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Smokin' Aces Movie Script

Writer(s) : Joe Carnahan

Genres : Action, Comedy, Crime, Drama

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                                 SMOKIN' ACES


                                  Written by 

                                Joe Carnahan
          

                                                            4/23/05
          
          
          
          FADE UP ON:
          
          TITLE CARD
          
          A narration accompanies this passage: "The events depicted
          herein were believed have taken place in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
          All manner of record as they might pertain to these events
          have been seized by the Department of Justice"
          
          INT. VAN -- NIGHT
          
          Wall-to-wall surveillance set-up. Two FBI AGENTS: DONALD
          CARRUTHERS 30's and RICHARD MESSNER 30's, man the post,
          staring at video monitors. Both hold telephoto images; shaky,
          long lens shots of a mansion some distance away. Messner
          tacks photographs to a corkboard on the van wall. One is
          labeled "Subject SIDNEY K. SERNA: UNDERBOSS/Sparazza Family."
          
          The other is labeled "Subject VICTOR "BABY BUZZ" PADICHE
          LIEUTENANT/Sparazza Family." Voices begin emitting over the
          van's speakers.
          
                                   SERNA (V.O.)
                       Buzzy...Buzz...?
          
                                     PADICHE (V.O.)
                       Yeah...Sid?
          
                                   SERNA (V.O.)
                       You got clicks, anything?
          
                                   PADICHE (V.O.)
                       Nah, nuthin' on my end--
          
                                   SERNA (V.O.)
                       --Okay...hang on, I gotta move--
          
          Messner rides a digital console, tweaks frequency.
          
                                   MESSNER
                           (keying mic)
                       Zoom and pan please.   Stay tight.
          
          ON THE MONITORS: The image pans, follows a figure moving
          behind the mansion's windows, entering a back bedroom.
          
                                   SERNA (V.O.)
                       Alright, now Buzzy-- this is, this
                       is it, here, okay, so listen to me
                       careful and wait till I'm finished
                       'cuz we got no room for slop.
          
                                     PADICHE (V.O.)
                       I'm here.
          
          Messner adjusts the record level, V-U meters spike, modulate.
          The figure on the monitors paces the room. WE SEE it's Serna.
          
                                                   2.
          
                      SERNA (V.O.)
          Okay, he's gonna clip Israel, I just
          gotta outta there--
          
                      PADICHE (V.O.)
          --he's doing it then, huh--
          
                      SERNA (V.O.)
          --yeah, now lemme finish, I was
          eavesdroppin', so give me sec, lay
          this thing out, since the information
          might be a little loose--
          
                      PADICHE (V.O.)
          --okay, g'head--
          
                      SERNA
          So what I heard downstairs there is
          that they got a guy, some Swede,
          real badass, supposedly a "specialist"
          and they're bringing him over. Now
          he ain't coming cheap-- so, I'm
          thinkin' we jump, do this in the
          next day or so, get to Israel before
          the Swede can, we got chits, y'see?
          We're in a power position. Grab
          him, ransom him back, pick up that
          nut, we're that much closer to having
          our own thing.
          
                      PADICH (V.O.)
          --I see that, yeah, s'smart move,
          for us anyway.
          
                      SERNA (V.O.)
          Trust me, we keep our mouths shut,
          go about our thing, play the part,
          nobody suspects us.
              (feedback distorts)
          The old man's on the fade Buzzy,
          fuck him, y'know? And that hurts, I
          don't like saying that, but hey, our
          livelihood, our lifeboat, y'get?
          
                      PADICHE
          No question, no, you're right. We
          gotta do what's good for us now.
          
                      SERNA (V.O.)
          Fuckin' A, first survive, yes?
          
                      PADICHE (V.O.)
          Y'gotta, y'gotta. But d'ya think
          they'll kick ransom for that little
          prick, assuming we get to'm.
          
                                                                     3.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    Yeah, y'ain't heard the punchline,
                    yet and before I get to it, one more
                    thing I heard, little curious, should
                    probably bring it up...Primo wants
                    Israel's heart. The actual thing,
                    the organ.
          
          Pause. Feedback. The agents trade looks. Carruthers grabs
          a cellphone, dials, patches a feed for the party on the other
          end to hear.
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    ...Jesus...what for?
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    --who can say. He's off his onion,
                    y'know, he's old school Sicilian,
                    this is how they hate.
          
                                PADICHE   (V.O.)
                    Wow.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    Hey, we nab Israel, they pay t'get'm
                    back, I'll cut the fuckin' thing out
                    m'self, no extra charge. My thing
                    is, we crew up, let's not fuck
                    around, someone's cousin, some Zip
                    off the boat from Naples, let's get
                    pros, people who know how to behave.
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    Yeah, there's a pair'a broads I'm
                    thinking might be good for this.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    Chances are, they're gonna get into
                    some shit too, hafta put people down.
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    That's not a problem. Are we goin'
                    outta pocket ourselves?
          
                                SERNA
                    Yeah, I can front this.
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    Well just so I got a quote in my
                    head. What's the rate for the Swede?
          
                                SERNA
                    That's the punchline, y'ready?
          
                                PADICHE
                    Shoot.
          
                                                                        4.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    A million flat.
          
                                 PADICHE (V.O.)
                    No shit.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    None whatsoever.
          
          SMASH CUT TO CREDITS
          
          The Ace of Hearts, spinning through mid-air, slow motion,
          end over end. Bullets blast big sizzling holes through it.
          
                                                             SMASH CUT TO:
          
          EXT. CASINO -- LAS VEGAS (PAST)
          
          Neon-framed doors fly open as a slicked-back chump with a
          store-bought tan strides out onto the strip, swinging underage
          bar-bait on each arm. He's all strut and punk swagger,
          grinning like a geek who just struck gold.
          
                                DUPREE (V.O.)
                    Buddy Israel, nicknamed "Aces" Born
                    a bastard, mom Laverne chased the
                    pipe dream from a Dairy Queen in
                    Kansas City to the Vegas stage. Two
                    months after stepping off a Greyhound,
                    she gets knocked up by some hood.
          
                                                             CUT TO SCENE:
          
          INT. DRESSING ROOM -- NIGHT (PAST)
          
          A row of chorus girls, gilded like gold-flaked flamingos,
          rubbing coca-butter on bare midriffs. THE CAMERA FINDS
          Buddy's mother LAVERNE, prominent bulge, seriously pregnant,
          she's arguing with her employers, trying to suck in her belly,
          yelling "bullshit, you just have to light it right..."
          
                                DUPREE (V.O.)
                    Biological abandons her and the
                    showgirl thing goes sideways so she
                    winds up working as a magician's
                    assistant to make extra cash.
          
          CUT TO SCENE:
          
          INT. CLUB -- NIGHT (PAST)
          
          Second rate dive bar. Laverne Israel assists a pompadour-
          maned MAGICIAN on stage. In the lounge, sitting on a
          stripper's lap, a young Buddy plays with a deck of cards.
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
                                                                         5.
          
          INT.   POOL HALL -- NIGHT (PRESENT DAY)
          
          Bamboo-style ceiling fans circulate cigar smoke and shitty
          attitudes. At a billiard table in the back: JACK DUPREE,
          40's, third generation Bail Bondsman, talks with HOLLIS
          ELMORE, 30's and "PISTOL" PETE DEEKS, 30's, ex-Vegas vice
          cops. As Dupree speaks, WE SEE the scenes behind the story:
          
                                 DUPREE
                     ...And young Buddy learns everything
                     about cards from this Mandrake
                     motherfucker his mom is working for...
          
                                                              CUT TO SCENE:
          
          The magician being brutally beaten-- pelted with poker chips,
          kicked in the chops, pissed on, the works.
          
                                 DUPREE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                     But magic man was also a degenerate
                     gambler and got caught dealing bottom-
                     deck at a mob-owned poker parlor.
                         (beat)
                     He didn't get outta there with much
                     more than a pulse.
          
                                                                    CUT TO:
          
          INT. HOSPITAL -- DAY (PAST)
          
          The Magician, full body cast, taking his meals through a
          straw. Young Israel labors over him, performing card tricks.
          
                                                      CUT BACK TO SCENE:
          
                                 DUPREE
                     Point is, he passed on all this slight
                     of hand shit onto Aces and the kid
                     is sick with it...By the age of twelve
                     Buddy Israel is positively prodigal
                     with a deck of cards. By sixteen,
                     he's headlining the MGM's main room.
          
                                                              CUT TO SCENE:
          
          Buddy, cards and coins dancing off his fingertips, dazzling
          sold-out crowds. Laverne Israel sits in the front row, decked
          out in ankle-length fur, applauding wildly.
          
                                                               CUT BACK TO:
          
          INT. POOL HALL -- NIGHT (PRESENT)
          
          Dupree rounds the table, lines up a shot, leans over it.
          
                                                                        6.
          
                                DUPREE
                    This punk is pulling down ten bills
                    a night and more showgirl geech than
                    you can shake a stick at. Four years
                    of sold-out shows, he becomes the
                    unofficial mob mascot
          
                                                             CUT TO SCENE:
          
          Buddy meets mob hierarchy; silk suits and pinkie rings.
          
                                DUPREE (cont'd; V.O.) (CONT'D)
                    By the tender age of twenty-one he's
                    breaking bread with the wheels,
                    keeping company with major muscle.
                    And it goes to his head in a big way
          
                                                            CUT TO SCENE:
          
          Buddy, poolside, glass of top dollar Dom in hand. Chicks,
          Coopertone and chasm-deep cleavage abound.
          
                                DUPREE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                    ...Wiseguys start to think this
                    sonofabitch is a mystic, something
                    special...and Aces plays it up, lets
                    the legend grow, takes time off from
                    his stage act and starts showcasing
                    the chip on his shoulder.
          
                                                             CUT TO SCENE:
          
          Buddy, tipping a craps table, attacking the stick-man,
          stripping off one of his gold chains, going garotte.
          
                                DUPREE (CONT'D)
                    He buys into his bullshit, building
                    street cred, he's got plans and pull,
                    he's makin' plays, living the mob
                    life for real. Somehow, it takes:
                    Lounge act turned legitimate thug.
          
          INT. POOL HALL
          
          Dupree rips the eight ball, corner pocket.
          
                                DUPREE
                    In reality, he doesn't know the ball
                    from the bounce...He's not a crook,
                    so he starts fucking up fast and
                    picking up speed, putting a floodlight
                    on the whole Carlotta organization.
                    Cops get curious, start camping out,
                    compiling names and faces and pretty
                    soon Israel's bullshit has brought
                    the heat to bear on none other than
                    Primo Sparraza--
          
                                                                        7.
          
                                  LOCKE (V.O.)
                    --Enforcer.    Extortionist.   Killer.
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- DAY
          
          WE RECOGNIZE Carruthers and Messner as the two Agents from
          the Padiche/Serna surveillance. They are sitting with F.B.I.
          Deputy Director STANLEY LOCKE. A debrief is in progress.
          
          SUPER: WASHINGTON, D.C.
          
          A Mafia Family Tree has been erected behind them with a photo
          of Primo Sparazza at the top.
          
                                LOCKE
                    Sparazza is rumored to have performed
                    in excess of one-hundred and thirty
                    contract murders, including one of
                    the bureau's most celebrated agents.
                    Freeman Heller. You heard of "The
                    Turnpike Murders" that was Sparazza.
          
                                MESSNER
                    I thought Heller was a double op?
          
                                                             CUT TO SCENE:
          
          FREEMAN HELLER, 20's, clean cut Cornell grad, class of 1937.
          He's on a pistol range, scoring perfect marks.
          
                                LOCKE (V.O.)
                    No. He worked for the O.S.S. before
                    joining the Bureau in its heyday.
                    He was the first operative assigned
                    with infiltrating the mob.
          
                                                             CUT TO SCENE:
          
          Heller, outdistancing the rest of his recruiting class in a
          training run, nearly a mile ahead of the next man.
          
                                LOCKE (V.O. CONTD) (CONT'D)
                    Full immersion and assimilation,
                    fake identity, falsified background,
                    everything that is now standard
                    operating procedure, Heller
                    implemented, way back when.
          
                                                             CUT TO SCENE:
          
          Heller oversees every aspect of his transformation, radically
          altering his appearance, adding different mannerisms, an
          accent, etc...befuddled FBI brass can only look on in awe.
          
                                                                       8.
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    And as a result, his undercover work
                    was wildly successful. He eventually
                    reached the rank of Capo inside the
                    Carlotta crime family...but through
                    some internal slip-up, his cover was
                    compromised and Primo Sparazza was
                    given the contract to kill him.
          
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE -- NIGHT (PAST)
          
          A '51 Ford Fairlane, flush with an embankment, bullet
          perforated, dead-body draped. A top-coated gunman (presumably
          Primo Sparazza) stalks the vehicle's sole survivor, FREEMAN
          HELLER; faux mafioso, full-time federal agent.
          
                                LOCKE (V.O.)
                    There wasn't enough evidence to bring
                    formal charges, so the case never
                    went to trial.
          
          Heller collapses, the gunman looms over, levels a .45, FIRES.
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    Sparazza is a bit of a specter.
                    Over the years, the serious crimes
                    with which he was thought to be
                    involved, including Heller's murder,
                    could never be traced back to him.
          
          The gunman slinks back to his car as we--
          
          CUT BACK TO:
          
          INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- CONTINUOUS
          
          Locke stands, distributes files.
          
                                LOCKE
                    A dedicated viciousness and a slavish
                    devotion to mob doctrine had
                    Sparazza's star on the rise. So
                    the mob relocated him to Nevada and
                    he became the unofficial head of the
                    Las Vegas LCN.
          
                                                            CUT TO SCENE:
          
          A PHOTOGRAPH of PRIMO SPARRAZA, sharkskin suit, vintage 60's
          coif, posing in front of The Riviera with a dour, pissed-off
          Frank Sinatra.
          
          CUT BACK TO SCENE:
          
                                                                        9.
          
                                MESSNER
                    So he's personally issued the contract
                    on Israel?
          
                                LOCKE
                    Sparazza was the one who introduced
                    Israel to the life, gave him his
                    first big break, brought him through
                    the ranks.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Made him a friend of the family.
          
                                                             CUT TO SCENE:
          
          Sparazza and Israel, Casino grand opening, flashbulbs burst.
          
                                LOCKE (V.O.)
                    ...His hand-picked protege, successor
                    to the throne...and Israel played
                    the situation very shrewd.
          
          A MONTAGE OF more photo-pos, Buddy Israel posing with mob
          power brokers, playmakers...smiling all the way to the top.
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    ...Slowly amassing the loyalties of
                    Sparazza's top men...with plans of
                    toppling the throne.
          
                                                            CUT TO SCENE:
          
          Buddy, late-night conspiratorial confab with Sparazza soldier.
          
          CUT BACK TO SCENE:
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    In doing so, he plunged the Carlotta
                    organization into a civil war,
                    splitting the family into dual
                    factions. Sparazza on one side,
                    Israel on the other. The infighting
                    that followed drew the interest of
                    nearly every major investigative
                    body operating under the canopy of
                    the federal government.
          
          MONTAGE
          
          Stakeout teams snap photos- plant bugs- wire hidden cameras.
          
                                LOCKE (cont'd; V.O.)
                    Presently there are sixteen state
                    and federally funded agencies, running
                    concurrent criminal probes on select
                    members of the LCN...With Israel
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                      10.
          
                                LOCKE (cont'd; V.O.) (CONT'D)
                    being the primary target in virtually
                    every investigation.
          
                                                            CUT TO SCENE
          
          Israel sits with a group of FBI agents, discusses a deal.
          
                                MESSNER (V.O.)
                    A marked man gets wise and wants to
                    come in.
          
                                LOCKE (V.O.)
                    His testimony has the potential of
                    blowing the lid off what's left of
                    the La Cosa Nostra is this country.
                    That alone warrants total immunity
                    from prosecution and and a vanishing
                    act with Witness Protection.
          
          Israel is walked out of the room as we CUT BACK TO:
          
          INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- CONTINUOUS
          
                                MESSNER
                    So the wiretaps we conducted on Serna
                    and Padiche, the mention of Israel's
                    heart?
          
                                LOCKE
                    --Your intel corroborates what we
                    already know. Sparazza's health is
                    in rapid decline and before his date
                    with destiny, it seems he wants one
                    last thing...The heart of his sworn
                    enemy. A recently opened, cash rich
                    escrow account has been traced back
                    to Sparazza. This and the mention
                    of this mysterious Swede makes the
                    million dollar contract on Israel
                    very real.
          
                                   SYKES (V.O.)
                    How real...?
          
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. DINER -- NIGHT
          
          Greasy spoon soul food joint, packed lunch counter. Meet
          SHARICE WATTERS, 33 and GEORGIA SYKES, 24, Ebony stunners,
          ghetto queens, street assassins. They are sitting with their
          booking contact, LORENZO WYMAN, 41. He holds up a copy of a
          bank telex, sliding it across the table.
          
                                WYMAN
                    How 'bout six-figures for this fool?
                    How 'bout that love?
          
                                                                    11.
          
          Watters takes the telex, gawks, shows the numbers to Sykes.
          
                                SYKES
                    Bulllllshit...
          
                                WYMAN
                    Naw baby, they heard about that Triad
                    hit, the work ya'll put in and they
                    recognize the skills. And this ain't
                    no tryout, tap-dance "show us your
                    shit" thing neither-- if ya'll want
                    this then I'mma go git it for 'ya.
          
          Watters twirls her long braids, looks over at Sykes.
          
                                WATTERS
                    So me and Sis here, 'cuz we got a
                    rep on a rise, we chipped some nails
                    on some niggas, they want us to drop
                    this mafiaoso so and so, magician,
                    whatever-the fuck he is.
          
                                WYMAN
                    S'way it works girl. Ya'll done dirt,
                    ya'll peeled some serious caps.
                    Word travels.
          
                                SYKES
                    And so I get this straight, we gotta
                    go in, bust on this punk and remove
                    the heart? Is that for real?
          
                                WYMAN
                    No, no, no, y'gotta go in and get
                    him, pull'm out of wherever he at,
                    forget all that other shit, that's
                    just f'flavor. I'm still getting
                    lil' bits'a this-n-that from this
                    cat Padiche, the man contacting
                    me...Right now, what we got--
                        (nod to telex)
                    --Is a number and a name...Buddy
                    Israel.
          
                                SYKES
                        (to Loretta)
                    What else did Padiche say?
          
                                WYMAN
                    He said that the shit could get hot,
                    could get heavy...I said good.
                        (beat, grins)
                    'Cuz I got two of the hottest,
                    heaviest bitches alive.
          
                                MESSNER (V.O.)
                    Like who?
          
                                                                       12.
          
          CUT BACK TO:
          
          INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- DAY
          
          The Feds continue their briefing.
          
                                LOCKE
                    Like Pasquale Acosta, blood money
                    mercenary. His countrymen have dubbed
                    him the more dubious "El Estrago"
                        (beat)
                    The Plague.
          
                                                             CUT TO SCENE:
          
          Death personified; sun-cooked skin, black hole eyes, tattoos
          gouged out of prison boredom...This is PASQUALE ACOSTA.
          
                                LOCKE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                    American educated, fluent in over a
                    dozen languages, did journeyman's
                    work for CIA funded "G-2" and
                    "Archivo" death squads in Guatemala
                    and Chile...noted for his legendary
                    torture techniques.
          
                                                             CUT TO SCENE:
          
          Acosta clips car battery cables to the eyelids of a dissident.
          FLASH TO: Acosta scorching an off-camera scrotum with a
          blowtorch. FLASH TO: Acosta powering up a bore-drill as a
          semi-nude man screams and pleads.
          
          CUT BACK TO:
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    Sought for war crimes and human rights
                    violations in eighteen different
                    countries. When he was caught by
                    the SAS in Northern Ireland and
                    imprisoned, he chewed off his
                    fingertips to the bone before he
                    could be printed and ID'd by Interpol.
          
                                                             CUT TO SCENE:
          
          Pasquale; prison cell filthy, feasting on his fingers.
          
          CUT BACK TO:
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    On an extradition flight back to El
                    Salvador, he murdered a security
                    detachment and vanished.
          
                                MESSNER
                    You think it's possible he could be
                    involved in the Israel hit?
          
                                                                       13.
          
                                LOCKE
                    Possibly. Acosta is pure mercenary.
                    And a million dollar hit fee will
                    draw some huge flies. But forget
                    about Sparazza's money for a moment
                    and remember, there's no shortage of
                    those who want Israel killed and no
                    shortage of cash to do just that...
          
                                DUPREE (V.O.)
                    ...Then I'm sure you've heard of
                    these guys...The Tremor brothers.
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. POOL HALL -- MORNING
          
          Dupree chalks his cue, positions for a shot.
          
                                DUPREE
                    No?
                        (off dull stares from
                         Deeks and Elmore)
                    Then you've both been living under
                    the same rock, 'cuz these cocksuckers
                    are infamous. Three brothers, same
                    skank mom, different deadbeat dads,
                    used for that suicide-kamikaze style
                    shit. You heard about that huge shoot-
                    out in Cleveland?
          
                                DEEKS
                    Is that the club that got wiped out
                    a couple months back?
          
                                ELMORE
                    What happened?
          
                                DUPREE
                    The Teamsters had a reform measure
                    going to ballot that didn't sit too
                    well with the local syndicate. Night
                    of the polling, big black-tie to-do
                    downtown and the Tremor Brothers
                    crash the party. Literally.
          
                                                             SMASH CUT TO:
          
          INT. DINNER CLUB -- NIGHT
          
          THE TREMOR BROTHERS pilot a Dodge Barracuda right through
          the front window with wrecking ball bravado. Bodies scatter
          as the Tremors deploy from the car in full body kevlar, doing
          doomsday on the club. One of them fires up a chainsaw,
          chewing into the panicked crowd. Bodyguards blast back, but
          bullets play like spitballs against the Tremor's body armor.
          
                                                                      14.
          
                                DUPREE (V.O.)
                    Donald McGarey, the local union rep,
                    is the mark. The Tremors go ripshit
                    riot on the whole club, seven people
                    dead, twenty-eight wounded. Just to
                    get to this one guy.
          
          Shotguns roar-- blast spreads obliterate-- a shitstorm of
          blood, spilled booze and busted glass--
          
                                DUPREE (CONT'D)
                    --And they get it about as good as
                    they give it. In the melee, one of
                    the brothers catches blowback from a
                    jammed piece and is temporarily
                    blinded, the other takes bullets to
                    the lower back and can't walk. The
                    third gets popped in the neck and
                    passes out. McGarey gets out of the
                    club alive...and not much further...
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          EXT. DINNER CLUB -- PARKING LOT -- NIGHT
          
          The blind Tremor, walking wounded, piggybacking his brother
          with the bum back, dragging the other by the scruff of his
          neck, unconscious across the concrete. Police sirens squeal.
          McGarey, the union guy, hairpiece hanging by a thread,
          crawling toward his car. The piggyback Tremor brother reaches
          into his blind brother's coat, grabs a revolver and unloads.
          
          Long live the teamsters...Not tonight.
          
          CUT BACK TO:
          
          INT. POOL HALL
          
          Dupree chalks his cue.
          
                                DUPREE
                    They're speed freaks, neo-nazi's.
                    Sworn to the swastika, supposedly
                    read and recite "Mein Kampf" like
                    Mother Goose...And these motherfuckers
                    can go megaton at the drop of a hat.
          
                                SYKES (V.O.)
                    What's the name again?
          
          INT. DINER -- NIGHT
          
          Wyman, Sykes and Watters, back at the greasy spoon.
          
                                WYMAN
                    "Soot, Lazlo Soot." Lotta folks want
                    this white boy clapped. Soot could
                    be workin' for one 'em.
          
                                                                      15.
          
          EXT. STREET -- DAY
          
          Crammed pedestrian crossing, noon hour a trio of SUITS
          converse, shrouded by bodyguards.
          
                                WYMAN (V.O.)
                    Nobody really certain where he come
                    from...
          
          The party proceeds through the crosswalk, approaching them
          is a dark-suited man, expressionless, hands in his pockets.
          Others move past; a woman with shopping bags, a skateboard
          punk, a geriatric dog-walker and a man, full paralysis, mouth-
          op wheelchair, "My Left Foot" palsy.
          
                                WYMAN (CONT'D)
                    ...and when he moves on somebody,
                    they the last ones t'see it comin'--
          
          The bodyguards perk up, sensing something. Dark-Suit,
          removing his hands from his pockets-- cellphone...Wrong guy.
          
          The crippled cat, throwing a quilt off his lap, contorted
          face vanishing, two Uzi machine-pistols up, safeties off,
          triggers pulled-- BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP!
          
          The bodyguards get caught napping-- bullets blaze point blank.
          The three suits collapse. The phony invalid empties both
          guns, hops up from the wheelchair, hooks a passing truck and
          flees the scene...that, was LAZLO SOOT.
          
                                DUPREE (V.O.)
                    So what do you think?
          
          INT. POOL HALL -- BAR
          
          The boys have retired to the bar for a round of dollar drafts.
          
                                ELMORE
                    I think it's idiotic to continue
                    this conversation.
                        (turns, to Deeks)
                    We're ex-cops which means we weren't
                    great cops or even good ones.
          
                                DEEKS
                    Paying bills with bullshit casino
                    jobs, sitting watch on slot machines.
          
                                ELMORE
                    Which was a great gig until we we
                    walked in here and started drinking.
          
