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Purgatory First draft Jordan Mounteer July 11th, 2005 PART I TITLE SEQUENCE EXT. CITY SLUM - NIGHT A man is running, apparently very frightened, down the narrow alleys and empty streets of the city. We can hear his gasps as he struggles through the maze of buildings, even though we can't see whose following him. BYRON (V.O.) Purgatory. It's the place right between where I stand and Hell begins. Just like Dante always envisioned. It's also the name of a 40 block section of Manhattan nobody likes to acknowledge. Here you can find anybody... So far all the shots have been wide angle so we can't see his face, the shadows encapsulating him entirely in their black mask. BYRON (V.O.) (CONT'D) Your angels, your demons. And the whoever the fuck makes up the gray matter to fill in the cracks. (beat) Here, you take a breath and you pray to God it's not your last. Just one more, just one more, please God. (beat) But God doesn't walk these streets. Not like he used too. Finally he reaches the edge of a building and sticks his back up against it, holding his chest as he tries to stop his rapid breathing. He looks around the corner, but no one's there. Assuming its safe, he takes off again. Another wide angle shot as we see a black silhouette of him running by a building. Suddenly however...his breath stops short. A pause. SHINGK! The sound of a body falling to the pavement. CUT TO: EXT. CITY SIDEWALK - NIGHT Walter Byron (35) has his sopping trenchcoat draped about himself, and his hunched shoulders and low hat that covers his eyes convey a man trying to escape the rain and his own mental demons. Slowly, deliberately, he moves forward. One or two people pass by him, but he's essentially invisible. He stops at the corner of a street lamp, swallowed in the cylinder of light that spills from the glass orb twenty feet above him. A medium-shot allows us to see him and the street lamp clearly outlined in the hazy atmosphere of downtown. A tentacle of cringing smoke rises from under the brim of his hat. BYRON (V.O.) But I don't need God. I can do pretty well by myself. I always have. Still....the matter at hand, the reason that I'm trudging through a slime I swore off a long time ago...I wasn't too proud to admit I needed some help. The shot cuts to a CU of his concealed face cast in shadows, looking up at him like some behemoth monument. Smoke flutters against the brim of his hat, puffed from the incomprehensible black void where his face is, and dissolved into the rain. There's a bright flash of light to signal a flashback as we cut to another scene. CUT TO: EXT. PURGATORY ALLEY - EARLIER The shot cuts immediately to Byron walking down a small alleyway, cut off from the main street. He reaches a metal door and knocks twice, then waits. As the door begins to open, Byron throws himself into it, slamming into the face of the man opening it. INT. JACK'S HOUSE - NIGHT Two other guys inside the smoky little room charge at Byron, but he manages to duck one of their blows by grabbing the arm and using momentum to swing him in arc towards the second guy. Both fall onto the ground in a heap. They're up, of course, and charge again, but this time Byron just leaps up and kicks one in the chest, and then backhands the other. One is knocked out and Byron clamps onto the neck of the other one. BYRON (whispering in his ear) Easy, pilgrim. Speak where Jack is... The man gurgles and points to another door. Byron takes his word, and lets go, but slams his head against a table, rendering him unconscious. Byron moves into the other room through the metal door and confronts a poker table with three people, and starts talking to the hooded man, his sweater dirty and grimy. This is JACK, the ugly informant. He's very twitchy when he talks, but deep down he's a killer waiting for a reason. He has two friends on either side, equally ugly. JACK In the name of the saints and old Theodore, look who comes walking back in through my door. BYRON (V.O.) Meet Mr. Jack Amsterdam. Or Jackie Dam. Or Jackam. Or Jackhammer. I just call him Jack. BYRON (CONT'D) (eyes his two comrades) Hey Jack. JACK Hey B. (beat) I heard you was in the Purg. BYRON Likewise. This is where we both belong. (beat) You picked up some new tools for me to disassemble? JACK (motions his head to his two accomplices) Dave and Pat. Say hi to the man guys. DAVE Felicitations, Mr. Byron. BYRON How 'bout that? At least they're polite. JACK And skilled, don't you know. Dave there, he's a black belt. And Pat, fast a mongoose if you ever did see one. DAVE You gotta see it for yourself. You ever seen a mongoose man? I did once, couldn't believe it. You wouldn't wanna fool with Pat. BYRON (in a tough-guy tone) Point me in the direction of a man called Hannibal, Jack. Don't think, just point. JACK (ignores the question) You alone tonight, or what B? (beat) Where's the cavalry? I soon as figured you'd be a smartypants and bring along a friend, like I did. It's not like the stupidest thing you ever did not bringing a friend. Dave and Pat advance on Byron. Byron waits patiently. DAVE When you're finished being softened up, maybe you'll think that was a stupid thing to do. Pat comes after him first, pulls out a knife, and tries to stab at Byron, but Byron blocks the blow and spirals around with his fist, hitting the man's chin and sending him flying backwards. BYRON (V.O.) The mongoose man was quick. But he fell like a rock. A big, soft, pink rock. The karate kid was another story... Dave is upon him instantly and savagely strikes out with his feet, taking Byron by surprise, who takes a boot across the lip. The man tries the kick again but Byron rushes forward and grabs the leg, wrenches it hard one way, and punches the man again. He falls down, coughing, as his assailant picks him up. BYRON (V.O.) (CONT'D) ...a bruise here, a cut there, a broken bone or two in all the right places. Jack always needs a little reminder of what I'll do to him if he doesn't cooperate. As Byron finishes off with Dave he runs after Jack, grabs the tail of his coat as the ugly man is trying to run away and grabs his whole collar. With one movement he throws Jack through the air against a brick wall. Jack is ready to talk now. Byron kneels down, grabs the almost unconscious man's right hand and slams it against the wall. There's a crack and a groan. BYRON (CONT'D) (in a whisper) I left your other hand Jack, just the way it is. That's to show you what a great guy I am. It's also so you can show me where I go next. Point, Jack. Jack weakly motions for Byron to come down so he can whisper in his ear. Byron does so cautiously, and Jack mutters something unintelligible that the audience can't hear. When he hears it, he recoils and looks vehemently at Jack. He's not sure whether Jack is lying or not. Slowly he gets up and dusts off his jacket. Jack is in no condition to lie, or even to stay awake, so Byron leaves. EXT. CITY SIDEWALK - NIGHT As we cut back to Byron presently, there is a great shot of his back against the black streets. BYRON (V.O.) That was a long time ago. It seems like an age and half. In my mind, maybe a century ago. In reality I suppose it was only four or so hours go. Time has a screwy way of ticking in Purgatory. (beat) The man I'm looking for. Truthfully, it's not the man I'm looking for. But she's related all right. I haven't seen her in awhile, and that worries me. Especially out here. (beat) And I'll do what I have too to find her. The shot cuts and we see a less intimate image of him through a wide angle shot as he pauses by the street lamp and moves through the city again. BYRON (V.O.) (CONT'D) There's only two guys I know that can put things back in perspective. One of them's named Samuel Johnson. The other is a guy called Murphy who serves my friend Sammy. The shot cuts again. CUT TO: INT. MAFIA CAR - NIGHT A certain MR. YURIY PALK (28) is sitting in the backseat, reading a magazine. He's fairly well-dressed and his hair is slicked back. Outside a skittish man, whose head is blocked off by the shot, walks up the car and stops as the bodyguard who was standing next to the car approaches him. From inside the car we see the bodyguard discuss something with the bagman, and then frisks him for a weapon. None. Finally the other passenger door opens and the peculiar man sits down next to Mr. Palk. He has a giant brown paper bag over his head with two eyeholes punched in them. PALK (taken by the Bagman's appearance) Frankie. (beat) You make it here okay? (the Bagman nods) Good. I guess the fact you're here sorta answers my own question. So nevermind. I was worried you might be delayed. Did anybody follow you? (the Bagman shakes his head) Good. So....what the hell's with the bag? (the Bagman just stares at him) I said, what's the bag for?? You look some fuckin' paper bag ghost. (the Bagman doesn't say anything) ....geezus, you're a creepy ass motherfuck. Pizdoi nakryt'sja. Did you get what we asked? (the Bagman nods, and Palk reluctantly continues) Good. (beat) C'mon, lets go see him. EXT. SIDEWALK - NIGHT Both Palker and the Bagman get out of the car and are followed by the bodyguard up the steps up the building right next to where they were parked. INT. PANDEMONIUM HALLWAY - NIGHT The three march down a very white and very bare hallway. Palk leads the way and finally chooses a door to which he opens and walks inside. INT. PANDEMONIUM THRONE - NIGHT Sitting behind a very expensive desk, his slick, expensive, suede suit tight against his monstrous form, is a mysterious figure. This is HANNIBAL ROSOCHEV (60), the notorious Mafioso of the Russian organization known as the Tenyeh Talyehcheek, or Shadow Boys. His eyes are pouting and somber, and an open Kahlil Gibrain book is on his lap. He reads in silence while the three people come into his office. Finally he looks up, very slowly, and shuts the book gently, laying it on one corner of his desk. HANNIBAL Pandemonium, dear Frankie. (beat) I named it myself. Who else could name it? That's...that's this place. This...prison of a place. But it's my prison. (beat) Everything in this world is a prison. A gilded prison, mind you. But in the end....still a cage. There is a cut to a CU of the Bagman's head, Frankie, and to the chilling blue eyes that peek from the holes in his mask. He seems unsettled by the almost philosophical nature of Hannibal. HANNIBAL (CONT'D) (sighs) This world. The own flesh of our skin and bones. Even the mind. Trapped.... (beat) That's why I find it ironic, dear Frankie, that you cage your face behind that mask. Anonymity is the strongest cage. When you don't know who you are...what you are. PALK (cuts in timidly) He doesn't talk. I tried. And he won't take off the bag. I don't think he wants to show you his face- HANNIBAL (looks at the Bagman) I know. Unique. Identity is a dangerous...dangerous thing. And he knows it. (turns away) I admire that foresight. Still....the manner of our discussion is irrevocably altered as a result. PALK He showed up so I mean.... He uh...at least, I think...he did what we asked. HANNIBAL (smiles) Of course he did. He was searched, I hope, Yuriy? PALK He's clean. HANNIBAL Thank you, Yuriy. (beat) Please...Frankie, sit. The Bagman sits down with his hands in his lap. HANNIBAL (CONT'D) (seems to remember something) I hope you don't mind me. Mm, calling you Frankie, that is. But you gave me no other name to call you by. Humans demand a name to which they staple labels, so, Frankie is your name tonight. (pause) Your name for me to label. After a short pause between the two, Palk straightens up. PALK Sir, should I- HANNIBAL (keeps his eyes on Frankie) Do you not like silence, Mr. Palk? PALK I..what? HANNIBAL (still looking at Frankie) Silence. The absence of sound. You see....Frankie here cannot speak. Not because he cannot, but because he chooses not to. Therefore he must talk to me...through silence. "Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth". PALK Of course, sir. As you say. It's just that Isaac- HANNIBAL Isaac can wait. PALK I...um....yes, sir. I merely wish to remind you that he is waiting. HANNIBAL I appreciate that. But...he must wait. Another silence descends between Hannibal and Frankie. Finally... HANNIBAL (CONT'D) (closes his eyes, and then speaks in a low murmur) Mr. Palk, do you have a pen? PALK (takes out a pen and small notebook) Yes. HANNIBAL Good things come to those who wait. (Palk looks confused) A personal note. Write it down. PALK (writes it down) Of course. HANNIBAL Good. Now...Frankie. (sighs) I am not a violent man. Not by Nature, dear Frankie. By nature, I believe we are all neutral. No heart of darkness. Just a blank slate. You, me, anybody. (beat) With time we learn one spectrum or the other. I learned both, and was lucky. The advantages and disadvantages that each