>> I/ Rush Hour I

I/ Rush Hour I ( 2)

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I/ Rush Hour I

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - AMBASSADOR HAN'S OFFICE - DAY

The clock reads 3:50 PM. Carson, Miranda, Robbins, Sabatini, Ambassador Han and Colonel Lee are all TALKING at once.

CARSON (to Walther) ...Scrounge us some bodies: National Guard, State Troopers, CHPs, local PD's, meter maids --

WALTHER -- They're gonna search the whole city in a goddamn hour..?!

CARSON Look, I don't need you to tell me how fucked we are!

WALTHER Fuck you!! Every time you're on a case something explodes!

Carson looks like he's going to explode. Before he can reply:

MIRANDA Stop! The clock's running! Arguing is a luxury we can't afford! -more-

MIRANDA (Cont'd) (looks at Carson) What's done is done. There'll be plenty of time to point fingers later.

Carson would love to get into it, but he lets it slide. He looks Sabatini, wandering aimlessly with Javal's severed hand.

SABATINI I need some fuckin' ink!!

Carson grabs one of the expensive pens from Ambassador Han's desk, SNAPS it in half, and hands it to her.

In the b.g. she stands at the credenza, inks the hand's fingers and thumb and rolls them onto a piece of letterhead paper.

AMBASSADOR HAN This is impossible! How can you even begin to find them?

Good question. All eyes go to Miranda.

MIRANDA Well, the normal procedure is to negotiate with the perpetrator...

Her head is spinning. She looks at Carson.

CARSON Let's take stock. We've got a picture of where he hid the family, and recordings of his calls --

MIRANDA -- That's right! We can send them to our experts for analysis...

CARSON (to Ambassador Han) Same with his fingerprints. But that means we need high-quality image and data transmission. We can piss away ten minutes coptering this shit to our offices in Westwood, or we can use your surveillance equipment.

COLONEL LEE There is no surveillance equipment. This is a diplomatic facility --

CARSON -- You want to play games, fine.

He turns to go. Ambassador Han turns to Colonel Lee.

AMBASSADOR HAN Take them upstairs.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

In the converted attic, several North Korean ESPIONAGE AGENTS monitor military and police frequencies, downlinks from remote wiretaps and surveillance units; short-wave, cellular, etc. Their equipment, being of Chinese and Iranian manufacture, is hardly cutting-edge technology.

Colonel Lee and Ambassador Han enter. The Espionage Agents are surprised when Carson, Miranda, Walther and Sabatini follow. Walther looks around, amazed. Carson grabs a pair of headphones.

CARSON South Korean Consulate's just down the street -- want to take a listen?

Colonel Lee pulls the phones away from him.

Carson takes the page with the fingerprints from Sabatini. The Espionage Agents back away from her and Javal's hand.

CARSON (continuing; re hand) Shitcan that thing, will you?!

She looks around. Then, shrugging, she tosses it into a wastepaper basket.

CARSON (continuing; to Colonel Lee) Got a digital scanner?

COLONEL LEE Analog.

CARSON (looks equipment over) You might want to drop a few bucks at Radio Shack and get with the decade. (into radio) Dave -- get in here. Bring your computer, a city map, and the tapes of the ransom calls.

DAVE (VO) (thru radio) On my way...

He's also HEARD, faintly, through the laser eavesdropping unit by the window. Carson notices, but doesn't comment.

MIRANDA (to Colonel Lee) Colonel, you saw the perp. Describe him to the Ambassador, see if it's anyone he knows.

Colonel Lee begrudgingly obliges. Carson dials a phone.

CARSON (into phone) This is Carson in L.A. There's a set of prints coming over. Narrow the search criteria: Male, thirties, Caucasian... French, Belgian, Swiss, maybe Canadian. Try kidnappers and bombers first. We need an answer in fifteen minutes.

EXT. HOOVER BUILDING, WASHINGTON, DC - DAY

FBI headquarters, with the Washington Monument in the b.g.

INT. HOOVER BUILDING - FINGERPRINT LAB - DAY

A TECHNICIAN, wearing thick glasses, sits in front of a high- resolution computer monitor.

FINGERPRINT TECH (into phone) That yellow air out there finally rot your brain?! It's impossible!

CARSON (VO) (thru phone) Dazzle me.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

Carson clicks off the phone, then, as he dials another number:

CARSON (to Walther) We got one of the best sound guys right here in town... (into phone) Newman in Audio Analysis...

DAVE (OS) Newman's gone.

WIDER

Dave comes into the room.

DAVE He quit, couple weeks ago. Opened a bed and breakfast in Wyoming.

Carson looks at Miranda and hangs up the phone.

DAVE (continuing; looks around) Damn... they get HBO? I'd sure like to see the fight tonight.

CARSON Get those tapes transferred to a sound guy. We need ambient and background analysis, the whole enchilada.

DAVE Enchilada -- you saying that because I'm Mexican?

CARSON No... 'cause you're fat.

MIRANDA (picks up Javal's fax) Photo enhancement... Isn't there some amazing tech with the LAPD --

DAVE -- Bronsky. Transferred to Seattle PD a month ago.

CARSON Jesus H. Christ...

SABATINI I'd send it to Langley. Let the CIA earn their keep.

CARSON Do it.

Carson tosses Javal's bloody, unlabeled prescription bottle to Miranda. She looks it over, runs her finger inside, tastes the dust on her fingertip.

MIRANDA Given his behavior, this orange residue... I'd say Desoxyn, 25 mg. Amphetamines.

CARSON Any significance?

MIRANDA It's consistent with the lone wolf scenario: A handful of these is pure bravery-in-a-bottle, 'til the psychosis and paranoia kick in. (beat) We could check pharmacy records, on the remote chance he got them legally... if we had a couple of weeks, that is.

CARSON (to Sabatini) Get the Bureau on it.

MIRANDA Forget it. It's a waste of manpower.

CARSON Look, goddammit, you start skipping no-chance-in-hell leads, we can all quit and go to the beach right now.

Sabatini looks at them -- which will it be? Miranda frowns and nods her okay, then spreads the L.A. map out on the table.

CARSON (continuing) He grabbed the family at 8:30. The last certain visual we had was just before his van went into the alley on La Cienega at 8:42. He called the Consulate at 9:30.

MIRANDA That gives him about fifty minutes to get to his location, move and secure the hostages, and activate his time bomb.

CARSON He probably waited a while to pad the time -- he wanted us know the family was still alive... (sotto; re Koreans) ...So these crazy bastards wouldn't throw a premature shit hemorrhage, but he didn't want to call too soon, either. I say they're within 15 to 20 minutes, via surface streets, of where we last saw them.

He draws a circle on the city map: Beverly Hills to downtown, Hollywood to Inglewood.

MIRANDA The most densely-populated part of the L.A. basin. This narrows it down to about 200,000 dwellings.

A beat while this sinks in.

MIRANDA (continuing) He was traveling west --

CARSON -- Bet he doubled back.

MIRANDA C'mon, that's total conjecture --

SABATINI (re Carson) -- I'd trust his instincts when dealing with maniacs. He is deeply disturbed.

MIRANDA You're telling me?

INT. WHITE HOUSE - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Everyone is smoking. Their tension has increased tenfold since we last saw them. The President, SEEN through the video setup, is pacing on Air Force One.

SECRETARY OF STATE ...North Koreans have gone ballistic, accusing us of botching the ransom drop on purpose.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE They're still harping on that "American plot" nonsense.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) Meaning?

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE They say the death of the Premier's niece and her family would justify immediate retaliation.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) Are they out of their fuckin' minds?! What kind of retaliation?

Everyone in the room looks at one another.

CIA CHIEF They're threatening to pull a Saddam Hussein: remember the Scuds he lobbed at Jerusalem during Desert Storm? (beat) They're talking about firing a missile into Los Angeles --

PRESIDENT (thru video link) -- A goddamn WHAT??

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER Best guess is an AS-15, medium-range cruise -- their version of our Tomahawk, launched from offshore.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE The AS-15 is gyro-guided. It will find the city, but it's not too accurate beyond that.

VICE PRESIDENT Still, for their purposes it's perfect: Hit somewhere in L.A., take out a city block or two...

SECRETARY OF STATE To the eyes of the world it's a measured response -- like what Reagan did to Qaddafi. But actually striking at an American city would be a huge psychological victory for them.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) I don't believe I'm hearing this! (beat) So if we know it's coming, we can knock it out of the fuckin' sky!

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE These weapons fly subsonically, below radar... we don't have the defenses in place... If we'd had the time to deploy a string of Patriot anti- missile batteries across the coast --

PRESIDENT (thru video link) -- You're saying we got all this lousy hardware and can't stop one goddamn missile??

Everyone's silence answers his question.

PRESIDENT (continuing; thru video link) I want an immediate search for all ships within range.

FBI CHIEF We better inform the other leaders, stall on the Summit --

PRESIDENT (thru video link) There's no reason to panic yet -- they can't launch until after the family's confirmed dead!

CIA CHIEF Afraid that's not the case...

The Intelligence Officer illustrates his explanation with FOOTAGE and DIAGRAMS on a nearby COMPUTER SCREEN:

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER The North Korean Premier holds what we call a "Brinksman Switch." He's able to destroy a missile in flight, right up to the moment before it achieves its target.

CIA CHIEF Our Op says they've timed their retaliation to hit right after 5:00.

FBI CHIEF And if the family turns up okay, they'll just make it self-destruct.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) Shit! I really don't need this today!

VICE PRESIDENT We're forgetting one thing here: the family. Intelligence is sure the North will abort their attack if Mrs. Han and her kids are safely returned?

CIA CHIEF Absolutely. Their whole game depends on claiming a legitimate provocation.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE Still, we should let them know there'd be a response... if it comes to it.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) I'd like to turn 'em into a radioactive parking lot.

SECRETARY OF STATE That's the problem: we can't. We're the last superpower. Our hands are tied by politics, alliances, goddamn stacks of treaties... most we could do is give 'em a "measured response" back again, or everyone starts crying that we're the bullies.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE Damn, I miss the Cold War. Russians wouldn't have dreamt of pulling a stunt like this.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) Believe me, the North drops one in my fuckin' city, I'm dropping ten in theirs. Get some bombers in the air. And don't tell me any more bad news!

EXT. HOLLYWOOD FREEWAY - DAY

Robbins stands by Javal's van, on the shoulder of the freeway.

ROBBINS (into radio) ...Phone company decal's a fake. DMV says the van was purchased a week ago from a private party in Santa Monica. I called 'em; they said the guy paid cash, and he fits our boy's description. Signed the name "Douglas McArthur" to the Transfer of Title.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

CARSON (into radio) Cute. (to Miranda) He signed the name of the Allied Commander during the Korean War. Maybe he was a political.

