The Valley of the Tools Episode 44

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

While Chief Justice Roberts swears in Joe Biden as President and in the aftermath of the Capitol insurrection, Rob and his lawyer James Cordic debate whether to change their strategy as lawyers for the prosecution insist on a six-month jail term. Miles and Whitney travel to Peru to film a documentary about the natives, but Miles grows too maniacal in his process. Bonnie deals with a mysterious stalker.

THE VALLEY OF THE TOOLS

 

“UNCIVIL WAR”

 

TV-MA DL

 

“But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like you or worship the way you do, or don’t get their news from the same sources you do. We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural vs. urban, conservative vs. liberal.”

  • President Joe Biden

 

(We open on a tape recorder resting upon a conference room table. A lawyer’s hand comes into frame and presses record)

 

LAWYER: (OS) This is the official record of sentencing negotiations in the case of the People of the State of California VS. Robert Joseph Altmire. (We zoom out to see two prosecutors, wearing masks, seated across from a grim-faced Rob Altmire and his attorney James Cordic, who are both masked as well. The windows behind them are open to circulate air) I am Deputy Los Angeles County District Attorney Jude Patton.

 

FEMALE PROSECUTOR: And I’m Deputy D.A. Rachael Tusk.

 

JUDE: Joining us is the defendant, please state your name.

 

ROB: …Can we take a break?

 

JUDE: We haven’t gotten anywhere yet!

 

JAMES: Rob, just go ahead.

 

(Rob sighs)

 

ROB: Robert Joseph Altmire.

 

JAMES: And I’m his personal counsel, James Lilac Cordic.

 

ROB: Lilac?

 

JAMES: Apparently that’s what I smelled of when I emerged from the womb.

 

JUDE: It’s the 6th of January 2021, at 10:32 A.M.

 

JAMES: Can we get started?

 

RACHAEL: Frankly, our position hasn’t changed. We want the maximum sentence, six months and a thousand dollar fine.

 

ROB: Why the MAXIMUM penalty? I pled guilty!

 

JAMES: And we can revoke that guilty plea at any time.

 

ROB: I got this, James, my old man taught me how to negotiate with car salesmen. I’ll walk RIGHT NOW!

 

(James puts his hand on Rob’s shoulder)

 

JAMES: Rob, I got this.

 

JUDE: Quite frankly, you’re lucky you weren’t charged with something worse than simple assault. You beat Mr. Goodlatte severely and he was in the hospital for a few days.

 

(Rob rubs his eyes)

 

RACHAEL: Plus, Mr. Altmire has a record. He was under house arrest for drunk driving and apparently, that leniency didn’t change his behavior.

 

ROB: HEY! I’m sober!

 

JUDE: That’s not what she means.

 

ROB: This is BULLSHIT! I have a career, ya know!

 

JUDE: You sure about that?

 

(Rob narrows his eyes at Jude)

 

JAMES: Right now, I’m leaning toward withdrawing the guilty plea.

 

JUDE: You really want to go to trial with this? What are you gonna argue, that his fist twitched? Over, and over, and over?

 

(Rob and James share a look. They get up and exit the room, as Jude and Rachael pack up. Cut to Rob and James walking through into the lobby of the L.A. County Courthouse. We can see a crowd of employees gathered around a TV in the corner)

 

JAMES: Something’s gotta give.

 

ROB: Something’s gotta give SOON, or my life is fucking over!

 

JAMES: I mean, are you enough of a scumbag to get a last-minute Trump pardon?

 

ROB: Chill, with that shit.

 

(James shrugs)

 

JAMES: Sorry.

 

(They pass by the crowd of people at the TV. It’s showing an NBC News special report- live pictures of a massive throng of Trump supporters have moved past the police barricades and up the stairs to the U.S. Capitol Building. The lower third reads “PROTESTORS MOVE UP STAIRS OF CAPITOL AS CONGRESS DEBATES ELECTORAL COLLEGE OBJECTIONS”. Rob and James walk past the crowd, but then both back up and watch the TV)

 

ROB: Wait- what’s going on?

 

LESTER HOLT: (OS, on TV) And, and, have continued to claim, many of the bogus claims that he’s made about the legitimacy of the election. Uh, but clearly these are folks who believe him. And, uh, who are now, uh- have taken the extraordinary step of now, setting siege, uh, to at least part of the Capitol.

 

JAMES: Holy shit.

 

(Cut to the front door of Rob’s house rapidly unlocking as Rob comes in and closes the door behind him)

 

ROB: Imogen?! You there?!

 

IMOGEN: (OS) I’m up here!
 

(Rob quickly runs up the stairs and finds Imogen on the couch, watching coverage of the Capitol siege, completely in a daze. Rob sits next to her and rubs her thigh)

 

ROB: Are you okay?

 

IMOGEN: Look at that!
 

(Rob looks at the TV and shows that CNN is showing shaky cell phone footage of suited security officers with their guns drawn, pointing through the windows of the door leading to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The lower third reads “GUNS DRAWN ON HOUSE FLOOR AS PRO-TRUMPERS STORM CAPITOL”)

 

ROB: Oh my fuck.

 

IMOGEN: What are they trying to do, kill Congress people?! WHY DID I MOVE TO THIS COUNTRY!?

 

ROB: Why have I stayed here?!

 

(Cut to Whitney sitting in her living room, with the phone to her ear, as she watches still images of Trump supporters occupying the floor of the Senate on MSNBC)

 

WHITNEY: Yeah! I’m watching it right now!

 

MILES: (On the phone) What are they gonna try to do?!

 

WHITNEY: I don’t know! Set up a provisional government?!

 

MILES: (OS) Consisting of what?! How do they make decisions!?

 

WHITNEY: I don’t know- chest-bumping?! Hazing?? Chest-bumping?! What do these people do?!

 

MILES: Are you sure you still want to go to Peru next week?

 

WHITNEY: Honestly- I think I want to go to Peru more now. I’ll follow the second Civil War from down there.

 

MILES: They’re not just gonna let these fuckheads stay, are they- oh my God, I’m seeing footage of the cops literally letting them in.

 

(Whitney sees a call from Rob coming through on her phone)

 

WHITNEY: Hold on, I’m getting another call.

 

MILES: Cool, I’m gonna go rip out one of my infected toenails-

 

WHITNEY: Ugh! (Whitney hangs up on Miles and takes Rob’s call) Rob?

 

(Cut to Rob standing on his balcony, enjoying a cigarette while on the phone)

 

ROB: …You see the news?

 

WHITNEY: Yeah! How the hell did they get in there?!

 

ROB: Trump’s trying to a do a coop. (Rob takes a drag) Never thought I’d see the day.

 

WHITNEY: It’s pronounced “coup”.

 

ROB: What’s that?

 

WHITNEY: “Coup” is the word. The “P” is silent.

 

ROB: …I know….obviously…

 

WHITNEY: …Right, so you knew that.

 

ROB: it was a bit.

 

WHITNEY: Anyway, they’re gonna send the National Guard, aren’t they? These dumbasses don’t literally think they can stay, do they?

 

ROB: I don’t know. Apparently Trump recorded a statement and they’re gonna release it in a moment, and that should calm things down. (Whitney sighs) Anyway, that’s not the only reason I called you.

