"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

GROSSE POINTE BLANK
First Draft: Tom Jankiewicz Revised
Draft: D.V. deVincentis & S.K. Boatman
& John Cusack
NEW CRIME PRODUCTIONS
Registered WGA
--address deleted --for privacy --
phone deleted
MAY 4, 1994

FADE IN:

ROLL CREDITS OVER:

EXT. GOLF COURSE - DAWN

VARIOUS EXTRA CLOSE-UPS of this luxurious patchwork of
brilliant greens:

A POLISHED BRASS SPRINKLER HEAD

pops up from the ground and begins to water the already dew-
soaked lawn.

FLEET OF DUCKLINGS

No mother in sight, cruise through the thrushes.

GRAVEYARD OF GOLF BALLS, UNDERWATER

At the bottom of a water hazard.

PALM FRONDS

After a neat they sway, revealing the barren desert that
surrounds the artificial oasis. The sun already bakes the
air. We hear the opening guitar strains of the Kim Deal-Kurt
Cobain suet of "WHAT I DID FOR LOVE," as we CRANE DOWN the
palms to

A BRAND-NEW TITLEIST 3 BALL.

Just on the edge of the rough. A pair of yellow trousers
moves in. An iron confidently addresses the ball, and chips
it out. The trousers walk out after it.

HANDS

Digging dirt out of the grooves of the iron's face with a
golf tee, while on the way to the green. Both hands are
gloved, instead of one, and the gloves are black.

YELLOW TROUSERS

In a squat over the ball, sizing up the curvy, fifty-foot
journey to the hole. The figure positions himself and the
putter above the ball, then pops the ball lightly. The ball
rolls and bobs with purpose toward the hole, dodging hazards
and finding lanes, until it finally falls off of the green
and into the hole.

THE GLOVED HAND

Sets the ball on the next tee. The figure moves to a leather
golf bag. The hands pull the wipe rag off of the top of the
bag and drop it on the ground, reach into the bag, drawing
out a compact SNIPER RIFLE, affixed with a long silencer.
The figure drops one knee down onto the rag, the other foot
firmly setting its spikes. We move the figure to see the
face of the sniper, concentrating down the scope in his half-
squat. He is MARTIN BLANK.

We SWING AROUND behind his head to look down the barrel with
him. Four-hundred yards away, on another part of the course,
another green is barely visible through groves of trees and
rough. Three miniscule, SILVER-HAIRED FIGURES come into view.
One of them, in a RED SWEATER sets up for first putt. He
could be an investment banker, or an arms trader.

MARTIN'S ARM

Flinches, and a low THUNK reports from the rifle. A second
later in the distance, the

RED SWEATER'S HEAD

Seems to vanish from his shoulders into a crimson mist. His
body crumples to the green.

MARTIN

Returns the rifle to the bag, pulls out a driver, moves to
the tee and whacks the ball. He watches its path and whispers
absently...

MARTIN
Hooked it.

INT. CLUB HOUSE PATIO - LATER

The outdoor post-golf luncheon area of an elite Texas golf
club. Martin sits in on the fringes of a conversation between
a group of executive types. CLUB MEMBER #1 has a Buddha-like
peace in his eyes through the philosophical talk.

CLUB MEMBER #1
I'd come to the realization that
everything I'd based my life on was
false. And that my life had no
meaning.

CLUB MEMBER #2
(to Martin)
He gets this way when he hits over
eighty-five.

CLUB MEMBER #1
It seemed like my life was slipping
away, somehow. I was a knot in the
middle of a wet rope. Everything was
futile and nothing had value.

CLUB MEMBER #3
That's the way life is. The only
meaning and value is what we create.
Through structure, and discipline.
Though they seem to limit our freedom,
they actually give us great comfort.
Your problem is you're looking for
some great answer. Some ultimate
truth. When what you really should
do is go to work and go home.

CLUB MEMBER #2
And take golf lessons.

CLUB MEMBER #1
That's a tragedy. Can I finish my
story please? I began my search for
meaning. I was a Catholic, Jew,
Scientologist, Sufi, Buddhist. I
went to a Psychologist, psychiatrist,
herbalist, nutritionist, a shaman,
and a psychic. And they all pretty
much say the same stuff.

CLUB MEMBER #2
A Jew, a shaman, and a herbalist are
telling you the same thing? You're
insane.

CLUB MEMBER #1
Basically the same thing. In a very
evolved, esoteric way.

CLUB MEMBER #2
Insane.

CLUB MEMBER #1
To make a long story short...

CLUB MEMBER #3
--Thank God--

CLUB MEMBER #1
...at last I found the holistic system
of systems that opened up the doors
of heaven for me right here on earth.
And everyday I see the world through
the eyes of a child. A world of
creation and wonder.

CLUB MEMBER #2
Jesus...

CLUB MEMBER #1
Overflowing with love.

MARTIN
Tell me about it.

Club Member #1 turns to Martin.

CLUB MEMBER #1
P.P.P. Personal Pan Power. All the
secrets of your universe are divided
up into eight easily digestible
slices.

Club Member #1 pulls a laminated card from his wallet and
hands it over to Martin. In the distance, sirens begin to
wail.

CLUB MEMBER #1
See, see. It's in the accessible and
everyday shape of a pan pizza. Each
day you have a little slice of
peace...

INSERT - WALLET-SIZE P.P.P. CARD

A pizza-shaped diagram showing six "sections".

MARTIN
Oh I see. You got your individual
slices of hope, dignity, confidence,
self-love, justice, and harmony.

CLUB MEMBER #1
You open 'em up and there's the
sayings, stories, little bites of
insight. It's the P.P.P. Six Day
Week.

MARTIN
So you eat-- read it everyday?

CLUB MEMBER #1
Yes.

MARTIN
And these pan pizzas have opened up
the doors to heaven?

CLUB MEMBER #1
Correct.
(re: the card)
That's for you. Keep it.

Sirens are getting louder, closer to the club.

EXT. COUNTRY CLUB - DAY

The source of the sirens are almost upon us. Martin walks
toward his rented Town Car as the VALET pulls it up. He meets
the Valet by the trunk, where he trades tip for keys.

MARTIN AT CAR
He fishes out the laminated "Personal
Pan Power" card, looks at it, and
tosses it onto the ground. Police
cars, now visible in the distance,
wind into the long club driveway.
Martin gets into his car and pulls
away.

LAMINATED CARD

As it lays on the asphalt. The wheel of a police car rolls
to a stop on it.

INT. AIRLINER - DAY

Martin sits in a first class seat, the tray table flipped
down. On the left side of the tray is a stack of magazines
of all kinds - Sports Illustrated, Mademoiselle, Wired,
Rolling Stone, National Review, Spin, National Geographic,
and on. He draws one off the top, and flips through it,
impassively taking in images and reading nothing. When he is
done with one, he discards it into the empty seat next to
him and draws another-- Martin's way of instantly and
massively uploading the world around him:

Toothless hockey player in triumph, Sony product parade,
crouched starving child with vulture in the background,
supermodel in suede, Tic Tacs, living former Presidents, arm
in arm, smiling, etc.

INT. HIRED CAR, NEW YORK - DAY

The livery weaves out of the arrival lanes at Kennedy airport.
Martin reclines in the back seat, a conversation having
already begun.

DRIVER
How was your day, today, sir?

MARTIN
Effective. But to tell you the truth,
I've lost my passion for work.

DRIVER
Do you like the people you work with?

MARTIN
I work alone.

DRIVER
That's it then. That's it. I've always
been alone. That's why I'm a good
driver. I can handle it. See, I can
think on my feet. I survive, I'm a
thinker. And I can sit there in front
of your house for two hours and it
don't bother me. Some people can't
do it! Some people are ranting and
raving, "Tell them fuckin' people to
get out here and get in this car, I
can't-- I want a go!" Where you gonna
go? You're gonna wind up back in
your garage at seven o'clock at night.
You ain't going nowhere. You leave
your house in the morning you get
back to your house in the evening.
What's the big deal, right?

MARTIN
You understand the psychology of the
job.

DRIVER
I do. Some guys can't adjust to it;
they can't handle it.

INT. CAR - MANHATTAN STREETS - LATER

The car cuts through the upper east side. Martin and the
Driver exchange looks through the rear-view mirror.

DRIVER
You look like you're far away. Far
away and thinking about other things.
I'm right about that, aren't I?

MARTIN
No.

DRIVER
Well, let's just say that sometimes
I'm right. Sometimes you are.

MARTIN
Sometimes I am. Sometimes. It's only
natural.

DRIVER
(laughs to himself at
this great truth)
It's only natural....

The Driver pauses for dramatic emphasis

DRIVER
I been looking at you, and I've
decided that I want to share something
with you.

MARTIN
Okay.

DRIVER
Because your problem is you're bored.
And you have a very big mind.
(beat)
I am part of what I call a brain
syndicate.

No reaction from Martin.

DRIVER
I am part of a network of minds, a
group of five people who are all
connected, over hundreds, even
thousands of miles, through the mind.
We can think with each other, think
for each other. I can be driving
somewhere, sleeping with a woman--
whatever it is-- and at the same
time be thinking a thought in someone
else's mind, far away. Running someone
else's brain.

MARTIN
(indicates)
Up on the right.

DRIVER
And when you think of it, it's not
so surprising that a small group of
people control the whole world, is
it?

INT. HOTEL ROOM, NEW YORK CITY - DAY

A sedate and well-appointed four-star suite on the Upper
East Side. Martin stands in front of one of the open windows
watching the canopied entrance of an elegant high-rise across
the street. He lifts an eye rinse cup to his eye and tilts
it back. A cellular phone RINGS, interrupting him. He moves
to the desk and draws one of three phones from his briefcase,
depresses a scrambler module, flips it open, and listens for
a moment.

MARTIN
If it's not there, I can't proceed.
Tell them.

Martin hangs up. Picks up another phone and dials. As he
waits for an answer, he goes to a Fed Ex blueprint tube lying
on the bed.

MARTIN
Tom. I've been waiting for an answer.
I'm only in town tonight.

He breaks the shipping seal and pulls out a series of finished
metal parts including a long thin barrel, a scope, and a
silencer.

MARTIN
What's different this time than the
last time? I have to be down front...

INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME

Martin stands in front of the window, phone in one hand, the
scope in the other. Next to him, the assembled rifle rests
across the arm of a chair.

MARTIN
...I don't bother to call anyone
else because you always take care of
me.

He glances over to a second window to his left, which offers
a view further down the street. He goes to it. He raises the
scope and sees

MARTIN'S P.O.V./SCOPE- WINDOW #2

A few blocks down, small even through the high-powered scope,
is your average BICYCLE MESSENGER dressed in lycra racing
gear, weaving through traffic toward us. Slung low across
his right hip is a black canvas bag. The Messenger's hand is
hidden in it. The other phone begins to RING.

MARTIN
Hold on a second, Tom. I got my hands
full here.

He sets down the phone and answers the other, still watching
the messenger.

MARTIN
Good. Account number 3649367, transfer
to account number 96-546-38739-47825.
Ask for Mr. Sanchez, tell him it's
Mr. Duckman. If there are any
problems, access file 673594638-IO-
98, and look at it.

Martin drops the phone and moves away from Window #2 to the
rifle. He mounts the scope and he looks out Window #1 at the
high-rise.

MARTIN'S P.O.V./SCOPE - WINDOW #1

Of a DOORMAN opening the door for a group of five men in
suits. Four BODYGUARDS form a perimeter around the fifth
man, a mall, avuncular figure in his forties dressed in
Saville Row finery.

MARTIN

Takes a step back into the shadows of the room, and raises
the rifle toward Window #2.

MARTIN'S P.O.V./SCOPE - WINDOW #2

of an empty street. The bicycle messenger flashes past.

MARTIN

concentrating, tracks the path of the Messenger, leading him
left to right across the blind spot of the hotel room wall
between Window #2 and Window #1.

STREET

the bicycle Messenger bears down on the group of men, drawing
a Mac-10 submachine gun from his bag. The group see him--
just as Martin's sniper FIRE explodes the Messenger's chest.
Two of the Bodyguards collapse onto their boss. The other
two open fire on the Messenger as he wipes out horribly into
a parked car in front of them.

MARTIN

withdraws from the window, and picks up the phone again and
begins to break down the rifle.

MARTIN
Sorry Tom. But look, I know it's the
playoffs. That's why I'm offering a
thousand dollars for one seat...

Martin listens patiently as he works.

EXT. STREET - SAME - INTERCUT

DOORMAN'S HANDS

unbuttoning his double-breasted long coat.

MARTIN

just finishes packing.

MARTIN
...Well let me ask you, Tom. What do
I have to do to get courtside tickets
for the Knicks...?

STREET

The two bodyguards kick at the Messenger's body. The other
two begin to move off of their boss, who rises cowering. The
Doorman stands behind it all, unbuttoning his coat.

DOORMAN

a tall, dark, sharp-featured man in his forties, wearing a
handlebar moustache. He moves toward the group of men as he
flips open his coat back over two huge chrome .44 Magnum
Charthouse Bulldog revolvers and OPENS FIRE on them.

MARTIN

is closing his bag when he hears the gun-thunder.

MARTIN
Never mind. I gotta go.

Martin drops the phone, grabs his scope, and spins to the
window.

MARTIN'S P.O.V./SCOPE

of the Doorman kicking through the pile of dead bodyguards.
He gets to the man at the bottom-- their boss. The Doorman
FIRES both guns.

MARTIN

reacts, surprised to see a second shooter. He pulls himself
from the window, puts away his scope, and accelerates his
exit.

HIGH-RISE FOYER

Outside, we see the doorman drop both guns on the pile of
bodies. He walks back toward us through the glass doors and
makes his way through the building toward the service exit.
He sheds his uniform and stuffs it into a plastic bag.

