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by Alexander Ramirez (Alram1988@aol.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Organized Crime   User Review: ****
Over the course of one rainy day, assorted gangsters roam the concrete jungle of Sacramento, California, intent on destroying their former employer and his decadent crime empire before he takes them out first.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.

The ballroom of the four-star Sterling Hotel has been set
for a grand banquet. TWO MEN sit across from each other at
a small round in the center of the Victorian ballroom,
passing a marijuana joint back and forth.
PERNELL BANKS, early 20's, African-American, fitted in black
and red urban attire, floats a lazy column of smoke up into
the brim of the fitted baseball cap that shadows his eyes,
then deftly passes the blunt across the round to . . .
. . . A heavy-set Italian-American in his late 40's,
sweating excitedly in a classy suit. The Sterling/Vizcaya
nametag over his breast reads VINCENZO CICCONE, right above
the title "General Manager."
But everybody calls him VINNY VIZCAYA.
You see, the problem with people
these days is . . . they all think
they're above nature. It's not
natural trying to be something
you're not, and they think they're
all so fucking righteous calling
men like me and you animals. But
the wild thing about it is, we are
animals. Now this is true, if you
don't believe me you can even look
this up in the dictionary, but all
human beings are, by definition,
in fact, animals. Now, that's a
fact. All human beings are
Vinny raises the joint in his fist, which is dripping with
the gaudiest jewelry you'll ever see, and takes another hit.
We are just like lions or tigers
in the jungle. Same thing. We
have to fight to survive. Now,
these ignorant bastards who like
to call us animals, like it's
somehow insulting and not the
God's-honest truth, they think
that because humans are more
intelligent animals or whatever,
that means we have to act like
something we're not.


Like lying.
That's exactly what it is: lying
and envy. If they had our natural
talents, they would all be in this
business. But no, since they're
weak they want us to play on their
level, because they think it's
unfair. Am I right?
Vinny passes the blunt. Pernell reluctantly speaks up:
That's life . . .
Pernell scans the lavish ballroom, seemingly detached from
the conversation.
Exactly. It's natural selection.
But still, they can't accept it,
and want us to be fucking
rat-bastard liars like they are.
Like them. Fuck that. Guys like
you and me, we should be
celebrated. We tell the truth,
Pernell. We live it. People like
to call me ruthless, say what I do
is wrong? No way. I'm real. You
want to see ruthless? Go look at
the animals in the jungle. A
fucking lion with a gazelle in its
teeth. I'm just behaving as
nature intended, if you really
think about it.
We just do what we got to do. It's
not our fault that most people
fall to the bottom of the
Exactly! Violence is a part of
life. It's necessary. It's
cleansing. It's the way it is.
Pernell smokes the remainder of the blunt. Vinny lifts a
rock glass of gin from the table and downs it in a mighty
gulp; he checks his garish watch.


It's already past two in the
morning. I got to get my ass to
work early.
You gonna go back to the Vizcaya?
No, I'll just sleep in my room
here. Upstairs.
Vinny rises from his seat; Pernell hops up after him,
suddenly lucid:
I-I just want to get back to work,
and forget all the bullshit,
Vinny. I'm sorry, we're all sorry,
whatever. We can just forget it.
Of course. Hey, I said it's
already forgotten, man. No more
worries, really. Let's get out of
They shake hands and begin strolling toward the ballroom
exit together. Vinny slings his heavy arm around Pernell's
You guys have been good to me. I
wouldn't steal from you. You know
I know the value of a dollar. What
else have I got if I don't have
this, you know?
Hey, like I said, we're family
again. We're good.
Cool. Alright, then.
They arrive at the exit, stopping short.
And hey, remember what I told you,
Pernell. Violence is as old as
time. Look it up. It goes back
to year one, so don't you ever let
anyone tell you it's wrong. It's
our nature. Even history says so,


                       VINNY (cont'd)
Pernell. You read? I read all
that shit. Like World War II and
the Civil War. No one ever
complains or bitches about any of
that violence. Not ever.
We only do what we got to do.
The two stoned gangsters embrace. Vinny pulls back and
opens his jacket to proudly flash his black Beretta, tucked
neatly in a shoulder holster.
You got it. What we do isn't
wrong, my friend. It's life. This
is how we do it in Sacramento,
baby. Thought you motherfuckers
                                         CUT TO:
A dead-end street. The winter winds move smoothly between
the swollen sky above, and the slick, cracked roads below. A
street sign says BURLINGTON WAY.
RIGGS, 50's, Irish-American, stands before the homely abode.
He's a man's man from another era, wearing a windshot duster
over a business suit. He's armed with a stone-cold gaze and
weather-beaten face peppered with stubble.
Riggs takes a long, last drag off of a cigarillo before
moving up the driveway. He's not half-way up when a sickly,
tattered CRACK-HEAD begins to make his way down, grasping a
shimmering meat cleaver.
The crack-head MUMBLES incoherently at Riggs, who responds
with a look of UTTER CONTEMPT as they pass by.
Riggs KNOCKS on the front door. RAMIREZ, early 20's,
Mexican-American, peeks through a small window in his front
door before opening it.
What's up, Riggs?


The two embrace with a familiar handshake and a pat on the
back. They enter Ramirez's home.
Ramirez moves into the kitchen, while Riggs hangs back in
the living room. The two rooms are adjoined, forming one
large living space.
The fuck was that crack-head doing
over here?
Man, I almost killed that fool
when he knocked on my door. He
knows better than to come around
my house. But he was already
cracked-the-fuck-out, though. I
couldn't even understand him.
That piece of shit was begging me
for something when I was walking
I don't know, I couldn't
understand his ass either . . .
was he holding a meat cleaver?
Yeah, did you see that?! That
shit was weird, crack-fiends are
hella crazy.
What'd he have a meat cleaver for?
Man, I don't know.


I don't know how you put up with
these dirt bags day in and day
out. If I was you, I'd be killing
motherfuckers everyday.
Like you're not already.
Ramirez is busy stirring something in a boiling pot over his
stove. Noticeable are the digits "9-1-6" shaved into the
hair on the back of his head.
Did he leave, or is he still in
front of my house?
He was leaving when I passed him.
Good. Hey, why didn't you show up
last night? I thought you were
supposed to come over?
Did McMahon ask you if I picked it
up last night?
No. Where were you?
I just . . . had something to do.
You got any mineral water?
Riggs steps into the kitchen and opens Ramirez's
refrigerator. It's stocked with countless boxes of baking
No, I got a case in the back, next
door at grandpa's.
No, never mind.


Well, sit down or something. You
make me nervous when you stand
there like a fucking gargoyle.
Riggs examines Ramirez's kitchen from a distance: pots in
the sink, a scale on the counter, measuring cups and spoons
hanging on the walls.
How long have you been cooking?
Umm, over two hours now. Since I
woke up.
You're gonna lose your mind,
always over that damn stove.
Demand is high. I need to keep up
supply. Economics, Riggs.
Riggs stares into the boiling pot.
It's poison, is what it is.
Yes, sir. I never had to hold a
gun to anyone's head, though.
Customers know exactly what I got,
and they know exactly what it can
and will do to them. You want
some breakfast or something? I'm
already cooking.
No, thanks, I can't stay long. I
just need the silencer and I'm
out. I need to get to the spot
early and scout it out.
Alright, hold on.
Ramirez stirs the crack once more.
Okay, let's go.
Riggs follows Ramirez down a hallway into:


An armory. The walls are adorned with racks of swords,
medieval armor, and military regalia of all cultures and
storied civilizations.
Riggs and Ramirez approach a sleek storage chest mounted
against a wall. Ramirez opens it to reveal an astounding
arsenal of firearms. He selects a black Beretta, fitted
with a silencer.
Here you go: the Beretta 92, 9mm
pistol. Standard sidearm of the
U.S. Armed Forces.
Ramirez hands over the pistol. Riggs examines the weapon
                       RAMIREZ (cont'd)
Now, this has a silencer on it so
you can handle your business
quietly, and get out of Dodge
without popping off your loud-ass
Dirty Harry shit.
Yeah. Can you get a silencer for
my Magnum?
No, nigga, I told you before. They
don't make silencers for
Why not?
I don't know, something to do with
the barrels. They won't work. Get
over it. And take these extra
Ramirez hands Riggs two extra magazines. The aging hit man
stuffs them in the pockets of his duster.
We good?
Riggs spins the gun by its trigger guard around his index


Yeah, we're good.
They stroll back in from the bedroom.
Have you spoke with McMahon
Last night. I'm doing his
pick-ups now; I got one today.
What's up with all the questions
about the Man?
They stop walking.
I need to talk to you. We may
have a problem.
They each finds seats in Ramirez's living room.
What's up?
McMahon's been sounding . . . I
mean, when I met with him for the
job intel, he sounded off.
Off? Like off how?
He's sounding like he does when
he's playing somebody. Every time
he taps me I just need to know who
they are and where they go, and he
lets me hunt, but, uh - but this
time out he specifically doesn't
want me showing up and closing
down for over another hour.
He say why?
He told me not to waste my time.
He said definitely don't get there
early. I waited for him to
elaborate, but . . . He's


                       RIGGS (cont'd)
bullshittin' about something, and
I'm gonna find out. Even if it's
something small, who does he think
I am? I need to know everything
to properly provide my services.
Was he, like, jittery and shit?
No, no, no, it's McMahon. He's
always cool, but he's always
articulate and thorough and knows
everything about everything. It's
strange if he holds anything back.
Damn. Who's the hit?
Same old shit. Just some Crip
trying to make a dollar and a cent
off the life. I wouldn't normally
bring it up to you, but with all
the recent shit with the Bloods
and his stolen shipments, and the
whole state the game's been in
lately . . .
That's all real talk. Shit,
Riggs, you just put me in a mood.
It's the subtle shit. I've known
him too long not to notice.
You're right. Get there early.
Pernell Banks, in a new black and red outfit, stands on his
driveway talking to CAPRICE MARASCHINO, early 20's. Caprice
is a pretty neighborhood girl with more mascara and
bubblegum than responsibility or restraint.
. . . There's around thirty
different sets in Sac right now.
Some of those are factions of one
gang or bullshit gangs with no


                       PERNELL (cont'd)
clout, but there's about thirty
total. Over four-thousand
gang-bangers in the city.
Four-thousand. That's pretty
fucking real for a cow town.
Yeah, well, that shit's all
whatever anyway. I know I still
live on Meadowview, but I left
that drama back in High School.
I'm a good girl now.
Pernell teases her with overstated mock disbelief:
Okay! Yeah right, you better
check your bad ass.
Caprice SMACKS her lips at him.
Just kidding. Your little
schoolyard cliques ain't never had
shit on the Detroit Bloods anyway,
Caprice looks at the neighborhood around them. Pernell's
house is located on DETROIT BOULEVARD. An overabundance of
speed bumps plague the street, garbage clogs the sewage
drains, and "STOP" signs are punched with bullet-holes.
One way in, one way out.
Pernell throws up a gang sign with his hands, forming his
fingers into a "D" on the right hand, and a "B" on the left.
Caprice rolls her eyes jokingly.
The "D." Anyways . . . oh! I'm
so happy today, Vinny gave me the
day off for my cousin's party.
Vinny? Don't get me started on
that nigga.


What? I love Vinny Vizcaya!
He's a bitch.
You are! What'd he do to you?
You know him. It's just like,
sometimes he gets in one of his
moods, like he's got mood swings
and shit, and he'll just make me
want to whoop his ass.
Pernell and Caprice LAUGH OUT LOUD. Their warm breaths
vaporize in the cold before them.
                       PERNELL (cont'd)
Like, you know what I mean? Vinny
Vizcaya is just like that, getting
mad hella easily. Off dumb shit.
Yeah, he does go on little power
trips, and tries to tell people
off sometimes --
-- Over little shit!
Yeah, he can act like an ass, but
when he says something or tries to
get on me, I just tell him to shut
up or something.
Yeah, but see, you can do that.
You're his homegirl. I say “Hey,
Vinny, shut the fuck up” and we
have a problem. His little ass
will try to act all hard like he's
gonna do something. That's why I
could never do your job.
Aww, you should've taken the job!
You should be a banquet server
like me!


