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by C Simpson

Rated: R   Genre: Action/Adventure   User Review: ****
An estranged father has to reconsider his plans to rebuild his relationship with his daughter when they get stuck in a tailback ... and she goes missing.

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



The deafening HISS of pressurised water.

The constant, ferocious DRUMMING of spray on a perspex
The screen is fogged by condensation. A heavy spray hammers
against it; thick trails of water drip downwards.

The spray and steam obscure the indistinct figure showering
The noise ends abruptly.

The perspex doors part a fraction. A strong, sinewy forearm
squeezes through the gap, grabs a towel from the nearby
rail, drags it back into the cubicle.
Moments later the doors open.

An athletic, muscular man - broad chest, thick biceps -
steps past us, rubbing his hair with the towel, obscuring
his face.

We will come to know this man as THE BABYSITTER.

We are behind him as he pulls the towel off his head, tosses
it into the sink.

We follow him out of the room.
This room is cheap. Functional, no frills. Furnished by
pale pine self-assembly units.
At the far end of the room is an external door; to the left
of the door is a large window.

The curtains are closed but the room is bright, illuminated
by a combination of a ceiling light and bedside lamps.
As The Babysitter walks past the dresser, our attention is
drawn to a small TV on the table top.


ANDREW BRIGGS - ANDY - polished as ever, with thick, heavily
laqcuered black hair, sparkling white teeth, wearing an
immaculate but sombre suit, stands outside the courthouse,
microphone clutched beneath his mouth, jabbering excitedly
to the camera.
In the top right hand corner is a head and shoulders mug
shot of a balding round faced man in his mid fifties; a
crooked nose appears to be the result of several breaks.

This man is identified by a caption: MARIO BERNSTEIN.
      (to camera)
What drama we've had here today.
It's hot, it's humid, it's the
last day before the holiday
weekend and temperatures inside
the court have soared. But none
of this seemed to matter when
Mario Bernstein - one of this
city's most elusive organised
criminals - was found guilty of
bribery, extortion and
racketerring offences ...
On the table, beside the TV, is a large pin board.

Several photographs are stuck to it.

Each photograph is similar in style. Each one contains the
picture of a person.

In each image the person seems unaware that they are being

Five people are featured in total:

- A thin, gaunt faced, intense looking man with short
receding hair. In most of the pictures he is wearing a suit
or smart casual clothing. However, in the central image, he
is walking down the steps of a police station, wearing a
police uniform. CHIEF MIKE LAWRENSON.
- A broad shouldered, thick set man, crew cut hair, square
jaw, alert eyes. BODYGUARD.

- A tall, slender, dark haired woman; her clothes are
sophisticated but comfortable; there are laughter lines


around her eyes. MEGAN LAWRENSON.

- Two young boys - maybe eight and ten - both with thick
dark hair, both playful. JOSHUA and JACOB LAWRENSON.

At the bottom of the board are three images of a black 4 x 4
Cherokee Jeep. In one of the pictures, Chief Lawrenson and
his Bodyguard can be seen climbing into it - Bodyguard
driving, Chief the passenger.
                                         CUT TO:
The Babysitter brushes past us again.

We watch from behind as he shrugs into a black jacket. His
bottom half is now clad in black trousers and black boots.

He crouches beside the bed, reaches underneath, drags out:

- a tattered brown leather briefcase with a combination
lock, followed by a black rucksack, which he hoists straight
onto his back.
The Babysitter grabs the briefacse, straightens up, quickly
spins - too quick for us to catch more than the briefest,
indistinct glimpse of his face - and strides swiftly past,
towards the door.
With his back to us he opens the door; bright, blinding
sunlight bursts into the room.

Then the door swings closed.

The Babysitter is gone.

The TV screen continues to flicker, attracting our
ANDY is still standing on the steps of the courthouse,
clutching his microphone, but he has now been joined by

The Chief is identified by a caption at the foot of the
Chief, what is the significance of
todays verdict?


Mario Bernstein is one of a number
of organised career criminals who
have been able to protect their
illegal activities through a
network of corrupt officials.
Hopefully they realise that this
kind of criminality will no longer
be tolerated.
And what's next for you, Chief?
Will you be celebrating tonight?
Well, it's the long weekend and
I've promised my family a short
There's a bustle of activity outside the busy courthouse.

Reporters are dashing around, camera crews in tow, crowding
CHIEF LAWRENSON for an interview.
ANDY is walking in the opposite direction, crossing the wide
square in front of the courthouse carrying two cups of
steaming coffee. He beams with a broad, carefree smile.

He shuffles through the pack of people towards a large
trailer, emblazoned with the "NEWS CORP" logo.

The rear doors of the trailer are open, a ramp leads inside,
Andy glides up, into the mobile news centre.
The news corps version of the bat-cave. Lined by dark,
insulated walls, a row of desks runs down either side. Each
desk is cluttered with technology - computers, scanners,
printers, TV screens and monitors.

A large flat screen TV is on the far wall; a constant stream
of up to date news.
HARVEY GOLDMAN - ANDY's cameraman - stands with his back to
the door. A middle aged Peter Pan, with pony tail and ear
piercings, he dresses as a twenty one year old rock kid,
hoping no-one will notice he's fifty five years old and on
his third divorce.


ANDY enters the room, offering Harvey one of the coffees.
There you go, Harve.
Harvey turns to accept it.

Beyond him, slouched in a swivel chair, in cut denim shorts
and a dark baggy t-shirt, sits a teenage girl.

The loose fitting clothes and streaks of lime green
highlights in her long blonde hair don't disguise the fact
that she is pretty. A cheer leader in the throes of a goth

This is PENNY.

A warm, loving smile spreads across Andy's face as he
notices her for the first time.
Hey there Princess.
Penny mirrors the obvious affection, raising her hand,
flexing her fingers in a girlish wave.

Harvey takes the proffered cup of coffee and disappears
outside, fumbling for a cigarette.
Looking forward to the big weekend
Penny's expression changes to a frown, she GROANS.
Come on, it won't be that bad. At
least your Dad's making an effort.
He needn't bother.
Andy parks his butt on the edge of a table, blows his
Did I ever tell you about the time
your mom took me horse riding?
No. I didn't know you could ride.


I can't. But we'd just starting
dating, and she loved riding, so I
just went along with it. After
all, how hard can it be?
Penny begins to laugh, anticipating a punch line.
Well, by the end of the first day
I don't think there was a muscle
in my body that wasn't aching. I
could hardly walk. I spent the
rest of the week hobbling around
like John Wayne with constipation.
Andy does an impression; bow legged, stiff backed, stiff
arms by his side, shuffling his feet back and forth.

Penny bursts into laughter. But it is cut short by a KNOCK
on the trailer door. They turn together.
Harvey stands at the top of the ramp. Hovering behind is an
unassuming man in straight leg jeans, Lowe Alpine t-shirt
and desert boots.
This guy was looking for you.
This guy is medium height, medium build, late thirties /
early forties. He has a weathered face, tanned complexion,
and a shaggy mop of sandy coloured hair.

As he steps lightly up the ramp, we see that whilst
unassuming he has an athletic, climbers physique - lean,
wiry, taut.

But it is the icy blue - almost reptilian - eyes that grab
the attention. Pale, piercing, calculating and alert.

Grant smiles awkwardly at Penny. When he speaks, it is with
a foreign accent - somewhere from the South of England.
Ready to go?
Penny shrugs.
I suppose.


Hi, Grant.
Grant hesitates, eventually acknowledges Andy with a curt
You're Grant? Penny's dad?
Grant turns, a quick glance over the camerman, then
dismissively turns back to his daughter before the reply:
That's right.
Andy turns to Harvey:
Grant's just moved over from the
(to Grant)
How's the new job?
To Harvey:
Grant's head of security at St.
Bart's now.
Harvey curls his lip, slumps into a seat and goes back to
slurping his coffee, clearly unimpressed. If he notices,
Grant doesn't seem to care.
He nods towards two wheely suitcases, sitting on the floor
by Penny:
Are they yours?
He strides over to the bags, grabs them both and turns to

Penny slides off her seat, grabs a leather pouch from the


desk. She unzips it, pulls an inhaler out; takes a long,
indulgent hit before following her father.
Penny turns to Andy as she passes, wrinkles her nose in a
frown and tilts her head towards the door - indicating for
him to follow.
Andy playfully pokes his tongue at her before joining the
GRANT cuts through the crowds, a bag in either hand. PENNY
and ANDY trail behind.

The television crews seem to be dispersing now. The
interviews are over.
As the dysfunctional family cross the square they pass CHIEF

The Chief is embracing his wife, MEGAN. His two sons,
JOSHUA and JACOB cling to his legs.

He has removed his heavy uniform jacket and hat; he is now
in dark trousers and a plain white shirt. He is

Nearby the BODYGUARD is loading cases into the boot of a 4 x
4 Cherokee Jeep.

The BODYGUARD wears casual clothing, but is the only person
in the crowd to be wearing a coat - a khaki sports jacket.

Grant watches the BODYGUARD haul a suitcase into the back of
the jeep. As he does his coat rides up, revealing the butt
of a holstered pistol.
Grant ignores it, continues towards a vintage, racing green,
E type Jaguar, parked at the side of the road.

The roof is down; Grant casually flings Penny's bags onto
the back seat and opens the passenger door.
Good to see you got a family car,
I had it shipped over. I re-built
this myself.


Penny climbs into the passenger seat.
It's stick shift. You're so
Last I checked, so were you.
Yeah, but I'm British like David
Beckham. You're British like ...
Margaret Thatcher.
Penny turns in her seat, pulls an iPad from her suitcase.
I want to watch a movie. You'll
have to put the soft top up.
Penny opens a movie on the screen of the tablet and claps a
large pair of headphones over her ears - conversation over.

Grant starts to unfurl the soft top roof; turns to Andy:
Thanks then.
Listen, Grant, go easy on Penny
this weekend.
Grant brushes past Andy, starts to walk around the car to
the drivers side.

Andy hustles up close.
She tends to bottle up her
feelings; it can be pretty hurtful
when they come out. But deep
down, she's just a confused kid,
trying to deal with the pain.
Grant pauses, stares hard at Andy, as though appraising him;
finding him wanting.

Behind Andy the Chief's jeep cruises past; the Bodyguard
drives, Chief in the passenger seat, Megan and the kids in
the back.
I'll manage.


Grant climbs in to the car, slams the door and starts the
engine, leaving Andy standing in the road.
Penny waves frantically as they start to pull away, shouting
through the window.
Bye, Andy.
Andy raises his hand to wave. The car accelerates
aggressively into the moving traffic.
Traffic is moving smoothly along the highway.

PENNY has her feet up on the dash, immersed in the movie.
There's a constant, but indiscernible DIN from the

GRANT is relaxed in the drivers seat. He studies his
daughter with detachment - a curious schoolboy, watching an
insect, waiting for it to leap.
But he jumps first ...
Brake lights erupt; the car in front stops suddenly.

Grant slams his foot on the brakes, drops gear, releases the
clutch. Gears GRIND, slowing the car as brake pads burn.

Penny jolts forwards, laptop skidding off her knees; then
crashes back into her seat as the Jaguar comes to a

She looks accusingly at her father, re-aligns her computer,
and continues to watch the film.
Grant's restless eyes assess the situation. All around them
cars are pulling up. A jam is forming - gridlock.
In the distance helicopters swarm - fire, police and news.


The interstate cuts through vast spaces of empty arable

From this height it seems peaceful. Even the roaring
inferno by the side of the road might appear
inconsequential, as a ...

... large agricultural barn blazes out of control.

Rolling waves of thick black smoke billow across the
interstate. Both sides - containing four lanes each - are
completely empty.

Several helicopters circle overhead.

A swarm of bright yellow jackets and flashing blue lights
secure the motorway - fire service and police, cordoning off
the area, holding back the traffic.

To the south, the northbound traffic snakes back along the
highway, around bends, over hillocks. All types of

But one car stands out - a vintage green E Type Jaguar. Roof
up, windows down.
                                         CUT TO:
PENNY stares at her computer screen, still watching the
GRANT fidgets in his seat. He leans out of the window,
sucks in the hot, humid air.
Looks like we'll be here a while.
Penny ignores him, apparently content to be sitting in a
How's school?
Penny sighs, pauses the movie, theatrically pulls down the


School? How is it?
You have your mother's brains. You
know she was at uni when I met
Penny doesn't seem to care; she stares blankly out of the
window. Eventually ...
I'm hungry.
There's some sandwiches in my bag.
Penny swivels in her seat, leans into the back of the car,
begins routing around inside her dad's bag.
What's this?
Penny produces a plastic case, the size of a notebook. She
presses the clip on the front, opening it up ...
Just stuff from work. I'm running
a protective marking scheme.
Inside is a spongy blue pad and a small pencil torch.
You bring this crap home?
I thought we could mark some of
your stuff.
Penny rolls her eyes, GROANS softly to herself. She is
fiddling with the torch, turns it on -
It's blue?
It's ultra-violet.
Penny shrugs, packs it all away, swaps it for a packet of


She faces forward, peels the sandwiches open and begins to
eat, looking out the window.
Grant watches her.
Are you looking forward to going
horse riding?
Penny continues chomping on her food.
You used to go all the time with
your mum. You used to enjoy it.
When I was a kid.
I thought I could give it a go.
You can teach me some of the
basics this weekend.
What's the point?
It'll be nice for us to do
something together.
Will it?
Get to know each other.
It's a bit late now.
It's never too late to get to know
your daughter.
You've had my whole life to get to
know me. Why start now?


