Bad Country


 
                                  BAD COUNTRY
                         
                               (aka WHISKEY BAY)

                         


                                  Written by                         

                              Jonathan Hirschbein  
                         

                         

                                                              MAY 2012

                          TEXT OVER BLACK: "Before all else, be armed"
                                                  - Niccolo Machiavelli


            FADE IN:

            LANDSCAPES

            A rusted Chevy El Camino drives against dissolving Louisiana
            landscapes - broad, barren, pounded by the rain.

            I/E. EL CAMINO, TRAVELING - DUSK

            Occasional oncoming headlights illuminate the driver's face:
            Tense, course features, thick beard... He's BUD CARTER, 31.

            AN INTERSTATE SIGN PASSES ON THE RIGHT: "WHISKEY BAY"

            Bud pulls onto a dirt road, into a TRAILER PARK and stops.

            INT. DOUBLE-WIDE TRAILER - DUSK

            TITLE IN: Denham Springs, Louisiana. 1983.

            We're staring at three sacks of sample unmounted EMERALDS,
            set on a filthy counter.

                                SOUTHERN MAN'S VOICE O.S.
                      Now these here are Brazilian, from Bahia.
                      Deep cuts. Damn good. These is India,
                      paler, but also good. And this is
                      Columbia. From them limestone caves up in
                      Muzo.

            WIDEN to reveal NADY GRACE, 35. A tattooed man with thinning
            hair, leading Bud through the sale...

                                GRACE
                      Now them first two, you gonna get your
                      money's worth.
                          (re: COLUMBIA EMERALDS)
                      This one here's more expensive, but
                      that's 'cause there ain't a nigger flaw
                      in one of 'em. They hard as steel and
                      emerald green as emerald green fuckin'
                      comes. Lookit that.

                                BUD
                      That's nice.

                                GRACE
                      That's the real McCoy. That's what that
                      is.

                                BUD
                      Tell you what... Bag 'em all. The
                      market's got a hard-on for this shit.

                                GRACE
                      I hear that.
                          (across the room)
                      Jake, get on it.

            ACROSS THE ROOM are two other men -- JAKE and DOUG. Ex-cons
            at a table, riffing through Bud's cash.

            A CURTAIN YANKS BACK and RAY WHEELER, 29, enters. Dope-thin,
            bloodshot eyes. He looks at Bud. Bud looks at him... Ray
            clicks on the TV and opens a beer. 

            TV IN: Evening news. The storm outside alters the reception.

                                NEWSCASTER
                      ...And today, thirty-one year old Gary
                      Plauche pleaded innocent by reason of
                      insanity, to charges of second-degree
                      murder in the slaying of accused sex
                      offender, Jeffrey Doucett.

            Bud watches Ray empty a gram of coke onto the bar. Using a
            credit card, Ray starts chopping lines. The SOUND continues
            throughout the scene... 

                                NEWSCASTER (TV)
                      ...District Court Judge Frank Salia,
                      scheduled the trial one year to the day
                      after Doucett was first arrested.

            Grace hefts a lock box to the counter, removes a drawer of
            emeralds. Bud SEES packed carelessly underneath, uncut
            DIAMONDS.

                                BUD
                      What do you got there? Diamonds?

                                GRACE
                      That's thirty grand. Out the door. You
                      interested?

                                BUD
                      Ain't got the scratch right now. But I am
                      interested.

            And the volume of the TV now becomes more apparent...

                                NEWSCASTER O.S.
                      ...As a result of numerous threats made
                      weeks ago, tight security surrounded the
                      courthouse. However, missing from today's
                      hearing, was the arresting officer.

            Bud has been tuning out the TV distraction... until that last
            statement. He sneaks a look.

                                NEWSCASTER
                      From East Baton Rouge Sheriff's office...

            A wave of static scrambles the picture. When it clears...

                                NEWSCASTER O.S.
                      ...Police Lieutenant, Bud Carter.

            Bud is stunned. HIS OWN FACE APPEARS ON THE SCREEN. A younger
            photo of Bud, clean shaven - DRESSED IN POLICE UNIFORM.

            EXT. TRAILER PARK - SAME 

            Rain pours. A beat-up PLUMBER'S VAN is parked in the distance.

            INT. GRACE'S TRAILER - SAME 

            TV IN: Signal wavers. It's archive footage of Baton Rouge
            Airport. A prisoner, JEFFREY DOUCETT, escorted by police.

                                NEWSCASTER
                      Doucett was being extradited to Baton
                      Rouge.

            Ray does a line of coke, keeps chopping. Watches the TV.

            Grace is bagging emeralds.

            Jake and Doug count cash.

            Bud keeps the TV in sight. Quick glances. Mind racing.

            TV IN: The procession moves past a row of pay phones. At one
            phone, a discreet figure, GARY PLAUCHE, turns...

                                NEWSCASTER
                      The victim's father, Gary Plauche, stood
                      waiting at the terminal. As Doucett
                      walked by, Plauche turned, raised a
                      handgun...and fired.

            Bud's vision is suddenly obscured when Grace steps forward
            with the emeralds in a satchel.

                                GRACE
                      Here you go. Fifteen three-karat blues.
                      Wholesale. Twenty large.

            Sudden GUNSHOTS and SCREAMS on the TV. Everyone turns...

            TV IN: Jeffrey Doucett lies dead as POLICE wrestle Gary
            Plauche to the ground amid chaos.

                                NEWSCASTER
                      Lieutenant Carter was unavailable for
                      comment.

            TIGHT ON RAY'S EYES, intense, watching the footage. 

            As Bud stuffs the satchel in his coat, WE SEE what Ray
            sees...

            TV IN: Bud, POLICE BADGE AROUND HIS NECK, arresting Plauche.

            ON RAY, slow burn realization as he looks from the tv to Bud.
            And again. EYES LOCK, THEY BOTH KNOW.

                                RAY
                      Motherfucker, he's a cop.

            Bud yanks a .45.

            And everything happens at once.

            A SUDDEN GUNSHOT and Jake FIRES again.

            Wood splinters as Bud FIRES back.

            Jake is HIT in the throat. A SECOND SHOT in the forehead - he
            SLAMS against the window, cracking it...

            INT. PLUMBER'S VAN - SAME 

            Among surveillance equipment, sits Bud's crew: TODD SHEPARD,
            DAVID MARANDINO and DALE COBB.

            Gunshots ECHO.

                                SHEPARD
                      Fuck! Go! Go!

            Marandino, behind the wheel, SLAMS his foot on the gas.

            INT. GRACE'S TRAILER - SAME 

            A SHOT ZIPS across Bud's back; he SPINS off the table.

            On his knees, Doug is firing a .32. BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM.

            Bud FIRES a burst through Doug's chest, dropping him.

            A HOLE EXPLODES beside Bud's head -- Grace FIRING a .45 -- as
            Ray SCREAMS and runs out the door.

            EXT. TRAILER PARK, VAN - SAME 

            Marandino winds through gears, as Ray hits the yard
            running... 

            POV THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD: Marandino swings the wheel hard,
            SLAMS INTO RAY -- launching him through trash bins, into the
            mud.

            Cobb jumps from the van and pounds Ray into handcuffs.
            Simultaneously, Shepard sprints for the trailer door...

            EXT. GRACE'S TRAILER PARK - SAME 

            Grace explodes from the back door, bolting across the yard.

            I/E. GRACE'S TRAILER - SAME 

            Bud scrambles on the floor of the demolished trailer. .45
            held tight, he runs out after Grace.

            ACROSS THE YARD

            the chase rages. 

            MOVING WITH GRACE

            as he jumps a link fence, lands and trips into a roll of
            chicken wire. His sleeve catches, rips as he pulls free...

            MOVING WITH BUD

            at a searing pace. He slips in the mud. Staggers up. SEES
            Grace disappear in the shadows.

            Grace throws himself against the side of a power unit. Eyes
            darting. Wheezing hard... Tries to slow his breath. Then
            turns the corner...

            GRACE'S POV: A SHOVEL swings from around the corner, WHAM!!!

            The blow sends Grace sailing back. He SLAMS on the ground,
            with a blood-covered broken face. As he tries to get up...

            Bud's gun is there. And like that, it stops.

            INT. SOUTHDOWN'S BAR - AFTER HOURS

            At a table, the METRO SQUAD: Bud, Shepard, Marandino, Cobb
            are drinking. A bartender (SHERRY) is wiping down glasses...

                                COBB
                      Think I broke a knuckle on that guy's
                      tooth.

                                SHEPARD
                      He only had one tooth.

                                COBB
                      Well I got it, didn't I?

                                MARANDINO
                          (to the bartender)
                      Another round, Sherry.

                                SHERRY
                      Comin' up.

            Bud blows smoke, distant from the others.

                                MARANDINO
                      Bud, we all supposed to be celebratin'.
                      'Been workin' this case for months. And
                      you ain't said shit.

                                BUD
                      They had a lot of weight. Too much.

                                COBB
                      It's a ring. Organized burglary. 

                                BUD
                      You saw them guys. You think that half
                      ass crew was organized?

                                MARANDINO
                          (laughs)
                      They shit their pants in unison.

                                COBB
                      What are you gettin' after, Bud?

                                SHEPARD
                      You think it was someone else's score. 

            Sherry arrives with shots of whiskey, moves on.

                                BUD
                      I think its a part of somethin' bigger.

            Bud takes his shot.

                                BUD
                      Tomorrow morning we put our friends under
                      the lamp. If they know this "someone
                      else", we'll know him too.

            EXT. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH JAIL - ESTABLISH - NEXT DAY

            A dark, stone monolith off the 110 highway.

            INT. OBSERVATION ROOM, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH JAIL - DAY

            Bud smokes, standing with Shepard in semi-darkness. They're
            looking through a two-way mirror into an INTERROGATION ROOM,
            where Cobb interviews Ray Wheeler.

                                RAY
                      I told you... I keep tellin' you... I
                      don't know nothin'. That's it.

                                COBB
                      That's not it. We've been here all
                      morning. We'll stay here all night.

            Bud paces to a neighboring INTERROGATION ROOM where Marandino
            is questioning Grace (bruised face, swollen, broken nose).

                                MARANDINO
                      The stones you were fencin' belonged to
                      an Amsec wall safe in "Kay's Jewelers".
                      The rest from a vault in Bocage. Both
                      owners can verify their belongings, and
                      have. 
                          (beat)
                      Who you fencin' for?

                                GRACE
                      Man, I ain't sayin' fuckin' shit.

                                MARANDINO
                      Then your name's on a dozen other jobs,
                      just like it.

                                GRACE
                      That's bullshit.

                                MARANDINO
                      No, that's a promise.

            Bud, sipping coffee, paces back to Ray's interview...

                                COBB
                      We got a series of burglaries in the
                      area. All over the last six months. All
                      still open. You don't talk, it's on you.

                                RAY
                      Well I ain't got nothin' to do with that.

                                COBB
                      Any idea who does?

                                RAY
                      No! Okay? Fuck no.

            Bud sets down his coffee, calm.

            INT. GRACE'S INTERROGATION ROOM

            Marandino sits across from Grace, clearly frustrated.

                                MARANDINO
                      ...Answer the question.

                                GRACE
                          (exploding)
                      MAN FUCK THIS! AND FUCK YOU! Y'ALL CREW'S
                      JUST FAGGOTS IN MATCHING JACKETS!

            The door blasts open. Bud charges in, throws Grace against
            the wall, then slams his face onto the table, pushing down.

                                BUD
                      Try this. I know you're too fuckin' dumb
                      to be any more than a courier. I know
                      you're coverin' for someone else. NOW
                      TELL ME WHO THAT SOMEONE IS!

                                GRACE
                      I ain't a rat!

                                BUD
                      YOU AIN'T A RAT?!

            Bud twists his broken nose. Grace SCREAMS.

                                MARANDINO
                      Easy, Bud. Go easy.

                                GRACE
                          (to Marandino)
                      STOP THIS SHIT! STOP HIM!

            Marandino puts a hand on Bud's shoulder; Bud shoves him off.

                                BUD
                      LOCK THE DOOR!

            Marandino locks it. Bud turns Grace's nose even harder,
            nearly rips it off his face.

                                BUD
                      I'll teach you what commitment is... I'll
                      throw you in an eight by nine and have
                      you fucked in the ass by every inmate in
                      the state of Louisiana-- AND THAT'S THE
                      REST OF YOUR LIFE!

            Grace, spitting blood now. Choking. Bud twists. Bone cracks.

                                BUD
                      GIVE ME A NAME!

                                GRACE
                          (hacking)
                      He's from Whiskey Bay--!

                                BUD
                      --GIVE ME A NAME!!

            EXT. CLAYTON STREET - NIGHT

            Raining.

            An unmarked chevy is staked down the block from a tract home.

                                BUD V.O.
                      Jesse Wheeler. Thirty-one.

            INT. CHEVY - NIGHT

            Bud's in the front seat, looking through a file. Shepard at
            the wheel. Coffee cups and junk food litter the dash.

                                BUD
                      Two tours in 'Nam. '69 and '71. He's a
                      jump marine. Weapons trained, explosives.
                          (turns the page)
                      Seven and a half out of a twelve year
                      stint for federal robbery. Two in Angola.
                      A year in DeQuincy. Three in El Reno with
                      a transfer to Lewisburg. Then Marion with
                      a brief stopover in Leavenworth. Released
                      from Oxford, 1981.

                                SHEPARD
                      Jacket's the size of the bible.

            Through the windshield, across the street, a tract home
            they're watching.

                                BUD
                      His stay at Marion, they kept him in "H"
                      block.

                                SHEPARD
                      H block? That's home to forty top murder
                      one inmates...

                                BUD
                      Yeah, life sentences. Jesse only had
                      twelve years.

            Bud likes it.

                                BUD
                      He ain't just woodwork.

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:
            Night passes and the dawn arrives...

            EXT. WHEELER'S HOUSE - DAWN

            Front door opens and the shadowy figure of JESSE WHEELER,
            whose face we cannot see, emerges.

                                SHEPARD
                          (waking Bud)
                      Target's out.

            Jesse fires up his '74 battered green PICK-UP TRUCK. He backs
            from the driveway and proceeds down the street.

                                BUD
                          (into radio)
                      Alright. Give him room.

            Bud's car starts and we move off with them...

                                BUD
                          (into radio)
                      We're mobile.

            EXT. STREETS - MINUTES LATER

            In the rain, Bud and Shepard tail Jesse from a distance.

            They pass an alley where a waiting BUICK falls in behind the
            Chevy; Marandino and Cobb are inside.

            INT. CHEVY - CONTINUOUS - THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD:

            We see the truck slowing, angling into a TEXACO STATION.

                                SHEPARD
                      He's turnin' off.

                                BUD
                      Let's take him in the car.
                          (into radio)
                      Wait'll he's stopped. Watch your
                      backgrounds.

            INT. JESSE'S PICK UP - MOMENTS LATER

            Jesse stops at a pump. Suddenly, Bud appears at the window
            and jams a SHOTGUN against Jesse's head.

                                BUD
                      Don't move. You motherfuck, I'll blow
                      your head clean off.

            Reflecting in the side-view: Bud's BADGE swings from his
            neck. Jesse's eyes resign to relief. Bud SEES this...

                                BUD
                      Shut the car off slowly.

            With several law enforcement shotguns now leveled at him from
            all directions, Jesse turns off his engine.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. JESSE WHEELER'S HOUSE - MORNING

            Bud, Shepard, Cobb and Marandino, vests and shotguns, move in
            unison around the house.

            Bud and Cobb stay to the shadows, down a side yard...

            Shepard, Marandino reach the front door. Locked. A tv plays
            quietly inside. No one in the windows. 

            Shepard signals to Marandino...

            INT. JESSE WHEELER'S HOUSE

            THE FRONT DOOR IS KICKED DOWN. Shepard and Marandino spill
            in, guns ready...

                                SHEPARD
                      POLICE! WARRANT!

            A pregnant woman in the kitchen... LYNN WHEELER, 30s. She
            SCREAMS, curses. Hurling dirty dishes fly like frisbees. 

                                LYNN
                      GET OUT! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE!

                                MARANDINO
                      MA'AM, CALM DOWN! CALM DOWN!

                                SHEPARD
                      WE GOT A WARRANT!

                                LYNN
                          (more dishes)
                      FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!

            Lynn suddenly gasps agitatedly, sinks to the floor. A GUSH OF
            FLUID soaks through her dress. 

                                LYNN
                      Help... My baby...my baby...

            Bud and Cobb enter from a back door, hurry towards Lynn. Bud
            lowers Lynn to the floor.

                                BUD
                          (to Cobb)
                      CALL AN AMBULANCE! NOW!

            BEDROOM - TIME CUT

            A door slams open to reveal...

            A NAZI IRON EAGLE BATTLE FLAG. Draped across the far wall.
            Windows taped over. Walls painted black.

            Military surplus on every shelf and surface. Helmets.
            Uniforms. Body armor. Bayonets.

            Bud in the doorway. Shepard joins him.

                                BUD
                      Toss everything.

                                                           SMASH CUT TO:

            Several COPS(now on scene) ransack the house. Ripping open
            cabinets, drawers, tossing everything to the floor...

            GARAGE

            Cobb flips a switch. A lamp illuminates a workbench.

                                COBB
                      Alright, I want everything seized!

            Cabinets, lockers and tool boxes slam open. Cops stop cold,
            blown away by what they see: GUNS. Everywhere.

            LIVING ROOM

            COP #1 feels behind a couch. He finds a .38, then a COLT .25
            below a chair cushion.

            BATHROOM

            COP #2 removes the toilet's basin cover. With a pen, he
            removes a dripping .357.

            KITCHEN

            Several STATE TROOPERS lead Jesse in, cuff him to a table.

            ATTIC

            Floor peels back. Flashlights illuminate: AMMUNITION BOXES.
            ASSAULT RIFLES. GRENADES. BONDS and COUNTERFEIT PLATES.

                                MARANDINO
                      Motherfucker's got a general store.

            LIVING ROOM

            Cops talk excitedly over one another. Shepard leans over a
            mounted A.C. He finds a string and very slowly pulls up a
            ziploc bag filled with DIAMONDS.

                                SHEPARD
                      God damn...there's some weight.

            KITCHEN

            Bud takes a seat at the table...

            For the first time, we get a good look at Jesse Wheeler: Cold
            eyes. Handlebar mustache. Covered in tats. With a
            boilermaker's build, he looks what he is... DANGEROUS.

                                BUD
                      I'm Detective Lieutenant Bud Carter, of
                      the East Baton Rouge Parish Precinct.
                          (smiles)
                      So how you like Baton Rouge?

            Jesse's stare drifts to Bud. It's deadly.

            Cabinets slam open and closed. Dishes hit the floor.

                                JESSE
                      What happened to my wife?

                                BUD
                      Water broke. She's en route to the
                      hospital.

            COP #3 is searching the refrigerator. Jesse watches as if
            he's seen something we haven't... Cop #3 moves on...

            Jesse sees Bud's eyes. They connect with his own...

            Bud opens the fridge. He scans condiments then stops. From
            inside a bag of HOT DOG BUNS, several sealed VIALS.

                                BUD
                      This is new.

            Bud examines a vial's label: "CYANIDE."

                                BUD
                      What's the cyanide for, Jesse?

                                JESSE
                      Extracting impurities.

            Bud, right with him, grins.

                                BUD
                      Impurities from what?

            Jesse, calm. Deadpan.

                                BUD
                      You're in a bad situation here, pal.

                                JESSE
                      I'll make bond.

            Bud looks in Jesse's eyes and believes it.

            BEDROOM

            Shepard, searching the room. Drawers, cabinets. Then leans
            down to peer under the bed... 

            ...stops, stunned when he SEES: a row of live Goex charges in
            packing, boldly marked: EXPLOSIVES

                                SHEPARD
                          (top of his lungs)
                      OUT! EVERYONE OUT! GET THE FUCK OUT!

            INT. CAPTAIN'S OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT - DAY

            MIKE BRADDOCK (40s), Captain of Detectives, enters his
            office. Bud tows, carrying files.

                                BRADDOCK
                      What more do you want? You got a two time
                      felon on multiple counts. You got
                      robbery, B&E, you got an all-you-can-eat
                      felony fuckin' possession. All on top of
                      an organized burglary ring.

                                                               INTERCUT:

            INT. PROCESSING ROOM, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - DAY

            ON A CAMERA FLASH. Mug shots of Jesse's front and profile.

                                BRADDOCK V.O.
                      The man's in custody, Bud. Fucked for
                      life. It's finished.

            Jesse's inked fingers are rolled onto an exemplar sheet.

            INT. CAPTAIN'S OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT - DAY

                                BUD
                      There's more, I know it.