Hell no.
Come on, Vinny even offered you
the job. He's not that bad. We
can be co-workers, it'll be hella
fun. I can train you, too. When
we work a wedding and the white
people try to dance we can laugh
at them together.
I see enough of Vinny Vizcaya
It pays thirteen dollars an hour!
Come on, I know your ass hasn't
had a job in how long? Ever?
Girl, I got a job. I hustle.
Oh, you're a hustler?
I'm the biggest hustler you'll
ever know. Don't worry about me,
I get money.
Caprice gives up, letting out a SIGH of mock irritation.
You're no fun. Anyway, did you
find out if you could come to the
Quinceañera or not?
Vinny told me about it last night,
too. He said I should come.
See, he's your friend! You should
be there, it's gonna be hella
What's a Quinceañera?
Caprice corrects his pronunciation:


Quinceañera, stupid. It's a
Mexican thing. Special birthday
celebration when a girl turns
fifteen. It's going to be crazy,
my whole family gets drunk at,
like, every party we have. And
some of my Italian family's
coming, too, so it's gonna be off
the hook.
You're Italian? I thought you
were just Mexican?
I'm half and half.
What's your last name, then?
Maraschino. You know, as in
cherry? So, are you coming or are
you gonna be a party-pooper? I'll
save you a dance?
Pernell's lips betray him as they spread into a sly smirk.
Yeah, I'll be there.
Sister site of The Sterling Hotel, the Vizcaya is also an
elegant, converted Victorian mansion. The Vizcaya: Northern
California's most romantic wedding and reception facility.
Vinny Vizcaya parks his car and exits. He notes a big black
van in the parking space next to his, then walks through a
gate to:
A COOK and a MAINTENANCE MAN, on break, hang-out near the
Vizcaya's Victorian gazebo, smoking and talking.
Good morning, boys. Cold as a
motherfucker out here, huh?


The cook and the maintenance man nod and wave their hello's.
Vinny continues past them and into:
A middle-aged Mexican man, NACHO, is washing some dishes.
DOUG, the head chef, is cooking something on his grill.
Vinny Vizcaya enters.
      (to Nacho)
Buenos dias, amigo!
Cómo estás?
      (to Doug)
Hey, my man Doug! There's my boy!
What's going on, Vinny?
A pan of freshly cooked bacon sits on the giant silver table
in the center of the kitchen.
Alright, what's the deal with the
bacon, partner? Can I help myself
or what?
Knock yourself out. I cooked it
for me and Nacho, and I'm going to
make us some eggs right now.
There'll be plenty if you want to
get yourself a plate.
No, I'm not hungry. I'm good.
Thank you.
Vinny devours a strip of bacon; moves to exit the kitchen.
Oh, hey Vinny, did I ever tell you
the one about the black guy and
the Mexican in the car?


Okay, here it goes: So, there's a
black guy and a Mexican guy in a
car, right? Who's driving?
I don't know. Who?
The cop.
They both bust out LAUGHING.
That's Nacho's favorite.
Oh my God! You're a funny son of
a bitch, you know that, Doug? Oh
man . . . I got to get busy.
Doug goes back to his business on the grill, and Vinny turns
and heads toward the kitchen's exit.
Very similar to the Sterling Ballroom. Two BANQUET SERVERS
are here early to set up for a party. They're both busy at
work, talking as they go along, listening to a BOOM-BOX.
Vinny enters.
How's everybody doing this
                       BANQUET SERVERS
Good, hi. Hey, Vinny.
Alright, workin' hard, workin'
hard . . . it's Saturday, people,
let's get this room turned.
Vinny turns and struts down a hallway. He passes a YOUNGER
BANQUET SERVER balancing water pitchers on an oversize tray.
Hey, hey, be careful with those!
They pass each other and Vinny makes his way into:


Vinny Vizcaya takes a seat at the captain's desk in the
corner of the cramped office. He whips out his cell phone
and dials in a number.
      (into phone)
Hello . . . ?
                       MCMAHON (O.S.)
Vincenzo. Where are you?
Hey, McMahon, I'm just at Vizcaya
right now, making sure
everything's being set up.
                       MCMAHON (O.S.)
Yeah, I was just calling, because
I wanted to know when those guys
were supposed to get here and pick
up the van. I saw it parked in
the parking lot still, when I got
here, like, a minute ago.
                       MCMAHON (O.S.)
I was just about to call you and
let you know they're already on
their way.
Oh, okay, good. When are they
gonna be getting here?
                       MCMAHON (O.S.)
They're already on their way. Any
minute now.
Okay, that's cool.
                       MCMAHON (O.S.)
Just go out there in a minute and
make sure they show up. Wait out
there for about ten minutes, and
call me back if they don't show.


Okay, I'll do that. Hey, umm -
hey, McMahon, what about Riggs?
                       MCMAHON (O.S.)
That's already taken care of.
                       MCMAHON (O.S.)
The boys already picked up the
artillery from me this morning.
We're ready to roll.
Alright, just checking up. You
coming through soon or what? We're
still having breakfast at Los
Nopales, right?
                       MCMAHON (O.S.)
I'll be over there in a while.
Once I know everything went
Okay then, brotha. I'm gonna let
you go and go handle that. I'll
give you a call when the van's
picked up.
                       MCMAHON (O.S.)
See you then.
Riggs and Ramirez exit the house and walk out to the street
curb to Riggs' trusted steed: his all-black '64 IMPALA.
The two men converse as they walk together. Their words
form clouds in the chilly morning air.
I was thinking about going next
door and saying hello to your
No, he left last week on his
annual vacation to Jalos.


Oh, no shit?
Yeah. He should be back in a few
days, though.
Riggs nods along. They arrive at his Impala and hang back
in the middle of the street to continue talking:
You know what you're doing?
Yeah, I'm hoping it's just my
imagination. I'm getting there
early and scoping the shit out.
I'll be fine.
Just watch your back. Shit's been
all weird lately.
You know me better than that.
Riggs climbs into his vehicle. Ramirez walks up to the
driver's window.
Just keep both eyes open.
The two men shake hands.
For real, though, I'll be here if
anything pops off.
Riggs turns the key in the ignition, and his black chariot
ROARS to life. A rosary is draped over his rear-view
mirror. His hand moves to the stereo and turns up a SWEET
1970's R&B CLASSIC.
Be seeing you.
Riggs RIPS down the short sleeve of asphalt that is
Burlington Way and quickly makes the turn to begin hurdling
down the crooked stretch of road labeled DETROIT BOULEVARD.


Caprice is in her car exchanging goodbyes with Pernell, who
is bidding farewell from the passenger's window.
Riggs zips by them on his way to his job. He nods in
Pernell's direction as he passes; Pernell returns the
The MUSIC from Riggs' stereo lingers over the scene.
Who was that?
This weird-ass nigga McMahon has
me work with sometimes . . . you
don't know Riggs?
Uh-uh, never met him. So, you're
coming tonight?
I'm coming tonight.
Five o'clock.
Five o'clock.
In the evening.
In the evening. At the Sterling.
Tonight. I'll see you there.
Okay, bye-bye.
Caprice drives off. Pernell walks into his home.
Riggs' old school classic swells up and ties together the
following sequence:


The Banks residence is small, quiet, and unkempt. The
furnishing and general shape of the home give the distinct
impression that these are people in deep poverty.
Pernell walks down a hallway littered with strewn clothing
and old fast-food take-out bags.
Pernell's invalid grandmother lay sleeping on a hospital bed
planted in the center of her room. She is weak, emaciated,
and rapidly dying.
Pernell takes a seat next to her and speaks softly:
Grandmamma . . . Grandmamma . . .
Pernell's grandmother awakens, disoriented. Her voice
almost doesn't exist:
Huh? Per. . . ?
You okay? How you feel, grandma?
Don't know . . .
Okay. You want some water? Juice
or something?
She GRUMBLES out a noise that seems to indicate: “No.”
Okay. You want to sit up?
No answer. Pernell checks under her blankets.
You still clean? Yeah. Want to
sit up?
Pernell's grandmother meekly nods her head: "Yes." He
begins to gently re-situate his grandmother's limbs in order
to help her sit up on her bed.


Ramirez hovers over his stove . . .
The dial is turned, setting THE FLAME to medium. THE BLAZE
from the stove begins to heat a half-full pot of water . . .
Stainless steel TABLESPOONS are lifted from the counter.
COCAINE is collected off of a scale, and a box of BAKING
SODA is opened . . .
Two separate forms of WHITE POWDER, spilling out from the
tablespoons, are poured into a glass jar, half-filled with
water . . .
Ramirez places the jar into the pot and stirs it with a
butter knife . . .
The contents begin to EFFERVESCE . . .
As if in a scene from a strip of MEDICAL FILM FOOTAGE, a
TIME LAPSE effect shows the cocaine and baking soda bond,
gel, and crystallize.
Vinny Vizcaya hands the keys to the black van over to THREE
MEN in dark clothing with BLUE trim.
The sliding door is opened, and the men hop inside to
discreetly inspect their armaments. Two of them rack
pump-action shotguns, while the third poses with a Tech-9.
VINNY pulls out his cell phone and readies to dial.
Alright, three against one. You
can't fuck this shit up.
Caprice walks in and hugs her YOUNG COUSIN, AUNT, and a
couple of her cousin's YOUNG FRIENDS.
Caprice's aunt displays the Quinceañera's exquisite white
gown, and the girls are all smiles and LAUGHTER, full of
butterflies and giddiness for the upcoming event.


Riggs drives down an empty street en route to his hit. His
face is blank, disposition solemn. He puffs away on his
cigarillo, deep in contemplation.
A brooding silhouette, that could only belong to MCMAHON,
sits comfortably amongst the darkness.
Bars of light from the outside are neatly thrown onto the
back wall of the room, filtered through venetian blinds in
classic film-noir fashion.
McMahon smokes a thick cigar, exhaling through his nose.
Shadows and clouds mask his facial features.
Riggs' song slowly dies . . .
Riggs' black Impala cautiously creeps down another
Sacramento ghetto and finds a parking spot against a curb.
Blue graffiti is scrawled across fences and sidewalks in the
neighborhood - this is Crip terrain.
Riggs opens his glove compartment and pulls out a manila
folder containing a single sheet of paper stapled to a
dog-eared photograph.
Riggs' stereo is still HUMMING classic melodies from his
golden years as he examines the sheet.
The handwriting on the paper yields information regarding
the hit: a street address(this one) and a name(Tybalt
Greene). The photograph reveals the face of a young hoodlum
with a tattoo tear.
Riggs peers intently at a misshapen house across the street,
then at the paper, then back to the house. It's the one.
He tosses the folder aside and reaches back into the glove
compartment for his pair of leather gloves. He slips them
on with all the intrigue of an Italian giallo scene.


SUPERIMPOSE A FLASHBACK of McMahon describing the job to
Riggs over the CU. McMahon's facial features remain
I've got an important job for you
this weekend. Just another one of
these Crips who's made himself a
pretty penny peddling drugs and
such, taking customers who could
otherwise be mine . . . No, no,
no. We'll handle it Saturday
morning. I still got to work out
the best way to hit these bastards
myself and get back to you.
Riggs pulls out the Beretta and gets a feel for the grip in
his gloved hands. He sits, quietly singing along to the
sweet sounds of R&B emanating from his speakers.

of two MEN emerging from the target's house across the
street. They move to a car in the driveway. One pops open
the trunk, while his comrade stays on the look-out.
The man fishing in the trunk is TYBALT GREENE, late 20's,
ink tear beneath his right eye. His partner holds a duffel
bag open for him. Tybalt whips out a pair of shotguns and
immediately stuffs them into the bag.
Riggs quickly refers to the photograph. The tattoo tear is
there. He TWISTS the key in the ignition and STOMPS on the
accelerator, leaving the neighborhood and his target behind.
                       TYBALT (O.C.)
The fuck was that?!
Pernell finishes a cup-of-soup and tosses the styrofoam
container into a waste receptacle. He collects some scraps
of garbage off the counter and throws them in, too.
One particular scrap is a pamphlet with a title that reads:


The black van from the Vizcaya pulls over to the side of the
road. The three men who picked up the van are inside: the
driver wears a ski mask, one passenger wears a folded
bandana over his face, and the other is anonymous behind a
Jason/Hockey Goalie mask.
The two passengers exit the vehicle, and the driver takes
off down Detroit Boulevard.
Pernell walks down the driveway and dumps a bag of garbage
into his Publicworks container, as the black van rolls
slowly past his house.
Pernell notices, making eye contact with the masked driver,
who instantaneously increases acceleration, taking off
farther down the road.
Pernell watches the van, stunned, as it turns down a side
street and disappears from sight. He quickly spins around
and makes a mad dash for his front door.
Pernell BURSTS into his room and dives to the floor next to
his bed. He reaches under and pulls out a shoe box
containing a pair of black gloves and a set of unblemished
twin semi-automatic .45 caliber pistols.
He forces the gloves on, fighting a bundle of nerves.
The twin gangsters stand on Detroit Boulevard, behind masks
of anonymity, locking and loading their shotguns.
He slams magazines into his guns, chambers bullets, stuffs
extra ammo into his pockets, and begins breathing with
increasing anxiety.
Pernell straps a neoprene half mask across his face to
protect his identity, unintentionally making himself appear
as a Roman gladiator in the modern day.