                                DUPREE
                    The bond on Israel expires in eighteen
                    hours, after that, it's a jump ball.
                    Our window is now.
          
                                                              16.
          
                                DEEKS
                    Who posted his bail?
          
          Dupree pats himself down, searching for his cigs.
          
                                DUPREE
                    His law firm, same one that hired
                    me. Israel walked out after he made
                    bail and nobody's seen him since.
          
                                ELMORE
                    Jack, if the rumors hold and Israel
                    is really the great white whale of
                    snitches, then the mob is looking to
                    put all kinds of bullets into his
                    ass and pour some serious psychotics
                    into the mix to do just that. So
                    what real incentive is there to track
                    him on something as small-time as a
                    skip trace, when it's putting you
                    and yours in the path of severe pain
                    and suffering and an almost certain
                    prelude to doom.
          
          A beat. Dupree blows smoke, flicks ash.
          
                                DUPREE
                    So I guess you're not going.
          
                                ELMORE
                    Shit, if you're on a crazy jag, why
                    stop there, why not take Fort Knox
                    with a fucking slingshot or go into
                    Hell after Hitler...I like your
                    chances a lot more.
          
          Dupree, stubbing his cigarette.
          
                                DUPREE
                    I know his location, we've got the
                    drop of a maybe half a day before
                    that location gets grape-vined and
                    the rest of the world gets hipped.
          
                                ELMORE
                    That's already happened hoss.   It's
                    naive to think otherwise.
          
                                   DEEKS
                    Where is he?
          
                                WYMAN (V.O.)
                    --Lake Tahoe.
          
          CUT BACK TO:
          
                                                                       17.
          
          INT. DINER -- NIGHT
          
          Watters, nodding, wiping red sauce off her fingers.
          
                                WATTERS
                    Three hours t'the east. S'day trip.
                    Pretty this time a'year too...
          
          Sykes sets her fork down, wipes her hands on a napkin.
          
                                SYKES
                    We gotta lay something out, strategy-
                    wise. Somethin' tight. Y'go in there
                    ad-libbing, it's y'ass.
          
                                WATTERS
                    What are we talkin' on the split...
          
                                WYMAN
                    Forty-five apiece for you two, ten
                    percent finders fee for me.
          
                                SYKES
                    What's the time frame?
          
                                WYMAN
                    Right mafuck'n now girl. Fast as we
                    can get you there. We wait any
                    longer, someone goin' dead this fool.
          
                                MESSNER (V.O.)
                    ...Then we lose our witness.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- DAY
          
          The briefing continues.
          
                                LOCKE
                    We lose our case. Twenty-four hours
                    from now, he's scheduled to meet
                    with federal prosecutors. His agent,
                    a man by the name of Morris Mecklen,
                    has guaranteed us that he'll enter
                    into protective custody once his
                    deal is approved.
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          MORRIS MECKLEN, 60's, bloated, bad combover, agent to the
          Vegas vanguard. He sits at his desk, jawing into the phone.
          On the wall, framed photos; Wayne Newton, Buddy Hackett,
          Carol Channing and a triple-chinned, near-the-end Elvis.
          
                                                                    18. 
          
                                LOCKE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                    We've been monitoring Mecklen's calls
                    and have learned that Israel is
                    staying in the penthouse level of
                    the Nomad Hotel and Casino in Lake
                    Tahoe, Nevada under an assumed name.
          
          CUT BACK TO SCENE:
          
          INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- CONTINUOUS
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Right there? In the high-roller suite?
          
                                MESSNER
                    It's the last place they'd look.
          
                                LOCKE
                    Israel's legal representation, the
                    firm of Culpepper, Brody and Reed,
                    which is currently the subject of a
                    joint SEC and Treasury Department
                    probe, were left holding the bag
                    after he skipped bail. Over three-
                    quarters of a million dollars on a
                    bond that's set to expire in less
                    than a day. Rupert Reed, one of the
                    firm's partners, has learned of
                    Israel's whereabouts and dispatched
                    a local bondsman by the name of Jack
                    Dupree to pick him up and return him
                    to Las Vegas...that can't happen.                       
                        (beat)
                    We have a Gulf Stream standing by at
                    Reagan International to transport
                    you two to Lake Tahoe.
                        (pause, with weight)
                    It's very simple gentlemen. Valacchi,
                    Fratiano, Gravano-- no former witness
                    against the mob has been as crucial
                    or has brought more to bear on the
                    potential dissolution of The La Cosa
                    Nostra, than Buddy Israel.
          
          SMASH CUT TO BLACK:
          
          MONTAGE
          
          Over this entire sequence WE HEAR Agent Locke speaking:
          
          The cylinder of a .44 Magnum is popped, a speed-load dropped
          in, spun and snapped shut-- Porn mags and crossword puzzle
          compendiums are tossed into a carry-on. Morphine and
          adrenaline syringes get spiked and capped-- A collection of
          wigs, fake sideburns and moustaches get laid out, separated--
          
                                                                    19.
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    ...But understand that if an attempt
                    is made on his life...
          
          Kevlar body armor gets stowed-- An elephant gun gets buffed
          to a high shine-- Vintage Ww11 German Potato-Masher hand-
          grenades are lovingly wrapped in terry cloth towels.
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    ...then it is being made by those of
                    the strictest professional caliber...
          
          Torture-tools; curved cutting implements, serrated bone saws,
          skull keys, a portable blowtorch, blackened with burned
          blood...all packed neatly into a duffel bag--
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    ...They are cold-blooded, ruthless,
                    and without restraint...and they
                    must not succeed.
          
          A gun is aimed, a trigger pulled..."BOOM"
          
          SMASH CUT TO BLACK
          
          FADE UP ON:
          
          INT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- MORNING
          
          Daybreak. Sunlight streams in, soft suffusion, the color of
          good scotch. PRIMO SPARAZZA, 86, lies on a hospital bed, an
          O2 mask shrouding deep-set, sunken eyes, cataract-grey, gazing
          out at a four-walled world. Someone enters the room, awaiting
          approval to approach...Sparazza, turning, seeing the man,
          summoning him over with a feeble finger wag. The man reaches
          him, kneeling down, ring-kissing reverent, whispering:
          
                                MAN
                    ...he's here now...
          
          Sparazza nods. The man exits. After a moment, the door opens
          again...and another MAN enters, walking slowly toward
          Sparazza's bedside. He sets down his luggage, a black leather
          valise. The travel tags originate in Stockholm:
          
          The Swede has arrived.
          
          FADE TO BLACK
          
          FADE UP ON:
          
          Soaring across the pristine deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe.
          Rising, revealing the gaudy, mirrored glass tower of the
          NOMAD HOTEL & CASINO. We slowly DISSOLVE TO:
          
                                                                     20.
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- NOMAD HOTEL & CASINO -- MORNING
          
          BUDDY ISRAEL, bathrobe, boxers, bags under his eyes. He
          absently shuffles cards, pulling aces as if by touch,
          telepathy. He gazes out at the snow-packed peaks. Behind
          him; post-bacchanalia...the ugly morning after. Prostitutes,
          passed out cold in a tangle of crotchless panties and stiletto
          heels, lying amongst smashed vodka bottles and ashtrays,
          coke-covered tabletops and tipped room service trays. -
          
          Israel, sober now...contemptuous of it all. He starts walking
          around them the way you would casualties on a battlefield.
          His bathrobe brushes over, terrycloth catching one of the
          hooker's wigs, tugging it free. Israel looks down, zooming
          in on her scalp, sees dandruff and scars, gags disgust and
          disdain. He steps, the wigs pulls. He stops and slips the
          bathrobe off, letting it fall rather than pull her wig the
          rest of the way off and ruin what illusion remains.
          
          He shuffles, begins dropping Aces on their bodies like dead
          enemy soldiers. One of his bodyguards enters; a bulging,
          slow-witted, ex-bodybuilder by the name of HUGO CROOP.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    D'you talk to'm?
          
                                HUGO
                        (fetching Mylanta
                         from the fridge)
                    I got his machine.
          
          A beat. Israel fidgets, twitches, rubs coke residue from his
          nose and over his gumline
          
                                ISRAEL
                    What'd you say?
          
                                HUGO
                        (gulping Mylanta)
                    I said I got his machine.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    No, what did you say on the machine?
          
                                HUGO
                    I left him a message.
          
                                 ISRAEL
                    I know you left him a message. What
                    did you say!
          
          Hugo looks up, seems confused. Moments pass. Israel, the
          patience of a gorilla, crammed into a canary cage.
          
                                  ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                    Jesus Hugo!
                                  (MORE)
          
                                                                    21.
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                    How is it that you can turn a simple
                    conversation into a fucking hedge
                    maze!? This is zero degree of
                    difficulty man!
          
                                  HUGO
                    Okay.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Then why are you still looking at me
                    like I'm asking for the square root
                    of something! What did you say!?
          
          Hugo, still unsure, speaks in spite of it.
          
                                HUGO
                    I said that we were returning his
                    call and you were real concerned,
                    because he sounded real concerned.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Look at that, we didn't have to fill
                    up the whole blackboard after all.
                    Now, do you know anything about that?
          
          Israel wrist-flicks a playing card, it embeds a sofa cushion
          like a ninja throwing star, right next to a beige coat.
          
                                  HUGO
                    About what?
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Look at the collar on that coat...
          
          Hugo, wary, walking over, inspecting the coat from a distance.
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                    What's that look like, that stain?
          
          Hugo edges closer, looks down at the coat, squints.
          
                                HUGO
                    I dunno...Cinnamon roll?
          
                                 ISRAEL
                    Cinnamon roll? No, good guess though.
                    No, Hugo that looks like jizz...
                        (reshuffles, stares)
                    And I'm no forensic expert mind you,
                    but that looks like some fuckhead
                    shot their load on a twelve-thousand
                    dollar calf's skin jacket. The twist?
                    It's My twelve thousand dollar, calf's
                    skin jacket.
                        (beat, then)
                    So y'got semen, human ejaculate--
                                 (MORE)
          
                                                                    22.
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                        (checks watch)
                    --that's been allowed to soak in for
                    what, six, seven hours now? Work
                    it's way into the fabric-fuck'n
                    fibers-- and while you may never see
                    it in a Tide commercial, I think it
                    still safely qualifies as a "tough,
                    deep down stain."
          
          Hugo takes another pull off the Mylanta bottle, moving slowly,
          like most morons do, avoiding eye contact at all cost.
          
                                HUGO
                    I could have it sent out...
          
                                ISRAEL
                    ...to what? Incinerate? 'Cuz I'm
                    almost dead certain there's not a
                    fucking laundry detergent or dry
                    cleaning process known to man that
                    can ever return that jacket to its
                    former glory! Some shit, suffice it
                    to say, just don't wash out.
                        (beat, cooling down)
                    Now, the money question...To whom
                    does that stain belong?
          
          Hugo, gameface falling apart...Israel prods him.
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                    C'mon, somebody was banging one of
                    these skanks, sans rubber--
                        (beat, assesses girls)
                    -which is terrifying in its own right-
                    pulled out, let 'er rip and ruined
                    the last gift my mother gave me before
                    she died.
                        (snatching up coat)
                    The way I see it, it's the same as
                    if she was dug up, three months dead
                    and it was shot right on her rotting
                    corpse, 'cuz that's how it defiled
                    this feels!
          
          Hugo. Long pause.   Big dumb blush.
          
                                HUGO
                    Do you want me to say I did it?
          
                                ISRAEL
                    I was kinda hoping, yeah.
          
                                HUGO
                    Do you want me to say I'm sorry?
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Only if you really, truly mean it.
          
                                                                      23.
          
          Hugo, swallowing, pressures on. The phone begins to ring.
          
                                HUGO
                    ...I'm sorry...
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Are you a fucking colossal idiot?
          
                                    HUGO
                    I am.   Yeah.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Without peer?
          
                                HUGO
                    I-- uh, yeah, I guess, yeah.
          
          Cards dance, Israel's hands moves at lightspeed, he reaches
          into Hugo's shirt front and pulls a playing card out...Joker.
          
                                ISRAEL
                        (showing him the card)
                    No. Be sure. Be resolute.    You stand
                    alone on that summit.
          
          The phone rings. Hugo, wobbly, what-to-do...? Buddy fires
          all fifty-two cards into his face. The beast barely blinks.
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                    Get the phone, it might be Gill,
                    then get out of my sight.
          
          Hugo, furtive look to the floor, all those scattered cards,
          then, back to the boss, "should I?"
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                    No. The cards can stay there. Get
                    The Goddamn Phone.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. CAR -- DAY
          
          A cellphone being lifted, revealing Special Agent Carruthers.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Yes Sir. Go ahead.
                        (listens, checks watch)
                    We're three miles from The Nomad
                    now. We'll be awaiting word.
          
          He clicks off. Messner occupies the passenger seat, reviewing
          surveillance tape, portable headphones on, mini-DAT player
          in his lap. He listens to the following excerpt:
          
                                                                       24.
          
                                SERNA (ON TAPE)
                    --so, I'm thinkin' we jump, do this
                    in the next day or so, get to Israel
                    before the Swede can--
          
          Messner pulls the headphones off.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Anything on the Swede?
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Only the mention made in that phone
                    call. There's no Swedish hitman of
                    any renown, much less one with a
                    million dollar day rate.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Maybe he's that good. Never been
                    caught, no criminal record.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Maybe.
          
          Messner, sets the gear on the floorboard, stretches. He
          turns over photographs of Victor Padiche and Sidney Serna.
          (the same ones that were tacked to the corkboard of the
          surveillance van in the opening)
          
                                MESSNER (CONTD)
                    I tell you, engineering this kind of
                    play against Sparazza, going to the
                    lengths these guys are going
                    to...they're playing some long odds.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    And a very bad gamble.
          
                                MESSNER
                        (re; the passing neon)
                    Well... This is as good a place for
                    it as any I guess.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          A slot machine handle gets yanked, rolls, stops, lemon-lemon-
          cherry- loser...please deposit coins.
          
          CAMERA MOVES PAST, TRACKING THROUGH:
          
          INT. CHOW SHACK BUFFET -- MORNING
          
          Tahoe's "First and Finest" all seasons Buffet. THE CAMERA
          FINDS: A slicker older cat in a Guyabera shirt, mid-fifties,
          spotted skin, sun damaged, pocked with pre-cancerous black.
          We recognize him from the mugshots and surveillance video:
          It's VICTOR PADICHE. Sykes and Watters enter FRAME. Padiche
          stands, greeting them, smiling-cigarette-stained-dentures...
          
                                                                      25.
          
                                PADICHE
                    Girls, wonderful, here, sit.
          
          Watters scoots in right next to Sykes, gets comfy. Sykes
          seems a put off by the proximity, ignores it for the moment.
          
                                PADICHE (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                    Okay, so...you're here, really nice
                    isn't it? Brisk weather, but nice.
                        (as WAITRESS approaches)
                    Coffee? Anything? I didn't want to
                    order for you.
          
                                WATTERS
                    No, we're cool.
          
                                PADICHE
                    Fabulous.
                        (to Waitress)
                    I'm fine sweetheart, thanks.
                        (beat, back to girls)
                    Okay, so...welcome to the south shore!
                        (big smile, then)
                    So, just jumpin' right in, just in
                    terms of this thing, our thing. I
                    spoke to Lorenzo this morning, he
                    says y'got somethin' more or less
                    put together, plan'a attack and me
                    and my associate Mr. Serna, who I
                    can put on the phone hear, we'd
                    love t'hear it.
          
          Watters and Sykes, non-responsive, staring...
          
                                PADICHE (CONT'D)
                    We ain't askin' ya t'take us through,
                    soup t'nuts or 'nuthin' like that, I
                    jus' like t'hear the broad strokes,
                    y'know, so we can get an idea--
          
          Sykes and Watters look at one another, wordless exchange,
          then;
          
                                WATTERS
                    Pussy.
          
          Awkward beat, Padiche, head cocked, did I hear that right...?
          
                                PADICHE
                    Wha'?
          
                                SYKES
                    Pussy.
          
                                PADICHE
                        (leaning closer)
                    "Pushy?"
          
                                                                      26.
          
          Watters, shaking her head, correcting him.
          
                                   WATTERS
                    Pussy.
          
          The old man blanches, doesn't quite understand the--
          
                                   PADICHE
                    --Uh...
          
          Another beat. The girls let him dangle. Watters, lewd sneer,
          looks almost lustfully at Sykes as she says the following;
          
                                WATTERS
                    Israel likes pussy...
          
          Padiche, recovering, nodding, nervous.
          
                                PADICHE
                    ...Oh...uh-huh, yeah--
          
          Sykes squirms under Watters lascivious gaze, but manages:
          
                                SYKES
                    And we like that he likes...
          
          Yet another beat.    Padiche, wanting desperately to contribute.
          
                                   PADICHE
                    ...Pussy?
          
                                   SYKES
                    Correct.
          
          Padiche, big nod going from one girl to the other, he-get's-
          it-but-not-really.
          
                                   PADICHE
                    ...Fabulous.
          
          He extends his hand.   WE TRACK IT ACROSS IN C.U. as it meets
          with a male hand.
          
          PULL BACK TO REVEAL
          
          INT. HOTEL ROOM -- BLACKJACK INN -- MORNING
          
          Dupree and Deeks shaking hands with RUPERT "RIP" REED, mid-
          forties, showbiz-slash-mob attorney, low man on the totem at
          the Las Vegas based legal firm of "Culpepper Brody & Reed"
          
                                REED
                    Yeah, Jack, alright...hey--
                        (shakes Deeks' hand)
                    Nice t'meet you. Rip Reed.
          
                                   DEEKS
                    Pete.
          
                                                                       27.
          
                                REED
                    Okay, good, good, c'mon, c'min.
          
          Reed and Dupree shake.   Reed glances out in the hall before
          closing the door.
          
                                REED (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                        (to Dupree)
                    Where's your third? This was a
                    troika, no?
          
          Dupree, finding a seat, almost under his breath.
          
                                DUPREE
                    He's...fuckin'...he's comin'...
          
          As Elmore appears, Reed almost closes the door on him--
          
                                REED
                        (extending hand)
                    Hey, hey how r'ya, Rip Reed.
          
                                 ELMORE
                    Hollis.   Elmore.
          
          They shake. Dupree shoots a look at Elmore, not pleased.
          Elmore, pissy, leans against the wall, arms crossed.
          
          Reed, wound out, worn thin, half drunk-- his bedspread is
          papered with writs, summons, notaries, etc: Everything to
          make Buddy Israel's return to custody legally binding. He
          sits on the edge of the bed, reaching for a pack of smokes
          on the nightstand, finding a half empty glass of scotch.
          
                                REED
                        (to Deeks)
                    So Jack tells me you're both ex-cops?
          
                                DEEKS
                    Yeah, that's right.
          
                                 DUPREE
                    They worked as swingmen for the Vegas
                    Vice squad--
                        (to Deeks)
                    What? Five, six years?
          
          Reed, digging a cigarette out of his pocket.
          
                                REED
                    Man the stories you guys must tell.
                    I grew up soft myself, private
                    schools, little blazers, you "Talked
                    it out" nobody threw punches, t'this
                    day, never been hit with a fist,
                    Imagine that, huh?
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                    28.
          
                                REED (CONT'D)
                    Pretty much a panty-waste, trembling
                    little faggot-fairy when I smell
                    trouble-- and I don't say this to be
                    self-deprecating, I just don't have
                    much of an opinion about myself, I
                    mean, shit, I wish I was a lot more
                    like you guys, barfighters, big
                    swinging dicks, gettin' it done.
                    Sadly.
                        (lifts his shirt,
                         exposes torso flab)
                    This is it. It's...disgusting.
                        (with a look skyward)
                    Thanks God, dogpile a piss-poor
                    physique with an small cock and
                    hereditary alcoholism! 'preciate it!
                        (beat, to Dupree)
                    Okay, I'm babbling, I do this when I
                    drink, forgive the rants, let's get
                    at it here. This wanted felon fucking
                    prick bastard Buddy Israel and the
                    nearly one million dollar bail bond.
          
          Dupree smiles, pats Reed on the shoulder, don't-sweat-this...
          
                                DUPREE
                    Rip, my right hand to God, we're
                    gonna go in and recover this asshole
                    and everybody's gonna leave the
                    theater grinning. Trust me.
          
                                REED
                    That confidence translates bro,
                    seriously, it does! Out-STANDING!
          
          Reed, white-boy high-five, excruciatingly un-hip. Deeks and
          Elmore literally have to look away. Dupree can barely bear
          it.
          
                                REED (CONT'D)
                    I'm a lawyer, y'know, I need to hear
                    these things, little boosts, helps
                    allay my fears, I pass that piece of
                    mind along to my partners.
                        (beat, then)
                    Alright, so, couple primers for you
                    guys, maybe things we might've looked
                    past that you should know about...His
                    hangers-on, these idiots Israel
                    runs with, they're all "packing heat"
                    "strapped" whatever the phrase is.
                    Point two, Israel likes hookers, so
                    you might run into a harem up there.
                    Point three: He binges between a six-
                    to-seven thousand dollar a day cocaine
                    habit that nobody knows about, so he
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                       29.
          
                                REED (CONT'D)
                    and those hookers, will most likely
                    be high. He also drinks, self-
                    medicates, the whole cliche, y'know?
                    The strung out hasbeen jerkoff snitch
                    drunk. The seven-layer loser.
                        (beat, exhales)
                    I'm praying he puts up a fight,
                    please, please, please, rape him if
                    possible, I'll-pay-the-extra-whatever--
          
          Nobody knows what to make of Reed, as he giggles, nods,
          smokes, nods, drinks-- he looks at all of them, a sudden
          unexpected wave of enthusiasm seizing him.
          
                                REED (CONT'D)
                    Yeah-yeah-yeah. Fucking hell, this
                    feels GREAT! YEAH!? DOESN'T IT!
          
          Reed begins laughing like a complete fucking loon, like he's
          just lost it completely. It's paralyzingly uncomfortable.
          Then, just like that, he stops, grabs an envelope.
          
                                REED (CONT'D)
                        (hands envelope over)
                    Okay, we had a retainer, for services
                    to be rendered...Fifty thousand
                    dollars.
          
          Reed hands the envelope to a smiling Dupree.
          
                                ISRAEL (V.O.)
                    FIFTY-FUCKING GRAND!
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- DAY
          
          Israel, furious, screaming at an immense black man standing
          in front of him: SIR IVY, his steadfast second-in-command:
          The presence of a Pimp, the mien of a Mack.
          
                                 SIR IVY
                    Calm down.
          
          Israel gets up in Ivy's grill. A phone begins to ring.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Don't tell me to "calm down" Ivy! I
                    hate that!
                        (re; the phone)
                    HUGO GRAB THAT! I JUST PAGED GILL!
          
          Hugo rushes for the phone.
          
                                SIR IVY
                    Look at the attention we're getting.
                    It's all bad...
          
                                                                    30.
          
          Hugo, hand cupped over the phone, butting in.
          
                                HUGO
                    Hey-- It's him, it's Gill.
          
                                SIR IVY
                        (gesturing to hookers)
                    ...We got these tricks going in and
                    out, we're partying like the shit
                    might go stale, what did you think
                    was gonna happen?
          
          Israel, walks toward Hugo.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Fifty grand gouge. South shore
                    hayseeds, this is why I never play
                    Tahoe, or redneck Reno...
          
                                SIR IVY
                    We're hot, and they're losing a whole
                    floor's worth of business saying
                    it's "under construction."
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Alright, bag it, I'm not shelling
                    out that kinda bread for this
                    shithole, this is a junior suite in
                    Vegas. Call Mecklen right now, he
                    should have his cell on, I need an
                    update.
                        (to Hugo)
                    Get the Russian up here, have him
                    clean this place, floor to ceiling
                    and get us packed .
                        (points to hookers)
                    ...And send out for some new skeeze,
                    the sun's up, these ones are starting
                    to stink...
          
          Hug hands the phone to Israel, pulling his own cell, dialing.
          Ivy looks around at the collapsed hookers, strewn about the
          place, his face registering the appropriate disgust. Then:
          
                                SIR IVY
                    BEANIE!
          
          Some of the girls start at the sound of Ivy's big Barry White
          baritone. They rise, groggy, burping up last night's
          debauchery. Mascara-smeared, hangover-hindered the girls
          rise as BERNARD "BEANIE" ALFONSE, protector #2, pops in; A
          sumo-sized brother with a diamond-studded smile.
          
                                BEANIE
                        (addressing the girls)
                    Alright ya'll, that's the call, we
                    had our fun, pack it in, pro-ceed to
                    the front. Les' go, les' go--
          
                                                                      31.
          
          Beanie starts herding hookers, Ivy positions himself at the
          door, pulls a flashroll, fingers hundred dollar bills.
          Israel, phone to his ear, retires to the bedroom for privacy.
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE BEDROOM -- CONTINUOUS
          
          Israel throws the lock.
          
                                  ISRAEL
                      Are you on a land line?
          
                                   DR. GILL
                      Yeah, why.
          
          Israel checks the wall clock.
          
                                  ISRAEL
                      Just checking...what's up?   What's
                      wrong with your voice?
          
          INTERCUT:
          
          INT. PRIVATE PRACTICE -- DAY
          
          DR. GREGORY GILL, 30's, Israel's private physician,
          walking/sprinting up a hallway, holding a medical report.
          
                                  DR. GILL
                      I've got concerns.
          
                                  ISRAEL
                      ...About what?
          
                                  DR. GILL
                      About cocaine...and the amount you're
                      doing.
          
