>> II/ Airplane II

II/ Airplane II ( 2)

: II/ Airplane II.

II/ Airplane II

JOHN It's going to be terrific. A whole new world, new kids to play with.

ALICE You're going to love it, Jimmy.

JIMMY No more headlines about the rape trial and the fraud charges?

JOHN (starts to twitch) How many kids get a chance to live on another planet.

JIMMY No more kids yelling, 'Your old man's a thieving rapist'?

JOHN (grabbing Jimmy) Look, a man can make an honest mistake!! Anyway, she was asking for it! They're all asking for it all the time!!

ALICE (V.O.) Not John's irregularity again.

INT. WASHROOM

Ted throws water on his face, wipes it off with a towel while staring into himself in the mirror. He sees the Psychiatrist in the mirror. The Psychiatrist also washes up.

PSYCHIATRIST You must admit that you're sick, Ted... sick, Ted... sick, Ted...

The Psychiatrist looks for the echo.

LOSE Psychiatrist. Ted throws the paper towel into the toilet, and flushes. The toilet sparks and smokes and keeps running. The running gets more intense as Ted tries to stop it by hitting the handle.

SFX: JAWS THEME.

INSERT - ROK'S PULSATING EYE

BACK TO SCENE

Ted has to hold himself back as the suction builds in force. He is just able to escape and shut the door behind him.

INT. CABIN - OUTSIDE TOILET

Ted leans his back against the door and breathes heavily.

INT. COCKPIT

DUNN We seem to have a malfunction in disposal unit four, sir.

OVEUR You better check it, Unger.

UGER (getting up) Done.

DUNN Yes?

INT. CABIN - OUTSIDE TOILET

Ted spots Elaine coming.

TED Elaine.

ELAINE Ted. I don't know why you got on this flight. I don't know what you're trying to prove.

TED Elaine, we have to go back.

ELAINE We can't go back. We had something very special, but it's all over.

TED Elaine, I mean the mission has to be aborted. This ship should never have passed FSA inspection. This thing is held together by string and chewing gum.

A cupboard door, labeled "EMERGENCY USE ONLY," swings open behind Elaine revealing shelves of gum and string. Elaine shuts it without looking inside.

MUSIC: DRAMATIC STING.

ELAINE Ted, get a grip on yourself. You should never have left the hospital.

TED Then you do think I'm insane.

ELAINE I've never used the word insane, Ted.

TED (facetiously) What word would you use, Elaine?

ELAINE The word is sick. Ted -- very, very, very sick.

TED What would you say if I told you the toilet just blew up in my face.

ELAINE I'd use the word insane.

TED There's something dangerously wrong with this ship, Elaine. I know its the wiring. That toilet's just the tip of the iceberg.

ELAINE Ted, a toilet's not going to kill anyone.

Elaine leaves.

INT. TOILET

MUSIC: JAWS THEME.

Unger jiggles the handle of the running toilet. Suddenly it sucks in towels, etc. Unger is pulled down. He fights back, grabbing onto towel rack that comes out of the wall.

INSERT - SIGN - "DO NOT THROW LARGE OBJECTS IN TOILET"

INT. CABIN

The Texan with Talmud is now trying to wrap himself in tfilin.

ANGLE ON TED

Ted walks down the aisle checking overhead panels. He spots a panel that is half open. A sign on the door reads, "DANGER -- VACUUM". Ted opens it and a Hoover falls out on his head, cutting him. He holds a hanky to the wound and passes by Stella's seat.

STELLA You've been hurt.

TED I'm getting over it. If a relationship isn't working, you can't force it.

STELLA No, I mean your head. Sit down. I'll take a look at it. I'm a nurse.

Ted sits down and Stella starts patching him up.

STELLA Do you want to talk about it.

TED I opened this panel and a vacuum cleaner hit me.

STELLA No. I mean your relationship.

TED We were in love but I'm not sure I know what love is anymore.

STELLA Love's the same as it always was. It's people who change.

TED People change in relation to each other. Love changes on its own.

STELLA Not if the people change together in relation to that love.

TED Sure. But that's only when the love itself goes unchanged.

STELLA Then the relationship remains the same and the love changes only when there's change in the two people who share that love.

TED I just wish it was that simple. We really were in love. You know how it is when you laugh all the time.

Stella looks to her Father who is reading MORTUARY WORLD magazine.

STELLA No. It's hard to L-A-U-G-H when your father's dying.

TED Well, we laughed. We laughed all the time.

DISSOLVE TO:

TED AND ELAINE IN A FIELD OF DAISIES - DAY

They run towards each other. Elaine grabs Ted by the waist, picks him up and swings him around in SLOW MOTION. They laugh.

TED (V.O.) We laughed when times were good.

EXT. GRAVESIDE - RAINY DAY

The grave is surrounded by mourners in black with umbrellas. We PAN the weeping crowd until we get to Ted and Elaine. They are also dressed in black and drenched. He holds her high by the waist, twirls her around as they laugh.

TED (V.O.) Even when times weren't so good, we still laughed.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

They are locked in each other's arms in the middle of lovemaking and laughing heir heads off.

TED (V.O.) But most of all, we laughed when we felt closest to each other.

DISSOLVE BACK TO:

INT. CABIN - TED AND STELLA

TED That's our story.

Passengers are standing. They hiss and throw vegetables at Ted.

INT. COCKPIT

Dunn checks a red flashing light on his panel.

DUNN (to Oveur) Sir, I've got an overload in disposal unit four.

OVEUR You better check on it, Mr. Dunn. I'll stay here and fly the ship.

Dunn gets up.

OVEUR Dunn.

DUNN Sir?

OVEUR You better take this.

Oveur throws him a plunger and gives him a thumbs up. They exchange that "man must do what a man must do" smile. Mary enters with Jimmy Wilson -- carrying Scraps.

MARY Mind if Jimmy here takes a look around, Captain?

OVUER Of course not. Come on in, Jimmy. (checking his navigational screen) That's strange.

Simon leans over Oveur's shoulder.

SIMON Now what?

Scraps looks at Oveur. Jimmy looks at the array of dials, etc.

OVEUR That's an asteroid field. There shouldn't be anything like that in this sector unless...

Scraps looks at Simon.

SIMON Unless?

Scraps looks at Oveur.

OVEUR Unless those sunspots are interfering with our scanner or...

Scraps looks at Simon.

SIMON Or?

Scraps looks at Oveur.

OVEUR Or we're off course, but...

Scraps looks at Simon.

SIMON But?

Scraps looks at Oveur.

OVEUR But we couldn't be off course. Our coordinates are computer-locked barring...

Scraps looks at Simon.

SIMON Barring?

Scraps looks at Oveur.

OVEUR Barring a computer failure. There was talk of sub-par wiring in this ship. I hope that's just talk.

MUSIC: DRAMATIC STING.

Scraps' ears prick up.

Simon moves past Jimmy, stops at the door and downs a handful of anti-fear pills before leaving.

OVEUR Come on up, Jimmy. Say, that's some puppy. What's his name?

JIMMY Scraps.

OVEUR Can I hold him?

JIMMY (handing over Scraps) Sure.

OVEUR (holding him up and looking at his underbelly) He's a boy dog.

JIMMY Yeah.

OVEUR Do you like it when Scraps sleeps on his back, Jimmy?

INT. CABIN

Ted and Stella. Stella is feeding her father and listening to Ted.

TED They kept me in the asylum for eight months. I know everyone in those places claims they're sane, but I was different, I was sane.

Ted notices Unger float by outside his window. ZOOM to CLOSEUP of Ted. He tries to take a drink and pours it on his forehead.

INT. BOWELS OF COMPUTER

Elaine is fighting the fire with an extinguisher. She gets it out and looks at the burnt wires in the area labeled, "ROK, MORAL CENTRE." ZOOM to CLOSEUP of Elaine. She turns TO CAMERA.

ELAINE Holy shit.

MUSIC: DRAMATIC STING.

INT. CABIN

STELLA Ted, I want you to relax. Let your mind go back, back past your youth, past your childhood to your mother's womb.

Ted becomes slightly hypnotized. ZOOM to CLOSEUP of Ted.

SUPER: INT. WOMB

A fetus that looks like Ted is curled up inside.

STELLA Try to remember your birth. Was it difficult?

DOCTOR'S VOICE Striker, listen to me! This is Doctor Krane! You're twisted around, Striker. You've got to come out feet first! You're too low in the womb! You're too low, Striker! You're... (fading) ... too low...

LOSE SUPER

Stella shakes Ted's arm.

STELLA Ted, are you okay? Here, take one of these stress pills.

Stella hands him a pill which he pops automatically, but misses his face with his drink. She leaves the bottle next to Ted. ZOOM on bottle.

MUSIC: DRAMATIC STING.

Stella starts feeding her father again. The ship jolts and his face goes into the tray.

INT. REAR OF SHIP - COMPUTER AREA

Elaine fiddles with the computer.

ELAINE (to ROK) Request; comprehensive electrical systems check.

ROK Systems check positive. Look, Elaine, I...

ELAINE Request; life support systems check.

ROK Life support check. Elaine, it's obvious you've been ignoring me. You're a woman. I can relate to that.

ELAINE (panicky and confused) Request; self-analysis of ROK hardware and software systems regarding behavioral changes.

ROK There's nothing wrong with me, Elaine. What about tonight -- just you and me. We can be alone. I can get rid of everyone else on the ship -- I've already proven that.

Elaine gasps and moves away from ROK's blinking eye.

INT. CABIN - FOOD SERVICE AREA

Simon takes a long slug from a flask. LOOSEN to FIND Jimmy and Scraps.

JIMMY Do you want to talk about it, Commander?