MARTIN

his two parcels in hand, exits out the side door of the hotel
and walks down the street.

DOORMAN

now wearing rich man's sweats, hops off the loading dock,
walks to a Lincoln Town Car, and drives off.

INT. MARTIN'S AND GROCERS CARS - DAY

Martin rolls down FDR Drive in a Lincoln Town Car once again
on the cellular.

MARTIN
...Tell them that's not my problem.
I was paid for one job-- the cyclist--
not two. See you tomorrow, Marcella.

MARCELLA
Wait. I have Mr. Grocer for you.

MARTIN
Patch him through....

Martin notices another Town Car appears in the next lane. We
recognize the Doorman behind the wheel, phone in hand. He is
GROCER.

MARTIN
What do you want?

GROCER
I'm setting up a concern that would
enable those of us in our rarefied
profession to consolidate our efforts.

MARTIN
Like a union?

GROCER
Like a club. Work less, make more.

MARTIN
Thank you, no.

GROCER
We could be working together, making
big money, killing important people...
I'm willing to let you in on the
ground floor.

MARTIN
And you could be... sort of like...
a father figure to me....

Grocer ignores this.

GROCER
It's a free-market evolution. You'll
wake up to it... c'mon Kid. We used
to run together when you were a
rookie. I don't want to run against
you. This thing's real. Everybody's
in.

MARTIN
Not me. So don't paw at me with your
dirty little guild.

GROCER
I'm gonna get you, kid.

Martin hangs up and pulls away.

INT. AIRLINER - DAY

Martin sits in first class, wiping his face and hands with
an airline hot towel. He folds the wet cloth and once again
speeds through the images from a thick stack of magazines.
He looks up as he hears PILOT V.O. It's seventy-six degrees
and partly cloudy in Chicago this afternoon...

INT. APARTMENT, CHICAGO - NIGHT

Martin walks into a sparsely furnished apartment. He wearily
drops his carry-on bag and briefcase in the hall.

INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER

Martin sits on a futon couch watching MTV with no sound. On
the coffee table in front of him is a phalanx of vitamin
bottles. Martin takes some capsules from each and washes
them down with a reddish-orange beverage.

INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER

Martin lies on his back on the hardwood floor. His eyes are
closed and he wears a set of headphones as he absently taps
his chest.

WOMAN (V.O.)
"Dear Alumni: Can you believe it's
been ten years? Where are you now...?

After a moment, his eyes open, alerted. His head turns to
the side, and his hands lightly cup the headphones.

CLOSE-UP: WIRE

from the headphones as it winds to a small metal box, with
one unmarked switch and one amber light- definitely not a
walkman. The wire continues out of the other side of the
box, across the floor, connecting to a suction cup stuck to
the floor.

WOMAN (V.O.)
...Are you guiding an Outward Bound
canoe trip like Brook Stinson? Or
perhaps in charge of appearances for
the NFL like Leslie Gunther....?

MARTIN - A MINUTE LATER

draws a pre-cut section of the floor, the width of a pencil
and twice as long, by a string.

VIDEO MONITOR - A MINUTE LATER

The greenish Starlight (night vision) image of a young, HUSKY
MAN sleeping on his back, as seen from above. A fine thread
snakes from behind CAMERA to just above the man's slack mouth.
We PULL BACK to reveal a Sony Watchman that holds the IMAGE.
KEEP PULLING to reveal Martin watching it as he maneuvers
the thread down past the fiber-optic cable through the hole
in the floor.

MARTIN - A MINUTE LATER

concentrates as he applies three drops of blue liquid on the
thread. As the drops run down along the thread through the
floor, his attention shifts to the

VIDEO MONITOR

The drops, huge in the foreground, become smaller as they
make their way down the line toward the sleeping man.

WOMAN (V.O.)
...Could it be that you're like Chip
Longfellow, at the trade-relations
tank in Washington. Sandy Glasser
owns a cheese shop...!

MARTIN

adjusts the thread minutely with one hand, and lowers the
fiber-optic cable with the other.

VIDEO MONITOR

The face begins to fill the screen as the fiber-optic follows
the drops toward it. Suddenly, the man snorts and turns his
face...

A DROP FALLS

It misses the man's mouth and hit's his cheek.

VIDEO MONITOR

The man's eyes snap open in terror as he looks directly into
CAMERA. His image falls away as the fiber-optic is jerked
back up through the hole in the floor.

WOMAN (V.O.)
...Looking at yearbooks and pictures
evokes so many memories...!

MARTIN (V.O.)
(hushed)
Fuck!

MARTIN

stuffs the apparati into an open duffel bag, and flies out
of frame.

WOMAN (V.O.)
...Some good. Some bad. But all
interesting...

INT. HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER

A BODYGUARD sits outside an apartment door. A muffled but
dire scream is heard from within and he is on his feet, gun
in hand. An exit door in the hallway slams open revealing
Martin, his gun already pointed at the Bodyguard. The
Bodyguard levels his at Martin.

MARTIN
Freeze! Police!

The Bodyguard hesitates just long enough to get double-tapped
through the head.

WOMAN (V.O.)
...As a graduate of the class of
1984, you are someone special...

Martin moves to the dead Bodyguard, and locates a retractable
key chain on his belt. He unreels the ring of keys and opens
the door. He lets the keys retract back to the belt and drags
him into the apartment.

INT. HUSKY MAN'S APARTMENT - SECONDS LATER

Martin moves silently down the hall in a crouch. He comes to
the bedroom and slips across the threshold.

WOMAN (V.O.)
...Whenever news of you filters back,
the school is excited and proud of
your accomplishments...

INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

Martin crouches down outside the bedroom door. He points the
gun at the door, and reaching up turns the knob. As the door
opens, the Husky Man FIRES wildly over Martin's head. Martin
returns with one shot to the hut which sits the man down on
the floor.

WOMAN (V.O.)
...We hope Grosse Pointe High prepared
you well to lead the kind of life
that makes an impact on the world...

Martin kicks the gun away from the fallen man, and raises
his barrel to the man's forehead.

WOMAN (V.O.)
...Remember, "there's no where you
can go that you haven't learned how
to go in time... It's easy..."

HUSKY MAN
(in severe pain)
Whatever it is that I'm doing that
you don't like I'll stop doing it.

MARTIN
It's not me.

Martin cocks the gun....

EXT. EAST-WEST HOLDING COMPANY, LOS ANGELES - DAY

The perpetual sun shines down on a small lot of pre-fab office
bungalows.

INT. BLANK HOLDING COMPANY

A small suite of dry-walled offices.

EAST-WEST HOLDING COMPANY

is stenciled on glass doors behind Martin who stands in front
of a young woman reading from some kind of invitation. She
is MARCELLA MAYES.

MARCELLA
...So come on back to the old oak
tree, acorns. Signed, the reunion
committee."

Marcella holds up the mauve envelope and smiles slyly. For
the first time, Martin looks scared.

MARTIN
Throw that away.

MARCELLA
This?

MARTIN
Don't tease me. You know what I do
for a living.

MARCELLA
It's from one of those P.O. Boxes.
How was the trip?

MARTIN
Tedious. I now authorize you to throw
away all personal mail.

MARCELLA
All of it?

MARTIN
And not show it to me. Ever again.

MARCELLA
That's going to cost.

MARTIN
I'll pay.

Martin begins to walk past her into his office, but Marcella
stops him.

MARCELLA
They're not happy, sir.

MARTIN
I'm not happy.

MARCELLA
They say their friend was suppose to
have a heart attack and die in his
sleep.

MARTIN
He didn't.

MARCELLA
They blame you for the compromise.

MARTIN
And they want me to make up for it.

MARCELLA
In Detroit. This weekend.

MARTIN
Tell them that's impossible. I need
my normal lead time.

MARCELLA
They were very upset.

MARTIN
Would you describe their position as
inflexible?

MARCELLA
Intractable, sir. You leave tonight.

Marcella looks concerned.

MARCELLA
And sir, I also get that broken-
mirror, black-cat, Friday-the-
thirteenth kind of feeling about
this one....

MARTIN
There's nothing to be done about it.

MARCELLA
I liquidated the last account in
Zurich, and split it into two new
ones in Estonia.

MARTIN
Good. What else? Anything interesting?

MARCELLA
Mmm, not really. But you're gonna
love this one.

She hands him a piece of paper. He scans it.

MARCELLA
Enough?

MARTIN
Never enough.

MARCELLA
But it's a Greenpeace boat. It'd be
so easy.

Martin looks at her wearily. He puts it into the paper
shredder at the side of her desk.

MARTIN
I have scruples. Next.

MARCELLA
Paperwork on the Detroit thing. It's
a full dossier. Very comprehensive.

She raises a thick brown dossier from the top of her desk
and puts it down again. Martin moves through a door to his
private office.

MARTIN'S OFFICE

Martin goes into his office and sits at his desk. On the
walls are a couple of boring prints of tallships. A bookshelf
holds trappings of a loose attempt at a cover-- a few shipping
manifests, sealane tables, and other specialized reference
books on import/export. He sits and stares.

NEW ANGLE

Time has passed, and Martin still sits at his desk massaging
his gums with a rubber-tipped dental pointer.

C.U. MARTIN'S TEETH

The dental tool jumps across the gaps between his teeth like
a hummingbird.

MARCELLA
(off-screen)
You should get going....

MARTIN

pulls back his jacket lapel and fits the utensil into a pocket
protector that is also home to a toothbrush, emery board,
tweezers, and comb. He stands and walks out of his office.

FOYER

Martin moves toward the door. As he passes Marcella she hands
him the mauve envelope and a travel portfolio.

MARCELLA
Don't forget your identity.

MARTIN
See you next week.

Martin stops short as he reaches the threshold. He holds up
the envelope, and stares a dagger through it. On his way
out, over his shoulder...

MARTIN
Tell Dr. Oatman I'm on my way.

INT. DR. OATMAN'S OFFICE - DAY

Martin slouches on a leather couch. He holds the mauve
envelope, now open.

DR. OATMAN (V.O.)
Why don't you want to go to your
high school reunion?

MARTIN
It's in Michigan. Honestly, what do
I have in common with those people?
Or with anyone?

DR. OATMAN sits in the window. He is Kris Kringle-esque, and
wears a sheepskin vest, rough-hewn shirt, faded Levis, and
old Frye boots. Oatman nods with the suave understanding of
a man happy to collect fifty thousand in fees before asking
a tough question.

DR. OATMAN
You went to school with these people.

MARTIN
Come on.

DR. OATMAN
We've spent a lot of time discussing
those years. Remember we said that
fear is a transfer of the bodily
hurt associated by experience with
the thing feared, to the thought of
the thing. Thus we fear a dog without
distinctly imagining its bite.

MARTIN
Shouldn't you be taking notes?

DR. OATMAN
Tell me about your vision of the
reunion.

CLOSE-UP - MARTIN

CUT TO:

MARTIN'S P.O.V. - FROM ABOVE

Of a crowded gymnasium. The alumni below stops what they are
doing and look up at Martin, DRAWING GUNS OF ALL SHAPES AND
SIZES AND OPEN FIRE ON MARTIN. THE UNITED FORCE INSTANTLY
DISINTEGRATES, AND ALL 400 PEOPLE TURN THEIR GUNS ON EACH
OTHER. A BLOODBATH ENSUES. ONE ALUMNI SHOOTS HER OWN HEAD
OFF, ANOTHER MOWS DOWN THE BAR, ETC.

CUT BACK TO:

MARTIN AND OATMAN

MARTIN
It'll be depressing.

DR. OATMAN
How do you know?

MARTIN
I just know.

DR. OATMAN
Say more.

MARTIN
They'll have husbands and wives and
children and houses and dogs....
made themselves a part of something.
And they can talk about what they
do. What am I going to say?
(sarcastic)
"I killed the President of Paraguay
with a fork."

Oatman twitches nervously, almost spilling his coffee.

DR. OATMAN
You needn't be so frank with me about
your work.

MARTIN
Why not. I trust you. You couldn't
turn me in because of Doctor-Patient
privilege... and I don't want to be
"withholding"... and I know where
you live.

DR. OATMAN
You know where I live?

MARTIN
We're both professionals, Oatman.

DR. OATMAN
I think what you fear Martin is
domesticity. It's the greatest fear
that men have who belong to Western
Culture. It's centuries old. Like
King Phillip, in the 11th or 12th
century who decided one day that he
was so bored with his dreary life at
home with his wife he thought, "Well,
wouldn't it be great if we hit the
road and fought... oh... the
Saracens." So he put the word out
and was amazed when a million men
signed up and all of them wanted to
go and fight in distant lands and do
terrible things to people rather
than stay at home with their families.

MARTIN
So you're saying that Ulysses--
everything he said to his queen when
he came back--everything was a lie?
He just wanted to fuck around?

DR. OATMAN
Yes.

MARTIN
Mmm.

Beat.

DR. OATMAN
And how have you been feeling about
your... work lately?

MARTIN
Uneasy. Dispassionate. Bored. It's
just getting hard to go to work in a
good mood. I'm starting to think
I've been in the business too long.
Last week I did a guy younger than
me.

INT. CHURCH -

SERIES OF QUICK SHOTS:

MARTIN

From the back of the darkened empty church, we see him mount
the altar. A priest in fact.

MARTIN'S HANDS

open the gilded doors to reveal the chalice. He removes it,
squirts a clear liquid into the cup, and swishes it out. He
returns the chalice to the cabinet.

MARTIN (V.O.)
The church seems to be purging itself
of it's pedophile.

MARTIN

Sits in the back pew of the church, now crowded for Mann. He
watches the PRIEST lift the chalice into the air, murmur a
prayer, and drink from it. The Priest collapses behind the
altar.

MARTIN (V.O.)
It's a bull market.

