"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 ]

"THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT"

by

Shane Black

REVISED DRAFT

February 24, 1995



A WINDOWPANE

Assaulted from without by SNOWFLAKES. Wind tossed.

INSIDE, a bed, dappled with moon shadow. A LITTLE GIRL, fast
asleep. The wind whistles and sighs outside. She DREAMS...
Eyelids closed, eyes roving beneath... then suddenly they
SNAP open. A stifled cry. She thrashes for her STUFFED BEAR,
as a soft voice says:

VOICE
Shhhhh.

And there's MOM, kneeling beside her. Vague shape in the
dimness. The full moon throws light across one sparkling
eye.

LITTLE GIRL
Mommy, the men on the mountain...!

MOM
Shhhh. Gone, all gone now.
(strokes her hair)
I'm here. Mommy's always here and no
one can ever hurt you. Safe now...
safe and warm... snug as a bug in a
rug.
(beat)
I'll sit with you, think you can
sleep?

LITTLE GIRL
Turn on the nightlight.

The mother nods. Passes her left hand gently over the girl's
forehead.

MOM
Close your eyes now. I love you.

The child subsides, breathing steady. Eyes closed. The mother
rises. Regards her through the dimness. Slowly turns, heads
for the door. Flicks on a Winnie the Pooh NIGHTLIGHT --

Her entire right forearm is slicked with blood. More blood
on her Czech-made MP-5 machine gun.

She staggers just a little... barely noticeable. Passes out
on the light. Into darkness. Sits beside her daughter's bed.
The child sleeps peacefully. Outside snow slithers at the
glass.

FADE OUT. Pause. Blackness.

FADE IN:

It's snowing in southwestern Ohio. Before us, nestled in the
rolling hills: a postcard slice of suburbia. SUPER the legend:

UPPER SANDUSKY, OHIO.
Three Weeks Earlier.

Peaceful. Serene. It's the town in the glass bubble, the one
God shakes to watch it snow...

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - DAY

CHILDREN, dozens of them, bursting from houses. Slapping of
screen doors. A HORSE-DRIVEN SLEIGH is rattling down Main
Street. Flanked by kids. Christmas carols, droning from
loudspeakers.

HAPPY, LAUGHING SANTA waves howdy, chortling his "Ho's" in
groups of three, meanwhile he's really a grizzled old fire
marshall named EARL, freezing his nuts off.

Beside him sits MRS. CLAUS, about whom we notice two things:
First, she's the June in this June/December pair -- and
second, she's to kill for, an effortlessly beautiful woman.
For the record, meet SAMANTHA CAINE.

SAMANTHA
How you holdin' up?

EARL
Freezing my nuts off.

Santa produces a bottle of Seagrams. Starts to open it.

SAMANTHA
*Put that away*.

Earl complies, grumbling. Some teenage burnouts howl from a
street corner:

BURNOUT
Ow! Mrs. Claus is HOT!

Samantha squirms in her seat, scowling.

SAMANTHA
I can't take it, Earl, this dumb
costume is giving me a wedgie. Driving
me crazy, but there's these *kids*
here --

EARL
Right, you don't wanna be rootin' --

SAMANTHA
In front of little Billy, age four,
yeah. "Look, Mommy, Mrs. Claus chooses
to go butt-mining."

EARL
This is little Billy talking?

SAMANTHA
Age four, kid's unbelievable.
(sighs)
I'm too old for this, Earl.

EARL
Yeah, yeah. Spare me, I got a prostate
the size of a melon.

Samantha stares at him.

EARL
Seriously, half my life's a doctor's
hand up my ass, I should marry the
fucker.

SAMANTHA
Say that a little louder, there's a
kid in back didn't catch it.

EARL
It's not that fucking little Billy
again, is it?

SERIES OF SHOTS:

Throughout the following NARRATION, we watch Sam: 1) Rallying
the varsity CHEERLEADERS; 2) Showing off a GERBIL to her
seventh graders; 3) Kneeling in church with her HUSBAND,
blessing herself; 4) Absently fingering a silver KEY which
she wears round her neck; and finally 5) Probing at a tiny
ridged SCAR under her hairline.

SAMANTHA (V.O.)
Eight years. I keep hiring detectives,
but they never find anything.
(beat)
I was born 3000 days ago on the beach
in New Jersey. I entered the world
fully grown, wearing clothes I don't
remember buying. Nothing in the
pockets but a single key, filed
smooth.
(beat)
I'm married now. Nice guy, early
forties. I stand naked in the mirror
and try to guess my age. Thirty-five,
maybe. I have lots of scars.

EXT. SNOWY SUBURBAN STREET - AFTERNOON

Samantha walks with her husband HAL. Late thirties. Balding.
Coming out of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

SAMANTHA
Hal, I gotta tell you, of all the
Christmas pageants I've seen, this
was by far the most recent.

HAL
Aw, honey, I had teenage girls playing
the wise men, what'd you expect?

SAMANTHA
Teenage boys?

HAL
Well, I thought they did fine.

SAMANTHA
Just fine? Come on, it was ground
breaking stuff. The first Nativity
where Joseph stares at the wise men's
tits all night.

She hugs him good-naturedly. As they near their house, an
eight year-old GIRL drops from a TREEHOUSE and comes running,
leaps into Mommy's arms --

SAMANTHA
Hey, you!

The kid leaps into her arms, as we HEAR:

SAMANTHA (V.O.)
Her name is Caitlin. She's my daughter
and when I woke up on that long-ago
day, she was two months grown in my
belly. I don't know who put her there.
I may never. I just know she's mine,
and she's about to turn eight.

The family troops up the driveway to their SUBURBAN HOME.
Chipper little A-frame. Christmas lights abound. Behind the
house, a vast frozen POND. It is idyllic.

INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - NIGHT

PARTY in progress. Laughter. Mingling. In the corner, CAITLIN
puts pipe cleaner antlers on the gerbil. Samantha shepherds
her home room class past the punchbowl. She is radiant. EARL
surreptitiously nips from a silver flask.

SAMANTHA (V.O.)
3000 days. I teach now, fifth grade.
I have the key, I wear it around my
neck for luck. Except for that, and
my name, all traces of my prior life
are lost.
(beat)
Was I in love ever...? Did someone
look in my eyes, did I say, "Darling,
I'll never forget you...?"
(beat)
Because fuck me, darling, I managed.

ACROSS THE ROOM -- Her daughter CAITLIN hangs with two young
girls. Shows off a plush TEDDY BEAR, says:

CAITLIN
His name is Mr. Perkins, my Mom named
him for me.

GIRL #1 points, whispers excitedly:

GIRL #1
That's her?

Caitlin nods. Kid #2:

GIRL #2
That's who?

GIRL #1
(excitedly)
Her Mom, she's got amnesia.

GIRL #2
Swear?

CAITLIN
Swear.

GIRL #2
Too weird.

A voice interrupts their reverie:

SAMANTHA
Excuse me.

The girls whirl around, startled -- Samantha is leaning on
the desk behind them. Busted. She smiles amiably:

SAMANTHA
Hello, girls. Caitlin, I'm going to
help Dad with the refreshments.
(leans in, whispers)
Which one's Dad? I forget.

The girls look at her like she's grown a tail.

SAMANTHA
*Kidding*.

CUT TO:

A DOOR KICKED OPEN, WHAM-! Splintered. Lock shattered.

INT. MOTEL ROOM - AKRON, OHIO - NIGHT

A NUDE COUPLE on the bed. They look up, startled -- as three
men burst through the door. The LEADER: a haggard-looking
man sporting a soup-stain on his tie, whoops, that's the
design, sorry. MITCH HENESSEY, private investigator and con
man extraordinaire. He flashes a phony badge:

YOUNG MAN
POLICE. DON'T MOVE.

MAN ON BED
What the hell is this...?!!

YOUNG MAN
Don't give me an attitude, sir. You're
assuming I won't shoot your sorry
ass, and everyone knows when you
make an assumption, you make an ass
out of u and mption. I'm Sergeant
Madigan, Vice, and if you cop a 'tude,
jerkoff, I will see to it you spend
the next ten years in prison getting
ass-fucked, and if the case is thrown
out because my arrest is too violent,
then I will personally HIRE men to
ass-fuck you for ten years. So if
you're an ass-fucking fan, go ahead
and mouth off, but meanwhile you're
under arrest for the crime of
prostitution, now shut the fuck up
before I cut out your kneecaps and
use 'em as ashtrays.
(beat)
Officer Donleavy, read him his rights.

Donleavy looks pale, pasty. He stutters a few words. Loses
interest. Wanders away across the room.

MAN ON BED
(a trifle confused)
Please, this is my first, I... I've
never done this before, I'll do
anything...!

YOUNG MAN
Sir, listen to me. I understand you're
not a wealthy man, but in light of
the damage this arrest will cause
you, we might be able to make an
arrangement --

Donleavy plops in a chair. Belches. Grins foolishly. The man
in bed points to him:

MAN IN BED
Is he all right...?

THE REMAINING COP is swaying on his feet. Like a tree in a
hurricane. Donleavy pukes all over the floor. We CUT TO:

INT. BARREN GREY OFFICE - NIGHT

THERE'S THE GIRL. The one in bed moments ago. She and Henessey
are dividing a wad of bills.

GIRL
We gotta stop using bums.

MITCH
(lights a smoke)
Forget it. They looked like cops. We
pulled it off, didn't we?

GIRL
It was embarrassing.

MITCH
You want I should hire actors, for
Chrissake? These guys are cheap,
they work for food.

GIRL
Uh-huh. So, when they puke all over
you is that, like, a refund?

MITCH
Trin, I'm pissin' myself over here,
you're so funny. What's this?

He indicates an envelope earmarked for him. Labeled in magic
marker: SAMANTHA CAINE.

TRIN
New case, honest to God chick with
amnesia. You want the job?

Henessey opens the envelope. Extracts a black and white HEAD
SHOT of Samantha, says immediately:

HENESSEY
Yep. Yep, yep, yep.

Stares, mesmerized. Trin peers over his shoulder:

TRIN
Wasn't there a lady on TV named
Samantha? Had a magic nose or
something.

HENESSEY
'Bewitched', yeah. Good show. Chick
lived with a faggy guy, then in the
last season it was a different faggy
guy. Okay. Here's what we do; get on
the horn to amnesia chick, tell her
yes. Then tell her in 1967 she
promised to give me a blow job. Worth
a try, right?

EXT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - NIGHT

SAMANTHA and HAL bid goodnight to their friends and neighbors.
Hal steers her away from a middle-aged teacher.

HAL
Christ, guy's all over you like a
cheap suit.

SAMANTHA
That's funny, there's a cheap suit
all over him like a cheap suit.

She notices EARL sitting in the bushes by the side of the
building. He is speaking intently to the gerbil.

HAL
Oh, boy. Someone's gotta take my
father home. I'm plowed.

Samantha takes the keys from him. Breathes deeply of the
chill night air. Smiling. Surveys the scene... their friends.
The neighborhood. Sighs:

SAMANTHA
This is all I ever wanted.

At which point, young Caitlin says:

CAITLIN
How would you know?

ESTABLISHING SHOT - STATE PRISON - OHIO - NIGHTTIME

Switch gears: A grim, grey building. Guarded. Patrolled.

INT. PRISON - TELEVISION VIEWING ROOM - EVENING

A tired TV set drones to an audience of one. Let's call him
ONE-EYED JACK. In fact, let's give him one eye, the other
replaced by a PATCH. He smokes cigarettes, stubs them out on
the chair's armrest. Throws offhand glances at the TV screen.

NEWS ANCHOR (ON T.V.)
...So much for the flame-swallowing
Santa of Boone County. Meanwhile,
KTVA news journeyed to Upper Sandusky,
where Santa's own *Mrs*. Kringle
turned out to celebrate her hubby's
worldwide tour. After one look at
her, I'm thinking Santa got what he
wanted this Christmas.

The happy news chatter continues. Jack isn't listening. Jack
isn't talking or breathing either. He's simply STARING at
the TV screen, jaw slack...

ONE-EYED JACK
Gotta be fuckin' kidding. No. No
way. SHIIIT!!

He SCREAMS as we CUT TO:

EXT. WOODLANDS - WITH SAMANTHA - DRIVING

If you had to pick a night to die horribly, you'd be hard
pressed to find a nicer one. A country highway. Bathed in
moonlight. Crusted with snow. Pontiac Sunbird, wending its
way through the wooded slopes.

INT. SUNBIRD - SAME TIME

SAMANTHA drives while Earl (the SANTA we saw earlier)
reclines, still drunk.

EARL
You're married what now, five
years...?

He makes a thumb circle. Jabs his finger in and out of it:

EARL
You and Hal, how often you two...?

SAMANTHA
Stick our fingers in out hands and
pull them out again? Every chance we
get. Shut your piehole.

EARL
Don't get all snippy...

SAMANTHA
Earl, do me a favor. Every few words
say "hic" and have bubbles come out
your mouth, okay?

EARL
Goddamnit, I'm not drunk. Would a
drunk man have this much raw talent?

He starts playing the Hawaiian nose harp. In Sam's ear, she
can't help it, snorts laughter --

THE ADULT DEER appears perfectly framed in the Sunbird's
headlights. Dead ahead. Sam looks up, face etched in sudden
TERROR. *No time to think*. SWERVES, no dice...! BROADSIDES
the animal --

And it comes THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD. All two hundred and
fifteen pounds of it. Fucks up their night altogether.
Actually, it only makes it *halfway* through --

But the damn thing is ALIVE. More than alive. KICKING.
Thrashing. Squawling with pain and rage. A FLAILING HOOF
takes out Earl. Kills him in less than a second. Collapses
his skull.

Sam rides the wheel, screaming. An antler gouges her chest.
Rips. Draws blood. She SWERVES, madly -- Hits the tree doing
50.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Sam goes airborne. Explodes through the windshield, outward
bound. Shower of glass, spritz of blood... And then she's
flying. Slow motion, end over end... We lose all SOUND.
Silence as she tumbles. Below and behind her, the Sunbird
noiselessly ERUPTS. Fireball, sky high --

Sam floating. Describes a lazy arc in mid-air... Whoomph-!
Disappears into the snow. Swallows her, leaves a silhouette.
Around her, trees catch fire. Burn. She lies in her impromptu
sarcophagus. Out of sight.

THE FLAMING DEER totters from the wreck, thrashing. Scene
from a nightmare. Nightmare part two: from the snow, from
the human-shaped divot -- arises a woman of blood.

She stumbles from the drift. Toward the wreck. And though
it's clearly Sam Caine under all that crimson, there's
something wrong about her *eyes*.

En route to the car, she kneels beside the suffering deer,
its flesh scorched and torn -- and KILLS it. Puts it away
with a sharp CRACK-!ing blow to the head. Stands, eyes
squirming with madness...

The car's an inferno. Earl is dead. She turns away, wiping
blood from her eyes -- Comes face to face with a SNOWMAN.

A jolly white fellow. Charcoal briquettes for eyes. She
watches, fascinated, as he MELTS in the blast furnace heat --
With warning, she *screams*. Crumples to the ground.

The snowman's eyes fall out. He melts away and away...

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. SUBURBAN HOUSE - AKRON, OHIO - TWILIGHT

Elsewhere. Tract housing, late-model cars. MITCH HENESSEY
delivers a Christmas gift to his nine year-old son TODD: not
just any gift, the *Midtown Saturn Orbiting Precinct*, with
action figures. Henessey points to the box, engrossed:

HENESSEY
...and here's the jail here, see...?
Escape chute for the Borian, he's a
dinosaur guy, Moves quick, don't
take no shit neither. See, you can
make him shoot the guard -- ah, hell,
look, I played with it a little
myself, I'm sorry.

VOICE interrupts them:

VOICE (O.S.)
TODD, TIME FOR DINNER. NOW.

An awkward pause. Henessey scowls.

HENESSEY
Hey, you go ahead, um... hope you
like the present.

TODD
It's awesome, Dad. Mom, though, she...
(sighs)
She gets weird. On my birthday, when
you gave me the Schwinn... she called
bicycle stores to see if there'd
been any robberies.

Henessey manages to control his face. Says tightly:

HENESSEY
Tell her I don't steal them locally.

He watches, forlorn, as his son vanishes inside the house.
Christmas lights, blinking feebly. We HEAR, supered:

HENESSEY (V.O.)
Dear Ma: Filled out the child support
stuff last week. Office got pissed,
under ex-spouse I put "Spawn of Satan,
Dweller in Eternal Dark." Just being
honest, Ma, lady wants me to die.

As he reaches his car, his BEEPER goes off.

EXT. PHONE BOOTH - MINUTES LATER

Henessey on the phone. Dials. Waits. We HEAR:

HENESSEY (V.O.)
I'd go without a ripple, that's the
truth. Ex-con. Ex-husband. Expired.
Thanks, Ma, for hiding the truth
from me for so long. Or maybe you
believed in me. I miss you. I hope
you believed, even for a day. No one
did, Ma. No one at all. It's cold
here. I'm sorry you're dead. Your
son, Mitch.

The phone picks up. He says:

HENESSEY
Me. What's up?

TRIN (O.S.)
Mitch, we got a bite on amnesia
chick's photo. Found a guy remembers
seeing her, fall of '87. He wants
cash, should I grease him?

HENESSEY
Hell, no! Use your head, girl. Let
the fucker squeeze the Charmin.

TRIN
You kidding? Guy's hideous. I'll do
it, but we're talking time and a
half. Plus a night on the town when
I get back, and *no cockfights this
time*.

INT. SAMANTHA'S HOSPITAL ROOM - TWO DAYS LATER

Samantha, having survived. Laid up now in an austere hospital
room. Listening to silence. Stares out the window at a sunlit
tree. Head bandaged. Frowns:

SAMANTHA
I want a cigarette, why do I want a
cigarette...?

Outside, snow slithers... Her eyelids, slowly closing. Slides
off the edge of consciousness...

IN THE DREAM: She stands on a windswept cliff, before an
incongruous FULL-LENGTH MIRROR. Staring at her reflection --
it's bleeding from a scalp wound.

She probes her head... frowns. Nothing. Nothing but the tiny
RIDGED SCAR she's had for as long as she can remember.

SAMANTHA
What... what do you want...?

The reflection eyes her grimly. Haggard. Tired.

REFLECTION
I want a cigarette.

SAMANTHA
I don't smoke.

REFLECTION
(chuckles)
You used to.

Samantha is suddenly holding a cigarette. She raises it to
her lips. Her reflection MIRRORS her precisely. Except
Samantha COUGHS, chokes on the smoke -- While her bloody
reflection takes a long, satisfying drag.

REFLECTION
Relax, you can drop the act. Nice
and smooth, take another hit. There
you go. See how easy it comes back?

They are now in perfect synchronicity. Sam inhales easily.

REFLECTION
*I'm* coming back. You know that,
don't you? Name's Charly, by the
way. You're gonna love me.

The reflection grins. There's blood on its TEETH.

INT. SAMANTHA'S HOME - DAY

Back at home, business as usual, pre-Christmas. A COMMOTION
has arisen: Gingerly, bones still aching, Samantha moves
toward the KITCHEN. HAL and CAITLIN trail behind.

HAL
Honey, you can't cook, I'm not wrong
about this.

SAMANTHA
I'm *remembering*, Hal. Things are
coming back. Trust me, I'm a chef, I
know it.

CAITLIN
Daddy, make her stop!

SAMANTHA
Hush. Go to the garage and get me
something, anything. A veggie, go,
man, go! I'm hot to trot.

INT. KITCHEN/GARAGE - SAME

Hal worriedly exits to the garage. Plucks a tomato from the
fridge, tosses it to Caitlin, who stands in the door.

HAL
Tomato.

Caitlin turns, tosses it to Sam --

CAITLIN
Tomato.

Who catches it, plops it on the cutting board and proceeds
to DICE it to SIMTHEREENS. Razor-thin slices. Knife a blur.
Missing her fingers by millimeters, never faltering, like a
mad mumblety-pegger --

HAL
Onion, flying in.

Sam catches it. Knife flurries. Pieces, flying up.

SAMANTHA
More. Faster.

And it becomes a bucket brigade. Hal heaves veggies to Caitlin
who spins and relays to Mom who slices, dices, purees, and
even makes curly fries. Veggies, incoming. HAL starts to
lose it, starts lobbing them at Caitlin, one after another,
she giggles, starts throwing them overhand --

CAITLIN
Tomato. Tomato. Tomato.

And now it's a food fight, PELTING Mom, and the floor is
COVERED with food as Hal stumbles in laughing, scoops up
Caitlin --

Samantha shakes her head, grinning, dices to pieces a last,
lovely radish. Ends with a flourish, TA-DAH-! Doesn't think:
Flips the knife point up on ONE FINGER. Tips it for balance.
Lobs a tomato. Slings the knife without looking, pins it to
the wall, KA-CHUK--!

Everyone goes silent. The knife, quivering. Caitlin and Hal
turn as one, gaping at her. She shrugs numbly. Blinks.

SAMANTHA
Uh... chefs do that.

INT. BOILER ROOM - DAY OR NIGHT, IMPOSSIBLE TO TELL

Underground. Water GURGLES through overhead pipes. Furnaces
hum and tick in the sweaty gloom.

A SHIRTLESS MAN is tied to a chair. Weeping. Before him,
what looks like a young GQ model. Blonde. Gorgeous. Impeccably
attired. For the record, TIMOTHY. He looks his captive in
the eye as the guy blubbers:

MAN
Please, man... I don't know why you
gotta kill me... But use the gun,
not the knife. Please. As a fucking
favor, I'm begging you...

TIMOTHY
It'll be over soon.

MAN
Jesus, man... I... I'm scared of the
knife... Shit, I can't handle getting
shots at the doctors, man, PLEASE...!

TIMOTHY
Last chance. What do you know about
a town called Santa Claus?

MAN
What is this, *what the fuck is
this*?? I'm FBI, for Chrissake, you
can't do this to me. I don't know
ANYTHING.

Timothy stares him full in the face, eyes narrowed... as
though seeing into his brain. He nods, satisfied.

TIMOTHY
No. You don't.
(beat)
I can always tell, you know... If
someone's lying to me. A little skill
of mine, something to trot out at
parties.

He slams home the knife. We don't see it, but we FEEL the
impact. The FBI man's face contorts in SHOCK. Twisted. Inches
away from Timothy, their eyes lock...

A CELLULAR PHONE BEEPS. Timothy reacts, annoyed. Plucks it
from his belt and flips it open:

TIMOTHY
Timothy.

VOICE (O.S.)
Message from Mr. Daedalus.

TIMOTHY
I'm listening.

He shrugs at his captive. Rolls his eyes. The guy's still
dying, still on the KNIFE.