The would-be hit men stand on opposite ends of the wet,
gleaming black-top. They march down the street together in
plain sight, shotguns in hand.
Pernell emerges from his home with chrome fists, poised for
battle. He lopes out to the sidewalk and checks down the
street both ways. The wind blows a lone grocery bag across
the landscape like a ghetto tumbleweed.
A BEAT . . . Pernell turns again to peek down the incoming
end of Detroit, and this time spots two figures in the
distance, stomping his way.
FROM BEHIND, the black van SCREECHES like a hellcat and
ZOOMS by Pernell. The ski masked driver POPS OFF rounds
from his TECH-9 as he ROARS by.
Pernell dives behind a broke-down bucket parked against the
street curb, narrowly evading certain death.
The ski masked driver DANGEROUSLY WHIPS the van around to
finish the job, but his quarry is already up and standing on
the hood of the old jalopy.
Pernell FIRES his pistols in a NEVER-ENDING MELEE. He lets
out a WARRIOR'S CRY as shells rain and glass EXPLODES. The
bullets JOLT the driver's body, forcing his carcass into
performing a disgusting, bloody dance of death.
Get some! Get some! Get some!
The two remaining raiders rush over in a panic to avenge
their cohort. They each sloppily point their weapons and
FIRE. Their shots BOOM and ECHO like the voice of God, but
miss the mark completely.
Pernell rolls into position and lets loose TWO THUNDERCLAPS.
One bullet buries itself deep within the hockey masked
gangster's stomach. He collapses against the black van.
Pernell ducks into the middle of the street to end matters,
as the bandana assassin wastes another shotgun shell, clumsy
with nerves. The bandana assassin hurries to reload, but
before he can --


-- Pernell UNLOADS, slinging bullets like a boxer throws his
fists. Gravity takes pity on the body and it SPLASHES to
the asphalt, puddles of rain and blood washing over it.
The bandana assassin lay dead in the middle of the street
with a wet cavity where his breast bone used to be. THICK
PLUMES OF STEAM begin to rise from the hole in his chest.
Pernell marches over to the hockey masked gangster and
clinically POPS a slug between his pleading eyes.
The contents of the man's head SPILL OUT onto the road.
Pernell takes off running, leaving the neighborhood to fall
into an eerie calm.
                                         FADE TO BLACK
                                         FADE IN ON:
A big black Cadillac prowls the streets of downtown
Sacramento at a steady, consistent speed. The Cadillac
cruises, with an abundance of bravado, down a strip lined
with uniform palm trees swaying ever so gently.
The strong, powerful shape in the driver's seat smokes a
cigar as he drives. The columns of smoke coat his features,
then they rise, curl, and separate, finally revealing
Sacramento's Irish-American crime kingpin:
MCMAHON, 60's, impeccable business suit, powerful mustache,
and a face chiseled from stone. The lines around his
hardened features tell tales of yesteryear's hardships, and
the bloody road he's taken to the top.
A rosary is draped over his rear-view mirror. His knuckles
are tattooed with the letters, "I-N-R-I." A
Sterling/Vizcaya pin is neatly displayed on his dashboard.
His cell phone RINGS; he answers it.
                       PERNELL (O.S.)
What the fuck was that?! You
think you can take me out,
motherfucker?! Stab me in the
fucking back?! I'm coming to get


                       PERNELL (cont'd)
you, you cracka piece of shit -
right now, you're done!
      (into phone)
Wait - now, wait one goddamned
second. Who the fuck is this?
Pernell is riding the Public Lightrail. Sacramento's version
of an electric train. The regular riders are a
cross-section of the city's poor and less-fortunate.
      (into phone)
Who the fuck do you think this is,
bitch? Pernell, motherfucker!
Pernell motherfucking Banks!
Who the fuck do you think you are
calling my phone? Calling me up
like this?! Talking this shit to
me?! You better have a
fan-fucking-tastic explanation for
this bullshit, because I will turn
your ignorant black ass into a
puddle over some shit like this!
Oh yeah, motherfucker?!
Yeah, motherfucker!
Don't get hyphy with me, nigga.
You've got some explaining to do,
like what the fuck were three
Crabs doing trying to kill me in
your van! Answer that shit if you
can. Real talk, answer that shit
if you can!


I having no fucking clue what your
stupid ass is talking about right
now, but I know for sure that you
have just dropped yourself into a
pile of shit that you ain't never
getting up out of, son!
Don't get excited on me, white
boy! I'm on my way to the to see
you right now, so you punk-ass
niggas better get ready for me.
We'll see who's deeper in the shit
when I get there, bitch.
No, no, no, now, no, now you wait
one minute. You wait one
goddamned minute! You got a
motherfucking problem? You come
see me at the Vizcaya. I'm just
down the street right now. You
want to start some shit, you can
come start some shit down here.
Pernell checks the upcoming stops on the display board.
Uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh. I'm at
Nopales already. That's where I'm
going to be at, and I suggest you
get your ass down here pronto,
because I'm gonna start tearing
shit up. That's real.
The Vizcaya, Pernell!
Los Nopales. I'll be waiting.
Pernell hangs up his cell phone.
Pernell shakes with anger. Many passengers are MUMBLING
quietly. Pernell happens to overhear one PASSENGER, a young
man, discreetly VOICING his disapproval.


      (to the young man)
Excuse me, my nigga, you got a
problem with me or something I
The passenger tries to ignore him. Pernell takes this as a
challenge and approaches the man.
Bitch, I know you heard me. Now,
man up. What the fuck did you
The Lightrail is alive now. The passengers can smell what's
about to go down.
Vinny Vizcaya, looking like he's just seen a ghost, is
riding in the passenger's seat. Driving without
consideration for the speed limit, McMahon dials a number
into his cell.
Somebody better answer the
goddamned phone.
Reminiscent of an Old West saloon, complete with wooden
architecture and a fully stocked bar. Miniature Mexican
flags and decorative cactus plants are prevalent.
The house's call-in order phone RINGS. CORNELIUS VENTURA,
African-American, 50's, dressed to impress, picks up.
      (into phone)
Los Nopales, providing Old
Sacramento's finest Mexican
cuisine for over a decade. How
may I help you?
      (into phone)
Cornelius! I'm afraid we've just
been bitch-slapped with the worst
case scenario, my friend. The
plan blew up in our faces, it all


                       MCMAHON (cont'd)
went to shit. Pernell just called
me saying he's on his way over
there, right now.
Oh, no, you're fucking with me.
Son of a bitch. He's coming here?
He's on his way. Look, you're
going to need to send all the
cooks and dishwashers home.
Everybody. We're closed for the
day. If anybody's already eating
right now, give them a smile,
refund their money, and apologize,
apologize, apologize and get their
asses out the door.
Shit . . . alright.
Okay? Give them a certificate for
a discount meal and then out the
fucking door. Send everyone home,
the staff's still getting paid for
a whole day. Alright?
Vinny and I are on our way.
Alright. I'm on the motherfucker.
Pernell, fists clenched, is still antagonizing the young
passenger. The crowd is instigating. The young man has had
enough and rises from his seat to defend his honor.
The crowd goes WILD.


Yeah, that's what the fuck I'm
talking about! Be a fucking man!
We can square up right now, it's
The passenger makes an admirable attempt to diffuse the
situation, while somehow maintaining the brunt of his pride:
You really need to calm down right
now, alright? You're looking
hella stupid. Chill, alright?
Admirable, but hopeless. Pernell hops into a fighting
What? Oh, I'm stupid? Fuck this
shit, nigga, let's do this! Why
you getting scared now? Talking
all that shit and you don't even
know me, now you want to get
scared now? I'm ready. Anybody
can get it!
You're looking hella ignorant
right now, you ain't gonna do
shit, so just back up off me.
Pernell pushes his face within an inch of the other man's.
Fuck this shit, nigga, square up!
It's about to be WWF Smackdown in
this bitch! Square the fuck up!
THE CROWD SWELLS. Pernell dances around like a boxer, then
snaps and swings. THE CROWD EXPLODES.
Passengers struggle to get out of the way of the all-out
brawl. The two combatants SWING WILDLY, as Pernell gets the
best of the exchanges in the cramped aisle.
Pernell KNOCKS his opponent back. He SLAMS the passenger's
head against the double-pane, drawing first blood. The
passenger drops to the floor, and Pernell STOMPS him out as
the spectators lose their minds.


Riggs, in his all-black Impala, turns down Detroit from
MEADOWVIEW ROAD and begins rolling down the boulevard.
A police cruiser ZOOMS by him, SIRENS BLARING.
Riggs continues down the street until he is halted by yellow
police tape and an OFFICER directing him to drive down a
side street in order to proceed.
A section of Detroit Boulevard is taped off as emergency
vehicles arrive on the scene to clean three massacred young
men off of the pavement.
POLICEMEN, EMT's, and DETECTIVES are all busy bustling about
the crime scene.
The diverse neighborhood has gathered on the outskirts of
the tape. Ramirez watches the clean-up and investigation
unfold with the rest of the community.
Stray chickens scratch about in the street and along
unfenced lawns in the b.g. to surreal effect.
Riggs' car swoops around the back of the crime scene and
parks across the street. He gets out and approaches Ramirez
at the tape. They speak in hushed tones:
What happened?
Three dead bodies. Three dead
Crips, right in front of Pernell's
They stare at the crime scene in front of them, almost
He did this shit?
Fuckin'-A. Had to be him. Who
else? Man, I was just down the
street, in front of the park,
slangin' . . .


Ramirez posts on the corner. Eyes shift; FIENDS appear;
hands meet; money slides into his pockets.
                       RAMIREZ (O.S., cont'd)
I had a few calls after you left,
so I'm dealing, right? Then, I
hear gun shots down the street.
Like a shit-load of 'em.
                       RAMIREZ (O.S., cont'd)
I take my shit home, then come
back clean to see what happened. A
Vietnamese lady was out here
crying, trying to call the cops.
Three dead Crips are in front of
A sixty-year-old Vietnamese woman is crying hysterically in
the middle of Detroit Boulevard with a telephone in hand.
Three lifeless bodies surround her.
I had to abort my hit.
They were ready.
A fallen gangster is zipped up inside a black body bag.
Near as I could tell. They had
shotguns. Expensive ones.
I want to know why a crack-head
came to my door with a meat
cleaver this morning.
A hockey mask, blasted in half, is placed into a plastic
evidence bag.
                       RAMIREZ (cont'd)
I called Vinny Vizcaya twice. I
called Cornelius Ventura once.
Called McMahon six fucking times.


                       RAMIREZ (cont'd)
Coincidentally, nobody seems to
want to answer the phone on this
fine Saturday morning.
Let's go see what we can find out
in person then.
Old Sacramento: A 28-acre State Historic Park, on the river,
in downtown Sacramento. It's an entertainment hot-spot
boasting an established Gold Rush theme, characterized by
dirt roads and wooden sidewalks.
Pernell Banks is all business as he rumbles through the
streets past haystacks and tumbleweeds.
Cornelius Ventura has successfully emptied the spot. He
stands rummaging at the bar as Pernell BLASTS through the
front entrance.
Cornelius immediately snaps to life:
Okay, now baby, you just keep
cool. Be cool now and --
Pernell whips out his twin cannons from the pockets of his
hooded sweatshirt and points them directly at Cornelius.
-- Why don't you be cool and shut
your goofy ass up? Where's
Oh, come now baby, this your nigga
talking to you. You're gonna
point that shit at me? Come on
now, that's how it is?
You know damn well that's exactly
how it is. Don't be trying to act
like my homeboy now, nigga.
McMahon: where is he?