possess, I possess. (pause) The dark spectrum has proven to be the most useful. I know you know I know this. I also know that you know I know you know this. That makes us very equable in our wisdom. (beat) So equable that...almost....no. No, not like that. There are differences, between you and me. Slight.... (beat) You would have been my equal in another life I believe. But we have enough in common, that to know you I need only know myself. Yuriy, do you still have that pen? PALK Yeah, right here. HANNIBAL (eyes closed) Hmmm... (long pause) He wants us....to meet him...no, wait...not meet him. Ha! Of course not, Frankie (beat) A phone number. Palk...250-226 7314 PALK (unbelievable) ...how....what is it? HANNIBAL The vessel through which we speak to God. Or...one of his...questionable disciples. PALK ...how did...how did you? Palk tries to stammer, but it's a quiet little stutter. He doesn't want to interrupt Hannibal or appear to be completely useless and ignorant in the presence of Frankie. HANNIBAL (opens his eyes and looks at Frankie) There is a development in Purgatory. I want something in this place, something to make my little cage complete. That is, all of Purgatory. (beat) There is only one way to meet that end. "To know your enemy you must know yourself". I'm stuck there, Yuriy. But there is one who commands that sort of wisdom...and he's the means to my end. (beat, and stands up) Three years ago, there was an....altercation, between the ladies of a harbor and my own. Hers, fell. Mine survived, barely. "To know your enemy, you must know yourself". I failed that day, but not again. (beat) Dear Frankie here, is a conduit. My conduit. That's his function. (beat) We have what we need. Take Frankie wherever he wants to go. Pay him. PALK (stricken) As you wish, sir. Frankie nods at Hannibal, and then turns and leaves the room. Hannibal watches as he goes, and wistfully turns back to his desk, where the awe-struck Palk is still sitting. HANNIBAL You want something? PALK I...you were talking like a mystic back there. HANNIBAL (smiles) There is nothing magical or mystical about it Yuriy. (beat) ...I listen without ears. PALK I don't mean to get into your affairs, sir. That's....beyond my pride. I find it odd though....this...man... HANNIBAL It is odd. (beat) There's a war about to be waged. Our war. This time...I won't lose. There's a medium-shot as he picks up the Kihlail Gibrain book again, smooths its surface with his fingers, and sets it back down on the counter. EXT. GARAGE - NIGHT Isaac moves into the garage and flicks on the light. The room explodes with the incandescent luminosity of the hanging light bulb, allowing us to see the expensive line of cars in the garage. As well as Hannibal sitting on the hood of one waiting for Isaac. Isaac is ultimately surprised. ISAAC Dad! God...what...what are you doing? HANNIBAL I was waiting. ISAAC Great. HANNIBAL I've been meaning to talk to you. ISAAC (sarcastically) Yeah, me too. Always a pleasure. But I'm already late so I gotta go. Get off my car. HANNIBAL Your car? ISAAC Yeah, my car... HANNIBAL How soon you forget where your gifts become mine. ISAAC When someone gets a gift, it becomes theirs. HANNIBAL (shrugs) Where are you going? ISAAC (angrily) Dostal! Why does everybody care so much where I go?? HANNIBAL I'm not sure... ISAAC Can you move, now? HANNIBAL Not until I have an answer. ISAAC (shakes his head) I don't have to explain myself to you. I'm a big boy, now. You know? The opposite of what you think I am? So move!! HANNIBAL (hesitates, and then moves) So you're a big boy, are you? ISAAC (narrows his eyes) That's right. HANNIBAL What part of you is this 'big boy'? ISAAC (smiles perversely) You really want me to answer that? HANNIBAL (continues) I think you are a child in a man's body. So young, so naive. So profoundly unaware of anything going on around him. ISAAC You gonna give me your whole philosophical speech on how I'm not ready for anything the world has to offer? I'm late, Dad. HANNIBAL The streets are unfriendly tonight. ISAAC (smirks) Mhmm. HANNIBAL There are some issues that I have to clear up. Some things that should be rectified before I let you onto the street. ISAAC (grimly) Listen closely, Dad. I don't bear your burden. You're the one doing all this shit in Purgatory, working in the shadows. Not me. HANNIBAL That won't stop them. (beat) I'm not proud of what I have to do, son. I'm even less proud of what it does to my children. (beat) But, be that as it may, Purgatory isn't nice tonight. ISAAC (turns the ignition) I'll make that decision for that myself.... HANNIBAL (calmly, but assertively) Alexis would- ISAAC Alexis. Do you even know where your daughter is? (beat) You're not a father, you're a king. I accepted that, a long time ago. I just hope Alexis can learn that before she gets hurt... HANNIBAL (takes offense a little bit) You're out to meet that bitch of a girl friend. Isaac turns around at this, because he didn't think his affair was knowledge to his father. HANNIBAL (CONT'D) You think I'm stupid, Isaac, to let you wander my streets and not know where you are every waking second? ISAAC You weren't supposed to know... HANNIBAL Of course, not. That's why I do. ISAAC I'll hang out with whoever I want to! I'll sleep with whoever I want to, and I'm not going to confer with you about every girl I meet! Get outta my way! Slowly, Hannibal steps aside. His son gets in the car and turns on the ignition. With that Isaac screeches out of the parking lot and is gone into the night. Hannibal is left, frowning and contemplating, as he goes. Palk comes down the stairs and sees Hannibal. He looks like he has a message for his boss. HANNIBAL (difficultly) Goodbye, Isaac. PALK Sir. HANNIBAL (looks up at Palk) Yuriy. What is it? PALK (comes down the steps) One of...ahem...'hers'. Our guys picked her up on the fringe of town, and she said she was just 'visiting'. HANNIBAL Aha. When was this? PALK Just now. They have her out back. HANNIBAL (nods) What's she said? PALK (chuckles) The exact same thing that you got from your Frankie. HANNIBAL Then she's useless. Get rid of her. (pause) Yuriy, do you know where Alexis is? PALK I'll check her room and let her- HANNIBAL (knowingly) No. Never mind. She's not there. (beat) "You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts". How the sins of the parents shall blossom in their children....it was never my intention. PALK Sir? HANNIBAL (grappling with his situation) Isaac has such a strong will doesn't he? PALK Yes, sir. He always has. HANNIBAL Yes. I suppose. Even so... (beat) They were brought up in a world that could never accept them. That was my fault, Yuriy. (beat) They were borne into a nobility that floats upon a sea of blood. (pause) But I can redeem them... PALK As you say, sir. (uncertain pause) You knew he was going to disobey you...and take off. HANNIBAL Of course. I know my son. And what I have to do... PALK Yes, sir. HANNIBAL (changes topic) On second thought, I'd like to deal with this agent myself. I'll be there in a minute. PALK Shall I send out the Tenyeh Talyecheeks? ...for...Isaac. HANNIBAL (briefly, to himself) My shadow boys. (beat) Not for Isaac. They It should be clean. It should be good. Use them to find Alexis. (beat) Send them. Tell them what to do. Tell them to make it quick, and merciful. PALK Why not have this...agent take them both? HANNIBAL (sagaciously) ....my heart tells me that circumstance demands this course of action. ...I don't understand. One shall know my agent...the other my right hand, as the Shadow. (beat, as he clears his head) Alexis is scorning me isn't she? PALK Sir? I don't understand. (beat) She's your favourite, I thought. HANNIBAL Oh, she is. Precious Alexis. God, how I hate what I have to do! But my design, the final design, is more important, infinitely. I've been preparing for so long...and then Frankie, Frankie comes in and my waiting is over. (beat) Alexis is...no different than Isaac. Now... PALK And what about Isaac? Hannibal receives a gun that he was given by Palk and cocks it back. HANNIBAL If he truly is my son, then he will serve his purpose, whether he likes it or not. I've said my prayers and said goodbye (beat, he sadly looks up) Hunt him down. My precious, too. Send the Tenyeh. With that Hannibal walks off up the stairs, with Palk close on his heels. HANNIBAL (CONT'D) (to himself) And if these Shadow Boys fail me, to vanquish my precious daughter....there is always Isaac's predator. CUT TO: EXT. EMPTY PURGATORY STREET - NIGHT There is a quiet shot of a normal, tranquil suburban street. A light post flickers for an instant. A dog barks somewhere. And then... ROARRRR!! Two black Jettas fly by, their occupants leaning out the windows with baseball bats in their hands. Their screaming over a very loud Static X song. EXT. HARBOR FRONT - NIGHT There are a couple of wide angle shots of the harbor front with the dead equipment ghostly remnants of a once prosperous little company. Nowadays it's a hideout. Silhouetted shots of a woman's form moves across a grill of steel girders. She moves almost like water, but her entire body is black by the shadows. There is a ringing, like a phone, and the silhouetted arm of the woman moves to her ear. We gather that she has some sort of earpiece. VOICE (O.S.) Hey, girl. He's on his way. Spotted at 84 Roosevelt Ave. He's taking a funny route. Paranoid like he's trying to shake em' somebody offa his tail. Where are you? WOMAN On the walkway. I'll be there soon. (beat) Let him in, but...don't turn off your scopes. See you in a second. VOICE (O.S.) Bye, bye. The woman taps her ear again and continues walking across the silhouetted walkway. EXT. MURPHY'S BAR - NIGHT We see that Byron has arrived at the neon-lit entrance of a bar. He finishes off his cigarette and tosses it onto the ground, where it extinguishes instantly. He wipes his mouth and walks in. EXT. MURPHY'S BAR - NIGHT The interior of the small bar is filled with smoke and the quiet chatter of drunken, dazed citizens. MURPHY GOUDREAU (52) the bar owner wipes down the well-used counter with a dirty rag as Byron opens the door and strides in, dripping. He nods at Murphy and takes a seat, takes off his hat to reveal long, wet, black hair that slides into his face as its unleashed. He tosses it back with a thick, callused hand and stares up at the bartender with stout, flint eyes. MURPHY What'll it be, Walter? BYRON (depressingly) What can I afford? Murphy smirks, pours a drink from a randomly selected bottle behind him, and slides it to Byron. Byron catches it, and some of the frothy liquid splashes onto his hand. MURPHY You're out a little late tonight, aren't ya? BYRON (drinks his beer back fast) Are you my mother now? MURPHY (joking) If you keep yourself a steady customer, I'll be whoever you want me to be. BYRON (smiles very weakly) Just give me another drink. MURPHY You look like you already had a few. BYRON (frowns) No. MURPHY You sure? BYRON (soberly) Yeah. I'm pretty fucking sure I remember what I drink, Murphy. (beat) It's the air. MURPHY What? BYRON (sips his second beer) The air. 