VOICE (O.S.)
He says he's sorry, but he needs you
right away. Something's come up.

TIMOTHY
Nix. I'm just finishing up here.
Then I'm going bunjee jumping.

VOICE (O.S.)
He's aware of your weekend plans,
and he apologizes.

TIMOTHY
All right, what's so fucking
important?

VOICE (O.S.)
Your old colleague, One-Eyed Jack...?
Recently escaped from a high-security
prison, as you're aware. But listen
to this: prior to his escape, seems
he saw something on TV that disturbed
him. So much he had to be sedated.

TIMOTHY
I saw it, too. It's called "Empty
Nest." How the fuck is it my business?

VOICE (O.S.)
The man was overheard talking to
himself under sedation.
(beat)
He said Charly Baltimore's alive,
sir.

Timothy is silent.

SUIT
I know it's incredible, sir, but...
if she were alive, I'm thinking she
might be in contact with the old man
in Pennsylvania. Should I --

TIMOTHY
Tap his phone, yes. And tell Daedalus
I'm on my way. Timothy out.

He clicks off, face troubled. Withdraws the knife. Checks
his clothing. Not one speck of blood.

INT. SUPERMARKET - CHECKOUT STAND - AFTERNOON

A CARTON OF MARLBORO REDS hits the stack of groceries. HAL
looks at his wife, bewildered.

SAMANTHA
They were on sale.

At the next register over, a duo of Canadians throw looks
her way. Confer in rapid-fire French, subtitled for us:

CANADIAN #1
Ooh, j'aimerais la baiser. (Subtitle:
I'd like to fuck her.)

The checker looks up, smiles:

CHECKER
Don't you love hearing people speak
French?

CANADIAN #2
Oui, j'veux etirer celle-la autour
d'une chaise. Comme je le vois, une
femme c'est comme Gumby avec des
seins. (Subtitle: I'll stretch her
over a chair, women are merely Gumbys
with tits.)

HAL
Beautiful language.

He turns to Samantha -- except Sam isn't there. Her arm shoots
out-! CLAMPS on one of the men. By the throat. Catches him
like a fucking VICE. Her voice a sibilant hiss:

SAMANTHA
*Allez, Gumby etiriait le cou, fils
de pute*.

Subtitle: "Gumby's gonna stretch your neck, motherfucker."
Accent flawless. Eyes like steel. The man will go on to start
a profitable construction business with the bricks he shits.

SLAM CUT TO:

SAMANTHA - ON THE PHONE TO HER SHRINK - INTERCUT

Jubilant, can't contain herself:

SAMANTHA
I speak French.

PSYCHIATRIST
You do.

SAMANTHA
You bet your life, fluent French,
whatever the fuck that means.
(chortles)
Quand j'étais a l'ecole, Jai eu un
professeur qui s'est fabriqué du
dentifrice!

PSYCHIATRIST
You just said when you were in school,
your teacher was made of toothpaste.

SAMANTHA
Right, he was, you got a problem
with that? Pasty Joe, we called him.
Look, the accent's perfect, so piss
off. I'M A FRENCH CHEF, YA-HOO.

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - DAY

Samantha and daughter CAITLIN sing a hearty chorus of "Frere
Jaques." Sam giggles , Caitlin looks nervous; astride her
new two-wheeler BICYCLE while Sam finishes removing the
training wheels. Caitlin points to her stuffed TEDDY BEAR.

CAITLIN
Put Perkins in the basket. He's luck.

SAMANTHA
Mr. Perkins, going in the basket.

CAITLIN
Are the training wheels off?

SAMANTHA
Just pretend they're still there.
Piece of cake. You can do it.

CAITLIN
Wait...! I'm scared.

SAMANTHA
Shhh. Nothing to be scared of. Pretend
you're one of the X-men, you're tough.
Let's go, now. Three, two, one...

CAITLIN
Mom, I can't do it, swear --

Samantha sets her sailing. Laughs excitedly. The bike weaves,
side to side... hits the curb and topples with a CRASH. Spills
Caitlin to the pavement. Now's she's CRYING.

CAITLIN
Ouch--! I can't do it, it HURTS-!

Samantha walks over briskly. Face set in determined lines.

SAMANTHA
Nonsense. You can do it. You don't
want to, but you can.

CAITLIN
My arm hurts, please take me home...!

SAMANTHA
You can go home, Caitlin. You can
ride there.

An unpleasant note is edging into her voice. The louder the
kid cries, the more Samantha starts to SIMMER.

CAITLIN
Mom, no...!

SAMANTHA
Look, I know you're afraid, that's
the whole *point*, can you see that?
Now stop being a little baby and get
on the damn bike.

She hoists her onto the seat. Caitlin cries and hollers.

SAMANTHA
You gonna be afraid of things all
your life? Huh? That what you want?

CAITLIN
My wrist hurts...!

*Snap*. Something lets go. Suddenly Samantha's right in her
face:

SAMANTHA
Life is pain. Get used to it. See,
you *will* ride this bike home,
princess. You will ride it and you
will not fall again, *is that
understood*...?

Eyes cold and lifeless. She is not herself. CUT TO:

INT. SAMANTHA'S HOUSE - TWILIGHT

CAITLIN huddles on the steps, itching at her brand new WRIST
CAST. Eavesdropping on her parents. In the kitchen a counter-
top TV is on, the Three Stooges. Samantha is on the phone,
saying:

SAMANTHA
Yes, I'm three blocks past the gas
station... Right. Thank you Mr.
Henessey, I'll see you shortly.

She hangs up as HAL ENTERS behind her... She doesn't turn
around. Samples the topping of a cream pie. Stares at the
linoleum floor. He regards her with angry, vindictive eyes:

HAL
She rode all the way home. She didn't
fall, not once. She didn't cry.
(beat)
You're good. You should work with
kids, you know that?

SAMANTHA
She said her wrist hurt. I didn't
know it was broken, God. I can't
even remember what I said to her...!

Hal takes a breath, composes himself.

HAL
We can still make six o'clock mass,
you coming?

Sam surveys her perfect kitchen. Runs her hand over a hanging
pot. Looks sadly at her husband. Whispers:

SAMANTHA
A private detective's coming by,
he... he's found something.
(beat)
I may have to go away. For a bit.
Now please leave me alone.

HAL
Go away. With a detective. Jesus,
it's the holidays, Sam --

SAMANTHA
Are you deaf? I said leave me alone.
Go to church. Drink blood. Drink
some for me.

They stand in tableau. An electric silence... Broken quite
suddenly by the sound of SINGING. CHRISTMAS CAROLERS. Outside
the front door. The sweet strains of "God Rest Ye Merry,
Gentlemen" wafts in through the window.

Except the sweet strains ain't so sweet. These carolers are
TERRIBLE. Missing by a country octave. Sam and Hal look at
each other, what the hell...?

EXT. THE FRONT PORCH - JUST OUTSIDE THE DOOR - NIGHT

THE CAROLERS continue their interesting rendition. Snowflakes
fall. All is quiet. All is bright. Especially bright is the
SHOTGUN BARREL pressed to the throat of the lead soprano. HE-
109. Over and under combo. Shotgun on top. HE cannon on
bottom. You'd sing shitty too.

INT. HOUSE - SAME

Samantha hurries to the door. Carrying a bowl of festive
M&M's. Just as she gets to the door, the singing STOPS.
Footfalls running away, that's odd... She opens the door.
Carolers, gone. She's eye to eye with ONE-EYED JACK.

ONE-EYED JACK
Evening Charly. Long time.

He swings the big GUN. Slams the barrel into her. Glass
shatters, M&M's everywhere. She gapes at him, dumbstruck,
unable to THINK... Hurry it up, lady, we need a decision,
live or *die* --

SHE GRABS THE GUN BARREL. Wrenches the gun...! On the steps
CAITLIN howls, eyes like saucers --

CAITLIN
Mommy...!

SAMANTHA
GET OUUTTTTT!!!!

Sam's cry is a veritable shriek. HAL LAUNCHES himself from
the kitchen doorway. Pounces on Jack, snarling -- brave,
useless. For his trouble, gets three broken ribs and a trip
to the fireplace, airborne. Comes down. Catches fire. ROLLS,
over and over on broken ribs --

JACK kicks Samantha in the gut. She collapses onto the stairs.
Splinters the banister. That's when he sees CAITLIN. Top of
the stairs, paralyzed.

SAMANTHA
NO!!!!

Jack is already moving forward. SPIN-COCKS the shotgun, draws
a bead -- Promptly slips on festive M&M's. Goes down. Gun
goes off, WHAM-! A flat concussion. The banister EXPLODES. A
storm of wood chips, as SAMANTHA surges up the stairs, toward
her daughter --

JACK. On the ground. Fires, *wham*--! The wall DISAPPEARS
three inches from Caitlin's head. Blown to shreds, you can
see outdoors. Samantha doesn't miss a beat. Grabs her daughter --
flings her OUTSIDE. Through the hole in the wall. Takes her
by the belt and fucking HURLS her out into space...!

EXT. SIDE OF HOUSE - SAME TIME

Two stories up. The kid is ejected, flailing. Floats in SLOW
MOTION. Across a ten foot gap -- INTO THE TREEHOUSE. Sails
head over heels into the place. Hits with a CRASH. Alive and
unhurt.

BACK INSIDE THE HOUSE

Samantha didn't even look. Didn't need to. Here comes JACK.
Up the staircase. Reloading. Samantha launches herself down
the stairs. COLLIDES, head on -- Down they go. Jack, rolls
to his feet. Propels her into the KITCHEN.

INT. KITCHEN - SAME TIME

She hits, spray of cat food. SKIDS. Across the linoleum,
slams to a stop. Hard. Cupboard pops open, out comes the
IRONING BOARD. Falls into place, SNAP--!

A GUN BLAST disintegrates it. Reveals Sam, cowering behind.

ONE-EYED JACK
I want my eye back, bitch.

Samantha struggles to her feet. Dazed. Jack abandons the
shotgun. Takes the IRON down from its spot on the shelf --
Slams it against her head.

ONE-EYED JACK
Goddamn you. Fight me. What's wrong
with you, *fight* me!

CLOSE ON TV: Stooge Joe Besser mugs wildly, takes a pie in
the face.

Jack raises his arm for the killing stroke -- Samantha takes
Hal's cream pie from the counter and shatters every bone in
his face.

Comes from nowhere. Back foot planted, body twisting, entire
organism focused into the outstretched arm, WHACK-! We have
never seen anyone move this fast. Samantha RECOILS. Startled
by what she's done --

The glass dish is SPLINTERED into his head. It STICKS there.
He topples. Hits the linoleum. She straddles him, breathing
hard. Winded.

The barking dog "Jingle Bells" plays inanely in the
background. Samantha stares. Trembling. Pokes the body.
Nothing. Pokes it again. Still nothing. She leans forward.
Grips the neck and wrenches, CRACK-! Just making sure.

She out of it. In shock. Glaring at her own hands as if
demanding an excuse for their behavior. There is pie filling
on her fingers. She kneels beside the corpse, catatonic.
Stares. Absent-mindedly licks the bloodied cream.

HAL is standing in the doorway. Wide-eyed. He has seen
Samantha break the man's neck. She looks at him, frowns.

SAMANTHA
It took me three seconds. That's...
that's good, huh...?

He stares, dumbstruck. She blinks. *Snaps out of it*.

SAMANTHA
Caitlin. We gotta find Caitlin.

She gets up. We RUN with her to the front door -- she flings
it open and collides with MITCHELL HENESSEY. Private dick.
Runs right into him.

HENESSEY
Hey--! Slow down. The kid's okay,
she's in my car, what the hell is
going on?

Henessey spins, as FOUR POLICE CRUISERS pull up. Vomit up a
bevy of COPS, swarming toward the house. He spins back to
Samantha -- As she collapses to the floor.

FADE OUT:

Pause. FADE IN. Super the legend: ONE WEEK LATER.

ESTABLISHING - SAMANTHA'S HOUSE - MORNING

Early morning quiet. HENESSEY and SAMANTHA are throwing
suitcases into the back of his battered Chrysler.

INT. HOUSE - LATER - EVERYTHING'S PACKED

Sam's looked better. Kneels beside Caitlin, says softly:

SAMANTHA
That man who tried to hurt us...? If
I stay here... other people will
come. I have to leave. Just for a
little while.

Caitlin looks at the floor. Doesn't respond. Samantha reaches
in a cupboard. Produces a box of CANDLES. Lights a match,
touches flame to one of them.

SAMANTHA
I want you to light a candle and
keep it in the kitchen window. And
never, *ever* let it go out, because
as long as it burns...? It means
you're thinking of me. And if I'm
alone... if it's dark and I'm lost...
It's how I'll find my way home.

She touches Caitlin's wrist cast. Pain in her features. She
grabs a marker pen and writes a TELEPHONE NUMBER on it.

SAMANTHA
That's for a portable phone. I keep
it with me, you call me anytime, you
don't worry about the bill. And last
but not least --

She reaches behind her head. Unhooks the KEY, the one she
wears around her neck.

SAMANTHA
For luck.

Slips it over her daughter's head. Looks up at HAL, eyes
brimming. He whispers:

HAL
No matter what you find, I'm not
scared. Not of you. Not ever...

SERIES OF SHOTS: EXT. SUBURBAN TOWN

As it fades behind Henessey's Chrysler. Leaving behind porch-
bound elders, dimestore clerks. Grinning children, hair like
spun straw. All fading... DISSOLVE TO:

INT. HENESSEY'S PLYMOUTH - THE OPEN ROAD - DAY

Henessey sings with the radio. Loudly. He's got the lyrics
wrong: "I'm not talking 'bout the linen... And I don't wanna
change your life..."

Samantha endures as much as she can. Speaks up:

SAMANTHA
"Movin' in."

HENESSEY
Hah?

SAMANTHA
It's not linen. The song's not about
linen.

HENESSEY
Whatever. You cold?

SAMANTHA
(shivers)
I'm freezing.

HENESSEY
Turn on the heater. It doesn't work,
but it makes a very annoying noise
which distracts from the cold.

SAMANTHA
I'll pass.
(clears her throat)
So, you're a former cop. Atlanta,
was it...? Stop me if I'm out of
line, but I'm curious. How did you...
well, succeed? I mean, where six
other detectives failed?

HENESSEY
You kidding? Pure luck. Plus my
secretary used her feminine wiles.
She's got two, one wile per side.
Huge. No kidding, you can see 'em
coming around a corner, you got time
to comb your hair. Nice kid, you'd
dig her.
(beat)
Ah. Here we are.

EXT. STORAGE RENTAL PLACE - DAY

As they clamber from the car, Henessey shoves his sunglasses
into his sportcoat. SINGS:

HENESSEY
Putting my glasses in my cooooat..."

Samantha looks at him like he's sprouted wings.

HENESSEY
I sing what I do so I'll remember
it. "Turning off the downstairs
liiiight..." You know?

Samantha smiles thinly. The man's a lunatic.

INT. STORAGE FACILITY - DAY

An old, walrus-mustached IRISHMAN ushers them down a concrete
hallway. The old man hangs back with Henessey. Whispers:

WALRUS MAN
The elder Trelawney rented to her in
'87, aye. Ne'er could bring himself
to dispose of her things. I'faith,
she's welcome to whatsoe'er she
wishes, for ne'er has trod these
walls a lass so easy on the eye,
divil take me if I'm lyin'.

Henessey lights a cigarette, says:

HENESSEY
Do me a favor. Say, "Always after me
Lucky Charms."

ANGUS
"Always after me Lucky Charms."

HENESSEY
Thanks. Just needed to hear that.

INT. STORAGE ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

Drab, musty. Filled with disused tables, lamps, farm
implements... Jimmy Hoffa watches TV in the corner.

HENESSEY
See anything you recognize?

SAMANTHA
Yeah, this dirt used to be outside
my window, shut up and let me look.
(sighs)
I'm sorry, Mr. Henessey, I'm a little
on edge.

She pauses. Surveys the musty compartment, faraway look in
her eye... says softly:

SAMANTHA
I can feel her. Like a ghost.
(beat)
We could walk away, you know. There's
still time, we could just... leave
her dead.

She hefts a SUITCASE onto a bench. OPENS it -- Draws a sharp
breath:

SAMANTHA
Ay-i-yi!

Clothes to kill for. Smooth velvet. Creamy silk. The finest,
the best. The sexiest. Sam peeks at the tags:

SAMANTHA
Size four, no way. You know how long
it's been since I could wear a size
four?
(beat)
Can't be mine. Can they...?

She checks the case for INITIALS -- C.E.B. Who...?

Henessey grunts. In his book, well dressed is clean underwear.
Holds up a small manila envelope.

HENESSEY
Unmailed envelope. Addressed to a
guy.

SAMANTHA
What's in it?

HENESSEY
Another guy's address. Two addresses,
is basically what I'm saying.

Meanwhile, her hands, still pawing through the suitcase... A
SHAPE. She feels it. At the bottom of the case. Lifts up the
mound of fabric -- HKM-40 sniper rifle. Disassembled. Sam
looks like she just took a stomach punch.

Up until now, it could've been adrenaline. She could still
be just a schoolteacher. A rifle, that changes everything.
She plunks the clothing back in place. Hides it.

HENESSEY
Anything else in there?

SAMANTHA
Hmm...? Uh, no. Just... more clothes.

HENESSEY
Yeah, well take a look at this.

He holds up the envelope: addresses to one *Nathan Windeman*.
Fishes in his coat, brings out Samantha's CHECK. Written to
him, earlier that day... identical handwriting. CUT TO:

INT. COLONIAL STYLE HOME - LATE AFTERNOON

NATHAN WINDEMAN is in a bad mood. A frail-looking man, mid-
seventies. Tiredly spooning a bowl of soup. His sister ALICE
watches TV nearby. In her lap, a Pomeranian cleans itself.
Windeman scowls:

NATHAN
Alice, please...?

Alice stares at him. Uncomprehending.

NATHAN
Your dog, Alice. It and my appetite
are mutually exclusive.

ALICE
What's wrong with the dog?

NATHAN
It's simple. He's been licking his
asshole for three straight hours. I
submit to you that there's nothing
there worth more than an hour's
attention, and I should think whatever
he's attempting to dislodge is either
gone for good or there to stay.
*Wouldn't you agree*?

Theatrical? Nah. The old bat scoops up her pooch and beats
feet for the door. THE PHONE RINGS. Nathan snatches it up:

NATHAN
Hello?

The voice is soft. Controlled:

SAMANTHA (O.S.)
Hello, Mr. Windeman, I got this number
from a realtor in Pennsylvania. I'd
like to speak with you.

NATHAN
Who... who is this?

SAMANTHA
You tell me, Mr. Windeman.

Nathan pales. Blinks once. Twice. Manages:

NATHAN
...Charly...?

SAMANTHA (O.S.)
My full name, please.

NATHAN
God, it really is you...!? Chapter,
they think you're dead, *everyone*
thinks --

SAMANTHA
*My full name*. Please...!

A pause. Then:

NATHAN
You don't know your name.

He chews his lower lip, mind racing. Jesus, no joke, this is
*her*... He fights to control his voice:

NATHAN
Your full name... is Charlene
Elizabeth Baltimore.

INT. SURVEILLANCE VAN - SAME TIME

A MAN in shirtsleeves flips a switch. Speaks into a headset:

MAN
Signal Daedalus. We just got her,
she made contact. Initiating phone
trace.

INT. HOUSE - BACK WITH NATHAN

NATHAN
Charly, don't talk, just listen: We
have to meet, understand? We have to
meet *right away*.

SAMANTHA (O.S.)
Meet me off I-79. Highmile exit,
Salt & Pepper Lounge. Eleven a.m.

She hangs up. Nathan stares, trembling. Turns to ALICE,
standing in the doorway. Swallows hard, says:

NATHAN
A former student... is in trouble.

INT. RESTAURANT BATHROOM - WITH CHARLY

She hangs up the telephone in the ladies' room. Stands, alone
in the stillness. Hands to her head, mind churning...

Turns, checks to make sure the door is locked. Props her
SUITCASE on the sink and opens it. Flips back the mound of
clothing --

And there it is. The pieces, disassembled, of an M-40 sniper
rifle. Her trembling hands find the parts, seemingly of their
own volition... Hefting them. Gauging their feel. And then,
slowly... terrifyingly...

Knowing how they go together. She SNAPS the barrel in place,
*click*-! The sound breaks her reverie. She drops the thing
like it's alive. Looks down, trembling...

ALSO in the case: a wicked looking HUNTING KNIFE. She picks
it up gingerly. Shiny, brand new. Turns it over in her hand,
fascinated by the play of light off the blade...

Looks up. Her REFLECTION, in the mirror. Staring back. She
frowns -- It frowns. She turns away --

THE REFLECTION DOESN'T. It stays right fucking put, except
now it's *smiling*. Malignant. Deadly. Sam feels something
wrong. Spins back toward the mirror --

Her reflected arm comes through the looking glass. Reaches
into Sam's world and SLICES FOR HER THROAT.

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DRIVING - LATE AFTERNOON

Samantha JERKS, comes awake in the passenger seat of
Henessey's Plymouth. Bad dream. Looks over to see if he
noticed -- he's honking his horn at a TRAFFIC JAM. Sea of
taillights, dead ahead.

SAMANTHA
What's this? What the hell is this...?
We don't have time for this, of all
the cocksucking bullshit --

HENESSEY
Whoa. Ms. Class, drive a little truck
on the side, do you?

SAMANTHA
What are you, a Mormon?

HENESSEY
No, ma'am, it's just that... well,
when we met you're all, "Oh, fooey,
I burned the darn cupcakes." Now,
you go into a bar, ten minutes later
sailors come running out, they can't
take it.

Just then, THREE POLICE CRUISERS blow by, sirens screaming.
Henessey frowns, puzzled.

HENESSEY
What the hell...? Lemme check the
scanner.

He switches on a police band radio. Listens, hears:

VOICE (O.S.)
...without endangering the hostages,
over... ...Roger that two-niner. PCP
confirmed, he's on a fuse, please
provide backup, over... ...Conneaut,
I'm waiting on Special Weapons, sorry,
over...

EXT. ROADSIDE DINER - CONNEAUT LAKE, PA. - SAME

POLICE FLASHERS, spinning. Cop cars, incoming. SLAMMING to a
halt. Disgorging uniformed cops. THE DINER is rapidly
surrounded. Its a cheery decor, the giant roofbound Santa,
all in stark contrast -- To the SCREAMING we hear, dimly,
from within.

