The Game (1997)
      
Directed by David Fincher
      
John Brancato & Michael Ferris 
and Larry Gross and Andrew Kevin Walker
      
2/8/96 

Michael Douglas ................... Nicholas Van Orton
Sean Penn ........................... Conrad Van Orton
Deborah Unger .............................. Christine
James Rebhorn ........................... Jim Feingold
Peter Donat ........................ Samuel Sutherland
Carroll Baker ................................... Ilsa
Anna Katerina .............................. Elizabeth
   
     HOME MOVIES from the 60's, SILENT and grainy:

 1   EXT.  MANSION -- DAY -- HOME MOVIES                            1   

     A stately mansion.  A perfect lawn.  A BUTLER carries a 
     birthday cake with sparking sparklers...

     Past wealthy MEN in crewcuts and thin ties, WOMEN in cat-eye 
     sunglasses.  Everyone sings (silent) "Happy Birthday"...

     CHILDREN follow the cake, in dresses and suits, gathering 
     round NICHOLAS VAN ORTON, 7, guest of honor, who wears a 
     blindfold.  MOTHER comes to remove the blindfold and Nicholas 
     ogles the cake, laughs.  He reaches for a sparkler.

     STEP PRINT: Mother intercepts, fussing, fixing his hair...

     Nicholas' FATHER sits near, smoking, nodding.  He's intense, 
     thin, wearing a party hat.  He notices the camera without 
     mugging for it, bends to snuff his cigarette in an ashtray.

     SPLICE-JUMP TO/STEP PRINT: a Harlequin CLOWN ties balloon 
     animals.  Nicholas assists, distracted by the inattentive 
     children who look into the camera and pull hair and stand on 
     their chairs...

     Men are drinking, storytelling, laughing.  A fraternity...

     The women are elsewhere, doing movie-vamp poses for the 
     camera, blowing cigarette smoke, brightly dressed, eyelids 
     blue and green, lipstick perfect...

     Servants clear the table.  Father holds a piece of untouched 
     cake.  A man talks to him, but Father stares off, lost in 
     thought.  He's forgotten the party hat on his head...

     STEP PRINT: Mother puts her arms around Father and makes him 
     face the camera.  He leans in, posing dutifully.

     SPLICE-JUMP TO: a nanny in uniform, ILSA, holds an INFANT 
     (CONRAD) to the camera, places the baby in Nicholas' arms.

     STEP PRINT: Nicholas is gentle, overwhelmed by cradling his 
     tiny brother.

     SPLICE-JUMP TO: children play tag.  Across the lawn, Father 
     heads to the house.  He looks back, walks backwards.

     STEP PRINT: he gives a small wave, continuing away...

     Kids chase past.  Nicholas and two other kids huddle, arms 
     locked, spinning round and round, till they stumble different 
     directions, falling, laughing, dizzy...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                                2


     Nicholas gets up, wearing a PUPPET on each hand.

     STEP PRINT: He walks CLOSE and peers in the camera, steps 
     back, happily talking.  We can't hear because it's SILENT...

                                                     DISSOLVE TO:

 2   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, BATHROOM -- MORNING                   2   

     The emotionless face of NICHOLAS VAN ORTON, just today 40, 
     looks upon itself in a mirror.  He brings an electric shaver 
     across his chin, shuts it off, wipes his face with a towel.

 3   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, MASTER BEDROOM -- MORNING             3   

     Nicholas crosses.  The bedroom is spacious, devoid of clutter.  
     A weight-machine in a far corner.  A big T.V.  shows CNN 
     with no sound.

     At a bedside table, Nicholas picks up a heavy, gold ROLEX, 
     sliding it on, checking the time.  6:32.

 4   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, KITCHEN -- NIGHT                      4   

     Nicholas stands at the kitchen island his tie thrown over 
     his shoulder, eating breakfast.  ILSA, now elderly, is across 
     the way doing dishes.

     The only sounds are the tiny clicks of Nicholas' knife and 
     fork against his plate.  He's reading a German newspaper.

     Nicholas jabs the last piece of egg, skewers the last bit of 
     ham and last square of toast.  Plate's clean.

     He sips his last swallow of juice, dabs his mouth with a 
     napkin, picks up his briefcase and heads to a back door.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (without looking)
               Thank you.

                           ILSA
               Have a nice day.

 5   EXT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, BACKYARD -- MORNING                   5   

     Nicholas walks down a garden pathway to a three-car garage.

     He looks at his Rolex.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                                3


 6   INT.  NICHOLAS' BENTLEY -- MORNING                             6   

     Bentley Continental Coupe.  Quiet.  Nicholas drives, begins 
     humming, barely audible.  A Prince song, "Erotic City."

                           NICHOLAS
                    (sings, to self)
               ...until the dawn... making love 
               till cherry's gone..
                    (humming, quiet)
               ... Erotic City, you and me...

     Nicholas changes lanes, HONKING the HORN, impassive.  We can 
     BARELY HEAR the BEEPING in here.  He glances back.

     He drives, adjusts his mirror.  Resumes humming.

                                                          CUT TO:

 7   EXT.  VAN ORTON BUILDING -- MORNING                            7   

     Distinctive SAN FRANCISCO skyline on the horizon.

     Nicholas' building is a brownstone bookended by skyscrapers.

     Old money dwarfed by new.  The Bentley arrives...

 8   INT.  VAN ORTON BUILDING, UNDERGROUND GARAGE -- MORNING        8   

     The Bentley moves past a valet station.  One VALET follows.

     The Bentley takes its place.  A brass plaque reads:

     "NICHOLAS VAN ORTON, Van Orton Enterprises."  The valet opens 
     the car door for Nicholas.

                                                          CUT TO:

 9   INT.  VAN ORTON OFFICE -- MORNING                              9   

     Two objects on Nicholas' desk: phone and laptop computer.

     He's on the phone, operating the laptop with one hand.

     Business talk, mile-a-minute.

                           MALE VOICE (V.O.)
                    (from phone)
               ... might be perched up on majority 
               shares, but you're not the only one 
               who gets hurt if the actuals crash.  
               Forecasts were fucked to begin with.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                4


                           NICHOLAS
                    (into phone)
               The moment Baer/Grant's P and L report 
               is placed in my hand, I will be speed 
               dialing your number.

     Empty walls.  No distractions.  MARIA, the proper executive 
     assistant, stands practically at attention.

                           MALE VOICE (V.O.)
               Is that a promise?

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm sorry... I'm unfamiliar with the 
               term.

                           MALE VOICE (V.O.)
               What if Alan calls me with a sob 
               story about substantiation procedure?

                           NICHOLAS
               Take evasive action: have your 
               secretary say you're in a meeting.  
               Goodbye, Jack.

                           MALE VOICE (V.O.)
               Yeah.

     Nicholas hangs up, shuffling computer windows: stock quotes, 
     pie-charts, graphs, lists.  Maria refers to an index card.

                           MARIA
               Invitations: the Museum Gala.

                           NICHOLAS
               No.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               The Fitzwilliam Botanical Garden 
               Annual Fundraiser.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               No.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               The Hinchberger wedding.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Let me think...
                    (sits back, eyes closed)
               Hordes of men in tuxedos.  Everyone's 
               droning.  Ludwell's trying to break 
               the ice by reciting an off-color 
               limerick...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                5


                           MARIA
                    (impatient)
               I'll send your regrets.  Honestly, 
               why must I even bother?

                           NICHOLAS
               Because, if you don't know about 
               society, you don't have the 
               satisfaction of avoiding it.

     A KNOCK and a female ASSISTANT enters.  There's a lot more 
     NOISE and ACTIVITY behind her.

                           ASSISTANT
               Elizabeth on line three.

     Nicholas taps his fingers on his lips, considering.

                           MARIA
               Your ex-wife.

                           NICHOLAS
               I know who she is.
                    (to assistant)
               Take a message.

                           ASSISTANT
               Um... Happy Birthday, sir.

     Nicholas squints.

                           MARIA
                    (icily)
               Thank you, Maggie.

     The assistant backs out.  Nicholas returns to his computer.

                           NICHOLAS
               I don't like her.

                           MARIA
               I wouldn't mention the following, 
               except he was very insistent.  It's 
               obviously some sort of prank...

                           NICHOLAS
               What?

                           MARIA
               A gentleman left a message requesting 
               a lunch, but I assured him...

                           NICHOLAS
               What gentleman, Maria?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                6


                           MARIA
               A Mister... Seymour Butts.

     Nicholas looks up.  He sits back, lost in thought.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (to himself)
               "Under the Bleachers"... by Seymour 
               Butts.

                           MARIA
               Pardon me?  I'm afraid I don't...

                           NICHOLAS
               Cancel lunch.  Make reservations at 
               Campton Place for me and Mr. Butts.

     Maria nods, heading out, high heels clicking as she crosses.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               And, put the reservation in my name.

                                                          CUT TO:

10   INT.  CAMPTON PLACE RESTAURANT -- DAY                         10   

     Upscale.  Quiet.  Nicholas is in a booth facing the rear, 
     studying a thick FINANCIAL STATEMENT, making tiny notations.

     A WAITRESS arrives.

                           WAITRESS
               Ready to order, sir?

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm still waiting...

     Nicholas points out the other plate.  The waitress leaves.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Excuse me...

     She returns.  He slides his empty glass toward her.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               This was iced tea.

     He's returned to his report.  The waitress takes the glass 
     and leaves, irritated.  Nicholas checks his watch.  An 
     EXAGGERATED SNEEZE is HEARD and liquid hits the back of his 
     neck -- AH-CHOO!...

     Nicholas jumps, sickened, turning to face CONRAD, who holds 
     a spray bottle and smiles.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                7


                           CONRAD
               Hey there, Nickie.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (repulsed)
               Conrad, what a surprise.  Gesundheit.

                           CONRAD
               Happy Birthday, man.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (nods)
               "Seymour Butts."  I never get tired 
               of that one.

                           CONRAD
               That's why it's a classic.  Come on, 
               man... how 'bout a hug... ?

     Nicholas is wiping his neck with a napkin as Conrad forces a 
     hug on him.  Conrad takes a seat, good-looking, unkempt, 
     tan, wearing a too-big suit jacket.

                           CONRAD (CONT'D)
               They gave me a free jacket at the 
               door.

                           NICHOLAS
               They'll be wanting it back.

                           CONRAD
               Not after I'm done with it.
                    (laughs)
               Actually, I've been here.  In grad-
               school I bought crystal-meth from 
               the maitre d'.

                           NICHOLAS
               Which grad-school?

     Conrad smiles.  The brothers take each other in for a moment.  
     Long moment.  They're a bit stunned to be reunited.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               You look good.

                           CONRAD
               So do you.  And to think I was 
               worried...

                           NICHOLAS
               About me?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                8


                           CONRAD
               How long's it been?  Since mom died... 
               four years?  How are you?

                           NICHOLAS
               Never better.

                           CONRAD
               Elizabeth?

                           NICHOLAS
               Divorced.  Remarried to some 
               pediatrician or gynecologist, or 
               pediatric gynecologist, in Sausalito.

                           CONRAD
               Too bad, I liked her.  So, you're 
               all alone in the House of Pain?

                           NICHOLAS
               I redecorated.  What about you?

                           CONRAD
               Nowhere in particular.  Don't you 
               keep track of my whereabouts anymore?

                           NICHOLAS
               Connie... what brings you here?  Is 
               everything alright?

                           CONRAD
               Yeah.

                           NICHOLAS
               You need anything?

                           CONRAD
               No.

                           NICHOLAS
               Really?

                           CONRAD
               I don't need anything from you.  I 
               was laying on a beach somewhere in 
               Spain, naked, and, it hit me -- 
               Nickie's birthday.  So, here I am, 
               four layovers, twenty-seven hours 
               flying and one donkey ride later.  
               Not necessarily in that order.

     Conrad drops an envelope on the table.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                9


                           CONRAD (CONT'D)
               For you.

                           NICHOLAS
               You shouldn't have.

     Nicholas opens it, takes out a sappy, Hallmark B-day card.

     A BUSINESS CARD falls out.  Nicholas picks it up...

                           CONRAD
               What do you get for the man who has 
               just slightly more than everything?

     The card: "Consumer Recreation Services."  With a PHONE NUMBER 
     and ADDRESS below.

                           CONRAD (CONT'D)
               Call that number.

                           NICHOLAS
               "Consumer Recreation Services." What, 
               do they make golf clubs?

                           CONRAD
               Trust me.  Call that number.

                           NICHOLAS
               Why?

                           CONRAD
               They make your life fun.  Their only 
               guarantee is you will not be bored.

                           NICHOLAS
               Fun?

                           CONRAD
               You've heard of it.  You've seen 
               other people having it.  They're an 
               entertainment service, but more than 
               that.

                           NICHOLAS
               This isn't an escort service?

                           CONRAD
               It's a profound life experience.

                           NICHOLAS
               Like a stroke?

                           CONRAD
               Call them.  Trust me.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               10


     The waitress shows up with Nicholas' iced tea, spills some.

     Nicholas blots it up with a napkin.

                           WAITRESS
               Sorry.  Let me get you another napkin.

                           NICHOLAS
               I'll be fine... if we could just...

     She moves off as Nicholas raises a finger to order, ignored.

                           CONRAD
               Tell me you'll call.

                           NICHOLAS
               Okay.

                           CONRAD
               Will you?

                           NICHOLAS
               I said I would...

                           CONRAD
               But, will you?

                           NICHOLAS
               Are you still on medication?

                           CONRAD
                    (taken aback)
               Why would you say that?

     The waitress arrives.

                           WAITRESS
               Ready to order, gentlemen?

                           NICHOLAS
                    (ignores, to Conrad)
               I didn't mean it like it sounded...

                           CONRAD
               I'm not on anything anymore.  I'm 
               not even seeing a shrink.  I'm happy.
                    (notices waitress, 
                    turning to her)
               Do you mind... ?!

     The waitress gives him a look, leaves.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               11


                           CONRAD (CONT'D)
                    (to Nicholas)
               I thought you'd like this.  Best 
               thing I ever did.  If you don't want 
               to do it, DON'T...

                           NICHOLAS
               I'll call them, okay?

                           CONRAD
               It doesn't matter...

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm going to call.

                           CONRAD
               Do it for YOU.

                           NICHOLAS
               Okay, okay... okay?
                    (pause, studies card)
               I just... you know I hate surprises.

                           CONRAD
               I know...

     Conrad CLINKS his fork against a glass, motioning...

     Behind Nicholas, WAITERS, WAITRESSES and BUS-BOYS, lying in 
     wait, now come to SING "HAPPY BIRTHDAY."

     Conrad stands, loving it.  Nicholas forces a fake smile.

                                                          CUT TO:

11   EXT.  NICHOLAS' NEIGHBORHOOD -- NIGHT                         11   

     The Bentley cruises hilly streets, ESTATES on all sides.

12   INT.  NICHOLAS' BENTLEY -- NIGHT                              12   

     Nicholas is on his CELLULAR PHONE.  CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYS.

                           FEMALE VOICE (V.O.)
                    (from cellular)
               ... seen the profitability report.  
               No one's happy with the numbers.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into cellular)
               Imagine how much MORE unhappy I am.

                           FEMALE VOICE (V.O.)
               You'll deal with Alan?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               12


                           NICHOLAS
               Correct.

                           FEMALE VOICE (V.O.)
               Okay, Nicholas.  Sleep well.

                           NICHOLAS
               I plan to.

     He increases VOLUME on the CLASSICAL MUSIC, makes a turn.

     He looks out his window, watching the street roll past...

13   FLASHBACK/GRAINY HOME MOVIES -- 1960'S -- DAY                 13   

     SILENT, HOME MOVIE-ISH IMAGES as before: YOUNG NICHOLAS, 10, 
     peers out from a LIMOUSINE, watching his neighborhood pass... 
     PERIOD FASHIONS, PERIOD CARS and HOUSES...

     BACK TO SCENE, IN THE BENTLEY

     Nicholas faces front.  The Bentley comes to the formidable 
     FRONT GATE of the mansion.  The gate begins to slide open.

     Nicholas stares ahead, expressionless.

14   FLASHBACK/GRAINY HOME MOVIES -- 1960'S -- DAY                 14   

     The LIMOUSINE pulls up the ungated driveway.  Young Nicholas 
     emerges, carrying books, waving goodbye to the CHAUFFEUR.

     Young Nicholas runs past rose bushes, heading to the house, 
     but slows, looking up...

     High up, Nicholas' FATHER, in a robe, stands on a balcony 
     railing, looking to the sky.  He's weary, lowers his gaze...

     Young Nicholas is puzzled, gives a tentative wave.

     Father just stares, eyes dead, expression blank.

     BACK TO SCENE, IN THE BENTLEY

     Nicholas looks down, puts the car in gear and drives...

     THRU THE WINDSHIELD: the Bentley's headlights sweep the 
     stately Van Orton house.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               13


15   EXT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, BACKYARD -- NIGHT                    15   

     Nicholas exits the garage, walks up the garden path.  Ahead, 
     Ilsa's leaving through the kitchen door of the house, heading 
     across the yard to the GUEST HOUSE.

                           ILSA
               Dinner's in the oven.

                           NICHOLAS
               Thank you.  Goodnight.

     At the rear door, Nicholas stops himself.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Oh, I saw Conrad today.

     Ilsa stops, looking back.  They're far from each other.

                           ILSA
               You did?  How is he?

                           NICHOLAS
               Okay.  I think he's into some sort 
               of new personal improvement cult.

                           ILSA
                    (nods, at a loss)
               Well... send my love, if you see him 
               again.

     Nicholas nods.  Ilsa leaves.

                                                          CUT TO:

16   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, KITCHEN -- NIGHT                     16   

     Nicholas uses mitts to remove a dinner plate from the oven, 
     sets it on a waiting tray: huge cheeseburger and hand-cut 
     french fries, perfectly presented.

     Nicholas picks up a CUPCAKE with a B-day candle in it.

                                                          CUT TO:

17   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, DEN -- NIGHT                         17   

     Nose-bleed-high ceilings.  Cavernous fireplace.  THREE TVs 
     in the ENTERTAINMENT WALL, the largest showing CNN.

     Nicholas is seated in a chair facing his meal, pouring a 
     glass of champagne.

     He toasts to no one, takes a sip.  The PHONE RINGS.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               14


     Nicholas looks to it, hesitates.  He hits SPEAKERPHONE.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (to speakerphone)
               Elizabeth.

                           ELIZABETH (V.O.)
                    (from speakerphone)
               Happy Birthday, Nick.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (looks at watch)
               Eleven forty.  You almost didn't 
               make it this year.

     Nicholas uses a REMOTE to MUTE BERNARD SHAW on the TV.

                           ELIZABETH (V.O.)
               Did you have a great birthday?

                           NICHOLAS
               Does Rose Kennedy have a black dress?  
               You know my parties.  I went not 
               once, but twice through the spanking-
               machine.

                           ELIZABETH (V.O.)
               I can only imagine.  How are you?

                           NICHOLAS
               Connie asked me the same thing today.

                           ELIZABETH (V.O.)
               Connie, really?  I always liked him.

                           NICHOLAS
               Anyway...

                           ELIZABETH (V.O.)
               I just thought this... might be 
               difficult for you.

                           NICHOLAS
               Just another birthday.

                           ELIZABETH (V.O.)
               I meant because of your father.

                           NICHOLAS
               That's right.  He was forty, wasn't 
               he?  Hadn't thought about it, to 
               tell you the truth, thanks for the 
               reminder.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               15


                           ELIZABETH (V.O.)
               Why do I call you... ?

                           NICHOLAS
               I honestly don't know.  Listen, give 
               my best to Doctor Mel and Rachel....

                           ELIZABETH (V.O.)
               She has a little brother on the way.  
               We just did the ultrasound.

                           NICHOLAS
               No kidding?  An official nuclear 
               family.  You must be pleased.

                           ELIZABETH (V.O.)
               We are.  We couldn't be happier.

     Nicholas smiles thinly, bored, waiting for more.

                           NICHOLAS
               Well, so... thanks for calling.  
               I've got some work here...

                           ELIZABETH (V.O.)
               I should let you go.

                           NICHOLAS
               Take care of yourself.

                           ELIZABETH (V.O.)
               You too, Nicholas.  I mean that, I 
               really do.

                           NICHOLAS
               Um-hm.  Good luck.  Bye.

     He PUSHES OFF the PHONE in the middle of her "goodbye."  He 
     uses the t.v. remote to give BERNARD SHAW back his VOICE.

     Nicholas eats, watching the news.  He takes out the business 
     card Conrad gave him, looks at it, puts it on the table.

     The card: "Consumer Recreation Services."

     Nicholas sits back, chewing.  He stares at the ceiling.

18   FLASHBACK/GRAINY HOME MOVIES -- 1960'S -- DAY                 18   

     SILENT IMAGES: Nicholas' FATHER stands on the high balcony, 
     as before.  He looks skyward one last time, then LAUNCHES 
     INTO SPACE... falling in EXTREME SLOW MOTION...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               16


     A head-first dive...

                                                          CUT TO:

19   INT.  OFFICE BUILDING, 10TH FLOOR -- DAY                      19   

     "DING," elevator doors open.  Nicholas and TWO EXECUTIVES 
     are talking.  As PEOPLE get on, the two executives get off.

                           EXECUTIVE 1
               We're getting off here.

     Nicholas follows.  He and the executives huddle nearby.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (voice low)
               So, we understand each other?

                           EXECUTIVE 2
               We do.

                           NICHOLAS
               Make it work on paper, and you can 
               count on my full support.

                           EXECUTIVE 1
               Right-o.  We'll talk.  Soon.

     They shake.  The executives walk away.  Nicholas returns to 
     elevator, pushes the button, waiting.  He turns, noticing...

     A massive WALL OF TRANSLUCENT GLASS marks the office of 
     "C.R.S."  Modern.  Activity beyond it.

     Nicholas finds this disconcerting.  He takes out his wallet, 
     digging up the C.R.S. business card, studying it... looking 
     again to the glass facade to double check.

     He looks at his Rolex.

     ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GLASS DOORS

     Nicholas enters.  A female RECEPTIONIST speaks into a 
     HEADSET/PHONE.  EMPLOYEES mill about.  UTILITY MEN sort 
     crawlspace wiring.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (to receptionist, 
                    shows "C.R.S." card)
               Is this Consumer Recreation 
               Services... ?

     The Receptionist takes the card.  In the b.g., JIM FEINGOLD 
     pays a DELIVERY GUY for CHINESE FOOD.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               17


                           RECEPTIONIST
                    (into PHONE)
               You shouldn't feel this reflects 
               negatively upon yourself.
                    (to Nicholas)
               Just a moment.
                    (back into phone)
               We hope we haven't caused you any 
               inconvenience.  Thank you for 
               considering C.R.S.

     She studies the card, hangs up and motions to Feingold, a 
     bald, amiable engineer-type who passes with his food bag.

                           RECEPTIONIST (CONT'D)
               Mister Feingold... could you assist 
               this gentleman?

     Feingold spins on his heels, looking, walking over with his 
     hand out.  Nicholas shakes.

                           FEINGOLD
               Jim Feingold, V.P., E.D.A.  
               Engineering and Data Analysis.

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm not quite sure how this works.  
               My brother...

                           FEINGOLD
               Oh, here we go...

     Feingold takes the card the receptionist offers, examines 
     it, turns it over: finds FOUR NUMBERS on the back.

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
                    (of the numbers)
               Excellent.  Let's get started.

     Nicholas picks up his briefcase to follow Feingold.

20   INT.  C.R.S. OFFICES -- DAY                                   20   

     Big operation.  Feingold leads past partitioned cubicles 
     that seem to go on forever.  C.R.S. WORKERS abound.

     TELEPHONE CO. WORKMEN operate on the phones.

                           FEINGOLD
               Sorry about  about all the hullabaloo.  
               We're still moving.  Stick with me... 
               I've got an office around here 
               somewhere.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               18


     Feingold reaches open BOXES, begins collecting pages from 
     each, loading up on all sorts of forms.  he holds out his 
     leaking, greasy food bag to Nicholas.

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
               Mind holding this... ?

     Nicholas reluctantly takes it, keeping it at arms length.

21   INT.  FEINGOLD'S OFFICE -- DAY                                21   

     Feingold types at his computer.  Nicholas stands, looking 
     through the pile of forms on a clipboard.

                           FEINGOLD
                    (TYPES in keyboard)
               V-A-N... O-R-T-O-N...
                    (studies screen)
               A gift from Conrad Van Orton.  
               Interesting...

                           NICHOLAS
               What is?

     Feingold picks up his Chinese food, eats using chop-sticks.

     The BOX features a grinning CARTOON PANDA mascot,

                           FEINGOLD
                    (still studying screen)
               Your brother was a client with our 
               London branch.  We do a sort of 
               informal scoring.  His numbers were 
               outstanding.
                    (holds up box)
               Sure you're not hungry at all...?
               Tung Hoy, best in Chinatown...