C.U. OF ALTAR CARPET

The chalice bounces free from the Priest's hand as it hits
the ground.

MARTIN (V.O.)
Anyway, that never use to happen. I
was always the prodigy. Now I'm just
one of the guys.

DR. OATMAN (V.O.)
Maybe some of the discomfort you're
feeling is... guilt. Remorse. Over
the innocent people you've killed.

INT. OATMAN'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

MARTIN
If I show up at your door, chances
are you did something to bring me
there. I don't care about that stuff,
anyway.

DR. OATMAN
What stuff?

MARTIN
(dismissive)
Morality.

Oatman's glad the session's just about over.

DR. OATMAN
Go to your reunion, Martin. See those
people and discover what they mean
to you. Try not to kill anybody for
a few days, see how you feel.

MARTIN
If I get antsy I'll kill a few small
animals.

OATMAN
Now we're making progress.

INT. CONDO - NIGHT

Very dark. No pictures or plants. Almost no furniture, and
what he does have is black. The only sign of life is a CAT.
The cat watches on as Martin sorts through a cardboard box,
finally coming to a photo album.

CAT
Meow.

MARTIN
Just a minute.

INSERT-ALBUM

A teen-aged Martin Blank: shy boy with a nervous smile. He
poses with his mother, an older woman with a kind smile...
but her eyes are dark; aged by a life of work and worry. On
the opposing page is a gilt funeral announcement that reads:
"IN LOVING MEMORY... VISTOR ALLEN BLANK...."

MARTIN

turns the page.

INSERT-PHOTO ALBUM

A photograph of a tall, thin girl: a bright smile from within
a bulky winter coat. A girl he's always wondered about: DEBI
NEWBERRY. Handwritten on the photo in girlish loops: "Would
you rather...?!"

CAT
Meow!

INT. KITCHEN - SAME

Martin pulls himself away from the album and the cat follows
him, moaning hungrily--

MARTIN
Food soon...

Martin opens a restaurant-style refrigerator. It holds various
bottles of vitamins, spirulina, wheatgrass, digestible
hydrogen peroxide, fluoride treatment, oxygenated mouth rinse,
and thirty cans of CATFOOD.

MARTIN
Tuna or liver?

CAT
Meow.

MARTIN
Tuna it is.

He opens a can for the cat and a bottle for himself. While
the cat eats, he returns to the cardboard box. Finds a
YEARBOOK. Flips it open....

INSERT-YEARBOOK

A picture of a senior class "Blues Brothers" party: a group
of teens mug to the camera in Blues Brothers get-ups.
Sprinters race for a finish line, their chests stretching
for the tape.

DEBI NEWBERY'S SENIOR PICTURE

A more mature version of the girl in the album. Her name
appears under his picture...

INT. GROCER'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

Track light fills the gourmet-rustic kitchen. GROCER stands,
wearing a burgundy Fila sweat suit, pushing beets into a
vegetable juicer. Next to the juicer are piles of celery and
carrots, as well. A low-key BLIP is heard from another room.
Grocer tops off the glass and takes it out of the kitchen.

INT. GROCER'S GREAT ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Grocer enters the main room of the villa-style A-frame. He
moves to an antique oak desk and sits in front of a COMPUTER.

ON-SCREEN GRAPHICS

"Click OK for remote access caller"

OK is clicked.

"Availability for two days in Detroit area"

"Terms"

"$560,000"

"When"

"Now"

"OK/ FAX materials"

Grocer leans back in his chair and sips the juice. After a
moment, the FAX machine on the desk rattles. The computer
beeps.

"confirmation number of wire transfer#: AJ6687-OI99471"

Grocer hits the return button after taking in the number. A
graphic appears:

"Connection is terminated/ Status idle"

Grocer's FAX begins to moan and chatter. Grocer raises his
juice glass to the computer in a lazy toast.

INT. PLANE - NIGHT

Martin reclines in first class, soaring toward the Midwest
on the red-eye. He has already scanned his magazines and
they are piled in the empty seat next to him. He sets aside
a Powerbar. Martin reads Kill Without Joy. After a moment,
he sets the book down and takes up Iron John.

INT. DETROIT AIRPORT TERMINAL - EARLY MORNING

At the edge of the airport bar sits LARDNER and MCCULLERS,
two Government Spooks, agency unknown. They are both in
blazers, no ties, early thirties, and they watch the passing
crowd.

LARDNER
You always say that. You always say
that. I'm telling you, you never met
the man.

MCCULLERS
Seventeen months ago I was posting a
walk in Lisbon, and he was there. He
never saw me. But I saw him, though.

LARDNER
Lisbon?

MCCULLERS
In Portugal, yes.

In the background, Martin passes by them as he walks down
the hall. Without directly regarding him, the two stand,
drop some cash on the bar, and begin to leave.

LARDNER
Here's the news: He hasn't been in
Portugal since '90. I know that from
the file. Why don't you read the
file, man?

MCCULLERS
In fact, I think I talked with him,
in Bonn.

Lardner can neither confirm nor deny this.

LARDNER
You always say that. You always have
to know everybody. Why don't I just
take the weekend off and let you
kill him. Since you two are so close.

They exit.

EXT. EXIT RAMP, DETROIT AIRPORT - MORNING

INSIDE MARTIN'S CAR

Martin, in a black Lincoln Town Car, veers off of the airport
artery and on to a turnpike. The radio broadcasts the news.

BROADCAST (V.O.)
...with highs today in the upper
seventies. Related stocks on Wall
Street today as scandal continues to
rock the joint U.S.-Japanese Tech
Center...

MARTIN'S CAR

blows past CAMERA and on down the road. After a beat, a mid-
eighties Ford Country Squire station wagon follows, occupied
by two figures.

INSIDE THE COUNTRY SQUIRE

are Lardner and McCullers. They listen to the same broadcast.

BROADCAST (V.O.)
...An unknown "whistle-blower" has
leaked a number of critical flaws in
the safety designs of next year's
models to authorities that could
cost millions in recalls....

MARTIN

flips through the dial, pausing on Rush Limbaugh who waxes
fascistically.

MARTIN
Mein hero.

...and then turns the dial again and cuts in on "Armageddon
Time," slow reggae vibe by The Clash.

EXT. HIGHWAY-

Martin drives down the roadway... headlong into his past.
Dig it...

INT. MARTIN'S CAR

Martin turns up the volume as he reacts to a familiar
voice....

FEMALE DEEJAY (V.O.)
(on radio)
--this is WFRN, all vinyl, all the
time. Oldies from the eighties. It's
a cold summer day in Grosse Pointe--

CUT TO:

CLOSE-UP - A FULL, FEMALE MOUTH

lit only by dime slivers of sunlight, in front of a
microphone. Stray, gossamer strands of hair hanging in her
face move in front of her mouth as she speaks....

FEMALE DEEJAY
--and I'm ready for some good tunes
and angry talk. Or angry tunes and
good talk--

CUT TO:

MARTIN

looking somewhere far away, beyond what is before him in the
windshield...

FEMALE DEEJAY (V.O.)
--Or maybe we'll just play the Cocteau
Twins and get over the goo-angry-
talking music. As you know--

CUT TO:

THE DEEJAY'S HANDS

as they distractedly toy with the wire at the base of the
mic.

FEMALE DEEJAY (V.O.)
--for some moments in life there are
no words, and a little nonsense now
and then is relished by the wisest
man--

CUT TO:

MARTIN

still rapt, makes a sharp turn into a shopping district.

CUT TO:

HER MOUTH

FEMALE DEEJAY
--The Cocteau Twins, though also a
band of the nineties, will be aired
due to the fact that they created
their own language to sing by--

CUT TO:

MARTIN

slows on a quaint street of cute shops. He creeps up to a
storefront on hid right and stops, staring through the
passenger window....

CUT TO:

DEBI NEWBERRY

the female deejay. She sits slumped in a well-worn executive
chair, her back to the studio console and the picture window
behind it that opens to the street....

DEBI
--Now that's freedom--

she swivels in the chair to face the street....

DEBI'S P.O.V.

of Martin's Town Car outside, Martin silhouetted in shadow.

DEBI

Her brow furrowed as she peers at the car, something summoned
by the dark figure. Her words falter almost imperceptibly.

DEBI
--The best I can do is a rhyme: Where
are all the good men dead? In the
heart or in the head? Back later....

MARTIN

Shaken from his trance by her stare, pulls back into the
street and disappears....

INT. MARTIN'S CAR - MORNING

Martin drives, listening to the radio. He turns the corner
with an expectant look on his face. Suddenly his face drops
as he slows and pulls over....

MARTIN'S P.O.V. - 7-11 STORE

Martin looks left of the store, then right, behind him, then
back at the store. Bewildered, he gets out of the car.

WIDE SHOT

of Martin as he walks with purpose. He halts in the middle
of the lot. He puts his hands on his hips, stares, then moves
in... We stay wide as he enters the store and addresses the
clerk inside.

MARTIN
What are you doing here?

CARL, the store clerk tries to get a grip on this question.

CARL
A double shift. What's it look like?
(softening)
Can I help you with something?

Martin's head pans the room, processing.

MARTIN
I don't think so.

EXT. 7-11 PAYPHONE - MORNING

Martin continues to gaze at the structure as if it's a lunar
landscape.

MARTIN
(into phone)
Dr. Oatman. Dr. Oatman. Please pick
up if you're there... It's Martin
Blank. It's gone. My house. It's not
here. My house is gone and now there's
a 7-11 here... And that's
unfortunate... You can never go home
again, Dr. Oatman.

Martin hangs up. He watches one-stop shoppers come and go.

MARTIN
(to himself)
But I guess you can shop there.

INT. NURSING HOME - DAY

MARTIN'S P.O.V.

of a NURSE leading him down a drab, antiseptic hallway. She
banks into the sunlit room where a wispy woman in her late
fifties sits expectantly on the edge of the bed clutching
her purse in one hand, a filterless Pall-Mall in the other,
a light coat on. This is MARY BLANK. She suffers from
Alzheimer's or something just as debilitating.

NURSE
Mary, your son's here.

The nurse gently eases Mary up. Martin hugs Mary stiffly and
pats her shoulders. Mary takes hold of Martin's arm. They
start out of the room.

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - DAY

They walk past a school-yard park fitted with a set of swings,
baseball diamonds, and a small grove of trees. She smokes
and hacks.

MARY
I bought a new rug.

MARTIN
That's wonderful, Mom.

MARY
What's a revival tent?

MARTIN
It's a place where religious people--

MARY
(knowingly)
Marlin Perkins and Jim!

MARTIN
Jim?

MARY
His assistant. He acted like Marlin's
son, only he wasn't. At least they
never said he was... I bet they were
lovers, faggots. Yes, gay lovers.
Wild Kingdom my ass!

Mary coughs horribly.

MARTIN
It's good to see you. I'm sure you're
curious about what I've been doing.

MARY
I spoke to your father the other
day.

MARTIN
I imagine that'd be rather difficult.

MARY
Nature made him then broke the mold.

Martin decides to change the subject.

MARTIN
They told me you're taking lithium,
mom.

MARY
Yes, they give me headaches. I have
a headache.

MARTIN
You have a headache?

MARY
I have a headache. You have a
headache?

MARTIN
No, I don't have one.

MARY
You don't have a headache. I have a
headache.

Mary leans in close, smiling.

MARY
We had a good laugh, didn't we?

MARTIN
Yeah. I guess we did.

EXT. NURSING HOME - DAY

As they head toward Martin's car, Mary stops and points to
it.

MARY
Why don't you return this car and
borrow mine? Have Debi follow you to
the rent-a-car so you can get a ride
back.

MARTIN
I think I'll go see Debi today.

MARY
Of course you will.

MARTIN
I can't think of anything to say to
her that seems appropriate given I
left and never said goodbye to her.

MARY
Take care of her. She's a keeper.

MARTIN
Yeah...

MARY
And a leader. Didn't she meet Castro
on foreign exchange?

MARTIN
I have always thought about her and
missed her.

A nurse approaches with a wheelchair.

MARY
Separate the wheat from the chaff
and you've got the candle cat.

Together, Martin and the nurse help Mary into it. Mary gazes
at Martin, taking him in.

MARY
Remember no matter how impossible
your problems feel. I've known people
without a chance in the world. And
all of a sudden, they have lives.
Time allows miracles. Let yourself
breathe, son.

Martin bends down and kisses her on the cheek. The nurse
spins the chair around and heads toward the building. He is
somewhat fatigued from the experience, but he tries once
more to connect.

MARTIN
Mom...

The nurse stops and turns Mary around to face him. Mary looks
up at Martin and brightens. She starts to sing out like Ethel
Merman, arms out Broadway style.

MARY
"What's up doc/ what's cookin'?/
What's up doc?/ Are ya lookin'?/
Hey! Look out! You're gonna hurt
someone,/ with that old shotgun,/
Hey... what's... up... Doooooc...!/
We really mean it!"

Mary stops short, and squints at Martin.

MARY
Hey, you're a handsome devil. What's
your name?

EXT. GRAVEYARD ROAD - DAY

Martin stops the car and looks out the window at the sea of
headstones. He jerks his hand in a stiff wave...

MARTIN
Hey Pop... You got off easy. The
house is a 7-11. Mom's a psycho-
pharmacological punching bag and I
murder for cash. If you were here I
think you'd be proud.

He drives off.

INT. MARTIN'S SUITE - DAY

The room features a big square bed, dresser and television.
Martin enters, kicks a leather bag under the bed, and grabs
the steel-sided briefcase.

MARTIN
pries out a wall vent, slides in the
case and replaces the vent.

EXT. MAIN STREET - DAY

Lardner and McCullers are staked out along the main strip of
town. Lardner snores, face pressed up against the passenger
window. McCullers lays back in his seat, a to-go cup in his
lap. He taps the cup with one finger as he absently sings
his favorite Bob Seeger song to himself...

