CLIFFHANGER screenplay by Michael France Terry Hayes Sylvester Stallone Shooting draft 3/30/92 [NOTE: THE HARD COPY OF THIS SCRIPT CONTAINED SCENE NUMBERS. THESE HAVE BEEN OMITTED FOR THIS SOFT COPY.] EXT. MOUNTAIN RANGE - HELICOPTER POV - DAY We are flying, soaring, wheeling, diving through a range of magnificent mountains. They are the Colorado Rockies and, right now, in early spring, it's one of the finest sights on earth: The lush greenery of the valleys gives way to cliffs of sheer rock and towering peaks crowned by snow. As the CREDITS ROLL, we wheel past a mountain wall and realize this is the POV from A HELICOPTER as it soars up to circle the tallest mountain: The Tower. It rises thousands of feet from the ground below, so high that its summit is wreathed in clouds. GABE (V.O.) Do you see them yet? JESSIE (V.O.) Patience my love, patience. GABE (V.O.) That's a virtue isn't it? JESSIE (V.O) Wait, I think I have them sighted. What's the word, Frank? INSIDE HELICOPTER - FRANK AND JESSIE Spotter FRANK NEWELL (50's) scans the mountain wall. JESSIE DEIGHAN (30's) expertly pilots the helicopter. Both wear jackets identifying themselves as members of the Rocky Mountain Park rescue team. FRANK The word is, we got 'em over there. BINOCULAR POV - A LEDGE that's part of a lower but equally formidable peak separated from The Tower by a chasm two hundred feet wide. HAL TUCKER (30's) and his girlfriend, SARAH COLLINS (20's), are decked out in warm weather climbing gear. Hal's aplomb suggests he's a veteran climber. Sarah's worried look confirms she isn't. Hal's knee is wrapped in several elastic bandages. He also carries a slow burning flare in one hand. JESSIE (into mic) Gabe? Gabe, where are you? GABE (V.O.) Just hangin' out. WIDE SHOT the chopper drops lower and from it's perspective, we now see GABE WALKER, (30's), climber extraordinaire, literally clinging against the underside of a fifty foot rock ledge. It is a death-defying manouevre that goes completely against the laws of gravity. JESSIE (transmits) Oh, my God! I can't recognize the face, but the butt does look vaguely familiar. (whistles) GABE (laughs) Don't say that. You'll embarrass Frank. FRANK It'll take a heap more than that, rock jock. HAL fires a flare. Gabe finally reaches the edge of the ledge and, grabbing the edge, swings out into space where he hangs by one arm as he digs his free hand into a chalk bag that hangs from his waist. JESSIE Hal's signalling he's OK. FRANK They're about two hundred yards from the top of the tower, right where that ledge comes out, Gabe. INSIDE HELICOPTER Frank lowers his glasses, Jessie struggles with the wind. JESSIE (quietly to Frank) He knows it well. GABE (swinging up) The ledge, I know it well, or should I say we know it well. JESSIE You can stop right there. GABE We spent a night there one night... JESSIE Enough. GABE Yeah, we were caught in a storm. I went up there an innocent climber... JESSIE Oh, please. CUT TO - GABE he pauses and points out at Jessie hovering above. GABE And when I came down, my morals were corrupted forever. JESSIE (to Frank) Don't believe it... (into mic) You know the trouble with you is you have no brain filter. Everything you think just pours right out. Gabe arrives at an overhang, turns around and prepares to kick over what is apparently a dangerous move. Gabe pulls himself up on the ledge. Winded he slumps down next to the couple. GABE Room service...Hi, Sarah. SARAH (quietly) Hi, Gabe. HAL Glad you could drop in. GABE Hey, anything for a friend. How's the knee? HAL I think it's out. No big deal. It's that old football injury. GABE (to Sarah) Funny, he told me he twisted it gettin' out of a hot tub. HAL I love you, too. GABE (into radio) Rescue One -- have located helpless climber, please prepare idiot line for transport, over. HAL (laughs) Wait 'til you get into trouble, just wait. EXT CHOPPER The helicopter dips down towards the ledge. No way can it land here. Frank lowers a rescue wire to Gabe who swings precariously out from the ledge to grab it. The wire is just out of reach. Gabe sees that Sarah is growing increasingly nervous at the prospect of having to make an emergency transport. The chopper's rotor wash requires all present to speak in a loud voice. GABE (eyes Hal, then Sarah) How're ya feeling? SARAH Fine, I guess... GABE (making grab at the cable) Sarah, we could take off and leave this guy behind... Sarah smiles as if she's considering it. Hal grabs the radio. HAL Rescue One -- please be advised Ranger Walker is making advances toward my girlfriend that are liable to get his ass kicked right into space, over. JESSIE (O.S.) Copy. Hal, tell Gabe he only makes advances to me or else he'll be walking down four thousand feet, and sleeping outside. GABE She's tough. SARAH Is it really four thousand? Gabe secures the line to a heavy piton. GABE It's up there, but I guarantee you can handle it. THE HELICOPTER Frank gets out to secure the wire. Now a lifeline spans the chasm. ON THE LEDGE Gabe finishes anchoring the line in the rock. Hal clips his harness onto the rescue line. HAL Remember, whatever he says about me, don't believe it, honey. I know you're nervous, but we've done this a hundred times. Okay? SARAH Okay. He kisses her. GABE Remember, keep your arms and legs within the vehicle at all times-- HAL (mouthing the words) Hey, fuck you. With that, Hal pulls himself hand-over-hand across the sloping line. HAL'S POV--THE DROP is vertigo defined. 4,000 feet straight down. However, HAL lets go of the overhead line and clasps his hands to his face in mock horror. He quickly whizzes the last thirty feet of line. Frank grabs him. THE LEDGE Gabe steals a glance at Sarah, realizes how frightened she is. GABE Sarah, tonight why don't you and Hal come over for dinner? SARAH (looking down) Okay--I don't know about this. He attaches her harness to the line. JESSIE The winds are picking up. GABE On my way. Alright Sarah, are you ready for the best ride in the park? Gabe starts to push her out on the line, but at the last moment her nerve fails her. She grabs his arm, dropping her head to look down. Gabe takes hold of her chin, stopping her, making her face him. SARAH (scared but tough) Please, can I think about this for a minute...Okay, I'm sorry, it's fine. What do you want me to do? GABE Just keep lookin' at me and only think about the distance across. Count it as you go: One, two...by eight you'll be there. SARAH Can I count as fast as I like? GABE Sure you can. SARAH (gives him a timid kiss on the cheek) I'm sorry for all the trouble... Thank you. Gabe pushes her out. As he does, he nods across the abyss to Hal who nods back, confident but concerned. He can't forget that everything that matters to him is suspended by a thread over a 4,000 foot drop. GABE'S POV - SARAH inching away in the harness, looking more confident now. GABE There you go. SARAH'S POV - GABE SARAH One... signalling "OK...you're doing fine..." SARAH Two... GABE That's it, you look like a professional. SARAH Three... SARAH - ANOTHER ANGLE thirty feet out, going fine. Hal watches, his tension easing, but... SARAH Four...five... GABE Nice and easy... SARAH Six... INSERT - HARNESS CLIP holding the strap under Sarah's left leg breaks! SARAH Oh, God! HAL Sarah! SARAH I'm going to fall! Oh, God, help me! GABE'S POV - SARAH The harness completely unravels all at once, its strands shoot through the clips. What was a seat has become a trap door in half a second. As the harness shoots out from under her, Sarah falls but grabs the harness strand. SARAH Help me! Please! Oh, God, help me! Hal!! HAL Hold on! Sarah, hold on! Get her, Gabe! Throw her a line! Hal's very worst fears are being realized as Sarah, too scared to breathe, dangles on the remaining strand of what used to be the harness. She sways from the wind and the jerk of her own weight. Her grip loosens. INSERT - THE TOP CLIP that is supporting all of Sarah's weight is being seriously tested. A single knot in the harness has caught there, but it clearly won't last long. JESSIE stares down in horror. JESSIE Gabe, get her! GABE moves back from the ledge. GABE (in control) I'm coming out! HAL No, stay off the line! You'll break her loose! GABE (screams) The clip's not gonna hold! JESSIE (into Gabe's handset) Go after her. HAL (kneeling on the edge) Hold on, baby, he'll get you. SARAH (almost faintly) I'm slipping--please, please... Gabe gently pulls himself up on the line, crosses his ankles on it, and clips himself on with a three foot safety line. He starts smoothly, quickly pulling himself out. Hal can barely watch. HAL (anguished) Don't lose her! Don't lose her! Sarah is in trouble. The bobbing of the line from Gabe's weight and the winds are making her lose her grip even more. Gabe pulls himself along the line faster, trying not to shake the line. He looks across at Hal who has dug in to brace the line. It's not meant for this much weight. Sarah starts to look down into the abyss. GABE No! Keep looking at me...Sarah! Don't look down...look at me. Keep your eyes on me...you can do it. You're stronger than you think...hold it, Sarah. Her eyes slide up to him. WIDER ANGLE He is only ten feet away. JESSIE (into Gabe's handset) Gabe, hurry--you can do it! A little more and you've got her. INSERT-THE CLIP The knot has worked itself halfway through. It doesn't make any difference how tight she holds on to the harness, the harness itself is letting go! GABE (into mic) She's losing it! HAL Sarah, hold on, he'll have you in a second. Jesus Christ, grab her! ON GABE who knows it and pulls himself the rest of the way, faster, almost bridging the gap -- ON SARAH staring desperately at Gabe, holding on -- SARAH (shrieking) Please -- oh, no -- please! GABE I'm here! Sarah, I'm here! I'm here--I've got you! INSERT - THE TOP CLIP that's keeping Sarah alive surrenders the knot--it passes through, and SARAH falls -- GABE deliberately lets go of the main line and launches himself at Sarah -- THEIR HANDS catch--Gabe's got a tenuous grip on Sarah's upper arm-- ANGLE ON BOTH Gabe's three foot safety line pulls taut, testing the limits of the line above as it yanks him and Sarah back. They start swinging like a pendulum over the abyss--with each swing Sarah's hand slips further down Gabe's arm. He frantically tries to tighten his grip on Sarah's arm, but his grip and hers are slipping. Gabe reaches up with his free arm to grab the main line and stabilize them, but their swinging keeps it out of reach. GABE Use your other hand! Grab it! SARAH Help me! I don't want to die! GABE You're not gonna die. Grab me with your other hand! HAL Sarah! Grab him, grab him! Sarah is too scared to comply, her other arm flailing as if that might stop the swinging with the next arc. Their grip slides to wrist level and keeps slipping. Gabe's hand digs into Sarah's climbing glove and holds! JESSIE Gabe hold her! Hold her! Gabe's face is a mask of strained concentration as he tries to grab the main line and maintain his grip on Sarah. He finally snags the main line, but he can't stabilize them with the next swing. GABE (exhausted) Do it! Reach up! Sarah, reach up! For what seems like an eternity, Sarah's eyes lock onto Gabe's with an expression of unabashed terror as her hand slides out of her glove! She falls--her eyes still locked on Gabe who can only look down, swaying helplessly on the wire as Sarah SCREAMS ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE Frank and Jessie look down in horror, but neither look as anguished as Hal. Her screams are heard in Jessie's headset. HAL No!! LONG SHOT - SARAH falling--falling--falling--looking very small against the vast mountain range-- SARAH'S POV - FALLING from this height takes the longest nineteen seconds you can imagine-- GABE twists from his safety line, clutching Sarah's glove--he wants to, but can't shut his eyes--he locks eyes with HAL whose horror and grief are even greater than Gabe's. GABE'S POV - THE CHASM Sarah is gone. The "Safety" harness spirals down after her like a carefree bird. Her scream, echoes off the cliffs and through the canyons -- fainter, fainter -- until it's almost a memory -- carrying across to: STREET DAY - 8 MONTHS LATER A five gallon bucket of blackish water explodes against the pavement. On the street are signs that read "Do Not Cross - Danger." TEN STORIES UP Gabe is ten stories up on a suspended platform with a window washer scraper poised in his hand. He looks down in despair. He appears distraught, lifeless -- the fire has gone out of his eyes. The WINDOW WASHER glances over the edge, then back at Gabe. WASHER Man, you better keep your mind on your business--you'll kill somebody. GABE Yeah. WASHER Two things you don't do in this line of work is daydream and stand back to admire your work. Got that? GABE Take me up. EXT. DENVER MINT - HIGH ANGLE - DAY - FEW DAYS LATER The Southwest regional center for printing and distributing currency. INT. TREASURY COMPOUND - A MECHANICAL BILL COUNTER is at work, banding and stacking currency. A HAND reaches to pick up a band. THE BILLS are something a banker could work a lifetime without seeing, but are real nonetheless -- $1000 bills, banded here in hundreds. The band is put back in the growing stack by RICHARD TRAVERS mid-forties, a tough, imposing Treasury agent. He regards the fortune piling up in front of him with only cold, professional interest. The currency is being placed into a trio of metal briefcases--thirty thousand $1000 bills. Travers shuts the cases in turn, and locks each with an electronic key card, triggering a FLASHING RED LIGHT on the locks. A uniformed PILOT arrives. PILOT We'll be fueled and ready in ten minutes, Mr. Travers. TRAVERS Very good. WALTER WRIGHT, an authoritative man of fifty and head comptroller of currency approaches followed by MATHESON, a groomed agent in his late twenties. WRIGHT Rich... TRAVERS Good morning, Walt. WRIGHT I'd like to have a word with you. This is Agent Matheson, FBI. TRAVERS (shakes Matheson's hand) Richard Travers. WRIGHT Matheson has been transferred from the Denver office to Frisco. As a professional courtesy between offices, I was asked if he could hitch a ride. TRAVERS We've got a full crew, but we can squeeze one more, right. WRIGHT Appreciate it. TRAVERS You're the boss. Let's head out to the tarmac. Matheson, have you been totally briefed? MATHESON I don't know about totally. TRAVERS (laughs) Who the hell ever is. This is the most protected shipment we've got-- and the most useless. These bills aren't even in circulation; the one thousand dollar bills we're transporting are only used for international banking exchange. MATHESON Do you always transport through the air? WRIGHT Mostly. Armored cars can be hijacked. Trains can be derailed. But nobody can get to us in flight. TRAVERS I haven't lost a bill in eighteen years, don't jinx me, Walt. WRIGHT I think Treasury personnel are the most superstitious people in the federal government. TRAVERS We should be. Everybody wants what we have. The men laugh and turn the corner. EXT. COLORADO TOWN - EARLY MORNING The weather is becoming moody as wind bends the tops of the trees and blows debris down the street. We see a well-worn vehicle moving past a filling station. Two young rock jocks are driving by in their impossibly mudcaked jeep. Loud music blasts from their stereo. The two