                                  ISRAEL
                      I'm not doing cocaine.
          
                                  DR. GILL
                      Buddy, I'm not an ethics professor,
                      I'm a physician, be honest, or be
                      dead within a day...s'your choice.
          
          Israel, grave.   Guilt in his silence.
          
                                  DR. GILL (CONT'D)
                      ...I just got the cardiology work-up
                      back and sent it to two of my
                      colleagues, both heart specialists.
                      They concluded, as I have, that you
                      are showing signs of severe cardiac
                      distress...so much so, that a massive
                      coronary may be imminent.
          
          CUT BACK TO:
          
                                                                    32.
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- CONTINUOUS
          
          Ivy and Beanie, marshalling the mass hooker exodus. Ivy
          paying the gals as they exit the suite. One YOUNG HOOKER
          bringing up the rear, stumbles in her stripper heels, shaky,
          tries to take another step, slips, trips, falls-- smacks
          face first into a glass coffee table, shattering it.
          
                                BEANIE (CONTD)
                    Damn girl, look out now!
          
          The other Hookers; gape jawed, mild shock, mild amusement.
          Beanie plucks the fallen woman up, shakes her off, straightens
          her out, pulls off the offending heels.
          
                                BEANIE (CONT'D)
                        (holding up heel)
                    All these good for is poppin' them
                    titties girl, but y'see what happens
                    when you try to get around in 'em?
          
          The hooker, covered in glass dust, stuck with shards,
          teetering, too out of it to care.
          
          CUT BACK TO SCENE
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE BEDROOM -- CONTINUOUS
          
          Israel sweats like a stuck pig, pained, clutching his chest.
          
                                DR. GILL (O.S. ON PHONE)
                    --Forget about the tissue damage
                    you're doing to the heart itself.
                    Sustained cocaine abuse will segue
                    you from a very painful ventricular
                    fibrillation into full cardiac arrest.
                         (beat)
                    Buddy, nobody knows about your
                    condition, or your drug use. Why
                    you lied to me, knowing that I'd
                    find out anyway, I'll never know,
                    but it imperative now that I see
                    you.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    That's not possible. I told you.
          
                                 DR. GILL
                    There are certain meds, certain
                    intravenous measures that can
                    counteract some of the damage you've
                    done, but I'd have to administer
                    them myself.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Won't work, we're just gonna have to
                    chance it man. I'm sorry.
          
                                                                        33.
          
                                   DR. GILL
                       No. Sorry comes later, when you're
                       in a partial coma with ambulatory
                       paralysis. Sorry comes when we have
                       to decide which of your limbs have
                       to be amputated because severely
                       constricted blood flow has brought
                       about a gangrenous infection, sorry--
          
                                   ISRAEL
                       --Fine, fuck, I got it...Lake Tahoe,
                       Nevada. I'll have Hugo book your
                       flight, you can be here in a couple
                       hours. He'll meet you at the airport.
          
          Buddy disconnects. Dr. Gill holds for a moment, clicks over
          to another line, dials a new number...waits.
          
                                   DR. GILL
                       ...He's in Lake Tahoe.
          
                                                               CUT BACK TO:
          
          Buddy still standing there next to the phone, wincing,
          breathing shallow, looking down, rubbing his chest.
          
                                   ISRAEL
                       Be cool, be cool, be cool...c'mon...
          
          He walks over to the bureau, cut lines of coke await him.
          He bends, inserts a rolled hundred into his nostril.
          
                                   ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                       Just this last little bit, then we're
                       done, just this tiny bit and that's
                       it, that's it, all of it, over--
          
          He snorts.
          
          CUT BACK TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- CONTINUOUS
          
          Beanie, trying to assist the ailing hooker. She lurches
          suddenly, retching, projectile-vomit dousing Beanie's Versace--
          dripping dung-like from his shirt front.
          
                                   BEANIE
                       Awwww, motherfuck me! C'mon woman!
                       Hold your shit! This is silk!
          
          The other hooker's titters turn to outright guffaws. Barf-
          girl takes umbrage, hurls her purse at them, rushing into
          the herd, throwing haymakers asswild, snatching wigs, sinking
          fake nails into skin, snapping them off, Van Helsing style.
          
          The fur flies, a slugfest free-for-all. Ivy intervenes--
          Beanie jumps into the fray, separating combatants-- one of
          
                                                                       34.
          
          them wielding her pump heel like a pick-axe. Hugo heads
          another off hooker, hitting her like a blitzing linebacker.
          
          Israel, who has walked back out, looks on with total disdain
          for what he's seeing...Then, he catches his reflection in a
          living room mirror, a profound sense of sadness there.
          
                                ISRAEL
                        (to himself, quiet)
                    ...How the mighty have fallen...
          
          WE PUSH PAST HIM...
          
          In the distance, on the lake, a small boat, a man sitting
          inside, gazing up through a pair of binoculars.
          
                                  CARRUTHERS (V.O.)
                    He's awake.
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. "TAHOE SKILLET" RESTAURANT -- MORNING
          
          The Feds occupy a booth, black coffee for both. Carruthers
          clicks off a cellphone. Messner is engrossed in a file
          clipped with old surveillance photographs of Primo Sparazza.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Spotter on the lake confirmed Israel.
                    Penthouse level. There was apparently
                    a fisticuffs with some prostitutes.
                    He wasn't involved. He's also had
                    his people phone a local madame for
                    another group of girls.
          
                                MESSNER
                    No rest for the wicked.
                        (beat, holds up file)
                    Why were we never shown these files?
                    We're sitting on Sparazza for what?
                    Six months now and we're just seeing
                    this?
                        (beat, reading)
                    Did you know that he's has had thirty-
                    six major medical procedures performed
                    on him since 1953?
                        (flips, reads)
                    Elective plastic surgery, every single
                    one--
          
          Messner, turning the file toward Carruthers, pointing.
          
                                MESSNER (CONT'D)
                    --look at this, look at the work
                    he's had done; nose, three times,
                    eyes, eyelids, chin, jaw-- he's had
                    his jaw done a dozen times.
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                    35.
          
                                MESSNER (CONT'D)
                    You take every hasbeen actor in
                    Hollywood they haven't been cut this
                    much.
          
          Messner flips to another part of the file.
          
                                MESSNER (CONT'D)
                    Unreal, this guys jacket too. Wall-
                    to-wall major felony offenses, murder,
                    extortion, arson, grand larceny--
                        (beat, points)
                    --A paternity suit...I just feel
                    like we're playing catch-up with all
                    this and we shouldn't be.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Welcome to the new Bureau. Nobody
                    shares information anymore, it's
                    become synonymous with job security.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Based on what we had, I thought
                    Sparazza was a mid-level player at
                    best and it turns out he's this mob
                    relic, running the show out west.
          
          Carruthers nods, sips his coffee.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    He's stayed below the radar. You
                    don't kill a hundred and thirty people
                    without knowing how to tip-toe.
          
          Messner flips the file, finds a page paper-clipped with a
          photograph of murder/martyred Federal Agent Freeman Heller.
          
                                MESSNER
                    But the Bureau knew Sparazza killed
                    Heller. Why not go after him, guns
                    blazing' for that one?
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Heller was buried in agency lore,
                    anytime an operative failed or was
                    perceived to have failed, Hoover
                    blackballed their memory. Look at
                    Ness.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Yeah, but the Untouchables took down
                    Capone. Heller got shot and killed.
                    The bad guys beat him. Worse, Sparazza
                    walked.
          
          Messner sits back, kills the remainder of his coffee, gazing
          out the window, watching sightseers stream by. Carruthers
          glances at his watch.
          
                                                                      36.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    It's almost five a.m. in D.C. now.
                    Locke said the lawyers from Justice
                    had been in there since three o'clock
                    yesterday afternoon. Israel's manager
                    is acting as his attorney and that's
                    what's holding things up.
          
          The waitress arrives with breakfast, sets it down.
          
                                MESSNER
                    So he has no idea what's about to
                    happen?
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    No. And I want to be in that room a
                    half second after Mecklen calls to
                    say the deal's done. We've got a
                    sheriff's task force on stand-by.
          
                                MESSNER
                    What about the hotel staff obstructing
                    us. Israel's obviously paid off the
                    management.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Tampering with a witness extraction
                    of this magnitude makes everyone
                    indictable at the federal level.
                        (beat, grins)
                    Trust me, we won't any problems with
                    the hotel staff. You show 'em your
                    ID with the letters "F.B.I." in all
                    caps and it's instant compliance.
                    I've seen in happen a hundred times.
          
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          F.B.I. BADGE AND IDENTIFICATION
          
          It fills the the frame. An O.S. voice explains:
          
                                VOICE (O.S.)
                    Special Agent Gerald Diego, Federal
                    Bureau of Investigation, San Francisco
                    Field Office.
          
          INT. NOMAD HOTEL AND CASINO -- LOBBY/RECEPTION -- DAY
          
          PULL BACK TO REVEAL: Gerald Diego...aka Pasquale Acosta, aka
          "El Estrago" the most notorious torture-murder specialist in
          the biz in convincing disguise. His suit, mannerisms and
          speech. Pitch Perfect...he's got the fake-Fed bit down cold.
          
                                ACOSTA
                    We're conducting a series of impromptu
                    inspections for the Nevada Gaming
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                    37.
          
                                ACOSTA (CONT'D)
                    Commission. I'd like to speak with
                    your head of security.
          
          A pimply CASINO EMPLOYEE nods, dashing off to find the boss.
          Acosta glances around, takes in the eight-dollar-an-hour
          security, the array of quasi-armed guards...and smiles.
          
                                DEEKS (V.O.)
                    Where'd you get these?
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          Guard uniforms, exactly like those we've just seen, worn by
          the Nomad's security staff. Maroon with burnished gold
          buttons and brown piping down the slacks. Three separate
          vestments laid out across the trunk of a rental car.
          
          CAMERA PULLS BACK TO REVEAL:
          
          EXT. PARKING LOT -- OFF THE LAKE -- DAY
          
          Dupree and Deeks in an empty parking lot, bundled up in
          windbreakers, battling the frozen spindrift swirling in off
          the lake.
          
                                DUPREE
                    Same place that rents the guard's
                    uniforms. There's a shift change at
                    9am. Graveyard goes home and we can
                    blend in with the day shift coming
                    on.
          
                                DEEKS
                    What about access cards? Pass keys?
          
                                DUPREE
                    We'll have to get our hands on them.
                    There's two separate units; Casino
                    Floor/Count Room Security and General
                    Hotel Security--
                        (annoyed, nods to car)
                    Does he want to hear this or what?
          
          Deeks bangs on the hood of the car.
          
                                DEEKS
                    Hollis!
          
          Elmore steps out, moving slowly to the rear of the car.
          
                                DUPREE
                    Nobody put a gun to your head.
          
          Elmore leans against the bumper, bored.
          
                                ELMORE
                    Yeah, we've been through that.
          
                                                                    38.
          
                                DUPREE
                    Then quit acting like somebody shit
                    in your cereal bowl. Reed just gave
                    us fifty grand.
          
                                ELMORE
                    --Jack, what am I doing? I'm standing
                    here, aren't I?
                        (beat, to both men)
                    Shouldn't that be enough? That I
                    made the trip?
          
                                DUPREE
                    Your attitude sucks.
          
                                ELMORE
                    I been accused of worse.
                        (glancing at uniforms)
                    What do we got...?
          
          Dupree, dubious, does he continue...?   Fine. Fuck it.
          
                                DUPREE
                    Two security levels, the one we're
                    going in under the guise of, hotel
                    security, has restricted access.
                    They're mostly there to monitor the
                    lobby, handle disturbances on the
                    different floors and toss out drunks.
                        (beat)
                    There's a thirty-five member employee
                    rotation going from graveyard to day
                    shift. If we split up, we can blend
                    in and enter unnoticed. Once we're
                    inside the hotel, we'll regroup.
          
                                  ELMORE
                    Then what--
          
          --A Plymouth Barracuda passes by, brakes hard, reverses.
          The trio stop talking, look over...and then their lives end.
          Bad intentions blaze from the driver's side, machine-gun
          bursts-- Dupree is hit flush, dead on his feet, his dying
          thought, cut comically short; "I had that car in high scho--
          
          Deeks, shredded where he stands, his body absorbing a
          fusillade of rounds traveling at twice the speed of sound.
          One creases Elmore's skull, another blows out Deeks' back,
          fragmenting, claiming three fingers from Elmore's left hand.
          The three of them fall in weird, waterlogged flops, no dying
          breaths, no death rattles, just lights out...just like that.
          
          Several seconds pass. Then the car door opens and The Tremor
          Brothers, like circus clowns, clamber out in a cloud of gun
          and reefer smoke. LESTER TREMOR, the dandruff-caked,
          pockmarked middle brother is the first out. He shakes off
          the cold, yawning, stretching, revealing all manner of tattoo.
          
                                                                    39.
          
          The Tremors' youngest brother, the Baby-Huey sized JEEVES
          TREMOR bumbles out, pulling at his crotch. He unzips & rips,
          baptizing the Cuda's tire with a truly prodigious piss.
          DARWIN TREMOR climbs from the car, the eldest brother, straw
          boss, brains of the outfit. He looks down at the dead men,
          seems saddened by their state. Some remorse maybe? Maybe so.
          
                                JEEVES TREMOR
                        (still pissing)
                    Luvin' that, rat-tat-tat-tat, clean
                    as a nun's snatch on Kristal Nacht!
          
                                LESTER TREMOR
                        (stops singing)
                    Shut up fuckass, them spirits ain't
                    vacated yet, s'keep quiet.
          
                                JEEVES TREMOR
                    Them spirts can kiss my Chinese ass.
          
                                LESTER TREMOR
                    ...YOU AIN'T NO CHINESE!
          
          This exchange prompts Jeeves to turn and urinate on Lester.
          Lester squeals war cry, launching a wild windmill barrage on
          his behemoth little brother. Jeeves ignores the hydrant-
          like urine stream soaking them both and starts swinging back.
          
          Darwin kneels down over the dead Jack Dupree, taking Jack's
          face in his hand and squeezing back and forth, adding his
          own words in what amounts to a freakish ventriloquist act.
          
                                DUPREE (DEAD)
                    ...I forgive you Darwin.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    Shoot, I appreciate that man.
          
                                 DUPREE
                    If I needed your I.D. and your car
                    and me and my brothers were wanted
                    by the law, I woulda killed you to
                    get 'em too.
          
                                  DARWIN TREMOR
                    You woulda?
          
                                DUPREE
                    Oh hell yeah. We's just in the wrong
                    place at the wrong time. So don't
                    feel so bad dude.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    Damn...alright then.
          
                                DUPREE
                    I don't mind now anyway.
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                      40.
          
                                DUPREE (CONT'D)
                    You know, up here in Heaven, it's
                    beautiful. Way better than fuckin'
                    Hawaii or any place like that.
          
          Darwin's eyes begin to well, the tears coming slowly. In the
          background, Lester and Jeeves beat e ach other ruthlessly.
          
                                   DARWIN TREMOR
                    Really?
          
                                DUPREE
                    I'm glad I'm here. I love it. I'm
                    gonna get laid by some fine ass angels
                    and then go hang out with Jesus and
                    them.
          
          Darwin wipes his eyes.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    Man, that's great.
          
                                 DUPREE
                    I got it made in the shade Amigo.
                    Hey, I'll see you up here some day,
                    don't worry.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    You think so?
          
          Darwin uses his thumb and forefinger to make it appear as
          though Dupree we're smiling up at him.
          
                                   DUPREE
                    I know so.
          
          Darwin smiles back down   at the corpse, wiping his nose on
          his sleeve. He reaches    down and pulls out Dupree's wallet.
          He spots the bondsman's   license, eyeballs the bail papers:
          He sees the name ROBERT   ISRAEL in bold type. Puts it together.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    Damn Jack...you was after the same
                    sacka shit as us...Small world.
          
          Darwin continues the pat down, pauses, pulls the envelope
          with fifty grand inside, fingers fresh bills. With his free
          hand he manipulates Dupree's dead mouth one last time.
          
                                DUPREE
                    Don't tell your asshole brothers you
                    know about it, that money is for you
                    old boy.
          
          Darwin, a nod of acknowledgement for the dead Dupree.
          
                                                                      41.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    I appreciate that pard...I wish I
                    coulda been a better friend.
          
          Darwin stands, His eyes move to the guard's uniforms, still
          laid out across the trunk...he looks over at his two brothers,
          Jeeves now with a Lenny-like hammerlock on Lester's head.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                    Alright enough grabassin' goddamit!
                    We need t'get over t'that hotel.
          
                                WATTERS (V.O.)
                    We're already here baby.
          
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. NOMAD HOTEL AND CASINO -- LOBBY -- MORNING
          
          Watters is once again on her cellphone to Lorenzo.
          
                                WYMAN (O.S.)
                        (on the phone)
                    So everything's cool then?
          
                                WATTERS
                    We sat down with Padiche, he tried
                    to get some details which we wasn't
                    gonna give up, but it's all good.
                    We goin' check Sis in first, 'fore I
                    check in across the street.
          
          Sykes arrives at the reception counter when the elevators
          open-- and Israel's Hookers, post-brawl bruised, bloodied
          and barefoot, come staggering out.
          
          They slur insults at the security team, broken heels slung
          over their shoulders, wigs misaligned, miniskirts mangled.
          Sykes trades looks with Watters as if assessing something,
          nodding almost imperceptibly to one another. Watters then
          winks, something sexual there...it gives Sykes the shivers.
          
          The Hookers are surrounded by a horde of hotel staff and
          summarily whisked away. Watters joins Sykes. The WOMAN
          behind the counter checking Sykes in, looks up to see Watters.
          
                                 WOMAN
                    Will you be needing a room with two
                    double beds?
          
                                SYKES
                        (quickly)
                    No, we're not together.
          
          Watters, a grin.
          
                                WATTERS
                    C'mon baby, don't be shy.
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                       42.
          
                                WATTERS (CONT'D)
                        (to woman)
                    Just one bed please.
                        (beat, to Sykes smiling)
                    Although if we sweat that one up, we
                    goin' need some clean sheets.
                        (As Sykes pulls away)
                    C'mon Girl, you know I'm playing!
          
          Sykes looks uneasily at the counter woman, who keeps her
          eyes locked on the computer in front of her.
          
                                WATTERS (CONT'D)
                        (over her shoulder to
                         the departing hookers)
                    ..If ya'll let hoochie like that
                    stay up in here, ya'll must be burning
                    sheets by the ton.
          
          The woman just smiles that monstrously insincere "I'm here
          to help!" smile, offering nothing in response.
          
                                WATTERS (CONT'D)
                    You just goin' grin? Y'ain't goin
                    comment on that, at all? Trampy ass
                    skeezers, doin' damage they ain't
                    even smart enough to see. That don't
                    gall you at all?
                        (beat, closer)
                    Bitches like those are the same ones
                    runnin' feminism right to the brink
                    girl. Bitches like that the reason
                    mafuckas don't take our species
                    seriously. We jus' meat for male
                    consumption, we jus' pieces a'ass
                    and pussy, somethin' pretty in
                    lipstick and eye liner can suck cock.
          
          Sykes, embarrassed, nudging Watters, knock-it-off...
          
                                WATTERS (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                    Bitches like that make me weep for
                    what could be-- if we could all,
                    sisters everywhere, black, white,
                    yellow and brown, put our shit down
                    one time, unified front, the force
                    of the female race, mobilized, moving
                    as one...
          
          The woman, smile severely strained, the pro-feminist diatribe
          falling on decidedly deaf ears. An awkward beat, then;
          
                                SYKES
                    I'm gonna need a mini-bar key too.
          
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
                                                                       43.
          
          A mini-bar being opened. A hand reaching in, extracting two
          small bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey and a bottle of seltzer.
          
          INT. NOMAD HOTEL ROOM -- LOWER FLOOR
          
          The figure crosses the room, pouring the seltzer onto a towel.
          He kneels down, dabbing a spot on the carpet, fresh spill,
          deep red, indelible.. The seltzer doesn't bring it up. The
          stain remains, smeared now but unmistakable...blood.
          
          The figure stands. In the bathroom behind him, we see a body,
          male, late-50's, trussed up, hung by his feet over the tub
          and bled out. The figure walks in, takes a Polaroid, turns
          it upside down near the man's face and fires off a photo.
          
          He crosses back into the bedroom. The resulting photo is
          tucked into the corner of a dresser mirror as it develops.
          As the figure sits, WE PAN OVER TO REVEAL:
          
          LAZLO SOOT: world class assassin slash master of disguise.
          The slowly developing polaroid depicts the same face that we
          now see in the mirror. Soot touches up the putty and plastic
          appliances on his face, smoothing, sealing...
          
          He takes up a small micro-cassette recorder, rewinds, pushes
          play. A butler's uniform, steamed and pressed, hangs on the
          door. He takes it down and begins changing into it.
          
                                   LAZLO SOOT (ON RECORDER)
                    --Keep calm.
          
          He glances over at the bed. The dead man's voice crackles
          back over the recorder.
          
                                DEAD MAN (ON RECORDER)
                    I am an employee, I-- I don't know
                    wh-- they don't let me speak to h--
          
                                LAZLO SOOT (ON RECORDER)
                    --Say your name. Then say "How can I
                    be of assistance."
          
          Soot, back to the mirror, buttoning his collar, straightening
          his cuffs, smoothing out the creases.
          
                                DEAD MAN (ON RECORDER)
                    I don't understand.
          
                                 LAZLO SOOT (ON RECORDER)
                    I didn't ask for your understanding.
                    I asked you to say your name, followed
                    by the phrase "How can I be of
                    assistance."
          
          Beat. Soot looks down at the Silencer-fitted 9mm pistol lying
          on the vanity.
          
                                                                         44.
          
                                   LAZLO SOOT (ON RECORDER)   (CONT'D)
                    Last chance.
          
          A pause, then:
          
                                DEAD MAN (ON RECORDER)
                    My name is Vitoli. How can I be of
                    assistance.
          
                                   LAZLO SOOT (ON RECORDER)
                    Thank you.
          
          A muffled gunshot sounds. The recorder abruptly shuts off.
          Soot, gazing at his reflection now, rewinds the recorder,
          replays, listens, gauging the man's vocal patterns-- rough
          Baltic accent, throaty warble, excessive smoke & booze
          exposure, tracheal damage. Tough to match. He rehearses one.
          
                                SOOT
                    My name is Vitoli. How can I be of
                    assistance.
          
          He grimaces, grabs cigarettes off the bureau, lights, wails
          smokestack, puffing three at once, bellows-like lungfuls--
          He grabs an aerosol can from the same bureau, strafes the
          back of his throat, pops the tops on the bottles of Jack,
          kills them both, gags, sputters, recovers, adjusts himself.
          Suddenly, the phone begins to ring. Soot stops, stares.
          
          After another ring, he lifts the receiver,
          
                                SOOT (CONT'D)
                        (into phone, cautious)
                    This is Vitoli. How can I be of
                    assistance.
          
          Hugo Croop's voice booms from the earpiece.
          
                                HUGO
                    Answer your fucking pages! I've
                    been calling for fifteen minutes, we
                    need you up here to clean NOW!
          
                                ISRAEL (V.O.)
                    That's right! RIGHT NOW!
          
                                                                    CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- NOMAD HOTEL & CASINO -- MORNING
          
          Israel, sequestered to his bedroom, lying on a baby-grand
          piano, its legs inexplicably sawed off during the previous
          night's hedonism. In his hands, the de riguer deck of cards,
          restlessly shuffled and reshuffled...Cocaine has been lovingly
          cut and arranged in neat, snortable rows atop the piano.
          
          In the b.g. we see HUGO on the phone to Vitoli/Soot.
          
                                                                    45.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    They're gonna give on this in the
                    next ten seconds or the deal's off!
          
                                MECKLEN (O.S.)
                    I dunno what to say to you sweetheart,
                    it is what it is.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Bullshit it is. I said, about as
                    loud as I could say it, "no jail
                    time for my guys."
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL -- WASHINGTON D.C. -- DAY
          
          Morris Mecklen, sleepless, sweat rings blossoming armpit to
          waist. He picks at the plate of room service food in front
          of him. A group of Feds and Fed lawyers linger in the b.g.
          
                                MECKLEN
                    And they're not going give there
                    pally. They're bricking us on that
                    particular issue.
          
          Mecklen glances back over his shoulder, lowering his voice.
          
                                MECKLEN (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                    Baby, I've been co-habitating with
                    these people for the past thirty odd
                    hours and in so doing, have stared
                    into the face of hell. These are the
                    premier prick cocksuckers of all
                    time and I feel beaten by them, I
                    feel bloodied--
          
                                ISRAEL
                    --and you're gonna feel altogether
                    fucked, by me, if you don't handle
                    this. I'm the one, does the face
                    plant, this falls apart, not you.
          
          Buddy's rubs his chest-- grimacing-- he lays back on the
          piano, hoists a vial of blow, presses a nostril, does a bump.
          
                                MECKLEN (V.O.)
                    And I vibe that kiddo, I do indeed,
                    but it's one'a those fait accompli
                    things, you have to--
          
                                 ISRAEL
                    I don't have to do shit! Which
                    includes cooperating any further
                    with these motherfuckers until I get
                    what I want!
                                 (MORE)
          
                                                                     46.
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                        (beat, considers,
                         looks over at Hugo)
                    Alright, fuck it, if we gotta hand
                    'em somebody from our end and they're
                    being hard-ons about it-- make it
                    Hugo, him I don't mind. He needs
                    that regimented thing that prison
                    provides--
          
                                MECKLEN
                    --Buddy, it's bigger than that, they
                    want 'em all, Ivy, Beanie--
          
                                ISRAEL
                    --this isn't a swap meet Morrey,
                    they're getting Sparazza and the
                    west coast syndicate, giftwrapped,
                    now if that's not good enough--
          
          The Feds are signaling Mecklen back into the main room.
          
