The Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb)

The web's largest
movie script resource!

Search IMSDb

# A B C D E F G H

Action Adventure Animation
Comedy Crime Drama
Family Fantasy Film-Noir
Horror Musical Mystery
Romance Sci-Fi Short
Thriller War Western


TV Transcripts
South Park
Stargate SG-1
The 4400

French scripts

Latest Comments


                                       NICK OF TIME

                                        Written by

                              Ebbe Roe Smith & Patrick Duncan

                                                                March 1995

               FADE IN:

               INT. UNION STATION - DAY - 12:06PM

               Union Station, that gorgeous fifty-year-old monument to Art 
               Deco/California Mission architecture. Still beautiful. Still 

               A sign at one of the departure/arrival gates in the main 
               concourse-says the "San Diegan", number 2 64, is due at 12:00.

               Set above the gates, a big clock - six feet in diameter.

               THE TIME -


               We see the big hand slam into "7".

               A loudspeaker - you can just about understand this guy.

                                     ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
                         Amtrack 2 64, the San Diegan, from 
                         San Diego, Del Mar...

               EXT. UNION STATION PLATFORM - DAY - 12:06PM

               The "San Diegan" pulls into the terminal and comes to a slow, 
               grinding stop.

                                     ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
                         ...San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, 
                         and Irvine is now arriving at Gate 

               Doors are opened. Steps set down. Passengers pour out.

                                     ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
                         Amtrack 264 will be departing in 
                         fifteen minutes from Gate Nine for 
                         Oxnard, Ventura...

               INT. UNION STATION - DAY - 12:07PM

               A MAN and A WOMAN stand with a view of the arrival doors. 
               He's a blue-collar tough guy, dressed for church. She's his 
               beefy counterpart.

                                     ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
                         ...Santa Barbara, Lompoc...

               THE GUY (MR. SMITH) checks his watch.

                                     ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
                         ...Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo...

               Then he looks up to the big clock.


               The minute hand slams into the "8".

                         ...and points north.

               He resets his watch as DISEMBARKING PASSENGERS pour out of 
               the gate. PEOPLE run forward with kisses and hugs.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Look sharp.

               They stand like a couple of rocks, their eyes scanning the 

                                     MS. JONES
                         That one.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Nah.  Hates his wife.

               They're talking about a couple in their forties.  She 
               motormouths her way across the terminal and the husband 
               follows with the suitcases.

               WHOOSH! A couple of TEENAGE BOYS on rollerblades zip by.

                                     MS. JONES
                         I hate rollerblades.

               EXT. UNION STATION - PLATFORM - DAY - 12:08PM

               The train.. A PRETTY SIX-YEAR-OLD GIRL (LYNN) , who is holding 
               a stuffed animal almost as large as she is, climbs down the 
               steps. She reaches the platform, looks around. From within 
               the train:

                         Lynn!  Lynn!!

               GENE WATSON, thirtyish, a regular Joe in appearance and 
               inclination, appears above, carrying a couple small suitcases. 
               He takes a relieved breath when he sees  her.

                         Lynn, don't walk ahead of me, OK?

               As he comes down the steps:

                         I'm serious, honey. Don't get out of 
                         my sight, all right? I want you to 
                         stay right by me. Will you do that 
                         for me?

                         Nods solemnly. GENE reaches the 
                         platform and gives out an exaggerated 

                         We made it.

               LYNN nods back.

                         We made it.

               INT. UNION STATION - DAY - 12:08PM

               WHOOSH! A SECURITY GUARD approaches the two ROLLERBLADING 
               TEENS. They circle him, toss off a few taunts and roll away, 

               MR. SMITH and MS. JONES continue trolling the PASSENGERS as 
               they come through the gate.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Skate-boarders I don't mind, even 
                         though they dress like fuckin' idiots, 
                         but when I see some pin-head on 
                         rollerblades, I get the definite 
                         urge to grease the grill of my car 
                         with 'em.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Keep your eyes peeled.

                                     MS. JONES
                         What about them?

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Too old.

               They're talking about a COUPLE IN THEIR SIXTIES, warmly 
               greeting each other.

                                     MR. JONES

                                     MR. SMITH
                         If you ever had an idea it would die 
                         of malnutrition. First those blue 
                         hairs then some Spic.  Leave this to 
                         me. I know people. It's my job. I'm 
                         a people person.

               MR. SMITH laughs at his joke.

                                     MS. JONES
                         What the fuck are you looking for?

               MR. SMITH has spotted someone.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         I'm looking for them.

                                     MS. JONES

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Right there.

               He starts walking towards the exit gate.


               GENE has emerged with LYNN. They pause there, getting their 
               bearings. Next to them, a YOUNG COUPLE is kissing. They can't 
               keep their hands off each other.

                         I gotta make a phone call, Lynn. Do 
                         you see a phone?

               LYNN has seen the YOUNG COUPLE. She secretly points to them, 
               covers her mouth, and does a "tee, hee, hee" number. GENE 

                         Come on, you.

               They start walking across the concourse, towards MR. SMITH 
               and MS. JONES.

                              (to LYNN)
                         Haven't you ever seen anybody kiss 
                         like that?

                         On TV.

                         You never saw your Mom and me kiss 
                         like that?

               LYNN suddenly gets very sad. She looks at the ground, slows 
               down. GENE notices. He stops, crouches down to her level. 
               MR. SMITH and MS. JONES, nearing them, split apart, move 
               around them, and keep going.

                              (to LYNN)
                         Hey, it's OK to talk about her. You 
                         can talk about her all you want. You 
                         know that, don't you?

               LYNN nods.

                         So, come on. You never saw us kiss 
                         like that?

                         No way.

                         How did you see us kiss?

               LYNN gives her own hand a little peck of a kiss.

                         That's it? That little peck of a 
                         kiss? Oh, brother, you missed some 

               LYNN laughs and throws herself on her dad. He holds her to 
               him, looks to the sky for help.. He finds himself staring at 
               the big clock.


                         Ooh, I'm gonna be late. I gotta call.

               INT. UNION STATION - DAY - 12:10PM

               MR. SMITH and MS. JONES are making a beeline for their target: 
               the YOUNG KISSING COUPLE.

               WHOOSH! The-ROLLERBLADING TEENS almost collide with them. 
               MS. JONES wants to do something about it, but MR. SMITH pulls 
               her along. They have a mission to complete. They close in on 
               the couple.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Look at 'em. He'd do anything for 

                                     MS. JONES
                         Young love.

               The couple are murmuring sweet talk between kisses. The words 
               themselves are unclear until MR. SMITH and MS. JONES are 
               only a few feet away. French. They are speaking French. MR. 
               SMITH makes an instant one-eighty turn. MS. JONES follows.

                                     MR. SMITH
                              (sotto voce)
                         Foreigners! Fuck!

                                     MS. JONES
                         Frogs. They copy our blue jeans and 
                         when we need their help in Kuwait, 
                         where the fuck are they?

               MR. SMITH looks at the partner he's been saddled with.

               INT. UNION STATION - PAY PHONE AREA - DAY - 12:10PM

               GENE has found a pay phone. He keeps an eye on LYNN who has 
               wandered a few yards away.

                         Hello, is Mr. Conners there? I have 
                         an interview with him at twelve-
                         thirty. Hi, Mr. Conners, this is 
                         Gene Watson. Sorry to call you at 
                         the last minute like this but... 
                         Hey, hey!

               He reacts to the ROLLERBLADING TEENS who swoop past LYNN, 
               one on each side, too close for a father's comfort.

                         Watch that! Lynn, come here!

               She does. He keeps an eye on the TEENS, who, having found a 
               victim, are circling around, passing MR. SMITH and .MS. JONES. 
               MR. SMITH has noticed GENE.

               GENE at the phone.

                         Sorry. There's some crazy kids on 
                         skates. Listen, the train just got 
                         in, I'm afraid I'm going to be a few 
                         minutes late.

               The TEENS make their pass, flip him the bird, engage in other 
               objectionable behavior, begin to circle again. MR. SMITH 
               watches GENE watch the TEENS, then notice a sturdy, sand-
               filled ashtray next to him.

                         Great. OK, I'll get there as soon as 
                         I can. Bye, now.

               He hangs up. Keeping one eye on the circling TEENS.

                              (to LYNN)


                         Let' s do it.

               He picks up a suit-case and accidently-on-purpose uses it to 
               knock over the ashtray, just as the TEENS approach. The 
               ashtray spills its Load of sand into their path. When they 
               hit it, their skates stop, they don't. They sprawl, doing 
               nasty things to knees and wrists.


               He stands over them with LYNN.

                         Now, see, this is why you should 
                         always wear a helmet and knee pads. 
                         You never know when you're going to 
                         fall down and go boom. Right?


               ANGLE ON MR. SMITH AND MS. JONES. - 12:11PM

                                     MR. SMITH

               He starts forward.

                                     MS. JONES
                              (not so sure)

               She follows. They intercept GENE. MR. SMITH flashes a badge.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Could I see some identification, 


                                     MS. JONES
                              (ditto with the badge)
                         I.D. Could we see some?

                         Uh, sure. What's, what's the problem? 
                         Will a driver's license do?

                                     MR. SMITH
                         That'll do just fine.

               GENE pulls out his wallet, surprised and confused. MR. SMITH 
               looks at it.

                         Is this about those kids? Look, I'm 
                         sorry about that. But they darn 

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You're from Santa Maria, Mr. Watson?


                                     MS. JONES
                         Where's that?

                         Near Lompoc, north. What's...

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Come with us, sir.

                         I'd like to know what...

                         Don't cause a ruckus, sir.

               He pulls open his coat, putting his hands on his hips, not-
               so coincidentally revealing the butt of a holstered gun.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You don't want to cause a ruckus, 
                         with the little girl and all.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Come with me, honey.

               MS. JONES swoops LYNN up and heads for the station entrance.

                         Hey! I'll take the girl. I'll take 
                         the girl!

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Don't worry. She's good with kids.

               GENE hurries after MS. JONES. MR. SMITH grabs up the 

               INT. UNION STATION - SOUVENIR SHOP - DAY - 12:11PM

               MS. JONES nears a souvenir stand. The OWNER is looking the 
               other way. Without breaking stride, MS. JONES reaches out, 
               snatches a child's coloring book and crayons.

                         You stole that.

                                     MS. JONES
                         No, I didn't. I confiscated it. 
                         There's a difference.

               And they're out the door, GENE hurrying after. The big hand 
               on the big clock moves.


               EXT. UNION STATION PARKING LOT - DAY - 12:12PM

               MS. JONES heads for-a van with smoked windows. She gets inside 
               with LYNN. GENE stops a few feet away.

                         What is going on?

               MR. SMITH prods him in the ribs.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Into the van, Mr. Watson. Front seat.

               GENE looks desperately around for help. There is none. He 
               lets MR. SMITH push him toward the van.

               INT. VAN -.DAY - 12:13PM

               LYNN and MS. JONES are in the back.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Let's get your seatbelt on. Always 
                         gotta wear your seatbelt, isn't that 

               LYNN resists.

                         I want my daddy.

               GENE climbs into the front passenger seat.

                                     MS. JONES
                         There's your daddy. See? We're your 
                         daddy's friends.

               MR. SMITH climbs into the driver's seat.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         That's right. The policeman is your 
                         friend. Isn't that right, Daddy?

               GENE looks down. MR.. SMITH has pulled his gun. He points it 
               casually so it's aiming through the seat in the general 
               direction of the little girl.

                                     MR. SMITH

                         Yes. It's OK, Lynn. These are our 

                                     MS. JONES
                         Hey, would you look at this crazy 
                         car? Everybody has their own radio. 
                         What do you think of that?

                         Everybody does?

                                     MS. JONES
                         Yep. And you can listen to it without 
                         anybody else listening. Let's try it 

               She puts some ear phones on her. She holds up the plug-in 

                                     MS. JONES
                         This is what they call the jack. Hi, 


                                     MS. JONES
                         It goes in that little hole.

                         Let me do it.

               She plugs the jack in. MS. JONES turns on the radio. LYNN 
               gets a big smile on her face.

                         It's loud!

               She goes to work, playing with the radio, changing stations, 
               etc., oblivious to all else.

                                     MS JONES
                         Removes a Pro Label Machine from 
                         under the seat. She begins to type 
                         in several characters.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Let's get down to business.

                         Who are you? You're not the police.

                                     MS. JONES

               MS JONES presses PRINT on the Labeller. A strip of plastic 
               emerges that she begins to apply to a Name Tag.  He looks 
               back to her. MR. SMITH whacks him on the knee with the gun. 
               It hurts.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Pay attention, Mr. Watson. Pay 
                         attention and your daughter won't be 

                         You wouldn't...

                                     MS. JONES
                         Try us.

               He looks back. She is caressing LYNN's hair.

                         Get your hands off her.

               He makes a move. MR. SMITH whacks his knee again, harder.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Mr. Watson, you're not paying 
                         attention. Your daughter's life 
                         depends on you. Do you understand 

               GENE looks from MR. SMITH to MS. JONES and back. He's having 
               a hard time focussing.

               She slips the NameTag into a manila envelope beside her MR. 
               SMITH Do you understand?

                         Yes, yes, I understand.

                                     MR. SMITH

               He takes the manila envelope from MS JONES, tosses it in 
               GENE'S lap.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         This is for you. In it there is a 
                         picture of a woman and an itinerary. 
                         It is her itinerary. She is presently - 
                         are you listening, Mr. Watson?

                         Yes, I'm listening.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         She is presently at the Bonaventure 
                         Hotel. That's right near here.

               He gestures. GENE looks. The glassy Bonaventure Hotel is 
               glimpsed surrounded by taller, newer high-rises.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         When you leave this van you will get 
                         yourself a cab and take it to the 
                         Bonaventure Hotel. Then you will 
                         take this.  

               MR. SMITH holds up his hand, snaps his fingers. From the 
               back, MS. JONES hands him a cloth-wrapped bundle. He puts it 
               in GENE's hand, shows him what it is: a gun.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         ...and you will kill the woman whose 
                         picture is in there. Not just shoot 
                         her, mind,! kill her. I'd recommend 
                         you empty the gun into her. Close 
                         up. Got all that?

               It takes a moment for it all to sink into GENE'S brain.

                         You're out of your mind.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         What's your point?

                         I will do no such thing.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Yes, you will, Mr. Watson.

               A "snap!" from the back seat. GENE looks. MS. JONES has broken 
               a carrot stick. She breaks another.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Don't worry. We'll take good care of 
                         the kid.

               She gives half the carrot stick to LYNN, pops the other half 
               in her mouth and grinds it to pulp. MR. SMITH is checking 
               his watch.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         It is now 12:16. If the woman in the 
                         picture is alive at 1:30...
                              (holds up a walkie-
                         ...I call my partner, your daughter 
                         is dead.

