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dedicated to the films of Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin

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Independence Day

On July second, the question of whether we are alone in the universe is finally answered. The people of SETI are the first to know, finding listening as an alien signal is broadcast across the frequencies. Satellite photos revile an alien vessel, a fourth the size of the moon, orbiting our planet.

Thomas Whitmore, the president of the United States, wakes with his daughter at his side and his wife, Marilyn, on the phone from Los Angeles. The pentagon calls and informs him of the news.

In New York City, David Levinson, MIT Graduate, Environmentalist, cable repairman, plays chess in the park with his father, Julius. As they play, Julius begins to talk about David's love life, or complete lack thereof. After 2 years as a divorcee, David still wears his wedding ring. Rather then continue the discussion, David checkmates his old man, and rides his bicycle to work.
At work, everything is in chaos. Satellite reception is almost nil across the board, with some satellites completely inoperable, almost as if they've disappeared.

In Washington, the president confers with Secretary of Defense and General William Gray. They discuss the possible use of nuclear weapons against the unknown invaders. The President shoots such suggestions down, when a colonel arrives with satellite pictures The alien ship has begun to break up, deploying several smaller vessels../...each more than 15 miles wide themselves. These similar pieces have begun to enter the atmosphere. News footage from Russia shows a wide, red-hot, saucer shaped cloud moving over Moscow. The media jumps on the story, or what bits and pieces of it they have available.

In New York, David Levinson has uncovered the source of the satellite interference. An unknown signal, hidden inside the normal satellite programming, has awakened and is now recycling itself into extinction. Meanwhile, in Imperial Valley California, Russell Casse is having a bad day. Working as a crop duster to support his three children, Russell began the day by dusting the wrong field. Infamous as a town drunk, he sits alone in a local dinner and takes abuse from the townies. Most of the heckling comes from Russell's claims of being an alien abductee. Naturally, no one believes his claim.

Then the shaking starts, and a shadow falls over Imperial Valley. In New York, people stare into the sky as something large blocks out the sun. Over four thousand fender benders rage through New York in less then a minute. David Levinson rushes to the roof, arriving just in time to see a huge alien saucer park itself over the City That Never Sleeps. Washington. President Whitmore calls a press conference, urging calm New York is anything but calm. Near riots break out in the streets as the citizens begin a panicked flight. David Levinson is one of them, for he knows the alien's plan. The signal hidden in Earth's satellites is, in fact, an alien countdown, used to coordinate the alien's attacks. Near panic, David makes a call to Washington D.C..

In the press conference, Connie Spano, Press Secretary, answers. She is David's ex, and brushes off his warnings of impending interstellar war.

A country away, Los Angeles wakes up slowly. Captain Steven Hiller, USAF, wakes up in his girlfriend Jasmine's bed. Going through his morning routine, Steve pauses to have some fun with Jasmine's son, Dylan, who claims to have had a busy morning, "shooting the aliens."

When Steven goes outside to get the paper, he finds the aliens.

Defeated, David Levinson cycles to his father's house. Since David doesn't own a car and never learned to drive, he takes his father on a little road trip to the nation's capital.

In LA, Steve is called back into duty, much to Jasmine's dismay. Steve isn't to keen on the idea himself. As he tells his squadron mate, Jimmy Wilder, at El Toro Air Force base, he planned to ask Jasmine to marry him.

In Imperial Valley, Russell Casse packs his children inside his mobile home and sets off east into the desert.

David and his father have gained access to the White House through Connie. She's still reluctant to believe his theory, and goes to summon the president. David is slightly chagrined at this, wanting to leave Washington (with Connie) as soon as possible.

Over Washington, a military helicopter approaches the alien ship as "operation Welcome Wagon." Connie calls the president away from this, and David explains everything to him. The signal, the countdown, the end of everything. The president orders a complete evacuation of every city currently underneath a saucer.
The warning comes too late for "Operation Welcome Wagon." Almost casually, the alien ship blows the helicopter out of the sky.
Preparations are made. David, his father, President Whitmore, and his staff are loaded onto Air Force One . As the plane begins to take off, time runs out.
The aliens attack with a city-destroying beam, wiping out everything in a 15-mile radius. Stuck on the Los Angeles Freeway, Jasmine and Dylan take shelter in a side tunnel as a rolling ball of fire destroys everything in its path.

July 3rd dawns, with three major American cities in ashes. The counter attack is immediate. At El Toro, Steven Hiller and Jimmy Wilder, part of Black Knights squadron, depart for the Los Angeles saucer, joining in an attack with other squadrons in New York and Washington.
The attack is a disaster. A protective shield over the alien's hull deflects any attack by the American planes. Hundreds of alien fighters, each the size of the Black Knights F-18s, cuts the humans apart. Black Knights squadron is wiped out. Only Steven Hiller survives. With an alien fighter on his tail, he takes off into desert, eventually crashing and taking the alien fighter down with him.

