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ALL SCRIPTS




                                      FLIGHT

                         
                         
                                    Written by

                                   John Gatins
                         
  
                                                        Dec. 12, 2011




          CHYRON -- ATLANTA 6:12 AM
                         
                         
          EXT. SOMEWHAT SEEDY TWO-STORY HOTEL IN ATLANTA -- PRE-DAWN
                         
          It's still more night than day as we look down on the HOTEL
          ATLANTA. The lit sign for the HOTEL ATLANTA may be the only
          source of light as we hear a metallic rattle.
                         
                         
          EXT. HOTEL ATLANTA -- SECOND FLOOR -- PRE-DAWN
                         
          We follow the metallic rattle to a door. The rattling stops
          and we watch the knob slowly turn.
                         
          Tight on a feminine arm with a tattoo that announces "hope."
          We pull back to find that both arms are employed in the
          pulling of what looks like a large suitcase.
                         
          NICOLE MAGGEN, a beautiful but tired woman, finishes pulling
          the suitcase that we now surmise to be a folded-up massage
          table out of the motel room. With her bra in one hand and
          the rickety table resting against the wall of the exterior
          2nd floor hallway of the motel, she assesses her situation.
                         
          She digs in her purse, lights a cigarette and continues
          digging in her purse. She finds a beat-up candy tin. She
          opens it and quickly sorts through a collection of burnt
          foils, heroin foils, looking for residue. Nothing.
                         
          She now finds and holds up the 100 bucks she just made. She
          flips open her cheap phone and makes a call...she thinks
          better of it and hangs up.
                         
                         
          EXT. HOTEL ATLANTA -- PARKING LOT -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
          NICOLE forces the clumsy table into the hatchback of a 1988
          Toyota Tercel and slams it shut.
                         
                         
          INT. 1988 TOYOTA TERCEL -- PARKING LOT -- SAME TIME
                         
          We hear the electronic ring of her cheap cell phone on
          "speaker phone" mode. The phone rests on the passenger seat.
          We pull up to find NICOLE slumped with her head resting on
          the steering wheel. She is exhausted and irritated...
                         
                          NICOLE
           (as the phone rings)
           Don't pick up...don't pick up...
           don't pick up...
           2.
                         
          A MAN answers with music in the background..."Yo.." NICOLE
          quickly picks up the phone.
                         
                          NICOLE (CONT'D)
           It's Nic, do you have any? Good
           morning to you too. You're what?
           Well, where are you guys shooting
           today? Where? Text me the
           address. You have some...Okay.
                         
          She hangs up the phone and catching herself in the rearview
          she tries to smile.
                         
          CHYRON -- ORLANDO 7:14 AM
                         
                         
          EXT. AMERICAN VALUE SUITES - HOTEL -- ORLANDO -- MORNING
                         
          The sun would be rising if the sky wasn't swirling with grey
          clouds. We see the American Suites Hotel and recognize it as
          a decent commuters' hotel near the airport in Orlando. The
          sound of a clock radio breaks the calm of our picture.
                         
                         
          INT. AMERICAN VALUE SUITES - HOTEL -- ORLANDO -- MORNING
                         
          Through the clock radio we loudly hear two morning drive-time
          radio personalities spewing nonsensical patter...
                         
          An attractive YOUNG WOMAN wrestles free of the covers and
          gets out of bed. She crosses naked through the room as a
          cell phone starts ringing.
                         
          Back to the bed as WHIP WHITAKER rises into frame and
          inhabits the room like a lazy ape at the zoo. WHIP wears his
          40 some years of life experience like a medal. Smoke hangs
          in the air and empty beers, a pint of vodka and two empty
          carafes of cheap hotel wine clutter the table as WHIP
          snatches up his phone and answers...
                         
                          VOICE
           For the love of Christ! Look...just
           hold...HOLD ON.
                         
          He aggressively drains the last four inches of beer from a
          clear bottle and cracks the last fresh one that bobs in the
          hotel ice bucket.
                         
          The naked, YOUNG WOMAN bends over to pick up her clothes.
                         
          We witness her ass as a tanned glass vase with a perfect
          crack down the middle. Whip smiles, taking it all in...
           3.
                         
                          WHIP
           (into the phone)
           I've been up since the crack 'a
           dawn. What check? Tuition? How
           much does it cost to go there?
                         
          The YOUNG WOMAN has re-lit the last half of a joint and is
          puffing it to life as WHIP is beckoning with his large hands.
                         
          The YOUNG WOMAN, looking more like a stripper by the second,
          hands the joint to WHIP who takes a masterful drag. WHIP
          shakes his head in violent disapproval to what he hears on
          the phone. He exhales in anger as he shouts into the phone.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           NO! NO! NO! You decided he needed
           private school...lemme talk to
           Knuckles. He's not? Tell'em the
           phone works both ways. Oh he's my
           son because you need a tuition
           check...that's great Deana. I'm
           glad you tracked me down in Orlando
           at 7 in the fucking morning to
           shake me down for money. Does he
           even like the fucking school? No
           I've never seen it. Yeah I wonder
           why not too. I gotta 9 o'clock
           flight, sit tight 'till I get back
           to Atlanta. How am I a liar?
           What? No, I'll call you.
                         
          WHIP hangs up and continues to make quick work of the last
          beer as he stares through his thoughts and out the window.
                         
                          YOUNG WOMAN
           Was that your wife?
                         
                          WHIP
           That was my ex-wife. But you
           Trina, you could be my second or
           third wife if you'd just C'mere.
                         
          The YOUNG WOMAN we now know as TRINA smiles seductively...
                         
                          TRINA
           Whip, don't even joke about that.
           Our flight's at 9, let's hit it.
                         
          TRINA is still naked but she holds a navy blue skirt and a
          white blouse as she hands WHIP his pants. WHIP can't help
          but pat that perfect ass as TRINA tries to skip away.
                         
          ON THE RADIO We hear the opening bars of a familiar rock
          anthem...JOE COCKER's "I'm Feeling Alright"
           4.
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah, I'm feelin' a little light-
           headed. I shoulda ate somethin'.
                         
          WHIP leans over the motel table, picks up a soda straw that's
          been cut in half. He efficiently sniffs up a line of coke.
                         
                         
          INT. AMERICAN VALUE SUITES HOTEL-ORLANDO-HALLWAY-MORNING
                         
          WHIP wears his pilot Blues and carries his hat as he strides
          confidently down the hallway. JOE COCKER continues to wail,
          perfectly narrating the hero's swagger that WHIP maintains
          while passing bad light fixtures and ornate wall paper.
                         
                         
          EXT. AIRPORT SOUTHJET TARMAC - AIRPLANE - MORNING RAINING
                         
          WHIP leans against the landing gear of the JACKSON-RIDGEFIELD
          88 PASSENGER JET -- He takes a swig from a small bottle of
          mouthwash -- gargles, then spits the green foam on the
          tarmac. WHIP wipes fatigue from his face as he stashes the
          mouthwash in his pocket, then quickly completes his visual
          walk around. He looks at the sky again as he steps on to the
          jet way ladder. His foot slips, sending his shoe SPLASHING in
          to a puddle.
                         
                          WHIP
           Son of a bitch!
                         
          Whip shakes the rain out of his shoe as he continues up the
          stairs.
                         
                         
          INT. ORLANDO AIRPORT TERMINAL - JETWAY -- DAY
                         
          WHIP enters the jetway from the exterior door at the entrance
          of the plane. TRINA is greeting a MAN and his SON.
                         
                          WHIP
           Morning Miss Marquez.
                         
                          TRINA
           Morning Captain Whitaker.
                         
          WHIP waits as TRINA politely parts the stream of folks to
          allow WHIP to enter the plane.
                         
                         
          INT. AIRPLANE GALLEY -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
          WHIP exchanges a look with a MATURE FLIGHT ATTENDANT,
          MARGARET THOMASON. She can't help but smile...
           5.
                         
                          MARGARET
           Captain Whitaker, that sky gonna
           hold? You're not gonna make me
           spend another night in Orlando?
                         
                          WHIP
           Don't worry, Margaret I'm gonna get
           you home for your prayer meeting
           at...what is it? Jesus Christ
           Superstar 27th Baptist King Church?
                         
          TRINA and CAMELIA SATOU, the other flight attendant, laugh.
                         
                          MARGARET
           That's right, Christ the King First
           Baptist Church on Hazel and 9th
           Street. And I'm still saving you a
           seat next to me. Offer
           stands...come on down.
                         
                          WHIP
           One of these nights, Margaret, I'm
           comin'. You hold my seat.
                         
          The girls laugh at the familiar exchange.
                         
                         
          INT. AIRPLANE COCKPIT - MORNING
                         
          WHIP enters the cockpit, removes his hat and nods to KEN
          EVANS, our clean-cut, young first officer.
                         
                          WHIP
           G'morning. Walk around is complete.
                         
          Whip pulls his emergency oxygen mask off the bulkhead and
          takes a huge hit.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Emergency oxygen, checks.
           (offering the mask to
                          EVANS)
           You want a hit?
                         
                          EVANS
           No thank you sir.
                         
                          WHIP
           (tries to break the chill)
           My pleasure to share the chair with
           ya'. Didn't we fly together...
                         
          EVANS lets him hang...
           6.
                         
                          EVANS
           No sir, not that I remember. Ken
           Evans, sir.
                         
                          WHIP
           Call me Whip.
                         
                          EVANS
           Yes sir.
                         
          WHIP studies this little Bible Thumper for a second before...
                         
                          WHIP
           (calls to the galley)
           Margaret.
                          (SHE APPEARS)
           Sweetie, will you get me a coffee,
           black, lots of sugar. And some
           aspirin. You want something?
                         
                          EVANS
           (looks to Margaret)
           No ma'am. Thank you.
                          (SHE LEAVES)
           Sir, it's 8:50.
                         
                          WHIP
           Then let's push. I got a great `on
           time' record.
                         
                          EVANS
           Yes sir, you gottit. And how you
           feeling today, sir?
                         
          WHIP focuses on EVANS, trying to read into that statement.
                         
                          WHIP
           Tired, sir. But, this is a quick
           turn for me. Ten turns in three
           days. Off tomorrow.
                         
          MARGARET returns with the coffee, placing it down near WHIP's
          chair on an airline cocktail napkin.
                         
                          MARGARET
           Here's your coffee and the final
           manifest. 102 souls on board.
                         
                          WHIP
           Thank you, thank you, thank you,
           you're a life saver. And Margaret
           gettem' tucked in, we're ready to
           push.
           7.
                         
          WHIP goes to the head. MARGARET and EVANS exchange a look.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
                         
          EXT. ATLANTA SUBURB - STONE MANSION - DRIVEWAY - DAY
                         
          NICOLE gets out of her Tercel and slams the door twice before
          it closes. She checks the address on her phone and looks up
          at the enormous mansion.
                         
                         
          INT. ATLANTA -- STONE - MANSION - DAY
                         
          NICOLE pushes through the overly tall front door of the
          house. At first glance, it's completely empty, unfurnished.
          A GUY in cargo pants and a baseball hat sleeps sitting up
          against the huge dual staircase that leads to the second
          floor. Random boxes of video equipment are now evident as
          are thick cables that lead to a staircase going down.
                         
          On the staircase she immediately encounters another YOUNG
          CREW GUY holding a tiny lap dog while standing next to a
          NAKED GIRL wearing a Shakespearean Military Helmet. The
          YOUNG CREW GUY holds up the "be quiet" finger to his lips.
                         
          NICOLE quietly makes her way down a few steps, stopping at
          the odd duo. We now hear activity downstairs, music.
          SUDDENLY the YOUNG CREW GUY frantically points at the NAKED
          GIRL.
                         
           NAKED GIRL IN HELMET
           Othello you bastard!
                         
          And she grabs the TINY DOG and hustles downstairs. NICOLE
          waits with the YOUNG CREW GUY until we hear....
                         
           KIP (O.S.)
           CUT! CUT THAT!
                         
          NICOLE is free to walk all the way downstairs now.
                         
                         
          INT. MANSION - OTHELLO PORN SET - BEDROOM SUITE - DAY
                         
          NICOLE enters to reveal a large porn set with a Shakespearean
          theme, specifically "Othello." We see an Elizabethan Four-
          poster bed with a canopy surrounded by stone arches and
          cardboard Venetian Columns. In the bed we find an AFRICAN
          AMERICAN PORN ACTOR laying with TWO FEMALE ADULT ACTORS.
                         
          A GIRL WITH DYED-BLONDE HAIR stands naked next to the throne
          smoking a joint as she shaves her crotch with a man's
          electric razor.
           8.
                         
          NICOLE approaches a YOUNG TATTOOED MAN who only wears board
          shorts. He's talking with an OLDER ASIAN MAN as they groom a
          pile of coke for snorting.
                         
                          NICOLE
                          KIP-
                         
          He sniffs a quick line and gets up to kiss her, she turns her
          cheek avoiding the coke-frozen kiss.
                         
                          KIP
           Nicole, this is Tiki Pot. He's my
           partner in this new series, he
           knows a lot about porn.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Kip I need 2 grams of "h."
                         
                          KIP
           Tiki and I are trying to put the
           narrative back in porn. Our
           Desdemona hasn't shown yet.
           (a great idea hatches...)
           You should play Desdemona. FUCK
           YEAH! You got that fair skin.
                         
          KIP is flirting, seeing if she'll consider it...
                         
                          NICOLE
           Desdemona? What the fuck?
                         
          TIKI does a line and comes up babbling.
                         
                          TIKI POT
           She do anal, two thousand, one
           hour.
                         
                          NICOLE
           I don't do porn, Kip. Just lemme
           see the "h."
                         
                          KIP
           Just listen, we're doing an Othello
           theme where the Moor finds you in
           bed with your nurse and-
                         
                          NICOLE
           He fucks me in the ass?
           9.
                         
                          KIP
           Well...yeah. We're giving a whole
           new meaning to the "beast with two
           backs." That's actually a title
           we're toying with...'beast with two
           backs' or Hole-thelo or Butt Hole-
           thelo...would you be up for it?
                         
                          TIKI POT
           College kid, very clean...BRETT?!
                         
          A tall thin kid joins them. He wears a Moorish Headdress and
          has a bath towel wrapped around his waist.
                         
           TIKI POT (CONT'D)
           Show her the pipe-
                         
          BRETT drops the towel...
                         
                          NICOLE
           Fuck you Tiki, you put that in your
           ass and call me in the morning.
           Kip, have I ever done that shit for
           you? Never. Asshole.
                         
          NICOLE walks away. KIP follows her...at the door.
                         
                          KIP
           Nic...sorry, we're tweaked, okay
           baby girl. Hey, c'mon you wanna
           stay and shoot some stills for me,
           you're pics are awesome. And
           what's going on with you? You were
           clean for a while and...
           (she begins to cry)
           Sweetheart, don't cry.
                         
                          NICOLE
           I just need a little to smoke.
           (flashes the cash)
           I've got 100.
                         
          KIP pulls a small tin foil square from his vest pocket.
                         
                          KIP
           No, keep your money, okay? But,
           Nicole, this is the Taliban baby,
           very big time. It will take you
           down.
                         
                          NICOLE
           I can handle it.
           10.
                         
                          KIP (CONT'D)
           Don't shoot this shit, it is way
           too heavy.
                         
                          NICOLE
           I'm just gonna smoke it. I haven't
           done needles in weeks.
                         
                          KIP
           Okay, no needles and take a little
           coke and if you start going down
           just whiff a little. Okay? I
           wanna see you...
                         
          KIP hands her a tiny baggy of coke. He kisses her cheek.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
                         
          INT. COCKPIT -- MORNING
                         
          Out the window...nothing...the rain pounds. WHIP leans close
          to the windshield in an attempt to improve his view.
                         
          EVANS reaches down and throws a switch. The windshield
          wipers go on. We can now see very clearly the path of lights
          the plane is to follow. WHIP looks to EVANS, smiles with
          stoned eyes.
                         
                          WHIP
           Thanks junior.
                         
          EVANS looks out at the rain...
                         
                          EVANS
           Looks pretty ugly, sir.
                         
                          WHIP
           A little rain never hurt anybody.
           We're not made of sugar. What's
           the RVR?
                         
                          EVANS
           Half a mile. Right at minimums.
           Wind's gusting to 29. 30 is our
           crosswind max.
                         
                          WHIP
           I know what our crosswind max is.
           Tellem were good to go at the end.
                         
          EVANS just stares at WHIP.
           11.
                         
                          GROUND CONTROL
                          (ON RADIO)
           SouthJet 227, say intentions.
                         
           WHIP looks right at EVANS. EVANS keys the radio.
                         
                          EVANS
           Orlando ground. SouthJet 227 will
           be ready to go at the end.
                         
           WHIP stares forward, not looking at EVANS.
                         
                         
           INT. PASSENGER CABIN - DAY
                         
           Nervous passengers stare out the windows as the JR-88 lumbers
           along the tarmac, headed for the runway.
                         
           We follow TRINA whose ass looks as good in a tight navy skirt
           as it does split bare with orange fluorescence. MARGARET
           speaks into the PA mic.
                         
                          MARGARET
           Ladies and gentlemen, the captain
           has turned on the seat-belt sign.
           Please be sure your seat-belts are
           securely fastened, and all carry-on
           items are safely stored in the over-
           head bin, or under the seat in
           front of you. Also, all personal
           electronic devices must be switched
           off, at this time. Today's flight
           time to Atlanta should be 52
           minutes. Flight attendants please
           take your seats.
                         
          16 TRINA straps into her jump-seat. 16
                         
                         
           INT. COCKPIT -- MORNING -- POV THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD
                         
           Heavy rain lashes the nose of the plane. Lightning FLASHES.
           We watch the plane steer on to the GLOWING center-line.
                         
                         
           INT. COCKPIT
                         
           Whip inhales his coffee and readies himself for take-off.
           EVANS tries to relax, continuing with the checklist.
                         
                          EVANS
           (reading the check-list)
           Elevator trim - set. Flaps, One,
           two, three - set. Radios - set.
           12.
                         
           One, two, three altimeters - set.
           Lights, pitot heat, de-ice - on.
           Transponders, set.
                         
                          TOWER
                          (ON RADIO)
           SouthJet 227, wind is one-zero-zero
           at seventeen. Runway 18L, cleared
           for take off.
                         
          WHIP has razor focus as he places his hand on the throttle.
          EVANS sits upright and prepares for battle.
                         
                          EVANS
           (keys the mic)
           Cleared for take off, SouthJet 227.
                         
          Whip pushes the throttles and the engines SCREAM as they
          spool up to full thrust. After a beat, he releases the
          brakes.
                         
                         
          INT. PASSENGER CABIN - DAY
                         
          The passengers are pressed into their seats like blades of
          grass as the breeze of the plane's momentum moves them
          towards flight. The main lights in the cabin go out and the
          small glow of the aisle lights lead us back to the cockpit.
                         
                         
          INT. AIRPLANE COCKPIT - DAY
                         
          WHIP mans the stick as he squints his eyes and tries to keep
          the nose between the lights of the runway.
                         
                          WHIP
           It's like a video game, right?
                         
          WHIP laughs and turns to his copilot. EVANS is visibly
          nervous as he begins the take-off check...
                         
                          EVANS
           Airspeed's alive, both sides...
           Engine instruments are in the
           green...100 knots crosscheck...
                         
          The JR-88 fishtails as the main gear begins to hydroplane.
                         
                          WHIP
           Yep, nothing like a little 30 knot
           cross wind to exercise that
           sphincter muscle.
                         
          Evans is jostled violently.
           13.
                         
                          EVANS
           That's wind shear! A micro burst!
                         
          Whip's eyes are focused on the end of the runway.
                         
          The RED THRESHOLD LIGHTS are approaching fast. The plane is
          not lifting off.
                         
                          EVANS (CONT'D)
           Less than a thousand feet to go!
                         
          Whip snaps at him.
                         
                          WHIP
           Just watch my airspeed!
                         
          C.U. The airspeed indicator reads 145...
                         
                          EVANS
           V1...and...
                         
          Now the air speed indicator climbs to 160...
                         
                          EVANS (CONT'D)
           ...rotate.
                         
          Whip pulls back on the yoke, and...
                         
          The plane jerks up and we can hear the fuselage flex as we
          leave the ground. The plane is immediately buffeted by severe
          turbulence.
                         
                          EVANS (CONT'D)
           That's wind shear for sure!
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeehaw! Ride `em cowboy.
                         
                         
          INT. PASSENGER CABIN - DAY
                         
          The passengers are rattled like a bag of marbles.
                         
                         
          INT. COCKPIT - DAY
                         
          The plane is loping up as the rain continues to pound the
          windshield. The ascent is very bumpy as the turbulent wind
          tosses the plane side to side. Copilot EVANS is
          communicating with Air Traffic Control...
           14.
                         
                          EVANS
           Orlando Departure...SouthJet 227,
           climbing out of 2500 for 5
           thousand, runway heading.
                         
                          ATC
                          (ON RADIO)
           Roger SouthJet 227. Turn left
           heading one-seven-zero. Climb,
           maintain niner thousand.
                         
                          EVANS
           Left to 170. Climb, maintain niner
           thousand.
                         
          EVANS quickly dials the heading and altitude into the auto-
          pilot.
                         
                          WHIP
           I don't want the auto-pilot. I'm
           flying.
                         
                          ATC
                          (ON RADIO)
           What's your ride like, SouthJet
           227?
                         
          Before EVANS can answer, WHIP jumps on the radio.
                         
                          WHIP
           Ah, Departure, we've got some rough
           chop here. I'd say moderate to...
                         
          WHUMP!! The plane hits a severe bump! EVAN's headset turns
          sideways and he quickly rights it. WHIP chokes back a
          nervous chuckle.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           (into his mic)
           No, severe. Definitely severe
           turbulence. No meal service today.
                         
           AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL
           Roger that.
                         
          Whump!! Once again the plane is violently rocked.
                         
                         
          INT. PASSENGER CABIN - DAY
                         
          The passengers audibly HOWL as the roller coaster dip lifts
          most of their stomachs into their throats. A few overhead
          luggage bins fly open and bags and coats rain down.
           15.
                         
          The THREE ATTENDANTS calmly collect the luggage and stow it
          in the kitchen. They talk loudly for the benefit of the
          passengers.
                         
                          TRINA
           (to a passenger)
           This happened last week, always
           bumpy outta Orlando. Right Cam?
                         
          MARGARET grabs the cabin mic and addresses the passengers.
                         
                          MARGARET
           Ladies and Gentlemen, the captain
           has asked that until we clear this
           air you stay seated with your seat
           belts fastened. Thank you.
                         
                         
          INT. COCKPIT - DAY
                         
          The plane rocks and shutters. WHIP seems oblivious as he
          continues to serenade Evans.
                         
                          WHIP
                          (SINGING)
           Feelin' alright -
           Not feelin' too good myself -
           Feelin' alright -
           Not feelin' too good myself...
                         
          WHIP is interrupted by Air Traffic Control.
                         
                          ATC
                          (ON RADIO)
           SouthJet 227...Be advised there is
           a large convective cell four miles
           at your 11 o'clock. And another
           cell, 2 o'clock, 10 miles. Both
           moving rapidly.
                         
                          EVANS
           Copy, Center.
                          (TO WHIP)
           Did you get that?
                         
                          WHIP
           Gottit Skippy. I'm just tryin' to
           get birdie here outta this wind
           bowl...What did they clear us to?
                         
                          EVANS
           We're cleared to Flight Level one-
           eight-thousand.
           16.
                         
          THE PLANE TAKES ANOTHER VIOLENT DIP
                         
          EVANS' headset flies off. His tie and all the loose
          equipment and coffee cups are thrown to the ground.
                         
                          WHIP
           Goddamnit! Enough of this shit!
                         
          WHIP pushes the yoke forward. The plane pitches downward.
                         
                          EVANS
           What are you doing!?
                         
                          WHIP
           Leveling off.
                         
                          EVANS
           What!?
                         
          WHIP points to the MFD screen.
                         
                          WHIP
           See that sliver of blue sitting
           between those two ugly bastards?
                         
          C.U. MFD screen: A narrow line of blue is visible between the
          two monstrous convective cells.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           That's a little pocket of smooth
           air squatting right over Lake
           Kissimmee...
                         
          EVANS nervously squints at the screen.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           And we're gonna thread that fucking
           needle. Turn me thirty degrees
           right!
                         
          EVANS jumps on the radio.
                         
                          EVANS
           (into his mic)
           Center. This is SouthJet 227, We
           need to divert 30 degrees right...
                         
                          WHIP
           For weather.
                         
                          EVANS
           (into his mic)
           ...for weather.
           17.
                         
                          ATC
           SouthJet 227, this is Jacksonville
           Center. 30 Degrees, right,
           approved. Report back on course.
                         
                          EVANS
           Report back on course.
                         
          WHIP banks the plane to the right.
                         
          Suddenly -- the plane falls 200 feet in 2 seconds.
                         
          A huge air pocket pulls the rug out from under the JR-88.
          From the cockpit we can hear the passengers scream. EVANS
          holds on to his headset.
                         
                          EVANS (CONT'D)
           Oh, Lord!
                         
                          WHIP
           He can't help you now, brother.
                         
          WHIP remains cool as he rides more bad air. The plane now
          bounces rapidly over a non-stop succession of speed bumps.
                         
                         
          INT. PASSENGER CABIN - DAY
                         
          The passengers clutch each other as they rattle like bobble
          head dolls; it's getting worse.
                         
                         
          INT. COCKPIT - DAY
                         
          WHIP pushes the throttle and the 17-year-old Jackson-
          Ridgefield JR-88 accelerates directly into a huge black
          cloud. He begins to dip the nose level to the ground.
                         
                          EVANS
           Why are you leveling off, sir?
                         
                         
                          WHIP
           I'd like to spend less time in this
           shitty air, Kenny. Is that alright
           with you?
                         
          WHIP pushes the 17-year-old Jackson-Ridgefield JR-88 directly
          into a huge black cloud. He begins to dip the nose towards
          the ground.
                         
                          EVANS
           We're approaching maximum airspeed!
           18.
                         
                          WHIP
           Fucking right! I'm gonna need some
           speed to punch through this crap.
                         
                         
          INT. PASSENGER CABIN - DAY
                         
          The passengers howl in fear as the plane pitches forward.
                         
                         
          INT. COCKPIT - DAY
                         
          EVANS calls out to WHIP...
                         