MIRANDA No. The phony ice cream truck, the booby-trapped chairs... he could've -more-

MIRANDA (Cont'd) done it without half that stuff. But this was going to be the score of a lifetime... he was showing off.

CARSON (to Dave) Who's got those kinds of skills: Electronics, vehicle customizing, computers, explosives?

DAVE Military. Cop, maybe. Shit, your average high-school student if they're so inclined. My guess is our perp used off-the-shelf equipment for everything except the C-4, and that's only slightly harder to get than crack or heroin, if you know who to ask.

EXT. PARKER CENTER - DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - DAY

LAPD headquarters.

INT. PARKER CENTER - VARIOUS ANGLES - DAY

Everyone who can be spared, even moth-eaten SUPPORT PERSONNEL, hustle through the maze of hallways and get into waiting cars.

EXT. STREETS OF LOS ANGELES - VARIOUS ANGLES - DAY

From up here, it looks like the city is one big block party. Accordingly, traffic is heavy and unpleasant.

BOBBI (VO) Please, L.A., I know we're about to have quite a party out there, but don't forget the Golden Rule on the roadways... News time is 3:59...

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Bobbi looks into the TV camera, dripping with sincerity.

BOBBI This is Bobbi Marchfelder, your Eye in the Sky... back to you, Brent...

The red light on the camera goes off. Bobbi turns to the Pilot.

BOBBI (continuing; furious) Hey, dickhead... I was backlit that entire segment! (as if to a child) Keep... the sun... to my left!!

The Cameraman and the Pilot sigh at each other.

BOBBI (continuing) What's new on the kidnapping rumor?

CAMERAMAN Nada. Total news blackout.

BOBBI Go back over the hill.

NEWS PILOT We got the valley traffic report in fifteen --

BOBBI -- "Stalled vehicle! One lane closed! Sig alert..!" I'll improvise!

She takes an industrial-sized bottle of Mylanta out of her purse. It's fitted with a water-bottle DRINKING SPOUT. She takes a huge swig and grimaces.

BOBBI (continuing; to Cameraman) What are you lookin' at? I was the morning anchor in Houston! And I'm one break away from getting out of this stupid fuckin' whirlybird!

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - LOS ANGELES - DAY

The Han family sits in their booby-trapped chairs. Joy carefully turns to her mother.

JOY Why us?

MRS. HAN You heard him -- for money.

JOY What if something goes wrong?

MRS. HAN (firmly) It won't.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

Carson grabs his FBI blazer off the back of a chair.

CARSON I'm going to the kidnapping site.

MIRANDA I want to talk to the witnesses.

Colonel Lee also heads for the door. Carson looks at him.

CARSON Great, we'll hire a bus.

They leave. Dave, meanwhile, paces, phone in hand.

DAVE (into phone) ...I know it's privileged information, goddammit! Lemme talk to a supervisor... You are a supervisor... Lemme talk to your goddamn supervisor... I told you, I'm with the FBI... (to Sabatini) Cellular company says he was using a phone with a cloned number.

SABATINI Big surprise. Have 'em send a list of the numbers called on the account.

DAVE That's what I'm trying to get. They're saying I need a subpoena. (into phone) Don't put me on hold... Don't... (pulls phone from his ear) I'm listening to Michael fuckin' Bolton!

SABATINI Walther! Get on the horn to Justice and deal with this!

EXT. PACIFIC OCEAN - ANGLE ON FISHING TRAWLER - DAY

SUPER: Pacific Ocean. 500 miles west-northwest of Los Angeles.

We FIND a nondescript commercial fishing vessel. Up top, some Asian "FISHERMEN" crank in and stow their nets.

INT./EXT. FISHING TRAWLER - DAY

Coming closer, we see it's actually a disguised North Korean SPY VESSEL. Several MEN, working under hanging tarps, secure a 20-foot-long missile launching track to the bow.

Two MISSILE EXPERTS install a green, cone-shaped WARHEAD of high explosives onto the nose of a 23-foot-long, short-winged CRUISE MISSILE. They wait for the CAPTAIN's orders...

EXT. HOLLYWOOD FREEWAY - DAY

Robbins is in Javal's van, examining the innards of the remote- control boxes. He picks up his radio.

ROBBINS (into radio) A lot of the components are made by the same manufacturer -- a car security company.

CARSON (VO) (thru radio) Jump a copter to the Consulate. See if the manufacturer sells to the public. Find out what shops use their stuff; put people on the phones with a description of the perp.

EXT. CRENSHAW BLVD - DAY

At the kidnapping site, the intersection is blocked off with yellow police tape. Several LAPD cruisers are parked nearby. Some COPS are interviewing the Carpool Lady.

Despite this, the neighborhood's bazaar -- a sidewalk sale with MUSIC, food vendors, etc. -- has half-heartedly begun.

The government helicopter HOVERS and Carson helps Miranda climb down a long chain ladder. Colonel Lee follows impatiently.

NEW ANGLE

Carson uncovers the bodies of the Driver and the Motorist, lying on the sidewalk. He grimaces. Colonel Lee does not. Miranda wants to look, but Carson drops the cover. She picks it up, then turns away in horror.

A young BLACK COP crosses to them. He's holding a plastic bag with a spent shotgun shell in it.

YOUNG COP Inspector! Look at this... (reads from shell) "Dragon's Breath..?"

CARSON Twelve-gauge shell filled with magnesium and ignition powder. Shit's worse than napalm -- Geneva Convention outlawed it for warfare.

MIRANDA Then how did he get it?

CARSON Easy -- you can buy 'em mail order. (looks around) Where's the Consulate's car?

YOUNG COP (beat) Uh... apparently it was stolen...

COLONEL LEE Stolen!? What is it with you people --

YOUNG COP (angry) -- What's this "you people" shit?

CARSON (to Colonel Lee) Shut up!

MIRANDA (aside; to Young Cop) He means all of us "you people."

CARSON (to Young Cop) Find it! How many bulletproof Mercedes could be cruising around Crenshaw?

YOUNG COP You'd be surprised...

CARSON I hate this fuckin' town.

INT./EXT. FISHING TRAWLER - PACIFIC OCEAN - DAY

The North Korean COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER puts down his headphones and hurries on deck to the Captain. It's time.

Suddenly, a BEARDED CREWMAN crosses to the Captain. He calmly SHOOTS him and the FIRST MATE.

The rest of the Crew is shocked. Holding his pistol on the Crew, the Bearded Crewman nods at the Missile Experts. Saluting, they remove the green warhead from the missile.

Two OTHER CONSPIRATORS, carrying a metal locker, appear from below deck. The Crew murmurs nervously as they remove from the locker a red warhead and attach it to the missile.

Finishing, one of the Experts pushes the firing trigger and the missile WHOOSHES from its launching pad.

EXT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

The government helicopter touches down behind the Consulate.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

Ambassador Han, Walther and Sabatini are looking at a series of high-definition faxes spread out on a table.

Carson, Miranda and Colonel Lee hurry back in. Disgusted, Carson throws his jacket on a chair.

CARSON Wasted trip: Witnesses say he was working alone, and he was a vicious son of a bitch. Old news.

COLONEL LEE (to Ambassador Han) And our car was stolen.

AMBASSADOR HAN I felt safer when I was the Ambassador to Libya.

SABATINI Image enhancements came back.

POV OF PICTURES

The CIA technicians have enlarged and enhanced every part of the fax deemed significant, in individual blowups.

BACK TO SCENE

Colonel Lee is standing right beside Carson, leaning over to look at the pictures. Carson looks at him, irritated.

CARSON We going steady?

SABATINI The sun position tells us the windows are facing northeast. (beat) Here's the best -- look at the glass on the prints hanging in the background. There's a reflection of a reflection, out on the street: the corner of a billboard.

CARSON Looks like the wheel of a car.

MIRANDA We talked about these billboards, when we were car shopping! Four- door... they make a wagon, too. (beat) Something Japanese... God, what was it? Toyota... Mazda... Honda... You thought it had no character.

CARSON I thought that about all of them. C'mon, think, dammit!!

MIRANDA You think!! You were there, too!

They're stumped, and bitterly frustrated. To Sabatini:

CARSON Call the outdoor advertising companies. Get the location of all the billboards for Japanese cars within our search parameters.

Meanwhile, Dave and Robbins are calling car alarm shops:

DAVE (into phone) ...Peerless Auto Security. We need to know whether you've sold a large quantity of these components to any one customer, or whether you'd had any stolen recently...

EXT. PiY?NGYANG, NORTH KOREA - ESTABLISHING - DAY

INT. WORKERS' PARADISE HALL - GENERAL KAI'S OFFICE - DAY

General Kai stands in hushed conversation with the Army Major Operative and another trusted AIDE. The PHONE buzzes; the others leave the room before General Kai picks it up.

INT. WORKERS' PARADISE HALL - OPERATIVE'S OFFICE - DAY

Behind closed doors, the Operative LISTENS to the phone call with an EAVESDROPPING RECEIVER. What he hears stuns him.

CUT TO:

EXT. WORKERS' PARADISE HALL - ROOFTOP - DAY

The Operative is in his hiding spot with his uplink device.

OPERATIVE (urgently; into device) ...Missile heading to L.A. has a Kipchak Warhead! Repeat: missile is Kipchak equipped! It was switched by order of --

A GUNSHOT rings out (OS), and the Operative's chest EXPLODES in blood. He pitches forward... but presses the "transmit" button on the uplink device before dying.

On screen it says UPLINKING... (without scrambling)... then another GUNSHOT destroys it.

Angry, General Kai steps INTO FRAME and kicks the Operative over with his foot.

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - LOS ANGELES - DAY

Mrs. Han and Joy sit motionless. Sam, on the other hand, is trying not to squirm. Mrs. Han looks at him, angry.

MRS. HAN He asked you if you had to go...

The family becomes aware of a shrill SOUND, (OS), distant at first, but growing increasingly louder... The sound-level meters all begin to creep upward...

EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - CLOSE - DAY

A team of GARDENERS has arrived on the property for their weekly mow, blow, and go. They have lawnmowers, edgers, blowers -- it's as NOISY as an aircraft carrier during takeoffs.

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - DAY

The SOUND is getting louder, and louder...

JOY Oh, my God...

The meters are hovering just below the red...

SAM

pivots his head and looks at the tiny microphone, no bigger than a pencil eraser, attached neatly to the headrest.

He begins chewing his wad of GUM... leans in toward the microphone, his head obscuring what he's doing...

He moves back and we see he's SEALED the front of the mic with a small piece of the gum.

And his meter drops to zero.

