"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 ]














"SMOKIN' ACES"

Written by Joe Carnahan




















4/23/05



FADE UP ON:

TITLE CARD

A narration accompanies this passage: "The events depicted
herein were believed have taken place in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
All manner of record as they might pertain to these events
have been seized by the Department of Justice"

INT. VAN -- NIGHT

Wall-to-wall surveillance set-up. Two FBI AGENTS: DONALD
CARRUTHERS 30's and RICHARD MESSNER 30's, man the post,
staring at video monitors. Both hold telephoto images; shaky,
long lens shots of a mansion some distance away. Messner
tacks photographs to a corkboard on the van wall. One is
labeled "Subject SIDNEY K. SERNA: UNDERBOSS/Sparazza Family."

The other is labeled "Subject VICTOR "BABY BUZZ" PADICHE
LIEUTENANT/Sparazza Family." Voices begin emitting over the
van's speakers.

SERNA (V.O.)
Buzzy... Buzz...?

PADICHE (V.O.)
Yeah... Sid?

SERNA (V.O.)
You got clicks, anything?

PADICHE (V.O.)
Nah, nuthin' on my end --

SERNA (V.O.)
-- Okay... hang on, I gotta move --

Messner rides a digital console, tweaks frequency.

MESSNER
(keying mic)
Zoom and pan please. Stay tight.

ON THE MONITORS: The image pans, follows a figure moving
behind the mansion's windows, entering a back bedroom.

SERNA (V.O.)
Alright, now Buzzy -- this is, this
is it, here, okay, so listen to me
careful and wait till I'm finished
'cuz we got no room for slop.

PADICHE (V.O.)
I'm here.

Messner adjusts the record level, V-U meters spike, modulate.
The figure on the monitors paces the room. WE SEE it's Serna.

SERNA (V.O.)
Okay, he's gonna clip Israel, I just
gotta outta there --

PADICHE (V.O.)
-- he's doing it then, huh --

SERNA (V.O.)
-- yeah, now lemme finish, I was
eavesdroppin', so give me sec, lay
this thing out, since the information
might be a little loose --

PADICHE (V.O.)
-- okay, g'head --

SERNA
So what I heard downstairs there is
that they got a guy, some Swede,
real badass, supposedly a "specialist"
and they're bringing him over. Now
he ain't coming cheap -- so, I'm
thinkin' we jump, do this in the
next day or so, get to Israel before
the Swede can, we got chits, y'see?
We're in a power position. Grab him,
ransom him back, pick up that nut,
we're that much closer to having our
own thing.

PADICH (V.O.)
-- I see that, yeah, s'smart move,
for us anyway.

SERNA (V.O.)
Trust me, we keep our mouths shut,
go about our thing, play the part,
nobody suspects us.
(feedback distorts)
The old man's on the fade Buzzy,
fuck him, y'know? And that hurts, I
don't like saying that, but hey, our
livelihood, our lifeboat, y'get?

PADICHE
No question, no, you're right. We
gotta do what's good for us now.

SERNA (V.O.)
Fuckin' A, first survive, yes?

PADICHE (V.O.)
Y'gotta, y'gotta. But d'ya think
they'll kick ransom for that little
prick, assuming we get to'm.

SERNA (V.O.)
Yeah, y'ain't heard the punchline,
yet and before I get to it, one more
thing I heard, little curious, should
probably bring it up... Primo wants
Israel's heart. The actual thing,
the organ.

Pause. Feedback. The agents trade looks. Carruthers grabs a
cellphone, dials, patches a feed for the party on the other
end to hear.

PADICHE (V.O.)
... Jesus... what for?

SERNA (V.O.)
-- who can say. He's off his onion,
y'know, he's old school Sicilian,
this is how they hate.

PADICHE (V.O.)
Wow.

SERNA (V.O.)
Hey, we nab Israel, they pay t'get'm
back, I'll cut the fuckin' thing out
m'self, no extra charge. My thing
is, we crew up, let's not fuck around,
someone's cousin, some Zip off the
boat from Naples, let's get pros,
people who know how to behave.

PADICHE (V.O.)
Yeah, there's a pair'a broads I'm
thinking might be good for this.

SERNA (V.O.)
Chances are, they're gonna get into
some shit too, hafta put people down.

PADICHE (V.O.)
That's not a problem. Are we goin'
outta pocket ourselves?

SERNA
Yeah, I can front this.

PADICHE (V.O.)
Well just so I got a quote in my
head. What's the rate for the Swede?

SERNA
That's the punchline, y'ready?

PADICHE
Shoot.

SERNA (V.O.)
A million flat.

PADICHE (V.O.)
No shit.

SERNA (V.O.)
None whatsoever.

SMASH CUT TO CREDITS:

The Ace of Hearts, spinning through mid-air, slow motion,
end over end. Bullets blast big sizzling holes through it.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. CASINO -- LAS VEGAS (PAST)

Neon-framed doors fly open as a slicked-back chump with a
store-bought tan strides out onto the strip, swinging underage
bar-bait on each arm. He's all strut and punk swagger,
grinning like a geek who just struck gold.

DUPREE (V.O.)
Buddy Israel, nicknamed "Aces" Born
a bastard, mom Laverne chased the
pipe dream from a Dairy Queen in
Kansas City to the Vegas stage. Two
months after stepping off a Greyhound,
she gets knocked up by some hood.

CUT TO SCENE:

INT. DRESSING ROOM -- NIGHT (PAST)

A row of chorus girls, gilded like gold-flaked flamingos,
rubbing coca-butter on bare midriffs. THE CAMERA FINDS Buddy's
mother LAVERNE, prominent bulge, seriously pregnant, she's
arguing with her employers, trying to suck in her belly,
yelling "bullshit, you just have to light it right..."

DUPREE (V.O.)
Biological abandons her and the
showgirl thing goes sideways so she
winds up working as a magician's
assistant to make extra cash.

CUT TO SCENE:

INT. CLUB -- NIGHT (PAST)

Second rate dive bar. Laverne Israel assists a pompadour-
maned MAGICIAN on stage. In the lounge, sitting on a
stripper's lap, a young Buddy plays with a deck of cards.

CUT TO:

INT. POOL HALL -- NIGHT (PRESENT DAY)

Bamboo-style ceiling fans circulate cigar smoke and shitty
attitudes. At a billiard table in the back: JACK DUPREE,
40's, third generation Bail Bondsman, talks with HOLLIS
ELMORE, 30's and "PISTOL" PETE DEEKS, 30's, ex-Vegas vice
cops. As Dupree speaks, WE SEE the scenes behind the story:

DUPREE
...And young Buddy learns everything
about cards from this Mandrake
motherfucker his mom is working for...

CUT TO SCENE:

The magician being brutally beaten -- pelted with poker chips,
kicked in the chops, pissed on, the works.

DUPREE
But magic man was also a degenerate
gambler and got caught dealing bottom-
deck at a mob-owned poker parlor.
(beat)
He didn't get outta there with much
more than a pulse.

CUT TO:

INT. HOSPITAL -- DAY (PAST)

The Magician, full body cast, taking his meals through a
straw. Young Israel labors over him, performing card tricks.

CUT BACK TO SCENE:

DUPREE
Point is, he passed on all this slight
of hand shit onto Aces and the kid
is sick with it... By the age of
twelve Buddy Israel is positively
prodigal with a deck of cards. By
sixteen, he's headlining the MGM's
main room.

CUT TO SCENE:

Buddy, cards and coins dancing off his fingertips, dazzling
sold-out crowds. Laverne Israel sits in the front row, decked
out in ankle-length fur, applauding wildly.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. POOL HALL -- NIGHT (PRESENT)

Dupree rounds the table, lines up a shot, leans over it.

DUPREE
This punk is pulling down ten bills
a night and more showgirl geech than
you can shake a stick at. Four years
of sold-out shows, he becomes the
unofficial mob mascot

CUT TO SCENE:

Buddy meets mob hierarchy; silk suits and pinkie rings.

DUPREE
By the tender age of twenty-one he's
breaking bread with the wheels,
keeping company with major muscle.
And it goes to his head in a big way

CUT TO SCENE:

Buddy, poolside, glass of top dollar Dom in hand. Chicks,
Coopertone and chasm-deep cleavage abound.

DUPREE
...Wiseguys start to think this
sonofabitch is a mystic, something
special... and Aces plays it up,
lets the legend grow, takes time off
from his stage act and starts
showcasing the chip on his shoulder.

CUT TO SCENE:

Buddy, tipping a craps table, attacking the stick-man,
stripping off one of his gold chains, going garotte.

DUPREE
He buys into his bullshit, building
street cred, he's got plans and pull,
he's makin' plays, living the mob
life for real. Somehow, it takes:
Lounge act turned legitimate thug.

INT. POOL HALL

Dupree rips the eight ball, corner pocket.

DUPREE
In reality, he doesn't know the ball
from the bounce... He's not a crook,
so he starts fucking up fast and
picking up speed, putting a floodlight
on the whole Carlotta organization.
Cops get curious, start camping out,
compiling names and faces and pretty
soon Israel's bullshit has brought
the heat to bear on none other than
Primo Sparraza --

LOCKE (V.O.)
-- Enforcer. Extortionist. Killer.

CUT TO:

INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- DAY

WE RECOGNIZE Carruthers and Messner as the two Agents from
the Padiche/Serna surveillance. They are sitting with F.B.I.
Deputy Director STANLEY LOCKE. A debrief is in progress.

SUPER: WASHINGTON, D.C.

A Mafia Family Tree has been erected behind them with a photo
of Primo Sparazza at the top.

LOCKE
Sparazza is rumored to have performed
in excess of one-hundred and thirty
contract murders, including one of
the bureau's most celebrated agents.
Freeman Heller. You heard of "The
Turnpike Murders" that was Sparazza.

MESSNER
I thought Heller was a double op?

CUT TO SCENE:

FREEMAN HELLER, 20's, clean cut Cornell grad, class of 1937.
He's on a pistol range, scoring perfect marks.

LOCKE (V.O.)
No. He worked for the O.S.S. before
joining the Bureau in its heyday. He
was the first operative assigned
with infiltrating the mob.

CUT TO SCENE:

Heller, outdistancing the rest of his recruiting class in a
training run, nearly a mile ahead of the next man.

LOCKE
Full immersion and assimilation,
fake identity, falsified background,
everything that is now standard
operating procedure, Heller
implemented, way back when.

CUT TO SCENE:

Heller oversees every aspect of his transformation, radically
altering his appearance, adding different mannerisms, an
accent, etc...befuddled FBI brass can only look on in awe.

LOCKE
And as a result, his undercover work
was wildly successful. He eventually
reached the rank of Capo inside the
Carlotta crime family... but through
some internal slip-up, his cover was
compromised and Primo Sparazza was
given the contract to kill him.

CUT TO:

EXT. NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE -- NIGHT (PAST)

A '51 Ford Fairlane, flush with an embankment, bullet
perforated, dead-body draped. A top-coated gunman (presumably
Primo Sparazza) stalks the vehicle's sole survivor, FREEMAN
HELLER; faux mafioso, full-time federal agent.

LOCKE (V.O.)
There wasn't enough evidence to bring
formal charges, so the case never
went to trial.

Heller collapses, the gunman looms over, levels a .45, FIRES.

LOCKE
Sparazza is a bit of a specter.
Over the years, the serious crimes
with which he was thought to be
involved, including Heller's murder,
could never be traced back to him.

The gunman slinks back to his car as we --

CUT BACK TO:

INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- CONTINUOUS

Locke stands, distributes files.

LOCKE
A dedicated viciousness and a slavish
devotion to mob doctrine had
Sparazza's star on the rise. So the
mob relocated him to Nevada and he
became the unofficial head of the
Las Vegas LCN.

CUT TO SCENE:

A PHOTOGRAPH of PRIMO SPARRAZA, sharkskin suit, vintage 60's
coif, posing in front of The Riviera with a dour, pissed-off
Frank Sinatra.

CUT BACK TO SCENE:

MESSNER
So he's personally issued the contract
on Israel?

LOCKE
Sparazza was the one who introduced
Israel to the life, gave him his
first big break, brought him through
the ranks.

CARRUTHERS
Made him a friend of the family.

CUT TO SCENE:

Sparazza and Israel, Casino grand opening, flashbulbs burst.

LOCKE (V.O.)
...His hand-picked protege, successor
to the throne... and Israel played
the situation very shrewd.

A MONTAGE OF more photo-pos, Buddy Israel posing with mob
power brokers, playmakers... smiling all the way to the top.

LOCKE
...Slowly amassing the loyalties of
Sparazza's top men...with plans of
toppling the throne.

CUT TO SCENE:

Buddy, late-night conspiratorial confab with Sparazza soldier.

CUT BACK TO SCENE:

LOCKE
In doing so, he plunged the Carlotta
organization into a civil war,
splitting the family into dual
factions. Sparazza on one side, Israel
on the other. The infighting that
followed drew the interest of nearly
every major investigative body
operating under the canopy of the
federal government.

MONTAGE

Stakeout teams snap photos -- plant bugs -- wire hidden
cameras.

LOCKE (V.O.)
Presently there are sixteen state
and federally funded agencies, running
concurrent criminal probes on select
members of the LCN... With Israel
being the primary target in virtually
every investigation.

CUT TO SCENE:

Israel sits with a group of FBI agents, discusses a deal.

MESSNER (V.O.)
A marked man gets wise and wants to
come in.

LOCKE (V.O.)
His testimony has the potential of
blowing the lid off what's left of
the La Cosa Nostra is this country.
That alone warrants total immunity
from prosecution and and a vanishing
act with Witness Protection.

Israel is walked out of the room as we CUT BACK TO:

INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- CONTINUOUS

MESSNER
So the wiretaps we conducted on Serna
and Padiche, the mention of Israel's
heart?

LOCKE
-- Your intel corroborates what we
already know. Sparazza's health is
in rapid decline and before his date
with destiny, it seems he wants one
last thing... The heart of his sworn
enemy. A recently opened, cash rich
escrow account has been traced back
to Sparazza. This and the mention of
this mysterious Swede makes the
million dollar contract on Israel
very real.

SYKES (V.O.)
How real...?

CUT TO:

INT. DINER -- NIGHT

Greasy spoon soul food joint, packed lunch counter. Meet
SHARICE WATTERS, 33 and GEORGIA SYKES, 24, Ebony stunners,
ghetto queens, street assassins. They are sitting with their
booking contact, LORENZO WYMAN, 41. He holds up a copy of a
bank telex, sliding it across the table.

WYMAN
How 'bout six-figures for this fool?
How 'bout that love?

Watters takes the telex, gawks, shows the numbers to Sykes.

SYKES
Bulllllshit...

WYMAN
Naw baby, they heard about that Triad
hit, the work ya'll put in and they
recognize the skills. And this ain't
no tryout, tap-dance "show us your
shit" thing neither -- if ya'll want
this then I'mma go git it for 'ya.

Watters twirls her long braids, looks over at Sykes.

WATTERS
So me and Sis here, 'cuz we got a
rep on a rise, we chipped some nails
on some niggas, they want us to drop
this mafiaoso so and so, magician,
whatever-the fuck he is.

WYMAN
S'way it works girl. Ya'll done dirt,
ya'll peeled some serious caps.
Word travels.

SYKES
And so I get this straight, we gotta
go in, bust on this punk and remove
the heart? Is that for real?

WYMAN
No, no, no, y'gotta go in and get
him, pull'm out of wherever he at,
forget all that other shit, that's
just f'flavor. I'm still getting
lil' bits'a this-n-that from this
cat Padiche, the man contacting me...
Right now, what we got --
(nod to telex)
-- Is a number and a name... Buddy
Israel.

SYKES
(to Loretta)
What else did Padiche say?

WYMAN
He said that the shit could get hot,
could get heavy... I said good.
(beat, grins)
'Cuz I got two of the hottest,
heaviest bitches alive.

MESSNER (V.O.)
Like who?

CUT BACK TO:

INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- DAY

The Feds continue their briefing.

LOCKE
Like Pasquale Acosta, blood money
mercenary. His countrymen have dubbed
him the more dubious "El Estrago"
(beat)
The Plague.

CUT TO SCENE:

Death personified; sun-cooked skin, black hole eyes, tattoos
gouged out of prison boredom...This is PASQUALE ACOSTA.

LOCKE (V.O.)
American educated, fluent in over a
dozen languages, did journeyman's
work for CIA funded "G-2" and
"Archivo" death squads in Guatemala
and Chile... noted for his legendary
torture techniques.

CUT TO SCENE:

Acosta clips car battery cables to the eyelids of a dissident.
FLASH TO: Acosta scorching an off-camera scrotum with a
blowtorch. FLASH TO: Acosta powering up a bore-drill as a
semi-nude man screams and pleads.

CUT BACK TO:

LOCKE
Sought for war crimes and human rights
violations in eighteen different
countries. When he was caught by the
SAS in Northern Ireland and
imprisoned, he chewed off his
fingertips to the bone before he
could be printed and ID'd by Interpol.

CUT TO SCENE:

Pasquale; prison cell filthy, feasting on his fingers.

CUT BACK TO:

LOCKE
On an extradition flight back to El
Salvador, he murdered a security
detachment and vanished.

MESSNER
You think it's possible he could be
involved in the Israel hit?

LOCKE
Possibly. Acosta is pure mercenary.
And a million dollar hit fee will
draw some huge flies. But forget
about Sparazza's money for a moment
and remember, there's no shortage of
those who want Israel killed and no
shortage of cash to do just that...

DUPREE (V.O.)
...Then I'm sure you've heard of
these guys... The Tremor brothers.

CUT TO:

INT. POOL HALL -- MORNING

Dupree chalks his cue, positions for a shot.

DUPREE
No?
(off dull stares from
Deeks and Elmore)
Then you've both been living under
the same rock, 'cuz these cocksuckers
are infamous. Three brothers, same
skank mom, different deadbeat dads,
used for that suicide-kamikaze style
shit. You heard about that huge shoot-
out in Cleveland?

DEEKS
Is that the club that got wiped out
a couple months back?

ELMORE
What happened?

DUPREE
The Teamsters had a reform measure
going to ballot that didn't sit too
well with the local syndicate. Night
of the polling, big black-tie to-do
downtown and the Tremor Brothers
crash the party. Literally.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. DINNER CLUB -- NIGHT

THE TREMOR BROTHERS pilot a Dodge Barracuda right through
the front window with wrecking ball bravado. Bodies scatter
as the Tremors deploy from the car in full body kevlar, doing
doomsday on the club. One of them fires up a chainsaw, chewing
into the panicked crowd. Bodyguards blast back, but bullets
play like spitballs against the Tremor's body armor.

DUPREE (V.O.)
Donald McGarey, the local union rep,
is the mark. The Tremors go ripshit
riot on the whole club, seven people
dead, twenty-eight wounded. Just to
get to this one guy.

Shotguns roar -- blast spreads obliterate -- a shitstorm of
blood, spilled booze and busted glass --

DUPREE
-- And they get it about as good as
they give it. In the melee, one of
the brothers catches blowback from a
jammed piece and is temporarily
blinded, the other takes bullets to
the lower back and can't walk. The
third gets popped in the neck and
passes out. McGarey gets out of the
club alive... and not much further...

CUT TO:

EXT. DINNER CLUB -- PARKING LOT -- NIGHT

The blind Tremor, walking wounded, piggybacking his brother
with the bum back, dragging the other by the scruff of his
neck, unconscious across the concrete. Police sirens squeal.
McGarey, the union guy, hairpiece hanging by a thread,
crawling toward his car. The piggyback Tremor brother reaches
into his blind brother's coat, grabs a revolver and unloads.

Long live the teamsters... Not tonight.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. POOL HALL

Dupree chalks his cue.

DUPREE
They're speed freaks, neo-nazi's.
Sworn to the swastika, supposedly
read and recite "Mein Kampf" like
Mother Goose... And these
motherfuckers can go megaton at the
drop of a hat.

SYKES (V.O.)
What's the name again?

INT. DINER -- NIGHT

Wyman, Sykes and Watters, back at the greasy spoon.

WYMAN
"Soot, Lazlo Soot." Lotta folks want
this white boy clapped. Soot could
be workin' for one 'em.

EXT. STREET -- DAY

Crammed pedestrian crossing, noon hour a trio of SUITS
converse, shrouded by bodyguards.

WYMAN (V.O.)
Nobody really certain where he come
from...

The party proceeds through the crosswalk, approaching them
is a dark-suited man, expressionless, hands in his pockets.
Others move past; a woman with shopping bags, a skateboard
punk, a geriatric dog-walker and a man, full paralysis, mouth-
op wheelchair, "My Left Foot" palsy.

WYMAN
...and when he moves on somebody,
they the last ones t'see it comin' --

The bodyguards perk up, sensing something. Dark-Suit, removing
his hands from his pockets -- cellphone... Wrong guy.

The crippled cat, throwing a quilt off his lap, contorted
face vanishing, two Uzi machine-pistols up, safeties off,
triggers pulled -- BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP!

The bodyguards get caught napping -- bullets blaze point
blank. The three suits collapse. The phony invalid empties
both guns, hops up from the wheelchair, hooks a passing truck
and flees the scene... that, was LAZLO SOOT.

DUPREE (V.O.)
So what do you think?

INT. POOL HALL -- BAR

The boys have retired to the bar for a round of dollar drafts.

ELMORE
I think it's idiotic to continue
this conversation.
(turns, to Deeks)
We're ex-cops which means we weren't
great cops or even good ones.

DEEKS
Paying bills with bullshit casino
jobs, sitting watch on slot machines.

ELMORE
Which was a great gig until we we
walked in here and started drinking.

DUPREE
The bond on Israel expires in eighteen
hours, after that, it's a jump ball.
Our window is now.

DEEKS
Who posted his bail?

Dupree pats himself down, searching for his cigs.

DUPREE
His law firm, same one that hired
me. Israel walked out after he made
bail and nobody's seen him since.

ELMORE
Jack, if the rumors hold and Israel
is really the great white whale of
snitches, then the mob is looking to
put all kinds of bullets into his
ass and pour some serious psychotics
into the mix to do just that. So
what real incentive is there to track
him on something as small-time as a
skip trace, when it's putting you
and yours in the path of severe pain
and suffering and an almost certain
prelude to doom.

