>> II/ Mission Impossible II

II/ Mission Impossible II. .

: II/ Mission Impossible II.

II/ Mission Impossible II

FADE IN:

A WORN SATCHEL (MOVING - DAY) is being carried by a world weary middle European wearing a black armband. VLADIMIR NEKHORVICH exits a gleaming building, pausing for a moment, under a motto clearly visible above his head, 'Where the future is now'. He checks the time.

INSERT - WATCH

set in Countdown Mode. It's at 19 hours forty-seven minutes and sixteen seconds and dropping, 19:37.15, :14, :13, :12 etc.

O.S. children are singing:

Ring a ring a rosy/a pocketful of posy/ a tissue a tissue/we all fall down.

Nekhorvich looks to see children at play outside the adjacent Natural History Museum. They are moving in and around an odd freeform sculpture.

POV - SCULPTURE AND CHILDREN

a blur where the sculpture seems to be distorting the children, almost like mirrors in a fun house.

NEKHORVICH

wipes his eyes, a horn honks. He looks toward the sound.

MOVING SHOT - SATCHEL (INT. AIRPORT SECURITY - DAY)

on the belt that takes it thru X-Ray. On the other side a guard opens the satchel and pokes thru a few toilet articles, personal items, books, a battleship gray digital camera and - in a small plastic container marked 'S.G.' - a small, square shiny object, hi-tech and at odds with the other items. She pulls out an urn- shaped vessel.

GUARD What's this, then?

NEKHORVICH (handing her documents) The ashes of a colleague, I'm taking them to his family. If you wish to open it, please be careful.

COMPUTERIZED SCREEN DISPLAY (INT. PLANE - MOVING - DAY)

on the cabin wall displays a colorful map showing the flight point of departure in Sydney, continuously updating distance, direction and time to its ultimate destination, Atlanta, Georgia.

CAPTAIN'S VOICE - folks, we're a little over two and a half hours from touchdown in Atlanta, but if you look out your windows on either side of the aircraft, we'll soon be crossing the southern section of the Rocky Mountains, a range which includes more than 50 peaks rising above 14,000 feet. The chain's loftiest point, Mount Elbert, at 14, 433 feet should be coming into view as we pass over central Colorado shortly..

NEKHORVICH (INT. CABIN - DAY)

seems intent on the map, its changing times and distance. He checks his watch - the countdown has gone from 20 to three hours and 32 minutes as Nekhorvich is mesmerized by the descending seconds whipping by.

ETHAN HUNT sits into shot on the vacant first class aisle seat beside Nekhorvich.

ETHAN You keep staring at that watch as if your life depended on it, Doctor..

NEKHORVICH Well, yes. I suppose I am a bit anxious.

ETHAN They're ready and waiting. You'll soon be with old friends.

NEKHORVICH (meaning Ethan) I'm with an old friend now, Dmitri.

ETHAN Sorry it couldn't be under happier circumstances.

NEKHORVICH Yes, I'm sorry too.. 'You're sorry and I'm sorry..' (bemused laughter, then looks at Ethan) - you do know Gradski thought the world of you.

Nekhorvich is overcome. Ethan puts a comforting hand on his shoulder:

ETHAN He was quite a man. Did he know before the end you two had succeeded?

NEKHORVICH Yes, he knew. Just..

ETHAN ..not in time to save him.

NEKHORVICH No. After you've lived with Chimera for twenty hours, nothing can save you. Not even...Bellerophon.

Nekhorvich pats the satchel.

ETHAN You carry them together? Safely?

With an almost impish grin and a wink:

NEKHORVICH Yes, and you'll get us to a safe place with them, thank god!..left to my own devices, I'm an old fart too inept to read a railroad timetable!..

Good-natured laughter. Cut off by a flight steward who passes by, giving a sidelong silence in Ethan and Nekhorvich's direction. Oxygen masks suddenly deploy from the ceiling. Passengers are puzzled and alarmed.

CAPTAIN'S VOICE You Captain again. We've experienced a slight but abrupt drop in cabin pressure.. A passenger struggling with his mask. As Nekhorvich fumbles with the strap on his mask he notes that the display screen shows their altitude is below 30,000 feet and dropping. He checks the countdown time on his watch again. Nekhorvich looks around him. The flight attendants are conspicuously absent and all the passengers who have on oxygen masks are passed out.

INT - COCKPIT

The flight crew now wearing their oxygen masks.

CAPTAIN (into radio) Pan, pan, pan, Denver Center. This is Trans Pac Flight two-two-zero-seven, 747 heavy. We are not reading you. We're unable to maintain cabin pressurization. We have initiated a descent to one six thousand.

The Co-pilot is working on the plane's altitude when his hands slip off the controls. His eyes flutter, then:

CO-PILOT Captain, I don't..can't..

He passes out. The Captain, HUGH STAMP, turns to verify that the relief pilot is also unconscious at the controls.

He then removes his oxygen mask, sets the auto pilot, inputting numbers to slow the plane and descend. As the craft titles downward...

INT - GALLERY

The flight attendants are pulling on jump suits. Stamp emerges from the cockpit.

INT - CABIN

Ethan returns. Nekhorvich beckons to him. Ethan sits. Grinning around, Nekhorvich conspiratorially:

NEKHORVICH ..it seems we have a problem, Dmitri.

ETHAN (in the same tone) You keep calling me Dmitri. You really shouldn't.

Nekhorvich's eyes narrow.

NEKHORVICH You're not Dmitri?

With a lightning swift move Ethan breaks Nekhorvich's neck.

ETHAN - no.

He grabs the satchel.

ETHAN (cont'd) (to Wallis) Wallis, hold onto it.

Wallis slashes the satchel handle open, takes the satchel for Ambrose. He peels off the latex mask, revealing SEAN AMBROSE.

ETHAN (cont'd) Ulrich, pull the -

He tears off the vocal oscillator at his adam's apple, clears his throat, now as Ambrose:

AMBROSE - pull the NO2 tank and dump it, it's potential evidence..

STAMP (the 'captain' into shot) All done, chief..

AMBROSE (what else) - right - (kidding) - don't go too far ahead of me now -

STAMP Not possible..

Ulrich has rolled back the carpet over an access panel just beneath them that leads to the belly of the plane. Stamp pulls back the panel, hops into the compartment below which is four walls of electronic equipment. Stamp kneels and slides back the floor hatch. The wind howls, puffs of cloud zip by beneath them. As they descend into the belly:

WALLIS Checkpoint Charlie plus 30, altitude minus two-zero-thousand. Airspeed one-seven- niner knots..

AMBROSE It's that time. Go.

They don goggles and, with Ambrose in the lead, the team leaps, one after another from the hatch, sailing off into the sky.

INT - COCKPIT (DAY)

An automated voice repeats in an ominous monotone:

VOICE Terrain, terrain. Pull up, pull up.

The co-pilot stirs. He blearily rouses himself just in time to see:

A mountain rushing toward him. As mountain meets airplane, the frame is filled with fire, but when camera pulls back from the fireball, it is in fact no more than a match head filling frame, which ignited, lights a fuse..

The MI theme music kicks in, the main credits roll to:

EXT - FACE OF MOUNTAIN (DAY)

For a moment it might be thought part of the same range when the plane crashed but when Ethan Hunt climbs into frame the angle widen and titles down, revealing more of where he's come from than where he's going. Aside from the fact that he's in the midst of free-climbing what is easily a sheer rock face of at least a thousand feet, there's the sunny picture-postcard view of a lovely valley and pellucid lake thousands of feet below. Ethan climbs out of shot.

