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Bringing Out The Dead Movie Script

Writer(s) : Paul Schrader

Genres : Drama

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                    BRINGING OUT THE DEAD







                                             First draft (11/7/97)

                                             Paul Schrader

                                             From the novel by
                                             Joseph Connelly







          After World War One it was called
          Shell Shock.

          After World War Two it was called
          Battle Fatigue.

          After Vietnam it was called
          Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

          Frank Pierce, 28, drives an EMS vehicle for
          Our Lady of Mercy Hospital, New York City.
          He has been a paramedic for five years.



     EXT. NEW YORK STREETS--NIGHT

     An EMS "bus" careens around a corner, tires squealing, lights
     flashing, siren whoop-whooping, swooping through Stygian
     canyons of New York.

     FRANK PIERCE, 28, drives. He wears dark cargo pants, black
     boots, a white shirt with the paramedic badge, "EMS" gold 
     logo on one collar, "OLM" on the other. "Our Lady of Mercy 
     Paramedic" is inscribed in white across the back of his
     navy jacket. On his belt: two-way radio, leather gloves,
     beeper, drug kit, multi-purpose tool kit, mini-flashlight,
     collapsible baton.

     LARRY, 35, overweight, his partner for the night, rides techie
     (shotgun), both hands clutching the dash.

     Frank scans the blurring cityscape for hidden danger. He is
     a young man of slight frame and open face--his life, his
     possible futures, still before him: behind those open eyes,
     beneath those dark shadows: hollowness beckons.

     Dispatcher's voice crackles through the cab static: "Ladder 
     4, respond to a 10-22, four flight residential, 417 East 32. 
     13 Boy, men's room Grand Central, man set his pants on fire.
     Bad burns. 17 David, at 177 East 24, there's a
     woman who says a roach crawled in her ear. Can't get it out,
     says she's going into cardiac arrest ..."

     Frank's detached voice speaks over the urban landscape:

                           FRANK (V.O.)
               Thursday started out with a bang: a
               gunshot to the chest on a drug deal
               gone bad. Heat, humidity, moonlight--
               all the elements in place for a long
               weekend. I was good at my job: there
               were periods when my hands moved
               with a speed and skill beyond me and
               my mind worked with a cool authority
               I had never known. But in the last
               year I had started to lose that
               control. Things had turned bad. I
               hadn't saved anyone for months. I
               just needed a few slow nights, a
               week without tragedy followed by a
               couple of days off.

     The radio continues: "Zebra, 13Z, 524 East 17--"

                           LARRY
                    (on radio)
               We're there.

     The ambulance breaks to a halt in front of a row of vintage
     walk-ups. Frank and Larry jump out: Frank lugs the EKG monitor
     and airway bag, Larry the drug box, yellow oxygen
     pack slung over his shoulder. Neighbors crowd around.

                           OLD WOMAN
               Which apartment? Which apartment?

                           FRANK
               Move back. Where's the stairs? 5A.

                           OLD WOMAN
               Oh Jesus, it's Mr. Burke.

     The front door opens, a young boy holding it.

     Author's note: in emergency situations, either on the street 
     or in the hospital, it is assumed there is continual
     background noise--voices, sirens, cries, questions, etc.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. TENEMENT STAIRWELL--NIGHT

     Four flights up: Frank and Larry climbing rotting steps, 
     gray-yellow painted walls, red doors with three locks each,
     Larry, out of breath, his stomach rolling around like a
     bowling ball in a bag.
                                                               
                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. BURKE APARTMENT--NIGHT

     They enter 5A. MRS. BURKE, 55, her eyes run dry, standing in
     the center of the room, surrounded by neighbors. Someone
     leads them to the BEDROOM where Mr. Burke, 60, lies unmoving,
     stretched on the bed. A young woman, MARY BURKE, 24, kneels 
     over the old man, pressing her lips to his flaccid mouth.

     JOHN BURKE, 30, grabs Franks arm:

                           JOHN
               We were just watching TV and Dad
               yelled out and started punching his
               chest, next thing he locked himself
               in the bathroom. I said we were gonna
               call you guys and he said not to.
               He was crying, I never heard him 
               crying before, then he sorta stopped.
               We pulled him out and put him on the
               bed.

     Frank and Larry moving the body to the floor:

                           FRANK
               How long ago did he stop breathing?

                           JOHN
               Maybe ten minutes. Woman on the phone
               tried to tell us how to do CPR.
               Please, you gotta do something.

                           FRANK
               We'll do all we can.

     Larry ripping open Mr. Burke's shirt, prepping electrode 
     patches, hooking wires, Frank opening Burke's mouth, feeling 
     a puff of gas escape; Larry calling for backup. Burke's EKG 
     rhythm on the monitor a flat green line.

     Frank's training takes over: he injects the long steel 
     laryngoscope down Burke's throat, he finds a vein, injects 
     epinephrine, followed by atrophine, followed by another epi:
     no response on the monitor. Larry pulls out the paddles:

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               Clear! Clear!

     Larry activates defibrillator, shock--Burke's body heaves.
     Sweat drips from Larry's nose onto Burke's chest.

                           MARY
               No more, please don't!

     They shock him again. This time the body moves less. Frank 
     glances up: Mr. and Mrs. Burke's wedding photo sits on the 
     nightstand. Other pictures: a day at the beach, a young 
     serviceman, happy parents. Frank's mind drifts:

                           FRANK (V.O.)
               In the last year I had come to believe 
               in such things as spirits leaving 
               the body and not wanting to be put 
               back, spirits angry at the awkward 
               places death had left them.  I 
               understood how crazy it was to think 
               this way, but I was convinced if I 
               turned around, I'd see Old Man Burke 
               standing at the window, watching, 
               waiting for us to finish.

     Frank feels Burke's heart beneath cracked ribs. The EEG 
     remains flat. He's dead. It's time to quit.

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
                    (to Larry)
               I'll take over. Call ER and ask for 
               an eighty-three.
                    (to Mrs. Burke)
               Sorry.

     Larry stands, breathing heavy, looks for a phone. Frank turns 
     to notice relatives and neighbors standing around.

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               Do you have any music?

                           MARY
               What?

                           FRANK
               Music. I think it helps if you play 
               something he liked.

                           MARY
               John, play the Sinatra.

     John enters crying. Mary repeats softly:

                           MARY
               Play the Sinatra.

     John exits. Frank notices Mary for the first time: blond 
     hair dyed black, cut short, loose fitting tank dress, black 
     makeup running down her cheeks. He notices her prom picture, 
     glances back to Mary: it seems she hasn't smiled since that 
     day eight years before. Something special about her, that 
     something that hits you right away.

     "September of My Years" plays from the other room. Frank 
     continues massaging Mr. Burke's chest (now to Sinatra beat), 
     even though it's hopeless. Larry returns:

                           LARRY
               It's OK, Frank. We can call it. Eighty-
               three.

     Frank feels something strange, looks into Burke's pupils, 
     checks his neck pulse, wrist pulse. His eyes go to Larry:

                           FRANK
               No we can't. He's got a pulse.

                           LARRY
               No shit.

     Larry checks the monitor: the green line up and down. Mary 
     senses a change in status:

                           MARY
               Is he going to be alright?

                           FRANK
                    (not encouraging)
               His heart's beating.

     A distant siren signals the arrival of backup. Frank turns 
     to Larry:

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               Have 'em bring up a stretcher.

     He looks from Mary back to Mr. Burke--breathing but comatose.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. AMBULANCE--NIGHT

     Larry climbing through the back doors, sitting in the jumpseat 
     at the stretcher's head as Frank hangs IV bags, replugs EKG 
     wires that have come loose.

     Frank looks up, sees Mary entering; he takes her arm, turns 
     her toward the rear doors:

                           FRANK
               Help your family. Ride with your 
               mother and brother.
                    (she hesitates)
               Help your family. They need you more.   
               Help yourself.

     Mary steps out, stands in the red flashing light as Larry 
     closes the door, Frank climbs in the driver's seat.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. SECOND AVENUE--NIGHT

     The EMS bus cruises up Second. Frank checks the side mirror: 
     John, Mary and Mrs. Burke pull behind in a black Ford. Seeing 
     their faces, Frank flips the lights and siren on. It's too 
     late to help Mr. Burke, but it's important to the family 
     that it look urgent. Frank watches passing lights, cars, 
     faces:

                           FRANK (V.O.)
               I needed to concentrate because my 
               mind tended to wander on these short 
               trips. It was the neighborhood I 
               grew up in and where I had worked 
               most as a paramedic, and it held 
               more ghosts per square foot than any 
               other.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. OUR LADY OF MERCY--NIGHT

     Larry and Frank's 13 Zebra ambulance lined up beside two 
     others outside a blazing "Emergency" sign on the crowded 
     side street.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. MERCY ER--NIGHT

     Every large city has a hospital Emergency Room so replete 
     with trauma, violence and suffering it picks up the sobriquet 
     "Knife and Gun Club." On Manhattan's Lower East Side it's 
     our Lady Of Mercy, aka, Our Lady of Misery.

     ER: a white-lit cement box painted yellow and decorated with 
     old framed Playbills. Four rows of six plastic chairs face a
     TV bolted and chained to the ceiling. The seats are filled 
     with backed-up drunks, assault victims and "regulars,"
     bleeding and spilling over against the walls and the floor, 
     getting up to ask their status or going out to throw up and 
     have a smoke.

     Larry and Frank wheeling Burke in, two IV lines, each 
     connected to an elbow, tangled in EKG cables. Two LACERATED 
     RUSSIANS scramble out of their way as they approach GRISS, 
     the large black sunglassed security guard. He looks up from 
     his television guide:

                           GRISS
               Hey partner. Your man does not look
               well. They're not gonna appreciate
               you inside.

                           FRANK
                    (pumping Ambu-bag)
               Griss, let us in.

                           GRISS
               Things are backing up.

     Griss pushes a button, activating the automatic door, striking 
     the bandaged leg of a man lying down on a stretcher in the 
     hall. Larry and Frank wheel Burke inside. A pleading family 
     tries to follow. Griss stretches out his hand:

                           GRISS (CONT'D)
               You can't go in there, folks.

     Mary, John and Mrs. Burke rush in from the street, hoping 
     some miracle has occurred during the drive to the hospital, 
     approach the sign-in desk.

     Frank and Larry pass four stretchers lined against the wall--
     a passage nicknamed "Skid Row" leading past triage NURSE 
     CONSTANCE's station.

                           NURSE CONSTANCE
               Just keep moving. Don't even slow 
               down.

     Nurse Constance turns back to the nervous man seated beside 
     her:

                           NURSE CONSTANCE (CONT'D)
               Sir, you say you've been snorting 
               cocaine for three days and now you 
               feel your heart is beating too fast 
               and you would like us to help you. 
               To tell the truth, I don't see why I 
               should. If I'm mistaken, correct me. 
               Did we sell you the cocaine? Did we 
               push it up your nose?

     Larry and Frank slow at the last Skid Row stretchers. On 
     one, NOEL, a young dark-skinned man with chaotic mess of 
     dreadlocks, pulls feverishly at his restraints:

                           NOEL
               For God's sake, give me some water.

     From the next stretcher a man with feet swollen purple like 
     prize eggplants replies:

                           BIG FEET
               Shut up! Goddamn civilians.

                           NOEL
               Give me some water!

     NURSE CRUPP stops Frank and Larry as they approach the 
     Critical care room. inside, the staff appears as if under 
     siege by a battalion of shriveled men and women lying on a 
     field of white sheets.

                           NURSE CRUPP
               Don't take another step. We're on 
               diversion. Can't accept any more 
               patients. Your dispatcher should 
               have told you.

                           FRANK
               We got him at Eighteen and Second. 
               You're closest.

                           NURSE CRUPP
               Where will I put him, Frank? Look. 
               Tell me.

                           FRANK
               He wanted to come here. Said the 
               nurses at Misery were the best.

                           NURSE CRUPP
                    (acquiesces)
               All right, give me a minute. I'll 
               kick someone out of slot three.

     Larry unravels himself from the IV lines as nurse walks over, 
     takes Burke's pulse.

                           NOEL
                    (to Frank)
               Excuse me. You are a very kind man. 
               I can see that. A man like you could 
               not refuse a poor sick dying helpless 
               man a small cup of water.

                           FRANK
               I can't. I have to stay with my 
               patient.

                           BIG FEET
               Shut the fuck up! If it wasn't for 
               these dun feet I'd get up and kick 
               your ass!

     DR. HAZMAT, 30, steps over.

                           HAZMAT
               Godammit, guys, what are you doing 
               to me? We're all backed up in here. 
               Christ, would you look at him? He's 
               gonna need the works. What's wrong 
               with him?

                           LARRY
               You should know. You pronounced him.

                           HAZMAT
               You told me he was dead. Flatline.

                           FRANK
               He got better.

                           HAZMAT
               I hate pronouncing people dead over 
               the phone.
                    (flashes light in 
                    Burke's eyes)
               Better, huh? They're fixed and 
               dilated. He's plant food.

                           NURSE CRUPP
                    (returning)
               We stole a stretcher from X-ray. No 
               pad on it, but I don't think he'll 
               mind. Put him in three, next to the 
               overdose.

                           HAZMAT
               He's our lowest priority now. He 
               shouldn't even be here. All this 
               technology. What a waste.

     Back at SECURITY, the Burkes confront Griss.

                           GRISS
               Please folks, step back.
                    (they hesitate)
               Don't make me take off my sunglasses.

     In CRITICAL CARE, Larry wheels Burke into unit three as Dr. 
     Hazmat turns Frank to face the room, explaining:

                           HAZMAT
               First-time heart attack, age 45. 
               Should have gone to the CCU ten hours 
               ago. There's three bodies up there 
               Mike the one you just brought in. 
               over there, two AIDS patients, one 
               in twelve filling up with liquid. 
               I'm gonna hafta intubate because the 
               kid's mother won't sign the Do Not
               Resuscitate. Mercy killing doesn't 
               translate well in Spanish. It's a 
               sin to tube this kid. Three more ODs 
               from some new killer junk. They call 
               it Red Death.

     Hazmat pulls out a vial marked with a red skull and 
     crossbones, shows it to Frank.

                           NOEL
               Water, water, water, doctor man, 
               water.

                           HAZMAT
               A mix of heroin and I don't know 
               what else, some kind of amino acid 
               maybe. Stuff so strong they're 
               drinking it with grain alcohol. You 
               have to use ten times the usual amount 
               of Narcan and watch out when they 
               wake up, liable to go nuts on you.

                           FRANK
                    (about Noel)
               He one of them?

                           HAZMAT
               No, that's Noel. Used to be a regular 
               off and on, hasn't been in in a while. 
               He seized and almost coded--I gave 
               him a hypertonic solution. He drank 
               so much the kidneys were taking out 
               salt. One for the textbooks.

                           NOEL
               Oh doctor, you are the greatest. You 
               must help me.

                           BIG FEET
               For God's sake, give him a drink of 
               water.

                           HAZMAT
               I am helping you, Noel. You could 
               die if you drink more water.