            Bud slaps a file on Braddock's desk, to a crime scene photo:
            An Asian JUDGE sits dead in the front seat of his car.

                                BUD
                      Remember him? Ten months ago, a judge
                      gets popped with a .357. Well I got a
                      Ruger from Wheeler's toilet and rushed it
                      through ballistics.

                                BRADDOCK
                      And?

                                BUD
                      It's a solid match! Dead on. 

                                BRADDOCK
                      There's a dozen ways Wheeler could've got
                      that burner. It don't prove a thing. 

                                BUD
                          (drops another file)
                      A stack of bonds taken from the home of a
                      Baptist Minister... 

            The crime photo: A black MINISTER and wife shot in bed.

                                BUD
                      Murdered. He and his wife. Looked like a
                      robbery gone to shit then; I want it
                      opened back up.

            INT. ANTE ROOM, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - DAY

            A nude Jesse steps before a DOCTOR and gets a cursory exam.

                                BUD V.O.
                      I still got tests pending. More guns.
                      More cases. This guy ain't crazy, Mike.
                      He's a ticket to somethin' big. Somethin'
                      happening now.

            INT. CAPTAIN'S OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT - DAY

            Meanwhile...

                                BRADDOCK
                      So who's backin' him?

                                BUD
                      I don't know; I do know they'll post his
                      bond. That's why I need a price they
                      can't come up with overnight.

            Braddock listens. Bud keeps it on track...

                                BUD
                      I'm right about this, Mike.
                          (leans close)
                      When a guy's lookin' at two hundred years
                      and he ain't upset... It's like when your
                      wife is accusing you of fuckin' the
                      neighbor, but she don't know you're
                      fuckin' her sister too. You're pretty
                      calm about it, right?

            Braddock smiles slightly.

                                BUD
                      It's 'cause we hit the wrong nerve. The
                      guns, the other shit, the time... He can
                      have that conversation. And he is. And he
                      ain't upset. He's makin' eye contact,
                      'cause we're fallin' short.
                          (the bottom line)
                      This guy knows things. He knows where
                      bodies are.

            Braddock, thinks; Then--

                                BRADDOCK
                      I'll bounce it up to the D.A.

            Bud grins, SLAMS his hand on the desk.

            INT. HOLDING AREA, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - DUSK

            Two GUARDS escort Jesse. He's bound in chains, orange scrubs. 

            INT. HOLDING CELL

            End of the hall. A BLACK PRISONER waits, arms slung over the
            crossbars with a cigarette. Jesse is brought forth.

            A Guard unlocks the cell. The Black Prisoner steps back,
            joining TWO OTHERS: All black, looming in the darkness.

            Jesse steps in. Guards unlock his shackles. Chains hit the
            floor. Behind him, the bars slam home.

            SILENCE...LONG, DRAWN SILENCE. THEN:

                                JESSE
                      My name is Jesse Wheeler... I'm now in
                      charge of this cell. Any y'all don't like
                      it, step your black ass forward, line up.

            A MOMENT. Cued by Jesse's challenge, each of the prisoners
            slowly rise, vehemently approaching...

                                                          CUT ABRUPT TO:

            INT. BUD'S HOUSE - NIGHT

            And the phone RINGS...

                                BUD
                          (answers)
                      Yeah... 

                                MALE VOICE (OVER)
                      Bud? Charlie Bowers.

            WIDEN. Bud's house is sparsely furnished. Books on firearms
            and police work in stacks. As he reaches for a file...

                                BUD
                          (into phone)
                      Charlie... You had an inmate in '75,
                      named Jesse Wheeler.

                                                               INTERCUT:

            INT. OFFICE, MARION PENITENTIARY, ILLINOIS - NIGHT

            CHARLIE BOWERS, on an official phone. At Jesse's name, he's
            DEAD QUIET...

                                BUD
                      Charlie, you there?

                                CHARLIE
                      What's your interest in this guy, Bud?

                                BUD
                      Well, we got him on weapons and burglary.
                      But I got a feelin' there's more.

                                CHARLIE
                      Damn straight, a lot more. Race riots.
                      Smuggling. Extorting a guard. I had a few
                      run-ins with him myself.

                                BUD
                      What else?

            INT. BEDROOM, BUD'S HOUSE - PRE DAWN

            Bud lies in bed, wide awake. The PHONE CONVERSATION carries
            over...

                                CHARLIE V.O.
                      You could say this is where he peaked.

            KITCHEN - DAWN

            Coffee pours into a mug. Then a shot of Irish Whiskey.

                                CHARLIE V.O.
                      He's a white supremacist. The worst kind,
                      if there is one.

            Bud, dressed now. The table is covered with various reports
            and photos from Jesse's file. BUD'S EYES guide us through...

                                CHARLIE V.O.
                      Came in on armed robbery and assault...

            Bud picks up a photo: Jesse's Angola mug shot, age 23.

                                CHARLIE V.O.
                      But word in the system said, he's a
                      contract killer for the Aryan
                      Brotherhood.

            Photos of Jesse's tattoos: SUN-WHEEL on the shoulder; HELL
            HOUNDS around the biceps, THOR'S ELAPID covering his back.

                                CHARLIE V.O.
                      In here, the guy became an organizer...

            INT. BUD'S CAR, TRAVELING - MORNING

            Bud's face goes in and out of light and shadow.

                                CHARLIE V.O.
                      Controlling hits and movements inside the
                      system. Prison to prison. State to state.

            INT. LOWER FLOOR, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - MORNING

            Bud is walking with MURPHY, captain of the guards...

                                CHARLIE V.O.
                      Between the Aryan Brotherhood and Neo
                      Nazis, he unified the front...

            Bud and Murphy descend steps to a grim CORRIDOR.

                                CHARLIE V.O.
                      All them prison gangs in the world...
                      Black Panthers, Mexican Mafia, forget it.
                      The AB is deadly as it gets. And Jesse
                      Wheeler was their ring leader.

            The PHONE CONVERSATION fades out... Presently:

                                BUD
                      So what the fuck happened?

                                MURPHY
                      Processing ain't open till morning. We
                      threw him in holding last night. 'Fore we
                      even turn around, it's like we're back in
                      the fuckin' Alamo.

                                BUD
                      He attack the guards?

                                MURPHY
                      Guards are fine. But he took on three
                      niggers like they stole from him.

            Murphy stops outside a solid steel door.

                                MURPHY
                      I'll tell you somethin', Bud. After it
                      happened, our block was the quietest it'd
                      ever been. Wish we had ten just like him.

                                BUD
                      Open the door.

            INT. ISOLATION CELL - CONTINUOUS

            Bud enters. Murphy shuts the door and a series of locks BOLT.
            We're in a stone closet. No bed or sink. No light.

                                BUD
                      Heard you refused a public defender.

            Jesse's bruised face moves through shadow.

                                BUD
                      At the gas station...When you were
                      arrested, I put a gun to your head.   
                      You expected someone else.

                                JESSE
                      You don't look like cops.

                                BUD
                      And your house? Guns. Mass supply tells
                      me, intent to sell. Cyanide in the
                      fridge, explosives...tells me you're
                      scared.

            Jesse's eyes emerge from the dark. Bud, looking right at him.

                                BUD
                      I know who you are.

                                JESSE
                      If you knew that much, you wouldn't be in
                      here alone.

            Bud smiles and walks to the door.

                                BUD
                      One more thing, pal. I saw the judge this
                      morning.
                          (grins)
                      There is no bond.

            HOLD on Jesse.

            Bud BANGS on the door. Locks UNLATCH. The door opens and Bud
            steps calmly out to the hall...

            The door shuts with a BOOM, locking Jesse in. And the nail in
            the coffin resonates.

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:

            EXT. GREYHOUND STATION - LATE NIGHT

            Dim and desolate.

            INT. LOBBY, GREYHOUND STATION - LATE NIGHT

            Grace buys a ticket, crosses the lobby to the men's room.

            INT. MEN'S ROOM

            Grace at the sink. He pats running water on his damaged face
            and straightens the bandage. 

            A TOILET FLUSHES

            the stall door opens and a man emerges. Lean and fierce, like
            an electric charge... CATFISH STANTON, 30.

            Grace FREEZES at the sight of Catfish, tightening his belt.
            Lets the water run...

                                CATFISH
                      Grace? That you?

                                GRACE
                      Hey there, Catfish...

            Catfish steps close, reaches a hand to Grace's face.

                                CATFISH
                      'The hell happened?

            Grace flinches. Catfish pauses, then SNIFFS his hand.

                                CATFISH
                          (smiles)
                      Oh... Excuse me.

            Catfish steps to the sink. Begins washing his hands.

                                CATFISH
                      So where you off to?

                                GRACE
                      Goin' to visit my mother. She's real
                      sick.

                                CATFISH
                      That's too bad. So you'll be gone a long
                      time then.

                                GRACE
                      Yeah...

            Another MAN suddenly enters. Large and imposing, neck tattoos
            ...BUZZ MCKINNON, 32.

                                GRACE
                          (swallows hard)
                      Buzz.

            Catfish turns off the water. THE BATHROOM IS SUFFOCATED WITH
            SILENCE.

                                GRACE
                      What can I do y'all for?

                                CATFISH
                      How come the Wheeler brothers, is locked
                      up? And you ain't?

                                GRACE
                      Wheeler brothers is locked up? I don't
                      know nothin' about that. 

            Catfish GRINS. It's harsh. Blood curdling.

                                CATFISH
                      I heard different.

                                GRACE
                      Well there ain't no "different" to hear,
                      Catfish. 'Cause I ain't talked to neither
                      of 'em.

                                CATFISH
                      But you did talk to someone.

            Buzz moves. Grace turns to look...

            ...In a blink, Catfish's gun comes up: ONE QUICK POP. A .45
            with a thick, barrel silencer. The mirror shatters. Grace's
            knees hit the floor. His head hits the sink, HOLDS. As blood
            runs from one small hole.

            Catfish straightens up in the next mirror. Tucks his shirt.
            Grace's body sags to the floor. Catfish and Buzz walk out.

            INT. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - DAY

            LOUD BUZZER. Two GUARDS #1 and #2 march Jesse down the tier.
            On his left, PRISONERS in cells, TURN, STARE and WHISPER. 

            Jesse arrives at a cell.

                                GUARD #1
                          (calls out)
                      Open ninety-six!

            BARS slide back. Jesse walks in. His CELL-MATE steps
            cautiously from the shadows... 

            IT'S RAY. Pale and nervous. Jesse stands over him. The
            brothers' eyes connect. And there's a moment...

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. EXERCISE YARD, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - DAY

            High stone walls topped with concertina wire. Looming guard
            towers. Thick FOG blankets the yard filled with CONVICTS.

            Jesse takes hold of a metal bar, lifts it from a bench press.
            He does two reps. The weights BANG down and Jesse sits up.

                                RAY O.S.
                      This place is bad...

            Ray adds weight to the already excessive amount. He sweats as
            he talks nervously over Jesse's shoulder... 

                                RAY
                      There's eyes everywhere. Like I got a
                      sign on my back, Jesse, they all think I
                      talked.

            Jesse scans numerous WHITE CONS watching the Wheeler brothers.

                                RAY
                      Just the other day... some spic fish got
                      hit with a weight. Ten other cons, they
                      beat him and stabbed him till there
                      weren't nothin' left. And the guards let
                      it happen.

            Ray fastens the safety collars and Jesse leans back.

                                RAY
                      His brains were on the wall, Jesse. Like
                      somebody painted 'em.

            Jesse does another set. Weights BANG down. He slowly sits up.

                                JESSE
                      They come at you?

                                RAY
                      Not yet... But it's in the mail. I can
                      feel it fuckin' coming.

            Ray shoots a look at a group of ARYAN BROTHERS across the
            yard. CZAPP, their "leader," and ROACH. Jesse turns. Czapp
            looks at him. Eyes meet. Jesse leans back.

            The press shakes as Jesse does a last set. His red strained
            face as the bar lands with a CRASH.

            INT. YARD CORRIDOR, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - DAY,
            LATER 

            A long line of prisoners are filing back through the gate.
            Ray, behind Jesse. Says low:

                                RAY
                      Hey, Jesse... 
                          (silence)
                      Sorry I put you back here. I never meant--

                                JESSE
                          (turns)
                      "Sorry", Raymond...? You ain't sorry.
                          (pause)
                      I took you into my home. I tried to clean
                      you up. And you steal from me...? You
                      take my fuckin' diamonds? 
                          (dead to rights)
                      'Cause of you, I missed the birth of my
                      son. 

            Ray swallows hard. Nothing he can say.

            INT. METRO OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT - DAY

            CLOSE ON numerous files of ARYAN GANG MEMBERS. Arrest sheets,
            paperwork and photos.

                                BUD O.S.
                      Alright, let's work this...
                          (beat)
                      In prison, Wheeler is credited for the
                      expansion of the Brotherhood. When
                      Federal split up members, they had to
                      reorganize. So they tattooed their blood
                      types and serial numbers on one another.

                                COBB O.S.
                      Recede and multiply.

                                BUD O.S.
                      Exactly...

            REVEAL NOW Bud and Shepard with Cobb and Marandino around a
            table, used as a converted eating area. 

                                BUD
                      Put 'em in prison, they get stronger.
                      Everywhere you send one, they recruit in
                      numbers. Within five years, their numbers
                      were over ten thousand.

                                MARANDINO
                      Wheeler directed all that, huh?

            Shepard is flipping through a worn, thick file.

                                BUD
                      What do you got there, Shep'?

                                SHEPARD
                      Interpol wired us files on three known
                      Aryan leaders in the state of Louisiana:
                      Edgar Bingham. Harold Kay. And this
                      man... Lucian Adams.

            He opens the file, revealing mugshots of LUCIAN ADAMS, 51.
            Dark eyes. Sharp, gun metal features. 

                                SHEPARD
                      High priest of the Aryan National Party.
                      His "ministry" of Christian Identity and
                      Paramilitary Order has stood for over a
                      decade. Check this out...

            Shepard pulls an old, faded surveillance photo: (Long shot)
            Lucian talking to a young Jesse outside a compound.

                                SHEPARD
                      Wheeler was just seventeen when he met
                      Lucian at the Patriotic Congress.

                                MARANDINO
                      No shit.

                                SHEPARD
                      Today, Lucian's one hell of an
                      entrepreneur. Owns surplus stores.
                      Demolition. A piping business. Got trucks
                      runnin' all across the God damn country.

            Bud's been quiet; says now:

                                BUD
                      Stay focused. Get back to Wheeler... I
                      need an angle.

                                COBB
                      For what? If Wheeler ever flipped, news
                      would spread like wildfire. The AB's
                      gonna know about it. They'd gonna know
                      about it nationally.
                          (re: his coffee)
                      Pass the sugar.

            Marandino does.

                                BUD
                      That's if he was a surface informant. I
                      don't want him to testify. I want to keep
                      him on the street.
                          (to the group)
                      Look, this guy's been in it a long time.
                      He's up to his elbows; wants to shake his
                      hands free. I can feel it.

                                MARANDINO
                      Braddock ain't gonna go for this.

                                BUD
                      I'll handle that.

            Everyone looks to Bud.

                                BUD
                      We got one chance here. 'Cause if this
                      falls short... Jesse Wheeler's worth more
                      dead than alive.

            INT. CAFETERIA, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - EVENING

            A sea of tables divided by race as far as the eye can see.  

            Jesse and Ray, trays in hand, find an island of ARYAN
            PRISONERS. They quickly part to make room for Jesse to sit.

            Suddenly Czapp and Roach arrive with their trays and abruptly
            sit across from the Wheeler brothers.

                                CZAPP
                      How you doin', Ray?
                          (off Ray's look)
                      We was just over there wonderin' why you
                      ain't got the courtesy to introduce us to
                      your kin.

                                RAY
                      I was gonna.

                                CZAPP
                          (grins)
                      I'm sure you was.

            Czapp locks on Jesse, who calmly eats, not looking up.

                                CZAPP
                      Jesse Wheeler. Heard of you...

                                ROACH
                      Fuckin-A, heard a lot.

                                CZAPP
                      Name's Czapp... You can call me,
                      "Bossman."
                          (beat)
                      I kept an eye on your brother the past
                      few days for you. Ain't that right, Ray?

                                RAY
                          (low)
                      Yeah...

                                JESSE
                      My brother ain't none of your business.

                                CZAPP
                      Ain't none of my business, "Bossman." And
                      everything in this fuckin' place is my
                      business.

            Ray nervously glances down at several Aryans watching...

                                CZAPP
                          (to Jesse)
                      Listen to me, you sonofabitch. I'm gonna
                      make one God damn thing God damn clear.
                      Your reputation is smoke. Whatever they
                      say you is or once was, I don't give a
                      flyin' fuck. 'Cause it's my say-so now.
                      And your fuckin' brother's up for grabs.

            Czapp looks away from Jesse and shouts down the table:

                                CZAPP
                      Y'all got that?!

            Suddenly Jesse SPRINGS. A headbutt EXPLODES Czapp's nose and
            throws him back.

            Czapp's head hits linoleum, echoing with a CRACK!! He lies
            still. Bloodied and unconscious.

                                ROACH
                          (stumbles away, shocked)
                      Fuck...

            A DEAFENING SILENCE SPREADS OVER THE CAFETERIA.

            Jesse calmly resumes eating. Czapp's blood covers his face.

            SUDDENLY AN ALARM BLARES. GUARDS pour in, led by Murphy.

            INMATES HIT THE DECK, arms behind their heads. All except
            Jesse, who continues to eat.

                                MURPHY
                      WHEELER!!! Stand the fuck up! Hands
                      behind your head! 

            Jesse rises.

                                MURPHY
                      Hands behind your head! Get on the
                      fuckin' floor!

            Jesse puts his hands behind his head, but does not kneel.

            Restraints are slammed on Jesse's wrists. And we...

                                                           CUT TO BLACK.

            INT. ISOLATION, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - LATE NIGHT

            The door unlocks and drags open. Jesse turns, blinking
            painfully into the light ...Sees an imposing DUTY GUARD.

                                DUTY GUARD
                      Phone call.

            INT. GUARD STATION

            Jesse is led in. Duty Guard hits an extension button on a
            desk phone and offers the receiver...

            Jesse doesn't move.

                                DUTY GUARD
                      It's a secure line.

            Duty Guard walks out. Alone now, Jesse picks up the line...

                                JESSE
                          (into phone)
                      Yeah.

            A low, whiskey voice is HEARD over the line: LUCIAN ADAMS.

                                LUCIAN V.O.
                      Been a long time...

            Jesse shuts his eyes. There's a moment before he opens them.

                                LUCIAN V.O.
                      Read about the arrest, Jesse. There's a
                      lot of heat on this one.

                                JESSE
                      I don't want my brother touched.

                                LUCIAN V.O.
                          (laughs faintly)
                      I ain't callin' about your brother. I'm
                      callin' about you...

            Jesse turns SLOW to find the Duty Guard watching him from the
            hall. Lights a cigarette, stares.

                                LUCIAN V.O.
                      You should have come to me sooner, Jesse.
                      None of this would have happened.

                                JESSE
                      I'm askin' you, Lucian. My brother ain't
                      a problem.

                                LUCIAN V.O.
                      Your brother's a fuck up.

            And Jesse's quiet... Dead quiet...

                                LUCIAN V.O.
                      And Jesse... We may know what you can do.
                      But you know what we can do. Understand?

            Jesse hesitates, then Lucian hangs up. DIAL TONE.

            INT. BRADDOCK'S OFFICE - LATE NIGHT

            Room strewn with piles of casework. Bud, agitated, paces.
            Braddock, behind a desk. 

                                BRADDOCK
                      You're reachin', Bud. The leverage ain't
                      there.

                                BUD
                      It's there. It's gotta cook a little
                      longer, that's all.

                                BRADDOCK
                      Jesse won't so much as blink at doin'
                      life. The fuckin' guy didn't rise in the
                      ranks 'cause he skirts under pressure.
                          (beat)
                      There's no deal to be had.

                                BUD
                      C'mon, Mike, you know what's goin' on.
                      Ray Wheeler compromised Jesse. By that,
                      he compromised the Brotherhood. Don't
                      tell me there ain't no fuckin' leverage.

            Bud pours himself a cup of coffee.

                                BRADDOCK
                      We need somethin' more.

                                BUD
                      Well we ain't sleepin' till we find it.

            INT. VISITOR'S GATE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - DAY

            Lynn, dark pouches under her eyes, goes through security
            check. INFANT SON in her arms.

            VISITING AREA

            Wives, girlfriends and lawyers talk to prisoners.

            TABLE

            Lynn, dark pouches under her eyes, holding their son, across
            from Jesse...