INT. DINER - SAME

Hostage drama, unfolding. The perp's a big ugly meatloaf
with his mitts on a waitress. She's sixteen, she's a baby.
She's sucking the barrel of his shotgun. His finger on the
trigger. From outside, we hear the COPS:

COP VOICE (O.S.)
GIVE YOURSELF UP AT ONCE. LEAVE THE
BUILDING, HANDS ON HEAD. DROP THE
WEAPON, REPEAT, DROP THE WEAPON.

Mr. Shotgun snorts laughter. Does a little dance, yells:

MR. SHOTGUN
I'm the man! I'm the man! I elicit
the explicit!

EXT. DINER - SAME TIME

The police are just starting to re-route traffic. A highway
cop signals to HENESSEY, "Turn around, go back."

INT. CAR - SAME TIME

Henessey swears. Swings wide, when suddenly a HAND clutches
his arm. He looks over and suppresses a shiver -- Samantha's
eyes have gone dead and cold. She lights a cigarette, shakes
out the match and says:

SAMANTHA
Go up this hill.

HENESSEY
Why?

SAMANTHA
*Drive up the fucking hill*.

Now Henessey shivers. Cranks the wheel as we CUT TO:

EXT. HILLTOP - OVERLOOKING TOWN - NIGHT

SAMANTHA flops on the frozen ground in a stand of pine trees.

HENESSEY
Where the shit did you get that?

No answer. She deftly assembles the SNIPER RIFLE. Rests the
rifle barrel on a dead branch. Flicks on the starlight scope.

HENESSEY
Sam, Goddammit, you're gonna kill
someone! Hey!

She ignores him. Focuses through the scope. POV SAMANTHA:
Framed in spectral GREEN, the diner's interior. Hostages.
Crying mothers. Children, catatonic.

Through a tiny window -- a limited view of the KITCHEN. He's
in there. Girl, eating both barrels. Samantha's jaw tightens.

HENESSEY
The diner...? That's half a mile
away, are you fucking crazy?

SAMANTHA
HK M-40 assault rifle. At three
hundred yards, vertical drop six
inches.

Mr. Shotgun leans in. WHISPERS something to the waitress.

SAMANTHA
Shit. He's gonna do the girl.

HENESSEY
How the fuck can you tell?

She steadies the rifle. Takes aim.

SAMANTHA
I read lips.

She fires. Splintered CRACK-!

INT. DINER

Mr. Shotgun dies on his feet. Outgoing matter. Flung.
Spattered on the grill where it sizzles along with burnt
hamburger. He drops. Screams. Pandemonium.

EXT. HILLTOP - MOMENTS LATER

Samantha slams the trunk of the Chrysler. Gets in the
passenger side without a word. Henessey pulls away.

INT. CAR - DRIVING - SAME

Samantha stares straight ahead. Gives a high, brittle laugh.

SAMANTHA
See? Took care of it. Knew I could.

She laughs again. Henessey favors her with a look reserved
for people with major deformities. Suddenly she says:

SAMANTHA
Pull over.

He stops the car. She gets out. Stumbles across the shoulder.
Kneels. Throws up. Henessey watches. Lights a smoke with
trembling hands.

SAMANTHA
Had to, he... he would've killed
her... Had to... Oh God I took him,
such a good shot... I felt proud of
it, such a shot, Jesus, *how could I
be proud*...?
(sobs)
I'm scared... I want to go home...

Henessey kneels beside her awkwardly. She clutches his
shoulder. Presses her head to his chest. Cries.

EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

Yes, it certainly is. CUT TO:

INT. SITUATION BRIEFING ROOM - SAME TIME

Three stories below the White House proper. THE PRESIDENT is
seated in his robe and slippers. Before him sits a panel of
three: National Security Adviser; Deputy Director of the
CIA; and ANOTHER MAN in his sixties, sporting a distinguished
mane of silver hair. The President addresses him:

PRESIDENT
*Mister Perkins*.
(frowns)
Please, say it again, I'm a little
slow. Better yet, I'll try it. You
lost an operative, a trained
counterassassin, and you just saw
her on TV in a Christmas parade.

The silver-haired man appears unperturbed. And no, by the
way, it didn't escape us that he shares his surname with
Caitlin's TEDDY BEAR, the one Mom named -- He nods, says:

SILVER-HAIRED MAN
On TV, that's correct. It's two weeks
old, intelligence just caught it.

PRESIDENT
You recruited this woman in the late
seventies?

SILVER-HAIRED MAN
For Chapter, yes. I was a friend of
her father's, you see, and... I took
her in.

PRESIDENT
Well, it looks like she returned the
favor, now doesn't it?
(throws up his hands)
Unbelievable. You people, you dump
this on me, then next week you're
screaming, "Where's our funding?"
Shit. I'll tell you where it is, can
you say health care?

The head of the CIA pipes up:

CIA DIRECTOR
Mr. President, please calm down. The
CIA bears no responsibility for this
problem.

PRESIDENT
Thanks for sharing, Kent. How many
double agents you got on the payroll,
last count...?

CIA DIRECTOR
Sir! That controversy has been
thoroughly dealt with, and if there
still exists a leak, perhaps this...
woman agent of his --

SILVER-HAIRED MAN
If I may, sir, Colonel Baltimore
hasn't had classified access since
1987.
(beat)
But thank you, Kent, for trying to
fuck me in the ass.

He directs his baleful gaze at the President. Lights a pipe.

SILVER-HAIRED MAN
I'm afraid rooting out double agents
may have to wait. The primary threat
is the woman. Her specialty is
counterassassination, a horseshit
turn of phrase which implies the
other fellow shot first, but in point
of fact she's a takeout artist of
the first order. Nearly disposed of
our friend the Beard down in Cuba a
few years back. Specializes in long
rifles, accurate to a mile and a
half. Presumed dead; now, after eight
years, back in the field, agenda
unknown. She knows enough to hurt
us. I'm frightened. Understand?

PRESIDENT
Yes, yes. I believe you. Just one
question:
(beat)
*What in pluperfect hell is she doing
in a Christmas parade*???

INT. ROADSIDE GAS STATION - NIGHTTIME

Henessey is on the phone to his ex-wife. Glowering.

HENESSEY
Aw, cut me a break, Fran. I been out
eight months, I'm back doing skip
traces, now you got me stealing
fuckin' bicycles?

EX-WIFE (O.S.)
I don't want you around Todd, hear
me? Shrink told me what those men
did to you in prison. This is a
Christian household, my son's not
gonna develop any... tendencies.
Understand?

For a moment her ignorance is so stunning he's speechless.
Then he slams down the phone. Cracks it. Returns to the pumps,
where SAMANTHA leans against his car, still dazed. Looks up
at him, says:

SAMANTHA
I still can't believe it. You're
saying my hands didn't even shake...?

Henessey doesn't look at her. Puts the nozzle back in the
pump. Crosses to the driver side without a word.

SAMANTHA
What's the matter with you?

HENESSEY
You. You're the matter. Look, you
wanna keep going, good luck. I'm
driving back to Ohio. You're free to
come with me.

SAMANTHA
What... what are you telling me?

He gets into the car. Starts the engine. Samantha reacts,
distraught. Leans in, kills the ignition. Pulls him out of
the car.

HENESSEY
Goddammit, lady, I'm taking you
*home*.

She slaps him. HARD. He falls back, stunned.

SAMANTHA
I'll spell it out for you, ready? I
have no future, *I can't go home*.
Until I know what's happening, I'm
in *prison*, you know how that
feels...?

HENESSEY
Yeah, matter of fact. Four years
inside. Marion, Illinois, real
shithole. Get in the car.

SAMANTHA
I'm sorry.
(clears her throat)
Um... what did you...?

HENESSEY
Seven years ago, Atlanta PD. Me and
my partner, we handled a lot of
impounded shit. Fucker hated me,
boy. One weekend, when he was
conveniently gone...? Some bearer
bonds disappeared from his office.
And lo and behold, when the police
responded to an anonymous tip, you'll
never guess what just happened to be
sitting in my closet.

SAMANTHA
The bonds. Your partner put them
there?

HENESSEY
(laughs)
Hell no, I did, I stole the fucking
things.

He serious. Samantha frowns, a little thrown -- Then she
snorts, loses it. They both lean against his Chrysler.

HENESSEY
Now every dollar I hand my kid, he
asks his mother did I steal it.

He smiles ruefully. Spits. A pause, then:

HENESSEY
No more killing.

Samantha's voice is cool and level:

SAMANTHA
No more killing.

She blows her nose.

SAMANTHA
It was a helluva shot, wasn't it..."

DISSOLVES TO:

ESTABLISHING - SALT & PEPPER LOUNGE - MORNING

A gunmetal grey sky looms overhead. The aforementioned LOUNGE
is a faded old roadhouse, gravel parking lot strewn with mud-
covered trucks. The kind that get a man laid in these parts.
HENESSEY'S PLYMOUTH pulls into the lot, rolls to a halt.
He'll never get any.

INT. SALT & PEPPER LOUNGE - DAY

Honky-tonk. SAMANTHA and HENESSEY enter, blinking in the
dimness. Around them, drunk mid-day cowboys. Stringy-haired
girls in their ample laps. SAMANTHA consults her watch:

SAMANTHA
Quarter til. Any time now.

They sit at the counter. Henessey flags the bartender. Signals
for a beer. Lights a cigarette, blows smoke:

HENESSEY
Nice crowd.

SAMANTHA
You're just jealous of their
girlfriends.

HENESSEY
Who wouldn't be? Corner booth, there's
a beaut. While you're doing her doggie-
style you can pop the zits on her
back.

Samantha shoots him a look. ON A TV above the bar, a British-
sounding CNN announcer is saying:

CNN COMMENTATOR (V.O.)
Violence in Northern Ireland continues
today, despite a plea by British
prime minister John Major --

Samantha sits up straight. Draws a sharp breath. He shoots
her a questioning look --

SAMANTHA
I just... got a flash of something,
I...
(blinks)
I hurt my father.

HENESSEY
Whoa. You remember your father?

SAMANTHA
No... that's what's strange.
(shakes her head)
If I saw him on the street, I... I
wouldn't... oh.

She rubs her eyes. Her voice breaks. She's utterly miserable.
Henessey leans in, says softly:

HENESSEY
Ms. Caine, last week at a party I
ran into a girl I knew from college
and we chatted for a few minutes.
And it wasn't til I was driving home
on the freeway that I remembered
that I'd screwed her in the back of
a car once.
(beat)
Everyone forgets.

He pats her arm. Smiles reassuringly. A pause. She stares.

SAMANTHA
That's it? That's your helpful story?
Jesus Christ!

HENESSEY
No, see, all's I'm saying is you're
not alone.

SAMANTHA
Oh, shut up.

HENESSEY
Fine. I gotta use the head.

He stands, heads off. Samantha nervously lights a cigarette.
The bartender suddenly puts a BEER in front of her. She
reaches for her purse. He waves it away, points beside her.
She turns...

The assassin called TIMOTHY sits down two stools away.

TIMOTHY
For you. Another in a long line of
bad investments.

SAMANTHA
Excuse me?

TIMOTHY
Just saw the ring on your finger.

He reveals a surprisingly WINNING smile, says:

TIMOTHY
Do I know you from somewhere...?

Grimaces:

TIMOTHY
Whoa. Back up. Total pickup line,
let's forget I said that.

Still staring in her eyes. Noting absolutely NO RECOGNITION
on her features. She gives him a cursory smile.

SAMANTHA
Thanks for the drink. But no. I don't
know you.

Timothy nods slowly.

TIMOTHY
No, you don't, do you...? I'd know
if you did. I can tell if someone's
lying.
(smiles)
Sorry to bother you.

He takes his own drink and crosses to a back booth. Sits, a
very puzzled look on his face. Adjusts his coat collar,
whispers into a concealed transmitter:

TIMOTHY
Okay, people, I got what I needed.
Wait until she comes out. Then do
them both.
(beat)
Walk soft, we got local law.

He sits back as TWO SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES suddenly enter, doffing
their stetsons. Cross to the bar. HENESSEY, coming out of
the bathroom. Sees the deputies. Grabs SAMANTHA by the elbow.
Tosses down a fin, steers her toward the door.

SAMANTHA
(sotto)
What are you doing?

HENESSEY
Pork. On your nine.

SAMANTHA
So?

HENESSEY
So you shot a guy in the head
yesterday. We wait outside.

SAMANTHA
It's freezing.

HENESSEY
Too bad. People shouldn't shoot other
people in the head. Just themselves.
During that show with the little
girl who's a robot.

EXT. SALT & PEPPER LOUNGE - SAME TIME

They emerge into the chill air. Breath pluming from their
mouths. Samantha surveys the parking lot. Grabs Henessey,
points --

A LATE-MODEL CAR pulls into the gravel lot. Stops.

SAMANTHA
Bingo. That's an old guy's car.

HENESSEY
How do you know?

SAMANTHA
Because there's an old guy in it.
Come on.

They cross toward the car. She frowns, points to his coat.

SAMANTHA
Gun bulge.

HENESSEY
You think I'm gonna shove it down my
pants? Shoot my damn dick off.

SAMANTHA
So now you're a sharpshooter?

HENESSEY
Ho, ho.

As they approach the other car, the engine stops. The door
opens and a middle aged man emerges -- IT AIN'T NATHAN. He
pauses, lighting a cigarette.

SAMANTHA
Mr. Windeman...?

She strides right up, Henessey in tow. Flashes a dazzling
smile -- *Slow motion*. The guy DROPS HIS LIGHTER, darts a
hand inside his coat with practiced ease... Pulls out a
SILENCED PISTOL.

SAMANTHA
Oh, SHIT!

*Slow motion*. Samantha tackles Henessey. Hurls them both to
the ground... During their fall, STUFF HAPPENS:

She clutches his sportcoat -- Grips his .38 special THROUGH
THE FABRIC and squeezes... A sharp report, BAM-! Another,
BAM-! The jacket, shredded. HITMAN just caught two in the
chest. He goes over backwards, gun spitting --

Sam and Henessey hit the ground. *Back to regular speed*.
Henessey rolls over, stunned. Samantha's staring at her hand,
wondering how in the hell it just did that.

HENESSEY
*Jesus wept*...!

They scamper to their feet. Running hellbent for leather
toward the Plymouth... They never make it.

ANOTHER HITMAN steps calmly from the trees. Stands at the
shoulder of the highway, full view of the parking lot...
Adopts a two-fisted stance. Draws a bead, locks on target --

Leaves his feet.

Takes to the air as a BLACK LE SABRE swerves off the highway
with no advance warning and DEMOLISHES the bastard, wham--!

The car roars across the lot, NATHAN WINDEMAN at the wheel.

INT. BARROOM - SAME TIME

The snapped-in-two hitman announces Nathan's arrival by FLYING
THROUGH THE WINDOW in an explosion of glass. Caroms off a
table and bounces head over heels. Hits, dead.

TIMOTHY swears. Leaps up and bolts for the door, right behind
the SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES, as

EXT. BUILDING - SAME TIME

The black Le Sabre SLEWS to a stop, showering gravel -- NATHAN
shouts at Sam and Henessey:

NATHAN
Get in! Both of you, NOW!

They pile into the backseat. Nathan floors it. PEELS OUT,
bouncing onto the highway -- and meanwhile here comes
TIMOTHY. On the run. Barks into his transmitter:

TIMOTHY
East, they're going east. *Head them
off*.

He begins to run: we have never seen anyone run this fast.

INT. NATHAN'S CAR - DRIVING

NATHAN kicks in the afterburners. Squinting, can't see...
WIPERS, squeaking to and fro. Erasing the hitman's blood.

Henessey is trembling; Samantha comatose. Nathan steals a
look in the rear view mirror. Gets his first good view of
Samantha. Reacts, stunned:

NATHAN
Charly. Jesus Christ, I don't believe
what I'm seeing, you're so *fat*.

This is not what she expected to hear.

SAMANTHA
I'm... um, I mean... what?

NATHAN
What in God's hell have you been
*eating*, you look positively bovine!
Hang on.

50 yards down the highway. Beside a parked car, a guy with
an ELEPHANT GUN.

SAMANTHA
Oh, God, no more--!

The big rifle BUCKS concussively. The car window SPLINTERS...!
Does not break.

NATHAN
Bulletproof. Put it in myself.

Almost as an afterthought, he swerves slightly. CRUNCHES the
gunman against the parked car. Shatters him. His SCREAMING
VISAGE goes by an inch from Samantha, he coughs blood onto
her window...

EXT. FROZEN WOODSCAPE - SAME TIME

Timothy, on the move. RUNS, breakneck through the woods.
Jumps fallen logs. Ducking, swerving. In and out through the
trees, as

INT. NATHAN'S CAR - DRIVING

Scenery whips past. In the backseat, Henessey is trembling;
Samantha comatose. Nathan snaps his fingers sharply:

NATHAN
Charlene, darling --

SAMANTHA
My name is Caine. Samantha Caine.

NATHAN
(exasperated)
Yes, yes, you said that on the phone.
*Must* I point out to you that the
letters in the name SAM CAINE, when
rearranged, spell out AMNESIAC? Your
mind was missing a name, so it simple
invented one that was an anagram of
your current condition.

Samantha reacts, floored.

NATHAN
Dammit, Charly. The schoolteacher,
that was your cover! Your memory was
gone, you got confused and you BOUGHT
YOUR OWN COVER. This ridiculous Ohio
housewife business, it's a fantasy,
you *wrote* the bloody thing!

SAMANTHA
It's not a fantasy, *I'm in the
fucking PTA*.

NATHAN
Then quit. You're an assassin for
the United States government.
(beat)
I ought to know, I trained you.

Henessey is so shocked he's LAUGHING:

HENESSEY
Beautiful. Fuckin' beautiful.

EXT. SHEER EMBANKMENT - OVERLOOKING HIGHWAY - SAME TIME

A forty foot embankment, damn near vertical. Plunging to the
road below. Topped by a chain-link FENCE.

Timothy hits the fence at a dead run. Up and over. Pitches
head over heels down the embankment, BOUNCING. Hits bottom
in a shower of dirt, rolls, comes up... .357 AMP in a two-
fisted grip, and *there's Nathan's car*. Blows by, doing 90.

Timothy swivels calmly, BLASTS AN ENTIRE CLIP at the
retreating car. Shot after shot, like a machine --

INT. NATHAN'S CAR - SAME TIME

Sam SCREAMS as the side windows COLLAPSE INWARD. Nathan rides
the wheel, swerving.

HENESSEY
*What happened to bulletproof*?

NATHAN
*The side windows were next, I swear*.

BACK WITH TIMOTHY

Watching them go. Oh, well. He tried, right...? Did his best,
tomorrow's another day --

Without missing a beat, Timothy walks out in the middle of
the road. ANOTHER CAR, coming. Sports car. He snaps in a
fresh clip. Raises his fist and PUMPS ONE through the fast-
approaching windshield. Kills the driver.

The car throws a skid. Slewing SIDEWAYS at him. Onrushing
juggernaut, immense...!

He vaults the hood without breaking stride. Catches the drive-
side doorhandle, jerks -- then he's in, and out comes the
corpse and the car *never stops moving*.

Completes an out-of-control 360, showering muddy water...
and then he's stomping the gas. Utterly relentless. Leaving
behind a wet and very surprised-looking corpse.

INT. STOLEN CAR

Timothy GUNS IT, eyes locked dead ahead on the Le Sabre --
Hears a SCREECH. Whips his eyes to the rearview mirror: POLICE
CRUISER. Fishtailing onto the road behind him. Falls in
behind, SIREN wailing. One of the deputies from the bar.

INT. NATHAN'S CAR - DRIVING - SAME TIME

Nathan fishes a gun from his coat. Hands it to Samantha.

NATHAN
Here, you might as well have one
too.

SAMANTHA
My God. How many do you carry?

NATHAN
Three. One shoulder, one hip, and
one right next to Mr. Wally --
(pats his groin)
Where most patdowns never reveal it,
as an agent is often reluctant to
feel up another man's groin.

Henessey looks out the back windshield, says:

HENESSEY
Got a tail.

Nathan looks, SWEARS. The chase car's gaining on them.

NATHAN
Lucky bastard found the only cool
car in the fucking midwest.

He accelerates into a curve. Rockets past a connecting road,
as, without warning -- ANOTHER COP CAR skids out of the side
road, after him. The other deputy...

TIMOTHY, boxed. Going too fast, swerves...! PLOWS into the
deputy headlong. BROADSIDES him. Glass flies. The cop car's
TIRES blow out as it's SPUN 180 degrees... Timothy's car
careens into a GULLEY --

BAM-! Hits a dead stop. Hood shears off, goes flying. Back
end sticking up, tires spinning... The horn blares
continuously.

UP ABOVE: The other cop arrives, brakes to a halt -- Door
opens and out he comes. Helps Deputy #2 clamber from his
crippled black-and-white.

Together they leap down into the gulley, guns drawn. Cringing
as the long HOOOOOOOONNNNNK continues unabated. Approaching
the crashed car. Walking up, guns at their sides... TWO SHOTS.
They jitter and twitch. Topple over dead, slide to the bottom
of the gulley.

INSIDE THE CAR, we see that a very annoyed Timothy is also
very conscious. Splayed against the driver's side door.
Holding one hand down on the horn, HOOOOOOOONNK... He releases
it. Horn stops. On the radio Conway Twitty is singing. He
puts a shot through the radio. Silences it.

Climbs from the car and stares off down the road. Of Nathan
and his companions, there is neither whisper nor breath...

EXT. ROADSIDE - LATE AFTERNOON

Nathan has pulled over in a grove of pine trees. The car is
covered with branches. He watches through a gap as two police
cars go by on the distant highway.

NATHAN
Your father was in the British SIS,
assigned to the Irish situation.
After he was murdered in 1971, his
friend Perkins recruited you for
Chapter, a black bag operation working
out of the U.S. State Department.

Charly is overloaded. Trying to keep up, not wanting to:

NATHAN
Fall, 1987: Presidential orders come
down. You're to flush out a terrorist
by the name of Daedalus. You never
complete the mission, electing instead
to die, of all things, despite clear
orders to the contrary. And dead you
remain until, without preamble, you
re-emerge, eight years later and
fifteen pounds heavier.

SAMANTHA
Would you lay off the weight?

NATHAN
I think we can safely assume Daedalus
is aware of your resurrection and is
attempting to reverse it. *Damn*, I
can't drive around in this thing.
(beat)
Any idea where we can go to stash
this car?

IN SAMANTHA'S LAP

Her fingers unconsciously fiddle with something. Damp,
crumpled. The ENVELOPE. One address left.

SAMANTHA
This address...? I... I recognize it
now. I think it belongs to a friend.

Henessey stares at her. As Nathan reaches for the envelope,
his coat falls open and Samantha GASPS; his left side is
soaked with blood.

