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Cliffhanger Movie Script

Writer(s) : Michael France

Genres : Action, Adventure, Thriller

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                           CLIFFHANGER



                            Written by

                          Michael France




        EXT. MOUNTAIN RANGE - HELICOPTER SHOT - DAY

        An unparalleled set of sheer mountains -- part of the Colorado
        Rockies. The peaks rise a challenging half mile and more out
        of the valley -- wind-whipped snow mists over the mountains
        like a low fog. The tranquility is broken as a helicopter
        BLASTS into view, fighting the wind as it heads for the center
        of it all.

        Our CREDITS fly us past and through this magnificent range.
        There are sky-piercing peaks that slope up to a narrow, high
        pinnacle -- and others that are steel, straight-up approaches
        to large plateaus. One of the mountains has a crystal lake on
        top -- with a waterfall that drains from it and exits from the
        middle of a mountain wall. Nearby, an abandoned cable ladder
        is bolted into the same wall, leading to the top.

        BACK IN THE HELICOPTER

        We can see a man sitting in its doorway, looking out --

        INT/EXT HELICOPTER - BINOCULAR POV

        The glasses scan systematically, slowly -- to us, it looks
        like nothing more than a field of gray and white.

                                        FRANK (O.S.)
                      Nothing yet.

        EXT. THE MOUNTAINS - LONG SHOT

        The helicopter now circles this tallest mountain -- "The
        Tower", separated from a lower but equally formidable peak by
        a chasm of two hundred feet -- that drops 3,500 feet below.

        INSIDE HELICOPTER - FRANK AND MAGGIE

        Spotter FRANK NEWELL (50s) scans the mountain wall.  MAGGIE
        DEIGHAN (30s) expertly pilots the helicopter through the storm
        winds. Both wear orange jackets identifying themselves as
        members of the Rocky Mountain Park Rescue Team.

                                        FRANK
                      Wait a minute -- there's Hal.
                            (beat)
                      And his date.

        BINOCULAR POV - A LEDGE

        that's part of the smaller peak. HAL TUCKER (30s) and his 
        "date", SUSAN COLLINS (20s), are decked out in climbing gear.  
        Hal's aplomb suggests he's a veteran climber -- Susan's
        worried look shows she isn't. Hal and Susan huddle together,
        both cold, but okay. Hal has a makeshift splint wrapped
        around his lower leg, and a slow burning flare in one hand.

        INSIDE HELICOPTER

        Frank lowers his glasses -- Maggie struggles with the wind.

                                        MAGGIE
                      How do they look?

        BINOCULAR POV - HAL AND SUSAN

        Hal, now aware of the copter, looks towards it, smiling -- and
        starts jerking off the flare.

                                        FRANK (O.S.)
                      He's signalling "okay."

                                        MAGGIE (O.S.)
                      Where's Gabe?

        The POV dips down -- there's somebody climbing below, in an
        orange rescue jacket.

                                        FRANK (O.S.)
                      Right where he's supposed to be.

        CLOSER ON THE CLIMBER

        This is GABE WALKER (30s). In spite of the cold and the snow,
        he's fearlessly, swiftly scaling the tower without safety
        lines, as if he's done it a hundred times. That's because he
        has done it a hundred times. This is what Gabe lives for.

        ON THE LEDGE

        Gabe, almost there, finds a fingertip-width handhold at arm's
        length -- grabbing it, he pulls himself up on the ledge with a
        move that's just a little tougher than chinning yourself on a
        doorjamb. Winded, Gabe slumps down next to the couple, and
        tries to light a cigarette. The lighter only sparks.

                                        HAL
                      Excuse me -- I know you're my
                      salvation, and all -- do you think you
                      could rescue us before your smoke
                      break?

        Hal pulls out a box of wooden matches and lights one Bogart
        style, one-handed with a thumbnail, cupping a hand to shield
        it against the wind. Gabe bends down for it -- a familiar
        routine. We know in a glance they've been friends for years.

                                        GABE
                      Maybe you could tell me why I am
                      rescuing you.

                                        HAL
                      Basically -- I've fallen down, and I
                      can't get up...

                                        GABE
                            (into radio)
                      Rescue One -- have located helpless
                      climber, please prepare idiot line
                      for transport, over --

        THE HELICOPTER dips down towards the ledge -- no way can it
        land there. Frank lowers a rescue wire to

        GABE

        who precariously swings out from the ledge to grab it -- the
        wire is just out of reach. Hal grabs the radio.

                                        HAL
                      Rescue One -- please remind me to tell
                      you about the time I hauled your hero
                      here down Mt. Huntington on my back,
                      over --

                                        MAGGIE (O.S.)
                            (through radio)
                      Hal, if I hear that story one more
                      time, I'm making you limp down the
                      entire three thousand feet, over --

        Gabe finally grabs the line, secures it to a heavy piton, and
        hammers it into the wall.

                                        GABE
                            (to Susan)
                      This guy showing you a good time?

        THE HELICOPTER

        swings over across to the facing mountain -- Maggie lands the
        copter, in spite of the winds, on a small plateau. Frank gets
        out to secure the wire -- there's now a lifeline spanning the
        chasm.

        ON THE LEDGE

        Gabe finishes anchoring the line in the rock -- he
        extinguishes his cigarette in the snow, and naturally, pockets
        the butt. Hal, propped up against the wall, expertly rigs a
        seat harness around his legs -- Susan helps him get part of it
        around his splint, and Gabe clips it to the line.

                                        GABE
                      Now, remember -- keep your arms and
                      legs within the vehicle at all
                      times --

                                        HAL
                            (laughing)
                      Fuck you --

        With that, Hal pulls himself hand-over-hand across the sloping
        line -- Hal makes a point of looking down --

        HAL'S POV -- THE DROP

        is vertigo defined. Thirty five hundred feet straight down.
        You could stack the World Trade Center towers on top of each
        other and they'd still be shorter than this mountain is high.
        However --

        HAL

        lets go of the overhead line and claps his hands to his face
        in mock horror -- he quickly whizzes down the last thirty feet
        of the line, where Frank catches him and pulls him out. Hal
        gets out of the harness, checks every stitch of it, signals
        thumbs-up, and sends it back.

        THE LEDGE

        Gabe, retrieves the harness on a small attachment line, and
        gives Susan a reassuring smile, but she's still, sensibly,
        very scared. Gabe recovers the harness, rigs Susan into it,
        and meticulously re-checks it.

                                        GABE
                      Ready?
                            (sees she's afraid)
                      Did he tell you about the time he
                      almost made it up Everest?

                                        SUSAN
                      He said you gave him a bad oxygen mask
                      --

                                        GABE
                      Well, if he's bored you with that
                      bullshit, then this has to be the best
                      part of a bad date. Right?

        Susan nervously laughs.

                                        GABE
                      Ready?

                                        SUSAN
                            (scared but tough)
                      Okay --

        Gabe starts to push her out on the line, but she grabs his arm
        in a panic.

                                        SUSAN
                      I can't --

        Susan starts to tilt her head down -- Gabe gently takes hold
        of her chin, turning her view up to face him.

                                        GABE
                      Yes you can.
                            (reassuring)
                      You can do it. Don't look down.  The
                      whole way across, don't look down.
                      Look at me. Just keep looking at me --
                      and you'll be okay.

        Susan looks at Gabe -- trying to be confident -- nods.

                                        GABE
                      Sure?

                                        SUSAN
                      Yeah.
                            (beat)
                      I have always depended on the kindness
                      of Rangers.

        Gabe grins and gently pushes her out. Susan tentatively pulls
        herself across -- then develops a rhythm, building speed --

        GABE'S POV - SUSAN

        inching away in the harness, looking more confident now --

        SUSAN'S POV - GABE

        signalling "OK" -- "you're doing fine" --

        SUSAN - ANOTHER ANGLE

        thirty feet out, going fine --

        INSERT -- A HARNESS CLIP

        holding the strap under Susan's left leg breaks --

        GABE'S POV - SUSAN

        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, Susan falls but grabs the harness strand --

        HAL

        is helpless, and can only watch as

        SUSAN

        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 Susan's weight is being seriously
        tested -- a single knot in the harness has caught there, but
        it clearly won't last long --

        GABE

        moves back from the ledge.

                                        GABE
                            (loud, in control)
                      Hold on. I'm coming out to get you.

        Gabe gently pulls himself up on the line, crosses his ankles
        on it, and clips himself on with a three foot safety line.
        Gabe starts smoothly, quickly pulling himself out, but --

        SUSAN

        is in trouble -- the bobbing of the line from Gabe's weight
        and the winds are making her lose her grip even more --

        GABE

        urgently pulls himself along the line faster, trying not to
        shake the line. As he gets closer and closer to a terrified
        Susan, his eyes lock on hers --

                                        GABE
                      Keep looking at me. Hold on --

        WIDER ANGLE

        Gabe is only ten feet away from --

        SUSAN

        who stares at Gabe, petrified -- this focus is helping, but
        her strength is just about gone --

        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 --

        ON GABE

        who knows it and pulls himself the rest of the way, a little
        faster, almost bridging the gap --

        ON SUSAN

        staring desperately at Gabe, holding on --

        INSERT - THE TOP CLIP

        that's keeping Susan alive surrenders the knot -- it passes
        through, and

        SUSAN

        falls --

        GABE

        deliberately lets go of the main line and launches himself
        at Susan --

        THEIR HANDS

        miss --

        ANGLE ON BOTH

        Gabe's three foot safety line pulls taut, testing the limits
        of the line above as it yanks him back --

        GABE'S POV - SUSAN

        is just out of reach -- her hand is still stretched out, her
        eyes still locked on

        GABE

        who can only look down, swaying helplessly on the wire as
        Susan's SCREAM starts --

        ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE

        Frank and Maggie look down in horror, but neither look as
        anguished as Hal --

        LONG SHOT - SUSAN

        falling -- falling -- falling -- looking very small against
        the vast mountain range --

        SUSAN'S POV - FALLING

        from this height takes the longest nineteen seconds you can
        imagine --

        GABE

        twists from his safety line, spinning helplessly -- he wants
        to, but can't, shut his eyes --

        GABE'S POV - THE CHASM

        Susan is gone. Her SCREAM, cut short, echoes -- the "safety"
        harness spirals down after her like a carefree bird --

                                                          SMASH CUT TO:

        INT/EXT SMALL AIRLINER - GABE'S POV OUT WINDOW - DAY

        As the plane dips to land, Gabe can see a bird circling far
        below, over the same mountainous terrain.

        INT. SMALL AIRLINER - GABE

        sweating, panting, awake. It hasn't been that long since the
        accident -- a year, to be exact -- but he looks older. He
        looks as if he's watched Susan Collins drop at least one
        hundred times. Gabe reels himself in as a STEWARDESS hands him
        a glass of water.

                                        STEWARDESS
                      Take this.
                            (Gabe does)
                      Afraid of flying?

        Gabe shakes his head.

                                        GABE
                      Falling.

        INT. TERMINAL - DAY

        Gabe, with no luggage, is at the small airport's only car
        rental counter, doing the paperwork for a RENTAL AGENT.

                                        RENTAL AGENT
                      Midsize?

                                        GABE
                      Any size, any color, any model.

                                        RENTAL AGENT
                      How long will you be needing it?

                                        GABE
                            (flat)
                      Just under six hours.

                                        MAGGIE (O.S.)
                      You aren't wasting any time, are you?

        Gabe turns and looks at

        MAGGIE

        who is standing off to the side.

                                        MAGGIE
                      I knew you'd be coming by. Today.

        Gabe's happy to see her -- but at the same time, he isn't.
        She looks too good -- and she brings up quite a mixed bag of
        memories. Maggie carves on a smile.

                                        MAGGIE
                      If you're in that much of a hurry, why
                      don't you ride with me?

        INT. RESCUE HELICOPTER - DAY

        Maggie pilots the copter, heading out toward the mountain
        range. Gabe fiddles with some of the equipment inside. Both
        grope for a way to start the conversation.

                                        GABE
                      This is new...

                                        MAGGIE
                      It's a thermal scope -- picks up body
                      heat of lost hikers --

        Gabe flicks it on, looks at the total absence of heat as they
        fly over the snow.

                                        GABE
                      Still find the dead ones the old
                      fashioned way, I guess.

        So much for small talk. Gabe is clearly uneasy watching these
        mountains go by. Maggie breaks an awkward silence --

                                        MAGGIE
                      You could have said goodbye.

                                        GABE
                            (shakes head)
                      If I did, I'd have to listen to you
                      tell me one more time that it wasn't
                      my fault.

                                        MAGGIE
                            (angry)
                      Today -- especially today -- you get
                      to hear it again. The harness clip
                      broke.  Cold stress -- one in a
                      million equipment failure. You and
                      Hal could have checked it from then
                      till now and it still would have
                      happened.
                            (beat)
                      You did everything right --

                                        GABE
                      -- If I did everything right, Susan
                      Collins would still be alive.

        THE HELICOPTER

        whizzes on to the Ranger station -- a small building by an old
        country road. Not much activity outside of some ROOKIE
        CLIMBERS working out on a CLIMBING PRACTICE WALL. Maggie
        starts to land the copter, and as she does --

        INSIDE THE COPTER

                                        GABE
                      Do you really believe all that?  That
                      it wasn't our fault?

        Maggie slows the rotor, her eyes on the controls. Gabe's eyes
        are locked on her.

                                        MAGGIE
                            (turns to Gabe)
                      Yes. Yes, I do.

        But she answered a half beat too slow. The helicopter touches
        ground.

                                        GABE
                      I'm not sure what I wish more, Maggie.
                      That you meant what you said, just now
                      -- or that it were really true then.

        EXT. RANGER STATION

        Hal, wearing Sheriff's garb, storms towards Maggie's side of
        the copter as the engine shuts off and the rotor dies.

                                        HAL
                      Maggie, where the hell have you been?
                      I've got two climbers out --

        Gabe gets out of the copter, and Hal sees him for the first
        time. Unlike the last time we saw them, neither man is glad to
        see the other. Hal turns on Maggie.

                                        HAL
                      Brett and Evan are up there again to
                      jump off the spur. Their wives called
                      twice. I want you in the air and I
                      want them found before the storm
                      system moves in.
                            (Maggie hesitates)
                      Now.

        Maggie takes off as Gabe and Hal step away from the copter.
        Gabe eyes Hal's uniform and almost -- not quite but almost --
        laughs.

                                        GABE
                      Christ. You're in charge of Rescue
                      now?

                                        HAL
                      There was a vacancy. Maybe you heard
                      about it. The last guy lost his nerve
                      and lit out of town.

                                        GABE
                      Well, you're a better man than I am,
                      Hal. Nothing rattles you.

        The rookie climbers get off the practice wall to watch this
        faceoff. Gabe and Hal are one crack away from beating hell out
        of each other. Frank heads over to defuse the confrontation.

                                        FRANK
                            (steering Gabe away)
                      Gabe! Long time, son -- why don't you
                      come meet some of the new guys --

                                        GABE
                      Good idea. Say, Hal?
                            (beat)
                      Why don't you come with me so we can
                      show these rookies how to death-rig a
                      woman properly?

        That tears it -- Hal rushes Gabe and they pummel each other
        until Frank and the others pull them apart, panting and
        bleeding.  Hal throws off the men holding him back -- but
        instead of going at Gabe again, Hal throws Gabe a set of car
        keys.

                                        HAL
                      Take the Bronco to where you're going.
                      I've already been. Then go back to
                      wherever it is you like to hide. And
                      stay there.

        Hal heads back into the office -- Gabe heads for the Bronco.

                                                           CUT TO:

        EXT. DENVER MINT - HIGH ANGLE - DAY

        The Southwest regional center for printing and distributing
        currency. Hundreds of troops stand guard over the impressive
        U.S. Treasury complex.

        INT. TREASURY COMPOUND - A HUGE PRINTING PRESS

        is at work -- the ROAR of its parts is deafening as it stamps
        out a plate design on huge sheets of paper -- we move in on

        THE PAPER

        which is moved by mechanical arm to a SLICER that razors the
        bills apart -- it's moving too fast for us to see the
        denomination -- the cut bills are separated by --

        FOUR SEPARATION CHUTES

        that fire the bills down to a mechanical COUNTER that
        serializes, counts, bands and stacks them faster than any
        human could -- a HAND reaches to pick up a band --

        THE BILLS

        are something a banker could work a lifetime without seeing,
        but are real nonetheless --  $5,000 bills, banded here in
        hundreds. The band is put back in the growing stack by

        RICHARD TRAVERS

        mid-thirties, a tough, imposing Treasury agent -- he regards
        the fortune piling up in front of him with only cold,
        professional interest. Travers is flanked by a trio of equally
        tough TREASURY AGENTS -- he turns to flunky DAVIS (20s). It's
        clear who's in charge of protecting the money here, and who's
        in charge of counting it.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Tell Wright the San Francisco shipment
                      is ready.

                                        DAVID
                            (phone already out)
                      Right away, Mr. Travers.

        As Davis dials we move to --

        THE OFFICE

        of WALTER WRIGHT (50s), comptroller of currency -- his
        demeanor suggests he's in control, and used to keeping it that
        way.

                                        WRIGHT
                            (into phone)
                      Good -- good. I'll be right down.

        As Wright gets up from his desk, though, we hear in the outer
        office --

                                        SECRETARY (O.S.)
                      You can't go in there --

                                        MATHESON (O.S.)
                      Watch me.

        KURT MATHESON (30s) bursts into the office, trailed by
        Wright's flustered SECRETARY.

                                        MATHESON
                      Walter Wright?
                            (flashes badge)
                      Matheson. FBI. We need to talk.

        PRINTING COMPOUND - THE MONEY

        has now been packed into a trio of metal briefcases -- ten 
        thousand $5,000 bills. Travers shuts the cases in turn, and
        locks each with an electronic key card, triggering a FLASHING
        RED LIGHT on the locks as he does. A uniformed PILOT shows up
        behind Travers as he cuffs the cases to the hands of the three
        other agents.

                                        PILOT
                      We'll be fueled and ready in ten
                      minutes, Mr. Travers.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (an order)
                      Be ready in five.

                                        MATHESON (O.S.)
                      Go ahead and take ten. We'll need the
                      time.

        Travers looks up at Matheson, who has just arrived with
        Wright. Travers is instantly furious at the challenge to his
        authority.

                                        MATHESON
                            (flashes badge)
                      Matheson. FBI.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (looking down at it)
                      Your parents must be proud.
                            (to Wright)
                      What the fuck is this about?

                                        WRIGHT
                      Small problem with the shipment,
                      Travers.
                            (to Matheson)
                      Tell him what you just told me.

        Matheson draws out a file and hands it to Travers.

                                        MATHESON
                      We got word that somebody's been
                      observing your currency shipments --
                      this load, the $5,000s -- over the
                      last three deliveries.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (laughs)
                      There isn't a hell of a lot anyone can
                      do but observe.
                            (beat)
                      This is the most protected shipment
                      we've got -- and the most useless for
                      a thief. Those bills aren't in
                      circulation. You think five thousand
                      dollar bills are easy to pass? Who the
                      fuck would try?

        Matheson hands Travers a folder.

                                        MATHESON
                      This guy might.

        We look over Travers' shoulder at the photos, which are all
        blurry, all blown up from different surveillance pictures --
        and all of them show ERIC QUALEN.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Who is he?

                                        MATHERS
                            (patient)
                      His name's Eric Qualen. One of the
                      East German spies who got shut out by
                      the reunification. The CIA issued an
                      inter-agency warning about him right
                      after the wall came down. He's got
                      nowhere to go and nothing to lose.
                      He's also got the international
                      connections to get rid of bills like
                      these -- and he's probably desperate
                      enough to try for them. Fifty million
                      bucks buys a lot of sanctuary.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Could you get to the part where I'm
                      supposed to care?

                                        MATHESON
                            (shows him more photos)
                      We had two agents monitoring him.
                      These two -- Gleason and Quinones.
                      Their last report said he was going to
                      try to take this shipment.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (turning away)
                      Thanks for the tip. But I've got work
                      to do.

                                        MATHESON
                            (stopping him)
                      Did I say "last" report? I think I
                      did. I mean last fucking report.
                      These guys have vanished.

                                        TRAVERS
                      You have my sympathy, but --
                            (exasperated)
                      There's a reason we do things this
                      way, all right? Armored cars can be
                      hijacked. Trains can be derailed. But
                      nobody can get to us in flight. The
                      only time this is on the ground is at
                      the mint, or on the Presidio runway in
                      San Francisco. Either way, someone
                      would have to shoot his way past a
                      couple of thousand guards.

        Matheson still isn't convinced.

                                        TRAVERS
                      If you're worried about an inside job,
                      forget it. I checked the plane from
                      top to bottom an hour ago. And these
                      three are my best against. Even if one
                      of them did go skydiving, they
                      wouldn't get far. Each case has an
                      electronic tracer with a range of one
                      hundred miles.

        Travers pulls a tracking device about the size of a watchman
        out of his jacket pocket. The small screen shows three red
        blips at rest -- matching the three currency cases.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (facing down Matheson)
                      I haven't lost a bill in eight years.
                      And I'm not scrubbing this shipment
                      because you scare easily.

                                        MATHESON
                            (an easy smile)
                      Who said anything about stopping the
                      shipment?
                            (beat)
                      I've been tracking Qualen for almost a
                      year. If he pulls something, I want to
                      be in on the party.

        Travers, angry, turns to Wright. Wright clearly doesn't like
        this either, but is resigned to it.

                                        WRIGHT
                      This is cleared from the top, Travers.
                      Matheson will accompany you on the
                      flight to San Francisco.
                            (beat)
                      Show him every professional courtesy.

        Travers turns back to a smiling Matheson, looking like he'd
        rather kill him instead, as we --

                                                           CUT TO:

        EXT. MOUNTAIN RANGE - MAGGIE'S HELICOPTER

        is being buffeted by storm winds and a light snow -- Maggie
        struggles hard with the controls, but --

        INSIDE HELICOPTER

        Visibility is near zero. Maggie keys the radio.

                                        MAGGIE
                      Rescue One to base, over.

                                        HAL (O.S.)
                      Rescue One -- have you sighted them?
                      Over --

                                        MAGGIE
                      Negative, Hal -- storm's already
                      moving in -- I can't see them, and
                      winds are too strong to stay up
                      here -- over --

                                        HAL (O.S.)
                      Rescue One -- abort. They'll be all
                      right. Brett and Evan are dumb enough
                      not to log in, but they're smart
                      enough to have storm gear. Head back
                      to base.
                            (not unkindly)
                      Maybe you can catch Gabe before he
                      leaves. Over.

                                        MAGGIE
                      I don't think he's planning a long
                      visit, Hal.
                            (back to business)
                      Rescue One heading back to base, over
                      and out.

        THE HELICOPTER

        banks a 180 to fly back -- we can see over the horizon that
        the storm is moving in fast.

        INT. CAVE - DAY

        We can hear Maggie's helicopter flying off overhead -- camped
        inside the cave are BRETT and EVAN, both 20s, both shivering,
        amid their gear -- backpacks, cooking stuff -- and parachutes.
        These are Colorado rock jocks -- thrillseekers who'll try
        anything if the odds are strong enough they'll die in the
        process.

                                        EVAN
                            (freezing)
                      Way to check the weather, Brett.

