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Conversations With Killers
by Jordan Dillon, Writer and Director (jordangarydillon@hotmail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review:
NOT YET
RATED

A young man grieves for his dead brother and seeks revenge on the man responsible for his death. A young woman longs for freedom from her life and independence from an abusive boyfriend. An old soldier struggles to transition into a pacifist civilian lifestyle. A professional contract killer is assigned one last job. A veteran police officer learns what it truly means to protect and to serve. All of these characters and their respective stories will clash in their final desperate hours, where each of them finds an answer to the question, "What makes one human want to kill another?"


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.



CONVERSATIONS WITH KILLERS

FADE IN:

INT. SAM'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
All of the lights are off in the suburban home. Down the
empty hallway is a door surrounded by distorted glass
windows. Dim sunlight streams through onto the floor.
                                                            
                                         BEGIN MAIN TITLES
                                                            
After a few seconds, the light outside is blocked and a key
TURNS in a lock. The door swings open and SAM, 15, stands
silhouetted agains the sunlight with his face obscured. He
walks in with a backpack over his shoulder, turns around,
and shuts the door. He locks it and moves up a flight of
stairs without turning on any lights.
                                                            
Sam's room is covered in posters from bands. We see a
twin-sized bed resting in the corner farthest from the door.
Offscreen, the door CREAKS open, allowing a ray of light to
spill into the room. A backpack is tossed unceremoniously
onto the bed, with one of its straps hanging off as if it
had been cut.

A boombox sits on top of a dresser. Sam's hands run over the
device, knocking off a small layer of dust. He then presses
the "Play" button and MUSIC begins to play.

MONTAGE

Sam cleans himself up. He brushes his teeth, washes his
hands, dries off his face, etc.

Downstairs in the kitchen, Sam prepares himself a simple
sandwich. He places roast beef and cheese on a couple pieces
of bread and finishes off by slicing the sandwich into two
equal parts.

Sam sits down on the couch in his living room and lifts the
television remote. He flips through channels while eating
his sandwich.

Sam cleans up after his meal, brushing bread crumbs into the
trash and placing his dish in the dishwasher.

END MONTAGE

Back in Sam's room, he pulls out a sheet of loose-leaf paper
from a drawer. He begins to write a note in black pen.


2.

Some time later, the page is full of scrawled handwriting.
It is out of focus and intelligible, but the last word that
is written is big and clear: "SAM".

Sam folds the letter and seals it into an enveloped with
shaking hands. He stands up and deposits the letter onto the
floor of his bedroom, revealing the addressees on the
envelope: "My father and Ralph".

He then reaches into his backpack and pulls out a bottle of
medical pills. Hands still shaking, he opens the small
container and sits down on the bed.

The bottle slowly tumbles towards the bed, bouncing off and
hitting the floor. It is empty.

Sam lies spread-eagled on the bed. He is dead.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO BLACK
                                                            
                                         END MAIN TITLES
                                                            
 
INT. RALPH'S CAR - NIGHT
                                                            
From inside a car, RAIN splatters against the windshield as
the wipers flick back and forth. The car is parked in a
dirty parking lot behind a grimy-looking building. The
building has an awning covering the backdoor where JULIUS, a
black 21-year old male, stands out of the rain.

Inside the car, RALPH, a white male of 20, sits in the
driver's seat wearing a black jacket and sweatshirt. He
lifts his gloved hands up to examine a handgun clenched in
his trembling hands.

He glances up frequently, alternating between examining the
weapon and Julius. Julius does not see him or his car.
                                                            
                       RALPH (VO)
My target is less than fifty feet
in front of me. Just standing
there. He has no idea what I have
in store for him. No idea what's
coming.
                                                            
Ralph slides the magazine out of the gun and glances over it
for a moment.
                                                            
Ralph looks back into the rain at Julius.
                                                            

3.

                       RALPH (VO)
A bullet from this beautifully
constructed piece of weaponry will
leave an exit wound the size of my
fist. It belongs to my father.
Nine millimeter. Twelve shots.
Plenty of margin for error.
                                                            
Ralph slides the bullets back into the gun and pulls the
slide back to chamber a round.
                                                            
                       RALPH (VO)
Still, I can't afford to take any
chances. I'll need to get close.
Hide the gun under my jacket. Wait
for him to turn around and notice
me. Look him directly in the eyes.
Put a bullet in his heart.
                                                            
Julius suddenly pulls out a cell phone and flips it open. He
holds it to his ear and answers it. As he talks into the
receiver, he turns and puts his back to Ralph's car.
                                                            
                       RALPH (VO)
Poor old Julius. The kid from the
broken family, the kid who grew up
on the streets. If it wasn't for
what he'd done to me, I'd almost
feel sorry for the situation he
finds himself in right now.
                                                            
Ralph unlocks his car door.
                                                            
                       RALPH (VO)
If Julius wasn't the reason my
little brother killed himself, I'd
feel sorry for him. But he is. And
I don't.
                                                            
 
EXT. BAR - NIGHT
                                                            
Ralph steps out of his car into the pouring rain. He
conceals the handgun in his jacket, ready to be drawn at the
right moment. He SLAMS his door shut and takes careful steps
forward. Julius does not notice, still engrossed in his
phone conversation.

Ralph pulls his hand out of his jacket, letting his gun hang
by his side.
                                                            

4.

                       RALPH (VO)
One shot is all it will take. One
pull of the trigger and it will
all be over. And suddenly, I find
myself wondering...why am I doing
this? Would my brother want this?
What happens if I can't do this?
                                                            
Ralph raises the gun and points it at Julius's exposed back.
He is concealed in rain and shadow.
                                                            
                       RALPH (VO)
Why this sudden feeling? How did
it all come down to this? What did
I do to end up here?
                                                            
Julius, looking chagrined, flips his phone shut. He doesn't
turn to see Ralph.
                                                            
                       RALPH (VO)
And suddenly, the feeling goes
away. Nothing else matters.
Sam...this one's for you.
                                                            
 
EXT. SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY
                                                            
It is a sunny day in a clean neighborhood of the city
suburbs. Clean-cut lawns surround beautiful-looking
townhouses. In the distance, a car drives down the street. A
FUNKY JAZZ BEAT streams from its speakers.

The car pulls into an open driveway. The engine dies and the
music cuts out.

The driver of the car is QUAN, an 30-year old Asian male. He
is wearing a pressed business suit, sunglasses, and has
neatly combed, shiny black hair.

Quan takes his keys out of the ignition and steps out of the
car. WHISTLING cheerfully, he goes to the back of the car
and pops the trunk, pulling out a large briefcase. He shuts
the trunk and locks his car as he walks towards the front
door of his home.

Briefly fumbling with his keys, Quan manages to get the
correct key in the lock and opens the door, He steps indoors
and shuts the door.
                                                            
 

5.

INT. QUAN'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
Quan removes his sunglasses and sets his briefcase down.
After setting his glasses down on the half-wall, he hangs up
his jacket on the back of the front door. He turns around
expectantly, and frowns after a moment. He begins to walk
forward down a hallway.

Quan speaks Vietnamese subtitled in English.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Hello?
                                                            
A short figure wearing a plastic mask jumps around the
corner of the hallway behind Quan.
                                                            
                       BAO
      (subtitled
       Vietnamese)
Bang!
                                                            
Another, slightly taller figure in a plastic mask jumps
around the opposite corner.
                                                            
                       KIM
      (subtitled
       Vietnamese)
Bang!
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (groaning)
Oh, you got me!
                                                            
Quan melodramatically falls to his knees, then falls on his
face, fingers grasping for the door. The two children slowly
converge on him, removing their masks. BAO is four and KIM
is nine.
                                                            
                       BAO
Daddy?
                                                            
Quan suddenly leaps up and grabs Bao in his hands, lifting
him high in the air. Bao giggles in delight.
                                                            
                       QUAN
You two thought you had me, didn't
you?
                                                            
                       KIM
Daddy, me next! Me next!
                                                            

6.

                       QUAN
Kim, you're getting too big for
this!
                                                            
                       KIM
      (pouting)
Then how come Bao gets to do it?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Oh, fine, come on.
                                                            
Quan sets Bao down and reaches for Kim. She laughs as he
lifts her as well.
                                                            
                       QUAN
When did you get so big, Kim?
                                                            
                       KIM
I've always been this big, Daddy!
                                                            
                       QUAN
Were you this big yesterday? I
don't remember you being this big
yesterday.
                                                            
                       KIM
Yep.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Well, I guess Bao's just getting
lighter.
                                                            
Quan turns to see Bao running towards him carrying the large
briefcase.
                                                            
                       BAO
Daddy, don't forget your
briefcase!
                                                            
                       QUAN
Oh, thanks, buddy.
                                                            
Quan sets Kim down and takes his briefcase.
                                                            
                       QUAN (cont'd)
Mommy home yet?
                                                            
                       BAO
She's watering the plants.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Well, I've gotta go say hi, don't
I? Go have fun, guys.
                                                            

7.

The children scamper away. Quan smiles, then walks to the
kitchen. He sets his briefcase on the counter and walks into
the living room, where the glass door is slightly ajar. He
opens it and walks outside.
                                                            
 
EXT. QUAN'S BACKYARD - DAY
                                                            
Quan steps out into a perfectly mowed green yard complete
with flowers of all colors. He walks along the side of the
building, loosening his tie. He smiles widely as he rounds a
corner and sees his beautiful wife, MAI, 29.

Mai has her back turned and waters the plants with a hose.
She is barefoot and wears a dress that ends just below her
knees.

As Mai straightens her back to brush hair out of her eyes,
Quan slowly embraces her from behind and kisses the side of
her neck. She smiles.
                                                            
                       MAI
      (subtitled
       Vietnamese)
Welcome home.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Hi there.
                                                            
Mai turns around in his grasp and kisses him gently.
                                                            
                       MAI
How was the business trip?
                                                            
                       QUAN
It was too long. I missed you guys
every second of every day.
                                                            
                       MAI
We all missed you, too.
                                                            
Mai brushes a hair behind Quan's ear, frowning slightly.
                                                            
                       MAI (cont'd)
You need a haircut.
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (laughing)
I'll get right on that.
                                                            
                       MAI
You'd better. How are the kids
doing?
                                                            

8.

                       QUAN
They're running around having a
good time. I swear they're growing
by the day.
                                                            
                       MAI
Well, you know what your father
said. Today we walk...
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (finishing)
And tomorrow we fly. In this life
or the next.
                                                            
Mai kisses him once more and squirms out of his grip. She
picks up the water hose.
                                                            
                       MAI
I'll get dinner started as soon as
I'm done out here.
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (teasing)
Oh...you're cooking again?
                                                            
Mai shoves him and aims the garden hose at his face.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Well, I guess I can make an
exception this once.
                                                            
                       MAI
That's what I thought.
                                                            
She turns back to the plants and starts hosing them. Quan
smiles and turns to go back inside.
                                                            
 
INT. QUAN'S KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
Quan, Mai, Kim, and Bao are seated around a dinner table
that is full of steaming food and brightly lit. Quan sits
opposite Mai, and Kim sits opposite Bao. The steady
TICK-TICK of a clock punctuates the conversation.
                                                            
                       MAI
...and Kim brought home a good
report card while you were gone,
too.
                                                            
Kim nods emphatically, mouth full of food.
                                                            

9.

                       QUAN
That's great, sweetheart, I'm
proud of you.
                                                            
                       KIM
      (muffled with food)
Mrs. Guy started teaching us
decimal points today.
                                                            
                       MAI
Don't talk with your mouth full,
girl.
                                                            
                       BAO
What's a decimal point? Can you
teach me?
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (smiling)
But Bao, you haven't even started
school yet.
                                                            
                       BAO
But I could start! I could go to
school with Kim!
                                                            
                       KIM
You're too little, Bao!
                                                            
                       BAO
      (tearing up)
Then how come you get to go?
                                                            
                       KIM
Because I'm bigger than you,
that's why.
                                                            
                       QUAN
And one day, Bao will be just as
big and he'll be in school too,
won't he, Kim?
                                                            
                       MAI
And we all know he'll do very
well.
                                                            
Quan eyes Kim sternly. She relents and shovels more food
into her mouth. Bao brightens up.
                                                            
                       BAO
What did you do on your business
trip, Daddy?
                                                            

10.

Beat. Quan chews his food thoughtfully.

He slowly swallows and turns to Bao with a deadpan
expression.
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (whispering)
Bao, I have a secret to tell you.
Can you keep a secret?
                                                            
                       BAO
      (whispering)
Yeah, Daddy.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Well your Dad...is really a bounty
hunter.
                                                            
Bao's jaw drops. Mai hides a smile and Kim giggles quietly.
                                                            
                       BAO
Do you kill good guys?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Oh, no. I only kill bad guys. Do
you remember Grandpa Tuan?
                                                            
Bao shakes his head.
                                                            
                       QUAN (cont'd)
Well, Grandpa Tuan came over from
Vietnam many years ago. He started
working for some very bad people
because it was the only work they
would let him do back in those
days. And one day, he got married
and had a baby boy. You know who
that was?
                                                            
                       BAO
Who?
                                                            
                       QUAN
That baby boy was me. And then, I
started working with the bad
people because I didn't know any
better. But one day I realized how
silly I was, so I became a bounty
hunter instead to protect my
father...your grandpa.
                                                            
Bao is entranced. Kim shakes with uncontrollable giggling.
                                                            

11.

                       BAO
Do you have a lot of guns?
                                                            
                       QUAN
What do you think I have in my
briefcase?
                                                            
Quan reaches under the dinner table and nonchalantly sets it
in front of him. Bao's eyes widen.