INT. CABIN OUTSIDE WASHROOM

Dunn is about to enter with the plunger as Mary passes. The ship jolts and she falls into his arms.

DUNN Did you feel that?

MARY (looking at his pants) Yes I did...

DUNN Felt like a large asteroid.

MARY Yes it did. Mr. Dunn, can I ask you a personal question?

DUNN What is it, Mary?

MARY Um... Do you people scream right when you... you know.

Dunn gives her a look and opens the washroom door.

INT. WASHROOM

Dunn is immediately pulled down to the raging toilet bowl. He grabs for the door screaming.

EXT. WASHROOM

Mary hears the scream and gives a look as she leaves.

INT. CABIN

Testa is serving the Walters coffee from a steaming pot.

TESTA Hand me your cup. This is very hot.

DAVE Thank you. And, stewardess, can you please tell my wife that there is nothing that can go wrong. I think she'd like to hear it from you.

Testa spots Dunn's tattered sleeve emerge from the washroom door, groping for a handhold. She screams and dumps coffee in Edith's face. She runs to help Dunn, grabs his sleeve. It comes off in her hands. She keeps pulling. His jacket comes off, his pants, underwear, socks, an entire clothesline of garments like bras, towels, etc. She hears a SCREAM. Then silence.

INT. COCKPIT

Elaine and Oveur. Elaine stands over his shoulder.

ELAINE I don't think we have any alternative, Captain.

OVEUR I see. What do you think our alternatives are?

ELAINE We have to disconnect ROK's higher brain functions without disturbing his regulatory system.

INSERT - ROK'S PULSATING EYE

BACK TO SCENE

OVEUR Roger.

ELAINE You can do it from up here, Captain.

OVEUR I'd rather sit down for this one, Elaine.

ELAINE No, I mean you can do it from the cockpit.

OVEUR Roger. You better get back there and monitor the regulatory unit.

Elaine leaves and Mary enters.

MARY Captain, the coffee machine is jammed and I don't like it.

OVEUR Have you tried it with a little cinnamon?

Mary gives a "why didn't I think of that" look. Testa enters.

TESTA Captain Oveur, Dunn and Unger have been sucked out through disposal unit four!

Mary gasps.

OVEUR Both together?!

MARY/TESTA Dunn and Unger have been sucked out through disposal unit four!!

OVEUR All right, calm down. Here's how we're going to play it.

Mary and Testa look over his shoulder. He has a basketball play diagram.

OVEUR Mary, I want you here. Testa, you move across here past Dawkins' pick and get the ball at the top of the key from Irving.

They all clasp hands and "yell."

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

It careens through asteroids.

INT. COCKPIT

Oveur is pulling curcuit board from ROK panel.

INSERT - PULSATING EYE

BACK TO SCENE

ROK What are you doing, Captain?

Oveur eyes ROK but keeps working.

ROK I wouldn't do that, Captain.

Oveur continues. Smoke spews out. He hears a HISS and looks at a vent. He grabs his throat and collapses.

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

An asteroid bounces off hull.

INT. CABIN

Passengers scream. Blonde woman in Viking helmet with spear stands and screams operatically.

INT. COCKPIT

Simon enters and spots Oveur slumped in his seat. He pulls him up.

OVEUR (gasping) Pills... (points to his mouth) Pocket... (points to his pocket) Vent... (points to vent) Gas... Yankees... four... (points to RADIO that plays BALLGAME) Sox... zip...

Simon rips open his coat, grabs pills and takes them himself letting Oveur drop. Simon looks down at the navigational screen -- it resembles an old amusement parlor roadrace game.

SIMON (to self) We're off course, heading right through that asteroid field and right at the... at the sun!

The ship takes another violent shot.

INT. CABIN

The passengers are screaming.

ANGLE ON FATHER O'FLANAGAN

He stands in the aisle.

O'FLANAGAN Listen to me! Listen to me, my children!

They listen.

O'FLANAGAN Please listen. Thank you, my children. I'm a man of God, you must trust me when I say... we're all going to die!!

The passengers go totally insane.

INT. MISSION CONTROL ROOM

A number of Controllers group around a console.

O'BRIAN You're right. They're off course and heading right for the sun. I've seen enough, Bob.

Controller 2 hits a switch and the console screen flips to baseball game.

O'BRIAN Get me Jack McCrosky and fast!

CONTROLLER 3 McCrosky? He hasn't handled a tower in twenty years.

CONTROLLER 4 Ever since Reagan fired the controllers, he's been completely senile and hasn't done a day's work.

O'BRIAN What about McCrosky?

CONTROLLER 3 Pretty much the same as Reagan.

O'BRIAN Get him.

INT. RETIREMENT HOME

Two Nurses stand by a phone in a dormitory of beds. Many old men sleep or eat in bed.

NURSE It's for Mr. McCrosky.

NURSE 2 Do you think we should bother him? He's been acting a bit odd lately.

They look to McCrosky (Lloyd Bridges).

ANGLE ON McCROSKY

He is in bed in scuba gear.

ANGLE ON NURSES

NURSE 1 He's fine. He just thinks he's Lloyd Bridges.

Nurse 1 takes the phone to McCrosky. He is a lot older than in "Airplane."

NURSE 1 The phone's for you, Mr. McCrosky.

McCROSKY What's a phone?

NURSE 1 (holding it to his ear) Here, let me help you. I think it's the space centre. Now, let's not get too excited.

McCROSKY What? (pause) What? (pulls off his scuba mask and snorkle) What? (gets more alert and grabs a cigarette) I'll be right down! (he hangs up and jumps out of bed) Looks like I picked the wrong time to go senile.

INT. COCKPIT

Simon is taking another slug of booze; Elaine enters.

ELAINE Simon! (she spots Oveur slumped on the panel) Captain Oveur!

Elaine pulls him up.

OVEUR (still gasping) Mets... nine... Phils... three... Cubs... four...

Elaine drops him and turns to Simon.

ELAINE Simon, what's happening?!

SIMON He tried to disconnect ROK. It gassed him. That computer is running this ship and we're heading right for the sun.

ELAINE Can't we change course?

SIMON We're computer locked and the manual navigation unit is down.

Elaine looks at the floor.

ELAINE Then Ted was right!

ZOOM TO:

CLOSEUP OF ELAINE

for her realization.

BACK TO SCENE

SIMON My career is shot.

ELAINE Your career! What about the lives of those people out there. Simon, what happened to the man I thought I loved?

She goes to the door.

ELAINE I've got to get Ted. Just don't come apart on me now, Simon.

She leaves. Simon's uniform starts bursting at the seams, buttons pop off.

INT. CABIN

The Terrorists stop Elaine. There's pandemonium in the cabin.

TERRORIST 1 This is flight to Miami, yes?

ELAINE No.

Elaine addresses the PASSENGERS.

ELAINE (to passengers) Please, ladies and gentlemen, please calm down. Listen to me!

They calm down.

ELAINE We've been thrown off course just a tad.

PASSENGER What's that mean?

ELAINE In space terms, about 70 million miles.

The Passengers appear interested and sensible, nod their heads.

ELAINE The bumps you feel are car-sized asteroids smashing into the hull.

The hood of a car smashes through the cabin wall. The Passengers still appear interested and sensible.

ELAINE Also, we're heading right for the sun and can't seem to change course.

Passengers still appear interested and sensible. They all put on sunglasses.

PASSENGER Are you telling us everything?

ELAINE Not exactly. We're also out of coffee.

The Passengers errupt in total panic.

ANGLE ON RED FLASHING "DON'T PANIC" SIGN

It sparks, smokes, overheats and EXPLODES.

ANGLE ON RED FLASHING "OKAY, PANIC" SIGN

The passengers go insane.

ANGLE ON FATHER O'FLANAGAN AND MRS. GOOCH

O'FLANAGAN Pray with me, my children. Pray.

MRS. GOOCH But Father, I'm not Catholic.

O'FLANAGAN Then worship the god of your choice.

Mrs. Gooch pulls out a fertility idol with a huge, erect penis.

ANGLE ON BOB AND MARY-JANE SMITH

BOB I've always loved you, darling. I was unfaithful just once. Remember Jill, my first secretary? Forgive me.

MARY-JANE I knew all about it. I was unfaithful once, too.

BOB That's all behind us now.

MARY-JANE Remember Harriet, your first receptionist?

He gives her a look.

PASSENGER We're going to crash!!

TERRORIST 1 God is great!!

TERRORIST 2 Death to America!!

TERRORIST 3 The yellow pencil is on the table of my aunt!!

ANGLE ON ELAINE

ELAINE There is absolutely nothing to worry about!

ANGLE ON RED FLASHING "BULLSHIT" SIGN

ELAINE Your crew is in complete control of the situation.

ANGLE ON RED FLASHING "UNBELIEVABLE BULLSHIT" SIGN

INT. MISSION CONTROL ROOM

McCrosky bursts through the doors and heads to the monitors. He wears a raincoat and shirt and tie. He is met by Controller 1. They move across room.

McCROSKY Get me a cup of coffee, mister.

CONTROLLER 1 Yes, sir.

McCROSKY And a gallon of milk of magnesia, and a ham on rye, no cheese!

CONTROLLER 1 Yes, sir! Welcome home, sir!

McCrosky takes off his raincoat revealing scuba tank. He takes off his tank as well.

CONTROLLER 2 (approaching McCrosky) Here are the navigational charts, sir.

McCROSKY Thanks.

Another Controller passes. McCrosky stops him.

McCROSKY Get me a readout on their fuel capacity.

CONTROLLER 3 Yes, sir.

CONTROLLER 4 Here's all the available information on the sun. That thing's hot, sir.

McCrosky takes the info and burns his hand.

