own way down.
Kristel solidly plants her feet firmly to shoot Gabe, but her
feet sink through the crystallized snow cover -- --
Kristel completely disappears down through the snow as it
collapses under her -- she's pulling the trigger and SHOTS
go wild as she sinks and sinks --
who's had to drop flat on his stomach to avoid the same
fate -- as he scrambles back to solid land, Kristel's SHOTS
arc up through the snow toward him, and the snow crumbles
around him -- but he bellies ahead as --
ON THE SNOWDRIFT'S TOP
Kristel's GUNSHOTS slow, and finally, stop, the very last of
them loosening the snow around --
that was obscured by snow was a tall, three-sided park service
sign shouting "WARNING -- SNOWDRIFT -- DO NOT CROSS" in eight
different languages. The rest of the snow falls away from it,
revealing a cautionary but cheesy illustration -- a
stick-figure fatally sinking into the snow.
bellies ahead, flat on his stomach, testing the snow with the
ice axe's staff -- only when he hits something solid with it
does he get back up to his feet. But the sound of ice-crusted
snow CRUNCHING above Gabe alerts him that --
has just hit the top of the slope and spotted him -- Qualen's
gun BLAZES down --
is on the run, but it's that lead-footed, slow motion stuff
that only happens in nightmares -- with every step, a foot
breaks through the icy crust and sinks into two feet of
snow -- Gabe stays just ahead of the barrage, making it into
A THICK WOODED AREA
which is very temporary refuge -- Qualen will be down in
seconds. Gabe looks down the slope. Running is impractical. So
he sits down.
arrives where Gabe was and looks down the slope --
QUALEN'S POV - GABE
is whizzing down the slope in a sitting position, using his
back and his shoes as gliders, the ice axe as a rudder.
Alpinists call this a "sitting glissade". Colorado climbers
call it "butt skiing". Some psychos do this for fun.
GABE'S POV - THE SLIDE
is anything but fun -- Gabe can't control his speed or
direction well at all -- Gabe barely manages to steer in and
out of trees and boulders in his path --
starts running down the slope -- he doesn't have speed, but he
does have the machine gun -- he FIRES short bursts at --
who tries to steer away from the line of fire -- Gabe is hit
in the shoulder -- he slides out of control, and rolls down --
-- to the slope's bottom. Gabe painfully lifts himself up and
moves through the woods, coming out of the trees to
The bridge that spans it is ahead of Gabe -- but there is
nothing around but flat terrain. It's a beautiful sight, but
no good for hiding. And Qualen is right behind him.
EXT. MOUNTAIN SLOPE - HAL
rushes down to Delmer's body -- in the snow, he finds the
discarded machine gun and holds it up, but stray bullets from
Travers' fusillade have made it inoperable. Hal tosses it
aside and checks Delmer's bloody pockets for more weapons.
Nothing. Just a couple of machine gun clips, and the bolt gun.
EXT. MOUNTAIN TRAIL - MAGGIE
is wending her way down a hiking trail on the opposite side of
the mountain. In plain view,
TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER
is circling the mountain -- he spots Maggie from on high and
moves down after her.
hears the helicopter, and turns around -- she has no way of
knowing it isn't Frank, so she takes off her jacket and waves
it as a signal --
Frank! Down here!
The helicopter moves down until Maggie can see --
is at the controls.
starts running, but it's useless. Nowhere to hide. Travers
hovers over her, FIRING ahead of her, FIRING behind her, not
to kill, just to make a point. He's in charge.
EXT. MOUNTAIN TRAIL
Maggie finally stops -- Travers lands the copter and opens the
passenger door, keeping his gun trained on her.
Hop in. I know someone who'd like to
see you again before he dies.
EXT. BOTTOM OF THE SLOPE - QUALEN
moves down to the slope's edge, noting with pleasure the blood
in the snow. Gabe is wounded, and he's left a trail as a
Qualen moves out lakeside -- nothing visible but the thick,
flat ice chunks circling in the currents. But Gabe's
footprints and blood lead straight ahead to the bridge.
Qualen starts to run across the bridge, but stares down --
QUALEN'S POV - THE BRIDGE'S PLANKS
The blood -- and slush from Gabe's boots -- end halfway
Smiles and shakes his head. Too obvious. Gabe is hiding
underneath the bridge, in the three foot deep network of steel
supports. Qualen slows his pace, staring down through the
thin, but visible cracks between the planks.
TIGHT CLOSE-UP - GABE'S FACE
grimacing, shivering, ashen from his wound and exertion --
lined shadows on his face confirm he is under the bridge.