                          EVANS
           You're over-speeding!
                         
                          WHIP
           Not yet!!
                         
          The AIRSPEED INDICATOR moves from GREEN right up to the
          YELLOW line.
                         
          WHIP banks the plane steeply to the right. From the cabin we
          HEAR the passengers SCREAM!
                         
          Now ATC comes on the radio...
                         
                          ATC
                          (ON RADIO)
           Uh, SouthJet 227, this is
           Jacksonville Center. Say altitude.
                         
                          WHIP
           Tell `em we're climbing.
                         
                          EVANS
           (scared and lying badly)
           Center...uh...SouthJet 227 is
           leaving niner thousand...for Flight
           Level 180.
                         
                          ATC
                          (ON RADIO)
           SouthJet 227, this is Center. You
           need to check your Mode-C. Your
           transponder indicates you're
           descending.
                         
          EVANS looks at WHIP -- panicked.
                         
                          WHIP
           You're useless Evans, shit!
           (keys the radio)
           19.
                         
           Center. This is SouthJet 227, we've
           encountered some bad air here. Some
           pretty severe downdrafts. We're in
           our climb now.
                         
                          ATC
                          (ON RADIO)
           Roger.
                         
          The shaking gets incredibly violent. WE HEAR SCREAMS from
          the cabin. Evans points to Whip's airspeed indicator.
                         
                          EVANS
                          (TERRIFIED)
           Look at your airspeed! You're too
           fast for this rough air!
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm right on the line Kenny. Right
           on the line.
                         
          WHIP starts to hum the Joe Cocker song again as he cranes his
          head up close to the windscreen -- looking intently at the
          dark sky.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           C'mon sweetheart, show me the sun.
                         
          Suddenly, we see a beam of light breaking through the black
          clouds -- 12 o'clock high. A God ray.
                         
           WHIP (cont'd) (CONT'D)
           Finally, daylight.
                         
          WHIP banks the plane hard, lifting the nose -- pointing it
          directly at the crack in the darkness. He shoves the
          throttles to full power.
                         
          The plane is banking, rising and accelerating.
                         
                         
          INT. PASSENGER CABIN - DAY
                         
          The screaming passengers go quiet with the strange new
          development. The shaking has eased from a 10 to a 5.
                         
                         
          INT. COCKPIT - DAY
                         
          Whip keeps the plane climbing steeply. The Vertical Speed
          Indicator shows we're ascending 2,000 feet per minute. The
          altimeter spins up past 12,000 ft.
           20.
                         
          The murky grey outside becomes lighter and brighter, until
          suddenly, in a dramatic reveal...
                         
          WE BREAK THROUGH THE CLOUDS!
                         
          Instantly the air becomes perfectly smooth.
                         
          Whip levels off and maneuvers between the two towering cloud
          walls -- smooth as silk.
                         
          Gliding over the fluffy white clouds and through the
          shimmering rays of the sun -- it feels like WHIP just flew
          the JR-88 into heaven.
                         
          A joyous CHEER ERUPTS from the passenger cabin
                         
          WHIP pulls the power back and switches on the auto-pilot.
          EVANS is cheery, almost giddy...
                         
                          EVANS
           Glad that's over.
                         
          WHIP, however, is very shaky and beaded with sweat.
                         
                          WHIP
           How tall are we?
                         
                          EVANS
           16 thousand. That was incredible
           sir...
                         
                          WHIP
           Ken, turn us north and take us
           home. Your plane.
                         
          EVANS looks at him and nods.
                         
                          EVANS
           My plane.
                         
                          WHIP
           (picks up the phone)
           Margaret, I'm coming out.
                         
          WHIP hangs up, puts on his pilot hat and exits the cockpit.
                         
                         
          EXT. NICOLE'S GEORGIAN GARDENS APTS FRONT DOOR-ATLANTA-DAY
                         
          NICOLE has her keys out as she hustles for her door. She
          looks to find the door slightly open. She pushes it fully
          open to see FRAN, the building manager, standing in her
          living room holding her camera. He tries to be casual...
           21.
                         
                          FRAN
           Where you been Nicole?
                         
          She is scared and pissed by his invasion of her space.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Fuck! Fran...get out.
                         
                          FRAN
           You're like a little ghost. I
           never know when you're here.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Get the fuck out Fran!
                         
          She grabs the full-bodied 35 MM camera from him.
                         
                          FRAN
           As the building manager I have a
           legal right to enter an apartment
           if I believe the occupant is
           unwell. Especially if said
           occupant is not current on her
           rent.
                         
          He takes a slimy step towards her. She steps away.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Fran, please just gimme a minute.
           Get out. I have the rent. I will
           bring it down to you. Just let me
           shower.
                         
                          FRAN
           You could just bring the check down
           now, use my shower. I got good
           water pressure. You know that...
                         
          FRAN leans against the door frame, trying to strike a
          seductive pose. NICOLE smiles and holds up her camera.
                         
                          NICOLE
           You're in the perfect light Fran.
           (he smiles, preening)
           Back up a little...little more.
                         
          FRAN steps outside and on to the landing.
                         
                         
          INT. NICOLE'S APARTMENT FRONT DOOR -- ATLANTA -- DAY
                         
          NICOLE kicks the door shut and locks it, escaping FRAN who
          calls through the door.
           22.
                         
           FRAN (O.S.)
           Tricky tricky, girl. Alright, so
           you shower up and come down. For
           real. We don't gotta talk about
           the check. Hang out a lil bit...
                         
          NICOLE puts her camera down gently on the table.
                         
                          NICOLE
                          (SOTTO)
           In your fucking dreams.
                         
          She now flings her purse on the ground in frustration...the
          contents spill on to the carpet. Amidst the flotsam we focus
          on yet another candy tin that springs open. NICOLE fixes her
          stare at the hypodermic needle resting inside.
                         
                         
          INT. CABIN - GALLEY - DAY
                         
          WHIP exits the lavatory drying his hands with a towel. He
          looks down the aisle to see TRINA far down the cabin. TRINA
          sees WHIP, comes back up the aisle and stands with her back
          to him watching the passengers.
                         
          WHIP opens a bottle of orange juice and takes a big swig. He
          then pours half of it in the sink. WHIP places the open
          juice bottle on the liquor cart, reaches up, and grabs the
          cabin mic to address the passengers.
                         
                          WHIP
           Folks, this is Captain Whitaker.
           If you look up, I'm here in the
           galley. I will wave to you.
                         
          WHIP steps into the aisle so the passengers can see him.
          WHIP waves with a calm smile that would put anyone at ease.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Good Morning. I apologize for the
           bumps, but Florida just doesn't
           seem to like us Georgians. Must be
           the beatin' the Bulldogs put on the
           Gators last fall.
                         
          Titters of laughter from the passengers as WHIP moves the
          half step he needs to put himself behind the liquor cart.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Stretch out and relax. The air
           might stay a little cranky so I'm
           gonna ask that you sit tight if you
           can, with your seat belts fastened.
           23.
                         
          We now watch from behind WHIP as his free hand reaches into
          the top drawer of the liquor cart and pulls three small vodka
          bottles out.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           We won't have beverage service but
           the girls will walk through with
           water and snacks and I'll have you
           in Atlanta in about 40 minutes.
           Thank you.
                         
          WHIP puts the mic to its hook. Alone in the galley and out
          of view, he quickly empties the vodkas into the orange juice
          bottle and replaces the cap. Whip shakes the juice as he
          tosses the little empties into the galley trash. Whip takes
          a healthy pull from the spiked juice, downing nearly half.
                         
          WHIP knocks on the cockpit door. MARGARET emerges and WHIP
          disappears in to the cockpit.
                         
                         
          INT. NICOLE'S APARTMENT -- ATLANTA -- DAY
                         
          Framed photos on a bureau show: Christmas around the tree
          with Mom (30) and Dad (33) and a girl who's 8 and a boy who's
          5. (In the reflection of this photo we see a flame cooking
          heroin in a spoon.)
                         
          Another photo depicts an 8 year-old girl's birthday party.
          (In the reflection of this photo see wee Nicole tying off.)
                         
          A last photo shows NICOLE (30)and her mom (54). They are
          both wearing kerchiefs. We can see that her mom is gaunt and
          has no hair under her kerchief. (In the reflection of this
          photo we see the needle injected into her arm.)
                         
          A HYPODERMIC NEEDLE is placed in front of that picture. Next
          to the photos is a small CD station that NICOLE taps to life
          and turns up. The opening bars of Michael Fitzpatrick's
          "Medication" begin to play.
                         
          We pull wide to see NICOLE pull the bra from her arm that she
          used to tie off with. Her face is pure happiness.
                         
          Clothes and a peach crate filled with camera equipment join a
          suitcase on its side that acts as a coffee table. NICOLE
          picks up her camera and admires it before putting it down.
                         
          She picks up the cigarette she had staged pre dope fix and
          reaches for the lighter. She laughs and hums, pulls out gum,
          a brush...She's holding the brush when the first heavy wave
          of narcotic death washes over her. She leans back and uses
          the wall for support. "Medication" is hitting its chorus...
           24.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Oh man...
                         
          She puts her arms out at her sides, euphoria. A slow, sloppy
          smile breaks across her face. She exhales slowly. She
          reaches for the now burning cigarette when the second wave of
          heavy drugs hits. NICOLE looks up with fear.
                         
           NICOLE (cont'd) (CONT'D)
           Oh no, oh no, oh no...
                         
          She reaches for the little bag of coke that KIP gave her.
          Next she grabs her phone, flipping it open. As she tries to
          dial it, she crumbles to her knees. NICOLE somewhat controls
          her fall to the ground, but her eyes are fading. The little
          bag of coke falls from her fingers.
                         
          There's no way to stem the tide of the oncoming overdose.
          NICOLE's arms stretch out in a frozen reach as her body sinks
          to the floor. On her back like a girl making angels in the
          snow as her eyelids flutter, she slips away.
                         
          We hear a pounding on the door. FRAN is on the other side...
                         
           FRAN (O.S.)
           Open up, Nicole! I can smell that
           shit cooking! Open Up! Nicole.
           Nicole!
                         
                         
          INT. COCKPIT - DAY
                         
          WHIP is now passed out in the seat next to EVANS. He has two
          approach plates (charts) folded and tucked between his
          sunglasses and eyes, creating a makeshift sleeping mask. His
          lower jaw hangs open as his head bobs in deep sleep.
                         
          Margaret leans in through the cockpit door talking to Evans.
                         
                          MARGARET
           How long has Sleeping Beauty been
           out?
                         
          EVANS maintains a military posture as he monitors the plane's
          progress. The flight is smooth and the sky appears clear.
                         
                          EVANS
           (looks at his watch)
           26 minutes. We're going to start
           descending any second now.
                         
                          MARGARET
           Well, I guess you'll need to
           wake...
           25.
                         
          The radio interrupts...
                         
                          ATC
           SouthJet 227, Atlanta Center.
           Descend and maintain Flight Level
           30 thousand.
                         
                          EVANS
           Descend and maintain 30 thousand.
                         
          Evans dials 30,000 into the auto-pilot, but just as he rolls
          the thumb switch to the "Descend" position...
                         
          BANG! THE PLANE SUDDENLY PITCHES SIDEWAYS
                         
          Instantly the autopilot's Shut-Off SOUNDS.
                         
          WHIP jolts awake and pushes up his sleeping "shades."
                         
                          WHIP
           The fuck was that?
                         
          Evans grabs his yoke and pulls.
                         
                          EVANS
           The stabilizer feels really stiff.
                         
                          WHIP
           Don't force it.
                         
          EVANS does, we HEAR a big mechanical SNAP.
                         
                          MARGARET
           (referring to the noise)
           That came from the back!
                         
                          EVANS
           I have very little trim control
           sir.
                         
                          WHIP
           Margaret, get everybody strapped in
           tight.
                         
          Margaret runs to the PA, leaving the cockpit door open.
                         
                          EVANS
           It's pulling right. Hard!
                         
                          WHIP
           Shit! It's locked up, ease up on
           the trim don't...
           26.
                         
          BANG! THE PLANE PITCHES DOWN VIOLENTLY AND BEGINS A NOSE
          DIVE.
                         
                          EVANS
                          (PANIC)
           I have no trim at all!
                         
          The instrument panel LIGHTS UP like a Christmas tree -- A
          WARNING HORN BLARES.
                         
                          WHIP
           We lost our hydraulics!
                         
          WHIP pulls on his headset and keys his mic.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Center, this is SouthJet 227, we've
           lost our hydraulics...and, ah shit!
                          (TO EVANS)
           Power. Pull back the power!
                         
          Evans pulls the throttles to idle.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           (into his mic)
           ...we lost hydraulics and looks
           like...also our horizontal
           stabilizer.
                         
                         
                          ATC
           SouthJet 227, Atlanta Center.
           Understand you've lost hydraulics
           and stabilizer?
                         
                          WHIP
                          (TO EVANS)
           Turn on the back-up pumps!
                         
          Evans engages the emergency hydraulic pumps.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
                          (INTO MIC)
           Center, that's affirm. We are in a
           descent, an uncontrolled...
           WHOOOAAAAA!!!!
                         
          The plane starts to bank to the right, WHIP puts his hand
          against the wing-window to stay in his seat. EVANS grabs his
          harness with both hands. The passengers shriek with terror.
                         
                          ATC
           SouthJet 227, do you wish to
           declare an emergency!?
           27.
                         
          MARGARET stumbles into the cockpit.
                         
                          MARGARET
           Everyone's belted in. Are we going
           down?
                         
          The plane suddenly pitches up, begins to roll, and dives
          again.
                         
                          WHIP
           Get belted in, everyone belt in.
           Brace position!
                         
          MARGARET rushes to the bench in the galley.
                         
          Whip grabs his yoke and pulls. The plane inches up.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           I've got some control on my side!
           My plane!
                         
                          EVANS
           Your plane.
                         
          Whips keeps back pressure on his yoke.
                         
                          EVANS (CONT'D)
           It's stiff as hell. We're pitching
           up. Slowing a bit.
                         
                          ATC
           SouthJet 227, say your condition.
                         
          Whip continues to give orders to Evans.
                         
                          WHIP
           We need drag. Throw out everything
           we've got. Speed brakes. Gear...
           (keys his mic)
           Uh, Center we're in a dive...lost
           vertical control.
                         
                          ATC
           SouthJet 227, Roger.
                         
          Evans deploys the landing gear and applies the speed brakes.
                         
          The wind ROARS as the gear doors drop. The airframe shakes
          and rumbles violently.
                         
                          WHIP
                          (TO EVANS)
           ...there enough hydraulics to drop
           the gear?
           28.
                         
                          EVANS
           Gear's down. I don't think
           hydraulics is the problem.
                         
                          WHIP
           Throw out the flaps.
                         
                          EVANS
           Too fast for flaps.
                         
                          WHIP
           We need to start dumping fuel.
                         
          Evans hesitates.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Do it!
                         
          Evans quickly throws the "EMRG FUEL DUMP" switch.
                         
          The airplane bucks and drops violently -- A chorus of
          terrified SCREAMS ERUPTS from the main cabin.
                         
          Whip pulls on his yoke with all of his strength and the dive
          shallows out a bit.
                         
                          ATC
                          (ON RADIO)
           SouthJet 227, Atlanta Center. How
           do you hear?
                         
                          WHIP
           (keys his mic)
           Atlanta. This is SouthJet 227. We
           are in an uncontrolled dive,
           descending out of...shit I don't
           know...
                         
                          EVANS
           (calls to Whip)
           21 thousand!
                         
                          WHIP
           (into his mic)
           ...21 thousand. We are declaring an
           emergency! We are dumping fuel! We
           have a jammed stabilizer...or
           something. We need a block of
           altitude to work the problem...and
           a heading to the nearest airport!
           (YELLS to Evans)
           I'm starting to lose it!
                         
          The yoke pressure pulls Whip hard against his harness.
           29.
                         
                          ATC
           SouthJet 227. Hartsfield-Jackson
           International is 10 O'clock and 20
           miles from your present position.
           Maintain block altitude, Flight
           Level 10 thousand through Flight
           Level 20 thousand. Turn left
           heading 260.
                         
                          WHIP
                          (KEYS MIC)
           260...we'll do our best.
                          (TO EVANS)
           It's getting away from me! I can't
           hold...dump the flaps!
                         
                          EVANS
           We're still fast.
                         
          The yoke is ripping away from Whip's hands.
                         
                          WHIP
           DO IT! 30 percent!
                         
          Evans dumps in the flaps. The JR-88 slows dramatically and
          balloons up.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           That bought us a little time. We
           need to revert to manual control.
           Your side first, pul...
                         
          Whip is interrupted by the radio.
                         
                          ATC
                          (ON RADIO)
           SouthJet 227, Atlanta. Fuel dump is
           approved.
                         
                          WHIP
                          (KEYS MIC)
           Thank you.
                         
          Evans is confused and panicked, he throws his hands up.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Evans, look at me! Manual
           Reversion. Red lever, on the floor,
           far side of the console.
                         
          Evans sees it.
                         
                          EVANS
           I got it.
           30.
                         
                          WHIP
           Pull it up, turn it clockwise, push
           it back down.
                         
          Evans does exactly that, then pulls back on his yoke --
          nothing!
                         
                          EVANS
           Nothing! No control!
                         
                          WHIP
           Goddamn it!!
                         
          Once again, the plane pitches into a dive. Whip strains to
          hold on.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           I can't let go! Can you reach mine?
                         
          Evans strains to reach Whip's Reversion Pull-Handle -- but
          can't.
                         
                          EVANS
           I can't reach it.
                         
          Evans moves to release his harness, but Whip stops him.
                         
                          WHIP
           No! Don't! Stay strapped in!
           (calls over his shoulder)
           Margaret! Margaret!
                         
          Margaret tumbles into the cockpit, catching herself on Whip's
          chair. She's crying.
                         
                          MARGARET
           Oh God, Whip. What's happening?!
                         
                          WHIP
           Get strapped into the jump-seat. I
           need your help.
                         
          Margaret opens the jump-seat and starts to pull on her
          harness. Throughout the scene she is struggling with her
          harness.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Margaret, see that red lever on the
           floor next to my chair? The one
           that says, Manual Control?
                         
                          MARGARET
           Yes.
           31.
                         
                          WHIP
           On the count of three you pull it
           up, turn it clockwise, then push it
           back down. OK? You ready?
                         
          With tears streaming down her cheeks, she gives Whip a brave
          nod.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Here we go. One, two...
                         
          Whip releases back pressure from his yoke, pushing it forward
          -- the plane noses downward 20 degrees!
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           ...three!
                         
          MORE TERRIFIED SHRIEKS come from the back. Margaret quickly
          disengages then re-engages the large red handle.
                         
          Whip pulls back on his yoke. The plane pitches up.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Ok. OK. We got something. It's
           still stiff as hell. Evans, put in
           some power!
                         
          Evans pushes up the throttles. Whip gingerly applies pressure
          to his stick. His face fills with worry.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           I don't know. It feels like the son
           of a bitch wants to nose over.
                         
          Then suddenly... WHAP! Whip's yoke flies out of his hands and
          SLAMS forward!
                         
          The plane banks right and drops! Margaret SCREAMS!
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           SHIT! POWER BACK!
           (he pulls back the power)
           I CAN'T FUCKING BELIEVE THIS!
                         
                          EVANS
           OH NO!
                         
          Now, ATC comes on the radio...
                         
                          ATC
           SouthJet 227, Hartsfield-Jackson is
           eleven o'clock and niner miles. I
           see you below 10,000. How are you
           doing?
           32.
                         
                          WHIP
           (keys his mic)
           Not good. You got anything closer?
           We're in a rapid dive here...
                         
                          ATC
           Roger, SouthJet 227. Uh...Clayton
           County is 2 miles at your 4
           o'clock.
                         
                          WHIP
           Negative. We're too high...we can't
           pitch for glide. We have no
           stabilizer control.
                         
                          ATC
           Copy, SouthJet 227.
                         
          The plane continues to drop, increasing its nose-down
          attitude and speed.
                         
          WHIP pushes both of his feet forward, stretching his body to
          get leverage as we can see him pulling on the yoke, trying to
          get the plane out of the dive it's in.
                         
          Evans is starting to lose it.
                         
                          EVANS
           Oh Lord, we're descending at 4,700
           feet per minute, out of 7,000. I
           SEE NOTHING BUT HOUSES!
                         
                          WHIP
           OK! Here's what we're going to do!
                          (TO EVANS)
           When I say, you retract the gear,
           retract the flaps and trim both
           ailerons. But every things gonna be
           opposite, so be sure to trim down.
           Margaret...
                         
                          EVANS
           Trim down?! What are you gonna do?!
                         
          Whip takes Margaret's hand and puts it on the throttle
          levers.
                         
                          WHIP
           When I ask for power, push both of
           these forward. Got it?
                          (MARGARET NODS)
           What's your son's name?
           33.
                         
                          MARGARET
           Trevor.
                         
                          WHIP
           Say "I love you Trevor."
                         
                          EVANS
           You mean trim up?! Right? You
           want me to trim up?
                         
                          MARGARET
           Why?
                         
                          WHIP
           The black box.
                         
                          MARGARET
           I love you Trevor. Be a good boy.
           Mommy loves you.
                         
                          EVANS
           What are we doing?! Why would I
           trim down?!
                         
                          WHIP
           We're gonna roll it. Ready? Here we
           go. I've got control.
                         
                          EVANS
                          (TERRIFIED)
           WHAT! WHAT DO YOU MEAN, ROLL IT?!!
                         
                          WHIP
           Just a little barrel roll. Don't
           panic. Relax. Let it roll.
                         
          WHIP's body is fully extended as he pulls back on the yoke
          and turns into a steep bank.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           EVANS, FLAPS!
                         
                          EVANS
           FLAPS UP!
                         
                          WHIP
           MARGARET FULL POWER! EVANS, TRIM
           US! GEAR UP!
                         
          The G-force of the roll presses Evans away from the console.
                         
                          EVANS
           I CAN'T REACH THE GEAR!
           34.
                         
                          WHIP
           Margaret! Can you reach it?
                         
          Margaret bends forward and pulls the lever.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           WHAT'S OUR ALTITUDE?
                         
                          EVANS
           3,000...I think.
                         
                          WHIP
           Let it roll. I got it!
                         
          Whip quickly retracts the speed brakes, then PUSHES HIS YOKE
          FULL FORWARD! The clumsy liner does a slow, ungraceful roll.
                         
                         
          INT. PLANE CABIN - SAME
                         
          WE WATCH as the PASSENGERS scream as the plane rolls over and
          they are suspended upside down.
                         
                         
          EXT. SKY OVER ATLANTA - SAME
                         
          The JR-88 finishes its barrel-roll, skimming over suburban
          rooftops and trees. A CLOUD-TRAIL of Jet-A SPEWING from its
          wings.
                         
          As the INVERTED PLANE ROARS overhead the CAMERA PANS to find -
                         
                         NICOLE
                         
          Being rushed out of her apartment on a stretcher. The TWO
          PARAMEDICS and Fran (the landlord) instinctively duck as the
          jet SCREAMS over.
                         
                          FRAN
           (at the sight of the jet)
           Jesus Christ! What the Fuck!?
                         
                         
          INT. FLIGHT DECK - SAME
                         
          THE PLANE IS COMPLETELY INVERTED!!
                         
          THRU THE WINDSCREEN -- THE PLANE LEVELS OFF -- IT'S INVERTED
          NOSE RISES TO MEET THE HORIZON.
                         
          EVANS hangs in his harness straps as dust and smoke swirl
          around him. The inverted wings make an EERIE WHISTLING SOUND
          as the plane SHUDDERS violently side-to-side.
           35.
                         
                          EVANS
           Oh Lord Jesus! We're inverted!
                         
          WHIP reaches over and pulls the throttles back. He suddenly
          seems strangely calm, comfortable with his fate...
                         
                          WHIP
           We're level. We can maintain
           altitude like this.
                         
                         
          MAIN CABIN -- WE WATCH OVER TRINA'S SHOULDER AS SHE HANGS
                         
          TRINA struggles to stay in her seat as she looks at the
          passengers hanging. She watches as a YOUNG BOY loses his
          grip and flops to the ground.
                         
          TRINA unhooks and flops to the ground. We follow her as she
          runs on the ceiling of the cabin towards the BOY. She gets
          there and starts lifting him towards his FATHER.
                         
                         
          COCKPIT -- SAME TIME
                         
          The ATC voice now plays loudly through the entire cockpit.
                         
                          ATC
           SouthJet 227, Atlanta Center. I see
           your position 4 and a half miles
           southeast of the airport.
           Descending out of 1,800. Are you
           OK?
                         
          It takes Whip a second to find the mic key on his inverted
          yoke...
                         
                          WHIP
           Uh, Atlanta...we're inverted.
                         
          There's a very pregnant pause...
                         
                          ATC
           Uh, SouthJet 227...say again sir.
           Did you say inverted?
                         
          EVANS seems calmed by WHIP'S workaday attitude about their
          insane tragedy. But suddenly...
                         
          WARNING LIGHTS BEGIN FLASHING!
                         
                          EVANS
           WE'RE LOSING OIL PRESSURE! PUMP
           FAILURE. BOTH ENGINES!
           36.
                         
          WE HEAR A HORRIBLE, METALLIC GRINDING SOUND as the engines
          become oil-deprived.
                         
                          WHIP
           We're flying!
                         
          WHOOP, WHOOP, WHOOP! -- THE ENGINE FIRE ALARM SOUNDS!
                         
                          EVANS
           FIRE IN THE LEFT ENGINE!
                         
                          WHIP
           PUT IT OUT!
                         
          Evans pulls the Fire Bottle handle.
                         
          Whip BARKS at air traffic control.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           (into his mic)
           HOW FAR'S THE AIRPORT!?
                         
                          ATC
           227, three miles, and one o'clock.
                         
                          WHIP
           (into his mic)
           We're not gonna make that!
                         
          WHIP'S POV -- THRU THE INVERTED WINDSCREEN --
                         
          A small white church on a hill -- 100 yards past the church
          is a soy bean field and a two-lane blacktop.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           (into his mic)
           There's a field and a road
           ah...we're gonna put it down in
           that field.
                         
                          ATC
           Roger, SouthJet 227.
                         
          BACK TO ACTION -- CLOSE ON WHIP -- HE CALMLY FIGHTS ON.
                         