                                MECKLEN
                    --Listen kid, let's not antagonize
                    this any more. I got 'em backed
                    down on the book and t.v. deals.
                    They're agreeing to give you all the
                    after tax profits, so you can come
                    away with some chits and live
                    comfortably. If we push this, they'll
                    revoke your protective status, which
                    nullifies any agreement you got with
                    the government...Now that's mate and
                    checkmate kiddo and once that happens,
                    the shit'll start falling down around
                    your ears, real fast.
          
          Buddy's head teeters back, bangs on the keys, sour chords,
          thinking...thinking...He takes the deck, firing the cards up
          in a perfect column above his head, snatching one random out
          of the air with his right. He turns it over, looks...Joker.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Alright...do it.
          
          In the shadows at the far end of the room, tucked into the
          midday shadows, Ivy listens as his boss betrays them all...
          
                                CARRUTHERS (V.O.)
                    Israel just rolled.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          EXT. TAHOE SKILLET" RESTAURANT -- MORNING
          
          The Feds, heading toward their car, Carruthers snaps his
          cellphone shut.
          
                                                                       47.
          
                                MESSNER
                    He's giving them up?
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    All of 'em. His entire entourage. I
                    think we should move.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Did the Justice lawyers sign off?
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    That's happening in about ten minutes.
                    Israel's at optimum risk of flight
                    right now, so we can't wait.
          
          They reach their car.
          
                                MESSNER
                    What about the sheriff's task force?
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Have them mobilized. I'll phone
                    security and have the elevators locked
                    down and stairwells secured. We
                    need to keep Israel sequestered in
                    that penthouse.
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR (V.O.)
                    No, I'm sorry, the penthouse is
                    currently under construction.
          
          INT. NOMAD HOTEL AND CASINO -- SECURITY ROOM -- DAY
          
          S.A. Gerald Diego, alias Pasquale Acosta, speaking   with "Bill"
          SECURITY SUPERVISOR for the Nomad. Banks of video    monitors
          surround them, displaying the various gaming areas   and VIP
          floors...two of the screens are completely blacked   out.
          
                                ACOSTA
                        (to Bill)
                    Can I speak to you privately?
          
          The Supervisor nods, dismisses his staff, calls after one.
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    Gary, let's get our personnel up in
                    the catwalk over twelve, that stickman
                    has been acting odd and I don't like
                    the rolls that table has been getting.
          
                                  EMPLOYEE
                    Got it.
          
          Acosta waits for the door to close, leaving only himself and
          the supervisor in the room.
          
                                                                    48.
          
                                ACOSTA
                    It's gotta be tough keeping an eye
                    on everything.
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    And everybody, all the time. Yeah,
                    it's a chore.
          
          Acosta laughs, keeps it loose.
          
                                ACOSTA
                    So, Bill, if I understand this right,
                    you currently have your penthouse
                    floor under construction?
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    That's correct.
          
                                ACOSTA
                        (points to monitors)
                    But with these down, doesn't that
                    pose a major security concern if, as
                    you say, you have to keep an eye on
                    everything at all times?
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    Well, we were worried about dust and
                    debris from the work being done
                    ruining the cameras, so--
          
                                ACOSTA
                    --so you shut them off?
          
          The Supervisor, quick to amend.
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    Yes, but no-- we have personnel
                    stationed at both ends of that hall,
                    twenty-four hours a day.
          
                                ACOSTA
                    What kind of personnel?
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          The Nomad's crack unit, security staffers cum bodyguards:
          The casino's version of a SWAT Team: Six ex-cop/military
          types-- bowling buddies, brushcuts and potguts-- they carry
          Colt .380 autos, religiously kept, strictly range-fired.
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR (V.O.)
                    Right now? A six man security force,
                    plus a member of our Butler staff.
                    So seven men total.
          
          CUT BACK TO SCENE:
          
                                                                      49.
          
                                ACOSTA
                    You have a butler working that floor?
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          Vitoli, aka Lazlo Soot, stepping onto a lower-floor elevator,
          pushing a service cart tucking the 9mm into his waistband.
          
          CUT BACK TO SCENE:
          
          The Supervisor sputters-- stammers, realizes he just slipped.
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    Uh-- well, yes, uh just in terms of
                    the men up there now, my team, he's
                    serving lunch and dinner and just
                    doing general upkeep so--
          
                                ACOSTA
                    So there are no guests staying on
                    that floor?
          
          The Supervisor makes a big show of the headshake "no...."
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    No. None at present.
          
          Acosta grins, takes a step closer.
          
                                ACOSTA
                    C'mon Bill...you've got some Sultan
                    up there, one of your whales, big-
                    spender, likes a lot of space, you
                    cook up this "construction" thing...?
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    No, no, no. We've been looking to
                    renovate that area of our hotel for
                    some time now. The security team is
                    only present to preserve floor
                    integrity, due to the roof access.
          
                                ACOSTA
                    Is your security team armed?
          
                                 SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    Of course.   Yes.
          
                                ACOSTA
                    And who has access to that floor?
          
          The Supervisor...something like suspicion in his eyes. The
          secure "hotline" begins to ring. The Supervisor looks over
          at the phone, then back at Acosta...the unflappable pro.
          
                                                                       50.
          
                                ACOSTA (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                    Bill, listen, I can ask you now and
                    you can answer me, or I can drag you
                    up to San Francisco and depose you
                    in front of a federal judge. Because
                    that's where we're headed here.
          
          Bullshit, but it sounds good.   The Supervisor starts for the
          ringing hotline.
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    I'm sorry, but I'm going to need to
                    see your identification again. We're
                    covering some sensitive material
                    here and I need to safeguard myself,
                    I'm sure you can understand.
          
          Acosta, reaching into his coat.
          
                                ACOSTA
                    Of course, but if you could just
                    tell me who has access to that floor--
          
          The Supervisor touches a pass key that he wears on a chain
          around his neck as he moves to answer the phone.
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    --I hold the sole pass key and
                    personally relieve the shifts myself.
                    Now if I could get your ID we can--
          
          --Acosta, coming out of his coat, fake ID in hand, the
          supervisor reaching for it and the ringing phone
          simultaneously-- suddenly a six-inch, spring-loaded stiletto
          blade explodes from Acosta's sleeve, piercing the ID-- pinning
          it to the Supervisor's chest.
          
          A surprised grunt from the man as blood begins to pour from
          his punctured sternum. The blade retracts. The phone sits
          trembling in the Supervisor's hand, --a voice-- Carruther's,
          tinny and barely audible, warbles from the other end-
          
                                VOICE
                        (over phone)
                    Hello? This is Special Agent Donald
                    Carruthers of the FBI, I need an--
          
          Acosta takes the phone from the stunned Supervisor, replacing
          it on the console. The Supervisor, still confused by the
          exchange, wanting to speak, but unsure of what to say...He
          gazes down to the red blossom fanning across his shirt front.
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    Is...that...blood?
          
          Acosta pockets his ID as he yanks the pass key off the
          Supervisor's neck. His natural accent returns.
          
                                                                     51.
          
                                ACOSTA
                    Yes it is and right now it's filling
                    your lungs. In less than a minute,
                    you'll asphyxiate and pass out. You
                    shouldn't be feeling any pain now.
          
          The Supervisor's knees begin to buckle, nervous system slowly
          shutting down. Acosta steadies him, easing him to the floor.
          
                                  ACOSTA (CONT'D)
                    Close your   eyes. Think of something
                    wonderful.    Don't make this face the
                    last thing   you ever see.
                        (beat,   in Spanish)
                    Heaven may   hold it against you.
          
          The Supervisor, unblinking, an almost childlike clarity there.
          
                                SECURITY SUPERVISOR
                    ...Am I really dying...?
          
          Acosta, deadpan.
          
                                ACOSTA
                    Bill--
                        (out of respect)
                    Willliam...
                        (pause)
                    We're all dying...
          
          Bill the supervisor almost smiles as he breathes his last
          breath...Acosta checks for a pulse, then drags his body toward
          a service closet. As he passes one of the video monitors...
          
          ...WE SEE ON-SCREEN: The Employee entrance, grave and swing
          shifts on their way out, day shift on it's way in. Mixed in
          with this personnel rotation, each doing his inconspicuous
          best...The Brothers Tremor.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. EMPLOYEE ENTRANCE -- DAY
          
          Darwin, Lester and Jeeves, clad in full security attire,
          standing apart so as not to appear together, heads down,
          hands shoved into their pockets.
          
          Darwin bird-dogs both his brothers, monitoring their movement,
          using hand signals and some bizarre inbred semaphore to
          communicate with them. They pass through and punch in,
          signing time sheets. The surrounding security staff oblivious
          to the new faces. The brothers enter the lower floors, moving
          through the hotel's fitness center and indoor pool.
          
          A kid does a cannonball as they pass as we...
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
                                                                       52.
          
          A clouded bog-- coming to-- consciousness, then, retching,
          gagged gasps, throat ablaze with bile, liquid clearing
          convulsed lungs, breath in burning spasms-- not enough air.
          
          EXT. LAKE --DAY
          
          Elmore sits up in the sub-zero shallows of Lake Tahoe with a
          start, stripped naked, shaking uncontrollably, his skin a
          deep bruised blue. Dull pain quickly defines-- pinpoints,
          bores in, bone deep...Death can't hurt this much.
          
          He gets his breathing under control, the onset of hypothermia
          turning his fingertips black-- his left hand, lighter three
          digits-- he looks, comprehension sparks but can't catch-- he
          stares impassively at the ragged space, for the moment, he
          doesn't seem to mind their absence. He gropes the side of
          his head, bullet-graze, blood congealed by the cold, the
          concussion he suffered has left a massive migraine behind.
          
          He crawls from the water, muscles cramping, knotting up. He
          reaches the sand, unable to pull himself up any further. He
          turns back, sees the bodies of Deeks and Dupree, face down,
          the lazy lake tide gently lifting and lowering them...
          
                                MESSNER (V.O.)
                    Double homicide, gunshot vics, both
                    of 'em dumped in the lake. That's
                    where the Sheriff's task force is.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. CAR -- DAY
          
          Carruthers and Messner, hectic, speeding through the south
          shore of Lake Tahoe, cellphones pinned to their ears.
          
                                MESSNER
                        (back into his phone)
                    Deputy, have you made any ID's?
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                        (cups phone, to Messner)
                    Get a coroner's estimate too.
                        (back into his cell)
                    --Miss, I've been transferred and I
                    was disconnected. No one is answering
                    and I need someone from security to
                    pick up that line. It's urgent.
          
          Messner, nodding as he listens.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Dep-- Deputy, I'm going to put you
                    on speaker, I have Agent Carruthers
                    in the car with me.
                        (beat to Carruthers)
                    You need to hear this.
          
                                                                    53.
          
          Messner clicks over, the deputies voice fills the car.
          
                                SHERIFF DEPUTY
                    --nd have a pending ID on a Jack
                    Dupree, appears to be a bondsman out
                    of Las Vegas. He was just rolled
                    and printed by our medical examiner.
          
          Messner and Carruthers trade looks.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Was there anything recovered?
          
                                SHERIFF DEPUTY (O.S.)
                    We found a handwritten receipt in
                    his pocket for what looks like uniform
                    rentals. The name and phone number
                    of the rental house wasn't listed,
          
                                MESSNER
                    What kind of uniforms?
          
                                SHERIFF DEPUTY (O.S.)
                    Receipt wasn't specific, the uniforms
                    were just listed as maroon in color.
          
          Carruthers mashes the floorboard, brakes smoke, power swerve,
          slicing the rented Taurus across four lanes of traffic.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Alright, deputy, we'll be there as
                    soon as possible, until we arrive, I
                    need you to limit physical access
                    and restrict movement to and from
                    the crime scene. Clear?
          
          Messner clicks off.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Maroon uniforms?
          
                                MESSNER
                    Yeah. Have you been able to get
                    through to the Nomad's security?
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    No.
                        (beat, decision)
                    I'm going over there. You take the
                    car from there, get out to the lake.
          
          Carruthers pushes 110mph, barreling toward the Nomad, blowing
          through traffic-- Both men pull out IFB/earpiece apparatus,
          plugging in, checking their signals.
          
                                MESSNER
                    You going up to the Penthouse alone?
          
                                                                    54.
          
          Carruthers pulls a .45 from his holster, driving with his
          knees now, he jacks the slide, checks for a chambered round.
          
                                 CARRUTHERS
                    Yeah.
          
          The slide releases--
          
                                SYKES (V.O.)
                    That's a bad move.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. NOMAD HOTEL SUITE -- DAY
          
          Sykes, stowing a Glock 9mm, tweaking the earpiece/mic combo
          she's wearing-- getting primped, leather mini-skirt, lace
          garters, thigh-high platform boots; hooker de coutage.
          
                                 WATTERS (O.S.)
                    Why?
          
                                SYKES
                    'Cuz we don't need to draw any more
                    shit down on our heads. We hit
                    whoever's between us and Israel. I
                    don't want to dead the whole floor
                    and I don't want to be killing women
                    no matter how they make a living.
          
                                WATTERS
                    Wait, I'm getting some fucked up
                    feedback off that earpiece--
          
          Sykes pulls her earpiece, adjusts something, re-inserts it.
          
                                 SYKES
                    Better?
          
          WHIP PAN TRANSITION TO:
          
          INT. HORIZON HOTEL AND CASINO -- SAME
          
          The Hotel just across the street from the Nomad. Watters on
          a headset, talking to Sykes, looking out the window.
          
                                 WATTERS
                    Much.
          
          On a room service tray near Watters; scanners monitor calls
          and in-house transmissions within The Nomad.
          
                                SYKES
                    What are you hearin' right now?
          
          Watters adjusts one of the scanners, searching for a signal.
          
                                                                       55.
          
                                WATTERS
                    Nuthin', we cool. There was somethin'
                    about a fed being in the building.
          
          INTERCUT BETWEEN THE TWO
          
                                 SYKES
                    A Fed?   Like FBI?
          
                                WATTERS
                    It's just a little casino inspection,
                    don't trip, he's alone.
                        (beat, then)
                    Alright, let's set this spinnin'...
          
          Sykes checks her reflection, makes sure her holsters aren't
          peeking out, weapons adequately conformed to her curves.
          
                                SYKES
                    When them tricks hit the lobby, holla
                    at me and I'm gonna meet them on the
                    way up, blend in. Once I get inside,
                    I'mma put m'Nina to Israel's head
                    and back out hot. Anybody's fucks
                    with that program, y'break 'em off.
                    They get gully--
          
                                WATTERS
                    I'mma grip and rip girl.
                        (holding up a red-
                         tipped bullet)
                    I got some handloads here ready to
                    cut heads.
          
                                SYKES
                    Jus' remember, this is more rescuin'
                    shit than rampagin' shit...What are
                    you shootin'?
          
                                WATTERS
                    ...Girl, y'know I had to bring big
                    mamma through.
          
          PULL BACK TO REVEAL
          
          A .50 Caliber sniper-rifle on a tri-pod, jutting just past
          the window, zeroed ut on the Penthouse level of the Nomad.
          
                                SYKES
                    You got the fifty up? Bitch y'tryin'
                    t'take down a jumbo jet? Blown the
                    moon out the sky? T'fuck you wanna
                    get that grimy?
          
                                WATTERS
                    The try t'wild out on my boo and
                    it's on and crackin'! I'm layin'
                    niggas out.
          
                                                                    56.
          
                                SYKES
                    Damn, this kevlar ridin' up on me, I
                    wish they made this more sheer.
          
          Watters puts her eye to the scope, scans, finds SYKES in
          the crosshairs across the way, adjusting her outfit. Watters
          settles on her, watches...something vaguely creepy about
          this bit of voyeurism. She nuzzles the Barrett close.
          
                                WATTERS
                    Mmmm. I tell you, I snuggle up with
                    big girl here and my pussy start
                    t'drip.
          
          Sykes grimaces.    Watters sees it, smiles to herself.
          
                                WATTERS (CONT'D)
                    ...So you heard from Keith? He still
                    fuckin' with that 'lil light-skinned
                    girl?
          
                                SYKES
                    I ain't tryin' to break a sweat for
                    that sorry ass nigga.
          
                                WATTERS
                    He a dog babydoll. He a great dane.
                    I tried to tell y'after ya'll first
                    date. He hit that ass one time, his
                    interest in a bitch start t'landslide.
          
                                SYKES
                    You know I burned all his shit. All
                    that vinyl. Chalamar, Funkadelic,
                    I burned his turntables too. They
                    was like three-thousand brand new.
          
                                WATTERS
                    Fuck that nigga. Let him go woof on
                    some other scrub. We got one another,
                    s'all the love we're ever goin' need.
          
          Sykes says nothing for a moment, Watters just watches her
          through the crosshairs, her finger idly flicking the trigger
          in a strangely perverse gesture. Finally:
          
                                SYKES
                    Girl, lemme ask you somethin' and I
                    want you t'tell me straight up, since
                    I got my suspicions and y'know I
                    ain't one t'talk circles...you gay?
          
                                  WATTERS
                    What!?
          
                                SYKES
                    Ain't nuthin' wrong wit' it.
          
                                                                        57.
          
                                 WATTERS
                    Damn!   Why you trippin' like that?
          
                                SYKES
                    --I don't know, I feel like you always
                    pushin' up on me, gettin' close and
                    I love you baby, in every way you
                    can love a bitch, 'cept that one.
          
                                WATTERS
                    I ain't even goin' dignify that.
                    You my road dog. We threw up sets.
                        (beat, lets it sit)
                    Plus you stank.
          
                                SYKES
                        (laughing now)
                    Fuck you.
          
          Watters spots something outside, grabs a pair of binoculars,
          looks down...BINOCULARS P.O.V.: Four obvious CALL GIRLS
          disembarking a taxi, mylar-colored micro-minis, fuck-me heels,
          cheap shoulder bags. They smoke, laugh, chit-chat.
          
                                WATTERS
                    Alright girl, the ho train has
                    arrived. Four of 'em.
          
          Sykes, grabbing her bag, dropping spare clips inside and
          starting for the door.
          
                                SYKES
                    ...I'm on my way out, I'm just gonna
                    hang in the hallway until they start
                    up in the elevators.
          
          Watters loads a red-tipped round into the breach of the Fifty.
          
                                WATTERS
                    Just get in there and do your thing
                    baby...mamma gots you.
          
          SNAP ZOOM ON BULLET as she slams the action forward, loading
          the round WE SMASH CUT TO BLACK.
          
          ...Dial tones over black.   A phone rings. A voice answers.
          
          FADE UP ON:
          
          A reel-to-reel machine activates, begins to record-- A sticker
          on the pick-up spool reads: "PROPERTY OF THE F.B.I."
          
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          MONTAGE
          
          The players take their places. Over these images WE HEAR:
          
                                                                    58.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    Buzzy...Buzz...?
          
                                  PADICHE (V.O.)
                    Yeah...Sid?
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    Right, you got clicks, anything?
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    Nah, nuthin' on my end--
          
          Vitoli, aka Lazlo Soot: arriving at the Penthouse level,
          exchanging nods with the security team, pushing his service
          cart out of the elevator and down the hall, through a metal
          detector, which goes off. Vitoli/Soot shrugs, gestures to
          his stainless steel cart. The security team wave him through.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    So how we lookin'?
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    Good. This thing's on track, looks
                    like it's gonna get done.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    Fuckin' thrilled t'hear it. So the
                    scout, the sitdown, y'musta felt it
                    from 'em then huh?
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    Cold blood Sid, dead eyes, y'know?
          
          Pasquale Acosta: Now wearing the nametag of "Bill" the
          recently deceased Security Supervisor. He buttons his red
          blazer, hanging the penthouse pass key around his neck as he
          moves through the lobby, carrying a small briefcase.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    That's what we're countin' on. What'd
                    they say when you went for specifics?
          
          The Tremor Brothers: Duffel bags straining with the horrible,
          shit inside. They move toward a service elevator, swapping
          pill bottles, downing overdose amounts, repeating "Mein Kampf"
          recitations as they push the elevator's call button.
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    Lil' cagey, y'know, don't like t'share
                    trade secrets, that type'a thing.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    Okay-- yeah, I can, I respect that.
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    How are we on time...?
          
                                                                     59.
          
          Hollis Elmore: Frantically ringing the alley delivery doorbell
          of a local Souvenir Shop-- naked, frozen, delirious, near-
          death, he has dragged himself there.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    Well, I'm hearin' the Swede's been
                    dispatched, he's flying so--
          
                                PADICHE
                    Well, uh-- damn, alright, so he's
                    headed in, does that-- where does
                    that leave us?
          
          Agent Messner: Watching as the bodies of Dupree and Deeks
          are hauled from the lake by Sheriff's personnel. He walks
          the shoreline, searching for clues, on his cellphone, trying
          to reach Security at the Nomad.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    --in a foot race right now. Really
                    a matter of who out hustles who,
                    y'know...
          
          Agent Carruthers: Plugging in his headset as he reaches the
          front of the Nomad, leaping out, rushing inside, holstering
          his gun for the moment.
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    So we gotta get t'Israel pretty quick
                    for this to fly, yeah? I think?
          
          Georgia Sykes; Pulling a small revolver from her garter-
          holster, annoyed, rubbing the chaffed area, reaching the
          elevator, leaning back against the wall, waiting.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    Basically-- it'd really be the best
                    thing right now, yeah. Can't give
                    up the ship now Buzzy--
          
          Sharice Watters; Her eye going to the rifle-scope...she makes
          subtle adjustments to the targeting-ring-- P.O.V. -- Israel's
          penthouse sits in the crosshairs. We see a figure, just
          beyond the glass...a shimmering shape, moving within.
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    --No, no, not when y'can see the
                    shore. I hear ya.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    Okay, well, y'know, then we just
                    gotta get Israel.
          
                                PADICHE (V.O.)
                    I'm working on it.
          
                                SERNA (V.O.)
                    Bag this fucker Buzzy.
          
                                                                      60.
          
                                  PADICHE (V.O.)
                      It's gettin' done Sid.
          
          Watters tracks the figure-- finger finding the trigger as we
          SMASH CUT TO:
          
          BLACK
          
          FADE UP ON:
          
          CAMERA DOLLIES IN ON -- Primo Sparazza, bedridden, blinking
          at the nothingness around him...a life on its last legs...a
          dying man determined to outlive his last enemy...Buddy Israel.
          
                                                                FADE OUT:
          
          FADE IN UP ON:
          
          FBI   Director Locke, receiving a CONFIDENTIAL package, signing
          for   it, tearing it open, reviewing the paperwork inside.
          The   color drains from his face, casting him cadaver-like.
          His   phone rings, he quickly snatches up the receiver.
          
                                  LOCKE
                      ...Yes? Yes sir...I'm looking at it
                      now...what does this-- mean exactly?
                          (long pause)
                      ...What?
                          (longer pause)
                      ...Good God...
                          (back down at paperwork)
                      ..Good God...
                          (shell-shocked pause)
                      No, the two of them attached, Agent's
                      Carruthers and Messner. I'd like to
                      notify them immedia--
          
          Locke is cut off sharply, listens...as he does, he pulls his
          personal Primo Sparazza file from a separate pile, flips
          through, Finds a sheet, extracts it...it's a copy of the
          paternity suit, brought against Sparazza in 1967. He reads...
          
                                  LOCKE (CONT'D)
                          (still on phone)
                      Understood Sir...They won't be
                      contacted...I'm leaving now.
          
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          EXT. TAHOE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- DAY
          
          A learjet touches down. THE CAMERA TRACKS, FINDING: Dr.
          Gill, at a payphone, the cacophonous racket of taxiing
          aircraft forcing him to repeat every other sentence.
          
                                  DR. GILL
                      I'm here, where's the car?
          
                                                                    61.
          
                                ISRAEL (O.C. OVER PHONE)
                    I sent Hugo, he should be there!
          
          Gill looks around.
          
                                DR. GILL
                    Well I don't see him.
          
          P.O.V. -- CAMERA PANS AROUND WITH HIM...
          
                                GILL
                    Should I take a taxi or what?
          
                                ISRAEL (O.C. OVER PHONE)
                    No, wait there. He'll be there.
          
          ...AS WE FIND:
          
          EXT. TAHOE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- TARMAC -- SAME
          
          A learjet unloading passengers-- The Swede steps down off
          the plane, dressed as we last saw him, carrying the same
          black leather valise. He's accompanied by two Sparazza thugs
          who quickly escort him to an awaiting car.
          
          The Swede looks over, sees Gill at the payphone...The two
          seem to acknowledge one another as the Swede quickly climbs
          into the car and closes the door--
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- DAY
          
          A door opens-- revealing Vitoli the butler, aka Lazlo Soot,
          standing behind it. He's with one of the SECURITY TEAM
          MEMBERS; waxed mustache, polo-shirt, gut sucked in.
          
                                  MUSTACHE
                    Here he is.
          
          Beanie, glaring at both of them.
          