WIDER

Sam tilts his head forward and bends his wrist upward so he can get the rest of the gum out of his mouth. Then, while keeping pressure on the armrest with his elbow, he moves his hand over to Mrs. Han. They can't quite reach each other...

He FLICKS the piece of gum and she catches it.

Meanwhile, the NOISE increases. The two meters peak into the red... the yellow WARNING LIGHT begins to flash...

Mrs. Han quickly puts the gum in her mouth, bites it in half, and cautiously passes the remainder over to Joy.

Joy puts the gum in her mouth. She tries to push it over her mic, but her hair is in the way. She shakes her head; some hair strands remain, but she covers the mic just as the Gardeners' noise reaches a CRESCENDO...

All three sound meters sit pinned to zero. The yellow light stops flashing.

Sam, sweating, looks at his mother and sister... and starts laughing. They join him: a celebration for a small victory.

INT. WHITE HOUSE - CONFERENCE ROOM - DUSK

The clock on the wall reads 7:13, eastern time. The President, still on Air Force One, APPEARS on the VIDEO LINK. Cut the tension in the room with a knife? You'd need a chainsaw.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) So what the hell does "Kipchak" mean?

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER Uh, it's a code name... for weapons using the Yersinia Pestis bacillus...

He really doesn't want to be the one telling the President about this.

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER (continuing) Kipchaks were Asian nomads. In 1347 they attacked a Genoese fort, and catapulted infected corpses over the walls. The Genoese who survived carried the disease back to Europe... and it killed half the population.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) Get to the goddamn point, Major.

The Intelligence Officer looks at the CIA Chief.

CIA CHIEF Seems the missile is armed with a warhead carrying the Pneumonic Plague.

The President goes nuts.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) The Black Plague?! Every time I talk to you fuckin' guys it gets worse! What happened to this "limited retaliation" shit?

SECRETARY OF STATE The North Koreans insist the missile carries a conventional payload. They say we're trying to trick them into aborting the attack.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE Especially since the uplink from our Op in P'yUngyang was unencrypted.

CIA CHIEF We think one of the Hard-liners switched the warhead without the Premier's knowledge. But he's not about to take our word for it, and he's too weak to risk the humiliation of backing down.

PRESIDENT (incredulous; thru video link) They use a biological weapon on American soil, they have to know we'll respond!

SECRETARY OF STATE Maybe they don't think we got the guts. Maybe they want a war, 'cause they think they can whip us, like what happened in 'Nam. Look who we're dealing with: a teetering, outlaw regime, and inside it, some wild-ass renegades working their screwy agenda!

PRESIDENT (thru video link) What the hell are we doing in L.A.?

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE We've deployed Marines from Pendleton and Twenty-Nine Palms, Army from Ft. Irwin, put 'em in protective suits, but it's 40 minutes before they're on the ground.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) All right. Assuming the worst... What'll happen?

The Intelligence Officer demonstrates with another of his COMPUTER GRAPHICS.

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER The warhead vents the plague bacteria above the target area, infecting about 50,000 people. First symptoms are vomiting, lymph nodes become swollen; temperature rises to 105?. Victims turn deep purple from lung hemorrhaging, usually die the same day. (beat) There are treatments -- streptomycin and tetracyclines -- but we'd be overwhelmed by the numbers and its extreme contagiousness.

CIA CHIEF We could have 500,000 infected in a week, who knows how many after that.

Long beat as everyone tries to contemplate the unthinkable.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) I'm gonna toast those fuckers! Have the Summit leaders been warned?

FBI CHIEF Yes, sir... no one's landing in L.A. 'til we give the all-clear.

PRESIDENT (thru video link) And you're sure it's safe if we can get 'em to destroy the missile in flight?

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER The bacteria can't survive the heat of an explosion.

CIA CHIEF I suggest none of this go any further -- not even to the agents working to find the family. Word leaks out to a city of 12 million people there's rocket full of the Plague coming at 'em, you'll create a panic of biblical proportions.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

Everyone is painfully on edge. Ambassador Han paces. The FBI agents are on a phone or a radio, working leads.

Colonel Lee mutters something to Ambassador Han in Korean.

CARSON Say what?

COLONEL LEE Perhaps someone will decide it is foolish to incur the wrath of North Korea.

CARSON (crosses to Colonel Lee) Yeah, the U.S. is behind the whole thing. And we're knocking our heads, trying to find your people, just for show.

WALTHER Carson...

CARSON Let's grab a few beers, kick back 'til five o'clock rolls by. Then maybe we can have a war over it. I think that's a great idea, seeing as how you fuckers have needed your clocks cleaned for fifty years now!

COLONEL LEE (gets up) Why wait until five?

Ambassador Han and Walther keep Carson and Colonel Lee from going at each other.

MIRANDA Pete! (sotto) Christ, you're self-indulgent! There's nothing but anger and cynicism left inside you, so they're all you can express any more. No wonder everyone in the Bureau thinks you're such a nutcase!

CARSON Hey, I'm not the only one with a rep around the office... "Dr. Knoll-It- All."

MIRANDA (hurt) You've been dying to tell me that...

She walks away. Carson immediately regrets saying it.

CARSON Miranda... (to himself) Shit.

EXT. STREETS OF LOS ANGELES - VARIOUS ANGLES - DAY

LAPD cruisers squeeze through the crowded streets, fanning out through the various parties around town. COPS walk through the crowds with copies of the picture Javal faxed, and photos of the Han family and Lisa.

EXT. SKY OVER PACIFIC OCEAN - DAY

The red-tipped cruise missile, flying at 550 MPH, 400 feet above the water, streaks toward its distant target.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

Robbins is still working the phone.

ROBBINS (into phone) ...Yeah, Peerless Auto Security... fine... get your manager...

He puts the receiver down, hits the speakerbox button and the mute button. He crosses to Dave's desk to grab some papers.

We can hear the CONVERSATION at the alarm shop:

INSTALLER #1 (VO) (thru speakerbox; muffled) Tell Jerry, pick up line one!

INT. AUTO SECURITY SHOP - DAY

A group of young INSTALLERS horse around as they outfit luxury cars with security systems, high-end audio components, etc.

INSTALLER #2 Jerry's outta here!

INSTALLER #1 Some cop's asking if we sold a bunch of Peerless parts.

INSTALLER #2 Talk to Javal!

INSTALLER #1 Javal's off today.

INSTALLER #3 Dude's off a lot.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

INSTALLER #4 (VO) (thru speakerbox) He's used to it -- fuckin' Frenchies get the whole summer off.

INSTALLER #2 (VO) (thru speakerbox) Man's Canadian, dickweeds!

INSTALLER #1 (VO) (thru speakerbox) You're gonna have to call back on Monday...

Carson rushes over to the phone. To the others in the room:

CARSON Everyone shut up! (into phone) Guy on vacation, the Canadian --

INSTALLER #1 (VO) (thru speakerbox) -- Yeah, Javal...

CARSON (into phone) Six foot, sandy hair, spooky eyes?

INSTALLER #1 (VO) (thru speakerbox; laughs) Zombie Eyes! You know the man?

Carson and Miranda look at each other. Bingo!

CARSON (into phone) I need a full name, address, anything you got!

INSTALLER #1 (VO) (thru speakerbox) Paul Javal... hang on, we'll look it up... This an immigration thing? Shit, he's our best installer.

NEW ANGLE

One of the Korean Espionage Agents answers a RINGING phone on Colonel Lee's desk, listens, then hits the hold button.

ESPIONAGE AGENT Inspector Carson, extension 666...

CARSON That's appropriate... (to Dave) In 30 seconds you're gonna give me Paul Javal's shoe size.

Carson hurries over, grabs the phone. We SEE him punch the button for x666.

CARSON (continuing; into phone) Carson...

EXT. FEDERAL BUILDING, WESTWOOD - ESTABLISHING - DAY

EDWARDS (VO) Edwards, Sound Lab...

INT. FBI SOUND LAB - DAY

EDWARDS, headphones around his neck, sits in front of a wall of audio analysis equipment.

CARSON (VO) (thru phone) Whatta you got?

EDWARDS (into phone) Ambient background sound is normal city stuff, but there's a distinct echo pattern. Your people are in or near a high-rise that's at least eight floors tall. And there are other high-rises nearby.

CARSON (VO) (thru phone) How high up are they?

EDWARDS (into phone) No way to extrapolate that from the sample you gave us. (refers to notes) One more thing: There's an emergency siren approaching at 17 seconds into the second call, passing the location at 33.5 seconds.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

Carson hangs up the phone.

CARSON Okay -- high-rises in our search area. Eight stories or higher.

MIRANDA Downtown, Century City, Westwood corridor, Museum Row, Mid- Wilshire... North of Sunset Strip there's a few...

CARSON Sabatini! What about that billboard?

SABATINI Nothing yet! Everyone's left their goddamn offices already!

CARSON (to Robbins) LAPD will have a record of all emergency vehicles running Code 3 at 9:32 AM. Get their starting point and their destination.

MIRANDA And have them narrow their foot- searches to areas around high-rises.

CARSON (to Dave) Where's that fuckin' address?!

DAVE I'm still holdin'!

Meanwhile, we hear the high-pitched whine as Dave's MODEM connects with another computer. Dave's fingers fly across the keyboard, and in a moment, a PICTURE of Javal appears: hair longer, bearded... but the eyes are unmistakable.

DAVE (continuing) He's on our hit parade. Interpol passed us his records when he entered the country. (reads) French by birth... looks like a total scumbag.

SABATINI Isn't that redundant?

DAVE (reads from computer) Raised in Quebec. Moved to Europe; served some short stretches, petty shit... arrested for kidnapping, no conviction. Did four years in France for blowing bank vaults. Moved to U.S. last year. Clean since then.

CARSON Get his Driver's License number; Social; bank accounts; charge cards; club memberships... find out what movies he rented. Get whoever's closest to the Auto Shop to get in there, interview everybody.

MIRANDA This sure was a ballsy move for a car-alarm installer.

CARSON Hey, he watched the news... Everyone knows the U.S. will do anything to avoid trouble with a mad-dog country.

They turn, noticing that Ambassador Han has overheard.

MIRANDA Ambassador --

CARSON -- Quit apologizing for me!

MIRANDA Quit giving me reasons to!

AMBASSADOR HAN (to Carson) On occasion, my wife has been known to kick my ankle under the table.

Miranda gives Carson a "your turn to be gracious" look.

CARSON Sounds like her aim's a little low.

Not exactly what Miranda was hoping for. Dave hands Carson a piece of paper.

DAVE Address, according to the Auto Shop.

CARSON (looks at paper) Apartment 1060! He's in a high-rise! Sabatini -- you're with us. (off Robbins' disappointed look) She's got the field experience.