Quan unsnaps the two front locks, then places his hands on
the case as if ready to open it. He looks at Bao.
                                                            
                       QUAN (cont'd)
Would you like to see it?
                                                            
Bao nods, eyes still wide. Quan nods slowly and tightens his
grip on the lid....

And throws it open! Bao SCREAMS in terror, hiding his
face...

Beat.

Bao opens his eyes to see the inside of the case: a
computer, paper, pens, extra batteries, and a cell phone. He
scowls in disappointment. Across the table, Kim nearly falls
out of her seat with laughter.
                                                            
                       BAO
So you aren't really a bounty
hunter?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Of course not, buddy.
                                                            
                       MAI
Your dad is a salesman for
computers, Bao.
                                                            
Quan shuts the case and places it under the table. He places
a hand on Bao's shoulder.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Hey, buddy. Maybe someday, you can
be a bounty hunter instead of me.
                                                            
Bao brightens at the news and goes back to his food. Quan
looks at Mai and smiles. She returns the smile,
affectionately watching their son.
                                                            
 

12.

INT. QUAN'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
Bao is sound asleep in his bed. A small sliver of light
shines through the halfway-open bedroom door as Quan watches
him sleep.

Quan slowly exits and shuts the door behind him. He walks
down the hall to check on Kim, who is also in deep sleep.
Quan shuts her door as well and walks to the master bedroom.

He approaches the bed where Mai lies, breathing steadily.
Quan smiles and kisses the top of her head. He then turns
and tiptoes out the door, shutting it behind him.
                                                            
 
INT. QUAN'S KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
Quan walks to the kitchen table and sits down. He reaches
under his chair and picks up his briefcase, setting it down
in front of him. He opens it and begins unpacking it.
                                                            
                       QUAN (VO)
      (subtitled
       Vietnamese)
It is a terrible thing, having to
lie to one's wife and children. A
terrible crime that no man should
ever have to commit.
                                                            
All of the contents of the case are laid out now. Quan
SIGHS, then removes the hidden false bottom of his case.
                                                            
                       QUAN (VO)
No, I'm not a bounty hunter.
Bounty hunters capture escaped
fugitives for profit. Me?
                                                            
Quan removes a pistol from the bottom of his case.
                                                            
                       QUAN (VO)
I don't get paid for captures. I
only get paid when the target is
dead.
                                                            
Quan's voice abruptly changes from Vietnamese to flawless
English. He addresses the audience directly.
                                                            
                       QUAN
My name is Quan Nguyen, and I am a
contract killer.
                                                            
Quan sets the gun down, opens his laptop and boots it.
                                                            

13.

                       QUAN
A contract killer, or assassin, is
one who receives a contract to
commit murder in exchange for
money. A standard contract usually
ranges from ten thousand to
fifteen thousand dollars,
depending on who, what, when,
where, and how. My last business
trip netted me about twelve
thousand, enough to live rather
comfortably until my next
assignment. A large portion of
that money goes towards equipment,
of course.
                                                            
Quan begins to strip down and clean his weapon.
                                                            
                       QUAN (cont'd)
Extended magazines, recoil
springs, firing pins, slide cover
plates, concealed carry holsters,
compensators, silencers. Even ammo
comes in hundreds of types. You
have your standard hardball
rounds, armor piercing bullets,
soft points, hollow points,
flatpoints, full metal jacketed,
wadcutters, roundnoses. My
personal favorite is the
Hydrashock. It's a standard
jacketed hollow point round, but
with a central rod inside in order
to achieve better stopping power.
The round expands when it hits,
leaving behind a mass of destroyed
flesh and bone.
                                                            
Quan turns to his computer and begins to type.
                                                            
                       QUAN (cont'd)
When you're going for a headshot,
most people think you should aim
for the forehead. This is actually
the worst place you can aim your
weapon. The bone at the forehead
is the hardest point on the body.
It's rare, but rounds have been
known to glance off. The area you
want to point at is the rectangle
formed by the eyes and the top of
the lip.
                                                            

14.

Quan indicates the area on his face.
                                                            
                       QUAN (cont'd)
Many of you will call me a
heartless murderer. I understand.
Indeed, I am a murderer. But know
this: everything I have ever done,
every life I've taken has ensured
my family's protection. As long as
the people who hire me still have
use of me, my wife and children
will be safe. And there is always
somebody that needs killing done.
                                                            
Quan finishes typing and turns back to the audience.
                                                            
                       QUAN (cont'd)
We live in a world where people
with no useful talents get tossed
to the side or replaced. My father
didn't understand this, and that
is why he was tossed aside,
leaving me to fend for myself. He
didn't understand, so he was
killed and replaced by somebody
else. That is why I have to be the
best at what I do. I will not let
my family go through what I went
through as a child. My father said
a lot of things, some of them more
true than others, but one saying
has always stuck with me.
                                                            
He slides the magazine back into the gun and chambers a
round.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Today we walk, and tomorrow we
fly. In this life or the next.
                                                            
Quan shuts his laptop.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO BLACK
                                                            
 
INT. BAR - DAY
                                                            
Quan is dressed in a business suit and carrying his
briefcase. He approaches a booth that sits in a darkened
corner of the room. The CLIENT, 37, a well-dressed male with
slightly graying hair, sits in the booth expectantly. He
smiles as Quan approaches and stands.
                                                            

15.

                       CLIENT
Quan Nguyen, as I live and
breathe.
                                                            
Quan smiles back and the two shake hands.
                                                            
                       CLIENT (cont'd)
It's good to have you back in
town, boy.
                                                            
                       QUAN
It's good to be back.
                                                            
The pairs sits down, facing each other.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
Can I grab you something to drink?
Eat? You smoke yet?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Nothing, thank you.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
Aw, what the hell. I give you five
years before you're smokin' the
hell outta every cigarette you can
reach. Anyways. I hear everything
went well down in Springfield?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Quick and quiet. No problems.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
Good, good....you always were the
best we had, Quan. The boss said
so himself, y'know.
                                                            
                       QUAN
It pays well to be good at what I
do.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
      (guffawing)
Ain't that the goddamn truth?
Damn, what is the world coming to,
hm? The son of an illegal chink
immigrant grows up to be the best
damn killer I ever saw. You tell
me that fifteen years ago, I'd
have laughed in your face.
                                                            
The client laughs and takes a drink.
                                                            

16.

                       CLIENT (cont'd)
But hell, you turned out a load
better than that poor bastard.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Please leave my father out of
this. I'm not proud of him.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
You gotta be fuckin' crazy to be
proud of someone like
that...sorry. Old habits die hard,
y'understand.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Let's get this over and done with.
I don't like being in one place
for very long. Who's the boss's
next target?
                                                            
                       CLIENT
Well, this one's actually an
in-town job for a change.
                                                            
The client produces a manila folder and slides it to Quan.
Quan opens the folder and peruses the contents.
                                                            
                       CLIENT (cont'd)
Some big CEO with a lot of money
invested in stocks and shit like
that that I pretend to
understand...anyways, our boss
donated a lot of money to his
cause a couple years back with the
intention of getting it back. This
man's time has come and gone, and
the boss ain't one to ask twice.
                                                            
The client also produces a white envelope and hands it to
Quan. Quan opens it and pulls out a check. He glances at it
and puts it back into the envelope.
                                                            
                       QUAN
He must owe a lot of money.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
I don't think I know how to count
that high.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Where does he want this done?
                                                            

17.

                       CLIENT
Publicly.
                                                            
                       QUAN
So in his office.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
That's the basic gist. The boss
thinks it'll send a message.
                                                            
                       QUAN
What's the cover?
                                                            
                       CLIENT
We arranged for you to be in a
meetin' with him tomorrow in his
conference room. You'll be playing
the part of Mr. Cho, a rep from a
Japanese software company, and you
will be "very" interested in
talking business with our friend
here.
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (subtitled
       Vietnamese)
I look Japanese to you?
                                                            
                       CLIENT
Huh?
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (English)
Nothing.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
Tomorrow, twelve o' clock, noon.
The conference room's on the top
floor, you'll get shown the way.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Excellent.
                                                            
Quan puts the folder into his bag.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
Hey, Quan?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Yeah?
                                                            

18.

                       CLIENT
Listen, man, I ain't supposed to
be telling you this now...but I
thought you should know. I talked
to the boss when this came up, and
he and I both agreed...
                                                            
                       QUAN
Agreed on what?
                                                            
                       CLIENT
...that this would be a mighty
fine last job for us.
                                                            
The client squirms uncomfortably.
                                                            
                       QUAN
I don't follow.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
Look, man, you've been working for
us for half your life all because
o' some mistake your old man made
when you was a kid. I told the
boss what I was thinkin', and he
said that if I really wanted, this
would be the last job you pulled
for us.
                                                            
Quan looks shocked. The client smiles tentatively.
                                                            
                       CLIENT (cont'd)
You finish this one for us, and
you're cut loose. We can give you
enough money to get a decent start
somewhere, maybe get a real job.
                                                            
                       QUAN
What about my family?
                                                            
                       CLIENT
He'll guarantee their safety.
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            
                       QUAN
I don't know what to say.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
Aw, hell, don't get all
sentimental on me. Just don't fuck
this one up, and your old man's
debt'll be paid off. And I know
you ain't ever fucked one up
            (MORE)

19.

                       CLIENT (cont'd)
before.
                                                            
The client stands up, and Quan follows his lead. The two
shake hands.
                                                            
                       CLIENT (cont'd)
Y'know...if this works out for
you, this'll be the last time I
see ya.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Thank you.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
You take care of yourself, you
yellow bastard. Good luck.
                                                            
The client exits. Quan stands silently for a moment, and
then exits as well.
                                                            
 
EXT. VICTIM'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
A dark street in a suburban neighborhood, with the dim
moonlight and a couple of streetlamps the only source of
brightness. A parked car sits on the side of the road.
                                                            
                       KILLER (VO)
What is it that motivates a person
to kill? Is it born into all of
us? A primal instinct to cause
harm? Or is it instead created? Do
the lives we live force us to
commit murder? It is a question
that may never be answered. It has
been explored by people from all
walks of life, from authors to
psychologists, and yet there is
still no definitive answer.
                                                            
The cabin light in the car abruptly switches on, revealing
the face of the KILLER sitting in his car. He grins at the
audience.
                                                            
                       KILLER
A serial killer is defined as
someone who has killed at least
three people with a waiting period
in between the murders. Who can
serial killers be? We are
everywhere. We can be anyone.
Maybe you know one of us, in fact,
chances are that there is one
            (MORE)

20.

                       KILLER (cont'd)
close to you. Sure, you can hide
behind your legal system and
police forces, but in the
end...there are always those of us
that get away for every one that
gets caught.
                                                            
The Killer dons a pair of gloves.
                                                            
                       KILLER (cont'd)
You always hear all of this
bullshit about the killer's "ideal
victim." Sure, it's true that most
killers have this image of a
perfect murder victim in their
head, but this perfect murder
rarely takes place. So, the serial
killer in question has to settle
for somebody less desirable.
Preferably someone with at least a
few characteristics of the ideal
victim.
                                                            
A pair of car headlights lights up the interior of the car.
The Killer smiles as a car parks across the street and a
WOMAN, a 20-something white-collar worker, exits her car.
She walks to one of the houses and enters.
                                                            
                       KILLER (cont'd)
Most killers know little to
nothing about who they're killing.
This is typically because of their
tendency to view their targets as
nothing less than objects to be
played with and discarded when
they've run their course. Ask
anyone who's ever interviewed an
incarcerated serial killer. The
thrill isn't from the kill itself,
but everything leading up to it.
                                                            
The Killer exits his vehicle and walks to the back of the
car. He opens the trunk and withdraws a duffel bag.
                                                            
                       KILLER (cont'd)
Even before a victim is selected,
they are stripped of all humanity
in the killer's eyes. Miss Rachel
Tomkins is a thirty-three-year-old
woman working as an accountant. No
immediate family. Won't be
reported missing until after the
            (MORE)

21.

                       KILLER (cont'd)
weekend.
                                                            
The Killer walks up to the house and walks around it towards
the back door.
                                                            
                       KILLER (cont'd)
The murder is performed on a sort
of autopilot mode. Primarily
because the killer has already
played it out a thousand times in
his or her head. To them, it is
simply a reliving of a dream.
                                                            
The Killer gently tests the back door. The knob turns
easily, and he smiles.
                                                            
                       KILLER (cont'd)
You'd be amazed at how many people
there are who don't lock their
doors.
                                                            
He enters the building.
                                                            
 
INT. VICTIM'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
The Killer strolls inside and sets down his duffel bag. He
quickly unzips it and withdraws a piece of folded-up fabric.
He glances at his watch.
                                                            
                       KILLER
      (quietly)
This is the moment. I won't ask
you to watch, in fact, it's best
if you don't. But now that I've
said that, you won't be able to
help yourselves, will you? You
sick bastards.
                                                            
He smiles widely and moves along a wall to an open doorway.
The woman checks her answering machine with her back turned
to us. The Killer approaches, looking over his shoulder at
the audience.
                                                            
                       KILLER (cont'd)
Guns are noisy and attract
attention. Knives are silent, but
the screams of your victim aren't.
                                                            
He unfolds the fabric, revealing a large head-sized bag. He
walks up behind the woman...


22.

Without warning, his hands snap forward and the bag envelops
her head. She struggles to no avail. He drags her around the
room as she hopelessly flails and MUFFLED SCREAMS emanate
from the bag.

After almost a full minute, the Killer forces her to the
ground. The screams stop, and eventually the kicking dies as
well.