                                        BRETT
                            (shivering yet macho)
                      Hey. If it were easy, it wouldn't be
                      worth d-doing.

                                                           CUT TO:

        EXT. TREASURY JET (DC-9) - DAY

        The DC-9 cruises over increasingly mountainous, remote
        terrain.

        INT. JET - CLOSE ON TRAVERS

        who looks tense -- we MOVE AROUND the cabin and find two more
        relaxed Treasury agents are dozing on the opposite side of the
        plane, their arms chained to the currency cases. Matheson is
        edgy. Another AGENT offers some condescending reassurance.

                                        AGENT
                      Just enjoy the view, huh?
                            (Matheson says nothing)
                      Relax. I mean, what could happen in
                      the air?

        Matheson turns back to his window and looks down --

        WINDOW POV - THE GROUND BELOW

        is covered with snow -- the jet's shadow moves sleekly and
        plainly over it. But after a moment we see -- -- another
        jet's shadow on the ground, coming up fast!

        INSIDE THE DC-9 - MATHESON

        reacts this and shifts his look upward to --

        WINDOW POV - ANOTHER PLANE (GULFSTREAM)

        is flying a parallel course to the Treasury jet, and is just
        one hundred yards away. Close enough to see Eric Qualen's face
        in one of the windows.

        INSIDE THE PLANE

        Matheson stands -- Travers has noticed the plane by now too,
        and gets out of his seat as the other agents react.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (to other agents)
                      Stay put! Don't panic, goddammit!

        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. Push flaps forward twenty
                      degrees and drop to five thousand
                      feet.

        THE CABIN

        Matheson is out of his seat, pistol drawn. Seems a little puny
        under the circumstances.

                                        MATHESON
                            (to agent)
                      You got any rifles?

                                        AGENT
                      Forward compartment -- left side --

        Matheson rushes through a curtain to the area between the
        cabin and the cockpit and pulls open a closet door. To his
        horror, he finds inside not rifles, but

        TWO DEAD BODIES

        who we'll recognize as the missing FBI agents from the photos
        Matheson showed Travers.

        MATHESON

        backs up in horror -- and he sees Travers calmly coming out of
        the cockpit. Rattled, Matheson pulls his gun on Travers.
        Travers looks dumbfounded -- then angry.

                                        TRAVERS
                      What the hell are you doing --

                                        MATHESON
                      Checked the plane from top to bottom,
                      huh? You fucker --
                            (clicks hammer back)
                      Put your hands behind your head! It's
                      over!

        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 --

                                        MATHESON
                            (to other agents)
                      There's a couple of dead bodies in the
                      front compartment -- they're FBI
                      agents --

                                        TRAVERS
                      He's losing it --

        They now think Matheson is crazy too -- he looks nuts -- the
        other agents move behind him. Matheson gets even more frantic
        and point his gun at them.

                                        MATHESON
                      Goddamn it! Don't you see what he's
                      doing! He's hijacking the fucking
                      shipment!
                            (back to Travers)
                      Don't make me shoot you!

        The other two agents get behind Matheson and rapidly disarm
        him. Travers pulls out his gun with a slow, leisurely move.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Don't make me laugh.

        Travers FIRES his gun three times, one for each agent's
        chest -- the agents are cut down, realizing too late what's
        happened. A fourth SHOT knocks Matheson over a seat as if he'd
        been kicked. Travers puts his gun away and puts on a radio
        headset as he goes to a window.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (to mouthpiece)
                      Move into position.

        EXT. QUALEN'S JET - GULFSTREAM

        maneuvers over the DC-9 -- and holds steady above it.

                                                           CUT TO:

        EXT. CEMETERY MARKER - COLORADO - DAY

        The stone reads "Susan Collins -- 1965 - 1991". It's
        surrounded by wreaths -- one of which has an old snapshot of
        her attached to it. Mementos sent on the first anniversary of
        her death.

        GABE

        brushes some of the falling snow away from the marker. He lays
        down his flowers and pauses for a moment -- then gets into the
        Bronco and drives away.

        INT. FORD BRONCO - DAY

        Gabe looks out the window at the countryside he used to belong
        in. He's wondering if he still does.

                                                           CUT TO:

        EXT. TREASURY JET/QUALEN'S JET - FLYING

        Qualen's jet is now flying parallel to, and slightly above,
        the Treasury jet. The door in Qualen's jet is open, and we get
        our first good look at --

        INT/EXT. QUALEN'S JET

        -- Qualen, who is also wearing a headset radio and is wired
        to a safety line in the jet. He's lowering a thick steel cable
        down to the Treasury jet.

        Qualen is as deadly as advertised -- 150 mph winds are tearing
        at him through the open door, but he is unfazed and
        unfrightened.

        TRAVERS

        is also wired to a safety line by his own jet's open door.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (into radio)
                      More -- more -- keep it coming --

        THE TWO PLANES

        Qualen's jet lowers the cable into the Treasury jet -- it
        looks like an Air Force midair refuelling -- difficult and
        dangerous. After about thirty feet of line is lowered --

        TRAVERS

        -- takes it in and clips it to a ring at the top of the jet's
        doorway.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (into radio)
                      Locked on. Move into lateral 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.

                                        KRISTEL
                      Moving into lateral position.

        ON THE TWO PLANES

        Qualen's jet lowers itself, banking to the side -- the
        Treasury jet raises itself. Both are now flying side by side,
        with the cable serving as a thirty foot bridge.

        TREASURY JET CABIN

        Travers, unclipped from his safety line, cautiously goes to
        the cockpit. The pilot, nervous, struggles with the controls.

                                        PILOT
                      We're right on the edge of the
                      storm -- let's move it.

        Travers pulls the two dead FBI agents out of the
        compartment -- one is dressed in a flying suit like the pilot,
        one in a suit like Travers.

                                        PILOT
                      This isn't going to work -- Wright
                      will suspect something.

                                        TRAVERS
                      So what. He'll sift though a plane
                      that went down in a storm --
                            (gestures to bodies)
                      -- find enough pulverized bone for six
                      men heroically killed in the line of
                      duty --
                            (finds three suitcases)
                      -- and just enough of the right kind
                      of ash.

        Travers opens one of the cases, which is identical to the
        others -- except that it's full of one dollar bills. He's
        thought of everything.

                                        TRAVERS
                      We get twenty-one gun funerals and
                      they write off fifty million. It's
                      perfect, as long as you hold the plane
                      steady -- so concentrate.

        Travers moves back into the cabin.

        INSIDE QUALEN'S JET

        We can now see four other passengers. All are fit and armed --
        HELDON and RYAN are seated, while KYNETTE and DELMER, 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.

        INSIDE TREASURY JET

        Travers, now in a harness like the one seen earlier -- uncuffs
        the money cases from the agents.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (into radio)
                      On my way.

        Travers steps back into the cockpit and flips a toggle switch
        over and LED --

        THE LED

        starts counting down from 2:00 -- 1:59 -- 1:58 --

        IN THE COCKPIT

        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 both
                      engines -- the plane'll go down like a
                      rock, so clip yourself on to the end
                      of the cable with the money as soon as
                      I get over.
                            (an afterthought)
                      And make sure you bring the right
                      cases.

        Travers heads back into the cabin and hooks his harness to the
        cable between the planes.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (into the headset)
                      Dip the plane. I'm coming over.

        THE JETS - LONG SHOT

        Qualen's jet dips down so there's a sharp incline -- Travers
        starts the slide down, zipping in seconds across 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 have
                      waited for me if I'd sent it first.

        Qualen smiles in reply. No. Maybe he wouldn't.

        IN THE TREASURY PLANE COCKPIT

        The pilot locks the controls and rushes back to the cabin.

        THE LED

        counts down -- 0:38 -- 0:37 -- 0:38 --

        IN THE TREASURY PLANE CABIN

        The pilot gathers the cases and uses their cuffs to attach
        them to the cable -- but as he steps past the bodies of --

        THE AGENTS

        Matheson's eyes open -- he's not dead yet.

        IN THE CABIN

        The pilot clicks the last of the three cases onto the cable
        and is about to put his harness on -- but behind him, Matheson
        shakily crawls to his feet, draws his gun, and SHOOTS the
        pilot in the back twice.

        THE PILOT

        drops out of the plane, flailing -- if he's 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)
                      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, groggy, holds onto the doorway 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'S ENGINES

        are destroyed as the charge DETONATES --

        THE JETS - LONG SHOT

        As promised, the Treasury jet is now plummetting as if it had
        no wings at all, levelling the angle between the planes -- the
        cases dangle precariously on the wire --

        INSIDE QUALEN'S JET

                                        TRAVERS
                            (shouting)
                      Lower! Get underneath it!

        INSIDE TREASURY JET

        Matheson struggles to the cockpit and gets behind the controls
        -- as if that's going to do any good --

        THE JETS - LONG SHOT

        Qualen's jet is deliberately racing the disabled Treasury jet
        down, but it's hopeless -- there's no way to get underneath
        the falling jet long enough for the cases to slide over.

        INSIDE QUALEN'S JET - KRISTEL

        isn't quite panicked. Yet.

                                        KRISTEL
                      It's dragging us down! Disconnect the
                      cable!

        INT. QUALEN'S JET - CABIN

        Heldon and Ryan try to do just that, but the cable is
        taut -- there's no way to loosen the clip on the door --

        BOTH JETS

        dive down faster at an ever steeper angle, over the edge of
        the Colorado mountain range --

        INSIDE THE TREASURY JET

        -- the clip on the door finally breaks --

        BOTH JETS - LONG SHOT

        -- the Treasury jet drops as Qualen's jet, trailing the cable
        and the money, sharply shoots upward --

        THE TREASURY JET

        makes a one point landing nose first into the wilderness,
        cartwheeling into a FIREBALL!

        INT./EXT. RANGER STATION

        The sound of the EXPLOSION, muffled in the wind, far-off, but
        audible, drives Hal outside -- he's alert, but can't see
        anything in the murk of the storm --

        INT. QUALEN'S JET - THE COCKPIT - KRISTEL

        levels off the plane, but it's still in trouble --

        CABIN - QUALEN AND TRAVERS

        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 AND TRAVERS

        aren't even bothering with the electric winch, they're
        dragging it in hand over hand -- but --

        CLOSE ON THE CABLE

        -- the cases, torn by the wind, work their way loose one at a
        time and drop -- one -- two -- three -- into the snowy
        mountains below!

        IN THE CABIN

        Heldon and Ryan clamp the door shut as Qualen angrily attacks
        Travers --

        THE COCKPIT - KRISTEL

        tries to bring the plane up, but can't -- the fuel guage
        needle is dropping fast --

        INSERT - THE WING

        is pouring out fuel through a dozen bullet holes -- one of two
        engines sputters to a stop.

        THE COCKPIT - KRISTEL POV

        The plane is now just skirting the mountain tops, and is still
        being battered by storm winds -- Kristel aims it for what
        looks like the flattest, longest mountain top --

        THE CABIN

        Kynette and Ryan grab Qualen and Travers to separate them --
        all strap in, because

        THE PLANE

        is going down -- it just tops the edge of a precipice and hits
        the ground level --

        THE MOUNTAIN TOP - 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 --

        THE COCKPIT

        Kristel rides the stick only out of habit -- nothing she does
        is going to matter now --

        INSIDE THE CABIN

        The men are jolted around -- windows IMPLODE as Kynette tries
        to protect a bag of what is obviously explosives --

        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

        is coming up fast -- but

        THE PLANE

        wrenches to a sudden halt, the fuselage intact.

        WIDER VIEW - THE PLANE

        or what's left of it has stopped several feet short of the
        edge -- we can see why: the steel cable, trailing from the
        cargo door, has lashed itself around a half dozen trees,
        acting as a tripwire to stop the plane.

        INSIDE THE PLANE

        Quiet. All are dazed but, outside of superficial cuts,
        unhurt. Kristel moves out of the cockpit, looking around.

                                        KRISTEL
                      So much for phase one.
                            (to Travers)
                      Now what?

        She speaks for all of them -- especially a still-seething
        Qualen. Travers pulls out the tracer monitor for the cases.
        The tracer screen shows three distinct blips -- the tracers
        have survived the fall.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Now -- we call the police.

        INT. RANGER STATION - DAY

        Hal, agitated, paces in the main office -- Frank, unconcerned,
        puts a coat hanger and some aluminum foil on a little TV to
        drag in the fading signal of a Broncos game.

                                        HAL
                      Look -- I know there's a storm, but
                      that wasn't thunder.

                                        FRANK
                            (unconcerned)
                      Hal, when you've been in this line as
                      long as I have --

        The station's scanner radio barks to life.

                                        KRISTEL (O.S.)
                            (panicky)
                      Mayday -- mayday -- downed DC-3 -- 
                      mayday --

        Hal runs to the radio and keys the mike.

                                        HAL
                      Rocky Mountain Rescue -- come in,
                      mayday --

        INT. COCKPIT

        Kristel is on the radio, as Travers and Qualen hang back.
        Kristel's voice is panicked but she can't suppress a grin.

                                        KRISTEL
                      Downed charter flight
                      alpha-charlie-niner--
                            (keys mike to "garble"
                             transmission)
                      -- dead, seven seriously wounded,
                      acknowledge --

        INT. RANGER STATION

                                        HAL
                      Acknowledged, mayday. What's your
                      position?

                                        KRISTEL (O.S.)
                            ("panicked")
                      Don't know -- position unknown --
                      landed on top of some mountain -- only
                      visual bearing is a facing
                      cylinder-type formation -- over --

                                        HAL
                      Got to be Comb Bluff.
                            (keys mike)
                      Acknowledged, mayday. Winds are too
                      strong for us to get a copter up there
                      -- can you and your passengers make it
                      through the storm? Over --

                                        KRISTEL (O.S.
                      Negative -- cockpit is on fire --
                      fuselage broken into three sep--
                           ("garble")
                      --ed in shock.  Need medical supplies,
                      including insulin, repeat, insulin, as
                      soon as po --

       Dead silence. The transmission cuts off/

                                        HAL
                      Mayday -- come in, mayday --

       INT. COCKPIT

       Kristel hangs up the radio and smiles, Travers and Qualen
       standing behind her. Qualen lightly applauds.

                                        QUALEN
                      Not bad. The insulin was a nice touch.

       EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

       The Bronco wends through a winding country road, coming
       finally to a cabin settled in a clearing.

       GABE

       pulls into the driveway and puts the Bronco in park. He
       doesn't cut the engine, because he's not sure whether he's
       going in or not. Finally -- he cuts the ignition.

       INT. CABIN - DAY

       A knock on the door brings no response -- no one inside. Gabe
       opens the unlocked door -- and steps inside.

                                        GABE
                      Maggie?

       No answer. Gabe takes a look around the living room. His face
       tells us, without a doubt, this used to be his home. Gabe
       moves inside, pausing at a mantle. Two framed photos -- Gabe
       and Maggie sleeping together in a hammock, bolted to a sheer
       wall over a 2,000 foot drop. Gabe, Hal and Maggie, all
       younger, all sporting drunken grins, in a mountain cave.  Gabe
       smiles for the first time today at this memory -- a BANGING at
       the back of the cabin shakes him out of it.

       EXT. CABIN - DAY - THE BACK DOOR

       has come open and swings in the wind. Gabe steps outside and
       pulls it shut. Gabe looks down and sees tracks that lead to a
       small but sturdy shed a few yards away. Gabe heads over to it.

       INT. SHED - DAY

       Not a storage shed at all -- it's a small workspace that
       offers solid protection from the elements, is well-lit, and
       whistle-clean. Maggie, in front of a table, pulls a cover off.

       A LARGE PLASTIC CAGE

       -- inside is a bald eagle. One of maybe 2,000 left in the
       country. Its uneven feathering and small, gawky size tells us
       it isn't nearly full grown. A bandage on its side tells us
       it's been injured. Maggie's smile tells us it's healing.

                                        MAGGIE
                      Hey there --

       The door to the shed opens -- Gabe steps in, and shuts the
       door behind him. Maggie looks surprised to see him. Gabe just
       looks awkward.

                                        GABE
                      Hi.
                           (beat)
                      Could you introduce us?

                                        MAGGIE
                      Sure. Gabe Walker -- this is A27.
                      A27 -- Gabe.

                                        GABE
                      Not the tag -- what do you call
                      him?

                                        MAGGIE
                      Her. I call her Lucky.

                                        GABE
                           (bends down, eyes wound)
                      Poachers?
                           (Maggie nods)
                      Bastards...

                                        MAGGIE
                      They got the mother -- and left this
                      one behind. Too small to make a decent
                      trophy, I guess.

                                        GABE
                      About four months, right?
                           (Maggie nods)
                      Christ -- it must have been just about
                      his -- I mean her -- first flight --

                                        MAGGIE
                      Time to change the dressing.

       Maggie pulls on a pair of pair of cowhide gloves.

                                        GABE
                      You can't do that alone --

                                        MAGGIE
                      I've had to learn. She trust me --

       Maggie reaches into the cage, but the eagle starts thrashing.

                                        GABE
                      I'm making her nervous --
                           (beat)
                      You hold her, I'll do the dressing.

       Gabe finds another pair of gloves, sterile cotton pads and
       alcohol in a drawer -- Maggie reaches in and grabs the eagle's
       beak and talons quickly but gently, and takes it out of the
       cage, holding it firm. This is clearly something they've done
       many times before. They move together, tight -- Gabe and
       Maggie both react to this bit of close contact as they bandage
       the eagle. It's getting warmer in here. Gabe reaches down and
       yanks off the patch. The eagle thrashes as Gabe cleans the
       wound.

                                        GABE
                      Got some fight in her -- that's good.
                           (beat)
                      What happened to Dave?

                                        MAGGIE
                      The usual. Flew off -- never calls,
                      never writes --

       Gabe winces at this one as he carefully tapes the small patch
       and sticks it on the eagle's side. Maggie puts the eagle back
       in the cage and closes the top door. Gabe and Maggie don't
       move any further apart as they pull their gloves off. Gabe
       tentatively reaches for Maggie's face -- but she pushes him
       hand away.

                                        MAGGIE
                      I'm glad to see you, Gabe. But I kind
                      of wish you hadn't come. I was almost
                      used to you being gone.
                           (beat, quiet)
                      Why are you here?

                                        GABE
                           (pauses)
                      I thought I came back to see if I'd
                      learned to live with it. Well, big
                      surprise. Coming back just tore me
                      open all over again, like it all
                      happened yesterday instead of a year
                      ago. Nothing's changed. Including the
                      way I feel about you.
                           (beat)
                      I didn't realize it till I saw you at
                      the airport. But I came back for you,
                      Maggie.

                                        MAGGIE
                      Does that mean you're going to stay?

                                        GABE
                      No. Not here.
                           (beat)
                      I want you come with me. Start over,
                      somewhere else.

                                        MAGGIE
                           (incredulous)
                      You come back after being gone a year,
                      and you expect me to --
                           (beat)
                      You don't live here any more, Gabe.
                      Your choice, remember? But this is
                      my home. I'm not leaving. You can
                      stay with me, or you can go alone.
                      It's still your choice.

                                        HAL (O.S.)
                      Now there's an easy call.

       Standing in the shed's doorway is Hal. Stone faced. Grim.

       OUTSIDE SHED

       Furious, Gabe heads out after Hal.

                                        GABE
                      What the hell do you want?

                                        HAL
                           (beat)
                      I need your help. A plane's gone down
                      on Comb Bluff. This storm would blow
                      a copter all over the place -- but we
                      can climb up to it.

                                        GABE
                      "We"?
                           (beat)
                      Talk to somebody who's still on the
                      payroll. You've got a half dozen new
                      guys --

                                        HAL
                      -- who couldn't climb that wall now if
                      there were stairs cut into it. But
                      you've soloed it.

                                        GABE
                      During the summer. On a bet.

                                        HAL
                      This is a little more important than a
                      bet. Just a few injured people with
                      no first aid or shelter, camping in a
                      zero degree blizzard. They'll be ice
                      sculptures by tomorrow morning.

                                        GABE
                            (shakes his head)
                      Maybe you missed the headlines -- but
                      I don't do rescues any more. They're
                      bad for my conscience.
                            (beat)
                      Fuck this one up on your own.

        Gabe walks past Hal. Furious, Hal spins Gabe around.

                                        HAL
                      Play it again, Gabe, about how we
                      killed her. I was there too, remember?

                                        GABE
                            (hot)
                      Not like I was, pal -- her fingers
                      brushed mine on the way down --

                                        HAL
                            (right back)
                      -- and I was the one who had to deal
                      with her family when you fucking tore
                      out of town.
                            (takes a breath)
                      We lost her. Whatever anybody says
                      about cold stress and the clip, you
                      and I have to live with that. But
                      right now, there are some more people
                      who need our help, and they shouldn't
                      die too just because you've got a
                      problem keeping the past in the past.

        Gabe knows he's right. But he's hesitant. And scared.

                                        GABE
                      I don't want the responsibility.

                                        HAL
                      Walk away and you are responsible.
                      They'll die. I can't do this alone.
                            (Gabe slows but doesn't
                             stop)
                      You know what else, Gabe? You can go
                      anywhere you want, but if you don't do
                      this, now, you're going to be stuck on
                      that goddamn ledge for the rest of
                      your life.

        Gabe turns. Sees Maggie in the doorway. She's heard every
        word. Gabe turns to Hal -- hesitates -- and nods.

        EXT. COMB BLUFF TRAILHEAD - WIDE SHOT - DAY

        Relative to the other mountains, Comb Bluff is smaller --
        about 2,500 feet high. But that's like saying the Empire State
        Building is smaller than the Sears Tower. It's still a long
        way up if you're climbing the stairs.

        ON THE GROUND - GABE AND HAL

        with full packs of mountaineering gear on. They've got to
        climb up this beast. Gabe -- now back in his orange Sheriff's
        jacket -- scrambles with Hal up the base of the mountain, the
        last few yards before it turns into a sloping wall. Gabe
        takes a bolt gun -- which fires rope-fastened bolts into
        rock -- and hangs it from a strap on his chest.

                                        HAL
                            (indicating gun)
                      That thing's dead weight. Completely
                      useless for an ice climb.

                                        GABE
                      Just backup.

        Gabe readies a coil of rope and starts up the wall.

                                        GABE
                            (not a challenge)
                      I'll lead. I left a few bolts last
                      time I climbed this -- I think I can
                      find some of them.

        Hal starts up after Gabe, easily keeping pace with him.

                                        HAL
                      Save the rope for when it gets tough.
                            (beat, realizing)
                      That bet was for you to free climb
                      the wall.

                                        GABE
                            (further up)
                      Tell you what, Hal -- if we're still
                      alive tomorrow morning, I'll give you
                      the twenty bucks back, okay?

        COMB BLUFF - LONG SHOT

        Two orange specks move their way up the mountain -- it's
        definitely going to be a long trip.

                                                           DISSOLVE TO:

        EXT. COMB BLUFF - LONG SHOT - DAY - GABE AND HAL

        are now visibly two-thirds of the way up.