There's a long silence. Penny shovels the remainder of her
sandwich into her mouth, grabs the headphones, is about to
place them on her head when ...
What do you want me to say, Penny?
Penny tosses the headphones onto the dash.
I want you to tell the truth. Just
admit it: If mom was still alive
you wouldn't even be here. You'd
still be running around some half
forgotten desert country killing
natives. You're only here because
you think it's the right thing to
do. You don't care about me. You
never have.
That's not true.
Isn't it? When was the last time
you visited, or came to my
birthday, or met any of my
I wasn't the one who moved half
way around the world.
So it's mom's fault you're an
That's not what I said.
That's what you're thinking. I
don't blame her for moving away.
All you ever cared about was the
Army. You never put us first.
I loved your mum. I was just
never very good at being a
Or a father.


The silence is oppressive. Grant rubs his forehead, eyes
closed. Eventually:
This isn't easy for me either, you
Don't bother then. Andy's more of
a dad to me than you could ever
be. You're just the sperm donor!
Grant looks hurt, angry. They both sit, staring forwards,
unable to face the other.

Penny wipes her nose, with the back of her hand. There are
tears welling in her eyes. She puts her trembling hands
back on her lap; risks a glance at her father.

Grant sits motionless, staring at the helicopters in the
distance, fingernails buried in his thighs.

Penny SNIFFS loudly.
Do you even love me?
Now he looks at her.
Do you really need to ask?
Penny quickly looks away, leaning into the passenger window.
Silently wipes her eyes.

Grant goes back to watching the choppers.
In a sudden flurry of movement, Penny grabs her pouch, pulls
out the inhaler, draws a deep breath, flings it back onto
the dash.
I need the toilet.
She storms out of the car, SLAMMING the door behind her.
Grant doesn't move. He watches as she stalks across the
road, squeezing through the packed queue of cars.

She clambers over the barrier and climbs up the steep grass
embankment at the edge of the highway. She crests the
embankment, disappears over the far side.


Grant SIGHS heavily. Turns in his seat, grabs a book from
the back - military history, the desert war in World War II
- and begins to read.
Quiet vehicles stacked back without break. Engines off,
windows down, doors agape.

Pockets of people have gathered in the road, between their
cars, telling jokes, sipping water, slowly overheating.
GRANT slips a book mark between the pages of his book,
closes it, checks his watch.

He looks out across the highway. It seems calm, peaceful.

Grant pulls his phone from his pocket, scrolls through a
short list of contacts, finds: PENNY. Calls the number.

It RINGS ... and RINGS ... eventually goes to voicemail:
                       PENNY (VO)
Hi, it's Penny. I'm obviously
doing something more interesting,
so leave the usual and I'll get
back to you. Bye.
Grant flips the phone closed, holds it in his hand, staring
vacantly out of the window, biting his lower lip.

Then he notices Penny's inhaler, sitting on the dashboard.

He throws his book on the seat, pockets his phone, scoops up
the inahler. Leaves the car.
GRANT walks briskly through the crowded lines of traffic.
The cars are tightly packed. Posses of people gather
between the lanes.

Grant is purposeful, leaning on bonnets and rooves as he
pushes through the claustrophobic highway.


GRANT reaches the edge of the road, leaps athletically over
the barrier.

He jogs to the top of the steep embankment and pauses,
looking back the way he has come.

The south bound side of the highway is completely empty. The
nearest lanes - where his own car is parked - are a sea of
stationary vehicles.

Grant turns, facing away from the interstate. Acres of
empty arable fields stretch to the horizon. There are no
vehicles, no buildings.

Nothing moves.

Grant jogs down the far side of the embankment, the highway
now hidden from view.

He scours the ground. Everything appears normal until he
sees ...

A flattened area of grass, dampness on the stalks, a rolled
up piece of tissue.

Grant begins to run through the long grass; to the left ...
Penny! Penny!
... to the right ...
Penny! Penny!
... scanning the field as he runs.

Finally he is back where he started. Grant grabs his phone,
calls Penny again.

It goes straight to voicemail:
                       PENNY (VO)
Hi, it's Penny. I'm obviously
doing something more interesting,
so leave the usual and I'll get
back to you. Bye.


Penny, it's your dad. I don't know
what's going on but you need to
get back to the car. I've got your
medication. Just give me a call
when you get this.
He looks back up the steep embankment. Everything is still,
Almost as old as the town, the cobbled courtyard is a
triangular area enclosed by the three external walls of the

There is a rusty spiral staircase outside one of the wings.
The staircase leads downwards, from the courtyard, to what
must be a basement.
A double door - thick wood, no windows - in the centre of
the main wing opens into the courtyard.

Three men exit.

MARIO BERNSTEIN, resplendent in a plain grey prisoners
tracksuit, is escorted across the yard by two thick set,
uniformed PRISON GUARDS.
Flanked by the Guards, Mario is guided down the spiral
staircase. One of the Guards produces a key, opens the
heavy metal door at the foot of the stairs.

The three men step inside.
The TWO GUARDS lead BERNSTEIN into a small windowless
reception area. Everything is hard, functional - hard
floors, hard walls, hard benches by the door.

A solid concrete desk stands like a tombstone at the
entrance to a long, dark corridor.
A shaven headed beefcake in a crisp white shirt and dark
pressed trousers stands behind the desk, looking busy. This
is the GAOLER.
                       GUARD 1
This one's staying here for the


Mario Bernstein?
                       GUARD 1
That's right.
Okay, I'll take it from here.
Gaoler doesn't move; he stands behind his desk, studying
something. Doesn't even raise his eyes.
The two Guards share a look. Stay where they are.

Eventually, Gaoler looks up, challenges them with a glare.

One of the Guards relents, releases his grip on Bernstein's
arm, turns towards the exit. The second follows suit.

The two Guards exit the cell block the way they entered,
leaving Bernstein to face the Gaoler.
Follow me please, Mr Bernstein.
The Gaoler turns his back on the prisoner, sets off down the
corridor at a leisurely pace.

Mario watches for a while, then sets off after him.

The Gaoler stops outside a cell at the far end of the
corridor, the door is open.

Gaoler extends his arm, indicating for Mario to enter.

Before he does Mario stops, turns, faces the Gaoler.
I couldn't bother you with a
polite request, could I?
I need to speak to a police
detective - Gabi Kernaghan. It's
urgent. Could you let her know?
I'll see what I can do.


No, son. You'll do it. Or you'll
fail. But if I were you, I'd make
sure I didn't fail.
Gaoler looks a little flustered.
Okay. I'll do it.
Well done.
Mario turns away with a warming smile, steps into his cell.
Is there anything else I can do
for you, Mr. Bernstein.
Mario pauses, turns back to the Gaoler, glancing skywards in
thought, smacking his lips.
Now you come to mention it, I am a
little peckish.
A silver people carrier is parked on the inside lane of the
interstate, next to the hard shoulder. A group of people
are gathered beside it, passing a large bottle of water
amongst themselves.

The people carrier seems to be stuffed with camping
equipment - tents, collapsible chairs, inflatable matresses.
The estate car behind it is similarly packed.

The group appears to be made up of two families:

Four young children, between the ages of 8 and 12, play
chase through the traffic.

Four adults - two men, two women - stand talking. They all
wear casual clothes; shorts, brightly coloured cotton tops,
The group seems relaxed; hot but undettered.

As they are chatting one of the women notices a man jogging
down the embankment towards them - GRANT.
He is sweaty, serious, but his breathing is calm.


Excuse me ...
The group turn collectively.
I don't suppose you saw a young
girl come past. Sometime in the
last ten minutes.
They share a look amongst themselves, begin to shake their
Pretty, blonde, fifteen years old.
She might have been upset.
                       MALE CAMPER
No, we haven't seen her.
It's important. She needs her
                       MALE CAMPER
Sorry, man. Can't help you.
Grant thanks them with a dismissive wave of the hand, and
starts to jog along the hard shoulder.

He notices a lorry parked a few vehicles down, the driver
raised above the line of traffic.

Grant leaps onto the step, TAPS the window.

The window lowers, Grant leans in, takes in the fat, greasy
LORRY DRIVER, scruffy thick beard, stained yellow vest, red
baseball cap.

The driver turns the radio off, leans across.
                       LORRY DRIVER
What's up, Buddy?
My daughter's gone missing. We
had a row, she stormed off. I
think she might have got lost. You
haven't seen her have you?
The driver frowns, shakes his head.


                       LORRY DRIVER
No. Sorry.
Grant looks deflated - almost sceptical.
Okay. Thanks.
Grant moves on, cutting through the lines of traffic,
approaching the people he passes, quizzing them. They reply
with a shrug of the shoulders, a shake of the head.
Eventually he spots a familiar looking vehicle - a black
Cherokee Jeep.

Grant jogs over, the drivers window is down. BODYGUARD sits
in the drivers seat, staring forwards.
Bodyguard turns to face him with a wary glare.
My daughter's gone missing. We
fell out, she went to the toilet
and never came back.
Sorry to hear that, sir. I'm sure
she'll be back before long.
Grant looks past the Bodyguard. CHIEF LAWRENSON sits in the
passenger seat, he leans across attentively.
She left her medication behind.
She might be in trouble.
Does she have a phone?
Yes, but it's off.
Grant notices the Chief's wife, MEGAN, sitting in the back
of the jeep, between their two sons, reading a book to them.
She might not be thinking
straight. She lost her mother


There's not a lot we can do I'm
There's a police cordon up ahead.
If she got lost, she'll turn up
there sooner or later.
Okay. Thanks.
Grant trundles off, heading towards the front of the queue.
A thin line of tape stretches across the four lanes of the
interstate, wrapped around the metal crash barrier at either

Beyond the tape is a row of police vehicles, blocking the
road, doors open, lights flashing.

Beyond them, two fire trucks.

Helicopters hover overhead.

Amidst the heat haze from the unseen inferno, a cluster of
uniformed professionals are gathered beside a fire truck.


A comfortable roll of flab and a neatly groomed moustache
give him the appearance of a pocket dictator - which is
exactly what he is. But his audience seem attentive.

GRANT approaches the barrier, waving his arms, shouting to
the group.
Hello ... excuse me.
Frank turns his head, clearly notes the demanding new
arrival - and casually continues to issue his instructions.

Eventually he dismisses his colleagues with a sharp DOUBLE
CLAP of the hands and the group disperse.

Frank shifts his attention to Grant, who continues to wave,
beckoning the police officer.

Frank saunters slowly over to the tape.


And what can I do for you, sir.
My daughter's gone missing.
Missing? Where?
Somewhere in the traffic jam.
Frank casts a cynical eye across the endless rows of
motionless vehicles; finally rests back on Grant.
Well, she can't have gone far.
Grant straightens up, scowls.
She hasn't turned up here then?
Well can you help me find her?
Frank looks over each shoulder, exaggerating the movement.
We're all a little bit busy at the
She's asthmatic. She hasn't got
her medication.
Frank frowns, seems to think a moment before his reply.
How old is your daughter, sir?
Frank nods, as though he expected as much.
And what's your relationship like
with your daughter?


Grant shrugs, furrows his brow - impatient and perplexed.
I don't know. I was away a lot
when she was young.
What about today, before she went
missing, did anything happen?
Grant SIGHS, shifts his gaze - a defiant school boy being
reprimanded by the head master.
We argued. It was nothing. She's
a teenager.
Exactly. And teenage girls like
to make their father's suffer.
Frank suddenly seems to soften, almost conciliatory.
She'll be back soon enough.
We're doing our best to get the
road open. She'll come back when
the cars start to move.
Grant rolls his eyes.
Best thing you can do is go back
to your car and wait.
With that, Frank turns, marches boldly away, leaving Grant
to fume.
Grant paces the line, watching the fat cop waddle away,
before pulling his phone from his pocket.

He flicks it open, scrolls through the list of names, pauses
- he seems reluctant - then makes the call.
The trailer's on the move. HARVEY and ANDY sit up front.
Harvey drives - casual, relaxed. Andy sits beside him,
laptop open, watching the screen.



An aerial image of the barn blazing, waves of smoke curling
across the interstate.


Andy's phone is on the dash in front of him. It begins to
RING. He grabs it, checks the caller ID. Seems surprised
to see ...


      (into phone)
Grant, what's up? You guys stuck
in that tailback?
INTERCUT with Grant on The Highway.
      (into phone)
Have you heard anything from
      (into phone)
No. Why? Isn't she with you?
      (into phone)
She was, but then she got out to
go to the toilet and hasn't come
      (into phone)
She's missing? Have you told the
      (into phone)
Just now, but all they care about
is getting the traffic moving
      (into phone)
How will that help?
      (into phone)
It won't.


      (into phone)
Let me make some calls. I have
some friends in the force. See if
I can pull some favours.
      (into phone)
What about that new Chief, do you
know him?
      (into phone)
Mike Lawrenson? Yeah, why?
      (into phone)
He's in the queue as well.
      (into phone)
I'll see if I can speak to him.
What are you going to do?
      (into phone)
The traffic nazi told me to go
back to the car.
      (into phone)
Okay. Let me know if you hear
GRANT finishes the call to ANDY, pockets the phone as he
walks slowly through the packed lines of traffic, studying
the faces of the people he passes, peering into cars,
scanning across the rooves.

In the distance he can see his own green Jaguar - distinct
amongst the mundane silvers, blacks and greys. It appears
As he walks, his phone BEEPS.

He pauses, pulls it from his pocket, opens it up.


1 New Message


Grant opens it:
Lost something?
Grant types a reply:
Who are you?
There's a pause, then a BEEP as his phone receives the
Think of me as The Babysitter.
Grant spins on the spot - row upon endless row of
featureless cars.
A dirty yellow light casts shifting shadows across the dirty
yellow walls.

A lonely, unmanned desk rises up from the cold concrete
floor, obstructing the entrance to the long corridor,
stretching into darkness.