The Killer waits one more moment, then removes the fabric.
He feels for the woman's pulse, then stands up, panting and
a little sweaty.
                                                            
                       KILLER (cont'd)
Well, there you have it.
                                                            
He glances at his watch.
                                                            
                       KILLER (cont'd)
A little under sixty seconds.
That's all it takes to end a
person's life with your bare
hands. And now what? Nothing is
solved. Nothing is fixed. The only
thing gained from this is a
temporary satiation of the desire
to kill again.
                                                            
He grabs the dead woman by her ankles and begins to drag
her away.
                                                            
 
INT. VICTIM'S BATHROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The Killer enters the bathroom with his duffel bag over one
shoulder and dragging the victim by her ankles. He casually
deposits her into the bathtub before searching through his
bag. He withdraws a large hacksaw.
                                                            
                       KILLER
Now for the messy part. The best
way to go about doing this is to
drain the body of blood before the
real cutting. The femoral and
carotid arteries are the best
places to start.
                                                            
He lowers the hacksaw to the body and begins to cut.
                                                            
 

23.

EXT. VICTIM'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
The sun casts morning shadows across the neighborhood. His
clothes are perfectly clean. Over one shoulder is his duffel
bag, and over the other is a black garbage bag.
                                                            
                       KILLER
Disposing of the corpse is a long
and bloody ordeal, but it has to
be done so as to not leave behind
any evidence that can be traced
back to you. On all these TV
shows, the killer always leave
some small clue behind that leads
to his demise. In reality, the
crime scene is often contaminated
by the victims themselves, the
police, and the friends and family
of said victim. But still, it's
best not to leave any chances.
                                                            
The Killer drops his bags into the trunk of his car.
                                                            
                       KILLER (cont'd)
Always need to stay one step ahead
of the police.
                                                            
                       POLICE (OS)
Freeze! Don't move!
                                                            
The Killer turns, looking mildly surprised as he is
illuminated with red and blue flashing lights. He steps away
from his car and puts his hands in the air. He glances over
his shoulder and smiles once more at the audience.
                                                            
                       KILLER
Of course, nothing ever goes as
planned. But hey, c'est la vie.
                                                            
He winks before he is violently pushed out of the frame.
                                                            
 
INT. RHINEHEART ENTERPRISES - DAY
                                                            
The rows and rows of small cubicles are lit by the sickly
green of fluorescent lightbulbs. Workers bustle back and
forth with stacks of paper and clipboards.

MARK GALLAGHER stands motionless at a copying machine. He is
a powerfully built, 65-year old man with graying hair, chin
stubble, and bright green eyes. He is sloppily dressed in a
button-down shirt and tie. Mark stares blankly into space as
the machine BEEPS repeatedly.
                                                            

24.

                       MARK (VO)
There comes a time in every man's
life when he asks himself "is this
me? Is this the person I wanted to
become? And ninety-nine times out
of a hundred, the answer is "no."
                                                            
Mark surveys the workers hustling around the cubicles.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
Worker drones buzzing about
without a care in the goddamn
world. Slaves to a system that
doesn't care about anything other
than the people on top. Quite
ironic, really. The queen is
dependent on us, but we do nothing
to stop her from running our
lives. We have all this power and
yet we do nothing with it.
                                                            
Mark grabs the copies from the machine and walks towards his
office space. People pass alongside him, deliberately
avoiding eye contact.
                                                            
                       MARK (Vo)
Mindless, gutless, yellow-bellied
fucking cowards, the lot of them.
Is this what we raised our
children to become? Millions of
white-collar workers serving rich
fatasses and crunching numbers?
                                                            
Mark sits down in his cubicle and glares angrily at his
computer screen.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
Those greedy motherfuckers in
their high-rise skyscrapers think
that people like me are
good-for-nothing lowlifes. But the
people of this generation forget
who got 'em there.
                                                            
 
EXT. BATTLEFIELD - NIGHT
                                                            
GUNFIRE and the distant BOOMS of artillery sound throughout
the darkness. A much younger Mark runs through the
battlefield with a squad of his fellow soldiers, dodging
instinctively as tracers rip around them.
                                                            

25.

                       MARK (VO)
This country was built upon the
backs of warriors like me. The old
breed, who the world couldn't give
a shit about now.
                                                            
 
INT. RHINEHEART ENTERPRISES - DAY
                                                            
Mark's eyes snap open from the flashback. He massages his
temples.

He looks over at the cubicle across from him. He glares at
the WORKER sitting there; a very attractive woman in her
early twenties wearing a revealing blouse, a short skirt,
and heels. He SNORTS quietly.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
In my day, if anybody dressed like
that, she was a hooker. Nowadays,
anyone can get away with that.
                                                            
He grumpily leafs through his pile of papers. He looks up as
his boss, RHINEHEART, approaches. Rhineheart is a fat,
40-year-old man with a crisp business suit and a bounce in
his step.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
Here comes the rich fatass now.
                                                            
Rhineheart rounds the corner to Mark's cubicle. Mark swivels
in his seat with a forced smile on his face.
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART
Mornin', Mark. You get a chance to
copy those documents I sent you?
                                                            
Mark hands over the stack of papers.
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART
Fantastic. Thanks for that, Mark,
I appreciate it.
                                                            
Mark nods, still maintaining a smile. Rhineheart turns to
leave, but then wheels back around.
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART
Oh, and by the way. Any chance you
can come in early tomorrow morning
for me? Andy's going to be out of
town and I really need someone to
pick up the extra slack. You up to
it?
                                                            

26.

                       MARK (VO)
I'd rather rivet you to the
ceiling, you fat fuck.
                                                            
In a brief flash, Rhineheart is nailed to the ceiling of the
building, eyes and mouth wide open. Mark stands beneath him,
covered in blood and wielding a nailgun in one hand. Crimson
liquid drips down onto his face.

Back in reality...
                                                            
                       MARK
Sure, Mr. Rhineheart. Anything you
need.
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART
Thanks a bunch, Mark. Knew I could
count on you.
                                                            
Rhineheart turns away and leaves. Mark goes back to his
computer.
                                                            
                       MARK
      (quietly)
Asshole.
                                                            
 
EXT. JORGE'S SHOP - DAY
                                                            
The sun slowly sets in the distance. Mark walks down the
street, hands in the pockets of a denim jacket over his work
outfit. The jacket is covered with military patches and
memorabilia. He glares at anything and anyone he sees.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
Our society is built upon the
bodies of kings. If those kings
could see what we've become, what
would they say? Would they be
proud? Proud of the infidelity,
proud of the laziness? Proud of
the teenagers shooting up heroin
and giving themselves lung cancer?
                                                            
Mark passes a young black man sitting on the sidewalk
smoking a cigarette and talking on a cell phone: Julius.
Mark glares at him.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
People earn the governments that
rule them.
                                                            
Mark enters the building that Julius is sitting outside of.
                                                            
 

27.

INT. JORGE'S SHOP - DAY
                                                            
The door RINGS as Mark enters. The shelves are fully stocked
with snacks and drinks, but the store is almost abandoned.
The only other person besides Mark is the man behind the
counter; JORGE, 20, Hispanic, dressed simply in a T-shirt
and jeans. He reads a magazine and looks up briefly as Mark
enters.
                                                            
                       JORGE
Heya, Mark.
                                                            
                       MARK
Evening to you, Jorge.
                                                            
Mark walks to the counter and fumbles in his pockets for
money.
                                                            
                       JORGE
The usual?
                                                            
                       MARK
Three, please.
                                                            
Jorge turns to the tobacco stand behind him and searches for
something.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
Jorge's not bad for a spic. A good
kid. At least he's making an
honest living in the world today.
                                                            
                       MARK
Business treating you well?
                                                            
                       JORGE
Naw, man, it's been dead all
season.
                                                            
                       MARK
Sorry to hear. It'll pick up.
                                                            
                       JORGE
Yeah, maybe.
                                                            
Jorge turns and sets down three cigars on the counter. Mark
slaps a couple of dollars down in return.
                                                            
                       MARK
Keep the change.
                                                            

28.

                       JORGE
Thanks, man. You know you don't
have to do that.
                                                            
                       MARK
It's my pleasure, kid.
                                                            
Mark places one of the cigars in his teeth and pats down his
pockets.
                                                            
                       MARK
Got a light?
                                                            
                       JORGE
You know you can't smoke in here,
man. Against the rules.
                                                            
                       MARK
Shit, that's right. Memory's
going, you know.
                                                            
                       JORGE
You ain't that old, man.
                                                            
                       MARK
I'm a fuckin' relic, that's what I
am.
                                                            
Mark pockets the cigars.
                                                            
                       MARK (cont'd)
I just need to get out of this
damn town. I can't stand this
shithole.
                                                            
                       JORGE
It's the kinda neighborhood that
makes you afraid to go to sleep at
night, huh?
                                                            
                       MARK
I haven't gotten a good night's
sleep in a long time, kid.
                                                            
 
EXT. BATTLEFIELD - NIGHT
                                                            
In a very brief flash, a young boy of eleven or twelve falls
to the ground in agony, a trio of bullet holes in his chest.
He hits the ground and a rifle rolls from his hands.
                                                            
 

29.

INT. JORGE'S SHOP - DAY
                                                            
Mark shakes off the flashback.
                                                            
                       MARK
What's a good kid like you doing
in this piece of shit place,
Jorge? Young man like you needs to
get out before you become an old
fuck like me.
                                                            
                       JORGE
I ain't got that kind of money.
Money's in this city.
                                                            
                       MARK
Yeah, danger's in this city, too.
                                                            
                       JORGE
I keep a loaded gun in my car
behind the shop. Just let 'em try
to take me.
                                                            
                       MARK
That gun gonna do you any good if
someone robs you in here?
                                                            
                       JORGE
Well, I probably won't ever need
it anyway. It's just in case.
                                                            
                       MARK
Well, badass motherfuckin' Jorge
clearly doesn't need me around for
anything. You take care of
yourself, kid.
                                                            
                       JORGE
Yeah, you too, man.
                                                            
Mark exits the shop. Jorge resumes his reading.
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY
                                                            
The apartment building is dimly lit and covered in peeling
paint and graffiti. Mark walks down the hallway quietly,
glancing left and right. He removes a set of keys from his
pockets as he approaches a door. He slides the key into the
lock as gently as he can...
                                                            
                       CHLOE (OS)
Gallagher?!
                                                            

30.

Mark freezes.
                                                            
                       MARK
God damn it.
                                                            
A door swing open behind him and CHLOE, 47-year-old
redheaded Bostonian wearing a bathrobe, steps out.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
Thought you were gonna get past
me, huh?
                                                            
Mark doesn't make eye contact.
                                                            
                       MARK
Crossed my mind.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
Do you know what day of the month
it is, Mr. Gallagher?
                                                            
                       MARK
Thirtieth of September.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
Actually, it's the first of
October. Which means my rent
money's due.
                                                            
                       MARK
Well, isn't that something.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
And do you have my rent money, Mr.
Gallagher? Hm?
                                                            
                       MARK
Sure don't.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
Oh, what a pity. Because when my
tenants can't afford their rent
money, I tend to kick them out.
Catch my drift, Mr. Gallagher?
                                                            
                       MARK
Yeah, I catch your drift. I just
don't give a damn. So if you would
kindly fuck off...
                                                            
Mark opens the door to his apartment and walks inside. Chloe
runs down the hall to catch him.
                                                            

31.

                       CHLOE
Oh, no you don't!
                                                            
Chloe manages to get her foot in the door as Mark closes it,
but he kicks it out and slams the door shut. He locks it
from the inside as Chloe pounds on the door.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
You fucking prick! I'm coming back
with a goddamn baseball bat!
                                                            
Chloe sprints back to her room. She wrenches the door open
and steps inside.

Beat.

Chloe walks back into the hallway, holding a baseball bat in
her hands. She stops outside of Mark's door.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
Teach you a fuckin' lesson!
                                                            
She hoists the bat up and brings it down in a wide arc.

The CRACK of the bat hitting the door ECHOES through the
hallway.

She swings again with more force....

And brings it back for a third hit, but as she swings the
door swings wide open and she nearly loses her balance as
the bat hits the floor...

And she looks up to see Mark standing over her with the
barrel of a shotgun stuck directly in her face.
                                                            
                       MARK
      (growling)
When I told you to fuck off the
first time, I meant it.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
A gun barrel in your face reduces
any civilian to a stammering
wreck.
                                                            
Mark allows Chloe to stand up and back away. When she is a
considerable distance away, he kicks her baseball bat to her
and slams the door violently.
                                                            
 

32.

INT. MARK'S APARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
Mark turns away from the door. His apartment is one giant
room with bare walls, a dirty couch, and a small television.
He walks to the couch and sets the shotgun down on the
floor.
                                                            
 
EXT. BATTLEFIELD - NIGHT
                                                            
Young Mark and his men run through the tracer fire, dodging
and weaving. An enemy soldier stands up a short distance
away from the group and fires an uncontrolled burst of fire
at them.
                                                            
                       MARK
      (screaming)
Heads down!
                                                            
Mark lifts his rifle and drops the man with a well-placed
three-round burst of gunfire. The enemy hits the ground
hard.

A young boy of eleven or twelve suddenly runs into the scene
towards the dead man, SCREAMING and CRYING.
                                                            
                       MARK
Don't fucking do it...
                                                            
The young boy suddenly grabs his father's rifle in his hands
and attempts to point it at the soldiers.
                                                            
 
INT. MARK'S APARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
Mark settles himself into his couch and turns on the TV. He
lights up a cigar with a match and exhales the smoke.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
This is my home. The life that I
live. This is me, but it isn't
what I want to be. I didn't grow
up and fight in a war to die old
and alone in a shithole on the
east side of town. I grew up to be
somebody. To be recognized. For
people to walk down the street and
say, "Damn. Look at that man right
there. Someday, we will be like
him. Someday."
                                                            
Mark inhales another puff of smoke. The end of the cigar
glows bright red.
                                                            

33.