'Specially in Purgatory. Something about it, you know. Something in it. Calms the nerves wayyy down. Soporific pollution... MURPHY (stupidly) Sopperwatta? Byron ignores the question. BYRON You got any whiskey? I'm not a gin man tonight. Murphy pulls at his white beard and reaches under the counter, pulling up an old bottle of Scotch. Byron smiles instinctively as the amber liquid churns in its glass container. MURPHY (admires a glass of the amber syrup) Aged to perfection. Going to romanticize my beautiful golden virgin, are we? BYRON (takes the glass) Are we talking about the whiskey or your daughter? MURPHY (booming) Oh! Fuck you Walter. I think you're about ten years too late on that account anyway. BYRON (drinking it back morosely) She needs a role model, she's young. Guess you being the ideal daddy isn't a reality? MURPHY No. I ain't the perfect papa. But I do what I can. She knows what she's doing. BYRON Mmm....hum... (beat) Don't suppose by chance you've seen Veronica? MURPHY Not recently. Hasn't been in here for...geezus, at least a coupla months. Why you looking for her? BYRON You know me... MURPHY The self-proclaimed saviour. You're playing it risky, pal. Someone with a heart the size of yours gets shot and he's a dead beat goner. BYRON You think I should play it tougher? MURPHY Nah...any tougher and you'd end up being a human flak jacket. It's good to have something in your heart besides stone. Besides, if we got one saint on the streets, maybe they're actually worth a damn, huh? BYRON (slams the empty glass on the table) I ain't a saint. MURPHY (smiles and puts away the glass he's just dried) Ah, coulda fooled me. You want another one there? BYRON (looks around the bar) How about we share one in the back? MURPHY (is suddenly interested) Ah..whatever you say. Manny! Keep an eye on the bar, eh? I'll be in my office... The tall, gangly looking guy called Manny, the second bartender, nods impishly and goes back to serving a drink to some hopeless drunk. Byron follows Murphy into the back. INT. MURPHY'S OFFICE - NIGHT Murphy slumps down in a creaking leather chair. Piles of useless paper and empty bottles litter the cluttered room, a veritable rats nest that reflects the intricate mind of old Murphy. BYRON (V.O.) Considering everything that had happened, I didn't want to break the news of the night's events to him in front of his patrons. MURPHY (reaches behind a bookshelf and pulls out a bottle of green fluid) How about some of this? BYRON What is it? MURPHY Vodka. Lime. Classy, huh? Byron takes the glass he's offered and sips it. Murphy sits down and drinks too. After a short pause, he speaks up. MURPHY (CONT'D) So, what's new with the magnanimous Byron? BYRON New? I'm getting the hang of being old, and you ask me what's new... MURPHY You're not old yet, man. Wait until you look like me to start using the word 'old'. Still making friends as usual? BYRON (grins a little, but there's something else on his mind) I go to Heaven for the climate, and Hell for the company. MURPHY You're smack in the middle, Byron. The weather is fucked, and the company is even more fucked. Byron smiles at the humour, and waits a moment before continuing. BYRON (nervously) When was the last time you heard from Veronica? MURPHY (concerned) ...well she came in about a month ago. But she called me maybe a week or two ago, wanted to borrow some money. BYRON Did she say anything else? MURPHY Uh...no. No, not really. (beat) What's up, pal? Is she okay? Or she hassling you for greenbacks now? BYRON I'm not sure... MURPHY That little spitfire. She had a new boyfriend, you know that? BYRON Yeah...I gathered as much. MURPHY Whatever makes her happy. BYRON ...you think she's happy? MURPHY Haha! She's a woman, By....give a woman a man and she's happy till you take away the man. Take it away with Ronnie, you wanna make sure you give him back quick. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned... BYRON (whispering) It's not Hell I'm worried about... MURPHY (after another pause) You have the look of a man with something on his mind. (beat) It's okay back here. These walls don't have ears. Speak easy.. BYRON I'm just worried 'bout her, that's all... MURPHY (speculatively) You worry too much... (pause) You know something. (beat) What kinda trouble is she in now? BYRON (very hesitantly) ...the bloody kind. (beat) If she calls you, call me 'k? Byron gets up to leave but Murphy stands up violently. MURPHY (angrily) Walter! You ain't leaving me with that! Sit down! (he doesn't move) What's my little girl into now? BYRON Murph....I can't. I shouldn't have- Byron starts to leave again. MURPHY (quietly with his head lowered) It's something to do with the stiff on Fifth and Wesson isn't it? BYRON (turns, not knowing how Murphy knew) ...there isn't any stiff- MURPH (rather pissed off) Don't give me that shit, Walt. I know some guy was pegged down there. You may be a cop, but I'm a goddamn barkeeper, and we get the information we need. Don't try and swindle me. (beat) What does this have to do with Ronnie? BYRON We just wanna ask her some questions. MURPHY (under his breath) I told you not to shit me. Why do you want her? BYRON The blueboy was her boyfriend. (pause) ..the cops...I think they're looking for her. I think they...think she did it. MURPHY (very dismally, leaned over his green vodka) Ahhh.... (beat) I suppose the cops are all over that, huh? Like a pack a dogs... BYRON It's not the cops I'm worried about either... MURPHY Whaddya mean? BYRON Nothing. But I gotta find her. (looks at Murphy, cursing under his breath) I'm sorry... MURPHY Yeah. Geeezus. Sometimes...sometimes she's way more than she's worth, y'know? Heheh...huh... Fuck!! Whaddya gonna do when you find her? BYRON I told you. Ask her some questions. MURPHY And then lock her up, eh? BYRON That depends on the answers. MURPHY She may be a bitch from time to time, but she doesn't deserve that. Nooo...no. Ronnie ain't a killer. A predator, maybe. But....noo. No, she wouldn't... (beat) She's gonna get the noose for this one, isn't she? BYRON That's not a foregone conclusion. MURPHY But it is a conclusion. Your conclusion. (beat) You believe she killed him? BYRON I don't believe anything until I see it. MURPHY (impatiently) You saw the body! What do you believe now? BYRON (carefully) I believe somebody killed him... (beat) ...but not Ronnie. (beat) Not Ronnie, but somebody else. Somebody...who plays with swords. Murphy walks to the back of the office, leans against a cabinet. MURPHY You know where to look for her? BYRON I know... Murphy rips a sawed off shotgun from the pile of crumpled papers on the cabinet. MURPHY You have 15 minutes before I look in the same place... BYRON (lowers his eyes on the shotgun) I wondered where that went. (beat) You gonna do something crazy, Murphy? MURPHY (puts the shotgun over his shoulder) You know me. (beat) I figure I probably oughta find her before the blue and reds do. They'll take her apart. I'll make an exception for you. She's my little girl. I never let her down before. BYRON Neither did I. MURPHY (smiles grimly) That's why you're the exception. Byron looks at Murphy for a minute. MURPHY (CONT'D) 13 minutes. BYRON (finishes his drink and brings out his lighter to light a cigarette) "So my conscience chide me not, I am ready for Fortune as she wills. If I thought my answer were to one who would ever return to the world, this flame should stay without another movement;" Byron shuts the lighter off, extinguishing the flame. BYRON (CONT'D) "...but since none ever returned alive from this depth, if what I hear is true, I answer thee without fear of infamy." He takes a drag and slows the smoke out slowly. BYRON (CONT'D) I hope you don't plan on doing any real shooting with that thing... You might hurt someone. MURPHY (doesn't like the circumstances, but at the same understands his duty) She's innocent, and you know it. She's not going down because some fat ass Precinct needs a raise. I protect my family, Byron. That means Veronica. (pause) You're the saint, right? Well, looks like you got a lost sheep to find. Busy night... BYRON (nods) I walk out that door I'm just another badge. Heheh. How about that... (beat) Just a cop. If we meet again tonight, try to aim low. MURPHY (laughing) And miss your big heart? Not a chance! BYRON (after a short pause) How 'bout that bottle? For twenty I'll take it off your hands... It's the least you can do... MURPHY (gives him the rest of the vodka) One for the road? BYRON One for the street, yeah. MURPHY Good luck. BYRON You too. Byron smiles and tucks the bottle into his trench coat, and then stands up and makes as though to leave. The two friends have exchanged their final words. They know, sadly, that if they meet again it will be as enemies. EXT. RAINY STREET - NIGHT As he comes out into the rain, Byron takes a moment to gaze up into the muddy blackness of the sky, and then curls up his collar against the moisture. BYRON (V.O.) Murphy, goddamn you. But I was happy as hell as he didn't know who Veronica's boyfriend was. If he knew, then he'd be sneaking into the Rosochev residence right that minute and butchering every last one of 'em. And right now I don't need that on my plate. The stiff on Fifth and Wesson was plenty... Absently he looks at the watch on his arm. It reads 10:10. He takes out the vodka and takes a giant swig. There's a bright red flash to signal a flashback. CUT TO: EXT. PURGATORY STREETS - NIGHT Byron's car screams down the highway doing at least a 100. He's completely crazy as he drives down the streets. There is a CU through the windshield of his face. INT. BYRON'S CAR - NIGHT By the light of his dashboard we see his face cast in shadows, with only the incoming headlights of other cars illuminating the narrow band of his eyes. Just then... POLICE RADIO (O.S.) Alert. Code 7, Fifth and Wesson. Please advise, all units. Code 7, Fifth and Wesson... Byron flicks the switch off. BYRON (V.O.) So I went... He turns the steering wheel and pulls a wicked U-turn. EXT. PUBLIC GARAGE - NIGHT Byron pulls up by the garage and gets out. He looks at his watch and it reads 7:23. As Walter gets out and walks over in the direction of the cop cars, he's suddenly confronted by a probie who sees him and scampers over to greet him. FELIX Detective Byron! BYRON Who're you? FELIX (puts his hand forward in a handshake) Oh, sorry. I'm Lieutenant Myers. I was just assigned last week. Felix Myers, sir. BYRON (shakes the hand) Alright, Lieutenant. Welcome to Purgatory. FELIX (walks along side Byron who is heading towards the crime scene) Thank you, sir. I'm very happy to be here. I've been opting for this position for a while. To tell you the truth, I was beginning to think you guys had forgotten my request for a transfer or something. BYRON Where were you before here? FELIX The 28. Downtown Dirty, we call it. BYRON (raises an eyebrow) That's a rough neighbourhood. FELIX Yes, sir, it is. I've been there for five years. But...it's nothing like- BYRON Hell. Purgatory? You'll be wishing you were back in the 28 in no time. I know I did... FELIX You were in the 28? No kidding! BYRON (raises an eyebrow) I thought that's how you knew my name. FELIX What? Oh, no sir. (beat) I uh...well you're a bit of a legend back there for sure. The boys and me have pools going on you all the time. BYRON I hope I haven't made you too poor. FELIX Ah, hahah. No sir, no. I'm one of the ones betting on you. (beat) But man, I didn't know you used to work the 28. Guess you've seen it all then, huh? BYRON (gives Felix another look) I've seen enough. And you can cut it out with the 'sirs'. I don't deserve that much respect. (beat as he reaches the forensics team) Here we go. Felix smiles and waits for Byron to take the lead. A forensic scientist moves aside so Byron can see. Isaac Rosochev is face-down in the ground, with a bloody patch and tear in his coat. Byron doesn't realize who it is yet... BYRON (CONT'D) (to forensic team) What we got guys? SCIENTIST (looks up) Stabbing. (beat) Went right through...by the angle, it looks like it severed the aorta neatly. Quite a feat. I'll let the mortuary guys confirm that... BYRON Just confirm it for me now, Ed. SCIENTIST You don't see that much blood with a stomach wound, or even a direct heart wound, which can seal itself up a little bit. It definitely hit one tube or another....and he just bled out. Quickly too.. FELIX (has a notepad) Any idea what weapon was used? A knife? SCIENTIST Maybe. A helluva big one if they did. I'm thinking more along the lines of a machete...but machetes are for slashing, not stabbing. Besides, the diameter of the cut looks like it was wider than any normal knife. Maybe a hunting knife...I dunno. BYRON You telling me he was chopped down by a sword? SCIENTIST Sword. Yeah, sure, sword. That would work, wouldn't it? It would explain how clean the cut is too; there's no thrashing about. FELIX Yeah I see it, very smooth. Some swords have blood grooves to dissipate suction. Makes the cut almost flawless. BYRON They teaching swords in the academy now? FELIX Hah. Personal hobby, sir. (beat) Something like that...mm...I'd guess a cutlass. But...that's kinda outta date. BYRON Swords are out of date. Don't rule anything out. Byron leans down with a plastic glove and attempts to roll over the body. FELIX ...I'd say a katana. Japanese sword. The width of the wound is about right. When Byron sees who the mutilated face belongs to he cringes, and tries to hide his shock. FLASHBACK INT. RAVE - NIGHT Byron is pushing through a slow-motion crowd of people in a rave. A common bust. He sees a bald man, his mark, and calls into a radio in his sleeve. Police advance into the rave, try to take out the bald man, and threaten to shoot him. The bald men raises his hands, but several guys pop out with Uzis and begin shooting, taking out the cops. Byron ducks and dives in slow motion, taking out both Uzi toting henchmen. But the bald man turns around on Byron with a gun all of the sudden. The cop freezes, and hears a gunshot. He flinches, but nothing's happened. The bald man topples over, eyes wide and dead, and Byron turns to see Isaac with a small .38 behind him. He looks bewildered and scared, and nods at Byron before taking off. BACK TO: EXT. PUBLIC GARAGE - NIGHT Felix looks back at Isaac's dead body. FELIX Friend of yours? BYRON (shakes his head) Acquaintance at best. *sigh* (throws away the glove) Killed by a sword, great. Now we're looking for a guy with a sword. BOSS (sneaks up behind Byron) You're not looking for