                                LYNN
                      Life. You know how fuckin' long that is,
                      Jesse?

            Lynn's hands are shaking.

                                LYNN
                      So what am I supposed to do? Wait? Run?
                          (upset)
                      Your friends are comin' by the house.
                      Askin' questions, hangin' around. Waitin'
                      for the God damn phone to ring.

            Jesse is silent.

                                LYNN
                      You said we were done with this. That
                      they were out of our lives.

            The baby begins to CRY.

                                LYNN
                      We have no money, Jesse. Which means we
                      have no fucking food. ...Say something,
                      would you?

                                JESSE
                      It's gonna be okay.

                                LYNN
                      I'm afraid. I'm afraid for my life...

            The baby WAILING now.

                                LYNN
                          (quietly crying)
                      ...For our baby.

            TIGHT ON JESSE, for the first time, appearing powerless.

            As Lynn wipes tears, trembling in her seat, Jesse looks away
            from his son, and glances up...

            Behind a glass partition outlying the room, a MAN is watching
            them...

            BUD. Stark still. Fixing Jesse with a hard stare.

            INT. PROPERTY ROOM, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - LATER

            A CLERK passes Lynn her belongings through chain link. She
            wipes her eyes, holding the baby.

            The back bay doors open. Bud enters. Sleepless, wrinkled
            clothes.

                                BUD
                      Lynn Wheeler. We haven't been properly
                      introduced. I'm Detective Bud Carter.

                                LYNN
                      I know who you are.

                                BUD
                      You have a ride home?

                                LYNN
                      We took the bus.

            Bud peels a few bills from a fold, puts it on the counter.

                                BUD
                      Take a cab.

            Bud lays his card atop the bills, looks at Lynn.

                                BUD
                      'You need anything...anything at all. Be
                      sure to call me.

            They look at each other. She pulls her baby close. There's an
            unspoken moment. And Bud walks away... 

            Lynn waits till Bud is out of view. Then takes the money. And
            the card.

            INT. CELLBLOCK, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - DAY

            A Guard buzzes Jesse through.

            PRISONERS line the tier. Smoking cigarettes. Looking out.
            Jesse walks past, enters...

            HIS CELL

            ...where Ray sleeps in shadow on the bottom bunk.

            Jesse pulls a Polaroid from his pocket: His infant son. He
            gazes at the photo for a beat, then brings it to Ray...

                                JESSE
                      Ray...

            No response. Jesse nudges his brother's shoulder. 

                                JESSE
                      Raymond, take a look.

            Jesse rolls him over. Ray is limp. A filthy SYRINGE imbedded
            his arm. Jaw slack. Eyes wide and vacant.

            THE PHOTO FLUTTERS FROM JESSE'S HAND TO THE FLOOR...

            Jesse lowers, pulling Ray to his arms. He shuts his eyes.
            Teeth clench. And as Jesse feels the bile rising, his massive
            frame begins to shake... Then we realize, he's crying... 

                                                               TIME CUT:

            EXT. LOADING DOCK, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON - DUSK

            Pouring rain. Ray's corpse is loaded onto an ambulance.

            INT. JESSE'S CELL - DUSK

            Jesse sits in shadow. Alone. And it's still...

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:

            AFTER HOURS

            Jesse sleeps. Hand under the pillow. When there's a sound...

            His eyes SNAP OPEN to discover the silhouettes of SIX MEN,
            rushing into his cell...

            A LOADED SOCK swings out from Jesse's pillow, slams MAN #1 in
            the jaw with a CRACK!!

            On his feet, Jesse whips the sock around and whacks MAN #2's
            head against the concrete wall. He slumps down unconscious.

            A BLUNT OBJECT is rammed into Jesse's sternum. Another shot
            bangs his neck. The sock drops and a PADLOCK clatters out.

            With a final burst of energy, Jesse turns, SCREAMS and rushes
            MAN #3. Man #3 slams into the cell bars. CLANG!! Lights out.

            The remaining three Men attack. A series of blows rain down
            and Jesse sinks into their grip.

            HALL LIGHTS BUMP ON: NOW WE SEE, THESE "MEN" ARE GUARDS.

            More GUARDS pour in, led by Murphy. They yank Jesse from his
            cell and take him down the tier.

            Guards toss the cell in a thorough search. Mattress
            overturns. Shelves crash.

            INT. TIER

            PRISONERS move to their bars, SHOUTING and JEERING as Jesse
            is wrestled down the STAIRS to...

            THE LOWER TIER

            Jesse thrashes violently as the Guards slam him through a
            door into...

            A TUNNEL

            between cell blocks. The ROAR of prisoners recedes as Jesse's
            dragged into darkness getting darker.

            A DOOR SLAMS OPEN...

            INT. READY ROOM, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON

            ...THERE'S A FLASH OF LIGHT. We're in a windowless room.

            And Bud pouring coffee for two...

                                BUD
                      Want a cup of coffee?

            Jesse is handcuffed to the table. Guards are breathing hard.

                                JESSE
                      MOTHERFUCKER! This how you do things?

                                BUD
                      Yeah... When I want to talk to someone,
                      without giving the impression he's
                      cooperatin'.

            Jesse pauses, caught by Bud's tactics. The Guards file out
            and shut the door.

            Jesse's eyes are fierce and watching Bud's every movement as
            he hands him a coffee, then takes a seat...

                                BUD
                      You got a problem.

                                JESSE
                      Yeah, what's that?

                                BUD
                      To start with, you're lookin' at two
                      hundred years.

                                JESSE
                      I've done the time. I'll do it again.

                                BUD
                      I know you can do it. But can your
                      family?

            Jesse's face is tense. Unyielding.

                                BUD
                      Your brother's dead, Jesse. As we're
                      sittin' here now, he's on a slab at St.
                      Gabriel's Morgue. The coroner's callin'
                      it, "suicide". You and I both know that's
                      a load of shit.
                          (beat)
                      You do the time-- sure. And you never see
                      your kid. 'Cept in here. You can recruit
                      him. Your wife...plans...everything...
                      Gone.
                          (beat)
                      'Less you talk...to me.

            Jesse silent, a dark internal pause. He meets Bud's eyes
            across the table; then...

                                JESSE
                      Do you hate?

                                BUD
                      What?

            Jesse's sudden directness has caught Bud off-guard.

                                JESSE
                      Who do you hate the most? Blacks you
                      throw in prison?

                                BUD
                      ...I dislike what they represent in the
                      system. Not as a whole.

            And Jesse begins to consciously or unconsciously "preach."

                                JESSE
                      And you believe that by overthrowin'
                      Aryan nationalism and integratin'
                      races...polluted creeds, with us...You
                      believe you're solvin' somethin'?

                                BUD
                      I believe we survive by integrating
                      safety. Understanding hate, and how to
                      stop it.

                                JESSE
                      It ain't evil to fight it. It's evil to
                      tolerate it.
                          (leans in)
                      Maybe you forget that, to justify what
                      you do for a living...

                                BUD
                      Are we still in prison, or we back at the
                      compound, havin' mass?

                                JESSE
                      You don't get it.

                                BUD
                      No, don't dictate to me what put you in
                      here, or question my intentions with your
                      overcooked revolution!
                          (beat)
                      'Fact, I think you wanted out 'fore I
                      even got to you! That's why you distanced
                      yourself. That's why you're out there
                      crackin' safes. Lookin' to live a life
                      that ain't AB.

                                JESSE
                      In who I am, there's pressure! I work for
                      you, I won't need a lawyer, I'll need a
                      priest! My outside finance is gone... My
                      wife and son, their heads wind up
                      somewhere their bodies ain't! So tell me,
                      why the fuck should I get involved with
                      you?!

                                BUD
                      How about personal warranty?

                                JESSE
                      Warranty?!

                                BUD
                      Yeah, that's right! You've been a part of
                      the problem so long, you've forgotten
                      what the fuck that is!
                          (boaring in)
                      "Finance..." Your wife came here on a bus
                      to see you. I sent her home in a cab. Is
                      that your outside fuckin' finance?!

            Beat. Jesse, taken back.

                                BUD
                      Let me give you a little insight, pal. As
                      to what I know... And what you think you
                      know.

            Bud flips open a file and shoves a series of grainy B&W
            SURVEILLANCE PHOTOS in front of Jesse.

                                BUD
                      This is today...

            Photo #1: Outside Jesse's House. A distressed Lynn and the
            baby being led into a car by Catfish.  

                                BUD
                      Is that your house? That's your wife,
                      right? Who's this guy?

            Photo #2: Tight-shot of Catfish.

                                BUD
                          (off Jesse's look)
                      Know where he's takin' them? Takin' your
                      family? I got a pretty good fuckin' idea.

            Photo #3: An anonymous duplex. Catfish escorting Lynn and the
            baby inside, past several surly Aryans looking on.

            Jesse finally averts his eyes... 

                                BUD
                      Look at your wife, Jesse. Look at her
                      face. And your son. They look safe to
                      you?  
                          (a moment)
                      I'm all you've got! I'm all your family's
                      got! And the longer you're in here,
                      they're up for grabs.  

            ON JESSE. The wheels turning. Burning. THE CAMERA MOVES IN...

                                BUD
                      So either you let that happen... Or I get
                      the judge to allow bond. This never sees
                      trial. And you work for me. 

            And that's where it hangs...

                                                                  BLACK.

                                JUDGE V.O.
                      Jesse Wheeler. Please rise...

            FADE IN:

            INT. COURTROOM, BATON ROUGE - DAY

            Jesse rises, wearing a suit. JUDGE PONDER, at the bench,
            presides over this arraignment hearing:

                                JUDGE PONDER
                      You stand accused of forty counts of
                      burglary, twenty nine counts of felony
                      theft, possession of illegal firearms,
                      possession or dealing in unregistered
                      weapons, possession of a controlled
                      substance, manufacture and possession of
                      incendiary devices, and seventeen counts
                      of receiving stolen goods... How do you
                      plead?

            CUT TO DANIEL KIERSEY, 40s, sharp, confident, expensively
            dressed. Jesse's attorney, rising:

                                KIERSEY
                      Not guilty, Your Honor.

                                JUDGE PONDER
                      Let's hear the arguments for bail.

            The DISTRICT ATTORNEY rises from his seat:

                                DISTRICT ATTORNEY
                      Your honor, this man is an habitual felon
                      as well as a flight risk. Our office has
                      overwhelming evidence that Mr. Wheeler is
                      not only guilty, but also a serious
                      threat to the community. The State
                      recommends that bail be denied.

                                KIERSEY
                      Your honor, my client deserves a
                      reasonable bail. He has every intention
                      of appearing and answering to all these
                      false charges. In addition, he is the
                      sole provider for his wife and newborn
                      child, who would suffer undo hardship if
                      this man were incarcerated.

            CUT TO Judge Ponder:

                                JUDGE PONDER
                      Bond is set at one million.

            THE GAVEL BANGS DOWN. Kiersey shakes Jesse's hand. Smiles:

                                KIERSEY
                      Congratulations.

            REVEAL BUD -- seated in back, watching the proceedings.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. BEDROOM, JESSE'S HOUSE - PRE DAWN

            Lynn, asleep in bed... 

            INT. HALLWAY

            Jesse stands, holding his son, quietly comforting him. When
            Jesse turns, WE SEE a .45 tucked in his back.

            AND THE PHONE RINGS...

                                JESSE
                          (answers)
                      Yeah...

            STATIC; he listens, then:

                                JESSE
                          (into phone)
                      Okay.

            EXT. BACKYARD, JESSE'S HOUSE - PRE DAWN

            Jesse steps through his fence into deep WOODS, to find a CAR
            waiting idyll on a dirt road. 

            INT. CAR - PRE DAWN

            A HEAVY-SET MAN at the wheel. Jesse gets in as the headlights
            spin on and the car pulls away... 

            EXT. SHIPYARD - PRE DAWN

            Dark. Eerie and desolate. The car arrives. Jesse steps out
            and disappears into the shadows of a towering crane.

            On the jetty, a nondescript MAN stands alone against the calm
            Mississippi. His back is to us. 

            Jesse approaches, stands quietly beside him.

                                MAN'S VOICE
                      How's your family?

            We realize now...It's Bud.

                                JESSE
                      Let's get somethin' straight. I ain't
                      here 'cause I'm scared. I done what I
                      did, 'cause certain people crossed the
                      line. They didn't keep their word.

                                BUD
                      Well my word counts.

            They stand together, facing the liquid horizon...  

                                BUD
                      I want a body, Jesse.

                                JESSE
                      How many you want?

            Bud finally looks at Jesse.

            EXT. BORROW PITS - DAWN 

            A swamp area used as a mud retrieval source for the levy.
            Amite River. FOG OBSCURES NEARLY EVERYTHING.

            Jesse slowly emerges... Then Bud and Metro, on all sides, MAG-
            LIGHTS, FLAK JACKETS and SHOTGUNS. A DUFFEL BAG of SHOVELS.

            The sounds of the swamp are terrifying. Herons and bobcats.
            Boots hitting water. The buzz of a million mosquitos.

            SUDDENLY A RUSHING SOUND -- An ALLIGATOR shoves off the mire.

                                COBB
                      'The fuck is that?

            Cobb's light catches the tail whipping into the swamp.

                                BUD
                      Yard dog. Relax.

                                SHEPARD
                      Where's this motherfucker taking us?

            Jesse suddenly STOPS. LISTENS. BREATHES. Bud and Metro stare.

                                JESSE
                          (directly to Bud)
                      Dig here.

            Metro exchanges looks, ANXIOUS. Bud nods "okay".

                                                                TIMECUT:

            EXT. JESSE'S BORROW PIT

            Metro engulfed in fog. Picks and shovels rise and fall.

                                MARANDINO
                      Bud! We hit something!

            Bud excitedly descends the pit to scrape gravel from metal.

                                BUD
                      Clear it off! Come on, find the edges!

            Jesse watches as a pair of STEEL DRUMS emerge.

            INT. STATE POLICE AUTOPSY ROOM - MID MORNING

            The "cold room". Bud and Braddock watch as two PATHOLOGISTS
            hose down the drums. The stench is horrible.

                                BRADDOCK
                      How long they been down there?

                                BUD
                      Jesse tells me six months.

                                BRADDOCK
                      Six months? Bud, they're biodegraded by
                      now. Fuckin' worm food.

                                BUD
                      We'll get an ID. Remember, we got the guy
                      who put 'em there.

            BLOW TORCHES ROAR as Pathologists burn through the drums.

            Sparks fly. The lids CRASH. Swamp water floods out... And
            immersed within: two sore-covered, DECOMPOSING BODIES.

            The room recoils from the fumes.

            INT. KITCHEN, JESSE'S HOUSE - DAY

            Lynn is putting dishes away. The baby nearby, sleeps quietly
            in a swing. Lynn gazes out the window...

            EXT. DRIVEWAY, JESSE'S HOUSE

            Jesse is under the hood of his truck, fixing the engine...
            When a '71 Mustang, white-on-white, roars up the street. 

            Jesse glances over as the car pulls alongside the driveway.  
            It's CATFISH, at the wheel. A wolfish grin.

                                CATFISH
                      'Bout time to get a new truck there,
                      Jesse.

            Jesse tightens a nut with a torque wrench, says nothing.

                                CATFISH
                      Good to see you out. A free man now.

                                JESSE
                      What's goin' on, 'Fish?

                                CATFISH
                      On a Sunday drive, that's all. The good
                      Lord ridin' shotgun, through another
                      glorious Louisiana mornin'.

            Jesse EYES his .45 atop the engine block, within reach. 

                                CATFISH
                      Say, Jesse... Lucian's askin' about you.
                      Fact, a lot of people are.  

            Jesse stays on the engine, never turns around.

                                JESSE
                      You tell him I'll come by.

                                CATFISH
                          (no longer smiling)
                      That's good. I'll see you real soon then.

            As Catfish drives away... We HEAR a series of photos being
            taken at high-speed. FREEZE FRAME to BLACK & WHITE.

            PULL BACK to a distant CONSTRUCTION TRAILER. Bud with a long
            lens camera, triggers snapshots. 

            INT. DINER - DAY

            Greasy spoon, soul food joint. Trucker and labor patrons.

            Bud walks in, perplexed to find Braddock sitting with   
            MARTIN FITCH (30), Deputy Chief of Staff for US Attorney
            General. Pressed suit. Young face. Out of his element.

                                BUD
                      Hey, Mike.

                                BRADDOCK
                      Bud, this is Special Agent, Martin Fitch.
                      He's down from Washington. With the
                      Attorney General.

                                FITCH
                      Martin. Just call me Martin.

            Fitch offers his hand, smiles. Bud shakes.

                                BRADDOCK
                      Martin's gonna be soliciting Jesse's case
                      for a Federal sponsor.

                                BUD
                      How long you been with the Attorney
                      General, Fitch?

                                FITCH
                      Just over a year.

            Bud looks at Braddock.

                                FITCH
                      I want to assure you my education and
                      experience is more than adequate to
                      handle a case of this potential.

                                BUD
                      Is that right...

            Fitch's smile drops as Bud stares him down.

                                BRADDOCK
                      Why don't we get to the particulars?

                                FITCH
                      Right. Alright.
                          (clears throat)
                      To get Jesse a federal sponsor, we need
                      something substantial. A bait. In the
                      Justice Department, we have this mission
                      statement... We decide who the target is,
                      what's the threat assessment, the cost
                      value, over what time table it's gonna
                      take place... Which target do we go after
                      first. We don't want to miss a big target
                      hitting a smaller target, you understand?

                                BUD
                      No.

                                FITCH
                      Well, exposing bodies has limitations.
                      Those people are dead. We can't retrieve
                      their lives.

            Bud blinks.

                                BRADDOCK
                      He means there might not be enough to
                      back Jesse.

                                BUD
                      Keep him on the street without
                      protection, he winds up dead.

                                FITCH
                      What I'm saying is, we need fresh leads.
                      He'll need to present something that
                      separates him from those we're going to
                      arrest. If Jesse can't offer something
                      continuous... I'm afraid we can't be of
                      much help.

            Bud stares at Fitch. 

            A WAITRESS in her 50s approaches. 

                                WAITRESS
                      Ready to order?

                                FITCH
                          (cuts in)
                      Yes. I'll take a garden salad. Roquefort
                      on the side.

                                WAITRESS
                      You'll take what?

                                FITCH
                          (curt)
                      It's a dressing. 

                                WAITRESS
                      Well...we got ranch, thousand island and
                      oil. Which one you want?

            Bud's chair SCRAPES back as he stands, stares hard at Fitch:

                                BUD
                      Lost my appetite.

            And walks out.

            EXT. PARKING LOT OUTSIDE DINER - DAY

            Bud stalks out to his car. Braddock follows, agitated. They
            say nothing till they reach the car.

                                BUD
                      I set this up. Me and Jesse. If the Feds
                      want to help, that's fine. But not him.

                                BRADDOCK
                      What do you mean, "me and Jesse?" He's
                      not your partner, Bud. This case is
                      beyond our capacity. It requires
                      resources we don't have.

            Bud unlocks the car. They stand, talking across the roof.

                                BUD
                      They ain't takin' us serious, Mike. They
                      send us some kid with a year under his
                      belt?! He don't even know what state he's
                      in... You want him in charge?!

                                BRADDOCK
                      You're God damn right I do! You're out on
                      a limb on this already, Bud! It's my job
                      to make sure you get back!

                                BUD
                      This is bullshit.

                                BRADDOCK
                      That may be. What it ain't, is open for
                      discussion.

            Braddock walks away. Bud simmers a moment, gets in his car.

            INT. A ROOM - FOLLOWING MORNING

            A bare room; nothing to tell us where we are. Jesse's on a
            stool. He runs his fingers down his mustache, grits his teeth.

                                JESSE
                      Y'all wanna talk about crime? Well I
                      could tell y'all things. Names.
                      Locations. What boat is movin' what
                      drugs, which one is guns. Who's gonna get
                      cut up and why. ...But what I got to know
                      is, if 'n when I do this... If I wear
                      your dog collar... Y'all gonna do what's
                      right by me and keep my head from gettin'
                      shot the fuck off? 'Cause the truth is,
                      you need me. You ain't got enough cops
                      with enough sense or enough time, to
                      clear them crimes that already been
                      committed and will be.
                          (pause)
                      Y'all need me... I got the devil's
                      address.

            REVERSE: We're in a HOTEL SUITE.

            Shades down. Full of AGENTS: FBI, ATF, DEA, SECRET SERVICE.
            Law enforcement everywhere. On the furniture, against the
            wall, sitting on the floor. Staring at Jesse in silence.

            Bud stands by the door with Braddock. And Fitch steps
            forward, laughs nervously...