        CLOSER ON GABE AND HAL - THE MOUNTAIN FACE

        is not only higher, it's a lot tougher to climb. Instead of
        being angular, the wall is now completely vertical -- and
        coated with ice. Rough, irregular ice ledges are all Gabe and
        Hal can grip -- it's a matter of grabbing what you can for a
        handhold, and kicking the spikes of the steel crampons on
        their boots into the ice for footholds. Gabe leads, planting
        pitons into the ice, threading the rope through them as he
        goes. Three steel pins between Gabe and Hal. Their only safety
        net. Gabe, trailing rope behind him, goes up a difficult slab
        of ice and climbs under a ledge, where he anchors the rope in
        the ice with another piton.

                                        GABE
                            (shouting down)
                      Anchored!

        HAL

        is beside and slightly below Gabe -- at the other end of the
        fifty foot rope. Hal cautiously pulls himself along the line
        to the first piton -- as is standard for a climb, he pulls out
        the piton, then moves on to the second -- but up above

        HIGHER ON THE MOUNTAIN

        Ice, building in a small crevase, builds and CRACKS the
        adjoining rock -- several ten-pound boulders fall, causing a
        chain reaction

        ROCKSLIDE

        that bounces down the wall --

        GABE

        hugs the ice wall, making himself as flat as possible --

                                        GABE
                            (shouting down)
                      Rockslide!

        HAL

        flattens too as rocks bounce past -- the second anchoring
        piton LOOSENS as it is struck by a falling rock -- Hal
        nervously eyes the last piton between him and Gabe --

        THE PITON - CLOSE

        also has been clipped by the still falling boulders and droops
        at half mast -- no way are these going to hold in the
        unreliable ice --

        HAL

        tries to stay flat, but one boulder painfully CLIPS him on the
        shoulder, knocking him from his perch -- Hal falls --

        WIDER - HAL FALLING

        In falling, Hal's weight on the rope yanks out the nearest
        anchor piton -- Hal tumbles in space, keeping pace with the
        boulders, as --

        GABE

        who's seen everything we have, quickly reaches to the piton
        he's just anchored, and removes the carabiner clip --

        HAL - FALLING

        The rope draws taut, yanking out the last piton between he and
        Gabe -- nothing but a few yards of slack rope now --

        GABE

        has the bolt gun out. He rapidly hooks the rope's carabiner
        clip to the chambered bolt, and FIRES it at a solid rock ledge
        above him --

        INSERT - THE BOLT

        imbeds solidly in the rock --

        GABE

        lashes the rope to his shoulder, bracing for the coming impact
        by lodging his feet in the ice --

        THE JOLT - WIDER SHOT

        The line pulls taut, leaving Hal suspended, the wind knocked
        out of him from the impact --

        GABE

        is almost dragged down by the jolt -- he painfully takes most
        of the impact in his shoulders -- the shock forces his feet
        through an ice ledge -- but the rope, bolted to the rock
        above, has held. Barely.

                                        GABE
                            (shaken, voice gone)
                      Anchored --
                            (shouts this time)
                      Anchored!

        HAL

        now somewhat recovered, steadies himself.

                                        HAL
                            (breathless too)
                      You're sure this time --

        Hal climbs up the rope, finally reaching another ledge
        slightly below Gabe's. Hal leans against the wall, gasping, as
        Gabe clips the gun to his pack.

                                        HAL
                            (looking up at gun)
                      Don't say it --

                                        GABE
                            (wheezing too)
                      It's kind of hard to resist --

                          GABE                         HAL
                  It's not dead                It's not dead
                  weight -- you                weight -- I am.
                  are.

        Hal and Gabe start howling -- that hysterical, giddy laugh
        that only comes from just missing a violent end.

        WIDE SHOT ON MOUNTAIN - THE TWO LEDGES

        Hal and Gabe's friendship is starting to resurface -- their
        LAUGHTER is nearly louder than the wind, as we --

                                                           DISSOLVE TO:

        EXT. PRECIPICE EDGE - DAY - BINOCULAR POV

        From the top of the bluff, someone is looking down through
        binoculars -- Gabe and Hal's orange jackets are plainly
        visible a few hundred yards below.

        RYAN

        lowers the binoculars, and keys an ear button on the headset
        radio he's wearing, sending a beep.

        INSIDE THE PLANE

        Travers is wearing another headset -- the others are just
        resting in the seats

                                        TRAVERS
                            (into mouthpiece)
                      Have they arrived?
                            (two beeps in response)
                      Good. Return to the plane and cover
                      your tracks.

                                        QUALEN
                            (to others)
                      Get ready.

        ON THE MOUNTAIN BELOW

        Hal and Gabe are tired, but get a second wind from the
        excitement of being almost on top. Gabe stops, breathless for
        a second, then goes on. Hal lags a little behind.

                                        GABE
                      Come on -- the hard part's over.

        Gabe heads up and over

        THE MOUNTAIN'S EDGE/CRASH SITE

        and helps Hal up. From here, the rest of the range looms
        large. Even in the continuing snowstorm, it's a spectacular
        sight -- but Gabe and Hal don't pause to enjoy it. This isn't
        a trip for sport. Hal looks off into the trees, and sees the
        torn tree stumps from the plane crash.

                                        HAL
                            (grim)
                      That's it.

        Hal and Gabe run into the wooded area and follow the
        wreckage -- felled trees, a smashed wing -- and reach

        THE FUSELAGE

        which sits intact by the other edge of the precipice.

                                        GABE
                      I thought the fuselage was broken.
                      That looks pretty cozy.

                                        HAL
                            (puzzled too)
                      The pilot was hysterical.

                                        GABE
                      Something's wrong here --

                                        HAL
                      Does this look like a prank to you?
                      Come on --

        Hal pulls open the passenger door and goes in -- Gabe, wary,
        takes a look around the plane.

        INSIDE THE FUSELAGE

        It's comparatively dark in here -- Hal starts in, shining a
        light -- the beam finds

        HAL'S POV - TRAVERS

        slumped down on the cabin floor, a blanket wrapped around
        him -- he's shaking and is generally giving a good impression
        of a shock victim. Hal rushes to him.

                                        HAL
                      Relax -- we're here to help --

        "Weak", Travers whispers as Hal gives him some water.

                                        HAL
                      Don't try to talk --

        Travers won't quit -- Hal leans down to hear.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (hoarse whisper)
                      Where?

                                        HAL
                      -- Where? What are you --

        A gun barrel moves INTO VIEW as it presses against Hal's neck.
        Heldon and Ryan are right behind him. Travers instantly drops
        his act.

                                        TRAVERS
                      You said "we". Where are the rest?

        GABE - OUTSIDE THE FUSELAGE

        notes footprints in the snow -- fresh ones -- and kneels down
        to look at the cable wrapped around the tree. No ordinary
        accident. But before he can think about this, he gets an
        earful of gun barrel from Qualen, who is behind him.

        INSIDE THE FUSELAGE

        Qualen hustles Gabe inside the plane -- his hands are on his
        head, and his pack has been removed. Qualen throws the pack
        to Ryan and Delmer, who rifle through it, removing anything
        that could be a weapon -- they quickly confiscate Gabe's bolt
        gun and ice axe.

                                        TRAVERS
                      What's for dinner?
                            (Kynette tosses packet)
                      Ugh. "Dried Beef Slices With Barbeque
                      Sauce."
                            (tosses it back)
                      Try and make this edible.

        Travis looks at Hal's park ranger badge.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Hal Tucker.
                            (to Gabe)
                      Where's yours?

                                        QUALEN
                      He doesn't have one. Just a wallet.

        Qualen tosses it to Travers, who glances through it.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Gabe Walker...
                            (notes photo of Maggie)
                      Very attractive.

                                        GABE
                      My ex.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Too bad. Let me tell you what's on for
                      today. We'd like you to help settle a
                      wager. You see, we lost some
                      luggage --

        Travers motions to Ryan and Qualen, who shove Gabe and Hal
        forward in the cabin. Travers takes out the tracer monitor.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (showing them the blips)
                      See these? Now I've bet the gentlemen
                      behind you that you know enough about
                      this mountain range to lead us to each
                      of these, quickly, and that you'd be
                      happy to do so. They bet me you
                      couldn't and wouldn't.
                            (guns are clicked)
                      Now tell me -- who wins?

        Gabe and Hal eye each other -- no choice. Gabe nods.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Good dog. Now let's get this
                      expedition started.

        EXT. FACING MOUNTAIN - WIDE SHOT

        Hal and Gabe lead the "expedition" down a steep, but passable,
        descent, leading to --

        A NATURAL STONE BRIDGE

        that links Comb Bluff with the next mountain. Travers stops
        Gabe and pulls out the monitor.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Okay. Connect the dots.

        Gabe pauses as he holds the monitor up against the
        mountainscape.

        MOUNTAIN AND MONITOR

        The first blip is up a thousand feet -- it's a wall, and
        obviously not something for a novice. Gabe pauses a little
        too long -- Qualen nudges him with his gun. Gabe hands the
        monitor back to Travers.

                                        GABE
                      This way.

        Gabe, with Hal right behind, leads them up the wall -- it's
        not a straight climb, but there's a series of zig-zagging
        natural ledges that cut up the wall. Wide enough even for an
        amateur. The others follow Gabe and Hal's example.

                                                           DISSOLVE TO:

        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. Hal and
        Gabe lead them by jumping to the next ledge.

        CLOSER ON HAL AND GABE

        As Gabe hammers in a new piton, he turns to Hal.

                                        GABE
                            (sotto)
                      We don't have to do this. We know
                      these mountains -- they don't. If we
                      can get ahead --

                                        HAL
                      Can you climb faster than they can
                      shoot?

                                        GABE
                      We've got to try something. Think
                      we'll get a finder's fee after they
                      get all their "luggage"?

                                        HAL
                      Sure. All the bullets we can eat.

                                        GABE
                      That's not what really worries me.

                                        HAL
                      There's something else to worry
                      about?

                                        GABE
                      Yeah. Once they've got what they're
                      after -- they're gonna need a copter
                      to get out of here.

                                        HAL
                            (realizing)
                      Maggie.

        Gabe nods grimly -- and keeps moving up. The rest keep pace.

        THE WALL

        The climbers have reached a point of comparative comfort on
        the wall -- the ledge is now two feet wide. Travers takes out
        the tracer monitor -- the monitor shows that the first case is
        just above them.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Hold it.
                            (beat)                      
                      It's up there.

        "UP THERE" - AN OVERHANG

        juts out of the wall fifty feet above their position. As the
        rest of the wall above is completely sheer, it's obvious that
        the case, if it is above, has landed on top of a ledge.

        But this isn't easily accessible -- we MOVE DOWN from the
        overhang and can see there are only the smallest of handholds
        to get up there, and those are slick with ice and snow. Worse,
        the rest of the mountain bulges outward in a curve, making
        climbing almost impossible.

        ON THE LEDGE

        Travers holds his gun on Gabe, and motions up

                                        TRAVERS 
                      Fetch.

                                        GABE
                      I'll need the ice axe.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (laughs)
                      You've got to be kidding.

                                        GABE
                            (sighs)
                      Okay. How about some tape?

        Travers nods -- Kynette pulls a roll of tape out of Gabe's
        confiscated pack and throws it to him.


                                        GABE         
                      Crampons too.

        Travers hesitates, but nods -- Kynette throws him the iron
        spikes. Gabe fastens them to his boots.

        Gabe looks up -- this is going to be tough, even for him. In
        spite of the cold, he takes off his gloves -- that's how small
        these holds are -- and he meticulously tapes up his hands and
        his fingers.

        HIGH ANGLE - GABE

        moves up the wall with some ease at first -- there are
        hand-sized handholds, and decent footholds -- but twenty feet
        up, there's nothing. To keep going, Gabe has to painfully
        wedge his fingers into small cracks, essentially supporting
        his weight only by several fingerholds at any given moment.
        We can see from the angle that Gabe is at least 3,000 feet
        from solid ground. We can see from his face that he's trying
        not to think about it.

        ON THE LEDGE - TRAVERS AND QUALEN

        watch Gabe's slow progress.

                                        QUALEN
                      I don't trust him.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (indicating wall)
                      Where could he go?

                                        QUALEN
                      I'd rather he didn't show us.
                            (beat)
                      We don't need two guides.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (shrugs)
                      You win. Kill him when he gets down.

        GABE ON THE WALL - CLOSE

        Make that "if he comes down". Gabe is now in one of the
        worst positions possible for a free climb. He is moving up
        the underside of the overhang and is essentially hanging
        upside down, knifing his fingers into tiny cracks for support.
        It's excruciating -- both in terms of muscular effort, and the
        abrasions that come from forcing fingers into ice and rock
        again and again. Gabe keeps his hold with one hand and slides
        the other up, hammering it into a crack wedge with ice --
        some of the ice chips whistle past and down --

        -- finally, Gabe gropes one hand over the edge, and pulls
        himself onto

        THE OVERHANG

        Exhausted, Gabe pulls himself prone across the top. Something
        hard is underneath him -- Gabe recovers and brushes the snow
        off the money case that's underneath. It's battered from the
        fall, but is still barely holding together. Gabe manages to
        force open the trashed locks -- he looks inside the case, and
        fingers a band of $5000s.

                                        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
                            (impatient, shouting)
                      Lower it down -- now!

        ON THE OVERHANG - GAB

        has no intention of doing this -- he snaps the case shut and
        looks over at a ledge that moves off from it -- and at the ice
        and snow above.

        ON THE LEDGE - TRAVERS AND QUALEN'S POV

        try to look up and locate Gabe. They can't. Until -- 

                                        GABE (O.S.)
                            (shouting down)
                      I've got a better idea. Why don't you
                      come up and get it?

        With the case, Gabe moves, back against the wall, on a ledge
        that skirts off the overhand -- 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)
                      Get him!

        Heldon runs along the lower ledge, FIRING up at --

        GABE

        who has to flatten against the upper ledge -- bullets howl
        past at twenty per second, SPARKING against the lip of the
        rock -- it's cover, but not much --

        HAL

        looks up, worried --

        HAL'S POV - ICE AND SNOW
        
        piled by the ton from the storm, lie further above -- the ice
        holding it back already, already weakened by the sun, is being
        chiselled away by bullets --

        ON THE LOWER LEDGE - QUALEN

        grabs Hal and puts the gun to his head.

                                        QUALEN
                            (shouting)
                      Bring the money down, or we kill your
                      friend!

        Travers pushes the barrel away from Hal, shaking his head.

                                        TRAVERS
                      We can't.
                            (frowning)
                      And he knows it.

        WIDER ANGLE ON MOUNTAIN - THE PARALLEL LEDGES

        Gabe moves across his thing ledge as Heldon runs across his --
        Gabe ducks back and has to flatten even more against the wall,
        because his ledge is getting smaller --

        HELDON

        smiles, seeing Gabe's cover is gone -- Heldon's ledge is
        getting wider, so it's easier for him to fire up. Heldon moves
        out to the edge --

        GABE'S POV DOWN

        There's now nothing between Heldon and Gabe -- Heldon takes
        dead aim --

        GABE

        looks up, sweating it --

                                        GABE
                      Come on --

        THE ICE AND SNOW

        above finally give way, dropping an avalanche on

        GABE

        who drops the case and hugs the wall --

        THE AVALANCHE - WIDE VIEW ON MOUNTAIN

        Only now can we see how much snow and ice had been penned up
        on the mountain top -- tons of ice and snow sweep down the
        mountainside -- it SHATTERS the case against the wall as it
        easily swipes 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 fun FIRES uselessly as he's swallowed in an
        explosion of white -- as well as a flurry of green as the
        bills scatter amid the snow --

        -- then: quiet. The avalanche ends as abruptly as it started.
        The rumble dies down to complete silence.

        TRAVERS

        apoplectic, stares at seventeen million dollars worth of snow
        settling far below. He takes his gun, furious, and fires at

        THE UPPER LEDGE

        where Gabe was hugging the wall -- it's now blanketed with
        snow. Travers FIRES an entire clip at where Gabe used to be.
        The snow FALLS AWAY, revealing nothing but stark rock. Gabe
        has been swept away.

        HAL

        reacts and attacks Travers.

                                        HAL
                      You son of a bitch --

        Travers turns and pins Hal against the wall with the gun,
        ready to kill him too. But he's stopped by Qualen.

                                        QUALEN
                      No. We need him to get the rest of the
                      money.
                            (he isn't backing down)
                      If he dies we lose everything

        Travers, furious, takes the gun out of Hal's face.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (to Hal)
                      Get us out of here.

        Hal stares at Travers with absolute fury -- but he leads the
        gang back along the ledge in retreat.

        EXT. FURTHER DOWN THE MOUNTAIN - DAY

        Powdery snow is settling from the avalanche. From a cave in
        the rocks, Brett and Evan crawl out a little timidly.

                                        EVAN
                      What the hell --

        Evan takes a pair of overpriced binoculars and looks up --

        BINOCULAR POV - FAR UP ON LEDGE

        The figures are small, but it's clear that one is pointing a
        gun at an orange-jacketed figure.

        EVAN

        lowers the binoculars.

                                        EVAN
                      Brett -- you're not going to believe
                      this -- but a couple of guys are
                      holding a gun on Hal and forcing him
                      up the bluff --

                                        BRETT (O.S.)
                      I believe it.

        Evan turns to

        BRETT

        who has found both Heldon's broken body, and his gun, half
        buried in snow. Evan walks over, amazed.

                                        EVAN
                      What the fuck is going on here?

        Brett picks up the gun -- this is more an adventure than he
        ever dreamed of.

                                        BRETT
                      Let's catch up and find out.

        Brett and Evan grab their packs, and hurry onto a trail, as we
        return to --

        THE UPPER LEDGE

        where Gabe was. Nothing is stirring. Until, there's some
        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 gropes out -- and with some difficulty, he digs
        himself out, gasping and coughing. Gabe, coated with snow,
        leans against the wall and rests. Alive.

        INT. RANGER STATION - DAY

        Maggie is on the phone, pacing, as Frank is slumped in front
        of the radio scanner. Suddenly, the radio comes to life.

                                        HAL (O.S.)
                      -- Come in, Rescue Unit -- over --

        Maggie bolts over to the radio before Frank can react.

                                        MAGGIE
                            (keying mike)
                      Rescue Unit -- what's going on,
                      Hall? -- over --

        EXT. MOUNTAIN - WOODED AREA - DAY

        Travers has his gun pressed to Hal's temple.

                                        TRAVERS
                      No tricks, no procedural codes, no
                      personal messages -- just tell them
                      everything's under control and you're
                      taking care of the wounded.

                                        HAL
                            (keys it)
                      We've reached the wreckage -- top of
                      Comb Bluff -- six injured, but they're
                      responding to treatment. Everything
                      A-OK. Over.

                                        MAGGIE (O.S.)
                      Everything isn't okay, Hal -- I'm
                      coming up after you -- over --

                                        HAL
                      Negative, Maggie. Winds are too
                      high, and the passengers' injuries are
                      all superficial. We're going to ride
                      out the storm here -- over --

        Travers yanks away the radio.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Have her come up.

                                        HAL
                      Forget it -- downdrafts would wipe her
                      all over the peaks --
                            (Travers starts to argue)
                      -- Not that I expect you to give a
                      shit, but it's our only copter.
                      You'll be stuck.

        Travers relents and hands the radio back.

                                        MAGGIE (O.S.)
                      I can handle the winds --

                                        HAL
                            (breaking in)
                      Forget about it, Maggie, that's an
                      order -- acknowledge --

        INT. RANGER STATION

        Maggie looks out the window. The station's windspeed gauge is
        flying around so fast it looks like it might take off.

                                        MAGGIE
                      Acknowledged. Let me talk to Gabe --
                      over --

                                        HAL (O.S.)
                            (hesitates)
                      You can't. He's taking care of
                      passengers. Just like I should be.
                      Over and out.

        Maggie leans back in the chair, looks out at the storm, and
        tries not to worry. She fails miserably.

        EXT. MOUNTAIN - WOODED AREA - TRAVERS AND HAL

                                        TRAVERS
                            (snatching radio away)
                      Good. You might live longer than your
                      friend. Now --
                            (takes out monitor)
                      -- what?

        Hal takes the monitor -- the next blip is above, almost
        straight up. Hal motions to the wooded area ahead.

                                        HAL
                      The next one's on top of the peak.
                      This'll be long, but easy -- more like
                      a hike than a climb.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (suspicious)
                      It looks like a winding route.

                                        HAL
                      There's a more direct route. The East
                      Face. But it's the wall on the other
                      side, 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 snowstorm.

        Travers digests this, and motions Hal to move on as we --

                                                           CUT TO:

        CLOSE SHOT - GABE'S FACE

        is torn in pain. In spite of the cold and wind, he's drenched
        in sweat, half exertion, half fear. We pull back to take in

        THE EAST WALL - LONG SHOT

        Envision a wall. A really big wall. A really, really big wall.
        A wall that's as wide as it is high -- five thousand feet by
        five thousand feet -- narrowing to a domed peak at the summit.

        Now picture the same wall, checkered with ice. If this were
        horizontal, you or I couldn't walk on it without falling.

        Now picture the same wall with an orange dot, two-thirds of
        the way up it. The orange dot is

        GABE

        and he barely has the strength to hold on, much less go up.
        Gabe holds himself steady with one hand, gets a foothold, and
        swings another hand up to SLAM it against the wall.

        He's improvised gear -- he's tied a crampon to one hand. But
        it's as awkward as it sounds. Gabe moves up only a foot or so
        -- then pulls out the crampon, reaches up, and SLAMS it into 
        the wall, starting the painful process over again.

                                                           CUT TO;

        INT. DENVER MINT - 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 -- I know it's not in San
                      Francisco. I know it's not here. I
                      know it's not in any fucking airport
                      from here to Montana. Where it's
                      not - we got that covered. Now, do
                      you have any ideas on where it is?

                                        DAVIS
                            (walking to a map)
                      There's no radio contact, sir. At all.
                      We're not receiving the tracer signal
                      from the cockpit's flight recorder.
                      Radar lost it after it went low here.

        He points to a huge part of Colorado. Hundreds of square
        miles.

                                        DAVIS
                      We have to assume it went down in the
                      storm.

                                        WRIGHT
                      Air search?

                                        DAVIS
                            (shakes head)
                      That storm hasn't quit yet. Weather
                      service says we've got it until
                      tomorrow morning at least. Even if we
                      could get a plane up now, it'd be
                      impossible to see anything on the
                      ground. And --

        Wright slumps into a chair.

                                        WRIGHT
                      -- The roads are shut down, right?

                                        DAVIS
                      Most of this area doesn't even have
                      roads.

                                        WRIGHT
                            (rubs his eyes)
                      Keep two copters on full standby. And
                      let me know the second that storm
                      starts to wind down.

                                                           CUT TO:

        EXT. THE EAST FACE - WIDE SHOT - DAY - GABE

        is clearly exhausted and freezing -- his lips are blue, his
        eyebrows encrusted with snow. Wind still threatens to knock
        him off the wall -- but he forces himself on.

                                        GABE
                            (teeth chattering)
                      A steambath.
                            (spikes himself up)
                      A steambath -- and a bottle of
                      whiskey.
                            (new foothold)
                      A steambath with a bottle of
                      Glenlivet. And a fire.
                            (new handhold)
                      A steambath -- with a bottle of
                      Glenlivet -- and a steak.
                            (new foothold)
                      A steak soaked with Glenlivet, cooking
                      over a steambath on fire.

