A smile crosses Joe's face as he stands and shakes Ginyard's hand.  Joe imitates the way he said "damn," which is . . .

                                                                 JOE
                                Day-um!  Jeff Grinyard?  They made you a detective?
                                They must be scraping the bottom of the barrel these
                                days.

They both sit down at the desk.

                                                                 JEFF
                                                           (smiling)
                                Yeah, well, there was a pretty big house cleaning after
                                you, uh, left.  Where have you been keeping yourself
                                these past couple of years?

                                                                 JOE
                                Lompoc.

                                                                 JEFF
                                Where's that?  Wyoming?

                                                                 JOE
                                California.

                                                                 JEFF
                                Don't shit me, man, California ends at the L.A.
                                County line.

                                                                 JOE
                                Not to us Lompocians.  Is Captain DeMartino
                                still here?

                                                                 JEFF
                                Oh yeah.  And he's still a captain.  He was a lieutenant
                                for a couple of years after you left.  But he's a captain
                                again now.

                                                                 JOE
                                Well, that's great, Jeff.  Could we get the wheels moving
                                on this thing, this place brings back bad memories.

                                                                 JEFF
                                Sure thing.

Grinyard gets up and walks away.  Joe goes for a cigarette, but there's none left.  Suddenly a booming voice fills the room from an unseen place.


                                                                 VOICE
                                                           (loud)
                                I smell some kind of shit in here!

A thin tall Latino man steps into the room.  He is CAPTAIN DEMARTINO.  All the detectives turn and look as the captain spots Joe.

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                I knew it!  Brubaker, in my office!  Now!

                                                                 JOE
                                You ain't my boss.

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                Thank God for that.  Now move!

Joe sighs, stands and follows DeMartino into his office.

INT. CAPTAIN DEMARTINO'S OFFICE - DUSK

Joe and Captain DeMartino seat themselves in his office.

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                What are you doing in my police station?  If I'm not
                                mistaken you were told never to set foot in here again.

                                                                 JOE
                                Official business.

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                                           (sarcastically)
                                What kind of official business could a dog catcher have
                                with a police department?

                                                                 JOE
                                I've come to pick up a mad dog that got into your
                                jurisdiction.

Joe's eyes stray across the photographs on DeMartino's wall.  His eyes stop on a group shot of police academy graduates.  Both a very young DeMartino and a very young Brubaker are in the shot.

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                And you haven't shot him already?  You're falling
                                down on the job.  I thought you always shoot first
                                and ask questions later?

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (flatly)
                                I don't ask questions.

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                I know.  I spent two extra years as a lieutenant due
                                to that.

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (exasperated)
                                Oh, bullshit!  The kid was committing a felony
                                and had a weapon.  He just happened to be the
                                mayor's nephew and someone had to burn.

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                No weapon was ever found.

                                                                 JOE
                                But that doesn't mean thjey weren't there.  Are you sure
                                you really want to go into this now?

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                Why shouldn't I?

                                                                 JOE
                                Because you were part of the damn cover-up and you're
                                so stupid you don't even know it.

DeMartino jumps to his feet in rage and leans over the desk.

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                No!  That's bullshit!  You fucked up!

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (losing patience)
                                I haven't got time for this crap!  Get me my prisoner
                                and let me get the hell outta here!

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                Yeah?  Get out of my office and get out of my city.
                                And don't come back.  The sight of you makes me
                                nervous.

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (stands)
                                I'll bet it does.

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                And don't you dare shoot anybody in my city!  You
                                got it?

                                                                 JOE
                                Got it.

                                                                 DEMARTINO
                                Good.  Get lost.

                                                                 JOE
                                A pleasure.

Joe leaves the captain's office.

INT. DETECTIVE ROOM - DUSK

Joe steps back into the detective's room and finds Detective Grinyard waiting for him.

                                                                 JEFF
                                The guy you're looking for was driving a stolen
                                Jeep Wagoneer?

