EXT. USS PREBLE – DAY
Title: OFF THE COAST OF FRANCE 1865
The last of a rain squall sweeps the deck of the sloop of war, as overhead the sky clears. In the growing light, an odd-looking vessel appears in the view of the forward look-out.
Ship in sight!
QUARTERDECK OF USS PREBLE
LT. CYRUS MANNING, the executive officer, brings the speaking trumpet to his lips
The middle channel, sir.
The lieutenant turns to CAPTAIN UPSHUR for instructions. The captain calmly trains his spyglass on the middle channel.
P.O.V. THROUGH UPSHUR’S SPYGLASS
A faint trace of steam rises from the funnel topside of the elongated hull pointed in their direction. A sudden shift of wind pulls into view the Confederate battle-flag flying at her stern.
BACK TO SCENE
It’s her! Beat to quarters!
The RATTLE of the drum calls the GUN CREWS to their stations.
INT. COMMAND DECK OF THE C.S.S. GRAY WHALE
A young, steely eyed Confederate naval captain, ALONZO TURNER strains to see through the fog and mist on the other side of the viewport.
A small CREW mans the gauges and gizmos that pack the command deck. He removes the speaker tube from its hook.
Forward lookout, any report?
Behind him we see a highly polished brass plaque with the inscription: C.S.S GRAY WHALE.
Cue Final Jeopardy music.
INT. JEOPARDY GAME SHOW SET – DAY
Well, it now comes down to today’s current leader, Mr. Gates of Baltimore, Maryland.
Ben stands dazed.
ALEX TREBEK (CONT’D)
(startling from his reverie)
Mr. Gates, the answer is “The last submarine to sail under the flag of the Confederacy.”
Ben’s answer appears on his lectern screen, “What was the C.S.S. Gray Whale.”
ALEX TREBEK (CONT’D)
Oh, I’m sorry Mr. Gates. The question should be “What was the C.S.S. Hunley.” Though at $8500 you are still in the lead, pending your bid, of course.
Ben’s screen displays his bid – $8500, the whole amount.
But the Hunley was the next to last submarine in the rebel navy.
Mr. Trebek looks around in confusion as the audience buzzes with excitement. He cups a hand over his earpiece.
Again I am sorry Mr. Gates, but the judge’s ruling is final.
In the audience, Ben’s wife ABIGAIL CHASE GATES and his best friend RILEY POOLE exchange pained glances.
ALEX TREBEK (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Mr. Reuben, you are today’s Jeopardy champion.