               He looks in the rear-view mirror to MS. JONES.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         And what happens if I don't call 

                                     MS. JONES
                         I kill her anyway.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Did you hear that, Mr. Watson? Do 
                         you understand?

               He taps the manila envelope.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         The woman in the picture...

               He indicates the back seat with his head.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         ...or your daughter.

               GENE looks at his daughter.

                         Oh, my God...

               MR. SMITH reaches over, puts the gun and manila envelope 
               into GENE'S pockets.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         God can't help her, Mr. Watson. Only 
                         you can help her.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Only you.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You're wasting time.

               He reaches across GENE, opens the door and pushes him out, 
               then follows him. LYNN takes off the ear-phones, tries to 
               undo her seatbelt.

                         Where is my daddy going?

               MS. JONES wraps a big arm around her.

                                     MS. JONES
                         He's going to help the police. Your 
                         daddy is going to be a hero.

                         My daddy is going to be a hero? Like 
                         Power Rangers?

                                     MS. JONES
                         Just like Power Rangers.

               EXT. UNION STATION PARKING'LOT - DAY - 12:18PM

               MR. SMITH activates the walkie-talkie, speaks into it.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Let's test this thing. You on?

               He holds it up for GENE to hear.

                                     MS. JONES (O.S.)
                         Reading you.

               MR. SMITH still has GENE'S wallet. He opens it, pulls out 
               some cash, puts it in GENE's breast pocket.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You'11 need some cash.
                              (re: the wallet)
                         I'll hang onto this for the time 
                         being. Oh, and...

               He grabs one of GENE's hands.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You'll need these.

               He dumps six bullet's into GENE's palm from a cloth Chivas 
               Regal bag.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Get moving, Mr. Watson. Time's a 

               GENE just stands there, transfixed by the bullets in his 
               hand. MR. SMITH reaches out, turns him around and gives him 
               a shove away from the van and into the midst of...

               EXT. UNION STATION - PARKING LOT - BUS STOP - DAY - 12:19PM

               ...a LARGE CROWD OF TOURISTS, that have just exited an 
               arriving mini-bus. GENE is caught up in the crowd and carried 
               along like a leaf in a stream.

               Amid the chattering CROWD, GENE is pushed along as if in a 
               trance. He touches the pocket with the gun. He looks at the

               Bullets in his hand, then at the people around him. It's 
               like a splash of cold water. He quickly pockets the bullets, 
               turns and pushes against the tide of tourists. They resist 
               him, pushing him along until he breaks free and can see...

               The van is gone!

               ANGLE ON GENE -- 12:19PM

               He stands there, a lost man. Fear sweeps over him. He looks 
               desperately around. He is within himself, oblivious to his 
               surroundings, his mind racing, his face a tangle of emotions. 
               He is a man alone in a crowd. He takes a step.

               A LITTLE LATINO GIRL, chased by HER BROTHER, runs into GENE'S 
               legs. He instinctively grabs her before she can fall, finds 
               himself, crouched down, holding her by the arms. His heart 
               plunges - she isn't Lynn. His intensity scares her.

                                     LITTLE GIRL

               She pulls away, flees to HER MOTHER, who hoists her up, 
               reprimanding her in Spanish. GENE stays crouched, watching 
               the LITTLE GIRL staring at him over HER MOTHER'S shoulder.

               Until a COP crosses his line of sight. A LOS ANGELES TRANSIT 
               POLICEMAN, foot-patrolling the station.

               It's like a gift from above. Relief floods GENE's face. He 
               is saved. He stands, hurries toward the COP, each step more 

               Then, just beyond the COP, MR. SMITH casually slides into 
               view, pointedly holding the walkie-talkie. GENE walks right 
               past the COP heading towards a cab stand. MR. SMITH falls in 
               behind him speaking in his ear.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You talk to a cop, you even look at 
                         a cop too long and your daughter is 
                              (into walkie-talkie)
                         Do it.

                                     MS. JONES (O.S.)
                         Go ahead, sugar Die.

                                     LYNN (V.O.)
                         Lynn calling Daddy. Lynn calling 
                         Daddy. Come in, Daddy.

               GENE grabs at the walkie-talkie like a drowning man.


                                     LYNN (V.O.)
                         I can hear you good. Can you hear 

                         Yes. Yes, I can hear you.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         That's enough.

                                     MS. JONES (V.O.)
                         'Daddy has to go now.

                         He has to say "over and out". Daddy, 
                         you have to say "over and out".

                         Over and out.

               MR. SMITH clicks off the walkie-talkie.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Look at your watch. Look at it! At 
                         one-thirty your little girl is dead. 
                         Say it with me. At one-thirty my 
                         little girl is dead. Say it. Say it!

                         At one thirty my little girl is dead.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Unless you do what you're told. Go 
                         do it!

               He pushes GENE on, toward a cab.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         And don't forget I'll be watching 

               GENE looks back at him, full of impotent rage. MR. SMITH 
               raises the walkie-talkie. GENE reaches the first cab at the 

               EXT. UNION STATION - CAB STAND - DAY - 12:21PM

               The CABBIE, talking to ANOTHER DRIVER, throws away his 
               cigarette, ambles over to the Driverside-of the cab.

                         Where to, sir?

                         The Bonaventure. The Bonaventure 
                         Hotel. Do you know where that is?

               The CABBIE is disappointed, but he nods and GENE gets into 
               the cab.

               INT. CAB - DAY - 12:21PM

               The CABBIE gets in and they take off. GENE stares at the 
               manila envelope in his hand. He starts to open it, is stopped 



                         You just come in on Amtrack?

                         Uh, yes..

                         Business or pleasure?


                         Where'd you come from?

                         San Diego.

                         Oh, San Diego? I've thought about 
                         moving to San Diego.  It's hard to 
                         make a living in this town. These 
                         short hops.  Can't make a dime on 
                         'em. To LAX, Pasadena, then I can 
                         make a buck. These little hops cost 
                         me money.


                         'S okay. What do you think?


                         Better in San Diego? More opportunity 
                         there? What?

                         I really don't know. I don't live 
                         there. I was just visiting...a grave.

                         Aw, too bad.

               They lapse into silence. GENE starts to open the envelope 

                         Somebody close?


                         The grave. Somebody close?

                         Wife. Ex-wife. Almost ex. We were 
                         separated. She was thinking about a 

               GENE notices the dashboard clock -


               GENE leans forward.

                         Look...I've... I've got a problem. A 
                         big problem...

                         Oh, yeah?

               He hits the horn and swerves to the left.

                         Jesus! Watch it, buddy!

               EXT. LOS ANGELES STREET - DAY - 12:22PM

               GENE looks out his window and finds himself staring at MR. 
               SMITH, staring back at him, driving the van, next to him. He 
               throws himself back in the seat.

               INT. CAB - DAY - 12:22PM

               The cab pulls into the drive front of the Bonaventure Hotel 
               and stops.

                         I'd love to hear about your problem, 
                         but the ride's over. Three-fifty.

               GENE looks out the back window, watches the van pulls up to 
               the curb on the other side of the street.

                         Three-fifty. I hope your problem 
                         doesn't have anything to do with my 

               GENE looks back at the CABBIE, waiting for his fare.

                         Right. Right.

               GENE digs through his pockets and comes up with one of his 
               business cards. He hurriedly writes on it: "HELP. VAN KIDNAP 
               CHILD." He wraps a five around it, pushes it into the CABBIE'S 
               hand, gives him a meaningful look and gets out of the cab.

               EXT. BONAVENTURE HOTEL - DAY - 12:23PM

               GENE stops a few yards from the cab, watching the CABBIE.

               INT. CAB - DAY - 12:23PM

               The CABBIE finds the secreted card, but looks at the wrong 

                         What do I want with an accountant?

               A DOORMAN leans down at the window.

                         I got one for the airport. You free?

                         You bet.

               The DOORMAN plants a PASSENGER in the cab. As he pulls away, 
               the CABBIE again glances at the business card, crumples it 

               EXT. BONAVENTURE HOTEL - DAY - 12:23PM

               GENE watches the cab leave. As it exits, the CABBIE's arm 
               snakes out and tosses the card in the trash. GENE knows what 
               it is. He looks around.

               VALETS, BELLMEN, ARRIVALS and DEPARTEES, cars coming and 
               going. No one pays particular attention to him.

               GENE looks at the van across the street. MR. SMITH gets out 
               and walks across the street towards him. The van drives away.

               GENE watches the van disappear around the corner, desperately 
               hanging onto the last glimpse of it.

               MR. SMITH takes the walkie-talkie out of his pocket. GENE 
               goes into the hotel.

               INT. BONAVENTURE HOTEL - LOBBY - DAY - 12:24PM

               GENE enters. It's like another world. A busy, humming, air-
               conditioned planet. PEOPLE hustle around the restaurants, 
               waterfalls - a definite ant farm ambiance.

               HIGH DOWN ANGLE ON GENE - LOBBY - DAY - 12:24PM

               Suddenly we have cut to a VIDEO IMAGE of Gene looking around 
               this Hotel, complete with scrolling TIME AND DATE. Shot by 
               someone high above.

               CLOSE ON GENE - LOBBY - DAY - 12:24PM

               GENE is bumped and buffeted about by the bustling crowd. He 
               breaks free to a clear spot, looks up and freezes. Then he 
               starts tracking all around him, seeing...something.

                         Oh, my God. Oh, no.

               He desperately fumbles in his pocket.

               Facing and above him, some WORKMEN ON LADDERS are securing a 
               huge, rolled up banner.

               GENE finds what he's looking for - the manila envelope. He 
               rips it open. As he pulls out the photograph that is inside, 
               the WORKMEN let their banner unfurl. We do a simultaneous 
               reveal. The woman in the photograph in the envelope is the 
               same as depicted on the banner. Written across the bottom of 
               it in your best red, white, and blue:


               And an addendum:

                                      "HERE TODAY!"

                         Oh, shit.

               It dawns on him. He looks around him again. This time we see 
               what he sees. Campaign posters and banners everywhere. 

               On some of them she is posed with a handsome man, several 
               years her junior. These have the caption, "Governor Grant 
               and husband Brendan".

                         Oh, sweet Jesus...

               His eyes fall on MR. SMITH, standing inside the entrance, 
               walkie-talkie in hand, watching him.

               GENE looks at a poster, at MR. SMITH, who smiles, nods and 
               gives GENE a move of the head - "Get to it."

               GENE shoves the photograph away as if it could incriminate 
               him, then slides out the itinerary.

               The itinerary says "California Educators' Association - 12:00 
               noon - Emerald Bay Room - Opening Address - Governor Eleanor 
               Samara Grant".

               GENE checks his watch.


               He looks around him at the confusion and spots a Bellboy, 
               GUSTINO, who's cleaning out ashtrays.

                         Could you tell me where the Emerald 
                         Bay Room is?

               GUSTINO points up.

                         Third floor. Yellow stairwell. Follow 
                         the signs.

               GENE turns away without a word, starts to walk, then turns 

                         Oh, thanks. Thanks a lot.

               GUSTINO smiles.

                         No problem.


               GENE mounts a set of stairs that will take him to the third       
               floor. MR. SMITH follows him as he climbs.

               INT. "YELLOW STAIRWELL" - DAY - 12:2 6PM

               The whole lobby and entrance of the hotel are seen as Gene 

               GENE forces himself not to look at MR. SMITH behind him. His 
               nerves are rising in anticipation of his destination.

               INT. THIRD FLOOR - DAY - 12:26PM

               GENE sees the arrow and sign for the Emerald Bay Room.  He 
               walks that way. MR. SMITH follows.

               INT. THIRD FLOOR - SHOP ARCADE AREA - DAY - 12:27PM

               GENE and MR. SMITH pass gift shops, snack bars. The walkway 
               is crowded and GENE is going against the tide of REPORTERS, 
               POLITICIANS, SUPPORTERS, and just a lot of PEOPLE WITH NAME 

               GENE plows on through...

               ...and runs smack into BRENDAN GRANT.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT

               The two men reel back from each other. A SECURITY MAN, 
               earphones and gray suit, steps immediately between them. 
               BRENDAN GRANT is a charmingly smooth man.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Nice body check.

               He continues on, talking to an ATTRACTIVE WCMAN COMPANION.

               BRENDAN GRANT What the Governor really admires, Mrs. Wentzel, 
               and Eleanor has said this to me on more than one occasion, 
               are pecple like you who take a personal tragedy and turn it 
               into a positive force.

               He slides a familiar hand around her waist.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         You know my wife has a deeply personal 
                         reason for going after repeat drunk 
                         drivers. They are felons and they 
                         should be treated as such. A drivers 
                         license is a privilege, not a right.

               And he is hustled away. Right past an election poster 
               featuring him and Governor Grant.

               Still stunned by the encounter, GENE turns back and watches 
               the Governor's husband, but keeps walking.

               INT. EMERALD BAY ROOM - DAY - 12:28PM

               It is emptying, that's where the crowd came from. GENE comes 

               A WOMAN is heading for the door with a centerpiece she's 
               just copped.

                         Excuse me, is the...thing over?

                         Yes. You didn't miss much. The 
                         food...chicken again.

                         Eleanor Grant is gone?

                         Yes. Nice speech. But it's the same 
                         at all these...

               But GENE has turned away. The WOMAN gives him a face, grabs 
               another centerpiece and exits. A CLEAN-UP CREW is starting 
               to go through the room. GENE leans against a wall, breathing 
               through a combination of relief and agony.

               MR. SMITH is suddenly next to him.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Check your itinerary. Move along.

               GENE gets out the itinerary. "12:30 - 12:45 - Hors d'oeuvres/ 
               Buffet w/Friends of Eleanor Samara Grant - INVITATION ONLY -
               Bona Vista Lounge".

                         This says "invitation only".

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Of course you're invited. You're a 
                         big donor to the campaign. They love 

               MR SMITH digs  into the manila envelope, comes out with a 
               handful of security badges, name tags, invites. He plucks 
               the name tag that MS JONES printed earlier. It has a red 
               ribbon signifying a Major Donor to the Campaign. He fastens 
               it to Gene's lapel.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         This'11 get you in anywhere.  Red 
                         Elevator. Thirty-fifth floor.

                         Where did you get these? Who are 

                                     MR. SMITH
                         I'm the guy who's going to kill your 
                         daughter if you don't get moving.


               GENE approaches. He notices a flurry of movement, a small 
               GROUP OF PEOPLE moving determinedly through the lobby. It is 
               GOVERNOR ELEANOR GRANT with a small entourage!  She is a 
               handsome woman in her fifties. The entourage consists of 
               KRISTA BROOKS, Eleanor's, late-twenties assistant, a few 
               assorted POLITICAL AIDES and a couple of PEOPLE WITH NAME 
               TAGS. GENE is not sure what to do. The group reaches the 
               elevator. KRISTA pushes the button.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         They-didn't hear a word I said. The 
                         mike was too low on the podium.