A beat. Dupree blows smoke, flicks ash.

DUPREE
So I guess you're not going.

ELMORE
Shit, if you're on a crazy jag, why
stop there, why not take Fort Knox
with a fucking slingshot or go into
Hell after Hitler... I like your
chances a lot more.

Dupree, stubbing his cigarette.

DUPREE
I know his location, we've got the
drop of a maybe half a day before
that location gets grape-vined and
the rest of the world gets hipped.

ELMORE
That's already happened hoss. It's
naive to think otherwise.

DEEKS
Where is he?

WYMAN (V.O.)
-- Lake Tahoe.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. DINER -- NIGHT

Watters, nodding, wiping red sauce off her fingers.

WATTERS
Three hours t'the east. S'day trip.
Pretty this time a'year too...

Sykes sets her fork down, wipes her hands on a napkin.

SYKES
We gotta lay something out, strategy-
wise. Somethin' tight. Y'go in there
ad-libbing, it's y'ass.

WATTERS
What are we talkin' on the split...

WYMAN
Forty-five apiece for you two, ten
percent finders fee for me.

SYKES
What's the time frame?

WYMAN
Right mafuck'n now girl. Fast as we
can get you there. We wait any longer,
someone goin' dead this fool.

MESSNER (V.O.)
...Then we lose our witness.

CUT TO:

INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- DAY

The briefing continues.

LOCKE
We lose our case. Twenty-four hours
from now, he's scheduled to meet
with federal prosecutors. His agent,
a man by the name of Morris Mecklen,
has guaranteed us that he'll enter
into protective custody once his
deal is approved.

CUT TO:

MORRIS MECKLEN, 60's, bloated, bad combover, agent to the
Vegas vanguard. He sits at his desk, jawing into the phone.
On the wall, framed photos; Wayne Newton, Buddy Hackett,
Carol Channing and a triple-chinned, near-the-end Elvis.

LOCKE (V.O.)
We've been monitoring Mecklen's calls
and have learned that Israel is
staying in the penthouse level of
the Nomad Hotel and Casino in Lake
Tahoe, Nevada under an assumed name.

CUT BACK TO SCENE:

INT. BRIEFING ROOM -- CONTINUOUS

CARRUTHERS
Right there? In the high-roller suite?

MESSNER
It's the last place they'd look.

LOCKE
Israel's legal representation, the
firm of Culpepper, Brody and Reed,
which is currently the subject of a
joint SEC and Treasury Department
probe, were left holding the bag
after he skipped bail. Over three-
quarters of a million dollars on a
bond that's set to expire in less
than a day. Rupert Reed, one of the
firm's partners, has learned of
Israel's whereabouts and dispatched
a local bondsman by the name of Jack
Dupree to pick him up and return him
to Las Vegas... that can't happen.
(beat)
We have a Gulf Stream standing by at
Reagan International to transport
you two to Lake Tahoe.
(pause, with weight)
It's very simple gentlemen. Valacchi,
Fratiano, Gravano -- no former witness
against the mob has been as crucial
or has brought more to bear on the
potential dissolution of The La Cosa
Nostra, than Buddy Israel.

SMASH CUT TO BLACK:

MONTAGE

Over this entire sequence WE HEAR Agent Locke speaking:

The cylinder of a .44 Magnum is popped, a speed-load dropped
in, spun and snapped shut -- Porn mags and crossword puzzle
compendiums are tossed into a carry-on. Morphine and
adrenaline syringes get spiked and capped -- A collection of
wigs, fake sideburns and moustaches get laid out, separated --

LOCKE
...But understand that if an attempt
is made on his life...

Kevlar body armor gets stowed -- An elephant gun gets buffed
to a high shine -- Vintage Ww11 German Potato-Masher hand-
grenades are lovingly wrapped in terry cloth towels.

LOCKE
...then it is being made by those of
the strictest professional caliber...

Torture-tools; curved cutting implements, serrated bone saws,
skull keys, a portable blowtorch, blackened with burned
blood... all packed neatly into a duffel bag --

LOCKE
...They are cold-blooded, ruthless,
and without restraint... and they
must not succeed.

A gun is aimed, a trigger pulled... "BOOM"

SMASH CUT TO BLACK:

FADE UP ON:

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- MORNING

Daybreak. Sunlight streams in, soft suffusion, the color of
good scotch. PRIMO SPARAZZA, 86, lies on a hospital bed, an
O2 mask shrouding deep-set, sunken eyes, cataract-grey, gazing
out at a four-walled world. Someone enters the room, awaiting
approval to approach... Sparazza, turning, seeing the man,
summoning him over with a feeble finger wag. The man reaches
him, kneeling down, ring-kissing reverent, whispering:

MAN
...he's here now...

Sparazza nods. The man exits. After a moment, the door opens
again... and another MAN enters, walking slowly toward
Sparazza's bedside. He sets down his luggage, a black leather
valise. The travel tags originate in Stockholm:

The Swede has arrived.

FADE TO BLACK:

FADE UP ON:

Soaring across the pristine deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe.
Rising, revealing the gaudy, mirrored glass tower of the
NOMAD HOTEL & CASINO. We slowly DISSOLVE TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- NOMAD HOTEL & CASINO -- MORNING

BUDDY ISRAEL, bathrobe, boxers, bags under his eyes. He
absently shuffles cards, pulling aces as if by touch,
telepathy. He gazes out at the snow-packed peaks. Behind
him; post-bacchanalia... the ugly morning after. Prostitutes,
passed out cold in a tangle of crotchless panties and stiletto
heels, lying amongst smashed vodka bottles and ashtrays,
coke-covered tabletops and tipped room service trays. Israel,
sober now... contemptuous of it all. He starts walking around
them the way you would casualties on a battlefield. His
bathrobe brushes over, terrycloth catching one of the hooker's
wigs, tugging it free. Israel looks down, zooming in on her
scalp, sees dandruff and scars, gags disgust and disdain. He
steps, the wigs pulls. He stops and slips the bathrobe off,
letting it fall rather than pull her wig the rest of the way
off and ruin what illusion remains.

He shuffles, begins dropping Aces on their bodies like dead
enemy soldiers. One of his bodyguards enters; a bulging,
slow-witted, ex-bodybuilder by the name of HUGO CROOP.

ISRAEL
D'you talk to'm?

HUGO
(fetching Mylanta
from the fridge)
I got his machine.

A beat. Israel fidgets, twitches, rubs coke residue from his
nose and over his gumline

ISRAEL
What'd you say?

HUGO
(gulping Mylanta)
I said I got his machine.

ISRAEL
No, what did you say on the machine?

HUGO
I left him a message.

ISRAEL
I know you left him a message. What
did you say!

Hugo looks up, seems confused. Moments pass. Israel, the
patience of a gorilla, crammed into a canary cage.

ISRAEL
Jesus Hugo! How is it that you can
turn a simple conversation into a
fucking hedge maze!? This is zero
degree of difficulty man!

HUGO
Okay.

ISRAEL
Then why are you still looking at me
like I'm asking for the square root
of something! What did you say!?

Hugo, still unsure, speaks in spite of it.

HUGO
I said that we were returning his
call and you were real concerned,
because he sounded real concerned.

ISRAEL
Look at that, we didn't have to fill
up the whole blackboard after all.
Now, do you know anything about that?

Israel wrist-flicks a playing card, it embeds a sofa cushion
like a ninja throwing star, right next to a beige coat.

HUGO
About what?

ISRAEL
Look at the collar on that coat...

Hugo, wary, walking over, inspecting the coat from a distance.

ISRAEL
What's that look like, that stain?

Hugo edges closer, looks down at the coat, squints.

HUGO
I dunno... Cinnamon roll?

ISRAEL
Cinnamon roll? No, good guess though.
No, Hugo that looks like jizz...
(reshuffles, stares)
And I'm no forensic expert mind you,
but that looks like some fuckhead
shot their load on a twelve-thousand
dollar calf's skin jacket. The twist?
It's My twelve thousand dollar, calf's
skin jacket.
(beat, then)
So y'got semen, human ejaculate --
(checks watch)
-- that's been allowed to soak in
for what, six, seven hours now? Work
it's way into the fabric-fuck'n fibers --
and while you may never see it in a
Tide commercial, I think it still
safely qualifies as a "tough, deep
down stain."

Hugo takes another pull off the Mylanta bottle, moving slowly,
like most morons do, avoiding eye contact at all cost.

HUGO
I could have it sent out...

ISRAEL
...to what? Incinerate? 'Cuz I'm
almost dead certain there's not a
fucking laundry detergent or dry
cleaning process known to man that
can ever return that jacket to its
former glory! Some shit, suffice it
to say, just don't wash out.
(beat, cooling down)
Now, the money question... To whom
does that stain belong?

Hugo, gameface falling apart... Israel prods him.

ISRAEL
C'mon, somebody was banging one of
these skanks, sans rubber --
(beat, assesses girls)
which is terrifying in its own right --
pulled out, let 'er rip and ruined
the last gift my mother gave me before
she died.
(snatching up coat)
The way I see it, it's the same as
if she was dug up, three months dead
and it was shot right on her rotting
corpse, 'cuz that's how it defiled
this feels!

Hugo. Long pause. Big dumb blush.

HUGO
Do you want me to say I did it?

ISRAEL
I was kinda hoping, yeah.

HUGO
Do you want me to say I'm sorry?

ISRAEL
Only if you really, truly mean it.

Hugo, swallowing, pressures on. The phone begins to ring.

HUGO
...I'm sorry...

ISRAEL
Are you a fucking colossal idiot?

HUGO
I am. Yeah.

ISRAEL
Without peer?

HUGO
I -- uh, yeah, I guess, yeah.

Cards dance, Israel's hands moves at lightspeed, he reaches
into Hugo's shirt front and pulls a playing card out... Joker.

ISRAEL
(showing him the card)
No. Be sure. Be resolute. You stand
alone on that summit.

The phone rings. Hugo, wobbly, what-to-do...? Buddy fires
all fifty-two cards into his face. The beast barely blinks.

ISRAEL
Get the phone, it might be Gill,
then get out of my sight.

Hugo, furtive look to the floor, all those scattered cards,
then, back to the boss, "should I?"

ISRAEL
No. The cards can stay there. Get
The Goddamn Phone.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR -- DAY

A cellphone being lifted, revealing Special Agent Carruthers.

CARRUTHERS
Yes Sir. Go ahead.
(listens, checks watch)
We're three miles from The Nomad
now. We'll be awaiting word.

He clicks off. Messner occupies the passenger seat, reviewing
surveillance tape, portable headphones on, mini-DAT player
in his lap. He listens to the following excerpt:

SERNA (ON TAPE)
-- so, I'm thinkin' we jump, do this
in the next day or so, get to Israel
before the Swede can --

Messner pulls the headphones off.

MESSNER
Anything on the Swede?

CARRUTHERS
Only the mention made in that phone
call. There's no Swedish hitman of
any renown, much less one with a
million dollar day rate.

MESSNER
Maybe he's that good. Never been
caught, no criminal record.

CARRUTHERS
Maybe.

Messner, sets the gear on the floorboard, stretches. He turns
over photographs of Victor Padiche and Sidney Serna. (the
same ones that were tacked to the corkboard of the
surveillance van in the opening)

MESSNER (CONTD)
I tell you, engineering this kind of
play against Sparazza, going to the
lengths these guys are going to...
they're playing some long odds.

CARRUTHERS
And a very bad gamble.

MESSNER
(re; the passing neon)
Well... This is as good a place for
it as any I guess.

CUT TO:

A slot machine handle gets yanked, rolls, stops, lemon-lemon-
cherry-loser... please deposit coins.

CAMERA MOVES PAST, TRACKING THROUGH:

INT. CHOW SHACK BUFFET -- MORNING

Tahoe's "First and Finest" all seasons Buffet. THE CAMERA
FINDS: A slicker older cat in a Guyabera shirt, mid-fifties,
spotted skin, sun damaged, pocked with pre-cancerous black.
We recognize him from the mugshots and surveillance video:
It's VICTOR PADICHE. Sykes and Watters enter FRAME. Padiche
stands, greeting them, smiling-cigarette-stained-dentures...

PADICHE
Girls, wonderful, here, sit.

Watters scoots in right next to Sykes, gets comfy. Sykes
seems a put off by the proximity, ignores it for the moment.

PADICHE
Okay, so... you're here, really nice
isn't it? Brisk weather, but nice.
(as WAITRESS approaches)
Coffee? Anything? I didn't want to
order for you.

WATTERS
No, we're cool.

PADICHE
Fabulous.
(to Waitress)
I'm fine sweetheart, thanks.
(beat, back to girls)
Okay, so... welcome to the south
shore!
(big smile, then)
So, just jumpin' right in, just in
terms of this thing, our thing. I
spoke to Lorenzo this morning, he
says y'got somethin' more or less
put together, plan'a attack and me
and my associate Mr. Serna, who I
can put on the phone hear, we'd love
t'hear it.

Watters and Sykes, non-responsive, staring...

PADICHE
We ain't askin' ya t'take us through,
soup t'nuts or 'nuthin' like that, I
jus' like t'hear the broad strokes,
y'know, so we can get an idea --

Sykes and Watters look at one another, wordless exchange,
then;

WATTERS
Pussy.

Awkward beat, Padiche, head cocked, did I hear that right...?

PADICHE
Wha'?

SYKES
Pussy.

PADICHE
(leaning closer)
"Pushy?"

Watters, shaking her head, correcting him.

WATTERS
Pussy.

The old man blanches, doesn't quite understand the --

PADICHE
-- Uh...

Another beat. The girls let him dangle. Watters, lewd sneer,
looks almost lustfully at Sykes as she says the following;

WATTERS
Israel likes pussy...

Padiche, recovering, nodding, nervous.

PADICHE
... Oh... uh-huh, yeah --

Sykes squirms under Watters lascivious gaze, but manages:

SYKES
And we like that he likes...

Yet another beat. Padiche, wanting desperately to contribute.

PADICHE
...Pussy?

SYKES
Correct.

Padiche, big nod going from one girl to the other, he-get's-
it-but-not-really.

PADICHE
...Fabulous.

He extends his hand. WE TRACK IT ACROSS IN C.U. as it meets
with a male hand.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

INT. HOTEL ROOM -- BLACKJACK INN -- MORNING

Dupree and Deeks shaking hands with RUPERT "RIP" REED, mid-
forties, showbiz-slash-mob attorney, low man on the totem at
the Las Vegas based legal firm of "Culpepper Brody & Reed"

REED
Yeah, Jack, alright... hey --
(shakes Deeks' hand)
Nice t'meet you. Rip Reed.

DEEKS
Pete.

REED
Okay, good, good, c'mon, c'min.

Reed and Dupree shake. Reed glances out in the hall before
closing the door.

REED
(to Dupree)
Where's your third? This was a troika,
no?

Dupree, finding a seat, almost under his breath.

DUPREE
He's... fuckin'... he's comin'...

As Elmore appears, Reed almost closes the door on him --

REED
(extending hand)
Hey, hey how r'ya, Rip Reed.

ELMORE
Hollis. Elmore.

They shake. Dupree shoots a look at Elmore, not pleased.
Elmore, pissy, leans against the wall, arms crossed.

Reed, wound out, worn thin, half drunk -- his bedspread is
papered with writs, summons, notaries, etc: Everything to
make Buddy Israel's return to custody legally binding. He
sits on the edge of the bed, reaching for a pack of smokes
on the nightstand, finding a half empty glass of scotch.

REED
(to Deeks)
So Jack tells me you're both ex-cops?

DEEKS
Yeah, that's right.

DUPREE
They worked as swingmen for the Vegas
Vice squad --
(to Deeks)
What? Five, six years?

Reed, digging a cigarette out of his pocket.

REED
Man the stories you guys must tell.
I grew up soft myself, private
schools, little blazers, you "Talked
it out" nobody threw punches, t'this
day, never been hit with a fist,
Imagine that, huh? Pretty much a
panty-waste, trembling little faggot-
fairy when I smell trouble -- and I
don't say this to be self-deprecating,
I just don't have much of an opinion
about myself, I mean, shit, I wish I
was a lot more like you guys,
barfighters, big swinging dicks,
gettin' it done. Sadly.
(lifts his shirt,
exposes torso flab)
This is it. It's... disgusting.
(with a look skyward)
Thanks God, dogpile a piss-poor
physique with an small cock and
hereditary alcoholism! 'preciate it!
(beat, to Dupree)
Okay, I'm babbling, I do this when I
drink, forgive the rants, let's get
at it here. This wanted felon fucking
prick bastard Buddy Israel and the
nearly one million dollar bail bond.

Dupree smiles, pats Reed on the shoulder, don't-sweat-this...

DUPREE
Rip, my right hand to God, we're
gonna go in and recover this asshole
and everybody's gonna leave the
theater grinning. Trust me.

REED
That confidence translates bro,
seriously, it does! Out-STANDING!

Reed, white-boy high-five, excruciatingly un-hip. Deeks and
Elmore literally have to look away. Dupree can barely bear
it.

REED
I'm a lawyer, y'know, I need to hear
these things, little boosts, helps
allay my fears, I pass that piece of
mind along to my partners.
(beat, then)
Alright, so, couple primers for you
guys, maybe things we might've looked
past that you should know about...
His hangers-on, these idiots Israel
runs with, they're all "packing heat"
"strapped" whatever the phrase is.
Point two, Israel likes hookers, so
you might run into a harem up there.
Point three: He binges between a six-
to-seven thousand dollar a day cocaine
habit that nobody knows about, so he
and those hookers, will most likely
be high. He also drinks, self-
medicates, the whole cliche, y'know?
The strung out hasbeen jerkoff snitch
drunk. The seven-layer loser.
(beat, exhales)
I'm praying he puts up a fight,
please, please, please, rape him if
possible, I'll-pay-the-extra-whatever --

Nobody knows what to make of Reed, as he giggles, nods,
smokes, nods, drinks -- he looks at all of them, a sudden
unexpected wave of enthusiasm seizing him.

REED
Yeah-yeah-yeah. Fucking hell, this
feels GREAT! YEAH!? DOESN'T IT!

Reed begins laughing like a complete fucking loon, like he's
just lost it completely. It's paralyzingly uncomfortable.
Then, just like that, he stops, grabs an envelope.

REED
(hands envelope over)
Okay, we had a retainer, for services
to be rendered... Fifty thousand
dollars.

Reed hands the envelope to a smiling Dupree.

ISRAEL (V.O.)
FIFTY-FUCKING GRAND!

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- DAY

Israel, furious, screaming at an immense black man standing
in front of him: SIR IVY, his steadfast second-in-command:

The presence of a Pimp, the mien of a Mack.

SIR IVY
Calm down.

Israel gets up in Ivy's grill. A phone begins to ring.

ISRAEL
Don't tell me to "calm down" Ivy! I
hate that!
(re; the phone)
HUGO GRAB THAT! I JUST PAGED GILL!

Hugo rushes for the phone.

SIR IVY
Look at the attention we're getting.
It's all bad...

Hugo, hand cupped over the phone, butting in.

HUGO
Hey -- It's him, it's Gill.

SIR IVY
(gesturing to hookers)
...We got these tricks going in and
out, we're partying like the shit
might go stale, what did you think
was gonna happen?

Israel, walks toward Hugo.

ISRAEL
Fifty grand gouge. South shore
hayseeds, this is why I never play
Tahoe, or redneck Reno...

SIR IVY
We're hot, and they're losing a whole
floor's worth of business saying
it's "under construction."

ISRAEL
Alright, bag it, I'm not shelling
out that kinda bread for this
shithole, this is a junior suite in
Vegas. Call Mecklen right now, he
should have his cell on, I need an
update.
(to Hugo)
Get the Russian up here, have him
clean this place, floor to ceiling
and get us packed.
(points to hookers)
...And send out for some new skeeze,
the sun's up, these ones are starting
to stink...

Hug hands the phone to Israel, pulling his own cell, dialing.
Ivy looks around at the collapsed hookers, strewn about the
place, his face registering the appropriate disgust. Then:

SIR IVY
BEANIE!

Some of the girls start at the sound of Ivy's big Barry White
baritone. They rise, groggy, burping up last night's
debauchery. Mascara-smeared, hangover-hindered the girls
rise as BERNARD "BEANIE" ALFONSE, protector #2, pops in; A
sumo-sized brother with a diamond-studded smile.

BEANIE
(addressing the girls)
Alright ya'll, that's the call, we
had our fun, pack it in, pro-ceed to
the front. Les' go, les' go --

Beanie starts herding hookers, Ivy positions himself at the
door, pulls a flashroll, fingers hundred dollar bills.
Israel, phone to his ear, retires to the bedroom for privacy.

INT. PENTHOUSE BEDROOM -- CONTINUOUS

Israel throws the lock.

ISRAEL
Are you on a land line?

DR. GILL
Yeah, why.

Israel checks the wall clock.

ISRAEL
Just checking... what's up? What's
wrong with your voice?

INTERCUT:

INT. PRIVATE PRACTICE -- DAY

DR. GREGORY GILL, 30's, Israel's private physician,
walking/sprinting up a hallway, holding a medical report.

DR. GILL
I've got concerns.

ISRAEL
...About what?

DR. GILL
About cocaine... and the amount you're
doing.

ISRAEL
I'm not doing cocaine.

DR. GILL
Buddy, I'm not an ethics professor,
I'm a physician, be honest, or be
dead within a day... s'your choice.

Israel, grave. Guilt in his silence.

DR. GILL
...I just got the cardiology work-up
back and sent it to two of my
colleagues, both heart specialists.
They concluded, as I have, that you
are showing signs of severe cardiac
distress... so much so, that a massive
coronary may be imminent.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- CONTINUOUS

Ivy and Beanie, marshalling the mass hooker exodus. Ivy paying
the gals as they exit the suite. One YOUNG HOOKER bringing
up the rear, stumbles in her stripper heels, shaky, tries to
take another step, slips, trips, falls -- smacks face first
into a glass coffee table, shattering it.