                                                                 JOE
                                Yeah, that's him.

                                                                 JEFF
                                                           (pointing)
                                He's in the interrogation room.

                                                                 JOE
                                Right.

INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - DUSK

Joe opens the door to the interrogation room.  Inside he finds a tremendously muscular black man named RICKMAN.  Joe furrows his brow.  He turns back to Detective Grinyard.

                                                                 JOE
                                That's not him.

                                                                 JEFF
                                                           (shrugs)
                                He was driving the Jeep.

                                                                 JOE
                                Are you sure?

                                                                 JEFF
                                Sure I'm sure.

                                                                 JOE
                                Well, it's not the guy.

                                                                 JEFF
                                So he stole it from the other guy that stole it.
                                Criminals get their shit ripped off, too.  It's a
                                helluva world.  What do you want me to do
                                about it?

Grinyard leaves and Joe turns to Rickman.

                                                                 JOE
                                What's your name?
                                                           (Rickman doesn't
                                                           answer)
                                How did you get that Jeep?
                                                           (no answer)
                                You're looking at one to three years for stealing
                                a vehicle that was already stolen before you got
                                there.

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                Yeah?  So?

                                                                 JOE
                                So, cooperate with me and I'll get you off.

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                                           (skeptical)
                                Sure you will.

                                                                 JOE
                                Look, I'm in a hurry.  You're gonna show me where
                                you got that car.


                                                                 RICKMAN
                                                           (interested)
                                Show you?  Sure, I'll show you where I got it.  But I
                                want a guarantee you'll get me off this rap.

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (getting angry)
                                If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.  Right now,
                                you'll do what I tell you to do!

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                Then go find the place yourself.

                                                                 JOE
                                Good.  Rot in jail.

Joe starts to leave.

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                Hey!
                                                           (Joe stops)
                                I'll show you, okay?

                                                                 JOE
                                Good.

Rickman stands.  Joe pulls out a pair of handcuffs and slaps them on Rickman's wrists.

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                What're these for?

                                                                 JOE
                                My peace of mind.

INT. DETECTIVE ROOM - DUSK

Joe leads Rickman past Jeff's desk.  Jeff looks up surprised.

                                                                 JEFF
                                Why're you takin' him?  I thought he wasn't the
                                guy.

                                                                 JOE
                                I came for a prisoner, I'm leaving with one.  That
                                okay?

                                                                 JEFF
                                Sure.  You want a few of these other scumbags you
                                can have them, too.

                                                                 JOE
                                No thanks.  Adios, Jeff.  Good seein' ya.

                                                                 JEFF
                                You too, Joe.  Send me a postcard from
                                Wyoming.

Joe and Rickman exit.

EXT. THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Night descends on L.A.  The colorful neon signs blink on up and down Melrose Ave.  The movie marquees on Hollywood Blvd. light up.  The Hollywood sign glows majestically in the hills.  Ten million lights blink on and sparkle all over the city.

                                                                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. AL'S BAR - NIGHT

Al's Bar is a tiny place downtown with a line of motorcycles parked in front.  The sign on the front wall states, "The only bar in town."

INT. AL'S BAR - NIGHT

The interior of Al's Bar is lit with blue neon.  It's a gothic/punk/topless joint.  Girls with shaved heads dance naked, their bodies illuminated with florescent paint.  Frank sits at the bar with the flight bag in his lap.  He has a cup of coffee and a little tin of Tylenol in front of him and looks around expectantly.  Finally, he opens the little tin, dumps the contents in his mouth and washes it down with hot coffee.  Behind the bar, a thin white speed freak BARTENDER is moving very quickly, cleaning glasses, making drinks, smoking a cigarette, making change.

                                                                 FRANK
                                                           (to the bartender)
                                When does Vinnie usually get in?

                                                                 BARTENDER
                                Who knows?  Whenever he feels like it.

