Terminal Leave

Age rating: Everyone
While on leave a CIA field agent “unexpectedly” runs into a terrorist enemy. Was he set up by his CIA superior? And must he risk everything to try to stop the suspected terrorist attack?
Project collaboration: Closed
Synopsis: MICHAEL FARADAY is a veteran CIA field agent. For the last eight years he’s been roaming the caravan routes of Central Asia under deep cover as a rug dealer known as Ali Hassan. In truth Michael has used his wandering to collect intelligence on extremist groups in the area.

On one fateful day he delivers carpets to a merchant in Khorough, a town on the Tajikistan/Afghan border. Ali is insulted by the rug merchant’s insistence that machine-made carpets are as good as the hand-made ones that Ali is selling. Ali calls over to a passing woman, IRINA, to verify the superiority of the hand-made rugs. As Ali helps Irina to rise from examining the carpets, their hands touch briefly and a data capsule passes between them.

A few minutes later Ali takes leave of the rug merchant and joins a camel caravan heading out of town. At the same instant Irina is shot down by two assassins – not before she kills one of them – while the mastermind of the ambush, the mercenary CONNOR STROM, watches in contempt at the amateurish handling of the killing.

After the ambush Strom reports to the fiery radical cleric of a local tribe that Strom has eliminated the mole in the tribe’s extremist network. Then Strom discusses the next move in the attack on America.

Michael is called back to CIA headquarters, where he is raked over the coals by WALLY ROTHWELL, the new Central Asia section chief, and placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of Michael’s role in Irina’s death. Michael’s immediate superior JACKIE MADSEN, a crafty veteran of the CIA’s internal political intrigues, sends Michael “for a vacation” to Honolulu, where Michael is met by a driver who takes him to a small hotel in a secluded beach town on Oahu.

Here Michael tries to engage in the role of tourist, going out on a scuba diving boat owned by LORE DUARTE. His emotional guard, hardened by years undercover, is blown away by Irina’s murder, and he outlandishly charters Lore’s boat for an entire week.

He is beginning to enjoy himself when he spots his nemesis Connor Strom, late of Central Asia. Michael knows this is no coincidence – the town is too small. After confronting Jackie with the knowledge that she purposely sent him here, Michael sets out to discover what’s going on.

At first Michael suspects that Pearl Harbor may be the target of Strom’s presence, until Strom’s actions lead Michael to infiltrate a secret U.S. Navy installation on a tiny uninhabited island off Oahu. Then Michael realizes the awful reality of what Strom is planning.

Told by his CIA superiors that Strom is now working for the CIA and can’t be touched, Michael, who knows differently, decides to thwart Strom by engineering the defense of the secret naval installation.

But what will Lore think of this decision to risk everything?

Latest Work

  • Script 1 - Phyllis's Original Draft
    Creative Notes:
    We first wrote this story taking place on Catalina Island. We then switched the story to Oahu. The goal in both location choices was a "closed box" environment.

    In addition, we used our experience with the U.S. military intelligence community to "inform" this story.