        WIDER ON MOUNTAIN

        Gabe finally reaches the top of the wall, where it meets an
        enormous overhang of ice.

        GABE

        is right underneath where the ice flows over the wall. Gabe
        takes his handheld crampon and hammers it into the ice
        overhead with more force than usual. This one is going to have
        to hold.

        Gabe steels himself for a tough move -- with one hand gripping
        that crampon, he swings out, away from the wall.

        Only the crampon spikes jammed into the ice above his hand
        are keeping Gabe from falling. Gabe needs the second crampon
        to make the move up -- but that's not going to be easy to get.
        It's attached to his boot.

        As Gabe clings to the upper crampon, his body swaying, he
        reaches down with his free hand to loosen the other crampon.

        GABE'S POV - DOWN

        The ground is one slip and five thousand feet away. Gabe
        fumbles desperately with the buckles on the crampons -- but
        both his fingers, and the buckles, are frozen stiff --

        GABE'S FACE

        shows real, solid terror for the first time --

        GABE'S POV - DOWN

        Gabe gets the first buckle off -- then the second. The crampon
        is off his boot.

        GABE

        still swinging from one hand, takes the now-freed crampon and
        slams it into the ice. It doesn't hold -- but the force of
        Gabe's swing, pushing him away, has loosened the other
        crampon. Gabe only gets one more shot at this -- he swings
        the free crampon up with all his might -- it catches in the
        same split second as the other dislodges.

        But the hard part is over -- with the two crayons, Gabe
        quickly manages to climb up over the lip of

        THE ICE OVERHANG

        This is a field of ice sloping up to the top. Gabe pulls
        himself a few feet away from the edge, and puts the crampons
        back on his feet where they belong. It's now pretty simple for
        Gabe to run up the ice slope three hundred yards to

        THE SUMMIT

        which is a rocky, wooded area. Gabe seems to have a second
        wind now -- he runs to the other side of the summit. The other
        side is obviously the route Hal and the others will be
        taking -- beneath the summit is a winding, well-beaten path.
        Gabe finally arrives at a small shack with a sign nearby
        commemorating the "DOUGLAS EXPEDITION - 1933".

        INT. THE SHACK

        is just a small "point of interest" shed for hardy tourists
        who have hiked up this far -- there is a corny photo stand,
        where you stick your head through a hole, so your face is put
        on top of a cartoon climber hacking up a mountain. Gabe rushes
        past this to a glass display case on the wall.

        THE GORDON DOUGLAS DISPLAY

        has black and white photos of a square jawed 1930s 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, other odds
        and ends. Gabe prepares to smash the glass -- and hesitates.
        Respect.

                                        GABE
                            (sighing)
                      Sorry, Gordon -- I promise I'll have
                      it back tomorrow.

        Gabe SMASHES the glass as we move to --

        EXT. THE TRAIL - DAY

        Hal is leading Qualen, Travers and the others upward -- this
        is a comparatively easy route, but still tiring. The sun goes
        down beyond a facing, taller mountain. Ryan is huffing and
        puffing -- the altitude and exertion are getting to him. Hal
        allows himself a smile at his discomfort.

                                        HAL
                      Come on -- tourists take this trail.

        Qualen pokes Hal with the gun -- he moves on ahead.

        EXT. THE SUMMIT - DUSK

        It's getting dark rapidly -- Gabe has scaled a rock formation
        so he has a view of the rest of the summit --

        GABE'S POV - SCANNING THE TREELINE

        Gabe slowly looks along the trees of the summit -- looks
        pretty ordinary to us, but something must have caught Gabe's
        eye, because he swings back to look at one tree. With broken
        branches on top.

        GABE

        climbs down from his rock perch and rushes toward the tree.

        EXT. SUMMIT TRAIL - NIGHT

        This "expedition" reaches the top -- Hal is in the lead, with
        Qualen just inches behind. Qualen shoves Hal forward.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Is this it?

                                        HAL
                      Yeah. This is it.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Good. Get out of the way.

        Travers takes out the tracer and starts following the blip.

        ELSEWHERE ON THE SUMMIT - GABE

        frantically rushes around, looking for the case -- he spots a
        crater of snow, rushes to it and starts digging. Even below
        the snow, the tracer's blinking red light is glowing and
        visible. Gabe laughs as he digs it out.

        NEARBY ON THE SUMMIT - TRAVERS

        has his eyes glued to the tracer monitor, which shows the case
        is nearby.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (smiling)
                      This way.

        Qualen shines a light -- all of them push their way through
        the trees.

        TRAVERS

        is excited now -- he can't even wait for Qualen's flashlight,
        he intuitively 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

        shoves his way through some small pines -- he can see the
        blinking of the red tracer light ahead through the branches.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (calling behind)
                      It's 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

        cute, if hastily constructed, stands with a five-pebble smile,
        as well as Douglas' cap, in a clearing. The still blinking,
        still operable tracer is now the nose of the snowman. The case
        is leaned up against it.

        Travers runs over to the case, furious, and opens it. It's
        empty -- except for a single $5000 bill. Travers picks it
        up -- scrawled on the margin is "LET'S TRADE."

                                        TRAVERS
                            (incredulous)
                      He's still alive.
                            (furious)
                      He's still alive!
                            (to Qualen and the
                             others)
                      He can't be far away -- spread out!

        Qualen, Kynette, Delmer and Krystel fan out into the woods,
        each with a flashlight and a fun. Ryan, however, straps on
        nightfinder goggles and runs out without a flashlight.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (to Hal, brandishing gun)
                      Put your hands on your head.

        ELSEWHERE ON THE SUMMIT - GABE

        watches the chaos with a grin from a slightly elevated vantage
        point -- he can see the flashlight beams, all headed in the
        wrong direction. But he doesn't see

        RYAN - "NIGHTFINDER" POV

        With these goggles, light is amplified a thousandfold -- this
        isn't one of those infra-red, thermo-blob jobs -- it looks
        more like day for night photography. Even starlight is enough
        for Ryan to run easily through the thick woods -- and he's
        going in the right direction.

        GABE

        begins climbing down to level ground so he can circle closer
        to where Travers is holding Hal -- before he can get far --

        "NIGHTFINDER" POV - RYAN

        looks up, and can clearly see Gabe climbing down the small
        rock, twenty yards distant --

        RYAN

        smiles, looking macabre under the goggles, and opens fire --

        GABE

        is startled as the bullets impact inches over his head -- he
        jumps the last ten feet to the ground and is running even as
        he hits the ground -- more bullets hit where Gabe was a
        split second ago --

        RYAN

        chases Gabe, easily maneuvering through the trees --

        GABE

        runs too, trying to dodge Ryan's continuing fusillades -- Gabe
        knows this territory, but to him, it's still pitch dark -- he
        stumbles, and rams against trees --

        RYAN

        keeps coming up behind, closing the hap, Gabe's bright form
        just ahead --

        GABE

        comes out of the trees and finds he is on another part of the
        summit. All that's beneath him is

        GABE'S POV

        -- a sudden, sloping plunge down a field of ice. No escape
        route here -- anything that goes down this slide is going all
        the way to the ground far below.

        GABE

        is driven forward by a fresh burst of bullets -- he dives to
        the edge of the ice field and ducks behind a boulder -- the
        sole source of cover.

        ELSEWHERE ON THE SUMMIT

        Kristel, Qualen and Kynette, having heard the gunshots, are
        now rushing to Gabe's position --

        RYAN

        almost casually emerges from the woods. He can see there is
        nowhere for Gabe to have gone -- except behind the boulder. He
        walks toward it as if he had all the time in the world.

        GABE

        fumbles in his backpack and pulls out something from the
        Douglas exhibit -- an ancient flare that looks like a can of
        sterno. Gabe pulls out his lighter and tries to light it -- it
        resists and looks like a dud, but finally it catches, and as
        it ignites Gabe heaves it over the boulder at Ryan --

        RYAN - "NIGHTFINDER" POV - THE FLARE

        arcs over the boulder to fully ignite, turning everything
        into a blinding, agonizing flash of white --

        RYAN

        SCREAMS, putting one hand over the goggles, trying to rip them
        off --

        GABE

        bolts out from behind the boulder to rush him --

        RYAN

        instantly aware of what Gabe's doing, blindly shoots, fanning
        out in a semi-circle as he gets the goggles off --

        GABE

        just runs straight ahead to Ryan, getting to him before the
        machine gun field of fire can intersect his path -- Gabe
        tackles Ryan as he manages to get the goggles off -- both men
        fall to the ground, and --

        The machine gun CLATTERS away, landing on the edge of the ice,
        just out of reach -- Ryan, now recovered from the blinding
        flash, pulls an ice axe out of a pack sheath and swings it at
        Gabe -- Gabe rolls away in time, 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 -- but the momentum of Ryan's hit also carries
        both Gabe and Ryan over the edge, onto --

        THE ICE SLOPE

        Gabe and Ryan both tumble over the edge and start sliding
        down, Ryan face first on his stomach, Gabe head first and on
        his back -- both are in immediate agony, because

        CLOSE ON THE ICE

        -- it's covered with razor sharp, irregular ridges, both large
        and small, that slice through clothing and shred skin as they
        pick up speed --

        GABE'S UPSIDE-DOWN POV - THE ICE FIELD

        The edge and a five thousand foot drop are less than a hundred
        yards away --

        GABE AND RYAN SLIDING

        Ryan flails and SCREAMS as the ice gashes him from
        underneath -- Gabe, however, manages to flip over and to the
        side -- he lunges on top of Ryan and rides him down like a
        bobsled --

        GABE'S POV - END OF THE ICE SLOPS

        is coming up too fast --

        GABE

        tries to maintain his perch on Ryan, who is SCREAMING and not
        yet used to the idea of being a human sled -- he isn't
        remaining still enough to provide a smooth ride -- Gabe
        frantically reaches behind to Ryan's wrist 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

        Qualen, Kristel and Kynette arrive at the lip, and look down,
        incredulous --

        QUALEN POV - GABE RIDING RYAN

        Gabe and Ryan, accelerating, have almost reached the edge --

        GABE

        finally grabs the ice axe, pulling it off Ryan's wrist -- just
        as they reach the precipice edge, Gabe loops the axe to his
        wrist and swings 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 what's left of Ryan, still
        SCREAMING, shoots over the edge --

        Gabe unhooks the axe, and gets another handhold. Gabe uses the
        axe to climb further down the ice to some rock -- finding
        easier hand holds, he quickly disappears into the darkness.

        QUALEN, KRISTEL AND KYNETTE

        look down -- Ryan's death scream is still echoing. Qualen is
        furious -- Gabe has escaped with the second case.

                                        QUALEN
                            (to Kynette)
                      Follow him!

        Kynette shines his flashlight below, illuminating the long,
        frozen streak of blood on the ice.

                                        KYNETTE
                            (gestures with light)
                      After you.

        INT. DOUGLAS TOURIST SHACK - NIGHT

        The expedition has holed up here for the night -- Travers and
        Qualen look upset. Things aren't going as well as they'd
        hoped. Kristel tries to get some candy out of a vending
        machine that's obviously empty. Kynette saws at some camp food
        with a distinctive knife -- the handle is a set of brass
        knuckles. Delmer guards Hal, who is bound, and seated by the
        souvenir photo stand.

                                        HAL
                      Well -- look at the bright side.
                            (beat)
                      At least you've only got to make the
                      split five ways now.

        EXT. MOUNTAIN LEDGE - NIGHT

        Gabe confidently drops down onto a large ledge that juts out
        from the wall -- obviously familiar territory for him. The
        ledge leads to a small, enclosed cave. Gabe takes out his
        penlight and shines it -- but the light looks dim. Batteries
        are low. Gabe pockets it, flicks his lighter and goes in --

        THE CAVE

        in the flickering light, we can see that no one has been in
        here for a while -- snow, dust, rocks -- but we should also
        recognize this from the photo seen earlier as Gabe, Maggie and
        Hal's hangout.

        GABE

        smiles with the memories -- then his face brightens with one
        memory in particular. Gabe rushes to a corner of the cave and
        opens a rock-lid to a hiding place.

                                        GABE
                      Please still be there -- oh,
                      please --

        Gabe reaches in the stash and finds an ancient half-full pint
        of Jack Daniels. The first thing to go right all day. Gabe
        uncaps it and gratefully gulps down a double shot. Peace, at
        last. Gabe smiles and leans against the wall, closing his eyes
        -- but he's startled instantly by a SCREECH -- Gabe's eyes
        shoot open --

        An aggressive rat scurries toward him on the floor.

        Gabe grabs a rock and CLOBBERS the rat off-screen, ending the
        screeches with one blow. Gabe's face first registers
        disgust -- then an idea. Then real disgust. Sighing, Gabe
        pulls out a pocket knife and opens the blade.

                                                           CUT TO:

        INT. THE CAVE - A LITTLE LATER - CLOSE ON GABE

        Gabe takes the now cooked rat carcass -- properly skinned and
        butchered -- off his knife blade. We can see from flickering
        shadows that a small fire is now burning in a cave -- we
        pull back to see

        THE FIRE

        which is built out of small bundles of $5,000 bills. It's safe
        to say that something like $500,000 is going up in smoke, and
        the fire's dying down. Gabe tosses a fresh band of bills on
        the flame. Gabe cools the knife in some snow, saws off a rat
        leg, and chews unhappily.

                                        GABE
                            (mouth full)
                      Mmm. Just like -- chicken.

        Gabe sparingly washes the bite down with a taste of Jack
        Daniel. It's going to have to last him. He has an entire rat
        to get through.

                                                          DISSOLVE TO:

        EXT. WIDE MOUNTAIN VIEW - DAWN

        The first rays of the sun start to poke through the mountains.
        It's stopped snowing -- the storm seems to be letting up.

        INT. RANGER STATION

        Very quiet in here. Frank is snoring, slumped over the radio.
        Maggie is wide awake and obviously hasn't slept -- her
        attention is fixed out the window.

        MAGGIE'S POV - WINDSPEED GAUGE

        The gauge is still flying around, but clearly shows that the
        winds are slowing.

        INT. DENVER MINT - WRIGHT'S OFFICE

        Wright is coiled at his desk, tense. Ten empty styrofoam
        coffee cups -- and dark rings under Wright's eyes -- make
        clear he hasn't slept. Wright's assistant bursts in.

                                        DAVIS
                      We've got a fix on the plane, sir --
                      we're getting a reading on the flight
                      recorder tracer --

                                        WRIGHT
                      Any visual? Any radio contact?

                                        DAVIS
                      Not yet --

                                        WRIGHT
                            (heading to the door)
                      Get the copters ready. We take off in
                      three minutes.

                                        DAVIS
                      The winds are still too strong --

                                        WRIGHT
                      Sorry to hear it. We're still going.
                      The plane might be intact.

        Wright drags the protesting Davis out the door.

                                        DAVIS
                      Sir --

                                        WRIGHT
                      Shut up. That fifty million isn't
                      coming out of my pension.

        EXT. MOUNTAIN TOP - DOUGLAS TOURIST SHACK - DAY

        Travers, Qualen and the rest of the expedition head out of the
        shack, a little groggy. Odds are no one got much sleep.

        Travers shoves Hal toward a sketchy "YOU ARE HERE" map of the
        mountain range, and hands him the tracer monitor.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Still interested in staying alive?

        Hal matches the monitor to the map -- the blip is higher up.

                                        HAL
                            (pointing to map)
                      It's up here. Somewhere on the Tower.
                      There's a way to cross over to the top
                      in about half a day.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Show me.

        Travers shoves Hal forward -- the others follow.

        ELSEWHERE ON THE MOUNTAIN/SUMMIT - BINOCULAR POV

        From about fifty yards off, someone watches Hal lead the gang
        away from the shack.

                                        BRETT (O.S.)
                      They're heading toward the opposite
                      edge. An easy way down.

        BRETT AND EVAN

        are crouched in the woods. Brett, gun in hand, has no idea how
        far out of his league he is. Evan looks like he's having
        second thoughts, but he can't hack down now.

                                        BRETT
                      I'll cut around this side, and wind up
                      in front. You come up behind them --
                      quietly. And we've got 'em.

                                        EVAN
                      Brett -- they've got five guns --

                                        BRETT
                      And you can collect them all after I
                      get the drop on 'em. Let's get moving.

        Brett, automatic held high, circles off through the woods.
        Evan reluctantly lopes off toward his assignment.

        BELOW - GABE'S CAVE

        Gabe pulls his jacket on -- reversed, with the grey lining
        out, so the orange won't make him so easy to spot -- and
        starts out towards the facing Tower -- his route, clearly, is
        going to be along the rock wall. It's relatively sheer, but
        there are shelves cut into it to make walking easy.

        MOUNTAIN TOP/SUMMIT - BRETT

        races quietly through the woods in a parallel path with Hal,
        who's guiding the hang. Brett circles around ahead of them,
        waiting. Before he can jump out --

        HAL'S POV - ON BRETT

        hiding ahead in the trees and rocks.

        HAL

        makes eye contact with Brett, realizes what he's doing, and
        shakes his head as violently as he dares -- no, don't --

        BRETT

        gives Hal a confident wink in response, then pounces in front
        of the gang, gun held high.

                                        BRETT
                      End of the line!

        Travers, Delmer, Kristel and Kynette are startled, but don't
        immediately comply. This throws Brett off his stride.

                                        BRETT
                            (nervous now)
                      You heard me! Drop the guns!

        Travers smiles and steps closer to Brett. The others walk up
        in front of Hal. Travers actually laughs.

                                        TRAVERS
                      "End of the line"? That's classic.
                            (beat)
                      You've got style. So, I'm going to
                      give you a three-count to figure out
                      how to turn the safety off.

        Brett doesn't even look down -- he responds by FIRING a short
        burst over Travers' head.

                                        BRETT
                      Nice try. I've got one of these at
                      home. Now drop 'em.

        All drop their guns -- Brett, unfortunately, realizes at the
        same time we do --

                                        BRETT
                      Hey -- where's the other guy --

                                        HAL
                            (shouting)
                      Brett, behind you!

        Too late -- Brett can only twist around half way before --

        QUALEN

        easily mows down Brett with his machine gun, riddling him with
        at least thirty rounds at close range. Brett falls dead into
        the snow. Qualen walks up to Brett's corpse, blood steaming in
        the reddening snow, and kicks it over.

        BELOW ON THE WALLSIDE

        Gabe, reacting to the sound of the machine gun fire, climbs
        up, but there's nothing he can do --

        TRAVERS AND QUALEN

        and the others pick up their guns.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (turning to face Hal)
                      Time to --

        Travers sees that Hal is gone -- he's escaped in the
        confusion.

        IN THE WOODS - HAL

        runs like his ass is on fire and practically collides with
        Evan, who is more panicked than ever.

                                        EVAN
                      What are we going to do --

                                        HAL
                      You came up here to jump the spur --
                            (pulls Evan's chute out
                             of his pack)
                      This'd be a great time to do it.

                                        EVAN
                            (panicked)
                      But --

                                        HAL
                            (quick)
                      Listen -- they don't know you're up
                      here -- I'll draw their fire, you've
                      got to make the jump and get help.

                                        EVAN
                      I don't -- I -- uh --

                                        HAL
                            (exasperated, grabs
                             chute)
                      Unless you want to do it the other way
                      around?

        Evan snatches the parachute and runs off. Hal, wasting no
        time, runs in the opposite direction, deliberately making as
        much noise as he can, slapping branches, stomping on rocks.

        EXT. WOODS - THE BANG

        runs into the woods -- Qualen and Kristel, hearing Hal's noisy
        retreat, run after him.  But Travers stops for a second -- he
        has spotted

        EVAN'S FOOTPRINTS

        in the snow -- not unlike a neon arrow.

        TRAVERS

        runs in the direction of the footprints and quickly closes the
        gap between him and

        EVAN

        who tries to pull on the chute and run at the same time --
        it's not easy. Evan closes one of the three buckles -- but

        TRAVERS

        bursts out of the woods and runs up right behind him --

        QUALEN AND KRISTEL

        in the meantime, get behind Hal in a clearing -- Kristel FIRES
        over his head.

                                        KRISTEL
                      Stop!

        Hal, caught again, freezes in his tracks.

        EVAN

        is still up and running -- he dodges Travers' fire, weaving
        through trees, getting the second buckle closed -- he sees the
        edge, just ahead, and puts on an extra burst of speed --

        TRAVERS

        does likewise, still firing -- his clip runs out, but this
        only buys Evan an extra few seconds --

        THE SPUR

        is a rock formation that just out like a diving board -- Evan
        runs like hell to the edge of it --

        TRAVERS

        is right behind him, and has slapped a fresh clip in place,
        but before he can shoot --

        EVAN

        dives off the edge and clasps the third buckle --

        ON THE LEDGE - GABE

        is directly below a few hundred feet -- looking up, he thinks
        Evan has made it -- but

        ON THE SPUR EDGE - TRAVERS

        throws himself down, aims quickly but carefully, and FIRES
        twenty rounds towards Evan's falling figure --

        EVAN - FALLING

        Evan LAUGHS -- he hasn't been hit --

        GABE - WATCHING

                                        GABE
                      Come on -- wait till you're out of
                      range -- don't pull it yet --

        LONG SHOT - EVAN FALLING

        Several seconds pass -- Evan is now several hundred feet down
        and apparently out of firing range --

        TRAVERS

        stops firing -- but doesn't seem unhappy at all.

        EVAN

        LAUGHS more and pulls the D-ring -- the parachute billows
        open, inflating --

        CLOSE ON THE PARACHUTE

        which has been shredded by bullets that hit the pack -- as
        quickly as it inflates, it deflates through dozens of
        holes -- whatever resistance is left vanishes as the canopy
        collapses.

        EVAN'S

        exhilaration turns to panic as he frantically pulls on the
        chute's guide lines -- but the more he does this, the faster
        the chute caves in -- he SCREAMS as the chute finally gives
        way and plummets right past

        GABE ON THE LEDGE

        who is powerless to do anything but watch --

        EVAN

        falls the long, full five thousand feet, desperately,
        uselessly, pulling in the lines of the tattered chute until
        he's tangled in it like a shroud --

        GABE

        turns away -- he can't watch Evan hit bottom -- he grimaces
        and looks up with absolute hate at

        TRAVERS

        who doesn't see Gabe -- he's laughing at Evan's desperation,
        which ends as his death scream is cut off.

        Hal is led over to the spur, with the other gang members
        behind him. Hal looks as angry as Gabe.

                                        QUALEN
                      Was that Walker?

                                        TRAVERS
                      No such luck.
                            (to Hal, smiling)
                      Cheer up. Everyone should die in a
                      spot this beautiful.

        ON THE LEDGE BELOW - CLOSE ON GABE

        who has heard this and is shaking with fury.

                                        GABE
                            (quietly)
                      Don't worry. You will.

        LONG SHOT OF MOUNTAIN

        On top, Hal reluctantly leads the gang away -- below, we can
        see Gabe start out on a parallel path along the ledges.

        EXT. RANGER STATION - HELIPAD - DAY

        Winds or not, Maggie is untying the helicopter's rotor from
        the bolts on the helipad. Frank, who has obviously just
        awakened, rushes out of the station.

                                        FRANK
                      Maggie -- what are you doing --

                                        MAGGIE
                      I'm going to go nuts if I sit here one
                      more hour.