                         How much did we pay for that room?

                                     CHIEF AIDE
                         We didn't.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Somebody did.

               KRISTA turns to an Aide.

                         A Have Nolin pre-check the PA systems.

               The elevator doors open. They crowd in. The doors start to 

               Gene looks around, where did Mr. Smith go?

               GENE springs forward, thrusts his hand between them. The 
               doors stop, then bounce open. GENE is startled, finding 
               himself face to face with a cold eyed bodyguard.

                         Excuse me, sir, this car is for the 
                         Governor. You can take the next one.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Don't you dare, Franco. This is one 
                         of our biggest supporters.

               She smiles charmingly, offers her hand to GENE.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Eleanor Grant, gubernatorial 
                         incumbent. That's a mouthful isn't- 
                         it? I love saying that.

               GENE steps aboard, shakes her hand.

               INT. "RED ELEVATOR" - DAY - 12:29PM

               The elevator begins to rise.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Whose idea was it to have a lunch 
                         right after the brunch? I'm about to 
                         bust as it is.

                         We'll just walk through, do a little 
                         grip-and-grin, then get ready for 
                         the press con.


               We are on the third floor.

               The doors have closed and the elevator begins to rise.


               It comes out a little louder then he intended. He has turned, 
               his back to the door. Everyone looks at him. He's committed.

                         I need your help.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         What can I do for you Mr....Watson?

                         Its'...ah...about my daughter....

               The elevator slows and stops on the next floor above.


               We are on the fourth floor.

               Behind GENE, the doors open.

                                     MR. SMITH (O.S.)
                         Room for one more?

               GENE freezes.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         I think we can accommodate you.

               She offers her hand to MR. SMITH as he steps on board.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Eleanor Grant, gubernatorial 

                                     MR. SMITH
                         A pleasure to meet you, Governor.

               The car begins to rise again. ELEANOR .GRANT turns back to 

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         You were saying?  Your daughter....?


                                     ELEANOR GRANT

               ANGLE ON MR SMITH


               ANGLE ON GENE

               What to do now?

                         She ..ahh...wanted me to... be sure 
                         to get your autograph.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Of course.  I wish everything were 
                         that easy.

                         I've got the pen if you've got the 

               GENE looks at her. She smiles back.

                         How about that?

               He looks at what she refers to: the manila envelope he holds, 
               the one MR. SMITH gave him.

                         Is that something precious?

                         No, that's,..that's fine

               He gives it to ELEANOR GRANT. KRISTA hands over the pen. 
               GENE's eyes flick over to MR. SMITH who is staring at the 

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         What's her name?

               GENE looks at the Governor, only inches away, back to MR. 
               SMITH, who raises his eyes, nods, his silent message curt -
               do it! GENE pulls his eyes away.

                         Her name? Her name is Lynn.

               ELEANOR GRANT writes the autograph. MR. SMITH'S eyes drill 
               into him. GENE looks over. MR. SMITH raises a hand to his 
               face, pretends to scratch an itch. His other hand taps his 
               wristwatch. GENE's hand slides toward his jacket pocket.  
               Sweat beads on his forehead. He's barely aware of KRISTA 
               talking to him.

                         It's funny. I don't even keep a pad 
                         of paper with me anymore, everything's 
                         gone so electronic.

               He gives her a quick, weak smile. His free hand wipes the 
               sweat from his face.

                         If it wasn't for double A batteries 
                         I'd be in big trouble.

               He is slowly reaching into the pocket with the gun, but stops 
               when he notices MR. SMITH'S hand slide into his jacket, where 
               his gun is.

               He looks at the other MR. SMITH, earphone, crewcut-Security. 
               There is the hint of a gun on his hip.

               GENE's eyes widen, dart to MR. SMITH'S face, his hand sliding 
               into his coat. His hand hovers over his gun, trembling. Is 
               the SECURITY MAN staring at him?

               ELEANOR GRANT hands over the autograph.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Are you all right? Elevators make me 
                         queasy, too.

               GENE gives her a sick smile, abruptly turns away. He takes 
               his hand out of his pocket. It's shaking. He clenches it to 
               stop the shakes.

               The doors open, startling him.

               INT. THIRTY-FIFTH FLOOR - DAY - 12:2 9PM

               ELEANOR GRANT and her entourage exit to greetings and 

               GENE stays in the elevator, frozen, alone with MR. SMITH.

               The doors close and the elevator descends.

               INT. "RED ELEVATOR" - DAY - 12:29PM

               MR. SMITH is fuming, his face red. He explodes.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         She was right in front of you! What's 
                         wrong with you!?

               His fists clench. He seems about to lose control. He backs 
               GENE into a corner, physically terrified.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Are you 'fucking with me!?

                         The gun...

                                     MR. SMITH
                         What about the gun?

                         It wasn't loaded. I didn't put the 
                         bullets in it.

                                     MR. SMITH

               He raises a fist. Struggles with the impulse to smash GENE, 
               controls it. Angrily, he takes the gun from GENE's pocket, 
               expertly loads it with bullets from his own pocket.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You won't get many chances like that, 
                         Mr. Watson. That's the way life works. 
                         Don't blow the next one.

               He indicates the glass,wall of the elevator with his eyes. 
               GENE looks out and down.

               GENE'S POV

               The van. It's moving into a parking spot across from the 
               Bonaventure, on Flower Street.

               INT. THE VAN - DAY - 12:29PM

               LYNN is coloring a picture in her stolen book. MS. JONES 
               takes a look.

                                     MS. JONES
                         That's pretty good.

                         I've done much better ones than this.

                                     MS. JONES
                         You have, huh?

                         Oh, yes. I'll show you. I have much 
                         more colors at home.

                                     MS. JONES
                         That's good.
                              (checks her watch)
                         That's good, sweetie pie.

               INT. RED ELEVATOR - DAY - 12:29PM

               The elevator continues its descent and the van disappears 
               from view. GENE strains to see it again, but it's impossible.

               MR. SMITH jams the loaded gun into GENE's pocket.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         There, all loaded. Ready for the 

               The elevator, doors open into the lobby.

               DAY - 12:29PM

               MR. SMITH walks out. GENE follows. MR. SMITH, suddenly becomes 
               self-conscious, walks away from GENE. The object of his 
               shyness: A JAPANESE TOURIST COUPLE nearby. The man is taping 
               his wife with a video camera.

               VIEW THROUGH VIDEO CAMERA - 12:31PM

               We see what the camera is seeing, the WIFE, smiling. Behind 
               her, we see GENE, looking confusedly after Mr. Smith.  He 
               turns, walks out of frame. In the corner of the picture, a 
               read-out of the TIME:



               Back in real life, GENE walks toward a shoeshine stand outside 
               the Men's Room. "Huey's Polished Act" and below that, hand-
               lettered, "Disabled Veteran" where HUEY himself, a fiftyish 
               black man, reads a "Smithsonian" magazine.

               He sees GENE and perks up - a customer.

                         Having a rough day? Down at the heels 
                         as they...?

               But GENE goes right past HUEY and into the Men's Room.

                              (calling after him)
                         You don't see your face, you don't 

               HUEY gives up, goes back to his magazine.

               INT. MEN'S ROOM. - DAY - 12:31PM

               Gene goes- over to one of the sinks, runs the cold water, 
               splashes his face, looks in the mirror, into his own eyes.  
               He tries to find an answer, a way out. A pay phone, on the 
               wall behind him, comes into focus. Then a hand reaches in, 
               grabs the receiver...and yanks it, snapping the wire.  Gene 
               spins around.  It is MR. SMITH, of course.

               MR. SMITH smiles. GENE doesn't. MR. SMITH leaves.


               GENE exits the Men's Room and walks back the route he came.


               HUEY sets down his magazine again.

                         Having a rough day? Down at the heels 
                         as they say? What you need is a shoe 
                         shine, shoe shine, shoe shine today.

               It's HUEY's usual patter, he's said it a thousand times. 
               GENE looks around.

               MR. SMITH is in the lounge area, facing the Flower Street 
               entrance, able to keep the Men's Room and GENE in view.

                         Take ten, take a break, take a seat, 
                         take a load off. Put the world in 

               GENE lets HUEY usher him into a chair.

               The gun in his jacket pocket clunks against the arm of the 
               chair. A grim reminder. He pulls out the itinerary.

               ECU - ITINERARY

               12:45  -  Governor Eleanor Samara Grant  -  Pacific Rim 
               Multi-Cultural Conference  -  Pool Deck  -  Fourth Floor

               GENE looks at his watch.

               ECU WATCH


               The minute hand clicks to 12:33 as he watches.

               ANGLE ON HUEY - 12:33PM

               He works away at GENE's shoes.

                         So, are you a visitor or lucky enough 
                         to live in The City of Angels?

               It's more of HUEY's patter, no real substance to the inquiry.

                         I'm...I'm visiting.

               GENE watches MR. SMITH frown and amble toward the shoeshine 

                         What do you do, if I may be so bold?

                              (looking at MR. SMITH)
                         I'm just an accountant.

                         Don't denigrate yourself, my friend. 
                         Where would the government be without 
                         accountants?  They wouldn't know how 
                         hard they can squeeze us before we 
                         pop, isn't that right?

               ANGLE ON MR. SMITH - 12:33PM

               He takes note of the conversation and wanders back to his 

               ANGLE ON HUEY - 12:33PM

                         Now you take tips. Time was a tip 
                         was between a man and his customer. 
                         Not any more. They've figured out 
                         what they call a formulae, don't 
                         laugh, it ain't for babies. They 
                         take your sales, see, and slap a 
                         percentile on there, figuring that 
                         somewhere between your lies and your 
                         bad luck they'll hit on the mean 
                         amount, mean meaning "in the middle", 
                         but if you ask me it means "just 
                         plain mean". Why you can have Uncle 
                         Scrooge wring a nickel over your 
                         poor out-stretched palm, or Daddy 
                         Warbucks dropping pearl stick-pins 
                         like manna from heaven, don't make 
                         no difference, they'll tax your behind 
                         according to that same figure. Doesn't 
                         seem quite right., does it?

                         No. No, it doesn't.

               The Bellboy GUSTINO walks by, calls out to HUEY.

                         Hey, Huey, how's it hangin'?

                         It's a load, my friend, but somebody's 
                         got to carry it.

               GUSTINO laughs, waves.

                         I have to do something.

                         What's that? You have to speak up.
                              (taps his ear)
                         I'm a little deaf in this ear. Between 
                         that and my wooden leg I'm a mess. 
                         Compliments of the United States 
                         Army Artillery Corps.

                         I said I have to do something.

                         I'll have you out of here in two 
                         shakes o'f a lamb's tail.

                         Is within himself.

               GENE I keep wondering what she would do if she was here. 
               She'd figure it out. She'd run it down like a column of 
               numbers. Pro's and cons. That's the way she was: Lists all 
               over the house.

               HUEY's manic shoe-shining slows down: who has he got in his 

                         Drove me crazy. There must have been 
                         one on me. I didn't add up so she 
                         left. That's what attracted me to 
                         her In the first place. She made up 
                         her mind and she did it. She wouldn't 
                         sit around waiting for...whatever. 
                         She'd do something. She'd do 

               HUEY keeps his eyes on his work. He's afraid he's got a live 

                         Yes, well, you know, for a quality 
                         shoe you can't beat a good wingtip. 
                         Wears like iron. You're a wise man. 
                         There ya' go. Two bucks.

               HUEY gestures for GENE to get down. GENE steps to the floor. 
               He pays HUEY with a twenty.

                         You got anything smaller?

                         Keep it.

                         It's a twenty.

                         Keep it.

               GENE is thinking about something.

                         Well...thanks muchly...

               GENE looks around the lobby, at MR. SMITH, the Flower Street 
               entrance, the rest of the area, feeling the gun in his pocket.

                         Can I get out to Flower Street from 

                         Sure. Go down past the bar. Take you 
                         right out there.

               HUEY nods toward the bar.


               GENE walks toward the bar. HUEY shakes his head: time for 
               the boys in white.

               INT. BONAVENTURE HOTEL - LOBBY - DAY - 12:35PM

               GENE looks towards the Flower Street entrance. The van is 
               still there. A bus pulls up.

               GENE walks past MR. SMITH.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You get another chance in ten minutes.

                         Then I have time for a drink.

               He heads up to the bar.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         All right, Mr. Watson, but make it 
                         just one. I don't want you...

               But GENE is long gone.

               INT. HOTEL BAR AREA - DAY - 12:3 6PM

               GENE walks into the area of the bar. The BARTENDER is just 
               returning to chat with a customer, a REPORTER who is getting 
               sloshed. GENE moves slowly along the bar, into an area where 
               MR. SMITH'S view of him is blocked.

                         So where was I?

                         I don't know. Something about the 
                         Governor's new regime.

               GENE hears this and glances towards them.

                         Oh yeah. She's dumping the Good Old 
                         Boys like yesterday's newspapers.

               GENE sees that MR.SMITH can no longer see him. He scans the 
               lobby, sees a smaller door that leads onto Flower Street.

                         The white boys are in for it. When 
                         they got her elected they never 
                         thought she was gonna make the 
                         Governor's office look like the United 

               The BARTENDER laughs. GENE quickly cuts across the lobby and 
               out the smaller door onto Flower Street.

                         We're talking Custer's Last Stand 
                         here. The only minorities not on her 
                         staff are the ones still lost in the 
                         Rain Forest.

               EXT. FLOWER STREET - DAY - 12:3 6PM

               GENE comes out the door, dashes across the street, weaving 
               through the traffic.

               Once across, he heads up the sidewalk toward the van, keeping 
               low, sneaking up behind it. He crouches by the front door, 
               one hand sliding into his pocket for the' gun, the other -on 
               the door handle. He raises his head cautiously and looks 
               inside the cab.

               No MS. JONES up front at least. He takes a breath, braces 
               himself. With one motion he jerks the back door open, yanks 
               out the gun.

               INT. VAN - DAY - 12:37PM

               The first thing he sees, fixates on, is LYNN. She is stretched 
               out on the seat, eyes closed, mouth open. She appears dead.

                              (a gasp)

                                     MS. JONES (O.S.)
                         Shhh. You'll wake the baby up.

               MS. JONES is sitting on the seat behind the one LYNN is on. 
               GENE points the gun at her face. She smiles.