                                BEANIE
                        (to Mustache)
                    Why you always gotta be announcin'
                    this fool like he some mafuck'n
                    muckamuck!? What, 'cuz he got an
                    accent, y'goin' treat this cracker
                    like he don't be scrubbin' toilet
                    seats!? Nigga please!
                        (beat, to Vitoli/Soot)
                    Speakin' of scrubbin'-- where the
                    fuck you been? I know Hugo been pagin'
                    you like a mufucka--
          
                                SOOT
                    --my name is Vitoli, how can I be of
                    service.
          
                                                                    62.
          
                                BEANIE
                        (annoyed)
                    I know your name man! What's wrong
                    wit'chu!?
                        (back to Mustache)
                    Why you standing there fool? You
                    make your money watching the hall.
                    Get y'eyes back where they belong!
          
          Mustache nods. Beanie slams the door on him. Soot, inside
          now, scanning, making split- second evaluations-- what's-
          where, who's-where, he picks up voices from the master bedroom--
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- MASTER BEDROOM -- DAY
          
          Clothing everywhere. Israel's top dollar wardrobe, designer
          suits, wadded up into balls and stuffed into a garment bag.
          He's doing more cocaine, talking to himself, babbling the
          classic addict's "don't-worry-it'll-to-be-alright" monologue.
          
                                ISRAEL
                        (calling)
                    IVY! Why isn't Hugo at the airport!?
                    It's a fifteen minute trip!
          
          Ivy, his menace gone malignant, quietly stepping out of the
          shadows...Israel has no idea that he's been there all along.
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                        (turning back to Ivy)
                    Well what the fuck!? I got the Doc
                    in town, I need him here! Call Hugo,
                    find out where the car is!
          
          Ivy doesn't budge, just stands there, staring hard.
          
                                IVY
                    So what'd Mecklen have to say?
          
          Israel stiffens, board-straight, the guilt goosing him. Ivy
          turns the burners slow.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    They're getting close. It's down to
                    a handful of deal points now.
          
                                IVY
                    But it's all good right?
          
          Israel almost chokes on his own smile, nodding.
          
                                SIR IVY
                    So we're all traveling together,
                    getting sworn, giving our statements--
          
          Israel starts zipping up some of his bags.
          
                                                                       63.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    --I dunno the way it's gonna play
                    out, but-- yeah, it'll probably go
                    something like that.
          
          Ivy unbuttons his coat. A .50 Cal rides in his shoulder-rig.
          Israel averts his eyes. Ivy lets the moment load up...then;
          
                                SIR IVY
                    You believe in loyalty, don'tcha?
                        (pause, then)
                    'Specially the kind of loyalty where
                    an otherwise sensible motherfucker
                    puts his own best interests aside to
                    selflessly serve another. 'Cuz outside
                    a goddamn dog, that kinda loyalty,
                    my kinda shit, don't get any more
                    dedicated, or deep, or devout...
          
          Israel, unnerved now-- spots a small handgun sticking out of
          his bag. He covers it with the bedspread, looking up at Ivy.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    ...what are you tryin' to say?
          
                                CARRUTHERS (V.O.)
                    What I've been saying. Get me your
                    head of security right now.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. NOMAD HOTEL AND CASINO -- LOBBY -- SAME
          
          Carruthers, bracing the same Casino Employee Acosta braced
          earlier. College kid, patch-acne, panic-stricken, stammering,
          struggling, a phone stuck to his hand--
          
                                CASINO EMPLOYEE
                    --I don't-- it's just-- I can't reach
                    him. He's not picking up the extensio--
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    --I know that. Which floor are they
                    on?
          
          The kid's skittish gaze shifts, locking on a figure moving
          through the lobby.
          
                                CASINO EMPLOYEE
                        (with great relief)
                    Wait-- He-- there, that's one of our
                    guys ther--
          
          Carruthers breaks off, moving for the man in the maroon jacket
          heading toward the elevator. He reaches him, puts a hand on
          his shoulder.
          
                                                                    64.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Excuse me, sir.
          
          The man turns...His nametag reads "Bill."
          
                                   BILL/ACOSTA
                    Yes.
          
          Carruthers badges him.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Special Agent Donald Carruthers.
                    We've got a situation developing
                    here in your hotel.
          
          Acosta has fully assumed the identity of the murdered security
          supervisor. The pimply kid at counter eyeballs him, confused.
          Acosta steps behind Carruthers, blocking himself from view.
          
                                BILL/ACOSTA
                    How can I help you?
          
          Carruthers leads him toward an awaiting elevator.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    I need to get to your penthouse level
                    immediately, I also need every other
                    elevator with access to that floor
                    evacuated and locked down.
          
          They step into the lift.
          
                                BILL/ACOSTA
                    Is this an emergency?
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Let's hope not.
          
          The elevator doors close behind them as we...
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          Elevator doors open to reveal: The Tremor Brothers, vibrating
          at varying speeds, pharmaceutical stares, simultaneously
          sharp and dull. Georgia Sykes stares back, bad vibes trickle
          up her back. She holds a moment. Doesn't board.
          
                                SYKES
                    I'm going down.
          
          Darwin looks her over, lecherous grin.
          
                                   DARWIN TREMOR
                    Bet'chu are.
          
          He mimics a blowjob, treating her like the hooker he thinks
          she is. Sykes wants to shoot him in the face. Lester and
          Jeeves oogle her as the doors begin to close.
          
                                                                       65.
          
          Darwin smiles wide and lewd. Sykes kisses her middle finger.
          
                                SYKES
                    ...Faggot-ass redneck...
          
          Darwin's smile turns scowl as the elevator doors slide shut.
          
                                WATTERS
                    What'd you say?
          
                                SYKES
                    Not you. Some assholes on the
                    elevator...are these bitches on a
                    permanent smoke break or what? Why
                    the fuck they call'm "working girls."
          
          Watters grabs her binoculars; sees the four prostitutes snub
          cigarette butts and start to head inside.
          
                                WATTERS
                    Alright, the ho train is exiting the
                    station. They're coming to you...
          
          Sykes waits a beat, then reaches for the call button to signal
          another car. WE FOLLOW HER FINGER to the "up" button and--
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          A blackened fingertip, trembling, barely enough force behind
          it to hold a delivery bell button down.
          
          EXT. "LAKEY'S SOUVENIR SHOPPE" -- DAY
          
          Hollis Elmore, hypothermia-ravaged, racked by seismic-like
          seizures, body temperature terminally low. The delivery
          door is flung open and A KID of about twelve stands there;
          cross-eyed, coke-bottle eyeglasses, shirtless, wearing a
          rising-sun head-wrap and karate Gee. He says nothing.
          
                                ELMORE
                        (sputtering)
                    Hel-- I-- ambula-- pleeeeee--
          
          --Elmore collapses-- consciousness strains, snaps-- he blacks
          out as his jaw collides with the concrete--
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          --As Dupree's bagged corpse is hefted onto a coroner's gurney
          and wheeled into an awaiting ambulance. Deeks' body follows.
          
          EXT. LAKESIDE -- DAY
          
          The parking lot teems with local news trucks. Passerby's
          crowd the police line. Messner is on his cellphone, incensed,
          confused. A Sheriff's DEPUTY flanks him.
          
                                                                   66.
          
                                 MESSNER
                    No, no clarify. What is "an emergency
                    requisition of surrounding personnel?"
                        (beat, listens)
                    Within one-hundred mile radius,
                    understood-- Sacramento, Reno, Carson
                    City. So in less than an hour, we're
                    going to have anywhere from forty to
                    fifty odd field agents arriving,
                    without the slightest inkling as to
                    why they're here. Is that correct?
                    Am I misinterpreting that or--
                        (listens)
                    No, I'm not blaming any one person,
                    this is Bureau directive. But Agent
                    Carruthers is the SAC and he's out
                    of cell range at the moment, so I
                    can't contact him to--
                        (listens, frustrated)
                    Very well. I need to get Deputy
                    Director Locke on the phone as soon
                    as possible.
          
          One of the Crime Scene Recovery TEAM MEMBERS approaches,
          hands Messner a printout. A faxed, blown up rendering of a
          Nevada Driver's license...We recognize the face.
          
                                  MESSNER (CONT'D)
                    Who's this?
          
                                CS TEAM MEMBER
                    Hollis Elmore, resident of Las Vegas,
                    formerly with the P.D. there. He's a
                    known associate of Dupree's.
          
          The CS Team Member holds an evidence bag aloft.
          
                                CS TEAM MEMBER (CONT'D)
                    We found these washed up on shore.
          
          Messner takes the bag, gawks, can't quite make out the
          contents.
          
                                MESSNER
                    What are these?
          
                                CS TEAM MEMBER
                    Elmore's fingers. Whorls are in bad
                    shape from the frostbite, but we got
                    a good pull for latents, positive
                    ID.
                        (beat, nod to bag)
                    Those were shot off.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Then we've got a third man missing.
          
                                                                       67.
          
          --Commotion close, Sheriff's task force members, hustling
          past, hopping into cruisers, firing their sirens. A fifty-
          something TASK FORCE CHIEF approaches Messner.
          
                                TASK FORCE CHIEF
                    We've recovered their car.
          
                                MESSNER
                    What car?
          
                                TASK FORCE CHIEF
                    Dupree's rental. A Dodge Stratus--
                    Picked up yesterday at a commuter
                    airport in Reno, Nevada.
          
                                MESSNER
                        (suddenly panicked)
                    --Where's it at now?
          
                                TASK FORCE CHIEF
                    In the parking structure of the Nomad.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. PARKING STRUCTURE -- NOMAD HOTEL -- SAME
          
          A crime scene unit already has the area cordoned off. Police
          photographers circle the rental car snapping pictures as
          uniformed units scribble license plate and VIN numbers.
          
          CAMERA PANS OVER TO REVEAL:
          
          A limo arrives, the Swede disembarks, black valise in tow.
          A group of Sparazza henchmen surround him, spiriting him
          toward a nearby stairwell, anxious to avoid the police.
          
          CAM CONTINUES PAN TO REVEAL:
          
          Doc Gill and Hugo, sitting in their car, a little leery at
          the heavy police presence. Hugo takes up his cellphone.
          
                                HUGO
                    Doc, I'm gonna tell 'em we're on our
                    way up, make sure it's cool up there.
                    Is there anything you need?
          
          Gill shakes his head "no" as Hugo dials. Gill retrieves his
          own phone as he climbs out, dialing, moving to the trunk.
          
                                DR. GILL
                        (into his phone, quiet)
                    I'm going up now, give me ten minutes,
                    that should be enough time to prep...
          
          He clicks off, Hugo is completely unaware of the call he
          just made. Gill pops the trunk, removing his medical bag
          
                                                                    68.
          
                                HUGO
                        (still on his phone)
                    C'mon, somebody answer...
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- SAME
          
          The phone rings, Beanie moves to answer it, tossing his balled
          up Versace shirt to Soot/Vitoli.
          
                                BEANIE
                        (looking back)
                    That's a silk blend B, six-hundred
                    and change an s'got vomit and bile
                    and stomach contents all over it-- I
                    ain't gonna tell'ya how t'get the
                    mafucka clean, jus' put it right.
          
          Soot nods, unfurls a laundry tote, sticks the shirt inside,
          hand moving within the bag--
          
                                BEANIE (CONT'D)
                        (pointing to Israel's
                         soiled jacket)
                    Check the man's calf-skin coat too,
                    he look like he got some cinnamon
                    roll an' shit all over it--
          
          --Beanie, turning, reaching down for the ringing phone when--
          THWAP-- something plunks him hard from behind-- he's knocked
          forward by the force of the impact-- startled-- instinctively
          slapping at that area-- thinking something stung him.
          
                                BEANIE (CONT'D)
                    What the fuck!?
          
          He looks around, alarmed, head on a swivel, hand probing the
          pain, not aware of the blood coursing from that spot,
          streaming down his back...The phone continues to ring.
          
          Then Beanie hears the small metallic warble of something
          rolling around on the floor behind him, gradually settling.
          A sensation overtakes him...and he grows very still with it.
          
          He looks down at his hand for the first time...sees blood
          there, reaches up with that same hand and finds the tattered
          hole right above the base of his spine-- small wisps of smoke
          drifting up out of the wound...He turns, numb...and sees
          what looks like a spent shell casing, just ejected, coming
          to rest on the tile...The phone continues to ring.
          
          His eyes track upward to Vitoli the Butler, holding a silenced
          9mm-- aim still held...And that's when it dawns on Beanie...
          ...He's just been shot in the head.
          
                                BEANIE (CONT'D)
                        (almost to himself)
                    Aw hell no you ain't just do that...
          
                                                                    69.
          
          Three more soundless shots from the 9mm put a humane end to
          these proceedings-- blowing Beanie's body over a sofa chair.
          His three-hundred plus pound frame slides to an unceremonious
          halt in the remnants of the shattered coffee table.
          
          Israel's calf-skin coat lies near Beanies dead body, a pool
          of blood surrounding it, soaking through and all the while...
          The phone continues to ring.
          
          INT. BEDROOM -- SAME
          
          Ivy and Israel, oblivious to what's gone on, fifty feet away.
          
                                SIR IVY
                    What did you say to Mecklen?
          
          Israel looks from the ringing phone-- to the gun in his bag--
          no good-- Ivy will kill him before he clears the bedspread.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    That's probably him now...
          
                                SIR IVY
                    ...See, this is one'a them rare
                    moments when y'ass get a chance to
                    be completely honest...and if I'm
                    asking you what you said to Mecklen,
                    assume the shit is rhetorical...so
                    assume I already know.
          
          Ivy lets that .50 caliber hang like intimidation itself.
          Israel looks over at the ringing phone, then back at Ivy.
          He slowly withdraws the deck of cards from his robe pocket,
          begins shuffling at lightspeed, firing them across his body,
          left to right, right to left.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    A set of skills, God-given gifts, I
                    close my eyes.
          
          He does, snatching a card cold from the deck, turning it to
          Ivy.
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                    King of Clubs...You pick up this
                    deck, s'just playing cards, I pick
                    up this deck it's a living, breathing
                    thing. What do you see right now?
                    You see exactly and only, what I
                    choose to show you....That's illusion
                    Ivy. That's the lie I tell your
                    eyes. The manipulation of movement.
                    Knowing where your gaze wants to go,
                    guiding it there. Making the magic
                    happen in that moment, that split-
                    second, but seeing behind it, knowing
                    it's all bullshit...Built on sand.
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                       70.
          
                                 ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                         (cards flying crazy)
                    I can show the Feds what they want
                    to see too. And make it as real as
                    this room. Make it more than smoke,
                    more than mirrors...and that's why
                    I'm valuable...and that's why you're
                    not.
                         (beat)
                    I never wanted it this way.
          
          Israel, a card slipping from his sleeve, into his throwing
          hand...Ace Of Spades. He keeps it cupped.
          
                                SIR IVY
                    Oh you ain't done a damn thing can't
                    be undone Playa. The dye ain't even
                    close t'cast. Y'wanna make some
                    shit real? No stage, no and lemme
                    say this one time...
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. LEARJET -- DAY
          
          Locke, inbound to Tahoe with a detachment of D.C. Agents
          accompanying him. He's examining contents from the
          confidential package he received earlier: PHOTOS of a post-
          op Primo Sparazza, plastic surgery shrink-wrapped, his face
          swollen and deformed, dozens of photos, dozens of dates.
          
                                SIR IVY (V.O.)
                    ...If you think old man Primo could
                    twist your shit up...
          
          He scans the surgical reports, specific sentences and words
          pop: "MALIOFACIAL DISORDER" "DEGENERATIVE BONE DISEASE"
          "BULLET FRAGMENTS" He keeps reading...
          
                                SIR IVY (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                    ...It ain't nothin' compared to what
                    I 'bout to do here. Believe that.
          
                                ACOSTA/BILL (V.O.)
                    I don't believe this.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME
          
          "Bill" aka Pasquale Acosta, hitting a walkie-talkie against
          his leg, checking for a signal-- faking the whole affair.
          
                                ACOSTA/BILL
                    Battery's completely dead.
          
          Carruthers, behind him in the elevator, checking his cellphone--
          
                                                                    71.
          
                                ACOSTA/BILL (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                    Forget it, you won't get a signal in
                    here. Have to wait.
          
          Carruthers, annoyed, stowing his cellphone.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                        (re: wall phone)
                    Can't you use the line in here to
                    contact your people.
          
                                ACOSTA/BILL
                        (not missing a beat)
                    No, these phones are hardwired
                    directly to maintenance. Once we
                    reach the penthouse, I can call down
                    and have the system taken off-line.
          
          Carruthers, absent nods, anxious. Acosta/Bill, back to
          futzing with his walkie-talkie-- going so far as to remove
          the battery-- --And that's when Carruthers sees it...Bill's
          fingers, flesh mottled at the tips, horribly scarred over--
          
          --something clicks --memories fire --photostrobic...
          
          FLASH CUT TO:
          
          The briefing in D.C., Supervisor Locke--
          
                                LOCKE
                    Pasquale Acosta-- Mercenary-- "El
                    Estrago"-- "The Plague"
          
          CUT BACK TO SCENE:
          
          Carruthers' expression goes black...
          
                                LOCKE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                    When he was caught by the SAS in
                    Northern Ireland and imprisoned, he
                    chewed off his fingertips to the
                    bone before he could be printed and
                    ID'd by Interpol.
          
          Carruthers stares at those fingers, backs against the wall,
          hand moving slowly toward his waist-- suspicions pique.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Can't maintenance do that?
          
                                ACOSTA/BILL
                    Do what?
          
          Carruthers unclips his belt holster.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    Shut the elevators down.
          
                                                                       72.
          
          Acosta...sensing it...keeping his back turned.
          
                                ACOSTA/BILL
                    An emergency shut down of our entire
                    elevated lift system? No sir. That
                    has to be handled by my staff.
          
          Carruthers gets a hand on the stock of the .45 on his hip.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    How long have you worked here?
                        (beat)
                    Bill.
          
          A long, drawn silence...then, static emits from Bill/Acosta's
          belt-- his walkie-talkie was working all along. Jig's up.
          
          Acosta spins back-- spring-loaded blade firing from his sleeve--
          Carruthers clears his holster-- Acosta closes the gap-- blade
          flashing, passing through Carruthers' hand, slashing tendons,
          shearing bone, hot butter.--
          
          Carruthers screams-- grip gone, gun tumbling-- instinct kicks--
          his good left hand hauls the .45 out of mid-air, clutches,
          squeezes-- BLAM! Acosta's abdomen eats the blast, burps
          blood-- Carruthers, a severed hand tucked under his chin,
          held in place-- he extends, pulls, fires again-- Ricochets
          clip overhead fluorescents, fixtures catch strays-- shatter--
          glass filament explodes-- razor slivers rain down.
          
          Acosta, struck, slumping-- a silver automatic appearing from
          his other sleeve, trigger finding finger just as the last of
          the lights flicker and die-- A beat sustained-- just hard
          breathing and fluid hitting the floor-- Everything goes stiff--
          
          --the two take silent aim in the pitch black and fire
          simultaneously, blazing away-- emptying their weapons into
          each other from inside three feet-- Gunblasts illuminate
          ghoulish features, muted screams covered in gore...
          
          INT. NOMAD HOTEL -- UPPER FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Georgia Sykes, concerned, finger to her ear, picking up
          something off her IFB earpiece: Muted gunshots, static-
          scrambled ...it's the sound of Carruthers and Acosta, ending
          one another's lives in the lift below...
          
                                SYKES
                    Girl, you hear that!?
          
          INTERCUT WITH:
          
          INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Watters sweeps the penthouse level with her rifle scope.
          
                                WATTERS
                    Are you anywhere near the penthouse?
          
                                                                       73.
          
                                SYKES
                    No, but that definitely sounds like
                    shots and I don't where it's comin'
                    from--
          
                                WATTERS
                    --It's your IFB, somebody else has
                    got an earpiece, you're picking up
                    their signal--
          
                                SYKES
                    --I thought we had secure frequency.
                    Aww girl, tell me this mafucka ain't
                    goin' off right now.
          
          Watters hears something crackle over one of the scanners...
          a transmission to Nomad security staff...
          
                                WATTERS
                    ...Oh, fuck these fools...
          
          Sykes looks up to see the elevator has reached her floor.
          
                                SYKES
                    What's wrong?
          
                                WATTERS
                    Security's locking down the elevators.
          
          Sykes looks at the elevator doors in front of her as we...
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME
          
          The Tremor Brothers, waiting arrival on the penthouse, armed
          to the teeth, each one tethered with an array of pistols,
          rifles, knives, hatchets, hacksaws; the tools of their trade;
          to be implemented in the most godless manner imaginable.
          
          Muzak drifts in over the speakers, when suddenly the car
          lurches, cables catch, brake boxes shriek and the elevator
          car comes to abrupt stop. The Brothers exchange looks as
          power is cut and they are plunged into darkness...An emergency
          recording sounds from the elevator's ceiling speaker.
          
                                WOMAN'S VOICE
                    Please remain calm...Elevator service
                    has been temporarily suspended and
                    will resume momentarily...
          
          The recording defaults into a maddening loop...then, the
          sounds of someone unzipping a bag in the dark, hands moving
          objects around, metal clanks off metal as the bag is rummaged.
          A brilliant flash, hot white to iridescent red as a road
          flare is struck, showering Darwin Tremor with a deluge of
          sparks as he holds it aloft.
          
                                                                    74.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    Les' get at it then.
          
          Lester and Jeeves, effortless aplomb; the speed and dexterity
          of a seasoned pit-crew. Lester pulls a torque wrench from
          the bag, pops the panel bolts on the elevator's power box
          and strips the electrical wiring in seconds--
          
          Jeeves removes a gas-powered generator from their Mary Poppins-
          like carry-all carpet bag. He primes the pump, yanks it to
          a sputtering start and feeds the AC lead to his brother.
          Lester takes it, locates the service override conduit and
          ties in. Darwin admires this deft display of skill from his
          idiot brethren. As the elevator's power cycles back on we...
          
                                                             ...CUT TO:
          
          INT. BATHROOM -- DAY
          
          Light switch flipped on, revealing the shrunken, shriveled,
          fetal-like form that is Hollis Elmore being carried by MARGIE
          TURLOCK, 63, part-time RN, full-time souvenir shop owner. A
          substantial, tank of a woman, Margie manhandles Elmore,
          dropping him into a lukewarm bath, brimming with grey water.
          
                                 MARGIE
                    Okay sweetie, now I'm a registered
                    nurse and this was my bath not a
                    half hour ago, so it ain't as hot as
                    it could be, but we're gonna get you
                    all toasty warm in no time--
                        (beat, to boy)
                    Warren, Warren-- go on an' get grandma
                    her hot blanket and her heating bag,
                    the one in there under the sink in
                    my bathroom.
          
          Warren sniffs, licks lovingly on an ice cream sandwich, but
          never bites it.
          
                                   WARREN
                    Slower Nana.     Talk slooooooeerrrrr.
          
          Margie indulges her grandson, no end.
          
                                MARGIE
                    Okay Shug...Grandma needs you to go
                    in--
          
          --Warren begins to smile, a snarl of misshapen yellow teeth,
          smeared with chocolate, bracketed by chrome-colored braces.
          
                                MARGIE (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                    Oh, you little foxy, trying to fool
                    your Nana! You heard me didn't you!?
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                        75.
          
                                MARGIE (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                        (beat)
                    Now Boogie, Grandma needs her big
                    helper boy now, go on an' get those
                    things and grandma'll rub your feet!
          
                                WARREN
                    My karate feet? My crazy Karate
                    kick feet!!
          
          Warren puts the ice cream sandwich in his mouth and begins
          hopping up and down, kicking, striking the wall with great,
          disturbing ferocity. Margie cackles at this.
          
                                MARGIE
                    You little angel-butt! Grandma'll
                    rub those feet forever!
          
          Elmore, struggling against imminent death, watching this
          display with increasing dread. He scans the sink basin--
          sees it lined with anti-depressants; Ritalin, Thorazine, etc
          Warren keeps throwing hard roundhouse kicks into the wall.
          
                                MARGIE (CONT'D)
                    Oh you silly-sil! Never mind,
                    Grandma'll get it!
          
          Margie marches off and Warren immediately rushes over to
          the tub, placing himself directly over the inert Elmore and
          assuming a martial arts stance. He opens his mouth to speak
          and the ice cream sandwich tumbles out, landing in the tub.
          
                                WARREN
                        (barking out)
                    Bow to your opponent!
          
          Warren bows before he squares up and begins methodically
          delivering a "Kata" of punches and kicks...violently and
          expertly snapped within millimeters of Elmore's face. Elmore,
          helpless to raise his arms or defend himself, stares in horror
          as the boy, his glasses beginning to fog and drip with
          perspiration, works himself into a furious lather.
          
                                ELMORE
                        (trying to speak)
                    Pl-- kid, st-- stop...
          
          Elmore holds up his stump   of a hand,   pinky wagging in pathetic
          plea-- no use-- Warren is   in a state   of unhinged, near-animal
          frenzy-- his eyes wild, a   small, yet   prominent erection
          beginning to poke through   his karate   gee...
          
          Margie returns to the bathroom, scolds her grandson.    He
          squares up on her, feigning a blow to her face. She     clouts
          him, hard backhand, big flabby arms restraining him,    hauling
          him out of the bathroom. He bleats like a butchered     sheep.
          
                                                                      76.
          
          Elmore, left alone, stark naked, shaking-- he turns his head,
          gazing into the other room-- a newscast plays on the
          television: A Reporter, lakeside, via live feed...standing
          in the same parking lot where Deeks and Dupree were killed.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          TELEVISION SCREEN
          
          We slowly DOLLY BACK, revealing a different room.
          