In the remains of LA, Jasmine and Dylan come across a band of survivors. Borrowing a fire truck, they drive through the dead city, picking up refugees. One of them is Marilyn Whitmore, the first lady.

The passengers of Air Force One  receive the news of Humanity's first defeat. Once again, the Secretary of Defense brings up the nuclear option. An argument erupts. Julius Levinson takes all the politicians to task for doing nothing to prevent this, despite the government's knowledge of ETs, stored at Area 51.
Whitmore consoles Julius that there is no Area 51. The secretary of defense tells him that this isn't "exactly true."

Steve Hiller walks through the Salt Flats of Utah, dragging his unconscious alien captive inside his parachute. Salvation comes when a fleet of motor homes pull up, one of which is driven by Russell Casse. Steve hops aboard and directs them to an Air Force base that "isn't on the map."

Air Force One  touches down in the same air base, and the passengers of Air Force One enter the famous Area 51, learning that the US government not only possesses an alien fighter, but 3 dead alien bodies.

As Senior Staff Member Dr. Okun tells them the short and ugly details of the crash, a fleet of motor homes pulls onto Area 51's tarmac. Steven Hiller and his alien prize are immediately taken to the examination room. Dr. Okun begins examination, only to have his subject wake up. As President Whitmore and his staff watch from an anteroom, the telepathic alien speaks through Okun, telling them that there will be no peace between aliens and humans. The alien then brushes against Whitmore's mind. The president sees the alien's plan to exterminate the human race. The alien is shot on site. Whitmore orders the use of the atomic bomb.

The president monitors the situation as an atomic bomb is deployed against a saucer over Huston Texas. The attack fails. Disgusted, Whitmore orders all the other bombers back over the suggestion of the secretary of defense. Outside, Steve Hiller steals a helicopter and departs for El Toro. He finds the LA refugees there and takes them back to Area 51.

Whitmore rushes to his wife's side, just in time to see her die from internal injuries. He mourns with his daughter in his arms. July fourth finds David Levinson on the floor of Area 51's hanger, in the shadow of the recovered alien fighter. He's been up all night, drinking and thinking, studying the alien technology, trying to find a weak point. His father confronts him and tells him to get off the floor "before you catch cold."

Julius' words trigger an idea in David's brain. He begins to work on a computer virus to take down the alien's shields, and a plan to destroy the alien invasion force. By piloting the captured fighter into the alien mother ship and uploading it into the alien's central computer network, the virus should filter down into the corresponding ships on Earth, leaving them ripe for destruction. A nuclear bomb could then destroy the mothership itself, inflicting further confusion on the alien forces.

Steve Hiller volunteers to pilot the alien craft with David along so he can upload the virus himself. President Whitmore agrees to the plan, over the objects of his secretary of defense, who he fires for being a "snively little weasel."

Contacting other military pockets of humanity throughout the world with old Morse code, Whitmore tells them of the planned counter offensive. Back in Area 51, Steve and Jasmine are wed. David and Connie serve as witnesses.

Thanks to depleted manpower, Russell Casse enlists as a pilot in the coming offensive. He, and the rest of the American pilots gather on the tarmac as President Whitmore makes a stirring speech. The president, a former pilot in the Gulf War, strips of his coat and tie, and puts on a flight suit.

Meanwhile, Steve and David depart for space, eventually docking inside the cavernous mothership. David uploads the virus successfully, but the ship itself remains trapped inside the alien dock. Steve and David take refuge behind their seats.

On Earth, the counter offensive goes forward. The aliens, having learned of Area 51, direct a heavy gunship towards the Air Force base. The virus is successful, and the alien forces begin to suffer loses of their own. In the bowels of the mothership, David and Steve do the only thing they can do: launch their nuclear bomb. This frees their ship from its docking clamps and, with 30 seconds until detonation, Steve pilots the fighter out of the mothership.

The battle continues. The human forces begin to run low on missiles. Only Russell Casse remains armed. But during firing, the missile jams. With the alien ship preparing to fire on Area 51, Russell flies his ship, kamikaze style, into the alien weapon. The explosion sets off a chain reaction, completely destroying the alien vessel.

The tactic is broadcast to human forces across the globe, and across the globe alien ships begin to fall.

David and Steve's ship falls into the desert. The two men survive unharmed. Whitmore, Connie, Jasmine, Dylan, and Julius drive out to meet them and, together, they watch pieces of the mothership rain down into the atmosphere, burning like fireworks.

written by Dr. Psy Chosis