MCCULLERS
"...Against the wind... just a young
man running... Against the wind...
let the cowboy's ride!... Blame on
it the thuuunder! Night moves..."

McCullers catches of Martin's Town Car coming down the street.
He nudges Lardner, and points.

LARDNER AND MCCULLERS P.O.V.

of Martin pulling into a space on the street outside the
radio station. He gets out, looking nervous.

INT. RADIO STATION - DAY

Debi flips on the "ON-AIR" switch and prepares to speak into
the microphone. Martin walks in. Debi sees him. They stare
at each other. The song ends. Dead air. After a moment...

DEBI
(on air, groping)
WRFN playing all vinyl, all the time.
Oldies from the eighties. That was
ah... the Specials. Doing... one of
their songs...

Debi turns to turntable B and finds it empty. She turns back
to turntable A and lets the record roll on.

DEBI
...and here's another.

Debi swivels around to face Martin.

MARTIN
"Oldies from the eighties?"

After a long pause....

DEBI
I just play my own collection.

MARTIN
It's nice to see you again.

Debi says nothing, just stares at him, in shock.

MARTIN
How long has it been?

DEBI
Since you stood me up on prom night
and vanished without saying a word?

MARTIN
Ten years, I think. What I miss?

Debi slowly grooves into irony, her best defense.

DEBI
Well, let me see... they tore down
the George Orwell monument and put
up a bust of George Michael. Main
Street's a four-laner, no left turns
four to seven. I was married and
divorced. And Grosse Pointe is now
officially the new sister city to
Lower Hutt, New Zealand. We have
fiber-optic town meetings every two
months.

MARTIN
Here is now there. There is here.

Their eyes lock on each other...

DEBI
Those are the headlines.

The request line buzzes.

DEBI
Hold that thought.
(into phone)
WRFN FM, Grosse Pointe. All vinyl,
all the...
(pauses)
No Pearl Jam. Call back in ten years.

Beat. Debi makes the move.

DEBI
Tell me about yourself.

MARTIN
I'm in California most of the time.
Traveling a lot on business. That's
about it, really.

DEBI
That's it?

MARTIN
Not much else.

DEBI
What's your business?

MARTIN
I'm a professional killer.

DEBI
Professional killer. Do you get dental
with that?

Beat.

MARTIN
Well, I'm in town for a few days,
anyway.

They run out of words, the moment too big for small talk.
Martin gets the fear, breaks it off.

MARTIN
Well, I gotta go. But I'll come back.

DEBI
Okay.

Martin leaves Debi sitting alone, in disbelief.

EXT. RADIO STATION - DAY

Martin steps out of the storefront station along the
fashionable Grosse Pointe shopping district. He stops in the
middle of the street with a strained look on his face.

INT. LARDNER & MCCULLERS' COUNTRY SQUIRE - SAME

LARDNER & MCCULLERS' P.O.V.

of Martin standing in the street.

LARDNER AND MCCULLERS

They frown, wondering at Martin's next move.

INT. DEEJAY BOOTH -

Debi lost in thought, still. After a moment, she sits upright
and flips the "ON-AIR" switch.

DEBI
(into mike)
A man comes to you. He is from the
past bringing you pain long since
put behind you. He says peculiar
things and leaves abruptly. It all
comes flooding back...

EXT. STREET -

Martin stops in his tracks. His face softens, then becomes
determined. He turns and walks back toward the station.

INT. DEEJAY BOOTH -

Debi broadcasting...

DEBI
It felt like an apparition, or some
cheap, gruesome Rod Serling time
warp I'd been thrust back into without
warning. There's a strangeness in
the air and I don't mind telling
you, I'm a little spooked. He was a
man from my past. A man I loved. A
man who disappeared.

DEBI'S P.O.V.

of Martin walking back into the station.

DEBI
A man who's walking back into the
station.

Martin comes into the booth. The temperature rises as they
square off.

INT. COUNTRY SQUIRE -

LARDNER
Well?

MCCULLERS
I don't think so.

LARDNER
Well, remember when Frysal's men
paid off the Deejay in Cairo to
announce a bogus press conference in
the --

MCCULLERS
--Nooo--

LARDNER
--Yes. And the Munich Olympics in
'72. A local radio station started
broadcasting news of the massacre
two minutes before it happened.

McCullers is not to be outdone.

MCCULLERS
That's strictly Bāader-Meinhof stuff.

LARDNER
It was the PLO.

MCCULLERS
Whatever.

INT. DEEJAY BOOTH

Martin and Debi locked in a passionate embrace. They break
away.

DEBI
Sit.

Martin obeys. Debi clandestinely flips the "ON-AIR" switch
as she drops into her chair. The "ON-AIR" light bar goes on
above and behind Martin. Unbeknownst to him their conversation
is put out over the airwaves.

DEBI
All right mystery man. I want some
answers. Let's recap. Spring of '84.
Two young lovers with frightening
natural chemistry. The girl sits in
a seven-hundred dollar prom dress at
her father's house waiting for the
most romantic night of her young
life. The boy never shows up, until
now. So, what's the question?

MARTIN
Where have I been?

DEBI
More like what happened? What
happened, Mr. Blank?

MARTIN
I don't know exactly. I could venture
a guess but it would sound like a
rationalization... I thought you
know... maybe seeing you, some
friends, my house... of course now a
7-11--

DEBI
--Torn down in the name of convenience--

MARTIN
--and I guess, sure, seeing you would
be part of that whole equation... I
suppose the most important thing,
really. I don't know. Anyway, this
whole thing's my therapist's idea.
It's my shrink, really.

DEBI
Ohhh. You're in therapy too, Marty?

MARTIN
You see someone?

DEBI
Uh, no. So you're back now, a decade
later, and you want to sort things
out with me. The question now is, do
I allow you... access... to my being?

Martin says nothing.

DEBI
All right then. Would you like to
share any more deeply personal
thoughts with our listening audience
before we go to our phone poll and
see how the folks in radioland come
down on this one?

A beat as Martin realizes he's been had. He seems about to
bolt.

DEBI
Should a broken-hearted girl give a
guy a second chance at love....

Debi jabs a phone line on the console.

DEBI
(HARD)
You're on the air.

Martin deflates.

OLD WOMAN'S VOICE
I think this young man has avoided
the question completely. Has not
discussed "what happened" nor if
he's sorry for what he has done.
Therefore, I don't see any reason
why you should see him until he fully
discloses his intentions and feelings.

DEBI
Thank you caller.

Stabs another line.

DEBI
You're on the air.

DUMB GUY VOICE
Are you there?

DEBI
Yes.

DUMB GUY VOICE
No, the guy.

Martin looks up, humiliated.

MARTIN
Yeah....

DUMB GUY VOICE
Uh... when you guys use to go out...
Did you guys ever... heh heh heh
heh... ever fuckin', ever totally
fuckin' heh heh heh-

DEBI
Next caller.

GUFF MAN VOICE
I don't know, Debi. Sounds like bad
gas to me. I would not allow him
access to your being.

DEBI
Thank you.

DEBI
Grosse Pointe Michigan, I hear you
loud and clear: "If you love something
set it free. If it comes back to you
it's, well...

She turns to him and shrugs apologetically.

DEBI
...Broken...."

Martin has his answer.

EXT. RADIO STATION - DAY

Martin leaves the station, alone and beaten down.

MARTIN
Dammit. Never trust my instincts.

He scans the main strip.

MARTIN'S P.O.V.

A MAN walks down the street. He is FELIX, a bookish,
forgettable man in his forties, wearing Le Coq Sportif sweats
and shoes. He looks as if he has a dark cloud over his head.
Martin's seen him somewhere, and doesn't like what he
remembers. Martin's POV TRACKS him.

FELIX'S P.O.V.

As he walks down the street, he spots the Country Squire,
and eyes Lardner and McCullers in the front seat.

MARTIN'S P.O.V.

follows Felix's eyes to Lardner and McCullers and catches
their look. Their eyes lock, neither wanting to betray that
they've made each other. They all do a pretty good job. His
P.O.V. swings to a square-jawed, hale fellow wearing dark
sunglasses who is approaching directly and only a few feet
away. The man is going for something in his breast pocket...

Reaches into his own jacket, most likely for a gun....

THE MAN

pulls out a glasses case, and takes off his shades-- He is
PAUL SWIDERSKI.

MARTIN AND PAUL

Martin relaxes.

PAUL
(grinning ear-to-ear)
Hell, I would've voted for you, but
there's all this apple sauce stuck
in my phone... I don't wanna talk
about it. How the hell are you?!
(extends his hand)
Here's five good ones!

No trace of recognition on Martin's face.

PAUL
Marty! It's me. Paul.

MARTIN
(realizing)
Paul?

PAUL
(re: hand)
You're leaving me hanging here...

They shake. Martin looks him up and down, astonished at the
respectable veneer of his old burn-out friend.

PAUL
Hey. Give me a break.

INT. PAUL'S BMW - DAY

Martin and Paul rive through Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Wide
streets lined with huge, shady oaks. Castle-like homes on
golf-course green lawns. A comfortable, Midwestern Beverly
Hills. They are cruising their old haunts, Paul smoking a
joint.

PAUL
This won't take but a minute. I just
gotta hold their hands for a final
walk-through. I'll take them in, get
'em out, then you and I can grab a
little quality time.

Martin looks out the window, breathing in the past.

PAUL
Goddamn, It's good to see you. I was
afraid you joined a cult or something.
I half-expected you to come back to
town in a fennel wreath and paper
pants.

Paul offers Martin the joint. He declines.

MARTIN
There was no money in it.

Martin regards Paul archly.

MARTIN
(grinning)
So what happened to you?

PAUL
Same thing that happened to you-- I
stopped poutin' there on the
sidelines. Got in. Got on the team.
I joined the working week, you slick
fucking asshole, so why don't you
valet park your high horse and take
it easy on your old buddy, Paul.

MARTIN
Fair enough.

Beat.

PAUL
God it's great to see you.

MARTIN
You too.

EXT. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOUSE - DAY

MARTIN'S P.O.V.

of a lovely YOUNG COUPLE on the front porch of a mid-sized
Wright home... Perhaps that could be him if things were
different, but for now it feels like along shot. Paul is
hawking the house to them out of earshot.

SOUTHTEC GUARD (V.O.)
Well, we do what we have to do if we
find you on the property. But we
don't really enforce the law, we
execute company policy for homeowners.

MARTIN AND THE GUARD

standing in the driveway.

MARTIN
So when are you authorized to use
deadly force?

SOUTHTEC GUARD
Well, a 'course, taxes provide your
basic service-- police and whatnot.
But our customers need a little more
than just that, you understand? This
badge doesn't mean that I am a peace
officer.

The woman turns at Martin and smiles. Martin smiles back.

MARTIN
So it's not a meaningful symbol, or
anything. That badge is just the
badge of your company. If I look
suspicious on your customers' property--
well, under those heightened
circumstances you have the authority
to, ah... To shoot me.

SOUTHTEC GUARD
To shoot you. Correct.

MARTIN
How did you get this job?

SOUTHTEC GUARD
Well, they were hiring, and it was
only a two week course...

MARTIN
(pleasantly)
Wow.

Paul walks the happy couple down the steps.

PAUL
(to couple)
...What more can I say.

HUSBAND
(smiling)
We'll talk soon.

PAUL
(much hand gesturing)
You'll be raising your new family in
a work of art. A work of art in a
work of art.

Paul looks at Martin and the Guard, inviting them into the
sell.

SOUTHTEC GUARD
I'm sure you'll be very happy.

All look to Martin....

MARTIN
(heartfelt)
When my time comes, if it ever does,
I want a beautiful, normal place
like this... and a wife like you...

All are confused. Martin thumbs to the guard.

MARTIN
...and you'll be safe here...

Paul looks at his shoes and rolls his shoulders.

EXT. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOUSE

Lardner and McCullers sit in the wagon, watching the house
in the distance.

INT. PAUL'S BMW - LATER

Martin and Paul cut through a particularly charming
neighborhood.

PAUL
Now. I don't make a habit of pimping
my friends, but there is one prime
little piece of land that you must
see...

MARTIN'S P.O.V.

A sprawling gingerbread mansion rises into view. A long and
winding driveway cuts through thickly wooded property to the
house.

MARTIN (V.O.)
Debi's house.

PAUL (V.O.)
Kind of crept up on you, didn't it?

C.U. OF MARTIN

MARTIN
No. You drove us here.

PAUL
Yeah, but it's still kind of eerie,
isn't it?

MARTIN
No.

Martin's not listening. His eyes track the house out the
window.

MARTIN'S P.O.V.

of the mansion.

They roll slowly by Debi's house.

They drive in silence for a beat. Paul suddenly swerves to
the shoulder, jams the brake, and turns on Martin.

PAUL
Ten years. What happened!?

MARTIN
I freaked out, joined the Army, worked
for the government, and went into
business for myself... I'm a
professional killer.

PAUL
Thank you.

Paul, satisfied, gets back on the road.

PAUL
Professional killer, huh? Does that
come with a good HMO?

EXT. ROAD - DAY

Paul makes a turn. They approach a large car dealership. The
sign above it says

"DESTEPHANO'S BAVARIAN MOTOR WORKS"

MARTIN
(looking ahead)
He sells BMW's?

PAUL
He sold me this bad boy.

MARTIN
How could you put your hard-earned
dollars into the hands of the class
bully?

PAUL
He gave me a great deal.

MARTIN
Mein Dealer.

Paul slows outside the lot. BOB DESTEPHANO-- a big, angry-
looking man in an expensive suit-- stands in the lot, puffing
up amidst his stable of expensive cars.

PAUL
Hey! Bob! The car's running great.

BOB
(dismissive)
Glad to hear it.

Bob turns his back on them and begins to walk away.