WIDE UP ANGLE (DAY)

revealing the summit, a light breeze hitting the lichen and whatever growth has a slender purchase on the rocky mountainside, fluffy clouds overhead.

Ethan into shot. Despite the spectacularly precarious handholds he's using to hang onto the mountain and his life, he appears relaxed, engaged - for him - in the equivalent of busman's holiday. It's leisurely danger for Ethan; one might almost expect to hear Julie Andrews trilling 'Climb Every Mountain' on the soundtrack.

Then a rock he's been grasping crumbles and Ethan drops about six inches before he grabs onto the mountain again. As he hangs by five fingers thousands of feet above the earth he doesn't seem terribly concerned until he spots a helicopter.

It's materialized behind the summit and passes surprisingly close just overhead, casting its shadow downward over Ethan. Instinctively, Ethan flattens himself against the rock surface, as if the copter poses some sort of threat to him. But when its rotors whir it into the distance Ethan relaxes and resumes his climb.

A HAIRY OVERHANG (EXT. MOUNTAIN - DAY)

near the summit Ethan departing from the vertical and is now traversing the mountain with more of his back than his feet exposed to the earth far below. He's clinging to the mountain almost like a fly walking on the ceiling. When he reaches for a handhold that will restore him to the vertical, he dislodges a lizard - and manages to catch it before it plunges thousand of feet to oblivion. ETHAN Whoaa..

He pockets the lizard, climbs the overhang.

REVERSE ANGLE - SUMMIT

with Ethan's hand, then Ethan coming into view and making the summit. He reaches into his pocket and releases the lizard who favors Ethan with a stern reptilian stare by way of gratitude. To lizard:

ETHAN You're welcome.

The lizard scampers off, then a low beeping sound at his back attracts his attention. He turns to see the source of the beeping, a small package in day-glo colors with a day-glo streamer. Ethan looks to the sky where the helicopter is now ominously circling back.

Ethan lifts the day-glo package and waves it in the direction of the copter. With a distinct lack of enthusiasm.

The helicopter once again turns, banks and disappears. Ethan has opened the beeping package and finds a pair of sunglasses.

ETHAN'S POV SUNGLASSES

First, a retinal scan.

ELECTRONIC VOICE Identity confirmed.

SWANBECK Good morning, Mr. Hunt.

Swanbeck's face flashes onscreen. Over his introduction of Nyah is a series of satellite photographs whose subject is so elusive she never seems to give the camera a clean shot.

SWANBECK'S VOICE Your mission, should you choose to accept it, requires you to recover a stolen item, designated Chimera. Essential to the mission is the recruitment of a civilian -- a Miss Nyah Nordoff-Hall. She is a highly capable professional thief currently active in Spain.

A series of Nyah's 'accomplishments', i.e., warrants, complaints, Interpol summaries of her various criminal activities, as well as glimpses of the elusive Nyah circulating about Seville.

SWANBECK'S VOICE (cont'd) Her dossier's available on I-COM 3. You have 48 hours to recruit Ms. Nordoff-Hall and meet me in Seville to receive further details. Should you or any member of your IM force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions.

Swanbeck's face reappears on screen:

SWANBECK'S VOICE (cont'd) And Mr. Hunt - the next time you go on vacation, please be good enough to let us know where you're going. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

Ethan removes the glasses, then tosses them into space.

ETHAN If I let you know where I'm going -

The glasses explode in a puff of smoke.

ETHAN (cont'd) - won't be on holiday.

Ethan, with a fair amount of disgust, gets to his feet and jumps off the mountain, in, what for a moment looks like a suicidal snit. Then, somewhere hundreds of feet below camera, there's a little puff of color as the tulip-shaped chute pops out of his back-pack. Begin the sound of a castanets and the animal-like cries of flamenco dancers.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT - ANDALUSIAN VILLA (EVE)

Bustling in the activity of a large private party, with arriving guests and attentive valets, as a young woman, her face unseen, exits her car and enters the villa.

A FLASH OF SKIRT AND LACE (INT-EXT. VILLA - FLAMENCO DANCERS - EVE)

where to the cries of dancers add graceful feminine hands wielding the castanets. The dancers perform on a raised platform and NYAH NORDOFF-HALL'S face can be glimpsed thru the swirling skirts and pounding heels, looking thru, not at them.

REVERSE ANGLE - ETHAN

looking back in a similar way to Nyah; surreal lighting and the relentless chorus of pounding heels seem to isolate them in the crowed party. Nyah continues to look at Ethan over the shoulder over her wanna-be escort, a very attentive gentleman. Nyah offers up her empty glass, and the gentleman eagerly takes it to the bar for a refill, leaving Nyah and Ethan looking at one another. Ethan approaches her.

ETHAN Do you know me?

NYAH No. Should I?

ETHAN No. You just looked as if you did.

NYAH No. Just as if I'd like to.

ETHAN Oh. Well. I think that can be arranged.

NYAH Not tonight. Bad timing. Sorry -

ETHAN There's not enough time in the world for any of it to be bad.

This stops her. Nyah moves closer to him, until they're nose to nose. Whispered but breezy:

NYAH Look, it's either you or the rent and I don't mind telling you it's not an easy choice.

ETHAN What if I pay the rent?

NYAH Uh-huh.

ETHAN Uh-huh?

Glancing at the gentleman making his way back with her drink then:

NYAH Go find the wealthy lady you came with and next time we meet - I'll pay your rent. (kissing him, sweetly) Now bugger off.

And purposeful creature that she is, she takes her frustrated desire upstairs, timing her footsteps so as to use the sound of the dancer's steps to cover her own. Once upstairs, a security guard near the master bedroom can be seen eagerly following her down the hall, both moving past a pair of windows, visible to Ethan. In a few moments, Nyah can be seen past the windows in the opposite direction, without the guard following. In another moment or two, a very puzzled looking security guard can be glimpsed in the first window, looking up and down the hall, clearly having lost sight of Nyah. Ethan smiles, moves out of shot.

INT - MASTER BEDROOM (EVE)

Nyah has opened the door and moves swiftly thru the bedroom.

INT - BATH (EVE)

A decadent looking affair with suggestive lighting, mirrored walls. The tub has a tray across it which includes a wine cooler chilling a bottle of Crystal and a mound of caviar on a bed of ice. Nyah can't resist. She spoons a dollop of the caviar and downs it before she moves along the frescoed walls of the tub to its back. There, she pulls out her compact and removes the puff, revealing an electronic density meter. She turns it on and holds it at the rear of the tub. Its sweep gauge jumps sharply from green thru yellow and into red.

NYAH (her fondest hopes confirmed) Mmmm.

She now steps into the tub and focuses on the grout between the tiles just above the sop dish. Her knee eyes search for any cracks in the grout and she spots one. Using a tweezers she pulls the silver of the grout out from between the tiles, revealing something that looks like a credit card wedged between the tiles. She slips the card into a narrow opening under the sop dish.

There's the sound of hydraulics and two arms move the marble casing out from the rear of the tub. Nyah breathes a sigh of relief and anticipation: kneeling in the tub she finds herself looking down at an open safe, revealing some half-dozen locked compartments. As she studies them:

ETHAN Decisions, decisions.

Nyah looks up to see Ethan's reflection in the bathroom mirrors, looking down at her kneeling in the tub.

NYAH What are you doing here?

ETHAN Think you're the only one who can pick a lock?

NYAH (not altogether pleased) I see. You're not just another pretty face..