BEANIE
Damn girl, look out now!

The other Hookers; gape jawed, mild shock, mild amusement.
Beanie plucks the fallen woman up, shakes her off, straightens
her out, pulls off the offending heels.

BEANIE
(holding up heel)
All these good for is poppin' them
titties girl, but y'see what happens
when you try to get around in 'em?

The hooker, covered in glass dust, stuck with shards,
teetering, too out of it to care.

CUT BACK TO SCENE:

INT. PENTHOUSE BEDROOM -- CONTINUOUS

Israel sweats like a stuck pig, pained, clutching his chest.

DR. GILL (ON PHONE) (O.S.)
-- Forget about the tissue damage
you're doing to the heart itself.
Sustained cocaine abuse will segue
you from a very painful ventricular
fibrillation into full cardiac arrest.
(beat)
Buddy, nobody knows about your
condition, or your drug use. Why you
lied to me, knowing that I'd find
out anyway, I'll never know, but it
imperative now that I see you.

ISRAEL
That's not possible. I told you.

DR. GILL
There are certain meds, certain
intravenous measures that can
counteract some of the damage you've
done, but I'd have to administer
them myself.

ISRAEL
Won't work, we're just gonna have to
chance it man. I'm sorry.

DR. GILL
No. Sorry comes later, when you're
in a partial coma with ambulatory
paralysis. Sorry comes when we have
to decide which of your limbs have
to be amputated because severely
constricted blood flow has brought
about a gangrenous infection, sorry --

ISRAEL
-- Fine, fuck, I got it... Lake Tahoe,
Nevada. I'll have Hugo book your
flight, you can be here in a couple
hours. He'll meet you at the airport.

Buddy disconnects. Dr. Gill holds for a moment, clicks over
to another line, dials a new number... waits.

DR. GILL
...He's in Lake Tahoe.

CUT BACK TO:

Buddy still standing there next to the phone, wincing,
breathing shallow, looking down, rubbing his chest.

ISRAEL
Be cool, be cool, be cool... c'mon...

He walks over to the bureau, cut lines of coke await him.
He bends, inserts a rolled hundred into his nostril.

ISRAEL
Just this last little bit, then we're
done, just this tiny bit and that's
it, that's it, all of it, over --

He snorts.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- CONTINUOUS

Beanie, trying to assist the ailing hooker. She lurches
suddenly, retching, projectile-vomit dousing Beanie's Versace --
dripping dung-like from his shirt front.

BEANIE
Awwww, motherfuck me! C'mon woman!
Hold your shit! This is silk!

The other hooker's titters turn to outright guffaws. Barf-
girl takes umbrage, hurls her purse at them, rushing into
the herd, throwing haymakers asswild, snatching wigs, sinking
fake nails into skin, snapping them off, Van Helsing style.

The fur flies, a slugfest free-for-all. Ivy intervenes --
Beanie jumps into the fray, separating combatants -- one of

them wielding her pump heel like a pick-axe. Hugo heads
another off hooker, hitting her like a blitzing linebacker.

Israel, who has walked back out, looks on with total disdain
for what he's seeing... Then, he catches his reflection in a
living room mirror, a profound sense of sadness there.

ISRAEL
(to himself, quiet)
...How the mighty have fallen...

WE PUSH PAST HIM...

In the distance, on the lake, a small boat, a man sitting
inside, gazing up through a pair of binoculars.

CARRUTHERS (V.O.)
He's awake.

CUT TO:

INT. "TAHOE SKILLET" RESTAURANT -- MORNING

The Feds occupy a booth, black coffee for both. Carruthers
clicks off a cellphone. Messner is engrossed in a file clipped
with old surveillance photographs of Primo Sparazza.

CARRUTHERS
Spotter on the lake confirmed Israel.
Penthouse level. There was apparently
a fisticuffs with some prostitutes.
He wasn't involved. He's also had
his people phone a local madame for
another group of girls.

MESSNER
No rest for the wicked.
(beat, holds up file)
Why were we never shown these files?
We're sitting on Sparazza for what?
Six months now and we're just seeing
this?
(beat, reading)
Did you know that he's has had thirty-
six major medical procedures performed
on him since 1953?
(flips, reads)
Elective plastic surgery, every single
one --

Messner, turning the file toward Carruthers, pointing.

MESSNER
-- look at this, look at the work
he's had done; nose, three times,
eyes, eyelids, chin, jaw -- he's had
his jaw done a dozen times. You take
every hasbeen actor in Hollywood
they haven't been cut this much.

Messner flips to another part of the file.

MESSNER
Unreal, this guys jacket too. Wall-
to-wall major felony offenses, murder,
extortion, arson, grand larceny --
(beat, points)
-- A paternity suit... I just feel
like we're playing catch-up with all
this and we shouldn't be.

CARRUTHERS
Welcome to the new Bureau. Nobody
shares information anymore, it's
become synonymous with job security.

MESSNER
Based on what we had, I thought
Sparazza was a mid-level player at
best and it turns out he's this mob
relic, running the show out west.

Carruthers nods, sips his coffee.

CARRUTHERS
He's stayed below the radar. You
don't kill a hundred and thirty people
without knowing how to tip-toe.

Messner flips the file, finds a page paper-clipped with a
photograph of murder/martyred Federal Agent Freeman Heller.

MESSNER
But the Bureau knew Sparazza killed
Heller. Why not go after him, guns
blazing' for that one?

CARRUTHERS
Heller was buried in agency lore,
anytime an operative failed or was
perceived to have failed, Hoover
blackballed their memory. Look at
Ness.

MESSNER
Yeah, but the Untouchables took down
Capone. Heller got shot and killed.
The bad guys beat him. Worse, Sparazza
walked.

Messner sits back, kills the remainder of his coffee, gazing
out the window, watching sightseers stream by. Carruthers
glances at his watch.

CARRUTHERS
It's almost five a.m. in D.C. now.
Locke said the lawyers from Justice
had been in there since three o'clock
yesterday afternoon. Israel's manager
is acting as his attorney and that's
what's holding things up.

The waitress arrives with breakfast, sets it down.

MESSNER
So he has no idea what's about to
happen?

CARRUTHERS
No. And I want to be in that room a
half second after Mecklen calls to
say the deal's done. We've got a
sheriff's task force on stand-by.

MESSNER
What about the hotel staff obstructing
us. Israel's obviously paid off the
management.

CARRUTHERS
Tampering with a witness extraction
of this magnitude makes everyone
indictable at the federal level.
(beat, grins)
Trust me, we won't any problems with
the hotel staff. You show 'em your
ID with the letters "F.B.I." in all
caps and it's instant compliance.
I've seen in happen a hundred times.

CUT TO:

F.B.I. BADGE AND IDENTIFICATION

It fills the the frame. An O.S. voice explains:

VOICE (O.S.)
Special Agent Gerald Diego, Federal
Bureau of Investigation, San Francisco
Field Office.

INT. NOMAD HOTEL AND CASINO -- LOBBY/RECEPTION -- DAY

PULL BACK TO REVEAL: Gerald Diego... aka Pasquale Acosta,
aka "El Estrago" the most notorious torture-murder specialist
in the biz in convincing disguise. His suit, mannerisms and
speech. Pitch Perfect... he's got the fake-Fed bit down cold.

ACOSTA
We're conducting a series of impromptu
inspections for the Nevada Gaming
Commission. I'd like to speak with
your head of security.

A pimply CASINO EMPLOYEE nods, dashing off to find the boss.
Acosta glances around, takes in the eight-dollar-an-hour
security, the array of quasi-armed guards... and smiles.

DEEKS (V.O.)
Where'd you get these?

CUT TO:

Guard uniforms, exactly like those we've just seen, worn by
the Nomad's security staff. Maroon with burnished gold buttons
and brown piping down the slacks. Three separate vestments
laid out across the trunk of a rental car.

CAMERA PULLS BACK TO REVEAL:

EXT. PARKING LOT -- OFF THE LAKE -- DAY

Dupree and Deeks in an empty parking lot, bundled up in
windbreakers, battling the frozen spindrift swirling in off
the lake.

DUPREE
Same place that rents the guard's
uniforms. There's a shift change at
9am. Graveyard goes home and we can
blend in with the day shift coming
on.

DEEKS
What about access cards? Pass keys?

DUPREE
We'll have to get our hands on them.
There's two separate units; Casino
Floor/Count Room Security and General
Hotel Security --
(annoyed, nods to car)
Does he want to hear this or what?

Deeks bangs on the hood of the car.

DEEKS
Hollis!

Elmore steps out, moving slowly to the rear of the car.

DUPREE
Nobody put a gun to your head.

Elmore leans against the bumper, bored.

ELMORE
Yeah, we've been through that.

DUPREE
Then quit acting like somebody shit
in your cereal bowl. Reed just gave
us fifty grand.

ELMORE
-- Jack, what am I doing? I'm standing
here, aren't I?
(beat, to both men)
Shouldn't that be enough? That I
made the trip?

DUPREE
Your attitude sucks.

ELMORE
I been accused of worse.
(glancing at uniforms)
What do we got...?

Dupree, dubious, does he continue...? Fine. Fuck it.

DUPREE
Two security levels, the one we're
going in under the guise of, hotel
security, has restricted access.
They're mostly there to monitor the
lobby, handle disturbances on the
different floors and toss out drunks.
(beat)
There's a thirty-five member employee
rotation going from graveyard to day
shift. If we split up, we can blend
in and enter unnoticed. Once we're
inside the hotel, we'll regroup.

ELMORE
Then what --

-- A Plymouth Barracuda passes by, brakes hard, reverses.
The trio stop talking, look over... and then their lives
end. Bad intentions blaze from the driver's side, machine-
gun bursts -- Dupree is hit flush, dead on his feet, his
dying thought, cut comically short; "I had that car in high
scho--

Deeks, shredded where he stands, his body absorbing a
fusillade of rounds traveling at twice the speed of sound.
One creases Elmore's skull, another blows out Deeks' back,
fragmenting, claiming three fingers from Elmore's left hand.
The three of them fall in weird, waterlogged flops, no dying
breaths, no death rattles, just lights out... just like that.

Several seconds pass. Then the car door opens and The Tremor
Brothers, like circus clowns, clamber out in a cloud of gun
and reefer smoke. LESTER TREMOR, the dandruff-caked,
pockmarked middle brother is the first out. He shakes off
the cold, yawning, stretching, revealing all manner of tattoo.

The Tremors' youngest brother, the Baby-Huey sized JEEVES
TREMOR bumbles out, pulling at his crotch. He unzips & rips,
baptizing the Cuda's tire with a truly prodigious piss.
DARWIN TREMOR climbs from the car, the eldest brother, straw
boss, brains of the outfit. He looks down at the dead men,
seems saddened by their state. Some remorse maybe? Maybe so.

JEEVES TREMOR
(still pissing)
Luvin' that, rat-tat-tat-tat, clean
as a nun's snatch on Kristal Nacht!

LESTER TREMOR
(stops singing)
Shut up fuckass, them spirits ain't
vacated yet, s'keep quiet.

JEEVES TREMOR
Them spirits can kiss my Chinese
ass.

LESTER TREMOR
...YOU AIN'T NO CHINESE!

This exchange prompts Jeeves to turn and urinate on Lester.
Lester squeals war cry, launching a wild windmill barrage on
his behemoth little brother. Jeeves ignores the hydrant-
like urine stream soaking them both and starts swinging back.

Darwin kneels down over the dead Jack Dupree, taking Jack's
face in his hand and squeezing back and forth, adding his
own words in what amounts to a freakish ventriloquist act.

DUPREE (DEAD)
...I forgive you Darwin.

DARWIN TREMOR
Shoot, I appreciate that man.

DUPREE
If I needed your I.D. and your car
and me and my brothers were wanted
by the law, I woulda killed you to
get 'em too.

DARWIN TREMOR
You woulda?

DUPREE
Oh hell yeah. We's just in the wrong
place at the wrong time. So don't
feel so bad dude.

DARWIN TREMOR
Damn... alright then.

DUPREE
I don't mind now anyway. You know,
up here in Heaven, it's beautiful.
Way better than fuckin' Hawaii or
any place like that.

Darwin's eyes begin to well, the tears coming slowly. In the
background, Lester and Jeeves beat each other ruthlessly.

DARWIN TREMOR
Really?

DUPREE
I'm glad I'm here. I love it. I'm
gonna get laid by some fine ass angels
and then go hang out with Jesus and
them.

Darwin wipes his eyes.

DARWIN TREMOR
Man, that's great.

DUPREE
I got it made in the shade Amigo.
Hey, I'll see you up here some day,
don't worry.

DARWIN TREMOR
You think so?

Darwin uses his thumb and forefinger to make it appear as
though Dupree we're smiling up at him.

DUPREE
I know so.

Darwin smiles back down at the corpse, wiping his nose on
his sleeve. He reaches down and pulls out Dupree's wallet.
He spots the bondsman's license, eyeballs the bail papers:
He sees the name ROBERT ISRAEL in bold type. Puts it together.

DARWIN TREMOR
Damn Jack... you was after the same
sacka shit as us... Small world.

Darwin continues the pat down, pauses, pulls the envelope
with fifty grand inside, fingers fresh bills. With his free
hand he manipulates Dupree's dead mouth one last time.

DUPREE
Don't tell your asshole brothers you
know about it, that money is for you
old boy.

Darwin, a nod of acknowledgement for the dead Dupree.

DARWIN TREMOR
I appreciate that pard... I wish I
coulda been a better friend.

Darwin stands, His eyes move to the guard's uniforms, still
laid out across the trunk... he looks over at his two
brothers, Jeeves now with a Lenny-like hammerlock on Lester's
head.

DARWIN TREMOR
Alright enough grabassin' goddamit!
We need t'get over t'that hotel.

WATTERS (V.O.)
We're already here baby.

CUT TO:

INT. NOMAD HOTEL AND CASINO -- LOBBY -- MORNING

Watters is once again on her cellphone to Lorenzo.

WYMAN (O.S.)
(on the phone)
So everything's cool then?

WATTERS
We sat down with Padiche, he tried
to get some details which we wasn't
gonna give up, but it's all good.
We goin' check Sis in first, 'fore I
check in across the street.

Sykes arrives at the reception counter when the elevators
open -- and Israel's Hookers, post-brawl bruised, bloodied
and barefoot, come staggering out.

They slur insults at the security team, broken heels slung
over their shoulders, wigs misaligned, miniskirts mangled.
Sykes trades looks with Watters as if assessing something,
nodding almost imperceptibly to one another. Watters then
winks, something sexual there... it gives Sykes the shivers.

The Hookers are surrounded by a horde of hotel staff and
summarily whisked away. Watters joins Sykes. The WOMAN behind
the counter checking Sykes in, looks up to see Watters.

WOMAN
Will you be needing a room with two
double beds?

SYKES
(quickly)
No, we're not together.

Watters, a grin.

WATTERS
C'mon baby, don't be shy.
(to woman)
Just one bed please.
(beat, to Sykes smiling)
Although if we sweat that one up, we
goin' need some clean sheets.
(As Sykes pulls away)
C'mon Girl, you know I'm playing!

Sykes looks uneasily at the counter woman, who keeps her
eyes locked on the computer in front of her.

WATTERS
(over her shoulder to
the departing hookers)
..If ya'll let hoochie like that
stay up in here, ya'll must be burning
sheets by the ton.

The woman just smiles that monstrously insincere "I'm here
to help!" smile, offering nothing in response.

WATTERS
You just goin' grin? Y'ain't goin
comment on that, at all? Trampy ass
skeezers, doin' damage they ain't
even smart enough to see. That don't
gall you at all?
(beat, closer)
Bitches like those are the same ones
runnin' feminism right to the brink
girl. Bitches like that the reason
mafuckas don't take our species
seriously. We jus' meat for male
consumption, we jus' pieces a'ass
and pussy, somethin' pretty in
lipstick and eye liner can suck cock.

Sykes, embarrassed, nudging Watters, knock-it-off...

WATTERS
Bitches like that make me weep for
what could be -- if we could all,
sisters everywhere, black, white,
yellow and brown, put our shit down
one time, unified front, the force
of the female race, mobilized, moving
as one...

The woman, smile severely strained, the pro-feminist diatribe
falling on decidedly deaf ears. An awkward beat, then;

SYKES
I'm gonna need a mini-bar key too.

CUT TO:

A mini-bar being opened. A hand reaching in, extracting two
small bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey and a bottle of seltzer.

INT. NOMAD HOTEL ROOM -- LOWER FLOOR

The figure crosses the room, pouring the seltzer onto a towel.
He kneels down, dabbing a spot on the carpet, fresh spill,
deep red, indelible. The seltzer doesn't bring it up. The
stain remains, smeared now but unmistakable... blood.

The figure stands. In the bathroom behind him, we see a body,
male, late-50's, trussed up, hung by his feet over the tub
and bled out. The figure walks in, takes a Polaroid, turns
it upside down near the man's face and fires off a photo.

He crosses back into the bedroom. The resulting photo is
tucked into the corner of a dresser mirror as it develops.
As the figure sits, WE PAN OVER TO REVEAL:

LAZLO SOOT: world class assassin slash master of disguise.
The slowly developing polaroid depicts the same face that we
now see in the mirror. Soot touches up the putty and plastic
appliances on his face, smoothing, sealing...

He takes up a small micro-cassette recorder, rewinds, pushes
play. A butler's uniform, steamed and pressed, hangs on the
door. He takes it down and begins changing into it.

LAZLO SOOT (ON RECORDER)
-- Keep calm.

He glances over at the bed. The dead man's voice crackles
back over the recorder.

DEAD MAN (ON RECORDER)
I am an employee, I -- I don't know
wh-- they don't let me speak to h--

LAZLO SOOT (ON RECORDER)
-- Say your name. Then say "How can
I be of assistance."

Soot, back to the mirror, buttoning his collar, straightening
his cuffs, smoothing out the creases.

DEAD MAN (ON RECORDER)
I don't understand.

LAZLO SOOT (ON RECORDER)
I didn't ask for your understanding.
I asked you to say your name, followed
by the phrase "How can I be of
assistance."

Beat. Soot looks down at the Silencer-fitted 9mm pistol lying
on the vanity.

LAZLO SOOT
Last chance.

A pause, then:

DEAD MAN (ON RECORDER)
My name is Vitoli. How can I be of
assistance.

LAZLO SOOT (ON RECORDER)
Thank you.

A muffled gunshot sounds. The recorder abruptly shuts off.
Soot, gazing at his reflection now, rewinds the recorder,
replays, listens, gauging the man's vocal patterns-- rough
Baltic accent, throaty warble, excessive smoke & booze
exposure, tracheal damage. Tough to match. He rehearses one.

SOOT
My name is Vitoli. How can I be of
assistance.

He grimaces, grabs cigarettes off the bureau, lights, wails
smokestack, puffing three at once, bellows-like lungfuls --
He grabs an aerosol can from the same bureau, strafes the
back of his throat, pops the tops on the bottles of Jack,
kills them both, gags, sputters, recovers, adjusts himself.
Suddenly, the phone begins to ring. Soot stops, stares.

After another ring, he lifts the receiver,

SOOT
(into phone, cautious)
This is Vitoli. How can I be of
assistance.

Hugo Croop's voice booms from the earpiece.

HUGO
Answer your fucking pages! I've been
calling for fifteen minutes, we need
you up here to clean NOW!

ISRAEL (V.O.)
That's right! RIGHT NOW!

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- NOMAD HOTEL & CASINO -- MORNING

Israel, sequestered to his bedroom, lying on a baby-grand
piano, its legs inexplicably sawed off during the previous
night's hedonism. In his hands, the de riguer deck of cards,
restlessly shuffled and reshuffled... Cocaine has been
lovingly cut and arranged in neat, snortable rows atop the
piano.

In the b.g. we see HUGO on the phone to Vitoli/Soot.

ISRAEL
They're gonna give on this in the
next ten seconds or the deal's off!

MECKLEN (O.S.)
I dunno what to say to you sweetheart,
it is what it is.

ISRAEL
Bullshit it is. I said, about as
loud as I could say it, "no jail
time for my guys."

CUT TO:

INT. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL -- WASHINGTON D.C. -- DAY

Morris Mecklen, sleepless, sweat rings blossoming armpit to
waist. He picks at the plate of room service food in front
of him. A group of Feds and Fed lawyers linger in the b.g.

MECKLEN
And they're not going give there
pally. They're bricking us on that
particular issue.

Mecklen glances back over his shoulder, lowering his voice.

MECKLEN
Baby, I've been co-habitating with
these people for the past thirty odd
hours and in so doing, have stared
into the face of hell. These are the
premier prick cocksuckers of all
time and I feel beaten by them, I
feel bloodied --

ISRAEL
-- and you're gonna feel altogether
fucked, by me, if you don't handle
this. I'm the one, does the face
plant, this falls apart, not you.

Buddy's rubs his chest -- grimacing -- he lays back on the
piano, hoists a vial of blow, presses a nostril, does a bump.

MECKLEN (V.O.)
And I vibe that kiddo, I do indeed,
but it's one'a those fait accompli
things, you have to --

ISRAEL
I don't have to do shit! Which
includes cooperating any further
with these motherfuckers until I get
what I want!
(beat, considers,
looks over at Hugo)
Alright, fuck it, if we gotta hand
'em somebody from our end and they're
being hard-ons about it -- make it
Hugo, him I don't mind. He needs
that regimented thing that prison
provides --

MECKLEN
-- Buddy, it's bigger than that,
they want 'em all, Ivy, Beanie --

ISRAEL
-- this isn't a swap meet Morrey,
they're getting Sparazza and the
west coast syndicate, giftwrapped,
now if that's not good enough --

The Feds are signaling Mecklen back into the main room.

MECKLEN
-- Listen kid, let's not antagonize
this any more. I got 'em backed down
on the book and t.v. deals. They're
agreeing to give you all the after
tax profits, so you can come away
with some chits and live comfortably.
If we push this, they'll revoke your
protective status, which nullifies
any agreement you got with the
government... Now that's mate and
checkmate kiddo and once that happens,
the shit'll start falling down around
your ears, real fast.

