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Within Darkness by Adam Johnson 3336 Spruce lane Grapevine, TX 76051 WGA Registration # (214) 460-1526 1024634 AdamtheJohnson@hotmail.com FADE IN: EXT. NEW YORK CITY SKYLINE - NIGHT - RAIN This once beautiful city has now gone to seed. Dark corners, drastic angles, monstrous shadows everywhere. Huge, deteriorating architecture line the tops of every building. An enormous moon shines bright overhead, but no area is safe from all the creeping shadows, not one inch isn't covered in darkness. EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET - NIGHT The streets are nearly empty with the late hour. A dark family-sized sedan speeds down a dark street wet with fresh rain. The headlights and streetlamps bounce off the slick concrete. INT. SEDAN - DOWNTOWN - NIGHT THE GRIFFIN FAMILY, Mom (34) and Dad (37) sit anxious in the car as it barrels down the slick streets, along with their daughter (6), who lies asleep in the back seat. DAD No, I'm telling you, we're not lost. MOM Really? Because these buildings sure look familiar. DAD I'm taking a shortcut. MOM Are we on Seventh? DAD Seventh? MOM We're supposed to be on Seventh. DAD No, we're supposed-- MOM --Honey-- DAD --What?! 2. MOM Red light. He looks forward and slams on his brakes, skidding to a hasty stop on the slick streets. Their daughter stirs behind them, swaying from the stop. He accelerates again, but slower than before. MOM Let's just ask this guy for directions. Please. DAD Honey, are you-- MOM --I'm tired-- DAD --crazy? You can't just stop in this-- MOM --Why can't I?-- DAD --part of town. Because you can't. MOM Just stop! He slams on his brakes again, close to where a DIRTY HOBO sits. The man quickly stands as the car stops. DAD (to Mom) Lock your door. EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT Shadows everywhere. Down below, a dark sedan stops next to a glaring-eyed hobo. One of the shadows moves. EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET - NIGHT DAD Excuse me? HOBO Yessir? 3. MOM (to Dad) Ask him where seventh is. DAD (to Mom) What? Sev- (to Hobo) Can you tell us which way Seventh is? HOBO Surely. You just go all the way down this street until it ends, k? The hobo starts to advance innocently as he speaks, gesturing down the road with his out-stretched hand. DAD Oh, just, uh, just... stay right there. HOBO Then, you just turn right and- DAD -Could you please just stay- HOBO -then you gimme the keys and your wallet. In an instant a gun reaches through the window and pins against the father's head. HOBO The misses' too. MOM Honey... She looks anxiously over the seat to her daughter, still sound asleep. DAD N-Now listen, just don't- HOBO -Hand it over. He pulls back the hammer of the gun. HOBO Now. 4. DAD J-J-Just don't do anythin- INT. SEDAN - NIGHT He floors it. The car jolts forward. The hobo is caught, his arm still inside the window. For a moment, he is dragged as the car speeds forward. Then the gun goes off. A brilliant flash of red splashes across the windshield, and the mother's gaping face. The little girl jumps out of her sleep. THE HOBO loses his grip and smacks the concrete with a wet thud. He gathers his wits and watches as the sedan continues to speed down the wet road. IN THE CAR the father's head slumps back, a piece of it falls off. The little girl, already in her mother's arms, squeezes tighter. Without a driver the car quickly loses control and fishtails on the slick pavement. It broadsides a streetlamp, denting the passenger side door and wedging it shut. EXT. STREET - NIGHT The hobo gets to his feet as fast as he can. He takes off in the opposite direction. By the time he's gone the street is already soaked with the contents of the gas tank. The cold, wet night erupts with light and, in moments, the rear half of the car is quickly engulfed in flames. INT. BURNING SEDAN - NIGHT The fire quickly crawls its way towards the mother and her daughter, as they clutch each other tightly. The mother struggles to open the door but it's stuck. The flames lick at their flesh. Suddenly, the loud groaning of metal drowns out the noise of the flames, as the door outside is twisted and stretched. With one final sound of solid steel being mangled beyond capacity the door they cower against suddenly flies open, ripped off its hinges. 5. The only thing visible amidst all the smoke is the FLAME- LACED SILHOUETTE of a large hooded figure. His face is covered in shadow, impossible to make out. Two gloved hands reach inside the car. EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET - NIGHT The shadowed figure pulls them both from the car and drags them onto the street, safe from the flames. The mother collapses onto the pavement. The figure sets the child down carefully in her arms. They look up at him, as he stands powerfully over them. Flames shimmer off the wet edges of his black leather trenchcoat, one that flows nearly to the ground. And, even with all the firelight, most of his face is hidden under a veil of shadow cast from the hood of the coat. They can't see his eyes, but he's looking at them. A crowd quickly forms. A woman nearby screams. The remnants of the Griffin family look out at the crowd for an instant, as the growing mass of people stand in disbelief at the destruction. When the Griffins turn back to the CLOAKED FIGURE, he is gone. As the crowd continues to gather quickly, the mother and her daughter can only clutch each other on the wet street. Their ashen faces watch as their dead father and husband is engulfed in flames. EXT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL - NIGHT A darkly ornate Gothic anomaly; an old City Cathedral, once grand, long since boarded up. Powerful boots crunch on gravel far down below, getting closer. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL, BACK ROOM (BEDROOM) - NIGHT The figure in black stands shrouded in darkness. There are no lights. There is no sound. He peels the coat off his soaking wet body, leaving only a black tanktop. He tosses it carelessly on the table. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL, LIVING AREA - NIGHT The living area has a torn up couch in the center. The room doubles as a workshop, which is on the opposite end. The figure enters from the dark bedroom, into the light-filled living area. At last he leaves the darkness. His PORT AUTHORITY POLICE hat still struggles to hide his face in shadow. 6. The man is 44 years old, years that have taken their toll. Though his face is lined with wrinkles and what little hair he has left has long since begun to gray, it's apparent that his years have brought wisdom, strength, and a figure carved of stone. His shoulders are broad; his arms, enormous. The grooves of his muscles go deep, proving his years as a gym- junkie. Every muscle bulges with strength, not toned to perfection - a body built on power. His eyes are sad. He plops his weary body on the couch. He unbuttons the top button on his pants and lifts a beer to his lips. He is DYLAN DANDRIDGE. EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET, CRIME SCENE - NIGHT The same dark street buzzes with police cars, ambulances, officers. In the distance the charred remains of the sedan are still wrapped around the pole. The fire truck stays close, ready to put out anything that flickers. DETECTIVE JOHN MURDOCK, 30's, tough-looking like a 1940's cop, walks the line, examining the busy scene. Mrs. Griffin sits in the back of the open ambulance. MRS. GRIFFIN --no, I'm telling you, he tore the door off. Please, can I just see my husband?! John walks right past her sobbing face. OFFICER TOM McKEE, a uniform, runs up to John. MCKEE Detective Murdock! McKee catches up to Murdock. MCKEE Chief Husselbeck is going to call a news conference in the morning. He wants you to speak. He stops, looks over the scene. MCKEE What happened here, John? 7. JOHN Detective. John walks up to the charred wreckage. The coroner wheels off a black body bag, a full body bag. John squats down in front of the burnt automobile, getting a closer look. JOHN What'd she say she saw? MCKEE A man in a cloak saved them. (beat) Didn't save the husband though. JOHN Can't save 'em all, McKee. The door of the sedan is the only thing left relatively un- burnt. It lies several feet from the mangled piece of black steel that was once the Griffin family car. The hinges have been ripped off. There are two hand-sized dents in the top and bottom of the door. INT. DINER - NIGHT STEPHEN JOHNSON, early 20's, sits with a group of his buddies in a booth near the window. He is oblivious to their conversation. BILLY, heads the conversation, Stephen's other friend, JIM, listens intently. BILLY (excited whisper) So, there they were, with no clothes on! JIM What'd you do? BILLY What are you talkin'?! I joined in. Stephen stares absently across the Diner during the entire story. STEPHEN Hey, guys, I think I'll be right back. 8. BILLY Where you going? STEPHEN I said I'll be back. A tired-looking woman in her 30's, wearing the same waitress' outfit as all the other female employees, sits cupping a mug of coffee between two hands in a back booth. Her name tag reads - LISA. Stephen slowly walks over to her as she stares blankly into her cup. STEPHEN Miss? She looks up at him, out of her daze. LISA I'm sorry. I'm on my break. STEPHEN Oh, no. I just wanted to... talk. To you. Stephen's friends have finally shut up. They just watch him. LISA I'm sorry, uh... What's your name? STEPHEN Stephen. LISA I'm sorry, Stephen. I just want to drink my coffee. Stephen quickly