NATHAN
Perhaps you'd best drive.

EXT. HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY - DAY

The house is actually an old converted MILL. Beyond it, frozen
landscape stretches to the lakeshore. In the BARNYARD, a
scruffy looking COWBOY TYPE is splitting logs on a tree stump.
Drops the axe. Scoops up an armload of firewood. Comes around
the corner --

Drops the logs, startled. AN UNLIKELY TRIO approaches. NATHAN,
sweating. Pasty. Levels a revolver. Samantha says:

SAMANTHA
Don't be afraid, we don't want to
hurt you.
(beat)
I just want to know who you are.

Seeing her, his eyes go wide -- He locks her in a whooping
BEAR HUG, shouts:

MAN
CHARLY, BABY!!

Picks her up, SPINS HER around, laughing... Henessey and
Nathan stare. Befuddled.

TIME CUT - MINUTES LATER

The strange man (let's call him LUKE) stands awkwardly in
the dooryard. Shifting from foot to foot. NATHAN watches him
dispassionately from the tree stump. Gun on his knee.

LUKE
(sighs)
Look, is this America's Funniest
Practical Videos or something?

The DOOR bangs open and Samantha comes out of the house.
Carrying bandages. Alcohol. Crosses to the tree stump, kneels
before Nathan. His voice is a harsh rasp:

NATHAN
Let me do it.

He bats her away, administers his own first aid. LUKE pipes
up, exasperated:

LUKE
I can't believe you don't remember
dating me. Charly, please, you pursued
me for months.

SAMANTHA
Yeah, well. I caught you and forgot
you. Sorry.

LUKE
It's December, you'll remember.
Right...?

He chuckles. Looks at her face. Stops chuckling, takes a
sudden interest in the ground. Sam crosses to HENESSEY,
standing nearby. Takes him aside, whispers:

SAMANTHA
(sotto)
This is ridiculous. What do we do
with this guy?

HENESSEY
Don't ask me, I just work here. Did
you bump pelvises with him or not?

SAMANTHA
It's possible.

HENESSEY
And you kid, Cathead --

SAMANTHA
Caitlin.

HENESSEY
Yeah, whatever. Um, could he be
the...?

SAMANTHA
I don't know.
(beat)
It's coming back, though. All these...
little details about him.

She studies Luke. Frowning. Concentrating.

SAMANTHA
I know he's got a pin in his leg,
car accident. I know he cuts his own
hair... thinks Rush Limbaugh's an
ass. I know he sits down when he
pees. I know --

HENESSEY
Enough. You're giving me a stiffy.

Just then NATHAN is hit with a dreadful-sounding cough. It
wracks him. Doubles him up. LUKE blurts out:

LUKE
Goddammit, he's *dying*. Let me call
the poor bastard an ambulance!

Nathan grits his teeth:

NATHAN
*No ambulance*. The car I ordered
will be here soon.

SAMANTHA
Mr. Windeman, please let him help
you. I know this man, I... I'm pretty
sure I slept with him.

Nathan presses a bandage to his side.

NATHAN
I'm about to faint... And if you
call an ambulance, I will fucking
kill you.

He pitches forward into Henessey's arms.

EXT. SHADED PORCH - MID-AFTERNOON

Beside the lakeshore LUKE AND SAMANTHA walk side by side.
RACK FOCUS to the porch: NATHAN is laid out on a chaise
lounge. Henessey beside him, applying cold compresses. The
older man stirs, coming awake... Tries to sit up, Henessey
nudges him flat again.

NATHAN
Where's Charly...?

HENESSEY
Relax. She's with Luke. That's his
name, Luke.

NATHAN
Goddammit, I told you --

HENESSEY
Yeah, yeah, we weren't real big on
what you told us. I had him call you
an ambulance, so shoot me. Should be
here within fifteen minutes.

Nathan groans. Henessey presses a cloth to the man's head.

HENESSEY
The guy's story checks out. Sam knows
things about him. Stuff only a lover
would know.

NATHAN
Sod that... just watch them.

HENESSEY
Don't worry about it. Chick signs my
checks, I'm gonna watch her get aced?
Lie back down.

Nathan swallows. Grimaces. Lies back down.

NATHAN
Checks. You're not fooling anyone,
dear boy.
(bemused)
You'd wash her feet and drink the
water... wouldn't you?

HENESSEY
Cut me a break, nimrod. She's married
with a kid.

Busted. Nathan coughs. Speaks, eyes faraway:

NATHAN
My star pupil...
(smiles thinly)
That man in Pennsylvania yesterday...
The one at the diner, that was hers,
wasn't it...?

HENESSEY
How'd you know?

NATHAN
(nods)
I saw the news report, they found a
shell casing a thousand yards away,
helluva shot.

HENESSEY
Tell me about Daedalus, what's his
story?

NATHAN
Arms broker, man without a face.
Veteran of Baader-Meinhoff and the
Red Brigades. He's rumored to be
based in the U.S. Doesn't travel
much, they say. Too afraid of metal
detectors, the poor sod's got a foot-
long piece of steel in his leg.

At which point, Henessey stops. Frowns.

HENESSEY
Come again?

NATHAN
A pin, Mr. Henessey. A surgical pin.

He scuffs his shoe in the porch dust. Eyes narrowed:

HENESSEY
Where the hell...? I know I just
heard that somewhere, something about
a...

His eyes widen:

HENESSEY
Oh, fuck.

Points to the lake:

HENESSEY
Nathan, that son of a bitch has one
in *his* leg.

Nathan freezes, thoughts racing... swears violently:

NATHAN
You blithering idiot, the son of a
bitch wasn't her lover, he was her
target, he's Daedalus!

HENESSEY
Oh, Jesus...! That's how she knew
all that shit, not from *dating* him --
she *studied* the fucker to take him
out!

He takes off for the lake at a dead run. Behind him, the
bloodied Nathan DRAGS himself to his feet and lurches off
the porch, stumbling. Weaving. Refusing to go down.

AT THE LAKESIDE -- Luke walks behind Samantha. Talking softly
in her ear, smiling... She hears something. A RATCHETING
noise, drawing closer, hmmm...? Looks up. Wishes she hadn't --
A BELL RANGER HELICOPTER is descending over the lake. Inside,
TIMOTHY shoulders a bolt action rifle, coolly professional.

FIRES, kicks up dirt at Henessey's feet. Stops the fucker
cold. On the shore, LUKE smiles at Samantha, says:

LUKE
Sure don't look like an ambulance,
does it?

SLUGS HER IN THE FACE. Drops her to the ice like a broken
doll.

CUT TO BLACK:

Black indeed. Deep. Empty. Out of the darkness, we hear a
NEWS COMMENTATOR. Voice scratchy. Indistinct. Far away or
long ago...

A TELEVISION IMAGE fills the screen. Black and white. Grainy.
The legend: BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND, over footage of a
sidewalk bombing. We're back in time, the year 1971. A crisp-
looking BRIGADIER is speaking to the off-camera reporter:

BRIGADIER
...the bombing has been linked to
the Ulster Volunteer Force, which,
as you know, is the counterpart of
the provisional IRA and the most
violent of the Protestant Paramilitary
groups.

An ANNOUNCER's face replaces him:

ANNOUNCER
Despite threats of reprisals,
Brigadier Baltimore repeats that he
will seek to cut UVF supply lines,
especially from Tripoli, Lybia. U.S.
President Nixon concurs that...

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

A battered TV, volume turned low. Snoozing in a chair, a
rumpled older man -- It's the BRIGADIER, the one we just saw
speaking on TV. A CALENDAR on the table identifies the date
as June 23, 1971.

IN THE NEXT ROOM

Girlish decor. Pinups of rock stars. A YOUNG GIRL is awake,
dressed and currently stuffing two pillows under a blanket.
She inspects her handiwork. Human-looking lump. Turns,
satisfied.

One last look at the WOODEN JESUS on the wall -- Creeps from
the room. Past the sleeping Brigadier. To the front door.
She checks over her shoulder, nervous. Taps out five digits.
Shuts off the alarm. Unlocks the door and slips out.

EXT. STREET - BELFAST - NIGHT

The boy's name is GREGORY. Sixteen, with a quick, easy grin.
Huddled beneath a tree with him, the girl is gelatin.

GREGORY
You've never made it with a boy,
then?

GIRL
There's nothing odd about it. I'm
only sixteen.

GREGORY
Rubbish.

GIRL
What?

GREGORY
You're fourteen and not a day more.
Here now, I'm right, you're blushing.

GIRL
Look, what if I'm ignorant? It's my
father, we never stay in one place,
I never meet bloody anyone.

GREGORY
Saw him on the telly. Think he'd
kill me? I'm a nasty one, I am.

He slides a hand under her sweater. She stiffens, terrified
and exhilarated, as he gently strokes her nipple with a thumb.

GREGORY
You know what, I'll bet you've never
even kissed a boy... now, have you?
(beat)
Aye, but you want to...

He leans in. She leans forward. A jerky, tentative duckling
on the road to swan-dom. Their lips touch.

Across the road, THE WINDOWS BLOW OUT in her father's flat.
She spins, scream caught in her throat -- as ARMED MEN rush
from the house. Through the door, the one she left unlocked.
Stutter of SMALL ARMS FIRE. She whirls on Gregory, realizes
only then that the guy is LAUGHING.

GREGORY
Thanks for shutting off the alarm,
you bloody Papist bitch.

He slaps her full across the face.

GREGORY
Tell the press the Ulster Force claims
full credit.

He spins and flees.

INT. BRIGADIER'S FLAT - MOMENTS LATER

Girl, moving. Walls racing past, shot to PIECES, run run run
into her bedroom and LURCHES to a stop, screaming:

GIRL
*DA*!

Propped against the wall. By the bed. He's still alive.
Incredibly. The man has DRAGGED himself in here. He refused
to die, simply couldn't, you see... Not until he reached his
daughter.

ANGLE ON BED

Two pillows, jammed beneath a blanket. The Brigadier just
stares at them. His face slack. White and gastly. Shifts his
gaze to his daughter. Tears running from his dulled eyes.

BRIGADIER
How much...

He raises the pistol to his head.

BRIGADIER
...did they pay you...?

He fires. On a young girl's dissolve into insanity we FADE
OUT... Sound, echoing away. Blackness, total.

FADE IN:

INT. BASEMENT OF OLD MILL - NIGHT

Waking is slow.

Samantha opens her eyes. Blinks. Hazy, out of focus. Tries
to rub her eyes, can't. Hands. Something's wrong, what the
hell'd she do with her hands...? Ah. They're stretched over
her head. BOUND WITH CORD. Suddenly she's very awake.

ANOTHER ANGLE

The basement of the old converted mill. A drafty, windswept
place full of old, broken timbers. A river runs through it.
A stream, at any rate. The waters are still and frozen now.
Above the stream -- A GREAT WOODEN WHEEL. Smaller corollary
of the wheel outside. Mounted on the same axis.

SAMANTHA is tied to that wheel. Lashed to its SIDE, affixed
to it like a goddess to a Greek sailing ship. Now the bad
news, the ice has been chopped away so the wheel can TURN...
And it will plunge Samantha UNDER THE FREEZING WATER. Beneath
the ice. Bound hand and foot. Strapped to the wheel, wearing
only a nightgown, she is utterly helpless.

THE MAN KNOWN AS DAEDALUS (AKA Luke) stands before her, giving
instructions to the ubiquitous TIMOTHY. He looks up at
Samantha. Seeing her eyelids flutter, he tosses her a cherry
wave. Gone is the gee-whiz country boy schtick; in its place,
a frightening arrogance. He tosses her his cheeriest wave:

DAEDALUS
Well, good afternoon. If it isn't
the forgetful spy. How you feeling?

SAMANTHA
Not-so fresh.

Samantha struggles against her bonds. No dice. Subsides.
Takes a look around at her predicament. TIMOTHY stands at
the edge of the ice. Watching her intently. Smiles thinly:

SAMANTHA
You... you're... the man from the
bar...?

TIMOTHY
Look at her. She's not faking it,
she doesn't know me from Adam.

Daedalus shakes his head, frowning:

DAEDALUS
It's not that I don't trust my
compatriot, Colonel Baltimore. In
fact, I had every confidence that
your amnesia was genuine -- until
you showed up *here*. You follow?
(beat)
Meanwhile, I just got around to
reading the papers, there's the small
matter of an incident upstate. Long
range rifle shot, blew a man out of
his socks.
(coldly)
You can see where I'm coming from.
I'm trying to pull of the biggest
job of my career. I have to know.
How much you really remember... and
who you've told.

SAMANTHA
I didn't tell a soul, I swear.

DAEDALUS
We'll soon know.

He crosses toward a large RED BUTTON. Set into a wooden beam.
Samantha thrashes at the bindings. Looks down at the water
where it intercepts the mammoth wheel. Fighting panic:

SAMANTHA
Is... is this a torture thing...?

DAEDALUS
Torture, yes. The torturing of
beautiful women, albeit politically
incorrect, is an addiction with me.
(beat)
A woman never looks quite so beautiful
as when her face is distended in
pain. Witness the beauty of
childbirth.

SAMANTHA
Please, I'm getting all misty. Look,
untie me, I'll make any face you
want.

DAEDALUS
Let's not, and say we did. Do you
smoke?

SAMANTHA
Smoke...? Um, no. Not... not really.

DAEDALUS
Good. You'll last longer. Now hush
yourself, and take a deep breath.
We're gonna do the torture thing.

He hits the button. An electric WHINE -- THE BIG WHEEL TURNS.
Feet first into the water. Struggling. Arms stretched above
her head. She plunges below the surface. A new dimension in
PAIN. Frozen, mind-numbing.

She WRITHES against the wheel. It's like a crushing VICE is
ripping her limb from limb. She opens her eyes, briefly.
Discovers she's not alone -- A mere foot from her face, THE
BLOATED CORPSE of the drowned NATHAN. Staring away and away.
Blue with cyanosis.

Meanwhile, back ON THE SURFACE: Daedalus turns to his right-
hand man, who says:

TIMOTHY
We're running on schedule, I just
secured the tanker. We're borrowing
it from Carbide in South Carolina.
Cargo listed as fire retardant.

DAEDALUS
(nods)
Juice up the bird, we head out soon
as I'm done here.

He turns. Hits the red button again. THE WHEEL reverses
itself. Creaks and moans, turning --

SAMANTHA BREAKS THE SURFACE. Gasping for air. Wheezing.
Choking. The FREEZING WIND plasters the nightgown to her.

DAEDALUS
Take all the air you can, that's
right. If you need to vomit, do it
now.

Samantha, face twisted. Coughs. Wheezes. TIMOTHY looks her
in the eye... shakes his head:

TIMOTHY
You don't remember *at all*...? The
greatest night of your life, shit,
drown this ungrateful wench.

He exits. Daedalus, alone with his captive. On her features,
unbridled HATRED. He chuckles:

DAEDALUS
Talk to me Colonel. Is my identity
safe...? The truth, and I'll shoot
you in the head. Nice and quick.
Otherwise, you're in for a long night.
*Who did you talk to*?

SAMANTHA
...Nobody... fuck you...

He shakes his head, makes a "tsk tsk" gesture. Smiles grimly
as he turns his attention to the red switch.

DAEDALUS
Hate to see you like this, Charly. I
heard you were a helluva spy once.

Without warning, her head snaps upward -- Eyes cold. Voice,
not her own:

SAMANTHA
Watch your back. I'm not done yet.

DAEDALUS
That's a very funny joke. You're an
entertaining woman. Good night.

He hits the button. She plunges beneath the surface. Daedalus
walks over to one corner. Sits down. Takes out a pipe. Lights
it. Picks up a book. Reads. And reads.

UNDERWATER -- Sam THRASHES and jerks, to and fro. Dead Nathan,
mocking her. There, under the water, the memories come... In
a flood. Stark and vivid.

MEMORY FLASH - THE YEAR

THE TRUNK OF A CAR opens, revealing a patch of night sky.
Mostly obscured by two familiar individuals --

There's ONE-EYED JACK, remember him? Few years younger. One
eyeball heavier. The other man is TIMOTHY. He looks in the
trunk. Nods.

TIMOTHY
Okay, I'll signal Daedalus. Your
money will be waiting, and Jack...?
Do yourself a favor, do her and dump
her, I'm serious. Don't get cute,
try to play doctor first. I made
that mistake.

The lid SLAMS SHUT.

BACK UNDER THE WATER

The world of rushing MADNESS, memories unspooling now, faster
and faster --

MEMORY FLASH: A CLIFF overlooking the ocean. Darkness.
Sheeting rain. Our heroine (for it is unquestionably SAMANTHA)
is lying unconscious atop a rocky bluff. Drenched.

ONE-EYED JACK produces a SYRINGE from a leather case. Rolls
up her sleeve. Starts to administer the injection. Stops. He
can't resist... Can't help LOOSENING the buttons on her shirt.

Her eyes snap open. And before it even registers, she's
grabbed the hypodermic and plunged it deep INTO HIS EYE --

Then she's up and running. Along the cliff, toward the car...
Jack, HOWLING in pain, stumbling... Draws his gun and shoots
her. In the head.

She pitches backward. Tumbles from the cliff...! Rushes
headlong toward the waters below, getting smaller --

INT. BASEMENT OF OLD MILL - THE PRESENT

Here. Now. She breaks the surface. Gasping for breath.
SHRIEKS, a sound ripped from her by the PAIN, the COLD --

By her ruptured sanity. She hangs there. Drenched. Half
frozen.

DAEDALUS can't help it. A chill dances up his spine,
watching... She is not afraid. She is not whimpering. She is
looking directly AT HIM. With a sick smile.

CHARLY
Daedalus... Make you a deal... Let
me go now...? I'll leave you the use
of your legs... Bargain, trust me...

Daedalus struggles to recover his poise.

DAEDALUS
How did you find me? Who knows about
this place, WHO HAVE YOU TOLD?

Charly's eyes bore into his:

CHARLY
I let you touch me, cowboy... I think
I need a bath.

Daedalus stabs the red button. THE BIG WHEEL TURNS... Into
the water goes Charly. Going down for the third time.

UNDER THE WATER - HELL - SAME

Here we are again, in the world of silence and blinding PAIN.
Despair and madness but now there's something else -- Now
there's RAGE.

It takes losing most of the FLESH from her right wrist...
But she frees the hand. WRENCHES it loose. The water turns
soupy red around it. GROPES, blindly. Fingers NUMB, so fucking
cold -- Breath, running out. No air. NO TIME.

She darts her right hand forward. Toward the obscenely bobbing
CORPSE of Nathan. Does something grotesque, jams her hand
DOWN THE CORPSE'S PANTS --

Hideaway gun, it's right where he said, right beside Mr.
Wally. PSP-25. Semi-auto, steel jackets. She waits. Rage
inside her. Death in her hands.

MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE SURFACE

The wheel CREAKS. Groans. The terrorist in the western boots
watches her emerge, face first -- She comes up firing.

The first slug takes him in the knee. Blows it to scraps. He
collapses, howling. She shifts aim. THE RED BUTTON. No
hesitation. BLAM-! Hits it DEAD ON. Stops the wheel.
Incredible.

Doesn't blink. Unties her captive hand. BLOWS TO SPLINTERS
the wood surrounding her feet. Leaps to solid ground, as

ANOTHER ANGLE

Daedalus looks up from his prone position. In agony. A vision
from Hell approaches: A fiendish blue-skinned woman in a
sodden nightgown. Blood leaking from one wrist. She has risen,
REBORN, from the icy waters.

DAEDALUS
Samantha... Please...!

CHARLY
Who's Samantha?

She shoots him in the other knee. He HOWLS. Gun, empty. She
tosses it aside. In a nearby crate: ASSAULT RIFLES. Snatches
up a Kalashnikov and clip. Kneels and says:

CHARLY
You see in the movies, badguy says,
"Talk to me and I'll let you live."
We're gonna run a variation, it goes
like this: Talk to me...? I'll let
you die.

She fires again.

CHARLY
Where's Henessey...?

INT. ROOT CELLAR - WITH HENESSEY

The detective lies naked, bound hand and foot. Beaten.
FREEZING. A single ray of LIGHT through a tiny crack.

He hears a SPLINTERING noise, as if a door's been ripped
from its hinges. Pause -- A FUSILLADE of gunfire. Shouts,
cries. A heavy weight SLAMS to the floorboards above him.
Through a crack comes a tiny stream of BLOOD, dribbling onto
him, as --

EXT. OLD MILL - SAME TIME

TIMOTHY bolts from the house, clutching a bleeding hand.
Running hellbent for leather. Reaches a parked car. Leaps in
and kicks over the engine as, behind him --

MORE MEN come piling out of the house, shouting. Running for
their cars -- never make it. CUT DOWN IN THEIR TRACKS. Wracked
by gunfire, bodies twitching...

And as Timothy PEELS OUT, spraying mud, we pull UP, UP, AND
AWAY... Into the sky, moving ever higher, gunfire fading...
Until now we're WAY UP, we can see Timothy's car... the OLD
MILL, ever so tiny below us...

It blows to pieces. Sends flaming boards flying STRAIGHT UP
AT US.

INT. VICTORIAN BUILDING - CHAPTER HQ - NIGHTTIME

The door bursts open as PERKINS stalks in, shedding his coat.
His aide -- let's call him HARRY -- looks up nervously.

PERKINS
This can't happen, Harry. The
President's already up at night,
prowling his sock drawer for double
agents, and now we've got a fucking
rogue on our hands.

HARRY
Sir, there's someone in the conference
room to see you.

PERKINS
Oh, for the love of Christ, who can
be so fucking important?

He throws open a door off the passage: THERE'S TIMOTHY.
Perched on the edge of a conference table, tamping a pack of
smokes. Perkins reacts, stunned.

TIMOTHY
It's me, your poor black cousin. The
one you can't be seen with.

PERKINS
*You*...! Are you crazy, coming here??

TIMOTHY
(Lights a cigarette)
My boss is dead.

PERKINS
What...?

TIMOTHY
Your rogue bitch just took him out.
Probably went shopping in his weapons
storage too.

He blows smoke. Trains his eyes on the older man. Piercing.

TIMOTHY
We're still on, Perkins. I've got
the tanker, the chemist, all ready
to go... but you gotta contain her,
man. We gotta step on her hard and
fast.

An agent on the SWITCHBOARD calls out:

SWITCHBOARD
You have a call on line three, sir.

PERKINS
Who is it?

SWITCHBOARD
Charly Baltimore, sir.

Perkins stops dead. Lunges for the phone, nearly drops it:

PERKINS
Perkins.

INTERCUT - OUR HEROINE AT PAY PHONE

We only see her mouth. Set in hard, grim lines. She says:

CHARLY
It's cold, I want to come in.

