INT. STRICKLAND’S TRUCK - NIGHT
Strickland, in the driver’s seat, both hands on the wheel, drives on, while McLane, his passenger, drearily closes his eyes.
NARRATOR: Meet Mister Alexander McLane ... shrewd business man, cunning entrepreneur, a rising star fast on his way up the ladder toward that most sought after prize of man ... power. A self-made man, McLane prides himself on knowing what is really important in life, and on being single-minded enough to carry out any plan deemed necessary in his quest. But one day, power decided to dispense a little lesson of its own to Mr. McLane, a lesson that could only be conceived and carried out in ... A Strange World...
EXT. SNOW-COVERED MOUNTAIN ROAD - CONTINUOUS
Suddenly, appearing from out of the flurry of snowfall just ahead of the vehicle, a solitary figure, wearing a military parka, stands in the middle of the road, waving its arms. Strickland has no time to swerve. The truck drives right through the figure as if it were a ghost.
INT. STRICKLAND’S TRUCK - CONTINUOUS
STRICKLAND: What the—?
The truck abruptly looses control on a patch of ice, and lurches toward the embankment, CRASHING violently through the guard rail.
INT. STRICKLAND’S TRUCK - LATER
Strickland and McLane are both stunned. For the longest time, the only thing moving in their snow-bound vehicle are the wiper blades, swishing back and forth, back and forth. Slowly, the two men begin to stir in their seats.
MCLANE: Well, I’ll be damned. What the hell just happened? You’re supposed to be a crack driver.
STRICKLAND: Look, Mr. McLane, this had nothing to do with my driving. Truth is ...
Strickland pauses, searching his mind for a plausible explanation.
MCLANE: Well, spit it out, man. What in the hell just happened? Did you fall asleep at the wheel, or what?
STRICKLAND (through grit teeth): Hardly. We hit a stretch of black ice. Be glad you’re still in one piece. I am at least responsible for that...
Strickland switches off the wiper blades and grabs the CB microphone.
STRICKLAND (CONT’D): Mayday, Mayday. This is Mountain Machine in need of assistance. I repeat: This is a mayday. Does anybody copy me out there? Over...
The CB radio just CRACKLES.
STRICKLAND (CONT’D): I repeat this a mayday. Does anybody copy my transmission? Over.
Story Continues Below
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Story Continues From Above
Then, from the CB, we hear a—
VOICE: This is Eagle Eye over at the Bridgeport Reservoir Lookout. I copy your transmission, Mountain Machine. What’s your situation? Over.
McLane sighs, relieved.
STRICKLAND: Two of us are stranded about five miles past Bridgeport, off Highway Three-ninety-five, just south of Devil’s Gate. We hit some ice and went off the main road. No one injured here, but we need immediate assistance. Over.
EAGLE EYE: Roger, Mountain Machine. Will contact local forest rangers for assistance. Keep this frequency clear for—
The transmission fades. A GUST of WIND shakes the truck. A flurry of snow totally obscures visibility.
STRICKLAND (calmly): Hello ... hello, Eagle Eye, this is Mountain Machine. Repeat your last transmission, please. Repeat your last transmission. Over.
Strickland lowers the microphone. He turns the radio up, but only STATIC INCREASES. McLane grits his teeth.
MCLANE: Damn it, man! Get on the ball! I’ve got to be in Tahoe tonight! Try a different frequency! Do something, damn it!
STRICKLAND: Put a lid on it, McLane. You’re wasting your breath. We’ve got to stay on the same frequency and wait.
MCLANE: Listen, Strickland, let’s get something straight. I still give the orders on this little excursion, not you! So think again about how you talk to me! Clear?
STRICKLAND (only slightly sarcastic): Yes, sir, loud and clear.
STRICKLAND: In the meantime, I need to find out how damaged my truck is.
Strickland reaches under his seat and pulls out a forty-five caliber handgun. McLane is slightly taken aback at the appearance of the weapon.
MCLANE: Uhh ... what’s that for?
Strickland withdraws a full clip from the handle, examines it, and jams it back into place.
He grabs the portable lamp.
STRICKLAND (CONT’D): Holler if you hear anything more on the radio.
EXT. STRICKLAND’S TRUCK - CONTINUOUS
Lamp in one hand, gun in the other, Strickland strains to see through a flurry of snow. The HOWLING WIND whips bitterly around him. To his disgust, he discovers the front end of his truck is lodged squarely in a tree. Then, from out of nowhere, there is a—
VOICE: Lieutenant, please ... leave this place. Or someone else is going to die.
Strickland spins around.
STRICKLAND: Who’s there? Where are you?
Suddenly, a hand grabs Strickland’s shoulder from behind. He turns, only to find that no one is there. Frantically, he FIRES SEVERAL SHOTS from his gun in its general direction. The truck’s front tire BLOWS OUT. McLane, in shock, rolls his window down.
MCLANE: What the hell are you doing?
STRICKLAND (eyes scanning every direction): Something strange is going on around here.
MCLANE: Are you nuts? You could have killed me with that thing!
STRICKLAND: Sorry. (then looking up at McLane) Roll up your window, will you? We need to conserve all our
Then, through the RADIO STATIC, it’s—
EAGLE EYE: Mountain Machine, do you copy? I repeat, do you copy? Over.
MCLANE: Damn it, man, we’re receiving another transmission! Get in here!