Citius, Altius, Fortius



Natalie walks into a room where a temporary control board and monitors have been set up. She is wearing her winter coat and she is clutching a large-sized styrofoam container. She sits next to the controls and opens her container. Steam escapes and Natalie leans over to inhale it.

Natalie turns to the side and starts coughing and sniffing.

The door opens to the room. Jeremy stands at the entrance.

Jeremy: You're in here.

Natalie: Yes.

Jeremy: You're sick.

Natalie: No, I'm not.

Jeremy: You've been coughing and wheezing the whole time we've been in Salt Lake.

Natalie: It's 22 degrees outside. Many people are coughing and wheezing.

Jeremy: I'm not.

Natalie: That's because you're lucky.

Jeremy: It's because I take good care of myself.

Natalie: Yeah, you need to do a commercial for all those vitamin supplements you take. "Hi, I'm Jeremy Goodwin, but my friends call me Mr. Vitamin Man."

Jeremy: Plus, I exercise.

Natalie: Yeah, like running around my job twelve hours a day and six days a week doesn't count as exercise.

Natalie sniffs and pulls out two packages of crackers from her coat pocket.

Jeremy: Do you have a spoon?

Natalie: No.

Jeremy: You need a spoon to eat that soup.

Natalie: Actually, I could just drink it.

Jeremy: You don't drink soup.

Natalie: No. The mere fact they took a large styrofoam cup and put soup in it makes it undrinkable.

Natalie pulls out a plastic eating utensil from her pocket.

Jeremy: I thought you said you didn't have a spoon.

Natalie holds up the utensil.

Natalie: It's a spork.

Jeremy: Ah... one of those spoon-fork combinations.

Natalie: Yes.

Natalie begins eating her soup.

Jeremy: I find it amazing that someone hasn't capitalized on that invention. When eating, you would only need one utensil instead of two. Fast food and take-out restaurants could save millions of dollars by investing in those, not to mention the huge amount of plastic saved from landfills. Now, if somebody could drive down the cost of producing insulated paper cups, then we could eliminate styrofoam cups altogether-

Natalie raises her hand.

Jeremy: What's wrong? Are you feeling sick?

Natalie: This isn't the type of dinner conversation I was expecting.

Jeremy: Okay.

Natalie opens a package of crackers.

Jeremy: But you have to consider the possibilities-

Natalie: Hush!

Natalie begins coughing. Jeremy walks to her side.

Jeremy: Natalie, you're sick.

Natalie: Am not.

Jeremy: You're congested and coughing. You might have a fever, also.

Jeremy tries to feel Natalie's forehead, but she slaps his hand away from her face.

Natalie: I'm fine. Just let me eat my soup.

Jeremy: At least see a doctor.

Natalie looks over at Jeremy.

Natalie: Let me see your hand.

Jeremy holds out his hand. Natalie takes it and quickly licks his palm. Jeremy pulls it away and jumps back.

Jeremy: What did you do that for?! You might be contagious!

Natalie: It's dinner time. Leave me be.

Jeremy holds his "infected" hand in the air as he backs away.

Natalie: Don't forget to use lots of soap.

Jeremy quickly leaves the room to head toward the nearest sink to wash his hands.


Dana glances down at her notes on her clipboard as she walks through the newsroom. She checks her watch as she enters the conference room for the 10 o'clock rundown meeting.

As she enters the conference room, Dan, Will, and Elliott are seated along with some unfamiliar faces. Isaac and Sally are standing along the wall.

Dana: Okay. Anthony?

"Yes?" "Yes?" "Yes?"

Dana looks around the room, mesmerized by unanticipated replies.

Dana: Did I just enter an echo chamber? I'm looking for Anthony.

"Yes?" "Yes?" "Yes?"

Dana looks at the three men.

Dana: Um... tonight's director.

Anthony: That's me.

Dana: And the other two are?

"I'm Anthony Toney."

"I'm James Anthony. There are five people named James on the 12 P.M. set, so I'm used to going by my last name."

Anthony: And I'm Anthony James. Sometimes they call me Tony.

Dana: Let's see if I got this straight. Two of you have a birth name of Anthony. One of you goes by Tony, which happens to be the last name of another one. James is the first name of one and the last name of another.

Anthony James: You've got it.

Dana: I don't think so.

Isaac: These are the people helping us out on the show.

Anthony Toney: I'm a production associate.

James Anthony: And I'm an associate producer on the 12 P.M. show.

Dana: How come I didn't see you today... Anth... James... you! (points toward James Anthony)

Sally: James has been reporting to me, Dana.

Dana: Fine.

Dana sits at her chair. She pushes aside her salad, rolls, and bottled water.

Dana: Thanks for grabbing the food Anthony... I mean Elliott.