PERKINS
Charly...? Oh, my God, what the hell
are you *doing*? Listen to me, I'm
going to direct you to a safe house,
get you on a plane --

CHARLY
Can the bullshit, I'm not telling
you where I am. I'll come in for a
full debriefing, but we do it my
way.

PERKINS
Charly, you're being paranoid. It's
not like it used to be, you're eight
years out of date.

CHARLY
Do tell.

PERKINS
Congress won't authorize a dime,
Charly. Chapter's on the way out,
we've been reduced to a records-
keeping agency, we *don't have enough
money to kill you*, understand...?

CHARLY
Fuck you, Perkins. If you want me
dead, you'll pass a hat in the typing
pool to buy bullets. We do things my
way.

PERKINS
Your way, I see. And if I say go to
hell?

CHARLY
From where I stand, it ain't much of
a commute. You'll hear from me.

She clicks off. Perkins darts a look at the techie -- guy
shakes his head, no go on the trace. Perkins swears.

PERKINS
She mustn't threaten our success.
Contain her, whatever it takes. But
be *careful*. If it gets out you're
working for me... we'll both be
grabbing our ankles on the White
House lawn.

ESTABLISHING SHOT - ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY - NIGHT

There. Thank you, New Jersey, that'll be all. You can go
now. Um, please.

INT. HOTEL SUITE - ATLANTIC CITY - NIGHT

Waking is slow for Mitch Henessey. He swallows dryly. Eyes
creak open, struggle to focus... Hears WATER running. A
shower. Squints at his watch. He's not wearing a watch, he
knew that... In BED, naked. Chest swathed in bandages, what
the hell...? He pokes them. Jerks his head, hissing in pain.

EXT. LIVING ROOM OF SUITE - WITH HENESSEY - NIGHT

Henessey lights a smoke at the bar. Flicks the match in a
trashcan. Starts to go, stops... Reaches into the can. Plucks
out a tiny scrap: PHOTOGRAPH, ripped in two.

A photo of Hal and Caitlin.

He pockets it, disturbed. Crosses to the bathroom door. The
shower has stopped. Raises a tentative hand, starts to
knock... It OPENS. There, in a thin silk robe, is a WOMAN,
swabbing at her hair.

She breezes out of the bathroom all chipper, like nothing's
unusual. Notices Henessey cursorily. Raises a finger: "one
sec." Lowers her head and shakes it like a terrier, spraying
him.

He cannot stop staring. It's Samantha, it *has* to be...

Now she's BLONDE, though. Hair clipped short. Bobbed. Blood-
red fingernails. Red cotton shift, legs for days.

Then, she *smiles* at him -- and it's not her, not Samantha.

Amnesia's over, folks, because we're clearly looking at a
changed woman: This one's name is CHARLY BALTIMORE, and she
hasn't seen the light of day in eight years.

CHARLY
Hey, Mitch. Glad you're awake. Uh-
oh, you're seeping.

She grabs a washcloth. Frowns, says:

CHARLY
Here, look at this.

With that, she opens her robe and exposes her breasts.
Henessey perks up considerably -- then SCREAMS as she RIPS
the gauze from his chest. She clinchs the robe again.

HENESSEY
Ah, that hurt like shit!!

CHARLY
That's why I distracted you first.
(dabs at his wounds)
Same principle as breaking in virgins.

HENESSEY
Same as -- virgins, *what*...?

CHARLY
Saw it in a Harold Robbins book. Guy
bites her on the ear as he goes in.
Distracts from the pain. You ever
try that?

HENESSEY
No, I slug 'em in the jaw and yell
"pop goes the weasel," what the fuck
are you talking about? Who are you??

CHARLY
Name's Charly. The spy. Nice to
meet'cha. Drink?

INT. CASINO BAR - EVENING

Henessey watches, fascinated. All the little mannerisms, the
differences. Shaking out a match, running a hand through her
hair... And never missing a thing, eyes constantly roving,
scanning. Guard never down. She plucks a drink from a nearby
table, steals it outright.

CHARLY
See? Sit next to the dance floor,
every drink's free. People finish
dancing, they think the waiter lifted
'em.

Henessey grimaces. Clears his throat, says:

HENESSEY
I'm confused. Gimme a minute.

CHARLY
Take two, they're small.

She knocks back her drink. No hesitation. Henessey shifts
uncomfortably, lights a smoke.

HENESSEY
Okay. Let's say I buy it. You're
actually a trained killer, Jesus, I
can't even say it with a straight
face.
(frowns)
So then... Samantha, she...

CHARLY
Never really existed. Like Nathan
said, she was a total fabrication, I
made her up.

HENESSEY
Fabrication. And now she's just...
gone? Forever and ever?

CHARLY
Thank God. Look at my inordinately
large ass, look what she did to me.

Henessey squirms, this one's gonna take some time to digest.

HENESSEY
Pretty convincing act.

CHARLY
Guess so.

HENESSEY
I mean, her personality, it had to
come from *somewhere* --

CHARLY
Change the subject. Better yet, steal
me another drink.

Henessey sighs. Next to him a couple get up to dance. He
reaches over and lifts their beers.

HENESSEY
Drink up. What's next?

CHARLY
I called Chapter. I'm trying to bring
us in from the field alive...

HENESSEY
Chapter. Can you trust them?

CHARLY
Not sure. Until I know, you might
wanna stay away from curbs.

He looks at her, confused:

CHARLY
They like to push people in front of
buses.

Didn't need to know that. A DANCING SANTA goes by:

SANTA CLAUS
(bad Caribbean accent)
Hey, lady, Santa want to dance the
lambada wit'choo. *Come this way,
everybody*!

He shimmies away. Charly grins at Henessey:

CHARLY
If I could come that way I wouldn't
need to dance the lambada. Follow
me, I need you to do something.

EXT. DANCE CLUB - PAY PHONE - NIGHTTIME

Henessey hunches forward, speaks rapidly into the phone:

HENESSEY
...The lady's whacked, Trin, she's
lost it and I want fucking out, now
*call the Feds*. She's moving us
tonight, I'll sneak out to this phone,
call you back at midnight with the
details.

He hangs up quickly. Turns -- reveal CHARLY, lounging a foot
away, watching him.

HENESSEY
All right, Charly. What did that
accomplish?

CHARLY
I'm testing our boy Perkins. I figure
he's gotta be tapping your office.
Got a light...?

HENESSEY
(pause, then:)
Oh, no. He just traced that call?

She swipes matches from his pocket. Nods.

CHARLY
Come midnight, you hang by the phone.
Nobody shows, we think about trusting
him. He tries to kidnap and torture
you, well, there it is.

HENESSEY
Whoa, time out.

CHARLY
Oh, don't be such a baby.
(lights her cigarette)
Ten o'clock, we got two hours to
kill. I'm a woman, feed me.

EXT. ATLANTIC CITY BOARDWALK - NIGHTTIME

CARNIVAL RIDES, dead for the winter. Henessey and Charly
stroll beneath them. He smokes. She eats Chinese.

CHARLY
Ugh. God I'm full, I'm gonna have a
food baby.

He takes a good long look at her, still can't fathom it.

HENESSEY
"Charly." fucking unbelievable.
(beat)
Shame about the fat ass. I bet you
were really attractive once.

CHARLY
Oh, I was. Check this out. One time?
A guy said he'd fuck me.

HENESSEY
No.

CHARLY
Swear to God.

HENESSEY
Did he make good?

CHARLY
Absolutely. Oh, and afterwards? Oh
my God, afterwards I said the most
funny thing, you know what I said...?
(beat)
I said, "Go back to your room. Dad..."

She laughs through a swig of beer. MEMORY FLASH: Charly's
bedroom as DAD puts the gun to his head and fires, CRACK...

CHARLY
It's why he thought I had him killed.

Henessey huddles, watching her closely.

HENESSEY
Your father was murdered.

She nods, gazes out over the icy waters. Speaks, her voice
faraway and gone:

CHARLY
When Da died, I went to his funeral.
12 years old, today I wouldn't. And
I overheard a woman, she was
praying... She was thanking God --
sounded so happy -- thanking Him it
hadn't been *her* father who was
killed. See... she didn't really
care that God had let someone die...
just so long as it missed *her*.
(beat)
...and she bought her cross at the
same store as mine, see, that's what
we do, we all pray to the same cross
on a hundred different walls, and
sit back and wait to see who gets
hit and who gets missed.

Anger flares in her eye. Like a stirring of mud at the bottom
of a deep, deep, pond.

CHARLY
Fuck the waiting. Fuck being afraid.
I determine who gets hit, and how
hard. And I thank no one. It's
pathetic to thank someone who spares
you -- when they're just taking
someone else.
(beat)
Walk me upstairs?

INT. HOTEL SUITE - BEDROOM - NIGHTTIME

They enter the suite. She drops her purse, sways toward him.
Presses him against the wall, framed there in the doorway.

CHARLY
This is my first date in eight years,
Mitch. Is this a fun date...?

Quite suddenly, Charly leans over and kisses him on the lips.
He reacts, startled. Stares at her.

HENESSEY
Okay, what's going on?

CHARLY
True love, shut the fuck up.

HENESSEY
You kidding me? I'm an ex-con, lady.
I wear a shiny suit, my tie's crooked,
and the last time I got blown candy
bars cost a nickel. Plus I'm ugly,
so what's up?

CHARLY
Chemistry. Be quiet.

She nibbles his ear. Pulls back, smiling -- and Henessey's
holding the picture of HAL and CAITLIN. The one he found
torn in two. He looks her full in the face:

HENESSEY
Chemistry my ass. Know what I think?
I think this is why you'd fuck me.
(beat)
To kill a schoolteacher. Bury any
trace of her.

He pushes her away.

HENESSEY
Sorry, I liked the schoolteacher.
When she comes back, give me a call.

Charly jerks backward. Angry. Henessey heads for the bathroom.

HENESSEY
Oh, and call your fuckin' kid, will
ya'? It's two days to Christmas, and
she's under the mistaken impression
that Mommy gives a shit.

Charly snatches up her purse, eyes burning:

CHARLY
I didn't ask for the kid, Mitch.
Samantha had the kid, not me, NOBODY
ASKED ME.

She storms out. CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHTTIME

Charly stalks the city streets. A quartet sings, "God Rest
Ye Merry," ostensibly about joy, oddly the most depressing
tune ever written. On a crowded street, she is alone. Total
misfit. Searches her own haggard features in a shop window.
Swallows hard, whispers:

CHARLY
Easy, baby. She ain't coming back,
no way. Bitch is dead.

She bustles down a sidestreet, hands jammed in her pockets.
That's when a tall BEARDED MAN crosses the street and falls
in alongside.

BEARDED MAN
Good evening.

CHARLY
Fuck off.

BEARDED MAN
I see me a good-looking lady, all
upset, I wonder if she doesn't need
some male company.

CHARLY
Forget it. I'm saving myself 'til I
get raped.

His hand edges out of his windbreaker with a snubnosed .38.

BEARDED MAN
Step into the alley, honey. I ain't
asking, I'm telling.

Charly stops walking. Regards him the way you or I might
look at a telephone cord. Groans:

CHARLY
Oh, don't tell me. You're early,
Goddammit, you're supposed to be at
the pay phone. Go away and come back
at midnight. I'm not ready yet. Got
a light?

The guy stares, mouth working.

BEARDED MAN
Lady, I have a gun!

Which is precisely when a much larger Smith and Wesson COCKS
next to his ear:

VOICE (V.O.)
This ain't no ham on rye, pal.

HENESSEY holds the gun rock steady in his big fist. Charly
spins on him, eyes flashing:

CHARLY
What the hell are you doing here?

HENESSEY
Saving your life. Woulda got here
sooner but I was thinking up the
sandwich line.

CHARLY
You think I couldn't take him?
*Idiot*, you probably scared the
other guy away --

HENESSEY
What other guy -- ?

CHARLY
Headhunters, nimrod, they go in pairs,
were you always this stupid or did
you take lessons?

HENESSEY
I TOOK LESSONS.

The hitman watches, bewildered. Considers waving to get their
attention. Finally he can't stand it. Blurts out:

BEARDED MAN
Hey!

Charly snaps her head toward him:

CHARLY
*What*?

BEARDED MAN
I still got this fucking gun!

She smiles sweetly.

CHARLY
No, you don't.

Takes it off him. Just like that. He stares dumbly at his
empty hand. Half of his trigger finger is missing.

BEARDED MAN
SHIIIIT!!

Charly flips the gun into the air. Launches a SPIN KICK.
Shatters his jaw. Catapults him backwards.

Completes her spin, catlike -- Catches the .38 on its way
down. DOESN'T STOP THERE. Arm out, gun cocked -- FIRES.
Straight at Henessey, what...? He dives aside --

BEHIND HIM, a second HITMAN. Blown to tatters. The KNIFE
meant for Henessey arcs through the air...

Imbeds itself in the ground an inch from the prone detective.
He stares at it with shocked eyes. The killer hits, dead.
Twitches. CHARLY. Lowers her arm slowly. Gun barrel smoking.

CHARLY
Fuck you. Just fuck all of you.

EXT. ATLANTIC CITY STREET - NIGHTTIME

A BRONCO ROARS UP out of a parking garage. Swerves and plunges
into the maze of streets that inspired the world's most
popular board game.

INT. BRONCO - SAME

Charly drives, possessed. Henessey drinks. Hands shaking.

CHARLY
Dammit. I knew I couldn't trust that
prick.

She throws a shrieking skid. Henessey clutches for the
dashboard, swearing.

CHARLY
Easy, Spike. I got myself out of
Beirut once, I think I can get us
out of New Jersey.

HENESSEY
Don't be so sure, others have tried.
The entire population, in fact.
(beat)
Look, about me...? I mean, what's
up, you're this hot survival chick,
I'm getting the feeling you don't
need me anymore.

Charly reaches over. Yanks the doorhandle.

CHARLY
Good point.

She kicks him out of the moving car.

EXT. HIGHWAY - SAME TIME

He bounces off the highway. Rolls. Over and over, shudders
to a stop. Pause... The wind blows. He groans. Looks up,
spits gravel. Stands. Dusts himself off. Watches the Bronco
go far away.

TIME CUT - EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT

As Henessey trudges wearily down the highway we HEAR:

HENESSEY (V.O.)
Dear Mom: I was tortured, now I'm in
Atlantic City. The girl of my dreams
just threw me out of a speeding car.
Now more people will come an shoot
me in the head. On the plus side, I
won two bucks at video poker.

A SCREECH of tires, he turns, startled -- here comes the
Bronco. Skids onto the highway and races back toward him.
Pulls up alongside. CHARLY throws open the door, says:

CHARLY
Get in.

He does. Without a word. Closes the door, they drive off. He
lights a cigarette like nothing happened. Shakes out the
match, speaks without looking at her:

HENESSEY
Found a use for me.

CHARLY
Yep.
(beat)
I gotta vanish, Mitch. I need money,
a whole bunch.

HENESSEY
Why didn't you say so? Gimme a second
while I pull it out of my ass.

She turns to him, a gleam in her eye. Speaks softly:

CHARLY
The key, Mitch. The one I keep around
my neck.

HENESSEY
What about it?

CHARLY
What if I told you it's the key to
Box 406 at Pittsburgh International
Airport?

HENESSEY
How would you know? Someone filed
off the numbers.

CHARLY
Not someone. Me. I filed them off.
(beat)
There's a briefcase in Box 406, Mitch.

HENESSEY
What's in it?

CHARLY
$200,000.

Henessey does a spit-take, sprays whiskey.

CHARLY
Payment for my last assignment. I
need you to retrieve it for me.

HENESSEY
Why me?

CHARLY
Don't be stupid, they might have the
place covered. I don't want to get
shot to pieces.

HENESSEY
Shoulda known.
(sighs)
Gimme the key.

CHARLY
I'd love to. I left it with Caitlin
back in Ohio.

EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - NIGHT

The BRONCO races on into the night...

INT. BRONCO - SAME TIME

Late, very late now. Henessey, driving. Beside him, Charly
reclines, lost in reverie. Features bathed in passing
roadlights. Henessey grinds out a butt:

HENESSEY
Humor me: you're a paid assassin,
then you fall off a cliff. Sink under
the ocean, and when you come out
you're a fucking schoolmarm, wanna
tell me what happened?

CHARLY
I fell into a school of fish, they
elected me principal. Shut the fuck
up.

HENESSEY
Mmmm. Personally...? I'm thinking
maybe Samantha Caine wasn't an act.
Maybe you forgot to hate yourself
for eight years, ever think of
that...?

CHARLY
Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Hmmm... Nope,
seems clear enough to me. Hate myself,
Christ almighty. What are you, my
shrink?

HENESSEY
No, just some loser thought he could
maybe understand, fuck it. I been
there, you know. I'd kill for fucking
amnesia. I'm with my boy and all I
can think is I got reamed in the ass
by three guys. Merry Christmas, son,
here's a ball glove, did you know
Daddy screamed when they carved the
name in his back...? Mary, by the
way. I pushed for Cindy, but hell.
God, I'm tired.
(beat)
I never did one thing right, you
know it, not one fucking thing. Not
even accidental, that takes skill.

He looks over. She's asleep, hasn't heard a word. Face slack,
lips slightly parted. The toughness banished from her
features. In its place, a lingering sadness. CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - DAWN BREAKING

The Bronco glides along. Charly in the passenger seat, eyes
roving like a hawk's. THE CAINE HOUSE is peaceful and quiet.
Christmas lights, still burning dimly.

CHARLY
Drive past, don't slow down.
(points)
Park under those trees, honk if
there's trouble.

HENESSEY
(bad Rochester)
Yas, massah, I be slowin' de caw
down fo' you.

She stuffs a .45 automatic in her waistband. Cradles an MP-5
beneath her coat. Rolls out of the still-moving truck. Makes
her way through back yards. Silent as a cat. She went to
cookouts here. Bridge parties. Now she prowls, a grim
assassin.

Leaps a fence, drops behind a woodpile -- Comes face to face
with RAYMOND, a fifth grade student we saw earlier. Secreted
behind the woodpile, SMOKING. His eyes pop as he spies good
ol' Ms. Caine, sporting blonde hair and an assault weapon.
Charly doesn't miss a beat:

CHARLY
Good morning, Raymond.

RAYMOND
Um... morning, Ms. Caine.

CHARLY
What did we learn about the dangers
of smoking...? Give it here.

A wet stain appears at his crotch. He hands her the cigarette
with nerveless fingers. Charly accepts it. Takes a long,
satisfying drag. Passes it back.

CHARLY
Thanks. Tell anyone you saw me I'll
blow your fucking head off.

Moves off through the bushes. Out of sight.

EXT. CAINE BACK YARD - MOMENTS LATER

Charly kicks aside a pair of abandoned ice skates. Crouches,
face pressed to the glass door. Looking in. The house is
silent and empty. Nobody home. The Christmas tree winks off
and on. The tree she helped decorate. She opens the door and
slips inside. CUT TO:

INT. GOVERNMENT ISSUE SEDAN - DRIVING - SAME TIME

Three GOVERNMENT AGENTS. Faces drawn, haggard. Pit-stained
shirts, day old sandwiches. Carrying photographs of Charly
and Henessey. Agent #1 sighs, examining her figure.

AGENT #1
Man, I'd eat a mile of her shit just
to follow it back to the ass it came
from.

AGENT #2
Christ, I'm trying to have breakfast.

A RADIO MIC on the dash squawks, a voice says:

VOICE (O.S.)
Unit 2 to Red Dog, give us one more
pass, let's make sure the house is
secure.

EXT. CAITLIN'S BEDROOM - SAME TIME

Charly enters. All business. Begins to systematically rifle
the drawers. Her daughter's precious things. Sweeps everything
onto the floor. Utter disregard, it's a bit startling.

Crosses to the bed, throws back the covers -- MR. PERKINS
(the stuffed bear) has the chain around his neck.

We hear it, then. Ghosting on the still air, barely audible,
the sound of SINGING... Children's voices waft across the
frozen pond from St. Paul's Episcopal CHURCH. Charly frowns.
Crosses to the window, lifts the sash.

Pause. Charly chews her lip. Unlimbers the MP-5. Hefts the
wicked-looking thing. Not to fire it... but to use the SCOPE.
Adjusts focus. Practiced movements. Deft. Sure. Sights down
the weapon. Scans though the gunsights...

POV CHARLY: Hal's CHRISTMAS PAGEANT. There's Hal. Cast in
spectral GREEN. Laughing and serving breakfast. On the church
lawn, a NATIVITY scene. Teenage girls as the wise men. Choir
of children, singing... CAITLIN among them.

Charly is sweating. She lowers the scope. Squeezes her eyes
shut. Something in her, threatening to WRENCH LOOSE...

EXT. FRONT OF CAINE HOUSE - SAME TIME

Henessey, slouched behind the wheel. Starts to light a
cigarette. Stops, the match halfway to his face. Eyes riveted
on the rearview mirror as a GOVERNMENT SEDAN turns the corner
behind him...

BACK WITH CHARLY - INSIDE

Watching her family, far away. Fighting emotion. That's when
she hears A HORN HONKING. Her head whips around, toward the
front of the house. The honk is followed by three GUNSHOTS
in rapid succession.

She's up and moving. All else forgotten.

EXT. FRONT OF CAINE HOUSE - SAME TIME

Henessey PEELS OUT, tires smoking. Careens forward, government
SEDAN close behind --

The upstairs window EXPLODES outward. Charly, hurtles through.
Freefalls to the porch roof. Glass, showering down. Hits,
rolls. Surfaces in a combat crouch, FIRES.

Government sedan, KILLS THE PASSENGER. Collapses him over
the doorframe. Gun clatters to the street, car speeds off --

INT. GOVERNMENT SEDAN - DRIVING

The driver looks over, incredulous.

DRIVER
He's dead. Goddammit, how did that
happen??

BACKSEAT
*Go bulletproof, now*!

The driver hits a button and up go the windows. All, that
is, except the passenger side window -- Because the dead
guy's bald HEAD blocks it. Becomes WEDGED there. Bald pate
exposed to the world.

BACK WITH CHARLY - FRONT OF HOUSE

Charly watches the two vehicles rocketing away down the
street. Out of range. Lowers the smoking .45. SWEARS. Takes
off around the house at a dead run.

INT. ST. PAUL'S - SAME TIME

Switch scenery: the Christmas Pageant, CAITLIN and fellow
angels traipse into the church vestibule... Caitlin looks up
just in time to see TIMOTHY apply the chloroform.

