Conspiracy

 

(This is a full screen play Ė I wrote in an orphan with the hopes that Spielberg will relate and want to do the movie Ė only kidding Steven)

 

 

SCENE ONE:†

††††††††††† Images of Paris slowing narrowing onto a single hotel, and then up the floors and through the windows to a single suite.

††††††††††† BILL COLLINS is in the bathroom shaving while his wife , MAUREEN sits at a portable computer in the other room.

††††††††††† Open suitcases and dresser drawers indicate that the two are packing to leave with a trail of clothing still half in some of the cases.

††††††††††† We look over Maureenís shoulder at the screen, then her hand on the mouse, and then the arrow moving up to the send button on an email program

 

MAUREEN: If you donít hurry, Bill, weíre going to miss our flight.

 

COLLINS: (brushing up a lather in a cup so he can shave, and spreading it onto his face)

 

††††††††††† Will you relax.

††††††††††† We have plenty of time.

 

(Cut away to outside and movement along the window ledge accompanied by the sound of metal scraping on stone. We then see the pistol sliding along, and then the hand, with both moving towards the window in which Maureen is framed with her back to the widow.

††††††††††† The camera zooms in on Maureen again looking over her shoulder at the message which says ďTransmission complete.Ē

 

MAUREEN:

††††††††††† We do not have time.

††††††††††† Not if we want to get through security

††††††††††† Which reminds me, you wonít be able to bring your gun back with you.

††††††††††† Iíll have to send that to the Embassy so they can carry it back by pouch

 

(shift to Collins, looking into the mirror and the reflection of his face, and passed his face to the shoulder holster and its revolver hanging on the knob to the bathroom door. Then back to Maureen who is moving the mouse again, and then on the screen, she clicks the command to format.

††††††††††† We see her face looking concerned. She sighs. We see her finger click the mouse. And then the screen saying† :Format will erase all data on hard disk. Do you still want to format?Ē She clicks the word ďyesĒ

 

MAUREEN: God knows why you insisted on bringing the gun.

 

(We get a quick image of the format screen -- a gray bar that turns green as the percentage of the format is complete. We cut away to the hand with the gun coming closer to the window in a kind of race.)

 

COLLINS: (now fully engaged in shaving as his wife stands, stretches and picks up where she left off packing)

 

††††††††††† I wanted it because I donít feel safe without it.

 

MAUREEN -- (glancing at the computer as she folds a garment and puts it into the suitcase. We get a cut away to the window from the inside and the appearance of the gun)

 

††††††††††† This is Paris, not the Bronx.

††††††††††† You donít need to worry about muggers around every corner.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Iím used to carrying it, Maureen.

††††††††††† You donít spend 30 years as a New York City cop and leave it behind.

††††††††††† Especially with you here on assignment.

 

MAUREEN:

 

(Maureen pauses in her packing as the shape of a man is now clear behind her in the window slowly lifting the gun towards her. She glances at the computer and the bar that has nearly completely gone from gray to green, indicating that the format is nearly done)

 

††††††††††† Youíve been watching too many James bond movies.

††††††††††† My assignments have more to do with gathering information than with shootouts.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† That might well change after we get back to the United States.

 

MAUREEN ††† (Pauses to reflect with her hands still holding the next garment she intends to pack. Behind her, a leg eases in through the curtain, then a second leg, and then finally the full shape of the man, holding the pistol with its fat silencer end pointed at her back.)

 

††††††††††† I know things will change after I testify before the senate subcommittee.

††††††††††† My career as a spy will be over.

††††††††††† My own government will never trust me again.

 

(The pistol spits twice. Maureen hitches up at the impact of the bullets, cries out, then falls forward onto the bed, knocking the suitcase onto the floor.

††††††††††† Collins cuts himself as his hand jerks, and his eyes widen -- he clearly recognizes the sound of a silenced weapon and the fall of a human body.

††††††††††† He turns and grabs his pistol out of the holster and is in time to see the shadowy shape of DeBeau when the killer eases around the door from the bedroom.

††††††††††† Collins fires first, the boom of his weapons echoing through the rooms.

††††††††††† Debeau is struck in the upper right chest and spins away from the impact, but uses the motion to propel him back out of the line of fire. He flees back the way he came, then out the window.

††††††††††† Collins charges through the rooms after Debeau, trying to get a clear shot, but the killer is too clever, angling himself until he out onto the ledge again and crawling away. Collins fires again, but the bullet shatters only the wood frame of the window, missing the man.

††††††††††† Collins rushes to the side of the window, and then eases around the edge, pistol ready to fire in case the killer turns around.

††††††††††† But Debeau is gone, sleeping quickly through one of the other windows on the floor, leaving only a trail of blood where heís gone.

††††††††††† Collins rushes back to where his wife has fallen, but she is clearly dead.

††††††††††† The computer screen says, ďFormat complete.Ē

 

 

SCENE TWO: Collins is seated in an office of a high ranking Paris police officer, Rene, with several other officers standing around. Rene is clearly annoyed.

 

RENE:†

††††††††††† You really expect us to believe that you knew nothing about your wifeís career as a CIA agent.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† †I didnít know until recently.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† How recent is recent?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Two days ago.

 

RENE;

††††††††††† She just blurted this out one day after so many years of you two being married?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† She said she was in trouble and she needed my help.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† What kind of trouble?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† She discovered some questionable activities her agency was involved in.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Such as?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Assassinations and kidnappings. Other things, too

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Here in Paris

 

COLLINS

††††††††††† Here, and elsewhere.

††††††††††† She uncovered it here and has since tracked it to several other countries.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Why use you?

††††††††††† Surely, she had other resources inside and outside the CIA?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† She said she couldnít trust anyone except me.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† What did she propose to do about these irregularities?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† We were to fly back to Washington today so she could testify before a Senate subcommittee.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Didnít she think someone might try to stop here?

 

COLLINS: ††††† (shrugs)

††††††††††† She suspected someone might try.

††††††††††† I donít think either of us thought it would come to this.

††††††††††† We both thought things wouldnít get really tough until we got stateís side.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† And she still wanted to return?

 

COLLINS: (staring down at his hands, which shake a little)

††††††††††† I guess she figured I could protect her.

††††††††††† Obviously I couldnít.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Very well.

††††††††††† Thatíll be all for now.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Then Iím free to go?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† For the moment.

††††††††††† But do not leave Paris until we have investigated this fully.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I wasnít planning on leaving.

††††††††††† I was planning n finding the son of a bitch who killed my wife.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† That would be a mistake, Mr. Collins

 

COLLINS.

††††††††††† Iím a cop.

††††††††††† I know how to catch crooks.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† This is not New York City.

††††††††††† You have no jurisdiction here.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Since when do I need jurisdiction to ask questions?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† This is a criminal matter.

††††††††††† We do not need your meddling into it.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I wonít get in your way.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† I mean it, Mr. Collins.

††††††††††† You interfere with this and youíll be spending the rest of your stay in a Paris jail cell.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I take that is a threat?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Iím just informing you about how our laws work.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Isnít this a crock of shit.

††††††††††† Someone kills my wife, and you threaten to lock me up.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Only if you interfere.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† What about my gun?

††††††††††† Do I get that back?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Iím afraid not.

††††††††††† For one thing, it is evidence in a criminal investigation.

††††††††††† Secondly, you brought it into this country illegally.

††††††††††† Weíre confiscating it.

 

COLLINS (rises, looks at Rene and the others, and shakes his head)

††††††††††† Fools!

††††††††††† (He storms out)

 

RENE: (motions to one of the other men)

††††††††††† Have him followed.

††††††††††† Discretely.

††††††††††† Now all of you out.

††††††††††† I have work to do.

 

(the other men file out and when the door closes, Rene grabs up the telephone and dials. The phone rings and then with a click is picked up on the other end)

 

RENE:

††††††††††† We have trouble.

††††††††††† Yes, with the police officer.

††††††††††† He wants to investigate on his own.

††††††††††† No, I canít arrest him. At least not until he does something.

††††††††††† The press is all over this. Theyíre waiting outside for his statement.

††††††††††† No, I donít know how they found out she worked for the CIA. Maybe someone at the embassy spilled it.

††††††††††† All right. Iíll sit tight. But that man will open a can of warms if you donít do something.

 

(Rene hangs up the phone and the scene fades)

 

 

SCENE 3† (Collins comes out onto the front steps of the building where he is confronted by a mob of reporters, all shouting questions at him and shoving TV cameras and microphones in his face -- including DEBORAH)

 

REPORTER #1:

††††††††††† Who killed your wife, Mr. Collins?

 

COLLINS: (in a kind of daze mumbling)

††††††††††† I donít know

 

REPORTER #2

††††††††††† Were you working on a case with her?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Not exactly.

 

DEBORAH:††††

††††††††††† What do you mean by that, Mr. Collins?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I didnít know she was an agent until a few days ago

 

REPORTER #3

††††††††††† What did you think she was doing all these years you were married to her

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† She said she was a member of the ambassador corps.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Are you trying to say that you -- one of the most decorated police detectives in the New York City police department -- had no idea your wife was a spy?

 

COLLINS:† (still bewildered)

††††††††††† Of course I suspected there was more to her job than she let on.

††††††††††† But I always trusted her to do the right thing.

††††††††††† If she couldnít tell me about what she was working on, I let it go with that.

 

REPORTER #4

††††††††††† So what are you going to do now?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Find the man who killed her.

 

REPORTER #5

††††††††††† Are you saying youíre going to assist in the investigation?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† No.

††††††††††† The authorities here donít want me involved.

††††††††††† If you please, I have to go.

 

(Collins pushes through the throng of reporters, ignoring the continued assault of questions. He hails a cab, gets in, and stares straight ahead as the cab pulls away.

††††††††††† Deborah slips out of the crown and into another cab, and orders her driver to follow Collinís cab.

††††††††††† Then she pulls out a cellular telephone from her purse and punches out the frequently called number.

††††††††††† Behind her cab, two men in dark clothing slip into a dark and official looking car which pulls into traffic behind her cab.)

 

DEBORAH: ††† (into the phone)

††††††††††† Itís me.

††††††††††† Heís out.

 

RATKOR: (voice only)

††††††††††† What did he say?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† He said heís going to investigate

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Did he mention the file?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Not a word

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† You stick with him.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Iím a reporter, not one of your henchmen.

††††††††††† I have a flight back to New York, and an editor who wants me to do some work for a living.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† There are other flights.

††††††††††† As for your work, you work for me.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† I right misinformation when you need a good public relations.

††††††††††† Iím not a blood hound.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Stay on him until I find someone else.

††††††††††† I canít afford to lose sight of him.

††††††††††† You understand me?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† All right, all right, just call me Mata Hari.

 

(She clicks off the phone and fumes)

 

 

SCENE 4: (Debeau hobbles up a narrow street to an alley, then down the alley. He leans slightly to the right the way a hunch back might, his coat showing the seepage of blood and his face shows the grimace of pain.

††††††††††† This is a particularly deserted alley, with only a few mice and rats scurrying among the debris.

††††††††††† But a cough from the dark stops him, as he draws his weapon with his clearly unaccustomed left hand.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† Is that you?

 

††††††††††† (Ratkor strikes a match, which rises to light a cigarette thus revealing his stern face.)

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† You screwed things up royally, Debeau.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† I didnít know the husband was going to be there

††††††††††† Or that he would have a gun

 

.RATKOR

††††††††††† You should have known.

††††††††††† Thatís why we pay you.

††††††††††† Heís brought a lot of attention to us, and that can be a problem.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† I caught some of it on TV

††††††††††† Heís out of his mind thinking he can track me down here in Paris.

††††††††††† Heís out of his element.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Youíre wounded

††††††††††† And he still has something we want.

††††††††††† That makes him dangerous enough. Add to the fact that heís a good cop, and we may have more trouble than we need.

††††††††††† Heíll hunt you down.

††††††††††† If he gets you, he gets us.

††††††††††† We canít have that.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† All this smells to me.

††††††††††† Are you sure the cop was there by accident?

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Youíre paranoid.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† Am I?

††††††††††† Iíve done some thinking over the last few hours.

††††††††††† Iím thinking this may be your way of getting rid of me.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Donít be ridiculous.

††††††††††† If we wanted you out of the way, you wouldnít be here now.

††††††††††† And the press wouldnít be all over this the way they are.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† All right.

††††††††††† Maybe Iím just imagining things.

††††††††††† Iím hurting pretty bad, and pain has a way of screwing with the way people think.

††††††††††† Do you want me to finish the job?

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† No.

††††††††††† The last thing we need is for you to come in contact with that cop again.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† I can handle it.†

††††††††††† Even wounded.

††††††††††† And I wouldnít charge you for it.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† I told you, no.

††††††††††† I have someone else on it for a moment.

††††††††††† We need to find out what his wife did with the file, and killing the cop outright wonít get us that.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† You said she had it on the computer.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† She did.

††††††††††† Our man in the police department got the computer for us.

††††††††††† But the memory is erased.

††††††††††† That means she must have dumped the information somewhere else.

††††††††††† We need to find out where and get it, then kill the cop.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† What do you want me to do?

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Vanish.

††††††††††† The sooner the better.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† Okay, Iíll go get my things from the hotel.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† No.

††††††††††† Weíll arrange for a new package.

††††††††††† You can collect it at the bank in the morning.

††††††††††† weíll get rid of your gear at the hotel.

††††††††††† Meanwhile, find somewhere to law low for the night and a doctor to fix your arm.

††††††††††† But make sure you fix the doctor after heís done.

††††††††††† We donít need no police report on a gun wound if you get my meaning.

 

SCENE 5: (Collinsí cab† pulls up in front the American embassy. He gets out, and heads up the stairs to the door.

††††††††††† Deborahís cab pulls up a† moment later. She also exits, but makes no move to go inside, instead, she hovers off to one side trying to look at inconspicuous as possible.

††††††††††† The dark official looking vehicle pulls up to the curb, but the men inside do not get outside. Instead the man in the passenger seat, picks up the receiver to the car phone and pushes the button for the automated call.

††††††††††† The phone on Reneís desk rings. He picks it up.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Well?

 

MAN #1:

††††††††††† He just arrived at the embassy.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† That makes sense.

††††††††††† Thatís what I would do

 

MAN #1:

††††††††††† Thereís a woman trailing him.

 

RENE: (Concerned)

††††††††††† Who is she?

 

MAN #1

††††††††††† Donít know for certain. But I think she is one of the reporters who tried to interview him outside your office.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Damn it.

††††††††††† Thatís the last thing we need.

 

MAN #1

††††††††††† What do you want us to do?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Stick with him.

††††††††††† Collins isnít going to get what he wants in the Embassy

††††††††††† So heíll try something else. Something unexpected.

 

MAN #1

††††††††††† And if he does?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Arrest him.

 

MAN #1

††††††††††† What about the woman?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Arrest her, too.

††††††††††† More importantly, if you see the killer -- I gave you his file -- shoot and kill him.

††††††††††† I donít want Collins or the woman coming in contact. Do you hear me?

 

MAN #1

††††††††††† Understood.

 

SCENE 6:† (Collins is seated in a waiting room across from the secretaryís deck. Two fully armed U.S. Marines stand guard outside the Ambassadorís door. The secretary tells Collins he can go in. He rises, moves passed the guards and into the room beyond where Higgins sits behind a large desk, an American flag to one side of him, and a portrait of the president on the wall directly behind the desk. Higgins rises and comes around to greet Collins.)

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† Mr. Collins.

††††††††††† (He grabs and shakes Collinsí hand)

††††††††††† Iím so sorry to hear about your loss.

††††††††††† She was the best, the very best, and weíre going to miss her, professionally and personally.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Itís on her account that Iíve come to see you.

