INT. OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT A round mahogany table in a dimly lit room. The Presidential seal leers down on a dozen generals and bureaucrats. Computer screens flicker and scroll an endless stream of data. The President taps a note pad with a ballpoint pen. PRESIDENT Update. GENERAL #1 Four thousand five hundred dead, Mr. President. Bridges into the city are out. Side roads impassable. Power, water, all out. PRESIDENT Stop. You. BUREAUCRAT #1 Survivors gathering at the Convention Center. PRESIDENT Number? BUREAUCRAT #1 Thirty thousand. Dozens of deaths every hour. Looting, raping, lawlessness. PRESIDENT Go. GENERAL #2 We've dispatched haz-mat teams from McClellan. Eight thousand men, armaments, vehicles. Arrives tomorrow morning. PRESIDENT Status. BUREAUCRAT #2 Administration approval rating down twenty-four points. Friendly news media replaying your speeches from three days ago. Unfriendly media calling for your resignation. The region went solidly against us in the last election. PRESIDENT I know. GENERAL #1 Sir, we need a go no-go. The President sighs. He caps the ballpoint pen. EXT. CONVENTION CENTER - NIGHT Urban hell on earth. Fires burn; people attack one another with sticks, knives. Stampeding, glass breaking, an idiot melange of screaming. A woman clutches a wailing baby in her arms and dodges bullets. A bleeding man staggers into her; she pushes him away with a shriek. Four men surround her. They carry guns and knives. One man swings a pipe experimentally. A new, mechanical sound: the distant hum of rotary engines. The chaos pauses and the people look up. WOMAN Food! MAN Water! Helicopters appear over the black city skyline. Their blue searchlights scan the destruction. The mob stops fighting, drops their weapons. People flag the helicopters, shouting with joy. INT. PRESS ROOM - DAY Bright sun through the windows. The President shuffles papers behind a podium. A makeup artist touches his nose with a powder puff. PRODUCER We're on in five. PRESIDENT I'll rehearse. EXT. CONVENTION CENTER - DAY Helicopters slowly descend upon the crowd. The faces of the people, smiling, shouting, waving, gather around beneath them. PRESIDENT (V.O.) My fellow Americans... Our woman's face. She looks at the helicopters, thinks... then turns, and begins to run. PRESIDENT (V.O.) I have consulted with the governors and the mayors of the affected region... A milky white powder billows from canisters on the sides of the helicopters. PRESIDENT (V.O.) And unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the state and federal authorities... As the powder hits the people, they crumple and fall like narcoleptics -- silently, suddenly, as if poleaxed. PRESIDENT (V.O.) No survivors have been found. EXT. BLIND ALLEY - NIGHT The baby in her arms still screaming, our woman cuts down a back alley. She runs into a blind end: a door, a metal Dumpster, three brick walls. PRESIDENT (V.O.) We will be tireless in our efforts to overcome this disaster... She wrenches at the locked doorknob -- useless. PRESIDENT (V.O.) We will not falter and we will not fail. A familiar mechanical drone. The baby wails. Our woman looks up, and as she does a dark helicopter fills the sky above the alley. PRESIDENT (V.O.) And though there has been great misery and pain... She wildly looks around her, sees the Dumpster. PRESIDENT (V.O.) I believe we as Americans can rise to the challenge. She looks up. From the woman's POV, a billowy cloud envelops us, and we are in sudden perfect white silence, except for the President's voice... PRESIDENT (V.O.) Through this challenge, we will discover our capacity for greatness. FADE TO: EXT. CONVENTION CENTER - MORNING Morning, gray and fine. Camouflaged army troops, bearing rifles, pick their way through innumerable piles of corpses. Smoking, charred rubble, overturned cars. PRESIDENT (V.O.) It will take more than weeks or months. It will take years. EXT. ALLEY WAY - MORNING An Army grunt wanders down the alley. He shoulders his rifle. Our woman lies in the alley. He nudges her hand with his boot. PRESIDENT (V.O.) It will cost billions. We will find the money. A tiny, reverberating cry. PRESIDENT (V.O.) For a time, my fellow Americans, we will mourn. But then... The grunt turns toward the Dumpster. Tentatively, he lifts the lid, and we hear a baby's cry... PRESIDENT (V.O.) We will rebuild. CUT TO BLACK.