In her mid forties, KERNAGHAN'S straw coloured hair is
beginning to grey. Her features are sharp, her face lined
by the burdens of a twenty year police career. Her smart
business suit is professional, not flattering.

Her arms are folded. She scowls.
In his early thirties SINCLAIR stands deferentially behind
the older woman.

Shaven and fresh faced, with neatly parted hair, Sinclair
wears the smug, carefree half smile of a man with a wealthy
father. A man who does not need to crawl through the filthy
gutters of the criminal underworld, but chooses to do so out
of pure curiosity.
The GAOLER ambles slowly along the corridor towards them. A
large set of keys RATTLE on the end of a long, thick chain.


You here to see Bernstein?
That's right.
Follow me.
The Gaoler spins around and begins to walk back down the
corridor at the same pedestrian pace. Kernaghan and
Sinclair hustle closely behind.
Cell doors line either side of the corridor.

Eventually, Gaoler stops by one on his right, he lowers the
metal wicket, peers inside.
Those detectives are here to see
you, Mr Bernstein.
Okay. Send them in.
The Gaoler unlocks the door, pushes it inwards, steps aside.
He allows the detectives to enter before shuffling away -
leaving the door unlocked.
The detectives find MARIO BERNSTEIN perched on the edge of
his bed, a table pulled up to his belly.

On the table is a large dining plate, containing what
appears to be a veal steak, new potatoes and vegetables.

Mario uses a metal knife and fork to cut into the steak,
stabs it, raises it slowly - studies it - before plunging it
into his mouth. He chews leisurely, savouring the taste.
He gestures to the two detectives with his fork, speaks
through a mouth full of food.
Come in. Take a seat.
He indicates two plastic seats, folded against the wall of
his cell.

Sinclair steps towards them; Kernaghan doesn't move.

Sinclair stops. Ends up standing by the chairs.


Why are we here, Mario?
Mario continues to chomp his food, seems to consider his
Because I asked for you. I heard
you were Lawrenson's people.
I want my sentence reduced.
You're wasting our time.
Kernaghan turns, affecting to leave.
I have information.
It doesn't matter.
She's halfway towards the door.
How do you know?
Kernaghan stops, sighs, faces the prisoner.
Because, Mario, the Chief wants to
make an example of you. He'd hang
you if he could.
Mario grins, meat juice stains his lips. He places his
cutlery on the plate, folds his arms.
What if I could save his life.
Kernaghan stands, stares straight at Bernstein, studying
Go on.


My conviction set certain plans in
motion. Plans beyond my control.
The bosses can't afford to have
some heroic cop declaring a
crusade upon their empire. So
they plan to have him killed.
Just another threat. The Chief
gets them all the time. Hardly
enough to get you a reduction.
What if I tell you where the
hitman is?
Kernaghan shrugs her shoulders, frowns, appears to be
considering the deal.
We'd have to check it out.
And if it checks out?
If you're telling the truth and we
find the assassin, you'll be
entitled to a reduction.
Give me your pen, I know where
he's staying.
Kernaghan pulls a pen and notepad from inside her jacket,
passes them to Mario.
How do you know his address?
It's a motel room. One of my boys
sourced it for him.
Why didn't you tell us this
Mario SNORTS derisively as he scribbles.


I paid good money to make sure I
was acquitted. Guess the criminal
justice system isn't what it used
to be.
Mario hands the pen and paper back. Kernaghan quickly skims
over the address then tucks them back into her jacket.
We'll check it out.
The detectives leave, the door closes behind them. Mario
Bernstein saws off another chunk of steak, examines it,
devours it.
GRANT weaves through the lines of stationary vehicles,
scanning over rooftops, peering through windows, locking
eyes with everyone he passes:

- a man in his thirties, sitting in the drivers seat of his
car, legs hanging out of the open door, tipping a bottle of
milk into a tiny baby's mouth;

- a woman in her early twenties, using her wing mirror to
diligently apply make up;

- a hatch back bursting with testosterone, four teenage boys
with scraggly long hair and ill fitting clothes, loud MUSIC
rocks the car.

As he walks Grant fiddles with his phone, saving The
Babysitter's number into his list of contacts.

Then he presses DIAL.
The phone RINGS ... RINGS ... RINGS ...

Is eventually answered: There's a long silence - before THE
When he does, his voice is smooth as honey - and just as
sickly sweet. With a deep southern accent, he speaks
slowly, deliberately.

In any other circumstance his voice would be calming,
comforting - like the rythmical rocking of grannies old
chair on the family's South Virginian porch.


                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Do you love your daughter?
Who is this?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
I told you, I'm the babysitter.
So tell me - do you love your
Is this some fucking wind up?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Why don't you just answer the
Everybody loves their kids.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
But not everybody can say it. Can
you say it? Can you say it out
loud - not just to yourself, not
just in your head. I don't mean
just think it. Can you actually
say it. Right now. Go on, say it.
I love my daughter.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Good, that's a start.
Now, be a good lad and send her
back to the car.
There's laughter down the phone.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
You're out of your depth. Don't
worry though, I'll send her back.
In time. But first, we need to
get to know each other.
Grant paces through the traffic, looking for the man on the
end of the phone.


There's another long silence; Grant pauses where he stands,
scanning the nearby vehicles. Finally, The Babysitter
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
How do you show it?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
How do you show your daughter that
you love her?
This is bollocks.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
I'm curious. How does a grown man
show a teenage girl that he loves
Fucking perv.
More mirthless laughter.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Lucky for you, I'm not that man.
But you need to learn respect.
I've got your little girl,
remember. When I ask you to answer
my questions, you should seriously
consider answering my questions.
Grant's knuckles begin to whiten, as he tightens his grip on
the phone.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
So how do you show it? Do you buy
her nice things? Take her nice
places? What exactly?
That. That is exactly what I do.
I buy her expensive shit and take
her fancy restaurants.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
You need to start taking this
seriously, Superdad. Are you a


I do my best. Now, tell Penny to
stop pissing about and to get her
arse back to the car.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Oh, rest assured Superdad, Penny
is not pissing about. Pissing her
pants, maybe.
Grant snarls.
I'm bored of this shit. Send Penny
back to the car, before I rip your
fucking throat out.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Is that before or after I kill
your daughter?
This is a fucking joke.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Let me send you a little
convincer. But before I do, I
want to make something abundantly
clear: nothing stupid; no cops.
The Babysitter ends the call.

Grant studies the people around him. They all seem self

Then his phone BEEPS.

He's received a picture message.
The picture is close up, a tight shot of the inside of an
open boot. The boot is dark, but there is a figure inside.

Curled in a feotal position, lying on her side, hands bound
at the wrist behind her back, feet bound tightly at the
ankles. Thick electrical tape covers her mouth.

But the face is clear: PENNY, staring at the camera, eyes
wide, pleading. FEARFUL.


A sea of cars, vans, coaches and trucks stretch into the

Tiny people cluster together, hemmed by rows of shiny metal

Amidst the stillness, the eye is drawn to the frantic motion
of a lonely man. GRANT, bobbing between cars, pushing
through crowds. Desperate and directionless.
Small groups are gathered around their stationary vehicles,
windows and, in some cases, doors are open to the heat of
the day.

The atmosphere is generally jovial - intermittent LAUGHTER
cuts across the rooftops. But the CRY of frustrated kids
hints at the simmering tension.

GRANT shoves through a family group; sweat drips from his
chin, eyes scan the nearby cars.

He has his phone in his hand, occassionally glances at the
screen: he is making a call, but nobody answers.

He virtually collapses on the roof of a car, bends down,
staring through the drivers window.
I'm looking for my daughter.
The driver frowns, shakes his head.

Grant doesn't wait for more of a response, he moves on,
bursts between a group of chattering people as he checks his
He is calling ...


The Babysitter.

The phone RINGS ... RINGS ... RINGS ... is rejected.

Grant immediately presses DIAL again.


Suddenly, he hears a phone begin to RING.

Grant spins, finds himself beside a black saloon.

The SALOON DRIVER is in his early forties, well groomed,
short swept back, jet black - clearly dyed - hair.

He has a business jacket hanging in the back; he wears a
plain white shirt, open collar, sleeves rolled up. He seems
to be alone.
All the windows are down. Saloon Driver stares forwards,
through the windscreen, apparently oblivious to the
smartphone RINGING incessantly in the seat beside him.
Grant ends the call. The ringing stops.
Grant grabs the handle of the drivers door, yanks it open,
dives into the car, wraps his fists in Saloon Drivers shirt,
drags him into the road, pins him against the car.
Where's my daughter?
Saloon Driver seems shocked, leaning back, arms pressed by
his sides, successfully looking submissive. He speaks with
a refined West Coast accent.
                       SALOON DRIVER
Sorry, man. I don't know what
you're talking about.
Your phone was just ringing. That
was me. Where the fuck's Penny.
Saloon Driver is clearly confused.
                       SALOON DRIVER
That was my ex-wife. No doubt
moaning because she can't go meet
some loser off the internet until
I pick up the kids.
                       SALOON DRIVER
Dude, you can check the phone.
Saloon Driver tries to wriggle out of Grant's grip, turning
back towards his car; but Grant strengthens his hold, rams
the driver back against his vehicle.


                       CHIEF (OS)
Is everything okay?
Grant turns. CHIEF LAWRENSON is standing behind him;
BODYGUARD hovers close by.

Saloon Driver seems to notice the Chief for the first time.
                       SALOON DRIVER
This fella just assaulted me.
Dragged me straight out of my car.
Seems to think I know something
about his daughter.
Chief turns to Grant, looks sympathetic.
She's still missing then?
Yeah, I ...
Grant hesitates, looks between the three men:
I thought maybe this guy knew
                       SALOON DRIVER
He said he'd called me, but I
swear, I've never seen this guy
Chief appears puzzled; looks expectantly at Grant.
I called Penny's phone. His phone
started to ring. When I hung up,
it stopped.
Chief seems relaxed. Shrugs nonchalantly, turns to the
Saloon Driver.
Do you mind if we check your
                       SALOON DRIVER
No. It's in there.
Chief pushes past the pair, leans into the car, produces the


Is this your daughter's phone?
Grant shakes his head, but the Saloon Driver remains firmly
pinned against his car. Chief starts to navigate through
the phone, pulls up a list of contacts, holds it under
Grants nose.
Are these your daughter's
Grant studies the list, shrugs. Evaluates the Saloon
Driver, looking frightened. Loosens his grip.
Chief hands the phone back to the Saloon Driver.
Listen, I know this man. His
daughter is missing. She needs
medication. He's under a lot of
                       SALOON DRIVER
Sure, we're all stressed, but ...
Grant's already shuffling away, leaving Chief Lawrenson to
placate the innocent man. He wanders aimlessly through the
traffic, apparently lost in his own grim reverie, before he
eventually hears his phone RINGING in his pocket.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
I take it you're not laughing now,
Let Penny go.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
All in good time. But you've got
to get a grip. You're starting to
draw attention to yourself.
Grant spins on the spot.
Where are you?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
I warned you not to do anything
stupid, and you're beginning to
look pretty stupid.


Penny's asthmatic. Just tell me
what you want and let her go.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
That's the spirit. Now we're
starting to understand each other.
She needs her medication. We can
make a deal.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Go back to your car. Calm down.
I'll call again.
The Babysitter ends the call.

Grant stares blankly at his phone.

Finally he sets off, wandering wearily through the line of
cars, ignoring the strange, questioning looks he is drawing
from the pockets of people blocking his way.

It is a long, slow walk back to his car.
The wide pedestrianised square in front of the courthouse is
quiet now. The occasional lonely business person cuts
across quickly; everyone is in a rush.


Kernaghan sets a brisk pace, Sinclair shuffling hurriedly to
keep up.
Okay. We have to assume Mario's
telling the truth.
(turning to Sinclair)
Where's the Chief? Do you know?
He was going away this weekend,
with his family.
Kernaghan grimaces.
Okay. Get on to HQ. Tell them to
locate the Chief and to find the
nearest safehouse. We'll keep him


                       KERNAGHAN (cont'd)
secure until we figure this out.
They've reached their car now, a silver Volkswagon.
What about the address Mario gave?
I'll get a SWAT team down there.
They each produce a phone; make a call.
      (into phone)
Hi, Charlie. We're gonna need
your help on this one.
A large open plan office divided into pods of desks; each
desk is cluttered with hard drives and monitors.

Most of those in the office are young, smart, suited.
CHARLIE is different, scruffier than her colleagues; clearly
uncomfortable in her trouser suit. Her hair is shaven short
at the back and sides, but her fringe hangs into her eyes.
There's a cluster of gothic rings on her fingers.
She talks into a headset.
      (into headset)
Hey, Greg. What can I do for you?
INTERCUT with Ext. Courthouse.
      (into phone)
There's been a threat to the
Chief's life. We're gonna need to
locate him and get him to a
safehouse until we can bottom it
      (into headset)
No problem.
Charlie's fingers fly across her keyboard.


A detailed map of the city appears on the screen. A beacon
begins to flash somewhere on the interstate. The screen
zooms into the beacon to reveal a blue miniature police man
sitting stationary on the northbound side of the interstate.
Charlie types a few more quick commands, punches enter.
The screen zooms out again; a new beacon begins to flash. A
green house. The screen shifts its centre, zooms, shifts,
zooms again, until both beacons are on the screen -
policeman bottom left, house top right.