Before Ethan can answer, a voice can be heard coming from the bedroom warbling Granada in Spanish, and with considerable gusto.

NYAH (cont'd) Oh god. A bloody baritone.

Nyah catches a reflection behind Ethan's in the bathroom mirror. She reaches up and grabs Ethan by the lapel, yanking him into the tub, pulling him down on top of her. Once again they're nose to nose. ETHAN I take it you prefer tenors.

She glances up at the mirror. In it is the reflection of SENOR AUGUSTO DE L'ARENA, a big amiable Castilian in his fifties who's changing a white dinner jacket that's had wine split on it. He breaks into a heavily accented version of 'Now or Never', and disappears from the dressing room mirror.

NYAH Would you mind if I'm on top?

ETHAN Oh, either way works for me.

With a jaundiced look she rolls over on top of Ethan and begins working on one of the safe compartments, using a tiny torque wrench from a tube of lipstick and a carbide pick from a mascara brush. She glances down and is rather disconcerted. Continues working with the pick and wrench.

ETHAN'S VOICE You're never gonna find it there.

NYAH (she jumps, dropping the torque wrench) Damn it! Find what?

ETHAN His ex-wife's Bulgari necklace that goes up for auction Tuesday.

Looking down to Ethan, a touch of indignation:

LOOKING UP

more or less, hands locked behind his neck as he rests against the raked back of the tub, his eyes and nose inches from Nyah's lower pelvic region as she straddles him. Not exactly in the mood to move:

She stiffens - he knows too damn much.

NYAH - right..where is it?

ETHAN Far right.

She immediately switches her efforts from top left to the bottom right compartment. She's utterly nonplussed:

NYAH Where's the bloody -

ETHAN (plucking it off his chest, offering it up like a mechanic under the chassis) - torque wrench.

NYAH - this is very disconerting..

ETHAN Hey, you put me here. I just do what I'm told.

NYAH - right..

She unstraddles him and, with a few deft moves with the torque wrench and carbide pick - and it's open. She withdraws a velvet pouch and opens the pouch. Out spills the spectacular necklace.

NYAH (cont'd) Lovely. (starting to close the safe) Who are you and what's it going to cost me?

ETHAN (having sat up) I wouldn't do that.

NYAH Do what?

The alarm goes off.

ETHAN That.

The bathroom is suddenly filled with security guards, gun drawn Senor de l'Arena, looking highly upset, pops in.

SENOR DE L'ARENA Oh, Senor Keyes, thank God it is you! (in Spanish to security guards, annoyed) It's Senor Keyes, the security engineer.

ETHAN Well, Senor de l'Arena the goods news is that the heat sensors were activated. But Miss Nordoff-Hall, my associate -

Senor de l'Arena kisses Nyah's hand.

SENOR DE L'ARENA Mucho gusto, senorita.

ETHAN - did feel that she had rather too long to work on the safe before they triggered the alarm, isn't that right Miss Hall?

NYAH Oh yes. Absolutely. Much too long I should yes.

Nyah's initial shock and panic slowly gives way to a wary, intensified curiosity - about Ethan.

ETHAN Under the circumstances I think we would recommend re-setting the senors to respond to a lighter load. How do you feel about forty kilos, Miss Hall?

NYAH Indeed.

ETHAN Well, Senor de l'Arena, there's no reason to disrupt your party any longer. we have some further concerns about the disposition of your security guards, which you'll receive in our written report by fax in the morning, hard copy to follow. Shall we?

He offers Nyah his arm. They start out. Ethan immediately stops.

ETHAN (cont'd) Miss Hall. Haven't you forgotten something?

Nyah looking genuinely puzzled.

NYAH The necklace?

Nyah slowly reaches into her dress and withdraws the glittering string of diamonds and rubies from her bust.

SENOR DE L'ARENA (a great kidder) What are you trying to do, senorita? Rob me.

They all laugh, and Ethan's got her out the door.

EXT - ANDALUSIAN VILLA (LATE NIGHT - PRE DAWN)

The stars dimming, the sky a gun metal blue. Ethan and Nyah emerge from the villa, walking slowly. Nyah's clearly preoccupied.

NYAH I'm missing something here, aside from a 500,000 pound necklace. Even after I botched the job, I could've walked out of there with the bloody thing.

ETHAN At least you walked.

NYAH If you weren't going to let me get away with it, why did you let me go thru with it?

ETHAN Wanted to see how good you were. I'm hoping we might work together.

NYAH May I say something, no offence? You look like a gigolo, you sound like a thief, you act like a cop - what the bloody hell do you have in mind?

ETHAN Working under adverse conditions. Highly adverse conditions.

NYAH Sounds smashing. I'm in. Muchacho, mi carro, por favor! Now be serious. You couldn't possibly want me off tonight's performance..

ETHAN You didn't do that badly.

Her car arrives.

NYAH (as she moves to her car) You're apologizing for me? Quite the gentleman..

ETHAN (opening the car door) Not really. I triggered the alarm..

One foot on the floorboard she freezes, back to Ethan.

ETHAN Hey, the Bulgari job last week was flawless. And I've always been partial to pale yellows.

She slides behind the wheel.

NYAH (as he leads on the car) I don't do laundry, or put up with cheeky bastards who set me up on their territory so they can poach on mine.

She takes off, spewing bits of gravel and dust in her wake. Ethan smiles and shakes his head.

ON THE ROAD - NYAH (MOVING)

around curves, hair flying, she's free. Her car phone rings. Perplexed, she lets it ring once or twice picks it up:

NYAH (tentatively) Hola..

ETHAN Hi. Would you mind slowing down?

NYAH Where did you get this number? I don't even have it!

ETHAN' VOICE Would you like it?

She hits the End button and disconnects. The phone immediately rings again. She refuses to pick up. Ethan pulls alongside hers. She looks at him. They speak through the open cars.

ETHAN Pull over and listen to me, will you? Just listen..

NYAH Listen to what?

ETHAN I need your help and I thin you can use mine.

NYAH Your help? What are you talking about?

ETHAN Scotland Yard, Interpol, every Dutch authority. I can make them go away.

NYAH Oh bloody hell. You're a spy.

She floors it and shoots ahead of Ethan, nicking his car as she takes off.

ETHAN (to himself) I deserved that.

SERIES OF DRIVING SHOTS - NYAH AND ETHAN

Ethan rings her again. And keeps ringing. Her face becomes grim, her flight progressively more desperate and with Ethan's pursuit progressively more determined. They are reaching the limits of adhesion around blind curves.

MORE SHOTS DRIVING (DAWN)

The sky's battleship gray; Ethan pursues Nyah around hairpin turns high above the Costa del Sol; they rip thru patches of marine fog drifting on the road, obscuring it.

Both are appalled by the other's willingness to escalate risk in this game of flight and pursuit until Ethan tears thru a fogbank and sees on his GPS what Nyah can't see thru the fog - less than four hundred meters ahead is a turn she can't possibly negotiate and if she can't she'll plunge off the road hundreds of feet to rock and sea below. Ringing her number again:

ETHAN (half to himself) Slow down, slow down.

She turns up a mound and loses control. She spins out and heads toward the edge of the cliff.

NYAH (realizing she's in trouble) Uh-oh.

Ethan cuts her off and sends them both into a 540 degree spin. Her car stops just at the cliff's edge.

Furious she wrenches open the car door and gets out.

ETHAN No!

Suddenly there's no Nyah. Ethan leaps over to Nyah's car and sees Nyah dangling over the ocean and rocks hundreds of feet below, holding the door handle.