                                FITCH
                      Okay, great... Thanks. Thank you, Jesse,
                      for that. And thank you, everyone for
                      attending...
                          (tight)
                      Uh, we all know why we're here. To solve
                      a matter of custody--

                                FBI #1
                      We'll protect you and your family, Jesse.
                          (to the room)
                      It's a federal matter, gentlemen. Those
                      bodies were transported over state lines.

            An ATF AGENT #1 imposes:

                                ATF #1
                      Not so fast. Ammunition, grenades? This
                      man's house was a factory, for Christ's
                      sake. ATF is taking this.

                                DEA
                      Those murders were drug related. DEA's
                      got to do follow ups.

                                SECRET SERVICE
                      He was printing counterfeit money. 
                      That's Secret Service.

            ARGUING ENSUES, Agents' voices step over one another. Fitch
            tries to take control. Jesse's been silent, until...

                                JESSE
                      There's a hit list.

            Fitch hears this. He turns, loudly to the room...

                                FITCH
                      Wait! Wait a minute, quiet! Everyone
                      quiet!

            And EVERYTHING stops. Fitch moves to Jesse:

                                FITCH
                      A what?

                                JESSE
                      A hit list. There's much as twelve. Might
                      be one or two less now, I ain't sure.
                      Some could've already been gotten.

                                BUD
                          (to Braddock)
                      Now we're talkin'.

            FBI #2 approaches Jesse...

                                FBI #2
                      Why these twelve, Jesse?

                                JESSE
                      Different reasons. It ain't so much why
                      or what they done that matters. Pick any
                      one of 'em off that list, AB puts you on
                      salary.

            Everyone is suddenly interested. Bud sees this.

                                JESSE
                      And you, sir, if I ain't mistaken...
                      You're Mr. Nokes, right?

            Agents part, revealing JOHN NOKES(50s), black, an emminent 
            figurehead in a plush suit. Surprised to be pointed out...

                                JESSE
                      First U.S. Attorney, John Nokes?

                                NOKES
                      That's right.

                                JESSE
                      Well, last time I seen it...you was
                      number two on that list.

            It's quiet. Nokes thinks. Then LAUGHS and approaches Jesse.

                                NOKES
                      Can you fill us in on the rest of those
                      names, Jesse?

                                JESSE
                      Yes, I can. But there's something I gotta
                      make clear 'fore that happens.

                                NOKES
                      What's that?

                                JESSE
                      I've listened to you, Mr. Nokes. And I've
                      listened to these suits here, on who's
                      gonna take me in...
                          (beat)
                      I will die, go to hell and take all y'all
                      cocksuckers with me, if he--
                          (motions to Bud)
                      --tells me to.
                          (beat)
                      I want y'all to know that.

            Jesse is explosive under the low projection delivery and a
            CHILL falls over the room.

                                NOKES
                          (to Bud)
                      How's that fly by you, Lieutenant?

            Bud simply nods.

                                NOKES
                      I'll sponsor him. Jesse's welfare will
                      come out of our budget. Anyone has
                      pending cases or leads for Jesse, see me.
                      I'll loan him out.

            Jesse stares at Nokes. As the meeting settles back to a
            comfortable level...

                                NOKES
                      And, Jesse... I'm a little pissed I'm
                      number two on that list. Who the fuck is
                      number one?

            The room erupts with LAUGHTER. Everyone except Bud and Jesse.

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:

            EXT. GRAND COUTEAU - DAY

            Jesse's truck moves over an old wooden bridge through
            sweeping fields that stretch to a vast, wooded area.

            EXT. FRONT GATES, PRIVATE PROPERTY - DAY

            Jesse stops at a long drive protected by locked iron gates.

            A surveillance camera zooms in. Jesse looks up. A second
            camera pans on Jesse, staring...

            MOVE IN as crackling, electronic pixels FILL THE FRAME and... 

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. GUARD STATION - SAME

            A BANK OF MONITORS showing Jesse at the gates. A GUARD sits
            in shadow, hits a button: We see the gates unlock and open.

            INT. JESSE'S TRUCK

            pulls down the private road.

            Shafts of light mottle then burst, REVEALING an elegant
            VICTORIAN HOME. 

            Jesse parks -- walks up the porch, where Catfish is relaxing,
            shoulder holster, revolver. And Buzz, cleaning a pistol.

                                BUZZ
                      Jesse.

            Jesse nods, eyes Catfish.

                                JESSE
                      I'm here to see Lucian.

            Catfish grinds out his cigarette, gets to his feet.

                                CATFISH
                      He's busy right now; You can come in and
                      wait.

            INT. LUCIAN ADAMS' OFFICE - DAY

            CLOSE ON: A SNIFTER

            as Louis XIII pours to the rim. From elsewhere in the room:

                                MALE VOICE
                      This operation of your's has become big
                      business. You need relationships now more
                      than ever...

            THE VOICE belongs to RICHARD MORRIS, 40s. He sits in a
            leather chair, facing Lucian Adams, who's face we cannot see. 

            Seated next to Morris, is Daniel Kiersey.

                                MORRIS
                      ...We've done business successfully
                      before, Mr. Adams. But it's a larger
                      scope now. I'm here today because I want
                      to represent you exclusively. You need
                      someone lobbying at a state level, as
                      well as in Washington. My organization
                      can provide both. We've got contacts that
                      you don't have and other people can't
                      get. Now, I'm aware that you have
                      multiple businesses... However you need
                      one go-to guy, so that all your ventures
                      stay coordinated and all transactions and
                      contracts are realized. I am that person,
                      Mr. Adams. That's what I do.

            LUCIAN'S HAND lifts the cognac out of frame, drinks.

                                KIERSEY
                      What's this going to cost us?

                                MORRIS
                      As a retainer, I want an advance of three
                      hundred-fifty thousand, along with ten
                      percent of whatever economic benefit I
                      bring to this organization.

                                KIERSEY
                      Three-fifty? C'mon, Dick. That's out of
                      line.

                                MORRIS
                      If you want a quality global economic
                      plan, that's what you pay for-- 

                                LUCIAN O.S.
                      We'll give you two, Mr. Morris...That's
                      what it's worth.

            Morris goes suddenly silent, looks across at Lucian.

                                LUCIAN O.S.
                      The advance is a drop in the bucket. The
                      real money is the percentage. It's in
                      your interest to see it my way.

            Morris stares across the desk, several tense moments. Then:

                                MORRIS
                      You've got a deal.

            INT. LIVING ROOM, LUCIAN ADAMS' HOUSE - DAY

            Morris emerges from the office. He glances at Jesse, then
            shrugs on his coat and leaves... 

            Jesse looks back at the office doorway. FOLLOW Jesse in...

            INT. LUCIAN ADAM'S OFFICE

            ...past Kiersey, behind a massive desk in this impeccable
            room, we finally SEE LUCIAN ADAMS.

            Jesse is not invited to sit.

                                LUCIAN
                          (to Kiersey)
                      Give us a minute.

            Kiersey walks out and shuts the door... 

            ON LUCIAN

            he crosses slowly to a credenza, selects a clean shirt.

                                LUCIAN
                      You have a son now, right?

                                JESSE
                      Yeah...

            As he removes the shirt he's wearing, REVEAL tattoos: BLACK
            SUN on his back. GERMAN RUNES, SS BOLTS, HRUNGNIR'S HEART.
            And around his stomach, a belt of NORSE GODS with the words,
            "INVISIBLE EMPIRE." Prison tats, dark and aged.

                                LUCIAN
                      What'd you name him?

                                JESSE
                      I named him Ray.

            Lucian, no emotion, puts on a pressed dress shirt, fastens
            cuff-links.

                                LUCIAN
                          (over his shoulder)
                      Heard the cops smacked you around inside.

                                JESSE
                      'Wasn't too bad.

            Lucian checks his hair.

                                LUCIAN
                      You've been a busy man, Jesse. More ways
                      than one.

                                JESSE
                      Looks like you done just fine without me.
                      Business rollin' through the door.

            And Lucian finally turns; looks at Jesse, eyes measuring...

                                LUCIAN
                      Last I saw you, you asked for time. Time
                      to raise a family.
                      Time to straighten things out. 
                          (pause)
                      I gave you that time... Then safe jobs
                      start poppin' up. Lafayette. New Orleans.
                      Clinton. Baton Rouge. All over. The boys,
                      they think it's niggers, gone widespread
                      on a hunt for pig's feet. But they all
                      professional. Burn jobs. Hot-weld oxygen.
                      Laid out, burned, laid back, perfect.
                          (locked on Jesse)
                      I knew right then and there, only a white
                      respectable burglar could've done this.

            Jesse smiles slightly. They know each other well...

            ...When Lucian's smile suddenly drops. There's a flash of
            controlled anger across his face; and WE FEEL a curtain of
            tension fall heavily on the room.

                                LUCIAN
                      Jesse... With all the work you been
                      doin': Diamonds. Emeralds. A dozen safe
                      jobs, behind my back...
                          (predatory)
                      Where's the tribute to the greater cause?

            Jesse he pulls from his pocket, a tiny pouch. Sets it on the
            desk...

            He pours the contents into Lucian's palm: DIAMONDS and
            EMERALDS.

                                JESSE
                      Like I said, I just needed time.

            Lucian approaches the desk, opens the pouch: DIAMONDS and
            EMERALDS... A slow smile spreads across his face.

                                LUCIAN
                      Well, even prophets stumble once in a
                      while.

            Lucian embraces Jesse. Tight. Then, softly in his ear:

                                LUCIAN
                      It's a shame about your brother.

            As they part, their eyes meet. Something passes between
            them...

            I/E. JESSE'S TRUCK, TRAVELING - BACK ROAD - NIGHT

            Jesse at the wheel, glances nervously in the rearview. Lynn
            in the passenger seat, baby in her lap. They're driving under
            the cover of darkness... 

                                LYNN
                      I don't understand. Why do we have to
                      leave the state? You're not tellin' me
                      something. You're not tellin' me a lot.

                                JESSE
                      It ain't safe here no more. You wanted
                      out? This is out.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. PRIVATE AIRSTRIP - NIGHT

            Marandino looks through BINOCULARS: As an electric fence
            slides back. Jesse's truck approaches, drives through.

            EXT. RUNWAY - NIGHT

            A twin-engine PLANE idylls. Lines of blue lights, strobe like
            rivers, air traffic above... And Bud, leaning against a
            nearby car with Shepard and Cobb.

            Jesse helps Lynn and the baby from his truck. Together, they
            walk toward the plane...

            Bud, watching from a distance, nods to Lynn.

            OUTSIDE THE PLANE

            Jesse and Lynn stare at each other. She's crying as he pulls
            her close, one arm around the baby. He says something to them
            we cannot hear...

            Then with the baby, Lynn boards her plane. An AGENT shuts the
            door. The engine SCREAMS to life, taking off...

            Jesse turns to shield his face. Lights STROBE and BLAST...
            Then, ABRUPT DARKNESS AND SILENCE... 

            ON JESSE

            now alone on the tarmac. Bud approaches; then...

                                JESSE
                      Lucian took the stones. Talked about
                      jobs. High-end, boxcar.

                                BUD
                      Your family's safe now.
                          (beat)
                      Let's go to work.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. JEWELRY STORE BASEMENT - NIGHT

            Several AB SOLDIERS stand watch as Jesse pushes a heavy, 10"
            drill through a jeweler's vault door... Jesse throws tumbler
            and relock mechanisms aside, reaches in... jewels, gems.

            EXT. PARKING LOT - BETWEEN CARS - NIGHT

            Bud and Jesse parked next to each other, trading info.

            E/I. VARIOUS HIDEOUTS - NIGHT

            AB counterfeiting bills... Printing press and metal plates...
            Hands stain bills with coffee grounds and cigarettes, then
            industrial dryers... Jesse at a table behind tall stacks of
            cash, inspecting, approving...

            INT. UNDERGROUND GARAGE - NIGHT

            Bud with Jesse. Info, names and written amounts.

            INSERTS: HANDS file serial numbers off guns... HANDS building
            silencers... loading guns in suitcases below false bottoms...

            EXT. PAY PHONES - NIGHT

            Jesse on the line... Bud on the other end, taking notes...

            INT. GARAGE - NIGHT

            AB Soldiers unload crates from trucks, "Chrysler Corp."...
            "Remington Firearms"... Antique furniture... Machinery...

            INSERT: A MONEY MACHINE counts large denominations of cash.

            EXT. BELOW AN OVERPASS - NIGHT

            Parked under the interstate. Bud looks over Jesse's info.

            EXT. NEW ORLEANS PORT - NIGHT

            A large fishing boat arrives. Numerous Fisherman load marlin
            onto refrigerated trucks... Catfish, Buzz, numerous AB start
            up the trucks... Jesse hands the Head Fisherman a canvas bag
            of cash... 

            PULL BACK to reveal Shepard, Cobb and Marandino on the roof
            of a neighboring port, snapping photos. Taking notes.

            E/I. ISOLATED BARN - NIGHT

            Trucks arrive. AB bring the marlin inside... Atop a crate,
            Jesse slices a marlin open, revealing kilos of cocaine. More
            marlins are cut. More cocaine.

            INT. METRO OFFICE - DAY

            Bud on the typewriter, hammering out Jesse's contacts and
            movements. Files piling on his desk.

            INT. METRO OFFICE - NIGHT

            An organizational chart, as Bud pins AB mug shots, arrest
            sheets and surveillance photos wall to wall.

            Bud steps back, observes. His case building. Getting huge.

                                                         MONTAGE OUT/TO:

            EXT. BACK PATIO, LUCIAN'S HOUSE - DAY

            Wood secluded. Lucian, Jesse and Kiersey sit around a table.

                                KIERSEY
                      There's a variety of matters to discuss
                      today, gentlemen. Eddie Moran's trial
                      starts next week. One of the jurors
                      reached out. He's asking six thousand up
                      front plus a job at four hundred a week.
                      That guarantees a hung jury with a push
                      for an acquittal.  

                                LUCIAN
                      Three hundred. Give him a no-show at the
                      trucking firm.

                                KIERSEY
                          (as he writes)
                      Construction on the building Morris
                      brought us, in south-east Florida, is
                      complete. Every unit sold. We should see
                      revenues of one point four million over
                      our original projections. 

            Lucian lights a cigar, smoke curls from his lips.

                                KIERSEY
                      Lastly, our "friends" from the Middle
                      East. They put a final offer on the
                      table. They'll fund our operation in
                      Louisiana if we agree to act on their
                      behalf. Political targets mostly, on the
                      basis of our approval...
                          (beat)
                      I advise we do a test case. Perhaps a
                      sample of their resources.

                                LUCIAN
                      "Final offer?" Demands... 
                          (beat)
                      Close the deal. We'll cook the cash for
                      it. By the time they realize, we'll have
                      our return.
                          (laughs to Jesse)
                      You believe they're travelin' all the way
                      to Louisiana just to get fuckin' robbed?

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. LUCIAN'S BACK YARD - LATER

            Jesse and Lucian walk together through green, expansive
            countryside. A pair of Arabian mares graze nearby.

                                LUCIAN
                      I want you runnin' point on this one...  

                                JESSE
                      I'll be honest, I was hopin' for
                      somethin' bigger.

                                LUCIAN
                      What do you got in mind?

                                JESSE
                      How 'bout a few of them heads off the
                      list?

                                LUCIAN
                      We got guys for that now. Catfish, Buzz.
                      What do you want to go back to that for?

                                JESSE
                      The money's worth twice this. Bring back
                      a head it's fifteen grand; Bring a heart,
                      it's thirty, right?

            Lucian looks at Jesse, who feels Lucian's scrutiny.

                                LUCIAN
                      Tell you what. Do this other thing we got
                      lined up...
                          (beat)
                      Then I'll give you that taste.

            EXT. HENDERSON INDUSTRIAL ZONE - ESTABLISH - NIGHT

            Dark, factory skyline. Burnt out cars sit before a WAREHOUSE.

            INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

            HEADQUARTERS for the Baton Rouge operation. A beehive of
            government activity. TECHNICIANS listen to tapes... PHONES
            ring off the hook... Bud and Fitch going over the case:

                                FITCH
                      There's pressure from Washington. They
                      send compliments for Jesse's work. But
                      our primary concern is that list. I need
                      names we can protect.

                                BUD
                      We know that, Fitch. He's workin' on it.

                                FITCH
                      If Jesse can just get a direct order...
                      from Lucian to him, on a wire--

                                BUD
                      --A wire?! He just went back to work, you
                      want him to wear a fuckin' wire?
                          (beat)
                      Put a tap on that God damn lawyer's
                      phone, that's what you should do.

                                FITCH
                      He's an attorney, Carter. Anything we get
                      would be inadmissable.

                                BUD
                      It's information, Fitch. 

            Fitch, annoyed, but staying on track.

                                FITCH
                      Bud. We need Jesse to engage Lucian on
                      the record. Otherwise it's just hearsay.
                      He's disconnected from everything, like a
                      ghost. 

            Bud, cooling his heels. As the phones RING and RING...

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:

            A violent rainfall.

            AERIAL SHOT swooping along the HIGHWAY, then rising above the
            deep woods to reveal a TRUCK STOP ahead.

            EXT. TRUCK STOP - NIGHT

            Closed for construction. A VAN arrives. A blinking barricade
            is pulled back, allowing entrance...

            Generators light the scene: A group of SHIITE MUSLIMS wait by
            a pair of idle FREIGHT TRUCKS. A crew of five AB SOLDIERS
            exit the van: Jesse, Catfish and Buzz among them.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. LUMBER STORAGE, TRUCK STOP - NIGHT

            The door to one Freight truck rolls to the top, revealing a
            converted ASSAULT WEAPONRY SHOWCASE.

            Below covered scaffolding, both crews stand. Guns bulge
            through their coats. No talking. No sudden movement. 

            Shiites watch Jesse and Catfish examine the merchandise: SEMI
            AUTOMATICS, SHOTGUNS, CARBINES, SUB-MACHINE GUNS...

            Everyone looks at each other. Jesse acknowledges worth.

            Catfish pulls a large CANVAS BAG from the van, filled with
            cash. As he carries it toward a bench, a large Shiite (OMAR)
            reaches for the bag before Catfish can set it down... 

            ...Both men hold tight. Neither letting go. And there's a
            moment.

                                JESSE
                          (low)
                      Catfish.

            Catfish and Omar are eye-to-eye. Then, Catfish lets go with a
            smile:

                                CATFISH
                      Go 'head. Count it.

            The Shiite leader, NASEEM, sees the strife.

                                NASEEM
                      There a problem?

                                JESSE
                      No problem. Money's all there.

            Omar hands the bag to Naseem. The count starts. Both crews
            watch closely...  

            ...All except Catfish, fixated on Omar, who stares back.

                                CATFISH
                      'The fuck you lookin' at...?

            The count stops. Naseem looks to Omar. Questions in Arabic go
            back and forth. The pressure getting to the group...

                                JESSE
                          (low)
                      Catfish, would you shut the fuck up? This
                      ain't the time.

                                NASEEM
                          (to Catfish)
                      Yes, listen to your boss.

                                CATFISH
                      What?! What fuckin' "boss?" You best
                      watch your ass, sand nigger.  

                                NASEEM
                      Piece of shit--!

            Everyone reaches for their guns. Threats SHOUTED in Arabic
            and English.

                                JESSE
                      Take it easy! Take it easy! 

            SUDDENLY ARC LIGHTS BEHIND A DISTANT BARRIER IGNITE, flooding
            the scene. Everyone turns.

                                A VOICE
                          (over a loud speaker)
                      ATF! THE PERIMETER'S SURROUNDED!

            Omar reaches for the bag of cash...

            BLAM! Catfish FIRES, point blank, shooting Omar in the face.

            And World War III erupts.

            AB's FIRE. Shiites RETURN FIRE. From several stakeout
            locations, ATF AGENTS deploy and OPEN FIRE.

            Jesse is grazed in the shoulder, slips, staggers-runs.

            SHIITE #1 FIRES THREE SHOT BURSTS at AB #1, who's blown
            apart. A generator and ATF #1 collapse.

            ATF #2 and #3 with pump shotguns OPEN UP on the AB's van.

            Naseem, over a Mercedes roof, FIRES A BURST at ATF, then
            swings onto AB #2 and FIRES, killing him. Naseem jumps into
            the Mercedes, yells at the DRIVER to go.

            Buzz RAPID FIRES, hits Shiite #1 in the back. Shiite #1 is
            spun around and Buzz shoots him in the head.

            Catfish FIRES into the lot... Hitting SHIITE #2.

            IN THE MERCEDES, Driver floors it. ATF re-emerges, kneels and
            PUMPS SHOTS into the Mercedes.