 

WHITNEY: What else?

 

ROB: I’m getting a lot of pressure to make my leave of absence…permanent.

 

WHITNEY: From who?

 

ROB: The media, the Twittersphere, that shit-eating prosecutor I sat across from today.

 

WHITNEY: If you try to resign, I won’t accept it.

 

ROB: Whitney. You don’t have to die on this hill.

 

WHITNEY: I’m not dying on it. I’m just defending my own. Think of our company like the Capitol-

 

ROB: Okay, don’t lay it on so thick.

 

WHITNEY: Sorry. Just remember, last time you left the company, you came back four months later. If you ever leave again, I’d make sure it’s permanent. And I’m not ready to do that.

 

(Rob nods)

 

ROB: Thanks, Whitney.

 

WHITNEY: Also, you’re a partner, so we’d have to buy you out. And that costs a lot of money.

 

(Rob nods more)

 

ROB: I can feel the love from here.

 

(Whitney smirks)

 

WHITNEY: This is your home. What you did was awful, but, what happened to you was awful. So, I can understand how you lost yourself.

 

(Rob chokes up)

 

ROB: …Thanks.

 

WHITNEY: …You’re welcome.

 

ROB: …How do we get the public to see it this way, though?

 

WHITNEY: …Uhhhhhh-

 

(Cut to a big flashy graphic for E! News’ Daily Pop showing up on screen. It gives way and reveals  a handsome black man named Justin Sylvester, sitting in between beautiful blonde co-hosts Carissa Culiner and Morgan Stewart, at a glass table in the Daily Pop Studio)

 

JUSTIN: Welcome back to the Daily Pop- it’s Friday the 15th and there’s nothing going on in the world more important than Cardi B’s new role in the comedy heist movie “Assisted Living”.

 

CARISSA: But first, we got a JUICY interview with someone who you might’ve heard has been a little STINKER lately- please welcome, from the short-lived sitcom “Beauty and the BEASTliest”, Rob Altmire.

 

(Rob appears on screen as a video feed from home)

 

ROB: Hey guys- my lawyer really didn’t want me to come on, but nonetheless, thanks for having me.

 

MORGAN: Rob, you are just a controversy MACHINE, my goodness!

 

JUSTIN: You’re essentially just a drama volcano exploding everywhere, girl, I’m serious.

 

(They all laugh. Rob smirks)

 

ROB: Well, yeah, I guess.

 

JUSTIN: So, after you beat the you-know-what out of Bryce Hall and this Trey Goodlatte person, do you have any regrets?

 

ROB: …Regrets about, beating the hell out of them? Yes, of course. I deeply regret what I did.

 

MORGAN: So, why did you do it?

 

ROB: Well, I was in an intense, emotional state. The puppy I had just gotten my wife for Christmas had been killed by a poison, and I jumped to the conclusion that Trey had done it. That was wrong, and I acted rashly, and I deeply apologize to him and Bryce.

 

CARISSA: For our viewers who don’t know, or maybe forgot because of all this impeachment crap or whatever that’s going on- Goodlatte and his girlfriend Colleen had released a video that they claim shows you walking in on Colleen while she was showering, while your, um, “member” is exposed.

 

JUSTIN: YUM! I need to get my eyes on this!

 

CARISSA: Justin- it’s a video of alleged harassment, calm down.

 

ROB: Yes, and I think it’s obvious to anyone who watches that video, that it’s a set-up. That is not why I beat up Trey, though.

 

JUSTIN: I am curious, Robert, how do you know that Trey didn’t poison your dog?

 

ROB: Oh, I can’t disclose that right now.

 

MORGAN: Oh, come on, Rob! Spill the teaaaaaaa!!

 

(Rob chuckles)

 

ROB: Oh, please, I really shouldn’t-

 

JUSTIN: Alright, fair enough, we’ll move on then-

 

ROB: Oh okay, well, if you’re gonna pull my arm, I think the Church of Scientology was involved, that’s all I’m gonna say!
 

JUSTIN: Oh, my goodness!

 

(Cut to James in his living room, watching this on TV. He’s got his head in his hands)

 

JAMES: Rob, you had such an easy out!

 

MORGAN: (On TV) What makes you say that?

 

ROB: (On TV) Well, I left the church last year, and I bad-mouthed them on my way out. They’ve been known to intimidate people this way, it happened to my good friend Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s dog.

 

CARISSA: Well, I think we just broke some news this morning!

 

JUSTIN: No kidding! (Justin fans himself) This tea is red-hot, I’m overheating!

 

MORGAN: Justin, this is an allegation of a crime, its not “tea”.

 

(Justin clears his throat)

 

JUSTIN: Right, of course.

 

(Cut to Whitney walking up to the front door of Miles’ house with a face mask and face shield on. She’s clutching a piece of paper in her hand and she lightly raps upon the door. Miles immediately opens the door, with his face slathered in shaving cream and his shoulders and extremities covered in the kind of sticky suds you would find in a bubble bath. He’s wearing a towel and no shirt)

 

MILES: Whitney! Come in!
 

WHITNEY: Jesus! What were you doing- shaving while in a bubble bath?!

 

MILES: That’s the morning routine!

 

WHITNEY: Put on a mask, please.

 

MILES: Oh, of course.

 

(Miles walks in and grabs a mask off his coffee table, which is littered with empty Coke bottles, fast food bags, snack wrappers and napkins. His house is a sty, his kitchen in the adjoining room has an unwieldy pile of dirty dishes, and most of the floor space is taken up by boxes)

 

WHITNEY: You make a lovely home.

 

(Miles puts on a mask and turns to Whitney)

 

MILES: I know it’s a bit of a mess, but cut me some slack, I had a birthday party.

 

WHITNEY: You had a birthday party during a pandemic!?

 

MILES: NO! Who do you think I am?! It happened in 2019.

 

(Whitney rolls her eyes)

 

WHITNEY: You haven’t gotten a chance to clean up?

 

MILES: What were the results of the tests?

 

(Whitney takes out the papers and hands them to Miles)

 

WHITNEY: We’re both negative. But since Garamendi cut our money off, there’s no more private jet to Peru, so we’re gonna have to take coach. So, we’ll have to be tested again when we get there.

 

MILES: We’re gonna make something really groundbreaking. I’m really flattered you decided to come.

 

(Miles walks over and grabs two plastic bags full of clothes)

 

WHITNEY: I agreed to come so I could check your worst instincts- what the hell is that?

 

MILES: This is my luggage!

 

(Whitney sighs)

 

WHITNEY: Let’s just go.

 

(Whitney walks out the door and Miles follows. Cut to Miles and Whitney sitting in the back of an Uber, that has a plastic screen dividing them from the driver. Miles is listening to “WAP” by Cardi B on his headphones. Whitney is looking out the window, annoyed)

 

MILES: (Singing to himself) Certified freak. Seven days a week. Wet-ass pussy, make that pull-out game WEAK. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you fucking with some wet-ass pussy-

 

WHITNEY: Sorry- could you listen to a slightly less explicit song?