young men are BRETT and EVAN. They wear bright colored jackets and have their hats backwards over their long hair. Wraparound shades adorn Brett's face. Brett notices Gabe's Bronco crossing the intersection. He wildly honks the horn and does a radical U-turn. BRETT Gabe! Hey, man! Gabe! It's Gabe! EVAN How yo doin', Gabe! Gabe wheels a bit closer. They drive side by side. GABE Hey, Brett. Hey, Evan. EVAN Where ya been, man? GABE Working in Denver. BRETT Work! Don't say that word, man. EVAN Man, I hate work even when somebody else does it! BRETT Hey, Gabe, we're flyin' off the Tower today. C'mon with us. EVAN C'mon, man--it's perfect weather for a monster, full-fledged gutrush! GABE No, you guys are too good. BRETT You heard it here, folks! EVAN I heard! Hey, later, Gabe. The two boys spin off and Gabe slowly moves on in the opposite direction. EXT. JESSIE'S CABIN - MORNING It is a rustic, modest home built mostly of local lumber and stone. In the corral we see Jessie forking hay over the fence to her three horses. The wind is picking up as Gabe steps into view. Thoroughly engrossed in her work, she fails to notice Gabe's arrival. She turns and is momentarily taken aback by the sight of Gabe. She collects herself. They lock expressions for an uncomfortable moment, then Jessie throws one last wedge of hay. JESSIE (low) Hello, Gabriel. GABE (softly) When you call me Gabriel, I know I've got trouble. JESSIE Where've you been? GABE Working...I'm trying to figure out where to start. JESSIE Maybe I can help. Let's see... if one night I got up and packed up all my things and drove away without leaving so much as a note, and stayed away for months, I think what I'd want to do is come up with a well thought-out reason. GABE After the funeral I just had to leave. JESSIE Had to leave? Believe me, we all wanted to leave...but you know what? We stayed. GABE A lot of things fell apart up there. JESSIE I know... GABE I don't think you do. JESSIE Why can't you believe that you did everything you could? GABE Did I? I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't have gone out on that line. Maybe I panicked. JESSIE I was there, you were the only one who didn't panic. So do everyone a favor, don't hog all the guilt. You held on as long as you could. Yes, everything did go wrong, starting with Hal. I mean, what was he doing up on the Tower with a girl who could barely climb? GABE I can't blame anything on Hal. It was me. I play it back in my mind everyday. JESSIE Then turn it off, Gabe, because it doesn't get any better. GABE I don't expect you to understand. JESSIE I don't understand? GABE You couldn't. JESSIE (mounting anger) You're saying, I don't understand? I'm the only one who does understand. I'm the one you lived with for two years, I'm the one you made promises to, I'm the one who spent too many nights looking up at these rocks and wondering if you were ever going to make it down in once piece or ever at all. Believe me, there's been times I didn't know what I wanted to do more, love you or hate you. But the one thing in our relationship that I did know and still do know is that I understand you. GABE Why are you yelling? JESSIE Excuse me? GABE Why are you yelling? JESSIE (confused) Did I miss something? GABE Y'know, yelling at this altitude can lead to hyperventilation and fainting-- JESSIE I'm not going to faint, but if I want to faint, I'll faint, okay? GABE Okay, but if you do I'll have to perform resuscitation-- JESSIE Resuscitation? GABE --mouth-to-mouth, which could maybe... JESSIE Which could maybe what? GABE Maybe lead to a flare up... JESSIE A flare up... GABE Flare up of old emotions... JESSIE Listen to you... (melting) The old "mouth-to-mouth" resuscitation routine, huh? GABE From one professional to another, of course. JESSIE Course maybe you don't have to wait until I faint. GABE (charmingly) No, I think I will, it's safer. I have patience. Jessie moves forward. A light rain has begun to fall. JESSIE Gabe, did you come back to stay? (pause) You didn't. GABE I can't. Not here. (beat) If you want, I'd like you to come with me...somewhere else. JESSIE Where? GABE It doesn't matter, anywhere but here. JESSIE You come back after being gone almost a year, and you expect me to just leave... (beat) This was our home, now it's my home. I can't leave. You can stay with me, and believe me, I want you to, but to just take off for the wrong reasons, I can't do it. And you shouldn't either. GABE Like I said, I can't turn it off. JESSIE (softly) And I can't leave. GABE If it's alright, I'm gonna pick up the rest of my gear. JESSIE You know where everything is... (looks at her watch) I'm late for my shift. GABE Jess--you look good. Jessie nods a thank you and despondently moves away. Gabe heads inside as Jessie drives away. EXT. CLOUDS - MORNING A spectacular sight: Great rolling thunderclouds backlit by the early morning sun. The sound of an engine--then a plane appears through the cloud: The Treasury Jet. The DC-9 cruises over mountainous, remote terrain. INT. JET - CLOSE ON TRAVERS who looks tense--we MOVE AROUND the cabin and find two more relaxed TREASURY AGENTS dozing on the opposite side of the plane. The interior of the plane is rather spartan and cold. Matheson is edgy. An AGENT offers condescending reassurance. AGENT Travers says you're being transferred. MATHESON Yeah, moving up in the world. Matheson turns back to his window. Another jet's shadow moves sleekly past the window, momentarily blocking out the sun. MATHESON reacts to this and shifts his look upward to-- WINDOW POV - THE PLANE is flying a parallel course to the Treasury jet, and is just one hundred yards away. INSIDE THE PLANE Matheson stands. Travers has noticed the plane by now too, and gets out of his seat as the other agents react. MATHESON That plane is tracking us. AGENT Travers? TRAVERS (to other agents) Stay put. Don't anybody jump to conclusions. Travers moves into THE COCKPIT where the pilot seems nervous but, oddly, not frightened. PILOT He's coming in too slow. TRAVERS (cool) No, we're going too fast, and we're too high up. Give me 180 knots and drop to fifteen thousand feet. THE CABIN Matheson is out of his seat. MATHESON (to agent) Christ! We're losing altitude and slowing down! If you have automatic weapons, get them! Travers steps out. TRAVERS What are you doing? I have jurisdiction on this jet! Matheson goes to his briefcase and flips it open. It contains a full auto uzi. He pulls it from its clasps. TRAVERS What the hell are you doing-- MATHESON Now I have jurisdiction! (to agents) I said get your weapons. TRAVERS These are highly trained agents overreacting without just cause. Travers puts his hands out and walks forward, slowly, backing Matheson into the cabin. Not in surrender, but as if he's calming a nutcase. The other agents see this and don't know which way to jump. TRAVERS Calm down...give the gun to me. You're out of control, son. MATHESON (to other agents) What the hell are you waiting for, goddammit! Don't you see what he's doing! He's hijacking the shipment! The other two agents get behind Matheson and rapidly disarm him. Travers pulls out his gun and FIRES it three times, one for each agent's chest. The agents are cut down, realizing too late what's happened. Two shots knock Matheson over a seat. The co-pilot begins to step out when he is shot by the pilot with a silencer. Travers puts on a radio headset as he goes to a window. TRAVERS (to mouthpiece) Move into position! EXT. TREASURY JET/QUALEN'S JET STAR - FLYING Qualen's jet star is now flying a hundred and fifty feet directly behind and slightly below the Treasury jet. The door of Qualen's jet is open. INT. TREASURY JET - REAR SECTION Travers has slipped into a protective windsuit. He clips himself to a safety wire, flips on an oxygen mask and almost simultaneously pulls the lever that releases the bolts on the tail cone, leaving a 6' by 3' hole. A huge vacuum is created by the hole and loose debris such as papers and bits of clothing are sucked out of the jet. Travers pulls aside a tarp revealing a winch. INT. QUALEN'S JET STAR - FRONT SECTION - DAY Qualen steps into view. His presence is threatening. He is wearing a headset radio, goggles, oxygen mask and a cold weather jumpsuit. (The entire gang on board the jet are dressed in this fashion.) He is wired to a safety line in the jet. Qualen is as deadly as advertised. 230 MPH winds are tearing at him through the open door, but he is unfazed and unfrightened. Next to him are Ryan and Kynette. TRAVERS at the open tail cone. TRAVERS (into radio) More...more...keep proceeding... THE TWO PLANES Travers' jet lowers the cable with a lead weighted grappling hook into the Jet Star. It looks like an Air Force midair refueling--difficult and dangerous. After about a hundred and fifty feet of line is lowered QUALEN clips it to a ring at the top of the opening. QUALEN (into radio) Locked on. Move into transfer position. INSIDE QUALEN'S PLANE The pilot, KRISTEL, is a woman. Her skill, like her hard beauty, can be measured in a glance. She's a lot calmer than her counterpart in the Treasury plane. Beside her is a co- pilot. KRISTEL (to co-pilot) Check. Moving into transfer position. ON THE TWO PLANES Qualen's jet lowers itself, until it's 150 feet below the Treasury jet. TREASURY JET CABIN Travers, unclipped from his safety line, cautiously goes to the cockpit and picks up his portable monitor. The pilot, nervous, struggles with the controls. PILOT (shouting) We're right on the edge of the storm! This isn't going to work! TRAVERS (loud) Don't lose your nerve! All they'll find is a plane that went down in a storm... Travers checks the monitor which electrically comes alive. TRAVERS (gestures to bodies) ...and enough pulverized bone for six men heroically killed in the line of duty. INSIDE QUALEN'S JET We can now see five other passengers. All are fit and armed: HELDON and DELMAR and RAY are seated, while KYNETTE and RYAN, ready to help with the transfer, are on the opposite side of the door from a very impatient Qualen. QUALEN (into radio) Travers! Hurry it up. TRAVERS (into radio) On my way. The cases are hooked up and ready. IN TREASURY COCKPIT Travers steps back into the cockpit and flips a toggle switch over an LED. THE LED starts counting down from 2:00 -- 1:59 -- 1:58... Even in the last minute, the storm's gotten worse. The plane is flying right into the blackest center of it. The pilot looks more panicked than ever. TRAVERS That charge is going to blow in two minutes. Stick to the plan and you're rich. BACK IN THE CABIN Travers heads back into the cabin and hooks his harness to the cable between the planes. TRAVERS (into headset) Dip the plane. I'm coming over. THE JETS - LONG SHOT Qualen's jet dips down so there's a sharp incline. The cable is slightly bowed from the wind's force. Travers starts the slide down, his body almost blown parallel to the ground. In seconds he is across and into QUALEN'S JET where he's pulled in and unclipped by Qualen. QUALEN (shouting over the wind) Why didn't you send the money over? TRAVERS (shouting too) Somehow I didn't think you'd wait for me if I'd sent it first. Qualen smiles in reply. No. Maybe he wouldn't QUALEN'S COCKPIT Kristel is struggling to keep the jet on course. KRISTEL (yells) I can't hold this course much longer! Qualen at the door. QUALEN (to Travers) What's the delay? TRAVERS (into headset) Let's move your ass in there!! INT. THE TREASURY PLANE COCKPIT The pilot locks the controls and stepping over the bodies, rushes back to the rear of the jet. MATHESON's eyes open -- he's not dead yet. IN THE CABIN The pilot has just placed his harness on and is about to push the cases out when behind him, Matheson shakily crawls forward and riddles the pilot with auto fire. As the pilot falls forward, he hits the lever that releases the cases. THE PILOT drops out of the plane, flailing. If he is screaming, we can't hear it over the HOWLING of the storm. IN QUALEN'S JET Qualen and Travers are watching the whole plan unravel. TRAVERS (shouting to cockpit) What the hell! Get underneath the jet! The cases will slide over! THE JETS - LONG SHOT Qualen's jet sharply dips down and the cases start to slide over, but at the same time... INSIDE THE TREASURY JET Matheson, dying, crawls to the opening and FIRES a full clip from his automatic at Qualen's jet, and THE LED counts down -- 0:02 -- 0:01 -- 0:00 -- and THE TREASURY JET - THE BOMB EXPLODES As the charge DETONATES, it sends a fireball blast back from the cockpit all the way through the fuselage and out the rear. THE JETS - LONG SHOT The Treasury jet plummets, leveling the angle between the planes. The cases dangle precariously on the wire. INSIDE QUALEN'S JET TRAVERS (shouting) Lower! Get underneath it! Lower! INSIDE QUALEN'S COCKPIT - KRISTEL isn't quite panicked--yet. KRISTEL It's dragging us down! Disconnect the cable! Heldon and Ryan try to do just that, but the cable is taut. There's no way to loose the clip on the door. QUALEN Get rid of the plastique! Heldon rushes to the rear of the plane to grab a bag as... BOTH JETS dive down faster at an ever steeper angle, over the edge of the Colorado Mountain Range. INSIDE QUALEN'S JET STAR Ryan and Kynette struggle to release the cable. RYAN It's too tight! Qualen pulls out a pistol and fires several shots into the cable, snapping it. BOTH JETS - LONG SHOT The Treasury jet drops as Qualen's jet, trailing the cable and the money, sharply shoots upward. THE TREASURY JET explodes in mid-air. INT. QUALEN'S PLANE - THE COCKPIT - KRISTEL The jet is in serious trouble. KRISTEL We're not leveling out! CABIN - QUALEN , DELMAR AND TRAVERS QUALEN (into headset) What's the matter? KRISTEL (O.S.) I don't know! QUALEN C'mon, pull! The men struggle to reel in the cable, because, CLOSE ON THE CABLE The money cases are still, barely, holding on, the cuffs caught on the broken clip at the end. QUALEN, DELMAR AND TRAVERS aren't even bothering with the electric winch, they're dragging it in hand over hand, but IN THE CABIN The cases, torn by the wind, work their way loose one at a time and drop -- one -- two -- three -- into the snowy mountains below! CLOSE ON THE CABLE Ryan clamps the door shut as Qualen angrily lashes at Travers. QUALEN Foolproof plan?! You dumb bastard! Kristel, what's the report?! He moves off. THE COCKPIT - KRISTEL tries to bring the plane up, but can't. The pressure gauge needles are dropping fast. KRISTEL The hydraulics are not functioning! He shot up the hydraulics! I can't retain altitude! We're going down-- QUALEN Crash positions! Everyone rapidly takes to a seat and starts to buckle up. QUALEN (to Travers) Don't buckle up. You may not want to survive this. EXT. THE PLANE breaks through the clouds, revealing the mountainous landscape and a hard snowfall. It is going down--it heads for a tree-lined plateau above the snow line--the plane hits the ground level-- IN QUALEN'S COCKPIT KRISTEL (to co-pilot) There's an opening! THE PLATEAU - LONG SHOT The problem is, the ground itself isn't level. It tilts down towards another edge five hundred yards distant. If the plane keeps skidding, it'll go over the edge. The plane sleds down at an angle, skipping over rocks, through trees, tearing off a wing-- INSIDE THE CABIN The men are jolted around. Windows IMPLODE. THE PLANE rips downhill through