SFX: STEAM

McCROSKY Ahhhhhh! Get me Bud Kruger immediately! (spotting Jacobs) Jacobs, I want to know absolutely everything that's happened up till now!

JACOBS First the earth cooled. Then the dinosaurs came but were too big and died and everything got rotten and turned into oil and the Arabs bought Mercedes Benzs and then there was the best TV special on Judy Garland. Then we lost the war with Albania. Then...

McCrosky leaves Jacobs babbling.

McCROSKY Things sure haven't changed.

McCrosky stands in front of a huge painting of himself. Both he and painting are in the same pose -- one hand loosens the tie, he drinks coffee with the other, a cigarette dangles from his lip.

INT. CABIN - CLOSEUP OF TED

He is lost in thought. SUPER IMAGES:

-- Ted getting electro-shock

-- Psychiatrist telling him he's sick

-- Ted building the "Close Encounters" mound

Ted is shaken out of his dream by Elaine.

ELAINE Ted, Ted. Listen to me, Ted. You were right all along. Ted, we've lost the crew and Simon's turned to jelly!

INT. CABIN - ANOTHER ANGLE

Simon is a jelly mold inside a uniform.

CONTROLLER 1 (V.O.) (on radio) Come in, Mayflower. This is mission control. Over. Come in, Mayflower! Over!

Jimmy pokes his head in.

JIMMY Do you want to talk about it now, Commander?

INT. CABIN - ANOTHER ANGLE

Elaine stands over Ted looking at the empty bottle of stress pills.

ELAINE My God.

Stella approaches in nurse's uniform splattered with blood. A cigarette dangles from her lip. She wipes her hands on a blood-splattered towel.

STELLA He's finally come to terms with his own psychosis.

ELAINE But he was right! He's not crazy!

STELLA Miss, I'm a nurse with a dying F-A-T-H-E- R, I know what I'm talking about. Now I'm going to need fresh sheets, gauze, Q-tips, and all the vaseline you have on board! Now!

Elaine leaves, looking back at Ted with empathy. Mary passes.

STELLA (to Mary) I'll need all the boiling water you can get your hands on!

Mary leaves and a MAN passes holding a tattered arm.

MAN Are you a nurse?

STELLA Yes. (handing him a urine bottle) The washroom's down there on your right.

The Man leaves, a quizzical look on his face.

STELLA (yelling after him) And not too much!

A BLACK U.S. ARMY SERGEANT (imagine Jim Brown) approaches Stella.

SERGEANT Can I help?

Stella hands him an M-16.

STELLA Keep an eye on that side of the ship.

The Sergeant drops into a seat next to a window, smashes out the glass with his rifle butt and is immediately sucked out.

MARY moves down the aisle with a cart collecting boiling water.

MARY (to passengers) I'll need all your boiling water.

Passengers pull pots of boiling water from under their seats, handbags, coat pockets, and pour them into the passing container.

Testa reassures Bob and Alice Wilson.

TESTA We should be out of this momentarily. There's nothing to worry about.

ALICE Thank you. That makes me feel so much better.

Testa leaves and Father O'Flanagan approaches with last rites paraphernalia.

O'FLANAGAN Trust me, I'm a priest. We're in shit up to our ears. Who wants last rites?

ANGLE ON TEXAN

He is now completely entangled in the tfilin and struggles to free himself.

ANGLE ON ELAINE

Elaine passes Ted carrying sheets, vaseline, etc. She looks at him sitting there in a fog, gives up and leaves. Ted looks at the red flashing "FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS" sign. It takes him back.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. GROUNDS OF MENTAL HOSPITAL - DAY

SFX: SIRENS WAIL, 101 BLOODHOUNDS BAY

We see the hospital deep in b.g. across an expansive lawn. Suddenly Ted's face pops INTO FRAME, CLOSEUP. He looks both ways and bolts. He wears a straightjacket.

ANGLE ON HOSPITAL SIGN

"THE GERALD FORD INSTITUTE FOR THE MENTALLY FEEBLE -- WE MAKE PEOPLE SANE THE OLD FASHION WAY"

Suddenly the dogs scramble INTO FRAME in front of the sign, slobbering. A half-dozen viscious-looking GUARDS in reflector shades with shotguns, whips, nets, cattle prods, follow.

GUARD ONE (Southern accent) Damn! I want that patient shot on sight!

INT. SEEDY HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

SUPER: CHICAGO

Ted stands at window. A neon "BAR" sign flashes outside so close to the window that the only way to read it is to rent this room.

SFX: MUSIC - LAZY SAX

TED Maybe you gotta be crazy to end up behind the eight ball like this. Anyway, you find out pretty fast who your friends are when you're on the lamb.

SFX: LAMB BLEATS FROM OTHER SIDE OF ROOM

Ted turns away from the window and passes the lamb in bed.

TED (to lamb) I'm going out for cigarettes and a fifth of bourbon. Don't wait up for me.

SFX: COMPLAINING BLEAT.

Ted grabs his straightjacket and leaves.

TED Virgin wool. Nothin' but headaches.

A Bo Peep staff is flung against door as it closes behind him.

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

an empty, spotless, wet street. One car parked under a street lamp.

SFX: BLOODHOUNDS APPROACH AND GO OFF INTO DISTANCE

TED (V.O.) I travelled at night in the shadows. I didn't want to attract attention.

SFX: FOOTSTEPS, GARBAGE CANS BEING KNOCKED OVER, CATS SCREAMING, PEOPLE YELLING "SHUT UP" OUT WINDOWS, GLASS BREAKING.

TED (V.O.) I was afraid to step out of the doorways. You never know what to expect when you're on the run.

Ted steps into light. GLORIA STEINAM passes with CAB CALAWAY. A grand PIANO SMASHES to pavement next to Ted. He ignores piano and gives Gloria and Cab a quizzical look.

SFX: DOGS IN DISTANCE

CLOSEUP - TED'S FEET

He steps in a puddle where a "BAR-COCKTAILS" sign is reflected. The reflection shatters.

A streetcleaning truck approaches spewing out garbage rather than water. Ted's ankles are sprayed with garbage. He bends down and picks up a wet matchbook -- "HARRY'S PLACE -- FOR A GOOD TIME."

CUT TO:

EXT. ANOTHER DARK STREET - CLOSEUP OF TED

standing, looking at a bar. The glow of flashing neon sign reflects off his face. He pulls out a cigarette. A woman's hand shoots INTO FRAME holding a lit zippo. Ted draws deeply on the cigarette.

TED (V.O.) There I was, minding my own business when I looked up and saw a pair of legs that went forever.

ANGLE ON WOMAN'S FEET

PAN UP AND UP AND UP. She is all legs -- no torso, no head, just legs -- about two stories high.

TED (V.O.) But I had a date with Harry's. It was little more than a hole in a wall on the south side of Chicago.

ANGLE ON A HOLE

bashed in the side of a brick wall. A neon sign over the hole reads, "HARRY'S GOODTIME BAR."

INT. HARRY'S

dark, smokey bar. PAN very tough faces standing along the bar.

TED (V.O.) Harry's was perfect for me. The kind of place you go if you don't want to be recognized.

KEEP PANNING tough faces, but now they all wear Groucho glasses and noses.

TED (V.O.) It was rough, real rough.

ANGLE ON POOL TABLE

with four players -- all have broken thumbs in casts.

TED (V.O.) The kind of place you could score anything, from junk...

One guy hands another guy a large, rusted car fender for money.

TED (V.O.) ...to Phil Donahue's book.

PHIL DONAHUE signs a stack of books at a table.

TED (V.O.) At Harry's you could count on a fight breaking out almost every night.

TWO PROFESSORS argue at a table.

PROFESSOR 1 And I say essence precedes existence.

PROFESSOR 2 You're crazy! Existence precedes essence.

PROFESSOR 1 Essence!

PROFESSOR 2 Existence!

Professor 2 slugs Professor 1 sending him flying across the room. Professor 1 gets up and throws a judo chop which Professor 2 stops by holding a book up in both hands. The book splits in two like a piece of wood split by a karate chop.

TED (V.O.) There was a small trio in one corner.

Two midgets play light jazz -- piano and bass.

TED (V.O.) And a larger trio in the other corner.

Five 300-pound musicians play some tune in another corner.

ANGLE ON TED AT BAR - CLOSEUP OF TED

He pulls out a cigarette. A bare foot with zippo held in toes comes INTO FRAME and lights it.

TED The last thing I wanted was Elaine to see me down on my luck. Well, it was just my luck. In she walked with a group from the space program.

ANGLE ON DOOR

Elaine and Simon and two other couples, who look like clean- cut NASA types out of "The Right Stuff," walk in laughing and take a table.

TED (V.O.) They'd come to Harry's to slum it and try their hand at the video bull.

The group prod Elaine to try the bull. A cowboy hat flies across the room. She grabs it, pulls it on, and moves to the bull which is surrounded by others in cowboy hats. Elaine hops in the saddle. A sinister character puts a quarter in and madly flips knobs.

SFX: VIDEO GAME

The saddle doesn't move -- all the action is on the screen but Elaine throws one hand back and kicks her legs.

TED (V.O.) Elaine made that ride look easy. It was obvious why I was still nuts about her. She loved life. I didn't want her to notice me so I borrowed a pair of dark glasses.

Ted takes a pair of dark glasses off a passing blind man who walks perfectly until the glasses are gone, then starts stumbling and crashes over a table.

TED (V.O.) Grabbed an alto sax and joined the group.

Ted takes an alto sax from a passerby who also stumbles and crashes over a table when he loses his sax.

TED (V.O.) I stayed in the background not wanting to draw attention to myself.

Everyone looks around trying to see where the terrible grating sax sound is coming from.

TED (V.O.) Then what happened? Elaine's crowd talks her into joining us for a song.