Carson and Miranda grab their jackets, then she stops.

MIRANDA There still could be accomplices. If there are, they'll hear us in the helicopter.

Carson looks again at the address...

CARSON There's a TV station a couple blocks away. We'll land on their pad. (to Robbins) K-EYE. Clear it with 'em. Have a SWAT team assemble, but tell 'em to hang back unless we need 'em.

EXT. OSAKA, JAPAN - ESTABLISHING - DAY

SUPER: Osaka. Western Japan.

INT. OSAKA APARTMENT - DAY

In the tiny bedroom of a wheelchair-bound JAPANESE TEENAGER, computers and HAM RADIO equipment are stacked everywhere.

He turns on a tape recorder. We hear a faint, crackling VOICE:

OPERATIVE'S VOICE (VO) (on recorder) ...Missile heading to L.A. has a Kipchak Warhead! Repeat: missile is Kipchak equipped!

The Teenager rolls to a computer running CompuServe. He clicks the CHAT icon, types: "Anyone up on their spy terminology?"

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - LOS ANGELES - DAY

With the gardeners gone, and their sound sensors disabled, Mrs. Han, Joy and Sam are SHOUTING for help.

They listen for a response; it is completely quiet.

EXT. K-EYE STUDIOS - LANDING PAD - LOS ANGELES - DAY

Just as the government helicopter lands, Bobbi's news copter lands right next to it.

Bobbi intercepts Carson, Sabatini, Miranda and Colonel Lee on the pad. Her Cameraman follows, ENG camera on his shoulder, videotaping everything.

CARSON Oh, great, the media... (realizing) It's the goddamn traffic girl!

MIRANDA Traffic person.

BOBBI Where are you going?

CARSON We can't get into that right now...

BOBBI Hey, you expect to use my station's facilities and not even tell us --

Carson grabs the ENG camera, pops the videotape out of it and crushes the tape.

MIRANDA (to Bobbi) Sorry...

BOBBI (looks Miranda over) What the fuck are you, the Barbie Corporate Ass-Lick model?

Miranda is utterly aghast. She reaches under Carson's jacket and takes the handcuffs off his shoulder rig. She grabs Bobbi by the arm and gets her in a half-Nelson.

MIRANDA Guess what, Sister... you're about to spend the next five years in a penitentiary for interfering with a federal investigation.

The STATION MANAGER comes running out of the building.

STATION MANAGER Bobbi! I promised we'd respect their news blackout!

BOBBI (to herself) Figures... you dickless wonder.

Bobbi wriggles out of Miranda's grasp. Carson looks at his wife, who's still fuming, and smiles to himself.

The Station Manager hands Carson the keys to his Lexus.

STATION MANAGER I get an exclusive later, right?

CARSON This works out, I'll play the fuckin' banjo for you.

EXT. SKY OVER PACIFIC OCEAN - DAY

The cruise missile makes a slight course adjustment.

EXT. STREETS OF LOS ANGELES - VARIOUS ANGLES - DAY

People begin to arrive at the events. BOOSTERS pass out food, wine and beer... and crank up the Beach Boys TUNES.

Meanwhile, law enforcement cars move into the areas with high rises -- Century City, Westwood, downtown, etc.

EXT. U.S. AIR BASE - VARIOUS ANGLES - DAY

A sign on the control tower reads: U.S. Air Force, Okinawa.

Flight Crews direct a squadron of planes out onto the flight line: F-16 fighter bombers, along with F-15 fighter escorts.

They begin to TAKE OFF...

EXT. FOUNTAIN AVENUE - DAY

The Lexus is stuck in a dense knot of traffic.

Carson gets out and walks across the hoods of the stopped vehicles around him -- to much COMPLAINING by their owners -- until he finds the reason for the jam-up:

Along the shoulder of the road, a long line of equipment trailers and motor homes, cables, lights, rent-a-cops and gawkers. A MOVIE SHOOT. Carson groans.

He hurries back to the Lexus. Miranda rolls her window down.

CARSON We're hoofing it.

Miranda and Colonel Lee immediately get out of the car and run off, leaving Sabatini to contend with it.

SABATINI (pissed) 'She's got the field experience'... To park the fuckin' car!

EXT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - DAY

A boxy, ten-story complex built in the sixties.

INT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - DAY

Carson, (FBI jacket folded over his arm) Miranda, and Colonel Lee rush into the lobby.

Carson is about to show the CONCIERGE behind the desk his i.d, but the Concierge is nervous and sweating. Carson pulls out his Sig 9mm, approaches the door behind the desk, which is ajar... He pushes it open...

And finds himself staring at the muzzles of three M-16 rifles.

Three SWAT TEAM members are standing there in full body armor.

CARSON (pulls out his i.d.) Whoa... FBI..!

They lower their weapons.

CARSON (continuing) How the hell you get here so fast?

SWAT TEAM #1 They're shootin' a cop movie down the street. We're workin' as extras.

CARSON Terrific. Who else is here?

SWAT TEAM #1 Three officers on the roof, next building over, and two in the tenth- floor hallway.

CARSON Tell 'em to be cool. We're going up. (to Concierge) Give me your master key.

EXT. ADJACENT APARTMENTS - DAY

The SWAT team SHARPSHOOTERS crouch on the roof.

SWAT TEAM #1 (thru radio) Feds going up -- Anglo male and female; Asian male.

INT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT - DAY

Sabatini drives the Lexus in and parks it in the fire lane.

INT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - HALLWAY - DAY

The fire door opens next to an elevator with the number "10" on it, and Carson, Miranda and Colonel Lee come out.

Carson and Miranda creep quietly along the hallway, toward apartment 1060. Carson listens at the door, hears nothing.

He moves to the next door down, apartment 1058, and quietly unlocks the door.

INT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - #1058 - DAY

The shades are drawn, and the apartment is dark.

As Carson and Miranda cut through the apartment, they realize there's a WOMAN lying in the bed. She's naked, and she's not alone. Someone is under the sheets. ANOTHER WOMAN.

The first Woman opens her eyes, sees the intruders, and grabs for a Colt Gold Cup .45 auto in the dresser drawer.

WOMAN What the fuck..!

Her friend sits up. Miranda holds her finger to her lips and shows them her FBI shield.

MIRANDA Sorry...

Carson cranks open their window and steps out onto the foot- wide, ornamental balcony.

CARSON (to Miranda) Wait here.

She begins to protest. He shoots her a look that silences her.

EXT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - DAY

The SWAT sharpshooters watch from the next building over as Carson, ten floors up, peers through the slit in between the curtains into the window of Javal's apartment.

He swings his legs over onto Javal's ornamental balcony... the bolts holding the rail onto the wall are loose and rusty... the balcony SLIPS a little...

He leans on the crank-operated window until it SNAPS open.

INT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - JAVAL'S APARTMENT - DAY

Carson steps inside. He looks around the bedroom -- it's empty. No furnishings, the closet shelves are bare, even the pictures on the walls are gone, leaving only their outline.

Carson cautiously goes into the living room --

It's also empty. All that remains are a few cardboard boxes, and three flower pots in macramE ceiling hangers by the living room window. Some dead leaves lie on the floor beneath them.

CARSON (into radio) I'm in. It's empty, but sit tight while I look around.

Carson cautiously approaches the cardboard boxes.

INT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - #1058 - DAY

The clock on the bedstand reads 4:25. Miranda smiles uncomfortably at the two naked women together in bed.

MIRANDA I like what you've done with the place...

INT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - HALLWAY - DAY

The elevator DINGS. Sabatini comes out, H&K MP-5 in hand.

SWAT Team #2, standing on the far side of the hallway with Colonel Lee, sees her machine pistol and takes aim.

COLONEL LEE Wait!

Colonel Lee walks over to Sabatini.

SABATINI Where's Carson?

COLONEL LEE Inside.

Sabatini starts down the hall. Colonel Lee stays where he is.

INT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - JAVAL'S APARTMENT - DAY

Carson cautiously peers in the moving boxes. They're empty.

He crosses to the front door, looks it over, unlocks the deadbolt. He turns the knob, the button POPS open...

He stops, noticing a HAIRLINE SEAM in the doorjamb where a piece was cut, then neatly replaced.

Then, he's startled as he hears a strange, mechanical whining NOISE coming from the kitchen.

He goes to investigate -- it's an almost-dead, avocado-green refrigerator straining to start its compressor. He looks for booby-traps, opens it, and looks inside. Empty.

Looking down, he notices he's got a dead leaf stuck to the bottom of his shoe.

Glancing in the living room, he sees the dead leaves on the floor below the three hanging plants. He looks at the plants: two are dead. The one in the middle is not. It's plastic.

We HEAR the jiggle of the front doorknob.

CARSON NO! --

Too late... The front door opens....

Carson crouches behind the big, heavy refrigerator door...

As the middle flower pot EXPLODES. It's a shrapnel bomb: it spews thousands of tiny carpet tacks 360 degrees around room.

Sabatini is HIT full on -- she falls backwards into the hall.

INT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - #1058 - DAY

Miranda and the women in the darkened bedroom SCREAM as the tacks tear hundreds of HOLES through sections of the wall.

Tiny shafts of LIGHT appear in the wall, except where it is covered by furniture (keeping them from being shredded.)

INT. MIMOSA APARTMENTS - HALLWAY - DAY

SWAT Team #2 and Colonel Lee come running, as does Miranda.

Carson is kneeling next to Sabatini. She looks up at him and tries to say something, but a only long, mournful, final BREATH escapes her. Agonized, Carson looks around...

And sees Colonel Lee. He lunges for him.

CARSON I said keep everyone back!!

He punches Colonel Lee in the jaw. Colonel Lee slams against the wall, then comes back at Carson, hitting him in the throat.

MIRANDA Stop it!

Miranda and SWAT Team #2 pull them apart.

CARSON (to Colonel Lee) Get out of my sight.

He kneels next to Sabatini, and closes her eyes.

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

It's in between reports. The Cameraman listens to the Grateful Dead on a BOOM BOX. Bobbi answers her ringing CELL PHONE.

BOBBI (into phone) Marchfelder.

STATION MANAGER (VO) (thru phone) You dated the Mayor, right?

BOBBI (sighs; into phone) You need a traffic ticket fixed?

STATION MANAGER (VO) (excited; thru phone) Try to confirm something for us. There's an incredible buzz on the Internet -- someone picked up a classified message on a U.S. Intelligence frequency. We think it's authentic!

EXT. STREETS OF LOS ANGELES - VARIOUS ANGLES - DAY

The streets of Hollywood are even more congested than before, as the festivities really start rockin'.

