INT. OUTSIDE DSG OFFICE – NIGHT

(The glass door of the DSG office comes into view. One of those stray birds that somehow lives in the BC crashes into the door and plops on the ground.)

(A shadow opens the DSG office and pauses to gaze the seizing bird on the ground. The shadow comes into view as FRANCIS UNDERWOOD – a power hungry frat boy with skin about as orange as his Vineyard Vines. He has the charm of LMo, the viciousness of Nifong, and the sensitivity of Trask driving through a BLM protest. He crouches down and removes his wrap-around sunglasses, indoors mind you, to examine the BIRD CHIRPING near death.)

(A stalky STUDENT SENATOR stands behind Frank as he’s still crouched over the dying bird.)

STUDENT SENATOR

She’s on to us.

FRANK

(sarcastically)

Is she now?

STUDENT SENATOR

Yes. I just said that.

FRANK

How much does she know?

STUDENT SENATOR

She has enough to cause an investigation before the court.

(pauses)

What are you doing on the ground?

FRANK

It’s one of those pigeons, ran into the glass. Doesn’t stand a chance.

(Frank turns his head to look the Senator dead in the eyes, like a PTS worker issuing a ticket.)

FRANK

Get her on the line. She might need some persuading to keep silent.

(The Student Senator nods and enters the DSG office. Frank still crouches by the bird’s body and gently pets the bird’s head.)

FRANK

Shhh…You’re fine

(He turns and looks into the camera.)

FRANK

You know when there’s a Yak with -4 votes and you know that you in that moment hold the power to let straggle and have a chance at survival and upvotes or you can kill it in its tracks? That’s a lot like politics. You have to know when to let something straggle and suffer according to your will and when to do the world—I mean yourself—a favor.

(He twists the neck of bird to the sound of a SQUWAK.)

 

INT. DSG OFFICE –DAY

(Underwood and his ADVISORS gather around a computer. An AIDE opens up a laptop and places it on the table.)

AIDE

In order to get the votes for the massage chairs

we will need to have a strong support from the committee and the senators.

Here’s a recording The Chronicle’s latest stream of the DSG meeting.

FRANK

Okay, let’s see it. As Whip, I need to find out who we will need to target for the resolution.

(He pulls out a Macbook pro with 15 stickers from groups he only sort of cares about, but makes him look involved and important.)

(The video shows the DSG meeting hall, mostly empty except for two senators on opposite sides of the hall. The PERSON conducting the meeting is “Skyping in” from a laptop at the head of the room.)

PERSON

Senator Johnson?

(silence)

Senator Cheng?

(silence)

Is anyone here? Hello?

(One of the senators in the hall walks out. The camera recording the meeting falls to the ground and captures only the carpet over the frantic cries of the Skyped in Person.)

BACK TO SCENE

(Frank rubs his chin and shakes his head.)

FRANK

Pitiful.

AIDE

Yeah, I always thought that carpet was atrocious.

They can spend millions on a glass box but would it kill them to hire an interior designer.

(The whole room turns and gives the Aide a confused look. CLAIRE, Frank’s girlfriend, walks into the office, her poise and elegance perfumes the room as she enters. She’s too cool to be in a sorority. She’s a part of an SLG. She struts over to Frank, her chin almost facing the ceiling.)

CLAIRE

Francis.

FRANK

Claire.

(to advisors)

A moment please.

(The advisors step out.)

CLAIRE

Francis. I have decided that I will be SOFC chair.

FRANK

Claire, you have very little experience in government. You cannot math. You had problems breaking a $20 for Shooters.

CLAIRE

Francis. There is technology for math called a calculator. I am very well qualified and you know it. My work with my non-profit…

FRANCIS

Claire. We get it. You founded your own non-profit. But I will not have you screwing up our plan. You’re crazy to think the student body will elect someone with no experience in DSG

CLAIRE

It’s DSG. What do they actually do? You’re just afraid that will I actually have power and influence, and that it is not going to you.

FRANCIS

You are so small-minded

CLAIRE

And you have small hands.

(The Aide opens the door of the office and peers through.)

AIDE

Sir. The pledges of Pi Omega will be voting for Kapoor.

FRANCIS

Excellent

(Frank turns toward the camera)

FRANCIS

Pledges are indentured servants for a semester. They are supposed to be just happy to oblige to the brothers like myself, even get free votes to win someone a political campaign—but the threat of hazing doesn’t hurt either.

CLAIRE

And higher ups in Kapoor’s sorority have made it clear the new sisters must vote for her to get points to be eligible for their formal.

AIDE

Once Kapoor is in office, one tip to the Chronicle and she’s done.

FRANCIS

(looking at Claire)

And we begin. Together.

Email between Francis and other SOFC chair candidate NEELA

 

Woodster@hotmail.com: hey

neela@sofc.duke.edu: lol who dis

woodster@hotmail.com: Frank. Can you send out reminder for the polling link tomorrow? Good way for people to show you care. Shows you are professional and you have SOFC experience. It’s like there isn’t a difference between work and personal life.

neela@sofc.duke.edu: true. Imma do that now.

woodster@hotmail.com: YAASS

 

INT. SHOOTERS – NIGHT

(A sweaty disgusting packed club floor pans into view. Flocks of girls gather in small hordes as a lining of creepy Durhamites line the wall—just moving their head. Frank chats with a half drunk Pooja Kapoor at a table away from the dance floor as she gets up from the table.)

POOJA

Thanksss so much for your support, Fr..ank

FRANK

Well, I wouldn’t be voting for anyone else.

(A girl CAROLYN PETE shimmies up to the table where Frank is sitting.)

CAROLYN

I guess devil parties too

FRANK

What?

CAROLYN

Writer’s sometimes put in things that sound elegant but are usually come off as cheesy

FRANK

Don’t you have a paper to publish tonight

CAROLYN

It’s not my night to edit tonight. I’m also not here here to fuck for facts

FRANK

I see.

(Carolyn stumbles and struggles to stand.)

FRANK

I’m taking you back

CAROLYN

I’m fffine.

(Frank supports Carolyn’s arm now over his shoulder as they walk out.)

 

EXT. EAST BUS LOOP-NIGHT

(Carolyn and Frank stand at the bus stop. It’s empty including the lack of security. Carolyn regains her footing.)

 

CAROLYN

I really wanted to just get you alone. There’s a rumor that you might have something to do with influencing the presidential race.

FRANK

You’re right. I am quite the Bernie Sanders supporter.

CAROLYN

No. I mean DSG.

(Frank looks deep into Carolyn’s eyes and pushes her into the incoming C1 bus. Frank runs away undetected William Trask rides up on his Porsche.)

TRASK

Ha. This one’s not on me. This one’s white.

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