Be cool. The Man is on his way.
Ramirez and Riggs have driven up to the site and engaged one
of the banquet servers in conversation from the Impala.
Well, where'd Vinny go?
Uh, I think the owner picked him
up - umm . . . to go to their
restaurant, I think.
McMahon and Vinny Vizcaya exit the Cadillac and rush into
the restaurant.
Pernell has Cornelius at gunpoint. McMahon and Vinny enter
the establishment. Vinny locks the door behind them.
Pernell takes one gun off Cornelius to point it at McMahon.
What's up, motherfucker?
“What's up, motherfucker?,”
“What's up, motherfucker?” Are
you pointing that fucking gun at
me right now? Is he pointing that
gun at me right now? Two of them,
he has!
All parties regularly trample over each other's dialogue.
No, now calm down, McMahon. Just
calm down first.
Now, let's not start trippin'.
Come on, now.


I'm asking you, are you pointing
that gun at me?
McMahon . . .
Answer me!
Nigga, what the fuck does it look
Okay . . . okay . . . no, no . . .
No, no, everybody just chill the
fuck out.
Be cool.
Exactly. Be cool. Now, McMahon,
just give me a second here,
alright? And Pernell, I swear to
God, you are fucking up right now.
Fuck you!
Now, you see?! Just nip that shit
in the bud. Take a second to
think. We're your friends here,
for Heaven's sake, and you've got
pistols pointed at us all. Dead
to rights! Does that sound crazy
to you? Does it sound a little
off? You're acting like a madman
right now. Now, I thought last
night we cleared all this shit up
and we were good again, but I
guess I was wrong.
No, I guess I was wrong. I
thought I wasn't going to have to
worry about a hit on my head and


                       PERNELL (cont'd)
getting gunned down in front of my
own house by you assholes.
What fucking hit?
What are you talking about?
Don't bullshit me! I saw the
fucking van!
A van?
Did he just say a van? You saw a
van? That's what you're basing
this on?
Your van! The ones you use!
Pernell, whatever went down this
morning had nothing to do with us,
and we got your back one-hundred
percent. Whoever's fucking with
you . . . forget about it, their
life is over as of this moment.
You know that.
Don't bullshit me, Vinny.
Nobody's bullshitting you! We're
all dead serious here.
Come on, now. Just put that shit
down, baby. It's all to the good.
We've got to talk and you've got
to put those guns down first,
alright? This is getting us


Hold on. Where did you get those
I stole them.
Those are my fucking guns you
asshole! You stole them from me!
Yeah, I stole them from you!
Wait, wait now --
-- So, you have been stealing my
shit, right? Pernell, what really
happened with my shipment last
Not now . . .
Let him answer.
I didn't steal your shipment. I
didn't steal your fucking money. I
didn't steal shit!
Asshole! You stole those guns!
I'm borrowing them.
      (to Vinny)
He's a piece of shit thief. I
told you.
Shut up, nigga, I ain't no thief.
Keep your dumbass opinions like
that to yourself.


Well, the sooner you realize that
my opinion and fact are the same
thing, the sooner we'll get along
a whole lot better.
Enough, enough, enough! Pernell,
we are unarmed! We are not
pointing guns at you. Would you
please just put them away for five
fucking seconds so we can discuss
the situation?
Just talk to us for a minute. Come
Pernell takes a long look around the room, assessing the
Is this nigga gonna calm down?
      (to McMahon)
Are you calm?
. . . Better recognize who I am. I
don't need this shit.
McMahon . . . ?
I'm always calm.
He's calm. Can we get to the
bottom of this now?
Pernell hesitates, then lowers his weapons.
You got five minutes.


Riggs is driving with the radio HUMMING and Ramirez riding
So, what are we doing?
Assuming McMahon's there, the plan
is I'm just going to talk to him.
Let him know what I saw at the job
and see what he has to say.
We're not going to let him know we
know about Pernell's house are we?
No, hell no. If he doesn't
mention a word about that when he
hears about what happened with me,
we'll know he's fucking us. When
we get there let me talk. You
just hang back. I'm sure
Cornelius or Vinny will be there.
Yeah. What happens when we know?
Nothing. Not yet. But we are
going to have to handle the
situation soon enough.
It should be tonight then, right?
We're going to have to get our
boss before he gets us.
The Man's not my boss.
Then who is?
I'm a freelance cleaner. I'm my
own boss.


This cracks a smile across Ramirez's face.
When is the last time you worked
for anyone other than McMahon's
That doesn't mean shit.
Answer: in the last . . . fifteen
years? How many times?
. . . A few times.
Three or four times? For all
intents and purposes, McMahon owns
you, too.
Well, officially, he ain't shit to
me but a big paycheck from time to
Yeah. And to answer your
question: yes. Tonight, we're
going to have to get our paycheck
before he gets us.
Vinny and Cornelius sit at the bar, mocking disinterest in
McMahon and Pernell's coversation in a booth across the

as Cornelius' hand pulls a concealed pistol from beneath the

gripping tight on his Beretta inside his jacket.


McMahon and Pernell sit across from each other.
You need to understand that that's
not me at all. After you peel
away all the layers, at my very
core, I'm a businessman. You know
that. Murder comes at a high
price. Only rarely does it ever
pay off. Only rarely is it ever
worth the risk involved. And
anyway, you know me, and you know
I'm not a cowboy. These stupid
fucking gang-bangers out there
today only know what they've seen
in some movies. They get their
heads full of romance and like to
try and imitate that cowboy shit.
In reality, there is nothing
romantic about my lifestyle.
I know all that.
I know you do, just listen for a
minute. There's no glamour, no
fun at all. Now, in this down and
dirty business, I would never send
lowdown hoodlums, in broad
daylight no less, to shoot-up a
neighborhood. That's cowboy
bullshit, it's too risky, and,
more importantly, it's just not
intelligent. I wouldn't even
expect that from the Hmong gangs.
I don't know . . .
You don't know? Pernell, let's
take a look at what you actually
saw: a van. Not mine. Yes, we
use black vans, and, yes, so does
every other gangster in the world.
That's no kind of evidence. Now,
three Crips hopped out and started
shooting. You, my friend, just so
happen to be Sacramento's most
notorious Blood. And you say


                       MCMAHON (cont'd)
Crips are trying to kill you? Big
fucking surprise!
Big fucking coincidence all this
happens when you're accusing me of
fucking with your money.
Unfortunate coincidence. It's
unfortunate and nothing more. In
my line of work I can't afford not
to be paranoid. We've been over
it already, so you cannot keep
throwing that in my face. Anyway,
I've always said that life is much
too short to hold grudges. The
Crips want war? We can get down
if we have to, but we can't get it
done amidst all these accusations.
Are you ready to stop pointing
fingers and take care of business?
Well, what now?
Now, we just put it all behind us.
Get back to work, and . . .
McMahon takes a quick second to study Pernell's irascible
body language.
Son, you look incredibly pissed
right about now.
No shit. I was almost murdered
this morning.
A sly smile spreads across McMahon's face.
You look about ready to scalp a
son of a bitch.
      (calling out to
Hey, where did we find out Rocky
Luke lives?


Rocky Luke?
McMahon nods his head: “Yes.”
Copy down his address, will you?
      (to Pernell)
I know you know who Rocky Luke is.
Pernell nods his head: "Yes."
The Crip King. And I wouldn't be
surprised if he knew a thing or
two about what happened this
morning. I know he's been selling
machine guns lately, and I was
going to give this job to Riggs,
but Vinny told me you've been
showing you really want to get
back to work.
. . . Gotta make money.
Grandma alright?
Pernell looks down.
Well, I always felt I could count
on you as a wheelman, but after
what I've heard about this morning
it seems to me that you might have
some interesting potential as a
cut-throat. And you know how well
I pay for that.
McMahon takes out his wallet and drops a thin stack of
one-hundred dollar bills on the table, one-by-one.
Vinny can drive you over to
Southside to pick up a set of
wheels. I'd like you to take care
of it today and finish up early so
you can come to the Sterling
tonight and celebrate with us.
That right there is only a down
payment on the hit. So . . . how


                       MCMAHON (cont'd)
do you feel about it?
Pernell stares at the money on the table, hesistant.
Benjamin Franklin stares up at him and smirks.
Umm, I . . . I-I feel pretty damn
good about it.
The four men exit the establishment. Cornelius locks up the
restaurant for the day.
      (to Vinny)
After you drop him off, meet me
and Cornelius back at the
      (to Pernell)
Go home and wait for our call.
It'll be tonight some time. When
we call, you go immediately.
Alright, then.
A strong gust of wind lifts clouds of dirt off the road. The
four men look down the street in unison.
Literally a stone's throw down the road, a MODERN DAY RONIN
stands in the middle of the street: it's Riggs. He's
finishing his cigarillo, whilst calmly watching the
proceedings in front of the restaurant.
The faces of the four gangsters at the door turn sallow.
Riggs exhales smoke and begins steadily approaching them.
Vinny, go ahead and get Pernell
down there, so we can get this
ball rolling.


Vinny rushes Pernell into the Cadillac. As they enter the
vehicle, Pernell and Riggs MEET EYES for a taut second.
                       MCMAHON (cont'd)
Cornelius, open the restaurant
back up.
      (calling out)
Riggs . . . how'd everything go?
Riggs, McMahon, and Cornelius enter the building. Cornelius
takes a seat at the bar.
You need a drink, Big Riggs?
No, I'm alright.
Well? What the hell happened?
Riggs puts out his cigarillo in an ashtray on the bar.
The mark was expecting me. He had
a shotgun and at least one extra
man as back-up.
You're shitting me?
Afraid not. He was ready.
Ramirez walks in through the front of the restaurant and
casually tosses Riggs the keys to the Impala. His sudden
entrance STARTLES McMahon and Cornelius.
I parked it down the street.


Goddamn it, Cornelius, lock up the
front door.
Cornelius starts walking to the door with the restaurant
keys to oblige his boss.
Rodriguez! What's happening my
Cornelius offers his hand to Ramirez, who accepts it with an
irritated look on his face.
It's Ramirez.
Oh, shit, I know! I'm just
fucking with you, baby.
Cornelius makes his way past Ramirez and secures the primary
Riggs, why don't you come explain
to me exactly what went down?
McMahon leads Riggs over to an intimate table.
Hey, uh, Ramirez, why don't you
have a drink with Don Cornelius?
Cornelius slips behind the bar. Ramirez finds himself a
So, what do you feel like
drinking, baby? We got Corona,
Sol, all that shit.
Just let me get a cup of Jamaica.
Jamaica? Oh, come on now, have a
beer with me.


I don't like beer.
How can you not like beer?
It tastes like piss, bro, all of
it. I don't get how people drink
that shit; it's so bitter.
Oh, shit. One Jamaica coming up,
I guess. I'll get myself a
Corona, though. That shit's like
Kool-Aid to me.
McMahon and Riggs have already started:
Just shit luck, that they were
armed like that. Right at that
moment. Did you get there on
Yup. Hell, just like you said.
You know, I bet them boys wouldn't
have been able to manage if you
just hopped out right then and
there and handled the job, then
rode off into the sunrise. You
probably could've gotten it done.
Fuck that shotgun, everyone knows
Riggs is the fastest gun in the
west. And I would have been happy
to pay you for two bodies.
Well, I don't reckon I'm paid
enough to take a risk laid out in
front of me like that. Besides,
who can say there weren't more
Crips in that house? With more
Always knew you were just as old
school as I am, Riggs.


Oh, I'm all about the old school.
Well, alright! We'll get them
another time then. We keep eating
right, taking care of loved ones,
and going to church every Sunday
and we'll be alright in the end.
      (calling out to
Ramirez! What have you been up to
this morning?
Went out to Elk Grove. Those
college boys keep buying me out of
stock even though I keep
overcharging them. I was trying
to call all morning.
McMahon rises from his seat and approaches Ramirez and
Cornelius at the bar. Riggs follows close behind.
Yeah, I know. Well, that's my
boy. You been back home today?
No, I was in Elk Grove at six.
Came back when Riggs called me to
meet up here. Why, what's up?
Riggs and Ramirez glance at each other.
Nothing. Just didn't know you
were going to be dealing out
there. You remember we got a new
shipment coming in today?
Yeah, I was about to go pick that
up with Riggs in a minute.
Drop-off at the Sterling or
Sterling today. Vinny's going to
be there for it and the Mexicans.