          EVANS is breathing heavy as his face is beet red from the
          blood rushing to it.
                         
                          EVANS
           WE'RE LOSING THE LEFT ENGINE!
           37.
                         
                          WHIP
           WE'RE COMING BACK OVER! EVANS, WHEN
           I START THE ROLL, THROW EVERYTHING
           BACK OUT!
                         
          THE NERVE-WRACKING ALARMS CONTINUE TO SOUND!
                         
                          EVANS
           FIRE IN THE RIGHT!
                         
          Evans deploys the right engine Fire Bottle.
                         
          WHIP'S POV -- WE'RE HEADED TOWARD THE CHURCH --
                         
                          WHIP
           (into his mic)
           WHAT'S MY ALTITUDE!?
                         
                          ATC
                          (ON RADIO)
           Eight hundred, descending...
                         
          A NEW ALARM SCREAMS!
                         
                          EVANS
           WE LOST THE LEFT ENGINE!
                         
                          WHIP
           We have enough speed to fly!
                         
                          EVANS
           WE'RE LOSING POWER IN THE RIGHT!
                         
                          WHIP
           HERE WE GO!
                         
          WHIP PULLS HARD ON HIS YOKE -- THE PLANE SLIPS SIDEWAYS AS IT
          STARTS TO RIGHT ITSELF. Whip yanks back the throttles!
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           FLAPS FULL! GEAR DOWN!
                         
          Evans and Whip deploy every bit of drag they can think of.
                         
                          ATC
           SouthJet 227, altitude 500
           indicated, descending. Do you
           concur?
                         
          We follow WHIP's eye line that takes us off the control panel
          and to the windshield.
                         
          THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD WE SEE -- the landscape and the church
          steeple getting closer and closer.
           38.
                         
          The plane does a clumsy roll to the right -- AND GETS STUCK
          PERFECTLY ON ITS SIDE!
                         
                          WHIP
           MARGARET, POWER!!!!
                         
          EVANS pushes the power to full thrust AND THE PLANE FINISHES
          ITS ROLL!
                         
          THE PASSENGERS HOWL!
                         
                         
          INT. MAIN CABIN -- GALLEY -- SAME TIME
                         
          TRINA is still struggling to strap herself in to her
          jumpseat. The plane rolls! She sees Camelia...
                         
          P.O.V. -- Camelia is tossed across a row of SCREAMING
          passengers.
                         
          TRINA loses her grip and is violently thrown against the
          galley wall!
                         
          Like a rag doll, CAMELIA is hurled down the cabin aisle as
          the plane plummets!
                         
          Trina slides across the galley floor and CRACKS her head on
          the jumpseat.
                         
                         
          INT. COCKPIT -- SAME TIME
                         
          Whip frantically spins the trim wheel!
                         
          THRU THE WINDSCREEN --
                         
          THE CHURCH SPIRE IS COMING RIGHT AT US -- BOOM! -- THE RIGHT
          WING CLIPS THE STEEPLE, SHEARING OFF THE CROSS!
                         
          WE HEAR A HORRIFIC, METALLIC GRINDING -- followed by a
          TERRIFYING SILENCE -- RIGHT ENGINE STOPS.
                         
                          EVANS
           WE LOST ALL POWER!
                         
          An unnerving quiet descends over the passenger cabin. The
          only SOUND is the wind RUSHING past the air-frame.
                         
          CLOSE ON WHIP --
                         
                          WHIP
           (to himself, incredulous)
           Are we gliding?
           39.
                         
          THROUGH THE WINDSCREEN --
                         
          WE'RE DROPPING RAPIDLY TOWARD THE GROUND -- A GROUP OF PEOPLE
          GATHERED NEAR A POND IN THE CHURCHYARD SCATTER -- some are
          wearing long white robes.
                         
          CLOSE ON WHIP --
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           WE'RE IN A GLIDE! PITCH FOR GLIDE!
                         
           EVANS (O.S.)
           Oh God.
                         
          CLOSE ON THE YOKE -- WHIP PULLS WITH ALL HIS MIGHT --
                         
                          WHIP
           TRIM IT!
                         
          CLOSE ON THE TRIM WHEEL -- WHIP SPINS IT "TRIM UP" --
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           PITCH FOR GLIDE!
                         
          THROUGH THE WINDSCREEN -- THE BEAN FIELD RUSHES UP AT US...
                         
          CLOSE ON WHIP --
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           BRACE! BRACE FOR IMPAC...
                         
          ALL SOUND FADES AWAY AS THE SCREEN BLEEDS HOT WHITE --
          OVEREXPOSED.
                         
          IN GRAPHIC SLOW-MOTION -- THE INSTRUMENT PANEL CRUMPLES AND
          COLLAPSES AROUND WHIP --
                         
          And in a final, ironic, cosmic gesture --
                         
          WHIP'S CONTROL YOKE HURDLES TOWARD HIM -- IMPACTING HIM
          BETWEEN THE EYES --
                         
           CUT TO BLACK:
                         
          NOW WE HEAR -- SHOUTS, SCREAMS -- A WOMAN SOBBING.
                         
                         FADE IN:
                         
                         
          WHIP'S POV --
                         
          WE SEE Whip's lower torso being pulled from the wreckage --
          There is swirling SMOKE AND DUST, SMALL FIRES --
           40.
                         
          Evans strapped in his chair, bleeding --
                         
          Margaret SOBS uncontrollably --
                         
           FADE OUT.
                         
                         FADE IN:
                         
                         
          EXT. CRASH SITE -- SLOW MOTION - HILLSIDE -- DAY
                         
          WHIP's being pulled up a grassy hillside. In the distance
          WHIP can see the shattered airplane lying in a crater. Fires
          smoulder around the impact zone. Passengers are joined by
          first responders as they frantically carry, drag and walk the
          injured and the dead from the plane. WHIP sees a fire truck
          fly by him, down the grassy slope towards the burning plane.
                         
           FADE OUT.
                         
                         FADE IN:
                         
                         
          WHIP'S POV --
                         
          LOOKING UP at the sky -- WE SEE black, oily SMOKE billowing
          across the shattered church steeple --
                         
          WE GLIMPSE PEOPLE rushing past, some are wearing white
          flowing robes --
                         
          WE HEAR DISTANT SIRENS APPROACHING AND PEOPLE PRAYING --
                         
           FADE OUT.
                         
                         FADE IN:
                         
                         
          A LOUD SIREN SCREAMS --
                         
          WHIP'S POV --
                         
          LOOKING UP at the ceiling of an ambulance --
                         
          TWO EMTS are urgently attending to him --
                         
           FADE OUT.
                         
                         FADE IN:
           41.
                         
          WHIP'S POV -- NIGHT
                         
          A halogen overhead light and an air-conditioning vent --
          brown-stained acoustic ceiling tiles --
                         
          WE HEAR the rhythmic BEEP of a heart monitor --
                         
                         
          INT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- NIGHT
                         
          WHIP's eyes open to see the halogen overhead lights of a
          hospital room. He turns his head slightly to see the flicker
          of a TV with no sound.
                         
          TELEVISION -- NEWS - NO SOUND -- GRAINY CELL PHONE FOOTAGE
                         
          A news show runs a loop of eye witness cell phone footage of
          the plane turning over and crashing belly down.
                         
          A MAN who has been watching the TV turns to see that WHIP is
          awake. The MAN turns off the TV, gets up and approaches
          WHIP's bedside. WHIP knows him.
                         
                          WHIP
           Charlie Anderson.
                         
          CHARLIE ANDERSON is a late 50's former military pilot who
          carries that familiar air of Texas comfort and entitlement.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           How you feelin' Whip? Initial
           reports look like you pulled some
           move up there, kid. You saved a
           lot of lives.
                         
          WHIP is moved by the first realization of survival.
                         
                          WHIP
           How many?
                         
          CHARLIE moves close to deliver the news.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           102 souls on board including the
           flight crew, and 96 of them
           survived the crash. Six people
           died. 2 crew, 4 passengers.
                         
                          WHIP
           4 passengers. Are the rest badly
           hurt? Who'd we lose on the crew?
                         
          A NURSE enters the room. CHARLIE nods to her.
           42.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Listen, protocol is the NTSB has to
           make the first contact with you and
           the agent is here. Let me go get
           him.
                         
          CHARLIE ducks out of the room. WHIP is alone and still
          getting his bearings. He goes to scratch his head and
          catches sight of his left hand. It's swollen and sore --his
          wrist is bandaged with a splint-brace. He now looks at both
          of his hands in wonder.
                         
          WHIP hears a muffled conversation that gets clearer as do the
          images of MANY PEOPLE entering the room. A POLICE OFFICER
          accompanies a DOCTOR and TWO NTSB AGENTS.
                         
          An NTSB AGENT holds a small voice recorder towards WHIP.
                         
                          NTSB OFFICER #1
           Captain William Whitaker? Nod if
           you can hear me and understand me.
                          (WHIP NODS)
           I'm Craig Matson from the NTSB and
           I'm required as the lead on the Go
           Team to make an initial contact
           with you after a major incident
           like the one you had today.
                         
          WHIP nods as his senses are getting sharper.
                         
           NTSB OFFICER #1 (CONT'D)
           You are in a hospital in South
           Atlanta. Are you aware that you
           were piloting a plane that went
           down?
                          (WHIP NODS)
           I have a doctor here who can
           explain your medical situation.
                         
          WHIP offers a "thumbs up" gesture. The DOCTOR steps in.
                         
                          DOCTOR
           I'm Doctor Kenan and the good news
           is that you are in good condition.
           You did suffer a concussion which
           is the reason you have a bit of
           blurred vision and a headache. You
           have numerous lacerations around
           your left eye. We're going to leave
           the patch on for a few days as a
           precaution. But it seems your eye
           is OK. MRI's show strained tendons
           in your left knee and ankle but you
           didn't break any bones.
           43.
                         
           You have some deep bruising in your
           left thigh and you have a few torn
           ligaments in your left wrist.
           Nothing serious. So as soon as we
           clear you from the concussion, and
           you feel well enough -- you can go
           home. That could be a day, could
           be 3 days. Okay?
                         
          WHIP quietly nods. The DOCTOR leaves and WHIP begins to
          study his body. His left leg is wrapped, his left wrist has
          a splint-brace --
                         
                          NTSB OFFICER #1
           I won't ask too much of you
           tonight, but as I said, the NTSB is
           required to make initial contact.
           How much do you remember about the
           flight?
                         
          WHIP looks at the NTSB OFFICER and slowly speaks.
                         
                          WHIP
           I remember everything until the
           crash.
                         
          WHIP's voice is failing him as his throat is sore and dry.
                         
                          NTSB OFFICER #1
           Okay Mr. Whitaker, that's fine. I
           am required to inform you that this
           incident did result in the loss of
           life.
           (checks an index card)
           The most current information states
           that of the 102 souls on board we
           lost 6. 2 crew members and 4
           passengers. 59 people were treated
           and released. 37 people remain in
           the hospital and 3 of those cases
           are listed as critical.
                         
                          WHIP
           Who on the crew died?
                         
                          NTSB OFFICER #1
           Two flight attendants;
           (checks a note card)
           Camelia Satou and Katerina Marquez
                         
          WHIP tries to exhale as the loss of TRINA sinks in.
           44.
                         
                          NTSB OFFCIER #1
           The rep from your Pilot's Union,
           Mr. Anderson, will act as our
           contact for you. It's important to
           follow your Union's guidance on
           press and media. The pilot's union
           works closely with the NTSB. So,
           I'm gonna head out. Good luck Mr.
           Whitaker.
                         
          WHIP nods as the NTSB OFFICER leaves with the police and
          other officials in tow. CHARLIE returns to WHIP's side.
                         
                          WHIP
           I knew Trina Marquez. We spent
           some time together.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Apparently she wasn't strapped in.
           A survivor reported that she was
           assisting a kid.
                         
          CHARLIE tries to put a reassuring hand on WHIP's shoulder.
                         
                          WHIP
           How's Margaret Thomason?
                         
                          CHARLIE
           (checks his notes)
           Broken collar bone, cuts, banged
           up, but she's okay. She's here
           too. Ken Evans your copilot took a
           bad shot to the head. They're
           keepin' him in a coma to let the
           brain swelling go down. He's
           listed as critical, but we feel
           good about him. He's gonna be
           okay.
                         
          WHIP lets that information land as his head is swirling.
                         
                          WHIP
           Charlie, why are you here?
                         
                          CHARLIE
           I'm flying a desk now. I'm a
           regional rep for the IAP.
                         
                          WHIP
           You're the rep for the pilots'
           union?
           45.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           I'm one of a few union reps for the
           southeast. When your plane went
           down all the reps got a page and
           since I know you I shot my hand up
           and said I wanted to come and be
           the first face you'd see.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm glad it's you.
                         
          WHIP starts to weep as he needs to begin the long process of
          expressing this trauma.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           It's good to see you too, Cowboy.
           You're gonna be okay. We're gonna
           take care of you. That's my job.
                         
          WHIP nods as he wipes his eyes on his heavily bandaged hand.
                         
                          CHARLIE (CONT'D)
           The union will put out a statement
           on your behalf. Condolences to the
           families who lost loved ones and
           gratitude to the brave men and
           women on the flight crew.
                          (WHIP NODS)
           And I know you and Deana have been
           divorced for a while but maybe she
           and your son...?
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah, Knuckles.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Yeah, how old's he now?
                         
                          WHIP
           15.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Wow, you weren't even married when
           we flew for Delta. We're
           dinosaurs, Whip. Do you want me to
           reach out to Deana and see if she
           and Will want to come? Any family
           you want here, we'll get them here,
           stat.
                         
          WHIP thinks about his long since fractured family...
                         
                          WHIP
           No, I'll call her.
           46.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Speaking of which, I have your
           phone and some of your personal
           effects from the plane.
                         
          CHARLIE has a zip-locked bag with his phone, keys, sunglasses
          and wallet. WHIP looks at them, odd to see them encased in
          plastic.
                         
                          CHARLIE (CONT'D)
           Your clothes are toast. Do you
           need me to get you some stuff?
                         
                          WHIP
           No, I'm okay. I'll take care of
           it.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           I'm gonna head out, let you get
           some rest. I'm coming back.
           You'll see plenty of me.
                         
          CHARLIE hands WHIP his card.
                         
                          WHIP
           Thanks Charlie, I really...
           (Whip begins to crack)
           It means a lot to me that you came.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Okay. Get some rest now.
                         
                          WHIP
           Charlie, that plane was fucked.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           I know. The way you landed that
           plane was nothing short of a
           miracle.
                         
          WHIP nods trying to pull it together. CHARLIE pats WHIP's
          shoulder before he leaves. WHIP sits up and pulls his phone
          from the plastic bag. Dials, waits...
                         
                          WHIP
           Harling...Harling...yeah, it's
           Whip. I'm in a hospital in South
           Atlanta...what? You know where I
           am? Okay well fuck...yeah, I'm
           okay. What? Well, I'm looking to
           get outta here...hopefully
           tomorrow. Yeah. But, listen, I
           need you to bring me something to
           wear.
           47.
                         
           I don't know -- clothes -- and
           smokes, I really need smokes. Tee
           shirt, sweat pants....Harling?
           I'll put you on the visiting list.
           Yeah...and smokes. Just be low
           key, no fucking around, Harling.
           Cigarettes. Okay? I need
           cigarettes. Yeah. Good.
                         
          WHIP closes his eyes and exhales. He now stares at the foot
          of the bed for a long, long moment. WHIP squeezes his eyes
          shut tight -- holding back tears. Then quietly, as if
          whispering a prayer...
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Goddamn it...
                         
                         
          INT. HOSPITAL -- ELEVATOR DOORS -- MORNING
                         
          The Stones "Sympathy for the Devil" kicks up as we wait...
                         
          The doors split open and HARLING MAYS steps out. HARLING has
          a pony tail and a goatee and is probably wearing a Tommy
          Bahama button down shirt.
                         
          We follow HARLING as he strides down the hall. With ear buds
          in, HARLING points a Sanyo pistol-shaped cam corder at the
          ATTENDING NURSE at the nurses' station, recording her...
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           I'm on the list baby girl. Check
           the list for Mr. Mays. Harling.
                         
          The Stones continue to wail as Harling strolls on, adjusting
          the duffel bag he has slung over his shoulder.
                         
                         
          EXT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
          HARLING stands in the doorway looking in. He sees...
                         
          The MORNING NURSE is helping WHIP to stand. HARLING points
          his camcorder at WHIP and the NURSE.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (O.C.)
           If this is gonna turn into a sponge
           bath, I'll come back.
                         
                          NURSE
                          SIR-
                         
          HARLING immediately goes to WHIP and supports him.
           48.
                         
                          WHIP
           It's okay, Harling.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           That's right honey, I'm on the
           list. Harling Mays. Some say they
           Harling knew me.
                         
          HARLING boxes her out. She steps away.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Honey can you hustle us a couple of
           daiquiris and a cocktail weenie?
           On second thought just bring the
           booze. I brought my own weenie.
                         
          No reaction as the NURSE collects the trash and towels.
          HARLING focuses his camcorder on the NURSE and leaves WHIP in
          an unsteady stance. HARLING films her and comments...
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           She's offended, and she should be.
           I'm a pig. And I hate me. That's
           what we have in common Nurse
           Ratched...we both hate me.
                         
          And she's gone. HARLING turns to WHIP.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Whip? What the fuck my man?
           They're sayin', "Sweet Jesus, what
           a fuckin' stud that pilot is."
           You're a hero, no shit. You will
           never pay for another drink in this
           life time. There is crazy news
           people all over, look at this shit--
                         
          HARLING helps WHIP to the window...
                         
                         
          EXT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- PARKING LOT -- DAY
                         
          From WHIP's window we can see a slew of news vans with signal
          towers as well as reporters milling about -- a small zoo.
                         
                         
          INT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- DAY
                         
          HARLING and WHIP stare for a moment at the circus below.
          WHIP doesn't last long and slowly returns to the bed as
          HARLING continues to gawk.
           49.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           Classic hero worship, you're a rock
           star man. You gotta see the video
           I've got -- I'm making a doc about
           you, well us, y'know?
                         
          HARLING pulls an iPad out of his knapsack and flips it open.
          He lets a collection of videos run...
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           This is outside your condo...
                         
          On HARLING's iPad we see footage of PRESS swarming outside
          WHIP's condo. We also see the crash scene footage.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Look that's me, and that`s Mark
           Mellon...you know that douchey
           talking haircut from local Atlanta
           channel 3? I said a few words.
           Just straight talk, y'know?
                         
          WHIP's hands shake as he grabs the bed frame. HARLING takes
          notice and stashes the iPad...
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           You okay Captain Whitaker? Easy...
                         
          HARLING helps him get settled. We see the beads of sweat on
          WHIP's lip and forehead.
                         
                          WHIP
           The meds they're giving me are
           fucking me up -- I'm all shaky and
           dried out. I can't sleep good.
                         
          HARLING immediately picks up the small paper cup that holds
          WHIP's pain meds. He fishes out the two pills and stares at
          them. HARLING shakes his head.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           Aprazolam? That's generic Xanax and
           this Hydrocodone is generic
           Vicodin. It's shit, prolly
           Canadian.
                         
          HARLING casually tosses the pills down his gullet and
          expertly swallows them without water. He grabs WHIP's
          medical chart and scours it as he prattles on...
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           We want the premium stuff. Blue
           label...not the fucking well shit.
           Where's the dihydromorphinone?
           50.
                         
           Or just some fucking Palladone
           would suffice. What is this?
           Fucking amateur hour over here?
           Get that goddamned doctor in here.
           You just saved a 100 people from
           death, they should get your fuckin'
           meds right.
           (calls to the door)
           YO! ROOM SERVICE!
                         
                          WHIP
           Listen Harling, leave it alone.
                          (HARLING CHILLS)
           So you got my message and decided
           not to call me back? Did you bring
           me smokes?
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           I decided to come by instead. And
           yes I got your fucking message and
           yes I brought you smokes.
                         
          HARLING hands WHIP a pack of smokes from his pocket. He also
          pulls out a carton of smokes from his backpack.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Here is a fresh carton, enjoy. You
           fucking earned it -- you smoke your
           nuts off, champion. If I were you
           I'd fire up right here in the God
           damn room. Fuck'em, you're
           immortal, you're a fucking God man.
                         
                          WHIP
           Harling...
                         
          WHIP motions with his hands to "calm down."
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           Sorry Whip. It's just...this is
           big time, man. You're a hero in a
           time when we really need heroes.
                         
                          WHIP
           Shut the fuck up, Harling...Six
           people died.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           96 people lived! When are you
           gonna take yes for an answer? Pick
           up the phone, man. Fuck.
                         
          HARLING pulls something from his vest pocket and puts it in
          WHIP'S hand. WHIP looks at it and back at HARLING.
           51.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Here's a pint of Smirnoff and a few
           Red Bulls. You know what I'm
           sayin'? I know my customer.
                         
          HARLING continues to pull items from the bag.
                         
                          WHIP
           Harling, take the vodka with you.
                         
          HARLING freezes his frenzied energy with this odd command.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           What?! Take the vodka? Dude, are
           you insane? I'm gonna just tuck it
           in the bottom of your-
                         
                          WHIP
           Take the fucking vodka!
                         
          HARLING hears him this time and raises his hand and nods,
          putting the VODKA back in his own duffel. HARLING tosses a
          tee shirt, sweat pants and flip-flops on the bed, then...
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           Okay man. Check it out.
                         
          HARLING holds up a silk Japanese Happi Coat, with elaborate
          stitching depicting colorful birds flying around Mt. Fuji.
                         
                          WHIP
           Look, I'm tired man.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           I'm out. You rest up.
                         
                          WHIP
           You gotta come and get me,
           tomorrow.
                         
          WHIP pulls his keys from the bag that CHARLIE gave him.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Here are my keys. Go to the condo
           and bring me some nice clothes I
           can wear, my phone charger and grab
           the veal outta my fridge. It's
           marked.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           The veal?
           52.
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah, the veal that's in my
           freezer.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           Done and done. What time you need
           me here?
                         
                          WHIP
           Tomorrow. I'll call you.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           Send the mayday and you're outta
           here in 7 minutes.
                          (A SMILE)
           I got you a few stroke mags too.
           I've been in hospitals. I know
           what you need. JUGS, HOT MILFS in
           heat. ASSMASTERS. You should just
           stroke it all day. You're a hero --
           know what I'm saying? If I was in
           here I'd be jerkin' it all day
           long. See, there's a smile.
                         
          HARLING puts his hand on WHIP's forehead in an attempt to
          reassure him. A quiet moment before HARLING slips out.
                         
                         
          INT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- 11 PM -- SAME EVENING
                         
          WHIP wakes up in a cold sweat. He is breathing heavy as he
          scans the room. LIGHTENING FLASHES from outside the window.
          Thunder RUMBLES.
                         
          WHIP looks to the night stand where we see a pack of nicotine
          gum has been chewed through. WHIP uses his hands to get to
          the edge of the bed. He roots through the duffle bag that
          HARLING left and finds a pack of smokes and a Bic lighter
          still in its package.
                         
          Determined to smoke, WHIP eyes a WHEEL CHAIR that has been
          placed next to his bed. Leaning against the wheelchair is a
          medical cane.
                         
                         
          INT. HOSPITAL -- QUIET HALLWAY -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
          Wearing his Happi Coat (or robe), WHIP limps in to the empty
          hallway with the use of his cane. He checks the quiet
          corridor as he begins his quest...
           53.
                         
          INT. HOSPITAL -- FIRE DOOR -- 11:38 PM
                         
          The door swings open, and no one appears to be on the other
          side. Now WHIP fights to push the heavy door open again to
          slip through. A hand grabs the door and holds it. WHIP
          walks into the sanctity of the stairwell.
                         
                         
          INT. HOSPITAL STAIRWELL -- SAME TIME
                         
          We find the owner of the helping hand was NICOLE who returns
          to a quiet spot along the wall of the stairwell as she
          demurely smokes a cigarette.
                         
                          WHIP
           Thank you.
                         
          WHIP leans his cane against the wall and carefully pulls a
          pack of smokes from his pocket.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           I didn't think anyone would have
           the same devious thought about
           using the fire stairs to have a
           smoke...
                         
          NICOLE smiles and looks down, awkward around men when she is
          not loaded. She drops her cigarette which we see was barely
          smoked as she maneuvers to leave.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Don't go. I'll be quiet.
                         
          He offers her a cigarette, she takes it.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           We don't have to talk. Be nice to
           just smoke with someone.
                         
          And they do. They sit in silence as the stairwell fills up
          with smoke. After a long beat...
                         
                          NICOLE
           Were you on the plane?
                         
          WHIP studies her, she's beautiful in an exhausted way...
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah, I was. Were you?
                         
          Nicole shakes her head.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Where were you sitting?
           54.
                         
                          WHIP
           Up near the front.
                         
          Again it falls silent as we let them smoke and think in the
          sanctity of the fire stairs.
                         
          A VOICE breaks their silence.
                         
           VOICE (O.S.)
           Tobacco's but an Indian weed,
           Grows green in the morn, cut down
           at eve; It shows our decay, We are
           but clay;...I love the smell of
           Nicotina in the morning. Smells
           like...victory.
                         
          We hear a metallic rattle and WHIP and NICOLE look to the
          stairs.
                         
                          VOICE (CONT'D)
           Don't flee dear comrades! Really,
           wait for me, please.
                         
          A GAUNT YOUNG MAN makes his way to their landing. He is
          dressed in a hospital gown and carrying an I.V. pole on which
          hangs a small bag of clear liquid. The man's hair has
          completely left him. His skin is gray. Eyes hollowed from
          his battle with cancer.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           Can I bum a smoke?
                         
          WHIP offers him a cigarette. He takes it and fires it up
          with a lighter he keeps stowed in the pocket of his gown.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN (CONT'D)
           I should quit, my cancer might get
           cancer.
                          (SILENCE)
           Joke. You guys in the plane crash?
                         
                          NICOLE
           He was.
                         
          WHIP looks at the ground as the GAUNT YOUNG MAN studies him.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           (it hits him)
           You're the fucking pilot.
                         
          Nicole gives Whip a look.
           55.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN (CONT'D)
           I saw you on TV. Holy shit, man.
           Tough deal, but you walked away or
           it looks like you limped away.
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah, I'm lucky. Goin' home
           tomorrow.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           Home. Home for me is the basement,
           they keep cancer treatment in the
           basement. I'm livin' here.
                         
