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The Last Boy Scout Movie Script

Writer(s) : Shane Black

Genres : Action, Thriller

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THE LAST BOY SCOUT
       written

          by

      Shane Black

Bang bang bang
Down you go
It's just a job I do
                             Genesis
                             Just a Job to Do


You wanna be a detective? Here's what you
do: Take a trusted friend, and imagine the
worst thing, the most despicable thing, the
thing it would never even cross their minds
to do. Then assume they've already done it
twice.
                             Joseph R. Hallenbeck
                             Private Investigator



When you consider that a career in pro foot-
ball means maybe ten years, after which you
got no legs left, and during which you're a
painkiller drug addict, a million a year
sounds about right. So when people bitch
at me about the money I made, I have a pat
response: Go fuck yourself.
                             James Alexander Dix
                             Former quarterback,
                             L.A. Stallions

                    THE LAST BOY SCOUT

FADE IN:

INT. DARK BEDROOM
The only light, that of a flickering TV screen.
A big MAN lies, shirtless, on the bed.
Watching a sports program. We hear:
                         SPORTS FIGURE (V.O.)
                  (on TV)
           Eliminating the draft? Worst
           thing ever happened to pro
           football. Already you got Eric
           Dickerson, no team's good enough
           for him... You got Dion Sanders,
           this guy, Bosworth, bunch of
           peacocks. Nagurski, I saw him
           play for 25 bucks a game. And he
           woulda played for free, you get
           me? He loved the game. Nowadays?
           Forget about it.
The TELEPHONE SHRILLS in the stillness.
The Man On the Bed answers it. Speaks haltingly.
                           MAN ON BED
           Hello...?
                           MALE (V.O.)
           Hello, Billy.    Do you know who
           this is?
Silence.

                         MALE (V.O.)
           Kid from Ohio is looking real
           good, Billie...
The Man's hand unclenches. A container of pills spills
over the blanket. He stammers:
                         MAN ON BED
           I'm... I'm gonna... try real
           hard...
                         MALE (V.O.)
           No, Billy. What you're gonna do
           ... is rush for 150 yards against
           Chicago.
                         MAN ON BED
           That's... too much. I can't...
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                    2.
CONTINUED:
                       MALE (V.O.)
         You can. And you  will. This is a
         business, Billy.  You don't make
         one fifty, you're history, the kid
         steps in. No more  job... and no
         more pills, Billy.
                       MAN ON BED
         Please... Just give me time...
                       MALE (V.O.)
         One hundred and fifty yards.
         Goodbye.
The PHONE CLICKS off. NFL running back Billy Cole stares
straight ahead, mouth working spastically.
                                          CUT TO:

AERIAL SHOT - SNOWSTORM
OVER Chicago, Illinois, as the CAMERA SPIRALS DOWN TOWARD
a teeming football stadium. We hear crowd noise and
marching band music, deafeningly loud, as we SUPERIMPOSE
the legend:
         SOLDIER FIELD, CHICAGO   NOVEMBER 14

INT. ANNOUNCER'S BOOTH
The BROADCAST TEAM huddles inside the quilted jackets,
squinting through the snow. Speaking into headset mikes.
                       ANNOUNCER
         Good afternoon and welcome to
         Soldier Field, Chicago, site of
         today's confrontation between the
         L.A. Stallions and the Chicago
         Bears. This is Vern Lindquist
         with Terry Bradshaw, and, yes, my
         friends, it is that cold.

INT. LOCKER ROOM - SAME TIME
Billy Cole sits, alone, in front of his locker.
Eyes glazed. Face bathed in sweat.
He takes a bottle of pills from the locker. Pops three.
Hisses a stream of air through his teeth as we --
                                          CUT TO:

                                                      3.
EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD - DAY (FOURTH QUARTER)
A deafening CRUNCH as a defensive back hammers a wide
receiver, nearly decapitates him. The ball rolls free.
The back recovers it.
                       ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
         ... Big Ray Walton puts a
         devastating hit on Bricmont, so
         Chicago turns over the ball with a
         minute and forty seconds left.

EXT. SIDELINES - SAME TIME
The injured player goes by on a stretcher, moaning.
Cheerleaders jump and frolic.


BILLY COLE
gets up off the bench. The rest of the offensive unit
sprints onto the field. Cole walks. Straight ahead,
eyes front. Like a robot. His HEARTBEAT THUDS on the
soundtrack.
                       COLOR MAN (V.O.)
         And so L.A. has a chance to ice
         the game, no pun intended... And
         you gotta be thinking, give the
         ball to Billy Cole. He has had an
         outstanding day, racking up 138
         yards against a tough defense.

DOWN ON FIELD
The huddle breaks.
The L.A. team trudges through the snow to the line of
scrimmage.
Cole adopts a three-point stance.
Everything happens in hyper-real SLOW MOTION:
The snow falls. The receivers breeze past, in motion to
begin their patterns. Moving like gazelles.
Cole's fingers paw the cold earth. Gouging it.
He is like a spring. Coiled and ready.
The ball is snapped.
Turf and snow. Erupting.
A firecracker series of POPS as linemen collide.
Legs churning.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                       4.
CONTINUED:
The ball floats through the snowy air. Pitch-out to
Cole.
He takes it on the run. Tucks it under his arm.
Behind him, the quarterback bites the dust, leveled.
Cole turns the corner. Picks up a blocker.
Feet pounding. Arms pumping.
Up ahead, the free safety barrels toward him.    Low and
hard.
Cole does not blink. He reaches beneath his jersey.
Pulls out a GUN.
Pumps THREE SHOTS into the free safety's head.

The bullets go straight through. On the back of his
helmet.
A mixture of blood and fiberglass.
Cole keeps going, jogging for the end zone.
Around him, sound. Fury. Impact. Confusion.
Another defensive back. Straight ahead.
Reacts with almost comical terror. Dives to one side.
Cole FIRES. Blows out the guy's knee. Ends a career.
Keeps going.
We are now in full-scale panic.
The players are fleeing the field. Shouts. Pandemonium.
A few brave men gather around the fallen players.

POLICE
are on the field now. Running full out. They've got
riot guns, cocked and locked. Sprinting through the
snow.
Cole crosses the goal line.   Touchdown.
Drops the ball.
Turns, facing the cops.   His eyes are insane.
The crowd is screaming. People are running back and
forth like extras in the Keystone Cops.
The first TWO BLASTS from the cops' RIOT GUNS go high and
wide. One SHOT BLOWS APART the base of the goalpost.
The forty-foot-high monument pitches over, collapsing
like a wounded giant. Lands in a shower of snow and ice.
Cole is oblivious to the bars crashing around him.    He
smiles and says:
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                     5.
CONTINUED:
                       COLE
         I'm going to Disneyland...
Puts the GUN to his helmet.   FIRES.
                                           CUT TO:

EXT. L.A. STREET - IN SHADOW OF FREEWAY - MORNING
We SUPERIMPOSE the legend:
       WEST LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA    DECEMBER 20
Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. America, and all the ships at
sea. Welcome to another lackluster morning in Southern
California. Palm trees limp. Windless silence. 80
degrees at 8:00 AM.
CAMERA CRANES DOWN PAST a huge, rotting billboard. On
the billboard, a girl in tight jeans. Grabbing her own
butt. A surprised look on her face. Yes, honey, that's
your butt.
MOVE IN ON a tiny, weather-beaten bungalow. In the
shadow of the 405 Freeway. A shingle hangs from a
wrought iron post: JOSEPH R. HALLENBECK, CONFIDENTIAL
INVESTIGATIONS.
On the lawn, a late-model Plymouth.
The sprinkers come to life. Fling water across the car.

ANOTHER ANGLE
Inside the car, a lone man is asleep, arms akimbo.
Sprawled across the seat. Half-empty bottle of Seagrams
V.O. RADIO on, playing tinny JAZZ music.
Picture the  tiredest, meanest, grouchiest son of a bitch
self-hating  loser you can.
Now give him  a two-year-old suit from C & R Clothing.
Such is the  aforementioned HALLENBECK.

ANOTHER ANGLE
THREE neighborhood KIDS have gathered around the car.
Enjoying the spectacle of a sleeping drunk.
One tosses a baseball from hand to hand. One picks his
nose.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                       6.
CONTINUED:
                       KID #1
         Dude's trashed.
                       KID #2
         Shit, we should do something to
         him.
Kid #3 continues mining for nose eggs.   It looks like his
entire fist is up there. Pause, then:
                       KID #3
         I know where there's a dead
         squirrel.


ANOTHER ANGLE - BUNDLE OF PAPER TOWELS - SOME MINUTES
LATER
with a tail sticking out.
The youngest Kid holds it aloft reverently.
Looks in the open car window at Hallenbeck.
Still snoozing.   Dead to the world.
                        KID #1
         Do it.
They heave the squirrel into the car and run away.
A pause. Another pause.    The sprinkler goes round.
Nothing happens.

ANOTHER ANGLE
Hallenbeck snores. The mashed squirrel perches on his
chest. A shadow falls across him as --

KIDS
return, scratching their heads.   Staring in at him.
                        KID #2
         Goddamn.   Dude's trashed.
                       KID #3
         Take his bottle.
Kid #1 smiles nervously.   Reaches in with infinite
patience.
Trembling hand inches closer and closer --
And closes on the bottle as, without warning --

                                                       7.
HALLENBECK
sits bolt upright and grabs the Kid and stuffs a .38
revolver in the Kid's face and cocks it.
                       HALLENBECK
         Hey, motherfucker.
The Kid, of course, shrieks.
And the light of sanity dawns in Hallenbeck's eyes.
He sucks in a deep breath. Releases the struggling Kid.
Swears under his breath. Watches    the boys flee in
terror. Notices a dead squirrel    in his lap. Scowls.
Heaves it out the window. Pumps    a Camel into his mouth.
Lights it. Rescues the bottle of    Seagrams.

Thus begins his morning.
He opens the car door. The sprinkler douses him.
He gets out. Stands on the lawn.
One of the Kids, the toughest one, is standing on the
sidewalk.
                       KID #3
         I'm not scared.
Hallenbeck scowls.
                       HALLENBECK
         You're on my property, kid.
                       KID #3
         Sidewalk belongs to the
         government.
Hallenbeck stares at him.   Smiles weakly.

                       HALLENBECK
         Excuse me.
He leans over and vomits on the lawn.
One hand gripping the car fender.
The sprinkler goes round and round.

EXT. MALIBU BEACH FRONT - MORNING
A redwood beach house, mellow in the morning sun.
There was a party here last night.
Banners. Balloons and streamers. Tawdry in the light of
day.

                                                        8.
INT. BEACH HOUSE - SAME TIME
A plush bedroom.   Sun streams in the window.
A YOUNG MAN sits, straddling a backwards chair.     Bare-
foot, bare-chested. Blond hair, perfect tan.
He is nursing a beer.   Smoking and staring at --

BED
where a tawny golden girl lies, serene and innocent.
Like a sleeping kitten. Rumpled sheets, one breast
exposed. No tan line.
The man takes a drag off the cigarette, studies the
sleeping girl. Meet Jimmy Dix. Twenty-seven years old,
former National League heartthrob.
He shakes his head and mutters:
                       JIMMY (YOUNG MAN)
         Jesus, kid, if only you weren't so
         damn ugly.
He gets up and goes into the head. Pulls out a glass
vial. Dips a coke spoon with practiced ease. Sucks it
up a nostril.
For one moment, he catches his own eye in the mirror.
                                           FLASH CUT TO:

FLASHBACK - FOOTBALL FIELD
Seventy thousand people screaming.
Jimmy in the middle. Younger Jimmy.    Fresher Jimmy.
It's a night game at the Coliseum.   He's the quarterback.
The snap. Jimmy fakes the draw. Rolls right.      Around
him, all is impact. Sound and fury.
He targets a receiver and unleashes a rocket.   Sixty-
yard toss, hits the guy between the numbers.

JIMMY'S FACE
Covered with dirt and mud. Blood, too.
Young and proud. Seventy thousand voices tell him he's
alive. He makes a difference.

                                                      9.
BACK TO PRESENT
Alone in the bathroom... leaning on the counter.    Head
down. A voice calls softly from the bedroom:
                       SLEEPY VOICE (O.S.)
         Jimmy, are you still here...?
Pause, then:
                         JIMMY
         I don't know.
He looks up at his reflection. Glazed eyes, beard
stubble. Crows' feet around the eyes.
                         JIMMY
         Yeah.    I guess I am.
He sniffs, clearing his nose.

INT. WEST L.A. BUNGALOW - MORNING
Hallenbeck opens the door and shambles in.
Dark. Depressing. Sprawl of furniture. Stack after
stack of sports magazines. Drop all your belongings out
of a plane. They will land like this.
He flicks on the light. Crosses to the couch and flops
down. Plucks a bottle of aspirin from an end table.
Next to the bottle, we see --

TWO FRAMED PHOTOGRAPHS
side by side. In one, younger Hallenbeck is kissing
younger bride. Smiling.
In the other, the President of the United States presents
Hallenbeck with a medal. They are both smiling beneath
the Presidential Seal.

BACK TO SCENE
Hallenbeck scowls and chews three aspirin.    Swallows.
The PHONE RINGS. He groans. Chain-lights another smoke,
stubs out his old one. Chins the receiver and says:
                       HALLENBECK
         Hallenbeck Investigations.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                   10.
CONTINUED:
                       MALE (V.O.)
         Hey, Joe, Mike Miller over at
         Swerdlow. You got a minute?
                      HALLENBECK
         Mmmmm.
                       MALE (V.O.)
         Mmmmm? What's mmmmm? Jeez, you
         sound fucking terrific. What'd
         you do last night?
                       HALLENBECK
         Sat in the car. Looked at the sky.
         Got hammered.

                      MALE (V.O.)
         How bad?
                       HALLENBECK
         I killed a squirrel and don't even
         remember.
                       MALE (V.O.)
         That's bad, Joe.
                       HALLENBECK
         Tell me about it. Look, I crawled
         out of a perfectly good bottle to
         answer the phone, what the fuck do
         you want?
                       MALE (V.O.)
         Still takin' charity?
                       HALLENBECK
         No pride here. What'cha got?
                       MALE (V.O.)
         Stripper in West Hollywood. Lives
         alone. Very hot. A three on my
         finger scale. Means I'd cut off
         three of my fingers if God would
         let me sleep with her.
                       HALLENBECK
         Make her a one on your nose scale.
         Improve your looks.
                       MALE (V.O.)
         Eat me. Deal is this: She's got
         a psycho, threatens her over the
         phone. I'm gonna rape you, cut
         you, the usual crap.
                       (MORE)
                                          (CONTINUED)

                                                       11.
CONTINUED:
                       MALE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
         She thinks he's following her.
         I'm up to here, you got plans?
                       HALLENBECK
         I was gonna smoke some cigarettes.
                       MALE (V.O.)
         Can you postpone?
                       HALLENBECK
         These are really good cigarettes.
                       MALE (V.O.)
         She goes onstage at seven.    It's
         two hundred bucks, Joe.
                       HALLENBECK
                (sighs)
         Gimmee the address.
                         MALE (V.O.)
         Terrific.    And, Joe, big favor,
         okay? Try    to... fix yourself up,
         if you can   manage it. Look the
         part. Not    like the last time,
         okay?
Hallenbeck catches his reflection in the mirror over
the TV. His face is ashen grey. Hollow eye sockets.
Blotchy skin.
                       HALLENBECK
         Gimmee the address.


EXT. BUNGALOW - MORNING
Hallenbeck emerges into the blinding glare. His tie is
crooked. His cuffs are too short. He looks like a
grouchy bear.
He looks up at the girl on the billboard.
                       HALLENBECK
         'Morning, gorgeous.
Gorgeous does not respond:   Coy.   Very coy.
Hallenbeck slides behind the wheel of his Plymouth.     KEYS
the IGNITION. Phil Woods' SAXOPHONE fills the air.      He
looks at himself in the mirror.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                     12.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
                (softly)
         Nobody likes you. Everybody hates
         you. You're an asshole and you're
         stupid. You're gonna lose.
                (pause)
         Smile, you fuck.
He stretches his mouth into a grimace.
Pulls out into the street. Off he goes.
                                           CUT TO:

INT. MALIBU BEACH HOUSE - MORNING

Jimmy Dix leaves the bedroom. Pads barefoot down a hall
littered with beer cans, food wrappers. A sleeping guy.
Stops at a door, peeks in: all-night poker game in
progress. Four bleary-eyed men. Unshaven. Stack of
wrinkled money on a card table.
                       JIMMY
         'Morning, boys.
They all grunt. One of them, name of HENRY, looks up at
him. Holds out a half-smoked doobie:
                        HENRY
         Hey, Jimmy.   You want some of
         this?
                       JIMMY
         No, man. Why do you think they
         call it dope?
                (beat)
         Henry, did I do anything last night
         that I should know about?
                       HENRY
         You puked a couple times. Pointed
         at some lady's tits. Chased a dog
         for a half an hour. Fucked a
         congressman's daughter, shit on
         someone's car.
                       JIMMY
         No, man, I meant something bad,
         that I should know about.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                       13.
CONTINUED:
                       HENRY
         Mmmm.  Nope.
                (frowns)
         My ass hurts, I think I had gay
         sex last night. I don't remember.
         When are you gonna come look at
         my gun collection?
                         JIMMY
         Soon, Henry.
One of the other PLAYERS looks up, says:
                       PLAYER
         Are you Jimmy Dix? Played for the
         Stallions?
                       JIMMY
         '86 and '87, that was me.
                       PLAYER
         Hell, I think the league gave you
         a raw deal.
                        JIMMY
         Thanks.   What the hell, shit
         floats.   I'll be back.
                         PLAYER
         I hope so.
                         JIMMY
         I'll be back.
Everyone plays cards.    No one looks at him.   He frowns.
Leaves.


INT. LIVING ROOM - MINUTES LATER
Jimmy is seated in the devastated living room. Putting
on shoes. He hears a COMMOTION outside: A woman scream-
ing. Water splashing. He frowns, puzzled. Gets up.
Pads out onto a redwood deck.

EXT. REDWOOD DECK - SAME
A six-foot behemoth is seated in a jacuzzi at the far end
of the deck. He is dunking a terrified female head under
the water and laughing.
Jimmy clears his throat.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                      14.
CONTINUED:
                        JIMMY
         Ho.    Ray.
The MAN looks up, annoyed.
                       RAY (MAN)
         What the fuck you want, Jimmy?
                       JIMMY
         What's with the girl?
She surfaces, sputtering and screaming.   Ray thrusts her
beneath the surface again.
                       RAY
         Bitch won't blow me.
                       JIMMY
                (pause, then)
         Too early in the morning, Ray.
         Let her go.
                       RAY
         Fuck you. She's not coming up
         till she starts blowing.
Jimmy swallows hard.   Says:
                        JIMMY
         Ray.   Let her go.
                         RAY
         Fuck   you, loser. What are you doing
         at a   league party, asshole? You and
         ol'   Dex Manley should get together,
         swap   stories about gettin' booted.

Jimmy controls himself with an effort.
                       JIMMY
         Ray, she's gonna drown.
                       RAY
         Not if she blows me.
Jimmy's eyes are smoldering. He steps to the right.
Casually scoops up a football lying on the deck.
                       JIMMY
         Last chance, Ray.
                        RAY
         Go spit.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                     15.
CONTINUED:
                         JIMMY
         Fine.
Jimmy turns, as if to walk away.
Instead, he spins back and launches the football.
It sings, that's how hard he throws it. And when it
smacks Ray in the face, something breaks. It ain't the
ball.
The big man howls. Clutching his flattened nose.
The girl comes up for air. Gagging and choking.
Jimmy is at her side instantly. Pulls her out of the
water.

                       JIMMY
         Get out of here. Go.
She goes. He leans over and grabs Ray by the hair.
The guy is bleeding. Delirious.
Jimmy yanks until their faces are inches apart.
                       JIMMY
         Best arm in the National League,
         you son of a bitch. Remember that.
He lets go. Ray sags, semi-conscious.
The poker players come running as Jimmy walks back inside.

EXT. COAST HIGHWAY - DAY
Jimmy gets into the car. Takes out his vial.
Spoons some powder, sucks it up.
A voice in the background: "Hey, someone shit on my car!"


EXT. SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY
Joe Hallenbeck slides his Plymouth to the curb in front
of a cozy stucco dwelling. Gets out, crosses the lawn.
A fat NEIGHBOR is watering shrubs next door. He waves.
                       NEIGHBOR
         'Morning, Joe, how's it going?
                       HALLENBECK
         My ears are burning, Andy. Even
         as we speak, someone, somewhere is
         calling me an asshole.
                         NEIGHBOR
         You're funny.
                       HALLENBECK
         I'm playing Tahoe on the 15th.

                                                     16.
INT. HALLENBECK'S HOUSE - SAME TIME
Hallenbeck enters and crosses the living room.
A woman, forty-ish, once beautiful, appears in the bedroom
doorway. Wearing a terry cloth robe. This is Joe's wife
SARAH.
                       SARAH
         I thought you were in Las Vegas.
                        HALLENBECK
         I was.
                       SARAH
         Where did you sleep?
                        HALLENBECK
         Office.
He brushes past her and crosses to the bed.   On the pillow,
a big stuffed cat toy smiles benignly.
                       HALLENBECK
         Hey, Furry Tom.
He sits on the bed. Lights a cigarette. Opens the night
stand and removes a speedloader for his .38. Starts to
load the gun.
                       SARAH
         How much did you lose?
                       HALLENBECK
         I wasn't there to gamble.    I was
         doing a skip trace.
                       SARAH
         How much did you lose?

                        HALLENBECK
         Fifty bucks.
He suddenly notices a sheet of paper on the night stand.
A crayon sketch. He picks it up, frowns:
                        HALLENBECK
         What's this?
                       SARAH
         Darian's class drew holiday
         pictures. That was hers. Her
         teacher wants to see us, Joe.

                                                       17.
CLOSE ON DRAWING
It's a picture   of Santa Claus,  except this Santa has long,
stringy hair,   bloodshot eyes,  and grotesque talons. A
little girl's   severed head is  clutched in one hand.
Underneath, in   block capitals,  is written: SATAN CLAUS.

BACK TO SCENE
                       HALLENBECK
         Satan Claus. Kid's got some talent,
         don't you think?
                         SARAH
         It's hideous.

Her voice is ice cold.    Joe turns and regards her levelly.
                       HALLENBECK
         You okay, Sarah...?
                       SARAH
         I'm tense. I couldn't get to
         sleep last night.
                       HALLENBECK
         Hmmmm. Well, I think the kid
         will be fine. Boys still tease
         her about the headgear?
                       SARAH
         Are you kidding? Brace Face, that's
         the latest. Little bastards.
                       HALLENBECK
                (under his breath)
         She'll be fucking them by the
         time she's fourteen.
                       SARAH
         Watch your Goddamn mouth, Joe.
                       HALLENBECK
         Well, Christ, you let her wear
         enough makeup. The kid looks like
         a goddamn raccoon. She comes in
         late at night, I think, 'Christ,
         a burglar.' I almost shot her
         twice.
                       SARAH
         You're not funny. All the girls
         at that school wear makeup.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                        18.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         Yeah, but they don't apply it with
         a paint sprayer. And for your
         information, our neighbors think
         I'm very funny.
                       SARAH
         Go live with them.
                       HALLENBECK
         Don't tempt me.
He tosses the holstered .38 on the bed.   Stalks into
the bathroom.


INT. BATHROOM
                         HALLENBECK
         Damn raccoon.
He sighs, tosses his cigarette butt in the toilet.
Walks back out into the bedroom.

INT. BEDROOM
He kneels, looks under the bed.
Frowns.
Straightens and says, very conversationally:
                       HALLENBECK
         Who's the guy in the closet?
Sarah stops dead.   Spins and stares at him.

                         SARAH
         Excuse me?
                       HALLENBECK
                (frowns)
         Oh, that's right, you sometimes
         forget that I'm a detective.
                (lights a cigarette)
         See, first I noticed how tense you
         were, but I let that pass. Then
         I noticed there was steam in the
         shower like someone was just in
         there, but meanwhile your hair is
         completely dry, you follow? So.
         Why the steamy shower?
                       (MORE)
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                       19.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK (CONT'D)
         Because someone else was in there,
         right, and since he's not under
         the bed you must have stuck him in
         the closet when you heard my key in
         the door a day early. Tah-dah.
         Please, no applause.
A silence hangs between them.    Sarah just stares.   Shakes
her head.
                       SARAH
         Well, nothing changes.    You're
         still a lunatic.

                       HALLENBECK
         Mmmmm. I'm sorry, honey, I don't
         enjoy being observant, but someone's
         gotta do it.
                (beat)
         What's his name?
                         SARAH
         Please leave.    I have to get dressed.
                       HALLENBECK
         It's okay, I've seen you naked. So,
         apparently, has someone else. What's
         his name?
                       SARAH
         You want me to open the closet, Joe?
         Huh? You want me to indulge your
         fucking paranoia, I'll throw the
         door open, is that what you want me
         to do...?