Two seconds, she's out like a light. Next case. Up and moving,
child tucked neatly under his arm. A NEARBY MOTHER OF THREE
has seen it happen. Opens her mouth to scream -- He palms a
KNIFE. Puts it to her youngest son's kidney:

TIMOTHY
Wanna be a statistic, lady? You're
about to have 2.4 children.

Freezes her. Petrified.

TIMOTHY
I know where you live. Close your
mouth, you look like a fish. Merry
Christmas.

He exits into the vestibule. Quick. Professional.

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH:

High speed chase, in progress. The driver dogs Henessey,
jockeys for position. Barks into a radio mic:

DRIVER
Target two, acquired! Red Dog in
pursuit, backup requested.
(over his shoulder)
You got him?

BACKSEAT
I got him.

The backseat agent hefts an AK-47 assault rifle.

WITH HENESSEY - DRIVING

Henessey checks the rear view mirror -- just in time to see
a circular portion of glass POP from the chase car's window.
Out comes a gun muzzle.

HENESSEY
Jesus wept.

The guy opens up on full auto. Rakes the Bronco, STRAFES it.
Henessey swerves madly -- no go. Death run. He's not coming
home, not this time.

EXT. FROZEN POND - SAME TIME

CHARLY BALTIMORE hurtles forward, SPEED SKATING across the
frozen pond toward the chase vehicles. Long, coltish legs,
to die for.

CHARLY
This is gross, this is gonna be so
Goddamn gross...

She goes SIDESLIPPING at superhuman speed. Tacks alongside
the government sedan. Targets the bald guy's head. Raises
the .45 and FIRES. Not to be graphic, but the car's driver
receives the bulk of the mess. SPRAYED.

Across the eyes. He loses control, SKIDS OUT. Catapults off
the road, onto the ice. Slides right toward Charly, *still
doing fifty*...

She doesn't miss a beat. LAUNCHES herself, twisting in
midair... Up OVER THE HOOD of the sedan, it blows by
underneath her as

ANOTHER ANGLE

The incredible part. In slow motion, she does a DOUBLE AXEL
PIRHOUETTE. Above the hood. Mid-spin, she blows THREE SHOTS
through the windshield. Kills everyone. Keeps going. The car
spins twice around. PLOWS to a halt -- Charly hits a picture
perfect landing.

On the shore, HENESSEY watches, thunderstruck. Charly skates
by the icebound sedan. Flashes a grin at the dying driver:

DRIVER
Shit... it really... *is* you...

CHARLY
Phil...? Phil Krauss? I don't believe
it, they moved you from cyphers.
Long time, man, I figured you were
dead by now.

She delivers a blow to the neck. Kills him. CUT TO:

EXT. HIGHWAY - DRIVING - DAYTIME

Henessey and Charly, driving a new vehicle: late model
Cadillac. Charly driver. Henessey rifles the glove
compartment.

CHARLY
So, Mitch. Still think I'm warm and
fuzzy?

HENESSEY
Sure. It's not your fault the gun
accidentally went off in mid-air as
you tripped and flew over the car.

CHARLY
Exactly. What's in the glove box?

HENESSEY
Phone bill, Christmas card... Five
buck, swell. You didn't have to kill
him, you know.

CHARLY
Back off, man. Do I tell you how to
snap photos of extramarital blowjobs?
No.

There is a short, CHIRPING sound. Seemingly from nowhere.
They exchange puzzled looks, what the hell...? Charly abruptly
realizes it's coming from her purse. She reaches in, scoops
up the CELLULAR PHONE, the one she told Caitlin to call.
Thumbs the button. Says cautiously:

CHARLY
Hello?

A voice, then... Clipped tones, TIMOTHY'S voice:

TIMOTHY (O.S.)
It's me, I got your kid. Give your
location, we gotta lose the cellular.

Charly. Hand gripped tight on the phone. Pause, then:

CHARLY
State Road 80, 15 minutes west of
Harrison.

TIMOTHY
Okay, here's how we do it. Drive to
Harrison, find their main bus stop.
Pay phone, fifteen minutes. Better
drive fast, after five rings I hang
up.

Click.

HENESSEY
What the hell was that?

CHARLY
He's got the kid. Doesn't want to
talk on the airwaves, he's routing
me to a land line. A pay phone.

HENESSEY
Which phone? Where?

The detective's mind, racing... suddenly it hits him:

HENESSEY
Shit. Service centers...! They list
'em on the back of phone bills, right?

CHARLY
Excuse me?

HENESSEY
Shut up and find me a gun. HK, MP-5.

As he rips open the bill we CUT TO:

A neutral background, as Charly's HEAD enters frame, we're
very tight on her FACE... Tense, thin-lipped. A PHONE RINGS,
deafening. Click -- Charly speaks tersely:

CHARLY
Verify you have her.

TIMOTHY (O.S.)
I got your cellular number off a
cast on her right wrist. Right below
Mommy loves you... Picture of a panda.
Dog, panda, it's got funky ears.

CLOSE ON CHARLY: Dead still. Made of glass.

TIMOTHY (O.S.)
I want money, Charly. I know you've
got numbered accounts, we all do.
I'll let you know where and when.
Fuck with me...? I'll blind the kid
and shoot out her knees.

CHARLY
You're dead, motherfucker. We don't
involve families. It's not the way
it's done, *we don't take families*.

TIMOTHY
I'll be in touch.

He hangs up. Dead silence. HOLD on Charly's face... until
slowly, ever so slowly, the camera pulls back to REVEAL:

The .45 automatic -- Pointed at the head of an AT&T operator.
THE PHONE COMPANY, they've taken it over. Employees CRINGE
on the floor. Henessey, MP-5 slung on his shoulder, leveled.
Charly points to the switchboard:

CHARLY
Give me an ANI trace. Do it.

EXT. PINE-COVERED MOUNTIANS - UPSTATE NEW YORK - MORNING

Set back from the mountain road, a lonely MOTEL. A neon sign:
*Deer Lick Motel*, No vacancies. The sign sits atop a rusty
pole. Blinks forlornly.

INT. MOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

TIMOTHY hangs up and turns to MR. PERKINS, seated across the
room:

TIMOTHY
It's done, she hooked. All I gotta
do is set the ransom meet.

PERKINS
She mustn't suspect a trap.

TIMOTHY
No way. She thinks I'm acting alone,
remember? Say the word, I'll hand
her to you on a plate.

Perkins crosses to the bed. Rubs tired eyes. Gazes down at
Caitlin. Asleep, a syringe on the nightstand beside her.
Next to a brown paper bag.

PERKINS
God. We're monsters, aren't we...?
(pause, then:)
Forget Charly. Talk to me about
tonight.

TIMOTHY
The tanker's on its way from
Charleston, ETA 1:00 a.m. One
terrorist on ice, waiting to play
patsy.
(points)
What's in the sack?

Perkins follows his gaze: the brown paper bag. Smiles thinly.

PERKINS
That...? Something to prove that I'm
not a complete ogre.

He reaches into the paper bag and brings out a BABY DOLL.
Sweet, innocent. Frilly with lace. A bright red bow.

PERKINS
See? The young one will have a doll
to play with on Christmas. Very
popular item. It... well, it pees.
You put water in it and... oh, fuck
you.

INT. ROADSIDE RESTAURANT - NEW YORK STATE - TWILIGHT

Charly and Henessey, eating at HARDEE'S. Seated across from
each other at an orange plastic table, scarfing Christmas
burgers. Outside, a billboard reads: WELCOME TO SANTA CLAUS!
*Where it's Christmas all year long*!

HENESSEY
Almost dark now.

CHARLY
Another ten minutes. You want my
Crazy Meal action figure?

HENESSEY
Pass. Listen, you sure we're doing
the right thing? We've got money, we
could negotiate...

CHARLY
*I'll get the damn kid*, okay? God,
I hope he doesn't shoot her up. Kid's
dead weight if she's sedated.

HENESSEY
Not so emotional, I'm getting
embarrassed with these outbursts
here.

CHARLY
Oh, balls. Want me to cry on cue? I
can. This is an extraction, nimrod,
and she's the target, that's how to
play it, the only way to beat this
guy.

HENESSEY
Yeah? How come you know so much about
this fucking guy?

CHARLY
Don't go there, Mitch, you don't
want to know.

HENESSEY
I'm here. Suppose you tell me.

CHARLY
Fine, you asked. I bumped pelvises
with this guy. In Paris, back in
1987.

She knows she's shocking him, rubs it in:

CHARLY
I'd been assigned to kill his boss,
remember...? Needed him out of the
way. So I let him seduce me. Had a
steel needle under the pillow, figured
to stick him *en flagrante*, that
means while we were screwing. But he
was too slick. Bashed me in the head,
finished, then threw me in the trunk
of a car. Still think I'm a girl
scout, Mitch...?

The look in her eyes is feral.

CHARLY
It's almost dark. Let's get it done.

EXT. MOUNTAIN ROAD - NIGHTTIME

Full dark now, the fun begins... A TANKER TRUCK rumbles up
the mountain road. Pulls up before the Deer Lick Motel. MEN
IN SUITS wield flashlights, motioning the truck forward into
a cavernous GARAGE. Inside, men in BLUE JUMPSUITS operate
cranes, maneuver a FILL TANK into place above the truck.

EXT. SURROUNDING MOUNTAINSIDE - SAME TIME

In the distance, as the tanker enters the garage -- CHARLY
BALTIMORE drops into frame. Lands and rolls, cat-quick. Comes
up behind a scrawny pine. Scans through a pair of Zeiss
Nightvision binoculars.

Welcome to the extraction. No more fun and games, tonight
it's a survival-zero operation. HENESSEY appears at her elbow.
Lugging the ordnance bag. He sees Charly lower the binoculars,
head in hands.

HENESSEY
What's the matter?

CHARLY
They're here.

HENESSEY
Who?

CHARLY
Fucking Chapter, that's who. Timothy
acting alone, Caitlin had a chance.
Now...? She's dead meat.

INT. BUNKER - SAME TIME

As the tanker snorts to a halt, TIMOTHY pulls up, driving a
bright red Jaguar. Gets out as a blue-suit trots up:

BLUE-SUIT
1800 hours. We're still trying to
clean the tanker --

TIMOTHY
(scowls annoyance)
Fuck the cleaning, just drain it and
reload. Chop-chop, I'm going bunjee
jumping after this.

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE - SAME TIME

Charly and Henessey. Kneeling. He speaks tersely:

HENESSEY
Let me go in.

CHARLY
Negative. You stomp around like a
forties drunk and you're a lousy
shot.

HENESSEY
I get by.

CHARLY
You couldn't hit a lake if you were
standing on the bottom, now shut the
fuck up.

Charly studies the encampment. Armed men. Impossible odds.
Draws a long ragged breath and flops on the ground. Props
her back against a tree. Staring. Lights a cigarette:

CHARLY
I saw a little girl.

HENESSEY
(frowns)
Come again?

CHARLY
That's what happened under the water.
That night, eight years ago.

She looks up at the sky. Face troubled.

CHARLY
At the end... there she was, this
pretty little girl at the bottom of
the ocean, smiling at me. Three years
old, didn't know Daddies hid in
closets, not yet. Stared up at me in
the strangest way... saying how'd it
come to this, we were so pretty and
perfect, now look at us, sinking
with our head all open... Said when
she grew up she was gonna teach
school. She couldn't wait.

She heaves a sigh. Threads a silencer on a baretta.

CHARLY
Guards are on 27-1 megahertz, meet
me at 26-9, you need to talk. As
soon as you spot me with the kid,
start blowing the charges.

Henessey nods. Pause -- she does something unexpected. Leans
over and kisses him hard on the lips. He reacts, startled.
She pulls back, the oddest look on her face.

CHARLY
They're gonna blow my head off, you
know.
(softly:)
This is the last time I'll ever be
pretty.

She kisses him again. Softly. Tenderly. Pulls back, turns
without a word.

CHARLY
Time now. What I do next, they tell
me it... looks like a machine or
something. You don't like it, don't
look.

She moves off toward the trees. Henessey shifts from foot to
foot, awkwardly. Opens his mouth --

CHARLY
Don't say it.

HENESSEY
I was gonna say enjoy life, eat out
more often.

CHARLY
Gotta go.
(beat)
If she's alive, she's coming out of
there, Mitch. If she's not... they'll
know we stopped by.

She's gone, like a wraith. CUT TO:

SERIES OF SHOTS: Charly, on the prowl. In and out of the
trees... BURYING C-4 CHARGES. In bushes. In snowdrifts. She
crawls to woods' edge, peers out -- The motel stands solemn
and bedraggled. Draws a sharp breath -- !

There's a LIT CANDLE in the window of 17. CUT TO:

EXT. MOTEL GROUNDS - SAME TIME

A gray-suited SENTRY. Poised on a wooded slope. He puts a
walkie-talkie to his lips and says:

SENTRY
All clear.

CHARLY, out of nowhere. Lightning fast. Hand, clamped on
mouth. In goes the knife. Deep. He burbles blood. Drops.
Before he hits, Charly's already switched from knife to gun
and moved on.

EXT. UNIT 17 - SAME TIME

Charly appears from the shadows. Ghosts up to the window of
#17 and peers in. Scans. Misses nothing. Crosses to the door,
taps lightly. Watches the PEEPHOLE, a tiny pinprick of light.
Abruptly darkened by a human eye --

She presses the silenced Beretta to the hole and fires. Sputs
of splinters. From behind the door, a muffled thud. She goes
to work on the lock.

BACK WITH HENESSEY - MINUTES HAVE PASSED

Henessey lies prone, binoculars trained on the motel.

HENESSEY
Christ, lady, what are you doing in
there, playing fucking mah-jongg?
*Move*.

Behind him, a tiny, sharp click--! TIMOTHY has a Skorpion
machine pistol aimed at his head.

The killer speaks into a radio unit, a single word --

TIMOTHY
Bogey.

POP-! go the Kleig lights. BRILLIANCE, blinding -- CATCHES
CHARLY coming out of 17. Pins her dead to rights. Unconscious
DAUGHTER cradled in her arms. Tiny DOLL cradled in the kid's.
Charly runs, as the ground around her erupts like a
SHELLBURST.

TIMOTHY, MEANWHILE, shouting into his walkie-talkie, saying:

TIMOTHY
Take her alive, Perkins wants her!

Henessey watches, helpless and PANICKED, as Charly tumbles
BACKWARD. Crashes through a CELLAR ACCESS, it splinters
beneath her...! Plunges into blackness.

INT. CELLAR - PITCH BLACK

She hits, cushions the kid. Grunt of PAIN... THE DARKNESS
EXPLODES into kaleidoscopic FLASHES OF GUNFIRE, Charly strafe
it all. Blows through the clip, hits the lights:

She's killed household items. BRICK WALLS, blasted. Rusty
tools, faded signs -- THREE TEN-GALLON GAS CANS which she's
managed to PERFORATE, good one, Charly... The gas comes
bubbling out on burps and splatters, drenching the floor.

Charly casts about for an escape route. Set into the brick
wall, a huge steel DOOR. She flings it open -- MEAT LOCKER.
Nothing there, no help. Eyes darting. Possessed.

A GRAVELY VOICE wafts down from above, then. Deadly serious:

VOICE (O.S.)
I smell gasoline, you have a little
accident...? I got plenty of matches
up here. Bad way for a kid to go.
Thirty seconds, think it over.

CHARLY stands in place, mind racing... Caitlin's DOLL. Regards
her dully. Plastic smile like it knows a secret. CUT TO:

INT. MOTEL - 2ND FLOOR - NIGHTTIME

A MATCH FLARES as it descends into the bowl of a pipe... MR.
PERKINS puffs mightily. Turns and favors CHARLY and HENESSEY
with a thoughtful gaze, they're handcuffed to radiator...
TIMOTHY straddles a nearby chair. Smiles and says:

TIMOTHY
Good to have you back again, Chuck.

PERKINS
You know, Colonel, you ought really
to have stayed dead. You don't know
the rules of the game anymore.

CHARLY
No shit. Eight years ago, you send
me to kill Daedalus and this clown.
Now you're working *with* him.

He crosses to the fireplace, flips the match inside.

PERKINS
Budget cuts, remember? Congress
blinded us in Eastern Europe, Central
America. Across the board, an
intelligence blackout. We had to
recruit any eyes and ears we could
find, even if it meant going to former
targets.

Pause. Suddenly Charly's eyes go wide. She whispers:

CHARLY
Budget cuts... oh, God. Is *that*
what this is about...? The foot
soldiers, the tanker truck... Fuck
me, you're running a fundraiser!!

Comprehension, dawning. She looks up in disbelief.

CHARLY
You'll get all the money you want at
the next budget hearing, won't you...?
All you need is a major terrorist
incident.

PERKINS
Interesting theory.

CHARLY
Theory, my ass. I think some
terrorists were planning a strike.
Bought supplies from Daedalus, that's
how you knew they were coming...
(eyes widening)
No way. Don't tell me you're gonna
sit there and let them go through
with it, *just to get a budget
increase*.

Perkins shrugs philosophically.

PERKINS
It's not without precedent. 1993,
remember the World Trade Center
bombing...? The CIA had advance
knowledge, don't think they didn't.
Worse, the diplomat who issued the
terrorist's visa was CIA, they
*facilitated* the bombing. Purely to
justify a budget increase. Of course,
they'd no way of knowing the
terrorists would botch the job.

CHARLY
That's not gonna happen this time...?

PERKINS
No. This time, the terrorist event
will come off precisely as planned.
This time the terrorists can't muck
it up... because we've killed them
and taken over.

Charly and Henessey react, startled...

EXT. MOTEL GROUNDS - NIGHTTIME

On the move. Our two heroes, shepherded across the compound.
Timothy's casualness is belied by the presence of two
dyspeptic GUARDS, each keeping a safe distance.

A POCK-FACED AGENT approaches briskly, RIFLE across his
shoulder. Holds out his hand:

POCK
Found these buried around the
perimeter.

Timothy studies it: C-4 CHARGE with remote detonation unit.

TIMOTHY
Make sure you get all of them.

The agent rushes off. Timothy looks at Charly reproachfully:

TIMOTHY
Chuck, you give me the fuck of my
life then try to stick me, come back
from the dead, whack my boss... No
sense lyin', I'm miffed.

Moves like lightning. WHACK-! Kidney shot. Charly stumbles,
vision going black. Fights for balance. Henessey starts to
react but a GUN MUZZLE stops him. Charly straightens. Grits
her teeth, says:

CHARLY
So what's the plan? What's going out
in the tanker?

Timothy and the guards exchange looks. Cracking up, they
can't believe it -- Charly's not laughing. Looks at Timothy
with hooded, lifeless eyes:

CHARLY
What's the plan? I'm gonna die, I
wanna know.

Timothy lights a cigarette. Studies Charly.

TIMOTHY
You wanna know the plan?

He casually points to the neighboring valley, where Christmas
lights twinkle.

TIMOTHY
Santa Claus -- small town U.S.A.
personified. We drive the chemical
tanker in tonight, park it. Add a
catalyst, chain reaction, it goes
hot. We evacuate. The mix heats
overnight, goes critical at 312
degrees Celsius. 8:00 Christmas
morning... Main Street looks like a
meteor strike.

HENESSEY
Are you fucking insane? You're talking
about 10,000 people!!

CHARLY
Easy, Mitch.
(to Timothy)
How you gonna blame it on terrorists?

TIMOTHY
Those roads are treacherous this
time of year. When we dump a car to
the bottom of a ravine, with the
corpse of Imn Al Rahman in it... get
the picture?

Pause. Charly summons herself. Her voice a dull rasp:

CHARLY
Listen to me, Timothy. Please. Let
my kid go.

TIMOTHY
Why? For old times' sake...?

She shakes her head:

CHARLY
Goddamn you, *look at her eyes*...

TIMOTHY
And why exactly should I do that...?

CHARLY
(spits blood)
Because they're yours, motherfucker.

She stares Timothy full in the face.

CHARLY
That night in Paris, I got pregnant.
The little girl's your daughter.

Dead silence. A pause... Then Timothy brays LAUGHTER.

TIMOTHY
Priceless. Can't believe it...

Hooting out loud. Tears, streaming... He manages to bring
himself under control. Stops, gestures to the CELLAR ACCESS,
the dark awaits...

TIMOTHY
Kid's down there. What it is, Charly,
they're gonna find you both frozen
to death in the woods. Suicide pact.

Charly fights to contain herself.

CHARLY
She's no risk, Timothy, *let her
go*.

TIMOTHY
The freezer's downstairs, Charly.
Let's get it done.

Charly and Henessey are separated at gunpoint. A look passes
between them. Henessey swallows hard.

HENESSEY
I'll wait for you to rescue me.

CHARLY
Be just a minute.

Charly goes through the opening.

INT. CELLAR - SAME TIME

The same CELLAR she occupied earlier. Timothy behind her, he
wrinkles his nose in distaste.

TIMOTHY
Shit, this place is loaded with fumes,
nobody light a fucking match. You
check her for flammables?

GUN GUARD
(shrugs)
Checked her for colon cancer.

Caitlin is sitting in a chair.

Bundled in flannel, clutching her baby doll, the one Perkins
bought for her. She looks up at Charly dully. Sucking her
thumb.

CAITLIN
Mommy...

Charly composes herself.

CHARLY
Shhhhh. Mommy's here, it's okay.
Safe and snug... what comes next,
huh...? What's the next part?

CAITLIN
...bug in a rug... man with white
hair... says the same thing you say...

Charly licks her lips. Easy, Charly, keep cool, she mustn't
die afraid...

CHARLY
We're going to take a nap together,
Cate. You can have your dolly, and
Mommy will be next to you, how's
that? It'll be like bears in winter.
When they get cold, see, they fall
deep, deep asleep...

TIMOTHY
Bears, yeah, yeah. Enough.

He points to the STEEL DOOR of the meat freezer. The guard
opens it onto a gleaming silver CHAMBER. Timothy calmly
adjusts the thermostat. Sub zero. The guard reaches for
Caitlin's doll... Charly snatches it back. Face etched in
disgust.

CHARLY
You're murdering us both, cocksucker,
let the kid have her fucking dolly.

He subsides, unable to meet her gaze. At which point, Timothy
tosses her the WOODEN BOX.

TIMOTHY
Chuck, I'm not a total creep. I'll
make you a deal, okay? There's a
knife in that box. Now, you and the
kid, you're going to freeze, *but* --
if you kill the kid *by your own
hand*...? I won't kill your husband.
Serious. We're gonna open that door
and you'll both be frozen solid, but
I wanna know that you've cut your
own child's throat.

You don't want to ever be on the receiving end of the LOOK
she gives him... Steps into the freezer, holding Caitlin. As
the door starts to swing shut, she says:

CHARLY
It ain't over, motherfucker. You're
gonna die screaming and I'm gonna
watch. Am I telling the truth...?