                          WHIP
           You're living here?
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           No. I'm dying here.
                         
                          WHIP
           What kind of cancer?
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           Fibro-mixzoid sarcoma, soft tissue
           sarcoma. Very rare, God chose me.
                         
          GAUNT YOUNG MAN laughs.
                         
                          WHIP
           God chose you? You believe in God?
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           Fuck yeah bitch. You're a stupid
           fucker if you don't believe in God.
                         
          The GOD topic has silenced the stairwell...
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN (CONT'D)
           As soon as you realize that the
           random events in your life are
           God...you will live a much better
           life. You spend your life
           believing that you have all the
           control over what happens.
           Bullshit. The plane you're flying
           goes down? Out of your control.
           God gives you cancer. I have no
           control over that. Did God give me
           cancer? You bet your ass God gave
           me cancer. You think if I begged
           for cancer God would have given it
           to me?
           56.
                         
           No...because I assure you I have
           begged for God to take it away -
           and guess what? I have no control
           over that.
                         
          GAUNT YOUNG MAN smokes the cig to the nub and rubs the
          remains against the smooth concrete wall.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN (CONT'D)
           Can I get another smoke? What's
           wrong with you honey? You're
           beautiful, do you know that? Do I
           scare you? People either have to
           pretend they don't see me or
           they're drawn to me. It's funny
           because people see me as being
           close to the other side -- they
           feel like I have power or wisdom.
           They think I have the answers. Who
           knows? Maybe I do. Death gives
           you perspective. I lived my life
           so indecisive, in a haze. But now
           that I'm dying everything is so
           clear. It all makes sense somehow.
           I'm sorry but I can't get over how
           beautiful you are? Look at your
           arm, you an addict?
                         
          NICOLE looks at him. She nods.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN (CONT'D)
           What's your name?
                         
                          NICOLE
           Nicole.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           What do you do in the world Nicole?
                         
          She laughs, what a question.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Not much. I was a photographer and
           then I was a masseuse and I wash
           hair at a salon sometimes.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           Where is it? I'll come by, I'm
           easy, you can wash my head.
                          (SHE SMILES)
           Do you think you're gonna die?
                         
          NICOLE laughs to keep from weeping.
           57.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN (CONT'D)
           You're not. You're not gonna die.
                         
          The men watch as NICOLE quietly cries, it's powerful.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN (CONT'D)
           Don't you love her?
                         
                          WHIP
           I don't know her.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           Bullshit, I do. Random act of God?
           Don't think so. Survive a plane
           crash to meet a gorgeous girl in a
           stairwell. Fuck you man.
           (he reflects, then...)
           I'm sure they're looking for me.
           My family just showed up from Utah.
           You know it's bad when they start
           flying in. Every morning is
           special now, I'm so grateful. It's
           a trip, wish I could bottle this
           feeling I have...about how
           beautiful every breath of life is..
                         
          GAUNT YOUNG MAN starts laughing. WHIP joins him.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN (CONT'D)
           Can I get a smoke for the road?
                         
                          WHIP
           Here's a pack.
                         
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           Thank you, I'll pass them out in
           the cancer ward. Take care Nicole,
           you're gonna be okay.
                         
          The GAUNT YOUNG MAN leaves, clanging away with his I.V. pole.
                         
          NICOLE wipes away her tears, we see her hospital bracelet as
          well as her track marks.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Chemo brain. Chemo makes you
           pretty foggy.
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah?
           58.
                         
                          NICOLE
           They call it chemo brain, my mom
           used to slur her words and get all
           chatty.
                         
                          WHIP
           Your mom had cancer.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Breast cancer, she was only 54.
                         
          It's quiet.
                         
                          WHIP
           But why'd that guy ask you if you
           were gonna die?
                         
                          NICOLE
           I dunno. I flat-lined twice in the
           ambulance. Heroin addicts who use
           needles tend to die. Especially
           women for some reason.
                         
                          WHIP
           Is that right?
                         
                          NICOLE
           I have a pamphlet to prove it. A
           girl from AA just came to see me --
                          (IT'S QUIET)
           That guy was a trip. He made it
           feel like, I dunno...we were the
           last people left on the planet..
           (drops her smoke)
           ...and together we should save the
           world.
                         
          NICOLE steps on her cigarette and puts the nub in her pocket.
          She begins to leave. WHIP stops her.
                         
                          WHIP
           Well, where should we live? If
           we're gonna save the world, where
           should we do that?
                         
          NICOLE laughs.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           What?
                         
                          NICOLE
           You don't want me.
                         
          WHIP laughs.
           59.
                         
                          NICOLE (CONT'D)
           What?
                         
                          WHIP
           You don't want me either.
                         
          NICOLE's laugh tapers off as she senses his honesty.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Where do you live?
                         
                          NICOLE
           Why you wanna come visit? It's
           luxurious.
           (silence between them)
           I live in Bankhead, it's south
           Atlanta, near the bus station.
                         
                          WHIP
           The luxurious bus station?
                         
                          NICOLE
           Yeah.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'll come visit you.
                         
                          NICOLE
           You're sweet.
                         
                          WHIP
           I will. What's your address?
                         
          She measures him.
                         
                          NICOLE
           I live at the Georgian Gardens on
           Taylor street.
                         
                          WHIP
           Georgian Gardens?
                         
                          NICOLE
           Yeah.
                         
                         
                          WHIP
           How long are you staying here?
                         
                          NICOLE
           Trying to stay as long as I can but
           I don't have insurance to cover
           rehab. I'll prolly be out
           tomorrow.
           60.
                         
                          WHIP
           Oh. Okay. And you're a masseuse?
                         
                          NICOLE
           Yeah.
                         
                          WHIP
           What kind of masseuse?
                         
                          NICOLE
           I've been every kind of masseuse
           there is.
                         
          There is strong tension between them. An orderly busts
          through the down the stairs. This breaks their stare.
                         
                          WHIP
           Good luck Nicole.
                         
                          NICOLE
           You too.
                         
          WHIP leaves NICOLE where he found her.
                         
                         
          EXT. ST. FRANCIS REGIONAL MEDICAL HOSPITAL-LOADING DOCK-DAY
                         
          WHIP is wheeled out of a service exit by an ORDERLY who also
          holds the duffle bag of WHIP's stuff around his neck. Whip no
          longer wears the eye patch but has a butterfly bandage over
          his left eye brow.
                         
          HARLING jumps out of his 2001 Cadillac STS and immediately
          takes over, grabbing the duffel bag.
                         
                          WHIP
           Thanks Mike.
                         
          The ORDERLY tries to hand WHIP a medical file. HARLING
          snatches it.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           Yeah, thanks Mike.
           (Harling tips him)
           Here's 20 American.
                         
                          ORDERLY MIKE
           Thanks. Good luck, sir.
                         
          HARLING hugs WHIP who hangs on tight. The ORDERLY spins the
          chair around and heads back inside.
                         
          HARLING uses his key fob to remotely pop the trunk and stow
          Whip's duffel.
           61.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           This is how they get the Stones out
           of Madison Square Garden, man. 4
           smoked black limos fly outta the
           VIP driveway and the fans jump on
           the limos...mayhem. Those limos?
           Empty. Meanwhile, Mick and the boys
           go out the service exit into
           delivery vans -- casual, rock star
           type shit.
                         
           HARLING helps him into the front seat and they pull away.
                         
           The Stones, "Gimme Shelter" starts to play...
                         
          53 As they drive off, we see media mayhem collected in front of 53
           the hospital. Trucks with towers, cameramen, stringers and
           newscasters add to catering trucks and coffee stands as the
           vultures wait for the carrion of sound bytes and footage of
           survivors.
                         
                         
           INT. HARLING'S CADDY -- DAY
                         
           Whip watches through the rear window -- the "Media Circus"
           disappears as the Caddy rounds a corner. The back seat is
           piled with Whip's clothes, most of them still on hangers.
                         
           HARLING lights a cigarette and hands one to WHIP who takes
           it.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           I couldn't find any suitcases so I
           just put your shit in grocery bags.
                         
           HARLING pulls a cold Becks from a cooler on the floor of the
           back seat and uses a bottle opener that's been screwed to the
           dash of his car next to the radio to open the beer. He
           offers the beer to WHIP who waves it off. HARLING gladly
           keeps it for himself... "Gimme Shelter" continues to play...
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           So you're stayin' with me down on
           University, right? It's nice. A
           lotta young people...good vibe.
                         
           Harling tosses Whip a freezer bag marked:"VEAL" -- Whip
           begins to open it.
                         
                          WHIP
           No. I'm gonna go to the farm.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           The fucking farm?
           62.
                         
                          WHIP
           My dad's place. I can't stay at my
           condo.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           I thought you sold that fucking
           place.
                         
                          WHIP
           Not yet.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           I'm not sure I wanna stay at the
           farm.
                         
                          WHIP
           You're not. Just take me to the
           airport to get my car.
                         
           Whip finishes opening the freezer bag -- it's full of cash.
                         
           HARLING starts to laugh...
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
          58 Veal? Really? Don't you know the 58
           first place every two-bit thief
           looks is in the freezer?
                         
                         
           EXT. ATLANTA RURAL SUBURBAN ROAD - WHIP'S FARM - DAY
                         
           WHIP's BUICK turns off the blacktop past a small weathered
           billboard: WHITAKER CROP DUSTING. Also a real estate "FOR
           SALE" sign is posted in front.
                         
                         
           EXT. WHITAKER FARM -- DRIVEWAY -- DAY
                         
           Whip pulls into a long, dirt driveway that approaches a one-
           story farm house. He gets out of the car. With his cane in
           one hand, he uses his free hand to toss the grocery bags
           close to the steps and heads inside.
                         
                         
           INT. WHITAKER FARM -- LIVING ROOM - DAY
                         
           WHIP ambles in and we see the interior of the house bears the
           fading patina of a proud American Family. We see PHOTOS --
           WHIP in his NAVAL FLYER UNIFORM. A GROUP MILITARY PHOTO -- a
           SQUADRON of NAVAL FLIERS on a carrier. WHIP's PARENTS next
           to the farm house. WHIP's FATHER stands next to WHIP who is
           holding his infant son.
           63.
                         
          INT. WHITAKER FARM -- LIVING ROOM -- DESK AREA - DAY
                         
          WHIP empties his pockets onto the desk top. His keys, wallet
          and his cell phone are placed next to an old rotary phone
          attached to an old answering machine. WHIP plugs in his cell
          phone charge, dials in for his messages and puts it in
          "speaker mode" as we hear...
                         
                          CELL PHONE
           You have 127 messages.
                          (A BEEP)
           Message one..."Captain Whitaker,
           this is Jim Court I'm with CNN.
           We'd like to schedule an
           interview..."
           (he deletes that message)
           Message two..."This is NBC
           affiliate KGAT in Athens we're
           looking to contact William J.
           Whitaker for..."
           (he deletes and moves on)
           Message three..."Captain Whitaker,
           this is Karen James, media
           relations with the pilots'
           union..."
                         
          WHIP again deletes the message and decides to just shut the
          phone down. He continues to empty his pockets. In his jacket
          pocket he finds a prescription bottle of pain pills.
                         
          WHIP holds it up, opens it and pours a few out in his hand.
                         
                         
          INT. WHITAKER FARM -- BATHROOM -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
          WHIP pours the pain pills into the toilet. He then opens the
          medicine cabinet and starts to empty all of the bottles into
          the toilet.
                         
                         
          INT. WHITAKER FARM -- KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
          WHIP goes to the collection of liquor bottles next to the
          sink that act as a makeshift bar. He picks up a bottle of
          vodka. He unscrews the cap and sniffs the contents. He
          slowly tips the bottle and pours it into the sink.
                         
          Whip opens the refrigerator and removes an assortment of
          beers. He pops them open and pours them in the sink. The
          faucet running to offset the pungent smell.
           64.
                         
          INT. BEDROOM -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
          Whip opens a dresser drawer and finds a couple of zip-lock
          bags of "bud" hidden under the socks.
                         
                         
          INT. BATHROOM -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
          Whip dumps the weed into the toilet and FLUSHES it.
                         
                         
          INT. LIVING ROOM -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
          A cigarette dangles from WHIP's mouth as he ferrets around
          the room, showing the focus and determination of a serial
          killer cleaning his kill site. He finds rolling papers,
          roaches, more liquor and weed -- he reaches into the Shell
          Bag that's hanging next to the shotgun rack and finds another
          "pint."
                         
                         
          INT. KITCHEN -- LATER
                         
          Whip opens the freezer to put in his frozen dinner and his
          "packet of veal" and finds another fifth of vodka.
                         
          He pours the vodka in the sink and tosses the bottle into the
          trash -- which is piled high with empties.
                         
          Through the kitchen window, Whip sees the farm's old
          weathered barn. Whip furrows his brow.
                         
                         
          EXT. WHITAKER FARM -- BARN -- DAY
                         
          WHIP slides open the heavy barn doors to reveal -- A VINTAGE
          CESSNA 172 -- covered in dust and bird shit from the years of
          stagnant storage.
                         
          WHIP lights a smoke as he marvels at the little piece of
          aviation history resting in his barn.
                         
                         
          INT. WHITAKER FARM -- BARN -- AIRPLANE -- DAY
                         
          Whip walks past the plane and starts to examine the large,
          two-story, open-ceilinged barn that is junked full of farm
          equipment and old furniture. He finds...
                         
          A WALL OF PHOTOS -- WHIP WITH HIS FATHER NEXT TO A PLANE.
          HIS GRANDFATHER, FATHER and WHIP pose next to the barn.
                         
          A CROP DUSTER acts as the background for a picture with a 15
          year old WHIP and his father next to a small plane.
           65.
                         
           A series of pictures feature the PLANE in flight and SHOTS
           TAKEN FROM THE PLANE, aerials of the farm, etc.
                         
           WHIP holds the framed shot of he and his dad as he walks back
           to the plane, resting his arm on the wing.
                         
           WHIP pulls himself from the wall of photos and stares at his
           stuff. We recognize what must be the stuff he took from his
           house after his divorce. We see bikes, weights and fishing
           gear.
                         
           Whip rummages through a box of things packed from his home
           office. Trophies, sports memorabilia, citations -- A PHOTO OF
           HE AND HIS WIFE from happier times. THEIR WEDDING PHOTO.
                         
           Now Whip comes upon A FRAMED BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO of he and
           Charlie in their younger, Navy days -- wearing flight suits
           and standing on a carrier flight deck in front of an F-14
           Tomcat. Big smiles, full of hotshot pilot swagger.
                         
           WHIP puts the photo back and spots his golf bag. He roots
           out a pint of cheap vodka from the inner pocket.
                         
           Next he finds a fifth of bourbon in his bicycle saddle bag.
                         
           He goes to the workbench and removes a couple of bottles from
           the paint shelf.
                         
                         
           EXT. BARN -- DAY
                         
          63 Whip dumps out the liquor onto the grass as he hobbles back 63
           to the house.
                         
                         
           EXT. WHITAKER FARM -- NIGHT
                         
          65 WHIP uses just his cane now as he drags a garbage bag full of
                          65
           empty liquor bottles to his garbage cans. He tosses the bag
           of empties in a can. His work done, WHIP lights a smoke and
           stares at the empty fields that run forever as does the
           landscape of his mind. He quietly tries to grasp the horror
           he endured and the reality of his survival.
                         
                         
           INT. KITCHEN TABLE -- LATER THAT NIGHT
                         
           We hear the microwave beep and WHIP retrieves a frozen
           dinner.
           66.
                         
          INT. WHITAKER FARM--LIVING ROOM DESK AREA--MOMENTS LATER
                         
          WHIP sits at the coffee table eating his frozen dinner while
          watching news coverage of the crash.
                         
                         PHONE RINGS
                         
          WHIP is startled by the phone that never rings. He snaps off
          the TV using the remote.
                         
          WHIP is in no hurry to answer the phone as the old time ring
          continues. WHIP goes to the desk where the phone rests and
          he watches the old answering machine click on. We hear...
                         
           WHIP'S FATHER'S VOICE
           You've reached the Whitaker Crop
           Dusting Company, flying lessons and
           plane rides. Please leave a message
           and it will be returned. Thank
           you.
                         
                          VOICE MAIL
           ...I think that was the beep. Hey
           Cowboy, it's Charlie again.
                         
          WHIP reaches for the phone but decides to just listen to
          CHARLIE...
                         
                          CHARLIE
           (speaking to voicemail)
           I'm back in town and I stopped by
           the hospital tonight but they said
           you went home...so I guess you're
           feelin' pretty good, but um we went
           out to your condo and the manager
           said you had not returned.
                         
                         
          INT. CARR'S OFFICE -- ATLANTA BASEBALL STADIUM -- NIGHT
                         
          CHARLIE sits at a beautiful wooden table in a modern glass-
          walled office above a baseball field. The table is populated
          with casually-dressed businessmen and lawyers as this after-
          hours meeting was called on the fly.
                         
          CRASH SCENE PHOTOS and FILES fill the table top. We also see
          a photo or two of the WHITAKER FARM.
                         
                          VOICE MAIL
           So...you may be with relatives,
           which I understand. I was really
           hoping to see you for breakfast.
           I'm at the St. Regis downtown.
           67.
                         
           There's an executive buffet on the
           16th floor - 10 o'clock, okay? If
           you get this, please come. Some
           important stuff to cover. Be good.
                         
                         
          INT. WHITAKER FARM -- LIVING ROOM -- DESK AREA -- NIGHT
                         
          WHIP stands still as a beep sounds, ending the message.
                         
                         
          INT. ST. REGIS HOTEL -- EXECUTIVE BUFFET -- MORNING
                         
          The executive buffet is a staple at the ST. REGIS. A long
          center table with silver trays houses eggs and breakfast
          meats. Fruit, bagels and a staff of servers cater to the
          business elite of Atlanta.
                         
          CHARLIE ANDERSON sits at a corner table with HUGH LANG, a
          young, well-dressed African American man. CHARLIE and HUGH
          are chatting in jocular spirit when WHIP approaches, walking
          much more confidently with his cane.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Whip, hey buddy. Glad you got my
           message. Grab a seat.
                         
          WHIP studies HUGH as he pulls out his chair.
                         
                          CHARLIE (CONT'D)
           Whip this is Hugh Lang; he's an
           attorney from Chicago.
                         
          HUGH stands and shakes hands with WHIP.
                         
                          HUGH
           Nice to meet you Captain Whitaker.
                         
          WHIP and HUGH remain standing, both feeling a little "alpha."
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Siddown. Coffee?
           (Whip nods, sits)
           Miss, can we get some fresh coffee?
                         
          She smiles and nods. She's off to get the coffee.
                         
                          CHARLIE (CONT'D)
           We were just talking about your
           copilot's wife. She told a
           newspaper that "God landed that
           plane."
           68.
                         
                          WHIP
           God landed the plane?
                         
          WHIP just stares at the two men who have large buffet plates
          surrounding them.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           I too believe that God landed that
           plane. The same way I believe that
           God should hit the buffet, the
           turkey sausage is excellent.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm good with coffee.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Len Caldwell was really trying to
           get here this morning.
           (Whip seems lost)
           Len is the president of the pilots'
           union and he wanted to be here with
           us and meet with you but they
           wanted him at the crash site. So..
                         
          WHIP is quiet, anxious to hear the purpose of the meeting.
                         
                          CHARLIE (CONT'D)
           Whip, as you know, when a plane
           crashes, the NTSB sends a "go team"
           to the crash site immediately.
                         
                          WHIP
           They find the flight data
           recorders?
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Yes they found them, perfectly
           intact.
                         
                          WHIP
           Great. That solves everything.
           The recorders will tell the story.
           Why do we need a lawyer from
           Chicago?
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Hugh's an attorney who specializes
           in criminal negligence-
                         
                          WHIP
           Criminal negligence?
                         
          The WAITRESS returns with the coffee. It's quiet as they
          wait for her to finish. She does.
           69.
                         
                          HUGH
          Death demands responsibility. Six
          dead on that plane, someone has to
          pay.
                         
                          WHIP
          The plane fell apart at 30 thousand
          feet.
                         
                          CHARLIE
          The airline will try to prove
          equipment failure. Which would
          make the manufacturer responsible.
          The manufacturer of the plane will
          try to prove poor maintenance of
          the equipment by the airline.
                         
                          HUGH
          Or pilot error.
                         
                          WHIP
          I had to fly that plane inverted,
          that means upside down, Hugh. Do
          you get the picture? 100
          passengers hanging upside down, 500
          feet off the ground. Do you have
          any idea what that sounds like?
                         
                          HUGH
          I do. I heard the black box last
          night.
                         
                          WHIP
          Are you a pilot?
                         
                          HUGH LANG
          No I'm not.
                         
                          WHIP
          Then you don't know what the fuck
          you're talking about.
                         
                          CHARLIE
          Hugh's on our team and it's the
          NTSB's ball game. They run the
          investigation and they will
          ultimately rule on the cause.
                         
                          HUGH
          They interview the entire flight
          crew and the passengers. They hold
                         PUBLIC HEARINGS-
           70.
                         
                          WHIP
           Charlie, what do I need to know?
           I'm already tired of this guy.
                         
                          HUGH
           The NTSB `go team' collects blood,
           skin and hair from the flight crew
           for a toxicology report.
                         
          WHIP studies the two men, trying to read their poker hands.
                         
                          WHIP
           When did they do that?
                         
                          HUGH
           In the hospital. It's the first
           thing they do. Do you remember
           having your blood drawn on the
           night of the crash?
                         
          WHIP looks at CHARLIE and then to HUGH...
                         
                          WHIP
           Do they have the results of these
           blood tests?
                         
                          HUGH
           Yeah, they do.
                         
          The WAITRESS checks in.
                         
                          WAITRESS
           Anything else for you gentlemen?
                         
                          WHIP
           Did I just see warm cinnamon rolls
           come out?
                         
                          WAITRESS
           Yes sir.
                         
                          WHIP
           Bring me one wouldya? Actually
           bring me two, okay sweetie?
                         
                          WAITRESS
           Comin' up.
                         
          An awkward silence as they wait for her to clear out.
                         
                          HUGH
           An initial report shows alcohol in
           your bloodstream at a level of .24.
           In the U.S.
           71.
                         
           -- one of the most lenient drunk
           driving countries in the world --
           you go to jail for driving with a
           number over .08. And by driving, I
           mean a car.
                         
          They all digest the information as the WAITRESS delivers the
          cinnamon rolls. She leaves. It's still quiet.
                         
                          WHIP
           What does that mean? I had a beer
           the night before I flew. And
           what...That made the tail of the
           plane explode?
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Separate issues Whip-
                         
                          WHIP
           I need a lawyer.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Hugh is your lawyer.
                         
                          WHIP
           I need a bigger lawyer. A lawyer
           who understands that I flew a
           broken plane and without me at that
           stick there'd be 102 funerals, not
           6.
                         
                          HUGH
           We're talking about prison not
           funerals. Somebody has-
                         
                          WHIP
           To write checks, well it's not me I
           promise you that. And as long as
           they're writing checks, write me
           one because someone put me in a
           broken plane. I'd love a check.
                         
                          CHARLIE
                          EASY WHIP-
                         
                          HUGH
           This tox report states that you
           were drunk and high on cocaine,
           felonies punishable by 24 years in
           jail. And if your intoxication is
           proven to have caused the death of
           the 4 passengers you'll get 4
           counts of manslaughter. That could
           be life in prison.
           72.
                         
           Can I now do my job on your behalf
           and kill this tox report?
                         
           WHIP is listening. CHARLIE tries to reign it in.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           He'll get it done, Whip. It's what
           his entire life is about. Trust
           me, trust him.
           (Whip stares at Hugh)
           Don't worry Whip, you're gonna walk
           away the hero you deserve to be.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm not worried, Charlie. I promise
           you that. No one could have landed
           that plane like I did, no one.
                         
          68 The WAITRESS returns with a coffee pot. WHIP leaves. 68
                         
                         
           INT. ST. REGIS HOTEL -- LOUNGE -- DAY
                         
           Close on TV -- A SPLIT SCREEN -- CNN's PIERS MORGAN on one
           side of the screen asking questions of JIM TILMON, an
           aviation expert.
                         
           WE NOW SEE A PHOTO OF WHIP IN HIS SOUTHJET AIRLINE UNIFORM.
                         
                          PIERS MORGAN
           Captain Tilmon, we wanna play a
           portion of the black box that all
           of the news outlets have grabbed
           hold of...
                         
                          WHIP
                          (ON TELEVISION)
           When I ask for power, push both of
           these forward. Got it? What's your
           son's name?
                         
           WIDER...WHIP STEPS UP TO THE BAR, GLANCING AROUND.
                         
           The BARTENDER steps up to serve WHIP...
                         
                          BARTENDER
           What'll you have?
                         
                          WHIP
           Can I get an orange juice?
                         
           The BARTENDER leaves to grab the orange juice.
           73.
                         
          TELEVISION -- The transcription and AUDIO of the cockpit
          recording continues...
                         
           MARGARET (O.S.)
           Trevor.
                         
           WHIP (O.S.)
           Say "I love you Trevor."
                         
           MARGARET (O.S.)
           Why?
                         
           WHIP (O.S.)
           The black box.
                         
           MARGARET (O.S.)
           I love you Trevor. Be a good boy.
           Mommy loves you.
                         
          The BARTENDER returns with the orange juice.
                         
                          BARTENDER
           That's it?
                         
                          WHIP
           And a double shot of Stoli.
                         
          The BARTENDER nods and turns in acknowledgement of the order.
                         
                          PIERS MORGAN
                          (ON TELEVISION)
           Wow. That audio paints a strong
           picture. Captain Whitaker is
           surely a hero in my opinion.
                         
                          JIM TILMON
                          (ON TELEVISION)
           Absolutely. However, every
           incident is different. The actions
           of the pilots on SouthJet 227 will
           be heavily scrutinized. It's
           protocol for any investigation.
                         
          The BARTENDER returns with a frosted glass and pours two
          shots over the ice.
                         
          WHIP downs the vodka in a flash.
                         
          The OTHER BARTENDER has the remote and starts searching for
          more coverage of the crash. He stops at a local report.
                         
          ON TELEVISION WE SEE
           74.
                         
          EXT. CRASH SITE -- DAY
                         
          A REPORTER gives a lead in at the crash site.
                         