Elaine hops up on the stage, grabs a mike and starts to sing "Stormy Weather." She sidles up to Ted and goes into a medley of old songs.

DISSOLVE TO:

HOURS LATER

Elaine's singing is just as bad as Ted's sax. They have cleared the joint and play and sing alone. Elaine's group finally pull her out. She hasn't recognized Ted.

ELAINE (to Ted) I don't know who you are or how you lost your sight, but I'll never forget this night as long as I live.

PULL BACK leaving Ted alone on the stage still playing. Chairs are turned up on tables. One table has chairs turned up with the people still sitting in the chairs.

DISSOLVE BACK TO:

EXT. COCKPIT - TED

getting a glass of water outside cockpit door.

ANGLE ON COCKPIT DOOR

Simon emerges. As the door opens we hear:

CONTROLLER 1 (O.S.) Come in, Mayflower. Over!

Simon shuts the door and bumps into Ted who is getting a drink of water. Simon takes a drink of booze.

SIMON Striker.

TED Kurtz, you're drunk. Who's in command of this ship?

SIMON That damn computer has taken over. I'm getting out.

TED Then Elaine was right.

SIMON Don't talk to me about Elaine. Outta my way!

TED (grabbing Simon) Pull yourself together! We've got to...

Simon slugs Ted who falls into a corner and hits his head. ZOOM TO CLOSEUP of Ted unconscious.

SFX: MUSIC - DRAMATIC STING

The ship takes another violent jolt.

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

It roars through the asteroid field.

INT. WASHROOM

Simon sits on toilet seat and slides open a wall panel.

INT. ADJACENT WASHROOM

Father O'Flanagan slides open an adjacent wall panel and sits down.

SPLIT SCREEN - THE TWO WASHROOMS

SIMON Father, what should I do?

O'FLANAGAN Have you considered suicide, my son?

A panel on the other side of Simon slides open.

JIMMY (V.O.) Do you want to talk about it now, Commander?

INT. MISSION CONTROL

McCROSKY (holding radio mike) Come in, Mayflower. Over. Do you read me? Over. Damnit!

McCrosky throws the mike down.

CONTROLLER 1 (taking mike) Let me try, sir. Come in, Mayflower. Over. Come in. Over. Damnit!

Controller 1 throws the mike even harder.

CONTROLLER 2 (taking mike) Let me try, sir. Come in. Over. Damnit!

Controller 2 smashes the mike through the monitor screen.

CONTROLLER 3 Let me try, sir.

Controller 3 smashes the monitor with an axe. Controller 4 smashes the monitor with an electric guitar. Other Controllers line up for their turns with various heavy implements.

ANGLE ON McCROSKY

McCROSKY (to Controller 5) Stinson, have you contacted the families of the passengers and crew?

McCrosky looks out window.

INSERT - MOB SCENE FROM "THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME"

BACK TO SCENE

McCROSKY Try and calm them down. And for God sake, be diplomatic.

Stinson turns to two burly men in leather jerkins and black hoods. They hold a large caldron of molten lead next to window.

CONTROLLER 5 Give 'em the lead!

They pour it out.

SFX: MOB SCREAMS

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

It careens through the asteroid field towards the sun.

INT. CABIN

Ted lies unconscious.

SFX: MUSIC - DRAMATIC STING

ANGLE ON STELLA

She's doing her rounds -- takes a medical chart from the back of a seat.

STELLA (to a male passenger) I'm afraid that leg's going to have to come off.

A leg is passed to her from OUT OF FRAME. She takes it while still looking at the chart.

STELLA Wait. This isn't your chart. You just had a touch of air sickness. (handing him back his leg) You'll be fine.

A WOMAN sitting next to the MAN WHO IS HOLDING HIS LEG grabs Stella.

WOMAN I'm terrified.

STELLA (shakes her hand) And I'm a nurse. Everything will be okay. Pass it on.

The Man with the leg passes it to the passenger in seat behind.

MAN WITH LEG Everything will be okay. Pass it on.

The leg gets passed from seat to seat as passengers say, "Everything will be okay. Pass it on."

CLOSEUP OF TED

lying unconscious in a corner. A puppy crawls INTO FRAME and starts licking his face. LOOSEN TO FIND Jimmy standing over Ted. Ted comes to, feels his jaw and pulls himself up. The ship jolts.

JIMMY Are you feeling okay, mister?

TED I'm feeling just fine, son. Just fine.

Ted pushes by Jimmy, a look of great purpose on his face.

INT. COCKPIT

Elaine enters looking for Simon.

ELAINE Simon, I...

The cockpit is empty.

CONTROLLER 1 (V.O.) Do you read, Mayflower? Over. This is mission control. Over.

Elaine gasps. She leaps into the Captain's seat and grabs radio.

ELAINE Hello. This is the Mayflower. Over! Come in, anyone.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

Controllers are gathered around one monitor.

McCROSKY (on radio) We read you, Mayflower! Identify yourself and give your position.

INT. COCKPIT

ELAINE This is Elaine Thompson. I'm five-six, 123 pounds with brown hair and I'm sitting down and facing the front.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

McCROSKY Elaine Thompson!! What in sam hill is a woman doing in charge of that ship?!

JACOBS Maybe she's got her shit together.

INT. COCKPIT

Ted enters.

TED Elaine!

ELAINE Ted!

TED Elaine, what's going on?

ELAINE Ted, there's no time to explain.

Ted picks up Oveur who is still gasping.

OVEUR Packers... seven... Vikings... three...

Ted drags him onto the floor and takes his seat.

McCROSKY (V.O.) Come in, Mayflower! Over!

ELAINE Ted, I was wrong about you.

They reach out and hold hands.

McCROSKY (V.O.) Come in! Over! Come in! Over!

TED We all make mistakes, Elaine.

McCROSKY (V.O.) Come in Mayflower!

ELAINE How could I ever have doubted you?

McCROSKY (V.O.) This is mission control! Over!

TED That's all behind us now, Elaine. And no matter what happens, I want you to know I've always loved you.

McCROSKY (V.O.) Jesus, would someone answer me!!

ELAINE I love you, Ted.

They smile at each other.

McCROSKY (V.O.) What the hell's going on up there?!

Ted and Elaine still smile at each other.

INT. CABIN

All passengers look forward and smile.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

All Controller's look down the line and smile.

EXT. TOWN SQUARE - RIO MONTENEGRO

Six soldiers on firing squad duty, ready to fire, turn, smile, and FIRE while they're smiling.

SFX: SHOTS, SCREAMS

INT. COCKPIT

Ted grabs the radio.

ELAINE (smiling lovingly) Ted, this reminds me of twenty years ago over Chicago.

Ted hits a switch. The ship does a barrel roll.

INT. CABIN

All we see are feet sticking up from the seats.

INT. COCKPIT

TED (on radio) This is Mayflower One calling mission control. Do you read me? Over.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

McCROSKY A man. Now that's more like it. (continuing on radio) This is mission control. Identify yourself and give me your position. Over.

INT. COCKPIT

TED (on radio) The name's Ted Striker and I'm sitting down and facing the front.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

McCROSKY (trying to place the name) Striker... Striker... Striker...

CONTROLLER 3 If you say so.

He slugs the female worker next to him.

McCROSKY (remembering) Ted Striker!

SFX: RADIO STATIC.

McCROSKY Damn! We've lost them again.

CONTROLLER 1 Could be those sunspots.

JACOBS Could be your dishwashing detergent.

McCROSKY Striker's the guy who flew that 736 into Chicago over 20 years ago without a crew. Would someone tell me what in sam hill he's doing up there?

JACOBS (waving his hand in the air) Me! Me! Me!

ANGLE ON MISSION CONTROL DOORS

They are swinging aluminum doors similar to restaurant kitchens and hospital operating rooms. Kruger and the Commissioner enter through one door.

COMMISSIONER The boys downtown are taking the heat from the boys in Washington and the boys...

They PASS OUT OF FRAME. A waiter with tray passes them and leaves through the swing doors.

SFX: CRASHING DISHES

Two surgeons in operating gowns and masks enter covered in food.

We PICK UP Kruger and the Commissioner still walking and talking.

COMMISSIONER Bud, the President wants an explanation.

They approach McCrosky.

McCROSKY Sorry to pull you out of bed at this hour, gentlemen.

KRUGER Forget it. I was reading.

COMMISSIONER I was reading too.

KRUGER What's the story?

COMMISSIONER Some southern plantation owner falls in love with this poor...

KRUGER I was asking McCrosky, Commissioner.

McCROSKY He falls in love with this poor school teacher who...

A CONTROLLER interrupts them.

CONTROLLER (to McCrosky) Sir, we've restored radio transmission.

McCROSKY Good. (to Kruger) We keep losing their radio.

KRUGER Give it to me straight, McCrosky -- what's it look like.

McCROSKY It's green with numbers and lots of knobs.

KRUGER Not the radio, the situation. I want to know exactly what your people think.

PAN three Controllers at monitors.

CONTROLLER 1 (V.O.) (thinking) They're screwed.

CONTROLLER 2 (V.O.) (thinking) They're dead.

CONTROLLER 3 (V.O.) (thinking) Did I leave the iron on?

INT. CABIN

The ship lurches from side to side.

Stella, covered in blood, kneels beside BILLY, a young man bandaged head to toe, lying on a stretcher with lots of I.V. bottles hanging around him. A U.S. ARMY GENERAL stands next to him -- imagine General Patton.

STELLA General Walker is here, Billy. He wants to talk to you.

GENERAL WALKER Billy, if we get through this thing alive, I'd like you to get this letter to my mother.

He hands Billy a letter.

INT. COCKPIT

Elaine is monitoring various dials. Ted is at controls and on the radio.