Elliott: Not a problem.

Everybody starts opening up bags or unwrapping their snacks.

Dana: I didn't say we could eat.

Everyone stops what they are doing.

Dana: We'll eat after the rundown is over. Anything changed from 6 o'clock?

Elliott: We've received some results from tonight's events in Salt Lake.

Dana: Any world records?

Elliott: Not yet.

Dana: Let's do half in the twenties... wherever Sally left a spot. Then we'll do the other half in the forties. Danny, don't forget to warn the viewers before we show the results on the monitors.

Dan: I'll try not to forget tonight.

Dana: Last night, we received some phone calls for those wanting to see the results after our show on Natalie's "Winter Games Update."

Dan: I'll give the viewers a warning.

Dana: Thank you.

Dan: So, telling them to change the channel for the next minute will not help?

Dana: No.

Dan: How about telling them to hit the mute button on their remote?

Dana: Whatever works.

Will: What if they hit the mute button and turn away? When will they know the highlights are over?

Dana: I don't know. Tell them to count one-mississippi, two-mississippi, up to one-hundred.

Dan: What if some of the viewers don't know how to count?

Dana casts a glare toward Dan.

Dana: I'll take that chance.

Sally: It looks like we'll have a good show tonight.

Dana: Hold on there, Sally. Is there anything else we need?

Dan: We'll update the NBA scores toward the end of the broadcast.

Dana: Great. That's it?

No one responds.

Dana: Okay. Let's do a good show. It's time to eat.

Everyone begins to eat their snacks.


Later in the evening, Elliott and Casey are walking down a hallway outside of the "Sports Night" set.

Elliott: I don't know if I should be doing this, Casey.

Casey: Don't worry. You're a rebel.

Elliott: Well, thanks. Why didn't you ask Dan to come and get you?

Casey: Because he was afraid he might get fired if he did.

Elliott stops walking.

Casey: Wait! Did you hear that?

Elliott: What?

Casey: Someone's coming.

Casey shoves Elliott through the nearest door as Casey follows. Casey closes the door, but leaves a crack open to look through. Elliott keeps his back against the wall in the well-lit room as Casey peeks out the door.

Elliott: Uh... Casey?

Casey: I know the idea is for me to be seen on the floor, but I don't want to be seen- just not yet.

Elliott: Casey?

Casey: I think the coast is clear.

Elliott: No, it isn't.

Casey: What do you mean?

Casey turns around and sees two women standing in the room, both with their arms crossed. Around the room is a half-dozen stalls and three sinks. Elliott and Casey have slipped into the women's restroom.


Jeremy is on the phone outside of the makeshift editing room.

Jeremy: (on phone) Yeah. We're at the Winter Games, and Natalie has a fever. (listens) No, an actual 101-degree fever. (listens) She really does have the Olympic fever. The doctor said she needs to drink plenty of fluids and get some rest. (listens) Well, you try convincing her to take a day off while we're here in Utah.

Jeremy sees someone approaching.

Jeremy: (on phone) I've got to go. I'll talk to you later.

Jeremy hangs up the phone. Natalie approaches with an armful of video tapes.

Natalie: We've got- (coughs) We've got work to do. Let's go.

Jeremy: Have you thought about taking a night or two off?

Natalie: I don't want to take a night off.

Jeremy: You're sick.

Natalie: I'll muster through.

Jeremy: You need to take care of yourself.

Natalie: I'll be fine.

Jeremy: Natalie-

Natalie: I said I'll be fine.

The two enter the editing room.


Kim, JoAnne, Melanie and a few other women are sitting at a front-row table and enjoying a performance. The darkened room plays high-beat, dance music.

JoAnne: Why didn't you tell me we we're going to see the Chippendales?!

Kim: It was going to be a surprise!

The ladies watch the Chippendales dance.

Kim: You remember that prospective roommate I was telling you about?

JoAnne: I completely forgot about it.

Kim: See the man up there- the third one from the left?

JoAnne: Yeah.

Kim: That's Connor.

JoAnne: Him?

Kim: What do you think?

JoAnne: He's certainly fit like a Greek god.

The Chippendales jump off the stage and into the audience. Kim waves over to Connor. Connor comes dancing over to the ladies' table.

Kim: Hey, Connor.

Connor: Hey, Kim.

Connor dances around the ladies at the table.

Kim: I brought the woman I was telling you about.

Connor: Great. Is this Jo?

JoAnne: Yes, I'm Jo.

Connor: I'm sorry our first meeting is like this.

JoAnne: I'm not complaining.

Connor: We should talk sometime.

JoAnne: But not now.

Connor: Kim has my number.

JoAnne: I'll get it from her.

Connor: I don't want this to look like I'm coming on to you.