sits down in the row across from her. STEPHEN It's not a big deal, you know. LISA What isn't? STEPHEN The age thing. I personally don't mind it at all. LISA I'm not that bad, am I? 9. STEPHEN Oh, no... I just meant-- He looks to his friends. BILLY AND JIM cringe in their seats at his definition of flirting. LISA Just how old do you think I am? STEPHEN No, I-- Look, just let me buy you some- (sees coffee) Coffee... (beat) How 'bout some food? LISA I'm good. STEPHEN Look, I just wanted to talk to you because-- LISA You don't quit, do you? STEPHEN Because I thought you were really pretty. LISA Better. STEPHEN But, I guess that's not why I really came over. LISA Why did you then? STEPHEN There was something... You seem so... so sad. LISA (serious now) What? 10. STEPHEN I couldn't stop looking at you. I mean, you weren't really doing much, you were just staring at that coffee mug and-- LISA Not the mug. He looks down. She taps her gold wedding ring against the porcelain mug. STEPHEN Oh... LISA Sorry, kid. He shifts uncomfortably in his chair. LISA Try it on some girl your own age. The nervous thing might work. INT. DINER CHANGING ROOM - SHIFT CHANGE (EARLY MORNING) A poorly lit changing room. A row of ugly lime-green lockers line the walls. A wooden bench divides the rows. Lisa opens the locker with her name etched on the front. She looks inside. On the inside of the door is a small mirror, she catches her reflection. She really does look awful, aged beyond her years. Lisa focuses on the back of her locker, just barely visible is a picture of a MAN - her HUSBAND. She just stares at it for a moment, unable to take her eyes off the picture. Lisa slams the locker door shut. And leaves. INT. NEWS CONFERENCE - MORNING The crest of the NYPD fills the back wall of the small room. A podium, with the same crest, stands before a crowd of people and reporters, all buzzing with inquiries. POLICE CHIEF FRANK HUSSELBECK stands already at the podium, speaking to the audience. 11. HUSSELBECK --No, I can assure you that this city is still safe enough to walk the streets at night. (beat) It is true, however, that this city and the word 'crime' have been synonymous with one another for many years now. I assure you that this city is now in a state of rebuilding. I'm tired of seeing families afraid, I'm tired of seeing hundreds of murders a year going unsolved, I'm tired of this city being a place where criminals harbor ill-deterred by authority, but, most of all, I'm tired of this city being a place of unhappiness. (beat) New York City is about to be in its second age, one of happiness, security and, above all, peace. I assure you of that. Chief Husselbeck sits down at a long table next to the podium. Another man, Murdock, stands and steps to the podium. ANNOUNCER (O.S.) If we could please begin with the questions regarding the other matters of this conference. With Murdock ready at the podium, REPORTER 1 Who was involved in the accident early this morning? JOHN The Griffin Family, family of three. And one unidentified individual. But, I'm sure you've all already read the morning papers. There is a small chuckle amidst the crowd of reporters. The green reporter, shamed, takes a seat. ANOTHER REPORTER, REESE (32), stands. John motions for him to speak. REESE The father was killed, correct? 12. JOHN Yes, the father was killed. Next question? REPORTER 3 stands, not waiting for Reese to even sit down. But the man is interrupted before he can even begin. REESE Excuse me? Excuse me? (with their attention) And how were the two women saved? JOHN That would be due to the actions of the unknown individual. Please, next series. Reporter 3 picks up where he left off. Reese still doesn't sit. REPORTER 3 Are you at all concerned with the rising crime rates? JOHN Yes, I am concerned and let me tell you why. Criminals are going uncontested in this city. And it's going to stop. For the past month we've been-- REESE Excuse me? Excuse me, I wasn't finished. ANNOUNCER (O.S.) Mr. Reese, Mr. White still has the floor! JOHN No, no, it's alright. (to Reese) Ask your question so we may move on, please. REESE Thank you. I was merely curious to your thoughts about this unknown individual, the one the witness claims as being "An angel cloaked in black." JOHN The individual was being a good samaritan, nothing more. 13. As he tries to move on, REESE What about the other reports, sir? JOHN Other reports? REESE I checked the police files for the past month -- JOHN -- Reese, those are closed police files. You know you're not supposed-- REESE There have been twelve reports of "a creature of the night." "A man in a trenchcoat." "A man with no face." And, now, "An angel cloaked in black." And there have been more and more and more reports dating as far back as twenty years! He holds out his tape recorder as if awaiting an answer. All the other reporters that were once looking at him now turn their gaze to John Murdock. Their tape recorders rise. JOHN There is no man in black, I assure you. REESE (sarcastic) Assurances? JOHN I have to check the files, but I cannot recall any significant instance of this "Man in black" that you speak of. (beat) Jesus Christ. There was a huge car wreck, lots of commotion. There's no doubt that someone must've heard it and rushed to their aid. Hell, it could've been the same damn hobo that put the bullet in the father's head! (beat) Thank you, but I think that's all the time I have. If you'll excuse me. He walks off the stage. 14. ANNOUNCER (O.S.) Detective John Murdock. The room explodes with a flurry of questions. John leaves through the back. INT. COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE - DAY Chief Husselbeck and four other detectives, one of them John, stand in the lavishly decorated office of POLICE COMMISSIONER LOU KOWOLSKI. HUSSELBECK Goddamn that little fucker! What's his name?! JOHN Reese. HUSSELBECK Now the public is gonna be in a frenzy over all this. I mean, it was just a mugging, but now... (beat) Does he just hate me or something? Did I throw him in jail for being such a dickhead? He's always two feet behind me! DETECTIVE KEANE, more of a yes-man than a Detective, agrees with the Chief. KEANE Yes, sir, he is. JOHN He's also a terrible reporter. There were actually thirteen cases. HUSSELBECK What do you think, John? JOHN I think we have a double homicide. Beyond that, I find it hard to believe the connection between these two and the other eleven. One man couldn't do all that. OFFICER WILLIS enters. WILLIS Heads up. Commissioner's on his way, fellas. 15. HUSSELBECK If the media somehow links these together the whole news industry is gonna go apeshit. JOHN If he's real, I don't see why they shouldn't know. HUSSELBECK They shouldn't know because we don't really know. We won't be able to give them the information they want and that will cause a near panic. the streets we depend on so highly for business will empty. Before long, we'll have a mob out hunting HIM. JOHN Still no leads, I gather. HUSSELBECK All we know is what we've been told. He wears a Port Authority cap, but no one matches the MO. He must'a picked it up at a Gift Shop or something. Between that and the huge black trenchcoat we got nothin'. (beat) No one has seen his face. He disappears before we can even get close. And he leaves a trail of bodies wherever he goes. JOHN Well, with all due respect Frank, look at who's been on the hit list. HUSSELBECK All scum, I know. JOHN He's taking out crooks before they even get to finish their first job. HUSSELBECK Helping victims before they're victims, I've heard this shit before. (MORE) 16. HUSSELBECK (CONT'D) (beat) Some of the men he's killed weren't hurting anybody. They had families, kids. They were members of society. JOHN But is that the point? He's taken out thirteen this month. How many have we? HUSSELBECK He kills innocent men, night after night. JOHN How do we know that? HUSSELBECK What? JOHN That they were innocent. HUSSELBECK Why are you backing him up? The Commissioner walks in, in a nice dress suit, old, yet still powerful looking, around sixty. HUSSELBECK Lou, how are you? COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI Fine, Frank, fine. But I hear we have some trouble today. JOHN Not really, sir. Reese is poking his nose around again, but nothing we can't chalk up to coincidence. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI John. How are you, sonny? JOHN I'm doing good. Just be glad when this vigilante killer's off the streets. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI (smiling) I hear he only kills 'bad guys.' 17. HUSSELBECK It would seem so, sir. For the most part, as we can tell. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI Why the manhunt then? This city has seen better days and I appreciate any help we can get. He walks over to his chair and sits down. He lights up a cigarette. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI The world is designed to save people that live in the day. It's the time when we all see clearly. At night it's different, we're blind. That's why there are men like you, John, to help people when they get caught in darkness. He takes a puff from his pipe. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI But us cops have a certain limitation. We respond to calls, calls that have been given after the fact, after the crime. This man, what do they call him? JOHN The Man in Black. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI This Man in Black helps people before they need it. Helps them long before we could. In ways that we can't. In the dark. In the quiet. HUSSELBECK Lou, if you don't mind my saying--! COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI Frank, please, no yelling in my office. The Commissioner stands up. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI Just see that this all gets taken care of. Bring him in, but in one piece. (beat) I'd like to meet this man. 18. EXT. DINER - EVENING Lisa finally leaves work. She walks out the retro diner door. One of her co-workers, GINGER, younger, rushes out after her. GINGER Hey, Lisa! Lisa stops and turns. GINGER Wait up, would ya? LISA I am waiting. Together, they walk towards the parking lot. GINGER Hey. How was your day? LISA (curious) Alright, I guess. She looks at Ginger, she knows something. LISA Alright. Horrible. GINGER Anything interesting happen today? LISA No. What are you going on about? GINGER He gave me his number to give to you-- LISA Oh, Jesus Chri-- GINGER He wants you to call him. He said he's sorry about what he said and he wants to buy you dinner to make up for it. Not at this place he said. She hands Lisa the small piece of paper with his number on it. GINGER So, uh, what'd he say? 19. LISA He said I looked old. Old and sad. GINGER Ouch! That's gonna be one big dinner. LISA Now who said I was going? GINGER Why not? He's a cutie pie. LISA Why don't you go out with him? GINGER No way, honey. I like my men mature. LISA Wealthy, you mean. GINGER Ok, that's not wrong. But, come on! He seemed really sweet. He was probably just nervous because of your stark, raving good looks. Maturity is a big turn on for guys. LISA (sarcastic) That's sweet. Really, it is. (beat) I'm a married woman, Ginger. Ginger stops dead in her tracks. LISA (calling back) See you tomorrow. GINGER (stunned) Yeah... INT. JOHN'S APARTMENT COMPLEX - LATE AFTERNOON John enters through the stairwell door. He looks tired from a long day. He starts the long trek up the stairs. Past the first flight. MRS. KENT, elderly, comes out of her room upon the noise, relieved when she sees it's John. 20. MRS. KENT Oh, hi there Johnny. JOHN Hi, Mrs. K. How's the ulcer? MRS. KENT Going in to have it looked at tomorra. Work okay, today? JOHN Just some dramatics. Everything's fine. See you tomorrow. MRS. KENT Alrighty. He goes up another flight. YVETTE stands in the doorway to her apartment, wearing only a sensuous piece of lingerie. YVETTE Mr. Murdock. He almost missed her. JOHN Yvette, hi... She holds up a pair of handcuffs. YVETTE I got some of my own this time. Continuing up the stairs. JOHN See you later, Yvette. YVETTE After John is gone, YVETTE Aw, shoot. JOHN Continues up to his apartment. He finally makes it to his door. He opens it, already starting to take off his tie. 21. INT. JOHN'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS It's pitch black inside. John turns on the kitchen light. The wall surrounding the kitchen shields the living room from any light. He tosses his tie onto the counter. He starts to roll up his sleeves. He goes into THE LIVING ROOM He casually flips on the light switch, illuminating his entire apartment. The first thing visible is ALICIA, 8 years old, tied to a wooden chair in the very center of his den. She's been there, crying, for days. John is oblivious to her pain. He begins to unbutton his shirt. JOHN Work was horrible. Reese is at it again. He talks to her as though he were telling his wife about his day. He goes over to her, stands over her. He undoes the first few buttons of her shirt. JOHN I need some relief. He unbuttons her pants. He straddles her legs, sits on her lap, facing her. He reaches up and pulls the cord on the light. The room goes black once again. All that's left are muffled sobs. EXT. STREET - NIGHT Lisa walks home. It's grown dark. It's cold, she pulls her coat tighter. Steam leaps from her lips. A homeless man skulks beside a dumpster in a big, black coat. A cap covers his cowered face even more by shadows. 22. He doesn't even move as she slowly walks by him. She can only stare at him as she walks past. He never looks up. His face is never seen. Before her gaze can fix forward again another man, DIRTY, with rags for clothes, steps in front of her. Lisa gasps, the breath leaps from her mouth. The stranger in front of her only smiles. LISA Excuse me! She takes a step to the side, trying to go around, but he matches her step, staying directly in front of her. She doesn't see the gun pointed right in her belly. DIRTY MAN Do yourself a favor - don't scream. Now gimme the purse. LISA I like this purse! DIRTY MAN Lady, He cocks the gun directly in her face. DIRTY MAN I suggest you shut the fuck up and hand over the damn purse. Now. The MUGGER grabs at her bag, but she refuses to relinquish it, struggling to get it back and run off. Lisa's neck is struck from behind, she falls forward and slams her head into the alley wall. She rolls over and leans against the wall to stay awake. MUGGER Jesus! MUGGER 2 You wanna get a decent score for a change, or do you just wanna keep starvin' and beggin' for one measly fuckin' dollar? MUGGER I had it under control! 23. MUGGER 2 Not from where I was. If guys like you and me are gonna get what we want we're just gonna have to take it. MUGGER You didn't have to pistol-whip her fuckin' head man, you shouldn'ta -- MUGGER 2 Shut up. (raising his gun) It ain't gonna matter in a sec anyway. MUGGER Hey man! What the fuck are you doin'?! We got her purse! Let's just get the fuck outta here! MUGGER 2 She saw your face. MUGGER Look at her, man! She is un-fuckin'- conscious! Ok? MUGGER 2 She still saw you. She'll go to the cops. MUGGER At least grab the purse from her first. I don't fancy spending the next week getting waitress out of the material. He doesn't say anything. MUGGER Come on, man. You probably jangle- fucked her brain up anyhow. She won't remember shit. Let's just go! He simply cocks the pistol, pointed straight at Lisa. A flash of black. The sound of moving leather. The resolve fades from his face, replaced instantly by fear. A MASS OF BLACK lands silently behind them. In an instant, the second mugger's neck is broken. Before he can even react a boot collapses the first mugger's abdomen. He buckles over on his knees instantly. 24. The mugger looks up on his knees in pain. And fear. A direct side-front kick slams his head into the brick wall, plastering blood all over. He falls onto his face, out before he even hits the ground. POV -- LISA Her eyes are blurred. All that she can make out is a dark figure, standing in front of her, a dark cap on his head, looking down. She can't see his face. The sound of his leather coat flaps in the wind. The sound slowly echoes out as she fades into darkness. DISSOLVE TO: TELEVISION SCREEN The news is on. STEVE, professional, and DIANE, sexy, but conservative, are the anchors. The broadcast is already in progress. STEVE (T.V.) --Commissioner Kowolski and The Mayor both have assured this city that changes are on the way. With the crime rates and the missing children rates both at all-time highs the city is ready for them. Meanwhile, neither one of them seem to be slowing any time soon. DIANE (T.V.) On a related note, another small girl has gone missing. Alicia Howlett, who only just turned eight last week, was reported missing two days ago. The police suspect foul play, but say with crime as high as it is there is no guarantee they can commence a complete investigation. Pull back, out of the T.V. to INT. COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE - NIGHT Lou shuts off the screen. MAYOR PERRY, also around sixty, stands with him. MAYOR PERRY Look at them. Trying to drag me into this mess. 25. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI It's our mess. A fine one at that. MAYOR PERRY I can't remember when things were this bad. People are afraid to leave their homes, Lou. It's a war zone. (beat) How did it come to this? Lou sits in a fancy leather chair. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI There aren't enough officers out there. And since the businesses started to leave, I can't afford to put any more on the street. MAYOR PERRY I can't run my city without cops on the street. (beat) Are we completely without allies on this one? COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI Who do you mean? MAYOR PERRY You know who I mean. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI Aw, come on, Dan! You know I don't really believe that bullshit. He's a fairy tale, a fabrication! Like the boogeyman, to scare crooks off the street. How do you think Reese had those files? MAYOR PERRY Are you saying the newspaper is inventing this? (beat) But aren't the reports real? COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI Yes, they're real. But trust me when I say they are much more vague than Reese leads everyone to believe. MAYOR PERRY Still, that's an awful big coincidence. Twelve sight-- 26. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI Thirteen. MAYOR PERRY Thirteen sightings of this man. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI We're still not sure if it's only one. MAYOR PERRY So, you ARE running an investigation? COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI Same thing we do with the rest of the murderers in this town. (beat) If he's out there, sooner or later we're gonna catch him. For now, it's keeping them afraid. MAYOR PERRY And if you don't catch him? If you can't? COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI Then God help the man who goes to war against this town. EXT. POLICE STATION ENTRANCE - DAY John Murdock walks the steps to the entrance. The Station is at the heart of the dilapidated city, an ancient building now crumbling from time. Even now, at the height of day, the city seems dark. A mob of parents crowd the steps to the entrance. They are all in an uproar over something. MOTHER 1 Find my children! FATHER 1 Fix this city! All of them yell similar shouts. JOHN People! Quiet down! The noise calms, but does nothing more. 27. JOHN We are doing the best we can. I know you miss your children. I know you want justice. But with the city the way it is we are doing all we can just to keep it livable. FATHER 2 That's not good enough! The crowd frenzies again. Other officers have to hold them back. One WOMAN breaks past the security built around the entrance and rushes up to John. She flashes a piece of paper in front of him. It's a picture. WOMAN Please! Find my daughter! I know she was taken, but no one seems to care! The picture is of Alicia, in happier days. John gets nervous, his demeanor sullens. WOMAN (crying) Please, find my Alicia. The security catches up to the woman, slowly pulls her back down. WOMAN Please, help me. She misses me. She still holds the picture out in front of her. John takes it. JOHN I - I'll do-- JOHN'S POCKET As he slides the picture in, JOHN I'll do what I can. The woman is carted off, still crying hysterically. John enters the Police Station. 28. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL, BACK ROOM - NIGHT Lisa's eyes slowly open. There is a constant, repetitive clanking sound somewhere in the distance. She snaps, realizing she doesn't know where she is. She looks around. She's in a bed, messy, wrinkled. The bed is in some small, dark room. A heavy black curtain covers the only window nearby. The clanking sound continues, metal banging against itself. She climbs to the foot of the bed. Her head suddenly erupts from inside. She gasps, holds it, the wound still tender from earlier. She carefully stands up. And walks on shaky legs out of the room. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL, NAVE - CONTINUOUS What she sees she didn't expect. The Nave, the central room of the church. But it's all in terrible condition. The rows and rows of crumbling, falling pews. The altar at the front. A tilted statue of the crucifix at the head. Cobwebs everywhere. It's more of hell than church. She takes a few steps out, bewildered. Still the clanking continues. She follows the sound. She follows it to another door, a basement door. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL, BASEMENT - CONTINUOUS Immediately the sound is louder. She carefully treks down the rotten wood staircase, not making a sound. The sound in the basement is now completely clear. Someone is working out. The sound stops. After a moment, the weights drop hard to the concrete floor. Lisa, incredibly hesitant, tries to peer into the basement below, but her view is blocked by the floor itself of the room above her. She stops, waits. There is another commotion she can't see. The struggling of muscles. She starts down the steps again, slower and more quietly than before. She aligns her footsteps with the sounds of exertion to hide them. 29. As she heads down the stairs the room comes into view. It's incredibly dark, a basement with no lights except the tiny slivers peering through the tiny basement windows. She sees the enormous barbell on the ground, as well as some other workout equipment. Pommel horse. Gymnast rings. Punching bag. Elaborate set of weights. And others. As she continues down she begins to see movement, difficult to make out in the dark basement. She reaches the bottom of the steps. There is a chin-up bar. A man, Dylan, is doing chin-ups. Never pausing. He makes it look easy. Lisa doesn't move. Doesn't breathe. Just watches. He wears a black tanktop tee. And dark pants. Between those and the shadows of the basement not much of his body can be seen. The shadows caress the grooves of his muscles, highlighting them, accentuating his deep muscle grooves. And a few scars on his arms and chest that aren't covered by his tanktop. Shadows hide his face as well. He suddenly stops, sensing something. He hangs there, turns his head towards her the slightest bit. And lets go. He reaches for a nearby towel, his back turned to her. DYLAN You should get home. (beat) They won't be troubling you again. LISA Where am I? DYLAN My home. She takes a few steps closer. LISA This... this is where you live? He feels her getting closer. He puts the towel down and steps past a shadow into darkness. He might be facing her, but it's too dark to tell. LISA It's a church. 30. DYLAN It's safe. Quiet. She keeps advancing. He takes another step back. LISA Why are you hiding from me? DYLAN Perhaps you should go. LISA Why? Dylan moves in the darkness. He walks over to a work table, where his coat has been laid out. He rubs a substance into his coat so that it no longer reflects light, making it even blacker than before. DYLAN Time does not permit you to stay. It's late. And I have to go to work. LISA Who are you? He doesn't answer. He doesn't even stop what he's doing. She sees the dark coat under his hands. She recognizes it. LISA Wait. That was you. In the alley. DYLAN Yes. LISA Thank you. Dylan says nothing. LISA What are you do-- DYLAN Please. He stops. Throws his coat on. Now he's practically invisible. DYLAN It's time you leave. She looks stunned, saddened. 31. LISA Okay. She turns for the stairs. LISA But thank you... I don't know what-- She turns back to see him. But he's gone. Not a trace. Not a shadow. She accepts it. And heads up the stairs. EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT A somewhat ELDERLY WOMAN walks along the sidewalk outside a series of apartment complexes. A MUGGER suddenly jumps out after her. He yanks away the purse at her hip and runs off. She screams for help, but no one even notices. EXT. CITY STREET ROOFTOP - NIGHT Dylan stands, in close to the same position as before, overlooking the street below. He watches as the mugger runs down the street. Unmoving. Uncaring. EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT Lisa rounds a corner just as the mugger rushes past her, digging in his newly acquired purse. She doesn't take notice, she simply digs in her own purse. She walks up the few short steps to the door of the apartment complex. She pulls out the keys from her purse and enters. EXT. CITY STREET ROOFTOP - NIGHT The rooftop is empty. INT. LISA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT The lock turns and the door opens. Lisa enters her home. She tosses the set of keys onto a table near the doorway and walks away. On the table are several framed pictures. Most of them are of a man, her husband. In some he is alone. Others he and Lisa are locked in an embrace. There's even one from their wedding. 32. INT. LISA'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT Lisa walks into her master bedroom. A king-size bed fills almost the entire space. More pictures. Stark, heavy shadows everywhere. She flips on the light, breaking the darkness. She slowly walks in and sits calmly on the edge of her bed. She begins to cry. EXT. LISA'S APARTMENT BUILDING Dylan stands outside her building, his coat unbuttoned, his hood taken down, looking up at her window. The light in her room suddenly shuts off. Dylan begins to walk down the sidewalk. Just as he does, the Heavens open, rain pours all over him. He doesn't even bother to pull on his hood. He just keeps walking, until he reaches the ELECTRONICS STORE In the window are nearly a dozen different makes and models, all with the same thing on. The News. Dylan stops. And watches the broadcast through the window, standing there, in the rain. NEWSCASTER (T.V.) Now here's what's going on in your neck of the woods. The theme song plays. STEVE (T.V.) Hello, and welcome to WPIX 11, here with your latest News update. Police are still unable to locate the whereabouts of 8 year-old Alicia Howlett who went missing 3 days ago. Police suspect that the girl may be dead. This is just another incident in the long list of missing children in the last few months. (MORE) 33. STEVE (T.V.; CONT'D) Although Police have not yet been able to deter the escalating missing children rates they do say that new programs are going into effect soon, which should put to rest the worries of every parent in New York City. Dylan doesn't move. He just stands there, as the rain patters off his balding head. INT. LISA'S APARTMENT - LATER THAT NIGHT Lisa lies in bed, a crumpled mass of sheets. She stirs and sits up. She looks around, realizing she's still alone. She climbs out of the bed, in her pajamas. She goes into the kitchen and quickly comes back with a cup of coffee. Lisa walks over to the window near her bed, the shades open to the dark world outside. She crosses her arms and just watches. A siren advances closer and the flashing red and blue lights of a police cruiser pass along the street, just out of her view. She turns around, still with her arms crossed, and stares at something across the room. She taps her wedding ring on the mug. Lisa turns and walks away from the window. She sets the coffee mug next to the object she was staring at - the picture of her husband. She returns and heads for the door as she pulls on her coat and fumbles for her keys. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL - NIGHT There is a timid knock on the front door that still manages to echo through the gutted church. The door slowly swings open and Lisa sticks her head in. She looks around, before she enters completely. LISA Hello? Her voice echoes throughout the deserted church, despite the near whisper in her voice. 34. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL, BACK ROOM - NIGHT She walks into Dylan's bedroom. He isn't there. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL, BASEMENT - NIGHT She walks down the rickety steps to the basement. It's empty as well. She is alone. LISA Great. EXT. ALLEY BEHIND APARTMENTS - NIGHT Dylan, with his gear on, walks slowly down a dark alleyway behind an apartment complex in a bad part of town. He pulls down the fire escape ladder and heads up, slowly, casually, like he's done it a thousand times. He walks in this deliberate pace, all the way to the roof. EXT. ROOF - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT He hops over the ledge onto the roof. The gravel crunches under his boots. He walks to the edge and looks over. Again, he walks slowly, almost bored. Near the edge of the roof he hears voices, whispers. He peers over. IN THE STREET A stout cop by the name of MUSKOWITZ, and a YOUNG MAN in a business suit look around in opposite directions, trying to appear casual. From here, Dylan is nothing but a silhouette, crouched against the ledge of the roof some stories above. The young man in the suit hands the short, fat cop a paper- sack full of money. Clearly, this isn't the first time they've done this. They both walk off without saying a word. DISSOLVE TO: 35. EXT. ANOTHER ROOF - NIGHT Dylan jumps from one roof to the next. There is no gap between them, only a ten foot drop. He takes the fall walking, never losing stride after he lands. His leather coat slaps against the back of his pants. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. FIRE ESCAPE - NIGHT The steps to the fire escape creak down and Dylan steps off, into the alley below. DISSOLVE TO: INT. MURDER SCENE - NIGHT The door to the dark apartment opens without a sound, tearing the yellow police tape. Dylan silently steps into the apartment, his coat sways with him as he walks. He casts a broad silhouette over the entire room. He peers down, at the huge blood stain on the carpet. And the chalk outline of a body. He walks around it, examining it. After a few moments he bends down and picks up a few stray hairs that someone must have missed. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. BEHIND BUILDING - NIGHT A TEENAGE KID is pushed and falls to the wet concrete. He gets up and runs off as fast as he can. Fear fills his face as he turns and looks back as he runs. Dylan watches him run. Then turns and walks the other way. He digs inside a brown wallet. After he takes out what little cash there is, he tosses it over his shoulder. An ID of the kid inside. He passes by a green dumpster. Without stopping, or looking, he tosses a handgun in. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL, BACK ROOM Lisa sits on the edge of Dylan's bed, trying to waste the time away. 36. Something catches her eye - on the table at the other end of the room. The pictures. The first picture is of a WOMAN, beautiful, in her 30's. She sets it down and picks up another picture, this one of a YOUNG BOY. Maybe five years old. She just stares at it, with a curious look on her face. She caresses the frame. DYLAN (O.S.) What are you doing? She jumps in fright and drops the picture. The glass shatters. Lisa turns to see Dylan, his hood down, covered in wet dew from the cold night, seeing him for the first time. DYLAN What are you doing here? I told you to go home. Dylan bends down slowly and brushes broken glass off the picture. He picks it up and puts it back in its spot on the mantle. LISA I did. I went home. DYLAN You should have stayed there. LISA I'm sorry. I was... afraid. DYLAN You broke into my home. Went through my things. LISA I didn't feel safe there! He takes a breath. Calms down. DYLAN And your husband? The question stops her. She looks at her wedding band. LISA He's not home... most of the time. For a long moment, neither of them says anything. 37. DYLAN This place is no haven. LISA It'll do. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL - BASEMENT - NIGHT Lisa sits at a table on the other end of the large room. Boots, a bullet-proof vest, and different caps litter the table. Dylan sits at a table covered in documents. His coat lies on the table next to him. Lisa fumbles through his things. LISA How do you pay for all this? DYLAN I keep what I find. LISA Oh, so you're a crook too. DYLAN I steal from thieves, so I can help those they stole from. For a long time there is silence. Dylan is busy with the documents on his paper, reading, comparing. LISA Who were those people in the pictures? DYLAN Just some people... from a long time ago. She handles the vest, feels its weight. She puts it down and looks across the room, at the weight area. Numerous devices, but as low-tech as can be. Poles in the wall, ancient weight sets. She turns her attention away and stares at Dylan's coat, hanging from one of the poles. It's worn beyond belief, destroyed by a lifetime of overuse. LISA Who are you? DYLAN Don't. 38. LISA What? DYLAN Don't... ask me that. LISA I don't even know your name. DYLAN Sometimes even a name can be too much. LISA I just thought-- DYLAN Dylan. Dylan Dandridge. LISA Lisa. (beat) Why do you do this, Dyl-- DYLAN Please... don't ask me anymore about my past. LISA Yeah, I, I under--I mean, I guess I understand... She's silent. Dylan shuffles around more papers. LISA What are you doing? DYLAN Trying to catch a killer. INT. JOHN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT John sits in a chair in the center of his living room. He's polishing his gun. He takes out the clip, checks to see if it's loaded. It is. He slams the clip back home. He loads the chamber. He aims it at random things around the room, checking the accuracy of the sight with one eye shut. He stops. Then he slowly puts the gun in his mouth. 39. He pulls back the hammer and starts to cry. Sobs muffled by the barrel of a 9mm automatic wedged between his teeth. He hesitates. He opens his eyes and sees the body of a 10- year old boy face-down on his carpet. John suddenly looks very worried. John gets up. He rushes frantically around the room. He sets the gun down on the kitchen counter. And runs into his bedroom. EXT. WOODED AREA - NIGHT - RAIN John is in the deepest, darkest part of the forest, miles away from anything. The red taillights of his car are the only light in this place. The rain comes down in sheets, drenching John to the bone. The trunk is open on John's car. He struggles to pull out a huge black bag. It's obvious what's inside. A mass of weight smacks the wet dirt as he is finally able to extricate it. A crack of lightning. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL - DYLAN'S BEDROOM - MORNING The warm light streams in through the stain-glass window. Lisa is fast asleep on Dylan's bed, above the sheets. Suddenly, she jolts awake. For a moment, she wonders where she is. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL - BASEMENT Lisa walks down the wooden steps to the basement. There is no one there. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL - NAVE The building is silent. Lisa walks down the center aisle of the nave towards the door. When she gets to the door she opens it, glancing back one last time at the silent church before shutting the door behind her. INT. DINER - DAY Lisa walks from one table to the next, with a full pitcher of coffee in her hand, completely absent from the world around her. 40. She pours another cup. She takes the check from the next table. A GRAY-HAIRED MAN sits at the table beside her, GRAY-HAIRED MAN Miss? Miss? Lisa doesn't even hear him. GRAY-HAIRED MAN Miss?! He shouts. It startles her and she nearly spills some coffee as she pours it. She looks at him. LISA Yes? GRAY-HAIRED MAN Decaf? LISA Yes sir. Just a minute. She walks to the next table and sees who's sitting there, before he sees her. Stephen. She refills his cup of coffee, keeping her eyes away from his. He just stares at her, waiting for her to acknowledge him. Once his cup is full she walks off. He doesn't even move his head to watch her go. INT. DINER CHANGING ROOM - DAY Back in her day clothes Lisa stuffs her work clothes into her locker. Ginger strolls in behind her and leans her back against the locker next to Lisa's. GINGER Hey there, kiddo. LISA Hey. GINGER Hey, I'm really sorry about- LISA -It's ok- 41. GINGER -the other day. LISA It's ok. GINGER I didn't even think about- LISA -Ok...- GINGER -your husband. LISA I told you, it's ok. GINGER I guess I'm just not a one man kinda gal. LISA Don't worry about it. I'll see ya later. She closes her locker. And leaves. EXT. BUSINESS DISTRICT - SKYSCRAPER STEPS - DAY Commissioner Kowolski, Mayor Perry, and John, along with two of the Mayor's BUSINESS ADVISORS who hang back but chime in whenever they feel it necessary, all walk down the steps exiting an enormous skyscraper in the business heart of New York. A hobo with heavy blankets over his back and head pushes a shopping cart full of meaningless garbage down the sidewalk ahead of them, keeping within earshot. He keeps his head down. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI Well, that went well. MAYOR PERRY Damn these investors. The city of New York is a pile of shit and they're not willing to un-shit it. BUSINESS ADVISOR 1 Don't you mean YOUR city, sir? 42. JOHN If you don't mind my saying, Lou, the investors are still too scared of the city. Their own building is like a damn prison. MAYOR PERRY Damn these investors. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI The last time these businesses were here they were looted and plundered every week. Some of them every day.They were driven out by the scum in that city. MAYOR PERRY And whose fault is that? COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI If you would put more of my men on the streets-- BUSINESS ADVISOR 2 Uhh, the budget doesn't call for that. COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI There's no budget because there's no businesses. BUSINESS ADVISOR 1 There's no businesses because of all the crime. MAYOR PERRY We're fucked. JOHN Between all this and the child murders-- COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI --Not to mention the Man in Black-- MAYOR PERRY We're fucked. JOHN (to Lou) --I thought you didn't believe-- COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI We just need to make the city safe again. 43. JOHN Let us put a few more men on the street. Catch a few big names. Then people will see. MAYOR PERRY So, how are we doing on those lines then? JOHN We found another body in a wooded area last week in Queens. We're pretty sure it's related. MAYOR PERRY Then that means--? COMMISSIONER KOWOLSKI It means he's getting smarter. He's changing his tactics. We don't know exactly how long this one was there. The animals must have gotten to him. And there's still no telling how many of the missing children are because of him. MAYOR PERRY This is becoming a serious problem. And I'm at a total loss. John, you're my number one man. You have to catch this son of a bitch. When you do it'll bring the family businesses back, the Mom n' Pops. That'll get the ball rolling for more. JOHN I always get my man. Mayor Perry stops at the bottom of the steps and turns around, back to the building. MAYOR PERRY Damn these investors! The five of them continue down the sidewalk, as the hobo with the cart stops. He finally raises his head. It's Dylan. INT. QUEENS DINER - NIGHT A quaint, quiet 50's-style diner with a big glass front- window to boot. Dylan sits at the counter sucking soup, and a beer, still wearing the heavy rags. The news quietly hums from a television hanging in the corner. He listens without turning his head. 44. The WPIX 11 theme song plays. ON SCREEN Steve and Diane sit at attention. Behind them a television graphic spirals into clarity, with overly-intense, dramatic music to boot. It reads: MINOR MASSACRE. STEVE (T.V.) Welcome back. The latest victim in a string of disturbing murders, which has now been dubbed the "Minor Massacre," has been found. The victim was 10-year old Elliot Campbell, who was found sodomized and strangled this week in an undisclosed wooded area outside Queens. DIANE (T.V.) The latest death resembles other recent murders of young children over the last few months, however this is the first instance where a body has been hidden in the wooded area. The police are confident and have assured justice to the public, but say they still have no leads. Elliot left behind two sisters, a brother, and his mother and father. STEVE (T.V.) We now take you, live, to an all- night prayer vigil being held outside Elliot's home, led by his mother, Gloria Campbell, and some of his closest friends and family. CAMPBELL HOME A veritable shrine has been erected outside a suburban home. Candles, pictures of the boy, and lots of flowers. Several people are bent down at the altar, praying, putting out more pictures of the boy. The image cuts to a man, as an ID ticker scrolls across the bottom. "JAMES CAMPBELL, THOMAS' UNCLE." 45. JAMES CAMPBELL Well, he was a great kid, ya know? We're just here prayin' in hopes that he's in a better place right now, we know he is, and to pray that they catch whoever did this to him. Hopefully, we can make a difference somehow, and they'll catch him, and bring him to the justice he deserves. BACK TO SCENE In the background, the mother can be heard sobbing. Dylan looks up from his bowl of soup at the counter, his head still heavy from the wilting blankets atop his head and shoulders. He hasn't shaved in days. He just sits quietly and listens to the world around him, listening for some useful information. A WAITRESS walks over to refill a MAN's coffee. When she bends down, MAN IN BOOTH (whisper) Hey, you wanna come back to my place? We'll have some fun. He slips a fifty dollar bill in her shirt pocket. He's done this before. She looks at him, thinking it over. Dylan sits. Listens. Four college students, JIMMY, LANCE, BRUCE and JOE, all sit at a table across the Diner. JOE (whisper) So, wait, wait. How old was she? BRUCE (whisper) Dude, it was her high school graduation. How old do you think she was? So, we all go to the room upstairs and she is just gone! JOE (whisper) So, you were second? 46. BRUCE (whisper) No. Jimmy was second. (looks at Jimmy) I was third. And Lance was last. (looks at Lance) JOE (whisper) Well, then, who was first? LANCE (whisper) Dumbass. Her boyfriend. JOE (whisper) Damn guys! JOE (whisper) I know. It was fucking awesome! BRUCE, LANCE, JIMMY (in unison) CHOO! CHOO! They cackle in obnoxious laughter, trying to contain it in the quiet sanctum of the diner. Dylan drops a five on the table and heads out. EXT. QUEENS DINER - CONTINUOUS Dylan journeys back out into the cold night, still keeping his head low. He passes by two men on a dark corner. They speak softly, but still audible to Dylan. DRUGGIE (whisper) Hey man, come on, I don't like this. It's too out in the open. Where's the house at? DEALER (whisper) Hey, now. Only I know where the house is. This is good stuff, man. If you want it cough it up. If you don't I'll see ya later. 47. He hands the dealer a ten dollar bill. Dylan stays close, waiting. After the exchange, the dealer walks off into a dark, empty alley. Dylan follows silently behind, keeping his distance. EXT. ALLEY - CONTINUOUS Dylan walks past a line of shadow and disappears into the night. There is the rustling of fabric as he tosses off his rags and shoddy blankets. He emerges from the darkness in his trenchcoat. He pulls the hood over his head, hiding his face under a veil of shadow. All the while the dealer never hears a sound, never looks back. Dylan tracks him as the Man in Black, keeping just enough distance between the two of them not to alert the Dealer in any way. The alley is long and full of turns. Steam rises from beneath the sewer grates. Puddles of water run-off are everywhere, always in the foot's path. The drug dealer continues down the dark, wet path, constantly looking around to check for onlookers, but never seeing any. Especially Dylan, who is nothing but a shadow. Dylan continues on, silent. Dylan's foot smacks a puddle. And the dealer spins around quickly, looking down the alley behind him. DEALER's POV - Nothing moves. All that's there is the long, dark alley full of shadows. After he is satisfied he continues on, faster now. He rounds the corner. Dylan emerges from a shadow against the wall, completely hidden. He starts forward again, but suddenly, there are gunshots heard in the distance. A few moments later, an alarm. Dylan stops. He looks down the alley, almost bored. He doubles back. 48. EXT. STREET - MOMENTS LATER A man (JOHN DOE) with long, filthy hair smacks his face against the concrete. He is unconscious. Dylan walks down the sidewalk, away from the man, towards a convenience store in a row of buildings. EXT. CONVENIENCE STORE - MOMENTS LATER He looks inside. And silently slips in. He looks around for more robbers as he enters. INT. CONVENIENCE STORE - CONTINUOUS He looks around. There is no one. But there is a sound, a whimpering. It comes from behind the counter. Dylan walks around it, to the other side. The light from the store lamps illuminate his face. A young boy, only 8 or so, sits with his back against the counter. Two adult figures, a man and woman, lie dead, shot, near him. His parents. He looks up at Dylan, tears pour from his face. Dylan's face turns to one of surprise. The image is shocking to him, yet familiar. The boy only cries, still looking up at him. Dylan's face contorts, into one of pity. EXT. CONVENIENCE STORE - LATER THAT NIGHT The street now bustles with activity. Full of onlookers. Police. Ambulance. Fire truck. Coroner's van. An old, fatherly type police officer clutches the boy at his shoulders, as body bags filled with his parents are wheeled from the store and pushed into the van. The boy's expression is blank now. Completely blank. Dylan, in a dark alley across the street, leans against a brick wall. He isn't even facing the action. He doesn't need to see what's going on to know. 49. INT. POLICE STATION - UPSTAIRS - LATER The boy, still with the blank expression, sits in a wooden bench. He just stares at the floor. A familiar face turns the corner and walks down the hall towards the boy. John. He kneels in front of the boy. EXT. POLICE STATION - FIRE ESCAPE - NIGHT Dylan watches through the window from the fire escape. In the total darkness outside, he is nothing more than an iron rail. Unmoving. Inside, John speaks to the boy. After a few words, he puts his hand on the boy's shoulder. The boy begins to cry. After a moment, he falls into John, burying his face in John's chest. John picks the boy up, still crying, and carries him down the hall, genuinely caring for the boy. Outside, Dylan turns from the window. He looks truly sad for the boy. INT. POLICE STATION - INTERROGATION ROOM 3 - PREP ROOM - LATER John looks through a two way mirror into an interrogation room. Inside sits the crook Dylan caught outside the Convenience Store. A door opens. Officer McKee comes in. MCKEE Frank said you have the OK. John says nothing. He takes a sip from his coffee. MCKEE You know who he says knocked his block off, right? JOHN I'm fairly certain he mentioned something about a trenchcoat. MCKEE If that's true... why isn't he in the same van as that boy's parents? 