a wooded area like a runaway train. The second wing is sheared off by trees. COCKPIT POV - THE OPPOSITE EDGE A fallen tree stump is coming up fast, it rips through the windscreen, narrowly missing Kristel and ripping the co-pilot's head completely off. THE PLANE continues to slide, three quarters of the fuselage intact. It finally comes to rest. WIDER VIEW - THE PLANE or what's left of it has stopped several feet short of the edge. EXT. SPUR - DAY Brett and Evan are preparing to jump. Evan is wearing a walkman blasting music. A heavy snow is falling. BRETT (speaking loudly, over the wind) Did you catch that thunder? EVAN (pulls off his headphones) No way, death-breath, that was too intense for thunder. C'mon let's rock an' roll. The two boys leap. We pull back to reveal they are plunging, arms flailing down a huge chasm. The rock wall behind them speeds past, Karwhoosh! Their back-packs burst open, parachutes stream out. Hollering with delight, they're riding the updrafts like a rollercoaster. EXT. CRASH SITE - DAY The plane lies still. All is quiet except for the howling wind. A section of the rear passenger compartment is exposed in the snowstorm. INSIDE THE WRECKAGE The cockpit is nearly severed from the rest of the fuselage, the sides broken open. CLOSER - TRAVERS lies face down in the debris. He struggles to free himself from what appears to be the body of Ray. He pushes it off. Breathing heavily, Travers is about to rise when a gun is placed against his neck. WIDER - QUALEN in front of Travers, holding the gun. Qualen is bruised and gashed on the forehead. He's about to blow Travers' head off. QUALEN You thought about everything except what's happening now. HELDON Kill the fucker, his fucking plan almost killed us! TRAVERS Kill me? Christ we're partners in this! QUALEN Were. Give me the tracking monitor! TRAVERS Why? What are you going to do?! QUALEN The monitor! I never ask twice. Travers pulls off the monitor that was slung around his neck. TRAVERS Take it. There's only about fifty thousand code variations. That's right, fifty thousand. Delmar moves up to Qualen. DELMAR I'll break your fucking neck! TRAVERS Go ahead, break my fucking neck. But you're going to need the money to buy your way out of the country, because we sure as hell can't stay in the States anymore. (to Qualen) You know it and I know it. KYNETTE I say, fuck the money. Getting off this mountain is all I want to know about. The money's gone. Kill the rat bastard and let's move. QUALEN No, we haven't come this far to lose everything--and Travers is right, we'll need the cash. HELDON How're we gonna get off this mountain even if we find it? QUALEN (moves off) No problem--Kristel... INT. RANGER STATION Rain is pounding against the windows. Hal is watching a football game on a small portable television. He is whittling away at a piece of wood with a shiny folding knife used by most climbers. FRANK is standing behind a large 3' by 4' piece of glass upon which he is painting a bizarre abstract creation. Frank is approximately sixty years old, but still possesses the wiry, but partly stiff body of a former rodeo rider who's taken a hundred falls too many. Jessie enters looking rather despondent. She goes to the coffee pot. FRANK Oh yes, that's it right here. I believe 'ol Frank nailed it with that stroke. Hal c'mere. Still whittling, Hal drifts over, and observes the painting. HAL Hey, Jessie, you're just in time for another masterpiece. FRANK So, what do you see? HAL Surprise me. FRANK What usually eats a banana? HAL (at a loss) A monkey? FRANK So...what are you, blind, son? This is a banana eating a monkey, nature in reverse. HAL Y'know, Jessie, doesn't Frank look like a normal guy--but he's not, (laughs) are you Frank? Suddenly, the scanner radio barks to life. KRISTEL (O.S., panicky) Somebody help...please...is there somebody there...we need help... Hal runs to the radio and keys the mic. HAL Rocky Mountain Rescue, come in! INT. COCKPIT Kristel is sitting on the floor of the cockpit. She's ripped the guts out of the plane's radios and avionics to jury-rig a system of wires, transistors and dials. Qualen and Travers watch. Qualen can't suppress a grin as he observes Kristel's "distraught performance." KRISTEL Please help, we're stranded. We were hiking and lost our bearings...we didn't expect this weather to come in so fast. INT. RANGER STATION Hal starts to jot down the information. Jessie stands behind him. HAL (into radio) Acknowledge. How many are there? KRISTEL (O.S., panicked) Seven people. I don't know our position, the only visual bearing is a cylinder rock formation. Over. JESSIE Got to be Comb Bluff. HAL (keys mic) Acknowledge. Winds are too strong to get a chopper up there, Are you near any natural shelter? Over. KRISTEL (O.S., panicked) No, nothing and Billy is going into shock we need insulin...please hurry, please... Dead silence. HAL Mayday! Come in, Mayday! Damn, lost contact. INT. COCKPIT Kristel disconnects a couple of wires from the battery. Travers watches as Qualen leans down and kisses her. QUALEN We need insulin-- (to Travers) Would you have thought of that? Travers tenses. INT RANGER STATION Hal folds up his knife and jams it into a non-detectable sheath on the side of his boot, then starts pulling out his climbing gear. HAL (to Jessie) You and Frank get the tents, thermal clothing, and medical supplies together. JESSIE Who's going with you? HAL You're looking at him. JESSIE Where's the rest of the team? HAL Bob and Rick are in Denver. I gotta get up there as fast as possible. Frank, get me a load of flares. Jessie turns and exits. EXT. JESSIE'S CABIN - DAY Jessie's truck roars into the shot. It is pouring rain. Gabe is just putting his belongings in the rear of the Bronco. He flips up the tailgate. JESSIE Thank God you didn't leave. We just got a Mayday. Seven climbers stranded off Comb Bluff. The weather's pouring in fast and Hal's gone up alone. GABE Hal knows what he's doing. Gabe heads back inside and Jessie follows. INT. CABIN Gabe gathers the last of his belongings. JESSIE If he gets up there and the weather gets as bad as it can, they'll never make it down. He needs someone who has emergency medical training and knows every handhold on these peaks. GABE He doesn't want my help. JESSIE That's not the issue here, those people are. He can't do it alone. GABE He can handle it. JESSIE What if he can't? GABE I haven't climbed in months--you lose the feel. JESSIE You mean the nerve. Gabe is wounded by the remark. JESSIE I know you don't want to be responsible for anybody's life anymore, but walk away and you are responsible. Please Gabe, he went up the west ridge. If you go up the south face, you can catch him, no problem-- GABE Can't do it. He carries the last box out the door. EXT. CABIN Gabe gets into the Bronco. JESSIE Can't do it? I don't believe this. Don't you feel anything? GABE I only came back for you. Gabe stares at her for a moment, then turns and drives away. JESSIE Go on! Leave. Go wherever you want. But you're going to be stuck on that ledge for the rest of your life. CUT TO: GABE DRIVING It is pouring rain as Gabe guides his bronco down the winding mountain road. The bronco pulls over. INT. BRONCO - DAY Gabe stares straight ahead at the rain that beats down on the windshield. The wipers going back and forth become like a monotonous heartbeat. Indecision fills his yes. He puts his head down on the steering wheel and WE CUT. INT. WRIGHT'S OFFICE - DAY Wright's pacing around, trying to figure out what in his office he should break first. Davis shows up at the door. WRIGHT (furious) Okay, what's the report? Where the hell is that plane? DAVIS (walking to a map) There's no radio contact at all sir, and we're not receiving the tracer signal from the cockpit's flight recorder. He points to a huge part of Colorado. Hundreds of square miles. DAVIS We have to assume it went down in the storm. That storm front is still building. Even if we could get a search plane up now, it'd be impossible to see anything on the ground. WRIGHT What about the roads? DAVIS Most of this area doesn't even have roads. A secretary enters. SECRETARY Mr. Wright, there's two FBI agents that demand to see you. TWO MATURE AGENTS enter in a highly agitated state. AGENT #1 Mr. Wright, I'm Agent Hayes and this is Agent Michaels. We're here about the jet disappearance. WRIGHT Look, if you're just concerned about your agent who was along for the ride-- AGENT HAYES Matheson wasn't along for the ride, he was working surveillance. WRIGHT Surveillance? For what? AGENT HAYES The Bureau had been receiving sketchy reports about Treasury flight patterns being monitored from Denver to San Francisco. It was thought best not to alert anyone in your department in case there was the possibility of it being an inside job. WRIGHT That's impossible. You suggest a hijacking? Impossible. Not only did I have my best men on that flight, each one of those cases are monitored, and the money is in unexchangeable denominations. It would be useless for anyone to steal. AGENTS MICHAELS (presents a folder) Not for this man. WRIGHT Who the hell is this? AGENT MICHAELS Eric Qualen. He's the one we've been tracking without much success. He's a former member of military intelligence who found it more profitable going to the other side. Industrial espionage, diamond hijacking from South Africa, theft and disposal of millions in negotiable bearer bonds, you name it. He's got the international connections to move this currency, and one hundred million offers one hell of a temptation to this psychotic. WRIGHT Jesus Christ, this can't be happening. AGENT HAYES I know. Unfortunately it is, and what we need is a complete profile on all the men aboard that jet, backgrounds both business and personal. WRIGHT (to Davis) Arrange it. EXT. SOUTH WALL - DAY The sheer wall that is leaning actually outward is a terrifying sight. We see a mere spec moving cautiously upward--it is Gabe. CUT TO - C.U. GABE straining to maintain his balance in the driving wind and snow. GABE (echoes Jessie's words) And if you go up the south wall, you can catch him, no problem, yeah. Gabe has a moment of indecision, almost a look of mounting fear in his eyes. Gabe starts to ascend and pauses to look straight up the rock face, then straight down. As the wind tears at his face, his eyes reflect in momentary panic. FLASH BACK: Black and white grainy dreamlike effect as Sarah falls. She strobes down the canyon floor, her eyes and amplified voice shrieking in fear. BACK TO SCENE: Shaken, Gabe starts to descend, then pauses and looks up the sheer face... He pulls out his bolt gun and fires into the wall. Hooking up, he proceeds upward. GABE Keep going, keep going... EXT. MOUNTAIN WALL - DAY - HIGH ANGLE ON HAL Who's now a good way up the wall, at least a thousand feet off the ground. Wind and snow make the climbing hard. This part of the wall is sheer, slightly overhung and slick. His only foothold is about a half-inch of ledge. A larger ledge is above him, tantalizingly just out of reach. He gropes up, stretching, trying to get that extra half-inch reach...he gets it. THE TOP OF THE LEDGE Suddenly a hand seizes Hal's. Surprised, Hal starts to slip back. Gabe pulls him the rest of the way up. Panting from this last effort, he leans against the wall next to Gabe. HAL What the hell are you doing here?! GABE I was with Jessie, she filled me in. HAL Now let me fill you in. You can get your ass back down an' go back to that hole you been hiding in-- GABE When we get this group down, I'm gone. HAL You're gone now! I don't climb with people I can't trust. Why'd you come up, to prove something? GABE I'm here for the same reason you are, so let's do it. HAL Can't pass up another chance to play hero, can you. GABE Look, I know-- HAL You don't know anything. You did it your way and she died. GABE I did what I thought was right. HAL Well you were wrong! It was your weight on the line that did it-- GABE There wasn't time for anything else. HAL We'll never know, will we? GABE Look, it was a bad time for everybody. HAL (explodes) What the hell do you know about bad time. You didn't love her, you didn't have to explain to her family. GABE And you weren't looking into her eyes when she fell. Now drop it! Hal suddenly catches Gabe off-guard by the front of the jacket. Gabe is precariously balanced on the edge, his life totally in Hal's hands. HAL No, buddy, it was you who dropped it! GABE If you want, do it. I don't care. Gabe and Hal lock stares for a long moment. Hal pulls him back in. HAL (a threat) When it's over, you and me... Hal gives him a withering stare and moves away. EXT. COMB BLUFF - BINOCULAR POV - DAY Gabe and Hal are now visible two thirds of the way up. EXT. PRECIPICE EDGE - DAY From the top of the bluff, someone is looking down through binoculars. Gabe and Hal are a few hundred yards below. Ryan lowers the binoculars and keys a headset radio. The wind is blowing snow on his face. RYAN They're here INSIDE THE PLANE Qualen is wearing another headset. He disentangles himself from Kristel. QUALEN (to others) The guests are here. THE MOUNTAIN'S EDGE Hal follows Gabe up. From here, the rest of the range looms large. The storm raging above makes this a spectacular sight. Gabe sees the trees torn from the ground by the plane crash. RYAN About time... Gabe and Hal turn around only to find themselves staring at Ryan's ominous expression and poised weapon. RYAN ...Walk. INT. FUSELAGE Hal and Gabe are hustled inside the plane. Driving snow blows through the wreckage. Kynette quickly confiscates Gabe's bolt gun and ice axe. QUALEN Where's the helicopter? HAL What the hell's going on? Qualen motions to Delmar who viciously backhands Hal. QUALEN That was the first and last question-- now only answers. Where's the chopper? GABE It can't fly in this weather. QUALEN (to Travers) This is where your background in police work comes in handy--ask the questions, Travers. TRAVERS Don't use my name! QUALEN (hard) Ask the questions. TRAVERS You're both with the mountain rescue team? HAL Yeah... TRAVERS Anyone else following? Hal shakes his head "no." TRAVERS What's your names? HAL (Hal looks at Gabe, who nods) Tucker and Walker. TRAVERS Tucker and Walker, we've lost three bags. QUALEN You know how the airlines are. GABE Bags? QUALEN Suits, underwear, 100 million dollars...the usual stuff. Travers was smart enough to bring along a tracking device. Step into my office. Gabe and Hal stand there defiantly. Delmar grabs Hal and heaves him forward. DELMAR (to Gabe) You too. INT. COCKPIT - DAY Tight on a map spread out on the plane's wrecked instrument panel. We see Travers keying a set-up of numbers into his portable monitor. The monitor lights up with a pattern of frequency beacons. QUALEN Where's the third one, Travers? TRAVERS (to Gabe) There, what's that place? Gabe looks at the monitor, then the map, and he glances at Hal. GABE Looks like the Tower. It's a bad climb. QUALEN A bad climb, no, just another challenge. What's life without 'em, right, Agent Travers. TRAVERS Get off my back, Qualen! QUALEN (smoothly) I haven't even got on it yet. (to Gabe) Let's go, time to fetch. EXT. MOUNTAIN WALL - WIDE SHOT - DAY - HAL AND GABE have led the gang further up the wall, using pitons and carabiner clips to create a guide rope. It's still just a matter