 

(Miles pauses the song and pulls out his headphones)

 

MILES: This is female sexual empowerment, Whitney, I thought you would appreciate that.

 

WHITNEY: At least don’t sing along!

 

MILES: That’s impossible.

 

(Whitney sighs. Cut to Miles and Whitney sitting in coach, surrounded by passengers wearing masks and many of them face shields as well. Miles and Whitney are wearing both)

 

WHITNEY: …Is this gonna be dangerous?

 

MILES: We’re just drifting down the river running through the Peruvian Amazon, we’ll be plenty far away from the tribes.

 

WHITNEY: So we’re just gonna film them…looking at us?

 

MILES: Well, if they seem friendly, we might pop by for an interview.

 

WHITNEY: Jesus, Miles, I have a bad feeling about this.

 

MILES: Relax! Okay? (Miles takes out his headphones) Just listen to “WAP”-

 

WHITNEY: NO! No more WAP!

 

MILES: What about “Old Town Road”?!

 

WHITNEY: You are SO behind! These songs have had their hay day already! (Cut to Miles, Whitney and a crew of two camera men and two sound guys holding boom mics on board a small river boat moving slowly down a river running through the Peruvian Amazon- a thick and noisy jungle. Miles is dressed in a white suit and wearing a Whitney and Miles are standing on the second level of the boat, as camera men film them. Whitney is in awe) …It’s stunning isn’t it?

 

MILES: Yeah, definitely. Lotta potential here.

 

WHITNEY: “Lotta potential”? It’s a vast natural treasure, not a 20-year-old white chick from Des Moines who just moved to Studio City!

 

MILES: Ed, get the jungle. We need B-roll.

 

(Ed trains on camera on the jungle)

 

WHITNEY: When do you think we’ll see some of the tribes?

 

MILES: Very soon. Actually! (Miles takes out his binoculars. Through them, he sees several tribesmen and women peeking out from behind the trees. They sport thick black hair, face paint and grass skirts) There they are.

 

WHITNEY: No way! (Miles hands Whitney the binocs and she looks through them. She’s thrilled) That’s amazing. (Whitney chuckles) These people don’t know anything about the outside world. They don’t even know about Trump, Russia or even Armie Hammer’s creepy DMs.

 

MILES: …You’re right. We need to expose them to our culture.

 

(Whitney puts the binocs down)

 

WHITNEY: I didn’t say that? (Miles runs into his cabin) What are you doing? (Miles walks out of his cabin with his iPhone connected to a portable speaker. He climbs the ladder leading to the top of the boat as the camera points up at him) Jesus, be careful!

 

(Miles stands tall on top of the boat and puts the speaker down. He presses “play” on his phone and blasts “WAP” by Cardi B to the people of the Amazon. Whitney throws her hands up and leans against the railing, as they approach the slowly gathering natives. Miles beams with pride as the song plays. Suddenly, we see the tribesmen nocking their arrows and aiming)

 

MILES: Oh, shit!

 

WHITNEY: MILES, GET DOWN!

 

(Everyone hits the deck as the arrows fly- Miles slides off the roof  wit his phone and speaker and lands awkwardly on the second level of the boat)

 

MILES: CAPTAIN, BOOK IT! (The boat starts rushing ahead, faster, as arrows fly and Whitney, the camera men and sound guys hug the floor. Miles crawls over to them) Sorry, guys. Guess it’s too salacious for them.

 

WHITNEY: YOU IDIOT! WE COULD’VE DIED! Fuck it, let’s turn this thing around and go home.

 

MILES: Whitney, come on, we’ve already spent so much money on this! I think I can extend an olive branch to these people.

 

(An arrow flies through the cabin window, shattering it)

 

WHITNEY: FUCKIN’ HELL!

 

ED: This is great stuff, though.

 

WHITNEY: SHUT UP, ED!

 

(Cut to Bonnie playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Twitch. She’s situated in a box alongside the gameplay, and comments whiz by as her viewer number climb to 14,000. We see Tom Nook, a cute little bear person, flanked by two smaller bear children and facing a squirrel man, a horned pink person in a sweater, and Bonnie’s blonde avatar. They’re at a campsite, in front of a camp fire. Tom Nook’s dialogue pops up in little boxes, accompanied by high-pitched indiscernible gibberish)

 

TOM NOOK: (I suppose we can’t call this a deserted island anymore, hm? But what SHOULD we call it)…

 

(A light bulb flashes above him)

 

BONNIE: Looks like Nook has an idea. He’s probably gonna build condos for rich people to buy up and never use.

 

TOM NOOK: (I sense a great opportunity! As the first residents of this island, we should be the ones to name it. And in the spirit of Democracy, we should put it to a vote. Majority rules, hm)?

 

BONNIE: Sorry, Tom, it’s mob rules now, read the news, fuck-o.

 

TOM NOOK: (So take a little time to think, and when everyone is ready, I’ll present your ideas).

 

(A keyboard pops up on screen, along with a space to type in a name suggestion, along with the words “Suggest a name for the island!”)

 

BONNIE: Oh, thank you for this opportunity, I will approach this responsibility with the utmost gravity.

 

(Bonnie types in “Queefopolis”. It asks if she’s sure, and she presses “OK” and it goes back to the scene with Tom Nook)

 

TOM NOOK: (Alright? Is everyone ready)? (Let’s just try saying our ideas all at the same time)! (Ready… GO)!

 

(Speech bubbles appear over everyone’s heads with suggestions such as “Buffburg”, “Rocksalot”, “Tommytown” and “Nookits” but Bonnie of course suggests “Queefopolis”)

 

BONNIE: They better not fucking overrule me.

 

TOM NOOK: (What splendid variety. Yes, yes! Each one a potential gem. Now for the voting. I’ll say each name in order, and you can clap for the one you think is best. Bonnie seems to have the enthusiasm and the naming sensibilities. Let’s start there. So Bonnie suggested… Queefopolis!

 

(Everyone claps. Bonnie laughs)

 

BONNIE: It’s a landslide for Queefopolis!

 

(Bonnie cracks up)

 

TOM NOOK: (Wow! That’s an overwhelmingly positive response! Each and every one of you clapped)

 

BONNIE: This is fantastic. Before we go on, guys- (Bonnie grabs a Manscape razor) I wanted to shout out our sponsor, Manscape. Believe it or not, their ad sales guy thinks a lot of men watch this channel.

 

(Bonnie smiles. Cut to Bonnie standing in her living room, talking on the phone with Luther)

 

LUTHER: (On the phone) So the money’s rolling in?

 

BONNIE: Yeah, it’s been fucking phenomenal. I’m a cunt hair away from wolfing down a Travis Scott meal on camera, and that’ll pay BIG fuckin’ cash.

 

LUTHER: (On the phone) No need to thank me.

 

(Bonnie drifts over to her foyer)

 

BONNIE: Good to know. (Bonnie looks out the window and sees a black Nissan Sentra parked across the street) Nah, I’m just kidding you’re doing a great-

 

(The Sentra drives away suddenly, and Bonnie looks perplexed)

 

LUTHER: …A great?

 

BONNIE: …Sorry, I just keep noticing this Nissan Sentra, it’s been parking outside my house at random times over the past few days.