We better be hitting the ol' dusty
trail, then.
That's a good idea.
The four men begin exchanging departing handshakes; MUMBLE
You fellas take it easy.
Alright, then.
Riggs and Ramirez leave. McMahon and Cornelius allow
themselves a heavy SIGH of relief.
They're all right where we want
Riggs and Ramirez exit Los Nopales and begin striking down
the streets of Old Sac at a hastened pace.
We got him right where we want
him. Good shit in there, partner.
Hell yeah. He almost started
No, he didn't.
Shut up. Yeah, he did. So, is
that it?
Just about, but not quite.
In other words no?


Sorry to say. At this point, I'm
only about ninety-nine percent
sure that we're in a big fucking
Is that all?
Well, it's not one hundred
percent. With the big dog, if
it's not one hundred percent, then
you best not bet the barn on it
quite yet.
They arrive at the Impala, stationed in a roadside parking
                       RIGGS (cont'd)
Can't take a man's life without
knowing, beyond a shadow of a
doubt, you're justified. Or well
Riggs and Ramirez barrel down rain-glossed avenues, bobbing
their heads to the FUNKY GROOVES on FM radio.
      (referring to the
Is this it right here?
Yeah, here we go.
The Impala creeps up into the parking lot. A sign on the
side of the road informs that they've reentered South
Sacramento. It maintains "Welcome to," but we know better.
A pack of ILLEGAL MEXICAN ALIENS are huddled up against the
storefront, fighting the cold. They all appear to be
waiting around for something.


The Impala idles before the group. Ramirez rolls down his
window and raises a red bandana for them to see. TWO
IMMIGRANTS break away from the cluster.
One carries an attaché case.
      (in Spanish)
Let me see.
They hand the case over. Ramirez draws a key from his
pocket and unlocks it. It's filled to the brim with cocaine
of a blinding hue, swathed in plastic and secured with
masking tape.
The two immigrants begin to pile into the backseat.
Hey, what - what the fuck are they
They're coming with us.
We're taking them to the Sterling.
They're getting jobs in the
kitchen and a room in the hotel
until they go back for this.
Riggs nods, somewhat amused. The Impala takes off with all
four men.
A humble automotive cosmetics business in a depleted area of
Sacramento. McMahon's great big Cadillac swoops into the
parking lot, and Vinny and Pernell exit the vehicle.
A bus stop is located on the street directly in front of the
store. A flock of YOUNG MINORITIES wait for the bus,
killing time by dancing to a HIP-HOP BEAT leaking from a
cell phone.


      (on the phone)
Alright . . . well, we just pulled
in . . . oh, okay, cool.
Vinny hangs up his phone. Pernell watches the young people
waiting for the bus. They're about his age, give or take.

The young minorities lose themselves in the music. They
dance carelessly, wildly, joyfully into the street and along
the side walk.
Pernell, we found a sedan for you.
Uncle Sal's coming around with it
in a minute.
Pernell snaps out of his stare; turns his attention to
Vinny leans his thick frame against the Cadillac.
So, how you feeling? You really
ready to do this?
Pernell's vision slides back over to the bus stop where the
kids are still "goin' dumb." Vinny's eyes follow Pernell's.
They stare off together as they converse.
Hell yeah. It ain't shit to me.
Uh-huh. I mean it's certainly the
bump in pay you've been after. But
you sure?
Nigga, I know I'm sure. On Piru.
It's me, Pernell, alright? Don't
give me any of that Blood shit.
We're in a semi-crisis right now,
don't get all hyphy and start up
with that bullshit. I know you're


                       VINNY (cont'd)
real into it and all, but be
serious right now.
Pernell ignores Vinny. BEAT.
Don't expect any help from our
soldiers on this one. Forget the
Bloods, they're just bodies we
use. We're protecting the empire
right now. It's just gonna be us
higher-ups, you know?
. . . I know.
Shit, you know how they are
anyway. Bunch of talkers. When
shit like this goes down, they're
nowhere to be found. I've even
been trying to get in touch with,
uh, Craig and Frank and them, too.
Nothing. I guess word spreads
fast out here.
Vinny LAUGHS to himself, then PAUSES:
Real gangsters are few and far
. . . What's up with Riggs?
What about him?
What was he doing there?
I don't know. You know how he is.
Always appearing out of the
fucking mist.
Did you see how he looked?
What? Riggs? That's how he
always looks. He's like a fuckin'
viking. Fuckin' weirdo. He's like


                       VINNY (cont'd)
that, you know him. You know I
don't even know his first name? I
don't even think McMahon does!
Fuckin' Riggs, man, trips me out.
He's a fucking ghoul.
Vinny's voice cracks with LAUGHTER. A well-worn sedan
cruises around from behind the establishment and parks next
to the Cadillac.
Here we go. Here's Uncle Sal.
Alright, homeboy, you're on your
own. Take care of business and
then promptly get your black ass
back to the Sterling, cool?
Pernell nods along. UNCLE SAL, 60's, portly, exits the car
and brings the keys over to Pernell.
Uncle Sal! Get over here! We
love you.
                       UNCLE SAL
How you doin', boy?
Vinny and Uncle Sal embrace. Pernell gets in the car.
      (calling out to
Hey, back at the Sterling.
Vinny and Uncle Sal start in on catching up with each other,
as Pernell takes off in the sedan.
An inner-city shopping center with a run-down grocery store
as its nucleus. Small businesses, a fast-food restaurant,
and a welfare office make up the membrane of this ramshackle
business cell.
BLUE GRAFFITI tags the walls here and there.
One of the modest shops in the center is a little Mexican
bakery. Riggs pulls his Impala into a parking spot in front
of the establishment.


Ramirez and Riggs exit the vehicle. The immigrants stay
Come on, Mexicans.
      (in Spanish)
You guys are coming, too.
The shop is relatively small and crowded with goods. There
are a few patrons in line to pay for their merchandise.
Riggs and Ramirez stroll in with the immigrants in tow. They
immediately begin combing the shelves of imported Mexican
snacks and groceries. The immigrants stand back, WHISPERING
to each other in Spanish.
Is there supposed to be a fight on
tonight, Ramirez?
Yeah, but it's on Pay-Per-View. I
ain't paying for it. We can watch
it on cable next Saturday night
for free.
A porcelain sculpture of the VIRGIN MARY, displayed for
sale, catches Riggs' eye. He studies the statue's
glistening face, then follows the smooth craftsmanship down
to reveal her feet atop a serpent.
Ramirez moves to a cooler of beverages and pulls out a
mineral water for himself.
      (to the
       immigrants, in
You guys want something to drink?
The immigrants select a pair of sodas, and Ramirez continues
surfing the shelves.
Riggs approaches the counter and examines the selection of
pan dulce behind the glass. A CLERK advances.
      (to the clerk)
Hi, uh . . . let me just have one
of those. Uh, that pink one over
there . . . two of the pineapple


                       RIGGS (cont'd)
ones, and two of those, too.
The clerk packs up Riggs' bread in a paper bag and hands it
Thank you.
      (to Ramirez)
What do you got?
Some tamarindo. You ready?
They move over to the register and pile their drinks, candy,
and bread onto the counter. The clerk starts scanning the
Riggs passes Ramirez some money for the bread. His eyes
drift to the windows in front of the bakery.

Outside the windows, leaning against the storefront with a
cigarette in his mouth and a cell phone to his ear, is
Tybalt Greene.
Riggs does a double-take . . . no doubt about it. The
tattoo tear is there. It's his target from earlier.
The clerk rings up two sodas. Ramirez passes them over to
the two immigrants.
What's up?
Look outside the window for a
second. Look at that pilgrim.
Who? What, that guy with the


What about him?
That was my mark this morning. The
one with the shotgun.
The clerk finishes the transaction and hands Ramirez a
grocery bag with a receipt.
You're serious right now?
I think that might just be the one
percent we need, outside that
Ramirez and the immigrants exit the bakery, walk past
Tybalt, and make their way to the Impala. Ramirez loads the
immigrants into the backseat of the automobile.
Riggs exits the bakery and mocks interest in newspaper
headlines in fifty-cent machines along the storefront.
Ramirez pops open the trunk of the Impala and holds up two
      (to Tybalt)
Hey, excuse me. You got a light?
I'll let you get one, too.
Tybalt walks over to the trunk to accommodate Ramirez. Riggs
discreetly follows behind. As Tybalt arrives, Ramirez grabs
a hold of his arms and forces his body against the trunk.
Tybalt's cell phone DROPS.
Riggs whips a .44 caliber Smith & Wesson Magnum revolver
from a holster beneath his duster and nestles its barrel
against Tybalt's belly.
You just cooperate, and I promise
you the rest of your life.


Tybalt is paralyzed with panic.
Oh, shit - come on, what the -
what the fuck is this about?
Riggs grabs the back of Tybalt's neck with one hand and
keeps his revolver poised with the other.
                       TYBALT (cont'd)
No, hey, what the fuck y'all
niggas want?
Not a word. We have no beef with
you, but you can do a lot to help
us out, so we're going to have to
ask that you do just that.
What's up, homie? What's this got
to do with me?
Ramirez eases up on Tybalt so he can rummage through the
trunk. He comes up with a plastic zip-tie and fastens
Tybalt's hands behind his back.
Business, never personal. Now, we
got to hit the road, Tybalt. Do I
need to gag you?
What? No.
Good to hear. Still, I'm afraid
you're going to have to be riding
in the trunk on this fine
Riggs and Ramirez forcefully toss Tybalt into the trunk and
SLAM the top down on him.
Riggs cruises, as cool as can be, enjoying the R&B on the
radio; Ramirez eats his tamarindo with childlike enthusiasm.


A TUMBLE echoes down the Impala's chassis from the trunk.
Tybalt MOVING. Riggs and Ramirez SNAP to attention, turning
down the radio, listening . . . After a satisfying BEAT of
silence, Riggs turns the radio back up.
The immigrants in the back seat look about ready to piss
A ceiling fan slices the air overhead. McMahon is perched
behind his desk; Cornelius stands at his side; Vinny paces
through the room, in the middle of a phone call.
      (into phone)
Well, you understand how we're all
practically covered in shit right
now . . . Well, you say "these are
my best boys," so we didn't even
think about it, we just expected
it to be done . . . Yeah . . . Of
course it's a problem, nothing we
can't solve, Rock, but it's a big
deal. We just need to be able to
trust that you guys can come
through for us like we come
through for you, you know? . . .
Alright . . . Alright, well, I'm
going to let you go then. You're
going to be home all night? You
sure? . . . Okay, great. I'm
going to give you a call later.
Vinny hangs up the phone.
What'd he say?
Vinny rolls his eyes.
Rocky just apologized and said he
doesn't know what happened. That's
all. What's the plan, McMahon?
Pernell Banks is going to relieve
us of the burden of Rocky Luke.
You sure?


That motherfucker can't take care
of business, then we can't do
business with him. Simple as
I'll call Pernell's dumb ass and
tell him to go in a little bit.
Hopefully they kill each other.
We'll have more power over the
Crips with him out of the picture,
anyway. And if it's a Blood who
assassinates their leader, they'll
all be more than willing to go to
The top Blood, for Christ's sakes.
Well then, now, what about the two
other blind mice we got left over?
Tonight. The party goes on as
planned and tonight, when it's
over, we get to work. Ramirez and
Riggs we do quick, clinical, and
live in person. If Pernell is
successful, we call up some of our
new men, and tell them Pernell
Banks has slayed their leader. We
ride up to Pernell's with them and
personally, and I emphasize
"personally," erase him in the
most unsavory manner we can
possibly come up with. I can
afford no more mistakes. I need
to wash the bitter taste this
morning has left out of my mouth.
Tonight it is, then.