50. JOHN (re: robber) Because he's the one who killed them. He had the money in his coat pocket. MCKEE I thought he was a crook. I thought he was a serial killer. The Man in Black, I mean. JOHN Until today, I thought he was a myth. John tosses his coffee. And heads out the door. McKee watches as John enters the Interrogation Room. He sits next to the robber and begins talking. Chief Husselbeck enters. HUSSELBECK He in there? MCKEE Yes, sir. HUSSELBECK Good. Maybe we'll get something out of him. MCKEE Is he the only one who's ever seen him? Frank nods. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM 3 JOHN What's your name? JOHN DOE John Doe. JOHN Ah, I see you've been here before. How is it the second time 'round? It's nicer, right? John Doe looks away, annoyed. 51. JOHN Well, you're not wrong. That's what your file's gonna read. Seems someone stole your wallet. So John, -Hey, we have the same name! - So John, that's a nice shiner you got there. I got an even nicer steak at home you can slap on it later. If you want it. John Doe looks puzzled for a moment. JOHN DOE What's your game? JOHN Nothing. You just look hungry. I mean, you knocked off a 7-Eleven, you must be starving, right? JOHN DOE Yeah, go fuck yourself. JOHN Now I'll give you that steak - it's very nice, five-pound T-Bone - if you tell me who gave you that shiner. JOHN DOE Like I told Little Boy Blue (looks at his reflection in the mirror) all he had on was a black coat. JOHN No hat? Matching sunglasses? JOHN DOE I didn't check. I was a little busy getting this shiner you seem to enjoy so much. JOHN You're a pretty big fellow. You go to the gym a lot? He must have been pretty good to take you down. (beat) Is he strong? JOHN DOE What the fuck is this? I killed two people today! Why don't you ask about them?! I don't know anything about your fucking hero! 52. John waits for a moment before asking another question. JOHN How much money did you take from the register? JOHN DOE I emptied it. JOHN Ballpark. JOHN DOE A couple hundred. Easy. JOHN That's interesting. Because we found 347 dollars on you. JOHN DOE Sounds about right. JOHN Don't you think it's weird someone took your wallet but not the wad of cash sticking out from your front pocket? JOHN DOE What's the matter? Need to find him so you can put him on the payroll? JOHN What is he? JOHN DOE He's a man. He's just a man. INT. SUBWAY CAR - NIGHT Dylan sits back, hood drawn down, lost in thought. He just sits there, in the abominable subway car, as the dark world races by outside. INT. LISA'S BEDROOM - MORNING The phone rings. Lisa stirs in bed, still asleep. With a groggy voice, she answers it after what seems like an eternity of incessant ringing. 53. LISA Hello?... Hello? Who is this? DYLAN (V.O.) (through phone) Do something for me. Her expression shows she knows who it is. DYLAN (V.O.) (through phone) Do what I cannot. Help heal a someone's pain. EXT. ALICIA HOWLETT'S HOUSE - DAY Lisa walks up to a small, homely house in a neighborhood decidedly more upscale than her own, and tentatively walks up the porch. EXT. PORCH - DAY Lisa rings the bell. A DISTRAUGHT WOMAN, MRS. HOWLETT, answers. LISA Mrs. Howlett? MRS. HOWLETT Yeah? LISA I wanted to talk to you... about Alicia. MRS. HOWLETT They found her? LISA Uhh, no. MRS. HOWLETT Then please leave me alone. LISA Wait. I just... have something to tell you... that might help. INT. ALICIA HOWLETT'S HOUSE - DAY Lisa sits in a chair in the living room. Mrs. Howlett enters, holding a cup of coffee. 54. MRS. HOWLETT One sugar, honey. How do you like it? LISA Black. MRS. HOWLETT Oh, well... he's a mixed nationality. Mrs. Howlett hands Lisa the cup of coffee. And sits in the chair across from her. MRS. HOWLETT So, where did you say you know my daughter from? LISA Oh, I don't. I just heard about her... on the news. MRS. HOWLETT My daughter used to play the flute. She was good too. She had her first competition last month. Everyone there was so much older. She didn't win, of course. She was too nervous. Her little fingers kept slipping off her marks. (beat) But, when she came to me after it was over... she had just the biggest smile on her face. And she looked at me and she told me "Mommy, I did good." (beat) She was just so happy to even be there. (beat) She went missing a week later. Lisa can do nothing but stare at this poor mother. MRS. HOWLETT You wanna see her room? INT. ALICIA'S ROOM - DAY Alicia's room is a sea of bright colors, pictures of horses, flowers, scattered toys and stuffed animals, and the occasional Backstreet Boy. Lisa stops. She sees the shelf full of Alicia's pictures. 55. LISA This is her? Mrs. Howlett nods. LISA She's gorgeous. MRS. HOWLETT Yes, she is. Everyone says that. I wonder if they're being serious... LISA Where's the father? MRS. HOWLETT He passed away... a few years ago. (beat) Once they find my Alicia I can finally have some company again. No more talk shows. I can get back to recitals, and plays, and homework. The things I love the most. For a long time no one says anything. Lisa can only look at the pictures spread out on the mantle. MRS. HOWLETT Why are you here? LISA I don't know. MRS. HOWLETT It's one of those things. I just wanna know what happened. Even if she's... it's better than not knowing. LISA I can't say I begin to understand what you're going through, but, all I know is that when-- MRS. HOWLETT Thank you, but, I don't need you to tell me you're sorry. And that everything will be ok. I'm tired of people telling me that, honey. I just want my little girl back. I just wanna look at her shining face again, and know that neither of us will ever be alone again. 56. EXT. ALLEY BEHIND QUEENS DINER - NIGHT - RAIN Two men, the Dealer from the Diner and another man, the DRUG SUPPLIER, exchange words in a dark alley behind the old Diner in queens. DRUG SUPPLIER Where's tonight's score? DEALER Here ya go, Boss. The Dealer passes a wad of cash to his boss. EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT - RAIN The rooftop overlooks the two men. Far below, the Dealer turns and runs off down the alley. He disappears into the night. His boss stands in one of the shadows and counts his money. On the rooftop, something moves. The sound of leather. EXT. ALLEY BEHIND QUEENS DINER - NIGHT - RAIN The supplier stands in the alley, still counting the wad of cash. When a shadow moves behind him. He spins. He's frightened, but sees Nothing. He looks behind him quickly, checks the other end of the alley. When his eyes are turned, another shadow moves where he was just looking. It's getting closer. He spins his head again, searching. Clearly frightened, he eyes a group of shadows near the brick wall. DRUG SUPPLIER It's you, isn't it? He waits. Nothing moves. DRUG SUPPLIER I know who you are. I've looked you up. 57. Nothing. DRUG SUPPLIER I know all about you! DYLAN (hidden) And I know you... Dylan suddenly appears from behind a wall of shadow directly behind the supplier. DYLAN Reese. He's right. The Drug Lord is Reese, decorated member of the press. Reese practically leaps forward, startled by Dylan's sudden presence. He backs up and makes distance between them. REESE Hey, I gotta pay off my contacts somehow. Dylan takes a step closer. He is nothing more than a silhouette in this light. A huge, menacing shadow. DYLAN Where's the house? REESE Try to find it- He pulls out a .35 from inside his pants. REESE -you trenchcoat-wearin' son of a bitch. Dylan rushes Reese. His coat comes alive, enveloping them both in an instant. Reese's gun goes off. Their bodies smack together in the cold rain. INT. LIBRARY BASEMENT, RESEARCH ROOM - DAY Fingers glide across a computer keyboard. On the screen the words, "Superhuman, myths, miracles" are typed into the search line. Several pages pop up. A list of urban myths pop up on the screen, including, but not limited to: 58. "Miraculous Rescues, Incredible Survivor Stories, Acts of God?, More Than Human?" She clicks on "Incredible Survivor Stories" Several news headlines flood the screen. The top article reads, "Man fights tiger, saves one" She closes that one, the one behind it: "New Zealand cop takes bullet to head, survives" Closes another, "Infant survives three-story fall" She closes the rest and goes back to the list. She clicks on "Miraculous rescues" Several pages. The first: "Firefighter in Russia rescues seventeen" Closes it. "Unidentified man rescues two children; parents found dead in home" Closes. "Three rescued from burning building" In the picture a man pulls three women out the front door of an engulfed office building. Lisa zooms in on the text. "Unidentified man later confirmed to be Richard Dalby. He declined comment." Lisa adds a few words to the search line. After "miracles" she types, "Richard Dalby". Several more newspaper headlines pop up. "Local man rescues three" "He does it again" "Hero prevents disaster" LISA Jesus Christ... She closes all the articles and goes back to the original search results. Lisa clicks on "More Than Human?" Many articles appear. "Australian man sets new un-official world record, shattering it by nearly a minute" 59. "Boy claims he can heal with his hands" "Chinese woman says she hasn't slept in twenty years; Chinese scientists say it's true" "Woman lifts car off boy" Lisa clicks on a link that reads: "See Video Report" A media window pops up. A FEMALE ENGLISH REPORTER talks to the camera in front of a busy street, with a suiting UK accent. FEMALE ENGLISH REPORTER A woman saved the life of a seven- year-old boy yesterday afternoon after she found the strength to free him from under a one-ton car and then gave him the kiss of life. Stock footage of the busy street plays. FEMALE ENGLISH REPORTER (V.O.) (over footage) Jean-Luc Archer, from Cheetham Hill, Manchester, was walking near his home on this street when he ran out in front of a BMW 318. The boy went under the front wheels of the car, the driver, so traumatized by the event, was unable to take his foot off the brake. Lisa Hodgkinson, a 29-year-old sales representative from Warrington, Cheshire, had left work to buy a sandwich when she saw the accident happen. She immediately raced over to help the badly- injured schoolboy. The footage cuts to an interview with LISA HODGKINSON in her home. LISA HODGKINSON The car was on top of Jean-Luc and I somehow managed to push it off him. I donít know how I found the strength. I think nature just takes over. He had stopped breathing, so I gave him mouth-to-mouth. It cuts back to the reporter, still near the busy street. 