 

LUTHER: Really?

 

BONNIE: Yeah, but it usually speeds off when I look at it a couple times.

 

LUTHER: Uh-oh. Could be a stalker.

 

BONNIE: Maybe, but how would they know my address?

 

LUTHER: Maybe they figured it out from Twitch. They were able to find that one kitten-abusing asshole from the snuff films by just looking at shit in his room, so people could probably find you.

 

BONNIE: Thanks, that’s comforting.

 

LUTHER: You want to get a Glock?

 

BONNIE: Nah, I’ll just see if they come back again. Thanks.

 

LUTHER: A’ight. Talk soon.

 

(Bonnie hangs up and pauses thoughtfully for a moment, before retreating into her living room. Cut to Rob and James sitting in Judge Krasinski’s office, all of them masked, of course. Rob’s eyes are downcast, looking like a puppy who just pissed the carpet)

 

JUDGE KRASINSKI: So, now the Church of Scientology is suing you for defamation.

 

JAMES: That’s correct, your honor.

 

JUDGE KRASINSKI: Why did you advise your client to be a guest on this, progrum?

 

ROB: “Progrum”?

 

JAMES: I didn’t, your honor, I advised against it.

 

JUDGE KRASINSKI: Well, Mr. Altmire, I suggest you listen to your attorney more often. Right now, I’m leaning heavily toward a gag order for your client, Mr. Cordic.

 

ROB: What the hell is that?!

 

JAMES: It means you can’t discuss the case publicly.

 

ROB: Your honor, I assure you, no more shows, no more appearances, no more jailhouse photo shoots for GQ- (Rob takes out a copy of GQ and flips it to a centerfold where he’s making sexy poses in an orange prison jumpsuit inside a fake prison cell) okay? I promise!

 

JUDGE KRASINSKI: …Well, alright. But that’ your last warning. Believe me, your behavior isn’t denting the zeal of the prosecutors. Now, shoo.

 

(Rob and James trade looks, get up and leave. Cut to outside, they’re walking and talking through the halls of the courthouse)

 

ROB: We’re so fucked.

 

JAMES: No, we’re not.

 

ROB: What do you mean, “we’re not”?!

 

JAMES: We’re not, I have an idea.

 

(Rob stops James in his tracks as they walk onto the steps of the courthouse)

 

ROB: Well, for God’s sakes, what is it- oh! Is it appealing to their Christmas spirit?! (James rears his hand back, as if he’s about to strike Rob) Whoa!

 

(James takes a deep breath and lowers his hand)

 

JAMES: Sorry.

 

ROB: Were you about to hit me?!

 

JAMES: Sorry! It’s just- no, it’s not that. Obviously, it’s not that. I saw this on Twitter this morning- (James takes out his phone and pulls up a picture from the Capitol Hill insurrection. We see Trey Goodlatte, his face obscured by an American flag scarf and sporting a MAGA hat, surrounded by Trump supporters egging him on as he dry humps a statue of Jeanette Rankin, the first women ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, in Statuary Hall. James points him out) You recognize that guy?

 

ROB: …Is that…?

 

JAMES: Yeah. It’s a little hard to tell at first, but you can tell from the height and the eyes and the build. That’s Trey Goodlatte, humping a statue of the first female member of Congress ever, in Statuary Hall, on January 6th.

 

(Rob furrows his brow)

 

ROB: Jesus, I knew he was a Trumpy, but…humping a piece of stone in statutory hall?

 

(James gives Rob a look)

 

JAMES: …Statuary hall.

 

ROB: Right. What do we do with this, though?

 

JAMES: Well. (James puts his phone away) If you can’t make a sympathetic defendant, make an unsympathetic victim.

 

(Rob gives James a look, and smirks)

 

ROB: Hey. He chose to be an insurrectionist.

 

(Rob and James laugh and pat each other on the back. Militaristic drums start sounding, as we cut to Rob and Imogen sitting on the couch in their living room Wednesday morning, watching the Inauguration of Joe Biden on their television. We see an empty Presidential podium with President-elect Biden, the incoming first Lady and her family, Vice President-elect Harris and her husband dog on the left side, Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton on right side, along with sundry other important guests, all masked, watching. Vice President-elect Harris, her husband Doug and Justice Sotomayor get in place for the swearing of the oath. Doug Emhoff gets the bible ready and Harris removes her mask and stands across from Justice Sotomayor)

 

ROB: I’m still peeved I didn’t get invited.

 

IMOGEN: For the last time, Rob, she doesn’t know you like that!

 

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me. “I, Kamala Davi Harris do solemnly swear”.

 

VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT HARRIS: I, Kamala Davi Harris do solemnly swear.

 

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “That I will support and defend the constitution of the United States”.

 

VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT HARRIS: That I will support and defend the constitution of the United States.

 

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “Against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.

 

VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT HARRIS: Against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

 

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same”.

 

VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT HARRIS: That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.

 

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “That I take this obligation freely”.

 

VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT HARRIS: That I take this obligation freely.

 

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “Without any mental reservation, or purpose of evasion”.

 

VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT HARRIS: Without any mental reservation, or purpose of evasion.

 

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “That I will well and faithfully discharge”.

 

VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT HARRIS: That I will well and faithfully discharge.

 

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “The duties of the office on which I am about to enter”.

 

VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT HARRIS: The duties of the office upon which I am about to enter.

 

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: So help me God.

 

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: So help me, God.

 

(Uproarious applauds on the stage, as the band starts playing. Rob stands up and applauds)

 

ROB: That’s my girl!

 

IMOGEN: Rob.

 

ROB: Goddamn, this was fun! (Rob sits down) You wanna watch Great British Bake-off?

 

IMOGEN: They still have to swear in Biden!
 

ROB: Oh. Right. Biden.

 

(The military drumming intensifies as we cut to Trey in his apartment, sitting on his couch, lighting a bowl full of weed. Colleen is sitting in a nearby LA-Z Boy, looking sour as she clips her nails. Trey exhales smoke)

 

TREY: What’re you so pissy about?

 

COLLEEN: Nothing. Leave me alone.

 

(Cut to Rob and Imogen watching the inauguration. President-elect Biden and Dr. Jill Biden take their places on the platform, as does Chief Justice Roberts. Hunter Biden approaches with an enormous bible, and his wife stands by his side. The President-elect removes his mask and places it in his coat pocket)

 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me.

 

(Roberts and Biden both raise their right hands. Biden places his hand on the bible. Cut to a flower truck pulling up outside of Trey’s apartment complex. Cut to inside the van. Five FBI agents are in the van with their guns drawn. Their mustached boss, Supervising Agent Deming waves to get their attention)

 

AGENT DEMING: Don’t tip ‘em off, they could go down the fire escape. Got that, Ridley?

 

AGENT RIDLEY: Yes, sir.

 

(Cut to Roberts swearing in Biden)

 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: “I, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. do solemnly swear”.

 

PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN: I, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. do solemnly swear.

 

(Cut to Trey leering over Colleen in their apartment. She looks scared and tears stream down her face)

 

TREY: I’M SICK OF THIS SHIT! EVER SINCE WE MET ROB IN THE GARAGE, YOU’VE BEEN JUST “BITCH, BITCH, BITCH” ALL FUCKIN’ DAY LONG!
 