You've come a long way to die.
enjoying himself, slams a fresh clip into his machine gun.
If you were smart, you'd have left
your friend behind. I would have.
There's no shame in staying alive.
Qualen stops, staring down. Through the gaps, Gabe's parka is
visible. Right where the blood trail ends.
But you're not smart. And now you're
going to die from an overdose of
Qualen BLAZES the gun into the planks --
UNDER THE BRIDGE - GABE
is clinging to the steel supports of the small bridge,
several feet ahead of where his empty parka is being
shredded by the FUSILLADE -- without the parka, Gabe is
freezing, and too many bullets are coming too close for
comfort as they RICOCHET on the bridge's supports --
stops firing and kicks away the planks, which are a tangle of
toothpicks at this point -- Qualen bends down --
-- and sees there's nothing in the parka except for Gabe's
back. Qualen's face registers anger and surprise as -- -- Gabe
appears at the edge of the hole -- before Qualen can react,
Gabe swings up with his ice axe, hooking it around the
shoulder strap of Qualen's machine gun -- Gabe yanks down,
and Qualen falls head first
UNDER THE BRIDGE
with Gabe -- Qualen catches himself by hooking an arm and a
leg on one of the steel supports -- but both
THE ICE AXE AND THE GUN
fall, landing on separate chunks of ice floating underneath
the bridge --
IN THE SUPPORTS
Gabe pulls himself through the girders to Qualen and punches
him with his good arm, but Qualen is unfazed -- neither are in
good position, it's like a fistfight on a jungle gym -- --
Qualen steadies himself to savagely punch Gabe in his
shoulder wound -- Gabe YELLS in pain and tries to block the
next one, but Qualen punches him again, and Gabe lets go of
the support, falling -- -- on the way down, Gabe grabs
Qualen's leg with his good hand -- too low to grab the bridge,
Gabe dangles just over the water, raising his legs above it as
Qualen tries to kick him off -- -- Gabe holds onto Qualen's
leg, and swings on it like a pendulum -- Gabe twists the leg
-- Qualen loses his grip on the icy steel and lets go --
QUALEN AND GABE
fall -- they land hard, not in the water, but on a
raft-sized chunk of ice driven under the bridge by the
current. Their weight teeter-totters the ice as they get up --
they're in danger not just from each other, but from
THE FAST APPROACHING WHIRLPOOL
where the ice chunks are drawn into the fiercely swirling
vortex that drains into the waterfall --
ON THE ICE RAFT
Qualen and Gabe circle each other like cautious boxers, as the
ice itself swirls in the current -- if either makes the wrong
move, they'll both go over. Gabe swings at Qualen, but Qualen
throws a leg under Gabe and stiff-arms him down -- Gabe hits
the ice hard, his chest hanging over the side -- Qualen moves
in to shove him off -- but their combined weight on the same
side of the ice starts to tip it over -- Gabe viciously
kicks Qualen back, gashing his face with his boot's crampon as
Qualen grabs the ice raft's opposite side, levelling it.
(wiping the gash)
Stalemate, isn't it?
Not any more.
Gabe, still prone, reaches out -- the chunk of ice with
Qualen's machine gun is floating by. Gabe snatches up the gun
and pulls the trigger. Nothing but an empty CLICK.
Far more intimidating when it's
The chunk of ice with Gabe's ice axe floats by Gabe -- Gabe
grabs for it, but misses -- as the ice raft spins around,
Qualen manages to snatch it up -- Qualen scythes it down at
Gabe, slamming the blade into the ice as Gabe rolls away --
WIDER VIEW - THE ICE RAFT
is nearing the center of the whirlpool -- the current is
faster and stronger here -- if it doesn't swallow the ice
raft, it will definitely upend it --
QUALEN AND GABE
stay on opposite sides of the ice raft for balance -- Qualen
swings out at Gabe with the axe. Gabe ducks and tries to go
low to hit Qualen with the gun, but Qualen swings the axe down
again, whizzing right past Gabe as it sinks into --
THE CENTER OF THE ICE RAFT
-- a crack spiderwebs through the ice around the blade --
quickly reacts, jumping onto another bed-sized chunk of ice
floating by, landing on his stomach and braking himself by
digging his crampons in -- just as --
realizing what deep shit he's in, looks for another chunk of
ice to make the same move -- to sees one just out of reach.