JoAnne: But?

Connor: Just keep in mind this is part of the performance and its entertainment for all of the ladies.

JoAnne: Okay.

Connor then pulls JoAnne's chair out with her on it. He straddles her lap and starts giving her a private- yet, public- dance. The crowd whistles, hoots, and hollers.

JoAnne's beeper goes off. She jumps up and rubs against Connor's body. Connor grabs hold of her to keep their balance.

JoAnne: My beeper just went off. I'm sorry.

Connor: It's alright.

JoAnne: I've got to go back to work.

Connor: We'll talk later.

As JoAnne moves away, Connor grabs Kim and begins to dance with her.


The evening's show has wrapped up and everybody in the control room is getting ready to leave.

Dana: Good show, everybody.

Dana takes off her headset and leaves the control room. She walks through the newsroom and checks her notes. As she walks by a staffer, she stops him and tells him, "Could you please have Paul go through the checklist?"

The staffer nods his head, and the two head in opposite directions. Dana walks toward her office.

As Dana reaches her office, she opens the door and turns on the light.

Dana: AAHHHH!!!!

Casey, who was sitting on the couch, jumps up and holds Dana.

Casey: Shhh.

Dana: What the hell are you doing here?!

Casey pulls Dana aside and closes her door, while making sure no one is immediately suspicious.

Casey: First of all, are you alright?

Dana: You scared the crap out of me!

Casey: But you're alright?

Dana: Yes!

Casey: Shhh... lower your voice.

Dana: (whispering) What are you doing here?

Casey: Huh?

Casey leans toward Dana to hear her whispering.


Casey jumps back and grabs the ear Dana just shouted in.

Casey: I'm here to make a point.

Dana: Which is?

Casey: That I can be trusted not to run away with your future projects.

Dana: How did you get up here?

Casey: I had some assistance.

Dana: You broke security guidelines?

Casey: Not so much as breaking them.

Dana: As to what?

Casey: As to avoiding them.

Dana: Casey? I can get into a lot of trouble if you're caught in here.

Casey: But security downstairs didn't know I wasn't allowed up here. I just waited until someone came down to get me.

Dana: Who?

Casey: It doesn't matter who.

Dana: Dan- I'm going to kill him.

Casey: It wasn't Danny.

Dana: If it wasn't Dan, then who was it?

Dana's door opens and Isaac walks in. He sees Casey and then looks at Dana.

Isaac: Dana? There was a report that two men were spotted inside the women's restroom. I have their descriptions, and one of them sounds a lot like Elliott. The other one sounded a lot like Casey- they said he had a rectangle-shaped head- but it couldn't be Casey because Casey isn't allowed on this floor; and I know he wouldn't jeopardize people's jobs by coming up here.

Casey: Hey, Isaac.

Isaac: Why are you up here causing more trouble?

Casey: I'm trying to make a point.

Isaac: That you're an idiot?

Casey: No. I'm trying to prove that I'm trustworthy.

Isaac: By breaching security and hiding out in women's restrooms?

Casey: I didn't want to be caught.

Isaac: You've just been caught. Myself, Dana, Elliott, two women in the restroom, and probably countless others have seen you up here.

Casey: Well, my plan didn't actually come to fruition.

Isaac: I'll say.

Dana: Isaac? I had no prior knowledge of this. I didn't know Casey could be so... so stupid.

Isaac: Here's what I'm willing to do. Casey? Get out of here right now and don't come back-

Casey: Isaac?!

Isaac: Let me finish. Casey, leave right now. I'll continue to work with the network executives on trying get them to change their minds or to come up with some sort of compromise. But you've got to stay out of this.

Casey: Okay.

Isaac: And you've got to stay off my floor.

Casey: Okay.

Isaac: Good.

Casey: So I can go to the other floors, right?

Isaac: You're limited to the lobby.

Casey: Now you're banning me from the entire building?! You know, I could just jump over that velvet rope in the lobby. I could have someone prop open the door to the stairwell-

Isaac: Casey, get out.

Casey: Okay, but I'm telling you I can do it. This whole scenario is preposterous.

Isaac: I agree, but with you acting like a lunatic, it only gives them more the reason to keep you out of here.

Casey: Okay. I'll lay low for a while.

Isaac: Thank you.

Casey: I'll see you all later.

Isaac: Good night.

Dana: See ya'.

Casey leaves the office.

Isaac: What has gotten into him?

Dana: I don't know. Let's just say he's fallen into a momentarily lapse of judgment.

Isaac: I'll say it, but if I see him up here again, the phrase 'momentarily lapse of judgment' will be replaced with 'permanent lapse of judgment.'

Dana: I will be sure to speak to him later.

Isaac: Alright.

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