the Levithan

feature script. 2014. as civilization crumbles, what is it to survive?

FADE IN:

ON AN AMERICAN FLAG

So close it’s but a few stripes rippling, thrashing against the encroaching night.

NEWS PERSONALITY (V.O.)

Fellow patriots. I am afraid.

EXT. INTERSTATE CLOVERLEAF – NIGHT

NEWS PERSONALITY (V.O.)

We’ve gone and sold ourselves out. Like cheap whores, to the Chinese, to Wall Street, to the thugs in Washington.

INT. FACTORY – ROBOTIC ASSEMBLY LINE

NEWS PERSONALITY (V.O.)

Are we not the free? The brave?! Yet we let them steal our money.

EXT. LOS ANGLES SKYLINE – NIGHT

Helicopters buzz about.

NEWS PERSONALITY (V.O.)

We let them tell us what to eat, how to raise our children.

INT. BIG BOX STORE

NEWS PERSONALITY (V.O.)

You know, Martin Luther King, he was just an ordinary preacher. Abraham Lincoln born into a log cabin. Many doubted.

EXT. PETROLEUM REFINERY – NIGHT

NEWS PERSONALITY (V.O.)

But they knew the simple truth that right makes might.

MONTAGE – AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE

— GREAT PLAINS – NIGHT — A massive train thunders by.

— FACTORY FARM — We pass row after row of tightly caged chickens.

— SEWAGE PLANT — Pipes the size of trucks empty into vast pools.

NEWS PERSONALITY (V.O.)

Remember that salient truth. You choose. You can choose! For the sake of your children I beg choose virtue. Choose goodness. Choose to be today’s hero.

EXT. AIRCRAFT CARRIER FLIGHT DECK – NIGHT

CAPTAIN JOHN HU, 32, looks out onto across the flight deck onto the dark night.

It’s an awesome sight – the full exercise of a Nimtz class aircraft carrier – sailors, flight crews, planes and munitions synchronized to perfect order.

His plane is aligned to the runway, wings folding down. The jet blast deflector raises. He is armed and readied.

NEWS PERSONALITY (V.O.)

Remember the creed of the Founders. Liberty. Liberty at any cost, liberty however turbulent however ferocious the waters – liberty! – that is our God given path.

The flight crew clears. The Pratt & Whitney F135 engine roars to 50,000 pounds force as steam escapes from the catapult below.

The holdbacks release and the fighter shoots forward. In but two seconds, we’re airborne, catapulted to the heavens.

NEWS PERSONALITY (V.O.)

That is what we choose, it is our ultimate only end. Liberty! Liberty or death!

The plane banks left. Down below, the USS George Washington steams forward, cutting through the turbulent waters.

Then, a WHOSH —

Multiple MISSILES narrowing in —

And IMPACT. Massive explosions along her hull; man and metal turn to dust.

FADE OUT

INT. RESTROOM

A man in a conservative suit, early-sixties, washes his hands under bright white florescent light. He is VIGGO GOMEZ, White House Chief of Staff.

TITLE SUPERIMPOSED: “Washington – 11:48 Zulu Time”

He exits, walking down a corridor to:

INT. WHITE HOUSE – SITUATION ROOM – CONFERENCE ROOM

EMILY, 28, sits at a large table. She’s surrounded by paper, reports and notes.

VIGGO GOMEZ

Another late night?

EMILY

You’ve seen the polls?

VIGGO GOMEZ

Well, we can’t expect too much of the American people can we?

Viggo gives a wry smile.

VIGGO GOMEZ

By the way, I heard the good news. Congratulations.

EMILY

Oh, thanks.

VIGGO GOMEZ

How long are we going to lose you?

EMILY

If things stay like this?

Viggo gives another quiet smile.

VIGGO GOMEZ

Well, I’m very happy for you. For both of you. When’s he due?

EMILY

August 18th. Three months.
(beat)
Actually, do you know where Ethan is?

VIGGO GOMEZ

Oh I told him to sleep in, given the schedule adjust.

Emily gives him a look.

VIGGO GOMEZ

You didn’t get the email?

EMILY

VIGGO GOMEZ

It’s unacceptable. Two days of these email interruptions. It’s frick’n unacceptable.

EMILY

What’s going on?

Viggo throws up his arms in exasperation.

EMILY

Technology…

INT. SERVER FARM – NIGHT

The facility is enormous, the whirl of fans omnipresent. Racked servers stretch to a vanishing point. Compendiums of cables and HVAC tubing rise to join rivers of yet more cabling. It’s of inhuman scale.

We focus in on a misplaced sticker. It, in cute joyful text, reads: “ChipprWorks: Building The Network of Tomorrow.”

INT. SERVER FARM – CONTROL ROOM

The room is cluttered yet functional, teeming in computers and tools. Two techs, MATT BROWN and RICHARD HU, fresh college graduates, sit at ease.

Matt leans back in his chair. He lightly strums a guitar.

MATT

Think you’re gonna go to Carolyn’s party?

RICHARD

Yeah. Probably. You?

MATT

Yeah. She’s cool.

RICHARD

Yeah.

MATT

You know she plays the drums?

RICHARD

No I didn’t.

MATT

Yeah, we were talking about starting a band.

RICHARD

Oh cool. You should.

Richard returns to his laptop. Matt picks a tune on his guitar.

It’s a simple, quiet moment.

Center-room, we notice a large monitor which displays dozens of stats in simple, utilitarian script.

ON THE MONITOR:

It’s mostly static, a decimal changes here and there. In the upper right corner the time reads 03:02:32. We watch as seconds tick by. 33… 34… 35… 36…

Still nothing. Then, some numbers begin to change…

Faster! And faster!

ON MATT:

He’s twiddling at the guitar, starring into space.

Then, he notices the monitor. He freezes.

MATT

Hey, Richard, look at the CDP.

Richard looks at the monitor and, bewildered, then at Matt.

They both jump to their keyboards.

if you want to know how it ends, email me