                       MARK (VO)
Someday.
                                                            
 
INT. BAR - DAY
                                                            
Mark sits at the bar drinking out of a bottle of beer. There
are many patrons sitting nearby, laughing and joking, but
nobody sits next to Mark. A couple of barstools away is a
group of young men, laughing loudly. Mark glares at them.
                                                            
                       MAN 1
So Gary, rather than walking
twenty feet to use the indoor
bathroom, decides to climb over a
fence and piss on it, beer in
hand. He gets busted by a passing
cop-
                                                            
                       MAN 2
Not just any passing cop, mind
you. He gets busted by a bicycle
cop.
                                                            
                       MAN 1
A fucking bicycle cop. So Gary
gets arrested for drinking in
public and public urination.
                                                            
                       MAN 3
That fucking sucks, man.
                                                            
                       MARK
Will you kids shut the hell up and
let a man drink in peace?
                                                            
                       MAN 3
Hey grandpa, lighten up. It's a
fuckin' bar.
                                                            
                       MARK
And I've been coming here for
longer than you've been alive.
Punks like you make me sick.
                                                            
                       MAN 2
Then leave, we've got a right to
be here, too.
                                                            
Mark turns slowly and glowers at the trio. The three men
notice his Marine Corps patch on his denim jacket.
                                                            

34.

                       MAN 1
      (quietly)
Come on, guys, let's move.
                                                            
                       MARK
That's what I thought.
                                                            
The trio leaves. Mark takes another swig of beer.

The door to the bar opens and a couple walks in: JACKIE and
Julius. Jackie is a tired-looking woman, 21, messy hair,
faded jeans and a T-shirt. A partly-healed cut is over her
right eye. Julius wears a hooded sweatshirt and his eyes
dart around the bar.

Mark notices the pair as they sit down in the barstools
recently vacated by the three men. He grumbles.
                                                            
                       MARK
      (under his breath)
Fucking kids. Can't a man get some
alone time anywhere?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I'm so sick of all this bullshit,
Julius. Sick of it.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
It ain't bullshit, Jackie. I'm
serious this time.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
You're serious now, and you'll be
serious the next ten times,
Julius.
      (to bartender)
Whatever's your cheapest beer,
please.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
One for me, too, man.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Nuh-uh. Don't you dare drink
today.
                                                            
She waves the bartender off.
                                                            
                       JACKIE (cont'd)
You've been telling me the same
line for two years. We're gonna
make it big, Jackie. We're gonna
be all right. We're gonna make it
            (MORE)

35.

                       JACKIE (cont'd)
big."
                                                            
                       JULIUS
We are gonna make it big, baby.
Just listen-
                                                            
                       JACKIE
No, you listen! I can't do this
anymore, Julius. I just can't.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Don't be talkin' like that, I know
you don't mean that.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I damn well mean it.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Listen here, Jackie.
                                                            
He looks left and right to make sure no one is paying
attention.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
      (quietly)
I was scoping out this joint
earlier today.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
      (exasperated)
Oh, god damn it, Julius!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
It's just a little convenience
store. One guy. One last job, and
then we're out of this town.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
It's always one last job.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
I mean it this time.
                                                            
The bartender comes back and drops off Jackie's drink.
Jackie and Julius stay silent until he leaves.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I want to believe you, Julius, but
I can't. We've been down this road
before.
                                                            

36.

                       JULIUS
Don't you worry about a thing,
baby. I'm hitting the shop
tomorrow morning. Rattle the
spic's cage a little but, make him
cough up the drawer. Should be
plenty to get us a train ticket
out of here.
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
What about cops?
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Don't be worryin' about the cops.
In this town, I'll be surprised if
they even get a goddamn phone
call.
                                                            
Another beat.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
You aren't going to shoot anybody,
are you?
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Nah. Just shake him up a little
bit, y'know? Tomorrow morning, I'm
taking that register. You can meet
me back here tomorrow night at
nine. We'll take what I got and
we'll get the hell out of here.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Jules, I can't-
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Nine o' clock.
                                                            
Julius stands up and exits. Jackie SIGHS and takes a drink.
She notices Mark edging over to her.
                                                            
                       MARK
What's his problem?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Excuse me?
                                                            
                       MARK
The guy that was just in here.
What's his deal?
                                                            

37.

                       JACKIE
None of your business, that's
what.
                                                            
                       MARK
Hey, if that spook's giving you
trouble-
                                                            
                       JACKIE
That spook you're referring to is
my boyfriend, and I'd appreciate
it if you left me the hell alone.
                                                            
                       MARK
No need to get so defensive-
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Then leave me alone.
                                                            
                       MARK
Now listen here, you little brat-
                                                            
Mark is interrupted by a firm hand placed on his shoulder.
He looks up to see Quan standing over him, dressed in a
business suit.
                                                            
                       QUAN
The lady asked you to leave her
alone.
                                                            
Mark glares at Quan, but Quan stares back at him, unfazed.
After a few moments, Mark stands up, grabns his beer, and
leaves.
                                                            
                       MARK
      (under his breath)
Fucking zipperheads.
                                                            
Jackie flashes a quick smile to Quan, then goes back to her
drink.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Everything all right, miss?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Yeah, yeah. Thanks for that.
                                                            
                       QUAN
It's my pleasure.
                                                            
Quan sits down at a stool two seats away from Jackie. He
looks over at her.
                                                            

38.

                       QUAN
Forgive me for saying, but you
look particularly miserable. You
sure you should be drinking
something that heavy?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
      (taking a swig)
I'll be fine.
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (smiling)
I don't think you need to be
drinking to forget your problems.
                                                            
Quan slides a glass of water to Jackie.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Name's Quan.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Jackie.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Pleasure to meet you, Jackie.
                                                            
Jackie makes eye contact and smiles slightly.
                                                            
                                         FADE OUT
                                                            
 
EXT. JORGE'S SHOP - DAY
                                                            
Clouds cover the sun, casting a dreary shadow over the
street. Julius walks down the sidewalk with his hands in his
pockets, looking left and right furtively.

He reaches the door to Jorge's shop and pauses. He removes a
snub-nosed revolver from his hoodie pocket and slides it
into his sleeve. He adjusts his sleeve, breathes in heavily,
and enters.
                                                            
 
INT. JORGE'S SHOP - DAY
                                                            
The door bell JINGLES and Julius enters. He stands in front
of the door for a moment.

Jorge walks out of the back room, wiping his hands off with
a towel.
                                                            

39.

                       JORGE
Hey, man. What can I help ya with
today?
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Nothing, man. I'm good.
                                                            
Jorge shrugs and goes back to the magazine on the counter.
Julius slowly scans the shelves of the shop. His HEARTBEAT
accelerates...

Jorge glances up from his magazine, suspiciously tracking
Julius's movements. A few long, tense moments pass before
Julius grabs a random magazine and walks to the counter.

Jorge rings the magazine up at the register. Julius fingers
the hidden revolver in his sleeve.
                                                            
                       JORGE
Alright man, anything else for ya?
                                                            
Julius points his sleeve at Jorge and COCKS the hammer of
the pistol back. Jorge freezes.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Empty the register.
                                                            
                       JORGE
I can't do that, man. Don't do
this...
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Empty it, man, come on!
                                                            
                       JORGE
Come on, I've got a family to
feed, man!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Don't be lyin' to my face, you
fucking beaner-
                                                            
Both of the young men turn their heads as they hear somebody
moving around outside. Julius turns back to Jorge.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
      (quietly)
Out back. Move it!
                                                            
Jorge puts his arms above his head and walks out from behind
the register. Keeping an eye on the front door, Julius
escorts the shopkeeper towards the back door.
                                                            
 

40.

EXT. ALLEY - DAY
                                                            
Julius shoves Jorge to the ground behind a parked car. Jorge
cowers as Julius aims the gun in his face.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Gimme your wallet.
                                                            
                       JORGE
What?
                                                            
                       JULIUS
I said gimme your fuckin' wallet,
don't mess around with me!
                                                            
Jorge reaches into his pocket and withdraws a cheap wallet.
He throws it away from him.
                                                            
                       JORGE
There.
                                                            
Julius keeps the gun trained on Jorge for a moment, then
runs to the wallet and picks it up. He opens it, thumbing
through the cash and various licenses.

Behind him, Jorge quietly gets to his feet and lifts the
trunk of the parked car...

He pulls out a small shotgun from the back of the car and
aims it at Julius with both hands...

Julius turns at the last possible instant, sees the gun, and
ducks...

Just as Jorge pulls the trigger! A loud BANG resonates
throughout the alleyway.
                                                            
                       JORGE
You wanna play games?!
      (cocking the
       shotgun)
Huh?!
                                                            
He stands up to get a better shot at Julius, who scrambles
to his feet...

The revolver in Julius's hand FIRES. Jorge screams as the
bullet hits him the hand, mangling his fingers. Jorge
stumbles around the car, trying to get to cover...

Offscreen, somebody SCREAMS in terror.

Julius stands up completely and fires twice more. Both shots

41.

hit Jorge in the chest, and he drops out of sight behind the
car.

Julius sprints to the car and vaults directly onto the roof
of it. He empties the last three bullets into Jorge's face.

BANG!

BANG!

BANG!

CLICK! CLICK!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Fuckin' A!
                                                            
Panting, Julius momentarily freezes. After the initial shock
passes, he hops off the car.

He rummages through the pockets of Jorge's dead body, coming
up with a set of car keys. He kicks the corpse for good
measure.

He wildly throws open the compartments and searches the
vehicle for valuables. Satisfied with his work, he puts the
keys in the ignition and starts the car with a ROAR.

The car pulls away from the scene.
                                                            
 
EXT. SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY
                                                            
It is mid-afternoon. The sun beats down, and heat waves
ripple from the tarmac. A chain-link fence surrounds a
baseball field on the side of the road. A distorted figure
approaches from the distance.

The figure is Sam, walking along with a backpack slung over
his shoulder and headphones in his ears. His MUSIC blasts
loudly. He looks at the ground.

A short distance from Sam is Julius and two other THUGS
leaned up against the fence. Sam's expression falls as he
spots the gangsters. Julius notices Sam and smiles
deviously. He walks to the middle of the sidewalk and plants
himself directly in Sam's path.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
      (calling)
What's up, player?
                                                            

42.

Sam reaches Julius's position and makes an attempt to walk
around him. Julius's arm shoots out and stops him.
                                                            
                       JULIUS (cont'd)
Where do ya think you're off to?
                                                            
One of the thugs pulls the headphones off of Sam's head. The
MUSIC dies abruptly.
                                                            
                       JULIUS (cont'd)
I said, where do ya think you're
off to?
      (beat)
Yo! I'm talkin' to you. You speak
English, boy?
                                                            
                       THUG 1
I think we need to teach the
little punk a lesson. Sees us
every day for three months and
still won't open his trap to say
hello?
                                                            
                       JULIUS
You know what, I think you're
right, man. Whaddaya say we teach
the kid a lesson, hm?
                                                            
Thug 2 shoves Sam into Thug 1. Thug 1 grabs Sam from behind.
                                                            
                       THUG 2
      (snickering)
Definitely.
                                                            
Julius pulls a switchblade from his pocket and gestures
menacingly at Sam. He approaches and suddenly severs the
cord to Sam's headphones. He grins.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
So where are ya going?
                                                            
The other thugs begin to beat up Sam, punching him in the
face and stomach. Julius slashes with the knife, cutting the
strap on Sam's backpack. He throws the backpack into the
street.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Damn man, you really are a
worthless piece of shit,
Sammy-boy. You need to learn when
to give up. When to quit.
                                                            

43.

On the word "quit," Julius kicks Sam in the gut, dropping
the teenager to the ground.
                                                            
                       THUG 1
Carve him up, Jules!
                                                            
                       THUG 2
Yeah! Carve 'im up!
                                                            
Julius crouches down next to Sam and brandishes the knife.

Suddenly, a car pulls up nearby. Julius and the thugs turn
to see the vehicle stop nearby.

The front doors of the vehicle fly open. Ralph jumps out of
the driver seat, and the attractive 19-year-old Mary jumps
out of the passenger seat. The three gangsters stand as
Ralph sprints towards them.
                                                            
                       RALPH
Get the fuck off him!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Aw, why you gotta be like that,
Ralph? We're just havin' us some
alone time with your baby bro.
                                                            
Ralph stops a short distance away.
                                                            
                       RALPH
You get your fucking hands off of
him!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
      (laughing)
Why?
                                                            
                       MARY
You're such a fucking asshole,
Julius!
                                                            
Mary beckons to Sam.
                                                            
                       MARY
Sam, let's go!
                                                            
One of the thugs grabs Sam as he struggles to his feet, but
Julius waves him off. Sam runs to Mary, pausing to pick up
his mutilated backpack. Mary escorts him back to the car as
Ralph stands in between the thugs and his brother.
                                                            

44.

                       RALPH
Don't you dare touch my brother
again, you sorry sack of shit.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Or you'll do what?
                                                            
Ralph steps forward and begins to speak, but Julius raises
his switchblade threateningly. Ralph stops in his tracks,
furious.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
He's a worthless little pussy,
that's what he is.
      (yelling to Sam)
You hear that, Sammy-boy? You're a
little faggot!
                                                            
                       RALPH
Fuck you, Julius! You hurt my
brother again, and I swear on my
mother's grave, I. Will. Kill you.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
You ain't never killed a man
before, have ya, Ralph?
      (beat)
Didn't think so. I'd just love to
see you try, bitch.
                                                            
Ralph glares for a couple more moments, then backs off. He
walks to his car. Julius pockets his knife and jerks his
head away from the scene. The three gangsters leave.