TED (on radio) An electrical fire in the core has played havoc with the ROK-4000 computer. It's locked us on a direct line with the sun and there's no way we can go to manual. Captain Oveur already tried it and he's...

OVEUR (O.S.) (from floor) Giants sixty... Rams... zip...

TED ... become an intolerable bore. The rest of the crew has been lost and we're out of coffee. Also, we're starting to feel the sun's heat pretty bad.

Striker wipes his forehead. Elaine holds a tan reflector up to her face and turns to the sun.

INT. CABIN

Passengers sweat profusely.

SFX: JUNGLE SOUNDS.

A MAN slaps a mosquito on the back of his neck.

FOUR MEN sit nude to the waist, wrapped in towels as if in a steam bath.

MAN ONE It's eight-thousand square feet with great parking and a twenty-year lease with option to buy.

MAN TWO You can't lose, Al.

MAN THREE He can lose. I've seen it happen a thousand times.

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

It shoots towards sun.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

McCrosky sits at a monitor, talks into a mike and looks down at a book. Behind him two Controllers make a dope deal -- a baggie of grass for cash. We only see their midsections and hands.

McCROSKY Striker, this is Jack McCrosky, chief controller. I want you to listen to me and listen good.

The buyer checks out the baggie -- it's mostly twigs. The seller is trying to explain the situation with his hands.

McCROSKY Twenty years ago I helped a young pilot through a storm over Chicago.

The buyer grabs the seller's shirt and tries to get cash back. A fight ensues.

McCROSKY He didn't have a crew either. He said he couldn't do it. But when the going got tough that kid pulled it together.

The seller's shirt is ripped. Knives are pulled.

McCROSKY You might have read about him; he made all the big papers and the Canadian Jewish News.

The seller is stabbed.

McCROSKY I don't know where he is today but if he was up there right now, I know he'd find some way to turn that bucket around and get the hell out of there, pronto!

ANGLE ON JACOBS

JACOBS I wish I could talk like that -- so macho yet so sensitive.

ANGLE ON McCROSKY'S BOOK - "PEP TALKS FOR ALL OCCASIONS"

McCrosky slams it shut.

McCROSKY I just hope I said the right thing.

TED (V.O.) I'm afraid you gave the wrong speech. McCrosky. I'm not your problem. It's this ship. That computer's gone bananas.

McCROSKY (holding up the book) Why the hell are we still using the old manual! Burn this book!

A smiling blonde man in a white sweater with "MORAL MAJORITY" on the front walks by and takes the book.

McCROSKY (on radio) Just hold on, Striker, we'll get back to you.

INT. COCKPIT

Ted writes a note to Elaine and hands it to her -- it reads, "WE MUST FIND SOME WAY TO BLOW THAT COMPUTER!" Elaine looks a bit nervous and licks her lip. They look up at ROK's pulsating eye.

Testa pokes her head in. She's soaked with sweat.

TESTA The cabin temperature is rising. The passengers want to know what's happening up here.

TED Let us handle this end of things. Now what's the coffee situation?

TESTA It just won't drip! I've tried everything. And the passengers are dropping like flies from the heat.

INT. CABIN

SFX: FLIES BUZZING

Passengers reel and drop to floor.

INT. COCKPIT

TED Elaine, I'm going back there. Just hold onto that stick and try to control this hunk of tin as best you can.

ELAINE Ted, please be careful.

Ted leaves. We hear an enormous CRASH on the other side of the door.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

JOE DIMAGGIO (MR. COFFEE), drinking a cup of coffee, rushes in accompanied by a GROUND CONTROL OFFICER.

OFFICER (to Joe) It doesn't look good. The drip seems to be jammed up pretty bad.

MR. COFFEE Did they change the filter and wait for the brew sign to light up?

OFFICER (stopping and looking Mr. Coffee in the eye) To tell you the truth, sir, I don't really know.

MUSIC: DRAMATIC STING.

ANGLE ON SIX CONTROLLERS

One holds a hat, one pulls a slip of paper from it.

CONTROLLER 3 (reading his slip) Eighty-three. What's that mean?

CONTROLLER WITH HAT If eighty-three passengers die, you win the two hundred bucks.

ANGLE ON MR. COFFEE AND OFFICER

They approach McCrosky.

OFFICER Mr. McCrosky, Mr. Coffee. Coffee, McCrosky.

McCROSKY Thanks for coming down so soon.

MR. COFFEE (checking watch) I won't come down for another couple hours.

McCROSKY I'll put you on the radio with Striker. Jeez you look familiar. Did you ever play water polo?

MR. COFFEE Not to my knowledge.

McCROSKY I thought so.

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

It roars towards the sun. The nose of the ship begins to glow red.

NEWSPAPER HEADLINES SPIN:

NEW YORK TIMES "MERCURY SHUTTLE HEADS FOR DISASTER"

LONDON TIMES "DEEP SPACE DEATH CERTAIN"

JERUSALEM POST "THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE GONE IN THE FIRST PLACE"

BUFFALO LOCAL NEWS SET

FILM INSET: APARTMENT FIRE

Set logo reads, "NEWS 4 BUFFALO."

ANCHOR 1 Four alarm fire rages through downtown Buffalo!

FILM INSET: ROCKET GOING OFF COURSE

ANCHOR 2 Mercury shuttle heads for sun.

TOKYO LOCAL NEWS SET

FILM INSET: APARTMENT FIRE

Set logo reads, "NEWS 4 TOKYO"

ANCHOR 1 (subtitles) Four alarm fire guts Tokyo apartment.

FILM INSET: SHUTTLE MODEL IN MOUTH OF GODZILLA.

SFX: SCREAMS.

ANCHOR 2 (subtitles) Mercury mission in death struggle.

MOSCOW LOCAL NEWS SET

FILM INSET: APARTMENT FIRE

Set logo reads, "NEWS 3 MOSCOW." A gun is held to ANCHORMAN'S head.

ANCHOR 1 (subtitles) Four alarm fire in downtown Moscow clears way for glorious new tractor factory.

FILM INSET: ROCKET GOING OFF COURSE

ANCHOR 2 (subtitles) Capitalist, imperialist adventurism ends in space disaster.

ABC "NIGHTLINE"

SUPER: "GAY UNMARRIED VEGETARIAN MOTHERS AGAINST SPACE TRAVEL"

WOMAN If this country was run by vegetarian women who's old men deserted them after knocking them up instead of by meat-eating males, this thing never would have happened.

EXT. TERMINAL - DAY

A banner hangs over terminal door: "HOUSTON WELCOMES SPACE DISASTER PRESS."

CLOSEUP OF ATTACHE CASE being carried to the door -- sticker on it reads, "NATIONAL ENQUIRER."

CLOSEUP OF ANOTHER CASE coming from other direction -- sticker on it reads, "NATIONAL STAR."

The cases meet. LOOSEN to REPORTERS.

ENQUIRER (to STAR) I never forget a face. 'Texas doctor claims sex with chicken cures baldness?'

STAR 'Severed legs grow back after Utah man finds Christ?'

ENQUIRER/STAR Long time no see.

They shake hands and turn into the terminal.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

Controllers stand over Mr. Coffee -- everyone sips coffee and smokes cigarettes.

MR. COFFEE (on radio) Have you got the back panel off the brew manifold?

INT. CABIN

Ted has the coffee machine apart, wears a headset and holds wires in pliars. Anxious passengers with coffee cups stand over him -- they are all totally wired and going cold turkey.

TED (into headset) Check.

MR. COFFEE (V.O.) There's a terminal at the base of the coil. That's your contact point.

A PASSENGER bends down and picks a coffee bean off the floor.

PASSENGER Is this a coffee bean?

ALL PASSENGERS (maniacally) He's got a bean!!

A riot ensues. The "bean" Passenger is beaten to death.

TED (into headset) It looks like the solder point has melted.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

MR. COFFEE (enraged) Just what I thought. When the hell will you people realize that adding extra water after the initial brew cycle overheats the system!! Now listen to me, Striker, and listen good.

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

It careens towards the sun.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

Detective Hallick storms in and up to McCrosky. He flashes his badge.

DETECTIVE HALLICK Who's in charge here, Mister?

McCROSKY McCrosky, Control.

DETECTIVE HALLICK Hallick, homicide.

JACOBS Jacobs, Pisces.

KRUGER Kruger, Sagittarius.

COMMISSIONER Commissioner, Aquarius.

DETECTIVE HALLICK We have information that one of your passengers is carrying a bomb and might be suicidal.

McCROSKY Where'd you get this information, Captain?

DETECTIVE HALLICK We have our methods.

KRUGER And what methods are those?

DETECTIVE HALLICK Have you heard of the Heimlich method?

McCROSKY The method of saving someone choking on a piece of gristle?

DETECTIVE HALLICK Exactly.

KRUGER/McCROSKY/COMMISSIONER We're familiar with it.

DETECTIVE HALLICK Good. This is the passenger's wife. Mrs. Joe Salucci.

She approaches very distressed looking.

McCROSKY What makes you think your husband might want to blow up that shuttle, ma'am?

She goes into her purse for the insurance form.

MRS. SALUCCI This insurance policy.

A large ivory colored vibrator drops out of her purse, hits the floor, and flips on. They all look at it.

MRS. SALUCCI An electric tooth. (handing McCrosky the insurance form) Joey was supposed to go to Des Moines for an operation to cure his impotence.

McCROSKY The Des Moines Institute?

MRS. SALUCCI Then you know it.

KRUGER/McCROSKY/COMMISSIONER Yes, we're familiar with it.

MRS. SALUCCI Well, I found out Joey got on this shuttle instead and...

DETECTIVE HALLICK The way I read it, blowin' up a plane in space leaves no traces, if you know what I mean.