                                     MS. JONES
                         What we have here is what they call 
                         a Mexican standoff. The thing you 
                         gotta ask yourself is, "What's behind 
                         the seat?"  Now, a twenty-two'd go 
                         right through it, but even a button 
                         will throw a twenty-two off so there's 
                         a good chance it'd get screwed up 
                         somewhere along the way, miss the 
                         target. Maybe a thirty-eight?  A 
                         thirty-eight'11 drill pretty straight,
                         unless it hits metal, then it'll 
                         bust up in little bitty pieces. 
                         They'll keep going but they'll be 
                         slowed down quite a bit. How's about 
                         a three-fifty-seven?  It'll go through 
                         the seat, her, you, the dashboard, 
                         shit, it'll go through the engine 
                         block before it knows it's hit 
                         anything, end up in some pedestrian 
                         three blocks away. What do you think? 
                         What's my poison?

               GENE look at Lynn's sleeping face - the gun in his own hand. 
               He lowers the gun, defeated.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Well it's a comfort to know you've 
                         got the co-Jones to pull that thing 
                         out. Whether you've got the balls to 
                         pull the trigger we've still got to 

               EXT. FLOWER STREET - DAY

               GENE climbs out of the van, shuts the door, leans there. The 
               gall of his defeat is hard to swallow. He realizes he's 
               holding the gun, hurriedly tucks it away.

               INT. THE VAN - DAY - 12:38PM

               MS. JONES puts her gun down, raises a walkie-talkie.

                                     MS. JONES
                              (into the walkie-talkie)
                         He's coming back in.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         I've got him in the crosshairs.

               INT. BUFFET AREA - DAY - 12:38PM

               MR. SMITH near the entrance, eating some food. He watches

               GENE walk past him. Their eyes meet.

               INT. BONAVENTURE HOTEL - LOBBY - DAY - 12:39PM

               GENE looks at his watch, then checks the itinerary once more.

               ECU - ITINERARY

               12:45 -  Governor Eleanor Samara Grant - Pacific Kim Multi-
               Cultural Conference - Pool Deck - Fourth Floor

               ANGLE ON GENE-NEAR BUFFET AREA - 12:39PM

               GENE addresses another Bellboy, HECTOR who is moving luggage 
               out to the street.

                         Pool Deck?

                         Fourth Floor. Take that escalator.

               GENE thanks him and moves across the lobby MR. SMITH follows 

               INT. BONAVENTURE HOTEL - BAR AREA - DAY - 12:39PM

               GENE heads toward the escalators. Ahead of him, he sees 
               ELEANOR GRANT and BRENDAN GRANT surrounded by AIDES and 
               SECURITY MEN facing a crowd of PRESS PEOPLE. The Governor 
               and her husband have an arm around each other. They are 
               smiling, relaxed, quite the" happy couple. They give each 
               other a warm kiss. Camera flashes, recording the moment.

               GENE, heading toward them, has to thread his way through a 
               large WEDDING PARTY - tuxedos and bridesmaid gowns. When he 
               clears them he has neared the impromptu press conference.

               ANGLE ON BRENDAN GRANT - 12:3 9PM

               He is now alone in front of a campaign poster, fielding 
               questions from a few remaining REPORTERS.

               Farther on, ELEANOR GRANT and her entourage can be seen taking 
               the escalator up. GENE heads that way, passing BRENDAN GRANT.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         My wife is not interested in negative 
                         campaigning. She wants to accentuate 
                         the positive. I don't know about you 
                         but I find that refreshing.

                                     A REPORTER
                         Have you ever thought of running for 
                         office yourself?

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                              (smiles, charmingly)

               A PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN walks by. The Governor's husband's eyes 
               follow her appreciatively as he says:

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         I'm just a business man.

               ANGLE ON GENE - 12:40PM

               He nears the escalator. It's crowded and GENE is pulled into 
               the midst of NEWS PEOPLE, TV, RADIO, PRESS. He joins the 
               flow and lets it pull him along.

               GENE rides the escalator to the Second Floor and follows the 
               crowd up two flights of the circular stairs.

               Down a short tunnel and out onto the Pool Deck.


               About an acre of grass on the Fourth Floor. Skyways connect 
               the Pool Deck to the office buildings across Flower and 
               Figueroa. A platform has been set up with chairs and 
               microphones in front of a podium.

               EXT. POOL DECK - CLOSE ANGLE ON GENE - 12:41PM

               GENE blinks in the sudden, bright sunshine. When his eyes 
               adjust, he finds himself in a line that is approaching A 
               SECURITY MAN with a hand-held metal detector. He panics, 
               turns, trying to escape, but finds himself bumped along, 
               trapped. The line shuffles forward. He turns, determined to 
               make a supreme effort to escape and finds himself facing a 
               2ND SECURITY MAN, who waves him to one side.

               2ND SECURITY MAN Excuse me, sir, You don't have to wait. I 
               can take you over here.

               GENE is dragged forward. He looks around; no way out. He 
               stands, expectant, as the detector slides down one side of 
               his body, is lifted over to the other. Down it slides, toward 
               the pocket concealing the gun. GENE waits for the alarm -
               which doesn't come. The SECURITY MAN operating the gizmo 
               deftly switches it off as it passes the weapon. GENE is pushed 
               on, looking back, confused, alarmed, finds himself among:

               PRESS by the dozens. Eleanor Samara Grant SUPPORTERS by the 
               hundreds. SECURITY MEN and COPS IN UNIFORM. GENE moves through 
               them, trying to figure out what just happened. He glances 
               back to the 2ND SECURITY MAN, and bumps into one particular 
               POLICE OFFICER, plain clothes, badge in pocket, who reacts 
               with a quick laugh.

               POLICE OFFICER Easy, sir. Got to watch where you're going in 
               a crowd like this.

               He is a handsome, solid-looking guy. You'd trust him. Call 
               him OFFICER TRUST. OFFICER TRUST seems to be in charge. He 
               moves off through the crowd, giving LOCAL POLICE orders in 
               an easy way.

               GENE looks around. He can't see MR. SMITH. He edges his way 
               after OFFICER TRUST, who reaches the wall beyond which is 
               the drop to the street. He leans there comfortably, scanning 
               the crowd, GENE reaches the wall a few yards away from him. 
               He looks out at the city, getting his courage up. Just as he 
               turns to approach OFFICER TRUST:

                                     MR. SMITH (O.S.)
                         I know what you're thinking.

               GENE freezes! MR. SMITH appears from the crowd, joins him. 
               He smugly flips his walkie-talkie into the air, catches it.

                         What would you do in my place?

                                     MR. SMITH

               He flips the walkie-talkie, catches it.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         The bitch would be dead. Course I 
                         ain't sayin' which bitch.

               He flips the walkie-talkie. GENE lashes out, smacks the walkie-
               talkie. It sails over the edge, falls and smashes onto the 
               sidewalk four stories below.

               MR. SMITH goes ballistic.

               GENE walks away from him - right up to OFFICER TRUST.

                         There's a plot to kill the Governor. 
                         If you don't believe me, check that 
                         guy right there. He has a gun.

               OFFICER TRUST looks at MR. SMITH and then at GENE.

                                     OFFICER TRUST
                         So do you, Mr. Watson.

               And OFFICER TRUST reaches in his hip pocket for a spare Walkie-
               Talkie that he tosses to MR. SMITH.

                                     OFFICER TRUST
                         You got this under control?

                                     MR. SMITH

                                     OFFICER TRUST
                         It doesn't look like it.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         It's under control.

                                     OFFICER TRUST
                         It better be.

               OFFICER TRUST walks away.

               MR. SMITH stares at a devastated GENE. He sticks the walkie-
               talkie into his pocket, grabs GENE under the arm, drags him 
               to an isolated corner.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         I oughta throw you after that walkie-
                         talkie but I'm going to give you a 
                         break because you're an amateur.

                                     WAITER M (O.S.)

               The WAITER offers a tray of hors d'houvres.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Yeah, thanks. Have a cracker.

               GENE shakes his head.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Have a cracker, Mr. Watson.

               GENE woodenly takes one. The WAITER moves on.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         There was this guy. Big guy. Irish-
                         Italian. Red-faced, black-haired, 
                         jolly son-of-a-bitch.

               We see them from a distance - just a couple guys chatting.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Nobody could make me laugh like him. 
                         We closed more bars together than I 
                         can count. He was my pal. I loved 
                         that crazy mick, I'm not ashamed to 
                         say it. But he was fuck-up. He had 
                         this image of himself. Thought he 
                         was con man. Always trying to shave 
                         the edge. Nickel and dime. I'll always 
                         miss him. Tell me why.


                                     MR. SMITH
                         Tell me why I miss him.

                         He's dead?

                                     MR. SMITH
                         That's right. He's dead. Tell me 

                         How should I...?

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Tell me why he's dead.

               GENE stares at him for a beat.

                         You killed him.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         That's right, I killed him. He fucked 
                         up one too many times so I put a 
                         bullet in his eye. Then I put two 
                         more into him just to make sure. Now 
                         that was somebody I loved.

               He moves in on GENE, crowding him. He breathes hard, looks 
               like one insane piece of work.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         I loved that motherfucker but I got 
                         the call and I put him down like a 
                         sick animal. So if you've got any 
                         doubts about what's going to happen 
                         if you don't deliver let me tell you 
                         something. I'd make gravy out of 
                         your little girl just to season that 
                         black Irish cocksucker's meat.

               A wave of applause catches their attention.


               She and her entourage enter the Pool Deck and walk toward 
               the platform. ELEANOR GRANT gladhands people on the way.

               ANGLE ON MR. SMITH - 12:45PM

               He turns' back to GENE.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Do what you're supposed to do. Do it 

               He grabs GENE and gives him a push. There is a general 
               movement in the crowd toward the platform. GENE is buffeted 
               along. MR. SMITH follows him, keeping him in sight, but then 
               a PACK OF PHOTOGRAPHERS move in, start snapping, lifting 
               their cameras high to shoot over the crowd. MR. SMITH 
               instinctively turns away, hiding his face. He moves around 
               the PHOTOGS and finds himself separated from GENE by the 
               mob. He searches, trying to spot him.

                                     MR. SMITH

               ANGLE ON GENE - 12:4 6PM

               In the crowd, GENE is bumped this way and that. His face 
               displays an inner devastation. His eyes focus desperately on 
               something ahead:

               It is the back of ELEANOR GRANT'S head. She is turning this 
               way and that, greeting supporters.

               GENE's hand slides into his pocket, grips the gun. He is at 
               the end of his rope. He is going to do it.

               ANGLE ON ROSTRUM

               A local POLITICO mounts the platform, taps the microphone.

               LOCAL POLITICO Can I have your attention Please! Please 
               welcome a man who was for 19 years the distinguished Mayor 
               of Los Angeles.  The honorable Tom Bradley.

               The CROWD reacts loudly, yells and whistles. GENE-pushes his 
               way forward.

                                     TOM BRADLEY
                         It is my extreme pleasure this 
                         afternoon to introduce to you...

               ANGLE ON GENE - 12:4 6PM

               He is now a few yards from ELEANOR GRANT. He comes up against 
               the SECURITY MAN who gave him the once-over with the metal 
               detector. The man's eyes slide over him, then he looks away. 
               He nonchalantly steps aside, moves off through the CROWD.

                                     TOM BRADLEY
                         ...a woman who can only be 
                         characterized as a one-of-a-kind.

               GENE is close to ELEANOR GRANT. She is just a few bodies 
               away, visible between them. His hand moves in his pocket. He 
               swallows. The impulse sweeps over him and...

                                     KRISTA (O.S.)
                         Feeling better?

               KRISTA BROOKS, the young woman from the elevator is next to 
               him, smiling. He looks at her in confusion.

                                     TOM BRADLEY
                         An iconoclast with class...

                         The elevator. You weren't feeling 

               GENE looks at ELEANOR GRANT.

                                     TOM BRADLEY
                         A genuine lady who's not afraid to 
                         get into the trenches...

                         Are you better now?

               GENE turns, scans the crowd - no sign of MR. SMITH.

                                     TOM BRADLEY
                         ...and go to the mat with greedy 
                         special interests...

               GENE looks at KRISTA, studies her intensely. She's a bit 

                                     TOM BRADLEY
                         The finest Governor our state has 
                         ever had...

               Again GENE looks at ELEANOR GRANT. She's turning around, 
               facing the crowd, facing him.

                                     TOM BRADLEY
                         My friend and yours, Governor Eleanor 

               ELEANOR GRANT raises her arms. A perfect target. The CROWD 
               roars as GENE turns back to KRISTA. He leans into her, speaks.

                         My wife always said I had a problem 
                         trusting people.

                         Well, you can trust Eleanor Samara 

                         You don't understand. I'm going to 
                         trust you. And you have to trust me.

               Krista looks at Gene.

                         Yes, you're right, I don't understand.

                daughter ... she's going 
                         to die...unless you can help me.

               Krista assesses Gene, his desperate tone of voice. Obviously 
               a nut case. A well-dressed nut case, but a nut case 
               nevertheless. Krista, nervous, looks around for help.

                         Sure, sure, I'll help you. Let me 
                         get Mr. White. I'm sure he can assist 
                         you, he's our...

               Gene pulls the gun, holding it in Krista's sight only, 
               unnoticed by anyone else.

                              (sotto voce)
                         No! You have to listen to me.

               Krista stares wide-eyed at the gun, at Gene.

                         I'm listening, I'm listening.

               ANGLE ON THE ROSTRUM

               ELEANOR GRANT takes over the microphone from the beaming 
               LOCAL POLITICO.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         My friends, my good friends...

               ANGLE ON THE CROWD

               Gene and Krista are gone.

               EXT. BEHIND THE PLATFORM - DAY - 12:47PM

               Hidden by potted plants and campaign posters at the fringe 
               of the CROWD, GENE confronts KRISTA, covering her with the 
               pocketed gun. In the background, ELEANOR GRANT delivers a 
               ringing speech, accented with applause.

                have to believe 
                         me... They have my daughter.  They 
                         want me to kill Eleanor Grant  or 
                         they'll kill my daughter.

               KRISTA tries to edge away.

                         All right, let's just...let's get 
                         security in on this.

                         No! You can't! They're in on it.

                         I don't see how they could be in on 
                         it. They're the best. They're hand-

                         I don't know. One of them is following 
                         me. If he knew what I'd just told 
                         you they'd...

               GENE pulls the gun from his pocket. She recoils, thinking 
               he's going to shoot her.

                         Look, how did I get in here with 

               KRISTA stares at the gun. She can't deny the fact.

                         I don't know.

                         You've got to trust me. I'm putting 
                         my daughter's life in your hands. 
                         She's only six. She's just a little 
                         girl. Please, please, trust me.

                         It's a little hard to trust you under 
                         the circumstances.

               GENE looks at her intently.

                         You're right, it is.

               GENE offers KRISTA the gun. She is surprised, to say the 
               least. She takes it gingerly, with only the tips of her 

                         Will you trust me now?