NYAH Oh..oh..

Taking a firm grip on her wrist.

ETHAN Don't look down. Just..look at me. That's it..that's it..

He pulls Nyah up to the car, across the seat and half into his arms. For a long moment it looks like she's in shock. Then: NYAH What's you name?

ETHAN Ethan Hunt.

NYAH Well, Ethan Hunt, what is it you want to talk to me about?

Thru the veil of morning fog, Nyah looks at Ethan. Her dark eyes suggest wit, and willingness, and longing.

ETHAN ...more than I thought.. They scarcely to move to bring their lips together:

NYAH Awfully short notice..

ETHAN Care to wait a decent interval?

NYAH Who wants to be decent?..

DISSOLVE:

CLOSE - ETHAN (INT-EXT. SAFEHOUSE - SEVILLE - DAY-EVE)

sleeping. His eyes open slowly. He comes to full consciousness, his head still on the pillow. Something approaching serious anxiety informs his features. He lifts his head and looks at his left, angle widening. Nyah lies on her side facing him, sleeping serenely. Anxiety on the order of oh-God-this-isn't- approved-recruiting-technique, confirmed. He lets his head flop back on the pillow. Then he turns so he and Nyah are profile to- profile. As he looks at her sleeping his anxiety fades, replaced by curiosity and even wonder. He lifts his hand and just brushes her cheek. Her eyes open. She knows where she is.

ETHAN So what've you got against spooks?

Nyah smiles.

NYAH When they've got your recruiting technique? Not a thing.

ETHAN Oh. Well..this isn't exactly by the book.

NYAH They've got a book for this?

ETHAN They've got a book for everything.

NYAH The only other spook I knew was a liar. Charming but absolutely incapable of telling the truth. He'd lie about his favorite color. But then I reckon it's an occupational hazard. All spies really do is conceal the truth and tell lies.

ETHAN Not revealing information doesn't necessarily make someone a liar.

NYAH That's not the point. In the end what spies rely on is the one thing they think they know that you don't.

ETHAN Which is?

NYAH That they're lying.

Ethan laughs.

NYAH (cont'd) ..once they know that they can get very very..crosee..

Nyah shoulder and moves into Ethan.

ETHAN So where did I got right?

NYAH You're not a liar. Or you're an awfully good one.. (then) ..this thing these blokes pinched..

ETHAN I don't know that they 'pinched' it. Don't even know that they're blokes.

Nyah stops to think about this.

NYAH Well, then, what I am I doing here? I assume I'm meant to be some sort of thief-to catch-a-thief..

ETHAN So do I. Sort of.

Nyah looks at Ethan, a little worried.

NYAH Spoken like a spook..you ever afraid?

ETHAN Of what?

Nyah laughs.

NYAH Ask a question, you get an answer!..

ETHAN Damn, you're beautiful.

NYAH That's because I'm on my back.

Quick as a cat Ethan flips Nyah over so she's looking down at him.

ETHAN I don't think so.

She sinks into his arms.

EXT-INT - STREET - SEVILLE (VALENCIA FESTIVAL) (EVE)

Ethan's step is unusually jaunty as he bounces along, making his way thru the festive and jostling crowds preparing for the Crema portion of the Fallas de Valencia. On this night great papier mache effigies, some serious, some comic, are placed all thru the city and torched in great bonfires. Outside the bar Ethan's looking for there's a street vendor, hawking Fallas mementos and flowers. He starts past the vendor, and it hits him - he's going to buy some flowers.

He chooses a colorful spring bouquet so fresh the dew can be seen on the petals. Ethan pays the vendor, starts into the bar, and thinks better of walking into Swanbeck with the bouquet. Turns back to the vendor.

ETHAN Are you gonna be here a while?

VENDOR Si, senor.

ETHAN I'll pick'em up on my way out, okay?

Ethan enter the bar and goes upstairs to the second floor where he passes security at a pair of double doors.

INT - IMF BRIEFING ROOM

Swanbeck stands looking out the window. Noisy crowds from the festival provides a constant walla, and during the sequence, the first effigies are lit, and smoke and flame provide a vivid background thru briefing room's window.

SWANBECK Fetival's a pain in the ass. Honoring saint by setting'em on fire. (turning to Ethan) Sit down, sit down.

Ethan sits.

SWANBECK (cont'd) Let's you know what they think of saints, doesn't it? Damn near set me on fire on my way over here. As if I haven't been burned enough today.

A moment where it's impossible to tell which way the wind is going to blow between these two. Then civilly:

SWANBECK (cont'd) Sorry I barged in on your vacation.

ETHAN Sorry I didn't let you know where I was.

SWANBECK Don't be. Wouldn't be on vacation if you did.

ETHAN Well. You're sorry and I'm sorry.

SWANBECK Why did you phrase it like that?

ETHAN Like what?

SWANBECK 'You're sorry and I'm sorry.'

ETHAN You gotta be kidding.

Swanbeck turns to his computer and begins play on a DVD, and projected onto a computer screen staring back at Ethan is:

VLADIMIR NEKHORVICH

NEKHORVICH (with exaggerate brio) Well, Dmitri! How are you?..

Nekhorvich pauses as if waiting for reply. Ethan smiles.

ETHAN ..I'm fine..and you?

NEKHORVICH I'm fine..

Ethan laughs.

ETHAN I'm fine and you're fine..

With Ethan simultaneously whispering:

NEKHORVICH I'm fine too.. I'm fine and you're fine - do you remember, dear fried, how you got Sergei and I to repeat those lines from Dr. Strangelove and we gave you the name of that silly Soviet Premier because we didn't know your name?..In those days, you not only saved our lives, you saved our sanity. 'Now, then Dmitri - we have this little problem': Every search for a hero must begin with something that every hero requires; a villain. Therefore, in a search for our hero, Bellerophon, we created a monster Chimera. I beg you, Dmitri, come to Sydney and accompany me to Atlanta immediately. However we travel, I must arrive at me destination, within 20 hours of departure. Forgive this fanciful explanation, but for now prudence dictates that I communicate nothing but the gravest urgency. I fear I can entrust this to no one but you, Dmitri. as we say, 'I'm sorry and you're sorry'..

Swanbeck stops the DVD.

SWANBECK Let me ask you something. You have any idea what the hell he's talking about?

Ethan smiles.

ETHAN An idea, yeah.

SWANBECK Like?

ETHAN Like it's a good idea to pick him up in a hurry. And a bad idea to fly him on a commercial carrier. So let's get on with it. He's still in Sydney?

SWANBECK Dr. Vladimir Nekhorvich is dead. So is his colleague, Gradski, but that happened earlier. We had Nekhorvich on a flight from Sydney that crashed in the Rockies..

Ethan sits back, heavily.

SWANBECK (cont'd) - Hunt, are you listening?..

Slowly looking up:

ETHAN If he didn't want to go anywhere without me, how did you get him on the flight?

SWANBECK You were there.

Swanbeck clears his throat. He turns back to the computer and punches in: MISSION DOUBLE IMAGE. File open to computer scans of AMBROSE, SEAN, and HUNT, ETHAN, the computer scanning and comparing their features, millimeter by millimeter, stat by stat, as the computer then imposes, with the help of the physiognomy scan, Ethan's face on Ambrose: hence, mission double image.

ETHAN

slowly looks up at Swanbeck.

SWANBECK When I couldn't find you, I had to replace you. Sean Ambrose was the obvious choice. He double you, what? Two, three times?

ETHAN Twice.

SWANBECK What did you think of him?