of climbing relatively easy ascending ledges. The howling wind continues to blow snow all around them. QUALEN (yells from behind) The faster you find the bags, the bigger you boys' finder's fee will be. HAL (to Gabe) Right, all the bullets we can eat. THE WALL The climbers have reached an easier section of the wall. The ledge is now two feet wide. Travers takes out the tracer monitor; it shows the first case is just above them. Travers and Gabe look up through the driving snow. Qualen has Hal's walkie-talkie in his hand. He monitors Jessie's message. JESSIE (V.O.) Hal, come in, please. Qualen turns off the radio. QUALEN Sounds cute. A CREST juts out of the wall a hundred plus feet above their position. As the rest of the wall above is completely sheer, the case must have landed on top of a ledge. But this isn't easily accessible. WE MOVE DOWN from the crest to see there are only the smallest of handholds and those are slick with ice, making climbing almost impossible. Tons of snow and ice are suspended precariously on top of the mountain. ON THE LEDGE Delmar holds his gun on Gabe, as Hal helps Gabe put on his crampons. HAL Watch yourself under that overhang. (Gabe eyes him) It could go anytime. Gabe eyes the ledge and gets his meaning. QUALEN Go on, fetch. GABE I need my bolt gun and an ice axe. TRAVERS Don't give him anything. QUALEN We agree on something. And for insurance, take his coat. HAL He'll freeze. QUALEN Ryan, get a rope, I want the man on a leash, too. Gabe looks up, this is going to be tough, even for him. HAL Forget me. If you can, get away. GABE Would you? Hal looks at him for a beat, emotionally torn. Gabe moves away. HIGH ANGLE - GABE moves up the wall with some ease at first. There are small handholds, and decent footholds, but twenty feet up, there's nothing. To keep going, Gabe has to wedge his fingers into small cracks, supporting his weight only by several fingerholds at any given moment. ON THE LEDGE - TRAVERS AND QUALEN WITH RYAN who holds the rope fastened to Gabe's ankle. GABE ON THE WALL - CLOSE He's moving up a sheer face. He has hit a section that barely has any edges for him to insert his fingers. He pauses and removes his necklace. CUT TO - QUALEN AND HAL QUALEN What's he doing? HAL The best he can since you gave him nothing. CUT TO - GABE He takes the charm, which is really a miniature ice axe, and inserts it into a crack. Then wrapping the necklace around his gloved hand, he pulls himself up with one hand to a secure handhold. Gabe keeps this hold with one hand and slides the other up, hammering into a crack wedged with ice. Some of the ice chips whistle past and down. Finally, Gabe gropes one hand over the edge and pulls himself onto THE CREST. Exhausted, Gabe slumps prone across the top. He sees a case wedged in a crack. He goes to it. It's battered from the fall, but still holding together. Gabe manages to force open the trashed locks, he looks inside the case, and fingers a band of $1000's. GABE Jesus. ON THE LEDGE - TRAVERS AND QUALEN look up. They can see Gabe has made it, but they can't see him or the case. TRAVERS I don't trust him. QUALEN Kill him when he gets down. Hal overhears the last statement and bolts forward screaming up toward Gabe. HAL Don't come down, they're gonna kill you! Don't come down! Delmar rams Hal with his forearm against the back of Hal's neck, levelling him. TRAVERS (shouting) Pull the rope! Pull it! ON THE CREST - GABE Gabe is painfully being jerked onto his side and pulled to the edge by the frayed rope that is still fastened around his ankle. ON THE LEDGE Travers and Qualen TRAVERS Pull, goddamn it!! Gabe frantically claws at the ground as he desperately tries to sever the rope. Nearly at the edge, he manages to brace one foot against a rock as he wildly slashes at the rope with his crampon. The rope being pulled by Ryan and Kynette suddenly snaps down on the men. ON THE CREST With the case, Gabe scrambles up the wall, towards the girder of ice, From Travers' and Qualen's point of view, Gabe can hardly be seen. Since the mountain bulges out as it goes up, Gabe's got a slight edge of cover. TRAVERS (shouts to Heldon) Shoot! What the hell are you waiting for? Heldon runs along the lower edge, FIRING up at GABE who has to flatten against the upper ledge. Bullets howl past twenty per second, SPARKING against the lip of the rock. The bullets chisel away at the ice above him. Gabe looks ominously at the frozen overhang. QUALEN (holds a gun to Hal's head) Bring down the money or your friend's dead! TRAVERS We can't and he knows it. Frustrated, Qualen shoves Hal aside. QUALEN Get him!! HELDON Sees Gabe's cover is gone. Heldon's ledge is getting wider. Heldon moves out to the ledge and continues to fire into the ice. THE ICE AND SNOW emits a roar as it gives away, dropping an avalanche of White Death. GABE drops the case and hugs the wall. THE AVALANCHE - WIDE VIEW ON THE MOUNTAIN Only now can we see how much snow and ice has been penned up on the mountain top--tons of frozen fury sweeps down the mountainside. It SHATTERS the case against the wall easily sweeping a SCREAMING Heldon off the ledge. TRAVERS, QUALEN AND HAL are safe at their vantage, but stunned at the sight of the avalanche. Heldon's machine gun FIRES uselessly as he's swallowed in an explosion of white and a flurry of green as the bills scatter amid the snow. TRAVERS stares at thirty plus million dollars worth of snow settling far below. Qualen grabs Hal by the throat. QUALEN Your friend just had the most expensive funeral in history. Now it's all you... JESSIE (V.O. ) Come in, Rescue Unit, over. Rescue Unit, what's going on Hal? Qualen presses his gun to Hal's temple. QUALEN Talk. No tricks, no codes, no messages. You haven't found us. It was a fake call. HAL (keys it) Jessie, I reached the top of the Tower. So far, no sign of anyone. Looks like a phoney call. Over. INT. RANGER STATION Jessie looks at Frank. It is still pouring down rain. JESSIE You gotta be kidding me! Do you want me to fly up after you? Over. HAL (O.S.) Negative. The winds are too high. I'm going to ride out the storm here. I'll take shelter in the Douglas Exhibition Shaft. Over and out. CUT TO: TRAVERS (pulls away the radio) Have her come up. HAL The down drafts would wipe her out. It's the only chopper. If it goes, you got no ride out. QUALEN Let's go to the next case. Delmar shoves Hal forward and the group moves out. THE UPPER CREST where Gabe was. Nothing is stirring. Then there is movement ten feet from where Gabe was hugging the wall. It's a crevice in the mountain, about two feet wide. A climber would call this a "chimney", and it's packed with ice and snow. It's also packed with GABE. His hand appears through the snow and he digs himself out, gasping and coughing. Coated with snow, he leans against the wall. Alive. RANGER STATION - DAY Jessie looks out as the rain splatters against the window. The station's windspeed gauge is flying around so fast it looks like it might take off. JESSIE (to Frank) He said the Tower, but he's on Comb Bluff? Frank, fly me to the west valley, the winds are never too bad there and it's only a half hour climb to the Douglas Shaft. FRANK I don't know. JESSIE If I don't meet up with them, you can come and pick me up by nightfall. FRANK Hal will have my head for this. Jessie starts for the door. JESSIE And it's such a handsome head. Please Frank, and I swear I'll buy one of your paintings. FRANK (follows) I admit, I can be bought. EXT. MOUNTAIN - WOODED AREA Travers, Qualen, Hal and gang are crossing a small river in the whipping snow. Hal checks the monitor. The next blip is above, almost straight up. Hal motions to the wooded area ahead. HAL On top of the peak. TRAVERS (suspicious) It looks like a winding route. QUALEN Mr. Travers is not the athletic type, he needs something more direct. HAL The only faster way up is the East Face and it's smooth as glass. Maybe a dozen guys in the world could do it in good weather, only a psycho would try it in a storm. CLOSE SHOT - GABE'S FACE is torn with pain. He's making the toughest climb of his life, besides nearly being frozen to death in the snow storm. WE PULL BACK and REVEAL a WALL that is as wide as it is high, five thousand feet by five thousand feet, narrowing to a domed peak at the summit. Worse, it's checkered with ice. Visible on the massive wall is a small dot, moving two-thirds of the way up. Gabe holds himself steady with one hand, gets a foothold, and lunges in a 'dyno' movement to another set of handholds and swiftly continues on his way up. EXT. CHOPPER - DAY We see the chopper being buffeted by winds as it hovers over a flat area in the west valley. Jessie is being lowered by a winch. She reaches the ground and disconnects the harness, waving she's okay. CUT TO - FRANK IN CHOPPER FRANK Jessie, Jessie, copy? INTERCUT: JESSIE I copy. FRANK Jessie, girl this is insane. Weather stat called in wind gusts up to 50 knots for tonight. JESSIE If you can't make it back, I'll hold up at the Douglas Shaft. Stop worryin'. You sound like a mother hen. FRANK Rooster! Forget the hen stuff. Be safe, honey. Over. Frank banks the chopper out of there. EXT. EAST FACE WIDE SHOT - DAY The sheer wall of the East Face rises, seemingly forever into the sky above. Gabe is clearly exhausted and freezing. The wind and snow threaten to throw him off the wall, but he forces himself on. He is climbing up a huge, frozen waterfall. GABE (teeth chattering) A steam bath... (pulls himself up) A steam bath, a bottle of Remy Martin...keep going... He climbs higher into a "chandelier" of hanging icicles. It's an incredible formation, part of a FROZEN GLACIER OVERHANG a sheer overhang of ice, curling over the top of the East Face waterfall. Gabe climbs past the icicles up a sheet of pure ice. GABE A steam bath with a bottle of Remy Martin, and a fire--now what? He slows to a stop, and the ice overhang curves out, away. Gabe sticks his gloved hand into a stream of water. He reaches out and grabs a huge icicle with his wet fist. The glove freezes there instantly. GABE A steak soaked in Remy cooking over a steam bath on fire! Gabe wets the other glove, hauls himself up and goes for a second handhold. The next glove freezes on another icicle. Suddenly his feet slip off the wall and Gabe is left dangling with a glove frozen into place. He tries to pull away to grab a higher handhold but his hand slips out of the glove. Gabe clings one-handed to the overhang, his face showing real terror. His body swings wildly, held only by one gloved hand, frozen overhead. His legs kick out to find some support, smashing into HUGE ICICLES. They break off and fall away. His naked hand stretches for the glove but can't reach it. Gabe swings his spiked boot up to try for a "heel hold". His foot smashes into the snowy ice atop the serac and holds! Stabilized, he snatches the frozen glove from the icicle and hauls himself up, over the lip, in the world's toughest sit-up! GABE'S POV THROUGH THE DRIVING SNOW A small shack with a sign commemorating the "Douglas Mine Shaft 1933". INT. DOUGLAS SHAFT - DAY Just a "point of interest" for tourists who have hiked up this far, housing a mini-museum. A pair of thundering kicks at the door and the lock shatters. The light of day knifes into the otherwise dark, windowless room comprised of old planks of knotted pine. THE GORDON DOUGLAS DISPLAY has black and white photos of the square-jawed 1930's climber with his expedition. More important is what's beneath it. Douglas' original climbing equipment: a coil of rope, some pitons, a hat, a cloth backpack, small binoculars, a parka, and other odds and ends. Trembling badly, Gabe grabs a pick axe off the wall and prepares to smash the glass. He hears movement in the shaft area, an opening not more than ten feet away. Dust floats in the strip of light that is emitted from the door. Gabe's eyes tighten like an enraged animal. SHAFT From inside the shaft's entrance, Gabe's figure stealthily approaches, the ice axe raised high, ready for the kill. He moves into the darkness. Something tries to bolt away and he lunges at it, furiously slamming the person against the wall. A radio falls from the person and lets out a static death groan as it shatters to the bottom of the shaft. Gabe's axe is poised for the fatal blow. JESSIE No!! Gabe pulls her forward into what little light there is and stares into her terrified countenance. JESSIE Gabe!? GABE (crazed) What are you doing here!? JESSIE (hyperventilating) Looking for Hal. Oh my God, I heard someone kick the door open...you came back. GABE How'd you get up here? JESSIE Frank dropped me in the west valley and I hiked. You look frozen. What's happening?! GABE You got to go back now! JESSIE Where's Hal, what's going on? Gabe heads to the display case. GABE The distress call was a fake. It was a downed plane full of thieves. He shatters the three display cases and starts to remove the old clothing, flares, gloves etc. GABE Before it crashed, they dumped three cases filled with millions. They're using Hal for a bird dog. Once they find the money, Hal's dead. So get on your radio, contact Frank, have him pick you up, then contact the state police, the park police and anything else wearing a badge and tell them to get up here! Do it Jessie. JESSIE I can't. The radio's at the bottom of the shaft. But Frank'll be looking for me soon. When he gets here I'll contact everybody from the chopper. GABE That's no good. It'll be dark soon, there's no other shelter for ten miles. If they show, they'll take you too. Why'd you have to come up here?! JESSIE For the same reason you did, to help. GABE Yeah, let's go. They exit. EXT. CHOPPER PAD. DAY Frank is standing beside the helicopter trying to raise Jessie on the radio. Wind and rain whip against the chopper. FRANK Jessie! Jessie! Come in. I can't take off. There is no response. EXT. THE TRAIL - SUNSET Hal is leading Qualen, Travers and the others upward. This is a comparatively difficult route. The wind makes it even harder but fortunately the snow has stopped. The sun goes down beyond a facing, taller mountain. QUALEN (eyes Travers) Man against nature, right Travers. TRAVERS What about it? QUALEN Down there you buy a life, up here you earn it or die. How's your health? Travers takes out the tracer and pushes to the head of the group. TRAVERS It's close, just up there. EXT. ELSEWHERE ON THE SUMMIT - NIGHT - GABE AND JESSIE spot a crater of snow and rush to it. GABE There it is. C'mon. Even though the case is covered by snow, the tracer's blinking red light is visible. Gabe and Jessie dig it out. GABE Let's be creative. JESSIE Excuse me? NEARBY ON THE SUMMIT - TRAVERS glances at the tracer monitor, which shows the case is nearby. TRAVERS This way. QUALEN Then go fetch. Qualen shines a light. All of them push through the trees. TRAVERS is excited now. He can't even wait for Qualen's flashlight, he races through the trees, dividing his attention between his surroundings and THE MONITOR which shows he's practically on top of the case. Finally TRAVERS can see the blinking of the red tracer light ahead through the branches. TRAVERS (calling behind) Over here! Travers shoves his way through the branches, and heads for the light, but something's wrong. Qualen comes up behind Travers and shines the light on: A SNOWMAN hastily constructed, stands