               She stares at the gun, at the strange man.

                         I guess I'll have to. Come on, there's 
                         one person we can go to.

                         The man following me has a walkie-
                         talkie. If he sees I'm not here he'll 
                         call his partner. I do anything out 
                         of line and he'll send the word to 
                         kill my daughter.

                         He'll think you're in the crowd until 
                         the end of the speech. Wait a minute.

               She steps closer to the platform/ listens. ELEANOR GRANT'S 
               voice is heard.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT (O.S.)
                         ...I remember that horrible night as 
                         if it were yesterday. A phone call 
                         pulling me out of sleep, the terrible 

               KRISTA checks her watch.


                                     ELEANOR GRANT (O.S.)
                         My husband and child senselessly 
                         killed by a drunk driver.

                         We've got about ten minutes.

                         Are you sure?

                         I've heard this speech a lot. Come 
                         on. We'll take care of him.  We will.


                         Trust me. You asked me for help. Let 
                         me help. Trust me.


               She starts to lead him away.


               He stops her, points to the gun she still holds.

                         I think you better put that away.

                         I think you're right.

               She pulls out a handkerchief, covers the gun and tucks it 
               out of sight as she leads him behind the platform and away.

               EXT. POOL DECK - DAY - 12:4 9PM

               MR. SMITH still roams the crowd, looking for Gene.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         But tragedy, if it doesn't destroy 
                         us, has a curious way of giving us 

               He sees OFFICER TRUST who gives him a questioning look. He 
               ignores it.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         I doubt if I would be before you 
                         now, if I hadn't been put through 
                         that crucible of loss.

               MR SMITH notices the JAPANESE TOURIST COUPLE we met before. 
               The man has the video camera pointed at a sharp up angle.  
               MR. SMITH glances up toward what the man is shooting. 
               Consternation and anger fill his face.

               ANGLE ON RED BONAVENTURE TOWER - 12:4 9PM

               What he sees is one of the exterior elevators rising. KRISTA 
               stands at the glass looking down. Behind her, just glimpsed, 
               is GENE.

               ANGLE ON MR. SMITH

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         And though I can never forget William 
                         and Bill Junior or the love I felt 
                         for them...

               MR. SMITH cuts a wake through the CROWD.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         I have found joy again in serving 
                         this great state. I have found love 
                         again in my second husband Brendan...

               INT. TWENTY-FIFTH FLOOR - DAY - 12:.50PM

               The elevator doors open. GENE and KRISTA bolt out and hurry 
               down the hall.

                         Where are we going?


               KRISTA leads GENE past the SECURITY GUARD stationed in the 
               hallway at a small table. GENE tries to keep his face turned 
               away. The GUARD glances up.

                                     HALL GUARD
                         Ms. Brooks ...

                         Is he in?

                                     HALL GUARD
                         Yes, ma'am.

               They walk past him. He's a bit curious about GENE, but shrugs 
               it off.

               GENE and KRISTA reach a door and knock.

                         Who is this? Are you sure we can 
                         trust him?

                         I'm sure. It's her husband. He's her 
                         Campaign Manager.

               The door opens. BRENDAN GRANT is framed there.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         What is it? Is there a problem?

                         We need to see you, Brendan.

               She grabs GENE and pushes inside.

               INT. ROOM 2503 - DAY - 12:51PM

               Upscale suite. BRENDAN GRANT'S coat is draped on a chair. 
               KRISTA moves past him, pulling GENE.

                              (to KRISTA)
                         We have to hurry.

                         I know. Brendan, listen to me. Someone 
                         is trying to kill Eleanor.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         What? What are you talking about?

                         We need people we can "trust. We 
                         only have a few moments...

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         This is...this is insane. How do you 
                         know this?

                         I know it because I'm the one who's 
                         supposed to kill her.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         You are!?
                              (to KRISTA)
                         You brought this man here!? You 
                         brought this man to my room!?

                         I had to. Her Security people may be 

               There is the sound of a toilet flushing in an adjacent 
               bathroom. The door opens and A MAN emerges drying his hands 
               on a hotel towel. He is late-middle-aged, white, mild-looking, 
               perhaps wearing glasses.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         Is there a problem, Brendan?

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         There certainly is. This man says 
                         he's been hired to kill Eleanor.

                         Not hired. They're blackmailing me.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         Who is this "they"?

                         I don't...I don't know. Please, Mr. 
                         Grant! They have my daughter. I'm 
                         not some lunatic. Your wife is in 
                         trouble.  Someone is trying to kill 
                         her. Someone is trying to make me 
                         kill her. Please, listen...

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         And on the strength of this story, 
                         you bring this man to Brendan's suite?  
                         Does that show good judgment, Ms. 
                         Brooks?  I'm just a friend of 
                         Brendan's, but it seems to me...

                         He brought a gun onto the pool deck.

                                     MYSTERY MAN

                         He got onto the pool deck with a 
                         gun. How did he get past her Security 
                         carrying a

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         I see. Where is this gun?

                                     KRISTA I
                         Have it.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         Well, is it real? Do we know anything 
                         about it?

                         It looks real. I don't know anything 
                         about guns.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         Could I see it?

               KRISTA gets out the gun, wrapped in the handkerchief, hands 
               it to him. It lays in the palm of his hand. He unwraps it 
               awkwardly, examines it.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         My goodness. It certainly looks real.

               He looks beyond them, towards the entrance to the suite.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         What's your opinion? You're the expert 
                         in these matters, supposedly.

               GENE turns, to see who he is talking to.

               ANGLE ON DOORWAY - 12:.53PM

               MR. SMITH stands by the open door. Before GENE can speak, 
               MR. SMITH moves. It is fluid and cohtroled and fast. He 
               marches across the room, detouring to grab a pillow from the 
               couch. He takes the gun, shoves" it- into the pillow and 
               goes face to face with KRISTA. She just has time to wonder 
               what is going on There is a double muffled gunshot. Shock 
               fills her eyes, she slides to the floor. GENE can only stand 
               there, unbelieving, freaked to the gills.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Jesus Christ!

                                     MR. SMITH
                              (calmly, staring at 
                         Yeah, I'd say it's real.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         Are you out of your fucking mind!?

               The door opens. OFFICER TRUST slides in quickly.

                                     OFFICER TRUST
                         Somebody mind telling me...
                              (sees KRISTA's body))
                         What the hell happened!?

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Help me get her off the rug.

               OFFICER TRUST checks the hall, shuts the door. They begin to 
               drag her body to the bathroom. The MYSTERY MAN watches.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         What have you done to me!? Christ 

               GENE's eyes follow them. As if rousing from a sleep he comes 
               to life.


               He tries to rush to the bathroom but MR. SMITH is right there, 
               gripping him. GENE struggles frantically, uselessly, watching 
               the bathroom door close. MR. SMITH is beyond anger. He grabs 
               GENE'S throat, muscles down. GENE grips the iron hand that's 
               cutting off his air.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You fucked up.

                                     MYSTERY MAN (O.S.)
                         That's enough.

               The MYSTERY MAN grabs MR. SMITH'S arm, tries to pry him loose. 
               MR. SMITH is beyond reason.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You want me to kill your kid!? You 
                         want me to kill you!?

               GENE's eyes begin to roll back in his head. Everything begins 
               fading to black.

               The blackness retreats in a rush and GENE finds himself 
               staring at the butt of MR. SMITH'S gun, visible under his 
               coat. He reaches for it, yanks it out, fires point-blank 

               MR. SMITH, again, again. MR. SMITH'S shocked face falls away. 
               GENE heads for the door.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         Don't let him go!

               OFFICER TRUST steps between GENE and the door. GENE shoots 
               him down and is out the door.

               INT. HALLWAY - DAY

               GENE stumbles out in the hall, gun in hand. He hurries down 
               the hall, looking back to see the MYSTERY MAN and a wounded 
               OFFICER TRUST spill out of Room 2503. The HALL OFFICER pulls 
               his weapon MYSTERY MAN Get him!

               GENE fires at the HALL OFFICER who goes down. GENE rushes 
               down the hall. One of the guest room door's opens and a MAN 
               staggers out. It is a bloody, wounded MR. SMITH! GENE stops 
               in shock.

                         I killed you.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You fucked up.

               And MR. SMITH grabs him by the collar and throws him over a 

               INT. THE LOBBY - MID-AIR - DAY

               GENE is falling, falling. He passes the ascending elevator 
               and gets a glimpse of MS. JONES and LYNN, pressed against 
               the glass, her face a mask of terror. The floor rushes up to 
               meet GENE and...

               INT. ROOM 2503 - DAY - 12:5 6PM

               ...he hits the floor, thrown there by MR. SMITH. His escape 
               has been a dream. A wrist-watch fills the frame.


               It is GENE's. We are seeing his P.O.V. He's laying on the 
               floor, his watch-hand in front of his face.

                                     MYSTERY MAN (O.S.)
                         You nearly killed him, too, you idiot!

                                     MR. SMITH (O.S.)
                         Nearly doesn't count.

               Lose the P.O.V.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         I'm on record. I never wanted this. 
                         I wanted simplicity; a telescopic 
                         sight, a powerful rifle, but no. 
                         What was good enough for Oswald wasn't 
                         good enough for you two. You had to 
                         get fancy. Drag some shmuck in off 
                         the street, stick a gun in his hand.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         It's academic now. She had to be 

                                     MR. SMITH
                         What were you going to do, Brendan? 
                         Lock her in a closet?  You're in the 
                         fucking kitchen now. Get used to the 
                         heat. He's been seen all over the 
                         hotel, looking like some Loony Tunes. 
                         We even got him on video. It'll work. 
                         Don't worry about it.

               GENE stirs on the floor.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         (about GENE) Is he awake?

                                     MR. SMITH

               He yanks GENE to his feet.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Oh Great. Why don't we just give him 
                         our home phone numbers while we're 
                         at it?

                                     MR. SMITH
                         It doesn't matter what he hears.

               He pulls GENE over to the bathroom door. Throws it open. 
               GENE reacts to what he sees within.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         That's what it looks like. She was 
                         alive a minute ago. Now she's dead. 
                         Because you wouldn't do what I told 
                         you to do.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         Get going. You've only got a few 
                         minutes to pull it together.

               MR. SMITH takes GENE out of the suite into the hall.  The 
               door closes. Brendan, the Mystery Man and Officer Trust are 
               alone BRENDAN GRANT I don't know if we should go through 
               with this.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         It's too late for that.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         There is a dead woman on my bathroom 

                                     MYSTERY MAM
                         What about it? She's Eleanor's 
                         assistant and they will have been 
                         shot with the same gun, by the same 
                         lunatic.  Some, anonymous loser who 
                         went over the edge.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                              (breathing easier)
                         Only thing better would be if he 
                         were a postal worker.

                                     OFFICER TRUST
                         He won't be doing any work once I 
                         get through with him.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         And in a few months you're in the 
                         Governor's mansion. The people'd 
                         make you king of California if they 

               BRENDAN GRANT laughs.

               INT. HALLWAY - DAY - 12:57PM

               OFFICER TRUST exits from the room and engages the HALL OFFICER 
               in conversation down the hall. GENE and MR. SMITH turns the 
               other way, walk. In an undertone:

                         I'm not stupid.. I know how this is 
                         supposed, to work.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Do you now, Mr. Watson?

                         I kill her - and you kill me.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Keep your voice down.

                         Even if you don't, Her Security men 


               They reach the elevator. MR. SMITH punches the button. GENE 
               turns on him.

                         How am I supposed to get away?

                                     MR. SMITH
                         That's not my problem, Mr. Watson

               He gets out the walkie-talkie, keys it.

                                     MR. SMITH
                              (into the walkie-talkie)
                         Come back.

                         How do I know you won't kill my 
                         daughter once I'm gone?

                                     MR. SMITH
                              (into the walkie-talkie)
                         Come Back....Fucking Radio.

               MR. SMITH is getting nothing but static. He angrily keys 
               off, hisses at GENE:

                         I told you she'd be alright, if you 
                         do your job.

                         And I'm supposed to trust you?

                                     MR. SMITH
                         What choice do you have?

               The elevator doors open. MR. SMITH gestures graciously.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         After you.

               INT. "BLUE" ELEVATOR - DAY - 12:58PM

               They step into the elevator. Stare at each other. The doors 
               close. MR. SMITH erupts. He grabs GENE slams him into the 
               outside window. GENE's face is smashed into the glass by MR. 
               SMITH'S shoulder. His body presses GENE against the glass 
               wall and he speaks, his mouth an inch from GENE's ear.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Look out there! You see the van?

               The van can be seen below on Flower Street.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You see it?!

               WHAM! He slams GENE's head against the window. He lifts up 
               the walkie-talkie.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Come back.

                                     MS. JONES (V.O.)

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Do it!

               He jabs the walkie-talkie next to GENE's ear.

                                     LYNN (V.O.)

               And then a scream. The horrible sound of a little girl in 
               terrible pain. It cuts through GENE like a stab in the heart.


               He struggles to turn around. MR. SMITH kidney punches him, 
               hard! GENE goes down on one knee.

               The car stops. SOMEONE starts to board it, stops in surprise. 
               MR. SMITH sticks a badge in their face.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Security. Take the next car.

               They back off. The doors close, the car continues its descent.

               MR. SMITH lifts the walkie-talkie.

                                     MR. SMITH

                              (a gasp)
                         No, please...

               Another bone-chilling scream from the walkie-talkie. GENE is 
               ripped to his soul. MR. SMITH hauls him to his feet, shoves 
               him against the glass.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You got one last chance. Half an 
                         hour and that kid is dead. I'll kill 
                         her myself. I'll rip her fucking 
                         head off right in front of you!

               MR. SMITH releases GENE, who goes limp. The elevator doors 
               open onto the lobby.

               MR. SMITH gets out, straightening his tie, wiping the sweat 
               from his face.


               GENE gets out of the elevator, almost getting caught in the 
               closing doors. He can't even fight back at the doors. They 
               pound him a couple of times before he is able to step clear 
               of the elevator. GENE stifles a retch, hurries away.

               MR. SMITH is standing there. Childish giggles erupt from the 

                                     LYNN (O.S.)
                              (filtered, giggling)
                         Daddy, did you hear me scream?

               INT. THE VAN - DAY - 1:00PM

               MS. JONES holds the walkie-talkie for LYNN.

                                     LYNN (O.S.)
                         She told me to scream as loud as I 
                         could. Did you hear me?


               INT. MEN'S ROOM - DAY - 1:01PM

               GENE staggers over to the row of sinks. Leaning on one sink 
               with both hands, his body shudders violently. And he throws 

               A man exits a toilet stall and walks toward the sinks. He 
               sees GENE retching, turns away in disgust, and leaves quickly.