                       HALLENBECK
         Is this a trick question?
                       SARAH
         I'll do it, Joe. Okay? And then
         we'll both know you're a psycho,
         is that what you want? Huh??
An awkward pause.   Finally Hallenbeck scowls and says:
                        HALLENBECK
         No.   We won't open the door.
                         SARAH
         Thank you.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                     20.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
                (sighs)
         Nope. Door stays shut. Instead,
         what I'm gonna do is...
                (he scoops up the
                 .38)
         ... I'm gonna count to three, and
         then I'm gonna put a bullet in
         there, and you can stop me anytime
         by speaking the truth. One.
                       SARAH
         If you shoot up my house, Joe, I
         will make you eat that gun.

                      HALLENBECK
         Two. The truth is a beautiful
         thing.
He cocks the hammer.   Arm extended, hand rock steady.
                       SARAH
         Call your shrink, Joe. I still
         have the number. Call him and tell
         him you're losing it, I cannot
         fucking deal with you like this -- !
                        HALLENBECK
         Three.   Last chance.
                       SARAH
         Joe, dammit -- !
He sighs. Starts to pull the trigger.    And Sarah
screams --

                       SARAH
         Jesus, no -- !
And grabs the gun.
Everything freezes. She looks at him.    He looks at her.
Understanding occurs.

CLOSET DOOR
swings slowly open, then...
And out steps a man in a bathrobe.
Compact. Wiry. Hair still soaking wet.
None other than MIKE MILLER, Joe's early morning phone call.
We know this because Joe says:
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                       21.
CONTINUED:
                        HALLENBECK
         Hello, Mike.   Keeping her warm
         for me?
The gun barrel does not waver.    Not an inch.
                        MILLER
         Easy, Joe.   Don't do nothing dumb.
                       HALLENBECK
         How as she, Mike? On your finger
         scale, how was my wife...?
                       MILLER
         It just happened, Joe.     It just
         happened.
                       HALLENBECK
         You call me from here this morning?
                       MILLER
         She said you were in Vegas. I was
         gonna leave a message on the machine.
                       HALLENBECK
         When you found out I was back.       Why
         didn't you split?
                       MILLER
         She said relax, he never stops home
         once he's in the office.
                       HALLENBECK
         Normally I wouldn't.
                       MILLER
                (stares at him)
         You knew?
                       HALLENBECK
         I suspected. So how about it, Mike?
         On a scale of one to ten. How was
         she?
                       MILLER
         Joe, come on, how long we been
         friends, huh?
                       HALLENBECK
         How long? Mmm. I'd say roughly
         until you put your dick in my
         wife.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                    22.
CONTINUED:
                         MILLER
           You gotta understand --
                         HALLENBECK
           I know, I know, it just happened.
           It was an accident. Sure. You
           tripped. You said, 'Whoops,' and
           accidentally fucked my wife. Gee,
           Mrs. H., I'm sorry, just isn't my
           week. Sure, Mike. Happen to
           anybody.
                  (beat)
           I don't gotta understand anything.
Sarah speaks then.   Head down.   Eyes averted.

                         SARAH
           Put the gun down.
                         HALLENBECK
           Hmmm?  Oh, right, the gun.
                  (sighs)
           You're right, Sarah, I'm acting nuts.
He pulls the trigger.
The SHOT is DEAFENING in the closed room.
Mike Miller screams and clutches at himself.
The bullet goes high and wide. Over his head.
On the wall is a framed wedding photo. The twin of the
one in Hallenbeck's office. The bullet strikes it dead
center.
Blows it to pieces.
Silence. The tinkle of glass hitting the floor.
Hallenbeck turns. Regards his wife with hooded, lifeless
eyes.
                         HALLENBECK
           Where was Darian?
                         SARAH
           She stayed at Cindy's last night.
He nods.   Turns and waves the gun at Miller.
                         HALLENBECK
           Let's take a walk, Buddy.

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - DAY
The two men come out the back door and cut through the
hedge.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                       23.
CONTINUED:
Miller's car, a Pontiac Sunbird, is parked at the curb.
Hallenbeck stops in the middle of someone's yard.
Holsters his gun.
A neighbor's dog approaches, happily wagging its tail.
Hallenbeck bends and ruffles its fur.
                       HALLENBECK
         Where you want it, Mike?     Head
         or gut?
                       MILLER
         Listen, Joe, I --
                (stops, sighs)
         Gut.
Hallenbeck pats the dog. Straightens. Plants his back
foot and spins. Punches like a sledgehammer, into Miller's
gut.
Miller drops to his knees. Begins to retch.
Hallenbeck takes out a cigarette. Lights it.
                       HALLENBECK
         If I see you again, I'll kill
         you.
Miller nods weakly.    Gasping for breath.
                        HALLENBECK
         So.   West Hollywood at seven, right?
                         MILLER
         Huh...?

                          HALLENBECK
         The job.     Seven o'clock, right?
                       MILLER
         You still... want the job...?
                       HALLENBECK
         It's two hundred bucks.
                        MILLER
         Yeah.   I guess it is.
He climbs to his feet, still doubled over.
                       MILLER
         I'm sorry, Joe.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                      24.
CONTINUED:
Hallenbeck says nothing. Miller turns and stumbles to
his car. Hallenbeck's face betrays nothing. A dead mask.
He walks back toward the hedge.
The neighbor's dog runs up, a tennis ball in its mouth.
Behind him, Mike Miller gets into the Sunbird.
Hallenbeck takes the tennis ball. Throws it.
The DOG BARKS and bounds after it.
Mike Miller turns the key in the ignition.
The CAR BLOWS to pieces.
An ERUPTION OF FLAME.
Flying glass and metal. The car becomes airborne.
Engulfed in fire. Does a lazy spin. Comes down.
The shockwave catches Hallenbeck.   Slams him ass over
teacups.
Windows blow in up and down the street.
Smoke and fire roll to the sky.
The DOG cowers, HOWLING in fear.
Beside it on the grass, the tennis ball is on fire.
Hallenbeck rolls to his feet. Covered with twigs and
leaves. Clothing scorched. Stares. Eyes glazed.
                                           CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - AN HOUR LATER
A mobile crane hoists what's left of Mike Miller and his
Pontiac. Policemen direct traffic, curb bystanders.


OFF TO ONE SIDE
a UNIFORM COP questions Hallenbeck and Sarah, who stand
stiffly. Not looking at each other.
                       UNIFORM COP
         Why did Mr. Miller visit your home
         this morning, Mr. Hallenbeck?
Joe lies easily:
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                          25.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         He came by to talk business. He
         had a case he was to busy to continue
         with, a routine surveillance. He
         farmed it out to me.
                         UNIFORM COP
         I see.    Is that all you talked
         about?
                         HALLENBECK
         Yeah.    That's all.
He looks the Officer in the eye.      Betrays nothing.

                                              CUT TO:

NAKED, GYRATING BODY
Female, for the record.   Signaling us that we are now:

INT. "BOTTOMLESS PIT" CLUB - NIGHT
Rowdy strip club in   West Hollywood. Just like the      name
suggests; if it's a   virus, you're sitting on it.      After
three drinks, every   girl on stage looks like your     high
school sweetheart.    Was your sweetheart fat? Did      she
have excessive body   hair?
FUNK MUSIC, played LOUD. The Monday crowd stomps and
claps. Onstage a stripper grinds away with an enthusiasm
usually reserved for standing in line at the DMV.
Jimmy Dix sits at the bar, hooting and whistling. Behind
the bar, a black man in a wheelchair serves drinks. His
name is HARP.
Off to one side, a twenty-five-year-old BEANPOLE speaks
into a microphone:
                       EMCEE (BEANPOLE)
         Flash of green buys a flash of
         pink, gentlemen. So reach into
         your pockets if you aren't there
         already, and reward the lovely
         and talented Ms. Vixen...!
The black man shakes his head.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                     26.
CONTINUED:
                       HARP
         My son. He writes his own
         material, he's proud of that. Some
         people are proud, they cured
         leukemia. Old guy stops beating
         off long enough to laugh, my son
         thinks he's Eddie Murphy.
Jimmy uncaps a beer and raises it in a toast.
                       JIMMY
         Alex the astronaut.
Harp raises his own glass.

                       HARP
         Alex the astronaut.
It seems to be a common ritual between them. Jimmy
drinks, thumps the bottle down. Says, resolutely:
                       JIMMY
         I've had it, Harp.
                       HARP
         Had what?
                       JIMMY
         It, man. I've had it.
                (takes a swig)
         I don't remember what I did  last
         night. I'm an idiot, Harp,   I act
         like a complete dickhead.   I don't
         have friends. I drink too   much.
         I fuck anything that's warm  and
         breathing.

                       HARP
         Stay on that side of the bar.
                       JIMMY
                (sighs)
         I cheated on my girl friend again.
                       HARP
         You cheated on her?   You must be
         crazy.
                       JIMMY
         Maybe so, Harp. Maybe so.
His gaze wanders across the crowded room, fixating on --

                                                        27.
SCANTILY-CLAD WAITRESS
Who makes her way between the tables. She is beautiful.
Stands out like a teamster at a gay rights rally. Supple
body. Deep green eyes. Flaxen hair. Her name is CORY.
She stops at a table against the wall. Puts down a
Seagrams V.O. in a rocks glass.
Seated at the table is a broad-shouldered man in a bad
suit. The essence of boredom. Looks like he's been
there three days. A cloud of smoke hangs around his
head. Mr. Joe Hallenbeck, no less.
                       HALLENBECK
         The police won't help you, huh?
                       CORY
         Sure. After I'm dead they'll
         perform the autopsy.
                       HALLENBECK
         Guess you don't want to wait that
         long.
                         CORY
         Guess not.
                       HALLENBECK
                (scowls)
         They only play this kind of music?
                       CORY
         What did you expect?
                        HALLENBECK
         Pat Boone?   The Four Freshmen?
                       CORY
         What are you, my father?
                       HALLENBECK
         Yes, I'm your father. Get your
         clothes on.
                (beat)
         I hate this funk shit. It's gonna
         be an extra hundred bucks.
                       CORY
         You're hilarious.      Sit next to
         the speaker, you'll     get used to
         it. After a while      you'll be
         screaming play that     funky music
         white boy.
                       HALLENBECK
         The screaming part I believe.
                                               (CONTINUED)

                                                        28.
CONTINUED:
She smiles and moves away.
Hallenbeck sips his drink.      Scans the crowd with shrewd
eyes.

ANOTHER ANGLE
The lovely Cory approaches Jimmy at the bar.     Harp looks
on.
                       CORY
                (seductive)
         Hello, handsome. How'd you like
         to buy me a bottle of champagne?

                       JIMMY
         How much for a bottle?
                       CORY
         Forty dollars.
                       JIMMY
         No thanks. Nothing personal, my
         seventh grade teacher was killed
         by a drunk driver.
                        CORY
         Tall guy?   Sandy hair?
                       JIMMY
         That's the one.
                       CORY
         I had to swerve three times to
         get him.

                         JIMMY
         Ha-ha.
                       CORY
         So no bottle, then?
                       JIMMY
         For forty bucks I'd rather drink
         my own piss.
                         CORY
         That's extra.
And with that, she leans over and moulds her lips to his.
Time passes. These two know each other, it would seem.
Cory pulls away. Jimmy smiles.
                        JIMMY
         Hi, Cory.   Rough night?
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                         29.
CONTINUED:
                        CORY
         Arrgh.   I've had it to here.
                       JIMMY
                (grins)
         I'll bet you have.
She slaps his face.   He feigns innocence.   Points to
Hallenbeck.
                       JIMMY
         Who's the stiff?
                       CORY
         He's nobody.
                (beat)
         I have to get ready to dance.
                       JIMMY
         Come back soon. I want to buy
         you a drink.
She smiles and moves off, swishingly. Jimmy watches her
go. His gaze wanders across the room to Hallenbeck. He
frowns.

ANOTHER ANGLE
Near the stage, the would-be Eddie Murphy steps up to
the mike and says:
                       EMCEE
         You know, crowd, these ladies are
         fine, but let me tell you the three
         reasons men prefer sheep: they're
         always in the mood, they never
         bitch, and after you fuck 'em you
         can eat 'em.
A few chuckles.   Some coughs.   More coughs than chuckles.
                       EMCEE
                (plowing ahead)
         And now, here's a lady that's
         always in the mood, put your hands
         together for the lovely and
         talented Ms. Cory...!
Applause. A syncopated DRUM BEAT kicks in.     AEROSMITH'S
LATEST erupts from the SPEAKERS.
And then she comes on.
And even Joe Hallenbeck must draw in a sharp breath.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                          30.
CONTINUED:
Her body is exquisite. She moves like breath. Her eyes
can put you under. She is simply that beautiful.

HALLENBECK
sits with his drink untouched before him. Pats his
suit pockets, searching for a smoke. Removes a crumpled,
empty pack, as:

JIMMY DIX
saunters up, looking less than friendly. He looks at
Hallenbeck. Hallenbeck does not look at him.

                           JIMMY
            Hi.   You're nobody.
                           HALLENBECK
            Shhh.   Don't tell anyone.
                          JIMMY
            That's what Cory said.    She said
            you were nobody.
Only Hallenbeck's eyes move. He looks up, regards Jimmy
coolly. They size each other up. Hallenbeck sighs.
                            HALLENBECK
            Easy, Junior,   I'm not raining on
            your parade.    She's too young for
            me. I'm just    keeping an eye on
            her for a few   days.
                          JIMMY
            I see. What are you, some kind
            of bodyguard?
                          HALLENBECK
            Something like that. You got a
            cigarette?
                           JIMMY
            No.   Is Cory in trouble?
                           HALLENBECK
            I hope not.   You tell me.
                          JIMMY
            She didn't mention anything to me.
                           HALLENBECK
            Mmmm.   That bothers you, doesn't it?
                                                 (CONTINUED)

                                                      31.
CONTINUED:
                          JIMMY
         Maybe.
                       HALLENBECK
         Don't sweat it. Women have secrets.
         Water is wet, the sky is blue, and
         women have secrets.
                (beat)
         I'll buy you a beer. Sit down.
Jimmy remains standing.
                       JIMMY
         She hired you, huh?      What, you in
         the phonebook?

                         HALLENBECK
         Yeah.    Actually, she hired my buddy
         Mike.    I'm filling in.
                          JIMMY
         Where's Mike?
                          HALLENBECK
         He died.
                       JIMMY
         Sorry to hear it.
                       HALLENBECK
         Don't be. He was a lousy
         surveillance man.
Jimmy leans forward, palms flat on the table.
                       JIMMY
         Look, friend, I don't know who you
         are or what's going on. But Cory
         is my girl friend and if she's in
         trouble, I want to hear about it.
                       HALLENBECK
         That's client confidential.
                       JIMMY
         Tell me anyway.
                          HALLENBECK
         Nope.
                       JIMMY
         I say two words to Cory and you
         don't get paid, asshole.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                        32.
CONTINUED:
                         HALLENBECK
         Do it.
                       JIMMY
         You sure? I'm looking at your suit,
         you could use the dough.
                       HALLENBECK
         You don't like my suit, guess what?
         I don't like your money.
                       JIMMY
         Good, 'cause you're not getting any.
                       HALLENBECK
         Story of my life.
                         JIMMY
         What is?
                       HALLENBECK
         Not getting any.
They stare each other down.      Hallenbeck calmly sips his
bourbon.
                       JIMMY
         You couldn't protect a cup of
         warm piss.
                         HALLENBECK
                (nods)
         Hit me.
                         JIMMY
         Excuse me?

                       HALLENBECK
         Hit me. Bust me in the chops,
         chickenshit.
                (beat)
         You're not afraid, are you, Jimmy...?
                       JIMMY
                (freezes)
         You know who I am?
                       HALLENBECK
         James Alexander Dix, L.A. Stallions,
         '86 and '87. Barred from the N.F.L.
         on gambling charges. Allegations
         of point shaving to support a
         cocaine habit, never proven.
                       (MORE)
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                     33.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK (CONT'D)
         Busted once for possession. You
         had the makings of a first class
         dumbshit.
                       JIMMY
         Mister... You are now pissing me
         off.
                       HALLENBECK
         About fucking time.
                (extends his hand)
         Joe Hallenbeck. I'm a private
         detective.

                       JIMMY
                (ignores the hand)
         I don't know, Joe... You look like
         a dumb wop to me.
                       HALLENBECK
         At least I didn't shit my talent
         away on coke, motherfucker.
                       JIMMY
         Can I hit you now?
                       HALLENBECK
         Absolutely.
Jimmy throws a short jab at Hallenbeck's chin.
It never gets there.
Joe moves, lightning quick, and suddenly Jimmy's fist
is trapped. Dead stops. Fingers grinding into palm.
Jimmy swears. Stumbles. Sits down hard.
Hallenbeck releases him.

                       HALLENBECK
         Please, have a seat.
                       JIMMY
                (gasping)
         You think you're some kind of hot
         shit tough guy, huh?
                       HALLENBECK
                (shrugs)
         It's not a question of tough. I'm
         bigger than you, and I was trained.
         So I can take you. That's just the
         way it is. You can throw a better
         pass.
                (beat)
         How about that beer?
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                        34.
CONTINUED:
                        JIMMY
          Piss off.
                        HALLENBECK
                 (signals the waitress)
          You were a great quarterback, Jimmy.
          I watched you play at Washington
          State. Red shirt freshman in '82.
          Followed you with the Stallions.
          Good scrambling ability, seventy
          percent completions from the
          pocket... You had the best gun
          in the N.F.L.
Jimmy looks at him, puzzled.    Didn't they just swap
punches?
                         JIMMY
          Yeah.   Thanks. I guess.
                         HALLENBECK
                  (big smile)
          Hell.   I'm a fan.

ANGLE ON STAGE
Onstage, the MUSIC GRINDS TO a CLOSE as Cory dispenses
with the last of her clothing. Strikes a pose to wild
applause and we HOLD ON her radiant beauty and --
                                              CUT TO:

INT. DINGY DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT

Cory and Jimmy are engaged in very hot sex.
This is not a love scene; this is a sex scene.
Sigh. I'm not even going to attempt to write this
quote-unquote "steamy" scene here, for several good
reasons:
A)   The things that I find steamy are none of your damn
     business, Jack, in addition to which --
B)   The two actors involved will no doubt have wonderful,
     highly athletic ideas which manage to elude most
     fat-assed writers anyhow, and finally --
C)   My mother reads this shit.   So there.
(P.S.: I think we lost her back at the Jacuzzi blowjob
scene.)
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                         35.
CONTINUED:
Suffice to say, they fog the screen.
At last, Jimmy rolls over and pours champagne into two
crystal glasses. Lifts one in a toast.
                       JIMMY
         Alex the pediatrician.
                       CORY
                (giggles)
         Alex the pediatrician.
They drink.   And from this blissful affirmation of life
we --

                                            CUT TO:

INT. BACKSTAGE CORRIDOR - SAME TIME
Joe Hallenbeck is pounding an already-dented cigarette
machine. No dice. It has eaten his money. He shakes
his head, muttering.
Looks at his watch. Looks at the dressing room door.
Shakes his head again. Walks to the end of the corridor.
Goes through the fire door. Out into:

EXT. PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS ACTION
Starry, moonlit night.   A chill breeze.   Joe draws a
breath.
In front of him, on the wall of the club, is a poster:
BAYNARD FOR SENATE, it reads. Above the logo, a picture
of a benevolent-looking gray-haired man.
Hallenbeck regards it balefully.
                       HALLENBECK
         I didn't vote for you, you bastard.
He looks away, and suddenly notices something on the
ground:
A half-smoked cigarette butt.
Just sitting there.
Joe stares at it. Thinks it over.
Starts to walk away. Stops.
                       HALLENBECK
         You're a fuckin' lowlife, Joe.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                      36.
CONTINUED:
He bends to pick up the butt.
A steel sap whistles over his head, missing by inches.
Hallenbeck spins, startled. Reflexively lashes out with
a flattened palm. Misses, chops the air.
Two more men, behind him. Nowhere to go.
A sap pops him behind the left ear. A sickening thud.
The world spins out of focus. He goes down.
Hits the pavement like a ton of bricks.
Rolls over, staring up.
Vision muddy, indistinct.

HALLENBECK'S POV

Three silhouettes hover over him, backlit by streetlamps.
Their voices are fuzzy.
                          HITMAN #1
           That's him.   He was with her.
                         HITMAN #2
           Shit, he's packing. What should
           we do?
                         HITMAN #3
           Get him away from here.   Then kill
           him.
                         HITMAN #2
           There's no contract for him.
                         HITMAN #3
           Then do it for free. Just do it
           elsewhere.

The men disperse. One of them drags Joe to his feet.
A stocky, crag-faced man. He jams a silenced pistol
in Joe's kidney and points him toward a vacant lot
nearby.
                         HITMAN #2
           Start walking. I'm right behind
           you.

ANOTHER ANGLE
The two other Hitmen return to their gray, late-model
sedan. Climb into the car and sit, watching the
nightclub.
Waiting.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                      37.
EXT. VACANT LOT - NIGHT
A rusty chain-link fence separates the lot from the boule-
vard. Choked with weeds. Broken glass. A rusted-out car.
A towering billboard looms overhead, inviting people to
drink Scotch or get laid, it's hard to tell.
Hallenbeck staggers drunkenly across the lot.
The crag-faced man follows behind him.
                       CRAG-FACE (HITMAN #2)
         Wrong place at the wrong time,
         buddy, that's all it is. Just
         want you to know it's nothing
         personal.
                       HALLENBECK
         That's what you think. Last night
         I fucked your wife.
The gunman cracks up.   Hallenbeck grins drunkenly.
                       CRAG-FACE
         Oh, you did, huh? How'd you know
         it was my wife?
                       HALLENBECK
         She said her husband was a
         greaseball with bad breath.
The guy cracks up again.
                       CRAG-FACE
         You're pretty cool for a guy gonna
         take a bullet.
                       HALLENBECK
         After fucking your wife, I'll take
         two.
The hitman wheezes laughter.   Joe just grins.
                       CRAG-FACE
         You're a funny guy. It's a shame
         to take you off. Here, kneel down.
                       HALLENBECK
         Are you kidding? We barely know
         each other.
The hitman is now giggling, shaking his head.
                       CRAG-FACE
         This is wild. I never shot no
         funny guy before.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                     38.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         You need a special funny bullet.
                       CRAG-FACE
         Come on, cut it out. Head or chest?
                       HALLENBECK
         That's what your wife said.
                       CRAG-FACE
         Would you quit with the wife?
         Enough is enough.
                       HALLENBECK
         Ask me how fat she is.

                       CRAG-FACE
         How fat is she?
                       HALLENBECK
         She's so fat I had to roll her in
         flour and look for the wet spot.
         You wanna fuck her, you gotta slap
         her thigh and ride the wave in.
                (the hitman loses it)
         Like the Pillsbury doughboy, except
         when you poke her in the stomach,
         she farts. I got a buddy he's an
         archaeologist, organized an
         expedition to her chin. They got
         lost in her nasal hair. But
         seriously, her eyes are like the
         streets of Paris: crossed.
         They're so crossed when she cries
         the tears run down her back.
         She's got back-tearia.

                       CRAG-FACE
                (can't stop laughing)
         Oh, that's awful. Buddy, you're a
         fucking rio --
From a kneeling position, Hallenbeck flings a handful of
gravel at the man's eyes.
The man cries out. Stumbles backward.
And Hallenbeck moves like a coiled spring. Not drunk at
all. He takes  the broken bottle he's been clutching and
cuts the guy's throat like a knife through butter.
The hitman stands with a shocked look on his face.
Blood bubbling.
FIRES the GUN once, into the ground. Drops it from nerve-
less fingers. Stares at Hallenbeck, aghast.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                         39.
CONTINUED:
                          CRAG-FACE
         Bastard.
Hallenbeck meets his gaze.    A savage, feral gleam in his
eye.
                       HALLENBECK
         And then some.
The guy pitches over dead.
Hallenbeck kneels beside him.
Retrieves his .38, holsters it.       Slips the hitman's pistol
into his waistband.

                       HALLENBECK
         I'm playing Tahoe on the 15th.
He takes off running.

EXT. STRIP CLUB - NIGHT
Cory and Jimmy emerge from the club into the parking lot.
She scans the area, shaking her head.
                       CORY
         I can't believe it. The bastard
         split on me.
                (sighs)
         I'm staying at a motel for a couple
         days. Will you follow me?
                          JIMMY
         Sure.

He heads for his car.

ANOTHER ANGLE
The Hitmen wait in the darkened sedan.
Watching Jimmy and Cory.
The driver keys the ignition. Starts the car.
In his lap is an automatic rifle.

EXT. BOULEVARD - NIGHT
Joe Hallenbeck is running full out.
Headlong down the sidewalk.       Gasping for breath.
                          HALLENBECK
         Move!!
                                               (CONTINUED)

                                                        40.
CONTINUED:
He slams into a man. Knocks him flat. Groceries fly.
Joe doesn't care. He stumbles. Keeps going.

EXT. NIGHTTIME STREET - SAME TIME
Jimmy Dix is behind the wheel of a silver Jag.
Cory is driving a spanking new Ford Fiero.
Jimmy follows behind Cory, watchdogging. Humming with
JOE COCKER on the RADIO.
Cory comes to a red light.    Pauses.   Turns right onto a
sidestreet.
Jimmy slows, pausing at the intersection.