A blue line appears on the screen linking the two points. A
box appears to the left containing text:

A to B: 20 minutes.
      (into headset)
It looks like the Chief is stuck
in the tailback on the interstate
- it's been all over the news.
INTERCUT Ext. Courthouse.
      (into phone)
Yeah, I heard something about it
on the way over.
      (into headset)
The nearest safehouse is only
twenty minutes away, but it's the
far side of the fire.
      (into phone)
Okay. Cheers, Charlie. Hold the
line a minute.
SINCLAIR cups a hand over the phone, turns back to his boss.
KERNAGHAN ends her own call and faces him.


SWAT should be there before us. I
told them to go straight in. Make
the arrest.
The Chief's stuck on the
interstate. The safehouse isn't
far, but he's not going anywhere.
Kernaghan frowns.
Stuck in a traffic jam, with his
family, surrounded by strangers.
She shakes her head, clearly not happy.
Tell Charlie to get on to the
traffic boys. Get that road open.
Kernaghan SIGHS, looks reluctant, before she adds:
I'll call the Chief.
Sinclair nods. Puts the phone back to his ear, relays the
Kernaghan climbs into the car - the drivers seat.

Sinclair ends the call, darts around the far side, jumps in.

The car pulls away.
CHIEF LAWRENSON walks through the lines of traffic,
BODYGUARD following behind.

In the b.g is the black saloon car. SALOON DRIVER is now
sitting back in the car, toying with his phone.

Suddenly the Chief's own phone begins to RING. He whips it
out, glances briefly at the screen before answering.
      (into phone)
Gabi. Is there a problem?


KERNAGHAN negotiates the road one handed, her other hand
presses her mobile phone to the side of her face.

SINCLAIR sits in the passenger seat, staring out the window.
      (into phone)
Maybe. We've just de-briefed
Bernstein. He's made us aware of
a threat to your life.
INTERCUT Ext. Highway.
      (into phone)
Another one. How many's that this
      (into phone)
GPS shows you stuck on the
interstate. Is that right?
Chief is approaching his 4 x 4 now. MEGAN and their
children can be seen in the back seat, apparently watching a
movie on a tablet.
      (into phone)
That's right.
      (into phone)
There's a safehouse not far away,
but it's the other side of the
      (into phone)
It doesn't look like we'll be
going anywhere for a while.
      (into phone)
Charlie's trying to get the road
open. But it might be worth
moving yourself inside the cordon.
Chief frowns, studying his family. A normal, peaceful scene
of contentment.


      (into phone)
Do you think that's really
necessary? It's bad enough having
to bring a bodyguard on vacation.
      (into phone)
Right now you're exposed. Stuck
in the middle of nowhere,
surrounded by civilians.
      (into phone)
It's a public highway.
      (into phone)
That'd normally be enough to
justify a full protection team.
      (into phone)
Gabi, that's for a planned event.
This was hardly forseeable. It
certainly wasn't in my diary. If
I didn't know I was going to be
stuck here, I don't see that the
mob could know either.
Kernaghan is silent, steering her way through traffic.
      (into phone)
Once the road is open, we'll go
straight to the safehouse. In the
meantime, we'll stay with the car.
They'd have to be mad to try
anything here.
Chief takes in the mass of immovable traffic around him.
      (into phone)
They certainly wouldn't get very
Kernaghan frowns.


      (into phone)
Okay. We've got an address for
the assassin; we're on our way
there now. I'll keep you posted.
      (into phone)
Thanks Gabi.
GRANT is leaning across the seats, reaching into the back,
rummaging through his bag. Beads of sweat drip from the
peak of his nose, but he doesn't seem to care.

Suddenly he pulls something out of the bag, a plastic case -
the UV pad from earlier. He pauses, momentarily lost in
thought, then drops it back into the bag, spins round in his

Grant stares out of the windscreen, scanning the sky,
watches the swarm of helicopters circling the fire in the

Then he grabs his phone from the passenger seat - where it
rests beside Penny's inhaler case - scrolls through his
contacts, presses dial.
The trailer is on the road, driving smoothly along. HARVEY
still looks relaxed behind the wheel.

ANDY has his phone in his hand when it rings. He answers
      (into phone)
INTERCUT Grant's car.
      (into phone)
Andy, it's Grant ...


      (into phone)
Grant, I've spoken to some of my
contacts. I'm not getting many
      (into phone)
What do you mean?
      (into phone)
It seems as though there's
something going on at Police HQ.
They're really pushing to get the
road open. Putting pressure on
the fire department.
      (into phone)
We can't let them open the road.
      (into phone)
I know. But the cops don't think
it's their problem. They think
she'll make her own way back.
      (into phone)
I don't think that'll happen. I
think she's in trouble. I think
she's in someone's car.
      (into phone)
What do you mean?
      (into phone)
Some guy sent me a picture of
Penny. She was tied up in his
      (into phone)
What? Are you serious? You think
she's been kidnapped?
      (into phone)
It looks that way.


      (into phone)
Have you told the cops?
      (into phone)
No. He told me not to.
      (into phone)
Grant, we've got to tell the cops.
They'll hold the traffic, search
the cars.
      (into phone)
It's too risky. He could kill her
before they find her.
Andy looks flustered now; leaning into the window, phone
pressed tight against his ear, hand tugging at his usually
immaculate hair.
      (into phone)
I don't see what else we can do.
Grant is still focused on the helicopters hovering overhead.
      (into phone)
I've been thinking. Is one of
those choppers I can see yours?
Andy seems distant as he replies, watching the rolling
fields tumble by.
      (into phone)
Probably. Why?
      (into phone)
Are they equipped with UV cameras?
      (into phone)
What? UV cameras? How the hell
should I know?
(turning to Harvey)
Harve, does the bird have a UV
camera on board?


Harvey is sat upright now, grasping the steering wheel with
both hands. He has obviously followed Andy's side of the
conversation and looks concerned.
I don't know.
Andy flicks his phone to speaker, holds it towards Harvey as
he speaks.
In theory. All cameras capture
light across the entire spectrum.
What you see depends on the
      (into phone)
Did you get that, Grant?
      (into phone)
Yeah. We need to get a UV filter
onto that chopper.
      (into phone)
Grant, what's this about?
      (into phone)
I've got an idea. To find Penny.
      (towards the phone)
We're on our way to the fire now.
We can pick up a filter and RV
with the chopper.
      (into phone)
Good. But be quick. We have to
get it done before they release
the traffic.
There's a long silence. It's Andy who finally breaks it:
      (into phone)


GRANT ends the call. Leans over, grabs the inhaler from the
seat, turns to his bag in the back when ...

His phone RINGS.

He answers quickly:
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Are we calm now, Superdad? Your
pretty little girl doesn't need
you losing the plot like that.
Grant tenses, gripping the phone. There's a long pause
before The Babysitter speaks again.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Nice car by the way.
He's alert now, scanning the traffic around him.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
A proper boys toy. A bachelor's
car. Not the kind of car a good
husband's forced to buy.
So what did you do to Penny's mom?
She's dead.
A moments silence.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Sorry for your loss.
But Grant doesn't seem to feel it. Restless eyes study the
occupants of cars around him.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
So you're it. You're all Penny's
got. Do you think you're good
Cut the shit. How much do you


                       BABYSITTER (VO)
That's okay, Superdad. You
couldn't afford me.
Grant's out of the car now, pacing the lines.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
So how do you do it - a man like
you? How do you raise a girl like
A man like me? You don't know me.
You don't know anything about me.
If you did, you'd know that the
best thing you could do right now
is let my daughter go. You'd know
that if you harm her - in any way
whatsoever - my only remaining
pleasure in life will be to hunt
you down and inflict the most
horrific fucking pain you could
ever fucking imagine.
A long, thoughtful silence before reply:
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
I'll let your daughter go
Superdad, but not before I'm good
and ready.
Grant takes a deep breath, holds it, closes his eyes, slowly
releases a quiet SIGH. Composes himself.
What is it you want?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
I want the same as you. I want
Penny to grow old, get married,
have kids. All those things young
girls dream of.
Then let her go.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
I want to. But if I'm going to
help you get what you want, you
have to help me get what I want.
We need to work together.


Grant seems calm now. He's back at his car, leaning heavily
on the roof. Focused.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
From your car, look along the hard
shoulder. You'll see a bright
yellow emergency telephone kiosk.
Grant scans along the hard shoulder. In the distance, he
sees the kiosk as described.
Go on.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
You're going to take a walk - nice
and casual - to that telephone
kiosk. When you get there, you'll
see a brown leather briefcase on
the floor beside it. No messing,
pick up the bag and take it
straight back to your car.
Got that?
Wait. What about Penny's
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Not my problem.
Well what's the fucking point if
you're going to let her die?
There's a long pause.
We'll do a swap. I take the bag;
you take the meds.
Another long pause.
We need to work together - right.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Okay. We'll do the swap.


                       BABYSITTER (VO)
But if we're going to do this, you
need to consider something.
More games?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
No games. Just a question:
What would you do to save Penny's
life? How far would you go ...
And then he's gone. Call over.
The motel is a double storey, hollow centred square.

We enter from the busy highway, following the WHINE of a
small red moped as it BUZZES beneath an archway, passing the
reception on the right.

We find the centre of the square is a car park. Chalet
style rooms border all four sides.

The front doors of the ground floor rooms open straight onto
the car park; the second floor rooms open onto a balcony.

There are stairs to the upper floor at each corner of the
Two plain white vans are parked to the left. They are
clearly workmen's vans; one has ladders on the roof, hi-vis
vests and hard hats can be seen through the windscreen.
There is no sign of the workmen.
The moped slows as the rider scans the room numbers, wobbles
to a standstill by the bottom of a staircase.
The rider climbs off the moped - leaves his helmet on.
Removes a parcel from the box on the rear and sets off up
the staircase.
The green E Type Jaguar sits among the rows of stationary


The drivers door opens slowly.

GRANT plants his foot firmly on the asphalt, steps out of
the car, closes the door, locks it. Sets off through the
RIDER strides along the swept concrete balcony, checking the
numbers of the rooms he passes.

Eventually he approaches Number 42. KNOCKS loudly. No

He KNOCKS again.

Peers through a crack in the curtains.

There's a flicker from the TV screen on the dressing table;
other than that, the room appears unoccupied.

Rider turns, walks away.
GRANT appears solemn, dejected.

He holds Penny's inhaler case by the zip, as he squeezes
through the narrow gaps between cars.

He walks slowly through the loitering pockets of people
without a word, oblivious to their petty concerns, vacant
eyes stare into the distance.
The internal walls of the van are lined; painted black. Four
SWAT officers study a monitor.
A black and white image, jumpy, indistinct. A concrete
walkway narrowing towards a staircase.

The staircase seems dark, confined, then it opens up into
daylight. The courier's moped is parked in the large car
park at the foot of the stairs.

This is the RIDER'S POV as seen from a live stream bodyworn


RIDER returns the package to the box at the rear of his
moped. Climbs aboard and rides away.

The back doors of both workman's vans open simultaneously.
Eight fully clad SWAT officers de-bus, semi-automatic rifles

They move silently; practiced and efficient.

They line up at the foot of the staircase - where the moped
was parked moments ago.

The SWAT LEADER glances back along the line, checking
everyone is ready; a hand signal later and the officers
begin to peel away, dashing up the steps.

Quickly but quietly, they rush along the balcony, until they
reach Number 42.

The first pair flank the front door; two other pairs crouch
beneath the large window.

The final pair sprint straight for the door, one of them
carries a solid metal battering ram.

As they approach, both officers take a hold on the ram,
raise it chest height and slam it into the thin wooden door.

The door SMASHES inward.

The pair by the door BURST into the house, weapons raised,
shouting with aggression: "POLICE -- POLICE".

The remaining officers slip into the house to join the
GRANT stands amongst the traffic.

The emergency telephone kiosk is opposite, on the far side
of the hard shoulder.

Grant scours the people around him:

- a business woman sitting in her car, JABBERING busily into
her phone;

- a young man sitting in the road, PLAYING a guitar;


- a family in a hatch back, all the doors open, SINGING a
song about a dog called Bingo;

- a couple ARGUE.

They each seem wrapped up in their own tiny world -
physically close, but somehow distant.

He turns his attention to the telephone kiosk.

On the floor, leaning against the far side of the kiosk -
barely visible from the road - he sees the small brown
leather briefcase.

Grant takes one last look at the people around him ...

Then two swift strides across the hard shoulder.

He bends down, grabs the briefcase, plants the inhaler on
top of the kiosk, then spins, heading quickly back into the
The room is small.

The SWAT team - in kevlar armour and helmets, rifles raised
- are large.

Six of them quickly fill the room; the final pair remain by
the door.

Two burst across the cramped space, crash into the bathroom

Two others search beneath the bed; one lifts it by the
frame, the other peers underneath, weapon poised -

The third pair empty the wardrobe.
                       SWAT LEADER
All Clear!

Weapons are slung, helmets removed.

The search becomes more thorough, drawers are opened,
cupboards emptied.

The youngest member of the team, stubble for hair, big brown


eyes, sqaure jaw, broad shoulders - known to everyone but
his mother as RODRIGUEZ - is stood over the dressing table.
Boss, you better come look at
SWAT LEADER - who has been rifling through the bathroom
cabinet - re-enters the main room, strides boldly to
                       SWAT LEADER
What've we got?
Rodriquez steps aside, points at the montage of images on
the table top.