MARTIN
(shouts)
Bob...

BOB
(turning)
What?

MARTIN
It's me. Martin Blank.

BOB
Really...? So what?

MARTIN
Okay. See you later.

EXT. RADIO STATION - NIGHT

Martin climbs out of Paul's car and begins to walk toward
his own. Paul calls after him.

PAUL
See you at the left-a-boy-came-back-
a-man-made-good party.

Martin nods him off. Paul pulls away.

MARTIN

stands across the street from the radio station, looking at
Debi in the window... Martin draws a thin rifle scope from
his back pocket, and lifts it to his eye...

MARTIN'S P.O.V. - SCOPE

of Debi, in the crosshairs, bored, tapping a pencil to the
beat of an unheard song.

MARTIN

dejected. He puts the scope away and gets in his car.

INT. 7-11 - NIGHT

Martin walks into the store, looking around once again at
his old home. To the left of the door, a typical suburban
teenage SKATEBOARDER is lost in the "Mortal Combat" video
game and something too loud from his walkman. Carl, still
working the double, nods to Martin.

CARL
Can I help you?

MARTIN
What's done is done.

Martin moves up one aisle to the gum rack. He picks out a
pack of Beaman's and unwraps a stick as he heads to the
counter. On the way, he makes a black Town Car pulling into
a spot next to his own. He immediately changes course, and
bee-lines for a rear aisle where he ducks down...

FELIX

Comes through the door, drawing a Mac-10 for each hand.

MARTIN

grabs the gum out of his mouth and sticks it onto the bottom
of the Glock .9mm he has produced from somewhere in his suit.

CARL

grabs the cash drawer, sets it on the counter, and puts his
hands up.

THE SKATEBOARDER

Plays on.

FELIX AND CARL

Felix shoots CARL DEAD on his way toward

MARTIN

Bolts up the cooler aisle. Bursts of FIRE follow him, taking
out each freezer door behind him.

MARTIN AND FELIX

EXCHANGE FIRE John Woo-style between the aisles of the cramped
store. Felix delivers a close-to-home burst as he jumps the
counter, sending Martin diving out of view.

MARTIN

pinned behind the Slurpee machine, pauses to reload his now
two Glock nines. Martin steals a glance to get a bead on
Felix and is met with a salvo that rocks the Slurpee machine,
spattering him with several flavors... and that's all he can
take. Martin comes up BLASTING with both guns, but all that's
left of Felix is swinging doors and squealing tires.

Martin moves to the cashier island, low to the ground.

THE SKATEBOARDER

Twitches and jerks, still absorbed in his game and oblivious
to the surrounding carnage.

CASHIER ISLAND

Martin crawls through the waist-level swinging door and moves
to Carl.

CARL

is really dead. Martin rolls him over to check it out and
finds

A BOMB

under the corpse.

MARTIN

Flips the corpse back on top of the device and leaps the
counter toward the doors. He grabs the shoulder or the
Skateboarder, who shrugs him off, annoyed--

SKATEBOARDER
What the fuck, man?!

The video game screen explodes. Shot full of Martin's bullets.
The Skateboarder reacts backward and Martin jerks him out of
the double doors.

EXT. 7-11 - CONTINUOUS

The Skateboarder is running like crazy, and Martin's car is
peeling out in reverse as the 7-11 is blown to hell.

INT. MARTIN'S CAR - MOMENTS LATER

Martin's hair is matted with Slurpee as he tries to drive
and cool out. He sees his do in the mirror, pulls out a comb
and starts to comb it back into a slick Pat Riley style.

EXT. RADIO STATION - NIGHT

Martin walks in, not looking half bad, considering. Debi
looks up from some reading. "Naīve Melody" by the Talking
Heads plays in the studio.

MARTIN
Are you going to the reunion?

DEBI
No. I'm not going. Is that why you're
here?

MARTIN
That's part of it.

DEBI
Well, you'll have a ball. You seem
to have everything everybody wants
when they go back. The car, the suit,
the watch. The look. That just leaves
the little things, like happiness,
character, point of view...

MARTIN
It's always the little things.

DEBI
Yep.

Beat.

MARTIN
I'm wondering how you've been. How
you are. I'd like to catch up with
you. If it's possible.

Beat as Debi considers. She spins her seat to face him.

DEBI
Okay. Let's catch up. You go first.

MARTIN
Well, there's not much to tell.

DEBI
I'm sure you've done worthwhile things
in the last ten years. You've had
experiences.

MARTIN
Bad experiences.

DEBI
You met people.

MARTIN
Bad people.

DEBI
Watched television?

MARTIN
Bad television.

DEBI
(amused)
Jesus. Marty. You're pathetic. It
sounds like you need a Shockabuku.

MARTIN
What's that?

DEBI
It's a swift spiritual kick to the
head that alters your reality forever.

MARTIN
That'd be good.

Beat.

DEBI
What do you want?

The question is open.

MARTIN
I figured I could pick you up tomorrow
around seven o'clock.

DEBI
Let me get this straight, are you
asking me out?

MARTIN
Yes.

DEBI
Unbelievable.

MARTIN
Seven it is.

DEBI
I'll think about it.

EXT. JOSHUA TREE CAMPSITE - NIGHT

Under a crisp and starry night, a man and a woman sit around
a campfire. As we MOVE CLOSER we see that the woman is
Marcella reading, "Women Who Run With Wolves." She tends to
s'mores on the campfire, assembles one, and hands it to MONTY,
her young outdoorsman boyfriend. Monty is perched on a small
boulder, engaged in a Tai-Chi-like ritual, wearing Patagonia's
finest. There is a path of crystals leading from the fire to
the boulder. In the background is a tent and a Nissan
Pathfinder. Monty's watch goes off.

MONTY
Baby, it's eight o'clock.

Marcella gets up.

MARCELLA
Thanks, Monty.

She tousles Monty's hair on the way to the truck.

INT. TRUCK - CONTINUOUS

Marcella gets in. She shuts the door and dials the phone.

MARCELLA
Hey there, how'd it go?

INT. MARTIN'S SUITE - NIGHT - INTERCUT

Martin sits on the edge of the bed in a towel.

MARTIN
It isn't done.

Marcella pauses, taking this in.

MARCELLA
This is not good.

MARTIN
I'll do it tomorrow.

Marcella considers this.

MARCELLA
What's it look like?

MARTIN
It's fine.

MARCELLA
You haven't looked at the dossier.

MARTIN
(a little defensive)
I've looked at it.

Martin eyes the vent.

MARCELLA
You have.

MARTIN
Yes. It's the same as usual. Nothing
remarkable about it at all.

MARCELLA
I have to call the client and give
them a reason why you're late.

MARTIN
Tell them my house exploded.

Beat. Marcella doesn't know what to make of this.

MARCELLA
I'll call them and tell them you're
taking your time. Being a
professional.

MARTIN
Okay, call them. Fine. Oh-- And if
you could find out why they double-
booked the job, and who is trying to
kill me, and call me back-- that's
be great.

MARCELLA
Will do.

Martin hangs up. He moves up to the air vent, deciding to
get down to business. He pries it open, and withdraws his
briefcase, putting it down on the bed and propping it open.
He looks at the unopened dossier for a moment, flips it over
in his hands, and tosses it on the bed.

BRIEFCASE

We catch a glimpse of Martin's weapons. Martin picks up the
envelope and is about to tear the seal when

THE PHONE RINGS

Martin drops the envelope and lifts the receiver.

DEBI
(filtered)
Are you there?

MARTIN
Yes.

DEBI
Pick me up at my father's house at
around seven. And don't be late this
time.

Beat.

DEBI
Hello...?

MARTIN
This night, this reunion will be an
important step in our relationship.

DEBI
You're fucking psycho.

MARTIN
Don't rush to judgement until all
the facts are in.

She hangs up. Martin smiles and replaces the receiver. He
turns to the apparatus laid out on the bed.

GUNS, BULLETS, ETC.

What has been his life is beginning to look more like death
to him. He places the envelope in the case, then returns the
case to its hiding place.

EXT. DINER - DAY

Lardner and McCullers stake out Martin from the Country Squire
across the street.

MCCULLERS
I wish he'd do his job already so we
could do our job.

LARDNER
We can't do our job unless he does
his job.

MCCULLERS
Why don't we just do his job then,
so we can do our job, and get the
fuck out of here.

LARDNER
Do his job? I'm not a cold-blooded
killer.

MCCULLERS
Wait a minute--

LARDNER
-Look. You want to kill a Good Guy,
but not be a Bad Guy, you wait until
a Bad Guy kills the Good Guy, and
then you come in and kill the Bad
Guy, and then you're the Good Guy.

MCCULLERS
So if we do his job, we're the bad
guys. If we do our job, we're the
good guys.

LARDNER
Yup.

They both laugh, as if at some great joke. Their laughter is
caught short by the sight of

LARDNER AND MCCULLERS' POV

GROCER
moving into the diner.

INT. DINER - LATE MORNING

Martin sits in a window booth splitting nutrient caplets
into an apple juice and looking out the window.

GROCER

slides into the booth, across from Martin.

MARTIN AND GROCER

Martin draws a nasty little PPK pistol from his waist, and
levels it at Grocer under the table-- but Grocer is already
drawing his pistol down there, and there is an instant Mexican
breakfast stand-off.

GROCER
Easy, tiger.

A waitress approaches.

WAITRESS
Hi. Welcome to B.I. McCafferty's. My
name is Melanie and I'll be your
server this morning. Let me tell you
about some of our specials. Today we
have the "Alfalfa on My Mind," our
feature omelette. And there's our
"Gatsby's West Egg Omelette." And if
you're in the mood for something
different there's the "I left my
heart in San Franchezie."

Martin and Grocer's eyes remain locked.

GROCER
I want two eggs poached, hash brown
well-done. English muffin for the
bread. And a coffee.

MARTIN
Whole-grain pancakes. And an egg-
white omelette.

WAITRESS
What would you like in the omelette?

MARTIN
Nothing in the omelette. Nothing at
all.

The waitress nods pertly and leaves.

GROCER
(re: the omelette)
Come on, live a little. I'm sorry
about the incident yesterday.

MARTIN
No harm no foul.

GROCER
A little misunderstanding among my
associates.

Beat.

GROCER
I told them to kill you and they
didn't.

MARTIN
Hard to get good help these days.

GROCER
But since we're both here, I think
it's time to take a fresh look at
our relationship.

MARTIN
I didn't get into this business to
have "associates." And I don't want
to join your Goddamned union. "Loner--
" "Loner gunman." Get it? "On my
own." That's the whole point. Why
don't you become a cop, or something.
You can drink coffee in the morning...
with friends!

Grocer looks a little hurt.

MARTIN
(easing up)
Look, this is a one-on-one business...
Every time you get to know people,
bad things happen. If it'll make you
feel any better, this is my last
job. So what do you say we put our
guns away and forget the whole damn
thing.

Grocer loses it.

GROCER
Fuck you! No scabs! From now on,
everything's regulated!

Long beat as Grocer gets a hold of himself.

MARTIN
No deal.

GROCER
Fine. But we're not going to let you
do your job. Because we're gonna do
it. And then, after we do your job,
we're gonna do another little job...

MARTIN
(Wry)
Is that right?

GROCER
Yeah-- after I shoot you through the
fucking forehead I'm gonna fuck you
in the bullethole.

MARTIN
Nice talk, Sugarmouth.

INT. SUITE - BATHROOM - NIGHT

Martin sits at a desk, staring at the reunion card. He tosses
it aside, gets up, and moves in front of a mirror. He wears
a crisp black suit and practices his greeting smile...

MARTIN
(trying on smile)
Yes, I'm a pet psychiatrist. I sell
couch insurance. I test-market
positive thinking. I lead a weekend
men's group, actually. We specialize
in ritual killings. I'm hungry, are
you hungry, I'm hungry, oooh, ooh.
(sarcastic)
Hi, I'm Martin Blank, remember me?
I'm not married, I have no kids and
I'd blow your brains out if someone
paid me enough... So how've you been?
Where do you stand on The Issues?
Are you Left? Right? Up, down, proud,
shamed, blahblahblahblah--

EXT. DEBI'S HOUSE - EARLY EVENING

Martin makes his way up the walk leading to the front door,
holding a simple bouquet of flowers. He skips up the front
steps and finds the doorbell. After a moment, Debi answers.

DEBI
Flowers. That's funny.

MARTIN
As long as I get the laugh.

DEBI
(taking them)
Here. Let me put these in some rubbing
alcohol.

She backs into the house, and he follows.

INT. NEWBERRY FOYER - CONTINUOUS

Martin follows Debi into the hall. Both are enjoying this
atavistic ritual.

MARTIN
You look beautiful.

DEBI
Okay... Hold on...

MARTIN'S P.O.V.

through a doorway leading into a den. All that's visible of
MR. NEWBERRY, Debi's father, is a pair of legs resting in a
Barcolounger.

DEBI (V.O.)
...Let me get my coat.

MARTIN
I'll just help myself to a cocktail.

DEBI

moves up the stairs and disappears.

MARTIN

looks at the legs, rolls his shoulders, and heads into the
den.

INT. DEN - CONTINUOUS

Mr. Newberry sits in the recliner reading a Tom Clancy novel.
He is a corporate Aspen-dude-ranch sort with a good head of
hair. He sighs, closes the book on his knee and looks up to
Martin.

MARTIN
Good evening, Mr. Newberry.

MR. NEWBERRY
Good evening, Mr. Blank.

MARTIN
How are you? How's business?

MR. NEWBERRY
Martin, I don't know where you've
been since you abandoned my daughter
ten years ago, and I don't care. It
was good that you left, and I'm glad
you did. So what do you want to talk
about? You've grown up a bit. Maybe
I had you figured wrong.

MARTIN
How's that?