shit, Byron! (beat) Bag the poor fool and get him down to the labs. I want this mess cleaned up. I want to know exactly what happened here. SCIENTIST Yes, sir. BOSS (sneers at his Boss) As for you, Byron...take a hike. The radio call was for real cops. I'm giving this to Reynolds. BYRON (lights up) I don't think you want to do that. BOSS Oh no? Let me tell you something Byron, and maybe it'll clear up a lot of other stuff you're too dumb to understand: you're a deadbeat, good for nothing, washed out, waste of my time. (beat) Unless you're growing a bigger forehead or turning into a Betazoid, I don't wanna hear that you know what I think, got it?! (beat) Myers, I want you too head up this case with Reynold's when he arrives. How dead is he and when? FELIX (uneasy) ...uh...fairly new sir, within an hour, maybe an hour and a half tops. BOSS Good. (notices Byron) I'm not gonna ask you again, Byron. I'll have you escorted outta here for obstructing a crime scene. BYRON You don't want me here at all? I'll leave ya, then. But when you want a real cop to take this, you know where to find me. BOSS You're sunk, Walter! I'll find you sipping your own piss in the gutter, is where I'll find you. This is a random killing and I need my probies to get their fingers wet. BYRON Random, huh? BOSS I'm not gonna parrot-talk this back to you. BYRON Before you even consider it, consider this: why is Isaac Rosochev kissing pavement with a sword wound through his heart? Look me in the eye and tell me it's a random killing one more time. BOSS When you get credible, I'll start using my ears. Now screw off, Byron! This is being handled! BYRON] (insolently) Pan-handled like a kid with matches. You'll handle this by corrupting every piece of evidence and making sure no one's the wiser. That's one helluva way to run an operation, Chief. BOSS That's enough!! BYRON And one more thing. (points at the corpse) His sister is missing, disappeared, off the metaphorical radar. That coincidence too!? BOSS I thought I took you off the Rosochev girl? What did I do, I took you off the case!! BYRON ...that doesn't change the circumstance. BOSS I'm through with this. Byron, you're off the case, you're off all the cases until further notice! I will not permit an act of insurgence within the Precinct. Not from you or anybody! (beat) Lieutenant, escort Mr. Byron back to his car, and make sure he doesn't get within twenty feet of the crime scene. If he resists, shoot him. He's finished... FELIX (whispers) Please, sir. Byron follows Felix back to the car. FELIX (CONT'D) I'm...really Sorry about that. But you know I gotta- BYRON I know you gotta. Don't worry about it. It's your job, Felix. (beat) Just do me a favour, Lieutenant. Don't discount anything. The Chief saw the body, he'll have heard all that the forensics guys have said. And he's still playing dumb. (beat) Just be careful. FELIX I will. Byron gets in the car and drives off. INT. BYRON'S CAR - THAT MOMENT Byron has a horrible grimace plastered to his face, and his eyes have turned into cold, hard slivers of stone. BYRON (V.O.) Something about a single image that can chill your blood, freeze it in your veins, make it curdle behind your eyeballs. Isaac was dead. And his sister was still missing. Something very wrong, and the puzzle pieces jumbled in Rubik cube configurations. EXT. ROOFTOP COMPLEX - NIGHT We see that Byron is moving as a silhouette on the top of a rooftop overlooking the city. Inside the car he takes out his gun and chucks it on the passenger seat. He flicks on some laid back music on the radio and steps on the gas. A voice suddenly interrupts. He doesn't know immediately where it comes from, but its evident its probably from the passenger seat. It's a cold, distant, robotic voice. GUN (?) How do you define ironic? BYRON (takes a moment to reply) ...the Maginot Line. The martyrdom of Martin Luther King. GUN (?) Not this? I find it most ironic. Or perhaps convenient is a better word. Convenient. Someone was looking for Isaac, you are looking for the other. BYRON What do you want? GUN (?) Nothing. Tell me, how long do you think Alexis has? Isaac didn't last long. You think it was a professional...I tend to agree with that statement. Quite the professional. I wonder...if this...professional...is looking for who you're looking for. I wonder how long Alexis has... BYRON (struggling) So my conscience chide me not, I am ready for Fortune as she wills. If I thought my answer were to one who would ever return to the world, this flame should stay without another movement. (beat) NOW SHUT UP! The gun/voice is silent, and Byron slams the music off. BYRON (V.O.) (CONT'D) I needed to find her more than ever now, make sure she was all right. Alexis gone for two weeks now and her brother shows up dead tonight. INT. CHINESE DINER - NIGHT There is a shot of a woman with very long dark black hair facing away from the camera, so all we see is the back of her head. A waiter approaches her and asks her something in Chinese, and she whispers back. She fiddles with a phone for a second and then replaces it in a small purse. The shot doesn't change, so that we never see her face directly. Then... ...another woman comes into the restaurant. She's greeted by a Chinese waiter who points her to the mysterious woman at the table. This is MAYA (23). Maya sits down at the table opposite the other woman and samples some of the noodles. WOMAN (quietly) Did you find him Maya? MAYA (sips up the noodles) We tried... WOMAN That's a no, then. MAYA Yeah. We looked all over, believe me. I don't understand where he could have gone. WOMAN (even quieter) We have to find him. I don't want anyone stopping searching, Maya. They'll stay out all night if they have too. (beat) Do you hear me? MAYA I hear you. Don't worry, we'll keep it going. (pause) What about you? WOMAN What about me? MAYA Huh. You tell me. (beat) You're quiet. You're wayyy to quiet. You shouldn't be this quiet, y'know. And that scares the hell outta me. WOMAN Don't worry about me. MAYA I can't help it. (beat) ...hey, we'll find him, okay? Trust me. The woman nods. MAYA (CONT'D) (less certain) ...we'll find him... After awhile of silence, Maya stands up to leave. MAYA (CONT'D) (hesitantly) ...uh...listen. Gracie went out the south side, and we haven't heard from her. I gotta go check and see...she probably just keeping silent is all, but y'know, I thought I'd check. (beat) It's not like her to just disappear like that. The girls and me was wondering if you heard from her. WOMAN (shakes her head) Gracie's dead... MAYA (aghast) ...heh..wha... (beat) Whaddya mean she's dead? WOMAN You won't find her Maya, because she can't be found. She's scattered to the wind, and gone with it too. I don't want you going to the south side. Stay away from it. MAYA (almost tearfully) But! Gracie, she just...I just saw her. I sent her off and she was... (beat) How is this...? Maya sits down and covers her head to prevent people from seeing. The woman is still oddly quiet and calm and accepting. WOMAN (almost a whisper) There's an evil in Purgatory, Maya. And I never even saw it. I felt it, but I never saw it. And now.... MAYA (fearfully) Don't speak that... WOMAN I'll speak, Maya. I'll speak 'cause I can't do anything else 'cept speak. Keep searching. But not the south... (pause) ...don't follow Gracie, Maya. I'm telling you now, don't do it... MAYA (looks up angrily, but talks quietly in a hiss) Who killed her? WOMAN Go back to the compound. (beat) Get guns... MAYA Guns... WOMAN I'll follow you back...in a minute. Maya is confronted with an emotional overload and slams the table. People look to stare at her as she gets up and leaves the restaurant with rancour written on her face. WOMAN (CONT'D) (under her breath) Isaac.... INT. SQUAD CAR - NIGHT The Boss that was at the crime scene is sitting in a squad car all by himself. He puffs a cigar and pulls out a cell phone from his pocket. He types in a number (666) and waits for an answer at the end. BOSS Are you there? VOICE (O.S.) Speak. BOSS Byron. Ah, fuck. Walter Byron, he's a detective. I think he knows something....nah, not knows. He suspects though, I know that. VOICE (O.S.) Take care of him. BOSS How am I supposed to take care of him? I can't do anything! I don't even know where he is. VOICE (O.S.) You don't... BOSS I uh...I told him to buzz off. I didn't want him hanging around the body. (beat) You know you coulda done a better job of it, yourself. Saved me a lot of trouble. VOICE (O.S.) I am merely an employer. BOSS Well employ someone to clean up your own mess next time. VOICE (O.S.) ...I'm paying you. (beat) This...Byron. How much does he suspect? BOSS A lot. I dunno, hell, maybe he's figured things out already. He's a smart-ass. I heard him talking about a sword though. VOICE (O.S.) ...take care of him. BOSS I told you! I can't! That's too much to ask... VOICE (O.S.) (pauses) Then I'll take care of him. With that the voice cuts off. BOSS Hello? Hello?? (beat) Shit! The Boss slams the phone into his pocket and bites his lip. He knows he's walking a fine line here. All of the sudden there's someone knocking on his window, and he jumps back at Felix standing outside his car. BOSS (CONT'D) (rolling window down) What is it Lieutenant?! FELIX Uh, sorry sir. I was just gonna tell you that Reynold's just called in and he's not gonna make it. BOSS Why not? FELIX Stomach ache or the flu or something. He didn't say specifically. BOSS (grumbling) Damnit Fine. (beat) Huhhh....take the case for yourself. I'll assign another badge to work with you when I get back to the Precinct. You might have your work cut out for you this time, Myers. FELIX What do you mean, sir? What type of work are we doing? BOSS I just got off the phone. This is big. Apparently that guy in the bag is an Isaac Rosochev. FELIX ...Rosochev. BOSS Yeah. You know who I mean. You recognize the last name? Good. Anyway, he had..well, when the stupid prick was alive, he had a girlfriend. FELIX I see. BOSS We don't know for sure. But...we got a good idea that maybe she knows something. She had the motivation...she has a pack of criminals that follow her lead, see. Group of rogues that hideout in the harbour. Anyway, if the Rosochev was contesting somethin'...ah, you get the idea. She probably did it. Off the record, Myers, I know she did it. (beat) But she's a shadow in this place and we gotta find her so... Just take it simple. (beat) I'll uh...I'll take a pre-report in the morning, on my desk. FELIX As you say, sir. The Boss nods and rolls up his window. Then he's off again in his car, zooming down the streets. Felix looks after him for a minute, and we can tell he's not taking what the Boss is saying very seriously. CUT TO: EXT. PURGATORY STREETS - NIGHT A black motorbike, a heavy-duty sports version, cruises down the highway with blinding speed. The colorful residents of Purgatory look up as it passes. The rider is all black, and his helmet is polarized black too so it looks like he doesn't have a face. There is a length of glossy black hair tied up in a ponytail that is tousled slightly with the wind of the vehicle, and a sword strapped neatly to his back. HANNIBAL (O.S.) Yuriy. We have a problem. A big problem. PALK (O.S.) Yes, sir, I heard. He could endanger everything. HANNIBAL (O.S.) You ever heard of this...Byron? PALK (O.S.) Somewhat, sir. Self-proclaimed vigilante detective. I wouldn't underestimate him. The bike flashes past again and there is a CU of the black non-reflective visor of the rider's helmet. HANNIBAL (O.S.) He's a match. Match and point. And he's one up. We'll see. I know the perfect person...to handle this. CUT TO: INT. PANDEMONIUM THRONE - NIGHT Hannibal is sitting back at his desk again, his fingers crossed over a pile of books. HANNIBAL And then....we'll just have to see. Have the Tenyeh found Alexis yet? PALK They have some idea of where she is. HANNIBAL She's become detached from me. She could sense the coldness in my gaze. Huh..almost...almost like she knew what I was thinking, and could...feel the rumbling of my mind, as a mortar grinds. (beat) If they don't find her soon, then I have to send 'him' to find her. PALK He was clumsy. HANNIBAL He was efficient. Isaac...needed to be found. I've let loose the dogs of war, and let the leash grown short. But this Byron....he's not like...like anything. (beat) In the end, Bishop may have to face him. PALK He did a good job of Isaac. HANNIBAL (flushes) ...don't speak so objectively of my son. PALK (catches himself) ...I'm...sorry. I don't mean to offend you. (pause) Do you want me to call off the Tenyeh? Leave it to...Bishop? HANNIBAL No. Keep them out. But....I will have Him watching their movements. Should my faithful shadow boys fail, he will succeed. PALK Very well. HANNIBAL Very well. CUT TO: EXT. PURGATORY NORTH - NIGHT Walking down the streets, empty of course, is the shapely silhouette of the woman from the Chinese restaurant. Her head is lowered to the ground, but she walks with very good posture. Behind her the headlights of a Mercedes make her even more of a silhouette. She doesn't even bother to turn around or question who is following her. As she comes to a bus stop bench, she sits down, face hidden by shadows, and waits. The car approaches and the man inside opens his window. Jack Amsterdam grins a bloody smile, his face still smashed somewhat from his encounter with Byron. WOMAN (softly) My compatriots would be displeased... (she flicks out a small knife and sets it on her lap) ...to know you're still crawlin' in this corner. (pause) On the other hand, they'd be most pleased to find you here, I guarantee. Our knives are a little dry these days. JACK Yo, babe, don't try to scare me like that. You'll give me a heart attack. 