     Nurse Crupp pulls on Hazmat's arm.

                           HAZMAT (CONT'D)
               What is it?

     She points to Burke. His monitor is ringing like a fire alarm. 
     Hazmat and Crupp rush over, wave to others:

                           HAZMAT (CONT'D)
               Crupp, start CPR. Milagros, get me 
               an epi. Odette wake up Dr. Stark. 
               Tell him I need a blood gas, stat.

     As the staff crowds around Burke, pulling the paddles from 
     off the monitor, Frank, pushing his stretcher away, notices 
     Big Feet climb onto his infected feet, hobble over, work to 
     untie Noel.

                           NOEL
               Bless you sir, bless you.

                           BIG FEET
               Shut up.

     Frank heads down Skid Row pushing the stretcher, passing 
     Nurse Constance speaking with a man with a gash over his 
     eye:

                           NURSE CONSTANCE
               ... so you get drunk every day and 
               you fall down. Tell me why we should 
               help you when you're going to get 
               drunk tomorrow and fall down again?

     Frank pushes the automatic door button--and is suddenly hit 
     from behind by Noel. The stretcher spins sideways. Noel 
     dives out the doors for the water fountain, snorting up water 
     like a bull. Mary Burke, standing with her family, looks at 
     Frank.

                           FRANK
                    (stock reply)
               He's very very sick.

                           MARY
               I know him. That's Noel.

                           FRANK
               We'd better go outside. Quickly.

     Frank and Mary step out into the humid night.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. MERCY EMERGENCY--NIGHT

     Checking behind then, Frank stops. Mary pauses before she 
     speaks:

                           MARY
               Is there any chance?

                           FRANK
                    (shakes head)
               I guess there's always a chance.

     The doors break open. Noel comes flying out, bounces on the 
     sidewalk. Griss, in the doorway, closes the doors.

     Mary goes over to Noel:

                           MARY
               Noel, Noel, it's me, Mary. From 17th 
               Street.

                           NOEL
               Mary, Mary, Mary. I'm so thirsty. 
               They won't give me anything to drink. 
               Please, Mary.

                           MARY
                    (heading inside)
               I'll get you some.

     Frank watches: Mary returns with a cup of water, gives it to 
     a grateful Noel.

                           FRANK
               I wouldn't do that.
                    (Noel drinks)
               The doctor seems to think he's 
               suffering from some rare disorder.

                           MARY
               It's not so rare. He grew up on our 
               street. He's had a rough life and 
               he's a little crazy from it, but 
               that's no excuse for not giving 
               someone a lousy cup of water.

     Mary starts to cry. Frank fumbles in his pocket, finds a 
     tissue, gives it to her.

                           MARY (CONT'D)
               My father's dying, Noel.

                           NOEL
               Oh Mary, Mary, Mary.

     Noel hugs her clumsily, his shoulders bobbing. Frank watches, 
     realizing this is what he should have done for her.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. EAST SIDE STREETS--NIGHT

     13 Zebra cruising down Avenue C, Frank at the wheel, Larry 
     shotgun.

                           LARRY
               The Chinese close in five minutes.
               Beef lo mein. It's  been on my
               mind since I woke. Whatjathink?

                           FRANK
               I think the moment that food hits 
               your mouth we'll get a job.

                           LARRY
               Turn here. You missed it. The Chink 
               is on 3rd.

     Franks turns, gets jammed up behind a pimp car at Second and 
     Avenue B, a corner populated by pushers and hookers. TWO 
     WHORES stand in front of an abandoned building. Frank turns 
     to look.

                           WHORE #1
                Hey ambulance man. What you looking 
                at?

     The second whore, wearing a yellow vinyl coat, turns. She 
     has a face that instantly freezes Frank: the Rose face. 
     Pregnant, she gestures to her belly:

                           WHORE #2
               Pretty soon you'll be coming for me.

                           LARRY
               Some partner you are Frank. I coulda 
               walked there faster. I'm starving 
               and you stop to talk to hookers. 
               You're making me nuts. Is that what 
               you're trying to do, drag me down 
               with you to nutsville?

     Frank hits the whoop-whoop siren. The pimps in the black BMW 
     jump, look back, realize its only an ambulance, and pull 
     away.

                           LARRY (CONT'D)
                    (slams dashboard)
               Oh no!--I just remembered.

                           FRANK
               What?

                           LARRY
               I'm so stupid. I had beef lo mein 
               last night. I can't eat the same 
               thing two nights in a row. It's almost 
               two o'clock, what the hell am I gonna 
               do? What you getting?

                           FRANK
               I'm not hungry.

                           LARRY
               Oh yeah, you don't eat food.

                           FRANK
               I eat. I just haven't had coffee 
               yet.

                           LARRY
               Coffee and whiskey, lucky you ain't 
               dead with that diet. Wait, I've got 
               it. Half fried chicken with fries. 
               Let's go, hurry up. Come on.

     Frank speeds up Avenue B. Noel, wearing generic homeless 
     combat fatigues, muttering to his friends in Hell, passes on 
     the sidewalk. Frank notices another hooker, catches her face: 
     the same face as the pregnant Whore #2. The Rose face. His 
     mind drifts:

                           FRANK (V.O.)
               Rose was getting closer. Ever since 
               the call a month before, when I'd 
               lost her, she seemed like all the 
               girls in the neighborhood. One of 
               the first things you learn is to 
               avoid bad memories. I used to be an 
               expert, but lately I'd found some 
               holes. Anything could trigger it. 
               The last month belonged to Rose, but 
               there were a hundred more ready to 
               come out.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. CHICKEN TAKE-OUT--NIGHT

     The EMS vehicle is stopped at a fast food joint. Larry orders, 
     waits.

                           FRANK (V.O.)
               These spirits were part of the job. 
               It was impossible to pass a building 
               that didn't bold the spirit of 
               something: the eyes of a corpse, the 
               screams of a loved one. All bodies 
               leave their mark. You cannot be near 
               the new dead without feeling it.

     Larry gets his chicken, chats with counter clerk, returns.

                           FRANK (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               I could handle that. What haunted me 
               now was more savage: spirits born 
               half-finished, homicides, suicides, 
               overdoses, innocent or not, accusing 
               me of being there, witnessing a 
               humiliation which they could never 
               forgive.

     Larry climbs in, sets his take-out on the dash, hands Frank 
     a coffee. A police walkie-talkie is in the front tray.

                           LARRY
               Turn it off.

                           FRANK
               What?

                           LARRY
               You know what. The radio.

                           POLICE DISPATCH
               Ladder Four, respond to a 10-22 four 
               flight residential, 317 East 32nd.

                           LARRY
               Let's do it. It might be a good one.

                           FRANK
               You wanted it turned off. There's no 
               such thing as a good fire. People 
               get burned up. They can't breathe.

                           LARRY
               That's what we're here for. Come on, 
               Frank.

                           FRANK
               Don't push it, Larry.

                           LARRY
               You're burned out.

                           RADIO DISPATCHER
               One-three Zebra. Zebra three, I need 
               you.

                           LARRY
               You see, he's giving it to us anyway.

                           RADIO DISPATCHER
               Zebra, are you there? I'm holding an 
               unconscious at First and St. Marks.

                           LARRY
                    (screams)
               No! It's three o'clock. That can 
               only mean one thing.

                           FRANK
               Mr. Oh.

                           LARRY
               It's Mr. Oh. I'm not answering it.

                           RADIO DISPATCHER
               Answer the radio Zebra. You know 
               it's that time.

                           LARRY
               Four times this week I've had him. 
               Aren't there any other units out 
               there?  Don't answer the radio. 
               They'll give it to someone else.

                           RADIO DISPATCHER
               Thirteen Zebra. One-Three Zebra. 
               You're going out of service in two 
               seconds.

     Pause. Neither moves.

                           LARRY
               Look, Frank, when I say don't answer 
               it, that means answer it. 
                    (picks up the mike)
               You can do that for me at least.
                    (keys mike)
               Three Zebra.

                           RADIO DISPATCHER
               Yes, Zebra. You'll be driving to the 
               man who needs no introduction, chronic 
               caller of the year three straight 
               and shooting for number four. The 
               duke of drunk, the king of stink, 
               our most frequent flier, Mr. Oh.

                           LARRY
               Ten-four.
                    (Frank starts the 
                    engine)
               Don't go. Not this time.

                           FRANK
                    (driving off)
               Relax, it's a street job, easy except 
               for the smell. We'll just throw him 
               in back and zip over to Mercy--no 
               blood, no dying, that's how I look 
               at it. He's just a drunk.

                           LARRY
               It's not our job to taxi drunks 
               around.

                           FRANK
               They'll just keep calling.

                           LARRY
               Someone's gonna die someday causa 
               that bum, going to have a cardiac
               and the only medics will be taking 
               care of Mr. Oh.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. FIRST & ST. MARKS--NIGHT

     Frank and Larry standing over Mr. Oh, 40, surrounded by street 
     people. Oh lays curled up beside his wheelchair, wearing a 
     black garbage bag with holes cut out for his arms, his pants 
     around his knees.

                           MALE STREET PERSON #1
               He's bad mister. He ain't eaten nuthin 
               all day, he's seizing and throwing 
               up.

                           LARRY
                    (hand over nose)
               So what's different?

                           MALE STREET PERSON #1
               He says his feet hurt.

                           FRANK
               Well why didn't you say so?

                           LARRY
               He's drunk.

                           MALE STREET PERSON #2
               He's sick. You gotta help him.

                           LARRY
               He's fine. He can walk to the 
               hospital.

                           FEMALE STREET PERSON
               Walk? You crazy? He's in a wheelchair.

                           LARRY
               Don't start that. I've seen him walk. 
               He walks better than me.

     Frank crouches over Oh, tries to pull Oh's pants over his 
     white, dirt-stained ass. Oh moans:

                           MR. OH
               Oh, oh, oh.

                           LARRY
               That's him, Mr. Oh.
                    (pulls at his arm)
               Get up.

     Larry and Frank get Oh to his feet only to have him stumble 
     over his lowered trousers. This time Frank lifts him, sets 
     his white ass cheeks into the wheelchair. They push him toward 
     the ambulance.

                           CROWD
               Good luck! Get better!

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. FIRST AVE--NIGHT

     13 Zebra heads up First, double Caduceus symbols shining 
     from the back of the van.

     Inside the cab, Larry and Frank lean out the front windows 
     to avoid the king of stink:

                           LARRY
               Faster! God!

                           FRANK
                    (flips on top lights)
               Faster!

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. MERCY ER--NIGHT

     Griss holding up his hand:

                           GRISS
               Get that stinky-assed motherfucking
               bug-ridden skell out of my face.

     Frank and Larry stand beside Oh slumped in his wheelchair. 
     Fellow drunks welcome their comrade from plastic chairs. 
     Nurse Constance escorts a young man from the triage area:

                           NURSE CONSTANCE
               I would have to register you to give 
               you something to eat and my conscience 
               just will not allow that. Griss, 
               the gentleman wants to leave.
                    (looks at Oh)
               He looks pale. You're not eating 
               enough. You need more fiber.

     Griss shows young man the door.

                           LARRY
                    (holds up his report)
               He's wasted. That's my diagnosis: 
               shit-faced.

                           NURSE CONSTANCE
               He just needs a bath and some food. 
               Take him in back and see if you can 
               find a stretcher.

                           LARRY
                    (to Frank)
               She's nuts. That's why he comes here. 
               She encourages him.

     Griss returns as Crupp calls from critical care area:

                           NURSE CRUPP
               Don't you dare! That's my last 
               stretcher. This is not a homeless 
               shelter. He'll have to wait in the 
               lobby.

                           GRISS
               No way man. Not even in the corner. 
               Griss cannot abide the funk tonight.

     Larry and Frank turn, secretly pleased, and wheel Mr. Oh 
     outside.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. MERCY EMERGENCY--NIGHT

     Larry setting Oh outside the entrance, heading towards the 
     all night deli. Frank takes out a cigarette.

     Mary Burke walks up the drive opening a pack of cigs. Frank 
     offers her a light. She inhales, exhales:

                           MARY
               It's my first cigarette in over a 
               year.

                           FRANK
               The first is always the best.

                           MARY
               It's the waiting that's killing me, 
               not knowing, you know? It's really 
               hard on my mother. The doctor doesn't 
               think my father'll make it. He says 
               he was dead too long, after six 
               minutes the brain starts to die and 
               once that goes, close the door.

                           FRANK
               You never know.

                           MARY
               I mean if he was dead, I could handle 
               that.

                           FRANK
               At least he's got people around him.

                           MARY
               I'm not so sure. My father and I 
               haven't spoken in three years. When 
               my brother called to say my father 
               was having a heart attack, that he'd 
               locked himself in the bathroom, all 
               the way going over I was thinking 
               how I was gonna tell him what a 
               bastard he was. Then when I got up 
               the stairs and we moved him onto the 
               bed, I thought of all these other 
               things I wanted to say.

                           FRANK
               Even when you say the things, there's 
               always more things.

                           MARY
               Right now, I'm more worried about my 
               mother than anything. They won't let 
               her see my father.

                           FRANK
               Go home. Take her home. Get some 
               rest. Not going to find anything out 
               now.

                           MARY
               That's what I told her. If she could 
               just see him a second, then I could 
               take her home.

     Larry walks back with a coffee for himself and a brown bag 
     beer for Frank.

                           LARRY
               Time to switch. I wheel, you heal.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. LOWER EAST SIDE--NIGHT

     4:00am.  The EMS vehicle drives downtown. The city has 
     transformed: a deserted city, inhabited by the hardcore: 
     hardcore night-shift employees, hardcore party-goers, hardcore  
     druggies, hardcore homeless, people with something special 
     to do or nowhere to go.

                           RADIO DISPATCHER
               12 David on the corner of Thirty-
               eight and Two you'll find a three-
               car accident, two taxis and a taxi. 
               One-two Henry, 427 East Two-two, 
               report of a very bad smell. No further 
               information ...

     Larry driving at a good clip, riding both the gas and the 
     break pedals, enjoying the newfound freedom of movement.

                           FRANK
               Larry, swing over on Eighth. We're 
               gonna hafta run one of these calls.

                           LARRY
               Relax, will you.

     Frank places both hands on the dash as Larry squeals around 
     a corner.

                           FRANK (V.O.)
               The biggest problem with not driving 
               is that whenever there's a patient 
               in back you're also in the back.  
               The doors close, you're trapped. 
               Four in the morning is always the 
               worst time for me, just before dawn, 
               just when you've been lulled into 
               thinking it might be safe to close 
               your eyes for one minute. That's 
               when I first found Rose ...

     Larry slows down on a side street. Frank turns to watch a 
     homeless man. The man looks back: it's Rose. The Rose face.

                           FRANK (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               She was on the sidewalk, not 
               breathing.

     Frank turns to Larry:

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               I'm not feeling very well, Larry. I 
               say we go back to the hospital and 
               call it a night.

                           LARRY
               You have no sick time, Frank. No 
               time of any kind. Everyone knows 
               that.