INT. GOVERNMENT HELICOPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Carson and Miranda sit together in the back and Colonel Lee sits next to the Pilot as they fly back to the Consulate.

Miranda looks at Carson, who's trying real hard not to let Sabatini's death slow him down.

CARSON (into radio) What's the status?

ROBBINS (VO) (thru radio) Wilshire and West PD Divisions had seven vehicles running with sirens at 9:32. They're getting the routes from the officers now.

CARSON (into radio) Hurry it the hell up.

He glances over at Miranda. After a beat:

CARSON (continuing) I should've known she'd come up.

MIRANDA Pete --

CARSON -- "Should've." Shit, there's a familiar word. (long beat) That day... I was there soon enough. We should've rushed 'em, before they could finish setting up...

MIRANDA The Bureau never would've let you. They want it by the book: talk them out.

Carson looks out the window, not hearing a word she says...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT./EXT. BEVERLY THRIFT - (FLASHBACK) - DAY

Carson is in the FBI command truck, talking on the phone to:

A BANK ROBBER, barricaded inside the bank. Phone in hand, he holds a shotgun on a dozen hostages: BANK EMPLOYEES and CUSTOMERS -- including a couple of YOUNG KIDS. One is holding a soccer-sized, rainbow-colored rubber ball.

The OTHER BANK ROBBER wires up a series of explosive charges.

Both Robbers rush inside the vault, and pull the door closed to protect themselves...

The front of the building, where the hostages are, EXPLODES.

Carson runs to the bank. He spots the kid's ball, rolling in the street... BURNING. He turns away, horrified, devastated...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. GOVERNMENT HELICOPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

CARSON Twelve bodies -- only the hostages.

MIRANDA You were a greenhorn. It wasn't your decision. You can't keep living as such a raw nerve, never sleeping --

CARSON -- Those kids were ten years old! (sotto) Same age as the Han boy...

He turns away. She takes his hand.

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - DAY

The family continues to call for HELP. As they do, we

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY JUST OUTSIDE APARTMENT - DAY

Their CRIES echo faintly through a deserted tangle of ladders, construction equipment, sheets of drywall, etc.

A warning sign taped to the wall near the elevator reads: This Floor Has Been Temporarily Vacated For Minor Earthquake Retrofitting.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

The mood is glum. Carson looks at Robbins, Dave and Walther, then at the empty chair where Sabatini had been sitting.

CARSON C'mon! Who's pulling Javal's bank records? What about cross-referencing possible aliases? We got 33 minutes!

Hearing Beach Boys MUSIC on the TV's and radios on the surveillance console, Carson angrily punches them all off.

Suddenly, Miranda looks at him:

MIRANDA Camry! The billboard! Toyota Camry! (reaches for phone) Where are the numbers for the outdoor ad companies?

ROBBINS Parker Center's making those calls.

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Bobbi and the News Cameraman are arguing bitterly:

BOBBI Turn the fuckin' camera on! DO IT!!

CAMERAMAN Maybe it's true... probably is true. That's why they got a news blackout!

BOBBI I'll rip your miserable eyeballs out! NEWS IS OUR FUCKIN' JOB!!

He sighs and turns the CAMERA on.

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - INCLUDE ANGLE ON TV - DAY

The Han family listens to Bobbi, amazed, horrified...

BOBBI (on TV) ...A warning was radioed to U.S. Intelligence that a biological weapon, allegedly containing the deadly Pneumonic Plague, is approaching Los Angeles. While unconfirmed, the President and other leaders are all late in arriving...

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

The TV's are off -- so they see none of Bobbi's report.

Carson crosses to Dave. He's at his computer, looking at a long column of telephone numbers.

DAVE Finally got the call list from Javal's phone. Most aren't his; they're from the legit user who didn't know his number was cloned.

CARSON Go to the bottom of the list, work back through the last 12 hours.

Dave jumps to the bottom, points at a number.

DAVE Here's the call to the Consulate -- 965-5000. (while scrolling) The rest are dupes... all from the other guy...

CARSON Wait... go back... the one at seven this morning...

Dave highlights a number: 213-965-5666.

WIDER

Carson glances over at the telephone on Colonel Lee's desk.

(FLASHBACK) - CLOSE ON PHONE

from when Carson took a call there, pushing the mute button.

(FLASHBACK) - EXTREME CLOSE UP

on the label showing the phone's extension number: "x666."

BACK TO SCENE

Across the room, Colonel Lee is watching Carson intently.

Carson turns to look at him. They make eye contact.

Time stands still.

Realization.

Feeling like he's moving in SLOW MOTION, Carson reaches for the Sig 9mm in his shoulder holster.

Colonel Lee grabs the AMD-74 machine gun on the desk.

CARSON Get down!

Colonel Lee STRAFES the room and backs toward the door.

The BULLETS trace a line across the room. One of the North Korean Espionage Agents is HIT. He slams against the console.

Carson tackles Ambassador Han and shoves him onto the floor, while popping off several ROUNDS in Colonel Lee's direction.

Robbins also dives for cover, pushing Walther down first. Robbins takes a BULLET in the shoulder.

Miranda is HIT. The impact tumbles her over the desk.

CARSON (continuing) MIRANDA!

Colonel Lee, still FIRING, slips out the door.

Gunsmoke hangs in the air as Carson scrambles to Miranda. Several PHONES have begun ringing. No one notices them.

Dave never moved -- he sits hunched over, clutching his notebook computer, muttering the HAIL MARY.

Carson rolls Miranda over. She's got a large, scorched bullet hole in the front of her blouse. Carson tears her blouse open. She's wearing a kelvar vest under it, and the slug is mushroomed against the vest.

She awakens, GASPS and starts swinging her fists at him. Carson is overwhelmed with relief.

Then he notices Robbins, bleeding profusely, propped against the wall next to Walther. Walther is dead -- shot in the head.

OS, we hear several SPURTS of machine gun fire, and a car ENGINE roaring to life. Miranda looks at Carson...

MIRANDA Go..!

EXT. WILSHIRE BLVD - DAY

The city's reaction to Bobbi's announcement is immediate and severe. It makes the panic during the '92 riots look like a drive in the country.

EXT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

Carson bursts through the door just as the second armored Mercedes CRASHES through the wrought-iron entry gates. Carson fires several SHOTS, which ping harmlessly off the Mercedes.

Carson sprints for a car. Miranda's Volvo is the closest one.

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - DAY

As Carson is starting it, the passenger door opens and Ambassador Han gets in.

CARSON Get the fuck out of here!

Ambassador Han responds by putting on his seat belt. Carson sighs and tears out of the driveway.

EXT. FREMONT PLACE - DAY

Colonel Lee crashes through the Fremont Place guard gate, then hangs a right on Wilshire. He drives the center turn lane, zooming past the snarl of cars.

EXT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - DAY

In the back of the Consulate, Miranda, sore as hell, climbs into the government copter. It WHINES to life and TAKES OFF.

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Carson looks around at the chaos around them.

CARSON Shit, it's like a Godzilla movie out here!

Then he HEARS, on a nearby car's FM RADIO:

FM NEWSCASTER (VO) (thru car radio) ...These words, which have terrified the city:

RECORDING OF BOBBI (VO) (thru car radio) ...A biological weapon, allegedly containing the deadly Pneumonic Plague, is approaching Los Angeles...

Stunned, Carson looks over at Ambassador Han, who buries his face in his hands.

CARSON (into radio) Miranda..!

MIRANDA (VO) (thru radio) I heard. I'm in the copter.

CARSON (into radio) I want you to get out of here...

INT. GOVERNMENT HELICOPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Miranda is flying just behind Carson's Volvo. The TRAFFIC is beyond nightmarish. She smiles at his concern for her.

MIRANDA (into radio) Shut up and keep your eyes on the road. That's my goddamn car. (beat; into radio) Dave? You staying on top of the research?

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

Sweating, Dave is watching the ACTION outside on a TV while hurriedly bandaging Robbins' shoulder with some torn cloth. He grabs for the two-way and we realize he's panicking.

DAVE (into radio) I can't... My kids...

MIRANDA (VO) (thru radio; calmly) Listen: the best way to help them is to stay at your computer. If any information comes in, holler. Okay?

He squeezes his eyes shut... After a long beat:

DAVE (into radio) Okay...

EXT. SKY OVER LOS ANGELES - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Several large military helicopters approach -- troop contingents from Pendleton and Ft. Irwin.

The big CH-54 dual-rotor copters set down and offload MARINES and ARMY INFANTRY.

Others, like Apache Gunship combat copters and Hueys, begin to follow the pursuit. They join the police and TV copters, and it looks like the Ride of the Valkyries.

EXT. STREETS OF LOS ANGELES - VARIOUS ANGLES - DAY

People flee from the festivities in droves. Seeing the helicopters and TROOPS in bio suits only fuels the hysteria.

We hear news REPORTS coming from car radios, boom boxes, TV's. Reporters chatter urgently in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Farsi, their voices mixing with the shouts of pedestrians, the rumbling and horn-blowing of the traffic...

Everyone, everywhere is getting into their cars in a mad dash to get out of town or rendezvous with loved ones.

This is the mother of all rush hours.

EXT. WESTERN AVENUE - DAY

Colonel Lee's car turns right onto Western Avenue. He's in the heart of Koreatown -- hardly any of the signs are in English.

He swerves through the panicked drivers jamming the roads -- in the center lane, or into the oncoming traffic. The cars he HITS crumple against the Mercedes without slowing it down.

Carson's Volvo follows, squeezing through traffic in its wake.

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) DAY

Bobbi is salivating with excitement (and antacid.) She snaps off her mic and yells at her Cameraman:

BOBBI Don't lose the Benz, moron... pull back... show the other copters around us... this is fuckin' great...

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Ambassador Han looks glumly at the chaos in the streets.

CARSON ...The Colonel hired Javal, made it look like he was working alone. Then he made sure Javal got killed, so we'd never find your family -- and they'd have an excuse to drop their bomb. But what's in it for 'em?

AMBASSADOR HAN There are men in my government whose power depends on North Korea staying as it is: Socialist, repressive, isolated from the world. They'll resort to anything, even war, to keep it that way. They have the Hitler Syndrome: if their country cannot exist the way they want it, they would rather see it destroyed.

EXT. WESTERN AVENUE - DAY

Colonel Lee gets stuck in a line of cars trying to get onto the 10 East. Above, a swarm of HELICOPTERS circle him.

INT. APACHE HELICOPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Marine MAJOR VREELAND and his PILOT sit in the lead helicopter, an Apache Gunship.

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Carson leans on the HORN and tries to push through traffic.

VREELAND (VO) (thru radio) FBI, this is Major Vreeland. Discontinue your pursuit, we're gonna box his ears from up here.