Buddy's head teeters back, bangs on the keys, sour chords,
thinking... thinking... He takes the deck, firing the cards
up in a perfect column above his head, snatching one random
out of the air with his right. He turns it over, looks...
Joker.

ISRAEL
Alright... do it.

In the shadows at the far end of the room, tucked into the
midday shadows, Ivy listens as his boss betrays them all...

CARRUTHERS (V.O.)
Israel just rolled.

CUT TO:

EXT. "TAHOE SKILLET" RESTAURANT -- MORNING

The Feds, heading toward their car, Carruthers snaps his
cellphone shut.

MESSNER
He's giving them up?

CARRUTHERS
All of 'em. His entire entourage. I
think we should move.

MESSNER
Did the Justice lawyers sign off?

CARRUTHERS
That's happening in about ten minutes.
Israel's at optimum risk of flight
right now, so we can't wait.

They reach their car.

MESSNER
What about the sheriff's task force?

CARRUTHERS
Have them mobilized. I'll phone
security and have the elevators locked
down and stairwells secured. We need
to keep Israel sequestered in that
penthouse.

SECURITY SUPERVISOR (V.O.)
No, I'm sorry, the penthouse is
currently under construction.

INT. NOMAD HOTEL AND CASINO -- SECURITY ROOM -- DAY

S.A. Gerald Diego, alias Pasquale Acosta, speaking with "Bill"
SECURITY SUPERVISOR for the Nomad. Banks of video monitors
surround them, displaying the various gaming areas and VIP
floors... two of the screens are completely blacked out.

ACOSTA
(to Bill)
Can I speak to you privately?

The Supervisor nods, dismisses his staff, calls after one.

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
Gary, let's get our personnel up in
the catwalk over twelve, that stickman
has been acting odd and I don't like
the rolls that table has been getting.

EMPLOYEE
Got it.

Acosta waits for the door to close, leaving only himself and
the supervisor in the room.

ACOSTA
It's gotta be tough keeping an eye
on everything.

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
And everybody, all the time. Yeah,
it's a chore.

Acosta laughs, keeps it loose.

ACOSTA
So, Bill, if I understand this right,
you currently have your penthouse
floor under construction?

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
That's correct.

ACOSTA
(points to monitors)
But with these down, doesn't that
pose a major security concern if, as
you say, you have to keep an eye on
everything at all times?

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
Well, we were worried about dust and
debris from the work being done
ruining the cameras, so--

ACOSTA
-- so you shut them off?

The Supervisor, quick to amend.

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
Yes, but no -- we have personnel
stationed at both ends of that hall,
twenty-four hours a day.

ACOSTA
What kind of personnel?

CUT TO:

The Nomad's crack unit, security staffers cum bodyguards:
The casino's version of a SWAT Team: Six ex-cop/military
types -- bowling buddies, brushcuts and potguts -- they carry
Colt .380 autos, religiously kept, strictly range-fired.

SECURITY SUPERVISOR (V.O.)
Right now? A six man security force,
plus a member of our Butler staff.
So seven men total.

CUT BACK TO SCENE:

ACOSTA
You have a butler working that floor?

CUT TO:

Vitoli, aka Lazlo Soot, stepping onto a lower-floor elevator,
pushing a service cart tucking the 9mm into his waistband.

CUT BACK TO SCENE:

The Supervisor sputters -- stammers, realizes he just slipped.

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
Uh -- well, yes, uh just in terms of
the men up there now, my team, he's
serving lunch and dinner and just
doing general upkeep so --

ACOSTA
So there are no guests staying on
that floor?

The Supervisor makes a big show of the headshake "no..."

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
No. None at present.

Acosta grins, takes a step closer.

ACOSTA
C'mon Bill... you've got some Sultan
up there, one of your whales, big-
spender, likes a lot of space, you
cook up this "construction" thing...?

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
No, no, no. We've been looking to
renovate that area of our hotel for
some time now. The security team is
only present to preserve floor
integrity, due to the roof access.

ACOSTA
Is your security team armed?

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
Of course. Yes.

ACOSTA
And who has access to that floor?

The Supervisor... something like suspicion in his eyes. The
secure "hotline" begins to ring. The Supervisor looks over
at the phone, then back at Acosta... the unflappable pro.

ACOSTA
Bill, listen, I can ask you now and
you can answer me, or I can drag you
up to San Francisco and depose you
in front of a federal judge. Because
that's where we're headed here.

Bullshit, but it sounds good. The Supervisor starts for the
ringing hotline.

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
I'm sorry, but I'm going to need to
see your identification again. We're
covering some sensitive material
here and I need to safeguard myself,
I'm sure you can understand.

Acosta, reaching into his coat.

ACOSTA
Of course, but if you could just
tell me who has access to that floor --

The Supervisor touches a pass key that he wears on a chain
around his neck as he moves to answer the phone.

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
-- I hold the sole pass key and
personally relieve the shifts myself.
Now if I could get your ID we can --

-- Acosta, coming out of his coat, fake ID in hand, the
supervisor reaching for it and the ringing phone
simultaneously -- suddenly a six-inch, spring-loaded stiletto
blade explodes from Acosta's sleeve, piercing the ID --
pinning it to the Supervisor's chest.

Surprised grunt from the man as blood begins to pour from
his punctured sternum. The blade retracts. The phone sits
trembling in the Supervisor's hand, -- a voice -- Carruther's,
tinny and barely audible, warbles from the other end --

VOICE
(over phone)
Hello? This is Special Agent Donald
Carruthers of the FBI, I need an --

Acosta takes the phone from the stunned Supervisor, replacing
it on the console. The Supervisor, still confused by the
exchange, wanting to speak, but unsure of what to say... He
gazes down to the red blossom fanning across his shirt front.

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
Is... that... blood?

Acosta pockets his ID as he yanks the pass key off the
Supervisor's neck. His natural accent returns.

ACOSTA
Yes it is and right now it's filling
your lungs. In less than a minute,
you'll asphyxiate and pass out. You
shouldn't be feeling any pain now.

The Supervisor's knees begin to buckle, nervous system slowly
shutting down. Acosta steadies him, easing him to the floor.

ACOSTA
Close your eyes. Think of something
wonderful. Don't make this face the
last thing you ever see.
(beat, in Spanish)
Heaven may hold it against you.

The Supervisor, unblinking, an almost childlike clarity there.

SECURITY SUPERVISOR
...Am I really dying...?

Acosta, deadpan.

ACOSTA
Bill --
(out of respect)
Willliam...
(pause)
We're all dying...

Bill the supervisor almost smiles as he breathes his last
breath... Acosta checks for a pulse, then drags his body
toward a service closet. As he passes one of the video
monitors...

...WE SEE ON-SCREEN: The Employee entrance, grave and swing
shifts on their way out, day shift on it's way in. Mixed in
with this personnel rotation, each doing his inconspicuous
best... The Brothers Tremor.

CUT TO:

INT. EMPLOYEE ENTRANCE -- DAY

Darwin, Lester and Jeeves, clad in full security attire,
standing apart so as not to appear together, heads down,
hands shoved into their pockets.

Darwin bird-dogs both his brothers, monitoring their movement,
using hand signals and some bizarre inbred semaphore to
communicate with them. They pass through and punch in, signing
time sheets. The surrounding security staff oblivious to the
new faces. The brothers enter the lower floors, moving through
the hotel's fitness center and indoor pool.

A kid does a cannonball as they pass as we...

CUT TO:

A clouded bog -- coming to -- consciousness, then, retching,
gagged gasps, throat ablaze with bile, liquid clearing
convulsed lungs, breath in burning spasms -- not enough air.

EXT. LAKE --DAY

Elmore sits up in the sub-zero shallows of Lake Tahoe with a
start, stripped naked, shaking uncontrollably, his skin a
deep bruised blue. Dull pain quickly defines -- pinpoints,
bores in, bone deep... Death can't hurt this much.

He gets his breathing under control, the onset of hypothermia
turning his fingertips black -- his left hand, lighter three
digits -- he looks, comprehension sparks but can't catch --
he stares impassively at the ragged space, for the moment,
he doesn't seem to mind their absence. He gropes the side of
his head, bullet-graze, blood congealed by the cold, the
concussion he suffered has left a massive migraine behind.

He crawls from the water, muscles cramping, knotting up. He
reaches the sand, unable to pull himself up any further. He
turns back, sees the bodies of Deeks and Dupree, face down,
the lazy lake tide gently lifting and lowering them...

MESSNER (V.O.)
Double homicide, gunshot vics, both
of 'em dumped in the lake. That's
where the Sheriff's task force is.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR -- DAY

Carruthers and Messner, hectic, speeding through the south
shore of Lake Tahoe, cellphones pinned to their ears.

MESSNER
(back into his phone)
Deputy, have you made any ID's?

CARRUTHERS
(cups phone, to Messner)
Get a coroner's estimate too.
(back into his cell)
-- Miss, I've been transferred and I
was disconnected. No one is answering
and I need someone from security to
pick up that line. It's urgent.

Messner, nodding as he listens.

MESSNER
Dep-- Deputy, I'm going to put you
on speaker, I have Agent Carruthers
in the car with me.
(beat to Carruthers)
You need to hear this.

Messner clicks over, the deputies voice fills the car.

SHERIFF DEPUTY
--nd have a pending ID on a Jack
Dupree, appears to be a bondsman out
of Las Vegas. He was just rolled and
printed by our medical examiner.

Messner and Carruthers trade looks.

CARRUTHERS
Was there anything recovered?

SHERIFF DEPUTY (O.S.)
We found a handwritten receipt in
his pocket for what looks like uniform
rentals. The name and phone number
of the rental house wasn't listed,

MESSNER
What kind of uniforms?

SHERIFF DEPUTY (O.S.)
Receipt wasn't specific, the uniforms
were just listed as maroon in color.

Carruthers mashes the floorboard, brakes smoke, power swerve,
slicing the rented Taurus across four lanes of traffic.

MESSNER
Alright, deputy, we'll be there as
soon as possible, until we arrive, I
need you to limit physical access
and restrict movement to and from
the crime scene. Clear?

Messner clicks off.

CARRUTHERS
Maroon uniforms?

MESSNER
Yeah. Have you been able to get
through to the Nomad's security?

CARRUTHERS
No.
(beat, decision)
I'm going over there. You take the
car from there, get out to the lake.

Carruthers pushes 110mph, barreling toward the Nomad, blowing
through traffic -- Both men pull out IFB/earpiece apparatus,
plugging in, checking their signals.

MESSNER
You going up to the Penthouse alone?

Carruthers pulls a .45 from his holster, driving with his
knees now, he jacks the slide, checks for a chambered round.

CARRUTHERS
Yeah.

The slide releases --

SYKES (V.O.)
That's a bad move.

CUT TO:

INT. NOMAD HOTEL SUITE -- DAY

Sykes, stowing a Glock 9mm, tweaking the earpiece/mic combo
she's wearing -- getting primped, leather mini-skirt, lace
garters, thigh-high platform boots; hooker de coutage.

WATTERS (O.S.)
Why?

SYKES
'Cuz we don't need to draw any more
shit down on our heads. We hit
whoever's between us and Israel. I
don't want to dead the whole floor
and I don't want to be killing women
no matter how they make a living.

WATTERS
Wait, I'm getting some fucked up
feedback off that earpiece --

Sykes pulls her earpiece, adjusts something, re-inserts it.

SYKES
Better?

WHIP PAN TRANSITION TO:

INT. HORIZON HOTEL AND CASINO -- SAME

The Hotel just across the street from the Nomad. Watters on
a headset, talking to Sykes, looking out the window.

WATTERS
Much.

On a room service tray near Watters; scanners monitor calls
and in-house transmissions within The Nomad.

SYKES
What are you hearin' right now?

Watters adjusts one of the scanners, searching for a signal.

WATTERS
Nuthin', we cool. There was somethin'
about a fed being in the building.

INTERCUT BETWEEN THE TWO:

SYKES
A Fed? Like FBI?

WATTERS
It's just a little casino inspection,
don't trip, he's alone.
(beat, then)
Alright, let's set this spinnin'...

Sykes checks her reflection, makes sure her holsters aren't
peeking out, weapons adequately conformed to her curves.

SYKES
When them tricks hit the lobby, holla
at me and I'm gonna meet them on the
way up, blend in. Once I get inside,
I'mma put m'Nina to Israel's head
and back out hot. Anybody's fucks
with that program, y'break 'em off.
They get gully --

WATTERS
I'mma grip and rip girl.
(holding up a red-
tipped bullet)
I got some handloads here ready to
cut heads.

SYKES
Jus' remember, this is more rescuin'
shit than rampagin' shit... What are
you shootin'?

WATTERS
...Girl, y'know I had to bring big
mamma through.

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

A .50 Caliber sniper-rifle on a tri-pod, jutting just past
the window, zeroed ut on the Penthouse level of the Nomad.

SYKES
You got the fifty up? Bitch y'tryin'
t'take down a jumbo jet? Blown the
moon out the sky? T'fuck you wanna
get that grimy?

WATTERS
The try t'wild out on my boo and
it's on and crackin'! I'm layin'
niggas out.

SYKES
Damn, this kevlar ridin' up on me, I
wish they made this more sheer.

Watters puts her eye to the scope, scans, finds SYKES in the
crosshairs across the way, adjusting her outfit. Watters
settles on her, watches... something vaguely creepy about
this bit of voyeurism. She nuzzles the Barrett close.

WATTERS
Mmmm. I tell you, I snuggle up with
big girl here and my pussy start
t'drip.

Sykes grimaces. Watters sees it, smiles to herself.

WATTERS
...So you heard from Keith? He still
fuckin' with that 'lil light-skinned
girl?

SYKES
I ain't tryin' to break a sweat for
that sorry ass nigga.

WATTERS
He a dog babydoll. He a great dane.
I tried to tell y'after ya'll first
date. He hit that ass one time, his
interest in a bitch start t'landslide.

SYKES
You know I burned all his shit. All
that vinyl. Chalamar, Funkadelic, I
burned his turntables too. They was
like three-thousand brand new.

WATTERS
Fuck that nigga. Let him go woof on
some other scrub. We got one another,
s'all the love we're ever goin' need.

Sykes says nothing for a moment, Watters just watches her
through the crosshairs, her finger idly flicking the trigger
in a strangely perverse gesture. Finally:

SYKES
Girl, lemme ask you somethin' and I
want you t'tell me straight up, since
I got my suspicions and y'know I
ain't one t'talk circles... you gay?

WATTERS
What!?

SYKES
Ain't nuthin' wrong wit' it.

WATTERS
Damn! Why you trippin' like that?

SYKES
-- I don't know, I feel like you
always pushin' up on me, gettin'
close and I love you baby, in every
way you can love a bitch, 'cept that
one.

WATTERS
I ain't even goin' dignify that.
You my road dog. We threw up sets.
(beat, lets it sit)
Plus you stank.

SYKES
(laughing now)
Fuck you.

Watters spots something outside, grabs a pair of binoculars,
looks down... BINOCULARS P.O.V.: Four obvious CALL GIRLS
disembarking a taxi, mylar-colored micro-minis, fuck-me heels,
cheap shoulder bags. They smoke, laugh, chit-chat.

WATTERS
Alright girl, the ho train has
arrived. Four of 'em.

Sykes, grabbing her bag, dropping spare clips inside and
starting for the door.

SYKES
...I'm on my way out, I'm just gonna
hang in the hallway until they start
up in the elevators.

Watters loads a red-tipped round into the breach of the Fifty.

WATTERS
Just get in there and do your thing
baby... mamma gots you.

SNAP ZOOM ON BULLET as she slams the action forward, loading
the round WE SMASH CUT TO BLACK.

...Dial tones over black. A phone rings. A voice answers.

FADE UP ON:

A reel-to-reel machine activates, begins to record -- A
sticker on the pick-up spool reads: "PROPERTY OF THE F.B.I."

CUT TO:

MONTAGE

The players take their places. Over these images WE HEAR:

SERNA (V.O.)
Buzzy... Buzz...?

PADICHE (V.O.)
Yeah... Sid?

SERNA (V.O.)
Right, you got clicks, anything?

PADICHE (V.O.)
Nah, nuthin' on my end --

Vitoli, aka Lazlo Soot: arriving at the Penthouse level,
exchanging nods with the security team, pushing his service
cart out of the elevator and down the hall, through a metal
detector, which goes off. Vitoli/Soot shrugs, gestures to
his stainless steel cart. The security team wave him through.

SERNA (V.O.)
So how we lookin'?

PADICHE (V.O.)
Good. This thing's on track, looks
like it's gonna get done.

SERNA (V.O.)
Fuckin' thrilled t'hear it. So the
scout, the sitdown, y'musta felt it
from 'em then huh?

PADICHE (V.O.)
Cold blood Sid, dead eyes, y'know?

Pasquale Acosta: Now wearing the nametag of "Bill" the
recently deceased Security Supervisor. He buttons his red
blazer, hanging the penthouse pass key around his neck as he
moves through the lobby, carrying a small briefcase.

SERNA (V.O.)
That's what we're countin' on. What'd
they say when you went for specifics?

The Tremor Brothers: Duffel bags straining with the horrible,
shit inside. They move toward a service elevator, swapping
pill bottles, downing overdose amounts, repeating "Mein Kampf"
recitations as they push the elevator's call button.

PADICHE (V.O.)
Lil' cagey, y'know, don't like t'share
trade secrets, that type'a thing.

SERNA (V.O.)
Okay -- yeah, I can, I respect that.

PADICHE (V.O.)
How are we on time...?

Hollis Elmore: Frantically ringing the alley delivery doorbell
of a local Souvenir Shop -- naked, frozen, delirious, near-
death, he has dragged himself there.

SERNA (V.O.)
Well, I'm hearin' the Swede's been
dispatched, he's flying so --

PADICHE
Well, uh -- damn, alright, so he's
headed in, does that -- where does
that leave us?

Agent Messner: Watching as the bodies of Dupree and Deeks
are hauled from the lake by Sheriff's personnel. He walks
the shoreline, searching for clues, on his cellphone, trying
to reach Security at the Nomad.

SERNA (V.O.)
-- in a foot race right now. Really
a matter of who out hustles who,
y'know...

Agent Carruthers: Plugging in his headset as he reaches the
front of the Nomad, leaping out, rushing inside, holstering
his gun for the moment.

PADICHE (V.O.)
So we gotta get t'Israel pretty quick
for this to fly, yeah? I think?

Georgia Sykes; Pulling a small revolver from her garter-
holster, annoyed, rubbing the chaffed area, reaching the
elevator, leaning back against the wall, waiting.

SERNA (V.O.)
Basically -- it'd really be the best
thing right now, yeah. Can't give up
the ship now Buzzy --

Sharice Watters; Her eye going to the rifle-scope... she
makes subtle adjustments to the targeting-ring -- P.O.V. --
Israel's penthouse sits in the crosshairs. We see a figure,
just beyond the glass... a shimmering shape, moving within.

PADICHE (V.O.)
-- No, no, not when y'can see the
shore. I hear ya.

SERNA (V.O.)
Okay, well, y'know, then we just
gotta get Israel.

PADICHE (V.O.)
I'm working on it.

SERNA (V.O.)
Bag this fucker Buzzy.

PADICHE (V.O.)
It's gettin' done Sid.

Watters tracks the figure -- finger finding the trigger as
we SMASH CUT TO:

BLACK

FADE UP ON:

CAMERA DOLLIES IN ON -- Primo Sparazza, bedridden, blinking
at the nothingness around him... a life on its last legs...
a dying man determined to outlive his last enemy... Buddy
Israel.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN UP ON:

FBI Director Locke, receiving a CONFIDENTIAL package, signing
for it, tearing it open, reviewing the paperwork inside. The
color drains from his face, casting him cadaver-like. His
phone rings, he quickly snatches up the receiver.

LOCKE
...Yes? Yes sir... I'm looking at it
now... what does this -- mean exactly?
(long pause)
...What?
(longer pause)
...Good God...
(back down at paperwork)
..Good God...
(shell-shocked pause)
No, the two of them attached, Agent's
Carruthers and Messner. I'd like to
notify them immedia--

Locke is cut off sharply, listens... as he does, he pulls
his personal Primo Sparazza file from a separate pile, flips
through, Finds a sheet, extracts it... it's a copy of the
paternity suit, brought against Sparazza in 1967. He reads...

LOCKE
(still on phone)
Understood Sir... They won't be
contacted... I'm leaving now.

CUT TO:

EXT. TAHOE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- DAY

A learjet touches down. THE CAMERA TRACKS, FINDING: Dr.
Gill, at a payphone, the cacophonous racket of taxiing
aircraft forcing him to repeat every other sentence.

DR. GILL
I'm here, where's the car?

ISRAEL (O.C. OVER PHONE)
I sent Hugo, he should be there!

Gill looks around.

DR. GILL
Well I don't see him.

P.O.V. -- CAMERA PANS AROUND WITH HIM...

GILL
Should I take a taxi or what?

ISRAEL (O.C. OVER PHONE)
No, wait there. He'll be there.

...AS WE FIND:

EXT. TAHOE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- TARMAC -- SAME

A learjet unloading passengers -- The Swede steps down off
the plane, dressed as we last saw him, carrying the same
black leather valise. He's accompanied by two Sparazza thugs
who quickly escort him to an awaiting car.

The Swede looks over, sees Gill at the payphone... The two
seem to acknowledge one another as the Swede quickly climbs
into the car and closes the door --

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- DAY

A door opens -- revealing Vitoli the butler, aka Lazlo Soot,
standing behind it. He's with one of the SECURITY TEAM
MEMBERS; waxed mustache, polo-shirt, gut sucked in.

MUSTACHE
Here he is.

Beanie, glaring at both of them.

BEANIE
(to Mustache)
Why you always gotta be announcin'
this fool like he some mafuck'n
muckamuck!? What, 'cuz he got an
accent, y'goin' treat this cracker
like he don't be scrubbin' toilet
seats!? Nigga please!
(beat, to Vitoli/Soot)
Speakin' of scrubbin' -- where the
fuck you been? I know Hugo been pagin'
you like a mufucka --

SOOT
-- my name is Vitoli, how can I be
of service.