KRUGER I'm not exactly sure what you mean, Captain.

DETECTIVE HALLICK No blood. No body. No bones. No eyes. No ears. No throats.

McCROSKY (looking at form) This is $500,000 worth of insurance!

Kruger, Commissioner, and Hallick all whistle "wow!"

McCROSKY Just a second. This is insurance on his car!

MRS. SALUCCI That's what worries me.

KRUGER He's impotent.

COMMISSIONER He's suicidal.

ALL And he's stupid!

MUSIC: DRAMATIC STING.

ANOTHER AREA

MR. COFFEE (into radio) This is it, Striker. You got one shot and one shot only.

INT. CABIN

Striker stands over the coffee machine, sweating like mad. The Passengers with cups hang over him. He makes contact with a wire.

TED (to self) Contact.

The MACHINE EXPLODES. Coffee gushes out like an oil well coming in. The Passengers dance under the gusher of brown liquid, mouths open and cheering.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

McCROSKY How are we going to handle this bomb nut?

CONTROLLER 2 (rushes up with printouts) Here are the tests we ran on their computer. I had them xeroxed for you.

McCROSKY How'd they come out?

CONTROLLER 2 Upside-down, but I turned each page over and put them in order. I'm afraid that computer is totally capable of taking control of that ship.

McCROSKY Let's keep cool. There's gotta be a way to control it.

He lights a cigarette.

CONTROLLER 3 (rushes up with diagrams) These are their position calculations. They've got about ten minutes before they start to burn up.

McCROSKY Keep calm. A lot can happen in ten minutes. (to self) What next?

He sips his coffee.

CONTROLLER 4 (rushes in) Sir, your headlights are on and your doors are locked!

McCROSKY (spitting out coffee, Danny Thomas style) Jesus!! I'll be right back!

McCrosky races out.

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

It heads closer to the sun. The nose is glowing.

INT. COCKPIT

Elaine is checking computer. The cockpit is steaming now. She unbuttons her uniform just as Ted comes in.

ELAINE Ted, we've only got ten minutes.

TED (thinking she wants sex) Not now, Elaine.

ELAINE I mean until we start to burn up.

Ted takes his seat and looks at a panel gauge.

TED We're closer to the sun than I estimated.

INSERT - GAUGES

One is labeled "EXACT DISTANCE" and reads, "76.50". The other is labeled "ESTIMATED DISTANCE" and reads, "5689465932.09".

BACK TO SCENE

KRUGER (V.O.) Come in, Mayflower. This is Bud Kruger. Over.

TED (on radio) This is Striker.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

KRUGER (on radio) Look, Striker, I don't know how you got into that driver's seat but I want Simon Kurtz on that radio and I want him now!

INT. COCKPIT

TED (on radio) Kurtz was the one who got us into this mess in the first place. You people knew this ship wasn't ready to fly. You played God with over a hundred lives, Kruger, and for what -- the prestige of your precious space program.

ELAINE That was very well put, Ted.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

Jacobs stands next to Kruger rubbing his forefingers together in the "shame, shame" sign.

KRUGER (on radio) Striker, you're heading right for the sun, so don't you think it's a little late for that bleeding heart liberal crap now?

INT. COCKPIT

ELAINE He's got a point, Ted.

INT. CONTROL ROOM - ANGLE ON JACOBS AT A SCOREBOARD

There are columns under Kruger's and Striker's names. Striker has two check marks. Jacobs gives Kruger one.

INT. COCKPIT

TED (on radio) Call me a bleeding heart, but if we get through this thing I'm preparing a paper on alternative spending directives recommending the transfer of space program funds to low cost housing.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

KRUGER (on radio) Just put Kurtz on that radio!!

McCrosky rushes in and grabs the mike from Kruger.

McCROSKY (enraged) Look, Kruger, you and your people have caused enough trouble already. I don't care about your political games, I care about only one thing, the lives of those people up there!!! Out of my control room!!

JACOBS Someone's car wouldn't start.

McCROSKY (on mike) Striker, this is McCrosky. Give me five minutes and keep your fingers crossed. (to Stinson) Stinson, get me the Mayflower plans! (to Controller 3) You, clear this table!

JACOBS I'll get the cards and bridge mix.

McCROSKY And someone get me the Sarg!

CUT TO:

CLOSEUP OF SARG

leaning over the ship's plans. He is eating another cigar. All Controllers stand around him.

SARG That's my little girl, my little darlin', my sweetheart, my honey, and you want to blow her belly out with that bomb. If you blast here in the computer core and the fuselage doesn't give way here and the main communication lines to the cockpit hold here and this baby here doesn't jam this little old unit up here and throw about two tons of hot steel through here like a hot knife through butter and the upper and lower...

McCROSKY What's your point, Sarg?

SARG I have no point.

McCROSKY Then it's settled. The bomb is Striker's only chance. Are there any questions?

CONTROLLERS No sir.

McCROSKY Those are answers, I asked for questions.

CONTROLLER 3 Should a man in his forties have a circumcision?

McCROSKY Absolutely.

INT. COCKPIT

TED Well, Elaine, this might be it if those guys on the ground don't think of something.

ELAINE I just want you to know, I love you Ted and always will.

SFX: RADIO BEEPS

TED That might be the news we've been waiting for.

He grabs radio.

McCROSKY (V.O.) I've got some news for you, Striker.

Ted and Elaine smile hopefully at each other.

TED (on radio) Roger.

McCROSKY (V.O.) One of your passengers is carrying a bomb and is suicidal.

MUSIC: DRAMATIC STING

ELAINE A b...

She covers her mouth.

McCROSKY (V.O.) No, a bomb.

INT. CABIN

Joe Salucci wipes his brow, lays his case on his lap.

ANGLE ON FRONT OF CABIN

Ted and Mary huddle.

TED Which passenger is Joe Salucci?

MARY Sixteen 'C', why?

TED He's carrying a bomb.

MARY A b...

She covers her mouth.

TED No, a bomb. Now, as discreetly as possible, I want you to move the passengers into the lounge.

MARY What should I say?

TED Anything. Just don't let Salucci think we're onto him.

Ted moves down the aisle. Mary gets on the P.A.

MARY Would everyone not carrying a bomb please move to the lounge.

The Passengers go nuts screaming, "A bomb!!"

JOE (jumping up with his case) Don't anyone move!

All the passengers pile up in a ceiling-to-floor wall behind Ted -- he extends his arms, holding them back.

TED Mr. Salucci, listen to me.

Ted takes a step forward away from the wall of passengers -- the wall crumbles.

TED Joe, you don't want to blow that thing and kill all these innocent people.

JOE I don't want to live anymore.

TED Joe, the insurance policy won't help your wife and kids. You bought auto insurance, not life insurance.

JOE What?

TED (inching up on him) That's right, Joe. Now, no one's going to hurt you and no one has to know what's wrong with you.

JOE You're sure?

TED I'm sure.

Ted is almost up to Joe when:

JIMMY (yells) That's the guy from the terminal who can't get it up!!

Joe bolts. Passengers panic. Ted tackles him. The case flies into the air in SLOW MOTION. It turns slowly, hanging for the longest time as we CUT, still in SLOW MOTION, to horrified faces watching it. This SLOW MOTION sequence lasts for about 60 seconds -- people put on make-up, do macrame, read, etc. -- while the case is still in the air. Suddenly, Scraps leaps high into the air in SLOW MOTION and comes down with the case between his teeth.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

Controllers huddle over one monitor.

McCROSKY Get that bomb, Striker! Get that bomb!

ELAINE (V.O.) Come in, Control! We have the bomb!!

ALL CONTROLLERS He's got the bomb!!

JACOB This is just like an election in Iran.

INT. COCKPIT

Ted is back at the controls -- the cockpit is incredibly hot now.

TED This heat's getting unbearable.

He looks down and sees two eggs frying on the dash.

ELAINE But it is a dry heat, Ted.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

Controllers are grouped around the plans.

McCROSKY Do we use the bomb to blow that computer or is there another way? I want to know what everyone thinks.

CONTROLLER 2 (V.O.) I think... (changes mind) ... No.

CONTROLLER 3 (V.O.) We could knock out the wall between the cockpit and cabin, and hang plants.

CONTROLLER 2 (V.O.) I think... (changes mind) ... No.

CONTROLLER 4 (V.O.) You can't knock that wall out. That's a support wall, asshole.

CONTROLLER 2 (V.O.) I think... (changes mind) No.

CONTROLLER 5 (V.O.) Did I flush?

McCROSKY Then it's settled. We use the bomb. (grabs radio) Striker, McCrosky.

INT. COCKPIT

McCROSKY (V.O.) We've gone over the blueprints and you've got only one option.

TED (on radio) I know what you're going to say, McCrosky -- knock out the wall between the cockpit and cabin and hang plants.

McCROSKY (V.O.) Forget it. That's a support wall. Use the bomb.

ELAINE The b...

She covers her mouth.

McCROSKY (V.O.) I keep telling you, not the b... The bomb!!

TED (almost to self) Why, you'd have to be crazy to try a stunt like that.

Elaine looks at Ted.

INT. CABIN

All passengers look forward in Ted's direction.

INT. COCKPIT

SUPER the womb over Ted's face.

DOCTOR'S VOICE You're too low in the womb, Striker! You've got to come out feet first!

LOSE SUPER.

TED (grabs case) Elaine. I'm going back there.

ELAINE Ted... I love you. Be careful.

Ted leaves.

SFX: CRASHING MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

INT. MISSION CONTROL

McCROSKY (to his controllers) I want everyone on their toes for this one.

ANGLE ON JACOBS

Handing out ballet slippers to the Controllers who are passing a joint down the line.