CARSON (into radio) Negative -- his car's armored! And we need the bastard alive!!

VREELAND (VO) (thru radio) We've got the situation in hand.

INT. COLONEL LEE'S MERCEDES - DAY

Colonel Lee sees the Apache helicopter approach. He leans into the back seat, knocking the top off a long, plastic crate.

INT. APACHE HELICOPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

The SUNROOF on the Mercedes slides open. Colonel Lee's upper body pokes through the sunroof. He's holding a manportable S.A.M. -- a 3-foot-long, fiberglass rocket launcher.

Vreeland tries to bring his machine guns to bear on Colonel Lee, but there's no time...

VREELAND (to Pilot) Shit! Pull back!

EXT. COLONEL LEE'S MERCEDES - DAY

Colonel Lee depresses the trigger on the launcher and a rolling-pin-sized rocket is EXPELLED.

EXT. SKY ABOVE WESTERN AVENUE - DAY

The rocket SLAMS into a police helicopter just in front of the Apache, creating a huge FIREBALL, turning the copter into two tons of red-hot shrapnel.

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - DAY

Carson and Ambassador Han watch with horror.

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

A hundred yards away, they're BUFFETED by the explosion.

BOBBI (to TV camera) Jesus fuckin' God!!! (beat; smiles) Uh, I think we're gonna set down now. Back to you, Brent.

EXT. WESTERN AVENUE - VARIOUS ANGLES - DAY

The burning hull of the police copter CRASHES into a mini- mall, causing a FIRE and EXPLOSION.

Hot metal and debris PINGS and POPS as it rains over the neighborhood, sending cars and pedestrians rushing for cover.

EXT. HELICOPTERS - DAY

Vreeland's Apache and the remaining helicopters scramble away.

VREELAND (into radio) Out of the air, or retreat 7,000 meters from target vehicle!

The copters set down in parking lots, rooftops, wherever. Armed troops climb out to keep PANICKED MOBS from swarming them in an attempt to leave the city.

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - INCLUDE ANGLE ON TV - DAY

The Han family watches the TV, amazed, as Colonel Lee ducks back down into the Mercedes and closes the sunroof.

JOY I always hated that guy...

EXT. SANTA MONICA FREEWAY - DAY

Other drivers, not knowing whether Colonel Lee's rocket is the biological missile, scatter away from him. Colonel Lee squeezes onto the freeway on-ramp.

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Pieces of burning DEBRIS are still landing nearby. Carson looks at Ambassador Han:

CARSON One of yours? (Han nods) What the hell do you need heat- seeking rockets for in L.A.?

AMBASSADOR HAN There could be another riot...

CARSON (shakes his head) And they call me Mr. Overkill. (into radio) Dave, what do you know about...

He looks at Han.

AMBASSADOR HAN Strela-2...

CARSON (into radio) Strela-2 anti-aircraft rockets?

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

Dave, calmer but still sweating, taps at his computer. A schematic of Colonel Lee's rocket launcher appears on it.

DAVE (into radio) I'm with ya... Strela-2. Perenosniy zenitniy raketniy kompleks. Russian factory index 9K-32-M2 --

CARSON (VO) (thru radio) -- Skip the goddamn trivia! I need range, guidance, arming method, anything we can work with...

MIRANDA (VO) (thru radio) -- You don't "work with" rockets, Peter!

INT. POLICE CRUISER - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Miranda has hitched a ride in a black-and-white.

MIRANDA (into radio) Stay back. LAPD's putting up a roadblock.

EXT. SANTA MONICA FREEWAY - DAY

Several police cars clear a path for two huge, yellow DWP BULLDOZERS borrowed from a construction cite.

They rumble up onto the eastbound freeway, turn, and then stop, side by side, facing oncoming traffic. They lower their huge front shovels to create a roadblock.

INT. NEWS COPTER - CLOSE - DAY

Bobbi sits impatiently, microphone in hand...

WIDER

The copter has landed behind an AM-PM Minimart/gas station.

Bobbi, her Pilot and her Cameraman turn when they hear a KNOCKING on the windshield of their copter...

Oblivious to the panic on the streets, a raggedy HOMELESS GUY stands with a spray bottle, wanting to wash the windows on the copter. Bobbi gulps some Mylanta and waves him away:

BOBBI Save it for someone who gives a shit!

EXT. STREETS OF LOS ANGELES - VARIOUS ANGLES - DAY

All of the celebration locales are trampled, abandoned messes. So much for "Fun Fun Fun" and L.A. putting on its best.

MOBS make panicked runs on the stock in grocery, drug and hardware stores. Violence breaks out in the aisles and parking lots.

PEOPLE in their homes work feverishly to seal their doors and windows against the plague with tape, towels, plastic.

INT. COLONEL LEE'S MERCEDES - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Colonel Lee screeches to a stop 500 feet from the bulldozers, angling the Mercedes so the driver's door is facing them.

EXT. SANTA MONICA FREEWAY - DAY

The windows on the Mercedes glide open....

Carson hurries to catch up to it...

Colonel Lee FIRES a rocket at the bulldozers through the driver's side window. The BACKBLAST from the launcher vents through the passenger's side.

The ROCKET impacts the bulldozer on the left; the EXPLOSION actually FLIPS the huge machine head over tail into the air.

The bulldozer lands upside down on the lane divider, crushing a portion of it.

Colonel Lee rolls up his windows and drives around the burning wreckage.

The other drivers really give him wide berth now...

EXT. HARBOR FREEWAY - DAY

Approaching downtown, Colonel Lee turns onto the 110 north.

INT. CARSON'S VOLVO - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Traffic moves aside for Colonel Lee's notorious Mercedes. Carson catches up to it.

DAVE (VO) (thru radio) ...The Strela-2 needs 45 meters to arm, so stay tight on his ass.

Carson SLAMS his Volvo into the Mercedes. Ambassador Han braces himself on the dashboard. Carson looks over at him.

CARSON That Kraut-mobile have any weaknesses you'd like to tell me about?

AMBASSADOR HAN I don't think so -- they said it was solid as a rock.

CARSON (looks at his crumpled car) No shit...

As Carson moves forward, Colonel Lee's window opens enough to allow the barrel of his AMD-74 machine gun to poke through.

Carson shoves Ambassador Han's head down and ducks. Colonel Lee STRAFES the Volvo.

Carson looks up just in time to see...

A pickup truck, ahead, stalled on the shoulder.

Carson slams on the brakes, but it's too late... The Volvo CRASHES headfirst into the back of the truck.

The Volvo's AIRBAGS deploy, stopping Carson and Ambassador Han from plowing into the dashboard. After a beat:

AMBASSADOR HAN (dazed) I can't believe I'm still alive...

CARSON This were a Hyundai you wouldn't be.

Ambassador Han looks at Carson, wondering if he's putting him on. The car is a twisted mess. Carson can't get the door open.

EXT. HARBOR FREEWAY - DAY

A red and white LAFD paramedic's ambulance puts on its SIREN and hurries to the Volvo. Two PARAMEDICS jump out.

CARSON Get me out of here...

They pry his door open with a crowbar. Carson climbs onto the roof of his car. Grimacing from pain, he looks around.

CARSON (continuing; into radio) Anybody see him?

MIRANDA (VO) (thru radio) Still heading north on the 110.

The Paramedics pry the passenger door open and help Ambassador Han out. Carson looks at the ambulance. He's getting an idea...

CARSON (into radio) Dave... You're sure those rockets are heat-seeking?

DAVE (VO) (thru radio) Classic IR, reflective optical system. How come?

CARSON (into radio) Just keep working your leads...

Carson climbs into the back of the ambulance.

INT. AMBULANCE - DAY

Carson rummages through the supplies, finds what he's looking for, and (BELOW FRAME) starts stuffing them into a canvas bag.

EXT. SANTA MONICA FREEWAY - DAY

Carson climbs onto the roof of the ambulance.

CARSON (into radio) This is Carson. I need a copter.

EXT. HELICOPTERS - (VARIOUS ANGLES) - DAY

Everyone in the grounded helicopters -- LAPD, National Guard, Marines, media -- react to Carson's request as if he's crazy.

CARSON (VO) (thru radio) Something small and nimble. Anybody... come in low, from the south... I'm on an ambulance by the 9th Street exit.

MIRANDA (VO) (thru radio) Are you out of your mind?

INT. NEWS COPTER - DAY

Bobbi is standing next to her copter in the back of the minimart, listening to this exchange on a POLICE SCANNER. Her Cameraman is eating a microwave burrito. Bobbi jumps in, grabs the ENG camera, and yells at her Pilot:

BOBBI Get this fuckin' thing in the air! (to Cameraman) Out! Not enough room for four.

CAMERAMAN (as they TAKE OFF) What am I supposed to do when the plague comes, hold my breath?

INT. POLICE CRUISER - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

They rapidly cut through the traffic.

MIRANDA (into radio) Switch to a secure channel. (flips a switch) What on earth are you thinking?

CARSON (VO) (thru radio) I'll make him open the sunroof. Someone can shoot tear gas or a percussion grenade inside.

MIRANDA (into radio) Pete, you haven't gone... suicidal or anything on me, have you?

CARSON (VO) (thru radio) No way. I couldn't stand making so many people happy.

EXT. HARBOR FREEWAY - DAY

Carson waves his arms as he sees a helicopter approaching.

The glare from the sun masks the copter's markings. It HOVERS above him. With the canvas bag slung over his shoulder, Carson jumps up onto the runner, then climbs up inside the cockpit.

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Carson closes the door, then sees Bobbi.

CARSON You?! I wanted a police copter!

PILOT Just tell me what to do. I flew two tours in 'Nam.

BOBBI And he doesn't go unless I go!

CARSON Wrong-o...

CUT TO:

EXT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

The door opens and Bobbi comes TUMBLING out of it!

WIDER

They're hovering above the roof of a high-rise hotel downtown. Bobbi lands with a huge SPLASH in the rooftop swimming pool.

BOBBI

surfaces, sputtering and screaming:

BOBBI I'm a respected electronic journalist, you fuckin' prick!!

Carson replies by tossing her industrial-sized bottle of Mylanta out after her.

EXT. SKY ABOVE OCEAN - FOLLOW CRUISE MISSILE - DAY

In the distance, there is smog on the horizon.

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

They follow the 110 north. Ahead, Carson sees the Mercedes cutting across lanes.

CARSON (into radio) Got 'im -- looks like he's headed for the 101.

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Carson has the Pilot hover just above and behind the Mercedes. It comes to a stop and the sunroof opens up.

Carson lashes himself to the copter's center post with a piece of the seat harness, then slides the door open.

He reaches into the canvas bag and takes out a road flare. He breaks the flare open, IGNITING it.