The bar is rapidly filling up with a really strange-looking crowd -- lots of body-piercing, tattoos, spike hairdos, black leather, black & white death makeup.  Out of the crowd steps VINNIE, a big man dressed entirely in black leather with big sideburns, sort of like an evil Elvis.  The bartender points past Frank's face to Vinnie.

                                                                 BARTENDER
                                That's him.  Look out . . .

Vinnie walks past the pool table just as an extremely TATTOOed guy in a tank-top is about to shoot.  He pulls back the cue in Vinnie's path.  Vinnie grabs the cue.  The tatooed guy goes to shoot and the cue stays where it is.  He turns to Vinnie pissed-off.  Vinnie smiles sickly back at him.  The tatooed guy looks like he's going to take a swing at Vinnie and his BUDDY stops him.

                                                                 BUDDY
                                                           (quietly)
                                Don't mess with him, man, he'll fuck ya up.

Vinnie nods in agreement, winks and walks away.  Frank jumps off his barstool and goes after Vinnie.  As they get deep into the crowd Vinnie suddenly spins around and points in Frank's face.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Hey, motherfucker!  Why are you following
                                me?

                                                                 FRANK
                                Vinnie?  I'm Frank.  Ivan's brother.

Vinnie leans forward and looks closely at Frank's face.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                No shit, you look just like him.  What's Ivan doing?

                                                                 FRANK
                                Five to ten for armed robbery.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Figures.  He always was a fuck-up.

Frank's face tightens.

                                                                 FRANK
                                Hey!  He's my brother.


                                                                 VINNIE
                                What of it?

                                                                 FRANK
                                Well . . . He gave me the name of that Columbian
                                sailor you gave him.


                                                                 VINNIE
                                Yeah?  So?

                                                                 FRANK
                                So . . .
                                                           (he holds up the bag)
                                I scored a key of smack.

It's like E. F. Hutton just spoke.  Everyone in the vicinity is all ears.  Vinnie is shocked.  He grabs Frank's shirt and leads him into the back room.

INT. BACK ROOM - NIGHT

It's a little office crammed full of stuff.  Frank opens the bag and shows Vinnie the kilo.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                And you got that from Carlos?
                                                           (Frank nods)
                                No shit.  I'm gettin' together with Carlos in a
                                little while.  We haven't seen each other in years.

Frank pales slightly.

                                                                 FRANK
                                Oh, really?

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Yeah.  We met in 'Nam.

Frank rubs his knotted up neck muscles.

                                                                 FRANK
                                You don't have any aspirin, do you?

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Uh-uh.  Never touch it.  Bad for your stomach lining.
                                So, what're you dealing smack for?

                                                                 FRANK
                                What'dya mean?

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Come on, you've never dealt before.

                                                                 FRANK
                                How do you know?

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Well, what would you be doing here?  Anybody
                                that knows anything knows that you don't deal
                                with me.

                                                                 FRANK
                                                           (suspiciously)
                                Why's that?

Vinnie smiles his sick smile.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Cool out.  Let's see what you've got?

Vinnie takes the kilo.  He pulls a Swiss Army knife from his pocket, pulls out the leather punch, puts it in his mouth to moisten it, then shoves it through the tin foil and plastic wrap.  He pulls it out and it's covered with white powder.  Vinnie puts it back in his mouth.  His eyes widen.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                That's pretty good.

                                                                 FRANK
                                It's completely pure.  China White.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Yeah, sure it is.  How much do you want?

                                                                 FRANK
                                A hundred grand.

Vinnie laughs in Frank's face.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Get real, kid.


                                                                 FRANK
                                                           (angry)
                                I am real and don't call me kid!