               GENE turns on the wash the mess away.

               He tries to clean up, but catches his reflection in the 
               mirror. He has trouble looking himself in the eye.

               INT. THIRD FLOOR LOBBY - DAY - 1:01PM

               MR. SMITH is fuming. Into the walkie-talkie:

                                     MR. SMITH
                         The next time I tell you to do 
                         something, you goddamn well do it!

               INT. THE VAN - DAY - 1:01PM

               MS. JONES tries to be private on the walkie-talkie.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Hey, fuck you! You want to baby-sit 
                         a screaming kid in traffic, come out 
                         here and do it yourself. He got the 
                         message, didn't he?

               LYNN watches her, knowing something's not quite right.


               GENE comes out of the Men's Room, stands there at a loss.

                                     HUEY (O.S.)
                         Having a rough day? Down at the heels 
                         as they say? What you need is a shoe 
                         shine, shoe shine, shoe shine today.

               GENE looks around. HUEY has his nose in his magazine, calling 
               out his patter for whoever drifts by.


               GENE walks over, climbs into a chair.

                              (still not looking up)
                         Take ten, take a break, take a seat, 
                         take a load off. Put the world in 

               GENE has settled into the chair. HUEY tosses the magazine 
               aside, swings into action...

                         So, are you a visitor or are you 
                         lucky enough to...

               ...and freezes, staring at the familiar pair of shoes.

                              (as he looks up)
                         You got a complaint?

               GENE looks down at him.

                         You remember me?

                         I remember. The big tipper.

                         Something is going to happen. When 
                         it's over you'll know what I was 
                         talking about.

                         Oh, man...

                         Please. Something is going to 

                         What? The end of the world? Man, 
                         don't give me your mad rap. I'm not 
                         a bartender. I don't want to hear 
                         it. I raise a family doing this 
                         bullshit. Do me a favor. Get your 
                         crazy white ass out of my chair.


                         Hey, a big tip doesn't give you the 
                         right to crap in my ear. You want 
                         change?  You got it, brother. What 
                         was that you gave me, a twenty?

               HUEY kneels down, gets his cashbox, starts to open it up. 
               From behind him:

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Come on, let's get some privacy.

                         He's deaf.

               It spills out of GENE almost without volition. There's a 
               note of pleading hidden in it. GENE slowly points a thumb at 
               HUEY's "Disabled Veteran" sign.

                         He can't hear a word we're saying.

               MR. SMITH looks at the sign. HUEY stops what he's doing -
               "What the fuck?" He almost says it aloud, then:

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You wouldn't be kidding me now, would 
                         you, Mr. Watson?
                              (to HUEY's back)
                         Hey, nigger! Is that right? You can't 
                         hear me? Nigger?

               HUEY's face settles into something cold. What's he going to 
               do?  He stands, looks at GENE, who stares back at him, then 
               slowly turns around, looks at MR. SMITH - and breaks into a 
               jive-ass grin.

                         Why, looky-here. My customer-quotient 
                         just got multiplied by two. What do 
                         you think of that?  You'll have to 
                         forgive me, sir. Didn't hear your 
                         approach. Fact of the matter is, I'm 
                         deef as a post. Compliments of the 
                         United States Army...
                              (does a snappy salute)
                         ...Artillery Corps. Can I give you a 
                         shine, sir? You don't see your face, 
                         you don't pay.

               MR. SMITH is suspicious but he climbs into the second chair.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Yeah, sure, give me a shine...
                              (looks at GENE)

               HUEY goes to work on his shoes.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         I'm putting your toy back in your 
                         pocket, Mr. Watson.

               Unseen by MR. SMITH, HUEY takes a peek and sees the gun being 
               transferred to GENE's pocket.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         It's all wound up. Now let's get out 
                         your itinerary.

               GENE does.

               "1:'30 - California Leads the Nation into the 21st Century -
               California Ballroom - Governor Eleanor Samara Grant and 
               Brendan Grant" It is the last entry.

                         One thirty. California Ballroom.

                                     MR. SMITH
                              (glances at HUEY)
                         That's right. That gives you...

               He looks at his watch.


                                     MR. SMITH
                         ...twenty-six minutes to get your 
                         shit together.

                         Let me talk to her again.

                                     MR. SMITH

                         I want'to talk to her.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Forget about it.

                         I talk to her or you can forget about 

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Don't you threaten me.

                         What are you going to do about it, 
                         shoot me?

                                     MR. SMITH
                         (glances again at HUEY) You know 
                         what I'm gonna do.

                         What? Walk out there and twist her 
                         arm off?

               MR. SMITH doesn't reply.

                         It would be a lot less trouble just 
                         to let me talk to her.

               They stare at each other for a few beats. Then MR. SMITH 
               checks HUEY out and gets out the walkie-talkie.

                                     MR. SMITH
                              (into it)
                         Come Back.

                                     MS. JONES (O.S.)

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Put her on.

                                     MS. JONES (O.S.)
                         What gives? 

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Just put her on.

                                     LYNN (O.S.)

               GENE grabs the walkie-talkie.

                         Yes, sweetie, it's me.

                                     LYNN (O.S.)
                         I'm tired. I want to.go now.

                         I know you do, honey.

               INT. THE VAN - DAY -1:05PM

               MS. JONES holds the walkie-talkie for LYNN.

                         Can we go now?

                                     GENE (O.S.)
                         Not just yet, baby. There's...there's 
                         something Daddy has to do.

                         To be a hero?

               INT. BONAVENTURE LOBBY - DAY - 1:05PM

               MR. SMITH, GENE and HUEY in situ.

                         No, honey, not to be a hero. But I 
                         want you to remember something for 
                         me, all right?

                                     LYNN (O.S.)
                         All right.

                         He's doing it for you. No matter 
                         what anybody tells you, no matter 
                         who they are, he's doing it for you, 
                         because he loves you.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         That's enough.

               He reaches for the walkie-talkie, but GENE stares him down. 
               Back to the walkie-talkie:

                         Will you promise me that?

                                     LYNN (O.S.)
                         I promise.

                         All right. Kisses to you.

                                     LYNN (O.S.)
                         No...kisses to you.

                         No. Kisses to you.

                                     LYNN (O.S.)
                         No, kisses to...

               MR. SMITH grabs the walkie-talkie.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         I don't care who the fuck you do it 
                         for just so you do it. Hey.

               He reaches down, snaps his fingers in HUEY's face. HUEY looks 

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You done yet?

                         Just about.

               He gives the shoes a final wipe, stands away.

                         Two dollars, if it pleases you.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         It doesn't. I remember when it was a 
                         fuckin' quarter.

               He throws a couple dollars to HUEY. To GENE as he stalks 

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Twenty-five minutes.

               TO HIS BACK:

                         Thanks for the tip.

               HUEY turns back to GENE. They stare at each other.

                         Mister, what are you dragging me 

                         I'm not dragging you into anything. 
                         I don't expect...

                         Cover your mouth.


                         This gorilla's watching you, is that 

                         That's right.

                         Then don't let him be seeing you 
                         talking to me. I don't want him 
                         twisting my arm off.

               GENE lowers his head, covers his mouth with a hand. HUEY 
               pretends to work on his shoes.

                         That was your kid on the walkie-

                         My daughter. They have her in a van 
                         across the street. They say they'll 
                         kill her if I don't do something for 

                         In twenty-five minutes in the 
                         California Ballroom.

                         There was a woman. She was trying to 
                         help me. I watched him murder her.

                         What are you supposed to do?

                         Kill the Governor.

               HUEY checks his perimeters, then:

                         I knew I should have packed up and 
                         gone home as soon as I got that 
                         twenty. What am I supposed to do 
                         about this situation?

                         One of them is in on it. He might 
                         even be in charge. Her Security is 
                         in on it. There's only one person I 
                         know for sure isn't in on it.


                         The Governor. If I could just talk 
                         to her...

                         Oh, Jesus ...

                         No way, there's nothing you can do 
                         to help me.

                         Then why'd you drag me into it?

                              (getting emotional)
                         It's my kid. I've got 
                right by my little girl.

               He gets out her picture, stares at it.

                         It's about time I did. I was one of 
                         those guys, workaholics. I worked my 
                         ass off for them - my wife, my 
                         daughter.  That's just what I thought 
                         I was supposed to do.

                         Yeah, all right, listen...

                              (running on)
                         So when she wanted a divorce...I 
                         was...I didn't know what I'd done 
                         wrong. I didn't see it. I didn't see 

               HUEY takes his wooden brush and whacks GENE on the foot, 
               snapping him from his downward spiral.

                         Why don't you tell me about the early 
                         years some other time?

                         I'm sorry. You understand I don't 
                         mind dying if I could save my 
                         daughter. I mean that.

                         Yeah, now listen.  I can't mess with 
                         these shoes any more or it's gonna 
                         look funny. You go down get yourself 
                         something to drink. Make sure Godzilla 
                         there, follows you.

                         What are you going to do?

                         I haven't the faintest idea. Go on 
                         now. I'll get word to you.

               GENE gets down.

                         If nothing else, someone heard my 

               He gives HUEY a twenty.

                         Keep the change.

                         Don't think I won't.

               GENE just stands there. HUEY has to give him a little push.


               GENE turns and walks across the lobby toward the bar. His 
               mind is racing. As he passes MR. SMITH...

                         I need a drink.

               MR. SMITH rises immediately, looks back at HUEY. HUEY gives 
               him a symbolic tip of the hat. MR. SMITH follows GENE.

               INT. HOTEL BAR - DAY - 1:11PM

               GENE finds a stool at the empty part of the bar. The place 
               is half-full, noisy. The television is showing a game show.

               The BARTENDER comes over.

                                     GAME SHOW HOST (O.S.)
                              (over television)
                         ...and time is running out...

                         Give me a ...a gingerale?

               MR. SMITH sits -at the other end of the bar. The BARTENDER 
               gets him a beer. GENE and MR. SMITH lock eyes in the mirror.  
               Between them, a couple of T.V. NEWS TECHNICIANS are grabbing 
               a quick beer. A video camera resides on the bar by them.

               GENE notices OFFICER TRUST, walking by on a level above, 
               watching him.

                                     T.V. NEWS TECHNICIAN 1
                         Man, I thought she was going to get 
                         out the violins.

                                     TV REPORTER
                         No shit. If I hear that stop the 
                         violence routine one more time I'm 
                         going to shoot somebody.

               A WAITRESS appears suddenly at GENE's elbow, surprising him. 
               She puts a basket of pretzels next to him and a coaster next 
               to his drink.

                         Here's your Ginger Ale, sir.

                                     DOWN THE BAR:
                         T.V. NEWS TECHNICIAN 1 Politicians.

                                     TV REPORTER
                         They're all the same.

               The WAITRESS is tapping a long fingernail against the bar.

               GENE looks down and sees it. A note on the coaster. "Men's 
               Room - Huey."

               The WAITRESS turns the coaster over, and leaves. GENE looks 
               down the bar at MR. SMITH, drinking, unaware.

                                     TV REPORTER
                         You know what bothers me?

               GENE looks at his watch.


                                     TV REPORTER
                         When they get all weepy eyed about 
                         the "ordinary citizen", the "regular 
                         Joe", the "normal American". Gimme a 
                         break. There ain't no such animal. 
                         We're a nation of two hundred forty 
                         million special interest groups.

               GENE stands.

                         Well, I'm just a regular guy.

               The T.V. NEWS TECHNICIANS stare at him.

                                     TV REPORTER
                         Is that right?

                         Yeah, that's right. But I've built a 
                         good solid business out of nothing. 
                         Don't underestimate the regular guy.

               He heads for the open lobby.

                         Sir, you haven't paid.

                         It's on the Special Interest at the 
                         end of the bar.

               GENE jerks a thumb at MR. SMITH and is gone. MR. SMITH starts 
               to follow him. The BARTENDER is right with him.

                         Hey, Sir, don't make me call a cop.

               MR. SMITH slaps some money on the bar and leaves.

                                     T.V. NEWS TECHNICIAN 1
                         Left field bleachers heard from.

                                     T.V. REPORTER

               INT. BONAVENTURE HOTEL - LOBBY - DAY - 1:13PM

               MR. SMITH scans the lobby trying to spot Gene. OFFICER TRUST 
               comes up behind him.

                                     OFFICER TRUST
                         Where is he? Did you lose him?

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Shut up.


               Elsewhere, GENE circles around the lobby. There seem to be 
               clocks everywhere.

               A. set of four clocks over the registration desk with the 
               time for Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, and Paris.

               The souvenir shop has a dozen clocks on display, with the 
               logos of various LA sports teams.


               The restaurant, the travel agency, the newsstand, all have 

               1:14 .

               Everywhere he turns. GENE has to look at his watch.

               1:15! GENE's watch and all the clocks tick over at once. 
               GENE winces as if he could hear all those minute hands tick 
               over one number in a thunderous chorus.


               He's near the Men's Room. HUEY's stand has a sign on the 
               chair - "Gone to Lunch" and there is a clock face with 
               moveable hands. "We'll be back at 1:30."

                              (sotto voice)
                         Let's all hope so.

               And he enters the Men's Room.

               Across the lobby MR. SMITH spots him, heads that way.

               INT. MEN'S ROOM - DAY - 1:16PM

               GENE enters to find HUEY and GUSTINO the Bellboy. HUEY runs 
               to the door, keeping a lookout.

                         Quick, off with the shoes and pants. 
                         Trade with Gustino. The big guy's 


               MR. SMITH marching towards the Men's Room.

               INT. MEN'S ROOM - DAY - 1:16PM

               HUEY turns to see GENE and GUSTINO just looking at each other, 
               uncomfortable, to say the least.

                         C'mon, ladies. No time to be shy.

               GENE kicks off his shoes, shucks his pants. He trades his 
               pants and jacket with GUSTINO, who has done the same. 
               GUSTINO's pants are too big for GENE. His pants are too small 
               for GUSTINO.

               GUSTINO goes into a stall and closes the door.

               HUEY comes back from the door.

                         Gustino! Drop 'em!

               GUSTINO has taken a seat inside the stall, but with GENE's 
               pants still up. He drops them.

                         And cover up them socks. Man, who 
                         dresses you?

               HUEY leads GENE to another door. "Service Personnel Only". 
               He taps on it. It is opened by a Latino JANITOR. HUEY and 
               GENE slip through the door, shut it. The JANITOR begins 
               mopping the floor as MR. SMITH comes in.

               His eyes come to rest on the stall. All he sees are GENE's 
               shoes and GENE's pants crumpled around the ankles.

               MR. SMITH smirks and leaves.

               The Janitor raps on GUSTINO's stall with the mop.

                         Fue.  (Gone.)