with a five-pebble smile, as well as Douglas' cap. The tracer, still blinking, is its nose. The case is propped up against it. Travers runs to the case and opens it: empty...written on a $1000 bill is "Wanna trade?" TRAVERS (incredulous) He's alive! QUALEN (to the others) He can't be far away. Find him. Go! Qualen, Kynette, Delmar and Kristel fan out, each with a flashlight and a gun. Ryan straps on the nightfinder goggles. RANGER STATION - NIGHT Frank works the microphone. JESSIE Jessie, come in Jessie! Damn, somebody pick up. ELSEWHERE ON THE SUMMIT - GABE AND JESSIE watch the chaos from an elevated vantage point. They can see the flashlight beams, all headed in the wrong direction. GABE They've got to find shelter soon, and so do we. How are you holding up? JESSIE You know me, I'm a night person. Gabe doesn't see: RYAN - "NIGHTFINDER" POV with these goggles, light is amplified a thousandfold. Even starlight is enough for Ryan to run easily through the thick woods, and he's going in the right direction. GABE AND JESSIE begin climbing down to level ground so they can circle close to where Travers is holding Hal. "NIGHTFINDER" POV - RYAN looks up, and sees Gabe and Jessie climbing down the small rock, fifty yards distant. Ryan smiles, looking macabre under the goggles, and opens fire. GABE AND JESSIE react as the bullets impact inches over their heads. They jump the last ten feet and are running even as they hit the ground. More bullets hit where Gabe and Jessie were a split second ago. Ryan chases them, easily manoeuvering through the trees. ELSEWHERE ON THE SUMMIT Kristel, Qualen, Delmar and Kynette, having heard the gunshots, turn and run toward them. Travers smiles at Hal's fearful reaction. RYAN is closing the gap, Gabe and Jessie's bright forms just ahead. They burst out of the trees and find all that's beneath them is GABE AND JESSIE'S POV A sudden, sloping plunge down a field of ice. No escape here. Anything that goes down this slide is going all the way to the ground far below. A fresh burst of bullets forces them to dive behind a boulder, the sole source of cover. GABE This way. RYAN emerges from the woods. He can see there is nowhere for them to have gone except behind the boulder. He walks toward it as if he had all the time in the world. GABE Give me a flare! Jessie fumbles in her backpack and pulls out a flare. GABE Take off and meet me at Eagle Cave. JESSIE What about you? GABE Don't worry about me, just go. Gabe ignites the flare and heaves it over the boulder at Ryan. RYAN - "NIGHTFINDER" POV - THE FLARE arcs over the boulder to fully ignite, turning everything into an agonizing flash of white. RYAN SCREAMS, blinded as he tries to rip the goggles off. GABE Go! Jessie takes off. Gabe bolts out from behind the boulder and rushes him. Ryan shoots blind, fanning out in a semi-circle as he gets the goggles off. Gabe charges straight for Ryan, just getting to him before the machine gun's field of fire can intersect his path. He tackles him. The machine gun CLATTERS away, landing on the edge of the ice, just out of reach. Ryan recovers from the blinding flash, pulls an ice axe out of a pack sheath and swings it at Gabe. Gabe rolls away and gets to the machine gun, grabbing it--but Ryan dives for Gabe, slamming into him--the force of it knocks the machine gun loose--it skips down the ice slope. The momentum of Ryan's hit also carries both Gabe and Ryan over the edge, onto-- THE ICE SLOPE Gabe and Ryan both start sliding down, Gabe face first on his stomach, Ryan on Gabe's back. Both are in immediate agony, because GABE'S POV - THE ICE FIELD The edge and a 5,000 foot drop are a hundred yards away. GABE AND RYAN SLIDING Gabe flails as the ice gashes him from underneath. He manages to flip over on top of Ryan and ride him down like a bobsled. Gabe frantically reaches behind to get the ice axe, trailing from a wrist strap, but Ryan's arm is thrashing away, threatening to toss off the axe. ON SUMMIT Hal, Qualen, Travers, Kristel, Delmar and Kynette arrive at the lip. Qualen snatches up the nightfinder goggles and sees... QUALEN'S "NIGHTFINDER" POV Gabe and Ryan accelerating, have almost reached the edge. Gabe grabs the ice axe, ripping it off Ryan's wrist just as they reach the precipice edge. Gabe swings it toward the ice with everything he's got. The axe's scythe-like blade catches on the ice, right at the lip of the precipice. Gabe is wrenched to a painful halt, suspended over the drop, as Ryan shoots over the edge. Gabe unhooks the axe and climbs down to a narrow ledge and disappears into the darkness. HAL, QUALEN, KRISTEL, KYNETTE, DELMAR AND TRAVERS Qualen shines his flashlight below, illuminating the long, frozen streak of blood on the ice. KYNETTE That's it, man! Fuck the money and fuck you if you wanna keep looking for it. I wasn't born to die on no motherfucking mountain! KRISTEL We have to keep going! QUALEN (to Kynette) She's more a man than you are. (to Hal) Find us some shelter. (back to Kynette) You can come with us or you can go and freeze to death. Delmar shoves Hal forward and they disappear into the darkness. Kynette follows. EXT. TENT - NIGHT The winds howl against the green nylon portable tent. INT. TENT - NIGHT Brett and Evan sit inside eating candy bars. EVAN "It's a perfect day for a monster jump." Hey man, can you like do me a favor? BRETT What? EVAN Next time you're like watching MTV, y' know, like flip it to the weather channel for a split second and check it out. I mean, hey, we could be home watching some righteous pornos. BRETT That woulda been cool. EVAN Exactly, cheesehead, exactly. INT. DOUGLAS SHAFT EXHIBIT Qualen, Travers, Kynette, Delmar and Kristel follow Hal into the cabin. Their flashlights streak through the gloom. QUALEN We'll stay here until sunrise. (to Hal) You, start a fire. Travers stands at the shattered glass display cases. TRAVERS (to Hal) He was here. What was in there? No response. Delmar gives Hal a nudge in the kidneys. DELMAR Answer the man. HAL Nothing, just tourist souvenirs. QUALEN Souvenirs? No, wrong answer. Looks like your friend plans on hanging around, that possible? HAL No, he's gone. QUALEN No, he's close, and he's using our money to keep you alive. Nobody's worth that much on the open market. (to Kristel) Except you, the loyal one. (to Hal) Didn't I tell you to warm the place up? INT. THE CAVE - CLOSE ON GABE AND JESSIE We can see from the flickering shadows that a small fire is now burning in the cave. We pull back to see THE FIRE which is built out of bundles of $1000 bills. It's safe to say that something like $500,000 is going up in smoke. Gabe takes a fresh bundle of notes and tosses them on the flames. GABE Man, it costs a fortune to heat this place. JESSIE I'm glad you find humor in this. (gestures at the money) Do you know what people would do for that? GABE I can't believe you just said that. JESSIE Neither can I. What do you think they're doing now? GABE Making things real rough for Hal. Jessie looks at the necklace around Gabe's neck. JESSIE You still wear the cable necklace I gave you. GABE (nods) Call me sentimental. JESSIE Remember the first time we came up here? GABE Of course I do. JESSIE It was great. GABE You attacked me. JESSIE Can you think of something more romantic than attacked? GABE Only kidding...actually I attacked you. JESSIE No, actually it was more like mutual attacking. They laugh wearily. JESSIE Why can't things stay the way they are...everything has to change. What we had was perfect. GABE I don't know. Here, lay down and get some rest. We're going to need it. Gabe lays back and Jessie slides up next to him. JESSIE Gabe...your arm? GABE Yeah? JESSIE If you're not using your arm, can I borrow it? GABE (smiles) Sure, just give it back when you're done. Jessie curls into his arms as the fire's dying flames dance delicately across their open and thoughtful expressions. EXT. WIDE MOUNTAIN VIEW - DAWN The first rays of sun poke through the mountains. The storm seems to be letting up. INT. RANGER STATION - DAWN Frank is slumped over the radio. He obviously hasn't slept. His attention is fixed out the window, on the windspeed gauge: the winds are slowing. FRANK Gabe, Hal, Jessie...do you read! Again, do you read. Come in! What the hell's going on up there? EXT. WOODED AREA - DAY Travers turns down the volume button. QUALEN Jessie? Looks like your friend found company. TRAVERS We're down to a few hours before the whole world shows up here. (to Hal) Where's the next one? HAL It's up there, on the Tower. QUALEN How far? Travers grabs his hair. TRAVERS He asked you, how far?! I think you've been taking the scenic route. How far from here? HAL Half a day. HAL'S POV - ON BRETT AND EVAN ahead in the trees and rocks. BRETT Hey, Hal...it's Hal. Hey, man, you jammed up here, too? QUALEN Walk over. HAL For Christ's sake, they're kids. QUALEN We're not animals, but don't force us to be. Walk over. Hal stiffly moves forward. EVAN Check it out. Was that storm a severe bummer or what? We were in tent city last night. HAL (dryly) Yeah. BRETT We're gonna take one more jump and split. Hal, you babysitting lost hikers? What's up? Evan and Brett start to move toward the group. HAL Run! BRETT What? HAL Run, goddamn it! DELMAR pulls out his gun and Brett and Evan, shocked, take off running. Brett gets ten yards before Delmar mows him down with his machine gun, riddling the kid with at least thirty rounds at close range. HAL You son of a bitch! You said you wouldn't kill him! QUALEN Sue me. Hal goes to attack Qualen with a flailing fist. Kristel clubs him with a pistol. An enraged Delmar kicks him savagely in the mid-section. Evan runs with Kynette and Travers in pursuit. BELOW ON THE WALLSIDE Gabe and Jessie, moving along the rock wall, react to the sound of the gun-fire, then move on. The wall is relatively sheer, but there are shelves cut in that make progress easier. IN THE WOODS - EVAN runs like his ass is on fire with Kynette and Travers still in pursuit. He tries to pull on his parachute and run at the same time. It's not easy, but he succeeds in closing the first of the three buckles. He continues running and weaving through the trees. He sees the edge just ahead, and puts on an extra burst of speed. THE SPUR is a rock formation that juts off like a diving board. Evan runs like hell down it. TRAVERS AND KYNETTE emerge from out of the trees. They see Evan launching himself off the edge. GABE AND JESSIE are several hundred feet below. GABE Don't pull it. ON THE SPUR EDGE - TRAVERS Tries to grab the rifle from Kynette. TRAVERS Shoot him. Kynette tries to hit the falling target but misses. EVAN is falling, nearly two thousand feet. GABE - WATCHING GABE A little more. Now! EVAN pulls the D-ring. The parachute billows open, inflating. KYNETTE sights down the rifle. TRAVERS Hit him! You're letting him get away! In a startling smooth movement, Travers rips the gun from Kynette's grip and fires almost simultaneously. CLOSE ON THE PARACHUTE Bullet holes pierce the canopy. EVAN Exhilaration turns to panic as a bullet lodges in Evan's upper back. GABE AND JESSIE ON THE LEDGE are powerless to do anything but watch. JESSIE Oh, God. EVAN struggles to maintain consciousness and control. JESSIE turns away. She can't watch any more. EVAN lands hard and collapses. KYNETTE AND TRAVERS Don't see Gabe or Jessie. Hal is led over to the Spur with the other gang members behind him. QUALEN Good, Travers. It might catch on, like shooting skeet. TRAVERS You dumb bastard, you waited too long. If he made it back, this place would have been covered with police in a few hours. The way we're moving, it's going to be anyway. HAL Murdering, motherfucker... QUALEN Kill a few people, they call you a murderer. When you kill millions, you're called a conqueror. Go figure. Move on Tucker, time is short. ON THE LEDGE BELOW - CLOSE ON GABE who is still shaking with fury. He watches Hal and the gang being led away. GABE Can you keep going? Jessie nods "yes" and they move out. EXT. MOUNTAIN - ARIEL SHOT - DAY Hal leads the gang through a buttress, a large, boulder formation that lies between the mountain they've just come from, and the nearest mountain to it, the Tower. Hal and the rest of the expedition are totally exposed as they climb in single file up to the top. The incline is angled so that the climb amounts to an uphill run on all fours. CLOSER ON HAL AND GANG Hal leads the gang forward and keeps casting anxious glances back at them, and beyond them. QUALEN Forget it. Your friend's smart, not invisible. Qualen is right. There's absolutely no way Gabe can come up behind them without being seen. LOWER DOWN ON BLUFF where the bluff meets a tree-lined plain. Gabe and Jessie in hiding, watch Hal and the others go up. They know they can't follow them without being seen. GABE He's taking them the long way around. Moving closer to the bluff's base, Gabe and Jessie shove through a screen of brush to the beginning of THE CRACK. A crevice runs the entire length and breadth of the bluff. Gabe pulls out his ancient binoculars and scans the crack. GABE'S POV - THE CRACK Picture a mine shaft designed by a madman. The crack moves upward, then erratically to the side, then straight up again. The width of the crack is uneven, ranging from six inches to six feet. And that's just how it looks on the outside. Gabe turns the binoculars to the inside of the crack. It looks as if the crack goes all the way through the bluff. On this route, Gabe can tunnel the mountain instead of going up the side. GABE We have to get through to the other side. You up for it? JESSIE I've gone this far, and right now I think I'm in better shape than you. GABE A simple yes or no would have done. JESSIE Want me to lead? GABE Cute. EXT. TOP OF THE BLUFF - DAY A vista. From this point you can see everything else in the mountain range. The only thing that's taller is the Tower. Between the two mountains lies a drop of a mere four thousand feet. QUALEN You said there was a way across. HAL There is. TRAVERS Then where the fuck is! HAL There. You blind? Travers tenses, then turns to where the sides of the two mountains converge. At one point, they're only about fifteen feet apart. It's here that a rope and timber bridge spans the drop. TRAVERS This is insane. The hell with the money. You radio in for that chopper, understand! QUALEN Hey, you dealt us this hand, we're playing it all the way. Move. INT. THE CRACK - CLOSE ON GABE'S FACE Gabe is holding a flashlight while sweating and straining in the dark. The light reveals there's about two inches of clearance between his chest and the rock, and about the same between his back and the rock. GABE Nice view, huh? JESSIE Breathtaking. There is no light inside, not even above, because the crack doesn't go straight, it zig-zags up. Gabe and Jessie are well within the mountain rock. Nothing could be closer to being buried alive. Gabe and Jessie snake through a spot where the crack goes straight up. Gabe aims Jessie's flashlight upwards. GABE'S POV scores of bats hang on the wall, surrounding them, up and down, left and right. JESSIE'S FACE is somewhere between nausea and the realization that she's made a big mistake. JESSIE I really didn't need to see that. Gabe cuts the light and slithers up through the dark. EXT. RESCUE HELICOPTER - DAY Frank is flying low and fast, over treetops