SWAT LEADER studies them briefly before straightening up.
                       SWAT LEADER
Okay, you four ...
He indicates the four team members searching the main room:
                       SWAT LEADER
Carry on with the search, see if
we can find out who this guy is
and where he's gone.
SWAT Leader nods at the two team members still standing by
the door:
                       SWAT LEADER
You two hold the perimeter ...
Then he turns to his buddy in the bathroom:
                       SWAT LEADER
We'll go see the manager. See
what he knows about the occupant.
SWAT Leader and his partner grab their gear and leave the
SWAT LEADER and his PARTNER exit The Babysitter's motel
room, passing the two members of their team standing guard
by the doorway. The thin wooden door hangs limply from the

SWAT Leader and his partner turn left, begin walking back


along the balcony, the way they came, back towards the
The four remaining SWAT officers methodically sift through
every drawer, they lay out items of clothing, checking the

RODRIGUEZ still stands by the dressing table. The TV is on.
The news channel. Images of the fire blazing across the
Anybody got a bag for these
One of the guys reaches into his pocket, produces a large
exhibit bag, hands it to Rodriguez.
He takes a careful hold of the board, gently raising it by
the frame. It snags on something, Rodriguez tugs - ever so
lightly - hears a CLICK.

He peers underneath ...
A thin fishing wire hangs from the underside of the board.
It drops through a roughly cut hole in the table top.

Rodriguez pulls on the wire, a pin ...


- emerges through the gap, dangling on the end of the line.

Rodriguez stares into the hole; the eternal blackness.
SWAT LEADER and his PARTNER are crossing the balcony, about
halfway between the Babysitter's room and the external

Two members of their team stand diligently beside the
smashed door when ...

The room EXPLODES!


The window shatters; shards of glass spewing out.

The two officers by the door are blown to the ground,
engulfed by a dense fog of debris erupting from the room.

SWAT Leader and his partner stumble under the impact of the
blast, regain their balance, share a look of concern, then
quickly sprint back along the balcony, into the ash cloud.
Penny's inhaler case rests on top of the emergency telephone

A hand - THE BABYSITTER'S hand (although his hand is all we
see) - reaches out and grabs it, snatching it from the

We follow the pouch as it is carried - at thigh height -
through the queue of cars, cutting between parked vehicles,
passing clusters of people, sitting and standing in the

The Babysitter's hand is wrapped firmly around the pouch,
gripping it tightly.
Eventually we arrive at the rear of a black car.

There is a logo on the boot - it is a BMW.

The Babysitter reaches out with his free hand and opens up
the boot.

It raises slightly with a HISS from its hydraulic hinge.

The Babysitter keeps a grip on the boot.

The pouch is tossed carelessly into the small opening, then
he reaches up, places both hands on top of the boot and
SLAMS it closed.

We stay at thigh height - following the hands - as The
Babysitter moves around the vehicle to the drivers door.

He grabs the handle with his left hand, plants the right
hand on the roof, pulls the door open and climbs inside -
his face obscured from view - before closing the door behind

A damp, barely discernible, palm print remains on the roof.


The driver's door CLUNKS open, the brown briefcase from the
telephone kiosk is flung onto the passengers seat, landing
on top of Penny's computer and the UV ink pad beside it.

GRANT climbs in, settles into his seat and sits staring at
the briefcase, secured by brass clasps and a combination
A dense fog of thick black smoke descends across the centre
of the highway.

Blue lights flash eerily silent in the smog.

Ghostly figures in hi-vis vests slip wraith like through the

FRANK CLOUGH is on the edge of the churning mist. He stands
by the open door of his police car, leaning in, listening to
the radio.
A FIREMAN emerges from the cloud of smoke, face blackened,
clothes smeared, striding purposefully towards Frank. He
seems to be holding something small.

As he approaches, Fireman holds out his hand.
We've put the fire out. But we
found this in the barn.
The Fireman holds a warped, melted plastic case - the
remains of a mobile phone. A web of wires protrude from the
What is it?
A mobile phone.
I can see that. Why are you
showing it to me?
See those wires out the back?


The Fireman points:
Someone rigged this to be a
You're saying the fire was started
Frank looks thoughtful. Worried.
Okay. I'll call it in.
Fireman passes the distorted plastic shell to Frank, turns
to leave.
When can we open the road?
Fireman shrugs.
Whenever you're happy. Fires out.
The smoke should blow away pretty
Okay. Thanks.
Carnage ...
The courtyard car park swarms with emergency services.

Police cars block the entrance; officers stretch tape across
the archway, staircases and balcony; residents - in
tracksuits and slippers - are herded from their rooms,
across the car park, onto the public footpath.
Two ambulances dominate the centre of the car park, rear
doors flung open, equipment and gurneys spewing onto the

The paramedics dart between casualties, carrying their bags
of emergency kit, applying bandages, checking blood
pressure, easing casualties onto wheelchairs.


Coated in a dirty layer of stone grey ash, the casualties
are almost unrecognisable. It is their equipment - body
armour and weapons - that identifies them as the SWAT team.

SWAT LEADER - also bandaged, covered in ash - walks between
them, placing hands on shoulders, whispering into ears.
Beside the row of ambulances is a long, low, solemn looking
obsidian black car - almost a van. This is the coroners

A gurney containing a shrouded corpse is being wheeled
towards it.

SWAT Leader shuffles over, stands aside, watching.
B.g: KERNAGHAN and SINCLAIR'S silver Volkswagen pulls into
the archway, a portable blue light stuck on its roof,
flashing silently.
A uniformed police officer pokes his head into the drivers
window, speaks briefly to the driver then turns back,
indicates for the tape to be lowered.

The car drives slowly to the ambulance crews, working on the
casualties, and parks.
Kernaghan and Sinclair climb out of the car. Both seem to
hesitate as they close their doors, take in the scene, turn
their attention to the balcony.
On the second floor, about halfway along the balcony, is a
charred, gaping wound, where once Room 42 had been. An
umbrella of burnt debris is scattered across the walkway.
From the devastation on the balcony Kernaghan shifts her PoV
to the coroners vehicle.
The body is hoisted from the gurney by two men in protective
suits. As they lift, the cover slips slightly, revealing
RODRIGUEZ' mauled features.

SWAT Leader strides quickly across, covers the face, then
stands aside as the corpse is loaded into the coroner's car,
the doors SLAMMED closed.

Kernghan strides over, Sinclair jogging along behind her.
I'm sorry.


SWAT Leader looks at her, apraises her, turns back to the
car, staring vacantly.
What happened?
SWAT Leader shakes his head, swallows hard, is quiet for a
long time, as though he may not answer, and then:
                       SWAT LEADER
We'd finished the search. Mitchell
and me were going to see the
manager when -
He sweeps his arm across the chaos.
Was there anything in the room?
SWAT Leader shakes his head, empty eyes. Frowns.
                       SWAT LEADER
Just some photos. Surveillance
shots of the Chief and his family.
At least, that's what they looked
Kernaghan looks back towards the burnt out cavern on the
Not any more.
Just then her phone begins to RING. She pulls it from her
pocket, checks the screen:
Turning to Sinclair:
Go see if you can find anything
out about the resident.
Sinclair nods, hurries off towards the reception.

Kernaghan answers the call, turns her back on SWAT Leader,
presses the phone to her ear.
      (into phone)
Charlie. The assassin wasn't
here. We should have some details


                       KERNAGHAN (cont'd)
for you soon though.
CHARLIE sits huddled over her desk - her bubble; her world.
Other analysts busy about in the background.

She has her headset on and is staring at her screen.


An image of the warped and melted mobile phone from the
burning barn.
      (into headset)
It's not that. I've just been
speaking to Frank Clough at the
interstate fire.
      (into phone)
      (into headset)
They've found a remote detonator
in the barn.
      (into phone)
A bomb?
      (into headset)
It looks like it.
Kernaghan is silent, thoughtful. Taking in the devastation
around her.
      (into phone)
Two explosions in one day. That
can't be a coincidence.
      (into headset)
You think they're linked.


      (into phone)
They've got to be. It has to be
the same guy.
      (into headset)
The hitman?
      (into phone)
Destroying evidence in his room,
and blocking off the interstate.
      (into headset)
But the Chief's stuck on the
interstate. In the tailback
caused by the fire.
SINCLAIR is dashing across the car park, brandishing a
clipboard, heading to where KERNAGHAN stands talking on her

Kernaghan notices him waving frantically.
      (into phone)
Wait a minute, Charlie. It looks
like Greg might have something.
Sinclair pulls up in front of his boss, panting.
Right. It's the kind of cheap
motel where no questions are
And the guy in number 42 paid in
cash - so no bank details, no ID.
Kernaghan frowns.
But the manager has a problem with
non-residents using the car park,
so he takes a copy of everyone's


                       SINCLAIR (cont'd)
vehicle reg. Including our guys.
Sinclair presents the clipboard, Kernaghan snatches it from
him, presses the phone back to her ear.
      (into phone)
Charlie, can you run a vehicle
check, find out where the car is
right now?
      (into headset)
Depends. If it's passing through
the traffic cameras - the ones
that read number plates - then we
can get a rough idea.
      (into phone)
Okay. That'll do. The reg is
CHARLIE quickly types the registration into her keyboard,
watches her screen update.
Another interactive map of the city. This time the icons on
the screen are small images of CCTV cameras, marked at
intervals along all the main highways.

As Charlie punches ENTER the screen begins to update;
cameras turning from black to green.

The first one to change colour is near to the motel, then a
steady trail, winding away, onto the interstate, snaking
along the route of the freeway and then ... stopping.
      (into headset)
It's stopped. Somewhere on the
Suddenly looking concerned:


      (into headset)
Wait a minute.
Her fingers fly across the keyboard. The map on screen
minimises, another appears, marked with the police cordon.

The chief's location and the nearest safehouse - the one
beyond the fire - are also shown on this screen.

A few more keystrokes and the two maps merge.
      (into headset)
      (into phone)
What is it?
      (into headset)
He's on the interstate. Stuck in
the tailback. The same one as the
Chief. The one he caused.
      (into phone)
He's going to do the hit there.
Get onto traffic. I want that
cordon lifted. NOW!
GRANT sits in his car, covered in a sheen of sweat, studying
the briefcase on his lap. He weighs it in his hand; takes
the car keys from the ignition, tries to prise the locks.

No joy.

Then the phone RINGS.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
How are we doing, Superdad?
Did you get the medication?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
We had a deal didn't we.
Grant SIGHS, affords himself a slight smile.


So what am I supposed to do with
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
First, I want to know if you've
had enough time to think.
What about?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
My little brain tease.
Grant's lip curls, nose flares.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
How far would you go to save your
daughter's life?
His fist tightens around the handle of the briefcase,
sitting on his lap.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Speak up Superdad. Time to
cooperate. You wouldn't want to
explain to your daughter that her
face is scarred because you
couldn't be bothered to answer a
simple question.
So, how far would you go?
I'd do anything for my daughter.
Anyone would.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Really? Anything?
Yes. Anything.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
We'll see.
It's time to open the briefcase.
The combination is 122406.
Without reply Grant rolls the combination, listens for the
POP, flings it open.


Inside the battered brown briefcase, resting on the faded
brown fabric, is a dull black handgun.
A gun.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
short recoil, locked breech
pistol, loaded with two hollow tip
rounds. The perfect weapon for
the job.
The job?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Look out of your windscreen.
About two hundred metres to your
front, parked in the third lane,
you will see a large, black
4-wheel drive Cherokee Jeep.
The front doors are both open.
There's a wide shouldered heavy
set man in a khaki jacket and blue
jeans standing beside the drivers
door; there's a slim, weasle of a
man in an open necked shirt
standing by the passenger side.
GRANT shifts his attention to the queue of traffic.

It is a familiar scene to him now; pockets of people
loitering beside their cars, looking hot, jackets off,
sleeves rolled up, passing bottles of water amongst
themselves. Frustration slowly mounting.

Finally his eyes rest on a large black jeep in the third
lane, as the Babysitter described.

He sees the two men and frowns. These men are familiar.

Both have their backs to him, but, as Grant watches, the
slim man in the shirt turns to address the driver across the
top of the car.



                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Can you see him?
I see him.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Okay. This is what you are going
to do.
You are going to take the gun from
the briefcase. You are going to
place it in the waistband of your
trousers, in the small of your
back, and you are going to make
sure it is covered by your
Then, you are going to walk -
slowly, very calmly - towards the
slim man standing beside the black
Once you are in front of him, you
are going to remove the pistol
from your waistband, and you are
going to shoot him twice in the
Are you fucking crazy?
There's macabre laughter down the line.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
You really need to watch your tone
Superdad. It could be very
detrimental to your daughter's
Fuck my tone. You want me to
murder a man in broad daylight!
You're out of your fucking mind.
Grant is spinning in his seat, searching the faces of those
around him.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
How do you think Penny feels right
Curled up in the trunk of a car.
She's hot, cramped, scared.


                       BABYSITTER (cont'd)
Sucking hard through her nose to
extract what little oxygen is left
in the stale air of the confined
Desperate for release.
You can release her. All you have
to do, is walk up to that man - a
man you don't even know - and kill
Grant closes his eyes, takes a slow breath. When he opens
them again he is staring at the Viking pistol on his lap.
Why me? Why don't you just do it?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
I prefer to remain in the shadows.
I find it easier to disappear.
There's got to be a better way
than this.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
High profile target. They've
received so many threats they're
surrounded by security. Everywhere
they go, every scheduled event. An
inner ring, an outer ring; all
armed. A man like me can't get
near them. Guess we have Oswald to
thank for that.
Grant's still now, listening.
So you interrupt their schedule.
Get them some place they never
planned to be.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Now we're learning.
Grant locks onto the Cherokee Jeep, the Chief and his
Bodyguard standing either side.
But there's still the close


                       GRANT (cont'd)
Which is why you need me.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
No jobs worth doing if you can't
walk away when it's over.
Grant almost laughs, fatalistically.
You're just some nut job hitman.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
And you're my weapon.
He stares out of the window, jaw tightly clenched.
This is suicide.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Most likely.
I'll never see Penny again.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
But she'll always know.
Know what?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
What you did for her.
Killed a man?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
It's what you have to do to set
her free.
You could end this. You could let
her go.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
That's not going to happen.
There's a long silence. Grant looks lost in thought.