 

HIGGINS: (moving back to his seat)

††††††††††† Of course, of course.

††††††††††† Weíve already made arrangements to have your wife shipped home for the funeral

††††††††††† The moment the investigation is concluded here in Paris that is.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Thatís not what I meant.

††††††††††† I want to find the killer.

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† Donít we all?

††††††††††† But these things take time.

††††††††††† We are doing all we can to cooperate with the local authorities on this matter -- provided, of course, they donít ask us to violate state secrets.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You still miss my point, Ambassador.

††††††††††† I want to find him myself.

††††††††††† I need your help to do it.

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† Mr. Collins.

††††††††††† Please be reasonable.

††††††††††† I know how terrible you must feel.

††††††††††† But this isnít New York City or any place in the United States.

††††††††††† Nor do we have the same sway here in France that we might have in another foreign country.

††††††††††† You must let the local authorities work this out in their own time and in their own way.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Which means you wonít help me?

 

HIGGINS (his tone and expression less sympathetic)

††††††††††† It means we canít.

††††††††††† And I must discourage you from pursuing the matter.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Why?

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† Because it may delve into matters of national security.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Maureen was my wife.

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† She was also a highly placed operative.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† which means Iím not to expect justice?

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† Not on your terms.

††††††††††† Your wife should never have brought you into the middle of this.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Youíre assuming she did.

 

HIGGINS: (even more sternly)

††††††††††† It would only be natural to confide in her husband when she got so deeply in trouble

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† What kind of trouble would that be, Ambassador?

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† If you donít know, then I canít tell you.

††††††††††† Letís just says she absconded with some very important files that the United States Government would like returned.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Thatís quite a charge to make. Are you saying she committed treason?

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† Letís just say she made an error in judgment.

††††††††††† But the punishment would have been the same, and will be the same for anyone who intentionally keeps us from recovering that information.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Perhaps her killer OBSCONDED with it.

 

HIGGINS: (staring sternly at Collins.)

††††††††††† Perhaps.

††††††††††† In any case, I suggest you go home to New York and mourn.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I canít go home.

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† If you get into the middle of this youíll face arrest

††††††††††† or worse.

 

COLLINS: (laughs bitterly)

††††††††††† Thatís the second time tonight someone has threatened me.

††††††††††† You donít know me.

††††††††††† I didnít like it when Charlieís little playmates threatened me in the jungle 30 years ago, and I like it less in the middle of Paris.

 

HIGGINS: (His tone softening again)

††††††††††† Just be reasonable, Mr. Collins.

††††††††††† I just want to help you avoid additional tragedy.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I canít imagine what could be more tragic than losing my wife.

††††††††††† But as for whether I come or go, Iíll decide that for myself.

††††††††††† Thanks for you help and your unwanted advice.Ē

 

††††††††††† (Collins exits the way he came. Higgins waits until the door closes, then looks towards one of the other doors into the room. RATKOR, fresh from his meeting with DeBeau, eases into the room like a ghost.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† That didnít go well.

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† Did you expect it to?

††††††††††† After all, you just had his wife killed.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Many people die.

††††††††††† The wise man saves his own life and lets others worry about their own.

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† Then you mean to kill him.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† As soon as we find out what he did with the file.

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† Wonít the death of a prominent police officer draw more attention from the media -- especially when you still have a wounded agent wandering around the city?

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† The agent wonít be wandering long.

 

HIGGINS:

††††††††††† Youíre a cold man, Ratkor.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† In this business, you have to limit the damage.

††††††††††† Your job is to maintain the fiction and deny everything.

 

HIGGINS

††††††††††† Thatís easy.

††††††††††† I know so little

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Perhaps that is why you are still alive.

 

SCENE 7: (Collins exits the building and Deborah latches onto his arm and walks with him down the stairs)

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† You remember me, Mr. Collins

††††††††††† Iím Deborah Willis from News United.

 

COLLINS:† (Detaches her arm fro his and hurries his step)

††††††††††† Go away.

 

DEBORAH:† (Hurrying to catch up)

††††††††††† But I only need a few minutes of your time.

 

COLLINS: (Halts abruptly. Deborah bumps into him)

††††††††††† Listen, Lady.

††††††††††† I donít want to make any more comments.

††††††††††† So get the hell away from me.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† I understand why you would be upset, Mr. Collins.

††††††††††† And I know that you need to strike back somehow.

††††††††††† Maybe I can help you.

 

COLLINS (Incredulous)

††††††††††† How?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† We both know who is behind your wifeís death.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Who might that be?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Wasnít your wife scheduled to testify before the senate?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† What if she was?

††††††††††† A lot of people testify.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† She knew things.

††††††††††† More than most.

††††††††††† She might even have kept records.

 

COLLINS:†††††† (Brushing passed her again)

††††††††††† Get out of here.

 

DEBORAH:† (again hurrying to keep up)

††††††††††† Do you know what that means, Collins?

 

COLLINS (Still walking fast)

††††††††††† No, but Iím sure youíll tell me.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† It means that if they killed your wife, theyíll want to kill her -- figuring your know as much as she did.

 

COLLINS: ††††† (Halting again, this time beyond the concrete barriers protecting the embassy, near the curb and the street)

††††††††††† Listen, Lady.

††††††††††† How many times do I have to tell you I donít know anything?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Maybe you donít.

††††††††††† But not everybody will figure it that way.

††††††††††† And youíve made so much noise about finding that killer, others might even consider you dangerous.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Dangerous enough for someone to try to kill me?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† It makes sense.

 

COLLINS:† (Starts to walk again, more slowly, as if resigned to the fact that he canít shake her. They pass the dark official looking vehicle with the two men in it. After they pass, car doors open, then close as the two men get out.)

 

For your information, I want them to find me.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Why on earth would you want to do that?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Itís old trick I learned during my three tours in Vietnam.

††††††††††† Make your enemy come to you.

††††††††††† Incidentally, we have two men following us.

 

DEBORAH: ††† (Turns)

††††††††††† Following us

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Donít look.

††††††††††† Just walk with me.

††††††††††† Fast.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Are they...?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Are they killers? I think not.

††††††††††† From the sound of their footsteps, they used to be beat cops.

††††††††††† My guest theyíre probably men Inspector Rene sent to keep tabs on me.

††††††††††† Just keep walking and move when I tell you to move.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Why?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Because if Iím wrong and they want me dead, theyíll probably kill you, too.

††††††††††† Youíre a witness.

††††††††††† Damn, I wish I had a gun.

 

(Collins increases the pace. But so do the men from the car, and after a moment the illusion is up and both Deborah and Collins start to run with the two men behind them running as well.

††††††††††† Then, Collins yanks Deborah into an alley, where the both run full tilt, Collins pulling over trash cans behind them so as to slow the two men who are chasing them.

Then, he turns into another alley, then yanks Deborah to one side and pushes her down a narrow set of stairs leading to the door of basement. )

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Stay there.

††††††††††† Donít come out until I come out for you.

 

DEBORAH: †††

††††††††††† What happens if you donít come back?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Then you wonít have to worry about it.

††††††††††† Theyíll come for you next.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† But....

 

(Collins looks in the direction of pursuit, then flees, out of the frame -- view of Deborah looking up the stairs -- a moment later, the two running men appear, then pass, their pistols drawn. We get a reaction shot of Deborah, as the sound of crashing and grunting comes from off screen. Then the vie shits to Collins, showing him holding a piece of rusted pipe while standing over one of the disabled men, while the other man is circling with gun aimed at Collins

 

MAN #1

††††††††††† Donít make me shoot you, Collins.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Make you?

††††††††††† You followed us here.

††††††††††† If not to shoot us, then why?

 

MAN #1

††††††††††† We had order to keep an eye on you?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† From Rene?

 

MAN #1

††††††††††† The inspector doesnít want you to go after the man who killed your wife.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Then you know who he is?

 

MAN #1

 

††††††††††† We know who weíre supposed to look out for.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Who is it?

 

MAN #1

††††††††††† Mr. Collins, please, many of us in the department admire you...

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Try admiring me a little less.

††††††††††† Give me the info or Iíll bash your partnerís head in, gun or not gun

 

MAN #1†††††††††

††††††††††† Donít be foolish, Mr. Collins.

††††††††††† You are in way over your head with this crime.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I know I am.

††††††††††† But I know Iím dangerous to somebody, and if I donít find that somebody first, Iím a dead man anyway.

††††††††††† Maybe theyíll let me go home.

††††††††††† I might even go on thinking Iím safe, but sooner or later, someone will decide Iím too much of a risk and put a bullet in the back of my head.

 

MAN #1

††††††††††† Which is true of anybody who helps you, Mr. Collins.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Then, Iíll have to help myself

 

(Collins swings the pipe as if to hit Man #1, but lets it loose at the last minute, then diving aside as the man fires. The pipe misses the man, but distracts him long enough for Collins to grab hold of the gun arm and twist it down, the hand caught at the odd angle opens up, letting the weapon drop to the ground.

††††††††††† Then, Collins releases the grip, kicks the weapon away, and both men face each other weaponless. The man moves to kick Collins, but Collins blocks the blow, hitting the man twice in the face and chest before withdrawing again.

††††††††††† The man kicks again, this time striking Collins hard in the groin, bending Collins over, allowing the man to kick him again although this blow, aimed at Collinsís face missed slightly and hit Collins in the shoulder instead, spinning him slightly.

††††††††††† Collins is ready for the next kick, traps the leg, twists it, forcing the man to fall, where Collinsí pins him.

††††††††††† Collins grabs the pistol with his free hand and points into the manís face.)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I think now we need to talk a little turkey.

††††††††††† I want to know what you know or you and your partner arenít leaving this alley.

 

MAN #1

††††††††††† Youíre a cop, Collins, not a killer.

††††††††††† You wonít shoot us.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Try me!

 

MAN #1 (studying Collinsí face for a moment finally swallows)

††††††††††† In my jacket pocket. Thereís an envelop. It has an old photo and a brief print out on some of his previous activities.

 

(Collins lifts his forearm from the manís throat and reaches into the inner jacket pocket, producing a thick business sized envelop. He empties the contents onto the ground near the manís head, and picks up the photo)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† This is him?

 

MAN #1:

††††††††††† Itís an old photo, from his cold war days.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† And this other stuff?

 

MAN #1

 

††††††††††† Some of the places heís uses in the past, hotels, banks, cafes .

††††††††††† But I wouldnít count on his going there again.

††††††††††† Heís a professional.

††††††††††† They never use the same places twice.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Just the same, itís something to go on.

††††††††††† You stay here and look after your buddy. He has a bit of a pump on the head.

††††††††††† Make sure he stays here until Iím long gone, when he wakes up.)

 

(Collins stuffs the photo and paperwork back into the envelop, then puts this into his own jacket pocket. Then, he pats down Man #2, and finally sees the other pistol that the man dropped. Collins picks this one up as well, stuffs it into his belt, then makes his way back to where he left Deborah.)

 

††††††††††† Come on.

 

DEBORAH-- (Climbing up the stairs from the doorway)

††††††††††† Where are we going?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Some place else.

††††††††††† Some place safe.

 

DEBORAH: ††† (glancing up the alley)

††††††††††† Did you kill them

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† No.

††††††††††† I donít kill cops if I can help it.

††††††††††† Now come along

 

 

SCENE 8: (Inspector Rene sits in his dark office looking down at the telephone for a long time before he finally picks it up and dials.

††††††††††† The ringing sounds on the other end. He is breathing heavy. Then comes the sound of a click and the voice of Ratkor

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Yes?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Bad news.

††††††††††† Collins slipped past my men

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Damn you, Rene

††††††††††† Canít your men do anything right?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† This isnít their fault.

††††††††††† They are Paris police officers not secret agents.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† And Collins is only a cop

††††††††††† Surely your men can handle another cop

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Heís good cop, and apparently, a combat veteran.

††††††††††† He knows how to handle himself.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† So where did you go?

††††††††††† Do you have any idea?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† My guess is heís on the trail of your hit man

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† How is that possible?

 

RENE (Pauses)

††††††††††† One of my men had an old file and a photograph.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† What?

††††††††††† Are you out of your fucking mind?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† I had to have insurance.

††††††††††† You didnít know where your hit man went.

††††††††††† So I ordered my men to keep an eye out for him.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† You utter idiot

††††††††††† Do you know what youíve done?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Iím sorry.

††††††††††† I realize it was a mistake

 

RATKOR:† (After a moment)

††††††††††† Do you have other men assigned to Collins?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Yes.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Call them back.

††††††††††† Send me a copy of what your detectives gave to Collins.

††††††††††† Iíll take care of the matter.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† What should I do?

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Nothing.

††††††††††† At least not until I tell you to.

††††††††††† And youíd better pray we contain this.

††††††††††† Thereís no telling what might happen if this gets out of hand.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Thereís one more thing you should know.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† What else?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Collins is with a reporter.

 

RATKOR: (sighs)

††††††††††† At least you didnít screw that up.

 

††††††††††† (the line goes dead)

 

 

SCENE 9: (Debeau eases out of the shadows of a busy morning street.

††††††††††† His arm is in a sling, but he frequently cringes as he moves it. A bottle of pills rattles in his pocket, and as he climbs the steps to the bank, he pauses, draws out the pills, removes the cap and dumps several into the palm of his hand, swallowing them without water. He replaces the bottle in his pocket and then moves through the door into the cold cavern of the bank.

††††††††††† This is one of the old fashioned banks with a high decorated ceiling complete with chandeliers, and marble floor. Metal and marble tables are situated in various places where patrons scribble out deposit or withdrawal slips.

††††††††††† Tellers sit behind marble walls with black metal cages, waiting on customers.

††††††††††† Debeau crosses to an unoccupied teller.

††††††††††† No one is looking at him. But he studies each person in the room: the old lady at one counter; a young man in a dark corner scribbling madly on a form, another slightly older man on the elevated section of the bank apparently waiting for an appointment with a manager. A third figure, half hidden by shadow, stands in a corner.

††††††††††† Debeau shivered, then speaks to the teller, handing over a brass key.

††††††††††† The teller nods, and then motions for Debeau to follow, and the two of them go through a small gate and into the back through the open round mouth of the vault -- the telling pausing to open the gate.

††††††††††† The teller unlocks and removes the deposit box and leaves it on a marble counter, leaving Debeau to view its contents in private.

††††††††††† But when Debeau lifts the lid, the box is empty.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† That bastard!

 

††††††††††† (He abandons the box and the counter and eases to the edge of the vault door. He peers out into the bank. The three men he looked at earlier have shifted position, each now within easy line of sight of the vault door.

††††††††††† Debeau takes out the bottle of pills again, pops several more in his mouth. Then, he restores the bottle to his pocket and pulls out his pistol.

††††††††††† His expression is grim.

††††††††††† The teller noticing him starts back towards the vault, obviously assuming Debeau has finished his business. The teller crosses between Debeau and each of the three men, denying them a clear line of fire.

††††††††††† DeBeau moves out, keeping the teller between him and nearest of the men.

††††††††††† DeBeau fires at the most distant man, dropping him with a single shot, then moves again towards the stunned teller, still using the teller as shield.

††††††††††† The other two men have drawn guns, too, fire, hit the teller, and Debeau dives aside, fires at one, killing that man, then at the other, killing him, too.

††††††††††† Moving quickly, but not in a panic, Debeau steps over the dead teller and passed the nearest of the attackers.

††††††††††† Shocked faces watch him pass.

††††††††††† A guard appears with a drawn pistol. Debeau shoots and kills him as well.

††††††††††† Debeau pauses at the door and look at the street.

††††††††††† Several dark cars with men near or in them are parked at the curb.

††††††††††† They are clearly alert due to the gunfire in the bank.

††††††††††† Debeau ejects a clip from the handle of his pistol letting it fall to the floor with three still unexpired rounds.