BEANIE
(annoyed)
I know your name man! What's wrong
wit'chu!?
(back to Mustache)
Why you standing there fool? You
make your money watching the hall.
Get y'eyes back where they belong!

Mustache nods. Beanie slams the door on him. Soot, inside
now, scanning, making split-second evaluations -- what's-
where, who's-where, he picks up voices from the master bedroom --

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- MASTER BEDROOM -- DAY

Clothing everywhere. Israel's top dollar wardrobe, designer
suits, wadded up into balls and stuffed into a garment bag.
He's doing more cocaine, talking to himself, babbling the
classic addict's "don't-worry-it'll-to-be-alright" monologue.

ISRAEL
(calling)
IVY! Why isn't Hugo at the airport!?
It's a fifteen minute trip!

Ivy, his menace gone malignant, quietly stepping out of the
shadows... Israel has no idea that he's been there all along.

ISRAEL
(turning back to Ivy)
Well what the fuck!? I got the Doc
in town, I need him here! Call Hugo,
find out where the car is!

Ivy doesn't budge, just stands there, staring hard.

IVY
So what'd Mecklen have to say?

Israel stiffens, board-straight, the guilt goosing him. Ivy
turns the burners slow.

ISRAEL
They're getting close. It's down to
a handful of deal points now.

IVY
But it's all good right?

Israel almost chokes on his own smile, nodding.

SIR IVY
So we're all traveling together,
getting sworn, giving our statements --

Israel starts zipping up some of his bags.

ISRAEL
-- I dunno the way it's gonna play
out, but -- yeah, it'll probably go
something like that.

Ivy unbuttons his coat. A .50 Cal rides in his shoulder-rig.
Israel averts his eyes. Ivy lets the moment load up... then;

SIR IVY
You believe in loyalty, don'tcha?
(pause, then)
'Specially the kind of loyalty where
an otherwise sensible motherfucker
puts his own best interests aside to
selflessly serve another. 'Cuz outside
a goddamn dog, that kinda loyalty,
my kinda shit, don't get any more
dedicated, or deep, or devout...

Israel, unnerved now -- spots a small handgun sticking out
of his bag. He covers it with the bedspread, looking up at
Ivy.

ISRAEL
...what are you tryin' to say?

CARRUTHERS (V.O.)
What I've been saying. Get me your
head of security right now.

CUT TO:

INT. NOMAD HOTEL AND CASINO -- LOBBY -- SAME

Carruthers, bracing the same Casino Employee Acosta braced
earlier. College kid, patch-acne, panic-stricken, stammering,
struggling, a phone stuck to his hand --

CASINO EMPLOYEE
-- I don't -- it's just -- I can't
reach him. He's not picking up the
extensio--

CARRUTHERS
-- I know that. Which floor are they
on?

The kid's skittish gaze shifts, locking on a figure moving
through the lobby.

CASINO EMPLOYEE
(with great relief)
Wait -- He -- there, that's one of
our guys ther--

Carruthers breaks off, moving for the man in the maroon jacket
heading toward the elevator. He reaches him, puts a hand on
his shoulder.

CARRUTHERS
Excuse me, sir.

The man turns... His nametag reads "Bill."

BILL/ACOSTA
Yes.

Carruthers badges him.

CARRUTHERS
Special Agent Donald Carruthers.
We've got a situation developing
here in your hotel.

Acosta has fully assumed the identity of the murdered security
supervisor. The pimply kid at counter eyeballs him, confused.
Acosta steps behind Carruthers, blocking himself from view.

BILL/ACOSTA
How can I help you?

Carruthers leads him toward an awaiting elevator.

CARRUTHERS
I need to get to your penthouse level
immediately, I also need every other
elevator with access to that floor
evacuated and locked down.

They step into the lift.

BILL/ACOSTA
Is this an emergency?

CARRUTHERS
Let's hope not.

The elevator doors close behind them as we...

CUT TO:

Elevator doors open to reveal: The Tremor Brothers, vibrating
at varying speeds, pharmaceutical stares, simultaneously
sharp and dull. Georgia Sykes stares back, bad vibes trickle
up her back. She holds a moment. Doesn't board.

SYKES
I'm going down.

Darwin looks her over, lecherous grin.

DARWIN TREMOR
Bet'chu are.

He mimics a blowjob, treating her like the hooker he thinks
she is. Sykes wants to shoot him in the face. Lester and
Jeeves oogle her as the doors begin to close.

Darwin smiles wide and lewd. Sykes kisses her middle finger.

SYKES
...Faggot-ass redneck...

Darwin's smile turns scowl as the elevator doors slide shut.

WATTERS
What'd you say?

SYKES
Not you. Some assholes on the
elevator... are these bitches on a
permanent smoke break or what? Why
the fuck they call'm "working girls."

Watters grabs her binoculars; sees the four prostitutes snub
cigarette butts and start to head inside.

WATTERS
Alright, the ho train is exiting the
station. They're coming to you...

Sykes waits a beat, then reaches for the call button to signal
another car. WE FOLLOW HER FINGER to the "up" button and --

CUT TO:

A blackened fingertip, trembling, barely enough force behind
it to hold a delivery bell button down.

EXT. "LAKEY'S SOUVENIR SHOPPE" -- DAY

Hollis Elmore, hypothermia-ravaged, racked by seismic-like
seizures, body temperature terminally low. The delivery door
is flung open and A KID of about twelve stands there; cross-
eyed, coke-bottle eyeglasses, shirtless, wearing a rising-
sun head-wrap and karate Gee. He says nothing.

ELMORE
(sputtering)
Hel-- I -- ambula-- pleeeeee --

-- Elmore collapses -- consciousness strains, snaps -- he
blacks out as his jaw collides with the concrete --

CUT TO:

-- As Dupree's bagged corpse is hefted onto a coroner's gurney
and wheeled into an awaiting ambulance. Deeks' body follows.

EXT. LAKESIDE -- DAY

The parking lot teems with local news trucks. Passerby's
crowd the police line. Messner is on his cellphone, incensed,
confused. A Sheriff's DEPUTY flanks him.

MESSNER
No, no clarify. What is "an emergency
requisition of surrounding personnel?"
(beat, listens)
Within one-hundred mile radius,
understood -- Sacramento, Reno, Carson
City. So in less than an hour, we're
going to have anywhere from forty to
fifty odd field agents arriving,
without the slightest inkling as to
why they're here. Is that correct?
Am I misinterpreting that or --
(listens)
No, I'm not blaming any one person,
this is Bureau directive. But Agent
Carruthers is the SAC and he's out
of cell range at the moment, so I
can't contact him to --
(listens, frustrated)
Very well. I need to get Deputy
Director Locke on the phone as soon
as possible.

One of the Crime Scene Recovery TEAM MEMBERS approaches,
hands Messner a printout. A faxed, blown up rendering of a
Nevada Driver's license... We recognize the face.

MESSNER
Who's this?

CS TEAM MEMBER
Hollis Elmore, resident of Las Vegas,
formerly with the P.D. there. He's a
known associate of Dupree's.

The CS Team Member holds an evidence bag aloft.

CS TEAM MEMBER
We found these washed up on shore.

Messner takes the bag, gawks, can't quite make out the
contents.

MESSNER
What are these?

CS TEAM MEMBER
Elmore's fingers. Whorls are in bad
shape from the frostbite, but we got
a good pull for latents, positive
ID.
(beat, nod to bag)
Those were shot off.

MESSNER
Then we've got a third man missing.

-- Commotion close, Sheriff's task force members, hustling
past, hopping into cruisers, firing their sirens. A fifty-
something TASK FORCE CHIEF approaches Messner.

TASK FORCE CHIEF
We've recovered their car.

MESSNER
What car?

TASK FORCE CHIEF
Dupree's rental. A Dodge Stratus --
Picked up yesterday at a commuter
airport in Reno, Nevada.

MESSNER
(suddenly panicked)
-- Where's it at now?

TASK FORCE CHIEF
In the parking structure of the Nomad.

CUT TO:

INT. PARKING STRUCTURE -- NOMAD HOTEL -- SAME

A crime scene unit already has the area cordoned off. Police
photographers circle the rental car snapping pictures as
uniformed units scribble license plate and VIN numbers.

CAMERA PANS OVER TO REVEAL:

A limo arrives, the Swede disembarks, black valise in tow.
A group of Sparazza henchmen surround him, spiriting him
toward a nearby stairwell, anxious to avoid the police.

CAM CONTINUES PAN TO REVEAL:

Doc Gill and Hugo, sitting in their car, a little leery at
the heavy police presence. Hugo takes up his cellphone.

HUGO
Doc, I'm gonna tell 'em we're on our
way up, make sure it's cool up there.
Is there anything you need?

Gill shakes his head "no" as Hugo dials. Gill retrieves his
own phone as he climbs out, dialing, moving to the trunk.

DR. GILL
(into his phone, quiet)
I'm going up now, give me ten minutes,
that should be enough time to prep...

He clicks off, Hugo is completely unaware of the call he
just made. Gill pops the trunk, removing his medical bag

HUGO
(still on his phone)
C'mon, somebody answer...

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- SAME

The phone rings, Beanie moves to answer it, tossing his balled
up Versace shirt to Soot/Vitoli.

BEANIE
(looking back)
That's a silk blend B, six-hundred
and change an s'got vomit and bile
and stomach contents all over it --
I ain't gonna tell'ya how t'get the
mafucka clean, jus' put it right.

Soot nods, unfurls a laundry tote, sticks the shirt inside,
hand moving within the bag --

BEANIE
(pointing to Israel's
soiled jacket)
Check the man's calf-skin coat too,
he look like he got some cinnamon
roll an' shit all over it --

-- Beanie, turning, reaching down for the ringing phone when --
THWAP -- something plunks him hard from behind -- he's knocked
forward by the force of the impact -- startled --
instinctively slapping at that area -- thinking something
stung him.

BEANIE
What the fuck!?

He looks around, alarmed, head on a swivel, hand probing the
pain, not aware of the blood coursing from that spot,
streaming down his back... The phone continues to ring.

Then Beanie hears the small metallic warble of something
rolling around on the floor behind him, gradually settling.
A sensation overtakes him... and he grows very still with
it.

He looks down at his hand for the first time... sees blood
there, reaches up with that same hand and finds the tattered
hole right above the base of his spine -- small wisps of
smoke drifting up out of the wound... He turns, numb... and
sees what looks like a spent shell casing, just ejected,
coming to rest on the tile... The phone continues to ring.

His eyes track upward to Vitoli the Butler, holding a silenced
9mm -- aim still held... And that's when it dawns on Beanie...

...He's just been shot in the head.

BEANIE
(almost to himself)
Aw hell no you ain't just do that...

Three more soundless shots from the 9mm put a humane end to
these proceedings -- blowing Beanie's body over a sofa chair.
His three-hundred plus pound frame slides to an unceremonious
halt in the remnants of the shattered coffee table.

Israel's calf-skin coat lies near Beanies dead body, a pool
of blood surrounding it, soaking through and all the while...
The phone continues to ring.

INT. BEDROOM -- SAME

Ivy and Israel, oblivious to what's gone on, fifty feet away.

SIR IVY
What did you say to Mecklen?

Israel looks from the ringing phone -- to the gun in his bag --
no good -- Ivy will kill him before he clears the bedspread.

ISRAEL
That's probably him now...

SIR IVY
...See, this is one'a them rare
moments when y'ass get a chance to
be completely honest... and if I'm
asking you what you said to Mecklen,
assume the shit is rhetorical... so
assume I already know.

Ivy lets that .50 caliber hang like intimidation itself.
Israel looks over at the ringing phone, then back at Ivy. He
slowly withdraws the deck of cards from his robe pocket,
begins shuffling at lightspeed, firing them across his body,
left to right, right to left.

ISRAEL
A set of skills, God-given gifts, I
close my eyes.

He does, snatching a card cold from the deck, turning it to
Ivy.

ISRAEL
King of Clubs... You pick up this
deck, s'just playing cards, I pick
up this deck it's a living, breathing
thing. What do you see right now?
You see exactly and only, what I
choose to show you... That's illusion
Ivy. That's the lie I tell your eyes.
The manipulation of movement. Knowing
where your gaze wants to go, guiding
it there. Making the magic happen in
that moment, that split-second, but
seeing behind it, knowing it's all
bullshit... Built on sand.
(cards flying crazy)
I can show the Feds what they want
to see too. And make it as real as
this room. Make it more than smoke,
more than mirrors... and that's why
I'm valuable... and that's why you're
not.
(beat)
I never wanted it this way.

Israel, a card slipping from his sleeve, into his throwing
hand... Ace Of Spades. He keeps it cupped.

SIR IVY
Oh you ain't done a damn thing can't
be undone Playa. The dye ain't even
close t'cast. Y'wanna make some shit
real? No stage, no and lemme say
this one time...

CUT TO:

INT. LEARJET -- DAY

Locke, inbound to Tahoe with a detachment of D.C. Agents
accompanying him. He's examining contents from the
confidential package he received earlier: PHOTOS of a post-
op Primo Sparazza, plastic surgery shrink-wrapped, his face
swollen and deformed, dozens of photos, dozens of dates.

SIR IVY (V.O.)
...If you think old man Primo could
twist your shit up...

He scans the surgical reports, specific sentences and words
pop: "MALIOFACIAL DISORDER" "DEGENERATIVE BONE DISEASE"
"BULLET FRAGMENTS" He keeps reading...

SIR IVY
...It ain't nothin' compared to what
I 'bout to do here. Believe that.

ACOSTA/BILL (V.O.)
I don't believe this.

CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME

"Bill" aka Pasquale Acosta, hitting a walkie-talkie against
his leg, checking for a signal -- faking the whole affair.

ACOSTA/BILL
Battery's completely dead.

Carruthers, behind him in the elevator, checking his cellphone --

ACOSTA/BILL
Forget it, you won't get a signal in
here. Have to wait.

Carruthers, annoyed, stowing his cellphone.

CARRUTHERS
(re: wall phone)
Can't you use the line in here to
contact your people.

ACOSTA/BILL
(not missing a beat)
No, these phones are hardwired
directly to maintenance. Once we
reach the penthouse, I can call down
and have the system taken off-line.

Carruthers, absent nods, anxious. Acosta/Bill, back to futzing
with his walkie-talkie -- going so far as to remove the
battery--

-- And that's when Carruthers sees it... Bill's fingers,
flesh mottled at the tips, horribly scarred over --

-- something clicks -- memories fire -- photostrobic...

FLASH CUT TO:

The briefing in D.C., Supervisor Locke --

LOCKE
Pasquale Acosta -- Mercenary -- "El
Estrago" -- "The Plague"

CUT BACK TO SCENE:

Carruthers' expression goes black...

LOCKE
When he was caught by the SAS in
Northern Ireland and imprisoned, he
chewed off his fingertips to the
bone before he could be printed and
ID'd by Interpol.

Carruthers stares at those fingers, backs against the wall,
hand moving slowly toward his waist -- suspicions pique.

CARRUTHERS
Can't maintenance do that?

ACOSTA/BILL
Do what?

Carruthers unclips his belt holster.

CARRUTHERS
Shut the elevators down.

Acosta... sensing it... keeping his back turned.

ACOSTA/BILL
An emergency shut down of our entire
elevated lift system? No sir. That
has to be handled by my staff.

Carruthers gets a hand on the stock of the .45 on his hip.

CARRUTHERS
How long have you worked here?
(beat)
Bill.

A long, drawn silence... then, static emits from Bill/Acosta's
belt -- his walkie-talkie was working all along. Jig's up.

Acosta spins back -- spring-loaded blade firing from his
sleeve -- Carruthers clears his holster -- Acosta closes the
gap -- blade flashing, passing through Carruthers' hand,
slashing tendons, shearing bone, hot butter --

Carruthers screams -- grip gone, gun tumbling -- instinct
kicks -- his good left hand hauls the .45 out of mid-air,
clutches, squeezes -- BLAM! Acosta's abdomen eats the blast,
burps blood -- Carruthers, a severed hand tucked under his
chin, held in place -- he extends, pulls, fires again --
Ricochets clip overhead fluorescents, fixtures catch strays --
shatter -- glass filament explodes -- razor slivers rain
down.

Acosta, struck, slumping -- a silver automatic appearing
from his other sleeve, trigger finding finger just as the
last of the lights flicker and die -- A beat sustained --
just hard breathing and fluid hitting the floor -- Everything
goes stiff --

-- the two take silent aim in the pitch black and fire
simultaneously, blazing away -- emptying their weapons into
each other from inside three feet -- Gunblasts illuminate
ghoulish features, muted screams covered in gore...

INT. NOMAD HOTEL -- UPPER FLOOR -- SAME

Georgia Sykes, concerned, finger to her ear, picking up
something off her IFB earpiece: Muted gunshots, static-
scrambled... it's the sound of Carruthers and Acosta, ending
one another's lives in the lift below...

SYKES
Girl, you hear that!?

INTERCUT WITH:

INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME

Watters sweeps the penthouse level with her rifle scope.

WATTERS
Are you anywhere near the penthouse?

SYKES
No, but that definitely sounds like
shots and I don't where it's comin'
from --

WATTERS
-- It's your IFB, somebody else has
got an earpiece, you're picking up
their signal --

SYKES
-- I thought we had secure frequency.
Aww girl, tell me this mafucka ain't
goin' off right now.

Watters hears something crackle over one of the scanners...
a transmission to Nomad security staff...

WATTERS
...Oh, fuck these fools...

Sykes looks up to see the elevator has reached her floor.

SYKES
What's wrong?

WATTERS
Security's locking down the elevators.

Sykes looks at the elevator doors in front of her as we...

CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME

The Tremor Brothers, waiting arrival on the penthouse, armed
to the teeth, each one tethered with an array of pistols,
rifles, knives, hatchets, hacksaws; the tools of their trade;
to be implemented in the most godless manner imaginable.

Muzak drifts in over the speakers, when suddenly the car
lurches, cables catch, brake boxes shriek and the elevator
car comes to abrupt stop. The Brothers exchange looks as
power is cut and they are plunged into darkness... An
emergency recording sounds from the elevator's ceiling
speaker.

WOMAN'S VOICE
Please remain calm... Elevator service
has been temporarily suspended and
will resume momentarily...

The recording defaults into a maddening loop... then, the
sounds of someone unzipping a bag in the dark, hands moving
objects around, metal clanks off metal as the bag is rummaged.
A brilliant flash, hot white to iridescent red as a road
flare is struck, showering Darwin Tremor with a deluge of
sparks as he holds it aloft.

DARWIN TREMOR
Les' get at it then.

Lester and Jeeves, effortless aplomb; the speed and dexterity
of a seasoned pit-crew. Lester pulls a torque wrench from
the bag, pops the panel bolts on the elevator's power box
and strips the electrical wiring in seconds --

Jeeves removes a gas-powered generator from their Mary Poppins-
like carry-all carpet bag. He primes the pump, yanks it to a
sputtering start and feeds the AC lead to his brother. Lester
takes it, locates the service override conduit and ties in.
Darwin admires this deft display of skill from his idiot
brethren. As the elevator's power cycles back on we...

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM -- DAY

Light switch flipped on, revealing the shrunken, shriveled,
fetal-like form that is Hollis Elmore being carried by MARGIE
TURLOCK, 63, part-time RN, full-time souvenir shop owner. A
substantial, tank of a woman, Margie manhandles Elmore,
dropping him into a lukewarm bath, brimming with grey water.

MARGIE
Okay sweetie, now I'm a registered
nurse and this was my bath not a
half hour ago, so it ain't as hot as
it could be, but we're gonna get you
all toasty warm in no time --
(beat, to boy)
Warren, Warren -- go on an' get
grandma her hot blanket and her
heating bag, the one in there under
the sink in my bathroom.

Warren sniffs, licks lovingly on an ice cream sandwich, but
never bites it.

WARREN
Slower Nana. Talk slooooooeerrrrr.

Margie indulges her grandson, no end.

MARGIE
Okay Shug... Grandma needs you to go
in --

-- Warren begins to smile, a snarl of misshapen yellow teeth,
smeared with chocolate, bracketed by chrome-colored braces.

MARGIE
Oh, you little foxy, trying to fool
your Nana! You heard me didn't you!?
(beat)
Now Boogie, Grandma needs her big
helper boy now, go on an' get those
things and grandma'll rub your feet!

WARREN
My karate feet? My crazy Karate kick
feet!!

Warren puts the ice cream sandwich in his mouth and begins
hopping up and down, kicking, striking the wall with great,
disturbing ferocity. Margie cackles at this.

MARGIE
You little angel-butt! Grandma'll
rub those feet forever!

Elmore, struggling against imminent death, watching this
display with increasing dread. He scans the sink basin --
sees it lined with anti-depressants; Ritalin, Thorazine, etc
Warren keeps throwing hard roundhouse kicks into the wall.

MARGIE
Oh you silly-sil! Never mind,
Grandma'll get it!

Margie marches off and Warren immediately rushes over to the
tub, placing himself directly over the inert Elmore and
assuming a martial arts stance. He opens his mouth to speak
and the ice cream sandwich tumbles out, landing in the tub.

WARREN
(barking out)
Bow to your opponent!

Warren bows before he squares up and begins methodically
delivering a "Kata" of punches and kicks... violently and
expertly snapped within millimeters of Elmore's face. Elmore,
helpless to raise his arms or defend himself, stares in horror
as the boy, his glasses beginning to fog and drip with
perspiration, works himself into a furious lather.

ELMORE
(trying to speak)
Pl-- kid, st-- stop...

Elmore holds up his stump of a hand,pinky wagging in pathetic
plea -- no use -- Warren is in a state of unhinged, near-
animal frenzy -- his eyes wild, a small, yet prominent
erection beginning to poke through his karate gee...

Margie returns to the bathroom, scolds her grandson. He
squares up on her, feigning a blow to her face. She clouts
him, hard backhand, big flabby arms restraining him,
hauling him out of the bathroom. He bleats like a butchered
sheep.