                           FRANK
               Take me back, put me to bed; I 
               surrender. We've done enough damage 
               tonight.

                           LARRY
               You take things too seriously. Look 
               at us, we're cruising around, talking, 
               taking some quiet time, getting paid 
               for it. We've got a good job here.

                           FRANK
               Yeah, you're right.

     Larry pulls into the Jacob Riis projects by the river, slows 
     to a stop.  Larry cuts the lights, not bothering to inform 
     his partner what his partner already knows: they're taking 
     a rest.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. RIIS PROJECTS--NIGHT

     13 Zebra sits in the quiet dark. Larry puffs a cigarette.

                           FRANK
               Tell me, you ever think of doing
               anything else?

                           LARRY
               Sure, I'm taking the captain's exam 
               next year. After the kids are in 
               school, Louise can go back to the 
               post office and, I thought, what the 
               hell, I'll start my own medic service. 
               Out on the Island the volunteers are 
               becoming salaried municipal. It's 
               just a matter of time and who you 
               know. Someday it's going to be Chief 
               Larry calling the shots.

     Larry tosses the cigarette out the window, leans against the 
     door jab, closes his eyes. In a second he's asleep.

     Frank turns down the radio volume: the calls are fewer and 
     further between now. Frank leans back, tries to rest:

                           FRANK (V.O.)
               I'd always had nightmares, but now 
               the ghosts didn't wait for me to 
               sleep. I drank every day. Help others 
               and you help yourself, that was my 
               motto, but I hadn't saved anyone in 
               months. It seemed all my patients 
               were dying. I'd waited, sure the 
               sickness would break, tomorrow night, 
               the next call, the feeling would 
               drop away. More than anything else I 
               wanted to sleep like that, close my 
               eyes and drift away ...

     TIMECUT: radio wakes Frank from his reverie.

                           RADIO DISPATCHER
               Zebra. One-three Zebra.
                    (Frank opens eyes)
               Zebra, answer the radio. Come on, 
               I've got one for you. Pick up the 
               radio and push the button on the 
               side and speak into the front.

                           FRANK
                    (answering call)
               Zebra.   

                           RADIO DISPATCHER
               Male bleeding, corner of Houston and 
               One. No further information.

                           FRANK
               Ten-four.

     Frank hangs up, bangs Larry's steering wheel:

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               We have a call Chief. Somebody's 
               bleeding, Houston and First.

     Larry instinctively reaches for the ignition key, starts the 
     engine, drops the ambulance into gear, hits lights, jerks 
     the EMS bus away, still half asleep.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. HOUSTON & FIRST--NIGHT

     13 Zebra coming to a bone jarring stop at the corner. Getting 
     out of the techie seat, Frank sees Noel, his face bloody, 
     charging at him.

                           NOEL
               Kill me!

     Noel has sliced up a tire and fastened the pieces with string 
     over his shoulders. Tin cans circle his wrists and ankles.  
     One hand carries a broken bottle, the other a stringless 
     violin.

     Frank jumps back inside as Noel rams the window, leaving 
     stains from his blood-matted dreadlocks. Larry calls for 
     backup: medics, police, firemen, anybody.

     The side window glass bends as Noel rams his head against 
     it. Frank reaches for the short club between the seats; Noel 
     holds the jagged bottle to his neck.

                           FRANK
               Noel, don't!

     Noel drops the bottle. Frank rolls down the window.

                           LARRY
               He's crazy.

                           FRANK
               You really think so?

                           NOEL
               See, I can't do it. I came out of 
               the desert.

                           FRANK
               You came out of the hospital. You 
               were tied down and hallucinating. 
               You got some bad chemicals in your 
               head, Noel. There's some medicine at 
               the hospital that will fix that.

                           NOEL
               No, no medicine!

     Noel swings his bloody dreadlocks: Frank ducking, getting 
     splattered anyway, rolling up the window.

                           LARRY
               He got you.

     A BLACK PUNK calls from the crowd:

                           BLACK PUNK
               Do it! Man wants to die. Take him 
               out! I know how to kill that mother.
                    (points a finger)
               Pop, pop.

     Noel, spraying blood, chases the Punk. The crowd scatters. 
     Noel trips, falls to the sidewalk. Frank, carrying the short 
     bat, gets out, walks over, hunches beside Noel:

                           FRANK
               Noel, you didn't let me finish. We 
               have rules against killing people on 
               the street. Looks bad, but there's a 
               special room at the hospital for 
               terminating. A nice quiet room with 
               a big bed.

                           NOEL
               Oh man, do you mean that?
                    (smiles)
               Thank you man, thank you. How?

                           FRANK
               Well, you have your choice: pills, 
               injection, gas.

     A siren draws closer, Noel gets to his feet as Larry opens 
     the rear doors.

                           NOEL
               I think pills. Yes, pills, definitely.

     A second ambulance skids to a stop. TOM WALLS, 35, a 220 
     pound bald-headed bruiser, gets out.

                           LARRY
               Jesus, Tom Walls, that crazy 
               motherfucker.

                           FRANK
               Used to be my partner.

                           WALLS
               Frank, this the guy you called about? 
               I know him.
                    (pushes Noel)
               You give my friend here any trouble 
               and I'll kill you.

                           NOEL
               Yes, at the hospital.

                           WALLS
               This looks like a very bad man I 
               took in a couple weeks ago, a man 
               who'd been holding two priests hostage 
               with a screwdriver. I told him if I 
               ever caught him making trouble again 
               I'd kick the murdering life outta 
               him.

                           FRANK
               It's not worth it, Tom. He's 
               surrendering.

                           WALLS
               No prisoners. Don't worry, Frank, 
               just a little psychological first 
               aid.

     Walls hauls back, swings at Noel; Noel ducks.

                           WALLS (CONT'D)
               Stay still, dammit!

     Walls throws Noel against the bus, knocks him down, sets to 
     kicking him.

                           FRANK
               Don't do it, Tom!

     Noel moans. Larry sticks his head out the back of the bus:

                           LARRY
               There's a double shooting three blocks-
               up. First and Third. confirmed.

                           WALLS
                    (looking up)
               We'll do it.

     Walls releasing Noel as Noel scrambles into the bus, Frank 
     stepping over him, Larry climbing into the driver's seat, 
     Frank closing the doors. Noel trembles:

                           NOEL
               At the hospital. You told me at the 
               hospital.

     Larry squeals off full gun, all sirens blaring: the Wah, the 
     Yelp, the Super Yelp. Strobe bar, side strobes, quarter panel 
     strobes. Rock n' roll.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. FIRST & THIRD--NIGHT

     Both EMS buses breaking to a stop at the crime scene, cops 
     holding the crowd back; Walls, Frank, Larry, Walls' partner 
     moving through the crowd.

                           FRANK & WALLS
               EMS. Move it!

                           BYSTANDER
               Man just walked up and shot 'em. Not 
               a word. Man, that was cold.

     Two boys, DRUG DEALERS, lie bleeding on the sidewalk. Frank 
     drops to his knees beside one, Walls the other. Larry wheels 
     out the stretcher.

                           FRANK
                    (to Drug Dealer)
               Where you hit?

                           VOICE IN CROWD
               Outlaw did this. He works for Cy.

     Two white vials roll out of the Drug Dealer's shirt: marked 
     with red skull and crossbones. Frank looks over--they're 
     gone, swiped by eager hands.

     Listening for a heartbeat, Frank calls to Walls:

                           FRANK
               Major Tom, I'm going to Misery. You 
               take yours to Bellvue.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. 13 ZEBRA EMS VEHICLE--NIGHT

     Larry charging through the night while, in back, Frank, 
     stethoscope in his ears, wrapping a tourniquet around the 
     Drug Dealer's arm: he's dying fast.

                           FRANK
               You're gonna feel a stick in your 
               arm. Don't move.

                           DRUG DEALER
               I don't want to die.

                           NOEL
               I want to die. I'm the one.

                           DRUG DEALER
               Oh Jesus, I don't want to die.

                           FRANK
               You're not going to die.

                           NOEL
               What did you say?

                           FRANK
                    (to Noel)
               Shut up. You're going to die and 
               he's not. Got it.

                           DRUG DEALER
                    (weak)
               Hold my hand.

                           FRANK
               I can't. I got to do the other arm.

                           DRUG DEALER
               Please.

                           FRANK
                    (to Noel)
               Hold this--right there. If you let 
               go, I swear, I won't kill you.

     Noel holds IV bag as Frank searches for a vein, inserts second 
     IV needle.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. MERCY EMERGENCY--NIGHT

     Larry pulls into Our Lady of Mercy Emergency. Frank says to 
     the boy:

                           FRANK
               It's all right. We're here.

     No answer. Frank feels for a pulse, listens with the 
     stethoscope: nothing. Larry opens the doors.

                           LARRY
               Noel, let's go.

     Frank turns to his partner:

                           FRANK
               He's not breathing. Call a code.

     Larry and Frank pull the dead boy out of the bus.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. MERCY ER--NIGHT

     Frank finishes his report, hands a copy to the clerk, looks 
     around the now almost empty waiting area. John Burke sleeps 
     slumped in one of the chairs. Griss stands at his post.

     Pulling out a pack of cigarettes, Frank steps outside.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. MERCY EMERGENCY--NIGHT

     Frank exits, lights up. The sky is going blue. Inside the 
     open rear doors of 13 Zebra, Larry mops up bloody floor.

     Mary Burke, weary, steps beside Frank.

                           MARY
               Hello again.

     He offers a cigarette. She accepts:

                           MARY (CONT'D)
               You shouldn't smoke.

                           FRANK
               It's okay. They're prescription.
                    (beat)
               Works better with a little whiskey.

                           MARY
               That's my brother's problem. He's 
               passed out inside.

     Larry jumps theatrically out of the ambulance, swings the 
     mop wildly over his head:

                           LARRY
               That's it! I can't do it anymore!

     Mary laughs once, less than a second. She notices blood stains 
     on Frank's shirt:

                           MARY
               That boy you brought in, he was shot, 
               wasn't he?

                           FRANK
               Yes.

                           MARY
               He's dead, huh?

                           FRANK
               Yes.

                           MARY
                    (pause)
               I think this place stinks.

                           FRANK
               Our Lady of Misery.

                           MARY
               Did you see my father?

                           FRANK
               No.

                           MARY
               It's crazy in there. What's wrong 
               with that doctor? He keeps mumbling, 
               poking himself in the eye when he 
               talks to me.

                           FRANK
               He's working a double shift.

                           MARY
               Thing is, I'm supposed to be the 
               fuckup. The one on the stretcher in 
               there--that's supposed to be me. 
               With my parents crying out here. I 
               got a lot of guilt, you know what I 
               mean?

     He does.

                           MARY (CONT'D)
               My father's in a coma, now my mother's 
               going crazy. It's like she's in a 
               trance.

                           FRANK
               She should go home.

                           MARY
               I'd take her, but then who would 
               stay here?

     Frank looks at her, trying to say the right thing. He notices 
     Mrs. Burke coming from inside.

                           FRANK
               Here she is.

     Mrs. Burke, dazed, steps out. They join her.

                           MRS. BURKE
               It wasn't him.

                           MARY
               You saw him?

                           MRS. BURKE
               They showed me someone. It wasn't 
               him. It wasn't my husband.

                           FRANK
               Mrs. Burke, please, they'll take 
               care of him. You should go home now.

                           MRS. BURKE
               I should know my own husband. They 
               wouldn't let me see him.

     She drifts away. Frank speaks to Mary:

                           FRANK
               Larry and I'll drop her back home. 
               Help me get her to the ambulance.

                           MRS. BURKE
               You want some coffee? I have some 
               apple sauce cake too.

     They walk Mrs. Burke to 13 Zebra.

                           MARY
               Thank you.

     Mary watches as Larry backs up the EMS vehicle, Frank sitting 
     in the back with her mother, pulls into first light.

                                                     DISSOLVE TO:

     EXT. 12TH STREET--EARLY MORNING

     Larry dropping Frank off at the corner of First and Sixteenth, 
     driving on.

     It is as if the sun has risen on a different city, different 
     from the one which Frank drove through the night before: a 
     city of crumbling neighborhoods laid bare by sunlight; a 
     city of day people, getting up, having breakfast, going to 
     work.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. FRANK'S APARTMENT--DAY

     Frank's studio apartment betrays a minimal existence: single 
     bed, table, fridge and stove, loveseat, bookshelf, television.  
     The bookshelf contains a CD player, medical texts, old 
     schoolbooks ("Romantic Poetry"), paperback novels and, 
     incongruously, a picture book of women's fashion.

     A framed commendation from the New York Fire Department hangs 
     beside and open closet of work clothes, corduroy jacket, two
     ties on a hook. Remnants of a fast food breakfast on the 
     table. Aluminum foil covers the windows, blocking out the 
     sunlight.

     Frank stands bareback at the single open window, smoking, 
     drinking from a glass of whiskey, looking across the gray 
     cityscape of high rises and water tanks: winding down from 
     the night's work:

                           FRANK (V.O.)
               Saving someone's life is like falling 
               in love, the best drug in the world. 
               For days, sometimes weeks afterwards, 
               you walk the street making infinite 
               whatever you see. Once, for weeks I 
               couldn't feel the earth. Everything 
               I touched became light. Horns played 
               in my shoes; flowers fell from my 
               pockets ...

     TIME DISSOLVES: Frank paces the room. Pours himself another 
     drink.

                           FRANK (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               You wonder if you've become immortal, 
               as if you saved your own life as 
               well. What was once criminal and 
               happenstance suddenly makes sense. 
               God has passed through you, why deny 
               it, that for a moment there, God was 
               you.

     TIME DISSOLVE: window is closed. Frank tosses in his sleep.

     Nightstand alarm buzzes. Frank sits up, looks at the clock. 
     Stretching his neck, he walks over to the sink, runs water 
     on his hands and face.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. EMS GARAGE--NIGHT

     The maintenance garage and dispatch office adjacent to our 
     Lady of Mercy.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. EMS GARAGE OFFICE--NIGHT

     Frank standing on one foot before the desk of CAPTAIN BARNEY, 
     50, ex-paramedic and lifetime civil servant.

                           FRANK
               Good morning, Captain.

     Capt. Barney looks over to MISS WILLIAMS, his secretary, 
     seated at a desk perpendicular to his:

                           CAPT. BARNEY
               What am I going to to do with this 
               guy?
                    (to Frank)
               Pierce, I was just on the phone with 
               Borough Command. Out of twelve shifts 
               this month, you've been late for 
               nine, sick four and that includes 
               the shift where you came late and 
               went home early.

                           FRANK
               I'm sick. That's what I've been 
               telling you.

                           CAPT. BARNEY
               You're killing me, you know that? 
               You got no sick time according to 
               Command. I've been told to terminate.

                           FRANK
               It's okay. I'll just get my things 
               out of the locker.

                           CAPT. BARNEY
               I've never fired anyone in my life.

                           FRANK
               I'm sorry Captain. Don't take it too 
               hard.