            Jesse has taken off, past the lumber storage. Catfish and
            Buzz follow, breaking for the Freight truck.

            IN THE MERCEDES, Driver is blown apart by ATF. The car
            CRASHES into a dumpster, knocking Naseem out.

            Jesse, Catfish and Buzz jump into the Freight. ATF FIRES.
            WINDOWS EXPLODE. SHIITE #3, trying to climb in is shot down.

            Jesse, behind the wheel... BURNS rubber pulling out of the
            stop, over and through a scaffold, collapsing it.

            The Freight truck draws everyone's FIRE. Jesse pilots it
            through the CHAOS. Scaffold DRAGGING behind. Sparks fly.

            JESSE'S POV: Where he's going. An opening in the
            construction, leads back to the HIGHWAY and ONCOMING TRAFFIC.

            ATF CARS speeds in, the opposite way...

            AS THE VEHICLES PASS: JESSE AND ATF

            lock eyes. And the Freight makes the highway, scattering
            traffic, to the sound of ongoing GUNFIRE...

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. DESOLATE FIELD - LATE NIGHT

            The moon hangs low as Jesse parks the Freight truck among
            tall grass, where a vacant BREAD TRUCK is waiting.

                                                                TIMECUT:

            As Catfish exits the truck...

            ...Jesse takes Catfish's gun, grabs him by the neck and SLAMS
            him against the cab. FACE TO FACE.

                                JESSE
                      You're a piece of work, Catfish.

            Buzz grabs at Jesse; Jesse HURLS him to the ground.

                                CATFISH
                      Them niggers crossed the line...I had to
                      burn 'em--

                                JESSE
                      --You had to keep your mouth shut! On a
                      job, you don't do fuckin' shit 'less I
                      say!

                                CATFISH
                      'The fuck off me--!

            Jesse slams him back again. HOLDS his throat.

                                JESSE
                          (low, deadly)
                      Fuck me up again, you hear me? I'll leave
                      you where I find you. Got that?

            PAUSE. Catfish glares, then concedes. 

                                JESSE
                      Unload the fuckin' truck.

            Jesse starts moving crates from the Freight onto the bread
            truck. Catfish and Buzz watch for a moment, then join.

            INT. FBI WAREHOUSE - LATE NIGHT

            Televisions broadcast news coverage of the shoot-out. AGENTS
            work, uncomfortable, as Bud and Fitch argue. Explosive...

                                FITCH
                      Keep your voice down! This was out of my
                      control!

                                BUD
                      I'm telling you, your agents best pull
                      their shit together! Who the hell y'all
                      trying to protect?!

                                FITCH
                      Look, Carter. This is a joint task force
                      with multiple agendas, that run up the
                      chain of command through me. Intel came
                      forth at the eleventh hour that Naseem
                      Kazuri - an international arms dealer -
                      would be present at this meet. ATF was
                      tasked to observe and report. 

                                BUD
                      That ain't what they did--!

                                FITCH
                      --No! Because your informant--

                                BUD
                      My informant, that's right!--

                                FITCH
                      --Your informant and his psychopath crew
                      greased half our political interests --
                      over a bag of fake cash! You weren't
                      informed, so what?

                                BUD
                      Well I better be informed! 'Cause this
                      ain't fallin' short! Now, any of y'all
                      got a collaborative agenda in the works?
                      I want to see it. These other agencies,
                      what time-lines they lookin' at? What
                      deadlines and why?

                                FITCH
                      Above your pay-grade--

                                BUD
                          (overlapping)
                      And is there a purposeful lack of
                      communication between competing agencies,
                      who are right now charting future
                      mistakes, as we fuckin' speak?!

                                FITCH
                      That's not your concern, Carter!

            Braddock suddenly arrives, steps into the room...

                                BUD
                      We're not talkin' about me!!

                                BRADDOCK
                      Bud!

                                BUD
                          (spins)
                      What?!

                                BRADDOCK
                      You're over-involved here.

            And Bud's taken off stride. Braddock looks Bud right in the
            eyes, so there's no doubt...

                                BRADDOCK
                      I'll handle this.

            Bud, red with anger, walks out. 

            Braddock watches him go. Fitch comes over, relieved...

                                FITCH
                      Thanks for coming down, Mike. He's been
                      berating my agents for the last hour.

            Braddock pours a cup of coffee.

                                FITCH
                      We're trying to band-aid a situation
                      here, and frankly, Carter's preference
                      for thug tactics isn't helping. It'll all
                      be in my report...

                                BRADDOCK
                          (interrupts)
                      "Isn't helping?"

            A big mistake. Now Braddock turns on Fitch, zeroing in...

                                BRADDOCK
                      "Isn't helping?" Let's not miss what
                      happened here, Fitch. We work for the
                      same cause doesn't mean we work for you.
                      What are you gonna do now? Send Jesse
                      back out? Earn his trust? Bud Carter
                      delivered the biggest informant in the
                      history of this state to your lap, and
                      you and the people you work for are gonna
                      let it go to shit.
                          (beat)
                      You can expect that will be in my report.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. STEEL MILL - PRE DAWN

            STEELWORKERS warped in heat waves swing ingots into troughs.
            The seven story furnace is deafening.

            ENTRY AREA

            Lucian is met by Kiersey. They walk together through glassed
            in hallways to a closed office door. 

            Lucian keys in, REVEALING a disheveled Morris seated in a
            chair with two large AB Soldiers on either side.

            INT. STEEL MILL OFFICE - PRE DAWN

            Lucian shuts the door and sits before an ill at ease Morris.

                                MORRIS
                      Look. I had no previous knowledge of any
                      business with Muslims. So if stealing me
                      here in the middle of the night, is some
                      kind of accusation--

                                LUCIAN
                      I'm not accusing you, Mr. Morris. But I
                      do find it interesting that right about
                      the time I employ you, my operation
                      starts having problems.

                                MORRIS
                      Yes, but--

                                LUCIAN
                      That is interesting...isn't it?

            Morris swallows hard as Lucian stares intensely.

                                LUCIAN
                      I want to know if this was an isolated
                      incident. If the ATF impeding on my work
                      is the result of a deeper threat.

                                MORRIS
                      What are you suggesting?

                                LUCIAN
                      I'm suggesting you contact your friends
                      in Washington.

                                MORRIS
                      With all due respect, Mr. Adams, that's
                      not what I was retained for.

                                LUCIAN
                      Well now it is.

                                MORRIS
                      That sort of information requires
                      clearance I don't have. If I start
                      sniffing around, people are going to ask
                      questions.

                                LUCIAN
                      I'm asking questions, Mr. Morris. And I'm
                      getting impatient.

            Morris gets stone quiet. Lucian hands him a phone.

                                LUCIAN
                      You don't leave here till I get answers.

            And like that, this conversation is over.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. LIQUOR STORE + PHONE BOOTH - DAWN

            Off a deserted street. A DENSE FOG resides, far as the eye
            can see. And Jesse, in a PHONE BOOTH, drops a dime and
            dials...

                                LYNN V.O.
                          (clearly asleep)
                      Hello...

                                JESSE
                      It's me.

                                LYNN V.O.
                      You okay?
                          (off Jesse's silence)
                      Honey, you alright?

                                JESSE
                      I'm okay. Just need to hear your voice.
                      How's little Ray...?

                                LYNN V.O.
                      I'll put him on.

            SILENCE for a moment...then a quiet baby's voice. 

                                LYNN V.O.
                      It's daddy on the phone, say hello.

            Emotion rises to Jesse's face. He holds it in, barely.

            ANGLE: DOWN THE STREET 

            a lone CAR is parked in the shadows, fog rolling past... 

            ...Jesse sees it, can't see who's inside it. 

                                LYNN V.O.
                      Jesse?

            He hangs up. 

            A LONG MOMENT... Jesse stands there, watching the car... He
            slowly makes his way toward the back of the store, where his
            truck is parked. Pulse pounding, he tries the door...it's
            locked. Eyeing the car, he unlocks his truck.   

            THERE'S SUDDEN MOVEMENT. Jesse spins. And out of the darkness
            -- steps Bud -- ready to pounce... 

                                BUD
                      Where the hell you been?
                          (Jesse's look)
                      Two days missin', you broke protocol.
                      Three, and you're a flight risk.
                      Agents'll hunt your ass down.

                                JESSE
                          (anger spiking, pacing)
                      I can't keep doin' this. I can't fuckin'
                      breathe. Even the shadows got eyes.    

                                BUD
                      This is the job. If I don't hear from
                      you, I can't protect you.   

                                JESSE
                          (in his face)
                      Protect me?! I about got my head fuckin'
                      shot off, 'cause your guys was
                      "protecting" me!

                                BUD
                      Those ain't my guys!

                                JESSE
                      I don't give a fuck-- I don't want your
                      protection! I want out!

                                BUD
                      There is no "out." Not for either of us.
                      Not till it's done...
                          (low, definitive)
                      Get me that list.

            Jesse STARES -- a malevolence in his eyes that freezes Bud to
            the spot. Then, Jesse climbs in his truck and drives off.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. BRADDOCK'S OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT -
            DAWN

            Bud pacing; Braddock sits at his desk.

                                BUD
                      I'm losin' him, Mike...

                                BRADDOCK
                      Just relax. We gotta let things settle,
                      that's all. 

                                BUD
                      It ain't gonna settle, it's gonna blow. I
                      can feel it.  

                                BRADDOCK
                      What do you want me to do?

                                BUD
                      Push 'em back. 

                                BRADDOCK
                      Who?

                                BUD
                      The Feds. All these suits, fuckin'
                      outsiders. Everyone. Get me some room.
                      Some time to reel this thing in. 

                                BRADDOCK
                      I'll talk to Nokes. 'See what I can do.

                                                                  BLACK.

            INT. OFFICE, STEEL MILL - DAY 

            Morris (a nervous wreck, unshaven) sits across from Lucian.
            Kiersey at an adjacent table.

                                MORRIS
                      There's an investigation underway, funded
                      by the U.S. Attorney. And you're the
                      target.

            Morris opens his briefcase and hands over a pair of dossiers.

                                MORRIS
                      They're receiving assistance from both
                      the ATF and FBI, who are stationed right
                      here in Henderson.

                                LUCIAN
                          (pause)
                      How long they been active?

                                MORRIS
                      My sources tell me three months.

            Lucian puts on his reading glasses, opens a dossier.

                                LUCIAN
                      Three months...

            Lucian peruses surveillance photos: Images of AB activity
            goes by in a blur. Lucian's eyes absorbing, rigid, unerring. 

                                KIERSEY
                          (reading)
                      This is U.S. Attorney John Nokes, at the
                      helm. He's been after us for years.

                                LUCIAN
                      Who they got for a mouthpiece?

                                MORRIS
                      A "mouthpiece"?

                                LUCIAN
                      Who's the rat in the woodpile? Who the
                      fuck's giving 'em information?

                                MORRIS
                      I couldn't dig that deep. But it's
                      someone close.
                          (pause)
                      I suggest you gentlemen disband.
                      Immediately.

            Kiersey, foraging through reports. Page after page. Each
            minutely detailed.

                                KIERSEY
                      Lucian...

                                LUCIAN
                      Yeah.

                                KIERSEY
                      The investigation's local point is a
                      detective out of East Baton Rouge.
                          (beat)
                      His name's Bud Carter.

            ON LUCIAN. Thinking...Thinking...

            INT. JESSE'S HOUSE - LATE NIGHT

            Jesse, alone in the dark, seated on the couch... There's a
            SOUND outside... 

                                                                 CUT TO:

            Jesse moves soundlessly through the house, gun ready, toward
            the back door.

            JESSE'S POV: as the door opens slow, HE/WE SEE ON THE PORCH: 

            LUCIAN

            seated comfortably in a chair... 

                                LUCIAN
                      Couldn't sleep.

            Jesse looks to the darkness. Dogwood trees. Thick growth.
            EERIE SILENCE...

                                JESSE
                      Got somethin' on your mind? 

                                LUCIAN
                          (without looking at him)
                      There's been an adjustment to the list,
                      Jesse...

            Jesse's silent. YOU CAN CUT THE TENSION WITH A KNIFE...

                                LUCIAN
                      We got this...heathen. A whore of an
                      Irishman...down in Baton Rouge.
                      He's protected. Got a lot of guys around
                      him. That's why it pays. That's why
                      nobody wants the job... That's why we're
                      here talkin'.

                                JESSE
                      Who is it?

            Lucian sets a photo on the table, face down with an address
            written on back. 

            Jesse flips over the photo: It's Bud, in uniform. 

                                LUCIAN
                      This cop... he's got a mouthpiece...
                      somewhere. Ain't yet figured out who.
                      In the meantime, shut him down.

            ON JESSE, a frozen moment. He forces out the words:

                                JESSE
                      It's done.

            With that, Lucian gets up and leaves, disappearing into
            darkness.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. JESSE'S HOUSE - LATE NIGHT

            Jesse climbs into his truck and pulls out to the street... 

                                                                 CUT TO:

            JESSE'S TRUCK heading up the INTERSTATE, crossing into EAST
            BATON ROUGE, then driving through dark RESIDENTIAL STREETS of
            Bud's neighborhood...

            I/E. JESSE'S TRUCK - LATE NIGHT

            He pulls to the curb, parks. Jesse racks a MOSSBERG SG, loads
            it with solid shot, then lays the gun on his lap. 

            THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD: Bud's house in the distance.

            And Jesse sits there, several moments...WAITS...BREATHES...
            Then he exits the truck...

            EXT. BUD'S HOUSE - LATE NIGHT

            Jesse moves -- fast, soundless -- toward the house. With his
            shotgun, scales the fence, as we--

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. DOWN THE STREET, BY JESSE'S TRUCK - MOMENTS LATER

            A VAN arrives, stops. No headlights, two hundred yards from
            the house. INSIDE THE VAN: Catfish and Buzz. Several AB
            SOLDIERS in back, armed to the teeth.

                                BUZZ
                      That's his truck.

                                CATFISH
                          (nods)
                      Let's see what he does.

            The motor ticks and ticks and...

            EXT. SIDE YARD, BUD'S HOUSE - LATE NIGHT

            It's dark, quiet; but the muted glow of a tv in the living
            room. JESSE MOVES IN SHADOW, shotgun leading... He stops.
            LISTENS... 

            WE HEAR THE SOUND OF HARD WATER FROM A SINK OFF-SCREEN

            ...Jesse moves toward it...

            INT. CATFISH'S VAN - LATE NIGHT

            Catfish, Buzz, the soldiers watching Bud's house intently.

                                CATFISH
                      The fuck's takin' so long? 
                          (beat)
                      I would've shot that pig dead already...
                      'made a pulled-pork sandwich.

                                BUZZ
                      Give him a minute. That's a cop, lives
                      there. 

                                CATFISH
                          (checks his watch)
                      I'll give him two.

            Catfish, loading his gun, as--

            EXT. YARD, BUD'S HOUSE - LATE NIGHT

            Through a window, WE SEE Bud washing dishes. Then, slipping
            INTO FRAME...

            JESSE

            watching him. Pulse pounding, his mind on overdrive, trying
            to untangle identity and consequence... Then...

            He taps the window, and Bud looks up...

                                                                 CUT TO:

            THE BACK DOOR

            Bud opens it:

                                BUD
                      Jesse. 'The hell you doin' here?

                                JESSE
                      You been made, Bud. We gotta skin out.

                                                                BACK TO:

            INT. CATFISH'S VAN - LATE NIGHT

            Catfish, anxious now, racking his gun again and again.

                                CATFISH
                      Somethin's wrong... 

                                BUZZ
                      Relax, Catfish. You said two minutes.

                                CATFISH
                      Fuck you, man! This don't feel right.

                                BUZZ
                      Just give it a second. 
                          (to soldiers in back)
                      A few more seconds, right guys?

            Catfish, breathing hard, bent on bloodshed...

                                CATFISH
                      Let's kill 'em both. Let's do it now,
                      right now, let's go--

                                BUZZ
                      Catfish--

                                CATFISH
                          (erupts)
                      LET'S GO!!!

            INT. BUD'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - LATE NIGHT 

            Bud quickly dials the phone --

                                SHEPARD V.O.
                          (over phone, answers)
                      Yeah.

                                BUD
                          (into phone)
                      Hey. Meet me at the office in ten
                      minutes. Cobb and Marandino too.

                                SHEPARD V.O.
                          (over phone)
                      Why, what's up?

                                BUD
                          (into phone)
                      I'll explain later. Just get there. Now.

            QUICK CUTS as Bud hangs up, shoves a .38 in his waistband.
            Slams a clip and holsters a 9MM.

                                BUD
                          (to Jesse)
                      Let's hit it.

            Bud and Jesse start for the door...

            INT. CATFISH'S VAN - LATE NIGHT 

            AB Soldiers loading their guns. 

            CATFISH

            starts the engine; POV THRU THE WINDSHIELD: Jesse and Bud,
            leaving the house.

                                CATFISH
                      That's them! Together, you see?!

                                BUZZ
                      I see 'em--

                                CATFISH
                      You see?! They're fuckin' dead!

            EXT. BUD'S HOUSE - LATE NIGHT

            Jesse hurries down the lawn. Bud to his Chevy.

            SUDDENLY THE SOUND OF TIRES BURN... CATFISH'S VAN SEARS DOWN
            THE STREET...

            ...THE DOOR SLIDES OPEN AS AB SOLDIERS OPEN FIRE FROM SUB
            MACHINE GUNS. 

            Jesse drops behind a neighbor's sedan.

            Bud dives behind the Chevy. ROUNDS SLAM through sheet metal,
            interior, and out the other end. 

            AB Soldiers exit the van, spread and keep FIRING. Jesse's
            sedan takes hits. WINDOWS AND TIRES EXPLODE. 

            Bud and Jesse aim over their roofs. Take and RETURN FIRE. 

            Catfish emerges, kneels and pumps SHOTS into Bud's Chevy.

            The WINDSHIELD is BLOWN APART -- Shattered glass covers Bud.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. SHEPARD'S CAR, TRAVELING - LATE NIGHT 

            Shepard at the wheel. We hear dispatch on the police scanner:

                                DISPATCHER V.O.
                          (filter)
                      All units: 10-17 in progress. 1825
                      Hyacinth. Multiple shots fired--

                                SHEPARD
                      What the fuck?

                                DISPATCHER V.O.
                      --Units please respond...

            Shepard hits the BRAKES, peels a hard U-turn and SLAMS the
            gas toward Bud's house...

                                                                BACK TO:

            EXT. BUD'S HOUSE - LATE NIGHT

            Buzz rounds the van and OPENS FIRE.

            Jesse and Bud cover. Their eyes connect. Bud signals towards
            the house. Jesse nods...

            ...then lays cover fire with the Mossberg. AB #3 is spun and
            thrown. 

            Bud, under fire and firing back, races back into the house.

            Jesse keeps FIRING.

            I/E. BUD'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

            Bud YANKS an M-16 from the closet and slams the door.

            OUTSIDE

            Jesse, on his knees, pulls a secondary .45 from his waistband
            and fires over the hood of the sedan.

            CATFISH FIRES HIS SHOTGUN AND JESSE'S HAND EXPLODES IN HALF.

                                JESSE
                          (crumbles hard)
                      Fuck!

            Jesse hits the dirt, WRIST PUMPING BLOOD.

            AB #4 and #5 move in for the kill, when out of nowhere --
            SHEPARD'S CAR SPEEDS ON SCENE -- His door kicks out; SHEPARD
            PUMPS SHOTS, EXCHANGING.

            Buzz comes up from behind, aims -- BULLETS FLASH AND PUNCH
            THROUGH SHEPARD.

            INSIDE THE HOUSE 

            Bud swings the M-16 through the glass and BLASTS AWAY,
            killing AB #4, as Jesse staggers toward the house, holding
            his wrist...

            ...and DIVES inside, then kicks the door shut.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. BUD'S HOUSE - SAME

            Catfish, Buzz and AB Soldiers flank the house.

            INT. BUD'S HOUSE - SAME

            On the floor, Jesse rips out his belt, a tourniquet around
            the armpit. He holds it with his teeth and ties his arm.

            Bud reloads and slides Jesse a .357 Python. Jesse takes it up
            with his good hand.

            Suddenly in the darkness beyond, MUZZLE FLASHES DISCHARGE.
            THREE TRIPLE-AUGHT ROUNDS EXPLODE. Bud ducks, scrambles, as
            rounds splinter the wall. 

            A BACK KITCHEN DOOR is bashed open and AB #5 steps in,
            BLAZING SHOTS.

            Bud lets fly -- FIRING. Big bore rounds punch through AB #5.
            His insides hit the wall. 

            WE NOW HEAR DISTANT POLICE SIRENS APPROACHING...