                                        FRANK
                      Still a little breezy out, Mag --

        Maggie gets into the helicopter and starts the rotor.

                                        MAGGIE
                            (over engine's whine)
                      You coming?

        Frank hesitates, but climbs in the other side. The helicopter
        lifts off and heads toward the mountain range.

        EXT. MOUNTAIN - AERIAL SHOT - DAY

        The next obstacle Hal is leading the gang through is a
        buttress -- a large, stark boulder formation -- that lays
        between the mountain they've just come from, and the nearest
        mountain to it: the Tower. This is lower down from the
        summit -- it's solid and treeless.

        Hal and the rest of the expedition is totally exposed as they
        climb in single file up to the top. Terrain is flat enough
        that the climb amount 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. Travers notices this.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Forget about it. He's smart, but he's
                      not invisible.

        Hal looks back. Travers 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, in hiding,
        watches Hal and the others go up. No, he can't follow them up
        the bluff's side without being seen. But Gabe moves closer to
        the bluff's base -- Gabe shoves through some trees to the
        beginning of

        THE "CHIMNEY"

        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 CHIMNEY

        Starting with an outside view, we can see that the crevice
        runs all the way up, and through, the bluff -- but it's a
        zig-zag, not a straight line.

        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.
        There's no telling what the interior is like.

        Gabe turns the binoculars to the inside of the crack. It's
        hard to see much -- it's very, very dark. But it looks as if
        the crack goes all the way through the bluff, as well as all
        the way up it. On this route, Gabe can tunnel through the
        mountain instead of going up the side.

        GABE

        puts away the binoculars and wedges himself into the crack,
        starting the long process of going up -- and through -- the
        mountain formation.

        EXT. COLORADO WILDERNESS - PLANE CRASH SITE - DAY

        A frenzy of activity, as several dozen Treasury agents sift
        through the snow for the wreckage of the CT-39, some taking
        photos, some taking videotapes, some putting the pieces into
        bags for analysis. Many bags. Many small bags.

        WIDER ON CRASH SITE

        The Treasury plane has been completely pulverized by the crash
        and its subsequent explosion -- there are few pieces here that
        aren't charred, and fewer still that are any larger than a
        paperback book.

        WRIGHT

        unhappily walks through the carnage and past agents gathering
        up the plane, to a harried crash specialist from the FAA --
        ROSS STUART (40s) -- who is organizing the debris.

                                        WRIGHT
                      What can you confirm?

                                        STUART
                      Well, sir -- it crashed. That, I can
                      confirm.
                            (condescending)
                      We've been here just about one hour.
                      These events take months to analyze.
                      So if you'll excuse me --

        He walks away -- but Wright, pissed, spins him around.

                                        WRIGHT
                      No, I don't think I will. The reason
                      the FAA pays you is to exercise your
                      vast, amazing knowledge of these
                      "events". So I expect you to come up
                      with some stunning insights, something
                      a slow-witted fuck like me hasn't
                      already observed.
                            (gesturing to wreckage)
                      One: it didn't blow up in mid-air,
                      because the debris isn't widely
                      dispersed. But was there a bomb on
                      board that could have disabled it? I
                      wonder.
                            (pointing back)
                      Two: There wasn't an attempted
                      landing. Otherwise, there'd be debris
                      to the east of the wreckage, where the
                      plane was coming from. Did it come
                      straight down? That's got me
                      scratching my head too.
                            (gesturing back to
                             wreckage)
                      And three: the flight recorder's
                      tracer led us here in the first place.
                      So where is the goddamn thing? That
                      one's got me all aflush with
                      curiosity.

                                        STUART
                            (a little cowed)
                      You'll be the first to know.

                                        WRIGHT
                      Oh, I believe you.

        Wright storms off as agents delicately handle debris.

        EXT. TOP OF THE BLUFF/VISTA - DAY

        A vista. From this point, you can see everything else in the
        mountain range. The only thing left that's taller is the
        Tower, a hundred yards away. Between the two mountains lies a
        drop of a mere four thousand feet.

        Hal has led the rest of the gang up to the edge. Travers
        approaches him, furious.

                                        TRAVERS
                      I thought you said there was an easy
                      way across.

                                        HAL
                      There is. You might not like it much.

        Hal points

        FURTHER DOWN

        A steep two hundred yard downhill climb leads to a wire that
        bridges the two mountains. The same wire we saw at the
        beginning -- left behind from Susan Collins' botched rescue.

        TOP OF BLUFF - HAL AND TRAVERS

                                        HAL
                      Of course -- we'll have to do it hand
                      over hand. Seems I forgot my harness.
                      Sorry.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Don't be. Lead on.

        Hal is surprised to see Kynette pull a harness out of his pack
        -- the one Travers used earlier. Disappointed, Hal leads the
        downward climb, looking several hundred yards to

        THE CRACK

        running up, and through, the bluff, coming out on this side.

        HAL'S FACE

        registers a thought -- will he? -- then dismissal. Nah. He
        couldn't.

        INT. THE CRACK/CHIMNEY - CLOSE ON GABE'S FACE

        Gabe is sweating, straining in the dark, climbing up -- this'd
        be a good spot to pull back and take in the view, except --

        THE CHIMNEY

        -- there's nowhere to pull back to. There's about two inches
        of clearance between Gabe's chest and the rock, and about the
        same between his back and the rock. To the right, there is no
        light. At all. To the left, there's no light. Even above,
        there is no light, because the crack isn't straight -- nature
        isn't that obliging -- it zig-zags up. Gabe is well within the
        mountain rock. Nothing could be closer to being buried alive
        Gabe snakes through a spot where the crack goes straight up --
        he takes out his penlight and turns it on --

        GABE'S POV - INSIDE THE CRACK AROUND HIM

        even this dim light reveals scores of bats hanging on the
        wall, surrounding him, up and down, left and right --

        GABE'S FACE

        is stuck somewhere between nausea and the realization that
        he's made a big mistake.

                                        GABE
                      I didn't need to see that. I really
                      didn't.

        Gabe cuts the light and slithers up through the dark.

        EXT. RESCUE HELICOPTER - DAY

        Maggie and Frank are flying low and fast, over treetops and
        snow -- both are intently staring down --

        THEIR VIEW

        is nothing but empty wilderness. But a BUZZER goes off --

        MAGGIE AND FRANK

        turn their attention to the helicopter's heat scope, which
        shows something alive beneath them.

                                        FRANK
                      Got 'em -- they're under the trees --

        Maggie smiles and slows the copter over a clearing --

        EXT. WOODS/THE COPTER

        touches down. Maggie is out of it before the rotor has stopped
        turning, running into the trees.

                                        MAGGIE
                      Hal! Gabe!

        Maggie runs into the trees, headlong into

        A PACK OF WOLVES

        that are preying on -- a body. A pair of legs are gruesomely
        sticking out from the feast. One wolf turns to SNARL at Maggie
        -- but Frank runs up and pulls a gun from a holster.

        Frank aims high and FIRES twice to scare the pack -- the
        wolves run off. Maggie goes to the body -- Frank holds her
        back, but she goes ahead anyway, worried it might be Gabe --

        TIGHT ON MAGGIE

        as she examines the body --

                                        MAGGIE
                      It's Evan.
                            (she stands, looks up)
                      Parachute failed.

                                        FRANK
                            (not unkindly)
                      Damn fool. Why would anybody try that
                      in the middle of a storm.

                                        MAGGIE
                      Why would anybody try at all.
                            (sighs)
                      Get the bag.

        INT. BLUFF CRACK/CHIMNEY

        Gabe has a quick climbing rhythm now. He pulls himself up with
        his hands, then braces his body with his back, and pulls
        himself up again -- he's not looking up, because he can't see
        anything yet anyway -- naturally, this leads to --

        A head and rock collision. Gabe's head crashes against a new
        part of the crack, as the passage thins out. He gropes up.
        The passage is narrowing to the point that he can't get
        through it. Dead end.

                                        GABE
                      Should've taken that left turn at
                      Albequerque.

        Gabe backs down, and starts to slide across the side. With
        his back wedged against the rear wall, he uses his feet to
        push against the forward wall.

        GABE'S POV - BLACK

        Zero visibility -- Gabe can't see what he's shoving toward.
        There has never been light of any kind in here.

        GABE

        blindly pushes to the side, rattled by the difficulty of doing
        this in the dark.

                                        GABE
                      It's just like any other side move --
                      you can't see where the fuck you're
                      going, that's all --

        Gabe stops and fishes out his penlight. Turning it on, it's
        clear those batteries haven't gotten any more potent in the
        last few hours. Gabe shines it to the side.

        GABE'S POV - THE LIGHT

        is fading fast. A match's last gasp is brighter.

        GABE

        exasperated, puts the penlight in his mouth and moves on.

                                        GABE
                            (garbled)
                      Much better.

        Gabe inches on to the side. Looks up to see if the crack has
        gotten wider. It hasn't. Gabe mumbles something phonetically
        near "motherfucker" around the flashlight, aiming it up --

        GABE'S POV - UP

        No opening larger than a mail slot --

        GABE

        still cursing, still looking up, still moving to the side --
        he gets the opening he wants, but not where he wants it --

        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 --

        Gabe bounces down the walls for several yards and catches
        himself by bracing his arms and legs against the crack. It's
        now five feet wide as he painfully brakes himself --

        GABE'S POV - THE PENLIGHT

        falls out of Gabe's mouth and tumbles down, ping-ponging from
        one side of the crack to the other as it tumbles a long, long
        way down -- even after the light is gone, we can still hear
        the penlight's receding clattering against the walls --

        GABE

        is now, literally, in a jam. There are no handholds, no
        ledges, and the walls are slick. All he can do is remain
        braced against the crack's walls until his already sore arms
        and legs give out.

        EXT. RESCUE HELICOPTER - NEAR BLUFF'S BASE - DAY

        Frank is now flying the helicopter -- a body bag is stashed in
        the back, and Maggie is in the passenger seat.

                                        MAGGIE
                            (motioning down)
                      Bring it down here.

                                        FRANK
                      Maggie --

                                        MAGGIE
                      Just do it, Frank.

        EXT. BLUFF BASE

        The copter touches down -- Frank doesn't turn it off. Maggie
        jumps out with a walkie talkie. Frank makes another try.

                                        FRANK
                      Maggie, this is dumb --

                                        MAGGIE
                      No it isn't. I'm going to find
                      Brett -- I don't want to have to talk
                      to his widow too. Fly Evan's body
                      back to base -- I'll call you when
                      I've found Brett. Or Hal. Or Gabe.
                      Or anybody.

        Maggie runs off into the snow as Frank lifts off. Maggie moves
        quickly through the snow, and it isn't long before she spots
        multiple tracks in the snow -- they lead toward, and up, the
        buttress. Now she's really confused. But with nothing left to
        do, she starts climbing up the side.

        EXT. WIRE CROSSING - HAL'S POV

        As we've caught Hal in mid-crossing, he's looking from whence
        he came -- the opposite side of the buttress, where Travers
        has a gun trained on him --

        HAL

        unhappily hangs high above the ground from the harness kindly
        provided by Travers --

        HAL'S POV - ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIRE

        Kristel is waiting, also with a gun trained on him. Hal
        arrives and disengages -- the harness is pulled back.

        BUTTRESS SIDE OF WIRE

        Kynette pulls the harness back and hands it to Qualen, who's
        standing next to Travers.

                                        KYNETTE
                            (motioning up)
                      I'm going back.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Look -- this part is nothing,
                      believe me --

                                        KYNETTE
                      Walker should be coming up by now.

        Kynette, automatic strapped to his chest, rushes back to the
        buttress' summit.

        INT. BUTTRESS CRACK/CHIMNEY

        Gabe is just as we left him. Face down, arms and legs pressing
        against the five-foot gap of the tunnel walls.

        Carefully, Gabe 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 wider above
        him. More important, it slants at an easy enough angle to
        allow him to walk up. If only he can get up there.

        GABE

        snaps the lighter shut, pockets it, and readies himself.

        Gabe steadily "walks" up the vertical passage by bracing
        himself with one leg and one arm -- then moving the other
        leg and arm up.

        Gabe repeats this until he has his hands on the curved edge
        where the crack snakes into a sideways passage. But there are
        no handholds that will allow Gabe to get a grip and simply
        swing over and climb up.

                                        GABE
                            (winded)
                      So much for the easy part.

        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, and he springs from that all into

        THE DIAGONAL PASSAGE

        Gabe lands hard but flat on the passage and immediately starts
        backsliding into the drop, but he digs in with his boots and
        his hands. Safe at last. Gabe carefully stands in a crouch --
        and starts heading up.

        EXT. BUTTRESS TOP

        Kynette moves to the edge, lies flat, and looks down --

        KYNETTE'S POV - ON THE BUTTRESS SIDE

        Maggie is climbing up, but she's still some way down -- and
        the hood of her parka has been pulled over her head. All
        Kynette can see is what she's wearing: an orange parka.

        KYNETTE

        smiles and hits his headset radio.

                                        KYNETTE
                      He's on the way up. I could hear that
                      jacket before I could see it.

                                        TRAVERS (O.S.)
                            (over radio)
                      Then get the money, kill him and get
                      back here. Now.

                                        KYNETTE
                            (into radio)
                      I'll wait till he comes to me.

        Kynette flattens out to wait -- Maggie is coming up fast.

        INT. MOUNTAIN CRACK/CHIMNEY

        Gabe moves up through the diagonal section -- the crack is
        starting to go directly upward. Gabe looks up --

        GABE'S POV - TOP OF THE CRACK

        It's coated with snow, but not too much -- Gabe can faintly
        make out light shining through up there.

        GABE

        knows the top is twenty feet away. Gabe starts up the easy
        segment, his back braced against one wall.

        EXT. TOP OF BUTTRESS - KYNETTE

        is staring down intently at the climber below --

        KYNETTE'S POV - MAGGIE

        is now almost to the top -- sweating with exertion, she throws
        her hood back.

        KYNETTE

        keys his headset radio again.

                                        KYNETTE
                            (into radio)
                      Bulletin. The climber isn't Walker --
                      it's a woman.

        INT. MOUNTAIN CRACK/CHIMNEY

        Gabe, wedged near the top of the crack, is ready to dig
        through the snow -- but he hears the sound, muffled and
        distant, of Kynette talking. Gabe strains to hear -- a bad
        time to come up? Might be.

        EXT. BUTTRESS SIDE

        Maggie, tired, gets near the top and collapses, resting for a
        moment, her arms on the edge -- Maggie looks up and is very
        surprised to see Kynette, standing over her, smiling, his gun
        aimed down at her.

                                        KYNETTE
                      Rotten weather for a climb, huh?
                            (aims barrel)
                      I have two questions I'd like to
                      trouble you with. Ready?

        Maggie stares up, frozen -- whatever she was expecting, it
        wasn't this.

                                        KYNETTE
                      This first one's easy. Do you know a
                      man named Gabe Walker?

                                        MAGGIE
                      Yes.
                            (breathless, scared)
                      Where is he?

                                        KYNETTE
                      You don't know either? I am sorry.
                      That was question number two.
                            (lowers barrel)
                      Thanks for your time.

        As Kynette tightens his finger around the trigger --

        GABE

        appears -- he completes his run toward Kynette's back and
        kicks him over the edge --

        KYNETTE

        goes flying over Maggie, his shots going wild -- but he
        catches himself on the rock and comes to a painful but safe
        halt after skidding down ten feet --

        GABE

        yanks Maggie to her feet and onto the top. Maggie gets a good
        look at Gabe -- his clothes are slashed, he's covered with
        cuts, and coated with slime and dirt from the crack. He looks
        like he's just spent a week in Hell. Gabe doesn't react to her
        reaction -- he just grabs her hand and runs.

        QUALEN

        chooses this moment to show up at the opposite edge -- he
        fires and automatic BURST at Gabe and Maggie.

                                        GABE
                      Come on --

                                        MAGGIE
                      Where? --

                                        GABE
                      Here.

        Gabe jumps on a spot in the snow over the crack, caving it
        in -- Gabe falls two feet into

        THE CRACK - MAGGIE'S POV

        Gabe has grabbed, and is hanging from, a rope anchored to a
        piton on the edge of the rock. He's also glowering up at
        Maggie a little impatiently.

                                        GABE
                      Today, goddamit!

        Gabe rappels down the rope into the darkness.

        MAGGIE

        hesitates -- she's still getting used to the idea of being
        shot at --

        KYNETTE

        woozy but recovered, has climbed up -- he runs toward the
        opening, FIRING his gun --

        MAGGIE

        drops into the relative safety of the crack and rappels
        downward.

        Maggie reaches rope's end thirty feet down, as the vertical
        passage again becomes diagonal. Gabe is there waiting.

        KYNETTE

        reaches the edge of the crack and FIRES down into it --

        GABE AND MAGGIE - FURTHER DOWN

        -- bullets are RICOCHETING all over -- Gabe throws himself
        over Maggie to shield her.

        KYNETTE

        can't see what he's shooting at, so he mercifully stops.
        Seeing the rope, he bends down to climb after them --

        GABE AND MAGGIE - FURTHER DOWN

        Gabe reaches up and tugs gently on the rope twice --

        KYNETTE - REACHING FOR THE ROPE

        -- which is tied in a standard climber's slipknot and comes
        undone with a final tug -- the rope, freed of the piton, falls
        down, but Kynette firmly grabs hold of the end --

        GABE

        feels the rope go taut -- he yanks the rope down hard --

        KYNETTE

        gets more pull than he counted on and takes a head first fall
        into the crack, disappearing with a scream -- Qualen has just
        arrived in time to see this --

        GABE

        looks over as Kynette bounces past him, a few feet away -- the
        rope goes slack in his hand as Kynette falls below.

        UP ABOVE - QUALEN

        in frustration, FIRES a burst straight down into the crack --

        GABE AND MAGGIE - IN THE CRACK/CHIMNEY

        Gabe and Maggie move laterally through the crack -- now about
        thirty feet from where they started, so ricochets are a
        serious but decreasing problem.

        The crack narrows from five to three feet. Gabe edges Maggie
        down into it, and along a ledge moving to the side.

                                        GABE
                      This way.
                            (off Maggie's look)
                      I like the outside of the mountain
                      better too, but --

        Gabe and Maggie move along the ledge --

        QUALEN

        is still at the edge of the crack -- stymied. He's definitely
        not climbing down after them -- he pulls back from the edge.

        IN THE CRACK/CHIMNEY - GABE AND MAGGIE

        find a comparative point of comfort -- a toe-sized ledge.
        Maggie is moving ahead of Gabe.

                                        GABE
                      Stop.

                                        MAGGIE
                      We can't --

                                        GABE
                      I need to stop.

        Exhausted, Gabe braces himself against the wall.

                                        GABE
                            (looks at Maggie)
                      I'm glad to see you -- but Christ, I
                      wish you hadn't come.

        EXT. WIRE CROSSING - TOWER SIDE - DAY

        Qualen whizzes across the wire on the harness, easily making
        it to where Hal, Travers and Kristel are waiting.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Don't tell me --

                                        QUALEN
                            (disengaging)
                      He's still alive.

        Travers takes a couple of heavy swings at the connecting bolt
        with Hal's axe. Qualen grabs his arm before he can take a
        third swing -- and looks at his watch.

                                        QUALEN
                      For another two minutes.

        IN THE CRACK/CHIMNEY - GABE AND MAGGIE

        Gabe catches his breath. All this is taking its toll on him.

                                        MAGGIE
                      It hurts just looking at you.

                                        GABE
                            (still panting)
                      Try it from this side. Do you still
                      have your radio?

                                        MAGGIE
                      It's not going to work in here.

                                        GABE
                      Let's give it a try.
                            (she hands it to him)
                      I'm in bad need of a ride.
                            (keys it)
                      Come in, Rescue Unit --

        EXT. TOWER FACE - DAY

        Hal is leading the expedition upward along a ledge -- the
        radio, in Travers' pack, comes to life.

                                        GABE (O.S.)
                            (over radio)
                      -- Come in, Rescue One --

        Travers stares daggers at Qualen. Qualen looks to his watch.

                                        QUALEN
                      Patience.

        INT. RESCUE STATION

        The radio is reading Gabe loud, if not clear -- the
        interference of solid rock is garbling it. But we can see out
        the window that Frank is now between radios, carefully
        hauling Evan's body from the helicopter to the station on a
        collapsible gurney. No one else is in the station.

                                        GABE (O.S.)
                            (over radio, broken up)
                      -- Come in, Frank --

        INT. BUTTRESS CRACK/CHIMNEY

        Gabe, exasperated, stops for a moment.

                                        GABE
                      Is there anybody else on the radio?

        Maggie shakes her head no.

                                        GABE
                      I take a year off and the department
                      goes to hell.
                            (keys it)
                      -- Come in, Rescue Unit --

        TOP OF BUTTRESS - HIGH ANGLE

        We can see there are three holes punched in the snow along the
        crack's top --

        CLOSER ON ONE OF THE HOLES

        Recognizably the part of the crack Gabe and Maggie dove
        into -- but perched on the edge is a block of plastic
        explosive -- the detonator LED races down -- 0:20 -- 0:19 --

        A SECOND HOLE

        has been punched in the snow at the center point of the
        crevice's top -- another bomb has been planted there --

        A THIRD HOLE

        at the opposite end of the crevice has a third timer tied to
        a third pack of plastics --

        EXT. TOWER FACE

        Qualen is staring at his watch, but pointing the others toward
        the buttress.

                                        GABE (O.S.)
                            (via radio)
                      Come in, Frank -- over --

                                        QUALEN
                      Try to get thirty million in
                      entertainment out of this, because he
                      is definitely in for thirty million
                      worth of pain.

        Gabe's radio calls continue as Qualen extends his arm towards
        the buttress and starts a silent hand countdown, stage manager
        style -- five -- four -- three --

        INSERT - TIMER

        The LED runs down -- 0:02 -- 0:01 --

        THE BUTTRESS TOP

        is shattered by a huge blast as the first bomb detonates --

        INSIDE THE CRACK/CHIMNEY

        The walls are pulverized near the top and cave in, raining
        rocks further down towards --

        GABE AND MAGGIE

        who are hit by a blast of air booming down through the
        confined space -- Gabe drops the radio -- Maggie slips, but
        Gabe grabs her -- both slide down the crack, out of control,
        until it narrows to a three foot width -- and they stop --
        Gabe shoves Maggie against the wall and tries to protect her
        with his body as the rocks start to rain down --

        TOWER FACE

        Hal lunges at Qualen, but is held back by Travers.

                                        HAL
                      You sick fuck --

                                        QUALEN
                      Don't worry. They may still be alive.
                      That was the small one.

        RESCUE STATION

        Frank stops wheeling the gurney and looks up at the far-off
        blast, and the smoke, amazed.

                                        FRANK
                      Jesus -- that's some flare.

        INSIDE THE CRACK

        Rocks tumble down it, filling it in and sealing it off --

        FURTHER DOWN - GABE

        is braced over Maggie, protecting her from the first round of
        falling rocks, but rolling THUNDER in the crack announces that
        more is coming -- Gabe looks up as the noise gets closer --

        ABOVE IN THE CRACK

        The rockslide arrives -- the crack is filled in seconds with
        rocks and dirt, packing it in -- Gabe tries to hold on, but is
        shoved down by the falling rocks -- Maggie, however, is
        buried in the crack as it fills --

        GABE

        is knocked down to a point where the crack narrows -- he stops
        himself by jamming his body against the sides. Suddenly, it's
        quiet. A little dirt whistles through, but that's all.