and snow, nothing but empty wilderness. A BUZZER goes off. Frank looks at an infra-red screen mounted on the dash. The indicator reads there is a body below. Frank sends the copter into a tight roll, bringing it over a clearing. EXT. WOODS The copter is down, rotors still turning as Frank runs into a wooded area. Wolves are circling Evan's barely conscious body. Frank pulls out his pistol and fires several shots. The wolves flee. FRANK Go on -- get lost! Go on!! TIGHT ON FRANK as he looks at Evan who is barely hanging on to his life. He rolls the young man over and sees the bullet wound. Evan moans. FRANK (nearly breathless) Hell, you've been shot. Hang on boy, hang on... He starts to lift the boy's body. INT. BLUFF CRACK - DAY Gabe and Jessie have a quick climbing rhythm now. The passage starts to thin out. They grope up. The passage narrows to the point that they can't get through it. GABE What was God thinking when he built this place? JESSIE If we don't get out of here soon we can ask him in person. Gabe looks up to see if the crack has gotten wider. It hasn't. GABE Keep going this way. The light aims up, no opening larger than a mail slot. Still moving to the side, he gets the opening he wants, but not where he wants it. GABE Oh, you beautiful rock...this way. The crack suddenly, drastically widens as he moves to the side. Since he's been bracing his back against the wall, Gabe falls out of control, twisting around, face down. JESSIE Gabe?! Gabe bounces down the walls for several yards and catches himself by bracing his arms and legs against the crack. As he brakes himself, his flashlight shoots off into space. One more foot and he would have gone soaring to his death. JESSIE Gabe! Are you alright? GABE (upside down) No, not really. Throw down a rope. EXT. WOODS - DAY The copter with Evan's covered body attached to a cradle on the skid. Frank takes off, banking towards the ranger station. EXT. BRIDGE The bridge, narrow and dilapidated, is only wide enough for one person at a time. Hal is half way across, swaying above the massive drop, the wind whistling through the chasm. HAL'S POV Kristel waits on the other side of the bridge, a gun trained on him. QUALEN (turns to Kynette) The other one's following. Drop back to the higher vantage point and maybe you can drop in behind and we'll have him flanked. If you get to him, I know you'll want to kill him, but get the money first. Go. INT. BUTTRESS CRACK Gabe is face down, arms and legs pressing against the five-foot gap of the tunnel walls. Carefully, he takes one hand off the wall, gets out his lighter with the other, and ignites it for a look. GABE' S POV - UPWARD Just as the crack has widened below him, it's widened above him. More important, it slants at an easy enough angle to allow him to walk up. A rope is tied around his shoulder. He braces himself with one leg and one arm until he has his hands on the curved edge where the crack snakes into a sideways passage. JESSIE Can you see light? GABE Up ahead. OVERHEAD ANGLE - THE CRACK Gabe takes a deep breath, readies himself, and shoves himself away from the wall with his arms, pushes himself into a squat against the opposite wall, hanging for a second with no support at all, then springs from that wall into the diagonal passage. Gabe lands hard but flat on the passage and starts backsliding, but he digs in with his boots and hands and starts heading up. JESSIE Gabe are you alright? GABE For the record, whenever you hear me sliding out of control, I'm never alright. When I secure the line, come on up. CUT TO - TREASURY CHOPPER - DAY Wright, Davis, and a local FAA Agent are airborn across the Rockies. Wright takes off his headset and turns to Davis. WRIGHT An FAA satellite has located a downed aircraft. (to pilot) Head one hundred and ten miles south, southwest of the park entrance. EXT. BUTTRESS TOP Kynette lies flat, staring down. KYNETTE'S POV - ON THE BUTTRESS SIDE: No one is in sight. He hears a noise behind him and spins around. The opening to the crack is right there on the top of the mountain. INT./EXT. MOUNTAIN CRACK Gabe climbs out of the crack, securing the rope, and leans down to call to Jessie. GABE Come on up. Jessie, tired, starts her ascent. EXT. CRACK - DAY Gabe is looking around the horizon, setting down his ice axe. He stares back into the crack's gloom. Kynette looms over him, his gun aimed down. Gabe looks up, totally caught cold. KYNETTE (aims barrel) Look here, the mountain man. You're Walker, right? GABE Good memory. You must be great with numbers. KYNETTE Your mouth's writing a check your ass can't cash, but if ya wanna buy some life, bring me the money. GABE I burned it. KYNETTE (hard) What the fuck you mean you burned it? GABE Never could save a thing. KYNETTE Now you get burned. JESSIE (O.S.) Gabe? Gabe takes the split second that Kynette pauses when he hears Jessie's voice and dives head first into the crack. Kynette's bullets rip up the ground where Gabe was just standing. IN THE CRACK - JESSIE'S POV GABE Rappel! Rappel! Gabe is sliding head first down the rope until he manages to right himself. CUT TO - JESSIE She is rappeling as fast as she can. Gabe reaches the end of the rope thirty feet down, as the vertical passage again becomes diagonal. Jessie is waiting as Kynette reaches the edge of the crack and FIRES down at Gabe and Jessie. Bullets RICOCHET all over. Gabe throws himself over Jessie, shielding her. GABE Still glad I came back?! EXT. CRACK - DAY Kynette looks down the crack as his radio comes to life. QUALEN (V.O.) Kynette, what's happening? KYNETTE The bastard got lucky. QUALEN (V.O.) Make him unlucky! (into microphone) Kristel, get me the C-4. EXT. BRIDGE - TOWER SIDE Kristel standing with Travers, Delmar and Hal. HAL C-4? DELMAR More bang for the buck. INT. CRACK Kynette slides down the rope and enters the blackness of the crack. His weapon poised for action, he stalks his prey. Suddenly Gabe lunges out of the dark and attacks Kynette from the rear. The machine gun goes flying. Kynette rolls to his feet and smashes Gabe with a shattering punch. Jessie can only look helplessly on as Kynette slashes at Gabe with a knife. The crack is getting wider. Kynette powers into Gabe with another bone shattering punch. Gabe flies back several feet managing to straddle the crack walls. Overhead are jagged stalagtites that hang like an entrance to the jaws of hell. Kynette moves in for the kill. He swings down with the knife, the blade hissing in the gloom. Jessie pulls off her belt that comes equipped with a rather large buckle. Kynette has Gabe cornered and draws back the knife for the kill. KYNETTE Who's the man now?! As he thrusts forward, Jessie's belt buckle bashes with shocking force against the side of Kynette's face. Gabe uses this split second of great fortune to lunge at Kynette and seizes his knife hand. Gabe drives home a half-dozen painful punches that force the knife loose from Kynette's hand. In one powerful moment Gabe drops down, wraps his arms firmly around Kynette and swings upwards driving a stalagtite deep into Kynette's upper back. Gabe slumps in exhaustion. He picks up Kynette's machine gun and checks the clip -- empty. He pulls his bolt gun off Kynette's back. GABE Let's move. EXT. CRACK - DAY Up above, Qualen FIRES a burst straight down into the crack. Kristel arrives with the C-4. QUALEN Start to rig it. INT. CRACK Gabe and Jessie move laterally through the crack, flattening themselves against the walls as the bullets ricochet past. The echoing sound of a radio is heard. FRANK (V.O.) Jessie, Hal, come in...please report. Over. JESSIE Where's the radio? Gabe moves off in search of the radio. FRANK (V.O.) Hal, Jessie...please if you hear this, please report in. Over. EXT. CRACK - DAY Qualen and Kristel are still at the edge of the crack. Kristel has placed detonators on the side of the C-4 explosives. KRISTEL Ready. She hands them to Qualen who bends down to place them just inside the crack. QUALEN Perfect. You'll make somebody a great wife. INT. CRACK - DAY Gabe is near Kynette's body. He jams his hand in a crack on the rock floor. FRANK (V.O.) Hal, Jessie...report in ...please! GABE C'mon, stretch! He strains to reach his hand down to the unreachable radio. GABE One inch more! EXT. RESCUE STATION - CHOPPER PAD As Frank transmits from the landed chopper, an ambulance pulls away. A police car stands by. Gabe still strains to reach the radio. FRANK Jessie, I don't know if you can read this, but all hell is heating up. We found Evan. He's been shot, but he's alive. He's going to the hospital right now. Do you read? Over. INT. CRACK FRANK (V.O.) Do you copy? Over. GABE Damn! Jessie stands behind. JESSIE No luck? GABE Next time, date only basketball players. KRISTEL (V.O.) Help me. Please help us. FRANK (V.O.) I copy you. Where are you? Over. JESSIE Oh, no! KRISTEL (V.O.) I'm near a rock formation opposite a crack in the wall. GABE She's a lyin' bitch!! JESSIE Get it! Gabe shoves his hand so deeply into the crevice to reach the radio, his arm appears to be on the verge of ripping out of its socket. GABE I can't! FRANK (V.O.) I think I know where you are. Hang on. GABE I can't get it!! (He pulls his arm out) JESSIE They'll kill him! He has no idea! GABE We gotta get out and fire a flare. It's the only chance! They take off. Just past their feet we see a subtle movement from Kynette. EXT. BRIDGE - TOWER SIDE - DAY Qualen and Kristel scramble across the rope and timber bridge to where Hal, Travers and Delmar are waiting. QUALEN They're still alive... Travers uses Hal's axe to take a couple of heavy swings at the bolts which tie the bridge to the rock. Qualen grabs his arms before he can take a third swing. QUALEN (looking at watch) ...for another four minutes. TOP OF CRACK Push in on a HOLE punched in the snow along the crack's top near the edge. Shoved inside is a packet of plastique--the detonator LED races down -- 3:01 -- 3:00 -- 2:59 -- EXT. TOWER FACE - DAY Qualen gestures toward the mountain with the radio. TRAVERS Is it set? QUALEN Primed to go off right over his head, officer. Hal explodes! He throws himself at Qualen, grabbing for the radio. HAL There's a bomb right over you-- three minutes... INT. CRACK - DAY Gabe and Jessie turn towards the unreachable radio. Hal is being pounded on by Delmar who rips the radio from his hand. HAL (V.O.) Get out of there! Get-- CUT TO: TOWER FACE DELMAR Let me do the job. QUALEN Soon. INT. CRACK Gabe leads Jessie horizontally through the crack, fast and furious. JESSIE (pointing) We might be able to go that way. GABE Forget it. If that charge goes off before we can reach it, this whole damn crevice will slam shut on us. This way. They scramble along a single ledge as the crack narrows. TOWER FACE Everyone is staring at the wall. Qualen looks at his watch: the second hand sweeps around. TRAVERS Why the hell are we wasting time here?! QUALEN Insurance against him finding that last case ahead of us. He looks at Hal who has murder in his eyes. QUALEN He wants to kill me. Pick a number and wait your turn. GABE AND JESSIE ON THE WALL Gabe takes the bolt gun from his belt and fires in a shaft of metal and rigs a carabiner. CUT TO Timer reading: 2:42 GABE AND JESSIE Gabe rapidly scans the rock below. All smooth. He sees a lip ninety feet below, leading into the wall: a cave. Gabe turns back to Jessie and flips the rope off his shoulder. GABE Pull it apart! JESSIE What? GABE Start pulling it apart! We're climbing down on it. JESSIE This rope is sixty years old! GABE These old ropes can hold 900 lbs., each strand 300. I'm 190, you're about 135 -- it just may hold. JESSIE Never GABE Never, what?! JESSIE I've never weighed 135 lbs.! GABE Helluva time for vanity! HELICOPTER - MOVING OVER MOUNTAINS Frank is in the air, heading out toward the range. TOWER FACE Qualen smiles. QUALEN Here comes our limo. Delmar grabs Hal. They all scramble out of sight. INSERT - THE BOMB The timer has about two minutes left -- 1:59 -- 1:58 -- GABE AND JESSIE - AT CRACK'S EDGE They are furiously unravelling the rope. GABE Almost have it. EXT. HELICOPTER - FLYING OVER THE MOUNTAINS Frank is practically at the buttress and the facing Tower. KRISTEL (V.O.) I can hear you. Hurry. FRANK (into radio) I see your flare. I have visual bearin'. I'm comin' in. Over. GABE AND JESSIE - AT THE CRACK'S EDGE Gabe and Jessie have unravelled the rope fiber. It's three different strands wound together. Gabe sees the chopper and shoots off a flare. The chopper flies overhead and past. JESSIE (frantically) Frank! No, Frank! Frank! GABE (hands Jessie rope) Jess, c'mon... Gabe ties the rope to the carabiner. He takes the line and lets it drop. Ninety feet of what looks like twine. GABE C'mon, it's the only chance. Jessie's clearly not convinced, but there's no choice. She starts to rappel down, Gabe close behind. INSERT - THE BOMB is ready to blow -- 0:42 -- 0:41 -- INT. CRACK Bloody and dying, Kynette musters all his strength and rises. JESSIE AND GABE - RAPPELLING DOWN have to swing over to the side about fifteen feet to get to the cave. It means a pendulum type swing that puts even more pressure on the rope. The fibers begin to fray and snap. They swing down lower, twenty feet to the cave, four thousand to the ground. Fibers snap at an alarming rate. INSERT - THE BOMB - 0:34 -- 0:33 -- KYNETTE Emerges from the crack, knife in hand. JESSIE AND GABE - RAPPELLING They reach the end of the rope, six feet above the cave and fifteen feet away laterally. GABE (shouting) Swing and drop! They start the swing. As they get over the cave's lip, Kynette grabs the rope and cuts it. Jessie and Gabe, still clinging to the rope, fall onto the cave's narrow lip. Gabe lands, but Jessie tumbles over the edge! She loses her grip and drops. JESSIE Gabe! GABE Hold on! Hold on! Reach up! Jessie reaches up with the other hand. JESSIE I can't...I can't. Gabe's hand flashes out. He's got a tenuous grip on her forearm. Jessie swings like a pendulum over the abyss. With each swing her hand slips further down Gabe's arm, their grip slides to wrist level. Gabe's hand digs into Jessie's glove and holds. JESSIE Oh, God...please, oh God! FLASHBACK - GABE'S POV Sarah's hand slides out of her glove. He hears the exact same dialogue. She falls...her eyes still locked on... BACK TO: GABE GABE Reach up! Do it! JESSIE Don't let me fall! GABE Do it, goddammit! His left hand finds a grip on a ledge. Pulling with all her strength, Jessie starts to reach up with her free hand. He inches up to her shoulder, bicep, forearm and finally grabs her wrist. Gabe pulls her to safety. THE BOMB -- 0:04 -- 0:03 -- GABE AND JESSIE throw themselves across the cave's narrow lip. ABOVE ON THE WALL the bomb detonates, raining debris and triggering a massive rock slide. KYNETTE turns. A storm of rock sweeps him to his death. JESSIE AND GABE as the rockslide tumbles past. Safe, for now. JESSIE Thanks for holding on. GABE (standing) We were going together before I ever let go of you. JESSIE I'm holding you to that. (pause) Gabe, what about Frank? GABE I don't know. I don't know. THE HELICOPTER - OVER THE TOWER Frank sees Kristel in a clearing, face down in the snow, and banks down. EXT. CLEARING Frank, running, carrying a first aid kit, pauses at the sound of the explosion. FRANK What the hell? He resumes running. He arrives at Kristel. He