COLLEEN: TREY, I’M SORRY!

 

(Cut to Biden and Roberts)

 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: “That I will faithfully execute”.

 

PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN: That I will faithfully execute.

 

(Cut to FBI agents running up to the glass front door of the apartment lobby. They wave down a guy who’s sitting in front of the laundry room waiting)

 

AGENT RIDLEY: (Loud whisper) Let us in!

 

(The guy walks over to the door)

 

GUY: You know somebody here?

 

AGENT RIDLEY: No, we’re delivering a pizza- LET US THE FUCK IN!

 

(Cut to Roberts swearing in Biden)

 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: The office of President of the United States.

 

PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN: The office of President of the United States.

 

(Cut to Trey sweeping a bunch of miscellaneous shit off the coffee table in a fit of anger)

 

TREY: YOU THINK I LIKE DOIN’ THIS SHIT?! I DID IT FOR US! SO WE COULD PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE- IT’S NOT LIKE ROB’S SO INNOCENT!
 

(Colleen is sobbing as she hides in the corner)

 

COLLEEN: OKAY! OKAY! Just stop screaming, PLEASE!

 

(Cut to Roberts swearing in Biden)

 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: And will, to the best of my ability.

 

PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN: And will, to the best of my ability.

 

(Cut to the FBI agents talking to the laundry room guy still)

 

LAUNDRY ROOM GUY: I’ll let you in, but just know that all the washers are taken right now, I’m doing my girlfriend’s laundry, too-

 

AGENT RIDLEY: DOES IT LOOK LIKE WE’RE DOIN’ FUCKIN’ LAUNDRY!? LET US IN OR I’LL KILL YOU!

 

(The guy opens the door for the FBI agents and they rush in, moving through the lobby and marching up the stairs. Cut to Roberts swearing in Biden)

 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Preserve, protect and defend.

 

PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN: Preserve, protect and defend.

 

(Cut to Colleen crying in the corner, while Trey nervously runs his hands through his hair)

 

TREY: …Babe…babe, I’m sorry, okay? (Trey sits next to her and embraces her, as she cries into his shoulder, with his hands running through her hair) I’m a huge asshole, I’m sorry, babe. Shhhhh.

 

(Cut to Roberts and Biden)

 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: The constitution of the United States.

 

PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN: The constitution of the United States.

 

(Cut to FBI Agents rushing up the stairs and onto the third floor of the apartment building. They sneak along the halls until they come up on apartment 324. The head FBI agent counts to three with his fingers and then kicks the door open, startling Trey and Colleen as they sit in the corner- Colleen screams as the four FBI agents rush in, guns drawn and led by Ridley)

 

AGENT RIDLEY: FBI, HANDS UP!

 

(Trey and Colleen throw their hands up)

 

TREY: WHAT THE FUCK?! WHAT IS THIS- (Ridley slams Trey against the wall and cuffs him) AAGGHH!

 

(Cut to Roberts and Biden)

 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: So help you God?

 

PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN: So help me God.

 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.

 

(Uproarious applause as Biden lowers his hand and smiles. He hugs and kisses the First Lady as the band strikes up, playing “Hail to the Chief”. Cut to Rob and Imogen on their feet, applauding)

 

ROB: FUCKING FINALLY!

 

IMOGEN: No more of that noxious cunt Trump! UGH! If only we could get rid of Morrison, too.

 

ROB: Who’s Morrison?

 

(Cut to Trey against the wall, with his hands in cuffs)

 

AGENT RIDLEY: You’re under arrest for unlawful entry of restricted federal grounds with intent to impede government business or official functions, violent entry and disorderly conduct.

 

COLLEEN: PLEASE! YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO HIM, HE WAS JUST PROTESTING!

 

(Ridley turns to his subordinates)

 

AGENT RIDLEY: Someone restrain her!

 

TREY: WHY!?

 

(Agents Bell and Huntsman restrain Colleen physically. Agent Ridley removes a warrant from his pocket)

 

AGENT RIDLEY: We have a search warrant, and if we find a SCINTILLA of evidence that she helped you with this, she’s coming with us!

 

TREY: WHAT THE FUCK IS A SCINTILLA, DUDE?!

 

(Ridley slams Trey against the wall again)

 

AGENT RIDLEY: Sweep the place!

 

(Agents split up and start rifling through the apartment. Cut to Miles on the deck of the river boat in Peru. He’s waving a gold bar over his head, as tribesmen and women look on, and as his camera crew films him)

 

MILES: We come in peace! Translator! Tell them we come bearing gifts and that our intent is peaceful!

 

(A dark-skinned Peruvian man wearing cargo shorts and a polo shirt emerges from the cabin. He speaks an obscure tribal language at them)

 

TRANSLATOR: (We come in peace, and we come bearing gifts.

 

(Whitney walks over to Miles and sees a duffel bag full of gold bars next to him. She takes out one of them and looks at the bottom of it. She snorts angrily and tugs on Miles’ shirt. He turns to her and she shows him the bottom of the gold bar- which reads “FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY”)

 

WHITNEY: “For motion picture use only”!?

 

MILES: What?! We cut the gold scene from Alien AIDs, remember? (Miles looks over, and sees the tribesmen beckoning them in and dropping their weapons) And look! They’re waving us in!

 

(Whitney shakes her head)

 

WHITNEY: Looks like my role as a tempering influence is paying dividends.

 

(Whitney rolls her eyes and retreats into the cabin)

 

MILES: BRING US IN, CAPTAIN! (Cut to the river boat docked at the edge of a tribal encampment. Miles, flanked by the translator, the camera men, Whitney and the captain, an older Peruvian man with a bushy beard, is standing before a Tribal leader with a headdress of multi-colored feathers, arcane body art and necklaces adorned with various teeth from all manner of beasts. The bag of gold is at Miles’ feet, and the Chief is flanked by his own tribal acolytes) …These gold bars? (He picks up the duffel bag and hands it to the Chief) They’re all yours, Chief. (Miles chuckles to himself) I guess you literally are a chief, huh? (Miles laughs and looks at the translator) Go ahead, translate that, and include the joke.

 

TRANSLATOR: (The gold bars are our gift to you, and you are a chief).

 

(The Chief nods and takes the bag of gold bars and hands them to one of his acolytes)

 

CHIEF: (Count it up, make sure it’s all there).

 

(The acolyte gets to work counting the bars)

 

TRANSLATOR: He told him to count it up to make sure it’s all there.

 

MILES: “Count it up”? I mean, it’s all there, but- did we agree on a set amount of gold bars?

 

(The acolyte hands the bag back to the Chief)

 

ACOLYTE: (It’s all there, Chief).

 

(The Chief nods and hands the bag off to another tribesman)

 

CHIEF: (We happily accept your gift. We are willing to listen to what you have to say).

 

TRANSLATOR: They accept your gift, and they want to hear what you have to say.

 

MILES: Well. Our intentions are merely to document you, as honestly as we can, so we may educate the world about your fascinating culture.

