INT THE UNLOADING AREA – ANOTHER TENT
The tent flap lifts, letting in the sounds of SHOUTING and RUNNING FEET. Morgan pushes Mrs. Sliddell into the tent and onto the ground beside Abigail.
Don’t go getting comfortable. I’ll be right back after we take care of a little problem.
I’d like to teach you some manners.
When the area falls quiet, she brings her unbound hands from behind her back, and begins to loosen Abigail’s bonds.
MRS. SLIDELL (CONT’D)
We’ve got to move fast. The only thing is – where?
No problem. Get us out of here and I’ve got a place where they can’t touch us.
INT THE AIRLINER – ELECTRONICS BAY
The technician doesn’t even bother to look up from his console, as the boys and the two guards file in.
(into his headset)
We’re being targeted from the ground.
No. We have a launch. A SAM is on its way.
Hold on! Taking evasive maneuvers.
Ben and Riley exchange hurried glances, then brace themselves in the doorway. The guards belt themselves in. The room begins to revolve as the plane goes into a steep bank.
Ben bolts for the staircase dragging Riley with him.
As the plane rights itself, they negotiate the staircase and charge into
the jump area, grabbing chutes off the racks.
We haven’t shaken them.
Ben tears up a panel on the floor to reveal a hand crank for the ramp, and cranks away for all he’s worth.
Before he can get it open all the way they have to hang on for dear life as the plane begins to bank in the opposite direction.
Do you think they can make this any harder?
Ben grunts and grabs two seat cushions, and shoves one at Riley.
Riley looks down the tunnel-like ramp apprehensively. Ben takes a breath and runs for the opening, flopping on to the seat cushion and riding it down the ramp like a toboggan.
Riley gulps once and follows.
EXT IN THE AIR – NIGHT
Ben and Riley fall free of the plane just as both SAMs collide and explode off of her left side. The plane is safe, but Riley tumbles out of control. Ben trims his profile to a head downward orientation and dives after him.
As Ben overtakes his spinning comrade, he manages to grapple his ankles and roll him out flat. They wind up face to face and hand to hand, free falling in tandem.
In our view, their bodies shrink to the size of ants, and in the first rays of dawn their chutes blossom.
ON THE GROUND
First Ben, then Riley land on the side of a sand dune and immediately shuck their chutes.
I think they knew we were coming.
They knew Sadusky and his men were coming. Not us.
Which way are we going?
Ben takes out his GPS and takes a reading.
A flashing dot on the map grid marks their position.
If Lon ran true to form he left us a clue like the way he laid out the treasure at his ranch.