GRAY SEDAN
passes Jimmy. Accelerating. ENGINE REVVING.
Jimmy only gets one glimpse into the passing car.
It's enough:
Everyone inside is armed to the teeth.
The SEDAN ROARS around the corner, cutting in front of
Jimmy.
                          JIMMY
            Oh God. This is a hit this is a
            fucking hit!!

GRAY SEDAN
comes up behind Cory. Comes up fast.
Rams her car. Metal crumples. Meanwhile:


JIMMY
frantically floors the pedal of his Jag, pops the clutch
-- And stalls out.
He roars with anger.
Flings open the door.
Leaps out and runs forward, screaming:
                          JIMMY
            Cory, get out of there!!
Too late.    Cory is already out of her car, yelling:
                          CORY
            Hey, can't you fucking drive??
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                       41.
CONTINUED:
Her eyes go wide with shock.
The Hitmen burst from their car.    OPEN UP on full auto.
Cory is cut down. Blown backward over the hood of her
Ford. Flung to the street.
                          JIMMY
         Oh Gooood!!
And without missing a beat, the Hitmen turn --
And OPEN FIRE on Jimmy.
He takes a running start.
Clears the hood of his Jag in a single leap.
BULLETS DICE the metal behind him.

He lands, hard.   Sucks the ground.    Huddled behind his
car, as:

TWO HITMEN
move toward him, triggering THREE SHOT BURSTS.
The kid is dead meat. Or so it seems until, without
warning --

JOE HALLENBECK
charges into the intersection.     Screaming bloody murder.
He's got a GUN in each fist, and both are BLAZING.
One Hitman dies immediately:
Dances like a puppet, racked by gunfire.
Bullets go through him. SHATTER the sedan's WINDSHIELD.

The second Hitman turns and OPENS UP on Hallenbeck.
Too late. Joe rolls behind a mailbox.
BULLETS chase him, blowing apart the metal box.
The Hitman swears. Turns, running for the sedan.
He knows when a getaway is in order.
Just one problem.     He forgot about Jimmy Dix.
A SCREECH of TIRES.
As Jimmy's Jag slews around the corner, laying rubber.
Rockets toward the Hitman, pins him in its headlights --
The Hitman screams as Jimmy plows through him --
And CRUNCHES into the gray sedan.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                       42.
CONTINUED:
Shatters the Hitman between the two cars...
And holy Christ, the guy's still alive.
Pinned like a butterfly, legs broken...
He raises his rifle, screaming.
Jimmy dives flat on the front seat.    The WINDSHIELD ERUPTS.
The Hitman.   Still pinned.   Still screaming.
He FIRES SHOT AFTER SHOT into Jimmy's car.
Hallenbeck walks up behind him.
Puts a BULLET in his head. He stops screaming.


JIMMY
is still huddled on the front seat in a sea of broken
glass. Hallenbeck walks up, leans in the window.
                        HALLENBECK
         Hey.
                (as Jimmy looks up)
         Back up.

ANOTHER ANGLE
Jimmy puts it in reverse. The car backs up.
Steam pouring from the crumpled hood.
The Hitman, now freed, collapses to the street.
Like a sack of flour.

Hallenbeck limps toward him, wheezing.
He stops as:

MOTEL MANAGER
stands outside a door marked OFFICE.
Holding a pump action shotgun leveled at Hallenbeck.
Hallenbeck nods at the bodies in the street.
                       HALLENBECK
         It's all over, compadre.
                       MANAGER
         Get off my property, mister.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                        43.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
                (scowls)
         Sidewalk belongs to the government.
He turns and looks at Jimmy. The kid is in pain.
Staring at Cory's bullet-riddled body. Eyes glazed.
Hallenbeck says nothing. He crosses to the shattered
Hitman. Kneels  down, fishes through the guy's coat
pockets. Comes  up with a bloody pack of cigarettes.
Extracts one.  Lights it.
SIRENS fill the air.
And Jimmy snaps out of it long enough to reach into his
coat -- Takes out the vial of coke. Ditches it.
Drops it down a sewer grating, out of sight.
No one sees him do it.

POLICE CRUISERS
come SQUEALING up, flashers turning.
Surrounding Jimmy, who stands, head down and motionless --
And Joe, who smokes and looks at the moon.
                                              CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT
SERGEANT BENJAMIN BESSALO sits behind his desk, scanning
a stack of typed pages. A tired-looking cop named McCASKEY
lounges in the doorway. A Christmas tree in the corner
sheds needles.

Through the glass window, we can see Hallenbeck and Jimmy
seated outside in the squad room proper. Bessalo stops
reading. Sniffs the air. Frowns:
                       BESSALO
         Something stinks in here.
                (widens his eyes)
         My God, it's this statement!
He flings the paper onto his desk.
                        McCASKEY
         Sarge?
                         BESSALO
         It's shit.    Hallenbeck is hiding
         something.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                    44.
CONTINUED:
                       McCASKEY
         How do you know?
                       BESSALO
         I know how the bastard's mind works.
         Every lie has eighty percent truth
         to it. Guy scares me.
McCaskey is staring out the window at Hallenbeck.
                       McCASKEY
         We lookin' at the same guy?
                       BESSALO
                (smiles)
         Go ahead. Tell me what you see.
                       McCASKEY
         I see a guy, looks like he just
         slept in his suit.
                        BESSALO
                 (nods)
         Yep.   That's what most people see.
                         McCASKEY
         There's more?
                       BESSALO
         Oh, yeah. There's more.
                (beat)
         A long time ago, that son of a bitch
         saved the President's life.

INT. SQUAD ROOM - SAME TIME

Outside the office Hallenbeck and Jimmy are perched side
by side on a wooden bench. Jimmy is crumpling pieces of
paper and tossing them at a wastebasket. He throws with
unerring accuracy. Beside him Hallenbeck frowns, deep in
thought. Finally, Jimmy speaks:
                       JIMMY
         That stuff Cory fed you about a
         weirdo hassling her. That was all
         bullshit, wasn't it...?
                       HALLENBECK
         Yeah. I don't know what she was
         into, but those were professional
         hitters tonight. Mob style.
                (beat)
         Tell me about Cory. What was she
         like?
                                          (CONTINUED)

                                                     45.
CONTINUED:
                       JIMMY
         None of your fucking business.
                       HALLENBECK
         Listen up, friend. I'm trying to
         get a handle on this. How was she
         fixed for money?
                       JIMMY
                (pause)
         I don't know. Pretty strapped, I
         guess.
                       HALLENBECK
         Always kept an eye out for work?

                       JIMMY
         No hooking, if that's what you mean.
                       HALLENBECK
         It isn't. Tell me what she did at
         the club, besides dance.
                       JIMMY
         The usual. Waitressing. Get a guy
         to buy you a bottle of champagne.
         Sit in a private booth, let the
         poor fuck spill his troubles. Used
         to say she'd make a great psychiatrist.
                       HALLENBECK
         She get many high rollers?
                        JIMMY
         Sure.   Even rich guys get lonely.

                       HALLENBECK
         Fine.
                (beat)
         So suppose one night, her 'guest'
         gets a little too drunk, and brags
         to her... reveals something about
         himself. Something that could hurt
         if it came out. What would she do?
                       JIMMY
         I don't get it.
                       HALLENBECK
         Would she blackmail him?
                       JIMMY
         Jesus, I've had about enough of you --
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                     46.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         Would she consider the possibility of
         blackmail?
                       JIMMY
                (sighs)
         She'd consider it. If she could
         get away with it. But she'd need
         hard evidence. Otherwise, it's
         'I never said that,' his word
         against hers.
                        HALLENBECK
         Right.   So what does she do?

                         JIMMY
         I don't know.    Follow the guy?   Have
         him followed?
                       HALLENBECK
         Bingo. Kid, this is making sense.
         She hires somebody to follow the
         mark and obtain blackmail evidence.
                       JIMMY
         Who does she hire?
                       HALLENBECK
         Ah.  She hires my buddy Mike.
                (beat)
         Right? Right. It makes sense.
         Except --
                       JIMMY
         Except you told me that Mike was a
         shitty surveillance man.

                       HALLENBECK
         Exactly. He got spotted. They
         made him, and they killed him.
         Then they took out Cory.
                       JIMMY
         Christ, what did the two of them
         stumble onto?
                       HALLENBECK
         Whatever it was, it was way over
         their heads. They knew they were
         in trouble.
                       JIMMY
         How you figure?
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                       47.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         Because Mike was scared. He bailed
         out and threw the case in my lap.
                       JIMMY
         He handed it to you... without
         telling you how dangerous it was?
Hallenbeck stares straight ahead.    Sighs and says:
                       HALLENBECK
         He was fucking my wife, Jimmy.
                (beat)
         I die. He gets my wife.

Jimmy just looks at him.
At that moment, McCaskey pokes his head out of Bessalo's
office.
                       McCASKEY
         Okay, you guys are cleared to go.
         Pick up belongings at the property
         desk.

INT. PROPERTY ROOM - NIGHT
Hallenbeck is collecting his firearm from the property
clerk. Jimmy lounges against the wall. Winks at a
hooker as she goes by in the hall, followed by a patrol
cop.
Jimmy eyes his rumpled trousers.    Ripped shirt.
                      JIMMY
         Shit. This shirt cost me eighty
         bucks.
                       HALLENBECK
                (holsters his gun)
         Glad to see, at a time like this,
         at least you got your priorities
         straight.
                       JIMMY
         Do me a favor and shut up. You
         think I don't care that Cory's
         dead?
                (rubs tired eyes)
         Christ, I feel like I been rode
         hard and put away wet.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                        48.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         Get some sleep.
                       JIMMY
         Wow. What stunning advice.      I was
         gonna go hiking.
                        HALLENBECK
         Fuck you.
They start down the hallway, side by side.
                       JIMMY
         You know something, Joe, for a
         private eye, you sure don't go in
         for snappy comebacks.
                       HALLENBECK
         How's this? Fuck you and the
         horse that looks like you.
                       JIMMY
         Get some sleep.
A passing PATROLMAN stops.   Eyes Jimmy thoughtfully.
Frowns:
                       PATROLMAN
         You look real familiar.     Do I know
         you?
Jimmy grins, shrugs.   Obviously flattered.
                         JIMMY
         You might.    Some people recognize
         me.

                       PATROLMAN
         Got it. Peanuts Morton. Used to
         sell hash in Crenshaw District.
                       JIMMY
         No, man. I played football.
         Jimmy Dix, L.A. Stallions.
                       PATROLMAN
         What position?
                        JIMMY
         Forget it.
                       PATROLMAN
         Fuckin' football. Free agents
         ruined the damn game.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                         49.
CONTINUED:
He walks away.   Jimmy scowls.    Grumbles to himself.
                       HALLENBECK
         We gotta cross the parking lot.
         You wanna borrow my sunglasses?
                        JIMMY
         Fuck you.
                       HALLENBECK
         Hey, snappy comeback. You a
         detective?
As the two cross the muster room toward the front doors,
they pass the hooker we saw earlier. She is talking to
her pimp.
There is a heated exchange.     The pimp slaps her.   Hard.
Suddenly, Jimmy lunges forward.     Balling his fists.
                       JIMMY
         That son of a bitch!
He's ready to clean the pimp's clock when Hallenbeck
grabs him, spins him bodily. Propels him out the front
doors.
Away from trouble.

EXT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT
                       HALLENBECK
         What the fuck are you trying to
         do, Tarzan?

                       JIMMY
         He hit the chick.
                       HALLENBECK
         You don't start a fight in a
         police station, dickhead. Are you
         really this stupid or did you take
         lessons?
                       JIMMY
         Guy shouldn't treat a woman like
         that, is all I'm saying. He just
         shouldn't, okay?
                       HALLENBECK
         Why? Because they're weak and
         need protecting?
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                        50.
CONTINUED:
                        JIMMY
                 (pause, then)
         Yeah.
He's serious. Hallenbeck starts to chuckle. Shakes his
head, lights a cigarette. Laughs through the smoke.
This may be the funniest thing he's ever heard.
                                            CUT TO:

EXT. POLICE IMPOUND LOT - SAME TIME
Hallenbeck walks across the parking lot toward his car.
Jimmy trots behind him.

                       JIMMY
         Mind if I catch a ride with you?
                         HALLENBECK
         Yes.
                       JIMMY
         My car's fucked up, remember?
                         HALLENBECK
         Take the bus.
                      JIMMY
         Cut it out. Look, you sorta saved
         my life. Let me buy you a beer.
                       HALLENBECK
         I'm not thirsty. Good night.
He approaches his battered Plymouth.    Jimmy scowls.

                          JIMMY
         That's it.     Good night?
                          HALLENBECK
         Go home.     Get some sleep.
                       JIMMY
         What are you gonna do?
                       HALLENBECK
         I'm gonna get a message to the
         people who killed your friend.
                       JIMMY
         What's the message?
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                     51.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         That we're out of it. That
         whatever they're doing, they don't
         have to worry about us.
                       JIMMY
         You're kidding.
Joe gets in the car.   Says nothing.
                       JIMMY
         You're backing off, you're not
         gonna do anything? I watch T.V.,
         what the fuck kind of private eye
         doesn't do anything?

                       HALLENBECK
         The kind with a wife and kid.
         Look, it's over. My job is done.
                       JIMMY
         Fuck you your job is done.    We
         witnessed a murder, Joe!
                       HALLENBECK
         Yes, it was very exciting.
         Tomorow I'll take you to the zoo.
                (beat)
         You wanna play hero, go ahead.
         When you die, I'll take your
         closet full of eighty-dollar
         shirts.
                       JIMMY
         Look, until this is over, I'm
         sticking with you.

                       HALLENBECK
         The hell you are.
                       JIMMY
         I'm part of this. We do something,
         we do it together.
                       HALLENBECK
         Have a ncie night.
He STARTS the CAR.
                       JIMMY
         Don't drive away, Joe.
Joe puts it in gear.   Pulls away.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                       52.
CONTINUED:
                          JIMMY
         Joe -- !     I'll tell the cops, Joe.
Joe taps the brake.    Stops.   Leans out the window, says
softly:
                       HALLENBECK
         Tell them what, Jimmy?
                       JIMMY
         That Mike Miller was fucking your
         wife.
                (beat)
         Only reason you're not in the
         cooler, tough guy, is the cops got
         no motive for Miller's death.
         When they find out Mikey was
         dickin' your old lady, seems to
         me you become suspect numero uno.
         I'm scared, and I'm coming with
         you, got it?
Joe gets out of the car and advances on Jimmy.
                       HALLENBECK
         You little creep, I'm gonna beat
         the shit out of you.
                       JIMMY
         Go for it. Then the cops'll
         really love my story.
                (smiles)
         You don't start a fight in a
         police station, dickhead.
                       HALLENBECK
         You and me is not a fight.     You
         and me is a massacre.
                       JIMMY
         Gosh, you're tough.
                       HALLENBECK
         Get in the fucking car.

INT. CAR - DRIVING - NIGHT
Hallenbeck is in a foul mood. Jimmy lights a cigarette
and applies for a position as pep chairman:
                       JIMMY
         You got any hobbies?
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                     53.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         Mmmm. Used to be a pretty fair
         ventriloquist.
                       JIMMY
         Ventriloquist, really? I hear Ps
         and Bs are the hardest.
                       HALLENBECK
         Yeah, well, actually --
                       JIMMY
                (interrupts)
         Hey, you got any tapes in here?
                (leans forward)
         Man, what is this shit? Dick
         Haymes. Who the fuck is Dick
         Haymes? Jeez, you must be older
         than I thought.
Hallenbeck grimaces and shifts in his seat.
                       JIMMY
         What's the matter? Stomach
         problems?
                         HALLENBECK
         Ear problems.
                       JIMMY
         What kind of ear problems?
                       HALLENBECK
         The kind that won't shut up.
He stops at a traffic light. Sees a torn poster on a
nearby telephone pole: CALIFORNIA HAS A VOICE - BAYNARD
FOR SENATE. He grumbles. Gives it the finger.
                       JIMMY
         Baynard, huh? What's the matter,
         you got some kind of beef with the
         guy?
                       HALLENBECK
         You might say that.
                       JIMMY
         You wanna share with the class?
                       HALLENBECK
                (sighs)
         Bastard got me fired from my old
         job.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                               54.
CONTINUED:
                      JIMMY
         Yeah? What were you, cop or
         something?
                       HALLENBECK
         Secret Service.
                       JIMMY
         You're high. Get outta here.
                (grins)
         Really...? You protected the man?
         Holy shit, you musta got laid every
         night.
                       HALLENBECK
         That's me. Every night.
                (beat)
         Where did Cory live?
                       JIMMY
         She had an apartment on the West
         Side. Why?
                       HALLENBECK
         I want to check it out.
Jimmy stares at him, puzzled.
                       JIMMY
         I thought you were off the case.
                       HALLENBECK
                (scowls)
         Look, dipshit, I told you that to
         keep you out of my hair.
                (pause)
         My client's dead and I haven't
         earned my fee.
                       JIMMY
         Whoa, back up. You mean, we're
         gonna nail these fuckers after
         all...?
                (grins)
         Damn. I knew there was a hero
         lurking beneath that gruff
         exterior.
                       HALLENBECK
         Yeah, I'm a prince. Shut the fuck
         up.

                                                    55.
EXT. ADULT LIVING COMPLEX - NIGHT
Jimmy and Hallenbeck make their way down a flagstone walk
between tiny, palm-shaded cottages. The moon casts a
pale glow.
                       HALLENBECK
         Bet these places run a fortune.
                       JIMMY
         Tell me about it. I'm paying the
         fucking rent.
                      HALLENBECK
         How charming. Sounds like a great
         girl. What else did you spring
         for? Clothes? Car payments?

                       JIMMY
         Wasn't like that. Cory could've
         had lots of rich guys. Me, she
         loved.
                       HALLENBECK
         Oh. Love.   Well, forget about it,
         then.
                         JIMMY
         Let me guess.    You don't believe
         in love.
                       HALLENBECK
                (lights a cigarette)
         I believe in cancer. I believe in
         love.
                       JIMMY
         What, they're both diseases?

                       HALLENBECK
         Something like that.
Jimmy shakes his head sadly.
                       JIMMY
         Man, I don't want to meet the
         bitch that fucked you up.
                       HALLENBECK
         I'm sure she'd love meeting you.
         Probably blow you on the front
         porch.
                       JIMMY
         Little bitter, Joe?
                         HALLENBECK
         Eat shit.

                                                        56.
EXT. MOONLIT COTTAGE
The two men approach the door.   Jimmy takes out his key
ring.
                       HALLENBECK
         The cops are gonna want to check
         this place out, so don't disturb
         anything.
                        JIMMY
         Yes, massah.

INT. COTTAGE
Jimmy opens the door.   Flips on the lights.     Stops in
his tracks.
The room has been systematically torn to pieces.
A knife has been used to rip open the couch.
Broken furniture, shredded clothing. Everywhere.
It looks like a combat zone.
                       JIMMY
         I think someone disturbed some
         stuff, Joe.
                       HALLENBECK
         Well, shit. Looks like somebody
         beat us to it.
                       JIMMY
         Beat us to what?
                       HALLENBECK
         Whatever evidence Cory was
         holding.

                       JIMMY
         Assuming there was any.     Stay here
         a minute.
                       HALLENBECK
         Where you going?
                       JIMMY
         Bathroom. You wanna come with me?
         Doctor said I shouldn't lift
         anything heavy.
                        HALLENBECK
         I'll pass.
Hallenbeck starts inspecting the wreckage.

                                                      57.
INT. CLUTTERED BATHROOM
Jimmy enters and shuts the door behind him.
He scans the floor, covered with clothes, bottles, etc.
Picks up a carelessly discarded can of Right Guard
deodorant.
Turns it upside down, and unscrews the bottom.
Inside, the can is hollow and empty. The perfect hiding
place.
Jimmy heaves a sigh of relief. Removes a little plastic
Baggie filled with white powder. Stashes it in his
shorts.
Starts to replace the lid. Stops. Frowns.
Reaches into the can a second time --
And pulls out a yellow envelope.
He looks at it, perplexed.
Puts it in his pocket. Replaces the lid. Tosses the can
on the floor. Flushes the toilet. Leaves.

INT. LIVING ROOM
Hallenbeck, meanwhile, is prowling the living room,
looking at photographs on the walls.
The girl in the photos seems young, beautiful, and naive.
One shot depicts Cory and a friend in cheerleader outfits.
On it is scrawled, GOOD LUCK IN HOLLYWOOD BABY! LOVE,
JANIS
Hallenbeck gazes around the devastated cottage.
                       HALLENBECK
         Looks like you made it, baby.
Jimmy emerges from the bathroom.
                       JIMMY
         Find anything?
                       HALLENBECK
         Yeah, there's some really nice
         rubble.
                                          (CONTINUED)

                                                        58.
CONTINUED:
                       JIMMY
         I may have something.
                         HALLENBECK
         What?
                        JIMMY
         Later.   Let's get out of here.

EXT. COTTAGE - NIGHT
The two men emerge from the house. Joe heads for his
car. Jimmy peels off toward a battered GMC Pacer parked
at the curb.

                       HALLENBECK
         Where the hell are you going?
                       JIMMY
         As long as we're here, I might as
         well take Cory's car.
                       HALLENBECK
         You got the keys?
                         JIMMY
         Yeah.    I'll follow you.
Hallenbeck starts to turn away.      Jimmy gets in the car.
Hallenbeck stops. Frowns.
                       HALLENBECK
         Cory has two cars?
                       JIMMY
         Yeah. This one's just sitting
         here until she can sell it.
The color drains from Hallenbeck's features.
                         HALLENBECK
         Jimmy, no!!
He sprints across the sidewalk and yanks Jimmy out of the
driver's seat before he can key the ignition.
                          JIMMY
         Ouch -- !     What's your problem?

ANOTHER ANGLE
Hallenbeck kneels and peers under the car.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                      59.
CONTINUED:
Swears softly as he sees two thin copper wires, glinting
in the moonlight.
                       HALLENBECK
         They used a car bomb on Mike, it
         figures they'd try it on her, too.
                (stands)
         Except they wired the wrong car.
Jimmy pales noticeably.
                          JIMMY
         Oh.   Shit.    Oh. Jeez.
Hallenbeck claps him on the back.

                       HALLENBECK
         Easy, kid. No harm, no foul.     We
         caught it in time.
He strolls toward his Plymouth, whistling.
Cheerfully unaffected.
Jimmy catches his breath. Swallows hard.
Turns, and bumps into Hallenbeck, coming back the other
way.
                       JIMMY
         What are you doing?
Hallenbeck brandishes a pair of wire-cutters.
                       HALLENBECK
         Gotta disconnect the fucker.
                       JIMMY
         Whoa. Hold on. Um, shouldn't we
         call the bomb squad or something?
                       HALLENBECK
                (smiles)
         Relax, Junior, I used to do this
         for a living.
He isolates one wire.    Turns and offers the cutters to
Jimmy.
                       HALLENBECK
         You wanna do it?
                          JIMMY
         No, man, I --
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                     60.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         Come on, chickenshit. Just snip
         the wire.
Jimmy hesitates, then takes the cutters. Reaches beneath
the wheel well. Plucks at the wire tentatively. Cuts.
                       HALLENBECK
         Oh, shit not that one!
Jimmy screams and stumbles backward. Lands on his ass.
Hallenbeck is chuckling softly. Shakes his head as he
walks around to release the hood.
                       JIMMY
         You're a fucking asshole!
                       HALLENBECK
         And then some, Junior. And then
         some.
                                            TIME CUT TO:

THREE STICKS OF DYNAMITE - ONE MINUTE LATER
have been taped to the car's ignition system. Hallenbeck
removes the taped bundle. Holds it up for inspection.
                       HALLENBECK
         We'll hand this over to the cops.
         They can analyze it.
                        JIMMY
         Great.   So what now?

                       HALLENBECK
                (shrugs)
         You tell me, kid.
                          JIMMY
         Give up?     Flee? Go really far
         away?
                       HALLENBECK
         I got a better idea. Let's check
         in with my family.
They start walking toward Hallenbeck's Plymouth.
Hallenbeck tosses the car keys to Jimmy.
                         HALLENBECK
         I'm tired.    You drive.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                      61.
CONTINUED:
                         JIMMY
          Sure.   Family, huh?   You got kids?
                         HALLENBECK
          Yeah.   Little girl.
                        JIMMY
          Does she like you?
                        HALLENBECK
          Not much, no. And she likes
          Prince, so go figure.
                        JIMMY
          I like Prince.