        The cave-in has stopped, as it's filled in the crack above.

        And Maggie is in the middle of it.  Gabe unsheaths his ice axe
        and starts hacking up to get at Maggie. Dirt and rocks fall in
        his face as he digs --

        BOMB NUMBER TWO - INSERT

        Another LED is counting down from 3:00 -- 2:59 -- 2:58 --

        INSIDE THE CRACK

        Gabe frantically hacks at the ceiling of dirt -- rock and soil
        tumble down, but no sign of Maggie. Gabe uncovers one of
        Maggie's feet. Is it too late? Gabe digs up around her --

        Maggie realizes Gabe is there -- she starts kicking.

        Finally Maggie tumbles out of the cave-in -- gasping and
        coughing, but alive.  Gabe catches her and brushes the dirt
        off her face.

                                        GABE
                      Are you all right?

                                        MAGGIE
                            (terrified, coughing)
                      Why are they doing this?

        RESCUE STATION

        Frank, having lain Evan's body to rest, runs back to the
        helicopter, starts it up and takes off.

        INSIDE THE CRACK/CHIMNEY

        Gabe is leading Maggie horizontally through the crack, fast
        and furious --

                                        MAGGIE
                            (looks up)
                      We might be able to get up that way --
                      there's an opening --

                                        GABE
                      No -- there could be another bomb up
                      there -- even if there isn't, we could
                      get another cave-in. The only sure way
                      out is through the side.

        EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - DAY

        Treasury agents sift debris as Davis runs up to Stuart.

                                        DAVIS
                      I've got something here.

                                        STUART
                      Let's have it.

                                        DAVIS
                      There's an unconfirmed report of a
                      distress call made from a plane that
                      crashed.

                                        STUART
                      That's really, really interesting, but
                      --
                            (gestures around)
                      -- kind of old news, don't you think?

                                        DAVIS
                      This call was supposedly made from a
                      plane that crash landed. After it
                      landed.

                                        STUART
                            (waves it off)
                      Sounds like they got it wrong. Next
                      time you interrupt my work make sure
                      it's something I can use.

        INT. MOUNTAIN CRACK/CHIMNEY

        Gabe and Maggie cautiously move along a single ledge --
        finally, some light can be seen, thirty feet ahead, as they
        round a corner.

                                        GABE
                            (smiling)
                      Come on -- we're almost out.

        The crack narrows, and Gabe straddles it, putting his feet on
        the opposite edge to walk faster. But before he can go on --

        A HAND

        grabs one of Gabe's ankles from below and yanks him down --
        Gabe tumbles painfully, braking himself in front of

        KYNETTE

        bruised and bloody, who has survived the earlier fall and made
        his way out. His look is not a forgiving one.

                                        KYNETTE
                      Miss me?

        Kynette smashes Gabe's face with a devastating, brass-knuckled
        punch --

        GABE

        falls back, desperately grabbing at the walls to stop himself
        from going all the way down -- as he weakly tries to get up --

        KYNETTE

        calmly opens his knife, and re-laces his fingers into its
        brass-knuckle handle.

        TOWER FACE

        The gang and Hal watch the mountain top, with very different
        expectations and hopes -- their vantage point keeps them from
        seeing where the crack actually comes out.

                                        QUALEN
                            (looks to Hal)
                      You might say a few words for your
                      friends -- this is the one that will
                      bury them.

        BOMB NUMBER TWO - INSERT

        Ready to blow -- 0:10 -- 0:09 --

        IN THE CRACK - MAGGIE

        can only look down helplessly at

        GABE AND KYNETTE

        fighting -- Gabe is on his feet, but Kynette, slashing at him
        with his knife, is forcing Gabe to back up -- the crack is
        getting wider, and finding footholds while crab-walking
        backwards in the dark isn't east.

        Gabe's in a rotten fighting position -- as he has to spread
        his feet out wider as he backs up, he's always lower than
        Kynette.

        Gabe throws a punch at Kynette's stomach, but there's no power
        to it. Kynette hits Gabe with a brutal knuckle-duster punch --
        Gabe flies back several feet, somehow managing to straddle the
        crack walls -- which are now four feet apart. Kynette moves in
        for the kill.

        BOMB NUMBER TWO - INSERT

        The LED counts down -- 0:02 -- 0:01 -- 0:00 -- but doesn't
        detonate. A green light starts flashing, but the bomb hasn't
        gone off.

        IN THE CRACK/CHIMNEY

        Kynette moves in over Gabe and swings down with the knife --
        But Gabe grabs his knife hand, and adding his own force to the
        swing, imbeds the knife to the hilt in the rock wall,
        trapping Kynette's hand in the brass-knuckle handle.

        Gabe stabilizes himself on Kynette's trapped arm and gets a
        little payback -- three solid roundhouse punches to Kynette's
        face -- he then climbs up his pinned opponent, stepping up
        on Kynette's stuck hand as if it were a piton.

        TOWER FACE

        Qualen's smirk is wiped off his face. The bomb didn't work?

                                        TRAVERS
                      What happened?

                                        QUALEN
                      I'm not sure -- I set the timer --

        Qualen gestures helplessly, putting the radio in Hal's reach.
        Hal takes advantage of this, throws off Travers, and grabs the
        radio.

                                        HAL
                            (keying radio)
                      Gabe, it's a dud --

        But the second Hal transmits --

        BOMB NUMBER TWO

        detonates over the central part of the crevice, and as
        promised, it's even bigger than the first --

        INSIDE THE CRACK

        The bomb instantly blasts tons of rock down the crevice --

        GABE AND MAGGIE

        The RUMBLE of the approaching rockslide is unmistakable --
        Gabe shoves Maggie forward --

                                        GABE
                      Move!

        Maggie doesn't have to be told twice -- she and Gabe move out
        the narrowed crack quickly, but under the circumstances,
        this "running" looks damn slow --

        KYNETTE

        struggles with the stuck knife as the cave-in knocks him off
        the wall and buries him instantly --

        GABE AND MAGGIE

        cover the last ten feet, shoved forward by an airburst from
        the giant explosion -- they make it to the crack's edge at
        last, but on the

        OUTSIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN

        Gabe and Maggie still have to cling desperately to the sheer
        wall -- the airburst has turned the crack into a wind
        tunnel -- it's as if the mountain were trying to blow them
        out.

        TOWER FACE

        Hal, shocked, stares at the enormity of the explosion. Qualen
        looks serenely satisfied.

                                        QUALEN
                      When I was seventeen, I was a sentry
                      on the East Berlin boundary.
                      There was a problem, then -- too many
                      defectors were managing to sneak
                      through the wilderness to the west. A
                      man would take them through, every
                      night of every week -- a man like your
                      friend.
                            (beat)
                      He had quite a sense of humor. Every
                      time he got someone through, he'd
                      radio us at midnight to let us know
                      how many. "Five tonight." "Eight
                      more have been freed tonight." No one
                      could find the route. It made me look
                      bad.
                            (beat)
                      I looked day and night and finally I
                      found it. A tunnel. I didn't tell me
                      superiors. I put a charge there, with
                      a timer to trigger a radio receiver on
                      the detonator. At midnight. Our friend
                      made his radio report, and I heard him
                      say "seven" before the explosion.
                            (beat)
                      They pulled eight bodies out of the
                      tunnel, and I was promoted to
                      intelligence the next day.

        Hal, stunned, looks at the radio, realizing Qualen tricked
        him into detonating the bomb. Travers, grinning, takes the
        radio from Hal and pats him on the back.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Thanks. We couldn't have killed him
                      without you.

        GABE AND MAGGIE - ON THE WALL

        The force of the airburst, as brief as it is strong, is over.
        Dust slowly swirls out -- Gabe and Maggie raise their heads.
        Gabe looks back -- the crack is now sealed off. Gabe takes a
        piton and hammer from his belt and hands it to Maggie along
        with the rope.

                                        GABE
                      Knock this in the side. Make it firm.

        Maggie does as Gabe takes the binoculars out, and climbs out
        on a slim toehold so he can look up the wall.

        GABE'S POV - UP THE WALL

        Gabe whips the binoculars up to the top edge of the wall. It's
        blurry -- Gabe focuses the binoculars on -- the third
        bomb, visible on the mountain's edge. The LED counts down,
        but it's partly obscured. All Gabe can see is the seconds, not
        the minutes, that remain -- :42 -- :41 --

                                        GABE (O.S.)
                      Bad news. There's another bomb up
                      there. We've got to move quick.

        Gabe scans methodically but rapidly down the rock below. All
        smooth. Until -- Gabe swings the binoculars back. There's a
        lip ninety feet below, leading into the wall. A cave.

                                        GABE (O.S.)
                      Good news. There's a cave down there.

        GABE

        puts away the binoculars and swings back to Maggie -- she lets
        the length of rope drop. It's thirty feet long. Not even
        almost long enough to get to the shelter. Gabe leans against
        the crack wall, drained. Now what?

        HELICOPTER - MOVING OVER MOUNTAINS

        Frank is in the air, heading back out toward the range,
        frantically working the radio.

                                        FRANK
                      Maggie -- come in, Maggie, this is
                      Rescue One --

        TOWER FACE

        Frank's call is heard on the radio. Travers takes it, and
        takes charge.

                                        TRAVERS
                      There's our ride out of here. Everyone
                      out of sight -- except you, Kristel.
                            (hands her radio)
                      Make the distress call. You're so good
                      at it.

        All scramble up towards the clearing.

        INSERT - THE THIRD BOMB

        We can see what Gabe couldn't -- the timer has about two
        minutes left -- 1:59 -- 1:58 --

        GABE AND MAGGIE - AT THE CRACK'S EDGE

        Gabe looks completely defeated. Can't go up. Can't go back in.
        Can't go down.

                                        MAGGIE
                            (frantic)
                      What are we going to do?

                                        GABE
                            (defeated)
                      Die. I'm sorry, Maggie. I'm sorry you
                      got into this.

        Gabe and Maggie fuse together in a tight embrace -- a final
        embrace. But Gabe opens his eyes as the rope, still in
        Maggie's hand, brushes his cheek. The end is frayed.

        Gabe's eyes light up. Inspiration. Gabe breaks off the embrace
        and snatches the rope from her -- he pulls at the end and
        furiously starts unravelling it.

                                        MAGGIE
                      What are you doing?

        EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - DAY

        Davis has just filled in Wright on the "unconfirmed" distress
        call. Wright looks furious.

                                        WRIGHT
                      He didn't think a distress call from a
                      crashed plane was "important"?
                            (Davis nods)
                      Get me a fucking radio! Now!

        EXT. HELICOPTER

        flying over the mountains.

        INT. HELICOPTER

        Frank is practically there, heading toward the buttress and
        the facing Tower.

                                        FRANK
                            (over radio)
                      Come in, Maggie, over --

                                        KRISTEL (O.S.)
                            (over radio -- "weak")
                      Alpha Charlie Niner -- please --
                      help --

        Frank recognizes the pilot's voice from the "distress call".

                                        FRANK
                            (over radio)
                      I copy, Charlie Niner -- what's your
                      position -- over --

        An aerial flare fires up, leaving a clear marker.

                                        FRANK
                            (over radio)
                      Sit tight, Charlie Niner -- I'm right
                      on top of you.

        GABE AND MAGGIE - AT THE CRACK'S EDGE

        Gabe is still unravelling the rope fiber -- it's three
        different segments wound together. The helicopter flies
        overhead -- and past.

                                        MAGGIE
                            (shouting, waving)
                      Frank! Down here! Frank!
                                        
                                        GABE
                      Forget about it. He can't hear you.
                            (hands Maggie some rope)
                      Tie these together. Tight.

                                        MAGGIE
                            (realizing)
                      -- Are you out of your mind --

                                        GABE
                      This is rope from the Gordon exhibit.
                      The way guys climbed then, they'd tie
                      on three at a time -- this rope'll
                      take around nine hundred pounds.

                                        MAGGIE
                      Gabe -- this rope is sixty years old
                      --

                                        GABE
                            (misses the point)
                      Yeah, they made it pretty good then.
                      Each of these strands ought to hold
                      about 300 pounds before snapping.

        Gabe rapidly ties the rope to the piton -- Maggie works on the
        third connecting knot as she does the mental calculation of
        what she and Gabe weigh together.

                                        MAGGIE
                            (dazed)
                      Ought to. About.
                            (beat)
                      Will it hold?

        Gabe takes the line from her and lets it drop. Ninety feet of
        what looks like twine.

                                        GABE
                      Depends on how big a breakfast you
                      had. You want to go first?

        Maggie's stunned -- but there's no choice. She starts the
        rappel down, and Gabe is close behind.

        INSERT - THE THIRD BOMB

        is ready to blow -- 0:12 -- 0:11 --

        MAGGIE AND GABE - RAPPELLING DOWN

        To make this even trickier, they have to swing over to the
        side about fifteen feet to get to the cave -- meaning they
        have to move down in pendulum type swings that put even more
        pressure on

        THE ROPE

        which looks sorely tested at one knot -- it's coming undone --

        MAGGIE AND GABE - RAPPELLING

        They swing down lower -- twenty feet to the cave, four
        thousand to the ground --

        INSERT - THE BOMB

        -- 0:04 -- 0:03 --

        MAGGIE AND GABE - RAPPELLING

        They reach the end of the rope -- six feet above the cave
        and fifteen feet away laterally.

                                        GABE
                            (shouting)
                      Swing towards it -- and drop!

        Maggie nods -- they start the swing over -- as they get over
        the cave's lip --

        THE ROPE

        snaps --

        MAGGIE AND GABE

        fall, landing roughly on the cave's narrow lip -- Gabe
        starts to slip over, but Maggie pulls him back as --

        ABOVE ON THE WALL

        The bomb detonates and starts raining debris -- an instant,
        massive rockslide --

        MAGGIE AND GABE

        dive into the small cave as the rockslide tumbles past --
        exhausted, they collapse on the cave floor.

        THE HELICOPTER - OVER THE TOWER

        Frank, obviously, is surprised by the nearby explosion.

                                        FRANK
                      What the fuck --

        But he sees Kristel in a clearing. Face down in the snow.
        First things first.

        EXT. TOWER/CLEARING

        Frank lands near her, and rushes over to her. Frank turns her
        over and breaks a capsule under her nose. She "wakes up" with
        a start and looks "terrified".

                                        KRISTEL
                      What -- who are --

                                        FRANK
                      Don't worry. I'm here to help.

                                        KRISTEL
                            (recovered)
                      Glad to hear it.

        Kristel sees the snap is off Frank's holster -- she grabs it,
        spins it around, and pulls the trigger. CLICK. Frank grabs
        her wrist with a move faster than you'd expect from him, and
        he yanks the pistol back.

                                        FRANK
                      Jailhouse load. First chamber's
                      empty --
                            (aims gun)
                      -- the rest aren't. Forgive me, but
                      things have been a little strange this
                      morning.

        Nearby, the helicopter radio crackles to life. Frank backs
        toward the helicopter, keeping the gun trained on Kristel.

        But Frank only gets to the helicopter door before --

        DELMER

        comes out of hiding and empties a clip from his automatic into
        Frank. Frank is pinned to the door by the fusillade before he
        can even get a shot off. Travers runs over to Delmer and
        shoves the barrel up.

                                        TRAVER
                      Stop!
                            (explaining)
                      You'll damage the helicopter.

        As if to punctuate this, Frank -- and the now ruined pilot
        side door -- fall to the ground. The radio continues to squawk
        as Travers grabs Frank's discarded gun.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (to Kristel)
                      Answer that.

        Kristel brushes the snow off her and goes over to the radio.

                                        STUART (O.S.)
                            (over radio)
                      Calling Rocky Mountain Rescue -- come
                      in, Rocky Mountain Rescue -- over --

                                        KRISTEL
                            (keying radio)
                      Rocky Mountain Rescue One, over --

        EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - DAY

        Wright, davis, and an irritated Stuart huddle over a radio.

                                        STUART
                      This is Ross Stuart, Federal Aviation
                      Administration -- please identify --
                      over --

        EXT. HELICOPTER - DAY

        By now, the others have come out of hiding and up to the
        helicopter. Kristel grabs some papers from a plastic packet on
        the helicopter seat -- and keys the mike.

                                        KRISTEL
                      Copy, FAA. This is Margaret Deighan,
                      Rocky Mountain Rescue. Over --

                                        STUART (O.S.)
                      We have an unconfirmed report of an
                      air crash in your area, and a distress
                      call on this frequency -- can you
                      confirm -- over --

                                        KRISTEL
                            (keying mike)
                      Copy, FAA. Distress call came at
                      approximately eleven hundred hours
                      yesterday. I investigated -- the call
                      turned out to be a false alarm. Over.

        EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - DAY

        Stuart gestures with exasperated triumph.

                                        STUART
                      Please repeat, Rocky Mountain
                      Rescue -- distress call was a false
                      alarm? -- over --

                                        KRISTEL (O.S.)
                            (over radio)
                      Repeat, distress call was a definite
                      false alarm -- we've had several here.
                      Somebody's sick idea of a joke. Do you
                      require further assistance -- over --

                                        STUART
                      Not from you. Thanks, Rocky Mountain
                      Rescue -- over and out --

        Stuart shuts off the radio with finality.

                                        STUART
                      I don't want to say I told you so. But
                      I did. Can I go back to work now?

        EXT. HELICOPTER/TOWER CLEARING - DAY

        Kristel smiles and puts the radio mike back into its bracket.

                                        TRAVERS
                      I almost believed you myself.

        Travers smiles and turns, looking at

        HAL

        trembling with fury and grief, bent over Frank's body as the
        last trace of vapor -- his breath -- trails from his lips.
        He's gone. Hal gently closes the eyes of his friend.

                                        HAL
                            (quiet)
                      Goodbye, Frank.

        Travers moves up behind Hal and kicks him.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Time for number three. Unless you want
                      to have a longer conversation with him
                      elsewhere.

                                        HAL
                            (low)
                      Fuck off.

        Travers kicks him in the face, knocking him into the snow.

                                        HAL
                      I think I'll wait here. You just
                      murdered three of my friends. Sooner
                      or later, whoever's chasing you is
                      going to show up and return the favor,
                      and I'd love to watch.

        Travers puts his gun at Hal's forehead and shrugs.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Suit yourself. You see, we just had a
                      little interface with several branches
                      of the federal government -- one of
                      whose members I know has zero
                      imagination -- and I can tell you, the
                      cavalry just isn't going to make it by
                      this week.
                            (beat)
                      No, you're taking us where we want to
                      go. Because you want to return that
                      favor and you want to do more than
                      watch. You want to kill me -- more
                      than anything, even more than you want
                      to keep on breathing, and with a
                      little more time you pray you'll get
                      that chance.
                            (tightens trigger)
                      Am I right?

        Hal's answer is a stony, loathing stare. He gets up. But --

        INSERT - HAL'S HAND

        -- we can see Hal has palmed something from Frank's body.

        INT. CAVE - GABE AND MAGGIE

        Dust from the rockslide is drifting past the cave opening, but
        the worst is over. Gabe rolls Maggie over carefully.

                                        GABE
                      Are you okay?

                                        MAGGIE
                      My ears are ringing -- but I'm all
                      right. Gabe, what's going on?

                                        GABE
                            (shows money in his pack)
                      This. That plane crash -- it's a half
                      dozen guys who were smart enough to
                      steal fifty million bucks, but dumb
                      enough to drop it all over the range.
                      They've got Hal as a bird dog -- and
                      right now they're heading for the rest
                      of it.

                                        MAGGIE
                      Where?

                                        GABE
                      It's close to the lake -- Hal's
                      probably leading them on the slowest
                      possible route down to it.
                           (stiffly gets up)
                      I can get there first -- all I have to
                      do is make it along the north wall to
                      the Bitker ladder --

                                        MAGGIE
                      "All?" Jesus, Gabe -- what do you
                      expect to do then?

                                        GABE
                            (aching)
                      Something -- subtle.

        Gabe lurches towards the cave opening, looking more like
        Quasimodo than a champion climber. Maggie stops him.

                                        MAGGIE
                      I'm going with you.

                                        GABE
                      No way. You're climbing back down --
                      try to get to the station or find some
                      help.

                                        MAGGIE
                      I'm just as good a climber as you
                      are -- and right now, I'm definitely
                      in better shape.

                                        GABE
                            (hard)
                      And you're definitely not going --

        Maggie stares Gabe down. Guess who won all the arguments when
        they were together. Gabe's face is a portrait of familiar
        exasperation.

                                        GABE
                      Okay. Come on --

        As they move out of the cave together, Gabe favors one foot.

                                        GABE
                      -- but the second you slow me down,
                      I'm leaving --
                            (slips on sore leg,
                             Maggie catches him)
                      -- I'm leaving you behind. Understood?

                                        MAGGIE
                            (helping Gabe out)
                      Anything you say, Gabe.

        EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - ON CHUNK OF WRECKAGE

        If you have a good imagination, this corner of charcoal looks
        like it could have been --

                                        WRIGHT (O.S.)
                      One of the currency cases.

        WRIGHT AND DAVIS

        are standing over some of the wreckage. One of the suits bags
        and tags the "briefcase".

                                        DAVIS
                      We've tested the ash inside -- it's
                      the right paper.

                                        WRIGHT
                      What about the men?

                                        DAVIS
                      It's -- hard to tell. But forensics
                      says yes. All of them were in the
                      plane.

                                        WRIGHT
                            (sags with the news)
                      Everything's accounted for, then --
                      time to head back and start making
                      excuses.
                            (beat)
                      Fifty million bucks up in smoke, and I
                      just don't give a shit. It's one more
                      run of the press. But we lost five
                      good men and they aren't so easily
                      replaced.
                            (beat)
                      Especially a guy like Travers.

        EXT. MOUNTAIN TOP/TOWER - HELICOPTER - DAY

        Dedicated agent Travers leans in reasonable comfort against
        the helicopter and keys his headset mike.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Qualen. How far along are you?

                                        QUALEN (O.S.)
                            (over radio)
                      Not as far as we'd be with the
                      helicopter.

        FURTHER DOWN ON MOUNTAIN/TOWER

        Qualen, Kristel and Delmer follow Hal's lead down the side --
        it's not too steep a grade, but it's solid rock and it's
        covered with ice and fresh snow -- all have to brace
        themselves with their hands to keep from slipping down.

                                        TRAVERS (O.S.)
                            (over radio)
                      We have less than half a tank of fuel,
                      Eric -- if we burn it up treasure
                      hunting we'll never get off this rock.
                      Now -- how far away are you?

                                        QUALEN
                            (keys radio)
                      It looks like two miles, but --

        Qualen's foot slides out from under him -- he catches himself.

                                        QUALEN
                      -- it'll take some time.

                                        TRAVERS (O.S.)
                            (over radio)
                      Time we have -- Walker's dead,
                      Wright's an idiot. And our guide --

                                        QUALEN
                            (keys radio)
                      What about him?

                                        TRAVERS (O.S.)
                            (over radio)
                      As soon as he becomes a convenience
                      instead of a necessity -- kill him.

                                        QUALEN
                            (keys radio)
                      Agreed.

