ALIEN NATION



Episode Three


"Ultimatum"



by

Jonathan Betuel

Working Draft
May 24, 1989


"ULTIMATUM"

#3

COME IN ON:

EXT. EUCLID ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CARNIVAL - DAY

A small ferris wheel, miniature roller coaster, raffles, ring toss, spider ride, students, parents, a fund raising event for the school as we pick up EMILY, BRENDA and JILL, carrying her Newcomer Barbie doll, coming off a ferris wheel, dizzy. (WE FOLLOW and shoot them from the invasive yet distant P.O.V. of unseen observers -- hand-held, rough movement.)

JILL
My legs are jello!

EMILY
Spatial disorientation. Neat, huh?

BRENDA
Neat no. Queasy and dizzy yes

Emily is distant a beat here, looks at a game with a picture of a clown in a fake jail.

JILL
(concerned)
Emily?

EMILY
It reminded me of Buck. Do you think they have decided what to do with him yet?

BRENDA
If he's innocent, he has nothing to worry about.

Emily reacts doubtfully.

EMILY
I hope so, Brenda, but last night I scanned precedent cases in the Supreme Court records on my P.C. and sometimes the law makes mistakes too. Laws are enforced by people and people are biased, subjective and often times prejudiced.

Brenda kneels before Emily, holds her hands.

BRENDA
(gentle)
Your father enforces the law. Do you think he's biased, prejudiced or subjective?

EMILY
(wise)
No, but it's different for him. He's a Newcomer. Newcomers are not accepted. People are suspicious, quick to condemn what they don't understand or feel threatened by.

Brenda reacts to Emily's intellect and far-sighted rationale.

BRENDA
Now where did you hear that?

EMILY
Moodri.

BRENDA
Moo-who?

JILL
(explains)
Moodri's a Newcomer from the olden days. He lives with Emily's family, kinda like the guru you had in the sixties ...

EMILY
You had a spiritual advisor?

Jill rolls her eyes as they toss rings at a game.

JILL
Emily, please stop, you'll set her off. She'll go home and play Crosby, Stills, and Nash LP's all night. If I hear "Dock of a Bay" again I'll go off-line crazy.

EMILY
I've read about the sixties, a time of enlightenment; of vision.

BRENDA
It was an exciting time to be young.

EMILY
What went wrong?

They are walking along the carnival. as if someone's stalking them.)

Emily stops in front of "The Whip", a ride which slings the passengers around and around, as they get in line for the ride, as a peal of screams rings out.

EMILY
C'mon guys, physics never lets you down.

JILL
Passadena, Emily. I can't out debate you and I'm not going. We'll watch you...

Emily hesitates at the gate as she gives her ticket to the ticket taker, climbs onto the ride, is buckled in.

JILL
Good luck, Emily!

Emily smiles, her expression reads, "I'm still a tad scared", but she gets a determined look on her face as the whip begins to go faster and faster until Emily SCREAMS, stops, steels herself.

VOICE (OS)
Mrs. Berks?

Brenda turns to find a pair of PARAMEDICS, a MAN and a WOMAN, both in their 30's, pleasant looking, I.D. badges, the works.

BRENDA
Yes?

PARAMEDIC MAN
Mrs. Rossiter in the school office asked us to tell you you had an urgent phone call.

Brenda is concerned at this. "Who can It be?" reads her expression.

BRENDA
Could you tell Mrs. Rossiter as soon as Emily's ride is finished we'll be right over?

Brenda points to the ride where Emily is closing her eyes as the whip gains in intensity.

PARAMEDIC MAN
Why not let us wait for Emily and bring her over when her ride's done?

JILL
rgent means serious, doesn't it, Mom?

Brenda nods, unsure of how to proceed, for a beat, then decides, takes Jill's hand to assure her.

BRENDA
You'll bring Emily right over?

PARAMEDIC WOMAN
(warm)
Absolutely.

Brenda and Jill walk towards the school building which is far across the playground-carnival, well out of sight as:

"The Whip" slows, gradually comes to a halt. The two paramedics stand at the gate as the riders step shakily from their seats, and even Emily is dizzy as she comes through the gate.

PARAMEDIC WOMAN
Emily, dear?

Emily steadies herself, looks at the paramedics, as over their shoulder a miniature ferris wheel begins to turn, motivating our cut to:


A COURTROOM CEILING FAN

criminal court, old building, late afternoon filtered sunlight as:

GEORGE, BUCK, SUSAN, SIKES, a JUDGE and a LAWYER all are waiting as the Judge reviews the papers.

JUDGE
I have reviewed the preliminary parameters of the case. Counsel please approach the bench.

Buck stands quiet, attentive, wearing a conservative suit.

Sikes sits behind the fence in the spectators gallery, leans forward, anxious, his fingers rapping a staccato beat.

The D.A, a smooth operator named THORPE, our Roy Cohn, great suit, bad skin, cold face, seems surprised at the aside, looks tolerantly toward the elderly lady judge and over at LAWRENCE DARROW, a young, very short Newcomer defense attorney, all about him is threadbare, shopworn, and must read "underdog" and "grind." From his poorly pressed polyester shirt to his thick glasses, and ripple soles.

JUDGE
Despite the larger issue of co-existence and inter-species relations that are sure to be raised here, I believe it is incumbent upon us to handle this like any other case.

Both attorneys indicate their assent.

JUDGE
Therefore, based on the upstanding record of the defendant's father as an upholder of the law, and the family's role in the community, let the defendant be released into the custody of his parents.

THORPE
Your Honor, what guarantees does the State have?

JUDGE
Mr. Darrow, would your client be amenable to a guarantee bond of, say fifty-thousand dollars?

DARROW
May I confer with my client a moment, Your Honor?

- Thorpe is miffed at this, returns to his table, shuts his attache a tad more loudly than usual, irritated.

George and Darrow confer a beat (in tongue).

GEORGE
All I have is in my house ...

George's eyes meet Buck's here, a beat of tacit communication, of understanding, of gratitude.

DARROW
(to Judge)
Mr. Francisco will put up his house, Your Honor.

Thorpe grunts, does not look up as he gathers his papers, his time will come and he is content as his Ivy league-cut ASSISTANT comes over.

THORPE
Thurgood Marshall must be doing cartwheels in his grave.

ASSISTANT
It's no joke. our Mr. Darrow is a Harvard man. Number one in his class, law review, the whole nine yards. Finished in one month.

Thorpe involuntarily draws in a breath at this. Darrow becomes aware of Thorpe's gaze, shoots him a wide if almost childish smile as he exits.

THORPE
One month? I'm going to enjoy this war.

Thorpe exits and his assistant picks up both of Thorpe's' alligator Hermes attache cases.

EXT. COURTHOUSE

As George walks ahead, towards their car, Sikes and Buck share a beat of silence.

BUCK
Sorry for the trouble I caused you, Mr. Sikes.

Sikes extends a hand, smiles.

SIKES
Matt.

Buck takes Sikes' hand, they shake.

HONK! HONK!

Susan is at the wheel of the family station wagon and George comes back around, cool, still embarrassed, unable to deal with the entire spectacle.

Buck and George pass one another, silent, unable to speak. This is noticed by Sikes who waves to Buck as they drive off.

Sikes puts an arm on George's shoulder.

SIKES
I'm buying ...

INT. POLICE BAR - NIGHT

The motif is wanted posters wallpaper, lines of retired police badges cover the bar, saw dust floors, pools of light, stuffed with boisterous off-duty cops who occasionally lower their voices, whisper, glance towards:

Sikes, who has violated unwritten protocol by bringing a Newcomer to the place, sitting in a booth at the far end of the bar giving them a commanding view of the place as:

WAITRESS, dressed in a Frederick's version of a cop uniform, places a single drink in front of Sikes and one dozen in front of George who proceeds to down the drinks in gulps to Sikes' horror.

SIKES
Okay, that's it, I'm the designated driver for the 90's.