 

(Whitney smirks)

 

TRANSLATOR: (They intend only to document you, with honesty, so they can teach the world about your culture).

 

(The Chief looks around at his tribesmen and acolytes, and they all nod and shrug in agreement. Cut to one of the Tribesmen siting on a tree stump, flanked by boom guys recording sound and a camera set up on a tripod, manned by Miles himself. One of the camera guys is holding cue cards beside Miles. The card shows a sentence written in an obscure Amazonian alphabet. Whitney and the translator are standing by, observing)

 

MILES: Alright, Shuri, just read out what the card says and there’s a heapin’ helpful of gold in it for you.

 

TRANSLATOR: (Read the phonetics on the card and there’s gold in it for you).

 

WHITNEY: Wait- what is this?

 

MILES: Quiet on the set! Shuri, are you ready? (Shuri gives a thumbs-up) Sound speeding, lights, camera, action!

 

SHURI: (Struggling through English) The, Chief has be-be-been SUPER, uhhhh, toxic, ever since, last week’s hunt, he’s blamed, every-every-everyone else, after it failed. This, this, this “binch” needs to, to, learn, respon-responsi-responsibility, like, LITERALLY, what is his deal?

 

MILES: Cut! (Miles pops up) That’s beautiful, Shuri, thank you. I think we got it.

 

TRANSLATOR: (That was great, Shuri, thank you. We got it).

 

SHURI: (What did I say)?

 

WHITNEY: Wait, what the hell’s going on here?! Miles, he had no idea what he just said, right?!

 

(Miles turns to Whitney)

 

MILES: We’re just adding some color to the documentary, Whitney.

 

WHITNEY: This violates every single ethical standard of documentary imaginable!

 

TRANSLATOR: (This violates)-

 

MILES: Don’t translate that!

 

WHITNEY: Simon, did you help write the phonetics in Shuri’s language?!

 

(Simon, the translator, shrugs)

 

SIMON: I didn’t feel good about it.

 

MILES: Whitney, you know who I am, and you still hired me to do this. What’d you expect? (Whitney’s eyes flare with anger. Miles walks off) Alright, let’s get the Chief mic’d up for the clapback!

 

(Whitney clenches her fists and marches off in the opposite direction, as boom guys and camera guys follow Miles. Cut to Whitney sitting outside a thatched-roof hut in a camp chair, writing in a little notebook. A young woman tribal woman walks up and waves to get Whitney’s attention. She looks up)

 

WHITNEY: Hi. (The tribal woman points to Miles, who is directing the chief a few yards away as he does another catty talking head) Um, what is it? (The tribal woman points to herself and then to Miles, then runs her thumb across her throat and produces a “cutting” sound with her mouth, and then gestures toward Whitney) Oh? You’re asking me? I appreciate it, but. (Whitney looks over at Miles and narrows her eyes. Then she looks back at the tribal woman) …No. I’m gonna say, no, for now.

 

(Whitney shakes her head “no”. The woman shrugs and walks away. Whitney returns to her notebook. Cut to Bonnie pulling up into her driveway one night, while talking on the phone)

 

BONNIE: Yeah, I haven’t seen the car in several days. (Bonnie gets out of the car) I guess whoever they are just got bored.

 

(Bonnie starts walking toward her front door)

 

LUTHER: (On the phone) That’s good. I didn’t know stalkers got bored.

 

BONNIE: Hopefully, they’re harassing some other bitch now- (Bonnie walks up on a brick that is holding down a handwritten note on her doormat) what the fuck, there’s a note at my front door?!

 

LUTHER: Ooh! Read it!

 

BONNIE: Are you excited?!

 

LUTHER: Nah, not at all. Read it!!

 

(Bonnie picks it up from under the brick and reads it)

 

BONNIE: “I know that you see me. I know that you notice me. I know that you love me. You know that I love you. Let’s erase this distance and let’s have straight sex with one another-“ EW!

 

LUTHER: Why’d he specify that it was “straight”?

 

(Bonnie crumples up the note)

 

BONNIE: This is fucking terrifying.

 

(Bonnie unlocks her door and runs into the house. Cut to Bonnie lying awake in her bedroom that night, wielding a butcher knife at her side. Her phone is on the pillow next to her, on speakerphone)

 

LUTHER: …Can I go to bed now?

 

BONNIE: SHHH! HE’S GONNA HEAR YOU!

 

LUTHER: You just yelled, so loud.

 

(Cut to Bonnie waking up the next morning, with the knife on the coffee table and her body splayed out on the bed. She wakes up with a start and grabs her phone)

 

BONNIE: Luther?! (She looks at her phone and sees Luther is no longer on the line) Damnit. (Bonnie gets out of bed and lazily drifts toward the door. Cut to Bonnie walking out of her front door, only to find a note taped to her door, written in cursive, reading “Sorry for the creepiness of my last letter. I hope you weren’t too freaked out by it”. Bonnie furrows her brow) …Is this a woman?

 

(Bonnie looks across the street and sees the Black Sentra is back. She quickly runs for it, and the car realizes this too late and has to start up to get away. The Sentra starts driving just in time for Bonnie to jump in front of it and bounce off the hood and into the grass. The Sentra immediately stops, and Imogen emerges from it)

 

IMOGEN: OH MY GOD, ARE YOU OKAY!??

 

(Bonnie turns over)

 

BONNIE: Yeah, I’m fine- Imogen, what the fuck?!

 

IMOGEN: Jesus- I didn’t mean to hit you!
 

(Bonnie stands up)

 

BONNIE: What about STALK me, did you mean to do that?!

 

IMOGEN: I wasn’t stalking you, I just- (Imogen sighs) I was just making sure Rob wasn’t over here.

 

BONNIE: Wha- because of the kiss!?

 

IMOGEN: YES, because of the kiss!

 

BONNIE: Imogen, this is LOW!

 

(Imogen pinches the bridge of her nose)

 

IMOGEN: …I know. I know it is. I’m in a bad place, right now. Things are tough with Rob and, you know, my dog was murdered.

 

BONNIE: Do you realize the NIGHT I just had?!

 

IMOGEN: The note was just to throw you off the sent- but I realized I went too far, which is why I sent the follow-up.

 

BONNIE: Oh, well, thanks, I really appreciate that, how considerate.

 

IMOGEN: This’ll never happen again, Bonnie, I swear!

 

BONNIE: NO SHIT! Get the fuck outta here!

 

IMOGEN: You’re not gonna press charges, are you?

 

(Bonnie rubs her eyes with frustration)

 

BONNIE: No, I won’t, just leave! (Imogen nods sheepishly and returns to her car) Imogen. (Imogen turns to Bonnie) Rob’s not cheating. Not with ME, anyway, and if I had to guess, not at all. He really loves you. (Beat) Well. That, and there’s a pandemic, so it wouldn’t be safe for him to sleep around.

 

(Imogen nods)

 

IMOGEN: …Thanks.

 

(Imogen gets in her car and drives off. Bonnie gets a call. It’s Luther. She picks up)

 

BONNIE: Hello?

 

LUTHER: (On the phone) Hey, just woke up. Were you murdered?

 

BONNIE: No, I actually figured out who it was.