           CRASH SITE REPORTER #1
           Kevin, it's still chaotic here at
           the site. Apparently a small
           ministry was conducting services
           near to where the plane came down.
           So the scene here is a mix of
           survivors and first responders, I
           was able to catch up with an actual
           passenger moments ago...
                         
          A YOUNG SHORT HAIRED BLONDE MAN GIVES HIS ACCOUNT
                         
                          PASSENGER 1
           We were in a nose dive and people
           were screaming and yelling and then
           the plane turned upside down and we
           had to hold on to our seat belts to
           keep from falling out of our chairs
           -- I saw one kid fall to the floor
           and this flight attendant picked
           him up and handed him to his
           dad...I didn't see her again.
                         
           CRASH SITE REPORTER #1
           More details and more reports of
           the casualties are continuing to
           fly around. I can tell you that
           there appears to be many, many
           survivors. That's all I have for
           now. Kevin?
                         
          Another reporter has a passenger's account.
                         
           CRASH SITE REPORTER #2
           Rebecca, surviving passengers are
           being put in ambulances, police
           cruisers and even first responder
           vehicles and they are being taken
           to local hospitals for treatment.
           Some of the injured appear serious
           and it's safe to assume at this
           point that there are at least a few
           fatalities. Let's roll the tape of
           the passenger I caught up with
           earlier.
                         
          A MAN with SHORT DARK HAIR explains his experience.
           75.
                         
                          PASSENGER 2
           We turned like a corkscrew and all
           I could think was, "this is really
           happening, I'm going to die" and
           then all of a sudden the plane was
           upside down but steady and the
           pilot must have known how to fly it
           that way. He flipped it back over
           and landed it hard.
                         
           CRASH SITE REPORTER #2
           Obviously a harrowing ordeal for
           those on the troubled plane. This
           is Callie J Kenner for News 5.
                         
          A third Reporter gets a FEMALE NEIGHBOR's perspective.
                         
           CRASH SITE REPORTER #3
           Folks in the houses that border
           this field came running from their
           houses...
                         
                          NEIGHBOR
           I thought it was thunder at first.
           But it shook the ground hard.
           Thunder don't do like that. I ran
           outside and I could hear people
           yelling and I could see a small
           fire at first. I just took the
           dogs and headed down there. Then I
           saw the plane crumpled on the
           ground. I never seen nothing like
           that in my life.
                         
           CRASH SITE REPORTER #3
           Just like that plane, this
           community is shattered. Folks here
           remain on edge as media trucks
           continue to line their small road
           and crowd the field where the plane
           still lies. Back to you, Tom.
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT. CRASH SITE -- NIGHT
                         
          A news light shines on a lone reporter who stands atop a
          small hill above the crash field.
           76.
                         
           CRASH SITE REPORTER #4
           We're gonna take another look at
           the cell phone footage that
           captured the last moments of
           SouthJet's Flight 227.
                         
           WE SEE THE GRAINY CELL PHONE FOOTAGE OF THE PLANE
                         
           After the PLANE levels off and smacks down in the field, we
           return to REPORTER #4 in the crash field.
                         
           CRASH SITE REPORTER #4 (CONT'D)
           Many hours have passed since the
           footage you just watched but the
           crash site remains active as
           investigators work through the
           night. Using flood lights and
           miners' caps, teams continue to
           comb the crash field looking for
           the answers to the hard questions
           as to what brought down SouthJet's
           flight 227. Those answers remain
           in darkness as do the broken pieces
           of the aircraft. Hopefully
           sunlight will bring answers. For
           now this is Kent Johnson reporting.
                         
                         
                         
                         
           INT./EXT. WHIP'S BUICK -- QWIK STOP LIQUOR STORE -- DAY
                         
           A 12-pack of beer hits the passenger seat as Whip climbs
           behind the wheel. Whip cracks open a "handle" (half-gallon)
           of vodka and takes a liberal pull. Whip's shoulders relax as
           the alcohol kicks in.
                         
          71 After a moment, he starts the car, shifts into gear -- downs 71
           another huge slug of vodka -- and pulls out.
                         
                         
           INT. WHIP'S BUICK -- ATLANTA STREET -- DAY
                         
           Whip is at the wheel. A cigarette in one hand, an open beer
           in the other. He cruises slowly -- searching street signs
           with his beer-buzzed eyes.
                         
                          WHIP
                          (TO HIMSELF)
           Taylor street, Taylor st...ah, here
           we are.
                         
           Whip rolls the Buick to a stop and scans the street.
           77.
                         
           P.O.V. THROUGH DRIVER SIDE WINDOW
                         
           WHIP spots a SIGN: "Georgian Gardens Apartments" Suddenly,
           NICOLE flies into frame and tosses a box into the back of her
           Toyota. She hustles off leaving the hatchback open.
                         
          72 WHIP raises an eyebrow, and drives toward the building. 72
                         
                         
           EXT. THREE STORY APARTMENT BUILDING -- ATLANTA -- DAY
                         
           WHIP parks his car at a fire hydrant right in front of
           NICOLE's building and gets out with his cane. He pops a fresh
           beer and looks at the building, looking for a proper
           entrance. He notices Fran walking quickly along the second
           story balcony -- carrying a baseball bat.
                         
           Whip thinks nothing of it and begins casually poking through
           the stuff in Nicole's car -- a random collection of junk
           including clothes and photographs -- mostly of rock bands
           performing.
                         
           Now, WHIP HEARS an argument escalating between Fran and
           NICOLE.
                         
           FRAN (O.S.)
           The guy in Unit 1 just told me you
           stayed here last night?!
                         
           NICOLE (O.S.)
           Franny relax, I'm just getting my
           shit outta here, okay?
                         
           FRAN (O.S.)
           What about the rent! YOU OWE ME
           MONEY!
                         
           He heads off...
                         
                         
           EXT. THREE STORY APARTMENT BUILDING -- STAIRCASE -- DAY
                         
           WHIP does a decent job of making his way up the exterior
           staircase. That beer is making his leg feel a little better.
                         
           WHIP moves more aggressively up the stairs as the ARGUMENT
           GROWS LOUDER...
                         
           FRAN (O.S.)
           Who do you think broke down this
           fucking door to let the paramedics
           in there? Huh?! -- You gotta pay
           for all this.
           78.
                         
           NICOLE (O.S.)
           I'm sorry. Just let me get my shit
           and get outta here. I will pay you
           when I can.
                         
           FRAN (O.S.)
           I know, just take a shower with me.
           How hard is that? C'mon.
                         
           NICOLE (O.S.)
           No. I'm not doin' that.
                         
           FRAN (O.S.)
           If I had a bag a dope you'd be on
           your knees in my shower right now,
           right? Come on...
                         
           NICOLE (O.S.)
           DON'T TOUCH ME!
                         
          WHIP PICKS UP THE PACE OF HIS LIMP TOWARDS THE FRACAS.
                         
           FRAN (O.S.)
           Gimme the camera, for collateral.
           What's it worth?
                         
           NICOLE (O.S.)
           No fucking way! I will kill you if
           you touch this camera! I will pay
           for all of this! I will pay, okay!
                         
          WHIP crests the top of the staircase to see...
                         
                         
          SCENE 75 COMBINED WITH SCENE 74
                         
                         
          INT. NICOLE'S APARTMENT -- SAME
                         
          FRAN, the landlord, wielding a baseball bat as he berates
          NICOLE. NICOLE has her full-bodied 35 MM camera hanging from
          a strap around her neck. FRAN points the bat at her head.
                         
          Whip WHACKS Fran with his cane.
                         
                          WHIP
           The fuck are you doin'!?
                         
          FRAN stumbles and falls as the bat goes flying to the ground
          and rolls away. WHIP licks the foaming top of his excited
          beer.
           79.
                         
                          FRAN
           (gives Whip a puzzled
                          LOOK)
           Hey, don't I know you?
                         
          Whip jabs him again with his cane.
                         
                          WHIP
           Keep your fucking hands off her!
                         
          NICOLE who is crying, now laughs in relief. She can't believe
          it. "America's Hero" has just come to her rescue.
                         
          WHIP moves to comfort her..
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           You okay?
                          (SHE NODS)
           Is this all the stuff you want from
           here?
                         
                          NICOLE
           (nods again, recovering)
           Just this stuff.
                         
          She points to a camera tripod and a box of broken portfolios
          with photos dripping out.
                         
                          WHIP
           Okay, start taking that stuff down.
                         
          FRAN has gotten up and stands a safe distance from WHIP...
                         
                          FRAN
           She owes me 1100 bucks! Plus
           damages!
                         
                          WHIP
           You wanna spend a thousand bucks
           suing her and get jack shit? Or do
           you want to make a cash deal with
           me?
                         
                          FRAN
           Give me 700 in cash.
                         
                          WHIP
           You're a creep...with your baseball
           bat bullshit...
                         
          Whip flings his beer at Fran's head, then pulls out his
          billfold.
           80.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           (sorts through his cash)
           I'll give you 400 in cash.
                         
          Whip throws the money on the floor.
                         
          FRAN sorts the options...none...he tentatively bends down and
          picks up the cash. Keeping a wary eye on Whip.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Good boy. Now help her get that
           box in her car.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Ah...my car doesn't run. It won't
           start. I'm taking this with me.
                         
                          WHIP
           Your car doesn't run? What were you
           gonna do?
                         
                          NICOLE
           I don't...I...I was...
           I don't know what I was gonna do.
                         
          Fran smirks. Whip drills Fran with his eyes...
                         
                          WHIP
           (with deliberate malice)
           Then put the fucking box in my car.
                         
          FRAN's smirk fades. He relents and picks up the box as WHIP
          grabs the lighter shoulder bag and they head downstairs.
                         
                         
          INT. WHIP'S BUICK -- DAY
                         
          NICOLE stares out the window as the city disappears.
                         
          WHIP pulls a beer from the box and offers it to Nicole.
          NICOLE smiles, thinks about it...she shakes her head, "no."
                         
          WHIP pops the top and takes a drink.
                         
                          NICOLE
           What's your name?
                         
          WHIP looks to her, she to him. They begin to laugh at the
          absurdity. When it subsides...
                         
                          WHIP
           Whip.
                         
          NICOLE nods. A long moment quietly passes.
           81.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Thank you, Captain Whip.
                         
                         
           INT. WHITAKER FARM -- LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT
                         
           Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "You Really Got a Hold on
           Me" plays as WHIP eases himself into a recliner using his
           cane. On the small table next to him rests his beer and an
           unopened bottle of bourbon with a glass of ice. WHIP cracks
           the seal on the bourbon bottle and pours a drink. He takes a
           sip and chases it with his beer.
                         
           WHIP now starts to remove the brace that we clearly see under
           his basketball shorts. As he takes it off he tries to
           massage his aching leg.
                         
           NICOLE enters the living room, fresh from a shower. WHIP
           studies her -- she's beautiful and innocent.
                         
                          WHIP
           You okay?
                         
                          NICOLE
           I was gonna lay down, get some
           rest.
                         
                          WHIP
           Okay.
                         
           WHIP takes another sip before returning to massaging his leg.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Is it really okay that I stay here?
                         
                          WHIP
           Yea. I want you to stay.
                         
           NICOLE walks over to WHIP and kneels down and gently takes
           over massaging his leg. WHIP exhales.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           That feels better.
                         
                          NICOLE
           It's throbbing because the blood is
           having a hard time getting back to
           your heart.
                         
          78 NICOLE continues to soothe his aching leg. After a moment, 78
           NICOLE stands and takes the drink out of WHIP's hand and sets
           it down. She now bends down and kisses him softly. She now
           stands and takes his hand, leading him in to the bedroom.
           82.
                         
           INT. WHITAKER FARM -- WHIP'S BEDROOM -- DAY
                         
           WHIP's been awake for hours as he sits at the foot of the
           bed. Whip's wearing a long sleeve tee shirt and sweat pants
           and no shoes. He looks at NICOLE -- sleeping angelically on
           her side of the bed. Whip watches her sleep for a long
           moment, until...
                         
          80 He hears something. He gets up and goes to the window. It's a
                          80
           car pulling up the driveway.
                         
                         
           INT./EXT. WHITAKER FARM -- KITCHEN DOOR -- DAY
                         
           WHIP opens the door to find HUGH in his driveway.
                         
           WHIP casts a strange figure with his bare chest, boxers and
           brandishing a shotgun. They stare at each other.
                         
                          HUGH
           Do you wanna shoot me or can I come
           inside?
                         
                          WHIP
           C'mon in. I'll shoot you inside.
                         
           HUGH walks closer to the porch. WHIP questions him.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           You just decided to drop by?
                         
                          HUGH
           Your voice mail is full and you
           never answer your cell phone. I
           called your cell 10 times.
                         
                          WHIP
           I turned it off.
                         
           HUGH nods as the explanation lands.
                         
                          HUGH
           I thought we'd take a ride.
                         
           WHIP measures HUGH's intention...
                         
                          WHIP
           Okay, gimme a minute. Wait here.
                         
          82 HUGH nods and recedes from the door as WHIP goes to get 82
           dressed.
           83.
                         
          EXT. CRASH SITE -- OBSERVATION SCAFFOLDING -- DAY
                         
          WHIP joins HUGH on a rectangular platform on top of a two-
          story scaffolding frame. The platform provides a perfect
          view of flight 227's final resting area. We see the awesome
          devastation that 50 tons of metal flying at 140 miles an hour
          can do to a hillside.
                         
                          HUGH
           You can see the initial impact
           sheared the right wing clean off.
           If only the left wing had come off
           at impact, I think everyone would
           have walked off that plane.
                         
                          WHIP
           The left wing partially pulled away-
                         
                          HUGH
           It snapped but stayed connected to
           the airframe. So it whipped back
           towards the plane, hit the fuselage
           in front of the tail. If you were
           sitting in the last 6 or 7 rows on
           the left side, it was like being
           hit by a train.
                         
                          WHIP
           I drank a lot the night before that
           flight. I drank that morning too
           and I used coke to straighten up.
                         
                          HUGH
           I know, it's in the toxicology
           report.
                         
                          WHIP
           But that's not the reason this
           happened.
                         
                          HUGH
           I know.
                         
          WHIP looks at HUGH expecting him to finish his thought. HUGH
          holds his look for a beat before changing thoughts.
                         
                          HUGH (CONT'D)
           The John the Baptist Pentecostal
           Mission.
                         
          We hear voices; a low murmur that gets louder, chanting.
          WHIP looks to the top of the hill to see...
                         
          PENTECOSTAL MASS IN PROGRESS
           84.
                         
          A MINISTER in a dark purple cloak calls from the new
          testament as the CONGREGATION responds in unison.
                         
                          MINISTER
           "He will wipe away every tear from
           their eyes, and death shall be no
           more, neither shall there be
           mourning, nor crying, nor pain
           anymore, for the former things have
           passed away." -- Revelation 21:4
                         
          There are at least 50 people sitting in white folding chairs
          at the foot of the hill. A small brook babbles behind them.
                         
          WHIP continues to take in the bizarre scene.
                         
                          HUGH
           They helped pull survivors out of
           the wreckage. Now they come out
           here every day and have a mass 30
           minutes prior to the crash. And
           then they sit in silent prayer for
           10 minutes at 9:42...which is when
           you went down.
                         
          WHIP is overwhelmed by the magnitude of the crash field and
          the WORSHIPPERS. WHIP looks back at the crash site to see...
                         
                         NTSB INVESTIGATORS
                         
          Inside the crash site, a small group of INVESTIGATORS with
          NTSB jackets following the lead of a CONFIDENT WOMAN. HUGH
          answers the question in WHIP's mind...
                         
                         
                         
                          HUGH (CONT'D)
           Ellen Block, she's the head of the
           investigation for the NTSB. She's
           the one that's gonna ask the tough
           questions.
                         
                          WHIP
           Why'd you bring me here?
                         
                          HUGH
           I needed you to see this.
                         
                          WHIP
           You trying to scare me?
                         
                          HUGH
           I need to know that you can handle
           all this.
           85.
                         
          WHIP continues to stare at the awesome dent in the earth.
                         
                          HUGH (CONT'D)
           Listen clearly. There was a
           mechanical issue with the plane,
           but what you and I know? Is that
           this was an act of God. I'm gonna
           fight to get the NTSB to place "act
           of God" on the probable causes
           list.
                         
                          WHIP
           Who's God would do this?
                         
          It's quiet before HUGH makes his case.
                         
                          HUGH
           So here's the deal. Avington Carr,
           the owner of the airline, is on our
           side...and he's got big friends in
           Washington. He wants to sit down
           with us. 10 O'clock tomorrow
           morning.
                         
          WHIP's had enough. He starts to walk away. HUGH stops him.
                         
                          HUGH (CONT'D)
           You can't drink. You're under the
           microscope. You can't be out
           buying liquor. No bars, no drugs.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'll stop. I can stop.
           (Hugh stays quiet)
           I told you I can stop. I won't
           drink.
                         
                          HUGH
           10 O'clock tomorrow morning with
           Mr. Carr, the owner of the airline.
                         
                         
          INT. CARR'S OFFICE - ATLANTA BASEBALL STADIUM -- DAY
                         
          A huge office with a glass wall that looks out over the
          diamond. We are high above the outfield; if GOD was a
          baseball fan, this would be his office. We now meet AVINGTON
          CARR, a very righteous and self-satisfied, wealthy, southern
          gentlemen.
                         
           MR. CARR
           I never wanted that fuckin'
           airline. Neither did my brother.
           86.
                         
          CARR scans the room, reading faces, holding court.
                         
           MR. CARR (CONT'D)
           It was my father that wanted it. I
           like baseball.
                         
          Ornate, wood furniture helps to announce the political feel
          of MR. CARR's world. Presidential photos and commendations
          pepper the walls. It's quiet...
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           I like baseball.
                         
          Everyone looks to HUGH as it gets oddly silent... We get our
          first look at LEN CALDWELL, the president of the pilots'
          union. LEN tries to wrest some control and exude some
          confidence.
                         
                          LEN CALDWELL
           Everyone in Georgia likes baseball.
                         
           MR. CARR
           Yeah...so what's the deal Lenny?
           Is your union gonna survive this
           one? More importantly? How big a
           check you think I'm gonna have to
           write?
                         
                          LEN CALDWELL
           There were 6 fatalities on the
                          PLANE-
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           The 2 crew members don't get
           settlements like the passengers.
           That's a workman's comp claim, part
           of the union contract -- they do a
           dangerous job and they know it.
                         
           MR. CARR
           You're the lawyer for the pilots'
           union?
                         
                          LEN CALDWELL
           No, this is Hugh Lang, the attorney
           we brought in to handle the
           criminal side of Captain Whitaker's
           situation.
                         
           MR. CARR
           Yes, and what is Mr. Whitaker's
           situation? NTSB is up my ass with
           a flashlight. We had to give them
           access to everything.
           87.
                         
           (shakes his head)
           And everyone is curious about
           Captain Whitaker.
                         
          Through a glass wall we see...
                         
          WHIP SITS ON A COUCH READING A MAGAZINE IN A RECEPTION AREA.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           I flew with him. He's a great
           pilot.
                         
           MR. CARR
           Is he a drunk?
                         
                          CHARLIE
           He's a heavy drinker. Should I
           bring him in?
                         
          Everyone steals glances at WHIP as CARR continues to
          dominate.
                         
           MR. CARR
           In a minute. Alright, so let's get
           down to it, Lenny. What does the
           union plan to do about this blood
           test that says Whitaker was high on
           booze and coke? This guy's a real
           peach.
                         
                          HUGH
           I'm gonna kill the toxicology
           report.
           (feels eyes of disbelief)
           It was done incompetently. The
           last time the toxicology equipment
           they used was calibrated was in
           June of 2009, which is 18 months
           past code. Their log that should
           clearly state who labeled the blood
           vials and when, is very incomplete.
           And they aren't sure who stored
           them. They used a preservative in
           the vials that has in some cases
           caused blood to ferment and
           register higher in an alcohol test.
           That's what I've done so far. I
           can handle this.
                         
           MR. CARR
           I like this guy Lenny. He makes me
           wanna go out and sniff a few lines
           and fly a jet.
           88.
                         
                          LEN CALDWELL
           Mr. Carr, we're gonna fight to push
           all the fault on Jackson
           Ridgefield, the manufacturer.
                         
           MR. CARR
           Oh and you think they're gonna just
           open their check book and buy us
           all lunch? Good fucking luck.
           What's my exposure Jim?
                         
           CARR'S BUSINESS GUY
           The awards to the families could
           kill the airline.
                         
           MR. CARR
           Fuck the airline. The insurance
           companies can have the goddamm
           airline. I just don't want them to
           come sniffing in my other pockets.
                         
                          LEN CALDWELL
           Speaking for the pilots' union? We
           don't want your airline to go away.
           We enjoy your contract with us and
           we will protect Captain Whitaker
           and in turn protect your airline.
                         
           MR. CARR
           That's sweet Mr. Caldwell, but if
           the NTSB leaks that toxicology
           report showing my pilot was flying
           that plane drunk? We're all
           fucked.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           So far we've been lucky.
                         
           MR. CARR
           Lucky?! Are you that goddammed
           dumb?! You think they're waiting
           for a light news day to splash the
           headline, "Drunk, coke-addled pilot
           crashes a plane?!"
                         
          EVERYONE goes quiet as CARR's anger commands silence.
                         
           MR. CARR (CONT'D)
           My brother's in DC on his knees at
           the foot of the throne begging for
           forgiveness. And so far it's
           working.
           89.
                         
           They've got their boot on the neck
           of this girl Ellen Block runnin'
           the show for the NTSB and she is
           pissed. Can you handle that?
                         
          HUGH can't stifle a laugh. They look to him.
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           Trust me, I'm gonna kill the
           toxicology report. That's my job.
                         
          CARR looks to his lawyer who nods...
                         
                          CARR'S ATTORNEY
           I wish you luck, but we're still
           sorting out the best way to go
           forward legally. We might split
           from you and go it alone.
                         
          CARR stands to signal the end of the meeting. HUGH stands to
          stop him.
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           To go it alone? Without us? That
           would be what the French call "a
           big fucking mistake."
                         
           MR. CARR
           Does Whitaker know he's going to
           jail?
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           I haven't had a client go to jail
           yet.
                         
           MR. CARR
           He's going to jail. He belongs in
           jail. You bet your ass he's going
           to jail, the question is...is he
           gonna die in jail?
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           You're wrong, Mr. Carr.
                         
                          CARR'S ATTORNEY
           Last time I checked, 6 counts of
           manslaughter is life in prison.
                         
           MR. CARR
           Life in prison, what we in Georgia
           call "all day long."
                         
          It goes quiet as everyone reflects on that reality.
           90.
                         
           INT. CARR'S OFFICE -- WAITING ROOM -- DAY
                         
           WHIP stands up as the meeting spills into the waiting room.
           Handshakes are exchanged as CARR walks to WHIP and offers his
           hand to shake.
                         
           MR. CARR
           They tell me you're some kind of
           pilot.
                         
          86 CARR nods, sizing WHIP up. WHIP returns the nod as HUGH 86
           quickly puts a hand on WHIP's back and leads him away like a
           heavyweight being returned to his corner after pre-fight
           instructions.
                         
                         
           THE TELEVISION IN WHIP'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                         
           We are now in WHIP's living room watching HOME MOVIES...
                         
                          WHIP'S VOICE
           Get up! What? You can't get up?!
           (Whip is laughing...)
           C'mon, Knuckles Whitaker drags
           himself up and goes long...go.
                         
           We watch an 8 year-old WILL WHITAKER run long as the ball
           flies to him. He catches it and on-screen WHIP hollers.
                         
           WHIP'S VOICE (CONT'D)
           Touchdown Whitaker! Atta boy!
           C'mon back. What? Come back and
           do it again. Tired? Junior, you
           don't know tired. I'm not going
           out. You go out. Keep running.
                         
           We pull away from the screen to find WHIP who sits on the
           couch. A large bottle of vodka appears empty amidst many
           dead beers and an ashtray that overflows.
                         
           WHIP moves in drunken slow motion as he attempts to free a
           cigarette from the pack and light it. He freezes at one
           point and places his hands straight out in front of himself,
           a strange, involuntary, drunken reset. His stare is a 1000
           miles offshore; he is anywhere but on this planet. Oblivion.
                         
           The light from the HEADLIGHTS of a car in the driveway wash
           across the walls of the living room. We hear a car door open
           and women exchange good byes.
                         
           SHEILA (O.S.)
           Keep coming back, Nicole. One day
           at a time.
           91.
                         
           NICOLE (O.S.)
           I know, one day at a time.
                         
          87A We hear them laugh as WHIP still stares in to space. 87A
                         
                         
           INT. WHITAKER FARM -- DOOR -- NIGHT
                         
           The door pushes open and NICOLE comes in with the Big Book of
           AA in her hand.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Hey. Sorry I'm a little late, but
           we went for coffee after the
           meeting...
           (Whip doesn't look)
           Whip?
                         
           NICOLE goes close to see WHIP look at her with a non-focused
           stare. She sees the table and reads the situation.
                         
           NICOLE watches as WHIP stands up. In his oblivion he tries
           to focus.
                         
                          WHIP
           Don't, don't, don't! I'll get him.
           Knuckles, junior. See him. Yeah.
           I'm not calling again. Fuck him.
           He didn't call. Not back. Not
           calling back.
                         
           NICOLE backs away as she watches the blacked-out ballet play
           itself out in slow, tragic fashion. WHIP motions to his lips
           as if he is smoking. He freezes and then steps forward and
           trips in to the coffee table. Whip falls to the ground.
                         
           NICOLE checks WHIP's face to see his eyes partially opened
           but passed out. NICOLE goes to the bedroom and returns with
           a blanket that she covers WHIP with. She also places a
           pillow under his head making sure that his head is titled to
           the side so he doesn't choke.
                         
           NICOLE looks around the room. She begins to collect the
           bottles and straighten up.
                         
                         
           INT. WHITAKER FARM -- BEDROOM -- MORNING
                         
           CLOSE ON WHIP's FACE as he struggles with a thick hangover.
           He rubs his face and smacks his lips, he's dry as a bone.
           WHIP shakes his head as he tries to focus his look through
           the bedroom window. He looks out to see NICOLE sitting on a
           chair enjoying the landscape. WHIP rubs his head before
           walking to the kitchen.
           92.
                         