Ralph reaches his car where Mary stands, apprehensive.
                                                            
                       RALPH
Is he okay?
                                                            
                       MARY
He'll be okay. How about you?
                                                            
                       RALPH
I'm fucking pissed.
                                                            
                       MARY
Ralph, it's okay...
                                                            
                       RALPH
The hell it is!
                                                            

45.

Both Mary and Ralph look startled at the outburst.

Beat.
                                                            
                       RALPH
Hey, look, I'm sorry. Do you...do
you mind if I talk to him for a
minute?
                                                            
Mary nods and opens the car. Sam slowly gets out, avoiding
eye contact with anyone. Mary enters the car and shuts the
door.
                                                            
                       RALPH
Sam, come here.
                                                            
Sam silently walks around the car to stand next to Ralph.
They both lean against the vehicle.

Beat.
                                                            
                       RALPH
Don't know what the hell you were
thinking, Sam...coming through
this neighborhood again. Stupid,
stupid, stupid! What were you
thinking?!
                                                            
He sighs as Sam refuses to answer.
                                                            
                       RALPH
I didn't mean...you were stupid,
Sam. I just...you need to stick up
for yourself sometimes. Can't let
assholes like that get to you. We
have to be strong for each other,
y'know?
                                                            
Ralph waits for an answer but receives none. He sighs and
walks back to the driver's seat.
                                                            
                       RALPH
We can give you a ride home. Hop
in.
                                                            
Sam walks to the backseat door and opens it. Rather than
getting in, he grabs his backpack from the seat and SLAMS
the door. Ralph shakes his head, frustrated. Sam walks away.

Ralph starts the car and drives away. A single tear rolls
down Sam's face.
                                                            
 

46.

EXT. MARY'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
It is dark and quiet. A single house has lights on the front
porch. The soft HUM of an engine can be heard as a car rolls
in front of the house. The engine turns off.
                                                            
 
INT. RALPH'S CAR - NIGHT
                                                            
Ralph takes the keys out of the ignition and leans back in
his seat, staring into space. Mary sits next to him, eyes
red and cheeks puffy from crying. She SNIFFS and brushes her
nose with her hand.

Beat.
                                                            
                       RALPH
      (quietly)
I don't know if I can go back
home.
                                                            
                       MARY
Ralph, everything's going to be
okay. Really.
                                                            
                       RALPH
I can't imagine how Dad can handle
this...I mean, first Mom died six
years ago...now this.
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            
                       RALPH (cont'd)
I can't believe the police. They
aren't going to do a single thing
about Julius or his thugs, can you
believe that?
                                                            
                       MARY
It was a suicide, Ralph. You can't
arrest anybody for that.
                                                            
                       RALPH
Sam might have finished it, but
Julius sure as hell started it. If
it wasn't for that...for that
fucking asshole, Sam would still
be alive. It's no different than
if Julius had stabbed him to death
on that sidewalk.
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            

47.

                       RALPH (cont'd)
I'm going to kill him.
                                                            
Ralph turns his head and makes eye contact with Mary for the
first time.
                                                            
                       MARY
Ralph-
                                                            
                       RALPH
I am going to kill him, Mary. You
understand that? I'm going to put
a gun to his head and pull the
trigger.
                                                            
                       MARY
Ralph, think about what you're
saying!
                                                            
She reaches out and grabs his hand in hers. Ralph relaxes a
little bit.
                                                            
                       MARY
You kill Julius, not only do you
go to jail for years, but you have
to live with that for the rest of
your life. Is that what you want?
Is that what Sam would have wanted
for you?
                                                            
                       RALPH
Well, I don't know what Sam would
have wanted. He's dead.
                                                            
                       MARY
I know what Sam would have wanted.
He wouldn't want his brother lost
on some misguided quest for
vengeance.
                                                            
                       RALPH
Misguided...
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            
                       MARY
I'm always here if you need me,
Ralph. Don't throw your life away.
                                                            
Mary squeezes Ralph's hand affectionately and kisses him on
the cheek. She opens the door and steps out. Ralph watches
as she enters her house, then puts the keys back in the
ignition and TURNS the car on. He drives down the street.
                                                            
 

48.

INT. SAM'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
There is a door down the hallway with no lights in the house
nor outside; all is dark. A key SLIDES into the lock and the
door slowly opens. Ralph stands against the dark night, only
slightly brighter than the rest of the scene.

He walks in and shuts the door, then turns to the stairs.

Beat.

He walks up the stairs.
                                                            
We pan around Sam's room again. Ralph stands in the
doorframe, surveying the room and the bed in particular. He
steps into the room and makes his way to the radio on the
counter.

He runs his hands over the machine, then hits play. MUSIC
fills the room and Ralph heavily sits down on the bed. He
listens to the music.
                                                            
MONTAGE

Ralph rummages through a dresser in another bedroom. He
lifts a small stack of clothing out of the way to reveal a
handgun at the bottom of the drawer.

Ralph walks down a hallway and enters the bathroom. He
changes shirts and washes his face. He finishes by wiping
off the water and soap with a towel.

Ralph walks back downstairs, pulling on his leather jacket.

END MONTAGE

He enters a dark room and turns on the light. A mirror
stands in one corner of the room. He positions himself in
front of it.

With a sudden motion, he pulls the handgun from under the
jacket and points it at his reflection. He pulls the trigger
and the hammer CLICKS forward. Grim satisfaction crosses his
face.

He turns around and exits the room. As he walks through the
doorway, he seamlessly transitions into...
                                                            
 
INT. SAM'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
...Ralph walks into the brightly lit living room. Detective
THOMAS CHURCH, an athletically built police officer, 35,

49.

well dressed, well groomed, stands nearby with a notepad
open in front of him. He talks quietly to a second DETECTIVE
next to him.

Ralph walks right up to Church.
                                                            
                       RALPH
So you all aren't going to
do...anything. Is that right?
                                                            
                       CHURCH
Look, kid. I want to help you. I
really do. Understand, I am
unbelievably sorry for your loss,
I truly am. But your brother's
death was a suicide. As much as
you may feel like it was someone
else's fault, there's no one to
blame but him.
                                                            
                       RALPH
That doesn't make any fucking
sense.
                                                            
                       CHURCH
You watch your tongue, young man.
                                                            
                       RALPH
I'm twenty years old.
                                                            
Church turns to the other detective.
                                                            
                       CHURCH
      (quietly)
Excuse me for a minute.
                                                            
Church gestures to the front door. He escorts Ralph out the
door by the shoulder.
                                                            
 
EXT. SAM'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
The two men exit the building. Church leans against the
wall.
                                                            
                       CHURCH
You don't smoke, do you?
                                                            
                       RALPH
No.
                                                            

50.

                       CHURCH
Damn. Oh well, probably better
that way. Been trying to quit for
five years.
      (beat)
Look, I'm not going to pretend to
understand this, Ralph. And I know
you wouldn't believe me even if I
tried. I don't know what it's like
to lose a brother. What I do know
is what it feels like to be unable
to take action against those you
know are responsible for an act.
Nothing eats at you more than that
feeling, I know that.
                                                            
                       RALPH
How do you know that?
                                                            
                       CHURCH
I've been working homicide for
years. This one case, we were
trying to catch a man behind a
series of shootings in the area.
Had seven kills under his belt and
wounded one other. Took us four
months to track him down. We
finally got him cornered in a
motel room.
                                                            
                       RALPH
He got away, didn't he?
                                                            
                       CHURCH
Oh no, it was much worse. We
arrested the bastard on the spot
and dragged him back to prison. We
waited the longest goddamn time
for a trial. And then when we
finally did go to trial, you know
what happened?
                                                            
                       RALPH
He walked.
                                                            
                       CHURCH
      (nodding)
The son of a bitch walked out of
that courtroom, cleared of all
charges. Everyone knew he did it,
but we didn't have the evidence we
needed to convict him. Last time I
ever let that happen, let me tell
            (MORE)

51.

                       CHURCH (cont'd)
ya.
                                                            
                       RALPH
How'd that make you feel?
                                                            
                       CHURCH
Well, it felt like shit. Finally
caught the guy, and he walked away
because we screwed up. I never
felt so helpless in my life.
                                                            
                       RALPH
You should've killed him when you
had the chance.
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            
                       CHURCH
Ralph, killing's a nasty business.
The amount of willpower it takes
to kill somebody...if you aren't
in a life-or-death situation, I
don't know how it's possible. I
never had to pull the trigger on
somebody. Don't ever want to, and
I pray to God every day that today
isn't the day that I need to.
                                                            
                       RALPH
Some people just don't deserve a
chance.
                                                            
                       CHURCH
Everybody deserves a chance,
Ralph.
                                                            
                       RALPH
You think your shooter deserved a
chance?
      (beat)
That's what I thought.
                                                            
Ralph turns to go back inside.
                                                            
                       RALPH
How many lives would you have
saved if you had killed that man
in the motel room? How many more
people did he kill?
                                                            

52.

                       CHURCH
None. He was pulled over a week
afterwards and had the murder
weapon in his backseat. When the
police tried to arrest him for it,
he fought back. They shot and
killed him in self-defense.
                                                            
Ralph pauses. Church looks him in the eyes.
                                                            
                       CHURCH
These things have a way of working
themselves out, Ralph. Just give
it time. Everybody gets theirs in
the end.
                                                            
Ralph goes back inside.
                                                            
 
INT. SAM'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
As the MUSIC slowly fades away at the end of the track,
Ralph lies down on Sam's bed, his left hand behind his head
and his right hand on his chest, handgun clenched in his
fingers. He closes his eyes and falls asleep.
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY
                                                            
Jackie walks down the graffiti-covered hallway. A purse is
slung over her shoulder and the cut over her eye is gone.
She reaches her room and begins fumbling around for her
keys.

Directly next to her apartment, the door swings open and
Chloe sticks her head out. She scans the hallway angrily,
then sees Jackie. Her expression softens.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
Morning, Jackie.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Hey, Chloe. How are you doing?
                                                            
                       CHLOE
I've had better days. Thought you
might have been Gallagher.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
The old guy that lives down the
hall?
                                                            

53.

                       CHLOE
Yeah, sure is. He might need a
little reminding that his rent is
due tomorrow.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Speaking of which...
                                                            
Jackie extracts a small stack of bills from her purse,
wrapped in a rubber band. She offers it to Chloe.
                                                            
                       JACKIE (cont'd)
That's for this month.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
      (taking the cash)
Thanks, hun. Be nice if everybody
paid their dues on time.
                                                            
Jackie resumes looking for her keys.
                                                            
                       CHLOE (cont'd)
So what have you been up to the
last couple of nights, hm? I know
you aren't working night shifts
down at the restaurant.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Well, I've actually been looking
around for...
                                                            
                       CHLOE
For what?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
For a recording studio.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
I didn't know you were a musician.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I sing a little bit. Nothing too
big, I guess.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
Well, just remember us little
people when you get outta this
dump and make it to the big stage,
right?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
      (laughing)
That'll be the day, huh?
                                                            

54.

Jackie finally manages to locate her keys.
                                                            
                       JACKIE (cont'd)
You have a good day now, Chloe.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
You too, hun. Do me a favor and
harass that old fuck if ya see
him.
                                                            
Chloe goes back inside and shuts the door. Jackie enters her
apartment.
                                                            
 
INT. JACKIE'S APARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
Jackie hangs up her keys and closes the door. She walks into
the living room and drops her purse on the couch. She
stretches and walks into the kitchen...

And jumps in surprise when she sees Julius standing in front
of the refrigerator, looking inside.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Jesus Christ, Jules, you scared
me.
                                                            
Julius turns slowly, letting the refridgerator close. He has
a bottle in one hand and a dazed expression. Jackie's eyes
narrow sharply.
                                                            
                       JACKIE (cont'd)
You've got to be kidding me.
                                                            
Jackie backs up cautiously as Julius advances, staggering
and angry. His speech is slurred.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
I'm sick, Jackie. I've got a
disease. You know what it is?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
You're drunk again, that's what!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
I'm sick of this apartment. This
town. This life.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Give me the damn bottle, Jules.
                                                            

55.

                       JULIUS
      (taking a swig)
No.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I'm serious, Julius!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
I'm serious! I hate this place so
much. Why can't you ever do
anything? Why can't you just make
it big like you've been planning
and we can leave?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
At least I contribute to the
fucking apartment! Now give me the
goddamn bottle!
                                                            
Jackie grabs the bottle effortlessly. Julius ROARS in anger
and swings his fist...

He connects with her face. Jackie GASPS as a fresh cut opens
up over her eye. Clasping the wound, she drops the bottle in
the trash and walks to the living room.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Asshole!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Why did you do that?!
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I'm fucking bleeding, Julius!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
You're a bitch!
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Shut up!
                                                            
Jackie pulls some tissue out of her bag and presses it to
the injury.
                                                            
                       JACKIE (cont'd)
Get the hell out of my house!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
No!
                                                            
Julius gets within inches of her face.
                                                            

56.

                       JACKIE
You think I like this place,
Jules? You think I don't want out?
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Then do something about it!
                                                            
                       JACKIE
At least I'm trying!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Well, that's not good enough!
                                                            
Jackie walks past him and towards the door.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
This isn't all about you, Julius!
It's about us!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
No, it's about you!
                                                            
Julius lunges forward and grabs Jackie by the arm. She
freezes.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Let go of me.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
I'm not letting you leave!
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I'm leaving whether you like it or
not.
                                                            
Julius backhands her with his free hand. He throws her away
from the door to the floor, where she collapses.
                                                            
                       JACKIE (cont'd)
      (softly)
Beating up a woman make you feel
strong?
                                                            
Julius jumps for her, a big strong hand clasping her throat.
Jackie calls out but no words can come out; Julius slowly
strangles her. Her face begins to turn red.