                           NICHOLAS
               No, thank you.

                           FEINGOLD
                    (eating, mouth full)
               You need to fill out those forms.  
               Application, psych-tests: M.M.P.I.  
               and T.A.T.  For the financial 
               questionnaire, don't answer anything 
               you don't feel like.  We'll run a 
               T.R.W....

     Nicholas looks through the densely written forms.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               19


                           NICHOLAS
                    (reading FORM)
               "I sometimes hurt small animals.  
               True or False?"  "I feel guilty when 
               I masturbate..."

     Nicholas looks up, skeptical.  Feingold shrugs, embarrassed.

                           FEINGOLD
               I don't write the questions.  I just 
               review them.

                           NICHOLAS
               What's all this for?

                           FEINGOLD
               We want a sense of your overall 
               capabilities, limitations, turn-ons, 
               turn-offs...

                           NICHOLAS
               No, I mean, what is it FOR?  What 
               are you selling?

                           FEINGOLD
               Oh... it's a game.

                           NICHOLAS
               A game?

                           FEINGOLD
               Tailored specifically to each 
               participant.  Think of it as a great 
               vacation, except you don't go to it, 
               it comes to you.

                           NICHOLAS
               What kind of vacation?

                           FEINGOLD
               It's different every time.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (patience waning)
               Humor me with specifics.

                           FEINGOLD
               We provide whatever's lacking.

                           NICHOLAS
               And if nothing's lacking?

                           FEINGOLD
               May I make two suggestions...?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               20


                           NICHOLAS
               Do you really expect me to participate 
               without knowing a single thing?

                           FEINGOLD
               First, admit to yourself that it 
               sounds intriguing.  Second, you don't 
               have to decide today.  Take the silly 
               tests, fill out the forms.  One day, 
               the game begins.  You either love it 
               or hate it.  Decide then.  We're 
               like an experimental Book-of-the-
               Month-Club; drop out at any time 
               with no further obligation.
                    (smiles)
               That was my sales pitch.

     Nicholas thumbs thru the forms one last time...

                           NICHOLAS
               How long will these take?

                           FEINGOLD
               An hour for those... maybe another 
               for the physical.

                           NICHOLAS
               Physical?

                           FEINGOLD
               Cursory examination.  Turn-your-head-
               and-cough sort of thing.  You'll be 
               out of here in no time.

     Feingold takes out a ballpoint pen, clicks it and offers it 
     to Nicholas.  Nicholas takes it.

     On the pen, in tiny letters: the C.R.S. LOGO.

                                                          CUT TO:

22   TESTING MONTAGE -- VARIOUS C.R.S. OFFICES -- DAY              22   

     Nicholas fills out an APPLICATION of endless questions.

     #2 pencil fills in circles on a long M.M.P.I. form.

     CLOSE ON: "I often feel someone is following me.  True/False."  
     "I hate vegetables.  True/False."  "Vegetables hate me.  
     True/False."

     WHITE ROOM.  A stone-faced PSYCHOLOGIST holds up CARDS.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               21


     Nicholas gives his unenthusiastic interpretation into a TAPE 
     RECORDER, checks his Rolex.

     One CARD shows a large ant in an apron feeding a TV dinner 
     to a human child.  That card is replaced by another of a man 
     slipping head over heels on a banana peel.

     - Nicholas wears HEADPHONES, facing a TECHNICIAN, raising a

     finger on his left fist or right fist for each low BEEP.

     Nicholas sighs, can't believe he's doing this.

23   INT.  C.R.S. OFFICES, EXAM ROOM -- MONTAGE CONTINUES          23   

     Electronic MONITORS and PRINTERS record Nicholas' EEG and 
     EKG.  He's on an exam table, wearing a paper gown, covered 
     in SENSORS and WIRES, talking on a C.R.S. telephone.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into phone)
               ... cancel.  Push Cooper back to 
               Wednesday afternoon.

     A TECHNICIAN studies readouts.  A NURSE takes BLOOD PRESSURE.

                           MARIA (V.O.)
                    (from phone)
               Mister Sutherland called about 
               Baer/Grant Publishing.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into phone)
               Tomorrow.  Hold on...
                    (to NURSE)
               How much longer?

                           NURSE
               Almost done.

                           NICHOLAS
               I heard that two hours ago.

     The nurse smiles, pumping up the blood-pressure cuff.

     Nicholas returns to the phone.

     - DARK ROOM.  Images FLASH on a screen: SHAPES, CURSE WORDS,

     PICTURES of U.S. PRESIDENTS, INSECTS...

     In flickering light, Nicholas, still in his gown, watches 
     with THREE BUTTONS before him, pushing one from time to time.  
     Frustrated, he looks around.  He stands and turns...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               22


     Directly into the projector's bright BEAM OF LIGHT.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Hello... ?  Anyone there?
                    (squints, holds up 
                    hand)
               Hello?!

                                                          CUT TO:

24   INT.  C.R.S. OFFICES, EXAM ROOM -- DAY                        24   

     Nicholas dresses, alone, pulling up his pants.  He notices 
     above: a MIRRORED DOME in the corner, obviously a camera.

     Nicholas pulls on his jacket as Feingold arrives.

                           FEINGOLD
               Sorry to keep you waiting.

                           NICHOLAS
               Don't worry.  It's been terrific 
               spending the entire day with your 
               "crack team".

                           FEINGOLD
               It's all down to this...

     Feingold holds out a CLIPBOARD with PAPERWORK in it.

     Nicholas takes it, studies it, wary.

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
               An insurance company requirement.  
               It states that you are aware "the 
               game" exists and that you are a 
               willing participant in said game, so 
               on and so forth.

     Nicholas flips a page and Feingold leans over, pointing.

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
                    (of the paperwork)
               One guarantee.  Payment's entirely 
               at your brother's discretion and, as 
               a gift, dependent on your 
               satisfaction.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (still reading)
               You mean, I don't like it, he doesn't 
               pay?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               23


                           FEINGOLD
               It's never happened.  We've never 
               had an unsatisfied customer.

                           NICHOLAS
               You mean, dissatisfied.

                           FEINGOLD
                    (glances at form)
               That's right -- you're a left-brain 
               word fetishist.

     Nicholas uses the C.R.S. pen to sign.  Feingold turns pages.

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
               Initials... initials, and...
                    (another page)
               Sign here.

     Nicholas is about to sign when Feingold grabs his wrist...

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
               In blood.
                    (laughs)
               Just kidding.

     Nicholas signs.  Feingold tears out a few PINK TINTED COPIES 
     and hands them to Nicholas, kind of in a hurry now.

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
               Your copies, thank you.  Keep the 
               pen.  We'll let you know.

     Feingold exits, gives a thumbs-up and a WINK, shuts the door.  
     Nicholas is a bit bewildered.  He continues dressing.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (muttering to self)
               ... grown man just winked at me.

25   INT.  ATHLETIC CLUB, RACQUETBALL COURT -- NIGHT               25   

     WHAM! -- a blue racquetball BALL SLAMS a wall...

     THRU A WINDOW: Nicholas plays, alone, swatting violently at 
     the ball.  We HEAR a PHONE CONVERSATION in VOICE OVER:

                           CONRAD (V.O.)
               What about Monday or Tuesday?

                           NICHOLAS (V.O.)
               Bad for me.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               24


                           CONRAD (V.O.)
               How 'bout tonight?

                           NICHOLAS (V.O.)
               Unfortunately I'm working all evening.  
               Wednesday's the only possibility 
               right now...

                           CONRAD (V.O.)
               Okay.

                           NICHOLAS (V.O.)
               Dinner?

                           CONRAD (V.O.)
               Fine.  I get to pick the restaurant.

                           NICHOLAS (V.O.)
               By the way, I went to C.R.S...

                           CONRAD (V.O.)
               Really?  What'd you think?

                           NICHOLAS (V.O.)
               They seemed disorganized.

     Nicholas finishes playing, exits.  The ball keeps bouncing.

                           CONRAD (V.O.)
               Well, the office is new.  When I did 
               it in London, they'd been around 
               awhile.  You gonna do this?

                           NICHOLAS (V.O.)
               Haven't decided yet.

                                                          CUT TO:

26   INT.  ATHLETIC CLUB, LOCKER ROOM -- NIGHT                     26   

     Carpeted floors and mahogany lockers.  Nicholas sits at his 
     locker, wet, in a monogrammed robe, toweling his hair.

     VOICES can be HEARD O.S.: BUSINESSMAN 1 and BUSINESSMAN 2.

                           BUSINESSMAN 1 (O.S.)
               ... getting in on the ground floor 
               of the next Disneyland.

                           BUSINESSMAN 2 (O.S.)
               C.R.S. will not go public.  They're 
               family owned.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               25


                           BUSINESSMAN 1 (O.S.)
               Stranger things have happened.

                           BUSINESSMAN 2 (O.S.)
               No, they haven't, actually.

     Nicholas leans to look around a locker.  Businessman 1 and 2 
     dress, two fat-cats.  Nicholas leans back, still listening.

                           BUSINESSMAN 1 (O.S.)
               They just opened here.

                           BUSINESSMAN 2 (O.S.)
               The game in San Francisco?  You see, 
               they're doing fine without any of 
               us.

27   INT.  ATHLETIC CLUB, LOUNGE/BAR -- NIGHT                      27   

     Nicholas enters, looking around, spotting Businessman 1 and 
     2 across the room.  He gets the BARTENDER'S attention, 
     motioning to the businessmen.

                           NICHOLAS
               New members?

                           BARTENDER
               I believe so, sir.

                           NICHOLAS
               This round's on me.

     Nicholas moves casually toward the men...

28   INT.  ATHLETIC CLUB, BAR/LOUNGE -- TIME CUT                   28   

     LATER.  Another round arrives at the table where Nicholas 
     and Businessman 1 and 2 chat.  The businessmen smoke cigars.

                           BUSINESSMAN 1
               ... last time I played Pebble, I 
               swore I'd never pick up a club again.

                           NICHOLAS
               Speaking of games... I couldn't help 
               but overhear you talking about C.R.S.

     Businessman 1 and 2 share a furtive glance.  Nicholas 
     discretely waves cigar smoke out of his face.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               I only mention it because I took the 
               test this afternoon, down on 
               Montgomery Street.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               26


                           BUSINESSMAN 2
               Did you?  Kudos.

                           BUSINESSMAN 1
               So, yours hasn't started?

                           NICHOLAS
               Not yet.  I was hoping you could 
               tell me... uh...
                    (almost embarrassed)
               What is it?

     Businessman 1 and 2 smile.  Shared enlightenment.

                           BUSINESSMAN 1
                    (to Businessman 2, 
                    knowingly)
               Ahh, what is it?

                           BUSINESSMAN 2
               The eternal question.

                           BUSINESSMAN 1
                    (to Nicholas)
               I envy you.  I wish I could go back 
               and do it for the first time all 
               over again...

     He raises his glass.  They toast.

                           BUSINESSMAN 1 (CONT'D)
               Here's to... new experiences.
                    (gulps drink)
               If you'll excuse me, I've got to be 
               going.  'Night, Jon... Nicholas.

     He leaves.  Nicholas focuses on Businessman 2.

                           NICHOLAS
               Did you play recently?

                           BUSINESSMAN 2
               Hm?  No, about a year ago.  I was 
               working out of Los Angeles.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (nodding)
               I've heard good things about their 
               London branch.
                    (leans in)
               You have to admit, it sounds like 
               some fantasy, role-playing nonsense.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               27


                           BUSINESSMAN 2
               You want to know what it is?  What 
               it's all about?
                    (off Nicholas' nod)
               John.  Chapter nine.  Verse twenty-
               five.

                           NICHOLAS
               I, uh... haven't been to Sunday school 
               in years...

                           BUSINESSMAN 2
               "Whereas once I was blind, now I can 
               see."
                    (rises)
               Night, Nick.  Best of luck.

     Businessman 2 puffs his cigar, walks away.  Nicholas watches 
     him go, then pauses, puzzled, mouthing the words to himself.

                                                          CUT TO:

29   INT.  LAW FIRM, CONFERENCE ROOM -- DAY                        29   

     A table of unhappy LAWYERS.  Nicholas goes thru a thick 
     CONTRACT with a red pen, CIRCLING, CROSSING-OUT and SCRAWLING 
     QUESTION MARKS ON paragraphs that displease him.

     SUTHERLAND, trust personified, in his late 50's, stands behind 
     Nicholas, imperturbable.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (still scrawling)
               As far as I'm concerned...
                    (reading, x-ing out)
               ... if the Baer/Grant meeting does 
               not take place tomorrow, it might as 
               well never take place at all.

     Nicholas slides the contract to the center of the table.

                           SUTHERLAND
               When Mr. Van Orton boards his plane 
               in the morrow, he will have every 
               contract, side agreement and addendum, 
               the complete closing package, 
               flawlessly revised.

     INSTANT UPROAR as the contract is grabbed up.  All the lawyers 
     talk at once, fearful, arguing, protesting.

                           SUTHERLAND (CONT'D)
               Ladies and gentlemen...
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               28


                           SUTHERLAND (CONT'D)
                    (as they quiet)
               This is why you're paid twice what 
               you deserve.  So you will miss another 
               opera you would've fallen asleep 
               during anyway...

     During this, Nicholas' CELLULAR PHONE is HEARD RINGING.

     Nicholas takes it out, irritated.

                           SUTHERLAND (CONT'D)
               The meeting has been moved forward.  
               It affords you the opportunity to 
               show our client how well you will 
               rise to his exhilarating challenge.

     QUIET COMMOTION resumes as Nicholas takes his cellular phone 
     to a corner, answering impatiently:

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into cellular)
               Yes?

                           WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
                    (from cellular)
               Nicholas van Orton?

                           NICHOLAS
               Yes, who is this?

                           WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
               This is Cynthia calling from C.R.S...

                           NICHOLAS
               How did you get this number?

                           WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
               We've finished processing your 
               application...

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm in a meeting...

                           WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
               ... I'm afraid your application was 
               rejected.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (pause)
               Pardon me?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               29


                           WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
               You shouldn't feel this reflects 
               negatively upon yourself.  We hope 
               we haven't caused you any 
               inconvenience...

                           NICHOLAS
               This is absurd...

                           WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
               Thank you for thinking of C.R.S.

     CLICK -- she's hung up.  Nicholas folds the phone and pockets 
     it, his mind suddenly far away from the meeting behind him.  
     Sutherland steps close, concerned, quiet...

                           SUTHERLAND
               Anything wrong... ?

                           NICHOLAS
               Nothing.  Nothing at all.

                                                          CUT TO:

30   EXT.  FINANCIAL DISTRICT STREETS -- NIGHT                     30   

     Nicholas guides the Bentley down streets lined with 
     skyscrapers, staring ahead.  A previous PHONE CONVERSATION 
     is HEARD in V.O., a PHONE RINGING... RINGING... RINGING...

                           SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR (V.O.)
               Would you like voice-mail?

                           NICHOLAS (V.O.)
               I suppose.

                           SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR (V.O.)
               I'll connect you.  Thank you for 
               calling the Four Seasons.

31   EXT.  NICHOLAS' NEIGHBORHOOD -- NIGHT                         31   

     The Bentley heads towards home.  The V.O. PHONE CONVERSATION 
     CONTINUES uninterrupted, CLICKING, then...

                           CONRAD'S VOICE (V.O.)
                    (voice-mail recording)
               This is Conrad.  Leave a message.

                           NICHOLAS (V.O.)
                    (waits till after 
                    BEEP)
               Connie, it's Nicholas.  Give me a 
               ring when you get a chance...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               30


32   INT.  BENTLEY -- NIGHT                                        32   

     The Bentley reaches the VAN ORTON GATES, which open slow.

     V.O. CONVERSATION CONTINUES:

                           NICHOLAS (V.O.)
               About your birthday gift.  Things 
               are tight right now.  I'm just not 
               sure whether it'll fit my schedule.  
               Anyway, see you at dinner tomorrow.

     The PHONE is HEARD DISCONNECTING.

33   EXT.  VAN ORTON MANSION -- NIGHT                              33   

     The Bentley's headlights sweep the front of the Van Orton 
     house.  There's something there, on the ground...

     INSIDE THE BENTLEY

     Nicholas stops the car, peering ahead, worried...

     THRU THE WINDSHIELD: A BODY lies face down on the edge of 
     the driveway.

34   FLASHBACK/GRAINY HOME MOVIES -- 1960'S -- DAY                 34   

     The BODY of Nicholas' FATHER, sprawled face-down, in nearly 
     the same place, head twisted, mouth bloody.

     BACK TO SCENE

     Nicholas gets slowly out of the Bentley, reluctant.

                           NICHOLAS
               Hello!  What are you doing there?
                    (no reaction)
               Wonderful...

     Nicholas CLAPS his hands.  The body doesn't stir.  Nicholas 
     look all directions, then approaches.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Are you okay?

     Nicholas nudges the body with his foot.  He crouches, 
     confused, turning the limp body.  It's a grotesque HARLEQUIN, 
     not unlike the clown from Nicholas' seventh birthday, with a 
     shiny face of painted wood.

     Nicholas looks around for an explanation.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               31


35   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, FOYER -- NIGHT                       35   

     The front door opens.  Nicholas enters with the Harlequin, 
     depositing it on a hallway BENCH.

     A half-inch of RED RIBBON sticks out from the Harlequin's 
     lips.  Nicholas tugs the ribbon... pulling out a GOLD KEY 
     tied to the other end.

     Three letters embossed on the key: "C.R.S."

                                                          CUT TO:

36   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, DEN -- NIGHT                         36   

     Nicholas sits with his evening's meal, examining the key.

     CNN on TV.  He looks across the room to the couch where the 
     Harlequin is slumped staring back.

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.)
                    (from television)
               ... according to Nicholas Van Orton, 
               millions of Americans will be affected 
               by this legislation.

     Nicholas hears this vaguely in the back of his mind, looks 
     to the TV.  BERNARD SHAW has moves on to the next story.

     Nicholas goes to the Harlequin, opening its hinged mouth, 
     attempting to look inside.  He gets a knife from his tray, 
     uses it to probe the Harlequin's mouth, jabbing, prying.

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               ... number of criminals behind bars 
               growing by record numbers, with Van 
               Orton pointing the finger at stiff, 
               anti-crime regulations...

     Nicholas looks up.  He heard that.  He walks toward the TV.

     Bernard Shaw is reporting, nothing strange.

     Nicholas waits.  Nothing.  He walks away...

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               ... largest portion of population 
               incarcerated.  These figures were 
               given at a press conference called 
               today by Mr. Nicholas Van Orton.

     Nicholas turns, disbelieving.  Bernard Shaw apparently looks 
     out FROM THE TELELVISION, perturbed...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               32


                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               You going to spend the rest of the 
               evening prying at that clown's mouth?

                           NICHOLAS
                    (dumbfounded)
               I... I don't...

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.)
               It's frustrating for me if you don't 
               even pretend to pay attention.

                           NICHOLAS
               What is this... ?

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.)
               This is your game, Nicholas, and 
               welcome to it.  I'm here to let you 
               in on a few ground rules...

     Bernard Shaw's FACE RIPPLES and GLITCHES occasionally, 
     revealing its true, computer-generated nature.

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               You've received the first key and 
               others will follow.  You never know 
               where you'll find them, or when or 
               how you'll need to use them, so keep 
               your eyes open.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (waves his hand)
               How do you... ?  You can see me?

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.)
               I see you, I hear you.  Why don't we 
               save the questions till...

                           NICHOLAS
               How does this work?

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.)
               There's a tiny camera looking at you 
               right now.

                           NICHOLAS
               That's impossible.

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.)
               You're right.  Impossible.  You're 
               having a conversation with your 
               television.

     Nicholas touches the TV, feeling the seams.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               33


                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               It's miniaturized.

     Nicholas begins poking his butter knife between slots of the 
     television's speaker, stabbing, poking...

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               Do you know how dangerous that is?

     Nicholas pries at the plastic speaker cover.  It's not easy, 
     but he's determined, cracking the plastic...

                           ILSA (O.S.)
               Mister Van Orton... ?

     The speaker cover breaks off with a SNAP! and Nicholas spins, 
     holding the broken piece.

                           NICHOLAS
               Yes... Ilsa, what is it?

     ON T.V., Bernard Shaw grabs up pages, resumes...

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.)
               ... and in other news, auto workers 
               vowed to remain on picket lines...

     Ilsa's in the doorway, wondering.

                           ILSA
               Is everything alright?

                           NICHOLAS
               Fine.

                           ILSA
               I've finished for the evening.  Will 
               you be needing anything else?

                           NICHOLAS
               No, thank you.  Goodnight.

                           ILSA
               Goodnight then.

     She leaves.  Nicholas throws the piece of television away.

     Bernard Shaw stops reading now that the coast is clear.

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.)
               Who was that?

                           NICHOLAS
               Never mind who that was.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               34


                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.)
               You're uncomfortable.  You want to 
               know how a camera got into your home, 
               don't you?

                           NICHOLAS
               Yes, I do.

     ON TELEVISION: Bernard Shaw is REPLACED by a FISH-EYED IMAGE 
     of NICHOLAS' DEN.  It shows Nicholas from behind.

     THE P.O.V. IS NOT FROM THE TV.  NICHOLAS CROSSES THE

     room, keeps his eye on the TV as a guide...

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.)
                    (from t.v., o.s.)
               ... cold... cold... warmer...  
               warmer...

     ON TELEVISION: Nicholas gets bigger as he gets closer to...

     The Harlequin.  Nicholas leans, looks at the clown's eyes...

     ON TELEVISION: Nicholas' face is huge, distorted.

     Nicholas pries one of the Harlequin's glass eyes with his 
     knife, pulling it out and examining it.

     ON TELEVISION: The Harlequin's P.O.V. turns to STATIC.

     Bernard Shaw returns with a PHONE NUMBER SUPERIMPOSED.

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               Write this number down.  It's a 24-
               hour Consumer Recreation Services 
               hotline, for emergencies only.  But, 
               don't call asking what the object of 
               the game is; figuring that out is 
               the object of the game.

     Nicholas feels his pockets, finds the C.R.S. pen.  He comes 
     up with a VALET PARKING TICKET to scrawl the number on.

                           BERNARD SHAW (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               Good luck and congratulations on 
               choosing C.R.S.  We now return you 
               to your regularly scheduled program...

     STATIC and SNOW, then CNN's Bernard Shaw is back for real, 
     newscasting.  Nicholas reads the number he wrote.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               35


37   EXT.  VAN ORTON MANSION -- NIGHT                              37   

     Nicholas crouches at a coaxial CABLE LINE at the side of the 
     house.  He fingers a BOX with a miniature LOOP and RABBIT 
     EAR ANTENNA that's been spliced into the line.

     He starts to unscrew it... then thinks twice.  He leaves it.

38   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, KITCHEN -- NIGHT                     38   

     Nicholas enters thru the back door.  He pauses, looking out 
     at the night.  He closes the door and locks it.  He PUNCHES 
     the ALARM CODE into a KEYPAD.

     Nicholas takes his Bentley key chain from its hook, takes 
     out the gold, "C.R.S." key... adding it to the keychain.

                                                          CUT TO:

39   INT.  SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- DAY              39   

     Nicholas enters the vast, busy terminal, briefcase in hand.

     He walks with purpose, but is extra-aware of the world around 
     him.  He notices...

     A MAN and WOMAN engaged in a SIGN LANGUAGE conversation.

     A MAN reading a newspaper peers from behind the pages.

     A JANITOR opens a door with a big KEY CHAIN full of keys.

     A MAN on a payphone seems to be staring at Nicholas...

     Nicholas turns his head to keep an eye on the man, practically 
     bumping into a grimy HOMELESS BUM...

                           HOMELESS BUM
               Help me out there?  Used to be an 
               affluent fella, till some folks did 
               this to me...

     Nicholas moves away, leaving the homeless man behind.

                           HOMELESS BUM (CONT'D)
               Don't ignore me.  I got screwed.

40   INT.  AIRPORT, RED CARPET LOUNGE -- DAY                       40   

     Quiet MUSIC.  Rich people's lounge.  Nicholas sits with a 
     cup of coffee, considering magazines on a coffee table.  Two 
     seats down, a BUSINESSMAN coughs and rises, leaving his 
     newspaper on the empty seat between Nicholas and himself.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               36


     Nicholas glances down, curious when he sees...

     A smiling-clown-face INFANT'S RATTLE on the seat beside, 
     sticking out from under the paper.

     Nicholas catches only a glimpse of the exiting businessman.

     Nicholas looks around, picks up the rattle.

     He rattles it, studies it, rattles it in his ear.  He tries 
     to see thru it by holding it up to the light.  He doesn't 
     notice the MOTHER who enters with a baby, watching him.

                           MOTHER
               Excuse me...

     Nicholas looks up, realizes, awkward, offering the rattle.