CARSON (to Pilot) Pull hard to the left, on my signal...

He braces himself on door jamb...

Below, Colonel Lee's head pokes up from the sunroof.

EXT. COLONEL LEE'S MERCEDES - DAY

Colonel Lee calmly aims the rocket launcher and FIRES.

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Carson tosses the lit flare, hard, away from the helicopter.

CARSON Now!

The Pilot swings the helicopter in the other direction, and the rocket FOLLOWS the flare, streaking past the helicopter.

A few seconds later, the rocket EXPLODES in midair behind them.

INT. POLICE CRUISER - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Miranda sees what Carson is doing.

MIRANDA You fucking lunatic!!

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

The News Pilot looks over at Carson.

PILOT Hope you got more flares than he's got rockets.

EXT. HARBOR FREEWAY - DAY

Miranda and the L.A. Cop, both holding small tear gas pistols, split up. Crouching behind the cars on the freeway, they sneak up on the stopped Mercedes.

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Carson takes another flare out of the canvas bag. He breaks the top off... and it doesn't ignite.

Below, Colonel Lee loads another rocket into the launcher...

EXT. HARBOR FREEWAY - DAY

Miranda is climbing the metal stairs leading to a graffiti- covered freeway sign.

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Carson fumbles to pull another flare out of the canvas bag.

EXT. HARBOR FREEWAY - DAY

Avoiding coils of razor-sharp concertina wire around the sign, Miranda FIRES a tear gas canister at the Mercedes' sunroof.

It misses, bouncing off the windshield, filling the area with white smoke. Colonel Lee keeps his eye on the copter...

INT. NEWS COPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Carson gets the new flare lit and throws it away from the copter just as Colonel Lee FIRES another rocket.

The rocket EXPLODES a few dozen yards away. Shrapnel PEPPERS the copter, DAMAGING the rear rotor.

Struggling to maintain control, the Pilot heads for the Sixth Street on-ramp, below the freeway, out of the line of fire.

EXT. HARBOR FREEWAY - DAY

Colonel Lee spots Miranda, up on the freeway sign, loading another tear gas canister. He STRAFES the sign.

She flattens; the BULLETS tear through the sign above her.

The L.A. Cop rushes the Mercedes. Colonel Lee FIRES at him, hitting him across the legs.

Colonel Lee ducks back into the Mercedes and drives away.

VARIOUS ANGLES

As Miranda comes down from the sign...

Carson climbs up the embankment from Sixth Street to the 101...

The downed L.A. Cop waves as a pair of ambulances drive up, lights flashing and sirens WAILING.

Carson runs alongside one of the ambulances, pulling the driver's door open before it's stopped.

The Paramedic is the one who helped him and Ambassador Han out of the Volvo. Carson yanks him out of his ambulance.

MIRANDA Sorry...

INT. AMBULANCE - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Carson jumps in. Miranda climbs in the passenger's side. As he peels away, Miranda smacks Carson on the head.

MIRANDA You're completely deranged! Playing chicken with rockets!

CARSON Well, what the hell were you doing out there?

AMBASSADOR HAN (OS) What are both of you doing?

Carson turns, surprised and annoyed to see Ambassador Han, his arm bandaged, lying in the cot in the back.

CARSON Oh, for Christ's sake... Hold on!

Lights and SIRENS going, they rush into the 110/101 interchange.

Ahead, Colonel Lee's Mercedes is driving through the cars that are parting like the Red Sea for him.

MIRANDA Even if we can pry him out with... (looks at her watch) Twelve minutes to go, I doubt he'll be very cooperative.

CARSON I'll just use my outstanding people skills.

Carson glances up at the sign showing the upcoming exit: Glendale Blvd - Echo Park. A thought is forming...

CARSON (continuing; to Ambassador Han) That car's like a rock, right?

EXT. HOLLYWOOD FREEWAY - DAY

Carson suddenly cuts to the left. When they reach the Glendale Blvd exit, he SLAMS the ambulance into the side of the Mercedes, forcing it onto the freeway off-ramp.

INT. COLONEL LEE'S MERCEDES - (MOVING SHOT) - DAY

Carson pushes the Mercedes across Bellevue Avenue, toward the park surrounding Echo Lake. Colonel Lee STRAFES the ambulance.

EXT. GLENDALE BLVD - DAY

Carson keeps BUMPING the Mercedes as they reach Glendale Blvd, running right alongside the lake.

With a hard shove, Carson sends the Mercedes SKIDDING off the road, through the small guardrail, and INTO the lake.

Carson slams on the brakes, fishtailing the ambulance into the grass surrounding the lake. Sig 9mm in hand, he hops out.

The Mercedes is so heavy that it's already half-submerged.

INT./EXT. COLONEL LEE'S MERCEDES - DAY

WATER pours in from the floorboards, the air vents...

Colonel Lee climbs out through the sunroof and FIRES at Carson with his AMD-74.

EXT. ECHO LAKE - DAY

Carson ducks behind the ambulance, takes careful aim...

And SHOOTS Colonel Lee, WINGING him in the shoulder. Colonel Lee's machine gun goes flying, and he tumbles into the water.

Meanwhile, Cops, Army, Marines, etc. arrive via helicopter and car. Major Vreeland is among them. The news media, ENG cameras bouncing on their shoulders, run alongside them.

CLOSER

Carson races over to grab Colonel Lee, who is slogging out of the lake. There is a glint of bright steel... and Colonel Lee SLASHES at Carson with a knife.

Carson moves aside... but the knife SLICES across his upper arm. Carson falls backwards.

Colonel Lee, on hands and knees, tries to crawl away. Suddenly, someone KICKS him in face, flipping him over.

It's Miranda. Colonel Lee's knife goes flying.

Carson, bleeding, piles onto Colonel Lee. Vreeland assists. Colonel Lee fights like mad to break free...

Until Miranda JAMS her heel into his groin. He cries out.

MIRANDA Ever hear of "fuck-me" pumps? Well, these are fuck you pumps! (pushes harder) Where's the family?

Surprised at his wife's new negotiating technique, Carson shoots a look at Vreeland. Vreeland grimaces.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

Dave sits in front of his computer, phone receiver resting on his shoulder, riveted by the ACTION on the TV.

DAVE Holy shit -- Knoll-It-All's turned into Dirty Harriet!

He turns as his MODEM squawks and another download comes in.

DAVE (continuing; into phone) You're sure there were no accounts in the other names I gave you?

EXT. ECHO LAKE - DAY

While Miranda continues to apply encouragement to Colonel Lee's gonads, Ambassador Han limps over. He yells some ORDERS at Colonel Lee. After a moment, Colonel Lee sags.

AMBASSADOR HAN Let him up.

Carson's not so sure, but they're completely surrounded by military and law enforcement personnel. He releases his grasp. Miranda removes her heel.

Then, with lightning reflexes, Colonel Lee grabs Vreeland's Rock Island Arsenal Colt .45 Auto from its snap-holster.

COLONEL LEE Victory!

Carson dives back onto him. But he twists his arm around and PULLS the trigger -- with the muzzle underneath his own chin.

Carson, Miranda and Ambassador Han are SPRAYED with his blood.

WIDER

Dumbfounded everybody looks at each other...

Carson, dogged, kneels next to Colonel Lee's body and searches through his pockets, looking for something, anything.

EXT. SKY ABOVE OCEAN - FOLLOW CRUISE MISSILE - DAY

Ahead, in the distance, the coastline comes into view.

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - DAY

The family stares at the TV. Mrs. Han purses her lips... fighting it... a tear rolls down her face. The time: 4:51.

EXT. ECHO LAKE - DAY

Carson reaches for his two-way radio.

CARSON (into radio) Dave...

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

Dave is looking at the TV, paying no attention to his computer.

INCLUDE COMPUTER

as some bank records are being downloaded: faxed IMAGES of processed checks SCROLL down the screen.

CARSON (VO) (thru radio) Anything else come through?

DAVE (numb; into radio) Take a hint. We're screwed.

CARSON (VO) (thru radio) Not yet...

Shaking his head, Dave glances at his computer...

CLOSER

Just in time to glimpse the words "First & Last + Deposit" on one of the checks as it scrolls off the screen.

DAVE

fumbles to scroll back to the check.

DAVE (into radio) Wait! One of Javal's alias accounts: check for an apartment rental!

CARSON (VO) (thru radio) You're shittin'... Where?!

CUT TO:

EXT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - ANGLE ON WINDOW - DAY

Through the sheer curtains over the window we can SEE the Han family sitting in their booby-trapped chairs.

DAVE (VO) Park La Brea!

We PULL BACK... they're way up in a high-rise building... The CAMERA continues to PULL BACK, farther and farther...

...REVEALING 4,222 apartment units, on 168 acres. The building in which the apartment is located is one of 18 identical, 13- story towers standing side-by-side in a series of hexagons.

EXT. ECHO LAKE - DAY

Vreeland's Apache helicopter LIFTS OFF.

INT. APACHE HELICOPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Miranda looks at Carson, then checks her watch. 4:52.

CARSON (into radio) ...Have the Manager evacuate the complex. Find out which unit the family's in, but don't let anyone go in 'til we get there.

INT. NORTH KOREAN CONSULATE - SURVEILLANCE ROOM - DAY

Dave, re-energized, is juggling the phone and the radio.

DAVE (into radio) Private security's going around with PA's, and they set off the fire alarm. (into phone) Well, try callin' him again! (into radio) Manager's gone, and the Assistant can't find the key to get to the rental manifest. (into phone) Then kick the fuckin' door down!

INT. PARK LA BREA OFFICE - DAY

The dense Assistant Manager, MILTON, stands in the outer office, staring at the inner office's closed door.

MILTON (into phone) I'll try him in his car again...

During this, outside:

WESTEC GUARDS (OS) (thru car-mounted PA) Tenants -- leave your apartments at once... Take the stairs...

INT. APACHE HELICOPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Carson sticks the radio in his pocket and looks at Miranda.

CARSON "Fuck-you" pumps??

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - DAY

The hostages can hear the WHOOPING fire alarms and the (OS) ANNOUNCEMENT. Joy looks at Mrs. Han, hopeful.

JOY They must know we're here...

ALL Help!

No answer.

EXT. PARK LA BREA - DAY

Police cars, military vehicles, fire trucks, etc. converge on the complex from all directions.

Several helicopters circle the complex. One has a PA in it:

VOICE THRU PA Han family. Show us your location...

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - DAY

The family listens, frustrated, as the HELICOPTERS circle (OS).

Joy carefully slides her arm along the arm rest, then tries to coax something out of her pocket -- her Zippo lighter.

JOY Mother... Sam...