                       BABYSITTER (VO)
One day, Penny is going to die.
Fuck this up, and that could be
today. She'll die bound and alone
in the trunk of a strangers car,
knowing that her dad let her down.
But she may die years from now,
surrounded by kids, grand kids.
Knowing that she owes every
precious day to the sacrifice her
father made. You did what you had
to do, despite knowing you may not
You put her first.
Another long silence as The Babysitter lets this sink in.
How do I know you'll keep your
word? How do I know you'll let
her go?
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
She's no good to me. Not once
you've done the job.
How do I know you won't just kill
The Babysitter SNORTS derisively.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Because there's no profit in it.
Grant shifts his attention back to the Chief, standing
beside his car, chatting to his Bodyguard.

He can see movement in the back seat; MEGAN LAWRENSON
sitting between two small children - JOSHUA and JACOB -
their heads bobbing around in playful animation.

Then he turns to the briefcase - still on his lap - the
heavy black gun lying there, waiting for him.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Think about it Superdad. Every
man wants to leave a legacy. Every
father seeks to build a statue of
themselves in the memories of


                       BABYSITTER (cont'd)
their children. So ask yourself
this: How will Penny remember you?
The Babysitter ends the call, leaving Grant staring at the
The overgrown field could be a million miles from
civilisation - but for the News Corp trailer parked on the
rough country lane, and the helicopter in its centre.
The familiar News Corp logo is embalzoned on the side of the
helicopter. The blades WHIR noisily. The door on the side
of the helicopter slides open, a CAMERAMAN leans out,
looking expectantly towards the trailer.
HARVEY emerges from the side of the trailer, he carries a
large square box - like a large pizza box - in his arms,
jogs towards the chopper.

Harvey quickly passes the box to the Cameraman, hastily
exchanges some words - drowned by the CACOPHONY of the
blades - then spins away, dashes back.

The Cameraman ducks inside, closes the door behind him.
As Harvey trots back to the trailer, ANDY sits in the
passenger seat, door open, legs hanging out. He is speaking
into his phone.

B.g. The helicopter begins to lift off.
      (into phone)
Grant thinks it'll work.
I'll let you know if anything
Mike, I can't thank you enough for
Andy ends the call. Meets Harvey's eye. A solemn silence
hangs between them as the BUZZ of the helicopter fades into
the distance.


GRANT holds the weapon in his hand, feeling the weight. He
stares at it blankly, as though seeking inspiration.
Suddenly he is fluid - releases the clip, slides it out,
examines the seating of the rounds.

With his thumb, he quickly removes them from the magazine -


He rattles them in his open palm, studying them.

Then they are back in the clip, slipped into the butt of the
pistol, slammed into place with a CLICK.
With the loaded pistol firmly in his hand, Grant looks out
of the windscreen; a vacant, veterans stare into the blue,
cloudless sky.
Finally, he inhales a deep breath, as though it might be his
last, and shoves the pistol into the waistband in the small
of his back.

With decisive swiftness, he opens the car door, swings his
legs out and plants his feet firmly on the sweating asphalt.
CHIEF LAWRENSON stands by the side of his jeep, phone in
hand, brow furrowed with concern. BODYGUARD stands by the
drivers side.
Chief ignores his Bodyguards quizzical look as he turns to
study his family through the window.
JOSHUA and JACOB are getting restless, no longer entertained
by the movie on the tablet. MEGAN is flushed, hot, routing
in a bag between her feet. She produces two bags of sweets,
hands them out.
Chief catches her eye, leans into the car, looks like he's
about to speak when his phone RINGS.

Chief ducks out of the car, turns his back on his family.
      (into phone)


The unmarked police car cuts through busy suburban roads,
single blue light flashing on the roof, two tones BLARTING
out the front.
KERNAGHAN drives. Steering confidently with her left hand,
her right hand holds her phone to her ear.

SINCLAIR sits beside her, watching out of the window as they
race past cars, rows of high street shops and grand
corporate buildings.
Boss. It's Kernaghan.
INTERCUT Ext. Highway.
      (into phone)
Gabi, there's an update?
      (into phone)
It's not good. The address was
booby trapped.
      (into phone)
Kernaghan winces.
      (into phone)
One fatality.
Chief shuts his eyes, dips his head.
      (into phone)
There's more. The assassin wasn't
      (into phone)
Do we know where he is?
Kernaghan quickly steers the car across a busy junction.
      (into phone)
He's with you.


      (into phone)
      (into phone)
He's somewhere on the interstate.
Stuck in the tailback.
      (into phone)
      (into phone)
I don't think so. The fire was
started deliberately. Another
booby trap. I think it was him.
Chief is suddenly alert, swivelling in the highway, looking
for a threat.
      (into phone)
We need to get you moving.
Charlie's on to traffic. The road
should be open soon but ...
      (into phone)
Wait. What about the girl?
      (into phone)
      (into phone)
I've just been told that a girl's
been kidnapped. We'll lose her if
we let the traffic go.
Kernaghan looks irritated. She flicks the steering wheel
with her left hand, guides the car through a tight gap,
      (into phone)
We can't afford to worry about
that right now.


      (into phone)
I promised a friend I'd help.
      (into phone)
Your safety is our priority. You
need to get behind the cordon.
Chief suddenly looks tense, jaw clenched - a man with a moth
in his mouth.
      (into phone)
I think we need to remember that
we're paid to take risks.
The car flies across a large junction, weaving through
crossing cars.
      (into phone)
We're nearly on the interstate.
We'll deal with it when we get
there. But you have to get off
that road, now!
Kernaghan hangs up.
Endless rows of stationary traffic, windows down, doors
flung open. Knots of hot, sweaty people gather to gripe.
VOICES are raised in anger. Kids MOAN and CRY.

Amongst the crumbling facade of civility, GRANT seems
relatively calm. He glides between vehicles.

There is purpose in his slow, measured stride; a distant
determination in his cold, blue eyes; his jaw firmly
clenched, nostrils flared, sucking in the acrid air.

People part without complaint as he slips through the

His arms are outstretched, forming a crucifix. He places a
steady hand on every vehicle he passes - like a commuter
grabbing each seat as they walk down the aisle of a speeding


In the distance Grant can see the black Cherokee Jeep. CHIEF
LAWRENSON has his phone pressed to his ear. The BODYGUARD
stands on the opposite side of the jeep, studying his boss.
Neither seem aware of Grant's steady approach.
Chief finishes on the phone. Pockets it. Turns to face the
Grant pauses mid stride.

It takes a moment for him to register the change. Then he
notices the approaching WHINE of accelerating vehicles.

Suddenly, a lonely motorbike speeds past on the opposite
side of the motorway. More bikes follow, then a car ...
then more ... a thickening stream of traffic.

He watches the first few cars speed past; glances back to
the Chief, now climbing into the jeep. The Bodyguard is
already in the drivers seat; he SLAMS the door, REV's the

Grant hesitates, momentarily.

Then spins, quickly.

Turns his back on the Chief and starts to run, back the way
he came, sprinting towards the dark green Jaguar, breathing
hard. Then ...

His phone RINGS.
Grant fumbles, pulling it from his pocket as he runs,
answers the call.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
What the fuck's going on!
They've opened the road.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
I can see that.
People around him are already getting in to their cars,
closing doors, starting engines.
He was driving off.


                       BABYSITTER (VO)
You've fucked it. Fucked it right
Grant can see his own car now, distinctive amongst the bland
greys, blacks and blues of modernity. He runs harder,
tugging his keys from his pocket.
There's still a chance. I'm
nearly back at my car.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Too late. Your chance has gone.
Not yet.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Penny's dying, Superdad. Every
passing, rasping breath, brings
her closer to the end.
Keep her alive. I can do this.
Just keep her alive.
He grabs the handle of the door - it's unlocked - pulls it
open and jumps in.
GRANT throws himself in to the driver's seat.

He has his keys in his hand. He shoves them hard into the
ignition; slams his phone into the hands free attachment,
putting it on speaker as he turns the key.

THE BABYSITTER has gone; but the phone is RINGING again.

The engine ROARS.
ANDY and HARVEY are in the back of the trailer, both
standing, staring at the large TV screen on the back wall.
It is the only source of light.

Andy's face looks hollow and sunken in the flickering glow
of the television. He holds his phone - which is on loud
speaker - with a crushing grip.


      (into phone)
They've released the traffic.
INTERCUT with Int. Grant's Car.
The engine ROARS aggressively as GRANT accelerates towards
the line of traffic, moving off ahead of him.
      (into phone)
I noticed.
Grant leans forward, looking upwards through his windscreen.
There is a helicopter BUZZING overhead.
      (into phone)
Is that your chopper I can see?
      (into phone)
Yeah. We've got you on the
ultra-violet camera.
The image on the large TV screen is an aerial image of the
traffic jam.

The cars are beginning to spread out as they slowly start to
move. The image is viewed through a UV filter, casting a
blue hue over the vehicles.
                       ANDY (OS)
You were right.
Grant's green Jaguar can be seen accelerating.

But one other car also stands out -

A black 5-Series BMW with two distinctive flourescent blue
palm prints:

One on the boot;

The second on the roof, directly above the drivers door.
                       ANDY (OS)
There's two palm prints on a black


Grant can't contain a wry smile as he glances up at the
      (into phone)
That's The Babysitter. The UV ink
transferred from the meds case.
Penny's in that car.
Andy looks nervous, uncertain and unconvinced. His eyes are
fixed on the monitor.
Is he following me?
      (into phone)
I don't know. Too early to tell.
      (into phone)
He will. He needs to see what I
do next. Get on to the Chief. We
need to get him off this road.
Okay, I'll see what I can do.
Grant accelerates steadily along the outside lane. His
smile begins to broaden, he sits back, leaning into the
seat, steering smoothly; he almost looks ... relaxed.
      (into phone)
I just hope this works.
Suddenly Grant's phone beeps. He risks a downwards glance:
      (into phone)
Got to go. He's ringing me.
GRANT reaches down with his left hand. Ends Andy's call;
accepts the incoming one.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Not much time, Superdad.


Make time. I can do this.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Penny's short of breath. By the
time we reach the next junction,
you'll be all alone in this world.
Wait ...
Grant's car is zipping through the traffic, accelerating to
the car in front, switching lanes, jumping in to gaps.
I can see the jeep.

Cars are cruising along in front of him, shuffling between
lanes as they find a comfortable speed. Beyond them, he can
see the CHIEF's black jeep; holding his lane and speed.
I've nearly caught him.
Grant shifts gear, accelerates.

Closes to the back of the car in front, checks to the right,
there's a gap.

Flicks the wheel and jumps in to the space, changes gear
again, gathers speed and checks the position of the jeep.

He is closing.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
What's your plan, Superdad? You
gonna whack the guy from a moving
car? Nice try, but at the end of
the day, you're just an amateur.
I'm the best chance you've got.
This is your pay day. Just keep
Penny alive.
There's a pause. Grant continues to close the gap.
                       BABYSITTER (VO)
Okay, Superdad. But you're
running out of time. I can't
afford to be found with your
little girl in the back of my car


                       BABYSITTER (cont'd)
- dead or alive.
We've got a deal. Just give me a
Hang on ...

Grant is in the outside lane, moving faster than the Chief's
jeep; it's indicator flashes, it begins to slow, crossing
lanes to the inside.

Grant sees an advertising board: a McDonalds, Popeyes, motel
and restrooms. A service station.
He's pulling off. He's going to

The jeep moves smoothly across the lanes and drifts gently
in to the slip road.

Brake lights flare.

The jeep swings sedately around a tight bend and out of
I'm going after him.
Grant brakes hard, forces himself into a tight space to his
right, quickly cuts in front of a slow moving lorry.

The Jag RUMBLES over painted chevrons, SCREECHES onto the
slip road. Brakes hard.

Grant swings into the bend, fighting the car to maintain
control, and disappears into the service station car park.
Sun reflects brightly, almost blindingly, from the
surrounding glass - car windscreens; advertising boards;
large, glaring, restaurant windows.

The car park is already busy, filling with vehicles from the
jam. Families, truckers, suited commuters, piling out of


cars, surging towards the services.

The green Jaguar speeds into the car park, swings into a row
at the front, near to the building, accelerates towards an
empty space and loops smoothly into the gap, coming to an
abrupt halt.

Grant jumps out, jogs across the walkway, heading straight
for the entrance, and quickly disappears inside.
It is the usual conglomerate of fast food outlets, food
courts and shops - sweets, magazines, amusement arcades.
GRANT is still now, an anchor amidst a sea of bobbing heads,
scanning the crowd, searching for a familiar sight.

His phone RINGS.
      (into phone)
ANDY's sunken countenance stares at the TV screen; wide
eyes, wild hair.
      (into phone)
I think it worked. The BMW
followed you into the service
INTERCUT with Grant Int. Service Station
Grant begins to grin.
      (into phone)
I thought it might. Did you talk
to the Chief?
      (into phone)
Yeah. He said he'd meet you in
the restroom.
Grant shifts his focus, settles on the restrooms, a steady
stream of people shuffling in and out.


      (into phone)
Thanks Andy.
And now he's moving again, cutting through the crowd,
heading for the toilets.
CHIEF LAWRENSON stands in a narrow galley between two rows
of washbasins, staring at the entrance. BODYGUARD loiters
GRANT enters with a determined stride. Picks out the Chief.
Marches straight towards him

- reaches behind his back

- whips out the Viking pistol

- presses it into the Chief's chest, locks eyes.
The restrooms empty in an instant. Vermin scurrying for an

The Bodyguard reaches into his jacket, pulls out a pistol of
his own, points it at Grant, aiming over the Chief's

But the angles are tight. No clear shot.
The Chief raises a steady hand - palm towards the Bodyguard
- invoking calm.