ETHAN You know we had reservations about each other. Isn't it a little late in the day to be asking me that?

SWANBECK Not necessarily.

Swanbeck shows Ethan a photo of airline Captain.

SWANBECK Airline record list Captain Harold Macintosh as the pilot for Flt 2207. as far as the media and all governmental agencies are concerned, Captain Macintosh died on the flight, but in fact he missed it. He did, however make the next flight - in cargo, stuffed into a rather small suitcase considering his size.

Another photo of an open suitcase, the body in it partially obscured by a ring of police and customs officers.

SWANBECK (cont'd) Someone on that flight planned an operation designed to down the plane and make it look like an accident. Someone skillful enough to bring the whole thing off without a hitch but - they don't always get your luggage on the plane, even when you fly first class.

ETHAN So there's one thing we know Ambrose doesn't.

SWANBECK Then you do think it was Ambrose.

Ethan barely nods.

SWANBECK (cont'd) And you're not surprised.

Ethan gives Swanbeck a look.

ETHAN Whatever Nekhorvich was carrying Sean wanted and he wanted to conceal the fact that he took it.

SWANBECK Enough to kill Nekhorvich and two hundred innocent passengers?

Ethan smiles.

ETHAN Sean feels he hasn't done the job unless he leaves a lot of hats on the ground.

SWANBECK The question is why? What was this Chimera Nekhorvich was carrying?

Ethan rises and moves to the window.

ETHAN Right now only Ambrose knows that.

SWANBECK In any case, you've got to recover Chimera and bring it to us.

ETHAN In order to do that, I've got to figure out how he plans to make money with it.

SWANBECK - right. In fact since the plane went down our banking sources have confirmed a marked increase in the stock pilling of cash in terrorists accounts.

ETHAN 'Terrorists?'

SWANBECK Well you know Nekhorvich's history. You're the one who got him out of the Soviet Union was it still in bio- weapon business.

ETHAN If that's what you're thinking Ambrose would have set up a bidding situation with any number of buyers before he got on the plane. Locating him in time to stop something like that -

SWANBECK - is where Miss Hall comes in.

ETHAN (blindsided) Excuse me?

SWANBECK Miss Hall and Ambrose had a relationship which he took very seriously. She walked away and he's wanting her back ever since. We believe she's our surest and quickest way of location him.

ETHAN (acidly) And then what?

SWANBECK Then makes sure she continues to see him. Gets him confide in her and report to you.

ETHAN You made it sound as if I was recruiting her for her skills as a thief.

SWANBECK Well, then I mislead you. Or you made the wrong assumption. Either way we're asking her to resume a prior relationship, not do anything she hasn't already done.

ETHAN She's got no training for this kind of thing.

SWANBECK Go to bed with a man and lie to him? She's a woman. She's got all the training she needs.

Ethan's anger flashes but does his best to contain it.

ETHAN I don't think I can get her to do it.

SWANBECK You mean it'll be difficult.

ETHAN Very.

SWANBECK Well it's not mission difficult, Hunt. It's mission impossible. Difficult should be a walk in the park for you. If you can think of a quicker way to get to Ambrose, you're welcome to try. Oh, by the way, you might want to take a look at these..if you have any further qualms about getting her to do the job.

He pulls out a little Minolta digital camera (identical to the one in Nekhorvich's bag at airport security). Swanbeck sets it on the table. Ethan picks it up the tiny camera and puts it to his eye.

EXT - BAR (NIGHT)

A grim Ethan, starring fixedly ahead of him emerges to an ever more lively crowd. as he does:

STREET VENDOR Senor, senor! Your flowers.

The vendor holds up the spring bouquet. Ethan seems genuinely surprised by them.

ETHAN Yes. They're very nice..

And he's lost in the crowd, leaving a very puzzled vendor holding the bouquet.

STILL OF CRASH SITE IN ROCKIES (THRU MINOLTA STILL CAMERA)

One after the other flashing by. They are more evocative than specific in their suggestion of an abrupt, fiery, ending, where the lives of hundred are literally and figuratively torn apart and strewn over a desolate landscape.

NYAH

carefully places the little Minolta on a glass-topped coffee table. She's beautifully pulled together, the safehouse has the lights low, flamenco music playing, and when she walks out onto the balcony Ethan sees the candlelit table and a bottle of champagne chilling. There's a light breeze the fire from the burning effigies throwing smoke and flame all over the city.

NYAH What's the population of Seville any idea?

ETHAN Five, six-hundred thousand.

NYAH There's nearly 2 million in London.

ETHAN And six billion in the world.

NYAH That's lot of people out there..how many of them, I wonder, are capable of something like that?

ETHAN Sean Ambrose, for one.

A long shocked moment. Nyah laughs.

NYAH Right...

INT - SAFEHOUSE (EVE - LATER)

The pounding beat of the flamenco music seems to fill the room Nyah's back to Ethan:

NYAH (grimly amused) Not that it matter much but..I seem to recall you staying something like, 'I was hoping we could work together.'

ETHAN This wasn't what I had in mind, Nyah.

NYAH But it is what you'd like me to do. so tell me to do it..

She approaches Ethan. They're inches apart.

NYAH (cont'd) Come on, out with it. Tell me to go and insinuate myself back into Sean's life.

ETHAN Go and insinuate yourself back into Sean's life.

NYAH I'd like a little more conviction..

ETHAN So would I. But it's not mine to give.

NYAH (archness there) You've either got it or you don't. Let your conscience be your guide?

ETHAN Something like that.

With a smile and a wink.

NYAH But I don't have a conscience. I'm a bloody thief.

ETHAN You can be a thief and have a conscience.

NYAH No. You can be a thief and have a conscience: Not me. Why did you have to tell me about this! (pouring herself a drink) What do I have to do to get away from this guy? When you're with him, he messes about with your head every waking moment..even now I'll be at some out-of- the-way-place, a tin of caviar and a bottle of Crystal shows up at the table, with two glass, God knows how he finds out at any given moment where I am in the world but he does. And it looks like he's done it again. You know his definition of a true paranoid?

ETHAN I don't.

NYAH Someone in possession of all the facts. (she turns away, pauses) Are you telling me I have to do this?

ETHAN Generally, I don't favor coercing someone. Not when there's a chance my life could end up in their hands.

NYAH And that's the only reason?

ETHAN Can you think of a better one?

NYAH Not me. I was just hoping you might..or that..somehow in the course of business this got personal as well as physical.

ETHAN Look, would it make you feel better if I didn't want you to do this?

NYAH Much.

ETHAN Then feel better!..

Long moment while she looks at him.

ETHAN (cont'd) Well. That made all the difference in the world, didn't it?

Ethan walks out onto the balcony. She looks at his back.

NYAH Sean will never be anything but suspicious if he picks up some sort of 'yoo-hoo-I'm- not-nad' message. Not after the way we broke up.

ETHAN What wouldn't make him suspicious?

NYAH Probably that I needed him in some urgent way..destitute - in serious trouble..the kind I couldn't possible sort out myself..

Ethan's been smiling slightly.

ETHAN Serious trouble, Nyah, is something I can always arrange..

NYAH IN A SPANISH JAIL

standing for front and side mug shot. O.S. sound of teletype continues. SUPERIMPOSE: Ethan holding up something the size of a dime: ETHAN This little chip sends a coded signal that can be picked up only by our computer.

On the screen of the GPS computer, a little yellow blip appears pulsating on the screen.

ETHAN'S VOICE When it's in your ankle we can track you within three feet of anywhere in the world.