60. FEMALE ENGLISH REPORTER George Tapert was nearby when the accident happened and saw the whole thing. Cuts to GEORGE TAPERT, sitting behind the wheel of his car, being interviewed on the street. GEORGE TAPERT It was the damnedest thing I've ever seen. Just the damnedest thing. The bloody wheels came off the ground. Cuts to the Reporter. FEMALE ENGLISH REPORTER The strangest thing in all of this is that this is not the first time Ms. Hodgkinson has given someone the kiss of life. She received a Good Citizen Award from Cheshire police last July, after resuscitating a lorry driver on the M62. The video ends. Lisa goes back to the search line and erases "Richard Dalby." In its place she types, "Dylan Dandridge." A page pops up on the screen. The article has already been highlighted by the search engine. "DEATH IN SUBWAY DEEMED ACCIDENT." Lisa clicks on a video link. A video news report pops up in a media player window. The VIDEO REPORTER reports from a destroyed subway line. She advances towards the wreckage as she speaks. VIDEO REPORTER Police and Transit Authorities have completed their lengthy investigation involving the collapse of this (points to wreckage behind her) abandoned subway line that killed a teenage boy three months ago. The boy, Tyler Thompson, traveled to this underground subway line when it suddenly collapsed and killed him. (MORE) 61. VIDEO REPORTER (CONT'D) Two other teenagers, Dylan Dandridge and Kelly Williams, were also injured, but not seriously hurt. Authorities are still investigating the rumor of a possible kidnapping in this case. But, for now, this line which used to run twice a day, is shut down indefinitely. There is a photo of the devastated subway line. It's an older line, for cargo trains. The roof has collapsed and a newer subway car, along with tons of concrete and debris, have crashed through the broken ceiling. A familiar figure looms behind Lisa: John. He browses through the books, when Lisa catches his eye. He moves closer, trying to act casual. He stares at her. Quickly, she feels someone watching her and sees John, still staring at her. JOHN (smiling) Hi. LISA Hi... Lisa quickly turns her focus back to the computer monitor. She sees a link at the bottom of the page that reads, "See Related Story" She clicks it. Another article, from the same paper, pops up over the old one. The headline: "HERO IDENTIFIED IN RESCUE OF YOUNG GIRL" Lisa reads over the large-fonted sub-headline: "Dylan Dandridge has been identified as the man who rescued an 8-year old girl that was pinned beneath the wheel of an SUV one month ago." John inches even closer. He looms over her shoulder and reads the article she's looking at. There is another picture here, this one an artist rendering of the event. 62. In it, a teenage boy, presumably Dylan, lifts a large SUV approximately one foot off the ground by the front bumper. Underneath one of the front tires lies a prone young child. It's an incredible image. JOHN Wow... She turns to see him, startled. JOHN Some hero. She smiles at him. He's being truly genuine. She looks back and forth between the article of Lisa Hodgkinson and the article about Dylan. She can only stare. INT. CLINIC - NIGHT The door cracks open hard. Dylan crashes through the broken door and staggers into the clinic. He gets his bearings. He passes a metal exam table in the center as he works his way to the far end, where the medicine cabinet is. He bears a heavy limp. Yet he still has the same stubborn, determined look on his face. He opens it up, breaking the tiny lock off as he does so, and removes a roll of gauze. He leans his heavy body against the table. He pushes his coat aside. Blood covers his black shirt. He lifts up the front, more blood pours out of the bullet wound on the side of Dylan's stomach. He starts to unravel the gauze. Suddenly, a shadow passes over the light coming from the door. A FEMALE NURSE stands still in the doorway. This is SARAH. Dylan quickly looks up at her. SARAH What is it this time? She walks over to Dylan. DYLAN Nine millimeter. 63. SARAH How did this happen? What happened to the vest? DYLAN I stopped wearing it. Too bulky. SARAH But you're so big. Sarah takes the gauze from his hand. She sets it down on the table next to him. SARAH And he caught you off guard? DYLAN Well, he's supposed to be a reporter! SARAH After all this time you still take people at face value. Dylan says nothing. SARAH Alright-- She picks up a pair of tweezer-like tongs and holds them in front of Dylan's face. SARAH I know the adrenaline your body stores acts as a natural pain inhibitor, but this is going to hurt. A lot. He thinks about it for a moment. DYLAN Alright. Do it. She grabs a syringe and fills it with something from one of the bottles in the cabinet. She injects it into his arm. DYLAN God, I hate those fuckin' things. SARAH Shut up, you big baby. 64. In a moment, Dylan's eyes begin to wobble. He starts to get dizzy, starts to fall asleep. She gently grabs his head and leans him back on the cold table. DYLAN How much did you shove into me? SARAH Rest. You don't get nearly enough. She looks down at him with loving eyes. Everything goes black. EXT. ALLEY CRIME SCENE - NIGHT The alley behind the Queens Diner was once dark and empty. Now it buzzes with excitement as cops filter in and out beneath yellow police tape. John bends down and lifts the plastic sheet covering Reese's body. He looks at it with a Detective's eye for details. Chief Husselbeck powers his way through the slew of officers, heading for John, who sees him coming. HUSSELBECK How we doin', John? JOHN We've got to do a better job keeping the press outta here. They're gonna have a fuckin' field day with this. HUSSELBECK I know, I know. I've already put more guards on security detail. He sees the body. HUSSELBECK That him? JOHN None other. They both bend down to get a closer look. 65. JOHN The report Reese left at his office said that he was investigating the crack house- (motions with his head) -down that way. HUSSELBECK He have anything on him? JOHN Just a pen and some notes. Looks like his report checked out. HUSSELBECK Let me guess- Frank looks at Reese's neck - it's swollen and discolored. HUSSELBECK -The neck, right? JOHN Good guess. They both stand up. JOHN The only strange part is this. (motions to casing on ground) We found a spent shell casing here. We haven't found the weapon yet, but, then again, this isn't exactly the nicest neighborhood. HUSSELBECK It could have come from anybody. JOHN Right. HUSSELBECK Are we back to thinking the same thing, John? JOHN I imagine so. (beat) I guess we should make it fourteen. Frank kneels back down, now close to Reese's ear. 66. HUSSELBECK (whisper) You got what you deserved. INT. ABANDONED CATHEDRAL - NIGHT Dylan enters the Nave through the huge double doors. His breathing labors. And he still has that limp. Suddenly, Lisa runs out from his bedroom. She looks like she's been up all night. LISA You're finally back... I was worr- She sees his limp. And something beneath his shirt. He tries to hide it by pulling his coat tighter. LISA Are you alright? She walks hastily over to him. LISA What happened to you? She goes to pull back his coat and check the wound under his bloody shirt. But he extends his hand and halts her before she can. DYLAN You should go. LISA But I just-- DYLAN Now. She looks up at him, still holding her away with his hand. He just stares at her coldly. LISA Yeah... alright. She hesitantly walks out. INT. POLICE STATION - JOHN'S DESK - NIGHT The main room of the Detective's wing. Desks fill the area. 67. John's desk is somewhat neat, much neater than the desks surrounding him. He sits in it, working on the usual slew of police reports. Chief Husselbeck traverses the maze of desks, until he finally reaches John. HUSSELBECK John. John looks up from his work. JOHN Hey, Frank. How's it going? HUSSELBECK How the hell do you think it's goin'? We're gonna have a real mess soon. I've got the news guys so far up my ass they might as well brush my teeth. (beat) We have to act. Right now. JOHN About? HUSSELBECK I've already got my hands full with the kid fucker. We don't need a vigilante killer out there popping off famous repor
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