     She takes it and exits.

     There's a BESPECTACLED MAN watching Nicholas.

     Nicholas notices, tries to ignore.

     But, bespectacled man is really staring.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (sits forward, fed up)
               May I help you... ?

     Nicholas' tone has turned other heads.  Bespectacled man 
     seems embarrassed, shy, taps his chest.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               What... ?  What is it?

     Bespectacled man taps his chest again, points at Nicholas.

     Nicholas looks down.  Inside his suit jacket -- a huge blue 
     INK STAIN across his shirt.  Nicholas stands, aghast, taking 
     out the offending pen.

     It's the "C.R.S." pen, dripping ink.

41   INT.  AIRPORT, BATHROOM -- DAY                                41   

     Running water.  Nicholas tries to clean his shirt, blotting 
     it ineffectually with wet paper towels.  he looks in the 
     mirror, crestfallen.  The stain's worse.

                           DEEP VOICE (O.S.)
               Hey, buddy... you still out there?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               37


     Nicholas looks around.  He's alone, except for a MAN in a 
     TOILET STALL.  All we see are the man's brown shoes.

                           DEEP VOICE (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                    (from toilet stall)
               I'm in a little bit of trouble...

     The man's hairy hand motions from below the stall.  Nicholas 
     backs away, nervous, grabs his briefcase.

                           DEEP VOICE (O.S.) (CONT'D)
               I need paper.  There's none in here.  
               Come on, help a guy out...

     Nicholas considers, then hurries to exit.

                           DEEP VOICE (O.S.) (CONT'D)
               Hello?!  Anybody?  Hello?

42   INT.  AIRPORT, METAL DETECTORS -- DAY                         42   

     Nicholas' briefcase rides into the x-ray machine.

     Nicholas drops his keys, cellular phone and Rolex in a tray.

     He passes thru the metal detector.  A SECURITY GUARD brings 
     the tray to him.

                           SECURITY GUARD
               Nice watch.

     Nicholas smiles tolerantly, collects his belongings.  He 
     waits at the x-ray conveyor belt, which is stopped.  A FEMALE 
     GUARD studies the x-ray monitor.

                           NICHOLAS
               Is there a problem?

     The female guard looks up, turns the conveyor belt back on.

     Nicholas' briefcase arrives.

     Nicholas moves on, aggravated.  Ahead, Sutherland rises from 
     a seat along the concourse hallway, walking to meet him.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               I wasn't expecting you.

                           SUTHERLAND
               Wanted to wish you luck.  Not that 
               you'll need it.

     Sutherland offers the contract, points to Nicholas' shirt.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               38


                           SUTHERLAND (CONT'D)
               Attractive...

                           NICHOLAS
                    (paging thru contract)
               Don't ask.

                           SUTHERLAND
               I checked it personally.

     Nicholas nods, props his briefcase up on a window ledge, 
     opens it and drops the contract in.

                                                          CUT TO:

43   EXT.  SEATTLE AIRPORT, RUNWAY -- DAY                          43   

     Nicholas' jet touches down.

44   EXT.  SEATTLE AIRPORT, LOADING ZONE -- DAY                    44   

     Nicholas follows a CHAUFFEUR.  The chauffeur opens a LIMO 
     door.  Several pressed SHIRTS hang waiting.

45   EXT.  BAER/GRANT BUILDING -- DAY                              45   

     In the shadow of the Baer/Grant Publishing offices, the 
     limousine idles.  Downtown Seattle.

46   INT.  BAER/GRANT PUBLISHING, ALAN BAER'S OFFICE -- DAY        46   

     Meet ALAN BAER, elderly CEO, blue-blooded, pissed.

                           ALAN BAER
               All these years... the first time 
               ever you step foot in these offices, 
               it's to ask me to step down?

     Nicholas stands by CHILDREN'S TEXT BOOK mock-ups.  "Math- 
     Magic."  "Wonder-Words."  They're "Little Baer Books."

                           NICHOLAS
               You promised you'd meet projections, 
               Alan.  A dollar sixty per share you 
               said.  So, I don't think this is so 
               surprising a visit.

                           ALAN BAER
               Projections were far too optimistic.

                           NICHOLAS
               Admittedly...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               39


                           ALAN BAER
               Our E.P.S. was one fifty last quarter.  
               We're up eight cents per share.

                           NICHOLAS
               But, the expectation was ten.  And, 
               in this case, expectation is 
               everything.

                           ALAN BAER
               Will you really hold me to it over 
               pennies?

                           NICHOLAS
               My stock's falling.  Isn't yours?  
               Those pennies are costing me millions.

                           ALAN BAER
               The stock will turn.

                           NICHOLAS
               It probably will.  In fact, I'd go 
               so far as to say it almost certainly 
               will, in time.  Why should I settle 
               for that?

                           ALAN BAER
               Because it's fair.  Give me next 
               quarter.  If you still feel this 
               way, vote your shares...

                           NICHOLAS
               You're talking tomorrow.  Today is 
               what counts.

                           ALAN BAER
               You intractable son-of-a-bitch.  If 
               your father could see you now...

                           NICHOLAS
               What?

                           ALAN BAER
               Your father was a friend.  Goddamn 
               it... I watched you grow up.  How do 
               you end up treating me like this?

     This swings Nicholas into a new mode: acutely-focused anger.

                           NICHOLAS
               It is so very inappropriate for you 
               to mention my father.
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               40


                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Or, did you think this, between us, 
               was friendship?  Just because you 
               went fishing with my father, I should 
               sit on my hands while you throw my 
               money away?

                           ALAN BAER
               Now, look...

                           NICHOLAS
                    (holds up his hand)
               I'll be done in a minute.  You 
               misspoke before.  You're not "stepping 
               down."  I'm taking you out at the 
               knees.  The whole point is to prove 
               that you're not deciding anything 
               anymore.  I'm firing you.  Action's 
               taken.  Confidence restored.  Stock 
               goes up.  I sell my shares.

                           ALAN BAER
               There is no Baer/Grant Publishing 
               without Alan Baer.

                           NICHOLAS
               Remember Daniel Grant?  Do they say, 
               "without Daniel Grant, there is no 
               Baer/Grant Publishing?"  He's gone 
               sailing, Alan.  He's out there 
               enjoying his golden years, probably 
               wondering where you are.

     At Alan's desk, Nicholas clears a space for his briefcase.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               You made a promise.  You failed.  
               The severance I'm offering is more 
               than equitable.  Valid tonight only.
                    (looks at watch)
               For one hour.

     Nicholas takes a pen from a holder, lays it on the blotter.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               I'll step outside, so you'll have 
               the privacy you need to read and 
               sign it.

     He tries to unlatch his briefcase clasp.  It's stuck.

                           ALAN BAER
               I could fight you on this.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               41


                           NICHOLAS
               You could.  But, if I leave without 
               your signature, this agreement begins 
               to disintegrate; benefits shrink, 
               options narrow, compensations shrivel.

     Nicholas works on the briefcase the whole time, distraction 
     growing as it becomes a true struggle.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               So... it is in your best interest...  
               to sign presently.

     Nicholas sits, pulling the latch, trying to see what's jammed.  
     It refuses to open.  Nicholas stares at it, frustrated, 
     then... an odd realization...

     He takes his keys out, finds the C.R.S. KEY, tries it...

     It doesn't fit.  It was never meant for this lock.  Alan 
     Baer watches, wondering.

     Forgetting himself, Nicholas grabs up the briefcase, pulling, 
     grunting, desperate, striking it with his palm.

     Nicholas straightens, immediately composed.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Well... as luck would have it, you've 
               just gotten a reprieve,  I'm sure 
               you'll come around to my way of 
               thinking.
                    (picks up briefcase)
               I have a plane to catch.  My attorneys 
               will contact you.

     Nicholas exits.  Alan Baer doesn't know quite what to think.

                                                          CUT TO:

47   EXT.  SEATTLE AIRPORT TERMINAL -- DAY                         47   

     On the sidewalk, Nicholas bashes his briefcase over and over 
     again against a fire hydrant.

48   EXT.  SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT, RUNWAY -- SUNSET                 48   

     Nicholas' jet touches down.

49   INT.  CAMPTON PLACE RESTAURANT -- NIGHT                       49   

     Nicholas sits staring.  His battered briefcase is near.  He 
     checks his watch, impatient, flags down a WAITER...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               42


                           NICHOLAS
               Is there a message up front from a 
               Conrad Van Orton?

     The waiter goes.  Nicholas drums his fingers.  He slides out 
     of the booth, rising. when a WAITRESS knocks into him with a 
     tray.  Wine spills.  Glasses crash.

                           WAITRESS
               Oh, excuse me...

     Nicholas looks down at his wine-stained front.  The waitress 
     is CHRISTINE, same waitress as the other night.  She tries 
     to clean him up with a napkin.

                           CHRISTINE
               I'm so sorry.

                           NICHOLAS
               Please, don't do that...

     Nicholas snatches the napkin from her, wiping his suit.

                           CHRISTINE
               I apologize, sir, I'm having a bad 
               day...

                           NICHOLAS
               A bad month.  You did the exact same 
               thing to me last week.

     Christine's taken aback.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Don't help me, just get more napkins.  
               And soda water.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (gets more napkins)
               It was an accident.

                           NICHOLAS
               Terrific.  I now have a hundred dollar 
               dry cleaning bill.

                           CHRISTINE
               I said I was sorry...

     Nicholas turns his back on her, throwing wet napkins, picking 
     up clean ones, still patting at the stain.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
                    (stews)
               Asshole.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               43


     Nicholas turns, angry.  The MAITRE D' arrives, shocked.

                           MAITRE D'
               Christine!   Mister Van Orton is a 
               valued customer...

                           CHRISTINE
               Then, you kiss his ass.

     She's leaving, but the maitre d' pulls her aside.

                           MAITRE D'
               You don't talk to me like that.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (quiet, evenly)
               I apologized, I offered to help.

                           MAITRE D'
               Clean out your locker.

                           CHRISTINE
               Fine, Dennis.  Soon as I get my money 
               for this week.

                           MAITRE D'
               I'll be right with you.

     Christine heads to the back.  The maitre d' motions for BUS 
     BOYS to clean, smoothly guiding Nicholas to a new table...

                           MAITRE D' (CONT'D)
               I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Van Orton.  
               If you're not too uncomfortable, 
               will this table suit you for a 
               complimentary meal... ?

                           NICHOLAS
               Yes.  Fine.

                           MAITRE D'
               I'll fetch your waiter.

     Nicholas sits, keeps wiping his shirt as the maitre d' hurries 
     away.  After a moment, a uniformed WAITER moves past, leaves 
     a CHECK...

                           WAITER
               Check, sir.

     Nicholas picks up the check, indignant.

                           NICHOLAS
               Excuse me...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               44


     But, the waiter is long gone.  Nicholas shakes his head, 
     then the check catches his eye... "DON'T LET HER GET AWAY" 
     scrawled across it.

     Nicholas turns to look.  The waiter who brought the check 
     crosses the room, goes out the front door.

     Nicholas rises, following...

50   EXT.  CAMPTON PLACE RESTAURANT -- NIGHT                       50   

     Nicholas comes out the front, sees: the waiter has crossed 
     the street, still moving...

     The waiter gets in a CAR as the car pulls quickly away.

     Nicholas is baffled, looks at the check, heads back inside.

51   EXT.  ALLEY, BEHIND RESTAURANT -- NIGHT                       51   

     Christine exits the kitchen door, purse over her shoulder.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (back to doorway)
               Yeah... ?  Well, fuck you and your 
               vichyssoise, prick.

     She heads down this dark alley.  After a moment, Nicholas 
     follows, hurrying to catch up, briefcase in hand.

                           NICHOLAS
               Pardon me... Miss... ?

                           CHRISTINE
               Oh, no... you.

     Christine picks up the pace.

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm not sure how this works.  Do you 
               have something for me... ?  I got 
               this note...

                           CHRISTINE
               What are you babbling about, psycho?

                           NICHOLAS
               I want to know what's going on.  Are 
               you part of this?

                           CHRISTINE
               What's going on?  I'm going on my 
               second job this month, and now I'm 
               going on unemployment.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               45


     She keeps walking.  Nicholas stops, ponders.  He follows.

     They're nearing the end of the alley.

                           NICHOLAS
               Excuse me, I need to explain...

                           CHRISTINE
               Don't explain.  Fuck off.  Goodbye.

     Nicholas steps in a deep, splattering pot-hole, stumbles, 
     pants soaked, stopping, fed up.

                           NICHOLAS
               Son of a bitch!

     Christine rounds the corner, heading down the street.

     Nicholas reaches the sidewalk, watches her go.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (shouts after)
               I'm trying to... ask you...
                    (giving up)
               I'm apologizing...

     He heads back the way he came.  A strangled CRY is HEARD.

     Nearby, a HEAVY MAN falls to his knees, then falls face 
     forward to the concrete.  Nicholas looks around, alone...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (to Heavy Man)
               Are... are you okay?!

     DOWN THE SIDEWALK, Christine slows, looks back...

     Nicholas bends, trying to see the man's face, seems afraid 
     to actually touch him.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Jesus... this can't be...

     Nicholas looks up to see Christine running back.

                           CHRISTINE
               What's with him?

                           NICHOLAS
               I don't know... he fell.

     Christine kneels, turns Heavy Man on his side and feels for 
     a pulse.  Heavy Man convulses.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               46


                           CHRISTINE
               Do you know what to do?

                           NICHOLAS
               I don't think he's breathing.

     Christine clears Heavy Man's airway, pulling saliva and mucus 
     from his mouth with two fingers.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Oh, God... !

                           CHRISTINE
               Don't just stand there, get help!

                           NICHOLAS
                    (taking out his 
                    CELLULAR)
               This can't be real...

                           CHRISTINE
               He's pissing his pants.  Is that 
               real enough for you?  Call 911!

                           NICHOLAS
               Alright... okay...

                           CHRISTINE
               He's turning blue!

     Nicholas is starting to believe, dialing, circling as 
     Christine gives C.P.R.  He listens to his phone -- STATIC.

                           NICHOLAS
               Damn...

     He backpedals in the street, cellular to his ear, trying to 
     catch a signal, tilts his head.  STATIC.  A HORN BLARES -- a 
     CAR barely misses Nicholas, DRIVER cursing.

     Nicholas anxiously punches buttons.  He spots a SQUAD CAR 
     and runs toward it...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Police!

     SAME STREET -- TIME CUT...

     SIREN BLASTING, an AMBULANCE is parked.  PARAMEDICS pull a 
     stretcher, helped by TWO COPS, hurrying to the prone Heavy 
     Man.  A crowd is gathered.

     Nicholas and Christine watch the paramedics work.  COP ONE 
     hands Nicholas a clipboard, everything hurried, overlapped:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               47


                           COP ONE
               You have to fill these out.

                           NICHOLAS
               I don't know this man.

     Christine takes the clipboard.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (to cop, of clipboard)
               What do you need... ?

     Paramedics hoist heavy Man on a stretcher and take him to 
     the ambulance.  Cop Two goes to help them lift.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (to Christine)
               I can't get involved in this.

     Christine moves to climb into the ambulance.

                           COP TWO
                    (to Nicholas)
               We'll have to detain you.

                           COP ONE
               Report's got to be filled out.  Ride 
               with your wife.  We'll meet at the 
               hospital.

                           PARAMEDIC
                    (shouting to cop)
               We're moving!

     Cop One leads Nicholas to the ambulance.

                           NICHOLAS
               She's not my wife.

                           COP ONE
               It's a few blocks.  Help me out, 
               huh, pal?

     Nicholas reluctantly gets in.

52   EXT.  CITY STREETS -- NIGHT                                   52   

     Busy streets.  The ambulance rockets on...

53   INT.  AMBULANCE -- NIGHT                                      53   

     SIREN WAILING.  Paramedic works.  Christine fills out forms.

     Nicholas tries to see where they're going, frustrated.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               48


                           NICHOLAS
               This is nuts.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (without looking up)
               What is your problem?

                           NICHOLAS
                    (digging in his pocket)
               Ten minutes ago, I'm looking forward 
               to a quiet dinner.  I get a note...

     Nicholas slaps his CHECK on top of Christine's paperwork.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Suddenly I'm in an ambulance.  Why 
               am I in an ambulance?!

     He looks out the window.  Christine studies the check:

     "DON'T LET HER GET AWAY," finds it odd, looks to Nicholas.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (wincing, to paramedic 
                    of Heavy Man)
               He's breathing, isn't he?  Is the 
               siren entirely necessary?

54   INT.  UNDERGROUND PARKING ENTRANCE -- NIGHT                   54   

     "Emergency Vehicles Only."  The ambulance races down a RAMP, 
     moving across this big underground garage, doing a u-turn...

     Backs up toward a busy EMERGENCY ROOM ENTRANCE.  MEDICAL 
     PERSONNEL everywhere.  Other ambulances.  INJURED PEOPLE.

     Our paramedics get out and unload Heavy Man.

     Nicholas and Christine get out, disoriented.  Heavy Man's 
     rushed inside via automatic doors.  Christine hands off the 
     clipboard to Nicholas, following the stretcher...

                           CHRISTINE
               Let's talk to whoever can get this 
               over with...

                           NICHOLAS
                    (reading clipboard)
               Hold on...
                    (of the clipboard)
               They want your driver's license 
               number.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               49


     Christine returns to look, and suddenly ALL THE LIGHTS GO 
     OUT.  Nicholas and Christine look up.  In the surrounding 
     darkness, we HEAR EVERYONE FLEEING...

     FOOTSTEPS SCATTER... then, SILENCE.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               You've got to be kidding.

                           CHRISTINE
               What... is... happening... ?

     The only light is a BULB inside the ambulance.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (disgust)
               I was trying to tell you... it's a 
               game.

                           CHRISTINE
               A game?

                           NICHOLAS
                    (tosses clipboard)
               It's run by a company... they play 
               elaborate pranks.  Things like this.  
               I'm really only now finding out 
               myself.

                           CHRISTINE
               What are you talking about?

                           NICHOLAS
               The lights went out, one hundred 
               people all ran away...

                           CHRISTINE
               You mean, the guy who turned blue 
               and wet himself... ?

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm sorry, about this...

                           CHRISTINE
               You should be.

     Christine climbs into the ambulance, searching.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               There's got to be a flashlight.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               50


                           NICHOLAS
                    (quietly)
               I don't understand why they're getting 
               you involved.

     IN THE AMBULANCE, she finds all drawers and cabinets EMPTY.

                           CHRISTINE
               This is so fucked.  You don't fuck 
               with people like this.  I thought 
               that guy was gonna die.  I gave him 
               mouth to mouth!

     She digs in her purse, finds a book of restaurant MATCHES.

     She lights a match, climbing out.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               See you around.

                           NICHOLAS
               Where are you going?

                           CHRISTINE
               Home.

                           NICHOLAS
               How do you know that's the way?

     She just keeps walking.

     A distant "DING" is HEARD.  Far away, an ELEVATOR OPENS with 
     a light inside.  Christine stops.

     Christine changes direction, heading for the elevator.

     Nicholas hurries to follow.  The match burns out.  A moment, 
     then Christine strikes another, lighting the way, barely.

     As they squeeze between parked cars, Christine searches...

                           CHRISTINE
               Where'd you all go?  Motherfucking 
               frat boys.  You better hide.
                    (to Nicholas)
               Is your life so pathetic that this 
               is something you're willing to pay 
               for?

                           NICHOLAS
               It was a gift... from my brother.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               51


                           CHRISTINE
               How thoughtful.  The gift of 
               inconvenience.

     NIcholas stumbles.  A beer BOTTLE is HEAR SKITTERING away.

55   INT. ELEVATOR -- NIGHT                                        55   

     They reach the elevator.  Nicholas pushes a button.

                           NICHOLAS
               Ground floor.

     He and Christine step back and wait, looking up.  And wait... 
     and wait, looking unhappily to each other.

     Nicholas pushes all the buttons.  Nothing happens.

     Christine opens the EMERGENCY PHONE door: NO PHONE.

     Nicholas touches his finger to a KEY HOLE below the buttons.

     He takes out keys, finds the C.R.S. KEY, tries it...  it 
     fits.  He turns it.  DOORS CLOSE and the ELEVATOR MOVES.

     Nicholas is pleased, sees Christine wondering.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (of the key)
               Long story.
                    (off her stare)
               I found this key in the mouth of a 
               wooden Harlequin.

                           CHRISTINE
               Never mind.

     The ELEVATOR LURCHES, DROPS, then HALTS.  LIGHTS OUT, replaced 
     by RED EMERGENCY LIGHT.  A MOTOR is HEARD DYING.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               I don't like that.
                    (pushing buttons)
               We're stuck.

     Nicholas takes out his phone, puts it to his ear.  STATIC.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (pockets phone)
               No signal.

     Christine pounds on the buttons and doors, frustrated.  She 
     tries to pry the doors open.  Can't.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               52


                           CHRISTINE
               What's the going rate for the "trapped-
               in-elevator-adventure" these days?

     Nicholas hits BUTTONS hard.  Christine studies the ceiling, 
     moving under the square seam of the TRAP DOOR, pointing.

                           NICHOLAS
               Don't even think about it.

                           CHRISTINE
               Why not?

                           NICHOLAS
               Read what it says: "Warning, do not 
               attempt to open.  If elevator stops, 
               use emergency... "

                           CHRISTINE
               If there was one.

                           NICHOLAS
               "... wait for help."  Wait for help.  
               I'm not opening a door that 
               specifically warns me not to.

                           CHRISTINE
               Are you suggesting we wait till 
               someone finds us?

     Nicholas considers this, looks around.

56   INT.  ELEVATOR SHAFT -- NIGHT                                 56   

     The trap door CREAKS open.  Nicholas looks up from the 
     elevator, standing on hand rails.  He gets down.

     IN THE ELEVATOR

                           NICHOLAS
               I'll give you a boost.

                           CHRISTINE
               You first.

                           NICHOLAS
               This isn't an attempt to be gallant.  
               If I don't lift you, how are you 
               going to get there?

                           CHRISTINE
               You pull me up.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               53


                           NICHOLAS
               It's much easier this way.  Come on, 
               step up...

                           CHRISTINE
               No.

                           NICHOLAS
               Please...

                           CHRISTINE
               I'm not wearing underwear.  Okay?  
               There, I said it.  Satisfied.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (looks at her skirt)
               Oh.  FIne.

     Nicholas starts climbing...

     IN THE ELEVATOR SHAFT

     Nicholas comes up, batting cobwebs, tentative.  He grips a 
     handful of grease, disgusted.  He climbs thru, catching his 
     jacket on a jutting screw, FABRIC RIPPPPPPPPING...

                           CHRISTINE (O.S.)
               Oops.

     Nicholas stands in the shaft, pissed.  He looks for a place 
     to wipe his hand, wipes it on his jacket, looking up.

                           NICHOLAS
               There's a ladder here.

     IN THE ELEVATOR

                           CHRISTINE
               My hero.  Let's go.

     Nicholas offers his grease covered hand from above.

                           NICHOLAS
               I don't think so.

     Nicholas withdraws that hand, offers the clean one.

                                                          CUT TO:

57   INT.  BUILDING LOBBY -- NIGHT                                 57   

     Elevator doors shift, forced from inside.  Nicholas climbs 
     out, then pulls Christine out behind him.  They're head-to-
     toe filthy, clothing ruined.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               54


                           NICHOLAS
               Damn.  My briefcase.

     He looks back down the shaft.

                           CHRISTINE
               I'll wait.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (resigned sigh)
               It's not like anyone could actually 
               open it.

     They walk, looking at the vast lobby and sky-lit ATRIUM.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               This is C.R.S.

                           CHRISTINE
               What's C.R.S.?

                           NICHOLAS
               Consumer Recreation Services.  It's 
               their building.  They...

     A BEEP is HEARD.  Nicholas looks above...

     Sees a MOTION SENSOR with a green light blinking.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Oh...

     An ALARM SOUNDS; a loud RINGING BELL.  Nicholas backs away.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Don't panic.  When security gets 
               here, we simply explain what 
               happened...

                           CHRISTINE
               They'll love that.

                           NICHOLAS
               Yes... well...

     FOOTFALLS.  Nicholas turns to see Christine running away.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (over her shoulder)
               Explain for both of us!

     Nicholas looks around, unsure.  He follows...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               55


58   EXT.  ALLEYWAY, BEHIND C.R.S. BUILDING -- NIGHT               58   

     Christine bursts thru "EMERGENCY EXIT" doors.  Nicholas 
     arrives.  He grips her arm and they walk, out of breath.

                           NICHOLAS
               Walk, slowly.  Don't draw attention.

     Out for a stroll...

     TIRES SCREECH.  A SPOTLIGHT HITS them from behind.

                           ANGRY VOICE (O.S.)
               You!  Stay where you are!

     It's a SECURITY CAR on the other side of a fence.