OVER ETHAN AND ONTO COMPUTER SCREEN

He types a small Interpol bulletin stating that Nyah Nordoff Hall, apprehended March 13 in Seville, is awaiting extradition while the authorities in London, Paris, and Amsterdam squabble over where she's going to be tried first, for the various thefts and burglaries she's committed in the three cities.

COMPUTER SCREEN (AMBROSE TENT ANNEX - DAY)

Ambrose picking up on a version of the Interpol bulletin Ethan's put out. He leans over the screen for a moment, then moves to the window, and stares out thoughtful at the bay, almost as if he were watching...

EXT - NYAH IN JAIL COURTYARD

From a beautiful blue sky, pan down to the courtyard of the jail where Nyah is allowed out for an airing, seemingly alone but being watched by:

ETHAN AND COMPUTER SCREEN His attention fixed on the screen, Ethan stares at satellite shot of Nyah in the jail courtyard.

INT - PRISON - NYAH

being allowed a phone call, a prison guard visible b.g. Cross cut with Ethan.

ETHAN Look, I can't run your arrest in CNN, but I guarantee he's monitoring every law enforcement agency in the world, for what they might be saying about him, if nothing else - he's got the ability and, we assume, the desire to get you out of there.

NYAH This doesn't seem to be accomplishing much.

ETHAN Well, I mean it's not a total loss. It is keeping a very capable thief off the street..

NYAH Very funny..maybe he has heard and doesn't want to know. Maybe he's lost interest.

Her guard, b.g. is handed a note.

GUARD (to Nyah) Your lawyer to see you.

NYAH What lawyer?

ETHAN AND COMPUTER SCREEN

ETHAN Well, here we go.

SECTOR: AUSTRALIA, moving into NEW SOUTH WALES, and then to: Sydney. Here Ethan pulls up names, photos and profiles of potential candidates. They scroll past, one face morphing into another. Ethan punches in on WILLIAM A. BAIRD. EXPERTISE: Qualified in virtually every mode of transport, land, sea, air. ORDINANCES: Small arms and automatic weapons authority, edged and impact weapons. PROCUREMENT: Resourceful. EXPLOSIVES: Precision detonation, diffusion.

Ethan punches: Request immediate availability.

EXT - GOVERNMENT BUILDING - SEVILLE (DAY)

Nyah emerges from the entrance to the jail.

ETHAN Stop and look for something in you purse..kneel down..

She does. They're effectively blocked from the street.

NYAH Limo's waiting.

Ethan hands her a key chain with what appear to be a car-key.

ETHAN - Ambrose will have counter-surveillance second to no one's. When and if he contacts you, push this button before you actually end up under his roof it'll scramble your transmission to us.

She takes the key chain. Her hands are shaking.

NYAH When will you be there?

ETHAN Before you are.

NYAH How can you possibly? I've got to get right on the plane. I'm leaving now.

ETHAN You don't trust me.

NYAH Oh, I do. But as we know I'm a very poor judge of character.

ETHAN He's got you on Qantas flight 2735. It's going to be delayed.

NYAH Yes?

ETHAN You'll be fine. I'm going to lose you.

NYAH Ethan, you take care of yourself, I'll take care of myself because if push comes to shove, I'm gonna bail - and without giving two week notice.

ETHAN Well, forewarned is forearmed. And while we're at it, be especially sensitive to any sudden change in Ambrose's plans, especially any involving you..

They rise. A quick squeeze of her hand and he's gone. A look of something like longing replaces the toughness as she gazes after him, then starts across the street toward the limo and driver. MI music theme kicks in and continues over:

POV HELICOPTER (MOVING - SYDNEY - DAY)

over the Harbor Bridge, sails dotting the bay like confetti.

EXT - FARM (DAY)

pans of sheep are bleating and looking for sort of cover in response to the sound of a helicopter touching down.

EXT - COPTER (DAY)

Billy and Luther emerge, Luther with computer looking acutely uncomfortable in a wrinkled suit.

ETHAN'S VOICE Welcome to Australia, mate.

They look up to a smiling Ethan who points to the ground beneath Luther's feet. Luther looks down to see that he is standing in a pile of sheep-shit.

LUTHER Thanks - mate.

Both men laugh and all three move to:

INT - FARMHOUSE (DAY)

Luther and Billy with Ethan setting up their operation. There's a blip on one of the screens.

LUTHER It's the transponder.

ETHAN Put in the coordinates and let's get a visual. The visuals aren't coming up.

LUTHER The satellite doesn't work as fast as I do.

BILLY Yeah, I've heard about you, Luther, and I just want to tell you it's an honor and a pleasure to be working with you blokes, whoaa! That's some transponder!

As Billy speaks, the visual come on line and Nyah has become visible.

LUTHER (a jaundiced eye, to Ethan) It certainly is. How did we get so lucky?

Ethan pointedly ignore the question.

POV - MOVING (PALM BEACH - DAY)

rounding the tip of the bay's crescent, revealing the beach and dock at Ambrose's palm-lined residence.

NYAH

The speedboat's engine's are cut. Nyah looks momentarily stricken.

POV NYAH (MOVING)

a lone slender figure silhouetted at the end of the dock, still as the piling besides which it stands. But the features remain obscured by the sun at his back.

ETHAN

leans forward as the slender figure grows larger,

BILLY (to Ethan) Is it him, then?

POV - MOVING

The tide is too low for the boat to dock, making it necessary for he boat to approach the shore. The slender figure moves off the end of the dock and onto the beach.

THE CIGARETTE

idles into shadow water but the props start chewing into the sand - the boatman grumbles he can't get any closer. The slender figure has moved to the shoreline and the angle of the light changes - Ambrose is waiting.

Nyah hesitates only a flicker of an instant, slips over the side into thigh-high water without taking her eyes off Ambrose. Ambrose strides right on into the bay. as they are just an arm's length apart:

NYAH

takes a deep breath, presses the button to scramble the transponder.

WITH ETHAN (INT. SHEEPFARM SAFEHOUSE)

The picture abruptly goes dead.

BILLY Damn. Just when it was about to get interesting.

ETHAN It's okay. She scrambled the transmission. Luther, continue feeding the GPS her position.

Luther punches in. The signal - and the global coordinates are given. They wait.

INT - SPACE

The satellite positions itself.

WITH THE THREE ETHAN Can't we speed this up.

Luther shoots him a disgusted look.

LUTHER With what? This is the only computer that'll do this. THE SIGNALS AND PHOTOS

start to bounce back, growing larger and larger on the screen, until: Nyah can be seen, water up to her thighs, lingering in Ambrose's arms with each blow-up, and linger. And lingering.

BILLY - right. Now there's a bloke who knows how to deliver a proper welcome. Don't get me wrong, mate. You were quite hospitable. Is it him, then?

Ethan's look suggests he's worried about lapse in recruiting judgment.

LUTHER It is, Billy.

BILLY Then we got'em!

ETHAN We don't know what we've got because we don't know what he's got, where he's got it or what he's doing in Sydney with it.

Ethan strides away from the screen, the edge in his voice and the move not altogether lost on either Luther or Billy.

INT - THE BAY (EXT. PALM BEACH - DAY)

Perfectly poised, still loosely in his arms, Nyah returns Ambrose's penetrating gaze with a pleasant, clear eyed one.

AMBROSE Not much luggage.

NYAH I left in a bit of a hurry. I'm terribly grateful, Sean.

AMBROSE How grateful?

NYAH Well that depends.

AMBROSE On what.

