A rough idea for Issue Zero (hopefully to be published after a few issues of the actual series are out, so we can do clever sly references that the readers will immediately connect to things that have already occurred, but which are yet in the future at the time this is set).
CAPTION: The Naval Observatory, Washington D.C.: Private office in the residence of the Vice President of the United States:
VP: Malcolm. Good to see you again, my friend.
MAL: Honored as always, sir.
CAPTION: John Nance Garner, the 32nd Vice President of the United States, once noted that that the Office of the Vice President was "not worth a bucket of warm piss".
VISUAL: We're closer to the window now and we can see VP Robert Shockley through it. Shockley is very much meant to be a Dick Cheney type of character, and should probably generally resemble him... older, balding, stocky.. but perhaps he is a light skinned black man. Or unlike Cheney, he may have served at some point in the military (he would certainly have arranged postings for himself that were far from combat, although at the same time, he may well have also arranged for various combat decorations and medals to be awarded to himself over the years.) So he may be in uniform of some sort.
CAPTION: Even before he was sworn in as VPOTUS 48, Robert Shockley disagreed with that quote... mostly because he'd always felt that a bucket of warm piss could be extremely useful in the right circumstances.
VP: Mal, I've been looking at the THINK TANK proposal. Lookin' hard, Mal. Lookin' hard.
CAPTION: Certainly, a gallon sized bucket of warm piss could make an effective bludgeoning weapon. A trifle clumsy, maybe. But if you were sneaky about your approach...
MAL: I... well, Bob, I'm glad to hear that. I hope...
VISUAL: We're inside the private office of the VP now. This is the one in his residence and is probably a little cluttered. I have no idea what the place looks like, but we can probably find some visual reference for it. VP Shockley is behind his desk, his visitor, our Mirror Shades guy, is sitting in a chair in front of it. The desk is covered with files and books and photos, as Shockley is neck deep in covert (highly illegal/immoral) military/intelligence/
surveillance ops at all times. Mirror Shades has a file folder of his own open on his lap.
CAPTION: Certainly you could waterboard one of those little Muslim motherf&@kers with a bucket of warm piss. Or a g*dd@m hippie, for that matter...
VP: Mal, you know I don't have to tell you, we've pulled a lot of sh%t together. A LOT of sh%t. Buried a lot of bodies. Yes sir. Yes indeed.
MAL: Of course, Bob. And this is no...
VP: It's different, Mal. Of course it's different. This one? I've got a pretty strong stomach, Mal, but this one... this one makes me queasy.
TITLE: A RUNAWAY AMERICAN DREAM
VISUAL: More of the same; it will be these same two characters in the same room for the rest of this particular scene. I leave it to your artistic ingenuity to keep it visually interesting... close ups, pull outs, exterior shots, whatever. What's important is the dialogue.
MAL: Bob... sir. With all due respect, Mr. Vice President...
VP: Due respect. Yes sir, I am due respect. I run this country, Mal. Not that glorified Ivy League daddy's boy in the Oval. I got put on to babysit him, Mal. You know that. He cuts ribbons and does the photo ops. I get the work done. The hard nasty dirty day to day work of running the most powerful nation in the world.
MAL: No one doubts that, Bob. No one who matters.
VISUAL: More yak yak yak.
VP: Here's what I know, Mal. I don't know a lot but I know this: the American voters will put up with nearly any g#dd@m thing in the world as long as they get warm pussy, cold beer, and plenty of NASCAR on TV.
MAL: Absolutely, Bob. And we've been instrumental in...
VP: Let me finish. Let me finish. Mal, they'll put up with nearly anything... but this? This THINK TANK is an abomination. One whiff of that in the papers and... Mal, we've trained these people like seals! That whole 'Vietnam vets came home and were spit on by hippies' thing... never happened! But they ate it up with a spoon! They LOVE our boys! They'll never stand still for... they'll be rioting in the streets, Mal! And won't the Man-Child whine about that!
VISUAL: Mal is being reassuring.
MAL: Bob... we've thought of that. We would never hang you out to dry. I hope you know that, Bob.
MAL: My guess is, you were so upset by the specs you never got to the proposed marketing campaign in the back of the file. Would that be right, Bob?
VP: Marketing? Mal, you can't market...
VISUAL: More of the same. We can see some kind of map of the United States in the office now, on a wall, on Shockley's desk, somewhere.
MAL: Oh, we can, Bob. We can. We have it all planned out. By the time we're done, the American public will be so sick of hearing about military veterans... as sick as they are of hippies, now.
MAL: There may be a little bit of a ruckus we have to get through. I think you mentioned 'rioting in the streets'... yeah... we'll see some of that. But we'll make that work for us.
MAL: Just one thing we need from you, Bob, and your boy... besides your patience with us, I mean, and some cooperation under the table...
VISUAL: Close up of Mal's finger on a map. We can quite clearly see "Sparta City" marked on the map where his finger is resting, although we can't make out quite what state Sparta City is in.
MAL: ...we may need to borrow this city for a while.