Qualen pulls the ice axe out of the raft's center to drag the
other chunk closer in -- -- as he does, the entire raft
disintegrates under him -- Qualen plunges into the water, and
tries to maintain a slippery grip on what ice is left --
-- but now at the center of the whirlpool, Qualen is drawn
into the vortex --
struggles to his feet and looks down, wincing --
GABE'S POV - QUALEN GOING DOWN
Qualen's inaudible scream is just a burst of rising bubbles as
he shoots down to the bottom of the lake -- and beyond --
QUALEN'S POV - UNDERWATER
Qualen is shoved with incredible force and speed through the
lake's tunnel drain --
ON THE MOUNTAIN WALL - THE WATERFALL
BLASTS OUT full force, hurling a still thrashing Qualen a
half a mile to the ground below!
has no time to celebrate -- the chunk of ice he's on leaves
him moments from the same fate. One more time around, and
it's down the drain. Gabe takes a deep breath. No choice. He
WIDER VIEW - THE ICE - GABE LEAPING
-- from one chunk of ice to the other, running the way you
would across stones in a stream, zig-zagging to catch the ones
big enough to support him -- only his crampons keep him from
sliding off, only his momentum keeps him from capsizing the
ice chunks, which shoots away from him in his wake --
lands on an ice raft floating towards the bridge. No choice --
Gabe lunges off the ice raft and reaches for one of the bridge
supports -- his hand catches -- but it's slippery and he's
weakened -- Gabe slides off, but --
reaches down and grabs him --
pulls Gabe the rest of the way onto the bridge. Gabe's
surprise gives way to a grin almost as big as Hal's.
(eyeing Gabe's ruined
(hands him his parka)
I know you never liked the orange, but
Didn't care for the Smokey The Bear
hats, either. That's why I quit.
(pulls on parka)
You all right?
I feel better than you look. I can
live with that.
Gabe looks down at the parka -- it's completely full of
Hardly seems worth zipping, huh?
Hal sobers -- shakes his head no. A cloud passes over Gabe's
It's not over, Gabe. Travers took the
INSIDE HELICOPTER - FLYING ELSEWHERE OVER MOUNTAIN
Maggie's hands are cuffed to a bar on the helicopter's roof.
Travers keys his headset radio while piloting the copter.
Qualen -- Kristel -- come in --
HAL AND GABE ON BRIDGE
Gabe hears Hal's borrowed headset radio crackling -- he holds
his hand out to Hal.
(dons it, keys it)
They can't talk right now, Travers.
Kristel's busy making snow angels --
and I'm not sure, but I think Qualen
is still falling.
A moment's silence -- then --
INSIDE COPTER - TRAVERS
yanks the radio off Maggie and puts it back on --
You wanted to make a trade earlier,
Walker -- still interested?
I've got the money. Fly to the lake.
And if you touch her --
Travers cuts off the radio, smiles, and banks the helicopter
down around the mountain wall.
GABE AND HAL ON BRIDGE
I have no fucking idea.
(holds Qualen's gun)
Not for long.
Hal fishes into his pockets and pulls out one of the ammo
clips he took from Delmer, Gabe tries to force it into the
gun's stock -- but it's the wrong size.
(sagging against rail)
Why can't anything be easy?
thunders around the mountain wall, getting closer --
HAL AND GABE
have crossed the bridge, near the mountain edge -- Gabe, now
wearing his pack again, nods over to the wooded area.
Stay over there --
Look -- let me --
-- what, throw snowballs at him?
Just -- whatever happens -- get Maggie
out of here.
Count on it.
And Gabe? Thanks for tagging along.
Thanks for asking. I forgot how much I
enjoyed rescue work.
Gabe limps toward the mountain's edge as Hal runs into the
blasts along the wall towards the lake -- the waterfall and
the ladder are just ahead. The copter radio crackles --
Come in, Rocky Mountain Rescue --
urgent -- come in --
Travers recognizes the voice -- frowning, he snaps off the
radio and banks the helicopter up over the top --
TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER - TRAVERS POV
tops the precipice, revealing Gabe, standing on the end of a
narrow spur -- it just out from the edge like a diving board.
Gabe has his pack on one arm -- the money is visible. Gabe
levels Qualen's emptied gun on Travers and the copter -- this
bluff is all he has left.
Remember that bet you made? About
whether I could find the money for you
(holds pack over drop)
Travers helplessly flies in low, tight circles over Gabe and
the spur -- if he shoots Gabe, the money falls too, Travers
presses his gun at Maggie.
I'll kill her --
You do, and the spring thaw's going to
be worth thirty million bucks.
No rush. I'm sure you've got lots of
All right. Drop the gun first.
When she's safe on the ground.