They look over at her as she lights it. After a beat, Mrs. Han understands... She hesitates, then:

MRS. HAN Do it.

Joy drops the lighter to the floor, then swats it with her foot to Mrs. Han. She does the same, passing it to Sam, who's sitting closest to the window.

With one eye on the VU movement meter, Sam kicks the lighter, sliding it across the carpet toward the curtains.

INT. PARK LA BREA OFFICE - DAY

Several COPS and MARINES burst into the office. Milton, the Assistant Manager, cowers as they SHOOT the lock off the door to the inner office and rush in.

MILTON It's a brown binder... Says "Rental Manifest." You can't miss it...

They literally tear the office apart.

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - DAY

The FIRE is consuming the curtains. Thick, toxic SMOKE begins to fill the tiny apartment, and everyone starts coughing.

INT. APACHE HELICOPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

They circle, overwhelmed by the sheer number of apartments.

CARSON (into radio) Apartment number would be real helpful, gang...

Miranda points to a wisp of SMOKE above one of the towers.

MIRANDA There!

They come around, and spot the FIRE in the apartment's window. It is nine stories up, four stories below the top floor.

EXT. SKY ABOVE OCEAN - FOLLOW CRUISE MISSILE - DAY

The coast looms closer.

EXT. PARK LA BREA - INCLUDE APACHE HELICOPTER - DAY

The Apache hovers parallel to the apartment, 20 feet away. Carson feeds out a steel cable from a winch...

Then throws a spring-loaded grappling hook onto the thick, iron balcony railing.

Hanging onto a webbed rescue harness, Carson slides quickly across the line, onto the balcony. Using the butt of his Sig 9mm, he BREAKS a hole in the glass on the locked sliding glass door. He reaches through and unlatches it.

INT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - DAY

The FLAMES have engulfed both sets of curtains and have begun to creep across the floor and the ceiling.

Carson glances over at the electronics on the TV: 4:55 PM.

The family is coughing from the smoke, trying not to panic.

In the kitchen, Lisa can't cough through the tape on her mouth. She's freaking out.

Seeing this, Carson runs over to her and pulls the tape off. She starts SCREAMING, so he grabs her face.

CARSON Okay... work with me here!

He grabs one of the refrigerator handles and pulls, but it won't come loose. Lisa cries out in frustration.

LISA Hurry, please hurry...

Carson spots Javal's toolbox. In it, he finds a socket set handle, which he levers in between the refrigerator handle and the door. He rips one handle loose, then the other.

Carson turns his attention to the booby-trapped chairs.

Lisa sits on the floor, frantically pulling her handcuffed hands around her feet so they're in front of her, then runs for the front door. Just as she reaches it:

CARSON DON'T!

He grabs her before she opens the door. There's a small magnetic sensor at the top of the door jamb.

CARSON (continuing) We have to go out the window.

MRS. HAN Can't you disarm the bomb?

CARSON Too risky. Let's concentrate on getting you out of here.

He looks at the meters on the electronic units.

CARSON (continuing) Sound detectors?

MRS. HAN Sam covered them with chewing gum.

SAM High-tech problem, low-tech solution.

Carson looks at Sam, impressed, then peers under the chairs.

CARSON Pressure sensors. Use 'em in convertibles: Bad guy sits on your seat, he sets the alarm off. These are rigged backwards -- get up, you set 'em off.

SAM You a bomb expert?

CARSON Nope. But I've had some car alarms in my day. (to himself) For all the goddamn good they do...

Carson looks around, thinking. He spots the roll of duct tape on the table, grabs it and unrolls a long piece.

CARSON (continuing; to Mrs. Han) Slide your arm forward... Watch the meter... Keep the pressure on the armrest with your elbow...

He wraps the armrest with tape, cinching it tight.

CARSON (continuing) It'll squeeze the sensor, duplicate the weight of your arm... Okay... pick it up.

They look at each other, scared... After a beat, she does.

The meter JIGGLES... but stays in the black! Everyone sighs with relief. Carson repeats the process on her other armrest.

CARSON (continuing; to Sam) Low-tech solution... (to Mrs. Han) Lean back... Carefully.

Carson feels for the sensor in the seat, finding it buried under Mrs. Han's thighs. He runs a long piece of tape around the seat and wraps it tightly.

He tries to lift Mrs. Han, but the meter moves to the red.

MIRANDA (VO) (thru radio in his pocket) How's it going in there?

CARSON (to himself) Nag, nag, nag...

He wraps another piece of tape around the seat, and tries again to lift her. This time it works!

EXT. SKY ABOVE OCEAN - FOLLOW CRUISE MISSILE - DAY

The missile has almost reached land.

EXT. U.S. FIGHTER BOMBERS - SKY OVER SEA OF JAPAN - DAY

Traveling toward the Korean DMZ.

INT./EXT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - INCLUDE APACHE HELICOPTER - DAY

Time: 4:58. The Apache helicopter HOVERING outside is making an incredible racket.

Carson is helping Joy get free of her chair. As she stands, the pieces of her hair stuck to the gum over the microphone head begin to PULL the gum away!

Mrs. Han sees the meter heading for the red, and the yellow warning light flashing... She grabs Carson's arm.

Carson quickly covers the mic... The meter drops to zero.

WIDER

The FIRE is spreading across the carpet and walls. Carson is hurrying everyone out onto the small balcony. He helps Lisa into the rescue harness. She's terrified.

CARSON You'll be over in five seconds...

She nods. Miranda pulls her across the cable and send the harness back. Carson turns next to Sam, but he stands back so his sister can go.

ANGLE ON BOMB

One minute... fifty-nine seconds...

CARSON

sends Sam across... the harness comes back... he straps Mrs. Han into it...

CARSON Tell 'em I'm gonna release the hook and ride down on the line.

He pushes her across. As soon as she's there, he gestures to the Apache Pilot to move closer so he can release the hook.

ANGLE ON BOMB

Thirty seconds... twenty-nine...

THE HARNESS

slides back across to him; Carson grabs it with one hand and tries to undo the hook buckle with the other...

But the cable is crooked, and the buckle is JAMMED -- if he can't release it, he's stuck there! Carson tries to free the hook, but it's dug in between the concrete and the railing.

Fifteen seconds to go...

Carson looks over at the helicopter and waves them away.

CARSON (shouts) Release the cable from your side! Get out of here!

MIRANDA (shouts back) Come over the railing! Grab onto the harness!

INT. APACHE HELICOPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

Miranda turns to the Pilot.

MIRANDA Tear the hook loose!

PILOT It'll pop the winch buckle!

MIRANDA Try it anyway!

INT./EXT. BACHELOR APARTMENT - INCLUDE APACHE HELICOPTER - DAY

Five seconds to go...

The Apache helicopter backs away from the high-rise...

The cable pulls taut...

Carson wraps the webbing of the harness around his wrist...

The Apache STRAINS against the resistance of the cable...

The entire railing around the balcony BREAKS away, with Carson HANGING on the harness next to it...

The helicopter turns and flies away...

EXT. PARK LA BREA - DAY

The bomb EXPLODES, blasting a huge hole in the tower.

All the windows in the nearby towers and apartments IMPLODE.

CARSON

is engulfed in the FIREBALL... We can't tell if he's alive.

INT./EXT. APACHE HELICOPTER - (AERIAL SHOT) - DAY

The force of the blast HITS them like a tidal wave. The Pilot fights to keep control while looking for a place to set down.

BELOW

Huge chunks of debris, glass, furniture, etc. rain down.

Carson and the section of railing underneath the helicopter swing like a pendulum from the force of the blast.

Groggy, he loosens his grasp on the harness, and jumps clear as the helicopter lands.

Miranda leaps out of the Apache and runs to him...

WIDER

Dust and debris from the explosion hang in the air; helicopters crisscross the scene.

Everyone turns their eyes skyward, looking for the missile...

INT. WORKERS' PARADISE HALL - P'YUNGYANG - (INCLUDE TV) - DAY

The Premier and the High Command are watching the action at Park LaBrea on CNN Live...

...As Ambassador Han embraces his family.

Furious, General Kai gets up and leaves the conference room.

The others look at the Premier. After a beat, he crosses to a PANEL OF ELECTRONICS and SLAPS a large red button on it...

EXT. SKY ABOVE SANTA MONICA - DAY

The cruise missile EXPLODES, completely obliterating it.

EXT. U.S. FIGHTER BOMBERS - SKY OVER SEA OF JAPAN - DAY

The lead jet cuts away, turning around. The others follow.

EXT. PARK LA BREA - DAY

The Han family crosses to Carson, blackened and bloody, sitting on the curb next to Miranda. Ambassador Han shakes his hand. Mrs. Han and Miranda cry. Joy and Sam grin at him. After a beat, Carson gathers the kids up in his arms. It is a profound catharsis for him...

EXT. WORKERS' PARADISE HALL - P'YUNGYANG - DAY

General Kai is getting into his car. He look up as an ARMY OFFICER approaches... and SHOOTS him! The Officer pushes his body into the passenger's seat, gets in, and drives off.

FADE THRU TO:

DARKNESS

and the sound of RUNNING WATER.

EXT. PASTORAL SCENE - DAY

A beautiful ranch house and horse barn, sitting on a meadow beside a brook, overlooking an unspoiled pine forest.

INT. CARSON'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

The pastoral scene is a COMMERCIAL on the TV.

Carson, wrapped in a towel, holds the phone and paces.

CARSON (into phone) ...I'll call you next week.

Carson hangs up, and CLICKS off the TV as he leaves the room. The sound of RUNNING WATER continues (OS)...

EXT. CARSON'S HOUSE - PATIO - NIGHT

Miranda, wearing a bathrobe, is WATERING her sickly roses. Carson comes outside.

MIRANDA Who was that on the phone?

CARSON The Bureau. (beat) They want me back on the hostage team.

MIRANDA What did you say?

CARSON Told 'em I'd sleep on it...

Miranda smiles, then looks at him, surprised, as he crouches down and helps her turn the soil around the rose bushes. They work in silence. Then, tentatively, she leans over and kisses him. Soon they're in each other's arms, holding tight...

INT. CARSON'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Still entwined, Carson and Miranda stumble in. While kissing:

MIRANDA Working with you today was certainly... interesting, Inspector.

CARSON It's my outstanding people skills.

He slips her out of her robe and they fall onto the bed. It is a tender, romantic moment...

Until, (OS), a CAR ALARM goes off. Miranda bolts up.

MIRANDA I hate this fucking town...

Carson ignores the ALARM -- and Miranda's comment. He pushes her back onto the bed and turns off the bedside lamp.

All of the books and magazines about other places to live spill from his nightstand, onto the floor...

FADE OUT.

<<<

I/ Rush Hour I.
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