Sikes sips his drink, stares down to George's dozen.

GEORGE
When you drink it acts as a depressant, your senses blur, a comfortable buzz sets in. When we drink it sharpens our senses, we become intensely focused, subjectivity fades and a state approaching our vaunted objectivity is attained ...

Sikes sits back, shakes his head, amused.

GEORGE
(continued)
Did I make an inadvertent joke? Did I make a pun? Explain.

SIKES
No, George, you're right on the money. It's just that when we go through hell it's nice, customary even, for a friend to offer his advice over a meal, a drink, whatever, but it's all redundant here after two pops you become Sigmund Freud and I wind up a basket case.

George understands, Sikes takes up his own beer.

GEORGE
I understand, but it goes without saying I value your opinion, Matt.

SIKES
Go easy on Buck, George. It's a tough age. When I was sixteen it was touch and go which side of the law fence I would wind up on. I pulled out of the same kind of tailspin by the skin of my teeth.

George downs #5, slides the empty glass aside, agrees. Sikes' attention is slowly divided between their conversation and the bar and will be increasingly drawn to the bar.

GEORGE
Buck is my son, my responsibility, I accept the blame.

SIKES
You should, to a degree.

GEORGE
I appreciate your candor, even though it hurts.

SIKES
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see: spend more time at home, go to ball games together, go on a camping trip, hang together. Father son stuff. Buck needs you and you need him more than you know.

GEORGE
To be a successful detective, or a success in any field for that matter, you give one hundred percent of yourself. What does that leave for your personal life?

SIKES
Question of the year, George. I never even came close to the formula with my ex.

Sikes' attention has turned slightly towards the bar and:

A ROOKIE COP, lady cop, In her 20's, buxom, hot, intense eyes, as if the guy she's talking to Is an excuse to eyeball Sikes.

SIKES
Hey, time out, George, focus those heightened senses of yours on that red-haired unit at the bar, the one making heavy-eye contact with me. Tell me what you see.

George turns to the Rookie cop, gives her a scrutinizing glance.

GEORGE
I see a sexually aggressive 38D-26-35, who has more than a passing interest in your presence and your physique.

SIKES
What's my next move?

GEORGE
Smile back. Discreetly, yet directly. If she wishes a more intimate contact she will take this as an invitation, if she does not, she will turn away.

Sikes turns and deliberately gives a very hammy and slow smile.

SIKES
(grinning)
I feel like one of those jerks who writes letters to girlie magazine editors.

Sikes covers his face, thusly mortified, as a BIG MAN COP behind the rookie thought Sikes was smiling at him.

Sikes looks up to the perfect Vargas-girl in rookie uniform, name is CHERYL KANE.

CHERYL
I'm Cheryl Kane. Newly assigned to your precinct. Detective Sikes may I presume...

Cheryl hardly pays any attention to George who dons his jacket as there is heat radiation passing between Sikes and Cheryl.

GEORGE
You're on your own. See you in the morning, Matt.

Cheryl barely acknowledges George, slides into the booth across from Sikes, all systems go.

CHERYL
I've been hoping we could get together, say maybe over dinner tomorrow night. We could discuss police procedures.

Cheryl's hands are under the table, Sikes jumps, clears his throat, looks around to see if anyone saw.

SIKES
What could I tell you about procedures? At this rate you'll make commissioner your first year ...

Cheryl smiles, rises, returns to the bar on legs that don't quit.


EXT. FRANCISCO HOUSE NIGHT

As George crosses from the curb towards the front door, nearly trips over one of Emily's skates which he picks up, smiles, "kids."

GEORGE
Emily, Emily ...

Carries the skate through the front door.

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE

As George hangs up his coat, starts towards Buck's room, from which come the sounds of a Newcomer instrument at somewhat LOUD TONES, making George wince, the familiar clicking sounds of George's native tongue make him turn to see:

MOODRI
(voice)
Restraint, George.

GEORGE
Restraint?

Moodri stands at the door of his humidity controlled room, nods sagely.

MOODRI
Restraint. Communication. Compassion.

GEORGE
(calm)
Restraint ... Communication... Compassion ...

Moodri smiles, winks at George, who enters.

INT. BUCK'S ROOM

where in the moonlight, framed in his window, Buck sits strumming his Newcomer instrument which trills an almost HYPNOTIC MELODIC CHORD, as George enters, sits on the bed across from Buck, a beat...

(SUBTITLED):

GEORGE
You have the gift. Your mother's side of the family could be great musicians if they wanted..

Buck continues to play.

BUCK
You speak in tongue?

GEORGE
Whatever the tongue, the message is the same.

BUCK
Message?

George pauses, this does not come easy.

GEORGE
I'm sorry. I'll try to be a better Dad to you from here on. Forgive me?

George raises an open palm-towards Buck who continues to strum. George gives up, starts to rise, when suddenly Buck seizes his hand.

BUCK
I let you down. I'll try harder to be a better son. I'll make you proud of me, you'll see.

GEORGE
I am proud of you, Buck.

BUCK
I'm sorry, Dad.

A tear slides down George's cheek and he quickly wipes it, as if embarrassed.

BUCK
(continued)
Moodri says; tears are signs of strength not weakness.

Father and son embrace.

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE OF SIKES' APARTMENT - NIGHT

As Sikes comes up the steps, arms laden with mail, groceries, newspapers, dry cleaning, singles life detritus, dropping some, picking it up, dropping it again as:

CATHY comes out, dressed to the nines, sees Sikes predicament as he fumbles with the outer door lock.

CATHY
Let me give you a hand

SIKES
I've just about got it...

BONK!

A half gallon container of milk falls on Sikes' foot, causing him to drop everything, he winces.

Cathy and Sikes gather groceries, kneeling together on the floor.

SIKES
Hey, don't keep your date waiting on my account.

CATHY
"My date" is a medical Symposium on epidemiology. The study of epidemics.

Cathy, close to Sikes, quietly reaches forward to brush an eyelash off Sikes' cheek, but Sikes flinches as if she took a swing at him, causing him to recoil, to see his revulsion which he feels very unforgettable about, a beat of this passes silently between them.

CATHY
There was a lash on your cheek.

SIKES
I'm head shy. What comes of having an old man who used to wail the tar out of me and my kid brother.

Cathy is noble, manages a smile, but is attuned to the bottom line.

CATHY
Night, Mr. Sikes.

Sikes is left alone in the hallway, feeling like a boor, arms filled with junk which he now lets fall, pulls a beer from the pile.

INT. FRANCISCO BEDROOM - NIGHT

SUSAN'S ARM

has broken out in large red scabs, as she sits at her dressing table studying her arm, rubbing cortisone cream onto the lesion, in the mirror we see George enter, blowing his nose, sniffling, wiping his eyes.

SUSAN
I have more lesions. I'm afraid the cortisone cream is not working.

GEORGE
Looks to me like it's time to see one of our doctors.

Susan tacitly agrees as George turns on the news, Fox news.

FOX
Today Buck Francisco, the Newcomer youth accused of -

Susan watches the tv, as it drones on, bring us up to date on the case.

SUSAN
I worry about Buck getting a fair trial.

GEORGE
Fair to whom?

SUSAN
You're right. I'm being subjective. Thank you.

GEORGE
Oh, and please remind Emily about her toys. I nearly killed myself on a skate coming in.

SUSAN
Brenda took her and Jill to her school carnival this afternoon while we were in court. They probably stopped off for a junk food attack.

GEORGE
At least one of the Francisco's knows how to make friends.

Susan hears the tone in George's voice, comes over to him, sits down, begins rubbing his back, HUMMING, kisses him until George begins to hum and ...

RING! RING!

GEORGE
Time out, George.

Susan playfully bites George's ear.

SUSAN
It must be Emily.

INT. FOYER

Susan opens the door as George comes down the stairs to find Brenda there, frantic.

BRENDA
s Emily with you?!