                        HALLENBECK
          Great, you can marry my daughter.
          Or better yet, fuck my wife. I
          hear all it takes is a credit card
          and two valid I.D.'s.
                 (beat)
          Open the trunk.
                        JIMMY
                 (indicating bomb)
          You're just gonna stick that in
          your trunk?
                        HALLENBECK
                 (nods)
          You're right. Let's leave it
          here for the neighborhood kids
          to play with.
Jimmy opens the trunk. As he does, however, a voice
rings out suddenly from the darkness.
                        VOICE (O.S.)
          Hold it right there, gentlemen.
They stop.   Slowly they turn.

TWO MEN
are approaching from out of the trees.
One holds a flashlight trained on Hallenbeck and Jimmy.
The other carries a silenced Beretta.
                        JIMMY
          Is it the cops?
                         HALLENBECK
          No, Jimmy.   It's not the cops.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                       62.
CONTINUED:
Working quickly, Hallenbeck tapes the bomb to the inside
of the truck lid. Slams it shut. Turns, facing the new
arrivals.
The MEN wear tailored suits with matching ties.
One is tall and lean. The other is a bruiser, short and
stout. They both have the seasoned look of professional
mob hitters.
The Taller Man speaks, gun held rock steady.
                       TALL MAN
         Good evening, gentlemen. Bit late
         for a stroll, don't you think?

                       HALLENBECK
         Yeah, you two better be getting
         home.
                       JIMMY
         The streetlights are on.
                       TALL MAN
         That's amusing. How delightful
         to find such amusing men so late
         at night.
                (beat)
         I don't believe I've had the
         pleasure.
                       HALLENBECK
         No, I don't believe you have.
                (to Jimmy)
         He'd like to have the pleasure.
                       JIMMY
         Tell him it's not for sale.
                       HALLENBECK
         He says it's --
                       SHORT MAN
         What's your name, fuckface?
This from the Shorter Man, who is clearly not happy.
                       HALLENBECK
                (shakes his head)
         I'm asshole. He's fuckface.
                       TALL MAN
         Jake, apprise Rodney Dangerfield
         here of his situation.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                      63.
CONTINUED:
Jake slips on a pair of brass knuckles.
Steps up and delivers a looping right to Hallenbeck's
face. A sickening crunch. A two inch gash streams blood.
Jake relieves Hallenbeck of his gun.
                       TALL MAN
         Perhaps we can dispense with the
         fun and games now, yes?
Jimmy rushes forward, snarling. The Beretta swivels.
Jimmy stops, the gun aimed at his gut.
                       HALLENBECK
                (gasping)
         Easy... Jim... All they want is
         the evidence...
                       TALL MAN
         The evidence. Very smart. See,
         Jake, he knows when a situation is
         untenable.
                (smiles)
         You like that word?
                       HALLENBECK
         Great word.
                       TALL MAN
         It occurs to me that you may have
         the evidence in question.
                       HALLENBECK
                (spits out blood)
         Give up, Jimmy. We're dealing
         with geniuses.

Another fist to the head.   Hallenbeck grunts.   Spits more
blood.
                       JIMMY
         Leave him alone, you fuck!
                       HALLENBECK
         Back off, Jimmy.
The Tall Man turns and eyes Jimmy.
                       TALL MAN
         Leave him alone...?
                (shrugs)
         Whatever you say. Jake?
The Short Man steps away from Hallenbeck. Turns and
launches a kick at Jimmy's groin. Connects. The kid
drops to the ground, retching.
                                          (CONTINUED)

                                                        64.
CONTINUED:
                       TALL MAN
                (sighs)
         Ah, my young friend... I neglected
         to tell you that Jake attacks his
         job with a certain... exuberance.
                       JIMMY
         Christ... I'm being beat up by the
         inventor of Scrabble.
                       TALL MAN
         He's still in a good mood, Jake.
         Kick him again.
Jake steps forward.

                         HALLENBECK
         Wait!
Hallenbeck speaks through cracked, bloody lips:
                       HALLENBECK
         You want the fucking evidence that
         the stripper had. I've got it.
         So we can play games, or I can
         hand it over.
                       JIMMY
         And then you'll let us go, right?
                       TALL MAN
         Sure.  We'll let you go.
                (to Hallenbeck)
         Where is it?
Hallenbeck meets the Tall Man's gaze.    Speaks softly.

                       HALLENBECK
         Hand me the car keys, Jimmy.
Jimmy stumbles to his feet.    Looks at the Tall Man.
                       TALL MAN
         Walk over and hand him the keys.
         Slow and easy.
Jimmy takes out the car keys.    Crosses to Hallenbeck.
Gives him the keys.
                       HALLENBECK
         The evidence is in the trunk.
                          TALL MAN
         Open it.     Slow.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                        65.
CONTINUED:
Hallenbeck smiles.    Shakes his head.
                       HALLENBECK
         I don't think so.
He turns and throws the keys as far as he can.
They fall out of sight behind a cottage.
                         HALLENBECK
         Oops.    I guess nobody gets it.
                       TALL MAN
         You dumb bastard, you're going to
         pay for that. Jake, open the
         trunk.

Jake steps forward, drawing a .38 silenced pistol.
He is going to shoot open the lock.

ANGLE ON HALLENBECK
This is what he's been waiting for. He tenses, looking
to one side: next to him is a sloping hillside, angling
down and away. He grips Jimmy's wrist, signalling to get
ready.
Jake raises the PISTOL.    Take aim at the lock and FIRES.
The SHOT is SILENCED.    What follows is not.
Because the bullet blows through the trunk --
And hits three sticks of live dynamite.

SERIES OF SHOTS

Hallenbeck is already moving, pitching to one side,
throwing himself and Jimmy down the hillside.
The night lights up like a SUNBURST.
A tower of fire...
Climbs up and outward from the car.
The TRUNK LID is BLOWN fifty feet in the air.
The tires are pulped.
GLASS SPRAYS for fifty yards in every direction.
And, most importantly:    both hitmen are engulfed in
flame.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                         66.
CONTINUED:
SOUND. Fury.
Flames, rolling skyward.
TINKLE of raining GLASS.
Bits of falling metal.
All in all, a helluva blast, and meanwhile:

JIMMY AND JOE
continue to careen down the hillside.
Bouncing like rag puppets. Out of control.
Lurch to stop at the bottom.
Covered head to toe with dirt.      Bruised.   Bloody.
Alive.
They lie side by side, sucking air --
Until they both hear an odd noise:
The sound of CRUMPLING METAL.
The sound is GETTING LOUDER.
They both crane their necks in time to see --
The flaming car, tumbling end over end
Coming down the hill.
Heading straight for them.
                          JIMMY
            Jesus fucking Christ!

They both dive for cover, out of the way.
Barely make it.
The CAR plows past them in a shower of dirt.
CRUMPLING. Heaving. Spitting fire.
Finally SLAMS to a halt against a palm tree.
Burns.
The night is filled with SHOUTS and CURSES.
The sound of DOORS OPENING. The crackle of flames.

ON GROUND
Joe rolls over.    Looks at Jimmy.    Jimmy looks at Joe.
                                               (CONTINUED)

                                                       67.
CONTINUED:
                          HALLENBECK
         You alive?
                       JIMMY
         Don't know yet.
They crawl to their feet, inspecting for broken bones.
                          JIMMY
         The dynamite?
                       HALLENBECK
         Either that, or we're looking at
         a major factory recall.

                       JIMMY
         Dead guys... don't make bad jokes,
         right?
                          HALLENBECK
         Right.
                       JIMMY
         So we're alive.
                         HALLENBECK
         Yeah.    Hooray.
He spits blood as SIRENS once more fill the night air,
APPROACHING.
                        HALLENBECK
         Go.   Get out of here.
                          JIMMY
         What?

                       HALLENBECK
         Get the fuck out of here, I'll
         take the heat on this one. Rent
         a car. Then go home and wait for
         my call. Do it.
Jimmy meets Joe's eyes.    Nods.   Dashes off into the night.
                                             CUT TO:

INT. L.A.P.D. ROBBERY/HOMICIDE DIVISION - NIGHT
Sergeant Benjamin Bessalo is in the mood to kick things.
A metal trashcan is booted across the room with a clang
as he whirls, glaring at Joe Hallenbeck, who is seated
before him.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                       68.
CONTINUED:
                       BESSALO
         Goddammit, this is a police matter,
         you son of a bitch! I'm sick and
         fucking tired of sweeping up your
         dead bodies, Joe, and the next time
         I see your ugly mug I'm puttin' a
         bullet in it. You got that? You
         are off the case, buddy. Is that
         clear?
Hallenbeck stares at him.   Blows smoke.    Says nothing.
                                             CUT TO:
INT. RENTAL CAR - DRIVING - NIGHT

Jimmy's at the wheel of a rented Subaru. Hallenbeck
beside him. He hands Joe the envelope he found in Cory's
apartment.
                       JIMMY
         If you thought there was dynamite
         in the trunk, wait'll you see this.
Hallenbeck reaches into the envelope and extracts a
photograph: Two men having lunch together on a secluded
patio.
Both are older, distinguished-looking.
Joe suddenly looks very pale.
                       JIMMY
         The guy on the left is Connie
         Marcon, the owner of the L.A.
         Stallions.

                       HALLENBECK
         Forget about him. Look at the
         guy on the right.
                       JIMMY
         Sort of familiar. Who is he?
                       HALLENBECK
         Senator Calvin Baynard.
Jimmy draws a sharp breath.   Pause, then:
                       JIMMY
         Let's go back to the cops.   I'm
         scared.
                       HALLENBECK
         Take it easy, kid. It's not so
         bad.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                     69.
CONTINUED:
                       JIMMY
         Not so bad. Excuse me, did you
         just say the words not so bad?
         You don't understand, Joe, see,
         if a guy vomits on the sidewalk,
         you don't say, 'Oh, hey, it's not
         so bad, there's some ham in there.'
         It's fucking vomit, okay? This is
         bad.
Hallenbeck nervously lights a cigarette.
Stares straight ahead through the windshield.   Begins to
talk:
                       HALLENBECK
         When I was thirty, I was on the
         President's personal security
         force. Once night I was on the
         way home from a late session. I'm
         on the highway just outside of
         Georgetown when I see something
         up ahead.

MEMORY FLASH
Another time. Another night.
A younger-looking Hallenbeck.
Rugged features. Clipped military haircut.
He is driving.
Down a turnpike, squinting through dense evening mist.
Up ahead, a shape materializes out of the fog:


WRECKED CAR
is lying upside down in a pool of shattered glass.
He SCREECHES to a stop.

ANOTHER ANGLE
In a dream-like SLOW MOTION, he approaches the overturned
car.
There are two dead bodies inside.
A woman. A little boy.
In the window, a stuffed Garfield doll clings with
suction cups to the remaining glass. The furry cat is
splattered with blood.
                                          (CONTINUED)

                                                     70.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK (V.O.)
         It was a high-speed collision.
         Both cars were totaled. The woman
         and the boy were dead. The driver
         of the other car wasn't.

STAGGERING DRUNK
is weaving toward Hallenbeck.
Leaving behind his crumpled Mercedes.
He wears an $800 suit. Tan Cordovan loafers.   Silk tie.
                       DRUNK
         Fuckin' bitch... She got in front
         of me, man. Shit. My fuckin' car.
         Stupid bitch wrecked my car...
He stumbles toward Hallenbeck, eyes attempting to focus.
                       DRUNK
         Do you know who I am...? I'm
         Louis Baynard, my father is
         Calvin D. Baynard, man. Call my
         father, he'll take care of it.
The man lurches to a stop in front of Hallenbeck.
Clutching at Joe's lapels. Wheezing liquor fumes.
He presses a hundred dollar bill into Joe's hand.
                       DRUNK
         You'll tell 'em what happened,
         right...? Bitch swerved in front
         of me, man. Wrecked my fuckin'
         Mercedes. Right...?

                       HALLENBECK (V.O.)
         I could smell bourbon on him, big
         time. He was  standing there, not
         a scratch on him. I went a little
         nuts. I hit  him.
In SLOW MOTION, Hallenbeck backhands the rich drunk,
with a head-snapping impact that bursts lips. Breaks
teeth.
We see the Drunk's head slowly strike the asphalt.
A sickening concussion.
                       HALLENBECK
         The blow was non-lethal. But when
         he fell, his head hit the pavement
         funny. Put him in a coma.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                    71.
CONTINUED:
The younger Hallenbeck stands on the highway of eight
years past, staring at the Drunk with fierce, blazing
eyes as we --
                                           SNAP BACK TO:

JIMMY AND JOE - BACK TO PRESENT
Driving.
                         HALLENBECK
           Even when he came out of it, he
           was never right in the head. His
           dad fixed everything with the cops.
           The accident report disappeared. A
           week later the police found half a
           kilo of crack cocaine planted in
           my house. Acting on an anonymous
           tip.
                         JIMMY
           The senator fucked your job.
                         HALLENBECK
           And my pension. And my marriage.
           Only reason I'm still licensed to
           carry a gun, the man himself made
           a few calls. Since then I'm just
           playing it out. Day by day.
Jimmy is silent for a moment.   Then:
                         JIMMY
           Cory tumbled to some sort of deal
           between Marcon and the senator,
           and they had her killed.
                  (beat)
           We gotta show this photo to the
           cops.
                         HALLENBECK
           Not yet. I need more evidence.
                  (beat)
           I want Baynard, Jimmy. I want to
           bring him down. I could use your
           help.
                         JIMMY
           Why should I help you?
                         HALLENBECK
           Because if Baynard takes a fall, so
           does Marcon. The man who kicked you
           out of professional football.

                                                       72.
INT. PLUSH BEDROOM - NIGHT
A tall, thin, almost effeminate MAN is seated on a couch.
High cheekbones. A shock of blond hair.
Glittering, malignant eyes.
He is directing a pornographic film.

PRETTY GIRL
is bound hand and foot to the posts of a lavishly
appointed bed. Around her, the room is filled with
Kleig lights. Reflectors. Camera equipment.
The girl is scowling furiously.    She speaks to the
director:

                       GIRL
         I want the sheets changed, Milo.
                       MILO (MAN)
         Of course you do, but we're running
         behind, dearest.
                       GIRL
         I don't give a shit. I'm an
         actress, not a piece of meat, and
         I want clean sheets!
                       MILO
         Fine. It's done. Right after
         this next shot.
A strident BEEPER GOES OFF on Milo's belt. He turns to
the two-man crew and claps his hands for attention.
                       MILO
         Okay, let's do it.
                (beat)
         Roll camera.
                       CAMERAMAN
         Rolling.
                       MILO
         And... action!
The closet door opens. A hulking man emerges.
He is carrying a chainsaw.
The Girl on the bed stares, incredulous.
                       GIRL
         Milo... What the fuck is this,
         some kind of joke?
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                          73.
CONTINUED:
                          MILO
            Not at all, dearest. It's what's
            known as a snuff film.
The hulking man pulls the starter cord.        The SAW ROARS
to life.
                          GIRL
            Oh God Milo please oh God oh no
            please Miloooo!!
A smile twitches Milo's upper lip.
                           MILO
            Easy, Pablo.   She's not a piece
            of meat.
He exits.    Closes a sound-proofed door behind him.

INT. WOOD-PANELED STUDY - CONTINUOUS ACTION
Milo enters, all business.
Crosses to a telephone with a blinking light.
Stabs a button. Scoops up the receiver.
                          MILO
            Yes, Mr. Marcon? How can I help
            you?
                          MARCON (V.O.)
            Is this line secure?
                          MILO
            One hundred percent, sir. I
            wouldn't have used your name
            otherwise.
                          MARCON (V.O.)
            Sid and Jake are dead, Milo.
            Killed in an explosion. Looks
            like we got a new player in the
            game.
                          MILO
            Who is he working for?
                          MARCON (V.O.)
            From available information, he
            appears to be a free agent. Guy
            by the name of Joe Hallenbeck.
Milo sits and begins punching keys on a computer.
                                                (CONTINUED)

                                                     74.
CONTINUED:
                       MARCON (V.O.)
         Get me everything you can on this
         fucker, Milo. I want it on my
         computer screen in fifteen minutes.
                        MILO
         Yes, sir.   And then?
                       MARCON (V.O.)
         And then you'll be handling it
         personally.

EXT. HALLENBECK HOME - LATE NIGHT

Dawn is a ghost on the horizon as Jimmy parks the rental
Subaru outside. The two men emerge. Head for the front
door.
                       JIMMY
         So I get to meet your family, huh?
         What's your daughter like?
                       HALLENBECK
         She's like thirteen. And if you
         even look at her funny, I'll shove
         an umbrella up your ass and open
         it.

INT. HALLENBECK HOUSE - CONTINUOUS ACTION
As they come through the front door, Joe's daughter,
DARIAN, is slumped in a big Lazy-Boy, staring sullenly
at a movie on TV. Cute kid, cursed to wear ridiculous-
looking dental headgear.

She doesn't bother to look up.
                       HALLENBECK
         First things first. I'm starving.
                (notices Darian)
         Hey, kiddo. Why aren't you in
         bed?
                       DARIAN
         I'm watching television.
                       HALLENBECK
         I can see that.
                        DARIAN
         I hate you.   Leave me alone.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                      75.
CONTINUED:
She still won't look at him. The two men cross to the
kitchen. Hallenbeck opens the refrigerator, takes out
some lunchmeat.
                       HALLENBECK
         She's pissed off because I wouldn't
         let her go out on a date with her
         friend Billy.
                       DARIAN
         I missed the biggest party of the
         year.
                       JIMMY
         Why couldn't she go?

                       HALLENBECK
                (incredulous)
         Because she's thirteen, that's why.
                (to Darian)
         I bought you some ice cream.
                       DARIAN
         I'm not talking to you.
                       HALLENBECK
         Gee, that's a shame. You always
         have such pleasant things to say.
         'I hate you, Dad.' I'm gonna miss
         that, darn it...
                (beat)
         It's chocolate chip, your favorite.
                         DARIAN
         I don't care.    You're an asshole.

Without missing a beat, Hallenbeck opens the window
and heaves the ice cream outside.
                       HALLENBECK
         That's for saying asshole. God, I
         hate wasting food. Wanna abuse me
         some more? Go ahead, shock me.
         You know, I hardly ever hear the
         word asshole.
                       DARIAN
         Bullshit, I bet you get it all the
         time.
                       HALLENBECK
         All right, knock it off.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                     76.
CONTINUED:
                       DARIAN
         What're you gonna do, ground me
         some more?
                       HALLENBECK
         Hey, you want it, you got it, lady.
                       DARIAN
         Thank you, asshole.
                       HALLENBECK
         You're grounded for a week.
                       DARIAN
         Yes, sir, asshole.

                      HALLENBECK
         That's two. You wanna play this
         game? I love this game.
                       DARIAN
         Just leave me alone.
                (to Jimmy)
         He thinks he's fuckin' Ward
         Cleaver.
                       HALLENBECK
         All right, that's it. You wanna
         be a gutter mouth? You wanna
         sound like your mother, well
         that's terrific. Christ, all day
         long I don't take enough abuse,
         I gotta listen to shit from you!
                       JIMMY
         Hey, Joe, take it easy...

                       HALLENBECK
         Don't you tell me how to talk to
         my kid.
                       DARIAN
         All I wanted was to go to a party,
         but Pop here thinks I'm out to
         get laid.
                       HALLENBECK
         Go for it, kiddo. All the dirty
         words. Come on, shock me. Go
         ahead.
                       DARIAN
         Sure thing, you dumb fuck-up.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                    77.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         All right, I've had it. Go to
         your room. Or I will whip your
         behind.
                       DARIAN
         You'd probably like it.
Hallenbeck takes her by the arm and drags her out of the
chair. Toward her room.
                       HALLENBECK
         Goddammit, you are my daughter
         and you will respect me, got that?
         You got it? You don't ever call
         me a fuck-up.
                       DARIAN
         Why shouldn't I, Mom calls you
         that all the time.
That stops him.   He looks at her, stricken.
                       HALLENBECK
         Your mother called me a fuck-up...?
         When?
                       DARIAN
         On the phone to Uncle Jay.
                       HALLENBECK
         Uncle Jay? Ohh, Christ, I'm a
         fuck-up, but Uncle Jay, now
         there's a real stand-up guy.
         Shit, the bastard cheats on his
         tax form, I'm surprised he hasn't
         done time! Why don't you ask your
         mother why Mister Wonderful isn't
         in jail for tax evasion?
                       DARIAN
                (smiles)
         Because he doesn't fuck up.
She goes into her room and shuts the door.
Hallenbeck rubs his eyes. Leans against the wall,
exhausted.
                       JIMMY
         You know, for fifty bucks you could
         get a guy to pull out her
         fingernails with a pair of pliers.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                          78.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         No. Anything that much fun, I'd
         want to do myself.
                       JIMMY
         I think we could both use a drink.
Hallenbeck   crosses to a cabinet, breaks out a bottle of
Seagrams.    Swigs.  Hands it to Jimmy. As Jimmy drinks,
he notices   a photo on the wall: Hallenbeck shaking
hands with   George Bush.
                         JIMMY
         That's you?

                         HALLENBECK
         Yeah.    That's me.
                       JIMMY
         You look like the dad on 'The
         Brady Bunch.'
                       HALLENBECK
         Yeah, I was a regular Boy Scout.
Joe starts to fix a sandwich.      Jimmy takes nips from the
bottle.
                         JIMMY
         So.    You gonna get a divorce?
                         HALLENBECK
         Don't know.
He bites into the sandwich.      Not really tasting it.

                       JIMMY
         You don't like women much, do you,
         Joe?
                       HALLENBECK
                (mouth full)
         Mike Miller wasn't the first time.
         Sarah has cheated on me before.
         Twice. I never told her I knew.
         At first, my opinion of women
         took a real dip, yeah.
                         JIMMY
         And now?
                       HALLENBECK
         Now I'm content if I like the guy
         she's fucking. This last one was
         my best friend.
                                          (CONTINUED)

                                                   79.
CONTINUED:
                       JIMMY
         Horseshit, he was a scumbag private
         eye.
                       HALLENBECK
         What am I, Jimmy?
                       JIMMY
         He tried to get you killed.
                       HALLENBECK
         Friends can't be perfect.
                (sighs)
         I wish the sky wasn't blue. I
         wish water wasn't wet. I wish I
         didn't still love my wife.
He eats in silence.   Jimmy says:
                       JIMMY
         You know what I did last night?
                         HALLENBECK
         What?
                       JIMMY
         I went to a party and shit on a car.
                        HALLENBECK
         Damn.   You, too?
                       JIMMY
         I'm a complete loser. Capital 'L.'
         All I ever wanted... was to be
         somebody's hero, you know it...?
         Now I mostly sit around. Watch
         T.V. Get laid. I'm a fucking
         slug, throw salt on me I'd curl
         up. Life sucks.
                         HALLENBECK
         You're wrong.
                       JIMMY
         Life doesn't suck?
                       HALLENBECK
         No, life sucks. But you're not a
         loser. Cory loved you.
                       JIMMY
         Yeah, and the last thing I did was
         cheat on her.
                (beat)
         Why do people cheat, Joe?
                                          (CONTINUED)

                                                     80.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         Because it's easier than paying
         the tax, Junior.
                          JIMMY
         Ooooooh.     Very deep.
                       HALLENBECK
         So deep I don't know what the fuck
         it means.
                       JIMMY
         It means another drink is required.
He raises the bottle.

                       JIMMY
         Alex the accountant.
He drinks.   Hallenbeck frowns, watching him.
                       HALLENBECK
         Is Alex your accountant?
                       JIMMY
         No.  But he could have been.
                (beat)
         Alex was my son.
Hallenbeck stares at him.
                       JIMMY
         I was married at 19. Sweet young
         thing, looking to get out from
         under daddy's thumb. I didn't
         know she was a junkie. All during
         her pregnancy. Shooting up. There
         were complications. She died.
         Alex lived for seventeen minutes
         in the incubator. Fell asleep.
         Died before he woke up.
                (takes a drink)
         He was born... He had time for
         one dream... and then he died.
         I wonder what his dream was
         about.
                         HALLENBECK
         I'm sorry.
                       JIMMY
         I think about him a lot.     I mean,
         who was this... guy?
                       (MORE)
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                            81.
CONTINUED:
                          JIMMY (CONT'D)
            This little guy who only got
            seventeen minutes, who was he,
            Joe...? What was he like?
                   (beat)
            What would he have been?
                          HALLENBECK
            He would have been a great
            ball player. Like his dad.
                          JIMMY
                   (shakes his head)
            No. He had to die, Joe.     Don't
            you see?

                          HALLENBECK
            Why did he have to die?
                          JIMMY
                   (softly)
            Because he came out of me.
He puts aside the bottle.    Scowls.
                          JIMMY
            I'm gonna borrow your shower.
He exits.    Hallenbeck watches him go.     Says nothing.

