THE SHARD

 

  JOHN STORM SCALES THE SHARD, TALLEST BUILDING IN THE UNITED KINGDOM BY WAY OF A ONE MAN ACTIVIST STUNT DAREDEVIL DEMONSTRATION - BANNER UNFURLS TO READ: "CLEANER OCEANS FOR A GREENER PLANET."

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John Storm climbs the Shard in London, England, by way of protesting the high levels of plastic pollution in the ocean.

 

 

John Storm is a daredevil activist and protestor.

 

 

 

 

 

London is a political, historical, cultural, and tourist center of the United Kingdom, an important city in Western Europe, at the heart of European tourism. The world famous attractions of the capital include the London Tower, Westminster Palace, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Wembley Stadium, St. Paul's Cathedral, among others. Many, World Heritage landmarks. Of lesser importance, the Shard was topped out in July 2012.

 

John Storm smiled to himself as he recalled six women activists from Greenpeace, scaled the tallest building in the UK, on July 11, 2013, to protest against oil and gas drilling in the Arctic by Shell. The female protestors reached the top of the Shard in central London at 7pm after 15 hours of climbing. Soon to be arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass. That was the benchmark. He very much admired those ladies.

 

It was 4am at London Bridge Station. Dawn threatening. But still dark in the city of London. Looming in the near distance - the Shard. John is about 40, tall, athletic, and ruggedly handsome. He dropped down onto the rail tracks and crossed to the opposite platform. He is wearing a black hoodie, jogging pants and climbing shoes. A rucksack is strapped to his back. Always one step in front of him - his cool, understated charisma.

Accompanying Storm is a boyish 22-year-old with John Lennon glasses and geekish good looks. He carries a laptop in its case. This is John's friend and, on this occassion, co-conspirator Dan Hawk.

Storm and Hawk clamber up onto the platform, just as a train pulls in and blocks them from view. On the opposites platform, Dan gives John a leg up onto the platform's perimeter wall. From there Storm hauls himself up onto the station roof, then peers back down at Hawk.

"See you after breakfast."

Storm disappears. Hawk speaks into the face mic he wears: "Steve? It's go."

At a helipad, at London International Airport, too early in the morning for Afro-American reporter Steve Green, the forty-ish year old sports a casual suit and black-framed glasses, He holds his phone tight to his ear.

"Check that, Hawk." The looking the Charley Temple, his trusty camerawoman. "Ready Charley?"

Charley Temple stows away her camera. Charley is early 30s, boyishly attractive with raven-black hair tied back in a pony tail. She wears combat trousers and Doctor Martin boots. She zips up her camera bag and throws it over her shoulder.

Charley responds to Steve impatiently: "Ready."

Steve casually drains his coffee. They head out.

Back at London Bridge Station, Hawk opens his laptop. Storm's YouTube channel is on screen. The channel is titled 'STORM'. Hawk hits LIVE STREAM. At the base of the Shard, Storm leaps down from the station roof onto the concrete base of London's tallest skyscraper. He scans about. Orients himself in the half-light at the base of the Shard.

Hawk watches the CCTV images being live streamed on Storm's YouTube channel. Storm in the half-light now, edging his way along the side of the building at the base of the Shard.

Storm puts a hand to his earpiece and speaks into his face mic. "You have visual?"

Dan Hawk replied: "Three-sixty degrees."

 

Hawk studies the screen. "I'm inside their system. They have the cameras. I have the remote. We are live streaming to the world." 

 

Hawk's fingers play the keypad and a CCTV camera moves at the base of the Shard. The camera angle on Hawk's laptop changes, pleasing Dan.

"Making my way round to the start point now." John whispered.

"Roger that. It's twenty metres to your right."

At the base of Shard Storm hugs the wall as he makes his way over stealthily to the start point. On his laptop Hawk sees two security guards approaching Storm's position. "You have unwanted visitors."

Storm freezes at the base of the Shard. Flattens himself against the wall. Dares not even breathe as the two guards amble past and disappear around the side of the building. Storm puts a hand to his earpiece and waits for Hawk's all-clear.