END OF ACT I

ACT II

EXT. POLICE STATION NIGHT

as several patrol cars come to a' SCREECHING halt in front of the building, officers rush from the cars, passing:

ALBERT, who has paused up the block, a hundred feet, as he was on his way in to talk to:

RAPPER JACK, young, black, porkpie hat, mirrored shades, gold chains, untied Reeboks, a tattered deck of cards resting on an upturned box, fast hands, a 3-card Monte artist who talks in lumbering rap jargon that doesn't jive.

RAPPER JACK
(rhyming slang)
Yo, my man don be shy, Step up to Rappa-Jack - just say hi, Find the black ace, an bust my case.

Rapper Jack shuffles faster and faster, stops, Albert, points, wins. Rapper Jack GROANS.

RAPPER JACK
Makes me cry on his very first try.

Practice is over. Got some green, muffin-head?

Albert takes out a pile of bills, innocent to the lascivious look it draws from Rapper Jack.

ALBERT
I got paid today-

RAPPER JACK
Lay it down, and make me frown.

Rapper Jack nods, shuffles, stops, Albert picks. Loses. Rapper Jack shows him the Ace of Spades, scoops up Albert's money.

RAPPER JACK
Mess with the bess, die like the ress ...

SERGEANT DOBBS rounds the corner, on his way to the precinct. Rapper Jack's cards vanish.

DOBBS
What is this?

RAPPER JACK
Reagan-omics.

ALBERT
Thank you for letting me play, Mr. Rapper Jack.

Rapper Jack and his shill manage quick smiles.

DOBBS
Play? You played with these scam artists?!

Albert concedes this, Rapper Jack and shill bolt.

ALBERT
And I lost, but they did promise I could play next payday. I think I've got the hang of gambling.

Sergeant Dobbs rolls his eyes, casts a final look down the street at the quickly retreating figures of Rapper Jack and his shill, Dobbs walks Albert into the station house.


INT. STATION HOUSE DAY ROOM NIGHT

The shift assembles, hushed voices, as the CAPTAIN GRAZER enters with George. The room falls silent.

GRAZER
What we have on our hands, as of this minute, is a missing child Last seen at the Euclid School carnival where she got separated from the people she was with, who saw nothing and know nothing. Pictures?

George passes out a stack of Emily's photo

GRAZER
(continued)
This is family business, it's personal. I push you. You push your sources. I want a dust team over to her house for skin samples. I want a round-the-clock hotline number. I want radio and TV coverage. If she's lost, she's scared. If this is about abduction, kidnapping or worse, the first hours are crucial. Francisco and

Sikes rushes in as the briefing breaks up, goes to George.

GRAZER
(continued)
- Sikes will help you any way they can.

SIKES
(a whisper)
Emily probably just wandered off.

GEORGE
(doubtful)
Emily is logical objective, and highly intelligent. She wouldn't just "wander off" like that.

SIKES
Either way you've got the whole force behind you. We'll find her. We will.

GRAZER
(to the room)
Questions?

Silence; Sikes pats George on the shoulder as the briefing ends and they exit.

INT. LOCKER ROOM

as Sikes and George enter to a wave of patrolmen LAUGHTER.

COP'S VOICES (OS)
As I see it; scratch one baby Slag. Somebody did a public service.

Sikes touches George's shoulder to say "easy".

GEORGE
It's okay. I'm chilled.

As they round a locker to see a huge cop named KOWALSKI who's holding forth with about ten other cops all of whom grow silent, turn away at George's appearance. Not so with Kowalski, who lights a cigar, eyes George, who steps to his locker which is near Kowalski's. George pauses, points under the bench.

GEORGE
Is that little thing under there yours, Kowalski.?

Kowalski tries to see under the bench where George points.

KOWALSKI
I don't see nothing. What is it?

POW!

GEORGE
Your brain, waxjob.

George knees Kowalski in the face so hard the giant goes rocketing back into a wall of lockers, crushes them, charges back, night stick out. George deftly sidesteps, winds up like a fastball pitcher, twists the stick from Kowalski's hand, swings like a driving iron into Kowalski's crotch, as two other cops try to restrain him and he hurls them aside like paper dolls. Kowalski pulls his revolver

Sikes dives for it.

SIKES
No. No. No!

George is tackled down by six cops who can barely restrain him as Kowalski has Sikes in the air, about to hurl him into a row of lockers.

WHISTLE SOUNDS!

All fighters turn, stop, look at the doorway where a SERGEANT DOBBS stands, disgusted, shaking his head at the tangle of bodies, the destroyed locker room.

SERGEANT DOBBS
Francisco, report to the Captain!

SIKES
What?! It wasn't his -

SERGEANT DOBBS
Did I rap on your cage, Sikes!?
(to all)
L.A.'s finest. The question is; finest what?

George exits.

EXT. PRECINCT - NIGHT

as George comes down the steps, wrapping a towel around his bloody hand, comes over to Captain Grazer who is climbing into his car.

GRAZER
That wasn't like you, Francisco. You're off active.

George is stunned.

GEORGE
But Captain, it wasn't my fault

GRAZER
I'm not interested in explanations, just results. This is for your own good'. You're too close to this case. It's personal. The inter-species thing could blow up in our far-, on this one. I don't you on the street seeing red.

GEORGE
Captain, please

CAPTAIN
It's an order, Francisco. It's regulations. It's for the best. Go home. Let us do our job.

Grazer gets into his car.

GEORGE
(blurts)
Do you believe the same men who make Slag jokes are the same men to find my daughter?!

GRAZER
Yes I do. Because when we put on these badges, we're not black, not white, yellow, green or blue we're cops.

GEORGE
...Cops.

GRAZER
Cops, and that cuts across all lines ...

Grazer drives out. George watches him leave. Down the steps comes Sikes feeling his bruised jaw.

SIKES
Is that what you call "chilled out?!"

GEORGE
Grazer says I'm too personally involved, that it's regulation.

SIKES
What is?

GEORGE
He took me off the case!

Sikes watches the captain's car drive off.

INT. THE FRANCISCO HOUSE

as George and Sikes enter, met at the door by Susan, who sees George's bloody hand.

GEORGE
I'm okay. Any word?

SUSAN
No. Nothing yet.

PHONE RINGS! Once...twice a beat here.

Buck I bounds down the stairs, I airs, grabs the phone before Sikes can get it.

BUCK
Hello? ...

WOMAN'S VOICE
(phone)
Check your mailbox, Slag. Special delivery.

Sikes hears this, stops Buck from rushing to the mailbox.

SIKES
I'll go.

Sikes turns to George.

SIKES
(continued)
Keep them inside.

George nods, Sikes exits.

EXT. FRANCISCO HOUSE

Sikes exits, pulls his gun, looks about. Houses, trees, darkness, it's the normalcy, the absence of activity that motivates the tension here. Sikes cautiously approaches the mailbox, touches an ear to it as if listening for a bomb, hears nothing, pulls a stick from a nearby pile of leaves and brush, flattens himself on the ground, slowly pulls open the mailbox expecting an explosion and ... nothing. Sikes quietly approaches the mailbox, inserts the stick, curious, feels something, slides it out.

A NEWCOMER BARBIE with an 8mm video-cassette taped around

TV SCREEN - MOMENTS LATER

Static, leader at the head of the tape, the set flashes them several color and tint changes.

Buck steps into frame, tries to manually adjust the color, contrasts, etc.

BUCK
It's locked in.

Sikes, George, Susan, Moodri, Buck are in the family room, watching TV as on the screen:

From the shadows there steps a hooded figure with the PURIST SYMBOL on his grand wizard-like gown, the figure LAUGHS.

PURIST
Hello Slags and Slag lovers.

The hooded figure lights a torch, casting illumination on two more hooded figures flanking a chair holding Emily.

Susan reacts.

SUSAN
My baby!

George comforts Susan, who begins to CRY.

Emily looks directly at the camera.