Suddenly, the door to the apartment swings open and Chloe
stands in the doorway, livid.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
You cockbiting little bastard!
                                                            

57.

Chloe runs forward and viciously kicks Julius in the ribs.
Julius goes sprawling across the floor.

Chloe aims another kick...
                                                            
                       JACKIE
      (hoarsely)
Stop!
                                                            
Chloe reverses the kick, glaring at Julius. She turns to
help Jackie to her feet. Julius, confused by the attack,
flounders on the floor.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
Let's go, dear. You're staying
over at my place tonight. I'm
calling the police.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
No! No, just...just leave him.
                                                            
Chloe grudgingly nods and escorts Jackie out the door. She
turns to look at Julius one last time before shutting the
door with a SLAM.
                                                            
 
EXT. MARY'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
It is early in the morning and the sun is just barely over
the horizon. Mary is walking out of her house and down the
driveway, wearing a server's uniform and apron.

An old, beat-up car idles in front of the driveway. Mary
opens the front passenger door and enters.
                                                            
 
INT. JACKIE'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
Mary shuts the door and puts on her seatbelt.
                                                            
                       MARY
Morning, Jackie.
                                                            
Jackie sits behind the steering wheel dressed in a similar
uniform and large black sunglasses.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Hey, girl. How are you doing?
                                                            
                       MARY
Tired as hell.
                                                            
Jackie holds up two coffees, offering one to Mary.
                                                            

58.

                       MARY (cont'd)
Oh, thanks a lot.
                                                            
Mary takes a sip of the steaming liquid gratefully. Jackie
takes a pack of cigarettes out of her bag and places one in
her teeth. She attempts to light it several times before
succeeding. She inhales and exhales, letting smoke fill the
cabin.
                                                            
                       MARY (cont'd)
You mind rolling down the window?
                                                            
Jackie quickly rolls down the window and blows a second
plume of smoke out of the car.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Sorry about that.
                                                            
                       MARY
No worries.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
We've got about twenty minutes
before work. We can stop somewhere
close and grab a quick bite if you
want.
                                                            
                       MARY
I already ate breakfast, but we
can stop. What's with the glasses?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Hm?
                                                            
                       MARY
The sunglasses.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
So I don't go blind from the sun.
                                                            
                       MARY
The sun isn't even out yet.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
It will be later.
                                                            
                       MARY
And you'll be inside until it goes
down again.
                                                            
Jackie shrugs nonchalantly.
                                                            

59.

                       MARY
      (lowering her
       voice)
It's Julius again, isn't it?
                                                            
Jackie shrugs again. Mary shakes her head.
                                                            
                       MARY
God damn it, Jackie.
                                                            
Jackie slowly removes the sunglasses, revealing the cut over
her eye. Mary GASPS and reaches towards the cut with
trembling hands, but Jackie pushes her hand away and shoves
her glasses back on. She buckles her seatbelt angrily,
tosses her cigarette out the window, and starts to drive
away.
                                                            
                       MARY
Talk to me, Jackie. What happened?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
What do you think? Got home
yesterday drunk off his rocker and
thought he could push me around.
                                                            
                       MARY
He is pushing you around, Jackie.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
It's not his fault, alright? He
just comes from a rough
background, hard life. He just
doesn't know how to control
himself sometimes, y'know?
                                                            
                       MARY
You still believe that?
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I don't know.
                                                            
They drive on for a few more minutes in silence. Mary looks
uncomfortable.

Jackie brakes when they come to a stop sign. The car rolls
to a standstill. Mary opens her mouth to speak, but Jackie
suddenly slams her hands on her steering wheel furiously.
                                                            
                       JACKIE (cont'd)
God fucking damn it, Mary, I'm so
sick of this town! Sick of this
town, sick of my job, sick of my
            (MORE)

60.

                       JACKIE (cont'd)
apartment, sick of Julius always
coming home drunk. And it's always
some new job for him. One more
job! One more job and we;ll be out
of here! We aren't ever getting
out of here! That's been my dream
since I was five, and look where
it's gotten me! I'm a damn
waitress struggling to make enough
money to pay rent and smoking a
pack a day! I didn't smoke two
years ago, you know that? Now look
at me. I'm nothing.
                                                            
Jackie leans back in her seat heavily. Mary watches her
carefully. A few moments later, Jackie slowly accelerates
the car through the stop sign.
                                                            
                       MARY
I know it's not my place, Jackie,
but...the first thing you need to
do if you want to change anything
is to get rid of Julius.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
What do you expect me to do?
                                                            
                       MARY
You know what I think.
                                                            
A cell phone RINGS. Both girls look through their belongings
for their phones. Jackie picks up her phone. She checks the
caller ID and sighs.
                                                            
                       MARY
Who is it?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Who do you think?
                                                            
                       MARY
Don't answer that-
                                                            
Jackie flips the phone open. Mary shakes her head
incredulously.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Hey, Julius. Now isn't really a
good time...no, listen...yeah,
yeah, I get out at around
four...where?
                                                            

61.

                       MARY
Ten bucks says he tells you to
meet him at the bar.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
      (to Mary)
Sh!
      (to the phone)
I'll be there at four-thirty.
                                                            
                       MARY
Seriously?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I'll be there. Yeah, see you then.
                                                            
Jackie hangs up and returns her phone to her purse,
                                                            
                       MARY
You'd better break up with the
bastard.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Mary, I don't know what I'm going
to do, alright? Can you please get
off my back about it? Please?
                                                            
                       MARY
I've got to have your back,
Jackie, because you don't! Look at
you! You said it yourself: you're
sick of this town! So take what
you've got and get out while
you've got the chance!
                                                            
The car comes to a SCREECHING halt. Mary almost gets thrown
into the dashboard, but the seatbelt restrains her. She
looks over too see Jackie staring down the street branching
off of theirs.
                                                            
                       MARY
What the hell was that?
                                                            
Jackie points down the street with a trembling finger. Mary
follows the finger and her eyes widen.

The scene is illuminated by flashing red and blue lights.
Several police officers and squad cars surround a building a
short distance away.
                                                            
                       MARY (cont'd)
What's all that about?
                                                            

62.

Jackie removes her sunglasses to get a better view. She
spots the source of the commotion:

Two police officers are leading a man away from the house in
handcuffs. His face is obscured.

Jackie shakingly lights up another cigarette and breathes
out the smoke.

Just before reaching an open police car, the handcuffed man
turns his head enough to lay eyes on Jackie and Mary.

It is the Killer. He smiles ominously at Jackie before being
forced into the police car. The door SLAMS shut, shielding
him from view.

Jackie inhales and exhales another cloud of smoke.
                                                            
                                         FADE INTO
                                                            
 
INT. BAR - DAY
                                                            
Jackie sits at the bar. Julius sits beside her.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I'm so sick of all this bullshit,
Julius. Sick of it.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
It ain't bullshit, Jackie. I'm
serious this time.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
You're serious now, and you'll be
serious the next ten times,
Julius.
      (to bartender)
Whatever's your cheapest beer,
please.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
One for me, too, man.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Nuh-uh. Don't you dare drink
today.
                                                            
She waves the bartender off.
                                                            
                       JACKIE (cont'd)
You've been telling me the same
line for two years. We're gonna
make it big, Jackie. We're gonna
            (MORE)

63.

                       JACKIE (cont'd)
be all right. We're gonna make it
big.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
We are gonna make it big, baby.
Just listen-
                                                            
                       JACKIE
No, you listen! I can't do this
anymore, Julius. I just can't.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Don't be talkin' like that, I know
you don't mean that.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I damn well mean it.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Listen here, Jackie.
                                                            
He looks left and right to make sure no one is paying
attention.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
      (quietly)
I was scoping out this joint
earlier today.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
      (exasperated)
Oh, god damn it, Julius!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
It's just a little convenience
store. One guy. One last job, and
then we're out of this town.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
It's always one last job.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
I mean it this time.
                                                            
The bartender comes back and drops off Jackie's drink.
Jackie and Julius stay silent until he leaves.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I want to believe you, Julius, but
I can't. We've been down this road
before.
                                                            

64.

                       JULIUS
Don't you worry about a thing,
baby. I'm hitting the shop
tomorrow morning. Rattle the
spic's cage a little but, make him
cough up the drawer. Should be
plenty to get us a train ticket
out of here.
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
What about cops?
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Don't be worryin' about the cops.
In this town, I'll be surprised if
they even get a goddamn phone
call.
                                                            
Another beat.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
You aren't going to shoot anybody,
are you?
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Nah. Just shake him up a little
bit, y'know? Tomorrow morning, I'm
taking that register. You can meet
me back here tomorrow night at
nine. We'll take what I got and
we'll get the hell out of here.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Jules, I can't-
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Nine o' clock.
                                                            
Julius stands up and exits. Jackie SIGHS and takes a drink.
She notices Mark edging over to her.
                                                            
                       MARK
What's his problem?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Excuse me?
                                                            
                       MARK
The guy that was just in here.
What's his deal?
                                                            

65.

                       JACKIE
None of your business, that's
what.
                                                            
                       MARK
Hey, if that spook's giving you
trouble-
                                                            
                       JACKIE
That spook you're referring to is
my boyfriend, and I'd appreciate
it if you left me the hell alone.
                                                            
                       MARK
No need to get so defensive-
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Then leave me alone.
                                                            
                       MARK
Now listen here, you little brat-
                                                            
Mark is interrupted by a firm hand placed on his shoulder.
He looks up to see Quan standing over him, dressed in a
business suit.
                                                            
                       QUAN
The lady asked you to leave her
alone.
                                                            
Mark glares at Quan, but Quan stares back at him, unfazed.
After a few moments, Mark stands up, grabns his beer, and
leaves.
                                                            
                       MARK
      (under his breath)
Fucking zipperheads.
                                                            
Jackie flashes a quick smile to Quan, then goes back to her
drink.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Everything all right, miss?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Yeah, yeah. Thanks for that.
                                                            
                       QUAN
It's my pleasure.
                                                            
Quan sits down at a stool two seats away from Jackie. He
looks over at her.
                                                            

66.

                       QUAN
Forgive me for saying, but you
look particularly miserable. You
sure you should be drinking
something that heavy?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
      (taking a swig)
I'll be fine.
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (smiling)
I don't think you need to be
drinking to forget your problems.
                                                            
Quan slides a glass of water to Jackie.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Name's Quan.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Jackie.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Pleasure to meet you, Jackie.
                                                            
Jackie makes eye contact and smiles slightly. She takes a
sip of the liquid and nods appreciatively at Quan. Quan
turns to the bartender.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Can I get another glass of water,
please? Thank you.
                                                            
The bartender walks off to fill up a cup. Quan leans against
the bar.
                                                            
                       QUAN
I know it isn't any of my
business, but quite frankly, I
think you should leave the guy.
                                                            
Jackie looks up, alarmed. Quan smiles reassuringly.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
      (bitter)
You've been eavesdropping, too,
huh?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Well, I hardly needed to. I'm good
at reading people. It's amazing
what you can tell about a person
simply by analyzing their body
            (MORE)

67.

                       QUAN (cont'd)
language. When you were talking to
the gentleman earlier, your
eyebrows were close together, you
leaned away from him while
constantly shifting your weight
around, your head was tilted down,
you avoided eye contact, you were
biting your lower lip, and your
left foot was tapping. All of
which indicate that you were
nervous or intimidated. He, on the
other hand, looked quite
comfortable.
                                                            
Quan accepts his glass of water.
                                                            
                       QUAN (cont'd)
All of that couple with the cut
over your eye, and one can tell
exactly what your relationship
with that man is.
                                                            
Jackie is impressed. Quan takes a drink.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
So...Quan. What are you, a
psychologist or something?
                                                            
                       QUAN
No ma'am, simply a business man.
                                                            
He pats his briefcase. Jackie doesn't look convinced.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
You're a little smart to be a
businessman.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Part of the job. If you're trying
to sell a product or service,
you've got to know how to read
people. It's a quite useful
talent.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Well, I appreciate the drink,
Quan, but I...
                                                            
                       QUAN
Don't feel comfortable talking to
a stranger in a suit? I know. It
turns a lot of people off.
                                                            

68.

Jackie opens and shuts her mouth. Quan chuckles and shifts
to the stool right next to her.
                                                            
                       QUAN
So what is it that you do, Jackie?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
You hitting on me, Quan?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Happily married with two beautiful
children.
      (he holds up his
       ring)
Just making small talk. You don't
get a lot of that in office
buildings and hotels anymore.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Well...I write songs.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Is that so? And what kind of songs
do you write?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Just...songs.
                                                            
                       QUAN
I bet you're a fine singer, too.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
You figure that out through my
body language, too?
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (lowering her
       voice)
Lucky guess.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Well, it was a good guess. I write
and I sing.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Anything I would have heard of?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Not yet, I guess.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Well, keep at it. And look me up
when you finally make it big.
                                                            

69.

                       JACKIE
I'll be sure to do that. So Quan,
what kind of business are you in?
What do you sell?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Unfortunately, my job dictates
that I can't talk specifics. What
I can tell you is that the people
I have dealt with range from
privately owned businesses to
government agencies and
politicians.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Government and politicians, huh?
So you could be a spy or an
assassin and I wouldn't know it?
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (whisper)
Well, if I was...I wouldn't be
likely to tell you, would I?
                                                            
Jackie laughs. Quan smiles back at her and finishes his
water.
                                                            
                       QUAN
So what business does a girl such
as yourself have with the young
man that just left the premises?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Boyfriend.
                                                            
                       QUAN
I already established that. What I
meant was...how should I put this
tactfully...well, let's not kid
ourselves. He looks like bad news.
Not that I mean bad by that, half
of this town is bad blood in any
sense. But it seems to me like an
obviously talented girl such as
yourself should mix
with...different company.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
      (a little coldly)
Julius isn't all bad.
                                                            

70.