turns her over and breaks a capsule over her nose. KRISTEL Welcome. FRANK What's happening here?! Where's the rest of the group? Delmar steps out from his hiding spot. DELMAR Here. FRANK What're you doing? I came here to help you all. DELMAR You did. Delmar fires. The fusillade blasts into Frank. Delmar keeps firing. Frank staggers to the ground. Silence. CUT TO: TOWER FACE Hal has viewed this with Qualen's pistol to his head. HAL He never hurt anybody. QUALEN I'm touched. Kristel, check the chopper, let's go. Hal rises and they move off. EXT. MOUNTAIN - GABE AND JESSIE They are moving swiftly down a steep rock path. GABE Crockett River is where the last of the money fell. JESSIE If we go along the northern ridge, we can get there first. GABE There's no "we". There's a me. All I have to do is make it along the north wall to Bitker Ladder. What you're doing is going back down to the station to get help. And don't put on that mad face. JESSIE Forget it. You're in no shape to climb alone. I stayed with you this far, and you didn't drop me, so I owe you. C'mon, let's go. Hurry up, time is money. GABE "Time is money" -- please. EXT. THE TOWER - INCLUDE RESCUE COPTER Travers comes over, with Hal and Delmar in tow. Kristel follows. TRAVERS We'll use the copter to locate the third case and get out of here. KRISTEL There's not enough fuel to search around. Just enough to get us down. QUALEN Travers, you're not running things. HAL (to Travers) When he finds the money, you're as dead as me. Travers glares at Qualen. QUALEN Give me the monitor. Now! Travers, strangely nonchalant, hands it to Qualen. Qualen looks to the screen, which reveals the locale of case three. CLOSE - THE MONITOR suddenly goes completely blank. QUALEN What's the code, Travers? TRAVERS I told you, 50,000 possible keycode combinations, in fifteen second intervals. QUALEN (roars) Give me the fucking code! Travers pulls a pistol from behind his back. QUALEN Look what you found. What was your idea? To use the chopper to find the money? Good idea, but without a pilot, nobody gets off this mountain. Qualen grabs Kristel and pulls her in front of him as a shield. KRISTEL What're you doing? QUALEN (to Kristel) You know what I think love is Kristel? The mistake that one woman thinks she is different from all the others. TWO SHOTS ring out. Blood blossoms across Kristel's chest. Shock and sadness on her face. Qualen lets go of her. Dead, she slumps to the ground. Revealing Qualen's smoking pistol. QUALEN Now, I'm the only one who can fly us out of here. Partners again? (low simmer) Take your toy and get our money. Travers, Delmar and especially Hal are shocked by Kristel's murder. QUALEN (to Delmar) Radio when you find it. I'm waiting here. EXT. BRIDGE Gabe and Jessie work their way up a steep slope, up to the rope and timber bridge that spans the chasm. Gabe is several paces ahead when he steps onto the bridge. A snapping sound from the bolts freezes him. GABE Get back! Jessie has just stepped onto the bridge. She jumps back. The last bolt forced to take all the strain breaks free. The bridge collapses, swinging down, spilling wooden slats and debris into the chasm. The rope and timber completely unravel. Gabe jumps off the disintegrating bridge onto the ROCK SPUR. Jessie grabs him, steadying him. GABE Doesn't anything last?! Jessie turns, looking around, as if somewhere she'll see a solution. JESSIE My heart can't take much more of this. Look, if we climb down from here, it'll take two hours to get back to the station. GABE That's exactly what I want you to do. JESSIE What about you? He turns around, pointing across the chasm. GABE What do you think? Maybe I could reach the ledge without falling. No, forget it. JESSIE Oh, good. For a minute I thought you'd lost your mind. GABE points to a series of tiny outcroppings just below where the bridge was anchored. GABE But maybe with a good start I can hit those hand-holds. JESSIE Hand-holds?! I can barely see them. GABE We don't have time to argue about it! JESSIE Are you crazy? Has the altitude shrunk your brain, Gabe? GABE (overriding) Take the rope. JESSIE I won't do it. No way. GABE (overriding) Take the rope. JESSIE Enough's enough. How could anybody in their right mind... then again, you never were in your right mind. GABE Wrap it around that rock twice. JESSIE I'm going to wrap it around your throat! GABE An' if I miss, dig in and try your best to slow the fall. JESSIE Forget it! I refuse! GABE Fine, it shouldn't bother your conscience. JESSIE Don't lay any guilt on me. Suicide's a personal thing, best done alone. She turns and goes. Gabe doesn't look after her. He backs up, all of his senses are focused on the gap and the hand-holds beyond it. Push in on his face...a moment of meditation as he centers himself. JESSIE Please, Gabe, this is insane. (to herself) Please don't do this. I can't watch this. I can't. She starts to quickly wrap the rope twice around a thin outcropped rock. JESSIE Y' know, you're not brave, you just have no common sense. None! Then he's off! A few powerful strides and he leaps! ACROSS THE GAP Nothing but air for four thousand feet. His whole body would like a spring, the wind rushing past. His arms firing out, reaching THE ROCK racing to meet us. His hands stretching...stretching...his fingers touching! Sliding down the rock, gripping the hand- holds. Gabe, like a fly on the wall, hangs by nothing more than his fingernails. JESSIE is determined not to turn and look. Suddenly, a scream! JESSIE Gabe! She slowly turns and sees Gabe standing on the opposite ledge. GABE Just kidding. JESSIE Gabe? Wait 'til I get over there. Tie the rope so I can come across. GABE Can't do it. Now go back and get help! He lets the rope fall and runs off. JESSIE Gabe, you bastard! Be careful! EXT. COMB BLUFF - JET STAR CRASH SITE - DAY What's left of the Jet Star has been located. Several dozen Treasury and FAA agents sift through the wreckage, taking photos and putting pieces into bags for analysis. Many bags. Many small bags. We move to one bag in particular. Above an FBI chopper hovers. CLOSE ON BODY BAG as the zipper is pulled down. Before we can see anything, we mercifully reverse POV. WRIGHT AND DAVIS are near a helicopter, with STUART, the overbearing FAA forensics expert. A SEARCH PILOT zips the bag back up. STUART We found I.D. on the dead pilot. He was known to be in the company of Qualen. We have to assume this was his jet. WRIGHT Unless you find additional wreckage, we have to assume the treasury jet was successfully hijacked. STUART You assume right. WRIGHT Son of a bitch. Travers had to have masterminded the whole goddamn thing. So much for having total faith in somebody. Never again. Never. There's still a chance they didn't pull it off. How do you explain the sudden drop from the radar screen? I want every able man up here until this whole range has been turned upside down! DAVIS I'm on it. EXT. MOUNTAIN WALL - GABE MOVING ON A LEDGE that's extremely narrow. It's got irregular breaks, causing it to go up or down several feet, and Gabe is jogging it, leaping across the ledge's gaps, leaning toward the wall and away from the four thousand foot drop. He makes the last jump to a section of ledge near the bottom of THE "BITKER" LADDER A prominent sign reads "Property of the Bitker Mining Company." The ladder consists of metal rungs woven into loose steel cable bolted into the rock, running two hundred feet to the top, something left here by a past expedition, now a tourist's toy. The bottom rung is three feet above Gabe's outstretched arms. GABE (coiling for jump) Bitker you cheap bastard. Couldn't you afford three more feet?! Gabe leaps up, grabbing the bottom rung instead of a half mile of air, and he shoots up the ladder as we PULL BACK. WIDER ANGLE ON MOUNTAIN WALL A closer look at terrain seen earlier. As we track Gabe up the ladder, we can see a lake on top of the mountain. Constant motion keeps it from totally freezing, but it is still coated with a solid sheet of ice. ELSEWHERE ON MOUNTAIN SLOPE - HAL leads the others down the grade, we can see from their relative position to the lake that Gabe has a lead on them. A very slight one. TOP OF LADDER - GABE pulls himself over and starts running into a ROCKY AREA where he spots the third case. It took a tough landing on a rock. It's shattered into halves, and the bands of bank notes are scattered around in the snow. Gabe rushes down behind a rock and starts gathering the cash. Soaked by the snow, they've nearly frozen into ice bricks. Something catches his eye. Several feet away he sees rabbit tracks leading into a very prominent rabbit hole. EXT. FURTHER UP ON SLOPE - HAL and the other two crest a rise. Unaccustomed to the altitude and the exercise, Travers and Delmar are fading. They stop, catching their breath. TRAVERS checks the monitor. Anxiety washes across his face. The relative position shows they're... TRAVERS Almost there. Alright, I've got it locked in. DELMAR (motions to Hal) Then you're done with him. Delmar walks over to check the monitor. TRAVERS (nods) Yes, and do it quietly. Your insane boss just made enough noise for anyone within ten miles to hear us. Travers studies the monitor and moves away. HAL AND DELMAR DELMAR (pointing at Hal) Ready to die quiet-like, asshole. HAL Hey, let's get something straight. If I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die, but you're always gonna be the asshole, so just shoot, alright. DELMAR Who's shooting? Delmar rears back and slams his head against Hal's forehead, driving him to the ground. Delmar then kicks him in the ribs. DELMAR How we feelin' so far? Upset stomach, aye? Hal recoils from another kick and tries to rise. DELMAR Like soccer? Great sport! I was a bloody good striker. Here's an outside right. (kicks) Hal recoils in pain as Delmar breaks the bone in his lower leg. Hal howls in agony, but tries to rise. DELMAR Did I hear somethin' break? Outside left! HAL Fuck you. DELMAR Cursin'. That's a penalty kick for unsportsmanlike conduct, mate. He kicks Hal again, sending him back several feet, crashing heavily on his side. Hal tries to remove a folding climbing knife that fits in a sheath sewn into the side of his boot. DELMAR A lovely chip shot to the winger! (kicks) Hal has been kicked near the edge of a cliff. He weakly reaches for his boot knife. Again this is not noticed by Delmar, who's having a wonderfully sadistic time. DELMAR Winger back to striker! Delmar kicks Hal, who is barely hanging on to consciousness. DELMAR He dribbles past one defender. (kicks) Two defenders. (kicks) Three defenders! Hal lies crumpled on his side, curled in a ball of pain. DELMAR Striker lines up to the goal... focuses on the ball... Hal has barely managed to remove the knife and secretly opens it. Its serrated edge glistens like a chrome serpent in his hand. Delmar backs up to take perfect aim at the back of Hal's head. DELMAR The crowd is on its feet, the League Cup Championship for this season comes down to this last kick. The striker sees an opening, draws back his foot and fires! As Delmar's leg explodes forward, Hal spins and drives the knife into Delmar's approaching shin bone. Delmar buckles in pain, allowing Hal to reach up and snatch a pistol from the goon's waistband. Hal fires from a prone position and catches Delmar in the mid- section, which blows the large man upright, soaring onto his back. HAL The season's over, asshole. Hal struggles to his feet and removes Delmar's automatic weapon and limps away in excruciating pain. CUT TO - TRAVERS Travers turns, reacting to the shot and the distant sounds of Delmar screaming. He thinks the painful cries are emanating from Hal. TRAVERS I said quietly...shit. Travers is looking down at the monitor. His eyes fix on the screen, following the blip that's just ahead of him. He freezes...the blip starts to move. TRAVERS What the hell? Travers is now running, following the monitor's lead. TRAVERS It can't be. (furious) It can't be! THE MONITOR The blip changes directions, likewise, Travers. CUT TO: Hal has just finished tying a tourniquet around his upper leg. He hobbles off. TRAVERS is slogging up the hill after the blip, which now turns back toward him. Travers aims his gun and waits. HILL TOP A large winter rabbit sticks his head over the hillside. Travers sees the rabbit with the tracer fastened around its neck and nearly goes apoplectic. He fires at the rabbit. Bullets rip up the ledge as the animal runs away. Travers reaches for his radio. TRAVERS (into radio) Come in--come in! EXT. TOWER FACE Qualen in the chopper. QUALEN You got what we need? TRAVERS No, that son-of-a-bitch Walker is alive. QUALEN No names, this is an open line! TRAVERS I don't give a shit, Qualen! I had to be insane to ever tie up with a low-life, piece of shit like you. They beat us. A couple of fuckin' hick mountain boys beat the man no law agency ever could. QUALEN Get off the radio! CUT TO - TREASURY CHOPPER - DAY Wright is monitoring the conversation between Qualen and Travers through the headset. WRIGHT Jesus Christ, that's Travers. They're alive!! (to pilot) Get a bead on that frequency. CUT TO - QUALEN AT THE CHOPPER - DAY QUALEN Stop transmitting you stupid bastard! CUT TO - TRAVERS TRAVERS Why? I always wanted my own radio show! What was I thinking, I must have been crazy to think I could get away with it. It's hard to believe I sold out after twenty years and this is the payback--to rot on a mountain with a fucking dirtbag like you. CUT TO - QUALEN QUALEN You are losing your mind, Travers! CUT TO - TRAVERS TRAVERS I lost it when I met you! Gotta go, I'm doing my last official man hunt. He turns, looking for some sign of Gabe. Then he sees it: footprints in the snow. He takes off. CUT TO - TREASURY CHOPPER - DAY WRIGHT (to pilot) You got a frequency bearing yet? PILOT Not exactly, but close. The chopper banks wildly to the right and soars away. CUT TO - GABE'S FEET sink into the snow. WIDER As Gabe makes his way to a thickly wooded area. He has the money swung over his shoulder wrapped in a garment. Suddenly BULLETS blast behind. TRAVERS slides down onto the level that Gabe is running. Finding his footing, he fires again and bullets blast the bare tree branches just above Gabe's head. He quickly bursts to his feet, running for all he's worth. A round from a second burst of gun fire rips into Gabe's shoulder. He tumbles out onto... A SLOPE that leads down to the frozen lake. Gabe slips on the loose rock and slides out of control, still holding the money bag. TIMBER BRIDGE that spans out onto the river, rising at least 20 feet above the ice. He slams into the base of it with a THUD. EXT. MOUNTAIN TRAIL - DAY Jessie is running down the trail for all she's worth. She hears the sound of a chopper approaching. Her expression brightens as she now runs toward the sound. What lies before her is a cliff edge that drops into an expansive valley. JESSIE Frank, you're beautiful! She runs to the edge, just as the chopper rises into view like a whirling dragon from hell. The blood drains from her face as she locks eyes with the man at the controls--Qualen. He has an automatic weapon trained on her. EXT. TIMBER BRIDGE - DAY Travers runs onto the entrance of the bridge. Gabe is gone, but his footprints indicate he's gone out onto the bridge. Travers cautiously follows