††††††††††† He snaps a fresh clip into the pistol, then grimacing from the pain in his shoulder, he slips out of the door to the protection of one of the bank pillars before the expected machine gun bullets shatter the glass door behind him.

††††††††††† He aims, fires off a round.

††††††††††† One of the men behind a car spins around machine gun sending bullets into the air as he falls.

††††††††††† Sirens sound.

††††††††††† The other men -- perhaps a half dozen -- glance around nervously, then clamor back to their cars and drive off.

††††††††††† Debeau eases out from his protection, and then, in a hurry, rushes down the stairs and back into the shadows, just missing the arrival of the police cars and the army of police officers rushing from the cars and into the bank.

 

 

SCENE 10: (Rene stands before a map in his office with several pins poked into it. Two younger officers stand beside him)

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Tell me again.

††††††††††† You found the doctorís body where?

 

OFFICER #1 (Points to a black pin at one spot on the map)

††††††††††† There

 

RENE:

††††††††††† And the place where the woman CIA agent was murdered?

 

OFFICER #2† (Points to a red pin at the bottom of the map)

††††††††††† There, sir.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† And the shooting at the bank?

 

OFFICER #1 (points to a yellow pin in the upper portion of the map)

††††††††††† Up there, Sir

 

RENE:

††††††††††† And you say the three are connected somehow?

 

OFFICER #2

††††††††††† Ballistics show the same pistol was used in each case.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† This is not good

 

(the intercom squawks)

 

RECEPTIONIST:

††††††††††† The minister of defense is on the line for you.

 

RENE (Clearly angry, motions at the two officers)

††††††††††† Out both of you.

 

††††††††††† (he jabs the button to the intercom)

 

††††††††††† Send through the call

 

††††††††††† (He sits heavily into the chair, and then picks up the phone)

 

MINISTER:

††††††††††† Rene?

††††††††††† What on earth is going on down there?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† I wish I knew for certain, minister.

††††††††††† The best I can make out is that it is some kind of CIA operation.

 

MINISTER:

††††††††††† I know it involves the CIA.

††††††††††† That much I can get from the evening news.

††††††††††† What I want to know is why it is spreading?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† It appears that several factions are fighting themselves.

 

MINISTER:

††††††††††† What about this New York City police officer?

††††††††††† Is he involved in this, too?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Marginally.

††††††††††† He appears to be seeking his wifeís killer.

 

MINISTER:

††††††††††† Which is a lot more than you seem to be doing.

††††††††††† Do you know how embarrassing this is for the Prime Minister -- to have the CIA operating openly on French soil?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† I can only imagine, Minister.

 

MINISTER:

††††††††††† If you could, you would have this wrapped up already.

††††††††††† What about this shootout at the bank?

††††††††††† Was the police detective involved with that as well?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Not to my knowledge, Minister.

††††††††††† It would seem the killer met up with some CIA operatives.

 

MINISTER:

††††††††††† And?

 

RENE

††††††††††† The killer escaped.

 

MINISTER:

††††††††††† Where were your men at the time?

 

RENE

††††††††††† Minister, please be reasonable.

††††††††††† You cannot expect my men to predict where and when the CIA will clash.

 

MINISTER:

††††††††††† What I expect is for you to clear this matter up.

††††††††††† And quickly.

††††††††††† If you know where the killer is, arrest him.

††††††††††† If not, find him.

††††††††††† As for the police detective, pull him in and protect him.

††††††††††† God knows we do not need him dead in the street as well

††††††††††† Do you understand me, Rene?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Yes, minister.

 

MINISTER:

††††††††††† Good.

††††††††††† Do you need me to send some military people there to help you.

 

RENE (Blurting out)

††††††††††† NO!

†††††††††††

††††††††††† (Then more calmly)

††††††††††† That would only confuse things more

††††††††††† Weíll take care of it.

 

MINISTER:

††††††††††† Make certain you do.

 

††††††††††† (The line goes dead and for a long time, Rene sits staring out into space. Then, he opens the drawer and pulls out the other phone. He hits the button and listens to it ring. Then after a while, the click sounds of someone picking up the line on the other end.)

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† What is it, now, Rene?

 

RENE:

††††††††††† You said you were going to take care of things.

††††††††††† Now the situation is worse than ever.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† I admit things are bad, but they are not yet out of control.

††††††††††† We shall have the man in a few hours.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† I canít rely on that.

††††††††††† If I donít do something my superiors will start asking the wrong kind of questions.

††††††††††† They have ordered me to apprehend the suspect and take him into custody.

††††††††††† That includes the police detective.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Stay out of this, Rene, Iím warning you.

††††††††††† I already have elements in place to take care of the matter.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† If youíre going to kill these people, do it quickly.

††††††††††† Otherwise, I may have to take steps to do it for you.

 

 

SCENE 11 (The cab pulls up to the curb before the canopy of a hotel designed mostly for out of country professionals. The door man pulls open the door. Collins seated on the street side motions her out)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Hereís your hotel

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† I donít want my hotel

††††††††††† I want to go with you.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Weíve been over this.

††††††††††† Itís too dangerous.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Iím a reporter, remember?

††††††††††† Iím used to danger.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I meant, it is dangerous for me.

††††††††††† The last thing I need to worry about is you.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† I can take care of myself.

 

COLLINS: (Pauses, his gaze gets a little distant, then his expression hardens)

††††††††††† I said out..

††††††††††† Or Iíll come around the cab and drag you out.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† All right, Iím getting out.

††††††††††† (She climbs out, the door man pauses, and when it is clear Collins is not getting out, he closed the door. Deborah leans down to speak through the open window)

††††††††††† You need me and you know it.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Driver.

††††††††††† Letís go.

 

(the cab pulls away.

††††††††††† Deborah stares after it, then flags down another cab and tells her driver to follow Collinsí cab.

The two cabs head for a run down part of the city where the streets are narrow, twisted, and crowded with an assortment of characters: artists and immigrants, beggars, vendors and tourists.

††††††††††† Collins unfolded the sheets of paper he retrieved from Reneís men, his gaze lingering on the picture of the much younger Debeau.

††††††††††† The eyes in the photo seem hard and ruthless.

††††††††††† And Collinís own expression goes through several changes, rage, then regret.

††††††††††† He sighs, then stuffs the photo back into his jacket pocket, and looks over the sheets of paper -- These are merely a list of hotels, banks and cafes.

††††††††††† The cab pulls up in front of one of the hotels on the list.

††††††††††† Collins gets out, pays the driver, then walks inside.

††††††††††† a moment later, Deborahís cab pulls up just as Collins vanishes.

††††††††††† She gets out, pays her driver, then slips to one side to wait.

††††††††††† The inside of the hotel has the musty look of another time. It is small and crowded with chairs, couches and plants, each passageway arches as if patrons are traveling through tunnels to get from one part to another.

††††††††††† Collins ducks under some of the plants hanging from the low ceiling to approach the front desk.

††††††††††† Older men seated in some of the chairs watch him pass, but without real curiosity.

††††††††††† even the clerk seems disinterested and responds only after Collins raises his voice.

 

CLERK:

††††††††††† Can I help you.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Iím looking for this man.

††††††††††† Have you seen him.

 

CLERK:† (Looks down at the photo briefly, his eyes registering fear or alarm, then looks up at Collins.)

††††††††††† No.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Look at the photo again

 

CLERK:† (staring straight at Collins)

††††††††††† I told you, I donít know him.

 

COLLINS: (Sighs)

††††††††††† I can make trouble for you, friend.

 

CLERK: (More obviously afraid)

††††††††††† Just go away.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† then you do know him?

 

CLERK:

††††††††††† We havenít seen him here in a long time.

††††††††††† He used to come here regularly in the old days.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† The old days?

 

CLERK:

††††††††††† You know, before the cold war ended.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Youíve not seen him since?

 

CLERK:

††††††††††† I donít want to.

††††††††††† Heís a moody cuss and a poor tipper.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You know of any other places he might be?

 

CLERK:

††††††††††† You might check the cafe across the street.

††††††††††† He went there frequently.

††††††††††† But it has been so long, most of them probably never met him.

 

COLLINS: (picks up the photo and drops a $50 bill in its place along with a card from his hotel with his room number and name handwritten on it.)

††††††††††† If you see him, give me a call.

 

(Collins then exits the hotel and crosses the street. He goes into the cafe, and from the street, he can be seen talking to several people inside. They shake their heads. He returns,, pulls the papers from his pocket, then hails a cab. Deborah does the same. We see the cab stop in front of another hotel, and Collins enter, and come out, looking unhappy. We get a series of such scenes until, apparently frustrated, Collins directs the cab back to his hotel. He gets out, goes in; Deborah arrives in another cab, gets out, and follows him in. Collins doesnít go to his room, but into the hotel bar. Deborah follows him in, then settles onto the stool beside his. Collins has already finished his first drink and working on a second. Deborah waves for the bartender for a drink of her own.)

 

DEBORAH

††††††††††† That wonít bring her back, you know.

 

COLLINS:† (looks over at her)

††††††††††† Donít you ever go away?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Not when thereís a hot story to be had.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Hot?

††††††††††† Iíve never seen a trail so cold as this one is.

 

DEBORAH

††††††††††† The trail maybe cold, but there are plenty of people upset with you.

††††††††††† Did you know there were people following you everywhere you went today?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You mean besides you?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† You knew?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You wease when you walk fast and† your shoes squeak.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† And the others?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Government of some sort.

††††††††††† But not cops, I think.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† I wonder what they want?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Hard to say.†††† t

††††††††††† They might think I can lead them to the killer.

††††††††††† More likely, theyíre looking for some files my wife swiped to bring with her to the Senate hearing.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Files?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Physical proof connecting high officials in the American government with various terrorists groups prior to 9/11.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Then you have the files somewhere?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Letís just say I know where I can put my hands on them when I need them.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Need them for what?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† To testify.

††††††††††† My wife canít do it. But I can.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† So youíre going back to the United States?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Right after I catch my wifeís killer.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Do you intend to kill him?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Maybe.

††††††††††† But I intend to find out who hired him first.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† What then?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† That depends on who is it.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† You must have loved your wife a great deal.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Perhaps.

††††††††††† But I was an asshole, too.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† What do you mean?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I always suspected her of cheating on me.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Was she?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Thatís the problem. She wouldnít say.

††††††††††† She always told me she had to do things for her county I was better off knowing nothing about.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† So is this all about your finding out if she was faithful or not?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† No.

††††††††††† Itís the cop in me.

††††††††††† I had loose ends

††††††††††† Itís better that I know the worst, than not knowing.

 

(a bell hop in the hotel uniform appears at the door from the lobby, looks around until he spots Collins then comes straight to him.)

 

BELLHOP:

††††††††††† Mr. Collins

††††††††††† You have a call.

 

(Collins and Deborah exchange glances. Collins fishes through his pocket, dumps some cash on the bar , then hurries after the bar hop. Deborah grabs her purse and slips off the stool)

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Hey, wait for me.

 

(Bellhop, followed by Collins and Deborah enters the lobby. He motions to a booth to one side. Collins grabs up the phone)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Collins here.

 

(Cut away to an extreme close-up of the clerk from the other hotel, then pan out to show a gun pointed at his face, then pan out more to show Debeau holding the gun)

 

CLERK:

††††††††††† Mr. Collins.

††††††††††† There is someone here who wants to see you.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† The man from the photo?

 

CLERK:

††††††††††† Precisely.

††††††††††† And could you please hurry.

 

(Collins slams down the phone and rushes out, brushing passed Deborah.)

 

DEBORAH (Rushes to catch up and get in front of him, walking backwards to his advance)

††††††††††† What is it?

††††††††††† Was it him?

 

COLLINS (halting)

††††††††††† Look, Lady. Just use your head for a change and stay here.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† But I can help.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† How?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Youíre going to need to lose those men following you before you go see this guy.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I donít see what that has to do with you?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† I have a rental car parked near my hotel. I donít use it much because of the problem with parking.

††††††††††† You canít run away from anybody in a taxi cab. I proved that today.

††††††††††† Besides, I know the streets of Paris and you donít.

††††††††††† I can help you lose those people without getting yourself lost.

 

COLLINS: (Looks at her for a moment, and then nods)

††††††††††† Fine.

††††††††††† Letís go get your car.

††††††††††† But youíre going to do exactly what I say when I say it.

††††††††††† No questions asked.

††††††††††† Is that understood?

 

DEBORAH: (Grins)

††††††††††† Youíre the boss.

 

 

SCENE 12: (The Scene opens on the face of the hotel clerk and pans out to show him being dragged across the floor by the feet, leaving a trail of blood as Debeau stuffs the body into a room behind the counter then settled nervously in a corner from which he had a clear view of the lobby and the front door.

††††††††††† Shapes move outside on the street, and we get reaction shots of the increasingly agitated Debeau, who again turns to the bottle of pain pills. The jacket and sling show a wider circle of blood, his wound again breeched by his efforts at moving the body.

††††††††††† A cat moves nearby and he jerks his pistol around in that direction.

††††††††††† A car horn sounds and his pistol pivots in that direction.

††††††††††† Then we get the sound of bicycle bell, a dog, then the shape of something dark moving passed the window again, this time accompanied by a click and the silhouette of a pistol.

††††††††††† A TV goes on and off.

††††††††††† an extreme close up of Debeauís face shows beads of sweat.

 

 

SCENE 13:† (Collins and Deborah hurry down the dark street away from the well-lighted hotel front. Shapes ease out from that director. Deborah glances back and frowns)

 

DEBORAH: Someone s behind us.

 

COLLINS: ††††† (Continuing his brisk pace. and not bothering to look back)

††††††††††† They were watching us in the bar.

††††††††††† Which way to your car?

 

DEBORAH: (Hurrying to catch up)

††††††††††† To the right.

††††††††††† Itís parked near my hotel

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Letís hope they donít decide to kill us before we get there.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Kill us?

††††††††††† I thought you said you have something they want.

 

COLLINS (Shrugs)

††††††††††† Plans change.

††††††††††† Some of them might decide Iím too much of a risk on the loose, and think if they kill me now I wonít have a chance to give the information to anyone else.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Some of them?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Itís a little confusing.

††††††††††† But I get the impression weíre got different factions involved in this.

††††††††††† I got used to feeling this way in Vietnam.

††††††††††† Some of those weíve seen are Reneís boys, beat cops just doing a job.

††††††††††† But thereís others, darker and more dangerous.

††††††††††† I havenít felt such evil intent since I dealt with the Viet Cong.

 

DEBORAH: (Looking at Collins, her face showing surprise, even alarm)

††††††††††† Do you know why they are?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Iím not in the spy business.

††††††††††† My wife probably could have told you.

††††††††††† My guess is that they are pretty desperate to contain this thing.

††††††††††† You probably scare as much as I do?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Me? Why?

†††††††††††

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Because youíre the press.

††††††††††† Nothing scares secret governments more than an honest press.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Hereís the car.

 

(The two of them come to the car, Collins sticks out his hand)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Give me the keys.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† No way.

††††††††††† I rented the car; I get to drive it.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Donít be absurd.

††††††††††† Weíre going to have to put the pedal to the metal

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† My point exactly.

††††††††††† I told you, I know these streets, you donít.

 

COLLINS: (Glances over his shoulder up the dark street, where shapes move in the shadows, shapes growing closer. Clicks sound of safeties being unlatched.

 

††††††††††† Point taken.

††††††††††† Letís go.

 

(both climb into the small car. Deborah starts it, twists the wheels and with a combination of clutching and playing the gas pedal gets the car to leap out of the parking space just as the dark figures rush on.

††††††††††† One of the men tries to grab the door handle on Collinís side.