EMILY
I'm okay. They haven't hurt me. They said for you to listen real good and

The main hooded figure gestures and a second hooded figure clamps a hand over Emily's mouth.

PURIST
Let's talk deal. Release Mrs. Brett from jail within 24 hours and we spring the little Slag. Jerk us around and we sell her for spare graft parts.

Sikes leans back. For him the second shoe just fell.

Hooded figure gestures, camera swings to:

EMILY

who though dirty, and scared, is courageous.

EMILY
Don't worry, Mom, and take special care of my pet, Beedoes. The screen goes to static ... and a WHINING NOISE becomes audible.

SUSAN
Who is Mrs. Brett?

SIKES
A homegrown looney.

BUCK
The leader of the Purist movement.

GEORGE
Twenty-four hours. Ten P.M. tomorrow night. Where is she being held?

SUSAN
It won't work. Their demand is impossible to grant, George.

GEORGE
Susan, do you realize what you're saying?

SIKES
Susan's right, George.. You know the drill. No deals with the kidnappers or terrorists.

GEORGE
If we don't deal Emily dies.

Susan understands, takes George's hand.

MOODRI
In these matters there is no bargain to be made, no truce struck with evil.

George turns to Sikes, who picks up the phone.

SIKES
Operator, get me nine-one-one.

The DOORBELL RINGS, Buck opens the door.

THE PRINT TEAM, which consists of a chain-smoking, fast-talking pair of experts, dog-eared, perpetually tired, have seen it all and then some kind of guys named "NICOTINE" ROBERTS and PARKER. They are like an oldmarried couple constantly bickering, at odds, and finishing each other's thoughts.

NICOTINE
No. We're not with the census bureau. We're here to dust for prints, - er - Newcomer skin flakes, in the kids room.

They enter, led by Buck. George sags onto the stairs, cradles his head in his hand, desperate.

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE HALLWAY

Nicotine and Parker, who talk in staccato rhythms, lug their cases along the hallway, escorted by Buck.

NICOTINE
Nice place.

PARKER
Loud colors.

Buck opens the door to Emily's room.

NICOTINE
Thanks.

PARKER
We'll call you.

Parker closes the door.

INT. EMILY'S ROOM

Dark, scary. Moonlight shines through an open window.

NICOTINE
It's dark...

CLICK! Parker hits a light switch.

PARKER
It's light.

The room is in shambles, furniture broken, wallpaper flaked off the wall, bed clothes and toys in shreds, formed into what seems like a huge hornet's nest suspended from the ceiling to the floor, as if spun from threads.

NICOTINE
A nest?

PARKER
For who? Big Bird?

CHEEP! A sound is heard, cricket-like.

NICOTINE
A noise.

PARKER
Definitely not a bird noise.

The debris and the junk is furrowed as something RUSTLES through. Nicotine and Parker advance, pull their guns until

CHEEP! grows louder, more emphatic, and suddenly debris explodes upward as Nicotine SCREAMS, something has shot up his trouser leg. He SCREAMS, fights, falls over backwards. Parker covers with his gun, unable to help, until Nicotine rips off his pants to reveal a small, furry creature on Nicotine's thigh, SQUEAKING, biting. Parker is kneeling with his gun on the creature that suddenly jumps on him. Parker now SCREAMS, falls over backwards as Nicotine grabs the pistol, cocks it.

BANG! The door whips open.

BUCK
Beedoes! NO!

The creature relents. Nicotine and Parker look as the creature scrambles across the room into Buck's hand.

NICOTINE
I don't want to know...

PARKER
A hamster from hell ...

BUCK
Emily's pet.

NICOTINE
"Emily's pet." I'd settle for a serial killer just now.

Buck places the creature in a small cage and watches as the creature proceeds to bump and throw itself into the metal bars in one corner.


INT. FRANCISCO KITCHEN

Kitchen Clock:

shows 11:00, continues to TICK LOUDLY as-

George sits quietly at the table, staring. Susan scratches her arm where it shows splotches, studies George a beat as tears stream down George's face. (SUBTITLES)

SUSAN
What's wrong?

GEORGE
It's not right for you to see me like this.

SUSAN
We've seen each other in worse moments. Aboard the ship?

GEORGE
No, even the ship was not this bad.

Susan SIGHS, concedes, the bond is strong.

SUSAN
You'll find her. I believe in you. We all do.

GEORGE
No. Not me. Grazer took me off the case.

SUSAN
He can't do that.

GEORGE
He can and did. He says I'm too close to the case.

SUSAN
Being too close to the case means you'll go all out...

GEORGE
Not to them.

Susan reaches out, touches George's hand which he kisses and notices the red blotches on it.

KNOCK. KNOCK

comes at the kitchen door, which Susan opens to find Brenda is there, holding a pan of brownies. George looks away as Brenda stammers, sorry, awkward, powerless.

BRENDA
I'm sorry to barge in like this. I just wanted to say how I never in a million years thought ...
(trails off)
Words sound so silly at times like these ... I told the police all I know. I baked you some brownies.

George rises, pushes past Susan, says nothing to Brenda, who hands Susan the brownies, leaves as Moodri comes into the room, looks at Susan.

MOODRI
You'd think she'd know we don't eat brownies. Bluch...

Susan sits, Moodri touches her shoulder.

MOODRI
(continued)
Strength...

Susan sighs.

SUSAN
Strength.

EXT. ABANDONED IRONWORKS - NIGHT

Tall rusted buildings, piles of iron tailings, broken windows, a faint light from within.

A checkers, a chess set, a tic-tac-toe all lined up.

A small hand enters frame to win the chess game.

EMILY
Checkmate.

A Purist wearing a WOLF MASK shakes his head in amazement, looks at the accomplices wearing a RABBIT, and FROG MASKS, respectively.

EMILY
Sorry.

Rabbit, Wolf, Frog having been playing her at various games being soundly trounced..

EMILY
Excuse me, but how much longer must I stay here?

WOLF
Depends how long it takes to trade you for our friend. By tomorrow at this time all of this turns into a bad dream.

EMILY
I'd like to believe you...

Emily triple jumps, wins the checkers game.

WOLF
Well, thank you....-

EMILY
But statistically speaking, kidnapping for ransom or a bargain toot has historically proven to be counterproductive.

Rabbit and Frog look at one another as this little tidbit of information sinks through, Emily wins the tic-tac-toe game.

WOLF
Button it, Slag!

Emily jumps at the sudden assault as Wolf goes over to huddle with Frog and Rabbit who are shaking their heads, pointing to their watches and nodding to Emily whose eyes mist with tears.

EMILY
(to herself)
I must not cry. I cannot cry. I will not cry.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

as George walks the deserted streets of a dangerous neighborhood, passes a bank clock that reads: 1:00 A.M. Hustlers, street people, homeless, all of whom motion and gesture at him as he comes to:

A NEWCOMER SHRINE

A small steel facade with the sign "OBJECTIVITY RETREAT", the Newcomer version of a Christian Science Reading Room where he sees:

A SALVATION ARMY NEWCOMER

passing out sandwiches to the poor and plastic bags of bloody beaver. George declines, enters.

INT. OBJECTIVITY RETREAT

as George enters a dark circular room: tatami mats, coved circular ceiling, mist. He nods greetings to the other Newcomers, removes his shoes, lies on his back in a circle of Newcomers. He joins hands, closes his eyes, the entry door slides shut plunging them into darkness. They start to hum (filter treated) as from the coved ceiling there appears:

A pin prick of blue God light, which widens into a star sized beam of light which widens to a beam of close encounters light. The tight circle of Newcomers rises to kneeling position, breaks off, each participant turns to a partner in couples. George opens his eyes to find himself face-to-face with:

MOODRI

whose wide eyes also reflect surprise at seeing George. They speak in Newcomer tongue with SUBTITLES.

MOODRI
How long has it been since you came to a retreat?

GEORGE
About as long as it's been since I walked on salt water.

MOODRI
What brings you now?