            EXT. BUD'S HOUSE + STREET - SAME

            A LONG-HAIRED AB on the lawn fires dozens of shots from an  
            M-1.

            Catfish and Bud exchange CROSSFIRE as...

            ...Buzz starts up the van and Catfish jumps in, followed by
            Long-Hair...

            I/E. BUD'S HOUSE + STREET

            Bud runs out to the street, M-16 FIRING at the fleeing van.

            Bullets shatter the back window as the van speeds around the
            corner through garbage cans and a residential fence...

            ON BUD

            standing there. He turns, and STOPS when he SEES...

            SHEPARD

            inert, bullet-ridden.

                                BUD
                      Shepard!
                          (runs over)
                      No...

            Bud holds his partner, horrified. Around them, bodies on the
            lawn. Disabled vehicles. Doom overlays the property.

                                                                TIMECUT:

            EXT. BUD'S HOUSE - MINUTES LATER

            Pandemonium as the street is clogged with POLICE VEHICLES and
            MEDIC UNITS. Braddock arrives with Cobb and Marandino.

            Bud moves alongside a PARAMEDIC wheeling a gurneyed Jesse,
            with a pressure bandage and splint, onto an ambulance.

                                BUD
                          (turns to Braddock)
                      We run 'em now, Mike. Right fuckin' now!

                                BRADDOCK
                          (nods)
                      What do you need?

                                                               SMASH TO:

            E/I. LUCIAN'S HOUSE - FRONT DOOR - PRE DAWN

            A huge BATTERING RAM knocks it right off the hinges. SWAT,
            Bud rush in with rifles...

            ...Room by room. Everyone clears. The house is empty.

                                SWAT #1
                      Nothing.

            E/I. STEEL MILL - PRE DAWN

            SWAT TEAMS have secured the premises. Two HELICOPTERS sweep
            the grounds via SPOTLIGHT. A manhunt for Lucian Adams.

            INSIDE, Cobb on his radio: 

                                COBB
                      No one here, Bud...

            INT. LUCIAN'S HOUSE - PRE DAWN

            Bud listens on his radios as SWAT OFFICERS file out of the
            vacant house.

                                COBB V.O.
                          (radio filter)
                      Empty. 

            Bud stands there, infuriated...

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. TRAUMA CENTER, OUR LADY OF THE LAKE HOSPITAL - DAWN

            Jesse, unconscious in bed, with IV lines re-infusing plasma.
            Bud is with a DOCTOR, who washes his hands in a sink...

                                DOCTOR
                      His bleeding's under control. There's
                      tissue damage. Projectile fragmentation
                      in the right forearm. We have most of it
                      removed. Two fingers are gone. A portion
                      of the palm. There's no chance of
                      reconstruction.
                          (Bud's silence)
                      I'll be monitoring his vitals.

            Doctor walks away. Bud turns as a NURSE dims the lights and
            pulls the curtains, obscuring Jesse...

            I/E. OUR LADY OF THE LAKE HOSPITAL - DAWN

            Bud, absorbed, walks past crowded emergency room activity...

            OUTSIDE

            Braddock is waiting. 

                                BRADDOCK
                          (stares for a moment)
                      You have to let go now.

            Bud says nothing.

                                BRADDOCK
                      It's over.

                                BUD
                      It's not.

                                BRADDOCK
                          (in his eyes)
                      The cover's blown. Lucian's gone. There
                      ain't nothin' left on this one.

            Bud, hearing it. Feeling every bit of it.

                                BRADDOCK
                      Get to a safe-house, Bud. 
                          (hands Bud a set of keys)
                      'Squad car over there is your's.

            Braddock walks off. Bud watches him go.

            INT. SQUAD CAR, TRAVELING - DAWN

            Bud drives in dark silence. As the hospital recedes, Bud
            pulls a flask from his coat, takes a drink...

                                                                  BLACK.

            FADE IN:

            Sunlight rises through a gap in the dark sky. 

            EXT. CEMETARY - MORNING - DAYS LATER

            SHEPARD'S FUNERAL. UNIFORMED POLICEMEN saluting as a PRIEST
            gives the eulogy. 

            BUD 

            at the gravesite, with Braddock, Cobb and Marandino. A salute
            is FIRED with rifles.

            LATER

            Bud stands alone. Dry-eyed, vacant stare.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. EAST BATON ROUGE STREETS - DAY

            Flashbulbs burst rapid-fire as coroner crews and police
            secure a crime scene: Richard Morris sits dead at the wheel
            of his car, a plastic bag over his head filled with blood.  

            IN THE FOREGROUND, lit by police lights, is Bud and Cobb.

                                COBB
                      ...His cranium was smashed with a lead
                      pipe. Then the plastic bag. He choked to
                      death while it filled up with blood.

                                BUD
                      Got I.D.?

                                COBB
                      'Name's Richard Morris. He's a top dog
                      lawyer-lobbyist out of Washington.

            Cobb proffers Morris' wallet. Bud sifts through cards --
            Several businesses, out of state -- Then stops cold at one:

            "Daniel J. Kiersey, Attorney at Law" 

                                BUD
                      Put a tap on that line.

                                COBB
                      Braddock ain't gonna like it.

                                BUD
                      Do it.

            Braddock arrives on scene. Disturbed expression:

                                BRADDOCK
                      Bud. I just got off with Nokes. 

                                BUD
                      And?

                                BRADDOCK
                      We got a problem.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. SUBACUTE CARE, REHABILITATION WARD - AFTERNOON

            A PARTITIONER bandages Jesse's swollen and stitched hand. Two
            fingers and thumb remain.

            There's a KNOCK O.S.

            Jesse looks up to see Bud enter from the hallway.

                                BUD
                      Give us a minute, Doc.

            Partitioner exits. Jesse, raw nerves raked. Looks to Bud. 

                                JESSE
                      Where you been?

                                                             CROSS WITH:

            EXT. GROCERY STORE - AUSTIN, TEXAS - DAY - FLASHBACK 

            Lynn emerges from the grocery, looking sad and prematurely
            aged. Her baby in the cart, tucked between bags of food. 

            FBI #3 (TOM) helps Lynn and the baby into an Unmarked Car.

            INT. FBI UNMARKED CAR, TRAVELING

            Lynn sits in back with the baby. Tom, at the wheel.

                                TOM
                      Anything else while we're out, Mrs.
                      Wheeler?

                                LYNN
                      No thank you.

            THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD: FLASHING CONSTRUCTION LIGHTS come
            into view. A DETOUR. And a team of LABORERS at work. 

                                                                BACK TO:

            INT. SUBACUTE CARE, REHABILITATION WARD - AFTERNOON

                                JESSE
                      There's a dozen cops comin' in and outta
                      this place. No one's sayin' shit. 'The
                      hell's goin' on?

            Bud stares intently, waits for his cue, can't find it...

            INT. FBI UNMARKED CAR - FLASHBACK

            LABORER #1 steps INTO FRAME with a STOP SIGN.

                                LABORER #1
                          (approaches Tom's window)
                      Wait here a moment, sir.

            A crane moves past, hoisting steel. Tom IDLES the engine.
            Then:

                                LABORER #1
                          (gestures)
                      Thanks for waiting. Go ahead.

            Tom drives onward, glancing in the REARVIEW: at Laborer #1
            watching them pull away, receding in the distance...

            INT. SUBACUTE CARE, REHABILITATION WARD - AFTERNOON

                                JESSE
                      Get me out of here, Bud. I want to see my
                      family.

            Bud, the pit in his stomach widening, struggles to say:

                                BUD
                      There is no family.

            INT. FBI UNMARKED CAR - FLASHBACK 

            Tom - calm and alert - looks to his right - SEES a child's
            BICYCLE parked on the sidewalk. A BACKPACK affixed to the
            handlebars... 

            EXPLODES

            A MASSIVE GOEX BLAST IN TWO DIRECTIONS. HITS THE CAR'S REAR
            DOOR, CUTTING STEEL.  

            WINDSHIELDS OF PARKED CARS SHATTER. NEIGHBORHOOD HOMES. THE
            CAR IS BLOWN SIDEWAYS AND WRAPS AROUND A LIGHT POST. 

            THE CAR'S FRONT DOOR DROPS OPEN AND TOM CRAWLS OUT. CHARRED.
            BURNING. LAST GASP OF LIFE.

            EXT. ANOTHER RESIDENTIAL STREET - MOMENTS LATER

            A CARGO VAN pulls up and parks. The Labor Team abandons it,
            dumping gloves and outer clothing into plastic bags,
            REVEALING: A CREW OF AB SOLDIERS LEAD BY CATFISH. 

            The bags go in the back of a waiting SUBURBAN. Catfish takes
            the wheel. The crew climbs in, drives away. 

                                                                BACK TO:

            INT. SUBACUTE CARE, REHABILITATION WARD - AFTERNOON

            ON JESSE. Absorbing this. His face begins to tremble. Eyes
            press shut. They fill with moisture as he looks away.

            HOLD ON BUD. Quiet. Struggling to hide his own emotion. 

                                BUD
                      I'm sorry...

            And he walks out.

            INT. HALLWAY, REHABILITATION WARD

            MOVING WITH BUD, as he heads for the exit. Under harsh
            fluorescents...

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. SOUTHDOWN'S BAR - NIGHT

            Pouring rain.

            It's a madhouse outside. A crowd is gathered around a police
            action in progress. MEDICS are tending to the broken nose of
            a bartender (PETE) in his 30s. METRO COP #1 stands by. 

            A car pulls up and Cobb gets out with Marandino. They
            approach the bartender.

                                BARTENDER
                          (to Metro #1)
                      He's out of his mind. 'Asked him to slow
                      down; and he punched me in the face.

            Cobb and Marandino approach.

                                COBB
                          (to bartender)
                      Hey, Pete. You alright?

                                BARTENDER
                      I'm alright. The bar ain't. 

                                MARANDINO
                          (to Metro #1)
                      We'll smooth it out. Clear the street.

            Cobb and Marandino start toward the bar.

            INT. SOUTHDOWN'S BAR - NIGHT

            The place is A MESS. Chairs broken, tables overturned. Music
            BLARES on the jukebox. And empty except Bud... three sheets
            to the wind, drunk. Pacing the ruins with his 9MM in hand...

                                BUD
                      Y'all fuck with me? Huh? You want to fuck
                      with me?

            Cobb and Marandino peer in the doorway to see Bud, shouting
            and threatening a vacant chair.

                                COBB
                      Jesus Christ.

            Bud flips another table. Continues talking to the chair as if
            someone were in it. 

                                BUD
                      'Look at me when I talk to you.
                          (aims his 9MM)
                      You try and kill me? You like killin'
                      women and kids?

            Bud holsters his gun and beats the shit out of the chair.

                                COBB O.S.
                      Bud...

            Bud spins, glass-eyed and red-faced. His wavering vision can
            barely make out Cobb and Marandino approaching...

                                MARANDINO
                      Easy, Bud... Easy...  

                                COBB
                      We got you here, Bud... It's just us.
                      Hear me?

            Bud stands his ground, tries to keep his balance...

                                COBB
                      Let's go home...

            There's a long moment. Bud stares at his crew, gone. Then
            he's suddenly overwhelmed with emotion...

            INT. REHABILITATION WARD - MORNING

            Two FBI AGENTS #4 and #5 walk together down this sterile
            corridor. They stop outside Jesse's closed door. A uniformed
            POLICE OFFICER is posted there, reading a newspaper. 

                                FBI #4
                      We're here to escort Mr. Wheeler.

                                POLICE OFFICER
                          (holds up a chart)
                      Sign this.

            FBI #4 signs the chart. The two agents enter...

            INT. JESSE'S ROOM

            Jesse's bed is empty. The window open. Curtains billowing.

                                FBI #4
                      Check the bathroom.

            FBI #5 opens the bathroom door. Empty. Both Agents hurry to
            the window, SEE OUTSIDE: A large TREE six feet out from the
            ledge and a broken branch at street level. A seemingly
            impossible escape route.

                                FBI #4 (CONT'D)
                      Sonofabitch. This guy's crazy.

            INT. FBI WAREHOUSE - MORNING

            A badly hung-over Bud sits with Braddock, Fitch and numerous
            agents around a conference table. 

            NOKES

            walks the room, says to all:

                                NOKES
                      This is an atrocity, gentlemen.
                      Incompetence at it's highest level. I
                      gave you my name. My resources. My
                      trust...Carte blanche. And now this
                      handsome face of mine...can't step foot
                      in Washington, for fear of being laughed
                      off the Hill.

            Nokes circles behind Bud...

                                NOKES
                      Now, I'd love to point to Local on this.
                      But truth is, they've carried their
                      weight. We are federally fucked... 
                          (looks right at Fitch)
                      Because Federal fucked up.

            Fitch wipes sweat, swallows hard.

                                NOKES
                      So. Best idea wins, gentlemen. Chain of
                      command? Point of procedure? I don't give
                      a fuck. That's out the window, just like
                      our informant... 
                          (beat)
                      I want Jesse Wheeler found. 

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. HALLWAY, FEDERAL BUILDING

            As everyone files out. Braddock says low to Bud:

                                BRADDOCK
                      You smell like a fuckin' distillery, Bud.
                      Clean up... 'find your boy.

            ON BUD. Tired eyes. Everything else, and now this...

            INT. STORAGE GARAGE - DAY 

            A metal door rises up. Jesse, in silhouette, steps in.

            A BARE BULB comes to light. Mottled with fly excrement.

            Jesse unlocks and opens several SAMSONITE SUITCASES. Stacked
            in grey packing foam are rows and rows of GUNS.

            Jesse hefts his choices. Checking line and breach: A 12 Gauge
            Shotgun. A Colt .357 Magnum. A Remington sawed-off with
            pistol grip. Les Baer Tactical .45. Glock Semi-auto 9MM. Buck
            Knife. Duct tape. 5-Gallon gas cans. He loads up a gym bag.

            Jesse pulls scissors from a grooming kit and stands before a
            grimy mirror. He cuts off his hair. Then using clippers,
            shaves his scalp and mustache. 

            Jesse yanks a tarp off a '75 beat-up Chrysler. Pops the
            trunk. Throws in the gym bag. Then drives away. 

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. BAYOU GHOULA - NIGHT

            A lone, dilapidated HOUSE BOAT sits heavily in the bayou.
            Lights on inside. Dense FOG overlays.

            INT. HOUSE BOAT - NIGHT

            Long-Hair on the couch, watching tv, drinking liquor. SPEED
            METAL MUSIC blasts from a stereo somewhere.

            There's a METALLIC BANG O.S.

            Long-Hair looks up.

            The screen door rattles. Long-Hair grabs an aluminum bat,
            slowly approaching...

                                LONG-HAIR
                      Who's there?

            Sudden surprise as the screen SNAPS OFF and a SILHOUETTE
            breaks the glass, opens it.

                                LONG-HAIR
                      What the fuck?!

            Long-Hair RUSHES for the door as THE BUTT OF A 12-GAUGE SLAMS
            DOWN LIKE A TOMAHAWK.

            Long-Hair collapses with a shattered knee and muted scream.

            Jesse steps in, racking the gauge with one hand, takes aim on
            the helpless Long-Hair writhing on the floor.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. HOUSE BOAT - NIGHT

            The front lights go out. A terrible darkness.

            INT. HALLWAY, HOUSE BOAT - NIGHT

            A door flies open. Jesse, eyes darting, pushes Long-Hair in.
            Bandaged hand clamped to the collar. Shotgun at the neck.

            They move down a dark hallway. SPEED METAL throbs, growing
            LOUDER... Long-Hair, gash gushing, leg crunches with each
            step... They turn another hallway... Light spills from under
            a door, shadows behind it... Jesse edges Long-Hair forward,
            reaches the doorway, creeps through...

            INT. BEDROOM

            The door swings wide on the room, REVEALING: Buzz, on the
            bed, furiously fucking a dark-haired HOOKER, over a bureau.

            As Long-Hair rounds the corner... Buzz looks up, SEES Jesse.
            Dives for a gun. CHROME FLASHES. Everything EXPLODES at once.   

            The WALL DETONATES and Buzz goes down. Shocked. Choking.
            Blood juts from his side. He tries to get up. Can't.

            The HOOKER SCREAMS and cowers terrified in the corner.

            Jesse pumps, aims through the haze and fires again. Stereo
            explodes. MUSIC CUTS OUT, plunging us into silence.

            Jesse tosses clothes to the Hooker.

                                JESSE
                      Get out.

            The Hooker does.

            INT. BEDROOM - MINUTES LATER

            Two chairs. Buzz and Long-Hair back to back. Hands and feet
            tied. Blood spigoting. Jesse circles them with the shotgun.

            The boat rocks gently.

                                JESSE
                      We got some shit to discuss.

            Buzz, to Jesse, unintimidated:

                                BUZZ
                      Ain't got nothin' to say to you, Wheeler.

                                LONG-HAIR
                          (top of his lungs)
                      I need a doctor! I need a fuckin' doctor!

            In one motion, Jesse racks the shotgun, thrusts the barrel to
            Long-Hair's chin AND BLOWS HIS HEAD OFF.

            Buzz screams, REARS UP, chair collapses beneath him, DRAGGING
            a dead Long-Hair along the floor, still tied together.

                                BUZZ
                      FUCK! FUCK! OH, FUCK!

                                JESSE
                      House call.

            Jesse YANKS Buzz up. His chair rocks upright, into place.

                                JESSE
                      Where's Lucian?!

                                BUZZ
                      I don't know!

            Jesse punctuates, shotgun butt against Buzz's head. Neck
            snaps. Teeth rattle.

                                BUZZ
                      NO ONE KNOWS WHERE LUCIAN IS! NO ONE
                      KNOWS-

            Jesse strikes again, connects. Buzz goes down in a heap, eyes
            swollen purple slits. His skull gushing red.

                                BUZZ
                      ...fuck...

            Jesse steps over Buzz, pins the shotgun to his jaw.

                                JESSE
                      Who killed my family?

                                BUZZ
                      Ah shit, man!

            Jesse shifts his aim an inch, pulls the trigger. SHOT REVERBS
            HARD. Buzz SCREAMS, hysteria. 

                                JESSE
                          (racks another shell)
                      WHO KILLED 'EM?! CATFISH?!

                                BUZZ
                      CATFISH, YES, YEAH! FUCKIN' CATFISH!

            Jesse puts down the shotgun. Pulls from his gym bag, two CANS
            OF GASOLINE, one of which, he splashes over Buzz's face.

                                BUZZ
                          (flinches)
                      The fuck is that?
                          (sniffs, realizes)
                      WAIT, WAIT! WHAT ARE YOU DOIN'?!

            Jesse pours the rest over Buzz and the lifeless Long-Hair.

                                BUZZ
                          (thrashing)
                      NO! NO, NO, NO, DON'T!! DON'T!!

            As Buzz pleads for his life, Jesse unloads the shotgun, dead
            aim...FIRES.

            THE MUZZLE FLASH. GASOLINE IGNITES. BUZZ GOES UP IN FLAMES.

            Instantly, a FIRE ERUPTS. Buzz and Long-Hair's corpses BURN.

            Jesse empties the other can of gas, FEEDING THE FLAMES. THE
            FIRE SPREADS. BURNING THE WALLS. THE FLOOR AND CEILING.

            Jesse stands there, the heat reflects the intensity in his
            face. For a moment, it's a vision in hell.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            EXT. HOUSE BOAT, BAYOU GHOULA - PRE DAWN

            Engulfed in flames. SIRENS and LIGHTS as FIRE TRUCKS and FIRE
            BOATS douse the burning boat with hard water.

            Among a crowd of SPECTATORS, the shaken Hooker is being
            questioned by Marandino.

            Bud and Cobb stand apart. 

                                COBB
                      We've had a tap on Kiersey's line forty
                      eight hours now. It's clean. Whatever's
                      he's up to, Bud, it ain't comin' through
                      the front door.   

            Bud starts leaving the scene. Suddenly FITCH and two AGENTS
            barge forward.

                                FITCH
                      Carter! We need to talk. 

                                BUD
                      Get out of my way, Fitch.

                                FITCH
                          (following Bud)
                      This is my investigation. Jesse's cowboy
                      bullshit is not how it's done!

                                BUD
                      While your agents build their cases and
                      set for court, he'll erase the debt owed
                      to all of you. Overnight.

                                FITCH
                      So you're implying I should thank him?

            Bud shakes his head in disgust, keeps walking...

                                FITCH
                      Look, Carter, whether we like it or not,
                      you and I have to work together on this.
                      We entice Jesse back. I'll get him full
                      protection, if he agrees to testify. 

                                BUD
                      That'll never happen.

                                FITCH
                      Why the hell not?!