Elmore, left alone, stark naked, shaking -- he turns his
head, gazing into the other room -- a newscast plays on the
television: A Reporter, lakeside, via live feed... standing
in the same parking lot where Deeks and Dupree were killed.

CUT TO:

TELEVISION SCREEN

We slowly DOLLY BACK, revealing a different room.

REPORTER (ON SCREEN)
-- the two men slain here earlier
today as authorities speculate as to
the apparent disappearance of a third.
The names of the victims are being
withheld, pending notification of
family members, but Action Seven has
learned that one of the deceased,
identified as Jack Dupree --

INT. HOTEL ROOM -- BLACKJACK INN -- SAME

Rupert Reed, shit-faced off belts of straight scotch, a stack
of shot-glasses on his chest, gaped-jawed at the television.

REPORTER
-- was a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada --

Reed lurches up, going for the phone, shot-glasses scattering,
scotch bottle upending, bouncing off the bed.

REED
(to himself, dialing)
...holy shit, shit, shit...

CUT TO:

TELEVISION SCREEN

We slowly DOLLY IN now.

REPORTER
We've also learned that Mr. Dupree
was employed as a process server and
bondsman for Draygo Bail Bonds and
may have been in this area on a
fugitive apprehension --

INT. GAMBLER'S RAMBLE HOTEL -- SAME

Victor Padiche, playing solitaire, one card frozen in his
hand as he watches the news.

PADICHE
...uh oh...

REPORTER
A rental vehicle, registered in Mr.
Dupree's name, has been recovered in
the parking lot of the nearby Nomad
Hotel & Casino...

CUT TO:

INT. NOMAD HOTEL & CASINO -- PARKING STRUCTURE -- DAY

Agent Messner arrives, flanked by shotgun-toting Sheriff's
deputies, local cops and Bureau field agents. They deploy,
cordoning off the scene, taking control.

WE SEE Hugo and Doc Gill, ducking down, Hugo still has the
phone to his ear. As they approach a rear stairwell with a
door that reads: "AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY: PENTHOUSE LEVEL"
two FEDS descend, chaining and bolting the door.

HUGO
Shit... answer the fucking phone.

CUT TO:

INT. NOMAD HOTEL -- PENTHOUSE -- SAME

The phone is still ringing as Soot, Browning 9mm at his side,
stalks the voices coming from the master bedroom

CUT TO:

INT. MASTER BEDROOM -- SAME

Ivy, fingers brushing his gun grip, stares Israel down.

SIR IVY
Y'ain't never had to wash another
man's blood off, dig it out
y'fingernails... Y'had us for that.
Y'ain't ever made a real beef on
y'own, shit as light in the ass as
you are, I'll bet you ain't ever
made anything more than a fuck'n
fist your whole life.
(beat)
So if you think I'mma let your lil'
punk-ass, with the dirt I've done
for you, in the eleventh hour, sell
me off like some fucking field nigger,
hand me up to the Feds like y'last
chip, then you done gone straight
out-your-motherfucking MIND!

ISRAEL
(nodding to phone)
That's Mecklen. The deal's closing.
I can pick that phone up and I can
work this out.
(beat, for effect)
You'll walk with me.

Israel readies the playing card behind his back, slips it
between his index and middle finger -- Ivy shakes his head.

SIR IVY
All that slight a'hand you can do
and you still ain't never learned to
lie right --

-- Israel steps hard, slinging the Ace sidearm, sailing it
toward Ivy, surgical strike, right eye, blood bursting at
his browline -- Ivy goes down in a heap.

SIR IVY
(enraged)
MOTHERFUCK! MOTHERFUCKER!

Ivy, doubled over -- he drags the .50 cal from its holster
and lets fly -- FIRING. Big bore rounds rip right through
the wall, punching dinner-plate sized holes in the plaster.
Israel goes to the ground as Ivy, bleeding, blazes away --

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- ANTEROOM -- SAME

-- Soot takes cover as bullets whistle by -- he tucks the
9mm away just as the doors to the suite are blitzed and the
security team stumbles in, guns drawn, grouped tight --

SECURITY TEAM
(in unison)
DOWN! DOWN! DOWN!

They assume quasi-combat stances; six idiots, crab-crawling
their way across the room. Soot stays prone, plays scared,
realizes that his rubber appliance nose has come loose, tries
to adjust it -- can't, has to hide his face, burying it in
his sleeve, wiping more make-up off in the process --Mustache
is on point, pistol trained. He spots Soot cowering.

MUSTACHE
(to Soot)
Are you hit?

Soot shakes his head a vigorous "no" as Mustache and his men
turn their attention to the bedroom.

MUSTACHE
(calling out)
Mr. Israel!?

ISRAEL
IN HERE!

MUSTACHE
Are you hurt sir!?

ISRAEL
Ivy's trying to kill me!

SIR IVY
FUCK YOU!

ISRAEL
GET IN HERE GODDAMMIT!

Mustache and his men round the corner into the master bedroom.

INT. MASTER BEDROOM -- SAME

Ivy, down on one knee, depth perception shot, trying to
reload, bullets slipping through blood-slicked fingers --

Israel lies on the floor behind the bed, breathless, chest
heaving, frantically trying to pull the small automatic pistol
out of his overnight bag.

MUSTACHE
(advancing on Ivy)
Drop-that-gun-right-now!

One of the bodyguards spots the body of Beanie, lying dead
in the remnants of the coffee table.

SECURITY MEMBER #1
Jesus, he got Beanie...
(back to Mustache)
He shot Beanie!

ISRAEL
What?

Ivy hears this, let's the gun slide from his hand, standing,
eye swollen to a bleeding slit.

MUSTACHE
GET ON THE GROUND!

Ivy, looking past them, seeing Beanie's lifeless body, laying
there. Israel peers out, sees the same thing.

ISRAEL
Jesus Christ...

Two of the bodyguards rush to Beanie, bending over his body,
checking for vitals. Ivy, suspended in the doorway, stunned.
One of the security team looks back; no good... he's gone.
Just then, the phone stops ringing.

ISRAEL
(looking up at Ivy)
...you just murdered Beanie...

Ivy, shocked, dismayed. Israel, starting to see his sweetheart
deal with the Feds go up in smoke. He immediately mobilizes.

ISRAEL
(to Mustache)
Hey!
(pointing to Ivy)
Get him out -- muscle him if you
have to. Take him down the quietly,
use the service exit. Then get back
up here and we'll handle the rest of
this.
(off Mustache's look)
What? Is there somebody else in there?

Soot, from the other room, careful to keep his face concealed.

VITOLI
Eees Vitoli.

Israel, a grimace... two too many people involved. Israel
nods, thinking, does a bump of coke, right out in the open.

ISRAEL
(to security)
Avert your eyes gents, y'didn't see
that.
(beat, rolls neck)
Okay Vitoli, listen these last few
minutes make you a material witness,
do you understand what that means?

VITOLI
...How can I be of assistance...

ISRAEL
You do know what that means!
Tremendous, that's the attitude.
(beat, clutching chest)
Alright, Vitoli, hang tight for half
a tic, we've got a special sort of
"clean-up" we gotta do here, alright?

Soot nods.

ISRAEL
(to Mustache)
What's he doing, is he getting this?

Mustache, glancing over at Soot, seeing him nod.

MUSTACHE
Yeah, he's nodding.

ISRAEL
Good. Now Move.

Mustache and his men brace Ivy, taking advantage of his
disorientation and dismay and swiftly escorting him out.

EXT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME

They amass around the elevator, taking care to double handcuff
Ivy now. Mustache pushes the call button. It fails to light.

CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME

Choked with generator and road flare smoke, lit like hell
itself. The Tremors stand at arms, shrouded in a miasmic
mung of horribly toxic fumes, filling their lungs with it.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. HALLWAY -- SAME

Mustache hits the call button again, still nothing. Yet one
of the lifts appears to be ascending

SECURITY TEAM
Wait... one of 'em looks like it's
on its way up...

MUSTACHE
What about the other four? Are they
out?

He keeps hitting the call button, but it won't light.

MUSTACHE
The hell is going on...

WATTERS (V.O.)
...Forget it, it's dead.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME

Sykes, trying to pry the elevator doors open.

SYKES
It ain't dead! Quit saying that shit!

INTERCUT WITH:

INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME

Watters pours herself a glass of Chablis from the mini-bar.

WATTERS
Girl, I just saw muzzle flashes comin'
out that suite. S'probably where you
heard that shootin' earlier, somebody
jus' downed Israel. He dead, our
play is dead.

Sykes, getting some separation on the elevator doors, pulling
her 9mm, using it like a crowbar.

SYKES
I'm not givin' it up jus' yet...

WATTERS
C'mon, I say we bounce now, kick it
for a lil' bit, play some craps.
(beat, probing)
...Maybe spend the night?

Sykes, struggling, when the doors suddenly retract on their
own... She's staggered by what she sees in the elevator,
tripping back, heels catching, dumping her on her ass --

SYKES
(just above whisper)
...oh... damn...

She sits up, stupefied... cordite and pistol smoke drift out
of the open elevator doors like a funeral dirge. The sound
of a bone-saw emanates from within.

INT. ELEVATOR CAR

Carruthers and Acosta... war-torn, shot to hell, post-battle
standoff, just staring, weapons emptied, bodies bullet-
punctured, leaking life... both are breathing, but just
barely.

WATTERS (OVER HEADSET)
What is it...?

Filament and glass dust cover everything. Blood streams in
steaming fissures, floating spent shell casings and
fluorescent shards cover the floor of the car.

Acosta, clinging to life itself, clutching the whirring bone
saw, trying in vain to reach Carruthers. Sykes wades forward,
wary, Glock vise-gripped.

SYKES
...Shhhhhhit... girl, there's these
two dudes, just sittin' here in this
elevator, all shot up...

WATTERS
What?

SYKES
(beat, looking around)
They musta been beefin' big time
with one another, cuz this shit, got
way past words, whatever it was.

WATTERS
...What are they doin' right now...?

Sykes, glancing from Carruthers to Acosta. A beat.

SYKES
Right now?
(beat)
...Dying.

CUT TO:

INT. "LAKEY'S SOUVENIR SHOPPE" -- KITCHENETTE -- DAY

Elmore, seated, wrapped in quilts and heated blankets,
shivering horribly, lips blackened, flexing brittle fingers
on his good hand, trying to restore feeling, teeth clattering
like ten thousand tea cups. Margie Turlock enters, arms loaded
down, grandson Warren hot on her heels, a set of Nunchukas
under his arm...

...Elmore, palpable hatred, pure bile for the boy.

Margie sets the assortment of goods down on the table in
front of Elmore; tourist-themed hats & sweatsuits from the
shop, a pair of thermals, a collection of pill bottles and
what appears to be an old Vietnam-era ammo box.

MARGIE
So them fellas were your friends
then? The ones that was shot and
tossed into the lake? Were they police
officers too?

Elmore nods, rifling the pile in front of him, going for the
pills. Margie pulls a pot of coffee off the stove, pours a
mug. Sets it down in front of him.

MARGIE
(motioning to pills)
Them was left over from my
hysterectomy, so they're a few years
old, might be outta date.

Elmore eyes the labels; Vicodin, Vioxx... morphine-based.
Nice... Just numb it all.

MARGIE
You sure you don't want me to call
an ambulance honey? I think it's
crazy you not going in... y'got what
looks like hypothermia and real bad
frostbite. They could wind up
amputatin' if y'don't get it treated.

Warren sits in the chair next to Elmore and begins mimicking
him, shaking epileptically, doing his doofus bit, tucking
three fingers away, waving a stump, belly-laughing...

MARGIE
Warren! Now you go and practice your
nunchucks now, leave us be for a bit
Shug.

Warren scowls, getting up, in super-slow motion, making sounds
with his mouth as he stands, robotic whirs, buzzes, clicks --
Margie chuckles at her grandson, she can't help it --

Then, in a blur, Warren snaps, abruptly slamming the nunchakas
on the table, the rebounding portion of the weapon almost
hitting Elmore in the face. He bolts the room before Grandma
can scold him, his titters echoing off like taunts...

MARGIE
...M'sorry about that boy, his momma
abandoned him going on a year now,
his daddy, my boy Dale -- Gulf War
vet, s'over in the Reno-Washoe
Correctional facility -- got some
"clarity" issues. He did some home
invasion sodomy-torture type stuff,
wrote a buncha bad checks, got hisself
consecutive life terms -- shipped
off to Soledad there in California.
(beat, scribbles
something down)
-- reminds me, I got that care package
I need to send off --
(beat, continues lament)
Anyhoo, m'husband Bill took the
coward's route, n'committed suicide
by hangin' 'bout nine months back.
Ever since then, little Boogie there's
been the man'a the house!
(beat, gnarled grin)
And we make a darn cute couple I
think!

Margie, cackling again -- the facade of sanity showing serious
signs of strain... Elmore pulls the ammo box across the table.
Stenciled on the side: "177th Airborne Division -- Charlie
Company - Reckon" He cracks the lid.

MARGIE
I don't think that's been opened
since my husband died.

Inside, army memorabilia and bric-a-brac; patches, service-
tags, dog-earred b&w polaroids, ancient titty mags, (which
make Margie horribly uncomfortable) Saigon bottled beer and
most importantly, a .357 Colt Python.

Elmore lifts it, looks it over, feels the heft, drops the
chamber -- it's loaded. He sifts some more, palms loose
bullets at the bottom of the box. He cracks a blackened grin,
rolling the pistol's chamber and snapping it shut as we...

CUT TO:

A padlock being locked and secured.

CAMERA PULLS BACK TO REVEAL:

INT. NOMAD HOTEL -- LOBBY

Elevators and access doors locked down indefinitely. Casino
and hotel patrons file out in less than orderly fashion.
Craps players, pissed that their "hot streaks" have been cut
short, harangue police and sheriff's personnel in passing.
Barflys and blackjack habituates, accustomed to staying in
one spot for months on end, have to be manually removed.

The four call girls, trying to argue their way past security
and onto one of the elevators, realizing they're not getting
anywhere near the Penthouse level. Messner coordinates the
Nomad's exodus, continually adjusting his earpiece, trying
to contact Carruthers, two agents flank him.

MESSNER
(to agent)
I want you to locate Agent Carruthers
now.
(beat, to another
agent)
The guests that aren't able to leave
need to be confined to their suites.
And under no circumstances are they
to venture out, for any reason. Have
the staff make calls to that effect.

The pimply Casino Employee is at the center of an intensive
on-spot interrogation being conducted by a group of agents.
Messner arrives, stares at the kid.

MESSNER
This him?

FBI AGENT
(nodding, then to kid)
Alright Ricky, I want you to explain
to Agent Messner exactly what happened
and do it slowly please.

The kid, head bobbing, gnawing fingernails, cuticles mangled.

CASINO EMPLOYEE
Yeah, ye-- I -- uh, there were,
earlier, there was that guy Carrut--

MESSNER
-- Agent Carruthers. Do you know
where is he now?

CASINO EMPLOYEE
He uh -- he asked about -- I'm -- he
wanted to know whic-- what floor
security was on, then I saw him get
on the elevator with the other agent.

MESSNER
(quick, thrown)
Wait a minute, what other agent?
(beat, to others)
What other agent?

FBI AGENT
I have no idea. It wasn't anybody
from our office.

CASINO EMPLOYEE
He said he was from San Francisco.

MESSNER
Did he give you his name?

CASINO EMPLOYEE
Yeah, uh -- it was Spanish-somethin'
Garcia, or Diego, uh --

MESSNER
(to other agents)
-- run both those names through the
D.C. database. Call San Francisco,
see if they've got anybody in the
field doing collateral inquiries for --

CASINO EMPLOYEE
-- he was wearing one of our jackets.

Messner stops cold.

MESSNER
Who?

CASINO EMPLOYEE
The other agent. He said he was here
to do an inspection and later, when
he got on the elevator with the other
guy, Carruthers, I saw him wearing
one of our security jackets...

Messner turns, bores in on the kid, no more bullshit now.

MESSNER
This man wearing the jacket identified
himself as an Federal agent?

CASINO EMPLOYEE
Uh, yeah.

MESSNER
You're sure?

CASINO EMPLOYEE
Yeah, he had the badge and everything.
It said "FBI" on it.

MESSNER
And when you saw him later, he was
wearing one of your security jackets --

CASINO EMPLOYEE
Yeah.

MESSNER
And that didn't seem odd to you?

The kid glances around, oops -- my mistake -- tries to amend.

CASINO EMPLOYEE
I -- I mean, I thought they gave it
to him so he cou--

Messner turns on his heels, the other agents tag along.

MESSNER
(addressing others)
We may have a man posing as one of
us. Get a tactical team assembled.
We need to get to the penthouse level
immediately.

FBI AGENT
We'll have to power the elevators
back up.

MESSNER
Do it.

As they move past the group of call girls, still arguing
with security as we...

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE -- SAME

Israel, sickly, face bloodless, sitting down on a couch,
setting the small handgun down on the table next to him. He
digs at his chest now, in considerable pain, rotating his
arm around, trying to rouse it.

ISRAEL
Fucking things falling asleep...

Israel gazes at Beanie's body, trying to figure out an
appropriate course of action.

ISRAEL
(over his shoulder)
Vitoli, just sit tight for a second,
I gotta make a phone call, figure
this out...

He takes out his cellphone, dialing Morris Mecklen. Soot
appears behind him, easing the 9mm out of his waistband and
resuming his stalk... ever... so... slowly.

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME

Israel's security crew, surrounding a still-stunned Sir Ivy,
waiting on the lift. One of the elevators approaches. The
rest appear to be down.

BODYGUARD #1
One of 'em on it's way up. This
doesn't make any sense, what's wrong
with the rest of 'em?

Suddenly, the stairwell doors are flung open, revealing Hugo
and Gill. All guns whip simultaneously to that spot.

HUGO
(hands up)
Whoa, hey -- hey -- hold-up, hold-
up, I got the Doc, easy...
(beat, seeing Ivy)
What's going on?

MUSTACHE
Ivy tried to kill Mr. Israel and
shot Mr. Alphonse in the process.
He's dead.

Hugo, thunderstruck.

HUGO
-- Beanie!? What? How did that happe--
(beat, angry now)
Ivy!?

Ivy, ashamed, not looking up.

IVY
Buddy was goin' jam us Hugo. He was
gonna fuck us up with the Feds...

SYKES
...Wait a minute... This one's a
Fed.

CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME

Sykes, holding Carruthers' FBI credentials after patting him
down. She doesn't notice that power has been restored to the
elevator.

WATTERS (O.S.)
What?

INTERCUT WITH:

INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME

Watters, trying to listen to Sykes, but concerned by the
sudden surge of activity from the police scanners.

SYKES (O.S.)
Girl one of these fools has an FBI
badge on him! Is this the one that
was doing the inspection?

WATTERS
Hold up, hold up, I'm getting shots
over the scanners, tons of traffic --
jus' chill for a sec, lemme listen...

INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR

Sykes, pocketing the Carruthers ID. Behind her, Acosta manages
to move enough to cover the "Bill" ID on his jacket.

Sykes turns back to him, moving over to his now still form --
blood drenched, barely conscious, eyes flittering like black
flies... she kicks the bone saw from his hand. It spins to a
gradual stop. She leans over him... the stiletto blade he
used to dispatch "Bill" and hack Carruthers digits off has
retracted back into his sleeve.

Sykes begins patting him down, moving dangerously close to
that sleeve, her neck hovering right above that spot --

SYKES
You jus' lay still, we goin figure
out what the fuck ya'll were up t--

She pulls Acosta's bogus ID... Gerald Diego: Federal Bureau
of Investigation.

SYKES
You ain't gonna believe this shit.
(beat)
Both these motherfuckers are FEDS.

INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME

Watters shaking her head, monitoring scanner transmissions.

WATTERS
No, no, no no -- one of 'em ain't --
one of 'ems bullshit -- it's all
over the air here, they got an
impostor, some fool with a fake badge --

CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME

Messner, having commandeered an elevator -- his IFB earpiece
picking up interference -- distorted crosstalk, some sync of
some kind, voices, clipped, delineating, spiked with static:

WATTERS (OVER MESSNER'S IFB)
-- some fool wi-- a fake badge. So w-
tch yours--f.

Messner, finger in his ear now, listening hard, hand up,
quieting the rest of the car.

SYKES (OVER MESSNER'S IFB)
What I got i- a Gerald D--go and a
Donald Carruthers here... Now w--ch
one of --'ll --s for real?

As the car rises past the fourteenth floor, the signal
sharpens, crystallizes less than a second --

SYKES
'Cuz I'mma kill the one that ain't...

Messner reacts --

MESSNER
-- STOP THE ELEVATOR!

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME

The Elevator arrives with a "ding!" Mustache and his men
wait for the doors to open... heavy black smoke begins to
slowly seep through the cracks, rolling up and along the
walls, unfurling finger-like across the ceiling. From within
the elevator car itself, a pull engine sputters to a stall...

A HEART BEGINS TO BEAT OVER THE SOUNDTRACK. A steady thrum,
building slowly...

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE APARTMENT -- SAME

Israel on the phone, consumed by chest spasms. Soot, his
Vitoli visage now mangled beyond recognition; nose sheared
off, rubber chin and jaw prosthesis. He throws back the
tablecloth covering his service tray, takes an igloo cooler
off ice inside, pulls surgical tools from it -- scalpel,
forceps rib-spreader, etc., He arranges them pre-op style.
He removes a phone from his jacket, hits "Send" waits, says:

SOOT
(cryptically)
Three minutes.

He reaches Israel, leveling the 9mm to his skull. Israel is
completely unaware as he clutches his chest, breath coming
in great laborious gulps. He's on the phone to Mecklen.

INTERCUT:

MECKLEN
Buddy, they revoked the deal, they
pulled it...

ISRAEL
They what? What? No. No. Why?

MECKLEN
The Deputy Director, this prick Locke,
he smashed the whole thing, we're
done, they won't tell me why...

The doors to the suite open and in stride Hugo and Doc Gill.
Soot, gun raised, watches as both men look up and meet his
gaze.

...Nobody moves.

THE HEARTBEAT CONTINUES. Quickening...