George pulls the revolver from his windbreaker. Moodri looks at it, then into George's eyes.

MOODRI
Please communicate regarding this ...

GEORGE
I am torn between two worlds. That which we left which you told me had culture and great vision and that of violence and hostility where I find myself ... wanting to kill

MOODRI
You were not born when I left First World. There we were treated as slaves, beneath contempt, beasts of burdens, items of convenience.

GEORGE
And what do we have here?

MOODRI
...Freedom.

GEORGE
To do their biding, play their games, feign tolerance. It's a strange species.

MOODRI
Define strange?

The blue light from above beams wider.

GEORGE
I find them
vicious, vindictive, petty and ...
(pauses)

MOODRI
(senses more)
"And yet?"

GEORGE
- and yet, at the same time, they are capable of great art, compassion, sacrifice, even nobility, love.

MOODRI
The next millennium will be a trial for this world, as the next nineteen hours will be for you.

GEORGE
Officially I was removed so my training, my expertise, can't be used to save my own child. I can't entrust her life to them.

MOODRI
No, you prefer to rely on this

Moodri glances down at the gun.

GEORGE
I have my limits.

The light beam turns hot-white, widens, begins to close.

MOODRI
If you wish to find Emily. You have something far stronger at your disposal. Something she reminded us of in the tape ...

George is confused.

GEORGE
Be clear.

MOODRI
(a whisper)
Beedoes.

George is skeptical, the white light reverts to blue, and narrows, plunging them into:

GEORGE
(skeptical)
Her pet?

DARKNESS ...

INT. FRANCISCO HOUSE - EMILY'S ROOM - MINUTES LATER

as George bursts into the room, startling Nicotine and Parker who are working.

GEORGE
Beedoes!

PARKER
The little monster? Over there Only keep it away from us, George.

George goes over to Beedoes' cage, sits down and CHEEP! CHEEP!

Susan and Buck enter, concerned, study the cage a beat.

BUCK
It's like he's trying to break out.

George reaches into the cage, picks up the furry, little creature, studying it.

GEORGE
Beedoes? What do you say we find Emily together? Team up?

Beedoes bites George.

GEORGE
Ow! He bit me! This is ridiculous!

George sucks his thumb, angry, as a CUCKOO CLOCK SOUNDS ... 4 A.M.

END ACT II

ACT III

EXT. PURIST HEADQUARTERS - NIGHT

as we arm down past an old neon clock that reads 4:30 A.M., passing a stark Purist graffiti sign, "welcome to Earth - now go home."

A dark sedan pulls into the alley, from the sedan steps Sikes,' who cautiously makes his way towards the basement door with the Purist emblems splashed on it in day-glo colors.

Sikes looks about, KNOCKS TWICE on the iron door, a man with a mission.

A peephole zips open, raucous MUSIC and LAUGHTER are much in evidence, a mean FACE fills the peephole.

FACE
Get lost!

ZIP! Peephole is closed. Sikes takes a hundred dollar bill from his pocket, KNOCKS again, mean face again appears. Sees the bill, an arm reaches out. Sikes seizes the arm. Twists it. The bouncer SCREAMS, opens the door inwards.

Sikes smiles sweetly as the bouncer tries to pull his damaged arm from the peephole.

INT. PURIST HEADQUARTERS

A twisted VFW hall, huge Purist banners hang from ceiling, to Death to Newcomers", "Purify the Race" slogans adorn the walls.

Purists, many dressed similar to skinheads, almost para- military, are drinking beer at card tables, playing darts, using painted Newcomer faces for targets as:

Sikes walks through this tableau, over to a bar where a LADY BARTENDER wearing a t-shirt that says, "Welcome to Earth, Now Go Home", comes over, gives him the up and down.

BARTENDER
Call it.

SIKES
One liquor license, straight up.

BARTENDER
What's it to you?

Sikes places his badge on the bar.

SIKES
Who's asking?

Bartender is not impressed or concerned.

BARTENDER
...Your mother.

Bartender presses a button on the bar and an air-raid SIREN SOUNDS, music stops, conversation halts, all eyes turn towards Sikes who holds up his badge.

SIKES
Hello, taxpayers.

RATTLE, CLATTER, BUMP!

Guns, knives, clubs, mace, chains, all fall from the pockets of the Purists wishing not to be caught with concealed weapons.

SIKES
(noticing)
You people making the world safe for democracy?

A big Purist drops a snubbed-nosed .32. Sikes grabs the man by the neck, pushes him down onto the floor.

SIKES
You dropped something. Fascist, bigot, racist, all of the above. Take your pick, but first pick up what you dropped.

Purist inches towards his gun on the floor, as Sikes walks amidst the crowd.

SIKES
(continued)
Christians to lions, Jews to gas chambers, change the century

Purist is closer to his gun.

SIKES
(continued)
- the names, the faces, the flags, it's all the same; poverty, prejudice, scapegoats

Purist goes for it.

Sikes does a dive, roll, comes into a combat firing kneel right in the Purist's face, gun aimed.

CLICK!

SIKES
-stupidity even?

Sikes cocks his pistol, I , puts it in the Purist's -.mouth. Purist hands his pistol over.

SIKES
So. Personally speaking. I'm losing my patience with you people.

Purist, sweating, gun in his mouth. Other Purists don't move, their women glare at Sikes as he passes, pulling down the banners.

SIKES
The sad fact is: I only enforce the law. And the law says you got a right to be the butts you are. However, several of you crossed the line today, made me a lucky man.

Purist suddenly takes a sucker punch at Sikes who ducks, kick boxes his attacker in one smooth move, out cold onto a table which then collapses.

SIKES
(continued; a deep breath)
So, the fun part of my job is to put you taxpayers down after you've crossed that line. So; Detective Sikes says; hands on heads! Up against the wall! Kiddies, we're all going for a ride!

Purists GROAN...

EXT. EUCLID ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CARNIVAL - NIGHT

The rides are idle, a lone NIGHT WATCHMAN strolls the playground. George pulls up in his family station wagon.

INT. WAGON

where Susan is in the passenger seat and Buck sits in the back seat with a lap top computer. George switches off his walkie-talkie, depressed.

GEORGE
Five A.M. and Sikes is pulling in every Purist on the books, but nothing so far.

SUSAN
Come on, Fuzzy.

Susan takes Beedoes' cage from the back seat, CHEEP!

GEORGE
(a sigh)
I still maintain, using Beedoes to find Emily is ridiculous.

SUSAN
Then why did Emily mention him? And if Moodri said Beedoes is attuned Emily, I believe him. You're just mad cause Beedoes bit you, George. Find Emily. Beedoes! Emily ...

Beedoes rattles his little cage.

BUCK
Okay, Dad, I've programmed the streets into a vector grid. We drive in concentric circles that widen as we fan out, until Beedoes picks up the trail.

Buck opens his lap top, which makes BLEEPING AND BUZZING noises.

GEORGE
All right, all right. I give up.

CHEEP!

SUSAN
Look!

Susan, George, Buck, all look at the cage to see Beedoes jumping up and down, then changes towards the right side of his cage.

SUSAN
He keeps running to that corner.

Buck looks at a compass, taps into his lap top.

BUCK
Due west, Dad.

George shakes his head, reads his dash board compass.

GEORGE
Due west.

Buck finishes using the computer.

BUCK
So when you hit Carter Street hang a right.

George makes the right.

Beedoes' CHEEPS rise in pitch as they've gone down the trail and it's getting hotter.

Even George seems momentarily surprised at such a definite reaction from Beedoes.

INT. INTERROGATION ROOM

Darkness.

A big regulation clock behind chicken wire reads 6 A.M., Sikes has been at it all night, no luck.

The Purist who pulled the gun on him sits tied to his chair.

A table is between them and a night stick rests on it attracting the Purists' gaze, and a SECOND COP is finishing a container of yogurt, exhausted.

SIKES
(to COP)
Give us a minute.