'Sides, you know you're happy to see me. WOMAN (sarcastically) How well you know me... JACK You know me, babe. WOMAN I know you, and I hate it that I do. You should speak there, Jack....and then disappear the way you came. JACK Why you so cruel to me? I'm just looking for a friendly bit of conversation. WOMAN It looks to me like you've already had a bit of talking too tonight. JACK (wipes his face) Meh. Just a brawl. Forgot to duck, and then forgot to kick his ass. But uh...let's change the subject, 'k? WOMAN To what? JACK I thought maybe we could talk, like I said. WOMAN We are talking, Jack. JACK I meant privately. WOMAN These streets are private. JACK You know what I mean. WOMAN I don't think I do. JACK (grins) How 'bout my place? Champagne, soft music... WOMAN Hit the road, Jack. (beat, as she tightens her grip on the knife in her lap) ...and don't you come back no more. JACK ...no more, no more, no more. (beat) I thought you'd want to hear what I have to say. 'Cause baby, you're ears would be itching for the information in my head. WOMAN (so eerily soft and calm) If I truly wanted what was in your head, Jack, I would cut it open. JACK (eyes the knife, and knows he's crossed the line) Riiight. (pause) You should treat me better. I can see I'm gonna have to...endeavour towards a warm bed somewhere else. (pause, as he eyes the silent woman sitting in the bench) You know what... Jack hits the car into gear and starts to drive off, but whispers something to her as she leaves. JACK (CONT'D) ...your old buddy Byron is visiting. Seems a little agitated. Why don't you settle him down...before I find him and do likewise. You see him before I do, tell him I'm looking for 'im. As Jack drives off, the silhouette CU of the woman's face seems to register some recognition, and her head lifts a little at Byron's name. EXT. ROOFTOP COMPLEX - NIGHT Byron is now on top of a roof, and heading towards a guy who has a telescope and is looking at the stars on the city horizon. He approaches the man, who has straggly hair in tangled dreadknots and a beard to complement his neo-hippie appearance. He knows that Byron is behind him, so speaks with his eye still plastered to the scope of the telescope. This is the DENIZEN (44). BYRON Pretty night out. Kinda makes me wish I spent more time out here. I mean, up high. Its clean up high, up here. There's none of that same damp smog that I'm used to, but all the same...it's a pretty night. DENIZEN (in a grizzled voice) Not really. BYRON (V.O.) The Denizen. Good friend of mine. BYRON (CONT'D) You can't see the stars where I live. DENIZEN That's unnatural man. BYRON That it is, Dennis, that it is. There's like....thirty maybe at the most. Pollution and night lights turn the rest off. DENIZEN (trying to find north with his hand) It's a full moon out tonight. Should be like...man...now I'm turned around uh....over that skyscraper over there? Maybe...hmm. You got the moon from your quadrant of Manhattan? BYRON It's not the same. DENIZEN You come here for the stars and the moon? BYRON I came because no one knows this place. DENIZEN Good answer. There is a long pause between the two as Byron sits on a crooked lawn chair that is perched on the gravel roof and the Denizen turns his telescope a few degrees. DENIZEN (CONT'D) So how's life? BYRON Complicated. Hmm...heh. And you? DENIZEN Just me and the stars. BYRON Sounds....simple. DENIZEN Compared to your work, I guess. (beat) You've got a horrible bloody stain on your conscience. Me, I'm just...just another light in the sky. BYRON You're the only one with a clean conscience. DENIZEN I'm not the ego-type, but...yeah. (beat) Funny how that entitles me to fix other peoples consciences. (beat) I can't imagine any other possible conceivable remotely probable reason that you're on my roof right now. BYRON You're very perceptive. (beat) I guess you have to be though. Wouldn't be much use to me if you weren't, right? DENIZEN (steps away from the telescope) It's in the job description. BYRON Ha! (pause, then in a serious voice) Dennis...I need your help. DENIZEN (wistfully) I know. (beat, and leans forward) Let me ask you first: if I help you find your conscience, will you listen to it? Byron nods slowly. DENIZEN (CONT'D) Okay. Good. (beat) You're wondering about the Fifth and Wesson Rosochev. About the sword in little Isaac's back. You're wondering if that has anything to do with the angel of Purgatory. (beat) The littler Rosochev. Alexis. Almost an angel's name. BYRON (V.O.) The Denizen. Information addict. Anything happens in Purgatory, he knows it before it even happens. That's why we're such good friends. BYRON (CONT'D) That's right. DENIZEN (laughs) I'm glad you've stopped asking me how I know everything! Makes the whole interaction process a helluva lot easier! Hahahah! (beat) ...but I'm gonna tell ya, and ya may not like it particularly all that much, but you're gonna hear it anyway. (pause) I suggest you start looking for another angel. BYRON I don't know any other angels. DENIZEN Not all angels are sweet and white. BYRON A name. A name Dennis. (beat) I can't be blind on this. This time I have to be clear. Like water. I can't be wrong.... DENIZEN (mystically) Goudreau. The name startles Byron, who opens his mouth to say something, but doesn't quite finish the sentence. After a pause... BYRON (in denial) ...right. Why am I looking for...her? DENIZEN (in a wistful voice again) Little Isaac was grown up. He had a mistress his papa didn't approve. Quite a Romero/Jules fiasco. The Denizen waits for it to dawn on Byron's face: Isaac knew Veronica, intimately. BYRON (feeling the strain of the situation) ...they were-.. (beat) Oh, geezus. That means the cops will know too. And Hannibal. Everyone is gonna know... (pause) They'll be looking for her. She'll be the prime suspect. She'll be the one they're looking for... DENIZEN (smiles sardonically) There's a good possibility. BYRON ...I can't believe she killed him. Not with a sword, not with a gun. DENIZEN That doesn't matter, pal. But...with Isaac having a premature coronary, she's your best bet to pull the jigsaw together. You two go....way back. And believe it or not, you know that's your choice, she's in as much danger as your other little angel. Maybe more... (beat) And in this scenario of Shakespearian tragedy you have to face the question that I pose. There's a war just beginning....right here, pal, inside Purgatory. Hell and almost Hell are gonna slug it out. And you, me, we both have front row seats. (beat) Goudreau, or Rosochev. You can probably save one, Walter. BYRON (suddenly intrigued) What war? What are you talking about? DENIZEN (makes a face) You know the rules. Veritas. Sometimes we have to let people find Truth on their own terms. I'm just pointing you...in the right direction. (beat) The direction is duality. The war is at one end. And the signs to these paths are labelled Goudreau...or Rosochev. BYRON (whimsically) "In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost." DENIZEN That's good. Who is that? BYRON Dante. Alighieri. DENIZEN Hm. (pats his knees and stands up) Huhhh. Choice is the bane of man. And you got a choice I'm glad I don't have to make. You're gonna save one...or you're gonna not. (beat) Whose it gonna be, the baby or the bitch? BYRON "Two roads converged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not take them both". DENIZEN If you wanna put it poetically... (beat) Was that Yeats? BYRON Frost. DENIZEN Ah. (beat) ...listen...you find one, you'll find the other. They're connected like that. I ain't gonna get existential on ya or anything...but uh... BYRON ...I'm gonna find both, Dennis. DENIZEN (hold his forefinger up) Find, yeah. Save...like I said...only one. FADE OUT. BACK TO: EXT. RAINY STREET - NIGHT Byron is just fending off drops of rain from his coat when the voice-over initiates. Murphy's bar is right in the background. BYRON (V.O.) So long ago, it seems. But if I could find her....then maybe Alexis would be right behind. EXT. VOGUE APARTMENT COMPLEX - NIGHT As the camera focuses on a street sign that says "VOGUE RESIDENCES", we see through a downward shot the floating figure of Byron as he approaches the building. There's a sudden CU of his invisible face, silhouetted against the whites of his eyes, the only visible part of him. They squint. BYRON (V.O.) Veronica Goudreau. Wow. If you ever wanted to know what an urban fox looks like, you'd look her up. And then pray she didn't bite too hard. INT. VERONICA'S FLAT - NIGHT The whole shot and the V.O. are done in a distorted dream like state, signaling it as either a flash-back or fantasy. Veronica Goudreau (23) is standing in a black satin skirt that comes down to her knees, and has a leather jacket on and tall leather boots. She stands in front of a six foot mirror, her long, gorgeous black hair swimming across her back and down her shoulders. Her big round eyes flash with a diminutive innocence. She has a very commanding presence....take charge attitude. BYRON (V.O.) CONT'D You can tell in a heartbeat she's Murphy's girl: slick, cunning, and beautiful. 'Cept unlike the daddy, her pretty little lips are thick with French. And if she doesn't go for the jugular right off the bat, shes quite pleasant to talk too. She smooths her dress, and the camera does a CU on her rather pretty face. BYRON (V.O.) (CONT'D) Murphy figures her for one of the angels that Purgatory's streets are out to get. Figures me for her protector. Veronica takes a knife off the counter, flicks it open (switchblade), and admires it in the mirror for a minute. Then she flicks it shut again, and stuffs it up her right sleeve. BYRON (V.O.) (CONT'D) I've never had the heart to tell him she cut her wings off years ago. But like he told me, if my heart gets any bigger its a liability. Besides, its like I told him...I ain't no 'saint'. EXT. VOGUE APARTMENT COMPLEX - NIGHT The shot cuts to another CU of Byron's shady face. A trickle of smoke escapes the black hole of his face BYRON (V.O.) She and I used to be...involved. That really was a long time ago. Nowadays she has her own gang in Purgatory. They can protect her, I suppose, but it makes me sleep better to know I'm watching too. Mostly,she keeps out of trouble, and I don't bother her. (beat) But tonight I have questions. Questions she has the answers too. And those pretty French lips had better be in a talking mood. INT. VOGUE APARTMENT HALL - NIGHT Byron is walking down the small hallway, his feet trudging down the length of carpet. He stops at the door, 003, and knocks. No reply. He knocks harder this time, three times. But there's still no reply. BYRON Veronica. Open up. Silence. BYRON (CONT'D) Ron, I'm gonna break the door down if you don't open up. (pause) I'm not kidding! Still...silence. In the hall way, Byron makes a sucking sound with his teeth. He looks down the hallway, makes sure nobody is watching, and slams into the door. It opens easily with a CRACK of wood, and light from the hallway filters into the dark apartment. But it's not all that much light; things are still shadowed. BYRON (CONT'D) Veronica? He steps into the room, flicks on the switch. Nothing. A shadow flies pass the window, but he doesn't notice. BYRON (CONT'D) Veronic- A voice intercedes. It's a grunge combination of street lingo and French accent. It's an interesting mingling of language characteristics. WOMAN'S VOICE (hardly audible whisper) Reach for the rod, hot stuff, and I'll splatter gray stuff all over the floor. BYRON (freezes as a gun is placed against his temple) That's not a good idea. You have any idea how bad brains stain? You'll be cleaning these carpets for a week... WOMAN'S VOICE I'll call a maid, smart-ass. (beat) Take it out slowly, and set it on the floor. (beat) And don't make me show you how much fast I am with a trigger. Obediently, Byron reaches into his holster and draws the gun out by the barrel. He tosses it onto