McCROSKY And if anyone has any ideas, I want to hear them now.

JACOBS How about a show just like Hollywood Squares but with kids. Gary Coleman could host.

INT. CABIN

The Passengers stand in the aisle listening to Mary.

MARY Now I want everyone to move to the front of the cabin.

Passengers move calmly.

MARY That's fine. Stay calm. We just want everyone as far away from the blast as possible.

The Passengers panic and stampede right over her.

INT. COMPUTER CORE

Ted wears a gas mask and attaches the time-bomb to the computer.

ROK What are you doing, Ted? Why are you wearing that mask, Ted?

Gas spews out of a vent. Ted makes sure his gas mask is tight.

INT. CABIN

Simon is dressed in space suit and moving down the aisle. Elaine holds onto him.

ELAINE Simon! Wait! What are you doing?!

They pass Father O'Flanagan. He has a Bongo drum at his seat.

O'FLANAGAN Under the 'B', sixteen!

SIMON I've lost the ship and now I've lost you, Elaine. I'm getting out.

ELAINE Simon, I didn't want it to end like this. We can be friends! You'll die out there.

SIMON Maybe.

ELAINE Simon, what are you saying?!

Simon steps into a hatch labeld, "ESCAPE CAPSULE".

SIMON I'm saying, I can't take the singles scene again, Elaine.

The hatch door slams shut. A passenger passes with a sandwich board that reads, "JESUS WAS A SINGLE."

ELAINE Simon, no!

Jimmy appears and yells through the window on the hatch.

JIMMY You want to talk about it now, Commander?

The capsule ejects.

INT. KRUGER'S OFFICE

The Commissioner stands in front of the painting of astronauts on black velvet. He is on the phone.

COMMISSIONER Give me the President of the United States. Tell him it's the Commissioner. (to Kruger) I don't know how the old man's going to take this.

INT. OVAL OFFICE

The PRESIDENT poses for a photo session: CLOSEUP of President holding aloft in a victory salute, the hands of two black men. On the camera flash we LOOSEN to reveal the bodiless arms of two black mannequins. An AID hands the phone to the President.

AID Houston, sir.

PRESIDENT (taking phone) This is the President... What?!... What?!

He walks past a wall of photos of past presidents: JFK, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Reagan older, Reagan much older, Merv Griffin, a chimp, and this President.

SPLIT SCREEN: PRESIDENT AND COMMISSIONER

COMMISSIONER I don't think that shuttle's going to make it, sir.

The President passes an Arab piling millions in cash onto his desk.

PRESIDENT Damnit, Mister, the dignity and integrity of this presidency depends on the success of that mission. And that's my last word!

COMMISSIONER Yes, sir.

They both hang up and, making sure no one is watching, pick their noses.

WIPE TO FULL SCREEN OF OVAL OFFICE

AID What's our strategy on this one, sir?

PRESIDENT I work for the people of these United States, Frank. I have to do what's best for them. (grabs the red phone) Al, kill social security, cancel school lunches only for the poor, dismantle welfare, close all hospitals and public toilets, green light the MX-6, invade Brazil, and bring my horse around after my nap!

INT. COCKPIT

Ted is at the controls. Elaine rushes in.

ELAINE Simon just ejected!

TED Sit down, Elaine. If this bomb trick works we just might make it. Simon was a fool to eject now.

ELAINE You mean...

TED That's right -- premature ejection.

ELAINE What will happen to him, Ted?

TED The sun will heat that thing to over 450 degrees within seconds. He'll roast like a pig on a spit.

EXT. ESCAPE CAPSULE - SPACE

We see a roast on a spit through the window.

INT. COMPUTER CORE

The clock on the time bomb TICKS down.

INT. COCKPIT

TED (looking at wristwatch) Are you afraid?

ELAINE Not when I'm with you, Ted.

TED I guess you'd have to be a fool not to be afraid at a time like this.

INT. CABIN

Mrs. Gooch sucks on her cushion -- she's totally zonked on acid.

MAN NEXT TO HER Are you afraid?

MRS. GOOCH (looking at her hands) Are these my hands?

FATHER O'FLANAGAN (to Stella) Are you afraid?

STELLA I'm a nurse. I can't afford to be afraid, Father.

ANOTHER AREA

JIMMY (to Scraps) Are you afraid, Scraps?

SCRAPS (he BARKS once, subtitle translate) Now when there's a guy like Ted Striker up there, Jimmy. (he BARKS one more time -- subtitles) Now how about a little scratch on the inner thigh?

INT. COCKPIT

Testa stands over Ted with a clipboard.

TESTA Fifty-six percent of the passengers are afraid. Twenty-nine percent are not afraid. Eight percent are undecided and seven percent think Israel should give back Finland.

TED You better strap yourself in, Testa. (on radio) Mission control, this is Mayflower. Over.

McCROSKY (V.O.) Go ahead, Striker.

TED (on radio) We've got about 60 seconds before that thing blows. We're set to reprogram for Mercury at zero point five WORP.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

McCROKSY (on radio) Zero point five WORP?!

STRIKER (V.O.) That's right. When the bomb explodes we're going to have a ten foot hole in the fuselage and I want to get there as fast as I can. I know what this snip can do, McCrosky.

McCROKSY (to Controllers) No one's ever travelled at that speed before.

JACOBS Last spring we did Europe in nine days.

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

It careens towards the sun.

INT. COMPUTER CORE

Bomb clock TICKS down.

INT. CABIN

Mary instructs Passengers.

MARY Heads between the knees! (looking down aisle) Between your own knees, Father!

O'Flanagan looks around guiltily.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

McCrosky addresses his troops.

McCROSKY I don't find it easy to talk at a time like this, but I want to say something about that guy up there. I can sum it all up in one word -- courage, dedication, spirit, pride, selflessness, and g-u-t-s, guts. Striker's got more guts in his little finger than most of us have in our large intestine. He's got guts up to his eyeballs, guts coming out of his ears.

Controllers start playing cards, doing needlepoint.

McCROSKY Sure it's a cliche but great shortstops are born, not made, and a clown is funny in the circus but when he gets on the highway, he's murder. It bugged me too when Mr. Ed refused to talk when the neighbors came over but...

INT. COMPUTER CORE

The bomb TICKS down and BLOWS.

INT. COCKPIT

The ship shakes violently. Ted fights for control.

INSERT - SPEEDOMETER SLOWS

BACK TO SCENE

SFX: ENGINE WHINE SUBSIDES.

The ship starts bumping as if it's hit a rough road.

TED (on radio) We've blown the computer! (to Elaine) Elaine! Set course change!

ELAINE (flips a switch) Set!

TED Now!

ELAINE (pushes a button) Compute!

"Compute" sign flashes.

Ted pulls an acceleration lever.

TED Here goes.

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

It slows to a halt.

INT. COCKPIT

Ted pulls the lever hard toward himself. The ship shudders.

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

The ship slingshots in the opposite direction, disappearing into the void leaving a trail of light.

INT. COCKPIT

INSERT - PANEL LIGHT, "0.5 WORP"

BACK TO SCENE

TED (on radio) Point five WORP!

INT. MISSION CONTROL

PAN Controllers looking intently into the night sky. PAN to Mrs. Salucci intently gripping her vibrator -- it's on. PAN to Jacobs reading VARIETY -- headline: "PARAMOUNT ANNOUNCES SHUTTLE DISASTER PIC!"

McCROSKY Zero point five WORP, that's half the speed of light. We really have no idea what can happen to the human body at that speed.

INT. CABIN

Two Passengers (contortionists) with legs up over their shoulders and looking out over their rear ends, play cards.

INT. COCKPIT

The interior vibrates. A psychedelic blaze of multi-colored light illuminates the interior. Ted struggles with the controls.

McCROSKY (V.O.) Striker, we're monitoring you. You're right on course. At that speed you should hit Mercury in about six minutes. So give yourself enough time to kill those WORP engines.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

McCROSKY (on radio) We'll be out of radio range in a few seconds. I'm going to put you in contact with Mercury Base Alpha Beta for your final descent. Over. (off mike) Stinson, who's in command of Alpha Beta?

STINSON Al Hammil?

CONTROLLER 3 Not anymore. It's Rex Kramer, now.

McCROSKY Not Rex Kramer!

CONTROLLER 3 No, Rex Kramer.

EXT. MERCURY - NIGHT

We see the Alpha Beta base in distance with an ALPHA BETA neon sign flashing.

SFX: WAILING SUBMARINE SIREN.

SUPER: MERCURY BASE, ALPHA BETA

INT. ALPHA BETA BASE - CORRIDOR

SFX: WAILING SUBMARINE SIREN.

Four uniformed officers race to their posts around a corner and collide with four others racing around the corner from the other direction.

INT. ELEVATOR - ALPHA BETA BASE

REX KRAMER watches the floors flash by on the panel above the door.

INSERT - FLOOR LIGHT, "LEVEL 1 - POWER STATION"

O.S. we hear a DOG GROWLING and fighting with something.

CLOSEUP OF KRAMER

KRAMER I know this guy, Ted Striker. I flew with him during the war. He was a crack pilot but he didn't have it in the crunch... That is...

INSERT - FLOOR LIGHT, "LEVEL 3 - LIVING QUARTERS"

BACK TO SCENE

KRAMER Until that day over Chicago. He brought that busted up 767 out of that storm like a paper glider coming outta the baby blue.

INSERT - FLOOR LIGHT, "LEVEL 5 - WOMEN'S SHOES, BEDDING, APPLIANCES". "LEVEL 6 - DESIGNER JEANS".

BACK TO SCENE

KRAMER But flying that shuttle is a whole different ballgame.

The elevator doors open. Kramer steps out into the communications room.