                                REPORTER (ON SCREEN)
                    --the two men slain here earlier
                    today as authorities speculate as to
                    the apparent disappearance of a third.
                    The names of the victims are being
                    withheld, pending notification of
                    family members, but Action Seven has
                    learned that one of the deceased,
                    identified as Jack Dupree--
          
          INT. HOTEL ROOM -- BLACKJACK INN -- SAME
          
          Rupert Reed, shit-faced off belts of straight scotch, a stack
          of shot-glasses on his chest, gaped-jawed at the television.
          
                                REPORTER
                    --was a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada--
          
          Reed lurches up, going for the phone, shot-glasses scattering,
          scotch bottle upending, bouncing off the bed.
          
                                REED
                        (to himself, dialing)
                    ...holy shit, shit, shit...
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          TELEVISION SCREEN
          
          We slowly DOLLY IN now.
          
                                REPORTER
                    We've also learned that Mr. Dupree
                    was employed as a process server and
                    bondsman for Draygo Bail Bonds and
                    may have been in this area on a
                    fugitive apprehension--
          
          INT. GAMBLER'S RAMBLE HOTEL -- SAME
          
          Victor Padiche, playing solitaire, one card frozen in his
          hand as he watches the news.
          
                                  PADICHE
                    ...uh oh...
          
                                                                       77.
          
                                REPORTER
                    A rental vehicle, registered in Mr.
                    Dupree's name, has been recovered in
                    the parking lot of the nearby Nomad
                    Hotel & Casino...
          
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. NOMAD HOTEL & CASINO -- PARKING STRUCTURE -- DAY
          
          Agent Messner arrives, flanked by shotgun-toting Sheriff's
          deputies, local cops and Bureau field agents. They deploy,
          cordoning off the scene, taking control.
          
          WE SEE Hugo and Doc Gill, ducking down, Hugo still has the
          phone to his ear. As they approach a rear stairwell with a
          door that reads: "AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY: PENTHOUSE LEVEL"
          two FEDS descend, chaining and bolting the door.
          
                                HUGO
                    Shit...answer the fucking phone.
          
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. NOMAD HOTEL -- PENTHOUSE -- SAME
          
          The phone is still ringing as Soot, Browning 9mm at his side,
          stalks the voices coming from the master bedroom
          
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. MASTER BEDROOM -- SAME
          
          Ivy, fingers brushing his gun grip, stares Israel down.
          
                                SIR IVY
                    Y'ain't never had to wash another
                    man's blood off, dig it out
                    y'fingernails...Y'had us for that.
                    Y'ain't ever made a real beef on
                    y'own, shit as light in the ass as
                    you are, I'll bet you ain't ever
                    made anything more than a fuck'n
                    fist your whole life.
                        (beat)
                    So if you think I'mma let your lil'
                    punk-ass, with the dirt I've done
                    for you, in the eleventh hour, sell
                    me off like some fucking field nigger,
                    hand me up to the Feds like y'last
                    chip, then you done gone straight
                    out-your-motherfucking MIND!
          
                                ISRAEL
                        (nodding to phone)
                    That's Mecklen. The deal's closing.
                    I can pick that phone up and I can
                    work this out.
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                       78.
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                        (beat, for ffect)
                    You'll walk with me.
          
          Israel readies the playing card behind his back, slips it
          between his index and middle finger-- Ivy shakes his head.
          
                                SIR IVY
                    All that slight a'hand you can do
                    and you still ain't never learned to
                    lie right--
          
          --Israel steps hard, slinging the Ace sidearm, sailing it
          toward Ivy, surgical strike, right eye, blood bursting at
          his browline-- Ivy goes down in a heap.
          
                                SIR IVY (CONT'D)
                        (enraged)
                    MOTHERFUCK! MOTHERFUCKER!
          
          Ivy, doubled over-- he drags the .50 cal from its holster
          and lets fly-- FIRING. Big bore rounds rip right through
          the wall, punching dinner-plate sized holes in the plaster.
          Israel goes to the ground as Ivy, bleeding, blazes away--
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- ANTEROOM -- SAME
          
          --Soot takes cover as bullets whistle by-- he tucks the 9mm
          away just as the doors to the suite are blitzed and the
          security team stumbles in, guns drawn, grouped tight--
          
                                SECURITY TEAM
                        (in unison)
                    DOWN! DOWN! DOWN!
          
          They assume quasi-combat stances; six idiots, crab-crawling
          their way across the room. Soot stays prone, plays scared,
          realizes that his rubber appliance nose has come loose, tries
          to adjust it-- can't, has to hide his face, burying it in
          his sleeve, wiping more make-up off in the process--
          
          Mustache is on point, pistol trained.    He spots Soot cowering.
          
                                 MUSTACHE
                        (to Soot)
                    Are you hit?
          
          Soot shakes his head a vigorous "no" as Mustache and his men
          turn their attention to the bedroom.
          
                                 MUSTACHE (CONT'D)
                        (calling out)
                    Mr. Israel!?
          
                                ISRAEL
                    IN HERE!
          
                                                                       79.
          
                                MUSTACHE
                    Are you hurt sir!?
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Ivy's trying to kill me!
          
                                SIR IVY
                    FUCK YOU!
          
                                ISRAEL
                    GET IN HERE GODDAMMIT!
          
          Mustache and his men round the corner into the master bedroom.
          
          INT. MASTER BEDROOM -- SAME
          
          Ivy, down on one knee, depth perception shot, trying to
          reload, bullets slipping through blood-slicked fingers--
          Israel lies on the floor behind the bed, breathless, chest
          heaving, frantically trying to pull the small automatic pistol
          out of his overnight bag.
          
                                MUSTACHE
                        (advancing on Ivy)
                    Drop-that-gun-right-now!
          
          One of the bodyguards spots the body of Beanie, lying dead
          in the remnants of the coffee table.
          
                                SECURITY MEMBER #1
                    Jesus, he got Beanie...
                        (back to Mustache)
                    He shot Beanie!
          
                                ISRAEL
                    What?
          
          Ivy hears this, let's the gun slide from his hand, standing,
          eye swollen to a bleeding slit.
          
                                MUSTACHE
                    GET ON THE GROUND!
          
          Ivy, looking past them, seeing Beanie's lifeless body, laying
          there. Israel peers out, sees the same thing.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Jesus Christ...
          
          Two of the bodyguards rush to Beanie, bending over his body,
          checking for vitals. Ivy, suspended in the doorway, stunned.
          One of the security team looks back; no good...he's gone.
          Just then, the phone stops ringing.
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                        (looking up at Ivy)
                    ...you just murdered Beanie...
          
                                                                    80.
          
          Ivy, shocked, dismayed. Israel, starting to see his sweetheart
          deal with the Feds go up in smoke. He immediately mobilizes.
          
                                      ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                              (to Mustache)
                       Hey!
                           (pointing to Ivy)
                       Get him out-- muscle him if you have
                       to. Take him down the quietly, use
                       the service exit. Then get back up
                       here and we'll handle the rest of
                       this.
                           (off Mustache's look)
                       What? Is there somebody else in
                       there?
          
          Soot, from the other room, careful to keep his face concealed.
          
                                      VITOLI
                       Eees Vitoli.
          
          Israel, a grimace...two too many people involved. Israel
          nods, thinking, does a bump of coke, right out in the open.
          
                                   ISRAEL
                           (to security)
                       Avert your eyes gents, y'didn't see
                       that.
                           (beat, rolls neck)
                       Okay Vitoli, listen these last few
                       minutes make you a material witness,
                       do you understand what that means?
          
                                   VITOLI
                       ...How can I be of assistance...
          
                                   ISRAEL
                       You do know what that means!
                       Tremendous, that's the attitude.
                           (beat, clutching chest)
                       Alright, Vitoli, hang tight for half
                       a tic, we've got a special sort of
                       "clean-up" we gotta do here, alright?
          
          Soot nods.
          
                                   ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                           (to Mustache)
                       What's he doing, is he getting this?
          
          Mustache, glancing over at Soot, seeing him nod.
          
                                   MUSTACHE
                       Yeah, he's nodding.
          
                                   ISRAEL
                       Good. Now Move.
          
                                                                       81.
          
          Mustache and his men brace Ivy, taking advantage of his
          disorientation and dismay and swiftly escorting him out.
          
          EXT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME
          
          They amass around the elevator, taking care to double handcuff
          Ivy now. Mustache pushes the call button. It fails to light.
          
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME
          
          Choked with generator and road flare smoke, lit like hell
          itself. The Tremors stand at arms, shrouded in a miasmic
          mung of horribly toxic fumes, filling their lungs with it.
          
          CUT BACK TO:
          
          INT. HALLWAY -- SAME
          
          Mustache hits the call button again, still nothing.   Yet
          one of the lifts appears to be ascending
          
                                SECURITY TEAM
                    Wait...one of 'em looks like it's on
                    its way up...
          
                                MUSTACHE
                    What about the other four?   Are they
                    out?
          
          He keeps hitting the call button, but it won't light.
          
                                MUSTACHE (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                    The hell is going on...
          
                                WATTERS (V.O.)
                    ...Forget it, it's dead.
          
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. HALLWAY -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Sykes, trying to pry the elevator doors open.
          
                                SYKES
                    It ain't dead! Quit saying that
                    shit!
          
          INTERCUT WITH:
          
          INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Watters pours herself a glass of Chablis from the mini-bar.
          
                                                                       82.
          
                                WATTERS
                    Girl, I just saw muzzle flashes comin'
                    out that suite. S'probably where
                    you heard that shootin' earlier,
                    somebody jus' downed Israel. He
                    dead, our play is dead.
          
          Sykes, getting some separation on the elevator doors, pulling
          her 9mm, using it like a crowbar.
          
                                SYKES
                    I'm not givin' it up jus' yet...
          
                                WATTERS
                    C'mon, I say we bounce now, kick it
                    for a lil' bit, play some craps.
                        (beat, probing)
                    ...Maybe spend the night?
          
          Sykes, struggling, when the doors suddenly retract on their
          own...She's staggered by what she sees in the elevator,
          tripping back, heels catching, dumping her on her ass--
          
                                SYKES
                        (just above whisper)
                    ...oh...damn...
          
          She sits up, stupefied...cordite and pistol smoke drift out
          of the open elevator doors like a funeral dirge. The sound
          of a bone-saw emanates from within.
          
          INT. ELEVATOR CAR
          
          Carruthers and Acosta...wartorn, shot to hell, post-battle
          standoff, just staring, weapons emptied, bodies bullet-
          punctured, leaking life...both are breathing, but just barely.
          
                                WATTERS (OVER HEADSET)
                    What is it...?
          
          Filament and glass dust cover everything. Blood streams in
          steaming fissures, floating spent shell casings and
          fluorescent shards cover the floor of the car.
          
          Acosta, clinging to life itself, clutching the whirring bone
          saw, trying in vain to reach Carruthers. Sykes wades forward,
          wary, Glock vise-gripped.
          
                                SYKES
                    ...Shhhhhhit...girl, there's these
                    two dudes, just sittin' here in this
                    elevator, all shot up...
          
                                WATTERS
                    What?
          
                                                                       83.
          
                                SYKES
                        (beat, looking around)
                    They musta been beefin' big time
                    with one another, cuz this shit, got
                    way past words, whatever it was.
          
                                WATTERS
                    ...What are they doin' right now...?
          
          Sykes, glancing from Carruthers to Acosta. A beat.
          
                                 SYKES
                    Right now?
                        (beat)
                    ...Dying.
          
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. "LAKEY'S SOUVENIR SHOPPE" -- KITCHENETTE -- DAY
          
          Elmore, seated, wrapped in quilts and heated blankets,
          shivering horribly, lips blackened, flexing brittle fingers
          on his good hand, trying to restore feeling, teeth clattering
          like ten thousand tea cups. Margie Turlock enters, arms
          loaded down, grandson Warren hot on her heels, a set of
          Nunchukas under his arm...
          
          ...Elmore, palpable hatred, pure bile for the boy.
          
          Margie sets the assortment of goods down on the table in
          front of Elmore; tourist-themed hats & sweatsuits from the
          shop, a pair of thermals, a collection of pill bottles and
          what appears to be an old Vietnam-era ammo box.
          
                                MARGIE
                    So them fellas were your friends
                    then? The ones that was shot and
                    tossed into the lake? Were they police
                    officers too?
          
          Elmore nods, rifling the pile in front of him, going for the
          pills. Margie pulls a pot of coffee off the stove, pours a
          mug. Sets it down in front of him.
          
                                MARGIE (CONT'D)
                        (motioning to pills)
                    Them was left over from my
                    hysterectomy, so they're a few years
                    old, might be outta date.
          
          Elmore eyes the labels; Vicodin, Vioxx...morphine-based.
          Nice...Just numb it all.
          
                                MARGIE (CONT'D)
                    You sure you don't want me to call
                    an ambulance honey?
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                    84.
          
                                MARGIE (CONT'D)
                    I think it's crazy you not going
                    in...y'got what looks like hypothermia
                    and real bad frostbite. They could
                    wind up amputatin' if y'don't get it
                    treated.
          
          Warren sits in the chair next to Elmore and begins mimicking
          him, shaking epileptically, doing his doofus bit, tucking
          three fingers away, waving a stump, belly-laughing...
          
                                MARGIE (CONT'D)
                    Warren! Now you go and practice
                    your nunchucks now, leave us be for
                    a bit Shug.
          
          Warren scowls, getting up, in super-slow motion, making sounds
          with his mouth as he stands, robotic whirs, buzzes, clicks--
          Margie chuckles at her grandson, she can't help it--
          
          Then, in a blur, Warren snaps, abruptly slamming the nunchakas
          on the table, the rebounding portion of the weapon almost
          hitting Elmore in the face. He bolts the room before Grandma
          can scold him, his titters echoing off like taunts...
          
                                MARGIE (CONT'D)
                    ...M'sorry about that boy, his momma
                    abandoned him going on a year now,
                    his daddy, my boy Dale-- Gulf War
                    vet, s'over in the Reno-Washoe
                    Correctional facility-- got some
                    "clarity" issues. He did some home
                    invasion sodomy-torture type stuff,
                    wrote a buncha bad checks, got hisself
                    consecutive life terms-- shipped off
                    to Soledad there in California.
                        (beat, scribbles
                         something down)
                    --reminds me, I got that care package
                    I need to send off--
                        (beat, continues lament)
                    Anyhoo, m'husband Bill took the
                    coward's route, n'committed suicide
                    by hangin' 'bout nine months back.
                    Ever since then, little Boogie there's
                    been the man'a the house!
                        (beat, gnarled grin)
                    And we make a darn cute couple I
                    think!
          
          Margie, cackling again-- the facade of sanity showing serious
          signs of strain...Elmore pulls the ammo box across the table.
          Stenciled on the side: "177th Airborne Division -- Charlie
          Company - Reckon" He cracks the lid.
          
                                MARGIE (CONT'D)
                    I don't think that's been opened
                    since my husband died.
          
                                                                    85.
          
          Inside, army memorabilia and bric-a-brac; patches, service-
          tags, dog-earred b&w polaroids, ancient titty mags, (which
          make Margie horribly uncomfortable) Saigon bottled beer and
          most importantly, a .357 Colt Python.
          
          Elmore lifts it, looks it over, feels the heft, drops the
          chamber-- it's loaded. He sifts some more, palms loose bullets
          at the bottom of the box. He cracks a blackened grin, rolling
          the pistol's chamber and snapping it shut as we...
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          A padlock being locked and secured.
          
          CAMERA PULLS BACK TO REVEAL:
          
          INT. NOMAD HOTEL -- LOBBY
          
          Elevators and access doors locked down indefinitely. Casino
          and hotel patrons file out in less than orderly fashion.
          Craps players, pissed that their "hot streaks" have been cut
          short, harangue police and sheriff's personnel in passing.
          Barflys and blackjack habituates, accustomed to staying in
          one spot for months on end, have to be manually removed.
          
          The four call girls, trying to argue their way past security
          and onto one of the elevators, realizing they're not getting
          anywhere near the Penthouse level. Messner coordinates the
          Nomad's exodus, continually adjusting his earpiece, trying
          to contact Carruthers, two agents flank him.
          
                                 MESSNER
                         (to agent)
                    I want you to locate Agent Carruthers
                    now.
                         (beat, to another
                          agent)
                    The guests that aren't able to leave
                    need to be confined to their suites.
                    And under no circumstances are they
                    to venture out, for any reason. Have
                    the staff make calls to that effect.
          
          The pimply Casino Employee is at the center of an intensive
          on-spot interrogation being conducted by a group of agents.
          Messner arrives, stares at the kid.
          
                                MESSNER (CONT'D)
                    This him?
          
                                FBI AGENT
                        (nodding, then to kid)
                    Alright Ricky, I want you to explain
                    to Agent Messner exactly what
                    happened and do it slowly please.
          
          The kid, head bobbing, gnawing fingernails, cuticles mangled.
          
                                                                      86.
          
                                CASINO EMPLOYEE
                    Yeah, ye-- I-- uh, there were,
                    earlier, there was that guy Carrut--
          
                                MESSNER
                    --Agent Carruthers. Do you know where
                    is he now?
          
                                CASINO EMPLOYEE
                    He uh-- he asked about-- I'm-- he
                    wanted to know whic-- what floor
                    security was on, then I saw him get
                    on the elevator with the other agent.
          
                                MESSNER
                        (quick, thrown)
                    Wait a minute, what other agent?
                        (beat, to others)
                    What other agent?
          
                                FBI AGENT
                    I have no idea. It wasn't anybody
                    from our office.
          
                                CASINO EMPLOYEE
                    He said he was from San Francisco.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Did he give you his name?
          
                                CASINO EMPLOYEE
                    Yeah, uh-- it was Spanish-somethin'
                    Garcia, or Diego, uh--
          
                                MESSNER
                        (to other agents)
                    --run both those names through the
                    D.C. database. Call San Francisco,
                    see if they've got anybody in the
                    field doing collateral inquiries for--
          
                                CASINO EMPLOYEE
                    --he was wearing one of our jackets.
          
          Messner stops cold.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Who?
          
                                CASINO EMPLOYEE
                    The other agent. He said he was here
                    to do an inspection and later, when
                    he got on the elevator with the other
                    guy, Carruthers, I saw him wearing
                    one of our security jackets...
          
          Messner turns, bores in on the kid, no more bullshit now.
          
                                                                     87.
          
                                MESSNER
                    This man wearing the jacket identified
                    himself as an Federal agent?
          
                                   CASINO EMPLOYEE
                    Uh, yeah.
          
                                   MESSNER
                    You're sure?
          
                                CASINO EMPLOYEE
                    Yeah, he had the badge and everything.
                    It said "FBI" on it.
          
                                MESSNER
                    And when you saw him later, he was
                    wearing one of your security jackets--
          
                                   CASINO EMPLOYEE
                    Yeah.
          
                                MESSNER
                    And that didn't seem odd to you?
          
          The kid glances around, oops-- my mistake-- tries to amend.
          
                                CASINO EMPLOYEE
                    I-- I mean, I thought they gave it
                    to him so he cou--
          
          Messner turns on his heels, the other agents tag along.
          
                                 MESSNER
                        (addressing others)
                    We may have a man posing as one of
                    us. Get a tactical team assembled.
                    We need to get to the penthouse level
                    immediately.
          
                                FBI AGENT
                    We'll have to power the elevators
                    back up.
          
                                   MESSNER
                    Do it.
          
          As they move past the group of call girls, still arguing
          with security as we...
          
                                                             ...CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- SAME
          
          Israel, sickly, face bloodless, sitting down on a couch,
          setting the small handgun down on the table next to him. He
          digs at his chest now, in considerable pain, rotating his
          arm around, trying to rouse it.
          
                                                                       88.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    Fucking things falling asleep...
          
          Israel gazes at Beanie's body, trying to figure out an
          appropriate course of action.
          
                                ISRAEL (CONT'D)
                        (over his shoulder)
                    Vitoli, just sit tight for a second,
                    I gotta make a phone call, figure
                    this out...
          
          He takes out his cellphone, dialing Morris Mecklen. Soot
          appears behind him, easing the 9mm out of his waistband and
          resuming his stalk...ever...so...slowly.
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME
          
          Israel's security crew, surrounding a still-stunned Sir Ivy,
          waiting on the lift. One of the elevators approaches. The
          rest appear to be down.
          
                                BODYGUARD #1
                    One of 'em on it's way up. This
                    doesn't make any sense, what's wrong
                    with the rest of 'em?
          
          Suddenly, the stairwell doors are flung open, revealing Hugo
          and Gill. All guns whip simultaneously to that spot.
          
                                HUGO
                        (hands up)
                    Whoa, hey-- hey-- hold-up, hold-up,
                    I got the Doc, easy...
                        (beat, seeing Ivy)
                    What's going on?
          
                                MUSTACHE
                    Ivy tried to kill Mr. Israel and
                    shot Mr. Alphonse in the process.
                    He's dead.
          
          Hugo, thunderstruck.
          
                                HUGO
                    --Beanie!? What? How did that happe--
                        (beat, angry now)
                    Ivy!?
          
          Ivy, ashamed, not looking up.
          
                                IVY
                    Buddy was goin' jam us Hugo. He was
                    gonna fuck us up with the Feds...
          
                                                                       89.
          
                                SYKES
                    ...Wait a minute...This one's a Fed.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Sykes, holding Carruthers' FBI credentials after patting him
          down. She doesn't notice that power has been restored to the
          elevator.
          
                                WATTERS (O.S.)
                    What?
          
          INTERCUT WITH:
          
          INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Watters, trying to listen to Sykes, but concerned by the
          sudden surge of activity from the police scanners.
          
                                SYKES (O.S.)
                    Girl one of these fools has an FBI
                    badge on him! Is this the one that
                    was doing the inspection?
          
                                WATTERS
                    Hold up, hold up, I'm getting shots
                    over the scanners, tons of traffic--
                    jus' chill for a sec, lemme listen...
          
          INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR
          
          Sykes, pocketing the Carruthers ID. Behind her, Acosta
          manages to move enough to cover the "Bill" ID on his jacket.
          
          Sykes turns back to him, moving over to his now still form--
          blood drenched, barely conscious, eyes flittering like black
          flies...she kicks the bone saw from his hand. It spins to a
          gradual stop. She leans over him...the stiletto blade he
          used to dispatch "Bill" and hack Carruthers digits off has
          retracted back into his sleeve.
          
          Sykes begins patting him down, moving dangerously close to
          that sleeve, her neck hovering right above that spot--
          
                                SYKES
                    You jus' lay still, we goin figure
                    out what the fuck ya'll were up t--
          
          She pulls Acosta's bogus ID...Gerald Diego: Federal Bureau
          of Investigation.
          
                                SYKES (CONT'D)
                    You ain't gonna believe this shit.
                        (beat)
                    Both these motherfuckers are FEDS.
          
                                                                       90.
          
          INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Watters shaking her head, monitoring scanner transmissions.
          
                                WATTERS
                    No, no, no no-- one of 'em ain't--
                    one of 'ems bullshit-- it's all over
                    the air here, they got an impostor,
                    some fool with a fake badge--
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME
          
          Messner, having commandeered an elevator-- his IFB earpiece
          picking up interference-- distorted crosstalk, some sync of
          some kind, voices, clipped, delineating, spiked with static:
          
                                WATTERS (OVER MESSNER'S IFB)
                    --some fool wi-- a fake badge. So w-
                    tch yours--f.
          
          Messner, finger in his ear now, listening hard, hand up,
          quieting the rest of the car.
          
                                SYKES (OVER MESSNER'S IFB)
                    What I got i- a Gerald D--go and a
                    Donald Carruthers here...Now w--ch
                    one of --'ll --s for real?
          
          As the car rises past the fourteenth floor, the signal
          sharpens, crystallizes less than a second--
          
                                SYKES (CONT'D)
                    'Cuz I'mma kill the one that ain't...
          
          Messner reacts--
          
                                MESSNER
                    --STOP THE ELEVATOR!
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME
          
          The Elevator arrives with a "ding!" Mustache and his men
          wait for the doors to open...heavy black smoke begins to
          slowly seep through the cracks, rolling up and along the
          walls, unfurling finger-like across the ceiling. From within
          the elevator car itself, a pull engine sputters to a stall...
          
          A HEART BEGINS TO BEAT OVER THE SOUNDTRACK. A steady thrum,
          building slowly...
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
                                                                    91.
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE APARTMENT -- SAME
          
          Israel on the phone, consumed by chest spasms. Soot, his
          Vitoli visage now mangled beyond recognition; nose sheared
          off, rubber chin and jaw prosthesis. He throws back the
          tablecloth covering his service tray, takes an igloo cooler
          off ice inside, pulls surgical tools from it-- scalpel,
          forceps rib-spreader, etc., He arranges them pre-op style.
          He removes a phone from his jacket, hits "Send" waits, says:
          
                                 SOOT
                         (cryptically)
                     Three minutes.
          
          He reaches Israel, leveling the 9mm to his skull. Israel is
          completely unaware as he clutches his chest, breath coming
          in great laborious gulps. He's on the phone to Mecklen.
          
          INTERCUT
          
                                  MECKLEN
                     Buddy, they revoked the deal, they
                     pulled it...
          
                                  ISRAEL
                     They what?   What? No.   No. Why?
          
                                 MECKLEN
                     The Deputy Director, this prick Locke,
                     he smashed the whole thing, we're
                     done, they won't tell me why...
          
