Needle in a Haystack

A backseater on a U.S. Navy fighter jet uncovers evidence of an imminent terrorist attack on the Port of Los Angeles. She and the fighter jet pilot are assigned the impossible mission of trying to prevent the attack.
Project collaboration: Closed
Synopsis: ABOARD THE U.S. CARRIER NIMITZ – PACIFIC OCEAN -- The aircraft carrier’s pilots practice with their NATO-issue 9mm automatic pistols at a makeshift firing range. NAVY LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS moves among them, giving instruction. One pilot, LT. COMMANDER KEVIN WITLOW – callsign Surfer, resents her comments. Mollie picks up his pistol, assumes the perfect two-handed firing position she has been teaching, and empties the magazine at the full-sized target. All of her shots are in a three-inch group – obliterating the target’s groin.

Kevin turns to find the Air Wing Commander (“CAG”) smiling at him. “Two things you need to know, Surfer. One, she’s on the Navy pistol team. Two, she’s your new backseater.”

Mollie and Kevin fly off from the deck of the carrier to test a new airborne anti-missile system. Suddenly Mollie detects another missile targeting their plane – a missile not part of the exercise. When the CAG orders them not to use the highly classified new weapons system, Kevin does some spectacular flying to save their plane from being splashed.

SAN PEDRO HARBOR – Container ships being loaded, cruise ships taking on passengers, tenders going to and fro. A small boat appears in the channel, proceeding very normally, then swerves and slams into the side of a huge tanker. Explosion and fire engulf the ship as emergency personnel rush to the scene.

USS NIMITZ – Mollie and Kevin are told to report to the deck with their sea bags. They’re going stateside. The CAG tells them that Mollie’s hunch about the missile source was good and he also reports on the explosion in San Pedro harbor.

Mollie thinks the two incidents are a prelude to something bigger. The CAG says that people in Washington think so too and have asked for her help with the Coast Guard in San Pedro based on her recent work at STORC – Special Tactics and Operations Research Center. Kevin says why him? The CAG replies Mollie is Kevin’s backseater. Since Kevin can’t fly without her he might as well go along to help.

Thus begins Mollie and Kevin’s desperate mission to try to stop an attack on the port of Los Angeles.

They must overcome numerous obstacles and decipher puzzling clues if they hope to successfully accomplish their mission.

NOTE: This screenplay is the basis for the first half of the ebook technothriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS, which is available on Amazon at

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