SFX: SUBMARINE SIREN WAILS.

PAN down to floor of elevator to find a young officer -- Carey -- torn to shreds and fighting off Kramer's golden retriever dog. The doors close. Kramer approaches an OFFICER.

KRAMER What's the latest, Lieutenant?

OFFICER They'll hit our atmosphere in about three minutes, if they hold together. They've lost their computer and are coming in at zero point five WORP on manual control, sir.

INT. COCKPIT

Ted shifts a stick shift on the steering column.

INT. ALPHA BETA COMMUNICATIONS ROOM

Kramer looks at the big screen.

SFX: SUBMARINE SIREN WAILS.

KRAMER Down scope!

A submarine periscope drops. Kramer looks for the shuttle.

KRAMER He'll never bring that thing in on manual, but I guess Striker's their only hope.

INSERT - PERISCOPE SHOT OF WWII SHIPS

BACK TO SCENE

KRAMER It's his ship now. He's the top dog.

INSERT - PERISCOPE SHOT OF SHORE LINE FROM WWII FILM

BACK TO SCENE

KRAMER The big man. The numero uno honcho.

INSERT - PERISCOPE SHOT OF DESERT

BACK TO SCENE

KRAMER The head cheese.

INSERT - PERISCOPE SHOT OF THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW -- ED WAVES GOODNIGHT.

BACK TO SCENE

Kramer steps away from the scope. It drops down. A man in a barber chair is on the other end of the steel column and comes to rest on the floor.

OFFICER 2 Sir, we have radio contact.

INT. CABIN

Testa talks to the passengers. Psychedelic lights flash.

TESTA (yelling) We're travelling at one half the speed of light. There is nothing to worry about. However, you might experience some temporary metabolic changes.

ANGLE ON WOMAN

Her beard grows.

INSERT - CLOSEUP OF SANITARY NAPKIN DISPENSER

A flurry of hands empties it in two seconds.

ANGLE ON TEXAN

He has turned into a Hassidic Rabbi.

INT. COCKPIT

Ted is fighting to maintain control.

KRAMER (V.O.) Striker, this is Rex Kramer on Alpha Beta. Do you read me? Over.

Ted and Elaine give startled looks of recognition.

KRAMER (V.O.) That's right, Ted. Rex Kramer. We've locked you on track beam. You're going to have to kill those WORP engines in exactly thirty seconds. Over.

INT. MISSION CONTROL

Everyone tensely looks out the window into the night sky.

McCROSKY There's nothing else we can do for those people out there now, except pray.

The entire room explodes in an up-beat Southern Baptists' rendition of "HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS".

INT. COCKPIT

KRAMER (V.O.) Now, Striker! Kill WORP!

Ted pushes his WORP lever forward but it comes off in his hand.

ELAINE Ted, the lever!

TED (on radio) Kramer, the WORP control handle just came off in my hand.

KRAMER (V.O.) Try another handle!

TED There are no more handles, only switches.

KRAMER (V.O.) No buttons?!

TED (looking around madly) Just switches, lights, and knobs.

INT. ALPHA BETA COMMUNICATIONS ROOM

KRAMER (looking at buttons and levers on his panel) I'd give my right arm to get just one of these buttons or levers up there right now. (on radio) Okay, Striker. You're going to have to pull that lever panel off.

INT. COCKPIT

TED (to Elaine) Screw driver!

She hands him a vodka and orange juice. Ted throws it on his face. He reaches down and rips the panel off, exposing all sorts of wires.

KRAMER (V.O.) Now find a piece of metal and stick it in there.

Ted looks around for a piece of metal. Elaine pulls a bobby pin from her hair.

ELAINE Will this work, Ted?

Her long brown hair falls sexily. She sweeps it back with a toss of her head. Ted is overwhelmed by her.

TED Thanks. (on radio) I've got something that might work.

INT. ALPHA BETA COMMUNCATIONS ROOM

TED (V.O.) A bobby pin.

Kramer and Aids exchange a look which questions Ted's sexuality.

KRAMER What the hell is a man doing with a... forget it. (on radio) It'll have to do, Striker.

INT. COCKPIT

Ted sticks the bobby pin into the wires. Sparks fly. The ship starts slowing up.

SFX: THE ENGINE WHINE SUBSIDES.

INSERT - SPEEDOMETER WINDING DOWN

BACK TO SCENE

TED It's working.

INT. COMMUNICATIONS ROOM

Kramer stands in front of the huge screen. A small ship appears in the distance coming right at us.

KRAMER (on radio) Okay, Striker. We have you on visual. Just keep her level.

EXT. SHIP - SPACE

It careens towards the planet surface.

INT. COCKPIT

It starts bouncing wildly.

TED She's coming apart!

INT. CABIN

Passengers scream.

INT. NEWS SET - BUFFALO

The anchorman screams.

SUPER: "EDITORIAL".

INT. NEWS SET - TOKYO

The anchorman screams.

SUPER: "EDITORIAL". (In Russian looking print.)

INT. HOTEL LOBBY - RIO MONTENEGRO

The desk clerk screams.

INT. COCKPIT

KRAMER (V.O.) Keep her nose up! Don't fight her!

TED I'm trying but she's fighting me!

A boxing glove springs from the dash punching Ted in the face.

ELAINE Ted, that's Alpha Beta!

ANGLE OUT SHIP WINDOW - NIGHT

We see the lights of a small colony on planet surface. The Alpha Beta neon sign is visible.

INT. ALPHA BETA COMMUNICATIONS ROOM

Kramer sits in a large swivel chair -- like Captain Kirk's on the Enterprise bridge. As he talks, he nonchalantly swivels so his back is to the huge window. We see the Mayflower approaching on the screen.

KRAMER (on radio) Now, Striker, there are a few things you have to keep in mind as you get close to the planet's atmosphere.

ANGLE ON COMMUNCATION ROOM PERSONNEL

They watch in horror as the Mayflower comes shooting at them.

KRAMER (on radio) First and foremost you have to make one very important decision.

INT. COCKPIT

Elaine looks out the window -- horrified.

ELAINE Ted! We're not stopping!!

Ted fights the controls.

KRAMER (V.O.) Is this a landing you're sure you can make without endangering the lives of your passengers?

INT. ALPHA BETA COMMUNICATIONS ROOM

ANGLE ON PERSONNEL

They run for cover.

ANGLE ON THE SCREEN

The Mayflower comes right at the screen and crashes through it. Kramer still has his back to the screen and doesn't notice what has happened -- the room behind him has been totally demolished.

KRAMER (on radio) Now, once you've made that decision you have to be very clear about your responsibility to those people on that ship.

INT. COCKPIT

The front window is broken. Ted and Elaine are covered in debris. Elaine's eyes grow wide with terror again.

ELAINE Ted!

EXT. PLANET SURFACE

A group of scientists stand at a keyboard synthesizer. One plays the series of notes from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. Suddenly the Mayflower appears over a hill. They all jump for cover as it crashes through the synthesizer.

INT. COCKPIT

Ted and Elaine are covered in piano keys.

KRAMER (V.O.) Their lives, their futures, their goals and aspirations are in your hands, Striker.

EXT. PLANET SURFACE

The Mayflower bounces across the surface.

INT. CABIN

Mary maneuvers down the aisle. Passengers are screaming and being tossed around.

MARY (to one passenger) Seat backs up. Thank you.

She looks up and sees feet dangling from the ceiling. A man has gone right through the ceiling up to his waist.

MARY (looking up) Sir, you really must take your seat.

INT. ALPHA BETA COMMUNCATIONS ROOM

KRAMER (on radio) We're all with you on this one, Striker. Now get ready to position landing gear, cut engines, and fire your retrorockets.

EXT. PLANET SURFACE - DAWN

The Mayflower careens to a smoking, crunching, shattering stop.

INT. CABIN

Mary and Testa start directing panic-striken passengers to the exits.

INT. ALPHA BETA COMMUNICATIONS ROOM

KRAMER (on radio) Timing's of the essence on a lame duck approach, Striker. Don't fight her. Hold her steady. Nose up.

EXT. SHIP ON A HILL - DAWN

Ted and Elaine stand looking down on the wreckage. In b.g., SIRENS WAIL, emergency lights flash across Ted and Elaine.

VOICES (O.S.) You'll be all right! Everyone's going to be okay!

Ted holds Elaine.

KRAMER (V.O.) Don't fight her, Striker. Hold her! Hold her! Stay with her, Striker!

Ted and Elaine kiss.

KRAMER (V.O.) Now, hit your landing gear and cut those engines!

INT. ALPHA BETA COMMUNICATIONS ROOM

KRAMER (on radio) Timing's everything, Striker! Fire your retro-rockets!

EXT. PLANET SURFACE - DAWN

Ted and Elaine walk off into the distance.

SFX: SIRENS FROM CRASH AREA IN DISTANCE.

KRAMER (V.O.) (voice fading) Now give her full flap and keep that nose up. Okay, now!

ELAINE Ted, what's going to happen to us?

Ted stops and looks into the distant, dark sky. A printed crawl begins:

MUSIC: OPTIMISTIC THEME

CRAWL FAR, FAR AWAY IN THE DEEPEST REGIONS OF OUR VAST SOLAR SYSTEM, A SMALL, BRAVE GROUP OF PIONEERS EMBARK ON A BOLD NEW ADVENTURE. THEIR MISSION: TO OPEN UP A NEW FRONTIER. THEIR GOAL, TO BUILD A BRAVE NEW WORLD.

Ted and Elaine walk towards crawl and are approached by two strange CREATURES -- bald with a shock of hair sprouting from the top of their heads.

CREATURE Hello, we'd like you to have this flower. We're with the Church of Mercurial Consciousness. Would you like to make a donation?

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