          The doors to the suite open and in stride Hugo and Doc Gill.
          Soot, gun raised, watches as both men look up and meet his
          gaze.
          
          ...Nobody moves.
          
          THE HEARTBEAT CONTINUES.   Quickening...
          
          Hugo, a guarded step forward, squinting.
          
                                  HUGO
                     Vitoli?   What are you doing?
          
                                 GILL
                         (to Hugo)
                     It's okay, it's okay Hugo...
                         (beat, to Soot)
                     Mr. Soot, I'm Doctor Gill.
          
          Israel turns back, sees this demented version of Vitoli aiming
          at gun right in his face. Israel's breathing suddenly cinches
          up tight, his pulse triple-timing. He turns back to Gill.
          
                                 ISRAEL
                     Doc-- y-- wha-- what is this?
          
                                                                       92.
          
          Hugo takes a step away from Gill, alarmed, his hand inch-
          worming toward the gun on his waist...WE TRACK THE HAND as
          it becomes--
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          --Agent Messner, reaching for his gun as the elevator arrives
          at the fourteenth floor.
          
          INT. HALLWAY -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Messner and a heavily armed contingent of cops and fellow
          feds exit the elevator, fanning out, quietly situating
          themselves at the far side of the hallway with a clear line
          of sight to the open elevator at the opposite end.
          
          HEARTBEAT ACCELERATES MORE
          
          INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME
          
          Sykes, having heard the elevator arrive, leans against the
          wall, gun up, listening--
          
          INT. HALLWAY -- SAME
          
          Messner, voice low, directing the tactical action.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Two man cover formation, far end,
                    the elevator is open, possible
                    aggression inside, watch for fire--
          
          INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME
          
          Sykes, hearing that last transmission simultaneously.
          
                                MESSNER'S VOICE
                    --watch for fire...
          
          She glances down at Carruthers, sees his IFB in his lap,
          realizes that's where the voice is coming from. Plugs it
          into her ear.
          
                                MESSNER'S VOICE (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                    Stay low, breach on my mark...
          
          Sykes, covering Carruthers' IFB, whispering into her own.
          
                                SYKES
                    Shar...Fourteen, I'm pinched-- I
                    need some heavy shit, fire-from-
                    heaven...my count.
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
                                                                       93.
          
          INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Watters, re-targeting, bringing the Barrett .50 to bear on
          the lower floors, sighting down from the top, counting back
          to fourteen, settling, locking off the tripod, gazing through
          her scope... HEARTBEAT BUILDING STILL, becoming more erratic.
          
          WATTERS POV: Fourteenth floor, big glass windows, drawn
          curtains...she nuzzles the eyepiece, finger slipping
          delicately inside the trigger guard...waiting.
          
                                WATTERS (INTO IFB)
                    Bet.
          
          CUT BACK TO:
          
          INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME
          
          With Sykes attention diverted, Acosta begins slowly moving
          his hand toward his pant leg, reaching for a hidden ankle-
          holster as we--
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME
          
          --Mustache and his men, hands going to their rigs, shoulder
          and waist. A handcuffed Ivy watches with them as the elevator
          doors open and a big plume of black smoke vacates the car,
          eerily cast light burns blood red within, infernal, hellish.
          Now, another pull engine leaps to life from inside the car,
          this one gnarled and guttural, winding out...a chainsaw.
          
          HEARTBEAT JACKHAMMERING NOW. Out of control.
          
          The sound falls away, leaving only the runaway throb of the
          beating heart as we--
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          SLO-MO DOLLY IN:
          
          Buddy Israel. Both hands going to his heart. Something
          horribly wrong. He pitches forward, falling away from Soot's
          pistol--
          
          THE HEARTBEAT crescendos wildly, out-of-control...
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          ...A BELL-RANGER HELICOPTER, the heartbeat becoming the thwack
          of rotor blades as it lifts off with Deputy Director Locke
          and an FBI tactical team inside...
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          MONTAGE
          
                                                                       94.
          
          ...a kaleidoscope of scenarios about to be played out at the
          exact same second...shared fates...Shakespearean fraught...in
          this soundless realm the CAMERA TAKES US PAST THE FOLLOWING:
          
          HUGO -- Looking on in horror as Israel collapses.
          
          DOC GILL -- Rushing to Buddy's aide.
          
          SOOT -- Bringing the 9mm up, leveling it on Hugo.
          
          CAMERA MOVES OUT INTO THE PENTHOUSE HALLWAY PAST:
          
          MUSTACHE -- Sensing grave danger, his gun being drawn. His
          m
           en following suit.
          
          IVY -- Pulling away from his captors, looking for cover.
          
          DARWIN TREMOR -- Stepping from the elevator, strapped with
          a
            sawed-off pump shotgun in one hand, a vintage elephant gun
          in the other, looking for lives to end.
          
          s
          LESTER TREMOR -- Chainsaw snarling, spewing oil, psycho smile
           preading viral across a pockmarked face.
          
          JEEVES TREMOR -- Sledgehammer in a scabbard on his back,
          h
           olding WWII era German "Potato-Masher" grenades, gripped
          like drumsticks, pins pulled. He hurls them.
          
          CAMERA MOVES PAST THEM, DOWN ELEVATOR SHAFT TO:
          
          SYKES -- Pulling extra clips from her handbag, securing them
          under her garter belt, dumping her heels in favor of hose.
          
          ACOSTA -- Pant leg lifted, moving panther-quiet, tortoise-
          slow, unfastening the snap on his ankle-holster.
          
          c
          CARRUTHERS -- Near death, eyes locked on Acosta, his mortal
           ombatant, trying desperately to reach his own ankle holster.
          
          MESSNER -- Watching as his team moves into place around the
          e
           levator. Checking his own piece, flicking off the safety.
          
          CAMERA MOVES OUT THE WINDOW AND UP TO:
          
          WATTERS -- In the Hotel window across the way, sniper-rifle
          s
           nug to her shoulder, eye on the scope, waiting for the word.
          
          CAMERA MOVES THROUGH RIFLE SCOPE UP TO AND INSIDE EARPIECE
          
          Inside the earpiece at 10000x normal magnification; micro-
          sound condensers and circuits the size of skyscrapers. Then,
          a voice makes the landscape tremble, like the trump of God:
          
                                SYKES
                    Bring it.
          
          THE CAMERA SUDDENLY REVERSES PATH
          
                                                                       95.
          
          Back out of the earpiece, down through the scope, over the
          barrel of the rifle...BOOM...A .50 caliber bullet is birthed.
          
          CAMERA TRAVELS BACK TO:
          
          The fourteenth floor window of the Nomad detonates with
          concussive ferocity-- creating a hailstorm of shattered glass
          that sweeps the length of the hallway, engulfing cops and
          feds whole.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          Another round tears in after it, exploding a gilded ceiling
          stanchion, sparking off the rebar, tripping the sprinkler
          system, dousing the corridor-- everybody runs for cover.
          
          One of the AGENTS, wounded, summons another elevator.
          Messner, undeterred, advances on the elevator containing
          Sykes and Carruthers.
          
          CAMERA TRAVELING BACK
          
          Sykes, Glock ready to rock, about to move. Acosta, pulling
          a pistol from his ankle-rig, preparing to backshoot Sykes.
          
          CAMERA ASCENDS BACK UP THROUGH SHAFT
          
          Chaos. Carnage. Full blown bloodbath. Heavily-armed men on
          an overkill override. Mustache and Co., waging close quarters
          warfare with the Brothers Tremor. Bullets blaze, bodies
          drop, everything burns--
          
          CAMERA CONTINUES PAST SCENE TO:
          
          Soot, shooting Hugo several times-- Hugo falling back,
          confused by the abrupt pain, baffled by the appearance of
          blood. Gill, overtop of Israel, trying to force feed him
          nitro-glycerin tablets. Buddy goes into full cardiac arrest.
          
          Disparate sounds collide now, swell to a great tumult-- an
          incomprehensible crescendo of explosions and chainsaws and
          gunshots and screams as we--
          
          CUT TO BLACK
          
          ...nothing...complete and utter silence...
          
          SLOW FADE UP ON:
          
          Primo Sparazza...sitting in that hospital bed...waiting.
          
                                                              FADE OUT:
          
          SLOW FADE UP ON:
          
                                                                       96.
          
          The Swede...sitting on a sofa in his suite with Sparazza's
          men...waiting.
          
                                                              FADE OUT:
          
          SLOW FADE UP ON:
          
          Rupert Reed...drunk and despondent...by the phone...waiting.
          
                                                              FADE OUT:
          
          SLOW FADE UP ON:
          
          Victor Padiche...hand-wringing...watching his phone...waiting.
          
                                                              FADE OUT:
          
          HARD CUT UP ON:
          
          All of it happening at lightspeed. Watters, reloading,
          watching as leaden contrails of gunsmoke pour from the
          pulverized fourteenth floor. She resumes her assault.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          Messner, a few feet from the car containing Sykes. More
          sniper fire rakes the hallway. Another elevator arrives,
          opens...call girls inside. They snuck up somehow, past
          security... The gunplay gets them spooked, scared-- they
          scramble from the car-- cops and feds try to stuff them back
          inside the elevator as rounds continue to rain down.
          
          One of the girls catches a hard ricochet, wig leaping off
          her head as a bounced bullet punches through her skull-- she
          crumbles, instant casualty. Messner hardly notices, moving
          instead toward the other elevator car.
          
                                MESSNER
                    THIS IS THE FBI! THROW YOUR WEAPON
                    OUT! SHOW ME YOUR HANDS!
          
                                SYKES
                        (whispering into IFB)
                    Are these feds fake or for real girl!
          
          Carruthers, pawing feebly at her, moaning-- trying to warn
          her-- she shrugs him off.
          
                                WATTERS
                        (yelling)
                    I DON'T KNOW!
          
                                SYKES
                    Jus' keep doin' y'damage girl, keep
                    these mafuckas off my as--
          
          BANG-- Sykes squeals, spins back, feels numbness spread over
          her legs and lower trunk, knows she's been shot.
          
                                                                       97.
          
                                   SYKES (CONT'D)
                           (panic, into her IFB)
                       We're out girl! I'm shot! I'M SHOT!--
          
          ACOSTA fires again, bullet ripping through her studded
          bustier, gouging kevlar, nicking ribcage-- embedding into
          the IFB receiver on her hip, ruining it. Sykes falters--
          tries to raise her gun--
          
          Acosta raises his aim to her head, about to deliver the coup
          de grace-- Messner appears now, sees Acosta, sights him when--
          
          BLAM!BLAM!    BLAM!!
          
          Acosta's chest explodes, he slumps, the gun sliding away--
          Messner swings wide on the car to reveal:
          
          Carruthers, smoking gun, trembling aim, exposed ankle
          holster...empty. Sykes, kevlar burning, smashed round still
          hot, she tries to pull her vest off, finds her newly paralyzed
          arm uncooperative. Messner, advancing now, keeping an eye
          on his partner as he moves toward the car.
          
                                   MESSNER
                       LADY, SHOW ME YOUR HANDS RIGHT NOW!
          
                                   SYKES
                       I NEED MY HANDS MOTHERFUCKER! I'M
                       HIT! KILL ME OR LET ME BE!
          
          Messner enters the elevator, rushes to the doomed Carruthers.
          
                                   MESSNER
                       How bad?
          
                                   CARRUTHERS
                       Mortal.
          
                                   MESSNER
                       No.
          
                                   CARRUTHERS
                       Yeah.
          
          Messner takes his partner under the arms, lugging him into
          the open hallway, stripping off his shirt. Carruthers severed
          hand nearly falls away from the rest of his arm.
          
          Acosta spits blood from the lungs-- his breathing now a bog
          of pinched snorts and gurgles.
          
                                   MESSNER
                           (re: Acosta, yelling
                            to the others)
                       SECURE THIS SUSPECT!
          
          TWO FEDS enter to remove Acosta from the car-- he lets out a
          guttural yelp as they hoist him-- real pain or playing possum,
          
                                                                       98.
          
          impossible to tell...As his legs clear the elevator doors,
          they slowly close on the wounded Sykes.
          
          Messner, tries to prevent them from closing, can't-- gazes
          up at the digital counter as the elevator continues its ascent
          to the Penthouse level...
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. ELEVATOR CAR
          
          Sykes, riding up, wounded, vulnerable, trying to reach the
          control panel to stop the car. She keys her now useless IFB.
          
                                SYKES
                        (into IFB)
                    Girl, I'm inside, I'm on my way up--
                    this elevator is going to the
                    Penthouse-- can you hear me--? Baby,
                    can you hear me--
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME
          
          --Watters, panicked, pulling the Barrett up off its tri-pod,
          hitting the hallway, double-timing to the stairwell...She
          has no idea that she's lost radio contact with Watters.
          
                                WATTERS
                    Sit tight if you can hear me Girl!
                    I can't do shit for you from here.
                    I'm moving down for a sightline!
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME
          
          Plaster and debris everywhere, sprinklers tripped, most of
          Mustache's team shot, shredded or burnt to a crisp. Pieces
          of building and bodies either waterlogged or fully ablaze.
          Mustache and Darwin play duck and cover, exchanging fire.
          Jeeves, out of grenades, sledgehammer swinging, crushing
          wall studs, scattering remaining security team members.
          
          Ivy, sheltered, having survived the opening salvos, gets
          ahold of a gun from a chainsaw-shorn former security member;
          Lester sees Ivy arming himself, blitzes him-- chainsaw
          snarling, revved out, sending fantails of gristle and chipped
          bone everywhere. Less than fifteen feet separate them.
          
          Ivy fires, shots deflected off the blade's teeth, seconds
          from getting gutted-- he adjusts his aim high, emptying the
          gun into Lester's chest, bullets blazing haywire, blowing
          out between Lester's shoulders, stopping a hard charge cold.
          
                                                                       99.
          
          Lester, lopsided, bullet-dazed, drools blood...then dies.
          Ivy dumps his clip, searches for another-- the chainsaw falls,
          stalls.
          
          Jeeves, hefting the sledgehammer like a hayseed John Henry,
          looks over as his older brother's life come to an end. He
          reacts badly.
          
                                JEEVES TREMOR
                    LESTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
          
          Jeeves buries the sledge in a wall, takes up the chainsaw,
          rips the pullcord, resumes the charge--
          
          Ivy, finds a clip, slams it in the stock, points, pulls--
          trigger-stick, hammer-jam. He falls to his back, scurrying
          away, trouble finding traction, soles slipping-- he keeps
          pulling the trigger. Jeeves straddles him from above, raises
          the saw like a great wooden stake, about to bring it down--
          
          --BAM!
          
          Ivy's automatic discharges. The round splits the saw's gas
          tank, spritzing fuel, dousing Jeeves-- A beat before the
          tank suddenly arcs, exploding, lighting Jeeves up like a
          four-hundred pound bonfire, bouncing him off the walls; a
          human Hindenberg, fully engulfed. He flails, burns, howls,
          falls...molten fat melts off his body like lard butter...
          
          Darwin, dismayed, both brothers down...He moves on Mustache,
          dispatches him with detached efficiency, snapping his neck
          clean. He then starts toward Ivy, who's trying desperately
          to crawl out of there.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE -- SAME
          
          Hugo, crawling across the floor, knees dragging over his own
          blood trail, trying to reach: Israel, on the ground, dying.
          Soot's gun has jammed. He clears it efficiently, patiently
          reloading the weapon as Doc Gill, in panic mode, performs
          full chest compressions on Buddy as we--
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. HALLWAY -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Messner, doing the same to Carruthers, trying to restart his
          heart. Acosta, lays there silently, slowly bleeding out,
          being tended to by a team of agents. In the b.g. Cops and
          Feds gather near the window, searching for the assailant,
          binoculars and rifle scopes strafing the Horizon hotel across
          the way, concentrating at the open window near the top floor.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
                                                                      100.
          
          INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR HALLWAY -- SAME
          
          WATTERS, running up the hallway, past alarmed maid service
          and hotel staff. She reaches the lower floor window and
          raises the scope to her eye, searching for Sykes--
          
                                WATTERS
                    Girl, where are you-- talk to me...how
                    bad are you hit...
          
          WATTERS POV
          
          She sees the Feds and Cops in the Nomad window across the
          way. Smoke clears, her field of vision through the scope
          expands, sharpens.
          
                                WATTERS (CONT'D)
                    Georgia goddamn baby, please talk to
                    me, please say somethin' so--
          
          --And that's when she spots the call girl, face obscured,
          lying dead from a headshot in the hallway...her heart
          sinks...and she assumes the worst: Sykes is dead.
          
                                WATTERS (CONT'D)
                    MOTHERFUCKERS!!
          
          She flicks to full-auto and opens fire right through the
          glass in front of her-- big gas-ejected shells pop from the
          breach like bowling pins-- the gathered throng across the
          way in the Nomad window seem to vaporize in a violent collage
          of heat, blood and building chunks-- Watters bucks big sobs,
          blasting away with the Barrett...
          
                                 WATTERS (CONT'D)
                    M'SORRY BABY! I'M SO SORRY! I LOVED
                    YOU SO MUCH!
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. ELEVATOR -- SAME
          
          Sykes, standing now, knock-kneed, kevlar discarded, down to
          a black bra and mini-skirt, blood dribbling over her midriff,
          deep indentation near her sternum-- big yellow bruise in
          bloom-- the bullet didn't penetrate...her elevator arrives
          at the penthouse level and as the doors open we--
          
                                                                   CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME
          
          Darwin, looming over Ivy, about to bring the sledge down
          squarely on his skull-- the elevator doors open in his
          periphery... He looks over, sees Sykes standing there, barely
          clothed, wet with blood, gun in her hand...and grins.
          
                                                                      101.
          
          Sykes, seeing Darwin standing over Ivy, holding a sledgehammer--
          recognizes him as the perv from earlier. She levels the Glock,
          stepping out of the elevator, steadying herself against the
          wall, steadying her aim on Darwin's head.
          
                                SYKES
                    Drop that hammer...
                        (beat, cocking gun)
                    And I drop this one.
                        (beat)
                    Know a killer motherfucker...know
                    they voice. Know they feel...and
                    know you 'bout to die by one.
          
          Then, the sound of an helicopter intrudes, rotor thrum,
          building steadily, growing louder-- the floor seems to shake
          as the chopper approaches-- nervous eyes dart-- nobody moves.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE APARTMENT -- SAME
          
          The chopper draws closer, growing louder-- Hugo, still trying
          to crawl toward his downed boss. Soot finishes him off with
          a flush headshot. Gill, frantic, rapid chest compressions
          on Israel, who gags, starts, coughs, heart back up and
          beating. His watery gaze moves from Gill to Soot, who know
          stands overtop of him, aiming the 9mm down at him.
          
          Israel averts his eyes...the end has come. He looks over
          and sees his lamb-skin coat, lying there, soaking in Beanie's
          blood, ruined beyond recognition. A tear escapes his eye.
          
                                ISRAEL
                    ...forgive me...
          
          Soot puts the gun flush with Buddy's skull when suddenly,
          the ceiling begins to tremble and shake...the sound of a
          helicopter filling the air.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. HALLWAY -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Messner is losing Carruthers, can't revive him, begins to
          crack-- hammering on his chest...it's no use. He's dead.
          He sobs-- something slides from his pocket. He glances down...
          
          ...sees that the bag containing Elmore's severed fingers has
          fallen from his pocket. Doesn't remember hanging onto them.
          He replaces them in his pocket. Looks down at his dead
          friend, sees his severed hand, also missing fingers...
          
          ...the absurdity of this makes Messner want to cry laughing...
          
          ...and that's when he hears the chopper...and sees it as it
          rises up past their floor, past the contingent of Cops and
          Feds slugging it out with Watters across the street.
          
                                                                    102.
          
          INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME
          
          Watters, ears ringing with gunfire reverb, reloading-- salvos
          of return fire ripping back at her-- then, all at once, the
          shooting stops-- She pauses, thinks it's a ploy-- then slowly
          peers over the window sill as the Bell-Ranger comes into
          view, over the Nomad, touching down on its narrow rooftop.
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE -- SAME
          
          The doors to the Penthouse level are bashed open and the
          windows implode as FBI tactical agents repel in, weapons
          drawn, swarming, surrounding the scene, shouting commands--
          Darwin Tremor drops the sledge, jackrabbits for the elevator,
          diving in as the doors close--
          
          Sykes, stumbling toward Ivy. He sees she's injured, scoops
          her up like a new bride-- she places something in his
          hand...Acosta's fake FBI credentials. Ivy looks, nods, gets
          it-- agents approach, combat crouches, MP-5's at arms.
          
                                AGENT #1
                    Let me see your hands!
          
          Ivy, flashing the I.D., taking care to cover the photo.
          
                                SIR IVY
                    This woman's been shot, I need to
                    get her medical attention immediately!
          
          Commotion and confusion swirl. The Agent, unsure, searching
          for some confirmation-- can't find it, dismisses them and
          rushes into the Penthouse. Sykes and Ivy slip out the exit.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE APARTMENT -- SAME
          
          Soot, disarmed, handcuffed. Israel, propped up, sweating
          badly, seizures still hobbling his heart. Gill, being patted
          down by the Agents, prescription pills confiscated. Soot is
          held at gunpoint and flex-cuffed, the remainder of rubber
          appliance pulled off his face.
          
          The agents begin to initiate an "All Clear" over their radios.
          Moments pass before Deputy Director Locke enters the room,
          He approaches Soot, studies him, to one of the agents;
          
                                   LOCKE
                    Soot?
          
          The Agent nods confirmation. Locke reaches into Soot's coat,
          finds his cellphone...hits redial.
          
                                LOCKE (CONTD) (CONT'D)
                        (into phone)
                    Would you join us please...
          
                                                                    103.
          
          Locke disconnects, passes the phone to an underling.
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    Where are Carruthers and Messner?
          
                                AGENT #1
                    Agent Carruthers was killed sir,
                        (as Locke turns back)
                    Agent Messner is unaccounted for.
          
                                LOCKE
                    Account for him.
          
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. STAIRWELL -- SAME
          
          Messner, bounding up the steps, gun drawn, hears voices coming
          down the stairs toward him-- stops, checks his weapon...
          
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          INT. STAIRWELL -- SAME
          
          Ivy and Sykes descending the stairs. He carries her like a
          princess, sweeping her down landing after landing.
          
                                SIR IVY
                    What's your name baby girl...
          
          Sykes, somehow shy, sweet, gazing up at him.
          
                                   SYKES
                    ...Georgia.
          
          Ivy, big smile.
          
                                SIR IVY
                    Georgia on my mind wit'yo fine ass.
                    You know you saved this black man.
          
                                SYKES
                    You know I did baby...
                        (smiling, assessing)
                    And a deep, dark one at that. Now if
                    you ain't a dog, which you don't
                    look like--
          
                                SIR IVY
                    --never in a million girl--
          
                                SYKES
                    --good, then all you got to be is
                    grateful.
          
                                SIR IVY
                    No doubt. That's my moms there,
                    taught me them skills.
          
                                                   104.
          
                      SYKES
          You love her?
          
                      SIR IVY
          My mamma? C'mon shorty, y'gotta ask?
              (beat, sees her wounds)
          You hurtin' pretty bad?
          
                      SYKES
              (nodding)
          Got hit twice.
          
                      SIR IVY
          It's going around ain't it? Mafuckas
          catching bullets like the common
          cold up in this bitch.
              (beat)
          I think I accidentally shot and killed
          my boy today.
          
                      SYKES
          Well, if it's any comfort, I's goin'
          in to there to act a fool baby.
              (taps her gun)
          Straight rockin' heat and slayin'
          niggas--
          
                      SIR IVY
          For real?
          
                      SYKES
          Mmm-hmm...and your boy very well
          mighta been one of 'em.
          
                      SIR IVY
          True?
          
                      SYKES
          Like a mafucka.
          
                      SIR IVY
          That takes some of the sting out.
          
                      SYKES
          I probably woulda busted on you too
          ...and what a shame that woulda been.
          
                      SIR IVY
          I feel like I know you girl. I feel
          like I've known you forever.
              (beat, smiles)
          You gonna lemme see your scars?
          
                      SYKES
          You do the right thing. Sit with me
          while I heal, let it develop slow.
          
                                                                   105.
          
                                SIR IVY
                    What were you doin' here anyway?
          
                                SYKES
                    'Spose to kill this fool named Buddy
                    Israel.
          
          This gets Ivy's biggest grin.
          
                                SYKES (CONT'D)
                    Damn baby girl, you makin' a nigga
                    fall hard now.
          
          He reaches the seventeenth floor, rounds the corner, nearly
          runs into Messner, has a gun thrust in his face.
          
                                MESSNER
                    F.B.I. YOU'RE UNDER ARREST! PUT HER
                    DOWN, GET UP AGAINST THAT WALL!
          
          Sykes recognizes him and in a blink has a gun under his chin.
          
                                SYKES
                    Don't play out this string, 'cuz
                    it's real short I didn't do your man
                    downstairs. I found him that way.
                    Now whether or not you believe that
                    ain't the least bit important. We
                    either goin' work this out and live,
                    or stay doin' the shit we been doin'
                    and die. Now I got no beef with you,
                    or wit ya'll bureau...so you better
                    off jus' movin' on & lettin' us be.
          
          Messner, eyes moving from Ivy to Sykes. Stalemate, no sense
          pushing. He moves past them, hits the stairwell exit on
          eighteen. Ivy and Sykes resume their trek down the stairs.
          