But his eyes remain on Grant's.
So, how are we going to save your
A YOUNG COUPLE - almost identical in appearance, with thick
knots of long brown hair and army surplus clothing -
navigate through rows of parked vehicles.

Beyond them is the service station; a large single storey
building. Bright sunlight reflects off full length windows,
notice boards advertise fast food joints.

The crowds begin to thicken as they near the building.


Families mix with oversize truckers, mingle with tense
looking businessmen. Some dash towards the toilets, others
shuffle back to their cars clutching bags of food.

The COUPLE reach the final row of parked cars, squeeze past
a black saloon.

They continue towards the service station, curling
affectionate arms around each other, but we stay at the back
of the saloon, focusing on the registration plate:
6NUF938 - The Babysitter's car.
The door of the black saloon - a 5-Series BMW - swings open.

Booted feet - THE BABYSITTER'S feet - step onto the tarmac,
walk casually towards the service station, are eventually
enveloped by the masses, when ...
... a muffled POP ... POP

There is a pause, a stillness, almost surreal, then

Loud, panicked SCREAMING.

Crowds pouring out of the service station, gathering in the
road, parents counting children, holding them close.

People look confused, scared.
                       BYSTANDER - MALE
                       BYSTANDER - FEMALE
Oh my God. Kids! Kids! Stay
A POLICE OFFICER dashes across the car park, forcing his way
through throngs of people, leaning into his radio, listening
for direction.

He reaches the door, shoves through the bottleneck.
The POLICE OFFICER is swallowed by the mob. People are
pushing against each other, moving in different directions.

Not everyone is rushing for the exit now; some are standing
still, gathering their loved ones around them; some are


standing on chairs or tables, craning for a better view;
some are actually surging forwards, towards the cause of the

The white noise of a human herd is deafening, HUMMING with

Three men in security uniforms stand at the entrance to the
toilets, holding people back. They seem stressed, harassed,
On the periphery of the pandemonium, beside an arcade, is a
quiet, brightly lit corridor. Huddled in the corridor,
beside a small childrens ride, is MEGAN LAWRENSON and her
two children, JACOB and JOSHUA.
Megan is crouched low, addressing her children, holding each
of them gently by the hand. They stare earnestly into her

A good looking businessman in a dark suit with neatly
trimmed hair peels away from the crowd to join them - this
is the SALOON DRIVER. He holds a phone in his hand.

The phone is RINGING.
Saloon Driver raises his hand - partly - as though to answer
his phone ... then notices the family.

His arm pauses mid-arc. He angles his body to get a better
view, leans in to listen.
But I need a wee.
You can go in a bit.
Why can't I go now?
Because the restroom's closed.
I thought you said Dad was in the
He is. He'll be back in a minute,
and then you can all go together.


Saloon Driver steps towards them, attracting Megan's
                       SALOON DRIVER
I'm sorry, I couldn't help but
He meets Megan's eye, turns his back on the children.
                       SALOON DRIVER
Did you say their father was in
the toilet?
That's right. He won't be long.
                       SALOON DRIVER
It's just that the ...
He silently mouths the word GUNSHOT
                       SALOON DRIVER
... came from the restroom. I
don't mean to alarm you, but are
you sure he's okay?
Megan smiles, appeasingly.
It's okay. My husband's a police
officer. This is all part of some
pre-planned drill.
Saloon Driver's brow wrinkles with concern, clearly
                       SALOON DRIVER
I don't think I can wait any
Megan flashes a quick smile to her son:
It's okay darling, not much longer
Before dismissing the overly concerned Saloon Driver.


Seriously. Thanks for your
concern, but everything's fine.
Honestly. Nothing to worry about.
The Saloon Driver returns her smile, suddenly seems to
notice the phone in his hand, still RINGING. He points at
it and walks away, back into the throng of people.

Saloon Driver eases his way through the crowd, heading
toward the exit, eventually stepping into ...
Blinding sunlight. SALOON DRIVER quickly crosses the
pavement. As he does so, he passes a bin, extends his arm,
drops the phone.

As he steps down the pavement, disappearing into the rows of
parked vehicles beyond, his phone is left behind, sitting on
a heap of rubbish, screen flashing brightly with each
hypnotic RING.
The amusement arcade is dark and deserted.

GRANT is pressed between two machines, ignoring their
incessant CHIRPS.

Instead he stares through the arcade, out of the exit, into
the busy bustle of the service station.

He holds his phone by his ear, it RINGS ... RINGS ... RINGS
Eventually it cuts out.

Grant stares at the phone, is about to punch redial when the
screen lights up:



He answers.


ANDY'S on edge; hair ruffled, shirt undone, creased, stained
with coffee.

He leans heavily on the back of a chair, staring at the TV
      (into phone)
It hasn't worked.
INTERCUT with Grant Int. Arcade
      (into phone)
What do you mean?
On the screen is an aerial image of the service station car
park, filmed through the UV filter.

At the top of the screen is the black BMW, still marked by
the distinctive blue palm prints.

It weaves through the car park, towards the exit, towards
the slip road re-joining the motorway.
                       ANDY (OS)
He's leaving.
GRANT is already on the move, dashing out of the arcade,
shoving through the milling crowd.
      (into phone)
Where is he now?
      (into phone)
He's just joining the ramp onto
the interstate.
GRANT bursts out of the service station, spins to face the
slip road.

A black BMW 5-series joins the back of a line of traffic,
building speed before entering the motorway.


      (into phone)
I see him.
Grant flips the phone closed, sprints back through the car
park, pulling his keys from his pocket as he runs.

He quickly reaches his own car, yanks the door open, jumps
inside, slams the door closed behind him.

Grant can be seen inside the vehicle, turning the key in the

The engine ROARS.

The car leaps forward, spins out of the parking space.

CHIEF LAWRENSON and the BODYGUARD crash out of the service
station - just in time to see the green Jaguar race past

They watch as Grant's car SCREECHES onto the slip road,
speeding towards the interstate.
The interstate is busy. Traffic flows in each direction,
separated by a metal crash barrier. The traffic is heavy,
but each lane drifts along at its own steady speed.

Two lorries cruise along the inside lane, approaching the
service station exit.

As they approach the filter GRANT'S Jaguar races in to view,
speeding down the slip road, passing the rearmost lorry on
the inside.

There is barely a large enough gap between the lorries for a
car, but the Jaguar jumps into the space without losing

The car appears hemmed in; but it quickly leaps into a gap
in the lane to the left.
Grant scans forward, beyond the car immediately in front.
The traffic is congested, but moving steadily. There is no
sign of the black BMW.


Grant drives close to the bumper of the car in front; the
traffic in the lane to his left is moving slightly faster.

Grant does a quick check of his mirrors, shifts down a gear
- the engine revs SCREAM - glances over his shoulder, then
flicks the steering wheel to the left, jumping into a gap in
the line of traffic.

Quickly, Grant shifts gear again, accelerating until he is
tight behind the next car.

A gap has opened in the lane to his right; he slips the
Jaguar in to the space and continues to accelerate.

The news channel helicopter follows from the air.
The green Jaguar weaves across the busy interstate; stealing
into gaps, accelerating forward, then changing lane. Making

In the distance the black BMW drives along sedately.

A mass of diverse vehicles fill the road between them, but
those around Grant react to his erratic driving - slowing
down, changing lane, making way.

Space begins to open up in front of him; the distance begins
to narrow.
The driving is smooth, diligent. The speedometer hovers
around the limit; the steering wheel firmly held - ten to

When changing lane the indicator stick is knocked early,
mirrors checked, a quick glance over the shoulder, then a
steady drift into an ample gap.

Finally we recognise the SALOON DRIVER as THE BABYSITTER.
The Babysitter cruises past a car, indicates to slip into
the gap, checks the mirrors - yet again.

Only this time, something holds his attention.
He squints at the glass.


GRANT'S green Jaguar can be seen in the reflection, jerking
across lines of traffic; cutting up cars, driving on the

Stalking him.
Holding the wheel with one hand, The Babysitter leans down
and pulls a black rucksack from the passenger's foot well.

He pulls the bag open, reaches inside, produces a sawn off

The Babysitter calmly lowers his window.

Holding the shotgun in one hand and the steering wheel in
the other, he leans out of the window, glances back.
The Jaguar is in the outside lane, gaining ground.

The Babysitter points the weapon, pauses, FIRES.

A following car swerves across the lane; another brakes,

A third car smashes into it, they spin across the
interstate, locked together.

Grant slams on his brakes; shifts down a gear, swings hard
to his left, around the spinning cars, swerves back to the
right, passes the remaining vehicle, and slots back into the
lane, directly behind the Babysitter.

Only two car lengths of empty space now separate them.
The Babysitter watches the mayhem in his mirror, sees that
Grant survived unscathed.
He tosses the shotgun on top of the rucksack, grips the
steering wheel and accelerates hard.

The BMW gains speed, maneouvres rapidly through the traffic.

But Grant matches him.

Every time the Babysitter checks his mirror, the Jaguar
seems to be gaining ground, inching the gap closed, until
Their bumpers touch.


The Babysitter grabs the shotgun, leans out the window -

Pellets PEPPER the bonnet of the Jaguar.
The Babysitter shoves the barrel between his thighs, opens
the chamber, quickly reloads.

SNAPS the gun closed, leans back out.
Grant slams on the brakes.
The gap between them widens - rapidly.

Grant flicks his car to the right, disappears into the
The Babysitter cannot contain a triumphant smile.
ANDY and HARVEY stand side by side.

They are watching the aerial footage of the interstate.
The black BMW accelerates along the outside lane. Cars
clear a path as it speeds up behind them.

GRANT'S Jaguar stutters as it maneouvers to the right,
embroiled in congested traffic, losing ground.
What's he doing?
The Jaguar enters the emergency lane. Then it starts to
It races along the hard shoulder, passing the BMW - four
lanes to the left.


Suddenly, having passed the Babysitter's car, Grant swings
his Jaguar back onto the inside lane of the motorway,
undertakes a line of traffic, then swiftly starts jumping
lanes, moving outwards.
He's trying to cut in front of
THE BABYSITTER draws deep breaths through his nose.

The shotgun rests on the rucksack beside him. His hands
grip the steering wheel tightly.

He is driving fast, closing on the cars in front, waiting
for them to make way, then pressing the next one.

Forcing himself to stay calm.

The Babysitter checks his rear view mirror. There is no
sign of the green Jaguar. He affords himself a smug smile.
Closes on the car in front, watches it indicate then swing
out of his way.

He accelerates smoothly, fixating on the rear bumper of the
next car when, suddenly, a flash of green cuts in front of
him, filling the gap.

The Babysitter instinctively hits the brakes.

A small gap opens up between him and the car in front.

It is GRANT'S green Jaguar.

The Jaguar's brake lights flare as The Babysitter
accelerates again.

The BMW smashes into the back of the Jaguar.

The cars bounce apart, but Grant brakes again, forcing the
The Babysitter to slow even further.

The Babysitter grabs the shotgun, leans out of the window,
touches the brakes, FIRES.

The soft top of the vintage Jaguar SHREDS apart.

But the driving is uneffected.

The Babysitter squeezes the trigger again:


Grant's rear tyre EXPLODES.

The Jaguar spins out of control, smashes into the central
barrier, careers back across the road, into the line of

Seeing a gap, The Babysitter accelerates - attempting to

Grant's car crashes into another on the inside, as the
Babysitter begins to pass.

The Jaguar bounces back to the left, smashes into the BMW.

For a moment the two cars are locked - side by side. The
left wing of the BMW TEARS along the crash barrier.

Then the barrier begins to crumple.
The BMW shifts to the left, pressed by Grant.

The Babysitter fights his wheel, attempting to push Grant
back into the traffic.

But then he glances forward ...
Looming rapidly, the interstate disappears into the dark maw
of a long tunnel - re-inforced concrete cutting through the
The Babysitter leans hard on his steering wheel.

But it's too late ...

He scrambles to hit the brakes, but is travelling too fast

The BMW throttles head first into the outer edge of the
concrete tunnel.


The front of the BMW disintegrates, causing the Jaguar to
barrel up the inclined wall of the tunnel.

The car flips onto its roof, slides along the outside lane
of the motorway.

A following vehicle smashes into its rear, sending it
spinning across the lanes.

Cars brake and swerve, smashing into each other as they
battle to avoid the rolling Jaguar.

Eventually, everything comes to a stand still.
Smoke plumes from idling engines. Dazed people slowly begin
to emerge, checking on other occupants.

A helicopter BUZZES overhead.

In the centre of the motorway, just inside the tunnel, lies
the battered green Jaguar, lying on its soft top roof.
GRANT is strapped into his seat, hanging upside down, head
twisted, pressed against the shredded roof, face bloodied.

Grant shifts his body, glances back along the road, towards
the daylight at the entrance of the tunnel, where the black
BMW is wrapped around re-inforced concrete.
The bonnet of the BMW is a crumpled mess of metal, melted
into the mouth of the tunnel.

A large, white air bag fills the windscreen.

Suddenly it BURSTS; deflates, disappears.

The driver's door CLUNKS open.

There's a pause; and then THE BABYSITTER swings his feet
onto the tarmac.
Grant sees the Babysitter's booted feet step onto the road.

He watches as they shift, cautiously taking the weight of
the Babysitter.


The feet turn towards the car. The door SLAMS closed. The
locks CLUNK. An alarm BEEPS. There's a flash of indicator

Then the feet turn again, shuffle away from the wreck;
gaining speed, striding into the tunnel.
Grant twists his body, reaches up, towards the seat belt
buckle, struggles to release himself.