††††††††††† Collins rolls down the window, punching the man in the face, but it is the increasing speed of the car that eventfully pries the manís fingers loose and he falls aside.

††††††††††† Behind them, two more men stop, crouch and fire their weapons, bullets ripping through the rear window and trunk.

††††††††††† Deborah weaves the car so that most of the bullets fly wide to one side or the other.

††††††††††† Collins, twists around in his seat to stare out through the gap the bullets made.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† That wonít be the end of is.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† I know.

††††††††††† Thereís a car rushing at us on my side.

††††††††††† If they mean well, Iíll eat my bra.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Keep driving.

(He pulls out one of his captured pistols)

††††††††††† Iíll see if I can slow them down a little.

(He eases into the small rear seat and pushes the barrel of his weapon through the crumbling glass.

††††††††††† An automatic weapon fires from the car, again poking holes in the side of the car Deborah is driving.

††††††††††† Deborah weaves around other cars that are pulling over at the sound and sight of the conflict.

††††††††††† Collins fires back.)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Faster.

††††††††††† You have to drive faster.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Iím trying.

††††††††††† But I donít want to kill anybody -- like any of the pedestrians.

††††††††††† Besides, Iím still hoping I can get my deposit back on the car.

 

(She presses down harder on the gas. and twists the wheel, steering the car through narrow streets and alleys, the wheels squealing, the bumpers scraping brick and metal with each close turn. The car behind them repeats each maneuver as if a partner in some exotic car show. Each time the cars wind up on a straightway, a burst of machine gun comes from the other car, Collins returning fire at each opportunity.)

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† I think weíre in trouble

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† What now?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Another car just turned onto this street ahead of us. Itís coming our way fast.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Can you do anything about it?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Hold onto something.

 

(against she twists the wheel, her car turning abruptly into an even narrower alley, knocking aside trash cans and all else as is rushes through the passage. Behind on the wider lane, the follow car slams on its breaks, having half passed the turn off, backs up, and turns down the alley after them. The second car -- the one previously in front, turns in also, so that now two cars are racing after Deborahís rented vehicle. Continued gun fire erupts from the passenger side window of the car behind, ripping up metal and brick in an indiscriminate rain of lead.

††††††††††† Deborah shifts and puts the car into another gear, propelling the small car forward with another gust of speed, a speed clearly unsafe in the narrow confines, as the alley twists and turns, and the car continues to scrape and bang on obstacles, eventually coming back into the more downtrodden region they had visited previously.

††††††††††† Then, for a few moments they are out of sight of the cars behind them, and Deborah slams on the breaks, twists the car Blues Brother Style into a perpendicular alley, halting the car in a dead end, then shuts off the lights -- ha

 

DEBORAH: (Out of breath as if she had run the whole distance instead of driven it.)

 

††††††††††† Here they come.

 

(The other cars pass right by the place they stopped, the sound of their passing fading after a moment)

 

COLLINS: (Staring out the shattered back window)

††††††††††† I think theyíre gone.

††††††††††† Where did you learn how to dry, the Daytona 500?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† I have five brothers.

††††††††††† Besides, you need to be aggressive to get the big scoop.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Fine, letís go a little easier from now on, although I donít think our friend at the hotel is going to be too patient.

 

 

SCENE 14: Rene is seated at his desk with a lone lamp for illumination. The room is otherwise dark.

††††††††††† The phone rings.

††††††††††† He looks at it for a moment before he finally picks it up.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Yes.

††††††††††† I see.

††††††††††† Where in the city did you lose them?

††††††††††† You say he got a phone call?

††††††††††† Have you had it traced?

††††††††††† Forget getting permission.

††††††††††† Wake up the manager if you have to or the commissioner of the phone company.

††††††††††† I want to know where the call came from.

††††††††††† Obviously thatís where the two of them are headed.

††††††††††† Call me as soon as you know

 

(Rend hands up, then immediately seeks the other phone pushing the button that puts him in contact with Ratkor.)

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Itís me.

††††††††††† My men lost track of Collins and the reporter

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† I already have someone on it.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† What about your renegade agent?

††††††††††† Heís been leaving a trail of blood throughout the city.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† All in good time.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† We donít have time.

††††††††††† The minister of defense is suspicious.

††††††††††† Sooner or later, he is going to step in and find out how long I have been working with you.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† We are on it.

††††††††††† Collins is leading us to the renegade. Once I get one more piece of information, Iíll do away with them all.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† I man soon know where your renegade is. My department is tracking the call Collins got at the hotel.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Donít get in the middle of this, Rene, Iím warning you.

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Iíll do what I need to do if you donít act quickly.

 

(The line goes dead. Rene hangs up, then picks up the other phone again calling another number)

 

RENE:

††††††††††† Donít talk, just listen.

††††††††††† You know that special arrangement we talked about?

††††††††††† Can you still make it?

††††††††††† No, donít let them loose until I tell you.

††††††††††† Iíll call you and tell you where they should go.

††††††††††† I want everyone in the area dead.

††††††††††† I know it will be a mess.

††††††††††† But itís the only way to make sure we get the ones we want is to wipe out the whole neighborhood.

††††††††††† We can blame it on terrorists.

 

 

SCENE 15: (Deborah pulls the bullet-riddled rented car up to the curb in front of the old hotels. She moves to get out, but Collins stops here.)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You stay here.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† I thought we settled all that.

 

COLLINS

††††††††††† You miss my point.

††††††††††† If this is trap, the both of us shouldnít walk into it.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† But you do?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Yes.

††††††††††† And Iíll need you out here in case everything goes wrong.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† What exactly can I do if it does?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You can write it up for your news services to make sure people know it happened.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Is that all?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† No.

††††††††††† When you get back to New York, you need to look up my captain. His name is Kevin Rogers

††††††††††† And tell him, heís going to have to take the files to the Senate hearings and testify in my behalf.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† He has the files?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† He knows where to access them.

 

(Collins climbs out the car)

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Bill?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Yeah?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Be careful.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Iíll be as careful as I can.

 

(Collins heads into the old hotel. Once he is out of sight, Deborah pulls out a cell phone and punches out a number. Ratkor picks up on the first ring)

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Well?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Heís in the hotel with Debeau.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Did he tell you what he did with the file?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† He sent them to his police Captain in New York

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Excellent!

††††††††††† Now get out of there

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† And go where?

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Back to New York.

††††††††††† Iíll join you there once Iíve finished cleaning things up here.

 

(Ratkor hangs up. Deborah puts the phone back into her purse, then starts the car. Collins, who is near the door just into the old lobby, hears the car start, peers out and watches the rental car pull away.)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Iíll be damned..

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† So they got you, too

 

(Debeau -- clearly weaker -- stands behind the counter with his gun aimed at Collins, who turns towards the killer)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Are you the man who killed my wife?

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† Among others.

††††††††††† I would have killed you, too. But you shot first.

††††††††††† Thatís not a mistake Iíll make a second time.

††††††††††† You were a fool to come here alone.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I didnít come alone

††††††††††† (he glances out the door again at the now vacant street)

††††††††††† But is seems Iím alone now.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† In this world, friend, you canít trust anyone.

††††††††††† Not even your own wife.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Whatís that supposed to mean?

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† You think people hired me on a whim?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I know why you killed my wife

††††††††††† (Collinsí hand eases towards the opening of his jacket where the butt† of the pistol protrudes.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† Easy there, friend.

I wonít want to have to kill you just yet.

††††††††††† I need to know how deep you are in all this before I put a bullet in you.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Youíre paranoid.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† And youíre not period enough.

††††††††††† In this world, everyone betrays everyone else.

††††††††††† Itís the nature of existence.

††††††††††† Itís brother against brother,

††††††††††† father against son

††††††††††† even husband against wife.

 

COLLIN:

††††††††††† I already know my wife was involved.

††††††††††† Thatís the reason someone hired you to kill her.

††††††††††† She has evidence of this whole sick world and was about to take it to the senate to have it out in the open.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† How naive you are, friend, to think she did this out of the goodness of her heart.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† She did it because she loves her country.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† She did it because someone betrayed her and she wanted to get even

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You donít know my wife

††††††††††† Sheís patriotic to a fault.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† Youíre the only one who doesnít know your wife, friend.

††††††††††† Thereís no patriots in this game.

††††††††††† There are only loose alliances.

††††††††††† Those who do business with you today are trying to cut your throat tomorrow.

††††††††††† Each of us has to watch our backs to make sure we donít get cut out of the game for good.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† As with my wife?

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† My guess is she got cut out, then tried to cut herself back in.

††††††††††† When that didnít work, she decided to blow the game.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† So you killed her?

 

DEBEAU

††††††††††† I only pulled the trigger.

††††††††††† If you want to get to the people who ordered her murdered, youíre going to have to climb a few rungs up the ladder.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You know who they are?

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† I have a fair idea.

††††††††††† You will, too, if you wait here long enough.

††††††††††† They should be here any time to get you and me.

 

COLLINS: (Glances towards the door and the street beyond. Shapes move in the dark. The sound of safeties click.)

††††††††††† Are you saying the reporter called them?

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† This outfit has a lot of reporters working for them.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† And I told her who my wife sent the files too.

 

DEBEAU (Laughs, and the laugh evolves into a cough. He pops another pill into his mouth)

††††††††††† Youíre a fool, friend.

††††††††††† But thatís the right trail anyway.

††††††††††† I was supposed to collect those files when I came to kill your wife.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Iíve got to get back to NY

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† You might be a trifle too late.

††††††††††† I expect the place is probably surrounded by now.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You knew I was being tailed?

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† I counted on it.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Why?

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† Because Iím dying and I knew I couldnít get to him.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Him?

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† The next rung on the ladder.

††††††††††† The man who hired me and the man who betrayed me.

††††††††††† Heíll be nearby, watching to see that this mess gets cleaned up.

††††††††††† And if he comes within my reach, Iím going to kill him.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Youíre saying heís here?

 

DEBEAU: †††††† (Coughing again)

††††††††††† Somewhere

 

(Gunfire erupts, shattering the hotels front window and spraying the counter with bullets. Debeau ducks, but he is hit and is spun around by the impact.

††††††††††† Collins -- quicker -- is already on the floor, crawling -- flashes of memory images of 30 years early show -- a younger Collins crawling through the jungle admit continued machine gun fire.

††††††††††† He peers around the edge of† an overturned table, his pistol gripped in his head. Then, quickly, he rushes across the open space to the counter where Debeau is bleeding profusely and clearly dying.

 

DEBEAU:

††††††††††† Get him.

††††††††††† for me. For you wife

 

(Debeau dies)

 

(the sound of smashing glass comes from another part of the building. Collins checks one of the stolen pistols. It has only one bullet in the clip. He dumps it aside and takes up the one from Debeauís dead fingers. Then, Collins moves in a crouch to the room behind the counter, where he bumps into the body of the dead clerk.

††††††††††† Collins cringers, then rises, a little higher to look around.

††††††††††† He cocks his head as if listening intensely.

††††††††††† Movement sounds from the lobby as two dark figures slip in through the front door. He fires three times, two of the three rounds hitting the two figures. Then he ducks again as machine gun fire from outside rips though the lobby again.

††††††††††† Collins retreats, going towards the back of the building, stumbling into a dark kitchen where he accidentally hits some of the hanging pots.

††††††††††† Sounds from the front suggest more have entered the building. He comes to a bolted back door. He eases to one side of it, then peers out the gap of the barred window beside it. Shapes move in the shadows outside. He presses his pistol to the gap, fires twice, then yanks on the bolt, which sticks. He eases it† back and forth until it open, then rolls out into the narrow alley where the bodies of the two men he just shot lay.

††††††††††† No one else appears.

††††††††††† Collins presses himself against one of the walls then slowly moves up the alley towards where the mouth opens onto a wider street.

††††††††††† A lone shadow shifts near the mouth of the alley, a dark figure fleeing.

††††††††††† In the brief slant of street light, Ratkorís face showed for a moment, fearful and confused, vanishing before Collins can squeeze off a shot.

††††††††††† Collins charges after him.

††††††††††† Ratkor is a shadowy figure moving quickly from one dark pool to another always just before Collins can aim or fire, forcing Collins to rush almost blindly to the spot last seen. Finally, Ratkor slips into another alley, and Collins slips into after him, a narrow, dismal place with stone walls to either side, like a maze dotted with barred windows and closed wooden doors.

††††††††††† The late hours or the sound of gunfire has chased ordinary people out of the area. So that Collins and Ratkor seem to be the only people on the planet, their rushed steps and heavy breathing echoing ahead and behind.

††††††††††† Collins closes in on the figure, taking changes he has not taken since Vietnam, charging ahead, his grim face showing his determination. Finally, he reaches a place where Ratkor is still visible ahead of him)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Thatís far enough, Mister.

 

RATKOR: (halts and turns. He is smiling)

††††††††††† Maureen often told me you are relentless.

††††††††††† I didnít believe her until now.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† So youíre the man behind the curtain?

††††††††††† the one who ordered her killed.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Iím only one in a long line of those men.

††††††††††† But more importantly, Mr. Collins, Iím one of those other men you always suspected your wife of being with.

 

COLLINS: (raising his pistol)

††††††††††† you lie

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Not about this.

††††††††††† Maureen was one of my best agents.

††††††††††† I saw more of her than you did.

††††††††††† It was only nature that we should...

††††††††††† Well, you know.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† If you two were so close, why did you order her killed?

 

RATKOR:††††††

††††††††††† Thatís where you fit into the picture.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I donít get you.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† You gave her a conscience.

††††††††††† Not all at once, of course, but a little bit each time she came back to you.

††††††††††† When she started in the business, she was a ruthless as the rest of us.

††††††††††† She didnít pay much attention to methods as long as we got the results we wanted.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† And later?

 

RATKOR: (Shrugs)

††††††††††† She began to see things as right and wrong.

††††††††††† including our little affair.

††††††††††† She decided to make things right.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† By testifying before the Senate subcommittee.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Yes,

††††††††††† and giving them evidence.

††††††††††† Fortunately, thanks to you, we shall soon recover that evidence.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You mean the files

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† I have people on the way to meet with your chief even as we speak.†††††

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Okay, so your people have Captain Rogers. But I have you.

††††††††††† Maybe you and I will take a short trip to Washington instead.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† I donít think so, Mr. Collins

††††††††††† You hear that sound?

 

(gunfire sounds in the distance)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† So?

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Thatís Inspector Reneís doing.

††††††††††† He got it into his little brain that he has to clean everything up.

††††††††††† Heís hired some people to come through this part of the city and kill everything they find.

††††††††††† They will be here shortly

 

(a helicopter appears over head, search lights sending blinding beams down on the place where Collins stand.

A machine gun opens fire.

††††††††††† Collins leaps to the side, rolling, then running as the chopper follows him along the room line, firing down on him as he continues to doge.

††††††††††† Flashes of old war fare show -- of helicopters flying over the tops of jungle, firing and being fired upon.

††††††††††† Collins rushes out into the street where other men on the ground see him and start to shoot at him.

††††††††††† He fires back, ducks at the helicopters swarm down, bullets ripping up pavement inches from where he is running

††††††††††† Again, we see him running through the fields of Vietnam, fire and flames surrounding him, as he rushes in and out of jungle protection.

††††††††††† We see him crawling on the ground

††††††††††† Then we see him diving into a drainage hole and into the street, as fire and flames roar over him, showing through the grates above as he seeks the lowest level possible.

††††††††††† Not far away on the street Ratkor slips away, as several armed men appear, covering him as they rush him into a dark vehicle, and then this darks away.

††††††††††† In the back seat, he grabs up a telephone and pushes a button.

††††††††††† The phone rings several times and is finally answered with Reneís voice.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† This was a stupid stunt, Rene.