Travers has no choice but to give in -- he gives Maggie the
handcuff key, and she frees herself as he flies away from the
spur, touching the copter down on the mountain top.
Maggie moves out the door and stares uncertainly at Gabe.
Maggie runs for the trees. When Gabe is sure she's safe, he
throws the gun away -- but keeps the pack suspended over the
Now come and get it. My arm's getting
Travers flies the copter up and over, until he and it are five
feet away from Gabe's position on the spur. Gabe is buffeted
by the copter's wind, but stands firm. Travers levels his gun
at Gabe through the open passenger door as Gabe heaves the
pack in. Travers doesn't even look down -- he just stares at
Gabe with hate as he prepares to shoot.
Don't you want to count it?
Puzzled, Travers takes his gun hand and rips open
The $5000s are there -- but they've been shredded by
Qualen's earlier blast of gunfire. Few, if any, of the bills
stares down, incredulous -- as he does --
rips open a perforated section of parka and yanks his bolt
gun from his waist --
Travers looks up and raises his gun at Gabe -- but Gabe fires
first -- the bolt imbeds itself high in Travers' chest.
Gasping, Travers drops his gun -- it falls over the pack and
out the open door -- Travers clutches at his chest --
Don't spend it all in one place, you
son of a bitch.
Travers falls back in his seat and loses control of the
helicopter -- it spins around, and Gabe has to instantly
flatten to avoid the tail when it swings at him -- Gabe looks
down as --
quickly begins to spiral down in wide, aimless circles --
Travers has clearly lost control --
stares down coldly, waiting for the crash -- but --
INSIDE THE COPTER - TRAVERS
won't give up -- sweating, bleeding, he sits forward and
grabs the stick, seizing control of the helicopter again --
GABE'S POV - THE HELICOPTER
stops its uncontrolled descent and begins to rise up and
up -- with clear purpose --
CLOSE ON GABE
eyes widening with realization. Gabe gets up from the spur and
starts running back towards the woods -- several hundred yards
from safety -- before he can get very far --
tops the precipice edge and, sweeping low over the snow, it
gets between Gabe and the trees, cutting him off --
WOODED AREA - HAL AND MAGGIE
watch, powerless --
He's going to run Gabe down --
TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER
Ashen, hyperventilating, he's running on pure adrenalin and
fury as he drives the stick forward --
TRAVERS POV - GABE
is stiff-legging it toward the edge of the mountain -- but
he's too banged up to run fast through the thick snow --
with its skids skipping just over the snow overtakes --
as he throws himself flat into the snow -- the front of the
skid misses Gabe by inches as it blasts over him --
moves out over the precipice edge -- Travers banks it wide to
circle back around for another run --
gets back up as the helicopter swings back behind him --
IN A WOODED AREA
Hal rips the lining out of one of his pockets and stuffs it
into one of the ammo clips -- Maggie stays back as he runs for
all he's worth out into the clearing --
has circled back around, stopping at a hover far back in the
clearing -- Travers intends to not just run Gabe over, but to
run him off the edge as well --
lumbers as fast as he can towards the edge --
knows he has Gabe nailed -- he shoves the stick forward --
flies forward, skids just inches over the snow --
runs out to where Travers is heading -- he lights the cloth
in the ammo clip -- as
IN THE CLEARING
Hal hurls the clip, with its cloth "fuse" burning down, into
the doorless side of the copter --
INSIDE THE HELICOPTER
-- the makeshift bomb bounces to the floor of the cockpit --
Travers sees it and looks down, but --
sputters out -- nothing but glowing embers in the cloth --
smiles -- nothing to worry about -- he speeds ahead --
CLOSE ON THE HELICOPTER'S SKIDS
as they slice through the top of the snow towards --
as he runs toward the mountain's edge -- it's just a couple of
feet ahead, but the copter is a couple of feet behind --
-- as the copter overtakes Gabe, dipping even lower into the
snow, he dives off the edge --
FOLLOWING GABE - FALLING
Gabe is at the ladder -- he falls the first twenty feet of the
long drop, then grabs a rung on the cable ladder, very
painfully stopping his fall -- but in the same split second --
skid meant to impale Gabe catches the top two rungs of the
cable ladder --
WIDE SHOT - THE HELICOPTER
-- caught in the rungs of the cable ladder, the helicopter
keeps flying out over the abyss, but as it pulls the cable
ladder, it pops out the bolts that hold the ladder in place,
rung by rung -- -- still going full tilt, the copter strains