the carpet floor. WOMAN'S VOICE (CONT'D) That's the smartest thing you've ever done. BYRON I could argue that. WOMAN'S VOICE Shut up. Stand up. Don't turn around. (beat) Move over there, by the couch. (Byron obeys) Now sit down...slowly. As he sits down, he notices how this mysterious feminine voice has yet to shed any light onto a face. After awhile... BYRON Listen, maybe you can help me. I'm looking for someone. WOMAN'S VOICE Someone's looking for you. BYRON Is that someone you? WOMAN'S VOICE (pauses) If I was looking for you, I would have found you. Now be quiet... BYRON Are we waiting for something especially important to happen? WOMAN'S VOICE I am. They wait a little longer. BYRON (in a creeping voice) If you fill me in, lady, I'll be willing to wait as well. Right now it just feels like I'm counting down the centimeters between me and your water pistol. (beat) At least be a compassionate interrogator and take my mind off its current headline. WOMAN'S VOICE You never shut up, do you Walter? BYRON (stunned) ...well, thanks. That certainly took my mind off something. But that didn't help my obsession issue with your waiting game...not one bit. (pause) Have we been introduced? WOMAN'S VOICE Why are you here? Why'd you break down the door? It's like...you were expecting someone else to be behind it. BYRON Trust me, I had a good idea at the time. (beat) On that same note, you're wasting my time. I have places to be and people to see, and you weren't on the invitation. The woman steps into the light, revealing her face. It's Veronica, but she's wearing the coldest expression that Byron has ever seen. BYRON (CONT'D) (tries to contain his excitement) ...huh. (pause) So what the hell was with not answering your door and sticking a rod on my head??!! She steps forward, taunting him somewhat, and tries to calm down his outburst which was prompted by his embarrassment of seeming surprised by Veronica's appearance. VERONICA I wasn't expecting you, Walter. And you're lucky, otherwise I might have mistaken you for my Rapier's target. She holds up her gun, a silver pistol that looks custom made, and is sleek with a silver silencer on one end. The CU focuses on the engravings on the gun that reads "Rapier .38". BYRON (runs a hand through his hair) If not me, then who were you expecting? (pause) Isaac? The remark visibly hurts Veronica who tightens her finger on her gun, and looks away for a moment. VERONICA (raises the gun at him) You shut your fucking mouth, man. You shut it good or I will. Fucking prick... Byron swallows and leans back in the couch. VERONICA (CONT'D) ...you never change, man...you just keep going with the principle of brinksmanship. (beat) One day...that's gonna get you killed. BYRON ...I didn't mean anything, Ron. (pause) It was just a question. VERONICA (near tears, but never at that point...she's too tough) The Three Bears. BYRON (looks up slightly) I don't get it. VERONICA The Three Bears. That's what they call it down at the shooting range. I got down there, a coupla times...not really seriously or anything, but just to get the idea with this baby. The Three Bears are the first three bullets on top of your clip. They're the first ones that you pump out. The guys down there, they're probably just fucking with me, but it goes that the Three Bears never miss. They always get their goddamn Goldilocks, and then turn her into porridge. (beat, lowers gun) So once again, shut the fuck up. BYRON (respectfully) You never miss, Veronica. You don't need the Three Bears for that. VERONICA (softens a bit) You didn't answer me. (beat) You owe me a new door, by the way. BYRON (takes out his wallet, tosses a hundred on the coffee table) Honest to goodness truth, mon amie...I'm looking for you. VERONICA Because of Isaac.. BYRON Yeah. (beat) Hey, I am sorry, 'k? I ain't that heartless. He didn't deserve that. (beat) I assume you know everything... VERONICA (checks her Rapier) 'Cept who killed him. BYRON Precinct is confident you can shed some light on that. VERONICA (notices Byron staring at her) I didn't kill him, Byron. I loved him. Haha! That's uh...that's like...like soap opera...uh. What's the word for that? BYRON Cheesy? VERONICA No. It starts with a 'c' though. BYRON Cliched? VERONICA Yeah, right. (pause) You ever loved anyone, Walter? And don't say me, 'cause I'll know you were lying. Seriously...anyone? (Byron shakes his head) It works like this, then, hot stuff. If you love someone, the last thing you do is rough them up with a sword. Love makes you do crazy shit, you heard that before I'm sure. Ha! That's cliched too, huh? But killing someone you love...well then you're mistaking love with something else. (beat) Fuck! But I am gonna send that shithole motherfucker that did kill him to join him! Hell is gonna get crowded... The whole time Veronica is getting more and more worked up. But it's not a natural kind of anger in her eyes, not anymore. It's something...completely new and terrifying. BYRON (lowers his eyes) What happened Ver? I gotta know.... VERONICA You gotta know, huh. BYRON (grumbles) Yeah. VERONICA You gonna....you gonna tell me why I gotta? BYRON (bites his lip) Another life hinges on what you tell me. VERONICA Oh! Byron, why didn't you say so?! Of course I'll be willing to tell you everything now! As long as there's another life at stake!! (beat) You're the one that doesn't wanna waste time so quit it. Byron grumbles again and looks at the Rapier, lowered, but still technically pointed at him. BYRON ....you gonna talk to me or not? VERONICA (considers) How 'bout a deal, babe? (pause) The cops are onto me. I don't need you to tell me that. Hell, I had to ditch a pair of blue and reds on the way over. Almost threw it away when I was crying...I was too fuckin' noisy with my sobs. (beat) They won't stop, not with me. BYRON You stay low, you stay alive. Water can only boil for so long before there's nothing left... VERONICA (smiles) How eloquent, Walter. (beat) This is different, trust me. The deal, babe. You're gonna help me. BYRON Help you what? VERONICA First, you're gonna help me stay alive. Second, you're gonna help me find the bastard that slain Isaac. Byron considers this for a moment, and then looks at the gun, and then nods a nod that's nearly invisible. CUT TO: INT. BYRON'S CAR - NIGHT Byron is of course driving down the street, and Veronica is sitting shotgun next to him. She's put away her rapier however. VERONICA Who do you think killed 'im? What's your cop-hunch telling you? BYRON It's telling me I should have thrown a grenade in your room before I walked in. VERONICA (ignores him again) A sword, Byron. Who the hell in the breadth of Purgatory would be carrying a sword and taking out a mob boss' son? (beat) This is down and dirty, man. Downright filthy. And like...we're just getting muddier, see. Nah, I'll tell ya... BYRON (waits a moment) Tell me what? You can't tell me you haven't been trying to figure this out yourself. That's...not like you. I remember you, Ronnie....and you already got a whole frickin' plot laid out. VERONICA (almost giggles) I thought you'd forgotten me entirely... BYRON I didn't forget you, Veronica. (pause) It was better for us...both of us...this way. VERONICA (shrugs) I think Hannibal knew that me and Isaac was involved. I think he knew better than just about anybody. But Isaac didn't....Isaac was sweet, really. But he didn't have the streetwise, y'know...didn't know people, or didn't wanna see 'em anyway. (beat) I think his father didn't like me much. BYRON Why should he? You've got a guerilla organization to rival his. Not in numbers, certainly...but definitely in style. VERONICA I'm not saying he should. I'm just saying he didn't. (beat) What do you think the extent of uh..uh...Russian mafioso's pride is, eh? BYRON I dunno. VERONICA I think I know. I think he wanted me outta the way. BYRON Then he woulda killed ya. (beat) That was who you were expecting? VERONICA Something like that. More like the red and blues, actually. The Tenyeh...they're not interested me. Heh. I don't think Hannibal wanted too. Kill me. Not right away. (silent pause) Take it this way...you're a cop, right...so if this was a frame, a set-up...what do you think? BYRON I think it doesn't make a lot of sense. VERONICA (another pause) You drive faster than you used too. (beat) Whose this other life that I'm in collaboration with to save? BYRON (is considering telling her) Your boyfriend had a sister. VERONICA (doesn't show surprise) Alessa. BYRON Alexis. VERONICA Right, right. Alexis. BYRON (spills the beans) I've been looking for her all night. Nobody seems to know where she is. All I got is a three block hint... VERONICA Given by a certain Jack, I assume? BYRON Common acquaintance. You seen him? VERONICA I saw what happened to his face. It was your style. He's looking for a rematch y'know... BYRON He gave me three blocks. I coulda narrowed it down to one, but he ran outta fingers. And those three blocks...they're dirty. Your kind of dirty. VERONICA I'm a dirty little girl, what do you expect? BYRON ...I'm doing what you told me to do...you're safe, safer than where you were...so now I expect you to give me another hint. VERONICA Why do you wanna find her? She's...just a kid. She can't help you. BYRON (growls) You got your reasons for staying outta the sirens, I got mine for finding her. Shut up and leave it at that. VERONICA So if this was a setup- BYRON Street address first. VERONICA I have no idea. That's mighty presumptuous of you to assume I know where his kid sister is going to be. BYRON (V.O.) The Denizen is never wrong. Veronica is going to point me in the right direction...one way or another. BYRON (CONT'D) ...don't...even...try. You have a really good idea, I bet...and I wanna hear it. Then...I'm all yours... VERONICA (frowns) ...fine. 6661 Avernus Drive. Happy? She might be there. Isaac said she goes down there once in awhile. She might not be. (beat) Hannibal doesn't know the place. He never tells though...good brother. BYRON (almost flinches) .....good brother to leave her at...that place? Byron seems infuriated, silently, by the address and knowledge of where he's going to find Alexis. VERONICA ..she's careful. (beat) So if this was a setup...okay. You think it was a setup? BYRON I said I dunno. VERONICA Maybe. Me and Hannibal...it's like you were saying, about water boiling. Purgatory is this pot, right...a witches thing...starts with a 'c'. I'm bad with 'c' words today, aren't I? BYRON Cauldron VERONICA Cauldron. Purgatory is a cauldron. And me and Hannibal are in the cauldron, and it's just beginning to boil. And when it does...it's gonna boil over. BYRON (remembers the Denizen) The war... VERONICA What? BYRON Something a friend told me. That war was comin'. VERONICA Hmmph. A prophet's never wrong. He's right. There is a war. It's Hannibal, man, it's all him all the way. He's got you badges on his side. BYRON (grates his teeth) Don't test me Ron. If I know you so well still, then at least pretend like you know me. Rosochev isn't getting my scope on his side. Not today... VERONICA (teasing) Tomorrow? Byron grins a little. BYRON (V.O.) Veronica and me are heading into a crusade. We're entering the crucible. And I don't know what's on the other side. VERONICA (goes back to being a little more serious) There's a war on, Wally...its just starting, like the calm before a shit-storm. Can't you feel it? No one's getting outta this...we're all gonna burn. EXT. CURBSIDE - NIGHT Byron gets out of the car, checks his gun, and moves to the sidewalk. He motions for Veronica to roll her window down. BYRON You stay here. I'll be out shortly. VERONICA Whatever you say, babe. He nods and continues to walk towards a house that is illuminated by an aura of lamp light and drunken laughter. CUT TO: INT. ESCOBAR'S PARTY - NIGHT A shot of a wall-side clock gives us a time of 12:01. The sound of teenage and adolescent laughter and screaming fills the small house. A CU of the side of Byron's face is established, his eyes shut. He opens them in a flash, takes a moment to look around. BYRON (V.O.) And then I found her. Another shot and we see ALEXIS ROSOCHEV (18) in the distance of the crowd, conversing happily with a group of her own friends. She has very dark hair and features, and has an alluring girlish appeal. We switch back to the previous shot. Byron is watching her very closely, his head somewhat lowered. He looks in her direction as she huddles into a circle of people laughing amongst each other. The shot cuts back to a CU again of his face and eyes. ESCOBAR (O.S.) (in a raspy voice) Can I help you with some'sing? (pause) You look rather lost in 'zis place. Like lost in a wood or the dark. This, my place, you are welcome. Escobar talks with an almost Swedish accent, and slurs his speech into very drawn out syllables. His