She flashes him her most DAZZLING smile -- The whole room
lights up. She can do that. As the door erases her from view,
a chill dances up Timothy's spine... because there was nothing
resembling doubt on her face.

INT. CELLAR MEAT LOCKER - SAME TIME

CHARLY crosses with Caitlin to the far corner.

CAITLIN
Mom, it's cold in here-!

CHARLY
Shhh. Just for a little bit. Polar
bear, remember?

Moves. Quick. Methodical. Breaks open the BOX: Sure enough,
a hunting knife. Without missing a beat, she crosses to the
STEEL DOOR. Kneels and begins DIGGING at the bottom edge.
CARVING into the brick, what the hell...?

INT. UPSTAIRS INTERROGATION ROOM - SAME TIME

Henessey, by the window. Tied to a chair. Timothy paces before
him, carrying three razor-keen SCALPELS. Pegs one into the
wall with deadly accuracy.

TIMOTHY
Tell me where Charly keeps her money.
She must have mentioned it.

HENESSEY
Get fucked, you dumb bastard. Charly
called Washington, by morning this
whole place'll be crawling with Feds.

TIMOTHY
We'll be gone by then, Mitch.

HENESSEY
Yeah, well, that's what I'm saying,
there's a couple Feds, they couldn't
sleep, said they might come early.
Fuck you, someone'll screw up. Just
watch.

TIMOTHY
Already did, Mitch, someone already
did. Perkins got stuck with a double
agent, someone trusted, highly placed.

HENESSEY
Who?

TIMOTHY
Me.
(chuckles)
Chinks are paying me to bring down
Chapter.

Henessey reacts, startled. Timothy chuckles:

TIMOTHY
Truck goes, hundreds dead -- rescue
teams within minutes, guess what
they find...?

HENESSEY
The patsy.

TIMOTHY
Uh-uh. They find Chapter, caught
with their pants down. See, Mitch, I
dumped in a much faster chemical
catalyst...
(beat)
The tanker's gonna blow *tonight*.
In the center of town, thirty-five
minutes from now.

INT. CELLAR MEAT LOCKER - SAME TIME

CHARLY, sweating at sub zero. Brushes hair from her eyes.
Blinks. Still jabbing with the knife, *why the hell is she
digging*? Gonna crawl under the damn door? She's gone loopy.
Lying flat, she appraises her work --

A TINY NOTCH. Poked through to the other side. The actual
penetration to daylight: millimeters. Then, she does two
seemingly nonsensical things: Crosses to Caitlin -- gently
takes the doll from her, then:

CHARLY
Open.

Reaches in her mouth. Takes out her RETAINER.

Must be the temperature. Crosses to the door again. Kneels
down. Calmly, with infinite care, takes the retainer...

Inverts it, now it's *trough*-shaped. Holds it flush against
the tiny NOTCH she carved. BABY DOLL, now. Holds it directly
above the retainer. Depresses the KNOB in its back:

It pees gasoline. Gas, trickling down the retainer, through
the brick -- into the other ROOM.

Not much. Enough. She stands. DRAWS A TRAIL with the doll.
Crosses, dribbling, over to Caitlin. Hands the doll back to
her. What next..?

She grabs the hunting knife, that's what. RAISES IT HIGH --
One terrifying moment, is she gonna put it in the kid...?
Hardly. Brings it down on the floor. Slams it down.

CHARLY
Gimme a spark... show me, show me...

Tries again. And again. STRIKING, over and over. Floor RINGS
with the effort --

CHARLY
Come on, come on... do it...!

But in the end, it's just not gonna happen. *Won't work*.
Lets go a GROAN of despair:

CHARLY
All this, just one fucking match,
*Goddamit*...!

She collapses forward. Cradles her head in frustration.
There's a tiny tap in her shoulder.

CAITLIN
Mommy...?

Charly looks up, face haggard and depleted... Caitlin's eyes,
alive again. No longer dulled. Kid reaches inside her CAST
and brings out a pack of matches.

CAITLIN
Don't cry. I keep these here.
(beat)
For lighting your candle.

Charly stares, dumbstruck, at the tiny gift.

The bitterness, the self-hatred, all of it. Under innocent
eyes on Christmas Eve DETONATES, blown sky-high, and she
sweeps up her daughter and cradles her, tears streaming...

CHARLY
I love you, Caitlin, oh God, do you
know how much I love you...?

Caitlin pulls back, looks flush in her mother's face.

CAITLIN
Am I gonna die...?

From a dark and cold place, Caitlin has led her home. Charly's
eyes, like steel. A harsh whisper:

CHARLY
No, baby, you're not gonna die. They
are.

She strikes a match.

INT. SECOND STORY INTERROGATION ROOM - SAME TIME

Henessey, straining against his bonds. Sweating.

TIMOTHY
Charly's stash. What's the number of
the locker, Mitch...?

HENESSEY
Fuck you.

TIMOTHY across the room, a good forty feet.

TIMOTHY
Left nut, five bucks I make it.

Smiling, he raises a scalpel. Eyes dead like a rat's.

INT. CELLAR MEAT LOCKER - SAME TIME

The flame hovers above the gasoline trail.

CHARLY
When I tell you, scream as loud as
you can, or else your ears'll get
hurt.

A tiny nod. Charly calmly touches fire to the fuel. Cradles
Caitlin to her chest, gently strokes her hair...

CHARLY
Hey, should we buy a dog...?

The flame races across the room. Hits the steel door. And
zip! Vanishes through the NOTCH. A pause...

THE BASEMENT BLOWS SKY-HIGH.

Wooden walls, obliterated. Boards sheared. Atomized. THE
MEAT LOCKER DOOR blows inward like a cannon shot. Holds to
its hinges, buckled like JIFFY POP.

INT. UPSTAIRS INTERROGATION ROOM

TIMOTHY'S THROW is off target, sticks in Henessey's chair.
Between his legs. Inches. Then the assassin LEAVES HIS FEET,
look of comic surprise -- as the walls behind him disintegrate
in FLAME. Henessey cries out, blinded as

EXT. MOTEL BUILDING

He's blown backward OUT THE WINDOW. Chair and all, lofting
across the middle distance... blasts through the MOTEL SIGN.
Blows it to SPLINTERS. Tumbles, and over end... lands, WHAM.
Atop the garage's CORRUGATED ROOF. Chair flies to sticks.

A BLUE SUIT spins, startled. Gun comes up -- Henessey doesn't
miss a beat. Reaches between his legs. Plucks the KNIFE from
the wood and slings it...! Guy takes it in the head, drops.
Some days you get lucky.

He looks up in disbelief. FIREBALL, raging to Heaven.

HENESSEY
You foxy bitch.

EXT. BLAST SITE - SAME TIME

TIMOTHY staggers from the smoke. Nicked and bloodied -- ALIVE.
Rushes into the cavernous GARAGE, where blue-suits scuttle
like ants. Points to the tanker, face crazed:

TIMOTHY
Move it out of here, now!

EXT. MOTEL GROUNDS - TRAVELING WITH CHARLY - SAME TIME

Caitlin in tow, SMOKE everywhere. Running flat out across
the compound. Eyes ticking back and forth, missing nothing...
Sees a gun on the ground, scoops it up: promptly DROPS IT,
the fucking thing's red hot.

That's when the POCK-FACED KILLER lurches out of the smoke,
blade arcing for her throat.

CHARLY
*Run, Catey*.

She goes under the blade. SLAMS him. Down they go, hit the
dirt -- CAITLIN beats feet, vanishes into the smoke.

Charly, fighting for her life. Manages to KICK FREE. He rears
up. Poised to hurl the KNIFE. Charly, dives, rolls -- scoops
up the gun and SCREAMS as her flesh sizzles and it spurts
three times and blows him down.

Doesn't stop. Rips the AUTOMATIC RIFLE from his shoulder.
Rummages in his coat -- Cube of C-4. Even better. Casts about,
searching the smoke... No sign of her daughter.

EXT. WOODS - NIGHTTIME

CAITLIN darts in and out of the trees. Frightened. In the
background, men rush back and forth. The MOTEL burns merrily.
Then, above the shouts, A RUMBLING noise, she darts a look --
as THE TANKER comes trundling out of the garage.

POV CAITLIN: Attached to the rear of the truck bed, a bright
yellow UTILITY BOX, roughly three by three. As the driver
idles, waiting for the road to clear -- Caitlin BREAKS COVER.
Runs and climbs inside the box, and meanwhile

BACK WITH CHARLY - SAME TIME

Her mother. Crouched behind Timothy's RED JAGUAR. Scans
through the rifle's Starlight Scope. Sweating. Intense. We
see the landscape, cast in ghostly GREEN.

CHARLY
Where'd you go, baby... show Mommy...

*There*. Bingo. Charly watches through the scope as a TINY
GREEN CAITLIN climbs into the box and shuts the lid.
Unfortunately, a nearby blue-suit has WITNESSED this. He
looks around, stabbing a finger at the box:

NOSY BLUE-SUIT
Hey. Hey, you see that? A little kid --

A bullet slams him backward in a cut-string sprawl.

WITH CHARLY

She lowers the rifle. Nods grimly:

CHARLY
Smart girl, honey. Stay still. Don't
make a sound. Snug as a bug in a
rug...

MEANWHILE, ELSEWHERE ON THE GROUNDS

HENESSEY, on the move. Crouched low. Choking on woodsmoke,
eyes streaming. Up ahead, a splayed CORPSE -- He hunkers
over the poor schmuck, guy's good for a radio. Snatches up
the portable unit. Fumbles with the dial, searching for 26.9
megahertz...

EXT. CLIFFSIDE - HIGH ABOVE MOTEL - SAME TIME

CHARLY slews to a stop in the red Jag. Leaps out. Darts along
the cliff, throws herself flat. Peering down at the grounds,
sniper rifle positioned -- Babysitting the tanker.

HEARS HENESSEY... Calling to her on the radio.

HENESSEY (V.O.)
Charly, you there? Hello, Charly.

Grabs the unit from her belt:

CHARLY
Mitch! I don't believe it. Listen,
if you say, "Are we having fun yet"
I'll rip your nuts off. Where are
you?

HENESSEY
Behind the big garage. Is Caitlin
with you?

CHARLY
No, but she's safe for the moment,
she stowed away on the tanker truck.

Henessey draws a sharp breath. Swallows, says:

HENESSEY
Charly, Timothy rigged the tanker to
go off early. We got fifteen minutes.
No more.

On her reaction we CUT TO:

EXT. MOUNTAIN ROADSIDE - WITH TANKER AND EN TOURAGE

Beside the tanker, A PANEL TRUCK sits, engine idling. Phony
logo on its side -- *Little Debbie* snack cakes. A RAMP is
lowered, and a CAR begins backing up into the truckbed, facing
outwards.

INSIDE THE TRUCKBED, harried blue-suits hurriedly unwrap the
frost-covered corpse of IMN AL RAHMAN -- and place him behind
the wheel.

MEANWHILE, AT THE BACK OF THE TANKER

A blue-suit puts a PADLOCK on the utility box as he passes.
SNAPS IT SHUT.

BACK WITH HENESSEY - SAME TIME

He hears two flat CRACK-!s on the still air.

HENESSEY
Hello...! Charly...?

Even over the receiver, her desperation's apparent:

CHARLY
Tires won't pop, Mitch. Bastard just
locked her in, she's stuck in there
and they're leaving, *Goddammit*!

Henessey rubs his eyes. Takes several deeps breaths, mind
turning it over. He looks up. Tired. Haunted.

HENESSEY
All right, I'll go in and get her,
you watch my back.

CHARLY
No chance. I make it twelve, Mitch,
automatic weapons.

HENESSEY
So kill 'em for me, bitch, Christ,
what are you good for?

He stuffs a fresh clip in the gun. Wipes away sweat.

HENESSEY
(to himself)
C'mon, buddy. Do one thing right,
just this once... please...

Closes his eyes. Gathers himself. Long pause...

HENESSEY
Piece of cake.

He leaps from the roof and makes a death run.

Gun in one hand, radio in the other. Swerving and dodging
like a broken-field runner, CHARLY in his ear screaming:

CHARLY (V.O.)
*Your nine, on your nine*!

He spins, BLASTS AWAY, dead guy, pitching forward -- SMOKE,
billowing, making him COUGH...

CHARLY (V.O.)
*30 degrees left, Mitch. Left*.
(beat)
*Your other left*.

Stumbling, catching himself. Barreling forward.

CHARLY (V.O.)
*Nix, nix, I can't see in there,
don't do it, break right...*!

He breaks right.

CHARLY (V.O.)
*Fuck me, I was wrong, get outta
threre*!

He staggers out of the smoke: TWO MEN, MP-5 machine guns.
Trained on his chest. He struggles to aim, oh, shit -- Two
distant CRACKS. The bad men go away, catapulted backwards.
Henessey shouts into the radio:

HENESSEY
Gracias.

CHARLY (V.O.)
*De nada*.

UP ABOVE, ON THE HILL

CHARLY fires shot after shot. Every time she squeezes the
trigger, someone dies. No such thing as wounded, we're talking
St. Peter looks up from a magazine and says holy shit, it's
the lunch rush at Kate Mantilini's.

BACK DOWN BELOW

The smoke clears and Mitch sees the tanker. Right there,
thirty yards away. Yellow UTILITY BOX. No one in the way.

CHARLY (V.O.)
*End run, Mitch, go wide*!

He breaks for the truck.

CHARLY (V.O.)
*No, Goddamn you, they got you
flanked...*!

Everybody fires a gun.

MITCH GETS HIT

Takes one high in the chest, SPINS him...!

UP ON THE HILL

CHARLY SPRAYS on full auto, DICES TO TATTERS the combat zone,
extinguishing the gunmen, too little too late because

MITCH IS IN DEEP

BAM--! bullet takes out his right arm, fuck *you*, buddy,
doesn't miss a beat, simply tosses the gun over to the other
hand and KEEPS SHOOTING, blows that fucker down and now he's
staggering into the trees, and collapses, and HITS... And
lies very still and bleeds. As ECHOES of gunfire die slowly,
we HEAR:

HENESSEY (V.O.)
Dear Ma: I'm looking at the ants,
they're pretty great. Some really
funny ants here, Ma. All these funny
ants, think I'll stay and watch 'em
awhile...

UP ON THE HILL

Aftermath... Charly's out of ammo. Flings aside the rifle,
snarling in a helpless rage -- Something else, then. SOUND,
nearby. Building in pitch, reaching a crescendo --

A SCREAMING CHOPPER RISES BEHIND HER.

Crests the cliff and hovers like the SWORD OF DAMOCLES.

INT. CHOPPER - SAME TIME

MARKSMAN, riding shotgun. Scans the cliff below: Thick
evergreens. Charly, somewhere among them. He sights down his
rifle, takes careful aim -- BLOWS OUT TIRES on the Jaguar.
Cripples it. The chopper BANKS, heading away.

BACK WITH CHARLY - SAME TIME

In big trouble. MANY HEADLIGHTS, bouncing uphill toward her.
Cut off, they've cut her off -- The other direction ain't
much better: A 200 FOOT DROP. Straight down. Evergreen trees,
far below. Power lines. Highway.

She hears the PHONE RINGING, then... inside the Jag. Crosses
slowly. Reaches in, lifts the receiver. It's TIMOTHY.

TIMOTHY (V.O.)
I tried to give you a pretty death,
baby. Did my best. Now you're fucked,
now it's ground beef time.

CHARLY
The truck. How long til it blows?

TIMOTHY
(incredulous)
Sweet Loretta, you're another animal
entirely. Let's see, 312 degrees...
Make it ten minutes, give or take.

CHARLY
Then I better hurry.

TIMOTHY
Oh, spare me. You made a big noise
and bought five more minutes on the
planet. Give up. Die. I'll spit in
what's left of your face.

He clicks off. Charly drops the receiver. Turns, looks behind:
They're coming for her.

Woods filled with headlights. Backlit FIGURES. Ducking in
and out of the trees, getting closer... The wind blows. Bitter
cold out here in the dark night of the soul. Nothing left.
No hope. No reason.

Caitlin, dead.

The rage explodes in the form of a kick which SHATTERS the
lock on the trunk. *Dammit*, she needs a fucking miracle.

At that moment, the trunk lid slowly rises, CREAKING...
Revealing all of Timothy's BUNJEE JUMPING EQUIPMENT.

EXT. MOUNTAIN ROAD - SAME TIME

The TANKER is rolling. Out onto the road, snorting and
belching. Preceded by the Little Debbie PANEL TRUCK.

INT. UTILITY BOX - ON TANKER - SAME TIME

Poor little Caitlin huddles in the dark. All alone. ROARING
in her ears. Sort of like being underwater.

EXT. TANKER TRUCK - CLOSE ON UNDERBELLY

A silver device attached to the skin of the tank.

WITH TIMOTHY - CROSSING THE SMOKE-FILLED GROUNDS

He consults a tiny, liquid crystal display on his watch. Red
numerals. *178 degrees*.

EXT. CLIFF'S EDGE - WITH CHARLY

She won't quit. Busy now, deftly sticking the wad of C-4
EXPLOSIVE to the bottom of the Jaguar. Straightens. Turns
around --

Stands dead calm as they all come out of the TREES, guns
drawn... Raises her hands, see, boys...? No bang-bang.

Like backlit monsters, they approach, hulking. Matter of
yards, now... She flashes a naughty little smile --

Goes backward off the cliff and rockets earthward.

200 feet of open air, THE BUNJEE Cord pays out, fast...!
Whipsaws out the door of the Jaguar, hooked by carabiner to
the STEERING COLUMN and meanwhile

THE CHAPTER AGENTS

Rush forward, incredulous. Peer OVER THE EDGE: Below them, a
swan diver, BLACKNESS all around. She drops like a stone.
Vanishes into the fog, beautiful as a poem.

INSIDE THE JAGUAR: The cord goes taut -- Now it starts to
stretch outward. DECELERATION kicking in, Charly can FEEL
it, still whistling through space...

Hits a dead stop.

This is it. Cord, stretched as far as it goes.

She's still sixty feet above the highway.

No hesitation whatsoever. She thumbs the DETONATOR in her
right fist --

Blows the car.

UP ABOVE - CLIFF'S EDGE

The Jaguar goes up with a solid CRUMP--! Blown off the edge
of the cliff. Along with a half dozen screaming AGENTS.

BACK WITH CHARLY - FALLING

Lifeline cut. 60 feet above the road, no problem. She does
thirty feet in freefall. Raises her left hand --

Slaps a carabiner on a passing POWER LINE. Hurtles downward
until suddenly, KA-CHUK--! She LURCHES to a stop.

Doesn't miss a beat: Grips a rope and GLIDES the last thirty
feet, touches down lightly. Unhooks herself, turns as AN
ONCOMING CAR throws a fishtail SKID, just misses her. Driver
SWEARS.

She raises her gun. Fires without blinking.

Puts a hole in the passenger side windshield and the DRIVER
ain't sticking around, he's out the door and gone as

CHARLY THE EXTERMINATOR

Crosses to the car, face a stone mask. Behind her the FLAMING
JAGUAR SMASHES to the ground, raining fragments -- Followed
by BURNING CORPSES, smacking the pavement one after another.
She doesn't even look. Gets behind the wheel. Leaves most of
her tires on the road behind her.

EXT. MAIN STREET - TOWN OF SANTA CLAUS - CHRISTMAS EVE

Milling crowds. Music and laughter. SANTA heads up a TEEMING
PARADE down Main Street, atop a horse-drawn sleigh... Replay
of the film's opening, as

EXT. STREET - SAME TIME

The gleaming TANKER roars down a sidestreet. Riding point:
the innocuous PANEL TRUCK.

The temperature gauge continues to RISE: *203 degrees*.

EXT. MAIN STREET - EDGE OF TOWN - SAME TIME

Charly runs a roadblock, doing fifty -- Someone put a PARADE
in front of her. Hits the BRAKES...! Fishtales into a mailbox.
Sends it flying through a plate glass window. Out of the
car, gun held low, and meanwhile --

INT. CAR - DRIVING

TIMOTHY barks orders into a mic:

TIMOTHY
All units converge. Divert local
law, this is a government matter.
Brook no interference, I want the
Baltimore woman eliminated. *Where's
the fucking chopper*?

Racing toward the edge of town and meanwhile

ON THE PARADE ROUTE

SANTA CLAUS himself perches atop his sleigh, feeling like a
rock star and wishing his groupies were legal... when suddenly
he's got company.

CHARLY
I'm the Missus. Drive.

The rogue colonel FIRES A SHOT in the air -- THE HORSES bolt.
Plunging off the parade route amid SCREAMS as

INT. PLUSH LIMO - SAME TIME

MR. PERKINS hunkers forward, face slack, as a tinny VOICE
issues from his headset mic:

VOICE (O.S.)
...yes, she's with Santa Claus,
correct, er, excuse me, the individual
*playing* Santa, er... they're
pursuing the tanker truck, sir.

Perkins stares straight ahead, speechless.

EXT. HIGHWAY - HEADING OUT OF TOWN

SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE TANKER. Horses at full gallop, hooves
in pounding frenzy. Charly tries to JUMP from one to the
other -- no go, the tanker pulls away, widening the distance,
and meanwhile

TWO GOVERNMENT SEDANS

Come whipping out of ALLEYS, fall in behind them. CRACK--!
Gunshots, shattering the stillness.

EXT. TRUCK CHASSIS - SAME TIME

A RICOCHET whines off a hydraulic cable. Spurt of fluid as
the BRAKES start to go, and meanwhile

BACK ON THE SLEIGH

CHARLY throws herself flat next to Santa.

CHARLY
Sorry, man. Government agents, high
level conspiracy.

SANTA
Fuckin' government.

The SEDANS jockey for position, try to pull ABREAST -- Charly
swerves the sleigh back and forth, won't let them through.
She hands the reigns to Santa.

CHARLY
Veer left.

SANTA
Away from the truck?

CHARLY
Do it. In five seconds I'm gonna own
that fucking truck.

Santa complies. PEELS OFF to the left -- Opens a TWELVE FOOT
chasm between sleigh and tanker. Sure enough, one of the
government cars spurts forward to fill the gap, comes ABREAST
of them. It's what she wanted.

*FIVE SECONDS*:

Charly Baltimore LEAPS from the sleigh, lands atop the
government car. Skips lightly across it, casually BLOWS TWO
SHOTS through the ROOF. Down through the metal. Drilling
into their heads. Driver and passenger, killed instantly --

As Charly hops nimbly from her 50 mile-an-hour STEPPING STONE.
Over to the tanker. Dump-stuffs a new clip, as

THE CORPSE CAR

Fades from the race, driverless. Whipping out of control.
FISHTAILS away behind them -- Takes out the SECOND CHASE
CAR, spray of metal.