††††††††††† Thanks to you, Iíve lost Collins again

††††††††††† No, donít bother. Your part in all of this is done.

††††††††††† (An explosion sounds on the other end, and then the line goes dead. Ratkor replaces the phone then motions to the driver)

††††††††††† Get me to the airport.

 

 

SCENE 16: (Images of the airport, the terminal, camera moving in on the ticket desk. A manís bandaged hand drops a pass port and a credit card on the counter. The clerk opens the passport and the camera looking over the shoulder sees the passport photo of Collins and a more than a little tattered real life face, burned slightly and bandaged in place, but obviously the same man)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I had a car accident.

 

WOMAN:

††††††††††† oh, I see.

††††††††††† Youíre returning to New York?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Yes.

 

WOMAN: (handing back passport and credit card along with his tickets)

††††††††††† Have a good flight.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Thank you.

 

(Collins moves through the terminal more or less following the crowds that grow thinner as he comes closer to the gate. He pauses at several security points, passing through each with relative ease since he is carrying no luggage. One guard eyes his badge when Collins deposits it in a box at the x-ray machine. But no one stops him.

††††††††††† On the plane, he looks out at the airport. A reverse shots shows his expression of emotional pain. He is obviously thinking of his wife.

††††††††††† Behind him, several seats back, two men study Collins. But if Collins is aware of them, he shows no sign, and the plane takes off without incident.

††††††††††† We get the passing of time -- perhaps stealing an idea from Raiders of a map and red line -- and eventually we see the New York Skyline, Statue of Liberty and other icons of the city, and eventually, the plane touches down on Kennedy Airport.

††††††††††† Collins passes out of the plane, but the two men rise to follow him, and they travel in the same shuttle from the landing point to the terminal.

††††††††††† This time security at the check out stops Collins, until a higher ranking security officer comes to him with two armed men behind him.

 

MAN #3

††††††††††† Mr. Collins?

 

COLLINS: (looking around carefully, studying the layout of the area)

††††††††††† Yes?

 

MAN #3

††††††††††† We need you to come with us.

 

COLLINS: (shifting his feet)

††††††††††† What for?

 

MAN #3

††††††††††† I think the matter ought to be discussed in private.

††††††††††† I would rather not make a scene.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I hate making scenes, too.

††††††††††† But unless you explain yourself better, Iím not going anywhere with you.

 

MAN #3 (Sighs)

††††††††††† Your name has been placed on the terrorist watch list by Homeland Security.

††††††††††† If you do not come with us willingly, we are authorized to use force to detain you.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I see

††††††††††† (Collins kicks Man #3 in the groin, then uses him as a battering ram to drive Man #3 into Man #4í stomach. Man #5 tries to react, but Collins punches him squarely in the face, then flees back the way he came barging his way through arriving passengers.

††††††††††† The three men behind him recover, radio in a general alarm and begin pursuit, attempting to step over and around the people Collins throws in their way.

††††††††††† Something like an air raid alarm echoes in the distance, and men in and out of uniform appear out of various doors, including several military men carrying automatic rifles.

††††††††††† Collins gaining ground, glanced ahead at terminal where a phalanx of official figures begins closing off any possible area of escape like a net over a school of tuna.

††††††††††† He glances to the right at a door marked ďMaintenance: do not ender:

††††††††††† A man with a bucket and pail is just coming out of it.

††††††††††† Collins grabs him, shoving him his bucket and mop back inside, allowing the door to the terminal to close and lock.

††††††††††† Men on the other side bang on it, their curses† muffled by the thick metal.

††††††††††† Down the hall, a handful of workers glance up, shrug and move on with their chores.† Still in Collinsí grip, the maintenance man struggles to get free

 

WORKER:

††††††††††† This isnít a public space. You canít be in here.

 

(Collins flashes his badge)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† NYPD:

††††††††††† Weíre looking for a terrorist.

††††††††††† Is there anyone through here to the front?

 

WORKER: †††† (glances at the badge, and he is dearly confused, but gives a nod)

††††††††††† Yes

 

COLLINS: (tightening his grip on the manís arm and propelling him forward)

††††††††††† Show me.

 

(Alarm bells ring along the corridor as do red flashing lights, raising panic among the other workers as Collins and the maintenance man make their way through the inner passage. Eventually they come to a door that leads to the front lobby. Out in the general space, the public is in a panic, too, many of them stumbling over each other in a general confusion as security and military push them out of the way in a search for Collins.

††††††††††† NYPD officers are also on the scene, but standing back, as if forming the outer ring of security. Collins looks at them until he sees BENSON and charges straight for him.

††††††††††† Benson is a non-uniform detective who is surprised to see Collins.

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† What you doing here?

††††††††††† I thought you were on a second honeymoon in Europe.

††††††††††† Iíve missed your patriotic diatribes on why we ought to fight the war in Iraq.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I was in Europe until someone murdered the bride.

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† Are you kidding me?

††††††††††† I know you have a strange sense of humor, but thatís little too much.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Iím not kidding.

††††††††††† And worse, the man these mugs are looking for is me.

 

BENSON:† (looks startled)

††††††††††† You? A terrorist?

††††††††††† Are they out of their gourd?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I donít have time to explain, but Iíve got to get back to the station.

††††††††††† Kevinís life may depend on it.

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† All right.

††††††††††† (Signals for an officer in uniform)

††††††††††† Explain later

††††††††††† (the officer approaches)

 

OFFICER:

††††††††††† Sir?

†††††††††††

BENSON::

††††††††††† This is Sergeant Collins.

††††††††††† Take a patrol car and bring him where ever he needs to go.

 

 

SCENE 17† (Establishing shot of the police station, then a close shot of Collins barging through the halls, passing people who welcome him back or curse him in a kidding way over some slight heíd given them as tome previous point. He moves quickly nodding at some, giving one word responses to others, but pausing for n one.

††††††††††† He finally makes his way to a glass door where the name of Captain Kevin Rogers is spelled out in gold letters. He pushes in and is greeted by a clearly concerned secretary, who smiles at him with a weak flirt,, then grows serious.

 

SECRETARY:

††††††††††† I heard about your wife, Bill

††††††††††† Iím so sorry.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Me, too.

††††††††††† Iím still in shock.

 

SECRETARY:

††††††††††† If you ever need a shoulder to cry on, just give me a call.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† If I do, I will

††††††††††† Right now, I need to talk to the captain.

††††††††††† Is he in?

 

SECRETARY: (Looks even more concerned)

††††††††††† No, heís not.

††††††††††† He hasnít been in this morning and he hasnít called.

††††††††††† And thatís not like him.

††††††††††† I called him several times at home. But the line is always busy.

††††††††††† To tell you the truth, Iím more than a little worried.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Iíll check it out.

††††††††††† Call down to the armory and motor pool.

††††††††††† Tell them Iím going to need a few things.

 

(Collins leaves the captainís office and makes away through a bullpen full of desks until he reaches a somewhat messy deck where the name plate displays his last name. He sits down, hits the power button for the computer, and while waiting for this, he unlocks his desk and draws out a nine millimeter pistol still in its holster from the bottom drawer, and four boxes of bullets. He puts two boxes of bullets in each pocket then slings the strap of the holster over his shoulder.

††††††††††† The computer beeps.

††††††††††† He moves the mouse to the internet icon, then clicks on it, waits, then types out a url for a mail station.

††††††††††† ďYou got mailĒ flashes on the screen. He clicks on the mail icon. One message shows with an attachment.

 

COLLINS: (mumbling)

††††††††††† Thank God, itís still there

 

(He hits the message forwarding option, then types in another address, and then the send button. Once this is complete, he goes back to the original screen. Clicks on the delete message, and then turns off the computer, pockets a cellular phone as well as a few business cards from his desk, before plunging back through the maze of decks following signs indicating armory. A heavyset cop behind the counter greets him.)

 

COP #2

††††††††††† You donít usually come down† here.

††††††††††† Youíre always a stickler for your own weapon.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I have my own handgun.

††††††††††† But I need something a little more potent.

 

COP #2

††††††††††† We got some m-16s if you want one.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Nothing like that.

††††††††††† Give me a scatter gun and as much ammo as you can spare.

 

COP #3

††††††††††† You expecting a riot?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Maybe

(he signs the form, and pockets two boxes of shotgun shells, then waves at the cop before heading down the hall again, clips and clerks looking up at his passing.

††††††††††† He pauses at communication, where he grabs and signs for a hand held police radio, then moves, following signs to the motor pool

††††††††††† Here he meets a grim gray-haired man in overalls.

 

MECHANIC:

††††††††††† I donít have a whole lot for you in the way of unmarked cars.

††††††††††† If you had called at the start of the shift I would have put something aside for you.

††††††††††† All I got are some cars seized in raids

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Iím not particular as long as its unmarked and goes fast.

 

MECHANIC: (grins)

††††††††††† I got just the thing for you.

 

 

SCENE 18:

††††††††††† †(Collins pulls up to the lower east side tenement in a black Honda Civic that has clearly been modified for speed, its rumbling muffler drawing the attention of the neighborhood. Young studs start with envy, then looked shock when Collins climbs out. He looks back into the car at the handle of the shotgun just visible under his jacket, pauses, then shrugs, patting the shoulder holster.

††††††††††† Then he goes into the grocery store on the bottom floor

††††††††††† The camera linger outside for a moment focusing on two men in dark suits climbing out of a dark card a half a block away. They start moving towards the† store into which Collins has just gone.

††††††††††† Inside, Collins closed the door, the small bell ringing again with the click of the latch.

††††††††††† This is an old fashioned grocery storm despite the proliferation of modern icons such as the New York Lottery machine.

††††††††††† The shelves are crowed and clearly this place has done business in this neighborhood for many years.

††††††††††† MARGE -- a woman in her mid-60s comes through a drawn curtain from the apartment in the back of the store.

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† Billy!

††††††††††† Youíre back

††††††††††† (Then, she pauses, and grows more sober)

††††††††††† Iím so sorry to hear about Maureen.

††††††††††† It was all over the news.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I appreciate that, Marge.

††††††††††† Iím looking for your brother.

††††††††††† He didnít come into the office today and he didnít call.

 

MARGE: (reacting with shock)

††††††††††† He didnít go into the office?

††††††††††† But thatís where I thought he would be.

††††††††††† I didnít check on him last night when we got back -- you know how Bert and I go to the home to see money twice a month. Since I didnít hear anything upstairs, I thought he stayed at the office.

††††††††††† You know heís done that before, sometimes spending days there if he has a case.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I think maybe I should go upstairs and see whatís what.

††††††††††† Do you have the key?

 

MARGE: (removing her apron and putting it on the counter)

††††††††††† Iíll go with you.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I donít think you should.

 

MARGE: (a look of panic crosses her face, and then is replaced by a look of determination)

††††††††††† Bill Collins

††††††††††† What kind of woman do you think I am?

††††††††††† Iíve raised four sons and two daughters. One son died a police office. One son died in the war.

††††††††††† If somethingís wrong up there, I want to see it for myself.

††††††††††† Now letís go.

 

(Marge goes to the front door, flips the sign from open to closed, then locked it, and motions Collins towards a door situated between two sets of shelves along the right wall. She pulls a bundle of keys out from the pocket of her dress, unlocks the two locks and pushes the door open.

††††††††††† Collins moves through it and into the hall at the bottom floor of the tenement. He glances around careful, as Marge relocks the door. Then he climbs the stairs ahead of her, his step showing a familiarity with each moaning loose step. Marge chatters on as she rises more slowly, but also with far less care.

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† It was just too quiet up there.

††††††††††† I didnít even hear the phone ringing.

††††††††††† With my brother, you know thatís queer. His phone is always ringing with some matter or other.

 

(Collins reaches the top of the stairs n the second floor. He looks on the floor. Spots of blood -- mostly dried -- show a trail, a few smudged with shoe prints.

††††††††††† Collins eases his pistol out of its holster and clicks off the safety.

††††††††††† Marge arrives at the top of the stairs somewhat breathless.

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† Is that really necessary?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† It would seem so.

 

††††††††††† (Then, he comes to the door. More blood stains show. So do signs of forced entry: a blasted away locked, then a shattered molding from the chain lock torn away.

††††††††††† Bullet holes show in the door and Collins fingers one of these.)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† It looks like he put up a fight.

††††††††††† The dripped blood outside suggests he managed to hit one of the intruders.

 

MARGE: (in a hushed and frightened voice)

††††††††††† Is Kevin...?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I donít think so

††††††††††† (He opens the door more to show the shattered apartment inside, which draws a gasp from Marge.)

††††††††††† He has something they want.

††††††††††† Since they probably thought I was dead when they did this, they kept him alive so that could get it.

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† But youíre not dead.

††††††††††† Wonít they kill him now?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Not yet.

††††††††††† They know they canít get it from me. So theyíll keep pressing him for it.

††††††††††† Meanwhile, Iíll go find him.

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† You know where he is?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† No, but I know someone who does.

 

(a buzzer sounds in one of the other apartments)

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† Thatís strange.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† What do you mean?

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† Someoneís at the front door.

††††††††††† Theyíre ringing Mrs. Milnerís apartment.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† So?

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† She never gets visitors.

 

(the buzzer sounds again, more distant)

 

††††††††††† Thatís Mr. McDonaldís apartment

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† It sounds like someone is ringing all of them just to get in.

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† Iíll call the police

††††††††††† (She reaches for the phone that has been overturned in the search)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Donít.

††††††††††† Theyíll be there the door in a minute.

††††††††††† You need to hide.

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† What about you?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Theyíre here for me.

††††††††††† They wonít stop until they find me.

††††††††††† So hiding wonít do me any good.

††††††††††† Is there a door to the roof?

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† Yes.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Is it locked?

 

MARGE:

††††††††††† From the inside with a bolt.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Good.

††††††††††† Lock yourself into one of the other apartments.

††††††††††† Iíll draw them to the roof.

††††††††††† When you hear them go by, go downstairs and call the police

 

(Both come back into the hall just as the sound of shattering glass comes from the front door. Collins motions Marge towards one of the apartment doors. She goes to it, knocks, and when there is no response, lets herself in with the master key.

††††††††††† Collins lingers at the banister, looking down through the gab. When he sees a hand appear on the rail, he stairs up the next flight of stairs. But not carefully. Loudly. So that his foot steps resound.

††††††††††† The sound of two sees of footsteps echoes his as the men from below charge up the stairs after him.

††††††††††† He rushes up one flight of stairs then another, until at last he comes to the top where three steps lead to a door to the roof. He tries to open the bolt, but it sticks. Footsteps sound closer. He bangs at the bolt with the palm of his hand. It still resists. Finally, he uses the butt of his pistol and inch by inch the bolt eases open, and the door opens out just as the men appear at the top of the last flight of stairs.

††††††††††† Collins dives out onto the black top beyond.

††††††††††† They appear at the door behind him, fire at him, but he is up and running, keeping the chimneys between him and their line of fire. The roofs are connected, although he has to jump over three foot walls to pass from one roof to the next, and at 55, Collins is huffing and puffing as he darts away, bullets cracking brick just as he clears each hurdle.

††††††††††† The two men charge after him, younger and more athletic, taking each wall with ease so that they are gaining on him. Collins makes a sharp right turn and jumps. landing on the top flight of the fire escape going down the front of the building. he rushes down each set of stairs, taking them all in one jump as the heads of the two men appear at the roof line above. They fire. But the bullets get lost in the tangle of metal and he reaches the last ladder to the street even before the first of the two men eases off the roof to the top of the fire escape to pursue him.