                           CAPT. BARNEY
               Nobody tells me to fire anyone. I 
               told them: shove it up the big one.
                    (looks at Miss Williams)
               Sorry.
                    (back to Frank)
               I said, you want to fire him, come 
               over and do it yourself.

                           FRANK
               You know they won't do it. It's up 
               to you. You gotta be strong.

                           CAPT. BARNEY
               I feel for you, but we got an 
               emergency here. It's a weekend of 
               full moons.  Everyone's called in 
               sick. Larry, Veeber, Stanley too.    
               We need bodies out there. I had to 
               put Marcus on Twelve Young. You know 
               he's not supposed to work two nights 
               in a row.

                           FRANK
               You swore you'd fire me if I came in 
               late again.

                           CAPT. BARNEY
               I'll fire you tomorrow. Hell, better 
               than that, I'll forward you some 
               sick time. A week, two weeks off--
               how about that?

                           FRANK
               I don't think a week's gonna do it.

                           CAPT. BARNEY
               I'm sorry, Pierce.
                    (hands Frank keys)
               You're going out with Marcus. Duty 
               calls. The City needs you.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. SECOND AVENUE--NIGHT

     12 Young heading downtown, lights off, slowing down for cross 
     streets. At the wheel: MARCUS, 45, black, reserved, chin 
     erect, seeming too old for the job. Frank rides techie.

                           MARCUS
               My Lord mother man, you look like 
               hell. What were you drinking?

                           FRANK
               The captain almost fired me tonight. 
               I'm on my way out. Anytime now.

                           MARCUS
               Nobody gets fired. Look at me. Only 
               thing they might do is transfer you 
               to the Bronx. You look like you aged 
               ten years since I rode with you last.

                           FRANK
               The ghosts--

                           MARCUS
               You ever notice people who see shit 
               always, are crazy?

                           FRANK
               I think the worst is over.

                           MARCUS
               It can always get worse. You can't 
               change what's out there, only where 
               you're coming from. You got to let 
               the Lord take over, in here.
                    (points to Frank's 
                    chest)

     LOVE, a black, tough-talking female dispatcher, comes on the 
     radio:

                           DISPATCHER LOVE
               Twelve Young.
                    (beat)
               Let's go, Twelve Young. Answer the 
               radio.

                           FRANK
               Hey, Marcus, it's Love. I haven't 
               heard her in months.

                           MARCUS
               She only works when I'm on. I make 
               her wait and it drives her crazy.

                           FRANK
               Is it true that you and Love went on 
               a blind date?
                    (Marcus looks away)
               She hit you with a bottle?

                           MARCUS
               She loves me the way no woman ever 
               has.

                           DISPATCHER LOVE
               Twelve Young, I don't have time for 
               your games. Now answer me or do I 
               have to come out there myself?

                           MARCUS
               I usually don't do calls before 
               coffee. But I think it might do you 
               some good.
                    (picks up mike)
               Twelve Young is here and I'm gonna 
               take care of you, baby. Don't you 
               worry about a thing, yahear, cause 
               Marcus is alive and on arrival.

                           DISPATCHER LOVE
               I'm not your baby, Young, I'm not 
               your mother either. You're going to 
               a cardiac arrest, Avenue C and Ninth, 
               northeast corner. It's a club. Take 
               the side entrance.

                           MARCUS
               Ten-four, hon.
                    (to Frank)
               This is for you.

     Marcus flips on the lights and siren.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. NINTH & AVENUE C--NIGHT

     Marcus grabs the yellow airway bag, leaving Frank to lug the 
     three heavier pieces as they push their way through the crowd 
     toward a black jacketed DOORMAN holding a walkie-talkie:

                           MARCUS
                    (to crowd)
               I hope we're not late from you guys 
               holding us up here.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. CLUB BACKSTAGE--NIGHT

     The Doorman leads Frank and Marcus through the smoky graffiti-
     covered backstage ante-rooms to a cubicle where a knot of 
     club types and band members hover around IB BANGIN, 18 year-
     old white rapper, face up, blank-eyed and breathless on dirt-
     impacted carpet. Hip-hop music echoes from the club PA.

     Frank kneels beside IB Bangin, taking a pulse, realizing 
     it's the gray and black stage makeup making him seem DOA. He 
     pulls up IB Bangin's eyelid, shines a light into the pupil.

                           MARCUS
               Okay, what happened?

                           DRUMMER
               He's going to be all right, right?

                           MARCUS
               No. He's dead.

                           DRUMMER
               No way, man.

                           MARCUS
               He's dead and there's nothing we can 
               do. Come on, Frank, that's it.

                           FRANK
                    (whispers)
               He's not dead. It's a heroin overdose. 
               Break out the Narcon.

                           MARCUS
                    (announcing)
               He's dead unless you folks want to 
               stop bullshitting me and tell it 
               straight. Then, Lord willing, we'll 
               try to bring him back.

                           BYSTANDER
               He broke up with his old lady.

                           GIRLFRIEND
               We didn't break up. We were just 
               seeing other people.

                           MARCUS
               I'm still waiting and this young man 
               is still dead.

                           BYSTANDER
               She broke his heart.

     The Girlfriend shoots a look at the Bystander. Marcus just 
     stands, hands on hips, silent. Frank opens the drug box.

     The Drummer relents:

                           DRUMMER
               All right, all right, he's been 
               snorting that Red Death stuff. Been 
               going for four days.

                           MARCUS
                    (brings hands together)
               What's his name?

                           DRUMMER
               IB Bangin.

                           MARCUS
               What'd you mean IB Bangin? What kind 
               of name is IB Bangin?

                           GIRLFRIEND
                    (Hesitant)
               It's Frederick. Frederick Smith.

                           MARCUS
                    (to body)
               Okay, Freddy.

                           GIRLFRIEND
               It's Frederick.

                           MARCUS
               Okay, IB Bangin, we're gonna bring 
               you back. Every person here grab the 
               hand of the person next to you.

     Marcus assists them as Frank breaks the cellophane off a 
     syringe, locates a vial of Narcon. Frank gives Marcus the 
     high sign--Marcus raises his hands:

                           MARCUS (CONT'D)
               Oh Lord, here I am again to ask one 
               more chance for a sinner. Bring back 
               IB Bangin, Lord. You have the power, 
               the might, the super light, to spare 
               this worthless man.

     Frank injects IB Bangin: he responds to the Narcon with a 
     jolt, opening his eyes, raising his hands.

                           GIRLFRIEND
                    (kneeling)
               Frederick!

                           BYSTANDER
               Oh wow, man. Oh wow.

                           IB BANGIN
                    (sick)
               What happened?

                           GIRLFRIEND
               You died, you stupid bastard. I warned 
               you.

                           DRUMMER
               You guys are awesome.

                           FRANK
                    (to IB Bangin)
               C'mon.

     Frank and the Girlfriend guide IB Bangin to the door as Marcus 
     collects the gear.

                           MARCUS
               Not us. The first step is Love. The 
               second is Mercy.

     He follows Frank, IB Bangin and Girlfriend out, calling for 
     the crowd to clear.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. MERCY ER--NIGHT

     IB Bangin sitting with Nurse Constance in triage. Past Griss, 
     Frank talks with Dr. Hazmat:

                           FRANK
               That guy I brought in yesterday, 
               post-cardiac arrest. He's gone.

                           HAZMAT
               Burke. You won't believe it. He's 
               showing cognitive signs. He started 
               with spontaneous respiration, now 
               he's fighting to pull out the tube. 
               Had to sedate him. He's in a CAT 
               scan. I'm giving him every test I 
               can: thromboytics, steroids, 
               nitrodrips, heparin.

                           FRANK
               What do you think?

                           HAZMAT
               Who knows? It's all lower-brain-stem-
               activity. The heart refuses to 
               stabilize--he's coded eleven times 
               since he got here. This guy's a 
               fighter. Every time the Valium wears 
               off he starts yanking those 
               restraints.

                           FRANK
               The family know?

                           HAZMAT
               I wanted to bring them in, to see if 
               he'd respond to voices, but they 
               weren't in the waiting room. The 
               guy's daughter was in my face all 
               last night and when I finally have 
               something positive to tell her, she's 
               gone.

     Frank nods, walks down Skid Row, passing Nurse Constance 
     lecturing IB Bangin:

                           NURSE CONSTANCE
               ... you put poison in your veins and 
               now that you're breathing again you 
               can't wait to say thank you and go 
               back to poison shopping. Well, since 
               we saved your life, maybe you could 
               do us a favor and stop breathing in 
               another city next time ...

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. FIRST AVE--NIGHT

     12 Young heading up the avenue.

                           MARCUS
               I ever tell you about the time years 
               ago I was on this ledge uptown, trying 
               to talk this psycho inside?

                           FRANK
               Where the guy jumped and you almost 
               fell. No, you never told me that 
               story.

                           MARCUS
               No, you never listened. I was going, 
               man, if someone on high hadn't pulled 
               me in. I had put all I had into saving 
               this dumbass lowlife suicidal that
               when he went down, there was a part 
               of me that wanted to go with him.

                           FRANK
               Make a left here. I want to stop.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. BURKE APT. BUILDING--NIGHT

     Marcus stops the ambulance on 17th Street.

                           FRANK
               I'll be right back.

     Frank gets out, walks over to the intercom, pushes the button 
     for 5A. Mary answers:

                           MARY (V.O.)
               Yes?

                           FRANK
               Hello, I'm Frank Pierce, from the 
               ambulance last night. I brought your 
               father into the hospital and I just 
               learned some news.

                           MARY (V.O.)
               I'll be right down.

     Mary appears in a white sweater and simple gray skirt like 
     schoolgirls wear. The dark makeup is gone. She looks happy.

                           MARY (CONT'D)
               He's better, isn't he?

                           FRANK
               Well, the doctor says he's showing 
               some movement. It's still early, it 
               might mean nothing, but I thought 
               you'd want to know.

                           MARY
               I knew. I sensed it when I heard 
               your voice.

                           FRANK
               You look so different.

                           MARY
               I know. It's awful, isn't it? Night 
               of the Living Cheerleaders.

                           FRANK
               I think it looks good.

                           MARY
               I was going nuts in that waiting 
               room so I came back to check on my 
               mom.

                           FRANK
               How is she?

                           MARY
               Sleeping.

                           FRANK
               I was just going to get some food. 
               Pizza. Maybe we could.

                           MARY
               You can't kill my father that easy. 
               He'll fight forever. Like with me: 
               hasn't talked to me in three years. 
               But it's okay. Sometimes you have to 
               put things behind you.

     Mary steps to the curb, raises her hand for a taxi. None in 
     sight.

                           FRANK
               Be tough to get a taxi here. We can 
               give you a ride if you like.

                           MARY
                    (looks at him)
               Okay.

     Frank opens the back doors of the bus, climbs in behind Mary. 
     They sit on the bench opposite the stretcher.

                           MARCUS
               Who's that?

                           FRANK
               She's the daughter of a cardiac arrest 
               I brought in last night. I told her 
               we'd give her a ride back to Misery. 
               Her father's showing signs of 
               improving.

                           MARCUS
               Oh, Frank, you've got it bad, so 
               much worse than I thought.

                           FRANK
               I'm hungry too. We gotta get some 
               food after this.

                           MARCUS
               God help us, he's hungry too.

     Marcus turns on the radio, an old song from the sixties, as 
     they head uptown.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. MERCY CRITICAL CARE--NIGHT

     Frank and Mary walking past the triage station toward the 
     curtained corner where her father lies. Next to Burke, Dr. 
     Hazmat assists an AIDS patient amid a forest of IV tubing.

     Mr. Burke lies prone, two IV lines hung from poles, intubated 
     by a hose running to the ventilator, a NG tube covering his 
     nose. His eyes are permanently half open. Burke's hands and 
     feet are tied by white nylon restraints. Mary takes her 
     father's hand as Frank pulls the curtain.

                           MARY
               Dad, can you hear me?
                    (beat)
               Open your eyes if you can hear me.

     A nearby patient SCREAMS. Mary Burke SCREAMS too:

                           MARY (CONT'D)
               He squeezed my hand!

     Dr. Hazmat and MILAGROS, an intern, walk over.

                           MARY (CONT'D)
               He's moving, Doctor. He grabbed my 
               hand. Move your hand, Dad, one more 
               time.   
                    (Burke's hand twitches))
               See. See.

                           HAZMAT
               I'll be damned.
                    (check's Burke's pupils)
               It's movement, but I'm not sure how 
               voluntary.

                           MARY
               He hears me. Open your eyes, Dad.

     Burke's eyes fully open. His cheeks ripple and his lips smack 
     against the tube between them. His back arches, his body 
     shakes, his arms yank at their restraints as if reaching to 
     pull out the wires and tubes. Green lights dance across the 
     EKG screen, ALARMS sound: first the cardiac monitor, next 
     the ventilator.

                           HAZMAT
               Nurse Crupp, I need ten milligrams 
               of Valium.

     Hazmat and Milagros hold down Burke's arms as Crupp prepares 
     the Valium. Mary backs away.

                           FRANK
               Why don't we go outside for a little 
               while, wait until this passes.

     They step away.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. LOCKER ROOM--NIGHT

     Passing Griss (reading anti-white agitprop) and waiting room 
     regulars, Frank leads Mary to a small rectangular paramedic 
     locker area: sofa, desk, two banks of gray lockers, walls 
     decorated with hospital rules and regulations.

                           FRANK
               He wants to pull that tube out. It's 
               pretty painful--that's why they keep 
               him sedated--but it's a good sign.

                           MARY
               You sure? I know my father would 
               hate to be tied down. He wouldn't 
               even go to the dentist.

     He sits across from her, wishing he could be in three seats 
     at once, each to watch her from a different angle.

                           FRANK
               That's how it's done. You have to 
               keep the body going until the brain 
               and heart recover enough to go on 
               their own.

                           MARY
               He's better, though, right?

                           FRANK
                    (reluctant)
               He's better.

                           MARY
               Look, I'm sorry, but it's important 
               to me. I mean, a week ago I was 
               wishing he was dead. And now I want 
               hear his voice again, just once more--
               you know what I mean?

     Marcus enters with a small pizza and two cokes.

                           MARCUS
               Went over to Sal's got this. There 
               must be some place in Hell for a guy 
               who sells a dollar-fifty a slice. I 
               call you if anything comes up.

                           FRANK
               Thanks.

     Marcus exits.

                           MARY
               I'm not really hungry.

     She says as she picks up a slice of cheese pizza.

                           MARY (CONT'D)
               My father was a great man, you know. 
               There was nobody he wouldn't help. 
               You know that crazy guy Noel who I 
               gave water to last night? He lived 
               in our house for almost a year. A 
               total stranger he'd do anything for, 
               his own family though ...

                           FRANK
               It's best not to ...
                    (off her look)
               It's good pizza, huh?

                           MARY
               Not as good as Nino's.

                           FRANK
               You remember that pizza place, Joe's 
               on Tenth Street maybe fifteen years 
               ago?  When you ordered a pie it came 
               with a little plastic madonna in the 
               middle?