INT. BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS ACTION
Jimmy enters and shuts the door. Turns on the shower.
Makes no move to undress.
Instead, he reaches inside the waistband on his pants.
Removes a vial of coke. Dips a spoon.
The door opens.
Hallenbeck is standing there with a handful of fresh
towels. He stops. Staring at Jimmy. They freeze in
tableau.
Then Hallenbeck crosses the floor with two quick strides
and slugs Jimmy with all his might. Decks him.
The kid goes over backward into the shower, head striking
the porcelain. He swerves. Claws his way out, drenched.
                          HALLENBECK
            Not in my house, you dumb
            motherfucker.
                                                (CONTINUED)

                                                     82.
CONTINUED:
                       JIMMY
         Joe, man, you don't get it --
                         HALLENBECK
         Shut up.
He picks up the vial of powder.
                       HALLENBECK
         This is what you went looking for
         in Cory's apartment, isn't it?
         You found this when you found that
         envelope.
He crosses to the toilet.    Jimmy cries out.

                         JIMMY
         Joe, please!
Joe drops the vial in the water. Flushes.
Jimmy darts forward. Joe shoves him back.
                       JIMMY
         You stupid bastard, do you know
         what you've done? That was a
         thousand bucks' worth of shit!
                       HALLENBECK
         You got it, son. I'm just mixing
         it in with all the other shit.
                (beat)
         Get the fuck out of my house. Now.
                       JIMMY
         You don't understand.

                       HALLENBECK
         I said, get out. I'll break your
         fucking neck, kiddo.
Jimmy glares at him.    Coldly defiant.
                       JIMMY
         Go ahead, tough guy. Go ahead.
                (beat)
         I'm trying to survive, man. I use
         that stuff to get by, so fuck you.
                       HALLENBECK
         I don't use it. I get by.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                        83.
CONTINUED:
                       JIMMY
         Oh, sure, Dudley fucking Do-Right,
         you stand there and judge me, and,
         meanwhile, you never had your old
         lady die on you, did you, pal??
         And your fucking kid?? And I said
         to God, 'Hey, buddy, what gives?
         I go to church, I give to the
         United Way, what is this dead wife
         and kid shit...?' And he didn't
         say nothin', Joe.
He grabs a towel.   Scrubs savagely at his wet torso.
                       JIMMY
         And then I lose my job, my fucking
         life, okay, and why...? You know
         why? Because I gambled. Whoa,
         hold on, stop the presses, Jimmy
         gambled, well shit, of course I
         gambled, everybody does, and the
         fucking league knows it!
He advances on Joe, trembling with anger.
                       JIMMY
         Why, Joe? Why is there an injury
         report in pro football, huh...?
         Nobody else has a fucking injury
         report, but the N.F.L. does, so
         the fucking gamblers will know the
         spread! Marcon... the commissioner
         ... those fucking hypocrites...
         killed the last thing I could do,
         Joe...! I can't do anything...
         anymore.

And suddenly he is crying.
                       JIMMY
         I couldn't save my wife... She
         died screaming and I couldn't do a
         Goddamn thing... And my baby came
         out... and he was so fuckin'
         small, Joe... He was too fuckin'
         small...
He collapses against the wall.
Slides down to a sitting position.   Huddled on the floor.
Hallenbeck watches him. Says nothing.
For a moment, he seems moved to compassion...
Then his gaze hardens. He kneels next to Jimmy.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                         84.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         When you're through feeling sorry
         for yourself, the front door's
         that way.
                       JIMMY
                (wipes his eyes)
         You're a total bastard.
                       HALLENBECK
         You brought cocaine in my house.
         End of story.
Jimmy is silent.   He stands.     Exits into the hall.

Joe's daughter, Darian, is standing there.
                       DARIAN
         You're Jimmy Dix, aren't you?
                         JIMMY
         Huh?
There is an awkward pause. Darian holds out a football
card.
Young, smiling Jimmy.
The card is old. Tattered.
                       DARIAN
         I'm sorry I acted like a bitch.
         Would you sign my card?
Hallenbeck steps forward.
                       HALLENBECK
         I told you to go to your room.

                         DARIAN
         But, Dad -- !
                        HALLENBECK
         Go to bed.   This guy's not signing
         anything.
                       DARIAN
         Aw, come off it.
                       HALLENBECK
         Forget it, Darian.
                (beat)
         The guy's a loser. Big time.
Darian's face is a mask of confusion.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                       85.
CONTINUED:
Jimmy walks past her to the front door.
Stops with his hand on the knob. Turns.
                       JIMMY
         I never shaved points, Joe.     I
         never did.
Joe is silent.   Stone-faced.
                       JIMMY
         If you want my help, I'm at the
         Casa Loma Apartments on Ventura.
He exits. Shuts the door behind him.
Darian goes into her room, fuming. Shuts the door.

Joe is alone.    He turns.   Sees his reflection in the hall
mirror.
                       HALLENBECK
         Smile, you fuck.

INT. MASTER BEDROOM - DAWN
The first light of day streams through the window.
Hallenbeck pushes Furry Tom to one side.
Sits on the bed.
Regards his sleeping wife with hooded, lifeless eyes.
She is peaceful. Serene. He reaches out to touch her.
Stops. Withdraws his hand.
Crushes out the cigarette. Stands. Leaves.

INT. DARIAN'S ROOM - SAME TIME

Hallenbeck enters. Crosses to Darian's bed.
She is asleep. She looks vulnerable. Helpless.
He leans over and kisses her.
She stirs in her sleep.
Murmurs:
                         DARIAN
         Billy...
Hallenbeck recoils.
Stares at her.
The DOORBELL RINGS.
Startling him. He mutters under his breath.
Stalks out of the room.

                                                      86.
ANOTHER ANGLE - FRONT DOOR
Down the hall to the front door.   Flings it open, pissed
off.
                       HALLENBECK
         Goddammit, Jimmy, I told you -- !
It isn't Jimmy.
Standing on the porch is a tall, thin man with blond
hair. The man removes a TASER GUN from his overcoat.
                       MILO
         Good morning, Joseph.
He FIRES point-blank.
The electrode hits Hallenbeck in the chest.
A CRACKLE of electric current. Hallenbeck jerks
spastically.
The world spirals away.
He plunges down into darkness.
                                            CUT TO:

INT. CLUTTERED APARTMENT - MORNING
Jimmy looks bad.
Sprawled out on a tangle of dirty sheets.
Jeans. Bare feet.
Smoking.
Staring at a football card.
A duplicate of the one Darian showed him.
He swings his legs off the bed.
Stands, crushes out his cigarette.
Moves into the bathroom.
The Baggie of coke is on the counter.
He stares at it with bloodshot eyes.
Swallows hard.
Acts before he can think.
Grabs the Baggie. Tosses it in the toilet.
Flushes. Watches as it goes down the drain.

EXT. CASA LOMA APARTMENTS - MORNING
Another Goddamned day.
A chill drizzle. The palm trees look forlorn.

                                                    87.
AT CORNER NEWSSTAND
Jimmy buys a paper. Trudges along Ventura Boulevard.
Huddled against the chill.

SLEEK, BLACK SEDAN
slides to the curb in front of him.
Two men get out:
One is Pablo, who last we saw wielding a chainsaw in
Milo's snuff film; the other is an ugly piece of hired
muscle who we'll call CHET.
The two men flank Jimmy and walk alongside him.
He looks up, startled.

                       PABLO
         Good morning, Jimmy.
                       JIMMY
         Who are you, and how the fuck do
         you know my name?
                       CHET
                (frowns)
         This is the guy? You sure it's
         the guy?
                        PABLO
         This is him.
                       CHET
         The kid with the million-dollar
         arm?
                        PABLO
         Yeah.
                       CHET
         Shit. He don't look like much.     I
         wouldn't pay no million dollars
         for this bozo.
                       PABLO
         Neither will anyone else, anymore.
                       JIMMY
         I'm growing whiskers here, guys.
         You got something to say, fucking
         say it.
                       CHET
         Wow. Tough guy stuff. Must have
         caught it from his buddy
         Hallenbeck.
                                        (CONTINUED)

                                                     88.
CONTINUED:
                         JIMMY
         Who?
                       PABLO
         Don't play dumb, shithead. You
         were with him last night at the
         club.
                       CHET
         Mr. Marcon sent us to teach you a
         lesson, Jimmy. Something about
         keeping your big coked-up nose
         out of his fucking business.
                       PABLO
         Get ready, kid. This one's an E
         ticket.
And, with that, they grab Jimmy under the arms.
Carry him across the sidewalk to a plywood fence.
                       JIMMY
         Please, guys, don't do this...
         Jesus Christ, I was just her
         boyfriend, I swear to God, please!
They toss Jimmy over the fence.

ANOTHER ANGLE
Not a terrible fate, under normal circumstances.
In this case, however --
A fifty-foot drop...

Awaits him beyond the fence.
A huge, looming pit dug into the earth.
Foundation for a new parking garage.
Jimmy plummets like a stone.
Under normal circumstances, he'd be dead.
But since it rained last night, he's got three feet of
water to land in.
He hits with a splash.   Disappears beneath the water.
Surfaces, screaming in pain.
Thrashes in the muddy water, and only when he looks down
does he notice the splintered bone jutting out of his
skin at a crazy angle.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                        89.
CONTINUED:
His million-dollar arm.    His throwing arm.
He clutches at cracked ribs, screaming:
                       JIMMY
         Oh, God, my arm, my fucking arm,
         oh Jesus Christ!!!
He kneels in the muddy water, rocking back and forth.

LONG SHOT - JIMMY
Alone in the pit.
Huddled in a pool of muddy water.
His screams of pain ECHO in the chill, morning air.

INT. LAPD ROBBERY/HOMICIDE DIVISION - DAY
Ben Bessalo's office, to be precise.
Bessalo reclines grumpily at his desk. Scanning reports.
McCaskey hangs up the phone and calls across the room:
                       McCASKEY
         I got bad news and bad news.
                       BESSALO
         Gimmee the bad news first.
                       McCASKEY
         Bad news is, they just pulled
         Jimmy Dix out of a construction
         site on Ventura. He's busted up.
                       BESSALO
         Okay, now gimme the bad news.
                       McCASKEY
         I just got a call from Hallenbeck's
         neighbor.
Bessalo looks up, intrigued.    McCaskey continues:
                       McCASKEY
         Now, according to Hallenbeck, Mike
         Miller came to the house early
         that morning to talk about a case,
         right?
                          BESSALO
         Right.
                                               (CONTINUED)

                                                      90.
CONTINUED:
                       McCASKEY
         Okay. So how come Hallenbeck's
         neighbor claims that Miller's car
         was parked there all night, in the
         same spot?
Bessalo sits bolt upright.   Eyes glazed.   Wheels turning.
                        BESSALO
         He lied.   Why did he lie...?
Realization hits him like a thunderbolt.
                        BESSALO
         Shit.   Miller was fucking his
         wife.
                       McCASKEY
         What?
                       BESSALO
         That's why the car was there,
         Miller was fucking Hallenbeck's
         wife, Hallenbeck just got back
         from out of town, remember?
                (beat)
         Christ, Joe wasted the bastard
         himself!
He stabs a button on the phone.   Barks into the receiver:
                       BESSALO
         I want an A.P.B. out on Joe
         Hallenbeck. Now. Find him and
         if he resists arrest, shoot the
         bastard.

He slams down the phone.   Stares, stricken, at McCaskey.
                       BESSALO
         I let him go, Mick. He wasted Mike
         Miller and waltzed right out of my
         office, I let him go, Goddammit!
                       McCASKEY
         Relax, Ben. We'll bring him in.
         He's not that good.
                       BESSALO
         You wanna bet?
And, with that, we promptly --
                                            CUT TO:

                                                      91.
JOE HALLENBECK'S UNCONSCIOUS FACE
Weathered.   Sallow.   Dark circles under the eyes.

HAND
comes INTO FRAME and slaps him.    Hard.
Rocks his head to one side.

INT. ELEGANT BEACH HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - ANOTHER ANGLE
Thick carpet. Polished, wood furniture.     Window walls.
Outside, the sea is angry and grey.


PABLO AND CHET
are standing over Hallenbeck, who is slumped in a chair.
Both hitmen wear holstered sidearms.
Chet leans over and slaps Hallenbeck again.
The big detective begins to stir.
His eyelids flutter.
                       CHET
         I think he's awake.
                         PABLO
         Make sure.
Chet's hand flashes out for a third slap --
And from nowhere, Joe Hallenbeck's hand magically
appears.
Intercepts the blow.
Clamps onto Chet's hand and wrenches it.
A cry of pain.
Chet stumbles backward, cradling the wrist.
                         HALLENBECK
         I'm awake.
His eyelids creak open.
He squints, adjusting to the light.
Studies his captors.
                       CHET
         You nearly broke my wrist, man.
                       HALLENBECK
         Life's a bitch.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                          92.
CONTINUED:
He starts pawing his coat pockets, looking for a cigarette.
In the corner, Pablo chuckles:
                       PABLO
         Milo warned us to watch out for
         this guy.
Chet is seething.     He glares at Hallenbeck.
Hallenbeck yawns.
                      CHET
         Fuck that. Look at him. He's
         nothin'. Guy's a piece of shit.

Hallenbeck ignores him.     Sits up.   Rubs tired eyes.
                       HALLENBECK
         Anybody got a cigarette...?
Chet steps forward.     Grins wickedly.
                          CHET
         Sure, buddy.     I got a cigarette.
He reaches into his shirt pocket. Extracts a Marlboro.
Hands it to Hallenbeck. Takes out a lighter.
Hallenbeck places the cigarette between his lips.
Leans forward for a light --
And Chet slugs him in the face.
The cigarette goes flying.
Hallenbeck's head snaps back.
Blood creeps from his lower lip.

                       CHET
                (guffaws)
         Hey, baby, I thought you were
         tough. See, Pablo, he ain't so
         bad.
Hallenbeck's eyes glint fiercely.      He takes a breath.
Leans forward and says:
                       HALLENBECK
         I seem to have dropped my
         cigarette. May I have another?
Chet turns, meets his gaze.     The grin falters a bit.
                        CHET
                 (unnerved)
         Sure.   Sure thing, buddy.
                                               (CONTINUED)

                                                     93.
CONTINUED:
He hands Hallenbeck another smoke.
Hallenbeck puts it between his lips.
                       HALLENBECK
         I need a light.
                (beat)
         And if you touch me again... I'll
         kill you.
A pregnant pause.
The challenge hangs in the air.
Slowly, Chet takes the lighter from his pocket.
Pablo looks on, a smile twisting his features.
Hallenbeck leans forward for a light.
Chet extends his arm --
And slugs Hallenbeck in the face again.
Rocks him.
Chet howls with laughter.
Pablo grins.
                        CHET
         Baby!   Two for two!
The laughter continues.
Hallenbeck takes a deep breath.
Stands up.
Strikes with a flattened palm.
Breaks Chet's nose.
Drives it up into the brain.
Chet stands, pole-axed. Blinks once.
Pitches over dead.

And suddenly Pablo isn't laughing.
He stares at Hallenbeck, incredulous.
Stares at Chet, lying on the carpet.
                       PABLO
         Jesus Christ.
                (draws his gun)
         You son-of-a-bitch. Jesus Christ!!
He rushes to Chet. Kneels beside him.
Hallenbeck calmly returns to his seat.
                       PABLO
         You killed him! 'Fuckin' A, you
         killed him, he's fuckin' dead!!!
Hallenbeck says nothing.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                     94.
CONTINUED:
At that moment, a door opens, and Milo enters.
Slick. Well-dressed. Utterly composed.
                       MILO
         Is there a problem?
                       PABLO
                (still dazed)
         He killed Chet, Milo. The mother-
         fucker just killed him!
Milo looks toward Hallenbeck. Hallenbeck says nothing.
Instead, he calmly leans forward and picks up Chet's
lighter from the carpet. Lights his cigarette. Blows
smoke.

A tense moment... and then Milo does something un-
expected: He starts to laugh. Advances into the room,
chuckling.
                       MILO
         Oh, my. Oh, Goddamn. Joseph,
         Joseph, you don't disappoint me.
He draws a Walther PPK and approaches Hallenbeck.
Smiling and cheerful.
                       MILO
         You seem to have killed one of
         my men.
                       HALLENBECK
                (shrugs)
         I needed a light.
Milo nods as if this makes perfect sense.

                       MILO
         You took an awful risk. Pablo
         here could have shot you dead.
                       HALLENBECK
         If you wanted me dead, you'd have
         already killed me.
                       MILO
         Yes, that's true.
                (sits down)
         I suppose introductions are in
         order.
                       HALLENBECK
                (waves his hand)
         Fuck it. You're the bad guy,
         right?
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                     95.
CONTINUED:
                        MILO
         Yes.   I'm the bad guy.
                       HALLENBECK
         And you've got the gun, and I'm
         supposed to tremble in fear,
         something like that?
                       MILO
         Something like that.
                      HALLENBECK
         Fine. I'll start trembling in a
         minute. Mind if I have a drink
         first?

                       MILO
                (smiles)
         I don't see why not. Pablo,
         please take Chet's corpse into
         the other room, and then fix Mr.
         Hallenbeck a drink.
Suddenly a voice rings out from the doorway:
                       VOICE (O.S.)
         Make that two.
Hallenbeck turns toward the new arrival.
                       HALLENBECK
         Hey, look who's here. Connie
         Marcon himself.
Sure enough, CONRAD MARCON saunters in, just like he owns
the place. Which, by the way, he does. Tall, strong,
Texas-tough. Dressed in a Saville Row suit. He frowns
at Hallenbeck:
                       MARCON
         Careful, son. Only my friends
         call me Connie.
                       HALLENBECK
         You got friends? When did this
         happen?
                       MARCON
                (chuckles)
         I'll give you one thing. You're
         pretty calm for a man in your
         position.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                     96.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         You're pretty calm for a man whose
         team is three and six on the year.
                       MARCON
         They're having some problems.
                       HALLENBECK
         They stink.
Marcon's composure falters, but only for a moment.
                       MARCON
         I'm glad you're here, Joe. We
         got a few things to discuss.

He takes a moment to gather his thoughts.
                       MARCON
         For starters, I'm sure you're
         aware that professional football
         is changing, and not for better.
                (lights a cigar)
         Used to be, you went to the local
         stadium come Sunday, you saw
         heroes. Guys who fought for
         their hometown. Anymore, no one
         gives a shit. Ever since Sonny
         Werblin paid $400,000 to Joe
         Namath back in '66, the sons of
         bitches just got greedier.
         Playing only for themselves.
         Giving nothing back to the game.
Pablo hands him a double bourbon.

                       MARCON
         This year, the final blow: the
         N.F.L. votes to decertify the
         Players Organization. Eliminates
         the draft, reduces all athletes
         to free agents. Reduces football,
         once and for all, to commerce. To
         greed, you follow?
                       HALLENBECK
         When do I say the Pledge of
         Allegiance?
Marcon looks directly at Hallenbeck.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                    97.
CONTINUED:
                       MARCON
         Do you know how many ratings points
         Monday Night Football lost this
         year? Per week? An average of
         two point eight.
                       HALLENBECK
         Oh, for Chrissake. You're telling
         me this whole thing is about TV
         ratings?
                       MARCON
         People have stopped watching, Joe!
         Everybody's turning the channel,
         they're still looking for heroes,
         you follow? Guys like you. Milo
         here tells me you took a bullet
         for the President, jumped in front
         of a sniper rifle.
Hallenbeck reacts, startled.   Looks at Milo.
                       MILO
         We took the liberty of researching
         your background.
                       MARCON
         How about it, Joe? Is it truth or
         hype?
                       HALLENBECK
                (shrugs)
         I got the rifle in my closet as a
         souvenir.
                       MARCON
         There you go, that's what I'm
         saying. The public wants real
         heroes. Not a bunch of football
         prima donnas, jumping from team
         to team with their fancy lawyers.
                (beat)
         In fact, Joe, and this is my
         point, there's only one reason
         left nowadays to watch pro-
         football. Can you guess?
It begins to dawn on Hallenbeck.
                       HALLENBECK
         Gambling.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                       98.
CONTINUED:
                       MARCON
         Exactly. Gambling.
                (puffs his cigar)
         Just one problem: football
         gambling is illegal in all but
         two of the fifty states. And
         that, Joe boy, is where I come in.
                       HALLENBECK
                (sudden realization)
         Shit, that's what this is about!
         You're bribing United States
         senators. Paying them to pass
         legislation --

                       MARCON
         -- Legalizing football gambling
         in all fifty states. Exactly.
                       HALLENBECK
         Attendance goes up again.   TV
         ratings go up again.
                       MARCON
         You got it, son. The networks are
         happy. I'm happy. Everybody's
         happy.
                       HALLENBECK
         Before we get too fucking happy,
         let's get a couple things straight:
         first, I'm not your fucking son,
         and second... why am I still alive?
Marcon stops pacing.   Sighs and sits down facing
Hallenbeck.

                       MARCON
         It's like this, Joe: everything
         was going great until a couple
         weeks ago, and then I hit a snag:
         Senator Calvin Baynard.
                       HALLENBECK
                (takes a sip of bourbon)
         I don't get it. What's the snag?
                       MARCON
         I offered him the bribe and he
         wouldn't take it.
Hallenbeck actually does a spit-take.     Sprays bourbon.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                      99.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLEBECK
         Baynard? Are you nuts? The guy's
         so crooked he shits slinkies.
                       MARCON
         Allow me to clarify: I offered
         him the bribe, and he turned it
         down because he wanted more money.
                       HALLENBECK
                (sighs with relief)
         Thank God. For a minute there I
         felt hell freezing over. Did he
         ask for more than a million?

                       MARCON
         Does the Pope shit in the woods?
         He wants two million or he'll
         blow the lid off my whole plan.
         I don't feel like paying no two
         mil, so basically that good ole'
         boy's gotta die.
                       HALLENBECK
         Taking off a U.S. senator, that's
         pretty ballsy. Even for an asshole
         like you.
                       MARCON
         Oh, I'm not going to kill Baynard,
         Joe.
                        HALLENBECK
         Who is?
Marcon says nothing.   Just looks at Hallenbeck and
smiles.
                        HALLENBECK
         Oh, shit.
He rubs tired eyes.
                       HALLENBECK
         I'm the perfect fall guy. Everyone
         and his uncle Max knows I hate
         Baynard.
                       MARCON
                (nods)
         Anything goes wrong, all the heat
         lands on you, Joe boy. My hands
         are clean.
Hallenbeck scowls.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                           100.
CONTINUED:
                          HALLENBECK
            Any particular reason I should go
            along with this prize-winning
            scheme?
                          MARCON
                   (smiles)
            Just one.
He motions to Milo, who disappears through a doorway.
Reappears a moment later.
He's got Joe's wife.


ANGLE ON HALLENBECK
He stands. Face contorting. Fists clenched.
Rage courses through him like an electric current.
Marcon cocks his gun.
                          MARCON
            Sit down, Joe.
A moment.    Joe stands, smouldering.   On fire.   Sarah
speaks:
                          SARAH
            Do what he says, Joe.
Joe sits. Breathing shallowly.
Eyes locked on Milo.
                          HALLENBECK
            Are you alright, Sarah?

                         SARAH
            Yes.
                          MILO
            That's a temporary condition,
            Joseph. As you may be aware,
            there are distributors in Mexico
            who positively crave snuff films.
            And unless you do every fucking
            thing Mr. Marcon tells you... your
            wife will make her motion picture
            debut.
He meets Joe's murderous gaze... and smiles.

                                                        101.
INT. HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM - DAY
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jimmy is seated, shirtless,
on a metal examining table. His ribs are taped. His
arm in a cast.
Two men loom over him, sour expressions on their faces:
Sergeants McCaskey and Bessalo.
Jimmy shakes his head, exasperated:
                       JIMMY
         Look, I'll say it again for the
         cheap seats: I don't know
         anything and I can't help you.
         Okay? Can I go now?

Bessalo grimaces in disgust.
                       BESSALO
         Let me get this straight: you're
         walking along, minding your own
         business, when two guys you never
         met jump you and throw you in a
         ditch for no particular reason.
         Is that it?
                       JIMMY
         That's it.
                       BESSALO
         You're full of shit, kid.
                (beat)
         Tell me where Hallenbeck is.
                       JIMMY
         How the fuck should I know?    Try
         his house.

                        BESSALO
         We did.   Where is he?
                       JIMMY
         For Chrissake, I just met the guy.
                (beat)
         Look, Sergeant. I don't give a
         shit about Joe Hallenbeck. I just
         busted my throwing arm and I'm
         in a real pissy mood, so you got
         two choices: either charge me
         with something or let me the fuck
         outta here.
He glares defiantly at Bessalo.
                                              CUT TO:

                                                        102.
EXT. CASA LOMA APARTMENTS - DAY
The grey day wears on.
Jimmy trudges stiffly down the walk toward his apartment
unit. Pulls up short, staring ahead --

DARIAN HALLENBECK
Slumped outside the door to his apartment. Asleep.      A
crumpled piece of paper clutched in her hand.
He kneels beside her.    Touches her shoulder.
                         JIMMY
         Hey.    Wake up.

She stirs. Awakens, looking at him.
Her eyes are puffy and red from crying.
Her hair is a tangled mess.
She hands him the piece of paper, and promptly bursts
into tears.
Buries her head in his chest, sobbing.
He cradles her with his good arm.
Awkwardly unfolds the crumpled paper and reads:
                MOMMY AND DADDY ARE WITH US
        CALL THE POLICE AND WE'LL KILL THEM BOTH.
He stares at the note, dumbstruck.
                                              CUT TO:


EXT. BEACH HOUSE - DAY
A savage wind sweeps in off the ocean.
Gulls wheel overhead.