                           CHRISTINE
               Run!

     They run, down the alley.

                           ANGRY VOICE
               Stop!

59   EXT.  NARROW ALLEYWAY -- NIGHT                                59   

     SIRENS HEARD.  Christine and Nicholas sprint round a corner, 
     all out... thru puddles, glancing back.  Ahead, a SECURITY 
     CAR skids, starting for them.  Christine and Nicholas double 
     back.  She takes the lead.

     Christine spots something, makes a choice, moving into a 
     very NARROW ALLEY space.

                           NICHOLAS
               Where are you going?
                    (looks in, worried)
               You can't fit there.

     She's making fine progress regardless.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               I can't!

     Nicholas sees the SECURITY CAR bearing down.  He must turn 
     sideways to fit in the narrow alley, shuffling after.

     BEHIND, the car stops and SECURITY GUARD gets out, club in 
     hand.  In the car, a GERMAN SHEPHERD barks.

     Security Guard tries to fit down the space, but can't.  His 
     belly's too big, his utility belt catching.  He runs back to 
     the car, opens the door...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               56


     The German Shepherd shoots down the alley, a projectile...

     DOWN THE TIGHT ALLEYWAY

     Christine comes out into OPEN AREA, running on, looking up.

     Ruined buildings on all sides, CHAIN LINK FENCES everywhere.

     Nicholas arrives, pissed, trying to catch up...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               You deserted me.

                           CHRISTINE
               You're a grown man.  I'm not 
               responsible for you.

                           NICHOLAS
               You're the one who started running.

                           CHRISTINE
               Me?  You're the one who... !
                    (sees something)
               Shit!

     Christine runs faster.  Nicholas looks back...

     The German Shepherd's on its way...

     Nicholas faces front, runs, arms pumping, terrified...

     The German Shepherd's closing, growling...

     Christine and Nicholas reach the CHAIN LINK FENCE ahead...

                           NICHOLAS
               Climb!

     Christine makes the leap first, scrambling up the fence.

     Nicholas climbs beside her, pulling himself up...

     The German Shepherd leaps... bites Nicholas' leg...

     Nicholas YELLS -- PANTS RIPPING.  The dog falls with a 
     mouthful of cloth.

     Christine and Nicholas reach the top of the fence, clinging, 
     balanced on their elbows, looking back.  The German Shepherd 
     barks and leaps.

     Christine and Nicholas start over the fence, beginning their 
     climb down the other side...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               57


     ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE: three OTHER DOGS run from the shadows, 
     Pit-Bulls and a Doberman, jumping and biting...

     Nicholas and Christine scramble back to the top.

     All the dogs hop up and down, snapping.  They gnash at each 
     other and bark at each other, frenzied.

     Nicholas and Christine have no choice but to hang, stranded.

                           CHRISTINE
               Now what?

     Nicholas looks up, daunted.  He spots something...

     There's a place where the fence runs under a FIRE ESCAPE.

                           NICHOLAS
               Follow me...

     Nicholas gets a toe-hold, shifts his elbows, grunting, 
     beginning the herky lateral climb toward the fire escape.

     Christine follows his example.

     Slow going.  DOGS BARKING NON-STOP, nipping at their heels.

                           CHRISTINE
               Shut up, you stupid, fucking dogs!!

     BARKING AND BARKING AND BARKING.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               What are they guarding around here?  
               Each other?

     Nicholas slips, keeps grip, but loses a SHOE...

     The dogs catch the shoe in their jaws, fighting for it.

     Nicholas watches the shoe get torn to pieces, keeps moving.

                           NICHOLAS
               There goes a thousand dollars.

                           CHRISTINE
               Your shoes cost a thousand dollars?

                           NICHOLAS
               That one did.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (to herself)
               ... two hundred dollars a toe.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               58


     Nicholas reaches the fire escape, balancing precariously to 
     reach it.  He climbs gracelessly up...

     He helps Christine after him, bringing her on board.  They 
     lean against the rail, exhausted.  Nicholas looks to the 
     multi-leveled ladders above.

                           NICHOLAS
               Let me guess.  Me first?

     He climbs.  Christine looks down at the dogs, stupefied, 
     looks up at Nicholas on the CREAKING rusty fire escape.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (to herself)
               This is getting out of hand.

     As she starts up.

                                                          CUT TO:

60   EXT.  GARBAGE ALLEY -- NIGHT                                  60   

     ABANDONED BUILDING.  Boarded-over windows are kicked open 
     from inside.  Nicholas and Christine look out.

     They climb out onto ANOTHER FIRE ESCAPE, two stories up above 
     a trash filled, dumpster crowded alley.

                           CHRISTINE
               Never did catch your name.

                           NICHOLAS
               Nicholas.  Nicholas Van Orton.

                           CHRISTINE
               Nicholas Van Orton?  What are you, a 
               czar?

     Nicholas moves to the catch of the fire escape ladder, unhooks 
     it.  The LADDER DROPS to bridge the gap to the ground, KEEPS 
     GOING, sliding free and disconnecting -- falls flat to the 
     ground below with a LOUD, ECHOING CLATTER.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
                    (pause)
               That's classic.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (staring down, misery)
               Why... ?

     Christine crosses to the far edge of the railing, points.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               59


                           CHRISTINE
               We hang down here and drop.  The 
               garbage'll break our fall.

                           NICHOLAS
               I think not.

     Christine climbs over the fire escape railing...

                           CHRISTINE
               Afraid you're going to ruin your one-
               legged suit?

     She lowers herself down, hanging off, legs dangling...

                           NICHOLAS
               Be careful...

     A metal DOOR is THROWN OPEN below.  TWO THAI BUS-BOYS come 
     out, dumping garbage, smoking cigarettes, laughing.

     Above, Christine looks up at Nicholas, mortified.  She nods 
     urgently for him to help her back up.  Nicholas climbs the 
     rail, beside her, trying to get a grip, none too effective.

     Below, one bus-boy looks up, shouting.  The other bus-boy 
     looks.  They back away, SPEAKING RAPID THAI, pointing.

                           CHRISTINE
               What are they... ?
                    (realizing)
               Hey!

     Christine lets go with one hand, trying to pull her skirt 
     shut.  Nicholas loses hold, drops her...

     Christine lands hard in garbage.

                           NICHOLAS
               Are you okay... ?!

     Nicholas drops, alarmed... lands in broken plastic bags of 
     wet garbage, slipping as he moves to Christine.  Bus-boys 
     are helping her up.

                           CHRISTINE
               I'm okay... I'm okay, thank you...

     Bus-boys keep questioning in Thai.  Nicholas and Christine 
     brush off.  Nicholas takes off his spewed jacket, shakes it 
     in disgust, straightens his tie.  They stop...

     At the doorway, all the COOKS, BUS-BOYS, WAITERS and DISH-
     WASHERS stare at Nicholas and Christine in wonder.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               60


     Nicholas and Christine stare back.  Nicholas looks to 
     Christine, brushing rotten lettuce off her shoulder, nods to 
     the restaurant workers, clears his throat.

                           NICHOLAS
               Table for two, please.

     He offers his arm to Christine, she takes it, they head in.

                                                          CUT TO:

61   EXT.  CITY STREETS -- NIGHT                                   61   

     ONE CONTINUOUS LONG SHOT:  Nicholas and Christine walk, taking 
     their time, eating out of take-out boxes.

                           CHRISTINE
               Where are we going?

                           NICHOLAS
                    (points at skyline)
               That tall, bright building.  Near 
               there.

     They walk a long time in silence.  A POLICE CAR moves from 
     behind.  POLICEMAN shines a flashlight up and down Nicholas.

                           POLICEMAN
               Everything okay, miss?

                           CHRISTINE
               Yeah.  How are you?

     The police car keeps pace, then drives on.

                                                          CUT TO:

62   INT.  NICHOLAS' OFFICE -- NIGHT                               62   

     Nicholas enters, turning on lights, which dim to a warm glow.  
     Christine takes in the impressive office.  Nicholas crosses 
     to a wall, opens a hidden closet, chooses a shirt.

                           NICHOLAS
               There's a shower, if you'd like.

     Christine leans to peek in the bathroom.

                           CHRISTINE
               A shower in your office?  You an 
               athlete or something?

     Nicholas puts on a new shirt.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               61


     Christine circles the desk, runs her fingers down his phone.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               What exactly do you do?

                           NICHOLAS
               Investment banking.  Moving money 
               from place to place.

     Christine has wandered to the closed blinds, opening them to 
     reveal a breathtaking view of the city.

                           CHRISTINE
               Nice.

                           NICHOLAS
               Hm?
                    (looks)
               Oh, yes.

     Nicholas takes out a SWEATSHIRT and offers it.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               A fresh shirt...

                           CHRISTINE
                    (takes shirt, crossing)
               If this was my office, I wouldn't 
               keep that closed.

                           NICHOLAS
               I don't spend much time looking out 
               the window.
                    (goes to desk)
               I'll call you a taxi.

     Christine faces away, throws off her filthy shirt...

     Nicholas, on the phone, looks to Christine's shapely back 
     and RED BRA.  He averts his eyes, embarrassed...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Oh!  Uh...

     Christine puts on the PENN STATE sweatshirt, straightens it.

                           CHRISTINE
               Thanks.

     Nicholas nods, phone to his ear.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               62


63   EXT.  VAN ORTON BUILDING -- NIGHT                             63   

     TWO CABS.  Nicholas opens the door of the first for Christine.  
     She faces him, close.

                           NICHOLAS
               I know the owner of Campton Place.  
               I could talk to him in the morning.

                           CHRISTINE
               Don't.  It was a shitty job anyway.  
               I overreacted.

     Christine sits, keeps her legs out the door of the cab.

     Nicholas stands waiting for her to pull her legs in.

                           NICHOLAS
               Goodnight.

                           CHRISTINE
               I don't think I've ever spent this 
               much time with someone who didn't 
               even ask my name.

                           NICHOLAS
               The maitre d' called you Christine.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (remembering)
               Right.  Call me Christy.

                           NICHOLAS
               Goodnight, Christy.  It was nice 
               meeting you.

                           CHRISTINE
               Give me an address so I can send 
               your shirt back.

                           NICHOLAS
               Keep it.

     She looks up at Nicholas, sits inside.  He shuts the door 
     and steps back.  Christine rolls her window down.

                           CHRISTINE
               I have a confession to make.  Someone 
               gave me six-hundred dollars to spill 
               drinks on you, as a practical joke.

                           NICHOLAS
               Seriously?  What did they say?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               63


                           CHRISTINE
               They said five hundred.  I said six.  
               They said the man in the gray flannel 
               suit.  I think I said, you mean the 
               attractive guy in the gray flannel 
               suit?

     Christine smiles, rolls up the window.  The taxi leaves.

     Nicholas watches it go.  A twinge of regret.

64   EXT.  CAMPTON PLACE RESTAURANT -- LATER NIGHT                 64   

     Nicholas' cab pulls up at the closed restaurant, behind the 
     Bentley.  A restaurant VALET sweeps the sidewalk, waves to 
     greet as Nicholas gets out of the cab.

                                                          CUT TO:

65   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, MASTER BEDROOM -- NIGHT              65   

     Nicholas comes from the bathroom, just showered.  He looks 
     at CNN on TV.  He walks to change channels: infomercials, 
     B+W movies, cartoons.  BUGS BUNNY.  Nicholas leaves Bugs 
     Bunny on, steps back, watching.

     He sits on the bed.

                                                          CUT TO:

66   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, MASTER BEDROOM -- DAY                66   

     Nicholas sleeps.  Cordless PHONE RINGING.  He stirs, awakens, 
     face creased, hair mussed.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (in phone, voice cracks)
               Hel... hello?

                           MARIA (V.O.)
                    (from phone)
               Mr. Van Orton, it's Maria.  I... I 
               wasn't sure I should call...

                           NICHOLAS
                    (in phone)
               What time is it?

     Nicholas studies his CLOCK RADIO: 11:05.  He picks it up and 
     examines it, suspicious.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               64


                           MARIA (V.O.)
                    (from phone)
               Eleven o'clock.  I took the liberty 
               of rescheduling your nine a.m. with 
               Allison and Dietrich.  Are you... 
               not not feeling well?

                           NICHOLAS
               I'll be in in an hour.  I left my 
               briefcase at fifteen-thirty-three 
               Montgomery.  Check with their lost 
               and found.

                           MARIA (V.O.)
               Alan Baer's in town, at the Ritz-
               Carlton.

                           NICHOLAS
               Really?

                           MARIA (V.O.)
               He's requesting dinner tonight.

                           NICHOLAS
               We'll let him know.

                           MARIA (V.O.)
               Also, the Claremont Hotel called to 
               say they have your American Express 
               card at the front desk.  You left it 
               last night?

     Nicholas is confused.  He crosses with the phone, finds and 
     studies his wallet.  He fingers an empty plastic pocket.

                           MARIA (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               Should I send someone... ?

                           NICHOLAS
               No.  Give me their number.

                           MARIA (V.O.)
               Eight, four, three, three-thousand.

                           NICHOLAS
               See  you in awhile.  Goodbye.

     Nicholas hangs up, dials.

                           HOTEL MANAGER (V.O.)
                    (from phone)
               Claremont Resort and Spa.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               65


                           NICHOLAS
                    (into phone)
               This is Nicholas Van Orton.  I'm 
               told my American Express card...

                           HOTEL MANAGER (V.O.)
                    (from phone)
               Yes, Mister Van Orton.  Everything's 
               in order.  The concierge has arranged 
               for the wine and flowers in the room.

                           NICHOLAS
               Has he?

                           HOTEL MANAGER (V.O.)
               And, a young woman phoned just now 
               to say she's on route but running a 
               little late.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (pause)
               Did this young woman leave her name?

                           HOTEL MANAGER (V.O.)
               I'm sure I don't know.

                           NICHOLAS
               Thank you.

     Nichola hangs up, interest piqued.

                                                          CUT TO:

67   EXT.  BAY BRIDGE -- DAY                                       67   

     Nicholas drives the Bentley.  PREVIOUS CONVERSATION:

                           SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR (V.O.)
               There's no answer.  Would you like 
               his voice mail?

                           NICHOLAS (V.O.)
               Tell him his brother called, and to 
               call back soon as he can.

                           SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR (V.O.)
               Yes, sir.

     CELLULAR DISCONNECT.  Nicholas looks in his rearview mirror.

     THRU MIRROR: a grimy BLACK SEDAN follows... keeps distance.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               66


68   EXT.  CLAREMONT HOTEL -- DAY                                  68   

     Grand hotel.  Nicholas leaves his car with the valet.

69   INT.  CLAREMONT HOTEL, LOBBY -- DAY                           69   

     At the GLASS DOORS, Nicholas pushes thru.  A THIN MAN in a 
     plain suit isn't looking, BUMPS Nicholas.

                           THIN MAN
               Sorry.  My fault.

     Thin Man exits.  Nicholas crosses the opulent lobby to the 
     desk.  The grinning HOTEL MANAGER spots him coming.

                           HOTEL MANAGER
               Ah, Mr. Van Orton.  Here you go...

                           NICHOLAS
               Have we met?

     He hands over Nicholas' AMEX CARD, which Nicholas studies.

                           HOTEL MANAGER
               I believe so.  If you would just 
               sign here...

     The manager offers a CHARGE SLIP and pen.  Nicholas looks at 
     the manager, the slip, then signs.  The manager hits a BELL.

     A BELLHOP arrives.

                           HOTEL MANAGER (CONT'D)
               Show Mr. Van Orton to his room.

                           NICHOLAS
               The key?

                           HOTEL MANAGER
               Hm?

                           NICHOLAS
               Is there a room key?

                           HOTEL MANAGER
               Didn't I give you two?

                           NICHOLAS
               No, you didn't...

     Nicholas shakes his head and pats his pockets, stops, feeling 
     one pocket... reaches in and takes out a GOLD KEY on a hotel 
     key chain.  Nicholas looks to the GLASS DOORS.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               67


                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Cute.

70   INT.  CLAREMONT HOTEL, HALL -- DAY                            70   

     Long hallway.  Nicholas follows the Bellhop.  They arrive at 
     the door to ROOM 277.

                           NICHOLAS
               I'll take it from here.

     He tips the Bellhop, who leaves, uses the key, entering...

71   INT.  CLAREMONT HOTEL, ROOM 277 -- DAY                        71   

     Nicholas shuts the door.  There's a room-service cart with 
     wine chilling.  Nicholas moves down this short hall...

                           NICHOLAS
               Hello... ?

     His jaw drops.  The room is TRASHED.  Curtains shredded, 
     furniture overturned, television imploded, mirror spiderweb-
     smashed, walls full of holes.

     Nicholas moves forward, having spotted...

     His battered BRIEFCASE on the ruined mattress.

     The latch is undone.  Nicholas opens it.

     Inside: MANY PHOTOGRAPHS of blurry SEX acts.  Bodies in 
     motion.  Limbs.  Breasts.  A NAKED WOMAN tied to the bed.

     One PHOTO shows two women entwined with a NAKED MAN who appear 
     to be NICHOLAS.  It's a so-so cut-and-paste job.

     A LOUD KNOCKING at the door startles Nicholas.  He closes 
     the briefcase, freaked.

     He hurries to the door as POUNDING is HEARD again, puts his 
     eye to the peephole.

     THRU THE PEEPHOLE: a MAID gets out her keys.

                           MAID
                    (thru door)
               Time to make up the room.

     Nicholas fumbles with the SECURITY CHAIN, slides it in place 
     as the door opens -- stopped.  Nicholas keeps hidden.

                           NICHOLAS
               Could you come back later?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               68


                           MAID
               Yes, sir.  Sorry.

     THRU THE PEEPHOLE: the maid moves away.

     Nicholas crosses to retrieve his briefcase, and is crossing 
     back when he stops in his tracks upon seeing...

     On a dresser, a MIRROR covered in COCAINE lines and residue.

     IN THE BATHROOM

     Nicholas turns on the faucet, washing the cocaine down the 
     sink, hands shaking.  The mirror edge cuts his thumb and he 
     gives a cry, drops the mirror, which SHATTERS on the floor.

     Nicholas sucks his thumb, puts it under the faucet.  He finds 
     a hand cloth and wraps it round his thumb.

     There are big blood droplets on the sink and floor.

     Nicholas grabs wads of tissues from a box on the back of the 
     toilet, using them to blot up the blood, throwing tissues in 
     the toilet and flushing.

     Nicholas keeps wiping blood.  The toilet burps, OVERFLOWING.

     WATER SPILLS OUT...

     Nicholas backs away, panicked, exiting...

72   INT.  CLAREMONT HOTEL, HALL -- DAY                            72   

     Nicholas looks out from Room 277.  He sees a MAID CART, HEARS 
     an O.S. VACUUM CLEANER.  He run-walks down the hall, hugging 
     his briefcase.  He pushes thru a STAIRWELL DOOR.

73   EXT.  CLAREMONT HOTEL -- DAY                                  73   

     Nicholas takes his Bentley back from the valet, pulling out 
     fast to the street.  Further back, the grimy BLACK SEDAN 
     moves from the curb.

74   INT.  NICHOLAS' BENTLEY -- DAY                                74   

     Nicholas' mind races.  He wipes sweat off his face.

     He glances in his rearview...

     THRU MIRROR: the black sedan, following again.

     Resolve comes to Nicholas, and anger.  He speeds up.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               69


75   EXT.  BERKELEY STREETS -- DAY                                 75   

     The Bentley weaves thru traffic, taking a corner sharp.

     Nicholas spins the wheel, heading...

     DOWN AN ALLEYWAY

     Nicholas brakes hard, gets out of the Bentley and heads for 
     the mouth of the alley...

     As the black sedan follows, blocked, stopping.  Nicholas 
     comes to pull open the car door, confronting the rumpled, 
     PLUMP GUY behind the wheel.

                           PLUMP GUY
               What the fuck... ?!

                           NICHOLAS
               Why are you following me?

                           PLUMP GUY
               I don't know what you're talking 
               about.  I'm just driving...

     He falters as he follows Nicholas' angry gaze to the seat 
     beside him where a FILE is open to a PHOTO of NICHOLAS.

                           PLUMP GUY (CONT'D)
                    (fumbling to close 
                    file)
               Look... what I'm doing is none of 
               your business...

                           NICHOLAS
               Is Alan Baer "the Game?"  Is that 
               what this is?

                           PLUMP GUY
                    (defiant pause)
               Friend... why don't you back off.

     He leans as he talks... inside his jacket, he wears a gun.

     Nicholas reaches across and pulls the gun, hefting it.

                           PLUMP GUY (CONT'D)
               Hey... !

                           NICHOLAS
                    (of the gun)
               Nice touch.  Does the game use real 
               bullets... ?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               70


     Nicholas points the gun at the sedan's rear tire, FIRES!

     The gun is SHOCKINGLY LOUS -- BURSTS the TIRE!

     Nicholas looks to the smoking weapon, blanching.

     Plump Guy leaps to the other seat, scrambling out the 
     passenger door, submissive...

                           PLUMP GUY
               Okay, I'm a private investigator.  
               Somebody hired me to keep tabs on 
               you...

     Nicholas lifts the gun, unsure, pointing it awkwardly...

                           NICHOLAS
               Who... who hired you?

     Plump Guy bolts, running away down the alleyway.  Nicholas 
     aims the gun after him, but catches himself, lowers it.  He 
     runs the other direction, back to the Bentley...

     Nicholas gets in the car, drops the gun on the seat, drives.

     INSIDE THE BENTLEY

     Nicholas returns to the street, glancing back.  He looks at 
     the gun.  He opens the glove compartment, throws the gun in.

     He takes out his CELLULAR PHONE, dialing...

                           MARIA (O.S.)
                    (from cellular)
               Mister Van Orton's office...

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into cellular)
               Maria.  Have Sutherland meet me at 
               the Ritz-Carlton.  I'm on my way 
               there now.

                           MARIA (O.S.)
               May I tell him... ?

     But, Nicholas is already pushing DISCONNECT.

                                                          CUT TO:

76   INT.  RITZ CARLTON HOTEL, LOBBY -- DAY                        76   

     Nicholas enters with briefcase.  Sutherland rises to follow.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               71


                           SUTHERLAND
               What's happened...

                           NICHOLAS
               Follow me.

77   INT.  RITZ-CARLTON, ALAN BAER'S SUITE -- DAY                  77   

     A HOTEL EMPLOYEE rolls a room service cart out.  Nicholas 
     pushes past with Sutherland in tow.  Alan Baer, his handsome 
     WIFE and lovely DAUGHTER are seated at a table where a WAITER 
     lays out a splendid meal.

                           ALAN BAER
               Nicholas... this is unexpected.

     Nicholas takes out the SEX PHOTOS, throws them on the table.

                           NICHOLAS
               Do you actually believe that because 
               you publish children's books, anyone's 
               going to care about my reputation?

     Wife and daughter are frightened.  Alan Baer covers the photos 
     with his napkin.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               You could print pictures of me wearing 
               nipple rings and butt-fucking Captain 
               Kangaroo... all anyone would wonder 
               was whether the stock was up, or 
               down.

     Sutherland's nervousness grows by the second.

                           DAUGHTER
               Daddy... ?

                           ALAN BAER
               It's alright, dear.  Mr. Van Orton...

                           SUTHERLAND
               Nicholas...

                           NICHOLAS
                    (still to Alan Baer)
               That you've involved Conrad... is 
               unforgivable.  I am now your enemy.

                           ALAN BAER
               Are you finished?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               72


                           NICHOLAS
               No.  This is my lawyer, Samuel 
               Sutherland.  I thought you two should 
               meet.

                           ALAN BAER
               We met, this morning.  I signed the 
               termination contract for Baer/Grace.  
               I accepted your settlement, Nicholas.  
               you were right.  I'm going sailing.

     Nicholas opens his mouth, but no words come.  He looks to 
     Sutherland.  Sutherland nods to confirm.

                           ALAN BAER (CONT'D)
               You're welcome to join our luncheon.  
               Maybe we can straighten this out.
                    (motioning to...)
               My wife, Mary Carol, and my daughter-
               in-law, Kaliegh.

     Wife and daughter give mumbled greetings, having no desire 
     to meet Nicholas.  Nicholas just stands stymied.

                           NICHOLAS
               It seems I've...  please, disregard 
               my apparently misguided remarks.

     Nicholas heads for the door, hurrying out.  Alan, wife, 
     daughter, the waiter and Sutherland exchange looks.

                           SUTHERLAND
               Well...

     Sutherland walks to retrieve the sex photos.

                           SUTHERLAND (CONT'D)
               Enjoy your lunch.

     Sutherland smiles, exiting.

                                                          CUT TO:

78   INT.  NICHOLAS' OFFICE -- DAY                                 78   

     Nicholas sits at his desk, opens his briefcase, checking the 
     contents.  Soon, Sutherland arrives, shutting the door.  He 
     watches Nicholas, deciding.