Cop looks at Sikes, then at the Purist who is painfully aware of what may happen now as he watches the cop exit.

Sikes exhales slowly, tired.

SIKES
Here's where we are: We pegged you guys for illegal weapons, explosives, underage girlfriends, liquor, building code violations, just for starters. You are looking at serious time. Or

PURIST
Or?

SIKES
Or you fill in the blanks for us.

Purist considers this, gestures with his head for Sikes to come over.


PFFFT!

Purist spits In Sikes' face. Sikes lunges for him throwing the chair over backwards with a tremendous crash as Purist SCREAMS. Other cops and Dobbs come in, tear Sikes off.

PURIST
I want my lawyer! I got rights! Help! Police brutality!

The cops drag the chair out with the Purist, whose nose is bleeding, CRYING OUT about police brutality.

Dobbs hands Sikes a hanky, steadies the swinging light, concerned.

DOBBS
Glad to see you been working on that temper you got, Matt.

SIKES
Don't crawl me Dobbs. Read that clock. Sixteen hours to go before some shrink wrap mows my partner's kid and you get in my face about table manners?

Dobbs pulls the brands and sunlight invades, making Sikes wince.

DOBBS
I know. I know. Look, we been counting noses and so far we got three blank spaces, unaccounted for, whereabouts unknown.

He hands the files to Dobbs.

SIKES
Cardozo, Bullins, and Shrake. Got pictures?

Shakes his head. Albert enters, broom in hand.

ALBERT
Oh, sorry, Sarge.

DOBBS
That's okay. Here Albert. Run out and pick up Mr. Sikes some McBreakfast. He'll need a breakfast of champions today.

Dobbs hands Albert a twenty dollar bill.

SIKES
Non-fat milk, plain yogurt, and granola. You can pick it up at the Happy Fruit.

Albert, eager to please, exits.

COP
They're bringing another bunch of Purists in, Sarge.

DOBBS
On my way.
(to Sikes)
"The Happy Fruit"? The Russian's won't have to fire a shot.

Dobbs shakes his head, leaves. Sikes goes to the window, looks out on the vast city and looks at the TICKING clock.

EXT. POLICE STATION - DAY

as Albert comes down the steps, WHISTLES to himself, gets a half block and hears:

A VOICE
(OS)
Yo, Gumby.

Albert turns, blinks and sees Rapper Jack and his shill... and the cards, looks at Dobbs twenty dollar bill.

EXT. GAS STATION - DAY

as George, beside a Mobile station, digital clock reads 10 A.M., is filling his car up at the pump, talking into the walkie-talkie, exhausted as from within the car comes:

CHEEP! Lower, more emphatic.

GEORGE
Thank you. Keep me posted if there's anything I can do.

George places the walkie-talkie on the pump as he takes out his wallet, hands the attendant some bills, gets into his car.

INT. CAR

Susan hands George a cup of coffee, looks at Beedoes as Buck is TAPPING away at his lap top, as they get caught in traffic.

GEORGE
Rush hour gridlock. Now, are we ready to throw in the towel?

BUCK
No way, Dad. By my calculations we're moving due west, heading towards the harbor. Get on the freeway.

GEORGE
By my calculations we've given; this a shot and it's just not doing it.

SUSAN
Humor us, George.

George drives away. His police walkie-talkie remains atop the gas pump beside the large courtesy clock which reads 10 A.M.

INT. STATION HOUSE FILE ROOM

as Sikes sits in the dusty room, illuminated by Venetian blinds, TAPPING away at a computer, surrounded by stacks of ID files (clock reads 11:00).

SIKES
Cardozo, Bullins and Shrake. Search.

The door opens and in strides Cheryl the hot rookie and she nudges the bolt closed behind her, steps towards Sikes.

CHERYL
How's it going?

SIKES
Well so far we got their names, not their faces and it's been a long night at eleven hours and counting.

Cheryl touches a file folder.

CHERYL
There goes dinner, huh?

SIKES
I'm sorry.

Cheryl comes closer to him.

CHERYL
Well if Mohammed can't come to the mountain

Cheryl undoes her bra, and lets it fall (as we go to silhouettes and judiciously tasteful angles.)

CHERYL
(continued)
We'll have to bring the mountains to Detective Sikes.

Sikes is starting to sweat.

SIKES
Gee, this is taking a big chance.

Cheryl slaps a rubber into his hand.

CHERYL
You're covered, Detective.

Sikes is on for it now, kisses her as she sits on his lap and runs her fingers through his hair.

CHERYL
All this fuss over one little Slag. It's not like there aren't more, especially with the way they breed... Oh baby, do me... I mean look down the road in fifty years we'll be working for them. I say send them back to where they came from, pack them on the shuttle and... Hey, what's wrong? You losing gas?

Sikes has become disenchanted, physically and emotionally, he looks up at her like it's not going to work. The racist line she's been spouting has ruined the moment.

Cheryl has not a clue, SIGHS, disappointed as to why he's stalled, she stands, buttons up.

SIKES
(apologetic)
It's been a rough night. I'm fried and

CHERYL
(an edge)
Hey, it happens to everyone, all right?

Cheryl is pissed, she exits.

Sikes rubs his face, rolls his eyes as if to say "what was that?" Computer buzzes, Sikes goes over, turns to the computer that indicates it has finished it's search as a printer begins to print out:

Three faces, Carduzo, Bullins, Shrake ...

INT. DAY ROOM

Sikes enters to find two hundred breakfast bags, filling the room, more coming. Sikes looks at Dobbs for an explanation, who looks at Albert who's putting a huge wad of cash in the P.A.L. box.

DOBBS
Albert got the hang of 3-card Monte, beat Rapper Jack at his own game, bought the whole precinct brunch including prisoners, and still popped a grand into the P.A.L. fund. I'm introducing him to the lottery next.

Sikes places the printout photos on Dobbs' desk...

EXT. ABANDONED IRONWORKS

One car, old, dented, bondo marks, sits outside the rusted building.

INT. ABANDONED IRONWORKS

Wolf, Rabbit and Frog are playing cards at a table, with a loud windup TICKING CLOCK which reads 5:00 P.M. on the table.

EMILY

sits bound in a little chair which rests on a square piece of steel in the center of the room.

RABBIT
Five hours left.

FROG
This wasn't how it was going to work.

WOLF
There's still time.

RABBIT
They've had plenty of time.

FROG
He's right.

Wolf grabs him.

WOLF
We play out the string!

RABBIT
I say we cut our losses.

Emily is listening to them carefully, coloring in a Newcomer coloring book.

WOLF
Five hours to go ...

Rabbit removes his head mask CARDOZO, a big man with rat-smart eyes.

WOLF
Don't be stupid!

Frog removes his mask to reveal his face to be that of Bullins.

FROG
You're the one who's been dumb!

Cardozo rips the mask off Shrake, the woman paramedic. She is big, tough looking, determined, in control, who cringes, and they all turn towards Emily.

EMILY
Would you like to come play?

INT. POLICE DISPATCHER'S OFFICE

as Sikes hands the dispatcher a computer printout.

DISPATCHER
All units, the suspects car is thought to be a nineteen sixty-eight Dodge, license plate

Sikes gulps his coffee, looks at a digital clock 7 P.M.

EXT. FREEWAY NIGHT

as George's car comes off the ramp in the Harbor district, piers, warehouses, old buildings.

INT. CAR

as George winces each time Beedoes CHEEPS! Louder than before.

GEORGE
What's wrong with him?

BUCK
He's homing in, Dad.

Buck continues working his lap top.

BUCK
Next street is Harbor.

SUSAN
He keeps nudging west.

BUCK
Right, Dad.

GEORGE
(resigned)
Right it is.

George turns right

Beedoes cuts loose with a SCREECH that is ear shattering, making even Susan wince.

INT. ABANDONED IRONWORKS

Emily, faced by Cardozo and Sullins, hands them two three penny nails, raising questions on their crude faces.

EMILY
Here ...