FORTY FOOT YACHT
is tethered to a wooden dock outside the beach house.
Milo and his crew prepare to cast off. Meanwhile:

PABLO
approaches along the dock, looking lean and mean in an
Izod shirt.
He stops in front of Sarah and Joe Hallenbeck.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                        103.
CONTINUED:
They are seated on the dock.
Each handcuffed to a metal railing.
Pablo kneels and unfastens Joe's cuffs.
                        PABLO
         Get up.
                       HALLENBECK
         Go fuck yourself.
Pablo delivers a savage kick to Hallenbeck's ribs.
Hallenbeck gasps in pain.
                       HALLENBECK
         I meant that... in a good way...
Pablo hauls him to his feet.    Props him against the
railing.
                       PABLO
         Time for a little payback, Joe.
         Call it a service to dear departed
         Chet.
He slams a fist into Hallenbeck's middle.
Sarah cries out in alarm.
                       PABLO
         How's that feel, fuckhead?
                       HALLENBECK
                (weakly)
         I'm asshole... she's fuckhead.
And with that, Pablo lets him have it.

Rains punches on his chest and gut.
Slams an elbow into his kidneys.
Drives a knee into his groin.
Joe hits the deck.
Milo calls out from the boat:
                        MILO
         Easy, Pablo.   I want him conscious.
Pablo is kicking Joe's prone form.
                       SARAH
         Goddamn you, stop it!!     Oh, Jesus,
         leave him alone!
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                       104.
CONTINUED:
Pablo gives Joe a last swift kick. Spits on him.
Hallenbeck vomits. Lies bleeding on the dock.
Sarah crawls over to him. As far as the cuffs will
allow. Cradles his head in her lap.
                         HALLENBECK
           Don't... look at me...
                         SARAH
           Shhh. It's okay, Joe. I'm here,
           it's okay.
                  (strokes his hair)
           I love you, Joe.

Hallenbeck looks at her like she's just grown three
heads.
                         HALLENBECK
           I get the shit beat out of me...
           puke all over myself... and now
           you love me?
                         SARAH
           I never stopped loving you, Joe.
                         HALLENBECK
           Christ, you slept with three guys.
                         SARAH
           You knew about the others?
                         HALLENBECK
           I knew.
                         SARAH
           You never said anything.
                         HALLENBECK
           Figured... you needed them.
                         SARAH
           Joe, Goddammit, why didn't you
           say something?
                          HALLENBECK
           Like what?   'Fuck you, Sarah'?
                         SARAH
           Yes. Fuck you, Sarah! Anything
           to show that you... that you had
           some pride left.
A pause.   Then Hallenbeck heaves a sigh.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                        105.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         Sorry... I'm fresh out.
                       SARAH
         I'm scared, Joe. Get me out of
         this.
                       HALLENBECK
         Must be my trick ear. Sounded
         like you said, 'Get me out of
         this.'
                       SARAH
         You can take these guys, Joe.

                       HALLENBECK
         I've got cracked ribs and a
         concussion.
                         SARAH
         Save me, Joe.    Be a hero.
                       HALLENBECK
         I don't believe in heroes.
                       SARAH
         That's no excuse.
He stares up at her for a moment.      Then, through bloody
lips:
                       HALLENBECK
         Fuck you, Sarah...
And he smiles.

Just then, Milo signals from the boat.
Seeing, this, Pablo approaches the couple again.
                       PABLO
         All right, lovebirds, break it up.
He yanks Sarah to her feet.
Lets his gaze roam up and down her body.
                         PABLO
         Nice tits.
He rips open her blouse.   Roughly fondles her breasts.
Hallenbeck. On the ground.
He growls with fury. Starts to push himself up.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                       106.
CONTINUED:
                          PABLO
            Stay down, fucker. Don't you
            move.
At that moment, Milo comes striding down the dock.
Whistling cheerfully.
                          MILO
            Careful, Pablo. We don't want to
            get Mrs. Hallenbeck all excited in
            front of hubby.
He squats next to Joe.
                          MILO
            Hello, Joseph, guess what? Time
            to go, and remember: you follow
            orders, or the missus pays the
            price.
                          HALLENBECK
            You're gonna kill us both anyway.
                          MILO
            Perhaps. But there are ways to
            die, and then there are... ways to
            die. Capisce? You determine your
            wife's fate.
He yanks Hallenbeck to his feet.
Propels him toward the boat.
As her husband is being led away, Sarah calls out:
                          SARAH
            Joe...!

He stops.    Turns.   Looks at her.
Boys and girls, there is, within Joe Hallenbeck, a spark:
Tiny. Fizzling. Almost gone.
But now, looking at his wife, that spark unexpectedly
kindles --
And eight years melt away.
Just like that.
The old Joe Hallenbeck looks his wife in the eye and
says, with deadly calm:
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                          107.
CONTINUED:
                          HALLENBECK
            I'll be back.
                   (beat)
            That's a promise.
Milo clubs Joe in the head with his pistol.
                          MILO
            You're wasting my time, Joseph.
            Let's go.
Hallenbeck turns. Dirty. Tired.        Unshaven.   Bloody.
He looks at Milo... and grins:
                          HALLENBECK
            If you touch me again... I'll kill
            you.
They stare into each other's eyes.
Hallenbeck does not give an inch.
Milo hits him again.

INT. TOPANGA CANYON HOME - DAY
Remember Jimmy's friend, Henry, who we met briefly near
the opening of the film? Of course you do, you're a
highly-paid reader or development person.
Well, Henry is seated in a big, lived-in den watching
football films. The walls around him are adorned with
hunting paraphernalia. Rifles. Trophies.
There is a KNOCK at the door. He gets up.
Crosses to the door. Opens it.

And Jimmy Dix is there.     He gets right to the point:
                          JIMMY
            I need to borrow a gun, Henry.

INT. EXPENSIVE, WOOD-PANELED OFFICE - AFTERNOON
Conrad Marcon sits behind a huge teak desk.
Surrounded by football paraphernalia. Paintings.
Trophies.
The PHONE CHIRPS.     He picks up the receiver.    Stabs a
button.
                          MARCON
            Marcon.
INTERCUT:

                                                        108.
ON SHIPBOARD - MILO
                       MILO
         It's Milo, sir. We're now underway
         and should be lying off Catalina
         within two hours.
                       MARCON
         Good boy, Milo. The commissioner's
         party starts at six. I'll put in
         a token appearance around six-thirty.
                       MILO
         Very good, sir.
                       MARCON
         Any problems with Hallenbeck?

                       MILO
         No, we're getting along famously.
                       MARCON
         Glad to hear it. No fuckups, Milo.
         I want him deep-sixed.
                       MILO
         I assure you, neither he nor the
         senator will see another sunrise.
                       MARCON
         Christ, Milo, how come you always
         have to talk like a fruit?
                       MILO
         If it annoys you, I    could always
         adopt a Texas drawl,    though I'm
         afraid I don't know    any stories
         about fucking pigs.     Sir.

                        MARCON
         Cows, Milo.   Never pigs.
                       MILO
         I'll remember that, sir.
He hangs up.
Marcon replaces the receiver and chuckles.
                       MARCON
         Goddamn fruitcake.
He turns, and suddenly we realize he's not alone in the
room: a STRANGE MAN is seated in the shadows off to one
side. His face is obscured... Marcon addresses him:
                                               (CONTINUED)

                                                       109.
CONTINUED:
                       MARCON
         So far, so good.
The Man in the corner nods, then speaks. As he does, we
notice he has a speech impediment; it sounds like he's
talking with his mouth full.
                       STRANGE MAN
         We've worked too hard, Con.
         There's no margin for error.
                       MARCON
         Take it easy, buddy.   We're
         covered.

                       STRANGE MAN
         You're using the first team, yes?
                       MARCON
         Absolutely.
                (sighs)
         Actually, I have no choice.
                       STRANGE MAN
         How's that?
                       MARCON
         Fuckin' Hallenbeck killed the
         second and third teams.

EXT. LONG BEACH BOAT YARD - AFTERNOON
A sign reads, BOAT RENTALS:   DAY AND WEEK.
Jimmy moves briskly down a concrete ramp toward a
Hatteras sport charter. He is obsessed. Determined.
Darian trots along behind him. She's holding up pretty
well, considering.
                       DARIAN
         What do you need a boat for?
                       JIMMY
         I'm gonna crash a party out on
         Catalina. Marcon will be there.
He swings a bag of gear onto the boat.   Starts to store
it.
                       DARIAN
         Maybe... we should call the
         police.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                     110.
CONTINUED:
                       JIMMY
         No, honey. Not now. There's some
         big shots involved in this mess,
         and it's my word against theirs.
         If I blab to the cops, your mom
         and dad will disappear and they'll
         never find the bodies.
                (beat)
         I'm sorry, Darian.
                       DARIAN
                (about to cry)
         So... what do we do...?
                       JIMMY
         What I do... is confront Conrad
         Marcon and threaten to go to the
         cops, unless he gives them back.
                       DARIAN
         Is that gonna work?
                       JIMMY
         Beats me, but I think it's what
         your dad would do.
                         DARIAN
         I'm scared.
                       JIMMY
         Me, too, honey.
His gear stashed, he turns to Darian.   Tries a smile.
                       JIMMY
         So... why'd you come to me,
         anyhow?
                       DARIAN
         I don't know. I thought you'd...
         know what happened, know what to
         do...
                (beat)
         I mean, you were one of my dad's
         big heroes.
Jimmy almost chokes...
                         JIMMY
         What?
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                         111.
CONTINUED:
                         DARIAN
           When I was little, he used to talk
           about you all the time. Best
           football player in the game.
           Great this. Wonderful that. You
           shoulda seen him when you got
           busted.
Jimmy stares straight ahead.   Takes a deep breath.
                         JIMMY
           I'll get them back, kiddo.   I'll
           get them back.
                                               CUT TO:


EXT. CATALINA ISLAND - ESTABLISHING SHOT - NIGHT
The island sits beneath a dark, cloud-filled sky.
Fog nestles in the foothills, rolling in off the ocean.

CATALINA FERRY
slices through the murk, filled with light, laughter,
MUSIC.

ON SHORE
Boats are arriving at a private dock.
A steady stream of guests. Tuxedoes and evening gowns.
A parade of phony hair and phony boobs.

All mounting the stairs to a huge chalet.
Inside, a dinner party is in progress.

INT. OPULENT LIVING ROOM - PARTY
in progress.
People with six-figure incomes.
Pretending they're important.
Mingling. Schmoozing.
At a raised bar, Conrad Marcon bends the ear of a
Japanese businessman. A lot of laughter. Back-slapping.
A sudden commotion near the front door.
FLASHBULBS POP. People crane their necks.
Marcon turns to look, as:

                                                      112.
SENATOR CALVIN BAYNARD
enters the party, surrounded by an entourage of men in
Armani suits. Seeing this, Marcon's face changes.
Gone is the affable Texan.
In his place, a ruthless murderer.
He smiles.
                                           CUT TO:

AUTOMATIC RIFLE
as a thirty-shot clip is snapped into place.

INT. FORTY-FOOT YACHT - CABIN - NIGHT

Milo is preparing the weapon.
He works the action. Pumps a round into the chamber.
Looks up at Hallenbeck, who is bound hand and foot.
Seated across from him in the boat's cabin.
                       MILO
         Your wife's very pretty.
                       HALLENBECK
         Fuck you, cocksucker.
                        MILO
         My, my.   Little testy this evening.
He pulls a switchblade out of his Windbreaker.
                       MILO
         That's not very polite, you know,
         calling someone a cocksucker. A
         lot of hard Ks. Very abusive
         sounding.
Hallenbeck says nothing.
                       MILO
         What would you do, Joseph, if
         someone called you that? Would
         you cut out one of his eyes...?
                         HALLENBECK
         Nope.
                       MILO
         What would you do?
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                    113.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         I'd go off and suck some cock
         and leave him the fuck alone.
Milo studies Hallenbeck the way a museum curator might
study a new species of fish.
                       MILO
         It occurs to me, Joseph, that I
         would very much like to hear you
         scream.
                        HALLENBECK
         Come again?

                       MILO
         You're so cool, aren't you? So...
         if you'll pardon the expression...
         hard-boiled. I'd like, just once,
         to hear you scream in pain.
                       HALLENBECK
         Play some rap music.
Milo chuckles, shakes his head.
                        MILO
         Fascinating.
                       HALLENBECK
         When do I kill Baynard?
                       MILO
                (laughs)
         Come now, Joseph, did you really
         think that I'd hand you a loaded
         gun?
                (beat)
         You're not really going to kill
         anyone.
                        HALLENBECK
         I'm not?
                        MILO
         No.
He leans forward.
                       MILO
         You're going to be framed for the
         senator's murder... when they find
         your corpse at the scene of the
         crime.

                                                         114.
EXT. PRIVATE DOCK - NIGHT
Boats, lots of them. Sportfishers. Yachts. Floating
boats. Money, money, everywhere, and plenty of drinks
to drop.

HATTERAS SPORT BOAT
PURRS quietly into the harbor.    Jimmy at the rudder.
Nudges up to the dock.
In the chalet above, the party rages.

SERIES OF SHOTS - JIMMY'S PREPARATION

Jimmy lashes the boat.
Goes below.
Grabs a tuxedo from the closet.
Stands, dressed, in front of the mirror.
Opens a box. Removes a 9 millimeter Baretta.
Works the slide. Jacks a bullet into the cylinder.
Stashes it in the waistband of his pants:
In back. Concealed by the tuxedo.
Studies his own grim face in the mirror.
                       JIMMY
         Okay, hot shit, let's do it.

EXT. DECK - NIGHT
Jimmy emerges from the cabin.    Heads for the rail.
A voice calls out:

                         DARIAN (O.S.)
         Nice tux.
He turns, and sees Darian Hallenbeck.
Peeking her head out from under a tarpaulin.
                       JIMMY
         Goddammit, I told you to go home!
                       DARIAN
         Fuck you, I stowed away.    They're
         my parents, okay?
Jimmy shakes his head.   Exasperated.
                       JIMMY
         Fine, whatever. Just stay here.
         With the boat.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                         115.
CONTINUED:
Darian starts to protest.
He throws her the keys.
                       JIMMY
         Anything funny happens, get the
         fuck out of here.
Darian takes the keys.   Frowns, says:
                       DARIAN
         You look terrible.
                       JIMMY
         I feel terrible.

                       DARIAN
         Are you really a drug addict?
                        JIMMY
         I was.   I kicked the habit.
                         DARIAN
         When?
                         JIMMY
         This morning.    Stay here.
He swings over the side, onto the dock.
                       DARIAN
         Don't let them break your other
         arm.
                         JIMMY
         Thanks, kid.    You're a fuckin'
         inspiration.


INT. MILO'S YACHT - CABIN - SAME TIME
Milo speaks to Hallenbeck.   Clipped.    Businesslike.
                       MILO
         At eight-fifteen, Senator Baynard
         will leave the party, hopefully
         unobserved. He and his entourage
         will board a fast boat, and
         rendezvous with us at sea.
                       HALLENBECK
         Jesus. He thinks he's geting his
         two-million-dollar payoff.
Milo nods.   Points to two identical suitcases in the
corner.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                       116.
CONTINUED:
                       MILO
         Baynard will not leave his boat.
         One of his men will board us, and
         inspect the contents of the
         suitcase. This suitcast.
He opens one of the cases.   Hallenbeck stares.

HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS
Twenty thousand of them, to be precise.   Neatly bundled.
                       MILO
         Then we pull a simple switch.
         When the man returns to his boat,
         he's carrying this suitcase.
He points to the identical twin.
                       HALLENBECK
         Plastics?
                       MILO
                (nods)
         Detonation upon opening. Enough
         to kill the passengers, not enough
         to sink the craft.
                (smiles)
         And when we place your charred
         corpse amidst the wreckage, the
         police will draw the inevitable
         conclusion: a down-on-his-luck
         P.I. makes a suicide strike
         against the man who cost a
         career.

                       HALLENBECK
         That sounds lovely, but how is my
         body gonna get charred?
With a flourish, Milo pulls aside a tablecloth.
Under the table is a five gallon can of gasoline.
                       MILO
         Maybe I'll get to hear you scream,
         after all...
Just then, one of Milo's crew sticks his head in the
door.
                       CREW MEMBER
         You better get up here, we got
         a problem.

                                                       117.
EXT. YACHT - ON DECK - NIGHT
Milo's yacht is anchored about a half mile offshore.
Island lights blink in the distance. Fog rolls in.
Milo emerges from the cabin onto the deck.
Crosses to the railing, looks down at:

FISHING BOAT
bobbing in the water about thirty yards away.
A FISHERMAN is waving his arms. Hailing them.
Beside him, his wife and seventeen-year-old son.
                       FISHERMAN
         Hey! Buddy, I got a cracked engine
         casing, I'm dead in the water!
         Can I get a tow?
Milo swears under his breath.    Calls out:
                       MILO
         I'm sorry, sir. This boat is
         Island Security, we're under
         strict orders to stay within this
         sector.
                          FISHERMAN
         Aw, shit!     Look, it'll take ten
         minutes!
                       MILO
         I'm sorry, we can't help you.
                       FISHERMAN
         Goddammit, now I gotta call the
         Coast Guard!
Milo's crewman steps up to the rail.    Speaks urgently:
                       CREW MEMBER
         Milo, he's gonna bring the Coast
         Guard down on top of us.
Milo ponders for maybe three seconds.    Then he calls out:
                          MILO
         Excuse me.     Sir?
The Fisherman turns.    His family beside him.
                       MILO
         Fuck you, sir.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                       118.
CONTINUED:
He reaches under his Windbreaker.
Pulls out an Ingram model MACHINE GUN.
OPENS FIRE.
The entire family is blown away.
WOOD SPLINGERS POP and fly.
GLASS SHATTERS.
The bodies topple like broken toys.
Milo ceases fire.   Turns to his crewman.
                       MILO
         Problem solved. Get over there
         and put the bodies below where
         they can't be seen.
He saunters away as if nothing unusual has occurred.

EXT. PARTY HOUSE - NIGHT
Jimmy is strolling along a hedge behind the house.
Looking for a back entrance.
He hears VOICES, approaching.
Pulls up short. Ducks into the shadows.
Senator Baynard goes by, with two bodyguards.
Brisk. Businesslike.
                       SENATOR
         Christ, I can't believe I agreed
         to this dog and pony show. Let's
         get it over with.

The head for the boats.
Jimmy stares after them, mind racing.
Makes a decision: heads for the boats.
Following Baynard.

INT./EXT. JIMMY'S BOAT - NIGHT
Jimmy casts off the lines.
Heads for the cockpit. Darian is inside.
                       JIMMY
         Gimmee the keys, kiddo.
                       DARIAN
         Where are you going?
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                         119.
CONTINUED:
                       JIMMY
         The Senator's here, and he's
         leaving by the back door. I'm
         gonna follow him.
He keys the ignition.
                       JIMMY
         Get off the boat.
                       DARIAN
         Fuck you, man. No way.
                       JIMMY
         Darian, Goddammit --

She runs below decks.
                       DARIAN (O.S.)
         I'm not coming out!
Jimmy looks up:
The Senator's boat, a sleek, powerful Marlineer, is even
now pulling out of the cove.
                           JIMMY
         Okay.     Shit.   Okay.   Easy.   Shit.
He throttles forward.
The Hatteras pulls away from the dock.
                                               CUT TO:

EXT. SKY - NIGHT

The sound of THUNDERING ROTORS, as a refitted Bell Cobra
HELICOPTER cuts through the night sky over Catalina.
Banks sharply, cruises offshore.

INT. COCKPIT - SAME
The PILOT works the stick while the CO-PILOT searches the
water below through infra-red binoculars. He speaks into
a microphone.
                       CO-PILOT
         This is Air One, over.
                       MALE (V.O.)
         Roger, Air One, over.
                                               (CONTINUED)

                                                       120.
CONTINUED:
                       CO-PILOT
         The drop zone is clear, repeat,
         the drop zone is clear, over.
INTERCUT WITH:

MILO'S YACHT - SAME TIME
Milo is at the other end of the connection.
Beside him, two crewmen.
                       MILO
         Roger, Air One, over and out.
                (replaces the mike)
         Up anchor, gentlemen, we have a go.
                (points to
                 Hallenbeck)
         Gag him and stash him.
As Milo goes topside, one of the men tapes Joe's mouth.
The other opens a cramped storage compartment.
They stuff him inside.   Shut and lock the door.

EXT. PACIFIC OCEAN - NIGHT
About two miles offshore. The Senator's Marlineer cuts
through the waves, converging with Milo's yacht.
The two boats pull up alongside.    The lines are made fast.
One of Milo's crewmen greets Senator Baynard's AIDE, a
slick-looking Italian in a $1,000 overcoat.

Baynard's man hops from one boat to the other.
Boarding Milo's yacht. Meanwhile --

EXT. OFFSHORE WATERS - IN FOGBANK
Jimmy Dix is clearly lost.
He bangs his fist in frustration.
                       JIMMY
         Goddammit, I lost him.     I can't
         see a fucking thing.
                       DARIAN
         See if this boat has sonar.
                       JIMMY
         Oh, yeah, little Miss Know-It-All.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                     121.
CONTINUED:
                        DARIAN
         Fuck you.
                       JIMMY
         Watch your mouth.
                       DARIAN
         Take a bath in my ass.
They're clearly having no fun.
                                           CUT TO:

INT. MILO'S YACHT - CABIN - SAME TIME

The payoff is in progress.
One of Milo's crewmen carries the suitcase over to the
wall. Places it on a built-in counter. Underneath the
suitcase is a half-finished jigsaw puzzle. Off to one
side is a half-empty coffee container.
The case is opened.   Greenbacks galore.
Baynard's Aide whistles softly.
Examines the stacks of bills. Nods, satisfied.
                        AIDE
         Okay.   We're cool.
Just then Milo enters the cabin.   Adopts a harsh New York
accent as he angrily barks:
                       MILO
         Hey! Any of you stupid fucks
         bother to frisk this goombah?
                       CREWMAN
         No, sir, we didn't think --
                       MILO
         Exactly, you didn't think!
         Goddammit, that's two million
         bucks there, now frisk the
         fuckin' guy!
                       AIDE
         Hey, baby, I'm clean, take it
         easy --
                      MILO
         Fuck easy. Against the wall,
         spread 'em!
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                       122.
CONTINUED:
As Baynard's man assumes the position --
Milo hits a concealed button.
It happen in less than a second: the built-in counter
rotates into the wall, only to be replaced by an
indentical counter.
Identical half-finished jigsaw puzzle. Identical coffee
cup. And, of course, the identical suitcase.
The indignant Aide turns around, pat-down concluded.
                        AIDE
         Okay?   Satisfied?

Milo smiles apologetically.
                       MILO
         We're cool, baby.
He hands over the suitcase.

BACK TOPSIDE
Baynard's man emerges onto the deck, carrying the suitcase.
Steps over the rail, crossing to the Senator's boat.
Gives a thumbs up to the men waiting there.
They cast off the lines.   Freeing the two boats.
INT. MILO'S YACHT - BRIDGE
Milo watches, tense.
As the lines are freed, he says:

                       MILO
         Hard to starboard, get us out of
         here. Back off a hundred yards
         and wait for the blast.

INT. SENATOR'S CABIN - SAME TIME
The go-between heads   below deck, carrying the suitcase.
Senator Baynard puts   down his wine glass.
Looks up, expectant.
The Aide flashes an "A-Okay" grin.
Sets the suitcase on a table. Meanwhile --

INT. JIMMY'S SPORT BOAT - BRIDGE
Jimmy has had about enough.    He sighs with frustration.
Stares ahead into the fog.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                       123.
CONTINUED:
                        JIMMY
          All we're doing is burning gas.
          Sorry, kid, I'm turning back.
The words are barely out of his mouth when he hears a
throbbing NOISE, growing louder... Darian looks up
puzzled.
                        DARIAN
          Do you hear that -- ?
And with that --

AIR ONE

bursts from the fog.
Directly in front of them.
Hovers like an avenging angel, TURBINES SCREAMING --
                        JIMMY
          Holy fucking shit!
Rotor wash sprays in every direction.
The noise is deafening.

INT. AIR ONE - COCKPIT
The PILOT grabs the mike and shouts into it:
                        PILOT
          Code yellow, code yellow, we got
          a bogie, repeat, we got a bogie,
          over.


INT. MILO'S YACHT - BRIDGE
Milo snaps his head to one side, hearing this.
Grabs the mike:
                        MILO
          Air One, Air One, where the fuck
          is he?
                        PILOT (V.O.)
          Nine o'clock, repeat, on your
          nine, and closing fast!