                           SUTHERLAND
               How concerned should I be?

                           NICHOLAS
               It was a misunderstanding.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               73


     Sutherland puts the SEX PHOTOS on the desk.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Someone's playing hardball.  It's 
               complicated.  Can I ask a favor?

                           SUTHERLAND
               You know you can.

                           NICHOLAS
               Find out about a company called C.R.S.  
               Consumer Recreation Services.

                           SUTHERLAND
               Sounds like they make tennis rackets.  
               What do we know?

                           NICHOLAS
               Just what I told you.

                           SUTHERLAND
               Nothing else?

     Nicholas remembers.  He opens up a file drawer in his desk.

                           NICHOLAS
               They gave me their waiver.  On 
               their... wait...

     Nicholas hands over a file, returning to his briefcase.  He 
     finds an ENVELOPE with a SMILELY-FACE on it.  He opens it.

     He takes out a silver-plated METAL CRANK.  Like a handle.

                           SUTHERLAND
               What is this?

     Nicholas looks up.  Sutherland's looking in the file, 
     quizzically, hands it back...

     Nicholas studies PINK-TINTED PAGES; the pages Feingold gave 
     him, once dense with words, now completely blank except for 
     NICHOLAS' SIGNATURE and INITIALS several places.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (of the pages)
               Christ... I can't believe it...  
               invisible ink?

                           SUTHERLAND
               You're joking.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               74


                           NICHOLAS
               It's what they do.  It's like...  
               being toyed with by a bunch of...
                    (picks up SEX PHOTOS)
               Depraved children.

     Nicholas examines each photo.  Sutherland goes to leave.

                           SUTHERLAND
               Very well.  If you tell me not to 
               worry, I shan't.

                           NICHOLAS
               Sam...
                    (as Sutherland stops)
               Thank you.

     Sutherland exits.  Nicholas keeps examining the pictures.

     He sits forward, finding something...

     IN A PHOTO: the out-of-focus back of a NAKED WOMAN wearing 
     only a RED BRA.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (INTO PHONE-INTERCOM)
               Maria.  The other night... last night, 
               there was a woman here named 
               Christine.  I called a taxi, from 
               that company we use...

                           MARIA (V.O.)
                    (FROM PHONE-INTERCOM)
               Elite?

                           NICHOLAS
               What?

                           MARIA (V.O.)
               Elite Taxi Company?

                           NICHOLAS
               Look into it.  Find out which car 
               answered and where they took her.

     Nicholas sits back.  He picks up the METAL CRANK, twists it 
     in his hands, frowning, pockets it.

                                                          CUT TO:

79   EXT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, GARAGE -- NIGHT                      79   

     The rapid SOUND of a PHONE OFF THE HOOK is HEARD OVER: BEEP 
     BEEP BEEP BEEP... The Bentley pulls in.  Headlights out.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               75


     IN THE CAR, Nicholas takes the gun from the glove compartment 
     and puts it in his briefcase.

80   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, KITCHEN -- NIGHT                     80   

     Dark.  The PHONE OFF THE HOOK is LOUDER, grating: BEEP BEEP 
     BEEP BEEP BEEP...  Nicholas comes in the back door, peering 
     into the weak moonlight.

                           NICHOLAS
               Ilsa?

     Nicholas replaces the phone on its cradle.  QUIET.

     He reaches for a light switch, ZAP! -- BLUE SPARKS leap to 
     his fingers.  Nicholas YELPS and shakes his hand out.

     The switch has been RIPPED OUT, leaving exposed wiring.

     Nicholas goes to his briefcase, getting the gun and moving 
     forward, wary, calling out...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Ilsa!?

81   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, DEN -- NIGHT                         81   

     In the blackness, Nicholas comes to stand at the doorway, 
     levels the gun at someone across the room...

                           NICHOLAS
               I've got a gun!

     There's a roaring fire in the giant fireplace and a FIGURE 
     in a chair.  Nicholas eases forward...

     It's the HARLEQUIN in the chair, with a GLOSSY B+W PHOTO 
     between its teeth.  Nicholas pulls out the picture...

     A POLICE PHOTO of NICHOLAS' FATHER, his body sprawled.

     It's stamped "PROPERTY SFPD" in red.

     There's a NOTE paper-clipped behind:

     "Like my father before me, I choose eternal sleep."  At the 
     bottom, a RED SIGNATURE ARROW affixed, "Please Sign Here."

     Suddenly, ALL LIGHTS SURGE TO LIFE, icy and ghoulish -- each 
     and every bulb replaced by BLACK LIGHT...

     Nicholas pivots slowly, taking in the horror...

     The wrecked den is covered in FLUORESCENT SPRAY-PAINT

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               76


     GRAFFITI: "WELCOME HOME"  "FUCK YOU"  "NICHOLAS VAN 
     COCKSUCKER"  "SUCK IT"  "C.R.S. RULES"  "HAVING FUN, RICH 
     BOY?"  Everywhere.  Across windows, paintings and curtains.

     The ceiling is covered in "MOMMA'S BOY" and OBSCENITIES.

     Scaffolding's been left behind.  Used SPRAY CANS on the 
     splattered Oriental rug.  A PAINT/AIR COMPRESSOR.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               ... fuckers...

82   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, MASTER BEDROOM -- NIGHT              82   

     A glowing ANARCHY SYMBOL sprayed across the door which is 
     throw open by Nicholas as he enters.

     It's all BLACK LIT here too.  GRAFFITIED and DESTROYED.

     "HELTER SKELTER: in jolting letters.  Nicholas backs out...

83   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, VARIOUS ROOMS -- NIGHT               83   

     FOLLOW: Nicholas down the hall and around corners, BLACK 
     LIGHTS above, walls covered in CURSES and MULTI-COLORED 
     SQUIGGLES.  Like a bad trip thru the Bat-Cave...

     DOWN STAIRS

     Past OTHER ROOMS likewise awash in vibrant slurs...

     THRU THE KITCHEN

     Now also revealed as ruined.  Nicholas goes out the door...

84   EXT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, BACKYARD -- NIGHT                    84   

     Nicholas runs to the GUEST HOUSE.

85   INT.  VAN ORTON GUEST HOUSE, FOYER -- NIGHT                   85   

     BANGING on the FRONT DOOR.  Ilsa comes to look thru the 
     peephole, opens the door to a breathless Nicholas.

                           ILSA
               Mr. Van Orton... ?

                           NICHOLAS
               Ilsa... you're alright?

                           ILSA
               Yes. What do you mean?  What's wrong?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               77


                           NICHOLAS
               Did the alarm go off?  The house...  
               they... you didn't see... ?

                           ILSA
               I don't know what you're talking 
               about.  What's happened?

                           NICHOLAS
               There's been a break in.  Lock this 
               door and stay here.  Don't move a 
               muscle.

     Nicholas runs back toward the house.

                           ILSA
               Be careful!

86   EXT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, BACKYARD -- NIGHT                    86   

     Crossing the lawn, Nicholas pulls out his cellular phone, 
     dialing as he runs, takes out his gun.

                           911 OPERATOR (V.O.)
                    (from cellular)
               Nine-one-one, emergency...

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into cellular)
               I need the police.  There's been a 
               break-in at my home...

                           911 OPERATOR (V.O.)
                    (from cellular)
               Okay, sir.  Stay on the line and 
               give me your address...

87   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, KITCHEN -- NIGHT                     87   

     Nicholas enters, still on the phone, locking the door, 
     beginning to punch the security code into the ALARM KEYPAD.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into cellular)
               Twenty-two Moore Street.  At the 
               corner of Moore and Buchanan.

                           911 OPERATOR (V.O.)
               Now, sir, you said it was a break-
               in...

                           NICHOLAS
               Yes...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               78


                           911 OPERATOR (V.O.)
               Are you sure they're gone... ?

     As Nicholas finishes the security code, the KEYPAD BEEPS, 
     and Nicholas straightens, worried.

                           911 OPERATOR (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               ... are you sure there's not still 
               someone somewhere in the house?

                           NICHOLAS
               I... don't think so.

     And with the DYING HUMMMMMMMM of POWER FAILING, all the BLACK 
     LIGHTS GO OUT.  Nicholas raises his gun...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Oh God...

     Pointing it into the dark kitchen, hand trembling.

                           911 OPERATOR (V.O.)
               Hello?  Are you still there?

     Behind, a DARK FIGURE outside rises against the kitchen door 
     window, POUNDING FRANTICALLY!  Nicholas leaps and spins, 
     CRYING OUT in terror, dropping the gun...

     The gun bounces across the linoleum.

     It's CONRAD at the kitchen door, haggard and scared, his 
     pale face pressed against the glass, pointing frantically.

                           CONRAD
               Meet me out front!

     Conrad ducks away, moving on.

                                                          CUT TO:

88   EXT.  CITY STREETS -- NIGHT                                   88   

     The Bentley takes a corner fast, heading downhill, moving 
     from residential to mostly urban...

     INSIDE THE BENTLEY

     Nicholas drives.  Conrad looks back over his shoulder, a man 
     on the run, dark circles under his eyes.

                           NICHOLAS
               Tell me where we're going.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               79


                           CONRAD
               Just drive, man.
                    (slumps low)
               It's fucking nuts!

                           NICHOLAS
               What's this all about, Connie?

                           CONRAD
               Shhhhhhh.  Wait... wait...

     Conrad flips the sunshade, looks behind it, feels the fabric 
     of the roof and the seam of the door.

     He grips the interior LIGHT, breaks it open, pulling the 
     bulb and wires.

                           NICHOLAS
               What are you doing?

                           CONRAD
               They're methodical.  They're nothing 
               if they're not that.

                           NICHOLAS
               Who?

                           CONRAD
               C.R.S.  Who do you think?  Jesus H., 
               thank your lucky charms.  To think 
               what I almost got you into.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (miserable)
               Yeah, almost...

                           CONRAD
               You dodged a bullet.

                           NICHOLAS
               How do you mean, exactly?

                           CONRAD
               They fuck you and they fuck you and 
               they fuck you.  And then, just when 
               you think it's done, that's when the 
               real fucking begins.

                           NICHOLAS
               Slow down, take a breath...

                           CONRAD
               It doesn't stop, Nick.
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               80


                           CONRAD (CONT'D)
               I paid the bill, I gave 'em their 
               money, but it all started again.  
               They won't leave me alone...

                           NICHOLAS
               What have they been doing to you?

                           CONRAD
               Everything.  I'm a goddamn human-
               pinata...

                           NICHOLAS
               Calm down.  Why would they keep 
               playing after you paid?

                           CONRAD
               You think I know?  I paid them more 
               to make it stop.

     BOOM! -- the wheel jerks in Nicholas' hand, TIRES SCREAM...

                           CONRAD (CONT'D)
               What the hell... !?

     ON THE STREET

     A TIRE'S BLOWN OUT.  Riding the rim, the car jerks over...

     INSIDE THE BENTLEY

     Nicholas stops at the curb.  Conrad's turned in his seat.

                           CONRAD (CONT'D)
               It's them.  They did this.

                           NICHOLAS
               It's a flat tire.  That's all.

                           CONRAD
               How do you know?

                           NICHOLAS
               We're going to figure this out.  Get 
               a grip on yourself.

                           CONRAD
               Okay... okay.

     Conrad faces forward.  Nicholas gets out to look at the wheel, 
     using his cellular, then returns to the open window.

                           NICHOLAS
               The phone's dead.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               81


                           CONRAD
               Really?

                           NICHOLAS
               Do you know how to change a tire?

                           CONRAD
               No.  Do you?
                    (off Nicholas' frown)
               Can't be too hard, can it?  I don't 
               think we should be here out in the 
               open like this.

     Nicholas rubs his temples, looks all around, frustrated.

                           NICHOLAS
               Check the glove box... might be 
               another battery there.

     Conrad OPENS the glove compartment: KEYS SPILL OUT.  At least 
     fifty, silver and gold, all stamped "C.R.S."

     Conrad's breath catches in his throat.  He looks to Nicholas, 
     afraid.  Nicholas leans closer...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               How did those... ?

                           CONRAD
               You're part of it...

                           NICHOLAS
               What?  Connie...

     Conrad climbs out, pointing across the roof of the car...

                           CONRAD
               No!  You're one of them.  Of course, 
               it makes perfect sense!

                           NICHOLAS
               No, it doesn't!  Those keys were put 
               there.  I didn't even know...

                           CONRAD
               You're behind this, aren't you?  You 
               and your sick friends.  Well, make 
               it stop!

                           NICHOLAS
               Listen to yourself.   Why would I do 
               anything like what you're describing?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               82


                           CONRAD
               Because you hate me.  Because you 
               had to be here, when mom died.  
               Because you had to do it alone.
                    (near tears)
               Well, don't you think if I'd known...
               I'd've been here too.  I'd have been 
               here...

                           NICHOLAS
               Stop this.  It's not true...

                           CONRAD
               I'm sorry, Christ, I'm sorry!  How 
               many more times do I have to say I'm 
               sorry before you forgive me... ?

                           NICHOLAS
               Stop it!

     Conrad bolts away, full tilt, into a nearby PARK and PUBLIC 
     GARDENS.  Nicholas gives chase, calling after.

     AHEAD, Conrad runs headlong, disappearing thru thick bushes.

     Nicholas follows, downhill, falls and slides, gets up.  At 
     the bottom, he shoves thru vegetation...

     On the other side, Nicholas looks all directions, gulping 
     air.  Conrad's nowhere to be seen.  Nicholas stops.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (shouting)
               Connie!

     Far off, there's a concrete path winding thru the park past 
     a BANK OF PAYPHONES.  ONE PAYPHONE starts RINGING.  Nicholas 
     starts back the way he came.

     Behind, ALL THE PAYPHONES start RINGING.  Nicholas halts.

     He runs to the phones, answers one.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (into phone)
               You sons-of-bitches...

                           MAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
                    (from phone)
               Flippy?  Is Flippy there?  Flippy?

     Nichols slams the phone down, picks up another...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               83


                           RECORDING (V.O.)
                    (from phone)
               If you'd like to make a call, please 
               hang up and...

     PHONE STOP RINGING.  Nicholas hangs up, digging out his 
     wallet.  Rifling thru it, he comes up with the VALET TICKET 
     with the C.R.S. EMERGRENCY 800-NUMBER on it.  He dials...

     Puts the phone to his ear.  BUSY SIGNAL.  He slaps the headset-
     tongue, redialing, waiting...

                           RECORDING (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                    (from phone)
               We're sorry.  The number you have 
               dialed has been disconnected or is 
               no longer in service...

     He throws the receiver, tears the valet ticket in half and 
     tosses it, then steps back -- KICKS the phone.

89   EXT.  CITY STREET -- NIGHT                                    89   

     Nicholas returns to his car, looks down at the flat tire.

     At the rear, Nicholas opens the trunk.  He reaches in and 
     takes out the car's JACK.  He looks at it like an alien thing, 
     turns it over, tosses it into the street.

     He closes the trunk, REMOTE's the ALARM, walking away.

     There's a TAXI heading this way.  Nicholas hails it...

     INSIDE THE TAXI

     Nicholas gets in.  GLASS separates him from the CAB DRIVER

                           NICHOLAS
               Twenty-two Moore Street.

     The driver nods and hits the gas.

90   EXT.  CITY STREETS, FURTHER ON -- NIGHT                       90   

     The taxi roars down the street.

     INSIDE THE TAXI

     Nicholas has his head back, eyes closed, loosening his tie.

     He looks out the window, narrow his eyes.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               84


                           NICHOLAS
                    (pointing)
               Um... you want to turn here...
                    (TAXI KEEPS GOING)
               Excuse me, you missed the turn.

     The driver says nothing.  Nicholas knocks on the glass.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Did you hear me?  You're...

     Nicholas stops, noticing the DRIVER I.D. on the other side 
     of the partition.  "California Regal Sedans."  C.R.S.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               No... no, no, no.  Stop the car!

     The taxi HALTS at a LIGHT.  Nicholas tries the DOOR HANDLE.

     Doesn't work.  He tries the WINDOW HANDLE -- it COMES OFF.

     ON THE STREET

     The cab PEELS OUT as the light turns green.

     INSIDE THE TAXI

     Nicholas tries the other door, panicky.  Same results --

     locked in.  The taxi makes a SCREEEEECHING TURN...

     ON THE STREET

     The taxi speeds up... heading for a WHARF AREA and PIERS.

     INSIDE THE TAXI

     Nicholas presses against the partition, urgent, calm...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Listen.  I am a very wealthy man.  
               Whatever they're paying you, I'll 
               double it!

     The taxi driver simply opens his door and leaps out...

     THRU THE WINDOW: the driver ROLLS, a perfectly executed stunt 
     fall.  Nicholas can't believe.  He grabs frantically for his 
     seatbelt, SNAPS it around him, looks up...

     Opens his mouth to SCREAM...

     ON THE WHARF

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               85


     The taxi goes FLYING off a deserted pier... airborne...

     SPLASHES DOWN! in the San Francisco Bay.

     INSIDE THE TAXI

     Nicholas is jerked forward, breath slammed out of him.

     ON THE SURFACE OF THE WATER

     The taxi goes under in an eruption of bubbles.

     UNDERWATER

     THRU THE TAXI WINDOW: Nicholas pulls off his seatbelt, 
     extricates himself and starts kicking the window.  Dashboard 
     lights grow eerie as they submerge.

     INSIDE THE TAXI

     Nicholas stops kicking, trying to calm.  He looks to the 
     front: water's gushing in through two-inches of open window.

     The taxi's less that half full.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (to himself)
               It's a game... it's a game...

     He tries the DOOR HANDLE again, yanking, to no avail.  He 
     realizes something, searches his pockets...

     UNDERWATER

     The taxi sinks, headlights dimming in murkier depths.

     INSIDE THE TAXI

     Nicholas finds the METAL CRANK.  He takes a deep breath...

     SUBMERGING.  He puts the crank in the WINDOW HANDLE HOLE, 
     turns the crank.  The WINDOW LOWERS, water flooding in...

     UNDERWATER

     Nicholas swims out the window, heading upwards...

91   EXT.  SAN FRANCISCO BAY -- NIGHT                              91   

     Nicholas bursts to the surface, sucking air.  He treads water, 
     catching his breath.

                           GIRL'S VOICE (O.S.)
               Hey, mister... are you alright?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               86


     Nicholas turns.  There's a CABIN CRUISER docked nearby.  A 
     beautiful GIRL in a yellow raincoat throws a life preserver.

     Nicholas swims to it.

92   EXT.  CABIN CRUISER -- NIGHT                                  92   

     Nicholas climbs the rear ladder with the girl's help.  He 
     stays on his knees, teeth chattering.  The boat's luxurious.

                           GIRL
               You could get hepatitis from that 
               water.

     She helps Nicholas up, keeps a grip on him.

                           NICHOLAS
               I need the police.

                           GIRL
               Let's get you dried off first.  I 
               might have some clothes below.

93   INT.  CABIN CRUISER, BATHROOM -- NIGHT                        93   

     The shower and mirrors are fogged.  Nicholas' wet clothing 
     sits in the sink.  He's wearing a short-sleeved shirt, pulling 
     on trousers.

     IN THE ADJOINING BEDROOM

     QUIET MUSIC.  Nicholas comes from the bathroom, feeling the 
     waistband of the pants, checking out the cuffs.

                           NICHOLAS
               You know, these fit... perfectly.

                           GIRL
               They were my husband's.  My late 
               husband... may he rest in peace.

     Nicholas looks to the girl.  She rises from the bed and slides 
     the raincoat off, wearing only a BIKINI.  A Playmate.

     Nicholas just sort of sags.

     The girl undoes her top, which falls.  She steps forward.

                           GIRL (CONT'D)
               I've been so lonely.

                           NICHOLAS
               I can't tell you how not interested 
               I am.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               87


                           GIRL
               Don't be nervous.  They said you'd 
               be nervous.

                           NICHOLAS
               Don't take another step.

     The girl covers her breasts, confused.  Nicholas gathers his 
     clothing from the sink, heading for the stairs.

                           GIRL
               Isn't this what you like?  They told 
               me you had a thing for boats.

                           NICHOLAS
               First they try to kill me, now you?
                    (to girl)
               Put your damn clothes back on.

     Nicholas scrambles upstairs...

94   EXT.  CABIN CRUISER -- NIGHT                                  94   

     Nicholas leaps off onto the wharf.  The girl, pulling on her 
     raincoat, crosses to the boat's rail, waving a BOX.  Thru 
     the box's window: a gold GLASS CUTTER nestled in velvet.

                           GIRL
               Don't you want your thing?  I was 
               supposed to give you this thing.

     Nicholas just keeps walking.

                                                          CUT TO:

95   EXT.  C.R.S. BUILDING -- DAY                                  95   

     TWO POLICE CARS, marked and unmarked, pull to the curb.

     From the plainclothes car, MALE DETECTIVE and FEMALE DETECTIVE 
     get out.  Nicholas and Sutherland get out.

96   INT.  C.R.S. BUILDING, LOBBY -- DAY                           96   

     Nicholas, Sutherland, Male and Female Detective cross the 
     busy lobby with TWO UNIFORMED OFFICERS behind.

97   INT.  C.R.S. BUILDING, OFFICES -- DAY                         97   

     Nicholas enters, followed by the others.  He stops short...

     REVEAL: this huge room, once filled with cubicles far as the 
     eye could see, is now entirely EMPTY.  Trash.  Dust.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               88


     Fixtures jutting from the floor.

                                                          CUT TO:

98   INT.  NICHOLAS' OFFICE -- DAY                                 98   

     Nicholas stands with hands in pockets, staring at the floor.

     Sutherland's here.  Female and Male Detective stand together.  
     She's checking notes.

                           FEMALE DETECTIVE
               Management for the building says 
               that space hasn't been officially 
               rented yet.  The county recorder has 
               no listing for "Consumer Recreation 
               Services" or any derivation thereof.  
               No sign of the boat or the girl.  
               We're checking escort services, but 
               it's unlikely.  Divers are looking 
               for the taxi, and soon as they find 
               it they'll pull the plates and V.I.N.

                           MALE DETECTIVE
               Have you gotten in touch with your 
               brother?

                           NICHOLAS
               He hasn't called back.

                           SUTHERLAND
               What about the house?

                           MALE DETECTIVE
               The graffiti was painted in an oil-
               based marine marking solution.  
               Illegal in the states.  Not impossible 
               to trace, but it'll take time.

                           FEMALE DETECTIVE
               The photos, gun, the clown, the 
               ambulance, cable box, everything 
               else... it's all pending.
                    (shuts notebook)
               Breaking and entering we have, solid.  
               Malicious mischief, vandalism, 
               harassment.  But, that's about all.

                           SUTHERLAND
               Illegal surveillance, reckless 
               endangerment...

                           NICHOLAS
               Attempted murder.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               89


                           MALE DETECTIVE
               Except... you said you hired these 
               people.

                           SUTHERLAND
               That's irrelevant.

                           MALE DETECTIVE
               It's our job to let you know what we 
               have.  We haven't got motive.

                           FEMALE DETECTIVE
                    (to Nicholas)
               You are who you are, so we know you're 
               not making it up.  But, we've never 
               dealt with anything quite like this.  
               Be appropriately cautious.
                    (pause)
               Unless you think they're done with 
               you.

                                                          CUT TO:

99   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, KITCHEN -Ñ NIGHT                     99   

     Ilsa sets down a plate: sandwich with crust cut off, potato 
     chips and carrot sticks.  Nicholas eats, pondering.

                           NICHOLAS
               What was my father like?

     Ilsa's at the fridge, near where drop-cloths, paint cans and 
     other repair preparations are piled.

                           ILSA
               What makes you ask?

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm not sure.

     Ilsa comes to set down a glass, fills it with milk.

                           ILSA
               All the time I've known you, you've 
               never once asked about him.

                           NICHOLAS
               He came to my mind recently, that's 
               all.

     Ilsa moves to put food back into the refrigerator.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               90


                           ILSA
               Your mother thought he was a good 
               man.  He worked very hard.  What I 
               remember most was his manner was 
               so... slight.  It was easy to spend 
               time in a room, and not realize he'd 
               been there the whole time.

                           NICHOLAS
               Was he morose, or...?  I mean...

                           ILSA
               No.  What happened... no one expected 
               it.

                           NICHOLAS
               Sometimes I wonder how much of him 
               there is in me.

                           ILSA
               Not much, I think.

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm just like him.

                           ILSA
               You're not like him at all.  I don't 
               know exactly what's going on around 
               here lately, but don't make me start 
               worrying about you.

                           NICHOLAS
               Did you worry about him?

                           ILSA
               Nobody worried about your father.

     Nicholas stares at his milk.  PHONE RINGS.  He answers...

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into phone)
               Hello.

                           MARIA (V.O.)
                    (from phone)
               It's Maria.  I found the address you 
               wanted from Elite Taxi.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (picks up pen and 
                    paper)
               Go ahead...