Hugo, a guarded step forward, squinting.

HUGO
Vitoli? What are you doing?

GILL
(to Hugo)
It's okay, it's okay Hugo...
(beat, to Soot)
Mr. Soot, I'm Doctor Gill.

Israel turns back, sees this demented version of Vitoli aiming
at gun right in his face. Israel's breathing suddenly cinches
up tight, his pulse triple-timing. He turns back to Gill.

ISRAEL
Doc -- y-- wha-- what is this?

Hugo takes a step away from Gill, alarmed, his hand inch-
worming toward the gun on his waist... WE TRACK THE HAND as
it becomes --

CUT TO:

-- Agent Messner, reaching for his gun as the elevator arrives
at the fourteenth floor.

INT. HALLWAY -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME

Messner and a heavily armed contingent of cops and fellow
feds exit the elevator, fanning out, quietly situating
themselves at the far side of the hallway with a clear line
of sight to the open elevator at the opposite end.

HEARTBEAT ACCELERATES MORE

INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME

Sykes, having heard the elevator arrive, leans against the
wall, gun up, listening --

INT. HALLWAY -- SAME

Messner, voice low, directing the tactical action.

MESSNER
Two man cover formation, far end,
the elevator is open, possible
aggression inside, watch for fire --

INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME

Sykes, hearing that last transmission simultaneously.

MESSNER'S VOICE
-- watch for fire...

She glances down at Carruthers, sees his IFB in his lap,
realizes that's where the voice is coming from. Plugs it
into her ear.

MESSNER'S VOICE
Stay low, breach on my mark...

Sykes, covering Carruthers' IFB, whispering into her own.

SYKES
Shar... Fourteen, I'm pinched -- I
need some heavy shit, fire-from-
heaven... my count.

CUT TO:

INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME

Watters, re-targeting, bringing the Barrett .50 to bear on
the lower floors, sighting down from the top, counting back
to fourteen, settling, locking off the tripod, gazing through
her scope... HEARTBEAT BUILDING STILL, becoming more erratic.

WATTERS POV: Fourteenth floor, big glass windows, drawn
curtains... she nuzzles the eyepiece, finger slipping
delicately inside the trigger guard... waiting.

WATTERS (INTO IFB)
Bet.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. ELEVATOR CAR -- SAME

With Sykes attention diverted, Acosta begins slowly moving
his hand toward his pant leg, reaching for a hidden ankle-
holster as we --

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME

-- Mustache and his men, hands going to their rigs, shoulder
and waist. A handcuffed Ivy watches with them as the elevator
doors open and a big plume of black smoke vacates the car,
eerily cast light burns blood red within, infernal, hellish.
Now, another pull engine leaps to life from inside the car,
this one gnarled and guttural, winding out... a chainsaw.

HEARTBEAT JACKHAMMERING NOW. Out of control.

The sound falls away, leaving only the runaway throb of the
beating heart as we --

CUT TO:

SLO-MO DOLLY IN:

Buddy Israel. Both hands going to his heart. Something
horribly wrong. He pitches forward, falling away from Soot's
pistol --

THE HEARTBEAT crescendos wildly, out-of-control...

CUT TO:

...A BELL-RANGER HELICOPTER, the heartbeat becoming the thwack
of rotor blades as it lifts off with Deputy Director Locke
and an FBI tactical team inside...

CUT TO:

MONTAGE

...a kaleidoscope of scenarios about to be played out at the
exact same second... shared fates... Shakespearean fraught...
in this soundless realm the CAMERA TAKES US PAST THE
FOLLOWING:

HUGO -- Looking on in horror as Israel collapses.

DOC GILL -- Rushing to Buddy's aide.

SOOT -- Bringing the 9mm up, leveling it on Hugo.

CAMERA MOVES OUT INTO THE PENTHOUSE HALLWAY PAST:

MUSTACHE -- Sensing grave danger, his gun being drawn. His
men following suit.

IVY -- Pulling away from his captors, looking for cover.

DARWIN TREMOR -- Stepping from the elevator, strapped with a
sawed-off pump shotgun in one hand, a vintage elephant gun
in the other, looking for lives to end. LESTER TREMOR --
Chainsaw snarling, spewing oil, psycho smile spreading viral
across a pockmarked face.

JEEVES TREMOR -- Sledgehammer in a scabbard on his back,
holding WWII era German "Potato-Masher" grenades, gripped
like drumsticks, pins pulled. He hurls them.

CAMERA MOVES PAST THEM, DOWN ELEVATOR SHAFT TO:

SYKES -- Pulling extra clips from her handbag, securing them
under her garter belt, dumping her heels in favor of hose.

ACOSTA -- Pant leg lifted, moving panther-quiet, tortoise-
slow, unfastening the snap on his ankle-holster. CARRUTHERS --
Near death, eyes locked on Acosta, his mortal combatant,
trying desperately to reach his own ankle holster.

MESSNER -- Watching as his team moves into place around the
elevator. Checking his own piece, flicking off the safety.

CAMERA MOVES OUT THE WINDOW AND UP TO:

WATTERS -- In the Hotel window across the way, sniper-rifle
snug to her shoulder, eye on the scope, waiting for the word.

CAMERA MOVES THROUGH RIFLE SCOPE UP TO AND INSIDE EARPIECE

Inside the earpiece at 10000x normal magnification; micro-
sound condensers and circuits the size of skyscrapers. Then,
a voice makes the landscape tremble, like the trump of God:

SYKES
Bring it.

THE CAMERA SUDDENLY REVERSES PATH

Back out of the earpiece, down through the scope, over the
barrel of the rifle... BOOM... A .50 caliber bullet is
birthed.

CAMERA TRAVELS BACK TO:

The fourteenth floor window of the Nomad detonates with
concussive ferocity -- creating a hailstorm of shattered
glass that sweeps the length of the hallway, engulfing cops
and feds whole.

CUT TO:

Another round tears in after it, exploding a gilded ceiling
stanchion, sparking off the rebar, tripping the sprinkler
system, dousing the corridor -- everybody runs for cover.

One of the AGENTS, wounded, summons another elevator.
Messner, undeterred, advances on the elevator containing
Sykes and Carruthers.

CAMERA TRAVELING BACK

Sykes, Glock ready to rock, about to move. Acosta, pulling a
pistol from his ankle-rig, preparing to backshoot Sykes.

CAMERA ASCENDS BACK UP THROUGH SHAFT

Chaos. Carnage. Full blown bloodbath. Heavily-armed men on
an overkill override. Mustache and Co., waging close quarters
warfare with the Brothers Tremor. Bullets blaze, bodies drop,
everything burns --

CAMERA CONTINUES PAST SCENE TO:

Soot, shooting Hugo several times -- Hugo falling back,
confused by the abrupt pain, baffled by the appearance of
blood. Gill, overtop of Israel, trying to force feed him
nitro-glycerin tablets. Buddy goes into full cardiac arrest.

Disparate sounds collide now, swell to a great tumult -- an
incomprehensible crescendo of explosions and chainsaws and
gunshots and screams as we --

CUT TO BLACK

...nothing... complete and utter silence...

SLOW FADE UP ON:

Primo Sparazza... sitting in that hospital bed... waiting.

FADE OUT:

SLOW FADE UP ON:

The Swede... sitting on a sofa in his suite with Sparazza's
men... waiting.

FADE OUT:

SLOW FADE UP ON:

Rupert Reed... drunk and despondent... by the phone...
waiting.

FADE OUT:

SLOW FADE UP ON:

Victor Padiche... hand-wringing... watching his phone...
waiting.

FADE OUT:

HARD CUT UP ON:

All of it happening at lightspeed. Watters, reloading,
watching as leaden contrails of gunsmoke pour from the
pulverized fourteenth floor. She resumes her assault.

CUT TO:

Messner, a few feet from the car containing Sykes. More sniper
fire rakes the hallway. Another elevator arrives, opens...
call girls inside. They snuck up somehow, past security...
The gunplay gets them spooked, scared -- they scramble from
the car -- cops and feds try to stuff them back inside the
elevator as rounds continue to rain down.

One of the girls catches a hard ricochet, wig leaping off
her head as a bounced bullet punches through her skull --
she crumbles, instant casualty. Messner hardly notices, moving
instead toward the other elevator car.

MESSNER
THIS IS THE FBI! THROW YOUR WEAPON
OUT! SHOW ME YOUR HANDS!

SYKES
(whispering into IFB)
Are these feds fake or for real girl!

Carruthers, pawing feebly at her, moaning -- trying to warn
her -- she shrugs him off.

WATTERS
(yelling)
I DON'T KNOW!

SYKES
Jus' keep doin' y'damage girl, keep
these mafuckas off my as--

BANG -- Sykes squeals, spins back, feels numbness spread
over her legs and lower trunk, knows she's been shot.

SYKES
(panic, into her IFB)
We're out girl! I'm shot! I'M SHOT! --

ACOSTA fires again, bullet ripping through her studded
bustier, gouging kevlar, nicking ribcage -- embedding into
the IFB receiver on her hip, ruining it. Sykes falters --
tries to raise her gun --

Acosta raises his aim to her head, about to deliver the coup
de grace -- Messner appears now, sees Acosta, sights him
when --

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!!

Acosta's chest explodes, he slumps, the gun sliding away --
Messner swings wide on the car to reveal:

Carruthers, smoking gun, trembling aim, exposed ankle
holster... empty. Sykes, kevlar burning, smashed round still
hot, she tries to pull her vest off, finds her newly paralyzed
arm uncooperative. Messner, advancing now, keeping an eye on
his partner as he moves toward the car.

MESSNER
LADY, SHOW ME YOUR HANDS RIGHT NOW!

SYKES
I NEED MY HANDS MOTHERFUCKER! I'M
HIT! KILL ME OR LET ME BE!

Messner enters the elevator, rushes to the doomed Carruthers.

MESSNER
How bad?

CARRUTHERS
Mortal.

MESSNER
No.

CARRUTHERS
Yeah.

Messner takes his partner under the arms, lugging him into
the open hallway, stripping off his shirt. Carruthers severed
hand nearly falls away from the rest of his arm.

Acosta spits blood from the lungs -- his breathing now a bog
of pinched snorts and gurgles.

MESSNER
(re: Acosta, yelling
to the others)
SECURE THIS SUSPECT!

TWO FEDS enter to remove Acosta from the car -- he lets out
a guttural yelp as they hoist him -- real pain or playing
possum, impossible to tell... As his legs clear the elevator
doors, they slowly close on the wounded Sykes.

Messner, tries to prevent them from closing, can't -- gazes
up at the digital counter as the elevator continues its ascent
to the Penthouse level...

CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR CAR

Sykes, riding up, wounded, vulnerable, trying to reach the
control panel to stop the car. She keys her now useless IFB.

SYKES
(into IFB)
Girl, I'm inside, I'm on my way up --
this elevator is going to the
Penthouse -- can you hear me --?
Baby, can you hear me --

CUT TO:

INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- TOP FLOOR -- SAME

-- Watters, panicked, pulling the Barrett up off its tri-
pod, hitting the hallway, double-timing to the stairwell...
She has no idea that she's lost radio contact with Watters.

WATTERS
Sit tight if you can hear me Girl! I
can't do shit for you from here.
I'm moving down for a sightline!

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME

Plaster and debris everywhere, sprinklers tripped, most of
Mustache's team shot, shredded or burnt to a crisp. Pieces
of building and bodies either waterlogged or fully ablaze.
Mustache and Darwin play duck and cover, exchanging fire.
Jeeves, out of grenades, sledgehammer swinging, crushing
wall studs, scattering remaining security team members.

Ivy, sheltered, having survived the opening salvos, gets
ahold of a gun from a chainsaw-shorn former security member;
Lester sees Ivy arming himself, blitzes him -- chainsaw
snarling, revved out, sending fantails of gristle and chipped
bone everywhere. Less than fifteen feet separate them.

Ivy fires, shots deflected off the blade's teeth, seconds
from getting gutted -- he adjusts his aim high, emptying the
gun into Lester's chest, bullets blazing haywire, blowing
out between Lester's shoulders, stopping a hard charge cold.

Lester, lopsided, bullet-dazed, drools blood... then dies.
Ivy dumps his clip, searches for another -- the chainsaw
falls, stalls.

Jeeves, hefting the sledgehammer like a hayseed John Henry,
looks over as his older brother's life come to an end. He
reacts badly.

JEEVES TREMOR
LESTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Jeeves buries the sledge in a wall, takes up the chainsaw,
rips the pullcord, resumes the charge --

Ivy, finds a clip, slams it in the stock, points, pulls --
trigger-stick, hammer-jam. He falls to his back, scurrying
away, trouble finding traction, soles slipping -- he keeps
pulling the trigger. Jeeves straddles him from above, raises
the saw like a great wooden stake, about to bring it down --

-- BAM!

Ivy's automatic discharges. The round splits the saw's gas
tank, spritzing fuel, dousing Jeeves -- A beat before the
tank suddenly arcs, exploding, lighting Jeeves up like a
four-hundred pound bonfire, bouncing him off the walls; a
human Hindenberg, fully engulfed. He flails, burns, howls,
falls... molten fat melts off his body like lard butter...

Darwin, dismayed, both brothers down... He moves on Mustache,
dispatches him with detached efficiency, snapping his neck
clean. He then starts toward Ivy, who's trying desperately
to crawl out of there.

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE -- SAME

Hugo, crawling across the floor, knees dragging over his own
blood trail, trying to reach: Israel, on the ground, dying.
Soot's gun has jammed. He clears it efficiently, patiently
reloading the weapon as Doc Gill, in panic mode, performs
full chest compressions on Buddy as we --

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME

Messner, doing the same to Carruthers, trying to restart his
heart. Acosta, lays there silently, slowly bleeding out,
being tended to by a team of agents. In the b.g. Cops and
Feds gather near the window, searching for the assailant,
binoculars and rifle scopes strafing the Horizon hotel across
the way, concentrating at the open window near the top floor.

CUT TO:

INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR HALLWAY -- SAME

WATTERS, running up the hallway, past alarmed maid service
and hotel staff. She reaches the lower floor window and raises
the scope to her eye, searching for Sykes --

WATTERS
Girl, where are you -- talk to me...
how bad are you hit...

WATTERS POV

She sees the Feds and Cops in the Nomad window across the
way. Smoke clears, her field of vision through the scope
expands, sharpens.

WATTERS
Georgia goddamn baby, please talk to
me, please say somethin' so --

-- And that's when she spots the call girl, face obscured,
lying dead from a headshot in the hallway... her heart
sinks... and she assumes the worst: Sykes is dead.

WATTERS
MOTHERFUCKERS!!

She flicks to full-auto and opens fire right through the
glass in front of her -- big gas-ejected shells pop from the
breach like bowling pins -- the gathered throng across the
way in the Nomad window seem to vaporize in a violent collage
of heat, blood and building chunks -- Watters bucks big sobs,
blasting away with the Barrett...

WATTERS
M'SORRY BABY! I'M SO SORRY! I LOVED
YOU SO MUCH!

CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR -- SAME

Sykes, standing now, knock-kneed, kevlar discarded, down to
a black bra and mini-skirt, blood dribbling over her midriff,
deep indentation near her sternum -- big yellow bruise in
bloom -- the bullet didn't penetrate... her elevator arrives
at the penthouse level and as the doors open we --

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE HALLWAY -- SAME

Darwin, looming over Ivy, about to bring the sledge down
squarely on his skull -- the elevator doors open in his
periphery... He looks over, sees Sykes standing there, barely
clothed, wet with blood, gun in her hand... and grins.

Sykes, seeing Darwin standing over Ivy, holding a sledgehammer --
recognizes him as the perv from earlier. She levels the Glock,
stepping out of the elevator, steadying herself against the
wall, steadying her aim on Darwin's head.

SYKES
Drop that hammer...
(beat, cocking gun)
And I drop this one.
(beat)
Know a killer motherfucker... know
they voice. Know they feel... and
know you 'bout to die by one.

Then, the sound of an helicopter intrudes, rotor thrum,
building steadily, growing louder -- the floor seems to shake
as the chopper approaches -- nervous eyes dart -- nobody
moves.

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE APARTMENT -- SAME

The chopper draws closer, growing louder -- Hugo, still trying
to crawl toward his downed boss. Soot finishes him off with
a flush headshot. Gill, frantic, rapid chest compressions on
Israel, who gags, starts, coughs, heart back up and beating.
His watery gaze moves from Gill to Soot, who know stands
overtop of him, aiming the 9mm down at him.

Israel averts his eyes... the end has come. He looks over
and sees his lamb-skin coat, lying there, soaking in Beanie's
blood, ruined beyond recognition. A tear escapes his eye.

ISRAEL
...forgive me...

Soot puts the gun flush with Buddy's skull when suddenly,
the ceiling begins to tremble and shake... the sound of a
helicopter filling the air.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME

Messner is losing Carruthers, can't revive him, begins to
crack -- hammering on his chest... it's no use. He's dead.
He sobs -- something slides from his pocket. He glances
down...

...sees that the bag containing Elmore's severed fingers has
fallen from his pocket. Doesn't remember hanging onto them.
He replaces them in his pocket. Looks down at his dead friend,
sees his severed hand, also missing fingers...

...the absurdity of this makes Messner want to cry laughing...

...and that's when he hears the chopper... and sees it as it
rises up past their floor, past the contingent of Cops and
Feds slugging it out with Watters across the street.

INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME

Watters, ears ringing with gunfire reverb, reloading -- salvos
of return fire ripping back at her -- then, all at once, the
shooting stops -- She pauses, thinks it's a ploy -- then
slowly peers over the window sill as the Bell-Ranger comes
into view, over the Nomad, touching down on its narrow
rooftop.

INT. PENTHOUSE -- SAME

The doors to the Penthouse level are bashed open and the
windows implode as FBI tactical agents repel in, weapons
drawn, swarming, surrounding the scene, shouting commands --

Darwin Tremor drops the sledge, jackrabbits for the elevator,
diving in as the doors close --

Sykes, stumbling toward Ivy. He sees she's injured, scoops
her up like a new bride -- she places something in his hand...
Acosta's fake FBI credentials. Ivy looks, nods, gets it --
agents approach, combat crouches, MP-5's at arms.

AGENT #1
Let me see your hands!

Ivy, flashing the I.D., taking care to cover the photo.

SIR IVY
This woman's been shot, I need to
get her medical attention immediately!

Commotion and confusion swirl. The Agent, unsure, searching
for some confirmation -- can't find it, dismisses them and
rushes into the Penthouse. Sykes and Ivy slip out the exit.

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE APARTMENT -- SAME

Soot, disarmed, handcuffed. Israel, propped up, sweating
badly, seizures still hobbling his heart. Gill, being patted
down by the Agents, prescription pills confiscated. Soot is
held at gunpoint and flex-cuffed, the remainder of rubber
appliance pulled off his face.

The agents begin to initiate an "All Clear" over their radios.
Moments pass before Deputy Director Locke enters the room,
He approaches Soot, studies him, to one of the agents;

LOCKE
Soot?

The Agent nods confirmation. Locke reaches into Soot's coat,
finds his cellphone... hits redial.

LOCKE
(into phone)
Would you join us please...

Locke disconnects, passes the phone to an underling.

LOCKE
Where are Carruthers and Messner?

AGENT #1
Agent Carruthers was killed sir,
(as Locke turns back)
Agent Messner is unaccounted for.

LOCKE
Account for him.

CUT TO:

INT. STAIRWELL -- SAME

Messner, bounding up the steps, gun drawn, hears voices coming
down the stairs toward him -- stops, checks his weapon...

CUT TO:

INT. STAIRWELL -- SAME

Ivy and Sykes descending the stairs. He carries her like a
princess, sweeping her down landing after landing.

SIR IVY
What's your name baby girl...

Sykes, somehow shy, sweet, gazing up at him.

SYKES
...Georgia.

Ivy, big smile.

SIR IVY
Georgia on my mind wit'yo fine ass.
You know you saved this black man.

SYKES
You know I did baby...
(smiling, assessing)
And a deep, dark one at that. Now if
you ain't a dog, which you don't
look like --

SIR IVY
-- never in a million girl --

SYKES
-- good, then all you got to be is
grateful.

SIR IVY
No doubt. That's my moms there, taught
me them skills.

SYKES
You love her?

SIR IVY
My mamma? C'mon shorty, y'gotta ask?
(beat, sees her wounds)
You hurtin' pretty bad?

SYKES
(nodding)
Got hit twice.

SIR IVY
It's going around ain't it? Mafuckas
catching bullets like the common
cold up in this bitch.
(beat)
I think I accidentally shot and killed
my boy today.

SYKES
Well, if it's any comfort, I's goin'
in to there to act a fool baby.
(taps her gun)
Straight rockin' heat and slayin'
niggas --

SIR IVY
For real?

SYKES
Mmm-hmm... and your boy very well
mighta been one of 'em.

SIR IVY
True?

SYKES
Like a mafucka.

SIR IVY
That takes some of the sting out.

SYKES
I probably woulda busted on you too...
and what a shame that woulda been.

SIR IVY
I feel like I know you girl. I feel
like I've known you forever.
(beat, smiles)
You gonna lemme see your scars?

SYKES
You do the right thing. Sit with me
while I heal, let it develop slow.

SIR IVY
What were you doin' here anyway?

SYKES
'Spose to kill this fool named Buddy
Israel.

This gets Ivy's biggest grin.

SYKES
Damn baby girl, you makin' a nigga
fall hard now.

He reaches the seventeenth floor, rounds the corner, nearly
runs into Messner, has a gun thrust in his face.

MESSNER
F.B.I. YOU'RE UNDER ARREST! PUT HER
DOWN, GET UP AGAINST THAT WALL!

Sykes recognizes him and in a blink has a gun under his chin.

SYKES
Don't play out this string, 'cuz
it's real short I didn't do your man
downstairs. I found him that way.
Now whether or not you believe that
ain't the least bit important. We
either goin' work this out and live,
or stay doin' the shit we been doin'
and die. Now I got no beef with you,
or wit ya'll bureau... so you better
off jus' movin' on & lettin' us be.