                                                           124.
ANOTHER ANGLE
Jimmy's BOAT ROARS out of the fog...
And suddenly he's in a world of shit.
Less than fifty yards to port is Milo's yacht.
Fifty years to starboard is the Senator's Marlineer.
                          JIMMY
          Oh, wow.    We're fucked.
He GUNS the ENGINE.     Spins the wheel, banks to port.

AIR ONE
screams past, cutting across the bow, nearly taking off
the roof --
Jimmy, wrestling the wheel, and meanwhile --

INT. BAYNARD'S CABIN
The Senator actually has his hands on the suitcase to
open it, when one of his MEN yells:
                         MAN
          Shit!   Something's going on.
                          BAYNARD
          What is it?
                          MAN
          Another boat.    It's a fucking
          setup!
                        BAYNARD
          Get us out of here, now!

The guy relays the order, and:

EXT. HIGH SEAS
Baynard's Marlineer surges forward.
Full throttle, heading for shore, as --

EXT. MILO'S YACHT
Milo skids out on deck, grabbing for his machine gun.
Calls out:
                        MILO
          Who the fuck is he?
A crewman grabs a pair of binoculars.       Meanwhile --

                                                     125.
INSIDE STORAGE COMPARTMENT
Hallenbeck has no fucking idea what's going on, but he
can hear everthing that's said, as:

BACK ON DECK
the Crewman lowers the binoculars in disbelief:
                        CREWMAN
          Son of a bitch! It's Dix, the
          Goddamn quarterback!

INT. STORAGE COMPARTMENT

Hallenbeck's face goes through various stages of shock.
It's nothing compared to when he hears:
                        CREWMAN (O.S.)
          There's a little girl with him!
With that, he goes berserk.
Draws his legs back, thunders them against the compart-
ment doors. Kicks with all his might. Over and over
like a crazed horse, as:

BACK TOPSIDE
Air One does a flyby, circling, awaiting instructions.

ON DECK
Milo grabs the hand mike and says:

                        MILO
          Air One, Air One, follow the
          Senator, roger? I'll take the
          sport boat, you take Baynard, over.
                        AIR ONE (V.O.)
          That's a roger. Over and out.
                        MILO
                 (turns to his men)
          Okay, let's go. Full throttle.

INT. YACHT - SAME TIME
With a final, resounding crash, Hallenbeck kicks open the
compartment. Topples out onto the cabin floor.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                       126.
CONTINUED:
Works his bound hands over his knees so they're now tied
in front of him.
Everybody's topside; for the moment, at least, he is
forgotten.
He half crawls, half lurches over to the kitchen nook.
Worms beneath the table... awkward, desperate...
Drags out the can of gasoline.
Tries to unscrew the top.   No dice.   Can't get a grip.
Finally, in frustration, he tips the can on its side.
Brings his legs up in the air --
Slams them down on the can.
Over and over until, with a metallic pop -- ! it bursts.
Floods gasoline over the carpet, meanwhile:

BACK TOPSIDE
Milo's yacht is plowing ahead, gaining on Jimmy's
Hatteras. The crew members take up positions on the
prow. OPEN FIRE.

WITH JIMMY
As he throws Darian to the deck, shields her with his
body.
The wheelhouse is RAKED by GUNFIRE.
He grits his teeth. Reaches beneath his tux.
Yanks out the BERETTA and returns FIRE, BAM -- BAM -- !
and meanwhile:

INT. YACHT CABIN
Hallenbeck is opening a box of kitchen matches with his
teeth.
Dozens of matches fall scattered on the carpet.
He releases the box. Bends. Picks up a single match in
his teeth.
Presses his face to the wall.   Gives his neck a wrench --
Lights the match.
He drops the match on top of the GAS CAN.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                      127.
CONTINUED:
A WHOOSH of combustion.    It bursts into flame.
Joe swivels around. Balancing on his backside.
Thrusts his legs into the fire.
Strains. Pulls. Sweat runs in rivers.
Until the ropes binding his legs snap.
He lurches to his feet, lets free.
Now there's only one problem: He's on fire.
The legs of his pants are soaked with gas.
Flames race up his legs.
He plunges headlong up the stairs.


ON TO DECK
where he hurtles toward the rail, dives --
into the sea, swallowed by the waves.
A CREWMAN suddenly screams:
                       CREWMAN
         Fire in the hole!
Fire, indeed.    It's a rapidly-spreading blaze.
The pursuit is momentarily forgotten as the crew races to
put out the fire, and meanwhile:

HALLENBECK
surfaces, gasping for air.    Trying to swim with his hands
tied.


DARIAN
spots him first. Sees her father bobbing like a cork in
the ocean, screams:
                          DARIAN
         Daddy!!
Jimmy whirls around, startled.
                         JIMMY
         Shit.    I don't believe it.
                          DARIAN
         Do something!     Hurry!
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                      128.
CONTINUED:
Jimmy spins the wheel. Banks hard to port.
Brings the boat around in an arc. Yells to Darian:
                       JIMMY
         Keep the wheel like this!   Don't
         let it move!
She grabs the wheel. Jimmy bends down. Opens a compart-
ment. Takes out the boat's anchor. Metal hook, attached
to seventy yards of chain. He hefts it like a grappling
hook.
                       JIMMY
         Third and long, baby, lets' go...

And, sure, his left arm isn't his good arm --
But, boy, does he heave that anchor.
It soars through space, chain playing out behind it...
Hits water, thirty yards past Hallenbeck --
Who turns, sees the anchor skimming toward him over the
waves.

EXT. MILO'S YACHT
Milo, meanwhile, has also spotted Hallenbeck.
He growls in rage.   Hefts the Ingram machine gun, as:

ANOTHER ANGLE
Hallenbeck thrusts forward, hooks his bound hands around
the passing anchor and whoosh -- !

He is catapulted forward, jerked like a rag puppet.
BULLETS CHOP the water where he just was.
He skims over the waves. Bounced. Battered.
Trailing behind Jimmy at fifty miles an hour.
Jimmy and Darian begin to haul him in.
Struggling. Straining.
The boat rushing headlong, driverless.
With a last, desperate surge of energy --
They drag Hallenbeck over the side. Into the boat.
                        DARIAN
         Dad...!
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                       129.
CONTINUED:
She collapses, weeping, atop her father.
Hugs him for all she's worth.
                       HALLENBECK
         What the hell's she doing here??
                       DARIAN
         I stowed away...
GUNFIRE splits the air.
Reminds them they're not out of the woods.

MILO'S YACHT

is behind them again. The fire is out.      The chase is on.
It steadily cuts the distance.

JIMMY'S BOAT
Hallenbeck staggers to his feet.
                       HALLENBECK
         Get below, Darian. And stay
         there.
He stumbles into the wheelhouse.   Dazed.   Barely
conscious.
                       JIMMY
         Got any ideas?
                       HALLENBECK
         Yeah. Go really fast and hope
         they don't catch us.
                (beat)
         Oh, shit.
                          JIMMY
         What?
                       HALLENBECK
         Fog bank, dead ahead. Hang on.
Into the fog they go, and, folks --
This is really scary.
Because you can't see a foot in front of your face.
They plunge through the fog at fifty miles an hour.
Hallenbeck sweats, eyes glued to the windshield.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                      130.
CONTINUED:
And then a shape materializes off to port:
Milo's yacht.
Running alongside. Drawing closer.
Hallenbeck wrestles the wheel. No dice.
The yacht draws ever closer... men on deck... machine
guns...
Joe looks over... and his face tells the story:
                       HALLENBECK
         We're dead.
Except, just then, a strange thing happens:
Milo's yacht veers off to the left. Away from
Hallenbeck. Jimmy stares, dumbfounded.
                       JIMMY
         What the fuck? They're peeling
         off. Why?
A pause... then it hits Joe like a thunderbolt:
                       HALLENBECK
         'Cause they got sonar, that's why!
         Hard to port!
                       JIMMY
         Port?
                       HALLENBECK
         Left, Goddammit.
The boat slews to the left, as, from out of the fog --

The Catalina ferry looms right in front of them.
                       JIMMY
         Shit fuck piss!
They almost make it.
As it is, they avoid a head-on.   Instead, they hit
broadside.
A sickening CRUNCH -- !
Jimmy and Joe are thrown from their feet.
A momentary glimpse of faces rushing past -- Horrified
tourists -- And then the ferry is behind them.
Jimmy gets up. Staggers to the controls.
Pushes the throttle. The boat lurches forward --
Then SPUTTERS. Fizzles.
He swears violently.
                                          (CONTINUED)

                                                        131.
CONTINUED:
                       JIMMY
         We're on half power, we lost an
         engine!

EXT. FOG BANK - SAME TIME
The crippled boat chugs through the mist.

JIMMY
swears again.   Bangs his fist.
                       JIMMY
         We're sitting ducks. They got
         sonar. They can find us.
                       HALLENBECK
         Kill the running lights and radio
         the Coast Guard.
Jimmy flicks off the lights. Grabs the mike. As he
does, a VIBRATING RUMBLE fills the cockpit, causing him
to pause... and then stare in shock as their boat emerges
from the fog --
And Air One hovers directly overhead.
                        JIMMY
         Fuck me.
The two men watch, helpless, as the helicopter descends,
the Co-Pilot taking aim with a LAWS rocket.
                        HALLENBECK
         Get down!
They both hit the floor.    Hands over their heads --
And then the pilot makes a costly error:
He descends right into the path of Milo's yacht.
With no warning whatsoever, the boat comes bursting out
of the fog --
PLOWS right INTO the HELICOPTER.
Second number one: The boat pierces the chopper, rips it
to shreds.
Second number two: The whole boat-slash-chopper mix
erupts in a shower of wood and fiberglass. Turns night
into day.

                                                         132.
JIMMY AND JOE
are still huddled on the floor.
Pause. They look up. Bewildered.
There was a big light... Big noise...
Why aren't they dead?

ANOTHER ANGLE
They move like sleepwalkers to the cockpit window.
Stare in disbelief. Joe looks at Jimmy. Jimmy at Joe.
Debris rains down.
                                             CUT TO:


EXT. CRASH SITE - MINUTES LATER
Jimmy, Joe and Darian are on deck, chugging through the
wreckage. Darian clings to her father's arm, in shock.
Hallenbeck sees something in the distance.    Squints:
                         HALLENBECK
         What's that?
Jimmy looks:    A bright object... going in circles...
                       JIMMY
         That's Baynard's boat!
                       HALLENBECK
                (nods)
         It can get us to shore faster than
         this one, don't you think?

He starts to turn away. Notices something in the water.
Speaks over his shoulder to Jimmy.
                       HALLENBECK
         Hand me the pole.
Jimmy hands him a long, wooden pole with a hooked end.
He fishes in the water. Snares a large, floating object.
Swings it aboard. Drops it at Jimmy's feet.
The suitcase.
                         JIMMY
         What is it?
                       HALLENBECK
         Birthday present.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                         133.
CONTINUED:
He turns away.    Jimmy bends to open the suitcase.
Joe heads into the cockpit, Darian beside him.
Steers the boat away from the crash site. Toward the
senator's boat. Chugs forward on half an engine.
O.S., Jimmy suddenly yells:
                       JIMMY
         Holy fucking shit!!

EXT. BAYNARD'S BOAT - SAME TIME
The once-mighty Marlineer runs aimless circles in the
mist. Half the cockpit is blown away, probably by a LAWS
rocket.
The Hatteras pulls up alongside, and Hallenbeck steps to
the rail, carrying the Baretta.
                         HALLENBECK
         Wait here.
He swings aboard the senator's boat.
Gun cocked. Ready.

INT. SENATOR'S BOAT - COCKPIT
Enters the cockpit. What's left of the roof is bullet-
pocked.
The navigator is dead. Slumped over the controls.
Joe pulls him off the panel. KILLS the ENGINE.


INT. MAIN CABIN
Joe bursts inside.    Hard and fast.   Gun leveled.
No need. It's a slaughterhouse.
The walls are perforated. Baynard and his men are dead.
The suitcase's evil twin lies unopened on the table.
Hallenbeck walks over to Baynard's lifeless body.
Stares into the wide-open eyes.
                         HALLENBECK
         Sorry, Cal.    Life in the big city.
                                             CUT TO:
EXT. LONG BEACH BOAT RENTALS - NIGHT
The senator's boat pulls up to the dock.     No one is
around.

                                                      134.
EXT. DOCK - SAME TIME
Hallenbeck crouches next to Darian, looks her in the eye.
                       HALLENBECK
         Listen carefully. I'm gonna go
         get your mom back, okay? You're
         gonna go in the Denny's restaurant
         and stay there. Talk to the
         waitress but don't mention me.
         Mom and I will come pick you up
         later, got it?
                       DARIAN
                (crying)
         They're gonna kill you...!

                       HALLENBECK
         Are you kidding? I do this for a
         living.
                (hands her a twenty)
         Buy me an ice cream. I'll be back.
                (beat)
         I love you.
She throws her arms around him.
                                           CUT TO:

INT. RENTAL SUBARU - DRIVING - NIGHT
All business now. Deadly serious.
Jimmy and Joe stare ahead through the windshield.    Grim.
Tense.
In the back seat sits the coveted suitcase.
                       JIMMY
         Your prints are all over that
         boat. What happens when they find
         the bodies inside?
                       HALLENBECK
         Quit being a fuckin' killjoy.
He cuts the headlights.   Cruises to a stop behind a road-
side dumpster.
                        HALLENBECK
         Come on.   We've got some things to
         pick up.

EXT. HALLENBECK'S HOUSE (WEST L.A.) - NIGHT
They creep across a suburban lawn, hugging the shadows.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                          135.
CONTINUED:
Across the street, Hallenbeck's house is dark.       Deserted.
Truly a sight: Jimmy, in a white shirt and tuxedo pants,
nursing a broken arm; and Joe, drenched to the skin,
pants hanging in scorched tatters.
Joe suddenly puts up a restraining hand. They stop.
Crouched behind a eucalyptus tree. Joe points:

THEIR POV
A late-model Buick is parked just up the street from his
house...
There is a man slouched inside. Smoking.


BACK TO SCENE
                           HALLENBECK
            Shit.   Someone's staking me out.
                          JIMMY
                   (clears his throat)
            Oh, I forgot to tell you. The
            police want you for killing Mike
            Miller.
Hallenbeck shoots him a withering look.
                                                CUT TO:

EXT. COASTAL WATERS - NIGHT
A Coast Guard cutter is circling the site of the boat/
chopper crash. A uniformed ENSIGN shines a light on the
dark waters.
                          ENSIGN
            I think I got someone!   Four
            o'clock!

MILO
is draped over a piece of wooden wreckage.
Half his hair is burned away. His face is blistered.
He looks up, pleading, at the Ensign, as:

ANOTHER ANGLE
He hides the Ingram beneath his body, cocked and ready.
                                                CUT TO:

                                                        136.
INT. PARKED BUICK - NIGHT
The sour stakeout cop reaches for a job necessity: the
pot to piss in. He undoes his fly. Pees into an old
Maxwell House coffee can.
Opens the door to dump it out.
A hand reaches in, lightning quick.
Grabs the can, throws it back in his face.
As he jerks backward, blinded, the hand knocks him cold.

EXT. BUICK - SAME TIME
Hallenbeck drags the unconscious cop from the car.

                       HALLENBECK
         Let's get him inside and tie him
         up.
                       JIMMY
         Are you crazy? That's a cop!     You
         don't punch cops!
                         HALLENBECK
         I forgot.    Hurry up.

INT. HALLENBECK'S BEDROOM - MINUTES LATER
The cop is bound and gagged in the corner.      Unconscious.
Hallenbeck moves hurriedly. Not a second to waste.
Pulls a dark turtleneck from a drawer.
Rips off the sleeve. Throws it to Jimmy.
                         HALLENBECK
         Wear that.
He strips off his own shirt.   Crosses to the closet.
                       HALLENBECK
         You know how to use a gun?
                       JIMMY
         The trigger's the little black
         thing.
                         HALLENBECK
         Here.
He hands Jimmy a shotgun and a box of odd, black
cylinders.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                       137.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         Use these. They're shredders.
         Equipped with an explosive charge.
         When you fire the gun, they spray
         on impact. Take out anything
         within ten yards.
                       JIMMY
         What are you gonna use?
                       HALLENBECK
         A little souvenir...
He reaches into the closet. Pulls out a sniper rifle.
The rifle. The one responsible for the puckered scar on
his chest.
                       HALLENBECK
         Go bring the car around.

EXT. HALLENBECK'S HOUSE - SAME TIME
Jimmy emerges, starts across the lawn.
Pulls up short. Stares ahead at:

HIS POV - TWO BLACK SEDANS
parked at the curb.

BACK TO SCENE
He starts to cry out --
And a dark figure looms behind him.
Clubs him in the head.

INT. HALLENBECK'S BEDROOM - SAME TIME
Hallenbeck snaps a full magazine into the rifle.
Stuffs extras into a black Windbreaker.
Hears a NOISE. Looks up, expecting Jimmy --
Draws a sharp breath:

PABLO AND ASSORTED GOONS
standing in the doorway. All of them have guns.
Pablo grins, shakes his head:
                         PABLO
         Face it, pal.    You're fucked by
         God.
                                             CUT TO:

                                                     138.
PAD AND PAPER
as they're placed in front of Hallenbeck.
He is seated on the bed. Three guns covering him.
Beside him sits Furry Tom, grinning his stuffed-toy grin.
                       PABLO
         Are you a literate man, Joe?
                       HALLENBECK
         I got a subscription to Jugs
         magazine.
                       PABLO
         That's good. See, Joe, what
         you're gonna do, you're gonna
         write a little story.

A GOON sticks his head in the door.
                       GOON
         We've got Jimmy Dix in the trunk.
                       PABLO
         Get him out of here. Take him to
         Mr. Marcon. I'll follow you as
         soon as my business here is
         finished.
The Goon departs, leaving Hallenbeck with Pablo and two
others. He studies them. Calculates the odds. Verdict:
Bad.
                       PABLO
         Yeah, you're gonna write a little
         story, Joe. About how guilt-
         stricken you are over Senator
         Baynard's death, which is all
         over the air waves, by the way.
         Yeah... you're so guilty about
         paying those hitmen to kill him,
         that you're gonna kill yourself.
                       HALLENBECK
         Hey, who's writing this story?
         You're doing all the good parts.
                       PABLO
         Oh, and, Joe...? Don't forget to
         include how guilty you are over
         that cop you murdered.
                       HALLENBECK
         What cop?
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                     139.
CONTINUED:
Pablo draws his pistol.
PUMPS TWO SHOTS into the unconscious cop in the corner.
                       PABLO
         That one.
                       HALLENBECK
         You son of a bitch...!
Pablo is making a big mistake, but he doesn't know it.
He is fueling Joe Hallenbeck's rage.
Pity the fool.
Hallenbeck regards him with dead, lifeless eyes.
A thoroughly unnerving stare.

Then Joe does something very odd.
He says, softly:
                       HALLENBECK
         We don't like Pablo very much, do
         we, Furry Tom...?
There is a pause... And then, incredibly -- Furry Tom
answers. A high-pitched, squeaky stuffed cat voice.
                       HALLENBECK
                (as Furry Tom)
         No, Mr. Hallenbeck, we think Pablo
         is a motherless fuck who takes it
         up the ass.
Dead silence. Pablo is completely thrown; so are we, for
that matter... and then it hits us: Joe is doing ven-
triloquism.

And the funny thing is, he's really good.
Pablo overcomes his shock.
                       PABLO
         Shit, is he doing that?
Hallenbeck's face remains cold.    Expressionless.
                       HALLENBECK
         Furry Tom, tell Pablo what I'm
         gonna do to him.
                       HALLENBECK
                (as Furry Tom)
         You're gong to make Pablo eat all
         his teeth, Mr. Hallenbeck.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                       140.
CONTINUED:
Pablo can't help it.   He bursts out laughing.
                       PABLO
         That's amazing, man!
Hallenbeck picks up Furry Tom. Inserts his hand, makes
the furry head bob back and forth.
                       HALLENBECK
                (as Furry Tom)
         Hey, Mr. Hallenbeck, they're
         laughin' at me. That's not very
         nice.
By now, all three hoods are in hysterics.

                       HALLENBECK
         Are you mad, Furry Tom?
                       HALLENBECK
                (as Furry Tom)
         I don't get mad. I get even.
And, with that, Furry Tom's mouth opens --
And EXPLODES, showering stuffing.
One of the goons is still laughing when he realizes half
his throat is gone...
And Furry Thomas BELCHES FIRE again, and the second goon
goes down in a spray of blood, and if you haven't guessed
already --
Joe has a gun hidden inside Furry Thomas.
Pablo is a little sharper. A little quicker.
He dives forward, knocks the puppet from Joe's hand.
Joe drives upward, into Pablo's gut.
They reel across the room. Locked in combat.
Lamps topple. GLASS BREAKS.
Pablo slams Joe's head into the wall.   Leaves a dent.
Does it again, a sickening impact...
Starts to strangle Joe --
And the truth is, Joe's not thirty anymore.
He's not going to make it. The world swims away.
Then, as if through a tunnel, Joe notices something
beside him... something hanging on the wall.
Fights to focus. Breath gone.    Strength gone.
Identifies the object:
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                       141.
CONTINUED:
His Presidential Medal of Valor.
Shiny medal. Shiny ribbon. His name...
It hits him quite suddenly:
The medal has sharp edges.
With the last of his strength, he plucks it from the
wall. Drives it into Pablo's throat.
The big man stumbles backward. Eyes wide. Gurgling.
He thrashes, the red-white-blue ribbon flapping obscenely
from his gushing neck.
Drops to the dusty carpet.    Dies.

Hallenbeck takes a deep breath. Eyes wide. Insane.
He is surrounded by corpses. He takes another deep
breath.
Picks up the sniper rifle.
Slings it over his shoulder.
Heads for the door.

INT. CONRAD MARCON'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Jimmy Dix is on the floor, and Marcon is kicking him
savagely. Pointed alligator boots lashing out. Again
and again.
                       MARCON
         You know I don't enjoy doin' this,
         Jim.
Jimmy curls up in a fetal ball.    Marcon paces, shaking
his head.

                       MARCON
         I remember how much you hated the
         pain... You got hooked on Demerol,
         didn't you...? I'll make a deal
         with you. Tell me who you talked
         to, and I'll give you all the
         painkillers you can swallow.
                       JIMMY
         Nobody knows. Just... just me...
         and Hallenbeck...
                       MARCON
         Now, see, I'd love to believe you.
         But we are talking about the
         future of my football team.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                       142.
CONTINUED:
He crosses to the fireplace.   Removes a poker.
                       MARCON
         And ain't nothin' more important
         than my ball club, 'cept maybe my
         collection of autographed
         footballs. Got one of yours, you
         know.
                (softly)
         Who'd you talk to, Jimmy?
                       JIMMY
         Nobody...
Marcon raises the poker.
Brings it down on Jimmy's broken arm.

EXT. HOLLYWOOD HILLS - NIGHT
Hallenbeck leaves the rented Subaru by the side of the
road.
He is dressed in combat black. Government issue.
Rifle over one shoulder. Hunting knife in a hip
scabbard.
Like an angel of death, he moves into the brush.
Heading down the canyon.

EXT. MARCON'S HOME - SAME TIME
An armed sentry patrols the grounds.
Below him, nighttime L.A. stretches to the Pacific.
Joe Hallenbeck emerges like a wraith from the trees.
Clamps a gloved hand over the sentry's mouth.
Drives the hunting knife into his back.

INT. LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME
Marcon stirs the fireplace logs, stoking the blaze.
Replaces the poker. Crosses to his desk and sits.
Jimmy is on the carpet, delirious.   Out of it.
Marcon presses a button.   An armed HARDGUY appears.
                       HARDGUY
         Mr. Marcon?
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                        143.
CONTINUED:
                       MARCON
         He's nothing, he can't hurt us.
         Take him somewhere and kill him.
                         HARDGUY
         Yes, sir.
The Hardguy crosses the room.      Grips Jimmy by the
shoulders.
With a soft SPIT of sound, his forehead blooms crimson.
He collapses, lifeless.
At his desk, Marcon whirls, stunned, as:


JOE HALLENBECK
steps through the French doors behind him.
He resembles nothing human. A demon in black.
Eyes burning. Gun held loosely. An extension of his
arm.
Marcon reaches for the button to summon help.
                         HALLENBECK
         Don't.
He jams the rifle barrel into Marcon's throat, nearly
crushing his larynx. Hisses:
                       HALLENBECK
         The gun is silenced, I'll fuckin'
         kill you. Where's my wife?
                       MARCON
         I... I don't remember, I...
Joe shoves on the gun.   The barrel chokes him.
                         HALLENBECK
         My wife.
Grabs a pen.   Shoves it in Marcon's hand.
                         HALLENBECK
         The address.    Now!
                       MARCON
         It's... Milo's film studio...
                       HALLENBECK
         Write it down, dumbfuck.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                      144.
CONTINUED:
He speaks over his shoulder:
                          HALLENBECK
            Jimmy, you okay...?
Jimmy stirs.
                          JIMMY
            Hurts like hell.
Marcon finishes writing. Hallenbeck snatches up the
address. Stows it in his pocket.
                          HALLENBECK
            Okay, Connie, you're gonna walk us
            out of here, nice and easy, got
            it?
                   (beat)
            Can you walk, Jimmy?
                          JIMMY
            Yeah... I think so -- Joe, behind
            you...!
Too late.    A revolver is cocked a foot from Joe's head.
                         STRANGE MAN
            Drop it.
It's the same odd voice we heard earlier.
The man with the speech impediment.
                          HALLENBECK
            You drop it, asshole, or I kill
            Marcon.