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               91


100   EXT.  SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD -- NIGHT                        100   

     Rows of lower-middle-class homes.  Nicholas parks.  A WHITE 
     VAN sits near, a wrench-wielding WORKMAN painted on the side.  
     "Cable Repair Specialists."

     Nicholas crosses the lawn of a WHITE HOUSE, to the porch.

     He rings the doorbell and waits.  Finally, an older man in a 
     bathrobe answers, CHRISTINE'S DAD, puffy-eyed.

                           CHRISTINE'S DAD
               Yeah?

                           NICHOLAS
               Hello.  Is Christine in?

                           CHRISTINE'S DAD
               She's sleeping.

                           CHRISTINE (O.S.)
               Who is it, dad?

101   INT.  CHRISTINE'S LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT                      101   

     Christine looks down from the top of the stairs.  Below, 
     Nicholas looks up past Christine's dad.

                           CHRISTINE
               What are you doing here?

                           NICHOLAS
               Can we talk?

                           CHRISTINE
               It's okay, dad.

     Christine's dad opens the door and heads away.  Christine 
     comes down, in a pajama top and shorts, pleased.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               Didn't think I'd ever see you again.

                           NICHOLAS
               Come here...

     He watches to make sure dad's gone, leads Christine to the 
     middle of the room, takes out a PHOTOCOPY, unfolds it.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               What can you tell me about this?

     The SEX PHOTO of the woman in the RED BRA.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               92


                           CHRISTINE
               What is it?

                           NICHOLAS
               Is this you?

                           CHRISTINE
               Where'd you get this?

                           NICHOLAS
               It was left in my hotel room, well, 
               not really mine.  You're saying it's 
               not you?

                           CHRISTINE
               I think I would remember.
                    (hands it back)
               What makes you think it's me?

                           NICHOLAS
               Well... the red bra.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (like he's crazy)
               Okay.

                           NICHOLAS
               I thought...

     He's at a loss, drained.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Do you mind if I sit?

                           CHRISTINE
               Sure.  You alright?  Is this still 
               that contest you're in...

                           NICHOLAS
                    (sits)
               I'm tired.  I'm sorry, I should go.  
               I've been enough of a nuisance.

                           CHRISTINE
               Let me go get some clothes on.  We'll 
               talk, okay?  Be right back.

     Christine hurries upstairs.  Nicholas stands, calls after.

                           NICHOLAS
               Do you have any aspirin?

     Nicholas takes in the room, unhappy.  He squints at a VIRGIN 
     MARY figurine, picks it up... unscrews the head.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               93


     It's a decanter.  He sniffs it and puts it back.  He sniffs 
     the air, noticing...

     A WISP OF SMOKE rises from a bright LAMP.

     INSIDE THE LAMPSHADE: Nicholas peers inside.  A PRICE TAG 
     dangles against the bulb, turning brown, smoking.

     Nicholas reaches to remove the tag -- burns his finger on 
     the bulb, jerking his hands away.  He blows on his finger, 
     sighs, walks to poke his head thru a swinging door...

102   INT.  CHRISTINE'S KITCHEN -- NIGHT                          102   

     Modest, cluttered.  Nicholas goes to the sink, holds his 
     finger under the faucet.  NO WATER.  He jerks the faucet 
     handle, but gets nothing.  He looks around...

     Opens a drawer -- EMPTY.  He opens another drawer -- EMPTY.

     He opens more EMPTY DRAWERS, a disturbing thought forming.

     Opens a cabinet -- EMPTY.

103   INT.  CHRISTINE'S LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT                      103   

     Nicholas returns, scanning the room.  He picks up a FRAMED 
     PHOTO of a LITTLE GIRL in a dress, takes the frame apart...

     The picture is an ADVERTISEMENT from a glassy magazine, with 
     TEXT folded behind and print on the back.

     Nicholas takes a breath, quickly replaces the clipping just 
     as Christine returns from upstairs.  She's in a pull-over 
     dress, putting her hair up.

                           CHRISTINE
               Want anything to drink?

                           NICHOLAS
                    (holds up frame)
               You?

                           CHRISTINE
               Yeah.  First Communion.  Aren't I a 
               little angel?

     Nicholas offers the frame to Christine, fury showing...

                           NICHOLAS
               Take the picture out.

                           CHRISTINE
               What's wrong?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               94


                           NICHOLAS
               Take the picture out of the frame 
               and show it to me.

                           CHRISTINE
               I don't...

     Christine tries to assess the situation... realizes he's 
     onto her.  She swallows, making a quick decision, drops her 
     facade, her voice a desperate WHISPER.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               They're watching.

                           NICHOLAS
               Wha... ?

                           CHRISTINE
                    (under her breath)
               Not here!  They can see.

     Christine motions with her eyes.  Nicholas looks...

     ON THE CEILING, a red-bulbed SMOKE DETECTOR.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
                    (cheery, in character)
               So, what do you say we go for a drive?  
               We'll take your car...

     She takes his hand and pulls him.  Nicholas yanks away...

                           NICHOLAS
               No!  I'm sick of this...

                           CHRISTINE
               Nicholas...

     Nicholas points up at the smoke detector, addressing it...

                           NICHOLAS
               You can come out now, if you're there.  
               Come on out!  Let's go!

     Nicholas walks to the fireplace, picks up a FIREPLACE POKER.

     He moves to SWING it up -- SWATS the smoke detector.

     Christine runs to the picture window.

                           CHRISTINE
               Now you've done it!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               95


     THRU WINDOW: THUG 1 and THUG 2, muscle men, climb out from 
     the CABLE REPAIR VAN, running this direction.

     Nicholas comes to look, poker in hand.

                           NICHOLAS
               What?  Oh, and I suppose they're 
               going to...

     THRU WINDOW: Thug 1 and 2 draw guns, pointing...

     Nicholas furrows his brow, unsure.

                           CHRISTINE
               Get down!

     WINDOW'S BLOWN IN by GUNFIRE! as Christine tackles Nicholas.

     Shattered glass showers down.  KNICK-KNACKS FLY TO PIECES.

     Christine crawls.  Nicholas follows.  They flee, Nicholas 
     gasping and glancing back, terrified...

     IN THE KITCHEN

     Christine pulls Nicholas thru a door...

104   INT.  CHRISTINE'S GARAGE -- NIGHT                           104   

     Christine and Nicholas come downstairs to the empty garage.

     Christine's Dad looks up from his solitaire game at a card 
     table, a day player thrown off by this backstage intrusion.

                           CHRISTINE'S DAD
               What the hell... !?

     Christine leads Nicholas out the REAR DOOR...

105   EXT.  CHRISTINE'S BACKYARD -Ñ NIGHT                         105   

     They run along the back of the house...

                           NICHOLAS
               What is this!?

                           CHRISTINE
               God, wake up, it's a con!

     Around the corner, toward the front, Christine stops, looking 
     across the front lawn to Nicholas' Bentley.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               96


106   INT.  CHRISTINE'S GARAGE -Ñ NIGHT                           106   

     Thug 1 and 2 bluster in, guns up.  Christine's dad points to 
     the open rear door, afraid.  Thug 1 thinks quick -- SLAMS 
     the GARAGE DOOR OPENER...

     The OPENER'S MOTOR RATTLES to life, GARAGE DOOR RISING...

107   EXT.  CHRISTINE'S FRONT LAWN -- NIGHT                       107   

     Nicholas and Christine speed away in the Bentley.

     BEHIND, Thug 1 and 2 crawl under the garage door, giving 
     chase, FIRING.  Too little, too late.  They run to the van.

108   EXT.  SUBURBAN STREETS -- NIGHT                             108   

     The Bentley roars onwards...

     IN THE BENTLEY

     Nicholas drives, white-knuckled.  Christine watches behind.

     ON THE STREET

     The van pursues, far behind, but closing ground.

     IN THE BENTLEY

     Nicholas checks his mirror.  Christine looks forward...

                           CHRISTINE
               Look out!

     ON THE STREET

     The Bentley SIDESWIPES another CAR as Nicholas runs a light.

     The Bentley keeps going, the other car SPINNING...

     The van BRAKES HARD to avoid the spun-out car.  The van 
     reverses, angling to get around...

     FURTHER ON

     The Bentley SKIDS into an alley, lights off, still moving.

     The van, having lost half a block, misses this and continues 
     straight, raging forward, then SCREEEEECHING to stop...

     In the middle of a four-way intersection, stumped.  The van 
     chooses a direction, cutting a corner, roaring away...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               97


109   INT.  BENTLEY -- NIGHT                                      109   

                           CHRISTINE
                    (looking back)
               Okay... they're gone...

     She's thrown forward as Nicholas SLAMS BRAKES.  He reaches 
     across and throws Christine's door open.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               What are you doing... ?

                           NICHOLAS
               Get out.

                           CHRISTINE
               I could've handed you to them.  They 
               find me now, I'm dead...

                           NICHOLAS
               Get out of my car!

                           CHRISTINE
               You don't have a choice.  No one 
               else is going to tell you what's 
               going on.

     Nicholas stares at her with hatred.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               Do you want to know?  If I'm gone, 
               you never will.

     Nicholas flips the headlights on, puts the car in gear and 
     drives.  She pulls the door shut.

                           NICHOLAS
               You can talk while I drive us to the 
               police.

                           CHRISTINE
               No cops.  I've got a warrant out.  
               Mail fraud.  They'll take me in, but 
               you won't be able to prove anything 
               else.

     Christine takes out cigarettes, lights up.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               I can't believe they didn't take the 
               time to get the house right.

     Nicholas grabs the cigarette, throws it out his window.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               98


                           NICHOLAS
               Who are "they?"

                           CHRISTINE
               I don't know, nobody does.  I'm an 
               employee.

                           NICHOLAS
               Then, what good are you?

                           CHRISTINE
               I know things... like who you can 
               trust.  Like that your brother was 
               in on it from the beginning.

                           NICHOLAS
               That's a lie...

                           CHRISTINE
               Yeah?  I was your waitress on your 
               birthday.  Connie told you about 
               C.R.S. that day, remember?  I was 
               already playing my part, before you 
               started the game.

     Nicholas looks to her, realizing the truth of it.

     Christine's lighting up a new cigarette.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               It wasn't his fault.  He thought it 
               was his only way back.  They fleeced 
               him real good.

                           NICHOLAS
               How?  How could they have gotten 
               anything?

                           CHRISTINE
               They did the same to him as they did 
               to you.

                           NICHOLAS
               What are you talking about... ?

     She gives him a pitying look.

                           CHRISTINE
               They've already got it, Nicholas.  
               They got everything.

     Nicholas shoots her a glance; this is absurd.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               99


                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               Check your accounts.  That night in 
               your office, when we were there...

     FLASHBACK -- NICHOLAS' OFFICE -- THAT NIGHT

     Christine runs her finger down Nicholas' TELEPHONE.  She 
     looks to see Nicholas is preoccupied, lifts the receiver...

     Reads the PHONE NUMBER underneath.  She turns, looks down...

     There's a NUMBER written on the PHONE JACK on the wall: #C4.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               I got the number to your private 
               line and modem.  I gave C.R.S. remote 
               access to your computer...

     FLASHBACK -- VARIOUS INSERTS

     NICHOLAS' C.R.S. TESTING: Nicholas' hand scribbles his 
     SIGNATURE... fills out a FINANCIAL QUESTIONNAIRE.  A TAPE 
     RECORDER'S REEL SPINS... a PENCIL blackens TEST BLOCKS...

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               You already gave them everything 
               else.  Handwriting, voice samples, 
               psych-info.  They used it all to 
               figure out your passwords.

     FLASHBACK: ON A MONITOR, combinations of LETTERS and NUMBERS 
     SCROLL BY, multiplying, too quickly for the eye to see...

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               From there, they only had to keep 
               you distracted while they broke into 
               the network and transferred your 
               holdings to dummy accounts.

     FLASHBACK: FIGURES appear on a COMPUTER SCREEN; HIGH NUMBERS 
     flying down to 000,000,000's.  More NUMBERS, falling.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               Remember Jim Feingold, the guy who 
               signed you up?  He did five years 
               for hacking Citibank in eighty-four...

     FLASHBACK: PAN UP from deft fingers at a keyboard to JIM 
     FEINGOLD, lit by cold COMPUTER SCREEN GLOW.

     BACK TO SCENE IN BENTLEY

     Nicholas sweats.  He checks his watch, takes out his cellular, 
     dialing with his thumb.  Christine smokes.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              100


                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               Why else would they be willing to 
               put you under... ?

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into cellular)
               Overseas operator?  Please dial 
               Allgemeine Bank, Zurich.

                           CHRISTINE
               They don't care about you anymore.  
               Alive or dead is the same, as long 
               as they bury you deep enough.

110   EXT.  HIGHWAY -- NIGHT                                      110   

     The Bentley SPEEDS out a tunnel on the highway toward S.F.

     INSIDE THE BENTLEY

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into cellular)
               Guten tag.  Vilen dank, Englisch.
               Blue-two-backslash-five.  Mother's 
               maiden name: Miller.  Six-nine-zero, 
               D as in David.  Yes.  The balance...
                    (listens)
               That's impossible.  When did... ?

     Nicholas listens, scarcely breathing.  Christine seems 
     regretful.  Nicholas lowers the phone, shuts it off.

                           CHRISTINE
               They got everything.

     Lights flash across Nicholas' sweaty features.

                                                          CUT TO:

111   EXT.  GAS STATION/CONVENIENCE HUT -- NIGHT                  111   

     Nicholas pumps gas, pale, on his cellular.  Christine stands 
     across the lot, out of earshot, watching the dark freeway.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into cellular)
               Call soon as you get this message, 
               Sam.  I checked them all, I don't 
               know how, but they drained my 
               accounts.  Now they're trying to 
               kill me.  You tell the cops, I've 
               got one with me.  We'll make her 
               testify.  I know how it must sound.  
               Call on my mobile.  Be careful

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              101


112   INT.  CONVENIENCE HUT -- TIME CUT                           112   

     A FEMALE CLERK taps a gold credit card, listens on a PHONE.

     She hangs up, goes to the BULLETPROOF WINDOW.  Nicholas and 
     Christine wait on the other side with armloads of food.

                           CLERK
                    (into intercom)
               They say I have to take the card.

     Nicholas seems numb.  Christine checks her pockets.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (via intercom)
               I think I've got some cash.

                                                          CUT TO:

113   EXT.  DIRT ROADWAY -- NIGHT                                 113   

     The Bentley overtakes a logging TRUCK on this dirt road.

     IN THE BENTLEY

     QUIET NEWS RADIO.  Nicholas drains coffee from a styrofoam 
     cup, rolls his window and tosses the cup out, trying to stay 
     awake.  He looks beside him.

     Christine's asleep against her door, placid and innocent-
     looking.  Nicholas stares at her.

                                                          CUT TO:

114   EXT.  LAKE, VAN ORTON CABIN -- NIGHT                        114   

     Beautiful lake.  Dense forest.  The Bentley's parked near a 
     relatively humble CABIN.  LIGHTNING FLASHES across the sky.

115   INT.  CABIN -- NIGHT                                        115   

     FIRE in the fireplace.  Christine tends a metal pot over the 
     flames.  Nicholas sleeps slumped in a low chair.  Christine 
     passes with the pot.  Nicholas awakens, disoriented, searching 
     for familiarity.  He sits forward...

     Christine's in the candle-lit kitchenette.  He watches her, 
     grim.  She makes coffee.  He sits back.

                           CHRISTINE
               What?

     Christine comes over and gives him a mug of coffee.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              102


                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               What did you say?

                           NICHOLAS
               I didn't say anything.

     He gets up, walks, sipping coffee.  Christine watches him.

     Nicholas stares at FAMILY PHOTOS on the mantle.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (sad, unsure)
               My name's not Christine.  It's not 
               my real...

                           NICHOLAS
               Who the fuck cares?

     He doesn't even look at her, picks up a PHOTO: FATHER and 
     YOUNG NICHOLAS, holding up fish.  Nicholas rubs the dust off 
     his father's face.

                           CHRISTINE
               It's just money.  You should be glad 
               you're alive.

                           NICHOLAS
               It might be best if we didn't talk.

                           CHRISTINE
               All I mean is... someone like you...

                           NICHOLAS
               How many times have you done this?  
               I'm interested.

                           CHRISTINE
               What?

                           NICHOLAS
               Scams, con games.  How many?

                           CHRISTINE
               I don't know.  A lot.

                           NICHOLAS
               Whatever kind of nickel-and-dime 
               shit you did before, this is more 
               than just me.  Your friends raided 
               pension plans, and payrolls... they 
               took just over six-hundred million.  
               You ruined people's lives.

     Christine looks sick and truly scared.  The CELLULAR CHIRPS.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              103


     Nicholas goes to pick it up off a table.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (into cellular)
               Yes.

                           SUTHERLAND (V.O.)
                    (from cellular)
               I got your message.  I was disturbed, 
               to say the least...

     Christine stands.

                           CHRISTINE
               Who is it?

                           NICHOLAS
                    (into cellular)
               What do we do?

                           SUTHERLAND (V.O.)
                    (from cellular)
               I've been on the phone for an hour 
               already.  Nicholas, your funds are 
               intact.  Nothing's been touched.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (worried, insistent)
               Who is it?

                           NICHOLAS
                    (still into cellular)
               What do you mean?  I checked them 
               myself.  I made the calls...

                           SUTHERLAND (V.O.)
               Nothing's changed.  I'm telling you, 
               not a cent is unaccounted for...

                           NICHOLAS
                    (cups phone, to 
                    Christine)
               My lawyer... says nothing's missing.

     She shakes her head ominously.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (fear, whisper)
               He's in on it...

     Nicholas stares at Christine, trying to comprehend...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              104


                           SUTHERLAND (V.O.)
               I don't know what's happening, but 
               stay where you are till I get to 
               you.  Give me your precise location...

                           CHRISTINE
               Sutherland's in on it.

                           SUTHERLAND (V.O.)
               I'll come there.  Hold on, Nicholas, 
               I have another call.  Tell me where 
               you are.

     Nicholas lowers the phone, pushes DISCONNECT, afraid.

                           NICHOLAS
               We have to get out of here.

     The PHONE CHIRPS again.  Nicholas looks at it, flicks a switch 
     on the side, silencing it.  He sits, sickened.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               How did they get to him?  Why didn't 
               you tell me?

     She lights a cigarette, backing toward the kitchenette.

                           CHRISTINE
               Mm... I wouldn't worry about it.

                           NICHOLAS
               What... what do you mean?

                           CHRISTINE
               It's out of your hands.

     He looks up, trying to figure.  His head lulls...

     He takes a breath, looks at his trembling hands.  Drugged.

     He looks around, confused... spots the COFFEE CUP, realizes.

     With a CRY of RAGE, he LUNGES toward Christine, but comes up 
     short, toppling a shelf, contents CRASHING DOWN...

     Nicholas rolls, pained, clutching his throat, taking air in 
     RASPING GULPS.  He crawls, swings his fist, slams a table...

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               Cellular calls can be intercepted, 
               you know.

     Christine backs to avoid, hefts a heavy cooking POT in case.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              105


     She maneuvers, steps over him.  He grabs, blindly...

     She scoops up the dropped PHONE and crosses away.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
                    (cigarette 'tween 
                    lips)
               All those calls you made, to B of A, 
               France, Switzerland... you were 
               talking to my people.
                    (hits REDIAL on 
                    cellular)
               You filled the blanks.  Access codes, 
               passwords, stuff even your lawyer 
               didn't have -- but we have it now.

     Nicholas tries to stand, falls, clutching his gut, CRYING 
     OUT in great pain, frothing at the mouth.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               It's over, Nicholas.  Goodbye.

     THE ROOM SPINS round and round, spinning OUT OF CONTROL.

     FADE TO BLACK

     BREATHING... then a STRUGGLE... POUNDING, KICKING...

116   INT.  CRYPT -- MORNING                                      116   

     A PARTICLE-BOARD LID SPLINTERS as Nicholas pounds his way 
     out of a COFFIN, looking wildly around, eyes blood-shot...

     A moldering MAUSOLEUM.  Light seeps thru cracked walls.

     Piles of rotten flowers.  Coffins.  Hundreds of flies.

     Nicholas gags on the air, climbing free and falling to the 
     floor, legs weak.  He's in a WHITE SUIT, dazed and afraid.

     There's a RED ROSE taped to his chest.

117   EXT.  MEXICO CEMETERY -- MORNING                            117   

     Pushing the plywood door of the MAUSOLEUM outward, Nicholas 
     tumbles into dawn light.  He's in a ramshackle GRAVEYARD.

     Tombs for miles.  Misty, tropical vegetation.  Third World.

     Nicholas walks, trying to figure this.  He notices the red 
     rose, pulls it off and throws it.  An OLD WOMAN sits at a 
     grave with her rosary.  She watches Nicholas, emotionless.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              106


                           NICHOLAS
               Where am I?  What is this place?

     The OLD WOMAN speaks SPANISH.  Nicholas stares blankly.  She 
     seems to be asking questions.  Nicholas finally realizes 
     it's a foreign language, turns, walks away.

                                                          CUT TO:

118   EXT.  MEXICO STREET -- MORNING                              118   

     A busy downtown street.  A sea of MEXICAN PEOPLE, many poor.

     Nicholas walks, caught in the flow of the crowd, JOSTLED, 
     aimless.  The world's a NOISY BLUR around him.

     Nicholas pushes to the TRAFFIC JAMMED street, spotting a 
     POLICEMAN directing traffic, heads for him...

                           NICHOLAS
               Officer... officer...

     HORNS BLAST.  Nicholas comes to the officer, relieved...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Do you speak English?  I'm an 
               American.

     The policeman scolds Nicholas in SPANISH, shoos him away.

     Nicholas searches his empty pockets...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Listen... they took my wallet...
                    (insistent, of himself)
               American.  I am an American citizen.

     The policeman shouts angrily, grabs Nicholas' arm.  Nicholas 
     reflexively pulls away...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               No, you don't understand, I'm an 
               American...

     The policeman unsheathes his baton -- STRIKES Nicholas.

     Nicholas hits the street, raising his arms in defense.  The 
     policeman SWINGS AGAIN...

     Hits Nicholas' skull.  Nicholas runs, escaping thru traffic.

     The policeman curses after him.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              107


119   EXT.  MEXICAN BUS STOP -- DAY                               119   

     Hot.  Nicholas sits on a bench, a dried blood trail down his 
     face, holding balled-up newspaper to his bleeding head.

     Others on the BUSY SIDEWALK don't even take notice of him.

     Nicholas checks to see if he's clotted, tosses the newspaper.  
     He watches traffic pass, sits forward, elbows on his knees, 
     staring at the sidewalk.

                           NICHOLAS
               ... fuck...

     Tears forming in his eyes.  He takes a deep breath, stops 
     himself, swallowing back despair, deciding.  Determined...

     He gets up and walks.  He picks up the pace, running.

     LONG SHOT: Nicholas running, across one street, down another, 
     a strange sight in his filthy white suit.  Stopping now and 
     then to ask questions of passerbys, moving on...

     FOLLOW: Nicholas continuing, stopping in a SHOP DOORWAY.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (to SHOPKEEPER)
               The embassy?  Please... the American 
               embassy, do you know it?

     No answer.  Nicholas continues, slowing.  Ahead down the 
     sidewalk, there's another MEXICAN COP, tough-looking.

     Nicholas hesitates, then, approaches...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Excuse me... Buenos Diaz, I'm looking 
               for the United States embassy.  U.S.  
               embassy, please... pour favor?

     The cop seems angry, eyeing Nicholas' appearance, deciding.

     The cop points down the street.  Nicholas heads away.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Thank you.  Thank you, sir.

     Nicholas runs.

120   EXT.  AMERICAN EMBASSY -- ESTABLISHING -- LATER DAY         120   

     "Embassy of the United States of America, MEXICO CITY."

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              108


121   INT.  AMERICAN EMBASSY, OFFICE Ñ- DAY                       121   

     A secretary leads Nicholas in from a crowded hallway.  An 
     American COUNSELOR rises from his small desk in his small 
     office, shaking Nicholas' hand, taking PAPERWORK.

                           COUNSELOR
               Please, sit...

     Nicholas sits in a metal chair.  A fan blows, poor remedy in 
     the heat.  The counselor reads the paperwork.

                           NICHOLAS
               Mister...
                    (sees desk name plate)
               Mister Patterson.  Some things have 
               happened... it's important that I...

     The counselor holds up his hand, still reading...

                           COUNSELOR
               No money, no identification or 
               passport.  You are in a fix.
                    (looks up from papers)
               What did happen to you?

                           NICHOLAS
               Well, where to begin.  It's 
               complicated...

                           COUNSELOR
                    (matter of fact)
               It always is.

     Nicholas looks to the counselor, who sips a glass of water 
     and looks at papers.  Nicholas takes a moment, rethinks.