The buckle CLICKS. Comes loose.

Grant drops - slightly. Is still entangled in the belt.

Turns his head back to the road.
The Babysitter's black boots march boldly past the Jaguar,
only a few metres from Grant's bloodied head.

The Babysitter continues deep into the tunnel, pauses, turns
to the left, takes a step up a raised pavement.
Grant wriggles frantically - an angry shark on a line -
eventually manages to slip out of the belt, crawls out of
the car, drags himself onto hands and knees.

He turns to look into the tunnel, just in time to see the
Babysitter disappear through a doorway in the wall.
Grant pulls himself to his feet, steadys himself against his
mangled car.

He looks back towards the entrance of the tunnel, registers
the BMW; disintegrated front, relatively undamaged rear.

A quick glance back into the tunnel, sees the door in the
side wall - where the Babysitter was last seen - is slightly
ajar. Insecure.
A moments hesitation ...

Then he is jogging - stiffly - through the chaos of crashed
cars, towards the BMW.


Grant reaches the wreck, peers through the windscreen. The
car appears to be empty.

He sprints to the rear; the boot is undamaged.

Grant yanks at the handle. It doesn't budge.

Around the side of the car, tugging at the doors.
Everything's locked.

Back at the boot, banging hard:
Penny! Penny!
A pause. Listening. Then:
Penny, it's me - your dad. I'm
gonna get you out.
He steps back, whips the pistol from the small of his back,
SMASHES the butt against the rear window.

No effect; barely a scratch.

He tries again on a side panel. Same result.

Grant shoves the weapon back into his trousers, moves back
to the boot.
Penny. It's locked. I'm gonna go
get the keys.
And then he is sprinting, full pelt, back into the tunnel.
GRANT steps into DARKNESS.

The door CREAKS closed, sounding loud in the gloom. Grant
pauses, squints into the dark, allowing his eyes to adjust.

And then he's hit - something hard, blunt, THUDS against the
back of his head.
Grant crumples.

Strong hands hoist him from behind, launch him into the far


Grant clatters into something hard and metallic - a shelf.
It crashes onto him, scattering heavy, metal tools across
the cold concrete floor.

Suddenly a light. A bright, surgical beam, piercing through
the darkness.
The white light guides broad hands around Grant's back,
efficiently searching the waistband of his trousers, until

The GUN is whipped from his waistband. His attacker steps

Grant is dazed, disorientated, struggling to disentangle
himself from the large metal shelf.

Finally he pushes himself upwards, breaking free from the
debris. He turns groggily, slumps back onto his haunches.

The blade of light stabs at his eyes, blinding him.

Eventually his eyes adjust; he begins to assess his
The room is small, tight, confined. Bigger than a cupboard,
not quite an office. A storage room. Shelves stacked with
hand tools, power tools; scaffold poles; road signs; cones.

A row of hard hats and orange jackets hang by the door. They
are marked with the CALTRANS logo, identifying them as
property of the Californian Transport Department.
But this is just background; Grant's focus is firmly on the
GUN, looming out of the blackness, pointing straight at his

THE BABYSITTER stands by the door, arm extended, steadily
holding the pistol. He wears one of the Caltrans jackets
and a hard hat. The light emanates from a head torch. His
face remains in shadow.
Grant raises his hands slowly, places them loosely on his
head. When he speaks he is calm, measured. Stony faced.
I take it you're not a maintenance
And you're not an amateur. I
underestimated you.


You're not the first.
The Babysitter seems distracted. He uses his free hand to
peel the door open, peers outside.
Twisted cars are stacked in the tunnel. His own BMW can be
seen smashed into the concrete mouth. Beyond that a swarm
of blue lights descend upon the scene. The first emergency
vehicles are pulling up; uniforms - police and paramedics -
pour into the chaos.
Grant's cold eyes never leave The Babysitter.
Just give me the keys and we both
walk away.
The Babysitter turns his attention back to Grant, quietly
closing the door.
I don't think it'll be that
All I want is my daughter back.
Ah, Penny. I hope she's okay.
That was a nasty crash.
Grant squirms, knocks a few tools - a hammer, a screwdriver
- with his heels. Then settles.
You should have let her go when
you had the chance.
You should have done as you were
The Babysitter turns again - although the Viking pistol does
not waver - and peeks through the door, back into the

The crack of light illuminates his face - briefly,
partially. Recognition begins to dawn.


I know you.
The Babysitter turns back.
You dragged me out of my car,
remember. You heard my phone
ringing. Very clever; I should
have thought of that. Never mind.
Grant's face suddenly brightens, now he remembers; the
How does it feel to have been so
close? Only a thin sheet of metal
between you and your daughter. And
you walked away.
Grant is silent for a long time, staring down the bright
beam of torch light. When he does speak, he sounds tired,
Why? Why me? Why Penny?
Just a random innocent. Could
have been any kid. Any parent.
Sit in a queue long enough and
someone always goes for a piss.
Grant snorts, shakes his head.
You picked the wrong kid.
The Babysitter is looking out of the door again:
CHIEF LAWRENSON's Cherokee Jeep speeds along the hard
shoulder, comes to an abrupt stop, follwed by KERNAGHAN's
silver Volkswagen.

CHIEF LAWRENSON jumps out of the jeep, he is talking into
his phone, scouring the scene.

He locks onto the wrecked BMW, dashes across the motorway,

Chief beckons for a couple of Fire Department uniforms to



They quickly gather around the back of the BMW. The fireman
begins working the boot with a crowbar; it's not budging.

Even from this distance you can hear one of them shout:
We need a cutter.
The Babysitter scowls, quietly closes the door.
Looks like we're all having a bad
Maybe next time you'll take care
of your own shit.
Maybe next time you'll put your
daughter first.
She'll always come first.
Really? What about at the service
station. That was a trap. The
cop was in on it. You had no
intention of killing him. You put
the cops life before Penny's. Your
own daughter! The only person on
this earth who will ever really
love you. And you sacrificed her
for some cop.
The Babysitter shakes his head, incredulous.
Grant's jaw clenches tightly, nostrils flare. It seems to
be an effort to compose himself.
Does it matter now. It's over.
Just give me the keys.
Does it matter? Does it matter!
Course it fucking matters! You
should have made the right choice;
the kind any dad would have made.


                       BABYSITTER (cont'd)
But you had to be a hero; you had
to go to the cops.
The barrel of the gun begins to waver:
I told you not to do anything
stupid. But now you've fucked it
for us both.
A short pause. A deep INHALE.
Never mind. If Penny isn't dead
already, she soon will be. I'd
like to let you live - at least
long enough to watch her corpse
being dragged from the trunk of my
car ...
The gun is still again now. The voice is calm.
But I'm too professional for that.
The Babysitter's outstretched arm seems to tense, leveling
the weapon at Grant. His trigger finger flexes slightly.
Give my regards to Penny when you
see her.


Confusion - fear, panic - washes over The Babysitter's face.
A cold smile slowly forms on Grant's.
I put my two rounds into the
toilet ceiling. A professional
would have counted the shots.
The Babysitter turns, lunges for the door, but it's too

Grant launches himself upwards, diving at the Babysitter's
midriff, hurling him backwards, slamming him into the door.


The Babysitter is winded. Grant throws him to the floor,
straddles his chest, begins raining punches into his face.

The Babysitter twists and kicks; hands high, trying to block
Grant's assault.

Then he grabs Grant's collar, pulls him down, bucks upwards,
smashes the peak of his hard hat into Grant's nose.

The nose explodes in a torrent of blood. The Babysitter
jabs his knee hard into Grant's ribs, knocking him to the

The Babysitter is up, scrambling for the door, pulls it open
when ...

Grant crashes his body into the heavy metal door, causing it
to slam closed, crushing The Babysitter's hand.

The Babysitter lets out a SCREAM, spins, lashes out with his
elbow, striking Grant in the throat.

Grant keels back, gasping for breath. The Babysitter kicks
him hard in the face, sends Grant toppling backwards; back
into the debris around the fallen shelf.

Grant is on the floor, hands at his throat, rasping breaths,
blood streaming from his nose.

The Babysitter is by the door, gingerly holding his broken
hand, grimacing with obvious pain.
He takes a half step backwards, cracks the door open once
Maintenance crews are now beginning to flow into the tunnel,
assisting the police, clearing the road, mopping up
spillages. They are dressed in orange jackets and hard hats
- identical to those being worn by The Babysitter.
The Babysitter checks on Grant. He's on his knees,
clutching his throat, struggling to breath. But his wild
eyes burn with hatred.
I think I'm gonna go now.
The Babysitter delves into his pocket, produces a set of car
keys, smiles coldly at his beaten adversary.


I bet you're wondering how I
coaxed your daughter into the back
of my car.
He throws the keys casually into the pile of loose tools
littering the floor.
It was easy.
He reaches up, extinguishes the head light. Pitch black.
I simply offered her a hug.
The door in the tunnel wall cracks open.

THE BABYSITTER peers tentatively into the tunnel. The room
behind him is completely dark.
People in uniforms race about, clambering into vehicles,
aiding casualties, clearing dangerous debris from the
surface of the road. They are all too busy to notice the
stranger emerging from the maintenance shed.
The door opens wider, The Babysitter - still cradling his
broken hand - steps into the road. And then ...

A bulging forearm reaches from the gloom - a boa rising from
the swamp - coils around his neck, hauls him backwards.

Light glints off something sharp, metallic, as it punches
into the side of his throat ...

And then he is gone. Swallowed by the darkness.

The door swings quietly closed.
When the door swings open again, the room beyond is
illuminated - bright florescent light.


It is a mess. Tools scattered everywhere, shelves knocked
to the floor.

Sprawled in the centre of the room is the lifeless form of
The Babysitter, face down in a congealing pool of blood,
oozing from a gaping wound in the side of his throat.

A bloodied screwdriver lies beside his head.

His hand grips the butt of the Viking Pistol.
Suddenly, GRANT emerges from behind the door, bursts into
the tunnel, brandishing a set of car keys.
He sprints across the tarmac, skipping through the mangled
mess of cars, pushing past dazed passengers, police and
paramedics, focused on the black BMW, crushed into the thick
concrete jaw of the tunnel.
A FIREMAN, helmet on, visor down, works an angle grinder.
hover closely behind, montioring his progress.

SPARKS fly as the WHIRRING blade cuts into the boot of the
BMW. Suddenly, there's a COMMOTION behind them.

CHIEF reaches out, places a hand on the Fireman's shoulder.
The cutting stops.
Stop! I've got the keys!
They all turn to assess the disturbance.
GRANT is being held by two TRAFFIC COPS; clambering
desperately, trying to climb over or through them, waving a
set of car keys in the air.
Recognition illuminates the Chief's face.
The traffic cops seem to relax - Grant quickly breaks their
grip -
That's my daughter in there.


- bursts towards the BMW, points the keys, presses the fob.

The doors unlock with a satisfying CLUNK.

He lunges for the boot, tucks his hand into the handle ...
Throws it open.
PENNY is still, eyes swollen closed ...

Then she squints, blinks, opens them slowly. Uncomprehending
fear replaced by recognition - relief.

Her clothes are soaked with sweat. Hair matted to her head.
Hands and feet trussed behind her back. Mouth clamped
closed by a broad band of tape.

Clearly weak, on the verge of losing consciousness.
Grant RIPS at the rope that binds her; TEARS the tape from
her mouth.

Penny gasps for breath.

Grant leans in, takes hold of her, gently eases her out of
the car, lifting her onto the road.

Penny's legs are weak, she slumps forward, falls into his
Grant sees the medicine case in the back of the boot.

He reaches in, pulls the inhaler out, holds it towards her.
Penny forces a smile.
I don't think I really need it any
Grant grins broadly at the sound of her voice; bloodshot
eyes beginning to well.


I do love you, Penny.
I know.
The news channel helicopter hovers overhead, observing the
chaos below.

GRANT and PENNY embrace beside the crumpled wreck of the
black BMW.

Cars are piled up around them, twisted, shunted together.

People are milling, shuffling about without direction.

Behind them cars are braking, coming to a stop.

The brake lights ripple backwards, further and further away
from the carnage until, eventually, the shock and smoke
cannot be seen.

It is a distant inconvenience.

The queue lengthens; the traffic builds. Frustration

At the back of the queue a sensible family car applies its
brakes and comes smoothly to a halt.

Inside the car are a normal, everyday family.
DAD sits in the driver's seat, looking impatient, leaning
left, then right, staring inquisitively down the road,
seeking answers.

MUM sits in the passenger seat. She is reading a celebrity
magazine, barely aware that they are sitting in a tailback.

SON and DAUGHTER are in the back.

Son has a hand held computer console, playing a game.
Daughter is watching a DVD on a laptop computer.
Ow. Lost again.
Son tosses his computer to the side and nudges his sister.


Hey, give me that.
What for?
I wonder what the hold up is.
I want it, that's all.
So. Why should I care?
I hope we're not going to be stuck
here too long.
It's my turn.
No it's not.
Kids, quit it.
But, Mum.
Give him the computer. You've
been on it since we left.
But, Mum.
There was nothing on the news
before we set off.
It's not fair.
Son snatches the computer from his sister's lap, plugs his
headphones in to the side.

Daughter slumps sulkily in her seat, arms crossed tight
across her chest, staring blankly out of the window.

Mum continues to read her magazine.


There is a long SILENCE.

Until ...
I need the toilet.


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From John Bradley Date 11/24/2012 ****
This is the best screenplay I have read on here. I can tell you have an acute understanding of screenplay rules and format. The spelling and editting is immaculate, and your descriptions are imagined and original. If you ever wanted to compare notes, technique, or trade advice I would like that.

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