The Strange Man chuckles.
                          STRANGE MAN
            Sorry, but that won't work. I
            don't care if he lives or dies,
            now drop the gun.
A pause. Once more, Joe calculates the odds.     No dice.
He places the rifle on the desk.
                          STRANGE MAN
            Walk over there by your friend,
            Joe.
Hallenbeck turns around... and, for once, his jaw drops.
He's looking at a man he never thought he'd see again. A
man who suffers from facial paralysis ever since his head
bounced off the Georgetown turnpike eight years ago.

                                                        145.
LOUIS BAYNARD
Son of the late senator. The right side of his face
doesn't quite match the left. The muscles don't work.
Hallenbeck recovers his composure. As Jimmy climbs to
his feet, Joe walks over and stands next to him. Two
gunmen appear behind them, covering the rear.
                       HALLENBECK
         Well, Goddamn. How's the head,
         Lou?
                       BAYNARD (STRANGE MAN)
         Aside from permanent facial
         neuralgia, just lovely.

                       HALLENBECK
         Next time, Lou, just say no.
                       JIMMY
         Shit. This is the drunk guy you
         slugged, look what you did to his
         face!
Marcon, meanwhile, is positively livid.   He snaps at
Baynard:
                       MARCON
         You son of a bitch, you were gonna
         let him kill me!
                       BAYNARD
         Nothing more or less than you'd do
         for me, Conrad.
                (turns)
         I never thought I'd see you again,
         Joe.

                       HALLENBECK
         Speaking of which, what the fuck
         are you doing here?
                       BAYNARD
         Call it a financial partnership.
         For a price, I agreed to connect
         Mr. Marcon to the necessary
         people in Washington.
                       HALLENBECK
         In other words, you dropped your
         father's name a bunch of times.
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                     146.
CONTINUED:
                       BAYNARD
                (ignores him)
         But imagine my delight this morning,
         Joe, when Mr. Marcon informed me
         of a golden opportunity: a chance
         to kill my father and frame you for
         the crime... What can I say,
         inherit a fortune and humiliate you
         in the bargain, who could resist?
                       HALLENBECK
         Do I also have you to thank for
         dragging me into this mess?
                       BAYNARD
                (sighs)
         It was I, unfortunately, who
         bought a forty-dollar bottle of
         champagne... spoke a little too
         freely to that hooker.
                       JIMMY
         She wasn't a hooker, dickhead.
                       HALLENBECK
         He should know, Jimmy. With a
         face like that, he's gotta be
         paying for it.
                       BAYNARD
         You can die fast or slow, so watch
         your mouth.
Jimmy chimes in:
                       JIMMY
         We'd rather watch yours.   It's
         goofy-lookin'.
Marcon has had enough.   He pounds his fist on the desk.
                       MARCON
         Kill them, Goddammit, waste 'em
         both!
                       JIMMY
         Any bright ideas, Joe?
                       HALLENBECK
         Gimmee a minute.
                       JIMMY
         Excuse me, could you give him a
         minute? He's trying to think of
         a way out of this.
                                           (CONTINUED)

                                                       147.
CONTINUED:
Behind them, the two hardguys COCK their GUNS.
Jimmy sweats. He's scared shitless underneath.
Hallenbeck clears his throat:
                       HALLENBECK
         You know of course, Connie, that
         you're a dead man.
Marcon holds up his hand.
                          MARCON
         Wait.
The gunmen lower their weapons.

                       MARCON
         Let's humor this asshole.     What
         are you talking about?
                       HALLENBECK
                (shrugs)
         Nothing much, just that I made a
         phone call from the boat on the
         way in.
                       MARCON
         You called the cops? Fuck it,
         they can't prove a thing.
                       HALLENBECK
         Oh, but I didn't call the cops.      I
         called the mob.
Marcon stares at him.   Blinks.

                       HALLENBECK
         See, Connie, every year, the mob
         rakes in two and a half billion
         from football bookmaking. If you
         succeed in making gambling legal,
         all that money goes to the
         government.
                (beat)
         I wouldn't be surprised if they
         put out a contract on you. Of
         course, I might be able to call it
         off.
Marcon stares him down.    A pause.   Then Marcon smiles:
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                       148.
CONTINUED:
                       MARCON
         He's bluffing. He's not connected
         to the mob, what a load of
         horseshit. Nice try, asshole.
                (waves his hand)
         Kill them.
                       HALLENBECK
                (plowing ahead)
         Then there's the matter of two
         million dollars. Or didn't you
         know that watertight suitcases
         float...?
He once again looks Marcon in the eye.

                       HALLENBECK
         I've got your money, Connie.
         Stashed in the back of a rented
         Subaru. We'll take you to it.
                       MARCON
                (laughing)
         Jesus, I don't believe it.    This
         guy's a riot.
                       JIMMY
                (sotto)
         I don't think it's working, Joe.
         Try another one.
                       HALLENBECK
         Hell, I'm fresh out. You wanna
         try one, kid, go for it.
A pause. Then, without warning, Jimmy turns --
And slugs Hallenbeck with his good arm. Decks him.
                       JIMMY
         Fuck you, Joe, I'm not just gonna
         stand here and die. Mr. Marcon,
         he's lying. We do have the money,
         but it's not in a car, it's in a
         storage locker. I have the key on
         me. I'l hand it over if you let
         me go.
Hallenbeck stares in disbelief.
The kid's actually trying something.
                       MARCON
         Where is the key, Jimmy?
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                     149.
CONTINUED:
                       JIMMY
         It's stashed in my shorts.
                       MARCON
                (nods)
         All right. Slow and easy.
                        JIMMY
         Sure.   Slow and easy.
Jimmy reaches inside his jeans. Slowly, cautiously pulls
something out, concealed in his fist.
We see, but Marcon doesn't:
It's a shredder shell. He holds it in his fist.

                       JIMMY
         Promise you'll let me go.
                       MARCON
         Hell with that, son. Hand it over
         or I'll have you kneecapped.
                       JIMMY
         Oh, yeah? Well, that's too bad.
         See, it's one of those new plastic
         keys. The kind that melt...?
And, with that, he hurls it into the fire.
So fast that nobody can see just what he threw.
                       JIMMY
         I guess nobody gets the money.
The two hardguys rush to the fireplace.

                       MARCON
         Pull it out of there!
One of them grabs a pair of tongs --
and the SHREDDER EXPLODES.
Sprays the two hardguys.    Cuts them to ribbons.
Then, several things happen at once:
Everybody goes for a gun.
Hallenbeck lunges, scoops up a fallen pistol --
As Marcon draws his GUN and FIRES, missing --
Joe RETURNS FIRE, BAM-BAM -- !
Catches Marcon in the shoulder, and meanwhile --
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                        150.
CONTINUED:
Baynard draws down on Jimmy, who picks up a flaming log
and hurls it, knocks the SHOT wild, as:
Marcon darts out the French doors, into the night, so
Hallenbeck spins, FIRES at Baynard --
Blows him backward in a bloody spray.    Baynard sags
against the mantel. Collapses, dead.
ECHOES. Silence.   Jimmy and Joe are alone with three
corpses.
Jimmy snatches up a pistol. Joe slings the sniper rifle
over his shoulder. Stares at Jimmy:

                       HALLENBECK
         Plastic keys...? The kind that
         melt?
                        JIMMY
         Hey.   Short notice, best I could
         do.
                       HALLENBECK
         You did fine, junior.
                       JIMMY
         Learned it from a pro.     Come on.

EXT. MARCON'S HOUSE - NIGHT
The wooden garage DOORS EXPLODE outward, bursting to
splinters, as a Ford BRONCO DRIVES right THROUGH them,
Conrad Marcon at the wheel. He careens off into the
night. Makes a getaway.


INT. GARAGE - SAME TIME
Jimmy and Joe come racing out of the house, just in time
to see Marcon's taillights disappearing up the canyon.
                       JIMMY
         Son of a bitch!
                       HALLENBECK
         Forget about him. Let's get my
         wife.
He crosses to a parked Mercedes. SHOOTS open the door.
Gets in. Pops the ignition package. Hotwires it.
The CAR ROARS to life.
                                               (CONTINUED)

                                                      151.
CONTINUED:
                       HALLENBECK
         Get in.
He's so slick, it's scary.

EXT. MARCON'S HOUSE - SAME TIME
The Mercedes barrels out through the splintered garage
doors. BURNS RUBBER down the hill.

INT. CAR - DRIVING
They stare straight ahead.   Tense.   Breathless.

                       HALLENBECK
         On my way, honey, on my way...

EXT. HOLLYWOOD HILLS - NIGHT
Conrad Marcon, meanwhile, is rocketing along the winding
road, heading up the canyon, when he sees something
ahead:

HIS POV - JOE'S RENTAL SUBARU
sitting abandoned in the roadside brush.

BACK TO SCENE
Acting on a sudden hunch, he SLAMS ON the BRAKES.
Stops the car. Gets out, crosses to the rental. Peeks
in.
A two-million-dollar suitcase sits, pretty as punch, on
the back seat.
                       MARCON
         Shit, Joe Boy, you wasn't
         bluffing...
He draws his gun. Blows out the glass.
Reaches in. Opens the car door.
Snatches up the briefcase.
                                            CUT TO:

                                                           152.
EXT. DOWNTOWN HOLLYWOOD - NIGHT
A block of seedy-looking brick buildings.      Off Sunset.
Not many people at this hour.

MERCEDES
slews around the corner races down the street, running
without headlights.
Lurches to a halt near the mouth of an alley.
Jimmy and Joe burst from the car, guns in hand.
Hellenbeck is grim, purposeful. Jimmy is nervous.
                         JIMMY
           I'm new at this, Joe.   How do we
           do it?
                         HALLENBECK
           We get in, we get out. Shoot
           anyone who's not my wife. Check
           that: Don't shoot me.
He jacks a fresh clip into his rifle.
                                               CUT TO:

LOCKPICK
inserted in the latch of a back door.
Hallenback finds the tumblers. Springs the lock in
seconds.

INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT

Jimmy and Joe. Side by side. Walking.      Expressionless.
They round a bend in the hall.

SENTRY
seated outside a wooden door. .38 special in a shoulder
rig. Sees them, leaps to his feet, gun clearing
leather --
Joe blows him out of his socks.
TWO-SHOT BURST. Silenced.
Guy hits the wall.   Paints it with blood.     Flops, dead.
Jimmy and Joe step over him.
Joe braces himself. Draws back his foot.       Kicks the
door, as:

                                                         153.
INT. STUDIO - SAME TIME
The door flies open.    Doesn't hit the wall.
Something stops it.
Joe doesn't blink. He puts the rifle against the panel.
FIRES three SHOTS through the wood.
Keeps going.
A body falls out from behind the door.
Joe doesn't even look.
The body sits up.    Not dead yet...
Jimmy comes through the door.     SHOOTS him.
Follows Joe.

One more door to go.    Thick.   Soundproofed metal.
It isn't locked.    Joe yanks it open.   Steps inside.

MOVIE SET
Lights.   Camera.   The wrong kind of action.

SARAH
on a bed, naked.
bright lights on her.    Around her, a director.     A
cameraman.

MAN
with a chainsaw.

and he's standing right over her.
Jimmy BLOWS down the two artistes.
Joe takes the actor.
                          HALLENBECK
            Cut.
He throws the hunting knife. It pierces the guy's neck.
The chainsaw clatters to the floor.
He does the funny little dance peculiar to those with
pierced necks. Falls. Dies.
And then, mercifully, it's over. Joe crosses to the bed,
puts out an arm, and Sarah collapses against him, shaking
with sobs.
                                                (CONTINUED)

                                                       154.
CONTINUED:
He strokes her hair. Speaking softly. Quietly.
Speaking to the only woman he's ever loved:
                       HALLENBECK
         I'm here... it's all right...
         I'm here...
He cradles his wife in the middle of a slaughterhouse.
                                            CUT TO:
EXT. SIDEWALK - NIGHT
Sarah is now dressed, as Joe supports her across the
sidewalk toward the stolen Mercedes.
He turns to Jimmy. Hands him a set of keys.
                       HALLENBECK
         Drive one of their cars.    They
         won't be needing them.
                       JIMMY
         Where do you want me to go?
                       HALLENBECK
         The two million bucks is still in
         the Subaru. Parked on Mulholland
         above Marcon's house. Go pick it
         up and bring it to the office.
         We're gonna go get Darian.
                         JIMMY
         Yes, massah.
He moves off into the parking lot.
Hallenbeck says to Sarah.

                       HALLENBECK
         I'll take you and Darian to the
         office. You can sleep there.
                       SARAH
         Why can't we go home?
                       HALLENBECK
         There's four corpses in the bedroom.
                         SARAH
         Oh.
It's a very tiny "oh."
ESTABLISHING SHOT - JOE'S OFFICE
in the shadow of the freeway. The night wears on.     From
the billboard, Gorgeous continues to entice.

                                                       155.
INT. HALLENBECK'S OFFICE - SAME TIME
Darian is asleep, cradled in her mother's arms.
Her mother is awake, cradled in Joe's arms.
                         HALLENBECK
           Jimmy should be here any minute.
           Then we gotta talk to the cops.
Sarah nestles into the crook of his arm.
                         SARAH
           Will the police catch Marcon?
                         HALLENBECK
           Maybe. He's probably in some
           secret crash pad, packing to leave
           town.
A pause, then Sarah says:
                         SARAH
           I remember when we got married...
           My friends would talk about their
           husbands. They'd say, 'Oh, my
           husband is a big-time publisher,'
           or, 'My husband is a brilliant
           lawyer...' I used to say, 'My
           husband can stand over a shotgun
           victim and eat a ham sandwich
           without puking.'
                         HALLENBECK
           Don't knock it. It's a skill.
She turns.   Looks into his eyes.
                         SARAH
           I want to try, Joe.   Do you still
           want to try?
A pause.   He leans in and kisses her tenderly.
And, with typically swell timing, a set of headlights
rakes across the window, accompanied by the strobing
light of a police flasher.
                         HALLENBECK
           Ahh, shit. Looks like the local
           constable has come to chat.
                         SARAH
           Shall we invite him in?
                          HALLENBECK
           No.   Stay here. I'll deal with
           it.
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                        156.
CONTINUED:
He gets up, throws on a jacket.

EXT. JOE'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Joe exits the office, starts across the lawn toward the
vehicle with the flashing light.
Realizes with a sudden shock:   something's wrong.
                       HALLENBECK
         That's not L.A.P.D....

HALLENBECK'S POV

the insignia on the door panel reads LONG BEACH SHORE
PATROL.
In the same glance, he sees there's a dead cop slumped in
the passenger seat, and worse, much worse than that:
Milo is in the driver's seat.

WIDER ANGLE
Milo, who steps out of the car and promptly OPENS FIRE on
Joe.
                       HALLENBECK
         Son of a bitch!
He dives for cover, the turf erupting all around him, as:


INT. OFFICE - SAME
Sarah sits bolt upright. Eyes panicked.    Terrified.
Darian comes awake, screaming:
                       DARIAN
         Mommy, what's happening?
Sarah leaps off the couch, cradling Darian and
meanwhile --

EXT. OFFICE - SAME
Hallenbeck spins behind one of the billboard support
legs, as BULLETS CHOP it to splinters.

                                                       157.
MILO
advances.
changing clips.    Methodical.   Precise.
Like a robot.
He is obsessed.    All vestige of sanity gone.
                          MILO
            You fucked up my face, Joseph!
Joe starts to climb. Scales the wooden structure.
Swings himself onto the raised platform.
Flattens behind the billboard.
                          MILO
            Don't try to hide, Joseph. I've
            got all night, you fucked up my
            face.
He sprays a BURST of GUNFIRE up at the billboard.

HALLENBECK
huddles behind the billboard as the bullets stitch
upward. Through the wooden frame.
A hot SLUG RIPS through Joe's arm.
An eruption of blood. He hisses in pain.
Rolls away from the gunfire.
Looks around. Desperate.
Sees a painter's bucket lying nearby.
He counts to three.


DOWN BELOW
Milo calmly changes clips.
Hallenbeck bursts from cover.
Hurls the bucket down at Milo, dashes across the front of
the billboard, hard and fast --
BULLETS CHOPPING the board right behind him, blowing
holes in Gorgeous's derrierre --
And then Joe does a risky thing:
He sprints to the end of the billboard, running full
tilt, and he leaps out into space, what the hell is he
doing?
                                              (CONTINUED)

                                                     158.
CONTINUED:
He's trying to make the freeway.
It's a good fifteen feet.   Try it sometime.
He flies through open air --
Milo's GUN CHATTERING below, seeking him out --
And just does make it.
Hits the freeway surface and collapses forward, screaming
as he rolls on his injured arm... Looks up --

EIGHTEEN WHEEL TRUCK

is headed straight for him, bearing down...!
He rolls aside just in time. It THUNDERS past.
Staggers to his feet, frantic --
and Milo is climbing the billboard.
Hallenbeck looks for a place to hide.
There isn't any.
He's going to have to run through traffic.
He shifts from foot to foot, searching for an opening,
and meanwhile --

INT. SUBARU - DRIVING
Jimmy Dix is actually on the freeway, driving, when he
looks across the center divider and sees Hallenbeck.

                       JIMMY
         I don't fucking believe it.
He swerves over to the side and meanwhile

HALLENBECK
watches in dismay as Milo climbs onto the platform...
Walks across the front of the billboard.
Toward the freeway. Toward Joe. Snarling.
Joe grabs a broken bottle off the ground. Heaves it.
Milo puts up an arm, catches a glancing blow. Blood
flows. All it does is piss him off.
                       MILO
         You ruined my flesh!
                                            (CONTINUED)

                                                       159.
CONTINUED:
Hallenbeck dives flat to the road as Milo opens up again,
a chattering BURST of GUNFIRE. The muzzle flash is
blinding.
The windshield of a passing car SHATTERS -- The driver
panics, the car spins out of control --
Slews across the road in the middle of traffic.
COLLISIONS. CRUMPLING METAL. EXPLOSIONS of GLASS.
SCREECHING TIRES.

CAR
slides straight toward Hallenbeck.

He dives aside, rolls to his feet --
And he's right in Milo's sights.
My friends, the fat lady just sang.
Except another lady says different:
A single GUNSHOT SPLITS the air.
Milo's chest explodes with bubbling blood.
He shrieks. Turns, staring in disbelief at

SARAH HALLENBECK
below, on the lawn.     She aims Joe's service revolver and
says:
                       SARAH
         You just fucking die.

She FIRES again, and Milo reels backward.
Leaves a bloody smudge on the billboard.
She DROPS the HAMMER again and again.     Empties the gun.
Milo jerks and twitches.     Racked by gunfire.
Paints a bloody stripe across the billboard, making
Gorgeous's bloody buns even bloodier --
Clutches himself.     Looks over at Hallenbeck.
                       HALLENBECK
         She's something, isn't she?
Milo pitches forward.     Falls to his death.

                                                       160.
HALLENBECK
stares, dumbfounded at Sarah.   She look up at him.
A moment passes between them.
Around Hallenbeck, a sea of crumpled cars. HORNS
BLARING. Amidst it all, he stands. Beaten. Bloody.
Bullet-scarred.
Jimmy winds his way through the cars. Walks up to Joe.
They stand in silence for a moment, then Jimmy says:
                       JIMMY
         The car's over on the other side.
         C'mere, I want to show you
         something.


EXT. 405 FREEWAY - SOUTHBOUND LANE - NIGHT
Jimmy and Joe stand in the breakdown lane next to the
rented Subaru. Jimmy points to the shattered window.
                       JIMMY
         Somebody broke in and swiped the
         suitcase from the back seat. Had
         to be Marcon, right?
There is a pause. They both stare at the car.
Two million. Down the drain.
Except, after a beat... they begin to laugh.
First chuckling, then chortling..
Now it's go-for-broke. Jimmy hoots. Joe howls.
Jimmy pulls out a key and opens the trunk --
You can guess what's inside.

                       JIMMY
         Son of a bitch got the wrong one!
                                             CUT TO:

AUTOGRAPHED FOOTBALL
on the dresser of a fancy penthouse suite.
Signed by Joe Montana, no less.

CONRAD MARCON
bustles back and forth, shoves the last of his needed
possessions into a travel bag. Hefts it. Puts it near
the door.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                        161.
CONTINUED:
Crosses to the bed, where the other suitcase lies.
Looks at it. Smiles, contented.
Can't help himself.    He reaches out.    Flicks the latch.
Opens it.
There is a note taped to the inside:
                         FUCK YOU

EXT. DOWNTOWN SKYSCRAPER - 32ND FLOOR - NIGHT
Marcon's flaming corpse is BLOWN OUT through the glass,
along with his earthly possessions. He plummets like a
meteor.
                                              CUT TO:

EAST L.A. SIDESTREET - NIGHT
Two ten-year-old black boys are walking down the street.
Out strolling in the poverty that exists in the shadow of
the skyscrapers.
Quite suddenly, without warning --
A football drops out of the sky.
Hits and bounces, very high --
Comes down. Settles. Rocks, back and forth.
The kids look up, puzzled.      Searching the sky.

The ball sits there.    Only slightly scorched.
Tentatively, almost like he's afraid of being caught,
one of the boys bends down... looks both ways...
Picks up the ball.    Smiles.
Then, as if by some unspoken agreement --
The other boy starts to run.
Slowly at first, then faster... faster still...
A slant pattern, heading for the mailbox...
And at 12 midnight on December 22nd, the San Pedro Street
quarterback throws an absolutely perfect pass.
Their laughter is joyful.    Innocent.    Fervid.
They will grow up to be sports heroes.
                                              DISSOLVE TO:

                                                       162.
INT. BESSALO'S OFFICE - L.A.P.D. - MORNING
Hallenbeck sits impassively while Bessalo paces, fuming.
                       BESSALO
         You got a lot of questions to
         answer.
                         HALLENBECK
         I know.
                       BESSALO
         You'll probably lose your license.
                         HALLENBECK
         I know.

Bessalo glares at him.
                         BESSALO
         Do you care?
Hallenbeck smiles.
                       HALLENBECK
         My wife loves me.
Bessalo looks at him like he's grown a tail.

ESTABLISHING SHOT - JOE'S OFFICE - UNDER THE FREEWAY
Another blistering hot December day.
Gorgeous looks on from her perch, cheerful as ever,
despite the crusted brown stripe on her ass.

INT. HALLENBECK'S OFFICE - DAY

The suitcase sits on a table. Jimmy and Joe contemplate
it over a bottle of Seagrams V.O.
                         JIMMY
         So.
                         HALLENBECK
         Yeah.     So.
                       JIMMY
                (clears his throat)
         You gonna keep it?
Hallenbeck nods.
                         HALLENBECK
         Some of it.
                                             (CONTINUED)

                                                       163.
CONTINUED:
                         JIMMY
         How much?
Hallenbeck frowns. Opens the case. Reaches in --
And plucks out two crisp $100 bills. Stuffs them in a
pocket. Jimmy stares at him.
                       HALLENBECK
                (shrugs)
         My fee.
He shuts the case.    Shoves it toward Jimmy.
Jimmy leans forward, eyeing the suitcase.

                       JIMMY
         Shit, Joe... I got all the money
         I need.
He shoves it back into the center.    Joe nods.
                       HALLENBECK
         I'm thinkin' I could use a partner.
                (beat)
         Think you could handle that for
         awhile?
                       JIMMY
         I maybe could handle that.        For
         awhile.
He pours a drink.    Raises his glass on high:
                       JIMMY
         Alex the detective.

He drinks.

INT. CANCER RESEARCH CENTER - DAY
A uniformed man is emptying the PLEASE GIVE jar when he
notices a suitcase lying against the wall. Under a
poster that says THE GOAL: A CURE IN OUR LIFETIME.
He bends down. Opens the suitcase.
When the money is counted, there will be $1,999,800.
A note is taped to the inside:
                     SO HURRY UP ALREADY

                                                      164.
EXT. PALM-LINED L.A. STREET - DAY
Jimmy and Joe walk side by side. Away from us. Slightly
drunk. Palms wave lazily. A sweaty Santa rings a bell.
                       HALLENBECK
         See, Jim, the thing is, life sucks.
         But you still can't be hangin'
         around Satan Claus, you know why...?
                       JIMMY
         Why?
                       HALLENBECK
         'Cause someday, compadre... Satan
         Claus and Santa Claus are gonna
         have a big fight, and you know
         what...?
                (beat)
         Santa's gonna kick some royal ass.
He puts a fatherly arm around Jimmy's shoulder, grins:
                        HALLENBECK
         Hey.   Smile, you fuck.

                                          FADE OUT.




                        THE END