          INT. HALLWAY -- PENTHOUSE FLOOR
          
          Messner, bashing in from the stairwell. WHIP PAN OVER TO
          REVEAL: The Swede, still accompanied by the Sparazza goons,
          arriving in the elevator at the same time.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. ELEVATOR
          
          Darwin, on his way down, rolling around on the floor of the
          car, covering himself in congealed blood and bullet casings,
          slicking back his hair, losing the security jacket, splashing
          yet more blood on himself. Satisfied, he snatches Carruthers'
          F.B.I. credentials up off the floor...and waits.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
                                                                   106.
          
          INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME
          
          The elevator arrives at the far end. A small asian man
          carrying a stack of clean towels steps off and starts down
          the hall-- sees Watters, sees the .45 trained on him-- does
          an abrupt about face and disappears back inside the car.
          
          Watters lowers the gun, wipes tears, the area around her is
          littered with spent .50 caliber shells. The fourteenth floor
          of the Nomad is now empty. Sirens wail in the distance.
          Down below, Watters can see a bevy of law enforcement
          personnel streaming toward the Horizon. She slowly takes
          the Barrett off the ledge, begins breaking it down, glancing
          up at the Penthouse of the Nomad as we...
          
                                                             ...CUT TO:
          
          INT. PENTHOUSE APARTMENT -- SAME
          
          Director Locke waits. Messner and The Swede appear in the
          doorway. The Swede nods to all concerned and starts toward
          Israel. Doc Gill acknowledges the Swede.
          
                                DR. GILL
                    Dr. Ingstrom, he's had a mild cardiac
                    episode and recurring arrhythmia,
                    I've given him 60cc's of Nobuneatol...
          
          The Swede kneels down next to Israel, dropping his black
          valise, cracking it open. Messner, dazed, dumbfounded, sees
          Locke.
          
                                MESSNER
                    ...Deputy Director Locke?
          
          Locke approaches, lays a comforting arm on Messner, guiding
          him to a chair.
          
                                 LOCKE
                    Here. Sit.   Please.
          
                                MESSNER
                        (pointing to Swede)
                    This is him? The hitman hired to
                    kill Israel? He's a doctor?
          
                                LOCKE
                    Difficult to explain everything now...
                        (beat, toward Israel)
                    And much larger issues loom.
                        (beat)
                    I'm sorry about Carruthers...Damndest
                    thing to have to die for.
          
          The Swede, working on Israel, shaking his head, something's
          wrong. He stands, crosses to Locke, silently confers.
          
                                                                   107.
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                        (to The Swede)
                    Very well.
                        (to other Agents)
                    Take Mr. Israel to the roof, he'll
                    be traveling with us.
          
          Suddenly, Soot breaks from his captors, sprinting for the
          shattered Penthouse windows, launching himself-- a swan dive
          out into the open air-- He hangs there for a moment, an
          aesthetically striking form; like Lazarus cast against a
          cobalt blue sky, backlit by the sun from the lake below--
          
          --till gravity grabs, pulls-- plummeting him toward earth,
          sending him headlong into the vast expanse of concrete below.
          This startlingly event is dismissed by mutual shrugs and a
          collective lack of concern.
          
          Messner is absolutely agog.
          
                                MESSNER
                        (to Locke, forceful)
                    What the hell-- What is this!? People
                    died. Agent Carruthers is dead!
          
                                LOCKE
                    We have to transport Mr. Israel to
                    Las Vegas, time is of the essence.
                    The gulfstream is standing by on the
                    jetway at Tahoe International. I'm
                    sorry, I'm restricted from disclosing
                    anymore information. Return to
                    Washington. You'll be debriefed in
                    the coming days.
          
          Locke says no more-- starts out of the Penthouse with the
          Swede, Dr. Gill and Buddy Israel in tow. A Bureau forensics
          team arrives to quietly tag and bag the dead...Messner stands
          there, absolutely agog.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          INT. NOMAD HOTEL -- LOBBY -- DAY
          
          Hives of activity. Cordons and crime scene lockdowns like
          onion layers, multiple law enforcement agencies, confounded,
          confused-- too many cooks, too many kitchens. Nobody knows
          who the hells in charge. Local paramedics and EMT's cart
          out the wounded. Coroners and M.E.'s cart out the dead.
          
          Reporters and national news outlets crowd police barricades
          outside, competing for coverage, as--
          
          THE CAMERA PANS OVER TO REVEAL:
          
          Acosta is wheeled through the lobby, hooked up to IV and
          oxygen, looking ghastly, like something exhumed. He catches
          the eye of the pimply casino employee and manages a wink.
          
                                                                   108.
          
          He's flex-cuffed to the gurney and pushed against the wall
          for the moment as the Agents move off to deal with the recent
          appearance of Lazlo Soot-- whose body has been unceremoniously
          splattered over the parking lot.
          
          As the Agents depart, Acosta peers down at his shackles;
          simple plastic binding rods-- he smiles...a moment later the
          stiletto blade fires from his sleeve as--
          
          THE CAMERA PANS OVER TO REVEAL:
          
          Darwin Tremor staggering out of an open elevator, blood-
          sodden, head down-- FBI badge held aloft for all its worth.
          Playing it up, free pass, Agents rush in, hold him upright,
          help him toward a line of awaiting ambulances outside as--
          
          THE CAMERA PANS OVER TO REVEAL:
          
          Ivy and Sykes, being released from the stairwell, cut chains
          sliding off-- Ivy holds up pilfered FBI creds. Rampant
          confusion makes the moment possible. He's waved through,
          carrying Sykes, looking every bit the good Samaritan.
          
          Sykes, a mess of mascara, adorned in her unmentionables,
          looking every bit the prostitute she appears to be-- she
          spots the woman at the counter from earlier. The woman gazes
          back, jaw agape. Sykes can only shrug...if you can't beat
          'em-- join 'em. She and Ivy cross the lobby as--
          
          THE CAMERA PANS OVER TO REVEAL:
          
          Messner...morose, exiting another elevator with the sheet-
          draped body of Carruthers on a gurney. Gandersen, the Nomad
          owner, spots him, starts over, looks to unleash, gets close
          enough to catch Messner's expression. Sees it in his
          eyes...enough dead bodies for one day. Messner continues
          moving through the lobby, hears the chopper taking off as--
          
          CAMERA TILTS UP TO REVEAL:
          
          Through the clear glass atrium of the Nomad, the Bell-Ranger
          goes airborne against an impossibly clear winter sky, banking
          south toward Las Vegas.
          
          CAMERA TILTS DOWN TO REVEAL:
          
          The Horizon hotel across the way: The Fourteenth floor window.
          
          INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- DAY
          
          Watters, gear stowed, seemingly indifferent about the level
          of law enforcement heading up her way, about to launch an
          Alamo-like last stand in honor of her fallen sista.
          
          She hears commotion erupt from outside as survivors begin
          filing from the building. She takes up the Barrett, gazing
          through the scope, looking, looking, looking...stops...holy
          shit...it's her. It's Sykes.
          
                                                                   109.
          
          And she's alive and being carried by a man, a big gorgeous
          black man that she's gazing upon with utter love and longing.
          A boulder-sized lump takes shape in Watters throat; betrayed,
          backbit-- tears come to fast to contain, too many to control.
          
          Numbed...the sensation leaving her fingers, she finds herself
          racking the bolt on the Barrett and gazing through
          crosshairs...taking aim on Ivy's head. Behind her, the
          elevator arrives, an a dozen armed cops, hoo-rah from it,
          hustling the length of the hall, descending down on her--
          
                                WATTERS
                        (whispering)
                    ...I loved you baby...
          
          BOOM!
          
          EXT. PARKING STRUCTURE -- NOMAD HOTEL -- SAME
          
          A gunshot in the distance followed by shrieks-- Darwin Tremor
          snaps his head around at the sound, moving past platoons of
          Cops and Feds now rushing that way. His I.D. is out,
          affording him easy egress. He hops the stairs up, top level,
          Barracuda parked at the rear of the lot. As he approaches...
          
                                 VOICE (O.S.)
                    Hey...
          
          Darwin glances over at...Hollis Elmore, standing there, skin
          horribly discolored, disease afflicted. He wears a hooded
          tourist sweatsuit; "Ta-Hoe, Ta-Hoe It's Off To Fun We Go!"
          stitched in cursive across the front. He's holding the Colt
          Python against his hip.
          
                                ELMORE
                        (nodding to Cuda)
                    That your car?
          
          Darwin, a beat, what-to-do...hillbilly-acumen in overdrive.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    No, I'm confiscating it.
                        (holding up badge)
                    F.B.I.
          
          Now Elmore raises the Colt with his good hand, advancing on
          Darwin, moving gingerly, his legs not quite there...
          
                                ELMORE
                    You're F.B.I.?
          
          Darwin tries to stay tight, composed.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    That's right...and I'd advise y'ta
                    lower your weapon sir.
          
          Elmore keeps coming.
          
                                                                   110.
          
                                 ELMORE
                    You investigating those murders out
                    at the lake?
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                        (blanching a bit)
                    Ww...uh...
          
                                ELMORE
                    Three men were ambushed and shot,
                    two died and had their bodies tossed
                    into the lake, the other has severe
                    hypothermia, possible dementia and
                    will probably be a multiple amputee
                    by week's end...if he even lives
                    that long.
          
          Darwin, uh-oh...
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    No, I ain't even heard abou--
          
          --Oops.
          
                                ELMORE
                        (even more menace)
                    You "ain't"--
                        (beat, teeth clenched)
                    You have any idea how close to death
                    I've been? You understand that I'm
                    dying now? That I've survived bullets
                    and frostbite and raging fever--
                        (holding up hand)
                    missing fingers and every fucking
                    imaginable horror in between?
          
          Darwin...speechless...he's done.
          
                                ELMORE (CONT'D)
                    And I'm asking you now, "Is that
                    your car" and you can't even come
                    clean and do me the decency of a
                    straight answer, with the fucking
                    state that I'm in!?
          
          Elmore, that Colt looking like a cannon this close to Darwin.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    Yeah, shit-- hell, you're right. I'm
                    sorry.
          
                                ELMORE
                    You shot me and murdered my friends.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    I did. We-- yeah, I know.
          
                                                                   111.
          
                                ELMORE
                    And threw us into the lake.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    Pretty much, yep.
          
          Elmore, still nodding.
          
                                ELMORE
                    And this is your car, isn't it?
          
                                   DARWIN TREMOR
                    Mmm-hmm.
          
                                ELMORE
                    But there were more of you?
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    Yeah, m'brothers...They didn't make
                    it.
          
                                   ELMORE
                    Two of 'em?
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                        (nods, tears flow)
                    Thass' right.
                        (beat, wiping eyes)
                    I got other brother's though, so it
                    ain't so bad.
          
                                ELMORE
                    You were here huntin' a man named
                    Israel, weren't you? Your name is
                    Tremor.
          
          Darwin gazes up at Elmore, some fraternal bond forms.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    I was. It is...That who you was here
                    for? Israel?
          
          A pause. Elmore nods.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR (CONT'D)
                    Well...we both got beat out then,
                    didn't we?
          
          Darwin, slowly lowering the Colt.
          
                                ELMORE
                    Yes we did...
                        (long pause, then)
                    Now, give me your car keys. And get
                    the fuck out of here.
          
          Darwin, sifting through his pockets, tossing Elmore the keys.
          
                                                                     112.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR
                    S'fair...lemme just grab somethin'.
          
          Elmore brings the Colt back up.   Darwin, hands up, hold on--
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR (CONT'D)
                    No, no, no, I'm done with all that.
          
          He reaches in, pulls a joint off the dashboard, forages,
          finds matches, lights up, starts off.
          
                                DARWIN TREMOR (CONT'D)
                        (to 'Cuda)
                    Probably needs to be tuned. Air
                    filter's old. Plugs might be bad.
                    Heater and AC ain't worked in forever.
                        (seeing Elmore waver)
                    There's some good drugs in the glove
                    box there, homespun, keep you smiling,
                    semi-lucid at leas'...
                        (beat, puffing away)
                    Well, God's speed t'ya then. Sorry
                    'bout all that. S'way a'the world
                    though, winners and losers y'know.
                    S'way it's always goin' be...
          
          Darwin, walking away, taking huge hits off that joint,
          traipsing down the steps, getting stoned out of his mind.
          Elmore, considering, re-considering, looking at that Colt.
          
                                ELMORE
                    ...Oh, fuck that...
          
          --As he back shoots Darwin with all six rounds from the
          Python, blowing holes through him. Darwin goes lop-sided,
          legs failing, lit-joint still smoking in his mouth as dies
          standing, only to fall like cut timber seconds later.
          
          Elmore acts quickly, sliding into the 'Cuda and starting it,
          that big block Hemi roaring to life under the hood.
          
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          EXT. NOMAD HOTEL AND CASINO -- DAY
          
          Pedestrians and passerbys drawn to the commotion at the Nomad,
          the bottleneck bogs traffic down, making it impossible to
          move. Elmore crouches low as police and emergency personnel
          cross in front of the car... Slowly, the crosswalk begins to
          thin and then finally clear...save a single man:
          
          Messner...standing right in front of the Barracuda, staring
          at the tires, staring at Elmore. The two lock eyes as he
          moves around to the driver's side, reaching into his pocket--
          
          --Elmore lifts the Colt up off his lap, putting his heavily
          bandaged hand on the wheel. Then he sees Messner's FBI creds,
          clipped to his belt-- can't tell if this one's legit.
          
                                                                   113.
          
          He sets the Colt down on the floorboard as Messner walks up,
          pulling a plastic bag from his pocket: The one containing
          three severed fingers. He glances down at Elmore's mummified
          left hand, holding out the bag for him to take.
          
          Elmore, unsure, accepting the bag, seeing what's inside,
          embarrassed by it-- he sets it down on the seat next to him.
          
                                 MESSNER
                     Your friends were taken to Carson
                     City Memorial, they're going to be
                     autopsied and shipped back for burial.
          
                                 ELMORE
                     I'll take care of it.
          
          Messner, nodding. A beat.
          
                                 MESSNER
                     Who owned this car?
          
          Beat.
          
                                 ELMORE
                     The ones that killed 'em.
          
          Beat.   Messner nods.
          
                                 MESSNER
                     Where are they now?
          
          Elmore looks up at him-- what does it matter...
          
                                 ELMORE
                     I just want to go home man...I just
                     want to go home and forget this
                     fucking place even exists.
          
                                 MESSNER
                     Where's that? Home.
          
                                  ELMORE
                     Las Vegas.
          
          Messner, a thought, then:
          
                                 MESSNER
                     You're injured...Let me drive.
          
          CUT TO BLACK
          
          FADE UP ON:
          
          INT. CEDARS SINAI -- LAS VEGAS NEVADA -- DAY
          
          Messner walks in, cleaned up, pressed suit, no tie. He badges
          himself past the front desk. An ORDERLY approaches.
          
                                                                      114.
          
                                ORDERLY
                    Are you with the group on the third
                    floor?
          
          Messner nods.
          
                                ORDERLY (CONT'D)
                    Very well.
                        (turns, points)
                    You can take that stairwell up, the
                    I.C.U. is at the end of the hall.
          
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          INT. CEDARS SINAI -- THIRD FLOOR -- DAY
          
          Messne exits the stairwell. Droves of Feds and justice
          department types crowd the third floor hallway, around the
          I.C.U. The mood is subdued. The Swede exits a per-op suite,
          dressed in scrubs and a surgical gown, talking with Dr. Gill,
          who is also dressed for surgery.
          
          Messner searches the hall for a familiar face...finds
          it...Locke, far end, talking with an aide.
          
                                LOCKE
                    ...for a press release. Officially,
                    he took his own life, suicide by
                    hanging, something of that sort.
                    Basic bullet points-- despondent
                    over the turn his career had taken,
                    troubles with the law, history of
                    substance abuse and so on--
          
          The aide sees Messner approach. Locke follows her eyes, turns.
          
                                MESSNER
                    Where's Israel?
          
                                LOCKE
                    What are you doing here?
          
                                   MESSNER
                    My debrief--
          
                                LOCKE
                        (indignant)
                    --will be handled back in--
          
                                MESSNER
                    --no, we need to handle it now.
          
          Locke, angered, handing his clipboard to the aide, taking
          Messner by the arm, leading him away.
          
                                LOCKE
                    You were given instructions to get
                    on that plane and return to Washington--
          
                                                                         115.
          
          A gun is in Locke's side now-- against his ribs-- he looks
          down, stunned...Now it's Messner who's leading him away.
          
                                   MESSNER
                       You're going to tell me why no call
                       was made to inform us that the Israel
                       situation had been "altered." Why I--
                       and my friend and partner, whose
                       body is going into a furnace tomorrow,
                       were not sufficiently apprised of
                       Bureau movement on this matter.
          
          Locke, pale, shook up.
          
                                   LOCKE
                       I can't discuss--
          
                                   MESSNER
                       --You can and you will.
          
                                   LOCKE
                       You're finished.
          
                                   MESSNER
                       And you just figured that out?
                           (jams gun into ribs)
                       The Swede isn't a hitman, is he?
                       He's a surgeon. Sparazza didn't
                       want Israel's heart for a trophy, he
                       wanted it for a transplant...why?
          
                                                                SMASH CUT TO:
          
          INT. CEDARS SINAI -- I.C.U. -- RECOVERY ROOM -- DAY
          
          Locke and Messner enter. In an oxygen tent erected on one
          side of the room, sits the shrunken figure of Primo Sparazza.
          On the other, a barely conscious Buddy Israel. Both men are
          hooked up to multiple I-V's and heart monitors.
          
                                   LOCKE
                       ...They're father and son...
          
          Messner turns back to Locke, mind racing, searching his
          memory, sparking to--
          
          FLASH CUT:
          
          The Diner. The day before.
          
                                   MESSNER
                       ...A paternity suit, filed 1967...
          
          CUT BACK TO SCENE:
          
                                                                     116.
          
                                LOCKE
                    --Brought against Sparazza by Israel's
                    mother Laverne who was nineteen at
                    the time. They had a brief affair
                    which Israel was the by-product of.
          
          Messner turns back, gazing at Israel and Sparazza.
          
                                MESSNER
                    ...Does he know?
          
                                LOCKE
                    ...He does now...
          
          Israel and Sparazza glare at one another across the room
          with pure, unadulterated hated for the other.
          
                                MESSNER
                    So the wiretaps of Padiche and Serna--
          
                                                                  CUT TO:
          
          The reel-to-reel machine spins:
          
                                SERNA
                    --some Swede, real badass, supposedly
                    a "specialist"
          
                                                             CUT BACK TO:
          
                                LOCKE
                    Dr. Sven Ingstrom is head of
                    cardiology at Stockholm University
                    and the foremost heart specialist in
                    all of Europe--
          
          Messner...words can't begin to describe his dismay.
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    Sparazza was in failing health and
                    looking for a donor. The son who
                    had betrayed and burned him so
                    thoroughly seemed a obvious choice.
          
                                MESSNER
                    So all of our intel was bogus to
                    begin with.
          
                                LOCKE
                    Yes. The actual contract went to
                    Lazlo Soot, the man that plunged to
                    his death from the Penthouse
                    yesterday. He was to neutralize
                    Israel's entourage and prep for the
                    removal of his heart.
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                    117.
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    Ingstrom was to handle the surgery
                    itself on-site with the assistance
                    of Dr. Gregory Gill, Israel's personal
                    physician, who was also on the
                    Sparazza payroll.
          
          Messner steps closer to Locke, close enough to throttle him.
          
                                MESSNER
                    ...When did you know all this?
          
                                LOCKE
                    Information was arriving all day
                    yesterday. When we finally figured
                    out who Sparazza actually was, we--
          
          --Oops-- slip-up, too much talking...Locke goes silent.
          
                                MESSNER
                    --What?
                        (after a moment)
                    What do you mean "Who Sparazza
                    actually was..."
          
          Locke says nothing...Messner levels his gun on him.
          
                                LOCKE
                    ...Are you insane?
          
                                MESSNER
                    ...Almost.
                        (pulling hammer back)
                    What do you mean "who Sparazza
                    actually was..."
          
          Locke reluctantly hands Messner the confidential package we
          saw delivered to him earlier in the film. Messner pulls the
          photos of a post-op Primo Sparazza--
          
                                                                 CUT TO:
          
          The Diner, Carruthers and Messner, the day before...
          
                                MESSNER (CONT'D)
                    You realize that Sparraza has had
                    thirty-six major medical procedures
                    performed on him since 1953? Elective
                    plastic surgery, every single one--
          
          CUT BACK TO SCENE:
          
                                LOCKE
                    It wasn't elective. It was undertaken
                    to save his life. And it wasn't
                    cosmetic, it was reconstructive...Look
                    at the date of the first procedure.
          
                                                                      118.
          
                                MESSNER
                        (reading)
                    ...Yeah, fifty-three.
          
                                LOCKE
                    The same year that Sparazza murdered
                    Agent Freeman Heller...
          
          Messner...a slow, sickening realization taking hold...
          
          FLASH CUT TO:
          
          Jersey Turnpike. The past: A '51 Ford Fairlane, flush with
          an embankment, bullet perforated, dead-body draped. A top-
          coated man stalks the vehicle's sole survivor, FREEMAN HELLER,
          shooting him in the back. He rolls over and is shot point
          blank in the face. THE CAMERA TILTS UP to the top-coated
          gunman, who returns the pistol to its holster, revealing...
          
          ...An FBI BADGE, clearly visible, clipped to his waist...
          
          FLASH CUT BACK TO:
          
          Messner, staring at Sparazza...now he knows.
          
                                MESSNER
                        (as if to himself)
                    ...holy shit...that's Heller...
                        (back to Locke)
                    Isn't it?
          
                                LOCKE
                    Primo Sparazza was Heller's alias.
                    He went deep cover in 1940 and stayed
                    under for over ten years, amassing
                    materials against the mafia and other
                    criminal syndicates. He may have
                    ripped the organization wide open,
                    pre-Appalachia, but his superiors
                    were convinced that he had gone rogue,
                    swapped allegiances...So they gave
                    the order to terminate his cover.
          
          FLASH CUT TO:
          
          Freeman Heller/Primo Sparazza, lying there on the turnpike,
          unblinking blue eyes staring up dead, bullet punctures issuing
          blood, swelling consuming the facial features, distorting,
          perverting...then, inexplicably...those blue eyes blink.
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    He survived the shooting but the
                    injuries he sustained triggered a
                    degenerative bone disease that
                    required constant surgery, forever
                    altering his features...so he assumed
                    his alias full-time.
                                (MORE)
          
                                                                   119.
          
                                LOCKE (CONT'D)
                    The figment that was Primo Sparazza
                    became flesh and blood.
                        (beat)
                    Freeman Heller was no more.
          
                                                                CUT TO:
          
          The Diner. The day before.
          
                                CARRUTHERS
                    --Heller was buried in agency lore-
          
          CUT BACK TO SCENE:
          
          Messner, head in his hands.
          
                                LOCKE
                    The agents of that era are all dead
                    and gone, history had defaulted to
                    fable...until now. You can imagine
                    the shock this sent through the
                    corridors of power in D.C. Heller's
                    op predates the second world war.
                    That's over sixty years of intel.
                    Do you know how valuable that could
                    be? The man's a treasure trove.
          
                                MESSNER
                    ...So you made another deal?
          
                                LOCKE
                    I wouldn't go that far.
          
                                MESSNER
                    But you did, and have...And now people
                    are dead.
                        (beat, seething)
                    Did Sparazza become more valuable
                    than Israel...and did you make another
                    deal?
          
          A beat. Locke, a reluctant nod.
          
                                LOCKE
                    Israel's agreement with the government
                    was tossed out. We're now attempting
                    to rehabilitate him to the point
                    where a transplant can be attempted.
          
          Messner glowers at Locke...can't believe what he's hearing.
          
                                MESSNER
                        (with disgust)
                    You're trying to save Sparazza?
          
                                LOCKE
                    No...We're trying to save Heller.
          
                                                                   120.
          
                                MESSNER
                    ...So you knew all this and yet y--
          
                                LOCKE
                        (cutting him off)
                    --We needed cohesion to move forward.
                    Not conjecture.
          
                                MESSNER
                    ...while Carruthers and a dozen others
                    lie dying, you debate semantics.
                    The Bureau's betrayed us...
                        (pointing to Sparazza)
                    The way they betrayed him...
          
                                LOCKE
                    I don't see it like that at all.
          
          Messner's head falls into his hands.
          
                                MESSNER
                    No, of course you don't...of course
                    you don't.
                        (long reflective pause)
                    ...I gave all my belief and the better
                    part of my soul to this Bureau.
                        (beat, looking at the
                         wraith-like Sparazza)
                    ...Look at the monsters you've made...
                        (beat, profoundly sad)
                    I won't be one of them.
          
          Locke, swallowing hard, struggling to assert his authority.
          
                                LOCKE
                    I'll overlook what you've done here
                    today in light of what's taken place.
                    You've been fully debriefed. Now I
                    want you to return to D.C. immediately
                    and make no further inquiry into
                    this matter. I mean it. It's closed.
          
                                 MESSNER
                    No...It's not.
                        (tossing Messner his
                         FBI ID)
                    What it lacks...is an end.
          
          Locke, not getting it as Messner takes aim on the oxygen
          tent containing Sparazza. Locke's eyes inflate, he reaches-
          grabs-gropes-NOOOO-!
          
          --Israel, the faintest of smiles as-- BOOM.
          
          THE END