                           NICHOLAS
               What happened was, I'm on vacation, 
               alone... I was robbed, at gunpoint.  
               They hit me and ran.  Two men, a few 
               blocks away.  They took my wallet, 
               money... all of it.  So...

                           COUNSELOR
               Robbed?

                           NICHOLAS
               Yes.

                           COUNSELOR
               Have you gone to the police?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              109


                           NICHOLAS
               I don't speak Spanish.  All I need 
               is to get back... just enough for 
               that.

     The counselor taps his finger on desk's edge.

                           COUNSELOR
               We'll help with the police, if you 
               want to bother.  As far as money 
               goes... can I make a suggestion?
                    (off Nicholas' nod)
               You say you were mugged?

                           NICHOLAS
               Yes.

                           COUNSELOR
               And, they didn't take that watch?

     Nicholas looks at the ROLEX he's wearing, didn't realize it 
     till now, having taken it for granted.

                           COUNSELOR (CONT'D)
               How much is it?  A few thousand, at 
               least.  A Rolex like that... lucky 
               for you they missed it.

                           NICHOLAS
               Yes, very lucky.

122   INT.  MEXICO CITY PAWN SHOP -- LATER DAY                    122   

     INSCRIBED on the back of Nicholas' ROLEX: "On your 18th 
     birthday, your father's watch.  Love, Mother"

     The FEMALE OWNER examines the Rolex inside a rusty metal 
     cage, makes a face.  Nicholas is at the front of the long 
     line in this impossibly cluttered pawn shop.

                           PAWN SHOP OWNER
               Cincuenta dolares Americano.  Fifty.

                           NICHOLAS
               Fifty?  Do you know...
                    (deep sigh)
               It's a Rolex.  It's gold.  Not gold 
               colored, actual gold.

                           PAWN SHOP OWNER
               Si, oro.  Cincuenta y cinco.
               Cincuenta y cinco Estados Unidos.

     Nicholas runs his hands thru his hair... resigned.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              110


                           NICHOLAS
               You see, all you had to do was get 
               in the ballpark.  Yes, fifty-five... 
               si, senorita.

     The owner counts battered dollar bills from a cigar box.

                                                          CUT TO:

123   EXT.  BUS STOP/TACO STAND -- DAY                            123   

     At a faltering TACO STAND painted in peeling orange paint, 
     Nicholas pays for tacos wrapped in paper and a bottle of 
     Budweiser.  A bus ticket sticks out his breast pocket.

     Nicholas steps away, wolfing down the food, following it 
     with guzzled beer.  MANY PEOPLE are waiting for the bus, on 
     and around benches, suitcases and belongs in piles.

     Nicholas looks, still chewing, to THREE YOUNG MEXICAN CHILDREN 
     staring at him.  They stand with their plump MOTHER, just 
     watching him.  Nicholas faces away, eating.

                                                          CUT TO:

124   EXT.  MEXICAN HIGHWAY -- DUSK                               124   

     A repainted SCHOOL BUS zooms past, trailing exhaust.

125   INT.  BUS -- DUSK                                           125   

     Not one empty seat.  At the back, Nicholas' eyes flutter 
     under their lids.  He SNORES QUIETLY.  The MOTHER of the 
     three Mexican children is next to him, one child in her lap.

     She's asleep, leaning toward Nicholas.  The child's awake.

     The bus shifts, GEARS GRINDING, and mother slides further 
     over till her head rests on Nicholas' shoulder.  Nicholas 
     awakens, looking at Mother against him.

     The child looks up at Nicholas.  Nicholas looks at the child.  
     Nicholas puts his head back, closes his eyes.

     After a moment, the bus jerks and Nicholas opens his eyes, 
     turning to look out the window, watching a far-reaching 
     SUNSET.  Crimson and gold clouds.

                                                          CUT TO:

126   EXT.  MEXICO/UNITED STATES BORDER -Ñ NIGHT                  126   

     In the line of vehicles at the U.S. BORDER, the BUS' BRAKES 
     HISS, doors swinging open for an AMERICAN BORDER OFFICER...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              111


127   INT.  BUS -- NIGHT                                          127   

     The BORDER OFFICER comes on, not a calming presence.  The 
     Mexican passengers know what to do, holding up GREEN CARDS 
     and PASSPORTS for perusal...

     The officer grunts at each passenger he approves, moving on.

     Nicholas slides lower in his seat.  Mother, beside him, 
     produces her GREEN CARD and holds it aloft, waiting.

     The officer comes to glare at Nicholas.

     Nicholas looks back at him, unblinking.

     The officer looks to Mother's card.  He says something in 
     SPANISH.  Mother responds in SPANISH.  The officer grabs her 
     card, speaking, dissatisfied.

     He shouts for Mother to get off... hurrying her up, moving 
     her out...

     Mother moves, carrying the child in her lap, hastening the 
     other two children seated in front of her.

     Mother protests about her rope-bound SUITCASES in the overhead 
     shelf, trying to grip one, arms full of child.  The official 
     pulls her along, ignoring...

     Nicholas watches.  He rises...

     OUTSIDE THE BUS

     Mother and three children are unloaded.  The official waves 
     the bus on to the border, despite Mother's protest.

     The bus sets in motion...

     AT THE BACK OF THE BUS, the rear emergency door is forced 
     open.  Nicholas is there, dropping one suitcase...

     Following with a second suitcase, tossing it to the ground 
     gently as the bus' motion allows.  Mother spots this, moving 
     to collect the suitcases, children following...

     ON THE BUS

     The BUS DRIVER shouts a complaint in SPANISH.

     At the rear, Nicholas pulls the door shut and latches it, 
     watching thru the window as Mother and children drag their 
     suitcases out of the path of other vehicles.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              112


128   EXT.  CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY -- NIGHT                           128   

     Nicholas walks backwards, exhausted, hitchhiking on the 
     freeway shoulder.  TRAFFIC absolutely SOARS PAST.

129   EXT.  BOB'S BIG BOY RESTAURANT -- NIGHT                     129   

     Highway in the b.g., Nicholas hikes across the parking lot 
     of this 24-hour DINER, past many parked TRACTOR TRAILERS.

130   INT.  BOB'S BIG BOY RESTAURANT -Ñ NIGHT                     130   

     There's a heavy duty TRUCK DRIVER clientele elbow to elbow 
     at the counter, eating, drinking coffee.  The BELL above the 
     door TINKLES as Nicholas enters.

                           NICHOLAS
               Pardon me...

     Nicholas moves to the end of the counter, louder...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Excuse me, please, if I could have 
               your attention...

     Conversations stop.  Everyone looks to Nicholas.  He's 
     scruffier than ever; a hobo freak in a white suit, fed up.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Thank you.  If anyone's heading to 
               San Francisco, I need a ride.

     Met with silence.  Nicholas clears his rough throat.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               There's...
                    (digs in pockets)
               There's all the money I've got left 
               in it for you... eighteen dollars 
               and seventy-nine cents...

     Nicholas puts his crumpled bills and coins on the counter.

     One penny falls.  You can hear it hit the floor and roll.

                                                          CUT TO:

131   EXT.  UPSTATE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY -- DAY                     131   

     BRIGHT DAY.  A big, Baskin-Robbins TRUCK rumbles by...

132   INT.  BASKIN-ROBBIN'S ICE CREAM TRUCK -- DAY                132   

     ENGINE and ROADWAY ROARING.  Windows open, wind whipping.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              113


     Beside the DRIVER, Nicholas sleeps wrapped in a blanket.

                                                          CUT TO:

133   EXT.  SAN FRANCISCO -- EARLY EVENING                        133   

     The Baskin-Robbin's tractor trailer keeps on truckin'.

     AHEAD: the San Francisco skyline.

134   EXT.  WAREHOUSE DISTRICT -- NIGHT                           134   

     Nicholas climbs down from the Baskin-Robbin's truck, thanks 
     the driver.  The truck lurches away.  Nicholas walks.

                                                          CUT TO:

135   EXT.  VAN ORTON MANSION -- NIGHT                            135   

     The gate is WRAPPED IN CHAINS.  Nicholas arrives, trudging.

     He pulls to test the chains.  There's a "PUBLIC AUCTION"

     SIGN hung.  Nicholas tears it down, begins climbing...

136   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, KITCHEN -- NIGHT                   136   

     A ROCK SMASHES a glass pane in the door.  Nicholas reaches 
     thru to let himself in.  No electricity.  Graffiti's gone.

     There's scaffolding.  Work in progress.  Appliances gone.

     Nicholas checks the PHONE, finds it dead.

137   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, DEN -- NIGHT                       137   

     Nicholas looks in.  Furniture's wrapped in thick plastic.

     Curtains and paintings are gone.  Like the kitchen, this 
     room's repainted.  Cold and bare.

138   INT.  GUEST HOUSE, FOYER/LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT               138   

     The front door's ajar.  Nicholas pushes it open slow, entering 
     darkness.  The living room is completely empty.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (calling upstairs)
               Ilsa.

     Pitch dark at the top of the stairs.  Nicholas moves forward 
     into another EMPTY ROOM.  It's creepy quiet.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              114


139   INT.  VAN ORTON MANSION, GARAGE -- NIGHT                    139   

     Nicholas enters the moonlit garage.  THREE EMPTY SPACES.

140   INT.  MANSION, MASTER BATH -- NIGHT                         140   

     IN THE SHOWER, Nicholas scrubs his hair with a bar of soap, 
     huddled under the cold spray, shuddering.

141   INT.  MANSION, MASTER BEDROOM -- NIGHT                      141   

     In the stripped bedroom, Nicholas, in a baggy t-shirt and 
     jeans, pulls a paper wrapped package from a dresser.  On the 
     bed, he tears open the paper, pulling out a long OVERCOAT.

142   INT.  MANSION, KITCHEN -Ñ MORNING                           142   

     Dawn light.  BIRDS HEARD SINGING.  Nicholas opens drawers.

     He finds a mason jar with CASH inside, unscrews the lid.

143   INT.  MANSION, LIBRARY -- MORNING                           143   

     Moving boxes.  Half the shelves of this impressive library 
     are emptied into high stacks of books on the floor.

     Nicholas moves to search a section still lined with books...

     ... looking for one in particular, reading spines...

     "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, leather bound.

     Nicholas takes it down.

144   INT.  MANSION, FOYER -- MORNING                             144   

     Nicholas heads for the front door.  He halts, noticing...

     An ENVELOPE on the counter, "TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN."

     Nicholas opens the envelope, unfolding a letter... "Like my 
     father before me, I choose eternal sleep."  Still with the 
     RED SIGNATURE ARROW affixed below.

145   INT.  MANSION, KITCHEN -- MORNING                           145   

     The "suicide note" lands in the sink, BURNING.

                                                          CUT TO:

146   EXT.  UNION SQUARE, GEARY STREET -- DAY                     146   

     A MINI BUS halts at a corner.  Nicholas is the second rider 
     off, paranoid, book under his arm.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              115


     He moves down the sidewalk... toward the FOUR SEASONS HOTEL.

147   INT.  FOUR SEASONS HOTEL, FRONT DESK -- DAY                 147   

     Unkempt, unshaven Nicholas is a blight in this flawless hotel.  
     At the desk, he gets the CLERK'S attention.

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm here to see Conrad Van Orton.  
               Ring his room.

     The desk clerk gives a pause while Nicholas scans the lobby.

                           DESK CLERK
               One moment, please...

     The desk clerk crosses to a gray, elder statesman MANAGER, 
     huddling to speak in hushed tones.  Nicholas watches them, 
     concerned.  The manager walks over...

                           NICHOLAS
               What's the trouble?

                           MANAGER
               You're here for Conrad Van Orton?  
               I'm the hotel manager...

     He offers a handshake which Nicholas ignores.

                           NICHOLAS
               Pleasure to meet you, I'd like to 
               see my brother, thank you.

                           MANAGER
                    (worry, guiding 
                    Nicholas)
               Your brother.  Will you come with 
               me?

                           NICHOLAS
               What's this about?

                           MANAGER
               It's a private matter, for you... I 
               think you'll be more comfortable...

                           NICHOLAS
               Where's my brother?

     The manager looks around, feeling indiscreet, voice low.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              116


                           MANAGER
               There were complaints by other guests, 
               and damage to his room.  We did the 
               best we could to accommodate his 
               behavior.

                           NICHOLAS
               His behavior... ?

                           MANAGER
               He couldn't, or refused to pay.  We 
               extended credit...

                           NICHOLAS
               Look, where is he?!

                           MANAGER
               There was an incident a few days 
               ago... a nervous breakdown, they 
               said.  The police took him.  They 
               left this address, in case anyone...

     Nicholas struggles to absorb this while the manager takes 
     out a BILLFOLD of business cards, offers a SLIP OF PAPER...

                           MANAGER (CONT'D)
               It's a hospital in Napa.  I'm terribly 
               sorry.  If you'd have been here, 
               you'd have seen, there was nothing 
               else to do.

     Nicholas regards the paper, disbelieving, sorrow welling up.

                                                          CUT TO:

148   EXT.  ELIZABETH'S HOME (SAUSALITO) -- DAY                   148   

     ELIZABETH, Nicholas' ex-wife, bends to kiss her young 
     DAUGHTER.  The daughter runs to a waiting, luxury MINI-VAN.

     The female driver waves as the van pulls away.

     Across this suburban street, Nicholas stands watching.

     Elizabeth is about to go back inside, but she sees Nicholas.

     She's surprised, smiling at first instinctively, but then 
     she looks concerned.

149   INT.  RESTAURANT -- DAY                                     149   

     BUSINESS PEOPLE chat over breakfast.  A TV at the bar shows 
     GOOD MORNING AMERICA.  Nicholas and Elizabeth are seated 
     near.  He's edgy, fingering a spoon, hand on his book.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              117


                           NICHOLAS
               I need your car, Elizabeth.

                           ELIZABETH
               What happened to you, Nick?  I mean, 
               look at yourself...

                           NICHOLAS
               I know, look at me, well...
                    (short laugh)
               What happened?  I don't know.  I 
               don't even really know.  I have some 
               things to try to take care of... I 
               need the car a little while.

                           ELIZABETH
               Of course you can have it if you 
               need it.  Can I get you something to 
               eat?

     She starts working the CAR KEY off her keychain.

                           NICHOLAS
               You're the only person I can trust.  
               Everyone else...
                    (pause)
               If Sam Sutherland calls, don't tell 
               him you saw me.  Lie to him.  And, 
               whatever you hear, whatever anyone 
               tells you when this is over...

     Nicholas straightens as a PALE WAITRESS arrives.  He studies 
     her.  She notices his fixation, tries to ignore.

                           PALE WAITRESS
                    (serving...)
               There we go... coffee and English 
               muffin... water...
                    (smiles)
               So, if there's anything...

     Nicholas picks up his bottled water, examining the broken 
     plastic SAFETY SEAL around the cap.

                           NICHOLAS
               This is open.  Someone opened it.

                           PALE WAITRESS
               Yes sir, I...

                           NICHOLAS
               I can't have this open.
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              118


                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (gives it back)
               I'd like another unopened.  And I 
               don't want ice.  I need a glass 
               without ice.

     The waitress leaves, glad to get away from this freak.

     Nicholas keeps looking all around the restaurant and over 
     his shoulder.  Elizabeth takes Nicholas' hand, worried.

                           ELIZABETH
               Nick, talk to me.  You're scaring 
               me.  I don't even know what you're 
               saying.

     He faces her, looks down at her hand in his.

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm sorry, Liz... I don't mean to.

     Nicholas clasps her hand, caresses it, looks at her.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               The last few days, um... I've been 
               thinking... had a lot of spare time.
                    (pause, sad)
               I want to tell you... I'm starting 
               to understand why you left me.  I've 
               been resenting you for it, maybe, 
               but ... I want to apologize, for all 
               of it.  For shutting you out, for 
               not being there.  I...
                    (swallows)
               Anyway, I hope you can forgive me.

                           ELIZABETH
               There's nothing to forgive.

                           NICHOLAS
               It would mean a lot to me... if you 
               and I could be friends.  If I could 
               have you back in my life... in some 
               small way.  It would be important.

                           ELIZABETH
               Of course, Nick...

     Nicholas tries to smile.  He glances away for a second, and 
     he lets out a STRANGLED CRY because he SEES SOMETHING...

                           NICHOLAS
               No... no!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              119


     He stands, agonized, looking across to the...

     TELEVISION, where JIM FEINGOLD is ON SCREEN in C.U.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (to television)
               You fucking bastard!

     ON TELEVISION: Feingold looks menacing, the top of his HEAD 
     REDDENING and beginning to THROB.  CHEESY SOUND EFFECTS...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
                    (still to t.v.)
               How did you find me here?!

     Obviously, everyone's watching Nicholas, Elizabeth included.

                           FEINGOLD (V.O.)
                    (ON TELEVISION)
               Honey, my head is killing me!

                           WIFE'S VOICE (V.O.)
                    (from t.v., o.s.)
               Did you take anything, sweetie?

                           FEINGOLD (V.O.)
                    (on television)
               I took aspirin, but it's not working!

     ON TV: a FEMALE HAND appears, offering a BOTTLE OF PILLS.

                           WIFE'S VOICE (V.O.)
                    (from television)
               Try Ambutol, you silly goose.  It's 
               stronger than aspirin and...

     Nicholas is starting to understand, stunned.

                           NICHOLAS
               He... he's an actor...

     ON TV: Feingold, now cured, holds up the pills and smiles.

                           FEINGOLD (V.O.)
               Thanks to Ambutol, I've got my head 
               back together.

     JINGLE MUSIC.  Nicholas looks to Elizabeth, points to t.v.

                           NICHOLAS
               It's just a t.v.  He's just an actor.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              120


                           ELIZABETH
                    (slowly)
               Yes.

     Nicholas realizes how he must look.  He picks up the car 
     key, gives Elizabeth a kiss on the forehead.

                           NICHOLAS
               I'll explain someday.

                           ELIZABETH
               I hope.

     She watches Nicholas hurry away.  She sits forward, wondering, 
     shaking her head.

     NEAR THE CASH REGISTER, Nicholas moves to the door, but stops.  
     He goes to the CASHIER.

                           NICHOLAS
               Can I borrow your Yellow Pages... ?

     The cashier digs under the counter, comes up with the PHONE 
     BOOK.  Nicholas takes it, leaving...

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Thanks.

     Nicholas goes out the door, gone.  The cashier does a double-
     take, about to say something, confused, dour.

                                                         7CUT TO:

150   EXT.  URBAN STREET -- DAT                                   150   

     A run-down neighborhood.  Nicholas drives Elizabeth's VOLVO, 
     erratically, distracted...

     INSIDE THE VOLVO

     He steers with one hand while paging thru the YELLOW PAGES 
     open on the seat.  He gets to RESTAURANTS, trading glances 
     between the book and the street.

     ON THE STREET

     Red light ahead.  The Volvo stops.

     INSIDE THE VOLVO

     Nicholas finds ads for CHINESE RESTAURANTS, running his finger 
     down, flipping the page.  His finger hits it -- a grinning 
     CARTOON PANDA.  "TUNG HOY Chinese Restaurant."

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              121


                           NICHOLAS
               Tung Hoy.  Tung Hoy... best in 
               Chinatown.

     He tears the page out and studies it like a pirate with a 
     treasure map.  Suddenly, an arm reaches in thru the window, 
     putting a KNIFE to Nicholas' throat...

                           MALE VOICE (O.S.)
               Get out of the car, fucker...

     Nicholas holds still, eyes shifting to look at the wasted, 
     skittish TEEN THUG threatening.

                           TEEN THUG
               Open the door and climb out.  Leave 
               it running.

     Nicholas is twitchy calm, motionless.

                           NICHOLAS
               You're making a mistake...

     The knife presses harder against Nicholas' throat.

                           TEEN THUG
               Get out of the car.

                           NICHOLAS
               You don't understand...

                           TEEN THUG
               Get out of the car, motherfucker!  
               Get out of the car... !

     Nicholas' hand finds and opens the book "To Kill a 
     Mockingbird" beside him.  It's HOLLOWED-OUT with a GUN hidden 
     inside, a revolver, which Nicholas grips...

     Nicholas brings the gun across, into the thug's face...

                           NICHOLAS
               You have no idea how fragile I am 
               right now.

     The thug backs off... runs away.  Nicholas watches him go, 
     puts down the gun, drives.

                                                          CUT TO:

151   EXT.  TUNG HOY -- DAY                                       151   

     A festive Chinatown neighborhood.  At "TUNG HOY," ducks hang 
     behind the CARTOON PANDA painted on the window.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              122


152   INT.  TUNG HOY -- DAY                                       152   

     Cramped.  Walls covered in CELEBRITY HEADSHOTS.  Nicholas 
     faces an OLD CHINESE WOMAN behind the counter.

                           NICHOLAS
               He's an actor.  He does television 
               commercials...

                           CHINESE WOMAN
               Do you know how many customers we 
               have?  Hundreds.  Thousands.

                           NICHOLAS
               I know he orders from you.  He had 
               his food delivered to Montgomery 
               Street.  Fifteen-thirty-three...

     The woman just shakes her head, continues bagging orders.

     Nicholas realizes it's futile.  He bends over the counter.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Is there anyone else I could ask?  
               Maybe they'll remem...

     Nicholas stops, eyes locked...

     Low on the wall, amongst the grease-browned pictures of pseudo-
     celebs, there's a newer GLOSSY OF FEINGOLD, smiling big, 
     labeled "William Fisher."

     Nicholas looks to woman who's shouting into the kitchen.  He 
     jumps up on the counter, reaching with his fingertips for 
     the "Feingold" PHOTO, straining, almost has it...

153   EXT.  CHINATOWN STREET -- DAY                               153   

     On a PAYPHONE, Nicholas looks at the BACK OF THE HEADSHOT --

     credits, phone number -- flips it to show Feingold/Fisher.

                           NICHOLAS (V.O.)
                    (into phone)
               ... I know it's short notice Mrs. 
               Fisher, but we were hoping your 
               husband could audition today.  He's 
               perfect for the part...

                           MRS FISHER (V.O.)
                    (from phone)
               Oh, this will break his heart...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              123


                           NICHOLAS
               Is there any way we can get in touch 
               with him?

                           MRS FISHER (V.O.)
               His beeper's here on the table.  He 
               took the kids to the zoo.

                           NICHOLAS
               The zoo.  How sweet.  Which zoo?

                                                          CUT TO:

154   EXT.  ZOO -- DAY                                            154   

     ANIMALS lounge in their cages.  TOURISTS wander, mostly 
     families.  Here comes Nicholas, running, searching...

     Ahead: Feingold's in casual clothes, eating ice cream, doing 
     his best to supervise THREE OBNOXIOUS CHILDREN.  Nicholas 
     moves in, slows when he's close.

                           NICHOLAS
               Bill Fisher, I love your work...

     Feingold turns, smiling... till he sees Nicholas and 
     recognition sets in.  He goes pale, sheepish.

                           FEINGOLD
               Okay, please.. I got my kids...

     Nicholas casually shows him the gun.

                           NICHOLAS
               Get rid of them.

                           FEINGOLD
               Hey, everyone -- snack time!  Here...  
               here you go...

     Feingold takes out cash and dispenses it.  KIDS CHEER and 
     run to a nearby SNACK CART.

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
               Look, it was just a job.  Nothing 
               personal, ya know?  I play my part, 
               improvise a little.  That's what I'm 
               good at.

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm tired of dealing with peons.  I 
               need to get to whoever's in charge.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              124


                           FEINGOLD
               Nobody knows, pal.  Nobody gets the 
               big picture...
                    (looking away)
               Jason, Tommy, cut it out!

     His BOYS are THROWING ROCKS at the MONKEYS.  They look to 
     their father, drop the rocks and saunter away.

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
               Goddamnit, why do they do that?

                           NICHOLAS
                    (grips Feingold's 
                    shirt)
               How do I find them?  Their offices 
               are empty.

                           FEINGOLD
               They own the whole building.  They 
               just move from floor to floor.

     Nicholas releases him.

                           NICHOLAS
               They know you... you worked for them.  
               You can get me in.

                           FEINGOLD
               No, I can't.  I'm sorry and all, 
               but...

                           NICHOLAS
               Tell them the cops are after you...  
               tell them you've got to talk to 
               someone, I'm threatening to blow the 
               whistle.

                           FEINGOLD
               What whistle?  There's no fucking 
               whistle.  This is fucking dangerous.

     Nicholas gets in Feingold's face, furious.

                           NICHOLAS
               You don't seem to understand.  Right 
               now -- I'm dangerous.

     Feingold gets the message.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              125


155   EXT.  C.R.S. BUILDING -- EARLY EVENING                      155   

     Dusk.  LIGHTS OFF in the towering building.  A battered 
     STATION WAGON rounds a corner, PAUSES at the GARAGE RAMP.

     IN THE STATION WAGON

     Cluttered car.  Feingold at the wheel, tense, appears alone.