          INT. WHITAKER FARM -- KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
          WHIP pulls open the door to the fridge and pulls out a gallon
          of water in a plastic jug. WHIP stands and takes a long pull
          of the cold water.
                         
                         
          EXT. WHITAKER FARM -- PORCH -- MORNING
                         
          NICOLE sits with her camera staring at a candle on the table
          in front of her. An AA Book rests on the table. She snaps a
          picture of the flame and then focuses out to the grassy
          landing strip and the rolling hills.
                         
          WHIP enters carrying the large plastic bottle of water from
          the kitchen.
                         
                          WHIP
           Morning.
                         
          WHIP coughs and rubs his eyes.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Are you okay? You were in bad
           shape when I got home.
                         
                          WHIP
           Tired. Guess I drank a bit.
                         
                          NICOLE
           A bit?
                         
                          WHIP
           You wanna count the fuckin' beers?
           They're still in the garbage.
           Vodka too, is that okay with you?
                         
                          NICOLE
           It's more than okay, Whip.
                         
                          WHIP
           Good.
                         
          It's quiet as they let the awkward exchange pass.
                         
                          NICOLE
           I've been watching the sky change
           as the sun rises. Beautiful.
           (holds up the camera)
           Perfect light, I went out and took
           some great shots.
                         
          WHIP reaches for the camera. She hands it to him.
           93.
                         
                          WHIP
           Lemme see that camera.
                         
                          NICOLE
           My mom got it for me. Towards the
           end, when she knew she wasn't gonna
           recover. She maxed out her credit
           card to buy me that camera and a
           lighting kit.
                         
          NICOLE takes a moment to tamp down some emotions.
                         
                          NICOLE (CONT'D)
           It's just so beautiful here. Did
           you grow up here?
                         
          WHIP still holds the camera as he sits down.
                         
                          WHIP
           It was my grandfather's farm, my
           dad grew up here. He was a pilot
           in World War II, flew with the
           332nd. See the landing strip out
           there? He built that. He ran a
           crop duster outta here until the
           EPA put an end to that.
           (she nods, listening)
           He traded the crop duster for a
           used Cessna. He flew that damn
           thing all over. It's still in the
           barn. I was gonna sell this place
           after my dad died. Then I got
           divorced...
                         
                          NICOLE
           And your mom?
                         
                          WHIP
           Dead...she's dead. Your dad still
           alive?
                         
                          NICOLE
           I'm pretty sure my father lives in
           Colorado.
                         
                          WHIP
           You got no relationship with him.
                         
                          NICOLE
           He drank. It was my mom that
           raised me. She was incredible.
                         
          NICOLE lights a cigarette as the memories are tough.
           94.
                         
                          NICOLE (CONT'D)
           She held it together for so long, I
           couldn't tell how sick she was.
           Even through chemo she looked
           beautiful.
                         
           NICOLE leans over and blows out the candle.
                         
                          NICOLE (CONT'D)
           They gave her very heavy meds for
           pain. Dilauded, morphine,
           oxycontin. I started taking them
           with her. We would get all
           medicated and sit in our back yard
           and talk and talk and watch the sun
           go down. We'd be so stoned that we
           couldn't get up to go inside when
           it got dark.
           (laughs, fights the pain)
           I know it sounds crazy to get
           hooked on dope with your mom, but
           she was dying and we spent her last
           seven months together like
           teenagers, trading stories about
           boys and whatever. She loved me.
                         
           WHIP lifts the camera and points it at NICOLE. She contorts
           her face into a sly smile. WHIP snaps it...she laughs.
                         
          89A A CHURCH BELL SWINGS INSIDE A STONE BELFRY 89A
                         
           The blue sky is the perfect backdrop as we reveal...
                         
                         
           INT. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH -- DAY
                         
           WHIP in a dark suit walks amidst mourners who file out of the
           church. The center of attention is a large, distraught woman
           in her 60's being consoled by what appears to be her son and
           his wife. The WOMAN wears a pin that holds a photo of TRINA.
                         
           WHIP stands at the bottom of the steps, watching folks,
           looking for someone. Suddenly, a 9 year-old BOY stands in
           front of him. The BOY locks eyes with him.
                         
                          BOY
           I'm Trevor. You saved my mom.
                         
           WHIP looks up to see MARGARET THOMASON walking towards him.
           She has her left arm in a sling underneath her jacket. We
           can see a bandage along her hairline. WHIP smiles, obviously
           uncomfortable. MARGARET hugs him.
           95.
                         
                          MARGARET
           It's great to see you, Whip.
                         
                          WHIP
           You too Margaret. Broken collar
           bone?
                         
                          MARGARET
           Yeah, and some stitches but I'm
           fine. I really am.
           (she goes quiet)
           It was a nice service. I mean,
           look at all these people that
           wanted to say goodbye. She looked
           beautiful in there.
           (Whip is blank)
           Didn't you think so, Whip? Like
           she was gonna wake up and smile.
                         
                          WHIP
           I didn't go in. I couldn't.
                         
          MARGARET is sensing WHIP's struggle.
                         
                          MARGARET
           Trevor, find Dad. He's by Mr.
           Benton, there.
                          (TREVOR LEAVES)
           Are you okay? You should come to
           the counseling group. The union
           has great people for us to talk to.
                         
                          WHIP
           No. I can't, really. I will, but
           just not now.
                         
          It's quiet. MARGARET smiles and leans in and kisses WHIP on
          the cheek.
                         
                          MARGARET
           Take care Whip, okay?
                         
          She starts to leave...WHIP stops her with...
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah...y'know...I'm in the middle
           of this investigation. The NTSB is
           investigating the crash-
                         
                          MARGARET
           I know. I'm going in to see them
           next week.
           96.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm nervous because I was out the
           night before the crash at dinner-
                         
                          MARGARET
           With Trina...
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah and I had two glasses of wine.
           And they might ask you about my
           condition that morning and if you
           thought I had anything to drink.
                         
          MARGARET appears speechless...
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           What?
                         
                          MARGARET
           I've known you 11 years and you're
           gonna stand here and tell me you
           and Trina went to dinner and you
           drank two glasses of wine? Sounds
           like a nice restaurant Whip, which
           one was it?
                         
                          WHIP
           You have to tell them it was an
           ordinary day. I mean it was an
           ordinary day. You know I was in
           shape to fly. You have a problem
           with saying that?
                         
                          MARGARET
           It's a lie. Whip, it's a lie.
           Trina told me you two hadn't been
           to sleep.
                         
                          WHIP
           My lack of sleep made the plane
           fall apart, huh Margaret? I'm just
           trying to get it straight. You
           think that another pilot would have
           been able to land that plane and
           save more lives?
                         
                          MARGARET
           I didn't say that Whip. I can't
           imagine another pilot doing-
           97.
                         
                          WHIP
           Well can you imagine Trevor at this
           same church looking at you in that
           box in there? Or my son having to
           come and see me in prison?
                         
          MARGARET fights tears as WHIP has struck a blow.
                         
                          MARGARET
           Please Whip, enough. Don't you
           think we've all had enough.
           (Whip is quiet)
           What do you want me to say?
                         
                          WHIP
           It was an ordinary day. The storm
           right after we took off was very
           severe, but as far as the flight
           crew was concerned it was a
           perfectly ordinary day.
                         
          The tears flow now as MARGARET can't hold them in. WHIP
          realizes he's gone too far. Not knowing what to do, WHIP
          walks away.
                         
                         
          EXT. PEACH STREET DRUGS - AZURE BLUE SKY OF AUTUMN --
          PHARMACY -- PARKING LOT - DAY
                         
          WHIP watches an airliner fly over head as he stands by his
          car smoking a cigarette. He wears his suit from the funeral.
          NICOLE approaches. She's in a great mood.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Are you okay? How was it?
                         
                          WHIP
           It was okay, okay. How're you
           doin'?
                         
          A beat.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Well, I got through my first day.
           They haven't fired me.
                         
                          WHIP
           That's good. Cause for a
           celebration.
                         
                          NICOLE
           They needed someone to work the
           night shift. They asked me and
           it's time and a half so...
           98.
                         
          She sorts through her shoulder bag...
                         
                          NICOLE (CONT'D)
           I gotta vest and here's my name
           tag. Oh oh oh....I got you
           something..
           (hands him a nice lighter)
           It's a P-51 mustang on there...
           (flies her arms like
                          WINGS)
           You're dad flew a P-51, right?
                         
                          WHIP
           (stares at the lighter)
           He did. So should we get some
           dinner?
                         
                          NICOLE
           I promised Sheila I would be at the
           meeting tonight. She's the one
           that's been helping me, my sponsor.
           Can we do it tomorrow night? And
           Please, Whip don't make me choose
           between dinner with you and the
           meeting.
                         
          WHIP nods, playing with the lighter.
                         
                          WHIP
           No, it's okay. You should go.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Why don't you come with me? We'll
           eat after. It's an open meeting.
                         
                          WHIP
           Open meeting?
                         
                          NICOLE
           That means anybody can come.
           Anybody.
                         
                          WHIP
           Even me?
                         
          She is bubbling with happy spirit; she's hot. She's hard to
          deny as WHIP can't help but smile at her.
                         
                         
          INT. ST. FRANCIS CATHOLIC CHURCH -- ATLANTA -- NIGHT
                         
          A MAN stands at a podium wearing a coat and tie. He is lost
          in the energized retell of a story.
           99.
                         
           A.A. SPEAKER # 1
           The cop is shining his flashlight
           on me. I'm standing there behind
           the dumpster, wearing nothing but
           my girlfriend's panties, vomit on
           my chest and I say to the
           cop...about two beers.
                         
          The room erupts with laughter. NICOLE is really taken by the
          candor of the speaker as she joins the room in laughter.
                         
           A.A. SPEAKER # 1 (CONT'D)
           That's why they call me "Two-Beer"
           Barry.
                         
          BARRY makes eye contact with a STERN LOOKING OLD TIMER.
          BARRY holds up a loose leaf binder and addresses the man...
                         
           A.A. SPEAKER # 1 (CONT'D)
           Don't worry Ed, I got the format
           right here. I'm sorry, Ed's giving
           me the stink eye. Let me get back
           to the format...
           (reads from the format)
           I'm Barry. I'm an alcoholic.
                         
                          THE ASSEMBLY
                          (IN UNISON)
           Hi Barry.
                         
           A.A. SPEAKER # 1
           Are there any other alcoholics
           present?
                         
          WHIP glances around to find himself in a sea of raised-handed
          alcoholics. A few look at WHIP with no judgement.
                         
           A.A. SPEAKER # 1 (CONT'D)
           I like meetings that have us all
           identify. Because it makes me tell
           the truth about who I am. It
           reminds that I never ever told the
           truth. I lied about everything.
           My whole life had been a lie. And
           I was told that I would never get
           sober if I kept lying.
                         
          WHIP is very reserved, poker-faced.
                         
           A.A. SPEAKER #1
           I mean, lying's what I'm good at.
           If I know anything in this life
           it's how to lie, especially about
           my drinking.
           100.
                         
           We pan the faces and everyone seems immediately connected.
           Except WHIP who leans over to NICOLE.
                         
                          WHIP
           I gotta go. Okay?
                          (NICOLE NODS)
           Can uh...
           (points to Sheila)
                         
                          NICOLE
           Yeah, Sheila. She can take me back
           to work.
                         
                          SHEILA
           (extends her hand)
           I'm Sheila.
                         
           WHIP shakes her hand before quickly escaping as if from a
           fire. We stay close on WHIP's face as he walks out. BARRY
           continues his pitch.
                         
           A.A. SPEAKER #1
           Like I said, I would lie about
           everything. It didn't matter what
           it was. My whole life had been a
           lie. A series of lies strung
           together by me. And when I drank?
           It was worse. What I came to
           understand was that, my lies were
           killing me. And that remains the
           great fact for me...My lies will
           kill me.
                         
          93 WHIP is gone. 93
                         
                         
           INT. ROUND TABLE RESTAURANT -- BAR -- MINUTES LATER
                         
           WHIP enters the bar and we hear off camera a voice coming
           from the TV above the bar.
                         
           PIERS MORGAN (O.S.)
           The NTSB is focusing their
           investigation on the flight crew,
           specifically Captain Whitaker.
                         
                         
                         
           KEN EVANS (O.S.)
           Sir, I am not at liberty to discuss
           Captain Whitaker or any of the
           flight crew.
                         
           WHIP looks up to the TV.
           101.
                         
          CLOSE UP TELEVISION -- KEN EVANS IS ON TV LIVE FROM HIS
          HOSPITAL BED.
                         
                          KEN EVANS
                          (ON TELEVISION)
           And in truth, I don't have much to
           say about him.
                         
                          PIERS MORGAN
           (on a split screen)
           So, safe to say that he remains a
           mystery.
                         
                          KEN EVANS
                          (ON TELEVISION)
           Sir, those are your words not mine.
                         
          WHIP exits as fast as he arrived. He's gone. PIERS MORGAN
          continues from the TV...
                         
                          PIERS MORGAN
                          (ON TELEVISION)
           I've been speaking to some people
           who are very close to the NTSB
           investigation and they are very
           confident that they will be able to
           determine exactly what brought this
           plane down.
                         
                          KEN EVANS
                          (ON TELEVISION)
           I'm sure they will sir.
                         
                          PIERS MORGAN
                          (ON TELEVISION)
           Thank you, Ken and Vicki Evans.
                         
                          KEN EVANS
                          (ON TELEVISION)
           Thank you, and God bless.
                         
                         
          INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY -- NIGHT
                         
          WHIP steps off an elevator and walks down the quiet hospital
          hallway toward a room where a few TECHNICIANS are packing up
          the last bits of TV equipment.
                         
                         
          INT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- KEN EVANS' ROOM -- NIGHT
                         
          WHIP stands in the doorway and addresses EVANS...
           102.
                         
                          WHIP
           How're you feeling, Ken?
                         
          EVANS stares at WHIP with a blank look.
                         
                          EVANS
           Happy to be alive.
                         
                          VICKI EVANS
           Blessed to be alive.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm Captain Whitaker, I was flying-
                         
                          VICKI EVANS
           I know who you are.
                         
          WHIP senses an unwelcome undercurrent. He locks eyes with
          EVANS trying to read him. Silence before EVANS speaks to the
          ATTENDING NURSE...
                         
                          EVANS
           Ma'am can you give us some privacy?
           Thank you.
                          (TO WHIP)
           Come on in sir. Shut the door.
                         
          The ATTENDING NURSE files out placing a chair next to the bed
          as she leaves. WHIP enters. It's again quiet.
                         
                          WHIP
           Listen, how long have you been...
                         
                          EVANS
           Outta the coma? Two days.
                         
                          WHIP
           I didn't mean to disrupt your whole
           day. I know they been swamping you
           with interviews. You were great on
           CNN...
                         
          EVANS smiles at WHIP.
                         
                          EVANS
           Both my legs were crushed and my
           pelvis snapped. I'll probably
           never walk again, least not without
           a walker or braces. I'll certainly
           never fly again.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm sorry Ken.
           103.
                         
                          EVANS
           That plane was doomed the second
           you sat in the chair. You reeked
           like gin or somethin'. I called
           Vicki from the plane before we took
           off. That's when the rain kicked
           up.
                         
          VICKI nods, holding her cross with the chain across her lips.
                         
                          WHIP
           I don't know how much you remember,
           but the plane started to fall
           apart.
                         
                          EVANS
           I remember everything until we
           crashed. I know what went on.
                         
                          WHIP
           What are we talking about?
                         
                          EVANS
           I don't know Captain Whitaker, what
           are we talking about?
                         
                          WHIP
           I just wanted to get a sense from
           you what you thought caused the
           crash.
                         
                          EVANS
           Was it the fact that you got on the
           plane drunk from the night before?
                         
          WHIP goes white and drops his head.
                         
                          EVANS (CONT'D)
           The NTSB is coming back tomorrow to
           finish taking a deposition from me
           about the events on the flight.
                         
                          WHIP
           You think you'd be alive without me
           on that plane?
                         
                          EVANS
           No, we'd all be dead. But are you
           gonna argue that your physical
           state was tip top?
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm not gonna argue anything with
           you.
           104.
                         
          WHIP gets up.
                         
                          EVANS
           Sit, please sit.
                          (WHIP SITS)
           I never shared my opinion about
           your physical state the morning of
           the flight. I've never said word.
                         
          WHIP sits and studies EVANS.
                         
                          EVANS (CONT'D)
           The flight was pre-ordained. I've
           prayed on it Captain. Vicki and I
           have prayed on it. There's only
           one judge --
                         
                          VICKI EVANS
           Praise Jesus.
                         
                          EVANS
           And he has a higher plan for you
           sir. This event although tragic in
           its loss of life is also a
           celebration of life.
                         
          EVANS begins to mist up with sincere inspiration.
                         
                          EVANS (CONT'D)
           Nothing happens in the Kingdom of
           the Lord by mistake.
                         
                          VICKI EVANS
           Praise Jesus.
                         
                          EVANS
           Captain, will you pray with me?
                         
          WHIP stares into EVANS' eyes and sees a believer's
          conviction. EVANS reaches out his hand to WHIP.
                         
          WHIP slowly moves out of his chair and kneels at the side of
          EVANS' bed. WHIP takes EVANS' hand and bows his head as he
          reaches for VICKI's at the same time. It's quiet before...
                         
                          EVANS (CONT'D)
           Jesus our Lord and savior we thank
           you for blessing Captain Whitaker
           with courage and wisdom. For
           guiding his hand on that fateful
           morning. In his divine light we
           were saved. Praise Jesus.
           105.
                         
                          VICKI EVANS
           Praise Jesus.
                         
           It is quiet for an extended beat. Finally...
                         
                          WHIP
           Praise Jesus.
                         
          97 WHIP looks at EVANS and his WIFE whose heads are bowed with 97
           reverence.
                         
                         
           EXT. WHITAKER FARM -- DRIVEWAY -- NIGHT
                         
           A small pickup truck rambles to a stop in the driveway. We
           hear music and laughter as NICOLE gets out.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Thanks for the ride guys. I'll see
           you tomorrow.
                         
                          COWORKER
           Keep it up Nicole, you could be
           employee of the year.
                         
           They all laugh; Nicole waves as they drive off. She walks
           towards the house which is dark. She hears music and looks
           towards the barn to see bright light escaping through the
           sagging doors and split wood walls.
                         
                         
           EXT. WHITAKER FARM -- BARN -- NIGHT
                         
           NICOLE slowly approaches the almost glowing barn door. Her
           curiosity compels her to pull it open.
                         
                         
           INT./EXT. WHITAKER FARM -- BARN -- NIGHT
                         
           The door swings open to find the plane pointed towards the
           driveway with an aged patina but revitalized shine. Lenny
           Kravitz, "Fly Away" blares from the stereo...
                         
           WHIP emerges from the cockpit. He's still in his suit but
           with his jacket off and sleeves rolled up. He's energized
           like an excited kid. He runs up and kisses her.
                         
           NICOLE notes the cloud of smoke hanging in the air and the
           burning cigarette in the ashtray, empty beers.
                         
                          WHIP
           Looks great right?
           106.
                         
                          NICOLE
           It's kind of...beautiful.
                         
          WHIP wipes at his nose.
                         
                          WHIP
           It's a Cessna 172, it was my dad's.
           He kept it perfect.
                         
          NICOLE takes in this cool trinket of aviation history.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Does it work...
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah, he flew this plane a few
           months before he died. I learned
           to fly in this plane. You can land
           it anywhere.
                         
          WHIP laughs, remembering...
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           My friend Harling and I flew it to
           Jamaica.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Jamaica? In this?
                         
                          WHIP
           We set off for an overnight fishing
           trip two hours south of here. We
           ended up in Bethel, Jamaica.
                         
                          NICOLE
           You're insane.
                         
                          WHIP
           It was like a picture on a post
           card. The white sand and sky blue
           water. Most beautiful place I've
           ever been.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Was the water warm?
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah, really warm.
                         
                          NICOLE
           That's my kind of place.
                         
                          WHIP
           Let's go.
           107.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Sure, why not.
                         
          NICOLE laughs thinking they're playing a game.
                         
                          WHIP
           Let's go tomorrow.
                         
                          NICOLE
           You're serious?
                         
                          WHIP
           We'll leave in the morning...we'll
           just go. Start over.
                         
          NICOLE realizes he's serious as he opens another beer.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Whip, we can't.
                         
                          WHIP
           It's a beautiful beach, it's
           paradise.
                         
                          NICOLE
           I'm worried about you.
                         
                          WHIP
           (laughs a bit lit)
           I'm fine thanks.
                         
                          NICOLE
           No you're not, you're really not.
           You need help, Whip. I think you
           need rehab.
                         
                          WHIP
           You go to a couple of AA meetings
           and all of a sudden you think
           you're Jesus Christ? Worry about
           yourself.
                         
                          NICOLE
           We're the same Whip, you and me,
           we're the same-
                         
                          WHIP
                          WE'RE NOT-
                         
                          NICOLE
                          WE ARE-
           108.
                         
                          WHIP
           I didn't suck dick to get high.
           And don't give me a whole...
                         
                          NICOLE
           Never Whip, I never in my life-
                         
                          WHIP
           Your mom died and dad drank and
           bullshit, bullshit, bullshit --
                         
                          NICOLE
           Stop. Please stop.
                         
                          WHIP
           Is that why you shot dope?
                         
                          NICOLE
           That's not fair-
                         
                          WHIP
           Well there's a lot of people out
           there who lost their mom who've
           never had a drink in their life.
                         
                          NICOLE
           You're sick, Whip.
                         
          NICOLE walks away, leaving WHIP with his plane and his dream
          of freedom. WHIP calls after her.
                         
                          WHIP
           I choose to drink.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Do you? You choose it? I don't
           see a lot of choice goin' on.
                         
                          WHIP
           I choose to drink! And I blame it
           on me. I'm happy to. I've got an
           ex-wife and a son I don't see.
           Why? Because I choose to drink!
                         
                         
          INT. WHITAKER FARM -- WHIP'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT
                         
          We follow WHIP as he enters the house and approaches the
          doorway of the bedroom. WHIP sees NICOLE sitting on the bed.
          She quickly tucks her cell phone away as WHIP holds up his
          hand to signal a truce.
           109.
                         
                          WHIP
           Alright look, I was loaded when I
           crashed that plane. With this
           investigation going on, I don't
           know what's gonna happen. Come to
           Jamaica with me.
                         
                          NICOLE
           Whip. I'm afraid I'll use again.
                         
                          WHIP
           Come with me. I need help, I do.
                         
                          NICOLE
           I'd love for you to get help, Whip.
                         
                          WHIP
           When we get to Jamaica we can go to
           the local hospital. I'll do it for
           you. Anything you want.
                         
          NICOLE looks at the sincere love in his eyes.
                         
                          NICOLE
           I don't wanna use again. I can't.
           I won't make it back.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'll be sober. I won't force you
           to stay. I promise if you don't
           like it or if I don't clean up?
           You can leave.
                         
          This is the most sincere plea she's ever heard.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           It's so beautiful there. We'll
           leave before noon. I'm a great
           pilot. You'll get to see so much.
                         
          WHIP wraps his arms around her. We stay on NICOLE's face as
          he holds her tighter and tighter.
                         
                         
          INT. WHITAKER FARM -- KITCHEN -- EARLY MORNING
                         
          NICOLE is dressed and sitting at the kitchen table. Past
          NICOLE we can see WHIP lying in bed.
                         
          She has all her possessions in a crate and a duffel bag at
          her feet. She finishes a handwritten note and places it
          down. NICOLE picks up the note and begins to reread it.
           110.
                         
          She hears a car in the driveway -- she picks up her stuff and
          takes one last look at the sleeping WHIP. She leaves,
          careful not to make a sound.
                         
                         
          EXT. WHITAKER FARM -- FRONT DOOR -- EARLY MORNING
                         
          NICOLE quietly exits the house, carrying a crate of her
          stuff. She has a duffel bag of clothes over her shoulder as
          she makes her way to SHEILA's car that we see parked at the
          top of the driveway, far from the house.
                         
                         
          INT. WHITAKER RANCH -- BEDROOM -- LATER SAME DAY
                         
          WHIP stirs, wakes up and looks around. WHIP walks around
          looking for NICOLE. He finds the note and reads it. The
          reality of her disappearance sets in and he moves to the
          window and stares out at the barn.
                         
          WHIP returns his look inside the house and he sees the big
          book of AA on the table near where the letter was left. WHIP
          picks it up and throws it across the room. He then grabs the
          back of a chair and tosses it against the wall.
                         
          After wiping photos off of the wall he picks up an empty beer
          bottle and fires the bottle at a shelf on the opposite wall.
          The bottle explodes and WHIP stops as he realizes he came
          within an inch of shattering a framed photo of he and his
          son.
                         
          We hear the antiquated ring of the OLD HOUSE PHONE. WHIP
          relaxes his shoulders as the ringing phone distracts him.
                         
          Whip is now drawing heavy breaths as the ringing phone is
          answered by the old machine...
                         
                         
                         
           WHIP'S FATHER'S VOICE
           You've reached the Whitaker Crop
           Dusting Company, flying lessons and
           plane rides. Please leave a message
           and it will be returned. Thank
           you.
                         
          The beep concludes...
                         
                          CHARLIE
           (speaking to voice mail)
           Hey Whip, if you're there
           pickup...I got some good news...
                         
          WHIP snatches the phone of the hook.
           111.
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah, I'm here. What's goin' on?
                         
          104 WHIP listens as CHARLIE talks... 104
                         
                         
           EXT. NTSB HANGAR -- RAINING -- DAY
                         
           WHIP sits in his car. Rain pounds the windshield as we watch
           him expertly add vodka to a half-full bottle of orange juice.
           WHIP gives the bottle a shake before taking a long drink.
                         
           WHIP takes another drink before re-capping the bottle and
           stowing it in the glove box. WHIP gets out and we watch him
           walk in the rain towards the door of the hangar. A SECURITY
           GUARD meets him and takes him inside.
                         
                         
           INT. NTSB HANGAR -- THE REMAINS OF FLIGHT 227 - DAY
                         
           WHIP is now alone in the huge, brightly lit hangar. He sees
           the plane.
                         
           The JR-88 has all of its pieces laying as close together as
           possible. Like the skeleton of a T-Rex in a museum. The
           sight is awesome, breathtaking. WHIP walks closer to the
           twisted wreck and stops. WHIP is overwhelmed by the sight
           and as he is about to leave...
                         