                           MARY
               Yeah, or Saint Anthony. You from the 
               neighborhood?

                           FRANK
               I grew up on Elizabeth. I went to 
               Blessed Sacrament.

                           MARY
               On yeah? I went to Holy Name. Where'd 
               you go to high school?

                           FRANK
               We moved out after that. Upstate.

                           MARY
               Like everybody else--except us. Always 
               standing on the sidewalk waving 
               goodbye to moving trucks. Your parents 
               ... ?

                           FRANK
               They're fine. My old man was a bus 
               driver, mom a nurse--I was sort of 
               born to it, I guess.

                           MARY
               You married?

                           FRANK
               Ah, no. I was.
                    (beat)
               It's hard to explain. She had a hard 
               time adjusting to, well, maybe it 
               was my fault too.

     Pause.   This thought hangs in the air. From outside: a 
     BELLICOSE DRUNK is escorted into the ER.

                           DRUNK (O.S.)
               White cocksuckers! Get your--Ow!

                           MARY
               Is it always this bad in here? I 
               mean, how does anyone survive?

                           FRANK
               It's been bad lately, but it's always 
               bad.

                           MARY
               How long you been doing this?

                           FRANK
               Five years.

                           MARY
               Wow, you musta seen some things, 
               huh? What's the worst thing you ever 
               seen?

                           FRANK
               You learn to sort of block it out, 
               you know, like cops fence off a crime 
               scene. But then something good will 
               happen and everything will just glow.

                           MARY
               You must get a lot of overdoses. I 
               bet you picked me up a couple of 
               times.

                           FRANK
               I think I'd remember that.

                           MARY
               Maybe not. I was a different person 
               then. Does everybody you meet spill 
               their problems on you like this?

                           FRANK
               Mostly. It must be my face. My mother 
               always said I looked like a priest.

                           MARY
                    (wipes her mouth)
               I better go check on my father. Thanks 
               for the pizza. I owe you one. Maybe 
               when he gets better, you know, when 
               we're done with all this.

                           FRANK
               Sure.

     Frank puts his hand out but she's already on her feet. He 
     grabs the last slice of pizza, hands it to Griss as she heads 
     back to Critical Care.

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               Look after her, Griss, okay?

     Griss nods.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. CANAL STREET--NIGHT

     12 Young back on the job, moving with traffic.

                           MARCUS
               Rule number one: Don't get involved 
               with patients. Rule number two: Don't 
               get involved with patient's daughters. 
               You understand?

                           FRANK
               What about rule number three: Don't 
               get involved with dispatchers named 
               Love.

                           MARCUS
               You don't know the first thing about 
               rule number three, cannot begin to 
               understand the complexities of that 
               rule. Come on, let's go look at some 
               hookers. The Kit Kat will be letting 
               out. 
                    (relevant to nothing)
               Don't ever call a junkie whore a 
               crackhead. They get real mad.

     Marcus swings up First Ave:

                           MARCUS (CONT'D)
               Look at these women. You can't even 
               tell who's a hooker anymore. Whatever 
               happened to go-go boots and hot pants?  
               They wear anything now, walk outta 
               the house with whatever they got 
               on ...

     Frank watches night tableaus (police cars flashing, lovers 
     kissing, woman crying hysterically, drunken slugfest) as his 
     mind wanders:

                           FRANK (V.O.)
               The street is so much more 
               unpredictable than the ER and to 
               prepare for the unexpected I was 
               taught to act without thinking, like 
               an army private who can take apart 
               and reassemble a gun blindfolded ...

     Frank notices another EMS bus: Tom Walls wheeling a stretcher--
     Noel, face bloodied, lies restrained as Walls' partner opens 
     the rear doors.

                           FRANK (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               I realized that my training was useful 
               in less than ten percent of the calls 
               and saving someone's life was rarer 
               than that. As the years went by I 
               grew to understand that my role was 
               less about saving lives than about 
               bearing witness. I was a grief mop 
               and much of my job was to remove, if 
               even for a short time, the grief 
               starter or the grief product. It was 
               enough I simply showed up.

     Marcus continues as if uninterrupted:

                           MARCUS
               ... look at her. Leaves you no idea 
               what's underneath, not even a 
               suggestion. Could be a skeleton for 
               all you know.

     They pass a working girl in a rain slicker who pulls off her 
     hood to look at them: a familiar face.

                           MARCUS (CONT'D)
               Nice though, pulling back her hood 
               as we drive by. There's a mystery to 
               it, then she shows you.

                           FRANK
               She's no whore, Marcus.

                           MARCUS
               We're all whores, Frank. You know 
               what I'm talking about, the way she 
               looked at me.

                           FRANK
               She wasn't looking at you, man, she 
               was looking at me.

     Frank, looking back at the Rose face, hears her faintly say:

                           "ROSE"
               Why did you kill me, Frank?

                           FRANK
               I didn't kill you.

     Marcus, not hearing "Rose's" voice, replies:

                           MARCUS
               No, you didn't, Frank, thank you.
               But there's still a couple hours 
               left on the shift.

                           FRANK
               I need a drink, that's all.

     Dispatcher Love's voice cuts through:

                           DISPATCHER LOVE
               Twelve Young, answer the radio. I 
               have a call for you.

                           MARCUS
               She said to me, I love the way you 
               talk on the radio.

                           DISPATCHER LOVE
               I can't wait all night, Young. I'm 
               holding a priority and if you don't 
               answer I'm going to knock you out of 
               service.

                           MARCUS
                    (keys radio)
               Don't worry, hon. Young is here and 
               he's gonna help out--just remember, 
               you owe me.

                           DISPATCHER LOVE
               You're going to three-four Avenue C, 
               17 year-old female cardiac arrest, 
               no further information.

                           MARCUS
               Ten-four, hon.

     Marcus hits the siren.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. RUNDOWN TENEMENT--NIGHT

     Frank and Marcus standing in a no-income apartment with their 
     cardiac equipment. MARIA, a 17 year-old Hispanic girl, lies 
     moaning and breathing shallow on a ratty sofa. CARLOS, her 
     equally young boyfriend, watches anxiously, holding a candle 
     for light.

                           MARCUS
               Look at that. A fat junkie. That's a 
               first.

                           FRANK
                    (to Maria)
               What's wrong.

     Carlos speaks broken English:

                           CARLOS
               No English. She has terrible pain in 
               her belly.

                           FRANK
                    (hands on stomach)
               Pregnant.

                           CARLOS
               No, no, that's impossible.

                           FRANK
               Are you pregnant? Estas embarazada?

     Maria shakes her head, looks away.

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               Can you walk? Puedes caminar?

                           CARLOS
               She say she in great pain.

                           FRANK
               Thanks for the translation.
                    (to Maria)
               What's your name? Nombre?

                           MARIA
               Maria.

                           FRANK
               Let's have a look.

                           MARCUS
                    (to Carlos)
               You know each other a long time?

                           CARLOS
               Two years. Ever since we left island.

                           MARCUS
               In that time, you ever have sex?

                           CARLOS
               Never. No cigarettes, no drugs, no 
               booze.

                           MARCUS
               No underwear?

                           CARLOS
               We are virgins.

                           FRANK
                    (inspecting Maria)
               Oh Jesus, we'd better go. Call for 
               backup.

     Marcus radioing for assistance.

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               It's coming.
                    (to Carlos)
               Hold her down.

                           MARCUS
               What's that, Frank?

                           FRANK
               Three legs.

                           MARCUS
               That's too many.

                           FRANK
               Backup?

                           MARCUS
               It's coming.

                           CARLOS
               Is she dying?

                           FRANK
               She's having a baby. Twins.

                           CARLOS
               Es impossible.

                           FRANK
               You can trust me on this one.

                           CARLOS
               It's a miracle.

     Maria SCREAMS. Marcus kneels beside Frank as a distant EMS
     siren grows louder.

                           FRANK
               You take the first one.

     Frank looks up at the screaming mother: it's not her face. 
     It's Rose. The Rose face.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. MERCY ER--NIGHT

     Frank rushing past Nurse Constance, carrying a newborn in 
     thermal wrap, passing Noel restrained on a gurney:

                           FRANK
               She had a pulse.

                           NURSE CONSTANCE
               Code! Code Blue!

     Hazmat rushing over:

                           HAZMAT
               Oh Jesus, put her on the monitor. 
               Where's the pediatric code cart?
                    (Odette arriving with 
                    cart)
               Odette give me that tube. All right, 
               flatline--let's do CPR. step back, 
               Frank. How many months?

                           FRANK
               Can't tell. It was a breech, twins. 
               The other one seems okay, though. 
               Marcus is taking him and the mother 
               to Maternity.

     Across the room an obscenity-spouting FEMALE CRACKHEAD being 
     restrained by a patrolman and hospital security--adding to 
     the sense of emergency and chaos. DR. MISHRA, 50, Pediatric 
     MD, and nurses squeeze toward newborn edging Frank back. 
     Mishra takes an osteocatheter out of the cart, forces it 
     into the now obscured baby as Nurse Constance massages the 
     infant's chest.

     Hazmat steps over to the now restrained Crackhead.

                           CRACKHEAD
               I'm a mother! I got a daughter! I 
               got rights!

                           HAZMAT
                    (to nurse)
               10 mil Valium, stat.

     Mishra, worried, checks with Nurse Constance--they're losing 
     the newborn:

                           MISHRA
               Status.

                           NURSE CONSTANCE
               I think there's a pulse. I think.

     Frank looking at the EKG monitor--a green flatline--backs 
     away.

                           MISHRA
               Fuck.

                           NURSE CONSTANCE
               Nothing.

     Frank walking away, not looking where he's going, backs into 
     Noel's gurney.

                           NOEL
               Excuse me, sir, excuse me, I would 
               please trouble you for one cup of 
               water. The smallest thing in the 
               world to ask for, water. A man is 
               dying and that is me.

     Noel, his face battered from his encounter with Walls, pulls 
     at his restraints, howls:

                           NOEL (CONT'D)
               For days I've eaten nothing but sand, 
               O Lord, I waited so long.

     Hazmat looks over:

                           HAZMAT
               Christ. Who the hell woke him up?

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. CANAL STREET--NIGHT

     12 Young on the road again, sky turning blue.

                           FRANK
               Don't give me that look.

                           MARCUS
               What look?

                           FRANK
               You know what I'm talking about. 
               It's all over your face. That I-just-
               saved-a-little-baby-boy look.

                           MARCUS
               We just saved a little baby boy. 
               Think of it that way.

                           FRANK
               I don't want to hear about it, okay? 
               That's three jobs for the night. 
               It's over. Three jobs and time for a 
               drink. Six am, the cocktail hour. 
               Pass the bottle; I know you're 
               holding.

     Marcus reaches under the seat, pulls a pint of vodka, a quart 
     of orange juice and two cups out of an old gym bag, passes 
     them to Frank.

                           MARCUS
               The bar is now open.

     Frank mixes a screwdriver for Marcus, straight vodka for 
     himself.

                           FRANK
               I hate vodka.

                           MARCUS
               Please, a little decorum if you will. 
               What I was going to say is, is that 
               holding that baby in my arms, I felt 
               like I was twenty-one again. A call 
               like that makes me think of going 
               back to three nights a week, not 
               two, start running again, cut down 
               on the drinking.

                           FRANK
                    (pours drink)
               I'll drink to that.

                           MARCUS
                    (raises cup)
               Here's to the greatest job in the 
               world.

                           FRANK
                    (knocks vodka back)
               Greatest job in the world.

                           DISPATCHER LOVE
               Twelve Young, I have priorities 
               holding. Pick up the radio.

                           FRANK
               Don't do it, Marcus. Tell her the 
               bus died, our radio's not working, 
               our backs are out. Tell her we're 
               too drunk to take any more calls.

                           MARCUS
               Let's do it!
                    (keys mike)
               It's Marcus, Love, only for you.

                           DISPATCHER LOVE
               Male diff breather, approximately 
               30, Houston and A.

                           MARCUS
               Ten-four.

     Marcus hits the sirens and lights, accelerates to full speed. 
     The vodka spills; Frank grabs the dash.

                           MARCUS (CONT'D)
               I'm coming, Love! I'm coming!

     Marcus swings the bus wildly to avoid a cab, SKIDS into a 
     turn--and smack toward a parked truck. Frank covers his face 
     and screams.

     CRASH! The back of the ambulance rams into the truck, the 
     rear windows shatter.

                           MARCUS (CONT'D)
               Shit.

     Frank looks around, realizes no one is hurt. He climbs out:

                           MARCUS (CONT'D)
               Where you going?

                           FRANK
               I quit! I'm through!

                           MARCUS
               You can't leave me now.

     Frank walks up Avenue A, leaving Marcus and the disabled 
     vehicle. The first rays of sun strike the buildings ahead.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. MERCY EMERGENCY--DAYBREAK

     Frank turning the corner, checking his watch, about to enter 
     the Dark Bar across the corner from the hospital, watching 
     Noel run past him and away, skipping from one foot to the 
     other.

                           FRANK
               So long, Noel.

     The Emergency doors open: Mary Burke, head down, looking 
     neither direction, walks away from Frank. Griss steps out 
     after her. Frank joins him:

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               What's going on, Griss?

                           GRISS
               Your friend there just untied the 
               water beggar. Griss was coming out 
               to thank her. Probably saved Griss a 
               murder charge.
                    (about Mary)
               Having a tough time of it.

     Mary starts to run. Frank follows. She pushes her way through 
     a group of high schoolers; Frank does likewise, keeping his 
     distance.

     Five blocks later, Mary hesitates at a plaza outside the 
     Stuyvesant Town projects,

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. STUYVESANT TOWN--MORNING

     Frank stops a few steps away from Mary; Mary turns.

                           FRANK
               Excuse me. You seemed like you were 
               in trouble.

                           MARY
                    (steps over)
               I'm all right. I just can't stand to 
               see people tied up.  I'm in the 
               waiting room for hours, listening to 
               Noel screaming. The only reason he's 
               screaming is 'cause he's tied up.

                           FRANK
               Don't seem so bad to me.

                           MARY
               Don't say that. I wanted to cut my 
               father loose too. They told me he 
               almost died and five minutes later 
               they say he's better and I go in. 
               It's killing me seeing him fighting 
               like that.
                    (gazes up building)
               Look, since you're here, maybe you 
               could do me a favor. I need you to 
               wait for me outside this building, 
               okay? I have to visit a friend who's 
               sick.

                           FRANK
               Okay.

     Mary takes a few steps, turns back.

                           MARY
               I'm only asking because it's a 
               dangerous building. There's been 
               some robberies, a woman was raped 
               not long ago. This woman I'm seeing, 
               she'll want to talk to me all day, 
               but if I can point to you out the 
               window and say you're waiting, I can 
               be out quick. if anything happens, 
               I'll be in apartment 16M.

                           FRANK
               Maybe I should come up with you.

                           MARY
               If I'm not back in fifteen minutes, 
               hit the buzzer. That way she'll let 
               me go.

                           FRANK
               Nothing's going to happen. I'll come 
               with you.