               INT. SERVICE HALL - DAY - 1:17PM

               HUEY and GENE move down a drab service corridor. Boxes stacked 
               on both sides, floor buffers at rest, shelves with cleaning 
               supplies. GENE notices for the first time that HUEY has a 
               pronounced limp.

               They come upon IRENE the Cleaning Woman. She joins them moving 
               down the corridor.

                         Meet Irene.


                         Irene is going to help.

                         Thank you.

               IRENE takes GENE's hand and leads him along at a half-trot.

                         Where am I going?


               They come through a short corridor and onto the service 

                         You said there was only one person 
                         you knew wasn't in on this thing.


                         You're going to go see her.


               The elevator doors close.

               INT. SERVICE ELEVATOR - DAT - 1:17PM

               IRENE punches the button for the twenty-fifth floor.

                         You sure she's asleep?

                         I took up extra pillows. She take a 
                         nap before her big speech.

                         What am I supposed to say to her?

                         It'll come to you. See if you can 
                         stop this thing 'fore it gets started. 
                         Save us all considerable 

               HUEY takes a pillow and a blanket from IRENE'S cart and puts 
               it into GENE's arms IRENE You don't have to save me. I got 
               nothin' to do with it. You ain't gettin' no key from me.


               The service elevator stops. IRENE pushes her cart out into 
               the hall signalling them to stay put for a second. She starts 
               moving out into the hall, the card key falls on the floor.


               At the other end of the hall the HALL OFFICER turns when he 
               hears her approach.

               INT. SERVICE ELEVATOR - DAY -

               GENE and HUEY hover in the door of the service elevator. 
               Gene reaches down and snags the card key at his feet.


               The HALL OFFICER has to move his table aside so Irene can 
               pass with the cart. As he turns,


               HUEY pushes GENE across the hall to the door of the Governors 

               The Service Elevator door closes.


               HALL OFFICER turns quickly at the noise.


               GENE holds totally still in the alcove outside her room.


               HALL OFFICER looks suspiciously, and finally sits back down.


               GENE uses the key to let himself into

               INT. ROOM 2510 - 1:18PM

               Lit only by a bedside lamp. ELEANOR GRANT is laying on the 
               bed, dressed, towel across her eyes, bare feet elevated on a 
               pair of pillows. GENE edges over slowly to her. He stands 
               over her, not knowing how to begin.

                         Excuse me...

               ELEANOR GRANT lifts a hand, moves the towel from her eyes.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Who the hell are you?

               She sits upright, reaches for the phone! GENE moves, putting 
               his hand on top of hers on top of the phone.

                         No, please.

               They stare at each other for a beat.

               She bolts for the door! Gene beats her to it! She backs up 
               to the bed.

               Eleanor Grant is a strong, tough woman, but she's not 

                         Mrs. Grant, Governor...I won't hurt 

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         My security people are right next 

                         I appreciate that.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         One loud scream will bring them in 
                         here instantly. You won't get very 
                         far. Think it over.

                         If I were here to hurt you I would 
                         have done it already.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         That's...a comfort to hear.

                         I have a problem.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT

                         Only you can help me. I'm also sorry 
                         to say, my problem is your problem, 
                         Mrs. Grant.

               She studies him.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         I remember the elevator.

                         That's right.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         You were very nervous.

                         It was because I had my 

               He slowly pulls out the gun. She takes it in.

                         I need you to listen to me. Carefully. 
                         Three lives depend on you listening 
                         very carefully to what I have to 

               She smiles.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                              (friendly as can be)
                         Of course. But suppose we set up an 
                         appointment. I have an important 
                         speech to deliver and you're cutting 
                         into my nap time.

               Very slowly, she moves to the table, lifts the phone ELEANOR 
               GRANT My assistant, Krista Brooks, takes care of 

                         Krista Brooks is dead.

               She freezes, slowly replaces the phone.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         How do you know that?

                         I saw her die. She was shot. With 
                         this gun.

               She turns to him.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         You shot her?


                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Who did?

                         I don't know. The only thing I know 
                         about him is that he works for your 

                                     ELEANOR GRANT

                         And your husband works for somebody 

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         What the hell are you saying?

               GENE glances at the bedside clock.


               He looks back to the Governor.


               An increasingly edgy MR. SMITH is looking at the Men's Room 
               door. He glances over to OFFICER TRUST who's keeping an eye 
               on him. He looks at his watch again, then gets up and heads 
               for the Men's Room.

               INT. MEN'S ROOM - DAY - 1:19PM

               MR. SMITH enters. HECTOR is at the urinal.

               MR. SMITH checks out the feet under the stall. He has to 
               bend over to check properly. GENE''s shoes, GENE' s pants 

               HECTOR notices MR. SMITH'S actions.

               MR. SMITH is aware that he's been noticed, but he is very 

               HECTOR flushes the urinal.

               MR. SMITH stays by the stall. He is going to look over the 
               top of the stall. He rises on his tiptoes.

               But HECTOR is staring at him like he's a pervert.

               MR. SMITH is suddenly embarrassed. He backs away from the 

               HECTOR washes his hands, watching MR. SMITH in the mirror.

               MR. SMITH leaves.

               HECTOR dries his hands. He walks over to the stall and knocks 
               on the door.

                         He's gone.

               And GUSTINO tosses a Bellboy jacket over the top of the stall. 
               HECTOR puts it on.

                         Hey, Gustino, what takes you so long? 
                         You need to eat more fiber.

                                     GUSTINO (O.S.)
                         You got anything to read?

               INT. ROOM 2510 - DAY - 1:21PM

               The clock on the nightstand.


               ELEANOR GRANT sits against the headboard. GENE sits on the 
               edge of the bed, the gun all but forgotten, held loosely in 
               his hand.

                         I knew you wouldn't believe me.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         I said I'd listen to you, not 
                         necessarily believe you. You're 
                         telling me my people are in a plot 
                         against me. You're telling me my 
                         husband wants me killed. What do you 

                         I don't blame you. I don't have any 
                         proof. But nothing like this occurs 
                         in a vacuum. You can't be totally 
                         oblivious. You must suspect something. 
                         You're doing things which are making 
                         people angry. People who have been 
                         in power a long time are losing their 
                         jobs. You know them better than me. 
                         How much does it mean to them?  How 
                         far would they go to hang onto it?

               Her eyes go inward, reflecting a vague doubt. GENE sees it, 
               hurries to follow up on this possible chink in her armor. 
               Excited by it, he gets up, forgets to cover her so closely.

                         There's only one way to find out for 
                         sure. Try to cancel the last speech.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                              (smiling, covering 
                              her inner thought)
                         I'd prefer we didn't refer to it as 
                         my last speech.

                         It's the last chance they have for 
                         me to kill you. Try to get out of 
                         it. They won't let you. They can't. 
                         Try to change the schedule and you'll 
                         know I'm right. What have you got to 
                         lose? It comes down to who you trust, 
                         them or me? Test them.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         I love it when pistolero's talk of 

               GENE, across the room looks at the gun in his hand. He takes 
               the plunge.

                         This? I've never even fired one.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT

               ELEANOR GRANT'S hand sweeps the lamp off the table, plunging 
               the room into blackness.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                              (in the blackness)
                         Franco! Franco.'

               GENE slips out into the hall as the connecting room door 
               flies open. Light from the other room spills in. FRANCO rushes 
               in, pulling a gun.


               The HALL OFFICER jumps from his chair and runs into the suite


               GENE quickly moves to the Service Elevator and pushes the 

               INT. ROOM 2510 - DAY - 1:23PM

               ELEANOR GRANT stares up at FRANCO, back-lit by the light 
               coming from the next room. It gleams off the gun he holds in 
               his hand. She stares from the gun up to his hulking frame.

                         What is it, Governor!? What's wrong!?

               She hesitates.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         I...I'm afraid I've had a bad dream, 

               INT. SERVICE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1:23PM

               The service elevator opens and GENE rushes out. He hurries 
               down the dim service corridor. Suddenly an arm snakes out of 
               the blackness and grabs him! HUEY steps into the light.


                         I don't know.

                         What are you going to do now?

                         I don't know. I have to get back.

               GENE keeps moving fast.  HUEY limps to keep up

                         What are you going to do!?

                         This is about power and you haven't 
                         got any. There's nothing more you 
                         can do. I'm sorry. Thanks for trying.

               HUEY watches him disappear.

               INT. BONAVENTURE HOTEL - LOBBY - DAY - 1:23PM

               MR. SMITH sees the T.V. TECHNICIAN and REPORTER leaving the 
               bar with their equipment.

                                     OFFICER TRUST (O.S.)
                         Where is he?

               MR. SMITH looks at the man who has appeared behind him.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         In the john.

               He looks at his watch.


                                     OFFICER TRUST
                         Get moving.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You' oughta learn to relax. I told 
                         you I've got it under control.

                                     OFFICER TRUST
                         It's time. It's time now.

               MR. SMITH scowls and heads for the Men's Room.

               INT. THE VAN - DAY - 1:24PM

               A different watch. The minute hand moves to:


               It is MS. JONES'. She is in the driver's seat. She looks 
               back at LYNN who is trying to amuse herself one way or 
               another. She checks her gun. She pulls out her walkie-talkie, 
               puts it on the seat beside her. She starts the car.

                         Where are we going?

                                     MS. JONES
                         Not very far, honey-pie. Not far at 

               She pulls the van out into traffic.

               INT. MEN'S ROOM - DAY - 1:24PM

               MR. SMITH bursts into the Men's Room. He goes to the stall 
               and lifts his fist to pound on the door.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Out of there, Mr. Watson! Your time's 

               The stall door opens and GENE comes out, zipping up his pants. 
               He brushes right past MR. SMITH, heads for the door. MR. 
               SMITH reaches out, grabs him.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         You forgot to wash your hands.

               He throws him against the sinks. GENE washes his hands. MR. 
               SMITH leans against the sink next to him In the mirror above 
               the sink, GENE sees the stall door swings open. GUSTINO Is 
               huddled in the corner, feet up on the toilet. MR. SMITH 
               doesn't notice.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         I've got faith in you, Mr. Watson. I 
                         know you're not just a regular guy, 
                         see, I know that. Even if you don't 
                         know it yourself. Maybe that's why I 
                         picked you.

               GENE steps between MR. SMITH and the open stall door.

                         I know what I have to do. I'll do 
                         it. Let's go.

               And'they exit the Men's Room. GUSTINO slumps with relief.

               INT. ROOM 2510 - DAY - 1:25PM

               Other lights have been turned on. ELEANOR GRANT is fixing 
               her hair in the mirror. FRANCO is cleaning up the broken 
               lamp. There is a perfunctory knock on the hall door and it 
               opens, revealing BRENDAN GRANT. The MYSTERY MAN hovers in 
               the background.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Hey, El, how's the head?

               She turns, locks eyes with the MYSTERY MAN.

                                     MYSTERY MAN

               She nods, turns back to the mirror.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Lousy. And I have siesta hair. I'm 
                         thinking of canceling the speech.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         It's an important speech.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         I'd say critical, not that it's any 
                         of my business.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         It's just another speech in a Tower 
                         of Babel so high that Nimrod himself 
                         would be put to shame. Cancel. Make 
                         my apologies.

               In the mirror she takes note of BRENDAN GRANT and the MYSTERY 
               MAN exchange a look.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Excuse me.

                                     MYSTERY MAN
                         I'll trot along. Nice to see you, 

               BRENDAN steps into the room, shuts the door.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         During a campaign every speech is 
                         important. This is free media 
                         exposure. Primetime news coverage 
                         that we couldn't buy.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         What's he doing here?

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Who, him? Just visiting.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT T
                         Hings have changed, Brendan. I thought 
                         you understood that.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         He's my friend. And he did help you 
                         to get elected, after all.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Don't remind me.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                              (re the broken lamp)
                         What happened here?

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Nothing. I broke a lamp.

               Brendan steps behind Eleanor and puts his arms around her 

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Eleanor, please. I'll put it this 
                         way. This speech or a half-dozen 
                         rubber chicken-fund raisers. What do 
                         you say?

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Truth is, besides the headache I've 
                         come down with a little lower 
                         intestinal havoc. Make my apologies.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Come on, El, you're a trooper. I'll 
                         get you some Pepto, you'll make one 
                         of your patented tributes to the 
                         common person, then back to 
                         Sacramento. This is no time to lay 
                         down on the job. I don't care what 
                         the polls say, you can't afford to 
                         relax. Look what happened to Bush. 
                         Tell you what, if you want to blow 
                         off the Sacramento speech, fine. But 
                         do this one and we'll get out of the 

               ELEANOR GRANT looks at him, almost sadly. She steps toward 
               the dressing table to fix her hair

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         All right, I'll do it.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         That's my girl.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         But I want to make some changes. Get 
                         Krista in here right away won't you?

               BRENDAN looks at her for a beat, then snaps his fingers like 
               he just remembered something.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Aw, gee. I sent her on an errand.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         You sent my assistant on an errand.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                              (trying to look 
                         I've been a bad boy.

               ANGLE ON ELEANOR

               It was not what she wanted to hear.

               INT. BONAVENTURE HOTEL - LOBBY - DAY - 1:26PM

               Mr. Smith pushes Gene toward the escalators.

               INT. CALIFORNIA BALLROOM - DAY - 1:27PM

               All sorts of MEDIA PEOPLE hover around, CAMPAIGN WORKERS 
               wearing political buttons and REGULAR FOLKS round out the 
               crowd. People are eating, drinking, and talking.

               There are a couple of bars, one at each end of the room. 
               Dessert tables are strategically placed around the room. On 
               the speaker's platform at one end is a podium with some chairs 
               arranged behind it.

               One of the POLITICO'S takes the podium microphone.

                         Ladies, gentlemen, it is my great 
                         pleasure to introduce to you the 
                         esteemed spouse of our Governor. 
                         Let's give a big L.A. welcome to Mr. 
                         Brendan Grant.

               The crowd applauds warmly.

               INT. HALLWAY - DAY - 1:27PM

               GENE and MR. SMITH move down the hall, following the signs 
               to the California Ballroom. The entrance to it looms ahead.

               INT. CALIFORNIA BALLROOM - DAY - 1:27PM

               BRENDAN GRANT at the podium.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Ladies and gentlemen of the press, 
                         campaign volunteers, and those of 
                         you who were looking for any excuse 
                         to take off work for the afternoon...

               Polite laughter.

               INT. HALLWAY - DAY - 1:27PM

               GENE is pushed up to the doorway where he is met by our 
               friend, the SECURITY MAN with the metal detector. He gives 
               MR. SMITH a nod over GENE's shoulder and sends GENE to join 
               the crowd beyond.

               INT. CALIFORNIA BALLROOM - DAY - 1:28PM

               VIEW THROUGH CAMERA

               The Video Camera clumsily tracks past the CROWD, and comes 
               tosettle on GENE who is walking into the room, not quite 
               sure where he is going.