Three seconds, and Charly's taken out two pursuers.

INT. CAB OF TANKER TRUCK - SAME TIME

The door files open and the DRIVER sees CHARLY. Bloody.
Demonic. Wisely leaps out, BOUNCES from view -- Charly snags
his hat as he goes by, plops it on her head. SWINGS UP into
the drivers' seat, double-clutches -- pours on the steam.

Five seconds. She owns the tanker.

BLASTS forward into the lead PANEL TRUCK. Slams the truck
from behind, BULLDOZES it -- Sends it THUNDERING into a park
bench. Glass sprays.

She owns the road. On the seat beside her: an MP-5 machine
gun. She's set. Throws a NINETY DEGREE turn onto a sidestreet.
Donates most of her tires to New York.

INT. SPEEDING TANKER TRUCK - SANTA CLAUS - NIGHT

Charly's on fire. Senses heightened. Eyes tick back and forth
like a machine. Heading downhill, out of town...

CHARLY
Hang on, Catey.

She hits the brakes. A flash of SPARKS..! A ripping WHINE,
dies away -- The brake pedal is all play. Nothing. She's in
a runaway truck.

CHARLY
*No, not fair, not fucking fair...*!

Barreling onward. A lunging behemoth.

CHARLY
Can't stop, Catey, can't...

CHAIN-LINK FENCE, at road's end. Beyond it, a quarter-mile
plunge. Downhill over rocky terrain --

To St. PETER'S SEMINARY. Looming stone structure. Closed
now. Vast empty PARKING LOT.

Tears on her cheeks. Lights a cigarette. Takes a long drag,
exhales:

CHARLY
Suck my dick, every one of you
bastards...

Blows through the chain-link fence.

SHUDDERS AND LEAPS DOWNHILL. Mud blows skyward. Trees, blasted
to splinters.

CAITLIN

Buffeted inside the UTILITY BOX. Cries out as

IN THE CAB

Charly fights to contain the beast. "Fuck you," slyly retorts
the beast. She BOUNCES and caroms off the sides like a mad
pinball --

THE TRUCK SMASHES DOWN

And all the windows BLOW OUT concussively and the front tires
go with a volcano CRACK-! as the beast goes canting to one
side, ponderous, MASSIVE...

It keels over on its side. Still doing fifty.

TRAVERSES THE PARKING LOT.

Slows itself by TAKING OUT LIGHT POLES, shears them off like
saplings.

Whacks the side of the chapel. IMPACT. Keeps going...

Charly is EJECTED from the cab. Pinwheels through space like
a broken doll, bursts through a STAINED GLASS WINDOW.

INT. CHAPEL

The glass ruptures as she catapults through. Hits on her
stomach, bounces. Slides to a stop, rolls over --

FLINGS herself aside just in time, as a towering ST. PETER
SMASHES to earth an inch from her head, showers marble...!

Concussion dies away. Silence. Echoes.

EXT. SEMINARY GROUNDS - SAME TIME

The tanker slides, DETONATING planters one by one... Comes
to rest in a central COURTYARD. Lies there, a hissing
dinosaur.

TIMOTHY'S TEMPERATURE GAUGE is still affixed to the truck's
underbelly: *280 degrees*.

INT. CHAPEL - WITH CHARLY

Charly, semi-conscious. Rolls onto her back, gasping. Stares
at the gathered saints. Swallows hard. Sucking it up,
preparing. Rolls to one knee, plants her foot...

She's got to make that truck.

On her feet now. Stumbling forward. One arm hugging her guts.
Cross-eyed, so hard to focus... left foot, right foot, get
it done, bitch, yes it's *supposed* to hurt that much, flings
open the door and she's so brave that for a second we think
she might make it.

Timothy kicks her in the head.

Charly flies back. Hits and SLIDES. Fetches up against a
bannister, WHAM--! Timothy calmly shuts the door behind him.
Consults his tiny gauge -- *297 degrees*.

TIMOTHY
Call it four minutes to detonation.
I got a chopper on the way, lots of
time.

He sheds his coat. Stows his gun. Removes a SWITCHBLADE.
Drapes the coat on the bannister. Flicks open the knife.

CHARLY
Oh, honey. Only four inches...?

TIMOTHY
You'll feel me.

He approaches, almost casually. Charly staggers erect. Adopts
a killing stance. Instinct. She can barely stand.

INT. PERKINS' LIMOUSINE - SAME TIME

PERKINS hears a garbled, pained voice over his headset:

VOICE (O.S.)
Point team leader, reporting...
She's... incapacitated the truck...
I'm damaged, sir, I believe I'm
dying... Instructions...?

PERKINS
Continue dying. Out.

He leans back. Stares sightlessly. Loosens his tie, hits the
intercom and says:

PERKINS
Anthony, get me the President...

He takes out a bottle of Scotch. CUT TO:

INT. CHAPEL - SAME TIME

Charly and Timothy. They circle, two pros.

TIMOTHY
You've lost a step, Chuck. Muscles
never recovered from C-section, I'll
bet. Am I right?

Never watching the eyes, the eyes are liars, they watch the
HANDS... The gathered saints look on, neutral.

CHARLY
Please, man... She's only... eight...
she's a beautiful little girl...

His concentration never falters as he says:

TIMOTHY
She's a worthless bitch. I know it
'cause she came out of me.

He LUNGES with the knife, she spins away -- He gets hold of
one arm and FLINGS her, up and over...! She SAILS through
space. Twists in mid-air. Lands like a cat. Almost. Staggers
forward. They circle...

TIMOTHY
It's called shock, Charly... Your
body wants to go into shock...

CHARLY
Fuck you, your breathing's lousy...

Charly LAUNCHES herself. Avoids a stab at her throat, eats
that for breakfast, spins, slams the knuckles of her right
hand into Timothy's ribs. Busts one. He snarls, TRAPS her
wrist: CRACK! Wrist, broken. She HISSES in pain, falls back
GASPING.

Circling again. Charly cannot walk a straight line.

TIMOTHY
Look at you. You're out of your
motherfucking league, dearie.

CLOSE ON CHARLY

She looks up at him from sunken eyes shot through with red,
and in those eyes we glimpse it; the DEMON, laughing... as
Charly whispers:

CHARLY
...You want a piece...? Take my
shoulder.

He lunges with the knife...! She ducks, trips on purpose and
HANDS HIM HER SHOULDER, all that's missing is the plate --

And WHAM. In goes the knife, cuts deep and Charly looks him
in the eye and GRINS because sure enough, there's the
bastard's KNEE, wide open...

Boot-strikes, BAM--! Shears the knee, and Timothy HOWLS in
agony. Stumbles backward into the bannister --

Grabs his coat. Brings out the gun, it GOES OFF--!

Charly dives for cover. Rips the knife from her own shoulder
and flings it.

Takes him in the shoulder. Topples him back. BANNISTER. Up
and over, flailing...! Drops from sight.

Charly falls back. Pause. Sucking air. Sits down hard. Legs
splayed. Looks down at herself, oh, God...

There's a hole in her chest.

EXT. SEMINARY - NIGHTTIME

The doors burst open and here she comes. Trauma, severe.
Shock, blood loss -- She makes for the tanker. For her kid.
Hitches. Staggers. Going on sheer guts.

THE HELICOPTER ROARS OVERHEAD

The PILOT brandishes his radio mic:

PILOT
Got her. Heading for the tanker,
thirty yards out. She's all over the
place, something's wrong with her.

WITH CHARLY

Left foot, right foot, she's not running, she's falling in a
straight line -- Reaches the tanker. Staggers against the
inverted chassis. UTILITY BOX. Above her.

CHARLY
*Cover your ears*.

She raises her gun. Fires. BAM-! Lock springs to pieces.
CAITLIN tumbles to the pavement, dazed and confused. Casts
about --

CAITLIN
MOMMY...!

She springs to her feet. Comes running and flings both arms
around her mother. HUGS HER -- That one puts Charly out for
a few seconds. PAIN, excruciating. Comes to her senses,
swaying like a clothesline in a high wind...

CHARLY
Run... get out...

CAITLIN
Don't go away again, Please...!

Charly grabs Caitlin's head. Turns it. Facing the TEMPERATURE
GAUGE. Red numerals: *301 degrees*.

CHARLY
The truck's a bomb... gonna blow up,
RUN... I'm right behind you, go...

Caitlin hovers, torn. Charly summons a gutteral CROAK:

CHARLY
...*Go and don't look back*...

In the end, Caitlin relents. RUNS, toward the surrounding
woods... Charly watches her go. Nods, satisfied -- Collapses.
Hits the tarmac and splays in a heap. Breath wheezing in and
out. Already the pavement is staining red.

WITH CAITLIN

As, within ten seconds of the command, she promptly DISOBEYS
her mother, looks back -- Stops dead.

There's a corpse underneath the truck.

It isn't moving. It isn't breathing. It isn't laughing or
crying...

Or hurting, not anymore.

CAITLIN
*Mommy, no...*!

Bomb forgotten. Danger forgotten. Her tiny arms pumping,
feet slapping pavement -- She returns to her mother. Grabs
one knife-bloodied shoulder, oblivious of the wound. Jerks
back and forth. Frenzied.

CAITLIN
It's okay. I'm sorry I left, please
wake up, come on please...

CHARLY. Cheek against the pavement. One lifeless eye STARES.
Bloodshot and sightless.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Government vehicles, pulling up now. At the edge of the
parking lot. 100 yards away, give or take. Numerous SEDANS.
The Little Debbie panel truck. AGENTS crouch behind cars.
Weapons trained on the wounded behemoth.

EXT. SEMINARY - SAME TIME

The side door BURSTS OUTWARD and a limping figure emerges,
frantically signaling for the chopper: TIMOTHY'S got murder
in his eye. THE CHOPPER banks, coming in low as he hauls
himself aboard.

PILOT
Sir, your shoulder --

TIMOTHY
Fuck the shoulder, knee's worse.
Just bring me around and hold her
steady. I'm not leaving until I know
the bitch is dead.

He grabs an automatic rifle.

BACK WITH CAITLIN - UNDERNEATH THE TANKER

She adheres to Charly's motionless form. Looking small and
terrified. Whispers in her mother's ear. Soft and low:

CAITLIN
Mommy, get up now. You just stop it,
Mommy, you stop being a little baby.
Stop it, you're not dead, I know
you're not dead so you get up now.

Face contorted, she strikes out. Flails. HITS Charly.

CAITLIN
*Don't you die*, you get up now,
Goddammit...! Life is pain, you just
get used to it, and stand up *right
this minute*, Mommy. Life is pain,
do it, you bitch. *Do it*.

Tears coursing in rivulets. Little fists clenched. Then --
It might be a trick of the wind. Tiny aspiration, not enough
breath to fog a mirror...

CHARLY
...mommy... here...

A solitary tear appears in the wide-open staring eye. One
fingernail, then. Scratches feebly. Toes, shifting. Seeking
purchase. A HAND, planting itself... TEETH BARED, a rictus
of pain... Rising up...

*Standing*. Full height now, flexing one deadly arm. She
hugs her daughter and says:

CHARLY
...You're grounded...

Overhead, the HOWLING of rotor blades. Charly gasps for
breath. Cracks open the GUN... no bullets. Swell. Scans the
pavement... There. THE MP-5 machine gun lies twenty feet
from her. Twenty miles, same difference. Across the pavement,
even farther away: Timothy's car.

*305 degrees*. Charly swallows hard:

CHARLY
I'm gonna get the gun, you run for
that car. We go on three, okay? One...
Two... *Three*.

They break cover. Into the open. A WITHERING FIRE ERUPTS.
Right at their feet...! Geysers of asphalt, shot skyward --

TIMOTHY sprays the blacktop from above. Ruthless. Charly
goes insane. Lurches, crazed, to the cab of the truck. Thumbs
the mike and says:

CHARLY
Somebody get that motherfucker off
me! I got a kid here, I got my eight
year-old daughter, *Jesus Christ*...!
It's Christmas Eve, who are you
*people*, fucking pull him off! Do
you hear me...?

CUT TO:

EYES SNAP OPEN IN DARKNESS. We don't know whose they are. We
don't know where we are.

BACK WITH CHARLY - SAME TIME

The temperature gauge: *308 degrees*. She clutches Caitlin.
Shouting into the mic:

CHARLY
Distract him, for God's sake give me
ten seconds, please, I'm begging
somebody, anybody, *she's my
daughter*...!

EXT. EDGE OF PARKING LOT

A sour-looking CHAPTER AGENT stands before a row of cars and
the Little Debbie panel truck. Expressionless beaurocrat.
Lifts the mic to his lips and says:

CHAPTER BEAUROCRAT
Negative, ma'am, we understand your
request, but we've decided to go
ahead and let this play out...

Behind him, the back of the panel truck EXPLODES. A car
CATAPULTS outward into space -- SMASHES DOWN atop two sedans.
Blows out their windshields. Flings itself to the pavement
and RICOCHETS forward, zero to sixty.

MITCH HENESSEY

At the wheel. Making a suicide run. Face a FRIGHT MASK of
deadly purpose. We have no idea why someone who looks like
him is alive.

INT. HELICOPTER - SAME TIME

*Distraction*, just enough: The pilot banks toward the CAR.

TIMOTHY
Where are *you* going??

Timothy grabs the stick -- THAT'S WHEN CHARLY BREAKS COVER.
Does a MAD STAGGER across the blacktop. Goes for the GUN.

TIMOTHY CHANGES DIRECTION. Chopper again, SCREAMING in low
and fast --

CHARLY dives, rolls -- Comes up with the MACHINE GUN and
falls flat on her back, points it skyward:

CHARLY
Suck on it.

She fires. Blows the chopper's TAIL ROTOR. The craft pitches
to the side -- Dumps Timothy out the door. Flailing.

Head over heels, he FALLS -- Lands atop the TANKER, right on
the silver tank and *burns*. Actually SIZZLES at 310 degrees
Celsius, steam pouring off him like a vampire in daylight,
SHRIEKING--!

CHARLY
Die screaming, motherfucker.

She watches as he slips from sight... off the tanker. SIRENS
now, approaching. Wind, biting cold. Ground black and bloody
in the moonlight...

HERE COMES HENESSEY, powers across the lot, pedal to the
metal. Followed at a distance of fifty yards by half a dozen
squawling GOVERNMENT VEHICLES, flashers turning.

Henessey stomps the brake. SLEWS to a stop, tires cooking...!
KICKS open the passenger door as Charly collapses into the
car, CAITLIN in her arms. The kid says:

CAITLIN
Hurry! The truck is a bomb!

HENESSEY
Yeah, yeah. What else, we got a
fucking lightning rod on the roof...?
No, Caitlin, *don't check*.

He PEELS OUT.

CHARLY
Hey... you're bleeding...

HENESSEY
I think that's yours...

CHARLY
Right, sorry...

He inadvertently smacks a light pole. SPARKS fly.

CAITLIN
*You're a bad driver! Who said you
could drive*?

EXT. PARKING LOT - BESIDE THE TANKER - SAME TIME

They have to drag Timothy inside the car. The engine ROARS
as it leaps forward, trailing the other FIVE -- Scarred and
hideous, he stares after Charly, screaming:

TIMOTHY
*Somebody do her, somebody kill that
fucking whore, kill her*!

That's when the helicopter crashes. The pilot does everything
but flap his arms -- Forget it. IT KEELS OVER. Rotor touches
pavement -- Blows to pieces. They ALL go. Snapped off. Blown
like rockets in every direction.

TIMOTHY LOOKS UP as a rotor blade whistles right through the
windshield of his car. Shears off his HEAD. Blows out the
BACK in a shower of glass and hurtles onward, SPINNING out
of control...

Strikes the tanker. Boom.

Imagine God in Monte Carlo. Tossing dice the length of a
craps table. Now, imagine the dice are BURNING CARS.

EXT. EDGE OF PARKING LOT - SAME TIME

Henessey flies out of the parking lot and INTO the WOODS as
the firestorm RAGES TO HEAVEN behind him. Cars, heading his
way -- AIRBORNE. Fights the wheel, swerving through the woods
as all around him, FLAMING CARS crash down. BOUNCING into
and out of the trees, peekaboo...

Some go flying past OVERHEAD. Striking in front like meteors,
GOUGING the earth. Caitlin screams:

CAITLIN
Don't hit the cars!

Henessey favors her with a foul look. CHARLY looks up and
sees ANGELS flying overhead, trailing concrete...

Then they're OUT OF THE WOODS. Car slingshots onto the highway
and races forward, SAFE. Behind it, the sky is aglow, SNOWING
fiery traces... Bits of earth, trees, pavement.

OVERHEAD VIEW: As they roar out of town, we see burning woods
and a CRATER approximately 150 yards in diameter -- St.
Peter's Seminary no longer exists... CUT TO:

EXT. ROADSIDE - OUTSIDE OF TOWN - NIGHTTIME

Henessey coasts to the side of the road and stops. He lays
his head on the steering wheel, sucking air. Looks at Charly:

HENESSEY
Sorry, can't drive... Are you okay...?

CHARLY
(grimaces)
...Are you... stupid...?

HENESSEY
...funny thing...? You aren't going
to die... I am...

Charly offers him that soft, sad little smile.

CHARLY
I know.

Henessey starts to fade... breathing labored... Reaches up...
strokes Caitlin's hair. Smiles at her:

HENESSEY
Hey, gorgeous... know something...
you got your mother's eyes... don't
let... nobody tell you different...

Slumps back in the seat. Gazing at Charly. A single tear
runs from one bloodshot eye. He whispers:

HENESSEY
Scared... to be nobody... without a
ripple... please... remember me...
(beat)
...Love you...

Dies.

Charly leans on the dash. Cries for awhile. For herself...
for Henessey... for this Godawful planet, and everything
else. DISSOLVE TO:

INT. FARMHOUSE - SAME TIME

A MOTHER SITS in the glow of a Winnie the Pooh nightlight.
Next to her sleeping daughter's bed -- back to the very
beginning of the film, it's been a long kiss goodnight.

An elderly FARMER pokes his head in. She doesn't look up.

DOCTOR
Um, Ma'am...? Ambulance is here.
They'll be right in.

The shadowy figure nods... Remains seated. Stays awhile in
the dark. Keeping vigil. Snow slithers against the glass.

SLOW DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. PALATIAL GEORGETOWN ESTATE - EARLY MORNING

MR. PERKINS emerges from a guest cottage, flanked by his
aide Harry.

AIDE
...They'll push for dismantlement of
our apparatus in Chile, but we've
got a degree of plausible
deniability...

Harry's FOOT comes down on a circular slab of STONE -- and a
voice from the grave says:

VOICE (O.S.)
Stay very still.

Stops him in his tracks, stops him dead --

As CHARLY BALTIMORE steps from the nearby trees. Stands,
twenty yards downrange. Beretta leveled at both of them.

Two months, you barely notice the limp. She stands there in
sleeveless top and short skirt and looks like a million.
Thumbs a metal box, click-! A red ARMING LIGHT blinks on.

CHARLY
Good morning, I'm Charly. The slab
you're standing on is actually a
land mine. Keep your foot on the
pressure plate, nothing happens.
Step off the stone, we'll all be
wearing you.

PERKINS steps forward. The gun shifts. Targets him.

PERKINS
Charly, I know we've treated you
poorly, please, it was just business --

She reaches in a pocket. Tosses him a cellular phone -- He
catches it as though it were a live snake.

CHARLY
My terms are these. Call State and
order full disclosure on your personal
correspondence. Then disband Chapter,
effective immediately. In exchange...?
I won't shoot you, and I won't make
you stand on that mine. I won't touch
you. I won't touch you. I promise.

PERKINS
You... you promise.

He swallows hard. Looks to his aide... back to her... DIALS.

Charly takes a deep breath. Scans the flowers, face placid.
It's really quite lovely today. Maybe she'll start a garden.

Perkins clicks off. Look at Charly:

PERKINS
It's done. Now, you promise... you
won't shoot me... won't make me get
on the mine...?

CHARLY
I promise.

She smiles. Shifts her aim and shoots the other guy.

Perkins' eyes WIDEN in sudden realization. He LUNGES forward,
grabs the aide, holding him up... desperately propping his
dead weight atop the land mine...

PERKINS
Goddamn you, I can't hold him... You
bitch... YOU FUCKING BITCH...!

EXT. GEORGETOWN AVENUE - DAYTIME

Henessey's CHRYSLER CONVERTIBLE has been restored to a cherry
red. It purrs along the boulevard, Charly at the wheel. Hair
blowing. She talks on the cellular phone:

CHARLY
Yes, Mr. President, you have my
assurance that Perkins' latest
operation has been rendered beyond
salvage.

Behind her a GOUT OF EARTH blows skyward. Showers the road a
ways back.

CHARLY
He's not in the greatest shape either.

INTERCUT - PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

He speaks from the oval office, face grave:

PRESIDENT
I owe you an astounding debt of
thanks, Colonel. Would it be
impertinent to ask if you'd consider
working for State again? The moneys
involved would be substantial.

CHARLY
Out of the question. I've got a stack
of papers to grade. Listen, before I
go, I need a small favor...

EXT. SUBURBAN HOME - AKRON, OHIO - DAY

Henessey's EX-WIFE stands in the open doorway, flanked by
her son TODD. Two uniformed COPS speak solemnly:

UNIFORM COP #1
...As I say, we can only apologize
for the system, Ma'am, but it's
confirmed that your husband is
innocent of the crime for which he
was imprisoned. This is a photograph
of the actual criminal...

He shows her a mug shot of TIMOTHY.

UNIFORM COP #1
A petty thief, now deceased. I'll
respect your wishes should you choose
to file charges against the State
Attorney...

In the eyes of a young boy, Henessey finds redemption.

EXT. HOUSE - EDGE OF WHEATFIELD - TWILIGHT

Sun, passing into mystery. Wheatfield, rippling. Caitlin is
in the yard, chasing a big floppy-eared Labrador.

On the porch, a CRICKET chirps. HAL comes out, sits beside
his wife CHARLY as she finishes eating. Says softly:

HAL
Just talked to Dr. Sullivan, she's
gonna need the full braces. Even
with your teaching, insurance won't
cover it... I don't know what to do.

Pause. Charly says nothing. The dog parades up to Caitlin
with a stick in its jaws. A farm truck goes by, a faraway
speck.

Charly absent-mindedly rolls a steak knife in her fingers.
Eyes far away.

It never occurs to her what she's done until the chirping
stops.

Ten feet away, the knife quivers.

FADE OUT. ROLL END CREDITS.

THE END

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