                           MARY
               No, I'll be fine. I'm just visiting 
               a sick friend.

     She walks into the building. He follows.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. ELEVATOR--DAY

     The dinged metal doors shudder shut as Frank follows Mary 
     into the graffittied elevator. It jumps three feet upwards, 
     stops, then continues, metal scraping concrete at each passing 
     floor.

                           MARY
               I shouldn't have asked you to come.

                           FRANK
               You asked me not to come.

                           MARY
               Promise you won't go inside.

                           FRANK
               Fifteen minutes.

                           MARY
               I just have to relax a little. Not 
               feel so guilty all the time.

                           FRANK
               We can still go back. I'll walk you 
               home. You sleep a couple of hours, 
               watch some TV, take a bath.

                           MARY
               Don't be a cop. If you have any doubts 
               about this, it's my fault.

     The elevator jerks to a stop; the doors open.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. SIXTEENTH FLOOR--MORNING

     Mary turns to Frank:

                           MARY
               You go on home, okay. I'm fine, 
               really. I don't need you. Thanks.

     Mary pushes the bell at 16M. KANITA, 25, wearing a paisley 
     robe, opens the doors and says:

                           KANITA
               Hey Cy, guess who's here?

                           COATES (O.S.)
               Mary ...

     The elevator doors close on Frank.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. LOBBY--MORNING

     Frank paces past the sleeping security guard, checks his 
     watch.

     He presses the elevator button.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. THE OASIS--MORNING

     The door to 16M opens:

                           KANITA
               Can I help you?

                           FRANK
               Mary Burke. She's a friend.

                           KANITA
               She's not here.

     Frank pushes past her.

                           KANITA (CONT'D)
               Wait a minute. You can't go in.

     CY COATES, 45, light-skinned black, stands in the smoky room. 
     Dark curtained windows block the sunlight; a dirty fish tank 
     casts a green glow across the beat-up furniture.

     A large framed photo of a volcano hangs over the couch.

                           COATES
               It's okay, Kanita. Come on in.

                           KANITA
               He looks like a cop.

                           COATES
               He's not a cop, he's a medic.
                    (extends hand)
               I'm CY Coates.

                           FRANK
               Frank Pierce.

                           COATES
               Mary said you might be coming.

                           FRANK
               Where is she?

                           COATES
               Sleeping in the back.

                           FRANK
               She asked me to pick her up.

                           COATES
               I know, but she told me to tell you 
               she wants to crash here a few hours. 
               Terrible about her father, isn't it?

                           FRANK
               I better just go in and see her.

     Kanita sits on the sofa next to an unshaven sleeping man. 
     Coates gestures:

                           COATES
               I call this the Oasis. Refuge from 
               the world out there. Did you know 
               two people were shot in this building 
               last week?

     Frank heads down the hall toward the rear of the apartment; 
     Coates follows. They pass an open door where inside TIGER, a 
     fat man with dried blood running down the corner of his mouth, 
     sits punching computer keys at a desk.

                           COATES (CONT'D)
               Careful. That's the Tiger. The lady's 
               down the hall. Welcome to Sunrise 
               Enterprises, Frank, the stress-free 
               factory.

     In the NEXT ROOM Mary lies on a mattress on the floor, yellow 
     sheet pulled up to her neck. Frank leans over her:

                           FRANK
               Mary. Mary, we've got to get going.

                           MARY
                    (groggy)
               No, no.

                           COATES
               She wanted something to help her 
               sleep.

                           FRANK
               Mary, we really have to go.

     Mary blindly swings her fist at him, collapses unconscious 
     back to the mattress.

                           COATES
               Frank, she's suffered enough. She's 
               okay, I promise.
                    (puts hand on Frank's 
                    shoulder)
               C'mon, Frank.

     Coates escorts Frank back to the LIVING ROOM.

                           COATES (CONT'D)
               I'm always interested in people in 
               stressful occupations and being a 
               paramedic is about as stressful as I 
               can imagine. Here, sit down. What's 
               it like? Tell me some war stories.

                           FRANK
                    (sits)
               Got a beer?

     Cy sits across from him, pulls out a pin-sized joint, lights 
     it:

                           COATES
               That shit is poison, Frank. We don't 
               drink alcohol here. What you need is 
               one of these.

                           FRANK
               Did you give Mary something called 
               Red Death?

                           COATES
               Red Death?
                    (passes joint to Kanita)
               Tell me something, Frank--does killing 
               your clients make good business sense 
               to you? The kids selling that shit 
               have no sense. They'll be taken care 
               of, don't worry about that.

                           FRANK
               I should be going. I just quit.

                           COATES
               Sleep is all stress reduction. Here.
                    (offers white pill)
               You take one of these, sleep two 
               hours, that's all you need.
                    (Frank hesitates)
               Why do you think I'm telling you 
               this, Frank--for my health?  You 
               ought to look at yourself in the 
               mirror, man. Kanita, get him a glass 
               of water.

     Frank watches as Kanita gets up, walks to the kitchen. Coates 
     places the pill in his hand.

                           FRANK
               Is this what you gave Mary?

                           COATES
               That's the stuff. I call it the Red 
               Lion. Very king-of-the-jungle.

     No language, only brute power. You can't believe how relaxing 
     it is.

     Kanita returns with a glass of water, gives it to Frank; 
     Coates stands, feeds the fish.

                           COATES (CONT'D)
               Frank, I'm trying to help you.  Drink 
               up.

     Frank swallows the white pill, drinks the water. He places 
     his arms on the chair:

                           FRANK
               I guess I'll be going.

                           COATES
               Just take it easy.

     Frank looks around the smoke-filled room. Kanita walks over, 
     extends her hand.

                           KANITA
               Take my pulse.
                    (he does)
               It's good, isn't it?

                           FRANK
               Perfect.

                           KANITA
               I knew it. I was wrong about you.  
               You're not so bad.

     Kanita runs her hand across his shoulders. Frank starts to 
     nod. The room getting warm and dark. His eyelids lower: sleep, 
     precious sleep.

                                                          CUT TO:

     FRANK'S ROSE DREAM

     Voices and sounds echo through the purple haze as Frank's 
     mind drifts in time and space. Action and sounds slow, speed 
     up, distort--intermix with the Oasis--as Frank goes back:

     This is how it begins: the last time, the first time ...

     Larry exits 13 Zebra as Rose, 18, wearing a yellow rain 
     slicker, falls to her knees in the miasmic dream stank, onto 
     the sidewalk, then onto her back. From forty feet away Frank, 
     seeing her reach for a parking meter, grabbing the tube kit, 
     running.

     Rose gasping for breath, Frank falling to his knees, lifting 
     her tongue, prying her teeth apart, slipping the blade between 
     her lips--Rose not breathing: waiting for her to inhale, 
     shooting the tube down her vocal cords. Larry listening to 
     lung sounds, belly sounds:

                           LARRY
               You're in the stomach!

                           FRANK
               You sure?

                           ROSE
               Rose!

                           FRANK
               Huh?

                           ROSE
               My name. Rose.

                           LARRY
               You're in the stomach, man.

     Frank pulling the tube out, trying again.

     Somewhere: CY Coates laughs.

                           LARRY (CONT'D)
               You're in the stomach! Let me try.

                           FRANK
               One more time!

     Rose going blue, pulse rate dropping, EKG Slowing: Jim 
     Morrison singing.

                           LARRY
               Stomach again.

                           FRANK
               No way!

     Larry ripping the tube from Frank's hands, taking over, 
     pushing Frank aside, trying CPR, intubating Rose, air moving 
     into her lungs--it doesn't matter. Rose is gone.

     Frank hears a SCREAM: it's his own voice.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. THE OASIS--DAY

     Frank standing screaming in the living room. CY walking over, 
     Kanita standing, the sleeping man awaking.

                           COATES
               Frank, take it easy. what happened?

                           KANITA
               He flipped out.

     Frank bends over in pain.

                           COATES
               Be cool, man. You're having a 
               paradoxical reaction. It can happen.
                    (to Kanita)
               Didn't I tell you this guy was 
               stressed out?

                           KANITA
               Stressed? He's psycho.

     Frank heads to where Mary sleeps.

                           COATES
               Frank, where you going?

     In the BACK BEDROOM, Frank picks up Mary, hoists her over 
     his shoulder fireman-style and heads out.

                           COATES (CONT'D)
               You're making a mistake. Sit down 
               and relax a minute.

     Frank opens the front door--no one stops him--exits.

                           COATES (CONT'D)
                    (calling)
               She'll be back. And, by the way, you 
               owe me ten bucks.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. STUYVESANT LOBBY--DAY

     The elevator doors open. Frank sets Mary on her feet.

                           MARY
               I can walk.

     She says weaving out of the front doors.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. STUYVESANT TOWN--DAY

     Mary walks a Few steps into the plaza, stumbles; Frank catches 
     her.

                           MARY
               Let go of me.
                    (he relaxes)
               You shouldn't have come up. I told 
               you not to. You could have gotten us 
               both killed.

     Mary heads up the avenue: past baby strollers, postal workers, 
     deliverymen.

                           MARY (CONT'D)
               You and CY have a nice talk? He tell 
               you about Sunrise Enterprises, helping 
               people? Well, I've seen him hurt 
               people. Why are you following me?

                           FRANK
               Because you can barely walk.

     Frank walking slightly beside and behind, lights a cigarette.

                           MARY
               You remember Noel, from the other 
               night, how Noel is now? He wasn't 
               always like that. He was my brother's 
               best friend. Cy or Tiger or one of 
               those other goons put a bullet in 
               Noel's head. He was in a coma three 
               months. Crazy ever since.

     They stop at a three-story brick apartment building.

                           MARY (CONT'D)
               This is my place.

     She unlocks the door. He follows her in.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. MARY'S APT. BUILDING--DAY

     Mary grabs the railing, heads up the stairs.

                           MARY
               What is it? You want to help me, you 
               feel sorry for me? Keep it to 
               yourself.

                           FRANK
               I need to sit down a minute.

                           MARY
               Or maybe you wanna fuck me? Everyone 
               else has.

     Mary opens the door to her first floor apartment; Frank 
     follows. The room is clean and feminine. Unframed water colors 
     stacked against the wall atop a desk. A black lab greets 
     Mary, she pets him. Frank slumps on the sofa.

                           MARY (CONT'D)
               I've been clean two years now. I got 
               a job. I paint when I'm home. Don't 
               bother anybody. Then all this shit 
               happens.

     Frank keels over onto his side, his head hitting a cushion, 
     eyes closed, dog licking his cheek.

                           MARY (CONT'D)
               Oh no you don't. You can't stay here.

     He's asleep, the sound of her crying fading in his head.

                                                        FADE OUT:

     INT. MARY'S APT.--NIGHT

     FADE IN: a passing siren wakes Frank. He thinks back, looking 
     around the darkened room, realizes where he is. The dog comes 
     over, licks his hand.

                           FRANK
               Hello, I'm Frank. Mary's friend. A 
               very close friend who loves animals.

     He removes the blanket Mary has laid over him, stands:

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               Hello?

     Frank walks cautiously through the dark, finds a bathroom 
     lit by a glowing Mickey Mouse switch. He flips on the switch: 
     a string of green and red Christmas lights glow. Three types 
     of soap sit on the sink. He turns on the faucet:

                           FRANK (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               I washed my face with three kinds of 
               soap, each smelling like a different 
               season. It felt good to be in a 
               woman's room again, especially a 
               woman who wasn't comatose or severely 
               disabled. I felt that perhaps I had 
               turned a corner, like I saved someone, 
               though I didn't know who.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. EMS GARAGE OFFICE--NIGHT

     Frank standing at Captain Barney's desk.

                           CAPT. BARNEY
               You're late, Pierce. I know, but I 
               can't fire you. I've got nobody to 
               work sixteen XRay with Walls.

                           FRANK
               No ...

                           CAPT. BARNEY
               I got some forms here to fill out 
               about that accident when you get the 
               time.
                    (hands him keys)
               I'll fire you tomorrow. I promise.

                           FRANK
               What if there is no tomorrow?

                           CAPT. BARNEY
               Go on, get outta here, Pierce, before 
               I give you a big hug.
                    (to Miss Williams)
               I love this guy.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. MERCY EMERGENCY--NIGHT

     Frank walks toward Sixteen XRay as Walls gets out of the 
     front seat. The EMS vehicle is dented and rusted, a relic of 
     wars and a hodgepodge of parts.

                           WALLS
               Frank, what do you know. It's you 
               and me again tonight, the Rough 
               Riders, tearing up the streets just 
               like old times.
                    (kicks the front tire)
               This old bus is a warrior, Frank, 
               just like us. I have tried to kill 
               him and he will not die. I have a 
               great respect for that.

     Frank makes a "be right back" gesture, walks into ER.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. MERCY ER--NIGHT

     Saturday night at the Knife and Gun Club: the joint is 
     hopping, the sound system blaring.

     Frank passing Griss holding back an angry Hispanic man with 
     a bleeding arm:

                           GRISS
               Don't make me take off my sunglasses.

                           FRANK
               Morning, Griss.

                           NURSE CONSTANCE
               We're full up tonight, Frank.

     Frank walks over to unit three, Mr. Burke's cubicle, pulls 
     back the curtain. Burke lies sedated, wired and tubed. Frank 
     leans over, feels Burke's pulse.

     Frank's expression changes--he looks at the EKG monitor: 
     green lines seem to be at war, normal beats marching in 
     formation against wild-looking rhythms, the heart working 
     hard and not getting much done.

     Burke's face twitches. Burke's voice speaks in Frank's head:

                           BURKE'S VOICE
               Go to the bank, boy, take out 
               everything you can.

     Frank turns up the EKG amplitude:

                           FRANK
               Mr. Burke?

                           BURKE'S VOICE
               I'm going. I've had enough.

     The alarms start to ring: EKG first, followed by the bells 
     off the oxygen saturation monitor and low drone of ventilator.

     Intern Milagros pulling open the curtain behind Frank, shaking 
     her head, reaching for the defribilator paddles, handing 
     them to Frank. He steps back:

                           FRANK
                 You do it.

                           MILAGROS
                 Can't reach. You're taller.

                           BURKE'S VOICE
                 Don't do it.

                           FRANK
                 I thought he was getting better.

                           MILAGROS
                 Technically, yeah. I suppose. It 
                 doesn't matter.

                           FRANK
                 Why not?

                           MILAGROS
                 Tha family wants us to do everything 
                 to save him--so, that's it. They 
                 want to keep him alive, they want to 
                 believe in miracles, we keep him 
                 alive. Shock him, Frank. He'll come 
                 back. He always comes back.

                           FRANK
                    (takes paddles)
                 Clear!

     Frank shocks Burke: his body convulses.

                           BURKE'S VOICE
                 Ow!

     The heartbeats on monitor return to regular formation.

                           BURKE'S VOICE (CONT'D)
                 You son of a bitch.

                           MILAGROS
                 Should I increase the lidocaine?

     Frank, despondent, not listening, walks away.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. AVENUE A--NIGHT

     16 XRay driving past a strip of night clubs and restaurants: 
     the sidewalks full of young people laughing, jostling, 
     embracing.

     Walls driving. In addition to the EMS two-way and AM radio, 
     Walls keeps a police band walkie-talkie open. He looks into 
     the back of the bus:

                           WALLS
               Frank, what you doing back there?

     Frank places an open drug box on the stretcher, pulls out an 
     IV set, wraps a tourniquet around his left bicep.

                           FRANK
               I'm sick, Tom. I need a cure.
                    (injects himself)
               Vitamin B cocktail, followed by an 
               amp of glucose and a drop of 
               adrenaline. Not as good as beer, but 
               all I got.

                           WALLS
               Come on, Frank. There's blood spilling 
               in the streets.

     Frank crawls back in front carrying the IV bag, puts on the 
     oxygen mask, turns on the main tanks, takes a deep hit.

                           FRANK
                    (pulls off mask)
               These are hard times, Tom.

                           WALLS
               Yeah. Great, isn't it?

                           FRANK
               Great to be drunk. Sobriety's killing 
               me.

                           WALLS
               Look up, Frank. Full moon. The blood's 
               gonna run tonight. I can feel it. 
               Our mission: to save lives.

                           FRANK
               Our mission is coffee, Tom. A shot 
               of the bull, Puerto Rican espresso.

                           WALLS
               Ten-four. El Toro de Oro. Blast off.

     Walls hits the sirens, accelerates.

                           FRANK
               The cure's not working, Tom. Maybe 
               we should go back to the hospital.

                           WALLS
               Don't worry, kid. Tom'll take care 
               of you. Put your head out the window, 
               get some of that summer air. Listen 
               to the music. El Toro de Oro. Andale. 
               Pronto.

     Walls turns up the radio, drums his hands against the wheel.

                           DISPATCHER
               Okay, units, it's suicide hour. 
               Fourteen Boy, I show you in the 
               hospital sixty minutes but I know
               you're in the diner on 14th. Put 
               down the burger, I got a call for 
               you around the corner, 14 and 3rd, a 
               man with a noose around his neck and 
               nothing to hang it on. Sixteen XRay, 
               don't even think about getting coffee, 
               I have a call for you too.

                           WALLS
                    (on radio)
               Sixteen XTerminator here. We like 
               our coffee bloody. Make it good--my 
               partner's dying to help someone.

                           DISPATCHER
               You're in luck, X: your patient awaits 
               you with bleeding wrists on Avenue C 
               and Fourth.

     Frank pulls the IV needle out of his arm, searches the glove 
     compartment:

                           FRANK
               Tom, where are the Band-aids? This 
               is an ambulance, isn't it?

                           WALLS
                    (hitting the gas)
               Look out!

     16 XRay lurches forward.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. AVENUE C AND 4TH--NIGHT

     16 XRay brakes to a stop before a duster of derelicts, junkies 
     and night people. Two DRUNKS are trying to help a friend 
     with CUT WRISTS.

                           WALLS
               What the hell's going on?

                           DRUNK #1
               You've gotta take him to the hospital. 
               He tried to kill himself. Show him 
               your wrist. Show A.

     Cut Wrists gets up, leans against the ambulance, shaking.

                           DRUNK #1 (CONT'D)
               See, he ain't right.

                           WALLS
               Hold it. I will not take anyone
               anywhere against his will. This is
               America. People have rights.

                           DRUNK #2
               He was bleeding before. He kept 
               spilling his beer. I gave him mouth-
               to-mouth.

                           WALLS
               You're lucky you didn't kill him.
                    (to Cut Wrists)
               We're going to hear it straight from 
               the loony's mouth. Are you crazy? 
               Did you try to bump yourself off?

                           CUT WRISTS
                    (salivatory)
               Yesssss.

                           WALLS
               Why didn't you say so.

     Walls escorts Cut Wrists into the back of the bus, pulls a 
     plastic electric patch off the EKG monitor. Frank joins them.

                           WALLS (CONT'D)
               Sir, I am going to give you some 
               medicine that is still very 
               experimental. It's from NASA, and 
               although the astronauts have been 
               using it for years, we are the first 
               service to try it. I will put this 
               patch on your forehead like this, 
               and in about a minute you will have 
               to relax.
                    (places patch)
               You will forget all your suicidal 
               feelings. It's very important that 
               you wear this for a least twenty-
               four hours and keep checking the 
               mirror. If the patch turns green you 
               have to see the doctor immediately. 
               The side effects could be fatal.

     Cut Wrists nods.

                           FRANK
               This is the worst suicide attempt 
               I've ever seen. You feel the pulse? 
               Here. That's where you cut, and it's 
               not across, it's down like so.
                    (takes out his knife)
               Here take it.

                           CUT WRISTS
                    (shaking)
               I can't.

                           FRANK
               With all the poor people of this 
               city who wanted only to live and 
               were viciously murdered, you have 
               the nerve to sit here waiting to die 
               and not go through with it. You make 
               me sick. Take it.

     Cut Wrists bolts out of the back of the bus, trips as he 
     hits the ground, runs down the street, turning the corner 
     still holding the patch to his forehead.

                           WALLS
               We cured him, Frank. When we work 
               together there's nothing we can't 
               fix.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. EL TORO DE ORO--NIGHT

     16 XRay parked outside a fluorescent chrome and plastic coffee 
     shop.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. EL TORO DE ORO--NIGHT

     Frank smoking at a formica table, his walkie-talkie upright 
     next to an ashtray. Walls returns with two espressos as the 
     Dispatcher rattles on.

                           WALLS
                    (sits)
               Sounds like they're trying to clean 
               up the bus terminal tonight,

     Frank doesn't answer. Tom shines his mini-flashlight in 
     Frank's eyes:

                           WALLS (CONT'D)
               Hello, hello. Major Tom to Frank, 
               time to come home.

     Frank watches a hooker on the sidewalk. Two street punks 
     dripping gold and attitude head the opposite direction: one 
     turns his head, looks at Frank--it's Rose. The Rose face.

     Frank getting up, grabbing his walkie and coffee, heading 
     out.

                           WALLS (CONT'D)
               Where you going?

                           FRANK
               C'mon, Tom. The city's burning.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. HOUSTON--NIGHT

     Frank at the wheel, driving high speed: radio full volume.

                           WALLS
               Whatja doing?

                           FRANK
               I feel the need, the need for speed. 
               I'm driving out of myself.

                           WALLS
               The brakes are shot.

                           FRANK
               I've taken that into consideration.

                           WALLS
               You okay?

                           FRANK
               I never felt better in my life.

                           DISPATCHER
               Sixteen XRay, XRay.

                           FRANK
                    (keys radio)
               X.

                           DISPATCHER
               First of all, I want you to know how 
               sorry I am about this. I've always 
               liked you two. A unit above none, a 
               legend in its own lunchtime, so it 
               hurts me deeply to do this but I 
               have no choice. You must go to Second 
               and St. Marks. In front of a liquor 
               store you'll find a forty year-old 
               male, unconscious, lying next to his 
               wheelchair. Do I have to say more?

                           FRANK
                    (to radio)
               You've said too much already.

                           WALLS
               Mr. Oh.

                           FRANK
               It's early for him.

                           WALLS
               That's all right, we're not meant to 
               do Oh tonight. Something is going to 
               happen. I can feel it.

     Tom hears something on the police band: a call for units to 
     Stuyvesant Town.

                           WALLS (CONT'D)
               Bingo.
                    (keys police walkie)
               EMS to Central. What was that call?

                           POLICE DISPATCH
               A jumper. Stuyvesant Town.

                           WALLS
               Ten-four.   One minute out.

                           DISPATCHER
               Sixteen, Sixteen XRay. Level One 
               Emergency.

     But they're not listening--Frank's off to Stuyvesant Town.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. STUYVESANT TOWN--NIGHT

     Police cars, fire engines, a massive Emergency Service rescue 
     truck all flashing dome lights on the street, on the plaza 
     surrounding Cy Coates' building: cops, Swat team, spotlights, 
     onlookers.

     Frank and Tom, getting out, looking up: the spotlit figure 
     of Cy Coates, thirteen floors above, suspended on a railing, 
     legs dangling.

                           WALLS
               Whadda we bring?

                           FRANK
               Better bring it all.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. LOBBY--NIGHT

     Frank and Tom, lugging their equipment, meet up with cops, 
     firemen and their rescue equipment.

                           FRANK
               The elevator's fucked. We'd never 
               all fit anyway. Let's go.

                           FIREMAN
               That's thirteen flights.

                           WALLS
               The news guys just pulled up.

                           POLICE SERGEANT
               The stairs, men, the stairs.

     The Sergeant leads a half dozen cops and firemen up the stairs 
     as the elevator doors open. Tom, Frank and two COPS squeeze 
     inside.

                           WALLS
               This guy a jumper?

                           COP
               We got a call for shots fired on
               the sixteenth floor. The jumper
               called right after.

                           FRANK
                    (to Walls)
               I'm going to sixteen.

     As the elevator doors close.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. THE OASIS--NIGHT

     Frank steps out with the officers. The door to 16M is open: 
     Kanita lies half in, half out the door, a perfectly round 
     hole above her eye, splinters of bone and blood down the 
     side of her nose.

     The carpet is soaked with water; shards of glass lie amid 
     dying fish. A cop returns from the rear hall of the apartment, 
     stands before photo of volcano:

                           COP
               That's it, nobody else home.

     Frank, looking over the balcony, sees Cy three floors below.

                           FRANK
               I'm going to thirteen.

     Frank heads clown the stairs.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. THIRTEENTH FLOOR--NIGHT

     Frank emerges on thirteen: Walls, the panting Police Sergeant 
     and team have overturned the furniture in 13M: the absent 
     owners would have trouble recognizing it. The floor is covered 
     with gas-powered metal cutters, acetylene torches, ropes, 
     harnesses.

     A trail of blood leads to where Walls stands, Tiger's prone 
     body behind him:

                           WALLS
               Get this, Frank--we got two patients. 
               Number one, the scarecrow outside. 
               Number two misses the railing but 
               breaks both legs on the balcony, 
               then throws himself through a glass
               window, heads to the bedroom, where 
               he's now passed out.

                           FRANK
                    (about Coates)
               Well, he's the steakhead of the night, 
               then.

                           WALLS
               I don't think the fire people can 
               touch him out there.

                           FRANK
               How's he doing?

                           WALLS
               I haven't had a chance to see him 
               yet. I'm going to take care of 
               sleeping beauty.

     Frank goes over to Coates as two cops strap on harnesses. CY 
     hangs impaled on the railing, a steel spike passing through 
     his hip. Glowing in spotlights from thirteen floors below, 
     Frank takes Coates' vital signs, gently presses his abdomen:

                           FRANK
               Does that hurt?

                           COATES
                    (screams)
               No!

     Frank, IV bag in his teeth, putting an oxygen mask on Coates:

                           FRANK
               I don't think you've hurt any major 
               organs.
                    (sets IV line)
               We got to get you off this thing 
               without setting off bleeding.

     Cops behind click on harnesses ("You in?" "Yeah" "You in?") 
     attach straps to pitons they've hammered into the brick wall, 
     bring out metal cutters and torches.

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               They're gonna torch the fence. You're 
               gonna feel the metal getting warm, 
               maybe very warm.

                           COATES
               I can't hold up my head anymore.

     Frank passes the IV bag to one of the cops, holds Coates, 
     head. CY relaxes his neck as SPARKS splay like fireworks 
     beneath him, fall to the concrete.

                           COATES (CONT'D)
               So, Frank, am I going to live?

                           FRANK
               You're going to live.

                           COATES
               I've been thinking about things. 
               Meditating on my financial future. 
               You guys gave me plenty of time to 
               meditate on the future. Whatja do, 
               stop for Chinese on the way over?  
               There's plenty of food in my place.

                           FRANK
               I was tired. I needed a coffee.

                           COATES
               What about Kanita?

                           FRANK
               Dead.

                           COATES
               That's too bad. Get some money, a 
               nice looking girl on your arm, and 
               everyone wants to take a piece. Some 
               kid I wouldn't let wash my Mercedes 
               is in my house, shooting at me. Damn, 
               I thought I could make it onto the 
               balcony like Tiger. He's fat, that's 
               why, falls faster. I'm trying to 
               watch my weight, and look what 
               happens. Am I shot, Frank?

                           FRANK
               No.

                           COATES
               Boy can't shoot for shit, either. 
               Goddamn that's hot.

     Frank looks: the spike in Coates' hip starting to glow red. 
     CY stretches his hand toward the skyline, his face backlit 
     by raining acetylene sparks:

                           COATES (CONT'D)
               Isn't it beautiful? When the fires 
               start to fall, then the strongest 
               rule it all. I love this city.

     The torch breaks the spike free: Frank and Coates FREE FALL 
     three feet, jerk to a stop. Cy yelps. The crowd cheers from 
     below.

     Frank now grabbing, holding Coates tightly--Frank's hands 
     the only thing keeping Coates from falling--as the cops hoist 
     them up.

                           COP
                    (to Frank)
               Good thing we buckled you in, huh?

                           COATES
               What about me? Who's supposed to 
               buckle me?

                           COP
                    (to 2nd cop)
               I thought you did.

                           2ND COP
               I thought you did.

                           COP
                    (to Coates)
               I'm so sorry, sir.

     The cops lift Frank and Coates onto the balcony.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. MERCY EMERGENCY--NIGHT

     16 XRay parked in front.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. MERCY CRITICAL CARE--NIGHT

     Frank walking out of the restroom wiping water off his face, 
     looking at the gurney where Coates lies on his side, metal 
     spike still sticking through his hip, IV line running to his 
     arm, eyes closed. Nurses walk past Coates: he's stabilized, 
     waiting his turn. CY, take a number.

     Frank spots Hazmat at Burke's cubicle, walks over.

                           HAZMAT
               Nurse Crupp, we're going to need 
               some Valium here. He's waking up 
               again.

     The ventilator alarm goes off as Burke pulls at his 
     restraints.

                           HAZMAT (CONT'D)
                    (urgent)
               Where's that Valium?

     Nurse Crupp walks briskly over, injects needle into one of 
     Burke's IV bags.

     Burke's voice speaks in Frank's head:

                           BURKE'S VOICE
               Don't. Don't do it.

                           HAZMAT
               Give me a hand, Frank. I've got to 
               get something between those teeth.

     Frank helps Hazmat force in a bite stick. The monitor alarm 
     cuts off, the ventilator starts up again, pumping air in, 
     pulling air out.

                           HAZMAT (CONT'D)
               You can't believe how much he's 
               improved.

                           FRANK
               How many times have you shocked him 
               tonight?

                           HAZMAT
               Fourteen. We finally got him a room 
               upstairs. Should be up there in a 
               couple of hours.

                           FRANK
               What do you do, just have someone 
               follow him around with a defribilator?

                           HAZMAT
                    (laughs)
               That's good, Frank. No, but they 
               might surgically implant one, about 
               the size of my thumb. It goes near 
               the shoulder here, with two electrodes 
               connected to the heart. It sends a 
               shock whenever it senses a drop in 
               blood flow. Amazing, isn't it?

                           FRANK
               A medical miracle.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. MERCY WAITING ROOM--NIGHT

     Frank notices Mary Burke in waiting area with her brother, 
     mother and several others. Gone is the lost daughter, the 
     scared junkie. Tonight she's dressed for strength: leather 
     jacket, blue jeans, black work boots.

                           MARY
               Everyone, this is the medic who 
               brought my father in. Frank, these 
               are some of my father's friends.

     Frank greets them.

                           FAMILY FRIEND
               We live out an the Island now, but 
               we used to live right down the block
               from Pat. He was like a saint to us. 
               Came as soon as we heard.

                           FRANK
                    (to Mary)
               I'm going out for a smoke.

     Mary whispers something to her mother, joins him.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. MERCY EMERGENCY--NIGHT

     Frank offers her a cigarette. Walls waits in 16 XRay, now 
     parked at the curb.

                           MARY
               I heard CY Coates was brought in. He 
               looked pretty bad.

                           FRANK
               He'll be all right.

                           MARY
               Too bad. He called me up today, can 
               you believe that? I don't know how 
               he got my number. He asks me do I 
               want to come over and see him, I 
               tell him I'd rather go to a leper 
               colony. He says there's a new gang 
               that wants to kill him, take over 
               the business. I told him I hope he's 
               right. That they kill him. That's 
               what I told him.

                           FRANK
               It'll be a while before he's up and 
               running again.

                           MARY
               OK, last night I was weak. it won't 
               happen again. And all that shit I 
               said--it was just because I was 
               stoned. Forget it.

                           FRANK
               No problem. Thanks for letting me 
               crash. It was the best sleep I've 
               had in months. I used some of your 
               soap.

                           MARY
               I wish these people would leave 
               already. I can't listen to another 
               story. Did you see him?
                    (Frank doesn't answer)
               That doctor says the brain is coming 
               around. They're waiting for the heart 
               to stabilize. I don't know who to 
               believe. He says they still have to 
               keep him tied up.

                           FRANK
               Can I bring you something back to 
               eat--a falafal, some pizza?

                           MARY
               No, we just ate. I only remember how 
               tough my father was. Now I know he 
               had to be like that, to make us tough. 
               This city'll kill you if you aren't 
               strong enough.

                           FRANK
               No, the city doesn't discriminate. 
               It gets everybody.

     Walls flashes 16 XRay's headlights, hits the horns.

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               I gotta go. Another call.

     Frank, his heart pounding, steps closer to her.

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               We're all dying, Mary Burke.

     He leans as if to kiss her.

                           MARY
               This is not a good time.

                           FRANK
               There's no time.

     He places his hand on her shoulder, kisses her lightly, walks 
     toward Walls and the waiting ambulance.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. FIRST AVE--NIGHT

     16 XRay is cooking now--Walls at the wheel, Frank shotgun, 
     passing a pint of whiskey back and forth: radio blasting--
     INXS: "The Devil Inside."

                           WALLS
               Get ready, Frank. Missed a drug 
               shooting while you were dicking around 
               in there. There's gonna be trauma 
               tonight!

                           FRANK
               As long as we keep moving. No standing 
               still.

                           WALLS
                    (keys mike)
               C'mon, look at your screen. Give up 
               some blood!

                           DISPATCHER
               Sixteen XRay, a man at the bus 
               terminal shot three years ago says 
               his arm hurts.

     Frank looks at a group of girls exiting an after-hours club: 
     every one a Rose. Rose faces.

                           FRANK
               C'mon, Tom, pick up a job.

                           WALLS
               You want some bum in the bus terminal? 
               We'll wait for a real call.

                           FRANK
               Let's get in a fight, then.

                           WALLS
               Who with?

                           FRANK
               That's your job. Just keep driving, 
               keep moving. No stopping. We're 
               sharks. We stop too long, we die.

     Walls hits the accelerator: the old bus jerks forward:

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               Let's break something, Tom. Let's 
               bust something, bomb something.

                           WALLS
               What do you want to break?

                           FRANK
                    (taking a drink)
               I don't know--let's break some
               windows.

                           WALLS
               Why?

                           FRANK
               Destruction, distraction. I feel the 
               need.

                           WALLS
               You need a reason, Frank. You don't 
               just go around breaking people's 
               windows. That's anarchy.

                           FRANK
               What's the reason? Give me a reason, 
               Tom.

                           WALLS
               Let me think.

     Tom hits the siren as he swings wildly around a stopped cab 
     and its turban-headed driver:

                           WALLS (CONT'D)
               Classic cabbie move.
                    (to driver)
               Hey, swammy, that's called a 
               crosswalk. You stop before it, not 
               on it!

     Walls turns onto a cross street, spots Noel standing by a 
     Mustang, baseball bat on his shoulder. He wears yesterday's 
     blood-stained clothes, cut tires tied to his shoulders and 
     elbows, chest and belly wrapped with steel wire.

                           WALLS (CONT'D)
               I know who to work over. Him.

     Walls slows as Noel lifts the bat, swings it into the 
     Mustang's front window, shattering it, puts the bat down, 
     using it like a cane as he walks to the next parked car.

                           WALLS (CONT'D)
               This guy's been terrorizing the 
               neighborhood for weeks, ever since 
               he got outta jail, wreaking general 
               havoc, contributing to the bad name 
               of the place. The term "menace to 
               society" was made up for him.

                           FRANK
               He's crazy. He can't help it.

                           WALLS
                    (stops ambulance)
               Well, why don't they put him away? 
               Prisons don't want him. I took him 
               to the hospital yesterday and here 
               he is again.

     Noel reaches the next car, a Bronco, carefully hefts the 
     bat, smashes it through the windshield.

                           WALLS (CONT'D)
               Look at that. Tell me that's a crazy 
               person. Every move is calculated. He 
               knows exactly what he's doing. This 
               is the guy. I've been after him for 
               weeks. He's quick, runs like a rat, 
               tough for one person, but with two 
               of us--

                           FRANK
               Okay, whatta I do?

                           WALLS
               If he sees me, he'll run, so I'll 
               get out here. You start talking to 
               him about baseball or something while 
               I sneak around behind and get down 
               and you push him. When he falls we 
               get him.

                           FRANK
               That's ridiculous.

                           WALLS
               Believe me, it always works. The 
               simpler, the better.

                           FRANK
               You learn that in the army?

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               Flatbush.

     Walls slips out, crouches beside the bus. Frank, stepping 
     out, walks over to Noel as he whacks the bat through the 
     hatch of a Pinto.

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               That's a hell of a swing you got 
               there, Noel. I'm thinking Strawberry 
               in his prime.

                           NOEL
               Strawberry ain't shit. Drug pussy.
                    (heads for the next 
                    car)
               Me.  I swing like Reggie. Mr.  
               October. Number three, game six, 
               World Series.

     Noel hauls back, lays into a Volvo: glass shatters. Noel 
     holds the bat out, extends handle towards Frank:

                           NOEL (CONT'D)
               Here, you try.

                           FRANK
               No, I'd better not.

                           NOEL
               Sure, sure, give go.

                           FRANK
               Yeah?

     Frank, intrigued by Noel's suggestion, has forgotten Walls'
     plan. He takes the bat as Tom sneaks behind Noel, crouching.

                           FRANK (CONT'D)
               What the hell.
                    (spits into hands)
               The next year, tiebreaker for the 
               division, in Boston, Yanks down two 
               to nothing, Bucky Dent steps to the 
               plate.

                           NOEL
               Oh man, Bucky.

                           FRANK
               The pitch, high heater. Bucky knows 
               what's coming. He steps in, smash, 
               over the green monster.

     Frank cocks the baseball bat, relishing every moment, swings 
     into the Volvo's side window. Shattered glass flies on his 
     hands and clothes.

     Walls, fed up with this, stands:

                           WALLS
               Frank, what the hell are you doing?

     Noel, seeing Walls, grabs the bat, flees down an alley.

                           WALLS (CONT'D)
               You go down those stairs there. Meet 
               me back here if you can't find him 
               in ten minutes. Call out if you see 
               him. Get with the program, Frank.

     Walls takes off after Noel. Frank, taking out his flashlight, 
     enters second alley, walks down dark stairs which hopefully 
     circle around to Noel.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. ALLEY--NIGHT

     Mini-flashlight leading the way, Frank steps gingerly down 
     the refuse-strewn alley. Ahead: footsteps.

     He kicks something, thinking it's trash, looks down; a body 
     rustles, pair of sleeping eyes look up.

     Suddenly everything seems silent. He passes a row of glowing 
     red doors. Shadows flash in the distance. He hears a woman 
     crying, shoots his flashlight her direction: nothing.

     Frank hears the voice again: Rose's voice:

                           ROSE'S VOICE
               Why did you kill me, Frank?

                           FRANK
               I didn't mean to.

                           ROSE'S VOICE
               You should have helped me.

                           FRANK
               I tried to help. I wanted to.

     Shadows like hands extend against the wall ahead.

                           ROSE'S VOICE
               Don't you love me?

     Frank moves toward the reaching arms. The shadows swing like 
     baseball bats. Noel SCREAMS.

     Suddenly, before him, a blurry mass of bloody dreadlocks--
     Noel goes flying to the ground, Walls standing over him 
     swinging the bat, hitting him, killing him.

                           WALLS
               I got him, Frank!

     Frank stands back, watching Walls and Noel like some static 
     black and white TV screen from his childhood. Noel, trying 
     to protect himself, cries out.

                           WALLS (CONT'D)
                    (swinging bat)
               To the moon, Alice! You little 
               motherfucker!

     Frank charges forward into Walls, sending Tom, the baseball 
     bat flying. Walls on the ground. Frank bends over Noel: Noel's 
     face covered with blood, gasping for air, blowing red bubbles, 
     convulsing.

                           FRANK
                    (to Walls)
               Get the kit! We're gonna tube him!

                           WALLS
               Frank!

                           FRANK
               Do it!

                           WALLS
                    (standing)
               Frank!

                           FRANK
                    (to Noel)
               We're gonna save you, Noel. You're 
               gonna be all right.
                    (to Walls)
               Do it, Tom! I'll call for fucking 
               backup, I swear!

                           WALLS
               You're crazy.

      Noel unconscious: Tom hurries down the alley toward the 
      ambulance as Frank opens Noel's mouth.

                           FRANK
               You're going to make it! You're going 
               to make it!

      Pressing Noel's chest, Frank lowers his mouth, starts CPR. 
      His mouth to Noel's. In the distance: Walls' footsteps 
      returning.

                                                          CUT TO:

      EXT. MERCY EMERGENCY--NIGHT

      16 XRay parked out front: the sky is going blue.

                                                          CUT TO:

      INT. MERCY ER--NIGHT

      Frank and Tom, their shirts blood-stained, pushing Noel down 
      Skid Row, past Griss, past Nurse Constance. Tom wheels, Frank 
      carries the IV bag.

                           NURSE CONSTANCE
               Take him straight through.

                           GRISS
               Who got that funky motherfucker this 
               time?

                           FRANK
                    (to Nurse Constance)
               Last show of the night.

                           HAZMAT
                    (arriving)
               Jesus Christ. Nurse Crupp!
                    (to Frank)
               Anybody else hurt?

                           FRANK
               No.

                           HAZMAT
               Crazy fucker.

     Walls pushes Noel into unit one. Frank looks over to unit 
     three--Burke's cubicle is empty.

                           FRANK
               Where's Burke?

                           HAZMAT
               Upstairs. 212. Had to shock him twice 
               more.

     Frank nods, walks out. Behind, Walls helps Hazmat and Crupp 
     place Noel on a bed.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. ROOM 212--NIGHT

     Frank Pierce walks down the hospital corridor, steps into 
     room 212.

     Burke lies, tubed, wired and tied to life support. Blue light 
     comes through the window. On the EKG monitor: a slow steady 
     green endless line: up, down.

     Frank takes a moment, exhales.

     One by one, Frank flips off the machines. The clanging EKG 
     ALARM is followed by the bass honking of the respirator alarm 
     and two tweetering IV-drip alarms.

     Frank, holding Burke's pulse, watches the life go out of 
     him. Hearing commotion outside, Frank flips the machines 
     back on: the EKG monitor is flatline.

     A FLOOR NURSE rushes in, feels for Burke's pulse.

                           FLOOR NURSE
               What happened?
                    (calling out)
               Code!

     Frank steps back as the Nurse hits the emergency switch.

                           FLOOR NURSE (CONT'D)
               Are we doing CPR?

     Dr. Hazmat, out of breath, enters:

                           FLOOR NURSE (CONT'D)
               He coded.

                           HAZMAT
               Christ, what a way to start the day. 
               He's in V-fib. Shock him.

     Frank pulls out the paddles, applies them to Burke's chest:

                           FLOOR NURSE
               Clear!

     Frank, knowing it's futile, shocks Burke: no result.

                           HAZMAT
               Zap him again.

     Frank goes through the motions, pretending to shock Burke. 
     The flatline doesn't waver.

                           HAZMAT (CONT'D)
               Nothing. Get the cart, start 
               compressions, get an epinephrine in.

     Frank backs out the door as a nurse and intern enter.

     In the corridor Frank listens as the activity becomes less 
     urgent.

     Hazmat steps out:

                           HAZMAT (CONT'D)
               That's enough. I called it. Let's 
               get some coffee.
                    (to Frank)
               You gonna tell the family?

     Frank nods.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. MERCY EMERGENCY--DAYBREAK

     Frank walks out of Our Lady of Mercy, heads down the side 
     street. He passes Tom Walls wielding a giant flashlight, 
     smashing Sixteen XRay's headlights, denting the hood and 
     side windows.

                           WALLS
               Die!

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. MARY'S APT. BUILDING--DAY

     Frank rings the buzzer. Mary, sleepy-voiced, answers:

                           MARY (O.S.)
               Who is it?

                           FRANK
               Frank.

                           MARY (O.S.)
               Come on up.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. FIRST FLOOR--DAY

     Mary, wearing a burgundy robe, opens the door. Frank says 
     nothing. Her expression darkens.

     Frank looks at her again: it's not Mary, it's Rose. Mary has 
     Rose's face.

                           FRANK
               He's dead, Rose. Your father passed.

                           ROSE/MARY
               How can that be? He was getting 
               better.

                           FRANK
               He coded. They shocked him one too 
               many times. I'm sorry.

                           ROSE/MARY
               He was tough. You did all you could.

                           FRANK
               I'm sorry.

                           ROSE/MARY
               You have to keep the body going until 
               the brain and heart recover enough 
               to go on their own.

     Frank nods.

                           ROSE/MARY (CONT'D)
               Would you like to come in?

                           FRANK
               Yes.

     Rose/Mary opens the door wider, closes it behind Frank.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. MARY'S BEDROOM--DAY

     Rose is Mary again: she and Frank lie clothed on her bed. He 
     leans his head against her breast as she holds him. His eyes 
     close: sleep.

                                                          THE END