††††††††††† Collinsí weight brings the ladder to the ground. He runs down the side walk, misaimed bullets biting the concrete at his heals. He reaches his car unscathed, leaps into it and guns the engine, drawing cheers from some of the street punks as he leaves a trail of burnt rubber a half block long)

 

SCENE 19: ( the camera shows a black Honda Civic illegally parked in front of the wide stairs to the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and 5th Avenue

††††††††††† Then we see Collins making his up the stairs, passed the lions and then through the doors into the solemn yet busy interior. He wanders for a moment then stops at the information desk, asks a question, in answer to which, the library staff member points. he follows her directions and comes to a rack of phone books. He takes out the one for .Manhattan, searches for the name he wants, then dials the number on his cell phone. The sound of distant ringing is quickly replaced by a very professional voice.

 

RECEPTIONIST:

††††††††††† United News?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Can I have the office of Deborah Willis?

 

RECEPTIONIST:

††††††††††† One moment place.

††††††††††† (She puts him on hold but this lasts only a moment when Secretary #2 responds)

 

SECRETARY #2

††††††††††† United News. Ms. Willisí office.

††††††††††† How can I help you?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† My name is Sgt. Bill Collins from the New York Police Department.

††††††††††† I met Miss Willis in Paris.

††††††††††† She said I should call for an appointment when I got back to New York City.

 

SECRETARY #2

††††††††††† I am so sorry.

††††††††††† Miss Willis has returned from Europe, but she wonít be back in the office until Monday.

††††††††††† Do you want to leave a number where she can reach you when she does?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† No.

††††††††††† Iím still in transit.

††††††††††† But do tell her I called and that Iíll call back.

 

(Collins hands up, then dials the office number to Capt. Rogers)

 

SECRETARY #1

††††††††††† Hello.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Paula, itís me.

 

SECRETARY #1

††††††††††† Bill?

††††††††††† Where are you?

††††††††††† All hellís broken loose around here.

††††††††††† There are men from Homeland Security saying that youíre a terrorist

††††††††††† and that youíve killed Kevin.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Kevinís not dead yet, and he wonít be if I can get to him soon.

††††††††††† Thatís why I need you to do me a favor.

 

SECRETARY #1:

††††††††††† Anything if itíll save Kevinís life.

††††††††††† To tell you the truth, I didnít like the look of those men anyway.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Good.

††††††††††† Find someone you can trust to run a check on Deborah Willis -- sheís a reporter for United News.

††††††††††† I need a home address.

 

SECRETARY #1

††††††††††† Where do I reach you when I get that information.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You donít.

††††††††††† Iíll call you.

††††††††††† Just donít tell anybody youíre doing it for me.

 

(This time when Collins clicks off the phone, he drops it into the book return box on his way out of the building, then hurries out the door and down the stairs to the car at the curb. He snatches the parking ticket off the windshield as he climbs into the car.

††††††††††† He flips on the police radio that is lying on the passenger seat. The airwaves are full of the usual diatribe of confused reports, lists of numbers detailing crimes as if everything needed to be secret code.

††††††††††† He pulls his car into traffic, and then glances down at the radio as a rarely used code is announced followed by his name and his license plate number

††††††††††† Then he looks into the rear view mirror. A police car is behind his car. The siren goes on. So do the lights.

††††††††††† The radio reports his being spotted.

††††††††††† Collins steps hard on the gas, passing through a red light. Then he steers onto one of the cross town streets, then uptown again, the police siren wailing behind him as the radio squawks with requests for backup.

††††††††††† Collins weaves his car through traffic, swerving to avoid pedestrians who step in front of him with the usual foolish assumption that he canít hurt them, then jump out of the way when they realize he isnít going to stop.

††††††††††† Now there are more police cars and several other dark cars behind him, all struggling to make the same complicated twists and turns his car makes.

††††††††††† He steers the car uptown, turning on cross town streets this way and that when the concentration of traffic threatens to bring him to a halt.

††††††††††† Finally, he reaches Central Park where he guns the car and so do the police cars and other vehicles.

In the park, two cops cars pull in front of his car at one of the cross streets.

††††††††††† He swerves, bangs his car into their sides, but continues on, steam flowing out from under his dented hood.

††††††††††† Eventually, the car stalled, with red warning lights popping up on the dashboard one after the other.

††††††††††† He jumps out, grabs the police radio and the shot gun and runs over a hump of grass then down a asphalt walkway passed the zoo and towards the lake.

††††††††††† Cop cars screech to a half where his car stalled.

††††††††††† Doors slam.

††††††††††† The police radio reports that he is now on foot.

††††††††††† Collins runs.

††††††††††† Flashes of memory show him running over a savannah while military helicopters rush through the skies over head.

††††††††††† He looks up.

††††††††††† A dark military type helicopter streaks across the sky above Central Park. Another less ominous police traffic helicopter appears, voice of some weary officer calling over its public address system for him to halt.

††††††††††† Collins heads for the protection of one of the walkway tunnels, then leans against the wall, breathing hard.

††††††††††† Dark shapes appear at the other end of the tunnel, two men, each carrying a pistol

 

MAN #6

††††††††††† Itís all over Collins

††††††††††† Why donít you just put down your weapons and come with us?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Why donít you fuck off

††††††††††† (Collins swings around with the shot gun and the two men dive to the ground with the blast. Collins darts away, up the grassy slope near the mouth of his side of the tunnel, then runs down the road.

††††††††††† Joggers stare at him.

††††††††††† Bicyclists squeal to a stop.

††††††††††† He grabs one of the bicyclists, pushes the shot gun into the manís hands, takes the bicycle, hops on, grabs the shotgun back, and peddles away.

††††††††††† A Strawberry fields, he abandons the bicycle, drops the shotgun in a trash barrel, then heads onto the street until he finds a subway, and hurries down its steps and out of sight.

 

 

SCENE 20: (Deborah climbs out of a cab in front of a posh Manhattan apartment building, nods at her door man, then makes her way to the elevator, which takes its time to arrive.

††††††††††† She pushes the button with irritation gain several times and nearly bumps into someone coming out in her rush to get in.

††††††††††† Then, she looks annoyed as the elevators rises one floor ticking off after another, when the door finally opens at her floor, she bursts out before the doors are fully open, her keys jangle half way down the hall.

††††††††††† When she reaches her door, she shoves the key in the lock and twists.

††††††††††† Thatís when the barrel of the hand gun touches her neck and when the camera pans out, we see Collins holding the weapon.)

 

COLLINS:††††††

††††††††††† Donít make any noise.

††††††††††† You might regret it.

 

DEBOARH: (seen from the front swallows with difficulty)

††††††††††† Bill?

††††††††††† Is that you?

††††††††††† I want waited for you in Paris but...

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Yeah.

††††††††††† Iíve known Vietcong whoíve waited for me in the same way.

††††††††††† Inside.

††††††††††† We have a few things to do.

 

(She pushes the door open. He uses her as a shied as she turns on the lights, studying the apartment, his head tilted as if listening for some unusual sound.

††††††††††† A radio plays somewhere else in the building

††††††††††† A baby cries.

††††††††††† A telephone rings.

††††††††††† Collins closes the door and locks it, then motions for Deborah to sit on the couch.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† What do you want?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† First of all, you can tell me why you set me up.

††††††††††† and with whom?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Set you up?

††††††††††† I donít know what you mean?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Skip the crap, lady.

††††††††††† Iím not in the mood.

††††††††††† Just tell me what I want to know.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Bill, youíre a nice guy and all.

††††††††††† But youíve crossed the wrong people.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† So it would seem

††††††††††† But why you?

††††††††††† What do you get out of all this?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† I get to keep my life for one thing.

††††††††††† I donít want to end up like your wife.

††††††††††† You just donít walk away from this business after youíve been in it as long as I have.

††††††††††† I do what Iím told.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Including getting me killed?

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† You had something the government wanted; I helped them get it back

 

†(Collins motions with the gun towards the phone)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Fine, call your boss.

††††††††††† Iíll trade what I got for Captain Rogers.

 

DEMORAH ( Laughing)

††††††††††† They have him; so they had the documents, remember?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Donít bet on it.

††††††††††† I moved the freight the moment I got to New York.

††††††††††† Now Iím the only person who knows where to get it.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Even so, I just canít call.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† If you donít find a way, then the government is going to be short one rat fink reporter.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† You wouldnít shoot me.

††††††††††† Youíre a cop

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I used to be a cop.

††††††††††† Now Iím a terrorist.

††††††††††† Now get on the phone before I start acting like one.

 

SCENE 21: (Deborah and Collins climb out of a cab at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.

††††††††††† Collins clutches his police radio in one hand and Deborah with the other and moves her through the crowd to the walkway on the bridge. Joggers, walkers, rollerbladers, bicyclists and others create a steady flow of pedestrian traffic around them.

††††††††††† Collins glances around in every direction.

††††††††††† Deborah walks stiffly staring straight ahead.)

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† This is stupid.

††††††††††† Why couldnít we meet somewhere normal.

††††††††††† Are you trying to relive the Cold War?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I need somewhere very public. And this seemed like the right place to me.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† You think this will stop them if they want you dead?

††††††††††† Look what they did in Paris.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† This isnít Paris.

††††††††††† I was off my own turf there.

(Then speaking into the radio)

††††††††††† Benson, do you read me?

 

BENSON (Voice over the radio)

††††††††††† Iím here, Bill.

††††††††††† I just hope you know what youíre doing.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Me, too.

††††††††††† Have you got the other units in place like I asked?

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† Thatís a big ten four.

††††††††††† But I had to call out a lot of favors on this one.

††††††††††† We can all get our asses canned for this or worse.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Just be ready when I call for you.

††††††††††† And Benson?

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† Yes?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Expect the unexpected.

††††††††††† These guys are savage.

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† Ten-four

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Do you thin a bunch of rogue cops can fight the whole U.S. Government?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Lady, this is New York City, not Paris or Rome.

††††††††††† Even the U.S. government canít go around kidnapping people and expect to get away with it.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† Youíd be surprised what the government can do.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Just do what I tell you.

††††††††††† That way your boss will get his prize spy back in one piece.

 

DEBORAH:

††††††††††† He might decide to kill us both.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† He wonít.

††††††††††† He wants his file.

††††††††††† And he knows by now Iíve told someone where to send the file if something happens to me.

 

††††††††††† (They approach the center of the bridge as men in dark suits include Ratkor approach from the Brooklyn side.

††††††††††† Rogers looks haggard and his hands are cuffed in front of him.

††††††††††† He has clearly been abused and denied sleep. Sue he staggers a little like a drunk. Two of the group of about six men have to hold him up the elbows.

††††††††††† The group stops about ten yards from where Collins and Deborah have halted.)

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† All right, we brought him.

††††††††††† Whereís the file?

 

COLLINS: (Withdraws a business sized envelop out of his inner jacket pocket)

††††††††††† I wrote it all down for you.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† How do I know you didnít make copies of the file?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You donít.

††††††††††† Thatís what keeps me alive.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Then whatís to keep you from appearing before the Senate subcommittee anyway?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† My word.

††††††††††† Unlike with you guys, my promises are still worth something.

 

(Collins cocks his head as if hearing a vague sound none of the others can yet hear. Then gradually, the sounds of heavy military style helicopters rise on both sides of the bridge.† Collins glances one way. Two very ominous helicopters rise on that side. He glances the other way. Two more rise there.)

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Iím afraid your word wonít be good enough, Mr. Collins.

††††††††††† Just walk towards us and we wonít order the helicopters to shoot.

 

COLLINS (into the police radio)

††††††††††† Benson?

††††††††††† You read me?

 

BENDON:

††††††††††† Loud and clear

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Any of your sharp shooters ever serve in Vietnam?

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† Iím not sure, Bill

††††††††††† Does it matter?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† No, I suppose not.

††††††††††† Tell them not to bother with the passenger compartment, just shoot out the rear rotors of the choppers currently hovering on either side of the bridge.

††††††††††† Then call up your boys from both sides of the bridge. I got about six suspects we need to question.

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† Ten four

 

COLLINS::

††††††††††† And Benson?

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† Yeah, Sarge?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† tell the boys coming from the Manhattan side to be careful. I suspect these guys brought help from that direction.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Well, Collins?

††††††††††† Are you coming or not?

††††††††††† Or do I have to...

 

(Shots ring out from the girders of the bridge. Ratkor glances up looking stunned. Deborah bolts across the gap towards him as one of the choppers spins out of control and eventually spirals down into the East River below. A second is not far behind it. The third and fourth follow suit.

††††††††††† Ratkor and his companies draw their weapons. They try to grab Rogers again, but the manís instincts kicked in and he has started running towards Collins.

\†††††††††† Collins is already on the move, firing his own pistol at the other men as sharp shooters from above also take aim.

††††††††††† Deborah reached Ratkor, and both flee back the way theyíve come.

††††††††††† Collins grabs Rogers and eases him down. Rogers clearly weakened by torture grins.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† So what took you so long?

 

SCENE 22: (Establishing shot of City Hall, then a series of shots leading down into a bunker under the building. In a sealed bomb proof room that still has signs as a fall out shelter with armed guards in full swat gear guarding the doors, the chief of police sits at the head of a conference table that includes Collins, Benson, Rogers as well as other top brass fro the department.)

 

CHIEF:

††††††††††† The mayor is not happy about any of this.

††††††††††† New York City canít go to war with the United States Government.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Weíre not at war with anybody

 

BRASS #1:

††††††††††† Thatís why we shout down four military helicopters?

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† We shout those helicopters down because they threatened us.

 

BRASS #2

††††††††††† So you said in your report

††††††††††† What proof do you have?

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† They were part of an operation that kidnapped and tortured me

††††††††††† I think that justifies Bensonís actions

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Besides they were not military men

††††††††††† At least not in the sense we think of them.

 

CHIEF:

††††††††††††††††††††††† Who are they?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† They are part of some secret government that shouldnít exist.

††††††††††† theyíre trying to stop me from bringing evidence of their activities to a legitimate and elected government.

 

BRASS #1

††††††††††† All the more reason why we shouldnít get involved

††††††††††† Weíre police officers, not spies.

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† They brought us into this by kidnapping Captain Rogers.

 

BRASS #2

††††††††††† Because Collins sent him classified documents.

††††††††††† What business did Rogers have conveying such documents.

††††††††††† And where are those documents now, might I ask?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Out business is to uphold the law

††††††††††† And it the duty of any patriotic American to stand up against our own government if it violates The Constitution.

††††††††††† As for the documents, they are safely tucked away for the moment.

 

CHIEF:

††††††††††† This brings us to the central question

††††††††††† What do we do now?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† The answer is obvious.

††††††††††† I have to get to the Senate hearing

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† We have to.

 

BENSON:

††††††††††† That goes for me as well.

 

BRASS #3

††††††††††† It canít be done

††††††††††† We may not even be safe here in this room, let along trying to transport you three to Washington.

 

ROGER:

††††††††††† We think weíve come up with a way.

††††††††††† I have a fishing boat docked near Battery Park City.

 

BRASS #1

††††††††††† You intend to sail to Washington?

††††††††††† Thatís insane!

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Actually, itís very sane.

 

BRASS #1

††††††††††† Theyíll blow you out of the water.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Not if they think weíre going by another route.

 

BENSON.

††††††††††† Thatís where I come in.

††††††††††† Iím going to serve as decoy.

††††††††††† My brother and my cousin will come with me in my van.

††††††††††† Since the bad guys already know what I look like Iíll let myself get seen. They will naturally conclude that when I start for Washington, Sgt. Collins and Capt. Rogers are the other two in the van with me.

 

BRASS #2

††††††††††† And blow up the van before it gets half way down the New Jersey Turnpike.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† No. They want the files.

††††††††††† They may try to abduct them.

††††††††††† But I donít think theyíll even try that. Theyíll likely track the van until it gets nearer to Washington.

††††††††††† By then, weíll be on our way into Washington without their seeing us.

 

BRASS #1

††††††††††† By boat?