against the ladder -- thirty feet of it tethers the copter
to the wall -- -- and Gabe is dangling from the center of
ON THE LADDER - GABE
has one arm hooked around a rung, hanging on for his life as
the copter thrashes the ladder up and down --
INSIDE THE COPTER
Travers is disoriented by the jolt, and tries to maintain
control -- he doesn't see --
-- that the cloth fuse on the ammo clip has reignited -- it
burns down to the clip, and fifty rounds explode like a
string of firecrackers --
-- Travers tries to shield himself as he is struck by airborne
lead. Shrapnel blasts into the instrument panel --
still strains against the cable ladder but the engine goes
dead -- the rotor blades slow --
GABE ON LADDER
Gabe stares in horror at the stalling rotor -- if it were
possible for him to grip the ladder tighter, he'd do it now --
ON THE HELICOPTER
-- as the rotor WHOPS to a dead halt the copter arcs down
and slams against the mountain wall -- the skids are still
caught in the ladder, and it holds --
is shaken off by the massive impact -- he falls -- --
landing on the helicopter, half in and half out of the
cockpit! As Gabe scrambles for a solid hold --
-- Travers, who has been shaken to the opposite side of the
copter, reaches into his jacket and pulls out the pistol he
took from Frank -- he aims at Gabe --
INSERT - THE HELICOPTER SKID
One of the two rungs holding the copter up bursts --
slips, now hanging from just a single rung -- -- and the
impact of the slip makes Travers drop the gun -- it falls out
the open passenger door. Travers scrambles up through the
cabin to go after -- -- Gabe, who is trying to get off the
helicopter and onto a solid part of the ladder before the
whole thing goes down -- Gabe jumps for the wall as
Travers scrambles behind him and --
CLOSE ON THE HELICOPTER SKID
-- as the last rung supporting the copter snaps in two --
grabs hold of the ladder as
plummets down -- but as it starts its fall --
leaps from the falling copter and grabs Gabe's leg -- Gabe
struggles to support both of them, but Travers, weakened from
his wound, loses his grip on Gabe's leg -- he stares up in
terror at Gabe as he clutches Gabe's snow-slick boot --
Cheer up. It's a beautiful spot to
Travers slides off and away --
THE FALL - LONG SHOT
Travers SCREAMING as he free falls, trailing behind the
helicopter -- we follow the entire four thousand foot drop --
-- until the helicopter explodes when it hits the ground far
below, and the fireball engulfs Travers just before he
impacts into the explosion!
looks down at the burning wreck and clings to the ladder,
closing his eyes for a moment in exhaustion. But the WHOPPING
of another helicopter makes him look up --
THE TREASURY HELICOPTER
has shown up, a little too late to be of any help.
INSIDE THE TREASURY COPTER
Wright, Davis and Stuart look at the billowing flames of the
wreck -- even from here, the burning money is visible,
drifting up in the smoke. Wright turns to Stuart.
I'm no expert -- but what do you make
of that "event"?
is drained -- from somewhere, he finds the strength to lift
his head up --
GABE'S POV - THE WALL
The section of ladder above him, of course, is gone -- he has
to cover the fifty feet of wall above him by free climbing.
There are holds that look easy enough for him, but --
leans back, gripping the ladder, too tired to move. Just the
thought of one more climb drains him.
Forget it. No fucking way. I'm staying
right here. I've spent the night on
walls before -- some of the best
nights of my life have been spent
lashed to walls --
Before Gabe can take this any farther -- a loop tied to the
end of a rope falls to a stop next to him. Gabe looks up --
ON THE EDGE - HAL
has thrown the line down. Maggie is by his side.
Remember -- keep your arms and legs in
the vehicle at all times --
puts the loop around himself and tightens it by rote -- even
this action aches.
(too tired to shout)
Fuck you --
Hal and Maggie draw Gabe up -- Gabe pulls some of his weight
by using hand and foot holds, but when he reaches
THE PRECIPICE EDGE
Hal and Maggie are both winded from the effort as they haul
Gabe onto the top. Gabe unties himself, and collapses into
(winded, coiling the
Jesus Christ -- you think you could
have put a little less effort into
that climb? I mean, what have you done
for me -- lately?
Hal ends his harrangue and looks over -- Gabe has apparently
revived, because he and Maggie are locked in the kiss of their
lives. Hal stands, and smiles -- he walks toward the Treasury
agents, who are scrambling out of the helicopter. Hal starts
an explanation that's going to take a long, long time as --
GABE AND MAGGIE
break off their kiss.
Does this mean you're staying?
Off Gabe's answering smile, we --