MR. NEWBERRY
I visualized you, in a haze, as one
of the slackster, flannel-wearing,
coffeehouse-misanthropes I've been
seeing in Newsweek.

MARTIN
I took the other road. I'm more of a
self-reflective young lion who does
business with lead-pipe cruelty and
goes home to drink light beer in
milky-eyes isolation. I love sports
and sex and have no real relationships
with anyone. And you?

MR. NEWBERRY
Oh, you know me, Martin. I'm the
same old sell-out baby-boomer,
exploiting the oppressed I got shot
for at Kent State. But why don't we
have a drink and forget the whole
thing?

Newberry lays down his book, and moves behind the wet bar.

MARTIN
Why not?

MR. NEWBERRY
So what are you doing with your life
now, son?

MARTIN
I'm a professional killer.

MR. NEWBERRY
That's good.

Debi's footsteps are heard coming down the stairs.

DEBI (O.S.)
Okay

Mr. Newberry watches Martin turn and walk out of the room.

EXT. DEBI'S HOUSE

Martin and Debi pull away from the curb.

INT. CAR - DUSK

Martin and Debi drive through that to Debi is town, and to
Martin is a widening pool of quicksand.

MARTIN
Do you want to get a drink first?

DEBI
I think they'll probably have booze
there.

MARTIN
Right.

Martin's right hand shakes off of the wheel a bit. He grips
it tighter. Suddenly, Martin turns the wheel and pulls into
a gas station parking lot, halting next to a pay phone.

MARTIN
I'll just be a second.

Debi nods, a little confused but going with it.

DEBI
Okay...

EXT. PAYPHONE - MINUTES LATER

Martin stands at the kiosk next to the Town Car, mid-
conversation.

MARTIN
(defensive)
...Well, I didn't kill anyone, but
someone tried to kill me and the guy
in the middle got killed. So if I
see that guy again I'm definitely
going to kill him, but I won't kill
anyone else. Oh, except for the guy
I was sent here to kill. I don't
know...

INT. OATMAN'S OFFICE - INTERCUT

Oatman treats his patient.

DR. OATMAN
What else? Say more.

MARTIN
Saw my mom... I'm with Debi, and I'm
on my way to the reunion.

In the background, Lardner and McCullers drive past the
station.

DR. OATMAN
Okay. Repeat this after me.

MARTIN
Out Loud?

Martin looks to Debi. She looks up and smiles. We hear Dr.
Oatman's command, Martin mumbles them back.

MARTIN
...I am at home with the me. I am
rooted in me, who is on this
adventure.

DR. OATMAN
Take a deep breath and realize, that
this is me breathing.

MARTIN
This is me breating.

Martin takes in a few breaths.

MARITN
Alright, look. I gotta go.

DR. OATMAN
And don't kill anyone.

MARTIN
Right. Don't kill anyone...

INT. MARTIN'S SUITE - SAME

Felix rummages delicately around the room. He goes to the

NIGHTSTAND

The reunion invite.

FELIX

picks it up and scans it.

EXT. GROSSE POINT HIGH SCHOOL - DUSK

Lardner and McCullers sit it the parking lot. They watch
Martin and Debi pull into a space.

LARDNER
He's falling for her. Look at him.

MCCULLERS
He using her.

LARDNER
You're wrong. Look at his face.

MCCULLERS
One cannot love and kill.

LARDNER
(defensive)
I love. I kill.

MARTIN AND DEBI

climb out of the car. Martin, breathing deeply and wiping
his sweaty palms, leans against the car and tries to calm
himself. Eighties music echoes from the gym.

MARTIN
(to himself)
Shoulda brought my gun.

DEBI
What?

He pulls himself off the car and heads toward

GROSSE POINTE HIGH SCHOOL

A sprawling red-brick Gothic structure with many wings. It
is topped by church-like towers. It's scary.

INT. GYM - NIGHT

Martin and Debi enter and pause to take in the entire scene.
A benevolent Ronald Reagan hangs crookedly above. Basketball
nets are swung back, draped with crepe. Lights are half-low
and the music is loud. Alumni are dancing.

ARLENE
Welcome back! I'm Arlene Oslott-
Joseph.

MARTIN
I'm Martin Blank.

DEBI
Debi Newberry.

Debi heads off into the gym, smiling back as she strands
Martin. Arlene rises from a card table. They have little to
say. Martin wasn't part of her crowd.

ARLENE
Marty, you haven't changed a bit!

MARTIN
Don't say that.

Arlene gives him a NAMETAG. As a special torture, the tags
have YEARBOOK PHOTOS. Martin looks at the name tag
uncomfortably.

ARLENE
We had pictures put on, that way
everybody knows who everybody was!

MARTIN
Wonderful.

ARLENE
So, what are you doing now?

MARTIN
Whatever I can get away with.

She smiles at his joke and is immediately distracted by the
next arrival. Martin moves off...

ARLENE
(to the next person)
Isn't it cute. It's so everybody
knows who everybody was!

He circles the crowded gym. Looking for familiar faces. He
stops at the open bar.

BATENDER
What can I make you?

MARTIN
Beer.

The bartender gets him a beer. Martin recognizes a guy at
the bar. He is well-appointed and shiny. He is KEN ALDRIDGE.

MARTIN
Hey, Ken. How have you been?

KEN
(glancing at Martin's
name tag)
Hello Martin. How have you been?

MARTIN
Not bad. You?

Bob Destephano arrives next to them and orders a drink. Eye
contact is made.

KEN
Hello, Bob.

MARTIN
Hey, Bob.

Bob turns slightly toward them. They continue in their
conversation.

KEN
I'm an attorney. I'm with Moss, Brice
& Fromeyer.

MARTIN
That sounds pretty interesting...

Bob wants to join the conversation but doesn't know how.

KEN
Sometimes. I'm in divorce, mainly.
Some property. Some personal injury.

MARTIN
Those all seem kind of related...

Bob takes another drink and mopes off, Martin watches him
go.

MARTIN
Tragedy makes you thirsty.

Ken chuckles. The bartender arrives with the bottle. Martin
grabs it and begins to move off.

MARTIN
Well... I have to take this over to
Debi.

KEN
Here. Take my card. Wait a minute...
here's a special one. For top-shelf
clients.

Ken hands Martin a Monte Blanc pen with Ken's title and
business address printed on the shaft. Martin reads it and
puts it in his kerchief pocket.

MARTIN
Thanks.

Ken goes back to listening to the Guys at the bar.

MARTIN

makes his way through the upbeat crowd of well-wishers. TERRY
emerges like an inkspot on a clean white whirt, and intercepts
Martin. His angst is barely under control as he sidles up to
Martin.

TERRY
I don't know, Blank, all these fucking
people, driving me crazy. Look at
them over there, memorializing old
times, acting all like it was
something "life-changing." And the
people in the National Honor Society?
The name tags?

Martin shrugs.

TERRY
They have special blue starts on
them like it fucking matters now
that they were in the honor club ten
years ago. I'm getting fucking
nauseous from all this sentimental
bullshit. It's making me sick.

Terry stops suddenly as if he's finished. Martin reads this
man's nametag.

MARTIN
Why are you here... Terry?

Terry turns on a dime.

TERRY
I wanted to see a couple people. But
I don't want to talk about the old
days... What did we have together,
Martin? Typing?

MARTIN
(remembering)
Drafting.

TERRY
Yeah, I couldn't stand that fucking
class. But I appreciate you helping
me out, man.

MARTIN
Don't mention it.

TERRY
Yeah, thanks. Well I'm going to try
and get out of here, man. I'll see
you later.

Terry slinks off.

BAR - SAME

Bob Destephano grabs two more scotches off the bar and turns
to leave, thoroughly morose. In his path, he finds DAN
KORETZKY, the good-looking side of brainy.

DAN
Bob. Bob Destephano.

BOB
What?

DAN
I'm Dan. Dan Koretzky.

BOB
Computer guy.

DAN
Yeah... Hey, I saw you at your dad's
dealership the other day.

BOB
I sell BMW's. What do you do?

DAN
Not much, actually. My software
company just went public so I'm
just... hanging out, really.

There's a sudden lull in the conversation. Bob tries his
drunken hand at relating...

BOB
Remember high school?

DAN
Sure. Listen. Why don't you join us
up in the grandstands?

Dan points up to a group of happy, laughing people. Bob walks
off shaking his head and smiling bitterly.

INT. GYM - LATER

Debi and Martin are seated at a round table with six others
in an area blocked off for dinner. Plates of gumbo are
arriving and the wine is poured. DARIUS, an African-American,
is in mid-conversation with AMY, who looks like she walked
out of a Laura Ashley catalog and sits on the other side of
Martin. DENNIS and MIKE are two suits in the midst of a non-
stop sports conversation.

MIKE
...You gotta hold the fans
responsible, though, Dennis, because
they're the ones putting up with the
mediocre product.

DENNIS
I guess, though, you know, if you
look at it Mike, that park is a
beautiful park, I've gone to that
park many times - I've had the
greatest time of my life at that
ballpark and let's face it, I tell
you this, Mike, by the sixth inning,
if you're having the fun you should
be having at Tigers Stadium, you
don't even know what the hell's going
on anyway...

They both crack up at this.

ANGLE ON DARIUS, MARTIN, & DEBI

DARIUS
Have you two been together since
high school?

DEBI
No--

MARTIN
--Yes. Actually we just bought that
little Frank Lloyd Wright on Pine
Avenue... Debi's a social worker and
I mow down insurance claims at Aetna--

DEBI
We haven't seen each other since
high school.

DARIUS
I figured. You two look too happy
together. I shouldn't say that though,
I'm married... So, Martin-- what are
you up to these days? What do you do
for a living?

Debi perks up; this should be interesting.

MARTIN
I'm in pro-active international
relations. It's a very specialized
company. We execute economic
investment opportunities. Sort of
economic clean-up... with an emphasis
on personnel. It's boring, you know,
it's boring. I don't like to talk
about it because I don't think what
a man does necessarily reflects who
he is...

Martin begins to draw strange looks from all over the table.
Martin may be in trouble.

MARTIN
...I've always tried to refrain from
a black-and-white moral lexicon--you
know, good, bad, right, wrong--I've
been more interested in the gray
areas.

Silence. Martin pushes on.

MARTIN
But that's no way to live. I guess
you've got to just take the leap of
faith. Believe in something. Fuck
it.

DARIUS
Sounds complicated, Martin. Are you
happy?

MARTIN
I just have to close this one last
account. I'd like to just stop now,
today, but I can't... It's a step in
the right direction.

DEBI
I don't know, Martin. It sounds like
you're feeling compromised. Live the
way you want. The only thing that's
inexcusable, to me, is cynicism.
That's the biggest cop-out there is.

Nods of assent come from around the table. A brief silence,
and then...

AMY
But wait. I still don't understand
what you do.

MARTIN
I work at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Debi suppresses a laugh.

AMY
You do not.

MARTIN
Yes I do.

AMY
You don't...

MARTIN
In the corporate offices.

AMY
Oh... really?

MARTIN
Yeah...

AMY
What do you do?

MARTIN
I sell biscuits to the Southland.

AMY
You do not.

MARTIN
It's what I do.

AMY
You're so funny...

MARTIN
I sell biscuits and gravy all over
the Southland--

AMY
--Stop it--

MARTIN
You know those horsey biscuit gravy
packets? I move all of those--

AMY
--No.

MARTIN
Sometimes we sell them to McDonald's
and just change them to special
barbecue sauce.

Across the table from Martin and Debi, Dennis turns to Darius.

DENNIS
What do you think about black coaching
in the NFL, Darius? Because I think
it's great.

DARIUS
I don't pay much attention to
football.

MIKE
I have to agree with you Dennis.
It's good to see that the owners are
willing to put the franchise behind
a black head coach or QB when for
years in the league they've been
kept out of the thinking positions
and relegated mainly to the physical
game.

DENNIS
But now, you see, you have Warren
Moon at the helm, Cunningham, Art
Shell, and the coach up at
Minnesota...

MIKE
Dennis Green. And if you remember,
Doug Williams was the first black
man to prove that on a Superbowl
Sunday.

Amy leans in to Martin.

AMY
(to Martin)
I'm teaching art at Cedar Junior
High School.

DENNIS
...Yeah, listen. Where do you stand
on this whole Louis Farrakhan
issue...?

DARIUS
(facetious)
I'm a De Klerk man myself.

Debi nods, indicating to the deejay stand.

DEBI
I'm going over to play some tunes.

Martin watches her walk away.

INT. GYM - GRANDSTANDS - LATER

Dan Koretzky sits with two other FORMER-SQUARES-turned-
handsome-fellas who now enjoy a confidence that comes with
early investment in Microsoft.

Martin looks out over the milieu below, enjoying the seene.
He eavesdrops on a group of men from a few rows back.

GROUP OF MEN

DAN
Look at her. There it is. Jenny
Slater. The finest thing that ever
walked these halls.

FORMER-SQUARE #2
I believe she married the state of
Maine.

DAN
Yeah, he's around here somewhere.
What a shame. She would have looked
great in my fucking Bentley.

FORMER-SQUARE #3
No, my friends, Jenny Beam. Not only
was she as fine, if not finer, than
Slater, but she had the "bad girl"
thing going for her. And the red
hair. C'mon.

DAN
She's a paramedic in Skokie, Illinois.

FORMER-SQUARE #2
You both are mistaken. Jenny Maretti
was the finest. No question about
it.

FORMER-SQUARE #3
The three Jenny's. Three Jenny's.
All named Jenny...

DAN
You know what I'm really hoping?
That Jenny Slater gets divorced. And
she's twenty-eight--

FORMER-SQUARE #3
--she's got half the state of Maine--

DAN
She's twenty-eight years old, with
two kids, she's still really really
fine, and I see her at a bookstore
or something, and she sees me for
what I was then, and what I am now:
the redemption for all her failure.