the tracks to the end of the bridge where they stop, giving the impression that Gabe jumped onto the ice below. He peers over the edge. The ice stretches across the river like glass, but no snow--thus no footprints. FROM UNDER THE BRIDGE We see Travers' head glance under. Finding nothing, he retreats. CAMERA PANS and picks up Gabe about twenty feet back, wedged in an "X" configuration against the underside of the bridge. The weight from Travers knocks bits of snow and ice onto Gabe. He strains to hold himself in place. ON THE BRIDGE Travers steps back twenty feet, stops just above Gabe. He notices that snow is scraped off the side, obviously where Gabe crawled under. TRAVERS Didn't you ever play hide and seek when you were a kid, Walker? Rule #1, cover your tracks. He aims his gun at the wooden planks below him. GABE knows it's coming. He releases his foot holds and swings, holding on by just one hand. A stream of bullets rip past him and lodge into the ice fifteen feet below. TRAVERS Make it easy on yourself. You stole the money, now I've got to take you in. Come out so I can read you your rights. TRAVERS can't tell if he hit him. He steps over to the edge, peers down and, just as he does... GABE reaches for a hold with his other arm, swings his legs up and does a kick maneuver, scissors his legs around Travers and tries to pull him over the edge. Travers strains with all his might, clinging to a cross rail for dear life. The thrust from Gabe's weight pulls Travers loose from his hold, causing them both to... EXT. ON THE ICE crash down onto the ice. A spider web of cracks jolt from the point of impact. Gabe scrambles to his feet, sees Travers' gun about ten feet away. As he lunges for it, Travers tackles him. The two of them crash against the ice again. This time it gives way, dropping them both into the FREEZING WATER. EXT. UNDER WATER Dark, eerie silence. Rays of light come through from the clear ice making it nearly impossible to identify the hole. Gabe and Travers struggle, clawing up toward the surface, kicking...desperate. Gabe reaches for the opening, but Travers pulls him down. EXT. ON THE ICE Travers' head comes up, reaches for solid ice. Gabe yanks himself up on Travers' back, GASPING for air. Travers elbows him in the face. He loses his grip and slides back under the ice. EXT. UNDER WATER Gabe reaches up with his arms, but the current pulls him away. EXT. ON THE ICE Travers drags himself onto solid ice. Breathless, he lies face down, looking... EXT. UNDER WATER/THROUGH THE ICE Gabe has his mouth pressed against a tiny air pocket, GASPING. He's holding on with only two fingers, just as if it were a vertical climb, but he's not going to last much longer. We can see the distorted shape of Travers staring back at him. EXT. ON THE ICE Travers retrieves his weapon. EXT. UNDER WATER Gabe loses his grip and is swept away by the slow moving current. Travers steps above, preparing to blast him away with his weapon. Gabe sees this just before he passes beneath a cloudy patch of ice that causes Travers to momentarily lose sight of him. Gabe still drifting, frantically claws at his bolt gun. EXT. ON THE ICE Travers moves over the cloudy patch of ice, awaiting the second Gabe will reappear. Gabe's head starts to pass into view. Gabe also can now see Travers' outline. Travers LEVELS his weapon and takes AIM. Gabe FIRES the bolt gun. There is a solid THUD as the ice underneath Travers bulges upward. Gabe's head emerges through the cracked ice as the bolt BURIES itself into Travers' chest. GASPING for breath, Gabe can only manage to pull his head out of the deathly water as Travers staggers several feet away. Gabe helplessly watches as Travers WEAVES forward. As life ebbs from his body, Travers struggles to raise the automatic weapon and aims it at Gabe's head. The weapon wavers then at the final moment of truth. It descends as Travers can no longer maintain consciousness. His weapon hangs at his side. He spasmodically pulls the trigger. Bullets rip into the ice at his feet and Travers disappears from view as if falling through a trap door. EXT. UNDER THE WATER Travers takes in water as the current pulls at him. He pushes his face up for an air pocket, but there isn't one. EXT. ON THE ICE Gabe, totally exhausted and only half out of the water stares down. ANGLE THROUGH THE ICE Travers is looking up at him, his gruesome, distorted face gasping for its last breath. His eyes pleading for mercy as he drifts into eternity. EXT. ICE Gabe, exhausted, slips back into the water and is just about totally submerged. A hand shoots into the freezing water and yanks him back to the surface. HAL pulls Gabe to the surface. Gabe tries to focus on Hal. GABE (coughing) Am I dead, or are you alive? Hal hauls him out of the ice hold. HAL Both. You gotta get outta these clothes, fast. Hal opens his boot knife and with startling swiftness, literally slices the near-frozen garments off his friend's torso. HAL Thanks for staying around when you didn't have to. GABE My pleasure. Hal places his jacket over Gabe's exposed upper body and pulls off the outer shell of his foul weather gear and starts to frantically rub his back and legs. HAL Don't get the wrong idea, you're not my type. EXT. HELICOPTER - OVER MOUNTAINS The machine veers between towering out-croppings. INT. CHOPPER - DAY Qualen is at the controls. Jessie's hands are handcuffed to a bar fastened to the chopper's roof. Qualen keys the headset radio. QUALEN Travers - come in. EXT. SHORELINE Gabe is sitting, wearing the garments given to him by Hal. GABE (still thawing) How's your leg? I'll live. Where'd you leave Jessie? GABE Near Freedom Falls. She went for help. HAL Hey, about everything that happened with Sarah. I know you did what you could-- QUALEN (V.O.) Travers--come in. Hal reaches over and grabs the radio. HAL (keys the radio) Too late, you missed him. He decided to swim to Arizona-- underwater. Any messages? Beat. QUALEN (V.O.) Tucker? GABE (into mic) Qualen, glad you stuck around. There should be a few hundred cops looking to meet you. Another beat. INTERCUT - GABE & HAL (SHORELINE) AND QUALEN (IN THE CHOPPER) QUALEN Tucker, you know where the money is-- I want it. HAL (tired) Qualen, go fuck yourself. The game's over--you lost. QUALEN (now he's had enough) No, the goddamn game's not over! It's never over when you're playing against a team that doesn't care if they win or lose-- how do you negotiate with someone like that?! HAL What are you talking about? JESSIE (V.O.) Gabe! Hal! They killed Frank! TIGHT ON - Gabe reacting. He grabs the radio. GABE Jessie! Are you alright? QUALEN I want the money--meet me at the highest point from where you are. Don't do it and we're going to see if your angel here can fly. Copy? GABE Copy. Jessie, go to the top of Bitker ladder. QUALEN (V.O.) Love's a killer, isn't it? The radio goes dead. Hal is staring at Gabe. HAL What are we going to do? GABE Give him the money. Gabe takes Delmar's radio from Hal. HAL I'm going with you. GABE Not on that leg. HAL Take the gun. GABE You keep it. Get up there if you can, and if you get a chance, do me a favor and kill him. He starts off towards the bridge. EXT. HELICOPTER The chopper, with Qualen in it, blasts over the lake, searching. INT. HELICOPTER Qualen scans the mountain side. He sees nothing. QUALEN (into the headset) Where are you, Walker? GABE (V.O.) You're getting warmer! HELICOPTER'S POV along the rock wall, up the side of the precipice and there is... GABE standing on the end of a narrow spur that juts out from the mountain like a diving board, holding the backpack over the edge. GABE I've got your luggage! Give me Jessie! The helicopter flies in low, circles him, nearly blowing Gabe over the edge with its whirlwind. Gabe dangles the money. If Qualen shoots him, the money falls, too. INT. HELICOPTER Qualen hovers the chopper in front of him. He puts the gun up against Jessie's head so that Gabe can see it. QUALEN Throw it up or I'll kill her. GABE (V.O.) You do, and the spring thaw is going to be worth a lot of cash! QUALEN The money! GABE WHEN SHE'S SAFE! EXT. SPUR The chopper hovers a safe distance away from the ledge. Gabe still stands on the overhang, the pack still held out over the edge. INT. HELICOPTER Qualen unlocks Jessie's cuffs. EXT. SPUR Hovering fifteen feet above Gabe, Jessie lowers herself down on the grappling cable. GABE Run! She doesn't. JESSIE What about you?! GABE RUN, DAMMIT!! She runs for the protection of the rocks. Gabe and Qualen stare at each other. Qualen levels his gun at Gabe through the open passenger door. QUALEN Let me have it!! Gabe hurls back the money like he was throwing an Olympic hammer above the chopper and into the blade. The sack disintegrates into a million pieces. GABE Don't you want to count it? Qualen glares at Gabe and aims his weapon. Gabe ducks beneath the chopper and hooks the cable to the top rung of Bitker Ladder. THE HELICOPTER spins around, Gabe instantly flattens to avoid the tail swinging past him and dashes away from the cliff's edge. Qualen wildly spins the chopper around looking for Gabe. The cable from the chopper reels out as the machine maneuvers. CLOSE ON JESSIE eyes widening with fear. JESSIE Run! Oh, my God! Gabe, realizing he does not stand a chance in the open, reverses field and runs for all he's worth toward the cliff's edge. THE HELICOPTER with its skids skipping just over the ground, gains on Gabe. GABE as he runs toward the mountain's edge. It's just a few feet ahead, but the chopper is almost on him. As it drops lower on the verge of overtaking him, he dives off the edge, FALLING. Gabe falls the first twenty feet of the long drop, then grabs a rung of the cable ladder. THE HELICOPTER flies low over the precipice, flying over the valley below. Gabe tries to frantically climb up the ladder when the cable connected to the chopper pulls taut, popping the bolts that hold the ladder in place, rung by rung. Qualen is disoriented by the sudden jolt. The engine strains as the ladder weighs the machine down. Gabe hangs on for dear life as the bolts holding the ladder continue to rip out. One bolt explodes from the wall and crashes into the exposed upper engine of the copter. Still going, the chopper strains' against the ladder. Thirty feet of it tethers the chopper to the wall. Gabe is dangling from the center of it. On the ladder, Gabe has one arm hooked around a rung, as the chopper thrashes the ladder up and down. HAL appears at the top in time to witness this. He sees a frantic Jessie and hobbles to her. INSIDE THE CHOPPER Qualen is totally enraged. INSERT - THE ENGINE as sparks fly, it slowly grinds to a halt. THE HELICOPTER still strains against the cable ladder, but the rotor blades slow. GABE ON LADDER stares at the stalling rotor. If it were possible for him to grip the ladder tighter, he'd do it now. JESSIE AND HAL JESSIE Oh, my God! HAL Climb, Gabe, climb! ON THE HELICOPTER As the rotor WHOPS to a dead halt, the chopper arcs down and slams against the mountain wall sideways. The winch cable is still caught in the ladder, and it holds. Gabe is shaken off by the massive impact. He falls, landing on the helicopter's side near the smoking propeller. As Gabe scrambles up for a solid hold, INSERT - THE WINCH CABLE One of the two rungs holding the chopper bursts. THE HELICOPTER slips, now hanging from just a single rung. Gabe is sliding off the machine but manages to angle his body and prop himself against the blade. CHOPPER ROOF Qualen crawls out the side, and as his head clears the doorway, he sees Gabe and fires his machine gun. Gabe ducks behind the base of the propeller as bullets rip into the side. The gun is empty and Qualen throws it aside and crawls out to challenge Gabe. GABE Come on--one last challenge! They latch into a death struggle against the center of the rear flank of the chopper. Qualen tries to gouge Gabe's eyes out, but Gabe manages to break free and pounds him repeatedly against the head. CUT TO: Hal tries to aim his weapon, but there is no clear shot. CUT TO - THE TREASURY CHOPPER Wright and Davis swing into view. Wright looks through binoculars. WRIGHT It's Qualen! Get me down there. CUT TO - THE LADDER The bolt supporting the ladder, which in turn supports the chopper, is being worked loose by the ensuing battle. With each of the men's movement the bolts slip further out. CUT TO - TREASURY CHOPPER The chopper drops lower and directly above Gabe and Qualen. The chopper's backwash makes the men appear as if they are battling in a hurricane. INT./EXT. CHOPPER Qualen manages to force Gabe's neck against the chopper's blades. Gabe manages to drop low and drive home several killer punches that now have Qualen on the verge of unconsciousness. Gabe feels a sudden snap, sharp movement of the fuselage. He realizes he has only seconds to live. Pulling himself away from Qualen, he prepares to jump. Qualen, with his last remaining strength, grabs his legs, tackling him. QUALEN We go together, Walker! Gabe tries to crawl towards the ladder. The bolt is milliseconds from snapping. Jessie frantically yelling down. JESSIE Gabe! Jump!! Qualen tightens his grip on Gabe's legs. QUALEN (hissingly) You lost! Gabe breaks a foot loose and kicks Qualen square in the head. GABE You fell. Qualen slides back and tumbles into the door opening, landing awkwardly against the dashboard. EXT. CHOPPER At the precise moment the chopper finally breaks loose. Gabe leaps, catching the final rung on the ladder. THE FALL - LONG SHOT Qualen's screams trail behind the helicopter as we follow the entire 4000 foot drop. INT. CHOPPER We see Qualen is flattened against the windscreen looking straight down as the ground furiously rushes forward. EXT. CHOPPER Gabe watches as the chopper falls nose first like an atomic bomb, finally exploding into a massive fireball on the valley floor. INT. TREASURY CHOPPER Wright turns to the pilot. WRIGHT Now that's justice. Let's get down there. EXT. SPUR Gabe turns and looks back at the wall. He struggles with his remaining strength to pull himself up on one rung. Gabe leans back, gripping the ladder, too tired to move. Just the thought of one more climb drains him. GABE (mumbling) Forget it. No way. I've had it. Before Gabe can take this any farther, a loop tied to the end of a rope falls next to him. Gabe looks up. The same old Douglas rope that he left with Jessie. ON THE EDGE - HAL has thrown the line down, Jessie is by his side. HAL Remember, keep your arms and legs in the vehicle at all times-- Gabe puts the loop around himself and tightens it by rote. Even this action aches. Hal and Jessie draw Gabe up. Gabe pulls some of his weight by using hand and foot holds, but when he reaches THE PRECIPICE EDGE Hal and Jessie are both winded from the effort of hauling Gabe onto the top. Gabe unties himself and collapses into Jessie's lap. HAL (winded, coiling rope) Jesus -- you think you could have put a little less effort into that climb? I thought you were in shape. Jessie embraces Gabe. They share the kiss of their lives. GABE The "old mouth to mouth" resuscitation routine. JESSIE There's a lot more where that came from. You're not leaving again? GABE And miss all of this peace and quiet? Never, right Hal? HAL Right. JESSIE Then it's a deal. They kiss as the camera pulls away to reveal the magnificent mountain range.