NYAH How hard you had to work to get me out of there..how in the world did you ever find me?

AMBROSE (stopping) How I usually find you, Nyah.

NYAH How do you that.

AMBROSE Magic...

NYAH Ahh..

POV THRU TENT ANNEX WINDOW (AMBROSE COMPOUND)

looking down the length of the dock. Ambrose, his arm around Nyah and carrying her suitcase, moves up the dock toward the house and camera.

Stamp steps into the annex and looks over to Wallis, who watches Nyah on the monitors.

WALLIS No flies on her. (checking her on a scanner screen) No bugs either. She's clean.

STAMP (drily) All cats are.

INT - ETHAN - SAFEHOUSE (SHEEP FARM - DAY)

Ethan watches the Nekhorvich video on the computer screen.

NEKHORVICH ...therefore in a search for our hero, Bellerophon, we created a monster, Chimera.

Ethan then flips through a series of pictures on the computer depicting the myth of Bellerophon attacking Chimera.

Billy moves up behind him.

BILLY What you got there, mate?

ETHAN A myth..just a myth...shouldn't you be checking out their countersurveillance?

BILLY Well you know his blokes'll place the OSCOR in his annex, where else if you're pinpointing transmitters, video signals, covert chip cameras, anything radiating, oscillating..

ETHAN ..or hard wired..

BILLY (please) - or hard wired, right. First line of perimeter defence'll run from the back of the dock to the front of the house. Whatever moves burps or bleep is gonna be picked up to a height of twenty feet. Basically impenetrable, I'd say.

LUTHER Ethan, here's Nekhorvich, and here's his boss

Luther scans an entry from the IMF database with newspaper clippings, sidebars of still of McCloy and Nekhorvich.

LUTHER (cont'd) McCloy, Jon Chaddick, CEO Biocyte Pharmaceuticals..D.O.B. September 30, 1952, Manchester, England.

BILLY (a little lost) Well do you disagree with that?

ETHAN Not at all. But how about going into town and confirming your intuitions on site?

BILLY Oh well, if that's how you feel about it.

Billy leaves.

LUTHER ..then Cambridge..Harvard..entrepreneurial efforts..in efforts..in 1989, acquired Biocyte in hostile takeover..

As Luther transfer info to Ethan's computer:

LUTHER (cont'd) Ethan, have a look at this.

On Ethan's screen appears the Biocyte website; where among he various icons one offer McCloy's proud detailing of Biocyte's philanthropic efforts:

MCCLOY'S VOICE We at out state-of-the-art solar powered Biocyte building recognized that eternal vigilance is the price of health.. whether it's funding the teaching center at the Royal Prince Edward Hospital, removing aerosol products from the marker or braving the influenza quarantine at Bruny island late last month..at Biocyte your life..is our life's work..

ETHAN (quietly) ..Biocyte workers at Bruny Island.

INT - AMBROSE'S (DAY)

They've reached the head of the stairs. Ambrose opens a door. It's a large bedroom opening onto a veranda with a view of the tent annex and the beach, and a very large bed.

NYAH Your room.

AMBROSE (yes) Mmmm.

NYAH And my room?

A long moment. Ambrose walks to a mirrored wall. The mirrors are sliding doors. With a sweeping gesture, he slides one of the mirrors back and reveals a wardrobe of beautiful designer clothes.

AMBROSE Thought you could use a little something to wear.

Nyah stares at the spectacular wardrobe. Ambrose pulls out a slinky Armani and drapes it on the bed.

AMBROSE ( cont'd) Try it on..

Nyah hesitates.

AMBROSE (cont'd) Go ahead. I'm dying to see if I remembered your size..

Nyah picks it up.

NYAH No changing room?

Ambrose sits on a chair by the window and waits. Her blouse, belt, skirt, fall on the bed. As her slender arm reaches down to pick up the Armani:

AMBROSE

grips her wrist, the flimsy Armani dangling in the air.

CLOSE - NYAH

meeting Ambrose's look.

NYAH You're not interested in seeing how it looks.

AMBROSE Oh, I am. Later..

The Armani falls in a fragile heap on the floor.

CLOSE - ETHAN (DUSK)

standing off to one side, listening to Nekhorvich's voice.

NEKHORVICH ..therefore in a search for our hero, Bellerophon, we created a monster, Chimera.

LUTHER Why's Nekhorvich going on about an old Greek myth?

ETHAN Nekhorvich specialized in recombining DNA molecules. In the myth, Bellerophon killed Chimera, a recombinant monster with the head of a lion and the tail of a serpent who plagued the ancient world. I think Nekhorvich has created a monster virus in Chimera and apparently the means to kill it in Bellerophon.

LUTHER That simple, huh?

ETHAN Why not?

CLOSE - NYAH (INT. AMBROSE BEDROOM - DUSK)

lying back on a pillow, looking and off into space to right off camera. She hears Ambrose's voice, with Ethan's voice

AMBROSE'S VOICE/ETHAN'S VOICE Damn, you're beautiful..

Nyah reacts as if she'd been rapped on the nose, her eyes moist. She turns abruptly to camera.

NYAH Did you say something?

AMBROSE

leaning on an elbow, looking down.

AMBROSE I said you're beautiful, Nyah.

NYAH Only because..it's spring..chalk it up (looking him dead in the eye) - to spring fever.

Ambrose, amused, lights a cigarette and inhaling:

AMBROSE Won't do, love. It's not spring. It's nearly autumn..You're in Oz. everything's upside down and backwards here.

NYAH (more direct) Maybe that's it, then. Everything's upside down and backwards...

CLOSE - ETHAN (SHEEP FARM SAFEHOUSE - DUSK)

ETHAN Luther..get us everything you can on the outbreak of influenza on Bruny Island last month, including photos of the victims.

LUTHER Right. I guess there aren't many flu epidemics in the middle of summer.

Luther resumes working on his computer and sees Ethan is locked on Ambrose's compound on his computer screen, thinking of Nyah. LUTHER (cont'd) She did it, Ethan. Nyah's in the compound.

ETHAN Yeah? I've just rolled up a snowball and tosses it into hell.

Ethan stands.

OUTSIDE THE SHEEP FARM SAFEHOUSE

A brooding Ethan exits the sheep farm safehouse under a setting sun.

ETHAN'S VOICE Now we'll see what chance it has.

Ethan stops, looking out over the broken plain. His voice is heard overlapping into the next scene.

ETHAN'S VOICE (cont'd) (softly) Damn, You're beautiful.

CLOSE - NYAH (NIGHT)

lying in bed, obviously hearing Ethan's voice again, and feeling very much alone. She stares out into the night, a gaze that in its bemused intensity is an exact match to Ethan's.

FADE:

CLOSE - PHOTO - HONG KONG TIMES (INT. AMBROSE STUDY - EARLY DAWN)

its front page, except for the headlines and date, covered with stacks of paper money, banded bundled dollars piled high as a cord of wood. The amount $24 millions is written in ink over the money.

AMBROSE Twenty-four mil..

Ambrose's hands shift to another photo of another newspaper, the LONDON TIMES, this one piled high with English pounds and the written amount: 37 million pounds.

AMBROSE'S VOICE Thirty-seven million pounds. That's a promising bid.

The third photo is of the AFTERNOON ARUBAN, with $14 million packaged on it.

Ambrose, wearing a robe and seated at a glass-topped table, sets this last photo on the table on top the others. He picks up Nekhorvich's digital camera, removes the film disk, and snaps it into its plastic case. He places the case into an envelope (NOTE: The same envelope seen at the track) and hands it to Stamp.