Messner, eyes moving from Ivy to Sykes. Stalemate, no sense
pushing. He moves past them, hits the stairwell exit on
eighteen. Ivy and Sykes resume their trek down the stairs.

INT. HALLWAY -- PENTHOUSE FLOOR

Messner, bashing in from the stairwell. WHIP PAN OVER TO
REVEAL: The Swede, still accompanied by the Sparazza goons,
arriving in the elevator at the same time.

CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR

Darwin, on his way down, rolling around on the floor of the
car, covering himself in congealed blood and bullet casings,
slicking back his hair, losing the security jacket, splashing
yet more blood on himself. Satisfied, he snatches Carruthers'
F.B.I. credentials up off the floor... and waits.

CUT TO:

INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- SAME

The elevator arrives at the far end. A small asian man
carrying a stack of clean towels steps off and starts down
the hall -- sees Watters, sees the .45 trained on him --
does an abrupt about face and disappears back inside the
car.

Watters lowers the gun, wipes tears, the area around her is
littered with spent .50 caliber shells. The fourteenth floor
of the Nomad is now empty. Sirens wail in the distance.
Down below, Watters can see a bevy of law enforcement
personnel streaming toward the Horizon. She slowly takes the
Barrett off the ledge, begins breaking it down, glancing up
at the Penthouse of the Nomad as we...

CUT TO:

INT. PENTHOUSE APARTMENT -- SAME

Director Locke waits. Messner and The Swede appear in the
doorway. The Swede nods to all concerned and starts toward
Israel. Doc Gill acknowledges the Swede.

DR. GILL
Dr. Ingstrom, he's had a mild cardiac
episode and recurring arrhythmia,
I've given him 60cc's of Nobuneatol...

The Swede kneels down next to Israel, dropping his black
valise, cracking it open. Messner, dazed, dumbfounded, sees
Locke.

MESSNER
...Deputy Director Locke?

Locke approaches, lays a comforting arm on Messner, guiding
him to a chair.

LOCKE
Here. Sit. Please.

MESSNER
(pointing to Swede)
This is him? The hitman hired to
kill Israel? He's a doctor?

LOCKE
Difficult to explain everything now...
(beat, toward Israel)
And much larger issues loom.
(beat)
I'm sorry about Carruthers... Damndest
thing to have to die for.

The Swede, working on Israel, shaking his head, something's
wrong. He stands, crosses to Locke, silently confers.

LOCKE
(to The Swede)
Very well.
(to other Agents)
Take Mr. Israel to the roof, he'll
be traveling with us.

Suddenly, Soot breaks from his captors, sprinting for the
shattered Penthouse windows, launching himself -- a swan
dive out into the open air -- He hangs there for a moment,
an aesthetically striking form; like Lazarus cast against a
cobalt blue sky, backlit by the sun from the lake below --

-- till gravity grabs, pulls -- plummeting him toward earth,
sending him headlong into the vast expanse of concrete below.
This startlingly event is dismissed by mutual shrugs and a
collective lack of concern.

Messner is absolutely agog.

MESSNER
(to Locke, forceful)
What the hell -- What is this!? People
died. Agent Carruthers is dead!

LOCKE
We have to transport Mr. Israel to
Las Vegas, time is of the essence.
The gulfstream is standing by on the
jetway at Tahoe International. I'm
sorry, I'm restricted from disclosing
anymore information. Return to
Washington. You'll be debriefed in
the coming days.

Locke says no more -- starts out of the Penthouse with the
Swede, Dr. Gill and Buddy Israel in tow. A Bureau forensics
team arrives to quietly tag and bag the dead... Messner stands
there, absolutely agog.

CUT TO:

INT. NOMAD HOTEL -- LOBBY -- DAY

Hives of activity. Cordons and crime scene lockdowns like
onion layers, multiple law enforcement agencies, confounded,
confused -- too many cooks, too many kitchens. Nobody knows
who the hells in charge. Local paramedics and EMT's cart out
the wounded. Coroners and M.E.'s cart out the dead.

Reporters and national news outlets crowd police barricades
outside, competing for coverage, as --

THE CAMERA PANS OVER TO REVEAL:

Acosta is wheeled through the lobby, hooked up to IV and
oxygen, looking ghastly, like something exhumed. He catches
the eye of the pimply casino employee and manages a wink.

He's flex-cuffed to the gurney and pushed against the wall
for the moment as the Agents move off to deal with the recent
appearance of Lazlo Soot -- whose body has been
unceremoniously splattered over the parking lot.

As the Agents depart, Acosta peers down at his shackles;
simple plastic binding rods -- he smiles... a moment later
the stiletto blade fires from his sleeve as --

THE CAMERA PANS OVER TO REVEAL:

Darwin Tremor staggering out of an open elevator, blood-
sodden, head down -- FBI badge held aloft for all its worth.
Playing it up, free pass, Agents rush in, hold him upright,
help him toward a line of awaiting ambulances outside as --

THE CAMERA PANS OVER TO REVEAL:

Ivy and Sykes, being released from the stairwell, cut chains
sliding off -- Ivy holds up pilfered FBI creds. Rampant
confusion makes the moment possible. He's waved through,
carrying Sykes, looking every bit the good Samaritan.

Sykes, a mess of mascara, adorned in her unmentionables,
looking every bit the prostitute she appears to be -- she
spots the woman at the counter from earlier. The woman gazes
back, jaw agape. Sykes can only shrug... if you can't beat
'em -- join 'em. She and Ivy cross the lobby as --

THE CAMERA PANS OVER TO REVEAL:

Messner... morose, exiting another elevator with the sheet-
draped body of Carruthers on a gurney. Gandersen, the Nomad
owner, spots him, starts over, looks to unleash, gets close
enough to catch Messner's expression. Sees it in his eyes...
enough dead bodies for one day. Messner continues moving
through the lobby, hears the chopper taking off as --

CAMERA TILTS UP TO REVEAL:

Through the clear glass atrium of the Nomad, the Bell-Ranger
goes airborne against an impossibly clear winter sky, banking
south toward Las Vegas.

CAMERA TILTS DOWN TO REVEAL:

The Horizon hotel across the way: The Fourteenth floor window.

INT. HORIZON HOTEL -- FOURTEENTH FLOOR -- DAY

Watters, gear stowed, seemingly indifferent about the level
of law enforcement heading up her way, about to launch an
Alamo-like last stand in honor of her fallen sista.

She hears commotion erupt from outside as survivors begin
filing from the building. She takes up the Barrett, gazing
through the scope, looking, looking, looking... stops...
holy shit... it's her. It's Sykes.

And she's alive and being carried by a man, a big gorgeous
black man that she's gazing upon with utter love and longing.
A boulder-sized lump takes shape in Watters throat; betrayed,
backbit -- tears come to fast to contain, too many to control.

Numbed... the sensation leaving her fingers, she finds herself
racking the bolt on the Barrett and gazing through
crosshairs... taking aim on Ivy's head. Behind her, the
elevator arrives, an a dozen armed cops, hoo-rah from it,
hustling the length of the hall, descending down on her --

WATTERS
(whispering)
...I loved you baby...

BOOM!

EXT. PARKING STRUCTURE -- NOMAD HOTEL -- SAME

A gunshot in the distance followed by shrieks -- Darwin Tremor
snaps his head around at the sound, moving past platoons of
Cops and Feds now rushing that way. His I.D. is out, affording
him easy egress. He hops the stairs up, top level, Barracuda
parked at the rear of the lot. As he approaches...

VOICE (O.S.)
Hey...

Darwin glances over at... Hollis Elmore, standing there,
skin horribly discolored, disease afflicted. He wears a hooded
tourist sweatsuit; "Ta-Hoe, Ta-Hoe It's Off To Fun We Go!"
stitched in cursive across the front. He's holding the Colt
Python against his hip.

ELMORE
(nodding to Cuda)
That your car?

Darwin, a beat, what-to-do... hillbilly-acumen in overdrive.

DARWIN TREMOR
No, I'm confiscating it.
(holding up badge)
F.B.I.

Now Elmore raises the Colt with his good hand, advancing on
Darwin, moving gingerly, his legs not quite there...

ELMORE
You're F.B.I.?

Darwin tries to stay tight, composed.

DARWIN TREMOR
That's right... and I'd advise y'ta
lower your weapon sir.

Elmore keeps coming.

ELMORE
You investigating those murders out
at the lake?

DARWIN TREMOR
(blanching a bit)
Ww... uh...

ELMORE
Three men were ambushed and shot,
two died and had their bodies tossed
into the lake, the other has severe
hypothermia, possible dementia and
will probably be a multiple amputee
by week's end... if he even lives
that long.

Darwin, uh-oh...

DARWIN TREMOR
No, I ain't even heard abou--

-- Oops.

ELMORE
(even more menace)
You "ain't"--
(beat, teeth clenched)
You have any idea how close to death
I've been? You understand that I'm
dying now? That I've survived bullets
and frostbite and raging fever --
(holding up hand)
missing fingers and every fucking
imaginable horror in between?

Darwin... speechless... he's done.

ELMORE
And I'm asking you now, "Is that
your car" and you can't even come
clean and do me the decency of a
straight answer, with the fucking
state that I'm in!?

Elmore, that Colt looking like a cannon this close to Darwin.

DARWIN TREMOR
Yeah, shit -- hell, you're right.
I'm sorry.

ELMORE
You shot me and murdered my friends.

DARWIN TREMOR
I did. We -- yeah, I know.

ELMORE
And threw us into the lake.

DARWIN TREMOR
Pretty much, yep.

Elmore, still nodding.

ELMORE
And this is your car, isn't it?

DARWIN TREMOR
Mmm-hmm.

ELMORE
But there were more of you?

DARWIN TREMOR
Yeah, m'brothers... They didn't make
it.

ELMORE
Two of 'em?

DARWIN TREMOR
(nods, tears flow)
Thass' right.
(beat, wiping eyes)
I got other brother's though, so it
ain't so bad.

ELMORE
You were here huntin' a man named
Israel, weren't you? Your name is
Tremor.

Darwin gazes up at Elmore, some fraternal bond forms.

DARWIN TREMOR
I was. It is... That who you was
here for? Israel?

A pause. Elmore nods.

DARWIN TREMOR
Well... we both got beat out then,
didn't we?

Darwin, slowly lowering the Colt.

ELMORE
Yes we did...
(long pause, then)
Now, give me your car keys. And get
the fuck out of here.

Darwin, sifting through his pockets, tossing Elmore the keys.

DARWIN TREMOR
S'fair... lemme just grab somethin'.

Elmore brings the Colt back up. Darwin, hands up, hold on --

DARWIN TREMOR
No, no, no, I'm done with all that.

He reaches in, pulls a joint off the dashboard, forages,
finds matches, lights up, starts off.

DARWIN TREMOR
(to 'Cuda)
Probably needs to be tuned. Air
filter's old. Plugs might be bad.
Heater and AC ain't worked in forever.
(seeing Elmore waver)
There's some good drugs in the glove
box there, homespun, keep you smiling,
semi-lucid at leas'...
(beat, puffing away)
Well, God's speed t'ya then. Sorry
'bout all that. S'way a'the world
though, winners and losers y'know.
S'way it's always goin' be...

Darwin, walking away, taking huge hits off that joint,
traipsing down the steps, getting stoned out of his mind.
Elmore, considering, re-considering, looking at that Colt.

ELMORE
...Oh, fuck that...

-- As he back shoots Darwin with all six rounds from the
Python, blowing holes through him. Darwin goes lop-sided,
legs failing, lit-joint still smoking in his mouth as dies
standing, only to fall like cut timber seconds later.

Elmore acts quickly, sliding into the 'Cuda and starting it,
that big block Hemi roaring to life under the hood.

CUT TO:

EXT. NOMAD HOTEL AND CASINO -- DAY

Pedestrians and passerbys drawn to the commotion at the Nomad,
the bottleneck bogs traffic down, making it impossible to
move. Elmore crouches low as police and emergency personnel
cross in front of the car... Slowly, the crosswalk begins to
thin and then finally clear... save a single man:

Messner... standing right in front of the Barracuda, staring
at the tires, staring at Elmore. The two lock eyes as he
moves around to the driver's side, reaching into his pocket --

-- Elmore lifts the Colt up off his lap, putting his heavily
bandaged hand on the wheel. Then he sees Messner's FBI creds,
clipped to his belt -- can't tell if this one's legit.

He sets the Colt down on the floorboard as Messner walks up,
pulling a plastic bag from his pocket: The one containing
three severed fingers. He glances down at Elmore's mummified
left hand, holding out the bag for him to take.

Elmore, unsure, accepting the bag, seeing what's inside,
embarrassed by it -- he sets it down on the seat next to
him.

MESSNER
Your friends were taken to Carson
City Memorial, they're going to be
autopsied and shipped back for burial.

ELMORE
I'll take care of it.

Messner, nodding. A beat.

MESSNER
Who owned this car?

Beat.

ELMORE
The ones that killed 'em.

Beat. Messner nods.

MESSNER
Where are they now?

Elmore looks up at him -- what does it matter...

ELMORE
I just want to go home man... I just
want to go home and forget this
fucking place even exists.

MESSNER
Where's that? Home.

ELMORE
Las Vegas.

Messner, a thought, then:

MESSNER
You're injured... Let me drive.

CUT TO BLACK:

FADE UP ON:

INT. CEDARS SINAI -- LAS VEGAS NEVADA -- DAY

Messner walks in, cleaned up, pressed suit, no tie. He badges
himself past the front desk. An ORDERLY approaches.

ORDERLY
Are you with the group on the third
floor?

Messner nods.

ORDERLY
Very well.
(turns, points)
You can take that stairwell up, the
I.C.U. is at the end of the hall.

CUT TO:

INT. CEDARS SINAI -- THIRD FLOOR -- DAY

Messner exits the stairwell. Droves of Feds and justice
department types crowd the third floor hallway, around the
I.C.U. The mood is subdued. The Swede exits a per-op suite,
dressed in scrubs and a surgical gown, talking with Dr. Gill,
who is also dressed for surgery.

Messner searches the hall for a familiar face... finds it...
Locke, far end, talking with an aide.

LOCKE
...for a press release. Officially,
he took his own life, suicide by
hanging, something of that sort.
Basic bullet points -- despondent
over the turn his career had taken,
troubles with the law, history of
substance abuse and so on --

The aide sees Messner approach. Locke follows her eyes, turns.

MESSNER
Where's Israel?

LOCKE
What are you doing here?

MESSNER
My debrief --

LOCKE
(indignant)
-- will be handled back in --

MESSNER
-- no, we need to handle it now.

Locke, angered, handing his clipboard to the aide, taking
Messner by the arm, leading him away.

LOCKE
You were given instructions to get
on that plane and return to Washington --

A gun is in Locke's side now -- against his ribs -- he looks
down, stunned... Now it's Messner who's leading him away.

MESSNER
You're going to tell me why no call
was made to inform us that the Israel
situation had been "altered." Why I --
and my friend and partner, whose
body is going into a furnace tomorrow,
were not sufficiently apprised of
Bureau movement on this matter.

Locke, pale, shook up.

LOCKE
I can't discuss --

MESSNER
-- You can and you will.

LOCKE
You're finished.

MESSNER
And you just figured that out?
(jams gun into ribs)
The Swede isn't a hitman, is he?
He's a surgeon. Sparazza didn't want
Israel's heart for a trophy, he wanted
it for a transplant... why?

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. CEDARS SINAI -- I.C.U. -- RECOVERY ROOM -- DAY

Locke and Messner enter. In an oxygen tent erected on one
side of the room, sits the shrunken figure of Primo Sparazza.
On the other, a barely conscious Buddy Israel. Both men are
hooked up to multiple I-V's and heart monitors.

LOCKE
...They're father and son...

Messner turns back to Locke, mind racing, searching his
memory, sparking to --

FLASH CUT:

The Diner. The day before.

MESSNER
...A paternity suit, filed 1967...

CUT BACK TO SCENE:

LOCKE
-- Brought against Sparazza by
Israel's mother Laverne who was
nineteen at the time. They had a
brief affair which Israel was the by-
product of.

Messner turns back, gazing at Israel and Sparazza.

MESSNER
...Does he know?

LOCKE
...He does now...

Israel and Sparazza glare at one another across the room
with pure, unadulterated hated for the other.

MESSNER
So the wiretaps of Padiche and Serna --

CUT TO:

The reel-to-reel machine spins:

SERNA
-- some Swede, real badass, supposedly
a "specialist"

CUT BACK TO:

LOCKE
Dr. Sven Ingstrom is head of
cardiology at Stockholm University
and the foremost heart specialist in
all of Europe --

Messner... words can't begin to describe his dismay.

LOCKE
Sparazza was in failing health and
looking for a donor. The son who had
betrayed and burned him so thoroughly
seemed a obvious choice.

MESSNER
So all of our intel was bogus to
begin with.

LOCKE
Yes. The actual contract went to
Lazlo Soot, the man that plunged to
his death from the Penthouse
yesterday. He was to neutralize
Israel's entourage and prep for the
removal of his heart. Ingstrom was
to handle the surgery itself on-site
with the assistance of Dr. Gregory
Gill, Israel's personal physician,
who was also on the Sparazza payroll.

Messner steps closer to Locke, close enough to throttle him.

MESSNER
...When did you know all this?

LOCKE
Information was arriving all day
yesterday. When we finally figured
out who Sparazza actually was, we --

-- Oops -- slip-up, too much talking... Locke goes silent.

MESSNER
-- What?
(after a moment)
What do you mean "Who Sparazza
actually was..."

Locke says nothing... Messner levels his gun on him.

LOCKE
...Are you insane?

MESSNER
...Almost.
(pulling hammer back)
What do you mean "who Sparazza
actually was..."

Locke reluctantly hands Messner the confidential package we
saw delivered to him earlier in the film. Messner pulls the
photos of a post-op Primo Sparazza --

CUT TO:

The Diner, Carruthers and Messner, the day before...

MESSNER
You realize that Sparraza has had
thirty-six major medical procedures
performed on him since 1953? Elective
plastic surgery, every single one --

CUT BACK TO SCENE:

LOCKE
It wasn't elective. It was undertaken
to save his life. And it wasn't
cosmetic, it was reconstructive...
Look at the date of the first
procedure.

MESSNER
(reading)
...Yeah, fifty-three.

LOCKE
The same year that Sparazza murdered
Agent Freeman Heller...

Messner... a slow, sickening realization taking hold...

FLASH CUT TO:

Jersey Turnpike. The past: A '51 Ford Fairlane, flush with
an embankment, bullet perforated, dead-body draped. A top-
coated man stalks the vehicle's sole survivor, FREEMAN HELLER,
shooting him in the back. He rolls over and is shot point
blank in the face. THE CAMERA TILTS UP to the top-coated
gunman, who returns the pistol to its holster, revealing...

...An FBI BADGE, clearly visible, clipped to his waist...

FLASH CUT BACK TO:

Messner, staring at Sparazza...now he knows.

MESSNER
(as if to himself)
...holy shit... that's Heller...
(back to Locke)
Isn't it?

LOCKE
Primo Sparazza was Heller's alias.
He went deep cover in 1940 and stayed
under for over ten years, amassing
materials against the mafia and other
criminal syndicates. He may have
ripped the organization wide open,
pre-Appalachia, but his superiors
were convinced that he had gone rogue,
swapped allegiances...So they gave
the order to terminate his cover.

FLASH CUT TO:

Freeman Heller/Primo Sparazza, lying there on the turnpike,
unblinking blue eyes staring up dead, bullet punctures issuing
blood, swelling consuming the facial features, distorting,
perverting... then, inexplicably... those blue eyes blink.

LOCKE
He survived the shooting but the
injuries he sustained triggered a
degenerative bone disease that
required constant surgery, forever
altering his features... so he assumed
his alias full-time. The figment
that was Primo Sparazza became flesh
and blood.
(beat)
Freeman Heller was no more.

CUT TO:

The Diner. The day before.

CARRUTHERS
Heller was buried in agency lore --

CUT BACK TO SCENE:

Messner, head in his hands.

LOCKE
The agents of that era are all dead
and gone, history had defaulted to
fable... until now. You can imagine
the shock this sent through the
corridors of power in D.C. Heller's
op predates the second world war.
That's over sixty years of intel.
Do you know how valuable that could
be? The man's a treasure trove.

MESSNER
...So you made another deal?

LOCKE
I wouldn't go that far.

MESSNER
But you did, and have... And now
people are dead.
(beat, seething)
Did Sparazza become more valuable
than Israel... and did you make
another deal?

A beat. Locke, a reluctant nod.

LOCKE
Israel's agreement with the government
was tossed out. We're now attempting
to rehabilitate him to the point
where a transplant can be attempted.

Messner glowers at Locke... can't believe what he's hearing.

MESSNER
(with disgust)
You're trying to save Sparazza?

LOCKE
No... We're trying to save Heller.

MESSNER
...So you knew all this and yet y--

LOCKE
(cutting him off)
-- We needed cohesion to move forward.
Not conjecture.

MESSNER
...while Carruthers and a dozen others
lie dying, you debate semantics.
The Bureau's betrayed us...
(pointing to Sparazza)
The way they betrayed him...

LOCKE
I don't see it like that at all.

Messner's head falls into his hands.

MESSNER
No, of course you don't... of course
you don't.
(long reflective pause)
...I gave all my belief and the better
part of my soul to this Bureau.
(beat, looking at the
wraith-like Sparazza)
...Look at the monsters you've made...
(beat, profoundly sad)
I won't be one of them.

Locke, swallowing hard, struggling to assert his authority.

LOCKE
I'll overlook what you've done here
today in light of what's taken place.
You've been fully debriefed. Now I
want you to return to D.C. immediately
and make no further inquiry into
this matter. I mean it. It's closed.

MESSNER
No... It's not.
(tossing Messner his
FBI ID)
What it lacks... is an end.

Locke, not getting it as Messner takes aim on the oxygen
tent containing Sparazza. Locke's eyes inflate, he reaches-
grabs-gropes-NOOOO-!

-- Israel, the faintest of smiles as -- BOOM.

THE END

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