 

LUTHER: Really?! Who was it?

 

(Bonnie takes a gulp and looks at the note left on the door that she’s holding. She crumples it up)

 

BONNIE: …Just some kids playing a prank.

 

LUTHER: …Really? Because there was a contemplative pause there-

 

BONNIE: It was some kids playing a prank.

 

(Bonnie hangs up and puts her phone away. Cut to Rob and James, masks on, sitting across from a masked Rachael and Jude in the same conference room from earlier. Jude has the look of a man with his tail between his legs)

 

JUDGE: So, given recent events, we’re willing to recommend Mr. Altmire pay a thousand dollar fine, and spend every weekend in jail for six months starting March 1st.

 

(Rob groans)

 

ROB: Six months?!

 

JAMES: Rob, it’s a pandemic, its not like you’d be going out anyway.

ROB: Biden is President, isn’t the pandemic over already?!

 

JAMES: Rob. These weekend jail facilities are private. They’re almost like a hotel room. I think they have a masseuse on staff. This is the best you’re gonna get.

 

(Rob shifts in his chair)

 

JUDE: …To be honest, you’re incredibly lucky that Trey and Colleen got picked up, because we were not gonna back down.

 

ROB: Wait. Trey AND Colleen?!

 

(Jude looks puzzled)

 

JUDE: Um, yes?

 

ROB: Colleen got arrested too!?

 

JAMES: Yeah, she was involved in the planning.

 

RACHAEL: She’s gonna do time, too, because she refused to testify against him in exchange for immunity.

 

ROB: What?! That’s not fair! Trey is a controlling fucking creep, she was in thrall to him! She was manipulated by him!!

 

JAMES: Rob, relax!

 

(Rob stands up)

 

ROB: No, I won’t relax! I’m not gonna accept this deal on the back of her misery!

 

(James stands up and grabs Rob by the shoulder)

 

JAMES: Rob, let’s talk about this outside!

 

ROB: Fuck that! Colleen’s a good person, she’s just trapped in a toxic relationship!

 

JAMES: What are you gonna do about it, Rob?! She won’t cooperate! She’s going to prison whether you accept this deal or not! So, ACCEPT it!

 

(Rob takes a swallow and stares at Jude and Rachael)

 

RACHAEL: …This is the deal. You walk away, there’s no going back.

 

(Rob takes a deep breath and sits down)

 

ROB: …I’ll take it.

 

(James sits down next to Rob and pats him on the back)

 

JUDE: We’ll be in touch.

 

(Jude and Rachael leave)

 

JAMES: You did the right thing, Rob.

 

ROB: …Do you know Colleen’s attorney’s number?

 

JAMES: …I’m sorry, what?

 

ROB: I’m gonna withdraw my guilty plea on my own before sentencing if I can’t convince Colleen to cooperate.

 

(James furrows his brow)

 

JAMES: …Rob, have you lost your mind?! You JUST accepted the deal!

 

ROB: That was to put them at ease. I can just as easily pull out. And I will unless I can convince Colleen to cooperate.

 

JAMES: Rob, I know you think no one can resist your powers of persuasion, but I assure you- (Rob gets up) you are SORELY FUCKING MISTAKEN-

 

(Rob leaves, slamming the door behind him. Cut to Miles directing a scene outside of a thatched roof hut in the jungle. Two tribal women are standing outside the hut, holding glasses of wine and looking confused, as cameras and boom mics are pointed their way. Whitney is standing by, looking annoyed and exhausted)

 

MILES: Okay, all you have to do is thrown wine in each other’s faces during this scene. We don’t want to waste the wine, so let’s get this in one take, huh? (Confused silence. Miles looks behind him) …Where’s Simon?

 

WHITNEY: You realize no one’s gonna believe this is authentic, right?! That tribes of the Peruvian Amazon are acting like desperate housewives and saying catty phrases to camera?!

 

MILES: Fuck off- where’s Simon!?

 

(Simon runs over)

 

SIMON: Hey Miles, I was just talking to a bunch of the tribal people and they were saying there’s a really JUICY situation unfolding a few miles down the river. Something about a homewrecker!

 

(Miles perks up)

 

MILES: Perfect! Let’s get going!

 

SIMON: Problem is, it’s a few miles down another river, the one right over this hill- (Simon points uphill) so unless you can get your boat over there, I don’t know how you’re gonna get to it in time.

 

(Miles looks at the tribesmen and women surrounding him)

 

MILES: You guys wanna earn some more gold?

 

WHITNEY: MILES, NO!

 

MILES: MILES, YES!

 

(Cut to Miles, Whitney, Simon, the Captain, a few boom mic guys and two dozen natives painstakingly pulling the small river boat uphill with a long rope attached to the bow of the boat. Another two dozen or so natives are behind the boat, pushing it up the hill as well)

 

WHITNEY: THIS IS INSANELY UNSAFE!

 

MILES: COME ON, WHITNEY, EVERYONE TESTED NEGATIVE TWICE AFTER WE LANDED- PULL!

 

(They give it another good pull)

 

WHITNEY: THAT IS NOT WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!!

 

(Cut to the bottom of the other side of the hill, bordering the river which appears to be rather rough at the moment. Everybody is now pushing it down hill and trying to prevent it from capsizing)

 

MILES: Okay! Okay! Okay! LET GO!

 

(They all let go and it slides down hill and into the water. The Captain immediately ties it to a post)

 

CAPTAIN: We’re good!

 

MILES: Alright, everyone let’s get on board, there’s no time to waste.

 

WHITNEY: The water looks really rough, right now.

 

MILES: Yes, which is why we need to leave before it gets worse- let’s go!

 

(Miles, Whitney, the Captain, the camera men and the boom guys all start climbing on board)

 

SIMON: Enjoy yourselves, I think you’ll find some fascinating footage.

 

(Camera men on board train their cameras on Simon)

 

MILES: Simon, aren’t you coming? I need you. (Simon nods to two of the native women who were doing the scene with the wine earlier. They walk over to the boat and throw their wine in Miles’ face as he leans over the side of the boat. He wipes his face off) What the fuck-

 

SIMON: No, I’m not coming. I told all these people what the bottom of the gold bars said, and we decided this was best. By the way, there are no homewreckers. Oh! Except for you guys. (Simon takes out a machete and cuts the rope tying the boat to shore) Good luck handling the rapids with no gas.

 

MILES: What do you mean, we have gas- OH FUCK!

 

WHITNEY: We so deserve this.
 

MILES: YOU SON OF A BITCH!

