Tuesday, June 10, 2014

HOTEL SANDY

PEACE EYE CAFE
By James C. L’Angelle
WGA West Reg# 1633242

PART ONE: HOTEL SANDY

FADE IN:

EXT.   JFK International Airport, New York.  Air Africa Airbus descends in final approach to runway, touches down skids to a stop, taxis onto tarmac at boarding gate.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT (Voice Over)
Your attention  please, ladies and gentlemen. We are now at JFK International and this is the final destination of Air Africa Flight 698 from Addis Ababa. All passengers must exit the aircraft here. You will need to pass through customs to be cleared before leaving the airport so be advised to have all necessary documents, passports and visas, with you at customs inside the terminal. Also be advised that there is some very dangerous weather in the forecast for the next few days so be certain to make immediate plans if you are travelling onward or booking lodging here in New York City.
Speaking for myself and the rest of the crew, we have enjoyed having you on board. Thank you and welcome to the United States of America.

INT. Passengers are waiting in line at customs control as various agents are busy checking documents. Among them in line are TIM SOLDIER and HECTOR LOPEZ of Sacramento based Recon News Agency.

HECTOR
Boy, Tim, am I glad to be back in the good old US of A. I thought we'd never get out of that mess in Somalia.

TIM
I couldn't agree with you more, Hector. For once, you were right and we're never going back, I don't care what kind of offer Muhammad makes.

HECTOR (Laughing)
Well that was a smart move back in Addis Ababa telling him we were going to New Orleans and then changing our flight in the last minute to New York. I can see him right now searching all over the French Quarter for us.

SOLDIER laughs and as he does so, several TSA agents and two FBI agents confront  SOLDIER and HECTOR in the line.

FBI #1 (Flashing badge)
Excuse me, could you two come with us please?

HECTOR
Not again! Are we ever going to get through an airport without a shakedown?

SOLDIER and HECTOR are escorted over to a nearby office, their bags confiscated,  as curious onlookers in line whisper and glare; they all disappear inside a room behind the door.

INT. TSA office, in a shambles, half-eaten sandwiches are on a messy desk, luggage and confiscated items and contraband are scattered in no apparent order, the trashcan is overflowing; the room has the smell of stale coffee.

HECTOR
My God does this place stink!  And I thought your office at Louis Armstrong in New Orleans was a dump; you guys need a lesson in housekeeping!

TSA#1
Look fella, it wasn't our idea to pull you outta that line just so you could inspect our facility here. Whether you know it or not, JFK is a busy place, we have a lot to do.

HECTOR
That's no excuse, I've got a good mind to call Ms. Napolitano and...

HECTOR is interrupted by AGENT, who appears at doorway with baggage.

AGENT
Here's the rest of their bags.

AGENT drops bags, disappears behind closed door, TSA picks up bags, opens them, rifles through soiled clothing and an array of video and communications gear.  FBI#1 walks over to gear, inspects it.


FBI#1
Looks like you've been pretty busy over in Somalia, again.

SOLDIER
Just a little vacation at the invite from a friend.

FBI#2
You mean Muhammad? We trailed him to New Orleans before the local office informed us you had switched flights out of Ethiopia.

SOLDIER
Yeah, well we heard some hurricane they been calling "Frankenstorm" in the news was about to hit the East Coast and we thought there may be a story in it.

FBI#3 fishes into luggage, produces some video diskettes.

FBI#3
I've got them. I see you're still using this old technology stuff, Hector.


HECTOR
It certainly is reliable out in the field when all that new crap falls apart in the first sandstorm.

FBI#1
You mean when you were swimming back to shore after that Dutch warship blew your buddy Muhammad's dhow out of the water.

SOLDIER
A case of mistaken identity, surely you don't think we would have anything to do with those pirates who operate on the Red Sea off the coast of..

FBI#1
We really don't care what kind of company you keep over in Africa, Soldier. However, we are interested in that Hugo van der, whatever his name is, and that corrupt Puntland Police Force he's been running over in Baidoa. Know anything about that?

SOLDIER
I believe we ran into him at a rather violent protest in Mogadishu, yes.

FBI#2
And it's all here on this video?

SOLDIER
Something like that.

HECTOR
Tim, that's a big story, we need that video..

SOLDIER
Hector, all I need is some coffee at the Cafe  in the Village.

FBI#2 slips video into suit pocket, stuffs remaining contents back into luggage and is joined by TSA.

FBI#1
Go on, hit the road. We've got all we need

SOLDIER and HECTOR grab luggage, head out the door.

HECTOR
I'd advise you to get this office shaped up PRONTO! I'm on the phone to Napolitano right now!

TSA#2
Get outta here!

TSA#2 shoves HECTOR through the door, slams it.

CONTINUED: