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Ghost Rider Movie Script

Writer(s) : David S. Goyer

Genres : Action, Fantasy, Thriller

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                                 GHOST RIDER



                                 Written by

                               David S. Goyer


                     Based on the Marvel Comics character




                                                           First draft
                                                      April 11th, 2001  

                         

          EXT. HIGH PLAINS - HILLSIDE - DAY

          A COYOTE lopes through shimmering heat waves. The sky above
          is a cloudless blue.

          WOMAN (V.O.)
          My Father used to say that the only way
          Evil came into your life was if you
          invited it. I'm not sure about that, at
          least not anymore. What I cLQ know is
          this: we are born alone, and we die
          alone, and what happens in between is all
          that matters. The choices we make, the
          people whose paths we cross -- these are
          the things that determine our fate.
          The coyote ducks through a hole in a chain-link fence, weaves
          through the rusted ruins of a --

          DERELICT AMUSEMENT PARK
          Broken-down rides, weed-clogged machinery, sideshow trailers
          bleached bone-white.

          WOMAN (V.0.) (CONT'D)
          Most stories start with a beginning. His
          began with an ending. I never knew where
          he really came from. I guess it's not
          important anymore. All I know is that
          he'd been running his entire life.
          Running for so long that he no longer
          knew whether he was running away from

                         SOMETHING --
          The coyote reaches a steep ridge, looks out over a patchy
          Southwestern town.

          WOMAN (V.0.) (CONT'D)
          -- or towards it.

          SMASH CUT TO:

          INT. BAD IRON BIKE REPAIR - DAY

          Sparks, noise, metal and grime. JOHN BLAZE (30s, ruggedly
          handsome) is running late. He sprints across the workshop
          floor, shedding his welder's kit as he heads for the time clock.
          CLUNK! He punches out -- but LITTLE MIKE (50s, trailer trash
          fast) has caught him in the act.

                         LITTLE MIKE
          where do you chink you're going, Blaze?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          2.

                         CONTINUED:

                         BLAZE
          Sick, cutting out early.

                         LITTLE MIKE
          The hell you are!
          Blaze jumps on his bike - a muscular, battered BSA.

          LITTLE MIKE (CONT'D)
          Get back to work or your ass is fired!

                         BLAZE
          Aaa n? You say that every time.
          Blaze kicks-starts the bike. It ROARS thunderously.

                         LITTLE MIKE
          (over the noise)
          Well I mean it this time!

                         BLAZE
          (gunning the throttle)
          See you tomorrow, Little Mike!
          The bike HOWLS, hauls up on its back wheel. Screams out the
          shop leaving Little Mike holding his ears. The other workers
          WHOOP and HOLLER, especially when Blaze snags a pair of BOLT-
          CUTTERS from a passing tool rack on the fly.

          EXT. BAD IRON SHOP YARD/DIRT ROAD - DAY

          Blaze skids out of the yard, matching speed with a pickup
          which is just passing by. COOP is driving. JED and MURPHY
          are LAUGHING in back. Clearly, they're friends with Blaze.

                         JED

                         (SHOUTING)
          Skin of your teeth, man!

                         MURPHY
          (tapping his watch)
          Yeah, we're on a tight schedule!

                         BLAZE
          So what are you waiting for?
          Blaze burns away, leaving the pickup for dust.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          3.

          EXT. HIGH PLAINS - DAY

          A FREIGHT TRAIN thunders across the landscape. To the East
          Blaze and the pickup are coming on an intercept course.
          Blaze reaches the train first, climbs the gravel incline to
          the tracks. Matches its speed, pulls up alongside a bolted
          container car. He reaches back, pulls the cutters from his
          saddles bags --
          -- and skillfully chops the lock with one hand. The heavy
          iron door slides open, pulled back by it's own inertia.
          Blaze throws the cutters inside, peels away --
          -- and comes back with a vengeance, throttled to the max. He
          jams the front brake on at the last possible moment --
           The bike cartwheels. Tail over head. Pulls a complete three-
          sixty up into the car --

          INSIDE THE CAR
          -- and lands perfectly, screeching to a halt. Blaze WHOOPS
          his exhilaration. And if you don't believe this, watch
          extreme motocross as we CUT TO:

          THE OPPOSITE DOOR
          being wrenched aside, revealing Coop's pickup holding steady
          alongside the train. Jed and Murphy ride the cargo bed like
          surfers.
           Blaze starts tossing boxes out of the car and into the truck.
          Jed and Murphy stack `em and rack `em. We get glimpses of
           the loot: CD Players, VCRs, personal packages, luggage --

                         JED
          Christ, Mickey was right on the money!

                         BLAZE
          Car twenty-two!

                         MURPHY

                         (LAUGHING)
          Candy from a baby!
          The boxes keep coming, like baggage at the airport. Some
          boxes miss the mark, fall short, get mangled. A box bursts
          against Murphy's chest, engulfs him in an explosion of paper
          and polystyrene beads. The others howl with LAUGHTER, riding
          high on this Great Train Robbery as -

          - ( C O N T I NUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          4.

                         CONTINUED:
          -- Blaze hears something, looks over his shoulder. He SEES a
          POLICE CRUISER, far in the distance, burning towards them.

                         BLAZE
          Thank you gentlemen, that's it for today!
          Jed bangs on the cab roof. Coop waves. Jed and Murphy
          salute. The pickup peels away. Blaze retrieves his bike.
          Stands it back up, kicks it alive, guns the throttle and --
          -- cold jumps straight out of the car. Seconds later he's
          powering away, ripping up a storm, chasing the pickup towards
          the horizon.
           Far, far behind, the police are still coming.

                          CUT TO:

          INT. SIMPSON HOME - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

          CHUCK AND RITA SIMPSON (50s) are eating Chinese food with
          their daughter, ROXANNE (20s) and Blaze. Roxanne is
          beautiful, easygoing. She's also seven months pregnant.
          The Simpsons are simple, working-class folk. Judging by the
          strained atmosphere, it's evident that they don't care too
          much for Blaze.

                         RITA

                         (TO CHUCK)
          Hon, would you pass me the vegetables.
          Chuck obliges, takes a drink of his beer, nods to Blaze.

                         CHUCK
          So how're things going at the shop, John?

                         BLAZE
          (scarfing down his food)
          Good, good.

                         CHUCK
          (not buying it)
          Yeah? Cause Mike says you've been
          slacking off, horsing around.

                         ROXANNE
          (annoyed, protective)

                         DALD __

                         BLAZE

                         (ALL SMILES)
          It's okay, Rox.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          S.

                         CONTINUED:
          Blaze sets his fork down, wipes his mouth with his napkin.
          Conjures up his best earnest look.

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          Truth is, Mr. Simpson, I've been thinking
          about clearing out of there. Maybe
          opening up a shop of my own --
          Roxanne raises an eyebrow at this. News to her.

          BLAZE (CONT' D)
          See, I've been saving up. You know, for
          the baby and all. And I--
          DOORBELL. Roxanne rises to get it.

                         CHUCK
          You were saying?

                         BLAZE
          (distracted, looking to the

                         DOOR)
           Right, so anyway --

           ROXANNE (O. S . )

                         JOHN --
          Blaze looks over. Two Sheriff's Deputies, LUCAS COLE and
          RICK GEORGE, are standing in the doorway. Roxanne looks
          pissed -- like this isn't the first time this has happened.
          Blaze stands, approaches. Clearly, he knows them both.

                         BLAZE
          (cocky, wary)
          Lucas. Rick.

                         COLE
          Johnny. We'd like you to come down the
          station.
          Their demeanor is hard. Won't take "no" for an answer.

                         BLAZE

                         (INSOLENT)
          Can I finish eating?
          Nope. Blaze squirms, feels Roxanne's eyes on him. He turns
          to her, tries to explain.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          6.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          Don't worry, hon. It's just routine --

                         ROXANNE

                         (TERSE)
          It is by now. Just let me know if you're
          staying overnight.
          She goes back to her dinner.

                          CUT TO:

          INT. APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

          Blaze enters. The apartment is dark- TV flickers. Roxanne
          is sleeping on the couch. On the coffee table: Chinese
          leftovers, fortune cookies.

                         BLAZE
          Hey.
          She's sound asleep. He crouches, touches her face.

          BLAZE (CONT' D)
          Hey.
          Roxanne barely stirs, deeply groggy.

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          Everything's cool.

                         ROXANNE

                         (SLURRED)
          You're going to jail.

                         BLAZE
          No. No. Everything's okay. Jed and
          Murph just got a little boisterous at The
          Prairie Dog last night. Cops wanted to
          read us the riot act, that's all --
          She yawns, curls up, starts to drift away again.

                         ROXANNE
          I was worried about you. And I don't
          like your friends.
          But Blaze won't let her go back to sleep. He jostles her.

                         BLAZE
          Listen, I want to show you something --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         7

                         CONTINUED:

                         ROXANNE
          I'm sure you do. But I'm half-asleep and
          you're an ass-hole.

                         BLAZE
          I'm serious, Rox. This is important.
          He drags her up off the couch. Makes her stand up. She
          MOANS, scowls, but he gets her on her feet.

                         ROXANNE
          John, I have to go to work tomorrow

                         BLAZE
          (offers her coat)
          Put your coat on. You'll be glad you
          did. Promise. It'll be an adventure. A
          mystery tour.

                         ROXANNE
          This better be good.
          She stomps to the bathroom. Blaze chuckles inwardly. Steals
          a fortune cookie from the left-overs, snaps it open --
          The fortune is blank. Both sides. He tosses it away.

                         CUT TO:

                         COYOTE EYES
          glittering black, watching.

           ROXANNE (O.S.) (CONT'D)
           Alright, I'm here. Now what?

           EXT. DERELICT AMUSEMENT PARK - NIGHT

           Blaze and Roxanne creep through a hole in the outer fence,
          making their way to --

                         BLAZE
          Keep going. It's just up there.

          A BROKEN-DOWN CAROUSEL
          Must have been magnificent in its day.

                         ROXANNE
          I'm not riding one of those stupid
          horses.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          8.

                         CONTINUED:

                         BLAZE
          You don't have to ride, just climb up.
          She steps up onto the wooden platform, smiles back at him.

                         ROXANNE
          You're going to have to grow up one day,
          Johnny Blaze.

                         BLAZE
          Not if I can help it.
          He follows her up onto the ride. She weaves through the
          wooden animals. Starting to enjoy this secret adventure.

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          Keep going, keep going --
          She comes around the other side, catches her breath. The
          whole valley is spread out before her -- a glorious scatter
          of diamonds on velvet.

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          Uh-oh.

                         ROXANNE

                         (TURNING BACK)
          What?

                         BLAZE
          Ever hear of a carnival wedding?
          Roxanne shakes her head. Blaze is fiddling with a crisp, new
          dollar bill, folding it, making something.

          BLAZE (CONT' D)
          If a man and a woman walk around a
          carousel going backwards, they're
          considered hitched.

                         ROXANNE
          You made that up.

                         BLAZE
          Swear to God.
          He finishes folding the bill. The "one" is now neatly set on
          top of an ORIGAMI WEDDING BAND like a paper jewel.

          BLAZE (CONT' D)
          You want this?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         9

                         CONTINUED: (2)
          She nods, offering her hand. He slips the ring onto her
          finger and she examines it, lit up inside.

                         ROXANNE
          It's beautiful.
          He smiles at her joy, wrestles with what he's about to say.

                         BLAZE
          How'd I ever find you?

                         ROXANNE

                         (SHRUGGING)
          Fate?

                         BLAZE
          I don't believe in fate.

                         ROXANNE
          Maybe it believes in you.
          They hug each other fiercely. A long, soulful embrace.
          Blaze looks to the city lights beneath them once more.

          ROXANNE (CONT ' D)
          Here's the thing, John. We're having a
          baby. You can't keep acting like
          everything's a game. I need you with me.
          I need to know I'll be able to wake up in
          the morning and see your face next to
          mine. Not have to worry that you spent
          the night in jail.

                         (BEAT)
          That's not a life. At least not one I'm
          interested in living.

                         BLAZE
          I know. I'm gonna get my shit together.
          For Leal, this time,

                         (EARNEST)
          I promise you, Rox. I'll always be there
          for you.
          She takes his hand and places it on her belly.

                         ROXANNE
          Don't promise me, promise her.

                         THE COYOTE
          blinks. THUNDER from the next scene prelaps as we

                          CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          10.

          INT. BLAZE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

          WHAM! Blaze enters, drenched from head to toe, frantic.
          Roxanne's arms are filled with laundry.

                         BLAZE
          We gotta go. Get your stuff together.

                         ROXANNE
          What happened? What's wrong?
          Roxanne follows Blaze into the bedroom.

                         ROXANNE (CONT'D)
          What did you do?

                         BLAZE
          I fucked up. The police are coming.
          Grab your things. We have to go.
          She sags, clearly been through this before. He tosses a
          suitcase onto the bed, looks back at her.

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          Just do it, Rox!

                         FOLLOWING BLAZE
          as he storms into the bathroom. Reaches behind the high
          cistern, retrieves a hidden HANDGUN. He jumps down. Tears
          the side panel off the old bath tub. There's a stack of FLAT
          BLACK BOXES hidden within. Blaze drags them out, drops one -
          It pops open, spilling UNCUT DIAMONDS all over the floor.
          Blaze CURSES, struggles to gather up the loot.

           ROXANNE (O.S.)
          Jesus, Johnny --

                         ON ROXANNE
          standing in the doorway. She sawit all.

          EXT. BLAZE'S APARTMENT - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

          Rain hammers down. SIRENS whine. Blaze shoves Roxanne and
          the suitcase into a beat-up El Camino.

          INT. EL CAMINO - NIGHT

           Blaze climbs behind the wheel, guns the engine even before
           Roxanne has buckled in. He gnashes into reverse, grinds the
          car into a backwards spin --

                         

                         

                         

                         

          11.

          EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT

           -- nearly clipping another car pulling in. He jumps the curb
          and races off into the rain --

          INT. EL CAMINO - NIGHT

          -- passing a POLICE CAR coming the other way. Roxanne
          glances at Blaze, angry and disappointed.
          Blaze struggles. The rain. The wipers. The fogging
          windshield. It's a bad time to be Johnny Blaze.

                         BLAZE
          Fuck.

          BLAZE'S REAR-VIEW MIRROR POV:
          The cop car is turning, heading back in their direction.

                         ROXANNE

                         JOHN --
          Blaze floors the gas. The speedometer leaps.

          EXT. RURAL ROAD - NIGHT

          The EL Camino screams through the rain, with the cop car in
          dogged pursuit. TWO MORE POLICE CARS fall in behind them.

          INT. EL CAMINO - NIGHT

          Blaze fights to keep it together. The road ahead is
          dangerously winding. Tires SQUEAL as he hauls a sketchy turn.
          Roxanne gasps, fearful, bracing herself. The police are
          gaining. FLASHING LIGHTS flood the interior.

                         ROXANNE
          Slow down, John --
           Another sketchy turn. Blaze spins the wheel, brakes, hard.
           Too hard. The car hydroplanes, finds purchase --

           ROXANNE (CONT ' D )

          SLOW DOWN!
          LIGHTNING flashes, and suddenly, there's a

                         COYOTE
          or, the road, right in their path.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          12.

                         CONTINUED:
          Blaze jerks the wheel. Roxanne SCREAMS. The car skids,
          slews off the road, CRASHES through a guard rail --
          It plunges down a washout, flips end over end, shedding glass
          and wreckage, finally SLAMMING to a dead stop at the bottom
          of a rocky arroyo.

          INSIDE THE EL CAMINO
          Blaze stirs, blood streaming down his face. The windshield
          is blown open. Rain pours in.

                         BLAZE
          Roxanne --?
           He struggles to free himself from his seat, SEES a torn seat
          belt hanging beside him -- the passenger seat mr)ty.

                          BLAZE (CONT'D)
          Roxanne?!

          EXT. ARROYO - NIGHT

          Blaze scrambles out through the broken windshield. Falls off
          the wreck onto the steep, muddy incline. He tries to stand,
          can barely manage to crawl.

                         BLAZE
          (terror seizing him)

          ROXANNE!!!

                         ON ROXANNE
          lying ten yards away, unconscious, maybe dead. Blaze
          scrambles to her, rolls her over. He hauls her into his
          arms, SOBBING, the two of them covered in mud and glass and
          God knows what.

                         TROOPERS
          are coming down the incline, guns drawn, FLASHLIGHTS beaming.
          They descend on Blaze, crying to pull him free of Roxanne.

           BLAZE (O.S. ) (CONT'D)
           Let me see her! God-Dammit! I have a
          right to see her --

                         CUT TO:

          INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - NIGHT

          ANGLE ON Blaze, grief-struck, handcuffed, thrashing about as
          Troopers try cc restrain him.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          13.

                         CONTINUED:

                         BLAZE
          Get your fucking hands off me!
          Lucas Cole, the deputy who questioned Blaze earlier,
          approaches. Blaze SEES him and calms down a little.

          BLAZE (CONY' D)
          Please. Just let me see her.
          Cole nods to his men, who ease up on Blaze. He guides Blaze
          over to an observation window --

                         THEIR POV
          Roxanne lays in a surgery bay, DOCTORS and NURSES milling
          around her.

           DOCTOR (O.S.)
          Mr. Blaze --?
          Blaze turns, SEES a nervous DOCTOR standing behind him.

                         BLAZE
          Is she going to make it?

                         DOCTOR
           (blinks, stutters)
          Mr. Blaze, I --

                         BLAZE
          )_a ch= going r4 make i r?

                         DOCTOR
          We don't know. She's critical. Her
          injuries are grave. There's a real
          chance she won't --

                         BLAZE
          What about the baby?
          The doctor hesitates, glances at Cole.

                         DOCTOR
          I'm so sorry. We did everything we
          could.
          Blaze's will shatters as the full realization of what he's
          done slams into him. Tears sting his cheeks. Cole gives him
          space. Whatever punishment awaits Blaze can't be any worse
          than the hell he's living through now.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          14.

          INT. ICU WARD - NIGHT

          CLOSE ON Roxanne, on life support, hooked up to an array of
          monitors. Sleeping Beauty, still as death. Blaze sits
          beside her bed. Handcuffed. Numb. Rain streams against a
          nearby window. Tree limbs tap against the glass, like ghosts
          scratching to get in.
          TWO STATE TROOPERS stand guard at a respectable distance,
          MURMURING to each other. Elsewhere --

                         BOOTS
          walk purposefully on linoleum. Passing bay after bay.
          Beyond the Troopers, SOMEONE is approaching, half seen
          through layers of glass.
          Blaze HEARS the footsteps, lifts his weary head. The shadow
          keeps coming, half-glimpsed between partitions as it draws near.

          THE ICU LIGHTS
          flicker and weaken as if some unseen force were sapping their
          intensity. Blaze glances at the machines. Still ticking --

          AMBROSE STARKE ( 60S)
          steps into view. Duster-coat. A wide-brimmed cowboy hat. A
          smiling stone face. Blue eyes flecked with silver grey. He
          steps between the Troopers. They keep talking, don't even
          seem to notice him.

                         STARKE
          You look like you could use some help.
          Blaze glances at the troopers. They're still completely
          unaware of Starke's presence. It's as if Starke and Blaze
          have somehow stepped a split-second sideways in time.
          The lights around them continue to dim. The second hand on
          the wall clock stops. An eerie, dreamlike moment -- the wind,
          the rain, the tree branches tapping against the window pane.

                         BLAZE

                         (LOST)
          She's dying.
          Starke nods, places a COIN in Blaze's palm.

                         STARKE
          If I could help her, would you be willing
          co make a deal?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          15,

                         CONTINUED:
          Blaze looks at the coin -- gleaming, golden, embossed with a
          soaring eagle on one side, a coyote on the obverse.

                         BLAZE
          What kind of deal?

                         STARKE
          She lives. You work for me.
          Something about Starke's eyes. Commanding and haunting at
          the same time.

                         BLAZE
          What kind of work?
          Starke just keeps smiling. Lays a comforting hand on Blaze's
          shoulder as we drift towards Roxanne's beeping EEG.

          WOMAN (V.O.)
          When I was young, I was told that our
          souls wander while we sleep. Sometimes
          they get lost. Sometimes they never make
          it back --

          FADE TO BLACK:

          SUPER TITLE: "FIVE YEARS LATER"

          INT. MOTEL ROOM - BATHROOM - DUSK

          FADE IN on John Blaze as he switches on the light, looks in
          the mirror. Those five years of work have taken their toll.
          A haggard reflection gazes back at him, He stares. And
          stares. Right into his pain.

          WOMAN (V.O.)
          -- but if they dQ return, they bring
          messages. And I guess thhat's how the
          dead speak to us -- in memories that may
          be dreams, and dreams that feel like
          memories.
           Blaze turns off the light.

                          CUT TO:

          INT. SEVEN ELEVEN - DUSK

          The store is empty. The CLERK prices cigarette packs, eyes a
          suspicious Native American woman, NOMI (30s), as she loads a
          basket with basics. Nomi sets the basket down on the
          counter. The clerk starts scanning the bar codes.

                         [ C ONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          16.

                         CONTINUED:

                         CLERK
          Just passing through?
          Nomi nods, uneasy. She glances over her shoulder, searches
           out her half-breed daughter --

          RAIN (8) ,
          who is sorting intently through a rack of cheap toys. The
          kid is quiet, soulful, old beyond her years.

          CLERK (CONT ` D )
          Where you headed?

                         NOMI

                         (DISTRACTED)
          What?

                         CLERK
          Where are you headed? Late night, storm
          like this --

                         NOMI
          What do you care?

                         CLERK
          (shrugging, defensive)
          Just asking.
          He keeps packing. But he knows she's trouble.

          RAIN (O.S.)
          I like this.
          Nomi turns, SEES Rain clutching a toy -- a glow-in-the-dark
          Halloween skeleton.

                         NOMI
          It's too much, baby. Put it back. I
          don't have enough money for that.
          Rain stares right at Nomi -- and brazenly slips the doll into
          her coat pocket. Nomi glances at the Clerk. He didn't notice.

          EXT. SEVEN ELEVEN/DEADFALL GAS STATION - DUSK

          It's pouring rain. Nomi and Rain hurry across the muddy lot
          towards a ratty pickup.

          CARRIGAN (O.S.)
          Yeah, I found her. Came back to be with
          her dying grandpappy.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         17

                         CONTINUED:

          ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LOT
          BILLY-RAY CARRIGAN (30s) paces under an tire bay awning,
          talking on a cell-phone. He's handsome, charming, but
          there's evil lurking within that slick exterior. A pencil-
          thin scar runs just under one eye.

                          CARRIGAN (CONT'D)
           Don't worry. She's got the kid with her.
           Carrigan watches Nomi and Rain climb into the pickup. The
           pickup chokes to life, carves out of the lot. Carrigan nods

                         TO --
          -- LANDSDALE ( 40s), a stone-faced criminal, who motions to
           five other thugs lounging nearby -- FUSCO, ALBRIGHT,
           CHUDACOFF, LLOYD and ODELL.

                          CARRIGAN (CONT'D)
          (listening, impatient)
          I remember the deal. Just make sure you
          bring the money.
          He hangs up, follows his men to a couple of trucks waiting
          nearby -- a dusty Tundra for Albright, Chudacoff, Odell and
          Lloyd; an old Bronco for Landsdale, Fusco and Carrigan.
          Carrigan pulls a Glock from his waistband, chambers a round.

                         CARRIGAN (CONT'D)
          Who wants to be a millionaire?
          Landsdale smiles back, an awful smile.

          WOMAN (V.O.)
          Some people are born bad. That's just
          the way they come into the world.
          Something goes wrong. Something breaks
          inside of them --
          The trucks pull away, tires ploughing muddy tracks, passing
          two STRAY DOGS fighting over a bloody road-kill carcass.

          INT. MOTEL ROOM - BEDROOM - DUSK

          Blaze sweeps aside a curtain, studies the slowly darkening
          landscape outside with tired resignation.

          WOMAN (V.0.)
          -- and they spend the rest of their lives
          trying to make up for it.
          CLICK' Blaze Curns on the TV, watches a weather snippet.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          18.

                         CONTINUED:
          PAN OVER Blaze's belongings on the bureau -- a duffle bag,
          old photographs of his previous life with Roxanne, a
          collection of blank postcards. Tucked amidst the photos is a
          sonogram featuring a ghostly image of an unborn child.

                         WEATHERMAN
          -- scattered thunderstorms firing along a
          stalled frontal boundary. Damaging
          winds, hail, and isolated tornadoes will
          be possible across the Dakotas and Upper

                         MIDWEST --
          Blaze unfolds a tattered map and studies it. The map is
          crisscrossed with red lines tracing storms from city to city,
          along with all sorts of arcane, personal notations. Blaze
          traces his finger down to his present location: DEADFALL.

          EXT. ROAD - DUSK

          A lonesome service road threads through bleak wild-grass
          prairie. Nomi's pickup appears on the horizon.

          INT. NOMI'S PICKUP - DUSK

          Nomi glances at Rain, who clutches her new skeleton toy.

                         NOMI
          Seatbelt.
          Rain dutifully fastens herself in.

                         NOMI (CONT'D)
          Hey, bug. You hungry?
          Rain shakes her head-

                         NOMI (CONT'D)
          Want to listen to music?
          (off Rain's sullen shrug)
          Look, we won't have to keep moving around
          forever, okay? I'll figure something
          out. I promise.
          Rain looks at her mother. She's heard it all before-
          WHAM! Somebody rams the truck from behind. Rain SCREAMS.

          INT. LAKOTA MOTEL - DUSK

          Blaze reaches for a pack of cigarettes, lights a match. He
          stares at the match flame for a moment -- for the flame is
          behaving strangely, bending towards Blaze as if it were drawn
          -o T>; m. Blaze shakes out the match, then retrieves --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          19.

                         CONTINUED:

          THE COYOTE/EAGLE COIN
          He stares at it ruefully, then places it on the map and sets
          it spinning. We get the sense that this is a ritual he has
          performed many times before. As we MOVE IN on the coin --

          EXT. ROAD - DUSK

          CRASH! The Tundra rams Nomi's pickup again. Nomi fights to
          keep control. Aims for a turn-off up ahead. She hauls the
          truck into the turn, fights the roll-over, barely makes it --
          -- but it's not fast enough. The Tundra and the Bronco make
          the turn too. Their HEADLIGHTS blaze into the cab. Nomi
          floors the gas. The pickup judders. The road here is
          bumpier, cracked and pocked.
          The Bronco swings out, pulls up alongside Nomi. She glimpses
          Landsdale, LAUGHING, urging Carrigan on. Carrigan cuts
          right, SLAMS the Bronco into Nomi's side.

          INT. LAKOTA MOTEL - DUSK

          On Blaze, watching the coin with a growing sense of fatalism.
          Spinning. Spinning. But starting to slow now --

          EXT_ ROAD - DUSK
          WHAM! The Bronco collides with Nomi's door again. Glass
          shatters- Rain WAILS, terrified. Wind and rain rush in --
          BLOWOUT! Front offside tire. Nomi loses it, careens right,
          carves off the shoulder into a muddy culvert, SMASHING over
          rocks, sagebrush, fence posts and barbed wire --
          After a few dozen tortured yards, the pickup shudders to a
          stop. The Bronco and the Tundra haul up nearby, engines
          CHUGGING like hungry beasts.

          IN THE PICKUP
          Nomi angrily drags her seatbelt off, snatches a revolver from
          the glove box. She looks to Rain:

                         NOMI
          Stay here. And lock the doors.
          Nomi climbs out into the rain, SLAMS the door. Rain works
          the locks, but the driver's side is all bent up and twisted --

                         

                         

                         

                         

          20.

          EXT. ROAD - DUSK

          Nomi approaches the trucks, blinded by halogen high-beams.
          SILHOUETTES are coming towards her. She raises the revolver --

                         NOMI
          Back the fuck off!
          LANDSDALE comes from left of nowhere, twists the gun from her
          hands in one unexpected move. She spins, SEES Carrigan
          approaching -- and recognizes him instantly.

           NOMI (CONY' D)
          Billy-Ray --?

          INT. LAKOTA MOTEL -- DUSK

          On Blaze, watching the spinning coin. He shuts his eyes, as
          if he could stave off what he knows is coming next. As if he
          could contain the thing that is, even now, clawing its way
          into his body from some dark circle of hell.

          EXT. ROAD - DUSK

          CRACK! Nomi falls to her knees, dimly aware of her daughter
          SCREAMING. Carrigan stands over her, massaging his fist.

                         CARRIGAN
          Well, if it isn't Little Miss Running
          Bear.
          He grabs her by her hair, shoves the Glock beneath her chin.

                         CARRIGAN (CONT'D)
          Gentlemen, you are looking at one of the
          finest pieces of ass I have ever had the
          good fortune of defiling.

                         NOMI
          Fuck you, Billy --

                         CARRIGAN
          Now I might just take you up on that,
          Nome. Old Billy-Ray's been getting a
          little tired shaking hands with the
          governor, know what I'm saying?

          IN THE PICKUP CAB
          Landsdale and his men are trying to get the doors open. Rain
          scoots to the driver's side, tries to start the engine. But
          the driver's door is wrenched open and the men are on her -

          - ( C O N T I N U ED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         21

                         CONTINUED:

                         LANDSDALE
          Careful with her!
          Rain is dragged kicking and screaming from the cab.

          ON NOMI,
          struggling to free herself, desperate to help her child.

                         NOMI
          Leave her alone!
          Rain fights like a hellion, rakes her fingernails across
          Odell's face.

                         ODELL
          Fuck!
          SLAP! Landsdale back-hands the little girl. As she reels,
          he binds her hands with duct tape, then picks her up and
          throws into the Bronco.

                         NOMI

          YOU COCKSUCKERS!

          INT. LAKOTA MOTEL - DUSK

          The coin slows. Blaze opens his eyes, a look of dread
          washing over his face. He stares at his hands -- they're
          shaking, emitting a HEAT HAZE.

          EXT. ROAD - DUSK

          THUNDER explodes. LIGHTNING flashes. The men gather round
          to watch Carrigan beat Nomi unmercifully. He knocks her back
          into the mud. She tries to crawl away, blinded by the rain.

          INT. LAKOTA MOTEL - NIGHT

          The coin comes to a stop, coyote-side up.
          Blaze SCREAMS, his body wracked with pain. He begins to
          violently shake, his muscles twisting in unnatural
          contortions. With a combustive WHOOSH his face abruptly
          CATCHES FIRE and --

          EXT. ROAD - NIGHT

          CRACK! SMACK! Carrigan delivers the coup-de-grace. Pistol
          whips Nomi with the Glock. Her head snaps back. Blood sprays
          in deep slow-motion, spatters the bronco's headlights --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          22.

                         CONTINUED:
          Nomi struggles backwards through rivulets of mud. Carrigan
          looms over her. All she can do is stare up at him, glassy
          and unfocused as rain spatters her face.

                         CARRI GAN
          Tell you what, Hon. You want your
          goddamned divorce so much?
          He aims the Glock at her face, about to pull the trigger as --

                         CARRIGAN (CONT'D)
          You can fucking have it!
          -- a GUT-WRENCHING HOWL cuts through the night, echoing off
          the canyon walls. Carrigan and his cronies take a beat,
          staring through sheets of rain.
          Silence. Just the relentless downpour.

                         ODELL
          The hell was that?
          The men glance at each other, nervous. A THUNDER-QUAKE
          rumbles, so low and gritty it'll rattle your fillings.
          The men look around, frightened. Rocks fall from the
          surrounding butte. Odell looks down. The SOUND is deafening,
          vibra tine: the very earth. And that's when it happens:

          A FLAMING RED-HOT MONSTER-CYCLE
          leaps from atop a wedged outcrop, ridden by SOMETHING that
          SCREAMS and BURNS. Silent SLOW MOTION. Heat haze, glowing
          manifolds. The bike catches twenty feet of air, trailing
          fire like a comet's tail as it passes right over their
          disbelieving heads.
          What.
          The.
          Fuck.
          Touchdown. A BLAST-WAVE of heat and flame billow outward.
          The men shield themselves, stumbling backwards. The bike
          hauls a deep carving turn, peeling mud, slides to a dead
          stop, hissing in the driving rain.
          Time stands still. Carrigan and his men gape. The monster
          cycle throbs.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          23.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          ON THE RIDER
          Alive. Evil. Aflame. A man but not a man -- an impossible
          spectre, engulfed in fire, its skullish head deeply bowed.
          Clinking coils of red-hot chain slip link by link through its
          skeletal, flickering fingers. Then it lifts his terrible

                         HEAD --

          THE FACE OF JOHN BLAZE
          Skeletal, aflame, but somehow still Johnny, his tortured
          visage recognizable even as the furnace blazes blue-white.
          His jaw bone pivots open to unleash an INHUMAN HOWL, at once
          predatory and tormented, a shriek of eternal damnation.
          Time speeds up again. The men run. The Ghost Rider
          accelerates from zero to sixty in a heartbeat.
          Lloyd runs fast as he can. Talk about pointless. The Ghost
          Rider seizes his head, drags him seventy yards, burning him
          black, discarding him --
          The other men let rip. Guns blaze. BULLETS punch through the
          Ghost Rider, coming out his back as red hot slag. The demon
          hauls a deep curve, powers up onto his rear wheel --

                         ALBRIGHT
          What the fuck?! WHAT THE FUCK?!
          Albright FIRES his shotgun. THUNDERING past like an Amtrak
          train, the Ghost Rider PUNCHES a flaming fist right through
          Albright'-, face.
          That's it for the others. They scramble for the trucks.
          WHOOSH! The Ghost Rider lashes out with his chains, lassos
          Chudacoff. He SCREAMS as the metal sears his body, falls
          heavily, burning --
          The Ghost Rider skids to a halt, summons something internal
          and lets it loose -- a blast of PURE HELLFIRE that courses
          down the chains and engulfs Chudacoff, immolating him.
          The men make the trucks, pile in. Landsdale slams the Tundra
          into drive. The big truck hauls away.
          Carrigan fights to get the Bronco into gear. Rain peeks out
          from the back, eyes bugging --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          24.

                         CONTINUED: (3)

                         RAIN'S POV
          as the Ghost Rider dismounts, stalks through the rain towards
          them. He raising his skeletal hand, clenches it, and
          suddenly we are --

          INSIDE THE BRONCO'S ENGINE
          A series of MACRO SHOTS as we move amongst the pistons,
          cylinders, and intake manifolds. The mixture of vaporized
          fuel and air within the engine begins to ignite, but then the
          miniature explosions seem to contract and implode in upon
          themselves and we are --

                         BACK OUTSIDE
          with Carrigan. His truck won't start. Somehow, the ?host
          Rider has actin uished the flames within his engine.
          The Ghost Rider keeps coming, his skeletal claws/fingers
          white-hot now, throbbing with heat. He slices through the
          Bronco's door like a human oxy-acetylene torch, chopping the
          vehicle apart.
          Carrigan panics, drags Rain out the passenger door. But
          Fusco is still trapped inside. Can't get his seatbelt off.
          The Ghost Rider tears open the roof, bisects the vehicle and
          HURLS the front away, leaving Fusco cowering in the melted
          back seat. The Ghost Rider looms over Fusco, extending a
          skeletal claw --

                         FUSCO
          Oh God, please, I ain't nothing to do
          with nothin'. I ain't nothin'. Please,

          PLEASE!

                         ON CARRIGAN
          tugging Rain away from the horror, trying to ignore Fusco's
          terrible SCREAMS. He looks back, wishes he hadn't --
           The Ghost Rider has Fusco snatched up nose-to-nose, forcing
          the man to look right into --

          THE GHOST RIDER'S EYES
          Hungry black sockets that suck the fire from the air.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          25,

                         CONTINUED: (4)

                         FUSCO
          shudders, eyes bulging. All he can do is stare into those
          awful pits, fall into them, as grisly IMAGES from his evil
          past spark and shred into his melting mind.
          Every act of violence, every crime he ever committed --
          beatings, murders, acts of torture and revenge -- are now
          revisited upon Fusco tenfold. This is the PENANCE STARE, and
          Fusco is feeling it's full, hellish force. The Ghost Rider
          and Fusco SCREAM in sync.
          Carrigan and Rain can't look away. They stand transfixed --
          Then it's over. The Ghost Rider drops Fusco into the mud.
          He lies there, shuddering, glassy-eyed, burned black but
          still alive, his brain irrevocably overloaded.
          And The Ghost Rider is somehow different too. Immobile.
          Internal. Then he looks up, past Carrigan. R;rht at. Rain.
          Rain stares back. But it's --

                         BLAZE'S FACE
          she SEES. An abject abyss of pain and shame and torment.
          And Rain's terror is forgotten for just that moment, replaced
          with something best described as empathy.

          LIGHT AND NOISE
          to the Ghost Rider's left. He turns -- the Tundra screams
          out of nowhere, slamming into him at sixty plus.

          INSIDE THE CAB
          LANDSDALE ducks the shattering windshield, leaps from the
          truck as it fills with fire --
          The Tundra keeps moving, pile-drives the howling spectre
          square into a massive boulder. The truck compresses like an
          accordion, EXPLODES, engulfs the rock with fire --
          Landsdale picks himself up, ready for anything. Carrigan
          tugs Rain over. The wreckage burns out of control.

                         CARRIGAN
          Did you kill it --?

                         LANDS DALE
          Fuck if I know!!!
          Just then, Nomi's pickup backs into view. Odell is driving.
          Ca___gan snatches Rain up like baggage, starts forward.

          (CC 1T=N1U D)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          26.

                         CONTINUED: (5)

                         ON NOMI
          dazed, in a muddy gully. She scrambles up to the lip, SEES
          the burning Tundra nearby, SEES her pickup hauling away into
          the night. She WAILS, tries to drags herself to her feet --
          CREAK. The burning wreckage moves. Moves again. Nomi ducks
          down, watches, uncomprehending. The crumpled truck is hurled
          aside. Two tons. Tipped over like a packing crate.
          Nomi slips down into the gully, gasping with fear. HEAVY
          FOOTSTEPS and CRACKLING FIRE draw near --
          Nomi dares to look up. The Ghost Rider stares down at her.
          Like Death itself. Imagine yourself face to face with a
          Great White, an unfathomable, impenetrable force of nature --
          Then imagine that force turning away, sparing you. The world
          exhales. After a moment Nomi dares to look again:

          NOMI'S POV (THROUGH THE POURING RAIN)
          All she sees is a MAN, in tattered clothes, rolling a busted
          up motorcycle away into the darkness.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. HOSPITAL - TRAUMA WARD - NIGHT

          Graveyard shift but the floor is busy. Too many accidents,
          too few staff. And the POLICE and PARAMEDICS hovering here
          and there are just getting in the way.

          ON BLAZE,
          stumbling through the crowded ward, head down, in obvious
          pain. OR. QUINLAN ( 30s, harried), struggles to keep up,
          filling out paperwork on the fly.

                         QUINLAN
          Sir, you have to tell me your name.

                         BLAZE
          I just need to sit down for a moment.
          And I need some forceps, gauze, tape --

                         QUINLAN
          I'll decide what you need, alright?
          Name?
          Blaze hauls a curtain aside, finds an empty surgery bay,
          prepped and ready to go.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          27.

                         CONTINUED:
          SHOUTING MEDICS tear past, pushing a SCREAMING BURN VICTIM on
          a gurney. Blaze ducks into the curtained bay. Quinlan
          follows.

                         QUINLAN (CONT'D)
          Sir, I can't help you if you don't
          cooperate.
          (beat, pointedly)
          Are you on something? Drugs?
          Blaze pulls at his jacket, easing it over his battered body.

                         BLAZE
          No, no. Do I look like troub-unghhh --
          He grimaces as the jacket comes off. Bullet wounds, shotgun
          damage, torn flesh, and a lot of BLOOD.

                         QUINLAN

                         (TAKEN ABACK)
          Oh -- my. What happened to you?
          Blaze sits back on the bed, sets about cleaning his wounds
          with tools laid out on a tray nearby.

                         BLAZE
          Motorcycle accident. Couple abrasions,
          maybe some rib fractures --
          (Quinlan tries to help)
          Just step back, I'll handle it --

                         QUINLAN
          Those are bullet holes.
          Blaze cleans the wounds she's referring to, grits his teeth
          as he swabs gauze deep into his flesh.

                         BLAZE
          Nah. They're just -- gouges. Surface
          damage. They'll heal up fine. Ungh -
          do you have any -- painkillers?

                         QUINLAN
          (assertive now, plainly

                         SUSPICIOUS)
          This was no motorcycle accident.
          Somebody has cauterized your wounds
          Blaze inserts the forceps into a particularly nasty wound.

                         BLAZE
          Percocet? Vicodin, maybe?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          28,

                         CONTINUED: (2)
          Blaze pulls a vicious shard of metal out of his side, stifles
          a SCREAM, fights to keep it together.

          BLAZE (CONT' D)
          Just. Give. Me. Something. For. The.
          Pain.
          He staunches the blood, fixing her with such a stone stare
          that she involuntarily backs away.

                         QUINLAN
          I'm sorry -- but I need to report this.
          Stay right there.
          Quinlan backs out through the curtain. Blaze sighs, tapes a
          thick gauze patch over the wound, eyes hunting. He SEES a
          drug cabinet, breaks into it. Fills his pockets.

          INT. HOSPITAL - HALLWAY - NIGHT

          Moments later, Blaze is stumbling away. He pops the cap of a
          pill bottle, dry-swallows a half-dozen painkillers --
          To his right, a PARAMEDIC TEAM works on the shrieking burn
          victim we saw earlier. Blaze stops, horrified --
          It's FUSCO, eyes rolling wildly, charred nearly beyond
          recognition. Flailing and convulsing, fingers nothing but
          exposed, blackened bone --

          ON BLAZE,
          backing into a quiet corner. He suppresses a sob, fumbling a
          hypodermic as he fills it with stolen morphine. He jabs the
          spike into his leg, sags as the drug takes effect.
          After a moment, Blaze calms, gets his bearings, notices that
          he's leaning against a bulletin board on which is pinned --

          A WANTED POSTER,
          helpfully illustrated with a mug-shot of Blaze's own face.
          Blaze tears the poster down, stuffs it in his pocket, then
          realizes that SOMEONE is watching him. He turns, SEES --

                         NOMI
          sitting on a nearby bed. Beaten, bruised, desolate. A PAIR
          OF STATE TROOPERS are questioning her. She stares past them,
          straight at Blaze. She recognizes him.

                         (ICN-=NU_^)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          29.

                         CONTINUED:
           Ice water floods Blaze's veins. He hurries away.

                          CUT TO:

          EXT. MAIN STREET - DAY

          Blaze approaches a mailbox, fishes a postcard from his
          backpack. He writes the date, checks the time on his watch
          and jots that down too. He addresses it, drops it in the
          slot. Then he turns around and SEES --
          -- Nomi standing behin him, J�Iorkina his way.

                         NOMI
          You were there last night.

                         BLAZE
          Excuse me?

                         NOMI
          when they took my daughter.

                         BLAZE
          I don't know what you're talking about

                         NOMI
          Yes you do.
          Blaze tries to pass off his unease with an ill-conjured
          smile. He pushes past her, moving to his battered
          motorcycle. Nomi follows.

          NOMI (CONT' D )
          The Ghost Rider. It walked right past
          me. It let me live.
          (a whisper, intense)
          I know what you are.
          Blaze stares at Nomi, shaken.

                         BLAZE
          Lady, you don't know shit.
          (his tone turning lethal)
          Now bark the fuck o t of my Ii
          Blaze mounts his bike, kicks it alive, leaves Nomi in the
          dust.

          EXT. HIGH PLAINS - DAY

          Blaze heads north under a big sky castled with towering white
          clouds.

          (CAN'::VL=D1

                         

                         

                         

                         

          30.

                         CONTINUED:
          Prairie grasslands roll away on either side of the two lane
          blacktop. But Blaze's landscape is deep within and dark,
          dominated by the thunderheads of last night's horror.
          He notches the throttle up a little, cruises at ninety.
          Rolls his head back, lets the wind stream over his face.
          Then he hears ANOTHER MOTORCYCLE. Blaze looks back --

                         NOMI
          pulls alongside Blaze, riding a monster bike of her own.
          Blaze burns away. But Nomi's no slouch. She matches his
          speed and is back beside him moments later. She SHOUTS:

                         NOMI

          PULL OVER! I NEED TO TALK TO YOU!
          Blaze guns the bike again, jinks around an oncoming station
          wagon that blares it's HORN_ But Nomi's still on him --

          NOM I (CONT' D )

          DAMNIT, I NEED YOUR HELP!!!

                         BLAZE

                         (IRRITATED)

          LADY, I'VE HELPED YOU ENOUGH!
          Nomi smiles. Blaze just slipped up and they both know it.

                         NOMI

          I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE GHOST RIDER!!!
          Angry with himself, Blaze throttles his bike to the max,
          howling over the next rise on his back wheel, probably
          hitting one-fifteen as he vanishes from view.
          Nomi skids to a stop on the shoulder and waits, her engine
          RUMBLING. Wind blows. Lizards click.
          After a long beat, Blaze reappears. Stops far away on the
          crest of the rise. Stares at her.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. FOOTHILLS - DUSK

           Blaze and Nomi weave their way through an obstacle course of
           rusted car hulks and assorted junk, heading for a battered
           Airstream trailer perched on the edge of a bluff.

          ( -_ :N :N"' 7- D)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          31.

                         CONTINUED:

                         NOMI
          I knew what you were the moment I saw
          you. I can help you -- jf you're willing
          to help mp-. I know things.

                         BLAZE
          Like what?

                         NOMI
          This thing that's riding you, the Ghost
          Rider. I guess it has a lot of names.
          But the one I grew up hearing was nagi
          ocanl sice. It means the Spirit of
          Vengeance.

                         BLAZE
          You actually believe what you're telling
          me?

                         NOMI
          You kidding? I'm pure-bred Dakota. I
          can hear the mountains talking to each
          other. And I saw you light up those
          pricks like Chinese New Year last night.
          They reach the trailer. Nomi fixes glaze with a stare.

          NOMI (CONT ' D )
          what do you see when you sleep at night?
          The dead? The faces of the people you've
          taken?

                         BLAZE

                         (ANGRY)
          J,t takes them. Not me.
          Nomi nods, not sure she believes him. Enters the trailer.

          INT. AIRSTREAM - DUSK

          Dark, shadowy. Curtains drawn tightly shut. Every corner
          crammed with bric-a-brac. On the TV: the football game.
          Blaze sits on a collapsing couch. Nomi hovers nearby. Her
          grandfather HENRI LAFORTE (80s, emphysemic), rambles on in
          Dakotan, pausing only to suck on his oxygen mask. He keeps his
          eyes on the game the whole time, never once looking at Blaze.

                         BLAZE
          (aside, to Nomi)
          Does your grandfather understand English?

          (:�,NT=NLE_-)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          32,

                         CONTINUED:

                         NOMI
          He understands. He just refuses to speak
          it.
          Laforte continues to ramble intermittently. Blaze shifts,
          impatient, finally sits forward.

                         BLAZE
          Listen, I don't want to be an ass-hole,
          but can we just fast-forward the whole
          Yoda routine?
          The home team scores! Laforte WHOOPS wildly, loses his mask,
          COUGHS uncontrollably. Blaze stands. He's out of there.

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          Feel better, old man.

                         LAFORTE
          (rasping, in English)
          Give me the coin.
          Blaze stops, cocks an eyebrow at Nomi. She shrugs. Blaze
          hands over the coin. Laforte studies it, starts speaking in
          Dakota again. Nomi translates:

                         NOMI
          The man you're looking for goes by lots
          of names. Coyote, Black Dog. In Dakota,
          he's Waka Sica. The Trickster. Look at
          him straight on, you might see a human.
          Look at him out of the corner of your eye
          at one of the in-between times -- dusk or
          dawn, you might see something else.

                         BLAZE
          What does he want?

                         LAFORTE
          Wacokico. Vengeance.

                         BLAZE
          Why?

                         NOMI
          Because it's his nature.
          Laforte elaborates. Nomi continues to translate.

          NOM I (CONT' D )
          Long ago, Coyote could change his shape,
          chop his body into little pieces, causing
          all sorts of mischief.

                         (MORE)
          (coNT=NLE�)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          33.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

                          NOMI (CONT'D)
          But Eagle, he had a clear eye. And he
          saw Coyote for what he really was. So he
          swooped down, scattered those pieces to
          the winds.
          (beat, drawing a breath)
          The first men, they found the pieces, and
          not knowing what they were, they ate
          them. And that's, how all men came to
          have a little piece of Coyote in their
          hearts. Now Coyote, he'll promise
          anything to get those pieces back.
          There it is. Blaze exhales. He studies Laforte, those
          ancient, wise eyes.

                         BLAZE
          I've been looking for this man for five
          years now, storm-chasing --
          (pulls out his map)
          Tracked him halfway across the country.
          How do I make him lift the curse?

                         LAFORTE
          Ta ocanzeke kin akta a'ikoyake. T'e
          sniya kel rrrani. Takuni a'ikoyake sni
          ya'un kte hantana, wocanzeke kin ekignaka
          yo!

                         NOMI
          My grandfather says you've been looking
          in the wrong place. You need to look
          inward. The Ghost Rider is Starke's
          weapon. An extension of his rage. But
          it can't ride people unless it has
          something to latch onto in the first
          place. You understand?
          Blaze nods. He thinks he does. Laforte hands the coin back,
          returns his attention to the game. But as Blaze starts to
          rise, Laforte says one final thing:

                         LAFORTE
          Wee-cha-sha nee-shee-cha hay?
          Nomi pauses, deciding how to phrase what the old man said.

                         BLAZE
          What? What'd he say?

                         NOMI
          He wants to know if you're a bad man.
          If the Ghost Rider turned its penance
          stare on you, would you burn?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          34.

          EXT. AIRSTREAM - NIGHT

          Darkness has fallen. The sky glitters infinite black. Blaze
          joins Nomi at the edge of the bluff.

                         BLAZE
          Why don't you just go to the police?

                         NOMI
          I did. But I'm red. They said they'll
          "look into it". Truth is, I've had a few
          run-ins with them myself.

                         BLAZE
          Your daughter -- why does Starke want her?
          Nomi takes a beat, looks away. Haunted, ashamed.

                         NOMI
          Because he's her father. And he wants
          her back. Billy-Ray and the others,
          they're being paid to take her to him.
          Blaze nods. Things are falling into place now.

          NOMI (CONT' D )
          Look, I believe things happen for a
          reason. Call it fate, karma, whatever
          you want -- but there's no way our paths
          crossing was just blind luck. I need
          your help, Blaze.

                         BLAZE
          Just so you understand what you're
          asking, this thing inside me -- I can't
          control it. It just comes out. And when
          it does, it's like I'm a prisoner in my
          own body. There's no reasoning with it.
          It doesn't have a conscience. It doesn't
          even have a personality. It's just a --

                         (SEARCHING)
          -- hunger.

                         NOMI
          You're looking for Starke. I'm looking
          for my kid. We find one, we'll find the
          other.

                         BLAZE
          And then --?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          35.

                         CONTINUED:

                         NOMI

                         (POINTEDLY)
          And then I don't care about the rest.

                         CUT TO:

          A POWERFUL DUST STORM
          Raging full force. Blinding dust and debris batter closing
          store fronts. Roof sheeting tears away, street lamps rattle,
          hapless LOCALS struggle to get indoors.
          A lone coyote lopes through the havoc, trotting purposefully
          against the wind, dodging cars, ducking flying boards and
          planks. The animal passes under a sign: "HOWARDSVILLE CAR

          RENTS".

          CLOSE ON A MAN'S MOUTH
          Lupine. Carnivorous. Speaking into a payphone handset.

                         MAN
          Is she comfortable? Are you feeding her
          properly?

                         VOICE

                         (FILTERED)
          She's alright, I guess. Quiet.

          BACK TO THE COYOTE
          running between rows of rental cars.

                         MAN
          Does she know where you're taking her?

                         VOICE
          I think she's figured it out.

                         MAN
          And how does she feel about that?

                         VOICE
          How the hell should I know?

          EXT. WHEATFIELD - DAWN

          Carrigan paces the edge of a billowing wheatfield, wired to
          his cell phone. Dawn peeks over the horizon. In the
          distance, we SEE Landsdale and Odell waiting with Rain.

          (CC �I::LACED )

                         

                         

                         

                         

          36.

                         CONTINUED:

                         CARRIGAN
          I'm not a psychologist. She's a fucking
          freak, alright? Always has been. Sooner
          I get her out of my sight, the better.

                         THE COYOTE
          approaches the phone booth situated beside the rental office.
          Inside the booth, the man is half-seen.

                         MAN
          She's the most important thing in your
          life, Carrigan. Make sure she arrives
          safely.

                         (BEAT)
          And be careful. She'll kill if she gets
          the chance.
           The man hangs up, turns to look at the coyote staring up at
          him. Once again, we meet --

                         AMBROSE STARKE
          Same sky-blue eyes flecked with metal. Starke and Coyote
          stare at each other, indifferent to the storm raging around
          them- He starts towards the rental office.

          INT. LONE STAR RENT-A-CAR - DAY

          Windows RATTLE. The storm HOWLS. A portly rental agent, JIM
          PETROWSKY, is closing up shop. He gathers his papers, turns
          out the lights. A TV on the counter is on:

                         WEATHERMAN
          -- experiencing extraordinary conditions.
          Tornadoes blanketing much of East Texas,
          with reports of extensive damage and
          gusts of up to seventy miles per hour --
          As Pecrowsky turns off the TV, we hear the door CHIME.
          Starke enters, bringing a strong gust of wind with him.

                         PETROWSKY
          Sorry, guy, I'm just closing up.
          Starke looks to a clock on the wall -- it's 4:55.

                         STARKE
          According to the hours posted outside,
          you're still open.

          {_.:D, NT7NI,=D)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          37.

                         CONTINUED:

                         PETROWSKY

                         (EXASPERATED)
          Look, Mister, in case you hadn't noticed,
          there's a storm coming -- tornadoes,
          whatever. I'm trying to get out of here.
          Starke fixes Petrowsky with a stern gaze.

                         STARKE
          I would like to rent a car --
           (reading Petrowsky's name tag)
          -- "Jim" .
          Something in Starke's tone gives Petrowsky pause. He glances
          to the window and the growing storm beyond. We SEE the
          coyote out there, watching from across the way.

                         PETROWSKY

                         (RELENTING)
          Okay, alright, have a seat.
          Starke sits. Petrowsky moves behind his desk.

                          PETROWSKY (CONT'D)
          Now, Mr. --?

                         STARKE
          Starke. First name, Ambrose.

                         PETROWSKY
          (typing in the name)
          Starke, okay. What kind of car were you
          looking for?
          Starke picks up a laminated placard featuring various cars.

                         STARKE
          What about the Cadillac Deville? I
          noticed you had one in your lot outside.

                         PETROWSKY
           Sorry, already spoken for. How `bout a
           full-size car? I can give you a Chevy
          Malibu, Ford Taurus --
          Starke deliberates. Outside, the storm seems to grow
          stronger. Petrowsky shifts in his seat, trying to mask his
          impatience. Were he observant enough, he might also notice
          that the wall clock has stopped.

          (C:� VT=`7:,'-')

                         

                         

                         

                         

          38.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          PETROWSKY (CONT' D)
          You want the Taurus? Give you a good
          deal, mid-size price. $37.99 a day,
          can't beat that.

                         STARKE
          I had my heart set on the Cadillac, Jim.

                         PETROWSKY

                         (ANNOYED NOW)
          Caddy's taken. Now look, I'm trying to
          be accommodating here, but I really am in
          a hurry. So what's it going to be?
          Another beat as Starke stares Petrowsky down. Gradually, the
          lights in the office begin to dim.

                         STARKE
          The Taurus, then.

                         PETROWSKY
          Great. Can I see a driver's license?
          Starke reaches into his jacket, handing over a license.
          Petrowsky types in the required information, trying to ignore
          the vague feeling of uneasiness settling over him.

          PETROWSKY (CONT' D )
          How many days do you need it for?

                         STARKE
          Two, three --

                         PETROWSKY
          Any other drivers?

                         STARKE
          No.

                         PETROWSKY
          And you'll be paying by --?

                         STARKE
          Cash.

                         PETROWSKY
          I'll need a three hundred dollar deposit.
          Starke nods, removing a money clip from his jacket, deftly
          sliding out three crisp, brand-new hundred dollar bills.

          ( CO N TI N U E D /)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          39.

                         CONTINUED: (3)

          PETROWSKY (CONT' D )
          What about refueling?
          (off Starke' s look)
          We've got three options. You can
          purchase a full tank in advance, you can
          fill it up yourself before you return it,
          or you can have us do it, but then we
          have to charge you four dollars a gallon.
          Most people go for the tank in advance.
          Less hassle.

                         STARKE
          I'll do it myself.

                         PETROWSKY
          Okey-dokey.
          Petrowsky enters the final data, hits "PRINT". As the rental
          agreement begins feeding out, we hear a HORN FiONK.
          Starke turns. A mini-van has pulled up outside. A MOUSY
          WOMAN sits behind the wheel. A BOY sits in the back seat.
          The coyote is still there, but it pays no attention to them.

                         STARKE
          Mrs. Petrowsky?

                         PETROWSKY
          Yeah.
          Petrowsky slides the agreement to Starke, takes out a pen:

          PETROWSKY (CONT' D)
          Here you go. Just your standard rental
          agreement. You get up to 150 miles a day
          for free, twenty cents a mile after that.
          If you want additional personal accident
          insurance it's five dollars a day,
          another nine-ninety-nine if you want the
          loss/damage waiver. Your basic rental
          rate, plus applicable state and local
          tax. You just need to initial here,
          here, and here --
          (indicating various items)
          -- and give me your John Hancock on the
          line right here.
          Petrowsky offers Starke a pen. He doesn't take it. Instead,
          he pulls out a pair of bifocals. With agonizing slowness,
          Starke begins to peruse the rental agreement.

          PETROWSKY (CONT' D)
          Is there a o oblem --?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          40.

                         CONTINUED : (4)

                          STARKE
           The price you quoted was $37,99, the mid-
           size rate. But you've listed the daily
           rate here as $62.99.

                         PETROWSKY
          I did?
          Starke turns the agreement around for Petrowsky to see.

                         PETROWSKY (CONT'D)
          Geez, I'm sorry, you're absolutely right.
          That's the Caddy rate. Guess I entered
          it in by mistake --
          Starke looks up at Petrowsky over the rim of his bifocals,
          the timbre of his voice taking on a decidedly frigid turn.

                         STARKE
          Were you trying to cheat me, Jim?

                         PETROWSKY
          No, no, not at all --

                         STARKE
          Then I'd like a new contract specifying
          the appropriate rate.
          Petrowsky squirms, uncomfortable. For in that pregnant
          moment, without either participant uttering at word, the
          entire nature of the transaction seems to have changed.

                         PETROWSKY
          Look, can't we just go with the contract
          we've got here? I'll make a note of it
          and knock a day's rental off the total
          when you return it. What do you say?

                         STARKE
          I say the Devil's in the details.

          EXT. LONE STAR RENT-A-CAR - DAY

          CRASH! Petrowsky flies through the plate glass window. He
          lands on the concrete, stunned, bleeding from multiple
          lacerations. He tries to sit up, but his right arm is
          broken, horribly mangled.

                         PETROWSKY
          (gasping, in shock)
          Jesus -- Jesus --

                         

                         

                         

                         

          41.

                         CONTINUED:

          WOMAN (V.0.)
          There've been times in my life when the
          world seemed so hateful and vindictive
          that I just wanted to die --
          Helen Petrowsky bolts from the mini-van. The boy watches as
          his mother rushes to her husband's side.

                         HELEN
          Jim?! Jim, what happened?!
          Petrowsky clutches at his wife's arm, trying to speak. A
          shard of glass has penetrated his larynx.

                         PETROWSKY
          -- H-helen -- get -- a--away --
          Petrowsky's eyes widen in horror. Helen follows his gaze

          WOMAN (V.0.)
          Certain twists of that fate felt like
          nothing more than God's spite.

                         STARKE
          strides towards them, his face a veil of unmerciful contempt.
          The dust storm has taken on Biblical proportions, whipping
          and roiling around him, becoming an extension of his fury.
          He snatches Helen up by the throat, snapping her neck with
          inhuman strength, flings her lifeless body to the ground --
          then he brings his boot heel down on Petrowsky'shead.
          crushing it like an _aashell.

           WOMAN (V.0.) (CONT'D)
          It was obvious to me that I'd done
          something wrong. Broken some secret rule
          known only to Him. And as such, would be
          punished for my sins --
          Starke turns now, regarding the mini-van. The boy is nowhere
          in sight. He approaches, looks inside. The boy has fled.

          EXT. RENTAL CAR LOT - DAY

          We are low on the ground, tracking with the terrified Boy as
          he squirms his way beneath the cars. He pauses, nervous.

          BOY'S POV (BENEATH CAR)
          Looking right, then left. No sign of Starke. The Boy
          shudders, truing to stifle his sniveling. Then --
          (C^r�-_NCE2)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          42.

                         CONTINUED:

          WOMAN (V.0.)
          But I had it all wrong. And I see that
          now, with such clarity I sometimes feel
          my heart will break --

                         THE COYOTE
          appears, creeping along a parallel aisle. It pauses,
          lowering its snout, peering at the boy from afar.
          The Boy freezes. FOOTSTEPS approaching. He squirms around
          for a better view --

          BOY'S POV (BENEATH CAR)
          We SEE Starke's boot heels a few dozen yards away, gradually
          closing in on the car beneath which the Boy hides.
          The Boy shuts his eyes. The FOOTSTEPS draw closer, then
          stop. The Boy opens his eyes. Starke's hoots are just an
          arm's length away.

          WOMAN (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          There's a world out there that's neither
          right nor wrong. Neither kind nor cruel.
          Fair or unfair. It simply is.. Existing
          in all it's bliss and pain.

                         A HAND
          slips under the body of the car.Butit's not a human hand.
          It's the hand of a beast -- blackandtwisted, taloned. With
          a sudden movement, the hand flipsthecar up, sending the
          enter vehicle spiraling into theair.The Boy lies there,
           exposed like a bug beneath an upturned rock. He looks up --

           WOMAN (V.0.) (CONT'D)
          And what seems like cruel fate is really
          only Nature, red in tooth and claw.

          THE BOY'S POV
          We see a BRIEF FLASH of Starke. No longer a human
          silhouette, but a SNARLING, lupine beast. The Trickster.
          The Black Dog. Rushing towards us with open jaws as we --

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. BADLANDS - DAWN

          A HUMMER races along a desolate stretch of highway, passing
          through an inhospitable landscape of buttes, mesas, and cacti.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         43-

          INT. HUMMER - DAWN

          Carrigan drives. Landsdale rides shotgun, dozing. Odell is
          in back with Rain, her hands tightly bound. She keeps to
          herself, clutching her skeleton doll, stares out at the
          passing landscape. Odell offers her a bag of chips.

                         ODELL
          Want some food, kid?
          Rain doesn't respond. Odell rustles the bag.

                         ODELL (CONT'D)
          C'mon. Eat a chip or something.

                         CARRIGAN
          She's not gonna eat, Odell. Just shut up
          and get some sleep.

                         ODELL
          I can't sleep. Every time I close my
          eyes, I see the face of that thing, Lloyd

                         BURNING --
          (shaking his head)
          -- Christ.

                         CARRIGAN
          Just put it out of your head.

                         ODELL
          If I could put it out of my head, I
          wouldn't be awake now, would I?
          Landsdale stirs. Carrigan gestures at the barren landscape.

                         CARRIGAN
          Look out there, what do you see?

                         LANDSDALE
          Dick.

                         CARRIGAN
          That's right. Miles and miles of
          nothing. And there's a lot of weird shit
          running around in that nothing. How many
          people you know seen a UFO, huh? Ten?
          Twenty? Hell, it's on every goddamn
          paper at the supermarket. You believe
          that shit, the whole country's being
          overrun by those bug-eyed motherfuckers.

          (CAN":NC,'.-)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          44.

                         CONTINUED:

                         LANDSDALE
          (nodding, eyes closed)
          Probe you in the ass, they get the
          chance.

                         ODELL
          What's your point, Mr. Serling?

                         CARRIGAN
          My point is; everybody's seen somethina.
          Ghosts, aliens, Bigfoot, whatever --

                         ODELL
          This wasn't no freaking Bigfoot! You see
          what it did to Albright? Punched his
          head clean off!

                         CARRIGAN
          Look, I don't know what that thing was.
          All I know is, Starke's paying us a butt-
          load of money to deliver the kid to him.
          We were told we'd see things and we were
          told to look the other way. You want to
          cut out? I'll pull over right here.

                         LANDSDALE
          Keep your shirt on, B. We didn't come
          this far just to limp home with nothing.
          Right, Odell?
          Odell settles back into his seat, uneasy.

                         ODELL
          I guess. But I'd still like to know what
          that thing was.

                         RAIN
          He's the Ghost Rider.
          Everybody looks at her. It's the first thing she's said.

                         CARRIGAN

                         (CHUCKLING)
          "The Ghost Rider"? Get that off the back
          of an Oakridge Boys album or something?
          You think that shit scares me?

                         RAIN
          It should. He's going to kill you all.

                         ODELL

                         (FREAKING OUT)
          See? SiE? !

                         (MORE)
          (CO.JT N =i)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          45.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

           ODELL (CONT' D)
          That's what I'm talking about! Fucking
          Chatty Cathy sitting back here with me!
          Carrigan glances in the rear-view mirror, makes eye-contact
          with Rain, does his level-best not to be spooked.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. BLACK HILLS - HIGHWAY - DAY

           One hundred miles-per-hour plus. Whip around to SEE --

          BLAZE AND NOMI,
          riding their cycles. Up ahead is a postal truck. Blaze
          HONKS, waves to the DRIVER. He's got a postcard in his hand.
          He hands it to the driver through the open door, then
          decreases his speed, falling back alongside Nomi.
          As they scream over a hill, we SEE the White Buffalo Indian
          Casino and Lodge in the distance.

                         NOMI
          I don't like this. I spent the last six
          years trying to forget this place.

                         BLAZE
          You got any idea where Billy-Ray might be
          headed?

                         NOMI

                         NO --

                         BLAZE
          Then we should start with where he's been.

          INT. INDIAN CASINO - DAY

          A chiming CACOPHONY. Acres of penny slots and video poker.
          Roulette wheels CLATTERING. Blackjack tables spinning.
          Blaze and Nomi weave their way through the maze.

                         BLAZE
          Your husband used to work here?

                         NOMI
          Billy-Ray dealt blackjack, poker. Worked
          the casino circuit. We met in Vegas.
          Things kind of went downhill after that.

          RODENBURG (O.S.)
          Got a lot of nerve showing your face here
          again.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          46.

                         CONTINUED:
          They turn. Chief of Security, VINCE RODENBURG (30s, full--or-
          himself), storms towards them, flanked by TWO SECURITY GOONS.

                         NOMI
          Believe me, Vince, this is the last place
          I want to be. But we need to find Billy-
          Ray. He took Rain.

                         RODENBURG
          Sorry' The Deal Man hasn't been back in
          weeks.
          (gesturing for them to leave)
          You have a nice day now.

                         NOMI
          But you must've talked to him. Do you
          know where he's headed? Just tell me
          that.

                         RODENBURG
          What am I? His babysitter? I don't know
          where he is, Nome, and if I did, I sure
          as hell wouldn't be telling you.
          (looking to the other guards)
          Show these two ass-holes to the door.

                         BLAZE
          Look, this is important. We're talking
          about a kidnapping.

                         RODENBURG
          (sizing Blaze up)
          We are? And who is ?

                         BLAZE
          I'm just a friend.

                         RODENBURG
          Ri h t. Nomi tell you what a blue ribbon
          slut she was? Do anything to support
          that needle habit of hers. Truth, 'bout
          the only person that hasn't had her
          around here is me.
          Blaze steps forward now, angry, threatening.

                         BLAZE
          That's enough.

                         RO DENBURG
          What, you gonna get all Steven Segal on
          me, tough guy? Pull a fucking Glimmer
          Man?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          47.

                         CONTINUED: (2)
          Blaze moves, twists Rodenburg's arm like rope, wrenches his
          thumb backwards, SLAMS Rodenburg face-first into one of those
          Plexiglas booths where people dive for dollars.
          The goons pull their pieces. Blaze just ups the pain.

                          RODENBURG (CONT'D)
          -w-w--wait!! !
          (in agony, grimacing)
          --oh, fuck, just wait a second --
          The goons hesitate. CUSTOMERS stare. Blaze seethes.

                         BLAZE
          I need you to understand something,
          Vince. I am, by nature, an inherently
          violent man and there's not much in the
          way of bad that I haven't already
          inflicted on this miserable world --
          (applying even more pressure)
          So unless the idea of learning to drive a
          wheelchair with your mouth sounds
          appealing, I suggest you apologize to my
          friend and tell us WHERE THE FUCK BILLY-

          RAY IS HEADED!

                         RODENBURG
          I don't know! I don't know --
          Blaze gives Rodenburg's thumb a savage twist.

                         RODENBURG (CONT'D)
          Arrrghh! H-he was -- ngh -- up at their
          old house, last night!

                         BLAZE
          And?

                         RODENBURG
           And I'm sorry -- I'm fucking sorry!
           Blaze releases him. As the goons close in, Blaze deftly
          relieving Goon #1 of his handgun and turns it back on him.

                         BLAZE
          Think about it.
          The goons relent. Blaze and Nomi exit, leaving Rodenburg
          slumped on the floor, cradling his mangled hand.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          48.

          EXT. TRACT HOMES - DUSK

          A swath of cheap housing, part-finished, mostly abandoned,
          back-boning a steep bluff that overlooks the casino.
          Blaze and Nomi dismount their bikes. She stares at a
          particularly ramshackle house. Wind whips. Dead leaves
          blow. A rusting swing-set twists and creaks.

                         NOMI
          Never thought I'd be back here.
          They pass cautiously through the front yard. Nomi's pickup
          is parked nearby. The front door bangs back and forth. Nomi
          pulls a revolver from her waist-band.

                         BLAZE
          I think they're gone.
          Off Nomi's look, Blaze points at tire tracks in the dirt.

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          Dual tracks. Looks like your old man
          switched to a Hummer.

          INT. CARRIGAN'S HOUSE - DUSK

          Window panes RATTLE. The lights don't work. Blaze and Nomi
          pick their way through food containers and discarded detritus.

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          Guess the boys camped out for a while.

          THE LIVING ROOM
          Dead leaves twirling. One whole side of the room is burned
          open, blackened and charred, the remaining timbers sealed
          with plastic sheeting. Nomi opens a drawer, rifles through
          singed papers -- finds an old PHOTO of her and Carrigan.

                         NOMI
          Listen, those things Vince said --

                         BLAZE
          You don't have to explain yourself to me.

                         NOMI
          Some of them are true.

                         BLAZE
          Doesn't make you a bad person.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          49.

                         CONTINUED:
          Nomi nods, but she's clearly agitated. Blaze crouches,
          traces his fingers over a stain on the wall. He can FEEL
          something. He shuts his eyes, opens them --

          BLAZE'S POV (THE PAST)
          The room, many years earlier. Carrigan backhands Nomi across
          the face. The silent moment is caught in motion so slow it's
          virtually a tableau.

          BACK TO THE PRESENT

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          He used to hit you.
          A statement, not a question. She nods.

          INT. CARRIGAN'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

          Nomi is reluctant to enter. Blaze is inside, SEES her
          hesitation -- she's staring at the bed.

                         NOMI
          You can see the past?

                         BLAZE
          Just echoes, sometimes.

                         (BEAT)
          Tell me about Starke.
          Nomi hesitates, not wanting to relive this.

                         NOMI
          I was dying. I'd shot myself full of
          Billy's best gear. Figured I'd teach him
          a lesson and go out in style.
           Blaze nods, but he doesn't see Nomi now. He SEES --

          BLAZE'S POV (THE PAST)
          -- Nomi as she waS. An inch away from eternity. She is
          lying on the bed, staring upwards, shallow breaths- Above
          her, a MOTH flutters by a light, casting distorted shadows.

          BLAZE (V.O.)
          But it felt like a mistake.

          NOMI ON THE BED

                         (WHISPERS)
          I don't want to die.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          50.

                         CONTINUED:
          The lights begin to dim. We hear FOOTSTEPS approaching,
          muted and distorted, A SHADOW falls across Nomi --

                         STARKE
          stands above her. There are OTHER SHADOWS drifting in behind
          him. Things better left half-glimpsed. Coyotes. Beasts.

          NOMI (V.O.)
          He smiled and said --
          As Starke starts to speak, we hear:

                         BLAZE'S VOICE
          "You look like --

          BACK TO THE PRESENT
          Blaze finishing the phrase, knowing the punch-line too well.

                         BLAZE
          -- you could use some help."
          Nomi nods, hugs herself.

                         NOMI
          And I took it. What else was I going to
          do? I don't know what happened after
          that. I'm not sure I ever want to --
          (beat, struggling)
          All I know is, nine months later, Rain
          was born.

                         FLASHBACK IMAGES
          Silent, disjointed. The moth. Nomi's face, terror-stricken.
          Starke, eyes alight with malice and mischief.

          BACK TO THE PRESENT
          Nomi turns away, trying to banish the memory.

                         NOMI (CONT'D)
          Billy-Ray hated her from the moment she
          was born. He knew she wasn't his, knew
          she was different --
          (re: the charred timbers)
          If I didn't leave he would've killed us
          both.

                         (CCNTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          51.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

                         FLASHBACK IMAGES
          Nomi striking back at Billy-Ray with a broken bottle.
          Setting the house ablaze.

          BACK TO THE PRESENT
          Nomi pulls out a cigarette, nervously lights it.

                         NOMI (CONT'D)
          Been running ever since. In my heart, I
          guess I knew Starke would be coming for
          her one day.

                         BLAZE
          Why send Billy-Ray after you?

                         NOMI
          Sick irony, I guess. Billy certainly
          knew all my haunts --
          (shaking her head)
          This was a mistake, Blaze. We're not
          going to find anything here.
          Blaze glances down -- a HEAT HAZE has engulfed his hand. He
          clenches his fist, looks up --

                         BLAZE
          Guess again.
          -- as HEADLIGHTS shine through one of the windows.
          Somebody's driving up to the house.

          INT. CARRIGAN'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

          Blaze and Nomi creep towards the front door. A handful of
          vehicles are pulling up out front. The men disembark. It's
          Rodenburg, finger splinted, packing heat. He's returned with
          reinforcements: OSWALT, DOYLE, WEINGROD and PENNEBAKER.
          Blaze and Nomi make their way to the laundry room and the
          rear entrance -- but Doyle and Oswalt have already circled
          around back.

                         NOMI

                         (WHISPERING)
          Shit, they've got us trapped here.

                         BLAZE

                         (FATALISTIC)
          No. they're the one who are rang d.
          Blaze reaches for the door handle, opens it --

                          (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          52.

                         CONTINUED:

                         NOMI
          What're you --?

          EXT. CARRIGAN'S HOUSE - BACK PORCH - NIGHT

           -- and steps out to meet their tormentors. Rodenburg and the
           others are there now too. Rodenburg is grinning.

                          RODENBURG
           Talked-to Billy-Ray, chief. Don't know
           who you a r - e, but you picked the wrong --
          Blaze struggles to contain the Ghost Rider, but his whole
          body is drenched in sweat now -- like he's going to
          spontaneously combust at any moment.

                         BLAZE
          Please. Just tell us where they went and
          leave. There's no reason why you have to
          die.
          Rodenburg LAUGHS, looks at his friends in disbelief.

                         RODENBURG
          I'm gonna die? Me? Buddy, you got your
          head screwed on bass-ackwards!
          Rodenburg FIRES into Blaze's chest -- once, twice. Blaze
          stumbles back against the porch. As he falls, Rodenburg
          mounts the steps, charging in after Nomi.

          INT. CARRIGAN'S HOUSE - VARIOUS - NIGHT

          Nomi runs -- but Weingrod DIVES through the plastic sheeting
          in the hall, cutting her off. He SLAMS her against the wall,
          twisting her arm behind her back.
          Rodenburg appears behind them. Together, he and Pennebaker
          drag Nomi towards the bedroom. They shove Nomi onto the bed.

                         RODENBURG
          Had to come back here, didn't you, Nomi?
          Just couldn't leave well enough alone.
          Nomi struggles to sit up. Rodenburg LAUGHS viciously, forces
          her back, drags at her jeans.

          EXT. CARRIGAN'S HOUSE - BACK PORCH - NIGHT

           Doyle waits on guard duty, bored, when suddenly --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          53.

                         CONTINUED:

                         BLAZE
          sits up. He looks to Doyle, TEARS OF FIRE streaming from his
          eyes. As he stands, his chest wounds ignites, the flames
          instantly cauterizing the flesh. He's suddenly engulfed in a
          heat haze. Wood smolders all around him.
          Doyle backs away, terrified. He FIRES his gun again and
          again, but the bullets just punch through Blaze, creating
          more flaming holes-

          INT. CARRIGAN'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

           Rodenburg stops mid-assault. Nomi breathes fearfully, held
           down at gunpoint by Pennebaker. We hear SCREAMS, the
           WHISTLING WIND, the CRACKLE OF FIRE.

          INT. CARRIGAN'S HOUSE - BACK PORCH - NIGHT

           Doyle rushes in from the porch, looks back --
          Blaze keeps on coming, unstoppable. He steps/burns his way
          through the screen door, leaves a trail of BURNING FOOTPRINTS
          in his wake. As he walks down the hall, the heat streaming
          off of him blisters and curls the wallpaper.
          Doyle backs away, stumbles -- and Blaze is upon him, lifting
          Doyle up, gripping him by the throat.

                         DOYLE

                         P-PLEASE --

                         BLAZE
          I'm sorry.
          soul, the fire expanding, engulfing Doyle.

          INT. CARRIGAN'S HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

          Rodenburg buckles his pants, goes to the doorway, peers
          cautiously into the passage beyond.

                         RODENBURG'S POV:
          Flaming leaves burn and twirl at the far end. Firelight
          flickers. The SCREAMS still come, sporadic and terrible.
          Rodenburg's mind is racing. He motions to Pennebaker, who
          drags Nomi off the bed and strong-arms her to the door.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          54.

          INT. CARRIGAN'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT

          Rodenburg leads, gun ready.

                         RODENBURG
          Doyle?
          Smoke and CRACKLING NOISES are building rapidly. The SHRIEKS
          persist, and those burning leaves are everywhere. Then --
          --- movement in the living room! Rodenburg draws a bead
          but it's Weingrod, pushing through the plastic sheeting,
          fearful, eyes darting. He speaks in a strained whisper.

                         WEINGROD
          What's going on, man? Where's Oswalt?
          GUNFIRE! Outside! CRASH! Something hits the house. Then
          more SCREAMS, more GUNFIRE, and a RUMBLE so deep it's deadly.
          Pennebaker panics, pushing past Rodenburg.

                         PENNEBAKER
          I want out of here, I'm getting out!

                         RODENBURG
          Keep your fucking voices down!

                         WEINGROD
          He's burning the house, man! He's

                         BURNING THE--
          RED-HOT CHAINS whip viciously around Weingrod's head and
          torso. Then he's wrenched backwards, hauled straight through
          the plastic sheeting --

          THE GHOST RIDER
           bursts through the melting plastic, hauls his red-hot monster
          bike up on its back wheel --
          Rodenburg and Pennebaker run for their lives, falling into
          the fire-lit passage. The Ghost Rider screeches across the
          living room, setting the place aflame as he passes through.
          Nomi leaps aside as a sheet of fire burns where she was, SEES
          the fiery monster crash straight through the wall --
           Rodenburg and Pennebaker run through the flames, stumbling
          over Doyle's charred body --

                         

                         

                         

                         

          55.

          EXT. CARRIGAN'S HOUSE - NIGHT

          They burst out the front door, clothes alight, racing across
          the yard towards their vehicles. Rodenburg looks back --
          The Ghost Rider EXPLODES through the front of the house,
          skids to a halt, flicks out a chain -- and snags Rode burgs
          ankle. He falls, SCREAMING. The chain retracts --
           Pennebaker reaches his vehicle, struggles with the door -
           TheGhost Rider thrusts a clawed hand outwards,clenchesthe
          air and hauls it back in. Like an explosion in reverse, 4,11
          fire is sucked violently back into his hellish being.
          A frozen moment. All terrified eyes on the Ghost Rider
          Then he lets rip. Hurls the energy back out as a torus of
          white hot fire that expands across the yard, BLASTS
          Rodenburg's shirt from his back, SMASHES Pennebaker against
          his vehicle --
          The vehicles EXPLODE, gas tanks rupturing. Pennebaker is
          blown to pieces. Rodenburg SCREAMS, shields his face. Fire
          and debris rain down in every direction. The Ghost Rider
          looms over him. More accurately, it's --

                         GHOST BLAZE
          Half man, half monster, his pitiless skull-face hazing and
          flickering between human and inhuman states.

                         GHOST BLAZE
          Where are they taking the girl?
          Rodenburg whimpers. Ghost Blaze grabs Rodenburg's hair,
          wrenches his head back.

          GHOST BLAZE (CONT'D)
          Where. Are_ They. Taking. Her?

                         RODENBURG

                         (BEYOND TERRIFIED)
          North! They're headed North, into
          Oregon, oh, god, fuck --

                         GHOST BLAZE
          Where?

                         RODENBURG
          I don't know exactly, Jesus, I don't know!

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          56.

                         CONTINUED:
          Blue-white fire floods down Blaze's arm and engulfs
          Rodenburg. The poor man screams, struggles to break free --
          aze simply crrows Otte ana ac
          and the Ghost
          Rider's evil countenance submerges every trace of Blaze's
          humanity.
          Then it's over. The flames evaporate. Rodenburg's corpse
          crumbles to dust. Wind HOWLS. The Ghost Rider is gone.

                         ON BLAZE
          He SEES the corpses, the burning vehicles, tries to deny the
          horror. But it's always the same -- another swath of
          destruction left in his wake, another righteous atrocity.

                         NOMI
          He told you everything he knew.
          She's ten yards away, shaking. Not going to come any closer.

                         NOMI (CONT'D)
          Told you everything --

                         (BEAT)
          -- you didn't have to do that.

                         BLAZE
          You asked for my help. I warned you what
          you were getting into.
          More a statement than an excuse. There are POLICE SIRENS on
          the wind. Blaze starts walking towards the pickup.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT

          A sub-par motel 6. Nomi's battered pickup is parked outside.
          We HEAR Blaze's tortured MOANS coming from within.

          INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

          Blaze sits in a chair, shirt off, Nomi at his side. She's
          trying to help him patch up his wounds, but the enormity of
          the damage and the sheer amount of blood is daunting.

                         NOMI
          I don't -- I don't know what else to do
          for you --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          57.

                         CONTINUED:

                         BLAZE
          S'okay -- just need to rest now --

                         (GASPING)
          -- wounds'11 be healed by morning.
          Nomi stands, still shaken. She retrieves a cigarette from
          her purse, lights it.

                         NOMI
          I thought you were dead.

                         BLAZE
          (considering his wounds)
          I don't even know if it's that's an
          option anymore. Every time I get close,
          I feel myself being dragged back --
          (breathing through the pain)
          --it's like being born all over again.
          Like every law in the universe is being
          broken.
          Blaze sits forward, gritting his teeth against the pain.

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          See, the Ghost Rider -- it's drawn to
          darkness like a bloodhound. If it thinks
          you've sinned, it'll find you.

                         NOMI
          What if you're innocent?

                         BLAZE
          Nobody's innocent.
          (beat, staring at her)
          Think about it. Everyone's done
          somethincr. You. Me --
           Blaze lifts up the coyote coin, flipping it over his fingers.

                          BLAZE (CONT'D)
           Every night I spin this fucking coin --
          and it always lands the same side up. I
          keep thinking -- ona time, one time I'm
          going to spin it and I'll see the other
          face. Sleep through the night without
          getting blood on my hands. But it never
          happens.

                         (SHAKING)
          There's always some sad motherfucker out
          there that needs retribution, vengeance --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          58.

                         CONTINUED: (2)
          Blaze flings the coin away in disgust. It spins, wobbles,
          lands coyote side up. He laughs tiredly, then looks away,
          lost, suddenly overcome with emotion.

          BLAZE (CONT' D)
          I'm just so fucking tired --
          Nomi moves to his side, struggles to help him up.

                         NOMI
          Here, why don't you lie down for a little
          while?
          Blaze nods, too tired to argue. Nomi half carries him to the
          bed, lowers him down. Blaze settles back, exhausted. Nomi
          watches him, holding vigil. His eyes grow heavy. He shuts
          them a moment, opens them again --

                         THE PAST
          -- and it's Roxanne who is laying beside him now. She rolls
          over to face him, smiles sleepily. Blaze reaches for her,
          touches her face -- and the moment shatters into violence.

          A COLLISION OF IMAGES
          -- the El Camino sliding, spinning over. Metal rending.
          -- rain pattering on broken, bloody wreckage. Roxanne's torn
          seat belt hanging loosely.
          -- climbing out through the blown-out windshield. Crawling
          in mud, Blaze's face reflected in broken glass.
          -- cradling Roxanne's body in his arms, rocking her and --

                         THE PRESENT
          WHAM! Blaze bolts up in bed, disoriented, shaken. Clearly,
          some time has passed.
          Nomi sits across the room now, holding Blaze's tattered
          photographs in her hands, looking a little guilty. She's got
          the paper wedding band which Blaze made for Roxanne too.'

                         BLAZE
          What are you doing?

                         NOMI
          I'm sorry, I just --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          59.

                         CONTINUED: ( 3)
          As Blaze stands, we SEE that his wounds have healed.-He
          shrugs on a shirt, approaches. Nomi nods to the paper
          wedding band.

                         NOMI (CONT'D)
          You must've loved her a lot.
          Blaze doesn't answer. Just takes the photos and wedding band
          from her, shoves them back in his pack. He pulls out one of
          the postcards, scribbles an address on it.

                         BLAZE
          What time is it?

                         NOMI
          A little after three.

                         BLAZE
          What time, exactly?

                         NOMI
          3:27. Why?
          Blaze ignores her, jots down the time. Licks a stamp and
          puts it on the postcard. Leaves it on the dresser.

                         NOMI (CONT'D)
          What is it with you and those postcards,
          anyway?

                         BLAZE
          They're just a kind of record.
          (hauling up his pack)
          Let's go.

          INT. PICKUP - DRIVING - NIGHT

          Blaze and Nomi drive. Outside, the landscape passes, bugs
          twirling and spattering against the windshield like
          snowflakes.

                         MEMORY FLASHES
          Roxanne in the hospital, serene and beautiful. Starke
          handing Blaze the coin.

                         NOMI
          You made a deal.
          Blaze nods.

                         NOMI (CONT'D)
          So what happened? Did she live?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          60.

                         CONTINUED:

                         BLAZE
          Roxanne? Yeah, she's alive. She just
          doesn't know it.
          (off Nomi' s look)
          Coma. Probably never wake up.

                         NOMI
          So he tricked you.

                         BLAZE
          (a tired laugh)
          That's what he does, doesn't he?
          She nods. That's what he does.

                         NOMI
          (almost afraid to ask)
          What about the baby?
          Blaze just shakes his head.

                         BLAZE
          It's funny. That kid was supposed to be
          my second chance. Rox and I used to talk
          about it -- how things'd be different
          after she was born.
          Nomi didn't expect his honest vulnerability.

                         NOMI
          Maybe that's why we have them

                         BLAZE
          What, kids?

                         NOMI

                         (NODDING)
          So we can make amends for all the royal
          fuck-ups we've perpetrated on the world.
          God knows I've had my share.
          (beat, pained)
          I just don't want her to have to pay for
          the things I've done. You know?
          Blaze nods. He knows all too well. He and Nomi drive on in
          silence for a beat, their thoughts turning inwards.

                         NOMI (CONT'D)
          Can I ask you something? Honestly?
          (off Blaze's nod)
          What're you going to do when you find
          Starke?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          61.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

                         BLAZE
          Make him pay, somehow --

                         (UNCERTAIN)
          I don't know. How do you beat the Devil?
          Walk up and bitch-slap him? Pretend
          you're Schwarzenegger and fire a bazooka
          up his hind ass? I'm basically making
          this up as I go along.
          Nomi smiles.

                         NOMI
          I'm sure you'll figure something out.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. CARRIGAN'S HUMMER - TRAVELLING - NIGHT

          -- Rain looking out through the truck's moon roof, watching
          stars passing overhead. As the sky above slowly brightens in
          time-lapse, Rain's eyes grow lidded. She sleeps, clutching
          her skeleton toy and --

          INT. CARRIGAN'S HUMMER - TRAVELLING - DAY

          -- waking sunlight floods the cabin. New shift. Odell
          drives. Rain rides shotgun. Carrigan and Landsdale are
          sacked out in back. The radio drones, laced with STATIC.
          Tedium. No one slept well. Carrigan stares out at the
          passing plains, expertly cutting a deck of cards one-handed.
          He SEES a scarecrow go by, standing ragged in the middle of
          nowhere. Then his cell phone RINGS. Carrigan flips it open --

                         CARRIGAN
          Yeah?
          Based on his facial expressions, the news isn't good. He
          sighs, disconnects the call. Landsdale cocks an eyebrow.

                          CARRIGAN (CONT'D)
           Rodenburg's dead. Oswalt, Weingrod, all
           those other inbred losers too.
           (off Landsdale's look)
           Looks like my ex-bitch has hooked up with
          the fire guy --
           In the rear-view mirror, Odell's eyes grow wide.

                          ODELL
          No fucking way --
           Carrigan ponders, nods to Landsdale.

                          (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          62.

                         CONTINUED:

                         CARRIGAN
          We're going to need reinforcements, some
          kind of escort to the meet.

                         LANDSDALE
          I know a guy. Got some boys given over
          to wickedness and such.

                         CARRIGAN
          (tosses him the phone)
          Make the call.

          RAIN (0.5.)
          He'll find me, you know.
          Her voice makes Odell jump. He thought she was asleep

                         ODELL
          (fretful, pleading)

                         BILLY-RAY --

                         CARRIGAN
          (to Rain, leans forwards)
          Hey, kiddo, you're worrying my boy here.
          So shut your goddamn mouth --

                         RAIN
          You can't tell me what to do. You're not
          my father.
          Wow. The truck collectively holds its breath. Carrigan
          settles back, but he's pissed.

                         CARRIGAN
          You better believe that, sweetheart. I'm
          just the dumb-ass that financed your
          whole fucking life. You and your mother
          both. And what did I get for that
          selfless act of stupidity? She burned
          down the house and gave me something to
          remember her by.
          He's referring to the scar under his eye. Rain turns away.
          Huddles against the door.

                         LANDSDALE
          Believe me, I could care less what Starke
          wants with you. Make you into a fucking
          hood ornament if he wants to. It's not
          like you came springing out of my loins.
          Only thing I care about now is getting
          what's mine, and that's --

                         (MORE)

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          63.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

                          LANDSDALE (CONT'D)
          (counting on his fingers)
          -- payment and retribution, got it?
          She's not listening. Her bound hands are secretly pushed
          down into the tight gap between the seat and the door.

          ON RAIN'S FINGERS
          extending towards A PEN, one inch out of reach, caught
          between the seat mechanism and the door sill.

                         RAIN'S EYES
          are fluttering. Extreme concentration.

                         THE PEN
          levitates, tilts into her outstretched hands.
          The RADIO squeals painfully, pure strident STATIC. Odell
          punches a new station, but the STATIC continues, grows --
          Rain ATTACKS, stabbing the pen into Odell's thigh. He
          SCREAMS, slams the brakes, loses control of the truck --

          EXT. HIGHWAY/CORNFIELD - DAY

          The Hummer barrels off the road, SLAMS down hard into a
          concrete culvert. Without missing a beat, Rain is out and
          away, plunging into the cornfield. Carrigan and Landsdale
          bolt after her, guns drawn --

          ON RAIN,
          weaving between the stalks. She reaches an old farm
          implement, uses one of the rusting blades to saw through her
          taped bindings. Then she's up again, running --

          ON CARRIGAN AND LANDSDALE
          searching high and low. Carrigan SEES movement to his right,
          surges forward --
          -- but Rain jigs left and Carrigan misses her, tripping over
          the farm implement instead. He cuts himself, curses --
          Rain continues, straight ahead now. Carrigan motions to
          Landsdale. The two split up, drifting in different
          directions. They're gaining on her --

          BACK TO RAIN,
          losing ground. She spies a rock, scoops it up -- and SMASHES
          across C rr_gan's Face!

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         64

                         CONTINUED:
          Carrigan falls, dropping the gun. He searches for it,
          desperate. Then he SEES it. But as he reaches for it --
          -- Rain extends her hand, concentrating, eyes fluttering --
          WHOOSH! The gun spins away from Carrigan, into Rain's hands.
          She doesn't hesitate for a second -BLAM!-
           First shot wings Carrigan, knocks Rain on her ass. Carrigan
           DIVES for cover.. She FIRES wildly --CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-- but
          then the gun is spent and --
          -- Landsdale emerges through the corn, bagging Rain with his
          coat. As a shaken Carrigan gets to his feet, Landsdale slips
          his belt out of his pants and binds Rain tightly.

          EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY

          Carrigan and Landsdale return to the Hummer, which is still
          nose down in the culvert. Landsdale carries Rain under his
          arm, tightly wrapped, no longer struggling.
          Odell sits on the hood, daubing the bloody wound in his leg
          with a handkerchief. He SEES Carrigan's wound.

                         ODELL
          Man, she shot you?
          (off Carrigan's nod, disbelief)
          Jesus. Lucky she didn't perforate my
          ballsack with that fucking pen.

                         CARRIGAN

                         (RE: HUMMER)
          What's the damage?

                         ODELL
          Mounts are cracked, trans-axle's shot to

                         HELL --
          (shaking his head)
          -- this baby ain't goin' nowhere.

                         CARRIGAN
          Fuck. Ma.
          Carrigan fumes, glances at Rain -- then he just snaps, starts
          angrily kicking at the door. After a few futile moments, he
          stops, paces, looks to Landsdale.

                         CARRIGAN (CONT'D)
          We're going to need a place where we can
          hole up `til tomorrow. Wait for those
          boys of yours.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          65.

                         CONTINUED:

                         LANDSDALE
          How `bout up there?
          Landsdale points past Carrigan at a squat group of buildings
          and machinery -- a shut-down ROCK QUARRY in the distance.

          EXT. QUARRY - FRONT GATE - DAY

          From a distance, we watch as Landsdale approaches a
          guardhouse with an empty gas can. A GUARD opens the electric
          gate, steps out to help. Landsdale pistol-whips him, drags
          his limp body in through the gate.

          INT_ QUARRY OFFICE - DUSK
          The Guard slouches in a corner, bound and gagged. Landsdale
          and Odell lounge nearby, keeping a watchful eye on Rain.
          Carrigan paces by a window, nervously cutting his deck of
          cards one-handed. He's watching the shadows lengthen
          outside, the setting sun. He looks to Rain, who matches his
          gaze -- creepy eyes penetrating his brain.

                         CARRIGAN
          (to Landsdale, anxious)
          Where the fuck are those men of yours?

                         LANDSDALE
          Don't worry. They're on their way.
           Carrigan nods, cuts his cards. He j worried.

                          CUT TO:

          EXT. HIGHWAY - DUSK/NIGHT

          The abandoned Hummer in the culvert. A gang of CROWS tear a
          lizard apart. Dusk TIME-LAPSES into night. Stars.
          After a time, Nomi's pickup comes racing past. Blaze is
          driving, cranes to see the passing wreck. He pulls over onto
          the shoulder. Blaze and Nomi climb out, approach the
          vehicle.
          Nomi shines a flashlight, SEES blood on the front seat. She
          GASPS. Blaze reaches past her, touches the blood stain --

          FLASH OF THE PAST
          Chaotic and violent. Rain attacking Odell. The Hummer
          crashing. The desperate race through the cornfield.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          66.

                         CONTINUED:

          BACK TO THE PRESENT
          as Blaze steps away from the Hummer, into the field.

                         BLAZE
          She's alive.

                         NOMI
          How do you know ---?
          But Blaze isn't listening. His gaze is now fixated on the
          distant lights of the rock quarry.

          EXT. FIELD - NIGHT

          Blaze and Nomi crest a rise in the field, hunker down:

                         THEIR POV:
          We can see the main compound of the quarry from here.
          Landsdale is in view, having a smoke by the guardhouse.

                         NOMI
          You think she's in there?
          Blaze nods.

                          NOMI (CONT'D)
          Then let's go --
          Nomi starts forward, but Blaze pulls her back.

                         BLAZE
          No. We'll wait.

                         (POINTEDLY)
          Dawn's less than an hour away.

                         NOMI
          (taking out her gun)
          You wait. I'm heading in.

                         BLAZE
          Look, they're not going anywhere.

                         NOMI
          You don't know that. This is probably
          the best chance we'll get. They're
          sitting ducks. We can do this if you --

                         BLAZE
          If I what? Burn them alive? Eat their
          spirits?

                         (DRAWING CLOSER)

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         67

                         CONTINUED:

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          You still get it, do you? The Ghost
          Rider whales on whoever's got it coming,
          but it's Johnny Blaze that gets to
          remember their faces. And I Lb remember
          them. Every last one.
          Just then, we hear the RUMBLE of approaching MOTORCYCLES.
          Lots of them. Blaze turns, SEES a line of BIKERS chugging up
          the service road on ratted-out Harleys.

                         NOMI
          They know we're coming, don't they?
          Blaze nods. Once again, Fate is royally fucking him.

                         NOMI (CONT'D)
          I'm going in. You with me or not?

          EXT. QUARRY COMPOUND - NIGHT

          Landsdale opens the main gate. The bikers THUNDER into the
          compound -- low-rent Hell's Angel types culled form the
          shallow end of the gene pool known as the Gray Gargoyles.
          ARLO SKINNER, the Gargoyle's CEO, climbs off his hog, adjusts
          his nut-sack. As he approaches Landsdale. GUNT and CHESTER
          PULSIFER, his identical twin lieutenants, fall in behind.

                         ARLO
          Brotherman.

                         LANDSDALE
          Arlo.

                         ARLO

                         (GRINNING)
          I believe you know the Pulsifer Brothers,
          Chester and Gunt?

          EXT. QUARRY COMPOUND - ELSEWHERE - NIGHT

          Blaze and Nomi scramble over a fence, then drop down, crouch-
          running to avoid a security camera. They hug the shadows.
          At least a dozen of the Gargoyles are in view, lounging
          around, shooting the shit.

                         BLAZE
          I'll find her. You stay here.
          Nomi moves to protest, but Blaze silences her.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          68.

                         CONTINUED:

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          If things go South and the Ghost Rider
          takes over, I can't guarantee he won't --

                         NOMI
          I know. I'm on my own.
          (beat, more plaintive now)
          , Just bring her back to me. That's all I
          care about.

                         BLAZE

                         (NODDING)
          Start disabling the bikes. Last thing we
          need is a gang of pissed-off speed freaks
          on our tail. Rip out all the coil wires ---
          Blaze points to the motorcycle nearest him. Nomi rolls her
          eyes and pulls out a switchblade, deftly slicing through a
          fuel line. Gasoline leaks onto the ground.

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)

                         (CHAGRINED)
          -- or you could do that.
          As Blaze creeps away:

                         NOMI

                         BLAZE --
          (as he turns back)
          Whatever happens --

                         BLAZE
          You're welcome.
          Blaze leaves. Nomi starts in on the other bikes.

          INT. QUARRY OFFICE - NIGHT

          Arlo enters, accompanied by the Pulsifer Brothers. Carrigan
          and Landsdale are waiting to meet them.

                         ARLO
          So you need some contract work?

                         CARRIGAN
          An escort. We're making a delivery first
          thing tomorrow morning.

                         ARLO
          And will there be mayhem involved?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          69.

                         CONTINUED:

                         CARRIGAN
          Yeah, I'd say a certain amount of hijinx
          are likely to ensue.

          EXT. QUARRY COMPOUND - OFFICE - NIGHT

          Blaze moves around the back of the compound. Up ahead, TWO
          GARGOYLES are lingering by a side entrance.

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - OFFICE - NIGHT

          Arlo takes out a nail clipper, starts trimming his fingernails.

                         ARLO
          Well, I'll tell you, I got nineteen
          brothers out there willing to go the
          distance and enough firepower to give a
          small Balkan nation a fucking titty-
          twister. But we don't come cheap. So
          how many men we going up against?

                         CARRIGAN
          One.

          EXT. QUARRY COMPOUND - SIDE ENTRANCE - NIGHT

          WHACK! Blaze elbows Gargoyle #2 in the face. As the biker
          drops, we SEE that Blaze has already disabled Gargoyle #1.
          Blaze quietly slips in through the door.

          EXT. QUARRY COMPOUND - NIGHT

          Nomi has worked her way through a half-dozen bikes now and a
          fair amount of gasoline has pooled on the ground around her.

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - OFFICE - NIGHT

          Arlo looks at Carrigan, incredulous.

                         ARLO
          One man?

                         CARRIGAN
          One man.

                         ARLO
          You trying to diddle my nutpurse, Mister?

                         CARRIGAN
          Absolutely not. Lemme clarify things --

                         

                         

                         

                         

          70.

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - HALLWAY - NIGHT

          Blaze sidles down the hallway, moving as quietly as he can.
          We can HEAR the men talking in the office just next door.

          CARRIGAN (O.S.)
          See, this guy's not really a "guy". He's
          more like a demon or something.

          ARLO (0. S.)
          A demon?

          CARRIGAN (O.S.)
          That's right.

          ARLO (O.S.)
          What, exactly, do you mean by demon?
          Blaze winces, lifting a hand before his face -- BLUE FLAMES
          dance over his fingertips. He leans against the wall for
          support. When he removes his hand, he leaves a singed palm-
          print on the drywall.

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - OFFICE - NIGHT

          Arlo puts the clipper away, starts arranging the fingernails
          on the desk before him into a neat little pile.

                         CARRIGAN
          Like his head's on fire and shit.
          Arlo LAUGHS, the Pulsifers follow suit. Then Arlo turns to
          Landsdale, icy now.

                         ARLO
          Brotherman, what in fuck's name is this
          smooth faggot talking about?

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - CORRIDOR - NIGHT

          Blaze exhales a wisp of BLUE FLAME, totally enveloped in a
          bubble of heat. More than anything, he wants to step inside,
          fully aflame. But he forces himself to simply take a peek --

                         BLAZE'S POV;
          The room, the men -- but no Rain.

                         LANDS DALE
          He's telling the truth, Arlo. The guy
          ain't human. Saw him torch Albright and
          Chudacoff with my own eyes.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          71.

                         - CONTINUED:

          BACK IN CORRIDOR
          Blaze presses against the wall, desperately trying to rein
          the Ghost Rider in -- but FOOTSTEPS are coming. A Gargoyle
          is round; c the corner!

          INT. QUARRY OFFICE - NIGHT

          Gunt rips open his shirt, shows a chest covered in tattoos.

                         GUNT
          Well, I say bring him on. You see this
          ink? That's a hundred hours under the
          needle. A motherfucking canvas of pain.
          He and Chester here, we're not afraid of
          fuck-diddly!

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - CORRIDOR - NIGHT

          The Gargoyle passes the doorway, lights up a smoke. Or tries
          to. The flame from his Zippo is bending sideways. He tries
          a couple more times. Same thing. Weird.

                         ON BLAZE
          hidden in a dark alcove, struggling to contain himself. If
          the Gargoyle turns he will surely see him.
          The Gargoyle studies the flame, then notices an OPEN WINDOW
          nearby. He shuts it, lights his cigarette, turns back -- b=
          Blaze has moved on.

          INT. QUARRY OFFICE - NIGHT

          Arlo settles back in his chair.

                         ARLO
          If this guy's as lethal as you say he is,
          I want fifty for me, another fifty for the
          club. Only you can't let the boys know
          we're takin' a 50K rake off the top, see?

                         CARRIGAN
          How `bout sixty and I'll throw in a kilo
          of coke?

                         ARLO

                         (INCREDULOUS)
          Coke? That's like selling snow to
          Eskimos. You think I'm some kind of
          crack-smoking foolio or something?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          72.

                         CONTINUED:

                         CARRIGAN

                         (SIGHING)
          Seventy, then.
           Arlo reaches into his shoulder-holster, whipping out a mean
          looking nickel-plated Colt 44 Anaconda.

                         ARLO
          Ninety, and not a nickel less, you
          fucking pillow-biter.

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - ANOTHER CORRIDOR - NIGHT

          Blaze continues, agitated. Where the fuck is the kid? He
          looks through a doorway, SEES --

          TEN OR MORE
          brutish gargoyles drinking beer and cleaning their weapons.
          Blaze drops back. His snarling face contorts, starts to
          assume that awful skullish quality. The Ghost Rider wants
          out. mow. But Blaze fights, shoves it back down and deep.
          SOMETHING moves to Blaze's right -- a TINY WHITE FIGURE,
          lolling and flopping at the far end of the passage.

          EXT. QUARRY - COMPOUND - NIGHT

           Nomi slices through another fuel line, inadvertently drawing
           the attention of a Gargoyle who was taking a leak. He zips
           up his jeans, starts towards her --

          INT. QUARRY OFFICE - NIGHT

           Carrigan grins, trying to calm the situation.

                          CARRIGAN
          E a sy, gentlemen. No need to get all
           truculent on me.

                         ARLO
          Truculent? You get that out of a
          Scrabble dictionary or something? What
          the fuck does "truculent" mean?
          (grabbing Carrigan by his shirt)
          I'll tell you what it means. It means

          FUCK YOU!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          73.

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - ANOTHER CORRIDOR - NIGHT

          Blaze stares, hypnotised, his face flickering from skull to
          flesh and back again. The tiny figure is Rain's SKELETON
          DOLL, held upright, unsteady, by some unseen force.

          THAT MOMENT, ELSEWHERE - RAIN'S FACE
          Extreme mental concentration. Temples pounding. Her eyes
          are fluttering, rolled to white.

          BACK TO BLAZE
          as he starts towards the toy skeleton. He's in agony now,
          each breath a cough of fire, each footstep igniting the
          floorboards. He SEES a storage room up ahead --

          INT. QUARRY OFFICE - NIGHT

          Carrigan smiles, seemingly unruffled by the gun.

                         CARRIGAN
          Okay, alright -- how about seventy-five
          and we'll smoke the old peace pipe?

                         ARLO
          (cocking the Anaconda)
          How `bout eighty or you're gonna be
          smoking my dick?

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - STORAGE ROOM - NIGHT

          Blaze enters, SEES Rain. He extends a hand to her -- and
          Odell steps out from behind the door where he'd been hiding,
          shotgun in hand.

                         BLAZE
          Shit.

          EXT. QUARRY - COMPOUND - NIGHT

          Nomi tries to fall back into the shadows, but it's too late.
          The Gargoyle has spotted her. He draws a Taurus pistol --

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - OFFICE - NIGHT

          -- and we hear a high-pitched BEEPING. Arlo turns.

                         ARLO
          What is that?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          74.

                         CONTINUED:

                         CHESTER

                         (LISTENING)
          Sounds like a smoke alarm.

                         GLINT
          (wrinkling his noise)
          Smells like somethin's burning.

                         CARRIGAN
          What-is this, fucking charades?! It's
          h,jM, you- ass-holes !

          EXT. QUARRY, COMPOUND - NIGHT

           A FIREBALL erupts from the back of the building. The milling
          Gargoyles spring into action.
           Nomi takes advantage of the distraction, STABS the Gargoyle
          nearest her in the thigh, bolts --

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - CORRIDOR - NIGHT

          Carrigan and the others race out into the corridor even as
          Odell rushes from the storage room, a WAVE OF FIRE on his
          heels.

          THE GHOST RIDER
          emerges seconds later, Rain cradled in the crook of his arm,
          safe in a cool bubble of air. She looks to Carrigan. The
          meaning in her gaze is implicit: "I told you so".

                         GARGOYLES
          appear from every direction. Guns BLAZE. Bullets turn-to
          slag, vaporizing as they enter the Ghost Rider's aura of
          hellfire.
          Rain drops from the Ghost Rider's arm, runs. The Ghost Rider
          advances. The Gargoyle nearest him empties a machine pistol
          into the Ghost Rider. The Ghost Rider reaches for the
          weapon. At his touch, the pistol becomes RED HOT --
          The Gargoyle CRIES OUT. The Ghost Rider takes the pistol, and
          FIRES BACK. The Gargoyles stumble, clawing at their smoking
          wounds. In seconds, the entire weapon turns WHITE HOT, melting
          apart in the demon's hand, SIZZLING away into nothing --
          The Ghost Rider keeps coming. Men are SMASHED aside,
          incinerated. Bravado turns to terror, to chaotic scramble --

                         

                         

                         

                         

          75.

          EXT. QUARRY COMPOUND - NIGHT

          FLAMES belch from every window. Panic-stricken Gargoyles try
          to start their bikes -- and the bikes detonate. one after the
          other!
          CRASH! Nomi's pickup barrels through the fence. She slaloms
          through a gauntlet of flames, skidding to a halt. She SEES
          Rain running towards her, throws open the passenger door --

                         NOMI

          RAIN! "
          Rain makes for the pickup, scrambles inside even as --

          THE GHOST RIDER
          strides from the burning ruins of the compound. With a wave
          of his hand, the wall of flame parts like the Red Sea. He
          locks his gaze with Nomi, points a skeletal finger at her.
          His meaning is clear: "You are on the list."
          Nomi floors the gas. The pickup slews and grinds, finds
          purchase, leaps away from the monster as --

          THE PULSIFER BROTHERS
          emerge from the building, burned but howling for blood,
          fueled by a lethal combination of stupidity and crystal mech.
          Carrigan, Landsdale, and Arlo fall in behind.
          The Ghost Rider moves, whipping his red hot chains. Left, he
          lassos a passing gargoyle, BURNS him. Right, another
          Gargoyle, dragged from his bike and reduced to ash.
          Then two more lashes to either side of the brothers. Two
          more victims reeled in -- charred corpses falling at the
          Ghost Rider's feet. The whole thing took three seconds.

                         CHESTER
          (to Gunt, nerves failing)
          Forget it, bro, live to fight another day.
          The Ghost Rider slams his skeletal hand on the tank of a
          nearby bike. The bike glows RED HOT and CHANGES SHAPE,
          getting bigger, nastier, demonically slouched --

                         GUNT
          No fucking way! That's my hog!
          As the Ghost Rider mounts the newly transformed hellcycle,
          Gunt charges forward, infuriated. He OPENS FIRE with his
          mini-•un, .er. rounds a second.

          (CD N, - _ 1 ID)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         76

                         CONTINUED:
          Moving with uncanny speed, the Ghost Rider grips Gunt by the
          throat and hauls him off his feet, unleashing the full fury
          of his Penance Stare.

          A BLAST-WAVE OF LIGHT
          erupts from the Ghost Rider's eye sockets, engulfing Gunt.
          Gunt SHRIEKS, his cries becoming infant-like ULULATIONS.
          Arlo, Carrigan, Chester, and the others instinctively shield
          their faces, falling back from the infernal glow --

                         CHESTER
          Gunt!

          ON GUNT,
          images from his own subjective hell assault him. Tears
          stream down his cheeks as his body ignites. His corneas are
          burning, melting.
          The Ghost Rider starts to accelerate now, from zero to sixty
          in an eye-blink, hauling Gunt's writhing body along with him
          - straight into the burning building.

          INT. QUARRY COMPOUND - NIGHT

          A juggernaut trajectory crashing through wall after blazing
          wall. The Ghost Rider skids to a halt, HURLS Gunt to the
          floor. Senses SOMEONE behind him --

          A FIRE EXTINGUISHER,
          blasting the Ghost Rider's head. The Ghost Rider SQUEALS
          and for a split-second, the demon's flames are actually
          snuffed out. The cloud clears. The Ghost Rider glimpses

                         ODELL
          rushing into another room, SLAMMING a steel door behind.

          INT. QUARRY - STORAGE ROOM - NIGHT

          Odell pauses in the darkness, hyperventilating. Outside, we
          hear the heavy FOOTFALLS of the Ghost Rider approaching.

          INT. QUARRY - HALLWAY - NIGHT

          The Ghost Rider places a skeletal hand against the steel
          door. His hand GLOWS WHITE HOT, like an acetylene torch.
          The steel door begins to bubble and melt.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          77.

          INT. QUARRY - STORAGE ROOM - NIGHT

          The door to the storage room liquefies, flowing apart like
          molten lava. The Ghost Rider steps through and --
          -- in the light cast by .he demon's owing hand. Odell
           realizes that the room is stacked with high explosives.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT

          Nomi's pickup races into the night. A distant FIREBALL
          ERUPTS hugely, engulfing the quarry, setting off a chain
          reaction of smaller explosions -- BA-BOOM-BOOM-B-B-BOOOOM!

          EXT/INT. NOMI'S PICKUP - NIGHT

          Rain clutches at Nomi, frantic, looking back.

                         RAIN
          What about the Ghost Rider? We have to
          go back for him!

                         NOMI
          Are you crazy?! Sit down!
          Then Nomi glances in the rearview mirror. Oh. My. God.

          THE GHOST RIDER
          is coming after them. HOWLING, plowing through the inferno
          on his hellcycle.
          Nomi floors the gas. But the pickup is already maxed out.
          The Ghost Rider easily gains on the truck, leaving a wake of
          burning asphalt. He lashes out with his chains, snags the
          back bumper. The chain-links slice deep into the steel
          bodywork. The Ghost Rider hauls up onto his back wheel --
          Nomi slams on the brakes. The truck fishtails. The Ghost
          Rider rear-ends the pickup. Bike and demon cartwheel crazily
          into the cargo bed, SLAMMING explosively against the back
          window of the cab. Hot glass showers Nomi and Rain --
          The Ghost Rider is pinned, SQUEALING, entangled with his bike.
          Nomi floors it again. The truck leaps ahead --
          -- but the Ghost Rider hangs on as his bike slides backwards.
          He reaches into the cab, clutching at Nomi. The pickup
          thunders up a rise --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          78.

                         CONTINUED:
          The Ghost Rider's skeletal fingers clamp Nomi's shoulder.
          She HOWLS in pain, her clothing beginning to smoke. Rain
          tries to help, imploring --

                          RAIN
          No, no, no --

          EXT/INT. NOMI'S PICKUP - DAY

          The truck makes the rise -- and there's THE SUN, dawning huge
          and white. flaring mightily over the distant horizon.

          THE GHOST RIDER
          recoils, blinded by the dawn. He releases Nomi, collapses
          backwards. His fire extinguishes, his skull-face fades --
          -- and Blaze lies in the pickup bed, shaking. Nomi glances
          back through the shattered cab window, her face a mask of
          fear and sympathy. Blaze looks to Gunt's bike, which has
          also reverted to its original state, then SEES --

                         BLAZE'S POV:
          The bad guys coming on battered bikes -- Arlo, Chester, plus
          FOUR OTHER GARGOYLES. And bringing up the rear, a seven ton
          Mack dumper driven by Carrigan. Landsdale rides shotgun.
          Blaze looks to Nomi, SHOUTS over the wind:

                         BLAZE
          Give me your gun!
          Nomi passes it back. The Gargoyles OPEN FIRE. Bullets zing
          and whine. Blaze shoves Gunt's cycle off the pickup bed
          The heavy wreck CRASHES and bounces, wasting the first
          Gargoyle. The others swerve around the sliding debris

          EXT. INTERSECTION/HIGHWAY - DAY

          Nomi runs a stops sign, slews across a rural intersection,
          pounds the HORN, swerving to avoid the crossing cars --

          AN ONCOMING TANKER TRUCK
          brakes, jack-knifes. Four gargoyles make it past, the fifth
          is flattened. The Mack comes last, SMASHING a passing
          minivan into a spin --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          79.

                         CONTINUED:

          ANGLE ON A GAS STATION
          A STATE TROOPER, hidden from view, hits his SIREN, gives

                         CHASE --

          BACK TO ARLO AND THE OTHER GARGOYLES
          Gaining, riddling the pickup with BULLETS. Blaze is pinned
          in the bed, can't get off a shot --

          ON CHESTER PULSIFER,
          hanging back and riding one-handed. He hefts a 66mm LAWs
          rocket on his shoulder, LAUNCHES it --
          Near miss. But the impact lifts the pickup's rear axle into
          the air. Nomi SCREAMS. Blaze hangs on for dear life.

          ON CARRIGAN,
          hauling the Mack alongside Chester --

                         CARRIGAN
          (yelling from the cab)
          The hell you doing? I need the kid
          alive!!!

                         CHESTER
          Fuck the kid and FUCK YOU!!!
          Chester aims the launcher again. Carrigan swerves, CRUSHES
          Chester under the Mack's mighty wheels.

          THE TROOPER CAR
          pulls alongside the Mack, SIREN wailing. Carrigan veers
          hard, forcing it into the opposing lane. Up ahead:
          ROADWORKS. The highway narrows to a single lane --

          BACK TO ARLO AND THE GARGOYLES
          Gaining on the pickup, trading shots with Blaze at ninety
          miles and hour.
          Blaze wings one Gargoyle, then plugs another who loses
          control, cartwheels catastrophically, EXPLODES --
           Arlo zigzags the debris, guns his hog, screams closer. Blaze
          fires but -- CLICK, CLICK, CLICK -- he's out!

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          80.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

                         ROADWORKS
          The pickup mows down barricades like dominoes, clips a hot
          tar cooker, spins spumes of molten tar in all directions.
          HIGHWAY WORKERS run for their lives.
          Nomi SMASHES through barricades, leaps a pile of rough
          gravel. Blaze is nearly hurled out the bed, but hangs on,
          shoulder screaming --

          A FOREGROUND WORKER
          operating a jackhammer fails to notice the careening pickup
          racing by, which-is, in turn, followed by Arlo and --

          THE MACK TRUCK AND THE STATE TROOPER,
          ana necx at OOFJ2 Ann r i t s
          over, end.

          BACK TO SCENE
           Arlo rides against Nomi's door, lets rip with his Uzi. Glass
          SHATTERS. Rain and Nomi duck --
          Arlo tries again, sticks his Uzi right into the cab. But
          Nomi forces the gun upwards. Bullets puncture the roof,
          shell casings ricochet-
          In desperation, Nomi reaches for the door latch, kicks her
          foot against the door. The door swings outward, taking Arlo
          along with it.

                         UP AHEAD
          is a concrete divider. Nomi abruptly veers right, clipping
          Arlo against the divider, killing him instantly.

                         ON BLAZE
          hauling himself back into the pickup bed even as --

                         THE MACK
          bears down on them. Landsdale jumps from the cab, landing
          alongside Blaze. The two men struggle in the cargo bed, hand
          to hand, exchanging a volley of vicious blows.
          Nomi is desperate, doesn't know what to do. Landsdalp is
          getting the upper hand. He grips Blaze by the throat,
          forcing him over the side of the pickup bed, shoving Blaze's
          head towards the churning wheels of the Mack --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          81.

                         CONTINUED: (3)

                         NOMI
          (to Rain, pleading)
          Do something!!!

          ON RAIN,
          concentrating, focusing all her energy on Landsdale. She
          CRIES OUT, makes a forceful hand gesture --
          -- and Landsdale's glasses SHATTER. He SCREAMS, blood
          pouring from his eyes. Blaze rolls, throws Landsdale over
          his shoulder -- into the wheels of the Mack.

          UP AHEAD, A MASSIVE ROADBLOCK
          Barricades, bulldozers, dozens of state police cars.
          The pickup and the Mack pass over a line of TIRE SPIKES. The
          tires BLOW. The trucks drop. Metal rims SPARK and GRIND --

          NOMI (CONT' D)
          Hold on to something!
          She brakes. The pickup fishtails. Carrigan also brakes,
          struggling to keep the Mack under control. Then the Mack
          catches a rim, flips, rolls --

                         SLOW MOTION
          The rolling Mack plows into the roadblock, seven tons of iron
          crushing cruisers and barricades alike.
          The pickup careens off the road, plunges into a cornfield,
          hits a rut, grinds to a halt --

          A SERIES OF DISSOLVES
          The aftermath. Trooper cars sliding to a halt.
          Carrigan being dragged from the Mack at gun point, handcuffed.
          Armed TROOPERS plunging into the cornfield, YELLING.
          Nomi falling out of the cab, finding Rain, unhurt, alive.
          She drags Rain into the sea of corn. Rain looks back, SEES --

                         BLAZE
          being surrounded by Troopers, wrestled to the ground.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          82.

          INT. COUNTY JAIL - DAY

          A cacophony of noise for the new meat. Hardened CRIMINALS
          BANGING their bars, SHOUTING as loud as they can.

                         ON BLAZE
          chained, cuffed, struggling with TWO DEPUTIES trying to drag
          him to a cell. Further up, Carrigan is being similarly
          escorted. Blaze looks to the faces of his fellow prisoners,
          dread seizing his body.

                         BLAZE
          I have to talk to the warden. You have
          to put me someplace else --

                         DEPUTY #1
          Should've thought of that before you
          pulled that "Dukes of Hazzard" stunt.

                         BLAZE
          Please, just listen to me. Put me in
          solitary, anywhere but here.

                         DEPUTY #2
           This isn't a fucking hotel, chief.

                         BLAZE
           You don't understand, people will die --
           WHACK! A baton blow to the knee. Blaze CRIES OUT, staggers --

                         DEPUTY
          Easy on the threats, big guy --
          (shouts to door control)

          NUMBER TEN!
          The cell door opens. Blaze struggles even more violently now.

                         BLAZE
          Do not put me in here! Do not leave me
          with these men! They'll die if you do
          this!! !
          The deputies force Blaze inside, using batons, boots. A stun
          gun SPARKS. Blaze falls. The cell door SLAMS. The inmates
          opposite are LAUGHING, waving, bashing their bars with every
          metal implement they've got as we --

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          83.

          EXT. MOTEL - DAY

          A grimy, little stop, held together with paint. Nomi and
          Rain step off a bus, each carrying a bag of supplies.

          INT. MOTEL ROOM - DAY

          Simple and clean. Rain locks the door, goes to the window
          and opens it wide -- a beautiful day outside, hills rolling
          down to a busy town a mile distant.
          Nomi drops her bag, sits wearily on the bed, peels her jacket
          open -- revealing a nasty shoulder wound. Burned to the
          bone, the impression of fingers clearly evident.
          Rain hurries to help, rummages antiseptics and bandages from
          Nomi's bag. Together, they clean the wound. Nomi's pain is
          clear, but she keeps it quiet.

                         RAIN
          Are we safe now?
          Nomi regards her sadly. She's never been one to tell lies.

                         NOMI
          Honey, I don't know if we'll ever be
          safe.
          Rain nods, knew the answer instinctively. Something about
          her look -- far too fatalistic for a child her age.

                         RAIN
          He talks to me sometimes.

                         NOMI
          Who?

                         RAIN
          My father --
          (beat, hesitant)
          -- when I'm dreaming.

                         NOMI

                         (FEARFUL)
          What does he say?
          Rain starts to cry now, suddenly overwhelmed. Despite her
          eerily calm demeanor, she's still a child. And a frightened
          one at that.

                         RAIN
          I don't want to be like him, mom.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          84.

                         CONTINUED:

                         NOMI
          You won't.

                         RAIN

                         (SOBBING)
          You don't know that.

                         NOMI
          Yes, I do, baby --
          Nomi hugs her, desperate, as if the world were ending.
          Outside, across the land, the sun shines gloriously bright.

                         NOMI (CONT'D)
          -- yes I do.

                         DISSOLVE TO:

          INT. COUNTY JAIL - BLAZE'S CELL - DAY

          On Blaze, immobile. Waiting for nightfall. Shadows lengthen
          around him in TIME-LAPSE as the day begins to die. He starts
          to shake. Tears streak from his eyes, burn his cheeks.

          INT. COUNTY JAIL - CARRIGAN'S CELL - DAY

          On Carrigan, in his cell at the end of the corridor. He's
          nervous, cutting a deck of cards.

          EXT. LANDSCAPES - VARIOUS - DAY/DUSK

          Ants feed on a praying mantis. An owl pulls at a recently
          killed mouse. Day TIME-LAPSES to dusk. Thunder RUMBLES.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. MOTEL ROOM - DUSK

          Rain sleeps. Storm fingers scratch at the window.
          Nomi steps out of the shower. Towels off. Checks on Rain.
          She contemplates her sleeping child a moment, then taps a
          pack of Camels, realizes she's out.

          EXT. MOTEL - WALKWAY - DUSK

          Nomi quietly closes the door. Walks to the far end where the
          vending machines are HUMMING. CLUNK. A fresh pack of
          smokes. She tears it open, then notices --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          85.

                         CONTINUED:

                         A MOTH
          fluttering by an outdoor light, casting distorted shadows on
          the stucco wall. Nomi stares, uneasy, something tugging at-
          her memory as we SEE --

          A BRIEF FLASH OF THE PAST
          Nomi back on the bed, ODing. The SHADOW of Starke falling
          over her. The moth fluttering above.

          BACK TO THE PRESENT
          as Nomi turns to the parking lot, SEES a coyote slouching out
          of the gathering darkness. And she knows. 5-ba fucking knows.

          WOMAN (V . 0 . )
          My father used to say that the only way
          evil came into your life --

          INT. COUNTY JAIL - BLAZE AND CARRIGAN'S CELLS - DUSK

          Blaze waiting, internal. Carrigan manically cutting his deck
          of cards. Over and over.
          Blaze suddenly CRIES OUT, throwing himself onto the floor.
          He begins to writhe as the other prisoners jeer at him.

          WOMAN (V.O.)
          was if you invited it.

          INT. MOTEL ROOM - DUSK

          Nomi bolts into the room, frantic. She shakes Rain awake.
          The child looks up, SEES the terror in her mother's face.

                         RAIN
          Mom --?!

                         NOMI
          Sweety, you have to get out of here now.

                         FOLLOWING NOMI
          as she drags Rain into the bathroom. She tears the shower
          curtain back. There's a window just above the shower stall
          barely big enough for someone like Rain to squeeze through.

          WOMAN (V.0.)
          I'm not sure about that. At least not
          anymore. What I CQ know is this:

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          86.

                         CONTINUED:
          We hear FOOTSTEPS in the walkway outside. SOMEONE is coming-___"
          Nomi tugs open the window, lifts Rain towards it --

                         NOMI
          Honey, go, GO! ?

          INT. COUNTY JAIL - NIGHT

          The other prisoners are SHOUTING, fed up with Blaze's
          "antics". He-rolls about, clutching at sides. Fire streams
          from his mouth, his-eyes --

           WOMAN (V.O.)
          We are born alone and we die alone.

          ON CARRIGAN,
          terrified, backing into the far corner of his cell.

          THE OTHER PRISONERS
          pause, watching the beginning of Blaze's transformation,
          their CRIES taking on an entirely new kind of urgency.

          WOMAN (V.0.) (CONT ` D )
          It's what happens in-between that matters.

          INT_ MOTEL ROOM - BATHROOM - NIGHT
          Rain squirms through the window, drops to the ground outside.

          WOMAN (V.0.)
          -- the choices we make, the people whose
          paths we cross --
          She stands, casts a fearful look to at Nomi, then runs off
          into the stormy night.

                         ON NOMI
          backing out of the bathroom as the front door EXPLODES OPEN.
          She turns around --

          WOMAN (V.0.) (CONT'D)
          -- these are the things that determine
          our fate.

                         STARKE
          stands in the doorway, coyotes slouching in around his heels.
          The beasts attack, growing and changing, their gnashing
          mouths of razored teeth opening wide to consume Nomi as --

                         

                         

                         

                         

          87.

          INT. COUNTY JAIL - NIGHT

          -- FWOOOSHH!!! A mushrooming blast-wave of HELLFIRE erupts
          from Blaze's body, expanding beyond his cell and across the-

                         CORRIDOR --

          EXT. WOODED RISE - NIGHT

           Rain runs for her life, weeping, distraught, stumbling down a
          rain-slick hillside. She SEES --

                         THE TOWN
           spread out below, FIREBALLS engulfing a distant building --

          INT. COUNTY JAIL - BLAZE'S CELL - NIGHT

          The Ghost Rider stands in the center of Blaze's cell, a
          cyclone of hellfire swirling around him -- for there is a
          direct, casual relationship between the amplitude of his rage
          and the number of transgressors in its vicinity.
          He moves forward, melting the cell bars, stepping into --

          THE CORRIDOR BEYOND
          The prisoners are frantic, leaping about like frightened lab
          animals.
          THOOM! THOOM! The Ghost Rider's heavy FOOTFALLS ring out as
          it strides down the corridor, turning his awful gaze on the
          first cell. The Ghost Rider extends a hand, sending a STREAM
          OF HELLFIRE coursing over the prisoner within.
          The Ghost Rider moves on, to the second and third cells,
          swiveling his gaze back and forth, BURNING the occupants
          within. Like shooting fish in a barrel.
          THOOM! THOOM! The Ghost Rider continues its rampage.
          Murderers, rapists, malefactors. Some curse, others plead,
          others simply drop to their knees and pray. For they know,
          instinctively, that the universe is not an arbitrary place,
          that their Day of Judgement has come.
          The entire jail is ablaze now, a roiling extension of the
          Ghost Rider's fury, drowning out the VOICES OF THE DAMNED.

          ON THE FINAL CELL
          where Carrigan cowers within. The deck of cards in his hands
          drops, scatters. Some of them catch fire, shrivel up --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          88.

                         CONTINUED:
          The Ghost Rider waves his hand. The bars separating them
          melt, flowing to the floor like liquid. He stares down at
          Carrigan, his hollow eve sockets sparking to life.

          AS THE PENANCE STARE
          erupts from the Ghost Rider's eyes, Carrigan reaches for
          something beneath the bed --
          cell wall. He holds it up.
          The effect is catastrophic, like the Medusa having her own
          deadly gaze turned back upon her. The Ghost Rider stumbles
          backwards, SHRIEKING, assaulted by an onslaught of subjective
          images. Visions horrifying enough to drive even a demon mad.

          EXT. COUNTY JAIL -- NIGHT

          The windows of the jail pulse with HELLFIRE, panes of safety
          glass EXPLODING OUTWARDS as a blast-wave expands and expands,
          making the world go white.

                         DISSOLVE TO:

          INT. COUNTY JAIL - NIGHT

          FADE IN from white. Another aftermath. A circus of
          PARAMEDICS, POLICE, FIREMEN and REPORTERS. Every corner is
          blackened, every bar twisted and melted. Charred CORPSES are
          scattered like matchsticks.

                         BOOTS
          are coming. We've seen them before. These boots belong to --

                         STARKE
          navigating his way through the bedlam. He passes between
          rushing emergency personnel, steps over a writhing VICTIM --
          -- but no one seems to notice his presence. And as he
          progresses to the far end of the cell block, the cacophony
          fades, leaving only his FOOTSTEPS as he turns into --

                         CARRIGAN'S CELL
          Carrigan is terribly burned, but still clinging to life.
          Frantic paramedics are running an IV, struggling to stabilize
          him. His fear-filled eyes grow dim, then abruptly snap into
          focus as he SEES --

           STARKE (O.S.)
          You look like you could use some help.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          89.

                         CONTINUED:
          -- Starke standing over him, his gaze stoic and pitiless.

          STARKE (CONT' D)
          You lost her, Carrigan. What happened?

                         CARRI GAN
          (a choking sob)
          -- you didn't tell us -- what he was
          Carrigan starts to slip away. The SOUNDS of the outside
          world begin to intrude once more.
          Starke kneels, touching a hand to Carrigan's chest. The
          world ebbs away again. The paramedics continue their work,
          oblivious. Carrigan MOANS.

                         CARRIGAN (CONT'D)
          -- please, I don't want to die --
          Starke's arctic eyes gleam bright with mischief.

                         STARKE
          If I could save you, would you be willing
          to make a deal?

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. DESERT CEMETERY - DAWN

           Blaze sits against an old grave marker, gun in hand.
           Thousand-yard stare in his eyes. He contemplates the gun

                         SILENT MEMORIES
          assault him -- good times with Roxanne, happy times, making
           the onrush that much more unbearable. We INTERCUT --

          ROXANNE,
          radiant at the beach. Flickering sunshine makes her squint.

          BACK TO BLAZE,
          here and now, cocking the gun, turning it back on himself.

                         ROXANNE
          folding clothes, seen through a sunny doorway.

          BACK TO BLAZE,
          fingering the trigger of the gun, edging closer to the
          unknown, the terrors that the afterlife holds for him.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          90.

                         CONTINUED:

                         ROXANNE
          Her laughing face, loving Blaze from across a dinner table.

          BACK TO BLAZE
          suppressing a sob. The pain is too much. It's overwhelming --

                         ROXANNE
          and Blaze at the obstetrician's. On the sonogram monitor, w e
          SEE unborn child shifting positions within Roxanne's womb,
          PUSH IN on the eerily beautiful image and --

          BACK TO BLAZE
          Fuck it. He presses the barrel against his forehead.
          Squeezes his eyes tightly shut, compresses the trigger --
          -- but he can't do it. He lowers the gun, weeping with
          frustration and -- freezes, head cocked like he heard a
          voice. He scans the cemetery: graves, trees, nothing. Then
          he spins around ---

                         RAIN
          stands behind him, waif-like. Big, melancholy eyes. They
          stare at each other for a long time, not knowing what to say.

                         RAIN
          My mother is dead.
          The statement hangs. Another death. Another failure of
          Blaze's part.

                         BLAZE
          How--?

                         RAIN
          My father found us, just like she knew he
          would.
          Rain looks down at Blaze's hand -- the gun resting there.
          Blaze meets her gaze and tucks the gun away, embarrassed.
          The wind picks up. Rain looks to the graves.

          RAIN (CONT' D)
          What do you think happens when you die?
          Do you think there's a heaven?

                         BLAZE
          I don't know.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          91.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

                         RAIN

                         (INSISTENT)
          But what do you think?
          Blaze studies Rain. This kid is hurting. What she needs
          now, is reassurance. And try as he might, Blaze just can' t
          seem to harden his heart against her.

                         BLAZE
          Yeah, I think there's something. Maybe
          not angels playing harps and stuff, but

                         (SEARCHING)
          -- something.
          Rain wipes her nose with her sleeve, wanting to believe it.

                         RAIN
          He'll keep coming, you know. Unless you
          stop him.

                         BLAZE

                         (TIRED)
          I don't know that I can anymore.

                         RAIN
          But you'll try, right?
          Blaze regards her curiously. Even in grief, she's a
          consummate negotiator.

                         BLAZE
          I don't have anything left to give, kid.
          Blaze stands, starts walking. Rain follows.

                         RAIN
          My mother said you were a good man.

                         BLAZE
          I'm not.

                         RAIN
          She said I could trust you.

                         BLAZE
          You can't.

                         RAIN

                         (PERSISTENT)
          But don't you think there's a reason why
          all of this is happening? Like fate?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          92.

                         CONTINUED: (3)

                         BLAZE
          I don't believe in fate.

                         RAIN
          Maybe it believes in you.
          Blaze stops. Cold. Deja-vu all over again. He looks back
          at Rain. Sighs.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. MOUNTAIN HIGHWAY - DAY

          A battered truck full of MIGRANT FARM-WORKERS grinds to a
          halt. Blaze and rain jump out in a cloud of dust.

                         DRIVER

                         (POINTING)
          Alla! Mision de Sante Lupia!
          High up the mountain: an old adobe building perched on
          stilts, precariously overhung. On top of its bell tower, a
          crucifix stands clear and proud.

                         RAIN
          We're going to a church?

                         BLAZE
          It's not a church. It's a mission. They
          take people in.
          Blaze pays the driver. The truck roars away. Rain looks
          back to the mission, doubtful.

                         RAIN
          Are you going to dump me there?

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. THE MISSION - DAY

          18th Century Spanish adobe. Chapel and dormitory, currently
          under renovation. VARIOUS TOUGH-LOOKING MEN are at work.
          Picks and hoes clink in the dirt.
          Blaze and Rain make their way towards the main building.
          TOLBEIN (40s, hard, mistrustful) intercepts them.

                         TOLBEIN
          Can I help you?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          93.

                         CONTINUED:

                         BLAZE
          Our car broke down a few miles back and
          my daughter and I were wondering if we
          could crash here for the night.
          Tolbein sizes them up -- doesn't like what he sees.

                         TOLBEIN
          Don't think so.

                         BLAZE
          What about a ride, then? Is there a town
          somewhere you could take us to?
          Other men have gathered behind Tolbein -- VISCOTT, WILSON.
          One of them, NUNEZ, nods to the South.

                         NUNEZ
          Why don't you head back to Dawson? They
          got motels there.

                         BLAZE
          That's not really an option.

                         TOLBEIN
          Then I'd say you're out of luck.

                         BLAZE
          Look, you must have a cot, something. The
          kid's hungry --

           RHYMER (O.S. )
          I'm sure we can figure something out.
          JOE RHYMER, 50s, approaches, silences Tolbein with a look.
          He's down to earth, capable, wearing a black shirt, cleric's
          collar, oily jeans, and muddy work boots.

                         RHYMER (CONT'D)
          (offering his hand)
          Joe Rhymer. I'm the Padre.

                         BLAZE
          This is Rain.

                         RHYMER
          Rain? That's a pretty name.

                         (TO RAIN)
          You hungry, Rain? Would you like
          something to eat?
          Rain nods. Rhymer ushers them inside. As he moves to
          follow, Tolbein stops him.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         94

                         CONTINUED: (2)

                         TOLBEIN
          Bottom line, Father. There's something
          wrong with those two. Especially the
          kid.

                         RHYMER
          Duly noted, Richard.

                         (POINTEDLY)
          And overruled.

          ANGLE ON A RAGGEDY FIGURE
          jutting into frame in the foreground. Blaze pauses at the
          threshold of the chapel, looks back, uneasy -- but it's just
          a SCARECROW being buffeted about by the wind.

          INT. MISSION - CHAPEL - DAY

          Rhymer leads Blaze down the central aisle. The chapel is
          dark, lit by candle-light, crowded with scaffolding and drop-
          sheets. As Blaze walks, the flames of the candles bend in
          his direction -- as if drawn by some unseen magnetic force.

                         BLAZE
          Those men outside --

                         RHYMER
          Most of them are on a work-release
          program. We're a halfway house for ex-
          offenders. We try to get people on their
          feet, reintegrate them into society.
          Blaze glances at Rain, apprehensive.

                          RHYMER (CONT'D)
           (misreading Blaze's look)
           Don't worry, you're perfectly safe here.
           But of course, that's not what Blaze is thinking.

                          CUT TO:

          INT. MISSION - KITCHEN - LATE AFTERNOON

          Rain sits at the table, spooning her soup. Tolbein, Nunez
          and a few others watch them. Blaze watches them back,
          nonchalant in the face of their obvious hostility.

          EXT. COURTYARD - LATE AFTERNOON

          BUILDERS working. Men carrying provisions. There's a small
          vegetable garden in the center of the courtyard. Rain helps
          the GARDENER pull carrots.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          95.

                         CONTINUED:
          Blaze watches from a distance, cleaned up, clothes laundered--
          Rhymer approaches, gestures to the garden.

                         RHYMER
          It's turned out beautiful, hasn't it? We
          try to be as self sufficient as we can,
          back to the earth and all that.
          He notices that Blaze is staring at the lowering sun.

                         RHYMER (CONT'D)
          You any good with diesel engines?

                         BLAZE
          I know my way around a flywheel housing.

                         RHYMER
          Well I've got a generator out back that's
          been on life support the last few weeks.
          Mind helping me try to resuscitate it?
          Blaze looks at him curiously.

                         BLAZE
          Sure.

          INT. BASEMENT - LATE AFTERNOON

          Blaze and Rhymer work by flashlight, tinkering with the old
          generator. There are a number of vehicles stored around
          them, including a pair of dusty motorcycles.

                         RHYMER
          So how long have you been running?

                         BLAZE
          What do you mean?

                         RHYMER
          You know what I mean. You spend as much
          time around lost souls as I have, you
          learn how to read a man's face.

                         (NODDING)
          You want to hand me that crescent wrench?
          Blaze hands Rhymer the wrench, who then makes an adjustment.

                         RHYMER (CONT'D)
          Take the girl, for instance. She's not
          your daughter, is she?

                         BLAZE
          No.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          96.

                         CONTINUED:

                         RHYMER
          So what happened to her mother?

                         BLAZE
          She's dead.

                         RHYMER
          Did you kill her?

                         BLAZE
          No.
          Rhymer studies Blaze, decides he believes him.

          BLAZE (CONT' D)

                         (ELABORATING)
          She doesn't have anyone else. I'm just
          trying to protect her.

                         RHYMER
          And who's protecting you?

          MOMENTS LATER,
          Blaze and Rhymer are cleaning up.

                         BLAZE
          Listen, I appreciate what you're trying
          to do, but I've never really been a come
          to Jesus kind of guy.

                         RHYMER
          I wasn't talking about Jesus, I was
          talking about a little healthy
          introspection. Working here, staying in
          one place for a while, seeing what
          surfaces. I've found that people tend to
          arrive on our doorstep for a reason.
          Blaze considers this formidable man, a yearning moment
          then he shakes his head.

                         BLAZE
          I can't stay. I'm sorry.

                         RHYMER
          What about the girl, then? Whatever
          you're involved in, I can't imagine it's
          good for her well-being.
          (beat, gentle)
          We can find a home for her.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          97.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

                          BLAZE

                          (UNSURE)
           I'd have to leave tonight --
           Rhymer nods, understanding, he motions towards a beautiful
           motorcycle parked back in the shadows -- a `71 Norton
          Commando 850. Black, with gold pin-striping.

                         RHYMER
          You can take the Norton.

                         BLAZE
          I don't have any money.

                         RHYMER
          So send us some when you do.
          Blaze is moved by this man's simple humanity -- but he's also
          wrestling with the idea of abandoning Rain.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. MISSION - DUSK/NIGHT

          TIME-LAPSING SHADOWS cross the mission buildings and the
          surrounding wilderness landscape. The lonely scarecrow
          stares button-eyed and blank.

          INT. MISSION - BATHROOM - NIGHT

          Blaze gazes into a bathroom mirror. Been here so many times
          before. SOUNDS intrude upon his solitude.
          He bows his head, studies the coin, turning it over in his
          shaking fingers. The malicious coyote, the soaring eagle.
          Still the SOUNDS come, stronger, more insistent --
          Cars CRASHING. Police SIRENS wailing. SCREAMS. GUNFIRE.

          FLAMES.
          Blaze looks up once more. His eyes are shadowed sockets.
          This is the real PENANCE STARE, and Blaze is feeling its
          awful, mournful ache.

                         NOMI'S VOICE
          He wants to know if you're a bad man.
          He wants to know -- if the Ghost Rider
          turned its penance stare on you, would
          you burn?
          Blaze clenches his fist around the coin, spins on his heels.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          98.

          INT. MISSION - DORM ROOM - NIGHT

          Blaze pauses in the doorway, looking in on Rain, who sleeps,
          dead to the world. Blaze sets the coyote coin on the bed
          table next to her, turns and leaves.
          We HOLD ON Rain's sleeping face for a beat, then she stirs,
          opening her eyes. She SEES the coin nearby, sits up.

          INT. MISSION - STORM CELLAR - NIGHT

          The Norton Commando ROARS into life, blasting webs from the
          exhaust. Blaze guides the bike up the coal ramp and out
          through the open cellar doors.

          EXT. MISSION - NIGHT

          A STORM FRONT is moving in, huge thunderheads gathering and
          roiling. Blaze pulls a dusty skid, pauses with the engine
          RUMBLING. Looks back forlornly at the mission. Then he
          wrings the throttle and hauls away into the night as we --

          ANGLE ON A DORM ROOM WINDOW
           Rain stands at the glass, watching Blaze leave.

                          CUT TO:

          INT. MISSION - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

          Rhymer and leads his wards in prayer. We can hear the WIND
          rising outside, gathering in strength.

                         RHYMER
          That which was from the beginning, which
          we have heard, which we have seen with
          our eyes, which we have looked upon, and
          our hands have handled, of the Word of
          life."

          INT. MISSION - HALLWAY - NIGHT

          MOVING WITH Rain down a moonlit corridor- She clutches the
          coyote coin like a talisman, then ---

                         SEES SOMETHING
          through a window which startles her -- only to realize that
          it's just the scarecrow out in the field, flapping wildly.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          99.

                         CONTINUED:

          THE MEN (V.O.)
          "For the life was manifested, and we have
          seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto
          you that eternal life, which was with the
          Father, and was manifested unto us."

          INT. MISSION - DINING ROOM - NIGHT


                         RHYMER CONTINUES:

                         RHYMER
          "That which we have seen and heard
          declare we unto you, that ye also may
          have fellowship with us: and truly our
          fellowship is with the Father, and with
          his Son Jesus Christ. And these things
          write we unto you, that your joy may be
          full. This then is the message which we
          have heard of him, and declare unto you,
          that God is light -- "

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. COASTAL HIGHWAY - NIGHT

          Blaze rides like the wind along a snaking road, away from the
          storm clouds churning behind him.

          RHYMER (V.0.)
          -- and in him is no darkness at all."

          UP AHEAD,
          the land falls sharply away, spilling down into a wide
          expanse of moonlit ocean pregnant with the promise of
          release.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. MISSION - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

          Rhymer and his men eat. Rain is there too. Nunez peers out
          into the darkness. Wind and debris are scratching at the
          window panes. We hear THUNDER now, too.

                         NUNEZ
          Padre. You'd better take a look at this.
          Rhymer joins him. SEES what he SEES: COYOTES gathering. Six
          or more. They creep malevolently towards the mission.

                         NUNEZ (CONT'D)
          You ever see anything like that before?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          100.

                         CONTINUED:
          Rhymer shakes his head, looks to --

                         RAIN
          She's acutely conscious of the men staring at her now, still
          clutching the coin like a rabbit's foot.

                         TOLBEIN
          It's her -- she's the one doing this.

                         RHYMER
          That's enough, Richard.

                         TOLBEIN
          I'm telling you, Father, there's
          something wrong with --
          CRASH! One of the windows SLAMS open, startling everyone.
          Rhymer moves to it, latches it shut again.

          INT. MISSION - ENTRANCE HALL - NIGHT

          LIGHTNING flashes. An eerie HOWLING arises. Tolbein and
          Nunez lead some men to the front door. Tolbein unbars the
          door, pulls it open, can't believe his eyes: THREE DOZEN
          HOWLING COYOTES, approaching the entrance.

                         TOLBEIN
          What is this?!
           SCARE! A snarling coyote comes out of left field, just
          misses his throat --
           Tolbein leaps backward, SLAMS the door. The men start
           SHOUTING. Rain backs away. She knows what's happening.
           WHAM! An animal rams the door. Then another. And another --

          INT. MISSION - RHYMER'S OFFICE - NIGHT

           Rhymer breaks out a shotgun, shells, hears the men SHOUTING.

          INT. MISSION - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

          Rhymer rushes in. The men are confused, afraid. WHAM!
          WHAM! GROWLING coyotes are hurling themselves repeatedly
          against the windows, cracking the panes.

                         RHYMER
          Get away from the windows!

                         (TO WILSON)
          Wilson, take Rain to the chapel.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          101.

                         CONTINUED:
          Wilson hesitates, eyeing Rain with distrust-

                         WILSON
          I ain't going nowhere with her.
          All the men are giving Rain a wide berth now. WHAM! Another
          snarling coyote hits the glass.

                         RHYMER
          One of you, please, just take the kid to
          the chapel.

                         TOLBEIN
          Father, that's the last place she should
          be.
          CRUNCH! Something strikes the room a massive blow.
          Something MUCH BIGGER than a coyote. Viscott starts praying.

                         NUNEZ
          Quiet, Viscott!
          THUMP! CRUMP! More heavy blows. Like the Fist of God.
          Making the floorboards beneath their feet vibrate. SOMETHING
          shambles past the window. What in God's name was that?

                         TOLBEIN
          (looking at Rain, accusing)
          I knEw we should've sent them away!
          THOOM! Another impact. THOOM!THOOM! Plaster cracks. Dust
          falls. Viscott wails, praying even more stridently. Nunez
          is losing it_

                         NUNEZ

          SHUT THE FUCK UP, MAN!

                         TOLBEIN
          She's the one they want, I'm telling you!
          -- and the lights abruptly go ou The storm bellows and
           blusters. The men huddle together, fear thick and sour.

           CARRIGAN (O.S.)
          Raainn -- Raaaaiinnn --
          A gastly VOICE, monstrously corrupt, but still recognizable
          as Billy-Ray Carrigan.

          CARRIGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
          -- where are you, Rainnnnnnn?
          Rain shrinks away from the insidious mewling.

                          (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          102.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

                          TOLBEIN
           (to Rhymer, hissing)
          I told you --
          Even Rhymer is shaken now. He moves to investigate, presses
          up against a cracked window --

          RHYMER'S POV (THROUGH WINDOW)
          Carrigan stands outside, lurching between patterns of
          moonlight and shadow. But the movement is all wrong. And in
          our momentary glimpses of him, we get the sense that he's
          been horribly changed -- as if his body had been torn apart,
          then haphazardly reassembled into something else.
          CRUNCH! The wall fractures. Rhymer staggers back. WHUMP!
          CRUNCH! A row of impacts moves along the wall --
          Tolbein and Nunez scramble to reach the dining room door.
          They close it, turning the locks.
          WHANG! Carrigan slams against the other side of the heavy,
          steel door. WHANG!WHANG! Again and again and again. The
          men are terrified, SHOUTING at each other. The door is
          buckling inward, the hinges bending and GROANING --
          Then the pummelling stops. Just the sound of BREATHING,
          halting and phlegmatic. No one moves, not a whisper.
          CORROSION starts to spread across the metal door.

                         NUNEZ
          What the fuck --?!
           Rhymer edges close to the decaying door, peering through a gap
          in the frame --
          Carrigan peers back, moonlight illuminating his face. There
          are buttons where his eyes should 12P. He BELLOWS:

                         CARRIGAN

          PRIEST! GIVE ME THE GIRL!
          The POUNDING begins anew, harder now. The weakened door is
          surely about to give way. Rain is terrified.

                         TOLBEIN
          Do what he says! Put her out!

                         RHYMER
          Get back with the others!

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          103.

                         CONTINUED: (3)

                         TOLBEIN
          We don't do what it says, that thing
          outside there's gonna kill us all.
          Rhymer steps in front of Rain, levels his shotgun at
          Tolbein's chest.

                         RHYMER
          God as my witness, Richard, lay a hand on
          that girl and I will pull this trigger.
          Tolbein hesitates -- then grabs at the shotgun. He twists it
          from Rhymer's hands, SMASHES the butt across Rhymer's jaw.
          Rhymer sinks to the floor.
          Tolbein grabs Rain, drags her SCREAMING to the door. He
          waves the shotgun at the others --

                         TOLBEIN
          Open the fucking door! DO IT!
          Nunez fumbles with the lock. Rhymer recovers, throws himself
          at Nunez, tries stop him from opening it. The pounding
          ceases. All eyes sweep to the door --

                         TWO BUTTONS
          roll through the gap between the bottom of the door and the
          floor, coming to rest at Rhymer's feet -- immediately oottina
          the floorboards beneath them.

          CARRIGAN (O.S.)
          (a skin-crawling whisper)
          I can see you, Priest. I can see every
          last one of you.

          THE DOOR BURSTS OPEN,
          knocking Tolbein, Rain, Rhymer and Nunez on their asses. All
          eyes bug as Carrigan shoulders his way inside. Only he's n..t
          Carrigan anymore. Now he's --

                         THE SCARECROW
          A golem of dessicated flesh knitted together with straw and
          sodden burlap, pieces of insects, twine, and razor wire.
          Button-socket eyes. Jagged bone teeth. Beetle-black chitin
          for fingers and nails.
          His very existence is an affront to nature. Everything the
          Scarecrow touches instantly corrodes and decays. Floorboards
          rot, metal rusts. Every movement, every spastic shudder and
          twitch is a source of incalculable pain.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         104

                         CONTINUED: (4)
          The Scarecrow thrusts his hand out and a STORM OF DEMONIC
          CROWS explodes from his chest, whirling about like a cyclone
          of knives.
          Now the coyotes enter too. Dozens of them, SNARLING, DIVING
          at the men, sinking their jaws into flesh.
           The men are trapped. Some try to flee. Others fight back,
          swinging chairs and planks --

                         THE SCARECROW
          stalks into their midst, snaring victims left and right,
          HURLING bodies or pulling them apart --
          He snatches Viscott up by his throat. Bugs swarm over the
          SCREAMING parolee's face as it rots and decays. In seconds,
          Viscott's entire body decomposes, putrefies, falls apart --

          RHYMER AND RAIN
          back up towards the kitchen. SCREECH! A crow-thing comes
          flapping. Rhymer FIRES. The creature SHRIEKS and flops --
          Nunez claws another from his face, SEES it's not a crow at
          all, but some kind of wriggling eyeless monstrosity with a
          deformed razor beak, matted feathers, bony talons --
          Wilson, trapped under a bench, BEATS desperately at a
          gnashing coyote. Lands a real blow. The beast falls back
          then stands up like a man?

                         VARIOUS ANGLES
          as the OTHER COYOTES do likewise. The coyotes are changing
          shape, enlarging, canine skeletons CRACKING and re-arranging
          themselves into --

                         JAW-BEASTS
          The same half-glimpsed horrors we glimpsed accompanying
          Starke. All muscle and gnashing fangs and bloody, ripping
          claws.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. COASTAL HIGHWAY - NIGHT

          Blaze rolls the Norton to a stop. Kills the engine. Sits
          back in the saddle and drinks in the night.
          The moonlit landscape is profoundly silent, the starry sky
          clear and awesome. Nothing stirs.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          105.

                         CONTINUED:
          Not a cricket, not a lizard. Just the moonlit expanse of
          ocean below. Then we hear THUNDER, like distant artillery.
          Blaze looks back over his shoulder --

                         BLAZE'S POV
          Distant thunderheads. LIGHTNING flickering.
          CLOSE ON Blaze, trying to drive Rain from his mind. We can
          SEE on his face that it's a losing battle -- for poor, cursed
          Johnny Blaze has finally understood his purpose on this earth.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. MISSION - KITCHEN - NIGHT

          Claws and jaws and razor-beaks tearing frenziedly through
          wood and plaster and lathe. Rhymer, Rain, Nunez and Tolbein
          struggle to repel the monsters, beating them back with
          whatever is at hand --
          -- but the jaw-beasts and razor birds are winning, forcing
          their way into the kitchen --
          Nunz is snagged. Slashing claws swarm all over him. The
          others try to pull him free --
          Rhymer wastes two more precious SHOTS, but Nunez is lost.
          Dragged SCREAMING into the storm of mouths and claws. The
          survivors fall back as the door gives and --

                         THE SCARECROW
          pitches through the opening, lurching forward. Jaw-beasts
          fall in behind him. Razor birds whirl around his head.
          The survivors scramble for the far exit. Rain opens every
          gas burner on the grill as she passes by -- but the far exit
          is locked. And Rhymer doesn't have the key!
          BOOM! Rhymer shotguns the lock! The lock fractures, but the
          exit still won't open. Tolbein starts kicking. Rhymer aims

                         AGAIN --

                         RAIN
          (tugging at Rhymer)
          Shoot the gas!

                         RHYMER
          What?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          106.

                         CONTINUED:

                         THE SCARECROW
          advances. Bugs swarm from beneath his tattered feet. Every
          metal implement and surface rusts as he passes.

                         RAIN
          (pointing at the grills)

          SHOOT THE GAS!
          Rhymer hears the ranges HISSING and FIRES. CHOOM! The gas
          fireballs, catches Scarecrow full-on sideways. He squeals,
          reels. Burning jaw-beasts writhe and howl.
          Rain falls to the floor, dropping the coyote coin. It spins
          furiously as we --

                          CUT TO:

          EXT. COASTAL HIGHWAY - NIGHT

           Blaze. Coming back. Ninety_ One hundred. Wind tears
           wildly at his hair, jacket. The bike shudders. The
          tachometer edges upwards --
          One twenty. One twenty-five. Nitrous booster. The Norton
          SCREAMS. One thirty. One forty. One fifty --
          HEAT streams off Blaze. FLAMES wisp from his nostrils. One
          sixty. One seventy.
          The tachometer SHATTERS. The engine smokes. The bike
          SHRIEKS, pushing the edge of mechanical reason.
          FLAMES explode from Blaze's mouth and eyes. His hands
          ignite. He CRIES OUT in agony. His body alters violently.
          His face warps. Bones crack and shift. Flesh shrinks and
          tightens as the skull-visage emerges.
          The bike changes too, red heat spreading throughout.
          Tortured metal SCREECHES. Straining machinery pops and
          bulges. Shafts lengthen into skeletal "bones". The saddle
          slouches. The tank distends --
          WHOOMPF! The wheels ignite, then the whole bike. HELLFIRE
          streams, an extension of Blaze's rage.
          Blaze SCREAMS from the pit of his soul as the Ghost Rider
          claws itself into being, more manifest that ever before --
          And that's when the bike really accelerates -
          -- so fast that its air wake churns the dust on each side.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          107.

                         CONTINUED:
          so fast that molten asphalt spumes from behind like lava.
          -- so fast that the goddamn camera can barely catch it and --
          B-BOOM!!! The hellcycle breaks MACH 1, SONIC BOOMS rocking
          the landscape as we --

                         CUT TO:

          INT. MISSION - NIGHT

          -- the Scarecrow, savagely burnt by the blast, but
          unstoppable. He rises, cocks his head, hears something --

          VARIOUS ANGLES - DINING ROOM, KITCHEN, STAIRCASE
          The jaw-beasts_ The razor birds. All pause. All listen.
          They know something's coming. Something fast. Something bad.
          We hear it now too -- the WHINE of an APPROACHING ENGINE.

          ON THE COYOTE COIN
          wobbling to a stop, coyote side up.
          Realizing what's about to happen, the Scarecrow lets loose a
          GHASTLY WAIL and --

          THE GHOST RIDER
          erupts through the wall in DEEP SLOW MOTION, sending forth a
          majestic tsunami of fire and debris. The monster bike skids,
          carves floorboards like matchwood --

          JAW-BEASTS AND RAZOR BIRDS
          hurl themselves out of its scorching path --
          The Ghost Rider vaults from the saddle, sends the bike
          spinning at the scurrying monsters. It ninepins a few, takes
          out the rest as it impacts the wall like a nuke --

                         THE CROW-THINGS
          are vanquished, squealing and flopping like living cinders.

          BUT THE JAW-BEASTS RECOVER,
          still aflame but very much alive. If anything, they seem
          emboldened by the fire. They circle the Ghost Rider, more
          and more of them joining the pack.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          108.

                         CONTINUED:

          THE GHOST RIDER
          readies his chains. The jaw-beasts attack. Three dozen
          horrors pouncing and GNASHING. The Ghost Rider takes them.-
          Chains, flames, sheer power and force --
          Spines snap. Lupine skulls burn. The Ghost Rider tears the
          monsters limb from limb. The room becomes the Seventh Circle
          of Hell, and at the heart of the Inferno, the Ghost Rider
          exults in the slaughter --
          The whole mission is ablaze now, fire and churning smoke
          consuming everything in its path. Rhymer, Rain, and Tolbein
          run for their lives.

          INT. MISSION - DORMITORY - NIGHT

          Rain, Rhymer and Tolbein are trapped. Fire has cut them off.
          They back their way towards the rear of the building, peer
          out the windows --

                         THEIR POV:
          a hundred foot drop straight down to the highway.

                         TOLBEIN
          There's no way down from here!
          CRACK! The door behind them splinters. The Scarecrow's
          found them once again.

          INT. MISSION - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

          The Ghost Rider is having difficulty with the jaw-beasts.
          His fire burns them but they just keep coming -- blackened
          skeletal demons, possessed of an unstoppable ferocity --
          For every one he throws aside, two more seem to take its
          place. He can wound them, sear the flesh from their bones,
          but still they pile on, sinking their teeth into his skeletal
          flesh, CRUNCHING through his hollow rib-cage --
          The Ghost Rider SHRIEKS in pain, TEARS one from his back,
          SNAPS another's spine, PUNCHES a fist through a third's
          gnashing muzzle. He falls back through a doorway, onto --

                         A STAIRCASE
          And still, they attack. And now the Ghost Rider is
          weakening. He stumbles on the steps, falls to his knees.
          The fiends pile atop his back --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          109.

                         CONTINUED:
          Summoning all his power, the Ghost Rider emits a SHOCKWAVE OF
          FLAME, a HEAT-BOMB that blasts the creatures clean off him.

          INT. MISSION - DORMITORY - NIGHT

          The SHOCKWAVE shakes the room. FIRE belches through the
          splintered doorway --
          -- but the Scarecrow scarcely notices. He's flinging dorm
          beds left and right, HOWLING and GROANING as he hunts for --

                         RAIN
          huddled beneath a flimsy bed-frame.

                         SCARECROW

          RAAAAINNN! RAAINN!
          The Scarecrow hurls aside a bed and finds Tolbein. He
          reaches for the man, sinking his spindly finger's into
           Tolbein's chest. Tolbein SCREAMS, instantly shrivelling,
          corroding into dust --
           The Scarecrow hurls aside yet another bed and finds --

                         RHYMER
          aiming his shotgun, point-blank range! BLAM! The BLAST
          Takes a chunk out of the Scarecrow's face.

          INT. MISSION - THE STAIRS - THAT MOMENT

          All Hell breaks loose. The Ghost Rider unleashes wave after
          wave of HELLFIRE, incinerating the hounds as they leap
          towards him, fighting his way up and up the steps --

          INT. MISSION - DORMITORY - NIGHT

          BLAM! Another BLAST chews apart the Scarecrow's neck. The
          monstrosity staggers, then lurches forward, grabbing the
          barrel of the shotgun, instantly corroding it --
          The wave of corrosion swarms up the stock while towards
          Rhymer's hands and he drops the gun, rolling away, scooping
          up Rain as he runs towards the bathroom --

          BACK TO THE SCARECROW,
          recovering, his makeshift flesh knitting itself back together.
          Flames kiss his body, causing sodden particles on his frame to
          SIZZLE and POP -- but because his decayed flesh is so wet, he
          never ignites.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          110.

                         CONTINUED:
          Enkindled BUZZING bug-ember things swirl around the
          Scarecrow's head in a halo, impossibly alive- He stumbles
          after Rhymer and Rain into

                         THE BATHROOM
          A claustrophobic box of stalls and urinals. Rhymer and Rain
          are nowhere to be seen. Enraged, the Scarecrow tears into
           the stalls, ripping them aside one by one --

          INT. MISSION - THE STAIRS - THAT MOMENT

           The Ghost Rider advances, hurling jaw-beasts left and right --

          INT. MISSION - BATHROOM - NIGHT

          The Scarecrow rends the last stall asunder, finds Rain and
          Rhymer cowering like bugs. He looms above Rain, beetle-
          fingers clutching, flashing a rotted rictus-grin --

                         SCARECROW

          -- GOT YOU'.

                         RED-HOT CHAINS
          whip viciously around the Scarecrow's sodden head and torso.
          He's wrenched backwards, hauled out of the bathroom and
          SLAMMED across the dormitory into the opposite wall --

          EXT. MISSION - NIGHT

          The wall fractures. Debris falls, tumbling hundreds of feet
          down to the highway below.

          INT. MISSION - DORMITORY - NIGHT

          The Scarecrow recovers, SEES the room ablaze. SEES a swathe
          of blackened, twitching jaw-beast skeletons leading from the
          doorway to --

          THE GHOST RIDER
          At the other end of the chains. More accurately,

          GHOST BLAZE,
          battered and weakened, staggering. His flames are barely
          flickering, his bony flesh has become chalky and brittle.
          He's holding a jaw-beast skeleton, drops it to the floor --
          The Scarecrow attacks. Hand-to-hand combat. Massive blows
          and blocks. The burning room SHUDDERS with each impact --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         CONTINUED:
          Ghost Blaze uses his chains, but he's weak, and Scarecrow
          turns them back on him, SMASHES him against the walls. More
           structural fractures, more dust --

          EXT. MISSION - NIGHT

          The whole mission quakes. A huge hole in the wall falls
          open, the Scarecrow barely manages to stop himself falling
          The stilt-like support columns bearing the weight of the
          overhanging mission begin to CREAK and bend. Some snap --

          INT. MISSION - DORMITORY - NIGHT

          The dormitory drops alarmingly, ten feet or more, the
          flooring canting precariously. Ghost Blaze stumbles, falls --
          WHAM! Scarecrow grabs Ghost Blaze's neck. Squeezes tight.
          A WAVE OF DECAY AND CORROSION spreads over Ghost Blaze. He
          SCREAMS, his flesh putrefying, but Scarecrow will not let go --

          ON RAIN AND RHYMER
          Desperate for escape, the flames closing in on them. There's
          nowhere to go. Except a small HATCH, high up in the ceiling --

          BACK TO SCENE
          Ghost Blaze HOWLS, in agony as the Scarecrow's superior evil
          dominates. He feebly extends a hand towards the flames
          nearby, trying to compel the fire to him. The flames twist,
          briefly bend in his direction. The Ghost Rider HOWLS with
          frustration. He needs the flames. He will die without them.
          He tries again, reaching, reaching --

                         THE FLAMES
          surrounding the two foes are starting to bend in earnest now,
          streaming towards Ghost Blaze's bony, begging fingertips
          The Scarecrow is oblivious. Just keeps pouring more misery
          into Ghost Blaze's body as --

          EXT. MISSION - NIGHT

           -- the entire mission, which was only moments ago completely
           aflame, is now extinguishing itself. An inferno in
          retrograde, roiling inward --

          INT. MISSION - VARIOUS - NIGHT

          -- raging flames bend and draw long --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          112.

                         CONTINUED:
          -- clouds of embers are pulled into coursing streams-.--
          -- roiling fireballs are dragged wildly from walls, floors
          and ceilings --
           -- flame and fury funneling thunderously into SCORCHING FIRE-
           SPOUTS that cyclone up and up and up into --

          INT. MISSION - DORMITORY - NIGHT

          -- Ghost Blaze from every direction.
          Suddenly Scarecrow finds himself at the heart of a back-
          drafting firestorm, a sustained implosion feeding straight
          into Ghost Blaze. Then --
          Nuclear silence.
          An instant in which Rhymer shoves Rain through the hatch --
          An instant in which Scarecrow senses his own doom --
          Because the Ghost Rider is back- But now he's more than the
          Ghost Rider. He's a white-hot nuclear bomb fairly vibrating
          with volcanic heat.
          And he DETONATES. An apocalyptic release that --
          obliterates Scarecrow --
          sends Rhymer ducking for cover --
          bulges the dormitory's fractured walls and ceiling,
          lifting the ATTIC FLOOR mightily. HURLING Rain into the air!

          A FLAME TSUNAMI
          steamrollers through every room and passage, destroying
          everything in its path, consuming itself.

          INT. MISSION - DORMITORY - NIGHT

          Ghost Blaze lies GROANING at blackened ground zero. He's
          almost human now, spent. Charred timbers CREAK and GROAN
          around him. The entire structure is on the verge of
          collapse.

                         ON RAIN
          emerging from the smouldering bathroom, ghostly white. She
          picks her way cautiously across the teetering floor. Kneels
          alongside Ghost Blaze --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          113.

                         CONTINUED:
          Blaze's eyes are black pits, gaunt and skullish_ Rain casts --- -
          about, finds a BURNING EMBER, cups it in her hands, holds the
          flame close to his mouth --
          Ghost Blaze senses the fire, breathes it in like a drowning
          man. Draws the flame deep into his lungs, keeps drawing
          until the ember is gone, internalized. Their eyes meet.

                         RAIN
          Are you going to die?

                         GHOST BLAZE

                         (WEAKLY)
          Not today.
           He pushes up on his elbows, tiredly rises to his feet and --

                         THE MISSION
           Topples. Ghost Blaze and Rain run -- but they're not going
           to make it. The whole room is dropging away at their heels!
           Ghost Blaze snatches up Rain, DIVES through a widening split
          in the wall even as --

          EXT. MISSION - NIGHT

          -- the dormitory folds up and slides away from them, pitching
          over the hillside. Breaking into TONS OF PLUNGING DEBRIS
          that CRASH SPECTACULARLY onto the highway far below.

          ON GHOST BLAZE AND RAIN,
           clutching precariously to a muddy hillside. Ghost Blaze
          looks up, SEES --

          DAWN APPROACHING,
           first light bleeding in over the distant mountains.

          EXT. HIGHWAY - MISSION RUINS - JUST BEFORE DAWN

           Ghost Blaze strides over the smoking ruins. Finds what he
          was looking for --

          CARRIGAN,
          back to human, hopelessly trapped deep in the wreckage. He's
          barely alive, just a face in the rubble. Carrigan blinks.

                         CARRIGAN
          (a ragged whisper)
          who -- the fuck -- are you, anyway?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          114.

                         CONTINUED:

                         GHOST BLAZE
          Vengeance.
          And Ghost Blaze raises his hand, HELLFIRE trickling down the
          length of his arm, swirling around his hand like a building
          static charge even as --

                         CARRIGAN
          (terrified, yet defiant)
          Do it, fucker -- dQ it.

                         RAIN
          appears on a ridge just before them, eyes locking onto him.
          It's now or never.
          Ghost Blaze hesitates, hesitates -- then abruptly reins the
          flame back in. Metabolizes the fury. Pushes it down deep
          through sheer, agony-inducing willpower. Ghost Blaze
          SCREAMS, struggles --
          -- and forces the Demon away,
          Now he's just Blaze, weak with exertion, but triumphant for
          the first time in years. He turns away and we --

                         CUT TO:

          EXT_ MISSION GROUNDS - DAWN
           -- Blaze and Rain walking, working their way across the
           scorched grounds. Rain kicks at a carbonized jaw-beast
          skull. It rolls, SMASHES against a tree, crumbles to dust.
           Blaze looks up just then, HEARS the sound of ---

                         STARKE'S CADILLAC
           It slows to a stop at the end of the drive, ENGINE RUMBLING.
           Dusty and bug-begrimed from its cross-country journey.
           Blaze braces himself. A silent inhalation of breath. Rain
          stares, paralyzed by fear --
          The driver's door opens. A hulking silhouette steps out.
          The Beast, backlit by the fiery dawn which is just breaking
          over the horizon. Sunlight FLARES outward, briefly blinding
          us. And when it subsides --

                         STARKE
          is standing there. Human. Windblown. He raises a hand,
          shielding his gaze from the light. Steps cowards them --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          115.

                         CONTINUED:
          Blaze moves in front of Rain, blocking Starke's path.
          They stand there in silence. And Starke smiles, eyes alight
          with mischief.

                         STARKE
          Looks like we've come to the end of the
          road, haven't we?

                         BLAZE
          Guess so.
          After a long beat:

                         STARKE
          Give me the girl and I'll lift the curse.
          Blaze looks down at Rain. This was all he ever wanted. The
          only thing that has kept him going all these years. He
          reaches into his jacket, retrieving a crumpled pack of
          cigarettes. Plucks one out --

                         BLAZE
          She's all yours, Starke --
          -- and lights it without a match, somehow conjuring the flame
          from within himself. He takes a long drag. In the pits of
          his eyes, something glows there -- a kind of lambent
          darkness.

                         BLAZE (CONT'D)
          -- but you'll have to go through me if
          you want her.
          Starke stares into Blaze's eyes. Doesn't like what he SEES.

                         STARKE
          Don't be a fool, Blaze. I'm offering you
          your life back.

                         BLAZE
          That's not a life. And least now one I'm
          interested in living.

                         STARKE
          You think you can control it. You can't.

                         BLAZE
          Guess I'm willing to take my chances.
          Starke nods, accepting defeat. For now. He looks down at
          Rain, a bitter smile creeping across his face --

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          116.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

                         STARKE
          You have your mother's eyes.
          -- and walks away.
          Blaze and Rain watch him retreat. Presently, a coyote slips
          from shadows, joining him on the road. It--lopes along beside
          him. We watch them disappear over a rise. Then they're
          gone.
          Beat. Rain studies Blaze, reaches for his hand.

                         RAIN
          He'll be back.

                         BLAZE
          Yeah.

          BACK AMONGST THE SMOKING RUINS
          We pass broken concrete, smouldering timber, a rock snake
          constricting a mouse, an industry of beetles dissecting a
          bird's carcass. Finally, we come to a small, deep cavity --
          and there, tucked away in the darkness, we find --

          WOMAN (V.0.)
          And that's how it ended. With another
          beginning. A kind of balance struck
          between the flame and the fury.

                         BLAZE'S COIN
          balanced perfectly on it's edge. How it fell like that, at
          the heart of the wreckage, is a mystery that will probably
          never be solved.

                         DISSOLVE TO:

          INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

          A NURSE brings a postcard to a sleeping patient's bedside.
          The patient is ROXANNE, sleeping peacefully, bathed in
          sunlight. The nurse tacks the card to a wall filled with
          many -- dozens and dozens of postcards charting Blaze's
          journey back and forth across the country.
          And we realize now, that Roxanne is the woman who has been
          narrating our tale.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          117.

                         CONTINUED:

          ROXANNE (V.O.)
          And me? I still sleep. Wandering.
          Waiting. Listening to the whispers of
          the dead.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. RURAL HIGHWAY - DAY/NIGHT

          On Blaze, riding hard, as a scorching desert noon TIME-LAPSES
          into night.

          ROXANNE (V.O.)
          The world turns around without me. There
          are sharks. And there are doves. And
          nighttime holds far darker terrors than
          death. But I am never afraid because I
          know that he is out there, somewhere.
          And that someday, somehow --
          Blaze ignites, SCREAMS, hurls back his head --

          ROXANNE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          -- he will return to me.
          -- and the Ghost Rider rockets headlong into black.



                          THE END