                                BUD
                          (turns)
                      'Cause it's over, Fitch. It's done. He
                      has nothing. Why do you think he lit that
                      fire? To plant a flag. To let us know he
                      doesn't need our protection. Doesn't want
                      it. He would've just left 'em for dead.

                                FITCH
                      For God sakes, listen to me! I'm not
                      taking the fall for this! The plan is--

                                BUD
                      No, the truth is, Fitch, you ain't got
                      balls big enough to relate to this guy.
                      If you had listened to me, we wouldn't be
                      in this situation. Jesse wouldn't be in
                      this situation. And you wouldn't be
                      askin' stupid fuckin' questions!
                          (walking away)
                      I'll bring him in myself. Just keep your
                      agents off my ass.

            Bud storms off.

                                                                  BLACK.

            FADE IN:

            EXT. WHISKEY BAY (BLEACH BYPASS) - DAWN - IMAGINATION

            Lynn stumbles through the woods, holding her baby. Scared.
            Lost. Their skin bleached-out. Eyes hollow. Like apparitions.

            We're in a dream. A sadistic enhancement.

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:

            JESSE'S EYES

            His family's image dissolves inside them.

            WIDEN to reveal Jesse before a cracked mirror in a SERVICE
            STATION BATHROOM. Perspiring, he re-bandages his hand as
            blood swirls down the drain. 

            INT. CORRIDOR, COURTHOUSE - MORNING

            An expensively dressed Kiersey emerges from a courtroom,
            flanked by a pair of well dressed AIDES.

                                KIERSEY
                      Get back to the office. Follow up on the
                      Arthur Bierce case. I need names and
                      numbers on my desk by three pm.

            The Aides scurry down another corridor, as Kiersey exits the
            building through the glass front doors...

            INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE - MORNING

            Kiersey moves to a parked Cadillac pops the trunk and sets
            his briefcase inside, when...

            A RUSHING POV FROM BEHIND: Slams the trunk on Kiersey's hands.

            Kiersey SCREAMS, drops to his knees. His wrists wedged in the
            trunk. And standing over him...is Bud.

                                KIERSEY
                      OH, CHRIST! JESUS CHRIST! MY HANDS!

                                BUD
                      You know who I am?

                                KIERSEY
                      OPEN THE TRUNK! PLEASE! OPEN THE TRUNK!

            Bud kicks him in the stomach, doubles him over.

                                BUD
                      You know who the fuck I am?!

                                KIERSEY
                      YES!

                                BUD
                      Who's Richard Morris?! Why was he killed?

            No answer. Bud pounds on the trunk. Kiersey CRIES OUT.

                                BUD
                      I'll break every fuckin' bone you got.
                      Start talkin'.

                                KIERSEY
                          (hyperventilating)
                      I can't-- I can't--

            Bud slams both fists on the trunk. All his weight.

                                BUD
                          (off Kiersey's SCREAM)
                      Can't what?! What can't you do?!

            Bud, enraged, kicks Kiersey's ribs in. Again.

                                BUD
                      You piece of shit, talk!

                                KIERSEY
                          (hysterical)
                      He made Jesse...The investigation...
                      Everything...

                                BUD
                      His family?

                                KIERSEY
                      Everything! After that, he was just a
                      loose end!

            Bud opens the trunk. Kiersey crumbles to the ground, shaking.

                                BUD
                      Where's Lucian Adams?

                                KIERSEY
                      I don't know!

            Bud jams a foot in Kiersey's neck. Grabs his hands and bends.
            We HEAR bones snap.

                                BUD
                      Lucian's goin' down. You either go down
                      together, or you give him to me.

                                KIERSEY
                          (a mile a minute)
                      I never talk to him directly! I swear,
                      they page me-- 

            Bud roughly searches Kiersey.

                                KIERSEY
                      --Every night at five, for a six o'clock
                      call! They page from different numbers!

            Bud finds a PAGER on Kiersey's slacks, yanks it off. Then
            leans down with a smile, venomous:

                                BUD
                      You're a dead man, Kiersey.

            Bud storms off. Kiersey on the ground, a trembling mess.

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. CATFISH'S HIDEOUT - DAY

            Catfish does a rail of meth off the counter.

            He lights a cigarette and sits down in a re-upholstered lazy
            boy where a TATTOO ARTIST is setting up... 

            Catfish proffers his forearm, displaying a row of notches
            (kills). And Tattoo Artist begins to outline two more...

                                TATTOO ARTIST
                      'Bout out of room, Catfish. You best
                      start collectin' scalps.

            Catfish smugs. Drags on his cigarette...

            WHEN A SUDDEN GUNSHOT SPRAYS CATFISH WITH BLOOD. Tattoo
            Artist drops dead on the floor.

                                CATFISH
                          (looks up)
                      What the fuck?!

            Jesse, standing over Catfish. A .45 comes down twice fast
            with a CRACK! Catfish is knocked cold.

            INT. BUD'S CAR - DAY

            Bud, on police radio, driving high-speed.

                                BUD
                      What do you got? 

                                                               INTERCUT:

            INT. METRO OFFICE - SAME

            Bud's VOICE over speaker phone. Marandino on the line with a
            sheaf of paperwork. Cobb enters.

                                MARANDINO
                      He's in the French Quarter. All numbers
                      paging Kiersey between five and six p.m.,
                      the last seventy-two hours, are pay
                      phones within a three mile radius.

                                BUD
                      Alright.

                                COBB
                      Bud, you gotta talk to Braddock. He's
                      lookin' for you, he's fuckin' pissed. 

                                BUD
                      Hold him off. I'll square it with him
                      when I get to the Quarter. 

            Bud punches the gas, traveling 90 mph.

            INT. CATFISH'S HIDEOUT - DAY

            CATFISH'S EYES blink awake - pinpoint dilated. WIDEN TO
            REVEAL he's stripped to his boxers, tied to the lazy-boy.

            And Jesse is seated beside him.

                                JESSE
                      I'm gonna ask questions... 

            Jesse rolls a tattoo tray of various HARDWARE towards him:
            Needles. Rusted pliers. An electric tattoo drill.

                                JESSE
                      When I'm satisfied with your answers, I'm
                      gonna kill you. How long it takes and how
                      much blood you want to spill...that's up
                      to you.

            Catfish grins. A wide, Amphetamine smile.

                                CATFISH
                      What do you want to know? Want to hear
                      about your brother? How we had him shot
                      up with strychnine? How he died slow
                      death?

            Without warning, Jesse grabs the PLIERS. A flash of movement,
            and there's a TERRIBLE SCREAM AS CATFISH'S FRONT TOOTH IS
            RIPPED OUT. He bucks violently in his chair.

            Jesse jams the DRILL into Catfish's gums, high speed. BLOOD
            SPRAYS. Loud, electric pain and Catfish CRIES OUT IN TERROR.

            Jesse sets down the drill, deadpan.

                                CATFISH
                      OH, YOU SONOFABITCH!!!

                                JESSE
                      Four days ago, my wife and son were
                      killed.
                          (pause)
                      I hear you took the contract?

            Catfish smiles. Lips quivering with hate.

                                CATFISH
                      Forty-four pounds, Miznay-Schardin. Like
                      you taught me. Fuck yeah, I took it. Blew
                      your bitch and kid sky high.

            Jesse grabs the pliers, YANKS another tooth. Catfish HOWLS.

                                CATFISH
                      MOTHERFUCKER!!!

            BLOOD SPEWS as the drill digs in. Catfish SCREAMS. Jesse
            tosses teeth on the tray.

                                CATFISH
                          (thrashing wildly)
                      OH, YOU'RE GONNA DIE! YOU'RE GONNA
                      FUCKIN' DIE!

            Jesse grabs Catfish's rapidly swelling jaw and yanks hard.

                                JESSE
                      Where's Lucian?

            Jesse TIGHTENS his grip. Vice-like. Blood fills Catfish's
            mouth. He gurgles, then SPITS in Jesse's face... 

            ...FLASHES OF STEEL and two more teeth rip out at the root.
            Catfish SCREAMS then passes out. Jesse slaps him awake.

                                JESSE
                      Where's he hidin' out?

            Catfish, last ounce of spite, cracks a blackened grin: 

                                CATFISH
                      Get fucked.

            THE DRILL STRIKES. Bone deep. Gum line splays open. Teeth
            crack and split. Catfish SCREAMS UNCONTROLLABLY. Blacks out.

            Jesse stops. A brief reprieve. He gets up and looks around
            the apartment. SEES: Magazines. A few revolvers. Empty liquor
            bottles. Meth on the counter. And on the stove:  

            A HYPODERMIC NEEDLE. Beside a pie tin, speed base boiling.  

            Jesse stares. He lowers the syringe into the tin, plunger up,
            drawing fluid...

            ...then very deliberately sticks Catfish's arm with the tip
            of the needle, pops a cc.  

            Catfish bolts awake, EYES WIDE. A long, wet WHEEZE.

                                JESSE
                      Where's Lucian?

            Catfish's head lulls. Jesse grabs him by the hair. Leans in.

                                JESSE
                      Where's Lucian?

                                CATFISH
                          (barely audible)
                      New Orleans...

                                JESSE
                      New Orleans. Where in New Orleans?

                                CATFISH
                      New Orleans...

            Jesse looks Catfish dead in the eyes. And death is there...
            Begging.

                                JESSE
                          (softly)
                      I believe you.

            With that, Jesse pushes the plunger down...ever...so...slowly.

            Blood burps and bubbles from Catfish's throat. Lungs convulse
            and spasm. Eye go wide then roll back. A suicide dose. 

                                                                 CUT TO:

            JESSE'S CAR racing up I-10, along the roaring Mississippi,
            toward a blood red horizon of a Louisiana sundown.

            EXT. FRENCH QUARTER, NEW ORLEANS - ESTABLISH - DUSK

            Cars line crowded streets in the heart of New Orleans. 

            I/E. BUD'S CAR - LOWER FRENCH QUARTER - DUSK

            TIGHT ON A DASHBOARD CLOCK: 5:04 p.m.

            Bud, waiting, parked outside a POLICE PRECINCT in the Lower
            French Quarter. Kiersey's pager on the dash. Waiting. Then:

            THE PAGER BUZZES.

            Bud grabs it, hurries out to a nearby pay-phone. Dials... 

                                BUD
                          (into phone)
                      It's Bud. I got a number. 

                                                               INTERCUT:

            INT. COMPUTER LAB, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT - DUSK

            Cobb on a database, phone cradled...

                                BUD V.O.
                      504-767-8092

                                COBB
                          (types, searches)
                      Governor Nicholls Wharf. Between St. Ann
                      and Toulouse. You're a half mile south.

                                BUD
                      Get your ass down here.

            Bud slams down the phone. Jumps in his car. Hits the gas.

            EXT. GOVERNOR NICHOLLS WHARF - DUSK

            A busy promenade near the down river end of the Mississippi.

            Bud waits low in his car, parked in a distant lot. Through
            the windshield, WE SEE the subject of his surveillance...

            A PAY-PHONE

            on a crowded sidewalk. Faces pass. A Man in a JACKET arrives
            at the phone. He waits. Checks his watch...

            ...Bud checks his clock: 6:10

            The "Jacket" picks up the phone and dials...

            KIERSEY'S PAGER GOES OFF. 

                                BUD
                      Here we go.

            Jacket waits. No call. Walks away. Bud FOLLOWS on foot...

            EXT. FRENCH MARKET - DUSK

            A sprawling swirl of humanity, live jazz and bars. The Jacket
            passes through. Twenty feet back, Bud keeps pace...  

            ANOTHER PHONE BOOTH

            Jacket enters. Pumps coins into the PAY-PHONE. Dials... 

                                RECEPTIONIST V.O.
                          (recording)
                      You've reached the law offices of Daniel
                      J. Kiersey--

            Jacket hangs up. More coins. Another number...

                                KIERSEY'S VOICE V.O.
                          (recording)
                      Hello, you've reached the Kiersey
                      residence. No one's home right now--

            Jacket hangs up. Exits east onto BARRACKS STREET. Glances
            over his shoulder, then ahead, as Bud rounds the corner...

            EXT. DECATUR AVENUE

            Jacket crosses into a LIQUOR STORE. 

            Bud stalls at the corner, casing the street. Takes everything
            in. He reaches for his cigarettes, finds a crumpled back.
            Then crosses the street to...

            A NEWSSTAND

            outside the liquor store. Bud buys cigarettes and a newspaper.

            He opens the paper, glances at the headlines. At the same
            time, peers into the LIQUOR STORE WINDOW... 

            ...The Jacket walks toward the back of the store and out a
            door to an ALLEY.

            Bud heads south on Decatur. Lights a cigarette, as he passes
            various stores on the block. A private two-story building
            with blacked out windows at the far end: "TIBEDAUX'S TAVERN".

            Bud turns into... 

            EXT. A COBBLESTONE ALLEY

            Lined with boutiques on one side. Back of Tibedaux's on the
            other. A cargo gate is up and MEN are hoisting crates into a
            truck...  

            The Jacket is there, talking to them:

                                JACKET
                      Should've been on the road twenty minutes
                      ago. Hurry it up. 

            Bud pauses at a DRESS SHOP. Stares into the storefront glass,
            reflecting the Jacket and Men...   

            Jacket walks off. Bud flicks his cigarette, enters...

            INT. THE DRESS SHOP

            ...and peers out the window, watching the Jacket leave the
            alley and enter a FRENCH COLONIAL.

            INT. FRENCH COLONIAL, LOBBY - DUSK

            A SECURITY GUARD behind a desk. As Jacket walks in... 

                                SECURITY GUARD
                      What's goin' on, Jack?

            Jacket moves through a warren of CORRIDORS. Hardened MEN
            shuttle in and out of private offices. Plates on the doors:
            "Material Management." "Plating & Metal". "Demolition"...  

            Jacket knocks on a door. Opens it to...

            INT. PRIVATE OFFICE

            A bulked-out man at his desk... MILLS. Looks up as Jacket
            enters:

                                MILLS
                      Talk to me.

                                JACKET
                      Got nothin' to tell. Kiersey didn't call.  

                                MILLS
                      Try his office?

                                JACKET
                      'Ain't there. His home neither.

            Mills picks up the desk-phone. Dials...

                                MILLS
                          (into phone)
                      It's Mills. I need sweepers through Baton
                      Rouge. Find Daniel Kiersey.
                          (then to Jacket)
                      Keep pagin' him.

            EXT. DECATUR AVE + ESPLANADE - DUSK

            Jacket exits the Colonial and enters a corner CAFE. INSIDE,
            WE SEE Jacket move to a pay-phone and dial...

            INT. LOW-RENT HOTEL ROOM - DUSK

            ON KIERSEY'S PAGER, as it BUZZES again.

            REVEAL: BUD

            now seated at the window of this second-story room, using
            BINOCULARS to case the surrounding perimeter. 

                                BUD
                      C'mon. Show me somethin'.

            POV THROUGH BINOCULARS: as the night comes alive. Trucks pull
            to and from the alley. Patrons valet and enter Tibedaux's. 

                                                                 CUT TO:

            INT. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT - DUSK

            Braddock, walking down the hall with two POLICEMEN, unlocks a
            heavy door and enters...

            A HOLDING ROOM

            ...where Kiersey waits. Pale skin, beaded in sweat. Both
            hands in casts.

                                BRADDOCK
                      Mr. Kiersey. I'm Captain Mike Braddock.
                      How can I help you?

                                KIERSEY
                      Detective Bud Carter is out of control!

                                BRADDOCK
                          (corrects him)
                      Detective "Lieutenant." Now how can I
                      help you?

            Kiersey, a shaky breath.

                                KIERSEY
                      How long till you make an arrest in your
                      investigation of Lucian Adams?

            Braddock, just stares.

                                KIERSEY
                      I'm willing to provide you with documents
                      and information to secure his conviction.

                                BRADDOCK
                      Why?

                                KIERSEY
                      Why do you think? I'm afraid for my life.
                          (and the hammer)
                      I'll confirm whatever Jesse Wheeler's
                      given you.

            EXT. FRENCH QUARTER - NIGHT 

            AERIAL SHOT: LOOKING DOWN as a TOWN CAR circles the block.

                                COBB V.O.
                          (radio filter)
                      Got a possible here.

            EXT. CAFE, DECATUR AVE - NIGHT

            The TOWN CAR passes slow... REVEAL NOW: MARANDINO, staked,
            having dinner outside the cafe. Crowded tables around him.

                                COBB V.O.
                          (radio filter)
                      Town Car. Black. Second time around.

            MOVING WITH THE TOWN CAR, as it turns onto ESPLANADE AVENUE
            and parks before the Colonial.

            REVEAL NOW: COBB, in a nondescript VAN. Parked a quarter
            block off Esplanade. He triggers photos through tinted glass.

            STILL PHOTOS CLICK -- the Town Car doors open. Two AB
            SOLDIERS step out. Bulges where their holsters are. Then a
            third man from in back: A boss, HAROLD KAY, 50s.

                                COBB
                          (into radio)
                      Bud, you see this?

            INT. HOTEL - NIGHT

            BUD'S POV THROUGH BINOCULARS: Kay escorted into the Colonial.

            I/E. COBB'S VAN - NIGHT

            Parked on Chartres Avenue. Covering the alley. With
            binoculars, he can SEE the high point of the Colonial. 

            And we see now, Bud has this place surrounded.

                                COBB
                          (as a light goes on, into
                           radio)
                      They're on the second floor.

            INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

            Bud grabs the phone. Dials...

                                                               INTERCUT:

            INT. CAPTAIN'S OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT

            Braddock on the line:

                                BUD V.O.
                          (over phone)
                      It's Bud...

                                BRADDOCK
                      You better have something fuckin' good.

                                BUD
                      I'm in the French Quarter. Sittin' on AB
                      activity. 

                                BRADDOCK
                      Lucian?

                                BUD
                      Don't know yet. I got Harold Kay so far.

            Braddock looks to the AB ORGANIZATIONAL CHART on the wall.
            MUG SHOT of HAROLD KAY atop one branch of AB SOLDIERS.

                                BUD
                      Looks like they own the God damn block. 

                                BRADDOCK
                      Well I got Kiersey just walked in. Two
                      fractured wrists and scared as all hell.

                                BUD
                      I can explain--

                                BRADDOCK
                      He wants to make a deal, Bud. I can keep
                      Nokes in the dark twenty-four hours, but
                      that's it.

            Cobb's VOICE comes over the radio:

                                COBB V.O.
                          (radio filter)
                      Bud, we got movement. 

                                BUD
                          (into phone)
                      Hold on, Mike.

            Bud cradles the phone, picks up the radio:

                                BUD
                          (into radio)
                      Go ahead...

            I/E. COBB'S VAN - NIGHT

            OUT THE BACK WINDSHIELD: A LINCOLN arrives at the cafe. Car
            doors open...

            COBB CLICKS PHOTOS -- another boss emerges, EDGAR BINGHAM,
            flanked by two more AB SOLDIERS.

                                COBB
                          (into radio)
                      Holy shit.

            INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

            BUD'S POV THROUGH BINOCULARS: Kay and Mills exit the
            Colonial. Bingham and Kay shake hands.

                                COBB V.O.
                          (radio filter)
                      It's cookin', Bud. It's cookin' fast.

                                BUD
                          (into phone)
                      Mike, I've got Edgar Bingham now. Just
                      showed with two of his crew, for a sit
                      down with Kay.

            INTERCUT: BRADDOCK

            he scans the AB CHART again. MUG SHOT of HAROLD BINGHAM atop
            another branch of AB SOLDIERS.

            EXT. DECATUR AVENUE - NIGHT

            Bingham, Kay, Mills and two Soldiers start toward the CAFE.

                                COBB V.O.
                          (radio filter)
                      Marandino, they comin' your way.

            Marandino looks up from his table, to find this crew of men
            walking right for him. Marandino stares. A frozen moment... 

            INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

            Bud throws down his binoculars and takes up a .50 CALIBER
            BURROWS RIFLE, lays an eye on the SCOPE.

            BUD'S POV THROUGH THE SCOPE (MAGNIFIED): the cross-hairs find
            Kay and Bingham moving toward Marandino...

                                BUD
                          (into radio)
                      Got 'em.

            EXT. CAFE - NIGHT

            The crew of men getting closer now, a few yards away...

            Marandino - heart racing - slides his Browning 9MM out and
            slips it onto the table, below his napkin, aims...

            ...When the crew abruptly turns and enters the cafe.
            Marandino exhales relief...

            INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

                                MARANDINO V.O.
                          (radio filter)
                      They're inside.