CARDOZO
What? What for?

EMILY
To help you.

BULLINS
I don't get it.

EMILY
You've removed your masks. You're in a difficult position. In order to protect your identity you must prevent me from identifying you at a later date.

CARDOZO
Yeah. So?

EMILY
Use these to blind me and you protect your identities ...

Cardozo and Bullins look at one another horrified at the thought; they may be killers but they're not mutilators.

CARDOZO
This is sick...

His nails fall.

EMILY
I assure you the choice between blindness and death was not difficult for me. The blind lead very productive lives.

Bullins drops his nails, backs away.

An AMUSED LAUGH rings out.

Cardozo and Bullins both turn to:

Shrake, still at the card table, she enjoys their revulsion.

SHRAKE
Weaklings ...

CARDOZO
Listen, Shrake, if you're so -- Cardozo stops himself, he gave away a name.

Emily is now scared.

Shrake rises, amazed at the stupidity of her accomplices.

SHRAKE
We're past names and faces. Strong measures are what win the day.

Shrake goes to a large tool box, which piques Cardozo and Bullins' interest.

EXT. STREET NIGHT

George's car rounds the turn, comes to a halt across from the only building in view.

INT. CAR

and Beedoes is braying louder than before. They must hold their ears.

GEORGE
It hurts.

BUCK
That's the building, Dad. Gotta be.

GEORGE
I'll radio for backup.

George looks for his walkie-talkie, remembers.

GEORGE
The gas pump... All right, you two get to a phone, give them the address and tell them Code Two.

SUSAN
What are you doing?

GEORGE
I'm going in.

SUSAN
George, no.

Susan tries to stop him. George will have none of it.

GEORGE
If she's inside, there's no time to wait. Buck, drive away slowly, without noise.

Buck nods, closes his lap top, climbs into the driver's seat, takes the wheel, George gets out.

EXT. DESERTED STREET

as George watches the car drive away, crosses the street, walks to the old, rusted door, takes out his revolver. CHEEP! CHEEP!

Beedoes pokes out of his pocket, scares George who twists off the rusty padlock, enters ...

END ACT III

ACT IV

EXT. IRONWORKS - NIGHT

deserted, dark, ominous, one open door, the door George entered.

INT. IRONWORKS

as George is cautiously stalking through a series of broken down cranes, machine parts, revolver ready as: CHEEP! CHEEP!

Beedoes pokes a head from George's breast pocket, and is summarily shoved back inside. George senses a presence, stops moving, listens: DRIPPING WATER.

Beedoes growls.

FOOTFALLS, several sets, echo, crisp and clean on gravel and concrete, clipped staccato beat; someone is moving quickly.

George rushes to a stack of iron bars, old machinery, scrambles up to get a glimpse through an old multi-paned window fogged, greasy. George sees:

A sedan pull out, dented, old, with three silhouettes inside, the sound of MUFFLED LAUGHTER, as it reaches the street, burns rubber.

George hears a RUSTLE, a movement behind him, whirls, ready to fire at:

Pigeons, several of them fluttering about, resting on old beams.

George breathes easier, climbs back onto the ground, advances as:

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Buck comes to a screeching halt outside a deserted phone booth. Susan gives him change and he charges into the phone booth.

WINO
Hey!

Buck nearly jumps ten feet.

BUCK
Sir, I need that phone!

The Wino takes another gulp from his bottle.

WINO
Beat it, Slag.

Buck ignores the Wino's tone, reaches into the booth, takes the headset off the receiver and it promptly falls in two pieces, broken.

Buck runs back to the car.

The Wino CACKLES, amused, empties his Thunderbird, hurls the bottle away... it shatters.

INT. ABANDONED IRONWORKS

GEORGE

Stalking through the darkness, past the rubble, smeared with dirt and grease, looks at his watch:

Watch: 9:30 1 hour left.

CHEEP! CHEEP!

Beedoes cuts loose louder than when we heard him before, and George jumps.

GEORGE
Right ... cheep... cheep...

George continues on as if Beedoes had goaded him to do so...

INT. POLICE JAIL

SIKES

standing in a prison corridor, looking into a cell at:

MRS. BRETT, the PURIST LEADER, Purist tattoo on her arm, defiant eyes, curled lips, snapping down cards in a fast game of solitaire.

MRS. BRETT
Me? Help you?

SIKES
No. Help your friends before they do something major league stupid.

MRS. BRETT
Such as?

SIKES
Killing a child.

Mrs. Brett turns at this, stops playing solitaire. Smoke spins from her cigarette, she studies Sikes keenly.

MRS. BRETT
A real "child?" Or a Slag child?

Sikes does not answer but Mrs. Brett takes the silence as an affirmative, smiles.

MRS. BRETT
As I see it, we got ourselves a win-win situation here. Smoke a Slag they get a martyr, you smoke my colleagues and we get martyrs, and both sides keep the grudge.

SIKES
And we wind up with a race war

Mrs. Brett smiles.

MRS. BRETT
You ain't as stupid as you look.

Sikes turns, leaves, walks towards an exit door, and sees the clock behind the chicken wire which reads: 9:35 P.M. 25 minutes.

MRS. BRETT
(continued; echoes)
You're putting out fires with gasoline, Mr. Sikes! Gasoline!

Her laughter echoes.

EXT. GAS STATION

as the black OWNER is pulling down the riot guards over his windows, locking the pumps, putting out a "closed" sign.

Buck and Susan SCREECH into the station, Buck jumps out, comes running over to the owner who is feeding a mangy looking dog on a chain who SNARLS at Buck.

BUCK Sir, could I use a phone, it's urgent!

OWNER
Closed.

BUCK
But it's life or death!

OWNER
Always is! You see that sign?

Buck falls silent and nods.

OWNER
(continued)
Now get out of here.

SUSAN

steps from the car and:

SUSAN
Sir, I'm sure you can appreciate that sometimes events occur, events you can't foresee and

OWNER
Yeah. So?

SUSAN
So we will pay you for any Inconvenience, but we have to call the police and -

The Owner cowers at the word "police", wants no part of it.

OWNER
Don't want no police around, don't want you around, lump, now slide and take your squeeze with you. Before I sic my dogs on you!

Buck grows angry, reigns himself as they return to the car.

SUSAN
(to Owner)
Thank you.

(to Buck)
Come on Buck.

Susan and Buck drive off.

EXT. HARBOR STREET - NIGHT

A MOTORCYCLE COP checking licenses on parked cars, comes upon the Purists' car.. COP double checks the license plate, sees:

"NEON", a steel facaded biker bar across the curb. The Cop radios the address.

INT. ABANDONED IRONWORKS

GEORGE

stops at a large door, looks about, checks his gun as:

Beedoes, in his breast pocket, is CHEEPING!

George, using his Newcomer strength, tears open a new padlock, pulls back a door to reveal an:

Empty loading bay.

George is ready to give up, is now not as cautious as he was upon arriving, sags back against the wall as:

Beedoes springs from his pocket, scurries across the floor toward an old door at the far end of the loading dock.

Beedoes now makes a HIGH-PITCHED HUMMING NOISE louder than before, painful to George who moves to catch Beedoes.

INT. "NEON" - BIKER BAR - MOMENTS LATER

It lives up to it's name, neon, smoke, juke box, leather. Sikes enters, pulls his badge.

SIKES
Police!

Most patrons drop the contraband on the floor, Shrake, Bullins and Cardozo slowly swivel on their stools to face Sikes as he comes up to them.

SIKES
You three are under arrest.

SHRAKE
Got a charge?

SIKES
For starters; kidnapping.

WHAM!

Cardozo, the biggest, block tackles Sikes into a table, lifts a gumball machine to finish Sikes who delivers a swift face kick, twists into Bullins, who had a knife coming up fast as Shrake lunges, and she is hurled onto the bar, knocked out cold.