"All clear to go. Good luck, Skip."

Storm wastes no time. He hauls himself up athletically onto the metal frame-like structure overhanging him and slips his rucksack off. He pulls out two suction cups. He looks up. The glistening glass Shard soars above him all the way to the sky.

Back at the station, Hawk packs his laptop away and leaves.

At the Helipad, Steve and Charley climb aboard an EcoBird electro-hybrid helicopter - Steve in the pilot's seat, Charley next to him. The rotor blades whir into life. The EcoBird helicopter lifts and banks, almost silently. Flies off heading for the Shard.

Back at the Shard a suction cup slaps against a glass panel as Storm heaves himself up and across onto the open face of the Shard. Fortunately, there are hand holds on the way up.

He climbs using the cups for grip. One and then the next. He climbs like Spiderman. It's a superhuman effort. He stops, dips a hand in his chalk bag, dares to look down. He is 50 metres above London. He continues his climb.

Looking from London Bridge through his digi binoculars, Hawk watches as Storm ascends the Shard. No safety harness. No ropes. Hawk stands on the bridge and films the climb through the high-powered digital camera binoculars.

Back in the EcoBird Steve speaks into his face mic: "We're on our way, Hawk. ETA twenty-six minutes."

Hawk continues to film the climb, binoculars pressed to his eyes with one hand, phone held to his ear with the other. "Roger that, Steve."

Dan watches and films using the digital binoculars as Storm continues to climb. Mentally calculating that he is halfway up the Shard now.

John is thinking the same thing. He's about half way. Storms heaves himself sideways and steps onto the ladder-like metal structure running the full height of the Shard. Gravity tugs at him. It's an immense effort. He peels of the suction cup and stows it in his rucksack. Wipes sweat from his brow. Plants a foot on the rung above him. Hauls himself up a level.

Down below Hawk observes anxiously, binoculars trained on the Shard. "Come on, Skip. You can do this."

Inside one of the hotel rooms, a mobile phone flashes on the bedside table. An alarm sounds. A female hand reaches over and turns it off. The young attractive woman in her twenties throws off the bed covers and heads for the bathroom dressed in a long T-shirt.

On the outside of the hotel room, Storm hauls himself up onto the next rung and casts a glance across his shoulder, out across London. He is 200 metres up. Tower Bridge, Big Ben and the London Eye are way below him.

Inside the Shard hotel room the young woman emerges from the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her. Crosses the room and opens the curtains. She gasps, stunned to see Storm peering back at her. John almost loses his footing as the curtains draw back to reveal the young woman. He quickly gathers himself.

 

"Beautiful morning."

Hawk listens in through his earpiece.  "What's that, Skip?"

Storm is still peering in at the attractive young woman. He smiles warmly.

"I was just saying the views are even more distracting up here than I imagined."

Hawk uses his earpiece voice: "Ah,ha. Focus, Skip. Focus." He is oblivious to the situation.

The young woman snaps the curtains shut and smiles to herself.

In the EcoBird helicopter, the  London skyline approaching. The Shard comes into view. Charley is seated at the open door, legs bracing her, camera at the ready.

With the Shard looming larger in Charley's camera lens. Storm heaves himself up another rung, then another. Plants his foot on the next rung, SLIPS, just manages to grab hold of the rung above. 300 metres above London now, dangling by one arm. He manages to swing across and grab hold with both hands. Regains his footing. Hauls himself up onto  the top of the Shard. Just as the EcoBird helicopter swoops in low, Charley hanging from its open door, camera trained on the man who has just free-climbed the Shard. The helicopter hovers, Steve at the controls. Storm gives a wave.

Inside the EcoBird, Charley is looking at John via her camera lens. Storm smiles and waves to camera. Charley watches as the activist takes his abseil rope from his rucksack and clips it to the metal framework. Tugs it to make sure it's secure.

 

A security guard makes himself known, standing on a platform a few floors below. "Come on now, Sir! Climb down and come inside please!"

Storm turns to see two security guards several floors below, calling to him through a megaphone.

"Come on buddy. Time to get down now."