                       QUAN
You don't really believe that, do
you?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I get that a lot.
                                                            
                       QUAN
In my experience, when more than
one person tells you the same
thing, it might be time to
consider their opinion. But hey,
I'm just a businessman, what do I
know?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
If I had a choice, I'd take it,
you know? This town is such a
shithole- sorry for the
language...
                                                            
                       QUAN
It's quite all right.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
But this place is all I've got!
This and a dream.
                                                            
                       QUAN
What have you got, exactly?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I've got an apartment, and a
job...not the best job, but it
pays the bills, right?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Does it pay for your life?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
      (confused)
Yeah, I can meet my rent, make my
car payments-
                                                            
                       QUAN
You misunderstand me. I know it
pays for your living. Does it pay
for your life is what I'm asking.
                                                            
Jackie looks into his face, thinking.
                                                            

71.

                       QUAN (cont'd)
Jackie, if you want something, you
have to take it. If you don't want
something, leave it behind. You're
a very intelligent woman, you can
do better than this. You want that
career as a singer? Get in your
car, drive away, and find
someplace better. Because a young
woman like you deserves something
better. Leave this city behind and
take what is rightfully yours.
Inaction is slavery, but
freedom....freedom is a choice.
                                                            
Jackie tilts her head admiringly at Quan. After a few
seconds, a smile creeps over her face. She sweeps all of her
belongings into her purse and begins to search for her money
clip. Quan reaches out and touches her arm.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Don't worry about it. Save up for
a mix tape or something.
                                                            
Quan places a bill on the counter. Jackie smiles gratefully
as Quan removes his hand. She stands up and turns to face
him directly.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Just one question.
                                                            
                       QUAN
And what might that be?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Why help me? Why so nice?
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (slowly)
The world's a dark place, Jackie.
If I can do my part and make it
just one percent brighter...then I
consider that a victory.
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            
                       QUAN
My wife and I have a saying. Today
we walk...and tomorrow we fly. It
means that tomorrow's a brand new
day, a new opportunity. Maybe not
for me, but for somebody else. My
children. A stranger. A friend.
                                                            

72.

Jackie smiles one last time, and Quan returns the gesture.
She then hoists her purse over her shoulder and exits. Quan
looks after her for a few moments. He then grabs his
briefcase and walks to the back of the bar.

The lights get dimmer as he approaches a darkened corner.
The CLIENT sits in the booth expectantly. He smiles as Quan
approaches and stands.
                                                            
                       CLIENT
Quan Nguyen, as I live and
breathe.
                                                            
Quan smiles back and the two shake hands.
                                                            
                       CLIENT (cont'd)
It's good to have you back in
town, boy.
                                                            
                       QUAN
It's good to be back.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO BLACK
                                                            
                       CLIENT (VO)
Tomorrow, twelve o' clock, noon.
The conference room's on the top
floor, you'll get shown the way.
                                                            
 
INT. RHINEHEART ENTERPRISES - DAY
                                                            
Quan's watch reads 11:50am.

He straightens up and surveys the lobby of the building. He
wears a black suit, tie, and glasses. His briefcase is
clenched in his hand at his side. Office workers hustle to
and fro. Quan absorbs all the visual and auditory
information from the center of the lobby.

A young female SECRETARY approaches from behind.
                                                            
                       SECRETARY
Mr. Cho?
                                                            
Quan turns around and smiles at the Secretary. He shakes her
hand warmly and speaks in heavily accented English.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Yes ma'am. I am here for a twelve
o' clock appointment with Mr.
Rhineheart?
                                                            

73.

                       SECRETARY
Of course, he's expecting you
upstairs. If you could just follow
me?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Of course.
                                                            
The Secretary leads Quan to the elevators. They board the
car and the doors close.
                                                            
 
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM 4 - DAY
                                                            
The door opens and Quan walks in. The Secretary holds the
door open.
                                                            
                       SECRETARY
Here you are, Mister Cho.
                                                            
Quan removes his sunglasses and surveys the room. He turns
and smiles at the Secretary.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Thank you very much, ma'am.
                                                            
                       SECRETARY
My pleasure. Mr. Rhineheart will
be along shortly.
                                                            
She closes the door behind her as she exits. Quan sets his
briefcase on the table and strolls over to the window to
admire the view. He sighs deeply, then goes back to table
and sits down heavily.

He traces the intercom's wires below the table and removes a
small pocketknife from his suit. He severs the cords with
the blade before going back to the table and sitting down.

Several moments go by. Quan TAPS his fingers patiently.

VOICES can be heard outside the door. Quan looks up, alert
and ready. The door swings open...

In walks Rhineheart, talking loudly into a headset.
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART
      (loudly)
And do me a favor, find out where
Gallagher is, will you? He's
already an hour late.
                                                            

74.

Quan rises and walks around the table. He extends his hand
as Rhineheart closes the door behind him and turns off his
headset.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Mr. Rhineheart, I presume?
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART
Ah yes, Mr. Cho. I apologize for
the delay, the company takes a
good deal of time to manage
effectively, as I'm sure you
understand.
                                                            
                       QUAN
Perfectly, sir.
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART
Well, let's get straight to it
then, shall we? Got some big
business to discuss today, hm?
                                                            
Rhineheart sits down opposite Quan.
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART (cont'd)
Can I get you anything? Coffee?
Bagel?
                                                            
                       QUAN
No thank you, sir.
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART
Very well, then. Now, to business.
                                                            
Rhineheart's mouth and lips move, but all that can be heard
is the steady BEATING of Quan's heart.
                                                            
                       QUAN (VO)
Never liked killing in public
places. Too many variables, too
many places things could go wrong.
Always the possibility of hitting
an innocent bystander. But that's
the way the boss wants it done, so
that's how it's gotta be done.
                                                            
Quan slowly pulls out a small lighter from his pants pocket
as he smiles and nods conversationally.
                                                            
                       QUAN (VO)
Time to get rid of the variables.
                                                            
Audio cuts back in. Rhineheart leans back in his chair.
                                                            

75.

                       RHINEHEART (cont'd)
So what do you think of that?
                                                            
Quan abruptly stands up and climbs on top of the table.
Rhineheart's jaw drops.
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART
What in the hell are you doing?
                                                            
Quan holds the lighter up to the fire alarm in the ceiling.
A moment later, the FIRE ALARMS sound off. The sprinklers
turn on, dousing Quan, Rhineheart, and the entire room with
water. SCREAMS are heard outside. Rhineheart COUGHS and
SPUTTERS.
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART
Have you lost your fucking mind?
                                                            
                       QUAN
      (dropping the
       accent)
You owe my client a lot of money,
Mr. Rhineheart. I'm sorry it had
to end this way.
                                                            
Rhineheart presses the intercom frantically.
                                                            
                       RHINEHEART
Security!
                                                            
Quan calmly opens his briefcase and stands straight up. A
silenced pistol is in his hand. Rhineheart looks agape at
Quan for a second.

POP! POP! POP!

Quan pulls the trigger three times, putting two bullets in
Rhineheart's chest and one in his head. Blood sprays.

Rhineheart sits suspended in his chair for a moment, then
collapses. He hits the floor with a resounding THUD.

Quan immediately walks around the table and crouches beside
the body. He feels for a pulse and finds none. Satisfied,
Quan walks back to his side of the table to retrieve his
case.

BANG! BANG!

Quan spins as the hinges to the conference room door are
blasted off in a shower of splinters and dust. He aims his
gun at the open door, where a shadowy figure stands with a
shotgun aimed in his direction.
                                                            

76.

                                         CUT TO BLACK
                                                            
A loud BANG echoes through an alleyway...
                                                            
                       JORGE (VO)
You wanna play games?!
                                                            
A shotgun is COCKED...
                                                            
                       JORGE (VO)
Huh?!
                                                            
A answering BANG!...Jorge SCREAMS...someone offscreen
SCREAMS...

BANG! BANG! A THUD as a body hits the ground...

RUNNING FOOTSTEPS...somebody JUMPS on the roof of a car...

BANG! BANG! BANG! CLICK! CLICK!
                                                            
                       JULIUS (VO)
Fuckin' A!
                                                            
 
EXT. ALLEY - DAY
                                                            
Jorge's car ROARS away down the street, leaving Jorge's
bloody corpse alone in the alleyway. There are CRIES
somewhere offscreen, and FAINT SIRENS...

Mark drives down the road when he hears the gunshots. He
looks around, confused, trying to locate the sounds.

A few moments later, Jorge's car cuts directly in front of
him out of the alley. Mark takes one look at the car, then
to the alley.
                                                            
                       MARK
Oh, no.
                                                            
Mark kills the engine and hops out of his truck. He sprints
down the sidewalk to the alley where the car just tore out
of. Rounding the corner, he freezes in place.

Shaking slightly, he slowly walks down the alley towards the
destroyed body of Jorge. He reaches the corpse and bends
down.

Half of Jorge's face is missing. Blood leaks all over the
sidewalk.
                                                            

77.

                       MARK
      (softly)
God damn it, kid.
                                                            
Mark stands up straight and turns away from the body. His
face is blank and expressionless as he walks away. He
absentmindedly wipes blood off his hands onto his jeans.

Mark reaches his parked vehicle and jerks the door open. He
guns the engine and makes a violent U-turn.
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY
                                                            
Mark storms down the hallway. He goes straight to his
apartment door...

WHAM! He kicks the door wide open instead of looking for his
keys. He walks in, his blank face now a mask of anger.
                                                            
 
INT. MARK'S APARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
Mark advances into his living room and reaches over the
couch. He withdraws the shotgun out from behind it and opens
the breech to see if it is loaded.

He slams the breech shut and walks over to his television
set. He wrenches open one of the drawers and pulls out a
small cardboard box. He removes a handful of red shotgun
shells and pockets them.
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY
                                                            
Mark exits the destroyed door, shotgun clenched in bloody
hands. Chloe exits her room, looking for the disturbance.
                                                            
                       CHLOE
Gallagher, what the fuck is your-
oh my sweet Jesus...
                                                            
Chloe immediately reverses direction upon seeing the shotgun
in Mark's hands. Mark ignores her completely as he passes
her, heading for the exit.
                                                            
 
EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY
                                                            
Mark opens the door to his truck's cabin and throws the
shotgun into the passenger seat. He climbs into the driver
seat and turns the engine on.

78.


His car pulls away from the building.
                                                            
 
EXT. RHINEHEART ENTERPRISES - DAY
                                                            
Mark's truck rolls to a halt outside the building. He turns
the engine off and climbs out. He takes his shotgun out of
the passenger seat as well as a long coat. He hides the
shotgun out of sight under the coat.
                                                            
 
INT. RHINEHEART ENTERPRISES - DAY
                                                            
Mark walks into the lobby, staring straight ahead and making
a beeline for the elevators.

He reaches the elevator, waits for the door to open, then
shoves the single occupant out of the way to make room for
himself. The doors close.
                                                            
 
INT. ELEVATOR - DAY
                                                            
Mark stands motionless and silent in the elevator.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
There comes a time in every man's
life when he asks himself "is this
me? Is this the person I wanted to
become? And ninety-nine times out
of a hundred, the answer is "no."
Worker drones buzzing about
without a care in the goddamn
world. Slaves to a system that
doesn't care about anything other
than the people on top. Quite
ironic, really. The queen is
dependent on us, but we do nothing
to stop her from running our
lives. We have all this power and
yet we do nothing with it.
                                                            
The doors slide open. Mark exits.
                                                            
 
INT. HALLWAY - DAY
                                                            
Mark advances down the hallway.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
This is my home. The life that I
live. This is me, but it isn't
what I want to be. I didn't grow
            (MORE)

79.

                       MARK (cont'd)
up and fight in a war to die old
and alone in a shithole on the
east side of town. I grew up to be
somebody. To be recognized. For
people to walk down the street and
say, "Damn. Look at that man right
there. Someday, we will be like
him. Someday."
                                                            
Suddenly, FIRE ALARMS blare throughout the building. Workers
scream and run as water rains down from the sprinklers. Mark
doesn't appear to notice.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
Someday.
                                                            
Mark comes to a halt outside a closed door. His eyes flicker
to the plaque outside the room: CONFERENCE ROOM FOUR.

He jiggles the handle. Nothing.
                                                            
                       MARK (VO)
This world...this life...all of
this. Come on, old man, Prove
you've still got the balls to make
something of yourself.
                                                            
The shotgun goes up...

BANG! BANG!

Mark pumps two blasts into the door hinges. He steps inside
amidst the smoke and dust clouds.
                                                            
 
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM 4 - DAY
                                                            
Mark stands still in the doorway, water pouring over him.
Across from him is Quan, equally soaked and aiming a
silenced handgun at him.

Mark sees the body of Rhineheart spilled in front of him. He
blinks.
                                                            
                       MARK
You killed him?
                                                            
                       QUAN
Who are you?
                                                            
                       MARK
I don't believe it.
                                                            

80.

                       QUAN
Enough with the games, who sent
you?
                                                            
                       MARK
I was supposed to kill him. This
was supposed to be me.
                                                            
                       QUAN
What are you talking about?
                                                            
                       MARK
And you took that away from me.
                                                            
BANG!

Quan slams into the opposite wall as Mark fires a final
blast from the shotgun. Blood seeps through his shirt as his
eyes go dark.

Mark is silent.
                                                            
 
EXT. BATTLEFIELD - NIGHT
                                                            
Young Mark and his men run through the tracer fire, dodging
and weaving. An enemy soldier stands up a short distance
away from the group and fires an uncontrolled burst of fire
at them.
                                                            
                       MARK
      (screaming)
Heads down!
                                                            
Mark lifts his rifle and drops the man with a well-placed
three-round burst of gunfire. The enemy hits the ground
hard.