FORMER-SQUARE #3
You mean the redemption for all your
failure.

They ponder this. Martin looks down on the gym, concentrating
on Debi.

BOB DESTEPHANO

Dancing drunkenly, miserable, like an unbalanced orangutan.

CUT TO:

INT. GYM - DEEJAY BOOTH - LATER

Martin stands by Debi as she sits in for a set in the deejay
booth, on a raised stage. They are playing an old sophomoric
game.

DEBI
Which would you rather...?

MARTIN
Okay... Would you rather... commit
yourself sexually to a four-by-nine
cell with former President George
Herbert Walker Bush dressed as a
super-model for a month, or make
love to a otter on crank for a week?

DEBI
Soft. I'll take the junkie otter,
clearly! I'd let the little beast
scratch and claw all he wants...
Okay. Would you rather make love to
the candied corpse of Phyllis Diller--

MARTIN
--She's not dead---

DEBI
It's just a game...! Alright. Candied
Diller, or... wear a hot pork vest
across the desert with a fully
digested crab apple in your mouth?

MARTIN
Wow. I have to give this some thought.

DEBI
No time.

MARTIN
Okay, then. Clearly candied Diller.

STACEY breaks the moment, looking up at the two, horrified
and unsure at what she's heard.

STACEY
Marty! Debi! How are you! So many
people came, but I never expected to
see you Marty. Or you Debi... I
mean... because of what your
divorce... I didn't mean to say that.
I just meant you look so good.

DEBI
Thank you.

STACEY
Do you think you could play "Too
Shy'" by Kaja Goo Goo?

DEBI
Stacey, why don't you come up here
and take over for a little while?

STACEY
I'd love to.

Stacey nods thanks and makes her way up into the booth as
Martin and Debi make their way down.

DEBI
(to Martin)
Everybody thinks they know me now
that I'm divorced.

She leads Martin toward the exit.

DEBI
It's time to see you in private.

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY

Martin and Debi walk down the hallway, alone together.

MARTIN
Even though I left, you never left
me. Not just memory but a substance
in my blood.

DEBI
(smiling)
Like heroin?

MARTIN
Too junky-kitschy. Deeper, deeper.

DEBI
(enjoying this)
Like love?

MARTIN
Could be. The physical substance of
love.

Debi stops.

DEBI
I'll accept that. Follow me.

Together they move into what appears to be the Nurse's Office,
and close the door behind them.

INT. NURSE'S OFFICE

Martin and Debi make wild banshee love.

EXT. PARKING LOT - SAME

Lardner and McCullers watch Felix into the gym.

MCCULLERS
Looks like someone keeps trying to
do our job for us.

LARDNER
If he does our job, he's our job.

MCCULLERS
I get it.

INT. GYM - SAME

FELIX

steps through the doorway he's standing in and strolls into
the crowded gym. He wears the standard khaki-pants-blue-blazer
combo, with no nametag. He's clearly too old for the class
of 1984.

INT. HALLWAY - LATER

Martin and Debi come out of the Nurse's Office. The post-
coital mood is broken as they hear The Human League's "Don't
You Want Me, Baby?" blasting from the gym. Martin and Debi
tune in on the song for a moment, unhappy at remembering
that particular moment in pop music history. Debi looks to
Martin, something must be done about it.

DEBI
I'll be right back....

Debi kisses him. They split up. Martin walks off, the happiest
we've seen him....

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY

Bob and several others from the muscle-to-fat crew play a
drunken scrimmage with a papier-mache table ornament footbal
that is coming unwound. Bob quarterbacks and begins to recite
a long, complicated, and forgotten play. Martin approaches
from behind Bob and glides through the ad-hoc line-up,
continuing down the hall. Bob yells "hike" as he stares after
Martin, distracted. Bob's rushed upon and sacked. He lets
the papier-mache ball drop and crack on the floor.

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - LATER

Martin walks down a silent, deserted hall of lockers and
classroom doors. The only sounds are his footsteps and the
echoed strains of Iggy Pop's "Wild Child" from the distant
gym. He stops at locker number 1963 and flips the dial: Right-
back left-right again. It opens. He pops up the steel false
ceiling in the empty locker, fishes his hand in the opening,
and withdraws what he is looking for: an ancient joint. He
holds it up and examines the now brown and dried reefer. He
grinds it into dust in his hand.

INT. HALLWAY

Debi comes out of the gym and starts down the hall, the music
changed for the better.

INT. HALLWAY - SAME

Martin senses he is not alone. He turns to find Bob
Destephano. The big man holds a glass unsteadily and slurs
slightly when he speaks. Bob is looking sad and scary. He
leans into Martin

BOB
So. You and Debi. Gonna hit that
shit again?

MARTIN
Fine, Bob. How are you?

BOB
Never better.

MARTIN
Really?

Bob crumbles.

BOB
Ahhh... it's all fucked up. Nothing
adds up to nothing... you work your
whole life, day in and day out-- try
to make sense of it all. One day
you're twenty-seven and what do you
get to show for it...

MARTIN
You could've been a contender, huh?

Bob realizes he can't even express his own tragedy without
the use of cliches.

BOB
Smart boy. Real smart. Let's see how
smart you are with my foot up your
ass! I'm gonna kick your ass!

Martin steps to Bob.

MARTIN
Why would you want to hit me, Bob?
Do you really believe that there's
some stored up conflict that needs
resolution between us? We don't exist.
There's nothing between us. So who
do you want to hit, Bob? It's not
me.

Bob slumps against the lockers, deflated.

BOB
What am I gonna do?

MARTIN
What do you want to do?

BOB
I want to be an actor.

MARTIN
Then express yourself, Bob.

Bob frowns, trying to think of a way to express himself.

MARTIN
(catching him)
Be honest...

Bob backs up and lets out a huge, drunken caveman scream,
then stops abruptly, and smiles.

BOB
Later, Martin.

Bob backpedals down the hallway and out of sight. Martin
watches him stumble out of the hallway and bang through the
doors of a stairwell, disappearing.

INT. STAIRWELL - CONTINUOUS

Bob slams through the doors and begins to stumble down the
stairs. He encounters Debi, on her way up. He glances at her
but does not break stride. Debi gives him wide berth, and
quickens her pace up the stairs...

INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

Martin watches the doors swing to a stop. He exhales and
relaxes... AND THEN Spin-pivots on his right heel, as a BURST
from a silenced pistol pierces the space where his head was
a split-second before/ As he spins around, his right hand
withdraws Ken's give-away pen from his kerchief pocket, pops
the cap off, and drive the pen up and through the throat of
his attacker--

FELIX

impaled through the throat on the pen, his head snapped back.

MARTIN AND FELIX

are frozen for a moment. Blood runs quickly down the front
of Felix's body, off of his shoes, and on to the floor. The
stairwell doors band open. Martin's head turns toward the
sound. His eyes lock onto

DEBI

who is frozen, horrified for a moment. She flees.

MARTIN

looks back at

FELIX

Dead.

THE FLOOR

A growing pool of blood.

MARTIN

Looks around wildly, holding Felix up against the lockers.
Above the lockers is a plastic banner proclaiming

"SPANISH CLUB FIESTA FUN-RAISER SATURDAY JUNE 1"

MARTIN

rips it down from the wall with his free hand, wraps it around
Felix, stuffs the body into his open locker, and slams it
shut. He pulls off his shoes and socks, puts a sock over
each hand like mittens, and wipes up the small pool of blood.
He stuffs the socks into his pockets, takes off down the
hall, and bangs through the doors.

INT. GYM - GRANDSTANDS - MOMENTS LATER

Martin blasts through the upstairs doors to the grandstands
looking for Debi below. She is nowhere to be found. He scans
the party in progress-- It is the same frame of image as the
one in Oatman's office. In the middle of the floor, Terry
slowly turns up to meet Martin's eyes.

MARTIN

pulls the doors shut, and takes off down the hall.

INT. HALLWAY - MINUTES LATER

Martin opens his locker, withdraws the corpse, and hefts it
over his shoulder.

INT. STAIRWELL - A MINUTE LATER

Brick-walled, darkly lit, and narrow. Martin bounds down the
steep steps with his load.

INT. BASEMENT LOCKER ROOM HALLWAY - MINUTE LATER

Martin hustles toward a cage door in front of him. He kicks
through it and dumps Felix into a canvas laundry cart on
casters and begins rolling.

INT. PUMP AND FURNACE ROOM - A MINUTE LATER

The door bangs open and light pours into the room from behind
Martin. He negotiates the cart over the dirt floor and stops
next to the furnace that heats the swimming pool. He pauses
and looks to the ceiling: the music from the reunion pulses
into the floor above him. Martin picks up a large metal bar
and works open the door on the hulking cast-iron furnace. A
white-hot blaze roars within.

INT. GYM - NIGHT

The party is winding down. A harried-looking Martin walks in
and looks around once more for Debi-- nothing.

MARTIN'S POV

of the Deejay booth. It is empty.

He moves over to the bar and joins Ken Aldridge. He motions
to the bartender who opens a beer for him.

MARTIN
Have you seen Debi Newberry?

KEN
Nope.

They both look around at the last of the reunion.

KEN
The more things change, the more
they Goddamned well stay the same.

MARTIN
I guess.

Before Ken can get started again...

MARTIN
Take care of yourself, Ken. Thanks
for the pen.

Martin walks out of the gym.

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS

Paul is leaning against his Beemer, having a smoke.

PAUL
What the hell happened to you?

MARTIN
I was catching up with Bob Destephano.

PAUL
As long as you had a good time.

Beat. Martin scans the lot for sign of Debi.

PAUL
What now? Chase the girl?

There is a beat of silence. Nothing seems worth saying.

MARTIN
It didn't work out.

PAUL
That's too bad.

MARTIN
I have to get my head back into my
work.

PAUL
Work's good for the soul.

Martin gets up to leave.

MARTIN
When you see Debi, tell her I'm sorry.

PAUL
See you in ten years.

Paul watches him leave. He almost stops him, but thinks better
of it.

INT. MARTIN'S SUITE - NIGHT

Martin hunches over his briefcase that lays open on the bed.

MARTIN PULLS

THE DOSSIER from the briefcase. It's seal is broken, but the
contents remain enclosed... He withdraws the package and
dumps the contents on the bed. His face registers muted shock.

MARTIN
Dumb fucking luck...

THE CONTENTS

include various photos of MR. NEWBERRY, Mr. Newberry with
Debi, and the house. The photos are mingled with official-
looking papers including credit reports, medical records,
etc... Newberry's life.

He cocks his head toward the door anticipating a... KNOCK.
He freezes, then plucks a gun tapped under a desk, and moves
toward the door, pointing. Halfway to the door, his face and
body slacken. He lobs the gun onto the bed. With everything
gone wrong, there is nothing left to defend. He goes to the
door and opens it, body relaxed, expecting a bullet...

Debi moves past him into the room. She is completely calm.

DEBI
He was trying to kill you, right!

MARTIN
Yes.

DEBI
Not the other way around...?

MARTIN
No.

DEBI
Is it something you've done?

MARTIN
It's something I do...

Beat.

MARTIN
...Professionally...

Beat.

MARTIN
...About five years now.

DEBI
(stunned)
Get the fuck outta here.

MARTIN
Seriously, when I left, I joined the
Army and took the service exam. They
found my psych results fit a certain
profile. A certain "Moral flexibility"
would be the best way to describe
it... I was loaned out to a CIA-
sponsored program. It's called
"mechanical operations." We sort of
found each other...

DEBI
You're a government spook?

Martin says nothing.

MARTIN
I was, but no... yes... I was before,
but now I'm not. It's irrelevant,
really. The idea of governments,
nations, it's mostly a public
relations theory at this point,
anyway. But I'll tell you something,
until about five months ago, I really
enjoyed my work.

DEBI
Jesus Christ!

MARTIN
Then I started losing my taste for
it. Which usually means your time is
up. But then I realized it was
something entirely different... I
started getting the sneaking, dark
suspicion that maybe there was...
meaning to life.

DEBI
Okay. Great, Martin, that's just
great. Meaning to life... Mmm....

MARTIN
Like, that there's a point? An organic
connection between all living things.

DEBI
Let me help you along, Martin. You're
a sociopath!

MARTIN
(defensive)
A sociopath kills for no reason. I
kill for money.

DEBI
You never could have kept this from
me.

MARTIN
I was leaving.

DEBI
That's probably a good idea.

MARTIN
Will you come with me?

DEBI
I'm staying here.

MARTIN
What if I come back?

DEBI
I'll hide.

She goes for the door.

MARTIN
Don't go.

She stops at the door. Slowly, she turns.

DEBI
You don't get to have me. You are a
monster, I'm a human being. We're
not going to mate.

MARTIN
You don't understand...

DEBI
That's because I speak human, and
you speak monster.

Debi bolts out of the room. Martin is left alone.

Martin looks over at his gear on the bed. After a beat, he
walks slowly over and surveys his tools. He picks up a
cleaning rag and begins to go over the weapons, absently
singing to himself...

MARTIN
"What's up Doc? What's cookin'? What's
up Doc, are you lookin'...?

INT. MARTIN'S SUITE - DAWN

Morning light comes through the slit in the curtains, picking
up four or five exquisitely clean guns are laid out on the
bed, almost geometrically spaced. Martin lifts one at a time,
checking their bores and actions...

INT. COUNTRY SQUIRE - MORNING

Lardner and McCullers gear up. They each finish loading the
last of many clips...

EXT. MICHIGAN HIGHWAY - MORNING

Grocer and Company, not in a Ford Passenger Van, veer off
onto an exit ramp. Grocer has assembled a team of about nine.
They draw different guns from their kit bags and begin
loading...