                           FEINGOLD
               We're here.

     BEHIND THE SEAT, Nicholas peeks from under a blanket.

                           NICHOLAS
               Drive in.

                           FEINGOLD
               What are you gonna do anyway?  You 
               won't get your money back.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (muffled, under blanket)
               I don't want money.  I'm pulling 
               back the curtain.  I'm here to meet 
               the wizard.

156   INT.  C.R.S. UNDERGROUND GARAGE -- NIGHT                    156   

     The station wagon comes down the ramp to a closed GATE.  A 
     BEEFY GUARD looks from his booth.  Feingold waves timidly.

     The GATE RISES and the station wagon moves on...

     IN THE STATION WAGON

     IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR: Beefy Guard watches, suspicious.

                           FEINGOLD
                    (under his breath)
               He's eyeing us like Tiffany Towers.

                           NICHOLAS (O.S.)
               Just go.  Park where he can't see.

     IN THE UNDERGROUND GARAGE

     ACROSS THE GARAGE, near elevators, the station wagon parks.

     Feingold gets out, scared.  Nicholas climbs out, crouched, 
     gun in hand, points for Feingold to go first.

     Feingold goes to push the elevator button, sweating.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              126


     Nicholas remains hidden between cars.

     A few elevators down, ELEVATOR DOORS open and a fierce C.R.S. 
     SECURITY GUARD gets off, spots Feingold, murmurs into a WALKIE-
     TALKIE while taking out a gun.

                           C.R.S. GUARD
               You're not allowed to be here.

                           FEINGOLD
               No, they called me back... I have a 
               fitting...

     Behind, Nicholas puts his gun to the guard's neck.

                           NICHOLAS
               Give me the gun.

     Security Guard gives it up, an automatic, which Nicholas 
     throws across the garage.  Nicholas forces the guard to the 
     open elevator, takes the WALKIE-TALKIE and pockets it, pulls 
     Feingold along...

     IN THE ELEVATOR

     Nicholas frisks the Guard... pulls out HANDCUFFS.

                           FEINGOLD
               You don't need me...

                           NICHOLAS
               Shut up.  Cuff him to the rail.

     Feingold takes the handcuffs and obeys.  Nicholas jams the 
     gun against the guard's neck.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               What floor?

                           C.R.S. GUARD
               Fourteen.  But this elevator ain't 
               gonna get you there, college boy.

     Nicholas pulls off the guard's KEYCHAIN, sorts keys...

     He uses a GOLD C.R.S. KEY on the control pad, turns it and 
     hits 14.  DOORS CLOSE.  The elevator sets IN MOTION.

                           C.R.S. GUARD (CONT'D)
               You'll never get away with this.  
               These people will fuck you up.

     Nicholas ignores.  Feingold whimpers.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              127


157   INT.  C.R.S. BUILDING, 14TH FLOOR HALLWAY -- NIGHT          157   

     ELEVATOR OPENS.  Nicholas peers out.  No one in the hall.

     He pushes Feingold ahead, pushes ALL THE FLOOR BUTTONS.

                           C.R.S. GUARD
               You're fucked.  You're both...

     ELEVATOR SHUTS.  Nicholas and Feingold move on.

                           NICHOLAS
               Where?

                           FEINGOLD
               I told you, they hired me over the 
               phone.  I never met anyone.

                           NICHOLAS
               Where'd you pick up your checks?

                           FEINGOLD
               It was a different floor then...

                           NICHOLAS
               Guess!

                           FEINGOLD
               Like, this way... sort of...

     Nicholas nudges Feingold ahead with the gun.

158   INT.  COMMISSARY -- NIGHT                                   158   

     Door swings open.  Nicholas and Feingold enter...

     A BUSTLING, NOISY COMMISSARY.  A cafeteria counter along one 
     wall.  People CHATTING and LAUGHING at rows of long tables.

     Nicholas keeps a grip on Feingold, walks forward, stunned...

     EVERYONE FROM THE GAME IS HERE: the PARAMEDICS eat with the 
     HEAVY MAN who faked the heart attack.  CHRISTINE'S FATHER is 
     seated near the airport HOMELESS BUM, BIKINI GIRL and the 
     MEXICAN MOTHER with her THREE CHILDREN from the bus.

     PLUMP GUY, the P.I. who followed Nicholas and had his gun 
     taken, comes off the cafe line with a soda, spotting 
     Nicholas... spotting the gun, quaking.  He flees...

     Nicholas and Feingold continue.  BUSINESSMAN 1 and 2 from 
     Nicholas' club sit near AMBULANCE ATTENDANTS.  The TAXI DRIVER 
     and the FEMALE DETECTIVE chat.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              128


     There's the HOTEL MANAGER from the Claremont... the BELLHOP... 
     the CHINESE WOMAN from Tung Hoy... the DESK CLERK from the 
     Four Seasons and TEEN THUG.  Every incidental character from 
     Nicholas' recent life.

     Nicholas inches into the room.  A few of the players begin 
     to notice him, some trying to place him, others pointing him 
     out to their dining partners.  Nicholas halts, sees...

     CHRISTINE rising, picking up her dirty tray, in mid-
     conversation till she turns and sees...

     Nicholas, who raises his gun.

                           CHRISTINE
               Oh, fuck...

     People notice the gun.  SOME SCREAM.  Everyone goes HUSHED.

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               What are you doing here?

                           NICHOLAS
               I'm back from the dead.

                           CHRISTINE
               Nicholas, okay... you're not about 
               to shoot anyone...

     Nicholas moves to grab Christine.  She drops her tray...

                           NICHOLAS
               You're coming with me!

                           MALE VOICE (O.S.)
               Everybody down!

     Nicholas spins.  At a far entrance, TWO SECURITY GUARDS aim 
     guns.  PEOPLE SCREAM.  Some run.  Many dive for cover.

     PANIC.  Nicholas gets behind Christine...

     He uses Christine as a shield, arm around her throat, pulling 
     her backwards.  Feingold's frozen, hands held high...

                           SECURITY GUARD 1
               Don't move!

     Nicholas glances at the door, moving for it, dragging 
     Christine.  Feingold's still got his hands up...

     Nicholas and Christine near the doors...

     Feingold bolts another direction, leaping tables...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              129


     Security Guard 1 shifts aim to Feingold...

                           SECURITY GUARD 1 (CONT'D)
               Stop!

     Security Guard 1 FIRES...

159   INT.  12TH FLOOR HALLWAY -- NIGHT                           159   

     Nicholas shoves out into the hall with Christine just as 
     GUNSHOTS ECHO behind.  MORE horrified SCREAMS HEARD and TABLES 
     TOPPLING and PLATES CRASHING.

     Nicholas shoves Christine ahead, searching desperately...

                           NICHOLAS
               Get us out of here...

                           CHRISTINE
               Nicholas...

                           NICHOLAS
               Get us out!

     He shoves.  She falls.  He pulls her back up...

160   INT.  STAIRWELL -- NIGHT                                    160   

     They enter.  He makes her climb at gunpoint...

                           NICHOLAS
               Move, move, move!

     They climb stairs... up towards the "HELIPORT..."

161   EXT.  ROOFTOP -- NIGHT                                      161   

     Air ducts, etc.  A MUFFLED ALARM SOUNDS as Christine comes 
     out the door onto the windy rooftop, followed by Nicholas.

     She backs against the railing the borders the huge BLACK PIT 
     at the center of the building; an atrium SKYLIGHT.

     Nicholas SLAMS the door, throws the HEAVY BOLT, searches to 
     make sure the rest of the roof is clear.

                           CHRISTINE
               What do you think you're doing?

                           NICHOLAS
               You tell me... I want to know who's 
               behind this.  Who did this to me...  
               how, why... ?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              130


                           CHRISTINE
               How deluded can you be?  There's no 
               why...

                           NICHOLAS
               Who's responsible?!

                           CHRISTINE
               It wasn't you.  It wasn't personal...

                           NICHOLAS
               You call them...

     Nicholas pulls out the WALKIE-TALKIE, throws it to her.

                           CHRISTINE
               It could have been any asshole with 
               a couple hundred million in the bank.

                           NICHOLAS
               Call them, tell them to get the boss 
               up here.  Tell them I'll kill you...

     POUNDING is HEARD from the other side of the roof DOOR.

     MUFFLED VOICES.  Nicholas reacts.

                           CHRISTINE
               They won't...

                           NICHOLAS
               They will!  You tell them if they 
               don't come now, I will shoot you!

     STATIC and GARBLED ORDERS HEARD from the WALKIE-TALKIE.

                           CHRISTINE
               I'm telling you... they'll let me 
               die first.  You're not in a position 
               to threaten them.  You're trapped.  
               You're the one who...

     Christine freezes, thrown...

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               ... wait a minute...

     She's taking notice of the revolver Nicholas brandishes...

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               Where'd you get that... ?

                           NICHOLAS
               ... what... ?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              131


                           CHRISTINE
               That gun.  That... that's not 
               automatic.  The guard had an 
               automatic...

     POUNDING is LOUDER against the nearby door.

                           NICHOLAS
               What the fuck are you... ?

                           CHRISTINE
               Where'd you get that gun?

                           NICHOLAS
               It's mine...

                           CHRISTINE
               We searched the house.

                           NICHOLAS
               Guess you missed it.

                           CHRISTINE
                    (suddenly very afraid)
               Just... wait.  Just wait!  Okay...  
               please, I'm not kidding anymore...

     Christine brings the WALKIE-TALKIE to her mouth...

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
                    (into walkie-talkie)
               He's got a gun.  Everyone, he's got 
               a real gun up here!  Real situation!
                    (switching channels)
               ... damn it...

                           NICHOLAS
               What are you doing?

                           CHRISTINE
               Nicholas, this is fake.  It's all 
               part of the game...

                           NICHOLAS
               Fuck you.

     THUMP-THUMP-THUMP against the DOOR...

                           CHRISTINE
               Listen very carefully, I'm telling 
               the truth... this is the game.  This 
               was all the game.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              132


                           NICHOLAS
               Bullshit.  They killed him.  Feingold, 
               Fisher, whoever... they shot him...

                           CHRISTINE
               No, now wait... think about it.  
               What did you see... ?

                           NICHOLAS
               I saw them kill him!

                           CHRISTINE
               What did you really see?  This whole 
               time... special effects, squibs, 
               like in the movies.  Please, you've 
               got to believe me...
                    (into walkie-talkie)
               He's got a gun, with real bullets!

                           NICHOLAS
               Stop talking to them!

                           CHRISTINE
               Okay... okay...
                    (drops walkie-talkie)
               I put it down.  Now open that door.  
               Mister Fisher's right on the other 
               side of that door.  He's an actor...

                           NICHOLAS
               Stop talking...

                           CHRISTINE
               Nicholas...

                           NICHOLAS
               Shut up!

                           CHRISTINE
               Let me show you...

     She takes a step toward the door.

                           NICHOLAS
               No!  You take another step, I'll 
               shoot!  They're trying to kill me...

                           CHRISTINE
               You're wrong.  You're about to make 
               the biggest mistake of your life.  
               Put that gun down.

     POUNDING on the DOOR is DESPERATE.  Nicholas falters...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              133


                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               Think about it!  They followed you 
               every step of the way.  There was 
               always a safety net.  The taxi, there 
               was a diver.  At my house, the window 
               was rigged... they shot at us with 
               blanks...

                           NICHOLAS
               That's not true...

                           CHRISTINE
               It is.  It's what you hired us for.  
               Nobody touched your money.  Nobody 
               stole anything.  They're waiting on 
               the other side of that door with 
               champagne... all your friends... 
               it's a celebration...

                           NICHOLAS
               No...

                           CHRISTINE
               Open that door, you'll see.  Your 
               brother's there... Conrad.  He's 
               there.  It's your birthday party...

                           NICHOLAS
               Stop it!

                           CHRISTINE
               Please, Nicholas, let me show you...

     She takes a tentative step towards the door...

                           NICHOLAS
               Don't move, you bitch... !

                           CHRISTINE
                    (still moving)
               I have to show you...

                           NICHOLAS
               No!

     And from the staticy WALKIE-TALKIE on the ground:

                           MALE VOICE (V.O.)
                    (thru WALKIE-TALKIE)
               ... Take him down!  Take him down...

                           CHRISTINE
                    (shouts to door)
               He's got a gun!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              134


     With a CLANK! -- the DOOR is POUNDED OPEN, swinging...

     Nicholas turns, aims at the door...

                           CHRISTINE (CONT'D)
               Don't!

     Nicholas FIRES, gunshot DEAFENING... !

     In the doorway, Conrad, in TUXEDO and PARTY HAT, is startled 
     as the magnum of CHAMPAGNE he holds EXPLODES and throws foam 
     and glass in a wide spray...

     The smile falls from Conrad's face as BLOOD spreads across 
     his chest.  He looks to Nicholas, confused, collapsing...

     A collective cry of horror comes from the gaily dressed PARTY-
     GOERS behind as Feingold catches Conrad and eases him to the 
     ground, cradles him...

     Nicholas lowers his gun... realizing...

                           NICHOLAS
               Connie...

     Feingold clutches Conrad, trying to stop the bleeding, feeling 
     for a pulse.  Blood flows out Conrad's mouth.

                           FEINGOLD
               Jesus... you shot him... !
                    (back to others)
               Someone call an ambulance!

     Conrad's eyes are closed.  He's motionless.  He's dead.

     Christine lets out a hysterical sob, hands to her mouth.

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
               Oh, God... oh, God...

     Nicholas drops the gun, moves forward, stunned, numb...

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
               He's dead... he's dead... !
                    (to Nicholas)
               You killed him!

     Nicholas falls to his knees in front of Feingold and Conrad.

     Christine's eyes fill with tears...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              135


                           CHRISTINE
                    (to Nicholas)
               Why?!  I told you... I told you.  
               Why didn't you listen?

     Feingold releases Conrad to the floor, rising, bloody...

                           FEINGOLD
               We're going to jail.  We're all going 
               to jail for the rest of our lives...

     People start clearing out of the stairwell, heading down.

                           FEINGOLD (CONT'D)
                    (to Nicholas)
               We thought you knew!  How could you 
               let this get so out of hand?

     Nicholas just remains kneeled there, breathing unevenly, 
     staring at his brother's corpse...

                           CHRISTINE
               Why wouldn't you listen to me?  What 
               is wrong with you?  You killed your 
               own brother!

     Nicholas looks to the dark sky, tears streaming down his 
     face.  He looks all around.

     Christine stops, looking down at the corpse, crying out of 
     control.  Feingold comes to attempt to comfort her.

     Nicholas gets to his feet, unsteady, backing away, looking 
     to the GLASS SKYLIGHT.  He wipes his tears.

     Nicholas stands motionless for the longest time.  Calm.

     Nicholas moves forward... a goal in mind...

     Christine turns, sees...

     Nicholas comes to the edge of the SKYLIGHT...

     Christine screams...

     Nicholas leaps...

162   INT.  C.R.S. BUILDING -- NIGHT                              162   

     Nicholas CRASHES thru the SKYLIGHT, FALLING...

     SPARKLING SHARDS surround him like stars as he PLUMMETS...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              136


     The WORLD BELOW is PITCH DARK.  Nicholas turns in the air, 
     head thrown back, closing his eyes...

     FLASHBACK/GRAINY HOME MOVIES -- FLASH FRAMES

     QUICK IMAGES: the CLOWN, CHRISTINE'S FACE, NICHOLAS and CONRAD 
     as children, Nicholas' FATHER striking the ground...

     IMAGES so RAPID they're hard to process.

     BACK TO SCENE

     As Nicholas falls...

     FALLING forever...

     He lets out a CRY as the end rushes closer...

     BRILLIANT LIGHT suddenly illuminates him.  Nicholas throws 
     his eyes open, gasping in the brightness...

     LIGHTS come on from all sides to show NICHOLAS' IMPACT as he 
     lands on his back, arms outstretched, SWALLOWED by an ENORMOUS 
     INFLATED LIFESAVING CUSHION that covers the entire floor of 
     the atrium...

     AIR is HEARD RUSHING.  Nicholas sinks, coming to rest as the 
     cushion DEFLATES.  Harmless bits of BREAKAWAY GLASS shower 
     down.  He doesn't move...

     He can't comprehend.  Motionless.

     DOORS are HEARD OPENING.  FOOTSTEPS RUSHING FORWARD.

                           VARIOUS VOICES (O.S.)
               ... let's go! ... make sure he's 
               alright... see if he's okay...

     STUNT COORDINATORS come from all directions, in C.R.S.  
     jumpsuits, wading thru the flowing cushion, coming to help 
     Nicholas up, asking if he's okay.  Nicholas just blinks at 
     them, quaking, lips trembling...

     He's led out of the cushion, barely standing, sees...

     Conrad runs from the elevators, covered in blood but very 
     much alive, smiling...

     Conrad reaches Nicholas, throwing his arms around him, giving 
     him a long kiss, laughing...

                           CONRAD
               Happy Birthday, Nickie.  Happy fucking 
               Birthday...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              137


     Conrad embraces him again, knocks him back into the cushion.

     Nicholas is still not all there, pulling away...

                           NICHOLAS
               Get... get off.  Get off me!!  You... 
               you...

     Nicholas shoves free, staring at Conrad, looking up, looking 
     back at Conrad, looking all around, terrified, near tears...

     Emotion overwhelms Nicholas.  He laughs and cries at once, 
     takes Conrad in him arms, holding tight, hands balled into 
     fists, clinging gratefully.

     ACROSS THE ATRIUM, DOORS OPEN and people flow out, cheering:

     Sutherland, Ilsa and Elizabeth at front, looking unsure, 
     forcing smiles, led by C.R.S. ESCORTS.  And behind, DOZENS 
     and DOZENS of C.R.S. WORKERS, ASSISTANTS and TECHNICIANS.

     At the bank of ELEVATORS, DING, DING, DING... DOORS OPEN and 
     the CAST OF CHARACTERS EMERGES, Feingold leading, holding 
     Christine's hand, everyone elated and shouting victoriously.

     The crowd encircles Conrad and Nicholas as they climb back 
     out of the cushion.  HUNDREDS of WELL-WISHERS gathering...

     Conrad climbs a few stairs, pulls Nicholas along, motions...

                           CONRAD
               Ladies and gentlemen...
                    (pause)
               My big brother... Nicholas Van Orton!  
               He had it all, and now he has it all 
               back!

     THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE.  Nicholas looks out over them, flush, 
     awed, unable to catch his breath.

                                                          CUT TO:

163   INT.  C.R.S. BUILDING, ATRIUM/LOBBY -- TIME CUT -Ñ NIGHT    163   

     LOUD MUSIC.  COCKTAIL PARTY IN PROGRESS.  A huge CAKE is 
     being cut.  Tables surround a PACKED dance floor area where 
     Feingold dances crazily.  Everyone's drinking, eating...

     IN THE CROWD, FIND: Nicholas stands with a bottle of champagne 
     in hand, watching Ilsa embrace Conrad.

                           ILSA
               I hope we'll be seeing more of you.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              138


                           CONRAD
               Count on it.

     Ilsa reaches to straighten Conrad's hair.  She regards 
     Nicholas with affection, kisses his cheek.

                           ILSA
               Goodnight.  See you home.

                           NICHOLAS
               Goodnight.
                    (watches her go, to 
                    Conrad)
               Where was she?

                           CONRAD
               In a hotel.  Ordering room service 
               and watching pay-per-view.  She was 
               a real sport.

     BUSINESSMAN 1 and HEAVY MAN come thru the crowd to Nicholas.

                           BUSINESSMAN 1
               Hey, congratulations!  You did 
               great... really kicked ass...

                           HEAVY MAN
               Amazing, just wanted to tell you...

     Nicholas thanks them, shaking hands as they move on.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (to Conrad)
               You know... how'd you manage the 
               gun? I mean...

                           CONRAD
               Baby, they were all over the house 
               with metal detectors.  They switched 
               your gun with a look-alike, rigged 
               barrel, loaded with blanks.  Pop-
               gun.

                           MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
                    (from behind)
               Mister Van Orton... ?

     Nicholas and Conrad both turn to face a C.R.S. ACCOUNTANT, a 
     nebbish who holds a CLIPBOARD and gives an amused look.

                           ACCOUNTANT
               Conrad Van Orton.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              139


                           CONRAD
               Yeah... ?

     Conrad steps aside with the accountant.  Nicholas takes a 
     swig off his champagne, nods in response to C.R.S. WORKERS 
     who slap his back as the pass.

     Nicholas realizes something, begins searching the crowd as 
     Elizabeth arrives with HUSBAND and DAUGHTER hand in hand.

                           ELIZABETH
               We have to head out... just wanted 
               to say goodbye.

                           NICHOLAS
               You're going?  Well, thanks again.
                    (to DAUGHTER)
               Good to see you, Rachel...
                    (shakes HUSBAND'S 
                    hand)
               Thanks for coming, Mel.  I'll get 
               your car back.  Right now it's, uh...  
               at the zoo.  Sorry.

                           ELIZABETH
               Happy Birthday, Nicholas.

                           NICHOLAS
               I'll call.  I really will.

                           ELIZABETH
               I know.

     She kisses his cheek.  Nicholas waves as they go...

                           NICHOLAS
               Bye guys.

     Nicholas looks around, still searching.  He walks, receiving 
     more random congratulations, heading to a table where 
     Sutherland sits puffing a cigar.  Nicholas sits.

                           SUTHERLAND
               Bravo, young man.  you have to tell 
               me what this was all about sometime.
                    (blows cigar smoke)
               I want you to know... when it looked 
               there for awhile like you were going 
               slowly insane... I was fully prepared 
               to have you committed to the finest 
               mental-health facility available.  I 
               mean that sincerely, don't thank me.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              140


                           NICHOLAS
               You warm my heart.

     Sutherland smiles, raises his glass.  Conrad deposits himself 
     in a seat, holding an inch-and-a-half thick stack of COMPUTER 
     PAPER, studies the last sheet, thumbs the pages.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               What?

                           CONRAD
               This... ?  Oh, this is just... this 
               is the bill.

     Conrad tries to laugh, daunted.

                           NICHOLAS
               Really?

                           CONRAD
                    (none too happy)
               Yeah.

                           NICHOLAS
               Split it?

                           CONRAD
               Oh, God yes please.  Thanks, man.  
               I'll take you up on that.

                           NICHOLAS
                    (leans forward)
               Where's Christine?
                    (off Conrad's look)
               The waitress.

                           CONRAD
               Yeah, yeah.  She called a cab.

     Said something about catching a plane.

                           NICHOLAS
               Did she?

     Nicholas looks around.

164   EXT.  C.R.S. BUILDING -- NIGHT                              164   

     Nicholas comes out of the building to the street, hurrying 
     without wanting to appear hurried, looks both ways.  Down 
     the block, a TAXI arrives.  Christine's getting in.

     Nicholas runs to catch it...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              141


                           NICHOLAS
               Excuse me... Christine... !

     She looks out, waiting with the door open.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               Hi.  Didn't get a chance to say 
               goodbye.

                           CHRISTINE
               That's my fault.  I get too worked 
               up at these.  I'm very method.  You 
               do know... that's not my name.

                           NICHOLAS
               I didn't know what else to call you.

                           CHRISTINE
               Claire.

                           NICHOLAS
               Claire.  Pleased to meet you.

     He holds out his hand.  She shakes.

                           CHRISTINE
               I have to get to the airport...

                           NICHOLAS
               Where are you going in such a hurry?

                           CHRISTINE
               There's another gig starting in Saudi 
               Arabia.  I'm just a walk-on this 
               time though.  Bit-part.

                           NICHOLAS
               What about dinner sometime, when you 
               get back?  Would that be... ?

                           CHRISTINE
                    (pause)
               Is this something you're interested 
               in?  I'm not really that person I 
               was.

                           NICHOLAS
               I realize.  Maybe you could... tell 
               me a little about yourself.

                           CHRISTINE
               Like what... my favorite color... ?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              142


                           NICHOLAS
               Like... where are you from?

                           CHRISTINE
               Originally, Connecticut.

                           NICHOLAS
               Big family... small?

                           CHRISTINE
               One brother, one sister.

                           NICHOLAS
               Studied acting, I assume?

                           CHRISTINE
               Julliard, yeah.

                           NICHOLAS
               Single?

                           CHRISTINE
               Yes.

                           NICHOLAS
               Boyfriend?

                           CHRISTINE
               No.

                           NICHOLAS
               Underwear?

                           CHRISTINE
               Always.

     Nicholas nods, scratches his head.

                           NICHOLAS
               I could learn to live with that.

     Christine smiles.

                           NICHOLAS (CONT'D)
               See how much I've learned already.  
               Imagine how much more I could learn 
               if you let me keep you company to 
               the airport.

     She considers.

     She moves over.  Nicholas gets in beside her, shuts the door.  
     The cab drives away, into the nighttime city.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              143


                               THE END