AMBROSE We'll need this at the track. Well then. Sorted.

Stamp is seated near him. Glances toward Ambrose's bedroom and Nyah asleep in Ambrose's bed.

STAMP (pointedly) Not everything. Why do you think she's really here?

AMBROSE From her point of view or mine?

STAMP Wasn't exactly gagging for it when she left you six months ago..The question is, do you trust her?

As he speaks, Ambrose pulls a cigar case and a cutter out of his robe. Takes a cigar out of the case and clips the end of the cigar; the razor-sharp cutter decapitates the tip of the cigar like a guillotine.

AMBROSE One considers her timing, of course - getting nicked within a week of the plane going down. Suggestive, even borderline suspicious, but hardly conclusive.

STAMP Well, you've thorough about it, at any rate.

Ambrose opens the cutter again to clean off the fragments of tobacco trapped by the cut.

AMBROSE Tell me, Hugh. You don't exactly hang on Nyah's every word and gesture, do you? Fairly ratty nail, that.

Sean touches the nail of Stamp's left pinkie finger. Stamp reacts by slightly withdrawing his hand.

STAMP Sean..

With his left hand Ambrose grabs Stamp's left wrist.

AMBROSE You're not scrutinizing any casual shrug for some hair-splitting nuance, are you?

STAMP Sean, please..

Sean pulls Stamp's hand closer.

AMBROSE Suppose she is some sort of Trojan horse sent in by IMF to spy in us, why should I deny myself the pleasure of a ride or two? Or don't you think I can learn more from her than she can from me?

Ambrose twists Stamp's wrist so that Stamp drops to one knee trying to alleviate the pain.

STAMP (in pain) I do!..

Ambrose leans in close to Stamp's face as he places the cutter around Stamp's pinkie.

AMBROSE Now Hugh, you must realize that some of us have the burden of sex to deal with..and my dear chap. I may or may not know why she thinks she's here, but I'm willing to take the risk, because Hugh, I am gaging for it..

Ambrose closes the cutter on Stamp's finger and cuts the nail, just nicking the top of the finger and drawing blood. Stamp cries out. Ambrose tosses Stamp a napkin, light his cigar and exhale.

AMBROSE (cont'd) Don't ever question my judgment again.

DISSOLVE:

EMPTY FRAME (EXT. RANDWICK RACE TRACK - DAY)

with no sound, the back stretch an unrecognizable blur until horses at high speed burst into the frame bringing with them the sight and sound of their great nostrils snorting and gasping for jostling and going to the whip, the sound of the crowd overwhelming all but the announcer's voice carrying everyone around the far turn and into the home stretch with a ringing, controlled frenzy.

EXT - PRIVATE BLEACHER (DAY)

Nyah and Ambrose rising as the horses cross the finish. AMBROSE (surprised) You won.

NYAH (looking at her ticket) I suppose I did.

AMBROSE What made you pick that nag? She'd never won a bloody thing.

NYAH 'Thief in the Night?'

AMBROSE Say no more. I'm off to grab a drink. Still favor Bellinis?

She smiles, a little shakily. Ambrose leaves.

A VOICE Naturally Vain..

It's Billy passing behind her.

NYAH Pardon me?

BILLY 'Naturally Vain.' In the fourth. Check her out. She's due.

Billy hands her a chest sheet and moves on. She opens it to the fourth race. Taped onto 'Naturally Vain' is a small plastic piece with the note. she regards the note, places the plastic piece in her ear.

ETHAN'S VOICE You can speak as if I'm right by your side.

NYAH (picking up binoculars) Where are you?

ETHAN'S VOICE At the mounting enclosure, just off the tracks at two o'clock.

THRU BINOCULARS - NYAH'S POV - MOVING

thru the crowd onto the track over to the pre-post paddock where an animated gaggle of owners, heavy batters and investerace touts surround it. Only Ethan is stock still - and looking up at Nyah.

CLOSE - NYAH

a swift intake of breath as she see him.

ETHAN How's it going? Everything okay?

NYAH Just like old times.

ETHAN Just like old times?

NYAH Just about..

She appears to be the picture of unruffled sang-froid.

ETHAN Tell me who you've run into at Ambrose's.

ETHAN'S POV (THRU GLASSES)

moving from Nyah to the champagne bar just behind where Ambrose is seen greeting someone in the crowd and they sit at a corner table in front of the window overlooking the track.

NYAH (a breath, then:) Near as I can tell, there's at least a half-dozen other blokes about the place. Maybe more. Hugh Stamp, an old mate of Sean's, is the only one I recognize, bit of a creep and then some..

POV ETHAN

Stamp, stands a pillar, his finger bandages, looking glum and looking down at Nyah.

ETHAN We know him. He's over your left shoulder, looking right at you as you go on..

NYAH - Michael, his driver's an Aussie, new to me. Then there's the blokes in the annex at the back of the house.

ETHAN Have you met them?

NYAH Annex is strictly off limits to me and they never come to the main house, Michael even takes their meals to them all but shoves them under the door.

ETHAN (looking into Champagne Bar) I've no doubt.

ETHAN'S POV MONOCULAR VIDEO RANGE FINDER

of Ambrose sitting with someone whose face is obscured from his angle by bar patrons.

BILLY

is also looking.

POV RANGE FINDER BILLY

and from his point of view it can be seen that Ambrose is talking with John McCloy, the head Biocyte. Ambrose takes an envelope out of his inner left jacket pocket and from it pulls out a small plastic container marked 'S.G.' (Identical to the object first seen in Nekhorvich's satchel at airport security.) He opens it and removes a small shiny object about the size of a quarter. He turns to the window and gestures. Stamp enters the bar.

BILLY Ambrose is meeting some bloke in the bar. Big bloke, ginger hair. They're into something.

ETHAN'S POV

ETHAN I'll be damned. It's McCloy, the Biocyte CEO.

LUTHER Nekhorvich's boss?

ETHAN Yep.

NYAH Ambrose has photographs of newspapers with loads of money piled on them -- thirty- seven million on the London Times. What's that about?

ETHAN Bids from possible Chimera buyers -- to prove that as of the date on the newspaper those bids are back up by earnest money --

INT - VAN - LUTHER

is monitoring both cameras. All see Ambrose give the little wafer-like object to Stamp who places it in a small camera, hands it back to Ambrose and exits, waiting just outside the glass door. Ambrose hands the camera to McCloy who looks puzzled.

LUTHER Looks like Ambrose is showing McCloy how to use a digital camera..

McCloy puts it to his eye, fumbles, then with Ambrose's direction: ETHAN Whatever McCloy's looking at, he's not happy about.

McCloy puts the camera down. The two men have words. McCloy shakily leave the table. Ambrose opens the camera.

LUTHER Ambrose just pulled the memory card out of the digital camera and put it into an envelope, put it in his inner left jacket pocket...

ETHAN Left jacket pocket?

LUTHER Roger that.

ETHAN Confirm. Left jacket pocket.

LUTHER Left jacket pocket confirmed. ETHAN BY THE MOUNTING ENCLOSURE

ETHAN Nyah, Ambrose is heading back. There's an enveloped inside --

NYAH -- his left jacket pocket.

ETHAN Affirmative.

AMBROSE

passes by Stamp on his way back, hands him the camera.

NYAH (after a brief pause) Where do I meet you?

ETHAN Betting table twelve off the paddock. Nyah, are you up to this?

NYAH I'll muddle through.

>>>

II/ Mission Impossible II.
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