INT. COUNTRY SQUIRE - SAME

Lardner and McCullers jam clips into their service autos and
knock the slides...

INT. MARTIN'S SUITE - SAME

Martin finished loading his guns, and puts them in his case.
He shuts it and moves for the door. On the way out he stops
and looks himself in the mirror before exiting.

EXT. THREE DIFFERENT ROADS - INTERCUT

Each car whooshes by camera, on its way to the inevitable...

INT. EASTWEST HOLDING COMPANY - INTERCUT

Marcella has a cordless tucked between her shoulder and ear,
and holds a two-gallon gas can. She moves from room to room
pouring gasoline onto the computers, desks, and piles of
paper stacked on the floor. She adds a splash to her copy of
"Women Who Run With the Wolves."

MARCELLA
I'm bringing down the office now.

She picks up her hard drive and smashes it on the floor.
It's cathartic.

INTERCUT WITH MARTIN IN THE TOWN CAR -

MARTIN
I'll put things right. Then I'll
find you.

Silence on the line.

MARCELLA
(apprehensive)
Uh... why?

Martin finishes his weapons check, and pulls out the dossier.

MARTIN
Don't worry. I left you a little
something under your desk.

Martin hangs up.

Marcella goes to it and pulls loose from underneath a shrink-
wrapped brick of $100 bills, probably a $100,000 or so.

MARCELLA
All right!!

INT. MARTIN'S TOWN CAR

Martin makes his way down the road to the Newberry's. In the
distance, he sees a lone figure jogging on the shoulder,
away from him.

INT. GROCER'S VAN - SAME

Grocer and Company are parked off to the side, watching
Newberry, in the distance, jog toward them. A SNIPER prepares
to blow Newberry's head off.

INT. MARTIN'S TOWN CAR - SAME

As he approaches the figure, he recognizes it as Newberry,
he accelerates.

INT. GROCER'S VAN - SAME

Grocer spots Martin's car speeding at Newberry.

GROCER
Oh shit...

EXT. ROAD - SAME

Newberry stops jogging and turns to face the Town Car bearing
down on him. His face goes slack, expecting to be creamed.

INT. TOWN CAR - SAME

Martin roars straight at Newberry, his engine shrieking. As
the distance between them turns from yards to feet... Martin
swerves hard, just missing Newberry and comes to a halt next
to him, blocking the Sniper's line of fire. After a moment,
Newberry opens the passenger door.

NEWBERRY
What the fuck is the matter with
you?!

MARTIN
Well, I was hired to kill you. It's
what I do, and come to think of it,
I told you that, but... Okay. I'm
not going to do it. Get in the car.

He does. They drive on.

MARTIN
It's either because I'm in love with
your daughter, or because I have a
new-found respect for life. Or both.
But I don't know.

INT. GROCER'S VAN - SAME

Grocer and company watch in amazement.

GROCER'S P.O.V.

of Martin's car disappearing into Newberry's long and wooded
driveway.

GROCER
That punk is either in love with
that guy's daughter or he has new
found respect for life... Let's go.

EXT. NEWBERRY HOUSE - SAME

Martin pulls up in front and stops. Both men scramble out
and head toward the front door at a quick clip. Newberry is
shaken; Martin seems at ease, at home in his element.

NEWBERRY
Why? I build cars! They're paying
you to kill me? Why?

MARTIN
It was a cost-cutting effort. They
can't afford a recall.

NEWBERRY
It was a leaky sunroof! A design
flaw! I reported a leaky sunroof!
You want to kill me because of that?

MARTIN
It's not me! Why does everybody think
it's personal?!

They go through the front door and shut it behind them.

INT. GROCER'S VAN - SAME

Grocer drops the van into gear and heads toward the driveway.

INT. COUNTRY SQUIRE - SAME

Lardner and McCullers approach the scene. They get within
viewing distance in time to see Grocer's Town Car turn into
the driveway.

LARDNER
We'll go in through the woods.

INT. NEWBERRY HOUSE

Martin's briefcase is open on the large oak table. The
contents of the dossier are spilled out onto the table.
Newberry and Debi watch him, dumbstruck, as he draws a huge
Desert Eagle automatic and jerks back the slide. He turns to
Debi.

MARTIN
I was sitting in my house on prom
night wearing that Goddamned rented
tuxedo, a corsage in one hand, a
bottle of champagne in the other. So
I was just sitting there, and then
the whole night flashed before my
eyes, and it struck me like a bullet
in the head-- I realized, finally,
and for the first time, that... I
wanted to kill somebody. So I figured
because I loved you so much, that'd
it'd be a good idea if I didn't see
you anymore. But now I'm different.

He turns and points the gun at the front door and FIRES two
shots through it, leaving two baseball-size holes in the
door.

Martin bolts out of the room toward the back of the house.
Debi and Newberry run as fast as they can away from Martin.
Newberry opens the front door, preparing to rush out with
Debi. They stop at what they see:

NEWBERRY'S & DEBI'S P.O.V.

As ASSASSIN lies on the porch, shot dead through the door by
Martin. IN one hand is a gun, in the other is a Fuller Brush
kit. Two men, GROCER and an ASSASSIN, clamber out of van,
their guns rising up fast toward us.

Debi pulls Newberry inside, slams the front door, and locks
it. They dive away just before ten rounds hit the door from
outside.

INT. KITCHEN - SAME

Martin rushes toward the back door which is already opening.
A barrel comes through and FIRES at Martin. Martin pulls
back behind the refrigerator and returns FIRE. An ASSASSIN
comes through the door in a crouch and takes cover behind
the cooking island. Martin, yelling back to Debi...

MARTIN
I'm in love with you. I know we can
make this work!

MARTIN

rushes toward the island, grabbing an iron skillet off the
range, and holds it up like a crossing-guard stop sign. He
steps toward the hidden Assassin just as the Assassin rises
SHOOTING. The skillet takes two rounds before Martin hammers
the Assassin's head with it. Debi and Newberry arrive in the
kitchen.

NEW ANGLE - LOW DUTCH

Martin bashes the skillet into the Assassin's skull, which
is beyond our view. He rises spattered with blood and looks
at Debi.

MARTIN
I was afraid to commit to a
relationship, but now I know I'm
ready to make it happen.

Martin drops the skillet and grabs Newberry and Debi gently
be the wrists.

MARTIN
I just need time to change.

He ushers them past the bludgeoned corpse and up the back
stairs. He spins and FIRES twice back down the stairs at
another ASSASSIN coming up, blowing his arms off.

HALLWAY

He leads them quickly.

MARTIN
It's not easy for me. I was raised
to close off, to control my
feelings...

He takes them into a bedroom, and BLOWS AWAY, an ASSASSIN
coming in through the window, emptying his auto. Martin pushes
Debi and Newberry into an adjoining bathroom. He backs out
through the doorway.

MARTIN
Lock the door.

They do. Martin starts away, but stops to get something
straight.

MARTIN
I wasn't raised in a loving
environment.
(beat)
But that's not an excuse. It's a
reason.

INT. FOYER

Martin corners the banister and springs half-way down the
stairs, then hears the front door begin to open.

MARTIN
My soul was empty--

Martin jams in another clip, and chambers a round. He sees
Grocer beginning to slip in.

MARTIN
--and it's up to me to fill it.

Martin FIRES the twelve-round clip into the door until the
slide locks back empty again. Grocer backs out fast. Martin
hears a gun REPORT from upstairs and moves back toward it,
tossing the spent weapon.

INT. BEDROOM

An ASSASSIN slams his body against the bathroom door while
Debi and Newberry scream from within. Martin flies at him.
The Assassin wheels on Martin FIRING. Martin pivots out of
the line of fire, still moving forward. He takes hold of
Assassin's neck and snaps it. Martin drops the corpse.

MARTIN
(through the door)
It's okay. It's Martin The door begins
to open revealing Debi and Newberry.

MARTIN
I know what I do isn't moral, per
se, but if you could just look past
that, you'd see a man worth loving.

GROCER (O.S.)
Don't listen to him, he's a
professional.

Martin stops short and cocks his head toward Grocer's muffled
voice coming from the vent. Grocer continues...

GROCER (O.S.)
You're breaking my heart down here,
Blank. I can't shoot through the
tears.

Martin, incensed, bends down and takes the gun from the dead
man. He runs out of the bedroom, gun poised for a kamikaze
firefight...

EXT. NEWBERRY HOUSE - SAME

Lardner and McCullers are poised outside the front door,
about to enter the mix. McCullers peers through the window.

LARDNER
Did you see Blank in there?

MCCULLERS
No...

LARDNER
Good. For a second there I thought
we were in trouble.

INT. NEWBERRY FOYER - CONTINUOUS

MARTIN

reaches the top of the front stairs to find Grocer heading
up the stairs at him. They lift their guns at each other to
FIRE, when they hear...

LARDNER AND MCCULLERS

power through the front door, guns BLAZING at floor-level,
ala Butch and Sundance.

Martin and Grocer, above, spin on them instinctively, and
FIRE, killing them. Grocer dives off of the stairs and rolls
out of view.

KITCHEN - INTERCUT

GROCER

heads up the back stairs.

MARTIN

works his way toward Grocer, moving with stealth toward the
kitchen.

GROCER

hears him and starts back down.

Martin dives behind the cooking island just as Grocer comes
out of the stairwell blasting. They unload at each other as
Grocer runs a pattern across the kitchen, FIRING at Martin,
crouched, who BLASTS back. Grocer vaults himself through the
air toward a serving window from the kitchen to the dining
room, still firing.

C.U. - MARTIN'S GUN - SLOW MOTION

The last casing floats out of the chamber into the air, and
the slide on the auto locks back-- empty.

NORMAL SPEED

GROCER

Flying through the air disappearing through the shuttered
serving window, his flight carrying him past a television
that sits on a lazy susan.

MARTIN AND GROCER - INTERCUT

Martin and Grocer sit on the floor, backs up against opposite
side of the counter-- Martin in the kitchen and Grocer in
the dining room. The hulking old television sits on the
counter above and between them.

Martin looks up and spies the TELEVISION

GROCER
...How about I sell you two rounds
for a hundred grand a piece?

MARTIN
Okay.

Martin takes out a checkbook, and tears one free. He wads it
into a loose ball and tosses it over the counter.

BALLED CHECK

sails over the television and comes down, bouncing off
Grocer's head and into his lap.

MARTIN
There you go. I left it blank.

GROCER
Excellent. Here they come.

Grocer pulls two rounds from the clip of his semi-automatic
and pushes the clip back into the gun. Grocer arcs the TWO
BULLETS into the air.

MARTIN

rises and springs at the television, gripping it. The TWO
BULLETS sail past his head.

GROCER

begins to rise from his side of the counter, cocking his
gun.

MARTIN

puts all his weight and motion behind the television. Martin
and the television careen off of the counter toward Grocer.

GROCER

gets off one round before

MARTIN

flies onto Grocer, smashing the seventy-five pound television
over his Goddamn head. Martin sails past the collision,
landing on his back in the dining room. He rolls over to see

GROCER

Body crumpled, neck is snapped, head encased in the shattered
picture tube. He is dead.

MARTIN

runs up the front stairs, retrieving the spent gun he
discarded earlier, and heads into the bedroom.

INT. BEDROOM - MINUTES LATER

Martin opens the bathroom door. Inside, Debi sits on the
edge of the tub, her face in her hands. Newberry kneels with
his arms around her. Martin takes this in, and walks back
into the bedroom. Newberry stands and follows him out.

MARTIN AND NEWBERRY

MARTIN a bloody, tattered mess, wipes off the gun and puts
it into Newberry's hand. Newberry, in total shock, grips it.
Martin looks past Newberry.

MARTIN'S P.O.V.

Of Debi, head in hands.

MARTIN (V.O.)
Debi... will you marry me?

Debi doesn't look up. After a moment, she reaches out, head
still down, and closes the bathroom door...

INT. RADIO STATION - DAY

Outside is a Michigan autumn. Debi sits at her console,
bringing in the mike as she fades out of a tune...

DEBI
This is WRFN Radio Free Newberry
cause that's what it does. Bringing
you New Ones for the Nineties, a
fresh new format designed to pull
you out of what's come before, and
reel you into what's coming soon--

THE PHONE CONSOLE

lights up with an incoming cal...

DEBI
I tell you what's coming soon for
me, or at least what I dreamed this
morning in that weird time just before
you actually wake up. But first this
commercial. Back after this...

She pushes a couple of buttons, slaps a cartridge in a player,
and answers the phone. We hear the commercial over the studio
monitor:

ANNOUNCER
Don't miss the show of the season at
Bilkin Community Center! "Brigadoon!"
A musical for all ages! "Brigadoon,"
starring Carol Plummer, Thomas
Canchola, Bob Destephano, and Lee
Ordman!...

Debi picks up the phone.

DEBI
RFN...

Her face goes slack as she listens... not good, not bad...
Then she hangs up slowly. The commercial ends. A moment of
dead air, then she snaps to.

DEBI
Hey out there... Okay... I'm going
to finish up that fantasy later.
First I'll give you an hour of nonstop
music... If I don't come back on
after that-- well, nevermind.

Debi turns on a reel-to-reel, and leaves.

EXT. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOUSE - DAY

Debi pulls up and gets out. She begins toward the door but
stops dead when she sees

MARTIN

sitting on the front steps.

Debi moves slowly up the walk and sits next to him on the
porch. They sit, gazing out over the grass and trees beyond.
After a while...

DEBI
This will never work out.

She turns to him, serious.

DEBI
You kill people.
(beat)

MARTIN
I have no illusions about the future.
What is, is. We make choices. And we
become the sum total of our choices.
I can live with that.

DEBI
Other people can't.

Martin looks at her earnestly... And smiles ever so slightly.
She does the same, and then just a little wider. He the same.
They turn back out to face the lawn, and they share a laugh...

THE END

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