 

(The boat is whisked away by the rapids as the natives hoot and holler. Cut to Rob driving in his car, wearing sunglasses, a bandana as a face covering and a Chicago Bulls cap. NPR is on)

 

NPR: President Biden has signed a series of executive orders in his first two full days as President, aimed at undoing much of former President Trump’s legacy. Biden rescinded the ban on migrants from a number of predominantly Muslim countries, known colloquially as the “Muslim ban” and he also rescinded the permit Trump granted to the Keystone XL oil pipeline, putting the new President at odds with his counterpart in Canada, the wokest oil & gas fan north of the 49th parallel, Justin Trudeau. The new Chair of the budget committee, Senator Bernie Sanders, is proposing the Senate use the reconciliation process to pass COVID-19 relief as part of President Biden’s agenda for the first 100 days. When reached for comment, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer simply e-mailed one of our reporters a meme of Bernie Sanders wearing mittens and sitting cross-legged on the deck of the Starship Enterprise and told us to focus on that instead. In international news- a documentary film crew had to be rescued- (Rob pulls into a parking lot outside a Federal Detention Center) from an errant river boat that was lost and spinning out of control- (Rob grabs from binaca from his pocket, pulls his mask down and sprays it in his mouth) on the rapids of the Peruvian Amazon. There are few details on what led up to- (Rob then takes out Axe body spray and coats his arm pits with it) this incident, but the film crew were evacuated by helicopter and are hospitalized-

 

(Rob puts the AXE away, pulls up his mask and shuts off the car as he gets out. He walks toward the detention center and goes inside. He walks into a run-down waiting room and goes up to a reception window manned by an older woman wearing a cat-themed mask)

 

ROB: (Affected southern accent) Hey there little lady- I gotta talky talk scheduled with Colleen Diamond for ‘round now, ya hear?

 

RECEPTIONIST: …You must be Willy Pickens.

 

ROB: That’s right, now let me on through.

 

RECEPIONIST: Can I see ID?

 

ROB: You’re dang right you can, shoot.

 

(Rob takes out a fake Massachusetts ID that purports to have been issued on May 20th, 1997. It features a picture of Rob as an 18-year-old, though the card itself claims he was born on April 25th, 1976, that his name is “William ‘Willy’ Pickens” and that the card expires on April 25th, 2002)

 

RECEPTIONIST: Your license has been expired for almost 19 years?

 

ROB: Shit, I don’t drive, ma’am, I ride horses and shit!

 

RECEPTIONIST: What’s with the accent, this is a Massachusetts license!

 

ROB: You gonna let me through or what?

 

(The receptionist sighs and presses a button under her desk, which triggers the door to the visiting area to unlock on the other side. Rob pushes through that door and walks into the visiting area- which is a room divided by glass and features a set of phones on either side with stools for both visitor and convict. There’s only a handful of other visitors speaking on the phone with inmates, but Rob sees Colleen at the far end in her county jail getup. Rob walks over and sits across from her. He picks up the phone and Colleen does as well)

 

COLLEEN: Willy?

 

ROB: (Regular accent) What? No. Colleen, it’s me. Rob.

 

(Colleen gives a little gasp and looks around)

 

COLLEEN: What are you doing here?

 

ROB: …I just wanted to tell you that, I’m sorry you got caught up in this. I never wanted you to get in trouble, even when you framed me.

 

COLLEEN: …Why?

 

ROB: Because I know that’s all Trey. I could see it in your eyes in the parking garage last month. You wanted to get away. But he was holding you back.

 

(Colleen looks down)

 

COLLEEN: …It’s not just that, I do love him…

 

ROB: …I know, but you don’t owe him anything. You’re confusing love with dependence, and they aren’t the same thing. That’s something I’ve had to learn. (Rob scoots up) I’ve made the same mistake, it’s not your fault. There was this girl named Marianne, who got her claws in me- JUST like Trey has. Except with Trey, the claws run way deeper. (Colleen starts to tear up) I’ve heard from Ryan for years, how you’ve been trapped in his web since High School.

 

COLLEEN: He’s always been there for me, I should be there for him.

 

ROB: Colleen, what you have to understand is, he needs YOU more than you need him, right now. When I was with Marianne, I realized this. I broke it off and she was destroyed- NOT me! You shouldn’t have to go to prison for his sake, Colleen. You’re a good person. He committed the crime, he just made you party to it. (Colleen is wiping tears from her cheeks) You’ve been used. The only thing you can do now is let Trey suffer the consequences of his actions alone. He’ll be in prison for a while, and you can use that time to rebuild your life around something else.

 

COLLEEN: I KNOW WHAT HE IS! (Everybody in the room glares at her. She recalibrates) I know what he is! But I don’t have anything else in my life! I have no money, no skills, no Instagram following worth writing home about! He is the rock I’ve clung to all this time and I don’t know how to let go!

 

(Rob gets even closer, almost pressing his face against the glass)

 

ROB: Then, I will be that rock, until you can sail off on your own. I will get you there.

 

(Colleen starts bawling and she can barely hold the phone to her ear. She puts it down on the desk as Rob watches her cry. Rob knocks on the glass and Colleen looks up. She composes herself and puts the phone back to her ear)

 

COLLEEN: Yeah?

 

ROB: So, how does that sound, Colleen? (Colleen takes a second. Sniffs a few times, looks over her shoulder. She nods) Then go call your lawyer. Tell her you’ll cooperate. And I’ll be calling her too, to make sure you actually did it.

 

(Colleen takes a big gulp and another nod)

 

COLLEEN: …Thank you, Rob.

 

(Colleen kisses her hand and places it on the glass. She hangs up the phone and a guard escorts her out of the room. Rob looks profoundly touched but also slightly shaken by this. He hangs up and gets off the stool and makes his way to the exit. Cut to Miles and Whitney, wearing masks, waiting at baggage claim at LAX. There is a tense silence between them)

 

MILES: …So…when do you think this’ll be released?

 

(Whitney guffaws)

 

WHITNEY: Jesus Christ, Miles. I can’t believe after what we just went through, that you actually WANT this movie to be released.

 

MILES: Are you kidding?! The twist ending is insane! How are we just gonna sit on that?! That’d be like the guys who found the Blair Witch Project choosing to just shelve it!

 

(Whitney faces Miles)

 

WHITNEY: FINE, Miles! You wanna release the movie?! Let’s fuckin’ do it! Here’s the new pitch; “unethical documentarian exploits natives for his own amusement and profit, and then gets his ass handed to him, DESERVEDLY”. I think the studios will find that angle appealing after they view the raw footage, don’t you?!

 

(Whitney walks over to the conveyor, grabs her luggage and walks away from Miles, who’s a bit dumbfounded)

 

MILES: …I mean…as long as I still get my cut!

 

(Miles shrugs and walks over to grab his luggage. Cut to Rob driving home, while listening to an edited version of “WAP” on the radio. He gets a call from Imogen and answers it immediately)

 

ROB: Hey, Im, what’s up?

 

(Cut to Imogen standing in the living room, looking guilty. Intercut between them)

 

IMOGEN: …Hey Rob. Um. Where are you?

 

ROB: I’m driving home. I took the new plea deal. Six months of weekend jail. But don’t worry, apparently the jail has DDR and stuff.

 

(Imogen nods)

 

IMOGEN: Good. Thank God.

 

ROB: …Something bothering you?

 

IMOGEN: No, not at all. I just…I know it’s been a rough month, so I just want to tell you that I love you.

 

(Rob smirks)

 

ROB: I love you too, Imogen.

 

IMOGEN: …And I trust you.

 

(Rob bristles a little bit. He nods)

 

ROB: …S-same.

 

(Cut to credits, as “Love Like Anthrax” by Gang of Four comes in)

 

THE END


Submitted: January 25, 2021

© Copyright 2021 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.

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