The DJ for tonight's party is setting up in front of the
dance floor. Banquet servers on the clock help put the
finishing touches on the ballroom.
Riggs, Ramirez, and the Mexicans hang out at the bar,
chatting with Caprice. Ramirez has the attaché case, and
Riggs is curiously gripping a keyring rife with keys.
-- and I was seriously about to
call you to get some Thizz pills.
You should've called, I had some.
You should have invited me, too.
Oh, but you didn't know anybody at
that party. I barely did. And
they were all hella crazy anyway.
Okay, the reason I didn't get any
pills from you is because
everybody kept arguing over
whether we should get the blue
dolphins or the pink ones.
It's all - both the same shit.
That's what I said, but they kept
arguing because they were already
drunk. Fast forward, we didn't
get any pills, but someone hella
randomly came with some heroin,
and people started shooting up in
the bedroom.
I know! They tried to get me to
do it, but I was all like, "no
thanks." Random! It was good
shit apparently, though. They
were all making faces like they
were flying, like . . .
Caprice mocks a heroin-induced face.


Did they all have to shit?
What? No.
Then it wasn't high quality
heroin. If it's the real good
shit, like the heroin I used to
sell, once it hits you, you have
to run to the bathroom and take a
dump. And I mean immediately.
Jesus . . .
Oh, that's nasty.
All drugs are. You're stupid as
hell if you take any kind. Even
Ramirez looks at Caprice. She blushes.
Oh, please. Not weed.
Even weed.
Vinny Vizcaya enters the room and approaches the bar. Riggs
stuffs the keys away into his duster.
What are you crazy kids up to this
Vinny! Hello, Jell-O. So, where
were you guys? I thought you were
coming to mass?
Caprice greets Vinny with a hug.


Oh, honey, I'm sorry we couldn't
make it to church. There was an
emergency at the restaurant. All
kinds of shit.
Ramirez hands over the attaché case.
Vinny shakes hands with the immigrants.
                       VINNY (cont'd)
Hola. Cómo estás?
      (to Ramirez)
Hey, can you do me a favor and go
introduce them to Paco in the
kitchen. Have him get them
No problem.
      (to Caprice)
Okay, I'll see you later.
He hugs her goodbye.
Okay, honey, I'll probably call
you later.
      (to the
       immigrants, in
Alright, let's go. They're ready
to put you two to work.
Ramirez exits the room with Riggs and the immigrants. Vinny
slips behind the bar with the attaché case. Caprice hops up
on a stool.
What are you doing here so early,


Everybody's still at the church
taking pictures. I got stuck with
the job of setting up the center
pieces and party favors.
Oh, they got you working, huh? You
want something to drink?
Uh, sure. Just some water please.
Vinny begins fixing her a glass of water.
                       CAPRICE (cont'd)
With no ice, though. Please.
No ice in your water?
Yeah, it just gets in the way.
You're a trip, girl. Hey, you
want to hear something? I was up
at the club last night, right?
Yeah, I was up at Barcode last
night, and I could have sworn I
saw a girl that looked exactly
like you.
Oh em gee, that was me! I was
there with my girlfriends!
Yeah? Yeah, that's what I
Yeah, I didn't even see you.


He hands her a glass of ice-less water.
I called out across the dance
floor, I guess you didn't see me.
Oh, next time. Sorry. Really?
Oh, man . . . Well, thank you,
darling, but I got to get my butt
back to work now.
Wait a minute. Don't you want
know what's in the case?
Caprice hops off the stool and winks at Vinny.
Tonight's gonna be one hell of a
Pernell parks the loaner sedan in his driveway. He exits, a
little on edge, and scans the neighborhood.
He notes a single, empty police cruiser parked down the
street and a tattered strip of caution tape in the gutter.
Other than that, it's already as if the events this morning
never took place.
Pernell opens the door to his grandmother's room and finds
her still laying asleep in her bed.
He spoon feeds her applesauce.
Pernell reloads his pistols.
He changes her diaper.


He rummages through a drawer and manages to fish out a few
crumpled dollar bills and some odd change.
Pernell dials a number on his cell phone. The other end
RINGS, and RINGS, and RINGS . . . he gives up.
The other end RINGS, and RINGS, and goes to voicemail.
                       VOICEMAIL (V.O.)
Hey, yo, you've reached Fruitridge
Frankie's cell, blood. If I don't
hit you back, it's probably
because I don't like you.
After the BEEP . . .
      (into phone)
Hey, Frank, this your nigga
Pernell. Your ass needs to pick
up your phone, because I'm in some
serious shit. Hit me back.
A WOMAN on the other end picks up.
                       WOMAN (O.S.)
Hey . . . uh, is Marcus there?
                       WOMAN (O.S.)
No, he ain't here.
Oh, well . . . did he get a new
                       WOMAN (O.S.)
No, this is his number. He just
ain't here.
Okay, well, will you tell him to
call Pernell as soon as possible?


The other end RINGS and RINGS, and nobody picks up. Pernell
drops his head and heaves out a frustrated SIGH.
Pernell sits at the edge of his grandmother's bed with his
head drooping around his shoulders. His grandmother rests
in a deep, peaceful sleep.
I don't know, I don't know, I
don't know, I don't know, I don't
know . . .
His cell phone VIBRATES and emits a STARTLING RINGTONE. The
screen indicates the incoming call is from Vinny Vizcaya.
hitting the Sacramento miasma. Dominating MUSIC ties in
with the following images:
1.) A WATER TOWER - Painted with the boast, "SACRAMENTO -

2.) A ROW OF TELEPHONE POLES - Lining a busy ghetto street
in a never-ending chain.

3.) A MURAL - Of Legendary Sacramento pioneers: C.K.
McClatchy, John Sutter, Sam Brannan, E.B. Crocker, etc.

4.) A SILVER STALLION - A sculptor's grand, metallic
masterwork, proudly displayed in the city center.

5.) THE CALIFORNIA STATE CAPITOL - Sweeping, intimidating,
and lily-white.

6.) THE AMERICAN RIVER - Gleaming silver liquid. It lies
still and dead.

7.) THE CALIFORNIA STATE FLAG - Flapping proudly in the
steady wind.

8.) A TREE-LINED ROAD - The leafless, lifeless trees engulf
the deserted road with their crooked, needle-like branches.

9.) THE SKY - Watercolored a mournful grey.


Riggs' black Impala advances down the road, stopping in
front of Ramirez's house. Ramirez exits the car, quickly
bids adieu, and walks into his home.
The black Impala continues down the length of Burlington
Way, parking in front of a fence at the end of the street. A
sign hooked onto the chain-links declares, "DEAD END."
Riggs exits his vehicle and opens its trunk, revealing
Tybalt curled up inside with his hands fastened behind his
back and a black sack slipped over his head.
Rise and shine.
Where the fuck am I?

The bowels of South-Central
Sacramento, partner. In other
words: Hell. Welcome to
Meadowview. Get your ass up.
Riggs uproots his hostage without care or consideration. He
reaches back into the trunk and pulls out a long length of
heavy-duty rope.
Riggs presses his revolver against Tybalt's back, directing
him past the dead-end gates, and into a bleak and
unforgiving no-man's land.
"The Field" is a stark stretch of land behind the dead-end
of Detroit and Burlington. Riggs and Tybalt are two dots
stomping across the dead and desolate vista.
Tybalt trips and stumbles over wild grassland and strewn
waste. Riggs keeps him on trail with his revolver.


A railroad track cuts across the deep recesses of the Field.
Tybalt has been situated on his knees, across the planks.
Riggs drifts around him, smoking a cigarillo, gun in hand.
The hit man pauses, then he shifts his shoulders, SNORTS,
and spits a globule of phlegm onto the untamed terrain.
Is Tybalt your real name?
Yeah . . .
I like it. So, what were you
doing in front of the bakery?
Waiting for my girl to pick me up.
Jessica? Her name's Jessica?
She's been calling the cell phone
I confiscated from you non-stop.
Did you know I was supposed to
kill you this morning?
No answer. BEAT.
Do you know who I am?
Name's Riggs . . .
Tybalt's head perks up at the sound of his captor's name.
                       RIGGS (cont'd)
. . . Fastest hand in the West.
You do know who Riggs is?
Tybalt nods his head: “Yes.”


And I know you know who McMahon
is. He's the man who hired me to
kill you this morning, and
vice-versa. But you already knew
that, didn't you?
Tybalt doesn't answer.
I seem to remember asking you a
So, tell me, Tybalt. What was
supposed to go down this morning?
You were supposed to come around
at nine in the morning, and we
were just supposed to keep an eye
out and light your ass up when you
came through.
Makes sense. Name your gang
24th Street Garden Blocc Crips.
Well, then, I guess what I got to
ask you is . . . why is McMahon,
lord of vice in Sacramento and
virtual head of the Meadowview
Blood Cats for damn near two
decades, jumping ship all of a
sudden? Why is he taking over the
Money. Just - he just doesn't
trust the top dog Bloods today.
All the bullshit, his shipments
coming in short. He's just fed up
with having to watch his back
around y'all Bloods, so he's
taking you all out. Like that.


Well, I'm no Blood. My partner
who helped me snatch you up sure
as hell doesn't bang, either.
You work for the Bloods, you ride
with the Bloods, you're a Blood.
Riggs takes a BEAT to absorb this information.
Who's the Crip King nowadays?
Rocky. Rocky Luke.
That's right. And in what parts
can I find him?
Tybalt begins to slowly shake his head with trepidation.
Man, I can't - I don--
Riggs SNATCHES the black sack off of Tybalt's head and
presses the barrel of his Magnum between his eyes.
-- I don't think you appreciate
the seriousness of our respective
predicaments. Now, you do not
have a motherfucking choice over
this matter, Tybalt. Either you
tell me where he lives, or I blow
your fucking face into the base of
your neck.
Twenty-ninth street.
Oh, I'm going to need a little
more than that. Specifics, son.
I-I just know it's on
Twenty-ninth, and it - it'll be
the house with a brand-new, uh,
uh, BMW 530i in front. It's blue.


Riggs re-holsters his revolver, picks up his rope, and
begins knotting Tybalt's arms to the steel beam of the
railroad track.
Congratulations, son. Your
cooperation has earned you another
day on this here planet.
Fuck are you doing? Oh, no, man.
-- Riggs pulls a handkerchief out of his pocket and stuffs
it down Tybalt's throat, cutting off his pleas. He throws
the black sack back over Tybalt's head.
But you are going to have to spend
the night in the Field. If all
goes well, I'll be setting you
loose in the morning.
Riggs double-checks his knots. Satisfied, he heads out of
the Field, as Tybalt attempts to cry for help.
Without turning back:
Be seeing you.
The room is filled to capacity. All the guests for the
Quinceañera have arrived.
Vinny, McMahon, and Cornelius stand off around the perimeter
of the ballroom, while the party buzzes in front of them.
What's going on?
They're about to start right now.
What do they do?
It's a dance. Something like a
waltz or something.


Oh, cool.
Caprice streaks by, overjoyed.
They're gonna start coming in
      (over sound system)
Okay, ladies and gentlemen, if you
would all take your seats, we will
begin the entrance of our
Quinceañera and move right into
the waltz. So, hurry and find
your seats, and get your cameras
out so we can get started.
Banquet servers finish offering hors d'oeuvres. Guests stop
mingling and file into their seats, pulling out their
cameras as the DJ starts the MUSIC.
The Quinceañera enters the room, accompanied by her MAIDS OF
HONOR and CHAMBERLAINS. Guests snap photographs and let out
"OHH'S" and "AHH'S" as the Quinceañera glides over to the
dance floor with her escorts.
The boys and girls take their positions on the floor and
begin to dance a traditional, choreographed waltz.
Pernell zooms down the streets, a vision of hot tension, en
route to Rocky Luke's.
Riggs cruises down the streets, a vision of cold
calculation, en route to Rocky Luke's.
The boys spin their partners with a flourish. The crowd
meets the display with much fanfare.


Pernell's sedan creeps around the street sign stamped with a
"29" and parks across from a home with a blue BMW in the
Pernell looks down at an address on a piece of paper. It
matches up with the house across the street.
The waltz continues. Caprice is at the head of the sea of
spectators, snapping photos with a proud grin.
Pernell sneaks up the driveway of the home and hops a fence
leading to the backyard.
Riggs spots the house with the royal blue BMW 530i in the
driveway. He parks the Impala.
McMahon, Vinny, and Cornelius hover amongst the crowd, all
enjoying the kids execute their choreographed routine with
style and grace.
Pernell slips around the back of the house and finds sliding
glass doors that lead into Rocky's living room.
Pernell takes a closer look and can make out ROCKY LUKE,
late 30's, overweight, perched on his couch with his arm
around a YOUNG WOMAN. They are watching television with
their backs to the sliding glass.
Riggs appears in the backyard, just in time to see Pernell
aiming his guns.
The Quinceañera waltz concludes with a broad stroke of
grandeur. The crowd BURSTS into UPROARIOUS APPLAUSE.