            Bud sits back. Then: 

            KIERSEY'S PAGER BUZZES AGAIN. (The cafe number)

                                BUD
                          (grabs phone, to Braddock)
                      Mike, I need Kiersey to place a call.
                      Five minutes, or this opportunity's gone. 

                                BRADDOCK
                          (into phone)
                      Give me the number...

            INT. CAFE - NIGHT - MINUTES LATER

            Bingham, Kay and Mills at a booth, sipping coffee. Two
            Soldiers guard the front and back doors. 

            Mills looks at Jacket, who waits by the pay-phone. Both
            noticeably on edge. Finally --

            The PAY-PHONE RINGS.

                                MILLS
                          (to Kay + Bingham)
                      Excuse me.

            He gets up, walks toward the phone. When Jacket answers,
            Mills takes the receiver from him. 

                                MILLS
                          (into phone)
                      Yeah...

            INT. HALLWAY PHONE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT

            A nervous Kiersey on the line. Braddock, Policemen nearby.

                                MILLS V.O.
                          (over phone)
                      We've been pagin' you over two hours.
                      Where the fuck you been?

                                KIERSEY
                      I apologize. I've been tooth and nail
                      with the D.A., in court, all day.

                                MILLS V.O.
                      Everything good?

                                KIERSEY
                      Everything's fine. Just lay low. Regular
                      time tomorrow.   

            Mills hangs up.

            Kiersey turns. Pale. To Braddock: 

                                KIERSEY
                      Now get me protection.

            INT. CAFE - NIGHT

            Mills returns to the booth. Kay and Bingham look at him.

                                BINGHAM
                      So?

                                MILLS
                      All good. Let's eat.

            EXT. CAFE - NIGHT

            Marandino watches as Bingham, Kay and Mills pull their coats
            on and exit the cafe... 

                                MARANDINO
                          (into transmitter)
                      Call went down.

            INT. HOTEL - NIGHT

            BUD'S POV THROUGH THE SCOPE: watching as Bingham, Kay and
            Mills enter Tibedaux's Tavern.

                                MARANDINO V.O.
                          (filter)
                      Entering Tibedaux's Tavern...

            INT. TIBEDAUX'S TAVERN - NIGHT

            A busy nightclub crowded wall-to-wall with PATRONS.

            FOLLOW Kay, Bingham and Mills, passing tables, greeting
            "connected" types... and through a far door into a back room. 

            EXT. CHARTRES + ESPLANADE - NIGHT

            FOLLOW Marandino as he walks down the street, knocks on the
            back of the Van. 

            INT. COBB'S VAN - NIGHT

            Cobb, now dressed in evening attire, throws open the door and
            Marandino climbs in. They exchange transmitter for headset
            and Cobb leaves the van for the street...

            EXT. TIBEDAUX'S - NIGHT

            Cobb approaches the front door, where a pair of large DOORMEN
            stand.

                                DOORMAN #1
                      Can we help you?

                                COBB
                      Just lookin' for a drink and a bite to
                      eat.

                                DOORMAN #1
                      Think you'll find what you're lookin' for
                      across the street.  
                          (gestures)
                      Try the cafe.

            Cobb stares at both Doormen #1 and #2, immovable forces. 

                                COBB
                      Alright. Thanks.

            INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

            BUD'S POV THROUGH BINOCULARS: Cobb leaves Tibedaux's and
            positions himself at an outdoor table in the cafe.

                                COBB V.O.
                          (radio filter)
                      Negative at Tibedaux's. Can't walk in.
                      What's our move?

                                BUD
                          (into radio)
                      We wait.

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:

            EXT. STREETS - NIGHT TO LATE NIGHT - TIME LAPSE

            SHOTS OF COBB AND MARANDINO

            waiting. Patrons empty out. Cars drive away.

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:

            INT. HOTEL + CAFE - LATE NIGHT

            SHOTS OF BUD

            He waits. And waits. And nothing happens. Finally:

                                MARANDINO V.O.
                          (radio filter)
                      I've got movement. Back alley...

            INT. VAN - LATE NIGHT

            POV THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD: Back of Tibedaux's. A BALCONY
            GUARD emerges with a rifle, posts.

                                BUD V.O.
                          (radio filter)
                      Talk to me.

                                MARANDINO
                          (into radio)
                      I've got a man on the south balcony.
                      Armed.

            The door below opens and a second GUARD steps out, posts.

                                MARANDINO
                          (into radio)
                      Second man at the door now. Street level.
                      Possibly armed.

            SUDDENLY HEADLIGHTS FLOOD MARANDINO'S REAR WINDSHIELD.
            Marandino ducks, a reflex action.

            EXT. DECATUR

            Lights from a CADILLAC and a GRAND MARQUIS appear and come
            down the street - past Cobb - SLOWLY. Blacked out windows...

            INT. COBB'S CAR

            POV THROUGH WINDSHIELD: as the cars turn into the alley...

                                MARANDINO
                          (into radio)
                      A Cadillac and a Grand Marquis, just
                      pulled in the alley.

            ...and stop behind Tibedaux's. 

            Passenger doors of both cars open, two AB SOLDIERS emerge.
            They open the rear door of the Cadillac and shadow the man
            they're escorting: LUCIAN.

            Balcony Guard looks on as Door Guard allows Lucian and his
            Soldiers to enter the building.

                                MARANDINO
                          (tense, into radio)
                      Bud... we got Lucian Adams...

            INT. HOTEL ROOM - LATE NIGHT

            Bud, pulse building to a boil.

                                BUD
                          (into radio)
                      Hold position. Give me a head count. 

                                MARANDINO V.O.
                          (filter)
                      Two men flanking. Drivers have not left
                      the cars. Initial perps still on post.
                      Lucian's entering the building...

            Bud pulls on a KEVLAR VEST, holsters a .45. Extra clips on
            the waistband. Checks a loaded PUMP SG.

            Ready.

            INT. VAN - LATE NIGHT

            Marandino, fastens on a vest, loads a 12-Gauge, locks.

            Suddenly, through the side window... A LONE FIGURE, IN A
            QUARTER TRENCH, MOVES PAST. It happens in a flash.

            Marandino LOOKS, SEES only a quick profile as the Figure cuts
            between parked cars and walks across the street... 

                                MARANDINO
                          (into radio)
                      I need eyes on a single, white male
                      crossing Esplanade. Possible intent...

            EXT. CAFE - LATE NIGHT

            Cobb looks over his shoulder, SEES the Figure 75 yards away,
            moving briskly across Esplanade...

            We still can't see his face.

            INT. HOTEL ROOM - LATE NIGHT 

            Bud grabs the rifle, eye on the scope, aims out the window. 

            POV THROUGH THE SCOPE: as the CROSS-HAIRS find the Figure
            walking. SEE the BODY. Then the FACE... IT'S JESSE. 

            ON BUD, spinning now.

                                BUD
                          (beat, into radio)
                      It's Jesse...

                                COBB V.O.
                          (quickly, radio filter)
                      He's heading toward the alley, Bud. We
                      take him down?

            BUD'S POV THROUGH THE SCOPE: THE CROSS-HAIRS FIXED ON JESSE'S
            HEAD - TRACKING - RACK FOCUS... This decision... He HAS to
            decide... And he does:

                                BUD
                      Let him go.

                                COBB V.O.
                      What?! 

                                BUD
                          (firm)
                      Let him go.

                                COBB V.O.
                      Bud, that's crazy! Jesse goes in first,
                      he's gonna blow this whole thing. We
                      can't let that happen. 

                                BUD
                          (intense, into radio)
                      That's exactly what we're gonna do! We
                      got no way inside. Let Jesse go in hard
                      and draw fire. He pushes Lucian out to
                      us. Stand the fuck down. I'm on my way.

            Bud throws down the rifle, grabs the pump SG, runs out the
            door...

            INT. VAN - LATE NIGHT

            Marandino, sweeps the alley with his binoculars. No Jesse.

                                MARANDINO
                          (into radio)
                      I don't see him. I got nothin'...

            POV THROUGH BINOCULARS: (PAN UP) to the balcony. MUZZLE
            FLASHES SUDDENLY IGNITE. Balcony Guard is shot dead. 

                                MARANDINO
                      Fuck! 

            JESSE STRIDES INTO VIEW. Draws a silenced Tactical .45 and
            FIRES, putting TWO HARD ROUNDS into Door Guard. Both DRIVERS
            get out. Jesse pivots, HAMMERS two rounds to their heads.
            They drop cold. It happens in seconds.

                                MARANDINO
                          (into radio)
                      Shots fired! Shots fired! 

            INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - LATE NIGHT

            Bud, charging through a FIRE EXIT, bounding down steps...

                                MARANDINO V.O.
                          (over radio)
                      Jesse hit four men! What do you want me
                      to do?!

                                BUD
                          (into radio)
                      Call it in! Local and SWAT! Get the place
                      surrounded!

            EXT. ALLEY + TIBEDAUX'S - LATE NIGHT

            Jesse slaps a clay plastique with a DETONATOR onto Tibedaux's
            back door, then covers.  

            There's a loud EXPLOSION as the DOOR BLOWS OPEN.

            INT. TIBEDAUX'S 

            FOLLOW JESSE through billowing smoke, into...

            A LONG HALLWAY

            as he pulls a REMINGTON SAWED-OFF, slung on a strap, to his
            left hand, .45 to his right.

            Mid-hall, AB #6 looks over, freezes.  

            JESSE'S SHOTGUN ROARS, REVERBERATING DOWN THE HALL, AND TWO
            HOLES ARE BLOWN INTO AB #6.

            INT. BACK ROOM

            Lucian with Kay and Bingham. They HEAR the explosion.
            Exchange looks.

            INT. HALLWAY

            Jesse steps over the dead AB #6 without breaking stride.
            Comes to a door. Kicks it in... 

            INT. PAYROLL OFFICE

            ...And Mills FIRES a gun, burning Jesse's ear -- Blood pours
            down his neck -- and Jesse's Tactical FIRES.

            Mills is HIT IN THE THROAT. He falls into a chair. And his
            eyes - at the fierce face of death - are filled with Jesse,
            who FIRES TWO ROUNDS. One to the head. That fast.   

            INT. BACK ROOM

            Two AB SOLDIERS #7 and #8 hurry in. Lucian, Kay and Bingham
            stand up. 

                                AB #7
                      Let's go. We're gettin' you out of here.

            All three bosses draw GUNS. Lock and load. 

            INT. CAFE - LATE NIGHT

            Outside, the sound of gunfire is heard. Jacket turns to the
            BARKEEP. Alarmed:

                                JACKET
                      Give me that fuckin' shotgun!

            Barkeep lays a shotgun on the bar. Jacket reaches. When...

                                COBB
                          (boaring in, 9MM aimed)
                      POLICE! TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF THE GUN! STEP
                      FUCKIN' BACK!!

            Jacket looks at Cobb. Steps back. Hands in the air.

            EXT. MOTEL + STREET - SAME

            Bud bursts outside, full throttle. Shouts into the radio:

                                BUD
                      Jam the alley! No one goes in or out!

            EXT. STREET + ALLEYS AROUND TIBEDAUX'S - SAME

            Marandino hits the gas. TIRES SCREECH as he slides sideways
            and secures the mouth of the alley. Door kicks out. 12-gauge
            levels.

            EXT. FRONT OF TIBEDAUX'S + DECATUR AVE

            Doorman #1, HEARING the commotion turns...

            ...SEES INSIDE THE CAFE, Cobb cuffing Jacket and Barkeep.

            Doorman #1 draws a Para-Ordnance .45, FIRES. A VOLLEY OF
            SHOTS SLAM INTO THE CAFE.  

            Cobb can't make it through INCOMING FIRE and covers.
            Remaining PATRONS SCREAM, drop under tables.  

            Doorman #1 KEEPS FIRING, advancing towards the Cafe, when--
            BOOM! A SHOTGUN BLAST takes his head off -- REVEALING BUD --
            behind him, running toward Tibedaux's.  

            I/E. TIBEDAUX'S, DOWNSTAIRS

            PATRONS stampede for the door. Lucian, Bingham and Kay with
            AB #7 and #8 follow...

            OUTSIDE TO THE STREET

            ...and Bud is coming right for them.

            CLOSE ON LUCIAN. The shock of seeing Bud. 

            Lucian FIRES.

            Bud kneels and PUMPS SHOTS - hits AB #7 and #8 - killing them.

            Lucian, Kay, Bingham flee back inside.

            INT. TIBEDAUX'S, MAINTENANCE ROOM

            Jesse yanks off the cover of the main electric panel. He rips
            out incoming lines and FIRES into the lighting circuit. 

                                                                 CUT TO:

            VARIOUS ROOMS INSIDE TIBEDAUX'S

            Fluorescent units explode, plunging us into DARKNESS. Arcs
            SPUTTER and FLARE, the corridors now strobe-lit. 

            EXT. TIBEDAUX'S - SAME

            Cobb runs out of the cafe, pushing through civilians. 

                                COBB
                      Down! Get down!

            Bud pursues Lucian...

                                BUD
                      Stay on the door! I'm goin' in!

            INT. TIBEDAUX'S

            Bud enters-

            Split-second and DOORMAN #2 OPENS FIRE from the waiter's
            entrance.

            Bud drops and FIRES BACK. Doorman #2 goes down. Bud runs
            across overturned tables and up a STAIRWELL...

            INT. DOWNSTAIRS, TIBEDAUX'S

            Jesse emerges. AB #9 steps out, FIRES. The bullet hits
            Jesse's vest, knocking him backwards.

            Jesse levels the sawed-off. FIRES. AB #9 falls in a heap.
            Jesse rises, keeps moving...

            INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAYS, ROOMS - TIBEDAUX'S

            MOVING WITH BUD entering, KICKING down doors, sweeping rooms
            with his shotgun... No sign of Lucian.

            INT. DOWNSTAIRS, BACK ROOMS

            Jesse is coming... 

            ...and the SLAUGHTER BUILDS. 

            He throws open a door to a BAR AREA.  

            AB #10 and #11 FIRE SMGs WILDLY, running from the room. Jesse
            UNLOADS the sawed-off. MISSING. Plaster throws and crumbles.

            A GUNSHOT rips through Jesse's left arm. The sawed-off drops
            to his side. Jesse turns - EDGAR BINGHAM is FIRING a SERVICE
            REVOLVER - SHOTS MISS as Jesse dives behind the bar.

            HAROLD KAY is moving down the stairwell. FIRING an Automatic
            wildly. Bottles and glasses explode.

            Bingham keeps firing. Mirrors SHATTER.

            BEHIND THE BAR

            bullets splinter wood, Jesse slams another magazine into the
            .45. Above him, strays catch lights, glass filaments EXPLODE. 

            INT. UPSTAIRS, HALLWAYS + ROOMS

            Bud KICKS down a door. AB #12 charges out. Grabs for Bud...
            who breaks the grab, pulls AB #12's neck down, slams his knee
            into his forehead twice, knocked cold. Grabs his gun.    

            A HALLWAY DOOR SWINGS OPEN

            AB #13 emerges, HAMMERING GUNSHOTS. Bud covers. SHOTS BLOW
            HOLES in the wall.

            A SECOND DOOR OPENS

            ...and AB #14 steps out, draws. Bud throws him in the way of
            CROSS-FIRE. AB #13 takes AB #14's SHOTS. 

            Bud aims past. FIRES ONCE.

            AB #14 is hit dead center and drops like an oak.

            Both men dead. That fast, and Bud is on the move... 

            EXT. ALLEY, TIBEDAUX'S - CONTINUOUS

            AB #10 and #11 run out and swing their SMGs, FIRING onto the
            alley and KILLING MARANDINO... Then charging to the front--

            COBB FIRES. AB #10 is BLOWN APART, as AB #11 FIRES back,
            hitting Cobb in the vest. His ribs broken, he sits down
            stunned.

                                COBB 
                          (into radio)
                      I'm hit. I'm fuckin' hit.

            AB #11 running past as several BLACK AND WHITES now arrive.
            TAKE AND RETURN FIRE -- AB #11 is shot dead.

            Police shouting. Civilians running, as...

            INT. BACK BAR AREA, DOWNSTAIRS

            GUNFIGHT ENSUES. 

            Jesse rises over the bar, FIRING BURSTS into Kay, who tumbles
            down the stairwell like a rag doll. 

            Bingham shoots Jesse in the hip. He staggers, then falls and
            rolls to his back... 

            Bingham rounds the bar just as Jesse, somehow, lifts the .45
            and FIRES two slugs into Bingham's chest.

            Bingham collapses on top of Jesse. The .45 hits the floor.
            Both men, bleeding profusely, thrash along the floor...

            INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY

            Bud, racing toward a stairwell, LEAPS down a flight, turns,
            and RUNS down another. 

            INT. BACK BAR AREA

            Jesse, trapped under the heavy Bingham, pulls the buck knife
            from his holster and sinks it into Bingham's kidney. TWISTS.
            Blood POOLS. Bingham MOANS...

            ...Jesse rolls the big man over, hoists himself high and
            impales Bingham through the throat. Dead.

            Jesse exhales, struggles up...rising to his feet...

            BLAM! - A SUDDEN GUNSHOT

            out of nowhere. JESSE COLLAPSES, A BUNDLE OF TWITCHING
            NERVES, BLOOD POOLING FAST OUT THE BACK OF HIS HEAD...

            ...AND LUCIAN STANDS OVER HIM, HIS .357 SMOKING.

            Lucian turns slow. Toward a cracked MIRROR. Suddenly...

            IN THE REFLECTION: BUD EXPLODES DOWN THE STAIRS, AND SLAMS
            INTO LUCIAN WITH THE IMPACT OF A TRUCK. BOTH HIT THE FLOOR. 

            Lucian points his gun at Bud's head, who reaches for the
            trigger guard, shifts the barrel an inch -- A ROUND GOES OFF,
            BLOWING THROUGH BUD'S SHOULDER -- HE YELLS OUT, HOOKS HIS
            FINGER IN THE TRIGGER, STOPPING THE NEXT SHOT.

            Bud flips Lucian over, rips the gun away. Lucian tries to
            break free. Bud grabs him - smashes the gun over and over
            against Lucian's face.

            Lucian's head BOUNCES. Eyes roll, then right.

            Lucian quarter rolls, then CRACKS a forearm into Bud's head.
            Again, and Bud is knocked back with a gash over his eye. 

            Lucian REARS BACK and KICKS HARD into Bud's sternum.

            Lucian scrambles. Bud tackles him into a table, which goes
            down. A chair breaks. Bud lands a thunderous hook and
            Lucian's nose shatters. Another and his cheekbone caves.

            Lucian drops like a rock. Tries to crawl under another table.
            IN A MANIACAL RAGE, Bud flips the table and stomps down on
            Lucian with furious blows that come one after another.

            Lucian tries to cover up. BUD IS ALL OVER HIM. Grabs Lucian
            by the throat and presses down.

            Lucian, fighting to breathe, digs his nails into Bud's face,
            tearing skin. 

            Bud's face twists with hate as he chokes the life out of him.

            Lucian's eyes BULGE...His mouth stretches WIDE...clutching at
            Bud's fingers, trying to pull away...

            Bud SNORTS, tightens his grip... bearing down... And at the
            last moment, the cop in him reemerges...

            Bud lets go.

            Lucian rolls to his side and coughs up a thick ribbon of
            blood and vomit. Bud slams on restraints.

            Bud staggers to his feet...breathing hard...Spots Jesse on
            the floor...And he slows...

            Jesse lies in shadow. Perfectly still. We cannot see his face.
            Only the dark pool of blood around him.

            Lucian passes out.

                                BUD
                          (into radio)
                      I got him... I got Lucian.

            SLOWLY PULL AWAY AND TRACK OVER THE MASSACRE...

            ...as POLICE come in...over bodies and blood and guns, and up
            the stairs and out a broken window, to the CROWDS in the
            street held back by POLICE, past flashing lights and
            emergency vehicles... 

            ...to where life goes on in New Orleans.

                                                           DIP TO BLACK.

            FADE IN:

            EXT. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT - DAYS LATER

            The sun is out. The sky above is clear.

            INT. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT - DAY

            ON BUD, as he leads Lucian through the bowels of city lock-up. 

            Lucian - in prison garbs, haggard, dark bruises - looks up as
            they pass a two-way mirror of an INTERROGATION ROOM, SEES...

            KIERSEY

            ...seated, making statements to Shepard, who is taking notes.
            Stacks of Jesse's reports surround them.

            Bud walks Lucian past, into...

            INT. INTERROGATION ROOM #2

            ...and Lucian sits at a table. Bud across from him. Silence
            hangs, several moments. 

            ON BUD                                                             

            starting again, knowing... There's something bigger. A slow
            smile spreads...

                                BUD
                      Want a cup of coffee?

                                                         THE END 



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