"Funny you should say that." Storm falls backwards and disappears. The security guards look horrified.

In the air, Charley is filming from the EcoBird helicopter as Storm falls backwards off the Shard and abseils down, SAS-style. A banner unfurls as he descends. The Banner reads: 

 

 

'CLEANER OCEANS FOR A GREENER PLANET'

 

 

Steve whoops and cheers and gives the thumbs up.

Back on terra firma, London Bridge, Hawk is watching through his digital camera. Storm is now halfway down the Shard. The banner is fully unfurled. Hawk lowers the binoculars. "Get in!"

About half way down the building, Storm fixes the banner, then watches as the helicopter wheels around and heads off. He dangles 150 metres above London. To his left a small balcony enclosed by an iron railing - an entry point. He starts to swing himself on the rope, left then right, then again, a human pendulum. Until -- Yes! His hand grips hold of the railing and he hauls himself up onto the balcony to safety. He unclips the abseil rope and breathes. Just then his mobile phone vibrates in his pocket. He takes it out. The face of George Franks stares back at him.

"George."

"Hello John. You must be hungry. I ordered eggs."

"I'm thinking organic, free range."

"Naturally. Simon will show you in."

Storm turns. Simon is dressed in full waiter's livery - tips his head and motions towards the black door behind him.

"This way, Sir." Storm enters. The black door closes behind them.

 

 

 

 

SCENE

DESCRIPTION

LOCATION

 

   

 

Prologue

Shard Protest

51 30' N, 0 7' 5.1312'' W

Chapter 1

Arctic Melt

580 W, 750 N

Chapter 4

Sydney Australia

330 S, 1510 E

Chapter 6

Bat Cave

330 20S, 1520 E

Chapter 8

Whale Sanctuary

200 N, 1600 W

Chapter 10

Pirates

330 N, 1290 E

Chapter 13

Solar Race

200 N, 1600 W

Chapter 14

Darwin to Adelaide

130 S, 1310 E 350 S, 1380 E

Chapter 15

Six Pack

200 N, 1600 W

Chapter 16

Whaling Chase

240 N, 1410 E

Chapter 20

Empty Ocean

200  N, 1600 E  (middle of Pacific)

Chapter 24

Billion Dollar Whale

250 N, 1250 E

Chapter 26

Rash Move

140 N, 1800 E

Chapter 27

Off Course

150 N, 1550 E

Chapter 28

Shark Attack

100 N, 1650 E

Chapter 29

Sick Whale

100 N, 1650 E

Chapter 30

Medical SOS

100 N, 1650 E

Chapter 31

Whale Nurse

100 N, 1650 E

Chapter 33

Storm Clouds

150 S, 1550 E

Chapter 34

The Coral Sea

150 S, 1570 E

Chapter 36

Plastic Island

20 S, 1600

Chapter 39

Media Hounds

170 S, 1780E

Chapter 40

Breach of Contract

200 S, 1520 E

Chapter 42

Fraser Island

250 S, 1530 E

Chapter 43

Congratulations

250 S, 1530 E

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/13/greenpeace-shard-protest-shell-environment
https://www.channel4.com/news/greenpeace-protest-shard-london-arctic-climb-video
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jul/11/greenpeace-activists-climb-london-shard
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-23283323
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jul/11/greenpeace-shard-shell
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-23266281

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/13/greenpeace-shard-protest-shell-environment
https://www.channel4.com/news/greenpeace-protest-shard-london-arctic-climb-video
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jul/11/greenpeace-activists-climb-london-shard
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-23283323
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jul/11/greenpeace-shard-shell
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-23266281

               

 

 

 

A young humpback whale calf is caught in plastice fishing gear, ghost nets     Kulo Luna, a humpback whale caught in ghost fishing nets

 

 

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This screenplay is Copyright 26th November 2021 Cleaner Ocean Foundation. Protected by the Berne Convention. This web page is copyright October 2024. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

JOHN STORM IS AN OCEAN AND CLIMATE ACTIIVIST - WHO SCALES THE SHARD TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE WORLD ABOUT PLASTIC POLLUTION