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Only until weíre out of the area.

††††††††††† A friend of my in department has a summer house in Cape May. Weíll drop anchor there, borrow his car, and take the ferry across into Delaware.

††††††††††† By any luck, weíll arrive just after Benson does.

 

BRASS #1

††††††††††† I donít like it chief

 

CHIEF:

††††††††††† Iím not saying I like it either.

††††††††††† But I donít see an alternative.

††††††††††† Sooner or later, the government will make demands for us to give Collins up and the file. If we resist, Iím afraid weíll see more than just helicopters.

††††††††††† Sgt. Collins, be careful, and good luck.

 

 

SCENE 23: (open on a satellite tracking screen which is following the path of a vehicle along the highway in New Jersey. The camera pans out to see the operator with a headset, then pans out to see other screens and other men, along with several men -- some in uniform -- leaning over the screen operator.

††††††††††† Voices come over a speaker system clearly depicting the conversation going on inside the vehicle. Bensonís voice is the only one recognizable.

††††††††††† Ratkor straightens up from the screen looks over at one of the other operators, who pans the volume up and down so as to keep the voices distinct.

 

RATKOR: (to audio man)

††††††††††† Well?

††††††††††† Is Collins in the van or not?

 

AUDIO MAN: (Looking at a different screen that shows up and down pattern of lines)

††††††††††† If heís there, he hasnít said anything since the van left New York City.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Which means you canít say one way or another?

 

AUDIO MAN:

††††††††††† I pick up three voices. None match Collinsí voice pattern

 

RATKOR: (To another operator-- HEAT MAN-- in front of a different screen)

††††††††††† Whatís your take on this?

 

HEATMAN:†††

††††††††††† Body heat scan shows three men in the van.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† So if weíve picked up there voices and none of them are Collinsí, we can assumed correctly Collins isnít in the van?

 

HEAT MAN:

††††††††††† That would be my opinion.

 

AUDIO MAN:

††††††††††† Mine, too.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† So this is a decoy.

††††††††††† Collins is clever, Iíll give him that.

††††††††††† (to one of the men in uniform)

††††††††††† Take the van out.

††††††††††† The fewer allies Collins has in Washington, the better.

 

MILITARY MAN:

††††††††††† We have a satellite lock on the van.

††††††††††† We could swing a missile at it from orbit and only take out a few lanes of the highway.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† No.

††††††††††† Send someone out there.

††††††††††† I want this to look like an accident.

 

 

SCENE 24:† (Rogers is at the helm of a small fishing boat with Collins standing beside him, moving down the shore line of the New Jersey Coast. It is dark but the glow of the shore communities makes the land seem as if it on fire, especially when they pass places like Seaside Heights and Atlantic City. The radio rasps with repeated Coast Guard updates about tides and weather.)

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† I wish I knew how Benson is making out.

††††††††††† I hate this idea of his playing decoy for us.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Me, too.

††††††††††† But someone needed to do it, and Iím going to need you with me in case something goes wrong.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Heís a family man.

††††††††††† Weíre not.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I was a family man, until this got in the way.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Thatís not what I meant.

††††††††††† You were married; I never was.

††††††††††† But you didnít have kids. Benson has three.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Itís not because I didnít want kids.

††††††††††† Maureen didnít want them or didnít have time.

††††††††††† Now itís too late.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† You could have adopted.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† With my schedule and hers?

††††††††††† Donít be ridiculous.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† If you could have, what would you have hoped for?

††††††††††† A boy or a girl?

 

COLLINS: (shrugs)

††††††††††† Either would have been great, though I have to admit I always wanted a son.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Benson has three sons

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† A lucky man.

 

ROGERS:† (Looks at the ship to shore radio)

††††††††††† Iím sure we could reach him if we tried.

††††††††††† (reaches for the microphone)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Donít!

††††††††††† They have a way of tracking these kind of things.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Now youíre beginning to sound paranoid.

††††††††††† This isnít Orwellís 1984 you know.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Youíre not paranoid enough if you believe that.

††††††††††† Weíre in the middle of exactly what Orwell predicted.

††††††††††† We have a perpetual war to keep our attention focused n the enemy without while an even more insidious enemy watches us inside pretending to protect us.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† You make it sound ominous.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† It is ominous.

††††††††††† And terrifying to thick that neither side really cares about us.

††††††††††† I guess I didnít really understand that until they killed Maureen.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† You miss her pretty badly, donít you?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† More than you can imagine.

††††††††††† Not just because she could make sense of this madness, but because she made me feel good when she wasnít out playing a spy.

††††††††††† I hurt her because I didnít like the things she did in the name of God and country.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Isnít this a new world where we need to be as vicious as the enemy is?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Thatís bullshit.

††††††††††† I told Maureen as much.

††††††††††† When you stop living up to what America stands for, you stop being America.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Weíre getting close to Cape May.

††††††††††† I sure hope the car is there like Bruce promised.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† If not, weíll rent one.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Arenít credit cards dangerous?

††††††††††† If they can track a radio, they can track one of those.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Which is exactly why I brought a shitload of cash.

 

 

SCENE 25: (Command center with the multiple screens and the operators at each one. One of the men in front of a computer waves to get Ratkorís attention)

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† What is it?

 

TRACKING MAN:

††††††††††† Maybe nothing, sir.

††††††††††† But you said to alert you to any possibility.

††††††††††† NSA just informed me that a vehicle registered to a New York police officer is traveling thought Delaware. It has a satellite direction system so NSA picked it up.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Does the car belong to Collins or Rogers?

 

TRACKING MAN:

††††††††††† No, sir.

††††††††††† As I said it may be nothing.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Where is it?

 

TRACKING MAN:

††††††††††† Heading south. It just got on Interstate 95.

††††††††††† It could be headed to Washington.

 

RATKOR: (To satellite man)

††††††††††† Can you get a lock on that car?

 

SATTILLITE MAN:

††††††††††† Weíre on it, sir

 

RATKOR: ††††† (To audio man)

††††††††††† Can you pick up anything?

 

AUDIO MAN:

††††††††††† Two voices sire.

††††††††††† Weíre running the pattern check now.

 

RATKOR: (to heat man)

††††††††††† How many people do you pick up in that car?

 

HEATMAN:

††††††††††† Only two, sir.

 

RATKOR: (to audio man)

††††††††††† Well?

 

AUDIO MAN:

††††††††††† Itís positive.

††††††††††† One of the two men in that car is Collins.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Excellent, yes, excellent.

††††††††††† Keep on them.

††††††††††† I have to make some calls.

 

 

SCENE 26: (Collins seated in the passenger side of the car stare out at the highway sign detailing the miles left to Washington DC. Then, he sits up, looks started, then glances around.)

 

ROGERS: (looks over from driving)

††††††††††† Whatís the matter with you?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Weíre being followed.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Youíre crazy.

††††††††††† Iíve been watching the road.

††††††††††† If weíve had a car trailing us, I would have spotted it.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† They probably have cars, too, way back behind us and way in front of us, too.

††††††††††† Iím not talking about them. Weíve got a helicopter -- maybe more than one keeping an eye on us by air.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† I donít see any chopper either.

††††††††††† A few passed us, coming and going.

††††††††††† Thatís all.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† You canít see this chopper.

††††††††††† Itís way behind us.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† If you canít see it how do you know itís there?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I can hear it.

††††††††††† And Iíve been hearing this one for miles.

††††††††††† You donít spend three tours in Vietnam and not listen for choppers way off.

††††††††††† This one is staying well back just keeping us in sight.

††††††††††† But itís there, and itís keeping pace with us.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Which means what?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† It means we got to get off the highway.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Anything you say.

††††††††††† (Rogers twists the steering wheel and the car turns out of the middle lane crosses the slow lane in front of a beeping car and takes an exit is nearly missed.

††††††††††† Far behind, several dark SUVs shift lanes as well to make the exit)

†††††††††††

ROGERS:

††††††††††† All right.

††††††††††† Weíre off the highway.

††††††††††† (he turns the car onto a local roadway)

††††††††††† What now?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† We need to ditch the car.

††††††††††† Pull into that shopping mall.

††††††††††† Weíll park it there.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† How do you expect to get to Washington?

††††††††††† Walk?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Just do it.

††††††††††† And no more talking while weíre in the car.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† You canít believe the car is bugged, too.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Park the car, Kevin.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† All right, all right, Iím parking the car.

 

(Rogers parks the car, turns the engine. Both men climb out. Collins opens the truck and pulls out two backpacks sagging with weaponry and gear)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Weíll have to leave the M-16s.

††††††††††† Theyíre too obvious.

††††††††††† Come on.

††††††††††† We have to catch a bus.

 

SCENE 27: (Ratkor is seated at a desk in a dark room, his face illuminated by the spill of light from outside the room. He looks troubled as he talks on the phone.)

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† They got away.

††††††††††† Weíre still doing all that is possible to catch them

††††††††††† But I canít guarantee we can keep them from getting to the hearing.

††††††††††† Yes, the woman reporter will testify against Collins, claiming he and his wife were working with the terrorists.

††††††††††† But if he walks in with that file, her testimony wonít mean much.

††††††††††† I want to use extraordinary action against the committee.

††††††††††† I know we have some good people there.

††††††††††† I just donít see another way.

††††††††††† Iím pretty sure we can isolate the attack to that portion of the building.

††††††††††† We have people.

††††††††††† In fact, I will handle the matter personally.

††††††††††† the press will blame terrorists.

††††††††††† Yes, Iíll use it only as a last resort.

††††††††††† I suggest you and the president arrange to be out of town.

††††††††††† I know it will look bad if both of you are gone when it happens.

††††††††††† If you must stay, use your bunker office until this is all over.

††††††††††† No, Iím sure the attack wonít reach you.

††††††††††† Iím more worried about Collins.

††††††††††† I donít know what he knows.

††††††††††† But thereís no point in taking chances. A bunker will keep you safer than the secret service will

††††††††††† Thank you, sir.

††††††††††† I wish you luck as well.

 

††††††††††† (Ratkor hangs up the phone and sags)

 

SCENE 28: (Rogers and Collins are in a motel in an impoverished section of the capital. Rogers is wearing a disguise: a blond wig with matching moustache, glasses and a somewhat gaudy business suit that makes him resemble the stereotypical mid-west traveling salesman.

††††††††††† Collins is seated before a newly purchased portable computer -- the boxes of which are strewn in the corner between cheesy motel furniture.

††††††††††† Collins looks weary as he just finishes typing a long list of email information.

††††††††††† He pushes the send button, then while the internet program begins the task of sending out hundreds of emails, Collins, sits back and sighs.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Well thatís it.

††††††††††† Weíre done.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† I donít like this plan of yours, Bill.

††††††††††† If weíve sent a copy of the file to every political figure we could find email for, why do I have to go to the hearing -- like this.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Someone has to go to show the committee what the information means.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† So why canít you go?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Because everybody in the capital will be looking out for me.

††††††††††† Iím a terrorists remember?

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† And Iíve been associated with you?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Thatís why youíre going in disguise.

††††††††††† And why I have this.

††††††††††† (Collins holds up the newly acquired cell phone)

††††††††††† As soon as youíre on your way, Iím going to call Homeland Security and let them know where I am.

††††††††††† Hopefully, theyíll be so interested in catching me, you can slip into the hearing and give testimony.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† While youíre getting killed out here.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Hopefully, I can dodge them -- at least long enough.

††††††††††† After that, it wonít matter much.

††††††††††† Iíve got nothing to go back to anyway.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Stop talking like that.

††††††††††† You got me, my sister and the rest of the family.

††††††††††† We all adopted you a long time ago anyway.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Thanks for that, Kevin.

††††††††††† You have the print out of the files?

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Right here.

††††††††††† (he taps his brief case.)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† And you left your weapons here?

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† On the bed.

 

(a cab pulls up outside, beeps the horn)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Well, youíd better get going.

††††††††††† The senate hearings will be starting shortly.

††††††††††† Iíll make the call once I know youíre safely out of the area.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† (Looking outside as the cab beeps again, then at Collins:

††††††††††† You be careful, okay?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† As careful as I can.

 

(Rogers pulls open the door and walks out to the cab, nodding at the driver as he climbs in the back

††††††††††† Collins stares out the window, watching the cab pull away. After a few minutes, he picks up the cell phone, taps out a number.

††††††††††† Inside the cab, the cab driver glances in the mirror at Rogers.)

 

CAB DRIVER:

††††††††††† You in business or something.

 

ROGERS: (Someone dreamily)

††††††††††† or something.

 

CAB DRIVER:

††††††††††† I mean, you donít look like no government man.

††††††††††† Believe me, Iíve been driving around this town for 20 years, so I know what a government man looks like

††††††††††† and you donít look like no government man to me.

 

ROGERS: (sighs)

††††††††††† No, Iím not a government man.

††††††††††† I just have some business to take care of.

 

CAB DRIVER:

††††††††††† Okay, I get it.

††††††††††† Iíll mind my own business.

††††††††††† My wifeís always telling me I talk too much and ask too many questions.

††††††††††† Itís just that things donít feel right in town today.

 

ROGERS: (concerned)

††††††††††† What do you mean?

 

CAB DRIVER:

††††††††††† I canít exactly put my finger on it.

††††††††††† But when youíve been around these streets as much as I am, you notice things.

††††††††††† And something ainít right.

††††††††††† It hasnít felt this odd since those days right after 9/11.

††††††††††† Does that make any sense?

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† I suppose it does.

 

CAB DRIVER:

††††††††††† Like that, for instance

(He points to a pack of dark SUVs driving fast in the opposite direction, sirens wailing, armed men visible through the open windows)

††††††††††† You donít see that everything.

††††††††††† If thatís not Homeland Security, then Iím a monkeyís uncle.

 

(Although the cab drivers continues to talk, Rogers has turned in his seat, watching the parade of vehicles until they are out of sight. Then, he turns around and stares ahead as the cab plunges towards the heart of official Washington)

 

 

SCENE 29: (Image of Collins putting down the still open cell phone on top of the list of email addresses. He rises without hurrying. He tightens his shoulder holster, then puts on his jacket. He takes Rogersí pistol in one of his jacket pockets already heavy with boxes of bullets. He picks up a second cell phone, puts that in his other pocket. Then, he puts on a hand, pulls out a pair of sunglasses, put them on and steps out of the motel door to the narrow walkway outside.

In the distance comes the wavering wail of approaching sirens.

Collins does not hurry.

††††††††††† He strolls passed each door as the sound of alarm clocks and morning news stations indicate rising life with each of the other motel rooms, the ritual undisturbed by the storm that is about to hit.

††††††††††† In the same unconcerned pace, Collins crossing the parking lot and then onto the street of the poor neighborhood. Some of the capital buildings are just visible over the roof tops, providing a sharp contrast between the rich and poor parts of the city.

††††††††††† The sirens are loud now, drawing the attention of some of the locals. A man seated in front of the local coffee shop nods his head. Several other pedestrians stop to stare. Collins halts near them and watches, too, as the parade of vehicles arrive, following shortly by a parade of more vehicles of a similar sort coming from another direction.

††††††††††† Armed men spill out and invade the motel.

††††††††††† Flashes of Vietnam return, of soldiers pushing into village huts.

††††††††††† We see Collins face with the sunglasses showing the reflection of helicopters arriving over the hotel.

††††††††††† Somewhere in one of the nearby buildings, a baby cries.

††††††††††† Men shout in the motel. Police radios rasp.

††††††††††† Then with everyone still focused on the motel, Collins slips away, easing the other cell phone out of his pocket.

††††††††††† He hits a preset button.

††††††††††† We see the motel phone near the computer and list of emails ringing.

††††††††††† A hand picks up the receiver and we see this rise until we see the face of one of the invaders, the man clearly in charge.