voice is soft and un-threatening. Byron sighs and stands up, and begins to walk up a set of stairs to the second level of the house. ESCOBAR (O.S.) (CONT'D) Your face is...ah..familiar. Familiarity reciprocated, I can tell. Your eyes, yes...they know me. But I don't know them. As he reaches the top of the stairs, Byron walks down a narrow hallway and ends up walking down it. ESCOBAR (O.S.) (CONT'D) Perhaps...perhaps you are here for a reason. It's reason that brought you here. That, too, I can tell. INT. ESCOBAR'S PRIVATE ROOM - NIGHT Flamboyantly dressed with a beer in his hand, ORVILLE ESCOBAR (35) is a peculiar looking gentlemen, sleazy and professional, classy and crude, all at the same time. Sitting on a couch, two of his close 'affiliates', beautiful women, look up at Byron who is standing in the doorway, a stony expression on his face. ESCOBAR So we must find your reason, you and I. (beat) Come, come, sit here. Byron takes the seat that Orville offers him. Orville turns off the T.V., plunging the room into darkness except for the multiple candles that decorate throughout. BYRON (standing at the door) How's the party scene treating you, Escobar? ESCOBAR (smiles) It 'ees good. So many beautiful faces, so much life and vigor. The young are so kind in body and spirit, yes. (beat) I wonder....do you like it? You are a gentlemen of esteem, I would trust your observations... BYRON It's not bad. ESCOBAR Not bad. This is...adequate, yes? But not exceptional. That is my goal, of course. Perhaps you can...assist me to that end? BYRON I'm not here to give you tips. ESCOBAR Oh. (beat) Okay. Okay, then. (beat) So you are here...why then, you must want some'sing, no? I 'sink...I 'sink you want some'sing I can offer.. (beat) How can I assist you, Mr. Byron? Is there...some'sing I can offer you? BYRON Yeah, Escobar I think I can think of something. ESCOBAR (after a pause) I hope zere's no complaints. BYRON Not yet. Hopefully we can avoid that. ESCOBAR By all means. (long pause) You are here...let me guess....because of me? Because of one of my patrons, perhaps? BYRON You're very insightful. ESCOBAR (smiles pridefully) It ah...is my hmm...talent. My patron then, would have a name, yes? BYRON Rosochev. ESCOBAR I...know no Rosochev. BYRON I think you're fairly well aware of Rosochev. ESCOBAR I believe I know who I know, Mr. Byron. I know you. I don't know...this...Rosochev. BYRON (takes a step forward) Maybe I can jog your memory... ESCOBAR (motions to his affiliates) Please be careful. You wouldn't want me to get the wrong idea, no. That would be...mm...unfortunate. BYRON (takes out a gun) You took the words right out of my mouth. ESCOBAR Heh...eh. Mr. Byron, this is unnecessary. And unexpected. BYRON I'm full of surprises tonight. (beat) Let's talk. ESCOBAR Of course. BYRON Alone. Escobar licks his lips, then nods to the affiliates who go outside. ESCOBAR I should ask you to sit, yes? That would be polite of me. (Byron sits down, the gun still raised) Now, what would you like to talk about? BYRON That will be the last time you patronize me, Escobar. Even a simple logic would recommend you shut the fuck up with the bullshit. ESCOBAR (as though remembering) Rosochev? Ah, right. Roooosochev. You have an interest in the Rosochev, yes? Yes, of course. (beat) What is your interest...if I may ask? Is it personal...or...some'sing deeper? I sincerely wish to know. BYRON (twists his jaw) Personal means I have emotions that justify me blowing off appendages. Deeper would be the grave your digging the more I dont' hear what I want about her... ESCOBAR (interrupting) Her? You refer then to the daughter...ah. Beautiful, isn't she? (beat) Alexis. Beautiful name for a beautiful daughter. She comes here, when I call. When...the party calls her, that is. She is well-behaved...for a Russian. I don't like Russians, Mr. Byron. They are a filthy bunch, and pompous. I most despise them, yes... (beat) But Alexis...yes. So sweet. Sweet Alexis. She is not as Russian as one would expect...good for her. BYRON Hahahahah! Ahh...ahah....Orville....ah, god. ESCOBAR (confused) What is funny? BYRON (scowls) You fucking pervert. (pause) I thought you still had something between your ears besides smoke. Hahah! A sweet tooth for a Mafioso's daughter. (beat) Either you're really stupid...or you're really stupid. Which one is it? ESCOBAR (lowers eyes) You misread me, my friend. I know who she is. I do not fear what cannot hurt me. Paranoia blossoms in such a thing as that. I do not succumb. BYRON (more seriously) You're not that invincible. Me with the gun proves that. (beat) Now...lets go somewhere with this conversation shall we? ESCOBAR (ticked off a little) She desires a good time. I am only too happy to oblige. That is my duty here, yes. Mmm...what is yours, I have forgotten? BYRON (grimaces) Right now...against my better judgement to lose my temper...it's to figure out how you're related to her. ESCOBAR (insulted) I share blood with no Russian. BYRON You know what I mean. ESCOBAR (smiling) Yes. (beat) I don't understand. This...this should not concern you. I am thinking zat maybe...zere is more to your interest than I am aware of. BYRON Don't be any more stupid than you've proven yourself to be. Might make me wanna shoot you worse. That's bad business, but something I'm willing to live with. ESCOBAR Yes. Very bad business. (pause) Mr. Byron, you...come into my house, my party...you..ruin it, and pull this gun at me. That is bad business as well. BYRON (grins) What do I know about business? ESCOBAR (conniving) I should kill you most slowly, Mr. Byron, for your insolence. Mm...perhaps I will. You disappoint me, yes. Of all my friends, I would miss you most, Mr. Byron. Mm...yes, I would. Tell me, do you fear pain? Byron smiles, lowers his head, and then violently slams at the table and grabs Escobar, throwing him against the table. He pins the skinny man against the wall and holds him by the scruff of the neck, the gun lapelled to his forehead. BYRON (lethally) Do you? Hmm?? Seriously, I sincerely wish to know. C'mon Escobar, you're not a dickhead. I'm getting tired of playing word games with you, old friend. You're smart enough to start talking when a barrel's to your head, right? (beat) C'mon then, are you? Answer me! Oh, and don't worry about disappointing me. If you know me so goddamn well then you know I'm happy no matter what your answer is. If I get what I came for or leave a splatter, I'm still gonna be grinning asshole. (beat) Now maybe you recognize me, and maybe you don't. But I'm willing to bet you don't... ESCOBAR (trying to hide his fear) You wouldn't shoot me, police man. You are not capable of zat... BYRON You...have no fucking idea of what I'm capable of!! With that, the two bodyguards of Escobar's come back in with knives. They both run at Byron, who raises his gun at them. BYRON (CONT'D) Don't move!!! (beat) I swear to whatever god is still left and looking, if you even flinch...and I do mean flinch...you're deader than your boss. (beat) I bet he pays you good. But I bet he doesn't pay you good enough to get shot. The bodyguards stop in their tracks, reconsider, and hurry out of the room. Byron comes back to Escobar. BYRON (CONT'D) Now... (pause) I came up here to get some answers. Now, this goes down two ways. I get the answers I was looking for, or I don't. One way you live, the other we see just how much smoke is between your ears. And if its only the wisps from this .45 I don't give a shit. ESCOBAR This is...unnecessary, Mr. Byron. (beat) I thought you were a gentlemen of esteem. BYRON You obviously didn't recognize me very well. Rosochev. Start talking.... ESCOBAR (after a minute of deliberation) Very well. What do you wish to know? BYRON I've been looking for her all night. I had to ask a lot of people, but they finally pointed me here. For the last...two weeks....I haven't seen her. That worries me. ESCOBAR (makes a sucking sound with his teeth) Allow us, at least, to comport ourselves as civilized human beings. That would be the least of dignity you could spare. Please...let us sit and talk then, you and I. Byron throws Escobar onto the chair again and sits down, and motions to the candles on the table. BYRON (looks at three candles on table) Three candles, Orville. One, two, three. I'm going to ask you three questions. One, two, three. (begins to take bullets out of his gun, leaving three) Every time you answer correctly, I won't shoot you. In fact, I'll remove one of the candles. If you lie to me, we play 'bang bang'. And the candles stay. Now you have three chances. I'll miss vestigial organs on the first two...I promise. If you lie to me three times, however, I'm going to kill you. (beat) So....first question: she's a regular here, why? ESCOBAR (takes his time) I told you the truth, Mr. Byron. The party calls her. She enjoys a party. I supply one. She heard about my...yes, infamous bacchanals....so I was only to happy to take her under my wing. (Byron winks and puts out one candle with the tip of his gun) May I ask a question now? BYRON It's only fair. ESCOBAR You are...yes, so protective of the child. There must be a reason...for such compassion. (beat) I was..'sinking....this Precinct of yours is the reason, yes? BYRON Maybe I'm just a nice guy. (beat) My turn. Does her father know about this place...about you? ESCOBAR That is, two questions in one. BYRON (cocks the gun back) And that's an inch and half closer to having your knee splintered. ESCOBAR (smiles at the threat) He is only slightly aware, I am sure. (pause) She...has been here. For your two weeks...maybe the night she spends here. The daytime for the two weeks....I do not know. BYRON (puts out another candle) Good job! You're two-thirds of the way. And so far I haven't had to put anything in you. Keep going and you might just disappoint me. (beat ) Now, the third question, and this is the most important one, so I want you to listen very carefully and answer very truthfully, alright? (pause) Have you fucked her? ESCOBAR (taken aback, but only for an instant) That's a very personal question, Mr. Byron. BYRON (pauses for a second, scratches his head) I uh....I didn't make this clear, and I apologize. I really should have clarified all the rules at the beginning. That was my mistake. But um...if I have an excess of bullets on one of the questions, its considered a freebie just to get rid of one or two. ESCOBAR (swallows) Then, no. BYRON No, what? No, you haven't touched her, or no you don't agree with the rules... ESCOBAR I haven't touched her. BYRON Oh. Slowly he reaches out to tap the last wick of the last candle with the barrel, but pauses and then shoots at Escobar's left knee, but deliberately misses and buries a bullet into the chair's upholstery ESCOBAR What are you doing?? You crazy motherfucker!! I told you! I answered you!! BYRON (innocently) Oh, I know. But you forgot the rules. It has to be the truth for you not to get shot. Ehhh....remember that part? With that he shoots at the other knee, missing and making more cotton explode from the chair. BYRON (CONT'D) Damn, missed again. Only one left, you know what that means. ESCOBAR (by now, very frightened) Stop!! Please!! I-I told you!! It was the truth, I swear. I never touched her, ever!! Please, I never touched her!! BYRON (talking to himself) Hmmm...that...that was the truth, right? You're sure about that? I mean, like, positive....right? ESCOBAR YES!!! Byron smiles and reaches out slowly taps the last candle. BYRON (quietly) I know your type, Orville. I know them so well because I've met enough of them to tell just by looking. But you're a very lonely class of people these days. I like to think of myself as the reason for that. I'd like to think you'll remember that. (beat) It's in my best interests if Alexis doesn't see the dark side of Purgatory. It's in your best interests to make sure I don't worry about that. (beat) So just because I told you too, you're going to keep an eye on her for me. You're going to make sure Purgatory is the safest place in Manhattan, and that nobody bothers her. Or me. (beat) And if I hear anything different, I'm going to validate the accusations with this last bullet. With that Byron gets up and walks out the door, leaving Escobar to contemplate changing his shirt to one that isn't drenched with perspiration. BYRON (V.O.) (CONT'D) There's two types of people I can't stand. Escobar was one of them, so I must have been crazy to scare him into looking after my angel. Maybe I am crazy. But there was this cold, wet thing in my stomach that was telling me she was in danger. Crazy thoughts. CUT TO: INT. ESCOBAR'S PARTY - SUBSEQUENTLY As he comes downstairs he looks over the entire crowd. He doesn't see Alexis and his brow furrows. Casually he steps down and wades to a small counter where a man is mixing