Vinnie nods understandingly, then lashes out like a striking snake.  He grabs Frank's shirt and hoists him up.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                                           (intense)
                                I'll call you whatever the fuck I want!  The only
                                reason I don't waste you right now is that you're
                                Ivan's brother!  Just be thankful I'm letting you
                                keep your stupid smack!
                                                           (Vinnie lets Frank
                                                           down)
                                Now, I'll give you twenty-five hundred.

                                                                 FRANK
                                No way!

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Then who're you gonna sell it to?

Frank takes out a cigarette and a silver Zippo lighter.

                                                                 FRANK
                                Well, uh, I know a guy in Hollywood.  I went
                                there with Ivan once.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Oh, you're gonna sell it to Dick?  For a hundred
                                grand?  Good luck.

                                                                 FRANK
                                I'll do it.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Yeah.  I'll bet you don't last 'til midnight out on the
                                street with that.

Frank lights his cigarette.

                                                                 FRANK
                                Oh yeah?

Vinnie reaches out and takes the Zippo lighter from Frank.  He looks at it closely.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                This is Carlos's lighter.

                                                                 FRANK
                                Huh?

Frank stiffens.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Carlos.  The guy you got the smack from.  My pal.

                                                                 FRANK
                                So?

                                                                 VINNIE
                                So what are you doing with it?

                                                                 FRANK
                                He lent it to me and I forgot to give it back.  Give it
                                to him when you see him, would ya?

                                                                 VINNIE
                                                           (suspiciously)
                                Sure.

Frank takes his flight bag, puts the kilo back in and leaves the back room.  Vinnie watches him go, then glances down at the lighter with a suspicious, ugly expression.

EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - NIGHT

Joe's LTD cruises between two large buildings.  Rickman leads Brubaker into the strange warehouse district of downtown L.A.  Everything looks abandoned.  Railroad tracks criss-cross the area.  Garbage blows through the streets.

INT. JOE'S CAR - NIGHT

Brubaker looks around disapprovingly, then looks at Rickman.  Rickman points to the right, at a huge warehouse and parking lot.  Joe frowns.

                                                                 JOE
                                Here?

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                Yeah, here.

Brubaker turns right.  The LTD glides across an enormous empty parking lot toward a big dark warehouse.  Joe stops the car and turns to Rickman.

                                                                 JOE
                                This is where you stole the Jeep?

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                This is where it was parked.  I didn't steal it.

                                                                 JOE
                                But you said you stole it.

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                No I didn't, you did.

Joe lifts an eyebrow.
                                                                 JOE
                                I don't understand.

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                Here, let me explain . . .

Rickman suddenly opens a can of warm beer directly into Joe's face, blinding him, then punches Joe in the side of the head as hard as he can with his manacled fists.  Joe is dazed, but instinctively goes for his gun.  Rickman grabs Joe by the hair and savagely slams Joe's head into the passenger window until the glass shatters.  Rickman keeps pounding Joe in the face until blood runs from his nose, his lips and both eyes.  Joe's eyes cross.

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                Got the message yet, cop?  You fucked up!

Rickman starts to laugh, reaches into Joe's pocket and takes out the handcuff keys.  He unlocks himself and tosses the handcuffs and key.  He reaches back into Joe's pocket and takes his wallet and his pistol.  Rickman starts to get out of the car, then turns back to Joe's unconcious body.  Rickman punches Joe in the face one more time.

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                Dumbass cop!  That's what you get for making
                                assumptions.  When you assume you make an
                                ass out of you and me.  But mainly you.

Rickman reaches over and puts the car's gearshift in drive, then gets out of the car.


EXT. WAREHOUSE PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Rickman walks away from Joe's car, which idles across the huge empty parking lot, then crashes into the wall of the warehouse.  Rickman chuckles as he walks away.

EXT. AL'S BAR - NIGHT

Rickman comes around the corner of A1's Bar and goes in the front door.

INT. AL'S BAR - NIGHT

Rickman sees Frank sitting at the bar drinking coffee. Rickman approaches and Frank sees him.  Frank shakes his head.