A young boy of eleven or twelve suddenly runs into the scene
towards the dead man, SCREAMING and CRYING.
                                                            
                       MARK
Don't fucking do it...
                                                            
The young boy suddenly grabs his father's rifle in his hands
and attempts to point it at the soldiers.
                                                            
                       MARK
Put it down!
                                                            
The boy aims the rifle directly at Mark...

Mark puts another three-round burst into the body of the

81.

child, who collapses in agony. The rifle rolls away.

Mark lowers the gun. He is silent.
                                                            
 
EXT. RHINEHEART ENTERPRISES - DAY
                                                            
Mark walks out of the building, soaked from head to toe. His
eyes shimmer with tears.
                                                            
                       POLICE (OS)
Put the gun down! Do it now!
                                                            
Marks turns slightly to see several POLICE aiming guns at
him. He turns completely to face them and lifts his
shotgun...

BANG! BANG! One of the police officers opens fire.

Mark drops straight to the ground. Two bullet holes are in
his shoulder. He makes no noise but breathes heavily.

Detective Church lets the magazine fall out of his gun and
replaces it with trembling hands.
                                                            
                       CHURCH
Call an ambulance. Let's make sure
everyone's still alive in there.
      (beat)
Does anybody have a cigarette?
                                                            
 
EXT. BAR - NIGHT
                                                            
It is dark and raining. Julius stands alone under an awning
out of the rain. He thumbs through Jorge's wallet, counting
the bills. Looking somewhat dissatisfied, he pockets the
money and lights a cigarette. He checks his watch: 9:04pm.

Julius's phone RINGS. He immediately answers it.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Hey baby, you're late. Where are
you?
                                                            
                       JACKIE (OS)
I'm on my way.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Well hurry up, we needta get
goin'!
                                                            

82.

                       JACKIE (OS)
Look...we need to talk.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
We can talk when ya get here,
babe, just get here as soon as ya
can.
                                                            
                       JACKIE (OS)
Jules, I'm not coming with you.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Ah, don't be like that. How close
are ya?
                                                            
                       JACKIE (OS)
About two minutes away. And I'm
dead serious, Julius.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Just get over here and we'll talk.
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I'm done talking to you.
                                                            
A short distance away, a shadowy figure stands in the
darkness and rain. It is Ralph.

He stares at Julius's back as the young man converses with
Jackie on the phone. The gun is already out, hanging at his
side. Ralph raises the gun to point at Julius's back.

The safety goes off...

The hammer is cocked back...

Ralph's fingers are on the trigger...

He squints down the sights, preparing.

Julius hangs up his phone, looking frustrated. He does not
notice Ralph standing nearby.

And suddenly, Ralph pulls his finger off the trigger. The
gun arm falls to his side, pistol aimed at the ground.
                                                            
                       RALPH (VO)
Sam wouldn't have wanted this.
                                                            
Ralph slowly pockets the weapon and turns around to walk to
his car. He gets to the driver's side door and opens it.

An old, beat-up car barrels into the parking lot, coming to

83.

a SCREECHING halt. The door opens, and Jackie jumps out into
the rain. She sprints to get under the awning.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Hey, baby!
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Julius, I am not coming with you.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Baby, why you talkin' like that?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I just can't do this anymore. I'm
dead serious: I need out.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Well, now we're gettin' out!
                                                            
                       JACKIE
I wasn't really looking for a way
out of this town. I was just
looking for a way out of this. Out
of you and me.
                                                            
Julius looks stunned.
                                                            
                       JACKIE (cont'd)
All this time...all this time,
I've been wondering what's holding
me back. And now I realize.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Whoa, you don't think it's me, do
ya?
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Julius, you're a thief and a
murderer! Nothing else! I saw the
news. You shot that poor boy to
death in a goddamned alley over
what? His fucking wallet?
                                                            
                       JULIUS
If the prick hadn't tried to cap
my ass, his ass would still be
alive!
                                                            
                       JACKIE
Look at you! Not an ounce of
remorse! You're a cold-blooded
fucking murderer. I'm done. I'm
leaving.
                                                            

84.

Tears streaming down her face, Jackie turns and walks back
into the rain towards her car. Julius is livid. He reaches
into one of his pockets.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
You ain't walkin' away from me!
Get your ass back here!
                                                            
Julius withdraws the revolver from his pocket and steps into
the rain towards Jackie. He angrily loads the weapon and
cocks the hammer...

He aims the revolver directly at Jackie as she climbs into
the driver's seat. She gets her keys in the ignition, starts
the car...

And looks up to see the gun pointed directly at her face.
She SCREAMS and tries to cover her face with her hands.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Get out of the fucking car!
                                                            
                       RALPH (OS)
Julius!
                                                            
Julius spins towards the voice. He searches the dim parking
lot for the source and finally sees Ralph standing fifteen
feet away with a gun aimed directly at him.

Julius and Ralph stand stock-still. Ralph has a gun on
Julius and Julius has a gun on Jackie.
                                                            
                       RALPH
What are you doing, Julius?!
                                                            
                       JULIUS
The fuck it look like I'm doing?
                                                            
                       RALPH
You don't want to do this, Julius.
Put the gun down and let her go.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Or what? What the fuck are you
gonna do?
                                                            
                       RALPH
You let her go and I don't shoot.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Boy, you ain't gonna shoot nobody!
                                                            

85.

                       RALPH
I don't want to, but I swear to
God I will.
                                                            
                       JULIUS
Fuck you and your hero bullshit!
You ain't never killed anyone, and
you ain't gonna do it now.
                                                            
Julius swings his pistol around and aims it at Ralph. Ralph
freezes in momentary shock...

Julius's finger twitches on the trigger...

And suddenly, he is bathed in the glow of Jackie's
headlights. With a loud ROAR, Jackie's car shoots out from a
standstill towards Julius...

BAM! Julius goes flying as the car collides with him. The
gun flies away and Julius's limp form collapses on the
street.

Jackie's car rolls to a stop next to Ralph.

Both Jackie and Julius breathe heavily. Jackie turns her
head and locks eyes with Ralph. She nods once at him, a
gesture that he returns.

Jackie slams her foot into the gas pedal, driving away out
of sight.
                                                            
 
INT. PRISON CELL - NIGHT
                                                            
Is is nearly pitch black behind the iron bars of the prison
cell. A little bit of light from the hallway illuminates the
feet of a prison cot in the darkness. A pair of legs dressed
in a prison uniform lie on the bed.

TITLE CARD: FIVE YEARS LATER

The man lying in the cot is an older Mark, with longer hair
and beard. He lies looking up at the ceiling. He massages
his shoulder with one hand.

With a grunt of pain, he boosts himself into a seated
position.
                                                            
                       KILLER (OS)
Shoulder still giving you trouble,
Mark?
                                                            

86.

Mark tilts his head to peer into the cell next to his. It is
even darker.
                                                            
                       MARK
Every day.
                                                            
                       KILLER (OS)
Care for a smoke?
                                                            
                       MARK
I'd love one.
                                                            
Mark stands up and steps over to the bars separating his
cell from the next. He holds his hand out, palm up, and
another hand deposits a cigarette in it. Mark puts the
cigarette in his teeth.
                                                            
                       MARK (cont'd)
Got a light?
                                                            
Beat.

The other cellmate STRIKES a match, the sulfur briefly
flashing. Mark sticks his face forward and the hidden
cellmate lights the cigarette for him.
                                                            
                       MARK
Thanks.
                                                            
                       KILLER
Don't mention it.
                                                            
The match burns out. A second later, a second match lights
up in the adjacent cell, illuminating the face of the Killer
as he lights up his own cigarette.
                                                            
                       KILLER (cont'd)
I couldn't have gotten you to
touch any of this five years ago.
                                                            
                       MARK
I guess times change.
                                                            
The Killer leans casually against the bars.
                                                            
                       KILLER
You can't help but laugh at the
irony.
                                                            
                       MARK
What irony is that?
                                                            

87.

                       KILLER
Well, here we are. In prison for
murder. And with nobody for us to
kill...we resort to slowly killing
ourselves.
                                                            
                       MARK
Living is just the longest way to
commit suicide. All we're doing is
speeding up the process.
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            
                       MARK
      (laughing softly)
God, we really are a couple of
fucked-up, broken men. What
happened to us?
                                                            
                       KILLER
We gave into our instincts, my
friend. No sense in denying the
very thing that makes us human.
                                                            
                       MARK
To give into our impulses is to
become animals. The ability to
deny our impulses is what
separates men from animals.
                                                            
                       KILLER
So, do you regret killing them?
                                                            
                       MARK
Who?
                                                            
                       KILLER
The people in the war.
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            
                       MARK
No. Not a bit.
                                                            
                       KILLER
How about the man you got arrested
for?
                                                            
                       MARK
Not him, either.
                                                            

88.

                       KILLER
So not only are you a killer,
you're a remorseless, unapologetic
killer. Now, would you consider
that very human of you, Mark?
                                                            
                       MARK
Do you regret killing any of those
people?
                                                            
                       KILLER
Absolutely not.
                                                            
                       MARK
Then I guess that makes both of us
a pair of animals.
                                                            
                       KILLER
Well, humans are technically
animals.
      (beat)
Do you really believe that denying
our impulses makes us human?
                                                            
                       MARK
Yeah, don't you?
                                                            
                       KILLER
Quite the contrary.
                                                            
                       MARK
Well, what do you believe?
                                                            
                       KILLER
It's hard to describe...what does
a soldier represent to you?
                                                            
                       MARK
A fucked-up life.
                                                            
                       KILLER
      (laughing)
Alright, bad example. How about a
police officer? What does he
represent to the common people?
                                                            
                       MARK
I don't know. Honor, courage,
devotion to duty,,,
                                                            
                       KILLER
Exactly. Do you know who Houston
McCoy was?
                                                            

89.

                       MARK
No.
                                                            
                       KILLER
He fatally shot Charles Whitman on
top of the University of Texas
Building, the same building that
Whitman had shot fourteen people
from that very day. McCoy received
the Distinguished Service Reward
for his actions. Now, do you know
who Jack Ruby was?
                                                            
                       MARK
Of course, he shot Lee Oswald.
                                                            
                       KILLER
Exactly. He killed the man that
assassinated the country's most
beloved president. You know what
happened to Ruby? Convicted of
murder, died in 1967 while
awaiting a new trial. Now I ask
you...what was the difference
between those two men?
                                                            
                       MARK
McCoy was a cop.
                                                            
                       KILLER
And Ruby was nothing but a
nightclub owner. Now, we all know
about the murderous Mr. Ruby, but
not about the brave Mr. McCoy.
Why?
      (beat)
Because McCoy only represents what
the human race wants to be.
Everyone likes to think they could
go stop a murdering psychopath
like Whitman. On the other hand,
Ruby represents everything we're
actually scared to be. We aren't
supposed to be angry, or violent.
We're raised to be docile and
accepting. Ruby's unbridled anger
goes against what society teaches,
and that anger is exactly what the
human race is afraid to tap into.
                                                            
                       MARK
That's a very interesting theory.
                                                            

90.

                       KILLER
Theory, fact, it makes no
difference. Mark, you and I
represent everything that humanity
is afraid to be. We didn't kill
because we had to or because we
were told to. We killed because we
felt like it. And that, my friend,
is what separates us from them.
That's why they find us so
fascinating. That's what makes us
superior.
                                                            
                       MARK
Superior, hm? Then why are we on
this side of the bars while they
run around free?
                                                            
                       KILLER
      (smiling)
Well, like you said, Mark...it's
just an interesting theory.
                                                            
                       MARK
Something to sleep on, huh?
                                                            
Mark stamps out his cigarette.
                                                            
                       MARK (cont'd)
Thanks for the smoke.
                                                            
                       KILLER
Sweet dreams.
                                                            
Mark disappears into the shadows. The Killer smiles at the
audience.
                                                            
                       KILLER (cont'd)
Something to sleep on, indeed.
                                                            
 
INT. SAM'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
Ralph places his father's handgun back in the drawer. He
closes it quietly.
                                                            
                       KILLER (VO)
What is it that motivates a person
to kill? Is it born into all of
us?
                                                            
 

91.

EXT. CITY HIGHWAY - DAY
                                                            
Jackie sits on the roof of her car, watching the sun come up
over the horizon.
                                                            
                       KILLER (VO)
A primal instinct to cause
harm? Or is it instead created?
                                                            
 
INT. PRISON CELL - NIGHT
                                                            
Mark lies in his cot, staring at the ceiling.
                                                            
                       KILLER (VO)
Do the lives we live force us to
commit murder?
                                                            
 
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM FOUR - DAY
                                                            
Thomas Church kneels by the body of Quan. He shuts the
corpse's eyes.
                                                            
                       KILLER (VO)
It is a question that may never be
answered.
                                                            
 
EXT. BAR - NIGHT
                                                            
Julius lies motionless in the parking lot, soaked in rain
and alone.
                                                            
                       KILLER (VO)
It has been explored by people
from all walks of life, from
authors to psychologists, and yet
there is still no definitive
answer.
                                                            
 
INT. PRISON CELL - NIGHT
                                                            
The Killer calmly smokes his cigarette.
                                                            
                       KILLER
We will probably never have an
answer. No one will ever agree.
You probably have your own
opinions on the matter. Which is
fair. Opinions are what make us
human, right?
      (beat)
            (MORE)

92.

                       KILLER (cont'd)
Ah, but think carefully before you
answer that. What is it, exactly,
that makes you human? I can't give
you an answer. That's up for you
to decide.
                                                            
He lets the cigarette drop to the floor and stamps it out.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO BLACK
                                                            


THE END


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