drinks. BYRON (puts a toonie on the counter) Rye. Straight. BARTENDER Hahaha! What am I supposed to do with this? BYRON Fill it up. BARTENDER I think I'm gonna need a little more to cover my expenses. BYRON You're expenses are being covered by the man upstairs. Now fill it up. BARTENDER Sure. BYRON (starts to get agitated) You don't believe me? You calling me a liar, sonny?? I was just upstairs talking to him, and he ain't in a pleasant mood. Do you have any idea who I am?? BARTENDER (sees that Byron is attracting attention) No, sir I don't. But Mr. Escobar... BYRON Mr. Escobar is a personal friend of mine! Now, do I have to go up and get him or are you gonna serve me my drink?! BARTENDER (gives in when he sees people are crowding around) Calm down, please sir. BYRON Calm down! I'm not standing for this!! What's your name? Your name!! BARTENDER W-what? BYRON I want to know who it is that I'm going to report to Mr. Escobar. I wanna know the name of the fool that thinks he's gonna play the big man against Escobar's closest friends! BARTENDER (slides a drink hastily his way) I didn't...mean...I mean...please, take this. I didn't...I didn't... Byron gives the bartender a look and makes his way through the crowd of people again, his shot of rye in hand. He makes his way towards the door that goes outside and swigs the drink back, and smiles at his devilish trick. He sets the glass down on a table and moves outside. EXT. ESCOBAR'S HOUSE - NIGHT Only one or two people are outside, bathed in the smoke of cigarettes and joints. They all look fairly lethargic and unassuming. He walks past them and ends up on the empty street again. From his jacket he takes out a cigarette and lights it. EXT. PLAYGROUND - NIGHT Alexis Rosochev has left the party at Escobar's and is moving through an empty playground with a few of her friends. They're talking amongst each other and laughing occasionally. We can't hear what they're saying because the voice-over is glued overtop. BYRON (V.O.) My assignment was to trail Alexis Rosochev, figure out where she was and what she was doing. Then it was my assignment to become invisible and make sure the streets didn't devour her. Her father wouldn't like it if I failed. My boss would like it less to have the mob breathing down his neck. (beat) Sound familiar? Everybody wants me to follow one broad after the other. I feel like a stalker. EXT. SIDEWALK OUTSIDE ESCOBAR'S - NIGHT Byron fingers in his pocket and snaps out a gun, standard issue Beretta, and plays with it as he walks along the sidewalk. BYRON (talking to the gun) That was six months ago. Then they closed it down... and nabbed me from the case. Like they figured it wasn't a priority. But I've seen the streets! What they do to people. Turn 'em into...things. You can't even name them. They're just...fuckin' things. Not her, though. Some part of me didn't give up on little Alex. So I kept my eyes open for her. Byron almost seems to go crazy as he's talking at the gun and yelling at it. He moves past rows of cars. A group of kids pass by, screaming out the window. BYRON (CONT'D) (leans against a tree and lights another cigarette) You even know what I'm saying? You don't have a single piece of you that knows what I'm saying. GUN (in a cold, 2001: A Space Odyssey HAL voice) Why don't you tell me? BYRON I said, you don't have a single piece of you that knows what I'm saying. GUN That's not very nice, Walter. If you're not talking to me, than you're talking to yourself. That's a crazy thing to do. You're not even sane, anymore, if you're not talking to me... BYRON I'm more sane than you! GUN Prove it. CUT TO: EXT. SECONDARY SIDEWALK - NIGHT In another part of Purgatory (close to where Alexis and Byron are) the Tenyeh Talycheek are stalking their prey. They're talking to each other, just like the other cut with Alexis, and we can't make out everything they're saying. Which is pointless anyway, because it's all in Russian. BYRON (O.S.) I don't have to prove myself to you! (pause) No. I'll tell you. Purgatory isn't for the cops. It isn't for normal people, it isn't for anybody. It's for Hannibal, it's his! He rules it, and as long as he's happy and Purg-burg isn't burning, we just click our heels and ignore it. BACK TO: EXT. SIDEWALK OUTSIDE ESCOBAR'S - NIGHT As Byron makes it towards where he parked his car he takes his hands out of his pocket. He moves under a street lamp that illuminates his face. He looks up into it as he walks under. GUN You aren't in Kansas anymore, Walter. You can't ignore it. That's why you fight it. BYRON Are you my conscience now?! GUN If you want me to be. Please...continue your story. BYRON (a-matter-of-factly) So they strip me my commission and let the littlest Rosochev alone in the wolf den. Genius bureaucrats. GUN Genius. BYRON The fat pig that is my boss would chop my badge in half if he knew I was still watching, still looking after. And it's more than just keeping the stalemate between the Feds and the mob. (beat) Sure, war would mean bad business. GUN Business where you benefit is never bad. BYRON Shut up! GUN I'm sorry. If you don't want to hear what I have to say, then I'll shut up, like you said. You don't want me to shut up. Tell me, Walter, what is it, more than keeping peace? BYRON (leans on the car) Aside from that, Alexis is just a kid. Just a kid, geezus. Jesus Christ, and out here! And if I really am a saint, then I better damn well get acquainted with the protocols. I have to...to stay sharp, for Alexis' sake. I'm the only chance she's got anyhow. GUN You have to protect her. It doesn't matter what you have to do. Just that. You'd better stay sharp, Walter. She needs you. (pause) You're the only chance she's got. As he's following her, he looks up and sees that several guys are following a girl down the street. There's a quick shot as he realizes that its Alexis up ahead. He doesn't know yet, but the boys are the Tenyeh Talycheeks. BYRON (V.O.) And then like the piece of metal in my hand is reading my mind, like things are clockwork on a metaphysical level, I smell that old smell of trouble. The worst kind of trouble. The trouble I live for. EXT. PLAYGROUND - NIGHT Over where Alexis is almost moving onto the street from the playground she sees the Tenyeh moving in. She sees them moving at her and looks up with some sort of recognition. They're Isaac's friend. Shaky is among them. ALEXIS Hey....guys. What are you doing out here? TENYEH 1 Quiet. ALEXIS (unsettled) Heh...eh...um. I uh...was gonna call home, y'know. I really was, I mean...I just was out. (beat) You're not gonna tell my dad are you? Please guys, just this once....I swear I won't do it again. Alexis thinks that her father has sent the Tenyeh to bring her home or find her or something. Their real intent is the gloss in their pitch black irises. TENYEH 1 Let's go talk, Alexis. Come with us, okay? TENYEH 2 (in a shaky voice) Please Alexis. ALEXIS (backs up, not liking the look in their eyes) I...well, Carmanah's like a block away waiting for me, so I was just gonna get a ride with her. Don't worry, I'm real quiet. He won't even know I was gone, trust me. TENYEH 1 I mean it Alexis. Lets go... ALEXIS What's up with you guys? You high or something? This is Isaac's idea isn't it? Alexis tries to smile, but can't quite pull it off, and backs up again, eyeing her environment and hoping someone is nearby. There is a CU of her right hand behind her back as she pulls out a small chain like the kind you wear around your neck. ALEXIS (CONT'D) This isn't funny, guys, c'mon. What the hell is wrong with you guys? Back off, okay. I'm going home, don't worry. TENYEH 2 Alexis come now, okay? I said now! They advance. From Byron's vantage, we see that the men grab her by the arms. At this point, she seems to think something is wrong so swipes at one of them with the chain in her hand and draws blood on his forehead. He clutches at his face that has blood dripping down it and strikes out at her, impacting her on the cheek with a force that sends her flying onto the muddy ground. She chokes and whirls around as the other men try to move in and grab her again. With some force she kicks out at the shins of the closest man, who screams and topples over, watching her as she gets up to run. But the original man with blood on his face is on her before she can get away and tries to put his arms around her. One of his hands moves to her face. She feels a finger in her mouth and bites it off. The man screams and hits her again onto the ground, after hollering something rude in Russian. From his jacket he takes out a switchblade and hits her on the head with the butt. The other boys laugh a little as the man looks down at Alexis, and then kneels over her. TENYEH 1 Sorry, Lex.... The Tenyeh kneels over Alexis and is about to slit her throat when... BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Four bullets slam into his chest at that moment and he folds back on his knees, hits the mud, and is silent. It takes awhile for the other Tenyeh's to find where the shot came from. Byron is fidgeting with his Beretta, wrenching at one of it's component. BYRON Damn thing... The Tenyeh Talycheeks now have new prey, and lurch towards him. BYRON (CONT'D) Ah, crap. The first one races at Byron, but Byron dodges aside and grabs the arm of a second one with a knife. With one movement he wrenches away the knife and ducks as the first man recovers and throws a punch. The punch hits the second man in the face and he reels back, just as the third of them jumps at Byron. Byron first does a back kick that sends the first man stumbling backwards, and reaches out to grab the arm of the third man, who he whirls around over his shoulder and slams onto the pavement. The third man coughs, and the second man jump again, slamming his boot into Byron's side. Byron keels over as the second man pummels him, and finally reaches out with an arm and grabs the foot. The second man, his foot pinned by Byron, is wrenched to his knees at the same time that Byron hits the first man (whose approaching again) in the crotch. The second man hits the ground and Byron is up and kneeing him in the face, and then turning around again to make sure that the first man doesn't bother him. The first man doesn't like the look of things and grabs the knife. With a swift movement he throws it at Byron, but Byron recoils and grabs the blade by the handle, then wings it right back. The first man takes it in the leg, screams, pulls it out, and tosses it on the ground. He's about to fire one of the fallen guns at Byron when... BLAM! Another shot makes a hole in his hand and he screams and hobbles away. Byron looks behind him....where Veronica is standing with a smoking Rapier still pointed. Byron is left with several bodies at his feet, including the unconscious Alexis. EXT. OTHER SIDE OF PLAYGROUND - NIGHT From the darkness, there is a motorcycle, and on the motorcycle a black helmeted figure is watching intently. He's obviously been watching the whole fight and is now looking at Byron, who is walking amongst the unmoving bodies. He seems to glare from behind the face plate, an ethereal plaque of darkness, and takes off again with a squeal of tires. The same sword is still on his back, and begging to be unsheathed. BACK TO: EXT. PLAYGROUND - NIGHT Byron checks the pulses of the men at his feet, swears when he comes to one of them. He looks at the underside of one of their wrists and sees a symbol that looks like a raven. The word for shadow in Russian surrounds the symbol. BYRON ...ah, you stupid sonofabitch. (beat) ...dammit... He looks at Alexis and then checks her pulse. He's visibly relieved. CUT TO: EXT. BYRON'S CAR - MINUTES LATER He's managed to stuff one of the Tenyeh's into the back of the car and is finishing sitting the unconscious Alexis in the passenger seat. He breathes another sigh of relief. VERONICA Why's she get the front? BYRON Because I said so. You like the company of dead men...stop complaining. Veronica flips him off and struggles into the backseat. INT. BYRON'S CAR - LATER Byron is driving down the streets at fairly fast speeds with a lit cigarette in his mouth puffing smoke out hte open window. Alexis is still asleep in the back. BYRON (V.O.) I hadn't figured on killing anyone tonight. Stupid, stupid sonofabitch! He didn't keep his neck tight...snapped it hard when I brought him down. (beat) And the dead guy in my backseat has Hannibal's signature all over him. Byron turns the radio on. It's the Mama and the Papa's hit label "California Dreaming". The song plays over top of a shot of Byron driving ahead. BYRON (V.O.) (CONT'D) This mystery isn't over. Over is when I find the sonofabitch whose behind this. Over is when I see him face to face and extinguish the light in his chest. Until then....time is gonna tick like a slug. END OF PART I