                                                                 FRANK
                                It's about fucking time.  Where have you been?
                                You said you'd be an hour, it's been three.

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                You didn't tell me the goddamn car was stolen.  I
                                got picked up by the cops.

Frank looks around warily, his hand going to the gun in his pocket.  Rickman waves his hand.

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                Chill out.  It's all under control.  I had to kick the
                                crap out of a cop, but he'll be all right.
                                                           (Rickman points at
                                                           the flight bag)
                                Why do you still have that?

                                                                 FRANK
                                He won't pay the price, but I got another lead.
                                Let's go.

                                                                 RICKMAN
                                Shit!  All right.  Let's do it.

They both leave.

EXT. AL'S BAR - NIGHT

Frank and Rickman step out of the bar, walk up the street and out of sight.  A moment later Bill and Lon pull up in front of the bar in the Delta 88.  They get out of the car.

                                                                 BILL
                                This is really stupid.  Vinnie's a psychotic asshole.
                                I don't like any of this.

                                                                 LON
                                Will you shut up and come on.  Jesus!  We're
                                already here.

They head into the bar.  Ted pulls up in his Fiesta across the street from Al's Bar and watches Lon and Bill go inside.  Ted gets out of the car, takes one step and the whole world starts to spin.  He grabs the edge of the car door, closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.  His legs turn to water and he drops to the ground on his knees.

INT. AL'S BAR - NIGHT

Bill and Lon make their way through the crowd, Bill guarding his cast with his good hand.  Lon looks around at the weird-looking people and shakes his head in disgust.  Lon and Bill step up to the door of the back room.  Lon turns to Bill.

                                                                 LON
                                Ready?
                                                           (Bill shrugs)
                                Okay.  Act tough.

Lon knocks.

                                                                 VINNIE (O.S.)
                                Carlos?

                                                                 LON
                                No.  It's Lon Stracks and Bill Bertelli.

                                                                 VINNIE (O.S.)
                                Who?

                                                                 LON
                                We used to live up the street from you on Vermont.
                                Remember?

                                                                 VINNIE (O.S.)
                                                           (remembers)
                                Oh, shit.  Not you two fuckin' losers.  Jesus!

                                                                 LON
                                Mind if we come in and talk to you for a second?

                                                                 VINNIE (O.S.)
                                                           (sighs)
                                . . . No.

Lon and Bill look at each other in confusion.

                                                                 LON
                                No you mind, or no we can come in?

                                                                 VINNIE (O.S.)
                                Yes you can come in and yes I do mind.

Bill and Lon look at each other, open the door and enter.

INT. BACK ROOM - NIGHT

They find Vinnie seated at his desk holding a Baretta 9mm pistol and staring down at Carlos's silver lighter.

                                                                 VINNIE
                                Now, what can I do for you two?

Lon coughs and shuts the door.

EXT. AL'S BAR - NIGHT

Ted is still on his knees with his eyes closed breathing deeply.  Finally he opens his eyes and blinks several times.  When his eyes come into focus he sees . . .

EXT. WAREHOUSE PARKING LOT - NIGHT

. . . Joe's car sitting all by itself in the huge parking lot, crashed against the wall.  Ted holds onto his car door and pulls himself up to his feet.  He walks over to the warehouse parking lot while looking all around.  His footsteps echo hollowly in the vast concrete expanse.  Ted arrives at Joe's car and finds Joe inside with his head leaning against the steering wheel, his face completely covered with blood.  Ted gets in the passenger side and leans over Joe.

                                                                 TED
                                Joe?  Joe!

As Ted leans over him, Joe slowly opens his eyes.

                                                                 JOE
                                What?

Ted takes out his handkerchief and wipes some of the blood from Joe's eyes.

                                                                 TED
                                What happened?

                                                                 JOE
                                I fucked up.

                                                                 TED
                                                           (sarcastically)
                                Joe Brubaker fucked up?  No, that's not possible.