               UP ON THE PODIUM:

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         We have with us today the first woman 
                         Governor of our great state...

               GENE is pushing forward into the crowd. He looks back, seems 
               surprised, begins turning, searching for someone as:

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Governor Eleanor Samara Grant. What 
                         can I say about her....that won't 
                         get me in trouble when I get home 


               Lose the video camera effect.

               ANGLE ON GENE - 1:28PM

               GENE, in the midst of the crowd, can't locate MR. SMITH. 
               Confusion clouds his face.

               He finds himself near the T.V.TECHNICIAN from the bar. The        
               TECHNICIAN is talking into a walkie-talkie.

                                     T.V. NEWS TECHNICIAN
                         Charlie. Charlie. Charlie, are you 
                         reading me?

               He gets nothing but static. GENE's eyes move to the back of 
               the room.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         She's a woman who loves our great 

                                     T.V. NEWS TECHNICIAN
                              (gives it up)
                         I can't get shit on this stupid radio.

               GENE looks up to a spotlight booth set up in the back.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         A brilliant legislator.

               GENE sees the GLINT of something. A gun? His eyes widen. Is 
               that MR SMITH there? He looks from the spotlight booth to 
               the stage.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         ...who will soon win her second term 
                         as the greatest Governor California 
                         has ever seen!

                                     T.V. NEWS TECHNICIAN
                         Somebody's going to ave to run down 
                         to the truck. Tell them this radio's 

               GENE looks away from the stage and locks eyes with OFFICER 
               TRUST. He's at the front of the ballroom to one side of the       
               speaker's platform.

               OFFICER TRUST stares at GENE like a hungry wolf, clutching 
               his gun in his pocket. They both hear:

                                     T.V. NEWS TECHNICIAN
                         I can't get through. Walkie-Talkies 
                         don't work from here. There's too 
                         much concrete and stuff.

               Realization floods GENE'S eyes. He looks back at Mr. Smith 
               in he booth.


               The camera pans along the barrel of the weapon until it comes     
               to Mr. Smith who is settling into firing position.

               ANGLE ON CROWD

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         Ladies and gentlemen...

                                     T.V. NEWS TECHNICIAN
                         Nothin's getting out.

               OFFICER TRUST, presses forward, hand in pocket. Gene is his 

               ANGLE ON PODIUM - 1:29PM

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         I am honored to present to you our 
                         esteemed Governor and my beloved 
                         wife, Eleanor Samara Grant!


               The crowd erupts in .applause and cheering as ELEANOR GRANT 
               comes from the rear of the auditorium and begins to work her 
               way down the center aisle. She waves and nods to all the 
               lyal supporters who surround her.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Thank you! Thank you all!

               Ballons are released above her onto the center of the floor.


               He is pushing a large high cart filled with hundreds of 
               finished plates back towards the kitchen area.

               ANGLE ON GENE - 1:30PM

               GENE looks at Mr. Smith and Officer Trust and the impending       
               disaster. He has to do something...anything...NOW!

               GENE begins frantically clawing his way toward the podium.

                         Look out! Look out!

               But it is lost in the uproar.

               Fighting to be heard above the noise:

               GENE clawing forward, screaming hopelessly. He pulls the gun 


               She spots Gene in the crowd, pushing toward her, gun drawn. 
               Her eyes widen in fear.

               BRENDAN GRANT follows her gaze. His eyes widen in something 
               other than fear.

               GENE aims his gun at the ceiling and fires.

               BAM! BAM!

                         Look out!

               Pandemonium.  Total chaos. People scattering.

               The Gun in the booth swings from Gene to ELEANOR GRANT.

               Mr. Smith fires, but his target is blocked by a panicked 
               guest who is hit.

               From behind her, FRANCO runs to protect ELEANOR GRANT as 
               more gunfire erupts.

               Mr. Smith's aim is clear and he pulls...BAM!  BAM!

               FRANCO is hit in the center of the back and in the shoulder.  
               He falls onto ELEANOR GRANT and they both fall down hard on 
               the steps. Blood is everywhere.

               ANGLE ON GENE

               He looks over and sees ELEANOR GRANT, beneath FRANCO, looking 
               very dead.

               He careens toward a door.

               ANGLE ON PODIUM

               On the dais, BRENDAN GRANT crawls over to where FRANCO lays, 
               half on top of ELEANOR GRANT. They are both still, eyes 
               closed. BRENDAN looks down at his wife's face, splattered        
               with blood.

                                     BRENDAN GRANT
                         My God, he did it!

               The Governor suddenly and violently gasps for breath.  Her 
               eyes snap open and burn into BRENDAN. She has heard her worst     
               suspicions confirmed.

               BRENDAN'S a great liar, but even he can't hide the shock and 
               fear on his face.

               INT. BACK HALLWAY - DAY

               GENE bursts through a door. He is followed speedily by OFFICER 

                                     OFFICER TRUST
                         You little son of a bitch.

               His attack is interrupted by a noise from the darkness. The 
               HUGE DISH PLATE CART, fully loaded, comes flying toward them 
               pushed by GUSTINO. The cart smashes into OFFICER TRUST, 
               throwing him against a wall, dishes clatter and smash.

               GENE raises a hand to the darkness and takes off.


               The dais. FRANCO takes a shuddering breath. ELEANOR GRANT 
               pulls herself free, leans over him. She rips opens his shirt 
               revealing a slightly-used bullet-proof vest with a bullet 
               hole that missed the vest and hit his upper arm. His eyes 
               flutter open.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Are you all right, Franco?

                         I'd be better if they'd put sleeves 
                         on these damn vests.

               She touches his face, looks over to where her husband stands. 
               Their eyes lock. It's curtains for BRENDAN.

               EXT. HOTEL TAXI STAND - DAY

               The van pulls into a waiting area.


               Huey turns and spots a van arriving outside the hotel. He 
               realizes who it could be.

               INT. THE LOBBY - DAY - 1:30PM

               GENE 'bangs out of a door, comes to a failing and sees:

               MR. SMITH has reached the spiral stairway. He starts down 
               it, two and three steps at a time.

               GENE moves along the railing.

               MR. SMITH is a whole floor below him. He looks up, sees GENE 
               and lifts the walkie-talkie to his mouth.

               GENE pockets the gun climbs the parapet. And jumps!

               INT. BONAVENTURE HOTEL - LOBBY - DAY - 1:30PM

               GENE lands right on top of MR. SMITH. The walkie-talkie flies 
               over the railing and into the water of the central fountain.

               INT. THE VAN - DAY - 1:30PM

                                     MS. JONES
                              (on the walkie talkie)
                         It's time....You read me?  I don't 
                         hear from you I'm going ahead now.

               CHECKS HER WATCH:


               INT. THE LOBBY - DAY - 1:31PM

               MR. SMITH and GENE roll down the steps, fighting. MR. SMITH 
               basically beats the crap out of him and gets up to continue 
               on. GENE somehow pulls himself up and tackles MR. SMITH. He 
               gets in a few lucky shots before MR. SMITH overpowers him, 
               beats him again finally .sending him flying into the fountain 

               INT. THE VAN - DAY - 1:31PM

               MS JONES looks to the back seat at LYNN.

                         Why do you keep looking at me?

                                     MS. JONES
                         That's my job. I'm your babysitter.

               As they talk MS. JONES screws a silencer on her gun.

                         I'm not a baby.

                                     MS. JONES
                         You're a big girl, huh?

                         I'm not a big girl but I'm not a 

               MS JONES turns to face LYNN.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Close your eyes.


                                     MS. JONES
                         I've got something for you.

                         A surprise?

                                     MS. JONES
                         You ask too many questions. You want 
                         the surprise or not?

               LYNN closes her eyes. MS. JONES makes to do the deed.

               Suddenly, HUEY appears behind her at the windshield.

                         Good afternoon, madam. Hello there, 
                         little girl.

               With a crumpled up newspaper he begins vigorously rubbing 
               the window. LYNN's eyes pop open.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Hey, hey, what are you doing!?

                         Just giving you the gift of a clean 
                         windshield. Only cost you a dollar.

                                     MS. JONES
                         I don't want my windshield cleaned.

                         You just think you don't want your 
                         windshield cleaned.

                                     MS. JONES
                         No, I know I don't want it cleaned. 
                         Get out of here.

                         Don't be like that. Think of me as 
                         the Moses of dirty windshields leading 
                         you through the desert of dead bugs.

               LYNN laughs.

                                     MS. JONES
                         For the last time, I don't want it 
                         cleaned. Now get the hell out of 

                         It's already done. I've already done 
                         it. You have to pay me now.

                                     MS. JONES
                         I don't have to pay you nothin'.

                         You're going to deny me a lousy dollar 
                         after I've sweated like a pig giving 
                         you the gift of a clean windsheild?

                                     MS. JONES
                         Fuckin' A.

                         I don't think so.

               He reaches in the passenger's window.

                                     MS. JONES

                         I think this is worth a dollar.

               He snatches the walkie-talkie off the seat.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Goddamnit! Gimme that!

               She lunges across. HUEY dangles the walkie-talkie before 

                         Oh, we'll have to do better than 

                                     MS. JONES
                         You worthless piece of shit! Gimme 

               She throws open the passenger door, climbs out.

               EXT. TAXI STAND - DAY

               HUEY backs away, taunting her with the walkie-talkie. She is 
               caught between the van and HUEY, trying to keep her gun under 

                                     MS. JONES
                         Goddamnit, you fuckin' bum, come 

                         Gimme a dollar.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Fuck you!

               She loses it, hauls out her cannon.


               HUEY's leg is shot out from under him. He ends up on his 
               back. MS. JONES swoops down on him, trying to grab the walkie-

                                     MS. JONES
                         Gimme that thing!

               HUEY's wounded leg is twisted under him.

               INT. THE VAN - DAY

               Lynn is terrified by the gunfire and looks for someplace to 

               EXT. THE VAN - DAY

               MS. Jones jumps on the wounded HUEY who is stunned but bravely 
               clutches the Walkie Talkie under him.

                                     MS. JONES
                         Goddammit, give it to me, you 

               She sticks the gun in HUEY's face. He tries to take it away 
               from her, but she's really tough...and mad.  The gun fires 
               wildly, hitting a passing vehicle which careens left causing 
               a chain reaction of COLLISIONS on the street.

               INT. THE VAN - DAY

               LYNN tries to open the van door to escape. The van's door 
               flies open. MR. SMITH stands there, gun in hand.-

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Daddy blew it.

               He points the gun. Lynn jumps back in terror and clambers 
               back in the van.  She goes over the seat as he FIRES...

               The back window SHATTERS.

               MR SMITH steps inside the van a step and aims over the seat. 
               This time he won't miss.

               LYNN has nowhere to hide.

               BAM! BAM!

               But it isn't his gun firing. He stands, staring surprised, 
               wide-eyed. He pivots...

               EXT. TAXI STAND - DAY

               ...and stares at GENE, soaking wet, holding the gun. MR. 
               SMITH'S gun slides from his hand.

                                     MR. SMITH
                         Very good...Mr. Watson. I told 
                         them...I could make a killer out of 

               He drops to his knees, pauses, then tree-falls onto his face.

               ANGLE ON GENE

               He rushes forward into the van and reaches over the seat to 
               pick Lynn up.


               She has heard the gunfire and turns her attention from HUEY 
               to GENE. She raises her gun and aims at GENE and LYNN inside 
               the van.

               HUEY reaches down, grabs his ankle and pulls his shattered 
               artificial leg out of the pants-leg and applies it to the 
               side of her head. She is knocked aside and out.

                         There's nothing like a good wing-


               At HUEY's shoe-shine stand, GENE and HUEY sit in the shoe- 
               shining chairs. They are variously bandaged. LYNN is on GENE'S 
               lap. She clings to him, .her face buried against him.

               They are guarded by COPS.

                         What time is it?

               GENE looks at his wrist, gives an ironic smile.

                         Lost my watch.

               A hub bub catches their attention.

               ANGLE ON LOBBY AREA-BELOW - 2:26PM

               A handcuffed BRENDAN GRANT is lead out by STATE POLICE. PRESS 
               flock around them - shouting questions.

               ELEANOR GRANT watches her husband taken out.

               The PRESS descends on her like ducks on bread crumbs. 
               Questions litter the air like confetti.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Any comment at this time would be 
                         most premature. Please, we'll have 
                         something for you in a couple of 
                         hours. Please...

               ELEANOR GRANT finally makes her way toward GENE. COPS keep 
               the PRESS back.


               ELEANOR GRANT looks at GENE for a long moment.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         I...1 would like to...thank you, 
                         Mister Wat... Gene.

               GENE NODS, SMILES.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         I would also like to apologize.

                         For what?

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         For not believing you.

                         Believe me, I don't blame you.
                              (to LYNN)
                         This is the Governor, Lynn. Say hello.

               LYNN lets go of her father with one of her hands, gives a 
               shy little wave.

               The Governor reaches out, strokes the little girl's hair.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         You have a very brave father, Lynn.

               LYNN looks up.

                         He's a hero.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Yes, yes he is.

                         Dads are like that.

               She goes back to clinging to her father.  Gene looks like he 
               might cry he, loves her so much.

                         Can we go now?

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Of course. I'll get a car to drive 

                         No, that's... That's OK. We don't 
                         need any help. We'll be just fine. 
                         Won't we, Lynn?

               LYNN nods. ELEANOR GRANT offers her hand to GENE.

                                     ELEANOR GRANT
                         Good luck.

                         Same to you.

               ELEANOR GRANT walks away. The PRESS renews their assault.

               HUEY and GENE look at each other. Then:

                         Thanks for the shine.

                         Thanks for the tip.

                              (to LYNN)
                         Come on, kid. I gotta make a phone 

               He gets up wearily, carrying his daughter, grabs his 
               briefcase, and heads away. LYNN peeks back over his shoulder 
               at HUEY, shyly waves. HUEY points at her.

                         Kisses to you.

               LYNN laughs, comes to life.

                         No, kisses to you!

                         No, kisses to you.

               INT. BONAVENTURE - LOBBY - DAY - 2:30PM

               Across the lobby, GENE's watch lays on the ground. The crystal 
               is smashed, the hands stopped.


               A shoe steps on the watch, crushing it further. It belongs 
               to the MYSTERY MAN. He stops, checks his perimeters and walks 
               slowly toward the exit.

                                                                  FADE OUT:

                                         THE END

Nick of Time

Writers :   Patrick Duncan  Ebbe Roe Smith
Genres :   Crime  Drama  Thriller

User Comments

Index    |    Submit    |    Link to IMSDb    |    Disclaimer    |    Privacy policy    |    Contact