Motorcycle cop rushes in, looks at the carnage as Sikes sinks against the bar, chances to notice Shrake's muddy boats, sees:

Clumps of reddish metal, dirt, iron tailings.

Sikes pauses, looks at the boots of the other Purists, finds the exact same deposits.

MOTORCYCLE COP
Iron tailings.

Sikes puts it together.

SIKES
Ironworks!

Sikes runs.

EXT. STREET

A police car stopped at a light, inside are TWO VETERANS listening to a Dodgers game as:

SCREECH!

Buck rounds the corner, stops fast. The two Cops turn, look at Buck like "are you serious?"

COP
License and registration, conehead.

Susan leans across Buck, angry now.

SUSAN
How dare you talk to my son like that? I am Susan Francisco, wife of Detective George Francisco, a fellow officer, who is in trouble rescuing our kidnapped daughter and he needs backup. After you both finish radioing them a code two, get to Pacific Ironworks, I want your badge numbers!

Cops blink, "do you believe this broad?" read their expressions.

INT. ABANDONED IRONWORKS

GEORGE

poised, pulls off the padlock, zips open the metal door, enters, Beedoes in his windbreaker pocket, into:

The cavernous inner room and in the center of the room, under a skylight, sitting on a little chair, gagged, is Emily.

DEAD.

George takes a step as Beedoes SHRIEKS, baleful moaning, horrified.

GEORGE
Emily!

George's ANGUISHED CRY reverberates through the warehouse as he drops his gun, realizes he has arrived too late to save his daughter.

Emily stirs,. sits up, looks around, sees George who joyously reacts, starts towards her.

GEORGE
Baby?

Emily, who is unable to call out, to speak, is openly frightened now, shaking her head as George approaches, reaches her, pulls the gag off her mouth.

GEORGE
You're alive, you're alive.

EMILY
Daddy, listen to me, please. It's dangerous here.

GEORGE
You're safe now. It's all right. I'm here, I'm, here ...

EMILY
No. It's not all right, it's not.

GEORGE
(puzzled)
What is it, Emily?

EMILY
A bomb. We're standing on a bomb!

George looks down, sees they are standing on a 5 x 5 sheet of steel.

EMILY
I pretended to fall asleep and heard them talking about how it would go off if someone removed me from my seat or if no one found me it would go off at ten o'clock as they told you.

GEORGE
Ten minutes ...

EMILY
I'm sorry, Daddy. I tried to warn you.

George kisses Emily, undoes the binding, embraces her.

GEORGE
Whatever happens, it happens to both of us, pumpkin.

Emily kisses George on the cheek.

BANG! Noise from outside, Beedoes SHRIEKS, as from the shadows steps:

Sikes, gun drawn, cautious, relieved.

SIKES
Am I interrupting anything?

GEORGE
Don't come any farther!

SIKES
Is that any way to greet the cavalry?

EMILY
We're sitting on a booby trap!

Sikes pauses, looking to George who confirms.

GEORGE
If what Emily says is correct, under this steel plate you'll find a bomb, pressure rigged, timed to go off in ten minutes, actually it's nine minutes now...

Sikes looks about, sees the lantern left on the card table, takes it, advances towards the plate, lowers the light.

SIKES
Hello, Mr. Claymore...

GEORGE
The bomb squad?

SIKES
Never make it. It's us ...

GEORGE
Don't be crazy.

SIKES
Who's being subjective now, George?

Sikes rushes about looking for something, sees a large dolly, a wagon of sorts, used to move heavy equipment, but it's old, rusted, heavy.

GEORGE
It's going to blow in eight minutes, that's a given, if we move off the plate it goes, that's a given.

EMILY
A Hobson's choice.

SIKES
A what?

GEORGE
The kind of choice where whatever

you do you lose.

Sikes gets behind the wagon, rolls up his sleeves, takes a deep breath.

SIKES
(to George)
Is she always this cheerful?

GEORGE
What are you doing?

SIKES
What I'm doing is rolling this dolly onto the plate as a counter weight. The minute it makes contact, you dive behind that pig iron over there.

GEORGE
This seems risky.

SIKES
Hey, I'm open for suggestions!

EMILY
(to George)
Don't be negative, Daddy.
(to Sikes)
We're ready.
(to George)
Right, Dad?

RAPID FIRE INTERCUTS ON:

SIKES, pausing.

THE WAGON, not moving.

GEORGE, watching, skeptical.

THE WAGON, remaining immobile.

EMILY, encouraging Sikes.

THE BOMB, continuing to TICK.

BEEDOES, whimpering with anguish.

SIKES, straining, veins popping, sweating, GRUNTING, stopping, looking at:

GEORGE, SIGHING, looking at his watch: 2 minutes.

EMILY, seeing Sikes can't do it.

EMILY
You did your best, that's what counts.

GEORGE, embracing Emily.

GEORGE
You are the best daughter a dad ever had.

EMILY
You're tops too, Dad, but you don't have to talk me through this...

SIKES, SCREAMING a karate "kiyeh" to pump his adrenaline strains and sweats.

THE WAGON, MOVING, rusty wheels move, then halt.

GEORGE AND EMILY, resigning to defeat, turn at the sound of SCREECHING METAL.

SIKES, CRYING OUT even louder now and the wagon crawls, 15 feet, 14, 13, 12.

GEORGE, starting to hope.

EMILY, CHEERING.

SIKES, pushing the wagon to within 5 feet, it stops.

GEORGE, closing his eyes, terrified.

EMILY, falling silent.

SIKES, gasping for air, digging in with his track shoulder, closing his eyes, SCREAMING.

THE WAGON, lurching forward, onto the plate, rolling under it's own momentum.

SIKES
JUMP!

GEORGE, Emily, diving off the plate. The wagon RUMBLES onto the plate as:

BOOM!

The bomb, igniting in a fireball.

EXT. IRONWORKS

as the assembled cops, SWAT Team, Susan and Buck dive for cover as the explosion sounds, windows blow out.

SUSAN
(big)
Emily!

Cops peer Lip, restrain Susan, slowly advance.

INT. IRONWORKS

Dust, silence, as:

GEORGE

who landed, covering Emily with his body, looks up, no sign of Sikes.

GEORGE
Matt?

Sikes crawls out from behind a pile of machinery, bruised, filthy, exhausted, but jubilant.

SIKES
Tell me, George, you call this being off active duty?

The door bursts open and in comes the SWAT TEAM, backup Cops, who radio the all clear sign as:

Susan and Buck rush to George and Emily, are reunited, embrace, kiss, tears, with Beedoes jumping about. Sikes watches, apart for a beat, understands truly now how the Newcomers may be different, but they're like us in the most important way. ...the ability to love. Emily comes over to Sikes.

EMILY
Thanks for saving my family, Uncle Matt.

SIKES
Hey, what are friends for?

Sikes, kneels, is embraced by Emily.

EMILY
(a whisper in his ear)
I love you, Uncle Matt.

SIKES
(sotto voce)
I love you, too, Emily.

EXT. SIKES' APARTMENT - DAWN

as Sikes, dirty, catches the newspaper from the delivery boy, reads the headline, "Kidnappers Foiled", smiles to himself, enters his building.

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE SIKES' APARTMENT

Cathy is on her way to work, opens the hall door for Sikes, who is putting his key in the lock.

SIKES
Oh, thanks.

CATHY
You're hurt.

Sikes touches his cheek, somewhat surprised that there is a wound.

SIKES
It's just a scratch.

CATHY
"Scratches" get infected, too.

SIKES
I'm a fast healer.

CATHY
Tell you what; I won't tell you how to do your job, you don't tell me mine. Deal?

SIKES
...Deal.

Cathy nods to him, "follow me".

INT. CATHY'S APARTMENT

where Cathy takes off her coat, has Sikes sit on the chair near the kitchen, fetches bandages, a wash cloth, and Neosporin. She cleans the wound, touches his cheek.

Sikes does not flinch, he's come a long way in the past 24 hours.

Their eyes meet; we:

END