Pernell's RAPID GUNFIRE drowns out Riggs' plea. The sliding
glass SHATTERS. The young woman's head is punctured with a
violent CLAP. A SPLATTER. She keels over, dead.
Rocky's back is penetrated twice, high and near the
shoulder. He CRASHES to his carpet, alive.
The players take a graceful bow. The audience's applause is
Pernell rushes in and stands over Rocky Luke's body. The
Crip King is sprawled across the floor, WHEEZING for air.
As Pernell points his guns downward to deliver the killshot,
Riggs enters the equation with his revolver poised for
action. He fixes it straight at the back of Pernell's head.
Stop! What the fuck are you
doing? Don't move - don't fucking
Pernell freezes in shock with his back to Riggs and his guns
pointed down at Rocky.
Get your guns off the bastard. At
least until after I've had a word
with him.
I'd be in your best interest to
lower your goddamn weapons. Now.


No. Fuck no.
Pernell's initial shock fades. Anger and confidence rises
in his eyes, though his nerves still afford him the
slightest tremble.
Drop those pistols. I am here for
the same reasons you are.
Pernell shakes his head in frustration.
Shit! I was right.
What are you talking about? Get
your ass away from that piece of
shit right now. I have business I
need to attend to, and you are
fucking my shit up.
I don't give a fuck. You're here
to do me, just do me and quit
fucking with me. Or else put your
gun down so I can cap your ass
just like I'm about to do to this
fuck here. Then, your nigga
McMahon, his ass is next.
McMahon ain't shit to me.
Pernell's body tenses, and Riggs' arm goes rigid in
response. Rocky Luke WHIMPERS faintly throughout.
Fuck you! If it's me against all
y'all, then let's do this. If
it's like that, it's like that.
You stay real still, now. You
know how blessed I am when it
comes to this revolver. You know
how fast I can turn men into
legend with a motion of my right
hand. I ain't come to kill you.
You would have been dead before
you knew I was here, if that was
the case.


Pernell's muscles relax; confusion returns in eyes. The
stand-off loses its air of inevitable death, but all parties
maintain their postures just in case.
                       RIGGS (cont'd)
Seems McMahon is dead-set on
cutting all ties to his current
roster. That's you and me, son.
You know, I've seen a million
motherfuckers just like you in my
day. McMahon loves hiring your
type. Same balls, same gang, and
you all end up buried in the same
cemetery. Kill that piece of shit
without getting a word out of him
for all I care.
Riggs whips his revolver back into its holster and slinks
out through the shattered door frame.
Without turning back:
You're going to die tonight.
Pernell quickly turns around, but Riggs has disappeared. He
stands motionless for a BEAT, trying to place what just
Rocky WHIMPERS. Pernell's pistol ROARS.
Only the most cutting eyes notice as the dreary afternoon
collapses into nightfall. A dazzling cityscape illuminates
against a black velvet sky.
Helicopters sweep around the towering infrastructure like
metallic insects under the dark veil of night.
The brilliant glass and steel structures of the business
district stand dominant in the city center.
The lights of the city flare, washing it in glorious excess.
Over this, the BUZZ of the guests in the Sterling Ballroom
grows. They mingle, creating a dull DISSONANCE. Then:
                       DJ (O.S.)
      (over sound system)
Alright, ladies and gentlemen, are
we ready to do this! Are you


                       DJ (cont'd)
ready! Let's get this party
The DJ spins a HIP-HOP record to kick off the party. The
guests flood the dance floor as MUSIC fills the ballroom.
Hover over the activity on the dance floor for an OVERLONG
BEAT, until Caprice emerges from the sea of dancers with a
They run over to the bar, breathing hard and sweating from
                       CAPRICE & GIRLFRIEND
      (to the bartender)
Incredible Hulk!
Coming right up.
The BARTENDER gets to work on their drinks. Vinny joins the
girls at the bar.
Hello, ladies.
                       CAPRICE & GIRLFRIEND
Hey, Vinny!
You two ready or what?
Hell yeah, Vinny Vizcaya. Just
let us get our drinks.
Here you cuties go. Enjoy.
The bartender hands over two Incredible Hulks. Vinny
escorts the the girls away from the bar as Cornelius slips
behind it to deliver extra bottles of alcohol.


      (to the bartender)
I'm just going to put these back
Thank you.
Alright, baby, you cool? Something
else you need?
Umm, yeah. I'm going to need some
more of these cherries pretty
Another jar. Okay. I'll get
somebody on it.
Cornelius weaves his way through the throngs of guests and
out of the ballroom.
Cornelius enters the hallway from the ballroom and finds
McMahon striding toward him.
Have you seen Vinny?
Yeah, he's in there.
They pass each other. Cornelius continues down the hall,
and McMahon strikes into the:
The party rages on. McMahon spots Vinny with Caprice and
her girlfriend. He approaches them.


Vinny, have you gotten in contact
with Pernell?
The MUSIC is almost too loud to talk over.
No, I haven't been able to get a
hold of him.
Where is he? He promised he was
He hasn't been answering, he
hasn't called, nothing.
Shit. Take it easy tonight, I'm
going to need you to be able to
function later on.
Of course.
McMahon leaves. The girls GIGGLE.
Okay, let's go.
Vinny leads the girls through a small door in the corner of
the ballroom.
They rip through the door, drunk and LAUGHING. Vinny sets
up three lines of cocaine on a piece of A/V equipment. He
hands the girlfriend a straw. She snorts . . . then Caprice
snorts . . . then Vinny knocks back a line and rubs his


Oh, shit, Caprice. Close the
fucking door!
She LAUGHS, completely BLITZED.
Oh, fuck!
They left the door wide open behind them. Caprice SLAMS it
Cornelius is in the area. McMahon enters the room. The two
immigrants from earlier, now decked in dishwashing garb,
cross through the room, busy at work.
Cornelius, have you heard from
Pernell tonight?
Nah. What's the word on that?
Stay up. I'm fixing to find out.
Alright, then.
McMahon exits the kitchen. A BANQUET SERVER enters.
Hey, Bobby, can you go get Brian a
jar of those sweet cherries from
the off-site room?
                       BANQUET SERVER
The banquet server moves to retrieve the off-site keys from
a particle board on the wall. Cornelius moves to exit the
                       BANQUET SERVER
Cornelius, where are the keys at?
Cornelius stops short at the door.


They're not hanging up there?
                       BANQUET SERVER
Alright, don't even trip off it,
baby. I got my own keys. I'll go
get them.
Riggs drops the off-site keys on McMahon's desk and begins
rifling through papers, opening drawers, etc.
He gives up and strolls through the rest of the office area,
poking his head around, leaving no stone unturned.
He comes to a door at the end of a short hall. He proceeds
through to:
Before Riggs can take a second step into the area, Cornelius
Ventura emerges from an alcohol storage gate with an economy
jar of Maraschino cherries.
Both men FREEZE, scanning each other with their eyes.
Cornelius drops the jar and reaches to a gun holster hidden
on the small of his back with a panicked haste.
Riggs reaches to his holster and whips out his revolver in a
quick, fluid motion. He pulls the trigger before Cornelius
can even manage to unsheathe his shooter.
The jar of cherries EXPLODES. Cornelius' chest does the
same. His body plummets to the floor with a sickening THUD.
A cornucopia of blood-red cherries border his corpse.
Riggs walks over and looks down on his kill with bouquets of
smoke blooming from the barrel of his Magnum.
Riggs hops over the body and quickly inspects the storage
area. Stockpiled in the vicinity are the banquet staff's
supplies: tables, chairs, linens, etc.


Riggs spies a large metal cart carrying detachable dance
floor pieces. The floor segments are heavy. He pushes the
cart against the front entrance, creating a barricade.
Quickly, Riggs snatches a number of dark table linens off of
a rack and begins wrapping his lifeless victim in them.
He takes out his cell phone and dials in a number.
Ramirez is interruped at his stove by his RINGING cell
      (into phone)
What's up?
      (into phone)
Ramirez. What are you up to?
Cooking up some crack.
Okay . . . Look, I got a body that
needs disposing.
Cornelius Ventura's.
You killed Cornelius?
Yeah, I had to shoot him in the
chest. He's dead as hell. Can we
bury him in the Field tonight?
No, we can't dig up the Field
anymore. We have to burn him.


Okay - what?! Okay - Alright, I'm
coming over.
Okay, be careful. Watch your ass.
And you're going to need a change
of clothes.
Alright. I got to load him up and
whatnot. I'll be around in about
thirty, thirty-five minutes. Keep
cooking your crack.
Always . . . You really just
killed Cornelius right now?
Okay, cool. Hurry up. Bye.
The celebration is in full swing as Pernell walks through
the front entrance. He stalks through the ballroom,
absorbing the atmosphere.
Caprice spots Pernell from a distance and jogs over to greet
him with a bear hug.
Pernell! You came! Thank you!
Thank you! Where were you? You're
hella late.
I don't know. I was just taking
care of some things.
Vinny and McMahon catch sight of Pernell with Caprice and
hurry over.
You ass, I've been calling you.
This Quince fuckin' goes hella
hard, I told my --


      (to Pernell)
-- Where have you been, we've been
calling you off the fucking hook?
You got us worrying like
somebody's mother over here.
You can't answer your phone?
Pernell --
-- I took care of it. I just came
to return the car and collect the
rest of my cash.
Pernell hands Vinny the keys to the sedan.
I don't pay any more until I can
confirm the job was carried out as
Shit, come on, McMahon. You know
I need this cash for my grand--
-- No, I don't fuck around with my
money. You'll have to wait. Why
weren't you answering your phone?
Pernell SIGHS heavily and shakes his head in disappointment,
like a child who's been denied by a parent.
I didn't have it on. I didn't
want to risk it going off in the
middle of things.
Rocky's taken care of?
Yeah, I handled it. It's all
taken care of. I got in and out,
just like that.
Are you staying?


No, I just needed to talk to Vinny
and McMahon. I actually got to
get home right now.
No, Pernell, stick around. Have
fun for a while.
I can't . . .
There's no rush. If you took care
of business, then celebrate with
Please . . .
No, sorry, I'm out. My grandma.
I'll see y'all later, though.
Come on. You're just going to go
home, then?
Stay . . .
No, sorry, I'll see you guys
later. I really got to bounce.
Okay . . . bye . . .
Pernell hugs Caprice goodbye. He nods goodbyes to Vinny and
McMahon, then leaves.
      (to Vinny)
Let's go.
McMahon leads Vinny toward an exit. On the way, McMahon
scans the room. He spots a banquet server and stops him.
Do you know where Cornelius is?


                       BANQUET SERVER
No. Oh, he was going to the
off-site room to get more cherries
for the bar, I think.
They continue through the exit.
What's up?
We're getting our asses to his
house before he gets there. We
end this now. Call up them boys
from the block, tell 'em to be in
Meadowview in five minutes.
Once again it's on.
Vinny gets on the phone.
Where the fuck is Cornelius?
Vinny shrugs his shoulders. McMahon attempts to call
Cornelius on his own cell but comes up empty.
      (into phone)
Hey, get your clappers right now.
We need as many of you bastards to
get your asses down Detroit
Boulevard ASAP . . . The "D,"
yeah, right now. I'm talking in
the next ten minutes tops . . . Be
ready for war.
Fuck it. Let's ride out.
Riggs and Ramirez stare into the trunk of the Impala. A
gangster, mummified in linen, lies dead before them.


That is one dead-ass black dude.
Let's take him into my Apa's
backyard, next door. I got it set
up back there.
Alright. I'll grab his legs, you
lead the way.
They unload Cornelius' packaged corpse and carry it
awkwardly toward Ramirez's grandfather's backyard.
This is a hell of a lot easier
with someone else's help. I had
to drag his dumb ass when I was
trying to get him in the trunk by
Why did you kill him, anyway?
He drew on me.
He drew on you? I know he kept a
Jheri curl deep into the nineties,
and he can't go more than a few
sentences without saying "cool" or
"baby," but he actually thought he
could shoot you down one-on-one?
They make their way through Ramirez's grandpa's back gate.
They keep moving right on through, down a strip of yard
lined with cactus plants.