        HAL

        can only hear Qualen's end of the conversation -- but his face
        shows he can guess what they're talking about.

                                                           CUT TO:

        GABE'S FACE - CLOSE

        Gabe's rattled too -- but for a brand new reason -- we PULL
        BACK to see Gabe at

        THE WIRE'S EDGE

        where the wire -- that wire -- links the buttress with the
        facing Tower. Whipping in the wind, it looks risky -- but
        that's not the problem.

        Gabe stares at the other edge for a moment. Immobile.
        Remembering Susan's death. Gabe shakes out of it when --

                                        MAGGIE
                      Gabe?
                            (beat)
                      I'll go first.

                                        GABE
                            (shakes his head)
                      If I don't go first, I might not go at
                      all.

        Gabe hooks his ankles over the wire and starts dragging
        himself, hand over hand, across the abyss -- no safety line
        this time. As his weight pulls the line taut, the wind rocks
        him back and forth. Gabe steadily drags himself out --

        GABE ON WIRE - LONG SHOT

        Fatigue stops Gabe in the middle -- a half mile up, strung
        between two gigantic mountains, he looks as insignificant and
        alone as a man possibly can be --

        CLOSER ON GABE

        Panting with exertion, frozen -- he can barely hold his grip
        and has an elbow crooked around the wire for support. Gabe's
        eyes are shut -- he looks near collapse --

        FLASHBACK - GABE'S POV

        Gabe is falling from the wire in slow motion, trailing
        Susan -- she spirals out of reach as his line SNAPS him
        back --

        GABE'S

        grip unconsciously relaxes -- but his eyes jolt open and he
        clamps both hands shut on the wire. Gabe, drawing on some
        inner fury, drags himself with long, sharp yanks --

        MAGGIE

        tensely watches Gabe's crossing --

        OVERVIEW - GABE

        is about ten feet away from the end --

        GABE'S UPSIDE-DOWN POV - THE END OF THE WIRE

        looks a lot further away than that --

        GABE

        pulls faster -- and reaches the other side. Gabe maintains his
        hand grip and swings his feet onto the ledge, leaning back
        against the wall to catch his breath.

                                        GABE
                            (winded, shouting across)
                      Think you can beat my time?

        MAGGIE

        smiles -- this is more like the Gabe she remembers. She gets
        on the wire and starts across in a fast, easy rhythm.

        GABE

        watches her, grinning. Admiration for Maggie is washing away
        bad memories of Susan.

                                        GABE
                            (to himself)
                      Shit -- she is in better shape.

        Maggie pulls across fearlessly -- but --

        INSERT - THE BOLT

        on Gabe's side of the wire is giving where Travers had
        hacked at it -- just a millimeter, but it's pulling loose --

        GABE

        doesn't notice and shouts across at Maggie, now half way.

                                        GABE
                            (enjoying it now)
                      Quit sandbagging it -- I haven't got
                      all day --

        INSERT - THE BOLT

        is coming looser -- Maggie's quicker crossing is thrashing the
        wire and straining the bolt's weakened anchoring --

        GABE - WATCHING MAGGIE

        who is now twenty feet away -- fifteen -- ten -- five --

        INSERT - THE BOLT

        pops out of the wall as if it were shot --

        THE WIRE

        which was tight as a bowstring fires out into the chasm --
        Maggie, stunned and without options, lets go two feet short
        of the ledge --

        GABE

        drops low just as Maggie starts to fall and swings his arm out
        towards hers in one lightning-fast motion --

        THEIR HANDS

        catch --

        GABE

        maintains his grip on Maggie's hand, but her weight nearly
        pulls him off the ledge -- Maggie drags him down, the window
        goes out of his chest when it collides with the ledge's
        bottom, but their grip holds.

        All of this in a split second. Maggie hangs from Gabe's arm,
        locked in terror -- but skill wins out over fear. She finds a
        handhold with her free arm, and climbs up to the ledge with
        Gabe's help. Maggie collapses into Gabe's arms and they fall
        back against the wall, but Gabe's the one who's really holding
        on tight.

                                        GABE
                      That -- tears it.
                            (gasping)
                      You're not coming any further.

                                        MAGGIE
                            (just as breathless)
                      Gabe -- you're going to get yourself
                      killed --

                                        GABE
                            (breath almost back)
                      Maybe. But I'm not getting you
                      killed.
                            (she starts a reply)
                      Look, Maggie. I don't know what'll
                      happen when I catch up with Hal -- but
                      I've got to know one thing for sure --
                      that you're making it off this
                      mountain. Alive.

        Gabe's eyes are pleading. Maggie hesitates. But gives in.

                                        MAGGIE
                      Okay.

        Gabe lightly kisses Maggie -- he doesn't want to turn this
        into a farewell kiss, afraid that that's really what it might
        be. They stand -- and separate. Gabe moves away.

                                        GABE
                      Get on the trail and stay out of
                      sight.
                            (beat)
                      I'll see you on the ground.

        Maggie wonders if she will as Gabe vanishes around a corner.

        EXT. TREASURY PLANE CRASH SITE - CLOSE ON BODY BAG

        as the zipper is pulled down -- before we can see anything we
        mercifully reverse POV to

        WRIGHT, DAVIS AND STUART

        near a helicopter, look down with disgust. Davis turns away.

                                        WRIGHT
                      I give up. What was it?

        A SEARCH PILOT zips the bag back up.

                                        SEARCH PILOT
                      ID says this used to be your pilot.
                            (beat)
                      And we found him seven miles east of
                      the wreck.

        Davis and Wright look at each other, drawing the same
        conclusion.

                                        WRIGHT
                      A hijack.
                            (beat)
                      The plane was hijacked. Son of a
                      bitch --

                                        STUART
                      Oh, give me a break. Your pilot lost
                      it when the flight started going
                      south, and he bailed --

                                        SEARCH PILOT
                      Excuse me -- but there's no parachute
                      there. Check it yourself.

        Before this can go on, a FORENSICS AGENT runs up to Stuart
        carrying a recorder.

                                        FORENSICS AGENT
                      Sir -- we found the flight recorder --
                      it was driven twenty feet deep into a
                      crater. It was demolished, but we
                      salvaged the recording --

                                        STUART
                            (grabbing it away)
                      I've heard a thousand of these, Wright
                      -- whoever was at the stick is going
                      to begin by screeching the Lord's
                      Prayer and wind up screaming "Oh,
                      shit" at ground zero --

        Stuart clicks the recorder on with a flourish, but his smug
        look melts as the voice of FBI agent Matheson explains --

                                        MATHESON (O.S.)
                            (shouting, rushed)
                      -- the money's been stolen -- Travers
                      and the pilot were in on it -- the
                      pilot's dead, but Travers took the
                      cash and made a mid-air transfer to a
                      jet flown by Qualen -- controls won't
                      respond --
                            (screaming)
                      shiiiiii--

        Matheson is cut off by the sound of impact, which is followed
        by silence. Wright gently turns the recorder off.

                                        WRIGHT
                      Guess we're both right, Stuart. Thanks
                      for your expertise.
                            (turns to pilot)
                      Well?
                            (jerking a thumb back)
                      You'll be waiting till Groundhog's Day
                      for him to pull his head out of his
                      ass -- let's get it in the air!

        Wright, Davis and the pilot scramble into a helicopter --
        Stuart pauses, but goes after them.

        EXT. MOUNTAIN WALL/TOWER - HIGH ANGLE - GABE MOVING ON A
        LEDGE

        that's a little narrower than your coffee table. 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.

        Gabe's gotten his second wind -- he keeps jumping from ledge
        to ledge with the ease that comes from skill and familiarity,
        and with renewed purpose. Gabe makes the last jump to a
        section of ledge near the bottom of

        THE "BITKER" LADDER

        which consists of metal rungs woven into loose steel cable
        bolted into the rock, running two hundred feet to the top --
        something left behind by a past expedition, now a tourist's
        toy. And the bottom rung is three feet above Gabe's
        outstretched arms.

                                        GABE
                      Hasn't gotten any lower in the last
                      year.
                            (coiling for jump)
                      Bitker, you cheap bastard. Would
                      another four feet have killed you?

        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 -- fifty yards away from
        the ladder, a waterfall is spewing out of the wall, giving the
        appearance that the mountain has sprung a torrential leak.

        As we track Gabe up the ladder, we can see where the water's
        coming from -- a whirling lake on top of the mountain. Its
        constant motion keeps it from totally freezing, but the lake
        is still coated with a veneer of ice, moving in thick chunks
        through circular currents on the surface.

        ELSEWHERE ON MOUNTAIN SLOPE - HAL AND GANG

        are negotiating the grade, which is slippery, thanks to the
        fresh, thick snow -- 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 -- as he does, he
        uproots a big, 3' x 3' park service sign commemorating the
        "BITKER CLIMB" and takes it with him, moving ahead into a

        WOODED AREA

        where Gabe replants the sign near the top of another slope.
        Gabe heads down towards some rocks -- -- and spots the third
        case, which took a tough landing on one rock -- it's shattered
        into halves, and the bands of $5000s are scattered around in
        the snow.

        Gabe rushes down behind a rock and starts gathering the
        cash -- soaked by the snow, they've frozen into ice bricks. As
        Gabe stuffs them into his pack, he's startled by something
        coming over the rock -- Gabe whirls around to face

        A RABBIT

        that's landed in the snow and looks a lot more frightened than
        Gabe was. Gabe leans back, relieved. For now.

        EXT. FURTHER UP ON SLOPE - HAL AND GANG

        are closer now -- but as they move down, Hal freezes in place
        as he sees the "Bitker" sign some distance ahead. The sign is
        out of place. A signal from Gabe -- he is alive. And here.

        Qualen and the others check the monitor. Hal takes the
        opportunity to back up to a rock formation and swiftly, subtly
        wedge something into a crack behind his back --

        INSERT - THE OBJECT

        is what Hal lifted off Frank's body -- a speed load cylinder
        from a revolver, with six fresh bullets in it.

        QUALEN

        checks the monitor -- the relative position shows they're --

                                        QUALEN
                      Almost there.

        -- but Qualen's grin is wiped away as he looks down at --

        THE MONITOR

        -- the tracer blip is moving -- fast -- away from their
        position!

        QUALEN'S

        face shifts from incredulity to realization to rage.

        All eyes are on the monitor -- Hal, at the rock formation, has
        one hand behind his back.

        INSERT - HAL'S HAND

        shakes a box of matches from his sleeve -- he slides a single
        wooden match halfway out of the pack -- and ignites it with
        his thumbnail --

        HAL

        moves away from the rock, to draw their attention from what
        he's been doing --

                                        HAL
                      Oh, no -- you didn't lose another
                      one, did you?

        Delmer clicks off his safety and aims at Hal -- Qualen runs
        into the woods, guided by the monitor -- Kristel follows.
        Delmer backs Hal up at gunpoint. Hal deliberately moves in a
        semi-circle, putting Delmer's back to the rocks.

                                        DELMER
                      What about him?

                                        QUALEN
                            (over his shoulder)
                      Kill him! Now!

        Delmer grins as he aims at Hal.

                                        DELMER
                      Tell me -- where would you like the
                      first half dozen shots to go?

        INSERT - THE MATCH

        has burned more than halfway down to the rest of the box,
        which is behind the speed load cylinder --

        HAL AND DELMER

                                        HAL
                            (hands up)
                      As long as you're taking requests --
                      how about -- the base of your spine?

        Delmer smiles and starts to squeeze the trigger -- Hal tenses
        up, it's now or never --

        INSERT - THE MATCH

        burns down to the box, igniting all the matches --

        ON DELMER

        as there is the sudden sound of six distinct, consecutive
        gunshots behind him -- the fire's blasted the powder in all
        the bullets. Delmer, startled, spins around and FIRES up,
        FIRES down, FIRES across -- by the time he realizes no one's
        there and he turns back around to find --

        -- Hal is gone, vanished into the woods.

        FOLLOWING QUALEN

        through the woods -- up a slope, around a tree, down another
        slope -- his eyes fixed on the screen and the blip that's
        zig-zagging just ahead of him.

                                        QUALEN
                            (tagging headset radio)
                      Travers. Get down here. Now.

        TRAVERS

        is trying to repair the helicopter door when the call comes.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Have you found the money?

                                        QUALEN (O.S.)
                      No. Walker has.

        Travers, furious, flings the door aside, jumps into the copter
        and starts the rotor.

        QUALEN

        is running alone, following the monitor lead -- until he sees
        a band of $5000s in the snow. Sure he's on the right track,
        Qualen picks it up and picks up his pace too. But we can see
        that behind him and higher up --

        GABE

        who is on a rise behind a rock, watches Qualen's futile
        pursuit from a distance, amused. Amused, until --

                                        KRISTEL
                      You would have lived longer, if you
                      weren't such a smartass.

        Gabe spins his head around -- and his temple smacks into
        Kristel's gun barrel.

                                        KRISTEL
                      You telegraphed this kind of stunt
                      with that joke snowman. Too bad for
                      you we're not all gullible.

        Kristel starts to squeeze the trigger.

                                        GABE
                      Good thing for Qualen you are.

                                        KRISTEL
                            (pauses, wary)
                      What do you mean?

                                        GABE
                      When he comes back, he's going to
                      shoot you and the other guy, grab the
                      money, and take off with Travers.

                                        KRISTEL
                            (squeezing trigger again)
                      No sale. Say "night-night" --

                                        GABE
                            (talking fast)
                      He already blew up one of your pals in
                      that crevice. And I've been in that
                      copter. It goes a hell of a lot
                      farther with two people than with
                      four.
                            (beat)
                      Am I wrong? Give him a buzz.

        Kristel eases back with the gun.

                                        KRISTEL
                      You've got my attention.

                                        GABE
                      You've also got all the money. And I
                      can show you how to get off the
                      mountain with it. Right now.

        ELSEWHERE ON MOUNTAIN - HAL

        tears into a clearing, trying to put some distance between him
        and Delmer -- as soon as he's out in the open, though,

        THE HELICOPTER

        thunders over Hal -- Travers FIRES down at Hal through the
        doorless pilot's side. Bullets kick up tufts of snow at Hal's
        heels as he runs down into a steep, sloping wooded area. The
        tree cover is too thick for Travers to take good aim. Looks
        like temporary refuge -- but

        INSIDE THE HELICOPTER

        Travers finds a new use for the search copter's heat
        scope -- using the blip that betrays Hal's body heat as a
        guide, Travers can still fire down through the trees at

        HAL

        who's still running down the grade -- he hasn't been hit yet,
        but there's an awful lot of bad luck in the air --

        TRAVERS

        banks the helicopter around and up for another pass.

        EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE MOUNTAIN/TOWER WOODS - QUALEN

        is slogging uphill after his own tracer blip -- which is
        turning back around and heading towards him. Qualen aims his
        gun and waits, but at the top of the hill --

        THE RABBIT

        that spooked Gabe earlier sticks its head up for a curious
        sniff. It has the tracer fastened to its neck with a currency
        band. Furious, Qualen FIRES at the rabbit -- it safely speeds
        away as Qualen smashes the useless tracer monitor and turns
        around.

        EXT. TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER - TRAVERS POV

        On the heat scope. The blip that represents Hal -- vanishes.
        Delmer, who has caught up, is at the edge of the tree-lined
        area -- he looks up at Travers.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (keying headset radio)
                      He's hiding twenty yards in -- be
                      careful.

        EXT. WOODS - DELMER

        "replies", beeping twice on the headset's ear button as he
        moves downhill into the woods, closely following Hal's
        tracks -- they lead up to the replanted "BITKER" sign. Just
        big enough to hide behind. Delmer smiles, and advances toward
        the sign --

        -- and looks behind it. Nothing but a mound of snow. Delmer
        looks again to the tracks, which lead toward

        A SMALL ROCK FORMATION

        also big enough to conceal Hal. Delmer moves toward it as --

        BEHIND THE "BITKER" SIGN

        the mound of snow shifts as Hal climbs out, silently shaking
        off the cover -- the snow hid him not only from Delmer, but
        from the heat scope as well --

        TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER

        hovers overhead, watching Delmer's blip on the heat scope --
        but Hal's blip returns, rushing ahead --

                                        TRAVERS
                            (keying headset radio)
                      He's right behind you!

        DELMER

        whirls around at the warning, his gun BLAZING, but Hal is too
        fast -- he swings the sign like a club, knocking Delmer's gun
        away into the snow. Before Hal can swing again, Delmer
        brutally punches Hal in the face -- stunned, Hal drops the
        sign --

        IN HELICOPTER - TRAVERS POV

        Travers can't do anything now but watch the heat scope as if
        it were a video game -- now it's just one big blip --

        DELMER AND HAL

        thrash around in the snow, pummelling each other -- Hal's
        getting the worst of it, as Delmer manages to get on top of
        him and deliver a series of punishing blows to his face. Ready
        to end it, Delmer tries to get the bolt gun off a clip on his
        front pack strap -- but he has trouble unfastening it. Hal
        rallies with a solid punch to Delmer's face. Hal gets Delmer
        off of him and follows with two more.

        Delmer is knocked away, landing on the sign board -- but clear
        from Hal -- another chance to get the bolt gun off --

        Hal quickly moves to the sign and grabs its post -- before
        Delmer can move off the sign's board, Hal's running forward.
        shoving the sign ahead of him with Delmer on top -- Hal lets
        go, and the sign, with Delmer, sleds downhill on the hard
        packed snow --

        TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER - TRAVERS

        can now see one blip moving quickly away from the other --

                                        TRAVERS
                            (into radio)
                      Something's moving fast down the
                      hill -- is it Tucker?

        HAL

        has found Delmer's fallen headset radio and put it on.

                                        TRAVERS (O.S.)
                            (over radio)
                      Answer me! Is it Tucker?

        Hal smiles and beeps twice -- affirmative.

        IN HELICOPTER

        Happy at last, Travers takes off after the blip, flying down
        the incline and staying just above the trees, strafing an
        intense fusillade at

        DELMER

        who's screaming as a storm of bullets rip through him and the
        sign and the surrounding snow, keeping pace with his downhill
        slide --

        TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER

        FIRES until his clip is empty -- he heads for the end of the
        tree line as his target comes out, skidding to a stop in the
        snow. Travers gleefully moves lower down for a closer look
        but is shocked to see

        DELMER - ON "SLED"

        Delmer's highly perforated body rolls off the sign as it
        finally skids to a dead halt.

        CLOSE ON TRAVERS

        who is apoplectic -- he's just shot one of his own men.

                                        HAL (O.S.)
                            (over radio)
                      Thanks loads.
                            (beat)
                      I couldn't have killed him without
                      you.

        Travers looks down at the heat scope -- blank.

        HAL

        is hiding his body "heat" under a rock formation.

        IN HELICOPTER

        Stymied, Travers furiously banks it away from the wooded area
        and circles around the mountain's other side.

        EXT. MOUNTAIN - SLOPING GRADE - GABE AND KRISTEL

        Gabe, hands on his head, moves down a slope near a mountain
        edge, ahead of Kristel, who's aiming her gun at his back.

                                        KRISTEL
                      How much further?

                                        GABE
                            (stops)
                      It's right over there.

        Gabe nods ahead, indicating what looks like a

        A SHED

        that is partially obscured by snow, about twenty feet distant
        across a snowy plateau.

        GABE AND KRISTEL

                                        GABE
                      It's a storage locker for the rangers.
                      Everything you need to get off the
                      mountain is in there -- skiis, food --
                      I'll show you --

        Gabe shows a sudden burst of enthusiasm and starts quickly
        moving ahead again -- Kristel suspiciously notices this --

                                        KRISTEL
                      Don't move.

        Kristel gets ahead of Gabe and walks backward, keeping her gun
        trained on him as she crunches through the snow.

                                        KRISTEL
                      Skiis, food -- and maybe guns too,
                      right?
                            (moves backward)
                      Keep walking. Not too close.

                                        GABE
                      We'd make better time walking straight
                      ahead. Qualen's not going to be
                      hopping down the bunny trail too much
                      longer.

                                        KRISTEL
                            (walking backward)
                      Right. So I'd better have one less
                      problem when he arrives.

                                        GABE
                            (knowing this means him)
                      Don't fuck up. You still need me to
                      show you a route off the mountain.

                                        KRISTEL
                      You've worn that one out, Walker --
                            (snaps back bolt)
                      -- I'll find my own way down.

        Kristel solidly plants her feet firmly to shoot Gabe, but her
        feet sink through the crystallized snow cover -- --
        Kristel completely disappears down through the snow as it
        collapses under her -- she's pulling the trigger and SHOTS
        go wild as she sinks and sinks --

        ON GABE

        who's had to drop flat on his stomach to avoid the same
        fate -- as he scrambles back to solid land, Kristel's SHOTS
        arc up through the snow toward him, and the snow crumbles
        around him -- but he bellies ahead as --

        ON THE SNOWDRIFT'S TOP

        Kristel's GUNSHOTS slow, and finally, stop, the very last of
        them loosening the snow around --

        THE "SHED"

        that was obscured by snow was a tall, three-sided park service
        sign shouting "WARNING -- SNOWDRIFT -- DO NOT CROSS" in eight
        different languages. The rest of the snow falls away from it,
        revealing a cautionary but cheesy illustration -- a
        stick-figure fatally sinking into the snow.

        GABE

        bellies ahead, flat on his stomach, testing the snow with the
        ice axe's staff -- only when he hits something solid with it
        does he get back up to his feet. But the sound of ice-crusted
        snow CRUNCHING above Gabe alerts him that --

        QUALEN

        has just hit the top of the slope and spotted him -- Qualen's
        gun BLAZES down --

        GABE

        is on the run, but it's that lead-footed, slow motion stuff
        that only happens in nightmares -- with every step, a foot
        breaks through the icy crust and sinks into two feet of
        snow -- Gabe stays just ahead of the barrage, making it into

        A THICK WOODED AREA

        which is very temporary refuge -- Qualen will be down in
        seconds. Gabe looks down the slope. Running is impractical. So
        he sits down.

        QUALEN

        arrives where Gabe was and looks down the slope --

        QUALEN'S POV - GABE

        is whizzing down the slope in a sitting position, using his
        back and his shoes as gliders, the ice axe as a rudder.
        Alpinists call this a "sitting glissade". Colorado climbers
        call it "butt skiing". Some psychos do this for fun.

        GABE'S POV - THE SLIDE

        is anything but fun -- Gabe can't control his speed or
        direction well at all -- Gabe barely manages to steer in and
        out of trees and boulders in his path --

        QUALEN

        starts running down the slope -- he doesn't have speed, but he
        does have the machine gun -- he FIRES short bursts at --

        GABE

        who tries to steer away from the line of fire -- Gabe is hit
        in the shoulder -- he slides out of control, and rolls down --

        -- to the slope's bottom. Gabe painfully lifts himself up and
        moves through the woods, coming out of the trees to

        THE LAKE

        The bridge that spans it is ahead of Gabe -- but there is
        nothing around but flat terrain. It's a beautiful sight, but
        no good for hiding. And Qualen is right behind him.

        EXT. MOUNTAIN SLOPE - HAL

        rushes down to Delmer's body -- in the snow, he finds the
        discarded machine gun and holds it up, but stray bullets from
        Travers' fusillade have made it inoperable. Hal tosses it
        aside and checks Delmer's bloody pockets for more weapons.
        Nothing. Just a couple of machine gun clips, and the bolt gun.