                                                                 JOE
                                Rub it in.  Go ahead.  I deserve it.

                                                                 TED
                                Oh no.  Humility, too.  What next?

                                                                 JOE
                                Don't push your luck, kid.  So, what're you doing
                                here?  I thought you were dead.

                                                                 TED
                                Not yet.

Joe takes a deep breath and tries to regain his wits.

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (shakes his head)
                                I lost the son of a bitch.  We'll never be able to
                                find him.

                                                                 TED
                                Sure we will.  I followed the two drug
                                dealers we busted to here.

                                                                 JOE
                                What are they doing out of jail?

                                                                 TED
                                They got out on bail.

                                                                 JOE
                                Typical.  So you followed them here?
                                                           (Ted nods)
                                Then that creep might be there.

Joe gets out of the car, takes one step and looks like he might fall on his face.  Ted quickly gets out of the car, dashes over to Joe and grabs him.  Suddenly Ted looks like he might pass out, too, and Joe holds him up.  They both drop back against the warehouse wall.  They look at each other and start to laugh, which just causes both of them more pain.

                                                                 JOE
                                We're a real team you and me.  We both oughta
                                check into a hospital for a month.

                                                                 TED
                                That doesn't sound like a bad idea.

Joe reaches for his gun and finds an empty holster.

                                                                 JOE
                                Oh, shit!  Motherfucker took my gun.

He checks the rest of his pockets.

                                                                 JOE
                                He took my wallet, too.

Joe does find his car keys, however.  He stumbles around to the back of his car and opens the trunk.  From beneath the spare tire he removes an old wooden box.  He opens the box revealing an absolutely gigantic old pistol.

                                                                 TED
                                                           (wide-eyed)
                                What's that?

                                                                 JOE
                                It's an 1885 Colt Dragoon.  It belonged to my great-
                                grandfather.

Joe hands it to Ted.  Ted can't believe the weight.

                                                                 JOE
                                Fourteen pounds.  It was manufactured in a day
                                when cracking someone over the skull was a viable
                                alternative to shooting them.

Joe takes a box of .45 caliber bullets from the trunk and loads the pistol.  Ted is looking over at the front of the bar.


EXT. AL'S BAR - NIGHT

Lon and Bill come out the front door of the bar, get into their Delta 88 and drive away.

EXT. WAREHOUSE PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Ted turns to Joe.

                                                                 TED
                                They're leaving.  The creep must not be there.

Joe gets in the driver's seat.

                                                                 JOE
                                Let's just see where they're going.  Get in.

Ted gets in.

                                                                 TED
                                What about my car?  I forgot to lock it.

                                                                 JOE
                                Whose gonna steal a little piece of shit like
                                that?

                                                                 TED
                                Hey!  Fuck you!  It's a good car.

                                                                 JOE
                                Sure it is.  Let's drive at each other at fifty miles
                                an hour sometime and see which one of us lives.

Joe peels out of the parking lot.

EXT. AL'S BAR - NIGHT

As Joe and Ted tear past the bar, Vinnie steps out the front door.  His sick smile crosses his face as he climbs on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, kick starts it and squeals up the street.

INT. JOE'S CAR - NIGHT

Joe and Ted are a little ways behind the Delta 88, tailing it.  Joe really looks messed up and is beginning to swell around his eyes.


                                                                 TED
                                You don't look too good.  You want me to drive?

Joe glances over at Ted, then back at the road.

                                                                 JOE
                                Your head's bleeding.

Ted reaches up and puts his hand against his head.  Once again it comes away bloody.  He wipes it on his pants.

                                                                 JOE
                                So you snuck out of the hospital with thirteen stitches
                                in your head.  Not bad.  You got the makings of a good
                                cop.

                                                                 TED
                                                           (grinning)
                                You don't mean a good cop, you mean a cop like you.

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (shrugs)
                                Same difference.

 

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