 

BOSS MAN:

††††††††††††††††††††††† Yes?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Youíre not going to catch me that easy.

 

BOSS MAN:

††††††††††† Collins?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Right on the first guess.

 

BOSS MAN:

††††††††††† Where are you?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Thatís for me to know and you to find out.

††††††††††† By for now.

††††††††††† (Collins clicks off the cell phone and hurries his step away from the vicinity of the motel)

 

 

SCENE 30: (Two black SUVs with tinted windows pulls up in front of the airport terminal. Six men dressed in black suits and dark sunglasses climb out, each carrying a large and heavy canvas bag.

RATKOR removes his sunglasses when several airport guards approach, flashes identification, then nods his five companions. They create a wedge like formation and move into the building and through the crowd towards the security checkpoints and the loading gates beyond.

††††††††††† All move in unison the way soldiers might, all bearing the same grim expressions of men on a mission.

††††††††††† People in the terminal stare, but move out of the way, allowing the group to reach the customs tables unhampered.

††††††††††† Each man sets off the metal detectors as they pass through.

††††††††††† Seen from behind, the group fades into the distance of the terminal in the direction of the loading area, the crowd closing like a curtain behind them.

 

SCENE 31: (The cab drops Rogers off in front of the Senate building just outside the barriers barring potential car bombs. Carrying his briefcase, he moves allow with the other professionals making their way up the concrete stares towards the doors and onto the line waiting to pass through the metal detectors.

††††††††††† Rogers empties his pockets into a box, puts his brief case on the belt leading through the x-ray, and then steps through the security gate, setting off the metal detector.

††††††††††† He looks startled.

††††††††††† The guard pulls him aside, waving the wander around him this beeping finally when it comes near his belt buddle.

††††††††††† Finally, the guard nods and lets Rogers pass into the building.

 

SCENE 32: (Collins walks quick, but not in a panic, comes to a half when he reaches a street that is blocked by several police cars. Beyond them, the neighborhood changes and the official part of the city and its wealthier neighborhoods show.

††††††††††† A street urchin named STEVEN grins at Collins.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† They got the whole neighborhood blocked off, Mister.

††††††††††† Sealed up like we got a disease or something.

††††††††††† (Steven eyes Collins suspiciously)

††††††††††† They seems to be looking for somebody, somebody important and they ainít gonna give up until they find him.

 

COLLINS

††††††††††† Are you telling me thereís no way out of this part of the city?

 

STEVEN: (laughs)

††††††††††† Thereís a way out if you know how to do it.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† And you know it?

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Sure I do.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Can you show me.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† For a price.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Fine, whatever you want.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† In cash.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Okay, cash.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† In advance.

 

COLLINS: (Glancing at the police cars)

††††††††††† All right.

††††††††††† Letís do it.

 

 

SCENE 33: (Ratkor and the other men spread out when they arrive inside the plane, two of each taking seats in each section with Ratkor taking his seat up front nearest to the cockpit.

††††††††††† All settle with the bags on their laps even though there isnít quite enough room.

Each is seated on the aisle and seem a model of patience at the plane readies for take off.

 

SCENE 34: (Steven leads Collins into the front of a wreck of a building, then out back into a maze of yards, and allies, where the debris of peopleís lives have been piled up like a junk yard. Stray animals appear and disappear.

 

STEVEN: (pats the wad of rolled up bills Collins gave him)

††††††††††† What did you do, mister, rob a bank?

 

COLLINS: (laughs as he struggles to keep up)

††††††††††† Sort of.

††††††††††† Betrayed my country, too, I think.

 

STEVEN: (Pauses to look back)

††††††††††† You mean youíre a terrorist?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Some people might call me that.

††††††††††† Does that bother you?

 

STEVEN: (continues on with a shrug)

††††††††††† No terrorists are bombing my neighborhood.

††††††††††† Theyíre after rich people not me.

††††††††††† I got bigger gripes with the cops.

††††††††††† Theyíre always out to bust my ass.

 

(Collins stops and listens.)

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† What is it?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Helicopters.

††††††††††† Military type from the sound of them.

††††††††††† Theyíre coming our way.

††††††††††† Weíd better hurry.

 

(Yet almost as soon as they start to move again, the warships appear, moving slowly a few feet over the roof tops where they can spy down on the back yards, their search lights delving into every dim corner, as the wind of their blades whips up loose paper and dust)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Run!!!

 

(The warships open fire, filling the yards behind, tearing up the landscape at the heals of Steven and Collins.

††††††††††† Steven races ahead urgently waving for Collins to catch up.

††††††††††† The Warships move in a grim pace shoveling out their holocaust without hurry, intending instead to fill up every inch of the landscape so as not to miss any living thing.)

 

STEVEN: (Yanking on Collinís arm)

††††††††††† This way, Mister.

††††††††††† Down here.

 

(Steven leads Collins into a cellar and then through a series of holes in the walls that goes from basement to basement as if a tunnel. Explosions sound behind. Dust and pieces of brick and stone fall filling the building and covering them with ash as they leave each section, a mortal demolition of slum more effective than urban renewal)

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† I donít get it!

††††††††††† They seem to know where weíre going before we go there.

 

COLLIN:

††††††††††† I know why

††††††††††† (Collins draws the cellular phone out of his pocket and throws it back into the dust cloud)

††††††††††† They should have a harder time now.

 

SCENE 35: (Senate subcommittee chambers with audience, press, senators, aides witness, guards and others. An aide calls for Maureen Collins as the next witness. Rogers stands up)

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Iím speaking in her place.

 

SENATOR #1:

††††††††††† Who are you?

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Capt. Kevin Rogers of the New York Police Department

 

SENATOR #2:

††††††††††† This is highly irregular.

††††††††††† The witness we have scheduled is Maureen Collins, an operative for the Central Intelligence Agency, not a police officer from New York

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† I am a personal friend of Maureen and her husband, Bill.

††††††††††† Maureen was shot to death in Paris to prevent her testifying here.

††††††††††† Her husband was nearly killed as well.

 

SENATOR #3

††††††††††† Where is her husband?

††††††††††† He would be more relevant a witness in her place

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Possibly.

††††††††††† But heís being hunted by operatives of this government, who wanted to keep him from testifying as well.

††††††††††† He has files to give you, documents that will prove his wifeís allegations.

 

SENATOR #1

††††††††††† All the more reason why he should be here

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† He supplied me with the documents.

††††††††††† I have them right here

††††††††††† (taps his brief case)

 

SENATOR #2

††††††††††† This cannot be allowed.

††††††††††† We have one witness scheduled and now we have this stand in.

††††††††††† We donít even know if anything he says is credible since he is delivering all this third hand.

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Third hand, senator?

††††††††††† Hardly.

††††††††††† I am also a witness to some of the abuses of this government since members of this countryís intelligence community kidnapped and tortured me in order to find out where this information was stored.

 

SENATOR #2
††††††††††† I wonít have this.

††††††††††† Guards!

††††††††††† Seize this man and his documents.

 

(A ruckus of objections and shouting from the crowd)

 

ROGERS:

††††††††††† Seizing me wonít stop this information from being distributed.

††††††††††† Each senator, congressman, other appropriate officials as well as the press has been issued copies of these files by email.

††††††††††† So if you do not wish to be embarrassed by seeing the material in the headlines tomorrow, you should listen to me today.

 

(More ruckus)

 

SENATOR #1

††††††††††† All right, Captain Rogers.

††††††††††† Tell us what you know?

 

(At that point, a gun shot rings out in the chambers, and Deborah is standing holding the gun as Rogers spins around obviously hit)

 

 

SCENE 36: (Ratkor looks at his watch. The jet is in flight. The lights just turned off indicating as much. He and his companions around the place unzip their bags, drawing out automatic weapons with silencers as well as other devices.

††††††††††† The piffing sound of fired silencers at close range starts at the rear of the plane slowly making its way forward, the men killing each passenger in much the same way as range hunters killed herds by shooting those in back first as to not alarm the others.

††††††††††† This soon breaks down as some of the passengers realize what is going on and attempt to flee or fight back.

††††††††††† The additional men in the other sections deal with these as well as the staff while Ratkor moves directly to the cockpit door, shooting only the few workers between him and it.

††††††††††† He attacks a small device to the door, steps back, allowing its small explosion to shatter the door.

††††††††††† Then he moves through the lingering smoke, shooting the pilot and the remaining staff.

††††††††††† He drags the pilot out of the chair, then slips down into the seat.

††††††††††† After a few minutes, one of the other men comes, drags the co-pilot out of his chair and takes that seat)

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Everything set?

 

OTHER MAN:

††††††††††† We got everyone but a lady who locked herself in the toilet.

††††††††††† We shot through the door until she stopped screaming.

††††††††††† Sheís dead or as good as dead.

 

RATKOR:††††††

††††††††††† What about the explosives?

 

OTHER MAN:

††††††††††† Weíve installed them in the plane.

††††††††††† One will impact with the plane.

††††††††††† The other jettisons before just before we make contact.

††††††††††† Thatís the dirty bomb.

††††††††††† The radiation signature will implicate Iran.

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† Excellent.

††††††††††† Get the crew together.

††††††††††† Blow the door and get out when I give the command.

 

OTHER MAN:

††††††††††† What about you?

 

RATKOR:

††††††††††† This is my last mission.

††††††††††† Iím the only one who can tie others into these operations.

 

OTHER MAN:† (looks at Ratkor for a moment, then nods)

††††††††††† Makes sense.

††††††††††† (Rises and pauses at the cabin door)

††††††††††† Itís been good working with you, sir.

 

 

SCENE 37: Dust-covered and dirty, Collins and Steven come out on a relatively quiet block. The sound of gunfire has subsided. No police or military vehicles are in sight. A handful of poor people standing mid block look at Collins and Steven as if they had just landed in Washington from Mars.

††††††††††† Then Collins stops, listens and frowns)

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Whatís wrong now?

 

COLLINS (Still listening)

††††††††††† Theyíre going away.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Who is?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† The helicopters.

††††††††††† Maybe the others as well.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Thatís good isnít it?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Good for us.

††††††††††† Maybe not for a lot of other people

††††††††††† We got to get closer to the capital to see whatís going on.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Okay, Iíll steal a car.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Must you?

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† You rob banks; I steal cars.

††††††††††† Itís what do.

††††††††††† Come on.

 

(Steven selected a car, pulls a flat metal ruler from his pants, slides it down between the glass and the door until the lock clicks)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Remind me to buy a car with secure locks

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† This wonít work on newer cars.

††††††††††† I got to do other stuff for that.

 

(Once inside, Steven smashes the ignition, then fiddles with several wires until the card starts)

††††††††††† Hop in.

 

COLLINS: (Climbs in the passenger side)

††††††††††† Remind me when this is all over to have a little talk about your hobbies.

 

STEVEN: (looking up into the rear view mirror)

††††††††††† Never mind that.

††††††††††† We got company

 

(Collins twists around in his seat. At the end of the street, a military humvee appears along with several motorcycles.)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† It looks like they didnít give up on us completely.

††††††††††† Letís move

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Where to?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† The senate building.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Youíre crazy, man

††††††††††† Thatís just asking for trouble.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I need to see something.

††††††††††† And soon

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† All right, youíre the boss

 

(He pops the car into gear and with a screech of tires roars down the street. The military vehicle opens first, machine gun bullets ripping up the asphalt behind the car. The two motorcycles surge ahead giving chase.)

†††††††††††

††††††††††† Those assholes donít give up

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† They wonít.

††††††††††† They want me

††††††††††† Dead or alive.

 

(The car takes another burst of speed then turns around the corner onto a larger street, people leaping out of its way, other cars steering to one side or another if they canít slam on their brakes.

††††††††††† The two motorcycles are in hot pursuit, cutting through places to cut the angle and to gain on the careening car, and in a series of more turns, one catches up, Steven steers the car to keep it from pulling along side, it veers and tries to get around to the other side, the second motorcycle catching up as well. This driver leaps onto the car, and then yanks open the rear door, where Collins engages him, tumbling over the seat, both men nearly falling out with each sharp turns. Finally the Collins beats the man in the back and rolls him out, and a moment later, the other motorcycle crashes. The car hurries out of the street and finally into the broader avenue.)

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Weíre almost there.

††††††††††† What is it that you needed to see?

 

COLLINS: (Looking up in the sky)

††††††††††† Itís what I donít see that bothers me.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Whatís that?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† No air traffic.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Donít they stop planes from coming here?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Civilian.

††††††††††† But with all this shooting you would think they would have air cover.

††††††††††† For some reason, theyíre keeping the air space clear.

 

(Collins stares out the window and then smashes is hand on the windshield)

††††††††††† DAMN!

††††††††††† Pull over

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† What for?

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† We need to find a phone

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† To threw one away back there

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Then find me a public phone

 

STEVEN:

 

††††††††††† Youíre not going to find no public phone in this town.

††††††††††† At least not one thatís working.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Just pull over.

 

(Steven screeched the car to the curb. Collins hops out. Business people pass. Collins grabs one, sticks the point of his pistol against the manís nose)

 

Give me your cell phone

 

(The man complies. Fumbling, Collins dials 9-1-1, then when the operator answers)

 

My name is Bill Collins.

Iíve just placed a bomb in the senate building.

You have four minutes to get everybody out.

 

(He thrusts the phone back into the business manís hands and jumps back into the car and to Steven)

††††††††††† Get us the hell out of here.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Now youíre talking!!!!!

 

 

SCENE 38: (Rogers is falling back into other people as guards fire from across the room, killing Deborah. He is still trying to get to his feet when alarm bells go off and men rush in screaming for people to evacuate. A general panic results, and Rogers is carried along by the mob as it moves down a corridor towards deeper chambers Ė signs posted saying shelter. Then something huge happens behind and rocks the whole building, sending a flood of flames towards them. Rogers passes out.)

 

SCENE 39: (Collins and Steven are seated in another cheap motel room watching TV reports.

Flash Ė A terrorist attack on the capital.

Flash Ė Heroic New York cop uncovers conspiracy in high places

Flash Ė Senator #1ís face appears bandaged from burns but clearly angry

SENATOR #1

††††††††††† I want to know what the president knew about these activities and what he did to stop them

 

(a knock comes at the door. Steven jumps. Collins motioned for him to remain calm, but picks his pistol up from the bed)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Who is it?

 

AGENT #1:

††††††††††† Mr. Collins.

††††††††††† Open up.

††††††††††† Weíre from the FBI

 

(Collins motions for the boy to go into the bathroom. When Steven is out of sight, Collins put his pistol back down on the bed, then opens the door.

††††††††††† Two men in dark suits are standing there.)

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† I suppose youíve come to take me in

 

AGENT #1

††††††††††† Those are our orders, Mr. Collins

 

COLLINS: (glances passed them)

††††††††††† What no swat team?

 

AGENT #2:

††††††††††† Youíre not under arrest.

††††††††††† Youíre being taken into protective custody as a witness.

 

COLLINS:

††††††††††† Thatís fine.

††††††††††† But let me take care of something first.

††††††††††† Hey boy. Come out here.

 

(Steven appears uneasy at the sight of the FBI agents. Collins tosses Steven his wallet)

††††††††††† Thereís money in there along with the address to my apartment in New York.

††††††††††† I want you to go up there and stay there until I come.

 

STEVEN:

††††††††††† Why?

 

COLLINS: (grimaces)

Donít give me a hard time boy.

Just do what youíre told for once.

(then to the FBI)

Okay, lets go

 

(Steven has the wallet in his hand, opens it, sees the badge, sees the photo of Maureen, and then looks up to see Collins climbing in the car, and continues to watch as the car drives off into the streets of Washington, the news reports still abuzz about the explosion and the scandal.)

 

 


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