        EXT. MOUNTAIN TRAIL - MAGGIE

        is wending her way down a hiking trail on the opposite side of
        the mountain. In plain view,

        TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER

        is circling the mountain -- he spots Maggie from on high and
        moves down after her.

        MAGGIE

        hears the helicopter, and turns around -- she has no way of
        knowing it isn't Frank, so she takes off her jacket and waves
        it as a signal --

                                        MAGGIE
                      Frank! Down here!

        The helicopter moves down until Maggie can see --

        TRAVERS

        is at the controls.

        MAGGIE

        starts running, but it's useless. Nowhere to hide. Travers
        hovers over her, FIRING ahead of her, FIRING behind her, not
        to kill, just to make a point. He's in charge.

        EXT. MOUNTAIN TRAIL

        Maggie finally stops -- Travers lands the copter and opens the
        passenger door, keeping his gun trained on her.

                                        TRAVERS
                      Hop in. I know someone who'd like to
                      see you again before he dies.

        EXT. BOTTOM OF THE SLOPE - QUALEN

        moves down to the slope's edge, noting with pleasure the blood
        in the snow. Gabe is wounded, and he's left a trail as a
        bonus.

        Qualen moves out lakeside -- nothing visible but the thick,
        flat ice chunks circling in the currents. But Gabe's
        footprints and blood lead straight ahead to the bridge.

        Qualen starts to run across the bridge, but stares down --

        QUALEN'S POV - THE BRIDGE'S PLANKS

        The blood -- and slush from Gabe's boots -- end halfway
        across.

        QUALEN

        Smiles and shakes his head. Too obvious. Gabe is hiding
        underneath the bridge, in the three foot deep network of steel
        supports. Qualen slows his pace, staring down through the
        thin, but visible cracks between the planks.

        TIGHT CLOSE-UP - GABE'S FACE

        grimacing, shivering, ashen from his wound and exertion --
        lined shadows on his face confirm he is under the bridge.

                                        QUALEN (O.S.)
                      You've come a long way to die.

        QUALEN

        enjoying himself, slams a fresh clip into his machine gun.

                                        QUALEN
                      If you were smart, you'd have left
                      your friend behind. I would have.
                      There's no shame in staying alive.

        Qualen stops, staring down. Through the gaps, Gabe's parka is
        visible. Right where the blood trail ends.

                                        QUALEN
                            (aims down)
                      But you're not smart. And now you're
                      going to die from an overdose of
                      heroism.

        Qualen BLAZES the gun into the planks --

        UNDER THE BRIDGE - GABE

        is clinging to the steel supports of the small bridge,
        several feet ahead of where his empty parka is being
        shredded by the FUSILLADE -- without the parka, Gabe is
        freezing, and too many bullets are coming too close for
        comfort as they RICOCHET on the bridge's supports --

        QUALEN

        stops firing and kicks away the planks, which are a tangle of
        toothpicks at this point -- Qualen bends down --

        -- and sees there's nothing in the parka except for Gabe's
        back. Qualen's face registers anger and surprise as -- -- Gabe
        appears at the edge of the hole -- before Qualen can react,
        Gabe swings up with his ice axe, hooking it around the
        shoulder strap of Qualen's machine gun -- Gabe yanks down,
        and Qualen falls head first

        UNDER THE BRIDGE

        with Gabe -- Qualen catches himself by hooking an arm and a
        leg on one of the steel supports -- but both

        THE ICE AXE AND THE GUN

        fall, landing on separate chunks of ice floating underneath
        the bridge --

        IN THE SUPPORTS

        Gabe pulls himself through the girders to Qualen and punches
        him with his good arm, but Qualen is unfazed -- neither are in
        good position, it's like a fistfight on a jungle gym -- --
        Qualen steadies himself to savagely punch Gabe in his
        shoulder wound -- Gabe YELLS in pain and tries to block the
        next one, but Qualen punches him again, and Gabe lets go of
        the support, falling -- -- on the way down, Gabe grabs
        Qualen's leg with his good hand -- too low to grab the bridge,
        Gabe dangles just over the water, raising his legs above it as
        Qualen tries to kick him off -- -- Gabe holds onto Qualen's
        leg, and swings on it like a pendulum -- Gabe twists the leg
        -- Qualen loses his grip on the icy steel and lets go --
        both

        QUALEN AND GABE

        fall -- they land hard, not in the water, but on a
        raft-sized chunk of ice driven under the bridge by the
        current. Their weight teeter-totters the ice as they get up --
        they're in danger not just from each other, but from

        THE FAST APPROACHING WHIRLPOOL

        where the ice chunks are drawn into the fiercely swirling
        vortex that drains into the waterfall --

        ON THE ICE RAFT

        Qualen and Gabe circle each other like cautious boxers, as the
        ice itself swirls in the current -- if either makes the wrong
        move, they'll both go over. Gabe swings at Qualen, but Qualen
        throws a leg under Gabe and stiff-arms him down -- Gabe hits
        the ice hard, his chest hanging over the side -- Qualen moves
        in to shove him off -- but their combined weight on the same
        side of the ice starts to tip it over -- Gabe viciously
        kicks Qualen back, gashing his face with his boot's crampon as
        Qualen grabs the ice raft's opposite side, levelling it.

                                        QUALEN
                            (wiping the gash)
                      Stalemate, isn't it?

                                        GABE
                            (winded)
                      Not any more.

        Gabe, still prone, reaches out -- the chunk of ice with
        Qualen's machine gun is floating by. Gabe snatches up the gun
        and pulls the trigger. Nothing but an empty CLICK.

                                        QUALEN
                      Far more intimidating when it's
                      loaded.

        The chunk of ice with Gabe's ice axe floats by Gabe -- Gabe
        grabs for it, but misses -- as the ice raft spins around,
        Qualen manages to snatch it up -- Qualen scythes it down at
        Gabe, slamming the blade into the ice as Gabe rolls away --

        WIDER VIEW - THE ICE RAFT

        is nearing the center of the whirlpool -- the current is
        faster and stronger here -- if it doesn't swallow the ice
        raft, it will definitely upend it --

        QUALEN AND GABE

        stay on opposite sides of the ice raft for balance -- Qualen
        swings out at Gabe with the axe. Gabe ducks and tries to go
        low to hit Qualen with the gun, but Qualen swings the axe down
        again, whizzing right past Gabe as it sinks into --

        THE CENTER OF THE ICE RAFT

        -- a crack spiderwebs through the ice around the blade --

        GABE

        quickly reacts, jumping onto another bed-sized chunk of ice
        floating by, landing on his stomach and braking himself by
        digging his crampons in -- just as --

        QUALEN

        realizing what deep shit he's in, looks for another chunk of
        ice to make the same move -- to sees one just out of reach.
        Qualen pulls the ice axe out of the raft's center to drag the
        other chunk closer in -- -- as he does, the entire raft
        disintegrates under him -- Qualen plunges into the water, and
        tries to maintain a slippery grip on what ice is left --

        -- but now at the center of the whirlpool, Qualen is drawn
        into the vortex --

        GABE

        struggles to his feet and looks down, wincing --

        GABE'S POV - QUALEN GOING DOWN

        Qualen's inaudible scream is just a burst of rising bubbles as
        he shoots down to the bottom of the lake -- and beyond --

        QUALEN'S POV - UNDERWATER

        Qualen is shoved with incredible force and speed through the
        lake's tunnel drain --

        ON THE MOUNTAIN WALL - THE WATERFALL

        BLASTS OUT full force, hurling a still thrashing Qualen a
        half a mile to the ground below!

        GABE

        has no time to celebrate -- the chunk of ice he's on leaves
        him moments from the same fate. One more time around, and
        it's down the drain. Gabe takes a deep breath. No choice. He
        leaps --

        WIDER VIEW - THE ICE - GABE LEAPING

        -- from one chunk of ice to the other, running the way you
        would across stones in a stream, zig-zagging to catch the ones
        big enough to support him -- only his crampons keep him from
        sliding off, only his momentum keeps him from capsizing the
        ice chunks, which shoots away from him in his wake --

        GABE

        lands on an ice raft floating towards the bridge. No choice --
        Gabe lunges off the ice raft and reaches for one of the bridge
        supports -- his hand catches -- but it's slippery and he's
        weakened -- Gabe slides off, but --

        A HAND

        reaches down and grabs him --

        HAL

        pulls Gabe the rest of the way onto the bridge. Gabe's
        surprise gives way to a grin almost as big as Hal's.

                                        HAL
                            (eyeing Gabe's ruined
                             shirt)
                      Nice outfit.
                            (hands him his parka)
                      I know you never liked the orange, but
                      --

                                        GABE
                      Didn't care for the Smokey The Bear
                      hats, either. That's why I quit.
                            (pulls on parka)
                      You all right?

                                        HAL
                      I feel better than you look. I can
                      live with that.

        Gabe looks down at the parka -- it's completely full of
        bullet holes.

                                        GABE
                      Hardly seems worth zipping, huh?
                            (serious now)
                      Frank?

        Hal sobers -- shakes his head no. A cloud passes over Gabe's
        face.

                                        HAL
                      It's not over, Gabe. Travers took the
                      helicopter.

        INSIDE HELICOPTER - FLYING ELSEWHERE OVER MOUNTAIN

        Maggie's hands are cuffed to a bar on the helicopter's roof.
        Travers keys his headset radio while piloting the copter.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (into radio)
                      Qualen -- Kristel -- come in --

        HAL AND GABE ON BRIDGE

        Gabe hears Hal's borrowed headset radio crackling -- he holds
        his hand out to Hal.

                                        GABE
                      May I?
                            (dons it, keys it)
                      They can't talk right now, Travers.
                      Kristel's busy making snow angels --
                      and I'm not sure, but I think Qualen
                      is still falling.
                            (radio silence)
                      Any messages?

        A moment's silence -- then --

                                        MAGGIE (O.S.)
                            (over radio)
                      Gabe?

                                        GABE
                            (keying it)
                      Maggie --

        INSIDE COPTER - TRAVERS

        yanks the radio off Maggie and puts it back on --

                                        TRAVERS
                            (into radio)
                      You wanted to make a trade earlier,
                      Walker -- still interested?

                                        GABE (O.S.)
                            (pause)
                      I've got the money. Fly to the lake.
                      And if you touch her --

        Travers cuts off the radio, smiles, and banks the helicopter
        down around the mountain wall.

        GABE AND HAL ON BRIDGE

                                        HAL
                      Now what?

                                        GABE
                      I have no fucking idea.
                            (holds Qualen's gun)
                      Empty.

                                        HAL
                            (smiling)
                      Not for long.

        Hal fishes into his pockets and pulls out one of the ammo
        clips he took from Delmer, Gabe tries to force it into the
        gun's stock -- but it's the wrong size.

                                        GABE
                            (sagging against rail)
                      Why can't anything be easy?

        THE HELICOPTER

        thunders around the mountain wall, getting closer --

        HAL AND GABE

        have crossed the bridge, near the mountain edge -- Gabe, now
        wearing his pack again, nods over to the wooded area.

                                        GABE
                      Stay over there --

                                        HAL
                      Look -- let me --

                                        GABE
                      -- what, throw snowballs at him?
                      Just -- whatever happens -- get Maggie
                      out of here.

                                        HAL
                            (relenting)
                      Count on it.
                            (beat)
                      And Gabe? Thanks for tagging along.

                                        GABE
                            (smiles)
                      Thanks for asking. I forgot how much I
                      enjoyed rescue work.

        Gabe limps toward the mountain's edge as Hal runs into the
        woods.

        THE HELICOPTER

        blasts along the wall towards the lake -- the waterfall and
        the ladder are just ahead. The copter radio crackles --

                                        WRIGHT (O.S.)
                            (from radio)
                      Come in, Rocky Mountain Rescue --
                      urgent -- come in --

        Travers recognizes the voice -- frowning, he snaps off the
        radio and banks the helicopter up over the top --

        TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER - TRAVERS POV

        tops the precipice, revealing Gabe, standing on the end of a
        narrow spur -- it just out from the edge like a diving board.
        Gabe has his pack on one arm -- the money is visible. Gabe
        levels Qualen's emptied gun on Travers and the copter -- this
        bluff is all he has left.

                                        GABE
                            (over radio)
                      Remember that bet you made? About
                      whether I could find the money for you
                      or not?
                            (holds pack over drop)
                      You won.

        Travers helplessly flies in low, tight circles over Gabe and
        the spur -- if he shoots Gabe, the money falls too, Travers
        presses his gun at Maggie.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (into radio)
                      I'll kill her --

                                        GABE
                            (over radio)
                      You do, and the spring thaw's going to
                      be worth thirty million bucks.
                            (pause)
                      No rush. I'm sure you've got lots of
                      time.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (into radio)
                      All right. Drop the gun first.

                                        GABE
                            (into radio)
                      When she's safe on the ground.

        EXT. SPUR/COPTER

        Travers has no choice but to give in -- he gives Maggie the
        handcuff key, and she frees herself as he flies away from the
        spur, touching the copter down on the mountain top.

                                        TRAVERS
                            (to Maggie)
                      Get out.

        Maggie moves out the door and stares uncertainly at Gabe.

                                        GABE
                            (shouting)
                      Run!
                            (she doesn't)
                      Run!

        Maggie runs for the trees. When Gabe is sure she's safe, he
        throws the gun away -- but keeps the pack suspended over the
        edge.

                                        GABE
                            (into radio)
                      Now come and get it. My arm's getting
                      tired.

        EXT. HELICOPTER

        Travers flies the copter up and over, until he and it are five
        feet away from Gabe's position on the spur. Gabe is buffeted
        by the copter's wind, but stands firm. Travers levels his gun
        at Gabe through the open passenger door as Gabe heaves the
        pack in. Travers doesn't even look down -- he just stares at
        Gabe with hate as he prepares to shoot.

                                        GABE
                            (shouting)
                      Don't you want to count it?

        Puzzled, Travers takes his gun hand and rips open

        THE PACK

        The $5000s are there -- but they've been shredded by
        Qualen's earlier blast of gunfire. Few, if any, of the bills
        are passable.

        TRAVERS

        stares down, incredulous -- as he does --

        GABE

        rips open a perforated section of parka and yanks his bolt
        gun from his waist --

        Travers looks up and raises his gun at Gabe -- but Gabe fires
        first -- the bolt imbeds itself high in Travers' chest.
        Gasping, Travers drops his gun -- it falls over the pack and
        out the open door -- Travers clutches at his chest --

                                        GABE
                      Don't spend it all in one place, you
                      son of a bitch.

        Travers falls back in his seat and loses control of the
        helicopter -- it spins around, and Gabe has to instantly
        flatten to avoid the tail when it swings at him -- Gabe looks
        down as --

        THE HELICOPTER

        quickly begins to spiral down in wide, aimless circles --
        Travers has clearly lost control --

        GABE

        stares down coldly, waiting for the crash -- but --

        INSIDE THE COPTER - TRAVERS

        won't give up -- sweating, bleeding, he sits forward and
        grabs the stick, seizing control of the helicopter again --

        GABE'S POV - THE HELICOPTER

        stops its uncontrolled descent and begins to rise up and
        up -- with clear purpose --

        CLOSE ON GABE

        eyes widening with realization. Gabe gets up from the spur and
        starts running back towards the woods -- several hundred yards
        from safety -- before he can get very far --

        THE HELICOPTER

        tops the precipice edge and, sweeping low over the snow, it
        gets between Gabe and the trees, cutting him off --

        WOODED AREA - HAL AND MAGGIE

        watch, powerless --

                                        HAL
                      He's going to run Gabe down --

        TRAVERS IN HELICOPTER

        Ashen, hyperventilating, he's running on pure adrenalin and
        fury as he drives the stick forward --

        TRAVERS POV - GABE

        is stiff-legging it toward the edge of the mountain -- but
        he's too banged up to run fast through the thick snow --

        THE HELICOPTER

        with its skids skipping just over the snow overtakes --

        GABE

        as he throws himself flat into the snow -- the front of the
        skid misses Gabe by inches as it blasts over him --

        THE HELICOPTER

        moves out over the precipice edge -- Travers banks it wide to
        circle back around for another run --

        GABE

        gets back up as the helicopter swings back behind him --

        IN A WOODED AREA

        Hal rips the lining out of one of his pockets and stuffs it
        into one of the ammo clips -- Maggie stays back as he runs for
        all he's worth out into the clearing --

        THE HELICOPTER

        has circled back around, stopping at a hover far back in the
        clearing -- Travers intends to not just run Gabe over, but to
        run him off the edge as well --

        GABE

        lumbers as fast as he can towards the edge --

        TRAVERS

        knows he has Gabe nailed -- he shoves the stick forward --

        THE HELICOPTER

        flies forward, skids just inches over the snow --

        HAL

        runs out to where Travers is heading -- he lights the cloth
        in the ammo clip -- as

        THE HELICOPTER

        flies past

        IN THE CLEARING

        Hal hurls the clip, with its cloth "fuse" burning down, into
        the doorless side of the copter --

        INSIDE THE HELICOPTER

        -- the makeshift bomb bounces to the floor of the cockpit --
        Travers sees it and looks down, but --

        THE "FUSE"

        sputters out -- nothing but glowing embers in the cloth --

        TRAVERS

        smiles -- nothing to worry about -- he speeds ahead --

        CLOSE ON THE HELICOPTER'S SKIDS

        as they slice through the top of the snow towards --

        GABE

        as he runs toward the mountain's edge -- it's just a couple of
        feet ahead, but the copter is a couple of feet behind --

        -- as the copter overtakes Gabe, dipping even lower into the
        snow, he dives off the edge --

        FOLLOWING GABE - FALLING

        Gabe is at the ladder -- he falls the first twenty feet of the
        long drop, then grabs a rung on the cable ladder, very
        painfully stopping his fall -- but in the same split second --

        THE HELICOPTER

        skid meant to impale Gabe catches the top two rungs of the
        cable ladder --

        WIDE SHOT - THE HELICOPTER

        -- caught in the rungs of the cable ladder, the helicopter
        keeps flying out over the abyss, but as it pulls the cable
        ladder, it pops out the bolts that hold the ladder in place,
        rung by rung -- -- still going full tilt, the copter strains
        against the ladder -- thirty feet of it tethers the copter
        to the wall -- -- and Gabe is dangling from the center of
        it.

        ON THE LADDER - GABE

        has one arm hooked around a rung, hanging on for his life as
        the copter thrashes the ladder up and down --

        INSIDE THE COPTER

        Travers is disoriented by the jolt, and tries to maintain
        control -- he doesn't see --

        -- that the cloth fuse on the ammo clip has reignited -- it
        burns down to the clip, and fifty rounds explode like a
        string of firecrackers --

        -- Travers tries to shield himself as he is struck by airborne
        lead. Shrapnel blasts into the instrument panel --

        THE HELICOPTER

        still strains against the cable ladder but the engine goes
        dead -- the rotor blades slow --

        GABE ON LADDER

        Gabe stares in horror at the stalling rotor -- if it were
        possible for him to grip the ladder tighter, he'd do it now --

        ON THE HELICOPTER

        -- as the rotor WHOPS to a dead halt the copter arcs down
        and slams against the mountain wall -- the skids are still
        caught in the ladder, and it holds --

        GABE

        is shaken off by the massive impact -- he falls -- --
        landing on the helicopter, half in and half out of the
        cockpit! As Gabe scrambles for a solid hold --

        INT. HELICOPTER

        -- Travers, who has been shaken to the opposite side of the
        copter, reaches into his jacket and pulls out the pistol he
        took from Frank -- he aims at Gabe --

        INSERT - THE HELICOPTER SKID

        One of the two rungs holding the copter up bursts --

        THE HELICOPTER

        slips, now hanging from just a single rung -- -- and the
        impact of the slip makes Travers drop the gun -- it falls out
        the open passenger door. Travers scrambles up through the
        cabin to go after -- -- Gabe, who is trying to get off the
        helicopter and onto a solid part of the ladder before the
        whole thing goes down --           Gabe jumps for the wall as
        Travers scrambles behind him and --

        CLOSE ON THE HELICOPTER SKID

        -- as the last rung supporting the copter snaps in two --

        GABE

        grabs hold of the ladder as

        THE HELICOPTER

        plummets down -- but as it starts its fall --

        TRAVERS

        leaps from the falling copter and grabs Gabe's leg -- Gabe
        struggles to support both of them, but Travers, weakened from
        his wound, loses his grip on Gabe's leg -- he stares up in
        terror at Gabe as he clutches Gabe's snow-slick boot --

                                        GABE
                      Cheer up. It's a beautiful spot to
                      die.

        Travers slides off and away --

        THE FALL - LONG SHOT

        Travers SCREAMING as he free falls, trailing behind the
        helicopter -- we follow the entire four thousand foot drop --

        -- until the helicopter explodes when it hits the ground far
        below, and the fireball engulfs Travers just before he
        impacts into the explosion!

        GABE

        looks down at the burning wreck and clings to the ladder,
        closing his eyes for a moment in exhaustion. But the WHOPPING
        of another helicopter makes him look up --

        THE TREASURY HELICOPTER

        has shown up, a little too late to be of any help.

        INSIDE THE TREASURY COPTER

        Wright, Davis and Stuart look at the billowing flames of the
        wreck -- even from here, the burning money is visible,
        drifting up in the smoke. Wright turns to Stuart.

                                        WRIGHT
                      I'm no expert -- but what do you make
                      of that "event"?

        GABE

        is drained -- from somewhere, he finds the strength to lift
        his head up --

        GABE'S POV - THE WALL

        The section of ladder above him, of course, is gone -- he has
        to cover the fifty feet of wall above him by free climbing.
        There are holds that look easy enough for him, but --

        GABE

        leans back, gripping the ladder, too tired to move. Just the
        thought of one more climb drains him.

                                        GABE
                            (mumbling)
                      Forget it. No fucking way. I'm staying
                      right here. I've spent the night on
                      walls before -- some of the best
                      nights of my life have been spent
                      lashed to walls --

        Before Gabe can take this any farther -- a loop tied to the
        end of a rope falls to a stop next to him. Gabe looks up --

        ON THE EDGE - HAL

        has thrown the line down. Maggie 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.

                                        GABE
                            (too tired to shout)
                      Fuck you --

        Hal and Maggie draw Gabe up -- Gabe pulls some of his weight
        by using hand and foot holds, but when he reaches

        THE PRECIPICE EDGE

        Hal and Maggie are both winded from the effort as they haul
        Gabe onto the top. Gabe unties himself, and collapses into
        Maggie's lap.

                                        HAL
                            (winded, coiling the
                             rope)
                      Jesus Christ -- you think you could
                      have put a little less effort into
                      that climb? I mean, what have you done
                      for me -- lately?

        Hal ends his harrangue and looks over -- Gabe has apparently
        revived, because he and Maggie are locked in the kiss of their
        lives. Hal stands, and smiles -- he walks toward the Treasury
        agents, who are scrambling out of the helicopter. Hal starts
        an explanation that's going to take a long, long time as --

        GABE AND MAGGIE

        break off their kiss.

                                        MAGGIE
                      Does this mean you're staying?

        Off Gabe's answering smile, we --

                                                            FADE OUT.