           CHARLIE steps out of the passenger door and calls down to
           WHIP.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Here's our guy. C'mon.
                         
           WHIP walks towards a ramp that leads up to the hole in the
           plane where the door used to be. CHARLIE stands at the top
           of the ramp. Suddenly HUGH steps out of the plane...
                         
                          HUGH
           Captain Whitaker, we've won.
                         
           WHIP doesn't move as HUGH starts down the ramp.
                         
                          HUGH (CONT'D)
           This is what we call in my
           profession a "walk over."
                         
                          CHARLIE
           They've scheduled the hearing. It's
           in 10 days.
                         
           CHARLIE and HUGH reach the bottom of the ramp.
           112.
                         
                          HUGH
           But these hearings can be tough.
           You just need to stay sharp and on
           course and answer the questions
           correctly. It's no longer a
           question of your condition but the
           condition of the plane.
                         
          This picks directly at the scab of WHIP's guilt.
                         
                          HUGH (CONT'D)
           I've had an "Act of God"
           successfully added to the list of
           probable causes.
                         
                          WHIP
           Look, it's simple. I flew a broken
           plane.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           You got it. That's right.
                         
                          WHIP
           And what about my toxicology
           report?
                         
                          HUGH
           (trying to stay calm)
           I killed it. They have no physical
           proof that you were intoxicated on
           that plane. And no eye witness
           claims. But there's a problem.
                         
          This stops WHIP cold.
                         
                          HUGH (CONT'D)
           Because of the turbulence at the
           beginning of the flight and then
           the crash, there was never any
           drink service on the flight. But,
           they found two little vodka bottles
           in the galley trash bin. There was
           no physical evidence found on the
           bottles, no DNA, no finger prints.
           But both the bottles were uncapped
           and empty. The only people who had
           access to those bottles and could
           have drank them were the flight
           crew. Margaret, Evans and Camelia
           Satou all had clean tox reports.
           That leaves you and Trina Marquez.
                         
          They let that land. WHIP nods.
           113.
                         
                          WHIP
           Okay. I see...where this is going.
           That's funny that they found two
           bottles.
                         
                          HUGH
           Why?
                         
                          WHIP
           Because I drank three. One's
           missing.
                         
          HUGH explodes in frustration.
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           When I met you I couldn't believe
           what a flip, drunk, arrogant
           scumbag you were.
                         
                          WHIP
           Fuck you too, Hugh.
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           But I did the research and heard
           the analysis from the experts. I'm
           in awe of what you did.
                         
                          WHIP
           Can I go now?
                         
          HUGH gets big as he has to add the final piece of credence to
          the coronation.
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           THE NTSB AND THE FAA TOOK 10
           EXPERIENCED PILOTS AND PLACED THEM
           IN SIMULATORS. THEY RECREATED ALL
           OF THE EVENTS THAT LED TO THIS
           PLANE FALLING OUT OF THE SKY!
                         
          HUGH is so loud and emotional even WHIP lends focus.
                         
           HUGH LANG (CONT'D)
           Do you know how many were able to
           safely land these broken planes?
                         
          Everyone waits for the response as HUGH acknowledges the
          debris around them...
                         
           HUGH LANG (CONT'D)
           Not one. Every pilot crashed and
           killed everyone on board.
           114.
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah. So?
                         
                          HUGH
           You have no capacity to accept the
           responsibility for the miracle you
           performed and the lives you saved.
                         
                          WHIP
           Great. I'm going home.
                         
          WHIP pulls out his cigarettes and frees a smoke from the
          pack.
                         
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           Do you want to go to prison? I'm
           trying to save your life!
                         
          CHARLIE steps between them as this exchange spirals.
                         
                          WHIP
           What fucking life?! Don't kill
           yourself on my account, Hugh.
                         
          WHIP starts to walk away.
                         
                          HUGH
           Okay, I'm done here. I'm running
           out a faith that this guy's gonna
           make it, Charlie.
                         
                          WHIP
           (turns on Hugh)
           You wanna talk about me like I'm
           not here? Like I'm fucking dead?
                         
                          HUGH
           (to Whip now)
           This NTSB hearing is a Federal
           Agency Hearing. Do you understand
           that? It's in 10 days and if I
           show up with you like this?!
                         
          WHIP turns and walks. HUGH wheels on CHARLIE and lights him
          up.
                         
                          HUGH (CONT'D)
           Everything we've done? Everything
           I've done? Goes out the window.
           That's not on me. I did my job.
           It's your job, Charlie, to get him
           straight and get him to the church
           on time.
           115.
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah Charlie just get him home.
           Sober him up long enough to save
           the union's contract and that fat
           fuck's airline. Fuck you. I
           shoulda died on that plane.
                         
          106 WHIP walks away from them -- away from the bright, clean, 106
           shiny floor of the hangar and into the growing rain storm.
                         
                         
           EXT. ROAD OUTSIDE THE WHITAKER FARM -- DAY
                         
           The rain has subsided as WHIP pulls up to his driveway.
                         
           Whip turns into the driveway and spots a NEWS VAN in front of
           his house. He makes a U-turn and speeds away.
                         
                         
           EXT. NICE MODEST SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD -- DAY
                         
           The rain has completely stopped but everything remains wet as
           WHIP bangs his front tire in to the curb as he attempts to
           park in front of a well-maintained house.
                         
                         
           INT. WHIP'S BUICK -- PARKED - SAME TIME
                         
          111 WHIP checks the mirrors before taking a long drink from a 111
           large orange juice bottle.
                         
                         
           EXT. NICE MODERN SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
           WHIP gets out of his car and makes his way across the street
           and towards the house. We notice...
                         
           The DRIVER OF A BLACK PRIUS that has been parked farther down
           the street gets out of his car, talking on a cell phone.
                         
                         
           EXT. FRONT DOOR -- NICE SUBURBAN HOME -- SAME TIME
                         
           WHIP walks up the steps and knocks on the door. He waits a
           beat and knocks again. Finally, it opens -- DEANA, an
           attractive, well-dressed woman in her 40's, stands there
           staring.
                         
                          DEANA
           What are you doing here?
                         
                          WHIP
           It's lovely to see you too Deana.
           May I come in?
           116.
                         
          DEANA takes a moment before stepping aside to allow WHIP in.
                         
                         
          INT. SUBURBAN HOME -- SAME TIME
                         
          WHIP glides into the kitchen of this fastidiously kept home.
                         
                          WHIP
           Thought I`d come see you and Will.
           (calls out, loudly)
           KNUCKLES! YOU HERE?
           (it's very quiet)
           We haven't talked at all since this
           whole thing happened and I just
           thought we should talk.
                         
                          DEANA
           You know that I prefer that you
           call us.
                         
                          WHIP
           Call you? Like anyone in this
           house has called me in the last
           three years to say anything other
           than "Where's the money?"
                         
                          DEANA
           Have you been drinking?
                         
                          WHIP
           Well that took...what? 17 seconds?
           (fake checks his watch)
           It took 17 seconds for you-
                         
                          DEANA
           I'm gonna ask you to step outside
           of the house, please.
                         
                          WHIP
           (has continued to rant)
           LADIES and GENTLEMEN it took
           EXACTLY 17 SECONDS FOR DEANA
           COLEMAN to ask me if I have been
           drinking! A NEW WORLD RECORD!
                         
                          DEANA
           I'm calling the police.
                         
                          WHIP
           You're asking me to leave the house
           I bought for you?! Very good.
                         
           WILL (O.S.)
           I'm telling you to leave.
           117.
                         
          WHIP turns to see his 16 year old son, WILL, standing at the
          foot of the stairs near the door.
                         
                          WHIP
           William Whitaker, junior. The man
           of the house. Nice of you to call
           me back.
                         
                          WILL
           I'm telling you to leave.
                         
                          WHIP
           You are? Are you the man of the
           house?
                         
                          WILL
           You upset my mother. You gotta go.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm your father, tough guy.
                         
                          WILL
           You're a drunk. Now get the fuck
           out!
                         
                          WHIP
           You don't know who the fuck I am!
                         
                          WILL
           (pulling open the door)
           I sure don't.
                         
                          WHIP
           What did you say?
                         
                          WILL
           I said, "I sure don't." Why don't
           you tell me? Who the fuck are
           you?! Who are you? Huh? WHO ARE
           YOU?!
                         
          DEANA now steps between them and pushes WILL towards the
          stairs as she puts her hand on the doorknob.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm outta here. I'm outta here. I
           know where I'm not wanted.
                         
          WHIP turns quietly. He opens the door and walks outside to
          find...
           118.
                         
          A GROWING GALLERY OF NEWS RATS START JOSTLING FOR PICS
                         
          WHIP is completely caught off guard. They step right onto
          the tiny landing with him.
                         
          Through the fracas we hear a variety of questions lobbed at
          WHIP.
                         
           DEANA'S PORCH REPORTER #1
           How come you won't talk to the
           press?
                         
           DEANA'S PORCH REPORTER #2
           A lot of people are going out of
           their way to keep you out of the
           media, are you hiding something?
                         
          We hear the squelch of a police siren as a COP CAR lands on
          the scene.
                         
           DEANA'S PORCH REPORTER #3
           Do you still live here, Captain
           Whitaker?
                         
           DEANA'S PORCH REPORTER #1
           How well did you know Katerina
           Marquez, the flight attendant that
           died?
                         
          A REPORTER trips down the stairs. WHIP grabs one of these
          news rats and just before pounding him, he breaks in to a
          relaxed smile.
                         
                          WHIP
           Folks, please give us some room.
           (gets down the stairs)
           At the appropriate time I will tell
           my story. Now is a time for
           grieving and taking care of those
           injured. Thank you. I appreciate
           your interest in me but I ask that
           you leave my family in peace.
                         
          The GALLERY quiets to listen and record his words. WHIP
          again is incredibly smooth and intuitive while drunk and
          under pressure. We can hear the squawking of POLICE SIRENS
          approaching.
                         
                         
                         
                         
          WHIP starts to head down the porch and the frenzy erupts
          again.
           119.
                         
           The POLICE begin to disperse the NEWS RATS. WHIP pulls an
           officer aside.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm Captain Whitaker, I was-
                         
                          YOUNG COP
           Yes sir, I know who you are.
                         
                          WHIP
           Can you get me to my car?
                         
                          YOUNG COP
                          (STUDIES HIM)
           Anything you need, sir.
                         
           WHIP walks with the YOUNG COP who shields him from the fray.
                         
                         
           INT. WHIP'S BUICK -- DEANA'S STREET -- MINUTES LATER
                         
           We can see the YOUNG COP standing in front of the driver side
           door, shielding WHIP from the press who stay away.
                         
          116 WHIP exhales, trying to slow his racing heart and head. He's
                          116
           drunk but controlled. He looks at his hands. They are
           shaking.
                         
                         
           INT. CHARLIE'S HOUSE -- OFFICE - CLOSE ON TELEVISION - NIGHT
                         
           We see WHIP on the TV repeating the speech he gave reporters
           on DEANA's front lawn...
                         
                          WHIP
           Now is a time for grieving and
           taking care of those injured.
           Thank you. I appreciate your
           interest in me but I ask that you
           leave my family in peace.
                         
           A REPORTER now wraps up the piece...
                         
                          TELEVISION
           A reasonable request from a quiet,
           heroic man who's been through so
           much. This is Tilda Banden
           reporting from Devonwood.
                         
           Now a DESK ANCHOR changes stories...
           120.
                         
                          DESK ANCHOR
           In a related story, tonight at 10
           Cale Rawson talks with aviation
           experts to see if the tragedy of
           flight 227 could have been avoided.
                         
          We boom down to find WHIP who looks drained as he sits on
          CHARLIE's couch in the fastidiously neat office. WHIP holds
          an unlit smoke.
                         
          The WOODEN POCKET DOORS SLIDE OPEN and CHARLIE's WIFE
          gestures towards WHIP. WHIP stands as CHARLIE enters.
                         
                          WHIP
           Hey, Charlie. Thank you. Amanda
           was so nice to let me in. It's
           just...I couldn't find a safe
           place.
                         
          AMANDA slides the door shut as CHARLIE throws his bag and his
          coat down with gusto. He reaches up and pushes a button on
          the TV and it goes off.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           What the hell is wrong with you? I
           spoke to Hugh, he told me that you
           went to your ex-wife's house?
           Drunk as a skunk and the news crews
           showed up?
           (Whip just stares)
           And the police escorted you out?
                         
                          WHIP
           I think it's okay. I've been
           watching and I think it's okay.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Hugh checked every media outlet
           that covered it and it looks like
           we're good. You come off fine.
                         
                          WHIP
           Okay. Good then. Listen Charlie,
           here's the deal-
                         
                          CHARLIE
           No Whip. No deals. Look at you.
           I have no idea what you're gonna do
           or say, ever. You're all over the
           place. I was the one guy in your
           court. I was your apologist, your
           defender. But not anymore.
           121.
                         
                          WHIP
           No. I can do this.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           You're about to be questioned by a
           Federal Agency about piloting an
           airliner drunk...an airliner that
           crashed. And you continue to drink
           and stumble around. What kind of
           crazy do you have to be to do that?
           I'm scared of you.
                         
                          WHIP
           Let's just stick to the plan.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           You can't stick to anything.
                         
                          WHIP
           This whole thing has just been so
           heavy, it's killing me. Tell Hugh,
           I can do it. Look, I really wanna
           fly again, get back to my life and
           be done with all this shit.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           This hearing is 10 days away. Hugh
           busted his ass to try to get you
           excused, but there's no way. You
           have to appear.
                         
                          WHIP
           Let me stay here. They have my
           houses all staked out now. Let me
           stay here until the hearing,
           Charlie. I won't leave the house.
                         
           CHARLIE takes a long look at his old, troubled friend.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           You can't drink here, Whip. You
           can't drink in my house. Can you
           do that?
                         
                          WHIP
           I won't drink.
                         
          118 CHARLIE nods, hoping that WHIP can deliver on that promise 118
           122.
                         
          INT. ST. JEROME HOTEL -- GUEST HALLWAY -- NIGHT
                         
          We watch a can of Coca Cola swing in WHIP's hand. We pull
          out to find WHIP walking with CHARLIE down a hallway of THE
          ST. JEROME HOTEL. Time has passed as WHIP looks the best
          we've ever seen him look. He is well rested, well dressed
          and carrying a suit in a wardrobe bag.
                         
          As we approach the open door to a guest room, HUGH pops out.
          A plain clothes SECURITY GUARD follows HUGH out of the room
          and stands behind him.
                         
                          HUGH
           You look great, Whip. I mean that.
                         
                          WHIP
           Thank you. I feel really good.
                         
                          HUGH
           I heard you haven't had a drink in
           8 days.
                         
                          WHIP
           9 days...
           (checks his watch)
           Two hours and 26 minutes...but
           who's counting?
                         
          CHARLIE addresses the SECURITY GUARD.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Officer Edmonds?
                         
                          OFFICER EDMONDS
           Yes sir.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Whip, Officer Edmonds will be
           staying here tonight. Any problems
           he'll handle it.
                         
          HUGH stands by the open door and gestures CHARLIE and WHIP
          inside...
                         
                         
          INT. THE ST. JEROME HOTEL -- WHIP'S ROOM -- NIGHT
                         
          HUGH walks in to the center of the room and turns to WHIP.
                         
                          HUGH
           Well, Whip we just wanted to make
           this as easy for you as possible.
                         
          WHIP puts his wardrobe bag down on the bed.
           123.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Just get a good night's rest.
           Relax, order up a steak, get a
           movie.
                         
          WHIP is checking his phone. HUGH gestures to CHARLIE for him
          to leave so they can be alone.
                         
                          CHARLIE (CONT'D)
           Okay, cowboy, I'm out. The hearing
           starts at 10, so we should plan on
           9 for breakfast here in the room.
                         
                          WHIP
           Wait, Charlie, thanks for letting
           me stay with you. I needed it.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           You did great cowboy.
                         
                          WHIP
           You've got a beautiful family.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           I'm very blessed.
                         
          CHARLIE leaves and HUGH joins WHIP at the window. HUGH hands
          WHIP a thick folder.
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           I made you a copy of my entire file
           on you and the investigation. I
           also tried to anticipate what you
           might be asked under oath and I
           wrote out some non-damaging
           responses. It's all in there;
           photos, testimony, interviews...I
           called Ellen Block let her know
           that you're here and all tucked in.
                         
                          WHIP
           So does she have the knife out for
           me?
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           Remember she's limited in what she
           can ask you. You're not on trial
           but you are under oath. She's
           probably not happy that I killed
           the tox report, but you'll be fine.
                         
          WHIP laughs a little.
           124.
                         
           HUGH LANG (CONT'D)
           I'll see you in the morning.
                         
          The two respectfully nod. HUGH leaves and the door shuts
          behind him. WHIP puts the folder on the table and steps to
          the mini-bar. He bends down and opens the fridge...
                         
          WHIP sees the fridge is overly stocked with soda and juices.
          Every soft drink you can imagine. No booze, anywhere. WHIP
          chuckles about the alcohol removal as he grabs a coke.
                         
          WHIP unbuttons his shirt and pulls it out of his waist line.
                         
                         
          INT. THE ST. JEROME HOTEL -- WHIP'S ROOM -- LATER
                         
          Whip sits on the edge of the bed eating a room service steak.
          The File Folder sits on the table.
                         
          WHIP'S ROOM -- LATER
                         
          Now in his undershirt and shorts, Whip lies propped up on the
          bed watching television. The File Folder now rests on the
          bed.
                         
          WHIP'S BATHROOM -- LATER
                         
          Whip is meticulously shaving. He stares a long while at the
          disposable razor as the water runs over its blade. After a
          moment he goes back to shaving.
                         
          WHIP'S ROOM -- MUCH LATER
                         
          Whip sits at the small table looking through the file. He
          leafs through photos, with no recognizable emotion. He looks
          to the clock radio -- 12:37.
                         
          WHIP'S ROOM -- BATHROOM -- LATER AGAIN
                         
          We hear the shower running and steam fogs the mirrors.
                         
          WHIP'S ROOM -- LATER THAN THAT
                         
          WHIP wears boxers and a tee shirt with a towel around his
          neck. He looks to the clock -- 2:07
                         
          WE WATCH HIS SUIT BE PULLED FROM THE WARDROBE BAG.
                         
          WHIP lays the suit out neatly on the couch, separating the
          shirt which he hangs from a light fixture to relax any
          creases.
                         
          WHIP'S ROOM -- LATER YET AGAIN
           125.
                         
          The room is dark. A soft wind RATTLES the window sash.
          WHIP lies on the bed. He sighs, sleep is alluding him and
          the anxiety of tomorrow's events on no sleep has his head
          spinning. He hears a metallic click. He stays quiet to
          listen for it...there it is again. An annoying click.
                         
          The clock reads "3:43"--
                         
          He sits up and switches on the LIGHT. He rubs his eyes and
          goes to the table and sees the file folder laying there. As
          he is about to pick it up he hears the metallic click again.
          He goes to investigate.
                         
                         
          HOTEL ROOM CONNECTING DOOR -- SAME TIME
                         
          The connecting door is unlocked. WHIP arrives and waits. He
          now watches as the connecting lock-bolt CLICKS against the
          frame -- the door swinging in a draft. He looks up to see
          the culprit -- a heating vent. WHIP flips the vent closed.
                         
                         
                         
          Whip now pushes the door with his finger, opening it a few
          inches. Nothing. Darkness.
                         
                          WHIP
           Hello? Anyone?
                         
          Whip enters.
                         
                         
          INT. CONNECTING HOTEL ROOM -- SAME
                         
          The room is vacant. The bed is made. The drapes are pulled
          open.
                         
          WHIP walks quietly on the carpet towards the window. The
          night is clear. Quiet. Whip takes in the city lights.
                         
          WHIP'S POV --
                         
          Among the glass and steel office buildings, Whip spots a
          church spire. A simple cross is perched on top.
                         
          Whip looks at the church, deep in thought.
                         
          Then suddenly...
                         
          We HEAR A HUM. THE GENTLE HUM OF AN ELECTRIC MOTOR.
                         
          WHIP turns from the window and scans the room...
                         
          It's the MINI-BAR refrigerator -- HUMMING to life.
           126.
                         
          Whip stares at the gleaming black box. The WHIR of the motor
          seems to get LOUDER. Calling Whip. Beckoning him...
                         
          Whip looks at the fridge. His face is blank, His eyes tell us
          nothing. Then...
                         
          Whip steps toward the box.
                         
          CLOSE ON THE MINI-BAR. Whip swings open the door.
                         
          WHOOSH -- OUR DARK SCREEN LIGHTS.
                         
          COLORS SPARKLE as a cadre of tiny liquor bottles GLOW like
          jewels in a chest.
                         
          WHIP stares at the "glimmering gems" for a long, long time --
          vodka, gin, wine, bourbon. The bottles SHIMMER -- AMBER,
          CRYSTAL, EMERALD, RUBY.
                         
          WHIP reaches for a frosted vodka mini bottle -- he gently
          pinches the neck of the bottle and lifts it out of the
          fridge. He holds up the mini vodka and considers it.
                         
          Now Whip slowly removes the stopper and smells the White
          Whiskey. He looks at the bottle once more, then slowly twists
          the tiny cap back on.
                         
          With a look of solemn resignation, Whip places the frosted
          mini bottle on top of the fridge and walks away.
                         
          WE STAY CLOSE ON THE BOTTLE. The CAMERA FOCUSES on the small
          bottle as a small droplet of condensation runs down its side
          -- ever so slowly, slowly. Then suddenly...
                         
          WHAP!!! In a flash, WHIP SCOOPS THE VODKA OUT OF FRAME!!
                         
                         
          INT. THE ST. JEROME HOTEL - ELEVATOR DOORS - MORNING
                         
          The ELEVATOR DOORS open and HUGH and CHARLIE step out and
          head down the hallway.
                         
          We follow our guys as they approach WHIP's room, finding
          OFFICER EDMONDS exactly where we left him -- in front of
          WHIP's door.
                         
                         
          EXT. THE ST. JEROME HOTEL - HALLWAY - WHIP'S DOOR - DAY
                         
          OFFICER EDMONDS stands up as CHARLIE and HUGH approach
          carrying coffees.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Good morning, how's our man?
           127.
                         
                          OFFICER EDMONDS
           Not a peep.
                         
          CHARLIE knocks on the door and checks his watch as he waits
          for WHIP to answer. CHARLIE cocks his head, knocks again.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           I think your pilot overslept.
                         
                          HUGH
           You didn't let any girls in there
           last night did you?
                         
                          OFFICER EDMONDS
           No sir, not a soul. No one came in
           or out.
                         
          They all wait awkwardly as HUGH checks his watch and knocks
          on the door. More silence...
                         
           OFFICER EDMONDS (CONT'D)
           I have a room key.
                         
          CHARLIE takes the room key and lets himself in.
                         
                         
          INT. THE ST. JEROME HOTEL -- WHIP'S ROOM -- MORNING
                         
          CHARLIE carefully enters WHIP's room. He is spooked by the
          silence. HUGH joins him as they take in the room. The bed
          looks slept in and the room service dinner tray rests
          politely on the dining table but WHIP is nowhere to be found.
                         
                          HUGH LANG
           Did he disappear?
                         
          CHARLIE tentatively walks around the empty room, the
          bathroom, the closet, until he finally sees the adjoining
          room door. He turns to HUGH with a surprised look.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Whip? Hello?
                         
          CHARLIE knocks on the slightly opened adjoining door. No
          response, so CHARLIE lightly tosses the door open.
                         
                         
          INT. ADJOINING ROOM -- SAME TIME
                         
          CHARLIE looks in to find the scene of the crime. Smoke still
          hangs in the air and empty bottles and cans cover every
          surface in the room. HUGH joins him...
           128.
                         
                          HUGH
           Where is he?
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Whip? WHIP!
                         
          CHARLIE closes his eyes and says a silent prayer as he heads
          for the bathroom...
                         
                         
          BATHROOM -- ADJOINING ROOM -- MOMENTS LATER
                         
          CHARLIE is stopped by the sight of WHIP's lifeless body
          wedged between the tub and the toilet.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           WHIP?!!! WHIP!!!
                         
          CHARLIE turns WHIP over to see his non-responsive face. HUGH
          arrives and freaks out.
                         
                          HUGH
           Is he dead?
                         
                          CHARLIE
           I DON'T KNOW!!!
                         
                          HUGH
           IS HE DEAD?!
                         
                          WHIP
           Yes!!! I'm dead!!!
                         
          CHARLIE shows immediate relief that WHIP is breathing.
          OFFICER EDMONDS has joined them.
                         
                          OFFICER EDMONDS
           Should I get an ambulance?
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Yes!
                         
                          HUGH
           Wait!...just wait, Charlie...let's
           think about this.
                         
          The two stare at each other and realize they are both
          breathing heavily from the shock and stress of their
          predicament.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Get him to the bed...
           (to the Officer)
           129.
                         
           Can you wait outside and don't let
           anyone in here? Thank you.
                         
          EDMONDS leaves. CHARLIE and HUGH drag WHIP out of the
          bathroom and flop him on the bed. HUGH explodes.
                         
                          HUGH
           Son of a bitch! You worthless
           motherfucker, what a waste! I
           cleared the decks for you...you
           piece of shit. You just fucked it
           all up like the piss drunk you are!
                         
          HUGH grabs at WHIP's collar and WHIP actually sits up and
          reaches for HUGH, a nice sign of life from WHIP.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           WOAH!!! WOAH!!! WOAH!!! Enough!
                         
          CHARLIE pulls HUGH away from WHIP who falls back on the bed.
                         
                          CHARLIE (CONT'D)
           What time is it?
                         
                          HUGH
           9:14, the hearing is in 46 minutes.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           How much grace do you think we got?
                         
                          WHIP
           Amazing grace...how sweet the
           sound...that saved a wretch like me-
                         
                          HUGH
           Shut the fuck up you drunk...
                         
                          WHIP
           I once was lost and now I'm found
           was blind but...now...well I'm
           still kinda blind.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           We probably have an hour before we
           really need to get him to the
           hearing and it's just downstairs.
                         
                          HUGH
           We need a wheel chair.
                         
                          WHIP
           Call Harling Mays.
           130.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Harling's got a wheel chair?
                         
                          WHIP
           Harling's got cocaine.
                         
                          HUGH
           Cocaine? Cocaine?!
                         