Well, there's stupid and there's
stupid, and then there's your
bartending gang bangers. Wherever
he is now, he 's learned not to
fuck with Riggs ever again.
Damn, like that? You're a bad
motherfucker, John. Alright,
let's get him over here.
They arrive on a cement patio and unfurl the carcass. The
area has been set up like a mad scientist's crude workshop.
Riggs pulls off his duster and loosens his tie. The men
slip on pairs of working gloves and elect a knife over an
assortment of blades.
Have you been cooking back here
No, not really. If we live
through the night, I'll make us
some chicharrones in the morning.
I think my grandpa has some cactus
already in the fridge, so we can
make those badass tacos.
I don't even need anything with
them. I can eat chicharrones like
They force off Cornelius' clothing.
I can't, I'll throw up. When I
was a kid I ate way too many
chicharrones once and they made me
sick. I can't eat them like that
anymore or else I'll get queasy.
No, shit? I did the same thing
with pomegranates when I was nine.
Damn shame, you can't enjoy those
chicharrones pure anymore.


They're ready to work on the body. Riggs has selected a
meat cleaver; Ramirez sharpens a machete.
Okay, what are we doing?
I can't dig anymore holes back
there, so I got to start burning
niggas up. So first we need to
cut off all his extremities so
that he can fit in the pit. We
got time, don't we?
Yeah, we got a few hours to kill
before showtime.
We got to do the dear departed Don
Cornelius Ventura like an
eight-point buck.
This is not going to be like a
deer --
-- Well, I know it's not going to
be exactly the same. But if I put
my thoughts aside, forget that I
was just having a drink with this
poor bastard a few hours ago -
you've seen me cut up deers and
pigs, this'll be more or less like
that. Animals are animals. Humans
are just animals. Okay.
They drop to their knees around the body. Ramirez holds out
Cornelius's right arm and readies his machete to strike.
You're just going to go right into
it --
-- Well, yeah. You got a better


Ramirez poises himself for a BEAT, then hammers down the
cutting edge and lops the arm off with sickening ease.
A splash of blood SHOOTS into Ramirez's eyes. Riggs
Oh, shit . . . the arm came right
I know, I was sitting right here.
Ramirez wipes his eyes and passes the severed limb over to
Here. Now you cut it at the
joints, the elbow and wrist. Then
put it in a bag and set it aside.
We'll do this like an assembly
line - or disassembly line, I
guess - with the rest of him.
They start hacking away, making sour faces.
The late night train SCREECHES into the station. Pernell
gets off the Lightrail and marches homeward.
Pernell stomps up to his front door. CRUNCHING glass
becomes audible beneath his feet. Pernell looks up to his
porch light and notices that the bulb has been shattered. He
pulls out one of his pistols and chambers a bullet.
A WIDER SHOT reveals that, behind Pernell, THREE DARK
FIGURES rise in unison from discreet locations in the front
Pernell slowly unlocks the front door and enters his home.


McMahon sits on Pernell's couch with a round, red object
resting in his lap. Vinny stands to one side of the living
room, Beretta primed to fire.
Pernell freezes in utter astonishment for half a second.
That proves to be too long.
The three mysterious figures from the yard rush up behind
Pernell and knock him to the living room floor. They are
CRIP GANG MEMBERS. Pernell fumbles his pistol.
Get his ass up.
The three gang bangers force Pernell to his feet and hold
him firm in front of McMahon. Pernell struggles in vain.
Now, you know you brought this all
on yourself. Pernell - Pernell,
listen to me. Pay attention.
Pernell, you are not a complete
moron, you know better than to
fuck with someone like me. But the
fact of the matter is, you are a
lying, unappreciative piece of
shit. Another worthless ghetto
child. You are the lowest of the
low, and my only regret is how
your bullshit has produced adverse
effects on the meek and innocent.
For that, you must pay. After
all, your grandmother raised you
McMahon raises the red object from his lap. It's wrapped in
a bloody pillow case and appears to be the approximate size
and shape of an elderly woman's head.
is all for naught in the clutches of three grown men.
McMahon LEAPS to his feet and towers over Pernell.
Shut, shut, shut, shut, shut the
fuck up! This is your doing,
Pernell. You entered a business
relationship with me, you fucked
me behind my back, and like every
business decision, there are
consequences. You reap what you
sew. You fuck me, I fuck you in a


                       MCMAHON (cont'd)
way that you will never be able to
fuck me again. This is how I
rule! This policy has lead me to
money, power, and respect beyond
the frontier of Sacramento. Fuck
Sacramento! I am the king of
northern California. I am a world
shaker, iron-fisted, and
professional to a "T." Murders in
Meadowview: me! Prostitution in
Vallejo: me! Gambling in Elk
Grove: all me! I run this city
and every bordering county. I
brought crack back! I brought
professionalism back to organized
crime, and God knows I didn't get
here by letting stupid-ass monkey
motherfuckers run wild in my
court. Pernell, understand . . .
you are going to die tonight.
      (to the Crips)
Bend him over the couch.

The Crips follow the order. Pernell fights his heart out,
but hasn't a snowball's chance in hell. He is put over the
couch arm with considerable ease by the three Crips.
Vinny yanks down Pernell's pants and boxers and slowly, but
forcefully, inserts the barrel of his Beretta deep inside
Pernell's anus. Pernell BELTS a hellish cry.
McMahon mocks Pernell's agony. Vinny can't help but
You're a big, bad gangster, right?
Look where you are now! Look
where fucking with McMahon has
gotten you!
Say goodnight, motherfucker.
Vinny pulls the trigger, firing a bullet straight through
Pernell's insides, from the inside, killing him instantly.


Riggs and Ramirez have finished up the body. They relax on
the patio, covered in blood, with garbage bags of body parts
piled in a corner.
Riggs enjoys a frosty brew. Ramirez sips a soda pop. A
radio HUMS quietly in the corner.
That was almost as hard as digging
up a damn hole.
Almost. Hey, let's burn him
tomorrow, we can just store him in
the freezer for now.
Fine by me. How much time left
before that party's over?
It should be over in about an hour
or so. I don't know, they're all
Riggs barely hears Ramirez as he stares off into the night
You realize we've passed a point
of no return? One way or another,
it ends tonight.
I'm down for whatever.
Riggs's cell phone RINGS.
Vinny's calling me.
Riggs answers his cell phone.
      (into phone)
It's Riggs.


Vinny paces through the room. McMahon and the Crips examine
a jar of broken cherries.
      (into phone)
Hey, uh, Riggs. What are you up
to my man?
I'm just over here at Ramirez's,
dropping off the gun I borrowed
this morning.
Oh, you're with Ramirez? That's
good, because we're going to need
you both to come down to the
Vizcaya in a little bit. We got
some drama jumping off right now,
and McMahon wants everybody to
meet up at the Vizcaya. We might
have to go ride on the Crip King
You don't say. Cleaning out the
Crip King? This is some serious
shit then?
Yeah, we need everybody at the
Vizcaya soon, so get over there
with Ramirez right now. Leave
right now. We might have to do
some damage.
We'll be around as soon as
Alright, then. Step on it,
brotha. See you when you get
Be seeing you.


      (to McMahon)
They're coming. Ramirez was with
Riggs, and they're both leaving
Alright. Let's dump these and get
over there quickly.
The Crips start heading toward the exit.
And Cornelius?
I don't know for sure. I got a
feeling we're dumping the reason
we can't find him right now,
Vinny, McMahon, and the Crips file out of the off-site room
and converge around a black van. Vinny pulls opens the
sliding door.
The muffled SOUNDS of the wild party in the ballroom are
audible out here.
      (to one of the
Go watch the banquet door and make
sure nobody comes out. Hurry up.
Don't let anybody through, no
matter what.
The Crip does so.
Alright, I don't like this, but we
got the garbage guy coming here
tomorrow, so let's get these guys
in the dumpster and bounce. Hurry.
The two remaining Crips pull a sheet-wrapped body out of the
van, steady their stances, and do a heave-ho into a dumpster
in the parking lot. It banks in with a THUD.


Perfect. Let's go, come on.
The Crips pull out a second wrapped body and get in position
to heave it home. They fumble with their grip on the
corpse, then slip up and drop it.
                       CRIP #1 & CRIP #2
Oh, shit! Shit! Fuck!
Jesus Christ, pick it up! I can't
believe . . .
Oh my god . . . get him. Jesus
Christ . . .
The carcass rolls across the pock-marked tarmac, allowing
the wrapping to slip down, revealing the face of a deceased
Pernell Banks. The light from his cell phone screen
suddenly illuminates his pocket, and a STARTLING RINGTONE
emanates from the corpse's clothing.
The gangsters FREEZE.
                       CAPRICE (O.C.)
Oh my God . . .
Oh my God . . .
A drunken Caprice Maraschino reveals herself from between
the cover of a pair of parked cars, cell phone in hand. She
catches a glimpse of her dead friend's face and begins
SCREAMING in horror.
Vinny charges over and grabs a hold of Caprice, smothering
her mouth with his hand. She attempts to kick herself free
as Vinny struggles to silence her SHRIEKS.
      (to the Crips)
Dump the fucking body! Dump it
McMahon runs over to help Vinny keep control of Caprice's
flailing body.
Let's get her in the van. Hurry
up! Hurry up!


The Crips toss Pernell in the dumpster. McMahon and Vinny
force Caprice into the back seat of the van. The Crip at
the door hurries back over to all the commotion and springs
into the driver's seat. He mashes the ignition.
Let's move!
The van comes to life and PEELS out of the parking lot,
leaving burning tire marks in its wake.
Ramirez rinses the crimson patio clean with a garden hose,
as Riggs finishes adding some fresh human meat to an ice box
already loaded with pork and beef cuts.
It's about that time, partner.
Riggs cracks open another beer and finds himself a seat.
MUSIC continuously hums from the radio.
It's time?
Yes, sir. We ought to lock, load,
and head out in a bit.
Hell of a way to end a night.
Ramirez pulls up a seat by Riggs.
Hell of a way to end a long,
successful relationship.
Riggs leans back in his seat; relaxes.
You tired?
Real gangsters don't sleep.
Ramirez can't help but smile.


You ready to take care of
Always. Way I see it, life is too
short to waste precious time
dealing with worthless folk.
Yeah . . .
And that's doubly true when you
find out they want you dead. It's
kill or be killed. Afraid there
ain't no kind of in between.
There never is.
True, true . . . Ramirez, do you
know how the long the oldest man
in history ended up living?
I think I heard he was about
one-hundred and twenty-six or
something like that.
That sounds about right. So let's
just round that up to one-hundred
and thirty years young, for
argument's sake. Now, life goes
on forever. It's the only thing
in this world that's infinite. So
what is one-hundred and thirty,
divided by infinity?
Ramirez seriously ponders the equation.
It's nothing.
Zero. Mathematically, every life
will inevitably amount to nothing.
At least in this world. On a long
enough timeline, history will see


                       RIGGS (cont'd)
no difference between McMahon and
your mother.
That's enough to drive you crazy.
Time is a tricky son of a bitch.
It's all for nothing, and it never
ends. Shit, I rotted in an
infernal cage for three full years
of my youth. Felt like a hundred.
I don't aim to go back in - not
ever. I aim to take care of
business as usual. I aim to get
down tonight. You down tonight,
To the bloody end.
Riggs can't help but smirk.
The bloody end. Let's hit that
dusty trail.
My nigga.
The two raiders bump their fists together in allegiance.
1) Black gloves being slipped on.
2) Ramirez's belt buckle, bearing an "R" insignia, being
3) Riggs' neckline - he properly tugs and situates the
slipknot of a jet-black tie.
4) A black trench coat falls over Riggs' shoulders.
5) A silencer being screwed onto the barrel of a MAC-10.
6) The chamber of a six-shooter being packed with Magnum


7) Ramirez's face - he ties a folded bandana across his mug.
A black hood is draped over his head.
8) Riggs' face - he slips on a pair of mirrored aviator