           HUGH and CHARLIE exchange a desperate look...
                         
                          CHARLIE
           WHAT'S HIS NUMBER!?
                         
                          HUGH
           This is fucking insane. And
           criminal.
                         
                          WHIP
           609-237-1184. We're in 609 so
           just...
                         
                          CHARLIE
                          (DIALING)
           237...1184...
                         
                          WHIP
          129 Tell him I need bananas... 129
                         
                         
           INT. THE ST. JEROME HOTEL -- WHIP'S ROOM -- MORNING
                         
           CHARLIE prays for a voice on the other end...it appears...
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Harling? Harling this is Charlie.
           I'm a friend of Whip's...yeah. We
           need you to do a very early, very
           discreet...uhm...Whip needs bananas
           and you need to bring them to The
           St. Jerome Hotel downtown...how
           many bunches of bananas?
           (Whip holds up 3 fingers)
           3 is the answer I'm getting -- you
           will be well compensated...the The
           St. Jerome Hotel room 1027...
                         
           CHARLIE hangs up and looks at WHIP who is mostly passed out
           again. CHARLIE looks to HUGH.
           131.
                         
          INT. THE. ST. JEROME HOTEL -- ELEVATOR BANK -- SAME TIME
                         
          The elevator opens and we see HARLING step from the elevator
          with his knapsack over his shoulder. Teva sandals,
          sunglasses.
                         
                         
          INT. THE ST. JEROME HOTEL -- WHIP'S ROOM -- MORNING
                         
          WHIP has a towel around his neck as he tries to sip coffee.
          CHARLIE sits opposite him at the small table by the window.
                         
          The door bursts open, and HARLING storms in.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
                          (SINGING)
           Come mista tally man tally me
           banana...Whip, what's the deal man
           you look like you're hurtin' for
           certain...shut the door, interior
           lock!
                         
          HARLING places a leather doctor's bag on the table. An
          anxious CHARLIE reaches for the bag which sets HARLING into a
          frenzy.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           YOU DO NOT TOUCH THE MERCH
           MOTHERFUCKER!!!
                         
          It's quiet as HARLING gives orders.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Everyone except Whip and myself
           take three steps away from the
           table.
                         
          As they step away, HARLING now pulls a beautiful silver-
          framed mirror from his bag and a blue coke grinder, he calmly
          but sternly delivers orders...
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           I need three things.
           (focuses on Charlie)
           Two glasses of water, a credit card
           and a hundred dollar bill.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           All I have is a twenty.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           (takes the card and bill)
           That'll do. And I need to make a
           coco puff.
           132.
                         
          HARLING Tosses a pack of smokes to CHARLIE.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           A what?
                         
          HUGH takes the smokes from CHARLIE and pulls out a cigarette.
                         
          HARLING stops grinding, opens the lid and pours out a nice
          smooth pile of coke. He begins a masterful ballet of cocaine
          manipulation.
                         
                          HUGH
           Millions of dollars hang in the
           balance.
                         
          HUGH is removing the last quarter of an inch of tobacco from
          the end of the cigarette.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           They hang on the consumption of a
           300 dollar bag of cocaine.
                         
          HARLING uses the credit card to groom the coke into neat
          piles and lines. He has a system.
                         
          WHIP's head sags as he again appears ready to pass out.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           Okay Whip, just two small whiffs
           first...one on each side...just a
           primer.
                         
          Using the mirror as a tray, HARLING holds the rolled up 20
          dollar bill just above the line of coke. WHIP slowly manages
          to place his face in position to ingest the coke. It's tense
          as his head wobbles. He finally zeroes in and snorts the
          first line. HARLING quickly switches nostrils. WHIP sniffs
          the other side.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Atta boy, head back now. Swallow.
           Water, chief, you! Water.
                         
          CHARLIE puts the glass of water to WHIP's mouth. WHIP
          drinks.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           (snaps his fingers)
           Coco puff...
                         
          HUGH hands HARLING the cigarette with a slightly hollowed out
          tip. HARLING leans over the coke with the cigarette in his
          mouth and hoovers up a small pile, sucking the coke through
          the cigarette.
           133.
                         
          HARLING sits up, careful to keep the cocaine in the end of
          the cigarette. He tips it up and lights it.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Little coco puff buddy. C'mon
           banana man. Who's the banana man?
                         
          WHIP's head levels a look to Harling with a smile that leads
          us to believe that he is actually making a rally.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Good man, focus up big dog. Here's
           the train comin' to you.
                         
          HARLING takes a puff and holds it as he extends the cocaine
          cigarette to WHIP. WHIP is more nimble now as he cocks his
          head in acceptance of the cigarette. WHIP takes a drag and
          holds it.
                         
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           (still holding the smoke)
           Keep it down big dog, banana boat's
           comin' tell me the banana boat's
           comin'...
                         
          WHIP finally exhales the smoke, HARLING does too. WHIP
          smiles.
                         
                          WHIP
           The banana boat is here.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           Nothing can keep you down dog.
           Nothing keeps the big dog down.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Okay, we gotta go.
                         
          HARLING has crafted 4 big lines now, he snorts one himself in
          record time. Looks to HUGH and CHARLIE.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           You guys are up.
                         
                          HUGH
           No, I'm good. Charlie?
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Are you fucking crazy?
                         
          WHIP jumps in and sniffs 2 huge lines. He looks to HARLING.
                         
                          WHIP
           Thanks brother, I'm back.
           134.
                         
           HARLING gathers his things, stands and hugs WHIP.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           I love you man.
                         
                          WHIP
           I love you too.
                         
           HUGH and CHARLIE are quiet as they watch the strange but
           sincere drug-fueled emotion pass between two old friends.
           HARLING eyes CHARLIE before handing him a baggie.
                         
                          HARLING MAYS
           There's a gram in here, you paid
           for it and he might need it. My
           work here is done. See you all on
           the dark side of the moon.
                         
           HARLING leaves and our TRIO exchange looks, "Did that just
           happen?"
                         
                         
           EXT. THE ST. JEROME HOTEL -- GUEST HALLWAY -- DAY
                         
          133 The opening bars of Joe Cocker's "Feelin' Alright" crackle 133
           just before we see WHIP step out of the hotel room and begin
           a relatively steady strut down the hallway. Deja Vu.
           Sunglasses on, WHIP is backed by HUGH and CHARLIE who flank
           him from a few steps behind. Further back we can see that
           OFFICER EDWARDS also exits the room wearing latex gloves,
           carrying a large plastic garbage bag that obviously holds any
           evidence of the debauched night or the morning's
           resurrection.
                         
                         
           INT. THE ST. JEROME HOTEL -- ELEVATOR -- DAY
                         
           WHIP, HUGH and CHARLIE ride the elevator. WHIP is buttoning
           his shirt and fixing his tie. It is miraculous how the coke
           has revived him. A MOM and her 8 year old DAUGHTER get on
           the elevator.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           Morning.
                         
           We watch as a small trickle of blood escapes from WHIP's left
           nostril. HUGH pulls a handkerchief from his pocket, hands it
           to WHIP.
                         
                          HUGH
           Your nose...
                         
           WHIP accepts the handkerchief and wipes his nose. WHIP sees
           blood on the cloth and tilts his head back.
           135.
                         
          We now see that there is a mirrored ceiling to the elevator.
          WHIP tries to study his reflection in the ceiling as he holds
          the hankie to his nose. WHIP begins to wobble and CHARLIE
          helps him regain his balance.
                         
                         
          INT. THE ST. JEROME HOTEL-ELEVATOR LOBBY-MOMENTS LATER
                         
          Our TRIO walk as tall as they can towards the hearing room.
                         
                          HUGH
           I'm gonna head in and tell Ellen
           Block that we're here.
                         
          HUGH hustles off as CHARLIE pulls close to WHIP.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           You're gonna make it. Remember, if
           they ask about your drinking, it's
           totally acceptable to say, "I don't
           recall."
                         
          WHIP wheels on CHARLIE and unloads with focused anger...
                         
                          WHIP
           Do not tell me how to lie about my
           drinking. I've been lying about my
           drinking my whole life.
                         
          As we disappear in to WHIP's weary eyes we hear the
          distinctive sound of a jetliner screaming through the air.
                         
                         
          INT. THE ST. JEROME HOTEL - BALL ROOM - NTSB HEARING-DAY
                         
          On TWO LARGE SCREENS we watch the grainy cell phone footage
          shot by a witness of SOUTHJET FLIGHT 227's final moments in
          the sky. ACCOMPANYING the Video is the REAL AUDIO of the
          cockpit voice recording...
                         
          The room has a dais where the NTSB board members sit. A
          large blue curtain is the backing for the round NTSB shield
          that hangs above the proceedings. A large drop down screen
          will show images, graph and text as needed by the NTSB.
                         
          A confident woman, ELLEN BLOCK, approaches carrying a file
          which she lays on the podium.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Those are difficult images to
           watch. For the record, I'm Ellen
           Block, Hearing Officer for this
           hearing. Captain Whitaker, good
           morning.
           136.
                         
          We see WHIP who looks rough but stable in his witness chair.
                         
                          WHIP
           Morning.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           What was captured on that video is
           that the aircraft was in a
           relatively stable glide just prior
           to the moment of impact.
           However, according to the data we
           retrieved from the cockpit data
           recorders, at exactly 9:34, after
           flying 27 minutes without incident,
           the transponder recorded a loss in
           altitude in excess of 4800 feet per
           minute in what is considered a
           "full pitch nose down" attitude.
           Then at 9:42, according to the data
           recorders, a decision was made to
           invert the aircraft. The NTSB has
           created animated simulation that I
           would like to play at this point.
                         
          ELLEN points to the screen...
                         
          An NTSB animation shows the plane pitching down and we follow
          it through the inversion of the plane while listening to the
          real audio of the flight crew.
                         
          The animation has a split screen that also shows the
          instruments and printed text of what's being said.
                         
          We hear..."What's your son's name?" "Why?" "The black box"
          "I love you, Trevor. Be a good boy, Mommy loves you." "What
          are we doing?! Why would I trim down?!" "We're gonna roll
          it. Ready? Here we go. I've got control."
                         
          That last statement seems to echo as the presentation stops
          and the lights come back up. We return to the hearing in
          progress.
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           That audio is tragic and
           compelling. I chose to play that
           part of the cockpit recording to
           highlight a key moment aboard
           flight 227, wherein you say "We're
           gonna roll it, here we go, I've got
           control." You made a very
           conscious decision to invert the
           airplane, to roll the plane upside
           down. Is that correct?
           137.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm not sure it was conscious. It
           was more of an instinct.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           What led to that decision?
                         
          WHIP is clearly struggling in his chair. The coke got him
          there but it may start to fail him soon.
                         
                          WHIP
           I don't recall.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Let me quote from an investigative
           summary..."From 9:34 until 9:42 the
           events on the aircraft are"...again
           I quote, "bold and remarkable"...
           "By inverting the plane, Captain
           Whitaker arrested the descent and
           allowed the aircraft to level off
           enabling him to glide the aircraft
           away from any populated areas and
           allowing him to execute a forced
           landing in an open field.
                         
          We hear a smattering of applause as the facts of his actions
          are remarkable.
                         
                          WHIP
           I heard a metallic bang. We
           pitched nose down. No control.
                         
          WHIP looks ashen as the booze and chemicals are still
          coursing through his exhausted frame.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           You had no idea what was wrong with
           the aircraft?
                         
                          WHIP
           There was a lot of things wrong
           with that aircraft.
                         
          WHIP glances towards HUGH and CHARLIE who are poker-faced.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           As I said before you can add any
           details you like to any comments I
           make. Do you remember any thing
           else that was out of the ordinary?
           Did you feel the flight crew was in
           their best shape?
           138.
                         
          WHIP takes a minute to digest this question.
                         
                          WHIP
           Yes.
                         
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           It was raining very hard the
           morning you took off, wasn't it?
                         
                          WHIP
           There was some convective activity
           in the area. However, my first
           officer and I discussed the
           conditions on the field and
           determined that we were safely
           within our visibility and crosswind
           minimums.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Yes, first officer Evans' testimony
           confirms the same.
                         
          WHIP goes quiet as ELLEN BLOCK looks at him over her glasses,
          seeing if he has any reaction. WHIP smiles.
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           I want to show you something.
                         
          HUGH is frozen in a steely gaze; CHARLIE seems to hold his
          breath.
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           Nothing's happening.
                         
          ELLEN points her remote at the projector but it doesn't work.
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           This remote is not working.
           Apologies. I can do it manually.
                         
          She shrugs and heads down onto the stage closer to WHIP where
          she can advance the slides by touching the projector.
                         
          We now see a screen where a slide is showing a long metal
          screw the size of a trombone.
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           This is the jackscrew on the tail
           assembly which articulates the
           horizontal stabilizer--also known
           as the elevator. As you can see,
           the threads on this screw are
           almost entirely gone. "
           139.
                         
           Substandard thread life" is how we
           reported it. This part was
           suggested as a maintenance
           replacement in January of 2010. It
           was never replaced.
                         
           This had 1200 additional hours of
           flight on it. It finally failed.
                         
          AN ANIMATION SHOWS THE TAIL ASSEMBLY.
                         
          We watch the elevator acting as a wing on the tail that goes
          up or down and makes a plane get lift or descend.
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           Our investigators have concluded
           that the jackscrew snapped and the
           elevator was frozen in a fixed
           position, locking the elevator in a
           down position which forced the
           plane into a dive. The loss of the
           elevator was, and I quote our
           report, a "catastrophic event, from
           which recovery was improbable and
           stable flight impossible."
                         
          Everyone goes quiet as those words resonate. ELLEN's tone
          changes as she understands how hard this is for some people
          to hear as they think of their loved ones spending their last
          living minutes on this earth in sheer terror.
                         
          It is deathly quiet in the ballroom. Even the PRESS are
          silent.
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           Again I quote..."From 9:34 until
           9:42 the piloting decisions made by
           Captain Whitaker were bold and
           remarkable. The fact that Captain
           Whitaker commanded that the
           aircraft stay inverted while
           descending to an extremely low
           altitude shows a miraculous
           intuition that in this instance
           saved 96 lives."
                         
          A genuine applause spreads from the hearing room. ELLEN
          BLOCK allows this moment to happen.
                         
          WHIP is fading, dazed and uncomfortable with the unexpected
          adulation. He stands up.
                         
                          WHIP
           I appreciate that.
           140.
                         
          The room gets quiet as WHIP's demeanor seems terse.
                         
          WHIP stares at ELLEN, white with sweat and chemicals. We see
          HUGH grind his jaw as this line of questioning has him on
          tilt.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Mr. Whitaker, I want to talk about
           the days leading and hours leading
           up to the accident. But before I
           do, I want to remind you that you
           are under oath and any testimony
           that you give here today will be
           considered admissable in any
           subsequent hearings or criminal
           proceedings, do you understand what
           that means?
                         
          WHIP nods.
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           Captain Whitaker, for the record I
           need you to verbalize your answer.
                         
                          WHIP
           Yes, I understand.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           On the three days leading up to the
           day of the accident -- Tuesday,
           October 11th, Wednesday, October
           12th or Thursday, October 13th of
           2011 -- did you consume any alcohol
           or other intoxicating elements?
                         
          WHIP takes his time.
                         
                          WHIP
           No. I did not.
                         
          HUGH AND CHARLIE
                         
          Sit stone faced in the second row feeling the relief of
          months of hard work.
                         
          ELLEN BLOCK continues with a rote posture...
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           On the morning of the accident,
           Friday, October 14th, did you
           consume any alcohol or ingest any
           chemicals or drugs that may have
           impaired your ability to perform
           your job?
           141.
                         
                          WHIP
           No. I did not.
                         
          ELLEN wraps up this line of questions...
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Mr. Whitaker, do you now or have
           you ever had a problem with alcohol
           dependency, alcoholism or drug
           addiction?
                         
          WHIP waits for her to look at him...this takes a while...
                         
                          WHIP
           No.
                         
          HUGH maintains a poker face; CHARLIE appears relieved.
                         
          ELLEN sorts through her notes one last time.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Okay, Mr. Whitaker, we're about
           done.
           (She refers to her notes)
           Due to the severe turbulence during
           the early part of the flight, you
           asked the flight crew to suspend
           the beverage service on the plane.
           Is that correct?
                         
                          WHIP
           Yes. I suspended the drink
           service.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Are you aware that our
           investigators found two single-
           service Vodka bottles in the galley
           trash bin?
                         
          Slides now show the TWO SMALL VODKA BOTTLES in evidence.
                         
                          WHIP
           Yes.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           There were 5 crew members on board
           the flight who would have had
           access to the beverage trolley.
           Less than an hour after the
           accident, blood was taken from each
           of the crew members. Yourself...
           142.
                         
          A SOUTHJET CORPORATE PHOTO OF WHIP pops on to the large
          monitors. After ELLEN references a member of the flight
          crew, their photo pops on to the monitors...
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           First Officer Evans, flight
           attendant Margaret Thomason and
           posthumously from Camelia Satou and
           Katerina Marquez.
                         
          KATERINA MARQUEZ PHOTO does not pop up on the screen...yet.
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           A toxicology analysis was performed
           and three of these tests came back
           negative, one was disqualified for
           technical reasons...
                         
          Hugh smiles -- satisfied.
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           And one tested positive for
           alcohol. It registered a .17 blood
           alcohol level. Are you aware of
           that?
                         
                          WHIP
           I am now.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Miss Marquez was not only a
           colleague, but you knew her outside
           of work? Correct?
                         
                          WHIP
           Outside of work? Not really.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Did you know Miss Marquez had a
           drinking problem?
                         
                          WHIP
           No. I did not.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Did you ever see her drink to
           excess?
                         
                          WHIP
           No. I did not.
           143.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Did you know that she was twice
           treated for alcohol addiction? The
           last time was 16 months ago and
           paid for by SouthJet Airlines?
                         
                          WHIP
           No. I did not.
                         
          A picture of Trina's beautiful smiling face FLASHES UP ON THE
          BIG SCREEN.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Is it your opinion that Katerina
           Marquez drank the vodka on the
           plane?
                         
          WHIP smiles at the photo of TRINA as if she can see him. He
          then shakes his head to snap from the memory of her great
          spirit. He gets serious as he bears his look down on ELLEN.
                         
                          WHIP
           Can you repeat the question?
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Your opinion Captain. Is it your
           opinion that Katerina Marquez drank
           on that flight?
                         
          Whip shakes. He runs his trembling hand through his hair.
                         
                          WHIP
           I'm sorry. My what...
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Since her toxicology report is the
           only toxicology report that is
           admissable in this hearing, and she
           in fact tested positive for
           alcohol, is it your opinion that
           Katerina Marquez drank those 2
           bottles of vodka on the flight?
                         
          Whip drops his head and MUTTERS SOMETHING INAUDIBLE.
                         
           ELLEN BLOCK (CONT'D)
           I'm sorry Mr. Whitaker, I couldn't
           hear you. What did you say?
                         
                          WHIP
           I SAID...God help me...
           144.
                         
          A confused MUMBLE rises in the room. Whip's response
          flusters ELLEN for a moment, but she recovers quickly.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Yes, well. However, is it your
           opinion...
                         
          Whip cuts her off...
                         
                          WHIP
                          (EXCESSIVELY LOUD)
           IT'S MY OPINION...
           (lowers his voice)
           It's my opinion...
           Trina DID NOT...drink the vodka.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Excuse me, Mr. Whitaker...
                         
                          WHIP
           (softly, to himself)
           She saved that boy's life...
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Captain Whitaker can you speak
                          LOUDER-
                         
                          WHIP
                          (LOUD AGAIN)
           I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT SHE DID NOT
           DRINK THAT VODKA...
                         
          Whip stops. His whole body trembles, his face tightens. He
          looks right at ELLEN...
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           ...because I did. I drank the
           vodka.
                         
          The crowd gasps, unsure of what they just heard...
                         
          CHARLIE rockets out of his chair.
                         
                          CHARLIE
           OBJECTION!!!
                         
                          NTSB OFFICER #2
           Please be seated sir. This is not a
           court room.
                         
          Now CHARLIE returns to his chair to find that HUGH is gone.
          CHARLIE looks around for HUGH, no sign. He's vanished.
                         
          WHIP leans close to the microphone.
           145.
                         
                          WHIP
           I drank the vodka bottles on the
           plane.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Mr. Whitaker, in light of that
           remark, would you like to
           readdress...
                         
                          WHIP
           You don't have to readdress
           anything. I DRANK THE VODKA!
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           On the three nights before the
           accident, October 11th-
                         
                          WHIP
           On October 11th, 12th and 13th and
           14th I was intoxicated. I drank
           alcohol on all of those days. I
           drank to excess.
                         
          Chaos erupts further as REPORTERS outnumber SECURITY. Flash
          bulbs pop repeatedly and large lights are aimed at the fracas
          on stage as video is taken of the bizarre melee.
                         
                          ELLEN BLOCK
           Mr. Whitaker, on the morning of
                          OCTOBER-
                         
                          WHIP
           I was drunk. I'm drunk right now,
           Miss Block...I'm drunk right...
           (Whip finally breaks down)
           I'm drunk now, because...
           Because I'm an alcoholic.
                         
          We have pushed into a tight shot on WHIP's face as the sound
          in the room fades away. We stay tight on WHIP's face as he
          lets the moments unfold.
                         
          Suddenly the noise cuts to silence. WHIP is looking at the
          assembly. WHIP wipes tears from his eyes. We hear WHIP's
          voice as the dialogue pre-laps the image of his face.
                         
                         
           WHIP (V.O.)
           That was it...I was done. It's as
           if I'd hit my life long limit for
           lies.
                         
          A new angle shows WHIP speaking these words...
           146.
                         
                          WHIP
           I could not tell one more lie. And
           maybe I'm a sucker. Because if I
           had just told one more lie? I could
           have walked away from that whole
           mess and kept my wings and my false
           sense of pride and most importantly
           I would have avoided being locked
           up here with all of you nice folks
           for the last 13 months.
                         
          We hear laughter as we pull out from WHIP to realize that he
          is in fact wearing a white penal jumpsuit and leading an AA
          meeting in a Federal Prison.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           It looks like I will serve every
           day of the remaining 4 plus years
           of my sentence. And that's fair.
           I betrayed the public trust. I
           did. That's what the judge
           explained to me. I had betrayed
           the public trust. The FAA took my
           license. And that's fair. The
           chances of me flying again are slim
           to none. And I accept that.
                         
                         
          INT. MCRAE FEDERAL PENITENTIARY -- GEORGIA -- DAY
                         
          A large room houses an AA meeting for about 50 inmates
          wearing white jumpsuits. WHIP continues his story.
                         
                          WHIP
           I've had time to think about all of
           it. Doing a lot of writing. I've
           written letters to each of the
           families that lost loved ones on my
           flight. Some were able to hear my
           apology, some never will.
           I've also apologized to all the
           people who tried to help me along
           the way, but I couldn't or wouldn't
           listen, like my wife, I mean my ex
           wife...
           (he gets emotional)
           ...and my son. Again, some were
           able to forgive me...some never
           will.
                          (COLLECTS HIMSELF)
           But at least I'm sober, and I'm
           grateful for that.
                         
          Whip gives it to us straight...
           147.
                         
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           And this is gonna sound really
           stupid coming from a man who's in
           prison...but for the first time in
           my life...I'm free.
                         
          We hold close on WHIP's face as we hear the metallic clang of
          prison doors shutting. On the sound we cut to...
                         
                         
          INT. FEDERAL PENITENTIARY -- CELL -- DAY
                         
          We pan across the concrete cell wall, looking at a small,
          personal photo collage. We see a photo of NICOLE and SHEILA
          and a few other AA FOLKS surrounding WHIP who sits in front
          of a birthday cake in the common room of the prison. We see
          a photo of WHIP's DAD as an airman. We ultimately land on a
          photo of NICOLE. We recognize it as the photo WHIP took on
          the porch of the Whitaker Farm.
                         
          We pan down to find WHIP writing in a journal. A GUARD comes
          to the front of his cell.
                         
                          GUARD
           Whitaker, you got a visitor.
                         
          WHIP looks at the GUARD and nods before taking a last glance
          at the photo of NICOLE.
                         
                         
          EXT. FEDERAL PENITENTIARY -- GUEST YARD -- DAY
                         
          WHIP sits at a lone picnic table in a fence-enclosed
          courtyard. He checks his watch and looks up.
                         
          WHIP stands and walks towards us, towards his visitor. As he
          gets closer we see a smile break across his face. A smile we
          haven't seen since he first saw NICOLE. We reverse to see...
                         
          WILL -- WHIP's 17 year old son stands next to a GUARD.
                         
                          GUARD
           You have 40 minutes.
                         
                          WHIP
           Knuckles, you're looking good.
                          (BEAT)
           I sent you something for your
           birthday.
                         
                          WILL
           Yeah. I got it.
                         
          Another beat as they can't find a way in to a conversation.
           148.
                         
                          WHIP
           This is a real surprise; a great
           surprise. I haven't seen you-
                         
          WHIP chokes up. WILL nods. It's intense. WHIP motions to
          the table and they both sit. WILL pulls out a notebook.
                         
                          WILL
           College counselor thought I should
           come and interview you.
                         
                          WHIP
           Great. An interview. Okay.
                         
                          WILL
           I'm writing essays for college
           applications.
                         
          WHIP studies him and laughs...WILL nods and tries to smile.
                         
                          WHIP
           Listen Will, it means everything to
           me that you came here. You are an
           amazing kid and you deserve great
           things...
                         
          Again WHIP has to tamp down his emotions.
                         
                          WILL
           So can you help me with this essay?
                         
                          WHIP
           Yeah. Of course.
                         
          WILL pulls out a small voice recorder and clicks it on...
                         
                         
                         
                          WILL
           This essay. I have to do an essay
           called, "the most fascinating
           person I've never met."
                         
          The two men just look at each other.
                         
                          WHIP
           And that's me?
                         
          WILL nods, both men are struggling to keep it together.
                         
                          WILL
           Can we pick up where we left off?
                         
          WHIP nods, unsure as to where this is going.
           149.
                         
                          WHIP
           Okay.
                         
                          WILL
           Who are you?
                         
                          WHIP
           Good question.
                         
          WHIP smiles...a great, familiar question. He begins to
          alternately laugh and sob as there is great relief in the
          promise of a connection with his son.


Flight



Writers :   John Gatins
Genres :   Drama


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